VonShef Induction Hob Heat Diffuser Stainless Steel with Heat Proof Handle

VonShef

I had an issue with our portable stove, so I had to buy a new one, and I chose induction specifically because I need more power (arh arh arh). Well, I didn’t realize when I bought the induction stove that it wouldn’t be compatible with all of our pots/pans, and when it came and when I tried using them, that verified my worst fear. So I Googled a solution and found out that if I had one of these little things to place on top of the burner, that it would allow me to use my old pots and pans, so I bought one on sale on Amazon for only $15. Well, the hits just keep coming because this doesn’t work either.

The first thing that shocked me was that my package was delivered on Memorial Day. You know, the day that the mail doesn’t come? Apparently the regular mail doesn’t come, but packages do. That’s news to me. I was so excited to use it, so I put it on the induction stove and hit power and WOOHOO it showed activity. I pressed the function button over to “Water” and put a pot of water on there, just basically to see if it worked. Well, it worked, for an entire minute, then I got the E3 message saying it doesn’t work. So I am back to square one.

Why does this crap keep happening to me? I buy something because we need it, but I buy the kind that requires specific pots and pans, which we don’t have, and so I buy something to make them compatible, and it doesn’t work. Now I am forced to go out and actually buy new pots and pans. When will life be simple again?

UPDATE: I really wanted this to work, so I gave it several chances by using it on all the settings, even lowering the heat, and my induction stove STILL gave me an error message after about a minute every time. I really hate having to return things because I feel I made the commitment to buy it, even if it doesn’t work I should just take the loss and perhaps give it to someone who can use it, but screw that, I want my money back! My being too timid isn’t teaching me a lesson, it teaches the maker of the product to improve their product since it will most likely be sent back to the manufacturer to be recycled.

So what does this mean for me now? I’m not going to spend a lot of money on another one of these things, I’m just going to get a new set of compatible pots and pans, that’s all. My birthday is coming, and I’ve always said not to buy me something that is for working, like don’t buy me a vacuum cleaner for my birthday, or a dust buster, or a friggin’ mop. Buy me something that will make me excited, namely a video game or whatever that has something electronic in it lol. But, I honestly don’t really want anything this year because I already have enough games and electronics to last awhile, so pots and pans doesn’t sound like too bad of an idea now. My partner already told me he’s been researching pots and pans and he found a set for $99 with all the pots and pans and the spoons and spatula etc. I checked and it was $119, but you know, same thing lol. Although, I don’t know if that’s the same exact set he’s talking about, but you never know. Anyway, I look forward to the fake surprised look on my face next week on my birthday lol.

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Induction Cooktop

induction cooktop

Well I did it again. I bought something that isn’t compatible with what we have lol.

We have a normal stove top, but it shorted out 9 years ago, so we’ve been using a portable cooktop. It only has 1500 watts, and the left side uses 1000 watts and the right side uses 500 watts. Naturally the knob broke off the one with the higher watts. Normally it would be fine, but a strange key like wire came out with it. I didn’t know how to get that wire back in, so I had no choice but to buy a new cooktop.

We were going to go to Sears to buy a new cooktop, but I wanted to research prices before doing so, because I would hate to buy something for $100 and then find out we could have gotten the same thing cheaper somewhere else. I found that things are much cheaper on Amazon. I found an induction cooktop and of course did a little research into that by watching YouTube videos. The videos showed that it only takes like a minute for the water to boil, which I found to be very cool and it seemed to me that this type of cooktop would be better than what we had. Our old cooktop took 45 minutes to boil 6 eggs, this thing only took 12 minutes. Here are the eggs boiling after 1 minute. I couldn’t believe how fast it was to start boiling water. I also couldn’t believe that it only took 12 minutes.

boiling eggs

The only problem that I have with this cooktop is that it requires a very specific type of pot/pan; they have to be magnetic. The requirements said that if you can stick a magnet to the pot/pan then it will work, but it also said in the requirements that the pot/pan can be stainless steel. Well, it turns out all of our new pots/pans are stainless steel, but they wouldn’t work on this new cooktop, unfortunately. The pan I used to hard boil eggs just so happened to work. It’s an old pan that we’ve had for at least 20 years, I don’t know if they were mine or my partners when we met, I just know we’ve had it throughout our entire relationship. We also have a matching stock pot.

imageSo I have the choice of 1 pot and 1 stock pot, but that’s it. I don’t want to have to toss our other good pots/pans, so all I can think to do is to buy an adapter. It’s on sale right now on Amazon for $15 and with shipping it came to $22.34, which is a great price considering they are normally $75 and up, and if I were forced to buy all new induction pots/pans, well that would end up getting into the hundreds, and I just can’t do that. I don’t know how long it will take for that to arrive, but I can wait.

