Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Hello Nomad USB Chargecard and I/O Magic Battery Charger

Above - Hello Nomad USB Chargecard : Below I/O Magic Battery Pack
By Charles Moffat

I am typing this product review at the beach on my tablet while my phone is charging thanks to three things.

1. The Hello Nomad USB Chargecard - which is a credit card shaped USB cord that fits nicely in my wallet.

2. The I/O Magic battery pack - which once charged provides roughly twice the battery juice of my cellphone battery.

3. And the portable wifi hotspot from my phone, which grants my tablet internet access.

Which means I can go on a 3-day vacation and charge my phone using these two handy devices and still have plenty of juice by the time I return on the 3rd night. (I am basing this on my normal battery consumption per day, which is about 66% of a full battery per day.)

I purchased the I/O Magic battery pack months ago and have been meaning to do a review on the topic. It works, it is handy when I am going to be using my phone often on a particular day.  It does exactly what it is supposed to do and having three times the battery charge is very handy for vacations.

When I purchased it it also came with a 2nd battery charger, so if I take both batteries I can go on a 5 day vacation and really not have to worry at all about my battery power.

Hello Nomad Chargekey
The Hello Nomad USB Chargecard also came with a Chargekey, which attaches to your keychain - which I misplaced and recently found again last night. I really should stick it on a keychain so I don't lose it again. Anyway, the Hello Nomad USB Chargecard is simply a tiny USB cord in the shape of a credit card. It can be used to charge your phone or other USB device whenever plugged into any USB power source - like the battery packs mentioned above.

Together these two products make it really easy to charge my phone. The Chargecard alone is handy because then I just need to find a power source and it takes up very little space in my wallet.

But in combination, they are handy little things to have on me for vacations, work, events, etc.

Sometimes I forget to charge my phone and they end up saving a lot of time too since I can just grab the battery pack and I already know I have the Chargecard in my wallet so I don't need to go searching for a cord to take with me. Very handy.

If you are the type of person who uses their phone a lot - and it runs low regularly - then these are two devices you will find very handy. I use both devices regularly.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Expendables 3 - Movie Review

So if you enjoyed Expendables 1 and Expendables 2, then you will probably enjoy Expendables 3.

I give it 3.5 stars out of 5. A friend of mine gives it 3 stars.

Why? Because it was good, it was entertaining, but it wasn't spectacular.

The highlight of the movie was Antonio Banderas stealing the show.





Thursday, August 14, 2014

Ragnarok Movie Trailer

Okay, this movie is officially on my list of things to watch.

"Ragnarok" is the Norse version of the Apocalypse, during which a giant immortal serpent grows so large that it eventually devours the earth.



Into The Storm, movie review + "Night of the Twisters"

So the remake of "Night of the Twisters" came out recently, with a name change and some plot changes - but it is essentially the same movie.

Don't believe me? Watch "Into The Storm" at the movie theatre and then watch "Night of the Twisters" on YouTube further below.

The biggest difference between the two movies is that "Into The Storm" has infinitely better graphics. Behind the tornadoes, the drama in both movies is an emphasis on the importance of family and perseverance/survival.

I give the graphics for Into The Storm 5 stars - but I only give the drama / plot 3 stars. Honestly, I would watch tornado movies just for the graphics if the movie was nothing but tornadoes and just skip the plot entirely. Just 2 hours of mind-blowing graphics and tornado carnage would be something I would love to watch.


INTO THE STORM, TRAILER



NIGHT OF THE TWISTERS, FULL MOVIE


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Battle of the Ginger Beers

Behold!

Royalty Ginger Beer Vs Vita Malt Ginger Beer. Which is best?

If you are not familiar with ginger beer, it tastes like ginger ale but spicier. In case you were wondering, there is NO alcohol in ginger beer - it is basically just a really strong ginger ale. Sort of like "root beer" has no alcohol in it either.

Anyway, back to my taste test contest.

First up was the Vita Malt Ginger Beer - omidragon this stuff was horrible. I have good tasting ginger beers in the past, but this stuff was so strong and had a weird extra flavouring in it. Maybe it was the malt, but whatever it is the stuff tasted absolutely horrible. I do not recommend that stuff at all. I was tempted to throw it out after tasting it, but forced myself to drink all of it because I was hoping "maybe it is something you have to drink more of to appreciate". Well the answer is no, the stuff is horrid. Don't even try it.

