New Hypoallergenic Hooks from Uncommon Artistry on Amazon

michaels hooks vs uncommon artistry hooks

I ordered these “Hypoallergenic” Surgical Steel Ball & Coil Earring Hooks (X100) from Amazon on July 3rd, 2013.  When I bought them, I didn’t realize they were coming from China.  If I had known that, I wouldn’t have bought them.  In fact, I tried to cancel my order right away, but they wouldn’t let me.  I was able to click the link to cancel, but the drop down menu for the reason for returning didn’t have any options, so without a reason to choose from, it was impossible to cancel.  My other reason for wanting to cancel was because of the reviews saying these aren’t actually hypoallergenic which I did not read until after I bought them.

So what I did on July 4th was I went to Michael’s and bought some hooks because I was so excited about making earrings and I wanted to buy the hooks because the sooner I could make them, the sooner I could sell them.  But I found out that they weren’t actually hypoallergenic.  I wore a pair for a couple of days to test them out and my right ear lobe started to get infected.  I decided to just keep making earrings and when I finally got some hypoallergenic hooks from Etsy, I took all the Michael’s hooks out and replaced them with hypoallergenic hooks.

The earrings in the image above are the Michael’s earrings on the left and the “hypoallergenic” surgical steel ball & coil earrings from Uncommon Artistry on the right.  When you are looking at the 2 bags next to each other, you can tell there is a huge difference in the colors.  The Michael’s is like a silver, while the Uncommon Artistry is more of a gray or like a blue gray color.  They actually look exactly alike in the image above with the exception of the curvature of the 2 earrings.

I am testing a pair out on my own ears just like I tested the Michael’s earrings because before I write a review on Amazon, I want to make absolutely sure they are hypoallergenic.  If they aren’t then I can say that they aren’t, but if they are then I can say they are.  If they are hypoallergenic then I can use them and say without a shadow of a doubt in my description that they are indeed hypoallergenic.  Otherwise, I have to note that they aren’t and indeed mention that if you have allergies, don’t buy these, buy the hypoallergenic ones.

So I’ve only been wearing them for like a minute and my right ear is already starting to pulse lol.  It’s like I can feel my heartbeat in my ear lobe.  I’m not quite sure if my ear is still recovering from the infection from the Michael’s earrings.  I haven’t worn anything in my ears for weeks, or since that first test that I did.  I started wearing plastic earrings in those holes yesterday.  When I put the plastic earrings in yesterday, both ears were a bit sore and they were hard to put in at first because I think the holes started closing up or perhaps they were closing because of the (for the lack of a better word) infection juices were causing the holes to close.  LOL I didn’t know how else to say that.  Anyway, I had to clean my ears yesterday because the earring was a little red from forcing it through the back.  They are still sore, so if something is going to happen, it’s probably going to happen fast.

For reference, I finished typing this out at 2:25 p.m. on July 17, 2013.  Will update on my findings…

bent hooksQuality:  I have been reading the reviews and more than a few said there were some that were bent and the coil and ball were missing or whatever.  Well, I was curious to see if there were any like that and as I was putting the normal ones back in the bag, I was counting them.  I counted 112 hooks and there were only supposed to be 100.  But, I think that makes up for the fact that 4 earrings were bent, well, 1 of those wasn’t too badly bent, but well, you see in the picture.  And 2 of them were hooked together and as you can see 1 is missing the ball and coil.  I think I can deal with the loss of 4 earrings and I can unhook those 2 good ones and replace the ball and coil from one of the bad ones.  I still come out on top with 108 good hooks, well 2 of which I am wearing for testing that I cannot actually sell, so 106 good hooks lol.

Update 8:39 p.m.: I had to take them out.  I’m in agony right now.  My head feels tight and my jaw is in a lot of pain, more pain on the right, but in pain on both sides.  These are worse than the Michael’s earrings lol.  At least with the Michael’s earrings I was able to wear them for 40 hours, I couldn’t wear these for more than 6 1/2 hours.  Heck, I was ready to take them out after the first minute because the pain started immediately.  I will not be using these earrings, not even for people who don’t have allergies.  These are going in the trash.  At least it was only $2.32.  Next time I will make sure I read the reviews first.

