While we all keep hearing about iPhones, iPods, iPads, and their increased sales, diehard Apple fans are convinced they are getting the best product for their money. I think otherwise. Below are five reasons why PCs are still a MUCH better option than Macs. PCs Cost Less Macs continue to be priced way too high. Tell me you do not agree. And if you don’t, then you have been hypnotized, as well. Apple stores and apple.com have formulated a one-world pricing market for all things Apple, while in the PC universe, you will find multiple brands, plenty of retail stores, tons of sales and rebates, and many inexpensive refurbished components on the market that folks can use to create their own dream machines. Apple’s lowest [&hellip

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The Tankless Water Heater vs Tank Water Heater debate is getting closer each year as the price of tankless water heaters continues to go down. Tankless Water heaters, or sometimes referred to as On-Demand Water Heaters, are the type of heating system that provide hot water only when needed. Compared to conventional water heating systems (tank), Tankless Water heaters don’t use up energy when not in use and this brings in a lot of power savings. Also, in general, they take up far less space and can be installed much easier than storage water heaters. Before, the process of heating water in households is through a water tank. When hot water is needed, you “turn it on” and minutes later once there is enough hot [&hellip

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Don’t you hate when you have something important to do but things just aren’t going your way? Let’s say, for example, you are running late for your big presentation when, out of nowhere, you get a flat tire. At this point, there isn’t much that you can do to prevent you from being late. You can either get the spare out of the trunk or call a tow truck to pick you up; neither a quick solution. With the spare, you still must have tools for your car to be able to install it. To avoid the situation in the future, run flat tires are an option.
A run-flat tire is designed to keep running even after the tire has run out of air. This technology was created to buy motorists some time so that they can drive to a safer place to change a flat. Although this type of technology has it many benefits, it also has its cons as well namely price and sometime handling performance. The biggest benefit is that drivers can keep driving on a flat tire without fear of being stranded.There are three general types of run-flat tires and they are:

  1. Self supporting – This type of run-flat tire has sidewalls that are much stronger than regular tires. This design was created to allow the sidewalls to bear the weight of your vehicle after it has lost air pressure. Self supporting run-flat tires also have a specially designed bead that ensures that the wheel rim is being protected in the event of a flat. However, the hard sidewall makes for an uncomfortable ride and the heavier tires will negatively affect your vehicle’s fuel efficiency.
  2. run-flat-tireAuxiliary supported – When a flat occurs, this type of run-flat tire ensures that the tread of the tire rests on a support ring that is attached to the wheel. They were designed in this manner to that the load is taken off of the flat so that you may continue driving your vehicle. This type of run flat tire are lighter than self supporting run flat tires but they are also more expensive and require special wheels.
  3. Self sealing – This type of run-flat type has a special lining of sealant under the tread that automatically seals smalls holes as they occur. If a nail is imbedded in your tire, the lining will seal the hole after the foreign object is removed. Unfortunately, the self sealing run-flat tire’s best asset may also be it’s biggest flaw. With this type of run-flat tire, you may drive your vehicle for a long time without realizing that it has been punctured. Nails, for example, can create bigger holes when left in tires for long periods of time which can be problematic for the sealant.

runflatsLike all things, these types of tires have their pros and cons but the positives far outweigh the negatives for some people. Personally, I still use regular tires on my vehicles as the price doesn’t justify the convenience factor and I actually enjoy the process of changing a flat. That said, I don’t use the cheap scissor lift jack to lift up the car. After reading all sorts of garage tool reviews, I decided on keeping a lightweight pneumatic jack in the trunk of my car. Makes tire changing super fast. All in all, run-flat tires can be a good choice for some people at delaying the time consuming hassle that is the flat tire but it may not be for everyone.

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When you realize that last year there were more than 140 million registered cars, trucks and vans in the United States, you get a good idea. That idea is considered more seriously when you know that all of them should have their oil changed at least 2 to 3 times per year. A large number of these cars, trucks and delivery vans are owned by businesses who do not have time to get them all into a stationary oil change place every couple of months.

The only issue is: What do you need to know and how do you get started?? 

A starting list of things to consider: 

  • Decide whether you want to begin your own company or buy into a franchise system. Both choices have advantages and disadvantages.

  • Check with your local licensing and registration board for the proper paperwork. A business registration is usually necessary in all areas, however, most cities do not require a license for this service work.

