Tag Archives: consumer

Useful Real Estate Links

Central Ohio Real Estate Entrepreneurs is the local Columbus real estate investor club.

Franklin County

Franklin County Auditor has property owner information.

Franklin County Sheriff Sales has foreclosure auction information.

Columbus Development Commission

Franklin County Sex Offenders Search

Trulia Crime Map

Delaware County

Delaware County Auditor

Delaware County Sheriff Sales

Loan Programs

OHFA 1st Time Home Buyer Down Payment Assistance Mortgage Tax Credit Etc.

Grants for Grads

National

FHA Approved List

National Association of Realtors® Economist Outlook

NETR Online has the link to all public records websites around the US

Nate’s Favorite Things 2016

I have just two favorite things this year. They must be good then!

1. Audible and The Great Courses

The Great Courses are separate from, but available through Audible. They each deserve to be on my list in their own right, but I group them together because that’s how I buy them. I have an Audible subscription and I use many of my monthly credits on The Great Courses. Audible is Amazon’s way of selling audio books. For me, they have transformed several otherwise boring tasks such as removing wallpaper, yard work, and driving between Ohio and North Carolina, into riveting adventures. The Great Courses are series of lectures organized into 30 or 45 minute segments given by the best professors that academia has to offer on each subject. I am currently listening to my 4th. I highly recommend “History’s Greatest Stories of Exploration,” to start. You’ll be hooked! Better than fiction!

2. Darn Tough Socks

Have you ever been down to your last socks and thought, “This is gonna be a bad sock day.” Why? Why wear cheap, thin old socks? Throw them out! Donate them! The industrial revolution has brought all the comforts that technology can offer and you reject the efforts of our ancestors by wearing third-rate socks to save a few dollars? Socks touch your skin all day long. They have to deal with your sweaty feet. They support you when you stand and walk. They have to fit like gloves. If you spend more than $10,000 on a car in which you spend less than an hour per day, how can you justify saving $10 on socks? It’s ridiculous!

Darn Tough socks were part of the gear issued when I was in the military before we went on deployment. Great gear. Everybody loved them. They are expensive, but worth the money. There is only one drawback, they are not good for hot weather.

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year! I hope you kick back with some new socks and listen to an audio book!

Oprah has 104 favorite things this year. That’s 2 new things per week, each week, all year long. Really!? Clearly my list is 52 times as authentic as hers.

Non-Fiction

Stranger than Fiction

A man fails as an actor, then goes to Alaska to live with grizzly bears? No way you say. Yep. The only question is, will the bears eat him?

A church founded by a science-fiction writer gains worldwide power? Yep, true. Watch out for Scientology.

Better than Fiction

A dolphin loses its tail, then becomes an inspiration to human amputees. Check it out! Straight out of Clearwater, Florida.

Nate’s Favorite Things 2015

Oprah has 87 favorite things this year. For her favorite things, click her picture.

Oprah Christmas
Click the picture for Oprah’s favorite things.

Notice she has teamed up with Amazon this year! She must have stolen that idea from me, since I have been doing that right here on my website since March 2014. Oprah is rich and trendy. Her favorite things are expensive and trendy. My favorite things are just awesome. See below.

1. GE LED Light Bulbs

Technology has finally produced a bulb to truly replace the incandescent light bulb. These have all of the advantages of the incandescent bulb with none of the drawbacks of compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs), and use less energy than CFLs. They even look just like regular light bulbs. Perfect for that guy on your list who just wants cash. One 60W equivalent that costs less than $6 saves more than $100 in electricity over the 22 year life of the bulb!

40 Watt Equivalent

60 Watt Equivalent

I have not bought anything more than a 60 watt. Maybe next year.

2. Simple Kneads Gluten-free Bread

Brand new product available to order only since last week! The best gluten-free bread available. Get it while it’s hot! My favorite is the sourdough.

3. The Best Phone Charger You Can Buy

Ever notice that some chargers charge your phone fast and some take a long time? That is because of the current rating of the charger. This thing puts out enough power to light that 40 watt (equivalent) bulb above! It also has a long cable with a little light on the end and a USB port so you can remove the cable.

4. The Best Car Charger You Can Buy

Same as above, but for your car.

5. Supplemental Battery

This will run any phone (even smart phones) for several days on a charge. I used it while traveling on my bike for days at a time.

