Review of DC 2000 and EZClean KC 1000 Keyboards from Cherry

Cherry has sent us some nice keyboards in the past to review like this silent keyboard and the MX Brown 3.0. Today we have a couple more Cherry keyboards to review, and we’ll do both in this one article. One is the Cherry DC 2000, and the 2nd is the EZClean KC 1000.

photo credit:Cherry

This keyboard is a pretty basic one. It comes with a mouse. The dimensions are 2 x 7.9 x 21.6 inches, and it weighs 1.76 pounds. There are some shortcut keys on the top right corner for e-mail and calculator and such. It’s also available with German keys. This wired keyboard and mouse for a basic entry-level user is available for $17 on Amazon.com.

The 2nd keyboard- the EZClean KC 1000, gives you an idea of what kind of keyboard it is in the name.

This keyboard is actually very similar in build and style to the first. The main difference seems to be the silicone cover that comes with the keyboard. This cover is removable, however, it’s a cover that you probably would keep on while typing.

Fortunately, the keys are still easily accessed through this cover. The flat, easy to wipe surface makes this a great product to have in a medical office, in food service, or perfect for those who want to keep their keyboards clean and free of dirt and grime.

You can find this keyboard and cover for $43.61 at NothingButSavings.com.

Thanks to Cherry for sending us these keyboards free of charge in exchange for our fair and unbiased review. No other compensation has been given.

Our Review of the Soundcore Flare+ by Anker

The last time we reviewed an Anker bluetooth speaker was back in January, when we reviewed the Soundcore Boost. We’ve been given another opportunity to review a bluetooth speaker from the same company. This one has an LED light party and 360 degree sound. We’re reviewing the Soundcore Flare+.

Soundcore Flare+ Specs

Size- 3.9 x 3.9 x 7.2 inches

Weight- 1.88 pounds

Waterproof rating- IPX7(fully waterproof and immersible)

The Flare+ has a playtime of up to 20 hours. This is up from the playtime of the original Flare speakers of 12 hours. That’s some impressive time without having to charge! Also helpful is the ability to charge your phone through the speaker. It also is a bit taller and wider, plus it has two extra tweeters over the original. The sound quality is even more superior than the high-rated original. Another difference is the built in Alexa and the ability to use the speaker as a power bank.

What Comes in the Soundcore Flare+ Package? How is set-up?

The Soundcore Flare+ device and the micro USB Cable are included in the box, as well as the instruction book.  The Soundcore app can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. Once downloaded, the app is easy to connect and manages the Flare Plus with ease.

There are 5 color themes and 5 adjustable patterns that gives a fun vibe with the beat of your music. This all can be controlled by the app as well. Bluetooth 5.0 makes these super easy to pair with your phone.

Other Features of Soundcore Flare Plus

These speakers are able to pair with other Soundcore Flare speakers, so you can use them in matched playing mode to increase the sound in the room. You can also adjust them as left and right speakers to give a dynamic surround sound as well. The BassUp technology intensifies your experience in the bass end of your music.

At $99, the price is right for this great speaker. The sound is great, and these speakers have received a high rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com. I encourage you to check it out for yourself!

Thanks to Anker for sending us this product for free in exchange for our fair and unbiased review. No other compensation has been given.

 

Anker’s Roav Dashcam S1 Review

We’re going to continue in our review of Anker products with the newest DashCam by Roav. The Roav S1 is the 6th in their series. It came out within this month, so this is a pretty new product on the market.

photo credit:Anker

Roav DashCam S1 Features

The dashcam has great definitition with HD 1080p and NightHawk Vision that allows a clear picture even in the dark. It uses a high-sensitivity Sony Starvis sensor. A 4-lane wide angle lens helps get the whole picture. A shock sensor will activate the camera if the car is bumped.

You download a dedicated app to help track your route. The app will give you an organization of your videos, and you can use it to quickly share your videos on social media. It also gives another way to control your device(there is a wi-fi connection), although you can also shift through the menu on the camera.

This product is pretty simple to install. A sticker mount for your windshield is easy to attach. A long cord will connect to the USB 2 port charger, and a tool comes with it to help hide the cord in the trim of your vehicle. This video is for the C1, but the S1 is similar, so you can see how to install it.

