Homtime C1 Digital Alarm Clock Review

Homtime C1 Digital Alarm Clock with Dual USB Chargers and Indoor Thermostat. It’s perfect in simplicity.

Thanks to You!

Just a quick note since there’s no review this week… Wanted to thank you for the support you give and surprising me with this channel’s growth, however modest it may be!

Blue Yeti USB Microphone – Music & Podcast Mic for Mac or PC

The Blue Yeti USB Microphone is a plug and play microphone with four patterns – stereo, cardioid, omnidirectional, and bidirectional. It makes a great podcast microphone, it works fantastic for voiceover work, and it’s acceptable for recording music.
That’s an affiliate link, which means at no cost to you, I do receive a small commission for sales resulting from this link.
Capsules: condenser/ pressure gradient
Polar Patterns: cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, stereo
Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
Sample Rate: 48kHz
Bit Rate: 16bit
Max SPL: 120dB (THD: 0.5% 1kHz)
? FIND IT AT AMAZON – http://amzn.to/2kSxdh1
? Black version is $15 cheaper – http://amzn.to/2kSvKam

Simon – The modern version of a vintage memory game

Simon was a huge hit in the late ’70s. It’s just as fun to play the modern version as it was the vintage memory game. How’s your memory?

Mr Potato Head from Downtown Disney’s Once Upon a Toy ( Disney Springs )

Vacationing in a Disney park is expensive… a small consolation is getting a great deal on Mr Potato Head!

Downtown Disney Orlando
(now called Disney Springs… I got it mixed up in the video)

Downtown Disney Anaheim

Classic Mr Potato Head
Mr Potato Head Bucket
Mr Potato Head Silly Suitcase

The Amazon links are affiliate links, which means at no cost to you, I do receive a small commission for sales resulting from these links.

Google’s Project Fi After One Year – Review

One year in, and I’m still loving the Google Fi service and Nexus 6P phone.

InnoGear Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser

The InnoGear Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser Portable Ultrasonic Diffuser may or may not be a form of therapy, but it does in fact make the house smell nice. Its pretty colors via the LED night light are attractive. It’s also a great night light for kids!
Click here to find the InnoGear Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser on Amazon
That’s an affiliate link, which means at no cost to you, I do receive a small commission for sales resulting from this link.

Warby Parker Glasses Online – Review

A couple years ago, my vision perfect. OK… maybe it was longer. Recently, my vision got bad without my noticing. OK… I was in denial. My prescription eyewear from a shop were expensive, never fit great, and they wore out quick. Then I broke them. I replaced them with Warby Parker glasses that I ordered online.


Dorco Razors – Eliminate the Shave Club Middlemen

I love my Dorco razor, and not paying a lot for blades!

Amazon Merch T-Shirt Print Shop Review

Amazon Merch is a program that allows you to sell tee shirts on a “print to order” basis. If you sell one, they print one. Come up with your original idea, upload the file, and off you go. There is a wait time and an approval process first, however.
AMAZON MERCH APPLICATION PAGE ➜ https://merch.amazon.com/landing
MY CURRENT TEE SHIRTS ➜ http://amzn.to/2hUTU1i

Savage Omnidirectional Lavalier Microphone

The Savage Lavalier Omnidirectional Microphone is a clip-on mic for DSLRs and smart phones as well as audio recorders and PCs. It’s small and unobtrusive and comes with a 20 foot cable.
*Savage Lav Mic at AMAZON* ➜ http://amzn.to/2heHowO
That’s an affiliate link, which means at no cost to you, I do receive a small commission for sales resulting from this link.

“Big Skinny” Wallets

Just a nice simple review about the tiny wallet I love to use. Don’t like a bulky back pocket? You’ll love the Big Skinny wallets!
FIND IT ON AMAZON ➜ http://amzn.to/2fUY7QY

That’s an affiliate link, which means at no cost to you, I do receive a small commission for sales resulting from this link.

TheraPutty Stress Toy Putty

Squeeze, pinch, stretch or twist TheraPutty using a variety of different finger, hand and wrist resistive exercises to strengthen hand muscles, improve fine motor skills, and decrease stress. Great for occupational therapists, golfers, tennis players, musicians, weight lifters, children, and the elderly.

