Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Albertsons Monopoly Shop Play Win Spring 2015 Rare Game Pieces

I have never been this excited about a Grocery store "spend more on stuff you don't need" Promotion Game.... since the last three giveaway games Albertsons had (and the Rachel ray promotion 2 years ago)! Currently (February 5th 2015 - June 6th 2015) Albertsons is promoting their latest Board Game: Albertsons Shop, Play, Win, Monopoly Collect & Win Game.  We have seen these types of games done before, notably the famous McDonalds Monopoly game. For this Albertsons game, the rules are simple.
  • Buy products at Albertsons (especially the ones with the "Win Big" stickers near the price tag)
  • Redeem your recipe for a booklet with 4 game pieces and 1 coupon/Entry Code at the register
  • Fill in a game board with the game pieces
  • Check This Blog to see if you have a rare Albertsons game piece

Albertons Monopoly Game Board

The idea is to fill in the 4-6 game pieces to win the particular prize category. The trick with these types of monopoly games is that they leave one piece to be very hard to obtain, thus making the prize hard to win. To make things a bit easier to tell if you should even worry about getting a game board and licking the game pieces to fill in the different prizes, here is a list of the "hard" items to obtain to win the entire prize. Some reward categories are still being determined which game piece is the rare one, but as information is known, the table below will be updated!!!







RewardRare Piece Game NumberChances you might actually win this prize*
$1,000,000 Cash Reward (paid over 30 years) 102A, 105A,106A, 107AForget about it. Very Very unlikely. Do not plan on winning this prize. (3 available)
$500,000 Vacation Home110B,112B, 113B,114B0.0000000000005 (3 available)
$100,000 Cash or 2015 Tesla117C,118C,
120C,122C
A Tesla model S? Sweet prize (and sustainable!) (6 available)
$50,000 Home Make over123D, 125D, 126D, 128D2.5 × 10-13 (12 available)
$35,000 Vehicle of your choice134EThese can be dangerous (12 available)
$20,000 College Tuition135F, 137F, 138F, 139F12 available, so not impossible, but still very unlikely. (24 available)
$10,000 Jet Ski
These are fun, but better to rent! (36 available)
$10,000 Family Vacation141G, 142G, 143G, 144G, 145GNot likely to win but worth trying (36 available)
$5,000 Cash 153J,Do you really need that much green paper?(40 available)
$2,500 BigJoe Grill & Groceries156K, 157K, 158KSemi likely if you obtain a lot of tickets. (60 available) 
$1,000 Cash159L, 160L, 161LCash!! (75 available)
$1,000 Romantic Weekend Getaway163M, 164M, 165M, 166M75 available, so not likely but might be worth playing for.
$550 Redbox Movies for a Year167N, 168NThat's a lot of chick flicks! (250 available)
$500 Apple iPad Air171O,172O,173O, 174OThose Mac Air's are skinny! (250 available)
$200 Grocery Gift Card175P, 176P, 177P,Kinda unlikely Likely (500 available)
$200 Cash179Q, 180Q, 181QIs this even a prize? Likely if you collect 10 game pieces a day for 100 days you might win! (500 available)
$100 Grocery Gift Card188S, 189S,The more you shop, the more you drop! (1,000 available)
$100 Cash184R, 185RNot worth playing the game for this one but cool if you win!  ($1,000 available)
$50 Grocery Gift Card191U, Can't complain about free groceries! (4,000 available)
$25 Grocery Gift Card195V, 197V, 198VYay! Free groceries! (8,000 available) 
$25 Cash200W, 202WNot worth playing the game for only this prize. (8,000 available

$15 Grocery Gift Card203X, 204XNot worth playing for such a small prize (10,000 available)
$10 Grocery Gift Card207Y, 209Y, 210YTen bucks, that's it? (20,000 available)
$5 Grocery Gift Card212Z, 213Z, 214ZThis is possible to win! (100,000 available)
Instant Free Product WinnerN/AThis is possible to win! (3,661,105 available)
2 Free Game TicketsN/AI have won these before, they are not that rare, keep your eyes peeled for them! (41,814,987 available)



