200th post!

Just a little personal milestone here… this is the 200th post in this blog!

I remember as a kid that “issue 200” of my favorite comics usually meant something spectacular was about to happen. Some crazy new adventure would begin, some major character would get added or taken out of the storyline, or most thrilling and terrifying of all… a new writer and/or artist would start work on the next issue of the comic.

I’m still messing around with what goes where in this blog, but things are finally settling into a somewhat stable pattern. My sincere thanks to everyone who has been reading along this whole time!

And now, thanks to CoverBroswer.com, some “200th issue!” eye candy from my childhood…

Recall : Tylenol Arthritis Pain 100 Count With Ez-Open Cap

Fortunately, this is not a medical-emergency recall.

“McNeil Consumer Healthcare… is expanding its voluntary recall to include all available product lots of TYLENOL® Arthritis Pain Caplet 100 count bottles with the distinctive red EZ-OPEN CAP.”

Some of the Tylenol Arthritis Pain 100 Count With Ez-Open Cap shipments were pulled back earlier because some customers said that when they opened the bottle, they got… “an unusual moldy, musty, or mildew-like odor that was associated with nausea, stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea.”

But it’s not the capsules that are causing the cookie-tossing side effects.

“The uncharacteristic smell is caused by the presence of trace amounts of a chemical called  2,4,6-tribromoanisole.  The source of 2,4,6-tribromoanisole is believed to be the breakdown of a chemical used to treat wooden pallets that transport and store packaging materials. The health effects of this compound have not been well studied, and to date all of the observed events reported to McNeil were temporary and non-serious.”

But still, the last thing you want when you have a headache or body ache is to add nausea, stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea to the mix.

Only Tylenol Arthritis Pain Caplet 100 count bottles with the red ez-open cap are affected.

UPC # : 0045-0838-21
NDC Code: 8382100
Lot # : 07CMC011, 07DMC022, 07DMC024, 07FMC032, 07FMC033, 07GMC038, 07GMC039, 07HMC045, 07HMC051, 07HMC053, 07JMC064,  07JMC069, 07JMC070, 07JMC071, 07XMC055, 07XMC058, 07XMC062, 08AMC002, 08AMC005, 08CMC026, 08DMC029, 08EMC037, 08EMC039, 08FMC044, 08FMC045, 08GMC050, 08GMC053, 08GMC063, 08GMC065, 08JMC103, 08JMC109, 08JMC110, 08JMC111, 08KMC124, 08KMC127, 08KMC131, 08KMC132, 08XMC093, 08XMC094, 08XMC095, 09AMC010, 09CMC041, 09EMC075, 09EMC079, 09EMC076, 09GMC096, 09GMC097, 09GMC099, 09JMC118, 09JMC126, 09KMC133, 09KMC134, 09XMC114, 09XMC116

Here’s the link to the official FDA recall.

AT&T says “you don’t have enough towers”

This was too good not to immediately post this morning.

According to an article on the consumerist, AT&T is no longer selling iPhones in New York City. You know… the New York City? One of the greatest cities in the United States?

When the Consumerist went online with AT&T customer service to find out why, they were told by a rep named Daphne… “I am happy to be helping you today. Yes, this is correct the phone is not offered to you because New York is not ready for the iPhone. You don’t have enough towers to handle the phone.”

AT&T is not even trying anymore. They actually have the unmitigated balls to tell a customer that it’s their fault there aren’t enough towers in their city. Instead of getting off their duff and fixing their network, they’re restricting sales to new, paying customers… customers who want to buy their product… because their busted-ass network is past their capacity to manage.

You don’t have enough towers to handle the phone.”

I think AT&Ts solution to the problem will be to fire Daphne, then issue a press release to say “we’re striving to be the best and will continue to do everything we can to be the best because we are the best at talking about what’s the best… blah blah blah.”

AT&T’s pinhead managers apparently decided not to let anyone else into their network because they’re past the maximum threshold their ancient system can handle, so they’re done with that city. And by proxy, so is the iPhone.

