Hua Shan (Mount Hua), in Shaanxi China - The mountain mysteriously blurred out/censored in Google maps.

Hua Shan (Mount Hua) is a famous mountain in China. It is one of China's Five Great Mountains. This past weekend I went to Hua Shan and was impressed with how majestic all of the peaks are. It is an amazingly beautiful area like many other areas in China.

In this post, rather than focus on how to get there, how much it costs, what it is like, or talk about the "world's most dangerous hiking trail," I want to ask the question that I can't seem to figure out.

Why on earth is Hua Shan Blurred out in Google Maps? Topographical information does not seem to be available anywhere online.

Shutter vs Hotshots. Which Linux screenshot tool is better?

Not too long ago I did a short post on the Linux screenshot tool Shutter. While I still find Shutter to be a fantastic screenshot tool, I recently found myself wanting for some additional features. This led me to discover some nice alternative screenshot tools for Linux, namely Hotshots and Kaption. While I found Kaption to be rather nice and easy, I find it lacks the functionality and is a bit too dated (last updated in 2011) to be a realistic replacement for Shutter (It is still worth checking out though, you can find out how to install it here).

Hotshots however, very well could be a viable replacement for Shutter. This post will be an attempt for me to determine which screenshot tool I feel is the best option for using on a Linux OS.

How to remember special dates or occasions like a boss.

I just finished celebrating my three year Iloveyouiversary with my wife. It was three years ago today when I first told my wife that I loved her. My wife thought it was soooo sweet that I remembered  this. Here's the thing though. I didn't remember.

This is what I did and what I do for any special or unique occasion I have with my wife. Whenever something significant or special happens with me and my wife, I open up my Google calendar and go back to the day and time that the event happened. For the event I will write what happened (our first date, first kiss, first time we talked, etc) and the day it happened on.

In the description I write details that I am likely to forget but might be useful to remember (like where we ate, how much it cost, impressions I had, etc). 

Important thing #1 - I set the calendar event as reaccuring on a yearly basis.
Important thing #2 - I set an email reminder for two days before the event. I find that two days usually gives me enough time to prepare to have a mini little celebration if I need to.

Once I receive the email, I am able to read it and it can refresh on all the event details. Say for instance it is my firstdateivversary; I will go up to my wife and say something like "Did you know that X years ago we went on our first date together? We went to X place and ate the X. I remember how X I felt and how X you looked, etc.

This has ended up working great for many things. I have been able to celebrate our firsttimetalkingiversary, our firstdateiversary, our firstkissiversary, our firstvacationiversary, and of course, our anniversary.

Pro tip: Keep a good journal. I had no idea I would marry my wife when we went on our first date, but luckily I had a good enough journal so that when I did marry her, I could see the time and date of our first date.

How does a "See 'n Say" work?

If you grew up around the 1960s to the 1990s, chances are pretty good that you grew up with a See 'n Say. This toy from Mattel had the ability to talk, play a song, or make animal sounds when you pulled the cord or pulled down on the lever. Not only would it do this all without batteries or electricity but it would also accurately play the right track according to where it was pointing.

So how exactly does this seemingly magical device work?

One easy way to lower your auto insurance premium.

Photo credit:
Do you feel like you are paying too much for your auto insurance? Have you ever been told that what you are paying is the cheapest you can get? Maybe not. Here is one way you might be able to get it even cheaper.

Why you might not want to upgrade to Kubuntu 15.04 yet; stick with version 14.10 (Problems and solutions)

Kubuntu 15.04 has recently been released with quite a bit of fanfare. It introduces the visually apealing Plasma 5 along with many application upgrades.

While I am a huge fan of Kubuntu, KDE, and the slick look of Plasma 5, I will give a few reasons while you might want to wait just a little longer before you decide to upgrade.

How to change the playback speed of a Youtube video (two methods).

Have you ever wanted to speed up or slow down the videos you watch in Youtube? Fortunately, this is really easy. I will show you a couple of ways to do this.

Free Download - Project Time Sheet (Time Clock/Time Card) Spreadsheet - For tracking your projects

Project Time Sheet Overview:

Project Time Sheet is a time tracking spreadsheet designed for independent or personal projects. The time sheet automatically tracks your time for each project you are working on so that you can know how much time you spend on you different projects. This time sheet is especially useful for people who work from home, bloggers, Youtubers, independent contractors, photographers, musicians, graphic designers, web designers, etc.
  • Time Sheet is saved on Google Drive so you can access it from anywhere. 
  • Time Sheet automatically marks the date and time so you don't have to input it manually. All you have to do is press a button. 
  • Time Sheet automatically tallies the time spent on each project. 
  • Set goals and accomplishments so you can easily view the progress of your project.
  • Set how much money you have made on the project to see what your hourly wage would be.
Keep reading for the download links and usage instructions.

How to personalize a mass (group or bulk) text message.

Imagine this scenario:
You are getting ready to move to a new home. You don't want to hire a moving company because of the price so you decide you will do everything yourself with the enlisted help of your friends.

You send a text to all of your friends. The text goes something like this. "Hey good buddy friend! I am going to be moving this weekend and I would love your help. Would you be able to come help me move Saturday morning at 9:00?"

So Saturday morning rolls around and guess what. No one comes. You see one of your friends a week later and ask why they did not come and they say something like "Oh, I am so sorry... I was busy that day and I thought all of your others friends would go there to help."

Classic. They saw that your text message went to about 50 other people and they assumed someone else would help.

If only there was a better way...

Happy Valentines day 2015!

I hope everyone has a fantastic valentines day!