The table above can be used as a reference to see if your game piece is of value, or just another run of the mill game pieces. Each booklet also provides a free coupon for some random item within Albertsons, this is usually a measly 25 cent off coupon. However, occasionally this is a coupon redeemable online for some entry into a drawing or a coupon for more monopoly coupons.  If your desperate for more pieces, you may try a search on ebay or craigslist for what people are selling: Albertsons Monoploy Pieces on Ebay




If your really desperate be sure to ask your friends and local register trash cans for additional tickets. If your looking at How to Win the Albertsons Monopoly Collect and Win Game, look no further than the above table to see the rare pieces to win. And while I continue to have doubts that my local grocery store is making millionaires out of this game, I hope this makes the game easier to play and you can strategize your purchases accordingly! Good Lick!!




*Odds are completely made up. They are based roughly on how many prizes they give away. Don't take them too seriously.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Albertsons Shop, Play Win Monopoly Collect & Win Game Rare Pieces

I have never been this excited about a Grocery store "spend more on stuff you don't need" Promotion Game.... since the last two giveaway games Albertsons had (and the Rachel ray promotion this past winter)! Currently (February 5th 2014 - May 20th 2014) Albertsons is promoting their latest Board Game: Albertsons Shop, Play, Win, Monopoly Collect & Win Game.  We have seen these types of games done before, notably the famous McDonalds Monopoly game. For this Albertsons game, the rules are simple.
  • Buy products at Albertsons (especially the ones with the "Win Big" stickers near the price tag)
  • Redeem your recipe for a booklet with 4 game pieces and 1 coupon/Entry Code at the register
  • Fill in a game board with the game pieces
  • Check This Blog to see if you have a rare Albertsons game piece




The idea is to fill in the 4-6 game pieces to win the particular prize category. The trick with these types of monopoly games is that they leave one piece to be very hard to obtain, thus making the prize hard to win. To make things a bit easier to tell if you should even worry about getting a game board and licking the game pieces to fill in the different prizes, here is a list of the "hard" items to obtain to win the entire prize. Some reward categories are still being determined which game piece is the rare one, but as information is known, the table below will be updated!!!


RewardRare Piece Game NumberChances you might actually win this prize*
$1,000,000 Cash Reward (paid over 30 years)X803, X805Forget about it. Very Very unlikely. Do not plan on winning this prize. (3 available)
$500,000 Dream HomeW807 or W8090.0000000000005 (3 available)
$100,000 CashV812 or V8160.0000000000005 (8 available)
$40,000 Vehicle of your choiceT820 or T821 2.5 × 10-13 (10 available)
$40,000 Motorcycle or BoatS823 or S825These can be dangerous (12 available)
$25,000 Backyard MakeoverR828 or R82920 available, so not impossible, but still very unlikely. (20 available)
$10,000 Family VacationP832Disneyland here we come...NOT!! Family's greater than 4 need not apply. (24 available)
$5,000 ATV or Camping PackageN839Not likely to win but worth trying (40 available)
$2,500 Free GroceriesM843Do you really need that many groceries?(60 available)
$1,000 Free GroceriesL848Semi likely if you obtain a lot of tickets. (150 available) 
$500 iPad AirK849Free Apple Products!! (250 available)
$500 XBox OneJ854250 available, so not likely but might be worth playing for.
$250 Grocery Gift CardI860That's alot of Dog Food! (500 available)
$250 CashH864More money, more problems? (500 available)
$100 Grocery Gift CardG866Kinda Likely (2,000 available)
$50 Albertsons Gift Card F871Is this even a prize? Likely if you collect 10 game pieces a day for 100 days you might win! (4,000 available)
$25 Grocery Gift CardE874The more you shop, the more you drop! (6,000 available)
$25 CashD879Not worth playing the game for this one but cool if you win!  ($6,000 available)
$15 Monopoly Board GameC882Is this a Joke? They will give you a monopoly board game? (10,000 available)
$10 Grocery Gift CardB887Yay! Free money! (20,000 available) 
$5 Grocery Gift CardA889Not worth playing the game for only this prize. (40,000 available

