Friday, November 30, 2007


You know you live in AZ when it rains and you blog about it!!!

As you guessed, it is raining here in my part of AZ. Why do I get all excited? Well, there are millions of reasons I do. Rain not only helps clean the air of impurities, but also replenishes water reservoirs that were depleted during our ultra-drought.

Yes, we live in the desert. Yes, we are used to not having rain. Hey, the way most people see it, as long as Colorado gets snow, AZ will be okay. That is partly true being that the Colorado River provides us with over 50% of our water.

However, there are cities, like the one I live in, that depend on well water for survival. While rain will provide some relief to the ground, ground water will not be replenished so easily. Being winter, plants, trees and grass don't require as much watering.

Since we have received a good amount of rain, I am going to turn off my sprinkler system until Monday. My grass only gets watered on Sundays in the winter. So this rain fall will satisfy my grass watering needs for this week! Also, my plants get watered on a 4 day skip cycle. That is 1 gallon/plant ever four days in the winter.

If every household in AZ getting rain was to do what many do, it could amount to millions of gallons of water not wasted. Remember, 40-50% of the water bill is spent on watering outside plants and grass.

We need these rains to continue into the night. If only the Gila River can flood again like it did in '93, that would help with some of the ground water issues facing many cities that border it. While the Santa Cruz River flows during the monsoons, it is not enough to satisfy the diminished water supplies.

Well, enough doom and gloom. The rains sure are nice. It is a cool 63 degrees. No AC, no heater and no water wasted. The only problem, I can't cut my grass tomorrow. I will have to give it 2-3 days of drying.

Eh, who cares. I hope it rains all weekend. Oh, by the way, if you live in AZ becarefull with all the drivers. Remember, accidents increase 40% during and after a rain in AZ. Yeah, we can't drive in the rain.

Its Been Busy

Where to begin.

I haven't been on in a while. With everything else I am trying to do on the net, it seems that I don't have time for writing. I use this more for a vent than for blogging.

Lately I have been messing about with Google Desktop. I became jealous when I saw my wife's cousin's Vista Laptop. The only impressive thing about it was the widgets.

So, being the "let's try anything tech" kind of guy, I decided to re-install GD. I browsed some cool gadgets that I love and some that were not up to par with me. The ones that I have now are gdShredder, Battery Meter, CPU usage meter and two weather gadgets.

I am still browsing and looking. Eventually I will settle with something that fits my everyday needs. However, Google makes it very easy to add and delete as you wish.

As you can see from the picture, I have it locked. It is a little inconvenient when browsing The website does not adjust so I have to scroll left and right to get my posts read.

Every other site though seems to do just fine. Well, I will keep messing about and see if I like it.

I also have Spring Widgets but so far, Google Gadgets has had the biggest impression on my.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Veteran's Day

Its Veteran's Day today. We are going to a parade. To honor those who fought for us. Who gave it all without a fuss. Times are sad for Veteran's today. They are rejected by Americans in every which way. All they do is protect and serve. Keep our rights they lose no nerve. The ultimate sacrifice they did give. They lost their lives even limbs. Today is the day we honor them. Yet so many despise them. It does not matter for they know. That they are doing what is rightfully so. When they come home they will see. A great America that is FREE. If I lived in another place. What rights would I have, could I say grace? The Constitution was not written. Without American Blood spilled, no Rights hidden. We have fought for what we think is Right. GOD has given the might to fight. To be free in every way. That is why I type, I can say it everyday.

I made this poem off the top of my head. I did not edit it in any way.

The rights that we take for granted, is the very right that they have died for. Could you imagine what kind of country we would be now if our fore fathers hadn't "killed" for freedom? Yes, I am not denying that wars are nasty and cruel. Some wars may not be just in some one's eyes. I am trying to find a quote from a war reporter who hated war.

He went on a mission with the soldiers and Marines. He then understood what was going on. He understood that the basic human rights that we as Americans take for granted, was the same rights we were trying to give these people. Many say that "the war is not here". But isn't that the American way. To ensure freedom for everyone, not just Americans.

We cherish the basic human rights. The Freedom of Speech, The Freedom of Press, The Freedom of Religion and so many other rights. So many countries that take these rights away from their citizens.

Every one can question our beliefs. In America we respect everyone's rights, that includes Gay Rights. I ask you, go be gay in a Muslim country and see if you are greeted nicely. No, you will be rocked to death or beheaded. Hmhm. That is what we have here. Not everyone may agree about homosexuality, but at least you won't be killed for it. We have a long way to go on the homosexuality thing, but this is the solution. Love everyone as a human being. Don't find fault in them before you fix your faults.

If you don't agree with Veterans it is ok. It is your right not to agree. However, don't disrespect or spit on their faces. Express yourself, another guaranteed right, but you don't have to intimidate them or their families.

Calling them killers because they killed to keep you free, I will call that Hippocracy.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


What does Thanksgiving mean to you and how do you celebrate it?

I just found out that I have to work that day. Its ok, I should be home by 2 p.m. Normally, on that day, I would be assisting my beloved wife prepare some of the food for the evening meal. Of course, my way of assisting is taking care of the children and emptying the garbage every half hour.

When it is all said and done, we all gather around and chill out and talk. Isn't that what Thanksgiving is all about? Family and communication is important as well as being together as a family unit.

This year we have a cousin, my wife's actually, coming from Guadalajara, Mexico to partake in this years Turkey Day celebration. He is coming because he always hears about the day and wanted to know what the big hoopla was about.

