Friday, May 24, 2013

Another Blog Added to My Link List...

...under the header: TAKE A SHOT WITH THESE SHOOTIST BLOGGERS, Not At Them

The blog is The Lonely Libertarian which can be found at this address:

All the best,
Glenn B

Columbia County (NY) District Attorney Refuses To Prosecute Man Under NY SAFE Act

He stated he was not making blanket policy, just handling each case on its own, but what the Columbia, County (NY) District Attorney did by dropping the charge that the defendant had too many bullets in his magazine may well send a message to other prosecutors, even to police in NYS, that the SAFE Act is not a good thing.

Even if it goes only as far as this one case, at least the defendant was a lucky man.



All the best,

Oh Happy Days - Memorial Day Sales, BBQs And Summer Are Upon Us

I just figured out why I was able to score the new washing machine, that I ordered last night, at such a great price - it was on sale because of Memorial Day - whoopee!

Then I remembered that this Sunday, my wife and I have been invited to the new house of our future son-in-law and our daughter for a Memorial Day weekend BBQ. We are living high on the hog so I hope they have some swine waiting to grill for us. I am salivating - yummy!!

Thinking of that made me think that Monday is the more or less official start of summer. Soon school will be out, thus my hours at work will be cut, and I will have more time to enjoy each day in retirement (yes, I am retired but working part time). Yee-ha time to enjoy life a little bit more!!!

Then I remembered that a lot of you are veterans and a lot of folks will be thanking you for your service this weekend because of how great you have made things for us and thus how befitting they think it is to thank you over the Memorial Day weekend, because after all, it is all about veterans right. God bless the vet!!!!

Really though, it's Memorial Day and it's not about BBQs or sales or summer starting or veterans whose hand you can shake and whom you can pat of the back or about a veteran feeling good about himself for having served. It is about something related to all of the above but also very different. It is about this:

No, I am not going to tell you not to take advantage of sales and will not scream at you for celebrating the commencement of the official summer season with a wild BBQ and certainly cannot fault you for thanking veterans or for feeling great about being a veteran even if on a day that never was meant for any of it and that includes honoring the living vet (as instead was Veterans' Day). I will not do that even though Memorial Day was meant to be a day of national mourning and remembrance of they who fell, a memorial to them, on both sides, in the Civil War. It was first called Decoration Day. It later had the name changed to Memorial Day and became a national day of mourning and remembrance of all those who fell while in the military service of this nation during wartime. 

While it was never meant to be a day of celebration, I cannot fault anyone in the USA for celebrating on that day. We would not have any of our freedoms, those I just mentioned nor any others, if not for those who have fallen. I just wanted to remind you what Memorial Day truly was all about though, so that maybe, just maybe, you would take out some time this weekend, especially on the day itself, to remember them, to mourn them, to honor they who gave everything so we could be here today doing what we love to do. Why? Because Memorial Day is all about them, they who gave their lives for their country, while in military service during time of war (even though now it is usually accepted as anyone who died while in service), and thus died protecting our freedoms.

In remembering and honoring our military's war dead, many often wear the red poppy. I do not recall that I ever knew why until today. It was because of a tradition started after publication of a poem, written in 1915, by Moina Michael in response to In Flander's Fields that was written by a Canadian. She then had the idea of wearing red poppies to honor our fallen military personnel. That ultimately led to the Buddy Poppy Program of the VFW. Why not read this poem, out loud to yourself, your family, your guests or your hosts, just before you partake in your holiday BBQ this year; why not honor they who fell to make it possible:

We Shall Keep The Faith
Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields,
Sleep sweet - to rise anew!
We caught the torch you threw
And holding high, we keep the Faith
With All who died.

We cherish, too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led;
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a lustre to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders Fields.

And now the Torch and Poppy Red
We wear in honor of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught;
We'll teach the lesson that ye wrought
In Flanders Fields.
In Flanders Fields we fought.

