Friday Fun

  • Trick-or-Treat! Halloween Safety Tips from Wi-Ex

    October 29, 2010 - Leave a Comment

    Here are some suggestions from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission to keep you and your family safe and happy this Halloween.

    1.     Treats: Warn children not to eat any treats before an adult has carefully examined them for evidence of tampering.

    2.     Flame Resistant Costumes: When purchasing a costume, masks, beards, and wigs, look for the label Flame Resistant. Although this label does not mean these items won't catch fire, it does indicate the items will resist burning and should extinguish quickly once removed from the ignition source. To minimize the risk of contact with candles or other sources of ignition, avoid costumes made with flimsy materials and outfits with big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts.

    3.     Costume Designs: Purchase or make costumes that are light and bright enough to be clearly visible to motorists.

    • Trim costumes with reflective tape that will glow in the beam of a car's headlights.
    •  Bags or sacks should also be light colored or decorated with reflective tape.
    • To easily see and be seen, children should also carry flashlights.
    • Costumes should be short enough to prevent children from tripping and falling.
    • Children should wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes.
    • Hats and scarfs should be tied securely to prevent them from slipping over children's eyes.
    • Apply a natural mask of cosmetics rather than have a child wear a loose-fitting mask that might restrict breathing or obscure vision. If a mask is used, however, make sure it fits securely and has eyeholes large enough to allow full vision.
    • Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be of soft and flexible material.

    4.     Pedestrian Safety:

    • Young children should always be accompanied by an adult or an older, responsible child.
    • All children should WALK, not run from house to house and use the sidewalk if available, rather than walk in the street.
    • Children should be cautioned against running out from between parked cars, or across lawns and yards where ornaments, furniture, or clotheslines present dangers.

    5.     Choosing Safe Houses: Children should go only to homes where the residents are known and have outside lights on as a sign of welcome.

    • Children should not enter homes or apartments unless they are accompanied by an adult.
    • People expecting trick-or-treaters should remove anything that could be an obstacle from lawns, steps and porches.
    • Candlelit jack-o'-lanterns should be kept away from landings and doorsteps where costumes could brush against the flame.
    •  Indoor jack-o'-lanterns should be kept away from curtains, decorations, and other furnishings that could be ignited.

     

    Also, if you're being careful about your candy intake this year, check out Hungry Girl's suggestions for which candies to nibble on this year!

    She lists all the nutritional information, and even the Weight Watcher's points for the different candy options this year so you can keep yourself and your family healthy while treating yourselfs  to some Halloween candy!

  • Fantasy Football

    October 15, 2010 - Leave a Comment

    It's that time of year again, the time when the men in your life will spend countless hours sitting in front of the TV on Saturday and Sunday screaming.  That's right it's football season ladies!  If the man in your life is anything like mine then you know from September to February on the weekends he is already fully committed to the teams in his life.  Not only is he glued to the TV during these wonderful fall weekends, but I have a new bone to pick and it is will fantasy football.  If it wasn't bad enough with them glued to the TV now they are also glued to their computers checking on how the fantasy team is doing!!  It is quite amazing how large fantasy football has become!  Not only do I hear boyfriend and his friends talking about it but I have heard the newscasters for ESPN talk about their fantasy teams, but more shocking is when the local news sports anchor talks about his team! 

    Well this past weekend I thought I would try and run interference.  I unplugged the cable to the router.  That's right I stooped that low, but hey I figured if I could at least eliminate the fantasy football checking then I would get some sort of interaction with him during commercials. =)  Then it happened when he couldn't get the computer to work he pulled out his cell phone.  I thought to myself there is no way he can do this on his phone, but low and behold I found out that you can now check fantasy football scores on your cell phone browser!  I decided to question my boyfriend as to when he learned that he could access his fantasy team through his phone.  He went on to explain to me how yes he can do it through his phone but only because we had zBoost by Wi-Ex.  Since the zBoost allows us to have best possible signal in our home his phone is able to download and upload data for his fantasy team.  Without the zBoost he said it would have taken too long to download his fantasy team's page.  The zBoost saved his Sunday as he was able to make changes to his fantasy team after hearing a report about one of his players for Monday night's game had been injured.  He never has to worry about his cell phone signal being so low he cannot access his fantasy team as long as we have the zBoost.