What is the big hoopla? I talked about it briefly already and mention the important things for family. It is a tradition that started when I married my wife. We used to celebrate it at her parents house every year. Since moving to Phoenix, we have been having Thanksgiving Diner at our house.

My wife, she needs her own cooking show I am serious, takes care of everything for the cooking. I think it is her therapy. She relaxes and enjoys it so we let her do it. (Insert evil grin here.)

Then as the family begins to show up, I still don't do a thing, the conversation begins, which makes me mad because I am trying to watch football.

When it is all said and done, we overate, over drank, and over communictated. I still feel that it is well worth the time, energy and fatigue that one goes through.

Basically, it can be whatever you want it to be. It is you and what you want. Some people will not have a Thanksgiving Diner but will instead be volunteering their time at a shelter or Red Cross. What ever it means to you, just do it!

Growing up, we didn't have Thanksgiving Diner/Day or anything. It just wasn't our tradition. My mom, being the legal immigrant, didn't know nor did she ever celebrate Thanksgiving Day. I would eat meals at school, but it wasn't the same.

Do you remember how Thanksgiving Day came about? Starving Pilgrims that could not sustain themselves through the cold and harsh times.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving Day and remember to stick with the fundamentals. Don't fall for these companies portraying this holiday as a means for you to get your ass into more debt.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Well, Halloween is over and it was over quick. Seemed like just yesterday that I was putting up the Halloween Decor.

We have a little family tradition that I started. Obviously it is nothing that most family don't with their children but it was new to me. When my daughter was 2 years old, we started to carve a pumpkins for Halloween.

We continued this until my son was born. Since his birth, we have been carving two pumpkins for Halloween. It just seems as though it became more stressful. Darn kids fighting over whose pumpkin I was going to carve first.

What would having kids be without the fights, right? I enjoy and my wife enjoys taking video as I gut out two pumpkins with my kids designs on them. I don't claim to be a pumpkin carving expert, but as long my kids are happy, I am happy too.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


I haven't posted in weeks! I have been very busy at work and tired.

I don't know what my problem is. I feel so tired. I know I have to be up at 3 a.m. but no matter what time I go to sleep, I can't seem get that good rest I need. Hmm, dunno. Well, just wanted to let you know I am still well.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Not Poor By Choice.

Until recently, I believed that poverty was a choice. How can I be so insensitive? Okay, a little history of my childhood. I was born to a mother who is an (legal) immigrant and a United States Citizen father. At the age of 12, my parents divorced. I am the oldest brother of 3 and when dad left, I had to become that "dad" to my siblings.

My mother, like many immigrants, worked in the agriculture field. Yes, she picked, packed and clean our everyday produce. She would get up at 4 a.m. and not be home until 7 p.m. So, I, as the oldest, had to step up to the plate and help my mother. I made sure that my brother and sister did their homework, finished their chores and I had the responsibility to feed them cause mom was at work. Yeah, that is a lot of responsibility for a 12 year old. Not to mention that I also worked picking green beans and in the lettuce fields to help bring in income. Yes, at the age of 12.

Some nights, not many, for dinner we would have bread with mayonnaise and mustard. If we were lucky, we would get some kind of meat with that. Granted, this wasn't an everyday thing, but it happened. I grew up realizing that when food was on the table, it was time to appreciate. I also learned that when there wasn't, hard times were just around the corner for my siblings and I. I think I worried more about them than I did for myself.

While going to High School, I was the one who couldn't go any where with my friends. The one who had to borrow deodorant at gym from my friends, 3 pair of underwear and if I was luck, 3 pair of pants. Yeah, poor! Being poor wasn't by choice. The man who called himself my father could have kept us afloat but made it a point not to pay child support.

Just the other day, I was looking at my moms Social Security Earnings statement. She made $7000 when I was 12 and then hovered around $14,000. Yeah, that much to raise three children, and a house payment. Granted this was back in the 80's through 91, when I graduated high school. With that income, there wasn't much left for extras.

I remember my mother telling me, "You will not work during the school year, school is more important right now." With that sacrifice, I would study as hard as I could to graduate. After graduation, I joined the Army and would send my mom $200 a month to help pay the mortgage on the house. The very same house we worked hard to not lose to foreclosure twice!

Now, I am a successful man with a beautiful family and a great wife. No, really, I married the almost perfect wife. As we all know, we can't be perfect, but she comes close.

So as I became the man that I am now, I would get so upset at people that would complain. "Its the government's fault." "Its the man keeping me down." I would get so upset that I would actually open my mouth. I would tell people about my story. My feelings were that they had the same opportunity as I to get an education and become someone. Yes, I grew in a bad neighborhood. I had a friend shot in the face, drug dealing in my front yard and drive by shooting at friend's homes. Statistically, being Latino, I was supposed to be in jail.

I still feel the same way today, but understand that in some instances, people do have an influence on other people. Friends that I went to school, whose parents had money, are in jail now. What can be the influence on young people? While governments, racism, and social disparities have an influence, I feel that the ultimate decider is the man or woman.

Having gone through what I have gone, I still don't understand why. I guess I am no sociology major. To me, excuses are made to justify laziness. Its off of those excuses that laziness lives off of. Really, it is easier to suck off of Uncle Sam than it is to make $6 and hour. When I started working, I was making $3.15 an hour. We did okay with that.

