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Friday, May 20, 2016

Novapolt External DVD Drive

Novapolt External DVD Drive

Plug and Play. Full compatible with USB 3.0 / USB 2.0

Compatible with WindowsXP/windows2003/Windows8/ windows10 Vista/7, Linux, Mac10 OS, OS X Yosemite, 2015 27" retina iMac, Macbook Pro with OS 10.10.5, macbook air version 10.9.5, imac with el capitan - os x 10.11 and all PC
Power by USB, no need any other power source, no need to install any driver program. Powered by single USB port, just connect it to any PC or MAC with the USB connector, then it will read the disc automatically.

With Slim, Light-weight and Shockproof Design, you can put it in the travelling bag or on your desk This superdrive is for ultrabook, netbook or PC, you can playback CD and DVD, and record CD( ONLY BURN CD)which will give you perfect effect when you are watching DVD videos, installing software, or create backup discs, etc.
I use an Asus Chromebook as my computer. Sadly, The majority of ChromeOS devices do NOT come with a CD/DVD drive, so I was very excited to get this drive. I was looking forward to watching some DVDs and accessing old burnt CDs.

This wasn't to be, though.

^^What I received^^

After finding a tutorial video on YouTube and downloading/installing the appropriate app to read video files, I connected the drive to my Chromebook and inserted a DVD... the drive acted like it was going to read the DVD, so I could open the 'chapters' individually, but nothing happened. The drive was not even found in my file system, so I couldn't even explore the disc.

I tried BOTH USB ports on this Chromebook, thinking maybe it needed to be connected to the USB 3.0 port (and I am unsure which side the 3.0 port is on) and neither side would read the disc. I know the USB ports work, since I have an external wireless mouse and I have accessed my external drive through these same ports.

I did not feel like dragging out my Ubuntu desktop to test the drive on it, and all other computers in the house have a CD/DVD drive already installed.

As far as disabled folks go, there should be NO issue using this... if it works on your system. Just plug it in and hit the open button. As long as you can plug in an USB wire to the port, you'll be fine.

This is available from Amazon for $29.99.

Complete waste of time, energy (and money) if your system isn't compatible.

**As per FTC guidelines, I received this product in exchange for an honest review. Only compensation I received is the product(s) mentioned above. All opinions are my own and your usage/results may vary.**

PawChoice Dry Dog Shampoo

PawChoice Dry Dog Shampoo

The Fastest and Easiest Way to Clean Your Dog and Remove Odor Without A Messy Bath

- Requires No Water or Rinsing
- Cleans Skin and Coat, Removes Odor
- Fresh Mango and Pomegranate Scent
- Mild, Natural Coconut Derived Formula
- For All Fur Types and Sensitive Skin

A bath isn't always convenient or an option, but our dogs can quickly get dirty and stinky! Our waterless foam shampoo will get your furry family clean and smelling fresh without the hassle or mess of a bath.

Lots of Different Ways to Use

- Keep Active Dogs Fresh
- Extend Time Between Baths
- Great for Pets That Don't Like Baths
- Use Anytime, Anywhere!

Our Difference
- Made in USA
- Premium Natural Ingredients
- A Commitment to Safety
- Veterinarian Formulated
- Super Customer Service
While Mama Melissa does most things for Chase, Baths are Sissy's department. It's our little 'bonding time.' He isn't the fondest of the noise of the water filling the tub, but once the water is shut off and I get him in the water, he's PERFECT. You seriously can't ask for a better pup in the tub! He cooperates with turning side to side, and he doesn't fight you at all.

So, I figured this dry shampoo would be perfect for Chase... No nervousness at the running water, no need for the ENDLESS drying and no 'zoomies' when we're done, plus he smells clean. What do we have to lose?

^^what I received^^

So, after his last bathroom run last night, I tried this on Chase and he HATED it.