Schiit Mani Phono Preamp for Moving Coil or Moving Magnet Cartridges

The Schiit Mani phono preamp is just the thing if you have a moving coil cartridge and want great sound without spending a boatload of money. It has four settings to adjust the gain just where you need it to enjoy your music at the right volume. It’s a great upgrade to a vinyl-based stereo systems with moving magnet cartridges as well.

That’s an affiliate link, which means at no cost to you, I do receive a small commission for sales resulting from this link.

Innova 3020 OBD2 Scan Tool

The Innova 3020 is a good basic code scanning tool to help you figure out problems with your 1996 or newer gasoline powered car, truck, van, or SUV.
That’s an affiliate link, which means at no cost to you, I do receive a small commission for sales resulting from this link.

Honeywell HCE323V Digital Ceramic Heater

The HCE323V Digital Ceramic Heater from Honeywell is a space-saving tower with two heat settings and a programmable thermostat. It has a safety motion sensor that shuts off the heater when an object becomes too close; it then turns back on when the item is removed.

CLICK HERE TO FIND THE Honeywell HCE323V Digital Ceramic Heater on AMAZON

That’s an affiliate link, which means at no cost to you, I do receive a small commission for sales resulting from this link.

Audio Technica ATH M50x Headphones

Audio Technica’s ATH M50x headphones are probably the best buy for the money you’re going to find. Nothing in their price range touches them for performance and build quality!
That’s an affiliate link, which means at no cost to you, I do receive a small commission for sales resulting from this link.

Tile Tracking Device Review

I finally got around to doing a Tile review and those guys release the new Tile Mate AFTER when I was mid-edit! DOH! Oh well, the tile is a great tracking device for your keys and probably many other things.
Tile Generation 2 on Amazon
Tile Mate on Amazon
Tiles Slim on Amazon
Those are affiliate links, which means at no cost to you, I do receive a small commission for sales resulting from these links.


The super fast Samsung T3 portable SSD drive has really upped my editing game by freeing up some space on my computer’s main drive and providing a source for audio and video at 450MB/s.
250GB ➜ http://amzn.to/2dWJEVj
500GB ➜ http://amzn.to/2dDaF0q
1 TB ➜ http://amzn.to/2dzcb3X
2 TB ➜ http://amzn.to/2dWL7uW
Those are affiliate links, which means at no cost to you, I do receive a small commission for sales resulting from these links.

OXICLEAN Keeps Our Kids From Destroying Their Clothes

Seriously? An OxiClean review? YES!
I’ll review a lens or a phone or something next week (likely the Audio Technica headphones), but this week I’m paying tribute to the thing that’s kept up from breaking open the piggy bank to replace our daughters’ clothes over and over.
Find it on Amazon ➜ http://amzn.to/2dfhIfH
That’s an affiliate link, which means at no cost to you, I do receive a small commission for sales resulting from this link.

Amazon Dash Button Review

Amazon Dash is a device that allows you to reorder one specific item via Amazon Prime with the simple push of a button. Basically it saves you the trouble of having to go to your Amazon app on your phone or computer. Also if you are the forgetful type, pushing the Amazon Dash button immediately when you notice you’re low on supplies saves you the headache of having forgotten to order that product later.

The dash button connects to your Wi-Fi to send the order the moment you press. Placed them anywhere in your house, for example you might want to locate a button for detergent wherever you store your laundry supplies. Each button has an initial cost of $4.99, but that is credited back toward your purchase placed via Amazon Dash. An Amazon prime membership is required.

Amazon Dash Buttons ➜ http://amzn.to/2de1iTO

Bose SoundTrue Headphones Review

The Bose SoundTrue over ear headphones sound really good and are light enough to forget you’re wearing them. The pack small so traveling with them is a breeze. There are better sounding headphones in the price range (namely Audio Technica ATH-M50x) but the Bose are probably best for portability and comfort.
Bose SoundTrue headphones on Amazon
Audio Technica ATH-M50x headphones on Amazon

Samsung BDH6500 BluRay Player Review

The Samsung BD H6500 is a great BluRay player for playing BluRay discs and for Netflix and other apps. For some reason, though, it’s not so great with Amazon streaming video. I’m not alone, I’ve read plenty of other cases where folks are experiencing the same.

If for SOME REASON you’re still wanting this, it’s on Amazon

For streaming Amazon (and now everything else), I ended up buying a Fire TV. Review coming later, but so far, so good.