What you get in the ROAV S1 Package

  • Roav DashCam S1
  • 2-port car charger
  • Micro USB cable
  • 32GB microSD card
  • trim removal tool
  • two 3M sticker mounts
  • user manual
  • happy card
  • 12-month product replacement warranty

Comparison of other ROAV DashCams

As you can see, there isn’t much difference between the C1 and S1. The sensors are different, there is GPS logging in the S1, and a micro SD card is included with the S1.

Final Words on the ROAV S1 Dashcam

This dashcam can be recommended for those needing extra security while traveling, or to catch those hit and runs. It has a decent price tag of $89.99 on Amazon.com.

Thanks to Anker for sending us this product in exchange for our fair and unbiased review. No other compensation has been received.

PowerCore 13400 Nintendo Switch Edition by Anker Review

Anker is a popular company for charging gadgets, and we’ve done many a review of their products. We talked about a PowerCore product back in February. Here’s another PowerCore product by Anker specifically for the Nintendo Switch. This is the PowerCore 13400 charger.

photo credit:Anker

PowerCore 13400 Specs

The 9.2 ounce, 3.8 x 3.1x 0.9 inch device runs on a lithium ion battery. It has a capacity of 13400 mAh. The Anker website suggests making sure that the latest version of Nintendo Switch is installed before using the PowerCore charger. It recharges in about three and a half hours and charges 1.7 times. You can also charge your Nintendo Switch while the battery is charging.

What you get in a PowerCore 13400 Package

Along with the PowerCore 13400, you get a nice little travel pouch, a USB-C to USB-C cable, and a welcome guide.

Other PowerCore 13400 Features

This portable device, smaller than a phone, will charge said phone through the 2nd USB charging port. You get up to 10 hours of extra playtime. An LED indicator on the back tells you how full the charge is at increments of 25 percent, 50 percent, 75 and 100 percent.

Our Final Review of the PowerCore 13400

At a cost of $69.99, this product is definitely something for the more serious player. You are getting the Nintendo Switch licensing and the Anker quality brand for that price, though. It is very helpful to those on the go- maybe for that long ride to Grandma’s in the car. If this sounds like a deal to you, the PowerCore 13400 can be found on the Anker site. You can also buy one with 15 hours of battery life for a bit more.

Thanks to Anker for sending us this free product in exchange for our unbiased and honest review. No other compensation was given, and our opinions are strictly our own.

Downward Spiral: Horus Station Review

One of the things that is interesting about Downward Spiral: Horus Station is how it is an “anti-gravity game”. I wasn’t sure what it meant, but I will have to say that the controls of this game are unique as they are confusing. I played it on the PS4, and what you need to do is use the left controller to grab on to an object, and then push off.

That’s right, you are trapped in an area (a space station) that has no gravity, so you must push yourself in order to get someplace. I suppose that is as close to being in space without a shuttle, and it creates a unique way of movement.

I will say that from the get go, I found the game was very difficult just to get around. Fortunately, this was quickly remedied when I found a gun that fired some kind of magnetic line which allowed me to reel myself in onto any wall.

Wait, wait, wait. I think I am getting very far ahead of myself. I think I had better start with the setting. The player finds himself (herself) in some kind of space station, which must be the Horus Station of the title. This would account for one half of the title, and I can only guess that something has set it on the Downward Spiral involved in the title.

Seriously, this game doesn’t really tell you what’s up. It starts out with some guy (done from a first-person POV) who looks like he’s walking on Mars, maybe, and then it goes into the space station. This is one of those games that has a lot of quiet atmosphere, which means that something creepy is definitely going on. I’ve been seeing a lot of games like this, such as The Station, for example. No, I’m not saying Horus Station is a rip-off.

Remember how I said that you are floating in this game? Well, once you get that aforementioned grappling/magnetic line, it is much easier to get around. This is one of those games where you can interact with objects, but of course, it is only the ones that the game allows you to. So not only can you get a grappling line, but you can also get a gun that can shoot enemies.

Yes, there are enemies. For some reason, some kind of automated floating robot guard thingys are trying to kill you. You can shoot back, and this is required to advance.

From what I can tell, this is one of those games that is linear in its format, requiring you to go through certain rooms at certain times to accomplish…something. From what I can tell, it would appear to be getting the Horus Station back online.

But how did it get offline? What has happened to it? Yeah, you can see the point of a game like this. So if this is your cup of tea, then I highly suggest drinking from it. So far, it is available for the PS4, and I would recommend the VR mode, as it is undoubtedly made for it.