  • Inventor of cell phone: We knew someday everybody would have one

    July 16, 2010 - Leave a Comment

    (CNN) -- In 1973, Martin Cooper changed the world, although he didn't know it yet.

    Cooper and his team at Motorola, the communications company, created maybe the only thing that runs the lives of business professionals and teenagers alike -- the cell phone.

    It was the size of a brick and wasn't commercially sold for another decade. But as Cooper demonstrated on a New York sidewalk, it worked.

    The concept of cellular technology had already been created by Motorola's rival, AT&T, whose Bell Labs introduced a system allowing calls to be moved from one cell to another while remaining on the same channel. But AT&T was focusing this technology on the car phone.

    Cooper wanted people to have freedom to talk on the phone away from their cars. So in reaction, he and Motorola embarked on a project to create a more portable device.

    Motorola spent three months building a prototype for a portable, mobile handset that Cooper publicly demonstrated in April of 1973. The company's first commercial cellular phone, the "DynaTAC," went on sale 10 years later.

    Cooper, now 81, is founder of ArrayComm, a company working to improve cellular networks, smart antenna and wireless communication. He and his wife are also inventors of the Jitterbug, a simplified cell phone geared to senior citizens.

    To read more about the inventor of the cell phone, go to: CNN.com

    To learn how to boost your smartphone or cell phone and visit: Wi-Ex and check out our line of zBoost products!

  • 4th of July Weekend

    July 2, 2010 - Leave a Comment

    4th of July Fun Facts:

    • On this day in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. As always, this most American of holidays will be marked by parades, fireworks and backyard barbecues across the country.
    • 2.5 million: In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation.
      Source: Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970 <http://www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/statab.html>
    • 309.6 million: The nation's estimated population on this July Fourth.
      Source: Population clock <http://www.census.gov/main/www/popclock.html>
    • $209 million: The value of fireworks imported from China in 2009, representing the bulk of all U.S. fireworks imported ($217 million). U.S. exports of fireworks, by comparison, came to just $42.9 million in 2009, with the United Arab Emirates purchasing more than any other country ($14.5 million).
      Source: Foreign Trade Statistics <http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/>
    • $331.4 million: The value of U.S. manufacturers' shipments of fireworks and pyrotechnics (including flares, igniters, etc.) in 2007. Source: 2007 Economic Census <http://www.census.gov/econ/census07/>
    • 76 million: Number of Americans who said they have taken part in a barbecue during the previous year. It's probably safe to assume a lot of these events took place on Independence Day.
      Source: Mediamark Research & Intelligence, as cited in the Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010
      <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab>, Table 1203

    Wi-Ex wishes you a happy and safe 4th of July weekend!

    Visit USA.gov for more history about Independence Day, fireworks information, and safety tips to make sure everyone has a great weekend!

  • Tips from a Mommy Blogger

    May 7, 2010 - Leave a Comment

    I grew up in a very small town where everyone in my family lived within a 10 mile radius. Needless to say my family was at every birthday party, around for every holiday, dance recital - you name it and they were there - mom, dad, grandmothers, aunts, uncles and cousins.  When I decided to leave NC,  I joined my one other Aunt who lives outside of that 10 mile radius. Combine that with marrying my husband from Baltimore and my family became a radius of several states and thousands of miles.  When it came time for our first son to arrive - the first grandchild on both sides - I knew we needed to figure out a way to make those thousands of miles disappear. That is the day I joined the Mommy Blogging World!

    Over the last three plus years I have blogged - in the voice of a 3 year old and most recently the addition of our 7 month old - on every topic you can imagine that deals with babies, toddlers and preschoolers.

    Make a schedule

    Since I work in PR I love a good spreadsheet! Now I don't take the kids blogging that far but I do blog mostly on Sunday nights for the week ahead. This means some of the updates are a week old but no one really cares :) I do plan ahead for special occasions like birthdays and holidays so they hit on the right day.

    Know your audience

    My blog is for our family and friends and the grandparents love pictures. They like to read what the kids are doing as long as there is a picture to go with it! I learned the hard way that typing out paragraphs of what the kids are doing is not as effective as posting a picture.  This has helped me take a lot more pictures that I would have before since if for nothing else it gives me a post for that week.  So depending on who you are blogging for make the most of it for them and you.

