Thursday, March 31, 2016

Weird Trick to Free Up Space on an iPhone

[Courtesy of cnet]
It seems like iPhone storage is always at a premium, especially if you have an entry-level model with just 16GB (an economic necessity for many an iPhone owner). It's the rare user who doesn't know the pain of trying to download a new app or snap a few more photos and seeing the dreaded "not enough storage" message.
You've probably heard all the usual "free up space" tips, but I'm willing to bet you haven't heard this one. It's an honest-to-goodness magic trick, one that may fill you with joy while simultaneously making you a little mad at Apple.
Your iPhone doesn't need to be jailbroken, and this doesn't void your warranty or involve any kind of risk. Try it, and see what happens. Here's the drill:
Step 1: Tap the Settings app and then tap General > About to see how much storage is available. Note that as the "before" number.
iphone-5c-before-trick.jpg
Here's how much space an iPhone 5C had before the trick.
Step 2: Open the iTunes Store app, head to movies, and find any really large title. "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" is a good choice at 6.83GB. (You just need to find a movie that requires more space to download than you have available on your phone.) Tap the Rent button twice, keeping in mind you won't actually end up renting it (and therefore won't be charged anything).
Step 3: Once you see the message that there's not enough space available to download your rental, tap Settings. Then navigate back to General > About and you should see a couple hundred megabytes' worth of additional available storage -- possibly even more. And just like that, an extra 400MB.
Step 4: Repeat the process! (That is, go back to the iTunes Store app and try renting the movie again.) Each time, you should wind up with another chunk of freed-up storage. Keep going until you either have too much free space (meaning you'd actually be able to download the movie) or the available space stops rising.
What. The. Heck? It's not immediately clear why this works, but it does. I just tested it on an iPhone 5c(running iOS 9.1, just for the record) that had 4GB of available space. Result after the first attempted rental: 4.4GB.
Alas, that was as far as I got. Repeated attempts yielded no more space. But if you check the Reddit thread devoted to this topic, you'll see that many users tacked on hundreds of megabytes numerous times, and some were able to reclaim gigabytes of space. The best news of all: There doesn't appear to be a downside to this. It's not like iOS is secretly wiping out your photos or something. Instead, it's probably clearing out caches that shouldn't be full in the first place -- suggesting this is a storage issue (if not outright bug) Apple should investigate.

Best Free Anti-Virus Program: Qihoo 360 Total Security

For the first time in years, our Malware Department has a new number one pick for a free anti-virus program for Windows and Mac machines. You can read about it in this short explanatory article which also rates the other top contenders:

Link to Explanatory Article

Link to 360 Total Security Download

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Phoenix Dermatology (Dr. Romine)

Many people in Phoenix go to Dr. Romine (Camelback Dermatology) and like the quality of service. At the same time, they often are frustrated by the lack of efficiency of the front-office and back-office, including scheduling. For example, if you called this morning for an appointment, you might be told to hold for a minute. Twelve minutes later you might have hung up and called back. When answered, you were asked to please hold for a minute, at which point, the thing to do is forcefully say, "STOP!!!! I was put on hold for 12 minutes. Either tell me how long the hold will be or give me a call back." The receptionist, after explaining that all three of their lines are busy scheduling people, and after you repeat that all you want is a hold-time estimate or a call back, will cordially and efficiently and immediately schedule your appointment. And, if you ask, also put you on the cancellation list (where you'll get a call if there's an earlier appointment). Then, you can be really helpful by suggesting they do a software change to their phone system where it will automatically scheduled call-backs, which is a win/win for the office and for patients, and you will be thanked profusely. Be sure to offer to the receptionist that she need not share with you any bonus she gets for suggesting the idea at the next staff meeting. It's the kind of thing you do that makes you the favorite patient with most of your medical providers.