And then there was yesterday. After the Vita Malt disaster, I had really low expectations for the Royalty Ginger Beer.

But then I tasted it and my mind was blown. It was spicy, not too much, but spicy, and it was also sweet - truth be told it was a little too sweet. But it was actually the best tasting ginger beer I have ever had.

So applause for Royalty Ginger Beer. That stuff is absolutely amazing. I am going to be buying more of it in the near future and even introducing friends to it. I am positive other people will love it too. I have already introduced one other friend to Royalty Ginger Beer and they also loved it.

Two thumbs way up for Royalty Ginger Beer. (And booooo to the makers of Vita Malt. They should be ashamed of themselves.



Monday, August 4, 2014

Sometimes the customer is a moron

Ever heard the phrase "The customer is always right."

You know who invented that phrased? Customers that complain a lot and always try to get their way. (And then whine about it when they don't get their way.)

Truth be told, if you've ever worked in the service industry (doesn't matter what sector, any kind of service will do) you eventually meet a customer who starts demanding freebies, exceptions to the rule, and complains very loudly.

We all do it sometimes, especially when the situation warrants it.

But when you are on the receiving end of a customer who is verbally abusive (and I would argue "crazy") and thinks that they are entitled to an exception to your company policy, well then you have one solution.

Tell the customer to leave and take their business elsewhere.

Why? Because sometimes dealing with crazy customers just isn't worth it.

True, bending over backwards for customers makes for great customer service relationships. But sometimes customers are just demanding things that they have no entitlement for.

Take for example a dentist who receives people on an appointment basis. What happens when you don't show up for your appointment?

Well, the dentist charges you a fee because you missed your appointment and didn't show up. (And this fee is not covered by insurance by the way. YOU pay the fee if you miss the appointment.)

So imagine for example if the dentist gets a crazy person who refuses to pay the fee for missing their appointment, what do you think the dentist will do?

Answer - Refuse to serve that person until they agree to pay the fee. Why? Because they have Term of Service agreement wherein if you agree to schedule a cleaning for your teeth, then you are automatically agreeing to a ToS that says you also agree to pay any fees if you miss your appointment.

And such Terms of Service are normal for many industries. Dentists, personal trainers, massage therapists, basically anyone who works on an appointment basis.

On the other hand some businesses are more products based - and products come with warranties.

So for example if you go to an Audiologist in Mississauga and you purchase a Clarity XL-30 Amplified Telephone (a special telephone for people who have hearing difficulties), well then it comes with an one year warranty from the manufacturer.

Which means as long as the warranty is still good, you're fine. The manufacturer covers the cost of replacing or fixing your telephone. Which means the hearing clinic in Mississauga will be fine with providing you with full service to help you to fix or replace your phone. If however your warranty has expired, then they just have to point to the warranty and give you two options:

1. Pay to have it sent to the manufacturer and have it repaired.

2. Buy a new telephone with a new warranty.

Places like the above mentioned audiologist / hearing clinic always have great records for customer service - largely because they have warranties, receipts, records of clients, and they don't work on an appointment basis. If someone is late for showing up to purchase hearing aids or special telephones for the hearing impaired, or if they forget to show up, do you know what happens? The customer shows up later eventually anyway and it changes nothing for the audiologist working there.

But for the poor dentist or anyone working on a strict appointment based schedule, they don't just have appointments - they have a freaking WAITING ROOM with magazines and other things to keep you occupied. So you go there for your appointment, and then you WAIT for the dentist to be ready for you.

And if you don't show up, well then you get charged a fee.

At which point you have to wonder, what percentage of dentist customers complain about the extra fee for missing their cleaning, because the vast majority of people just nod, realize they are in the wrong, and then pay the fee.

It is really just the 1% of customers out there who want to be "squeaky wheels who get the grease" who would refuse to pay the fee.

At which point the dentist - or more precisely, the secretary working for the dentist - points to the Terms of Service agreement in the Fine Print.

At which point only a very small percentage of crazy / cheap people will complain about it. The chances of meeting one of these people is multiplied by the number of cheap people out there, multiplied by the percentage of people who feel they are entitled, and multiplied again by the number of people who like to argue and complain loudly until they are blue in the face.

In other words (since we are dealing with small percentages) the final number is pretty small and very rare.

