Hot patch for my back

salonpas hot

I have really bad back pain that gets worse and worse everyday.  I had an MRI on my shoulder a few years ago and they did a full scan of my back and found that I have degenerative disc disease in my lower spine, and I did have a lot of pain in my lower spine, sometimes when I bent over my back would lock up.  I knew the pain was there, but I was at that doctor visit for my shoulder.  Anyway, since that MRI, the pain has gone up my spine.  Right now the pain that I feel the most is near the top of the middle of my back, but not all the way to the top, yet.

So what I’ve been doing besides using the shiatsu massager and my desk chair which has vibrating massage is I will lean against an ice pack.  That really helps, trust me, but I have been told to alternate cold and heat.  We have a heating pad that I bought at Walgreens that crapped out on me after a few uses, and of course I had long since thrown the receipt out so I couldn’t return it.  Instead of using a heating pad, I thought that perhaps a patch would help, so I bought a couple of these Salonpas hot patches at Albertson’s for only $1.79 each plus tax.

Yesterday after I finished with the ice pack, I put the patch on myself because my partner was sleeping at the time and I didn’t want to wake him up, but I put it on crooked and it was way below where I needed it to be so it didn’t really do me any good.  Although when he woke up I asked him to remove it and put it up higher, but removing it took away all of it’s stickiness, so it kept coming off.  Today I asked him to put it on me so it was on right and he did and I can’t even begin to tell you how good it feels.

I normally experience pain most when I am sitting in my desk chair typing, like now, or when I am walking.  The only pain I am feeling is from the heat from this hot patch, so it’s not too bad.  I haven’t gone for a walk yet, but I did walk to Albertson’s to buy 5 more of these along with my other groceries and my back didn’t give me any pain then either.  So I don’t know if the heat helps stop the pain, or if it has some kind of medication in the patch that helps the pain.  I can’t read the ingredients list and I’m too lazy to Google all of those words lol.

At any rate, it sure is helping me and I really love it.  I don’t like having to spend a lot of money buying patches, but it sure does beat having to buy heating pads that crap out on you and using electricity AND not being able to bring the heating pad with you out on walks.  I really like that it’s on me until I take it off, which it says I can wear for up to 8 hours.  I wonder if it will be hot for 8 whole hours?  I’ll have to find out later tonight when I take it off before my bath.

By the way, I am not a spokesperson for Salonpas or Hisamitsu and I have not been paid to write this post.  Opinions expressed here are my own.

Advertisements

Bell No-Mor Flats

no more flats

I am starting this blog post over from scratch…

Okay, so I have wanted to buy this for such a long time and I finally bought it at Wal-Mart, my favorite store (that was sarcasm).  They were the only ones who sold them for $20.  I was going to get it on Amazon because of how much I hate going in Wal-Mart, but Amazon wanted $30 plus shipping.  Screw that!  So I bit the bullet and we went to Wal-Mart.

I didn’t try to install it right away because I was still nursing a broken arm.  My arm was all healed up, but it still hurt.  I think I waited a week or week and a half before finally attempting it and it was not easy at all.  I tried soapy water, but that didn’t work because I didn’t drench it with soapy water.  I tried 2 other methods which one didn’t work and the other did, but the tube wasn’t in all the way like it should, and it popped the tire out on both sides.  I had a hell of a time getting the tire back in and scratched the hell out of the rim and even punctured the tire bead where it is supposed to fit into the rim.  Big mistake.  Now if I want to switch to a regular tube I won’t be able to because the tire has metal wires in it that are sticking out, so that will definitely put holes in the tube.  I was thinking about returning the No-Mor flats, but naturally I crumbled up and tossed the receipt that same day and that was weeks ago, so it’s long gone.

I did what I should have done the first time and that was Googling for videos on how to install it.  I didn’t find any videos, but I did find an “Instructable” where the guy was saying how easy it is and gave detailed instructions on how to do it.  My arms were (and still are) too sore to attempt it again, so I put the tube back in it’s box and put the tire and rim in the patio for a few days.  I just attempted it again by soaking the heck out of both the tire and the tube and I am still having trouble getting it in.  It’s just not working for me.  If this was as easy as that guy claims, then perhaps he needs to come install it for me lol.