Link to Camelback Dermatology Website

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

PPS re Ring Video Doorbell

Just when all was thought lost with the Ring Video Doorbell (which Bob had bought and returned because the motion alert gave too many alerts), it turns out that not only has the problem been solved, but it has done so with the result that Bob now has a new Ring Video Doorbell for free. Here are the crucial email interchanges:

Charlie
Charlie (Ring Doorbell)
Mar 29, 2:44 PM
Hello Bob,
My name is Charlie from Ring Community Support.
Yul had reached out to us and we are sorry to hear that you did not have a great experience with the Ring Doorbell. I have taken some time to review the correspondences that have been sent back and forth as well as internal notes. Judging by the look of things it doesn't appear as though you were hardwired. As such If you were able to move the Ring Doorbell to an adjacent wall that does not face the street you may avoid false alerts from garbage trucks altogether.
If this is something you would like to try we would like to extend to you an offer for a Free Ring Doorbell. Please let us know if this is something you would like to proceed with. We wouldn't want to lose you if more can be done.
Best,
Charlie
Ring Community Support
--------------------------------------------------
Charlie ...

That’s a very interesting suggestion (and one I wish had been made in response to my email on the topic or my phone call to tech support).  While no one would ring the bell (which actually wouldn’t matter), I could see where that likely would solve the motion alert issue and I did not take out my doorbell before anyhow, and so it would work in that I could see who was at the door and talk to them remotely. The one problem is I would not want to install it with screws because of the nature and age of the material on the two sides, but I certainly would be open to it with a double-sided tape back. Unfortunately, then, I would guess it could be easily stolen (although we’ve had no such issues in the 11 years we’ve lived in this house). The bottom-line is this: I truly appreciate your offer, which I think is most generous and thoughtful, and if you want to send me a new one, I would try it if there is some kind of tape you’d recommend that would work. But even if you don’t think it’s practical to go the tape route, as a courtesy, I have changed my Amazon review to say how amazingly great your customer support and service is as you can see below and given you 5 stars. Again, many thanks.

bob


Text of review as it now appears: “This is a terrific device. It installs easily and is easy to learn to use. But, as good as the product is, the customer support and service can be even better. I encountered a glitch in the product, and at first returned it, and the return went fine. Then, Ring.com customer support took another look at the glitch and found a solution. I am so pleased. I am just one customer. But it is clear Ring.com customer support treats each customer as its most important.”

Monday, March 28, 2016

2.4 Ghz vs. 5 Ghz WiFi

If you have a relatively recently new router, it has two networks (in addition to a guest network): A 2.4 Ghz and a 5 Ghz network. You might think 5 being the larger number, it must be faster and better. Well, sometimes such intuitive thinking will lead to a wrong answer. The right answer is that each has its advantages and disadvantages. The link below will give you the detail you likely crave on deciding which to use in your home or which to use when. The short answer is this: If you're using your devices inside your home, then 5 Ghz will handle more data quicker; but if you're using your devices outside, then 2.4 Ghz might handle the data much more efficiently because it, unlike the 5 Ghz network, can penetrate solid walls.

Link to Excellent Explanatory Article

Turning Off Your Internet Connection

If you have a broadband, cable or other "always-on" internet connection, your PC is permanently part of the international network. To ensure that no one else can connect to your computer, you probably run antivirus software and a firewall (either as part of Windows or in your router, or maybe both). But sometimes, do you find yourself thinking "I'd really prefer not to be connected to the internet right now"?
For example, you may have some important work to do on a locally stored document and you don't want to be disturbed by incoming news feeds or emails. Or maybe you're updating your security software, and you don't want your internet connection enabled during the few minutes that your computer isn't fully protected. Or maybe you keep all your highly confidential data encrypted, and you'd like to disconnect the internet connection whenever you're accessing that information or typing the password for it.
If this sounds like you, then here's a great item of freeware that's really useful. It's called Internet Off, and it performs a very simple job. It adds an Internet Off button in your taskbar, from which you can instantly disable your internet connection. Press the button again and you can turn the connection back on, either permanently or for a specific amount of time.
Link to Internet Off Download

