Beats Solo Wireless Headphones

So I was off of work for almost a year. Meaning all my office stuff was in storage at the office.

Including an original pair of Solo 2 wireless headphones.

Draining batteries that far past the point of dead basically kills them. So, I reached out to YouTube, and came across https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_l5qKVJhvj8

Thought their instructions were so straight-forward, I ordered a new battery from them. Amazingly enough, they reached out to me first to make sure I was buying the right thing. They agreed this was probably the right solution and sent it out right away.

So we got the battery, Alex followed the video, and voila, the headphones worked great. But then …

Turns out that wireless Solo Beats headphones can be jerks. Called Joe Games and Electronics for help, and they got things straightened out quickly.

So when the Solos pull some dumb crap like not turning on, keep holding down the power button until they do some flashy flashy thing.

Then turn them on normally and they’re good. It’s kinda like a reset.

So yeah, writing it here because, well, I’m an olde nerd and will probably kind of forget about this next time they’re acting all uppity.

At this time, I’d like to thank Joe’s Games & Electronics at joege.com for all of their help through this process.

Buyers Beware … Websites Have Rules for You, too

As mentioned in an earlier post, I sell items on Amazon, eBay, and Etsy.

And, yeah, I screwed up an order. It happens. I’m a big girl … took responsibility, apologized, offered a full refund (that was how the customer asked to have this resolved), and even told the customer to keep the item.

Trouble is, though, I couldn’t give the customer a refund. See, they’d already filed a claim with the web-site.

Wait. What?

Yep. Less than two days after finding out about the mistake, after sending the customer at least one email apologizing and trying to figure out how to best fix it, they already ratted on me.

Except.

Turns out that’s a violation of the site’s terms and conditions. Ya know, the basic expectation that you know you’re dealing with someone who may have other things to do, such as a day job.

There’s also the expectation that you’ll be an adult and reach out directly to the other person if you have an issue with sale. And then if you don’t come to an agreement on how to work things out in a reasonable timeframe, you can file a claim.

None of the three sites listed consider 48 hours or less to be a reasonable timeframe. Especially if the other party already responded and began the olive branch or mea culpa process.

Thirty days, yeah. Two weeks? Maybe. Two days? Nope.

If that’s your expectation, go to Walmart. Except they might not have the antiques and such you’re looking for.

The customer is going to be absolutely thrilled to find out they have to wait until the claim process is completed before they can get a refund. Granted each site handles things a bit differently, but this is generally how things go.

The site is going to email me and ask for my side of the story. I’ll have one week to respond. Then they’ll email the customer who’ll have one week to respond. And back and forth it goes until we agree or someone misses their response deadline.

The first person to miss their timeframe loses. If it’s the seller, the refund happens. If it’s the buyer, the refund doesn’t happen.

In other words, the claim process often takes one to four weeks, and has to be completed before a refund can be issued. And some sites won’t even start the claim process until the “reasonable” time period has passed. And some sites will cancel the refund if the buyer doesn’t respond to a request for more information after the seller has responded.

Short version is that the customer will get to wait a few weeks for their refund because of filing the claim. If they hadn’t done that, they would’ve had the refund by Friday.

On top of that, these sites really don’t appreciate it when folks don’t play by their rules. Meaning the sales site is now going to send the buyer a nasty-gram reminder of how to play nice in the sandbox.

I dunno about you, but I wouldn’t want any of those sites ticked at me.

Just sayin’.

All the exercises?!

Someone asked what I do with all that PT equipment. Welp, here’s the list! As you can probably imagine, coordinating all of this is a blast. Plus all the usual healing stuff, dog stuff, Dad stuff, house stuff, money stuff, and work. Sure was a lot of fun telling work I needed overtime in order to achieve a good work-life balance 😉

Physiatrist

  • Stretch – lay on side, knees bent, arm in front, slowly open toward back, from 1.5, 3, and 4.5 o’clock
  • C – Child pose, feet & arms to right, butt left, forming a C
  • Kick – Lay on tummy, head down and resting on arms, squeeze gut, squeeze butt, lift each leg in turn … thank goodness I don’t have do this one anymore. It hurt, and the goal was already being met by some of the back exercises from PT.

PT: Back

Started at PT for the back the first full week in January 2017, and “graduated” to doing them at home back in May 2017. It kinda feels like I’ve been doing these forever, and that they oughta be a lot easier by now.

