Reviews on many types of products, including, books, SW trading platforms, automobiles, building products, new health treatments, Household products/Services, food brands etc. My intention is to get you the greatest value while keeping your budget in check – A Critical part of reaching your financial goals.


Plotting software–
If you would like another option to plot your trades I would recommend Dplot ( This is a wonderful program I have used to get an excellent graph of my trades. It will plot in increments as small as a penny. Simply copy the data points from the trades you design on “Trade Planner”  and plug them into this program. I guarantee you will not be disappointed with the graphs. It will run
Windows 8, Windows 7, 2008, Vista, XP, NT, ME, 2003, 2000 Windows 98, 95. It goes for US$195 and comes with a free trial download.



Jeffrey Sachs book, “Building the New American Economy”, is a discussion of today’s notorious societal concerns along with a thought out approach. Among the topics included are income inequality, national defense, nationwide cynicism of our government, the health care crisis and some of its causes, corporate malfeasance, political corruption, international trade, technology and its effects, shortcomings of our two party system, U.S.infrastructure, education, welfare and transfer payments.

His analysis is enough to make even the most hard pressed conservative take another look. However, there are assumptions and beliefs within the analysis that could derail his conclusions. We will look at some of the solutions here as well as possible pitfalls. In the end, will let you make your own decision.

Sachs calls the period between 1920 and 1970 America’s golden age. We tend to agree with him. The industrialization of the US was in full force. More technological advances and political currency was realized than in the previous thousand years. The advent of the computer helped to propel the economy during the next few decades as well. But since then we have been in decline. In part due to a lack of innovation but mostly because of corporate malfeasance, greed within the financial sector and shortsightedness in public policy.

 [ People born from the mid forties to the mid sixties, many of whom now in power, have to realize that the relative prosperity they witnessed was unique from an historical perspective. The overall success we had back then blinded us to many of the inequities present at the time in areas like racial relations, minority treatment, wealth inequality, social welfare and fair trade. One need only study history to come to that conclusion. In response they should take a thoughtful approach to policy, being careful not to upset the delicate balances now present within these realms and the subsequent social advances since made –we say this realizing that many issues people complain about are still self inflicted, Non the less it would not be wise to go back. Recent generations have come to expect a new norm, and, after all, they will become our nations future leaders.]   

      Mr. Sachs believes that the federal budget could best be utilized for financing infrastructure, re building roads, bridges, airports etc. as well as investing in new technologies in the areas of energy, biotechnology, and artificial intelligence. In addition, Instead of piling debt on are new students, the government could be investing in education policies as well. To finance this he believes raising taxes on certain segments of the population, I.E. Corporations, wealthy people, along with a progressive tax on consumption instead of income.

    But how could he achieve this in the current political environment? After all, this type of thinking has not even been considered or even suggested recently. Will companies have incentive to ramp up hiring and raise wages? In light of Mr. Trump’s agenda, it hardly seems plausible. If Mr. Trump fails to reign in the lobbyists will they end up fighting the changes? A lot of questions go unanswered!  

    Income inequality is another area he addresses. He proposes across the board tax increases of the citizenry. In turn, the extra money can be put to use helping the poor in areas such as maternity and paternity leave, more vacations, assistance programs, tax rebates for the working class. These policies would put undue responsibility on the wealthier parts of the community. He points out how these sort of policies work in countries like Denmark but fails to consider how different the culture is there. Is America ready for such a shift? To keep the budget balanced cuts would still have to made in the federal sector, are these people going to be willing to give up what they have? Would not many of these policies already been implemented otherwise? In fact, other presidential candidates have already suggested reform in that direction and you saw how their run ended up. Sustainability is one thing but do we have enough of an altruistic culture that would support such reforms. 

In addressing the health care fiasco he proposes better patent laws and less lobbying to keep costs down as well as universal health care coverage with a more preventative approach. He insists that the previously discussed transfer payments would enable people to lead healthier lives as well.

     In the area of military spending he suggests that we roll back “Imperial Over reach” thus ending half a century of foreign occupation in the form of bases, regime overthrow and wars as in Iraq, Libya and Syria. These monies could be better spent on research and development.

