Monday, October 17, 2016

Bluetooth earbud by eonfine

Grab one here

Wireless is the thing these days and everyone's racing to see just how wireless you can really be. The well known fruit brand has a new offering coming that, while it's been done in a few brands, will probably make individual stereo buds common. Until then you can save a little by going to these mini headsets with some trade-offs.

This is marketed as a bluetooth (phone)headset but I think of is more as a single channel music device. Headphones for one ear. I use it that way because I'll tell you right now I had a less than stellar experience for conversations. My caller reported that I was a little difficult to hear but I can chalk that up to not talking loud enough. After all it is just a nub barely sticking out of your ear. The big problem was just how bad they sounded to me. I've never heard anything so hollow and muffled. I may fiddle with my phone settings a little but for now I'll just hold the phone to my ear.

Now, having said that; I love this thing for music. It's clearly capable of reproducing good sound so I can't figure out why a call is different. You have an entire bluetooth device including battery in just over the same space a wired earbud takes up and relatively speaking the sound is wonderful. I find myself forgetting that it's only in one ear after a few minutes.

I know what you're thinking: "But it's just like having a bad cord on a wired set and only hearing out of one side" Yes and no. I like to listen to music at work but there are always people around asking questions or maybe you don't want to make everyone feel blocked out. This lets me have the music on but conversation is still very easy and sometimes people wont even know you're using it as it's so small. Are you a runner? When I'm on our small roads(rarely) I don'y like to have music usually because it means I can't fully hear traffic coming up behind. Here you can still hear your rhythm or audio-book while having no problem detecting what's happening around you.

Build wise it's about as small as I'd want to shove in my ear canal and it's plenty light that you never get fatigued wearing it. A single button turns it on and off and also works as a pause button. I love that for when someone comes up to talk I can just press it while pulling the device out and go walk around. When I'm alone again just put it back in and press the button to start things up again. Included in the nice small zipper case is a smaller insert and the perfectly sized charging cable. Battery life is what I consider acceptable for something this small. I can more or less get a full work day out of it before needing an hour or two to charge. Not as long as others but I haven't been frustrated by constant charging so it must be just the right amount.

I kind of wish the case was even smaller for what it holds to take up less space in my pocket. Not a dealbreaker. Again I'll say if you want a conversation-type piece look elsewhere but I keep this right next to a big set of cans. If you really want full stereo sound by all means put on a full set but I think this has a place in anyone's arsenal.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Galco AL636 Ankle Lite Holster for LC9

I got great service and price from Glen's Outdoors. You can get your there too.

I spent a lot of time looking at reviews and agonizing over this holster. I haven't had the chance to find an IWB solution that I liked so I wanted to start with ankle carry to keep me actually carrying instead of leaving it home. Unfortunately I couldn't find anyone who had an actual picture of an actual LC9 in it and under a pant leg. Usually when you hear of ankle carry it's for smaller things like G26s or LCPs. If I'm going to pull the trigger on the most expensive holster I wanted to be sure it would be the right one. Turns out it is every bit as good as every one says and I don't regret the ~$60 at all.

     The two things I was looking for were Concealability and Comfort. If I didn't like wearing it I may end up just leaving my gun home. I figure if I've gone through the requirements to carry I might as well actually do it. First up for me is how well it blends in with under my pant leg. I included a bunch of pictures so hopefully you can see what I'm talking about. The leg shots are in a mirror so look at the leg on the left. I wear fairly loose pants but I was just worried about it sitting in such a way that the grip would stick straight out the back. Galco got it just right by canting right to where the the longest distance from grip to sights is horizontal and right beside your leg. Everything is kept tight against your leg so it doesn't stick out any more than it has to. Even if someone knows you ankle carry they can look and never be quite sure if you have it at the time.

     Then there's comfort. The first thing you'll hear about is the muzzle rubbing on your ankle bone. I can tell you 100% that I've never had the least bit of discomfort with this rig. The sheepskin on the inside pulls double duty of sweat prevention and padding. Combine this with the 1/4" neoprene and just the right amount of extension below the bottom and I promise, besides the slight weight increase you'll sometimes forget it's there. Even in Tennessee I tend to wear thick socks. They can get warm but I'm inside most of the time and they're just so soft. You don't have to go that far but I recommend a full length sock. Wrap the holster around front and the pull the back as tight as you can get it. Don't worry about it being too tight; It doesn't cut off circulation and it's what keeps everything as stead as a rock throughout the day. Some people end up getting the calf strap but I'm telling you you don't need it. Put it on tight and you can kick, hop, and run without issues.

