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Posted Nov 3, 2012
Weekly Off-Topic Thread #261

WOW!  Here we are.....Saturday evening and no one started up a new WOTT.  So I'll do it.  A beautiful....but dry.....day here.  We need rain in the worst way.  The  Scotts guy came and performed the fall fertilization.  Late as it is I may have to dig out the water hose again and do some watering.  The extreme heat may be gone but our severe drought is still with us.  Wonder what Mother Nature has in store for us this winter.

 

My Windows 8 adventure continues.  With the help of some of you folks and some advice from the Windows 8 Forum folks....I've pretty much been abel to solve the minor problems.  Got rid of the requirement for a password during boot-up of the PC.  Also have restored the "Start" button on the legacy desktop.  I was also upset because....although the daily virus scan is built into Win 8 I could not find anyway to change the schedule of the scan and, on my PC, the default setting was for 3:21 AM.  Since my desktop PC is very rarely turned on at that hour I wanted to change it to around 8:00 PM.  But I have been assured that if the PC is turned off.....the scan will run approximately 10 minutes after it is turned back on.  Changing that is possible but very complicated.....or, at least, more complicated than I can handle.   With the Win 7 ISE setting the scan schedule was very simple.  But ISE cannot be used with Windows 8.

 

Access to the legacy desktop is easy and quick.  Just one click.

 

The NEW Win 8 desktop does have "Start" within it....but in completely different form.  So you takes your choice.  As I said....it is not complicated.

 

Finally.....let me say that I certainly hope this U-verse Community Lounge is not losing its participants.  Folks seem to be posting less and less here.

"I offered my opponents a deal: if they stop telling lies about me,
I will stop telling the truth about them".
~Adlai Stevenson, campaign speech, 1952..


*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Weekly Off-Topic Thread #261

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Nov 4, 2012
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Phil,

 

I ran across this link ... apparently this adds the normal start menu back to Windows 8 and enables startup directly to the desktop instead of the Metro interface:

 

http://www.stardock.com/products/start8/

 

 

I've been doing something interesting lately.  I have owned many DVDs for years, and have been slowly replacing them with Blu-Rays of my favorite films.  As a result, I have many DVDs sitting around that I'll never watch again, since I'll always watch the corresponding Blu-Ray instead.

 

I decided to try to sell them, but I wasn't sure of the best way.  There's a Movie Exchange place down the road from me, they will buy them, but will only pay 15 cents or so per disc.  I thought about selling them on eBay, but I have nearly 100 different DVDs, and it's just too time-consuming to have to create a listing for each one.

 

I discovered, however, that it's actually very easy to sell stuff on Amazon.  You can set up a seller's account, and then it's easy to list everything because all you have to do is type in the UPC code.  Amazon already has all of these products in it's database, so there's no need to create a new listing -- your DVD just gets listed in the used section along with any others of that title that are for sale.

 

So for the past week or so, I've had all my DVDs up for sale on Amazon, and I've sold about 2/3rds of them.  Amazon lets you buy postage and print package labels directly from their web interface as well, eliminating any steps of hand-addressing.  I happen to have a 4"x6" label printer, and Amazon will let you buy and print postage/labels for first class mail, USPS media mail, UPS, etc.

 

So I bought a box of 100 #1 padded envelopes, which will perfectly contain a DVD, and then I just print the postage/label, seal the envelope, and mail.

 

Some discs sell relatively cheap (every now and then as little as $0.01), while others sell for $6-$8.  Amazon has no listing fees -- listing any item is free.  When the item sells, Amazon takes a commission of 15% of the sales price + $0.99, but then turns around and credits you $2.98 for shipping.  With the shipping credit, you can still come out ahead on each disc, even if they sell for $0.01.

 

Example: Disc sells for $0.01, and Amazon credits you $2.98 for shipping ==> you receive $2.99.  Then you pay Amazon their commission (15% of $0.01 = nothing + $0.99 = $0.99), so you're now ahead by $2.00.  Mail the disc first-class USPS mail for $1.80, and your net on the disc is $0.20.

 

I had a couple Star Trek box sets that I sold for over $100 (of course, those are more expensive to ship), and several discs that brought $5-$8.

 

I'm down to about 20 discs now that are kind of slow-movers, but I think they'll eventually sell.  What's critical when selling used discs is that you price it right.  When someone on Amazon goes to look at the used merchandise listings, they're listed in order by price, with the least expensive at the top.  So if you're not price competitive, you won't show up in those top listings.  It's important to monitor your for-sale items daily, and adjust your prices if necessary to stay near the top.

 

Nevertheless, I've been real impressed with how easy Amazon has made this, and I couldn't have hoped at all that I could sell 50+ discs in a week on eBay.

 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #261

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Nov 4, 2012
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SJ - Don't you have to use Amazon boxes to ship stuff as a seller?  

 

I thought of buying closeouts and such and trying to flip them on Amazon but some of the things that I read made it sound like lots of work.  Glad that it doesn't appear to be so difficult.  

 

There are Android apps (and probably iOS too) that you could scan barcodes and it would spit out Amazon Sales rank, selling trends, margins and so on but on September 1, Amazon restricted access to that info to bigger sellers (who pay monthly subscriber fees).

