The Chronic Consumer

I buy things — all the time!

Acne Lamp Review: Week 10

Note: I recently purchased a red and blue light acne lamp from AcneLamp.org. I will be posting brief, periodic updates about my experiences with the lamp to give you an idea of how the $249 piece of equipment works.

Past updates:

Week 2
Week 4
Week 6
Week 8

I missed two sessions in the past two weeks due to time constraints, but that didn’t seem to have much of an impact on the efficacy of the lamp. Once again, I experienced no new cysts of any kind, which makes about 8 consecutive weeks of no new pimples. Mind you, this doesn’t mean my skin is flawless by any means. I still have bumpies, blackheads, and an overall uneven tone. But this form of treatment certainly looks promising for those of you that suffer from frequent breakouts.

I will continue to do daily sessions for two more weeks, bringing my total to 12 (3 months). Then I will move to every other day to see if I can continue getting good results without such a huge time commitment.

Maxell Sport In-Ear Headphones

I run 5-6 miles per day, and rely heavily on my iPod for entertainment while I do so. I prefer in-ear headphones to the standard iPod earbuds because of the sound quality, comfort level, and their ability to stay in place. In the past, I’ve just purchased $10 cheapo pairs, but those give out every 6-8 months or so for whatever reason. This time around, I spent $20 for what I hope will be a better pair.

I decided to go with a pair of “sport” headphones from Maxell. These in-ear headphones are supposed to be sweat-proof, which is definitely something I need. They also feature some kind of support device (the black loops in the picture) and a clip/cord holder.

After using these headphones for a week, I’m ready to say that I don’t love them, but I don’t hate them either. They’re just okay. The earpieces don’t fit as snugly in my ears as the cheapo brand I used to buy, but they don’t fall out or anything. There’s just quite a bit more noise bleed than I’m used to. Also, I don’t understand the purpose of the support loops. They don’t do anything expect make these things uncomfortable to wear for long stretches — not exactly what I want since I run for 1hr+ every day.

On the flip side, the cord keeper and clip are a lot handier than I would have imagined. I’ve never had a pair of earphones that came with a clip, so I didn’t realize how convenient this little piece of plastic could be. It keeps the cord out of the way of my knees when I’m peddling a bike and out of the way of my kettlebells when I work out with those.

Overall, while I probably wouldn’t purchase this exact model again, I’m still hoping these last for longer than a year. Otherwise, I’ll feel that I should have just stuck it out with the cheap brand!

Selling Laptop

I’m selling my old laptop because I never use it anymore. When I’m at home, I’m far more comfortable using my desktop PC, and when I’m on the road I use my iPhone or iPad to stay connected.

This is actually the first time I’ve ever sold an old computer because I usually use them until they die. As a result, I had to do some quick Internet searches for reformat hard drive vista. I finally found the answer and think I did everything right.

I might go ahead and spend twenty bucks on a drive scrubber just to make sure, though. After all, I had all my financial information and Internet passwords stored on the laptop. If someone recovers that data, they’ll be able to do some real damage.

Anyway, let’s hope I get a decent price for this thing!

Back to Asics Gel Nimbus 13

A little while ago I posted how I purchased Asics Gel 1170 running shoes. They seemed alright at the time, but after a couple of weeks I started to miss the extra cushioning present in the Gel Nimbus model. So I decided to go buy a pair of Gel Nimbus and write the 1170’s off as a loss (or as an everyday/walking shoe).

The problem was, I couldn’t find the Gel Nimbus in any of the stores near my house. I don’t know why, but they seemed to have every other Asics model EXCEPT that one. As a result, I had to order them from online.

Now I was pretty confident ordering these shoes because they would be my third pair of Asics, and the others had fit consistently. Unfortunately, the Gel Nimbus 13’s that I bought are extremely narrow in width. Even with my small feet, these shoes felt very tight — and uncomfortable — out of the box.

Right now I’m trying to gradually break them in and loosen them up. I put them on whenever I need to go to the store or run errands, and I’m using them for shorter 5K runs. When I do my 10K workouts, I’ll stick to the 1170’s or even my old Gel Nimbus 12’s.

I will post a review of the Gel Nimbus 13 once I break them in to the point where I can use them for my long runs.

Crunch Dried Fruit: Strawberry Banana Flavor

A couple weeks ago, I posted about the Crunch Dried Corn snack I tried from Sensible Foods. I liked that product so much I decided to test out another offering from this company. This time around, I bought something called Strawberry Banana Crunch Dried Fruit.

As you might guess, this snack consists of freeze-dried strawberries and bananas (and nothing else!). The snack was sort of crunchy and sweet, but the taste and texture actually weren’t that great. I love the fact that the 42oz. bag is only 44 calories and is perfectly healthy and convenient; however, the taste isn’t such that I feel compelled to buy it again. I’ll just stick to the Crunch Dried Corn version!

Trader Joe’s Organic Strawberry Lemonade

I grabbed a bottle of Organic Strawberry Lemonade from Trader Joe’s one day without even reading the label. I didn’t realize it was organic (that’s not something I look for on labels); I was just hoping for a refreshing drink.

Well, I didn’t find it in that bottle! That Joe Tea Strawberry Lemonade was the nastiest stuff I’ve ever tasted! It had a distinct medicinal quality about it that was simply disgusting. I passed it off to my son, who actually liked it.

Yeah, perhaps this isn’t the most complete or articulate review I’ve posted. Nevertheless, I just wanted to get it on record that I hated this crap!!

Scrabble for iPhone App

Although I have the Scrabble for iPad app, I never bothered with the iPhone version because I figured they were substantially the same. But that’s not the case at all. The iPhone app is surprisingly MUCH BETTER than the iPad app, which now makes me feel as though the iPad version was a waste of money.

I’ve only had this app for a few days, so I don’t know all the ins and outs yet, but here are the differences that I’ve already noticed (and liked):

  • The ability to play random online opponents (up to 50 simultaneous games)
  • The ability to forfeit online games even when it’s not your turn
  • The ability to play against more than one computer/AI opponent — and set the difficulty level for each one individually (Easy, Normal, Hard)
  • Availability of Teacher Mode (which shows you the best move you could have made with your tiles) in every form of gameplay instead of just solo games
  • The ability to tap to choose a letter for the blank tile instead of having to scroll through the whole alphabet.

These added features might not seem like a big deal, but they really improve the Scrabble experience. Plus, given the fact that the iPhone version can do EVERYTHING the iPad version can do, it makes me wonder why anyone would want to pay $9.99 for the iPad game. The iPhone app is just $1.99 and is light years better than the iPad app. Wish I’d known about these differences before I shelled out my cash for the iPad version!

Acne Lamp Review: Week 8

Note: I recently purchased a red and blue light acne lamp from AcneLamp.org. I will be posting brief, periodic updates about my experiences with the lamp to give you an idea of how the $249 piece of equipment works.

Past updates:

Week 2
Week 4
Week 6

There haven’t been any significant changes from Week 6 to Week 8. I missed two sessions because of time constraints, but otherwise have stuck to the regimen. As I reported in Week 6, I had some bumpies on my forehead, both in the middle and along my hairline. Those have diminished somewhat, but are still visible. No new pimples erupted on my face in this time period, so I am currently free and clear of actual cysts. I guess I could say the lamp is working in that regard, but really, there’s no telling how many cysts I might have had without the lamp!

I’m planning to continue my daily sessions until I hit Week 12, after which point I will reduce the frequency to 3-4 times per week.