    But does anybody beside me worry that such strategy could put our country at risk!  In this day of rampant terrorism how many of us would be comfortable. Are we willing to take that chance? Are we going to give up our obligation to protect the world from tyranny, oppression and other atrocities or are we giving up this responsibility?

No where has economic disadvantage been more evident than with decent of the automobile. Once.the driver of economic prosperity through infrastructure development and manufacturing it is no longer at the forefront. Millennials have come to rely on public transportation and companies such as Uber to accommodate them. Sachs proposes that we re-think and plan forward for a whole new look into what the infrastructure of the future should look like. But what should this be? Will big oil and big business like GM get on board or will they continue to lobby for the statuesque.

   In addressing the advancement of automation and smart machines, Mr. Sachs admits that many more jobs will be lost than gained. In addition, the jobs that will be available will be somewhat sophisticated requiring upwards of a typical 4 year college education. Increasingly, income will naturally go to the capitalists, not to the worker. To counteract this trend he proposes transfer payments to the young from older wealthier people. A reverse of the current system. These payments can be in the form of education credits, an expansion of the earned income tax credit; a capital grant to every newborn and higher wealth taxes with less loopholes. Similarly, the gains from international trade will be included in this process. Indeed, these ideas require an entirely different approach than we’ve ever had. [One wonders if the U.S. will ever be able to adequately support many of the inhabitants it now has beyond mere subsistence. Perhaps our young people should start looking at other countries.]



“Going For Broke” by Michael D. Tanner.

A concise analysis of the American debt crisis. Three types of debt are discussed: Public, Inter governmental and implicit. The second part of the book discusses entitlements such as Medicaid, Medicare and social security. The author also alerts to the future drain from Obama care. He discusses the dire political complications involved with making the changes necessary for Obama care to be viable. Medicare costs are roughly 15% of the federal budget – the 800lb gorilla, as he puts it.

Well written with a neutral tone gives a pleasant read. All his ideas are backed with charts and graphs.




Ann Coulter’s new book “Adios America” is a scathing indictment of America’s immigration policy over the past few decades. A fuming discourse permeated with statistics, anecdotes and laced with sarcasm. She goes on to explain how most of the problems have been perpetrated by the left, America’s elite and big business.

In addition millions of our tax dollars are being spent on lawyers, prison workers, health care officials, public assistance employees, and policeman to handle them. She lists and explains specific laws like the anchor baby policy that have been abused. Ann adds that many of our social problems including stagnating wages and under employment are the consequences of current policy.

Although admitting that the influx of people are a mixed bag the criminal element that is entering is responsible for such creative crimes as brand forging, internet and insurance scams. Our economy offers a plethora of such opportunities looked at with same excitement a young child would have at the site of Disneyland.

Chapter one lists a few recognizable sound bites that she says are blatantly false and gives her explanation.
Chapter two gives a little history of immigration back to the Kennedy presidency. It tells of the Mexican culture and many of the facets that contrast ours. It hints at the “Secret” reasons why some Americans support current policy.
Chapter three tells of the media’s role in procuring ideas and attitudes on immigration.
Chapter four confronts the notion that the United States was built on diversity. It suggests that the US was built from only 3 primary nationalities. She challenges the idea that diversity is strengt
Chapter five gives her take on what diversity is and is not. It’s limitations as well as its true value
Chapter six and seven give statistics on illegal immigrant crime
Chapters eight thru thirteen tell specific stories related to illegals that have been in our country.
Chapter fourteen lists the many immigration categories such as “High Tech Workers” and explains their fraudulent nature.

The remaining 3 chapters gives some of her direct observations on the immigration condition in America, Organizations that have sold America out and her solution to the problem.

Not the easiest read I’ve ever had, a bit trying to get through. I would have liked to see a few numbers on the positive aspects of our efforts as well.



