Saturday, August 20, 2011

Quick Update On Life

By Flea - Be A Survivor

Just some quick updates on life here...I have finally graduated from college with my Bachelors degree in Information Technology. I am actually starting a Masters program next week. I have had a grand total of two months to enjoy a school free life. Back to the grindstone.

My wife and I were rear ended (AGAIN) by some 18 year kid texting on his phone. I really hate driving at this point. People really need to put the fucking devices down and pay attention to driving. I believe if you are screwing with your phone and you kill someone with your car you should rot in jail for a LONG time. It is no different than drunk driving...your driving ability is IMPAIRED. So pay attention for Christ's sake. AT LEAST consider hands free or a headset for talking and don't TEXT AT ALL!

Insert small plug for Progressive Insurance - they have been great throughout all our encounters with idiots that can't drive.

I may just do a post on dealing with accidents seeings how I have so much damn experience with them.

Other than that the family is doing well right down to the pooches, I have done some preparations for hurricane season but other than that I have been enjoying my time off from school and relaxing.

I got a good deal on a case of flashlight and have them strategically placed around the house and in the car. Can never have enough flashlights.

That is all...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

RangerSquirrel

By Flea - Be A Survivor

Our old friend RangerSquirrel is back blogging, check him out (not specifically about any topic in particular).

JamesIsRunning

That is all...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Couple Forecloses on Bank - This Is Just Awesome.

By Flea - Be A Survivor

Link to article: http://www.digtriad.com/news/watercooler/article/178031/176/Florida-Homeowner-Forecloses-On-Bank-Of-America

Text of article:
Collier County, Florida -- Have you heard the one about a homeowner foreclosing on a bank?

Well, it has happened in Florida and involves a North Carolina based bank.

Instead of Bank of America foreclosing on some Florida homeowner, the homeowners had sheriff's deputies foreclose on the bank.

It started five months ago when Bank of America filed foreclosure papers on the home of a couple, who didn't owe a dime on their home.

The couple said they paid cash for the house.

The case went to court and the homeowners were able to prove they didn't owe Bank of America anything on the house. In fact, it was proven that the couple never even had a mortgage bill to pay.

A Collier County Judge agreed and after the hearing, Bank of America was ordered, by the court to pay the legal fees of the homeowners', Maurenn Nyergers and her husband.

The Judge said the bank wrongfully tried to foreclose on the Nyergers' house.

So, how did it end with bank being foreclosed on? After more than 5 months of the judge's ruling, the bank still hadn't paid the legal fees, and the homeowner's attorney did exactly what the bank tried to do to the homeowners. He seized the bank's assets.

"They've ignored our calls, ignored our letters, legally this is the next step to get my clients compensated, " attorney Todd Allen told CBS.

Sheriff's deputies, movers, and the Nyergers' attorney went to the bank and foreclosed on it. The attorney gave instructions to to remove desks, computers, copiers, filing cabinets and any cash in the teller's drawers.

After about an hour of being locked out of the bank, the bank manager handed the attorney a check for the legal fees.

"As a foreclosure defense attorney this is sweet justice" says Allen.

Allen says this is something that he sees often in court, banks making errors because they didn't investigate the foreclosure and it becomes a lengthy and expensive battle for the homeowner.

CBS News

That is all...

Friday, May 27, 2011

How to Survive Switching to a Mac

By Flea - Be A Survivor

I have always been a Windows person, I know Linux, UNIX and many other operating systems but I always came back to Windows. Recently I decided I had had enough of Microsoft and decided I would make the transition to a Mac. OS X is based on the BSD flavor of UNIX so I was already comfortable knowing I would be able to learn anything I needed quickly.

One thing about Apple, they are really proud of their computers, they are expensive as hell, but works of art. I decided to go with a 15” MacBook Pro, I sprang for the anti-glare screen (I hate those shiny glass screens that seem to be the standard on laptops now a days), and 8 gigs of RAM. I placed the order online and waited, I was supposed to be out of town but plans were scuttled so I called Apple about possibly upgrading the shipping (standard shipping was free), they upgraded me on the spot to expedited shipping at no charge!

