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Free Screening for Sing on Saturday, 11/26

Saturday fun for the family.

At certain AMC theater locations, you can participate in a free screening of the upcoming Illumination Entertainment animated movie Sing. These free screenings are nationwide and will take place on Saturday, November 26 at 10AM. Just visit Sing Saturday’s website to find all the participating AMC theater locations.

Each location will have at least 200 free tickets into the screening, being distributed on “a first-come, first-served basis”, according to the website. It also notes that the tickets will be available at the box office starting at 9:00AM, which is the same time the doors will open. The website also states that the theater will be “monitored for unauthorized recording” of the film.

Sing is an upcoming animated feature made by Illumination Entertainment and distributed by Universal Studios. It is directed by Garth Jennings and stars Scarlett Johansson, Matthew McConaughey, Seth McFarlane, and Reese Witherspoon, among others. Do you plan on attending the screening on Saturday, November 26? Because after all, it is free.

Free Breathe Right Strips

Do you snore at night? Then you probably need something to quiet yourself. Breathe Right is offering a free box of Breathe Right Nasal Strips on their official website. Just go here to get yours!

All you have to do is fill out the form provided by the link and your free sample will arrive in 1-2 weeks. The website also notes that by filling out the form, you also agree to receive their “free email newsletter, packed with offers and news about Breathe Right® products”. You must be at least 18 years of age to register for this freebie and a US resident to be eligible for this freebie. Breathe Right also limits the deal to one box per household.

Breathe Right Extra Clear

Breathe Right Extra Clear

Breathe Right Lavender

Breathe Right Lavender

You can choose from two types of nasal strips, actually. The Breathe Right Extra Clear and the Breathe Right Lavender. The website states that the Extra Clear is “50% stronger than Original Tan”. The Lavender strips, on the other hand, supposedly brings “nighttime nasal congestion relief with the calming scent of lavender”. It all depends on preference.

Go ahead and get your free sample of Breathe Right Strips today!

Free short story e-book November 6

Free short story e-book called Story A Day 2013 by Morgen Bailey

Free short story e-book

If you like to read and you like free, we have the perfect freebie for you, a free short story e-book! Story A Day May 2013 will be available on the Kindle FREE on November 6, 2016!

Written by UK author, blogger and podcaster Morgen Bailey, this 81 page e-book is a collection of 31 fictional short stories and poetry inspired by writing prompts from the writer creativity challenge blog Storyaday.org during the month of May, 2013. The compilation includes a mix of various genres. Some are poignant, some dramatic and some humorous. All are entertaining and easy to read.

Story A Day May 2013 Kindle Edition is available free on November 6 from Amazon. A selection of other books by Morgen Bailey are also available.

Cujo Control CC-810 Remote Training Collar Review

Cujo Control CC-810 Remote Training Collar Review

Cujo Control CC-810 Remote Training Collar Review

There is an enormous array of products on the market to train your dog into full subservience. From simple leashes to elaborate electronic pet fences, there seems to be an endless choice of options of gizmos and gadgets available to properly train your pup. Now there is one more, the Cujo Control CC-810 Remote Training Collar. When we received one free in exchange for an honest review, we gave it a try. Well actually, we tried it on the dog.

Cujo Control is based in Roseland, New Jersey. The company currently offers two dog training products, a “no bark” collar and a dog training collar with remote. The CC-810 is the latest version of the training collar and it is the product we received for the review.

The CC-810 is a dog obedience training device capable of delivering three types of disciplinary actions, including a high pitched auditory tone the dog can hear, a vibrating action the dog can feel, and a “stimulation” the dog can feel, or more precisely, an electric shock. According to the company, it’s a “safe but annoying” stimulation, and is “proven safe”.

Cujo Control CC-810 Kit

Cujo Control CC-810 Kit

The CC-810 consists of three primary components:

  • An adjustable collar
  • A radio controlled receiver unit
  • A remote radio transmitter

The collar is designed to accommodate dogs of almost any size, from small to large. The receiver unit attaches to the collar and against the underside of the dog’s neck. The receiver has two metal contact points. These contact points rest directly on the skin of the neck.

The receiver is controlled by the remote radio transmitter, which looks and feels like a small two way radio without the mic and speaker. According to the specs, it has a range of up to 300 meters, or about 984 feet. The transmitter can control up to two dogs with receivers (the additional receiver is purchased separately). It is equipped with a small blue backlit LCD display and a set of buttons to control the tone and type and intensity of the vibration or “stimulation”. The CC810 allows up to 16 levels of shock and vibration. When activated by the transmitter, the receiver delivers the appropriate response for as long as the particular button is pressed, up to a maximum of 10 seconds.

Both the transmitter and receiver operate on two AAA alkaline batteries. Four batteries are included in the kit, two for each device.

The CC810 includes a 31 page Operating and Training Guide. It is fairly thorough, with important safety information and warnings, assembly instructions, and step-by-step training procedures with helpful tips. It is, however, riddled with typographical errors.

We tested the CC-810 on Tommy’s dog, Cosmo. the results were, well, interesting.