  • Look into the need for insurance for this endeavor. This is needed as you will be driving the vehicle and maintaining it and the possibility of damage is always present.

  • Take stock of what equipment you have and what you need. You can start out with a basic set of equipment, such as ramps, oil filter wrench, rags, drain pan and storage container along with a selection of filters and quality oil.

  • Identify your market and what you are prepared to offer them. Fleet managers and small businesses with company cars need this service and the private market is always available. All of the services offered by the drive through oil change locations can be offered by you.

mobile-oil-changeThe above list will get you going on a budget. The types of equipment you will need will expand as you grow in popularity and exposure. Other things to consider will be:

  • Most jurisdictions will not allow car maintenance on the street. A trailer or large truck will need to be acquired fairly early on in which to perform the services.

  • An oil evacuation system will greatly speed the process of removing the oil and storing it for disposal. They can be purchased or leased. If this is not possible at first, a good floor jack is the bare minimum. Check this page to look at the best rated jacks.

There is money in oil and it can be made by helping others preserve their vehicles against worn engines and breakdowns.

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With technological advances in every aspect of our lives is it any wonder the baby nursery is also becoming an area of the home that takes on the appearance of a starship’s cockpit.  Some tech gadgets for the nursery are just fun and others are highly beneficial in making sure your baby remains safe at all times.  Here is a list of several high tech nursery accessories that any new parent should consider for their little bundle of joy.

  • Crib Monitor – There are a wide variety of brands that produce crib monitors. The monitor helps detect every moment of the baby while it lies in the crib. If the monitor does not detect a slight movement every 20 seconds, an alarm will sound. An indispensable addition to any nursery, a crib monitor can help alert you if your baby stops breathing and may help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) by offering early detecting of any abnormality that your child may exhibit.

  • Remote Control Mobile – There is no reason to tip toe next to your baby’s crib and rewind its mobile. There are not remote control mobiles which allow you to control the mobiles speed and music choices from across the room. No reason to disturb the baby.

  • high-tech-nurseryMonitor and Television – Do you want to keep an eye on your baby from you television, mobile phone or computer?  Well now you can with a variety of baby monitors and televisions which will give you a clear view of your little one any time you want.

  • Melodies – Most babies like the sound of a soft song, rain water or other soothing noises to fall asleep too or to calm them in the middle of the night.  With melody makers, you can pick the melody, time and duration for your baby. If your baby wakes up, the melodies start to play.

  • Bouncy Seat – The bouncy seat is no longer for simple bouncing. Now a parent can program the bouncy seat to recreate a variety of motions such as a car ride, a hammock on a breezy day or the gentle waves of an ocean.  No matter what your baby’s personal taste is in motion, the new age of bouncy seats will provide it.

  • Crying Analyzer – A crying analyzer is suppose to detect subtle changes in your baby’s crying to determine the baby’s problem.  Is your baby wet, hungry or sick?  The analyzer will help you learn what your baby wants and needs.

  • swaddle-blanketSleep Sacks – Not electronic but these are the future of traditional baby blankets. Sleep sacks for babies have been used in Europe for over 20 years and are becoming more commonplace in the US. They allow babies to sleep better and remain covered during the night as well as reduce the chance of SIDS. All types of fabrics are available from cotton to merino wool and cotton muslin. You can even buy infant swaddles which put old-fashioned swaddle blankets to shame.

With so many high tech gadgets,  parenting has never been easier.  Your baby’s nursery will be a safe, secure environment that is beneficial to your baby and you because of the advances that technology has made to make parenting easier than ever before.

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Guns and gun control issues have topped the headlines over the past few years. From children having fatal mishaps while playing with an unsecured gun, criminal activities involving guns and theft, gun related incidents often come about because of poor gun security. To ensure safe keeping of firearms, obtaining a reliable gun safe is essential. With the many choices of safes, the decision can be simplified by weighing out the pros and cons.

The two most common types of safes include the mechanical and biometric variety. But which type is the best for you personally? Knowing the facts about each will help narrow your choice.

Why Do You Need A Gun Safe?

More likely than not, if you have a gun, a safe is needed for safety reasons. Not only is the safety issue a huge factor, a safe is great for the maintenance of the gun itself. If you live in a high humidity area, the extra moisture, over time, can actually damage the gun and gun safe will protect it from the exposure of the air.

