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Frugal College Entertainment

We’ve all heard stories about the “poor college students” because most people in college aren’t living it big. You’ve got tuition, books and living expenses and you might not have time for even a part-time job. That’s why finding frugal college entertainment is so important. You don’t have to drop $100 every time you and your friends go out. In fact, there are plenty of things to do in a college town that don’t cost a dime. Try to find the middle ground between staying in all the time and spending money every night. Trust me: It can be done! Following are some tips for finding frugal college entertainment.

Attend Music amp; Dance Recitals

Most colleges and universities have music and dance programs, so go watch their recitals. They aren’t nearly as corny as those you would find in junior high and high school and you might even have a few friends who are participating. This is a great way to both support your classmates and enjoy frugal college entertainment. In most cases, these performances are free or cost as little as $2 or $3, which is nothing compared to what you might spend at a bar, club or restaurant. Sometimes they even have free appetizers after the show!

Attend Plays

Along the same lines of my first tip, another way to enjoy frugal college entertainment is to attend school plays. The theater majors of your school are talented and often put on very moving performances. Watch the colorful flyers that begin to float around campus and look out for some of your favorite plays. Once you’ve found one you’re interested in seeing, talk to your friends and arrange for a group of you to go. That way, you might get a discount on tickets in addition to your student discount.

Film Showings

If you live in a dorm room, chances are you have Movie Night where everyone votes on a favorite film and watches it in your common room. This is far less expensive than going to a movie at seven o’clock and you don’t even have to pay for the gas needed to get there. If your dorm doesn’t already have a movie night or if you live in an apartment complex, take the initiative and set up a movie night. Everyone can chip in for popcorn, sodas and candy and it’ll be just like going to the theater.

Catch the Matinee

If you’re dead-set on seeing a brand new film in the theater, consider going to a matinee showing instead of paying full-price in the evening. Often, this will knock as much as $5 off the price, though you won’t be able to use a student discount. And instead of shelling out $15 for food and drinks, bring a bottle of water in a bag and drink that while you watch.

Take a Dip

Another example of frugal college entertainment is your apartment pool. If you live in an apartment or if you have friends who do, take advantage of that amenity. Of course, this will only work during the summer months, but it’s a great way to relax and get some exercise.

Be a Designated Driver

If you and your friends want to go to a bar or a club, explore frugal college entertainment by volunteering to be the designated driver. This ensures that you won’t be spending money on drinks and you can ask your friends to pay the cover (if one exists) since you’re not going to be drinking while you’re there.

Eat Before Restaurants

To save money when you and your friends go out to eat, eat a snack or a late lunch before you have to go. While you’re there, don’t order drinks or desserts because this is where restaurants really get you on prices. You can still enjoy frugal college entertainment while having a good time.

Five of the Best HDMI Cables for Under $50

One piece of equipment that every home theater system and video game system owner must have is an HDMI cable. In fact, several high-definition televisions come equipped with more than one HDMI port to accommodate more than one input device. These cables are what deliver the astounding picture quality and dynamic sound that makes the video and audio such a compelling experience. While length of the cable is usually determined by need, quality of cables can affect performance. Cables do fail for a variety of reasons, and owners who do not want to be dragging out that expensive television in order to replace a cable should select a quality HDMI cable.

While HDMI cables can retail for upwards of $300 for a six foot cable, many times a lesser priced cable will do just fine. Here is a look at five of the best HDMI cables under $50.

WireLogic HDMI Cable

Costco or feature this WireLogic HDMI Cable Item #444974 that retails for $14.99. Since this is only a three foot cable, it is ideal for connections that are in close proximity. It is compatible with all HDMI formats, including Ethernet, and can deliver that 1080p resolution that owners are chasing. This cable responds well to all high-definition refresh rates.

Philips SWV3431W/17

The Philips SWV3431W/17 HDMI cable is available at Target or and sells for $31.49. This is also a three foot cable, and supports just about any high-definition device. The price bump reflects the inclusion of gold-plated connectors for maximum data transfer efficiency.

Vizio XCH 306 Flat Series Cable

Walmart and feature this Vizio XCH 306 Flat series cable for $27. This is a cool looking cable because, as the name implies, it is flat and easy to hide. The six foot length of the cable allows for some wiggle room on connections, and the cable even supports Internet connections. The flexibility of the flat cable is equally impressive as the quality of picture and sound it delivers.

