Skullcandy Hesh Review

Skullcandy Hesh Headphones
Skullcandy Hesh Headphones
Skullcandy Hesh 2 Headphones

Skullcandy Hesh Review

I’m the father of an 11 year old music lover and I’m pissed at Dr Dre and my sister. You see, Dr Dre came out with these really great, high performance headphones called Beatsand then my sister went ahead and bought a pair for her son. Now they are both my mortal enemies.

I’m mad at my sister because she totally killed the one excuse that I was giving my son for not getting him a pair. Whenever he asked I would always say, “Those Dr Dre Beats are too expensive!” Then one day, my son had the snappy comeback, “Aunt Nicole bought a pair for Noah.” Crap! Now my excuse was down the drain because his cousin had a pair. This is how Ronald Reagan must have felt when Russia kept building more nukes. My credit cards was on a path to mutually assured destruction. Truthfully, I really don’t think that 11 year olds should have $200 headphones. My nephew is older but that still sounds crazy to me.

So I went on a mission to find a suitable pair of headphones for much less money. My wife tried the Five Below route with little success. We burnt through two pairs of those that were thankfully only $5 each. The first pair got sucked up into the vacuum cleaner and had to be replaced. The replacement pair just stopped working. They just weren’t built durable enough for an 11 year old. Can you imagine if I saw the $200 Dr Dre Beats on the floor getting vacuumed up? Proves my point that 11 year olds leave things on the floor and shouldn’t have $200 headphones.




I looked at what was available and read all the reviews. Then I settled on a $50 budget. In that price range the best bang for the buck was the Skullcandy Hesh 2 Headphones, Gray/Black/Lime. They have a nice solid feel to them and they’re available in lots of different colors too. I liked the detachable cord feature and hopefully the cord will stay out of the vacuum cleaner. But you buy headphones for the sound and I was not disappointed in the sound. Excellent base and the highs were crisp and clear. Obviously they didn’t sound as good as the Dr Dre Beats but they were surprisingly close.

The Skullcandy Hesh Headphones sell for around $50, I could buy a set of headphones for everyone in the family instead of one of those Dr Dre Beats. And by the way, if my daughter is reading this, everyone in the family is not getting a pair.

With the research completed, the next thing I know, the Skullcandy S6HSFZ-319 Hesh 2 Headphones are in my Amazon shopping cart. My son decided on the Gray/Black/Lime because he must be color blind. But Gray/Black/Lime actually matches a lot of his equally color offensive clothes so it was probably a good choice.




Another suburban Dad crisis has been averted. My son now has great headphones that are both stylish and sound great. And we didn’t break the bank to get them. I guess I can forgive my sister now but Dr Dre is still in the doghouse.

Here’s the feature list from Amazon

Skullcandy S6HSFZ-319 Hesh 2 Headphones

  • Experience the music the way it was meant to be heard
  • Unparalleled comfort during encore playlists
  • Eliminate cable tangle, increase longevity and customize your look
  • Headphone rests comfortably over your ear creating a perfect seal


Lime Squeezer

Lime Squeezer

Lime Squeezer

As you may have figured out, I like to make margaritas. And as I’ve said before, you just can’t beat fresh squeezed juice. The orange juice people know this. That’s why every orange juice commercial on TV is always about how their juice is fresh squeezed or tastes fresh squeezed. Well the same is true for lime juice. And once you drink a margarita that is made with juice from a lime juicer, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Now there is still a place for Margarita Mix or bottled sweetened lime juice. If you’re having people over for drinks, you don’t want to spend the entire time squeezing limes right? It might be nice to actually spend some time with your guests and not with a bunch of limes. But when you want to treat yourself or a few lucky guests, break out the lime squeezer.

Lime Squeezed




The lime squeezer that I have is made by Oxo and I love it. It feels like a well made tool and not some cheap kitchen product that you regret buying once you take it home. Unfortunately, I know what those feel like. I’ve got a whole drawer full of kitchen crap that I should have never bought. But this Oxo Lime Juicer doesn’t get anywhere near the kitchen crap drawer. In fact, I keep it in my home bar with my other prized drinking making equipment.

Oxo Lime Squeezer
Oxo Lime Squeezer

Officially it’s called the OXO Good Grips Citrus Squeezer so I’m sure if life gives you a bunch of lemons you can also make some lemonade with it. But I’m more familiar with squeezing limes. It’s made of aluminum and it’s dishwasher safe. And this squeezer has a nice heavy feel to it. Like I said before it feels like a tool. The handle is big enough and non-slip so that you can really squeeze the hell of out those limes. I’ve found that you can get about a 1/4 cup of lime juice from those tiny little organic limes that they sell at Trader Joes with this lime squeezer.

So when you’re in the mood for the best margarita recipe, you definitely need to break out the lime squeezer or if you want to call it a citrus squeezer, go right ahead. And this one by Oxo should definitely have its own space in your home bar.



