Print Artist 25 Platinum

Print Artis 25 Platinum

I have an Etsy shop, and one of the things a typical Etsy shop needs is a good graphics program for advertising their shop and products. You need business cards, post cards and brochures so people can see what you have in your catalog. My Etsy shop in particular uses business cards as earring cards. I already have those printed and even laminated. What I really need are post cards which are basically bigger business cards, and brochures to include in all orders. The post cards would have a graphic of a coupon on it with a coupon code for the customer to enter for their next order.

I’m actually quite familiar with Print Artist because I had it on my very first computer. Let’s go in the way back time machine to 1997. I don’t remember how I got these cd’s. It might have come with a printer I bought back then, or perhaps it came with my scanner, I don’t know, all I know is I installed it and loved it. It says there are 4 cd’s, 2 of them were for Mac, and my Aunt Louise had a Mac, so I gave her the other 2 cd’s.

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When I ordered the newest version of Print Artist 25 Platinum, I bought the CD’s on Amazon. I could have bought the digital download and gotten it right away, but I can wait for the box to come in the mail.

Amazon says it works with Windows XP, 7, Vista and 8, but I have Windows 10. I have seen some reviews from people who say it didn’t work on their computers with Windows 10, but I saw other people with newer computers say it works fine for them. My computer is still brand spanking new, so I am sure I won’t have any issues with installing and using it. At least I hope I don’t have any issues. I guess that’s why I bought it on CD, because if it doesn’t work, I can always send it back to Amazon. If it’s a digital download and it doesn’t work then I’m pretty much boned. The digital download price from their website and the price I paid on Amazon is the exact same price. I didn’t have to pay for shipping since it was over $25.

So  yes, I will mainly focus on making the post cards with the coupon code along with a picture of some of the products, as well as a catalog of most of the products I have in my Etsy shop. I think it will be an interesting experience.

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Fix for my Magic Bullet

magic bullet

I have wanted a Magic Bullet ever since I saw the first infomercial for it on TV. I told my partner every time we walked by it at Sears or Target, and he always told me that it was too expensive. Last year we were at Sears and they were really inexpensive, so he finally bought it for me.

When I started going to the gym, I started buying this workout powder that is supposed to help you recover and it is supposed to help the muscles somehow. We had some strawberries in the fridge that we weren’t eating, so I put them in the freezer. I should have cut them into pieces first, but I didn’t.  Shoulda, coulda, woulda…

This is why I should have cut the strawberries up first. I threw whole frozen strawberries and frozen slices of banana into my shake, and it was too much for the Magic Bullet to handle and the blade stopped, but the rubber from the bottom of the cross blade started stripping and it stripped the plastic off the base gear. I honestly didn’t think that I did any harm to it at the time.

Yesterday I decided that I wanted to make a blended iced coffee, so I poured my cold coffee into the cup and added some small pieces of ice, then I screwed the cross blade on it and put it in the Magic Bullet, and it was making some strange noises, and it didn’t crush the ice like it normally would. I looked at the base gear and the bottom of the cross blade and I could see why it wasn’t working properly.

My first thought was great, now I need a new one. But then I wondered if it could be fixed, so I went on Amazon, my go to website for everything, and they just so happened to have the replacement parts. I bought both pieces, and then thought to myself, how the heck am I going to replace the gear? I went on YouTube and got the answer.

magic bullet bottom flathead screw

The bottom of the Magic Bullet has a opening, and you should see a flat head screw in that opening. What you gotta do is grab the gear with a pair of locking pliers, then put a flat head screwdriver in the bottom and hold it tight, then turn the locking pliers to the right as if you are tightening it. Trust me, it will loosen. When you have it off, then you can put the new one in place. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

The parts are so much cheaper than having to buy a new Magic Bullet, and it doesn’t take much effort fixing it, and you will bonk your hand on your forehead when you think about how you were about to throw the Magic Bullet away over something so trivial.

I know I should take better care of my things, and I try to, but sometimes I just don’t think before I act. No one is perfect, and I know I’m certainly far from perfect. I’m the most clumsy person I know. Here’s an example. Last year like a month before I broke my leg, I was in the emergency room because I was cutting the stem off of one of those frozen strawberries so I could blend it in the Magic Bullet, and the knife was so sharp that it went right through the strawberry, and went right into my finger at an angle. It didn’t go directly into the bone, it went in the same direction as the bone. I ended up with 3 stitches. I think that was the last time I used my Magic Bullet.