Well, I have had this bike since 2004 and I think I am ready for a new one.  I’ve sunk so much money into this bicycle and it’s just a real pain in my ass.  It’s… get ready for this… a Wal-Mart bicycle.  Yes, I bought it at Wal-Mart way back when I didn’t know how homophobic they were.  So, I think what I will do is keep the tube and perhaps sell it on ebay or my Etsy page for $15 and call it slightly used, since I basically didn’t really use it, I just tried installing it and it didn’t work, but it’s REALLY clean with all the soapy water I put on it lol.

My birthday is coming up, so I think I want to get a cruiser at Target.  I know, you get what you pay for, yada yada yada…  But Target is a good store and the bicycles are Huffy, and that is a brand I have been familiar with since I was a kid.  I have more faith in Huffy than I do with the bike I have now.  The cruisers are $104 to $139 which isn’t too bad.  Of course I don’t have that much money to spend on well, anything actually, so I will have to set aside half of the money in June and pay for the rest in July.  It will be a late birthday present.

Whoever heard of someone buying their own present?  Screw that, I’m gonna ask for it and see who gets it for me LOL.

If anyone ever asked me if it’s worth it to buy the Bell No-Mor Flats tube, I would simply say NO!  But if you must have one, buy mine LOL.

Eat healthier at Subway

subway app

I have been going to Subway since I was a teenager when they first came to California.  I even remember my very first subway sandwich.  It was a footlong cold cut combo on white (they only had wheat and white back then) without cheese and with lettuce, pickles, tomatoes and actually I don’t remember what else.  I do remember it had oil and vinegar which I did not like and I haven’t gotten it that way since.  As they added more breads, my order has slightly changed since then, but it has always been a cold cut combo.  I think one time in the last 23 years I ordered the meatball sub, and I think one time I ordered the tuna, but those were the only two times I ever ordered something different.

Their slogan is “Eat Fresh” and they have always had a list of their sandwiches with calories, but you never really knew how many calories you were getting with all of the extras you add-on.  I mean, who wants to get out their calculator to see how many calories they are eating?  You just assume that whatever you are getting is low cal.

We went there tonight and I was looking at the receipt and noticed they had an app for ordering your sub with your smart phone.  Naturally I had to download it.  The Subway closest to us does not have the feature available where I can place my order from my phone, but I asked to be informed when they do.  It would be cool if I could just place my order from my phone and then just go pick them up.  In the meantime, I can see how many calories I am eating.  This is tonight’s sub.

12 inch cold cut combo

Tonight I got a 12” Honey Oat Cold Cut Combo with Provolone toasted with lettuce, light mayo, cucumbers and olives.  That’s it.  That sandwich is 1040 calories.  Keep in mind we buy the footlong and only eat half of it for our meal and the other half for the next meal, so whatever calories it has, divide that by 2.  So 520 calories isn’t that much right?  Well, wrong actually.  Check it out,

12 inch 9 grain wheat turkey

If I changed my order to a 12” Turkey Breast and Black Forest Ham on 9-grain Wheat, no cheese, no mayo, with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and olives, it goes down to 580 calories.  Now, I can split this up into 2 meals like I typically do and my calories will be cut in half.

I have been eating the cold cut combo for 23 years.  I think it’s time for a change, don’t you?

How to make money with your cell phone – 7 apps

AndroidMoney

I have been getting paid to blog for many years using various IZEA websites, such as PayPerPost, SocialSpark and Sponsored Tweets, which by the way is the only reason I was able to buy myself a brand new Android phone for Christmas.

Since I have a new HTC ONE V from Virgin Mobile coming, I figured I would see if I could use that to my advantage to make more money.  The blogging for money is fine, but it has taken a few months worth of blogging and tweeting just to make $80 to buy my new Android phone.  It’s good pay, but it doesn’t come by very easily.

Naturally the first thing I did was go to Google and typed “Make money with android phone” and I found a bunch of things.  IZEA used to have a cell phone app called WeRewards which rewarded you every time you checked in at a store like Target, Walmart, Subway etc. as long as you took a picture of yourself, your receipt, the product and/or the store sign while in the store or in the parking lot.  They closed that down so there is one less thing to talk about, but they did replace it with Staree.

Ok so here are the things I have found.

ipinion 1. iPinion and iPinion+

iPinion is the most sophisticated survey app ever built for smart phones. It has exciting survey questions including several image interaction types. Users can take surveys on the go and earn rewards.  iPinion is non-intrusive, fun to participate and professional.

They have 2 apps and they each got good ratings and reviews, but iPinion+ doesn’t have as many as the other.

iconzoomer 2. IconZoomer

Become Trendspotter at Iconzoomer and receive cash for your photos.

