FTC Disclosure:

I am not paid or compensated in any way to write product reviews posted to this blog. There are affiliate links posted throughout this blog. So, when you click through on links and buy something, I may receive a commission. I pay for the products with my own funds. Product reviews always reflect my own experience with and honest opinion of the product as a consumer.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Review of LG Optimus V Android phone with Virgin Mobile Wireless 3G service

LG Optimus V Android phone top view

LG Optimus V Android phone side view, micro SD
memory card slot

LG Optimus V Android phone side view, camera control,
voice dialer control, volume control

LG Optimus V Android phone, back view

I started using my LG Optimus V Android smartphone in February 2012, after switching from Metro PCS wireless service. When I used Metro PCS, I had the same type of phone. For those who have been reading my blog, you know that I have Virgin Mobile Broadband2Go wireless internet service, which I have been happy with. This is what influenced me to switch my wireless service. All-in-all, I like the phone, and you definitely get much bang for your buck with it. I purchased it on Amazon.com from an independent seller for about $95, which is not bad at all. Aside from the basic functionality of the phone, I love that this phone is very durable. I have dropped it many times, and it has held up reasonable well. Knock on wood that the screen on it never cracks.

The phone is run off the Android 2.2.1 operating system and it has a 3.2 inch touch screen with the Virgin Mobile logo on top of it. The package that I received contains a phone charger with a removable USB chord. This comes in handy for when you want to sync or transfer files between the LG Optimus V and your PC or other devices. It also comes with LG headphones for listening to audio files, videos or making phone calls, etc. There was also a 2 GB micro SD card and adapter included in the package. Of course, there was a user manual in the package, too. I consider this to be an exceptional value, considering that some of things bought separately would run $8- $15 each or more.
The LG Optimus V has a 3.2 mega pixel camera with no flash. Hence, the camera takes grainy, okay quality pictures. I generally don’t use the camera on this phone, but I can see where it comes in handy. The phone is also capable of capturing video footage. The video quality is okay, but I don’t like the extra “noise’ during the video filming. Here are some other features and specs of the LG Optimus V:
  • Pre-downloaded apps such as Google maps, Google Playstore, Virgin Mobile Live, You Tube, Uber Social, and AirG chat
  • Swype technology for rapid texting
  • Bluetooth technology
  • e-mail capability through Google g-mail
  • A calendar/ organizer
  • A calculator
  • A customizable clock/alarm
  • SMS and MMS text capable system
  • Voice Search
  • A media player for enjoying video or audio files
  • A 3.5mm headphone jack
  • The ability to set up ringtones
  • The ability to set up wall papers on the display
As far as the actual wireless and internet coverage goes, they are pretty mediocre. I live in South Florida and this where I mainly use my phone. I don’t see much difference in the call clarity and quality between Metro PCS voice calls and Virgin Mobile Wireless voice calls. I get occasional dropped calls with Virgin Mobile Wireless, just like I did with Metro PCS. It seems to happen more frequently when I am in certain areas, though. Also, there are times when my calls “fade in and fade out” during conversations. It could be a problem with the other person’s wireless service. I don’t know. This phone has frozen up on me and shut down unexpectedly a few times, also.
I am not all that impressed with their 3G internet. It seems inconsistent. Sometimes the internet is lightinening fast and sometimes the 3G internet moves at a snail’s pace. This pisses me off, especially when I am trying to watch a Youtube video on my LG Optimus V and the video has to stop for several seconds and buffer. Sometimes the internet does not work at all. I have had to turn the phone on and off several times to get my internet working. The good thing about this phone is that it is Wi-Fi capable. I can easily find a free Wi-Fi spot and connect to the internet at faster speeds.
I am a little bit jealous of my boyfriend, because he has T-Mobile 4G internet on a Samsung Galaxy S II phone. This allows him to watch movies and TV shows through Netflix without any buffering. We have cuddled up and watched several movies on his phone together, with no issues whatsoever. This would not be possible on my phone due to the fact that the internet is too slow. Also, I can’t talk on my phone and use the internet at the same time. My boyfriend can do this on his Samsung Galaxy S II android phone. So, if you can’t deal with this type of 3G foolery, then a 4G device with 4G wireless service might be a better option for you.  Expect to pay a bit more money, because these types of phones run from $200- $400 and up.
Virgin Mobile USA provides their service through the Sprint network. There are several Beyond Talk plan types available with Virgin Mobile USA. I have the $55 per month plan (plus taxes) which gives me unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, and unlimited data every month. There are no contracts to worry about. The caveat is that after you go over about 2500 megabytes of data, your internet speed may slow down from 3G to a lesser speed. They send you a text message to alert you that your internet speed will slow down until the next billing cycle begins.
Another thing that I don’t like about this phone is that it does not have capability for the viewing of flash videos. So I am not able to watch certain types of video on the LG Optimus V. For instance, in almost every case, I can’t watch videos that appear on AOL’s website. I suspect that it has to do with the fact that this phone does not support viewing of flash videos.
The battery life is not awesome. It is supposed to last about 6 hours or so. However, if you are using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, and apps a lot, this will consume more battery juice. I do these things often, so a fully charged battery may last me about 3 hours before it starts to “go red”. Therefore, I keep my phone charger with me at all times.
So, in closing I feel that the LG Optimus V is a great reliable starter android smartphone, for the cost conscious person. There are smartphones available with all the newest bells and whistles, such as 4G LTE, HD video filiming capability, 3D video, upgraded android operating systems, etc. My LG Optimus V phone suits me just fine, since I am not one to try and keep up with the latest technology fads and crazes. If you aren’t necessarily interested in the latest technology, then this might be a good phone for you.

