Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Spend More to Save More: 3 Home Improvement Items That are Worth the Splurge

MintLife Blog | Personal Finance News & Advice

BrightNest is a free site that provides tools and tips to homeowners to help them save money, get organized and keep their homes in great shape. Sign up for a free BrightNest account today!

Would you buy sushi from a gas station?

Didn't think so!

Some edible items – like seafood – are definitely worth spending a little bit more on to avoid tummy troubles down the road. That logic can be applied to many other areas of life, including your home.

True, you may not wind up physically ill from purchasing a less expensive light bulb, but there are other reasons to opt for a higher price tag.

Here are three home-items that are worth splurging on:

Light bulbs.

We know it's tempting to reach for the cheapest light bulb option when you're replacing a few bulbs, but resist! Instead, opt for compact fluorescent lights (CFLs).

Sure, they have a higher purchase price, but they only use one-fifth of the power and last six to ten times longer than their incandescent counterparts.

That means that each CFL bulb can save you about $30 over the course of its lifetime! If you multiply that by all of the bulbs you have in your home, the savings will really add up.

Paint.

A new coat of paint is a great way to freshen up a room, but there are more decisions to make than just color choice. One trip to the hardware store will prove that paint has a serious price range!

The cheaper paints are more diluted, so they won't be as smooth or have as much coverage. That means it's generally worth skipping the bargain bin paint ($5-$15) – you'll avoid issues like applying multiple coats, fading and cracking.

Instead, opt for the middle-class paint cans ($20-$30). You'll get a nice looking finish without having to apply a ton of extra coats. For a more detailed breakdown, read this guide to buying paint.

Major appliances.

If you're large appliance shopping, there are a lot of benefits to opting for the higher priced Energy Star models. The big-boy appliances like your dishwasher, refrigerator, washing machine and dryer account for the majority of your energy bill.

By opting for an energy efficient appliance, you'll save $200-$1,100 on energy costs over its lifetime!

Tip: If your appliance is over ten years old, your savings will be even greater.

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Grove Family Pictures

Alfred Bell Grove 1906c

Grove Family Hay wagon 1953c

Very Cool old family photographs. 

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Really?

I did not realize that my car was in such high demand.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

David McCullough on 60 Minutes

We need to seriously revamp the teaching of the teachers. I don't feel that any professional teacher should major in education. The should major in a subject, they should know something. The best teachers are those who have the gift and the energy and the enthusiasm to convey their love for the science, or history, or Shakespeare or whatever they teach. Show them what you love is the old adage and we have all had them, where they can change your life, they can electrify the morning when you can come in to the classroom. 

-David McCullough on 60 Minutes


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Our Growing Cars - An Infographic


Free Technology for Teachers
Despite constantly increasing gasoline prices the average size of our vehicles continues to grow (I'm not helping decrease that average by driving a full-size pickup truck). Cool Infographics recently shared an infographic that depicts how much vehicles have grown over the last forty plus years. Click here to view it on the source page or check it out below.

Applications for Education
When I saw this infographic my first thoughts went to students in the automotive programs in the technical school in my district. The infographic will be of interest to them because of the some of the vehicles in the pictures (who doesn't like a Porsche?). But beyond that I can see this infographic being the jumping off point for a short lesson in the evolution of the technology in cars.

Outside of the technical school setting I can see this infographic being the catalyst for a conversation about the socio-economics of the United States. For example, I might ask my students to investigate the question, "why do our vehicles continue to grow in size while fuel costs continue to rise?" 


This post originally appeared on Free Technology for Teachers .

Sunday, November 04, 2012

SodaMod Sodastream Adapter

This is one of the coolest inventions ever!


Friday, November 02, 2012

Thursday, November 01, 2012

The coolest "truck" ever


A nice backyard special! Found in Taylorsville, NC.

 
 
 
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Sunday, October 21, 2012

1972 Citroën DS Safari.

Dream car
Old Parked Cars.