“The Death of Money” by James G.Rickards

The following is a summation of highlights from a report by James G. Rickards “ Financial Threat and Asymmetric Warfare”

The report/interview explains his views on the current state of affairs within the global economy– based on his book entitled “The death of money”. The report lists an interesting collection of financial statistics that he uses to defend his theory of a  financial collapse. — In his book you will also find a list of precipitating events that may ignite the meltdown as well as some suggestion on how to protect yourself.
B = Billion    T= Trillion

17.5 T (Federal Debt)
127 T (Unfunded liabilities)
3 Cents Growth for every dollar of debt spent.

23% Actual real unemployment rate.
32.89 Todays misery index VS. 27 in 1929  -Unemployment + Inflation rate.
56.2 B Capital Reserves  with 4.2 T in unstable liabilities

77:1 Leveraged debt VS. 22.1 in 2008
30X Rate of bank debt growth VS. growth of economy.

203% Stock market capitalization to GDP VS. 183% in the 70’s
710 T Global derivatives market
90 B Foreign holdings of U.S. debt



“”The Stock Traders Almanac”  by Jeffrey A. Hirsch & Yale Hirsch  (2013)

This publication is to the Financial Markets what the Farmers Almanac is to climate conditions. A great little publication that has been around for many years, the latest of which is the 2013 edition. A through analysis of the markets from the 1950’s forward including historical references relating to current conditions.

In this book he goes into detail in his analysis of current market conditions as well as macro economically based  trading suggestions albeit predictions for each month in the year. Using existing investment vehicles like the Russell 1000 he methodically gives his advice on how to invest on a month to month basis.




Using a historical perspective he answers questions relating to market behavior like trading the best days of the month, how to invest around the holidays, what to invest in at different times of the year, How to trade presidential elections pre and post year, the beginning and end of the week phenomenon even a day of the week analysis. He also discusses how democratic or republican majorities in congress combined with a given  administration affect the economy and your investments.

He lays out all the historical data to back up his assertions, although he tends to repeat himself on some of the points occasionally. Not the best book for the beginning trader due to its depth nor the thoughtful older trader who may inherently already trade by its wisdom.

“High Probability Trading”  by Marcel Link

In particular check out chapter III on Technical Analysis. In it he describes using multiple time frames when planning out your entries and exits. Of course the time frame you use depends solely on the type of trade your doing. HIs techniques involve using multiple time frames as well.

Part I goes over some of the basic philosophies necessary to trade successfully such as having realistic goals and paying your dues, usually in time investment but often in money as well. He talks about having a level playing field by owning the right hardware and software and getting the right information so you can compete with the pro’s.

Part II  In this section he talks about using the news wisely.

Part IV In this section he speaks about having a game plan, this includes money management techniques, some of which are laid out in this blog.

Part V Here he speaks of having self control. Knowing your own emotional makeup as well as controlling fear and greed.

Trading Platforms

This piece is first in a series of reviews on some of the more interesting aspects of the THINK OR SWIM trading platform by Ameritrade. This is a very powerful tool available with an account through I will begin with Ratio Chart, one of the newer features I find very useful. Once you have logged onto the trading platform go to:

CHARTS — PROPHET — CHART SETTINGS — RATIO CHART.   With this tool you can graph or compare one company against another in the same sector, you select the comparison by using 2 symbols separated by a forward slash as follows: ORCL/MSFT. In this example you will be graphing Oracle against Microsoft. If the graph slopes upward this means that Oracle is a long play against Microsoft being a short or said another way Oracle has out performed Microsoft in the time period you used.

You can also design your own index by using 3 symbols of one sector or sub sector, each separated by a forward slash. The direction and slope of the line will indicate the direction and strength of the group.

You can compare the long and short ends of a single index such as plotting SDS (S&P 500 short) against SPY (S&P Long). When the 2 lines intersect you can expect a change in the overall direction of the index. Comparing one currency against another is one more way to use the tool.

Trend lines work very well with this tool. Look for clearly defined trends when deciding to make a trade.

Elsewhere in the Charts section of this tool are Charts, Flexible Grid and Product depth; but, like Prophet,  the names themselves reveal little as to their function. The Charts Tab, once opened, contains a Graph on the left side and what looks like a level 1 interface showing buy and sell orders on the right. The graph not only will show the security you enter but also indicate the history of conference calls, Earnings releases and dividends given. It works with a cross hairs line for added precision. Both functions have tabs that will open another window to actually put in buy and sell orders on a virtual or actual account.