My motto throughout life is, "Being poor was not my choice, not being poor is."

While there are outside influences in a person's life, there is always room for growth no matter what those influences are. I guess my mother's work ethic was passed on to us. All my siblings are successful professionals and make a middle class income.

This is my

Thanks to Jesse for hooking me up with this picture.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Solio Solar Charger

I received the Solio Charger from Shop. As you may, or may not, have read, I purchase all of my accessories from

Why did I get this? I guess you could say it was more of an experiment than anything else. With what is going on today, I feel that we should support green energy as much as possible. This portable charger was right in every way described above.

It takes about 8-10 hours of sun to fully charge the Solio. It does say that that it can charge my phone 1-2 times However, I found that if my 1800 m/ah battery is less than half full, a fully charged Solio will power it 3/4 of the way. Granted I do have my IM client running all the time.

The Solio comes with different adapters for different phones. You can vitually charge any phone because a 12v adapter is included in the package. For those of you that have a car charging cable, that means you can use the Solio.

I like the Solio. I just wish that it packed a little more power for charging purposes. My Treo is a power hungry device and can eat up a battery's power in just a few hours.

The vehicles I use at work don't have 12v sockets, or power ports, that work. Having the Solio as a back can really make a difference between a dead battery or enough battery to call for help.

Funny enough, I have used the Solio to charge my GPS Unit when on a hike. Obviously we shouldn't depend on gadgets when hiking, but it sure does make life a little easier.

If you are intrested in something like this, I recommend getting from treonauts. I found it to have the cheapest price on the net. Other solar devices can be found by searching the internet for portable solar power.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Through the Eye of my Treo

In picture 1 you have the view of Kitt Peak Observatory. Pic 2 view of Kitt Peak with the zoom 2. Both of these pictures were taken through my binoculars from my Treo 700P, approximately 10 miles 8-10 miles west of the Observatory.

The 3 picture is of a cactus plant. The remaining two pictures are of the Arizona Tree, the Saguaro. Why did I post these? To show you that the Arizona Desert is beaming with life. It may not be as green as wetter parts of the country, but still has life within.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


I think that the most beautiful sunsets are in Arizona. Of course I am biased, I am a native Arizonan.

As you can see, when the sun hides behind the mountains, a beautiful purple fills the sky and mountains. Also, you can see the bright orange around the purple sky. Have you ever seen such beauty?

Monday, October 1, 2007


How many of you go see a Dr. on a yearly basis? They say that most Americans see their Dentist more than they see their Dr.

Many diseases, if caught early, can be cured. But, by the time we go see a Dr. about a chronic health issue, it is to late. The excuses I hear as to why people don't go: They are going to find something wrong with me. I don't have time. I hate waiting at a Dr's. office all the time.

I have a good relationship with my Dr. I have been seeing him since '03. At first I would see him every 90 days because of health issues. I am hispanic and having High Blood Pressure comes with the Ethnicity. I learned something throughout my years. We need to take care of our bodies now not when we are in our 50-60's.

Obvioulsy we still need to continue with the health care throughout our life, but we need to start it now. As young people, we assume that the health problems will start when we get older. One thing that young people or even all people don't realize, is that we begin to destroy our bodies when we are young.

Everything we do from drinking, smoking, pollution to plastics will affect our health in the future. Environmental health risks will take a toll on society.

Unfortunately, genetics, culture and luck will have an effect on our health. Being Latino I have many factors counting against me. Diabetes, High Blood pressure, High Cholesterol etc. But being proactive and seeing my Dr. more than once a year, I feel that I can get a headstart on keeping my health in good working order.

Sunday, September 30, 2007


Halloween is descending upon us. Wasn't it just yesterday that Halloween passed?

I remember seeing the Halloween decorations up in August. The commercialization of these "holidays" is getting bad. I mean, who thinks of holidays 2 months before they are to happen? Apparently here in the U.S. we do. I guess retailers need the consumer to keep it afloat.

Okay, well whatever the reason. I have never been a person that likes to spend to much on Halloween decorations. But when you have two little ones, I guess we do it for the kids. But then again, isn't that what the stores want? Don't matter, I will buy this end of year Halloween decorations at less than 1/2 price.

Whatever your plans are be safe. We will be have a get together here at the house. Take care of your little ones, use flashlights and make sure to check their candy before they get to eat it. Many bad people will be lurking in the dark spots for innocent children. Let us make it a good holiday for all of us.

Happy Halloween!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Recycling Center Burning

As if the air quality wasn't bad enough, the Recycling Tire Center in my Town, is up in flames.

As you can see from the picture, the billowing smoke is up, up and away towards Maricopa. The winds blew the toxic smoke towards town this morning. The blaze started yesterday at around 2:30 p.m.

It is unknown what started the blaze, but fire officials state that it should be contained within the next two days. Two days?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Stars thru NVGs

We talk about noise pollution. We talk about smog, dust and other pollutants. But we never seem to talk about light pollution!

Light Pollution? Yes, I am a few miles from Kitt Peak Observatory off of State Route 86 west of Tucson, AZ. Kitt Peak has had some issues with the population growth that Arizona has experienced since 2000.

The population boom has enabled the construction of street lights minimizing the ability of the observatory to see into outer space. That is why I call it light pollution! Many cities are installing the low emission light bulbs. They give an orange low light glow enabling city dwellers to see the stars.