The table above can be used as a reference to see if your game piece is of value, or just another run of the mill game pieces. Each booklet also provides a free coupon for some random item within Albertsons, this is usually a measly 25 cent off coupon. However, occasionally this is a coupon redeemable online for some entry into a drawing or a coupon for more monopoly coupons.  If your desperate for more pieces, you may try a search on ebay or craigslist for what people are selling: Albertsons Monoploy Pieces on Ebay

If your really desperate be sure to ask your friends and local register trash cans for additional tickets. If your looking at How to Win the Albertsons Monopoly Collect and Win Game, look no further than the above table to see the rare pieces to win. I hope this makes the game easier to play and you can strategize your purchases accordingly! Good Lick!!



*Odds are completely made up. They are based roughly on how many prizes they give away. Don't take them seriously.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The $1 Bike Handlebar Social Experiment: From Serindipity to Appropriation

A Timeline of events of a dollar bill I found on my Bike Commute

May 14, 2013 - I found a dollar bill in gutter on my bike ride to work. It was a little wet, so I wrapped it to my handle bars rather that just putting it in my pocket.




June 2013 - The parking attendant 'stole' the dollar, leaving me confused and thinking the experiment was over. However, the next day he left this note:




Then left another note, and put the ORIGINAL dollar back on the handle bars. And because he wanted to have a mention in the blog, he gets one!




I rode hundreds of miles with it attached to the handle bar by a bandanna.



August 2013 - While waiting at a stop light, I saw the dollar bill had been replicated. I later discovered that the same parking attendant found a dollar in the parking machine and donated it to the 'handle bar bike  experiment' I was conducting.




A few months later, I saw it was $3 on the handle bar, due to the parking attendant's second generous donation to the experiment.

I continued to ride all over, even leaving my rear red blinky light on the bike (~$20 value) knowing someone would more likely take the money on the handle bars. At one point I had it locked up for a few days and felt confident the bike was safe with the dollars as a deterrent, providing stronger security than a kriptonte. Granted the bike was locked up in the 'safest city in the world' for a majority of the time.


December 11th 2013 - 7:13pm in Costa Mesa at the intersection of Newport blvd and Harbor. STOLEN (Just like in this video from across the street)! The $3 dollars was finally stolen from the handle bars on this Wednesday evening. Likely due to the location at an intersection with an open area for high pedestrian traffic, creating a threatening environment for the dollar bill to survive on the handlebars.



I was so happy to see the money finally stolen! After all, that was the point, it just dragged on and kept growing in size, becoming a bigger experiment then initially planned for. Looking back it was a wonderful experience. I had countless discussions with friends and strangers about the meaning of the dollar bill(s) on the handle bar and even stirred some excitement leading to friendly gestures left by my bike.






So what's the next handle bar experiment? Maybe $5 Handlebar Social Experiment, maybe a parrot? Or maybe other bicyclists want to perform this experiment in their city and compare results!

Sometimes Dreams do come to full completion when you get to show the Blog post to the Co-Author!









Friday, June 28, 2013

All About: Grooveshark Broadcast Radio - Be your own Online Streaming Radio DJ

Robot based radio does not add enough variety and Grooveshark Broadcast uses the wisdom of the crowds to create the best possible radio station, infusing new music direct from other listeners.



Just to be clear Grooveshark is Awesome! It provides a great online music streaming service to play virtually any song ever! It also creates a nice community of users to interact and 'follow' one another. Since 2006 Grooveshark has made it apparent that they are not for the traditional audio ads that online radio has traditionally seen. The only ad's for Grooveshark users are the  visual banner ads on some pages of the site. This is really neat to break away from the pandora/spotify type online music streaming services. In fact Groovesharks' CEO want's to disrupt the entire business model of music as we know it, making it 100% free to listen to and only paying for concert shows. A neat idea, but who knows if the artists will fully support this and it will really work.