We went to Dollar General tonight to buy some dog food and cat food and I wanted some salad stuff, and while my partner was loading the cart with the pet food, I went over to the cookware and I noticed they have one of those electric portable stoves for $25 lol. This induction cooktop was $50. Oh well, I’d rather have this one that cooks fast than something that might take 45 minutes just to hard boil some eggs. I’m happy with what I have.

FreedomPop Debit Card Issue

freedompop

Last month I bought a refurbished Samsung Galaxy S3 from Nomorerack (now Choxi) that I thought I could use with Virgin Mobile to upgrade my phone, but unfortunately for me, Virgin Mobile doesn’t allow their customers to buy unlocked phones as upgrades. If you want to upgrade your phone, you have to buy a Virgin Mobile phone or buy it through them.

My new phone is with a company that I’ve never heard of called FreedomPop. I signed up with my debit card as my payment card and everything was fine until the bank decided that my debit card had been compromised and blocked my card and issued me a new one. When my new debit card arrived, I tried changing it on the FreedomPop website so I could be charged for the next month, but unfortunately, it wouldn’t change. I used my phone to try to change it and it didn’t work, so then I went to my Nook HD+ tablet and it didn’t work, so then I went to my computer and again it did not work. I Googled the issue and found nothing that would help me.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been desperately looking for a resolution, I’ve even called them… TWICE! I called them when my account had 7 days left, and they told me they would contact me by email in 48 hours to let me know that it worked, but instead the email I received was a questionnaire on how they did. Yeah, that didn’t work for me, so I called them again and I gave them the ticket number and told them what happened and begged for help since I had 5 days left. They told me to call the bank because it must be my card and I told them that it can’t be because I’ve used my credit card and I’ve also used my PayPal debit card, and neither of them worked. So the person on the other end put me on hold and came back and said that this is an issue on their end because more customers have had to deal with this. Damn Skippy it’s a issue on your end! 24 hours passed and not an email and not a phone call. I decided to just give them another 24 hours, but still nothing.

Today, I checked my account on my phone and it said I had 3 days left, so I opened up Firefox and went to the billing page and added my credit card number, not my debit card number, and it FINALLY worked! YES! So I immediately added $30 to my account.

You know in the movies when the bomb is about to go off and the timer is going and it is 1 minute, then 30 seconds, then 20, then 15, then 10, then 5, then you start counting down 5, 4, 3, 2 and then they cut the correct wire just before it goes to 0 and the bomb doesn’t go off? I feel like that just happened, but I had 3 days left rather than 3 seconds.

The thing about FreedomPop is, if they couldn’t fix this issue, all I had to do was call them and tell them to just put me on their free plan until they could fix it. I mean, it’s not like I really need to pay for my account since I rarely call or text anyone, and I hardly ever use the 4G LTE or even 3G. I’m basically always on the WiFi with this at home. So really, it doesn’t matter, but I just like having the peace of mind knowing that I can have unlimited phone calls and texting just in case I ever come out of my shell and decide that I can’t shut the f up and have to call everyone and their mother. You know, just in case.

Anyway, if you are having an issue like this with FreedomPop, try a new browser and try a new card, if that doesn’t work then call them and keep calling them until they fix it. If they can’t fix it, then just go to their free plan.

Craigslist PayPal Scam

 

Today is the second time I have spoken with someone regarding this issue. Someone I know was trying to sell her engagement ring, and she placed an ad on Craigslist. Just for the record, she lives in Tennessee and the person who responded said they live in Ohio. This person said they sent $4,350.00 to my friend via PayPal, but my friend did not see the money in the account that she had just created for this specific purpose. She received several emails from “PayPal” and here they are with my commentary. I’ve highlighted several issues with these emails.

First off, you can tell if an email is a scam by looking at who sent you the email. Notice how it says service@paypal.com, but then it says paypalsfundsalerts@inbox.lv? Well, if you get an email that shows 2 different email addresses, red flags should go up. Out of curiosity, I went to inbox.lv and that website does exist and anyone can create an email address with any name they want. This is not a valid paypal email address because they would not go out of the @paypal.com system. It just doesn’t happen. So that is my first red flag.

email to and from

This is the first email. I used Gimp to highlight. I created a box around the text, then used the paintbrush to add yellow with 50% transparency, which is why the black text looks faded. I just wanted to clarify that before you went any further.

Ok so here is the first email. They emailed her to tell her that they placed a temporary hold on the funds of this transaction. Why would they do that? I know she has just created this PayPal account for this very purpose, and she never intends on using PayPal again because she doesn’t trust it. She has a checking account with a brick and mortar bank, why would she need PayPal?