Krups BeerTender

Krups Heineken Beertender
Krups Heineken Beertender

Nothing beats a cold beer on a hot day. But now that I think about it, you can’t beat a cold beer on a cold day either. So having a cold beer on tap in your house is definitely good stuff. And for only about a hundred dollars you can make this happen.

The KRUPS BeerTender is a mini keg system for your home. I absolutely love my BeerTender. I feel like it was made specifically for someone like me. And let me tell you what I mean when I say, “someone like me”. Well, I like the taste of draft beer. Something about the taste of cold draft beer takes me back to old school keggers or those all you can drink draft beer happy hours. Those days are long behind me but I think the draft taste awakens some dormant part of my brain and just automatically makes me happy. And I also think that the BeerTender looks great in my home bar. I have it sitting on a mini fridge right next to the bar and it’s a great looking machine. So if you like the taste of draft beer and like cool looking home appliances, then you should keep reading.

Heineken DraughtKeg
Heineken DraughtKeg

 

 

What beers are available for Krups Heineken BeerTender
The BeerTender has three different varieties of beer available for it. Heineken, Heineken Light and Newcastle Brown Ale. It would be nicer if there were more types available but it doesn’t really look like it’s going to happen any time soon. I think that there are more varieties available in Europe but since I live in New Jersey, I can’t confirm that. The 5 liter mini DraughtKegs cost about $20 each plus you’ll need some beer tubes too but more about the tubes later.

How many beers in a DraughtKeg
There are 33.814 ounces in a liter and the DraughtKegs are 5 liters, so that gives us a total of 169.07 ounces. A regular bottle of beer is 12 ounces. So by doing a little math we can learn that a 5 liter DraughtKeg contains a little more than 14 beers. I can usually find the mini kegs on sale at a bargain liquor store for about $18. But you should find a place that sells them cold already because unlike a bottle that put in the fridge, you’ll need more than an hour to chill a DraughtKeg.

Cooling the DraughtKeg
This unit will very energy efficiently cool a beer keg down to 36 degrees. So efficiently that it will take a day or so to cool a keg from room temperature. So that’s one thing that you need to address. This is great for your energy bill because you’re not paying for an extra refrigerator in your house just to keep your beer cold 24/7. But it’s not so good for drinking a few kegs when people are over. During the summer when we have people over for pool parties I’ll buy a few cold kegs and put them on ice in one of those giant coolers that I bought from Costco. Winter time is even easier because you can leave the extra kegs outside but don’t let them freeze. If you have plenty of room in your fridge for mini kegs than you’ll be fine but if you’re like me, you’ll have to plan ahead to keep multiple kegs chilled for parties.

Krups Beertender Tubes
Krups Beertender Tubes

BeerTender Beer Tubes
When you use a BeerTender, the little plastic taps that come with the DraughtKeg will not fit inside the unit. So you’ll need to buy a beer tube with each DraughtKeg that you buy. The beer tubes are disposable and you need to use a new one for each keg. This eliminates the need to clean your beer tubes. People who have regular home beer tap systems or even the real systems in bars need their tubes cleaned out more often than you think. So once again there are pluses and minus with this. It’s best to buy several boxes of beer tubes at once (there’s 6 in a box) and the best price I’ve seen lately is at Amazon. As long as you are a member of Amazon prime and don’t have to pay for shipping. And if you aren’t a member of Prime, then why not? Either buy them from Amazon or go to a place like Bed, Bath & Beyond with one of those 20% Off coupons that probably flood your mailbox like they do mine. And remember to buy a few boxes so that you don’t run out in a middle of get together.

Krups and Heineken B100 BeerTender
The current model number for the BeerTender is the B100. You’ll find it on Amazon or at Bed, Bath & Beyond or wherever you buy your home keg systems. The pictures in this post are of my older model, the B90. The newer model does away with the tiny LED screen but I think it looks more manly. Looks like something that should be a garage or a chop shop. The drip tray and the top look like a chrome car part. Check out the pictures and you’ll probably agree.

How to pour a beer with the BeerTender
If you read the Amazon reviews, people seem to complain about the Beertender pour. They say that it’s all foam. Well you can get a perfect pour every time if you follow this advice:

  • Use a wet glass
  • Hold the glass at a 45 degree angle
  • Open the tap all the way

Additional Beertender Features

  • Chills to 36 degrees (B90) 37.4 degrees (B100)
  • Each DraughKeg has a built in CO2 cartridge to keep beer fresh for 30 days
  • Unit measures 21-Inch Length by 12-Inch Width by 18-Inch Height
  • Ultra quiet and efficient Peltier cooling system provides constant and consistent cooling of the keg


Available Beers

  • Heineken
  • Heineken Premium Light
  • Newcastle Brown Ale
DraughtKeg Luminary
DraughtKeg Luminary (it looks cooler at night)

 

But the best part of owning a Krups BeerTender is that whenever someone stops by my house, I can always say to them, “Can I get you cold beer?” They have a seat at my home bar and I take a frosty pint glass out of the freezer and pour them a cold one. That really makes someone feel welcome.

