Friday, September 30, 2011

SodaStream Info/Review

Well we just had Crush A Can day this week and BzzAgent is offering a SodaStream as a Bzz Campaign that I would really like to try so it seemed like a good blog subject.  From what I have found out about the Soda Stream it is an extremely economical, convenient and environmentally friendly product.

Environmentally the SodaStream is an "Active Green" product, meaning that consumers  are actively reducing their CO2 footprint every time they make soda or sparkling water at home instead of buying it from the store. The more the system is used on a daily basis, the more CO2 footprint the user actively saves. (This differs from "Passive Green" products, which use green-friendly production processes, but their products are not inherently helping the consumers save on their daily footprint.)  One SodaStream carbonator makes 60 or 110 liters, equivalent to 170 or 310 aluminum cans and when empty, the carbonator is refilled and reused resulting in less packaging waste from cans and bottles and less pollution caused by transportation.

With a SodaStream there is none of the hassle of carting cases of soda cans or bottles.  You don't have to find room in the refrigerator to store them.  No empty cans or bottles piling up in the trash or recycle bin. It takes no batteries, no electricity, no plumbing and no clean up.  You can have a fresh soda, sparkling water or energy drink with just the push of a button made exactly to your tastes.

The SodaStream comes in six different styles and a variety of colors.  They offer a 30-day money-back guarantee and a two-year manufacturer's warranty on all new soda makers.

SODA MAKER STYLES:

The Pure soda maker is easy to clean and takes minimum space on counter tops. Among the Pure features are: automatic access gas release mechanism, customized carbonation level, and metal drip tray.

The Pure soda maker received the Red Dot design award – honorable mention, in 2008.








The Penguin is the first and only soda maker with a dishwasher safe glass carafes.  Among the Penguin features are: customized carbonation level, easy to clean, automatic access gas release mechanism and minimal space usage on counter tops.








Crystal is the latest SodaStream soda maker with a dishwasher safe glass carafes.  Among the Crystal features are: customized carbonation level, easy to clean, automatic access gas release mechanism and minimal space usage on counter tops.

Winner: 2011 Green GOOD DESIGN Award, 2011 Housewares Design "Green House" Award.




The Genesis soda maker is based on modern slim-line design and is a great choice for small kitchens. Among the Genesis features are: automatic access gas release mechanism, an attractive and unique color variety, a clever design ensuring minimum space taken on work top, customized carbonation level, and and easy to clean drip tray.








The Jet soda maker comes in a range of bi-colored machines.  Among the Jet features are: automatic access gas release mechanism, fits extra large carbonators - optional 100 liter aluminum cylinder, minimal space usage, customized carbonation level and easy to clean drip tray.






The Fizz Chip's gas level indicator monitors the amount of C02 left in the carbonator, so you'll know when it's time to exchange your carbonator for a full one. The Fizz Chip also shows the carbonation level in your drink as you press the carbonating button so you'll make your favorite fizzy drinks perfect every time!  Available in four bold new colors: green, blue, red and black.





DRINK CHOICES
SodaMix flavors are available in economy sized bottles. Each bottle of concentrated SodaMix contains enough syrup to make about 12 liters or 33 cans of fresh, delicious soda. No high-fructose corn syrup in regular flavors. No aspartame in diet flavors.


Flavors Include: Cherry Cola, Cola, Diet Cola, Diet Caffeine Free Cola, Cola Free (compare to Coke Zero), Cranberry Raspberry, Diet Cranberry Raspberry, Cream Soda, Diet Cream Soda, Dr Pete (compare to Dr. Pepper), Diet Dr. Pete, Fountain Mist (Compare to Mt. Dew), Diet Fountain Mist, Ginger Ale, Diet Ginger Ale, Grape, Green Tea Citrus, Diet Green Tea Citrus, Green Tea Mixed Berry, Diet Green Tea Mixed Berry, Green Tea Pomegranate Peach, Diet Green Tea Pomegranate Peach, Green Tea Strawberry Kiwi, Diet Green Tea Strawberry Kiwi, Lemon Iced Tea, Diet Lemon Iced Tea, Lemon Lime (Compare to Sprite), Lemonade, Diet Lemonade, Orange, Diet Orange, Orange Mango, Peach Iced Tea, Diet Peach Iced Tea, Diet Grapefruit (compare to Fresca) Root Beer, Diet Root Beer, Tonic, Diet Tonic, Energy Drink (compare to Red Bull) and Diet Energy Drink.