Magic Bullet stitches

So, I would suggest take better care of your (my) things, and be careful with sharp knives lol. Ouch! Oh, and I hope I helped save you money by showing you how to fix your Magic Bullet.

PS Vita for Christmas

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Most normal people exchange Christmas gifts on or before Christmas day. We’re not normal lol.

My partner bought me a brand new PlayStation Vita Borderlands 2 bundle at GameStop last week, and it arrived yesterday. It arrived at the house at 1:43pm, but there was nothing on the doorstep. I thought he got it, but hid it from me to give to me on Christmas, so later that night when Dominos rang the doorbell, I asked if it was UPS and he said it wasn’t. Long story short, our driver hid the package from us and it took calling them to file a stolen package report for them to reveal to us the location of the box. They’ve never done that before. Grrr! The note on the tracking said it was left on the front door, but it was behind our hose.
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So back to the PS Vita. I thought it would be much smaller from what I’ve seen in videos, but it seems to be thicker and it feels heavier than my PSP Slim. It does feel good in my hands, but I find myself punching characters out and accidentally tossing grenades when I don’t mean to because of the back of the device. I like that it gives you more options, but it’s too sensitive.

Games that are meant for the PSVita play great with the front and back touch screens as well as the 2 analog sticks. I actually like that I’m touching the correct tool or block on the front screen in Minecraft even though I can use the directional buttons. It just seems faster to touch the screen.

Some of my older PSP games don’t access these newer features. Like you can only use the left analog stick to move your character around. I think using 2 analog sticks is easier. My old PSP is temperamental though, so I’ll be running to the right, and my character is either running to the left or in circles. That’s why I love having 2 analog sticks because the one on the left is propelling you forward or backward, and the one on the right is allowing you to run in many directions. I also love that they made the R button your trigger as opposed to the X button to allow you to continue running while shooting.

The guy at Game Stop told us the 8gb memory card that comes with the bundle will be completely used by the game that comes with the PSVITA. Borderlands 2 comes with 6 add-ons and yes it does use most of your card, but you’ll still have a few gigs to add more games.

Anyway, I did buy a 32gb card on Amazon that night when we came home. It’s actually a pain in the ass to have to completely shut the PSVita down when I want to switch from the 8gb card to the 32gb card or vice versa. Why can’t they just give you more than 8gb knowing it will use most of the card? Or why not just sell the hard copy of the game instead of a download?

I was watching someone play the Vita version of Minecraft on YouTube, and there were moments when the game seemed to lag. I haven’t had that issue, but there was a moment when the game froze and I had to close it and I lost all my progress.

One of the reasons I wanted a PSVita was because of the remote play feature. I have a PS4 in my bedroom, but I spend a huge chunk of the morning and afternoon in the living room. I was looking for ways to play Destiny and Star Wars Battlefront in the living room. That feature is only available on Sony phones and PSVita. That was the huge selling point for me. I mentioned earlier that you accidentally throw grenades, I was referring to Star Wars Battlefront. No one said anything, but I kept doing it and I quit playing because of it. I don’t have an issue with Destiny. In fact, I actually love playing Destiny using remote play.

I think if you have a PSP and you bought this as an upgrade for the new games, go ahead and keep your old PSP and the old games. Don’t install your old games on the new system. Just switch back and forth I guess.

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I took 2 pictures of my PSP Slim with the new PSVita, and you can see that they are pretty much the same size, and I looked and they seem to be about the same thickness. The PSP Slim screen is much smaller at 480×272 pixels and 3.8 inch screen, and the PSVita has 960×544 pixels and a 5 inch screen.

The PSN membership gives you 2 free games every month. 2 free PSVita games, 2 PS3 and 2 PS4 games. So if you have all 3 consoles, congratulations, because you get 6 free games. Some of the games work on all 3 consoles. In fact, some of the games I bought for my PS4 have PSVita games, which is how I managed to get these on the Vita. I’m really enjoying the PSVita version of Minecraft and Terraria. This is an awesome gift and thank you to my partner for buying it for me, and thank you even more because I’m able to play with it during my broken leg downtime.
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AmazonBasics Laminator

Amazon Basics Laminator

Last week my partner mentioned to me on our way to Los Angeles that he would like to have a laminator so he could laminate some insurance cards to prevent them from tearing or wearing out in his wallet. I had to laminate my insurance card many years ago, but I didn’t have a laminator, so I simply covered it on both sides with clear contact paper. It did the job, but it doesn’t look as good as it would if it were laminated.