Add Simulated TradesIn this area of the tool you can enter trade combinations of either options or their underlying securities and then graph the risk profile of the trade. GOTO:  ANALYSIS –ADD SIMULATED TRADES. Under this you will find:

Underlying – This is where you simulate purchasing or selling a security such as a stock, index, ETF.

Trade Grid – This gives you the BID ASK on different exchanges.

Option Chain –  Gives the option chain.

Options STATS –  Option statistics such as 52 wk high, volume etc.

Options time and sales

Product depth – Option probability of different strike options.


(I.E.) Enter a stock symbol in the box then open the underlying arrow to enter a stock. Hit the ASK price to buy or the BID price to sell. Similarly hit the option chain arrow to do the same with an option. When you are done entering the position hit the RISK PROFILE tab to see the risk graph. You can do this for one position or your whole portfolio if you want. This tool enables you to see how your hedge strategies work among other things.





This article is a review of the “Lightspeed” trading platform.

Lightspeed Financial, Inc.

1001 Avenue of the Americas, 16th Floor

New York, NY 10018

Buy Silver today at

Did not have any trouble downloading and installing this software. I give this company very good marks on execution speed, commissions and fees, reliable feed and training/tech support. This package can be especially useful for the day trader.    [“”]

Upon opening up the software interface I was presented with a large “window:” that contained a number of smaller ones. They included, from top to bottom, a banner at the top with live tracking of the major American indexes along with MP&L, profit/ loss of the portfolio, EXPOSURE, which was the dollar amount of all open positions, CNT, Quantity of shares traded, MAVG, or MP&L (market profit and loss) per 1000 shares, VALUE, Total BP (Buying Power) in use, POS, the number of open positions and PEND, the number of pending orders. All in all a good summary of your portfolio and nicely located at the top.

Under that were 3 “Bars” a yellow one for equity trading, a green one for options trading, a blue one for futures trading and a red bar to open an account.

Under that were 2 smaller banners underneath. The left banner had orders that were currently on and the right banner had a summary of all your current positions.

Underneath the left banner were 3 more windows, the first one was a message box and the second one was an order entry box. The third window under that was a level 1/Level 2 quote box. By the way, level 1 quotes give you the last buy and sell quotes for given securities at different exchanges while level 2 quotes give you the buy and sell prices of at least 2 buyers and 2 sellers, this comes in handy especially for day traders to get the best price as quick as possible.

Underneath the right banner were 4 smaller windows, To the left was a ticker tracker box, in the middle was a watch list the user would create and on the left was an account summary box. Under all those windows was a graph window.

The software has various utilities to change the position of these windows and lock the windows if you so choose as you switch between types of trades.

All of the windows had a little box in the upper right hand corner that would open a design window so the user could make any changes as she saw fit. Similar to the format windows that one would see in a typical web application. These “Format” windows look daunting at first but are really nothing more then a way to tweak the look, feel and functionality of the window.

In addition to the windows above there is a drop down menu at the top entitled “NEW” which give access to number of other windows. I will list them and give a description of some of the most important ones here:

Risers and fallers – This window displays the biggest gainers/losers by % net change and the most actively traded symbols.

Time and Sales – A Time and sales in the MMBox or free standing window.

One can also use filters

Hot button window – You can customize your “Hot Buttons”

Ticker Alerts Window- This window will alert you stocks making highs and lows for the day.

News Window- Stock news of the day.

Block Ticker- This window will indicate when a trade over 10k shares has happened for any symbol.

Imbalance Window- This will give you stocks with imbalances that you can use to ascertain opening and closing prices and/or probabilities.

Option Chain- This window will give you your option chains on a particular security.

Complex Option Order entry window- When putting on multiple option trades for a particular security.

Execution Window – Use this window to see the requirements on open orders and trades

LightScan window – A stock scanning tool that screens all symbols, sorted and filtered as you desire.

