November 2010

I’m going to make an odd comparison here and hopefully people will get it. We all know how successful Apple has been with their App store and the products that “consume” the applications like the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Well let’s stretch our imagination a bit and apply this to the coffee brewer industry. Over the past few months, I have had the LUXURY of testing two single-serve coffee makers that are from different companies but that use the same “app store”…er…coffee store. I guess you can equate this pretty closely to the cell phone industry as there are numerous manufacturers of single-serve coffee makers and consequently, the pods or single serve coffee canisters abound as well, much like the Android app store, Apple App store, etc.

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First of all, why choose a single-serve coffee making solution? Well let me tell you this, it is literally a life saver. And, they are so easy to use that your kids can brew you that first cup of coffee on the weekend without ANY type of mess. Have you ever tried to brew a full pot of coffee? I know that you have. For starters, you need to be sure that you have coffee (grounds or bean). Then you have to grind them (potentially) and get them into the coffee maker. And wait, do you use a paper filter or one of those gold filters? Which one is better? Some say that the paper ones filter out the coffee oils while others say that the gold filters are not used by the purist. So let’s move to the next part, filling up the coffee maker with water. Do you use filtered or not? How much water do you use in relation to the scoops of coffee? And what do you do if your spouse or partner or someone else wants decaf? Now, add a kid into the mix and suddenly you have a disaster waiting to happen. And let’s say you are doing this on a school morning and you simply don’t have time to wait for a full pot to brew…your options are limited, you can wait for the pot to brew, go without coffee or order an expensive coffee from a coffee shop (that will cost you $1.50 or more!).

Single serve coffee makers are truly convenient time savers. And if you use them properly, they can save you money on wasted coffee. How many times have you brewed a full pot of coffee only to leave 1/2 of it sitting in the pot only later to throw out? Sure the per cup cost is probably less expensive if you consume the full pot…but who (other than me) really drinks a full pot! Single serve coffee brewers are so insanely simple and easy to use, you definitely CAN get your kids to get you that first cup in the morning (just be sure to warn them that the liquid that comes out is VERY HOT! – not for smaller kids to do!). Since I am talking about the advantages of the single-serving solution, let’s touch on a few more. For starters, you can brew not only various types of coffees, but also teas and even hot chocolate (that is the key for kids too!). To brew a fresh cup, you only need a minute or two (depending if you have your brewer ready to go or if you have to have it heat up the coffee first). There is no mess since the coffee is contained within the pods, or in the case of Keurig and the Cuisinart that I tested, a K-Cup. At last count, Keurig had over 200 varieties of K-Cups available for coffee, tea or other beverages. Now THAT is choice! Each pod or K-Cup contains pre-measured amounts of coffee, tea or hot chocolate, for example. And there is no mess because of the innovative way that the brewer punctures the K-Cup and streams the hot water through it.

So now that I have talked about the “apps” (K-Cups), we should probably look a bit closer at the “phones” (the brewers). The two brewers that I tested were:

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Well, the last episode had some gremlins doing a number with CC’s voice. And there is actually now a “missing episode” of Cast of Dads that never even made it to production…the same gremlins were at play. But we recorded Episode #35 “For the Love of Thighs and Breasts just in time for Thanksgiving. So first of all, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, especially those around the world who may be away from their families during the holidays. A special wish goes out to the men and women of the Armed Forces who may be away from their friends and family this holiday season.

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Note: we are always looking for sponsors! If you would like to sponsor an individual episode or a series of episodes, please do let us know.

