Friday, June 23, 2017

The Price of Diapers, Cost Comparisons

By C.M. - June 2017.

So the wife and I decided to do some price analysis of diapers and the best places to buy them since we are expecting our first child within the coming weeks.

Thus we ended up comparing prices from various sources, including Costco, Rexall PharmaPlus (which presumably has similar prices to other pharmacies and grocery stores), and also a cloth diaper delivery company known as "Happy Nappy" (local to Toronto and the GTA).

Costco
$0.22 per diaper, 192 diapers = $37.99 + HST
                    $110 for 500 diapers

Rexall PharmaPlus
$0.61 per diaper, 24 diapers = $12.99 + HST
                    $305 for 500 diapers
or
$0.31 per diaper, 92 diapers = $24.99 + HST
                    $155 for 500 diapers

Shoppers Drug Mart
Unknown - For some silly reason Shoppers Drug Mart doesn't list diapers on their website, but they do list wipes. Really annoying. Maybe it varies by store???

Cloth Diaper Delivery from Happy Nappy
Impossible to do a proper price analysis as Happy Nappy charges a weekly rate of $23.87 + HST for whatever number of diapers you need - the amount is apparently unlimited.

In theory a newborn baby might use 8 diapers per day (they get changed quite often as they have not yet learned to control their bowels) a newborn would use 56 diapers per week. Possibly more/less.

It ends up being:

$0.48 per diaper, possibly 56 diapers = $23.87 + HST
                    $240 for 500 diapers or unlimited diapers over 8.9 weeks

Even if a baby ended up using 100 cloth diapers per week (which is a ridiculous amount, but lets use it for comparison purposes), the cost still ends up being more expensive than disposable diapers from Costco.

$0.27 per diaper, 100 diapers = $23.87 + HST
                    $240 for 890 or unlimited diapers over 8.9 weeks

What you are really paying for with Happy Nappy is the delivery and pickup convenience, which is why they can charge over double what Costco charges for disposable diapers.

In theory you can also feel like you are "saving the environment" since cloth diapers are reused again and again - ignoring that the cleaning agents used to clean the cloth diapers are harmful to the environment. So maybe don't brag about your environmental friendliness.

Still, if you are the type of person who wants to use cloth instead and wants the convenience of diapers delivered to your home, perhaps Happy Nappy is a good thing for you.

Even though cloth diapers are more work during changing time... so how are they more convenient?

What you really learn here is that when it comes to diapers, you save way more money when you buy in bulk from Costco.

The only problem then is what happens when your baby grows too fast and outgrows the diaper size before you can use all of them? So clearly you need to be careful you don't buy too many and end up not using them.

NOTE - TWINS, TRIPLETS, ETC

For someone who ends up having twins, triplets, or more babies - the cloth diaper delivery from Happy Nappy suddenly makes way more sense financially. Since the cost per week is the same regardless of whether you have 1 baby, 2 babies, 3 babies or more - the value of the Happy Nappy service dramatically improves. Just don't tell them how many babies you have though or they might try to charge you twice or thrice as much...

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Micro Air Conditioner that runs on Solar Power from your Window

What if you could buy an air conditioner that only weighs less than 10 lbs, fits in a small space in your window, and runs off of a solar panel that is on the rear of the air conditioner and facing the great outdoors?

It wouldn't be very powerful. The solar panel is small and only produces 10 Watts of power.

10 Watts of power, producing 100 BTUs of cooling. That isn't much, but here is the trick... you don't just buy 1. You buy one for every window in your home.

So if you have 5 windows in your home, you buy five of these micro air conditioners and put one in each window - producing 500 BTUs and cooling your home without a single cent of electricity from the grid.

Each micro air conditioner unit sells for $89 each and includes everything you need to install it in your window.

Pros
  • Affordable, saves on electricity whereas conventional air conditioners cost way more on your electricity bill.
  • Constantly cooling your home - even at night, using battery energy stored up from the day before.
  • Because it cools your home constantly from multiple units it prevents your home from heating and cooling and heating and cooling cycles that a normal air conditioner goes through since most people only turn a conventional air conditioner on during time periods when it is more affordable electricity prices.
  • Easy to transport, since it weighs less than 10 lbs.
  • Easy to install. You just slide it into the gap of your window and window frame - and adjust the wings to make the window air tight.
  • If you already own a conventional air conditioner you will save money on electricity costs.
  • Perfect for people who want to live in an off the grid home.
Cons

There is one big problem with this product. It currently doesn't exist. We came up with the idea for the invention earlier today (June 21st 2017).

Slightly larger units producing 20 Watts of power / 200 BTUs and similar designs could be used to fill larger spaces in windows, providing even more cooling power.

The problem with conventional air conditioners is that even a small air conditioner uses 500 Watts of power and produces 5000 BTUs, but the amount of electricity being used and the subsequent cost is outrageous.