The pictures are taken through NVGs on my Treo 700P. Enjoy. The first pic is of Venus, I think, coming up from the east. The second pic I was looking up at the Big Dipper. Kind of hard to tell, but what do you expect from a 700P through NVGs.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Fantasy Football

As everyone knows, football began on Thursday with the Colts romping the Saints.

Here we are three days later with the first day of football, Sunday. I am trying to watch two games at once, via my PIP. I don't have any fancy NFL package since it is not available through my cable provider.

But, something different about this year. I am enrolled in a fantasy football legue with some co-workers. Well, instead of really enjoying the game, I am flipping between two channels and at the same time watching my laptop, all from the comfort of my couch.

Yup, FantasyCast by ESPN. I am watching my Fantasy Team, as they trott around the league. Its pretty interesting trying to keep an eye on everything that is going on, so, I am probably going to get an epileptic shock from all the screen jumps.

Well, to all, enjoy the season and good luck with your Fantasy Football Team.

To Chew Gum

I have a question for you. Let us say that I get a piece of gum and begin to unwrap it. I put it into my mouth and start to chew. Do I offer it to people around me?

See, the reason I ask this question is because I chew gum, a lot. I do it because I am very conscious of my breath and wish not to offend any one at work. I mean, I can't constantly be brushing my teeth while working. My employer will begin to charge me vacation time for that.

So, what is the ettiquette for that? I mean, if I offer a piece of gum, that person may think that I am offended by their breath. Also, by not offering a piece of gum they may be offended that I did not offer.

Obviously, I work with people I trust and depend on. If I was to offer a piece of gum, then I would offer a piece of gum.

So, what is the ettiquette?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


For those few that wanted a chance to try something new, the Foleo has been dropped by Palm.

Many of you may not have known about it. It was supposed to be a "mobile companion" to the Treo line of Smartphones or any other Smartphone. Not a laptop, yet you can access the net and edit doc and sheet.

Oh well, better luck with the next endeavor. *Hmmmm, if they want to let me test one, I would be more than happy to do it.*

Ethanol Plants

Recently, an Ethanol Plant opened in my town. So, I was curious to see what the hoopla was all about.

First, a little concerned. My daughter has asthma and wanted to see how this would affect her. I mean, we keep our house clean, hepa filters etc etc. So now, I am concerned about this ethanol plant coming into town.

Well, I began to do some research online. Some, not much is the keyword. I work and have children, so I have to give them some of my time as well. So, if any of you have any information on this, a link or comment will be greatly appreciated.

The research began with the EPA website. I didn't find much there so I googled it. The first link was the first of my searches. It read ".......emissions of nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, particulates, and other hazardous pollutants." So it really puts out this stuff?

Granted, the quote came from a Minnesota area with like 9 ethanol plants. I am guessing they are much older than the one that just opened here. So I couldn't really find my answer.

The ethanol plant that opened here is a natural gas Ethanol Plant. No coal, or anything else, supposedly. Another article I read, says " Factories that convert corn tinto the gasoline additive ethanol are releasing carbn monoxide, methanol and some carcinogens at levels 'many times greater' than they promised, the government says." I kept reading and formaldehyde and acetic acid are two of the carcinogens released.

If you read this link:

It talks about "bad ordors" coming from the Ethanol Plants. Also, the public in Minnesota have complained about nausea, eye irritation, sleeplessness, and breathing difficulties. The breathing difficulties is the one that worries me.

Now, if you read this last link:

It says that newer plants are cleaner.

Well, I am just as confused as when I started looking around. My know how now is: Ethanol Plants have polluted rivers in the Midwest. They have polluted air and water else where.

So, what do I think. I think I am moving. I can smell the plant when I drive by it. It smells like..burnt sugar. I do get a dry throat when driving by and a not so good feeling when I see a cloud over it.

If anyone has any real "polluting" facts, I would appreciate it. All I know is that I see a white/grey smoke billowing out of the plant. I need to now, for my asthmatic child's sake.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

CFL Bulbs Fish Tank

I know I have beaten the CFL bulbs to death by now, but I had to add one more item.

As you can see by the picture, my last exchange was for my fish tank. The two bulbs that I exchanged were 20w Incandescent bulbs. I exchanged them for 2 CFL 10w bulbs. What is the big difference between the two you ask?

1st, Look at the acquarium. It looks more lively with the white light bulbs I bought compared to the picture on my main screen. 2nd, the 20w I am saving on energy can add up being that my tank light stays on for a good part of the day. I need it on to promote healthy bacteria. (We will leave that for another day.)
3rd, and the most important as far as fish are concerned, the heat given out by the lights. With the Incandescent bulbs, the top of the tank would get very warm. The water tempature would riset about 2 degrees. With the CFL bulbs, there is no heat on top of the fish tank and the water tempature hasn't changed since I turned them on. Read yesterdays blog on CFL and you will see the difference in heat.

Okay, still have the refrigerator lights left and that should cover my entire house. Oh, by the way, I paid $4.84/ea for the bulbs. If someone want to do the math, feel free.

Well until later.

EDIT: At 2:52 p.m. AZ time. Just received my bill in the mail. In AZ, the hottest month is August. My Electric Bill is 252.87, one year ago it was 378.89. Now, do you believe me?

Monday, September 3, 2007

Fluorescent Light

I decided to show you a picture of the CFL bulb that I use. It is a Sunlight Bulb. It has a rating of 15w and is equivalent to a 60w Incandescent Bulb. If you go here:

you can read all of the specs on these types of bulbs.