But when you meet one of those crazy customers you understand and realize the same thing:

Those people are freaking lunatics.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Chapman's Sport Frozen Popsicles

I saw these popsicles at the grocery store recently and decided to take a closer look.

They say "Sport" on them, but they're basically just sugar, water, chemicals and flavouring.

Evidently the "Sport" and "Hydration" on them is an advertising gimmick designed to trick stupid people who don't look at the ingredients. Want hydration? Drink some water!

Booooooooooo! Shame on you Chapman's!



Mockingjay Part 1 Poster + review of Hercules starring Dwayne Johnson

Saw this movie poster further below recently when I went to see the new Hercules movie (starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as Hercules) which was "good / okay", but nothing spectacular. I liked the fact that they made the Hercules story more realistic - no magic or gods whatsoever in the film - and how it played upon the myth vs reality theme.

BTW, watch the credits at the end of Hercules - totally worth it.

Anyway, back to the Mockingjay poster... Is it just me or does the Mockingjay look a bit like the Toronto Blue Jays' logo? True, they're both jays, but the similarities feel like they go beyond that. Copyright infringement, probably not. Especially when you look at the Blue Jays pumpkin further below.




Ever had your order messed up at the drive-thru?

Have you ever gone to the drive thru at a fast food restaurant and they mess up your order - possibly on purpose?

This happened to myself recently when we went to the Wendy's drive thru near Beaches Toronto.

We ordered a double cheesburger combo and a bacon burger combo.

And then the woman on the speaker goes "Do you want a small, medium or large combo?

To which we both went "Huh? What is a small, medium or large combo?"

And the woman refused to explain.

So we both said we wanted the regular combo.

And then the woman apparently punched in large for my cheeseburger.

So then I asked her to change it, because we could see the mistake on the drive-thru screen.

And the woman said okay, but the screen stayed the same.

So when we get up to pay and collect our food the bill seems surprisingly high, and the drinks look surprisingly larger than we expected.

And when we get the bill we see that the woman messed up our orders completely. She charged us extra for the large combo, and extra AGAIN for the medium combo.

Based on the receipt apparently medium is NOT the same as "regular" - even though we both asked for REGULAR.

Frustrated, and knowing we would only end up with an argument and an horrible customer service experience I chose instead to take a photo of the receipt (shown above) and then share this experience with others.

My advice?

#1. COMPLAIN ABOUT THEIR MISTAKE MORE BEFORE YOU GET THE FOOD.

#2. If the total they quote you sounds wrong, it probably is. See #1 over again to make sure they don't mess up your order.

#3. Document the mistake so you can complain about it later. I am sending a copy of this post to Wendys.ca via their customer feedback website.

#4. Demand a refund for their mistake and boycott that restaurant until you get a refund and apology.

We shall be going to Burger King, A&W and other restaurants instead until we get a refund and an apology.

And it is NOT the money that matters. I am only out $1.78 + HST, what bothers me is just how poor the service was that they messed up our order not once, but twice.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Duck Eggs and Quail Eggs

Wow. Duck Eggs and Quail Eggs.

I didn't even know I could buy these. Specialty grocery stores are awesome.

However I see no reason to purchase them - no recipes that call for them. I will stick to my extra large brown eggs I usually buy.


Ironhorse Bicycle with Super Thick Tires

Oooooo I want this bicycle. I saw this in the store and just had to try it out for size for fun.

The extra big tires give the bicycle more bounce - but also increases the weight of the bicycle (which makes it slower). Still I think it would be fun to ride sometime.

Available at Canadian Tire. Very shiny.


Gillette Fusion ProGlide Power Razor


I recently purchased the Gillette Fusion ProGlide Power Razor at CostCo (it was on sale and I was looking for a new razor anyway).

I tried the razor for the first time this morning.

Wow. Very happy with the results.

I was skeptical of the whole flexing ball thing, and doubly skeptical of the idea of a vibrating razor while I am shaving. I thought for sure I was going to end up cutting my face.

Instead what happened was one of the quickest, smoothest, most comfortable shaves I have experienced in years. (Comparable to several 3 and 4 blade razors I reviewed several years ago, only better.)

So yes. Shock and surprise at how good the razors are. And very, VERY happy with the results.

Shopping for a New Microwave

My SHARP "Carousel" microwave died two weeks ago and I have been dragging my feet about purchasing a new one.

6 Steps to Buy a New Microwave

#1. Measure the space in inches and record down the dimensions of the space for your new microwave.