It got me thinking that I could use a laminator for my Etsy shop, so I bought one on Amazon. It’s the AmazonBasics Thermal Laminator and I bought a box of 100 AmazonBasics Thermal Laminating Pouches, 3 Mil Letter Size for laminating full size sheets. I also bought the Universal Laminating Pouches, 5 Mil Business Card for my earring cards and my partners insurance cards.

Laminated earring card

I did an experiment with 1 of the new business card pouches to see if it would work. I have perhaps 40 business cards that I use for earring cards. I have the earring display card punch, and I have already punched all the cards. They’re just sitting in a business card holder waiting to be used. I laminated 1 of them and cut it around the edges of the card, then I used the earring display card punch to punch through the existing um… punch? Holes? It didn’t work, as you can see. I tried it on both of them, and you can see in the above image that it just shreds the plastic. But then I punched it on the left side of the card and it worked just fine. You can also see the plastic on the edge of the card.

So here is what I will have to do for future earring cards. I will have to print out the business card sheet and laminate it with a full size laminating pouch, then cut the cards out and then use the earring display card punch. That will be the only way I can do it that will make it look normal.

The reason I want to do this with my earring cards is because the cardboard is flimsy by itself. I’m sure when a customer receives their earrings, they will most likely toss the card in the trash, but it’s all about presentation and quality of the brand.

My partner didn’t want any of this, he just wanted to laminate 2 cards, that’s it. He told me to put it in my room because I can get more use out of it for my Etsy shop. If he wants something laminated in the future, well he can either ask or tell me to do it for him, or he can do it himself. It’s not his or mine, it’s ours.

I was thinking we could both use it to laminate our school papers from when we were children, but he told me that would ruin the charm of the paper. I still think it’s a good idea, but at the same time, all my school papers will be just fine in the plastic storage container in my closet. No one has ever asked to look at them, so it doesn’t do me any good to take them out of the box to laminate them. I do plan on printing some cool patterns to laminate to use as a placemat for our dogs food since she gets food all over the floor. I can also make placemats for the dining room table, not that we ever eat there, it would just like nice to me.

Update: Ok so I was wrong about being able to print a full sheet, cut the cards out and then stamp it with the earring display card punch. I cut a couple of cards out with scissors, and it looked like a 4 year old cut them out. I’m sure a 4 year old would’ve done a better job. Then I used the punch and it was horrible. I tried again with another card and the punch jammed, so that’s not going to work for me. I’m just going to have to deal with laminating the cards I already have printed out and used the earring display card punch, and just poke holes for the earrings. It’s not going to look professional, but at least the cards will be stiff. It’s really the best I can do since I don’t have any other option.

Laminator

laminator

I have a funny story. My partner told me a few days ago out of the blue that he wanted a laminator to laminate his new insurance card that he recently got in the mail. I don’t know what happened to his last one that made him decide he wanted to laminate it, but I started thinking that this might be something both of us could find useful.

When I was in my early 20’s, I worked in a bath house. I was the guy in the office when you first checked in who took the money and gave you a key for a room or locker and handed you the towel. When a new customer would come in for a new membership, or when someone was renewing their membership, I would laminate the card for them. It wasn’t a huge laminator, it only laminated business card sized sheets.

When I was searching on Amazon for a laminator, I was under the assumption I could buy a small one specifically for business cards like the one I had at the bath house. I also naturally assumed they were expensive, like hundreds of dollars expensive. I was actually surprised to see how cheap they are. Well, the AmazonBasics Thermal Laminator is inexpensive. I did a little more research and found some at Office Depot/Office Max that are $100 and up. $21.65 is more in my price range lol. The sheets are less expensive than I thought. I figured while I’m getting a full sheet size laminator and the business card laminating sheets, I might as well also buy AmazonBasics full size Laminating Pouches. I mean, I’ve never needed them, but it could happen.

One thing I know I could use the business card sheets for is my Etsy shop earring cards. I have a earring display card punch and I print the design on a sheet of business cards. The earring cards are nice, but they are very flimsy because the card stock isn’t that thick. I figured that perhaps laminating them would make them stiff enough that they would work better for earrings. I don’t know if I can cut them on the edge of the cards, but I’ll experiment when I get them and find out.

I can also use these to laminate regular business cards to place in the padded envelope with every order. There are many possibilities for laminating things, and I’m sure I’ll think of something later down the road, like post cards and bookmarks. Maybe place mats at the dinner table or for the dog bowls. Who knows? I’m sure I’ll come up with some new things as time goes by.

