How Much Platinum / Palladium / Rhodium in Catalytic Converters - And Approximate Worth

Platinum, rhodium and palladium are some of the elements known as platinum-group metals, otherwise known as PGM's.

The PGM's reside in the honeycomb region of the catalytic converter. The much-older catalytic converters originally used pellets before the more efficient and less expensive honeycomb came into use.

 The amounts and proportions of PGM's depends on the age and type of vehicle.
  • Cars, light-duty trucks, and motorcycles average 2-6 grams.
  • Larger-engine SUV's and trucks can range anywhere from 6-30 grams.
28.35 grams equals an ounce.

Gasoline-powered-vehicle catalytic converters use all three of the aforementioned rare-earth metals. Diesel-powered-vehicle catalytic converters use only platinum and rhodium.

As a general rule: the older the vehicle, the more platinum present in the catalytic converter. Because of the high cost of platinum, industry continually strives to reduce the amount of platinum necessary by the use of other metals and materials and/or design changes

Platinum is currently worth around $900 an ounce or $30 a gram. Rhodium and palladium are very approximately worth $725 an ounce or $25 a gram. Needless to say, prices fluctuate greatly; the value ratio of the three metals aren't exactly carved in stone either. Current prices and price-ratios can be found here.

Catalytic converters really don't add that much salvage value to a scrapped or totaled car anymore, exceptions of course being the much older and larger vehicles. And of course, thefts are still happening  from those vehicles whose catalytic converters are easily accessible.

It turns out the information to write this page was not easy to find. Fortunately, I stumbled across most of  it buried in a government-archived article written by the USGS about cerium recovery from catalytic converters. The article has more information scattered around about catalytic converters, platinum and the other PGM's, recycling, etc.

Rare platinum nugget. Source: USGS.


A War - Looks like Google and Microsoft are not playing nice with each other...

 Got this message when accessing my Google account via Microsoft browser "e".

<redacted> blogs

"The browser we detected is unsupported and may result in unexpected behavior.
Please choose from our list of supported browsers for the best experience."

How to do / take / make a screenshot aka print screen on Windows 10 PC

How to Print Screen

Might as well prepare right for this and then it will be quick, easy and convenient every time going forward. An alternate title for this article might be How to Create WIN10 Shortcuts.

First, one has to find the Paint Program. Microsoft for some reason decided to be cute and put "Accessories" under "W" instead of  "A".
  1. Click the 4-square, lower-left, Windows 10 start icon. Or tap the same-looking keyboard key.
  2. Scroll down, if necessary, and select "All apps"
  3. Scroll down and select "Windows Accessories".
  4. Scroll down and right-click "Paint". Select "Pin to taskbar".
  5.  Right-click again and select "Pin to start". Drag it on your graphic menu to upper-left or wherever else is convenient.
  6. Drag it from your graphic menu to your desktop, this will create a shortcut there as well. 
You now have three easy-access shortcuts to the Paint Program.

How to do a print screen aka screenshot in any Windows OS (including WIN10)

  1. Press the "PrtScn" key, probably located near upper-right.
  2. Open Paint Program.
  3. Do Ctrl-V. The image should display.
  4. Paint Program menu options enable saving in various formats and locations.
Come to think of it, this short article also ended up describing how to make Windows 10 much more convenient...


Do Not Do an Online Search for Your Debit or Credit Card Account Numbers

Online credit card account number searches are a bad idea...
Online credit card account number searches are a bad idea...

This website has recently discovered people are really doing that! I'm guessing people do it in an attempt to see if their credit card numbers have been stolen and are being posted online anywhere. Unfortunately, by searching online for your credit card number, you have just made that credit card account number available to any website you then happen to land on; the website owner now has your card number.

Here's how it works:
  1. You do a search for your credit or debit card account number.
  2. A list of search results comes up.
  3. You click on one or more of the results.
  4. Now here is where the problems start... Virtually all website owners automatically track what search-terms bring people to their websites; they do this for perfectly benign and legitimate search-engine-optimization-related reasons. Your credit card number was the search-term bringing you to the website and so is nicely displayed to the website owner along with all the other usual search-terms being recorded by the site. Now if you landed on an honest website, then your credit card number is simply ignored. But if you landed on a dishonest website that is looking for those kinds of numbers...
Be wise, do not look for your credit or debit card numbers online.

Online credit card account number searches are a bad idea...
Online credit card account number searches are a bad idea...


My Short Diary on How to Successfully Install Windows 10 without Knowing What I Was Doing ------ Formerly titled: Maybe Do Not Install Windows 10 Just Yet

Windows 10 - Image source: .gov


July 30, 2015

I was duly informed Windows 10 was downloaded and ready to install. As I was contemplating pulling the trigger, suddenly some error codes were mentioned. Then the modem suddenly started blinking furiously. When I again clicked the Get Windows 10 message, it was back to saying it was downloading. Good thing I hadn't clicked the Get Started button.

Next time I'm prompted to install, I think I'll wait a few days. Give Microsoft a chance to work out any remaining bugs.

I'm very much looking forward to getting Windows 10. I'll post new information here as the  adventure continues...

July 31, 2015

Even though the computer was properly shutdown last night, I woke up to a red Failed Install message this morning; presumably they meant failed download since I never clicked Install or Upgrade or anything else to actually convert the computer to Windows 10 from the downloaded files.

I had properly shutdown based on the logical premise the download would pick up this morning from where it had left off last night. I don't know what to think. At any rate, the modem is once again flickering most furiously; I hope it is not downloading the whole 2 gigabytes worth of data all over again.

July 31, 2015

Microsoft once again enlightened me with an Install Failed message, even though I have yet to click Install. I was informed Windows 10 could not be installed because other updates were being installed.

I do remember reading an article that stated all current OS updates must be installed before Windows 10 can be installed. The article also stated those of us with automatic updates turned on should not have a problem in this regard. Yep, my automatic updates have always been turned on and have been working properly, yet still the problem.

I have no idea what's going on, but apparently I continue to get closer to success. No doubt I will soon be informed to do a restart to finish installing whatever that mystery update was.

August 1, 2015

I once again gazed at the Upgrade Available message... This time the only button there was the OK, let's continue button. Despite the original title of this post, I couldn't resist. I clicked it...

This time there was no messing around. There were also no options presented to me, e.g., "transfer preferences" versus "factory install", etc.

