Brand Thunder Holiday Browser Theme Contest Results

On November 29th 2011 I wrote a sponsored blog post for Izea’s Social Spark to advertise for Brand Thunder, which is a cool website where you can create browser themes for Internet Explorer and Firefox.  One of the requirements was that I create a holiday browser theme and enter in their contest to win an iPad2.

On December 17th 2011 I found out that my browser theme was good enough to be in the top 5 browser themes eligible to win an iPad2.  I asked for votes here on my blog, and on Facebook and Twitter.  I wasn’t as successful as the 3rd and 4th holiday browser themes because not enough people voted for me, so I lost.

Well, I didn’t really lose, I was still in the top 5 so I consider that to be successful enough.  Because I was in the top 5, I won a $25 gift card for Amazon.com, and tonight I bought a new webcam for my desktop.

The webcam that I have on my desktop is a Flexic@m which at one time was acceptable, but it’s such a horrible webcam that I no longer want to use it.  I would much rather have this Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 because it is HD 16:9 and it has a mic.  I would like to be able to call my aunts and friends with Skype, but I can’t because I don’t have a mic.  I can use the built-in webcam on my Chromebook, but it doesn’t do Skype.

I would also like to be able to do time-lapse videos to put on YouTube.  I have a time-lapse video of my Scooby Doo Chia Pet, which is not that great because of the horrible webcam.  Tonight I tried making a time-lapse video of my lava lamp, but the webcam is so horrible that you can’t see the beautiful colors of the lava. That was my motivation for choosing to buy a new webcam.

This webcam was only $24 and it was available for free shipping if I paid $25.  In order for me to get the free shipping, I had to buy something else, so I chose to buy a $5 4GB USB memory stick.  I needed a new memory stick anyway so this is perfect.  The USB memory stick I have now is only 1GB and it’s almost full, so I had planned on upgrading anyway. What I’d like to do is take all of my photos off of the 1GB stick, and put them on the 4GB stick.  I can use the 1GB stick for my book as a backup.

I wasn’t expecting to win the iPad2, and frankly I didn’t think my holiday browser theme was as good as the other ones, so I’m happy for the person who did win because they certainly deserved it.  Even though an iPad2 would have been cool, I’m happy to have a new webcam and USB memory stick.  So thank you Brand Thunder for the Amazon $25 gift card, I really do appreciate it.

*This post is not a paid advertisement for Izea‘s Social Spark or Brand Thunder.

Nail Polish for Men

If you are a man and you wear nail polish, you are either a goth kid, a rock star or a drag queen.  However, the time has come when all men, no matter what their profession can start wearing nail polish.

A friend of mine on Twitter has been tweeting a link for this new nail polish for men called Alphanail.  It’s a play on words, you know like Alpha Male but nail since it’s nail polish for men.

I think this is kinda cool because I have wanted to wear nail polish for years.  In fact, it was just 2 or 3 days ago when I was talking to someone about how unfair it is that women get all the cool accessories like all the make-up and nail polish and purses etc.  Why is it that men can’t get all of those things?

I looked at the prices for the nail polish for men and well, I don’t know what nail polish for women cost but these are $10 each.  If you buy 3 you get 2 things of nail polish remover called clean slate included for $29.95  and free shipping for orders over $30.  I guess that’s not a bad price.

They have matte and metallics.  I personally wouldn’t like matte too much, I think I would prefer the shiny metallics but I might change my mind if I saw how the matte looked, then again who knows for sure.  But I do like the names of the matte colors like “Burnin’ Rubber”, “Smoke”, “Concrete”, “Cocaine” and “Benjamins”.  Ok um… cocaine?  LOL that one is too hilarious.  “Hey what color is that nail polish” “Oh it’s called cocaine” LOL.  Too funny.

Then the metallics colors are cool too.  They have “Celtic silver”, “Midnight”, “Deep Ocean”, “Gasoline” and “Pirate Gold”.  I like that.  Gasoline.  And what’s even more ironic is that 1 tube of it costs more than 1 gallon of actual gasoline.

You have to see it in action though, they have a video on how to apply the nail polish and here it is:

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujPBA2HKPus&feature=player_embedded

I like that it’s a pen with bristles unlike the typical nail polish that women wear.  You click it to make the nail polish come out then start putting it on.