While it has a nice scent to it, It completely freaked Chase out to the point where he was breathing VERY heavily and clinging to Mama Melissa. This shocked (and confused) me, as like I said, Chase is such a good boy during normal water-based baths. It also left his fur/hair feeling sticky and stiff, even with drying it out with a towel. Even my hands felt sticky after use, despite using hand sanitizer.

Because of these factors, I promptly threw the rest of the bottle out. I wasn't going to subject Chase to any more freak outs.

Disabled people may have some trouble using the pump if they need to hold their dog while using it. Otherwise, it actually works easily.

This is available from Amazon for $15.97.

Great in theory, but I'll stick with just giving Chase normal baths in the tub every week.

**As per FTC guidelines, I received this product in exchange for an honest review. Only compensation I received is the product(s) mentioned above. All opinions are my own and your usage/results may vary.**

Monday, May 16, 2016

100 Life Hacks to Make Life Easier

100 Life Hacks

I'm all about life hacks... if it's going to make living with CP easier, let's do this.

Here are 100 different life hacks that anyone, disabled or not, can surely appreciate!!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Love with Food April 2016 box

Love with Food
April 2016 box

What is Love With Food?
Love With Food helps you discover new organic or all-natural snacks delivered to your door every month. Our subscription membership starts as low as $10/month. Every month, Love With Food members will receive a curated box of unique, hard-to-find tasty snacks which varies based on seasonal themes.

For every box sold, we donate a meal to several food banks such as the Feeding America Network and Share Our Strength - No Kid Hungry. Join us to help end child hunger one meal at a time!

Say goodbye to boring grocery selections and start discovering your Love With Food experience!
This month’s theme is ‘Love is Joy.’ Joy is an almost perfect word for the almost indescribable idea of love. It’s pure happiness and utter excitement. And both of those things apply to delicious snacks too, right? Obviously. This month’s box is jam-packed full of goodies that we know you won’t be able to help loving. So spread the love (and joy) around!

According to my tracking apps, my Love With Food box SHOULD be here with today's mail. With that being said, Let’s take an in-depth look at the April 2016 box.

These will change everything you thought you knew about the humble potato chip -- without any GMOs, cholesterol or gluten. Boom.

FROM THE BACK: Pure coconut oil and sea salt bring our original kettle chip to another level of delicious snacking. Do your taste buds a favor, and savor each delicious crunch.

Lay’s Kettle Cooked chips cooked with coconut oil instead of the vegetable oil Frito Lay uses. I honestly didn’t taste a difference between these and regular Kettle Cooked chips.
I got these to myself, since they were cooked in coconut oil and Mama Melissa is allergic to anything Coconut and/or it’s byproducts.
TASTE: 10/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Non-GMO, Gluten free, Vegan, Dairy-free

Would you believe only three ingredients could make a cracker so addictive? Just one of these oh-so-simple crunchy snacks and you’ll be hooked.

FROM THE BACK: No labels to read, Nothing to worry about. With only 3 ingredients, Laiki black rice crackers are naturally gluten-free, vegan, and allergen friendly. Just 100% guilt-free, wholegrain goodness!

I got the Red Rice variety of these crackers about a year ago in the predecessor to LWF’s gluten-free box, Taste Guru. And I really enjoyed the Red Rice flavor. They had a ‘triscuit-y’ flavor to them.
The black rice crackers had almost a buttered popcorn flavor to them, which I wasn’t really expecting. I liked these, but I think if I had my choice, I’d eat the red rice crackers quicker.
TASTE: 8/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Non-GMO, Gluten free, Vegan, Dairy-free

The perfect hit of chewy sweetness for an afternoon pick-me-up -- not to mention a guaranteed hit in the kids’ lunches.

FROM THEIR WEBSITE: Is there anything you wouldn’t do for a pack of fruit snacks?! That’s right … it’s the perfect blackmail treat (and it’s even a healthy snack!) At only 70-calories & 10g sugar per pouch, these are easy, portable & guilt-free – the ideal snack for kids & grown-ups on the go.
Tasty Brand gummies are made without any artificial colors or flavors. They’re also free of gelatin (they’re vegan) so they’re easy on your teeth … many dentists even recommend them. They are also made with real, organic fruit juice and contain 100% daily value of Vitamin C per serving. Our gummies are made in a facility that banished the 8 major allergens, so they are free of peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, soy, wheat, dairy, fish & shellfish.