A single 500 Watt air conditioner costs the user 0.5 kWh per hour. During peak hours in Ontario (all electricity rates below are from Toronto Hydro, each kWh costs you 15.7 cents, but if you are running your air conditioner during peak hours for 25 hours per week it will cost you $1.9625 per week just for that amount of time being used*.

* You might also be running it during mid peak and off peak hours, costing 11.3 cents or 7.7 cents per kWh.

Do that for 25 weeks of the year for a single year and that is $98.125 (plus tax).

If you let your 500 Watt air conditioner run constantly for 28 days it would cost you the following:

100 Peak Hours at 15.7 cents per kWh = $7.85

120 Mid Peak Hours at 11.3 cents per kWh = $6.78

432 Off Peak Hours at 7.7 cents per kWh = $16.632

Total $29.262 for letting your 500 Watt air conditioner run constantly for 28 days. That doesn't seem like much after all, but it does add up over time. (And do you really need to run it constantly?)

Of course, the price skyrockets if you are using a 1000 Watt or 1500 Watt air conditioner, effectively doubling or tripling the costs.

A single month of running a 1500 Watt air conditioner will cost $87.786 in electricity costs, roughly equal to the cost of the proposed $89 micro air conditioner - which a person could use 6 or more months per year with zero cost.

Slightly larger 20, 30 or 40 Watt air conditioners could still be made to be lightweight, producing more electricity - plus blocking out sunlight from your home - and producing 200, 300 or 400 BTUs of cooling.

"Micro air conditioners" do already exist - or at least they are called that. They still weigh between 26 and 74 lbs, and they are still pretty large and clunky. Clearly, their definition and my definition of the word "micro" differs. Why are they using the word micro to sell their products, when that word really doesn't represent what they are selling?

The air conditioning industry in my opinion should be thinking smaller, more efficient, and solar-powered.

In the future every window in a person's home could potentially be filled with a solar-powered air conditioner during the hottest months of the year - allowing people to cool their homes and keep them cool, using zero electricity from the grid.

Monday, June 19, 2017

How to Uninstall Chromium

By C.M.

This isn't so much a software review as a "how to get rid of annoying software guide".

So last year my wife installed a printer driver on my laptop and ever since then whenever I start my computer, a program called Chromium starts too.

Chromium - not to be confused with Google Chrome, which is a completely separate program.

So ever since then I have been annoyed whenever Chromium starts whenever my computer starts or restarts. It was just a fundamental annoyance.

I have tried uninstalling the program several times, but was always unsuccessful - until today when I finally got so annoyed I was determined to search for and find a solution.

In my Google search for how to get rid of the blasted annoying Chromium I came across a Microsoft Help Forum page on the same topic. Some poor schmuck was also trying to get rid of the annoying Chromium and was not getting much help from the Microsoft tech either...

See https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-other_settings/stop-chromium-from-autostarting/050611e2-31e5-478b-b536-131f6c3506be however it was useless and only serves to show how Microsoft techs apparently are clueless morons.

To summarize the poor schmuck explains how is trying to uninstall Chromium and this is how the Microsoft tech guy responds:
Hi,

Thank you for posting in Microsoft Community. I understand your concern and I am glad to assist you.

Sorry for the inconvenience caused.

Appreciate you for trying to fix the issue by yourself.

I would suggest you to try the fix below.

click on the Chrome icon in the task bar/system tray, find the ‘Let Chrome run…’ option and click/tap it to disable/toggle the checkmark off.

The behaviour can also be changed through the browser’s main settings page:
Click on the Chrome menu (or press Alt+E)
 Etc, etc.

Basically the tech guy had completely missed the point. This is not Chrome. This is Chromium, and Chromium is obviously not the same program and is rather annoying to uninstall.


So why is Chromium so difficult to uninstall you might ask?

#1. It isn't listed in the Program Files where you would normally Add / Remove Programs.

#2. When you do a search of installed programs, Chromium doesn't even come up.

#3. When you scroll down through installed programs you might find Chrome installed (if you have it) but you won't find Chromium listed as an officially installed program.

#4. Effectively, Chromium was installed as malware on my computer without my permission.

  • It all dates back to my wife installing a printer driver and when doing so the program she installed included Chromium as a bonus.
  • Normally when you install something like that they will sometimes ask if you want to install a bonus program and if you are smart you will remove the checkmark or X from the little box so you don't install an unnecessary and potentially annoying program.
  • Unfortunately my wife did not do that and installed Chromium by accident. :(
#5. The Uninstall file for Chromium is actually just an useless dat file. (See further below.)

So how did I finally remove it from my computer?

Well, since I couldn't find the install folder and it was hidden somewhere so I had to do a search of the entire C drive of my laptop - the whole bloody thing, which takes awhile, but it was necessary to find the hidden files.

And thus I found all the shortcuts - including one in the Start Menu, which was causing Chromium to start every time my computer started or restarted.

