Stay away form Tim Horton’s K-Cups

I was at Sam’s Club the other day and picked up a box of Tim Hortons K-Cups. People have told me that Tim Hortons was like the Canadian version of Duncan Donuts. Since I associate Duncan Donuts with the greatest tasting coffee ever made, I decided to give it a try.

Big mistake.

Tim Hortons K-Cups coffee is terrible. It’s weak and bland tasting. It’s nothing at all like Dunken Donuts coffee. It tastes like watered down gas station coffee with a hint of sadness. The type of sadness an entire country emits after years of not winning the Stanley Cup.

After drinking my first cup of Tim Hortons, I found myself with yet another reason to take pity on Canadians. If our neighbors to the north think Tim Hortons coffee tastes good, it’s an indicator of just how horrible life is in Canada. No wonder so many Canadians dream of moving to the United States like so many of their hockey teams have done.

Take my advice and stay away from Tim Horton coffee. Whatever you do, don’t buy a box of 80 K-Cups like I did. I wish I could say I was high on bath salts or that I had been drinking forties of Olde English 800 all day before going to Sam’s Club. That would be a lie. I was just being stupid.

Don’t be stupid. Don’t buy Tim Hortons K-Cup coffee.

A review of Retro Pop Box 1970’s

I received a Retro Pop Box 1970’s for the month of April in the mail yesterday. This is the first box I’ve received from them. Although I’m new to Retro Pop Box, I’m very familiar with their business model. Customers pay a monthly subscription fee and the company ships a goodie box every month containing things relevant to a specific theme. In the case of Retro Pop Box, it’s pop culture items influenced by a specific decade. My Retro Pop Box is dedicated to the 1970’s.

As a child of the 70’s, I know only too well not everything was so great in the 1970’s. Sometimes people as old as me will lament on how things were so much better when they were a kid. I am not one of those people. In most ways, the 1970’s sucked. WW Vietnam was still raging on. In the third grade, I remember having to write Richard Nixon a fan letter. Gasoline was rationed and you could only buy it on odd or even days. Iranians stormed the U.S. embassy and took hostages. Fonzie jumped a shark. Polyester was king.

Even though the 1970’s isn’t my favorite decade, I really loved everything that I found inside my Retro Pop Box.

Contents of my Retro Pop Box 1970’s for April 2016

T-Shirt

The main item is a t-shirt. It’s tan and brown and based on Star Wars. It features a custom van with Princess Leia posing with her father’s large helmeted head painted on the side. Chewbacca is sitting in the passenger seat wearing a tank-top. Han is leaning against the van wearing sneakers. I’m not really sure that’s cannon. Han wearing sneakers, but it’s awesome.

The t-shirt is nice. Unlike the t-shirts I’ve received from Loot Crate or the Marvel Collector Corps, this t-shirt is long. I haven’t washed it yet, but it’s a cotton poly blend (90/10), so it shouldn’t shrink.

Socks

It came with socks decorated with large boom boxes. Unlike the socks I’ve pulled out of Loot Crate boxes, these socks are actually large enough and stretchy enough to wear on my ginormous feet.

Magic Rocks

I forgot all about these until seeing them again. You sprinkle them in water and they eventually grow into rainbow colored crystals. Not only are they pretty to look at, after the crystals come to full maturation, drinking the water will make you gay. At least that’s what I once heard in Lancaster First Assembly of God Sunday School.

Tab Cola Lapel Pin

Of all the items in the box, this is actually my favorite. Tab was a sugar-free cola produced by Coke that was marketed towards women. In the 70’s only woman were concerned with consuming too much sugar because of what it did to their figures. This was before they invented type 2 diabetes for men. The artificial sweetener in Tab not only caused cancer in rats, it tasted like rat cancer.  I can’t stress enough how bad Tab tasted. Compared to Tab, Diet Coke tastes like the nectar of the gods.

