A Fanged Look At The Snakebite

Growing up I spent a lot of time in the wilderness of Texas and Colorado. I was always told to watch out for snakes so they don’t bite you. I am now well past 21 and I have a snakebite a few times a month.

A Fanged Look At The Snakebite

No Snakes Were Harmed During the Writing of This Post

Okay, so by now you have figured I am probably not talking about a real snake biting me. Then again, I could just be a deranged lunatic who just likes the oh so sweet feel as the venom courses though his vein *clears throat* sorry off topic.

Rum Rebellion

No, I am talking about a drink that I had never heard of prior to finding my new local bar at the beginning of 2015. I cannot tell you where the bar is for fear that ALL of you might magically show up at. You will come and want to buy a round for me, just to hear my old wars stories from when I was in the Rum Rebellion of 1808. I digress. 

History of the Snakebite….NOT!

I wanted to give a little history on the snakebite as part of this review. After exhausting research and finding numerous different stories and variations of the drink, I figured, to hell with that! Who needs history when you have beer and cider to drink?!

Recipe

8oz Stout or Lager beer
8oz Hard cider

Pour your cider first and then layer the beer on top.

I prefer Guinness and Angry Orchard. I suggest it is worth experimenting with different combinations to find out what suits you. The more experimentation, the more fun!

The Compass Points Southwest

The Southwest Airlines Review

As someone who travels enough to have a go to Airline but doesn’t fly enough to rack up the 25,000 miles needed per year for the “elite status” American Airlines offers I can tell you this, if you fly less than 25,000 flying miles per year Southwest is the place to start!

Southwest AirlinesSouthwest Logo

I live 20 minutes either way from DFW International Airport and Dallas Love Field so I have all the options of airlines open to me without having to drive forever to get to the airport. Nothing to me is more stressful before a flight than having to drive two hours to get to the airport and still have to deal with TSA. 

Southwest is awesome for a lot of reasons

  • · No assigned seating
    · No first class
    · Two Free checked bags
    · $72 Flights
    · Peanuts!?!

I have flown first class a number of times and honestly it has always been on short flights. So the biggest upgrade was the bigger seats and warm cookies. If you fly a lot, yes this is a nice perk to have but if you aren’t willing to cough up the upgrade fee why be reminded of the warm cookies?

Southwest doesn’t fly everywhere as you can see from the map below. However they do fly to a lot of airports.

Southwest Airports

The bulk of my travels are to LA, Las Vegas and on the rare occasions Phoenix. When I make my way out west I have two options with LAX or John Wayne (Orange County). This is really helpful for me as I have business near both and family within 30 minutes of either. Southwest fly’s out of both always making my trips less stressful.

I avoid Sky Harbor Phoenix at all cost, just due to how many bad experiences I have had with layovers, TSA and the general overall lay out of the airport. I have family located there and so sometimes I have to man up and just go. It is comforting knowing once I deal with all of that, it is Southwest I am flying with in case I have I have to stay longer than expected or you have flat on the way to the airport or TSA holds you up etc…. Southwest allows you to call and cancel your flight. You can then rebook your flight and reuse the fare that you paid on your flight. You just have to do it before your flight leaves. This is a huge bonus and one that I keep in my back pocket in case of emergencies. I just don’t know of any other airline that offers this.

Rewards Programs and Casey Neistat

As I said I don’t fly enough to reach the base level rewards program with someone like American Airlines or any of the others who offer big perks to frequent flyers but I do want to talk about them for a minute. (Southwest does have a rewards programs where you can earn free flights)

I have been a follower of Casey Neistat for years and I have always enjoyed his work. He filmed this a few years back in regards to AAdvantage and how he has his Executive Platinum status. As of late in his daily vlogs he has been sharing a few more perks such as golf carts to take him from one terminal to the next, the airport lounges and some of the other benefits.

Emirates

I am excited to share that I will be visiting for the first time, my grandfathers’ homeland of India. The trip is coming up in February 2016 with a six day layover in Dubai. I will be going with my grandfather for three weeks. I will be joining up with him in LA for our flight to Dubai with Emirates on their A380. I am very excited about experiencing a plane this size and an airline that offers the amenities that they do.

My flight to LA will of course be with Southwest as they offer two free checked bags and I intend on flying out with some camera gear and my luggage.

Final Thoughts

If you know you are going to be flying enough to rack up the miles, loyalty to someone like American Airlines does put you into the elite status and give you awesome benefits. It seems to me that most airlines have just never returned to being about the passenger. They want to charge you an arm and a leg for a checked bag and they can’t even muster up the cost to give free peanuts with your drink. 