That's Grooveshark! Free, online streaming music. Recently however they made it possible for anyone (you and me) to make our own 'radio station' for other online grooveshark users to listen into. How neat is that? Instead of some algorithm determining what to play next, a fan of a certain genre of music decides. Or if you are listening to the station, you can make song suggestions to play next, or vote on other song suggestions to encourage the DJ to play them. How cool! It's like a Wikipedia for Radio, crowd-sourced selections always playing the freshest beats! Finally, Grooveshark Broadcast takes the music selection power away from the communist robots (Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio etc.) and gives it back to the people that matter; The Listeners!

Oh yea, and no need to call into the radio station and beg them to play your song, just search and add it to the suggestion list (Talk about band promotion!). Want to hear it right way? Just click the play button and preview the song! Each suggestion and vote, you are helping co-pilot a radio station and enjoying some of the music you like at the same time!! Unfortunately there is a limit on the number of suggested songs for a radio station, so if a DJ does not play suggestions, the list of songs can be queued up and not allow for additional suggestions...LAME!




As for popularity, there are hundreds of listeners listening to a variety of stations. The top genres include Dance, Indie, Electronic, Rock, Dubstep among many others. Don't see a station you like? Start your own and play whatever you want. Just the other day I made a station playing Dave Matthews Band Music 24/7. After about an hour, nobody else had joined, so I shut the station down. Maybe one day it will be back! Either way it was a really neat experience to be in the hot seat playing the tunes I love the most with the possibility that others will tune in to listen, chat or make song suggestions!




Being a DJ
This online DJ radio station service may have been seen before back in the Winamp days, where you could do practically the same thing, only now it's from a browser, and you don't have to have the music on your computers hard drive. This could really take off, in a world where pandora-fied music becomes so routine and unable to add a fresh mix into the music all the time. Here live DJ's and other 'experts' can suggest a randomized playlist while introducing hundreds of new artists with a fresh look.

While using this service for the past few weeks, I came across a few ideas to make the service more user friendly or increase revenue possibilities.

DJ Ideas
As a DJ, it would be great if you could have two additional features;

  1. The ability to have suggestions from grooveshark on what to play next. Essentially adding a robotic music finder to assist the DJ in his music selection
  2. Allow the current DJ to pass on the reigns to a listening user, so they can take over being DJ for the station. Update: They might currently allow this.
Broadcast Revenue
Revenue wise, I think there are a bunch of ways to monetize radio stations with a few hundred or thousand users. Here are a few ideas:
  • Artists could 'pay-to-play' a song on a specific genre radio station for hundreds of listeners to hear if the DJ of that station liked it and wanted the listeners to hear it
  • A radio station playing only local or unknown bands where the bands promote their nearby shows in the ad's on the page
  • A DJ could have the option of playing a public service announcement or audio ad to it's users to generate income for the artists it is playing but leaving the option for users to enable or disable the feature
Broadcast Community
In general, a radio creates a sense of community and this is essential for a radio station to survive. A few ideas to create a community would be:
  • The ability for a DJ to record an audio clip from their microphone to introduce themselves and the station to connect with their audience. The Listeners could enable/disable these updates if desired. Implemented!!!
  • The ability to ask polls to the listeners to see what other types of music they are interested in or areas of interest in their life they enjoy
  • The ability for new/potential listeners to search for a radio broadcast playing an artist or similar artist
  • The ability to easily announce sport events or live radio broadcast of any real time event, including TV shows, news events, E-gaming events,  personal interviews or group discussions!


To conclude, this Grooveshark broadcast feature is really neat  because it allows for a rapid and direct way for individuals to have an influence in what others listen to. This also allows for others to bring original music suggestions to  broaden one's horizon of the music they love. Let's hope that users continue to benefit from it and it opens up new possibilities into radio as we know it. Imagine the potential this has for entering into the airwaves and into cars! That's Dope!

P.s. If there is one broadcast station that stands out among the rest it has to be: One-Eyed Sasquatch Radio created and DJ'd by CaptainKevman. This station provides all that is good in the world of indie/folk music! The DJ is very open to suggestions and does a great job of creating a community around the music and it's listeners!