I also found where all the Chromium files were hidden:

C:\Users\USERNAMEMAYVARY\AppData\Local\Chromium

(Note - Depending on how Chromium gets unintentionally installed on your computer, the location might vary. There are a lot of programs out there which like to sneak malware and bonus programs on to your computer.)

So I deleted all the Chromium files from the Start Menu, deleted all the shortcuts...

Within the C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Chromium location was a file marked Uninstall.

So I clicked it, figuring this seemed like a good idea. But as mentioned above, the Uninstall is actually just a dat file - and useless - which convinces me that Chromium is about as malware-esque as you can get, because they really don't want you uninstalling it.

So then I just had fun with the Delete button. I deleted everything in the Chromium folder, and then deleted the Chromium folder itself. Everything is now gone.

FINALLY!

Seriously, Chromium is annoying. I never used it as a program. I never wanted it. And getting rid of it is like getting rid of a cockroach, tick or Donald Trump - it is a lot harder to do than you expect.

Good luck to you!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

How to Get Your Kids Interested in Learning a Musical Instrument

How to Get Your Kids Interested in Learning a Musical Instrument

Kids are naturally drawn to music, mostly for the beat, but sometimes for the message. If you want to encourage your kiddos to take their music appreciation a step further, follow these guidelines to inspire your youngsters to learn a musical instrument.

Introduce Music Early

Scientific studies point out how great music is for babies in their mothers’ wombs. So, start early with a bit of premature music appreciation. Play tunes, sing your favorite songs, and interact with touches and melodies. Babies remember the sound of your voice, so make it a harmonious one.

Encourage Kids to Develop Their Own Love for Music

Love for music starts from a personal space of emotion and need. Music can get you through anything with meaningful lyrics and a rhythmic, heartfelt beat. So, encourage your kids to find music that they love. It might be Justin Bieber or one of the numerous boy bands that grace the magazine covers. Or, it might be Beethoven and Motley Crue. You never know. But music is music, and an appreciation for it has to start somewhere.

Learn to Play a Music Instrument Yourself

Monkey see, monkey do—as the saying goes. To get your kids interested in learning a musical instrument, perhaps pick one up and learn for yourself. It can be anything that strikes your fancy, from drums and guitars, to violins and tubas. Educate yourself with beginner music theory books, then move onto creating big-time melodies with your own two hands. Have fun with it. Once your kids see you taking an interest and having fun, they might be inclined to join you.

Have Fun Quizzes on Music Trivia, such as Name That Tune

Name That Tune is a music-loving family favorite. Download a few instrumental mp3s and keep score to see who knows the most about music from today and yesteryear. Or, have the kids quiz the adults with song midis.

Bring Home Different Instruments

Some kids simply need to have access to a musical instrument to take an interest in it. So, rent a few instruments from your local music shop. Bring them home and let your kids play around with tunes and quirky melodies. If there is passion for instrument and music, it will shine through when your kiddo picks up a violin, piano, drum, or whatever else you bring home.

Music can be full of so many emotions, from passion, to anger, to happiness, and more. Encourage your youngsters to learn a musical instrument so they can better express themselves through harmonies.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Fire Contractors and Renovations

Find Fire Contractors Who Can Restore Your Home

It is important for you to be able to find quality contractors after your home has been damaged by a fire. There are many fire restoration contractors to choose from. The right one will make sure that your home is quickly restored to its former condition before the fire.

Fire Causes
There are many different fire causes from cooking fires to electrical fires, but a good company will be able to restore your property from the inside out. Structural damage can be dangerous and make what's left of your property a threat. Quality contractors can come in and make sure that your property is restored and that there will be no falling beams or roofing materials that could hurt occupants. Before you go back into your home after a fire, you want to make sure that its structure has been looked at thoroughly.

Types of Damage
Although structural damage can be a serious concern, there are other types of damage that can occur to your property as well. Smoke and soot can cause your property to look dirty and be covered in a black dust that does not want to come off easily. The smell of a fire can linger in your home as well, so it is important for contractors to be able to clean, restore, deodorize, and sanitize your property. In many cases, water damage may occur from firefighters putting out the flames. A reliable company will be able to take care of all of your concerns so that your house looks as good as it did before the fire began.

You can feel good about hiring a company that has a good reputation and experience in this industry. There is no time to waste after a fire. You want to contact professionals right away so that your problems are taken care of and do not get worse. Water damage can spread and other problems like mold can start if the issues are not taken care of properly. The structure of your home must be looked at as fast as possible too. The right restoration contractor will be a good investments to make.


Friday, April 7, 2017

Free eBooks from BookBub

Since last August (Aug 4th 2016) I have been a member of BookBub, which sends me a daily email notification of ebooks that are either on sale or free. The ebooks in question are for sale on Kindle and Kobo, and are usually by authors I have never heard of.