©  Copyright 2012  Susan Broadbelt 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Review of Gillette Venus & Olay Razor

Gillette Venus & Olay Razor

Gillette Venus & Olay razors normally come in packs of 1 razor handle, 1 cartridge, and 1 shower hook. So this is not a regular disposable razor and the handles fit with any Gillette Venus cartridge. If you haven’t noticed from the labeling on the product, Gillette offers a “Love it or 2X money back” guarantee. Of course, there are some stipulations that come with that.

The Gillette Venus & Olay razor, retails for between $9 - $11, depending on where you buy it. It is available at most drug stores and mass market retailers. The replacement cartridges will run between $15 -$20. There are usually high value coupons available for this product in the Sunday newspaper inserts, which can help to offset the expense a little.

The razor handle is soft and cushiony, for an ergonomic and comfortable feel in the hand. Each razor head has 5 sharp blades for nice and easy hair removal. The razor head has a very wide angle pivot, which helps the razor glide over hard to get areas, such as the knees. The razor head also has two moisture bars, that have a good tropical scent to them. They are activated by wetting them. The idea behind the moisture bars is that they are supposed to eliminate the need for shaving creams and they leave your skin silky soft after shaving.

I never used this product before, so I was a bit skeptical about this claim, because I have sensitive skin on most of my body. So, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the product delivered. I got a really close shave in most areas after just a few passes. Plus, I didn’t suffer any cuts or scrapes. The razor is gentle enough that I can even use it to shave my genital area without worries. I would say that you could probably get about 4 or 5 uses out these razors. The moisture bars will probably be too sparse beyond that point and the razors might be too dull.

I like the concept behind the razor and it is definitely effective. The suction cup hanger is a nice touch. This hanger doesn’t take up much space and allows the moisture bars to air dry between uses.

The main thing that I don’t like about this razor is that it is too expensive for me. On top of this, I really prefer the regular disposable razors over this type of razor. I don’t like that my hair sticks to the moisture bars after shaving. It is difficult to remove the hair from the moisture bars as well. I probably won’t buy Gillette Venus & Olay razors very often, unless I can get it on sale for dirt cheap at CVS or somewhere, else.

Ingredients in the moisture bars: sodium stearate, propylene glycol, glycerin, water/eau, sorbitol, sodium laureth sulfate, petrolatum, polybutene, sodium myristate, lauric acid, PEG-90m, PEG-45M, Garcinina indica seed butter, fragrance/parfum, PEG-7M, stearic acid, myristic acid, sodium chloride, polyquaternium-10, tetrasodium etidronate, pent sodium pentetate, red 4, yellow 10

Gillette Venus & Olay Razors are manufactured by Gillette, a division of Proctor and Gamble.

For more information about this product, visit
www.gillettevenus.com or call 1-800-GILLETTE.

Copyright 2012 www.thewhimsicalmusingsofsusan.com

Saturday, December 8, 2012

CVS Haul: Free Phillips Earbud Headphones and Snicker’s Almond Candy Bars!!!

This is one of my favorite CVS hauls to date. I jumped on two deals advertised in the CVS sales circular. One was, “Buy a Phillips Ear bud Headphones at $6.99 and earn $6.99 in Extrabucks rewards” (limit 1). The other deal was “Buy select Mars candy at $.75 each, and earn $.75 in Extrabucks rewards (limit 2). So, I decided to pick up three Phillips Ear bud Headphones, each one in a cool color, and two Snickers Almond chocolate bars. I didn’t use any manufacture coupons with this haul. I used Extrabucks and one CVS store coupon that I got through my e-mail* . Just so that you know, these deals are not currently in effect. The sale ran from Sunday, November 18, 2012 thru Saturday, November 24, 2012. Being the procrastinator that I am, I waited until the last day of the sale, which isn’t usually a good thing.

