Monday, July 31, 2017

The Spinbrush "Deluxe" was a superior product, but it disappeared from the market

These are better than regular Spinbrushes, but you can't find them!
     I remember when they came out with the “Spinbrush” toothbrush. For $6 I thought it was the greatest thing ever. And then one day I spied the “Spinbrush Deluxe” for about $14 and decided to try it. It was one of the best toothbrushes I’ve ever used. I talked my father, who hated to spend money, into buying one, and he said it was the best toothbrush he ever had.
    Instead of having one spinning head the Deluxe Spinbrush has seven small spinning heads. It left my teeth feeling twice as clean as a plain old Spinbrush. I loved it.
    Spinbrushes have had a rather convoluted marketing cycle. They came on the market as an independent product. Then Proctor & Gamble bought the company, with the purchase price to be established by future sales. Bad idea, since sales were astronomical, costing the company a fortune. P&G later sold the company to Arm & Hammer at a loss in order to satisfy EU anti-trust regulators. That’s why the brand has changed so many times.
    Because Spinbrushes were so cheap I tended to be quite careless with them. If a Spinbrush got lost or left somewhere I simply bought another one. To my dismay, I found a couple of years ago that the Spinbrush Deluxe had disappeared from the shelves at Wal-Mart. I don’t know why, but they are no longer there. It’s been a real disappointment.
    The other day I was cleaning out a box and found an almost-new Spinbrush Deluxe. Oh Happy Day! That’s when I decided to do a little Google research and learn about why the branding on the Spinbrush had changed so much, thus my ability to share the story above.
    I also did some shopping on Amazon and found that replacement heads for the Spinbrush Deluxe are readily available, so I’m buying some. It’s now called the “Spinbrush Sonic Truly Radiant.” The toothbrushes are also sold on Amazon, for a whopping $50!
    I wasn’t about to pay $50 for a backup toothbrush, so I checked prices on eBay and found them for $15, or a buck more than what I used to pay at Wal-Mart. I bought several and they arrived today. I gave one to each of the children to take to college.
    If you want one of these, you better head to eBay while the getting is good!

    Addendum: Well, I ordered another dozen Spin Brushes from eBay and they were exactly what I wanted. The only problem was they arrived as a "gift" from Amazon. I returned to Amazon to search once again without luck, until I added the phrase "12 pack." Up jumped a package of 12 of these beauties for $130.72. Now that Amazon charges tax I think the total would come to roughly $140, or $11.65 each. I paid $173 on eBay, so somebody made a quick $30 at my expense.
    Given how hard these toothbrushes are to find, it's probably worthwhile to go ahead and buy a dozen and give one to every member of the family while saving the rest for future travel, etc. My son loves his so much that he demanded to know why I didn't care about his dental hygiene before now!

   Here's the link to the Amazon 12-pack:

Friday, July 28, 2017

Trump right again: transexuals have no place in military, or anywhere else for that matter

    President Trump was right once again, this time by announcing a ban of transexuals in the military. Money that ought to go towards defending our country shouldn’t be spent on sex-change operations for people who are confused about their gender.
    There is an unfortunate tendency to conflate the gay rights movement with the transgender movement. One can be fully or partially supportive of gay rights while being totally opposed to the abomination known as the transgender movement.
    Most young transgendered people are in fact male homosexuals who seek to change their gender to make themselves attractive to other males. It effect transgendered people are homophobes who are unwilling to engage in a same sex-relationship with the objects of their desires. Those who accept and endorse the transgender movement society endorse homophobia.
    These people think changing their gender is going to bring about some type of eternal bliss. The problem comes when they transition – overwhelmingly from male to female – and find themselves completely unwanted in the mating game. Someone who truly appears to be a woman is not going to attract a gay male. That same "woman" is not going to attract a heterosexual male either when she admits that she is toting a penis rather than a vagina. So these so-called women now attract no one; if they had remained male they could have engaged in a gay relationship.
Nobody will sleep with them! Why?
    Stories of the frustrations of transgendered “former” males are legion; just Google it. And they are very loud about declaring that heterosexual males have a duty to sleep with them. Well, no; just no! Many of these people look like absolute freaks. Sometimes massive amounts of money and skillful surgery can do wonders, but many people end up being “females” with male body parts, and that is the prize nobody wants. This is truly confusing to ultra-leftists, as revealed by the sad but comical Vice column, "Why Can't My Famous Gender Nonconforming Friends Get Laid?"
   It’s truly insanity on a national scale when we allow teen-age boys to declare themselves to be female and immediately start competing in sports against girls who haven’t had the benefit of massive amounts of muscle- and bone-building testosterone for several years. It’s insanity when we decide that men have the right to just wake up and declare themselves a woman and start using the women’s rest room. Such rules make it absolutely impossible to enforce laws against voyeurism, since any person arrested can simply declare themselves “transgendered.”
    The language these people use is a study in weirdness. They speak of cis-ness and binary and non-binary and believe there are 62 genders. Real human beings don’t know what a “cis” is and don’t want to know. These people are ill.
    There are people who “identify” as amputees and try to do whatever they can to lose a limb. Some people “identify” as being blind, and I’ve read of at least one poor soul who poured lye in her eyes to make her body fit her perceived reality. We should pity these people, but we shouldn’t aid and abet them. If an adult engages with sex with children, should he be able to claim as a valid defense the fact that he “identifies” as a child? No! He’s factually adult, just as each of us is factually a male or a female (save for rare medical cases of ambiguous gender).
    All of this sickness just needs to stop. As a society we should have a public policy of encouraging people to make the most of the bodies they have. This should include condemnation of the homophobia that is fueling the transgender movement.
    Insofar as the military is concerned, it's not unreasonable to expect recruits to decide whether they are a man or a woman before enlisting. Recruits should pay for any gender shenanigans out of their own pockets before enlisting instead of endangering our national defense and depleting our national treasury by demanding expensive sex-change operations on the public dime. It's not too much to ask. It really isn't.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

