Sunday, September 6, 2009

Fall TV Season

Here's a look at some of the most highly-anticipated fall TV shows and their premier dates. (Sorted by premier date).
  • Glee, Fox (Sept 9, Wed, 9pm) -- high-school singing "dramedy"
  • Vampire Diaries, CW (Sept 10, Thu, 8pm)
  • Jay Leno Show, NBC (Sept 14, Mon, 10pm)
  • NCIS:LA, CBS (Sept 22, Tues, 9pm) -- big names like Chris O'Donnell & LL Cool J
  • Good Wife, CBS (Sept 22, Tue 10pm) - Julianna Margulies as a lawyer
  • Flash-Forward, ABC (Sept 24, Thu, 8pm) -- One of the most highly-anticipated shows of the new fall season. Sci-fi.
  • Dollhouse, Fox (Sept 25, Fri, 9pm) -- sci-fi, FBI
  • Trauma, NBC (Sept 28, Mon, 9pm)-- medical drama on the edge.
  • Three Rivers, CBS (Oct 4, Sun, 9pm) -- medical (organ transplant) drama
  • Stargate Universe, SyFy Channel (Oct 9, Fri, 9pm)
  • V, ABC (Nov 3, Tues, 8pm) -- sci-fi; aliens.
Fall Premier of Other Favorites
  • So You Think You Can Dance, Fox (Sept 9, Wed, 8pm)
  • Fringe, Fox (Sept 17, Thur 9pm) - sci-fi
  • Dancing with the Stars (Sept 21, Mon, 8pm)
  • House, Fox (Sept 21, Mon 8pm)
  • NCIS, CBS (Sept 22, Tues 8pm)
  • Criminal Minds, CBS (Sept 23, Wed, 9pm)
  • Law & Order: SVU, NBC (Sept 23, Wed, 9pm)
  • Mentalist, CBS (Sept 24, Thu, 10pm)
  • Grey's Anatomy, ABC (Sept 24, Thu, 9pm)
  • Law & Order, NBC (Sept 25, Fri, 8pm)
  • Cold Case, CBS (Sept 27, Sun, 10pm) -- hopefully this show doesn't get pushed around too much by Sunday football...
  • Lie to Me, Fox (Sept 28, Mon, 10pm) -- interesting show where hero can tell if people are lying!
  • 24 (Jan 17, 2010)

For a complete calendar, check out:

And, if you're looking for a particular show:

Friday, August 7, 2009

Laptop Specs

It's "back-to-school" time, so we took a look at our "best bang for the buck" laptops in terms of power per dollar. Some people might prefer looks or battery life -- but for the purposes of our list, we track our "sweet-spot" in terms of computing power per price.

Here are the specs for what we think you can currently get (as well as some history so you can track advances in technology, and computer processing value):

Aug 09.....2.1 GHz(x2)......4 GB...............320 GB...........$500
Aug 08.....1.9 GHz(x2)......3 GB...............250 GB...........$550
Dec 07......1.6 GHz(x2)......1.5GB.............120 GB...........$550

Various models will have different specs -- but if you shop around, you should be able to get these specs "on average" (and over time, improved specs at better prices!). We usually find the best prices at Best Buy, and sometimes Costco/club stores. Once in a while, Amazon has some good deals.

We prefer the big names such as HP/Compaq, Dell, Toshiba & Gateway. If you like the Sony name, you will pay slightly more. And of course, some people prefer the styling of the Apple Macbooks -- but that's a different category.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Kindle -- lower price!

Not sure if you have been looking at the Amazon Kindle, but if you have, note:

- Amazon just reduced the price from $359 to $299.
- This is for the new, improved Kindle 2.

- The Kindle isn't just an e-book reader; it also has free wireless internet (fairly basic, but nice having free internet service all the time).
- There is also a Kindle DX with a larger screen for $489.
We just ordered another Kindle ;)

PS: Pls use the Amazon link at when you order from Amazon.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Disney Animation Cels

Amazon has a great deal on many Disney Animation Cel's. These can make great gifts and normally sell for $300+ framed. Please click on the link below -- or use our Amazon link and search on "Disney Animation Cel."

Monday, May 11, 2009

Swine flu, Vitamin C, Linus Pauling

With all of the talk about swine flu -- our wanderings and "readings" took us to this book. Some of Linus Pauling's beliefs are controversial -- but we wouldn't argue with a two-time Nobel Prize winner (and one of the great scientists of the 20th century!). Perhaps some of the reasons his research is controversial can be traced back to "big industry..??"