Think Welch’s Fruit Snacks without all the gunk and gelatin commercial fruit snacks/gummies have.
I didn’t taste a whole lot of actual fruit flavor in these, but they were very easy on the teeth, which is a plus with the chewing issues I have.
TASTE: 7/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free, Vegan, Dairy-free

Waffles aren’t just for breakfast anymore. Not when they’re a perfect balance of sweet, crispy, and gloriously gluten-free goodness.

FROM THE BACK: In 1954, beekeeper Ralph Gamber and his wife Luella created the EN-R-G Bar as a healthy snack. They also introduced “quick energy” packets of honey. Fifty years later, Honey Stinger was founded by a group including their son and grandson.
Our goal is simple; provide great tasting, honey-based energy foods made with natural ingredients. We think Ralph and Luella would be proud of our products and we know you’ll like them too.
The Crew at Honey Stinger

This is the gluten-free version of the German treat stroopwafel. Very yummy and just as sweet as the normal stroopwafel.
TASTE: 9/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free, Organic, Dairy-free

Anyone who says they’re tired of kale hasn’t had their life changed by these. Flavor packed with just a touch of salt, this is no ordinary chip.

We take nutritious kale and bake its flavors and benefits into a bite-sized snack. Paired with your favorite dips, these simply delicious snacks offer a healthier crunch. Welcome to your new favorite chip!

~Clean ingredients
~No added preservatives
~0 grams Trans Fat
~No artificial colors or flavors
~Gluten free
~Simple Ingredients
~Simply delicious

I haven’t figured out WHY, but these chips have an egg roll taste to me. I like egg rolls, so these were really good. I don’t actually taste the kale in these, which is such a good thing, as you’ll see below. I would not mind eating these again.
TASTE: 9/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Non-GMO, Gluten free, Vegan, Dairy-free

Real ingredients making real flavor, minus the nasty artificial stuff. A scrumptious gluten-free snack you can feel good about? Check and check.

FROM THE BACK: We’re two brothers who get along well with each other, but not with gluten. We’re doing everything possible to make the best gluten-free protein bars around. We don’t compromise on ingredients, taste or nutrition. Been looking for a better bar? You found it. The GFB: Believe in a Better Bar.

This had the texture of a brownie bar, but tasted a little bland to me. I could taste the chocolate and peanut butter equally, but it tasted very dry.
TASTE: 7/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Non-GMO, Gluten free, Vegan, Dairy-free

Trust us -- if we didn’t tell you that these chocolate-y bites of heaven are both gluten AND dairy-free, you’d never believe us.

Just like double chocolate cookies. Very crunchy. These were a bit too crunchy for me, but I still liked them. I think if they were the chewy variety, I would have liked them more.
TASTE: 7/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Non-GMO, Gluten free, Vegan, Dairy-free

Scrumptiously salty, grass-fed beef with just a touch of sweet. This is one protein-packed afternoon snack you’ll be dreamy about by 10 a.m.

Nice taste, but a bit hard on my teeth. Not entirely sure what Japanese Curry should taste like, but I didn’t really taste the sweetness this jerky claimed to have. I tasted more of a spicy kick to it. Despite the toughness, I actually liked this.
You can save 20% off your first purchase by visiting www.Lawlessjerky.com and using the code LoveWithFood at checkout
TASTE: 9/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Non-GMO, Gluten free, Vegan, Dairy-free

Everything you know about energy bars is about to change. All you need to do is take a bite of this naturally caffeinated treat to be converted.

