Archive for the 'Other Reviews' Category

05 FebBuying Quality Products Online

It is clear that our society is choosing convenience and affordability by taking our daily needs online and finding merchants and services that fulfill those needs. From online travel booking to scores of product reviews to online superstores, quality products saturate the today’s market and the competition is fierce.

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17 DecSteve Madden Shoe Review



Perfect for a night on the town or your next holiday party, the ultra high heel Moskoww pumps from the Steve Madden collection are the epitome of fabulous while being just over the top enough to make you feel younger, sexier and more confident. This shoe was definitely not made for walking but they will get you around your next event with an air of confidence and a feeling of superiority.

Peep toe heels covered in silver glitter with flecks of reds, gold and other rich colors, these 5 ¾ inch heels have a festive bow on the toe strap and a mirrored heel with a 2 inch mirrored platform to boot. These Steve Madden heels are so fabulous they will work with just about any party ensemble. Pair them with a little black dress and a silver clutch for an evening event or with a vibrant red dress made for celebrating the holidays.

While most women prefer to wear flats on a regular uneventful day, throwing on some Steve Madden heels for a special night compliments any kind of dress. These heels are made for fabulous legs to do yourself a favor and pair them with a short hemline to make the most of what you’ve got. If a dress isn’t in the cards with these gorgeous heels, pair them with your darkest skinny jeans, a black tank and a black blazer. Pile on the jewelry with necklaces and bracelets and let these heels add glitter and excitement to your outfit.

The soles are man-made and the women’s shoes are imported. The glittery upper portion of the Steve Madden Moskoww heels is made of leather and the heels are comfortable and easy to wear. Not for the office, or even for your first meeting with the people you hope will one day become your in-laws, these heels were made for fun and playtime. Be the envy of every woman in the room in these Steve Madden shoes at your next event.

24 JunTire Discounters


I’ve dealt with Tire Discounters before when buying new tires, but the last time I called and talked to Joe. He gave me a good deal on some tires for Samantha’s van. Normally when I go to a place like that I always leave feeling like I just got screwed over. Not in this case. That was last year.

This weekend, I attempted to replace my brake pads due to some light squealing I’ve been hearing lately. I’ve had the pads for a few weeks and finally had time this weekend to do it. I got my wheel off and began getting frustrated with my inability to break two of the bolts free that had to come off. The temperature outside felt like 200 degrees and finally I gave up and put it back together.

I called Tire Discounters, because I bought a set of tires there last year and figured I was due for a rotation anyway. He told me if I use my own parts it would be $90 including turning the rotors if needed. After I hung up I could already hear him telling me I would need new rotors and get taken for $300 dollars.

After I went in and they went through my brakes they told me that there was nothing wrong with my pads and that “if we changed them it would be a waste of money, and that’s not what we do here”. The squeak was from some rust on my rotors and was OK. He gave me a quote for some new rotors.

They rotated the tires and I left, without spending anything. Two thumbs up for the Tire Discounters on Princeton Road in Fairfield Township.

13 MayThe Gilkey Window Experience

First of all, this review is based on my own personal opinion and was not solicited by anyone. I received no compensation from Gilkey or any other entity.

For a couple of years now, I have known that our windows were seriously in need of an upgrade. We have been dealing with our standard aluminum framed, double pane windows since we purchased this house nearly six years ago. This has been an expense I have put off time and time again.

This year, it finally came to a head and we decided to bite the bullet and go ahead with it. Who to choose?

Last year, we invited a rep from Airtite Windows into our home, only to get hammered with high pressure sales tactics, that resulted in broken promises and no new windows. This year, at the recommendation of my parents I decided to give Gilkey Windows a shot. I went the the website and requested an appointment.
gilkey windows referral
The next day, we were called and an appointment was set up for today with Brian Schamel (Highly recommended for southwest Ohio 1-800-878-7771). He is the same guy that sold windows to my parents, as well as my Aunt and Uncle. Brian came as scheduled and showed us about Gilkey’s windows, and was very friendly and professional. He was not overbearing and seemed to truly have our needs in mind. We were impressed enough that we decided to also have him quote us for a back patio door, as well as a new front entry door system.

After two hours, we had ironed out all details of our purchase. We settled on a total of 11 new windows, a sliding patio door, and a front entry system (A steel door with the side window, and all the fixin’s). Total purchase price – about $9200. This price is well below retail, and well below what any kind of discount a coupon could give. This was “cut to the chase” sales and I like it. We financed a portion of this easy enough and we were told that they would be coming back out to take precision measurements, and that our new home upgrades will be ready for installation in 4-6 weeks. The front door may take a little bit longer because the factory is not local.