Like I said in an earlier blog, the difference in heat produced can make a difference in your cooling costs. According the website, link above, an Incandescent bulb can produce 350 degrees of heat, where as the Fluorescent bulb produces 90 degrees of heat. Imagine the difference that is with 62 bulbs!

I know that some have doubted my savings, but I tell you, my outside lights are always on at night to include my stairway safety lights.

Of course, there are many lights out there but this is the ones I chose. You do the math. Of the 62 lights I changed, 23 are 15w Fluorescent lights that were exchanged for 60w bulbs. The remaining 37 bulbs are 13w Fluorescent exchanged for 60w bulbs. The lesser wattage bulbs went into the kids, wash, guest and living rooms as well as the den, hallways and bathrooms. The lesser wattage means less light level. Once again, check the website, link above for this info.

And of course, I replaced the two front lights with 23w bulbs, replacing two 60w bulbs. The 23w bulbs are equivalent to a 75w Incandescent bulb.

There is the abbreviated run down of where my bulbs went. I tell you, the less heat produced, added with the less wattage, has made a big difference. My electric bill has not been over $289 this summer. Last year, my peak bill was $380 (approx.)

Friday, August 31, 2007

Vonage Router

How many times has your day, or night, been ruined by downed technology?

You know what I mean. You wake up nice and rested just to find out your computer, network or Vonage Router is kaput. Now, trying to figure out what is wrong puts you in a foul mood, doesn't it? Well it does me and I don't know why.

Are we so connected that our world would just crumble without this stuff? I think I am. Obviously, Vonage is my home phone provider, so I would like for my home phone to work when I need it.

So, I get up and notice that the router has no lights on. I check the connection, good. I reset the router, still, no lights. I switch to a different outlet, no lights. Finally after disconnecting and reconnecting the power a million times, I called Vonage.

You know what I really hate? I really hate all the automation we have to go to in order to speak to a live person. Press 1 for English. Uh, hello, we are in the U.S. Should that even be an option? Press 2 for this and 3 for that. By the time I am done pressing options, I have dialed the Kremlin! Worst, when you speak to someone you don't understand! No offense to anyone, but you know what I mean. (The gentleman I spoke with spoke English.)

Okay, so after calling Putin, I finally get a hold of Customer Service. The guy, very professional fella, was about to start on the "troubleshooting" proceedures. In order to avoid a cold dinner, I chimed in and explained everything that I had done already.

He then told me that the Vtech routers have been going out on many customers the last few days. He checked my warranty and immediately told me that a replacement was on the way.

I had a ticket number and an RA# within minutes of my call being answered. So, not taking into consideration the call to the Kremlin, I think I spent 5 minutes talking to Vonage Customer Service. Not bad at all for a "technology down" call.

Luckily with Vonage, I can route my calls to another number free of charge. For $24.99 a month with unlimited calling to............England, I think I have a good deal.

Now, if we can just work on the automation.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Palm Bluetooth Keyboard.

Here you can see the Palm Blue tooth Keyboard. Never thought I would need one until my thumbs and fingers starting hurting from all the text and IMing I do.

The Palm Keyboard is compact and yet has a full keyboard with a number row. It has functionality to use with commands and keys that mimic the 5 command keys on your Treo. These keys are handy but will take a day or two to get used to them.

The keyboard uses two AAA batteries and promised up to a 4 month life. Of course, that will depend on how much you use your Treo and Keyboard. Since I text and blog from my Treo, I suspect that the battery life will be much less. I will use my rechargeable AAA batteries as soon as these are done.

The number one issue with Treo owners tooth. Many Treo owners complain about the disconnect and having to repair blue tooth devices. So far this has not been an issue. Palm recommends that all other blue tooth devices are turned off when pairing the keyboard for the first time. If you have any other keyboard .prc loaded onto your Treo, those must be deleted as well.

When pairing the keyboard for the first time, it was simple. Just press and hold the blue tooth button on the keyboard, and the turn on the keyboard app on your phone. They, pair and then you start typing. I have been using this keyboard for about 24 hours now. E-mails, notes, memos and Calendar updates. So far, no key skips or delays. The keyboard has stayed paired with my Treo. Most of all, my thumbs, wrists and fingers don't hurt!

The only "thing" wrong with the connection is when starting the keyboard the keyboard program must be off on your phone. I couldn't get mine to pair after closing the keyboard. I turned off the keyboard app then turned on the keyboard. Only after the keyboard is turned on, should you turn on the keyboard program. Works like a charm if instructions are followed correctly.

I can type approximately 60 wpm. Not a single skip or missed letter. Unfortunately, my favorite site, did not have this model in the shop. I had to get it else where.

Give it a try and tell me what you think.


I was able to get a screen shot of the 3jam application. Pretty simple to use and fun. You click on the To: and you can select to choose contacts or you can type the number in yourself. This application is for my, and your, Treo. Try it and enjoy.

Like I said before, if you are not a Treo user, you can always begin the application with a text.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

3jam Widget

As you can tell by my links to the right, I like 3jam. I was on the site looking around when I saw a link for the widget you see to the right. What you do is input the information, your name, phone number and a message, in the widget. I will receive a text from you and the option to reply. Keep in mind that the reply will go to your cell phone and not the blog page.