This is the breakdown of the shopping trip:

 Products purchased Cost

1 Phillips Earbud Headphone                                    $6.99                     
1 Phillips Earbud Headphone                                    $6.99

1 Phillips Earbud Headphone                                    $6.99

1 Snickers Almond candy bar 1.76 oz.                    $.75

1 Snickers Almond candy bar 1.76 oz.  $.75

6% sales tax $1.11
Subtotal (before coupons, etc.) $23.58
I applied the following coupons and discounts to the subtotal:

1- CVS Store coupon           -$4.00

1- CVS Extrabucks reward    -$3.00

1- CVS Extrabucks reward    -$4.00

1- CVS Extrabucks reward    -$5.00
Total and price paid (after coupons, etc.) $7.58
I earned $8.49 in Extrabucks after the transaction, one for $6.99 and another for $1.50. So, I basically got everything for free, plus made a few cents in profit. You can’t really beat that. * I signed up to receive notification e-mails from CVS when there are special sales and coupons available. Once in a while I get e-mail coupons that I can either print up from a computer or send electronically to my CVS rewards card. Most of the time, I just hit that “Send to Card” button, because its more convenient and saves paper. I never had any problems with this.

© Copyright 2012  Susan Broadbelt


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Why we should not be loyal to employers

In a related blog post, I touched on a little about why I am not very loyal to a company or employer. The main reason why we should not be loyal to employers, is because most of them are not loyal to their employees. This applies, whether you work for a sole proprietor, an LLC, a small corporation, or a multinational corporation. An employer’s loyalties are going to lie mainly towards company owners (shareholders), board of directors, and to a lesser extent, the employer’s customers/clientele.

Most for-profit companies have as their main objective to earn a profit in the least amount of time and with the least expense. So it follows logically that most employers will want to pay employees just enough salary and benefits to keep the employee satisfied or “stuck” at his or her current position. Companies will almost never pay any employee what he or she is worth, in terms of labor and productivity. The employees at the bottom of the totem pole, are the ones whom work the hardest and receive the least amount of reward for their efforts. They end up getting the short end of the stick, since their pay and benefits are far less than those of their counterparts working as company executives. Sometimes a company executive’s bonus pay is far more than his or her annual pay!

As I said in the previous blog post, a job is just not guaranteed. If you are an employee-at-will, this means that you could come in one day for work and find out that you’ve been terminated or laid-off. Unless you have a binding employment contract with the company that you work for, they can let you go at any time and for almost any reason. Of course, most companies try and come up with a valid reason for firing an employee, just for added legal protection. But supervisors and H.R. departments may have pretexts for getting rid of an employee in some cases. Getting back to a company’s profits, if push comes to shove, and a company needs to cut costs, your job could be eliminated or outsourced to another state or outside the United States.

Also, you don’t want to be at the mercy of an asshole boss for your whole life. I happen to have some very nice bosses on my job, but other people aren’t so lucky. Others are subject to the mistreatment and personal prejudices of sociopath supervisors in their place of employment. Bosses like this try their best to manipulate you, since they know that you might have the mindset that you “really need your job”. Bully bosses might try and play psychology games with you or make you feel lower than a piece of dog shit. They derive a sick, twisted, sense of pleasure from putting others down in order to boost their own egos. So, why would I want to put my faith and trust in a job as a primary source of income?

I realize that most Americans, including myself, are somewhat dependent on a job. We may have a family to support and major debt to be paid off. So in most cases, a job is pretty much a lifeline. I am not a proponent of slackers. People should always put forth their best efforts and do what employers pay them to do. It should go without saying that if you have a job, do everything you can to keep it in the meantime. Hold on to your job until you are in a position to obtain a better paying job or maybe until you have attained a higher source of income than your current job pays you.

One of the beauties of the United States is that we live in a system of capitalism (or should I say crony capitalism). Everyone has the opportunity to get out there and hustle to become wealthy, without relying so heavily on a regular job. It can certainly be done. Many immigrants come to the United States and amass a fortune because of a combination of creativity, determination, brain power, and fearlessness. So, if they can do it, American citizens can certainly do it.

People need to get out of the mentality of entitlement and dependency. Some of us need to stop worrying about what we can get out of employers. Most people are more interested in which companies can pay them the most, give them the best benefits package, and the best retirement plan. We feel like an employer owes us something, when on the other side of the equation, the employer is absorbing most of the risk of providing people with jobs.

I really believe that you should slowly divest yourself of employment dependency. A job is more than just a means of making money:  It is also a learning experience as well as a temporary stepping stone to a better way of life. Think outside the box and start a small or home based business for your self. Hustle on the side, when you’re not on your day job and save your money. As long as you have a functioning brain, then you can make money on the side. We should never become complacent in our current financial situation and always be striving for financial independence. In this way, if you lose your job, then you can more easily pick up the pieces and move on with your life. 

Related posts:

Someone May be Holding A Grudge Against You, and You Don't Even Know It

People Are Poor Due to Mindset and Lack of Education

Copyright 2012


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