This Infomercial Defines What’s Wrong with America

Every night at 10 o’clock I have a button I click in Safari. The moment I click this button, my browser is begins loading around ten “daily deals” websites. Woot.com was the start of it all but it seems to grow by a few sites each year. Most of the deals on these sites aren’t so much great steals as they are “turns out this thing sucks and we’ve gotta liquidate it” deals. Like the time I bought “OEM Apple Ear Pod Headphones” which translated to “OMG how could these sound so horrible” headphones.

But something you get awesome legit deals, like the time I got a sweet vacuum for 80% off. Yes, I have a thing for vacuums. It’s hit or miss and after a while you get an almost religious understanding of how these sites, and their wine compatriots, work things. To me it’s worth checking in at 10 o’clock, midnight CST, to see what’s new.

Last night I clicked and saw something I just couldn’t un-see; partly because my vibrant imagination went directly where it shouldn’t. Remember “Batter Blaster!”? Think along those lines. It’s the Rollie EggMaster Vertical Grill, and I assure you, this is the real deal.

Rollie_Vertical_Cooking_Set_for__29.99___Free_Shipping_on_1Sale.com Continue reading

Graze vs NatureBox – Subscribing to a Healthier Lifestyle

No I am not addicted to monthly product subscriptions. Ok, maybe just a little. The trend continues with this belated Graze vs NatureBox head to head comparison. Each of these services promise to ship you healthy and delicious snacks direct to your door. Ideally you’ll munch on these nuts and fruits instead of chips and candy. 

Two updates from Graze and NatureBox at the end of this post, yay for Twitter!

Grave-vs-NatureBox

Both of these services provide healthy snacks delivered to your door. With over 25% of American’s calories coming from snacks, choosing healthy options is important. We have an obesity epidemic here and improper snacking is the number one cause of childhood obesity. This is something both of these companies hope to turn around by making a healthier lifestyle as easy as possible.

But how do these two services compare? Is one better than the other and which one is best for you? Well I get into all of that and more just beyond the break! Continue reading

Birchbox Tortoise Folding Sunglasses

I loved the idea of these sunglasses. I was hovering over the “Buy” button on a pair of Ray Ban folding tortoise sunglasses when I saw these were going to be in my June shipment from Birchbox. So imagine my excitement that I was just about to save around $150!

Update: Birchbox contacted me and are fixing me up! More at the end of this post.

Birchbox Folding SunglassesAnd then they came, in a neat green box and they looked every bit as good in real life as I’d expected. Bigger lenses than the Ray Bans, not my typical style, but considering the price difference it seemed like a worthy replacement.

I should say that these Birchbox sunglasses are also not polarized, have plastic, not glass, lenses and aren’t quite the quality of an Italian sunglass. But for $30 (their retail price), it’s hard to argue against affordable, stylish summer shades. Sadly it wasn’t long before I realized these shades were a bit too shady, and in the worst of ways. Continue reading

MetaWatch Strata, a Smart Watch for Nerds by Nerds

I’ve had the MetaWatch Strata for a few weeks now and thought it was about time that I share some thoughts on it. But first I’ll answer the question you’re probably asking, “What the heck is a ‘MetaWatch?’” It’s a smart watch, a watch that connected via bluetooth to your iOS or Android phone. “Oh so you mean a Pebble watch?” No. I mean a MetaWatch.

That is the MetaWatch I have, the Olympian Blue with Digital Camo Band. I’ve had mine for just under a month and I can confidently say that it has changed my life for the nerdier (and maybe even for the better).

MetaWatch was brought to life and into our lives via a successful Kickstarter campaign. It wasn’t quite as successful as the Pebble Watch campaign, not even close really, but it was a success none-the-less. In all honesty I don’t know why so many people got so excited about the Pebble. It got over $10,000,000 in Kickstarter funds and a second round of $15,000,000 after the campaign ended.

