Saturday, August 31, 2019

What is a Hyper-Ad?

A Hyper-Ad is brief, complete and succinct description of a product (or class of products), that quickly provides you with all you need to know about the product, including official manufacturer / company product descriptions, informative articles with additional details, and links for several sources where you can purchase the product.

More than an advertisement, more than a description, the Hyper-Ad gives you the fast low-down on a given product, why it is worth buying, what advantages the product gives you and any important caveats (warnings) to its use or purchase. Hyper-Ads take seconds to read and digest, allow thorough research on a product if the user desires, and are refreshingly free of marketing jargon, hype and exaggeration.

All the product descriptions here are in the form of Hyper-Ads. Happy shopping!

Featured Product List

Featured Product List:
     These are items you will buy repeatedly. We make a few pennies per sale, and provide these products primarily as a convenience to our customers. NB: We can wholeheartedly endorse these products because we use them ourselves.

Bar Mops
Raid Fumigators
The Works Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Wet Wipes

Great Solution for Household Insects

About every 18 months or so (when I start seeing roaches or other household pests), I invest about $50-60 for RAID fumigators. They are different from "bombs" or foggers, much less messy.

They come 3 to a box, each one is a little can with a plastic beaker. Open all the drawers, closets and cabinets. You place one fumigator in each room (one in the attic, too, and one under the house if pier-and-beam).

I get ready for work for the day, put anything I need to take by the front door, then set the fumigators up, ready to go. Fill the beakers with about 1/4" water. Starting at the far end of the house from the front door, drop each can (right side up!) in the beaker, go to the next room and repeat.

Listen for bubbling sound, then a plume of dry smoke comes out bearing insecticide (permethrin). Leave the house for the day, closed up for at least 6 hours. Go to work. Don't stay in the house!

The smoke permeates the house, carpet, everything, leaving a very thin, dry, even residue of permethrin on all surfaces. Goodbye fleas, roaches, flies. 

You will have to air out the house as soon as you come back, collect all the cans/beakers and throw them away, maybe wash your dishes. The fumigators are economical, effective and (so far, 15 + years) safe and non-harmful.

Not pet or aquarium friendly, so you have to remove those of you have them.

Buy Raid Fumigators at:
Sam's Club

Bar Mops

Bar Mops are roughly 14" x 18" (36 cm x 46 cm) terry-towel cloths, used by bars and restaurants, usually white, usually bleach-able. They are reusable, and better and cheaper than paper towels.

We found that buying a pack of bar mops drastically reduced our use of paper towels and the volume of trash. The bar mops are convenient, durable, inexpensive (about 50 cents each), and washable. 

We even use them in the kitchen as pot-holders and temporary clean spaces for vegetables and the like, and to clean bathrooms and toilets. Use them, throw them in the laundry, wash in hot water, with or without bleach, re-use until they fall apart, then use them as throw-away rags. 

They paid for themselves in about a month. The savings in paper towels alone over a year was nearly $100. Add to that the (unknown) savings in pay-as-you-throw solid waste costs, and you've got a sweet deal.

Buy bar mops at: 
Sam's Club

Monday, June 5, 2017

Classic STEM Content

I've kept a site called "Technical Tutoring" up for more than 20  years, as an homage to the years I spent tutoring individual people.  I think it is time to celebrate this site, as it has helped a lot of people "get" math, chemistry and computers, quickly.

Here is the basic map to the site.  There are some broken links that I am fixing as rapidly as I can.

Home page
     Algebra Index
     Calculus Index
     Chemistry Index
     Math Index
     Speed Arithmetic

Most of these pages are directed at college students, since those were the vast majority of people I worked with.  Gradually, I am working my way down to more basic levels of STEM education.


Sunday, December 25, 2016

The scarcest and most valuable of all values

That would have to be our time

When it comes to buying things, you really have to factor in your time, taxes, delivery costs, product risks and price to make a good decision.

Some approximations can help a lot.  For example, going to the local mega-store is worth it for large purchases.  You start a list, based on experience, for each of the big stores, and work on the list over time, before going to the store.  You know you can't do all of this in a day, because the ice cream will melt (add you own risk list here).  But you can make efficient use of the local Wal-mart, HEB, etc. and do better for your money and time than you can online.

The lists will tend to be big, and you will have to later execute correctly to not waste money.  For example, I can get pork cheaper at my local HEB than anywhere else, and it is good quality.  If it rots in the refrigerator because I got too busy, I lost out on the purchase.  Better not do it.

Hyper-Ad is dedicated to the principle of wasting as little of our customers time as possible.  We will get better at this as we go along.  We want you to come to our website and get it done! Please help us by both buying from our site and engaging us in intelligent complaint (so, for example, if you know we couldn't help a bad situation, let it go rather than blaming us.  OTOH, if you feel we could make something for you FASTER, tell us what you think.)

Searching for what you need, not finding it

If I had to comment about what I hate most about searching for things needed from big websites like Amazon, New Egg, TigerDirect, etc., it would be the massive number of irrelevant results I have to wade through to get to what I want.  There is almost nothing more irritating than typing in something real simple, like the exact name of the product, and getting 5000 results, 99% irrelevant.

What is worse, is that once you think you have "finally" found the page with the product you want, you have to read the entire page very carefully to be absolutely certain you are ordering what you think you are ordering. For example, I recently went looking for a movie DVD, and found a page that looked like it was selling the movie.  Something didn't quite add up, so I kept reading, looking for some clear indication of exactly what the page was selling.  After 20 minutes, I realized that the page was selling a movie poster, not a movie.  Bad, bad, very bad.

What are they thinking?  Maybe they have too much time on their hands, like prison inmates, and don't realize the rest of us are in a hurry.  Maybe they hire young, overpaid web developers who just don't care about my time or your time.

How much is your time worth?  Have you ever bothered to calculate it?  Ever noticed how many people and organizations just want to "borrow" a few minutes of your time for ... <insert totally meaningless (to you) purpose here>If that does not make you mad as Hell, you aren't paying attention yet. They are stealing your single most important value, your time, from you. The default answer should be: "no, you may not waste my time."  Hang up on them.

If I go to the big grocery store four blocks from my home, I can guarantee myself great, super-low prices.  No doubt about it.  But, I spend a minimum of 45 minutes driving, shopping (even with a pre-written list) and waiting in line to make my purchases. The parking lot is so clogged, I can depend on 15 minutes just to find a parking space, walk to the store, and walk back. Unless I do a lot of shopping at one time, it is usually better to make my purchases online, since I have to plan my purchases anyway.

Time is the fire in which we all burn.

We care about your time.  Suppose you can do as I do, and go to a local store and get a particular product for 1/3 the best possible web price, but it costs you $30 worth of your time to shop there, and you really hate going to the store (HEB and Wal-mart have totally great prices, totally horrible parking and checking out processes).  What is your best option?  Seriously! We have kids to raise, business to do, things to accomplish, and we never seem to have enough time.

We at Hyper-Ad are doing something about this.  For every line item product, we give you exactly three choices: good, better and best. Mostly, this is about price and quantity. We also read the page to be sure it is the right product (and that doesn't always work, either). In many cases, you can get a better deal at your local grocery store.  Is it worth it to do so?

We also have indexes and various tables of contents to help you narrow down on the things you need as fast as possible. Since there are no search engines available that just get you what you want, we work on browsing as the next best alternative.