One thing I noticed was that these laminating sheets don’t come with a foil pouch. The laminator at my last job required using a foil pouch. You put the card in the laminating pouch, then place that in a foil pouch that is paper on the outside, and foil on the inside, then you run it through the laminator. This one doesn’t do that, and I know this because I watched a video and the guy who made the video ran a full size sheet of paper in a full size laminating sheet straight through without a buffer. I know technology has come a long way since 1992/94, but still. I would just naturally assume if I ran plastic through a machine that has to melt the plastic to create a seal, that if not protected inside a card stock sheet with foil inside, it might perhaps melt all over the machine. But from what I saw in the video, the guy ran the full sheet in full sheet pouch without any buffer and it didn’t melt. It makes me nervous lol. I’ll try it and see how it goes when it arrives.

Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Activity Tracker

I bought The Spark from SparkPeople last year, and it’s nice and all, but it doesn’t do everything I was hoping it would do, plus it’s a little buggy. For example, it doesn’t always recognize what exercise I am doing. I bought a bicycle trainer and would ride my bike on it, and sometimes it logged it as general exercise, while other times it would log it as cycling. When I ride the bike to the gym it logs it as general exercise, and when I walk on the treadmill it logs it as a walk event.

I was going to go with one that has the little dots that spin around to show you your progress, but I want actual real-time numbers displayed on a screen. I already have The Spark from SparkPeople, which has the little dots, I’m not looking to get another one like that. And the Spark doesn’t sync with Noom or Planet Fitness. It’s a nice little doohickey, but I want something that will do more for me since I don’t constantly wear my shoes. I want a watch to wear full time 24/7.

This Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Activity Wristband is exactly what I had in mind. It does everything that I need it to do, and it will sync on my computer, not just my phone. It’s about $146 on Amazon, and I will buy it using Amazon Smile to help the charity of my choice, which is the Gay & Lesbian Center of Bakersfield. Here are all of the things that it does.

  • Get continuous, automatic, wrist-based heart rate and simplified heart rate zones
  • Track workouts, heart rate, distance, calories burned, floors climbed, active minutes and steps
  • Monitor your sleep automatically and wake with a silent alarm
  • See call notifications, daily stats and time of day on the OLED display
  • Sync stats wirelessly and automatically to your computer and over 150 leading smartphones
  • Utilize the sizing tool in Product Details below to ensure proper fit.

This has more features, and it should sync up with Noom and the Planet Fitness app. At least I hope it will lol. Do you have one of these? Do you know if it syncs up with those apps? I would love to know before I buy this watch. Please leave a comment to let me know.

Update: I forgot something. When I say sync up with Noom and the Planet Fitness app, I mean that you can link your Fitbit account with Noom and Planet Fitness. So when I ask if it will sync up, I mean if it’s linked up to Noom and Planet Fitness apps, will it automatically transfer all of the exercise events with the link.

I checked the Noom app and it only connects with Google Fit and Misfit. Planet Fitness connects with more apps, but it doesn’t connect with Google Fit or Misfit. So I guess I have to choose which app is more important.

UNIFUN® 10400mAh USB External Travel Battery

20150811_100328The last couple of months have been very difficult. I’ve spent a lot of time in hospitals with a dead phone. My phone keeps a charge for several hours when I’m at home on the Wi-Fi, but as soon as it switches over to 3G/4G, the battery drains fast. I bring my charger with me, but I may not be lucky enough to get a seat next to a outlet to plug it in, so I have to just deal with my phone dying.

I saw a battery at a store 6 months or so ago, but it was too expensive and I didn’t really need it then. I started to regret not buying it when I actually needed it. I recently went on Amazon to look for a battery and discovered there are many different kinds. I’m actually glad I didn’t buy that one all those months ago, because it may not have been as awesome as the one I found.

I discovered there are many batteries with different capacities. There are 3200mAh up to 20000mAh and I’m sure higher. I chose the UNIFUN® 10400mAh USB External Travel Battery based on the price, the fact that it has a light and that it’s waterproof. I’m really clumsy. I also chose it based on some of the reviews. One reviewer said they were able to charge their phone 3 times with this battery. I too have charged my phone 3 times on 1 single charge, and there was still some power left in the travel battery charger. Our power went out and I had to grab this battery for its light, and boy did it perform better than I expected it to, and it charged my phone while I was using the flashlight.

There are many purchases that I have regretted because I didn’t do research and/or didn’t read the reviews, and I do not regret this purchase at all. It was only $20 with free shipping since my cart was over $35. I think if you need something like this to charge not just one, but 2 devices, and have a light and have it be waterproof, well, this is the portable battery for you.