Mechanical Gun Safes

mechanical-gun-safeMechanical gun safes are well constructed heavy safes with a turn dial combination knob that rotates back and fourth. Remember the school lockers you had in high school? Works the same way. Each mechanical gun safe is provided with a three number combination code by the manufacturer. When entering the three digit code, the internal gears interlock and engage to open the safe door. Some mechanical gun safes offer the ability to be customized to include thermal and drill protection.

Pros of a Mechanical Gun Safe

  • Durable and heavy
  • Tends to last a lifetime
  • No batteries required

Cons of a Mechanical Gun Safe

  • The combination must be reset each time
  • Takes time to open
  • May be stressful to open during emergency situations
  • After time, requires maintenance on gears
  • To change the combination code, you must hire a certified locksmith.

Biometric Gun Safes

biometric-gun-safeThe word “biometric” refers to the process of digitally authenticating a persons hand or fingertip geometry. Biometric gun safes detect your fingertip or hand prints. Since this safe is digital and electronic, of course it is operated by either electricity or batteries. Still a durable and well constructed safe, this safe allows for a lot more functions and options. In addition to the biometric feature, the safe can be customized to include a touch keypad and iris and palm print recognition. The best biometric gun safe is easy to reprogram, opens quickly and quietly, and has a backup way of opening it in case of battery failure.

Pros of a Biometric Gun Safe

  • Fast, simple and safe
  • Easy to store in closets, bedside tables or walls
  • Opens in a matter of seconds
  • A lock-out feature activates if too many failed attempts to open

Cons of a Biometric Gun Safe

  • It is battery operated- battery might die during emergency
  • Electricity may be out (back up for the battery)
  • If fingertip or hand injured, the safe will not recognize it. It is suggested storing image of more than one fingertip or hand, in case of injury.

Best Choice

While both types have their advantages, I’m personally more of a fan of the old-school mechanical type. Don’t get me wrong, technology is fantastic but in a life or death situation, I do not want to have to worry about a technical glitch or if the battery has died. With some practice, a mechanical locking safe can be opened just as quickly as an electronic or biometric safe.So, whatever choice is made, getting a good quality gun safe will ensure gun safety and guarantee one less thing to worry about. To help you get the best gun safe for your money, you need to do your research which generally involves reading online reviews from trusted sites.

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While there are some people who love to use their cell phones and are attached to them 24-7, there are some of us who long for the days where land lines were more common and there wasn’t a need for constant contact. Voicemail or answering machines were awesome because when you left home you could always return important phone calls. But with today’s busy world, you have to take that call as soon as it is placed, otherwise you will be playing phone tag for several days.

But with people who live in remote areas, finding reception at home can be a case of “Can you hear me now?” which leads many people down the road towards tossing their phones against a wall. So how can we, as a society of on the road telecommunications fix the issue of reception in our own homes? Well, there are a lot of different ways and here is just a few of them.

Phone Service

cell-companies

Sometimes, changing the company you get service from can be another way to improve your cell phone reception. Different companies cover different areas. This has been made abundantly clear by the new commercials that have made it on television from a popular company. I’m not saying you should go with one certain company, but doing your research and finding a company that has the coverage you need. Several companies have maps showing which areas they cover and their agents can help you determine the coverage you need for your service needs.

Phone

A lot of the times, you can have a really good service provider, the insulation in your home is brand new and doesn’t interfere with cell phone reception, but you find that your phone still doesn’t have the best reception while you are at home. This can be a simple case of your phone not being the best for your particular needs. Just like different phone service providers carry different cover areas, different phones have different capabilities with reaching the tower and connecting calls. Purchasing a newer model of your cell phone is another way of improving your cell phone reception. Be aware though, that some newer model may actually have worse reception than older ones.

Cell Phone Booster

cell-phone-booster-homeWhen you have a good phone with the best cell phone provider for the area, sometime a little boost is still needed. While not cheap, a home cell phone booster acts as a repeater to amplify the signal from the nearest cell tower. Most allow you to only add the lines you want using it instead of the entire neighborhood. Setup is simple and the upfront cost can usually be recovered in a few months with no monthly land line phone bill to worry about. Most recommend you buy a Wilson cell phone signal booster to get the best performance for your money. For those who are frequently on the road, Wilson makes arguably the best cell phone booster for cars as well.