Roughly 66% of the time the notification is about books that are on sale, but the other 33% of the time they are free.

So far I have "purchased" 35 fantasy ebooks this way. All free.

So for people who love reading ebooks you just sign up, choose a category (or categories) you want to be notified about, and then check the daily notifications to see if there is any books you like the looks of. I chose the fantasy category, but I wonder maybe if I should have chosen mystery or science fiction instead. Or all three.

So for now I have lots of books to read.

Which sounds great. It means that at some point in the future I will be able to read those books and test out whether I like those authors - and then post reviews of the books on here.

Eventually.

Whenever I get around to it.

When I am not reading books made out of actual paper that I spent $$ on.

Unfortunately I have not got around to reading any of those 35 ebooks. Mostly because I still have not finished reading "In The Shadow of the Gods" by Rachel Dunne, a paperback book I paid money for.

I purchased "In The Shadow of the Gods" on August 20th while I was on my honeymoon, freshly married and wanting something to read while en route to Montreal and on the way back to Montreal.

When traveling however you tend not to get as much reading done as you might hope. Thus I read half of the book so far and have on rare moments picked up the book and read a few pages or tried to finish a chapter.

Part of the problem might be the characters in the book.

Only one of the characters I actually like, the individual shown on the cover of the book.

The rest of the characters I find annoying. Whiny. Some of them are just plain villains and you are supposed to hate them.

However reading a book that is half about villains comes with an inherent problem. You end up hating half the book. I understand that writers these days like to sometimes tell the story from the perspective of the villains - I have done it myself sometimes - doing it so that half of the book focuses on villains gets rather annoying.

Think of it this way.
  • 25% of the book is focused on heroes.
  • 25% of the book is focused on characters I find annoying and whiny.
  • 50% of the book is focused on villains you are meant to hate.
So after it is all said and done, you end up disliking 75% of the book.

However I have to read all of it because what if I miss something that is important? So I don't have much choice, and ultimately I end up procrastinating about finishing the book. Here it is April and I am still trying to finish a book I started last August.

It isn't like George R. R. Martin's books either, in which he does the same thing. Each chapter in his "A Song of Ice and Fire" book series focuses on a single character in his grand narrative. If you are smart you can deliberately skip various chapters and end up enjoying the book a lot more - and not miss any important plot changes if you know which chapters to skip.

eg. If you skip many of the chapters about the Iron Islands and Dorne, they really don't matter compared to the larger plots. Those chapters are not particularly entertaining either. They are basically unimportant background story of what is happening in other parts of Westeros.

I also routinely skipped any paragraph during which Martin yaddled on about clothes or food or architecture.

eg. Sansa chapters have a tendency to have regular paragraphs devoted entirely to Martin yaddling on about food, clothes or architecture. Basically filler that makes you realize Martin is getting paid per word.

For "In The Shadow of the Gods" however I cannot skip whole chapters willy nilly however. I have to read the whole d*** thing. And I want to finish reading the book because of the one character who redeems the book.

And maybe the annoying characters will finally grow up, stop being whiny, and do something heroic. Or maybe die. I am okay with either of those options.

I am also annoyed that Rachel Dunne / her publisher decided to not include a map of the world in her book. It says in the corner it is a "Bound Gods Novel". Usually that means it is part of a series of books. Possibly a trilogy. Maybe more, a whole fantasy setting.

And fantasy settings usually have a map (sometimes several) at the front of the book.

Take for example the book "Blood Song" by Anthony Ryan. It is book #1 of the Raven's Shadow book series.

Tower Lord is book #2, and so forth. So right away you know this is a fantasy setting that Ryan plans to use a fair bit.

On the right is the map from "Blood  Song". It is not a terribly complicated fantasy map. It is admittedly a tad plain. But it is a map. So at least it has one.

"Blood Song", since we are on the topic, only focuses on the main character. None of this annoying the reader business with whiny characters or the back stories for villains.

After reading Blood Song, I went out and I purchased the second book Tower Lord. I then gave both books to my mother to read - and I don't give my mother books unless I am confident they are both good and she will like it.

I am not sure what I will do with "In The Shadow of the Gods" when I am finally done reading it. It is doubtful that I will be recommending it to anyone, let alone my mother. It is also unlikely that I will be purchasing any more books by Rachel Dunne.

...

Which brings me back to the topic of BookBub.

Maybe there is something to be said about getting free ebooks written by unknown authors. Both Rachel Dunne and Anthony Ryan were unknown authors when I first purchased their books. Paid money for them too. Mostly for the convenience of having a physical paper book to read.

But buying books by unknown authors is tricky. It is hit and miss whether the author is any good and whether I will like them.

Blood Song is a fantastic book. Very well written. It was addictive to read. Kudos to Anthony Ryan.

In the Shadow of the Gods has thus far has been disappointing and has only one redeeming character. Rachel Dunne should be admonished for bogging the story down with so many annoying characters that readers end up procrastinating about reading it.

