Lifehack Vol 5

  • 1. Use your phone as an alarm clock.

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    I can’t imagine someone is such a heavy sleeper that they can sleep through a max-volume alarm right next to their head. If you really have a problem that serious, I recommend hooking your phone to a set of speakers and really blasting yourself.

  • 2. Or even as speakers

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    This actually does work. Putting your phone into a cup or bowl will amplify the sound A LITTLE BIT. It’s hardly what you need for a party.

  • 3. Ditch the coffee, eat an apple instead.

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    This is such a stupid thing to even say. I love the condescending little “true story” at the end. Wow thanks so much for telling me a piece of healthy fruit is better than a cup of coffee. How do they even quantify more “wake-up?” Based on what?

  • 4. This actually works.

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    This does work, but if you are letting your pasta boil over you are an amateur.

  • 5. Because your friends are gypsies.

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    It’s a decent hack. You can then store your photos in Google Drive or Evernote with a tag like “lending” or something.

  • 6. Want to look good for the interview? Do this.

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    There are two easy ways to make steam in your house. One of them is putting a shirt over your stove with several pots of water boiling below over open flame. The other is to hang it in your bathroom during a hot shower. I’ll let you decide which is smarter.

  • 7. Prevent your trash bag from leaking.

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    You shouldn’t be putting wet things into your trash bag unless you plan to take it out right away. However since the paper is laying around anyway, and it’s already trash, this is smart.

  • 8. Use velcro for your remotes.

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    I almost fell for this. I thought “finally a way to keep all my remotes organized!” Don’t be fooled, this does nothing. The reason you (and I) constantly lose the remote is because we put it somewhere stupid. If you could just remember to always place it back on the coffee table you would never lose it. Now you just need to remember to put it on the velcro? No help.

  • 9. Want only egg whites? Use a water bottle.

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    I don’t need to separate my eggs ever so maybe this hack just isn’t for me. Who is separating so many eggs they need a better way to do it? Is it really that hard? Are you supposed to save that bottle as your designated egg separator for your breakfast each morning? Doesn’t it get gross? Who can answer my questions!?

  • 10. The STRAWberry trick.

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    “Straw” berry … get it?

  • 11. Hate putting together furniture? Check out SmartDeco instead.

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    This is just a commercial for the website’s own product. I don’t know how good this cardboard furniture is, but it sure as hell isn’t a life hack.

  • 12. Don’t burn yourself!

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    Spaghetti burns slowly. Who knew?

  • 13. Ever put a water bottle in the freezer just to have it freeze solid?

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    The first exceptional life hack! Great way to keep ice water cold for a long time.

  • 14. Do this to chill your drink fast.

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    I have never tried this, and the reports I have heart are inconclusive.

  • 15. Use Pringles cans for storing spaghetti.

    What can I ever say about this nonsense? If your cat ate a whole in the bottom of your spaghetti box and you really need a backup container, this might be the hack for you. If you are intentionally moving pasta out of a perfectly good box … you need a lobotomy.

  • 16. Microwave your leftovers the right way.

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    I think most modern microwaves have less issues with uneven heating. I think the big issue is to make all of the food even, as in, not deep in the middle and shallow on the sides. This might still be useful though.

  • 17. How to make the perfect sandwich.

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    I do this all the time and it works!

  • 18. How to tell if your avocado is ripe.

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    The only important thing you need to know about an avocado is when it isn’t ripe enough. Everything else is stupid because you are either eating it, or tossing it. If you get LUCKY and catch it right on the day it’s ripe, you win. Every other time you lose. Fail.

    Honestly it isn’t that hard to just know when your avocado is ready by look or feel. Just stop being such an neophyte.

    I think my favorite part of this image is how the individual photos aren’t even aligned properly. The creator just couldn’t be to align them in his rush to share this gem with the world.

  • 19. Do this next time when you’re trying microwave multiple things at once.

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    If this is common enough that you need a life hack to manage it. Buy a bigger microwave it’s like $100.

  • 20. Lose an earring?

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    If you are planning on vacuuming the entire floor with this contraption, you could probably find the erring with your eyeballs just as easily. This would be useful if the erring is in a place you just can’t quite reach, and you need a boost.

  • 21. Use duct tape to open up those tight lids.

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    It’s only a jar. Use your hand.

  • 22. The acidity in Coke can come in useful.