Hey Apple / Steve Jobs. You might want to review your contract with these idiots to see if there’s something in there you can hammer them with. Because, quite frankly, if you don’t do something about this, every other cellular carrier is going to notice you don’t mind when someone walks all over you and smacks you around a bit. And think of it this way, too… do you think Microsoft (under Gates or Ballmer) would stand for a fraction of this treatment from their partners? Ask yourself, What Would Microsoft Do if this was happening to them?

Time to unleash the hounds and get some respect back.

Price Check : Sams Coca Colas

Here’s another example of some quick math saving a little money.

I was at Sam’s getting some tasty beverages for the weekend. I got to the Coca Cola section and was about to grab a tray of cokes. There was a “4/8 pack” and a “24” pack selection.

I have no idea why Sam’s has one set of coca colas listed as a “4/8” pack. 8*4=32. So really it’s a 32 pack or a 24 pack. They’re the same 12oz cans, just in different packaging and different quantities.

Sams Coca Colas A

Sams Coca Colas A

The 32 pack was for $9.84. That works out to about .31 cents each.

Sams Coca Colas B

Sams Coca Colas B

The 24 pack was for $5.98. That works out to about .25 cents each! A .06 cent difference per can!

Even though you get fewer 12oz colas in the 24 pack, you get a lot more for your money if you buy the 24 pack. Especially in multiples. If you needed 96 coca colas for a big birthday party, 3 of the 32 packs would cost you $29.52. While 4 of the 24 packs would cost $23.92. That would be a $5.60 difference for the same number of colas in different packaging.

Price Check : Razors

It’s pretty easy sometimes to figure out what’s a better deal on some items. A simple price check often saves me a lot of money.

Take for example razors. It was time to get another set, so I went to the local Target to grab a few.

Now I have both Gillette and Schick razor handles, so the brand of razor doesn’t restrict me. It was just a matter of finding out which blade refills were going to be more affordable. First up, on the endcap of the isle, I found this…

Price Check - Razors 01

Price Check - Razors 01

For $8.99, I get 6 razor blades (counting the one on the razor blade handle), 4 AAA batteries, and a set of “portable speakers”. That works out to $1.50 a razor blade. ($8.99/6) Not bad! Plus it’s the multi-blade system I like. Plus I get free batteries!

But maybe this wasn’t the best deal. I took a walk down the “regular” isle of razor blades and was almost floored…

Price Check - Razors 02

Price Check - Razors 02

$15.09 for 4 razor blades?!? That’s $3.77 each! Even with a mini mini bottle of shaving cream/shampoo stuff, that’s still way too high. Maybe in a different quantity?

Price Check - Razors 03

Price Check - Razors 03

Nope. $24.99 for 8 razor blades works out to $3.12 each. $35.99 for 12 razor blades works out to $2.99 each. Still too high. And I don’t get anything “extra” either.

The gift set won, hands down.

This gift set was the only one left at this Target store, but I’m going to be on the lookout for more of these sets in the next few days and stock up.

Goofy as it sounds, a little math does go a long way.

Tactical errors in the news : part two

Another article on Fox News talks about the recent disappearance of Susan Powell, 28, who “was last seen on Dec. 7, when her husband says he left their suburban home in West Valley City at about 12:30 a.m. to take their two boys, ages 2 and 4, camping in freezing conditions.”

Going camping in below freezing weather with two boys under 5 years old? According to the Weather Channel history for Salt Lake City, Utah, the temperature Sunday the 7th was 25 degrees as the high (-3.9 degrees Celsius) and 17 degrees as the low (-8.3 degrees Celsius). And at 12:30 a.m., right after midnight, the temperature was probably close to that 17 degree (-8.3 degree Celsius) range.

Catfish. I’m definitely smelling something along the lines of catfish around here.

The story about the missing Salt Lake City, Utah woman and the way things like this usually end up are not what I’m looking at. I’m looking at another glaring tactical error. Two, in fact.

Susan Powell’s husband, Joshua Powell, decided he needed to bust out in a rental car just under 48 hours after his wife disappeared. He drove hundreds of miles in a rental vehicle he got for a 24 hour period to head… who knows where.