The critter paused for a short time and then immediately took off to a blue background screen informing me it was Configuring Update for Windows. It ran through that fairly quickly, around 10 minutes.

[This would be a good time to mention that one should not be doing this if there is any chance of a power failure in your area, examples being unstable weather or nearby forest fires, etc.]

Next the Dell logo briefly appeared and a black background screen then showed up. I was duly informed I was at the Upgrading Windows stage. I quickly realized this segment was going to take awhile, off to do some chores...

When I returned I was greeted with, "Hi there, welcome back!" and a Next button.

I was then presented the choice of blanket accepting the Express Settings or individually setting each one.

I was fine with all of them, except one. I turned off the Hotspot option. This was a desktop PC and I really didn't want someone driving by and throwing Wi-Fi at me...

Next an extremely beautiful picture appeared, along with nothing to click. Click it. Or do any key.

Sign in, etc.

The Start Menu icon is at the usual lower-left, the keyboard shortcut is toggle. Do then do the Get Started button, all sorts of worthy information there.

 Everything really looks nice. All my previous settings, files, etc were there and alive and well. So far I am impressed with the Edge browser. I'm also going to give Cortana a spin. May we all live long and prosper.

September 21, 2015

If you are trying to figure out how to do a print screen in Windows 10, here's how. Collaterally, the post also ends up showing how to make Windows 10 convenient.


Netflix Keyboard Shortcuts

Netflix Keyboard Shortcuts

Here are the Netflix keyboard shortcuts, darned convenient they are. My mouse sent me a thank you note when I discovered "m" and the spacebar.
  • M = Mute (toggle)
  • Up arrow = Volume Up
  • Down arrow = Volume Down
  • Spacebar = Toggle Play/Pause
  • Enter = Toggle Play/Pause
  • PgUp = Play
  • PgDn = Pause
  • F = Full-screen
  • Esc = Exit full-screen
  • Left arrow = Rewinds 10 seconds each click (spacebar reinitiates Play)
  • Right arrow = Fast Forwards 10 seconds each click (spacebar reinitiates Play)
  • Shift+Left arrow = Rewind (keeps going until you hit spacebar)
  • Shift+Right arrow = Fast Forward (keeps going until you hit spacebar)
  • Ctrl (and some other random keys) = Displays the Progress Bar for a couple seconds
If interested, here are Netflix's Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest accounts. Netflix has over a million Twitter followers. Their Facebook page has over 14 million likes. Pinterest is apparently still warming up, 5K+ followers last time I looked.
A side note as to the keyboard shortcuts Netflix has defined. I've noticed the keyboard key assignment functions stop working occasionally. I'm guessing this is because I have other Windows tabs open. When I go to those tabs, sometimes the website or application there resets the keys back to browser default; or maybe it is the browser itself doing it. Sometimes Netflix will reset the keyboard shortcuts back on when I return, but sometimes they apparently don't. Fortunately I noticed that using the mouse once when I return usually resets the keys back to what Netflix wants them to be. Worst case scenario and if worth the bother, simply go back to browse and then back to whatever you were watching; this should reset the key shortcuts functions back on.

Meanwhile, Netflix has recently announced they now have over 42 million US subscribers and over 65 million global subscribers. As a former customer of Time Warner Cable (TWC), it would truly make my day if Netflix put them out of business. And from what I've been hearing, current and former Comcast customers feel the same way about Comcast.


The cure for dry, itchy skin.

Those really low humidity days, usually in the Winter or Spring; though Summer and Fall aren't unheard of either.

The skin itches and itches. The more you scratch, the more it itches. Not only does it keep itching and itching; the more you scratch, the more the itching spreads. It is awful.

Guess what? There is an over-the-counter medication that actually works. Proceed to your local drugstore. They actually have anti-itching creams there. You want the ones that declare they have 1% hydrocortisone.

And, as usual, disregard the nationally advertised brands and their higher prices. Go for the generic store brand. Both have precisely the same active ingredient, namely that 1% hydrocortisone.

Rub it on. Rub it in. The relief is almost immediate. Another problem solved.

The National Institute of Health federal website has some thoughts on the subject:
  • Read the product label.
  • Do not use on or near eyes.
  • Usually do not use on face or neck.
  • Usually do not cover with bandage.
  • Apply a thin layer to the affected area. Rub in gently. [Personally, I rub it in hard and deep. But that's just me.]


Rumors and Secrets about HubPages Staff - A Review

HubPages Headquarters

Yep, this is the rumors page by a Hubber about the HubPages Staff. For those who have been living in a cave, HubPages is a website where writers post their articles and share in any ad revenue generated. All is revealed, no secret is spared.

And always remember... If it is on the internet, then it must be true. 

The HubPages Team...

Paul Deeds. Was seen drawing to an inside straight.

Paul Edmondson. Keeps an old Hewlett Packard printer and a sledge hammer in the same room.

Fawntia Fowler. Loves naps. A kindred spirit.

Tim Martin. Can't seem to stay away from HubPages.

Mausmi Mehta. Has drunk cats.

Robin Edmondson. Was a third grade school teacher, turned out to be the perfect training for managing writers.

Marina Lazarevic. Stayed away from the South Side of Chicago.

Edward Zhang. There is no omelette without his name on it.

Matt Wells. A firm believer in dogs half-a-dog high and dog-and-a-half long.

Camille Harris. Spotted doing yoga at Trader Joe's.

Matt Meyer. He has whiskers. As do I.

Christy Kirwan. She is really nice to us. For real.

Karla Clark. She and Edgar Allan Poe have a thing.

Alison Monroe.Throws a mean slider.

Oren Radousky. Juggles guitars while riding a unicycle.

Joanna Fonte.Crows swap notes about her.

Betty Wang. Knows lawyer jokes.

Katie Harper. Spotted in the East Bay investigating Gaspar de PortolĂ .

Brandon Gordon. Adopts neurotic dogs found at Fleetwood Mac concerts.

Kate Rix. Snails beware.

Rebecca Schuetz. Does yoga with kittens.

Helena Bonde. Windy days beware.

Emily Drevets. Mumbles in Arabic when eating ice cream cones.

And here is a "typical" Hubber's account. 1.8 million visitors it has received so far.