P.p.s. The ability to create a decentralized broadcast system is very powerful! For example, Youtube could do something similar, rather than just playlists, they could create a real time streaming site just for youtube videos being organized by a single user with a common theme, with suggestions from other viewers. Essentially this would be a TV channel, but a better youtube experience, because it would organize the commercial ads and minimize down time looking for a new video.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Mountain Bike Trail Review: Fullerton Loop Trail

I recently had the opportunity to ride the Fullerton Loop Trail so I figured I would give a trail review of my ride. I should give the caveat that I am used to mountain biking in Crystal Cove and Laguna coast Wilderness where there is plenty of hills to climb and refreshing overlooks that glance to the ocean. With that said, I was not impressed by the Fullerton Loop as a mountain bike ride. However, maybe I missed a killer section of the loop, or I did not know about the side route.

A few friends mentioned they had heard of the trail, but never checked it out. Now I see why. For locals this might be a great trail to get a quick ride in and some dirt on the tires. For those who have to drive a few miles to get there, I don't think the hassle is worth it.


Here is a single track that leads off from the main wide fire road path. Kinda fun to ride but too flat for my tastes.


The Fullerton Loop is basically a residential fire road (12 feet wide) that goes behind houses that is used by horses,  joggers, dog walkers and bikers. The trail is relatively flat and is sometimes hard to follow when it ends at a busy street and continues a block over. Some of the trail had some side wall rides (nothing major) and some built in dirt jumps (small) and some single track running parallel to the fire road. 

This side route travels under the rail road tracks

I may be wrong in my analysis about how the trail routes through the neighborhood but I was very unimpressed with the connection across streets. I ended up only doing about 5 of the 12 miles, because I got lost looking for the trail otherwise. If you do ever go check it out, get a good map of the trail before you depart.


I am glad to have checked it out, but I will not be returning. I think it's more of a local kinda thing to get out on the bike. From now on, I'll be sticking closer to home.




Sunday, April 7, 2013

Do It Yourself (DIY) Taxes: Overview and General Tips

In doing my taxes this year, I figured I would give a brief write up of some of the things I discovered and share the general process of doing taxes. To me "doing taxes" always sounds like a lot of work and not an enjoyable way to spend free time. However by breaking it down, using the online resources, I believe that doing your own taxes is an excellent way to help understand your finances and take control of your inevitable duty to pay the U.S. Government.


To complete your taxes, their are a bunch of options available. H&R Block and other tax preparation services can walk you though preparing your taxes with you (not for you, at the end of the day, you are responsible for everything on your tax forms). While these firms usually know the in's and out's of your tax forms to help maximize your return, they also charge money for their services and take away the self-empowering enjoyment of doing your own taxes!


Another option is to use online or desktop software, such as Turbo Tax, to complete your taxes. This is another great method to essentially do your taxes yourself from the comfort of your home and their are some great write ups on these different tax software's. It truly is a great method if your taxes are a bit complicated and are willing to pay the fee for the software.

The third method I would like to mention is doing your taxes 'from scratch'. Essentially just using the correct tax form you need and the instruction booklet for that tax form. While this may sound old fashioned in this technology age, I believe that it empowers you on a journey to tax knowledge and understanding that the previous two methods don't allow. Below I outline a few overview points about tax forms in general and then give a few pointers to help follow the instruction booklet. While this is public here on this blog, I plan to use this as a reminder each year for issues I need to remember to expedite my tax filing in years to come.

If you need to file a tax extension in 2013 for 2012 taxes, their is a nice write up here about it.

Overview of a Tax Form

Ok, so let's dive into the basics of a tax from. In a very general form, the 1040EZ and 1040A essentially do three things as you fill in the lines
1. Calculate up your total money earned in the filing year and subtract any deductions from this total earned income to calculate your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI).
2. Determine your Standard Deduction that the government provides (typically ~$6,000 for a single individual (in 2012) and additional for dependents) and subtract it from the adjusted gross income.
3. Calculate your Tax in the tax table from your AGI, subtract additional, after tax, reductions, such as federal income tax withheld (Box 2 of W-2, etc.) and determine the amount of tax owed or amount that will be returned.


