29 November 2007

Free Store Credit

If you live near a Staples or an OfficeMax, and have a surplus of empty inkjet cartridges (Lexmark, Dell or HP originals), these two stores will give you a $3 store credit for every one that you bring in. The credit (no pun intended) for this goes to the bargain section on About.com.

The stores will let you use up to three credits (read: $9) at a time. With this you will be able to find some really good deals on various items as both stores have great value sections. So whenever you see an empty inkjet cartridge laying around, go ahead and pick it up, it will give you $3 in store credit!

28 November 2007

Reduced Cable Bill?

Over the past few years advocates have been touting that A La Carte cable TV packages would be much cheaper than the way packages and tiers are sold today. The cable companies say that this is not feasible with the technology today. Personally, I think that both sides don't see the whole picture and whatever gets worked out, hopefully it is a good compromise.

The FCC published a study in 2006 that stated consumers could save as much as 13 percent on their cable bill if they could choose channels a la Carte style. They also noted that the average household only watches 17 channels. While I don't know about the percentages, but I could agree that the average family watches only 17 channels. Although the New York Times article does not address how the prices would be reduced, it just states that they could.

The New York Times has now reported that an a la Carte channel selection would be bland and actually cost us more. They state as an example that ESPN costs $3 per subscriber while everything is packaged, whether the subscriber watches the channel or not. In their scenario, ESPN would have to charge more for their channel if it were not included as a package to keep the same profits. The scenario says that they may have to charge up to $12 per subscriber.

Personally, I feel that ESPN will not have a problem keeping subscribers as it is one of the more popular channels. Opponents of a la Carte programing feel it is the smaller lesser known channels that are going to lose out on the deal. Because the smaller or independent channels are less likely to be known or wanted, they will have to charge more to keep the same profit, something most people are not willing to pay for.

Both scenarios have their ups and downs and I'm not sure if the grass is really greener on the other side. Would I like to have a la Carte programing? In short, yes. But I feel that in some way my bill wouldn't decrease by much. The programmers and cable companies will make sure that they still profit and that their revenues will not decrease. Until a new startup company comes in and creates some competition, prices will continue to rise.

Competition is the answer, I feel. I don't think satellite is really providing much competition to cable, but if IPTV or fiber optic cables become common place, I think that we might see a drop in prices as competition would be in full swing. The possibility of this happening is not too far from the present as AT&T is beginning to use phone lines to deliver TV, and Verizon is working on new technologies as well.

Hopefully we will be able to choose the channels that we would like to watch and have the cheaper price that we want as well. But until that day most will still spend an exorbitant amount of money for their cable.

25 November 2007

BBW Nude Appreciation Revisited

By far, the most traffic to my site comes to my article about BBW nude appreciation. I guess sex sells, and I'm not going to complain if it gets me a few extra readers in the process. Besides, I feel that the topic should be presented to the public, as I don't feel like a majority of the population understands.

As I stated in my previous article, I believe that many men feel that they will be ridiculed for stating a preference for chubby, BBW or curvy women. They feel that they must keep this "secret" to themselves, for fear of being taunted. I have seen this first hand before, and I must say that after a while, your true friends won't care and in fact like your honesty.

In our society it has always amazed me how stick models have made it this far. To me, when I can see the rib cage or bones, it is a huge turn off. But it seems in the fashion world, that if you are above a size six then you are "fat". To me, the perfect size of woman is anywhere from a size 8 to a size 22, but that is subjective. Beauty is how you see it.

I do find it encouraging that there seems to be more online shopping for BBW woman. Many stores do not carry items for larger women, so many have to resort to clothes that don't fit properly, or not fashionable. There are stores out there now such as Kiyonna and Zaftique that cater to the girls that are curvy.

Porn will follow anything that sells, and since there is a small market (and rising) for the BBW, it is becoming more noticeable. The movie Alter Ego demonstrates that a curvy woman can be beautiful as the photographer Carlos Batts (NSFW) will attest to as he filmed his wife April Flores (NSFW). Below is the trailer to his video "Alter Ego", it shows no nudity, but may be unsafe for work.

There seems to be a small movement for the BBW camp, I just hope that it keeps pushing forward and makes a statement that beauty can come in all sizes.

I would love to hear your comments on the subject. My last article had quite a few hits in just a couple of days, but only two comments. Let me know what you think!

Update (12/01/07): I got an email from a person who choses to remain anonymous, but he sent me a video of his BBW wife that he would like to share, keep in mind it is NSFW. Enjoy.