The Most Common Cause of Frequent Muscle Spasms / Cramps Is Low Potassium - And the Cure

Lima beans have high potassium

Muscle spasms, also known as muscle cramps. Do you suffer from occasional or even not so occasional muscle spasms? Foot cramps? Leg cramps?

There could be a couple dozen medical reasons for this. If you go to the doctor or a medical clinic, they will be more than happy to help you. They will arrange for you to be given all sorts of medical tests. They will call in a few specialists along the way. There will be lots and lots of appointments for you to keep. Yes, they will do all this for you.

Why? Because they really care. The several thousand dollars they will bill you is entirely incidental and will never even have entered their thoughts during the entire process.

Did you know that low potassium in your diet is the most common cause of frequent muscle spasms and cramps? Maybe, just maybe, you would like to eliminate that possibility first before embarking on the above adventure.

Everyone knows that bananas have potassium. But it turns out hey are actually number 10 on the high potassium nutrition food list. What’s number one? I was pleased to discover that lima beans graced that spot. And there are more ways to cook and prepare them than you can shake a banana at. And they are all delicious. My easiest and quickest recipe is to mix in a couple of all-beef, sliced up hot dogs. Add three pats of butter on top. Heat, mix in the butter thoroughly, and enjoy.

Some other foods rich in potassium, in descending order, are spinach, baked potatoes, salmon, and avocados. All of them are more potassium-enriched than bananas.

So give yourself a diet rich in potassium (don’t go overboard) for a few days and see how it goes. The muscle spasms and cramps just might go away and your problem is solved.

It worked for me, in m. Foot muscle spasms in my case.

And do be careful about too much potassium. Too much potassium is even worse than too little potassium. Your heart muscle, for one, will not take kindly to it. I've found when I start to feel the beginnings of muscle spasms, a single potassium-rich meal solved the problem.

Here is a page from the National Institute of Health that has more information about potassium, includes an expanded food list. It also has some necessary warnings.

Side note. If you happen to know your muscle spasms, cramps, or other muscle pains were caused by too much muscle strain or other physical activity; OTC ibuprofen actually works. You can buy Advil or you can buy the store generic brand with the exact same dosage for half the price. It should be mentioned ibuprofen is part of a class of drugs known as NSAID's. In addition to general warnings about NSAID's, NSAID's don't get along well with a lot of other medicines and prescription medications. If you are taking other medicines or prescription medications, be sure to read what those medications have to say about being mixed with NSAID's. I also found out recently doctors won't do elective surgery if the patient has recently been taking ibuprofen; turns out ibuprofen thins the blood and surgeons don't like that when it comes to surgery.

An Update: The FDA is now saying NSAID's increase one's chances of having a heart attack or stroke. Moderate doses for a few days are ok, but high doses or usage for more than a few weeks is a bad idea.


How to Microwave Rice - And What Causes and How to Prevent Crunchy Rice

I'd certainly at least add some butter to this...

Interesting how there are no microwaving instructions on rice packages. This is probably because microwave ovens are indeed not all the same. As such I must advise that the following instructions worked perfectly for me, but your results may vary. The following recipe is for two servings or one large serving, depending on who you ask.

 How to Microwave Rice


  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 1 pat of butter
  • 1-and-3/8's cups of water
  •  Optionally sprinkle some salt on it
Stir a little bit as needed until floating rice is submerged.


  • Microwave for 10 minutes.
  • Let the microwave rest for a minute.
  • Then do defrost mode for 7 minutes.
Move some rice aside to see if there is still any water at the bottom of the bowl. If just a little, stir the rice for a minute to absorb it. If a lot, stir it all up and do another 1 or 2 minutes defrost mode.

When finished, optionally add 2 or 3 more pats butter and stir until nicely melted and mixed.

What Causes and How to Prevent Crunchy Rice

There are three things that can cause crunchy rice. It can be caused by both overcooking and under cooking.  And it can be caused by too little water.

When I began my quest to create the perfect recipe for microwaving rice, I began with the usual 2:1 water to rice ratio. In this case, one cup water and a half-cup rice. As for the cooking; I did 10 minutes at full power, a minute's rest, and then followed by 10 minutes defrost mode. This first attempt ended up with some of the rice being crunchy.

So for my succeeding attempts, I gradually increased the water and varied the cooking methodology and times. I eventually ended up with the recipe stated above. It was delicious and crunch free.

If this recipe doesn't work perfectly with your microwave, it should hopefully get you close enough so that you will know what to adjust for next time.

And as for things to add to the rice after the rice has been cooked, they are just like what you would add to beans. In other words, almost anything you like:
  • Pretty much any meat
  • Pretty much any vegetable
  • Sliced olives
  • Sliced mushrooms
  • Garlic salt or whatever spice packet
I'd recommend going sparse to moderate on any and all additions the first time around.

If you want to keep it quick and simple, just a couple of already microwaved, sliced-up hot dogs mixed in isn't bad at all... 

May all your rice recipes be awesome!


How to Have a Positive and Better Perception and Perspective on and in Life - The Way to Happiness

Alternate titles for this page might be How to Be Happy - Less Stress / Depression - About Perception / Perspective - About Happiness / Well-Being  or How to Increase Your Happy Life Expectancy - Perspective and Happiness 
My Perceptions and Perspectives in Life

Self-awareness, perception and perspective are the psychological side of what controls our human feelings, emotions, and levels of stress or depression. Self-awareness of how our perceptions and perspectives influence our emotions is the key to emotional health, happiness, and a stress-reduced / depression-reduced life.

With self-awareness comes the ability to control how we perceive and the ability to "assign" the proper perspective to any given situation. With self-awareness comes the ability to reduce stress and depression.

Side note: The environmental/physical/nutritional side of things are equally important.

Perception and Happiness

What is perception? One might say that it is an attitude or emotion by another name; one example being the glass-half-full versus the glass-half-empty scenario. Perception is how one perceives, interprets, or reacts to a given situation or a newly discovered fact or premise.

How one perceives and emotionally responds to a problem determines how one approaches a solution to that problem. A person's perception determines one's quality of life.

An example: You decide to make a casual Sunday, unimportant,  early-morning trip to the supermarket. The car doesn't start. You can tell it's a dead battery.
  • After the initial feelings of dismay, do you feel lucky or unlucky? The correct feeling would be to feel lucky. After all, you were planning to do a casual, unimportant trip. Would you rather have had the car wait one more day and then not start when you tried to go to your job or meet an important client? This way, you have been given the time and convenience to take care of the problem on a casual Sunday morning.