You will need the width, height and depth of the space. Mine is a little more than 24 inches wide, 20 inches tall and 21 inches deep.

Thus any microwave that size or smaller will fit, but ideally I want something that fits the space perfectly.

#2. Research different microwave brands and models online - via homedepot.ca and similar websites.

Don't just go to the store and buy the first one you see that fits.

#3. Make a list of any special features you want on your microwave.

Compare the different brands and models and find several that fit your needs.

Sometimes you can find the exact same model of microwave on sale at a different store or $20 to $50 cheaper. Confirm that the chosen model is the correct size for the space by checking the dimensions.

#4. Compare customer feedback / reviews.

If a microwave has a lot of bad reviews, maybe you should not purchase it.

#5. Optional - After making your decision wait for your chosen microwave to be on sale and then purchase it. You don't have to do this right away, but it is certainly an option.

#6. Purchase it right away if you feel "The Price is Right".

So which microwaves am I contemplating purchasing?

Well, the following models fit - and I am not too picky about which special features come on the microwave.

Danby 1.1 Cubic Feet Microwave-Stainless - $118 - RATED 5 STARS BY REVIEWERS.

Haier 1.6 Cubic Feet Over The Range Microwave - $199 - AT 29 INCHES WIDE IT IS TOO WIDE!!!

General Electric (GE) 1.6 Cubic Feet Over-The-Range Microwave Oven - $378 - 5 STAR RATING, BUT ALSO TOO WIDE FOR THE SPACE!!!

There was also a lot of unrated microwaves that had not been reviewed by anyone. Like these two that are identical except for their exteriors.

LG 1.5 Cubic Feet Countertop Microwave with Easyclean, Stainless Steel - $198

LG 1.5 Cubic Feet Countertop Microwave with Easyclean, White Exterior - $158

So you save $40 just by purchasing the white one instead of the stainless steel. (And it weighs 6.5 lbs less.)

So now that I have found several I like I just have to compare prices at different stores and then go pick up the one I like after I make my final decision.

The stainless steel LG is tempting just because it is easier to clean, but is it worth $40 more just for easier cleaning? I think not.

UPDATE - I found the same two microwaves at Future Shop on sale. Purchased the white version of the LG 1.5 for a mere $139.99. The stainless steel version was $159.99.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Enterprise Car Rentals + 2014 Jeep Patriot

By C. Moffat and D. Eze

We recently took a vacation and decided to get a car rental for the trip. Hence why this is a review of both Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Toronto, and also a review of the 2014 Jeep Patriot - as that was the car we took on the trip.

#1. Enterprise - 3.5 Stars out of 5

The prices were fair, on par with similar car rental companies, the biggest difference however was that we requested a compact economy car for the trip and they instead gave us a free upgrade to a Jeep.

The free upgrade was nice, but the gas bill was larger for obvious reasons.

Also we got insurance with the rental, and originally the tab was supposed to be $161 + HST for the car (so the total should have been $181.93), but apparently the insurance for the Jeep was more expensive and they conveniently neglected to tell us that the insurance costs more for the Jeep... so the total ended up being about $242.

So $60 more than. The service was good, but we do feel we got ripped off on the price of the insurance.

#2. 2014 Jeep Patriot

We loved the Jeep.

Power, comfort, air conditioning, all the gadgets you could want on a car, and we were able to figure out how to lower the back seat without needing the instruction manual. We needed to lower it so we could fill the space with 3 coolers, camping gear and more.

So yeah, easy to figure out and spacious inside there. We had more than enough space for all of our stuff and could have brought two large German Shepherd dogs with us too if we had been so motivated.

Further below are photos of us with the 2014 Jeep Patriot after filling up the gas tank to 75% at the gas station (if you don't fill it up to the level you received it with then Enterprise charges you $2 per litre for the difference). And yes, like all SUVs the Jeep Patriot is thirsty... but we don't care because it was otherwise awesome.

Conclusions

We enjoyed our vacation, we enjoyed the Jeep - we are wishy-washy on Enterprise since they overcharged us on the insurance - but overall we are not overly angry at them since their service was otherwise excellent. Just wish they had warned us that the insurance was going to be a lot more.

You can really tell we liked the Jeep because we had big goofy smiles on our faces. :)




Monday, June 16, 2014

Danby Countertop Dishwasher

Note to self, buy a Danby Countertop Dishwasher from Home Depot.

http://www.homedepot.ca/product/counter-top-dishwasher-ddw611wled/984958

Why?