    Have some fun

    Now that my son is a daily reason for me to ask "did he really say that!" I write myself emails of the things he says and does so I don't forget.   I can't wait until he is old enough to look back at the things he has said and the outfits he has put together - Don't think I don't mention that in photos so one day I don't hear: " Mom I can't believe you made me wear that!"

    Save it

    I am working now on taking the first three years of my son and making into a blog book so that he will always have it with him to look back on all the important (like walking and crawling) and not so important (like his favorite food as a 2 year old) milestones.

    Blogging Tips from A Preschooler Pro:

    I also thought you might find my 3 year old son's tips for his baby sister interesting:

    As I am now an expert blogger (over 2 1/2 years under my belt) I decided to give Sissy some tips on blogging

    - The old people really like pictures! They get a little antsy if they go a few days without pictures.

    - Blog often or you will lose your audience (really just get emails from the old people that they need some updates :) they won't really go anywhere)

    - No topic is off limits. I put warnings when I talk about poop but that is a major part of our life at this point so everyone should expect a little poop talk every now and then.

    As we head into Mother's Day weekend I hope all the Mommy's out there - Bloggers and non-bloggers - have a wonderful day.

    "A mother's arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them."
    -- Victor Hugo

  • Arbor Day

    April 30, 2010 - Leave a Comment

    Picture

    Today is Arbor Day, a holiday celebrated around the world. In the United States, Arbor Day was founded in 1872 by J. Sterling Morton in Nebraska City, Nebraska.

    Here are some suggestions on how to celebrate Arbor Day this year from www.ArborDay.org:

    Celebration Ideas

    Group Celebrations

    • Raise the flag, strike up the band, make Arbor Day fun. Make it memorable.
    • Organize a beautification project in a public area.
    • Get people into action. Ask a civic or service group to promote a paper drive to gather paper to be recycled and save a tree. Use the proceeds to buy a special tree to plant in a park or other special public place.
    • Hold a poster contest, or a poetry contest.
    • Sponsor a children’s pageant or play.
    • Fill the air with music. Have an Arbor Day concert of songs about trees, or with tree names in their titles.
    • Sponsor a tree trivia contest. Give away trees to winners.
    • Conduct a tree search. Ask people to find large, unusual or historic trees in your community. Once the results are in, publish a map that highlights the winners, or hold a walk showcasing them.
    • Tell people to take a hike — a tree identification hike — and have girl scouts or boy scouts act as guides.
    • Dedicate a forest, or a tree, or a flower bed in a park, and make it an occasion to talk about stewardship. Get a local nursery or garden center to hold an open house or field day. Organize an Arbor Day Fair.
    • Encourage neighborhood organizations to hold block parties and get their members to adopt and care for street trees in front of their homes. Pass out buttons. Give away trees.

    Individual Celebration

    • Celebrate Arbor Day in a personal way by planting a tree yourself. It is an act of optimism and kindness, a labor of love and a commitment to stewardship.
    • Read a book about trees. Learn to identify trees in your yard and neighborhood.
    • Enjoy the outdoors. Visit a local park or take a nature hike.
    • Attend a class on tree and plant care.
    • Volunteer with a local tree-planting organization. You’ll meet new people and make a difference in your community.

    For more history about Arbor Day: http://www.arborday.org/arborday/history.cfm

    To find out how you can get involved: http://www.arborday.org/arborday/

  • Spring Cleaning at Work

    April 16, 2010 - Leave a Comment

    Spring Cleaning isn’t just for your house. Whether you can relate to any of the following or not, it’s time to “spring clean” your computer AND/OR your iphone or equivalent.

    1. Your computer desktop screen image could be relabeled “Sasquatch” – you are pretty sure it exists, but really can’t get a good look at it—it’s underneath all those desktop shortcuts, program downloads and files.
    2. When accessing your mailbox, it takes minutes to upload the over 1000 messages in your inbox -   some are so old, they include the video from Baja’s remake of “Who Let the Dogs Out” (2000).  (Still a favorite for 6 year olds and UGA Bulldog fans)!
    3. You thought it was odd that your computer included a program called “defrag” – clearly some game from the PBS “Fraggle Rock” children series – nothing you need to “play”.
    4. You think your computer is haunted because applications shut down mysteriously and sometimes reboot your machine.
    5. You have had a visit from the blue screen “fairy” and your computer went dead.  The fairy is clearly a minion sent by the people that provide us back-up drives and security software.