To see Russia on the cheap and easy, take the St. Peter Line ferry from Helsinki

    Getting a Russian visa is one of those things that makes most Americans just not go. A single-entry visa costs $123 and involves the cost and hassle of getting an official letter of invitation. A multiple-entry visa costs $303 and lasts for three years. Both require a lot of patience or the use of a visa processing agency.
    One exception to Russia’s strict visa rules is for visitors who arrive by ship, who get 72 hours visa-free. So those not wanting to spend a lot of money and effort on a visa can just buy a cruise! Except that’s not a very economical option, either. And cruise lines hold their passengers hostage to only taking official ship tours – nothing is worse. I like to see places on my own, not surrounded with a bus load of other people.
    We decided to try the one cheap option to visit St. Petersburg, which is to take a ferry operated by St. Peter Line. Our round-trip from Helsinki to St. Petersburg on the “Princess Anastasia” cost a total of 380 euros for the four of us and included a very small four-person cabin each way. Travel time was about 18 hours each way, but we spent quite a while in port in St. Petersburg on each end, turning that into about 24 hours, as the ferry holds you on board to make sure no one violates the 72-hour rule. The Russian visa-free rules require the purchase of an official “tour,” an obligation we satisfied by purchasing a 25-euro bus ride from the ship to and from the center of town.

    I’m not sure what image a “ferry” conjures in the typical traveler’s mind, but at one time the thought wasn’t too appealing. The fact is, however, that there are some pretty nice ferries out there. Think of the “Princess Anastasia” as a bottom-of-the-line cruise ship, with decent restaurants, bars, a show or two, and even kids' entertainment. Our stateroom was incredibly small, but since it was for such a short trip we survived. One travel tip: Pack everyone’s toiletries and a change of clothes in a separate bag so there will be no need to access each suitcase; there isn’t room to open them all up at once. There are, by the way, larger and more luxurious staterooms, but we were traveling on a budget.
    It's always easy to bust a budget. The ferry has some budget dining options as well as a couple of nice restaurants. We ended up eating at the nicer places, thus running up our tab, although I should note that dinner at one of the "nicer" restaurants with a couple of glasses of wine cost $85; so the food wasn't unreasonably priced. I think a beer or drink cost about $4.50, which is less than on the typical cruise ship.
    We had absolutely no problem navigating St. Petersburg on our own. We rented a very nice and large two-bedroom apartment through for about $450 for three nights. A data sim card for my mifi hotspot cost four dollars for five gigabytes (I kid you not!). Food and drink were reasonable and Uber rides cost about $1.50 each. Everyone loves America and our president.
    For our return journey we de-boarded the ferry at Tallin instead of Helsinki; this cost an extra 10 euros each and allowed us to sleep until 11 a.m. Tallin is worth a visit, too, but I’ll leave to another day or another blogger.
    The best way to book is on the St. Peter Line site. The company does sell “cruises,” which I don’t recommend. Instead, book a ferry trip with a return three days after arrival. You are allowed exactly 72 hours in Russia without a visa, so don’t be late on your return.

The bars were like those on a cruise ship

Almost a kid's club!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Delbert Hosemann's poke in Donald Trump's eye may prove costly in next election

    Love him or hate him, but Donald Trump has rearranged the political order of both parties. The old politics simply aren’t going to work any more.
    Trump has appointed an Election Integrity Commission to investigate the rampant voter fraud that has been taking place in virtually every state and national election for years. How could any honest person complain? Obviously those with a vested interest in promoting voter fraud don’t want to cooperate.
    Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann responded to the Election Commission’s request for information by telling them to “Go jump in the Gulf.” There was a time when a response like this to a federal demand would earn a Mississippi politician an easy ride in the next election. I think Hosemann is going to learn that the rules have changed. Most Mississippians support Donald Trump and want to put an end to voter fraud.
    It’s important to note that all of the information requested by the commission is public record or information the government already has. For example, the federal government already has our social security numbers – there’s no need for the state to withhold these.
    Whether intentionally or not, Hosemann has thrown his support behind those who want to rig our nations elections. In 2014 Hosemann did everything he could to prevent a proper investigation of the Thad Cochran-Chris McDaniel senate race, which was a giant fraud-fest. The bottom line is that by both word and deed Delbert Hosemann supports voter fraud.
    Hosemann will find out soon enough that Donald Trump has more support in Mississippi than he does. My hope is that his political career is over.