Dynex Direct VB-HD06

Shoppers at Best Buy or best are probably familiar with the Dynex name, as it is the retail giant’s inexpensive brand. The Dynex Direct VB-HD06 HDMI cable is a six foot cable available for $12.99. This is a great high-definition cable that provides great picture and sound for a variety of devices. This is a bargain cable, so buyers should not expect more than video and sound, as that is all it provides.

Belkin AV10050-06

The Belkin AV10050-06 is available at best for $49.99. This is a six foot cable that is 3D ready, which means it can support 3D viewing provided the proper TV, Blu-Ray player, and glasses are also purchased. This cable specifies max out at a 240Hz refresh rate, so buyers should know their own tech specs before purchase is made. This is a cable designed to fit the moderate price range, while delivering maximum Internet and picture transfer rates.

Fashion 2013 Trends as Anticipated at MAGIC/Project/Pool

Magic is known as the business of fashion. One of the things most people recognize when they’re shopping is that past mid-season clothes are not typically available when you most often when you need them. For example, if you’re looking for swimsuits now, forget it, as its back to school season. Likewise at the coldest point of the year when you realize you need a new coat, you’ll find the racks filled with spring fashion.

We were surprised at the February shows that they were introducing a lot of colorful spring and summer fashions that are generally reserved for fall introductions. We’re curious what we’ll be seeing this show, will it be the traditional 6 months prior for ordering thus being the Spring/Summer 2013 or will we once again be seeing a complete reversal with fall/winter being seen during this back to school shopping season?

If we see traditional spring/summer2013 this show will they be bright and cheerful or dark and dismal as have been some of the spring/summer selections in the past few years?

If we see much of what we saw in February, which is for fall/winter 2012, being repeated this August are we noticing a trend of repackaging of previous seasons styles? This is due in part to the large investment they already have which needs to be recouped even if at a lower cost margin

MAGIC is held in Las Vegas partially because the convention sizes available or is it because everyone in fashion is participating in a game of chance when they roll, will it be 7s or 11s or will they crap out?

If they have a heavy first day they worry. If it’s too heavy on the first day they don’t expect sales the following day. The buyers wonder if they purchase too quickly they may be paying too much.

MAGIC, it is the business of fashion. MAGIC is the foundation, the family includes WWD Magic, Slate, Street, Men’s/Wear, FN Platform, Project, Pool Trade Show and Sourcing at Magic.

Even with the best analysts, fashion preferences can change on a dime with a popular movie or TV show, stylist, celebrity or Olympian.

The Olympic Games goes out of its way to set standards so that no one can take advantage of the games while the games are in session. An example is Olympian Yohan Blake wearing a $500,000 ultra-lightweight watch which was frowned upon as were the Olympic medalist Michael Johnson’s Nike and 3M 24-carat gold created lightweight shoes.

When the Olympians leave the Olympic Village and are no longer physically associated with the games, they are free to wear whatever they wish and this is why it is such a conundrum as their product line has already been established and they don’t know what they will be doing to fashion.

We never cease to be amazed and what we thought we knew about fashion and find out what we really don’t know about fashion.

eBay: Wise Owl or Corporate Buzzard?

Let me start with a story about a small business owner- we’ll call her brands world international- BWI for short–
One day, BWI decided to open a store on ebay to promote her wares in a new way. She met many nice people along the way. She was able to express her dealings with them, as they were their dealings with her, via a feedback forum.

Ebay collected fees for this service from BWI and everyone was happy.

One day, a terrible monster, we will call her redred_hawk (hawk for short), came swooping down on BWI! Unaware of the danger, BWI tried to feed this fierce hawk– she sent her a beautiful coat of down that the hawk tried on and wore for a time!

It happened that the hawk decided she wanted the coat and did not want to pay the very low costs incurred by BWI– So she contacted PayPal, a good friend of Ebay. When BWI realized that the hawk was unhappy, she told her that she could return the jacket for a new one or she could receive a full refund. But the hawk was not satisfied. She wanted the jacket and the refund plus she insisted on additional compensation.

Of course, BWI refused to be a victim of the hawk. The hawk started contacting all the other birds on ebay and the customers of BWI — She told them tales about how BWI tried to hurt her!
BWI was very hurt that the hawk was doing this. Why? Perhaps the down in the jacket belonged to her kin? Was she just that greedy? Or was there some other evil curse at work?

BWI decided to protect herself from future attacks and built a shelter to prevent any other birds of prey from that region– The entire evil forest where the hawk resided was blocked from any trade with BWI. And it was sad too, because they were missing out on some very lovely things.

