Short Bits

Short Bits 2021

Updated on 2021-07-09

Short Bits is my method of sharing information that would be too short for a separate blog post.


Image courtesy of Peter Ziegler at Pixabay
1 – Burned Three Times on Amazon Purchases (2021-02-08)

I’ve been burned three times within a four month period on purchases I’ve made on Amazon. The first incident occurred in September 2020. I purchased a 3-pack of Champion boxer style underwear. I didn’t notice that they were size medium and I usually wear a size large. The underwear were sold by a third party vendor in New York city.

When I received the underwear and noticed they were a size medium, I logged into my Amazon account and requested a return. I never heard from the seller. Amazon sent an automated followup weeks after my initial refund request asking if I received a response from the seller and I indicated that I had not. I never received any further information.

After the underwear package sat for awhile, my initial inclination was to just donate them. However, I decided to try them on and although they’re a bit tighter than a size large, I’ve decided to keep the underwear and wear them. I would have preferred just to return them for a refund though.

In January 2021, I ordered one battery powered combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector and a 6-pack of wired, connected combination smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. I did quite a bit of research on the difference between smoke detectors using ionization and photoelectric technology to detect fires and based on two posts I read (source 1, source 2), I wanted photoelectric smoke detectors. I could have sworn that I read photoelectric technology in the product description when I purchased the combination smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

When the combination smoke and carbon monoxide detectors arrived and I unboxed them, I noted on the product packaging that the detectors used ionization technology to detect smoke; not what I wanted.

Wired Detector
Wireless Detector

When I attempted to return them, I received notices that the detectors were not returnable.

The non-returnable notice for the battery powered combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector gave no specific reason for it being non-returnable. Instead a link was provided for Amazon’s return policy. Clicking the link takes you to a page full of possible reasons why an item may not be returnable. Evidently, I’m supposed to guess the reason why my battery powered combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector is not returnable.

The non-returnable notice for the 6-pack of wired, interconnected combination smoke and carbon monoxide detectors stated that they contained a flammable liquid or gas.

What?! If they can’t be returned because they contain a flammable liquid or gas, then why can they be shipped to the customer?! Exactly what is flammable in a combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector?! The shipping box contained no hazardous or flammable materials warning on the outside of the box.

Using the contact us links was a struggle in futility. I ended up back on the non-returnable notice pages.

I’m furious about the combination smoke and carbon monoxide detectors not being returnable. I paid $190 and some change for the 6-pack and I really don’t want them. I’ve now decided that for all future Amazon purchases, I will take a screenshot of the product description and make sure they are returnable. I will also not purchase any items that may be deemed hazardous unless the product description specifically states that they are returnable. Burn me once, shame on you. Burn me twice, shame on me.

Image courtesy of rhysperry111 in the Arch Linux forums
2 – Nice Arch Linux Base Install Guides (2021-02-16)

I’ve been wanting to attempt to install and run Arch Linux in a virtual machine environment for a few months now with the intention of running Arch Linux as one of my daily drivers in the future. I currently multi-boot Debian Stable, Debian Unstable, and Solus. Health issues and other more demanding needs prevented me from doing so. At the end of last week, I finally made time to attempt to perform the base install.

During my first attempt at performing a base install of Arch Linux, I followed the Installation Guide on the Arch Wiki. I advanced to the point of choosing and installing a boot loader, but was unable to figure out how to install GRUB, my preferred boot loader for Linux.

My next thought was to search the Internet to see if there was a more user-friendly guide to performing a base install of Arch Linux. I found a couple of guides that were fairly similar, took copious notes from one of them, and then proceeded to again attempt an Arch Linux base install, which again resulted in failure.

I usually don’t give up easily, especially when it comes to figuring out something related to technology. Once again, I searched the Internet for a user-friendly guide on performing an Arch Linux base install and came across a guide to installing in a BIOS environment on the ArcoLinuxD site. The guide was similar to the previous guide I used for my second installation attempt, but the ArcoLinuxD guide contained some key points that were missing in the other guide.

Would three times be the charm? On my third attempt, I finally succeeded at performing a base install of Arch Linux. My next step is to install the necessary components to create a usable system; e.g. desktop environment, productivity related apps, tools, and utilities.

If you are interested in performing an Arch Linux base install under a UEFI environment, checkout this guide on the ArcoLinuxD site.

3 – Discovered a Really Nice Collection of Recipes Using Dates (2021-04-11)

Last month I purchased a 10.5 ounce container of organic Medjool dates from a local Wegmans. The display didn’t have a price, so I experienced sticker shock when I got home and recorded my purchase in GnuCash. The container cost $7.99, more money than I can afford to spend for a 10.5 ounce container of dates with my current limited food budget.

I’ve been desiring to find something healthy I can snack on throughout the day. I used to snack on trail mix that I made with separate ingredients purchased from Whole Foods Market. I discovered about two and a half years ago that nuts no longer agree with my digestive system, so I stopped eating the trail mix.

In 2019, I began purchasing prunes and dates from Trader Joe’s for snacking purposes, but I stopped shopping there last year when the store I shopped at began limiting the number of customers in the store due to draconian government COVID-19 restrictions. The last time I attempted to shop there about a year ago, the line outside to get into the store was at least 50 feet long or longer.

Recently, I went shopping at a local Wegmans and discovered a 12 ounce container of Medjool dates for $6.99, which was a reasonable price based on pricing I’ve seen on online sources. I decided to purchase two containers of Bard Valley Natural Delights Medjool pitted dates.

The Medjool date containers had a web link on the back, so I checked it out to verify the actual name of the company. While perusing the site, I discovered a wonderful variety of recipes utilizing dates. I’ve already added 3 recipes to my recipe database created with Emacs Org Mode.

Image courtesy of Benjah-bmm27, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
4 – Glutathione…What Is That? (2021-05-21)

I take acetaminophen on a regular basis to help manage spine pain. I have concerns about taking acetaminophen on a long term regular basis, so I’ve researched the subject a number of times. During my research activity last year, I discovered that acetaminophen can deplete glutathione in the body. For whatever reason, the discovery didn’t spur additional research on my part.

I discovered DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide) last year while researching natural remedies for GTPS (greater trochanteric pain syndrome). Earlier this year, my interest in DMSO was renewed and through additional research and the reading of two books, I learned about MSM (methylsulfonylmethane). I decided to purchase a book about MSM a few weeks ago and in that book I learned that MSM helps to increase glutathione in the body. Reading about glutathione in the book about MSM finally raised a question in my mind: what exactly is glutathione?

So, I did some Internet research on glutathione and discovered a wonderful site that has quite a bit of information about glutathione as well as other interesting information about immune health. The site is called Immune Health Science.

Post header image courtesy of Couleur, at Pixabay.


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