And since this is blog is also a little crafty, you can repurpose the empty kegs for other uses. Check out this DraughtKeg luminary that I made. It wasn’t a big deal to pop the mini keg open with my Dremel and then I drilled some holes in it. A little spray paint to make it look neater than a big empty beer can and I was done. These look great around the pool. And whenever I’m sitting around drinking beer, I can tell my wife that making luminaries.

I have a few more ideas about how to repurpose these mini kegs and I’ll cover them in future posts.

Bottom line, the BeerTender is awesome.



Cocktail Muddler

Cocktail Muddler
Cocktail Muddler
Cocktail Muddler

Cocktail Muddler

I recently had a birthday and I was very happy to unwrap my gift from my family and find that they got me a cocktail muddler. Hey, times are tough and not everyone gets a new iPad or a vacation for their birthday and besides I’m very happy with it. Since I’m really enjoying making cocktails lately and always like trying new things, the muddler was definitely something on my wishlist.

What is a muddler you ask? Well, it’s basically a stick or maybe it’s more like a mortel and pestle (just the pestle part) for cocktails. You place some ingredients in a cocktail shaker, usually it’s fruit or something that isn’t liquid and then you squish it up with the  muddler. If you’ve ever read a drink recipe that says something like, muddle a piece of ginger and a lime in a cocktail shaker, now you know what it means. They say that muddling releases the natural flavors of the ingredients and yes is probably true but really what’s going on here is that you’re squishing the stuff up.

If you’ve ever had a fresh mojito, the bartender probably used a muddler. With a mojito, there’s mint leaves and limes and maybe sugar that get muddled before the ice and rum are added. I hear that adding bitters to mojitos now is the trendy thing to do. I’ll have to try this out and report back here. I’ve planted tons of mint in the garden this spring. There should be lots of mojitos in my future.




Since I just got the muddler, I haven’t had much time to add a bunch of muddled cocktail recipes to this site. But I plan on updating this page with links to muddled cocktail recipes after I do some very important “research” so please check back every once in a while.




Refrigerator Water Filter

Refrigerator Water Filter
Refrigerator Water Filter
Pur Refrigerator Water Filter

If you have a Whirlpool, Kenmore, Kitchen Aid, Maytag, Amana or Jenn-Air refrigerator with a water dispenser then this is the filter you’ve been looking for. The PUR Refrigerator Water Filter is much cheaper than the replacement filters that I’ve been buying at Sears and it even works better.




Not only does this water filter remove or reduce the lead, cysts, benzene and other usual contaminants that are found in tap water but it also removes up to 99% of the pharmaceutical compounds that are floating around in there too. If you didn’t know that you had to be worried about pharmaceutical compounds in your drinking water it’s probably because it’s a relatively new thing to worry about. In March 2008, the Associated Press published a report that found pharmaceutical compounds in the water supplies of over 24 major metro areas across the United States. It seems that the water treatment plants were never designed to remove pharmaceuticals from our water.

Before buying one of these Refrigerator Water Filters make sure that it’s the right one for your fridge. If you’re like me and you have one of those quarter turn filters mounted in the grill of your fridge you should be fine with this model from Pur. But check with your manufacturer if you’re not sure.

I’ll take my water without a side of drugs please and that means that I’m going to continue buying these Pur Refrigerator Water Filters.



Garden Machete

Gerber Machete and Sheath
garden machete
Garden Machete

Garden Machete

One of the best presents that I got this past Christmas was a garden machete. I was expecting something like socks or other boring necessities. One year my daughter found one of my old hockey pucks in the garage and wrapped that up for me. But opening up a garden machete on Christmas morning was definitely one of the most unexpected treats of the whole year.

So what do I need a machete for anyway? Beside killing zombies, I also plan to get a lot of use out of the machete in the garden. Every spring I usually split a dozen or so hostas. In the past I’ve used an old kitchen knife or a shovel but now I can yell, “Hassan Chop!” and look much cooler doing it. Every year the hostas keep getting bigger and I keep splitting them. And now I have the proper tool for the job.




Another great use for my garden machete will be chopping down my musa basjoo every fall. I like to grow hardy banana trees that need to over winter in my garage. For banana trees they’re pretty hardy but New Jersey winters would be too much for them. So in the fall, I chop off the leaves and if necessary I chop the pseudostem (the trunk) to fit them in my warmer garage.

Gerber Machete and Sheath
Gerber Machete and Sheath

The machete I got is made by Gerber. They make pretty good multitools so I would think that this machete should hold up well. It even comes with a sheath. I checked some of the reviews on Amazon for this particular machete (Gerber 31-000758 Gator Machete with Sheath) and there were a few people who gave it one star. That worried for until I read between the lines and saw that these people were trying to cut down trees and chop firewood and crazy stuff that you’ll see Bear Grills or Survivorman do. For use in the garden I don’t think that I’ll have any problems with it snapping in two. I don’t have any rock hard hostas so I should be okay.