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #261

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Nov 4, 2012
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Nope, no Amazon boxes necessary. You can sell using your own packaging. Naturally, you will probably get better feedback if it's nicely packaged.

And in my seller's status board of the stuff I have for sale, it's showing me the sales ranks for all my products. A few of my discs are well into the 100,000+ sales rank, so they're slow movers. It means that my pricing is all the more important if I want to get it to sell.
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Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #261

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Nov 4, 2012
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Thanks S.J.   I have that "Start8" mini-app from Stardock.  Had it installed for a while and it works just fine.  Only $4.95.  But as I get used to Win 8 I found that I really don't need it so I uninstalled it. 

 

I did have a serious problem when, right out of nowhere, my Internet sites started slowing way down....even hanging completely.  It happened suddenly so naturally I wondered what the heck I had done.  I flushed the DNS cache and I double checked to make sure no other security programs were running that might conflict with the Windows security system.  Nope....nothing there.   Finally I gave up....stuck my Windows 8 disk back in the drive and re-installed the entire OS.  That cured the problem.  Everything seems to be running fine now.

 

Sounds like you've done quite well with your disk sales on Amazon.  That's great.  In my case it is not DVD's that I'm over-run with......it's VHS tapes.   Back in the early 1980's my oldest son was owner of 7 franchise video rental stores scattered around this east side of Kansas City, MO and out into the suburbs.  I ended up with a huge collection of movies and a complete set of the original "Star Trek" series.  They are just occupying space in boxes stashed against the wall in my garage.  At one time I considered transferring them to DVD.  Even got started on it but it was just too time consuming when I could go purchase commerically produced copies that were much better video quality.  So I quit.  Really don't know what to do with them.  A lot of folks don't even have VCR's anymore to be able to play these tapes.  Oh well.  Guess I'll just let them sit there in the garage and eventually it won't be my worry anymore.:smileyvery-happy:

"I offered my opponents a deal: if they stop telling lies about me,
I will stop telling the truth about them".
~Adlai Stevenson, campaign speech, 1952..


*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #261

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Nov 5, 2012
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Some of the video exchange stores like Movie Exchange will buy some of the VHS tapes, depending on the title. But you'll only get like 15 cents for each. Still, that's probably better than having to pay someone to haul them away.
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Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #261

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Nov 5, 2012
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SomeJoe7777 wrote:
Some of the video exchange stores like Movie Exchange will buy some of the VHS tapes, depending on the title. But you'll only get like 15 cents for each. Still, that's probably better than having to pay someone to haul them away.

Don't forget Amvets or the DAV.  We could always use the money (by selling on eBay or Amazon) but our local Amvets hauled away our leftovers from our Garage Sale, last weekend.  Speaking of Garage Sales.  We are done, as in never to have another so long as we shall live.  10 years ago, we netted over $1000 and this time about 10 percent of that and one joker was obviously casing the joint.  Nope.  No more.

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Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #261

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Nov 6, 2012
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When I moved into Navy housing in Hawaii, I had a garage sale, I had a bunch of yard tools, tiller, lawn mower, etc that were fairly new, had people trying to buy them for $5 or less.  Had a washer and dryer that was less than a year old someone wanted to give me $40 for the pair, told them to pack sand and come back when they had a serious offer.

” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway
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Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #261

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Nov 6, 2012
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Yeah people want a bargain, that is for sure.  We wound up giving some stuff away - based upon "apparent need" and that may not be quite right but sure it helped us "almost" reclaim the garage.

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Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #261

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Nov 6, 2012
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It appears that VHS is dead.  I said above that most folks don't even have a machine to play these video tapes.   But...in my case I still have on older Panasonic VHS Hi-Fi machine which, as some may remember, can also be used as an extremely high quality stereo audio recorder.....equal in many respects to professional level equipment.  The frequency response is extremely wide.....distortion is negligible.....and noise levels are, for all intents and purposes, non-existent.  It has built-in audio level meters.....LCD type with very quick response.....and audio recording level control can be switched to manual.  It makes a tremendous recorder......much superior to conventional tape machines.   Now....I'm not a fan of digital audio.  I still believe that digital CD's have some form of distortion, that has yet to be nailed down, which gives  the sound a brittle....harsh quality.  Anyway...I don't like it.  I actually prefer analog recordings.  And....I'm not alone.  There is currently underway a big revival of analog disks.......the vinyl LP demand has been rejuvenated over the past few years.  I have not followed it all that closely but there are stores beginning to sell them again and they are available on line.   

 

Some of you "high tech" guys may be more up to date on this.....but the experts have been searching for years to find the cause of this undesirable quality from digital recordings.   Maybe it has been solved......but judging by what I've heard recently from CD's my family members are buying.....I don't think so.   SO....I'm keeping my VHS machine....and the second one which is on lone to my youngest son. 