Five Wealth Management Tips

The Wealth Management Section of the Wall Street Journal of Monday, March 28, has some terrific pieces on financial planning, especially for baby boomers. Here are just some (the links might not open ofr non-WSJ subscribers:

1. How to deal with your parents' finances when they no longer can do so. Two big points: Welcome back to the 1970s pre-internet world, and remember one thing: POA, POA, POA. And how not to inflict the same pain on your kids:

Link to The Difficult, Delicate Untangling of Our Parents' Financial Lives

2. If you are in the 70.5 mandatory withdrawal requirements in you IRAs, Congress has restored a very nice and valuable charitable tax break:

Link to Charitable Tax Break Is Back--for People Who Know How to Use It

3. Helping to decide if retirees should rent or own:

Link to Should Retirees Rent or Own

4. Dealing with medical costs when traveling or living abroad::

Link to Will Your Health Plan Cover You Abroad

5. How to keep your art and cut your taxes with irrevocable trusts:

Link to Art Collectors Discover Irrevocable Trusts


Scott's Generations Deli (Phoenix)

In addition to its very reasonable prices and very good parking, Scott's is perhaps better known for the size of its portions (quite generous) than to the tastiness of its servings. But there are some items that are downright delicious, including its coleslaw. An especial shout-out recommendation must go to its matzo ball soup, which is heavily laced with chicken and dotted with small carrot cubes and celery bits. It not only is delicious, it is a wonderful elixir if you feel you're coming down with something. Some might say that my home-made matzo ball soup is better, but I have to confess, it's not.

Link to Scott's Website and Menu

iOS 9.3 Bug Fix

[Courtesy of Tech Crunch]
Many iOS users are reporting they cannot install iOS 9.3 and are getting an error message saying "cannot connect to the internet." Various fixes for this can by found by typing the error message into The Google. But you might consider yourself lucky if you haven't installed 9.3 yet because, after you do, you might have additional problems. Apple should have a new iOS 9.3 out soon that will fix both the install and post-install problems. But if you've already installed 9.3, read on.
Thus, many iOS 9.3 users are reporting on Apple’s support forums that a bug is affecting their devices. When they click on links in Safari, Chrome, Mail, Messages, Notes and others, the app freezes and crashes. If you’re one of them, here’s a fix that might solve your issues.
It looks like this issue is related to Universal Links. With iOS 9, Apple introduced Universal Links, a brand new way to handle links with native apps. App developers, such as YouTube, can register domain names to open web links directly into an app, bypassing Safari.
That’s why when you click on a youtube.com/somethingsomething link, iOS opens the YouTube app instead of loading a web page in Safari. This is a nifty feature, except when app developers abuse it.
Sergey Roshchin published a video demonstrating today’s bug. His iPad is working fine. But then, he installs the Booking.com app, and Safari becomes unusable. When he clicks on a link, it hangs, and then crashes.
Booking.com associates its app with all sorts of domains — too many domains to be precise. With 2.4MB worth of domain-name-to-deep-link entries, Safari and other apps crash when iOS checks links against its Universal Link database because this database is too big. A tipster also told me that the Voyages-SNCF app also generates crashes on iOS 9.3. Update: Voyages-SNCF doesn’t have universal links, so the app shouldn’t cause any issue.
the Booking.com app was updated on March 17, before the release of iOS 9.3. It’s safe to assume that something has changed with iOS 9.3 causing app crashes when handling these links.
The WebKit team released a huge update with iOS 9.3 and OS X 10.11.4. Safari 9.1 contains many changes under the hood. Maybe the Universal Link bug is related to this WebKit update — maybe not.
Either way, if you’re encountering this bug, Apple will probably fix it in its next bug fix update. In the meantime, you should delete the Booking.com app and… wait. It won’t fix your problems instantly as iOS checks Universal Links every now and then. But at least, your iPhone will work again tomorrow.

