We Picked Up Bed Bugs Staying in Motels While Traveling

We took a road trip. Our plan was to buy an RV and go traveling. We decided to stay in budget motels instead. We had a fabulous time over the winter and into the early summer. We were home for a couple of months when we had to call for bed bug removal in NYC. Somewhere on our trip staying at one of the budget motels we picked up the critters and brought them home with us. The experts in bed bugs said they probably came home in our luggage on our clothes. Is that creepy or what?

I was surprised to have bites after we were home and not while on the road. We actually were trying to be careful about that. We brought and washed our own linens. That is probably how they hitched a ride. We would put the dirty linens in a mesh laundry bag, stop at a laundromat, wash them and then put them on the bed at the next hotel. (more…)

I Do Not Want to Be Afraid

I am generally not the type to give in to hype or live in fear. I am not going to jump out of an airplane anytime soon, but I am also not going to seclude myself in the house because of crime outside my doors. I guess I was living in a bit of a bubble though because crime had just never reached my doorstep. It still hasn’t, but it got mighty close two weeks ago, which is why I did an online search for ADT in Cincinnati.

My neighbor three houses down was the victim of a home invasion. He told me a few days later he was in actual fear of not making it out of his house alive. Thankfully, the two men didn’t even hurt him, physically at least. The reason this is so shocking is because we live on the outskirts of Cincinnati in a tiny town that doesn’t even see vandalism but once every few years. This scared me though because it could have easily been my house that had been chosen. (more…)

Finding Info for Direct TV Deals and Plans

I really want to switch to Direct Television because from everything that I know about it, it seems like it would be a lot better of an option than what I have at the moment. It is sad that I have been paying too much for my cable for so long and did not really realize how much better the other options were. I did not a bit of searching and found http://www.directstartv.org/ which is a site that I guess has listings of services and the prices of Direct TV.

I am pretty eager to check it out, and I really want to read about all of the different packages closely, so that I can really understand what is going on with them, and what they will include. I don’t think that they are going to be so nice as to tell me what the actual channels are that are included in each package. Although that would certainly be some good information to have.

But it should help me out with a lot of the decision process, and so I am going to get started with this soon. I already told my kids that we were going to get more channels by switching to satellite television, and they were both very excited about it. Too excited really, and they kind of thought it was going to happen instantly, or that I had already made arrangement for the satellite to be installed. When that is not in fact the case, and so now looking back on it, I should have used better judgment and waited until I actually knew when we were going to get it to tell them about it. Or maybe i could have just surprised them with the news as well. That would have worked pretty good, I think so myself.

He Needed to Recharge My AC Unit

My air conditioner is a lifeline for me in the summer months here in New York City. Even when the temperature is in the 70s, I like to turn it on because my house can become quite stuffy. When the temperatures are in the 80s or 90s, it becomes an absolute necessity. Well, I had to contact a company that does AC repair in NYC last month because my air conditioner was running but not putting out any cold air. I was thankful that the compressor was running, which indicated to me that there might just be a problem with the refrigerant level or even a leak. (more…)

We Still Do Spring Cleaning Like My Grandparents Did

My wife and I like a clean house. We are not clean freaks that worry about every speck of dust, and we are not germophobes either. I have a friend who is like that. He walks around with a bottle of hand sanitizer all the time. Still, we like our house to be clean. It is those deep cleanings that take so much time to get done. This is why we hire professional spring cleaning in Singapore to clean our condo.

We want every piece of furniture, including the mattresses, cleaned. We want the curtains and blinds cleaned too. Every wall needs to be washed, and the rooms with carpeting need to have every square inch of the carpet professionally cleaned. I really like how our house sparkles after these spring cleaning jobs are done. I really like it that we do not have to lift a finger during the process. We just supervise the professional cleaners telling them what we want done and they do the rest. It is worth it to have it done this way. (more…)

How We Saved Money on an Electricity Plan That Had Free Electricity in the Evenings

My wife told me, “We need to talk.” Just what a guy wants to hear. She said we would talk over dinner. She told me that by text. I was afraid to ask what it was about! I did not think I did anything. Well, not on purpose anyway. Over barbecued chipped ham, cole slaw and potato chips she said we needed to talk about how much our electric bill was costing. She said it has been going up and up, and it is the priciest utility we are paying. I checked out TXU electricity rate plans with her online later in the evening. We found several at a lower per kilowatt hour rate.