Perspective and Happiness

It seems to be the nature of our species to become emotionally stressed over matters that are really of no consequence. An example of this might be being subjected to the conduct of an unprofessional, rude sales clerk. For many people, when something like this happens, their whole day is ruined. It is all they think about for the next several hours or even days. And for what?

This is where perspective comes into play. When something unpleasant occurs, one's first thought should be, “What are the consequences of this unpleasant matter?” In the above example, the answer is, “Absolutely none!” In other words, one should think, “So what?”; or even better, “Who cares?”

An easy way to induce perspective is to turn on the evening news. How many people lost their homes to the bank or became outright homeless today? How many people were killed or permanently maimed today? How many people lost their life-savings today? How many people lost a loved-one today? The list is endless. It soon becomes readily apparent that to be upset about the actions of a rude person or some other inconsequential incident is just not logical.

And it most certainly isn't worth wasting your thoughts, time, and emotions dwelling on it. Save the stress for the stuff that really matters.



So why do we respond this way? Ego! Ego is what gets a person in trouble. Ego is what causes stress. Ego is what triggers emotions. Once one has the ability to recognize when the ego is asserting itself, then that is when self-awareness recognizes what is happening.

Every time you become self-aware that your ego is obsessing and stressing again for no really good reason, consciously change the subject.

Positive perspective really does save the day here. The ego may be having fits, but you know that the whole unpleasant situation is really of no consequence. Besides, time really does heal all "wounds".

Embarrassed about something? They'll get over it.

The ego is what causes emotional embarrassment and stress. An embarrassing incident that is a big deal to you is in actuality trivial to everyone else. Always has been; always will be. True they might get a few minutes entertainment out of it. But on an importance scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest; what is a 7 to you is a zero to everyone else. Their egos are as busily being about them as your ego is about you. In other words, when viewing it from other people's perspective, you quickly realize how inconsequential it was.

Stress and Fear and Worry

There are legitimate reasons for the emotions of stress and fear. Fear is good. Fear prods one to do what needs to be done.

Unfortunately, many times people inflict the emotions of fear and stress upon themselves in situations in which it is not warranted. This stress and fear usually takes the form of one's worrying about some aspect of their quality of life. Most people are already self-aware of this and freely acknowledge that they worry too much about this, that, and the other.

Things to Know about Worrying

  • Most of what you worry about will never happen.
  • It’s your subconscious (ego) doing the worrying and you’re just along for the ride.
  • Each time you become self-aware that you are worrying, just consciously think one or more of the following: “so what”, "ignore it", "forget it", "stop it", "shut up", "give it a rest", "go away", and then change the subject. In time, the practice becomes automatic. After awhile, your subconscious (ego) will quit serving up so many of these kinds of thoughts to you. Buddhists and others have engaged in this practice for millennia.
Coincidentally, this works equally well when previous injustices, unfairness's, and other unpleasant past experiences begin circling your thoughts. Just make the conscious decision to change the subject.


Random Notes About Life

  • Sometimes perceived depression is really just boredom in disguise.
  • Introspection is good. Too much introspection is bad.
  • Sometimes a situation you find yourself in is not about you. Sometimes it’s best to keep it that way.
  • Don't bother being bothered by the conduct of a rude person. It happens millions of times a day to everyone and everywhere.
  • Perspective is a learned response.
  • Don’t suppress an inclination to talk to a stranger. Most times you will be pleasantly surprised. This applies to places like work, school, grocery stores, and malls. Not back alleys, parking lots, or your front door.
  • Don't believe everything you think.
  • Unfairness is the norm in life, not the exception.
  • The stress and other negative emotions of dreading the confrontation of a particular problem or scenario is also a form of fear. Face it and fix it. If you can’t fix it, mitigate it and then move on. Getting a major unpleasantness behind you feels so, so good…
  • Problems and unfairness are the norms in life, not the exception. Sooner or later life victimizes everybody. And it will happen more than once. Obstruction, sabotage, conflict, injustice happens all the time. It is just the way of the world. You are not alone. Be thankful for all the things that have not happened. Many times misfortune is self-inflicted; many times it is not.
  • When all else fails, just keep plodding along. It will change. It always does.
  • You can keep going long after you think you can't.
  • Stress, many fears, and especially depression are often born of fatigue and loneliness.
  • Corruption and other unethical conduct are not rare events. Being emotionally stressed or depressed by them is a waste of time.
  • Most corporate cultures are Darwinian, not intelligent design.
  • The cognitive stages and emotions of coming to terms with certain parts of reality are: Awareness, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance, Peace.
  • Perception of reality is as important as the reality itself. The more accurate one's perception of reality, the more prosperously one can live in that reality.
  • The world is a mess, but so what?
  • Everyone does make mistakes. It's the nature of our species. In fact, it is positively amazing how virtually all of us put our foot in it on a downright regular basis. Many mistakes are stress induced.
  • Perspective can be a very useful tool in life. The worst case scenario for many problems is “So what?” Save the stress for the really big problems.
  • The world is not your friend. The world is not your enemy. The world just is.
  • Hope and expectation are valid premises that one should always keep. Good things happen all the time.
  • To prevent feeling overwhelmed, plan and make a list of things needing to be done. That way, instead of you doing the worrying, the list does the worrying for you.
  • Avoid negative things to the extent one is able. This includes things like TV news, certain internet forums, perennially unhappy people in your circle, and so forth.
  • If a negative social or business interaction is occurring, don't automatically assume the worst as to the other person. Keep an open mind and a willingness to continue communicating in good faith. More often than not, the results could end up quite satisfactorily.
  • Gratefulness for what one has can go a long way towards overall happiness.
  • Dwelling on negative things that you have no control over, past events for example, is another prime situation where you want to deliberately change the subject when you become aware of it.
  • One of the most important lessons a person can learn in life is that other people are as real behind their eyes as you are behind yours.
  • As to the pursuit of happiness, finding something that interests you is almost always the key.The happy people are the ones who have found something outside themselves that interests them. It can be a career, school, a hobby, family, a project, a goal, a venture, the pursuit of knowledge, helping others, helping yourself, people interaction, exploration, or any combination thereof.
  • You owe it to yourself to be the best you can be and enjoy life to the fullest.