Unfortunately for BWI, the hawk was already in – wounding and bruising BWI and causing her to bleed- perhaps that is the where the ‘red’ in her name, redred_hawk, comes from. At any rate, BWI was weakend from all the attacks and decided she had to contact Ebay and PayPal to organize some type of intervention.

As it turned out, Ebay had changed it’s feedback policies. They decided, in their ultimate wisdom (NOT– they were really not the wise old owls that they pretended to be), to take away the seller’s (BWI) rights to inform the other animals on ebay what this hawk was up to. However, the buyer (hawk) was still able to leave whatever negative comments she wanted whether they were true or not.

BWI was not going to become prey to this hawk as a few others had done in the past. Hawk knew the new policies with Ebay and threatened BWI constantly with her negativity. Finally, hawk came through on her threats and left a scathing comment on BWI’s account. The only recourse BWI had was to reply to the comment, which she did. Again, the hawk swooped in. She contacted those wanna be owls at ebay and they removed the reply by BWI!

In the meantime, PayPal had asked the hawk to provide the carrier pigeon information to prove that she had returned the coat. Of course hawk could not do this because the coat was still in her possession. This infuriated hawk even more.

BWI was running out of options. Hawk had already convinced some of the animals in the ebay forest that BWI was at fault. What was she to do? Well, she posted a bulletin on every tree that would allow her — she wrote her story down and put it on the biggest tree in the forest, the ebay BLOG. Some of the animals reading the Blog tree even left helpful comments to get the hawk to stop attacking. BWI tried all of them. But there was no resolution.

The carrier pigeon never came with the return, PayPal was still holding the funds and Ebay was allowing hawk to call the shots. What was poor BWI to do? Is this the end for her? Will there be a fairy Godmother to come to her rescue or will she be swallowed up by the big bad hawk? Is there a such thing as ‘Happily Ever After’ for BWI?

And how long do we have to wait to find out the answer? Well, that is the question, isn’t it?

So- Is ebay fair to sellers? If you want a true accounting of the facts in this story, you may go to ebay and visit the store of Brands World International — View the blog and see the feedback — This started in December and it is now mid-March and there is still no resolution. PayPal is still ‘reviewing’ the case and redred_hawk is still trying to victimize BWI. We cannot even leave a negative comment on her feedback! So we did the next best thing. We left her a positive one with a negative message. We blogged, we fought, but did we conquer? Stay tuned for the next chapter and hopefully, final conclusion …

Earn Up to 12 College Credits by Taking the CLEP Foreign Language Exam

Many college students look for various ways to save money on their tuition costs. Non-traditional options such as credit by exam, can provide students with a large amount of credit to complete their degrees. Schools such as Excelsior College and Charter Oak State College, offer students around 6-12 college credits for each exam they take, based on their achievement. Find out how you can save hundreds by taking these exams to accelerate your degree completion.
The exams

The CLEP exam offers three exams for foreign language: German, Spanish and French. Each exam covers about 2 semesters of college coursework in the given language field. Depending on how well you do, you are generally awarded credit for either one or two semesters worth of course credit. So, success in these tests require college mastery of the language at the lower level, commonly described as “101” and “102” course levels. Each exam costs about $77 to take.

Excelsior College

Excelsior College awards ample credit for taking these exams. As a student, you can earn two semesters of college credit with a cut score of 50 on the French, Spanish and German exams. This is equivalent to about 6 college credits that would cost you around $1890 when taking a course priced at $315 per credit hour.

Earning a higher score allows you to save the most and accelerate the fastest. Scoring a 62 on the French exam or a 63 on the German and Spanish exam allows you to receive four semesters worth of credit, which is around 12 credits of coursework that would cost you around $3,780 when taking a course priced at $315 per credit hour, with Excelsior College.

Charter Oak State College

Charter Oak provides similar cut scores for earning credit with the CLEP exams. A student with a score of 50 will be awarded six credits for successful completion of level one of the CLEP exam, in French, Spanish and German. A student with a score of 59 in the French exam, 60 in the German exam, and 63 in the Spanish exam will be awarded another 6 credits for completion of the level two portion. For a non-resident, this would cost around $3,180 if these credits were taken traditionally at a rate of $265 per credit hour, with Charter Oak .

The CLEP foreign languages exams, offer students with great opportunity to earn college credit in a timely and economical way. The average student can study for these exams at their own pace, without having to attend classes, whether online or on campus. It also allows students who are already fluent in a language to demonstrate their competency for credit and become closer to earning their degree.

