Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Bill may delay the February 17th switchover to digital TV

I knew it would happen, so no surprises here, but a bill is heading to the Senate that will delay the cancellation of all analog TV broadcasting until June 12th. It hasn't passed yet, but there's a good chance it will. This is not the first delay to this change, and might not be the last.

Stay tuned, and read more about it here:

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Friday, January 23, 2009


Voluntary Bosch and Siemens Dishwasher Recall

This is direct from the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission and the good people at B/S/H Home Appliances. If you own one of these models you should stop using it immediately and read the following alerts.



U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Office of Information and Public Affairs Washington, DC 20207

January 15, 2009
Release #09-100

Firm's Recall Hotline: (800) 856-9226
Firm’s Media Hotline: (310) 309-6611
CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

Bosch® and Siemens® Model Dishwashers Recalled by BSH Home Appliances Corporation Due to Fire Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Bosch® and Siemens® Model Dishwashers

Units: About 476,500

Manufacturer: BSH Home Appliances Corp., of Huntington Beach, Calif.

Hazard: An electrical component in certain model dishwashers can overheat, posing a fire hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: BSH Home Appliances has received 51 reports of incidents, including 30 reports of fires resulting in property damage. No injuries have been reported.

Description: This recall involves certain Bosch® and Siemens® dishwashers manufactured from May 1999 through July 2005. The brand name is printed on the dishwasher’s front control panel. Model and serials numbers are located inside the dishwasher door panel on the upper right side.

BrandModel Numbers Must Begin WithSerial Numbers Must Begin With
BoschSHE43C, SHE44C
FD8503 – FD8507
FD8501 – FD8505
FD7905 – FD8505
FD8407 – FD8505
FD8004 – FD8211
FD8205 – FD8507
SiemensSL34AFD8308 – FD8505

Sold at: Appliance and specialty retailers nationwide from May 1999 through December 2006 for between $550 and $1,100.

Manufactured in: United States

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the listed model dishwashers and contact the repair hotline for a free repair.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact the BSH Home Appliances at (800) 856-9226 anytime or visit the brand’s Web site at or

Picture of Recalled Bosch Dishwasher
Picture of Recalled Siemens Dishwasher

Picture of Model and Serial Number Locations


Send the link for this page to a friend! The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. The CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals - contributed significantly to the decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.

To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC's hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC's teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270, or visit CPSC's web site at To join a CPSC email subscription list, please go to Consumers can obtain this release and recall information at CPSC's Web site at

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Didn't make it to CES '09? Neither did we.

That's okay, but here's some articles highlighting some good and bad news from the Consumer Electronics Show for 2009.,2817,2338779,00.asp



Top ten selling LCD TVs of early 2009?

I can't vouch for accuracy, but might be worth checking out if you're looking to buy a new LCD television.

Hope this helps you make your TV buying decision.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009


Samsung executives discuss the future at CES

If you're interested, Samsung execs met had a roundtable discussion about the future of electronics and how Samsung will fit into the new markets.

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Places to recycle electronics in Alabama

This is a handy article which lists four local groups that recycle old electronics.

Recycle your electronics in Alabama

Here's another article from the Shelby County Reporter about Technical Knockout, a Birmingham company that specializes in electronics recycling:

Technical Knockout

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Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Samsung unveils latest and thinnest TV

Samsung Electronics plans to unveil a flat-panel TV that's as thin as just 6.5-millimeters at this week's International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, it said Sunday.

The TV set, few details of which were immediately available, is between 6.5mm and 7mm across its width and has an LED (light emitting diode) backlight.

The backlight sits behind the LCD panel and generates the light that shines through it to allow the image to be seen. Most LCD panels use thicker backlights that make use of fluorescent lights but LEDs are fast finding favor with TV makers for their thinness and better overall light.

Read the full article here.

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Yahoo! bringing Internet to Samsung television sets

"SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) — Yahoo! and Samsung on Monday said they will put the California firm's software to work linking the South Korean electronics giant's televisions to the Internet.

New Samsung high-density flat-panel television models to be displayed this week at a premier Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas will feature Yahoo! "widgets," mini applications which access Internet services.

Samsung televisions built with an "Internet@TV" content service will let viewers check online news or stock portfolios as well as see videos or pictures on the Web, according to the companies.

"Through this partnership, we can combine the Internet benefits of user choice and personalization with Samsung's leading product innovation and global reach to deliver a new experience to users around the world," said Yahoo!'s Connected TV vice president Patrick Barry."

The rest of the article can be found here.


My two cents... if I'm watching a TV show, a movie, or The Big Game and someone else wants to check their stocks or play SuperPong on the same screen, I'm going to be unhappy. Go play on the computer, I'm watching TV.

Perhaps, on second thought, it might be cool to be able to look a the meaning of a word I don't know, or get more information on an actor, or public figure. Maybe it would be nice to put a note in my calendar to bring an umbrella on a particularly rainy day. Mainly it would be used for useless trivia about some stupid television minutia I can't remember, but then what's the Internet good for if not for that.

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Proposed California energy regulations may make plasma TVs illegal

Plasma televisions use more power than LCD TVs, and California uses a LOT of electricity. In an effort to cut back on energy use, they're requiring energy efficiency levels that are higher than current plasma models can achieve.

Of course, California residents can go to neighboring states or order online to get their beloved plasma, but I think it's more likely that plasma TV manufacturers might try to meet the guidelines of this huge television market.

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Alabama events found in Bham News

Thought this might be of interest to some of you.

SMALL GARDENS 1/24 10 a.m.-NOON. $20. Emmet O'Neal Library, 50 Oak St., Mountain Brook. Learn design techniques to bring out the best in your small garden. For more information, contact June Mays at 541-3740 or You can also guarantee a seat at this lecture by mailing a check for a ticket to June Mays, 3514 Country Club Road, AL 35213.