How to File a DMCA Complaint / Takedown / Removal Request with Bing (or anyone else in US) - Email and Webform

UPDATE: Includes US "universal" DMCA removal / complaint / take-down email template letter.

[Please read the whole page before acting on the information herein . The email option is usually not necessary with Bing, though the sample letter should prove quite useful in similar situations. Webform page information is also provided.]

Source: .gov

 I discovered one of my articles had been stolen. And it was one where the theft has literally been costing me money daily. The emotional pain and hatred of the thief when I discovered this...Needless to say, I've since filed a Google DMCA complaint.

I decided it was time to learn how to file a Bing DMCA removal request. I did the appropriate searches, but the information on how to do this was nowhere to be found.

I then thought to go to HubPages' thoughts on this subject.  Bless their fuzzy, little hearts; they came through. They provided an email address for Bing DMCA's removal requests in the last paragraph of their page, lots of other useful information there as well.

What with the procedure being the email mode, as opposed to the usual Google's webform mode; traps abound. The big trap of course being possible communication confusion as to which is which as to authorized URL versus theft URL. There are also all sorts of information and other technicalities one must fulfill.

So I thought I'd post my excerpted email version to help people avoid what could be a possibly costly mistake.

[Update] As explained in the updates at the end of this page, I've decided to make this a universal letter template that can be used for any US email DMCA take down / complaint / removal request anywhere the webform option is not available.

<begin letter>

Your first name:
Your last name:
Your email address:
Name of the copyright owner (if not you):

The Title of the copyrighted work:
Type of work: Text

My original, authorized, copyrighted article is at: <URL redacted>.

The alleged thief who stole my article has placed it at <URL redacted>.

Sample of content text that shows up in both the original and the allegedly stolen copy: (Paste a couple of really long sentences or a paragraph that are in common to both URL pages.)

[Optional, additional information/rant]---> If you go to my profile page from there, you will see the Google proof-of authorship link. The well-know Way-Back-Machine website will also prove I wrote this article years ago (first published <redacted>, <redacted> will confirm), and have been editing/updating it ever since. Maybe they unknowingly bought the article from a thief, instead of being the ones who stole it  themselves. If so, I hope they catch him and file a criminal complaint.

Mandatory Legal Declarations

My Good Faith Belief Statement: By typing in my name (electronic signature), I have a good faith belief that the use of the material is not authorized by the intellectual property owner, its agent, or the law (e.g. it is not fair use).

My Authority to Act Statement: I represent that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that I am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

My Acknowledgement of Responsibility Statement: I represent that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that I am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

My Acknowledgement of Understanding Statement: I understand that the information submitted in this email may be shared with third parties, including the alleged infringer about whom I am filing this complaint. 

Very sincerely,

My Signature:

 <end letter>

Needless to say, replace where it says "<redacted>" with your own relevant information.

This letter structure and wording should successfully prevent any URL confusion. Also note the giving of the thief the benefit of the doubt. Aside from preventing yourself from being sued (I am not a lawyer), it might actually be true. Just as a matter of ethics, you don't want to falsely accuse someone. One also gets to use the word "thief" several times, but that is just for our own personal enjoyment; not to mention that it makes us feel better.

As to the email I sent, an automated reply came back saying they would expeditiously review my request. They also enlightened me as to their Notices of Infringement page. Now they tell me.

So you can avoid the email method and just go to their Notices if Infringement page and  fill out the form, which is short and self explanatory.  If you want Bing to remove a stolen article from their search results, select the third menu item on the right that says "Search".  Then select "Bing". Depending on your browser, the button is kind of finicky. Be sure you don't end up on the "Bing Ads" form.

What with their response to my email, I've decided to wait a week and see what happens. If no results, I'll then do the form.I'll update this post with the results as they occur.


I received a second letter from Bing. They informed me my letter didn't meet certain technicalities. So I am going to go ahead and use the webform to resubmit.

I am also updating the example letter above so it will fulfill all aforementioned information and other technicalities. When done, one will be able to use this letter anywhere and in any circumstance where the webform is not available. Stay tuned.


Interesting. Suddenly the bottom half of my stolen copy suddenly disappeared and has been replaced with an URL to my original article. I wonder if this has something to do with my Google DMCA notice and now they are claiming Fair Use. Unfortunately, they have still stolen so much of my article that the lost traffic resulting from my keywords is still stealing a major amount of my earnings. Still haven't heard back from Google.


 I've completed the DMCA template letter. Feel free to use for your US DMCA filings.


What is the average cost for internet service, access, usage, etc. Find out if you are being cheated.

This forum thread might be of interest. I'm seeing numbers ranging from $18.42 USD per month all the way up to $125 USD per month. When I started the forum thread, I was mainly thinking about prices in the United States. The forum thread ended up having price quotes from around the world. Interesting indeed.


How to Work for a Boss You Hate or Don't Respect - How to Quit a Job

You can’t. It is as simple as that. Whether it is because the boss is incompetent. Whether it is because the boss is unethical. Either way; you can’t.

You won’t be able to hide your feelings indefinitely. The boss will know exactly what you think of him/her. And you will feel unlimited stress and emotional pain day in and day out.

So what to do? The obvious. Write up that resume and fire it off to every potential employer you can find. You only have to do it once a week. And the time you do it is every Sunday afternoon (assuming you work M-F, otherwise adjust schedule accordingly). Then check your voicemail every noon and night. And check your email every evening. What the heck, maybe fire off another resume or two while you're at it.

Did I say you can’t work for a boss you despise? Actually, you can by just doing as described above.

Why? That is simple, too.

Now during the workweek, whenever your boss does something particularly stupid, unethical, or disgusting; you can switch your thoughts to thinking about all the potential employers you sent your resumes to last Sunday. In other words, you have now given yourself hope and positive thoughts to draw on.

And sooner or later, an interview invite will come. And sooner or later, a job offer will come.

And you will be out of there.

Here is a list of job search resources.


MILF Dating Etiquette and Tips

First and foremost, one must be sure the MILF is not still married. Still married MILF's can result in extreme husband irritation as to your poaching. You are going to have enough problems as to the kid(s), you don't need an angry husband on top of that.

As to the kid(s), 20% to 50% of the time, you will be stood up. This percentage will vary as to the number and age of the kid or kids the MILF is dealing with.

If one has successfully navigated beyond the above two issues, then the following rules apply...
  • Respect that you are interacting with another human being.
  • Be understanding when kid problems supersedes date.
  • Never bring up the kids. This will inevitably result in a MILF soliloquy about kids. Even worse, statements about the Ex will ensue.
  • Do not attempt to be the MILF's kids' substitute dad. The kids will immediately hate you. Let the relationship develop naturally over time. Let the kids and the MILF set the pace.
  • MILF's know how to cook, avail yourself of this at every opportunity.
  • Have you become thoroughly tangled up with the MILF over time? Well then, might as well go ahead and do the drop off and pick up the kid(s) and other errands.
  • Are you now doing her home repairs? Looks like you are doomed, time to marry her.


Consumer Contract Fraud - Contracts and the Law and You and the Judge

Consumer Contracts Frauds - Contracts and You and the Judge - www.websitewithnoname.com

"But your honor!!!" I said to the judge...

Judge, “You signed a contract.”

Me, “You mean that paragraph at the bottom of the application form?”

Judge, “Yes.”

Me, “But every bank in the country has that clause.”

Judge, “What clause?”

Me, “The sentence that says I’ve read and agreed to their charter; that I’ve read and agreed to all their bylaws; that I’ve read and agreed to all their rules and regulations. All of that stuff would be a stack of paper from the floor to the ceiling; and they wouldn’t even have copies at the branch for me to read anyway.”

Judge, “I know. But anything you sign is a contract.” (Side note: he is right.)

Me, “But every financial institution in the country has that clause.”

Judge, “I know.”

Me, “But if we don’t sign, we can’t get a checking or savings account anywhere.”

Judge, “Sucks, doesn’t it?”

Me, “What do I owe?”

Judge, “Well, let’s see what they made up... Yep, that’s what you owe.”

Beware when you do this...

The above story is fictional, but it happens for real thousands of times a year. That is why I never do business with national banks or credit card companies. Finding a local credit union is the only way to go. They’ve got the same clause, but most of them are not thieves (see referenced article).

Needless to say, unethical consumer contracts don't just apply to national banks and credit card companies. Cable companies are another example, which is why customers are leaving them in droves. Some cellphone carriers are also less than scrupulous, their contracts sometime include a clause stating you have to pay them even when they don't provide the agreed upon services. And then there is the worst of the worst, otherwise known as private sector contracts having to do with anything medical.

A Rant and Warning and Consumer Alert about Contracts

You have no civil rights when you blindly give them away by signing a multi-page, fine print contract without reading it. This happens all the time. The days of trusting an entity just because they are a large corporation or an established business are long gone. This is especially applicable as to medical entities, financial institutions, auto repair entities, and pretty much any and all other service-related entities. Corporate greed is the rule, not the exception.

Read the contract. If it’s too long for you to read and understand at the time, don’t sign it. If any of the print is too small for you to read, don’t sign it. If there is anything in it you don’t like or understand, don’t sign it. If it's incomplete, don't sign it. If you don't know what you are doing, don't sign it.

By definition anything you sign is a contract; whether it be just a single word, phrase, sentence, paragraph, or a hundred page document. Whenever someone tries to get you to sign something, it is for their benefit, not yours.

Reading a contract will give you an education; not reading a contract will give you an “adventure”.

Unethical contracts and incompetent/unethical civil laws victimize more people than all legally defined criminal activity combined. It is the ultimate definition of SWAG (Stolen without a Gun).



Vitamin D Deficiency - A Growing Health Concern - Foods Rich in Vitamin D

Fortified milk is a good source of vitamin D.

 If you are out in the sun all day everyday, then you need not be concerned. Your body will manufacture all the vitamin D it needs from the ultraviolet light you absorb.

However, if like the majority, yours is an indoor life; you may not be getting enough of this vitamin.

And to compound the problem, there are not that many foods that have it.
  • Fortified milk seems to be America's primary source for vitamin D.
  • Other dairy products also have a smattering of it.
  • Fish foods have vitamin D. Swordfish and salmon are the big two. Tuna comes in third. And if you want to give yourself a mega-dose, a tablespoon of cod liver oil will give you over 300% of the body’s daily requirement.
  • Liver has it.
  • Fortified orange juice has a decent amount.

Salmon is a good vitamin D source.

May all your vitamin D days be happy ones.


Vinegar Uses - Baking Soda Uses - A List of Cleaning and Other Uses for Vinegar and Baking Soda


Cleaning uses for vinegar.

The chemical name for vinegar is diluted acetic acid. As a mild acid it chemically reacts with many other compounds. The result is the removal of those compounds from places we want them removed, otherwise known as cleaning.

Some vinegar cleaning examples include:
  • Windows
  • Mirrors
  • Do NOT use for TV’s, computer monitors, etc.
  • Shower heads
  • Kitchen counter tops
  • Coffee pots
  • Tea kettles
  • Wood floors (I’d test this on on a small spot first)
  • Toilet bowls
  • Sinks
  • Refrigerator
Non-cleaning uses for vinegar include cooking (of course), mixed with salt for killing weeds, mixed with baking soda for keeping drains clear.


Cleaning and other uses for baking soda.

The chemical name for baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. As a mild, generally non-chemically-reactive abrasive, it can be used accordingly. It also absorbs odors.

Some baking soda uses include:
  • Teeth brightening
  • Putting box in refrigerator to absorb odors
  • Keeping drains fresh
  • Removing grease from stove
  • Laundry spot cleaning
  • Adding to laundry as brightener
  • Sprinkling over carpets some time before vacuuming
  •  Other cleaning uses might be listed right on the box
  • And then naturally there’s the cooking thing.

I hope the above lists and information proves useful for folks.


How to Make Microwave Macaroni and Cheese Taste Better

Basically, add a whole bunch more real cheese.

Microwave Macaroni and Cheese Recipe - Making It Better

It is easy to do. Here's how to do it so you don't burn it. And incidentally, by adding real cheese one actually gives the meal some nutritional value.

The Better Microwave Macaroni and Cheese Meal - Introduction

Macaroni-and-cheese TV dinners and similar ilk are one of the better frozen food concoctions the frozen food industry has come up with. However, it is still the usual, bland TV dinner. But it makes an excellent starting point for creating your own macaroni and cheese masterpiece. No boiling the macaroni and trying to get it just right. No dealing with the other ingredients. Instead, you use the basic frozen TV dinner as the starting point, and then you make it better.