We were called this week to schedule the guy to come out and take accurate measurements of our existing windows and doors. The appointment was scheduled for the following day, but we had a major snow storm come through. Nobody showed up to take measurements nor were we called. However, we did get a call the following day and rescheduled the visit for Monday, February 19th.

With every major purchase in my life, there is always at least one thing that keeps everything from going perfectly. In this case, it has been the long delay in actually having the windows and doors installed. 6-8 weeks has turned into a matter of months, not weeks. Fortunately, the windows will be installed this Thursday (May 18th).

We are very excited, the house needs a face lift badly. I am dreading the fact that I will be taking down all of our blinds and curtains, including the mounting hardware. All this only to re-install everything later in the week.

Here are some images of our existing windows. I took the pictures this winter. Click on images to make them larger.
frosted over windowsaluminum frosted windows

The day the windows were installed, I didn’t have to leave for work until 2pm. I normally sleep in a little bit on days I go in late. Today, my wife woke me up at 7:30am “The window people are here!”. They were right on time. I threw some clothes on and met the window installers.

The first crew to arrive were there to install my Gilkey front entry system. There were two of them. The other guys that showed shortly thereafter were to install the windows, and the patio sliding glass door.

Both crews were very friendly, and professional. My three year old son made a friend of one of them, and followed him around from room to room with his plastic tools asking him lots of questions.

By the time I left for work, all windows were installed and trim finished. The front door was also hung and very nice looking. Several days later, the only imperfection I can tell is where my son stuck his fingers in some caulk after the installers left.

I am confident that we made a good decision by choosing Gilkey. Only time will tell if the product is what they claim, but so far I am impressed.

Two years has gone by since we made our purchase, and I am still very happy with my windows and doors. However I thought I’d post about my recent experience with Gilkey Service Department.

A few weeks ago, the locking mechanism on our new patio door broke. I called the service department, and made an appointment. When the service man came out, not only did he replace the lock on the patio door but he also made some adjustments on the front entry door. Very fast work, and professional. Thanks!

Here are more pictures of the installation:
If you are serious about making a Gilkey purchase, and call Brian, please let him know about this site!

A couple of weeks ago, our dog saw a bird, or a rabbit in the back yard and decided he couldn’t wait to be let out. He plowed right through the screen door and ripped the screen mesh out. I called Gilkey service, and they said to bring it in to the show room and they would replace it free of charge.

I took the screen to the showroom, dropped it off (took about three minutes) and a couple days later they called and it was ready.

After a few years since my Gilkey purchase, I am still pleased.

31 AugGrrrrrrrrrrravitar

While doing some remodeling of my blog, one of the things I wanted to do was put avatars in the comments by using the Gravitar plugin. The way it works is, you simply sign up by giving up yor email and a password, then you will be able to have an avatar to display in other blogs that have this plugin.

I went to sign up for this, but after hitting submit, the page simply reloaded. I tried this several different times, then I even went with a different email that is on a different pop server.

After failing all attempts, I went to the forums. I thought there was hope. Many others were having this same problem, and the administrator was manually activating everyone. I was disheartened to see that there hasn’t been an administrator reply to any requests in a LONG TIME!

Just a few minutes ago, I sent the admin an email, and I hope I get it worked out soon!

Here what I really have a problem with. This is an excellent idea and all, and seems to be promoted pretty well throughout the blogosphere. The big problem is that someone is asleep at the wheel! If you don’t want to mess with it anymore, I’m sure someone would buy the site!

06 JunNew Hampshire

I was sent to the rainy, chilly state of New Hampshire for two weeks to attend a class for some new equipment getting installed at my job. We flew in this weekend to Manchester Airport and checked into the Hampton Inn in Portsmouth.

I have to say, the hotel is very nice, I always like the WiFi service they offer.

I’m not going to go on about the hotel, or the local restaurants I visited, but instead I’d like to just make a mention of the state in general. There are some pros and cons with this state, as I have seen the last few days.

There are too many people around here riding bicycles. Get a motorcycle, or a car, or if you insist on riding a bicyle, GET OFF THE ROAD!

There are too many Democrats. I left my George Bush sirts at home because I new this was a liberal town. I knew for sure I was in trouble when I was driving around and on the same trip, I saw some people practicing Lacrosse in their front yard and a few miles down the street I saw a home with a huge croquet game setup int heir back yard. I’m not talking about the kind you pull out for outdoor gatherings, I’m talking about a major setup going on!