So I’m a bit confused here. They placed a temporary hold of $4,3500.00, but she is supposed to Money Gram $750 to someone, then send them a picture or scanned copy of the Money Gram to PayPal? What? That’s not how this works. This is crazy to me!

email 2 money gram

This is who she is supposed to send $750 to. Who is this? This is a 3rd party. PayPal would NEVER have you send money to a 3rd party via Money Gram. I’m sorry, but this is crazy to me.

email 2 money gram florida

Another red flag for me is that they would NEVER spell Walmart or Money Gram without caps. Also, check out my 2nd highlight where they started a new sentence without the space.

email 2 walmart or money gram

Ok, so that is the first email. She told this person that she never got the money and that she didn’t feel comfortable sending $750 via Money Gram. I mean, why would she feel comfortable doing that? I feel uncomfortable for her. So then she gets this email. First of all, look at the date. 12/05/2015. Todays date is 5/12/2015 so they got that backwards lol. If PayPal were to send an email out, they would have the correct date. Second, when someone sends you money on PayPal, a representative does not contact you personally. It just doesn’t happen. The computer will generate an email telling you that you need to verify your account before the funds will be deposited into your account. So that is a huge red flag for me. Third, they misspelled PayPal. You see my highlight that says papal. The last thing about this email is the Money Gram Transfer. I am still very confused about that.

email 1 contents

And finally they sent out a third email. Let me just repeat what I said before, if PayPal were to email anything to you, it would be their computer, not an actual person. They are pleading this Hazel persons case. “You Have to understand that Hazel Lane is a loyal customer of PayPal.” You have to understand is their first sentence? Why? I don’t understand this. Why are they pleading for someone? They spelled have with a cap. Then read my 2nd highlight “to loose the money.” You don’t loose money, you lose money. Then they said it is clear you are trying to scam her which will be taking up legally. WE WILL, is what they meant to say. Then finally “which can lead you loosing this account.” You don’t loose something, you lose it. Oh and they are threatening 5 years in prison. Then finally in the last highlight they did it again with the separation of sentences where they added a period, but then forgot to add a space, but this time the next sentence begins without the cap and it says “please for any Question reply directly back to this email.”

email 3 you have to understand

Oh and finally the logo at the end SCAM DEFENCE. Yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s spelled with an S not a C. Defense. Also the N is raised a bit oddly in that logo.

I told her what I thought and that she should call PayPal directly and I found their number on Google Search and she called and they told her that this is a scam. I told her to cut off communication with this person and to delete her PayPal account since she has no intention of using it any further. I also advised her to change her email password and to block this person on her phone since they were communicating via text message.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know when you are being scammed, but some people, particularly young and elderly people don’t get scammed too often, so they don’t see the signs right away. That’s why I am happy that she sent me a message asking me what I thought about this whole thing. Another friend of mine fell for this scam when she tried selling her laptop on Craigslist. They pressured her to ship it out overnight, so she ended up shipping out her laptop and never got a dime and spent around $50 shipping the laptop to… get this… NIGERIA! If that is not a big giant red flag, I don’t know what is. If you are ever in doubt, the minute you see the word Nigeria, RUN! Don’t pass go, just run! And when I say run, obviously I mean shut it down. Stop all communication and call PayPal directly.

If you have to question something, then perhaps there is something wrong with it. Also, you know the old adage, say it with me, If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

If you want to see what a TRUE PayPal email looks like when you get money, this is it. They don’t add any fancy graphics or personalize anything. Know the difference and stay safe.

proper email

What I hate about video games

xbox-one-vs-ps4

First off let me just say that I absolutely LOVE to play video games. I’ve been playing video games since Pong back in the 70’s. My first gaming system was the Atari 2600 and I’ve loved video games since I was a teenager. Video games have dramatically changed since Pong, and so has the thing that I hate the most about them, and that is the price.

First off, the consoles cost a ton of money. My PS4 was $400. I know they put a lot in to making these things and they should cost a lot of money, but come on, $400? I think they can come down to about $250 and still make a huge profit. God forbid you spill coffee on your game controller, that cost $60 to replace.

The thing that I hate the most though is the cost of video games. In 2007 when I had bought my PSP, I was shocked to see that the same games for my PSP was dramatically cheaper than the console version which was about $60 or $70. My PSP games (new) were no more than about $20 to $40 at the time. That’s why I was glad to have the PSP and not a console, but now I have a console and have to pay high prices.