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Friday, October 05, 2012

VIR Racing Pictures

Here are some images I took while attending the race at Virgina International Raceway September 15, 2012. Thanks David for asking me to go!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Great news for the Verizon iPhone 5

The iPhone 5 will access GSM networks via a SIM card and is factory unlocked (even when under contract). This means you only need to take 1 phone when traveling overseas!


 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

33 Painless Ways to Save Money Now


Some easy ways to save money:
  1. Online rebate sites. Many online sites offer cash back rebates and online coupons as well. MrRebates and Ebates are two I like, but there are many others.
  2. Sign up for customer rewards. Many of your favorite stores offer customer rewards on products you already buy. Take advantage.
  3. Switch to compact fluorescent bulbs. The extra cost up front is worth the energy savings later on.
  4. Turn off power strips and electronic devices when not in use.
  5. Buy a programmable thermostat. Set it to lower the heat or raise the AC when you're not home.
  6. Make coffee at home. Those lattes and caramel macchiatos add up to quite a bit of dough over the year.
  7. Switch banks. Shop around for better interest rates, lower fees and better customer perks. Don't forget to look for free online banking and ease of depositing and withdrawing money.
  8. Clip coupons: Saving a couple dollars here and there can start to add up. As long as you're going to buy the products anyway, why not save money?
  9. Pack your lunch. Bring your lunch to work with you a few days a week, rather than buy it.
  10. Eat at home. We're busier than ever, but cooking meals at home is healthier and much cheaper than take-out or going out. Plus, with all of the freezer and pre-made options, it's almost as fast as drive-thru.
  11. Have leftovers night. Save your leftovers from a few meals and have a "leftover dinner." It's a free meal!
  12. Buy store brands: Many generic or store brands are actually just as good as name brands and considerably cheaper.
  13. Ditch bottled water. Drink tap water if it's good quality, buy a filter if it's not. Get a reusable water bottle and refill it.
  14. Avoid vending machines: The items are usually over-priced.
  15. Take in a matinee. Afternoon movie showings are cheaper than evening times.
  16. Re-examine your cable bill. Cancel extra cable or satellite channels you don't watch. Watch the "on demand" movie purchases too.
  17. Use online bill pay. Most banks offer free online bill paying. Save on stamps and checks, and avoid late fees by automating bill payment.
  18. Buy frequently used items in bulk. You get a lower per item price and eliminate extra trips to the store later on.
  19. Fully utilize the library. Borrowing books is much cheaper than buying them, but in addition to books, most local libraries now lend movies and games.
  20. Cancel magazine/newspaper subscriptions: Re-evaluate your subscriptions. Cancel those you don't read and consider reading some of the other publications online.
  21. Get rid of your land-line. Do you really need a land-line anymore if everyone in the family has a cell phone? Alternatively, look into using VOIP or getting a cheaper plan.
  22. Better fuel efficiency. Check the air pressure in your tires, keep up with proper auto maintenance, and slow down. Driving even 5MPH slower will result in better fuel mileage.
  23. Increase your deductibles. Increasing the insurance deductibles on your homeowners and auto insurance policies lowers premiums significantly. Just make sure you choose a deductible that you can afford should an emergency happen.
  24. Choose lunch over dinner. If you do want to dine out occasionally, go at lunchtime rather than dinnertime. Lunch prices are usually cheaper.
  25. Buy used:  Whether it's something small like a vintage dress or a video game or something big like a car or furniture, consider buying it used. You can often get "nearly new" for a fraction of the cost.
  26. Stick to the list. Make a list before you go shopping and don't buy anything that's not on the list unless it's a once in a lifetime, killer deal.
  27. Tame the impulse. Use a self-enforced waiting period whenever you're tempted to make an unplanned purchase. Wait for a week and see if you still want the item.
  28. Don't be afraid to ask. Ask to have fees waived, ask for a discount, ask for a lower interest rate on your credit card.
  29. Repair rather than replace. You can find directions on how to fix almost anything on the internet. Do your homework, and then bring out your inner handyman.
  30. Trade with your neighbors. Borrow tools or equipment that you use infrequently and swap things like babysitting with your neighbors.
  31. Swap online. Use sites like PaperBack Swap to trade books, music, and movies with others online. Also, look for local community sites like Freecycle where people give away items they no longer need.
  32. Cut back on the meat. Try eating a one or two meatless meals every week or cut back on the meat portions. Meat is usually the most expensive part of the meal.
  33. Comparison shop: Get in the habit of checking prices before you buy. See if you can get a better price at another store or look online.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