New Sparkling Naturals make great-tasting "better for you" sodas.   Made from all-natural ingredients, Sparkling Naturals contain no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, no artificial sweeteners, and do not contain any preservatives. Each 750ml bottle of Sparkling Natural concentrate will make 6 liters (approximately 25 8-oz servings) of all-natural soda.

Flavors Include: Apple Mango, Black Currant Pear, Cola, Naturally Sweetened Cola, Ginger Ale, Green Tea, Lemon Lime, Orange Pineapple, Pink Grapefruit and Root Beer.


MyWater is an unsweetened, all-natural flavor essence for making lightly flavored seltzer or sparkling water. Each 40ml (1.35 fl oz) bottle will make around 20 liters of flavored sparkling water and comes in a cardboard purse containing three bottles.

Flavors Include:  Lemon Lime, Mint, Orange and Raspberry

Carbonators are available in two sizes, to make up to 60 or 130 liters of soda or sparkling water per carbonator. A full, licensed CO2 carbonator is included with the purchase of every SodaStream soda maker kit. When empty, SodaStream takes back the cylinder to be cleaned, inspected, refilled and reused. Carbonators may be exchanged online, or at select SodaStream authorized retailers.



October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and SodaStream supports research and treatment so  through December 31, 2012, every sale of our Limited Edition Pink Fizz soda maker will go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure.  You can go to their website for more information: http://www.sodastreamusa.com/


Question for My Readers: What about you, do you own or have you tried a home soda maker and if so did you like it?  What was your reason for getting/trying one (environmental, cost, kids or do you just like fountain drinks)?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

TRUE CARE & INTERNET SAFETY

This is a link to an article about a 14 year old child who committed suicide because of cyber bullying http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/jamey-rodemeyer-bullied-teen-who-made-it-gets-better-video-commits-suicide/2011/09/21/gIQAVVzxkK_blog.html   This article shows how big of a problem online issues are becoming and being a parent of teens makes me all that much more determined to be extra careful with my children's online usage.  There have always been bullies and there always will be but with the technology advances today it makes the possibility of bullying much more wide spread.  Instead of one or two kids in a neighborhood picking on a handful of kids you now have hundreds to thousands of social site users that can focus and tear a child's confidence to shreds and we have thousands of other predators that stalk both children and adults online daily.

Statistical information about children's online activities that were sent to me by True Care Online that point out just how much of a problem this is becoming.

     •    Nearly 30% of children have been contacted by a stranger online (National
          Center for Missing and Exploited Children)
     •    Of those who’ve been contacted by a stranger, 20% don’t tell their parents
          and 10% actually talk with the stranger
     •    35% of teens hide their browsing history from their parents
     •    27% of tweens put a fake age in their online profiles

WAYS TO PREVENT CYBER BULLYING AND PREDATORS:

Talk to your children about technology and in particular about Internet safety.  Agree on a set of rules for using the computer and going on the Internet.  For young children, give them an approved list of web sites. Explain to a child that he/she must never give out personal information such as family e-mail addresses, phone numbers, names, birth dates, home addresses,  family details, photos, etc.  Teach children what to watch for in inappropriate web sites and how to watch out for predators and bullies and to come to you if they encounter anything wrong online.  Help your children understand what suspicious files and links are and how to recognize them.

Make an effort to understand the basics of the technology that your child is using on a daily basis. Know what your child is doing online, what programs he/she is using and what sites he's/she's visiting.  Know who they are communicating with and keep up with it constantly.

Use internet filtering/monitoring softwareYou don't have to check in on what your child is doing every day, but the fact that you can -- and they know you can -- helps set the right tone for responsible behavior.

Talk to other parents and Adults about online safety.  The more people in a community aware of possible problems the less likely they are to become a problem.


I received a subscription to True Care Online Social Network Monitoring service through BzzAgent and have found it to be effective in helping give a heads up on possible problems.  It was easy to set up and I was able to adjust the notifications to suit my children and their friends.  They also provide numerous resources for both parents and children on internet safety.  Below are various links you can use to learn more about internet safety and a link for a 60 day free trial offer.



truecare.com/bzzagent. After the 60-day free trial, TrueCare membership will cost just $9.99 a  month


facebook.com/TrueCareAwarenessOnline,
TrueCare's Internet Safety page  parents and kids can benefit from the videos, tips and other resources
Follow TrueCare on Twitter
Go to truecare.com to watch the informative video
Go to TrueCare's blog  to subscribe to the blog updates

Friday, September 23, 2011

Do You Play?


