My 2 Cents of the E-Cig Warehouse

15 March, 2016 22:23 CST6CDT

La Crosse hosts only a small number of e-cig stores.  Some of these stores only sell 3rd party e-liquid or disposable e-cig products.  Azara Hookah is known for their huge number of quality e-liquids to choose from.  At Deaf Ear Records you may find starter kits and pre-bottled e-cig liquid.  Their is a tobacco outlet in the Shopko strip on the south side of town that I hear does OK with their vape offerings and paraphernalia.

Now La Crosse has the E-Cig Warehouse on Copeland Avenue which will be the topic for the rest of this article.  Be aware that I will be giving my personal opinions of this new business and many may have conflicting views.

The E-Cig Warehouse was well planned out and executed in architectural design and display of their products.  When you first enter the door there is a terminal where you may show a personal QR code badge that will earn you points towards purchases.  They also have a fish bowl that you may submit a phone number to enter in for a monthly giveaway.  It would be hard not to notice the large screen display by its side with a live multi camera stream watching your every move.  They must have thought it necessary to advise you of the priceless hardware a stones throw away?  Or maybe they just wanted you to know you are safe to be there.

I was at first primarily interested in the e-liquid they offer.  My first several visits consisted of trying multiple concoctions.  I soon gave up on the in-house e-liquid.  I found the flavors to be too bold, rather outlandish in flavor, even after taking a couple bottles home to try with my personal e-cig hardware.  I could not see myself vaping on any of their current in-house flavors for more than an hour much less an all day vape.  Many of the flavors literally almost made me vomit.  I have a bone to pick with their methodology for their vape bar sample liquids in such that they expect visitors to already have a nicotine habit and with such all of their samples at the bar contain 9 mg of nicotine.  I find this very fact unacceptable and is rather misguided for the clientele they hope to attract and in the end may or may not receive.  Expect to pay ~ $28 $18 for 30 ml of their in-house juice.

Like many places in the area hardware such as batteries, tanks, and coils are marked higher than you would find in other large cities or on-line stores.  Ego battery prices are on par with many competing outlets as are their tanks.  Don't expect a replacement coil for under three and a half dollars however.

Perhaps you want something a little fancier than a VV Ego type battery?  I highly urge you to compare prices before making a final purchase.  Their Sub Ohm batteries are extraordinarily over priced and their mods are unthinkable.  For example: if you want a basic sub ohm battery, for example the eLeaf iStick 30 Watt, plan on paying $59.99 at the time of this writing.  With a little effort you may find this very same battery between $20 and $30 on-line or at a different retail business.  Want something fancier than a 30 Watt battery, maybe something with temperature control?  Run, run out the door fast.

While the E-Cig Warehouse offers a great learning experience for first time vapers I find it hard to imagine customers returning for more than a few visits with the exception of the need for an emergency coil or 'what not' that they may have on hand.  They do have a leather couch, big screen TVs, and fancy displays if you are the type of person to fall for such things.  I am not telling anyone to stay away from the Warehouse completely, just be mindful of your purchases and take your time before making a final purchase decision.

Article & Comments Tags: E-Cigs

La Crosse Technology Weather Station WS-9160U-IT Reviewed

10 February, 2016 23:36 CST6CDT

edited 2016-05-10

The WS-9160U-IT remote weather station simplifies this indoor and remote outdoor temperature weather station kit by simplifying the setup and by providing easy to navigate base station functions.

WS-9160U-IT Base StationThe base station has four buttons in a row along the lower side of the unit though only two of the buttons are commonly used.  The first two buttons allow you to set the time with either 12 or 24 hour time formats.  The temperature is displayed in Celsius if you choose to display 24H time and Fahrenheit if you choose the 12H time display.  Their is no option to choose 12 hour time format with Celsius temperature readings or 24 hour time format with Fahrenheit temperature readings.

Their is a MIN/MAX button to show the minimum and maximum indoor and outdoor temperatures for the previous 24 hours.  Pressing this button once shows the minimum 24 hour temperature and pressing the button a second time shows the maximum 24 hour temperature.  A third press of the MIN/MAX button will guide you back to the current temperatures.  In order to record a new MIN/MAX temperature reading for any given period of time (greater than or less than 24 hours previously mentioned), hold the MIN/MAX button down for at least 3 seconds to reset the values and start monitoring from that point forward.