Give it a try and I will reply! If you are not a 3jammer yet, sign up. It is fun and allows you to text to multiple friends, co-workers, or family members all for the price of one text. See my blog below for the information or click on the link under my favorites.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Hybrid MPG

This picture was taken from my Treo 700P. Yes, I was driving while I took this picture so this picture is a little blurry.

What is this? It is the dashboard of my Honda Civic Hybrid. I am not an "Eco" kind of person, but I do believe in doing what I can to reduce the consumption of foreign oil. Many cars claim to give you "great" gas mileage. As we all know, the listed mpg for vehicles is not what you are going to get in everyday "normal" use.

However, as you can see here, I am getting approximately 52.9 mpg. The bar below this shows that, at the time of driving, I was getting about 60 mpg. The bar increments at 20 mpg, so this is my approximate mpg guess. The Honda Civic Hybrid was advertised at 46-48 mpg. My Honda is a 2004 model so newer models may have a higher mpg rating.

The 52.9 mpg is what I usually get from driving from Home to Work and back. The speed limit is 50 mph on this stretch of road which is the ideal speed for the best gas mileage. Obviously, my mpg drops when I use my car for other than my work commute. Depending on my speed, my mpg drops to approximately 39-40 mpg. To me that is a significant drop but a necessary one if I wish to travel on the highway.

My average miles per tank is 567.46 and the most miles per tank is 680 miles. Yes, I nursed the pedal to see how many miles I could get. Once again, these are not typical averages for most people driving these vehicles, but then again I am not typical. My average days between fill ups is 14 days. Remember, I mainly use my car for work commutes which is 27 miles one way.

I know many "experts" have stated that you will have to own your Hybrid for about 10 years before you make up the difference in cost from a non-Hybrid vehicle. With averages like this, my checkbook tells me otherwise.

I will continue to use my Fry's card in order to save $.10 per gallon, but that will be for another blog.

How does your vehicle do compared to my Hybrid?

Monday, August 13, 2007

CFL Bulbs

What does CFL stand for? Compressed Flousescent Lights.

With all that is going on in the world today, I decided to make a difference. Not much, but enough to put a smile on my face. I changed out 62 light bulbs for CFL bulbs. At a cost of 6.99-7.99/2 each, my approximate cost was a whopping $248. This is of course assuming I paid $8 for 2 bulbs.

Many people would have a hard time dealing with the up front cost. However, I purchased the bubls over a period of a couple of months. After changing out some bulbs in an area, I would monitor my electric bill. Luckily I have the option to see my use since I started my account by going online. With every area I changed out, I could see a slight decrease in my bill.

Once I completely changed all the bulbs in my house, to include outside lights, my average bill was reduced by $92 a month in the summer times. The winter saving was a little less at approximately $69 a month. Why the lower savings, I think because of my Christmas lights. Yes, I am a fanatic on Christmas and go all out.

Speaking of Christmas lights, they were selling LED Christmas lights at Walgreens last year. I bought a couple of strands. I guess my next conversion will be my Christmas lights. I will do some research so I can see what my savings will be.

When I bought my CFL, I wanted to by American. The only lights that I found to be made in America were "Lights of America". I purchased most of what they had on hand and then had to settle for some made oversees. I had read that "Lights of America" were restructuring and were almost up again. (Don't quote me on this.) I hope they are, we need to buy American.

I purchased the "Sunlight Bulb". Why? Because this type of light gives out a white light and simulates sunlight in your house. I don't like the "yellow" light given out by traditional lights. The white light brings out the beautiful colors in your house and is supposed to help with moods.

Other than saving you money on energy, they will also save you money on purchasing. Obviously the purchasing savings will not be up front, but with time. The CFL bulbs I bought are guarnteed to last 8 years. Taken into account how many regular bulbs you will buy in that time, you can add up the savings.

Remember that CFL bulbs do have a slight amount of mercury in them. So handle carefully and recycle them. I know, for a fact, that Home Depot and Lowe's will take your used CFL bulbs and recycle them.

Well, there you have it. If you wish to reduce your electric bill, you can do something about it. One of those ways it to change the light bulbs in your house. One more note, the regular light bulbs produce more heat than the CFL bulbs. The less heat will also help you in your cooling bill in the summer months.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


What is 3jam? 3jam is a service that allows you to "chat" via text with several friends at a time. For example, I send a message to friends 1,3,5,7 and 9. All of them will receive the message sent:

"Hey, let's meet for some drinks?" All of my friends will receive the message. Now, friend 1, replies, "I can't go, have to babysit." All of my friends, including me, will receive that message. As each of the friends continue to reply to my original text all of the friends in the chat will receive that message.

Not a bad little program to have if you have many friends you text to. You will be charged the text messages from your provider. However, 3jam states on their website that you will only be charged for one message per chat. I understand it as one text no matter how many friends on that chat. In my example above, I would be charged only one text for my original message to all of my friends and one text for each reply I get and send there after. 3jam does not charge you for the service.

If you own a Treo Smart phone, send "start" to 43526. You will then receive an URL taking you to a web link. At this web page, you will be a able to download a little application called 3jam. From within this little program, you can add your contacts for each "chat" you want to start.

If you don't own one of the approved phones, check the website, you can still use 3jam by sending start to 43526. You will have the option to 3jam from the reply. Check my links to the right for the link to 3jam.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Part 2

The sun continues to rise on the AZ desert. Once again, the dark purple skies give way to blue radiance. This picture was taken from my Treo 700P at approximately 5:45 a.m.