Amazon Prime Now Customer Review

Say you bought a product (like a Ring video doorbell) on Amazon Prime Now, and you had an experience with you wanted to share with others so you want to write a customer review. The order does not appear in My Orders on the website and there is no way to do so through the Prime Now app. If you email Amazon asking them how to do such a review, you first will get a stock response taking you to the Guidelines for writing reviews, which tells you nothing. When you respond saying that does not answer the question, you will be thanked for your suggestion and assured it will be reviewed by the appropriate department. When you respond to that suggesting to just list the order under My Orders, you will get a very helpful reply: You do not need to buy a product to write a review. Just go to the product on Amazon.com to do it.

Friday, March 25, 2016

PS Re Ring Video Doorbell

At some locations, for some reason, the doorbell motion sensor will pick up every truck that goes down the street, even though it's supposedly-out-of-range, and even though the settings are at the least sensitive and shortest levels. The company says such a fluke does happen, it's like a geographic anomaly, and when it does, there's no fix. If you bought it on Amazon Prime or from Amazon.com, just check the box for "inadequate quality" (which is what the rep will tell you to do) and you'll get a complete refund and a free return shipping label.

Magic Hose

The Magic Hose really works as advertised and is a great bargain in that you can get one that expands up to 100 feet for under $20 (on eBay). The advantages of it beyond its expanding so much and go back into a small heap when done are that it is much lighter than other hoses and in blue much more attractive. The one disadvantage is that, to have it go back into its small state, the water has to drain out of it, so you have to think where you want that drainage to take place when you turn the water off. One word of caution: This hose should not be used to drink water out of .

 Image result for magic hose

Image result for magic hose

Rejuvenate Send Link by Email or Gmail

One of the handiest extensions is Send Link by Email or Gmail. Whenever you want to email a webpage link you are on, just click on it and it will bring up a new email (either your desktop client (e.g., Outlook) or Gmail, whichever you want) and you just address it and hit send. Unfortunately, sometimes it just stops working for your desktop client. When that happens, go to your Extensions list, uncheck the Enable box and re-check it. That seems to do the trick, at least for a while.

Link to Download Send Link Extensioin

Link to Your Extension Listing in Chrome

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Ring Wi-Fi (Smart) Video Doorbell

True story about a new Ring Video Doorbell customer, whom we shall call Bob to protect his true identity: At 1:45 pm, Bob orders a Ring Video Doorbell on Amazon Prime Now. At 2:20 pm, the doorbell is delivered with no delivery charge. By 2:32, the doorbell is installed by Bob on Bob's wi-fi system and the settings are set on the Ring app which has been installed on Bob's phone and on his wife's phone. Physical installation is delayed while Bob charges up the drill to install the 4 screws needed to install the back-plate, during which time Bob thinks better of it, and asks his neighbor (Charles, again not the real name) to help with this step. Four minutes later the back-plate is installed and 30 seconds later the doorbell is mounted. From now on, no matter where they are in the house, or on the grounds, or anywhere in the world for that matter, Bob and his wife (and anyone else Bob or his wife might designate) will get a cellphone notification when anybody rings the doorbell or just moves in front of it, and they each can then see on their phones who is at the door and talk to them through the phone. While the explanatory Ring.com website is noted below, you'll pay much less and get it much faster by buying it from Amazon.

