Friday, October 2, 2015


Camotes Our stay at the house was my first using AirBnB: I think it was a perfect choice! It gave my girlfriend and I an experience we will always remember. The owners of the house were away that weekend so we had the place to ourselves. We also had the help of a friendly Filipino family that look after the estate. They picked us up at the port (holding a sign with our name on it) and brought us to the house. The Filipino family also went above and beyond finding us a motorbike rental (which was delivered to the house). Even a manicurist and massage therapist came to the house. The guest area layout is very nice with two separate bedrooms which have queen size comfortable mattresses and one big bathroom with a shower. The kitchen was full of dishes and utensils, and they had plenty of towels and bed sheets to last. It would be nice if they would have had a hair dryer and wifi service at the house. But these are little inconveniences. In addition, there’s no TV at the guesthouse but that was an unnoticed absence for my girlfriend and I because we brought laptop computers. The Camotes island are beautiful and away from the tourist hot spot of Lapu Lapu on Mactan Island. The drive from our house near Santiago Bay to the closest town San Francisco was through a gorgeous tall palm tree forest. Santiago Bay beach has crystal clear water and soft texture white sand. There is a downside of vacationing in an exotic location that we discovered and that is the food options were very limited and the food we did eat wasn't very delicious. The atmosphere at the restaurant at Santiago Bay Resort is gorgeous overlooking Santiago Bay beach but I wouldn’t recommend eating at the resort restaurant. They serve breakfast with instant coffee and badly blended smoothie shakes. We did find a few nice dishes at Pito's Sutukil restaurant down on the beach of Santiago Bay. We really liked the fish in sashimi dishes and tilapia soup. Also the mango shakes were delicious. But try to stay away from the pork dishes Pito’s. Since there isn't a big tourist industry on the Camotes there just isn't many restaurants to choose from in the area. It appears most of the local residents always eat at home. So it would be recommended to use your cooking skill at the house and go shopping at the food market in San Francisco. For our trip, staying there only two nights we didn't have enough time to build a well stocked refrigerator and cook ourselves. One other thing to mention about the boat ride to the Camotes is to make sure to be on time for the boat departure. We missed our scheduled boat and had to wait around in Danoa for the next boat to come several hours later. It was an interesting experience riding around in a bicycle taxi and finding a small water park for local kids. But entertainment and food is very limited in Danao. Overall, the experience was fantastic. The house is amazing and the people running it are very nice and accommodating. I highly recommend it.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

LG HBS800 Bluetooth Headphones

Reading other reviews of this made me want to focus on the functionality of this product for others to make a decision on buying this item or not. Most of the reviews of this product focus on performance, with long descriptions of how well the headphones stay connected through bluetooth from long distances. But as I've been using this device for a long time I'm hardly ever separated from my music device (which is my smart phone) especially when I'm listening to music. So it's not really an issue.
    These headphones are priced as an introduction into bluetooth headphones generally speaking. So reviewing these headphones should mostly be compared to alternatives to bluetooth headphones instead of the highest quality headphones money can buy.  The alternative to bluetooth headphones are headphones with a cord attached to your music device.  And between these two there’s hardly a comparison. Bluetooth headphones are functionally far superior to corded headphones. I can't count the number of times a cord attached to my music device was yanked out of my ear by overextending my body when I'm shuffling around my bag or pedaling on a bicycle. Plus a cord hanging down from my ears to my pocket is unsightly and somewhat dangerous because it's likely to get hooked to things that you brush up against. Sometimes this even causes your music device to get pulled out of your pocket and slam on the floor. The first time I tried on these LG Bluetooth Headphones it felt like complete freedom to be listening to music with so much ease. I could even take photos as I'm listening to music now. #selfiemoment
If I were to buy the headphones again I would have purchased a different color like black. White stands out too much like you're wearing a pooka shell necklace. Also the noise cancelation mode doesn't really do anything when it's turned on plus when the switch is turned on the battery is drained. Turning off the headphones doesn't actaully turn them off when the noise cancelation switch is on.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag

Maybe it's the German ancestry in me but I get really excited when a product is tough, styish, and extremely functional. That's why I like the Timbuk2 Classic messenger bag (2014) from San Francisco. Good stitching, a water resistant covering, and a "napoleon pocket" under the flap on the outside. The pocket makes for easy access to things you use often but don't want to dig around in the bag to find. I use the napoleon pocket (which I think is an industry term for a side pocket Napoleon is painted as liking in his clothing design) for my headphones and sometimes I put my smart phone when I'm worried about a rainstorm.
My favorite part of this bag is the strap. It's much different than other messenger bags you will find and is designed well for function.  The strap has a quick pull tab that allows you to fully extend the strap in order to take it off your shoulde--over your head--without messing up your hair. Then after you throw the strap back over your head you can easily adjust the strap to fit the needs of your next carry. The bag also has a mini strap that wraps under your armpit. This strap has great function when you're carrying a heavy load and need to distribute the weight better. Or if you're riding your bike and want to keep your bag stable. One thing that's a little cumbersome about the mini strap is that you aren't able to sit down and have the mini strap connected. You are going to need to unhook the strap slide the bag forward and place it on your lap every time. Then when you stand up you need to hook the mini strap again. I had to do this a lot because I commuted by subway and bus everyday. If I forget to connect the mini strap again when I stood up I ended up having this strap tail flapping back and forth as I walked.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Frii Hotel

The style and design of this hotel is excellent. The hotel has a surfing identity since it’s close to several popular surfing spots. The interior design looks like the inside of a Rip Curl store. If you came to Bali to go surfing or like the surfing culture this hotel will appeal to you. The room price is also very appealing which is one of the reasons why we booked an entire week with Frii hotel. Including taxes (which almost doubled the listed price :() it ended up being about $35 a night. The rooms were a bit cozy but the modern design makes up for it with a large flat screen TV and a showerhead that mimics rainfall. Our room did not come with a closet so if you wanted a place to hang up your clothes as you're unpacking luggage you are going to be disappointed. The biggest complaint we had about the hotel were the door locks. We were unable to get into our room several times because our card didn't work. The staff had to come and try different keys until we were finally able to get in. The process took about 10 minutes each time. I would say one incident is an inconvenience when it's happening almost every time you're coming back to your room after a long day it might be time to look for another hotel. I feel bad for the staff that works at the hotel because the problem is clearly the management buying a cheap door lock system but now the problem has become a huge part of employees daily tasks. Another inconvenience is the wifi internet access at the hotel. It would be fast internet if it was 2003 and users could be impressed to watch a 4 minute video on this new website called Youtube. Also, the way the wifi internet is setup at the hotel it requires you to continuously type in the username and password whenever the lock screen pops up on the computer or Smartphone. Finally, on a positive note I would like to mention the location of the hotel, Canggu, is a great town. It's about a 30 minute drive to downtown Kuta and is situated on the outskirts of town. The area has a suburban countryside feel in contrast to downtown Kuta which has a Hard Rock Hotel and 50 stores selling Bintang Beer beach towels.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