Classic Toys from Our Childhood, Updated and Still Hot Sellers

Remember those wonderful days of childhood and all those great, hot toys that you owned and wanted. What was your favorite? Is it a toy that is still on the market today?
Many of the toys from past generations are still selling today and selling well. Yet, of course, just like everything in life, these toys from our past, have been updated. They may have a more sophisticated and fresh look. They are made from more durable materials. Plus, unfortunately, they may also cost more than they did when your parents bought them for you.

Yet, they are just as well loved and they are just as popular, if not more popular than ever.

Here is a quick overview of some of those toys and how they have been updated.

Jack in the box

You remember him. He was a somewhat scary clown that would pop out of a colorful box, after cranking a little handle.

Jack still pops up to the sound of music. His little box is still colorful. But he isn’t as scary looking as he once was.

Jack is no longer always a clown. You can purchase Jack in the form of a cute bear, a bunny, a pony or even a character such as Curious George. Yet, he still loves to play hide and seek with all the kids.

Crayloa Crayons

Yes, these wonderful crayons have been updated a lot since they first came onto the market. One of their newest products is the triangular easy hold crayon. These makes it easy for even two year olds to begin drawing and coloring all those wonderful masterpieces.

Radio Flyer Wagon

Surely you remember these wagons. They were bright red and you can pull anything from your little brother to a load of small gravel in these.

The new version is still red. The kids can still push it. But now it has a more comfortable seat and looks more like a little car than a wagon.

Lincoln logs

Wasn’t it fun building all those colorful building and then promptly knocking them down, again?

Well, the logs are just as wonderful as they were then. But now the kids imagination can go even wilder with the new plastic horses and people that also comes with some of these sets.


You can’t even think about classic toys without thinking about Barbie.

Barbie has been updated several times throughout her life. You can even buy her now with her very own stand, so she is always at attention, ready to tackle any job.

Candy Land

This wonderful game helped us all learn our colors. It we drew a red dotted card, we were suppose to land on the next red dot. It was easy and fun.

The updated version has no board. Yet, the kids still have to match up colors, as well as shapes.

Don’t worry, the board version is still around, too.

What would childhood be without all these wonderful toys? They teach our children so many things, while also building wonderful memories. They also give us an excuse to revisit out own childhood as we play with our children.

Bad News Bears: Chester Taylor Leaves Minnesota for Chi-Town

Oh no. No, no. This is not good at all. Chester Taylor, our stalwart running back, has departed for Bears country. Uh-oh.
The latest news: the Chicago Bears have picked up Taylor, tight end Brandon Manumaluena, and the very talented defensive end Julius Peppers (thank you, Mike Tice – the former Vikings head coach is now the offensive line coach for the Bears). As our team is slowly dismantled during the off-season – and we knew this was going to happen, by the way – we’re left wondering if they’re keeping the right folks. I trust Childress only as far as I can throw him (and though I’ve been working out regularly, I don’t think I could heft him), and I’m feeling like he’s making some bad choices right now. Really bad. Almost as bad as twelve men in the huddle. Personally, I would have liked to see Adrian Peterson pack his bags after the way that he’s played this past year, but unfortunately, we’re losing the one running back that we can count on to get us that next first down instead.

And the worst part? We’re losing him to our own division. Chicago. They’re already tough to play, but now they’ve taken one of our most reliable guys and added him to their ranks. First I lose my friend Julie to Chicago, and now I’ve lost Chester Taylor. What’s next – Joe Mauer to the White Sox?

Just kidding.

To be clear, I completely understand why Taylor has decided that the Bears are a better option for him, especially at this point in his career. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Taylor sat down with his agent and went through all the possible scenarios, and decided that Chicago was the best fit – both money-wise and for playing time. Since Adrian Peterson has burst onto the scene, Taylor hasn’t had the opportunity to start (which is a shame); rather, the past year-and-a-half, he’s been cleaning up Peterson’s messes with virtually no recognition or reward. And on top of it, the guy is 30 – who knows how much longer he’s going to be able to play? Running backs have notoriously short careers due to their high-impact positions, so I can imagine that Taylor wants to get in as much playing time as he can before he’s forced to retire.

So, what does this all mean for us? It means that Adrian Peterson sure better get his act together before next season, or we’re going to be in big trouble. I just hope that this doesn’t sway Brett Favre towards retirement, seeing as how we don’t really have another viable option for quarterback.

