Flowbee Review & Hack: How to Cut a Long Layered Haircut (2019)

January 26th, 2019 § 0 comments § permalink

YES, the Flowbee is My Haircutting Tool!

Flowbee is a really old vacuum haircutting system not targeted for haircuts for girls with long hair. Flowbee works great for short haircuts for women, men, kids and pets.  If long layered hair or long haircuts for women is what you want, stick with me.

I got my Flowbee from my dad and he bought it between the 80’s and 90’s. The video I made below is to share with you Flowbee’s pros, cons and how I hacked the Flowbee to cut long layered hair. I wanted to share how you can cut your own hair with ease, no experience needed. You can use this method to cut really short or really long layers up to 15″. I have been cutting my own hair for the past 8 years with consistent good results.

Worth the Effort to Hack the Flowbee

With all the flaws the Flowbee has I can see why it’s not very appealing. If Flowbee did some design adjustment to secure the spacers and reduce gaps to maintain suction, reduce the noise level, and maybe a self-sharpening blade, I am sure a lot more people would be convinced to use it.

Good thing it only takes earplugs, tape and 1/2hr of time for the hack setup.  If you don’t have the system you do need to invest some money to buy the system. The system will more than pay for itself in due time. It’s been worth it for me, I only spent less than $40 dollars on extra spacers and oil. I have used it since 2010 and my dad used it when he was young. It’s been through two generations. Once you have it set up, your haircuts will be a breeze. I have not found anything that works better and easier than the Flowbee yet.

A Vacuum Haircutting System is a Great Investment

According to a google search, a girl’s haircut average to $43 and girls get their hair trimmed every 12 weeks and get a haircut every 6-8 weeks. Guys haircuts average to $28 and get a haircut every 3-6 weeks. There’s 52.1429 weeks in a year.

Girls Haircut Cost Estimate:

52.1429/12wk=4.345 trims/yr *$43 = $186.85/yr *10yrs = $1,868.45/10yrs

52.1429/6wk= 8.69 cuts/year *$43 = $373.69/yr*10yrs= $3,736.91/10yrs

Guys Haircut Cost Estimate:

52.1429/3wk = 17.38cuts/yr*$28 = $486.67/yr*10yrs = $4,866.67/10yrs

52.1429/6wk = 8.69 cuts/yr)*28 = $243.33/yr * 10yrs = $2,433.34/10yrs

My haircuts averaged from $38 to $50 in Asian salons back in 2010 so I have more then recovered what I put in. If I had 6 cuts per year and if the price for my haircut stayed at $38 dollars per cut, in the past 8 years I would have spent $1,824 not including tips. My savings is for one person, imagine what a family could save.

As time passes by haircuts always goes up. Around 2002 – 2008 my friend’s haircuts were about $20 dollars but for me it was $28 dollars because I have super thick hair. I was upset I had to pay more. Prices spiked up to $30 dollars the next year and for me it was $38. My haircuts were always about $8 dollars more. Plus tips brings the cost closer and closer to $50 dollars per haircut. I have no idea how much a haircut would cost me now.

I can’t remember when was the last time I went to the salon. The Flowbee is pretty much a guaranteed money saver and success for me.

Flowbee Prices Going Up

If you are interested in investing in a vacuum haircutting system, definitely explore the options out there to suit your needs.  If you want to buy the Flowbee, I would suggest getting it on amazon for free shipping. The Flowbee website shipping cost seems a bit crazy.

Flowbee layered haircut with one set of attachments.

7.5″  Flowbee layered haircut with one set of attachments.

Here’s the research I did for the Flowbee vacuum haircutting system in 2014 when I got extra spacers & oil from Amazon.

2019 prices have gone up. Flowbee Haircutting System + Extra Rubber Vacuum Adapter) – $139.95.  I suggest getting the one with extra vacuum adapter. The one sold without the extra vacuum adapter is the same price. The original vacuum adapter broke since my dad’s era, but there’s nothing duct tape won’t fix. If you have an extra vacuum you won’t need to ripe the tape out every time you need to clean the house.

Conclusion: I Love my Vacuum Hair Trimmer

It’s nice to have total control of my time and hairstyle I choose without worrying about messing up. My favorite function is no hair clean up. I recently dared to cut a super short pixie after years of having long hair. Short hairstyle is really liberating and super easy to maintain. Now, I love short hair. I have lots of fun cutting different hairstyles by myself and hope you will too. Here’s other haircutting methods I have tried cutting my hairs with.

