Weekly Gift Idea: Books for Children

Dr S 1You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child. Dr. Seuss (thanks to brainyquote.com)

The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who’ll get me a book I ain’t read. Abraham Lincoln (thanks to brainyquote.com)

You cannot open a book without learning something. Confucius (thanks to brainyquote.com)

The first book I ever read was Dick and Jane. Thousands of us can say that same thing. But the books I like best when I was a kid, with a Jimmy microbe books. Later it was anything written by Edgar Rice Burroughs. But my favorite childhood book was I Was a Headhunter by Lewis Vance Cummings.

My wife’s favorite book was The Secret Garden and Anne of Green Gables. She passed these around to our grandchildren over the years. My wife’s caregiver says that she made her boys read Ann of Green Gables to give them culture.

Books are great gifts for children. Our children loved books and they still do. Reading is a good habit to get into and the best time to get into it is when you are young.

Buy a child a book and then read it to him or her.

Even teenagers like to be read to. We had a teacher when I was in junior high school, Miss Bowdidge, who always read to us. In fact, we begged her to read to us so we could sit there and listen to her instead of work.

Sounded like a good idea at the time.

JohnSanta and Sleigh

Weekly Gift Idea November 19, 2014: Lowering the Cost of Christmas

miserI have 34 living grand-kids. Some are married and have spouses. And of course, my children are married and they have spouses. During the last year, we have been building quite an inventory of great-grandchildren. So the cost of handling Christmas is giving exorbitant.

Every year I have said I’m going to stop buying because I’m getting old and I could run out of money if I don’t cut back. My wife has a full-time caregiver and the cost of taking care of her is over $55,000 each year. There are some cost in addition to that. Fortunately I have much of the cost covered by insurance.

But now I have to take the suggestion of some of my children. That is to join in the family pool and draw a name. So that’s what I’m going to do starting this year. I’m going to contact my children and have them put me in their family pool and draw me a name. That way I will only have to buy five family gifts so I can give them something of a bit more value.

Another way to cut cost at Christmas, is to cut down your list of those whom you would like to give to. Sometimes that is the only practical thing to do, especially if you are short on cash. You also can save by not buying on credit. Hide your credit cards for the holiday season and forget where you put it.

Credit card spending should be paid off at the end of each month.

You also can cut back on the amount of money that you are willing to pay for a gift.

Watch for the sales!

Ebenezer Scrooge

Weekly Gift Idea: How to Shop for the Holidays

One of my great grandchildren.

One of my great grandchildren.

MSHG LogoEvery year I have a new batch of great-grandchildren. Adding to my 34 living grandchildren and my children and spouses, buying Christmas gifts is always a problem. Every year I tell my children that this is the last year that I’m buying gifts, but every year I end up buying gifts. It’s like buying for the 10 Tribes of Israel.

Santa and SleighIn the past, I’ve headed out to the mall and shopped the main chains. I also have used Walmart where they have the prices listed at the end of the isles so that you know what you will be paying.

I also shop on the Internet, especially Amazon, but you can shop at Walmart and Target and Walgreens and many other stores on the Internet. I have not always been satisfied with Internet shopping. One year, many of the gifts did not arrive either before or after Christmas. That discount supplier is off my list.

Christmas treeEach year we received gifts through the mail from our children. Nowadays they are almost always shipped from an Internet store. So they don’t go through all of this wrapping and label it again sorting in such that I have been going through every year. For the last couple of years I have had my wife’s caregiver give me I hand. She is much better at keeping things straight than this old gray head.

ShoppersFinancing these gifts is getting to be a problem for me. With about 100 heads, that means a lot of money that I can no longer afford. I say this because I was given a new aortic valve (my second replacement) in September and I could live another five or 10 years. I could run out of money. My wife requires tens of thousands of dollars to care for each year. I do have insurance, but there are lots of extra cost.

So, maybe this is the year that I don’t buy gifts. Well, I always say that.

Send money! LOL (Just kidding!)

John

Gift Suggestion for Today: Electric Blanket or Mattress

MSHG LogoI’ve been thinking about electric blankets and mattress pads. I ordered today having never had one in my life. But it is very cold here now and I have a big pile of blankets which keep me cold or hot, too hot. Then I wake up all sweaty and have to pull off my night shirt.

My wife’s caregiver, who seems to be taking of me a lot of time, suggested an electric blanket or mattress pad. So, now I’m on my way to controlled heat.

But I thought, “What a nice gift an electric blankets and mattress pads would be for an older person. Well, nobody seems to be older than me around here but maybe your parents or grandparents could use such an outstanding gift. You might even reward yourself for being so considerate.