Plateau

A couple of days ago I mentioned that I had hit a plateau or that I thought I might have hit a plateau, well, today was weigh in day and it confirmed that I indeed have hit a plateau.

Last week I weighed in at 197.0 lbs, but the very next day I weighed in at 196.6 lbs.  I’m not exactly sure why I weighed in, perhaps the app suggested that I weigh in again, who knows, but today I am 197 again.

That’s okay because I have come this far and this is my first plateau since January, so I think I’m doing pretty good considering I have lost 66 lbs in just 24 weeks.  I’m totally fine with the plateau.

I love my body now, before I couldn’t stand looking in the mirror.  I couldn’t stand looking down and seeing a fat belly.  I couldn’t stand how fat my face was and how fat my neck was.  The chin was just so horrible.  But I couldn’t be happier with my body and my neck and my chin lol.  I just feel so happy now.

My partner suggested that we go on a walk this morning and so we did.  It wasn’t a very long walk and I was in a lot of pain.  I touched my back where the pain was because I wanted to rub it, but it was completely numb.  I mean, I could feel the pain, more like agony, but my skin and muscles were numb.  That seems to be what happens when I have back pain.

When we came home I immediately had him put a Salonpas patch on my back and knowing that it usually takes half an hour to activate, I put ice on it so that it’s like an icy hot thing lol.

So back to the plateau.  I don’t know why I am in a plateau.  I have been eating the same exact way this week that I have been eating in the last 24 weeks and I have been eating under 1400 calories per day.  I have also been going for walks more in the last couple of weeks than I have in the last 24 weeks, which is probably why I have hit a plateau because I’m probably gaining muscle, and we all know that muscle weighs more than fat.

Although this week I was eating popcorn with oil but no salt and no butter, and I was eating those Lean Gourmet meals which have a lot of sodium in them, so perhaps that might be adding to the problem.  I am out of the popcorn and I will try to eat the Smart Ones instead of the Lean Gourmet to see if that will help.

I hope next Saturday I will have some progress.  No matter what happens, I will continue eating healthy and entering all of my food into the Noom app.

Facebook Unfriending Glitch

PD*17087469

Have you noticed that your friends list number has dropped on Facebook and you can’t figure out why, or who unfriended you?  That seems to have happened to me a few times already in the last few months.

It first happened a few months ago when I had gotten into a bit of an argument with a long time friend.  I noticed that my friends number had gone down by 3 exactly, and it just turned out that her, her son and their roommate had all unfriended me.  I went to each of their Facebook profiles and the “Add Friend” button was active, which meant we were no longer friends.  I was more pissed off about that than the actual argument that we had which seemed like nothing compared to ending a friendship.  I emailed her asking her if she unfriended me and she responded the next day telling me that they did not unfriend me, that it must be a glitch.  I didn’t friend any of them back, I gave them the opportunity to send me the friend request, and only my friend sent it and not her son and their roommate.

At first I thought “yeah right, glitch, uh huh.”  I didn’t believe it was a glitch for a second, but when the friend request finally came, bygones were bygones and it was all water under the bridge.

A couple of days ago I noticed that someone had unfriended and blocked me on Facebook and unfollowed and blocked me on Twitter and I found out that it wasn’t personal, she just didn’t want to be friends on social websites with people she doesn’t actually know in person.  I get that, it hurt my feelings, but I understood.  But my Facebook friend number had dropped, not just by 1 friend but by 5.  I thought I must have said something that was so offensive that I am just losing people in droves, but as I was going through my list of friends, I had noticed that some of them were still in there, but they had deactivated their accounts so that was why I didn’t see them anymore.

One friend in particular did unfriend me, or so I thought.  We have known each other for 8 or 9 years from playing EverQuest.  We have never actually met, but we have spoken on the phone and played EQ together for hours a day.  We haven’t really spoken in quite some time though because she rarely ever goes on Facebook.  That’s why it was shocking that she had unfriended me.  I asked her if I said or did something wrong and she responded to me telling me that she never unfriended me at all, that it must be a Facebook glitch.  She and I have never had an issue, so I believe her when she said that.  I have no reason to believe that she would be deceptive with me.