Anyway, I probably won’t be buying this because it’s a bit on the expensive side for me and I’d probably never wear it but if you have the money and the guts I say go for it.

*note, this is not an ad, only an opinion.

Shop for Coffee

As with a lot of people, I have a coffee addiction.  I don’t know why, I just do.  Since it’s just me in the house all day long I have a whole pot to myself so it can take me the whole day to drink a pot but that’s even better for me.

My coffee maker has 2 sides, coffee on the left and espresso on the right.  I can make espresso, cappuccino and latte’s.  I mostly stick with latte’s because I don’t know how to make cappuccino’s and I’m not real into espresso because its way too strong for me.  It’s like a whole pot of coffee in a shot glass.  No thank you.

The grocery store is a great place if you don’t have that much money but they are getting to be too expensive for me and I was looking for a new place to buy espresso coffee for my latte’s.

ROASTe.com has only been around for a year but they have close to a thousand coffee choices and they are already the largest coffee store on the internet.  That’s not bad for only 1 year.  They have such a wide variety and selection of award-winning micro-roasted coffee for coffee lovers like you and me.

Their website has user-generated reviews making decision-making easier when searching for the right coffee.  I can’t count how many times I’ve bought things blindly without reading reviews.

ROASTe.com has free Shipping on order $35 and over and you can use coupon code BLOGME5 for $5 off your first coffee purchase just for reading this blog post.  Click one of the many banners in my blog to place your first order today.

I Bought My Video Card

 

Today is an awesome day because I was finally able to buy my new video card.  I was going to buy it from Tiger Direct but bought it from Amazon instead because of the free shipping.  I was going to buy a cheaper card from Tiger but I went with this one because I’d rather pay a few dollars more and get a better quality video card that might last.

This video card is Sapphire Radeon HD4650 1 GB DDR2 VGA/DVI/HDMI PCI-Express Video Card 100254HDMI and it was $46.99 (from $82, saving me $35.01) with free shipping.  What I didn’t realize when I bought it was that it has a $15 rebate which I am trying to get now online.  I filled out the forms but it brings me to the final page which I have to print but if I can’t turn on my desktop then I can’t print anything so it will have to wait until I get the video card.  They need me to send them a copy of my receipt anyway to prove that I actually bought the video card.  But once I get the rebate (in 2 months time) the video card will have only cost me $31.99 so that’s actually not too bad.  I mean, I have to wait a long time and when I do get it I’ll get a debit card instead of a check but that’s ok I guess.

I chose free shipping which means it will take longer for my order to get to me, the email said that it would take 6-8 days, my estimate delivery dates are August 9th – 13th 2011 so it will be awhile.  The rebate offer is for if I bought the card between 7/18 – 8/15 so I should get it in time to be able to print it out and send it in.

I also bought a 6 foot HDMI cable so that I can hook up my computer to my HDTV.  That way I can watch my web shows on TV full screen the way they were meant to be seen.  Heck, I can even play my game using the TV.  Not that I would but I have the option now.  The HDMI cable was only $5.50.  The reason I wanted to buy it with my order is because if I had bought this from Sears or any other place, I would’ve paid $20-$40 easily.  This  cable even had free shipping with orders $25 and over and since my order was over $25, everything was free to ship.

So, I am very happy about my purchase.  I wanted to stay loyal to Tiger but I also need to get what I need at the price I can afford and not spend that money on shipping fees.  See, I could have paid $29.99 for a video card then $8 to ship it to me.  What would be the point in spending that much money to ship it when I could spend that $8 on a better video card?

I could have gone to the computer store here in town on my bicycle but they are really expensive there.  We bought Darrin a new video card a few months ago and his only has 256mb of DDR memory (not DDR2) and his is an AGP video card.  His was $49.  That was a few months ago.  If a 256 DDR AGP video card is $50 then how much would a 1GB DDR2 PCIe card cost?  Probably $80 or more.  So that’s why I wanted to buy it online.  I’d rather wait a week for it to arrive than have to overspend getting the same or less quality.

The video card that is still in my desktop cost me over $100 from that same computer store.  In fact, I believe it was $125.  That was a Gigabyte Technologies GeForce 7600GS 512MB DDR2 PCIe Dual Link DVI HDTV.  I looked that up online and if I were to buy a new one it would cost $113 but the website I found it on has discontinued it so I can’t even buy a replacement (from that particular site).  I wouldn’t want to though because that dual link DVI thing bugged me every time I booted.  It would tell me it didn’t detect another video card or the dual link or whatever.  Every time I booted…  I didn’t have a 2nd card so naturally it didn’t detect anything.  Why would I have 2 video cards in when I only need 1?