I remember when I was a kid in Utah, how cold it got with no heat at night, and how many blankets we had to have. I use to help my mother stretch and sew blankets. It was also my job to get the frames out and put them together.

I remember the curtains had to be put on frames when they were washed so that they would dry in place. But then, I also remember putting flat irons on the stove for ironing and scrubbing boards and stuff  like that. I remember the great joy at our house when Mother got an electric clothes washer. Can you imagine not having one now days? Wouldn’t you get tired of turning the crank on that blasted ringer?

My Parents

My Parents

I guess I’ll be up to the times with my new electric blanket. LOL

So do you think that an electric blanket or mattress pad would make a good gift?

Just thinking out loud.

John

Grabbing Savings at Amazon

AMZ 2

MSHG LogoGrabbing savings at Amazon.com is easy. First, they are always blasting out emails to customers on the subject. Right now it is Black Friday time so you hear that. Also, it is the Holiday season so you get that rush too.

When you shop at Amazon, you can look at the categories and choose one or you can search all departments. You also can write Best Sellers or Top Sellers so that you can find what others are buying. You will  not get the same page of buys. These titles are different to Amazon. Don’t ask me why.

Other entries could be Top 10 Sellers or such. You will always get what you are after if Amazon has it.

You could write Bikes on Sale in Sports or All Departments or such. Amazon let’s you dig. You will probably get what you are looking for, however, using Bikes for Kids in Sports and Outdoors.

I always look at the descriptions on a product. Sometimes it leads to better products. For example, I was looking for a history of New Mexico book and a comment suggested a better book. He was right. Since I am writing another novel for Amazon, I bought both books which I need for backup for my novel. Just for the fun of it, I just put under Books, “Best Selling History of New of Mexico. ”

I didn’t get history. I got the current drug situations, a kids book, and other non history. You just have to give things a try.

Amazon is such a huge outfit that you can usually find what you want. Watch pricing however, they are not always the least expensive but free shipping always helps Prime Membership Members in that area.

Santa and SleighTis’ the Season to be Merry!

Have fun!

John

Gift Idea of the Week: Aroma 8-Cup (Cooked) Digital Rice Cooker and Food Steamer, Stainless Steel

Aroma 8-Cup (Cooked) Digital Rice Cooker and Food Steamer, Stainless Steel

Aroma 8-Cup (Cooked) Digital Rice Cooker and Food Steamer, Stainless Steel

Aroma 8-Cup (Cooked) Digital Rice Cooker and Food Steamer, Stainless Steel
by Aroma

#1 Best Sellin Food Steamer

$29.92 Free Shipping for Prime Members
In Stock.

Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Color: Silver

White

Description

Perfectly prepares 2 to 8 cups of any variety of cooked rice

Steams meat and vegetables while rice cooks below

Easy-to-use, programmable digital controls with automatic Keep-Warm and White

Rice and Brown Rice functions

Great for soups, jambalaya, chili, and more

15-hour Delay Timer for flexible meal planning

Includes steam tray, rice measuring cup, serving spatula, and exclusive recipes and coupons for Mahatma® and Carolina® Rice

rice cooker 2Let Aroma do the Cooking for You

Enjoy easy home cooking with the Aroma 8-Cup Digital Rice Cooker & Food Steamer. Restaurant-quality rice. Healthy steamed meals. Delicious one-pot dishes. Prepare all this and more at the press of a button. Aroma takes the “cook” out of home cooking – turning kitchen time into your time. Help the kids with homework, get creative at play time, or pick up that novel you’ve been waiting to dive into. All while delivering hot, hearty and healthy meals the entire family will love.

Digital Convenience

This convenient cooker’s compact capacity perfectly cooks 2 to 8 cups of any variety of rice with specialized functions for both white and brown rice. Once the rice has finished, it will automatically switch to Keep-Warm so there’s no need for monitoring or stirring. The Steam Tray allows for healthy steaming of meats and vegetables, even as rice cooks below. It’s also suitable for oatmeal, chili, jambalaya, soups, and more.

Delay Timer

The Delay Timer is designed for people on the go. Place rice in the cooker in the morning, set the Delay Timer to have rice ready when it’s needed and come back to perfect rice ready to serve. Plus, no matter when rice is finished, the cooker will automatically switch to Keep-Warm for conveniently flexible meal planning. So, no matter what wrenches life throws in your schedule, you’ll still come home to a quality meal ready when you are.

Easy Cleanup

Cleaning up is never fun. When the cooking is done, the inner cooking pot and all accessories remove for easy cleanup.

