Welcome to My World

-Welcome to the new & improved blog, Life In The Trenches.  On here I will be detailing things from everyday life, such as, recommendations of things that I have come across and the panning of those that I have found to be waste of time and money.  I will occasionally post some rants about things that I find annoying and raves about things that I get excited about.  I also author a couple of other blogs: My Family Research, which I use to detail my experience in researching my family history and post interesting/relevant information.  Then there is Digging Around Winslow Township which will be revised and repurposed in the near future (most likely to be changed to detail trains and railroads which I have a great interest in).  Other than that, enjoy my current endeavor and if you wish to comment, please feel free to register and post your thoughts.  However, I must say that I will be moderating all comments and determining if they get included or not.  Sorry, my blog…my rules.

Lastly, I may include some links in my posting where I may be receive a commission amount.  Please read my Affiliate Disclaimer (the link is also located at the top of the page).

If You Can Wait, You Can Save

Not all of us are loaded with money that we can just spend frivolously. We’re not talking major purchases here. We’re talking little items that we feel are nice to have but aren’t critical to have. Things like ear buds but don’t want to pay the exorbitant prices most paces charge. I came across an online shopping site that charges lower and more reasonable prices for such items. The online shopping site is called Wish.com. The items offered here are not top-of-the-line name brands but all the items I’ve purchased I haven’t been concerned about the brand, just the functionality of the product.

There is one shortfall with Wish.com. That is that shipping will take more than a couple of days. Most, if not all, products come from Asian countries. So, the shipment may take a couple of weeks to reach you. I have been very satisfied with their quality and service levels. The only issues I have had with a couple of items that were accessories for my Pixel phone. But for what I paid for them I really can’t complain. I bought one product that I was notified that it was delivered but I never received it. I just notified customer service of that and they promptly refunded my purchase price. Another time I purchased another item that was delivered totally damaged and unusable. Again, I notified customer service and sent them a picture of the damaged item and they promptly refunded my purchased price. If you find a product that interests you, you can read reviews that other customers have left about that product. Overall, I have no major complaints with them.

If you don’t mind waiting a little longer for delivery and aren’t too rigid about purchasing name brands only then you should give Wish.com a try. Download the Wish app or register at their web site and use promo code msfhqfl on your first order to get up to 50% off! You can get the app here: https://www.wish.com/dl/share.

Do NOT Buy or Use These

My car has a Tire Pressure Monitoring System where there is a small electronic device attached to the valve stem on the inside of edach rim that reads the tire pressure for each tires and send the info to the central computer in the car. When the tire pressure goes lower than the prescribed level you end up with a warning light on your dashboard telling you to check your tire pressure. However, it doesn’t tell you which tire is reading a low tire pressure.

So to help me and make things more convenient I bought these Auto Tire Monitor Valve Caps that are screwed on over the existing valves. When the pressure in a tire dropped more than 5 psi below the maximum (I bought the 32 psi caps) the color would change from GREEN to YELLOW. If the pressure dropped more than 10 psi then the color would change to RED.

Now the issue I have has nothing to do with their functionality, they work as described and they are convenient. The problem is the design. They are roughly about 1″ is length. The tire valve without them are tucked in below the wheel rim. When you add these caps the valve is extended beyond the edge of the rim, they stick out. Now, during normal driving this isn’t a problem. However if you end up rubbing your tires against the concrete curb or ride up along the edge of the curb by accident, the odds are very good that you will shear the valve stem off. Before TPMS became standard on cars this wouldn’t be a major cost issue. The old valve stems cost a couple of dollars. You’d still have the inconvenience of having to change the tire (unless you have AAA) and taking the wheel to a repair shop to replace the valve. But the valve only cost a couple of dollars.

Now, with cars coming standard with TPMS the valve and monitoring system are integrated with each other and can cost from about $60 and up! I have had to replace 2 of my valves because of these caps. As convenient as they are, they’re just not worth it. I paid about $7-8 for the set but the replacement valves have cost me over $140.

I don’t purposely drive my car for the tires to scrape the curbs but minor mishaps do happen, especially when your dealing with traffic and other drivers. I guess I’ll just forego these pressure sensor caps and just use my electric tire pump to check all 4 tires when the tire pressure warning light comes on.

What I’m Reading – The Void Within: The Cluster Saga Book One

As some of you may or may not know is that I am a sci-fi fan. I love almost anything that is sci-fi. Although, I’m not a Trekkie, I do love the series and all of the spin-offs. I’m now a fan of The Orville. I’m seriously considering subscribing to Hulu because the 3rd Season has been moved from the Fox Network over to Hulu. But I’m also a great fan of sci-fi books. I have an Amazon Fire Tablet that use to buy ebooks and read them.

The latest one that I am currently reading is called The Void Within: The Cluster Saga Book One by Carlos R. Tkacz, The summary of the book as listed on Amazon is:

“The 25th century. Humanity has discovered a new form of energy, the Source, derived from the very basis of life itself. Using this power to travel instantaneously through space, humans have spread through their corner of the galaxy and coalesced into two groups: the Coalition and the Inner Cluster. They are held in an uneasy economic and cultural relationship by their reliance on each other, the Coalition with the technology of the Source and the Inner Cluster with the materials to make it a usable form of energy. When rumors of conquest, political undergrounds, and alien contact threaten this balance of powers, it falls to three individuals to find the truth of the conspiracies swirling through their governments and to stave off a disastrous war. What they find in the process will change the course of humanity forever.”

The book is an interesting read and reminds me of the early 2000’s when the US went to war in Iraq. The book details a similar, albeit fictional, premise for war. There are 2 factions in story. One has the technology to travel instantaneously in space and the other has the material that the technology needs to accomplish the instantaneous travel. Very similar to before the outbreak of the War in Iraq. America had the technology to convert oil from the Middle East into energy but didn’t have the large oil reserves of the Middle East.

In the story, one group (The Coalition) has the technology to convert the material that is provided by the other group (The Inner Cluster) into energy. This creates a mutual dependence which The Coalition is not at all pleased with. The book goes into the ways and methods that the powers to be use to attempt to get control of the materials needed to convert to the new source of energy. However, there are 3 people that are drawn into the conspiracy and attempt to diffuse the situation and to prevent another war. To find out how they make out and how things end up, you’ll have to get the book for yourself and read it. 🙂