Southwest is one that truly stands above. They aren’t someone who is catering to just the elite and frequent flyers. They have a funny business model that people like Frontier Airlines just doesn’t get. Southwest makes money by making sure people want to fly with them again! WHAT?!?

Are they crazy?! They want you to come back by offering free checked bags every time, cutting out the ELITE and offering no bullsh*t $72 flights?! So they don’t fly everywhere and they don’t offer flights to overseas but they aren’t that type of airline. They want you to fly with them again by making your flight as easy as possible from what they can control.

Witherspoon Distillery 2015 Review

I recently had the opportunity to visit my friends at Witherspoon Distillery in Lewisville, TX and interview the owner Quentin Witherspoon. (we apologize for the quality of the audio, it was a hot Texas day and the a/c distorts the sound quality)

Some outstanding recipes to follow!

Witherspoon Distillery’s current line up.

1. Witherspoon’s Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey

2. Witherspoon’s Single Malt

3. Witherspoon’s River Rum

4. Witherspoon’s River Rum Reserve

5. Witherspoon’s Bonfire Rum

Witherspoon’s Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey

 

Witherspoon Maple Old Fashioned Recipe

1.5 oz Witherspoon Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Dash or Two Bitters
1/2 oz Maple Syrup
3 oz Apple Juice

Witherspoon’s Single Malt

When we first opened this bottle, the aroma was very strong and almost it almost tasted the same as it smelled. If you have ever been privileged to drink a fine aged whiskey, you will understand the aroma as you could make out the different key flavors that are characteristic of being aged in an oak barrel.

The single malt was not as smooth straight and I ended up cutting it with 2 parts single malt to 1 part water. This is how I drink it now. I do not like my whiskey on the rocks because this is a slow sipping drink and the ice changes the ratio of water to whiskey.

Cocktail:

This is not a cocktail liquor to me, so I will share how I drink mine.

2 Ounces Witherspoon’s Single Malt
1 ounce chilled purified water

Mix the two ingredients in an old fashioned glass and enjoy.

Witherspoon’s River Rum

Witherspoon Distillery Hemingway Cocktail Recipe

1.5 oz Witherspoon River Rum
3 oz Grapefruit Juice
3/4 oz Simple Syrup
1/4 oz Lime Juice
1/4 Maraschino Cherry Juice

 

Witherspoon’s River Rum Reserve

I will be honest when it comes to this rum I just enjoy it on the rocks. To me, this is just a nice sipping rum and does not need a mixer.

 

Witherspoon’s Bonfire Rum

 

Witherspoon Distillery Apple Pie Cocktail Recipe

1 oz Maple Syrup
1.5 oz Witherspoon Bonfire Cinnamon Infused Rum
4 oz Apple Juice

Witherspoon Distillery
Witherspoondistillery.com

Panasonic On-Ear Headphones RP-HS46 Review

I cannot stand “in the ear” headphones. When I am working out they’re always falling out during the best part of the song or during the last few reps when you need that motivation to help you push yourself.

Over the years I have used all different types of headphones and it wasn’t until May 2009 that I found the pair I could stand behind.

Panasonic On-Ear Headphones RP-HS46 Review

The Back-Story

In May 2009 I was working out 5-7 nights a week at my gym alone with my amazing Apple 30GB iPod I used to rock out with. I had gotten to the gym at my normal hour of 11 and got changed in the locker room when I found headphones had ripped the cable out (or something along those lines… I don’t fully remember). I quickly ran to my local Wal-mart to pick up the cheapest on-ear headphones. I found the Panasonic RP-HS46.

I ran back to my gym and worked out using these headphones for the next year and a half. I ended up not working out for a few years after my accident but I always carried my iPod to work with me so I needed a descent pair of headphones to get me by.

The Torture Testing

From 2011 until April 2015 I have used that same pair of Panasonic headphones while working at my fathers company doing decorative concrete work. To give you an idea of what that means, it is a lot of catching the headphone cord on equipment, lots of dust, dirt and sweat getting into the headphones. It is also a lot of bending over and putting pressure on the headphone plug. It is also hundreds and hundreds of hours of music being pumped through the headphones.

After all of that time, the headphones still worked until they finally gave up the ghost and went out on me in April. This forced me to shop online for a new set. When I had last looked online for the pair as a gift, I could only find them for $50-80 dollars on Amazon. I paid $13 (most expensive pair I had ever purchased at that time, so the amount had stuck in my head) when I first picked them up in 2009.

