Business blog postings

Business Postings

Earliest: March 17, 2003Latest: October 6, 2019Total: 150
October 6, 2019

Scotch Shipping Tape

In December 2019, I blogged about remembering things to buy before the Christmas season started. (Check out the Blog post)

One of the items was to buy some packaging tape in October - while it's cheap. According to the blog post, the Scotch Heavy Duty Shipping Package Tape was $9.09. Today that same tape is $8.70.

Scotch Heavy Duty Shipping
Stock up on Scotch Shipping Tape over on Amazon.com.

Not a Huge Savings - But Still

Not a huge saving, but who knows what the price will be in a few months when demand will be high.

I checked over at Target and they have Target brand Shipping Tape single packs for $2.99.

Meanwhile, over at Walmart, it's $2.97 for a single pack.

Camel Camel Camel

The CamelCamelCamel is a great Amazon.com price tracker. According to the tracking page, the most expensive time to buy Scotch Heavy Duty Shipping Packaging Tape, 2 x 800 was at the end of July when it reached $16.62!

The $9.09 price point is one of the lowest price points. Seems the cheapest was on September 25th.

Checking it again in December 15

I'll check the prices in December to see how much they have gone up. This year the busiest shipping day of the year will be December 16. It will be interesting to see how the prices change since then.

September 29, 2019

Massachusetts Medical Leave Act

Beginning in January of 2021 most workers in Massachusetts will be eligible to get up to 12 weeks of paid family leave and up to 20 weeks of paid medical leave.

To get this to work a new payroll tax will be applied to all workers in Massachusetts, it's the Massachusetts Paid Family Leave (PFMLA). This is helping contribute to the Massachusetts Paid Family Leave Fund - which is what people will tap into when they need to take a leave of absence.

Massachusetts FMLA

How Much will be Contributed to the Fund

Employers may deduct up to 40 percent of the total medical leave contribution from a covered individual?s wages and 100 percent of the total family leave contribution.

The contribution rate was 0.63 percent on the first $132,900 of an individual?s annual earnings (the maximum taxable earnings as established by the Social Security Administration). This means that if you make $100,000 you'll be contributing $6,300 annually.

Learn More

You can learn more about the Massachusetts Paid Family Leave Act from the official website.

Need more information? Read the Official Law:2018 Act - Chapter 121.

September 8, 2019

Strong Caffeinated Drink

Sometimes you just need a strong drink at Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks to get through a tough day. Here are the top two strongest drinks that you can get at either establishment from their regular menu.

Little known secret menus may not be available at all locations. Besides you can spike any drink by adding an additional shot.

Turns out that a cup of coffee has more Caffeine than any "specialty" drink. Most drip coffee will have 100 mg per 8oz.

Dunkin Coffee On Tap
The Dunkin Donuts at the new Encore Boston Harbor always has Coffee on Tap.

Caffeinated amounts

Caffeinated amounts is not the same in every drip coffee. For example at Starbucks their is a -30 mg difference between reports from the official site and third party sites.

You best bet is to stay with the standard beans and request it black. (Remember it's about getting the strongest coffee for your dollar.)

If your looking for a good pick-me-up coffee - the best place to go is Starbucks and ask for a Venti Blonde Roast.

Dunkin Donuts

  • Coffee (Brewed) Extra Large - 359 mg
  • Coffee (Brewed) Large - 300 mg

Starbucks

  • Brewed Coffee Venti - 475 mg
  • Brewed Coffee Grande - 310 mg
July 28, 2019

Credit Card at Air Machines

If you need air in your tires the new air machines are great. These new machines make it easy to know when your tire is properly inflated. When the tire pressure is right - you?ll get a couple of audible beeps.

Seasons Air Machine

Credit Card Options

Some of these machines now include the option to swipe your card to pay and enable service.

The problem is that if the machine isn?t working there?s no way to know if the charge went through. I have seen these new machines out of service at different stations.

If you swipe the card multiple times you may get charged for each swipe.

For security purposes, I would recommend just having the proper change in the car. Having $2 in quarters in your glove box would be a good idea. That way you have enough change in case you ever need it.

July 21, 2019

Nest Thermostat Power

One of the nice things about the Nest Thermostat is that it keeps the temperature in the house the same all day long.

Back in late-May, we inadvertently discovered another benefit - it will stop working if the air filter is full.