Sam Young Excommunicated from the LDS Church for Protecting Children

Almost a year ago, I wrote a post about the #Churchtoo movement. Since then, a former bishop in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints(a.k.a. Mormon), has taken an active stance on speaking up about the abuse that has happened in the church. This has led him to where he was on Sunday, September 16th. Sam Young read his letter of excommunication to a crowd of people standing across from Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Why was Sam Young Excommunicated?

Sam Young has been taking an active stand to tell the LDS church that they need to stop the practice of asking sexually explicit questions to young people behind closed doors. This is a practice that has been happening in the church where a bishop asks a series of questions to youth as young as 8. It first begins when they are preparing for baptism to determine worthiness. When a young person reaches the age of 12, the interviews begin again to determine worthiness in males as they obtain the priesthood and perform baptisms for the dead in the temple. Females also go through the interviews at age 12 and older in order to be able to do baptisms for the dead at the temple.

It had been brought to the attention of Sam that some bishops had pressured youth to tell them all the details of any sexual impurity- including the act of masturbation. If a young person did not know what “keeping the law of chastity” meant, a bishop might explain it to them. It had also come to his attention that bishops had encouraged victims of rape to take on responsibility of what they might have done to encourage their perpetrators. The website, ProtectLDSChildren.org came about as a result. Now there are 809 stories of these cases compiled there.

These stories have been compiled into a book which was handed out to the higher up leaders in Salt Lake City. Sam went on a hunger strike for 23 days while sitting outside in Salt Lake. Each day for 12 days he invited a different apostle to come down to talk with him and some of the victims. None of them did. After that, he invited the victims to sit in the chair each day. There, he washed their feet, and apologized to them on behalf of the church.

September 9th- Sam is Tried in a Church Court

The Mormon church has a trial process for people facing serious church discipline. Usually these “Courts of Love” are reserved for serious sins like adultery and pre-marital sex. Apostasy is also a sin that is up there, and Sam was called to one after he had been publicly speaking out against the policies.

These trials have specific rules. Only temple-recommend holders can act as a witness on behalf of the person on trial. “The jury,” we’ll call them, is made up of upper-level priesthood-holding men.

According to the LDS Church’s Handbook 1, the purposes of its disciplinary councils are to:

1. save the souls of the transgressors;

2. protect the innocent; and

3. safeguard the purity, integrity, and good name of the Church.

Sam’s detailed account of what he said at his court can be found on his blog here.

He did not receive a verdict immediately. While most members find out the same day if they are excommunicated or not, Sam was told that he would receive a letter within a few days.

Sam Young’s Verdict is in

Sam opened the letter for the first time in front of a large crowd gathered in support of him on Sunday, November 16th at noon. He revealed that they had excommunicated him. It was not the verdict he had hoped for. Sam stated that he had great love for his church, and he only wanted the right thing to be done. You can see the results here on the Facebook live video.

Unhappy Members

While some people are still supportive of the leadership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, many were not happy today. QuitMormon.com is a site where members can use the help of an attorney for free to get their names removed. On a usual weekend, there may be 16 requests queued in the legal review column. As of 12:46 a.m. PST, here are the numbers:


My Personal Thoughts

I am not speaking here as a journalist, but I’m leaving my opinion here. This is not an attack on the LDS church, but this is a fault that tears apart Christianity in general. If there are grave issues that need to be dealt with in churches that bear the name of Jesus, leadership need to come down from their plush chairs and their platforms, and truly minister to their congregants. The LDS church isn’t the only church who has been caught up in sex scandals, but the way they have handled these cases is abhorrent, and more people should be saying something. The comments I’ve read on articles about Sam Young leave me saddened and wanting to further my separation from the label of Christianity. This is not what Jesus would do.

Yellowstone National Park Part Two: Mammoth Hot Springs

Our first day at Yellowstone National Park, we drove right up the hill from the Mammoth Campground, and started exploring Mammoth Hot Springs. The first place we stopped was the visitor center, where we picked up Jayden’s Disabilities Access Pass.

The visitor center had a small gift shop and an interactive exhibit with taxidermy animals.

By the way, we saw lots of elk, but none with antlers. Even with all of the signs telling people to keep their distance… well, people are not very bright.

There are a few places between the visitor center, and Mammoth Hot Springs. There’s a post office, Mammoth Springs Hotel, and the General Store- among others.  It’s a short walk, though from the visitor center to the lower terrace boardwalk. The parking around the lower terrace fills up fast, so if you’re just passing through, you want to get there early if you want to park close.

