Thursday, October 09, 2014

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Philips Norelco BT5275/41 5100 Beard Trimmer:
I got this as a replacement for the trimmer with the awful battery life last month and so far it works well. The original charge has persisted all month long and the motor always seems like it has a maximum charge, eliminating worries that the cut will be uneven. There are a few nice touch-up /detailing features as well.

Final Grade: B+

FitBit One:
This little device tracks the number of steps and distance you travel in a day. (It also tracks sleep patterns, but I never used that). I got Rebecca one for Christmas last year, and she returned the favour for my birthday. For the first month, it definitely got me more interested in walking, and the dashboard of daily activity was fun if awkward to navigate. I was taking about 8000 to 12000 steps per day until last weekend when I lost it in the woods. I'll probably wait a bit on the slim possibility that it turns up in a bag or in the car and then get a new one as a replacement. One negative: The rubber tab that clips the case to your clothes eventually fell off of Rebecca's, and online reviews show that this is a very common occurrence -- replacement cases are needlessly expensive too.

Final Grade: B

Gloom:
This storytelling card game has you inventing morose tales about your own fictional family while trying to brighten the days of your opponents' families, with the goal of ending with the most depressed, deceased family on the board. The storytelling aspect is incorporated as much or as little as you'd like, but the games get more interesting when everyone gets a little creative. Overall, this is a fun game for 2-4 players, and the artistic style of the see-through cards and whimsical card texts add to the ambience. Games can run a little long with more players, so I would recommend cutting family sizes down to 4 (from 5) if you play with many indecisive people.

Final Grade: B+

Raven Locks Act 2 by Dirt Poor Robins:
This new album acts as a sequel to Raven Locks Act 1, with a third act to follow in the future. It stands alone well, but also deepens my appreciation for the first album, with shared motivic material and a similar style. The quality of the songs here actually bleeds more towards musical theater than alternative rock, with upbeat tongue-in-cheek songs like Anthem of the Seaward Suffragettes.

Final Grade: A-

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