8 Essential Bicycle Accessories

City Bike Accessory Essentials So you bought a nice hybrid city bike because you are smart city commuter and know that bicycles are a fast and convenient way to get around your city. BUT you don’t know much about your bikes or being a responsible bicycle owner. Owning a bike is similar to owning a dog. There are a lot of accessories that need to go along with the initial purchase. Let’s go over some of these essential accessories and generalize the average price of these items so you know when you are shopping for a bike you should add the total bike cost to include these accessories. 1. Bike Lock There are many different bike locks on the market. Let’s say that you just want something that is portable and can wrap around a variety of posts and metal railings. 20,000 won 2. Bike light-it’s is advisable to get a front and a rear light but I will budget for the essential taillight. 10,000 won 3. (The next 4 accessories are required in case you are stuck on the side of the road because you just ran over some broken glass and have a flat tire) Bike Seat Bag. This is suppose to be mounted under your bike seat and carry a couple of essential items that should always be on your bicycle person. 25,000 won 4. Bike Pump-to inflate your spare bike tube or to pump up sagging tubes while you’re riding. 25,000 won 5. Bike tire levers-to pry your tire off of your bicycle rim wheel. And to pry it back on after you have replaced your popped tire tube. 8,000 won 6. Extra bike tube-just in case you get a flat tire while out riding. Car owners always carry a spare tire and so should bicycle owners. 13,000 won 7. Bike Tool-this is also an essential because bike accessory because it carries common allen wrench sizes so as you become more competent of machine that you’re riding you can do minor repairs and maintenance on your bike. Keep this in your bike seat bag and it will be with you just in case you need to adjust your bike seat or handlebars. 18,000 won 8. Bicycle degreaser/lubrication-every bike owner needs to do some essential maintenance every once in a while to keep your bike performing well. Think of this like the bicycle oil change because it should be done at least as much as an oil change on your car. You should first apply the degreaser to your bicycle chain and cables to clean off the dirt and grime that accumulates on your bike over time. After you’ve applied the degreaser apply some lubrication as the finishing touch. 25,000 won for both Extra: This next item is more optional and is convenient if a bicycle is your only means of transportation. Bicycle Pannier Rack-if you go shopping by bike it is a good idea to buy a bicycle rack so you can place your heavy items on the rack and off your back. This rack also doubles as a fender to keep dirt and water from spraying up on your back as you’re riding home in the unexpected rain storm. 38,000 won In conclusion with one optional accessory your total accessory cost will come out to around 100,000 won. So as you are shopping for your next bike add in the extra cost of these essential accessories to the price of the bike to give you a better total cost of a bicycle purchase.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

HP Chromebook 14

A laptop that runs on an operating system other than Microsoft or Apple!?! A laptop that automatically updates its software and virus protection--I’m sold! As I’m getting used to the big change of owning my first Chromebook I am experiencing some growing pains. One problem I’m experiencing with the Chromebook is that the Google Drive products are far inferior to the Microsoft Office products. In fact if Google Drive products couldn’t automatically save content changes anywhere in the world that I would attribute the Google Drive products to a Microsoft product from 1995 (Windows95). Another problem with the Chromebook is that buying one is like signing yourself to over to the devil and you can only use the devil’s video chatting and media systems. Skype, Itunes, and Microsoft Office are like speaking a foreign language to Chromebook users. Also these Google products are lacking consistently. I’ve often got logged out in a middle of a Google Hangout video chat simply for technical difficulties. When I bought the Chromebook I was thinking I was going to get an Android phone in the future. I have an Iphone right now. The benefit of the Chromebook is that I could link applications between my phone and my computer. But until I get an Android phone I’m not able to benefit from these connections. In fact I’m not able to even charge my iphone on my Chromebook through the USB port. Through these growing pains I’m looking to the future of the Chromebook. As Google products and devices get better and the bugs get worked out I should be able to reap the benefits of a well decided purchase for years to come. Usually after three years a Microsoft based laptop is out of date and slow but based on the Chromebooks main tenants such as automatically updated virus protection and software it should be as sharp as ever.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Fizik Aliante Bike Saddle

Fizik Aliante Gamma Versus Saddle - Men's: "Fancy Seat!" I bought the Fizik Aliente bike saddle because the manufacturer standard Gary Fischer seat that came with my bike was leaving my sit bone numb from even short bikes. Fizik is marketed and presented as being revolutionary in bike saddle technology with their system of different seat positions of riders named by animals that describe their riding style/flexibility. The Bull class saddle's are for a person with grandpa's flexibility, the Chameleon class is for your dad's flexibility, and the Snake class is for yoga instructors. The Aliente saddle falls in the middle. My experience with the saddle is that it is very light weight given its carbon frame. Although it didn't rid me of numbness while riding the saddle has definitely reduced a lot numbness that I used to experience on a consistent basis with my old factory seat. Unexpectedly, the seat has also increased my steering control. To have a very sleek and dynamically shaped saddle in between my legs makes a difference in the overall feel of the ride more than I expected. The biggest question is if it is worth the price tag. Pros : Durable,Lightweight Cons : Expensive Best Uses : All Around