Action AllStars

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Dotcom_outlinedall
Now that my oldest son is spending an increasing amount of time online, I’ve been seeking out kid-friendly websites for him to visit and use. Like most parents, we limit the time he’s online and regularly monitor the sites he surfs to. One fun and easy to use website I recently encountered is tailor-made specifically for kids. The site is ActionAllStars.com where kids can play virtual sports-related games like basketball, football and baseball. And since it’s for kids, the site is safe and is even associated with online safety resource site ConnectSafely.org.
my humdrum avatarRegistration is free so I went ahead and signed up to see if it’s worth letting my son get involved with the community. The first thing you get to do is create a personalized avatar. Here’s mine named “humdrum”. Once fully registered, you get to used your virtual-self to participate in a game of basketball, football, baseball or even skateboarding. The graphics are nicely done and the gameplay is pretty typical of online games. More importantly though is the fact that kids can learn more about the sport as they play it on the site. And as a parent, I really like the fact that the virtual environment is geared toward good, clean fun with none of the violence you often see with other online shoot ‘em up type games. It’s also reassuring to know that Action AllStars is currently partnered with sports *big-wigs* MLB.com and NBA.com. You pretty much know when you see Major League Baseball or the National Basketball Association involved with something that it’s definitely legit. I’m glad I got a chance to test out the website and will be placing a bookmark on his browser’s favorites list.
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Mega Brands MagNext iCoaster

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One of the hot gift items this past holiday season was the Mega Brands MagNext iCoaster. After seeing one set up at his friend’s house earlier last year, my seven year old son placed the 64-piece magnet building set immediately on the top of his Christmas list. After creating different track designs and seeing the magnetic balls zip around the tracks first hand, I can now see why my child went head over heels for the iCoaster. The set comes with a booklet with designs for 10 different layouts but once you get the hang of putting the pieces together and seeing what works, coming up with your own designs is when the real fun begins. and as a parent, I’m all for toys that give children the opportunity to be creative and utilize their problem solving skills. Stimulating the mind is so important at this age and so the process of building, tearing down and creating new designs really help in this regard. And with all the towers, flashing lights, sound effects and magnetic elevators, my son will be fascinated with this building set for a good long while. So, from what I’ve seen this past week, the iCoaster is definitely money well spent. As a matter of fact, the whole line of Mega Brands MagNext toys go highly recommended in this household.

web hosting reviews

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Having a blog or running a website is pretty run-of-the-mill nowadays. Everyone and their grandmother seems to have their own website now. I mean, just think about it - with your own hosted site, you can post family photo albums, share large files with friends and family and of course you can blog, blog and blog some more until the cows come home. There’s a lot of versatility in what one can do when you’ve got your own site. And now that there are countless web hosts out there vying for customers, the rates have become pretty affordable. But along the same lines, since there are so many providers, how do you know who to trust? That’s why I always recommend taking the time upfront to do the research and read through all the web hosting reviews on sites like Web Hosting Geeks. It isn’t as simple as just signing up for the cheapest host. The lowest rates don’t usually translate into the highest reliability. And with sites like Web Hosting Geeks, comparing features, options and rates can be done with a click of a button. also be sure to check out their webhosting blog that is chock full of informative articles as well as tips and tricks for a whole range of users, from newbie to seasoned professional. And even for those who are already using an existing webhost, it’s always good to know what’s out there because in this day and age, reliable services can leave you stranded without warning. So get informed by checking out Web Hosting Geeks today!

BestBuy Coupon

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It’s sad to say but it’s true - a weak economy and a happy holiday season just don’t mix. Folks are losing their jobs left and right, stocks continue to plummet and consumers won’t be spending as much this Christmas season. and it’s tough being all merry and cheerful when we are constantly reminded of an unstable economy on the evening news. But as a dad of young kids, I’m still going to try my best this season to get all those items on the kids’ wish lists. As you probably already know, now more than ever, consumers are relying on the internet to find bargains. Saving money is on everyone’s mind right now and searching out the lowest prices and online coupons is a whole lot easier with websites like savings.com. Great deals are out there, it’s just a matter of finding them at the right time. Coupons, special sales and exclusive deals are constantly appearing so it’s prudent to monitor websites like these on a regular basis for the latest updates. And when you know what you need to get, you can zero in on specific coupons or online deals. I’m planning on using an online BestBuy coupon to save on some game purchases for the Wii. The kids absolutely love playing on the Wii and are always looking for different and challenging games to play. I’m personally more “old school” so I tend to gravitate toward puzzle games like “Brain Age” or Tetris. When I watch the kids play something like “Super Smash Bros. Brawl”, my eyes go cross-eyed with all the rapid-fire activity on-screen. I know what you’re thinking and don’t worry, I limit their playing time to a few hours on weekends. and by doing so, the kids end up appreciating their Wii time. And thanks to the internet, I’ll be saving a bundle purchasing these gifts online.