  1. Warm up — March in place on foam square; or on the recumbent bike I don’t have

Without Hips – just before or after “hip-day” at PT

While sitting

  1. ‘Walk’ my hands on the exercise ball to stretch to right, front, and left

Laying on foam round

  1. Jesus Christ pose to stretch
  2. Snow angels
  3. Scissor arms

Laying on back

  1. Pelvic tilts – brace the low tummy and breathe, hold for 10 seconds, and release
  2. Twist stretches

Standing

  1. Straight-arm and bent arm rows with the Thera Bands
  2. Lean against the wall and stretch sides
  3. Leg stretches – bottom, center, fronts, tops

With hips — not immediately next to a “hip-day”

At barre

  1. Calf raises + stretches
  2. Front, side, back “kicks”

Standing

  1. Straight-arm and bent arm rows with the Thera Bands
  2. Squat with ball on the wall
  3. Lean against the wall and stretch sides

Walking

  1. In 1′ squares — Walk heel-to-toe, zig-zag

Laying on back

  1. Pelvic tilts – brace the low tummy and breathe, hold for 10 seconds, and release
  2. Twist stretches
  3. Clam shells – with a band around my knees

Laying on sides

  1. Clam shells – right leg while laying on left, left leg while lying on right
  2. Step top leg over bottom, lift lower leg, then bend lower knee in front for balance, kick front and back, and do foot circles both ways; switch sides

PT: Shoulders

Started these in July (I think?) and was making great progress. But then I flunked out in December 2017. See, the surgeon has very different requirements than the insurance company.

Standing

  1. Press my elbow into the small ball for five seconds
  2. Roll the small ball front and side
  3. Wash the wall clockwise and counterclockwise with both arms
  4. Stand next to the wall and push my shoulder into it
  5. Stand next to the wall and push my wrist into it, both front and back
  6. While leaning over and supporting my back, hold a 2 pound weight, and do clockwise and counterclockwise circles
  7. Raise the roof using my shoulders
  8. Shoulder blade pushups

Thera bands

  1. Hold the band and walk away… Do this both holding it on the inside and the outside
  2. Hold the band and pull toward tummy, then away from waist
  3. Rows (pull back with 90 degree elbows) and plows (start from 90 and pull down beside outer hips)

Laying on back

  1. Push-ups with the stick
  2. Rest the stick on my hips, and raise it up to shoulder height or over my head, as comfort allows
  3. At waist level, sway stick side to side

PT: Feet

Started these around October 2017. Yes, that meant 4-days of PT for 1.5 hours per day for a couple months. Dropped down to 1 hour once a day around Christmas.

Maintenance

  1. Tape big toe everyday to stop the bunion and toe crowding
  2. Tape my arches a couple times a week for added support
  3. Wear custom orthotics frequently but not always, to ensure my feet keep changing up the muscles they need to use

Standing

  1. Heel-toe walking
  2. Pace for 5 minutes
  3. Stand on one leg, and balance other on the ball
  4. Wobble board front to back, then side to side
  5. Toe and heel raises while standing on the foam square

Sitting

  1. put the Thera Bands around my feet, then pull against the band out, in, up, and down
  2. Hold my right toes down and pull my big toe out

PT: Hips

Just started these in December 2017 after flunking out of shoulder class.

At barre

  1. Calf raises + stretches
  2. Front, side, back “kicks”
  3. Leg stretches – bottom, front, center, and sides
  4. Pigeon / IT Band stretches

Laying on back

  1. Pelvic tilts – brace the low tummy and breathe, hold for 10 seconds, and release
  2. Bridge – pelvic tilt, butt squeeze, then up (hold for 10 seconds when I’m advanced)
  3. Leg raises – up/front
  4. Clam shells – with a band around my knees
  5. Push out / open the front hips while squeezing butt

Laying on sides

  1. Clam shells – right leg while laying on left, left leg while lying on right
  2. Reverse clam shells – move foot instead of knee
  3. Step top leg over bottom, lift lower leg, then bend lower knee in front for balance, kick front and back, and do foot circles both ways; switch sides
  4. Push out like I do with the shoulders against the wall

Standing

  1. Straight-arm and bent arm rows
  2. Squat with ball on the wall
  3. Stand on toes on one leg, just a few inches from the wall, and pull myself in and out using the front hip muscles

From shimmy (lying down for now; will standing when stronger advanced)

  1. Circle each hip front and then back
  2. M&Ms — move hips front to back, and then up and down

Cool down

  1. Slowly rise the recumbent bike for 8 minutes

Great Ideas to Reuse Old Rx Bottles

Sure, you can recycle the prescription bottles that quickly pile up, especially when disabled or elderly folks are in the house. Which basically means we have about 5 million new bottles every month.

OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but not by much. It’s definitely well over a dozen. Maybe over two dozen. Yes, every month.

As the saying goes, reduce -> reuse -> recycle.

To reduce, we try to get as many prescriptions as possible in 90 day increments. More often than not, this both reduces the cost, as well as the number of new plastics coming into the house.

We could always recycle them, and we still do that quite a bit. My preferred method however, is to reuse things as much as possible before recycling or throwing out.

So how do I personally reuse prescription bottles?

This large size is absolutely perfect to hold America’s favorite cookie. They are well protected and fit perfectly. They don’t get squished, or broken, but they do get eaten. Because they’re in this little bottle, my brain is quite comfortable believing this is a single serving instead of the whole package. Which also helps with a slightly different definition of reduce.

Or you can put single servings of wet foods such as soups or stews into these to freeze and then into a vacuum sealed bag for longer-term storage.

It is extremely important that you DO NOT use these bottles in the MICROWAVE. They are most definitely not up to the heat generated by reheating food.

I let them thaw in the refrigerator during the workday, and then dump into a paper bowl to microwave for lunch.

These are also great for single serve salsas, which can be done exactly the same way, without the microwaving, of course.

And then there’s the medium and small bottles. I find that these are the perfect size for various snacks. Or as shown in the picture, oatmeal.

Yes I’m weird, I eat the oatmeal dry. This actually does a couple of things for me. First and foremost, it soaks up any of the excess acid in my stomach from taking all of the morning medicines when I don’t have time for a real breakfast. For another, I get to skip the joys of eating slime or glop or goo, depending on how well I didn’t do with the ratio of oatmeal to water that day.

These handy bottles are also perfect for keeping change, or holding the loose cotton or desiccants that come in supplements and over-the-counter medications so that I can reuse them later in a crafting project.

They’re also the perfect size for measuring things such as canned dog food. This means I can buy the larger, cheaper cans and divide them into small-dog-friendly servings.

They are also great for pre-measured recipe ingredients to stick in the refrigerator — but only for a day or two because they’re definitely not airtight. Then it’s very easy to grab and dump them into the pot, and cook for a quick and delicious freshly prepared meal.

Of course, it’s very important to wash them before reuse to remove any medication residue, and clean before recycling. Turns out even a smidgen of food or medication can ruin a 2-ton pallet of plastic, and make it garbage instead of reusable.

Hope these ideas help you to reduce -> reuse -> recycle!

What do you do with old medication bottles?

Book Review: Minimalist Activation

This is NOT your average stretch & strengthen book.

Sean’s basic premise is that if a muscle is tight, don’t stretch it … activate its opposite, which inherently forces it to relax. Having been a stretchy kinda gal my whole life, that sounded just a little far-fetched.

And then …

One day, one of my back muscles was so unbelievably tight. And the usual stretches and PT exercises just weren’t cutting it. Even the meds provided only partial relief. And these are some fairly heavy-duty meds.

So I tried Sean’s recommendation.

And. It. Worked. I mean almost instantly. It was amazing.

So a leg muscle acted up a few days later. This time I just flipped to Sean’s page on it. And it worked. Again. Just as quickly.

Originally I got the book on Kindle Unlimited. Well guess what? Big shocker, I outright bought this thing.

He’s the model in the pictures…. he’s muscular but not in an Olympic athlete or Hollywood way. More like a real person who happens to work out a lot. And I really appreciate this kind of authenticity.

No fluff, no frills, just helpful info at a good price.

Yep, he got my $3.

Minimalist Activation, by Sean Schniederjann

As usual, please use the links if you’d like to add this to your ‘kindle Unlimited or purchase it. I’m an Amazon affiliate, and you can help me keep this blog ad-free. Thank you!

Corned Beef Hash Without the Corns or the Beef

The history

I’m a little allergic to some things.

And by “a little” I mean “anaphylaxis”, and by “some” I mean just about anything most humans think taste good.

For those lucky enough to not know what an anaphylactic reaction is like, lemme fill ya in.

If you’re lucky, it’s only the usual “stopped breathing, bring me the epipen” variety. That’s what I get when the smell of something allergy-inducing invades my space. Like black pepper. Or coriander and it’s counterpart, tarragon. Or … well, let’s just say I could do this all day.

Now, some of the other wonderful smells that make me stop breathing are things that used to breathe underwater. Like shrimp, scallops, and other theoretically yummy shellfish.