So, if you have lost friends on Facebook, don’t take it as personally as I did, perhaps it’s a glitch or perhaps they deactivated their account because of how dramatic Facebook can be.  Oy vey can it be dramatic *SMH*.  It never hurts to ask, and when you do ask, be kind because they probably thought you unfriended them.

EverQuest Fun

I have been having a bit of fun in EverQuest over the last couple of days.  I haven’t really had much time to play since we have been so busy trying to install the new floor, so when I do get to play, I don’t really know what to do.

When I got in the game yesterday, I decided to see how many Station Credits I had (you get a specific amount of credits every month as a subscriber) so I could buy something fun and I found a few items.  First thing I bought was an illusion for myself (picture above) which is of a burning Nekhon.  As you can see, it’s a dragon like creature that walks on legs like a minotaur (or bull) but has flaming wings.  I get two icons in my spell icons box, one is the illusion and the other is the added benefits of the illusion which burns creatures that strike me and levitation.  It looks awesome, especially when I’m fighting, but he looks so funny when he runs.

I also bought a couple of other things…

The first thing was a Nightmare Skull.  That is a pet illusion; you cast it and your pet turns into that.  The only problem was I forgot that I don’t have a pet, I have a familiar, he isn’t considered a pet.  A pet fights the monsters (mobs) for and/or with you, but your familiar only gives you added benefits like clarity.  So, I wasted 200 station credits.  I would be better off buying that for my necromancer EvilXanapus.

I still wanted a new pet/familiar so I found the Steamwork Companion.  He is a little floating robot which gives me levitation and when I am fighting a mob, he steps in front of me and takes some of the damage.  He stays around for 5 hours which is the same as my regular familiar, so he keeps me floating for a long time.  I mean, he’s not that useful, but any damage mitigation is good so I don’t mind.  Plus he’s cute to have follow me lol.

The last thing I bought was Shrooms of Sight.  It’s basically drugs lol.  They have had alcohol in the game forever, but this is different.  Although it’s not what I thought it would be.  I thought that I would be seeing some strange stuff going on that nobody else could see, but all it does is it turns the screen different colors for a minute or so.  It’s really actually kinda lame lol.  It was cheap so no harm done.

So here is me in my regular gnome form with my Steamwork companion and my bloodbone protector mercenary.  He fights all of my battles for me.  He isn’t considered a pet because he is a paid mercenary and he goes in the group.  I would love it if he were a floating skull, but I like him as a bloodbone skeleton, especially when I am using the Nekhon illusion.

This picture was taken in the Western Wastes on the Velious continent at the zone to Siren’s Grotto.  I have been going there to fight for Deepwater Ink for alchemy with my Vah Shir Shaman character named Painen Dabum.

As a level 77 wizard I don’t get any exp killing the mobs there, but it’s quick money and I get the alchemy ingredients I need in a timely manner.  And believe me, there is a lot of money to be made there.  I get tons of gems that sell for a couple hundred plat each.  I can fight in there for a couple of hours and make 1000 – 2000 platinum.  I go there for the alchemy ingredients, not the money, but it helps, especially since I have to pay the mercenary 35p every 15 minutes and the potions I make in alchemy cost money to make.  I am making the potions to sell back to the merchants and to get my alchemy skill up.

Although, I would do better with the higher level alchemy potions, but those ingredients are foraged and it’s boring to sit in the Dreadlands with my druid for hours upon hours twiddling my thumbs waiting for the forage button to let me forage more.

But I digress, I am having a lot of fun playing the game again, even though I am playing by myself lol.  I can’t wait to get the burning Nekhon and the floating skull for my necromancer, I think that would be awesome to look at.  It won’t be any time soon because they don’t give me very many station credits every month.  If I really wanted those things, I’ll have to pay them real money for more credits and I just don’t want to spend any more money than I already give them every month.

Can’t wait to play again.

My Book for the Kindle – Issue Solved

I mentioned yesterday that I had a few issues with my book on the Kindle.  There was a lot of strange code in the .epub file that was making it look funny.  I spent countless hours over the last couple of days trying to fix the issue and unfortunately those fixes removed 200 words from the book.  I found out last night that all I have to do is convert the book to .mobi format to publish to the Kindle, which I did and it is now perfect.