Virgin Mobile Shuttle

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After a disappointing year of issuing lower end brand phones, Virgin Mobile has finally decided to give its long suffering customers a decent phone for a change. The new VM Shuttle features a 1.3 megapixel camera with video, music and bluetooth capabilities. Yes, I know that Virgin Mobile’s main focus is to provide a no-frills, no-contract, prepaid wireless service but you have to admit the majority of their phone designs felt old, tired and several generations behind the times. The new VM Shuttle on the other hand seems to be more up-to-date so that now I won’t have to stick out like a sore thumb whenever I’m using my prepaid cellular phone. hell, with the new phone, I might even pass for a verizon or sprint cellular customer! heh. :P
virgin mobile shuttle
look for the new Shuttle at your local Best Buy beginning September 28th.

VM Shuttle Specifications:
Stereo Bluetooth® Wireless Technology
Media Player
1.3MP Camera Phone
Bright Full Color Screen
Text Messaging
Mobile Email
Mobile IM
Mobile Web
Speakerphone
Voice Dialing
Capacitado con menú en Español
TTY/TDD Enabled, HAC Rating: M3
microSD
Talk Time: 234 minutes
Standby Time: 13.3 days
Dimensions: 3.9″ x 1.86″ x 0.67″
Weight: 3.4oz

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It’s My Life. My Time.

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This gave me a bit of a chuckle so I thought I’d share this little tidbit. My wife recently signed up for an account on myLifetime.com, a new social networking site for women that enjoy watching the Lifetime television network. That’s right, another social networking site. But as long as the site owners regularly tend to the site at its members, I think they are definitely on to something. The site already boasts more than 2.5 million members and features a good amount of exclusive content including online videos, games, news, health tips and craft ideas. With a successful network focused directly on women, I guess it was a “no-brainer” for them to expand their reach onto the worldwide web. It’s a great way to interact with fans of “Army Wives” as well as see extra behind the scenes footage and register to win some exclusive sweepstakes and contests. So, if you enjoy the shows on Lifetime, be sure to sign up on connect with other like minded women on myLifetime.com.
myLifetime website

leave a message

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Social-spark-315x235What is “life” to you? for some, it’s all about leaving a legacy. You work hard so that the next generation in your family will have it somewhat easier than you had and so on and so on. and if you’re lucky, you may even achieve something great that will last beyond your lifetime. Well, what about broadening the scope further beyond your own kind. What about leaving something for the universe? yup, that’s right, a message for those out among the stars. Well, Richard Garriott, the creator of the hit video game, Tabula Rasa, will be the sixth private citizen to travel into space this coming October. And he’ll be saving a sort of “time capsule” on the International Space Station. The whole project is called Operation Immortality: Leave your mark. Save Humanity. and what they’re essentially doing is saving a history of mankind’s greatest achievements along with digitized human DNA as well as messages from a variety of people all across the world. There’s even an official website where you can store your own message for all the world to see. If you had your chance to leave a profound message for the universe, what would it be? I went ahead and registered on the site and left a line from one of my favorite Beatles’ songs - “and in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make” (Lennon/McCartney). I’ve always loved that line from the last song off the Abbey Road album. A great positive message to send off to the world and into space. To me it means that the more positive things you do unto the world, the more blessings you’ll receive in the end. and if only more people believed that little notion, the world would be a much better place. Look up message ID: 899 to view it on the Operation Immortality website.
Sponsored by Operation Immortality

my manga?

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OK, since I’ve seen so many bloggers post their newly-made avatars from FaceYourManga.com, I thought I’d give it a go. The online avatar maker is pretty similar to the one found on yahoo. You basically tweak through all the facial features until you get to where the character sort of resembles yourself, I guess. I don’t think I got the avatar quite right but… umm, he looks *asian* at least. hhmmm.. actually the avatar looks more like my 11 year old than myself. oh well, it was fun for about five minutes at least. So, have you made yours yet?
is this my manga?

ProphpBB forum hosting

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Looking to build an online community for an interest group your involved in? Well, a discussion forum is a great way to start. It give a powerful platform for group members to post the latest news and discuss important issues with one another. Installing and configuring a phpBB board can be a bit of a hassle and not to mention expensive so finding a reliable Free Forum Hosting provider like ProphpBB is probably the best route to take. The folks over at ProphpBB will take care of the difficult portion of hosting which includes providing server space, installing and maintaining php scripts and so on. So, all you need to do is customize the look and feel of your forums and you’re pretty much set to go. It’s as simple as that. the ProphpBB support forums is a great example of what good hosted forum should look like. With clear cut categories separating the discussions, a visitor can quickly and easily find a discussion thread he or she is interested in. So, go ahead and build a brand new online community for free at ProphpBB.

