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Join Rakuten and get cash back when you shop!

I began using Rakuten (Ebates), in December of 2017 and in that time, I’ve received checks totaling $269.38. Now, admittedly, I would often times forget to shop while using Rakuten. So that total could have been a lot higher.

Why and how did I get those checks?

Well, whenever I purchase something from a retailer through Rakuten, I get a discount of a specified percentage. Each retailer is different, so it could be as little as 1% or even as much as 10%.

The way it works is, you log into your Rakuten account, click the retailer link that you want to shop at (Amazon, eBay, Old Navy, etc… ) and when their website opens, you make your purchase. That’s it.

Just open an account with Rakuten using the link below, and you’ll receive a $10 bonus after you’ve spent your first $25. It’s that easy.


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Angry Birds Transformers – Shockwave’s Spire

For about the past year, I’ve been playing the game Angry Birds Transformers. In it, there’s a sub-section of the game named ‘Shockwave’s Spire’ which is basically a card game where you gamble and have to pick one of four cards. Behind the cards are either rewards, in the form of game resources like coins, gems, Spark or tokens. Or Pigs, that want to steal your rewards.

If you get a pig, you have to either spend gems to keep going and keep your rewards, allow an advertisement video to play in order to negate the pig (you can only do this once) or give up and lose all of the rewards that you’ve ‘won’ up to that point. However, if you don’t want to give up, you can also buy (with real money) enough gems to keep going.

The amount of gems that you have to spend, increases with each Pig that you negate. It starts off low, at 10 gems and doubles each time you spend gems, until you reach 1,600 gems. From that point on, each negated Pig will cost 1,600 gems to keep going and keep your rewards.

Starting with the first floor and then every 5th floor, you will receive a bonus item and there are no Pigs on the Bonus floors, so no matter which card you pick, you will receive a bonus item.

The bonuses that you receive are in the form of character improvements, such as unlocked weapons or accessories for defense. If you already have various accessories/weapons, then the bonus items can be upgrades to make them more effective or stronger. The higher you make it in the Spire, the better the bonus items will be.

Recently, I went on an ‘epic’ Spire Run and reached the top floor (floor 90) and only had a single pig pop up on me (which I negated with a video ad). So I made it through all 90 floors and didn’t have to pay ANY gems for pigs.

Making it through all 90 floors will earn a player a TON of resources as well as a ‘legendary’ item such as a new Transformer character or, if you already have all of the Transformers, an upgrade to one of your existing Transformers, which is what I earned on the 90th floor in the video below.

Fortunately, I was recording the game on my tablet when I made my epic run up the spire. The full recording is several hours long because I was doing it while watching the Ken Burns documentary on Country Music, and I took my time (and was distracted by watching TV), so I’ve edited the video into multiple smaller videos that go 10 floors at a time. But I’ve also combined all of those smaller videos into one longer video so that if someone wants to watch it from floor 1 through floor 90, all in one video, they can.

This first video is the full Spire Run (edited to make it as short as possible so the music is a little disjointed at times), the individual 10 floor videos are below that:

The Full 90 Floor Shockwave’s Spire video:

Below are the individual videos, which go in increments of 10 floors each:

Floors 1 to 10:

Floors 11 to 20:

Floors 21 to 30:

Floors 31 to 40:

Floors 41 to 50:

Floors 51 to 60:

Floors 61 to 70:

Floors 71 to 80:

Floors 81 to 90:

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Review of the Epson Perfection V370

This is a photo of the Battleship USS Wisconsin, in Norfolk, VA. This was taken around 1999, before Nauticus was build and the ship was moved there to become a museum ship.

This image was scanned from a negative using the Epson Perfection V370 scanner. If you click on the image to expand it, and look to the right of the number 64 on the ship, you can see a line running vertically through the image. This is because of a flaw in the scanner. The line is caused by the guide wire in the scanner that the scan head uses to move across the scanner to scan the image.

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The Seymour AU-S6 6″ Diameter Iwan Auger

The Seymour AU-S6 6″ Diameter Iwan Auger


In 2017 a storm destroyed a large portion of my privacy fence. The fence was fairly old and in need of either complete demolition or replacement. Its initial function was to enclose an inground pool, but the pool had been filled in back in 2000 or 2001, so the fence really wasn’t needed any longer, so I decided to just get rid of the fence.

I did want to keep a small portion in the far back of my yard though, so I am going to build a new fence. In doing this though, I’ll need to dig several holes for the fence posts. Using a clamshell post hole digger would be difficult for me though, as I have a bad back. So I was going to rent a power auger from The Home Depot, this would cost about $75 or $80 per day.

Before renting the auger though, I decided to do a little searching and discovered the Seymour AU-S6 6″ Diameter Iwan Auger on Amazon.com for $66.50, and I purchased it. This is a manual auger that you twist manually in order to dig your hole. After a few twists, the auger fills with dirt so you lift it out of the hole and shake the dirt out and then repeat the process until your hole is to the depth that you need. In the video at the top of the page, you can see a demonstration of this process.

The Seymour AU-S6 6″ Diameter Iwan Auger is very easy to use and digs post holes very quickly and almost effortlessly.

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The Philadelphia Eagles receive their Super Bowl LII Rings

On June 14th, the Super Bowl LII Champion Philadelphia Eagles received their Championship Rings.

The diamond and sapphire encrusted ring is made of pure 10k white gold and includes a total of 219 diamonds along with 17 rare, green sapphires. The Eagle head logo has 52 diamonds, symbolizing the Eagles victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII. The Lombardi trophy contains 16 diamonds, symbolizing the 16 games won by the Eagles in the 2017 regular and post season, with thirteen of those 16 diamonds in the lower half of the Lombardi Trophy representing the 13 regular season wins, and three of the diamonds in the upper portion of the trophy for the three post season wins. With a single, large diamond in the Football portion of the trophy representing the first Super Bowl Championship for the franchise.