Microwave Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Microwave the TV dinner for two minutes less than what the box instructions say. After microwaving, remove the plastic film.

Now here is the how to make microwave macaroni and cheese better part... When you bought the macaroni and cheese TV dinner, you also went to the store's deli section and got yourself a one pound block of mild or medium cheddar cheese. Cut off however many pieces you want and put them on top of the TV dinner; the smaller the pieces, the better; and by all means, do lots of them.

It is not necessary to replace the plastic film back on top of the TV dinner. Microwave it for the additional two minutes. Cheese should be completely melted. Stir it all together. If the cheddar cheese still isn't thoroughly melted and mixed, maybe give it another 40 seconds in the microwave; stir some more as needed. You now have a much better macaroni and cheese dinner that will taste as good as any made from scratch.

A side note: As to the remaining three-quarters of cheddar cheese you didn't use, re-wrap in original wrapper and then thoroughly wrap and fold in one of the store's plastic bags. The cheese will stay fresh in the refrigerator for quite some time. Good for lots more meals.

And as to the meal you just made... If you added enough cheese to it, you probably changed it into two meals. Totally fine. When done eating, put the remaining half back into the TV dinner box, wrap and fold with another store plastic bag. Should be good in the refrigerator for three days or so.

As for those microwave macaroni and cheese cup and box meals...

 Simply prepare as one usually does. Then gradually add and stir in as many small chunks of cheddar cheese as desired. It will all mix and blend in quite nicely. Maybe a 30-second additional microwaving may be required. Maybe not.

And that's all there is to it. May all your macaroni and cheese masterpieces be awesome and nutritious.

Just for the heck of it, I thought I'd toss in this federal link about microwave ovens. Turns out the information contained therein is not entirely useless. For that matter, the FDA site in general has proven useful to me in the past.

But wait! There's more!

Adding cooked, sliced-up hot dogs to your macaroni and cheese meal.

Did someone say hot dogs...?

Put two wieners on a paper towel placed over a paper plate; fold paper towel over top of wieners to reduce greasy film from covering the interior of the microwave oven.

Place, flattened out, one of the store plastic bags on the counter.

Put the paper towel covered hot dogs in the microwave oven. If you like them mutated (many folks, including me, do), microwave them for 2 minutes and 20 seconds. If you are a non-mutated person, then probably an even 2 minutes is best. Times vary, depending on the microwave oven. But these times are probably a good starting point.

When removing from microwave oven, place the plate on top of the grocery store plastic bag that you had laid flat on the counter.

Let them cool for a minute. Then cut each one lengthwise. Then, holding all 4 lengths together, side-by-side, cut them up into pieces.

For greater efficiency, cook the hot dogs first. Then you can be doing the slicing and dicing while the TV dinner is cooking.

Once the TV dinner is cooked and the extra cheese is all melted and mixed, add the sliced up hot dogs and stir it all together. You definitely now have the two full meals. Not only that, it no longer fits in the TV tray. So, somewhere during all this, you've transferred the whole thing to a separate plate. If you are a true single, it is now sitting on a 3-thick paper plate on top of a regular plate.

Throw out the hot dog paper plate and the plastic bag that you had put them on. Because of the plastic bag, the counter won't have to be cleaned.

At this point, you may want to microwave it another minute, with or without the regular plate underneath the paper plates, depending on its microwaveability.

When done eating what you want, put a fourth paper plate upside-down on top, and then do the plastic bag wrap and refrigerator thing. When you get around to that second meal, it will taste as good as the first.

A note about buying hot dogs...

 Get the ones that say "no by-products" on the label and are not mechanically separated. Yes, they are more expensive; but it is still the wise thing to do...


How to Naturally Feel Better and Feel Good

 The human body naturally produces a chemical known as serotonin. Medical science has generally agreed that one's level of brain serotonin affects mood. The higher one's natural level of serotonin, the better one normally feels.

How to Naturally Increase One's Serotonin Levels

  • The primary environmental factor that affects serotonin levels is light; the more light the better.So do open those drapes first thing every morning. If you do not already go out into the world everyday, then make it a point to go outside in the sunlight for awhile; even just 15 minutes can make a difference. Not much sunlight where you live? The NIH link further down the page has some comments and an indoor answer for that.
  •  Exercise radically affects serotonin levels. Even just a little exercise can do wonders. But generally the more of it the better. So if you generally sit all day, then get up frequently and do other things. There's the obvious solution of jogging or some other exercise regime, but why not just do something that is productive or fun instead? This List of Things to Do When Bored includes all sorts of physically active things to do.
  • Good nutrition of course is also a factor. The B-Complex vitamins are particularly important as to emotional stability. As an example, a vitamin B-1 deficiency can cause unwarranted feelings of fear; a vitamin B-12 deficiency can cause unwarranted feelings of guilt; folic acid is another B vitamin that is vital to mental well-being. Personally, I take a B-50 Complex vitamin supplement with food every other day or so. And I chew it so it doesn't just pass through the digestive tract untouched; same with the general multivitamin supplement I occasionally take. Sometimes negative emotions are caused by nothing more than low blood sugar, simply eating something can do wonders in such cases.
  • Tryptophan is an amino acid in protein  that raises serotonin levels. There is a lot of false nutritional information out there as to which foods will increase your brain's tryptophan levels. The NIH link below covers this in detail. Some of the information is quite surprising as a matter of fact. Chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) and dairy products appear to be the only foods that have a chance of increasing the brain's serotonin levels.

 The US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health has an article on how to increase serotonin in the human brain without drugs. It pretty much tells you everything you would ever want to know as to increasing serotonin levels and feeling good.

If interested, there is also the philosophical side of things...

May we all have increased happiness in life.


Top 10 Tips to Save Money on Food

Top 10 Tips to Save Grocery Money

1. Yes, do use coupons. The Sunday paper and your junk mail will give you all you need. Also drop by your main grocery store’s website and see what they have to say for themselves.

2. Yes, do buy the generic store brands. It is common knowledge they cost less. What isn’t so well known is that more often than not they are made by the same manufacturer as the nationally labeled brands that cost up to twice as much.

3. Make it a point to look at the top and bottom shelves. The middle shelves are where the high markup items are.

4. Do make it a habit to routinely check the unit pricing. No rocket surgeon degree required; the unit price is right below the sale price. There will be at least one occasion every trip where it will affect your decision as to what to buy. Does your store not conveniently display the unit pricing? Find another store.