Uncharted Ultra-Lite Packing Cubes Review

WOW! It’s like drawers for your suitcase. They’re available in blue, sky blue, black, red, gray, and green. If you have a family, buying a color for each family member makes identifying everyone’s stuff a piece of cake. Uncharted Ultra-Lite Packing Cube 3 Piece Set.

“In Exchange for My Unbiased Review” – A Bit of a Rant

We all love free stuff, right? Of course we do! Things we get for free are way better than things we have to shell out our hard earned dollars to get! Does getting an item for free (or at a 95% discount) bias our opinion of that item? I think so.

*update – 2/26/2017 – Just finding this article again… the good news is since I originally ranted about this, Amazon has done a great job handing the problem!

Contour ShuttleXpress Review

The Contour ShuttleXpress jog wheel is the perfect too to speed up my video editing in Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut! It also works with a huge list of other software and it’s completely programmable.
Click here to view the Contour ShuttleXpress on Amazon

Spigen Bluetooth Selfie Stick Review

Spigen’s Bluetooth Selfie Stick is the perfect accessory for someone wanting a compact and simple device.

Click here to find the Spigen Bluetooth Selfie Stick on Amazon

Rode VideoMic Me Review

I bought the Rode VideoMic Me thinking it would greatly improve the sound of video I make with my phone. The sad truth is, for most applications, the built-in mic is much better than the Rode.

Click here to find the Rode VideoMic Me on Amazon

Instant Pot DUO60 Pressure Cooker Review

We used to be a crock pot slow cooker family… Now that we’ve bought the Instant Pot, however, things are changing. We’re mainly using it to cook meats, but have started with rices and lentil dishes too.

Instant Pot on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aB4n1s

Old School Toyota Pickup Truck Review

Toyota’s Tacoma and Hilux trucks are virtually indestructible, and are of great use for many household, business, or sporting purposes. Generally speaking, older trucks work harder than newer trucks. We’re not afraid to hurt them, because they’ve already been through the wringer.

Nest Thermostat Review

The Nest Learning Thermostat is best put to use when you have both heat and air conditioning, at least if you live somewhere that has changing seasons. If you’re into watching your energy usage, you get reports via Google, and it works with Amazon’s Alexa / Echo.
Nest Thermostat Gen 2 on Amazon ➜ http://amzn.to/29Xz9j8
Nest Thermostat Gen 3 on Amazon ➜ http://amzn.to/29SuTje

VTech Write & Learn Creative Center Review

VTech Write & Learn Creative Center has helped our daughter learn to write her name at the age of three. It’s also a great tool for kids to practice drawing and perfect their handwriting skills.

Here it is on Amazon:

Logitech Type+ iPad Keyboard Review

This week we’re talking about the add-on keyboard and case combination from Logitech that Carolina uses with her iPad 2. It’s called the Type+ (Type Plus).

Logitech Type+ on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2b3qbPX

Cam Caddy Scorpion Video Stabilizer Review

We finally got a more convenient and lighter stabilizer, the Cam Caddy Scorpion. Not perfect by a longshot, but at $30 it’s priced right and the images come out a lot less shaky than just holding the camera. It’s not going to compare to a $200-$400 gimbal by any means, but I’m just looking to keep the video from looking like earthquake footage.

Cam Caddy on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2b83DiQ

Kokua Jumper Balance Bike Review

Kokua Jumper by Like a Bike – the bike I chose for my kids to learn how to ride without using training wheels. It’s a step above the the next best thing, the Specialized Hotwalk, in features and unfortunately in price.


Rode VideoMic Pro with Rycote Lyre Shock Mount Review

After my first shotgun microphone died, I opted for the Rode VideoMic Pro with Rycote Lyre Shock Mount the second time around. I’m a lot happier with this mic vs the Sennheiser.

Rode VideoMic Pro on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2bmsHlm

Tarion TR-V1 Universal LCD Display View Finder Review

I got the Tarion TR-V1 view finder because I couldn’t see the LCD on my Canon DSLR while outside in sunlight or in a brightly lit room. It works as expected, but with a couple of small caveats.

Tarion TR-V1 on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2bBwvRz

Amazon Echo / Alexa

The Amazon Echo is a bluetooth speaker that’s loaded with personal-assistant like features. Alexa is a program similar to Apple’s Siri, but with slightly different functionality.