Those are the three main sections to work through on the tax forms. Of course, many other factors (and worksheets) can come into play depending on your finances, but in general that's the basics as I see it. Now, let's look at some specifics for following the instruction booklet correctly.

Do it yourself Tips

Overall, I really enjoy the instruction booklet. It does a great job at walking you through each line. Although I will admit that sometimes it becomes a convoluted process that takes more time than anticipated just to fill in one line on the tax form. This is all part of the exciting process of doing your taxes yourself!!! In doing taxes this year, I jotted down a few tips for next year.


  • Follow the instruction booklet and ensure it all makes sense. It maybe helpful to skip ahead and see where things are going or to re-read a section
  • If it says: "Subtract line 5 from line 2" This means Line 2-line 5, Not Line 5 - Line 2. Sounds simple but can easily be misinterpreted
  • Use a spreadsheet (Excel or Google Docs) to calculate entries and lines, to easily make changes later, and to explain your logic in case of an audit or you become confused looking over everything weeks/years later. Separate sheets for additional forms or calculations helps too!
  • Examples are provided which can be very helpful to learn what is happening with the monetary values and how the value should be calculated
  • Sometimes additional calculations or worksheets that pop up while filling out the tax form, (Capital Gains Tax, Life Long Learning Credit, Savers Credit, Earned Income Credit, etc.). I see these as an opportunity to learn more about the tax system and what taxes we have to pay or credits we can receive  The instructions for these are provided online and are usually just as well documented as the main tax form being filled out
  • Their are plenty of opportunities to take tax credits. You may have more opportunities than you realize. As you read about each line on your tax form, be sure to make sure you cannot qualify for this field. If you can, it might be worth looking into more by either filling out another form or doing some additional research on the tax credit





Don't Forget Tax day is April 15th (unless on it lands on a weekend)! Any Questions about taxes, just Google it, or look into AARP for looking over your taxes with you. Besides the IRS website, their are some great question and answer forums, Twitter, and other websites talking about a bunch of tax related questions.  If you have other tips you would like to share, please do so in the comments below. Best of Luck!!

Disclaimer: I am not a tax professional. The following is based on my best attempt at understanding the taxes. Please realize that this as a best guess on how things work and your own situation may vary significantly. You should always consult a tax professional before taking action on any advice presented here. 


Thursday, January 31, 2013

Official Printable Superbowl 2013 100 Squares Game Instructions

With the big Superbowl approaching, you maybe interested in doing some fun betting to ensure you can reap the monetary rewards from your friends!! Here is a link to the Official 2013 Superbowl Squares PDF file. This PDF is sponsored by BetYouBet, a betting site setup for any type of bet you desire!



Here is a description of how to use the squares:

SETUP
1. Print out the Squares Game Board PDF
2. Gather Friends, Family, Extended Friends and Family, or anyone willing to throw down some money for a fun betting game for the Superbowl (or any game!)
3. Set a price for each of the 100 squares and sell them to the gathered loved ones. The participants can mark their initials in the print out board.
Example: If each square sells for $1 dollar, the entire pool of money will be $100 bucks. Depending on the number of participants, a cap may need to be set to limit the number of squares that can be bought.
5. Once all the squares have been sold, the money is gathered and stored until the end of the game.

EXECUTION
Using a way to Randomly Generate a 0 to 9 across the top gray row and left most column. These numbers represent the last number in the score board that occur for each team during 1st, 2nd, 3rd and final quarter of the game.

For Example if at the end of the 1st quarter the score was: 49ers: 10, Ravens: 7. Then the person who bought a 0 on the 49ers side and a 7 on the Ravens side, would win X% of the total pot. A typical distribution split at each of the quarters is given below in the Payouts section.

PAYOUTS
Typically payout is
1st Q: 10%
2nd Q: 20%
3rd Q: 10%
Final Score: 60%

Here are some other helpful links on how to play football squares:
eHow: How to Play Football Squares
Ask.com - How to Play Football Squares

PROBABILITIES
Some other websites have done some nice analysis on the probabilities of winning, depending on the numbers you have. Odds Of Winning Football Squares for Superbowl found here!

Best of Luck!!!