5. Never buy anything displayed in the checkout line.

6. Always bring a shopping list. It will cut down on your spontaneous impulse buying immensely.

7. Never shop hungry.

8. Never buy pre-made sandwiches in the deli section. The prices are highway robbery. If the sandwich looks delicious, just buy the same filling from that same deli instead. This assumes you are willing enough to take the contents from the container and put between two slices of bread yourself. Chicken salad and egg salad are good examples. Doing this will usually save you between $2 to $3 per sandwich.

9. Stock up on the sale items. Prices can vary by as much as 80% from week to week. Kleenex is an excellent example of this.

10. Check your receipt for double billing. It happens a lot more often than you think. It usually happens because either the cashier doesn’t like you or the scanner sensor is dirty. And checking the receipt really is easier than you think; even a long receipt takes less than a minute to quickly glance through.

11. Every trip you make to the store probably costs you between $3 to $5 in gas. Try to organize to make fewer trips.

Top 11 Tips to Save Food Money

The title of this page inaccurately stated there would be 10 tips, when in fact there were 11. Sorry about that. Come to think of it, I'll add more as remembered and discovered.

Stay tuned...


What is / are and all about RFID's. Welcome to your future, a RFID scanner is coming near you... ID theft alert.

RFID Technology

RFID is the acronym for Radio Frequency Identification Device. In other words, it is a small microchip that broadcasts whatever information is put in it. These devices have been around for years.

Las Vegas casinos put them in their higher denomination chips. So when you walk around the casino, show up at a blackjack table etc.; casino personnel know about those chips in your pocket.

Retail stores randomly hide RFID’s in their merchandise throughout the store. So if you pick up an item and “forget” to pay for it, when you try walking through the scanners at the front door; you are dead. A word to the wise.

As far as I’m concerned, so far so good as to the above uses for RFID’s. Nailing shoplifters is always a good thing. And as for Las Vegas, I haven't been there in decades.

Unfortunately, it’s not going to end there.Welcome to your future…

RFID microchips are coming to a credit card, debit card, and drivers license near you. Pretty soon all one will have to do is just wave your card at the machine to complete a transaction, or maybe even just stand in front of the thing.

Unfortunately, there is also a very deleterious offshoot to this technology. Namely, anyone with a scanner can just stand close to you and instantly acquire all your personal information. ID theft is about to enter a whole, new realm.

And if you happen to have a specific store credit card when you visit that store, the employees will instantly know everything you ever bought there, the last time you visited, your home address and telephone number, etc.

All of this is not a good thing…

However, there are ways to combat this vulnerability. There are already metal cases and such that you can buy online to prevent this kind of ID theft, simply place the cards in the metal envelope to prevent information access. The store thing doesn’t bother me that much, but a person standing close to me in the checkout line is an entirely different matter, or someone "accidentally” bumping into you on the street, etc.

Personally, the first one of these cards I'm forced to use, I’ll try wrapping it in aluminum foil and see if that works.

Hopefully this post will prevent an ID theft or two.


How to Microwave Bacon Recipe - Zero Mess

For regular-sliced bacon...

Took the package out of the refrigerator, as opposed to the freezer.

Placed a double-layered paper towel on a paper plate.

Placed 3 bacon strips on the paper towel.

Placed a second double-layered paper towel over the bacon so as to reduce the amount of grease coating the inside of the microwave oven.

Microwaved it for two minutes.

Rotated it 90 degrees and microwaved for another two minutes.

While still in the microwave, lifted up the top paper towels and looked at the bacon. If there are still puddles of grease on the bacon, rotate it 45 degrees and microwave for up to another minute.

Flattened one of the grocery story plastic bags on counter so the counter wouldn't be covered in grease.

Removed the bacon paper plate from the microwave onto the flattened plastic bag.

Separated the bacon from the paper towels and placed on new plate to cool.

Wiped up bottom of microwave using kleenex.

Ate the bacon. It was perfect and delicious.

Threw out the paper plate, paper towels, and the plastic bag.

For thick-sliced bacon

 A third rotate-an-eighth-of-a-turn this time and do an additional 1 to 3 minute microwave session may be required; it all depends on the thickness of the bacon.


Another zero-mess recipe I've written from years of experience has to do with microwaving scrambled eggs.


A Review of indulgy.com - A Pinterest Clone


A "new" Pinterest clone is in town.

According to Alexa, indulgy.com traffic has been all over the map during the last 12 months.  Lately it has gone up, leveled off, and then gone up some more. It is currently ranking as one of the top 10,000 websites globally. That isn't too bad really, considering there are over 180,000,000 websites out there.

Using indulgy.com for backlinks

Indulgy is a nice, simple, uncomplicated version of Pinterest. If you like Pinterest, Indulgy can be fun as well.

As with Pinterest, you can include backlinks to the images you post on Indulgy

Visitor traffic is still relatively low at this point, but Indulgy could have some future value as to and for backlinking purposes.

As a low priority project, I've opened an account (the link above) and started posting some images there.  We'll see how that goes; I'll report on any results in a month or two.

Quick User Review

For some strange reason, I am intuitively fond of this site. Probably because of the nice, clean interface and ease of use. I'll continue to add images from time to time. I hope the site does well.


(03/30/2015) Unfortunately, Indulgy does not enable enough text space when displaying the photo to include the title of the article where the image came from. This pretty much shuts down the prospect of generating a click-thru to your article from Indulgy. Hopefully, Indulgy will change this and emulate Pinterest.

 (04/14/2015) I'm beginning to think Indulgy has become a mess. When right-clicking to post pictures, the box doesn't auto-fill and after filling out the box the picture doesn't show up in my collection. Also, earlier this week, the site locked up my computer.

 (09/15/2015) Yep, Indulgy is still pretty useless as to generating traffic to your linked article. As previously indicated, there's no text accompanying the image in the collection to indicate what the image or linked article is about. Clicking the image will bring up some accompanying text for the visitor, but how many visitors will bother to make that click to find out the details?

The only possible solution I see is to make all your images into memes that tell about the linked article. Oh, well.


Alternatives to and more info about indulgy.com

If interested, here is an article about Pinterest and Pinterest clones, includes more information about Indulgy and others.