A hat tip to Pat S for posting the above poster on his Facebook page. It inspired me to remember, to mourn, to honor they, of the U.S. Military, who made the ultimate sacrifice to defend America during wartime.

All the best,
Glenn B

Extended Warranties And Me; I Have Gotten My Money's Worth Lately

Some folks, like the douche bags at a certain consumers' testing group, my brother-in-law (not a douche bag at all) and others (some are and some are not DBs) say you should never buy an extended warranty because they are not worth it. I beg to differ.

We had an extended warranty on our fridge but it expired last year. A recent repair for our fridge was over $400, they replaced the main control circuit board. Then 2 months later, it went out again and they came back and replaced the circuit board again at no charge, changed another part for $33 and performed all the labor ion the second repair for free. Because we had purchased the extended warranty and machine with American Express, they graciously covered an additional year of the extended warranty - and therefore just paid me the $400 plus dollars for the first repair. I am pretty sure they would also pay that additional $33 from the second repair if I made a claim but don't think I will bother. Those repairs only came with a 90 day warranty, but since I paid with Amex, that warranty will also be extended for another 90 days. They double your regular warranty if a year or less; if longer than a year they will add a year to it. If you buy an extended warranty when you get the product, they will do the same for the extended warranty - so if you buy a 5 year extended warranty they will add a year making it a six year extended warranty. That is what happened with our fridge. It was well worth the expense of the extended warranty which was under $100 when purchased several years ago.

We also just had a vacuum cleaner go belly up. I bought an extended warranty for it for about $28. The warranty company just sent us a check that was about $20 more than the original purchase price of the vacuum. The new one I just bought was about a hundred bucks more than the old one but that extended warranty plan just about paid for the new one and thus saved me a good chunk of change.

Then there was the washing machine on which we also had an extended warranty. Yes good things and evil crap seem to come in threes. The washer also has gone belly up. The extended warranty company for the washer just sent us a check for $400 plus dollars. Again, the cost of the extended warranty was a lot less than the check they sent us, I think it was about $75 for 3 years extra time. I bought a new washing machine tonight; it set me back $581.33 which included $110 for a 5 year extended warranty. The machine itself was $403 marked down from $549 at Homer's Depot (both Lowe's and Sears had it on sale but for considerably closer to the regular price than HD).

Of course, extended warranties are a crap shoot of sorts. If the appliance or other product you buy does not breakdown and either require repair or wind up unrepairable, then you wind up losing the money you spent on it at the end of the extended warranty period. For instance, a few years back, maybe several by now, I bought my wife a large screen TV for Christmas. Knock on the thickest wood in the house (as I knock on my head) it has not had any problems and I am guessing the extended warranty on it has expired by now. Still, if I was going to buy another TV like that, I would also buy an extended warranty on it if for no other reason than televisions are mostly made in some sweat shop in China, North Korea or Japan and the manufacturing standards in at least on of those countries sucks. When I bought my laptop, last summer, I got at least a 3 year, extended warranty for it. In an instant of brain fartitiss made the mistake of not paying with American Express though and hope not to regret that, time will tell. I have already had problems with the laptop, that would have been covered under the manufacturer's one year warranty but that could be an indication of other problems ahead so I am looking at the extended warranty I purchased as good insurance against such but just cannot believe and cannot recall why I did not use Amex to make the purchase.

One last thing, as to extended warranties, I don't buy them for every eligible product I buy. I usually don't get them for items under $200 in value. I figure I can take a gamble on most of them and take the hit if I gambled wrong. A little above $200 in price though and that is a different story if an extended warranty can be had at a good price and if the terms of the warranty are to my liking. Yes that means, I check the terms of each warranty before purchasing it. You would be surprised at what some people try to call an extended warranty - some are not worth the paper on which they are written. Most though, from reputable companies seem okay to me and thus I stress buying from reputable companies to get your money's worth.

All the best,
Glenn B