Colored Pencil Extenders

In my other online life outside of writing reviews, I’m actually an amateur portrait artist. One of the best inexpensive purchases I’ve made in that art world has been these pencil extenders. The product itself is fairly simple; they are hard plastic tubes topped with metal caps. You can insert a pencil of any length, tighten the metal cap, and the tube holds the pencil in place. Even with a tiny little pencil stub, you can still grip it within the plastic/metal tube and maintain a more comfortable pencil-holding position.…

Read More

Spigen Thin Fit Smartphone Case

This review is broadly about Spigen’s “Thin Fit” smartphone case series, but I will also discuss the Samsung Galaxy S20 Thin Fit specifically. From the top I’ll say this to help you see how much I like these cases; by default, I use a Spigen Thin Fit for every phone. I originally started using one with my Google Nexus 5 like six years ago. With every new phone, I try other cases and always end up coming back to these. I have a fairly counterproductive situation with my phone use…

Read More

Book Safe with Combination Lock

I had this combination lock book safe on my Amazon Wish List for a long time; it’s one of those things that I don’t really need, but still thought was sort of cool. Pretty standard “gadget” type interest for me. My wife bought me one last Christmas, so I finally had a chance to try it out. The verdict is: It’s fine. Not amazing, but it works and seems a good value for the money. My version of this book safe is by Kyodoled or Jssmst (not actually sure which),…

Read More

Cadbury British Chocolate Bars

I’ve only been to the United Kingdom once; I went with my wife as part of our honeymoon. She had visited London before and told me about how amazing the chocolate is. I believed her, but just assumed it was “better.” Once we got there and I tried some, I realized “better” is not quite correct. Chocolate overseas almost isn’t the same product; it’s creamy and incredibly flavorful. By comparison, the chocolate we get in American candy bars is so very bland. I honestly didn’t think the difference would be…

Read More

Persona 4 Golden

I grew up playing turn-based RPGs, starting with the original Final Fantasy on the NES. I’ve always had a nostalgic fondness for the genre. I’ve found over time though, the specific turn-based combat style has not held up well compared to action (ex. Dragon Age) and strategic (ex. Pillars of Eternity) RPGs. Very few modern turn-based RPGs are able to hold my interest; one exception though is the Persona/Shin Megami Tensei series. If you haven’t heard of the Persona games, the gist is that characters can summon psychological manifestations called…

Read More

Axloie Portable Bluetooth Speaker

My kids and I have been spending a lot of time outside lately. A couple months ago, I decided it would be nice to have a portable bluetooth speaker for when we’re out there playing. After some research, I came across the extremely well-reviewed Axloie bluetooth speaker. For a roughly $25 speaker, this is a really impressive device. It has surprisingly good volume and I wasn’t expecting such respectable bass. The speaker’s sound quality is crisp and clear, definitely impressive for something at this price and size. It also seems…

Read More

Apple Smart Keyboard Folio 12.9 Inch

When I decided to purchase a new iPad Pro, I had some pretty extensive internal debate as to which keyboard case to use. I watched quite a few YouTube videos on the subject, and ultimately it came down to a decision between the original Apple Smart Keyboard Folio and the newer Apple Magic Keyboard. I pretty quickly discarded the idea of a less expensive 3rd party keyboard due to less convenient bluetooth connection and possible battery/charging concerns. My prior experience with Samsung’s keyboard case was overwhelmingly positive, with a seamless…

Read More

South Park The Stick of Truth

Despite being a fairly short game, South Park: The Stick of Truth surprised me by how fun it was to play. It’s based to some extent on the fantasy genre personas the kids in the show adopted in the classic episodes The Return of the Fellowship and Make Love Not Warcraft. You create a custom, silent protagonist everyone (for the most part) calls “New Kid” and get to adventure around the town of South Park with Stan, Cartman, Kyle, Kenny, and others. The game does feel like you’ve been thrown…

Read More

Age of Empires II

I can’t believe I still come back to this game from time to time. Age of Empires II, for those unfamiliar, is a real time strategy game that first came out in 1999 that involves building a kingdom and battling other civilizations. I played it a fair amount back then; I wasn’t a huge PC gamer in those days, but just by coincidence it was one of the few Windows games I’d played. Building and growing your little town is a lot of fun, and the danger of your neighbors…

Read More

Kenshi

Kenshi is basically a game about survival and choice. It’s a true sandbox game, in that you can do pretty much whatever you want. You select a starting scenario, which sets you up with varying levels of money, friends, equipment, and locations. Then you’re dropped right into the world as a pathetic weakling at the mercy of Kenshi’s harsh environments and people. The story isn’t on rails like other games; it’s completely player driven and your tale sort of weaves itself as you play. The world essentially has lore and…

Read More