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If it is not family or not paying rent, don’t let anything in your house that is smarter than you.:) That means saying ‘no thank’ you or ‘good buy’ to all these spying devices marketed as amiable servants or harmless entertainment.
That means no ECHO, no ALEXA, no XBOX, no Smart TVs. It means trading in your Roku or Amazon Fire microphone remote for a regular non-microphone remote.
Here is the thing… you want to know what the weather is… do the search yourself!
Same with the news, or the traffic. Do it your effing self. There is a point where convenience becomes a cage, and ease of access a trap.
Every camera in your house (laptops, phones, TVs, smart refrigerators, etc), should have a lens cap. And every microphone in your house (xbox, phones, laptops, alarm systems, smart thermostats, etc) should be able to be physically disabled/disconnected. Being able to determine yes I want this camera off, and yes I want this microphone off, and being certain that they have turned off, that is owning things. Having to trust in the hardware or the software that it is not recording you, and delivering that info to marketeers… that is being owned.
And increasingly in ‘Smart’ homes, the homeowner finds themselves in the latter category.
Here then are my recommendations for portable CD players, headphones, and great quality CDs to test out those headphones.
WONNIE 7.5 Inch Portable DVD Player with Swivel Screen, USB / SD Slot and 4 Hours Rechargeable Battery, Perfect Gift for Kids ( Black ) – While marketed as a gift for kids and the aged, this is actually a great compact portable DVD/CD player that plays a variety of formats at a ridiculously low price. And comes with great extras including a carrying case.
Now while it comes with basic headphones I would recommend the following headphones and amp combo when ready to take the sound from this portable to a better level.
HIFIMAN HE-400I Over Ear Full-size Planar Magnetic Headphones– Not cheap at around $200 but it is actually nearly 60% off of its retail price.
A slightly lower cost, but still well reviewed and lauded headphone option would be:
And while not necessary, an amp will help deliver quality sound to your headphones. Get yours at the link below:
Finally here are some must own CDs for testing out your headphones and just hearing great music:
As someone who has always been concerned with the quality of drinking water, and has over several years tried various remedies to ensure clean water, the talk was of definite interest to me.
Especially as I see more and more companies pressure nations and communities to privatize their water infrastructure; I think water, clean drinkable non-contaminated or tinkered with for taste water (Dasani I’m looking at you)… is going to increasingly not be guaranteed. Water, in this ‘tail wags Dog’ America and World, Is going to start being a luxury item you have to pay for, rather than a basic necessity that should be freely available and provided. And those who can’t pay for clean, non contaminated water, will not get clean contaminated water.
A Trumpian Dystopian Orwellian future, made ever less far-fetched as the more passionate among us do nothing, while the venal and greedy and ignorant among us, shout loudly.
Michael Pritchard is one who did not stay quietly on the sidelines, turning his outrage on tragedies of nature, and failures of governments and men, such as Katrina… into action.
In this case a portable water filtration system called LIFESAVER that checks a lot of the boxes, that others miss.
A water filter is only as good as that point of failure, and a system that lets you know when you have reached that point of replacement is indispensable.
In my house I use the zero pitcher, for this very reason. It’s a quick and easy test you can run on every glass of water, and when the meter hits that number of 006 TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) you know it is time to replace that filter.
LIFESAVER offers a similar level of confidence, where it matters even more… when you are on the go; away from your house. And I don’t just mean camping, I mean anyplace outside your home where you need to get a drink of water, whether that be the water cooler at your job, a public fountain, or a friends house.
I work for a billion dollar company, in a fantastic high rise in the middle of a major city, and way too often the water out of the tap, for the whole building… comes out brown. That is just not acceptable. And yes the company has mounted water filters, but are the filters getting changed as they should be? When the municipality of a so-called 1st World Nation can’t provide its citizens clean drinking water from the tap (or don’t prioritize such water), you begin to question the capability of every part of that chain.
Some of that you can combat through legislation, though voting, through boycotting, and some of it you combat by taking an active role, in making sure the basic necessities of life… clean water… in a pinch you can provide for yourself.
That is where the LIFESAVER System comes in. Its company grade is an A, and its Amazon Reviews have been vetted and are accurate (A lot of times they are not, don’t just assume a company with 4 or 5 stars on Amazon is a slam dunk of a product. Unfortunately unscrupulous companies use robots to pad their page with tons of fake 5 star reviews.)
You want to vet the company and vet the reviews, to see if the company is legit and the reviews are legit. There are various sites that will do this for you. I’ve checked the most reputable ones, and LIFESAVER as a company is an A, and its Amazon reviews get an A for being accurate, and non robot generated.
All this to say, this is the gift giving season, Dickens’ sweet story of a carol at Christmas, has been turned by savvy businessmen into a retailers dream, the need to purchase and buy, affecting all during this time of year, more like a fever, than anything to do with faith.
Whether Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, Vodun or Festivus you celebrate; we are all swept up in the compulsion to spend. All to some point swayed by the marketing push and Black Friday sales, or Amazon Monday sales.
But perhaps we can do better than the usual suspects of gifts. While the kids want (and deserve) their toys, for the adults give them the LIFESAVER. It lives up to its name. It is something that should be in each car you own, for emergencies, and one in the house as a backup filtration system. Essential for any bug-out bag.
And the lifesaver while impressive, no product should be considered an end all and be all. I would recommend having a UV pen water sterilizer as well. It is just a good one-two punch to get in the habit of doing. Especially as your filter gets close to its end of life.
Is it overkill? Probably. But considering it only takes seconds more to UV your drink after filtering, it is probably just a good routine to get into. But even without the UV step, I consider the LIFESAVER absolutely an indispensable purchase in 2017 and beyond, and a fantastic gift.
Get yours here:
You are going to also need to have replacement filters on hand (In the words of Nick Nolte, from EXTREME PREJUDICE [one of my favorite movies, and easily his most iconic role] ‘One without the other, ain’t no damn good.’)
Lifesaver Bottle Ultra Filtration Water Bottle Replacement Carbon Inserts (4-pk)
And here’s the recommended UV pen:
And here’s the pitcher for your kitchen (and you could also use an additional one for your bathroom or just go with an on tap unit for your bathroom faucet):
Or more convenient for your bathroom would be a on-faucet filter, that also offers a end of life replacement light, which would be the below:
So that’s it guys. When I started this blog, far more than a decade ago, one of my early concerns was water quality. I had tried distillers, table top water filters, and tons of options in between.
And all of that research has brought me to the recommendations above. You want to give a gift this holiday season, give the gift of clean water.
It is… a start.
Use the links above and help this blog earn a few pennies with your purchases.
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