In April I was lucky enough to find them again for $8 a pair online so I picked up two.

Conclusion

Are these headphones the best in the world? No. Do they have the richest sound? No. Do they last unlike any others I have ever used? YES!

I wanted to write this review because as someone who beats the living hell out of clothes and gear just living a normal (for me) life I want to share what I have found to be durable and long lasting and can take the beating I put things through. These fit the bill.

Comfortaire Company Review

I am a 189 pound 5’ 7” gym rat. I am not a 6’ 5” 325 pound offensive tackle for a professional football team. My bed however seems to think I am. Let me rewind and start from the beginning.

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The Prelude

Short cute story, I broke my back which ended with me in constant pain in my back. My relief normally comes from sleep, which I need from a bed that can cradle my body and keep me from rolling around at night.

The Bed

About 3 years ago I needed to replace my mattress and I found an ad online offering a Comfortaire Celesta dual chamber queen side airbed. My folks had bought a used Sleep Number Bed about 5 years prior. They loved it and have had no problems with it. I figured for the price, I would go and check out this bed.

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The lady I purchased the bed from was an older woman who had keep the bed in her spare bed room for guest. Since they were moving she did not want to take it with them and she wanted to sell it.

I looked over all the parts and found the bed was in perfect shape so I bought it and brought it home. A year and a half later I started noticing the foam between the pillow top and the air chambers had started to tear in the middle of the bed where I sleep. I let this go until last year when I started developing small air leaks on only one air chamber.

At this point I decided to call Comfortaire and see if they would help me.

Comfortaire and ‘Debbie’

Last year I called Comfortaire to ask two questions.

1. Will they warranty the foam pad or the air chambers even though I am not the original owner,

2. What is the air chamber made out of? (so I could patch the air chamber in the meantime)

The first young lady I spoke with was of no help. She did not know what the chambers where made out of. She told me that I should just use camping air mattress patching kits that use rubber cement. My second question had her even more baffled when I asked do they warranty either part.

I was frustrated at this point so I asked the customer support girl if she could transfer me to her manager. I normally do not like to call someone out in a review but for the sake of how horrible she was I am willing to put aside my rule.

I have to say at this point that while I will admit to being frustrated, I make it a point to never be rude or belligerent on the phone. No one deserves that, even if they are that way to me. I normally find that being polite and nice gets me what I need.

I spoke with Manager ‘Debbie’ about my dilemma about the foam tearing and to keep this review short I will just say she told me flat out that they do not warranty the foam on their bed because they know they will wear out and need to be replaced. (really? It is inside a zippered case covered by a pillowtop!)

Debbie is the type of customer service help you want to have helping the people you really hate. Debbie left a really bad taste in my mouth and is the whole reason I wanted to write this review. She was never really interested in helping me and at one point she told me to just throw away the bed and go and buy a new bed from a different company.

The Foam

Since Comfortaire was in no real mood to even discuss replacement of their foam I went and found a foam mattress topper at my local bulk item club and I replaced the foam. $75 for something that should be warrantied. Tsk tsk, shame on you Comfortaire.

The Leak

To date I have dealt with 7 cases of one air chamber leaking air through the night and giving me a bad night.

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My air chambers as I found out are not made of rubber or nylon or any of the normal patchable air mattress material. No, that would have been too easy. They made the air chambers out of urethane.

This means that rubber cement patching kits are worthless. You need to use superglue. The problem is that you cannot just put a few drops, you have to create a large patch using the glue, which takes hours to dry.

I have found I can use a rubber patching kit if I superglue the rubber patch to the air chamber.

I have also learned that getting into and out of bed is how the leaks have started. These air chambers are extremely thin, and I can only guess that I am rubbing the top to the bottom getting in. Also, anytime someone sits on the bed while someone else is laying in the bed, a new leak starts to form. The longer two people are on the bed, the bigger the leak gets. (Remember, this is a QUEEN BED!)

How to find leaks

Do you have an air mattress that you think is leaking but you do not know where?

I use an old spray bottle filled with a little drop of soap and then fill the bottle with water and then I spray the whole mattress while it is inflating and you can see the soap bubbles start to appear.

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Conclusion

If you are in the market for a new mattress I can only share my experience with you and say that if I had known what I know now I would have spent a little more money and gone with the Sleep Number Bed.

Comfortaire was rude and not caring at all when I tried to get help and no one deserves to deal with that.