Mammoth Hot Springs is a hill of travertine(a form of limestone). The shades of brown, orange, red and green are from algae living in the pools on terraces. 

Jayden’s standing in front of Devil’s Thumb. The terraces were somewhat dried out when we visited. I’ve heard that earlier in the year, there is more water in these. Jayden’s facial expression is due partly to the smell. If you’ve never been to Yellowstone, you might find the strong smell of sulfur to be displeasing in some areas. The kids weren’t very appreciative of the smell here, but it is a very interesting area visually.

The steam rising from the ground provided an added aesthetic.

Liberty Cap, named in 1871 for its resemblance to the peaked caps worn in the French Revolution, is probably the most prominent feature seen. It stems from mineral built up when the water used to spring to a great height.

I bribed the kids with ice cream a couple of times from the General Store. I was pleasantly surprised by the serving size- which is hard to see in this picture, but single scoop waffle cones only cost $3.50. The single scoop was more like a double scoop because they put a scoop to fill the cone, and then a scoop on top of that. The huckleberry ice cream is delicious.

Elk are found in abundance around Mammoth. They seem to be tame, which made stupid tourists ignore the signs to not approach. People were posing their kids right in front of elk- inches away. I was waiting for someone to try to sit their kid on them.

This was a random evening that I walked up from our campsite, and was met with thunder and lightning, but also a rainbow.

Noteworthy- Mammoth Hot Springs is one of the few places in Yellowstone that has internet. If you enjoy Pokemon Go, there are several stops in this area, and even two gyms by the terraces.

There are other places in the area I didn’t get a chance to explore, but hopefully this might be of help to those unsure of what to do in Yellowstone. Stay tuned for our next visit- the geysers and springs day.

 

 

 

Yellowstone National Park:Part One- Camping

Back in July, I took the kids to a place I’ve always wanted to go- Yellowstone National Park. Before we left, I attempted to do some research, but a lot of our trip was not planned. I could have used a little more personal experience. By writing this series, I’m hoping to let others know what to expect. This first entry will be about camping- specifically, at Mammoth.

Getting a Mammoth Campsite

Part of the reason we chose Mammoth to camp at is that the availability looked the best. It is a first-come, first-served campground, so you need to make sure and get there early, but it seems to be one of the last to fill up. When we entered the turn in for the campground, there was a line of cars. A gentleman gave us a little clipboard and had us fill out our information(name, license plate number, number in party, and how many nights) while we were waiting.

We waited a bit in our car as all others in front of us went through and paid and got their info one by one. I would say we were in line for about half an hour. The kids were still asleep, and fortunately it wasn’t hot yet. When it was finally our turn, I paid our $20. Note, they do accept credit and debit cards. They assigned us a campsite, told us about the rules, gave us a map, and sent us on our way.

Mammoth Campground Amenities

Our campsite was very close to the bathrooms. This was a blessing… and a curse. The bathrooms have electricity and flushing toilets. There is also soap and paper towels. No showers, but if you NEED a shower, you could go to Mammoth Hotel up the hill and use theirs for a fee. The only issue I had being close to the bathroom was that it was loud with people walking by at all hours. We were also close to a water pump. Tent platforms are made up of pea gravel. Definitely want a heavy duty tarp underneath, and take care not to damage the floor of the tent. Bear boxes are located in every site. The campground hosts told me that bears weren’t an issue, really, but elk were.

In reviews of Mammoth campground, people mentioned that they saw elk and other wildlife in the campground. We didn’t see much wildlife in the campground. Just up the hill in Mammoth Village, however, we saw lots of elk.

I was told that elk would try to break into tents to get at good smelling stuff, so bear boxes are really essential to storing food.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is the bear box in our campsite. There are firepits, and you can buy wood in the campsite. I think it’s pricey, though.

You might notice in the picture that there aren’t many trees around. Most of the sites do not have much as far as shade.

Other Nice Features of Mammoth Campground

We appreciated being able to get internet 4G service at our campground. There is an amphitheater in the campground with nightly ranger talks. There is also a PokéStop at the amphitheater. Above the amphitheater is a short trail that leads up the hill to Mammoth Village. I’ll do a whole other post on Mammoth Hot Springs and the village next. But I really enjoyed being close, and I found some other trails that I could go on next time I’m in Yellowstone.

Have I mentioned the views?

 

 

 

Conclusion

I enjoyed our stay at Mammoth Campground. I would love to go back and try out other campgrounds. It’s a good spot in the northwest part of the park. It was a long time to get to other parts of the park- especially since we had to deal with road construction.