Neither Mama Melissa or I actually liked this. It was very soft and chewy, but I think we’ll stick to getting our caffeine through our cups of coffee.
PLEASE NOTE: On the back of the label, it states “Not recommended for people under 18 or women who are pregnant or nursing. Consume caffeine responsibly. May contain pits. Contains tree nuts. Manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts.
You can save 20% off your first purchase by visiting www.ritualenergy.com and using the code LOVEWITHFOOD at checkout
TASTE: 3/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free, Dairy-free

What’s better than delicious, authentic pasta straight from Italy, just waiting to be paired with your favorite sauce? Make it gluten-free.

Seriously could not taste a difference between these and normal Penne noodles. I ended up making Poor Man's Tuna Noodle Casserole with these, which was delicious!
TASTE: 10/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Non-GMO, Gluten free, Vegan, Dairy-free

Don’t be fooled -- just because it’s super good for you doesn’t mean it can’t be beyond delicious. Still not sure? Try a piece and get back to us.

No. Nope. Nada. Not happening. The texture reminded me of the Roasted Seaweed from one of the Taste Guru box. I could barely got past the smell, and the taste was even WORSE. We got the Chili Lime flavor, but all you could smell and taste was the actual kale.
I loved the kale ‘potato’ chips from above, but I just could not do these. They promptly went in the garbage, and I could STILL smell the package 2 days later, even with other garbage on top of it!
TASTE: 1/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Organic, Gluten free, Vegan, Dairy-free

I really don't see disabled people having a problem eating these snacks, barring any chewing/swallowing issues. The hardest thing I see would be opening the box and the individual packages.

The Love With Food Gluten-Free box has merged with Taste Guru. Please visit this link for more info.

Still loving the variety in this month's box. I like how I got snacks, sweets, AND part of a meal in the same box.

**As per FTC guidelines, I received this product in exchange for an honest review. Only compensation I received is the product(s) mentioned above. All opinions are my own and your usage/results may vary.**

Friday, May 6, 2016

Flashback Friday -- My First Computer

Flashback Friday -- My First Computer

photo credit to old-computers.com/

The Tandy 1000 HX is a member of the Tandy 1000 series family.

The Tandy 1000 HX, released in 1987, was designed as another entry level IBM compatible personal computer and the successor to the EX. Like the EX, the HX was a compact computer with the keyboard built into the computer casing. The computer came with an Intel 8088 CPU, 256 KB of memory, and had one 720 KB 3.5" disk drive on the right side of the machine behind the keyboard. HX computers came with MS-DOS 2.11 built into the ROM and “Deskmate 2” on diskette.

The computer's memory could be expanded to 640 KB by the use of a memory expansion card; by default these cards, sold by Tandy, came with 128 KB, but one could add another 384 KB in memory chips to this board. These cards were named “Plus Cards” and used a pin configuration instead of the slot system used by IBM or the T-1000. The cards themselves followed all the IBM standards and eventually Radio Shack started selling the adaptors in their stores to allow the cards to be inserted into a standard IBM 8-bit ISA slot. There were three such spots available in the computer case.

There was also a spare 3.5" drive bay in the computer case. On the back of the machine there was a port which allowed a user to connect an external 5.25" (360 KB) or 3.5" (720 KB) disk drive. There was also a connector for a printer.

The 1000 HX did not come with a hard drive, and Tandy Corporation did not manufacture fixed disks for this type of computer. A HDD could be purchased from third party vendors, however.

It was also here that the DOS in ROM was getting a little old and for the first time the settings on the computer could be changed so that instead of looking in ROM for DOS at bootup, it would go direct to the floppy drive instead. Most versions of MS-DOS worked with the 1000 HX, including 3.x, DOS 5.x & 6.x. DOS 4.0 did not work due to a bug in its environment that prevented it from working. 
I started my 'typing days' back in 1987, when the Occupational Therapist at Somerset Crippled Children's Center decided part of my OT would be typing. So, they got me the IBM Selectric I typewriter, so I could continue my OT at home.