The bezel of the ring contains 127 diamonds, which signifies the combined sum of the jersey numbers of the three players (30 + 88 + 9) who handled the football after the center snap from Jason Kelce, in the iconic play known as the ‘Philly Special’, in which running back Corey Clement took the center snap from center Jason Kelce, then pitched it to tight end Trey Burton who then threw the touchdown pass to Quarterback Nick Foles just before the end of the first half, giving the Eagles a 10 point lead heading into halftime.

Also included in the ring are 4 green sapphires, symbolizing the Philadelphia Eagles 4 NFL Championships. The first one being in 1948 where the Eagles defeated the Chicago Cardinals 7-0. The second coming a year later, in 1949 where they defeated the Los Angeles Rams 14-0 giving the franchise the only shutouts in NFL Championship history, including all Super Bowl games played to date. The third championship came in 1960 where the Eagles defeated the Vince Lombardi Green Bay Packers by a score of 17-13, handing Vince Lombardi his only post-season defeat in his career. The 4th of their franchise NFL Championships, was the 41-33 defeat of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII in February of 2018.

To honor the fans, the likeness of Lincoln Financial Field is engraved on one side of the ring and the title of the Eagles fight song, Fly Eagles Fly, is engraved on the bottom of the ring band.

To commemorate the Underdog phenomenon that Land Johnson and Chris Long began after defeating the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Divisional playoff game, by wearing the now legendary Dog Masks, a likeness of the underdog mask is engraved on the inside of each ring band.

With Carson Wentz at the helm, the Eagles hope that this is just the first of many Super Bowl rings to come.


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Should the Eagles have traded Nick Foles to the Browns?

Reports have surfaced that the Cleveland Browns offered the Philadelphia Eagles the 35th pick in the 2018 NFL draft in exchange for Quarterback Nick Foles.

Nick Foles had just led the Eagles to a 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII and was named the Super Bowl MVP.

Many speculated at that time whether or not the Eagles would try to cash in on the success that Foles had in the post season, and trade him to a Quarterback needy team.

As time went by, it had been speculated that the Eagles would decline any offer that did not include a 1st round pick. It is rumored that when the Browns offered the 35th pick in the 2018 NFL draft for Foles, the Eagles approached Nick Foles to see how he felt about the possibility of going to Cleveland to be their Quarterback and at that time Foles said that he’d rather stay in Philadelphia.

With the uncertainty surrounding the status of Franchise Quarterback Carson Wentz, and his ability to start the season, the Eagles seem to be hedging their bets and will hold on to Nick Foles.

If Carson Wentz starts the season healthy, the Eagles will still have until the October trade deadline to trade Foles, should they find a suitor.

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Will Carson Wentz be ready for Week 1 of the 2018 season?

During the first day of OTAs, Carson Wentz looks like he’s made a lot of progress in his rehab program. As you know, Wentz suffered a torn ACL and LCL in the week 14 game vs. the Los Angeles Rams.

Despite suffering the injury, diving for a touchdown that was ultimately called back due to a penalty, Wentz stayed in the game to finish the drive. He ultimately threw a touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery, his 33rd touchdown pass of the season, which surpassed Sonny Jurgensen’s 1961 team record of 32 touchdown passes.

On day one of OTAs, Wentz looked good as he went through drills, taking snaps and moving around. Just 5 months after having gone through surgery to repair the damage, Wentz sure looks ahead of schedule and possibly right on schedule to start week 1 vs. the Atlanta Falcons at Lincoln Financial Field on opening night.

Check out the video below to see how well he was moving around.


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The Eagles release Linebacker Mychal Kendricks

The Philadelphia Eagles today released Linebacker Mychal Kendricks. The move, while not a surprise, is surprising because of the timing.

The move will save the Eagles $4.4 Million on their salary cap, unless they use the ‘Post-June 1st’ designation. In that case, the savings would be $6 million on the 2019 cap.

Kendricks has been prone to injuries in his career, and has never fully played up to his potential. Though he has played well, when he has been healthy and was a key member of the 2017 Super Bowl Championship team that beat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII. He likely won’t be out of work for long.


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Philadelphia Eagles rookies participate in batting practice before team OTA’s

The day before the Philadelphia Eagles OTA begin, a few of the Eagles rookies participated in a little batting practice with the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizen Bank Park.

Head Coach Doug Pederson also participated, showing the Rookies how it’s done by hitting a ball out to the warning track.


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Can the Philadelphia Eagles repeat as Super Bowl Champions in 2018?

With almost all of the same players returning, can the Eagles repeat as Super Bowl Champions in 2018? Repeating as Super Bowl Champions is not an easy thing to do and hasn’t been done since the New England Patriots did it in Super Bowl XXXVIII and Super Bowl XXXIX.

The Eagles have lost a few key pieces of that Super Bowl LII team with the departures of RB Legarrette Blount and TE Trey Burton. The Eagles also released TE Brent Celek and traded WR Torey Smith. They additionally lost Offensive Coordinator Frank Reich, who took the head coaching job with the Indianapolis Colts, and Quarterbacks Coach, John DeFilippo who took the offensive coordinator job with the Minnesota Vikings.

In the 2018 NFL Draft, the Eagles jumped ahead of the Dallas Cowboys to take TE Dallas Goedert and they signed former Green Bay Packers TE Richard Rodgers, to shore up the TE ranks.