We are trying to implement a tiny bit more structure in our podcast but still keep the fluid nature of the conversation flow. But listen for 3 new topics:

  • Parent Tip – we are 5 dads with a bunch of parenting tips so we will highlight noteworthy ones in the podcast
  • News Article of Interest – every week, we will select a news article that is relevant to parenting and discuss it
  • Gadget of the Week – since we are all a bit geeky, we want to highlight some cool gadgets we have played with

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A few years ago, I received an Epson Workforce 610 and was thoroughly impressed by it. It was fast and did everything that I would want an All-in-One inkjet printer to do: print, scan, fax and copy. Now, I have received the latest and greatest Epson WorkForce, the 635 and it has been improved even more, something that I didn’t think was really possible. In the past, I was always a bit leery of getting a multi-function device. I felt that way when stores were selling those dual DVD/VCR combo devices. The issue was always, if one of the primary functions broke, you were left with a partial device, even after paying a bit more. I always thought that It would make more sense to buy a less expensive DVD player and VCR player and then get rid of the one that broke or became defunct. However, this doesn’t really work in the realm of multi-function devices like the Epson WorkForce 635. To buy a copier, scanner, printer and fax machine would cost a whole lot more than a device like this.

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So, yes, I believe getting a multi-function device like the WorkForce does make sense, especially in this case. And the Epson WorkForce 635 really does a nice job fitting into either a home or business environment. Let’s face it. When you have kids in school, there is really no difference than a work or home environment. I would almost say that with a multi-function device like this, the printer would get more of a workout at home than at work. In the workplace, most people just print and print and print and perhaps fax once and a while but printing is the most common.

NOTE: Be sure to read further down this article because I’m giving away an Epson WorkForce 635 via Twitter!

At home, you have many players at work here: kids doing homework assignments and parents doing business or bills or other things. You most likely use every aspect of a multi-function printer in that environment. My daughter, for example, makes copies of her math homework so that she doesn’t have to carry the huge book. My younger daughters raid the paper tray for drawing paper on a regular basis (that isn’t something in the printer’s documentation, by the way). Luckily they haven’t figured out how the new WorkForce has moved the paper tray from the back to under the output tray in this new version.

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Well, that definitely is a cryptic title, isn’t it? Hopefully this post will help to clarify and provide a fix (that DID work for me). Let’s cut to the chase!

History

I was subscribed to a Public Google Group (let’s call it “Dads R Us“). I had my primary email address (lets say it’s me@my_domain.com) subscribed to this Public (the free version) Google Group. Whenever I sent an email to that group, I would receive a copy of my post (or reply) via email. Essentially, “back to sender” was working fine. I post and receive a copy in email.

Recent Changes

I recently signed up my primary email (me@my_domain.com) with Google Apps – another story altogether. When I tried to access the “Dads R Us” public Google Group, because of my change, I had to create a new Google Account to log in. No issue there, I just changed it to a temporary email (me2@my_domain.com). But then I wanted to get my original email back into the “Dads R Us” group. I asked the Group administrator to allow access, which he did, but I was blocked still. This was because I hadn’t enabled Groups within my Google Apps (another story). Eventually I figured out how to enable Groups within my Google Apps and then I was able to add my original email back into the “Dads R Us” group. Everything was running great…or so I thought.

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The Jabra Cruiser Brings Hands-Free Bluetooth Audio to your Auto with Ease

November 15, 2010

First of all, if you don’t have a hands-free solution for your auto, you might be violating some laws in your state. While this isn’t as much of a problem with people buying new(er) autos, those of us who get new cars without Bluetooth solutions or who have older cars might have a more difficult […]

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There’s a Glove for That! Gloves that Work with Touchscreens – Isotoner smarTouch Gloves

November 12, 2010

As the seasons change and the Fall and Winter outfits come out to combat the cold and other elements, your touchscreen devices start to get some neglect, but only when you are outside. There is a reason for that. You either have to remove your gloves to use your cell phone or tablet and freeze […]

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Introducing the HighTechDad Product Review Rating System

November 11, 2010

I have been doing product reviews for several years now and have gotten some pretty good response to the reviews. However as I spoke with people and as I cranked out more and more reviews, I realized that I needed to “take the next step” with my review process. I have seen many sites that […]

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Zap Those Nasty Germs from your Cell Phone with the Violight UV Cell Phone Sanitizer

November 10, 2010

If you are a germaphobe, you probably wipe down your cell phone many times a day with some sort of sanitizing wipe. If you aren’t doing that, your cell phone or MP3 player is probably covered with lots of wonderful, potentially infectious germs. Having 3 kids in school, germs are pervasive on all types of […]

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