To top it off, when I was at Applebees eating my dinner, there were some guys at the bar playing Yahtzee! Do I need to go on about that?


Yes, there are some pros to New Hampshire.

First, I liked the airport.

I also think that althought the people here are strange, they are generally nicer than other places.

Everywhere seems to be cleaner. Less trash on the ground, etc. There are plenty of restaurants, that aren’t crowded. I ave seen many nice houses as well!

Good place to visit, I’d have to assess the tax situation before I would think about living here. As I understand it, you don’t pay sales tax but you get dragged over the coals on personal property taxes.

Anyone with any insight on this or have any comments on New Hampshire, please feel free to comment on it.

04 FebOnline with T-Mobile

Well, it’s official. I signed up with T-Mobile for a new data plan using the Sony Ericsson Air Card.

I went to the local retail store this morning, and appreciated the excellent service. All of my questions were answered, and after about $300 I was out the door.

Once I got to my “remote office” I fired it up. Setup was pretty easy, just install the software and plug the card in. The only iffy part was I’m not sure about which profile to use. I can select the “T-Mobile” or “T-Mobile VPN”. I was only able to connect using VPN so I asume it’s the one I want. I’ll be severely pissed if I’m being billed .20 cents a minute for this.

As far as the connection, it’s a bit of culture shock getting used to the higher speed. I am learning that I cannot fire up 20+ webpages on my Firefox browser, I need to scale way back. The connection speed I believe is about as good as a faster dial up speed. Maybe 56k.

Anyway, I’m on it right now and it seems to work well.

This service is costing me about $30 a month and will probably hang with it for a while.

02 FebT-Mobile Air Card

One of the biggest problems I have been faced with, is my lack of internet connection while away from my home. This problem has crippled my blogging as well as my website building activities. I think I may be on the verge of a breakthrough.

I contacted my cellular phone provider, T-Mobile this week and inquired about a data plan. What this would allow me is to buy a PC card, (GC-89 PC card) that fits in my notebook and picks the internet out of the air. This service will cost me 29.99 per month on top of the initial hit I’ll have to take on buying the card. The card costs $279.

I will keep posting on this as the details become clear and I make moves to get this going.

26 DecDay of Returns

I worked 3rd shift last night, so this morning I came home, screwed around on the computer a little bit then went to bed.

After I woke up and had some coffee, I decided to venture out into the world and return some gifts for my wife. This blog will compare how each of the three stores were prepared for the after-holiday return crowd.

The first store I went to was Target. I had to return some slippers that didn’t fit. I waited in line for about ten minutes, and had no problem getting a cash refund. From reading the sign they had posted, if I hadn’t had a receipt I would have been screwed.

The second store was JC Penney. They had 3 registers open, and I waited in line for at least 20 minutes. The customer service representative that helped me was in no hurry, but was pleasant. She had no sense of urgency but I could appreciate her smile and good nature.

I had a gift receipt, and on it it said that with a gift receipt I could only get an exchange or an in store credit. The lady did a receipt lookup and credited my debit card the full amount.

The third and final store I went to was Walmart. Walmart was a mad house, but was well organized. I went right in and only had one person in front of me. My total wait in line was about two minutes. The cashier was friendly and didn’t seem to be stressed out.

Walmart, by far, was the most organized.

24 DecWant a Free Mr. Smiley T-Shirt?

mr smiley tshirt image
My wife sent me this link, and I will get a free Mr. SMiley T-shirt. Is it really free? I took a look at the TOS and it appears to be free, but there is one small catch.

This is from the TOS page:

As Member, you will be provided with the following Services through the MisterSmiley site:

* Ability to enter email addresses of friends that you are referring to the MisterSmiley site, which will trigger an automatic email to be sent to those addresses from you inviting them to sign up on MisterSmiley, and also additional emails reminding them to sign up if they haven’t done so yet.
* Ability to earn one (1) free tshirt for referring 5 people that sign up on the MisterSmiley site with a verified email address, valid US mailing address, and valid US phone number. Limit of 1 free tshirt per household. While supplies last.
* Ability to receive information about products and services that may be of interest to you. This information will be delivered via email.
* Ability to receive by postal mail any free tshirts earned. Please allow 4 weeks for delivery.
* Automatic notice from MisterSmiley, via the website, whenever you earn a free tshirt through one of the methods described above.
* Ability to update or change personally identifiable information from the MisterSmiley database by modifying it when you are logged in to the MisterSmiley site.
* Ability to unsubscribe from MisterSmiley emails by visiting

This tells me you better brace yourself for some SPAM. So, if you don’t mind getting spam, go ahead and get the free shirt.