Shoot it – Send it – Earn it

Each week you’ll receive assignments of basic topics such as: “Show us what you are eating for dinner?” or “Show the shoes are you wearing today?”

Pretty straight forward.  They ask you to take a picture, you do and you get paid for it.  That seems pretty good and the ratings and reviews are very good.

checkpoints 3. CheckPoints

Scan barcodes for products like Coca-Cola, Dreyer’s and more in any store for instant rewards! As seen in the Washington Post, NY Times, USA Today and CNN, CheckPoints is the “App That Pays You Back” with free rewards, no matter where you are!

You are going to the store anyway, why not open this app while you are there and scanning barcodes for rewards?  It seems really easy.  This app got a lot of good ratings and reviews.

shopkick 4. ShopKick

This holiday shopping season, join the more than 4 million shopkick users who get rewarded for the shopping they already do. It’s like a rewards program—only better. You get rewarded just for walking into stores like Target, Macy’s, Best Buy, Old Navy, American Eagle and Crate & Barrel. Get even more kicks when you scan items and make purchases. Forget sales and coupons. You can find great discounts and deals in the app. It’s a magical experience, and it’s free.

This is very similar to CheckPoints in the sense that you get rewarded for scanning barcodes, but you also get rewarded merely for walking into a store without doing anything.  So you could basically just go to the mall and walk around with this app loaded and go into the stores that they have listed in the app and start window shopping and scanning barcodes.  They got some good ratings and some reviews.

SwagBucks5. SwagBucks Search Swidget & SwagBucks TV Mobile

The official app from Swagbucks. Earn rewards & prizes by searching on your Android device.

I haven’t had much experience with SwagBucks Search Swidget because when I have tried it, it hasn’t really given me too many rewards.  I think the only way to get your SwagBucks with that is by making a purchase from whatever website you are searching for.  Like if you search for Target and you make a purchase, you get SwagBucks for every dollar that you spend.

SwagBucks TV Mobile on the other hand is a bit different.  You load the app and you choose which type of videos you want to watch and you just sit there and watch videos for however long of a time you have to sit there watching videos I guess.  There are music videos and movie trailers.  It’s a novelty that does wear off and you don’t get that many SwagBucks, but it still counts.  You can’t just load the app and have it run all day and all night because you have to tap the X in the top right of the screen in between videos.

Note that 100 swag bucks is basically $1 so it is a good idea.

Added 8-14-2013

viggle 6. Viggle

Viggle. Check into your favorite shows and get rewarded. Viggle makes TV better.

Watch TV. Get Rewards. Check into your favorite TV shows with Viggle and you’ll get real rewards from brands like Best Buy, Burger King, Fandango, Old Navy and more.

Viggle can automatically identify the show you’re watching. You get Viggle points for every show you watch which you can redeem for real rewards or convert into charitable donations.

Some people are saying bad things about this, like the app doesn’t recognize the show they are watching so they have to type it in manually, and others are saying it doesn’t give you money, you get coupons.  I would say to check it out and if you only get $5 gift cards for Amazon, then at least you are getting something.  I mean who cares if you are getting coupons, it’s the same as cash when you go to use it and you end up saving money on things you already want to buy.  Also, if you feel generous you could give the money to charity.

Update: I can tell you that this is good and you do get real rewards because I got a $25 gift card for Barnes & Noble to buy ebooks.  I used it to buy the Hunger Games ebooks for my Nook.

staree 7. Staree

Use the Staree app to upload photos and videos to your Staree.com profile.

To request a Staree account, please visit our website at http://www.staree.com!

I am loyal to IZEA so I am only adding this because they are an awesome company that always pays you.  They are 100% legit.  I have signed up for Staree and have uploaded a couple of photos, but I don’t know how it really works yet.  But it’s still worth giving a shot.  I really wish they would bring WeReward back though.

erewards icon8. e-Rewards

e-Rewards Mobile is now available for Android- now you can answer surveys and earn Rewards on the go!

I have used e-Rewards for many years and I can say that it is a good tool for making money, although you don’t actually make money so much as you get rewarded for your surveys with gift cards.  Some rewards are better than others, but the only reward that I am interested in is $25 Game Stop gift cards.  They have changed their reward system since the last time I got a $25 gift card for Game Stop.  It used to be that I would have to do $50 worth of surveys to cash in for the $25 gift card, but now you have to do $75 worth, so they are basically charging you $50 to cash in on $25.  I feel that is a huge rip off, but it’s still a reward.