In the future I will not be wasting money on unknown authors this way. I will take my chances with BookBub instead, read the ebook first and then once I know whether the author is any good I can go buy a physical paperbook copy.

This way I get the best of both worlds. Free ebooks to try out new authors. Physical paperback books of the authors I really like.

Makes sense, yes?

Yes, yes it does.

Montreal Combat Archery / Montreal Combats à l’Arc

Montreal has a variety of locations that provide "Archery Tag", combat archery, battle archery or whatever you want to call it. It is nothing new.

However after the success of Battle Sports in Toronto, should it be any surprise if the new Sports de Combat opening in Montreal destroys their competition within the first year or two? Battle Sports has been dominating the archery tag scene in Toronto for the last two years - quickly becoming the most popular of all the archery tag locations because of their better equipment, better value for dollar, and their willingness to also also teach archery lessons / use the space as an indoor archery range during non-peak time periods. (Many archery tag locations don't even bother to offer archery lessons or to use the space for anything other than archery tag.)

When a business expands to a new city it allows the company to do many new things that they didn't do the first time around.

#1. Lease a larger space.

Sports de Combat now has Montreal's Largest Indoor Archery Range. Bigger than any other indoor range in the city, including those spaces being used by the various archery clubs in Montreal.

#2. Take what they learned in Toronto, and make it better in Montreal right from the beginning.

They already knew from their experience in Toronto that better quality equipment was the best way to get an edge on the competition, so they did more of that - investing in archery equipment that even amateurs will realize is better than anything the competition is offering.

Better equipment, more stuff to do, more options. In addition to archery, Sports de Combat also offers Axe Throwing, Knife Throwing, Nerf Guns, a Riddle Room, and an European style "Rage Cage" for smashing things.

Battle Sports has adapted to the marketplace already, expanding, learning, improving upon what they learned. But that was a process during the last two years since they opened in 2015. They have made all those changes in Toronto already, so the second time around they can simply do those things right away.

#3. Analyze the existing market in Montreal and then improve upon whatever the competition is doing.

It isn't corporate spies or anything ridiculous like that, simply researching what the competition is doing and then providing a better service and a competitive price.

Having made themselves a huge financial success in Toronto, they can afford to offer a competitive rate knowing they have the money to expand.

#4. Price.

$24.99 for 90 minutes. Which includes 30 minutes of introductory archery instruction plus 60 minutes of archery combat.

Now to understand why that price matters you need to see what the other locations offering similar services are charging.

#1. Combat d'Archers offers $22 for combat archery, but it is 80 minutes total - with 20 minutes of introduction and 60 minutes of archery combat. So they are cheaper, but at the expense of 10 minutes of introductory archery lesson time. And they use shoddy and cheap equipment.

#2. DodgeBow offers $24.95 for combat archery, but it is for 60 minutes total - with 15 minutes of introduction and only 45 minutes of archery combat. So in terms of value, they are the most expensive with the least value.

Price alone tells you that Battle Sports / Sports de Combat did their research. They knew people would be willing to pay the extra 4 cents to get 15 more minutes of combat archery compared to rival DodgeBow.

And that an extra $2.99 is better to get that extra 10 minutes of archery instruction plus the added bonus of using better quality archery equipment than the junk Combat d'Archers is using.

Special Note about Franchise Contracts

To be fair Combat d'Archers doesn't have much choice. They signed an agreement with the franchise "Archery Tag®" and they have to use shoddy cheap official "Archery Tag®" equipment. They don't have a choice. Even if they later left "Archery Tag®" and got better equipment, they signed a non compete clause with Archery Tag which prevents them from offering the same or similar service.

And because of that franchise agreement it also means that Combat d'Archers cannot offer other things to do like knife throwing, axe throwing, etc. They are limited to offering archery tag and ping pong in the lobby waiting area. Ping pong. Seriously. Because it doesn't violate any clauses in the franchise contract.

This was the same problem Archery District in Toronto had. Shoddy equipment that breaks easily and they were locked into a franchise deal with "Archery Tag®". When people realized that Battle Sports was offering better value, better equipment, better prices and more things to do, they quickly switched to Battle Sports. It was a no brainer.

Which is why it is also a no brainer that Sports de Combat will attract large numbers in Montreal too. They are not locked into any franchise agreement, and they can simultaneously compete with axe throwing leagues, knife throwing and other fun things to do.

The Future?

What else could Battle Sports / Sports de Combat do in the future?

Paintball?
Axe Throwing Competitions?
Knife Throwing Competitions?
Nerf Swordfighting / Fencing?
Sumo Wrestling Bodysuits?
Hosting SCA (Society Creative Anachronism) Events?
Hosting Zombie Survivalist Events?
Toronto Vs Montreal Team Competitions? Maybe even televise the events on YouTube live?