6. Trailer Hitch Bike Rack

While not as beefy or secure as its name-brand $450 counterparts, it gets the job done for 130 bucks. It is certainly heavy-duty enough that the bikes will not come off on the highway. You can get it stolen twice and still spend the same as for the name-brand!

7. Go Buckeyes!

8. At a Glance Phrasebooks by Barron’s

For whatever language, At a Glance phrasebooks are the best you can buy. They have the usual phrases, as well as pronunciation, and a handy dictionary in the back. I have personally used the Japanese, Korean, and Portuguese. Good pocket size and sturdy cover. Only one fits in your pocket. This is the best one.

9. The Best Pens

How many different types of pens are out there? Way more than there should be. This should be the only type. They are the best.

10. Kindle Paperwhite and Carrying Case

The Kindle Paperwhite is the best e-reader out there. I haven’t used the other e-readers, so how do I know? Because you can’t improve on perfect. The screen looks like paper, the pages flip fast, and it has a built-in back light for reading at night. You’ll want to be able to carry it without scratching the screen and this case is just that. Nothing fancy, just a well-fitting cover.

11. Jump Rope

A great product for a great exercise. It has ball bearings, adjustable length, and what else do you need in a rope?

 

My Favorite Things

Oprah and I have a few things in common. For one, we both have favorite things. If you want to see her favorite things, click her picture. If you would rather see my favorite things, read on.

OPR120113_000

Check out the Amazon Affiliate program for an explanation of why I made this post.

If you have never read your e-mails, browsed Facebook, Netflix, or YouTube from your couch, then you are missing out, trust me. With this on my lap, my wireless roller ball mouse in one hand and the King of Beers in the other, I am king of my domain (my domain being my living room).


Borderline sadistic, this product makes you want there to be more flies to kill. For an extra $10, there is also a PRO version for those man-eating horse flies.

This flashlight got me through many aircraft pre-flights in Afghanistan with the white light, then switched colors to green for the flight. Single AA battery, durable metal, bright enough. Must-have flashlight.

Favorite movie, hands down.

Seriously? They sell Snickers bars on Amazon? It is my favorite candy bar, but I actually don’t recommend buying 48 at a time…

The Ultimate Commuter Bike

Bike to work, because driving cars everywhere makes us soft and weak.

This is the Ultimate Commuter Bike. The bike and accessories are tried and true by me for over 1400 miles and counting. Build one with the links in this post.

In order to set yourself up for commuter success, the right accessories are the key. Flat tires, you can’t have them. Theft, it might happen, but it can’t break the bank if it does. The sun is down half the time. You are going to have to ride in the dark.

It is simple and reliable. The bike is a single speed. The single speed chain never comes off and rarely needs adjusted. The bike itself, the Motobecane Fantom Cross Uno costs $399.

The “egg beater” pedal clips are great for beginners. They are designed for mountain biking, making them easy to get in and out of and impervious to dirt.

I have never had a single flat on the tires. The bike pump is portable and effective for keeping those tires hard and ready to ride.

Inexpensive: A simple, lightweight cable that you can wrap around the frame prevents crimes of opportunity, but short of carrying a U-Lock everywhere, theft can happen. $400 for the bike is the least you will pay for a legitimate bike. If it does get stolen–like mine did in 2012–hopefully you’ve gotten a few hundred miles out of it first.

Versatile: the cyclocross bike is good on the road, and still able to go off road when necessary unlike sissy pure road bikes with tiny tires.

Day and night: with the bright rechargeable AA battery powered headlight and AAA battery powered tail light, day and night riding is safe. With the single speed bike, you won’t go too fast for your light at night.

Other items that make your ride more enjoyable on the good days and bearable on the bad are a good pair of gloves. A good bike tool that is light and versatile is useful for on-the-road and at-home repair. Back sweat from a back pack is no fun, a good messenger bag eliminates this and gives you lots of compartments for little items you want for every ride. A water bottle with a removable bottom makes cleaning easy.

None of these accessories will make the ride easy. It will still be cold, dark, wet, and scary on your ride at times. Your success will always depend on your own fortitude, but these will remove any excuses you might have. I personally own and use each of these accessories and each is worth every penny I paid after hundreds of miles. The total accessories I purchased cost about $400.

Biking makes us lean and strong.