The DailyBzz Campaign for BzzAgents today is a game called Bananagrams which I would really like the chance for our family to try and review since board games and card games are enjoyed pretty much daily in our household.  Having this campaign come up brought back a lot of memories and has me thinking about all the differences there are between activities available for families now compared to what was available when I was growing up.

When I was growing up in our household board games and card games were how we spent the most time together.  We would gather around the kitchen table or the coffee table in the living room and  play which ever game had been chosen for that night.  If we went to other family members homes or had visitors over, out came the games.  Even after video games started becoming popular and we had Atari and Nintendo consoles in the house we still turned to the board games or cards when a group of us got together.

Now with children of my own I find that we do the same.  We have numerous video game systems which we all play individually and together and multiple computers but every night when we sit down for dinner out comes a game or the deck of cards.  Both of my children are teens now so sitting and playing games gives us a chance to spend time with them and hear how their days have gone.  While playing the games there are none of the teenage attitudes involved or the teenage wanting to go do, we just get a chance to enjoy each other and have a good time at something we all love.  When my children have company over they might hit the video games and computer for a short time and then they are digging through the game closet and pulling something out.  They will gather around the games with their friends, grab snacks and spend hours having a good time together.

So even with all the different forms of electronic entertainment available today when it comes time to do something together in our household we tend to go the old fashioned route and pull out the games or cards much more frequently than anything else.

How about your household do you play and enjoy board games and cards, do you gather around the various video systems or take it outside for yard games and sports?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Josi S. Kilpack's Pumkin Roll and iPad2 Giveaway

About Josi S. Kilpack

Josi S. Kilpack hated to read until her mother handed her a copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond when she was 13. From that day forward, she read everything she could get her hands on and accredits her writing “education” to the many novels she has “studied” since then. She began writing her first novel in 1998 and never stopped. Her novel, Sheep’s Clothing won the Whitney Award 2007 for Mystery/Suspense. Lemon Tart, the first book in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery series was a finalist in 2009.  Her most recent book, Pumpkin Roll is the sixth book in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery Series. Josi currently lives in Willard Utah with her husband, four children, one dog, and varying number of chickens.


Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery Series:







iPad2 Contest

In conjunction with the release of Pumpkin Roll the author, Josi S. Kilpack, and the publisher, Shadow Mountain, are sponsoring a contest for a new iPad. To enter, leave a comment in the comment section of this blog before November 1, 2011. Winners will be announced and notified November 3rd 2011.
For additional ways to enter, go to www.josiskilpack.com  You can also download copies of all recipes from her website.

Friday, September 16, 2011

John Grisham's The Confession

The Confession: By John Grisham  (Received from BzzAgent for Review)

In 1998 Travis Boyette abducts, rapes and murders a high school cheerleader then buries the body so it will never be found.  Donte Drumm a local football star is convicted and sentenced to Death Row for the crime while Travis moves on to committ other crimes.  Nine years after the murder Travis is released from prison for a different crime and visits a church with Reverend Schroeder preaching.  After listening to a sermon given by Reverend Schroeder Travis pays a visit to the Reverend telling the Reverend he has an inoperable brain tumor that is terminal and then tells the Reverend about Donte who is on Death Row for a crime he didn't committ.  But Travis leaves from the first visit without actually confessing.  The rest of the story tells how the Reverend Schroeder works to get Travis to confess to try to save Donte and the trials of getting a legal system that has already convicted someone of a crime to listen in time to try to save Donte.

REVIEW: As with all John Grisham books that I have read this one is extremely well written and holds a readers attention from page one and is still offering surprises on the last page.  Grisham like many good writers uses his writting to give voice to his personal view points on the death penalty and what he sees as flaws in our legal system, causing a reader to think and question the status quo.  Overall I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys dramatic legal suspense stories. 

Questions:
For Authors : Do you use your writing to promote view points and try to bring attention to things that you think need it or do you write completely seperate from your real life?

For Readers : Do you enjoy books that touch on subjects that can be debated or do you prefer reads that let you escape or both and why?