Error #1 : There was no GPS in the rental vehicle. In this day and age, Joshua Powell got a rental vehicle from one of the last companies to implement GPS devices in their rental fleet. He could have driven to Canada or Mexico and the company would’ve never known what happened to their vehicle. What rental company doesn’t have a GPS in their rental vehicles?

Error #2 :The police had him pegged as a person of interest, and even had his minivan in their CSI room, but didn’t notice he was gone from the city for 48 hours? No drive by his home? No knock-knock on his door for a sweet Andy Griffith style “hey, hope you’re doing OK” checkup? No judicial order not to leave the city limits?

Since that little trip to nowhere, “His minivan has since been returned to him by police and he has not been named a suspect in his wife Susan’s disappearance.”

I still smell catfish.

It would be nice if when someone is named as a “person of interest” in any criminal proceeding, there’s an automatic judicial order for them not to leave the city limits for 72 hours without notifying the detective and/or police department doing the investigating. How hard would this be to make into a law on a state by state basis?

And hopefully the police are checking wireless phone records, ATM receipts, and gas stations along the freeways. But that’s a very tiny needle in a very big haystack at this point.

Here’s the link to the Fox News article on Susan Powell’s disappearance (iPhone format)

Tactical errors in the news : part one

A recent article in Fox News says the attorney for Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Ft. Hood shooter, is complaining his client is having his rights violated.

Apparently, Hasan’s attorney, John P. Galligan, is having a problem with “police stopp[ing] a phone conversation between Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan and one of his brothers Friday because it was not in English.”

OK. I’m not worried about the potential civil violations that may or may not have happened here. I’m looking at a serious tactical error that just happened.

Why did the military police keep Hasan from talking to whoever he wanted to?

It shouldn’t have mattered at all if he was speaking in Arabic, German, Dutch, or Pig Latin. The military police should have had his entire cell wired as soon as he arrived. The military police should have had a live tap on every phone call he made as well as a digitally recorded copy. And keep one military police officer present in the room during any and all conversations.

After all the conversations Hasan makes (except the conversations with his attorney), get a translator to go back and review what he said on the recordings! And since he made any and all comments in front of a military police officer that was present in the room at the time, it should be fair game for everything he said to be admissible in a court of law.

Who knows what they missed by telling him to shut up.

Here’s the link to the Fox News article (iPhone format).

Verizon : ready for the iphone!

Verizon says they’re ready for the iPhone, and I gotta tell you, it can’t come soon enough!

In an article on NeoWin, “According to BusinessWeek, Verizon Wireless Chief Technology Officer, Anthony Melone, said that in the event that AT&T’s exclusivity deal is broken, Verizon is ready for the iPhone. Melone confirms that Verizon has been beefing up its network to prepare for the possibility of adding the world’s most popular smartphone to their lineup. “We have put things in place already… We are prepared to support that traffic.” Melone feels that Verizon’s network and equipment would do a much better job of handling the heavy traffic load produced by the iPhone, stating, “Absolutely, I think we could handle it.””


In addition, Verizon is serious about keeping iPhone users happy. They’re deploying 100 trucks for their technicians to… “literally drive on roads throughout the country testing the service of their own devices as well as devices of their rivals… If techies find an area that has weak service, the company can target more investment to improve the quality of the phone call or the data download.”

As soon as the day comes, I’m bailing on AT&T. I’m almost free of their two years of crap service, and it can’t come soon enough!! Since AT&T hasn’t bothered to make any serious upgrades to their rickety network for the iPhone until late this year, the best way I can think of to say “thanks” for two years of horrible service is with my pocketbook. As soon as my contract is up with AT&T, I’m going to stay month to month until the Verizon deal is announced. Then I’m jumping to Verizon as soon as I can.

I bet we will get to watch AT&T’s bottom line sink like a brick in concrete shoes next year when all the iPhone users finally get a chance to abandon the AT&T ship. And I also predict we will get to watch some very long-overdue AT&T executive heads roll soon after.

Here’s the link to the NeoWin article.

And a link to the Business Week article.