Zotz Candy

Rounding out the contents of the box were two pieces of Zotz hard candy. I have no recollection of this this candy. According to the wrapper, the center fizzes in your mouth. I remember Pop Rocks, but not Zotz.

My Conclusion

Unlike Loot Crate or Marvel Collector Corps, I recommend giving Retro Pop Box a try. All good stuff and no filler. Loot Crate will include at most 1.2 things worth having. The rest of the box will have stuff you’d expect to find in the clearance bin at Toys R Us. Marvel Collector Corps will charge your credit card twice and then not send you anything. If you like pop culture stuff from a specific decade, than give Retro Pop Box a try. Not only do they have boxes for the ’70s and ’80s, they will soon be rolling out a box for the ’90s. Let’s just hope it doesn’t include anything related to Monica’s blue dress.

[Join Retro Pop Box]

The Black & Decker Easy 8-Cup coffeemaker

coffeeA couple of weeks ago I bought a Black & Decker Easy 8-Cup coffeemaker. I thought it would be a good idea to augment my Keurig single-serve coffee maker with a good old-fashioned drip maker. Why make coffee one cup at a time if I’m going to be home for a while? It seemed to me to be a good idea to have a coffeemaker that can make a whole pot.

What a stupid idea.

I set my sights on finding a coffeemaker with a simple on and off switch. I didn’t want any type of programing ability. I also wanted one that featured a cone filter, not a round basket filter. I think the cone filters make a stronger cup of coffee. The water passes through more coffee before it drips down to the pot. I also wanted a black coffee maker.

With these points in mind, I went to the coffee maker section at my local Walmart. I bought the Black & Decker Easy 8-Cup coffeemaker, model CM500BD. What a giant mistake.

This is the worst coffee maker I’ve ever owned.

It’s flimsy. It has a removable water reservoir on the back that is just a bit too removable. It also has two opening flaps for pouring water into the reservoir, one on the left and one on the right. Why this is a feature I don’t know. Has anyone ever poured water into a coffee reservoir and thought to themselves, I wish I could pour water in on the opposite side? I don’t think so.

It uses #4 cone filters, but for some inexplicable reason, it also uses the round basket type of filters too. To make this possible, two plastic tabs come down in the basket for the round filter to set on. The problem is, these tabs fall into round basket filter mode every time you remove a filter. This is an unnecessary pain in the ass.

Another unnecessary pain in the ass is the on/off switch.  It doesn’t have an on/off switch. Not really. The Black & Decker Easy 8-Cup coffeemaker is always on and to remind you of this fact, it features a bright blue LED light built into the switch. The light is so bright that it lights up the kitchen at night with an obnoxious blue glow that you cannot turn off. We started placing a dish towel over the switch at night.

What does the on/off switch do if it doesn’t turn it off? When you are making a pot of coffee, you must select how much coffee you want to make. If you want to make two cups, you press the switch once and a small orange light begins flashing. If you want to make four cups, you press the switch twice and a small green light begins flashing. If you want to go hog-wild and make eight cups, you press the switch three times and a red light begins flashing.

I never made anything less than an eight cup pot.

With most coffee makes, the on/off switch not only begins the brew cycle, it also controls the warming pad. With this piece of junk, the on/off switch doesn’t control the warming pad. No, the warming pad turns on and off on its own. I never could figure out when it would turn off. I knew if I didn’t drink my first two cups of coffee in the morning in quick succession, the third cup was going to be lukewarm.

The last straw with the Black & Decker Easy 8-Cup coffeemaker was its inability to make a second pot of coffee. For some reason, when trying to make a second pot of coffee, it would put about only an inch of coffee in the pot. It would then spend the next 20 minutes making percolation noises that sounded a lot like two pigeons engaged in raucous love-making.

I threw this awful coffee maker away yesterday and went to Sam’s Club and bought a 100-count box of Caribou Coffee Blend K-Cups for $43.

Take my advice and stay away from any coffee maker made by Black & Decker.