The IBM Selectric I typewriter -- photo credit to Wikipedia

However, When Mommy and I moved to Pennsylvania in 1989, the school district I attended (through the speech Pathologist, Ms. Lockwood) thought it would be a good idea for me to have some sort of computer to keep up with the classwork and any long homework assignments I may have had. Taking that huge typewriter back and forth to school would have been very inconvenient for a 10 year old. So, they gave me a very primal 'laptop,' the NEC PC-8201A. Seriously, this thing looked more like a label maker than a computer. It was powerful enough to do word documents and take spelling tests on. The problem was, I spent more time going to the Speech room to print documents than in class.

The NEC PC-8201A system -- photo credit to oldcomputers.com/

But this wasn't MY actual computer. I was only borrowing it from the school district, the elementary school in particular. So, after I finished 6th grade (1991) my mom took me to Radio Shack and bought me my own system, the Tandy 1000 HX system.

The Tandy 1000 HX system -- photo credit to old-computers.com/

The model she bought me included a monitor, which if I recall correctly was a 14" screen and a dot matrix printer. The monitor sat directly on top of the system and the printer was placed on a side table.

I loved this computer. I would sit in my room for hours during the summer, playing with the various 'programs' included in the 'OS,' Deskmate 2. The interesting thing about the Deskmate 2 GUI is it ran from a floppy disk. If I ever lost the Deskmate 2 floppy, or it became corrupted somehow, I had a pretty expensive (and heavy) paperweight!

Deskmate 2, Tandy 1000 HXs 'operating system' -- photo credit to winworldpc.com

The main programs I used were the Text, Paint and Music programs. Since I didn't have a mouse for this system, I really couldn't do much in the way of drawing, and what I could do, I had to use the keyboard arrow keys for. It came out very '8-bitish' or 'blocky/pixelated.' The music program relied on the keyboard itself for input of the notes, and I couldn't be bothered with figuring out what keys belonged to which notes.

Most of the time spent on this was in the text program, where I would do my homework. I could do reports and write stories on here. I remember shortly after Mom buying this for me, I started writing a story, which I ended up printing off and turning in as an English assignment. While I got an A on the assignment, I remember my 7th grade English teacher, Mr. Hickey, pulling me aside after class and explaining his margin notes. I guess talking about how a student entering puberty by growing breasts and getting her first period during summer break was a bit too advanced for a 7th grade assignment about writing a conversation in a story. (Personally? I thought it fit the grade level, since most of the girls were already going through these events, or soon would be going through the events, at the time)

I seem to recall having games for this, but off the top of my head, I can only recall Family Feud, Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune and I think Classic Concentration. I'm thinking I had more titles, but I do remember what I had was 'edu-tainment titles.'

The Tandy 1000 HX seems to have become a collector's item, since I cannot find this particular system on eBay at all. It is VERY obsolete now, but I think it would still be cool to tinker with.

The Tandy 1000 HX wasn't a very productive system for its time, but for a student who just needed something to do their homework on, it got the job done.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

16 Ounce Ceramic Coffee Mug by KOVOT

16 Ounce Ceramic Coffee Mug by KOVOT

Put a smile on the face of any mom with the Mug for Mom by Kovot. This mug holds 16 ounces and is made of high quality ceramic. Makes a great gift for any mom for any event such as mothers day, birthday, anniversary, or just because.

16 Ounce High Quality Ceramic Mug
Text on Mug Reads All Different Sentiments for MOM, Such As: Beautiful, Kind, Caring, Sweet, Loving and More
Makes a Great Gift for Any Mom for Any Event
Fits Neatly Underneath Keurig and Most Home Brewing Systems
16 fl. oz., 5" L w/ handle, 3.5" diameter, 6" H
Mama Melissa is a coffee-holic. She can EASILY drink your typical pot of coffee by herself in a day. So, I got this for Mama Melissa as her Mother's Day gift.

It has a good size handle. It seems sturdy and Mama Melissa loves that she can have a large cup of coffee.

I personally like the design on the cup. It has a bunch of different adjectives that one would use to describe their mom.