     Accessibility is a problem with all ankle carry but once you get the pant leg up the draw is just natural. Your thumb falls right to the snap release and there is plenty of grip exposed for the drawing. The steerhide is formed perfectly and keeps decent retention even after breaking in but you'll always keep it snapped anyway. For reholstering you also get a well-designed support back with some sort of insert that keeps the profile open and not collapsed.

    Lastly I have the say the materials are well chosen. The neoprene is soft but provides the right amount of elasticity and I don't feel like it makes me sweat any more than my other leg even in thick socks under pants in the Tennessee heat. The sheeps skin really helps there too. You would think after wearing for three months it would start to smell from sweat buildup but honestly I just checked and it smells like it did new. The hook-and-loop fastener is heavy duty with the loop part actually being some sort of thread instead of plastic and holds up well to repeated use.

     If you're ready to ankle carry I have to admit I haven't tried the cheaper options but this one from Galco has been worth every penny to me. My only complaint is that every once in a while I feel the steel backing that supports the retention snap. Really though, most of the time I forget I'm even carrying because it just becomes part of your leg. I'm not the least but self conscious that someone may notice I'm carrying and I'm comfortable. With those boxes fully checked I'd recommend this for anyone.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Sterling Silver Small Hoop Earrings by Silver Masters

 Get a pair on Amazon

Who's wife doesn't like earrings? No hands? Mine doesn't go crazy over jewelry but something new is always fun and these a a nice addition to any outfit.

The first thing you'l notice is that they're smaller than you thought. I'd say they're just over a half inch wide but a little under 3/4. It means they're more for someone trying to add to a look instead of draw everyone's attention to the earrings themselves. The metal is just soft enough that when we found one side wouldn't latch I was able to bend the post out a bit so it reached the latch on the other side. Don't worry; you won't be crushing them but that's the nature of the materials. Something to note is that the posts are not round but more of a rectangle. My wife had a little trouble getting them through her ears the first time but told me once they were in they we're very comfortable. She also pointed out that she never sleeps in earrings but so forgot about these and had no trouble sleeping on them all night.

If you or your significant other are looking for something the looks nice but won't break the bank you could do far worse. I think it wouldn't hurt if they could make the ends a little more round to make putting them in a little easier and have a little more solid latch but we liked them overall. I received this product at a discount in exchange for nothing more than my honest opinion.

Magnetic Child Cabinet Locks

Grab a set here

I've seen these locks around on different things but it turns out we have a toddler who loves getting under the sink so why not use them as intended. Nobody wants anything that is visible from the outside but other solutions tend to be clunky. We'd even resorted to just using some of her toy c-rings as a makeshift "lock". Once these were installed though she quickly learned that she just can't get in and rarely even tries now.

Installation was simple. As you can see form one of my pictures we already had one other failed product that had broken so I just placed the stationary part at the edge right where the door would hit. As long as you back it right up to the edge everything will line up. You can measure to figure out where to put the magnetic part but I found it was just easiest to reach around form the other door and line them up before pushing the sticky side against the door.

If you install correctly there is little to no movement of the door while locked and if you can't remember exactly where to place the magnet you can just slide until you hear the click of the latch falling. The adhesive is plenty strong enough that anyone trying to get in who shouldn't will give up long before it gives out. We just keep the magnet on the fridge so we don't have any worries about losing it. What else can I say; keeps our daughter out and lets us in while being completely invisible. No complaints. I received this product at a discount in exchange for nothing more than my honest opinion.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Culinary Torch by A Full Measure Market

You can find it here

I received a torch with a manufacturing defect so I've edited this review. The company was very helpful in quickly sending a new one and it works perfectly.

Culinary torches have many uses but I generally focus on finishing sous vide steak or as you can see in my photos, toasting some marshmallow creme based frosting. Operation is simple with a large button on the back that both releases the gas and lights it. You can control the amount of gas as well as it's concentration and there's even a "continuous" mode that allows you to not have to hold the trigger. These adjustments allow you to tailor the flame to just your needs be they a long directed one or just a light licking flame. When I used it on the afore mentioned steak it quickly added a nice sear so as a culinary torch torch it works fine. Build wise I'd really only say I'd prefer less plastic. The flame never heats it up but I just prefer more metal. The cylinder seems to be and the nozzle is as well. All in all it feels solid and there is little play in the controls. My word of advice for you is that when buying butane skip the Coleman cylinders. The fill port on this is just enough recessed that the short tube on the butane can't quite reach. I stopped by Lowes and grabbed a BernzOmatic Butane cylinder which had a nice long tube and worked great.
My experience has been very positive with the manufacturer and product after the defect in my first item. It lights fine and the adjustablity make it perfect for the kitchen. You can of course use the torch for any other fire need too. The simple operation along with the intense heat really allows for a wide variety of possibilities outside your food needs. I received this product at a discount in exchange for nothing more than my honest opinion.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

PiTech 2.5A Raspberry Pi 3 Power Supply

Grab one from Amazon here

I'll keep this to the point. Do you have a Raspberry Pi 3? Do you need a sufficient power supply? Then you need this one. The Raspberry Pi 3 comes with higher power demands than previous iterations and if you've ever wondered what that rainbow square in the corner of your screen is then your power supply isn't cutting it.

