Pics: Baby Cactus leaves are adorable!

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They are sharp, spiny, and painful: cacti have pad-shaped leaves that have long, thin, razor-sharp spikes. But did you know that they start out so adorably cute? Here are some cool pics: Photo credit: Amy Barnes, The Retail Detail USA … Continue reading

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Ad-free Solitaire for Windows 10 – for FREE!

I stopped playing all of the Windows 10 games because of the ads; they’re downright annoying and the ads are very jarring to people (like me) who play these games to relax.

And to have an ad-free experience? It’s a SUBSCRIPTION service – $10/year per game.

There are a few very quick, easy, and free ways to obtain ad-free games – both involve downloading and installing programs – and the main difference between the two are this: the look and feel of the games.

1 — Portable Apps – the Portable Apps site ( — this site has *the most* comprehensive stash of free and ad-free games I have ever seen. Some of these games are NOT lightweight, either – there is one RPG that is equivalent to any one of the adventure games that were commercially-sold in the 1990s / early 2000s.

** BONUS ** Portable Apps is a LOT more than games – there are fascinating educational and Good for Work type apps – and you can run them from a flash drive if the computer you’re using allows executables to run off flash drives.

2 — Winaero blog page ( — this page has true-form Windows 7 games that have been modded to block version checking, and there are no ads; this blog page is totally worth visiting if you want true classic Win7 games.

***CAVEAT*** – there are misleading ads all over the page – do NOT click ANY of the greem buttons! The download link is found immediately above the PayPal donation button.

Aaaand there ya have it – two FREE methods of not paying to have zero ads for games!

NOTE: The software developer in me pleads for you to consider a donation to any site’s author that provides solutions like these – if you’ve used the software and enjoy it – please consider donating something like $10 so that brilliant people do not have to go schlep at some minimum-wage jerb, and are granted the financial leeway to be able to continue making this world a lil’bit better, one cool app / solution each time.


Posted in #QuickTip, Commentary, Games, Good News, How to Save Money, iFound, News, Reviews - Products, Software, Tech News, Technology, The Etc Box | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How to find a notary during non-business hours.

While the supply of notaries seems to be non-existent outside of the standard 9 to 5, notaries can be found during all the other hours – here are seven ways you can find a notary:

  1. Social Media – particularly NextDoor – is the easiest route to getting a helpful hand. Most people do have notaries living nearby and do not realize it. NextDoor limits access to its users to where they reside, so this platform is limited to residential community and immediately-surrounding areas.
  2. Shipping/Mailing – FedEx / UPS / etc – they usually tack on a house fee, and may be open for extended hours. FedEx has a few locations that are open 24 hours; regardless of time, always call to ask because notaries are not always available.
  3. Bail Bonding – these businesses require the use of notaries, so it’s likely they have one on-hand, at least during daylight hours.
  4. Car Dealerships – likely to be open during weekends.
  5. Hospitals – some might have a notary on-hand, but at the least they have referrals to mobile notaries.
  6. Google Maps listings – many of these are for mobile services, so this one is a route of almost-last resort.
  7. Mobile / 24-hours notaries – avoid mobile notaries unless you are in dire need; mobile notaries charge travel fees that range anywhere from a reasonable $30 to an iniquitous $75/$100… or more.
  8. BONUS: There are several notary associations that operate at national and/or state level – these typically allow you to search for a notary near you. Also, your superior court clerk might allow online searches of their database.

Source: I am a notary myself, and have had to find notaries for my own use, as notaries are not allowed to notarize for their own signatures due to a conflict of interest.

~ This 19th of January, 2019.


Posted in #QuickTip, Amy's Answers, Commentary, iFound, Litigation, Litigation, News, OpEd / Misc., Resources, The Etc Box, the Retail Detail | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Is PACER’s paywall finally coming down?

H.R.6714 – Electronic Court Records Reform Act of 2018 seeks to eliminate fees after they became a slush fund.

It was discovered that PACER raked in approximately 150 Million dollars in 2016, according to article posted on ARS Technica. That’s a lot of money for a PDF server with a paywall. With so much money flushing into the coffers, the fund became a slush fund.

SEE the article here:

Rep. Doug Collins (R) apparently took notice; Collins sponsored a bill in the 2018 legislative session as a clapback in favor of truly free public access:

Meanwhile, a plug-in / extension was developed for use with internet browsers, designed to thwart repeated expenditure of access fees for documents via sharing already-paid-for documents: ReCAP the Law.

ReCAP the law can be found and used here:

An interesting new discovery came about earlier today, on Jan 16, 2019; several attempts to legally access docket items on a case failed. Further testing revealed (so far) that the PACER system code may possibly be blocking access to documents to browsers with an active and enabled ReCAP extension.

Specifically, SlimJet, FireFox, and Brave browsers were tested with the extension not installed and then installed and then disabled. The browser sessions with the not-installed extension produced document access success, and the same success was garnered with an installed but disabled (via settings, so the plug-in/extension does not show in the toolbar). Any presence of the extension, and the post-authorization document viewing page showed up as a blank web page.

ReCAP staff are aware of this finding and further testing is ongoing to verify if ReCAP is indeed targeted for denial of access discrimination.

As for now, the bill is still sitting on the hopper after initial filing / intro. If you want to reach out to encourage Rep. Collins for his efforts, the easiest way to do so is via Twitter, here:

This Jan 16, 2019.


Posted in Activism / Advocacy, Civil & Human Rights, Commentary, Courts / Justice, CourtWatch, Everyday 1A, Fuzzy Math series, Government, How to Save Money, Justice, Litigation, News, Politics, Programming, Software, Tech News, Technology | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Not just identity theft: 4 reasons landlords require SSNs

There’s a boogieman in town, and it’s called “identity theft.”

Landlords will cite identity theft when asking for your SSN, but there are actually a few other reasons.

  1. Eviction – SSNs are used for a federally-required search of a military database to determine if the tenant being evicted is a current member of the military or is a military veteran. This search is required before a toss-out can happen, as laws now give service members enhanced protections against the speediness of evictions. as leave can be hard to come by when deployed overseas or on duty in a stateside mission.
  2. Credit Reporting – landlords will sometimes report payments to credit bureaus. Those that report do so to protect themselves and other landlords from bad tenants, and to provide both carrot and stick enforcement of the lease. Further, if a tenant leaves a debt, the former tenant is punished with a reduced credit score.
  3. Debt Collection – landlords can use a judgment paired with data such as a former tenant’s SSN to sell the judgement-enabled debt to debt buyers who then go after the former tenant in return for a split of any payments received.
  4. Litigation – with an SSN, a landlord can pay a PI firm to perform a utilities check to locate a tenant’s new place. With an SSN, driver’s ID number, and birth date, a landlord can locate property such as motor vehicles and then file for a lien on the vehicle.  Insurance payments are expected go to lien holders first, then the owner.

These four reasons are not inclusive of all possible ways a landlord can weaponize a tenant’s SSN and the identity verification process. In other words, it’s good to pay rent on time and in full.

BONUS – a landlord can also use the SSN to report income from forgiven debt to the IRS, assuming they jump through a few hoops first to qualify to report uncollectible debt. An aggrieved landlord can also attempt to contact social services and demand that the back rent be reportable to agencies that issue benefits, for inclusion into income calculations.

SOURCE >> The author is an occasional evictions agent for property owners.


Posted in Commentary, Courts, Housing, Lay on the Law, Litigation, OpEd / Misc., Politics, Trend Watch | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment