Saturday, July 24, 2021

Make Good Use of Warranties. You can save a lot of money by claiming warranties!

Product warranties are pretty common place these days. Usually products will have a warranty of a year or more that guarantees they will be good throughout that time. If it breaks or does not meet expectations, you can usually make a claim and get reimbursed or get a replacement item.

While warranties are common, it seems many people do not claim them even in situations where they could. This could be because they forget the product is covered under warranty so they just buy a new item. Or they may want to claim a warranty but they do not have the paperwork needed to do it. Or they are just lazy and don't want to do the work it takes to make the claim.

For most warranty claims, you usually have to have your original receipt that shows when and where you purchased the item. This is why it is important to save paperwork and receipts especially for larger purchases. The receipts often have the warranty details, but sometimes you may have to look them up on a company website to see how to make a claim.

It can take some work if you do decide to make a claim. You might have to fill out a form or mail something in. Despite the work involved, it is usually worth it if it means being able to save money either by getting a free replacement or by getting a discount on an identical item.

I have a couple examples recently where I was able to claim warranties and save quite a bit of money:

Years ago my car was hit by another car so I had taken it into a collision repair shop to have the body work fixed and painted. Then recently I noticed that the paint was starting to peel off. Just for the heck of it I looked up the receipt and saw it had a warranty that covered the paint for as long as you own the vehicle. So I made a few calls to the collision center and brought my car in to get checked out.

They looked it over and agreed to cover it under the warranty so I ended up getting my car repainted for free! This normally would cost a lot of money. I was able to claim this warranty because I saved the paperwork and followed through on the steps to make the claim.

Another car related warranty that I recently dealt with was for my tires. I purchased a set that had a tread wear warranty of 50,000 miles. Well after about 20,000 miles a couple of the tires were worn down to the bottom. I looked up the details of the warranty and saw that they should be eligible since they were rotated as recommended and I had the paperwork. So I was able to get a big discount on replacement tires based on the mileage that had yet to be fulfilled.

In situations like these, you could imagine that many people don't even think about the possibility of a warranty and they end up just paying full price to have a service done or have a product replaced when in many cases the warranty would cover it.

Next time you have a product that breaks or does not last very long, make sure to see if it is still under warranty and make sure to save your receipts so you can make those claims!

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Loud Car Horns Should Be Illegal - Ban the use of train horns on vehicles

As the title states, loud car horns also known as train horns should be illegal. Chances are you have heard one of these horns out on the roads. They are extremely loud and startling. Given the fact that loud noises can cause serious damage to your ears, it does not make sense that a product such as a train horn that produces dangerous levels of sound is allowed to be sold and installed on passenger vehicles.

These kinds of horns are known to produce honks at 150 decibels. An impulse noise at that level can cause injury and pain to the ear and is unsafe to be exposed to it for any duration of time. So how is it legal that something like this is being sold to consumers to put on their vehicles?

Laws can be different depending on the location but most areas have a law prohibiting the use of an excessively loud warning device such as these horns. So if a police officer were to hear someone use a horn like this, they could very well pull them over and give them a ticket.

But this does not stop people from installing them on their vehicles and using them maliciously. Often there are warnings from the manufacturers stating that hearing protection must be worn when using these horns. Do you think anyone is following that warning? Unsuspecting people outside or out on the road certainly do not have that warning before they are assaulted by a horn like this.

A ticket or a fine is not enough for something that could cause permanent hearing damage to an innocent bystander who happens to be nearby one of these horns. Personally I have been lucky not to have this happen to me, but I have been exposed to other loud noises in the past which did have a lasting negative affect on my hearing so I take this topic very seriously.

Once your hearing is damaged, it is irreversible. So knowing that these kinds of horns are being freely sold to anyone who wants to put them on their car and go around blasting it at people is very troubling. Anyone doing this should understand these repercussions and know they could get themselves in additional legal trouble should any victim of their recklessness decide to press charges.  

I'm guessing this will be a very polarizing topic between those who are against loud horns like this, and those who think they should be free put them on their vehicles. Feel free to share your thoughts on this issue in the comments.