The laptop arrived a few days ago and I was immediately pleased with my choices. The body of the MacBook Pro is milled out of a single piece of aluminum, just gorgeous. The setup was ridiculously simple and in ten minutes I was surfing the net.

In order to ease the transition I researched ahead of time the programs I use, mainly MS Office, Eclipse (a Java IDE for development), and Quicken. All of these programs had equivalent Mac versions. MS Office for Mac was available to me free because of my Technet subscription, Eclipse is free, and Quicken was $49 bucks.

I connected an external drive, copied all my files over to my Mac, reformatted that spare drive and set it up with Time Machines (Apple’s backup software). I did all this in like an hour, which I found incredible.

I also installed many of the other programs I use like Firefox, Skype, and I purchased Transmit (a quality FTP program to be used with my web site stuff). I now have everything I need and haven’t touched the PC since I finished my last task, which was importing several years of Quicken data into the Mac version of the program (no issues).

Despite what the Apple fanboys say about not needing AntiVirus (Malware) on a Mac I downloaded and have been running Sophos (the free version) on my computer with no issues. Mac’s are becoming very popular and will be targeted more frequently in the future. The Mac Defender scareware making the rounds is more of a nuisance but why take chances. One thing is for certain the design of OS X is inherently more secure that that of Windows.

I used to think I would never make the switch because of gaming, PC’s still own the gaming arena…but I have an Xbox360 and I haven’t played a game on the PC in a few years. The game thing put me over the edge and sealed my decision to switch over to a Mac. My wife saw the MacBook Air in Best Buy and now may soon become an apple convert herself. I will let you know how that goes!

Stay tuned as I will be putting together a list of resources to help you transition should you choose to do so...

That is all...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Comment Moderation

By Flea - Be A Survivor

I used to only moderate comments on posts older than 90 days but I have been getting to many "Great Post...buy my shit" type comments.

Therefore all comments are going to be moderated going forward.

Thanks and sorry to the legit folks out there.

That is all...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Guest Post: Maria - DIY Cleaning Supplies

By Maria

When SHTF, who’s going to clean your clothes? No, not the cleaning lady; she’s hiding in a bunker somewhere. Nope, not your mom in New Jersey. Just you and your trusty homemade cleaning supplies.

That you need to buy thirty different products for your face, hair, kitchen cleaning, and laundry is a big commercial lie. You end up wasting money, creating waste, and slowly poisoning your body with nasty chemicals that stay in your fat cells for longer than it takes for the actual stuff to run down the drain and ruin some poor fish’s life. The truth is that you can make most of your cleaning supplies with these basic and cheap ingredients:

• Water
• Vegetable-based soap (Dr Bronner’s is fair-trade, vegan, cruelty-free, and already infused with moisturizing jojoba oil and other good stuff)
• Antibacterial essential oils like tea tree oil and lavender
• Vinegar
• Washing soda
• Borax

These ingredients collectively last longer and are cheaper than the thirty bottles of sprays and suds you get from the grocery store. You’ll save money now and know how to survive later.

DIY Disinfecting Cleaning Spray
This is for everything from cleaning the kitchen counter to wiping down door handles during flu season. Tea tree oil debuts in this recipe; a recent study in Italy has concluded that the stuff actually inhibits growth of the dreaded H1N1 virus, so it’s an effective antibacterial agent. No need for bleach here. Combine the following ingredients in an empty spray bottle, shake, and spray.
• 4 cups water
• 6 tbsp liquid soap
• 40 to 60 drops of tea tree oil

DIY Laundry Detergent
• 1/3 bar vegetable-based soap, grated to a powder
• ½ cup washing soda
• ½ cup borax
Put the grated soap in a sauce pan, adding 6 cups of water over heat until the soap melts. Add washing soda and borax and stir until consistent. In a bucket, pour 4 cups of hot water (not boiling) and then the soap mixture, stirring until consistent. Add 6 more cups of water followed by a gallon. Stir again and then let it sit (with a lid) overnight or over 24 hours. The mixture will turn into a soupy gel and you can use ½ cup of it for a full laundry load, even with a high efficiency (HE) washer. Soap is low-sudsing, so it won’t turn into a 5th grade volcano project.

