Say No to Firestone, Yes to Your Local Automotive Shop

At the end of April, I took my vehicle to Firestone. It is now the end of May and I have been thinking about writing this post since my experience. I want to warn people, but also give a recommendation.

The trip to Firestone at the end of April wasn’t my first. It was my third visit this year. After paying a total of $1514.68 between two visits in March, I wasn’t happy when they quoted me $1360.92 this time. This started me wishing I had never gone back to them after 15 years. The reason I had was because it was convenient and I’d been approved for their credit card in April.

This return in April came about because they didn’t successfully do an alignment on a previous visit, and it was affecting my tires. Along fixing their botched alignment job, they recommended work on my braking system. They said my right rear caliper was frozen. They also wanted to flush my brake system. The last thing they recommended was removing and replacing my front left wheel bearing. I mention the wheel bearing last because this will feature into this story a little bit later.

I was pissed, so I told them to complete the alignment and replace the tire that had been damaged by the alignment issue, both at no cost to me. I had decided to take my vehicle to Manchester Transmissions Inc. in Manchester, CT. My wife’s vehicle was serviced there recently on a recommendation from her father.

I was nervous taking it there since I was planning on giving them the printout I had from Firestone detailing what needed to be performed on the car. I was afraid they could take that information and tell me Firestone was correct, but they could do it at a cheaper price. I was giving them a lot of power with this information.

Manchester Transmissions came back to me in a day and said there wasn’t anything wrong enough that needed to be taken care of. One of the wheels does stop rotating before the other one in the rear, but they wouldn’t describe it as being frozen.

I mentioned earlier I would come back around to the wheel bearing. The left front wheel bearing Firestone wanted to replace was fine. The right front bearing that Firestone did replace in March was making a little noise. The technicians in Manchester took a stethoscope to both bearings.

A potential bill went from $1473.93 to $0. I was very happy about this. In the future if I need my vehicle worked on, I will be calling Manchester Transmissions and if it’s a job they don’t do, I will find another local place before ever going back to Firestone.

My suggestion to anyone is to find a local shop to have your vehicle looked at. Most of the time it will be cheaper than a “big name” service station, and there is a good chance they will be honest. If you live near Manchester Transmissions, I recommend checking them out for your vehicle issues. The only time to use Firestone is for an oil change or tires, but if they tell you they your vehicle needs something else, get a second opinion. This second opinion will make your wallet happy. —Jason Harris

A New Venture

 

I’m writing this post today to let you know about a new venture, Mobile Addict, I have started. I was inspired by a site that disappeared a number of years ago. It was a site that posted people’s experiences with their mobile devices and how they were using them. People also wrote in about apps they were using and other mobile related topics. I learned about a lot of apps that way. I even participated by sending in my own experiences.

I would love to continue in that website’s vein with Mobile Addict so if you love mobile technology as much as I please send me your thoughts and comments on your phones and how you are using them. I welcome thoughts on any and every OS. If you are using an amazing app please share your thoughts on them. Everything will be shared on this site. Please email me at jhpromoservices@gmail.com.

‘The Monster Squad’ Comes to Rock & Shock this Month

By Jason Harris2007-08-22 12.06.42

I was happy to see that three actors from the 1987 movie, The Monster Squad, will be at this year’s Rock & Shock, which takes place Oct. 16 – 18. These actors are Stephen Macht, Duncan Regehr, and Michael Reid Mackay. Macht and Mackay play Del and The Mummy respectively. In the last few years, Macht has been in the television series, Suits and The Mentalist while Mackay has been in Insidious Chapter 32015-10-01 19.29.42

The one I’m looking forward to meeting though is Regehr who portrayed Dracula in the movie. I have always loved The Monster Squad. Yes, it has its flaws, but to me they are easily overlooked because of my love of the movie. If you haven’t seen it or don’t own a copy, it is streaming on Netflix at the moment. I own a copy, but once it became available on the streaming service this past September, I watched it there as well.

Besides The Monster Squad, Regehr has been in a few favorite television shows of mine such as V: The Series and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. I recently rewatched “The Begotten,” an episode of DS9, and it dawned on me that the same actor who portrayed Shakaar was also Dracula in The Monster Squad. I’m not sure if I’ve made that connection before. Before I started writing this post, I thought Regehr was on more than just three episodes of DS9.

So if you are a Star Trek or V fan, make sure to come to Rock & Shock to meet Regehr. Don’t me surprised if you see some V cosplay when you are attending Rock & Shock.