The problem with leaving honest Amazon reviews

A few months ago, I bought a special tool on Amazon that was supposed to help with taping drywall. It’s called TapeBuddy Drywall Taping Tool. The makers claimed it allowed you to easily apply an even amount of joint compound directly to the joint tape. In fact, they stated on their website that it was “a great DIY tool giving professional results on a DIY budget.

I’ve taped drywall before, but I’m no professional. I definitely fall squarely into the DIY side of things when it comes to home repair, especially drywall.

There were some cracked joints on our ceiling that needed to be repaired. The old tape needed to be removed and new tape applied. Doing drywall work really sucks. Doing drywall work on the ceiling especially really sucks. I thought having this tool would make re-taping the ceiling easier.

It turned out, I was wrong. This tool didn’t make it easier. It also didn’t give me professional results. In fact, it was the complete opposite. It made it harder to mud the tape and the end result looked pretty shoddy. It also made a mess. I ended up mudding the tape the old-fashioned way and got much better results. I ended up throwing the TapeBuddy Drywall Taping Tool away. I thought about trying to sell on Craigslist or Facebook, but I didn’t want to push such a crappy tool on someone else.

Last month, I went on Amazon and began writing short reviews for some of the stuff I’ve purchased lately, including the TapeBuddy Drywall Taping Tool. I gave it one star, only because that’s the lowest Amazon’s review system goes. In reality, the TapeBuddy Drywall Taping Tool deserves no stars.

This is the review I left on Amazon:

Complete waste of money. I don’t know why I fall for these tools that don’t do what they’re supposed to do. I threw it away a couple of weeks ago.

I didn’t think much about it after that. Then, a few weeks ago, I got an email notification from Amazon informing me there was a comment about my review. This is the comment, left by someone named Ron:

Rick, these tools work as described so what seemed to be the problem? The mud coating of the tape? The set up? Did you read the instructions and have the compound thinned correctly? Did you remove the insert from the end of the tool and insert it properly? This controls the amount of compound applied to the tape. This tool is so simple to use but the correct thinned compound is much of the secret to proper use. I’d like to hear from you to know why you didn’t think the tool worked for you. You can leave your comment on this site or on our website comment page at TapeBuddy.net

It was obvious Ron worked for Buddy Tools, the maker of TapeBuddy Drywall Taping Tool. I didn’t respond to the comment because I really didn’t see the point. My review was left because I wanted to let people like me, DIYers who buy stuff on Amazon, know that it didn’t work as described. If other DIYers decided to ignore my advice and buy it anyway, then that’s on them.

If I were to reply to Ron, I’d say that yes, I did read the instructions. I also watched every instructional YouTube video available for the TapeBuddy Drywall Taping Tool. I thought I was well informed before using it. It just didn’t work like it was supposed to. My guess is that to get professional results from the TapeBuddy Drywall Taping Tool, you either need to be a professional, or practice with it a lot. 

Then, on July 11, I got the following email from Ron, the person who left a comment on Amazon:

Rick,
You recently posted some comments on Amazon.com about the TapeBuddy drywall taping tool we manufacture. I placed a note on there as well but not sure you were aware of this. Because the note is very brief it is hard to know what or why this tool didn’t work for you or what problems you had with it. I’d like to chat some time to talk about this.

I did notice on your blog you live in Hagerstown MD. Our printing is done in Greencastle PA so I have been in the area many times. Beautiful area you live in. My office number is listed below and rings into my cell when I’m traveling. Right now we are in upstate NY for the next few weeks. Also noticed you severed in the US Air Force. My dad did as well and was stationed in Del Rio TX where I was born. Thanks for serving our country and for the call.

Serving you,
Ron Morton
President Buddy Tools LLC

I thought the email was kind of pushy and bordering on the cusp of being… creepy. I’m not really sure why President Ron felt the need to come to my blog and read my About Me page. It’s not like I’m the first person to leave a one-star review.

Something tells me I won’t be the last.