I have learned so much from writing this book, it’s amazing how horrible my English was before.  I mean, I never understood punctuation because I just let the spell check do all the work for me.  Apparently the spell and grammar checker that I have been using is crap because it told me that I was right when I was clearly wrong.  Unfortunately, that has made me question every blog post I have ever written.

As far as I am concerned, my book is finished, but I am going to go through it one last time to make 100% sure that it is before I publish it.  I want to say that I will publish it on February 1st 2012, but I don’t want to promise it.  I will write a post the day it is published though.

I want to go out to Hart Park and have Darrin take a picture of me for the About The Author page.  I thought about doing a joke picture of me sitting in robe wearing an Ascot and smoking from a pipe in front of a green screen to add a picture of a library with a big fireplace behind me, but I don’t have any of those things.  I think it would look more genuine if I had a real picture taken, and not in a studio where they would charge me $60 just for the digital copy for publication.

So that’s it, I can stop obsessing over formatting and get back to the real issue which is making sure it is ready to publish.  Updates coming soon…

My book is almost ready to publish, only one tiny issue left…

My book files came back to me a couple of days ago (two beta readers as I like to call them) with highlights of things for me to fix.  I have read my book at least 30 times and I was just getting so sick of reading it and they wanted to read it so I figured they could read it early, but I’d love to have bug reports.

So I went through the highlights which weren’t all that major.  I missed a few capitalizations and punctuation issues.  There were also a few words where I forgot to add a letter, like instead of writing the word “from” I wrote “for”, don’t ask why lol.

As I was getting the paper book put together with all of my corrections made, I noticed a little issue which turned out to be a major issue.  There were grey boxes where spaces were supposed to go.  It wasn’t everywhere, but it was annoying that there were so many.  I was able to delete them as I went, but that didn’t help because it was still messed up.

The paper book got put together and turned in to check for errors, which I’m happy to report weren’t any.  I converted the .odt file to epub and was going to publish to Amazon for the Kindle and Barnes & Noble for the Nook.  It looked great on the Nook, but the Kindle wasn’t doing so good.  Here is what I was seeing…

You see the top paragraph?  It’s not exactly a paragraph is it?  That was what happened because of the square boxes.  Also look at the other paragraphs, they weren’t indented, except for the last one.  I went into Sigil to look at the html code of the chapters and this is what I saw.

That is supposed to be a little paragraph.  Those <.span.> things were out of control.  That is what was causing the text to move down.  So the only way for this to work is to cut all that crap out.  I tried to do find and replace, but unfortunately each one of those lines has its own number so it’s not like I can replace all of them throughout the entire document, they have to be deleted one at a time.  ANNOYING!

I worked for 8 hours to get rid of them and then discovered that if I converted the file to .html, it got rid of all that.  So that was a waste of time, but it was a learning experience.

I fixed all of the capitalization and punctuation issues, but I have a feeling I am still missing something so I’m going to have to read the whole thing again.  It sucks but I don’t want to publish a book that isn’t right.

I said I would get it published by January 1st and here we are nearing February and it still isn’t ready to publish.  I don’t know how long it will take but I will get it out there eventually.

Merry Christmas

Can you believe that it’s finally Christmas?  Neither can I,  I mean, it seems like it was just summer like a week ago, and now it’s Christmas, and it will be a whole new year in a week.

We didn’t go out of town like we usually do because Darrin thought he was going to work on Monday, and he didn’t want to drive for 6 hours just to have to drive back home tonight.  So instead, we stayed home to enjoy the peace and quiet.

Presents…  Darrin has the job, so he makes the money and buys everything.  I can’t even afford to buy underwear, which by the way I asked for and got lol.

He really needed good cell phone service instead of his crappy Net10 service, so we went to Verizon and he bought himself an iPhone 4S.  He wanted to buy the iPhone 4 because it was $99, and at first he did, but then they added $45 tax and sold him a package of accessories and it all came to $199.  I told him to buy the 4S because I knew he would kick himself in the ass if he didn’t, but he didn’t think he could afford it.  When he realized that the 4 didn’t do what the 4S did (Siri and voice recognition instead of typing), he changed his mind and switched a couple of days later.  He had to pay the tax on the first one, plus the $35 restocking fee, but he’s really happy with it and that’s all that matters.

