Friday, June 12, 2009

Free Resumes and Business Cards + DIY Resources

Scarcely, can you find a deal better than free. And tomorrow happens to be the final day of staples free resume and business card offer. Promoted on
Staples Website, the offer promises 20 copies of one's resume along with 40 business cards with no costs whatsoever - no money spent on paper or ink or manual labor. But when Staples' stores close their doors tomorrow night, so closes the deal. If you are currently in hunt for employment, this is just one more opportunity to make your search more effective and more efficient. With limited personal exertion and no monetary expenditures you gain a medium to share your qualifications and identity with the business world: employers, employees, links to the professional environment. Inexpensive, often fulfilling, improvements to one's life and environment abound in other ways as well. Do-It-Yourself projects, coined DIY work, has become increasingly popular as the consumer population turns to their own wit and work for satisfaction. Rather than paying others, consumers attain the neccesary knowledge and develop the needed skills to solve their problems. With the internet, with Google in the driver's seat, anything is possible. And so there is no limit to the information one can obtain using merely his fingertips. He can learn to fix a sink, tile a roof, plant a garden, paint a garage or garage door.
For innovative, even inspiring, DIY projects, there are five reputable sites that one can check. For ideas small and large, common and dicey, persons with internet at their disposal can browse Make or Instructables. They can also search through eHow for further insights from the DIY savvy population. For more unique projects, one may look up Bizarre Stuff. And for the life hacker, DIY hacks do not fail to intrigue on Hack-a-Day, a website that, as its title would imply, offers one crucial hack per sunrise and sunset.
So make the most of the day. With your free time - time spent in anguish and languish, boredom and dejection, watching mindless television or reading mindless blogs as this one - think about commiting to a DIY project, for your own benefit, your environment's gain, or the utility of a family member or friend.

*Note - The DIY site suggestions stem from, though the insights and explanations are entirely those of my own doing.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bye Bye Blockbuster

Technology becomes cheaper by the day, by the hour, even by the second. A single innovation can foster cheaper methods of production or easier profligation of content. As witnessed in the music industry, the advent of the computer and internet and music players of all sorts has made cd's obsolete. Of course, providers of music, namely Itunes, still reap profits in the billions from honest customers who still pay for music, as well as videos, podcasts, applications, books and audiobooks. Nevertheless, the music industry continues to suffer as teenagers and parents alike learn the ways of limewire and torrent and burning music. Free and music are nearly synonomous in the vocabulary of today's youth, and the monetary purchase of music will only become more foreign, more unusual, as technology augments and the young people of today age.
The dvd and vhs rental industry is experiencing a similar twist of fate. Websites such as hulu and youtube, which offer full-length television shows and will soon offer entire movies, subplant funds formerly directed towards monopolies as Blockbuster and Hollywood Video. The internet is both a cheaper medium of visual stimulation and also a more convenient one. In one's house, the computer is, at most, a few rooms away - not a few blocks, or more. And so former rental giants are feeling the burdens of technology, just as the music industry did, just as the pager industry did (with the cell phone), just as the horse did (with the car).
There is something quaintly comforting about renting a dvd and coming home to watch it with one's family. The process, though it may require extra dollars, time, and gas, is familiar and often rewarding. The dvd rental experience comforts a person a ways the computer (Netflix and the like) can not. It entails a clear task, the goal being to find a potent movie: a "winner." It encourages social interaction with strangers in the store, acquaintances one may see at the store regularly, and the family and friends one goes to the store with. And it is routine: find and rent the dvd, return home, put in the dvd and prepare food and drink, revel in two hours or so of action or horror, comedy or drama. The overall experience is a mission culminating with a rewarding visual plot (if the movie is a good one).
The dvd rental process is here to stay, for the time being. But that does not mean one is confined to the monopolist companies such as Blockbuster, which charges roughly $5 per dvd rental. The redbox is 99 cents store for dvd's. In your local Albertson's you will (or will soon be) able to locate a "red box." These machines carry roughly 100 of the newest released dvd's and rents them out for a dollar per night. There is a minimum rental of one day, and no limit on how many days one may hold the dvd. To purchase a red box dvd, one only needs his credit card. He pays with the credit card and, upon returning the dvd, he is billed for however many days the movie was rented. The experience is similar to that of a Blockbuster run, but less time consuming and often conventient. It is as simple as choosing a movie after shopping for groceries. I urge you all to locate a Red Box near you (check the Red Box website for locations) and reap the benefits of an extensive collection of cheap dvd's. For greatest utility, you should arrange to keep the dvd for just one night, costing, in turn, just a single dollar.

What is more, you can check the Red Box site for weekly coupon codes. Frequently, you can get one night free on any dvd rental. Thus, you still swipe your credit card, but pay nothing. Good luck on your foray into the world of red boxes, the beginning of the end for Blockbuster.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Hello again.
I've been away for a while now, but, with the school year coming to a close, I'm eager to get frequently once more. Not only will I be writing in depth posts on underused, unrealized hacks, as in past posts. I will also briefly describe and link you to any articles of helpful - possibly crucial - information, like so:
  • GymPost - This resource is a map mashup of all gym locations in a given area. And it is not limited to a single fitness company, thus, when on vacation, you can search out and compare a multitude of workout options. You are not limited to the locations of a single gym, as you would be searching individual site to individual site.
  • Fuelly - JD Roth, from Get Rich Slowly, posted today about a new tool he found to track his gasoline consumption. Fuelly offers useful metrics such as average miles per gallon, best miles per gallon, and gas trends. As gas rises once more, this tool will be exponentially useful. (Photo linked from Get Rich Slowly.)
  • 50 "Danger-est" Search Terms - Beware: it is not simply search for adult content that will get your computer infested with malware and spyware and the like. McAfee recently released a list of the fifty greatest search threats for the average googler.
  • "See ID" - Also an idea from Get Rich Slowly: technically, you can write "See ID" where one should sign on a credit card, and you are not legally bound to the credit contract, purchases, fees, and other miscellaneous costs.
  • The Worst and Very Worst of McDonalds - I admit, I am not a fan of McDonalds. Nevertheless, Lifehacker has compiled a list of the comparedly least and most healthy options if one must choose. And remember: always go with the diet soda. (Image via Lifehacker.)
You can expect these round-up type posts on a bi-weekly basis, if not more often. Also, I intend to start a fitness blog in the near future. I will keep you updated on that. Any ideas for domain names that incorporate the idea of stretching?