The base station supports up to three remote temperature sensors.  The fourth and last button in the row selects the channel of the receive you would like to see the sensor data from.  Channels for receivers may not always default in the order of activated remote sensors, however you will be able to identify them by the presence of data after inserting batteries into the remote sensor.

The WS-9160U-IT base station is larger than usual for a device of this caliber at 5.86" x .89" x 3.3" though is light enough to fit snug on a wall hanging screw.  It does have a free standing leg though I question how it performs user functions by key-press as the keys are tight and the base station so light; you may need to apply forward pressure from the back.

The base station requires two AAA size batteries.  La Crosse Technology recommends Alkaline batteries and states that two Alkaline AAA batteries could last up to one year before needing to be replaced.  The indoor temperature range is 14.2°F to 139.8 °F (-9.9°C to 59.9°C).

WS-9160U-IT Remote SensorThe receiver, model TX-29U-IT, has an outdoor temperature range of -39.8°F to +139.8°F (-39.9°C to 59.9°C).  This sensor takes two AA batteries.  La Crosse technology recommends Alkaline however I recommend Lithium AA batteries if you live in a cold climate for any part of a year.  La Crosse Technology states that the outdoor sensor batteries have a lifetime of up to two years (Alkaline).

The outdoor sensor comes with a base adapter and two long wood screws with anchors to attach the outdoor sensor firmly in place with clips.  The sensor may be clipped at the bottom with the sensor facing an upward position or from the back in the same fashion however with the base clip facing from a vertical surface.

The outdoor sensor has a maximum range of 330 feet and operates at a frequency of 915 MHz.  The temperature on the base station display is updated from the outdoor sensor about every four seconds.  The base station will show when the temperature is being updated.

When the time comes to replace the batteries in either the base station or remote sensor, an icon will display on the base station showing either the indoor or outdoor batteries that need to be replaced.

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Article & Comments Tags: Technology

SYBA SI-PEX40064 AHCI PCI-Express 2.0 1x 6 Gbps Controller 4 Port Expansion Card

04 January, 2016 04:29 CST6CDT

I previously had a 3 drive software RAID 5 array on 1.5 Gbps links, yikes!  This controller was an easy plug and play on a PCI-Express 2.0 1x port running Linux 3.13.0.  It came with a CD containing drivers and a small reference booklet, and two nice SATA cables.  Unlike the SATA cables in the picture posted on the Newegg retail site, these had an angle connection on one end with sturdy metal grips.

Were their any cons to the purchase?

None that comes to mind.  Because of the previous reviews on Newegg I do wonder about bandwidth on a 1x PCI-X 2.0 bus when all four SATA ports negotiate at 6 Gbps 3.x modes.  Some speculated that the maximum throughput would be 500 MB/s.  I have yet to look into this any further.

Other thoughts?

This is an AHCI controller.  Your operating system will decide on the SATA mode.  The chipset and controller used to operate this expansion card is a Marvell 88SE9215.

dmesg gives the following information:

version 3.0
32 slots 4 ports 6 Gbps
flags: 64bit ncq sntf led only pmp fbs pio slum part sxs

Therefor

It is a 5/5 star investment for the needs of this server.  The retail price is $59.99 however Newegg often has this SATA controller on sale at very significant savings and I believe the reason is its popularity.

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Article & Comments Tags: Technology

Senator Tammy Baldwin, Senator Ron Johnson, and Congressman Ron Kind Official Stance on H.R. 2058

06 December, 2015 12:10 CST6CDT

"The FDA Deeming Authority Clarification Act of 2015 (HR 2058), introduced by Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma, would save the U.S. vapor industry from being decimated by improper regulations by the FDA. This bill would amend the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act to change the grandfather date for “deemed tobacco products.” This change would allow for all vapor products currently on the market to remain on the market without being subject to the burdensome (read: prohibitive) pre-market FDA approval application process."

The following are the responses to my H.R. 2058 E-Cig opinion and comment sent to Senator Tammy Baldwin, Senator Ron Johnson, and Congressman Ron Kind in which they clarify their stance and views of H.R. 2058 and Electronic Cigarettes.

The following is the response from Senator Tammy Baldwin:

Dear Mr. Wright:

Thank you for contacting me about the regulation of electronic cigarettes.  I appreciate hearing your thoughts on this important issue.

