Saturday, May 24, 2014

Time for a new fence!

A few years ago, the Santa Ana winds blew over the longest part of our fence. Together with our neighbors behind us, we got a new one built.

This time on May 13th, the front side of our fence got taken out by the wind. We tried to prop it up again, but that didn't last a day until it fell over the other way. :P

This part of our fence has been up since we moved into the house in 1993, so at least it lasted that long. I'm not sure when we'll be getting a new one put in, but it has to be sometime soon because of HOAs.

It could be worse. This was around the same time that all those wildfires started in San Diego - we live sort of close to the Cocos/San Marcos Fire, but I'm glad it stayed on the other side of the freeway the whole time. So, the good thing is that at least the fence was only blown down by the wind and not burnt in a fire or we would have to replace so much more than just our fence.

As you can see, our grass is pretty much dead as well, so all that dry grass would've been good fuel for a fire. They talk a lot about having "defensible space" on the news, but up where I live, there's pretty much no defensible space that would keep a fire away from our house, so I'm very glad we dodged another bullet with the fires. They've always come close, but luckily never dangerously close to do any damage in our neighborhood.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Blanket pilling...

I should have known not to buy a fleece blanket that didn't specifically say it was "anti-pill". Ah well, lesson learned. I bought it (Tommy Hilfiger Full/Queen Plush Fleece Blanket) months ago and it did occur to me that it could pill, but I never expected it to do it so much. It just felt so soft in the store and I couldn't resist getting it.

I thought maybe the pilling would go away after a few washes, but no such luck. Everything gets covered in tiny little balls of fleece - the bed, my clothes, the floor, my hair. I might as well just stop using it, but then I'd feel that would be a waste of the money I spent on it. Next time, I'll shop around some more and actually look at some reviews first.

For anyone who sees this blanket in a store, walk away! Don't waste your money like I did, unless you like being covered in fuzz.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Finally! A new blender!

It's been a long time since we've had a real blender. Our old one from probably the 70s broke many years ago and I've made do with one of those hand blenders for the longest time - I'm not sure what brand it is; you'd think I'd know it since I see it on the blender itself every time I use it, but I'll probably know it when I see it. I think it's one of those that was first advertised on TV back when hand blenders were kind of a new thing. It's been good for me for making smoothies, but really takes a long time to blend when anything is frozen. It just hasn't been a high priority to get a new one, so we never got another one until recently.

I actually haven't used the new one yet, but it's a Ninja Kitchen System Pulse (BL201) - so it's one of those multifunction devices that works as a food processor, blender, and apparently can also be used for making dough.

Like I said, I haven't used it yet. Someone else used it as a food processor, and I think it worked out pretty well for them. I'll most likely be using the single serve cups a lot! I probably won't be using the dough attachments that much, but it'd be interesting to give it a try to see how well it actually works. I'm definitely looking forward to making my next smoothie with this!

Monday, April 22, 2013

AVOID Hauser Group/Hausernet Mail Decoy Program - if you're looking for consistent pay, look elsewhere!

UPDATE: February 26, 2014 - They have been paying somewhat monthly, but still owe me backpay from July 2011 to December 2012. But I have gotten paid for January 2013 to July 2013. So at least I've gotten something, but who knows if I'll ever see the backpay? There is one person on their Yahoo Group who claims to have received all of their backpay, but they seem to be the only one. Everyone else is still waiting.

UPDATE: May 15, 2013 - I did receive a payment from them on May 9th for January 2013 entries, but I still wouldn't recommend signing up to Hausernet because they still owe me a lot of backpay and are still slow to pay.


I'm not going to bother linking to them because I don't think anyone should join this company if they ever expect to be paid, but here's the information about them in case you want to copy and paste to your browser:


Just replace [dot] with .

I've been a decoy with Hausernet for over 11 years now. At first, it took a while to receive my first payment because I didn't meet their minimum requirements because I wasn't getting enough volume.

From 2002 to 2009, I was getting paid on time. Then from 2010 onwards, they started getting behind a bit on payments, and they would make promises, but would only end up paying to people who complained about not getting paid.

Fast forward to today. The last payment I ever received from them was a check for entries I made in June 2010 to June 2011 - this payment was received on January 2012. This is the longest I have ever gone without them sending any form of payment whatsoever (before, the longest I went without a payment was almost a year, but now this is longer by a few months). And now they're almost two whole years behind on payments, which I still doubt I'll be seeing for a long time.

Back in December 2012, Dave asked me for my PayPal address, which I quickly sent because I thought it meant that I would get a payment soon, but it's now April and I still haven't seen one PayPal payment since they switched to PayPal.

I emailed the person in charge of payments and she told me I would be paid that week. This was back in March and I never received anything. She was replaced by someone else who handles payments now, so I emailed him today and we'll see how it goes.

Anyway, just a warning to others who may be thinking about a mail decoy agent with Hausernet. If you're looking for a little bit of extra cash working from home, move on, because this isn't it. They don't pay on time, if at all. So you would only be wasting your time. All you'll get from this company are broken promises. They have completely lost my trust - I never believe a word that anyone from this company says anymore because it's just going to be another broken promise. I'll only believe what I see, and from my experience in the past couple of years, unfortunately, I haven't seen anything. Thanks for nothing, Hauser.

To be fair, they have paid some people via PayPal, but it's seemingly random as far as who gets paid. I have no clue why some people get PayPal payments and why others don't. But if you're looking for some consistent extra cash, this is far from it.

To any companies who are using Hausernet's delivery tracking services, I would also reconsider and maybe go with someone else who offers delivery tracking. You may be getting the service that you're offered, but Hauser isn't paying all of their contractors for the work they do.