Product Details:

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Other Related Items:

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What Folks are Saying:

5 Star

used to think that a rice cooker was a pot on top of a stove. Then I got a $10 rice cooker at a drug store and it never burnt the rice and that was pretty cool. Eventually the cheap non-stick on that gave way, but I kept using it, losing a bit of rice to the pan, until it gave out. I knew that I wanted an upgrade, but some of the rice cookers were triple digits, which seems like a lot. I have gotten years out of automobiles that were triple digits. Anyhow, this fella seemed like the best of the “reasonable” lot, and it has been spectacular. Brown basmati? Perfect. Arborio? Perfect? Calrose? Perfect. This thing is light years ahead of the cheap cookers that you set a glass cover on top of.

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rice cooker 35 Star

i put rice in
i put water in
i turn on
rice cooks
i eat
i happy
i satisfied
end

(That was simple, right? John)

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4 Star

I had an old Panasonic rice cooker which had performed faithfully for almost 20 years, but it didn’t have a Teflon pot and tended to scorch rice on the bottom — especially brown rice. After reading countless reviews of various rice cookers, I decided to chance the Aroma ARC-914SBD. My experience has confirmed some of the tips and observations of previous reviews:

~ To avoid calamities, follow the directions in the user’s manual, not what’s on the rice package or what you used to do when cooking on the stove top. I was particularly surprised that brown rice takes no more water than white rice, but turns out beautifully.

~ The term “cup” does not mean an 8 ounce cup. It’s actually 3/4 of a cup (6 ounces). I quickly discovered that trying to convert this idiosyncratic measurement scheme to standard English measurement is more trouble than it’s worth. Just do what the directions say.

~ There’s good reasons for this cooker’s taking longer than stovetop cooking or what my old rice cooker took. It intentionally heats brown rice more slowly and apparently cooks at a lower temperature than with white rice. That’s fine with me, since the result is perfectly cooked brown rice!

~ The top assembly is slightly more awkward to clean than a simple removable glass or metal top would be. It’s really not much of an issue, but others have noticed it also.

~ The maximum capacity is claimed to be eight cups of cooked rice, which is actually six – 8 ounce cups. This is fine for one or two people, but may not be large enough for more people.

After only a few days of ownership, I’m very pleased with the performance of this unit, but obviously I’m not yet able to comment about reliability or customer service.

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I hope you enjoy your cooker!

John

Weekly Gift Idea November 14, 2014: Xbox 360 4GB

Xbox 360 4 KB

Xbox 360 4 KB

Xbox 360 4GB
by Microsoft
Rated: Rating Pending
4.2 out of 5 stars
List Price: $199.99
Price: $179.00 Eligible for free shipping with Amazon Prime.
You Save: $20.99 (10%)
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Platform: 4GB
4GB 4GB Peggle Bundle
4GB Refurbished
500GB Call of Duty Bundle
Xbox 360 E console
1 Black Wireless Controller
Built in Wi-Fi
1 month of Xbox LIVE Gold

The game consoles bring fun to young and old. This is the Xbox 360 4GB. My grandson says it will let you watch Netflic, Hulu, Amazon, Vevo music, Pandora and other stuff such as YouTube and more. Oh, yes! You can also play your favorite games. He says he likes it better than PlayStation.

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Bonus Offer

Get a 12 Month Live Card for $39.99 when you Purchase an Xbox 360
Order an Xbox 360 console and get an Xbox Live 12 Month Gold Cards for $39.99. To receive the discount, add the items to your cart together with an Xbox 360 console and the promotion will be applied at checkout. Offer only applies to products sold and shipped by Amazon.com and is limited to 3 units per customer. Amazon reserves the right to change or cancel promotion at any time. Available while quantities last.

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Other Items:

Product Description

Platform: 4GB

The new Xbox 360 4GB console has built-in wi-fi, a black wireless controller, a standard definition composite A/V cable, and comes with a free one-month Xbox LIVE Gold Membership.

Here today, ready for tomorrow with a brand new, leaner machine. Wi-fi is built in for easier connection to the world of entertainment on Xbox LIVE, where HD movies and TV stream in an instant. It’s ready for the controller-free experiences of Kinect – you don’t just play the game, you are the game. Xbox 360 is more games, entertainment, and fun.