Short Pixie Flowbee Haircut

1-1.5″ Flowbee Pixie Haircut

How to Email YouTube Creator Support

January 22nd, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

Hi friends, welcome! The sole purpose of my blog and channel is to keep things fun and positive. My topics are diverse and come from my daily life. At the core all topics have one common goal, “obstacles are opportunities.”

First Time Contacting YouTube Creator Support is Confusing!

Today my mini obstacle is to “Send an Email to YouTube Creator Support”.

Obstacle: Send an Email to YouTube Support Opportunity: Learn & Practice New Skills, Help Others by Sharing Knowledge

I received the YouTube notice about loosing my YouTube Partner Program Status. Immediately I wrote a two page complaint email to YouTube expressing my dissatisfaction with the new YouTube Partner Program Threshold. I hit the “reply” button. My email bounced right back with delivery failed status! I couldn’t believe I can’t even vent. My feelings were frustration and confusion. It took a few days but my steam eventually cooled off.

With big changes in the YouTube Partner Program Threshold small creators deserve and need answers to our questions! I tried harder to find an email contact for the YouTube Creator Support. I followed YouTube Help’s directions to get connect to a YouTube Creator Support representative. But the directions given were not accurate and did not lead me to a contact email. The inaccuracies led to more research and confusion. I am guessing they don’t want to make it easy for us to reach them.

Where’s the YouTube Creator Support “Email” option?

It took me a while to finally stumble upon the email contact form. I am sure other small creators will have a mutual need to ask questions. So I thought I’d share my findings with fellow small creators. With an YouTube Creator Support email form at your disposal, you can vent or scream at them all you want. Maybe even try to squeeze the last bit of information from them so you can reach the new 2018 threshold. Whichever you prefer. It took way more effort then necessary to find their “Email” option. I hope this video can spare you the headaches, time and hoops I had to jump through to find their email form.

Keep creating and fighting for your dreams!  Hit that subscribe button to super charge my motivation. Your support is what keeps me going. Thanks and see you around.

Keep Custom Thumbnails a YouTube’s monetization feature after demonetization with this hack

January 21st, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

Did YouTube’s email make me angry or confused? I can’t decide. Both emotions fused into one. If you are a small creator with low subscription and watch time you may receive the same letter from YouTube. What was your first reaction? Here’s a small quote from my email.

” Under the new eligibility requirements announced today, your YouTube channel, Focus Positives, is no longer eligible for monetization because it doesn’t meet the new threshold of 4,000 hours of watchtime within the past 12 months and 1,000 subscribers. As a result, your channel will lose access to all monetization tools and features associated with the YouTube Partner Program on February 20, 2018unless you surpass this threshold in the next 30 days. Accordingly, this email serves as 30 days notice that your YouTube Partner Program terms are terminated.”

It will be nearly impossible for me to reach the threshold by next month and the odds of loosing all the monetization tools and features are great. I know a lot of small creators like me who received the email from YouTube are upset and have many worries. One that stood out for me was the possibility of loosing the custom thumbnails feature. A custom attractive thumbnails is absolutely essential in building audiences. We definitely don’t want to loose that. We will know by the deadline. I don’t want to lament on YouTube’s disrespect for small creator and just get straight to a solution that will help and ease small creator’s worries. Here’s my video tutorial to stop YouTube from taking the custom thumbnail feature away from you.

My Video Experiment Update

I think I have outdone myself! After I uploading my video ALL THREE default thumbnails are showing my customized thumbnails. Rest assure you can definitely keep your customized thumbnails if YouTube takes it away on 2.20.2018! You won’t need to upload a single custom thumbnail again. Show some love and encouragement. Support small creators in reaching YouTube’s new threshold of 1,000 subscribers and 4,000hrs of watch time! A subscription or simply watching some videos is much appreciated.

This screenshot is from my YouTube Dashboard.

Youtube Custom Thumbnail Hack in Dashboard View

This screenshot is from my iPhone.

The default thumbnail is slightly blurry compared with the other customized thumbnail. It may have something to do with the quality of the video. My earlier default thumbnails were very clear. I will have to experiment more on the export settings and update you. If we do end up loosing the customized thumbnail feature all default thumbnails would be the same resolution. I’d choose a blurry customized thumbnail over no customization any time.

