Thursday, May 29, 2008

No Seriously - Are you Ready for Black Friday?

You’re already aware of the fact that Amazon has great prices everyday but did you know that they have a special black Friday sale? And Apple, a company that barely ever has anything on sale has black friday specials, too.

So you know the drill – right after Thanksgiving – before we’ve even had a chance to completely digest all of the prior night’s feast, stores open at around 5 am and we all go crazy pursuing bargains that will shortly become our Christmas gifts to others (or maybe ourselves).

And maybe crushing through the doorway of those giant stores is fun when you’re young enough to shove back, but what if you just want to stay at home on black Friday and shop via the internet? How do you keep track of who is selling what and when? There’s a great website called black that let’s you what is happening on the web sites of the major retailers for their black Friday sales.

How does it work? It’s simple. You sign up by submitting your email and they will send you an email alert to let you know when the black Friday ads have posted. You get time to review what’s going on in advance. Some of the retailers you can find listed on this site are: Amazon, Apple, Macy’s, Circuit City,, Toys-R-Us and BestBuy.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

More Thoughts on Being Earthquake Ready

I've looked over the lists on and I still have questions and thoughts. I think that there is no way to be ready for an earthquake since you just have no idea of when one will hit. But here are some more thoughts if one hits while you are sleeping. Do you sleep naked? If so, you may want to throw a set of clothes on the end of your bed and as well as a pair of slip on shoes under your bed (to assist in having to potentially navigate through broken window glass or other sharp objects). I also hang a wind up flashlight/radio combo on one of my bed posts and I have a knotted rope that I can throw out the window to reach the ground three stories below.

We recently added a huge first aid kit to the underside of the bed and nearby there is a phone that can be plugged into the phone line that needs no electricity. And I stocked up on canned beans (you should also have a manual can opener in the house if you want to open any cans without power).

Imagine yourself stuck in your apartment for 24 - 26 - 72 or more hours. Do you have some water? First aid stuff? Food? A radio to hear what is going on? Some vodka? Or any other necessary medication? Some cash (in various denominations)? Pet food (if you have a dog)? And so on. And so far this hasn't taken up much space.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Edible Vancouver

A new magazine in the 'Edible' family is launching in Vancouver. Check out Edible Vancouver, premiering this May. All the Edible magazines are free and you can find them in cities such as San Francisco (of course), Seattle, Boston, San Diego, Santa Fe, Toronto and Portland and more...

The magazines are not just about restaurant reviews, they write on where local food is grown and produced.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Fungus Feet

If you have to wear work boots or other sweat inducing shoes all day then you know how hard it is to not get a little fungus on or between your toes. So how to discourage, stop or get rid of that disgusting toe nail fungus? There are some nasty medications you can take internally but does that kill the fungus or the host?

I've tried a variety of drugstore anti-fungal liquids that are either painted or sprayed onto your nails. The main ingredients seem to be 'undeclyenic acid' (smells awful) and tea tree oil. Have you ever read the information sheet that comes in the box? Here are a few excerpts: 'fungal nail infections, or onychomycosis are common on toenails', 'caused by fungi, yeast or molds', 'may cause a buildup of keratin under the nail and discoloration', 'fungal nail infections may be difficult to treat and may become a reservoir for fungal organisms, causing them to return'. Well you get the idea - eeeewwwwwww.

Drinking GSE (grapefruit seed extract) every morning for a few weeks seems to help. Plus it's a good idea to use some foot powder every day and, if possible, change your socks once or twice a day.

Another remedy that I heard about recently was listerine. The person who used it (and swears by it) says he soaked his feet morning and night for six months and the fungus cleared right up. I'm giving it a try but it's too early to report on the results. The coloring in the listerine dyes my feet a bit blue but they smell great!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

How to Prepare for an Earthquake.

Actually, any disaster that leaves you without communication, electricity and clean water for more that a day will need some preparedness. If you live in any part of the country that is hit with earthquakes, strong storms, flooding and so on, it is recommended that you be prepared to take care of yourself, loved ones and pets for at least 72 hours or until help arrives. Check out the site. They have plenty of great tips, plus lists of what you should have on hand.

I was wondering how much cash one should keep around and many say $200 - $400 is a good amount. You should also keep the money in a place you can remember (duh) - and if possible - have small denominations such as singles and fives. A stack of $20s is fine, but if no one has change, that's what you'll be paying for a bottle of water.

Another thing that came to mind during a lengthy power outage in January, was that even though we had water, coffee beans, a gas stove and a filter to drip the coffee - we had neglected to grind any additional beans the night before. There was enough for just one cup. Luckily, a neighbor had a hand grinder.