DIY Fabric Softener
Just add ½ cup of white vinegar at the start of your washer’s rinse cycle. This way, you can line-dry your clothes to save money on the energy bill.

DIY Shampoo
• 1 cup water
• 1 cup liquid vegetable-based soap (some of Dr Bronner’s stuff comes already scented, so it’s a good choice yet again)
• 1 tsp jojoba oil for dry hair, lavender oil for oily scalps
• Optional ½ cup of aloe vera gel for added moisture
Mix these ingredients in an old bottle and shake before use. The concoction is soupy, but don’t let it fool you—it lathers surprisingly well. Apply directly to hair. Bonus: this mixture doubles for shaving cream.

DIY Hair Conditioner
Combine ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar with 2 cups of water in an old bottle. It smells bad, but it’ll go away when you rinse it out. It leaves your hair soft, shiny, and dandruff-free.

DIY Body Soap
Combine 1 cup of liquid vegetable-based soap with ½ to 1 cup of water with a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Tea tree oil and lavender are both antiseptic and good choices.

You can make body soap from the little bar soap scraps you leave in the drain, too. Put them all in a pot of water, about 1 cup of water per 1 tbsp of soap, and heat until thoroughly mixed. Add a few drops of essential oil and put in a bottle. Shake before use.

Bio: Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education where she writes about education, online degree programs, and what it takes to succeed as a remote student in online schools. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.

That is all...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Yes I Am Alive But Only Through The Grace Of God

By Flea - Be A Survivor

My friends, I am sorry for having been quiet recently. My Christmas vacation was less than ideal to put it mildly. The wife and I traveled to NJ to visit relatives (we drove). Everything was going according to plan until we left.

We were driving on the NJ Turnpike which most folks familiar with the area know sucks big time. The Turnpike is always crowded and they charge an arm and a leg to drive on it.

We were sitting in standstill traffic when all of the sudden I looked in the rearview mirror and what I saw something changed my life...a semi barreling straight at us (probably 30-35 mph) and I knew he wasn't stopping.

I didn't even have time to warn my wife before the impact. I have NEVER, EVER, EVER experienced something so violent in my life and I pray I never do again.

The semi plowed into us and crushed our vehicle between it and the cars in front of us. When the dust settled I looked over at my wife and saw she was alive and I knew I was alive so I immediately had happiness in my heart.

I then remembered we had TWO dogs (our children, we don't have any real kids) in a crate in the back and I slowly turned to see a mangled crate in the rear of the vehicle BUT both of them were ALIVE!

Somehow our little dogs squeezed through a gap in the destroyed crate and was in my lap before I knew it. The bigger dog had to be cut out of the crate by the tow truck driver with bolt cutters.

They took my wife to the hospital but I stayed with the wreck because the NJ state troopers (I wasn't happy with them or the ambulance folks, who were more concerned about me signing a waiver then ever taking a glance at my injuries.) wouldn't tell me what was going to happen to my dogs if I went to the hospital.

Anyway we sustained some injuries but it could have been a lot worse.

We were WEARING seatbelts and the airbags deployed which I believe helped keep our injuries to a minimum. The Ford we were driving had a 5 star front and rear impact rating and crumpled where it was suppossed to. That poor truck is totaled but we receieved a fair settlement from the insurance company on it (they believe it or not, have been great).

I am healing up nicely, my wife's injuries are a bit more complicated (knee). The dogs, remarkably, are fine, just shaken up. ANOTHER LESSON...if our dogs had been free roaming in the car they would be DEAD, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. The crate they were in saved their lives so think about that when traveling with your pets.

That is all...