Sleep Like a Baby

Vemma PM

I never had trouble sleeping until last year. I guess that’s when going in twenty different directions at the same time finally caught up with me. My doctor recommended a prescription sleep aid, but after watching drug commercials on TV, I knew I didn’t want to take a drug that had potential side effects….and they all have potential side effects.

When I started to read about sleep problems, I found that more than half of all adults have problems sleeping at least a few nights each week and almost 1/3 have trouble sleeping every night. WOW. I was not alone.

I searched for a sleep aid that was natural and effective. Now, after a year, I have finally found one. The Vemma liquid vitamins that I take came out with a product called Vemma PM. It comes in small bottles, you just drink one each night before bed. Because it is a liquid, it works very quickly.

Vemma PM has a full range of vitamins and antioxidants along with natural sleep aids. The best thing about Vemma PM is that it not only helps you sleep, but also let’s you awake refreshed. I had no groggy feeling in the morning at all. In fact I woke up feeling very good. BYW my husband noticed that immediately! (Not that I am ever cranky in the morning!!)

If you have trouble sleeping at night and are taking Ambien or some other drug, you will want to give Vemma PM a try. It is not sold in stores, but you can order at My Vemma Website. If you want to call or email me with any questions, you will see my contact info on that site on the right side. When you click on the “Order Today” button on the blue Vemma PM picture on the left, you will be taken to the Vemma PM page.  Before you complete the order you will be give much more information on Vemma PM including ingredients, etc. And you always have a 30-day money back guarantee.

Pleasant dreams to all.

The Importance of Home Security

When I see news of a home invasion or  an advertisement from a security company showing a burglar breaking into a home, I get a little nervous. It is obvious that you can not only be robbed of your possessions, but that you can be physically and emotionally harmed by a home invasion. That’s when I am reminded that home security is an important thing that most of us overlook.

Perhaps it’s because we don’t want to spend a lot of money. Perhaps it’s because we don’t want to spend the time necessary to look at all the security devices and home security systems that are available. In either case, you can use the web for your research. This will inevitably save you both time and money.

There are several websites that can help, including one called Home Security System Sales at http://www.homesecuritysystemsales.com.  This website gives you information on all types of home security systems. They also have comparison of systems as well as for information on products that you can use for home security. You may also want to check out their area called Common Sense for Home Security. It is filled with security tips like the importance of good lighting and how to keep others from copying your keys.

I hate the fact that there are bad guys out there. I wish it weren’t so. Yet we have to live with the fact that burglars and bad guys are always out there looking for their next for victim. We need to do everything we can to protect ourselves.


Move from At&T to Verizon & iPhone to Android

Well, it’s been several months, so it’s time to give you an update on how my move from AT&T to Verizon and from the iPhone to Android went.

All-in-all, I can sum it up in one word. Fantastic. Although there were a few glitches, especially in my first Verizon billings, I am very happy with both Verizon and the Droid X.

I am truly enjoying the Android operating system and like it better than the iPhone operating system.

Some things are a little different with Verizon. For instance, at AT&T with the iPhone, voice mail just appeared on the iPhone with no extra charge. With Verizon I was having to call in to voice mail and listen to my voice mails in succession. After a few weeks, I also realized that this was using up minutes and making me go over the limit on my minutes. That’s when I found out that Verizon has something called “Visual Voice Mail” that is an addition $2.99 monthly fee. When I added that to my package, the voice mail appeared on the Droid as it had on the iPhone. It was much easier to manage and my minute usage went down considerably. I really wish that the Verizon rep had told me about this earlier. Yet, Verizon was nice enough to give me an extra 150 minutes for free during that first month’s voice mail fiasco.

Even with the addition $3 a month, my Verizon bill is almost identical to what my AT&T bill used to be. The service, however, is better. Now, I am sure that this differs in different parts of the country, but here in the Sandhills of North Carolina, the Verizon cell service is without a doubt better and faster. Also personal service that I received at the Verizon store as well as on the telephone has been better.

I still think that the cell phone companies need to be reigned in to stop the exorbitant charges for texting, the ridiculous long contracts, and early termination fees. Yet, Verizon has been both responsive and flexible.

Samsung Galaxy S Fascinate Cell Phone Review

Samsung has a new line of smart phones call the  Galaxy S mobile phones. These include the Captivate  from AT&T, the Epic 4G from Sprint, the Vibrant from T-Mobile, and the Fascinate from Verizon. These are phones that run the Android Operating System, have fast processors, and fantastic Super-AMOLED screens. They have a good design and sturdy built. All are candy-bar type phones with touch screens.

I took a close look at the Fascinate from Verizon and was blown away by the clarity of the 4″ screen. It was as clear and crisp as the iPhone 4’s Retina display. One big difference, however, is that the iPhone 4’s screen is made of glass while the Fascinate’s is plastic. When dealing with a device that can be easily dropped, I’ll opt for the plastic screen.