Reviews rate it as 4.2 stars out of 5, it fits my kitchen countertop perfectly, and it only uses 12 litres of water during a regular wash cycle. And it comes with a 1 year warranty.

I have a Danby freezer already (9 years and counting...) and am very happy with the build quality of the freezer. So I am going to guess based on experience that the dishwasher is equally as good.

If you are like me and hate washing dishes, having a countertop dishwasher is more convenient and doesn't require much effort to install.

Home Depot price is $248 CDN. (Walmart sells the same model, but the price is $278 because they like gouging Canadians...)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Vests and High End Men's Fashion

By C. Moffat

I have to attend a wedding in August for my sister.

I have pants, shirts and ties that I typically wear for formal occasions. But that doesn't seem formal enough for the wedding of a sibling.

The last time a relative of mine got married it was 1998 and I recall wearing a tuxedo that was extremely fancy and included a vest, jacket and a collar button.

I also recall it being a June wedding and awfully hot outside...

Much like another wedding I attended 2 years ago for two friends who were getting married. It was extremely hot that day, the wedding was outside and I wore my black Stetson - which frankly, was awesome for keeping the heat off.

So as the August wedding for my sister approaches I find myself looking at vests.

Because let's face it, if you want to look formal you cannot go wrong with a vest. (And it should go well without a jacket - and equally well with my black Stetson.)

Browsing online I came across a company called Kishwear - which sells high end men's fashion, including vests like these below:


And the company is based in Toronto, Canada - so less shipping costs and I can feel good about myself for shopping locally. So Kishwear is good in that respect, and their commitment to high end men's fashion is pretty clear as you browse their website. Formal, retro and stylish.

Not sure if I will opt for a bow tie. I might skip the bow tie, have an open collar and put a decorative silk handkerchief in my vest pocket. I have time to think about it between now and August.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Winnie the Pooh fragrances

Someone should invent Winnie the Pooh fragrances...

They should be called "Eau de Pooh for Women" and "Eau de Pooh for Men" and should smell as follows:

"Eau de Pooh for Women" - Flowers, honey and frolicking (a light feminine musk).

"Eau de Pooh for Men" - Flowers, honey and bear hugs (deep musky smell).

Just sayin'.

There is actually a Winnie the Pooh fragrance, but it is not called "Eau de Pooh". And doesn't smell like the smells I described... and regardless of whether the bottle says "for men" or "for women", I am pretty sure it is for kids.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

More examples of Smart Advertising

Here are more examples of Smart Advertising, similar to our post from March 1st.











Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Ikea employee insults breastfeeding mother

Here is what happened.

Brea Rehder says she was at the Ottawa Ikea store on Monday and asked about the price of an item she was purchasing.

The cashier went to get another employee who could help. That employee, she said, finished a long conversation with a colleague before making her way to where Rehder, her two children and a friend were waiting.

By then her nine-month-old daughter had begun to fuss, so she started to breast feed her in the store. (Ikea officially has a breastfeeding friendly store policy.)

Then the manager came over. "She came over to me and I asked her my question and immediately she said, 'When you’re done being disgusting, we can discuss this. But in the meantime, take it to the bathroom because you’re holding up the line,'" Rehder quoted the manager as saying.

"But the only reason I was holding up the line was because I was waiting for her."

After she paid for her items and left, Rehder went to the company’s Facebook page to complain about the incident.

"I have never been more insulted in my life," Rehder wrote on Facebook, adding that not only will she reconsider shopping at Ikea in the future, and that says she is also mulling a harassment suit.

Ikea has since apologized to Rehder and says the company is attempting to track down the manager who was involved in the incident.

To do what? Admonish them over an incident that has triggered a store boycott from every woman who has ever breastfed a child in public (and any people who are sympathetic to their cause, myself included).

I should hope this manager gets fired on the spot and I hereby encouraging everyone who reads this to boycott Ikea until they fire the manager for overstepping their bounds and ignoring Ikea's company policy.

Large corporations have company policies for a reason. It is to prevent boycotts, lawsuits and other problems that could hurt the company financially. When an incident like this happens the appropriate thing to do is to ask the employee to resign. If they refuse, more drastic action may be needed such as a demotion or outright firing them.