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    I can’t imagine a toilet that is so in need of emergency cleaning that you don’t have time to take a trip to the store to get an actual cleaner. On top of that, I highly doubt this works… But who am I to talk, I am just a dork.

  • 23. The ultimate space saving trick.

    There is a video, but I am not even going to link it here. The “hack” to save space is to build some sort of contraption that hides your computer under your bed. Like I always say, it isn’t a life hack if you need to bring out a toolbox and learn to be a carpenter.

Let’s Review Lifehacks Vol 4

We have a double whammy today. Simple Ideas That Are Borderline Genius and 28 College Hacks You Won’t Learn in Class 

So are these simple ideas really borderline genius? Some of them are just stupid products you would most likely find at the dollar store. Some are even moderately useful like a collapsable funnel and a square cake cutter & server. Others are just totally idiotic like the ramen bowl iPhone holder O_O

lifehacks-ramen

This wouldn’t be really stupid if it cost $5 as a gag gift. But I am willing to bet this actually costs more in the $30 range. Why would I want my phone that close to my liquid food? Can’t wait to slurp and splash ramen all over my screen.

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News flash: pushed-in chairs take up less space than non pushed-in chairs. Sure it’s cool that when they are pushed in it looks like a neat item of furniture but it doesn’t seam fair to select this clever furniture over all of the other clever items of furniture as the most genius?

Do the college hacks have anything good to offer? Mostly this is just a list of way to create a truly pathetic looking college house with toilet paper rolls as pencil holders and glass coffee pots and ramen makers. But there are a few standouts.

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Have you ever considered folding your shirts to save space? As if asking a college student to fold shirts isn’t enough of a long shot, how about folding them and stacking them horizontally in a drawer? I think your chances of getting hit by lighting are better.

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I appreciate this because most college students don’t even know what a dustpan is and here we teach them to make one out of readily available junk! Bravo.

Oh by the way after downloading these images I found out why that piece of shit Mashable site couldn’t ever finish loading. The images are over two megabytes in size.

Combatant Gentleman Unboxing and Review

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I have been looking for some suits lately, but I don’t really know much about them. I have a few jackets, but I never delved into tailored suits. I guess I always thought they are too expensive.

Enter Combatant Gentleman. They claim to deliver high-quality suits for reasonable prices. But do they actually deliver? The answer is yes they do! Not only the suits, but all the other clothing they sell is affordable and excellent.

My unboxing got pretty out of hand, but it ended up being a very educational experience. I even had the opportunity to have an in-depth conversation with the CEO of Combatant Gentleman himself! He is a great guy and he really made me a believer. Not only in the product, but in his passion and commitment.

LootCrate vs NerdBlock Unboxing/Review

Well as you can see from my videos I was not very impressed with either of these offerings. I am especially upset with the LootCrate. I watched a bunch of LootCrate unboxings on youtube before I went for it, and the items they received seemed much stronger than the items from the Feb edition. Maybe this one was just a bad batch…

The shirt is the best part, which is why I would urge you to sub to NerdBlock is anything because they will always send a shirt. Although like I said in the LootCrate video, if you like graphic t-shirts just buy yourself a graphic t-shirt every month. The toys are a pretty big let down but lets compare them anyway.

LootCrate had a colorful bow tie, which is pretty cool. Unfortunately it isn’t a real bow tie. Other than that it sucked. A shitty black bag? A free downloadable comic? A pin? Joke city.

NerdBlock had much better toys. The squishy Captain America is sweet. The Halo figures are pretty awesome. I applied those little stickers to the back of my laptop right away and I am happy with them. Even those lego-like figures of which I got Uncle Ben would probably be awesome if you got better characters. I wonder if those actually are random, or if everyone got Uncle Ben? Report back.

Finally ruling on both of these services?

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Dollar Shave Club Review and Unboxing

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I have been a member of the Dollar Shave Club for two months now and I must say I am very pleased about it so far. The concept here is simple, they send you razor blades in the mail for a super low cost! Check out my unboxing video:

For as little as $1 a month you can be getting razors delivered. But let’s be honest, the only reason that bottom rung is there is to make you feel better about choosing the middle one. No one is scraping their face with a 2-blade razor… That would be barbaric. So pretty much you have 2 options, for $6 and $9 a month.