Pictures from Vermont Comic Con, Part II

 

By Jason Harris

 

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Harley Quinn.

Writer/artist Bob Layton

Writer/artist Bob Layton.

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The Flash and Mr. Fantastic.

The Flash and Mr. Fantastic.

Writer/artist Matt Bessette.

Writer/artist Matt Bessette.

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Jareth the Goblin King and Sarah.

Jareth the Goblin King and Sarah.

Deadpool and Spider-man.

Deadpool and Spider-man.

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The Penguin.

The Penguin.

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Rick Grimes and a zombie.

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Authors Matt Spencer and Kristine Croto.

Authors Matt Spencer and Kristine Croto.

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Actress Melissa Cowan (The Walking Dead).

Actress Melissa Cowan (The Walking Dead).

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The Mighty Snorter table.

The Mighty Snorter table.

CT Authors Trail Brings Author Stacey Longo to Columbia Library

By Jason Harris

 

This past Tuesday evening author Stacey Longo read a story from her current collection, Secret Things, to a responsive crowd at the Saxton B Little Public Library in Columbia, CT. She even read the prologue of her recently sold novel, Ordinary Boy, which will be published by Dark Alley Press in early 2015.

There will be a second chance to meet Longo when all the authors on the trail participate at the finale event to be held at the Mohegan Sun Cabaret on Thursday, Sept. 4 from 6:15 to 9 p.m. Find out more here.

Find out about the Connecticut Authors Trail here.

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Author Dale Phillips Write-up and Pictures of the New England Author Expo

Author Dale T. Phillips has posted pictures from his time at the New England Author Expo, which was created and organized by Christopher Obert of Pear Tree Publishing. Click here to read and see the pictures.

Authors, Illustrators, and Artists at the New England Author Expo Part 2 (Pictures)

 

By Jason Harris

 

Welcome to the second entry with pictures from the 2014 New England Author Expo, which happened this past Wednesday night (July 30) in the Harborview Ballroom at the Danversport Yacht Club in Danvers, MA.

Author Nancy Madore.

Author Nancy Madore.

Find out more about Madore on her website here.

Author Dale T. Phillips with his book, Shadow of the Wendigo.

Author Dale T. Phillips with his book, Shadow of the Wendigo.

Find out more about Phillips on his website here.

Author L.E. Hastings with his book, You, Me and Everything In Between.

Author L.E. Hastings with his book, You, Me and Everything In Between.

Find out more about Hastings on his website here.

Author B.B. Boudreau with her book, The Frenchman.

Author B.B. Boudreau with her book, The Frenchman.

Find out more about Boudreau on her website here.

Author Kelly Ilebode with her book, Angel.

Author Kelly Ilebode with her book, Angel.

Find out more about Illebode on her website here.

Author Eric Dimbleby with his newest book, White Out.

Author Eric Dimbleby with his newest book, White Out.

Find out more about Dimbleby on his website here.

Author Joseph Ross holding his book, Fast Track for Caregivers.

Author Joseph Ross holding his book, Fast Track for Caregivers.

Find out more about Ross on his website here.

Dyan deNapoli a.k.a The Penguin Lady with her book, The Great Penguin Rescue.

Dyan deNapoli a.k.a The Penguin Lady with her book, The Great Penguin Rescue.

Find out more about deNapoli on her website here.

Author Deborah Swiss with her book, The Tin Ticket.

Author Deborah Swiss with her book, The Tin Ticket.

Find out more about Swiss on her website here.

Author Jack Beale with his book, Evil Intentions.

Author K.D. Mason with his book, Evil Intentions.

Find out more about Mason and his books on his website here.

Authors Stacey Longo and T. Stephens holding Stephens' book, Dante;s Cypher.

Authors Stacey Longo and T. Stephens holding Stephens’ book, Dante’s Cypher.

Find out more about Stephens on his website here.

Richard A. LaPorta, president of the American Authors & Publishers Guild and owner of Husky Trail Press.

Richard A. LaPorta, president of the American Authors & Publishers Guild and owner of Husky Trail Press.

Find out more about the American Authors & Publishers Guild here and Husky Trail Press here.

Author M.P. Barker holding her two books, A Difficult Boy and Mending Horses.

Author M.P. Barker holding her two books, A Difficult Boy and Mending Horses.

Find out more about Barker on her website here.

Author June Greig.

Author June Greig.

Find out Greig’s book, A Dog to Remember, here.

Artist/Illustrator Lisa Greenleaf holding up some of her work.

Artist/Illustrator Lisa Greenleaf holding up some of her work including John Greenleaf Whittier’s The Barefoot Boy.