 

One of my many hobbies has been recording pipe organ recitals and concerts.  The performers tend to agree with me that my recordings.....using B & O, ribbon, mikes and my VHS recorder are the best they have heard.  Haven't been able to do much of it lately....what with failing health.  But I still like the sounds of a finely played Wurlitzer theater organ, the refined sound of a classical Cassavante...or the majesty of a huge Aeolian-Skinner at full volume in my living room.  (That's why we can never move to an apartment or condo)

"I offered my opponents a deal: if they stop telling lies about me,
I will stop telling the truth about them".
~Adlai Stevenson, campaign speech, 1952..


*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #261

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Nov 7, 2012
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Dailysteals.com has the Roku XS on sale for $59.  That is not my reason for posting.   Look at this blurb in the details section:

 

Stream live sports from NBA, NHL (when they stop arguing), MLS, UFC, MLB and more :smileywink: :smileyvery-happy:

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #261

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Nov 7, 2012
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That's the one I have at home, I really enjoy it.  Also have the XD in my son's room, he uses it for "red shows" (Netflix).  

 

On a different note, had to have a tech out to the house this morning. Came home last night and everything was dead, phone, internet and TV. Seems the builders sub-contracters cut the cable from the house to the pedastal when they were installing my next door neighbors sprinkler system.  Everything is much better now, just need to wait for the crew to come out and bury it.

” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #261

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Nov 7, 2012
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Does your drop run across your neighbor's property, or did you make a deal to get your neighbor's sprinklers to water your lawn?

 

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Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #261

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Nov 7, 2012
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OFID, here in Missouri the law requires calling a phone number to get someone out to the property to locate and mark where all cables are located beneath the service.  The company which installed your neighbor's sprinkler system would now be in big trouble and fined alot of big bucks for digging without calling in.  There's no trial here.  If you dig without calling in....it's prima facia evidence that you broke the law and it is very costly.  When I planted my little tree myself I called and a guy showed up to locate and mark so I would not cut a cable accidently.

"I offered my opponents a deal: if they stop telling lies about me,
I will stop telling the truth about them".
~Adlai Stevenson, campaign speech, 1952..


*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #261

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When I had my sprinkler system installed I told the guy where the utilities were to try to speed things up since about 3 months prior I had them marked when my back patio was expanded.  He respectfully declined telling me that if he cut anything....electrical, cable, phone, etc. his company would be billed the cost from the appropriate companies/companies to repair the damage.  I asked him how that worked and he said if he doesn't pay the bill and they report him to the state he could loose his Texas Irrigation License.

 

So i delayed the start of the project by 4 days until all of the utilites came and marked their respective lines but nothing happened either.

"If you find this post helpful and it solved your issue please mark it as a solution.  This will help other forum members locate it and will also let everyone know that it corrected your problem. If they have the same issue they will know how to solve theirs"

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Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #261

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Nov 7, 2012
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JefferMC wrote:

Does your drop run across your neighbor's property, or did you make a deal to get your neighbor's sprinklers to water your lawn?

 


Yes the pedestal for UV is next to my new neigbors driveway.  

” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #261

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Nov 7, 2012
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BeeBeeSA wrote:

When I had my sprinkler system installed I told the guy where the utilities were to try to speed things up since about 3 months prior I had them marked when my back patio was expanded.  He respectfully declined telling me that if he cut anything....electrical, cable, phone, etc. his company would be billed the cost from the appropriate companies/companies to repair the damage.  I asked him how that worked and he said if he doesn't pay the bill and they report him to the state he could loose his Texas Irrigation License.

 

So i delayed the start of the project by 4 days until all of the utilites came and marked their respective lines but nothing happened either.


I let the builder's sales office know.  I'll have to follow up with them regarding that.  I cannot say with 100% certainty that it was them, but Sunday Monday everything was working and the sprinkler wasn't there, and last night, nothing was working and the new sprinkler system was installed next door.  Coincidense? Don't think so.

 

On a happier note, I had a blast this past weekend,  My wife's A/C company that she works for as marketing director , Ruud is trying to get them to start selling their systems,  Well in return the gave my wife two tickets, two Village of Champions passes, pit passes and a meet and greet with Cale Gale, driver of the #33 Ruud NASCAR Camping World Truck.  Saturday, YellowBook, who my wife has her internet marketing through, gave us Victory Club Suite passes for the Nationwide race and on Sunday my son turned 4.  Wife is trying to get YB to give her tickets to ALL the races at Texas Motor Speedway for next year and if they start selling Ruud she'll work on them as well.  Nice to have connections.

” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #261

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Nov 8, 2012
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Cale Gale.  Cale's dad named him for Cale Yarborough (obviously).  I took pictures at Winchester Speedway  and in 1992, they had All-Pro take over the Winchester 400 from ASA.  They brought in Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte, Jack Sprague and a few other bigger names.  Midway through the race, I came down to the pits to take some pit stop photos and a local racer grabbed me and asked if I could help pit Bubba Gale's car (Cale's dad).  A mechanic, I'm not but I manned the pit board, helped pull fiberglass away (he wrecked all weekend) and threw him a drink bottle.  Cale made out better than Bubba did in terms of racing.  Bubba owns a big truck driving school down in LA (Lower Alabama).

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Weekly Off-Topic Thread #261

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