Youtube Cutom Thumbnail Hack on iPhone

Updates From Me & YouTube (1/21/2018)

Make sure to check the YouTube Help Forum for important updates on What you need to know about the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) Changes and on YouTube Partner Program overview supports page. It answered a lot of my questions and it will be updated by YouTube. I just found this information after I created this post and video.

The answer to my question about loosing the custom thumbnails feature is:

My Conclusion About This Post

The good outweighed the bad. This was not a total lost cause.

The Good

  • I created a great solution to a nonexistent problem. (Hey it might help someone.)
  • People can have a custom thumbnail without uploading one. (Yay!)
  • My first time to
    • upload two videos within two days.
    • create a video with related posts content & graphics in one day. (I am dead tired.)
    • share opinions on a forum and other YouTube Channels.
    • I am proactively working to save my channel.
  • I didn’t ask for a “Sub4Sub”. (Read the the forum and you’ll know why)
  • I clarified my goals for my YouTube channel. (I have been procrastinating for years)

The Bad

  • This post topic may not be as useful for small creators as I originally intended. (Oh well, live and learn)

Next Step

I am going to follow YouTube’s suggestion below to keep growing my channel. Good luck everyone!

How am I ever going to make it to 1k subs?

“There’s a creator academy lesson about growing and keeping your subs and how to use cards and end screens to drive subscriptions. We’ve also introduced new mobile features to help people find channels to subscribe to including a subscribe button in search results and recommended channels (available on both Android and iOS). These have helped drive more subs site wide!”

What if I don’t meet the program threshold?

If you don’t meet the threshold yet, keep working to make original content and build your audience. Here are some resources that can help you grow your channel:

Easy Braids Inspired by Chinese Dramas

February 3rd, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

In this easy braids hairstyle tutorial I will show you how to braid a pair of cute braids inspired by Chinese dramas. Braiding hair this way creates two braids that are both traditional and trendy at the same time. These braids could be styled in retro, modern, or cosplay hairstyles. There’s endless possibilities. I had fun with this hair challenge. I hope you will have fun experimenting! These braids are perfect for Chinese New Year!

DIY Treadmill Desk: Daily Effortless Exercise

January 20th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

IMG_6336-0.JPG

I LOVE my DIY treadmill desk! I finally found an effortless way to exercise which means I just reached one of my hardest goal to exercise daily from my Top Goals List.

After hacking my treadmill into a desk, exercise takes no conscious effort. I have lost about 1-2 lbs and 1 3/8″ around my waist in about one month. I am surprised by my perseverance and urge to walk more and more, there’s immediate improvements to my health and  it’s really easy to incorporate into my daily routine. Exercise has always been a challenge for me. I have millions of excuses for not exercising although I know it’s good for me. I’ve tried countless forms of exercise with abundant failures and guilt for not persevering.

I work from home with a job that requires me to sit in front of a computer over 8 hours a day. After work I love to watch movies online. My bottom was to glued to a chair until I finally went to bed in the late hours. Even if I hadn’t read any articles about how sitting is the new treading killer, I could feel deteriorating changes in my body. Visible fat were building up especially in my belly. I had numbness in my feet, arms and fingers. There were odd pains in the tips of my fingers and toes tips and strong headaches at the top of my head. I was always sleepy after eating and was always feeling very tired during the day. Insomnia is also a big problem that’s been following me for over 5 years.

My longest track record of exercise was about two months which took all my willpower and self  discipline. I lost 1-2lbs and slimmed down a bit. Not long after doing two favorite forms of exercise, jump rope and slow jogging, I developed ankle and knee pains. I had to stop. In October 2014, I decided to pick up on exercise and hoping to stick with it. This time I started really slow, jumping at 30sec sets days and hoping to build better muscle support. Within a week or two the pains started again. I was not happy and didn’t know what to do. Upon hearing the success story of a friend who lost 20 lbs using the elliptical, a low impact exercise, I decide to do some research. Most elliptical had a large stride. The elliptical that fit me, 4’10.5″ tall, had a steeper price.