Find out more about Greenleaf on her website here.

Artist S.L. Johnson.

Artist S.L. Johnson.

Find out more about Johnson on her website here.

Author N.E. Castle with her Loogie the Booger Genie series.

Author N.E. Castle with her Loogie the Booger Genie series.

Find out more about Castle on her website here.

Author Uzuri M. Wilkerson with her two books, Sweet and Sour.

Author Uzuri M. Wilkerson with her two books, Sweet and Sour.

Find out more about Wilkerson on her website here.

Author Rich Feitelberg with his book, Aure the Topaz.

Author Rich Feitelberg with his book, Aure the Topaz.

Find out more about Feitelberg on his website here.

Author Cheryl Lassiter with her book, The Mark of Goody Cole.

Author Cheryl Lassiter with her book, The Mark of Goody Cole.

Find out more about Lassiter on her website here.

Artist Libby Chase.

Artist Libby Chase.

Find out more about Chase on her website here.

Author Edith Maxwell with her book, 'Til Dirt Do Us Part.

Author Edith Maxwell with her book, ‘Til Dirt Do Us Part.

Find out more about Maxwell on her website here.

Author Eileen Doyan with her book, Pet Tales.

Author Eileen Doyan with her book, Pet Tales.

Find out more about Doyan on her Amazon page here.

Author Connie Johnson Hambley with her book, The Charity.

Author Connie Johnson Hambley with her book, The Charity.

Find out more about Hambley on her website here.


 

 

You can follow the Expo on its Facebook page here or on Twitter (@neauthorexpo).

Editor’s Note:

For the people who I didn’t get your picture, I do apologize. I hope to see you at the next event so I can take your picture at that time.

Authors, Illustrators, and Artists at the New England Author Expo (Pictures)

 

By Jason Harris

 

The 2014 New England Author Expo happened this past Wednesday night (July 30) in the Harborview Ballroom at the Danversport Yacht Club in Danvers, MA.

Artist and author Seth McCombs holding his book, Old Salty Dog.

Artist and author Seth McCombs holding his book, Old Salty Dog.

Find out about McCombs and his work here.

Author Gina Fava with her book, The Sculptor,

Author Gina Fava with her book, The Sculptor.

Find about Fava at her website here.

Author Jacqui DeLorenzo with her two books, A Thread of Hope and Straight from My Heart.

Author Jacqui DeLorenzo with her two books, A Thread of Hope and Straight from My Heart.

Find out more about DeLorenzo and here books here.

Dr. Kathleen Marie Rice, author of The Butterfly Legacy.

Dr. Kathleen Marie Rice, author of The Butterfly Legacy.

Find out more about Rice’s book here.

Author M. R. Tighe with her book, Galaxy Rand.

Author M. R. Tighe with her book, Galaxy Rand.

Find out about Tighe’s books on her Amazon page here.

Author Rob Watts with his newest book, Left-Hand Path.

Author Rob Watts with his newest book, Left-Hand Path.

Find out more about Watts on his website here.

Author Katherine Silva with her book, Aequitas.

Author Katherine Silva with her book, Aequitas.

Find out more about Silva and her books on her website here.

Author Guntis Goncarous with his book, Havana's Secret.

Author Guntis Goncarous with his book, Havana’s Secret.

Find out more about Goncarous on his website here.

Author E.J. Fechenda with her book, Clean Slate.

Author E.J. Fechenda with her book, Clean Slate.

Find out more about Fechenda on her Amazon page here.

Author Karen Ann holding her book, Of Blood and Lions.

Author Karen Ann holding her book, Of Blood and Lions.

Find out more about Ann and her book on her website here.

From left to right: Katie, Lisa, and Kyle promoting memoir A Mother's Journey.

From left to right: Katie, Lisa, and Kyle Brodeur promoting their memoir, A Mother’s Journey.

Find out more about the Brodeur family and Lisa’s memoir, A Mother’s Journey, at her website here.

Author Lior Samson.

Author Lior Samson.

Find out more information about Samson here.

Author A.J. Kane with her first novel, Nova.

Author A.J. Kane with her first novel, Nova.

Find out more about Kane on her website here.

Author Norma D'Amico with her book, Norma D'Amico.

Author Norma D’Amico with her book, Now I Can See.

Find out more about D’Amico at her website here.

Authors Michael Evans, Stacey Longo, and Kurt Newton.

Authors Michael Evans, Stacey Longo, and Kurt Newton.

Find out more about Evans here, Longo here, and Newton here.