THE DECORATIVE VEGETABLE GARDEN 1/31 10 a.m.-NOON. $20. Emmet O'Neal Library, 50 Oak St., Mountain Brook. Learn how to grow your own vegetables in an attractive way. For more information, contact June Mays at 541-3740 or You can also guarantee a seat at this lecture by mailing a check for a ticket to June Mays, 3514 Country Club Road, AL 35213. 879-0459.

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H. H. Gregg accepting Circuit City gift cards?

Just read a news announcement that H.H.Gregg will extend some sort of a promotion where they accept Circuit City gift cards towards purchases. This will continue until Super Bowl Sunday (February 1, 2009).

They must have an arrangement with the same company that processes the gift cards, otherwise I can't figure out how they do this. Interesting.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Buyers beware of 'disposable' televisions

From KSTP TV in Minneapolis & St. Paul

Buyers beware of 'disposable' televisions

When you buy a new television, you hope it will last, but some televisions are considered trash after only a year.

Jack Haskovitz, of H&H T.V. and Electronics, Inc., hears from angry customers all the time.

"When you look at the store, you go to Costco, Circuit City, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, wherever you see something that's $200 cheaper, same size, there's a reason," Haskovitz.

Haskovitz says some companies are making disposable TVs and they can't be repaired.

"They're just making enough parts for their TV sets. When they need extra, that's when they start replacing them. Or when the warranty is up, good luck," Haskovitz said.

(read more in the original story)


We of course are making no commentary about this story. The retailers above sell a wide variety of products in a wide price range. It's up to the consumer to make sure they're getting what they want.

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Monday, January 5, 2009


Vestavia Hills High School Math Team Tournament

The Vestavia Hills High School Math Team Tournament has taken place for around 30 years and is one of the largest regional math competitions in the United States. Divisions for participation are PreAlgebra, Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and Comprehensive (for students beyond Algebra II). Founded by now retired math team coach Kay Tipton, the tournament is now run by Todd Taylor and Wes Gordon. Over 1000 students currently attend this event annually. Organizers are planning the next competition for December, 2009.

The website for the tournament is here.

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Alabama police blotter

Woman Charged With Stealing From Alabama Public Television

Wednesday, Dec 17, 2008 @02:58pm CST

(MONTGOMERY)—Attorney General Troy King announced the arrest last night of a woman for theft of $7,500 from Alabama Public Television. Lagina Darice Brown Fulling, also known as Gina D. Brown, was arrested by special agents of the United States Marshal’s Gulf Coast Regional Task Force and taken to the Montgomery County Jail to await transport to the Jefferson County Jail. Fulling, 44, of Jefferson County, is a former employee of the Alabama Public Television Foundation.

Attorney General King’s Office presented evidence to a Jefferson County grand jury, resulting in Fulling’s indictment on September 19. Specifically, the indictment charges Fulling with one count of first-degree theft by deception, and one count of first-degree theft of property. Both counts involve theft of a check for $7,500, from AARP to Alabama Public Television.
No further information about the investigation or about Fulling’s alleged crimes other than that stated in the indictment may be released at this time.

If convicted, Fulling faces a maximum penalty of two to 20 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000 for the class B felonies.

Attorney General King commended Assistant Attorney General Ben Baxley of his Public Corruption and White Collar Crime Division and Special Agent Gene Sisson of his Investigations Division. He gave special thanks to Sergeant Michael Herren and the Mountain Brook Police Department for assistance in this case.

(This article found here: )

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Vulcan, Homewood, Alabama, 35209

I'm embarrassed, a little bit.

I've lived in Alabama my whole life, and been in and out of Homewood a couple of kazillion times, and I've never been to, or up in, the Vulcan monument. (I've driven by it, practically under it, thousands of times).

Seriously, it's really close to me, and it's a least worth a trip, but it's never happened.

I should take a break some weekend, stop thinking about television repairs and whatnot, and schedule a trip to Homewood and visit ol' Vulcan and see what it's all about.

I found this info, which brought it into my mind, so I'm sharing it here:

Vulcan Park and Museum

Vulcan Park and Museum
1701 Valley View Dr
Birmingham, AL 35209

Visit the Vulcan website, too.

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Please don't get mad, but...

Sorry folks, but for warranty repairs on televisions, in general the manufacturer will require that we keep a copy of your purchase receipt on file.

We honestly believe that you did purchase the TV when you say you did, we really do. But it does not matter whether we completely trust you or not. Unfortunately, the manufacturer will not pay for a warranty repair to fix your TV without a receipt.

This isn't our policy per se, it's a policy set forth by every television manufacturer in business today.

Of course, the customer service folks at these companies are likely to tell you a different story, and say that this is not required. Do not believe them, as they just want to make a customer happy (they really do). But when push comes to shove, and we file a claim for warranty repairs on your television, they are not going to pay for it without a receipt.

That is... unless they give us something in writing that says it's okay to do the repair in warranty without a receipt. We'll take a letter in lieu of a receipt any day, if it meets our requirements. We really do want to fix your TV.

So, if you're new television is broken, and you need it repaired, and you live in Alabama, please give us a call for television service (or request a television service call online).

Just remember, the receipt is required for warranty repairs.

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Friday, January 2, 2009


Bainbridge Trace, Irondale community blog

Bainbridge Trace is a neighborhood in Irondale, Alabama.

They have a community blog called the Bainbridge Buzz Banner. Residents should check it out, leave a comment, I'm sure they would appreciate the interest in the neighborhood.

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Irondale Alabama Historical Society website

Being a good neighbor, thought I'd post this for anyone interested in the history of Irondale. It's a nice, cleanly laid out website with some good information.

Check it out!

Irondale Alabama Historical Society

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