To everyone out there, please be careful with your hearing. If you are someone who has one of these horns, please be responsible and reconsider what you are doing.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Show Recommendation - Born This Way


I recently found a great series to watch so I wanted to share it here. It's called Born This Way and it is a documentary style show that follows the lives of several young adults who have Down Syndrome. The series originally aired on A&E and is available now streaming online on the Roku channel.

The show is centered around a main group of of about 7 individuals who are friends. It explores who each of them are, what their life is like, what their interests are, how they deal with relationships, what their family life is like etc.

As with most reality style shows, there is plenty of drama mostly when it comes to relationships. As each episode goes by we learn more an more about the cast members and see the challenges they face with their disabilities. All of them are wonderful and interesting people which makes the show a delight to watch.

One of the main themes is showing how individuals with Down Syndrome have the same kinds of feelings and dreams as those without disabilities. We see how they set goals and work to achieve them with the help and support around them. They are able to accomplish dreams such as starting a business, giving motivational speeches, being successful at a job, and even getting married.

The show spans 4 seasons and having watched the whole series, I highly recommend it! If you like feel good shows in a documentary style, you are sure to enjoy Born This Way.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Don't Ignore Caution Signs. They Are There For A Reason.

I'll admit, I don't always take warning or caution signs seriously. I think it is because often these kinds of signs are over used or not actually relevant in the situation. For example how many times have you seen a wet floor sign posted and the floor was perfectly dry? How many times have you seen a street sign saying a lane would be closed ahead only to find out that the lane was actually open?  

It's true sometimes the signs are not always accurate, but you should still take them seriously because they are usually there for a reason even if it doesn't seem apparent at the time. For example a floor might appear dry but maybe there was a spill around there recently and it is still slick even if it doesn't look like it. For that sign that said the lane would be closed, it is likely the lane was just opened or it will be closed shortly so they don't want traffic in that lane.

Twice recently I ignored warning signs that were posted and I ended up paying the price. The first was a sign on an emergency exit door that said an alarm will sound if it is opened. I was pretty sure I had seen this door opened before and no alarm went off so I figured the sign was just there for show and that it would be fine to open the door. So I open it and guess what? An alarm went off! So I had to explain to the management that it was just me and apologize for the inconvenience of setting off the alarm.

The other example happened when a section of stairs was blocked off because the carpeting was being redone. Again I ignored the warning and thought it would be ok to go on the stairs even though the carpeting was taken up. Little did I know a soapy substance had been applied to it to get the adhesive off and it was very slippery! Well sure enough I did not expect that and as soon as I took my first step, I went right down on by butt. I ended up getting some scratches and also messed up my clothes for the day.

Both of these situations could have been avoided if I had actually taken the warning signs seriously. Sometimes you have to learn the hard way, which unfortunately tends to be the best way to learn. I will try to pay more attention to caution signs from now on as I realize now, they are usually put in place for good reason.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

iPhone unused for many years won't start up - Fixed. My experience fixing a new iPhone that was in the box for years and would not work.

I have had an iPhone 6 for many years and it has been very reliable even up to today. The only thing it needed was a battery replacement a while back which I wrote about in a previous article here. The phone still works great but recently some of the apps I use for work started requiring iOS 13 or later and unfortunately the iPhone 6 only supports up to iOS 12.

About 4-5 years ago I got an iPhone 7 through my work but since my iPhone 6 was still good, I decided to just keep the 7 in the box as a backup and wait until I actually needed to upgrade. I figured now was a good time to make the switch considering the apps require the newer iOS versions which are able to run on the 7.  

So I opened the box and plugged in the phone to charge. I knew the battery would be dead since it had been in the box for years. The phone flashed the Apple logo on and off repeatedly. I let it charge for a couple hours and then tried to turn it on. Unfortunately when pressing the power button, I could not get it to turn on. Even trying every solution such as doing a full restart did not work.

I figured the battery was probably completely dead and needed to be replaced. This is normal for phones that are many years old so I was not surprised by this. So I made an appointment to bring it in to the Apple store.

At the store I explained the situation to them about how it was a new phone that had been unused for many years and would not start up. They tested it out and were not able to detect a current. I asked if we should replace the battery but they said even with a new battery it still probably won't work. This was pretty disappointing to hear.