Imagine the joy of eating in a restaurant and the guy in the booth behind ya gets blackened scallops. Might as well call 911 when putting the order up for the cook.

Or better yet, blackened steak. See …

There’s the “other end” of anaphylaxis. Took doctors decades to acknowledge that this is real. Then suddenly it happened to one of their kids or something like that.

Let’s say someone with one of these protein-based allergies somehow ingests some of that stuff. This can happen in a myriad of ways … some accidentally ends up in your food, probably because the chef didn’t clean the grill as asked. Or when you think you’re safe by ordering smoked pork chops, the restaurant pours beef au jus on top for tenderness and flavor. Or my personal favorite, some of it just happens to be flying through the air because your roommate or family member cooks using high temperatures to sear the meat and leave the inside juicy rare.

Again, if you’re lucky, you just swell up and can’t breathe. Or you could be like we unlucky few, who get “gastrointestinal anaphylactic reactions”. Basically the body goes into purge mode from both ends for about 24 hours. In this case, I’ve had as much as 20 minutes before it starts, or somewhere under 10 seconds.

Let’s just leave it at the notion that I’m never allowed at that hibachi restaurant again, shall we?

Anywayz.

Wasn’t that appetizing, and getting y’all ready for a fantastic recipe?

See, I wasn’t always allergic to beef. I used to love beef. Like quickly pass it over the fire, kinda like dancing through the flames for a few seconds, and I’d consider it cooked.

Until my thirties, I could pre-medicate and enjoy some of these delightful foods.

But then suddenly those days were over. Remember the dry socket story in the pain scale post? Before those !?#% dry sockets, beef was f’awesome. After them, well, things got messy.

So there are a few things I miss. One of them is corned beef.

Meaning I had to come up with substitutes for some of the beefy things I miss most.

So here’s how I make cornless and beefless corned beef hash …

Ingredients

  • Potatoes
  • 1/2 pound Butter
  • 1-2# Ham
  • Deep pot

Directions

  1. Put the butter in the deep pot, on medium-low to melt but not bubble or separate.
  2. Dice 3 good-sized potatoes, like the size of lumberjack fists.
  3. Put the taters in the butter, mixing around every five to seven minutes to keep the taters from mushing while getting them to cook to a beautiful “translucent” state. This takes about 40 minutes.
  4. While that’s happening, dice the ham. The extra is because I know you’re going to eat some. I certainly do. That’s the fun part of being the cook!
  5. When the taters are translucent, turn the heat up to medium-high, moving them around the pan frequently to turn crispy brown on the outside. The butter will also start to brown.
  6. This next step is why you need the deep pan … lots of messy spluttering and spilling will happen if you use any pan shallower than about 5″. Six or 8″ is better.
  7. Quickly toss in the (remaining) ham, and move everything around in the pan quickly to get the meat hot throughout, covering it with the brown butter, and melting some of the fat so it quickly coats the taters. This takes 3-5 minutes.
  8. Turn off the heat, pass out the spoons, and enjoy. Maybe your family is fancy enough for bowls at the table with napkins and such, but when it comes to this stuff, sometimes (usually) we ain’t.

Pain Scale Question

One thing I hate about going to the doctor or PT office to be evaluated is that stupid pain question.

Ya know, on a scale of 0 to 10 with 0 being no pain and 10 being the worst pain imaginable.

Well, given that I’ve

  • had two simultaneous dry sockets that lasted six months,
  • had a gall bladder attack that was so bad I couldn’t tell if it was the heart, gall bladder, or appendix, and ended up in the hospital,
  • been living with arthritis since high school,

my 10 is pretty darn high.

Compared to that, the stuff going on now hurts, but in the four to five range. And then these professionals are all like, well that’s not too bad.

Seriously, these folks have never had anything happen to them or they have lousy imaginations.

So I set out to find a new scale. And I did! It does exactly what I need. It takes something subjective that’s drastically different for each person, and makes it slightly more objective.

Too bad I totally don’t remember where it’s from …

All of a sudden my four or so starts at seven or so. Amazingly, these professionals “get it” now. Yeah, it hurts. But no, it’s nowhere near the “worst” I’ve ever had or can imagine. But yeah, it totally interferes with basic needs such as walking, sitting, standing, bathing, sleeping, getting dressed, and so on.

So I’d like to thank whoever put this together. If you happen to read this, let me know, and I’ll send you some homemade rice krispy treats. Cuz, yeah, you’re my freakin’ hero.