In this case I am in support of outright firing the manager. Kick them to the curb for ignoring the company policy and drawing a possible lawsuit.

Until Ikea fires the manager in question I am going to leave this post up unchanged and if I ever mention Ikea in future blog posts I will also mention the boycott. If they do fire the employee I will add an "Update" section with the date showing that they have fired the manager, and Ikea can sit safely that our boycott has ended.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Essay Writing Companies in Toronto

Essay writing companies are not illegal - which I find funny, because they are promoting academic dishonesty. Because cheating in school is really only an academic problem...

What is also funny is how they are a dime a dozen. Here are the names of just a few of the local companies, some of which even have offices within walking distance of the University of Toronto campus.

Organized Alphabetically

canada.customessaywritingservices.com

customessay.com

essayexperts.ca

mastersessay.com

toronto.universitytutor.com

ultimateessays.com


And many more are out there. These are just a few of the essay writing companies in Toronto that I found by browsing a single Google search.

The companies in question also legitimize themselves by offering other services, like resume writing, CV writing, cover letter writing, editing and proofreading services, course work and research papers.

They can even make Power Point Presentations and Multi Media Projects.

So yeah, there is really no limit to academic dishonesty.

If you asked the student to write poetry or a simple fictional short story, they could probably take it to an essay writing company and they would get poetry and short stories easily.

I have no idea what the prices are for poetry or short stories, but I imagine it is something quite expensive. Creativity and quality writing takes time and effort. The higher quality companies no doubt charge more. Browsing prices on an essay writing website makes for some interesting reading.

For example MastersEssay.com has a form you can plug in your desired requirements for your project and then it gives you a chart that shows the prices for what you are looking for. (And also three levels of quality, so you can choose how good you want your essay to be.)

And you can rush order essays to be done in 3, 6 or 12 hours.

Although I do wonder what crazy person is writing a 10 page art essay in 3 hours... and how much is the writer's cut after the company takes their share?

Evidently a cheating young student would save a lot of money simply by ordering their fake essay at least 10 days in advance.

What I am seeing here is that these companies have become very sophisticated and now offer a huge range of services.

Everything from editing to research to writing the entire thing for you.

In browsing MastersEssay.com's services they even list solving math problems as part of their services.

MATH!

Wow.

Now I feel really smart because all my life I wrote all my own essays, did all my own math homework, and I won both literary and math awards back in the 1980s and 1990s.

I find it funny that people are hiring other people to do their own math problems.

What happens when they get out into the real world, are hired as an economist for a big bank... and they cannot do simple math problems??? Are they going to hire someone else to do all their math for them???

I can just imagine the homeless person on the street holding up a sign that says "I have a Masters Degree in Economics but got fired because I cannot do math..."

Sheesh.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Oasis Smoothie

By Charles Moffat

Let me make this clear. I do not like bananas, pineapples or coconuts.

But I do like the Oasis Smoothie made out of bananas, pineapples and coconuts... Which makes me quite surprised that it is so good.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Galleria Supermarket - Korean Grocery Store

By Charles Moffat

Ever since I returned from South Korea I have been a fan of going to Korean grocery stores... You can get things there that you cannot get in "normal" grocery stores.

During my trip today to the Galleria Supermarket (which has several locations in Toronto and the GTA) I purchased 4 bags of groceries containing the following.

Thin slices of pork belly (for making samgyopsal Korean BBQ).

Lettuce

Strawberries

800 g of Kimchi

Samhwa Citron Tea

Red Bean Paste

Red Pepper Paste

Beef Bulgogi Ramen

Chicken Flavoured Ramen

Lemon Taiyaki Tea

Crown Peach Candy

Barley Tea

Maeshil Plum Tea

Total was $73.01.

I also got a membership card (which is free) for Galleria Supermarket, which allows me to cash in points later for free stuff at the grocery store - although frankly I will probably forget to cash in the points, but whatever.

Just for signing up for the card they also give you a coupon for $5 - but it is only valid if you come back and spend $30 or more within the next 2 weeks.

So now I have to remember to go back again before March 21st.

Last Defense Utensil Wipes - Good or overly paranoid?


Okay so the makers of Last Defense Utensil Wipes emailed me last week asking if they could send me samples of their product. Which they did.

What it is - in case you did not read the image up above - is disinfectant wipes meant to be used on utensils, glasses, tea cups, etc., basically for anyone who is super paranoid about germs.