New Group – use this window to open up a group of windows all linked to a new Level 2. This will facilitate easier layout.

This software also has a utility for “Smart orders” and “Super smart orders”. This utility can be used to tweak your orders for execution precision. The following is a more detailed explanation.

Before we get into the next section keep in mind that there are 3 generally accepted ways in which a stock or option order is routed. The first is through and ECN (Electronic communications network) in this scenario the order is sent out to various participants trading the stock, when the BID or ASK is matched and transaction occurs. There is little chance for price improvement in this scenario.

The second way is thru a third party market maker. In this scenario, Market makers normally make their money via the spread so if they end up participating in the trade it is because they are selling from a pool of shares that they purchased earlier at a lower price or are simply interested in selling short a stock they think is going to go down further.

The third way is through smart routing, In this scenario the order is given to another division of its business to fill the order first, then proceeds elsewhere if it isn’t filled.

That said let’s get into this next section on custom routing. Here are some excerpts from their training manual.

Smart Orders

Smart Orders are briefly described in the Smart Orders Tab section of this manual, seen here.

The Smart Order is Lightspeed Trader’s own proprietary key that will execute with all participants in all equities symbols by sending IOC orders to every participant on your behalf, with the intention of filling your order to its entirety.

On the keyboard tab, you can see the choice to map Smart Buy 1, 2, or 3. All 3 choices are the same key, it’s up to the user to design different preferences for each order in the Smart Orders Tab, seen below

The user can check off the participants that they would like the key to execute with. We recommend checking them all to ensure your order will always get the best price. If an unchecked participant is the only participant at the inside market, your Smart Order will wait until that participant moves away or another joins it.

Now set your allowance amount to your marketable limit. The Through section is for executing with ECNs first, outside of the best price. Today, due to Reg NMS, you can not execute through the market so it is advised to set your “Through” amount at zero and let your “Allowance” amount represent your limit.

The Smart Order can do one of three things if it is still pending once your marketable limit has been exhausted:

1) Manually cancelled by user or cancelled by Lightspeed Trader due to a low Time in Force, configurable here.

2) Post the remainder of your shares on the ECN of your choice: Set this by choosing a Remainder from the drop down seen here. OR,

3) Remain in the system and wait for a participant to reach your executable price again.

Your Timeout, or Time in Force, will determine how long you want the order to work. If you would like Lightspeed Trader to cancel the order if your allowance amount is exhausted (choice 1), select a Time in Force of about 30 seconds or less.

Popup will determine if you want to hit Enter to confirm your Smart Key before it will begin to execute. If you would like to change the Marketable Limit Price of your order frequently prior to Order Entry you should select Yes. If you typically send the same order types and you do not want to confirm your order, select No.

Supersmart Orders

Supersmart Orders are briefly described in the Supersmart Orders Tab section of this manual, seen here, and further described, with examples, in the Supersmart Memo available on our website.

1. Target: Indicates how you want orders priced. Both Buy and Sell orders can be tagged to either the bid or offer price.

2 Preferred Markets: The Supersmart order executes with EVERY participant. The Preferred Market option simply allows you to specify a routing preference when there is a choice of venues which could fill your order at the same price. You can custom add other markets or select from the list that will pop-up by clicking in the Edit Box.

See next page for Example 1.

3 Remainder: Users can select a Market to post the remainder of their order on in the event that all prices up to and including the marketable limit have expired and your order was not completely filled.

Remember: If you use a Remainder, your Total TIF can not be IOC.

4 Through: Supersmart will simultaneously send orders to all participants within your Through Amount.

Remember: Your Through amount can NOT be more than your Marketable Limit.

5 Marketable Limit: Previously known as “Allowance” the marketable limit is the amount you are willing to let the price of the stock trail up (when buying) or down (when selling) while still continuing to execute your Supersmart order.

When the inside market price moves beyond your Marketable Limit the Supersmart will post your order on the “Remainder” market. If you have not chosen a “Remainder” market, the order will remain live on Lightspeed Trader and execute if the inside market returns to a price within your original marketable limit. The order stays live until it is filled to entirety, until you cancel it manually, or until your TIF expires.