Monday, April 3, 2017

Dashcam Discounts on Car Insurance

For awhile now I have been trying to convince my wife to get a Dashcam (aka Dashboard Camera) for her car that records her driving - and records what happens during an accident, likely proving that other drivers were at fault.

For car insurance purposes Dashcams provide the insurance company with a way to make the other person end up paying for the damages. (And consequently the other insurance company.)

For providing proof of who was at fault during a car accident, even if the owner of the dashcam is at fault, it justifies raising their insurance premiums - however statistically the people who buy dashcams tend to be rather safe and conscientious drivers. They know they are being watched by their own dashcam, and thus behave responsibly.

Thus it makes good sense to offer a discount to car drivers who use routinely use a dashcam. (At some point in the future, all cars might automatically come with a dashcam, just like they all come with seatbelts and other safety features.)

Also, Dashcams reduce the likelihood of people committing insurance fraud. So that is a bonus reason for insurance companies to provide a discount.

However not all companies provide a discount to owners of dashcams.
eg. TD Insurance does not provide insurance.

TD Insurance does provide a discount if the car owner has an approved after-market anti-theft system or an approved anti-theft etching system.
But nothing for Dashcams.

Which is disappointing because TD Insurance is my wife's source of car insurance.

So either I need to convince TD Insurance to provide a discount for Dashcams... or I need to convince my wife to switch to a car insurance company that does provide a discount and equitable insurance coverage.

There is another problem too.

So far very few companies in Canada do actually provide discounts to drivers who have a dashcam. A few do, but it isn't anywhere near an industry standard.

Which means consumers need to be doing a better job of ASKING for a discount.

And then saying "Oh, you don't provide a discount to people with dashcams? Oh. I guess I will find a different insurance company."

As it currently stands I am thinking of contacting TD Insurance to ask the following:

"Hello! I am trying to convince my wife to buy a dashcam. She is already a TD customer. Does TD Insurance provide a discount to drivers who have a dashcam?"

I already know the answer is no. But when they say no, I will say: "Oh. Okay. I will tell her to switch companies then. Goodbye!"

It is then implied that TD Insurance just lost a customer.

If enough people do what I am talking about, insurance companies will suddenly realize they should be providing a discount. It makes sense since it is in their own best interest to save costs. Even a small discount makes sense.

There are many Dashboard Cameras available on the market. I have not reviewed any yet, as I obviously still need to convince the wife that we should buy one in the first place.


Easter Gift Baskets

What Should I Look For In An Easter Gift Retailer?


As many people know, Easter is right around the corner. As such, many consumers are looking for ways to find the perfect Easter gifts for their loved ones. If this is the case for you, it's important to note that locating the ideal retailer is immensely important. To ensure that you can, be sure to look for all of the following traits in an Easter gift retailer before you make any purchases:

1. Industry Experience.

One attribute you should look for in an Easter gift retailer is industry experience. This trait is important because companies that have been successfully operating for several years are typically able to assist you quickly and correctly. There are several ways that you can determine how much industry experience a retailer has. One is by checking their website. You can also call the company and ask to speak to a customer service representative. These individuals should be able to answer this question and any others you may have regarding the Easter retailer's background and products. Ideally, you want to purchase your Easter gifts from a retailer that has been on the block for at least five years.

2. A Good Reputation.

In addition to seeking out an Easter retailer with extensive industry experience, make sure you look for a company that has an excellent reputation. Reputation is important because it functions as an indication of whether the company has provided clients with the ethical, exemplary services they need and deserve. There are several ways you can determine what type of reputation an Easter retailer has. One is by checking the online reviews that have been left about the company. If the majority of reviews left about the company are positive, this is a good indication that you'll attain excellent services and products from them. On the other hand, you should steer clear of any Easter retailer that regularly receives negative or neutral reviews.

In addition to reading the Easter retailer's online reviews, consider visiting the Better Business Bureau's website at www.bbb.org. The BBB is known for listing accurate, up to date information regarding how effective a company is in providing customers with high quality services. If the Easter company in question maintains a rating of A or higher, this is a good indication that they will offer you the excellent services and products you deserve!

3. Stellar Customer Service.

Another attribute you should seek out in an Easter retailer is stellar customer service. While product quality is important, it's equally important that you attain assistance from people who are friendly or knowledgeable. Note that excellent customer service can dramatically improve the quality of your day. You can typically determine whether an Easter retailer offers great customer service by reading their testimonials and speaking directly with at least two representatives from the company. If you find that the representatives are overly aggressive, brusque, or rude, seek your Easter products elsewhere.

4. A Satisfaction Guarantee.

Be sure to seek out an Easter retailer that offers customers a satisfaction guarantee. This approach is helpful because it ensures that you can attain a refund or exchange on Easter products you find lackluster, defective, etc.