John and Tyler at Robben Island


Khayelitsha boy and Tyler

The truth about teaching.

"While our profession is suffering from insult and contempt from the talking heads of media and policy, there is a secret that all good teachers know. We know that this is the most delightful, meaningful, and important profession. The most important things we do-- being with young people through crucial moments in their growth, modeling ethical caring, and unleashing curiosity and imagination-- are never measured by quantitative metrics. But these are the reasons we keep coming back, starting each day anew."

"The best teaching encourages students to develop the capacity to name the world for themselves, to identify obstacles to their full humanity, and the courage to act upon whatever the known demands. This kind of education is characteristically eye-popping and mind-blowing—always about opening doors and opening minds as students forge their own pathways into a wider, shared world."

from "Teaching the Taboo" by Ayers and Ayers

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Pictures from working at Rob's House.

The Second Floor Apartment
The "shop"
It was pretty hot in the Sun!
He has done all of this himself, except the concrete foundation!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Pike Peak Hill Climb: Safety Cell Technology is amazing

A racecar driver who flipped about 12 times down the side of a hill in a spectacular crash during the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb walked away unhurt.

Jeremy Foley and his co-driver Yuri Kouznetsov took a corner too fast at the 16 mile mark of the famous rally race held in Colorado over the weekend.

Video of the crash shows the Mistubishi Evo 8 being ripped to shreds as it flips continuously down the steep hill.

Both men were airlifted to a local hospital and have since been released.

Mr Foley said he was a little bruised by the crash and local media reports suggest he broke his leg while other reports suggest both drivers were not injured in the crash.
"I thought I posted already, but Yuri and I are OK," Mr Foley wrote on his Facebook page. "A little beaten up but nothing major. Thank you so much to everyone for the kindness and support! What a wonderful feeling to feel so loved!"





When I think of Pikes Peak Hill Climb I always think of the famous Climb Dance staring Ari Vatanen

Climb Dance is a famous cinéma vérité short film, which features Finnish rally driver Ari Vatanen setting a record time in a highly modified four-wheel drive, all-wheel steering Peugeot 405 Turbo 16 GR at the 1988 Pikes Peak International Hillclimb in Colorado, USA. The film was produced by Peugeot and directed by Jean Louis Mourey. The record time set was 10:47.77








The modern day man:  Mr. Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima"


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thinking of you Callum!

A statue outside Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa 

Soweto, South Africa

To say the least, it was not what I expected. The joy the people have despite there circumstances is incredible.  
Welcome to Soweto.
We first visited Fons Luminis Secondary School, one of the best in Soweto.
Students at Fons Luminis.
The "average" class at Fons Luminis, 45 pupils.
The assistant (deputy) who gave us our tour. He was also an English teacher at the school. It was his first year at the school and he really liked working at the school.  
We bought fruit to take the students at Kliptown in Soweto, this is the daughter of the lady selling the fruit.
The fruit sellers other child.
Seeing the OLPC (One laptop per child) in action.
4 year olds in the Kliptown Community Center.
Scott and his new friends.
Every child wants to have their picture taken and will model for you.
A vendor in Kliptown, one of the informal settlements in Soweto.
African National Congress support is strong in Kliptown.
The water supply in Kliptown.
 
Dave and his new friend.
Wendy found a deaf student and worked on the alphabet with her.
Leaving Kliptown.