Home Improvement

Sometimes reception can be improved just by updating certain aspects of your home. Some places use insulation that can really interfere with your cell phone reception. The best thing to do is to see what type of insulation your home has and research as to whether or not they can interfere with your cell phone reception. If the reception is reduced by the insulation, then remove the old and replace with a better type of insulation. Not only can you boost your reception capabilities, but also possibly improve the insulating capabilities of your home.

Improving cell phone reception is something that we all are trying to do, especially as we are becoming more and more on the move and are at home less and less. Pretty soon machines that are used to record phone calls, answering machines, and phones that hook up into telephone jacks will be non existent. As the market moves more and more away from land lines and into the cell phone era, we need to make sure, as consumers, that everything on our part is working. From being close enough to a tower to be able to connect to our calls to having the best phones we can obtain to ensure that we have the strongest connection possible, our cell phone reception is not only the responsibility of the phone company, but also our own. So, if you are struggling with your reception at home, check the above mentioned items and see if you can improve.

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Once upon a time, houses were big boring blocks of stone or wood. But in the next few decades, all of that will change. A new wave of home designs, many from the eco-conscious design group Terreform ONE (Open Network Ecology), have been proposed and may soon appear in your area. Among these are such wonders as tree homes and even a house made of living meat! Say hello to the designs of tomorrow. With the way these structures are built, determining who has the best air compressor brand may be a moot point.

The In Vitro Meat Habitat

in-vitro-meat-habitat

Starting with one of the most bizarre proposals, Terreform ONE has proposed the construction of homes using laboratory grown pig cells (without harming any pigs). While this design doesn’t seem to have made it far past the initial design phase yet, it created quite a lot of media attention when it was announced. The house itself consists of several different ingredients to aid in the preservation and care of the fleshy walls, and incorporates recycled materials for maximum eco-friendliness.

Fab Tree Hab

fab-tree-hab-houseOne of the most amazing concepts to come out of Terreform ONE is the Fab Tree Hab. Designed as a replacement for the older solutions of Habitat for Humanity, this is a house literally grown out of native trees, which are grafted to produce a living shell. Rainwater feeds both structure and home, with waste composted to keep the soil rich. Even the heat is naturally controlled, with windows positioned for maximum efficiency. The dome-like buildings are built from interwoven branches, and the leaves aid in soil growth. Meanwhile, humans and animals benefit from the food and shelter the houses provide.

Tiny Houses

One of the current hot items out there is the tiny house, which is available from several manufacturers such as Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. One of these houses is around the size of a large room, with a loft for storage and sleeping. Many houses are also a trailer, so your home is both quaint and mobile. Other tiny houses are more complex and stationary. Cheap to build and often resembling an adult-sized playhouse, these little wonders are highly space efficient in a world where land is at a premium.

Hobbit Houses

hobbit-houseLargely inspired by Tolkien’s Shire, the hobbit house label covers a wide range of designs. Some of these designs are little huts, while others are built into hillsides. Building materials also vary, with concrete being a favourite.

One of the most popular types of hobbit house are made out of prefabricated 12 foot sewer pipe. These tunnels create a small underground network of rooms and corridors, with the ceiling and floor hiding all of the wires and pipes.  Like previously mentioned, these future houses will not require contractors to read endless reviews of air compressors, table saws, drills, or any other popular power tools that are used in home construction today. Like in the Hobbit movies, the roof of the hobbit house grows over to produce a pristine-appearing hilltop.

Of course, some hobbit holes are carved into rock or built of debris. Some are also built of stone, resembling the Viking structures which inspired Tolkien. With such endless possibilities and natural heat regulation from living underground, hobbit homes are springing up worldwide.

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Tankless water heater such as those made by Navien are becoming an increasingly popular alternative to traditional storage water heaters. Made and distributed by a company called Kyung Dong Navien Co Ltd., a Korea-based boiler manufacturing company that specializes in oil boilers, gas boilers, heat transfer control systems and more including air conditioners and fan coils. With their Navien tankless water heater system, a typical household can have hot water without resorting to conventional water heating systems. As we all know, traditional storage water heaters create energy losses even in stand-by mode and this in turn cost money.

Continue reading “The Future of Water Heaters” »

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The adults in our extended family have been playing bocce for years. Younger kids have always wanted to get involved but of course, the grown ups always won. Enter the game of BOOCHIE, an incredibly fun take-off of bocce but intented for kids of all ages. The manufacturer’s recommended age is 8-15 years but in my opinion, that recommendation should change to 4 to 100. The great thing is that even the youngest player has a chance at winning.

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