The Fascinate has a list of excellent features. The capacitive touch screen is quite responsive and is a joy to use. The battery life is adequate for a day’s normal use. Call quality on the Verizon network was excellent. The Fascinate has WiFi (802.11b/g/n), Stereo Bluetooth 2.1, and an AGPS radio. It can be used as a Wi-Fi hotspot. It takes 720p videos. The camera is especially nice for a cell phone. It has auto focus and an LED back light and you have more control over the settings than I’ve seen in any other cell phone.

I love the Android operating system. Although this is not a deal-breaker, I would have been happier if the Fascinate came with Android 2.2, which is the current version rather than the older 2.1.

So what’s else is not to like? Well, Samsung adds it’s own skin over the Android operating system and I am not a big fan of this interface they call TouchWiz.  It gives you Bing as the default search engine and does not allow you to change that. It has a silly on-screen puzzle-piece that you slide across the screen to unlock it. It also defaults to Verizon navigation instead of Google Navigation, which I like better. I wish that if phone manufacturers were going to add overlays like the TouchWiz, they would allow users to turn them on or off at their discretion, but right now that is not the case.

Bottom Line:

There are many good smart phones to choose from right now. The Fascinate is certainly a quite capable phone. Up against competition like the Droid X, the Droid 2, and the iPhone 4, it can hold its own. All-in-all, with the smart phone arena becoming more and more crowded, it becomes necessary to decide what is important to you and to make a purchasing decision based on that criteria. If you are looking for a cell phone with a great screen and a great camera, and you are using Verizon, this may be the phone for you.

The Good:

  • Excellent screen
  • Good sturdy design
  • Good camera and video capability
  • Speedy
  • Wonderful camera features
  • Adequate battery life
  • Wi-Fi hotspot mode

The Bad:

  • Ships with Android 2.1 instead of 2.2
  • Poorly placed USB port
  • Voice commands through Bluetooth not available
  • Music player lacks sync’ing and playlists
  • Lighted keys turn off too quickly
  • Default search engine is Bing, not Google, and we couldn’t find a way to change that
  • Defaults to Verizon Navigator instead of Google Navigation in all areas

To read my more detailed review with pictures, check out Hardware Secrets.

Star Wars USB Drive — Let the Holiday Gifts Begin

One of the first high-tech holiday gifts to show up on my doorstep was a surprising one. I am used to plain-looking USB drives, usually in black or silver but the one I opened looked like a short white Star Wars Storm Trooper. He was complete with tiny arms and legs and was holding his Storm Trooper weapon.

Mimobot Snowtrooper

This was sent to me by Mimoco (www.mimoco.com), makers of the MIMOBOT designer USB flash drives. It seems that I have been missing out on a new trend. After doing a little research, I found that these designer flash drives have become all the rage. They are sold online as well as in museum shops, toy stores, and department stores.

They are coveted by collectors and are often produced in limited editions for flash drive connoisseurs.  Mimoco makes quite as line-up of these pop culture flash drives. They have several licensed figures like Hello Kitty and Star Wars. They also collaborate with artists like David Horvath,Gary Baseman, FriendsWithYou (shown below) and tokidoki. After looking at their website I found myself longing for a Pink Meletta by tokidoki and a Hello Kitty.

FriendsWithYou

The Star Wars collection is also pretty cool with a six series lineup: Luke (in his Hoth gear), Yoda, Lobot, Snowtrooper, and Wampa. (The Yoda is really adorable!!)

Each MIMOBOT is offered in a range of storage space from 2GB-16GB. They range in price from abou $24.95 to $8.95. The USB drive is fully functional and it comes pre-loaded with images, wallpapers, avatars, and sound software that is character specific. The software on my SnowTrooper drive didn’t seem to work properly, so I sent an email to Mimoco and they responded within hours with replacement software. I must say that I was really impressed by the speed and accuracy of the response. I now have Star Wars wallpaper, sounds, and avatars. Any Star Wars fan would love this!

Since these flash drives are fully functional, you can use them as you would any regular flash drive. In using the drive, my only complaint is that it is too easy to lose the cover  and you don’t want to do that as the cover is an integral part of the design. I must admit that any of these designer drives would make a great holiday presents. Whether you give it to someone who is a collector, to someone who enjoys Star Wars and the other themed series, or to someone who would simply use it as a personalized carrier for their data, they are certain to be unique presents. I have a feeling that a lot of these designer USB drives will be appearing under Christmas trees this holiday season.

The Internet Becomes a Classroom

Whether you want to start a higher education, you want to complete one that you’ve already started, or you want to add a new degree to your repertoire, getting a degree online is something you will want to consider.

In real estate they say the most important thing is “Location, Location, Location.” The same might be said of traditional education. Where the school that offers the course of study you need is located is of prime importance.

The Internet, however, turns this all completely up-side-down. When studying for an online degree, it doesn’t matter where the school is located. It doesn’t even matter where you are located. You can receive a degree from a College or University that is on the other side of the country while you are sitting in a coffee shop or the living room of your home.