Missouri beats Kansas

There are plenty out there that don't know much about the Missouri-Kansas rivalry, but it is the second oldest rivalry in the country. This year it couldn't mean more; Kansas is ranked #2 and Missouri is ranked #4. The winner of the game would become the Big 12 North Champion, proceed to the Big 12 Championship versus Oklahoma and be one win away from a National Title game.

For Missouri, Quarterback Chase Daniel racked up 361 yards passing and completed 40 of 49 passes. The Heisman trophy hopeful did not seem to be bothered by the stakes of the game and dominated the Jayhawk defense. Kansas, who had only seen one ranked opponent in #24 Kansas State, was not prepared for the high powered Missouri offense.

Missouri's defense showed signs of fatigue during the second half as the Jayhawks were able to come within six points before a safety with twelve seconds left, sealed the fate of the Kansas hopeful.

Now Mizzou must contend with West Virginia for the #1 ranked spot. Many say that #3 (BCS) West Virginia will jump to the #1 spot after the LSU and KU loss this week. The BCS standings are released Sunday and we will see who has come out on top.

Bot West Virginia and Missouri have faced four nationally ranked teams this season and each has lost one of those contests. Out of West Virginia's schedule, no team has been ranked higher than #18, while Missouri's schedule boasts two top 10 teams. West Virginia's only loss was to #18 South Florida, which is the highest ranked team they have faced. #2 Kansas just dropped to Missouri, giving Missouri a win over a top 5 ranked team.

As a fan of Missouri (Go Tigers!), I would like to see Mizzou in the #1 spot. Fanhood aside, I still believe that Missouri should be the top team in the BCS as they have faced two top ten ranked opponents and defeated one. West Virginia has yet to play a team in the top ten (and will not) in the regular season. I don't see how West Virginia can take advantage of the #2 Kansas loss to #4 Missouri.

Since #1 LSU lost to unranked Arkansas, that left that slot vacant for one of the teams below them. Then #2 Kansas suffered the same fate to #4 Missouri. Since Missouri was the team to defeat Kansas, they should leapfrog West Virginia and take the #1 spot. The BCS calculations had West Virginia edging out Missouri by .0171 last week, so I can't see West Virginia staying on top over Missouri.

19 November 2007

$1 Gas Tax

In the past six years, the price of a barrel of oil has increased almost $65 by going from $25.50 to $90. Apparently after the tragedy of September 11, 2001 occurred, many called for a gas tax of one dollar to allow for more energy efficient designs from American automotive manufactures, and to keep revenue from going to the very countries that oppose the United States of America.

But the government decided that it would be in their best interest to not interfere with the free market and the price of oil has steadily increased. The tax was to be phased in over 12 months, and was to help Americans switch to more economical friendly automobiles and to be more energy conscience.

Personally, I think Americans have become spoiled in how we use our energy. Many always state that we have the freedom to do this. My question would have to be, "At what price?" The United States is one of the biggest polluters in the world and we don't seem to care.

While I'm not as dedicated or severe as a tree-hugger, I feel that if we can do minor things (that have a big impact) for the environment, why not do so. Unfortunately, others do not feel the same and need to see a change in their pocketbook before they will initiate change in their life. This is where the tax would have helped.

Americans do not rely enough on personal transportation (i.e. bicycles), or mass transportation, but instead climb into a huge 8 passenger SUV to transport usually just themselves (at 13 MPG). When gas prices peaked at over three dollars a gallon, you began to see a change in this trend. Many found alternative forms of transportation because they were forced to because of a change in their financial situation, not because they wanted to help the environment.

If the United States leaders care at all about the environment, they would initiate a stronger gas tax. But since the U.S. did not ratify the Kyoto Protocol, I doubt the government is interested in helping the environment. They only worry about their status and popularity; creating another tax or changing our way of life would disrupt how they are viewed and therefore the status quo prevails.

The $1 tax in itself would probably not do much for Americans other than cause them to spend more on gasoline...and complain. Some day others will realize that reducing emissions and oil usage will be beneficial to the environment and people. Hopefully it is not too late.

16 November 2007

Back from Deployment

For those of you who follow this blog, I wanted to let you know that I have returned from deployment. It was only a month long, as I was replacing someone who needed to get home. Unfortunately, where I was at does not allow access to Blogger or any other blogging site. So that left me without a way to post to the blog. Hopefully I will figure out a work around before I have to head out again.

I will try to be back up on my feet here within the next day or two so that I will have content flowing again. I wanted to thank all of those who sent emails and comments while I was gone, I really appreciate it.