Not only does Ron work for Buddy Tools, he’s the president of the company. I’m not sure what responsibilities being the president of Buddy Tools entails,  but I don’t think it includes going to the personal blog of people who’ve left one-star reviews on Amazon to find out where they live and what branch of the military they served in.

President Ron wasn’t done. On July 25, he posted another comment on Amazon:

Rick, I still haven’t heard from you on your comment and would like to help resolve the problems you had with it. It’s too bad you tossed this tool before figuring out how it works. Give me a call some time.

My problem is that the TapeBuddy Drywall Taping Tool just didn’t work for me. I read the instructions. I watched all the videos. Instead of getting professional results, I got the complete opposite. I paid $30 for this useless tool and when I left an honest and accurate review on Amazon, I then got pestered by the president of the company.

That’s not how the review system on Amazon should work.

Nike.com has terrible customer service

Saturday, March 14, I ordered a pair of Air Max 90 Essential shoes directly from the Nike.com website. They were on sale. They normally sold for $110 and I got them for $64.97, plus $8.00 shipping. I was told in an email to expect them on March 18.

It’s March 18 and instead of receiving my shoes, I received this email from Nike.com:

Nike.com has terrible customer service - Bent Corner

What a bunch of jerks. Why do they wait four days to tell me they don’t have the shoes they sold me on Saturday? I was expecting to get my shoes today. Instead of getting my shoes, I got a generic email composed by a soulless robot.

I have a hard enough time buying shoes in my size (I wear size 15) without being sold shoes that don’t really exist.

nike,com,shoes Even if Nike.com doesn’t have this specific colorway anymore, it’s not like they don’t have other Air Max 90 Essential’s for sale in my size. They screwed up. They could have offered to make it right by offering a different pair of Air Max 90 Essential shoes in a different colorway. Instead, they wait four days to tell me they don’t have what they sold me, and they just cancel it.

I love Nike shoes, but Nike.com is awful.

A stud finder that actually works

I have a terrible track record with buying electronic stud finders: they never work. It never fails. I run an electronic stud finder over the wall and it lights up and beeps, telling me that it just found a stud. Then, after marking the exact spot it said there was a stud, I drill into it, only to discover there’s no stud.

My electronic stud finder just lied to me.

I installed some floating shelves last weekend and I was extremely irritated at the false-positives my stupid electronic stud finder, the Zircon StudSensor e50, was giving me. I decided I would look this week for something better. I was willing to spend any amount of money on a new stud finder as long as I was confident it would actually work.81AKYY0VQeL._SL1500_My research narrowed on the CH Hanson Magnetic Stud Finder. Not only is it the greatest, most accurate stud finder I’ve ever owned, it was also the cheapest one I’ve ever bought. I paid less than nine bucks for it on Amazon.

The CH Hanson Magnetic Stud Finder is much different from the electronic stud finders I’ve used before. For one thing, it’s not electronic. It doesn’t use sensors or even a battery. It uses two powerful rare earth magnets that doesn’t need electric power.

Instead of looking for a stud, it looks for screws or nails that are embedded into a stud. Find a screw or a nail and you are going to find a stud. You run the CH Hanson Magnetic Stud Finder over the wall in a lazy “S” pattern and when it finds a screw, you know it. Instead of lighting up or beeping, it pulls strongly to the screw or the nail.

The pull is so strong that you can take your hand off the tool and it stays on the wall. The powerful rare earth magnets keep the tool fixed exactly to the spot on the wall where the screw or nail is. Not only does this prove there is a stud behind that exact spot, you don’t even have to mark the spot with a pencil.

The CH Hanson Magnetic Stud Finder will be the last stud finder I ever buy.

It felt good throwing my old electronic stud sensor into the trash. I hope it ends up in a landfill next to a used adult diaper and a VHS copy of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.

I just love the CH Hanson Magnetic Stud Finder. It’s the best nine bucks I’ve ever spent.

Buy the CH Hanson Magnetic Stud Finder on Amazon