We found one that had a minimum usage rate that met what we use every month. (more…)

Are Perfect Teeth Necessary for Beauty

Dental work is a nightmare for most people but the United States remains one of the most dental oriented societies in the world. There’s a very real social pressure to have the best and brightest white teeth regardless of where you may live in America. The idea of having perfect teeth saturates our culture and is one of the driving points of attractiveness; if not the one defining feature that seems to be shared in the multiple interpretations of what we believe beauty to be as Americans. Have you visited your dentist in Grand Rapids? If not, I bet you feel guilty right now for doing so after being so shamelessly reminded that the beauty equation ends and begins with your teeth. It’s something that I’ve struggled with for years because I don’t have straight teeth. There’s very few women who are going to find it endearing and only a handful of women I have dated have thought that it was an attractive part of my features.

There’s nothing at all wrong with having great teeth. (more…)

Choosing a Good Web Design Team for Your Business

I remember building my first website as a young man. It was fun to spend all those hours learning how to do it. My main motivation was to show off for friends and family. I built a bunch of websites that were very basic, but they looked like masterpieces to people who knew nothing about the Internet or websites. I am very embarrassed about my efforts. I never went anywhere with it even though I considered I might make it a career back then. The company I own as an adult uses a firm that does website design in Michigan. I could not even begin to build anything now. I barely even remember a couple of basic HTML tags.

The point I am making is that we should leave some things to professionals. We should consult with people that have a proven track record of performance. I remember the early days of the Internet where small business owners were allowing employees or relatives with some web experience to build them an online presence. That never was a good idea. (more…)

Server Management for New Business Website

It has taken a lot of work and dedication from a couple of my employees, but the new website for our company is finally ready to be launched. It is a day that I have looked forward to, because this has been a long time in the making and I have worried that it would not turn out as intended. We need to hire server management for the new website though, because I do not want my employees to have to worry about keeping the website running. They have other things to attend to, and I feel like too much of their time has already been devoted to this project, to expect them to put more time into it going forward.

The real vision of the new website was what took so much effort to develop. (more…)

Thinking About Dumping My Cable Tv

Cable TV guideThinking about dumping my cable tv, but I am not sure what would be the best thing to do instead. Of course I watch a lot of live sports and that is the thing that really keeps people from cutting the cable on Time Warner and Comcast and those other pirates. Everything else you can get off the internet of you can get you a Digital Video Recorder like the Direct TV Genie and record it, then you play it back and skip through the ads. Obviously that sort of defeats the whole purpose of most tv programs. (more…)

SQL ON

The SQL ON clause is used to create JOIN queries  when information are located in different tables, i.e. allows to join related data tables by specifying a condition that involves a key field that identifies both tables, the key field contains data that is found in the first table and  in the second table, and therefore both tables are related by this key field. Is optional you have these fields defined as a FOREIGN KEY between two tables, what is essential is that there are two fields that have the data to identify the records from both tables.

Following is the general syntax to use the SQL ON clause for  two tables, using the JOIN query:

SELECT fieldNamess FROM table_1 AS one

     JOIN table_2 AS two

     ON one.field = two.field

 

When the type of JOIN (INNER, LEFT, RIGHT) is not specified the default JOIN is INNER JOIN, which returns a record when it meets the condition of the JOIN specified in the operator ON.

In the following example we are using the AdventureWorks database, to get the name of the territory for the customers. The required information is contained in the tables, Sales.Customer and Sales.SalesTerritory, the field that will serve as a JOIN condition is TerritoryID, which will be used in the SQL ON operator. This field will allow us to relate data from both tables. In the table definition, Sales.Customer has a FOREIGN KEY with theSales.SalesTerritory table.