A beautiful sunrise from AZ. Yes, I may be a little biased, but we do have very beautiful sunrises here. The beautiful purple skies radiate a bright purple as the sun peers through the mountains. Now a cup of Joe will top off my morning.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Palm Back Up

The Palm Backup Beta is a free, for now, software offered by the folks at

What is the Palm Backup Beta? Basically it is a Palm OS based application that, on your set schedule, backs up your important information on your Treo Smartphone. The backed up contents are contacts, tasks, call log, memos, favorites and bookmarks. The information is stored on a server somewhere in Palm's hands.

The update has been hit and miss. I just had to complete a manual backup because I have had a "fatal communication error". Granted, the data connection has been a little slow in the area for the last week or so. I set the automatic update to go off at 5:00 p.m., since I am sleeping at that time.

Does it work? Well, yes, it has for me. Recently, Palm had released an update for my Treo Smartphone. Before updating my phone with the new update, I performed a hard reset. Basically a "clean wipe" of my phone. I did that to ensure that any 3rd party applications didn't interfere with the update. Once the update was completed, I performed a backup of my Palm Back Up software. The software automatically updated the information back onto my phone.

The best thing about this program is that it only backs up the important information. The program leaves out all of the "orphaned" files left when deleting trial applications. Yes, it does not back up your favorite applications, but a quick install can take care of that.

If you are a subscriber to, then I recommend this software.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Invisible Shield

I purchased the invisible shield form the Treonauts Shop @

This is my favorite shop for my Treo 700P.

When I received the package, I was flummoxed by the contents. I was expecting a sheath that I would have to put my Treo through. Instead, I got a.....puzzle. You know those little stickers that you have put on your kids toys after x-mas? Yeah, that's what it was. Well, I opened the package and now I had to decipher where each piece was supposed to go. The shield did not come with pictures so it was a little amusing.

I had to carefully put each piece where it belonged. Remember those stickers after x-mas? Well, if you don't follow the ridges carefully, you get a crinkle. Luckily all I had to do was peel of the shield, add water that came with the package, and re-try.

The shield was not what I expected it to be as in design. However, I do like its performance. My Treo doesn't feel so....slippery anymore. My phone does feel safer in my hand.

The shield is supposed to protect your phone from a fall. That is one feature that I will not test on purpose! From a fall I am saying, scratches, dents, etc. The shield also comes with a screen protector and a lifetime warranty.

The screen protector feels better than the old one I had. I don't have to press as hard on the screen to get it to respond.

All in all, I am happy with the feel of the product. However, I would like to see instructions on where each piece of the shield goes instead of having to "guess" for myself.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


How many of you have had braces? What age were you when you had them on? I am a 35 year old man and have had my braces four months now.

Why do we as humans torture ourselves with these metal contraptions? Many could say that what we see on TV we wish for ourselves. Not in my case! My teeth are so crooked, they looked like piano keys after falling from an eleven story building! I can't tell you how many times, while chewing my food, I have bit the inside of my cheeks.

I really didn't hide my smile but wasn't to happy about the grill. Even after telling my sister, "I will never get braces", I decided to get them. They are not cheap either, at $5000 for 24 months, it is a hefty amount to pay.

Throughout my 35 years of existence, minus the 2-3 I don't remember, I have always envied those with straight teeth. I envied my wife who has perfect teeth. I envied the fact that she could floss with ease while I had to use ripcord just to get the floss between my teeth. I can't even tell you the times I hurt my gums while trying to get the floss in between my teeth.

Well, I am envious no more. While my teeth are not straight, I have noticed the difference in the four months that I have had them. I can easily get the "go betweens" through my teeth. They say that your breathing get better while you sleep. My buck teeth aren't as far out as they used to be.

You noticed I said "go betweens" earlier. For those of you who have never seen or used one, they are little brushes that you push in between your teeth. I use this method instead of flossing because it is easier. Yeah, I know, I should still floss. But, have you tried flossing through the brackets? Oh my! I think I got carpal tunnel in the first two weeks of trying. Jeez, no one said there were going to be side affects while using braces.

Well, for those of you pondering, should I? Go ahead and get those braces. You will get a straighter smile and more confidence in yourself. The best of all, the ease of flossing, so they tell me. I guess I will get back to you on that when they get my braces off.


Sunday, July 29, 2007

Officer Cortez

Phoenix Police Officer Cortez was shot and killed while responding to a call.

Officer Cortez was responding to a check cashing store. The store had reported two suspects that were trying to cash a forged check. As Officer Cortez entered the store, he was shot twice by the suspect. The suspect, a 20 year old male and his accomplice a 19 year old female, were arrested the following day.

The female suspect had Officer Cortez' handcuffs in her back pocket when she was arrested. She stated to investigators that she had them as a souvenir.

The senseless killing of a young Police Officer who left behind a wife and two young children. Why? What has our society come to? How can one human, so casually take another human's life away? In times like these one sees a community bond together.

After all is said and done, we shall not forget Officer Cortez and his family.

May Officer Cortez rest in peace and may GOD watch over his family.


Picture one, the ocean from Mission Beach, San Diego, CA. Picture two, my daughter and son are running for some water. We buried my son up to his neck in sand. This was his first time to the beach. He had a blast, but hated the cold air!

Picture three is a picture of a shark that is at the Scripps Aquarium, La Jolla, CA. The last picture is taken from our hotel room. We were on the 11th floor.