    Start cleaning:  We’ll start at # 5 above and count backwards -

    1. If you have ever had a Blue Screen Fairy visit, then you know that the most important thing to do is backup your files. Do it daily, weekly, monthly or yearly – To quote Nike – “Just Do It.” I use a Seagate Passport and love it.  Buy one, plug it into your computer and follow the instructions. This may take some time the first time, so it might be a good time for a coffee break – you’ll have time to brew a couple of pots, the first time you back up.  a.) At this time- it’s probably a good time to download a free anti-virus software program – if you don’t already have one.
    2. After backing up your computer, it’s time to clean up all those old pictures, videos and old large corporate files .  You probably don’t need to be storing 5 years of family photos and videos on your computer.  And, when was the last time you accessed that 16Mb, memory-hogging, 3-year-old ppt presentation.  Make sure they are stored on the Seagate hard drive, then delete them and free-up a couple of gigs of memory from your computer. 
    3. On my machine, I find this program by going into  ”control panel”  then “administrative tools,” then “storage management” – it may vary, but most machine come with a Defrag program.  Run defrag—Again this is time consuming – but it will make your computer more efficient and faster.  Time for more coffee – maybe it needs to be made “Irish” – I am part Irish. :)
    4. Use folders and subfolders to store messages and files on your computer.  Think of your computer like a filing cabinet or a desk.  Would you really just put file folders and documents all over the top of it?  Not likely.  If you have never used folders – start now.  I know it’s time-consuming, but it will make future cleaning and searching go faster.  When I get behind and overwhelmed by the thought of this task, I have occasionally labeled some folders by month or season or desperately, by year, and moved everything from that time into it.   (It’s not the best system, but it’s a start.)   

     

    When you have cleaned up your computer, like other spring cleaning – it feels great!

  • Daylight Savings Time Begins This Weekend

    March 12, 2010 - Leave a Comment

    One of the first signs of spring is the arrival of Daylight Saving Time. Remember to move your clocks forward by one hour this weekend. On Saturday night before heading to bed be sure to change your clock or you will be running an hour behind for all of your Sunday activities.

    In the olden days, the extra hour of daylight was used for farm work but if you have your chores done, use your extra hour taking a long walk with a friend or loved one.

    The following excerpt regarding Daylight Saving Time was taken from About.com:Geography. For more information click on the following link:

    http://geography.about.com/cs/daylightsavings/a/dst.htm

    This Sunday, March 14, 2010 at 2 a.m., Daylight Saving Time begins in the United States.

    Every spring we move our clocks one hour ahead and "lose" an hour during the night and each fall we move our clocks back one hour and "gain" an extra hour. The phrase "Spring forward, Fall back" helps people remember how Daylight Saving Time affects their clocks. At 2 a.m. on the second Sunday in March, we set our clocks forward one hour ahead of Standard Time ("spring forward"). We "Fall back" at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday in November by setting our clock back one hour and thus returning to Standard Time.

    The change to Daylight Saving Time allows us to use less energy in lighting our homes by taking advantage of the longer and later daylight hours. Daylight Saving Time was instituted in the United States during World War I in order to save energy for war production by taking advantage of the later hours of daylight between April and October. During World War II the federal government again required the states to observe the time change. Between the wars and after World War II, states and communities chose whether or not to observe Daylight Saving Time. In 1966, Congress passed the Uniform Time Act, which standardized the length of Daylight Saving Time.

    Daylight Saving Time is four weeks longer since 2007 due to the passage of the Energy Policy Act in 2005. The Act extended Daylight Saving Time by four weeks from the second Sunday of March to the first Sunday of November, with the hope that it would save 10,000 barrels of oil each day through reduced use of power by businesses during daylight hours.

  • Belief in Ideas

    July 24, 2009 - Leave a Comment

    If I were required to guess off-hand, and without collusion with higher minds, what is the bottom cause of the amazing material and intellectual advancement of the last fifty years, I should guess that it was the modern-born and previously non-existent disposition on the part of men to believe that a new idea can have value.

    Was this said last week, last year or over 100 years ago? 