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-31) provided the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with the legal authority to regulate cigarettes and smokeless tobacco.  The law also allows the FDA to issue regulations that would subject other tobacco products to the law.  On April 24, 2014 the FDA proposed a new rule that would extend the agency's authority to regulate other tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, cigars, and pipe tobacco.  This rule exempts such products that came to market before February 15, 2007.  The FDA has not yet issued a final rule.

On April 28, 2015, the FDA Deeming Authority Clarification Act (H. R. 2058) was introduced in the U. S. House of Representatives to exempt newly regulated tobacco products that came to market before the date that the FDA issues the final rule.  I appreciate knowing your thoughts regarding this proposal and FDA regulation of electronic cigarettes.  H. R. 2058 has not yet been introduced in the Senate.

I recognize that many people may use electronic cigarettes to help them quit smoking cigarettes and using other traditional tobacco products.  Therefore, it's critical that we fully understand the health impacts of electronic cigarettes so that we can ensure that those who turn to them to avoid the negative health effects of traditional tobacco products don't suffer from unintended consequences.  The federal government has not yet determined the full health impacts of electronic cigarettes and some believe that they may contain other harmful substances and high levels of nicotine that may be toxic to young children.  In addition, there is insufficient research on the effectiveness of these products as a cessation method.  As such, I believe that maintaining appropriate oversight of these products is critical in reducing their associated health harms and helping us better understand the full scope of their consequences.

Once again, thank you for contacting my office.  It is important for me to hear from the people of Wisconsin on the issues, thoughts and concerns that matter most to you.  If I can be of further assistance, please visit my website at www.baldwin.senate.gov for information on how to contact my office.

Sincerely,
 
Tammy Baldwin
United States Senator

The following is the response from Congressman Ron Kind:

Dear Mr. Wright:
 
Thank you for contacting me about access to vapor products. I appreciate hearing from you on this issue.
 
As you may know, H.R. 2058, the FDA Deeming Authority Clarification Act, was introduced by Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) on April 28, 2015. This bill seeks to change premarket review requirements for items that are deemed tobacco products by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA Deeming Authority Clarification Act has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce for further consideration. Rest assured that I will keep your thoughts in mind should this legislation reach the House floor for a vote.
 
Again, thank you for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to be in touch with additional comments by contacting my office toll-free at 1-888-442-8040 or visiting my website, www.kind.house.gov, where you can find updated information, sign up to receive my e-newsletter, and send me an e-mail.
 
Sincerely,
Ron Kind
Member of Congress

The following is the response from Senator Ron Johnson:

Thank you for contacting my office.

Your views are important to me. I review and carefully consider constituent input and feedback as the Senate discusses, debates, and votes on issues.

My objective is to identify, define, and prioritize problems that put America at risk, stifle economic activity, or result in ineffective and inefficient government and then find solutions to those problems. Your input helps me do my job more effectively.

Thank you for contacting my office. it is very helpful to hear the views of the people I serve. To date my office has received more than 1,600,000 letters emails and phone calls. My mission is to provide information to as many people as possible concerning the enormous financial and cultural challenges facing America.

Please see my website at www.ronjohnson.senate.gov for additional information. It is an honor representing you and all the people of Wisconsin.

Sincerely,

Ron Johnson
United States Senator

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Article & Comments Tags: E-Cigs

Credit Card Transactions Fail Friday as a Growing List of Affected Banks Try To Restore Services

04 December, 2015 16:10 CST6CDT

Several major banks nationwide Friday fought to restore customer use of debit and credit cards for on-line and retail transactions while the failures also prevented access to current financial fund balances and limited bank account modifications and other accounting services.

Major banks such as Wells Fargo, Chase, PNC Bank, SunTrust, among a growing list of other large and many smaller banking and credit card service institutions discovered the failures early Friday morning and worked to restore credit card services throughout the day.

ATM cash withdraws were a gamble as some financial networks successfully processed the requested transactions while others failed to provide funds completely.  Retail debit and credit card processing was the primary problem throughout the day as merchants continued to decline transactions into the late afternoon.

As of 4:00 PM CST these failures had still not been fully understood nor resolved across all financial networks and institutions.  An unknown source hinted that today's credit card transaction failures were a result of a common out of country banking transaction that contained a very problematic data glitch resulting in the financial software and network systems cascading failures.

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Article & Comments Tags: Technology


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