They said there really is not anything they can do at this point to fix it and wanted to know if I was interested in buying a new phone and giving them my phone to recycle. Considering it was a brand new phone I just unboxed, I told them I better hold on to it and that I was not ready to buy a new one since my old phone still worked.

So I took the phone home and decided to do some more research. There were some suggestions about trying to heat up the phone to bring it back to life. Apparently with the lithium batteries if the power drains too low, they sort of disconnect or something as a safety feature. I tried warming it up as suggested but unfortunately it did not work.

I thought about bringing it back to Apple again for a 2nd opinion and just asking them to do a battery replacement. Then just for the heck of it, I started looking up how much replacement batteries cost. They go for about $20 and this is including a full tool kit. Apple charges $50 for the replacement.

The tutorials online didn't look to hard so I figured I would give it a try since I didn't really have anything to lose. It would be a fun project and a good experience trying to change an iPhone battery.

So I ordered the battery with the kit. When it arrived I got to work. Honestly, replacing the battery turned out to be more difficult than I expected. The screws are extremely tiny and there are 3 different kinds. Just prying the screen away from the base was incredibly difficult since it is sealed on there with and adhesive. Still I was determined to get it done.

I followed the steps and managed to get through it in about 2 hours. Keep in mind, with all of this, there was still no guarantee it would work even if I did everything right. 

Then came the moment of truth. I plugged it in to the charger and after a second, the Apple logo came on. That's a good sign! Then after a few moments the start up screen appeared. It worked!

So it was just the battery after all just as I had suspected. Right away I was pretty annoyed by my experience at the Apple store since they told me nothing could be done to save it and that a new battery would not help. They wanted me to recycle the phone and spend hundreds of dollars on a new one, when all it needed was a $20 battery.

So if you have a new phone that has been in the box or unused for many years and it does not turn on, chances are it may just need a new battery.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Dreams and Creativity - Our brains may be more capable than we realize

The other day I had a dream where I attended a play. The play was about viral videos and it had a mix of live acting as well as videos. In the dream I distinctly remember how each idea presented was original as in not something I had seen or thought about in real life.

I remember each scene was very detailed like a movie that was fully thought out. As I began waking up this concept stuck with me. I thought how could these events in the dream be so well executed considering they were not things I had seen or experienced in my real life.

If I were to create it in real life, it would be incredibly difficult and time consuming. What I mean by this is that it would be like trying to make a movie from scratch. You would have to come up with the ideas, write out a plan or a script, do the acting, and then edit it. This would be very difficult and would take a lot of time to do. But in the dream, this all happened within minutes. The ideas were fully developed and executed in the dream as if they had been planned out and worked on for weeks.  

It got me thinking that maybe our brains are a lot more capable and powerful than we think. In real life, making a movie is very difficult, even just coming up with the ideas for it, but in a dream, it can all be done spontaneously in the moment.

If we could tap into that ability that we have in dreams, we might be able to be a lot more creative or more efficient in coming up with ideas in real life. It's just a thought and maybe it is not possible. I know that often dreams can be deceiving in a way that they seem to make perfect sense in dream world, but when you wake up and think about them in reality, they don't make any sense.

But sometimes dreams do make sense and they can be very enlightening. Like many things in this world, there is a lot we don't know. Who knows what we may learn about dreams in the future? They might be more important that we think.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Pet Peeve - Car Alarms that go off when they are not supposed to

If you live or work near a parking lot with a lot of cars, chances are you probably hear a car alarm going off now and again. Car alarms are supposed to help protect the car by alerting if someone is trying to break into the car, but I find that usually when you hear a car alarm going off, there is not even anyone near the car. These false alarms can be very annoying especially if it is a loud honking alarm that keeps going off repeatedly.

After doing a little research it seems there are quite a few things that can set a car alarm off such a low battery in the car or the key fob. Sensors on the car may also get triggered mistakenly causing it to go off. And of course there is the issue of people unknowingly pressing the alarm button on their key fob. Whatever the case, it is very annoying when this happens and everyone around has to put up with an alarm going off for no reason.

Car alarms are another one of those things like foldable stop signs that seem to cause more harm than good. The idea seems to make sense at the time, but in the long run, it just ends up being more problematic than actually being helpful.  If your car alarm has a tendency to go off when it is not supposed to, please get it checked out so it can be fixed as soon as possible.