5. Online Shopping Options.

Another attribute you should seek out in an Easter gift retailer is online shopping options. This trait is important because it will enable you to do all of your shopping from the comfort and privacy of your home. Companies such as Sweetbasket.com enable you to take this course of action, and they also provide you with the ability to send Easter gift baskets any where in Canada and US.

Don't Delay: Find The Right Retailer Today!

If you're getting ready for Easter and want to make sure that you purchase the perfect products for friends or family members, now is the time to find the right retailer. One way to be sure that you're making your purchases from a reputable company is by looking for the key attributes outlined above. When you find a retailer that conforms to all of the criteria discussed here, you've found a winner!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Football Baby Showers

The Four Elements of a Baby Shower with a Football Theme

If you have a pregnant friend who loves football, consider throwing her a baby shower with a football theme. Not only will she enjoy the theme, she will appreciate all of the time and planning that went into her party. Learn the four elements of a baby shower for a mom-to-be who is a football fan.

The Decorations

You can have a lot of fun choosing the decorations for your friend’s baby shower. One idea is to gather several colorful posters of her favorite football players and hang them around the room. Also, look for paper plates, cups and napkins featuring a football design. You may want to hang streamers and put up balloons that share the colors of her number one team. For party favors, you can give everyone a bag of chocolate covered football candies.

The Refreshments


The snacks you serve can echo your football theme. Make or buy a cake decorated to look like a football field. Serve your chips and dip in a bowl shaped like a football. Create a cheese plate featuring pieces of cheese shaped like footballs. Create a pretzel and peanut butter snack in the shape of small goal posts. Luckily, you can get as creative as you want with many types of foods.

The Invitations

When it comes to sending out invitations, there are plenty of options that relate to football. You could go with traditional paper invitations shaped like footballs. Or, you can send virtual invitations featuring a tune that will remind your guests of football season. The colors, graphics and text on your invitations can all work to solidify your entertaining theme.

The Gifts

You and your guests can give the mother-to-be gifts that relate to her love of football. For instance, one guest may give her a high chair with a tray shaped like a football. Other guests may give her NFL baby clothes such as pajamas, t-shirts or bibs featuring the name of her favorite team. Any of these thoughtful gifts is sure to be a hit with the mom-to-be!

Finally, to make your baby shower even more successful, try to keep the theme a secret so your friend will be pleasantly surprised when she walks into her party. Your guests will have to agree to keep the secret as well!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Utility Task Vehicles and Winches


The best site will provide comprehensive information about all winches available


UTVs, once rarely seen anywhere, have really taken off in popularity, and can now be seen just about anywhere where off-road activity takes place. Hunters and fishermen, among others, love the flexibility this vehicle provides them in getting to prime locations previously difficult if not impossible to access with standard vehicles. Others utilizing the UTV in other activities enjoy the ease and functionality the UTV brings them, with the wide variety of options available to customize their vehicle to make it look and feel just as they like it to.

Buying a standard UTV without special options is a nice buy in itself. But perhaps one aspect of UTV ownership that buyers really appreciate is the chance to customize their vehicles in a great number of ways. Among other items, owners can add or upgrade the following to their UTVs to make their UTV more comfortable, functional, and easier to operate. These include: lights, mirrors, seats, windshields, wheels and tires, doors, audio, storage, mounting brackets, harnesses, lift kits, snow plows, and perhaps one of the most utilized accessories, winches.

UTV winches are really essential pieces of equipment for those riders that take their UTV off-road, off beaten paths and into the brush. They can be used for a number of different applications, and based on the owner's needs and preferences, come in a wide variety of different sizes and equipment options.

UTV owners interested in getting a winch for their vehicle may have any number of questions about winches, and what would be best suited for their specific needs regarding the UTV they'll be putting it on. At this point, it would be best for them to go online and find a company that is reputable, proven, and specializes in selling superior, top-of-the-line winches and other UTV accessories. One premier company, Side By Side Stuff, offers all this and more.

There is no "one size fits all" winch for any of the great number of UTVs out on the market. Shoppers should investigate closely on a company's website the winches that are available in their own given UTV category. The best site will provide comprehensive information about all winches available, from leading winch manufacturers, which includes the features of the winch, as well as options available. Pictures and up-to-date pricing will also be listed, as well as shipping information and payment options.

Purchasing Factory Equipment Tips

Three Simple Tips for Purchasing Factory Equipment

As the manager of a factory, it's understandable that you'd want to find the best deals possible for your machinery. No one wants to invest an unnecessary amount of money into their business, especially if there are already issues with productivity. In order to help prospective managers separate themselves from their competition though, this guide will take a look at a few ways in which purchasing factory equipment can be less of a hassle. Of course, this guide can't speak to a specific manufacturer's needs, but it can tackle some of the general points nonetheless.