John Grisham's Next book "The Litigator" available for preorder - http://www.jgrisham.com/the-litigators-plot-elements/

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

E-BOOK PIRACY

I can't say I had given the matter of ebook piracy a whole lot of thought other than knowing passing ebooks on was both wrong and illegal until an author on one of the yahoo groups posted about someone who was selling pirated copies of ebooks. So out of curiosity I did a google search on the subject and was shocked at what I found. The books are passed through torrents almost as frequently as music, game and video files, but I found numerous posts through out the web saying ebook piracy wasn't a big deal. I even found posts saying the authors should look at it as free publicity. Free publicity???? The music industry, gaming industry and the movie industry neither one views piracy as free publicity or as a minor inconvenience and both industries have gotten support to cut down on piracy and the persons caught are penalized (shut down, heavy fines and jail time). So I am wondering why so many view pirating ebooks as no big deal and from what I found there has not been anyone caught pirating ebooks that has really been punished for doing it.

Why do you think most view ebook piracy as a minor inconvenience at most and what is it going to take to make more view it as the crime that it is?

Also if anyone knows where I should send information on sites that have copy righted materials available please let me know as I ran across a few sites while doing this search. Thank You.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A MOMENT OF SILENCE

As many today remember a tragic day in our history I would like to offer my prayers to the families of the 3,000+ who lost their lives and a moment of silence in their memory.  The brave acts of the people at ground zero will be viewed with both pride and bitter sorrow for years to come.  That day 10 years ago effected all of us and changed how many see the world and themselves.  Bless all of you.


Friday, September 9, 2011

TRUE CARE ONLINE SOCIAL NETWORK MONITORING

In todays world you almost can't go a day without hearing someone say Facebook, Twitter or some other social networking site.  Having children makes this a cause of concern for me.  There are so many different ways for social networking to be a danger, but at the same time social networking offers people an easier way to keep in contact and ways to find and make friends that they may never have connected with otherwise.  So what do you do?  Limit what your children can do online, install parental control programs, use monitoring programs like the one I show below or is it not a concern you have?  Leave a comment on whether cyber abuse  on online predators is a concern for you and what your opinion is on all the social networking being done today.



I received a trial subscription of TrueCare through a program called BzzAgent.  I found that TrueCare was simple to use and could be a benefit to parents concerned with their childrens social networking.  When you enroll you either set the program up using your children's Facebook, Twitter etc.. information or you send an email to your children and they activate the program.  Once activated the program will send you email notifications when key phrases and words trigger the program. One tip though edit the word list to fit what you know your children and their friends use when speaking or you can get numerous notifications on harmless behaviour.  Below is an email I received about TrueCare about signs showing cyber abuse and links to use for a trial subscription and TrueCare Facebook and Twitter links.   


SIGNS OF CYBER ABUSE
TrueCare has compiled a list of warning signs that your child might be a victim of cyber abuse. What’s cyber abuse? It’s rumors, threats, gossip or humiliation that happen through email, websites, blogs, chat rooms, text and instant messaging, or videos. Read over the list, share it with other parents and pay close attention to your child’s behavior.

10 signs your child might be a victim of cyber abuse:
     1.    Your child becomes secretive about what they are doing online
     2.    Uses computers outside of home, such as at homes of friends, Internet
            cafes, or libraries
     3.    Has a sudden decline in homework or grades
     4.    Doesn’t feel well, headaches, stomach aches, nervousness
     5.    Is restless, has difficulty sleeping
     6.    Shows changes in behavior or has mood swings
     7.    Becomes withdrawn or displays low self-esteem
     8.    Does not want to go to school or socialize
     9.    Avoids telling you who their online friends are
   10.    No longer wants to use the computer or cell phone

TrueCare on TV
Let us introduce you to Mike Muir from the National Middle School Association and Alison Rhodes, an authority on safety, wellness and healthy living who’s also known as “The Safety Mom.” These two appeared on Lifetime Television’s morning talk show “The Balancing Act” to discuss cyber bullies, sexting, predators and other online dangers and how TrueCare can help parents deal with these dangers.  If you missed it, click here or tune in on August 23rd at 7am (EST) to view the segment.

Join TrueCare
Click the http://www.truecare.com/bzzagent link, and you'll get a 60-day free trial. If you decide to continue their TrueCare membership, it’ll cost just $9.99 a month

Connect with TrueCare
Get the latest in online safety news and updates by liking TrueCare on Facebook and following them on Twitter . Feel free to invite your friends to connect with TrueCare as well.