Now I do see a real world application for this, namely people with low immune systems like people suffering from HIV / AIDS (who have no immune system at all because the HIV virus killed it).

However for the vast majority of people, worrying about germs is largely just that: Worry and paranoia.

The truth is the vast majority of germs is not going to be spread via utensils and cups at restaurants. It is going to be spread by touching door handles and door knobs, or even just coughed into the air and be attached to water molecules, in which case you will just breathe in the germs...

So unless you are planning to start wearing a face mask over your mouth and nose all the time when outdoors, chances are likely you are going to be exposing yourself to germs.

In which case there are now designer germ masks in a variety of different colours and patterns to choose from.


Back to the Last Defense Utensil Wipes I should probably say that they do work and disinfect whatever it is you are cleaning with them.

Probably. I don't have a microscope that can see germs, so I am only guessing. I cannot tell you whether they work or not at cleaning germs away.

But it probably does do what it says.

In which case you have to ask yourself, how paranoid art thou?

Well if you are the type of person who worries about the cleanliness of restaurants then maybe you should not be eating in public in the first place. Just stay at home, never leave home and eat only things you grow in your private greenhouse.

Conclusions...

The product probably does work, but it is one of those niche products that really only appeal to people who are paranoid about eating in public places where germs are in the very air you are breathing anyway.

So if you get sick, don't blame the Last Defense Utensil Wipes because it is not their fault. They are probably doing their job. You breathed in the germs from the air anyway because that is the nature of the world we live in.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Titebond Wood Glues

If you are woodworking eventually you are going to want to use wood glues.

In which case you then have to ask, which one is best for your woodworking project.

Well you could just buy the cheapest glue you can find that provides a reasonable quality. Elmer's wood glue for example.

But the glue I am going to recommend instead is Titebond wood glues, which comes in three main varieties:

Titebond Original (aka Titebond I) which is for indoor use only, and is not meant to get wet. It will work great on all of your woodworking projects that are for outdoors.

Titebond II is water resistant - which means it can be used outdoors.

Titebond III is labelled "waterproof" but in reality it is extra water resistant. It can be used outdoors regularly, but it is not meant for being submerged in water for long periods of time.

Prices for the three different types are:

$8.59 for Titebond Original, $10.49 for Titebond II, and $13.99 for Titebond III.

Another difference is that Titebond III has a longer "Open Time", which is basically the amount of time you can work with the glue before it starts to set. That means you can work on your project longer, making sure the glue is perfect before squeezing your woodworking pieces together and later clamping them.


 There is also differences between the glue strength of each. Titebond III is easily the strongest, but it only a difference of 10% when compared to Titebond I.

So my recommendation is Titebond III for both indoor and outdoor use. No need to buy all three types. Yes, it is more expensive. But one bottle of Titebond III can do the job regardless of what you need it for.

HOWEVER I will point out these glues are not meant for space filler. For that you need an epoxy.

I recently emailed a local bowyer in Toronto, Mike Meusel (who made me a bow in 2013) and asked him what wood glues he uses when making bows. Here is what he had to say:


I get a lot of my glues at Lee Valley –
For gluing of laminatons, risers and tip overlays – Titebond III.
Works great and is waterproof.   Keep in mind Titebond is not a gap-filling glue, so your pieces should be well mated so you get really thin glue lines.  Titebond 3 is what I used on your bow for pretty much all of it I think.  
For best results – Wipe surfaces to be glued with acetone or give a fresh sanding to remove oil/grease/dirt.   Spread a thin layer of glue on both surfaces (sizing coat) – wait 10 minutes, some spots will have soaked up more glue than others which will lead to dry spots in the glue up. Re-apply another layer of glue to both surfaces and clamp. 
G2 epoxies from Lee valley work great as well, but I use them on smaller thing, epoxies are gap-filling glues, so there is a bit more leeway in terms of your mating surfaces.  
- Mike Meusel


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The most awesome Volkswagon commercial of all time

Lets face it, you can't beat a kid dressed as Darth Vader for humour.

This is NOT an endorsement of Volkswagon cars, but it is very amusing advertising.



Sunday, March 2, 2014

10 Examples of Provocative and Smart Advertising

Lets face it, if you can make an ad interesting, funny or provocative in some way then you will get way more people signing up for whatever product you are trying to sell.

Below is 10 advertisements I found to be particularly amusing / well made.











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