Some Recent Discoveries and Recommendations

Recently I have discovered some

Time and $$$ saving items and I thought I would share them with you.

I will add to this over time as I think of other items that have been useful to us.

The PoolRX

For those of you who have pools and have ever struggled with keeping the water crystal clear – or battled algae – I have an amazing solution for you.  A client called me and told me about this product several weeks ago, so I did a little research.  I read a lot of reviews, including those from professional pool companies.  I even had a discussion about it with our local pool supply store.  Across the board, all responses were very positive, so I implemented this miracle product, the PoolRX.

Based on reviews and recommendations I went with the Black Unit.  It’s a bit more expensive, but will last for a full year.  Think about how much you spend on chlorine tablets in a year now.  Put this in and reduce your chlorine use to near zero.

We have a 20,000+ gallon diving pool.  I had an automatic chlorine tablet dispenser added to our pool equipment when we bought our home 2-1/2 years ago.  It has been set wide open ever since.  The chlorine and cyanuric acid levels of the pool are literally off the chart.  I was still scrubbing algae off the north-facing surfaces of the pool every week.  In the warmer months it uses a LOT of chlorine.  And I still have algae!

Since adding the PoolRX:

  • I plopped it into the pump intake basket
  • I dialed the chlorine dispenser down to its lowest setting
  • The chlorine levels have come way down
  • The water is crystal clear
  • I have less algae than ever before
  • Our pool no longer smells like the YMCA

You will notice in the test strip results there is ZERO chlorine and the pool is crystal clear.  It actually WORKS!  It took about 2 months to completely clear the pool of chlorine after I turned the chlorine tab dispenser all the way to zero.

You should still shock the pool after a lot of use or after a storm that adds significant rainfall to the pool, but your overall maintenance will be ridiculously low.

I love this thing!

For my next magic trick…

I attend a lot of business networking meetings.  A readable name plate / badge / card for your lapel or shirt is fairly important.  Many years ago I had one that was great, but it is really old technology and requires an older Windows platform and a serial port.  I have neither.  So after much research and reading of reviews I decided on the ION Smart Badge.  It scrolls whatever message you program in and select.  It has 3 fonts, 3 speeds and is rechargeable.  Pin it to your shirt or use the magnetic attachment.  This is a great conversation starter.

It looks like this:

You use an app on your phone to program it:

ION Badge App Screenshot





It has 8 memory locations for you to store messages in.  It is very simple to program, connects to the phone via bluetooth, so you can update your message on the fly.  Very easy to use.

Order yours here:



For all you artists…

I’ve been shopping for a REAL artist’s easel for my wife ever since she became serious about her craft and started selling original oil paintings.  I looked at 3 different models at Azle Art Supply in Plano and was aghast (don’t you love the opportunity to use that word?) at the prices.  I thought “damn, I could build one out of solid oak for that price – or mahogany.  Geez!”

So anyway…

I went shopping at my favorite location and found this baby.  It absolutely rocks (literally).  It will support your artwork from vertical to horizontal and every angle in between with adjustable height and 3 different stop blocks.  It will handle very large pieces.  It rolls on casters and all 4 casters have locks so you can hold it in place.  The storage drawer in the bottom is really handy and it takes all of 15 minutes to unpack and assemble.

It comes with the base assembled except for screwing in the casters (16 screws – supplied) and switching the knob around ( for shipping purposes the knob is on the inside of the drawer when it arrives).

The vertical supports require minor assembly and attachment to the base.  Then the table assembly is attached to the vertical supports.

It comes with all the hardware and tools you need to complete the assembly.

I will warn you it’s a little heavy and the whole thing (two cartons) is packed into one large box.

It is a heck of a deal at under $200, really well made and very configurable.

I highly recommend this easel.

Order yours here:



Blue ribbon has been very popular here in Dallas since the July 7th killing of Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, Michael J. Smith, Brent Thompson and Patrick Zamarripa.  Others were wounded in this cowardly, heinous attack on our police officers who were protecting the Dallas citizens who were protesting in the streets.  A neighbor had given us some “ribbon” they had left over, but it was a type of mesh that was not only invisible (well, mostly invisible) but disintegrated after only a few weeks.

It seems most of our neighbors are using blue plastic tablecloth material, which looks fine, but I wanted something more formal and spent a little time researching until I came upon the perfect item.  Grand Opening Ceremony ribbon is what you see used for ribbon cuttings with a giant scissors.  It is made of satin and is six inches wide.  It looks great and comes in a 25 yard roll.  I have to say it was exactly what I wanted and I have a link for y’all if you’d like the same effect.




Here’s a Little Home Security Tip

Home burglaries in our area are on the rise.

A common technique for breaking into your home is for thieves to break into your car first, and steal your garage door remote.  Then they wait until your car is gone, open the garage door and take everything they want from your home while you are away.

To thwart the bad guys I recommend these tips:

  1. If you have an alarm system, USE IT.
  2. If you don’t have an alarm system, GET ONE – and USE IT.
    (This will not stop the bad guys from emptying your garage…)
  3. Lock the door from your garage to the house and put a key for this door on a key ring stashed someplace discreetly in the garage so you can’t lock yourself out.
  4. Put the garage door remote that clips to your visor in a drawer someplace in the house in case you ever need it.
  5. Buy a keyfob remote for the garage door opener that will always be on your keychain – and therefore, always with you.
    (note to men – don’t keep this in your pocket when you are home.  You can inadvertently open the garage door and leave it that way.)

This is what we have done recently just for this purpose.

Here is the one we have and it’s a better deal from Amazon than the local hardware stores.


Let me add a couple of other recommendations for home security while I’m at it.

Burglars work day and night. At night, they prefer to work in the DARK. Therefore, if you light up the exterior of your home like DAYLIGHT, they will move on to someplace less bright to do their dirty work.

  1. Keep your porch lights on.
    (if everyone in your neighborhood does this, but bad guys will go to another neighborhood)
  2. Put in the brightest LED bulbs you can find.
    (this makes it less desirable to the bad guys while cutting your electric bill)
  3. Light up your driveway / carport with the brightest LED fixtures you can find.
    (motion-sensing is OK, but always-on is better)

I have several of these installed. I have bypassed the motion detectors for the ones in our carport so they are always on. You could do surgery in our carport.



Zika / West Nile / ChickenGonnaGitcha !!!

I don’t know about everyone else, but we live at Ground Zero for all these mosquito-borne life-changing diseases in the U.S. – aka “Dallas”.  I am not exaggerating when I say there are times when they attack in squadron formation.  All last Winter we still had mosquitoes.  December, January, yessirree.  Open the door and you’re under attack.  In my search for tools to defeat these airborne micro-terrorists, I finally settled on these convenient little bracelets.  I have found them to be very effective.

Some application hints:

  • After you use the first one, put it in a sandwich size Ziplock bag.
  • Squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing it.
  • Keep it here after every use, putting it in the bag as soon as you are finished with it.
    (this will dramatically increase its lifespan)
  • Sniff the bracelet when you first open it and use that as a baseline for strength.
  • Sniff it periodically over time.
    (this is your litmus test for the protection level of your bracelet – as the scent gets weaker, the effectiveness decreases).
  • When it seems significantly weakened, toss it out and open a new one.
  • If you find you’re not getting 100% protection, use one on each wrist.
  • Some people are Mosquito Magnets and require more protection.
    (You know who you are)

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