Xbox 360 E 4GB console

Xbox 360 E 4GB console
view larger
  • Xbox 360 E Console: The new console is sleeker and quieter with a stylish design that will be the centerpiece of your home entertainment system.
  • Xbox 360 4GB Hard Drive: The internal 4GB hard drive allows you to save your games and store television shows, movies, music, pictures, trailers, levels, demos, and more extras available from Xbox LIVE Marketplace.
  • Built-in Wi-Fi: The new Xbox 360 has 802.11n Wi-Fi built in for a faster and easier connection to Xbox LIVE. Download or stream HD movies, TV episodes, and games from Xbox LIVE Marketplace in 1080p and 5.1 surround sound from anywhere in the house.1
  • Kinect Ready: Kinect makes you the controller. With a dedicated, specialized port, the Xbox 360 E 4GB is built to connect seamlessly with the Kinect sensor and have you up off the couch and into the world of Kinect in no time.
  • Xbox 360 Wireless Controller: This award-winning, high-performance wireless controller features the Xbox Guide Button for quick, in-game access to friends and music. It has a range of up to 30 feet and a battery life of 30 hours on two AA batteries.
  • Xbox 360 Composite A/V cable: Use Xbox 360 on standard-definition televisions using this connection over traditional composite connectors. Play high-quality audio with the included stereo connector.
  • Xbox LIVE: Xbox LIVE brings a whole world of entertainment possibility right to your Xbox 360. Play with friends online, and watch streaming movies and TV from Zune and Netflix, all in crystal-clear HD. Watch live sporting events and check out highlights from your favorite teams on ESPN. You’ll find loads of your favorite music from Last.fm and the ability to connect with friends on Facebook and Twitter, right on the best screen in the house.

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REVIEWS

5 Star

First off let me say, this is my first Xbox. I’m not much of a gamer but I saw this for a great price on Black Friday and decided to pick it up. As many other reviewers have stated, please plan on picking up extra memory. I picked up a 32GB USB stick and I now have as much memory as I need. For those of you who are hardcore gamers you’ll need more than that I’m sure. I’d suggest getting a hard drive. For example (with the free month of Xbox live) you can download 2 free games/month. This month the 1st game is over 6GB. So you wouldn’t even be able to download that game with the 4GB built in (which is actually much less than that available.) That being said…I’m just a casual gamer so I’m not too concerned about it. Yet another caution. No games come with. If you plan on giving this as a gift you might want to pick up a game or two to get them started. The Xbox does come with a few demo games and you can always download other demos, but if you want to be playing out of the box you’ll need some games. Hookup was very easy. I just plugged it in via HDMI (does not come with it. It does come with the Red, White, Yellow cable.), plugged it in to the wall and I was off and running. Couldn’t be easier. I had to go through a few steps of setting up an Xbox live account, but that was no biggie.

Again if you are a hardcore gamer and plan on playing the latest and greatest multiplayer online games, get the 250GB version or buy this and plan on immediately upgrading the storage. I’m quite happy playing older/classic games and have no interest in playing online so this with the 32GB USB drive will work fine for me.

Enjoy!

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5 Star

Got the 4GB version and plugged in a USB Flash Drive and an external hard drive and now I have about 60GB. The Xbox is super quite pretty much silent. Would recommend this to anyone looking for an Xbox 360.

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5 Star

And I also love that they did away with that silly “if a feather touches me im powering off” switch. I can’t recall the times my cat has walked by and swished his tail and off goes the XBOX. This one is also COMPLETELY SILENT. The slim was close… But this one nailed it.

My only complaint is that I just didn’t wait a lil longer and save up and get the 250GB one. But then again I bought me a 32GB flash and I, personally, am good to go. I guess if you plan on doing lots of online gaming+downloading stuff then go with the 250. But if not and you wanna save a 100 bucks this is the way to go. Flash drives work just great. Don’t believe the nonsense of some of these people who say otherwise. They probably buying crap flash drives. I recommend this one >>> B0058TUZTO

It is by far the fastest I have ever used, not to mention it is already set up for the XBOX. We also use them at work and I have yet found one that has failed. I CAN’T SAY THE SAME FOR HARD DRIVES… Just saying…

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Weekly Gift Idea November 13, 2014: Black Friday

AMZ 2Black Friday is the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States amd is regarded by retailers as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season.

Stores open extremely early and offer promotional sales to kick off the holiday shopping season.

Shoppers will stay out on the street all night waiting for the store to open. Then they stumble over each other grabbing mechanize as soon as they can get in the door.

It’s a mad house! There must be an easier way!

AMZ 1

Well, that was easy!