So, it will take about a week to get it.  I’ve gone about 3 weeks without my desktop so I’m pretty sure I can wait another week.  As long as I have my netbook I’m pretty set.  And actually, not having my desktop to keep me busy playing Lord of the Rings Online has gotten me to start reading again so at least something good came out of this video card crashing like it did.

Ice Cream Scoops

I love ice cream, I love it so much that when I eat it, I don’t just have 1 serving, I usually fill a bowl with it.  I guess you could say that ice cream is my downfall.  Despite my diabetes, I can’t just say I’ll quit eating it because when I quit something then I’ll end up sneaking around and cheating.  So it’s better to continue eating but moderate how much I eat.

It’s like when I quit smoking with the patch, I didn’t toss out all of my cigarette paraphernalia because I knew if I wanted to cheat I’d end up buying another pack so I might as well keep my current pack so if I do cheat then it won’t end up costing me more money.  I did cheat, twice but I still ended up quitting and haven’t looked back, that was in 1996.

I decided to try a little experiment.  I bought some ice cream cones at the grocery store because I figured if I ate an ice cream cone then I would be ok right?  The only thing was, our ice cream scoop sucks ass.  It’s this plastic see through piece of junk that you are supposed to fill with hot water to keep it warm so you can use it but I can’t take the cover off to fill it.  So the only way to use it is to soak it in hot water but as soon as it touches the ice cream, it gets cold and is hard to scoop again.

I wanted this to work but that ice cream scoop just wasn’t working.

I’ve been looking around the internet for an ice cream scoop like the one they have at Thrifty’s drug store which we all now know as Rite Aid.  They still sell Thrifty ice cream and still use the iconical gun that has the flat top making it easy to add more layers.  What I found was the Cuisipro Scoop and Stack Ice Cream Scoop on Amazon.com for $14.99.  It has the free shipping option if you buy something else valued at $10.01 with free shipping available but that means I have to spend $25 and all I want is an ice cream scoop.

Last night I was looking at my options that would cost $10.01 because I wasn’t about to spend $8 for shipping and not get anything except for the ice cream scoop.  I’d rather spend $10 and get something I can use.  But the problem was, everything that I wanted cost either $15 or $20 which made my shopping cart higher than I knew I could afford.  All this for 1 ice cream scoop.

Screw it!  I went to Albertson’s this morning and they had this heavy-duty ice cream scoop made by Good Cook on the 50% off rack and all I paid was like $1.70.

The thing is, I have a problem with scooping ice cream because of my carpal tunnel syndrome.  My hands pinch in the palms and wrists from the stress of scooping ice cream so I have to wait for it to melt and use a spoon.  Well, the Cuisipro was supposed to be easy because I just push it down into the ice cream, pull it back up and viola, ice cream for a cone.

The one I bought from Albertson’s is actually a lot easier to use.  You know that as soon as I came home from the store that I used it to make myself an ice cream cone lol.  It was so easy to use that it made a perfect ice cream ball and my hands didn’t even feel anything.  And what was awesome was that the ice cream didn’t even stick to it like it does with my cheap plastic ice cream scoop.  I was always having to use a spoon that I had to soak in hot water to remove the scoop from the scooper lol.

All this trouble for an ice cream scoop and I end up buying one for way less than I thought I would.  I win!  I’ve already lost 11lbs in the last month because I have cut way back on my ice cream intake by having ice cream cones instead of a huge bowl of ice cream so you tell me if the experiment was worth it or not.  Actually, I also quit drinking soda, coffee and iced tea but towards the end of the month I started drinking coffee and tea again but still lose 11lbs.  I was surprised when I weighed myself this morning that I was no longer 260lbs but 249.

I can’t say that the Cuisipro ice cream scooper would have worked out for me as much as this Good Cook one does but it’s cheaper and I’m glad I didn’t rush myself to buy it from Amazon.  I read a few customer reviews of the Cuisipro one and people were leaving negative reviews so maybe I am better off with the one I ended up with.  Either way I’m happy now with what I have and I hope the weight loss continues.