Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Take note of this

Posted in Reviewson Apr 5, 2013

As I stated previously, I am evaluating different note taking systems. Here are my conclusions.

Google Keep really wasn’t impressive. Evernote and Springpad both did much better.

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Recently Google released Google Keep, which is suppose to be some sort of note-taking system.  I think I might need a note-taking system, but since I’m a little wary about using Google after they shut down Google Reader, I want to evaluate several note taking systems.  But before I start looking at any of them, I wanted to define my judgement criteria:

  • Platforms: must be able to use from a web browser and from Android.
  • Data export: can I get my notes back out of the system
  • Bookmarks: A lot of what I like to save for reading later are articles that I find online
  • Media types: What kinds of things can I keep?
  • Cost: Must be free
  • Organization: I need to be able to quickly find things, either through organization or searching
  • User Experience: How easy is it to use it?  Does it perform well?
  • Support: How likely am I to be still using it in 10 years?
  • APIs: Other than using their apps, are there other ways to put things into it?

There may be other things as well. Since I’ve never looked at any before, I’m not sure what I should be looking at.

Among the systems I’ll be reviewing: Google Keep, Evernote, Springpad, I’ll be looking at alternatives like keeping text documents in Dropbox.

As I make discoveries, I’ll note them in the comments.

Red Robin’s bottomless fries

Posted in Reviewson Dec 4, 2012

Red Robin offers “bottomless fries” with many of its burgers.  That is, if you order one of their burgers or other specified entrees, you can have as many fries as you can eat.

One of my favorite “tricks” to eating at Red Robin was to ask for the bottomless fries to be brought out immediately before the meal, so you have something to snack on while waiting for your burger to be cooked.

But no longer! Tonight, when I asked for my bottomless fries to be brought out earlier, I was told that it would cost an additional $2.  What?!?  So apparently refills of your fry basket are free, but only if you wait patiently for your hamburger.  Two dollars isn’t a huge cost, but I don’t think I should have to pay more just to get started on a bottomless amount of fries a few minutes earlier.

It is really too bad.  The whole bottomless fries “gimmick” was one of the things that contributed to a fun dining environment.  Unfortunately, not being able to dig into the fries (without paying more) has taken away from the dining experience, so I’m probably less likely to dine there in the future.  Sure, it has been a couple of years since I’ve been there anyway, but after bottomless disappointment tonight, I predict that it will be another couple of years until I go back.

What is the best root beer?

Posted in Reviewson Sep 9, 2010

I recently performed a taste test of various root beers to determine which is the best. I searched Fort Collins for every plastic bottled, non-caffeinated, non-diet root beer. I found 8 different root beers fitting this description, and I invited 10 people over to rate each root beer.

Each root beer was rated between one and five, with five meaning “excellent.” The results (showing the average scores) are:

  1. A&W – 4.0
  2. Big K (Kroger) – 3.7
  3. Refreshe (Safeway) – 3.5
  4. Mug – 3.4
  5. Walmart – 3.1
  6. Shasta – 2.8
  7. Vess (found at K-mart) – 2.5
  8. Dad’s – 1.3

The scores for A&W were all pretty positive, so if you were looking to bring a well excepted root beer to a party, you would find little complaining about A&W.  Walmart’s root beer had very mixed reviews, with some people hating it and others loving it.  It would make a good cheap alternative if you find that you are in the group of people who like it.  Kroger’s Big K root beer  had similar results to A&W, but with just a few people thinking it was less than average.

Our tasting of Dad’s root beer was very negative.  Not one person liked it, and most cared not to finish their sample.  It had a very bad aftertaste.  We conclude that they are either using a very unique and old recipe for old fashion root beer, or that we got a couple of bad bottles.

A quick word on our experiment setup:  We chilled all the root beers on the same shelf in the refrigerator.  About 10 minutes before guests arrived, we started pouring 2-3 oz samples into small disposable plastic cups.  Each set of samples was labeled with a letter A-H.  Each guest was given a score sheet to allow them to rate each root beer on a scale from 1-5.

Review of Oreo Cakesters

Posted in Reviewson Mar 3, 2010

Kraft recently sent me a coupon to try out Double Stuff Oreo Cakesters, and so I would like to tell you what I think about them.

First off, I found it hard to find a place to use my coupon. Target didn’t stock Double Stuff Cakesters, and King Soopers didn’t sell any at a price that the $3.39 max value coupon would cover. Finally I found a box selling at Walmart for $2.99.

There are five packages in the box, each package with two Cakesters. That puts eat package at almost vending machine prices.

These things aren’t healthy! Each Cakester will cost your diet 175 calories, or 150 calories for the package of two. Half of the calories come straight from sugar.

As far as the taste, these things are good, but not great. The chocolate cake tastes like it is full of preservatives, and the frosting has the same flavor as traditional Oreo filling, but with a creamier texture.

Overall, these things get a mediocre score from me. Definitely not my new favorite treat, but I’ll eat them if they are left in the cupboard.

Review of Famous Dave’s

Posted in Reviewson Oct 22, 2009

Last Tuesday, Sandy and I went to the newly opened Famous Dave’s restaurant in Fort Collins.  My general impression was that the food was good, but perhaps a little expensive.  However, the service screamed “we’ve only been doing this for a day.”
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I recently viewed the premier for the new SyFy Channel series, Stargate Universe.  While I generally felt pretty excited about it, I’m cautiously reserved because I think the new series has potential to disappoint–however, I hope I never see that disappointment.

I’ve come up with 5 things that Stargate Universe must do in order to avoid disappointment.
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