American Diabetes Association, I’m talking to you.

When I was 19, and feeling virtuous, I decided to donate $50 to you. I had a friend with diabetes, and he had recently lost his vision due to diabetic retinopathy. I felt for him, and I realized for the first time what a horrible condition diabetes really is. So I took half of my weekly earnings from my shitty part-time mall job, and I gave it to you. I did this in the hopes that my $50 would go towards some sort of research. Looking back over the dozen years I have lived since that donation, I have to feel that my donation went to no such thing.

Why? Because yesterday I received a plea from you to donate more. This plea included a ream of Christmas themed address labels bursting with every color ink, shimmering with gold foil, littered with smiling snowmen, wintry snowscapes, and stacks of gifts. Oh, an added bonus! You gave me 3 gift labels to use! How convenient!

If these high-quality, high-priced stickers were branded “ADA” and “Help Fight Diabetes” and “Check Your Blood Sugar Today!” I might not be sitting here writing this post. But, alas,

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The Future of Advertising

I’ve been using a homemade DVR system for about 5 years. BeyondTV has been our choice mostly because of its fantastic file management system, and their “SmartSkip” technology. SmartSkip does an amazing job of highlighting the commercial breaks in the television shows you record, and the remote control lets you skip the offending segment with the push of a button. This means that I have effectively eliminated advertising from my television viewing since 2004.

Additionally, I don’t read magazines, or the newspaper. I listen to NPR or MP3s while driving. I use Adblock Plus while on websites. When I realized how little advertising I was taking in, I started intentionally not looking at billboards on the highway. Now I hardly even notice they are there.

A few weeks ago we canceled Comcast as our cable provider. We now only get our television shows from the internet. We’ve been using a program called TED, or Torrent Episode Downloader, which actively searches for and retrieves new shows that we want to watch. Takes a lot of the work out of illegal TV program downloading. It’s has been amazing with some things, and not so much with others. For instance, The Biggest

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McCafe VS. Starbucks

I am not a fan of Starbucks coffee. I think it tastes burnt, and the only way it is drinkable is when it is made into candy. I drink my coffee with dairy and no sugar. I drink my candy at Starbucks. Trying to drink anything other than candy from Starbucks is a waste of money, because it ends up in the drain. I don’t really enjoy coffee from most places. I’d say I’m a coffee snob, but that really just doesn’t apply to me. I like Dunkin Donuts coffee and Wawa coffee just fine. I really believe, though, to get an ideal cup of coffee you must brew it yourself, because everyone’s taste is different.

That being said, today I tried a latte from McDonald’s. An iced latte, that is. Plain regular iced latte. I watched her make it, not at some fancy little Starbucks-esque type of area like I expected, just right there between the fryer and the drive-through window. She filled a cup with ice, poured in milk from a dispenser, and then filled the cup with the same coffee they serve everyone who asks for coffee. Not espresso.

Call me naive, but I expected to see

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How to cancel Comcast in 2 minutes or less

I’m sure everyone by now has heard the infamous phone conversation Vincent Ferrari had with AOL when he tried to cancel his service with them.  This morning my husband had to cancel our Comcast internet service because we recently got Verizon FiOS. We are keeping our TV service with them, though, because it is less expensive, and we use their basic cable feed to run our BeyondTV system.  If you are well prepared, as he was, you can make sure your call doesn’t drag on endlessly. Here are some examples you can use when trying to shorten your service-canceling phone calls:

1. When they say, “Why exactly would you like to cancel your service?”  You should respond with: “Because I don’t use it.”  I know this sounds simple, and it is. But it works. If you give them any other reason, they will try to counter with a reason that you should stay with them. Bill too high?  They’ll lower it.  Customer service too poor?  They’ll give you a few free months.  Changing service providers?  They’ll bump you up to better service as well as lowering your bill.   However, if you simply tell them that you don’t use the service,

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