Review of My (Almost) New Google Pixel XL 2

My previous phone an LG G4 took a bit of a tumble and it cracked the corner of the screen.   Although it was still usable it did seem to heat up a lot more and the battery life appeared to be affected.  The phone would not last through an entire day often having to be charged towards the end of the day in order to last through the evening.  Over the Christmas holiday, my provider Koodo,  offered a number of phones including the Pixel XL at a discounted price with a Large Tab which I took advantage of.

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Five in One Jar and Bottle Opener

I saw this jar opener advertised over and over again on my Facebook timeline and in Google ads.  Holly often has me opening jars for her and this item intrigued me as it seemed to work well not only on jars but on bottles as well.  Bottles with twist off tops like wine 0r  ketchup bottles.  Also opens pull tab lids like on cans of tuna, tough twist off beer bottle caps and if you don’t want to break your nails, pop cans with tabs.   For only $6.99 from Amazon with free prime shipping it was a pretty simple decision to purchase as an add-on to other gadgets.   I am happy to report that this gadget works as advertised.   It really does make an easy job of opening the toughest bottles and prying up jar lids to break the vacuum makes an easy job of those tough pickle jars.  Not all gadgets purchased on a whimsy work out but happy to report this one works as advertised!

10,000 Year Clock

What do you spend your money on when you have as much money as Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon?  Well, when he is not building spacecraft through his company Blue Origin, he is busy constructing a clock inside a mountain that he hopes will run for 10,000 years.  To put that in perspective, the first stone egyptian pyramid was built in 2700 B.C. or only 4700 years ago.  He expects this clock to keep running more than twice that length of time.  Civilization as we know it will no longer exist.  But the clock will keep running.  And the clock’s chime generator will create a different bell ringing sequence each day for the 10,000 years.

If you are curious enough to learn more about this very cool project you can go to the official home page at   or check out the article I discovered it on at Wired Magazine.

Six Port USB Charger

We have started to get a good number of devices lately that need to be charged using a USB connector.  Two phones, a tablet, two fitbits, a portable clock, portable bluetooth speaker, a battery backup and a few others that I am sure am forgetting.  With not enough outlets and in some cases, proprietary connectors I needed a solution to help me charge a number of devices at the same time.  The AUKEY 60W USB Charger with 6-Port USB Charging Station seemed to fit the bill nicely.  And at the price I paid of $34.99 Cdn it was, what I considered, a good deal.  It has two quick charge 3.0 ports for the devices that support it and an additional four ports.  It can charge all 6 devices at full speed.  It also has built-in safeguards protect your devices against excessive current, overheating, and overcharging.  I have used all ports simultaneously and am very pleased with how it performs.

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Lovepop Cards

Advertisements for Lovepop cards popped up many times in my Facebook and other feeds over the last little while and when I saw Valentines Day approaching I took a chance and purchased a card for Holly and a few extra for the grand kids.   They seemed a little expensive at $10 US apiece (when purchasing 5 at a time) but I am happy to say they were very much worth it.  Although shipped from the U.S. to my Canadian address Lovepop sent it via DHL and it arrived within 5 days.   The envelope even had a personal thank you written on it which I thought was a nice touch.

The card I ordered for Holly was the Winter Willow Scene pop up card as shown below.  Holly absolutely loved it.  I also ordered the unicorn and shark cards for the grandchildren.   If you want a card that will absolutely impress, check out the cards at Lovepop.

Loved Those Comic Book Ads

One of my favourite podcasts on CBC Radio called “Under the Influence with Terry O’Reilly” highlighted the beginnings of the comic book ads that my brother and I used to pour over in great detail during our childhood.  Fantasies about tanks that could shoot shells or submarines to launch into the local lake to be had for under $10.  We never did order those items but we did tape quarters to pieces of cardboard and send away for those of lower price levels.   Sea Monkeys for only a $1.25.  Chests of toy soldiers for only $2.00.  And even a machine gun that shot real BB’s for under a buck.  After dropping the envelope with several weeks allowance in the post box we spent each day for the next several weeks running home with the expectation of finding that our treasures had arrived.   Inevitably we were usually pretty disappointed by what we finally received.  But the anticipation was a wonderful experience and I look fondly back on those days of innocent wonder.  I highly recommend you go here and listen to Terry O’Reilly’s podcast.

If you have ever wondered about what you would actually get when you ordered that submarine or many of the other items from those comic books, Amazon sells a book Mail Order Mysteries that reviews a good number of the ads that I remember from my childhood.    I have purchased this book and loved and highly recommend it.