In the result query we will get the ID and customer type as well as the account number  from the Sales.Customer table and the name of the territory from the Sales.SalesTerritory table. The JOIN syntax is as follows:

SELECT  C.CustomerID , C.CustomerType ,C.AccountNumber ,T.Name    FROM Sales .SalesTerritory AS T

INNER JOIN Sales .Customer AS C

ON T.TerritoryID = C.TerritoryID

As we see the INNER JOIN operator is used to mention the second table where we will find the additional information, later in the JOIN condition we use the  SQL ON operator, placing the field that will allow us to join the information from the two tables. In the image we can see the output of the query:

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Third Ashes Test Perth

Days 1 to 3

The third Ashes Test in Perth is an all action affair. The first three days have seen 35 wickets fall and 845 runs scored, most of them by the Australians.

As with the second Ashes Test in Adelaide, day one seemed to go very much England‘s way. Australia‘s first four wickets fell for only 36 runs, with Clarke scoring only 4 and Ponting barely breaking into double figures. But once again Mike Hussey stepped up to steady the ship. His score of 61 was only bettered by his West Australian team mate Mitchell Johnson, coming back after being dropped for the Adelaide test.  Haddin chipped in with a rapid 53 and Siddle made 35 to give the Australian total of 268 an air of respectability. Strauss and Cook finished the final session scoring 29 runs with out loss.

Day two belonged to the comeback kid, Mitchell Johnson. After his 62 with the bat, Alastair Cookwas his first victim, caught on 32 by Australian man of the series so far, Mike HusseyTrott and Pietersen were both quickly dismissed, trapped LBW by JohnsonPietersen went for a duck, after previously telling Johnson he wanted to be his best mate and could he get his phone number. Ryan Harris picked up the vital wickets of Strauss and Bell, who both made half centuries. But Johnsonfinished with 6 wickets for only 38 runs. England were all out for 187, eighty one runs behind the Australian first innings score.

Australia batted for the entire late afternoon session. Once again the top order proved fragile. Hughes was caught by Collingwood off an edge from Finn for 12. Ponting went the same way, but he was caught by Prior for only one. Clarke managed 20 before cutting a ball onto his stumps from Tremlett. The exception was Shane Watson, who managed 50 off of 100 balls, ably supported, of course, by none other than Mike Hussey, who also finished the day not out on 24. Australia ended the day on 119 for 3.

Watson and Hussey resumed on the third day, adding 58 runs to their overnight  score, before Watson was dismissed, again in the nervous nineties, for 95. Hussey once again carried the innings, scoring his twelfth test century. He was the last man out on 116. Smith hung around to add 36 but no one else made double figures. Australia were all out for 309 giving England a target 391. Much was said about the South Africans making 414 in the fourth innings at the WACA a few years ago. Hussey and Watson had proved that it was a wicket that runs could be scored on and with more than 2 days remaining England were in with a chance. But the smart money would be on Australia to level the series.

Strauss and Cook put on only 23  before Cook was trapped LBW by Harris for 13. Strauss was soon caught by Ponting off a Johnson ball for only 15. Pietersen scored only 3 but Trott put on 31 before being caught by Haddin off of a ball parried by PontingPonting damaged his hand in the attempted catch and left the field. England sent in Anderson as the night watchmen, but this was unsuccessful, as it was  Collingwood who was dismissed off the last ball of the day, caught by Smithfrom a Harris delivery. This left England with 310 runs to get for victory with only 5 wickets remaining.

Australia should mop up the innings on the fourth day, to leave things all square going into Melbourne on Boxing Day.

Second Ashes Test Round Up

England win in Adelaide

Things wound up in Adelaide with an emphatic win to England in the second Ashes Test. A magnificent innings from Kevin Pietersen saw him score a huge double century and he was ably backed by Alastair Cook who got a big century for the second test in succession. Trott and Bell both broke the 50 mark and Australia never looked like dismissing EnglandAndrew Strauss went cheaply on day 2 to an edge from Doug “the rug” Bollinger. But he was the only Englishman who did. Every other batsmen spent long periods at the crease, but scored quickly. England amassed the huge total of 620 for 5 declared, 375 runs ahead of the Australians first innings score.