Whole Foods podcast

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I love going to Whole Foods Market. Yes, it’s not the closest or most convenient grocery store in the area but the quality of their produce as well as their superior meat and seafood section, all make the longer trip worth the time. And it’s great to know the company’s mission isn’t all about reaping the biggest profits. From the very start, the company set out to be a good tenant of Mother Earth. They support local organic farmers, the local food banks and strive to educate people to live in a more healthier, more natural way. They even have a blog on their website to help folks live a more healthier lifestyle. And they haven’t stopped there. They now have gotten into the video podcasting realm. It’s all done to enrich the lives of their patrons. This month’s podcast is called “Natural Salon” and features two new natural hair care videos with John Masters, Manhattan’s premiere hair care expert. It’s great to learn more about natural alternatives in haircare as opposed to using harsh chemicals that can ultimately lead to damaged hair. The Whole Foods podcast is an ongoing series so be sure to head on over to their website to subscribe.

utilizing the power of IZEA

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izea logo - dleeyou know, looking back at all the paid opportunities I’ve had the good fortune of doing here on this blog, the most memorable ones were the ones where I actually received a physical product to review directly from the advertisers. it’s one thing to review websites or post about certain online services but receiving a cool new item to review takes things up a notch in my book. through the IZEA network, which includes services like payperpost and SocialSpark, I’ve received some products ranging from DVDs to something called “instant snow powder” and even a sample of pain relieving gel. it seems that advertisers are finally getting the hang of this whole “blog advertising” thing that IZEA pioneered two years ago. it doesn’t have to simply end with creating opportunities for blog ads on some random blogs. IZEA offers advertisers a variety of ways to do their ad campaigns which include the aforementioned product sampling and even blog sponsorships through SocialSpark. and now that word has gotten around that the folks behind google are absolutely fine with the way SocialSpark handles blog advertising, advertisers no longer need to worry about any types of penalties for using services like SocialSpark. in fact, I’ve seen more and more major brand names joining SocialSpark to utilize the large network of hard working bloggers like myself. some of the name brands I’ve seen recently include Dockers, V05, Dirt Devil and even Reader’s Digest. I’m looking forward to the day BMW uses SocialSpark to send over a brand new 550i sedan for me to test drive and review. hey, a man can dream, right?

defective discs by maxell

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crappy CD-Rs by maxell
I normally get some cheap imation CD-Rs for burning personal CD-mixes for myself but while on a recent trip to walmart I found some neat looking maxell CD-Rs that I thought I’d try. bad mistake. turns out the colorful designs on the top layer of these CDs render these discs unplayable on a CD player. If you place the CDs against a light, you can actually see the top layer design right through the bottom. so, now I’ve got a spindle full of unusable discs. great. that’s just my luck.

anyway, this’ll be my official public service announcement: If you see these Maxell CD-Rs at the store - DO NOT purchase them. The discs are designed NOT to work. don’t waste you money!!

freebie saturday!!

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in this edition of DLee’s freebie saturday - free subscriptions!!

LowPriceSubs are offering free subscriptions to either Bassmaster Magazine or Vibe.
click here to see the offer
note: it has been reported that the offer changes every so often depending on demand so you may encounter a different set of magazines than the ones I just mentioned. so as always, your mileage may vary! (YMMV)

RewardsGold is offering a free sub to TV guide.
click here to go to RewardsGold
This offer comes and goes quickly so be sure to sign up as fast as you can because it’s not going to last that long. good luck!

oh, and this just in - free 2 year subscription to ReadyMade:
ReadyMade is a sassy, mod, do-it-yourself magazine for people who like to make stuff, and see the flicker of invention in everyday objects. This bi-monthly publication puts contemporary style on par with affordability. Each issue entertains with its sharp-witted and offbeat tone while offering a practical assortment of homegrown projects for home décor and outdoor living.
click here to go to the valuemags offer

enjoy.

basic car loans

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with gas prices at an all time high, people are all over the local car lots looking for smaller, more economical vehicles. those large SUVs with the V-8 engines aren’t all that “hot” now that gas cost $4 a gallon. and unfortunately those large SUV owners can’t even sell their vehicles to get the money to pay for a smaller car because no one in their right mind wants to buy a large used SUV at this point. so instead of relying on money from the sale of their SUVs, folks are hitting the internet in search of a good Car Loan. websites like Basiccarloans.com offer users the best rates, even those who have poor credit history. whether you’re interested in new or Used Car Loan, Basic Car Loans can find the right loan for you. be sure to head on over to their website for more info.


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