In any case, Pauling believed that Vitamin C was VERY good for you; almost on the order of a miracle drug that could cure and prevent many illnesses. Humans are one of the few animals that do not produce their own Vitamin C. Read this book and see what you think.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Lawn Care: Cordless Lawnmowers

Is your old gas lawnmower giving you a hard time starting up? Many people are trading in their loud, finicky, gas lawnmowers for cordless mowers. Cordless mowers are great for a lot of reasons:
  • Little or no maintenance compared to gas mowers that need oil changes, air filters, spark plugs, etc.
  • Electric power (inexpensive battery recharges) compared to $3/gallon.
  • Less noise.
Features to look for:
  • Removable battery. The batteries won't hold the charge as well over time. Most lawnmowers have this feature, but you should check to be sure.
  • Mulcher. Particularly good when it comes to autumn (leaves all over the place!). Also, it's good to mulch your grass and help feed your lawn.
  • No cord. Electic mowers need you to be attached to a power outlet. Cordless mowers help you to avoid the tangle of long wires in your lawn.
Currently, we like two models. Both are highly-rated by Amazon users and can be sent to you via free shipping. Prices vary -- but mid-$300's are OK prices, low $300's or lower are great prices for these models.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Lawn Care Basics: Mowing (First mow of season!) and Watering

Taxes are done... so we have time for another chore: the lawn! I look at the lawn as a challenge. Get it looking nice, neat, and green -- and you get a good sense of satisfaction. And you get some good exercise! Here are some basics. We talked about liming your lawn and fertilizer in a previous post.
  • Mowing: Depending on the weather (temperatures, amount of rain, etc.) -- try to mow at least once a week. Cutting often (and not too short: rule of thumb is less than 1/3 of the blades of grass) leads to healthier grass.
  • First mowing of the season: this first cut of the season should be on the short side. The shorter mowing will encourage the roots and grass to wake up and start growing.
  • Water: only as needed. Again, this depends on your location and climate. If you need to water: water deeply and only once week or so (if there's no rain). Infrequent, but deep waterings will promote deeper roots and stronger/healthier grass (as opposed to frequent/shallow watering). Some people measure the water (putting out cans to see how much water the sprinkler is putting out) and aim for 1 inch per week. The best time to water is early in the day (avoids heat/evaporation).

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Lawn Care: Aerating & Compost

I am wondering if they made taxes due April 15th so that we would have time for the lawn! The lawn-growing season is here -- and this is my early season schedule:
  1. Lime -- end of March
  2. Aerate & compost (more on that later) -- just after taxes (April 16 or so)
  3. First mow (shorter than ususal to promote root and grass growth) -- depends on weather; but as needed, and a little on the short side.
  4. First spring fertilizer soon after first mow.
Aerating is a great thing for your lawn. It removes thatch, loosens compacted soil, and allows nitrients to get to the roots of your lwan more easily. Some tips on aerating:
  • A device that removes cores of soil and thatch is MUCH better than the devices that just poke holes in the lawn. You can buy a device that you step on to aerate your lawn or rent a heavier-duty machine.
  • Aerate before the active-growing time of your lawn.
  • Don't aerate during periods of heat and drought. Opening up the lawn during times of stress like that can hurt your lawn.
While I'm at it, once I aerate the lawn, I lay down some compost/manure/good topsoil.
  • I use a broom or light rake to level the compost.
  • This is also a good time to level out your lawn. If there are any dips or lower areas, you can lay a little more in those areas. (Speaking of lower areas, if you DO have minor dips in your lawn, you can lay thin layers every month or so to build that area up).
  • Finally, I water everthing to wash things down -- and avoid smothering the grass.
This should give the lawn a good jumpstart to the growing season. Here's to a beautiful, thick, lush, green lawn that you can be proud of.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Lawn Care: Getting Ready (Lime!, Fertilizer)

Spring is here -- and it's almost time to get your lawn into shape. When you are out running errands, make sure you get your fertilizer, lime, and compost/manure. More on compost/manure and aeration soon.
  • Most people know it's good to lay down fertilizer. It's best to feed your lawn at least 3-4 times a year. However, if you only do 2, make sure you do your fall feeding (helps promote strong roots for the winter and starts the spring off stronger) and early spring feeding. I like to spread out feedings and do 1 or 2 feedings during the growing season -- as well as a winterization (just before the lawn goes dormant).
  • Thus, for Fertilizing, I aim for April (after first short mowing), June, August, and Oct.
  • Lime: The ph of soil in the Eastern Part of the US is relatively low due to rain and humidity. Rainfall leaches calcium and magnesium from the soil, creating an "acid" condition or low ph (below the 6.2 to 6.5 ph desired by healthy lawns). The low ph prevents the grass from absorbing nutrients and giving us the nice green color we like.
  • First, test the soil to make sure you need lime. The best time to lay lime down is the fall, so it has time to settle in. Some like to lime in the early spring to get ready for the growing season. When you lime, try to space it between (or before!) fertilizing your lawn.
  • I like to lime either in the fall (after the last feeding) or spring (before the first feeding).

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Travel Savings

If you would like to use our affiliate travel agent code, please contact us for our affiliate travel agent discount code -- and use the travel agent affiliate code (IATA) when you book travel.  

This savings can result in about 5%-7% of hotel stays, cruises, etc.  Travel is expensive, so this savings can be significant.

We'll send you the code and instructions on how to receive the affiliate travel agent commission savings.