The best Australia could hope for was to hold out for a draw, with the help of the wet weather in AdelaideSimon Katich bravely opened the innings, despite a painful Achilles injury that will keep him out of the rest of the series. He managed 43 before being dismissed by SwannRicky Pontingfailed again, caught by Collingwood off of a turner from Swann, for only 9 runs. Clarke overcame a difficult start to make 80 and hopefully has batted himself back into some sort of form. He was caught by Cook off a ball from Kevin Pietersen, of all people, who finished with bowling figures of 3 overs 1 for 10 to add to his 227 runs with the bat. Watson and Hussey both made half centuries, but no one else seriously troubled the scorer. Australia totaled 304 all out in the second innings to give Englandthe win by an innings and 71 runs.

The Perth test starts on the 16th December, so the players have over a weeks rest. There will be enforced changes with Katich out for Australia and Broad has returned home to England for treatment on an abdominal injury. But what else will Australia do? I suspect Phil Hughes will come in for Katich and that could go either way. In his limited test career of 7 matches he has scored two centuries and two 50′s, but he struggled against England in the last Ashes series and was dropped. I don’t expect any other changes to the batting. North will probably be retained on his home ground. So Australia really need him and the skipper to step up from their current slumps and for Clarke to continue his recovery.

But it is the bowling that is the major problem. Although the speedsters looked dangerous at times in Adelaide, five wickets in two days is never going to win a test match. I don’t know if there will be any changes to the bowling, but confidence is very low, as can be seen by good fielders dropping their chances and they are not coming along too often. I doubt that there will be any rain in Perth, so a result is almost assured, probably the same one, unless some dramatic changes take place. See you at the WACA ground Thursday next week.

Adelaide – Second Ashes Test

Day 1 – 3rd December 2010

The first day of the Second Ashes Test was another tough day at the office for the Australianbatsmen. Amazingly three wickets were down within 15 minutes, on what should have been a batsmen’s wicket. Katich was run out without facing a single ball. Both Katich and Watson seemed indecisive over a dangerous run and Trott struck with a direct hit. Ricky Ponting was then dismissed off of the first ball he faced, caught by Swann off the bowling of AndersonClarke was dismissed for two by the same pairing.

Mike HusseyAustralia‘s saviour from the First Test, came to the crease. He and Watson managed to take the score to 93 at lunch, without further loss. But Watson was dismissed almost straight after lunch for the addition of only 3 runs, caught by Pietersen, once again off of Anderson‘s bowling. Hussey was joined by his Western Australian team mate Marcus North and the two of them batted well together adding 60 runs. North seemed to be seeing the ball well, but still edged a ball to Priorfor Finn‘s first wicket of the match. Haddin, the last of Australia’s recognised batsmen, came to the crease and together with Hussey, added another 50 runs, before Hussey was caught by  Collingwoodoff of the spinner Swann, seven runs short of his 13th Test century.

As expected the Australian tail did not wag. Haddin hung around to be the last man dismissed for 56. But Harris, Doherty, Siddle and Bolinger managed only 9 runs between them. Australia were all out for 245. Anderson was the pick of the English bowlers, picking up 4 for 51 off of 19 overs. Swann claimed two wickets and Broad and Finn one a piece.

England had to face one over before the close of play, which they negotiated without a problem, for the addition of a single leg bye.

On this performance there will be more calls for changes in the Australian line up. It should be Ponting and Clarke that are looked at, but you can bet your life it will be Marcus North the press call for to be dropped.

Things are not looking great for Australia. This attack does not look strong to me and unless the batsmen can seriously turn things around in the second innings, this could be their first loss of the series.

First Ashes Test Day Four

England took command of the first session of day four, managing to get through the session without loss and raising the overall run rate to just under three an over, after yesterdays very slow start. Australia only had one genuine chance of a wicket, when Strauss was dropped by the normallay safe hands of Mitchell Johnson. Both Strauss and Cook made half centuries, finishing the morning on 79 and 51 at 135 for none.

After lunch things continued England‘s way with centuries for both Strauss and CookStraussmanaged 10 more runs before being stumped by Haddin off the bowling of  Marcus North. But that was the only wicket of the day, with Cook remaining unbeaten on 132. He was joined by Trott on the dismissal of Strauss and he was still there on 54 when play closed early due to bad light, with England on 309 for 1 for a lead of 88.

With only one day remaining a draw now looks the most likely result. Which could be bad news for Australia as this is how the last Ashes series started in Cardiff last year. Australia dominated that match only to be held to a draw.

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