The other beautiful thing about getting an online education is that it doesn’t matter whether you are eighteen or eighty and it doesn’t matter is you are agile and energetic or  feeble and home-bound. There are no physical boundaries. There are also no time constraints. Many adults can work, take care of family, and still get a degree because they can schedule their learning to meet their own busy schedules.

You can get everything from an associate degree to a doctorate online. Carrier and educational opportunities galore await you. Check out some of the fine schools that offer online degrees.

Common Cents Mobile from Walmart

Common Cents Refill Card
Common Cents Refill Card

Common Cents Refill Card

Just how good can a mobile phone with prepaid service that you can purchase at Wal-Mart be? Well that’s what I set out to inf out when the folks at Common Cents Mobile sent me a Samsung M340 (Mantra) cell phone along with a pre-paid card worth $20 of cell phone service.

Actually the Samsung phone is an attractive clam shell phone that has a nice shape and fits nicely into a purse or pocket. This is a basic phone. You probably won’t want to use it to listen to music. It has a camera, but takes terrible pictures. And surfing the Web on this phone is possible, but cumbersome. That means that this is a good phone for making and receiving phone calls and handling your address book. It has voice dialing, voice commands, and is Bluetooth compatible. You probably won’t need much else in a basic phone.

Common Cents uses the Sprint backbone, so if you get good service from Sprint in your area, you will get good service from this phone. Overall call quality is good and battery life is excellent.

The pre-paid Common Cents service works quite well. Just purchase a refill card from Wal-Mart or refill your phone with a credit card by calling Common Cents or going to their website. Common Cents prices are some of the lowest that I’ve seen. They also differentiate themselves by rounding down instead of rounding up when you make or receive a call. So if you make a call that lasts 1 minute and 35 seconds, most other cell phone companies will charge you for 2 minutes. However, Common Cents will only charge you for 1 minute. This can result in substantial savings.

Bottom Line

This  phone is has very good call quality and excellent battery life. The phone’s menus are easy to navigate. The phone book is good and the functionality gives you everything you need in a basic phone. The voice dialing and voice commands are a welcome feature.

Most won’t use a phone like this for email or surfing the Web, but it is nice to know that this functionality is available if needed. Unfortunately, the phone itself is marred by low-resolution displays, poor photo quality, and a proprietary charging port. If you can live we these hardware drawbacks, the phone will serve you well.

The Common Cents service seems to be excellent. Calls we made to them were handled well. The website is informative and easy to navigate.

The Good

  • Small and comfortable in the hand
  • Good call quality
  • Excellent battery life
  • Easy to navigate
  • Good address book
  • Inexpensive
  • Good, inexpensive Common Cents pre-paid service
  • Voice commands and Voice dialing
  • Common Cents service is well-priced
  • Round-down minutes feature is very good

The Bad

  • Low-resolution displays
  • Poor photo quality
  • Proprietary port for charging
  • Proprietary headset port

Check out my full review with pictures at Hardware Secrets.

Broadband Internet Choices

Broadband Choices
Broadband Choices

Broadband Choices

Broadband Internet is often referred to as “high-speed” Internet because compared to dial-up Internet, its predecessor, it is really speedy. If you are still using a dial-up connection, run, don’t walk, to a broadband provider to upgrade. Every area of the country has different broadband Internet providers, so it is best to find a high speed internet provider by zip code.

Broadband offers so much Internet enjoyment that it is well worth any additional costs. And you may be surprised to find that it is only slightly more expensive than dial-up. With broadband Internet service, web pages appear quickly and you can watch animations and videos without any hesitation. A broadband connection makes the Internet “come alive” and makes any web experience more enjoyable.

The major types of broadband connections are DSL, cable, satellite, and mobile. DSL connections work over telephone lines and are provided by your local telephone company and others. Cable and satellite work over the backbone provided mostly by cable and satellite television providers like Time Warner and Hughes. Mobile broadband is offered by cellular network providers like Verizon, T mobile, and AT&T.

Often these services are offered as packages. So you can get a good price from Time Warner if you order their cable television, telephone, and Internet service. However, remember that no company that has service in your area will deny you Internet service if you don’t want to use them for other services.

There are a large number of broadband internet providers. So if you already have broadband, but are not happy with your service company, don’t despair. You can easily switch to another provider.

iPad Stand

The iPad is a wonderful product, but when you use it to read books or magazines or to watch videos, you can easily get tired of holding it. that’s when it is time to purchase a stand to hold it for you. Apple sells a stand, but I was pretty unimpressed with it. I like the Griffin stand. As shown below, it is an A-frame type made of heavy aluminum. It holds the iPad in either portrait or landscape position. You can close the legs and have it in a good typing position. The soft silicone keeps the A-frame and the iPad in place. At $49.99 it is not cheap, but it will last as long as your iPad — perhaps even longer.

Griffin iPad Stand Griffin iPad Stand

Tabletop Stand for iPad



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