6 Overspray Shares: This will determine how much more size than a participant is displaying you are willing to send on each order.

Remember, if you overspray a participant and your Individual TIF is not zero, there is a possibility that market may display your order.

7 Pop-Up Confirm: This determines whether you would like the Supersmart Order to Pop-Up or go in without a confirmation.

8 Individual Order Time in Force: This configures the Time in Force (TIF) of the orders sent to each participant by the Supersmart order. Previously, all orders were sent with an Immediate or Cancel (IOC) Time in Force, now the user can configure this. Users may want to set this at 1 or 2 seconds so that the order can be “Routable” and is not immediately rejected when placed through the market. Reg NMS does not allow orders to be executed through the inside, however, with a 1 or 2 second TIF orders have a chance to be executed when the inside market moves.

Remember: If the Individual Order TIF is set at any higher than a second or two, there is a possibility that unfilled shares will be displayed by the participant you intended to execute with.

9 Total Time in Force: This will dictate how long you want your Supersmart Order to stay live. If you have surpassed your Marketable Limit and the order has not been entirely filled, the Supersmart order will stay live until a new participant comes back within your desired price. If you have a Remainder Market set, when your marketable limit expires the order will post on this Market with the Time in Force that you have selected as your Total TIF.

Remember: If you want to use a Remainder, your Individual and Total TIF can not be IOC.

1. Individual Order Time in Force: This configures the Time in Force (TIF) of the orders sent to each participant by the Supersmart order. Previously, all orders were sent with an Immediate or Cancel (IOC) Time in Force, now the user can configure this. Users may want to set this at 1 or 2 seconds so that the order can be “Routable” and is not immediately rejected when placed through the market. Reg NMS does not allow orders to be executed through the inside, however, with a 1 or 2 second TIF orders have a chance to be executed when the inside market moves.

Remember: If the Individual Order TIF is set at any higher than a second or two, there is a possibility that unfilled shares will be displayed by the participant you intended to execute with.

Total Time in Force: This will dictate how long you want your Supersmart Order to stay live. If you have surpassed your Marketable Limit and the order has not been entirely filled, the Supersmart order will stay live until a new participant comes back within your desired price. If you have a Remainder Market set, when your marketable limit expires the order will post on this Market with the Time in Force that you have selected as your Total TIF.

Remember: If you want to use a Remainder, your Individual and Total TIF can not be IOC.

The last area I will be discussing is actually one of the most interesting capabilities of this SW — Custom Routing.

Custom Routes [Back to Quick Ref]

Create custom keys that will send special routing instructions to venues like EDGE and NASDAQ. Currently both ECN’s use 4 letter acronyms for order types like EDGA ROUT, or NSDQ TFTY. Use the Custom Routes to create the key of your choice with configurable quantity, marketable limit, and time in force to get to any of these “routes.”

To create a Custom Route:

1. Select Route as your New Command Type in the Custom Orders Tab, and Name your order command, for instance, NSDQ TFTY Buy. Once this is completed, click New:

1. Configure the parameters as you would in any Custom Order including size, quantity, marketable limit, time in force and whether or not you want it to be a pop-up (confirm). In addition to entering the ECN/Market you will also enter in the routing instructions in the Contra Field, seen below:


1. Once the new order command is created, map it to a hot key in the keyboard tab or add it as an order button to your Hotbutton window. These custom routes are not compatible with the order entry window.

Some Available Routes and Descriptions:

BATS DARK: The BATS Dark Scan order type routes to participating Dark Liquidity Partners (DLPs), offering potential price improvement and lower access fees, before routing out to the market.

ARCA POPL: ARCA PO Plus orders allow you to access NYSE or NYSE AMEX via ARCA.

EDGA/X RDOT: Will first scrape EDGE book and then route to DOT. Also eligible to be routed out to all destinations

EDGA/X RDOX: Will scrape EDGE book, then route to DOT. Won’t route externally via DOT.

EDGA/X ROUT: This is the default route on all EDGE orders. Marketable orders are eligible to be routed to all destinations including IOI destinations.