Link to Ring.com Website

Travel Deals Through Membership Programs and Credit Cards

[Courtesy of Yahoo Finance]
Whether you’re a Costco member or have a Visa credit card, here are some membership programs that offer such amazing travel deals that they basically pay for themselves.
Costco
Costco (COST) is essentially a mecca for bargain shoppers. Where else can you buy discounted luggage, an economy-size jar of Cheetos, and a princess-cut engagement ring?
But beyond those “necessities,” Costco has proven to be a legitimate money-saving option for booking rental cars, cruises and vacation packages.
Access to Costco Travel is included in the $55 membership, and after perusing the site, it’s clear that with just one booking, your membership more than pays for itself.
For instance, take a vacation package from New York to Jamaica. A six-night all-inclusive stay at the Iberostar Grand Hotel, with Delta airfare, and ground transportation, costs $3,738 for two people. The package also comes with a $500 resort credit that can be used at the spa, hotel shop or restaurants.
The same exact trip booked through Orbitz costs $4,125 -- $387 more than the Costco deal. It should also be noted that the Orbitz trip doesn’t include ground transportation or the $500 resort credit.
Costco members can also book rental cars through the travel tool with minimal work. After putting in your rental parameters, the site compares rates from Alamo, Avis, Budget and Enterprise. Costco Travel uses a low price finder to scan the web for all applicable coupons, codes and discounts -- so you can be sure you’re getting the best deal possible.
Visa
Sometimes just having a certain credit card is enough to save big money on travel.
The Visa offers program features dozens of deals that card users can access just by booking travel with their Visa signature card (this includes cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Capital One Venture Rewards Card). Some of the cards have an annual fee (sometimes up to $100), so it’s important to research before you sign up.
For example, card users can currently save 20% on rooms at the Thompson Miami Beach. On top of that, booking also comes with perks like an automatic room upgrade, free wi-fi, free breakfast, and a $25 food or beverage credit.
At any given point, Visa (V) promotes different deals, so it’s important to check in before booking travel. Right now, Hilton HHonors members can earn double the points or miles when they pay with their Visa card, and Hertz is offering one free day on a weekly rental. The savings are there, you just have to look for them.
View gallery
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 AARP
Empty nesters and retirees are some of the most avid travelers, so it makes sense that the AARP has beefed up their travel presence. Earlier this month, the group unveiled AARP advantages, a revamped website (easily accessible on mobile) that allows members to find discounts on rental cars, flights, and vacation packages while on the go.
Currently, there’s a deal for $100 off a Norwegian Cruise Line cruise, which also comes with a free hotel stay, free specialty dining and free shore excursions. Seeing as an AARP membership costs just $16 a year, joining to save on travel is a no-brainer. You have to be 50-years-old to sign up for membership.
Sam’s Club
For just $45 a year, Sam’s Club members can find discounts on everything from furniture to iPads, but the savings don’t stop there. The retailer is also known for its travel deals, which include discounted cruises, cheaper flights and lower hotel rates. In fact, Sam’s Club is so committed to helping members find cheap trips, that they have an app solely dedicated to travel and leisure.
AAA
The American Auto Association (AAA) is probably one of the most well-known membership programs to score travel deals. In addition to roadside assistance, the $30 membership gives you coupon codes for rental cars, discounted guided vacations and deals on train tickets. But one of the biggest perks comes in the form of discounts to theme parks. Planning a family vacation that the kids will always remember? Now you can save an average of $20 per ticket to theme parks like Walt Disney World Resort, Busch Gardens, and Legoland Florida Resort just by joining AAA.

Getting Two Cell Phones for Price of One WITHOUT Switching Carriers

[Prefatory Note: This post is based on a telephone conversation between the Chairman of our Communications Department and a very knowledgeable rep in  AT&T's Retention Department]

Every day there are full page ads in the NYT and WSJ saying, "Add a new line and get two phones for the price of one." The phones involved are the iPhone 6S and the Samsung Galaxy 6S. The advertisement will not tell you this but you actually do NOT need to switch carriers and you actually do NOT need to add a new line. Instead, all you have to do is either: (i) port one line to a different carrier and port it back which retains your number; or (ii) terminate and immediately re-activate one of your lines which requires a change in your number. I know this sounds a bit Rube Goldbergian and a bit nuts, but it's totally TRUE. One tip: If you want to do this, when you phone in, go the Termination or Retention Department of your carrier and not the Sales Department because the Sales Department does not understand this.