Pebble raised over $25,000,000 and yet they had issues getting them to customers. Meanwhile MetaWatch raised just over $300,000 and they were shipping to customers a month later. That’s impressive. Also the MetaWatch is both dorkier, cooler and just overall a better watch than the Pebble. I’ll never understand why Pebble won the money race. Continue reading

Mary Lambert is an Incredible Artist who Must be Heard

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis The HeistLast October a video hit YouTube and absolutely exploded. I intended to do a writeup about it back then but life was busy at the time and I just didn’t get around to it. The video was a single from the debute of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis‘s first full-length album, The Heist. It’s one of the best albums I’ve heard in a good while.

The video is titled, “Same Love,” and is about the experiences Macklemore, Ben Haggerty, encountered in his life in regards to homosexuality and how it has shaped his beliefs on equality. The song is amazing, giving me chills running across my arms as I remember back to scenes in the video.

Macklemore explained that the song also came out of his own frustration with hip hop’s positions on homosexuality. “Misogyny and homophobia are the two acceptable means of oppression in hip hop culture. It’s 2012. There needs to be some accountability. I think that as a society we’re evolving and I think that hip hop has always been a representation of what’s going on in the world right now.” Wiki

In the song you hear an incredible female vocalist named Mary Lambert. She is to me the Adele of America. Not just because they have a similar look but because their lyrics and voice are magnificently emotive and powerful. They sing from the heart, from their real-life experiences. They are each beautiful in their own right but it’s their powerful storytelling that stole my attention.

Portrait of Mary Lambert by Seattle photographer Lauren Colton

Portrait of Mary Lambert by Seattle photographer Lauren Colton.

Mary Lambert is a Seattle local, singer-songwriter and spoken-word artist. Her songs are known to tackle women’s issues and speak to a level of honesty and depth that few of her contemporaries have ever explored. Her songs remind me of those by Antony and the Johnsons without the orchestral flourishes. Go check them out as well. Continue reading

Review of the RockDoc Bluetooth Speaker by Pitbull

A few weeks ago I was contacted by the people behind this speaker requesting I review the RockDoc Bluetooth speaker endorsed by Pitbull. When I got the email I nearly laughed out loud at my desk. Someone asking me to review a speaker by Pitbull, the rapper? I love rap music, more than most people would probably understand or believe, and I even like a few songs he is featured on but he’s never made my list of rappers I love.

RockDoc Bluetooth Speaker Pitbull

Luckily for him, me, the RockDoc marketing team and VisionTek (the people that actually make it) the RockDoc Bluetooth is something I actually really do like to listen to. No one was more surprised than me. It isn’t a perfect speaker but at less than $60 on Amazon, the VisionTek RockDoc Bluetooth speaker over performs. At the end of the review I have links for a 15% discount as well as a way you can win one of these! Continue reading

The Refreshing May Bespoke Post Has Arrived

I’ve been a member of Birchbox for quite some time now. For $20 a month they ship to my doorstep a box full of products marketed to men. Generally speaking I get one physical product (sunglasses, tie, socks, whiskey stones, leather coasters) that meet or exceed the cost of the entire box. Along with that you might get one full-sized health or beauty product followed by sample sizes of three to five more products.

All in all it’s a decent deal, especially if you’re looking to discover new products. These shipments typically come in at a $30-60 value. However, recently I discovered a heavyweight contender in this space by the name of Bespoke Post. At $45 a month it costs more than twice the price of Birchbox but is it worth it? Why yes it is.

The May Bespoke Post Refresh shipment is a stuffed bag of swag!

The May Bespoke Post Refresh shipment is a stuffed bag of swag!

My first shipment came today and boy was I surprised. Where Birchbox gave me sample sized items, Bespoke Post had full size and travel size items. On top of the fact that the items were so plentiful and large, the bag they came in was worth the cost. The entire box was worth the price of two three nearly four shipments! Let’s break this down. Continue reading