Finding Replacements

When you're shopping for new equipment, it can actually be worthwhile to see how expensive a minor replacement is instead. It may not be the shiniest or newest equipment, but replacements are typically just as effective, even if they're not as flashy. With that in mind, even minor components of larger machines can be replaced for substantially reduced costs. For instance, if your industrial-grade air compressor starts having problems, instead of purchasing an entirely new one, it might be worthwhile to instead get aftermarket air compressor parts from a dealer like Industrial Air Suppliers.

Embrace Innovation

In cases where you can't readily find replacements to existing machinery, considering ditching it altogether. In these circumstances, embracing innovation may be the way to go. Alternative technologies are constantly being developed, and these can have a profound impact on the long-term viability of your manufacturing processes. If you're someone who has struggled in the past with improving efficiency, then new technologies may hold the answer.

Plan Accordingly

Before committing to any new purchases, make sure you've fully outlined your company's needs ahead of time. By taking an honest look at your company's needs, you can more accurately determine what you need and what you want. The difference can be small, but it can also keep you from spending unnecessary amounts of money on purchases that ultimately do little to impact your business. By taking realistic stock of where your business stands, you can ensure that each step you make is deliberate and, perhaps more important, necessary.

While these tips can't protect you from a poor purchase, they should hopefully steer you in the right direction. As with most business decisions, it's a good idea to enlist the aid of qualified specialists before going forward with anything. While these tips can give you a solid foundation to build from, you'll still need to make decisions based on the nature of your specific business.

Adult Hockey Leagues in New England

People who enjoy attending hockey tournaments Marlboro MA do so for more reasons than watching others play the sport. The people responsible for planning begin well in advance of the event to ensure there are enough activities for everyone to enjoy. From posting information on the tournament website to making announcements in the right places, you should know everything you need to know by the time the event starts.

Of course, this is not anything new if you are one of the regulars who attend every year. Having a selection of events from which to choose can be a blast for you and your family.

Watching Two Teams of Equal Caliber Compete

Fun and games are good to keep everyone entertained. However, the competitions are the primary reason most people sign up to attend these tournaments. Both sides are participating and neither plans to leave the tournament empty handed. This heightens the excitement of the games. Few things are worse than traveling miles to watch a game that ends with one team being completely blown away.
Great Food Options for Adults and Kids

At some point during the tournament, someone in your family will get hungry. You want to have decent options that satisfies everyone's palette. Some tournaments provide lunches for the children, which is certainly appreciated by parents. In some situations, food is sold as a fundraiser. You can feed your family and support a good cause at the same time.

Balance between Fundraising and Money-Driven Activities

Associations will use tournaments as a way to raise money for teams. This is totally accepted and expected. If you are a devoted hockey fan, being generous is not a problem when expectations are within reason. Different activities within the tournament serve this purpose.

Tournaments Have a Friendly and Welcoming Atmosphere

If you are like most people, you prefer to enter a space where you feel welcomed. Nothing is worse than going somewhere expecting to have a good time and a person in charge never makes you feel welcome. A smile, a handshake or even sharing good information goes a long way to being able to enjoy an event.

When people organizing the event are having a good time, those feelings will transfer organically to attendees. You will see and feel the difference because this may be the most important aspect of attending a hockey tournament.

Attending a tournament with decent game times in an environment that was designed for fun and enjoyment is essential. Your love of the game should never be dampened by a bad experience associated with the tournament.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Guide to Buying Electrical Equipment Online

How to Buy Electrical Equipment Online

It doesn't seem like is was that long ago that you could walk around town and see multiple shops selling electrical equipment and supplies. These shops stocked everything from plugs and cables to entire machines. The rise of the internet though led to a number of shops shutting down. Those stores could no longer compete with the low prices found on the web. Even if you do have a shop in your neighborhood, it may not stock everything that you need. While you can buy electrical equipment online, you need to shop carefully to make sure that you get what you want and need.

Read the Description


Before you add any item to your cart, always read the description carefully. Pay special attention to the measurements listed to ensure that the product you buy will fit your project or need. Reading the description can also show you whether the item is in brand new condition or used condition. Some online companies specialize in refurbished supplies. These products come from customers that used those items and later returned those items.

Check the Shipping Prices and Times

When you find a great deal on electrical equipment and supplies online, you might feel like jumping for joy. Before you jump too high, take a look at both the shipping prices and times. Many online retailers offer extremely low prices on products because they charge so much for shipping. Those shipping rates may double the cost of the item and make it much more expensive than you can find it on another site. You also want to look at how long shipping will take. Companies based in other countries can take six to eight weeks or even longer to ship that item to you. If you need that product faster, it's worthwhile to pay a little extra.

Look for Reviews

Whether you buy from a web store or an auction site, you can learn more about the seller before you buy. Read reviews posted on other sites, and check the feedback of sellers on auction sites. This lets you see what other shoppers felt about their experiences buying from that person or store, including how much they paid for shipping and any issues they had. If you're in the market for electrical supplies and equipment that you can use at home or at work, click here to find a wide range of products.

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