I know what you are saying: “Is that really cheaper than what I buy?” The answer is yes. I know it’s hard to remember how much razors are because you only buy them like once a quarter. I went to Walmart specifically to check and 10 Gillet razors cost between $25-30 depending on the variety you choose. That means you are paying between $2.5 or $3 per head, while DSC razors are $1.25 per head. It’a a great deal! While ordering you can also tag on a bunch of add-ons like after shave, shaving cream, and moist towelettes for a minor additional charge.

The quality of the razors is good. I wouldn’t call them amazing or outstanding, but I also wouldn’t call them bad. I certainly feel like my 2nd and 3rd shave with these get a bit rough, but I only shave twice a week. You can get a new razor every week so it is a fair trade off.

Honestly guys, there is very little risk. You sign up on a month by month basis, pay $6 once and try them out. If you don’t like them, cancel. I recommend you give it a try. If you do plan on giving it a shot, please use my affiliate link, I would appreciate it: http://shaved.by/w6m2

Update!

They sent me some sweet loot for posting a review of them online, that is super cool! I full package of one-wipe Charlies! And then only like two weeks later they sent me even more loot to celebrate prostate cancer awareness.

Dollar Shave Club Loot

charlies, shave butter,
t-shirt, thank you note
Dollar Shave Club Loot

charlies, music, crossword,
matches, scented candle

Let’s Review Lifehacks Vol 3

A double whammy, we got bad lifehacks and also some product fails that need to be debunked. I do both in this gripping and satisfying volume.

Let’s Review Lifehacks Vol 2

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Another pile of juicy lifehacks, are they any good!? Better watch and find out. I do want to point one out specifcially that I find baffling. Apparently if you eat an apple from the bottom up instead from the side and around you can eat the whole thing as if the core wasn’t there. Not sure if this is some kind of 4th dimension quantum mechanics trick of folding space because I don’t get it. You need to see it to believe it.

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Fast Food Vegetarian: Subway

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We all know the appeal, or at least the concession, of a vegetable sandwich. It is as simple as ordering what you always, except without the meat. Sometimes Subway offers avocado to add to the sandwich for the extra … heft? Don’t get me wrong, I have eaten my fair share of veggie sandwiches with Jalapeños and extra mayo from subway but I am going to be honest. A sandwich without meat always leaves me wanting.

subway veggie patty
This is why I am happy to announce that subway has a top-secret veggie patty! At least, sometimes they have it. The first time the worker behind the counter was nice enough to let me know they had one, they actually didn’t have any! But the second time I walked in, like I owned the place, and ordered the veggie patty with authority, I got what I wanted!

I say top-secret because it doesn’t appear anywhere on the menu in the store. You would think right under the Veggie Delight they would have a little asterisk that says “Try our delicious veggie patty.” There is no such asterisk. I spent a fair amount of time trying to find this item on Subway’s online menu, and although I did find it (along with a very impressive variety of vegetarian protein options) on the Indian Subway website it doesn’t seem to appear on the US side. Maybe it is a new item still in testing?

I hope not because the patty was excellent.

The patty is in the shape of a rounded rectangle, and seems to be made specifically for 6″ subway sandwiches. It tastes very much like the Morning Star patty found at Burger King but I can’t be sure if it actually is a Morning Star brand because it seemingly has no documentation. From my personal impression it is a patty made of compressed vegetables rather than a soy compound. There probably are beans involved but it is certainly not a “bean patty.” I am not sure if it is vegan friendly, you could try asking … if the workers even know they have it.

If you have a SubWay near you, ask them if they have veggie patties in stock. The addition of a hot and chewy patty really completes the sandwich experience. Just for fun, take a look at what the 400 Subways in India serve!

subway veggie patty

Vegetarian Shammi

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Aloo Patty

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Paneer Tikka

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Fast Food Vegetarian: Burger King

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A co-worker informed me, when I revealed my new vegetarian lifestyle, that Burger King has an often-forgotten veggie patty on the menu. I was always more of a McDonalds, but i had to check it out.

It is clear that the Burger King staff is not used to selling these things, at least in the Minnesota BK I patronized. My request was met with some confusion, and the employee needed help locating the correct button. I guess it figures… How many vegetarians are going to Burger King?

The confusion continues…

I was initially under the impression that I can simply substitute a veggie patty in ANY burger. Although that is possible, that is not the workflow Burger King seems to have intended. It turns out they have an official “Veggie Burger” and an associated value meal in the system, but not on the menu. I attempted to order a veggie Whopper and they clumsily tried to corral me into ordering the Veggie Burger instead.