Oh, wait – we can sign an unrestricted free agent now, so I guess we do have another option. Let’s just hope that Taylor’s departure is worth what we get in return.

A Review Of The Spine-Worx Realignment Device

I suffered with back pain for most of my life. When I got in my 20’s, I decided to go see a chiropractor, who told me that I had curvature of the spine from a previous fall. The chiropractor assured me that although my spine was curved, it could be fixed. The chiropractor explained a series of adjustments we would go through to correct the problem. After a few months, I felt better than I ever had in my life. I was cured!

The problem was that I had to keep going to see the chiropractor each week to keep up my newly found spinal alignment. I had to pay a 25 dollar co-pay at each appointment. When I was laid off later that year, I had no choice but to stop going to see the chiropractor. It wasn’t long before my backaches started to return. That’s when I came across a product called Spine-Worx.

Spine-Worx is an at-home product which was designed by a chiropractor. It is a plastic board which you lay on when you are flat on the floor. The weight of your body presses against the board, which features a curved area. The weight of your body is supposed to naturally align your spine back to the way it is supposed to be in.

I was very skeptical when I first read about Spine-Worx, but it was much less expensive than going to the chiropractor, especially now that I had no insurance, so I decided to give it a try. I ordered one online at Amazon and in about 4 days, it was sitting in a box on my front porch.

I tried it right away. The first time I used it, it felt kind of uncomfortable as I was laying on it, because the pressure of my spine felt awkward on the board. The directions did mention that it would take several weeks of use before you could expect to see significant results. I kept using the board each day, and each day it felt more and more comfortable. Finally, I did experience a significant improvement in my back pain.

Ultimately, I found that the Spine-Worx board did produce results for me. When I got a new job with benefits, I did return to the chiropractor, and now see the chiropractor occasionally for adjustments. However, the Spine-Worx board is great if you cannot afford the chiropractor, or if you experience discomfort between sessions. In my experience, Spine-Worx is probably most useful as a supplement to chiropractic care, and not as a replacement.

There are several limitations to using Spine-Worx. The manufacturer’s website states that the board is not meant to be used for those under 16 or 17 years old, as their skeletal development is not yet complete. The board is meant for mid and lower back alignment, and not cervical (neck adjustments).

Overall, I was very pleased with Spine-Worx. And it may provide some much needed comfort for those who cannot afford to see the chiropractor often, or at all. I know that I will be keeping my Spine-Worx board around for a long time

Finding A Social Media “Home” Which Provides Great Safety Features As Well As More Reliable

If you’re posting everything you write to five, six, eight, a dozen or more social media websites, you’re not focusing your efforts effectively and you’re probably risking being restricted or banned from the communities you use. There are a very few individuals capable of participating constructively, authentically and prolifically in numerous communities. However, that level of use takes several hours every day to maintain. If you’re only able to dedicate a few minutes to an hour or two each day to social media, your best strategy is to focus on one or two sites.

Your Social Media Home

To narrow your focus and increase your effectiveness, start by selecting one favorite site where you’ll strive to be a user valuable to everyone in the community. If you’re already much more active on one website than any other, stick with that community. Unless, of course, you no longer enjoy using that tool. Never continue participating in a social media community you don’t enjoy.

Your social media home should be a website that you love operating, in sense of having great following. Considering some of the famous social media platforms which is really beneficial for free followers oninstagram can be great, if you find yourself clicking over to a site in your browser every time you log onto the computer, if you find yourself posting there instead of doing work or chores, if you are tempted to check in even when you’re on vacation or taking a day off, you’ve found the right site. Ask yourself if you’d post on a particular site even if you had never started writing content that you need to promote. If the answer is “of course,” that’s your social media home.

Contributing to Your Favorite Community

So you’ve found your social media home–now what?

Start contributing to the success of the community as much as possible. Learn the terms of use and unwritten social norms. Help new users by conveying those items to them gently and constructively. Post links that you know others in the community would like to see. No more than one in five of your posts should be your own content. Some social media communities prohibit even self-promotion that is minimal and relevant to the community’s interests. Know the rules and follow them. If the rules of a community prohibit what you want to do, find another site that you love just as much where you don’t have to worry about “getting caught” posting occasional, relevant links to your content.

It’s easy to find links other than your own that are relevant to a particular site. Spend time observing the most popular links on the site and find new content that’s similar. It’s as easy as that. Whether your favorite community likes funny pictures, breaking news, in-depth business analysis or something else, there’s plenty of it on the internet, and every time you post something people love you’re adding value to the community.