    It’s appropriate to write on the topic of “believing in new ideas” during the week of the 40th anniversary of landing on the moon. Technology may be a driving force and the internet and smart phones have surely changed the way we communicate, but it probably started with an idea and the openness to that idea.  I have to agree with Mark Twain on his belief in ideas.  (Yes, the quote is over 100 years old and still kicking.) 

    Being in technology marketing, I have witnessed many times, one group of very smart non-believers say something is “impossible” and another group proving them wrong in time.  No magic, no voodoo (that I know of) just belief in an idea and lots of hard work, sleepless nights and determination in figuring out how to bring “the idea” to life. The “believers” don’t always persevere, but they still believe.  I never get bored in the technology industry and I no longer give credit to the voice at the table that says “it’s impossible”.  In fact, just the opposite -  I usually think – ok if we don’t do it, someone else will – the idea has slipped out, now SOMEONE will believe and bring it to life

    At this time, there a product out there that I never thought I would see – I didn’t believe it was possible and it has changed my life.  It’s at the top of my “made my life better” list of products.  I am thinking of a product that I didn’t believe could exist.   No, I am not pitching zBoost – it’s great – and it works and it’s changed my life by keeping me from running to the windows to answer my mobile.  Although zBoost is up there on my list, the top product is the product that I thought was impossible -- the CHI hair straightener.  I’m just saying – it’s amazing and hard to believe that it works! (If you ever saw me on a rainy day, you would know what I mean.)

    So take some time this summer to be open to new ideas and believe.  Go ahead and comment on products that made your life easier.  

    If you want to guest blog – send your thoughts to kpatterson@wi-ex.com .  If you want us to follow you on Twitter, send your info to jarko@wi-ex.com.

  • Pepcom's Digital Experience

    June 26, 2009 - Leave a Comment

    Happy Friday!

    With the Atlanta temperature nearing 100, it is hard to think about the holidays but the zBoost team got into the holiday spirit in June Wednesday night for the annual Pepcom Digital Experience Event in New York. The event showcased a variety of products and services that are a perfect fit for those upcoming holiday gift guides!  With more than 250 media in attendance, the zBoost team spent some quality time talking about our complete line of products with media including  Good Housekeeping, Wall Street Journal, BBC News, PCMag and Popular Mechanics.

    Here's a look at our favorite products of the show and what might be showing up on our team's holiday wish list this season.  

    1. Moen io Digital Shower Control with Remote Control ($1200)

    043Are you tired of standing around waiting for the perfect shower! Well wait no more!  The Moen io Digital Shower Control allows you to program 4 different unique shower experiences. Button one can be for one family member and they may choose it to be hot with a lighter spray. the next family member might like the water warm not hot and a hard spray. The real beauty is it has a remote control and you can start the shower from your bed and it will alert you when the shower is ready.

    2.The System Mechanic ($49.99) Software

    046Have you seen the blue death screen on your laptop to desktop one time too many?  The System Mechanic  Software fixes registry errors, restores stability and performance and speeds up your PC automatically. Keeps your PC running fast, safe and error free. Can be used on up to 3 PCs and has more than 22 million worldwide users.  They said it would fix Roni's  blue screen problem that keeps shutting down her windows programs. Stay tuned for an update from Roni on how it works!

    3. Energizer ENERGY TO GO AP 1500 ($79.99)

    AP1500Can your iPhone battery make it through your busy day? The Energizer ENERGY TO GO AP 1500 doubles the battery life of the iPhone.   This protective sleek case with no slip grips for the iPhone, has a built in-battery that doubles the life of the battery on each charge. No more running out of battery mid day. This will give you twice the charge and carry you through from morning till night. Rechargeable up to 500 times, weighs 87 grams.  For more information see (www.power your iPhone.com)

    4. zBoost Cell Phone Signal Boosters

    038Are you like one of the 70%of American's who have poor in-door cell phone service? If so look no more for the perfect gift.  The zBoost complete line of award winning consumer cell phone signal boosters makes a perfect gift for everyone on your list from the Mobile Mom to the Urban Dweller to the Land Line Loser.  zBoost creates Cell Zones™ for the home, office, car, personal space and travel.  zBoost reduces dropped calls and improves cell phone signal indoors, as well as increases signal and speed of aircards, EDGE and 3G technology. Make sure to check back on Monday for more information on our latest product introduction - the zBoost-ONE UMTS. Perfect for your friends or loved ones living outside of the US and needed a boost for their data.

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