Echo on Amazon.com ➜ http://goo.gl/1kCFpm

George Foreman Grill GRP1060B review

The old George Foreman Grill bit the dust, so we replaced it with the GRP1060B four serving model. We got it on Amazon for about thirty bucks and it was totally worth it.

Find the George Foreman Grill on Amazon

Black and Decker Pivot Vac 18 Volt

My wife chose this thing because we have two kids that constantly drop food on the floor during dinner and she was tired of dragging out the regular vacuum (not a big deal to me). I’ve made it a rule since I was a teenage to avoid Black and Decker tools.

Folex Instant Carpet Spot Remover

Folex Instant Carpet Spot Remover has saved us so much headache I feel I have to mention it… especially after a recent and massive red wine spill on our carpet. If you have kids, a dog, or a messy roommate, you need this stuff.

Folex on Amazon.com

Greenworks Corded 12 Amp 20-Inch Lawn Mower

My Greenworks 12amp 20-inch corded mower is great! It has a seven position height adjustment that offers a range of cutting height from 1 1/2″ to 3 3/4″, an easy folding handle, and it can be used as a mulcher, side-thrower, or bagger. I got at Target.com for about $18)

Target patio & garden lawn & garden yard equipment lawn mowers

Dual 1229 turntable review

There are some great choices of new turntables for those getting into (or back into) vinyl. Some great choices are the Teac TN300Pro-Ject Debut Carbon, and Rega RP-1 for $300, $400, and $445 respectively. Those decks will get you pretty solid analog sound with decent speed stability sent through an analog signal (meaning you need a phono preamp). The Teac even has a built-in preamp and USB output, although to many, running your awesome analog signal through you computer speakers seems to negate the whole point of listening to records.

For the same money, with a little diligent shopping, you can get way more “bang for your buck” with a vintage turntable. Also, your deck will be a conversation piece, especially if you match it with a vintage amplifier or receiver like the Pioneer SA8500 or Marantz 2230. Probably the best places to find a good vintage turntable would be estate sales or vintage hi-fi shops. With estate sales, the stereo system will often be displayed where it’s been for the past several years, ready for you to give it a test spin. Hi-fi shops will usually test the equipment and do any necessary restorative work before putting a turntable on their shelves. However, getting to an estate sale before someone else grabs the goods can be a daunting task and hi-fi shops sometimes charge more than you’d pay looking for a turntable on Craigslist or eBay. The internet is a good “easy” way to shop for vintage turntables.

The Technics SL-1200 series turntables are probably the most bulletproof of vintage turntables, but their desirability means finding one in decent shape for less than $500 can be nearly impossible. If you do find one for cheap and it works, grab it quick; worst case scenario you flip it on eBay or Craigslist. Thorens, Dual, Marantz, and Pioneer have made some great turntables that can be had for under $500 and that should, with proper care, stand the test of time and outperform most newer turntables.

My weapon of choice is the Dual 1229.  A decent one in good working condition should cost between $350 and $500 if you’re shopping eBay. If you’re lucky with Craigslist, you could often nab one for as little as $150. I scored mine for $300 in 2014. Including the dustcover and optional flip-front plinth, the 1229 cost $300 new in 1972, which is $1725 in “2016 money” when adjusted for inflation.

What I got for my money is a German-made, rock solid turntable that weighs just under 20lbs with the plinth. A good chunk of that heft comes from the 7lb dynamically balanced platter that acts as a big flywheel, knocking wow and flutter down to .06% (way better than any of the modern turntables I mentioned). That massive platter is driven by an idler wheel instead of by a belt or via direct-drive, so motor noise is low while the time to reach proper rotational speed is very quick. Signal to noise is 63dB, which is pretty much on par with most sub-$500 turntables available new today.

Unlike the modern units I mentioned, the Dual 1229 is fully automatic and can actually be operated as a changer, meaning you can stack records on a spindle and automatically play up to six discs. The tone arm automatically adjusts it’s height to accommodate for the added height, keeping the stylus at the proper play angle. That tone arm, by the way, has 4-point gimbal suspension and anti-skate. The 1229 also features pitch control with an illuminated strobe, three playing speeds, and the option of quickly changing cartridges via the skeletal headshell (necessary if you’re into playing old 78rpm records).

