How Did I Live Without It?

20130530_171456_PerfectlyClear_0001A few months ago, thinking of my newly founded web development business, I decided to get an all-in-one printer/scanner/fax machine. How did I live without it?

Actually, let me modify that. How did I live without the scanner?

Why is anyone still using fax machines? This “Canon PIXMA MX512 Wireless Color Photo Printer with Scanner, Copier and Fax” came with fax capabilities, but I’d much rather scan and send something as an email attachment. My guess is most of the people still sending faxes never think to do it any other way.

I’ve only printed two pages on its color printer. Test prints. My laser printer is cheaper to operate and faster. I’ll continue to print boarding passes in black and white.

OK–back to the scanner. It’s got sheet feeder and flat bed capability. It is fast enough… faster than I expected.

I didn’t expect to use it as often as I have. Insurance forms, real estate disclosures, even photos have been scanned and sent on their way. Today, when Helaine discovered some paperwork we’d need during our drive west, I scanned it, then emailed it to myself. It will be there when I need it without the necessity of carrying more paper.

For $88.00 I got a deal. What I’m trying to remember is, what I did for scanning before this entered my life?

The Inspection

Our home’s sale is on schedule. Today an inspector spent a few hours looking around. This is part of the normal process. The buyer doesn’t want a pig in a poke (whatever that means).

We’ve taken good care of this place, but still worried there might be something we missed. Nope. Other than typical wear-and-tear, we’re good to go–literally! No surprises.

The physical inspection is done, but two more pieces are outstanding. Our air is being tested for radon, our water for bacteria. Neither should pose a problem.

I continue to be amazed by the complexity of the whole sell/buy process. All these steps. All must be completed in order. I have signed a million papers.

Attention to detail helps. Helaine is in charge!

Who Falls For This?

I just got an email from a guy I used to work with on Inside Space. Well, it says it’s from him. It’s not.

I really hope you get this fast. I could not inform anyone about our trip, because it was impromptu. we had to be in Philippines for Tour.. The program was successful, but our journey has turned sour. we misplaced our wallet and cell phone on our way back to the hotel we lodge in after we went for sight seeing. The wallet contained all the valuables we had.

I am sorry if i am inconveniencing you, but i have only very few people to run to now. i will be indeed very grateful if i can get a short term loan from you (1,930USD) ? this will enable me sort our hotel bills and get my sorry self back home. I will really appreciate whatever you can afford in assisting me with. I promise to refund it in full as soon as soon as I return. let me know if you can be of any assistance. Please, let me know soonest.

Who hasn’t taken an ‘impromptu’ trip to the Philippines?

The scammers are using their best English, but it’s not American English. That’s the tipoff. Sniffing these crooks out would be much more difficult if they were US based.

Emails like this go out by the thousands every day! Who falls for them? Obviously someone, or they’d just dry up.

It would make me sad to find out someone got scammed trying to help a friend.

Hello Angie!

One of the most unexpected ‘gets’ of our pre-departure life has been the addition of “Angie’s List.” You’ve surely seen the commercials (or fast forwarded through them).

With Angie’s List, consumers rate merchants and craftsmen. Nothing unusual there, except Angie’s List is a subscription service. That makes all the difference! It’s less likely competitor will trash competitor or a business will artificially pump it’s ranking, because doing so has a substantial monetary cost.

The Internet meme: when a service doesn’t charge, you are the product not the customer, applies here. You’re paying Angie. You’re the customer.

Yelp, for example, works the opposite way. Consumers get to leave and use the reviews for free, while Yelp sells advertising.

From A Freedom of Information act request filed with the FTC has resulted in the release of nearly 700 complaints against Yelp over the past four years. The FTC blocked any identifying information from coming through, so it’s unclear who filed these complaints. What is clear? Plenty of restaurant owners are really, really, really mad at Yelp. Restaurants filed complaints accusing the company of filtering out positive reviews (thus skewing their ratings), of harassing them to buy advertising, of refusing to pull libelous reviews, and a whole lot more.

Here’s what we’ve found so far. When we choose based on Angie’s List reviews and let the merchant know how we found them, they consistently relate how good Angie’s been for business.

It’s also immediately obvious Angie’s List is a two edged sword. They understand Angie can take away as quickly as she gives. Once you get a taste of that extra business you don’t want to lose it.

Maybe we’re naive, but so far this seems like a good investment. We are heading to a city where we know few and no one knows us. Hopefully Angie will help.

The Move Gets More Real Every Day


With each succeeding day our upcoming departure gets more-and-more real. We have set the date to move. We’ve got the closing dates set on this house and our new home in California.

We plan on driving the 2,867 miles in Helaine’s car. Doppler will live the lapdog’s dream. She will NOT be strapped to the roof.

The guy buying our home in Hamden came by today to have the septic system tested. I don’t blame him. I would have too. There were no problems. We passed with flying colors and a minimum of stink.

During our last trip to California we (meaning Stef and Helaine) chose flooring and other custom features for the new place. I was there for some reason. Not sure what it was.

Stef, whose own apartment is really well decorated, was incredibly helpful and insightful. I was impressed. She had great suggestions, most of which were implemented.

Our Connecticut house will come with most of the furniture. We plan on taking none west! That lead to furniture shopping today.

I know, it doesn’t sound logical. But, with the lead time on furniture, it made sense to buy here and have it delivered there!

Helaine, Doppler and I hopped in the car and headed to the furniture store. A few hours later I had the bill for three rooms fully furnished rooms.

With each passing day here are more “t”s to cross and “i”s to dot. We’re getting closer.

I am both melancholy and excited.

We’re The Dogsitters (With Photos)

Cheryl and Steve had plans this afternoon. Unfortunately, humans only! Bentley’s loss is our gain. We’re the dogsitters! My first remembrance of Bentley and Doppler was at the Wallingford Animal Shelter. They were in the midst of some sort of family feud. Bentley was the aggressor, which seemed strange because Doppler was much larger and […]

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The Title I Wanted To Use For This Post Is Too Dirty

Fees. I want to talk about fees. We are presented with fees all the time. The way they are used, fees are lies! If a company wants to advertise one price and charge another, let the difference be a fee not disclosed (or poorly disclosed) in the advertisement. AT&T, thank you for this opportunity to […]

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The New Knee

My friend Big John is back in Connecticut. The “Big” in front of his name is well deserved. John is a giant of a man, tall, broad and powerful. For much of his adult life John worked outdoors. His job was physical. He used every bit of his size and power. It took its toll. […]

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Cupcakes! In The Fridge!

Cupcakes! In the fridge! Helaine was in Branford. There were cupcakes between her and here. She made the right choice. I am downstairs, alone. They’re just sitting there. Do you know how tempting they are? Cupcakes are a two edged sword. They look appealing. Then you bite in. Wow. Of course, they are not good […]

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It’s Chilly Out There

Doppler and I went for a walk around a half hour ago. Who stole spring? It’s chilly out there! Aren’t we nearly to June? The automated weather observer at Meriden/Markham Airport reports 49&#176 with a wind chill of 44&#176. “I didn’t know we had wind chill in May,” Helaine noted. Ain’t it the truth! Last […]

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