All in all, I would say the vacation was relaxing. Have you ever gone on vacation and had time constraints? By time constraints I mean, having to be somewhere by a certain time. We didn't go to any theme parks this year. A few years back we went to Sea World. Talk about rushing having to get to shows. That is what I am talking about when I say constraints.

Well, this time around we just did the beach, aquarium and Sea Port Village. Everything we did was done at our pace and not by some set time a show was going to start. It was nice and upon coming home, I didn't need a vacation from my vacation.

USB Modem Software

How many times have you gone out on vacation, business trip, or just a leisure stay at a hotel only to find out the exuberant prices they charge to have internet service in your room?

As I was roaming the treonauts shop, at, I came across a little application called usb modem. Obviously to use this you will have to own a Treo Smartphone that runs on Palm OS. Once added to your phone, the application runs without a hitch. You can connect your phone via blue tooth or tethered to your laptop to be able to browse the web.

I came across this information when I read a link that forgot, a treonauts moderator, had posted on the forum. I went to this link, and followed the step by step instruction on how to set it up. Once set, I was able to get about 107kb-650kbs download speeds. That is pretty impressive given the fact your are using your Treo's internet connection.

What other options did I have? I could have purchased the 39.99 DUN plan through my provider! I think that is ridiculous given the fact that my phone can do that out of the box. Of course the "providers" of cell service disable that feature for their convenience.

I actually don't know how this program works, but I do know that it acts as a program that accesses the wireless connection. Sort of like when using your web browser on your phone, then it funnels that connection for use on your laptop. There are no limitations when using this program except for the speeds.

So, I was on vacation in San Diego, CA last week. The hotel I was staying at wanted to charge me $10/day to use the high speed internet connection. Luckily I had purchased the USB modem program before leaving. I used it throughout my vacation. The cost $24.95 for the program or $50 for high speed internet through the hotel.

Now, every time I go on vacation, or am using my laptop at a "hotspot", I just pull out my handy Treo 700P Smartphone and connect, virtually for free. Of course, I have an unlimited data connection through my cellphone provider. Still, cheaper than paying for the extra service.

Here is the link to the software for those of you wishing to download a trial.
Still trying to post via text messaging. I have tried many times . Hopefully this will work.


Finally, I was able to learn how to get my blogging done via text messaging. It is done the same way as MMS. I just had to come back into my blog and enter the code that was given me. Once accepted, I selected that the messages be sent to this blog instead of creating a new one.


Are we so caught up on Starbucks? Could it be the that Starbucks is much tastier than other coffee places? Could it be "its a name brand" bug? Who knows? All I know is that I enjoy the occasional Frappuccino.

I was wondering how many calories that occasional Frappuccino would cost me. As I was beginning my search for the caloric intake table, I decided to forgo that knowledge. Why? We only live once and having it on an "occasional" basis, I didn't see a need to worry about that stuff.

Now, getting back to the point in hand. I have gone to other coffee places. My favorite, Coffee Bean in Yuma, AZ. The atmosphere is good and the coffee is comparable to any other coffee I have tasted. (I like to compare this coffee phenomena to the I pod compared to other MP3 players.)

However, the best feature of the Coffee Bean was the Free Wi-Fi that is offered. That in itself is a plus in my book, not to mention the cheaper coffee prices. Now that dairy is going up, so will Starbucks coffee prices as well as all coffee house prices around the country. So why not offer up some free Wi-Fi?


In AZ, monsoons are to the desert what snow is to ski resorts. The expanding population has caused a 108 foot drop in the Desert Oasis, Lake Mead. At this time it is not known if the BLM will be able to meet AZ, NV an CA water needs this year. Many in the desert take our water for granted. Fissures are growing at an alarming rate. (Fissures are cracks in the earth caused by the depletion of ground water.)

Unfortunately as our population grows so will our own demise. Unless we devise a way to conserve, we are in a loosing battle.

Treo Users

Any Treo users out there? I began using the Treo 700P last July. Very interesting Smartphone. I had read about it but couldn't summon the will to spend a fortune on the device. However, I had just had knee surgery and staying around the house was driving me crazy! So, I went on ebay and purchased a phone, pretty cheap I may add.

I didn't know much about all the things that my phone could do. So I began to search the web for any sites that would be of assistance to me in helping me expand my knowledge. I came upon a site. Didn't know much about it except that the site was the first in line on my Google page. So, I went inside and decided to take a look around.

What I saw intrigued me. I quickly joined the forum and began to ask questions. What I loved about this site was that I was treated with respect and dignity, regardless of my ignorance. Eventually I learned and stayed on. The feel is very clean and energetic.

The moderators don't claim to be wizards, but know their stuff. The likes of skoenig, brandon, forgot, TazUk, and LotusLord help keep the site clean and friendly. The site,

All the information you need concerning your Treo Smartphone, can be found here. Let me add a little something. You need to order some software, accessory, or device, the store is top of the line. Your order is hassle free and quick. The ease of use is a cut above the rest. If your order is not to your satisfaction, returns are easy to make.

I highly recommend this site for your Treo needs. Oh, and Andrew can blog like no other. Keep up the good work Andrew!


I tried to mobile blog but couldn't do it. I guess I am still learning the whole blog thing. However, I am sending this via my e-mail using my Treo smart phone. Hopefully this will be easier than raising children.


Well, just started my own blog page. It took a whole 2 hours just to figure out how to do this. I am trying to do this mobile.


Uuuh, what!