For research I did order the veggie burger, and also a Whopper with a veggie patty. I am actually not sure what the difference is aside from the bun. The veggie burger came on some kind of strange bun without any sesame seeds on it. Otherwise the burgers seemed identical, although I might be forgetting something.

When it comes to burgers, I am far from a minimalist. You won’t see me having a burger with nothing but a slice of cheese. I am obsessed with garnishes, condiments, vegetables, and whatever else goes on it. Pile it high! I want my burger to be an experience. Because of this mentality the actual “meat” of the burger ends up being only a small portion of the flavor. The most important element is the texture. Meat has that heavy, hearty texture that gives the burger body. The Morning Star patty delivers.

Yes I said Morning Star patty. Most vegetarians will already be familiar with this popular brand, and the flavor of the patties. The patty is bean-based and has other diced vegetables in the mix. Unfortunately there are dairy products in the mix as well so they are not vegan friendly. At least the BK patty, I am not sure if the Morning Star brand offers a vegan patty.

I have always been a big fan, and advocate, of veggie burgers even when I was a meat eater. When I worked at Green Mill I ate them often to avoid all the fat of real beef and I didn’t mind at all. The same thing is happening at Burger King! The this patty is flavorful and filling. The other ingredients of the burger shine in their own usual way, and the fries, of course, are unchanged. It turns out that I can still get the fast-food burger experience even as a vegetarians thanks to Burger King.

Hotline Miami Review and Playthrough

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Is the game hard? Of course it’s hard, you get killed in one hit, bad guys come out of nowhere, you are never prepared for what is coming next, you will literally retry the same ROOM 30-50 times before beating it, only to die from some stray bullet the second you open the next door. It is trial and error bullshit at it’s best.

But it works!

Gameplay

This game’s developers have mastered the art of trial and error gameplay. When you die there is no waiting time, you are back into the action at the press of a button. Each section (floor) is only 1-3 minutes long, so no matter when you get killed it will only take you a minute or two to get right back to were you died. There are no lives, no continues, only your gun, wits, and respawn button. You don’t need to get concerned with trying out a variety of strategies no matter how absurd because if they fail you lose almost no progress.

The gameplay is fast paced and fluid. The enemies are stupid and predictable. Levels almost feel like a logic puzzle, trying to manipulate the enemies into doing what you want, but with just enough randomness to keep your on your toes. After you lose count of how many times you have tried, you enter a zen-like state of murder rage. It is almost peaceful.

Music

The music plays a vital role. It keeps you moving, it keeps you bouncing in your seat. Each track gives it’s respective level a unique feeling, and when you die the music carries the action forward, There is no break. The music tugs you back into the dance of death no matter how many times it takes to get the steps right. I highly recommend getting the soundtrack, at least check it out on youtube.

Story (Spoiler Alert)

To be honest, I felt this was a huge letdown. I was actually really into the story as it progressed. I wanted to know who was calling “Jacket” and why he was doing what they said. Who is trying to kill the Russian mafia, for what reason? Why does Jacket hallucinate and have visions? Why is that guy at the stores giving him everything for free? WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON? You get no answers. Even when you play the second act as “Helmet” who is much more cognizant and actually trying to get the answers, you pretty much get nothing meaningful. It’s pretty frustrating to create this weird creepy atmosphere and then never tie up the loose ends…

Problems

Considering how masterfully the developers created a high tension trial/error action game, I find several massive blunders in the game design. First is the absolutely horrible hospital level called Trauma. In this level you need to sneak out of the hospital without being spotted by anyone, no murder. You are just a confused and dizzy patient, and you need to sneak out. The section takes a long time, doesn’t do anything for the story, and it’s infuriating. As if sneaking around isn’t’ bad enough, the character is also drugged up and wobbles around, and if you walk to long without stopping you need to have a migraine and stand still for a while. It was not fun, the change of pace was not welcome.

Along the same lines, the game has several boss fights, and when you die on them (which you will 10-20 times) you need to go through the dialogue every time. This is a huge misstep, why not just restart right at the “go” point? Why do I need to hear the bad guys line over and over? This is pretty textbook design stuff guys, why do this?

Conclusion

The shortcommings are minor. The gameplay is top notch and the fun factor can’t be beat. I don’t beat games very often anymore. I beat this game, and I had a blast doing it. I will let my gameplay footage speak for itself.