EDGA/X ROUZ: Marketable orders will be routed to IOI destinations, will not route to displayed liquidity.

EDGA/X ROUC: Sweeps book, IOI and non-IOI destinations, BX, DOT then reposts to EDGX

EDGA/X ROUD: Marketable orders are routed to non-IOI dark destinations but will not be

routed to displayed liquidity.

EDGA/X ROUE: Marketable orders are eligible to be routed externally to all destinations

except IOI destinations.

NSDQ SCAN: First attempts to execute against orders available on the NASDAQ book at a price

equal to or better than the NBBO, after which it will then route to other markets. If shares remain unexecuted after routing they are posted on the NSDQ book. Once the order is posted to the book, if it is subsequently locked or crossed, the system will not route out again.

NSDQ STGY/RASH: Behaves similar to SCAN, except that the order will route out again after posting to the NASDAQ book, if the order is subsequently locked or crossed.

NSDQ TFTY: Will access NASDAQ OMX BXSM (BXSM), low-priced liquidity venues and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). All securities are eligible for the order, however Tape B and Tape C securities will not route to the NYSE. All orders using the TFTY strategy must have a limit price and must be entered between 9:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m


Sweet Potato:                                                                                                      04/07/13    Here is an interesting money-saver, Sweet Potato’s, which generally go for 5 cents an ounce are repackaged and sold as microwaveable potato’s which sell for 95 cents each. An average potato weighs in between 5-10oz so after doing the math you end up paying double for the same potato. Upon examination you will notice that the only difference between them is that one is wrapped while the other is not. I don’t know about you but baked potato’s seem to cook fine in the microwave with no wrapping.


4/16/13 Great Value Ice Cream a great value at least if you like vanilla bean, save $2.00 gallon over Dryers. No difference in taste.
10-21/13  I don’t know about you, but my sweet tooth is insatiable, so to keep your costs down I thought I would start with one of my favorites-Raspberry cheescake. I recommend a no bake cheesecake, consider Jell-O Brand for its luscious texture and its temperate sweetness. Very quick to prepare, takes less than ten minutes and coagulates quickly in the freezer ready to eat in less than an hour-  A great end to any dinner. I haven’t found any generic brand which measures up- they tend to remain soppy and often have a sickening sweet taste.  The Jell-O brand is thirty to fifty cents more expensive but it’s well worth it especially if you end up buying the generic and tossing it.


As far as an android tablet is concerned The Nexus is much more advanced than the Levno tablet. The Nexus can receive voice commands for URL insertion, it has an interface that will easily , with the touch of a finger, deliver many magazines, movie and podcast subscriptions to your machine. Some free, others are paid.

Have you ever felt clumsy when touching your finger to a very small link and hit the wrong link, well this tablet will automatically magnify the area you touch showing you the two links. You can then simply touch the one you intended. It also has great reception to your modem. I found it to instantly download and capture pages quickly whereas the Lenovo took more time. It holds its charge for most of the day during home use and charges quickly.

01/26/13 (Finding a realitor and Selling your home)