PS: Thousands of our subscribers are techies and even more of our subscribers are likely asking themselves why the carriers do this and why they won't tell customers about this possibility unless they ask. The answer to the first why is that it is a function of how their computer activation systems "define" a new line, which is simply a new number or a ported number; the answer to the second why is that the promotion is designed to attract new customers and is not intended to discount phones to existing customers. It all really is quite startling.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Adult Entertainment Now Available in 360 Virtual Reality

[Courtesy of TechCrunch although the hyperlinks have been deleted by our Adult Entertainment Department]
PornHub, one of the most popular adult entertainment sites in the world, is getting into the VR biz by adding a new “virtual reality” content section to its site. The company says the content will be viewable on Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR, and the Oculus Rift. To celebrate the launch, PornHub will be giving away 10,000 smartphone virtual reality viewers to users looking to get their eyes on the 360-degree immersive erotica. 
PornHub is the 66th most visited website in the world  and hosts over 60 million visitors every day. “At PornHub it is our duty to provide our global audience with the latest in cutting edge technology,” said Corey Price, Pornhub Vice President, in a statement. “Virtual reality is the next phase in the constantly metamorphosing world of adult entertainment, and will provide users with a mesmeric experience unlike anything they’ve seen before.”

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

New Travel Pillow

Most travel pillows sit behind your head or around your neck. But when you’re sitting upright, that makes you more likely to topple forward. Woollip takes advantage of the only extra space you’re given on a plane or bus — right in front of you. The design was inspired by the face support from professional massage chairs.
With holes to stuff your arms in, Woollip can also be turned on its side to fill the crevice of a window seat. Plus, you can tuck your phone inside so you can read or watch a movie as you prepare to sleep. Both of these features make it more practical than the giant block-like Skyrest.
Woollip supposedly takes only 5 breaths and about 15 seconds to inflate, and just 2 seconds to deflate. It folds up to the size of a brick and is said to weigh about as much as a smartphone.
As long as Woollip can hold its air so it doesn’t sag while you slumber, it could save travelers from sleepless nights and neck pain. Flying coach just got comfier. And for just $30.

Paper vs. Metal (Gold) Coffee Filter

Whether you use a paper filter or a metal filter won't make much difference to your coffee, or your bubbles. However, as our Gourmet Department has concluded, there are some aesthetic and environmental advantages to using a metal filter, and some health reasons for using paper filters.

Some people find paper filters messier to deal with. Most people, however, find cleaning the metal filter each time is actually more difficult and messier than dealing with paper filters. 

With paper filters, you have to keep buying them and throwing them away. And you may wonder exactly what chemical residues are lurking in that paper as a by-product of the paper-making process.

But if you use a gold-tone metal filter basket (not as expensive as it sounds), then you never have to buy or replace all those paper filters. That said, there are health reasons to use paper filters, because of the cafestol in coffee.

Cafestol is found in the oily fraction of coffee, and is a potent stimulator of LDL cholesterol levels. What does this mean to you as a coffee drinker? Well, if you have concerns about your cholesterol levels, you should certainly pay some attention to this and may decide to use paper filters. Why? Because the cafestol is almost entirely absorbed by the paper, and doesn't make it as far as your coffee cup. But with a gold filter, the cafestol drips right through.

So, on balance, and particularly for your health, choose the paper.


Webpage Downloads (Save As) Stop Working in Chrome

Every day for the past more than 15 years, you have downloaded (saved as) the same 3 webpages. Then, one day, they just hang and the download (save as) will not finish. You scour The Google for help to no avail. Don't bother with a download manager. Don't bother re-installing Chrome. Don't bother clearing the cache or history. Instead, de-activate each extension (one by one) that blocks anything on the webpages involved, such as ABP or Ghostery.  When it turns out that your downloads work again, go to options for those extensions and white-list the webpages involved.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Kindle Needs to Be Updated Immediately

If you have a Kindle e-reader and you haven't installed the latest critical software patches, your device will stop working on March 23. You'll still be able to read existing books on it, but you won't be able to download any more. You should already have received an email about this from Amazon but, if you haven't, you need to do the update now. If you do not update your device by March 22, 2016, you will receive the following message on your device: "Your Kindle is unable to connect at this time. Please make sure you are within wireless range and try again. If the problem persists, please restart your Kindle from the Menu in Settings and try again." If you see this message on your device on or after March 22, you will need to manually install the latest software update for your device.