If you want a nice guide to all the campgrounds available in the park, here is a good link. Also, this site is what I used to find out what campgrounds filled up and when.

1 Voice Sleep Headphones/Eye Mask Review

Some of us like to listen to music as we fall asleep. The product that I’m about to review might be something you would appreciate if you are in this company. The Sleep Headphones/Eye Mask by 1 Voice could help you get a good night’s sleep.

We’ve reviewed a similar product to this called SleepPhones by AcousticSheep. The main difference between the products is that the SleepPhones wear around your head like a headband. The Sleep Headphones/Eye Mask is actually an eye mask that will cover your eyes as you sleep.

This eye mask is made with memory foam which makes it very comfortable on your face. It’s also covered with a satiny material to add to the luxuriousness. The speakers are covered by the memory foam as well, so there is no uncomfortable position. There is a stretchy jersey-type material that helps block out light across the bridge of your nose. The adjustable velcro strap will help hold it on your head. The satin cover is also machine washable.

I think there could be a problem if your ears were set further back on your head than average. One size does not fit all with this eye mask. Also, my kids could hear my music when it was louder. There is an adjustable volume knob on the wire of the sleep headphones. When I turned my music down a bit, they couldn’t hear it. I think it’s similar with the SleepPhones we reviewed. Maybe if the person you are sleeping next to is bothered by the noises coming out of your sleep mask, you could get them a pair as well.

Overall, I think this is a great product if you need to block out the world and fall asleep listening to music or white noise. You can purchase a pair for $49.00 on their website. They come in grey, pink, blue or black. If you want to avoid the cord altogether, there is a bluetooth option in blue and black for ten dollars more.

Disclaimer- 1 Voice NYC sent us these products to review for free in exchange for our fair and unbiased review. No other compensation was provided.

 

Human Fall Flat Game Review

The first thing that I am going to say about Human Fall Flat is it is a puzzle game. Puzzle games are always great because you use your mind, you solve something, but then the process repeats (both a blessing and a curse). The last two games that I reviewed, The Spectrum Retreat and The Path of Motus have had their series of puzzles, but they had a huge framing device of story.

Human Fall Flat is one of those games that is essentially one puzzle after another, and I’m not certain if there is some bigger story here (granted I am only at Level 5). The website describes it as “an open-ended physics based puzzle game in which you take control of builder Bob helping him resolve the mysteries behind his recurring dreams of falling”. Okay, so I can quote a website, but what is the game actually about?

Well, the game starts out with the main character Bob, who looks to be a white lump of clay in the shape of a person. Now, you can customize how you want Bob to look, but he is very blank and expressionless, even with clothes. Bob is falling at the beginning, and he lands without getting injured, because he is essentially Mr. Bill without the “Oh No”.

At the beginning, there is some narration that, as far as I know, is never heard of again. He comments about the nature of humans, as the how they just have to open doors and attempt to move on. This is definitely what you are doing in the game, and the way you do it is very unique.

Bob shows up in this world that is minimalist and yet has some kind of detail (powered by Unity). The player controls Bob, and Bob is capable of moving and jumping. Nothing new here, but what makes it interesting is how the player can interact with objects. Essentially, the end of your arm sticks to objects, and you can push and pull them.

From here, Bob goes from world to world, and he uses his limited abilities to advance past the walls of whatever level he is in. Trust me, that makes sense when you play it, but I have to admit that it is difficult to get used to his sticky fingers. For example, there are times in which you need to jump and grab onto a ledge, then pull yourself up. In most games, this is done automatically with a jump button and upward motion of the controller, but when I played Human Fall Flat on the PS4, it involved the bumper buttons and shifting the camera view.

This unique type of controls made for some interesting puzzles as you stick to things, and there are even sections where you are swinging from ropes and things. What is great is how the game doesn’t seem to have one way of solving worlds. Like Breath of the Wild, there are more than one way of beating a level, and there were times when I was wondering if the game ever intended me to do certain things. An example would be a puzzle where it is possible to use a catapult to destroy a wall or perhaps launch yourself with the catapult.

My only complaint is that I am not certain why the game is called Human Fall Flat. On my controls, I was able to make Bob fall flat, but I didn’t really find this helpful. All in all, I would say that Human Fall Flat is a very engaging game and will be loved who love puzzle gaming. Check out the info here if you are interested.