Just a few years ago I wrote about buying a house, what to look for, how to finance it, what to watch out for etc. Well –selling a house and finding a realitor is no small task either.
After some research I discovered that selling your house without a realtor wouldn’t be as cheap as I thought. The real-estate lawyer asked me to fill out a disclosure statement — you know- one of those documents that reveal everything wrong with the house. He said he would simply charge for writing up the final documents. He would give me a lock box with a code, coordinate the paperwork, list it on the MLS and even take out the garbage – just kidding about that one. Only one problem- should the buyer be represented by a realtor then I would be obligated to offer her/him a commission of at least 3%. With continued investigation I discovered that there were realtors out there that would charge only 4%. Paying one percent for the advantages of not having to take any calls or perform any showings seemed like a good deal to me. Besides, who knows what kind of scam artists might be out there waiting for some unsuspecting soul. Let’s face it– there are a lot of laws out there governing the buying and selling of real-estate.
This wasn’t the best of markets either… Home sales were down over 30%, the economy was becoming a bit frigid and I happened to own one of those older homes, you know –The Money Pit syndrome. In addition I had neglected some general maintenance over the past few years. New homes were being built by the dozen and builders were giving all sorts of incentives to new buyers. The only thing my house had going was the ambiance of an old neighborhood—the landscaping, the proven infrastructure etc. Located in the north-central area- the house was close to all the amenities of a large community.
So I found myself a realtor. It took a bit though. At first I was suspicious. I mean – really- would a discount Realtor go the extra mile or were they secretly interested in only larger homes, you know those with values well above the average. I intended to find out and, as it goes, ended up hiring one.
What a headache listing your home. I mean- were talking daily cleaning, keeping the cat box fresh, eating your dinners out, listening daily to whats wrong or what could be done to improve the showing and leaving the house every time someone came looking. Let me tell you, its no picnic. On top of that be prepared to spend a little bit of money keeping things up – after all. You don’t want your Realtor’s attention on some hot deal down the block.
Seventy two days into it and about 30 showings later I received the fist offer 140K —- you’ve got to be kidding I thought, the list was 190K. So I played along with it. I simply countered with 190K, the original list price, here we go again.
Next day they come back with -“All right –all right 150K”  —–
I thought–Forget it, stop @#$ with me, I told the realtor that I was only
Interested in serious buyers.
I responded “186K, final price—- take it or leave it”.  I hung up the phone.
1 hour later I get the call.
They took it.


Without going into specifics, keep your bedding purchases at the major retailers, dollar stores just don’t offer reasonable quality in these products.

When deciding between these two types of rags (Towels) sold at the Home Depot consider the following. The Rags in a box contain 200 towels for $10.98 versus the Scott shop towels (Blue) which contain 330 towels for $11.98. On the surface, so to speak, the Scott shop towels looks like a better deal but after trying both I found that the Box towels work much better , especially for jobs such as painting cleanup, hand cleanup etc. The blue towel rolls, although cheaper per unit do not have the same scouring/ absorbent capacity. I have used both in artwork as well as cooking and the difference is quite noticeable.

For Cola’s,  the NICE brand from Walgreens is inferior to other cola generics such as Big K Cola.  The latter has no after taste whereas the former has distinct non-cola notes of flavor – even a medicinal taste.

     For you guys out there, be carefull when choosing your blades, I found that BIC and TWIN BLADE don’t hold a candle to GILLETTE when it comes to comfort, quality and multiple usage. The $5.00 or so savings isn’t worth it.



The Monsanto corp. is not the evil entity many have assumed.  Let’s not forget the psychological impact many upcoming companies have had in the past.  The Google’s, the Microsoft’s and the Apples of the world are just some recent examples. It is human nature to fear and hate that which we don’t fully understand especially if it has a large presence or great impact on society. Monsanto is not out to put farmers out of business, poison the food supply, lay farm land to waste or change age old cultures. They have simply perfected a way to insert genes in the right places to enable crops to handle the ravages of inclement weather caused by global warming. Leastways this has been going on for thousands of years using seed breeding techniques; in the process feeding more people in distant places and increasing yield overall. Grant it there are other ways to make crops more resilient, some of which was discussed elsewhere in the blog, no one is stopping that research and it continues on.  It is only Monsanto’s success and permeation of the market that has made it a target. With the acquisition of Climate corp. they now have access to millions of terabytes of weather data while using the expertise of up to 200 scientists gathering and analyzing patterns to help farmers plant.

There is also on going research testing the safety of food produced through these methods. If it is found that anything is unsafe it will be handled appropriately. Although these techniques don’t bring added value to the end consumer, especially in developed countries, we must consider the global need for improved food production.

At best Monsanto is at the cutting edge of breakthrough agro technology, at worst it is miss guided in using methods that may ultimately prove to be too expensive to justify widespread use.



TRADE PLANNER Ann Coulters new book “Adios America” is a scathing indictment of America’s immigration policy over the past few decades. A fuming discourse permeated with statistics and anecdotes. She goes on to explain how most of the problems have been perpetrated by the left, America’s elite and big business

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