Link to Explanatory Amazon Webpage

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt (Season 1 (2015), Netflix)

Although it's got a good cast, and some likable people, and a funny scene now and then, almost no one will like this or be able to stay with it. You might think it's a good jail break from Season 2 of Orange Is the New Black, but after three episodes, you likely will conclude it is not. There's just not enough there there. One good thing though, unlike the theme song intro to Orange Is the New Black which is way too long and boring, the theme song intro to Kimmie, while not great, is short.

IMDb Link to Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt

LG Twin Washer

Once you go to a front-load pedestal washer, you can never go back to a top loader or any washer where you have to bend to put in or take out clothes, even if the cost of the pedestal is outrageous. But, now, LG has really done good: Instead of a pedestal that is just a drawer, there is a smaller washer down below and a regular size washer sitting on it--so, you get all the advantages of a pedestal front load washer and you can do two washes at once, saving you time and convenience. What's really amazing is that this twin washer costs no more than a single pedestal washer.

Image result for lg twin washer

Saturday, March 19, 2016

The Big Short (2015)

Putting aside that Steve Carell is mis-cast (Ben Afleck or the lead in the Americans (Mathew Rhys) would have been way better and avoided making us think that the investment firm was The Office), and his hair-dye job is terrible, and it doesn't compare to the book, The Big Short is not bad, although a bit slick and often annoyingly too-slick-by-half. Unfortunately, unless you understand what actually was happening, you might not understand it any better from the movie. Still, Marisa Tomei is in it, and while she has a minor part, it's Marisa Tomei (although Keri Russell would have been great too if Mathew Rhys had been cast). All that said, if you want to understand the housing/market/financial collapse of 2008, Inside Job is the best! It's entertaining and educational and totally first-rate, and totally riveting. Not only does Matt Damon appear in it, but the interviews of the real "culprits" are just amazing.

IMDb Link to Inside Job

IMDB Link to The Big Short

One Amazon/Vudu Advantage Over Netflix

If you want to see a movie as soon as it's available to be streamed on a rental basis, often you will find that Amazon or Vudu will have it available sooner. For example, both Amazon and Vudu have The Big Short available right to stream for the same price of $4.99, while Netflix has it available on DVD but not available to stream. Remember, there is no monthly charge for Amazon or Vudu as there is for Netflix. Of course, if you are willing to wait for Netflix streaming, you will save $4.99 by so waiting. But if you want to see the movie like tonight, or you do not subscribe to Netflix DVD service, $4.99 is a small price to pay to watch it in the comfort of your home where you can stop the movie for food or restroom breaks (no matter how polite and earnest the request, most movie theaters will not stop the movie for any reason to accommodate you).

Friday, March 18, 2016

Best Way to Store Celery

Instead of just tossing a head of celery in your refrigerator, there are many advantages to cutting the stalks into the length and width you want and putting and storing them in an open container of water. In addition to staying crisper, the stalks will be more readily available for noshing either by themselves or using them to scoop your humus or salsa fresca or guacamole. Indeed, if you find that a head of celery is suffering from limpiness, putting them thusly in water will firm and crisp them up. The same benefits apply to carrots, but they pose the risk of producing an orange patina on the container sides, which will be difficult if not impossible to remove.

Head of Celery:
  Image result for celery
Limp Celery:
Image result for celery

Properly Cut Celery Stalks:
Image result for celery
Happy Celery in Water:

Image result for celery in  water