BUYER BEWARE: Banana Boat Sunscreen for men SPF 50+ and Banana Boat Ultra Defense Lotion Sunscreen SPF 30 Review

I own a yachtMy family owns a yacht… MY FATHER owns a yacht. Now before you ask yourself what is an obvious quadrillionaire doing writing a review website? I would just like to make it clear I am not a quadrillionaire… just a single, good looking and humble (heterosexual) bachelor trying to make it in the world. Okay so my father owns a 26ft sailboat that is a yacht only by a technicality and it is really only big enough for a 3 bros weekend of sailing and fishing.

The Backstory

The most uncomfortable weekend of sailing is where you get a bad sunburn on day one and have to stay in the sun for the next 2 days. Every year before sailing season, I buy a new spray bottle of sunscreen to insure none of us get burnt. Last year was different, I went to the store and wanted to get the highest SPF (Yes, I do know that higher than 30 SPF is just wasting money. If you don’t know what I am talking about, Google it).

Banana Boat “Triple Defense Sunscreen for Men” SPF 50+.

DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT! It does not work. While on my sailing trip, I applied and reapplied the spray and I still came home redder than a cooked lobster. I read the directions, I didn’t get in the water, I made sure I did it right so that I would come home happy and not in pain. but boy was that a fools dream. This products does not work.

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The Backstory Part Deux

In April of 2015 I went on a Princess cruise (link this) and while we visited Honduras a family member and I went snorkeling. you can read about it in the review. Again I was stupid and purchased Banana Boat sunscreen. However, this time I used the lotion and not a spray. I applied this junk product a number of times and even double applied. It still did not work and I spent the last 4 days on the ship looking like a bright red fire truck (I put on a few pounds, don’t judge me).

Banana Boat Ultra Defense Lotion Sunscreen SPF 30

DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT! It does not work.

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Conclusion

Banana Boat is now zero for two.  I do not trust them to make a product that will be able to keep my skin from being burned.

Work Sharp Blade Grinder and Tool Grinding Attachments for the Ken Onion Edition Knife & Tool Sharpener

At the end of 2014 I reviewed the Work Sharp Ken Onion Edition Knife Sharpener. The company was very nice and shipped me out the Blade Grinder and Tool Grinding Attachments to test shortly after that. I wanted to wanted until after winter and into spring so I would be able to get a good use out of the tool grinder so I would have a enough time behind the sharpener to write a fair review.

The Tool Grinder/Sharpener

The tool grinder is designed for exactly what it sounds like. To grind tools and sharpen the cutting edge. I use three tools for all of my outdoor cutting yard work. a chainsaw, pruners and loppers. I don’t care much for use of an axe or hand saw unless I am just wanting to get some exercise in because the chainsaw makes quick work of any large projects. for my pruners and loppers however I dull them pretty fast. In my workshop I have a vise that I can secure either in and in just a few short passes I can be back to work with sharp tools.

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This tool grinder attachment was the easiest of the kit I own (tool grinder, blade grinder and the Ken Onion Edition Knife & Tool Sharpener) to get the edge I wanted since you are not looking for a razor edge on your gardening tools.

Growing up in the BSA we were always doing conservation projects that required us to fell trees. I would always have to spend 30 minutes getting my two axes ready for work before we starting felling trees. I wish I had this sharpener back then so I could always have the best axe heads. Before I would have to sit with the metal file and work on the edge and this would have made quick work of that. 

The Blade Grinder

I have not really liked this for sharping my knives. While out at a show in Vegas I saw Benchmade using the Blade Grinding Attachment with razor precision.  I have found I am better at getting a good blade with just the base Ken Onion Edition Knife & Tool Sharpener than I am with the blade grinder. I know that you can get a better edge on the grinder but I haven’t been able to achieve it yet.

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The Box

Work Sharp as far as I have seen only sells a “gear bag” for storing your sharpener and attachments. I do not like soft bags to store my tools in because I  prefer to be able to stack boxes on my shelves in the workshop. While over at my local home improvement store I found a Husky 16-Inch Rugged Hand Tool Box with Metal Latch. the box measurements of 8.8” W x 15.4” L x 8.2” in height. This box is perfect! It cost $15 online but $10 in the store.

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Overall thoughts

The  Ken Onion Edition Knife & Tool Sharpener is a great tool to have at your disposal for keeping your everyday knives at the sharpest they can be. If you are someone who does your own yard work and the tool grinder is invaluable. You always run a higher risk of hurting yourself or others when working with dull blades and edges on tools.

The blade grinder is something I am hoping to master in the next few times but until then I always have the main Ken Onion Edition sharpener.

(Attachments sold separately! Requires Ken Onion Edition Knife & Tool Sharpener WSKTS-KO)