It would be nice if they offered better rewards.  Most of their rewards are for hotels or airline rewards or magazines.  I don’t travel or read magazines, so those rewards are useless.  It would be nice if they had Amazon and Barnes & Noble rewards.

Added 8-14-2013

So these are all of the apps that I plan on installing when I get my new HTC One V from Virgin Mobile.  If you know of any more or better apps for making money please let me know in the comments and I will add them.  These were just all I could find from doing my own research, but I am sure there are better apps out there.

Thank you to IZEA for allowing me to blog for products and websites and paying me for it.  Now I will hopefully be able to make more money from my phone so that I can afford the monthly fee and/or to buy some accessories for it lol.

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.

Recycling Numbers

Today we went to turn in our plastic to recycle and found out that different plastic containers have different numbers and they cannot all be recycled together.  See I never knew that.  I found this website that shows you what the difference is.

What do those recycling numbers mean?

I had all these different types of plastics.  I had clear soda bottles, milk cartons, yogurt containers etc. and they had to separate the clear bottles with the rest.  The clear soda bottles had the 1 on the bottom inside that little recycle symbol.  Those get you more money than the other ones which were 2 and up.

We had basically half number 1 and the rest were 2-6.  When the guy gave us the receipt it showed us how much each plastic cost.  The plastic with the 1 was a lot more than the rest.  I think it was $7 something for all the number 1’s but all the rest we got like .45 cents and that’s it and it was half  number 1 and the other half was all the rest and that rest was less money.  So basically it’s not even worth recycling the rest.

They basically told us that it’s a waste of time to save anything but the number 1 plastic as well as even paper.  The reason I am recycling isn’t for the money although it helps in today’s economy but also because those Brita commercials where they say like 30 minutes on a treadmill, forever in a landfill.  Those make me feel guilty for buying anything that comes in plastic or anything lol.  But, you know if they are so concerned with it then they will have a machine that goes through the trash cherry picking all the certain types of plastics and paper etc.  Darrin told me that he read in the newspaper that there is like a mountain of recycled paper that they are having trouble getting rid of, that’s why paper is so cheap to recycle.  That’s probably also why the plastic that isn’t number 1 is cheap.

I’m not saying to not recycle because the CRV items like the soda bottles/water bottles and soda/beer cans give you a lot more money but I’m certainly not going to waste our patio space recycling milk cartons and yogurt containers and other plastics anymore.  I’m going to find out about steel cans too before I waste any more time with those.  I want to save the planet but at the same time if they don’t want to recycle certain things then it’s out of my hands.  I can only do so much by using the cloth grocery bags and recycling plastic and aluminum.

Proof of Ownership

Ok.  You are going to laugh.  I went to Albertson’s on my bike and I have one of those locks that is like telephone cord that is curly and it has a 4 number combination that you can set the numbers for and when I got to the store I went to lock it and as I was pushing the lock together I felt and heard a clicking sound and as I was pushing it in I knew I messed up big time.  I immediately tried pulling it out and it wouldn’t budge.  I started freaking out.  I started trying different combinations because I thought that I turned the dial to set it then accidentally turned a number as I was pushing it in, which I have done before.  I had no luck.

I went into the store and told the lady at the information counter (she sells lottery tickets, cigarettes, electronics and does the photo stuff) and told her what happened and she called Jim to call her and told him what happened.  This other lady came up and I told her what happened and she said that she knows I come in here a lot but how do they know it’s my bike.  Luckily, I have the paper work with the serial number and the manual with the model of the bike on it as well as the receipt and I even took a picture of it.  WHEW!

So Jim finally came to the front with bolt cutters and I showed him my paper work which he didn’t actually look at because I think he figured if I took the time to get someone to bring it to me and I was showing it to him then he believed that it was indeed my bike.  So, he tried cutting it and it was really hard for him to cut it but eventually he did get it off.  It made me feel good that he couldn’t get it off because I knew I had a good lock.  But on the other hand…  I wanted my bike back lol.

He told me that if I didn’t have this proof of ownership then it would’ve sat there until someone tried to claim it and then eventually they would’ve had to call a company out to get it and auction it or something.  So I’m very glad I bought my bike at a store and not at a thrift store with no manual and no receipt.  And I’m especially glad that I took a picture of it too.

Here are some pictures of the lock.  The first one is where he tried to cut but it just wouldn’t cut then the 2nd one is where he finally got it cut.