Author Nicholas Conley with his book, The Cage Legacy.

Author Nicholas Conley with his book, The Cage Legacy.

Find out more about Conley on his website here.

Author Rita Sawyer with her book, Shit Kickers & Stilettos.

Author Rita Sawyer with her book, Shit Kickers & Stilettos.

Find out more about Sawyer on her website here.

Author Rob Smales with his book, Dead of Winter.

Author Rob Smales with his book, Dead of Winter.

Find out more about Smales on his website here.

Author Ursula Wong with her book, Purple Trees.

Author Ursula Wong with her book, Purple Trees.

Find out more about Wong on her website here.


 

There will be one more entry from the 2014 New England Author Expo appearing on this website.

You can follow the Expo on its Facebook page here or on Twitter (@neauthorexpo).

 

Interesting Magnets and Coffins at a Craft Fair

 

By Jason Harris

 

I have been to many craft fairs as a patron and as a vendor. I use to set-up events at craft fairs and open air markets for the New England Horror Writers (NEHW) organization. These events were very successful for the NEHW so I have continued setting-up events like these for my bookstore, Books & Boos, which I co-own with my wife. Along with these shows, I also set-up events such as conventions and comic book shows for the bookstore. You can find out about these Books & Boos’ events here.

At the 41st Annual Craft Fair held at the Keefe Technical School in Framingham, MA. yesterday, there were the usual jewelry sellers, dog stuff, and handmade wooden bird houses. There was one unusual seller at this craft fair. The vendor was Frankenstein Medical School, which is owned and operated by Jerry Stiles. He sells finger hooks, coffin-shaped keepsake boxes, and interesting magnets.

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Jerry Stiles

Coffin Shaped Keepsake box.

Coffin-Shaped Keepsake Box

Magnets

Magnets

One of Stile's magnets.

One of Stiles’ magnets.

Finger hooks.

Finger hooks.

 

Stiles has a site on Esty, you can check it out here.

 

Stacey Longo Enjoys Ron Jeremy’s ‘One-Eyed Monster’

By Stacey Longo

One-eyed monsterONE-EYED MONSTER (2008, Liberation Entertainment) is the tale of an alien that comes to Earth to possess porn star Ron Jeremy’s penis and seed the Earth. If that statement didn’t make you giggle at least a little bit, then this movie might not be for you.

A delightful horror/comedy romp, this B-movie stars Amber Benson, Veronica Hart, and Charles Napier, with Ron Jeremy as himself. The film opens with a group heading off to the mountains to film an adult movie. Jeremy laments that he’s not in shape anymore, and Hart (also playing herself) is upset that she just might be too old to be in porn, despite her impressive Kegel muscles. However, these concerns take a back seat when Jeremy’s penis is possessed by an alien and detaches itself, only to set off on a murderous rampage.

The beauty of this movie is that the characters know the plotline is ridiculous. They’re stunned and incredulous that Ron Jeremy’s penis is hunting them down, one by one. The director made a wise choice in not showing the menacing member for three-quarters of the movie, which results in a heightened sense of suspense—a technique used effectively by Steven Spielberg in JAWS and replicated here.

Ron Jeremy of One-Eyed Monster.

Ron Jeremy of One-Eyed Monster. Photo by Jason Harris.

Notable performances include Jason Graham as Jonah, who is quick to accept that yes, a possessed penis is what they’re fighting here, and it’s a serious matter. Add to this Napier’s slightly crazed Vietnam vet, who has seen this kind of thing once before. His speech about the penis in ‘Nam that wiped out his whole platoon would come across as silly and trite if not for Napier’s ability to deliver it like a man who has seriously been traumatized by these events that “boot camp never prepared me for.”

Our heroes try to trap the murderous member, but their first attempt fails, and the survivors race to a radio tower to try and get help. Veronica Hart regains consciousness at this point (she’d been knocked into unconsciousness when Ron’s penis first attacked during their sex scene) and tries to catch up on the action.

Veronica: “Who’s in me?”

It is Veronica, and her fabulous Kegel muscles, that eventually save the day.

This movie is not for the faint of heart, young children, or your mother. Overall, it’s fun, chock-full of one-liners and laughs, and definitely worth watching. Check out the DVD extras for a fabulous five-minute mockumentary on the movie’s special effects for one last laugh after the film ends. ONE-EYED MONSTER is a must-see for all “so bad it’s good” movie fans.

Editor’s Note:

This review originally appeared on the Cinema Knife Fight website. You can see it by clicking here.