The 1229 is a great soundstage for pretty much any choice of cartridge with the exception of Grado, which can cause excess hum in this turntable. An Audio Technica AT95E is a fine enough “basic” cartridge and can be had for $40. Mine has a vintage Stanton 680 with an original Stanton stylus (by the way, if you’re considering a Stanton or Pickering cartridge and find it has an aftermarket stylus, skip it).

The “cons”? Well, sometimes the automatic start doesn’t hit the lead-in on the record and starts a few seconds into the song. This usually happens with newer pressings and can be avoided by holding the cue lever until the automatic mechanisms lets go and then dropping the arm manually. Some people actually convert their 1229 to fully manual operation, but really you should just look for a manual turntable if it drives you that crazy. Also, some people complain about the noises that come from the automatic operation, which remind me of an old clock, but those only happen before the record plays, no during playback, and as I said before, if it’s a problem, look for a manual turntable.

Overall I’m extremely happy with my Dual 1229. The only upgrade I’m considering is swapping the smoked-grey dustcover for something clear to better showcase it in my living room.

Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM lens review

Called a “pancake lens”, the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM is a good “go to” lens for making video with a DSLR which also performs fairly well for still photography.
Here’s the lens on Amazon

Sony ICD PX333 MP3 Recorder review

Sony’s PX333 portable MP3 recorder is a great little device for not too much money. It’s useful for podcasting, interview recording, note taking, and dictation. It can store up to 199 files and includes a software to manage file folders. USB transfers with a Mac or a PC are a breeze.

Roxant Pro DSLR Video Stabilizer review

I bought the Roxant Pro stabilizer for a corporate video gig because it was cheap and had great reviews. It’s a decent piece of equipment, not great, but for the price you can’t beat it. I probably wouldn’t choose it again if I had the decision to make over again.

Sennheiser 400 MKE Shotgun Mic Review

I bought the Sennheiser MKE 400 microphone based on reputation of the company. I’ve used it with my Canon DSLR about a year and now I’m in the market for a Rode.

ASUS RT-AC3200 Router Review

Here’s a review of the ASUS RT-AC3200 three band router (two 5GHz and one 2.4GHz). It covers up to 4500 sq feet at 3200MBPS with 802.11ac Wi-Fi
Find the ASUS RT-AC3200 router on Amazon

Blendtec Classic from Costco – 3 Year Review


Blendtec Classic from Costco, a review after three year’s use. Great for smoothies, good for soups, OK for baby food. I’m starting by assuming you know how to use a blender. I cover the durability and functionality more than the actual functions, here, people. In other words, I don’t show you what all the buttons do… if I were reviewing a car I wouldn’t start by teaching you how to drive 🙂


Click here for more of our product reviews

Alesis MultiMix 4 USB FX

This inexpensive little mixer is great for small projects and podcasts.
The video below is my review, but here are the bullet points:

  • Four channel mixer with two XLR channels that provide phantom power
  • Controls for gain and balance as well as 80Hz and 12kHz tone
  • Onboard effects
  • USB2

Sony ECMCS3 Lavalier Microphone

I use the Sony ECMCS3 as my “go to” mic for making YouTube videos.
The video below is my whole review, but here are the bullet points:

  • Very sensitive and picks up sound very loudly, so positioning is important
  • Uses “plug in power” so it won’t work with many smart phones and laptops
  • Works great with a DSLR or portable recording device
  • Cord is about three feet (90cm) long
  • Clip rotates 360 degrees, but is made of cheap, slippery plastic and loses grip easily
  • Very affordable at about $15

Nexus 6P plus Google Project Fi

Recently I made the switch from an iPhone and AT&T to the Nexus 6P on the Google Fi service. The video below is my whole review, but here are the bullet points:

  • Google Fi cell phone plan is $20 monthly for text and voice
  • Data is billed at $10 per gigabyte, prorated. If you use 3.7 gigabytes, you pay $37.
  • Whichever data plan you use, unused data rolls over to the next cycle
  • There are no overage fees for data
  • Extra sim cards to share data with tablets are free
  • Phone calls are via Sprint, T-Mobile, and WiFi. The phone automatically picks the strongest signal
  • Nexus 6P battery life is great
  • Main camera is 4K, selfie camera is 1080p
  • Built in speakers are great, especially for podcasts
  • Sometimes games crash
  • Some products aren’t USB-C friendly, like cars that allow USB phone connections
  • Nexus 6P is too large for one-handed texting

Note, in the video I keep saying “USB 3” instead of USB-C. Oops.