5 reasons to avoid pre-paid credit cards

I’ve seen a lot of those “pre-paid” credit cards in stores recently, and in the past year or so, I’ve actually received three of them as gifts. With all due respect to the people who purchased them for me; please stop buying these pre-paid MasterCard and pre-paid Visa gift cards.

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Big Al’s Aquarium Services Ottawa

Here’s why I can never shop at at Big Al’s Aquarium Services Warehouse Outlets ever again. I apologize for the length of this article, but want to be accurate and detailed.

For the past 3 years or so, I’ve had a 30-gallon aquarium in my office at work. It’s a relaxing (often mesmerizing) element of my office that both myself and coworkers have enjoyed for years. I feed my fish every day when I get to work, and I’ve always done regular water changes and cleanings to keep my fish healthy and my tank looking good.

It’s a very rare occasion that I add new fish to the aquarium, since I’m not too pleased with the small pet stores around my office, but on Aug. 27, 2010, my wife and I made an unusual trip across town to Big Al’s located at 1900 Innes Road, Ottawa, Ontario for the sole purpose of buying new fish to add to my aquarium. I purchased 10 new fish for my aquarium, and my wife, a school teacher, purchased a Betta fish and fishbowl for her classroom. Our bill was just over $60. We specifically made this drive to purchase from Big Al’s because I knew Big Al’s is a large chain and thought I could trust this store to purchase fish and supplies from.

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Commercial Photography Blog

Man in snow

I have started a new photo blog to showcase some of my stock photography and commercial photography. This new blog will not replace my current blog, but will be more focused on photography and photo-related items.

So, if you have a moment, please head over to my commercial photography blog and see for yourself.

Prank Chat #1

I used to make prank phone calls with my cousin when I was in high school. Now that I’m surfing the Information Super Highway, I decided that pranking live chat agents is equally as funny. Whenever you’re browsing the net and find a site with a Live Chat feature, simply pop it up and start chatting. Prank chatting is the new black.

Welcome to [Online Diamond Dealer Web site]. A Jewelry Expert will be with you shortly. You are number 1 in line to be answered. Thank you for your patience.
You are now chatting with ‘Andrew’

Andrew: Welcome to Store name. How can I help you today?
Chris: Hi Andrew. Kinda a weird question… I’m wondering if you know if it’s possible to mount a diamond to an eye patch?
Chris: I guess it would be similar to mounting a diamond onto a piece of rigid fabric
Andrew: you can possible have that done locally, yes
Andrew: exactly!
Chris: What is the physical weight of a 3.5 carat diamond?
Chris: I wonder if it would be too heavy?
Chris: Also, are some shapes more suited for mounting against fabric?
Andrew: no, it will only be a few grams very weightless for an eye patch.
Chris: For example, are some cuts more flat than others?
Andrew: you can consider princess cuts as well as round
Andrew: or emerald
Andrew: did you select a diamond you would like?
Chris: In your professional experience, what would look best on an eye patch? Right in the centre?
Andrew: round would be best
Andrew: in the center
Chris: There is a diamond I found on your site… 3.6 carat, round.. GIA cert: XXXXXXXX
Andrew: that size would be perfect
Chris: I forgot to mention that this is for my wife.. I imagine that round is best for women as well though.
Chris: It’s our anniversary in June and I thought this would be a perfect gift. I’ve gotten her jewelry in the past, but this will be so beautiful I think.
Andrew: that would be a nice gift for her.
Chris: OK. I have a question. As I’m going through the checkout, can I reference you somehow, to indicate that you’ve helped me?
Andrew: i can have that overnight to you for free
Chris: On a $22,000 sale, I would hope that you get commission.
Andrew: there is no way to indicate that on the site
Andrew: but if you provide me your order confirmation number I will ensure it is overnighted to you
Andrew: that would be appreciated yes
Chris: Ok. Will you be around for a few minutes?
Andrew: yes, I can wait
Chris: I’ll place the order and give you the number.
Chris: ok. thank you very much. you’ve been very helpful
Andrew: thank you
Andrew: would you like to pop me the number here ?
Chris: Yes, either that, or perhaps I can email you?
Chris: I’ll leave this window open though
Andrew: sure I wait here but you can also send it to (removed email address)
Chris: ok. one moment.

Inch’s Masala chicken breasts

I like to experiment while cooking. I like to throw ingredients together and see what happens. I don’t usually write down my recipes, but this one was Heather-approved, so I thought I’d share it. Basically, it’s a nice little rub or paste that you can spread on chicken to make it ultra-delicious.

Inch’s Masala Chicken Breasts

Preheat your oven for 350°F. Then put your chicken breasts on a baking tray, uncovered and start baking for about 30 mins (they shouldn’t be fully cooked yet).

  • 2 or 3 big chicken breasts

Grind the following ingredients however you’d like. I used a Magic Bullet, but you could use a mortar and pestle or a small food processor. Regardless, grind up the following ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon of chili flakes
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons of brown sugar

After these are ground nicely, then add these things:

  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of Garam Masala (you can make your own, or buy it in the spice section)
  • 1 tablespoon of lime juice.

Mix again until all ingredients are blended. Once your chicken breasts have been cooking for about 30 mins, remove them from the oven. They should still be a bit raw. Now spread your spicy paste all over the chicken, top and bottom. Put them back on the baking tray and then put a few small dots of butter:

  • 1 tablespoon of butter

Bake the chicken until it’s completely cooked. I used a meat thermometer, but another 20-30 minutes in the oven should be sufficient. If you’re really worried, then cut into the chicken and check to make sure it’s white all the way through.

New York October 31, 2009

I’m on Christmas holidays right now at my parent’s place in Kitchener. I thought that I would post a video that I made a couple months ago. This video is from a trip that Heather and I took to New York, New York on Halloween. It’s short, but hopefully you like it.

All of this was recorded using my Nikon D90, several different lenses and editing in AfterEffects.

Paypal Math

My math might be a bit rusty since graduating, but this screenshot from PayPal seems a bit off to me…

Paypal Error

Perhaps there’s more to forex than I originally thought.