Nest Power Issue

Not Enough Power

We notice that the Nest console wasn't getting enough power. We knew it couldn't be a battery issue since we connected the device to the existing thermostat - and that had power.

After some investigation, it turns out the problem was the air filter was dirty. As a result, it was slowing the flow of air through the filter.

This caused power to be reduced to the Nest, and it stopped working.

Quickly Got it Working Again

I ran down to Lowes and purchased a replacement filter, installed it. After a few minutes, the Nest was working again.

To prevent this from happening again, I set up a reminder to install a new filter in late August.

So if your Nest Thermostat suddenly stopped working, you may want to check the air filter.

July 14, 2019

Purity Supreme Circular

Recently I was going through an old bin in the basement and came across an old flyer for Purity Angelo's and Heartland. This is from July 9th, 1989.

Purity Angels Heartland1989
Download the Flyer and check it out!

Yes this flyer is 30-years old! Download the PDF version of the Flyer and check it out!

The flyer was for the stores on Cape Cod. I probably saved this because that's when I was working at the Purity Supreme in Dennis.

Purity Supreme was acquired by Stop & Shop in 1995.

Four Things I Learned from this Flyer

  • There are lots of coupons in the flyer. It appears it was a way to get people to read the flyer.
  • Sweet Bing Cherries are about a $1 more at Market Basket.
  • Today's flyer's all full of color. This particular flyer appears to only use green and black.
  • This flyer came out when coconut oil and palm old was considered bad. The flyer mentions how it was cut out of all the bakery products.
  • One of the things I remember When I workin in the Dairy department, was that when Tropicana went on sale we would have to stock it up. On some days, Tropicana half gallons would have to get restocked more frequently than some gallons of milk. In this flyer it had Tropicana for 2 for $3, which was a good deal.
  • Klondike Bars are advertised at $2.39 - about the same price today at Market Basket.
May 26, 2019

Spotify Music Collection

If your looking for what?s hot in music - Spotify is the place to go. You can find some awesome playlists from people that know music.

You can find the playlist for the office, workout or by mood type. You can find the perfect playlist by searching via the Spotify database.

5k Collection

My Spotify
View the Spotify Profile

I put up my workout music that I am using for my two 5k runs. This is the official playlist that I will be using as I try to break my personal best records.

Gary Vee Collection

Gary Vee
View the Spotify Profile

Gary Vee has an update playlist of music called "Monday to Monday". Listen to some new songs - as he updates the playlist for songs that inspired him.

March 24, 2019

Google Plus

This time next week the Google+ service will be discontinued. The service officially went live in June 2011 to compete against Facebook.

The service is shutting down due to the lack of use. A couple of security issues found in 2018 forced Google to reconsider the service and prompt the shutdown rather than fix the issues and face possible lawsuits.

I first joined the service on September 21, 2011, and didn't post much over the years.

google+ tombstone
There is no product "grave yard" at Google Headquarters. If there was, this is what it might have looked like.

Five Things I learned about Google+

Google+ got into a lot of trouble of forcing users to their users to join the social network. On November 6th, 2013, if you wanted to leave a comment on a YouTube video, you needed to be a member of Google+. On July 27, 2015, Google announced that the Google+ requirement wouldn't be needed anymore.

Google+ was promoted by Guy Kawasaki in "The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users" and "What the Plus!" His main focus in the book was that Google+ was a better Social network then the popular Facebook. It's these books and his promotional podcasts that got me interested in Google+.

While Google+ is shutting down, this doesn't impact any other Google Services.

No other Google products (such as Gmail, Google Photos, Google Drive, YouTube) will be shut down as part of the consumer Google+ shutdown, and the Google Account you use to sign in to these services will remain. Note that photos and videos already backed up in Google Photos will not be deleted.

Patrick Spenceley was the first person that added me on Google+. He is a "Paranoid programmer :-) JS/CSS/CF/.Net/HTML/tSQL/XML"

Trey Ratcliff is the most active person that I have been following on Google+. He post amazing photos from around the world. He has been active over on Facebook for a while. "He's not at all bitter about Google+ shutting down."

Download Your Data

If you used Google+, don't forget to download your data this week! You can download your data on Google's Take Out page.

March 17, 2019

Damage Poof Pod

Activity tracking is all the rage - from Fitbits to Apple Watch. We are tracking everything from how fast we do a lap in the pool to how long we sleep.

What about pets? Wouldn't it be great to track to see how active they are? Are they getting enough exercise? How about sleeping patterns?

Poof Pea and Beans

That's where Poof comes in. They have different types of devices that attach to a collar and used to track your furry friend. The devices are so small that they won't even notice that they have them on. Poof Pea cost $39.99 and Poof Bean cost $49.99 - the difference the bean is smaller and not distracted by smaller dogs.

Smart Phone

You use an App on your smartphone to download the data and get some very cool chart graphs to track their movements - or lack of.

You simply need to be in the same room as your pet - so you can download the data while they are taking a nap.

Our Experiences

We got a Poof Bean as a Christmas gift and we were very excited to track our 1.5 old puppies. He is an active dog that also spends time at a near-by puppy camp.

Occasionally we leave him alone and the Poof Bean told us that he pretty much slept the whole time. When we were home he would be more active and want to play all day long.

Day Camp

We decided to put the Poof Pod on when he went to day camp - we wanted to see how much activity he did all day. The first time he wore it the numbers were off the charts! He was playful all day.

Second time was a whole different story. When he came home I notice that the Poof Bean was missing from the collar holder. I called the Day Camp and let them know. They checked the play area and did find a device that looked like a bean.

A week later at drop off they gave me the remains of the Poof Pod. Clearly, it was broken.

Poof Pod Damage
Damage Poof Pod after a day at Dog Camp.

Not Returnable

According to the Poof website, the broken Pod is not returnable.

Returned product(s) must be in good physical condition (not physically broken or damaged).

We are out of luck.

As a product that would be around pets, it seems that it should last for more than a couple of weeks. Especially if it cost $49.99.

Cool Concept

At the end of the day, having a Poof is pretty cool. I would recommend not having it on where the dog could be in playful situations where the device may fall out.

It will be a while before we get another one - and we wouldn't get the Pod as it appears that it doesn't hold too well.

March 10, 2019

Domain Expired Voicemail

This week I got a strange voicemail. What made is strange is that when I got the call it showed up as No Caller ID and only rang once. Moments later a voice message was left.

Strange Voicemail Info
Took a screenshot when the call came in, and then later of the message that was left.

"Um hi this is Karen this is an urgent message your domain registration is set to expire within trying to reach you regarding your business domain renewal you can use our automated system to renew your domain quickly when you get a moment to call us back please return this call at 1-888-202-5979 again the number is 1-888-202-5979 thank you"

Scam Scam Scam

This has nothing to do with domain registration. What they are trying to do is to trick you into registering into an SEO search program.

Here?s What I Learned

  • This whole scam is getting people to register Clearly they don?t want you to answer the phone. The message sounds automated.
  • When you can the number left in the message they use Caller ID to figure out who you are.
  • They send you another text message to click on a link
  • The link takes you to a page to let you know what?s really going on.
  • It?s that page that gives you the official information.
  • Don?t register for the service - much of what is offered can be done for free. (You shouldn't be paying $75 to register a website. If you want to get on Google you can simply request Google to Register Your Site. )
  • If a company goes through all this deceptive practice to get your business- how legit are they?
  • I am pretty sure that the company will sell the phone number information.

Text on the Final Order Page

This is the text that appears on the final order page:

This letter is to inform you that it's time to send in your search engine registration for ***.boston.

Failure to complete your search engine registration by March 17, 2019, may result in the cancellation of this offer (making it difficult for your customers to locate you using search engines on the web).

Your registration includes search engine submission for ***.boston for 1 year. You are under no obligation to pay the amount stated above unless you accept this offer by March 17, 2019. This notice is not an invoice. It is a courtesy reminder to register ***.boston for search engine listing so that your customers can locate you on the web.

My domain isn't expiring, I registered it back on October on GoDaddy - apparently, other GoDaddy customers are getting these messages.

Whois securepay.id

This is the Registration information of the company behind the website.

contact:      administrative
name:         Muhammad Neil El Himam
organisation: Ministry of Communication and Information Technology
address:      Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat No.17
address:      Jakarta Pusat DKI Jakarta 10110
address:      Indonesia
phone:        +62 82111610360
fax-no:       +62 21 3835845
e-mail:       neil@pandi.id