^^The mug on Mama Melissa's placemat^^

Thinking back to when we had our Keurig, I'm almost positive the mug would fit under the dispenser with no issues. The height is about the same as a typical tall traveler mug.

Disabled people won't have any problems with this if they can drink from a mug.

This is available from Amazon for $9.99.

A great gift for your coffee-loving mom!

**As per FTC guidelines, I received this product in exchange for an honest review. Only compensation I received is the product(s) mentioned above. All opinions are my own and your usage/results may vary.**

Tree New Bee Laptop Cooling Pad

Tree New Bee® Laptop Cooling Pad

Laptop Cooling Pad - Fits up to 15.6" and smaller laptops and notebooks - Strong and Durable ABS and Metal Mesh - Fits easily on your lap or any flat surface - Keeps Your Laptop Cool

Super-slim design, suitable for 14-15.6 inch laptop, Apple Mac BookPro, Ultrabook, Notebook or Netbook
Large punching empty net surface, Powerful Motor Turbo Double Fans, strong heat emitted ability
Anti-slip surface design, hold laptop firmly
Inclusive USB line, convenient and practical groove on the back, avoiding the wire winding leads to wear
Portable design, ideal for home and office use, durable
I got this for Mama Melissa's new Dell Inspiron 15 laptop, since she is a gamer and her fan would always kick up while she would play The Sims 4 and most recently, Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare. I didn't want to take the chance of her laptop overheating and shutting down during a heavy gaming session.

Having used a cheaper built cooling pad before with my old iBook G3 and having GREAT results, I decided to give this to her. I use a Chromebook, which doesn't heat up that much and doesn't need fans/cooling.

There were only three positives to this pad;
1. the LED-lit fans, letting her know the fans were working
2. two little 'legs' in the front, to keep your laptop ON the pad if you use flip open the legs on the underside to increase the angle.
3. the USB pass-through connector, allowing her to still use the left-side USB port.

And that's where the positives end for this.

We didn't even receive the brand promised; We actually received the Popu Pine brand, which 90% of the outer box is written in an Asian language. It does have English translations, but they are poorly written/translated. I know that's a neither-here-nor-there point, so moving on...

When tapping the fan, it sounds a lot like tapping on a cheaply made hollow plastic container. The construction doesn't feel like it's very solid either. I'm afraid a good drop would shatter the frame, or at least the fans inside. The wire for the USB pass-through connector is about as thick as an earbud wire, so I'd be scared too much movement would snap something inside the wire.

^^USB pass-through connector with Mama Melissa's wireless mouse receiver attached^^

The box claims the pad is 'Super Quiet,' but it's NOT. Normally, I cannot tell when Mama Melissa boots her system. Usually, she's completely booted and signing into her mail before I realize it. While she was using this, I could definitely tell when she booted her system. The fans in the pad are not as loud as a space heater or a window fan, but it did make quite a bit of noise.

The product also claims it can be used with systems up to 15.6". Mama Melissa's laptop IS 15.6" and a good portion of her system hangs off all sides. Because of this, her laptop would slide all over the pad with just the slightest amount of movement. This was NOT ideal when playing games that involve quick movements.

^^Dell Inspiron 15 5558 sitting on the fan -- notice how much of the laptop hangs off the fan^^

The 'straw that broke the camel's back' was the fact that her internal fan kicked up just the same as before when she would play games. This really did nothing to keep the laptop fan from speeding up as we had hoped.

Mama Melissa used this for a total of 6 days before handing it back to me with her not-safe-for-children opinion.

Disabled people are probably going to have the most trouble keeping their laptops actually ON the pad. It's just too slippery to have any 'grip' on a laptop.

This is available from Amazon for $15.99.

Not really worth it if you have a larger laptop or use the laptop for anything other than web browsing.

**As per FTC guidelines, I received this product in exchange for an honest review. Only compensation I received is the product(s) mentioned above. All opinions are my own and your usage/results may vary.**