He asked me what I wanted, and he bought me the underwear that I mentioned before.  2 packages of boxer briefs which had 4 pairs per package for $32 each, but it was buy 1, get 1 half off, so it was $48 total before tax.  See why I can’t afford to buy underwear?  It’s expensive as hell lol.

We went to Kmart yesterday to buy presents for other people and he decided that he wanted to buy me something else, so he bought me a lava lamp.  I’ve always wanted one, but could never afford one.  It looks cool when it is working, but it’s mostly a blob on the bottom.  I don’t know why it isn’t doing what it’s supposed to, but then again isn’t that just my luck?  I finally get a lava lamp and it doesn’t go up and down.  But I still love it and I’m sure it will eventually get the hang of it.

Chips high school girlfriend gave him a tetris game, no not the video game, this is a physical game with plastic pieces.  It’s called Tetris Link.  I think that I love it more than he does because I’m a gamer and he isn’t.  He said he wanted to give it a try, but if he doesn’t like it then the only way I will be able to play it is if I can get people to play it with me via Google+ Hangouts.

I made some pumpkin pies yesterday and gave one of them with a container of Cool Whip to our tenant.  I don’t know if they really wanted one or not, but I made it for them so I hope they like it.  I love pumpkin pie, I don’t think you can have a Christmas without pumpkin pie, but that’s just me.

My final present will be the Christmas episode of Doctor Who.  If we had gone to San Diego today, I would have missed it because I don’t have a DVR.  I would have had to wait until it repeated, which I’m not sure when it will.  So I’m very happy that we didn’t go for that reason.

We had lunch at China Town Buffet.  We were going to go to either the Golden Corral or Hometown Buffet, but neither of them were open, so we ate Chinese food instead.  It was good, I mostly ate all chicken, which is all I ever eat there, but it was very good and filling.

Well, I hope you all have a great Christmas and get lots of presents that you were hoping for.  Happy Holidays.

Pictures – click to see it bigger.

My Leg Is In Good Shape Considering

I am a quick healer. I don’t know what it is about me but when I get a bump or a bruise you wouldn’t know I got it by how fast it disappears. That’s one thing that is in my book is how my step-dad was able to get away with child abuse because within half an hour of giving me a bruise, it was already gone so there was no evidence of it which was very difficult to claim that I was being abused with no marks to show for.

I hurt my leg on Sunday and here it is Friday night, Saturday morning, not quite a week but we’re almost there and I’m already walking on both legs.

To recap what happened; I was running for the ice cream truck on Sunday, saw he wasn’t looking in his mirror and since he was driving at the same speed I was running I decided to pick up the pace and that’s when I heard and felt my calf pop. It feels like a constant charlie horse. Imagine having a charlie horse for a week straight.

Ok the first couple of days I was on 2 crutches but the 3rd day I nixed the 2nd crutch because I was doing fine on 1. Then day 4 I’m able to walk with a limp without the assistance of a crutch, although I take it when I go outside and when we went to the store just in case. Although I didn’t need it, I felt it necessary so I wouldn’t have to explain a limp. Although, I was asked what happened, why I was using a crutch lol.

Today I’ve been walking directly on my left foot instead of limping and even though the calf is still tight, or what’s the word, taut? Even though it’s still taut and has some pain I feel I should give it some exercise.  Anyway, occasionally I’ll get a stinging pain then I have to limp for a minute then go back to my foot flat on the ground.

The doctor gave me an estimated down time of 4-6 weeks and I overestimated that to 6-8 weeks just in case, you never know. And I guess my overestimation was a good call because I figured if I overestimate it will be way less and it’s turning out to be way less.

I can’t say it’s over because it’s still like a constant charlie horse but not as painful as one would normally be and I still have to limp when I rest my leg for too long. You can’t just start walking normal after you’ve been sitting or laying down for a few hours.

I have been getting dizzy though which is unusual. I’m very dizzy right now but that’s because I took the medicine. The muscle relaxer. I think it’s relaxing my brain which is why I’m getting dizzy. I also took an ambien so maybe that’s what’s causing the dizzy, it doesn’t usually though so I think it’s a combo. But that means I gotta cut this short.