Recently I got a $50 gift card for Amazon and I bought 2 games. They are both $40 or $50 on the PlayStation store, but they were both $19.99 on disc format on Amazon. One of them was Just Dance 2015, which by the way has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that I cannot dance to save my life. I tried one dance and they were so fast, I just couldn’t keep up. I was out of breath. They have all these extra songs you can buy for .99 to $2.99. I mean, they have a lot of songs too. If the game is $50 in the PlayStation Store, how can they charge so much for extras? I checked the extras for the other game I bought Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor and this is what I calculated.

shadows of mordor calculation

Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor cost $39.99 in the PlayStation Store, plus all the add-ons cost $68.83. How in the heck can anyone afford to pay $108.82 just for a video game? Video games are like stories, they eventually end at some point. You can play them again and again, but who wants to do that? Once you finish, you want to play another game, and how much is that game going to cost after you factor in all the add-ons? It’s ridiculous. I think if they are going to charge that much money for add-ons, they should just give you the game for free. It works for DC Universe Online, so why doesn’t it work for other games?

It took me a long time to even want a console, and I only wanted one because I wanted to play video games on a bigger screen, not just my old PSP or my cell phone, or even my Nook HD+ tablet. I wanted to play on the HDTV screen because it was a bigger experience. I know the game companies and the artists go through a lot of trouble and can take years of hard work and they have to pay actors to voice the characters. I know it cost a lot of money, but seriously, $109 for 1 game for 1 person is beyond ridiculous. Even if they gave the game away for free they would still make billions from the $68 worth in add-ons.

I’m just voicing my opinion. I know this is a big business and they aren’t in it to make people happy but to make themselves money, I get that, but come down on the price a bit and you will still be billionaires while your customers have to eat Top Ramen for a month to be able to afford 1 game.

UPDATE:

Ok so just a little  backpedaling lol… I received the game Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor and bought up all the little .99 cent, $1.99 and $2.99 add-on’s, which left 2 of the $9.99 levels and the $24.99 thing, which turned out to be a season pass that I had no idea would have given me those 2 $9.99 levels for free. I don’t really know if it would have given me anything else, but it did say it gave me 2 other things that didn’t require a download, so I’m just going to assume I paid for those. Darnit! Next time buy the season pass and see what is left. Oh and the season pass was on sale for only $13.71, so that saved me a lot of money. I wasn’t going to buy the season pass or those 2 levels until something was on sale, and I’m glad I waited. Oh and every add-on is totally worth every dime.

Terraria mobile issues resolved

Screenshot_2015-05-04-23-30-38

I’m doing a little happy dance right now because I was finally… sorry, that was weak. I was FINALLY able to get Terraria to play on my refurbished Samsung Galaxy S3, and I will tell you how I did it.

The Issue was that when it installed the game, it only installed the obb file in the Android/obb folder. It didn’t install any of the actual game files in the Android/data folder. Every time I tried to load the game, it would give me this message (below). Try as I might I could not figure it out. I didn’t realize the data folder was lacking files. The OBB data file is fine, it installed all 52mb of that, it’s just that it didn’t install the rest of the data.

Screenshot_2015-05-02-19-33-57

The Fix. My phone came preinstalled with a file viewer called My Files, but that isn’t enough. I have an app from Cheetah Mobile called File Manager and that did the job. So what I did was I zipped the data files from my Nook and uploaded the zip file to my OneDrive so that I could download it on my phone. I downloaded it and then went into the File Manager and located the zip file in my downloads folder. I copied the zip file and pasted it in the Android/Data folder, but it kept saying 0kb. So it was showing a file name, but it wouldn’t allow actual data to be inserted in that folder. I then figured out (after days mind you) that in the File Manager there is a option in the settings for Root Settings (Advanced Users). Root Explorer and Change System Folders. Check both of those.

Screenshot_2015-05-04-23-27-29

Once those two options were checked, I copied the zip file again and it actually unzipped all of the files, but for some odd reason all of the files were 0kb. So then I decided to paste the zip file in the SD Card Android/Data folder and it pasted with all 52mb in tact. I then unzipped it and it actually unzipped. I find that to be amazing because before it wouldn’t unzip onto the SD card. So once I had all the files in the SD card, I went into the folder with the files and I tapped (and held) on one file to select it, then I clicked that little icon at the top with 4 squares and it selected the entire directory, then I clicked copy at the bottom of the screen and went in the Device to the Android/Data/com.and.games505.TerrariaPaid folder and hit paste and all of the files actually pasted with actual file sizes too.

To prove it worked, the Terraria image at the top is the actual screen shot from my phone. I cannot believe I finally got it to work. Now, I’m worried about if/when there is an update in the Google Play store and it installs all the files again, but this time it deletes all the files, or it makes them all 0kb lol. If that happens, I still have it on my Nook, so I’ll just be able to copy it over.

I really hope this has helped someone out there who has been just as frustrated as I have been. If you have a second Android device that it actually works on, you will be fine.