While contemplating health vs money in my research I found a video online with a man using a treadmill desk. My eyes bulged at his before and after picture. He had lost 80 lbs in a year!  He walk at a very slow speed, 1-2 mph, while working. When he got tired he stood while working. He was using, LifeSpan Fitness TR1200-DT5 Treadmill Desk, it is costs $1,499.00 !!! Again the question was money or health??? A huge investment to consider and commit to. I didn’t know if this type of exercise would cause any problems for me or if I could stick with it. I had issues with walking / running on a treadmill and preferred walking and running outside. The bulkiness of the desk and treadmill would make returning it a pain.

Some people online hacked their treadmill into a treadmill desk and I thought I’d give it a try. I had an old treadmill sitting in dust. I was super determined to follow his steps. Not greedy, just 10 lbs and my health back is all I ask.

My DIY treadmill desk hack:

I found a piece of thin board that fit across the treadmill, some leftover 1″ x 2″ boards to block the board from sliding down, and enough wires and plastic strings to wrap and hold the 1″ x 2″ boards together. I used our swamp cooler to hold the monitor and laptop in front of the treadmill. It was the perfect height for my monitor. Use whatever works for your treadmill, be creative. Just as long as it’s sturdy, anything would work.

Using the treadmill desk:

My normal speed in the first 2-3 weeks was about 0.5 – 0.8 mph. Then I slowly increased to 1.0 – 1.4 mph. In the beginning I had to adjust the time and speed a lot to make my ankles and knees comfortable. My goal was to exercise long terms and was not rushing for results. I found 1.3 mph to be the most comfortable speed to watch videos, email, talk on the phone, and some repeating tasks. I can walk about 2-3, 1 hr, sessions throughout the day now. In the beginning I over did it and cut back on the duration and sessions until I built up to it. Most importantly I learned to pay attention to my body an sat down if i needed to rest. You can view my notes for details and progress here.

Pros:

  • Amazingly, I can sleep throughout the night now.
  • I don’t feel sleepy during the day.
  • I feel more energized.
  • Concentration is better reading and learning while walking.
  • Walk 15 min after eating, at a slow speed, helps move my intestines and help with digestion. I don’t feel bloated like usual when I sit all day.
  • A dream for me. I love watching Chinese dramas. I can watch it for hours and exercise at the same time. No time wasted.
  • No guilt for not exercising, actually I want to walk more because I am fully enjoying movies.
  • Multitasking saved more time to do other things.
  • It doesn’t feel like exercising. There’s no conscious effort, time flies by really quickly.
  • I don’t dread exercise.
  • Simple exercise I can persist. My 60 days challenge is almost done and I am aiming to keep going to 90 days, 120 days, 150 days etc.  to build a healthy habit of exercise.
  • I feel more confident about my health and improvements, most if not all my symptoms had gone away.
  • I can exercise in any weather, very convenient.
  • An exercise I can keep doing until old age, as long as I can walk
  • Cost me $0 to make.

Cons:

  • A bit noisy for talking on the phone.

Tips:

  • Ergonomics
    • Hands should rest 90 degrees level with the keyboard
    • Monitor should be eye level and tilted up about 10 degrees
    • Stand up straight with stomach sucked in
  • Standing
    • A foam mat makes it a lot more comfortable to stand on when you are not walking
  • Shoes or No Shoes
    • Barefoot walking didn’t really go well for me although it’s suppose to be good for circulation. It’s doable at such slow speed but I was not comfortable after about a week or two.
    • Good sneakers really helped. I bought a pair of Sketchers with memory foam gel-infused sneakers. It’s been a dream to walk on and I no longer have any ankle or knee pains.
  • Don’t concentrate on lbs lost, concentrate on health improvements. The treadmill desk is meant to give you an opportunity to move more and minimized sitting time. It is not a quick way to loose weight. Some have lost lost of weight but some have lost only a few lbs in 6 months but most have more stamina and clothes fits a lot better. It is important to listen to your body cut back or walk more according to how you feel. If you don’t feel well, REST a day or more to recover before you continue.

I had an opportunity to try the LifeSpan Fitness Treadmill Desk at a local sport equipment store. there’s practically no noise at the lower speeds below 2pmh, anything above creates some noise but is nothing close to my treadmill’s noise. It also has a automatically adjustable height that is perfect for my height at the lowest setting. I will definitely invest in a treadmill desk after my DIY treadmill desk dies.

Update 4/2017

I was a bit over zealous and hurt my knees using the treadmill desk too often. You can read more about it here. Please be sensible and don’t repeat my mistake 🙁

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