Black Friday Deal Week

John

Gucci Unisex YA133312 Interlocking GRAMMY Special Edition Black Watch

watch

$920.00 FREE One-Day Shipping & Free Returns. Details
List price: $1,150.00 (Save $230.00)
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Swiss quartz movement
Case diameter: 37 mm
Special edition watch within the interlocking collection. Antireflective sapphire crystal
High quality Swiss quartz movement; yellow gold PVD case with black leather strap
Water resistant to 165 feet (50 M): suitable for swimming and showering
Warranty: Gucci 2-year warranty

Take 20% Off Watches
Enter the promo code 20FWATCH at checkout for a discount on eligible items sold and shipped by Amazon.com. Select styles. 20$ Discount on Watches

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Watch Information

Brand, Seller, or Collection Name Gucci
Model number YA133312
Part Number YA133312
Item Shape Round
Dial window material type Anti reflective sapphire
Display Type Analog
Clasp Buckle
Case material Gold tone
Case diameter 37 millimeters
Case Thickness 8 millimeters
Band Material leather calfskin
Band length Unisex
Band width 20 millimeters
Band Color Black
Dial color Black
Bezel material Gold tone
Bezel function Stationary
Item weight 1.1 Pounds
Movement Swiss quartz
Water resistant depth 165 Feet
Warranty type Contact seller of record

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More about the Gucci Unisex YA133312 Interlocking GRAMMY Special Edition Black Watch:

Product Description

Gucci logoAn iconic Italian fashion trendsetter, the House of Gucci–better known just as Gucci–is renowned for its tradition of luxury and constant quest and attention for style and quality. It was founded in 1921 by Guccio Gucci when he opened a leather goods company and small luggage store in his home of Florence, Italy. Within a few years, the Gucci label attracted a sophisticated international clientele who sought out its equestrian-inspired collection of bags, trunks, gloves, shoes, and belts. By the 1960s, Gucci products became icons when worn by such fashion icons as Jackie Kennedy (who carried a shoulder bag that today takes her name, Jackie O), Liz Taylor and Grace Kelly. Artistically combining the elegance of Italian design with the precision of Swiss horological craftsmanship, every Gucci timepiece represents watchmaking at its finest. From inception to finish piece, Gucci demands a commitment of the highest standards, attention to detail and exacting quality control. Today’s Gucci watches are made of the most durable materials, while design is focused on modernity–tweaking classic watch styles with contemporary lines and flourishes in order to make a mark of this time for years to come.

Gucci continues its reputation for quality with this definitive timepiece. This casual watch features a yellow gold PVD case and bold black genuine leather band that looks great for any occasion. The surface of the black dial is protected by a anti-reflective sapphire crystal that reads very easily in many different light settings. Other features include water resistance up to 50 meters.

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  • ASIN: B00FWKQ7N2
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 5.9 x 5.9 inches; 1.1 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Shipping: This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
  • Item model number: YA133312
  • Batteries: 1 Nonstandard Battery batteries required. (included)

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Apple iPad PU Leather Portfolio Book Jacket / Folio for Apple iPad 3G WiFi, 16gb, 64gb

AMZ CoverApple iPad PU Leather Portfolio Book Jacket / Folio for Apple iPad 3G WiFi, 16gb, 64gb, SPECIAL HOLIDAY PROMO PRICE ! Best iPad Case Available !
by InnoVeee 3.5 Stars
5 customer reviews
$15.95 + $6.99 shipping
List price: $49.95 (Save 68%)
Note: Not eligible for Amazon Prime.
In Stock.

Ships from and sold by NavSphere.
Durable/Luxurious PU leather materials with memory foam padding.
Four Business/Credit Card Slots and A Pocket For Notes + Pen Holder.
Wrap-Around RECESSED Frame to protect iPad from drops & impacts.
Custom cut-outs for all buttons, controls, sensors, speakers & power receptacle.
Premium soft PU leather cover & fine micro suede interior lining protect iPad screen and back cover from scratches.
2 new from $15.95
Countdown to Black Friday Deals in Computer & Tablet Accessories
Countdown to Black Friday Deals in Computer & Tablet Accessories
Check out early Black Friday deals on external hard drives, routers, keyboards, mice, tablet cases, and more.

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What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

What Do Customers Say:

5 Star

Have been wanting a portfolio for iPad and, when I saw this, thought I’d try it. It has proved to be a very useful case for my iPad. Am able to store a few papers and miscellaneous items in the slot on inside cover (very tight at first, but loosens with use). I would have preferred somthing that zipped around and was a little deeper so I could carry a mazazine. But, for the price, this is perfect!

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5 Star

I purchased this as a gift for my mother for christmas in 2011. She still uses it today and it is showing little signs of wear and tear. She travels a lot, so the case is not always handled with the best of care. Contains plenty of slots to store business cards or other notes/papers

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5 Star

Really nice item compare to what the iPad comes with, price was not bad will get another one or iPad 2

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