I've been able to run on one I found around my house but if you want the best reliability you need a good one.I ran into problems as soon as I tried to plug an SDR into it where I would get random reboots that were solved when I added a powered hub. Once I replaced the old supply with this one though I don't even need the hub anymore and the rainbow square is gone as you can see in the pic of my screen. I say again; if you need a Pi supply, this one works great. I received this product at a discount in exchange for nothing more than my honest opinion.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Men's Waterproof Analog Business Watch by CakCity

Grab one on Amazon

I'm a very digital person but when it comes to watches I appreciate analog style. With our day's determined so much by time I kind of like being able to just glace down and have a rough approximation of where I am in an hour without being too exact. This watch by CakCity has an elegant combination of analog while still keeping the accuracy of a digital movement.

Form- This watch is marketed as a business style but it probably leans more to business casual; the stainless hands look striking against the black background and pair well with the also stainless case but the reflective blue second hand and accents add a little fun.With the face's white divisions everything is easy to read at a glance and the glow in the dark feature is a nice touch. For the strap you get an interesting vinyl-like top with a carbon fiber weave type pattern while the underside is genuine leather. Note that genuine doesn't mean full-grain so it's probably got a non-leather material int he center.

Function- First and foremost it's a watch so I'm happy to say it seems to keep time well. Over several weeks it at most lost a second but that may have been my error in setting it. While we're talking about setting it operation is a breeze. You get two levels on the crown for setting the time and date but digital buttons for controlling the stop-watch functionality. This works well allowing you to stop the dials with the top button or pause to record a split time with the bottom while the internal time continues. Just press the bottom again and the dials catch up to the current recorder time. Probably pretty simple internally but it looks good doing it. I'm a person who prefers a slightly thinner case but this is by no means large. I think it still looks good on my wrist so it's really a taste thing. The band is comfortable and I wear it daily with no issues.

I enjoy having options when it comes to watches. This one fits nicely as a casual watch that has no trouble blending when you need to dress up a bit. Any flashiness is understated but anyone glancing at it will get an impression of a little fun. The watch operates as it should so the only thing I would change it to make the top covering of the back different. Again- a taste thing but with everything else so classy I think it could benefit from being leather as well to really round everything out. I received this product at a discount in exchange for nothing more than my honest opinion.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Ultra-Thin Indoor Digital by Esky

Grab one from Amazon

I have no complaints about this antenna but I gave it a try wondering if it could work better than a few others I've tried. Both RCA brand and some I've never heard of. In the end it works fine, but fine means we don't get many channels. We live just under 50 miles south of Nashville and get a few public TV channels and ABC. If I orient this one straight North I can pick up the exact same channels I get with any antenna. It works fin, but I was hoping for something special from it. I received this product at a discount in exchange for nothing more than my honest opinion.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Dart board by Ohuhu

I'm writing this review from the perspective of someone who only plays darts VERY casually(example: our scoring consists of who gets the most bulls-eyes per 3 darts thrown) and has only ever used electronic boards before these. That said, I've found this one to work just as well as I'd expect and has been a lot of fun.

I've heard talk about this board not being a "bristly board" but as I just use it to throw sharp things at I don't know if it is or even care. The darts stick and with it being used every few days over the past few weeks I've yet to see a dart fall due to hitting an already open hole. They seem to close up decently after removing the tip so it seems to operate as designed no matter the material. The best way I can describe it is between cork and a hardwood but more toward the wood side of things. I was wondering how well a dart would go into it but that fear quickly passed. The surface is "flocked" which in the end just means it feels like felt but isn't as soft.

My OCD gets tripped as the numbers go around when they get past horizontal they start tacking the "1"s upside down. I'm sure it's for rigidity and it looks like all boards do it but... it irks me. I think the only downside I've noticed is that the ring is just stapled on. Not in a cheap looking way but it means you can't easily rotate it to distribute the wear.

My family has had fun with it and the darts stick so I see no reason to not recommend to anyone. It's one of the cheapest out there while still making me happy so I'd say give it a try. I received this product at a discount in exchange for nothing more than my honest opinion.