HA you’re thinking SHORT? Yeah, too late for that pal.

No but seriously, I will continue with the updates again soon.

WoW Look At That Phish

I don’t know if this is a new scam or if it’s been around and they are just now getting to me but last week I got an email that looked as if it really came from Blizzard telling me that a character faction change is now pending for my World of Warcraft account with my email address and a link to track the status of my request.

Down in the email they had a transaction ID number with my email address again then below that was some “more information” along with a few links.  2 of those links were different from what was shown in the text.  That there was my clue that something didn’t smell right.

So, obviously I knew it was a phishing scam because I don’t have a World of Warcraft account with them.  I played the trial back in 2006 for the week they gave me but I really only played it for a couple of days.  I was taking a break from EverQuest to get away from all the drama in the guild and during that break I tried out the demo of some other games.

The only thing that concerned me about this email was that when I was at the blizzard website looking for their contact information I stumbled onto their FAQ page and found out that they charge $30 to change your characters faction.  If I did have an account, which I knew I didn’t but if I did I didn’t want to be charged $30 for nothing.

I finally found the contact page and forwarded them the email that I got.  They responded letting me know that they can confirm that the email address that was associated in this phishing email does not exist in their database, meaning I don’t have an account to worry about.

I got another email today from a different email address but still from blizzard telling me that my account has been locked due to suspicious activity.  It said that my account had been logged in via a different IP address than what their records show as being my IP address.  They are concerned my account has been stolen so they locked me out.  I don’t have an account so you didn’t lock me out of something I didn’t have in the first place.

Naturally I can only assume this is another phishing scam email.  I went to verify that the links were exactly as they were showing up in text and of course they are different.

So even though I know I have nothing to worry about, I am writing this blog post to warn other people out there who actually do have a World of Warcraft account to beware.  If you get these emails and you know for a fact that you did not order a faction change for $30 and you know for a fact that you can still login, that your account hasn’t been locked then you know not to click ANY LINKS in those emails.  Beware when someone sends you an email asking you to click a link to login to your account because you might be handing over the keys to the Bentley without even knowing it.

My Day in Xanth

I spent the day with an ogre and his 7 female companions.

That sounded silly but it’s true.  I sat in my desk chair the entire day reading Ogre, Ogre by Piers Anthony which is the 5th book in the Xanth series.

Earlier this year I committed to starting this book but only read 1 chapter and stopped.  A couple of days ago I finally picked it back up and started reading it again.  I only read 2 chapters then yesterday 3 chapters but today I really got into it and read 5 chapters.  The only reason I stopped reading it was because I had shows on tonight.

What I have left to read of the rest of the book is actually the same amount that I read today.  Actually it’s only 4 chapters but the amount of pages is the same.  I am so tempted to read another chapter tonight but I want to save the rest for tomorrow.

I love the Xanth books because they draw me into the adventure and I don’t want to leave.  I can picture everything that is happening as I’m reading and I can imagine what it would look like if it were a CGI movie.  Although it would be a very long movie but it would be well worth the watch if it were made .

In this story, the Ogre named Smash goes on a trip with a Nymph and despite the fact that being an ogre he eats women, he has made a promise to safely guide her through the very dangerous land of Xanth to help her find what she is looking for.  Along they way he helps 6 other women.

Yesterday as I was reading he was collecting the women and today chapter by chapter most of the women found their mates and the end of their adventures. The point that I’m at he still has 3 more women although I have a feeling one of those women has found her mate and the end of her adventure since she has found the male of her species.

Tomorrow when I finish this book I can finally check another book off my queue then add “Night Mare” which is the 6th Xanth novel.

Reading isn’t as exciting to everyone and who blogs about reading a book but I find it an accomplishment since I have Dyslexia, LD and ADD.  I also find that reading helps me with my writing.  It broadens my vocabulary and helps teach me good grammar, if that makes any sense.

You can see my aNobii profile which shows the books I have read and have yet to read but I will get to eventually.  I want to finish all the physical books before I get to the eBooks then I have a reason to buy a Nook.