Now, Cosmo is already a fairly well-behaved dog. We wouldn’t say he is fully trained in all areas of obedience, but he does understand a number of commands, and will usually respond to them as long as he isn’t too distracted. However, he is still learning, and he could always use more obedience training, and he was the only dog available, so he was the prime candidate to test out the CC-810.

First, Tommy assembled the CC-810 collar and receiver unit according to the instructions printed in the manual. He did this on camera for the CC-810 video review. The kit contained everything he needed for assembly, including the batteries (which seems to be the new normal for battery operated electronics these days). The manual was easy to read, but riddled with typos. Fortunately, assembly was simple and straightforward, so it wasn’t a big deal.

CC-810 Receiver Collar

CC-810 Receiver Collar

We put the collar on Cosmo, and took him outside to test it out. The manual suggested we start at the lowest level and work up to find his level of tolerance to the vibration and shock. There was no reaction at level one, but he began to respond to the vibration around level 4 and the “stimulation” (shock) at level 5, so we kept it there for awhile.

Following instructions in the manual, we first tested the tone on the dog. He could hear it, and the first time we used it, he did respond, but after that, he ignored it.

Next we tried using the vibration function. The first time it startled him. We tried it a few more times and Cosmo responded to our commands. Each time we used it with a command, he was rewarded with a treat. After several of these, he became used to the vibration and began to ignore us. Tommy raised it to level 6, he began to respond to our commands again.

Then Tommy tried the stimulation, or as I now call it, the zapper. Cosmo didn’t like it at all. After a zap or two at level 5 (the minimum threshold we initially set), it clearly upset him, so we didn’t use it again and stayed with the vibration instead.

The manual includes step-by-step procedures for using the collar to train a dog to come. We performed a variation of this one without a leash, using vibration and the word here. Since Cosmo already knew this one, he quickly made the connection and understood what we wanted him to do. The manual also included instructions to teach certain commands as well as deter or control several behaviours, none of which we tried, simply because after few tests with the command here, we felt Cosmo had already endured enough.

After removing the receiver collar from Cosmo, Tommy and I decided to check the stimulation for ourselves. We took turns placing the tips of our fingers on the contact points and pressed the button on the transmitter. Neither of us felt anything at levels one and two, and although I still detected nothing at level 3, Tommy did feel a slight tingle.

Then we both tried level 6.

The receiver delivered a strong electric jolt. It reminded me of a medical TENS unit that was set a little too high.

We decided not to take it to level 16.

CC-810 Transmitter

CC-810 Transmitter

To summarize, The Cujo Control Remote Training Collar is best suited for young, healthy dogs with little or no previous obedience training. The transmitter is simple to use and works well in close range. The company claims a maximum range of 300 meters, however we didn’t test the coverage. There were no specs available for the radio, and there was no FCC ID on the device, so we were unable to determine its frequency band or wattage. Range depends on a number of variables, including terrain, nearby obstructions, interference, atmospheric conditions, and the quality of the antenna. As licensed ham radio operators, we can say that your range may vary greatly.

The receiver is a bit of a mix. Like the transmitter, it is simple to operate. The trick is to be sure it is attached to the collar, positioned on the dog’s neck and operated correctly. The kit we received included two pairs of contact points for the receiver, one longer than the other. We didn’t know which set to use, and it wasn’t explained or even noted in the manual, so we chose the shorter pair, based on the fact that Cosmo is a small dog.

The tone function is not very loud. Perhaps it doesn’t need to be, since the receiver is mere inches from the dog’s ears, and dogs do hear well. The vibration function is quite robust, and at higher levels can even be heard. As for the stimulation function (the zapper), while somewhat mild at very low settings, it is capable of delivering a surprisingly strong shock at higher settings. Although Cujo Control claims the device is safe, I have some reservations, especially if this feature is used carelessly or abused. Tommy and I each experienced an uncomfortable jolt at level 6, and that was on the low end of 16 settings! It may be needed for larger dogs, but for some smaller canines like Cosmo, I think the vibration function is probably sufficient for training.

The bottom line: The Cujo Control Remote Training Collar is not a toy, it is a serious training device and should be used responsibly. Used improperly or abused, it could make your dog frustrated, distrustful of you or even angry. It could possibly even hurt your pet. However, in the right hands, with the right instruction, and used judiciously, it can be an efficient and effective dog obedience training tool.

Disclaimer: I received this product free in exchange for my unbiased review. The opinions are my own.

Get a FREE Fish Sticker from Orvis!

A deal you want to catch!

Orvis is offering a free sticker in exchange for signing up for their e-mail list. Orvis is an outdoor gear company, so it’s fitting that the free sticker they are offering is shaped like a fish.

orvis-fish-sticker

To sign up, just go to their official website and fill out the online form to recieve e-mails about the latest outdoor gear. The website states that upon signing up, you will be the first to know about their new “collections, special events, online sales, and more”. It also mentions that after filling out the form, you will recieve the freebie shortly, though it is limited to “one sticker per household”. So no getting greedy.

Get a FREE Sample of Mane Tame Beard Oil

Do you have a beard? If you do, then you’ll probably enjoy today’s freebie.

Mane Tame Proffesional Men’s Grooming is currently offering a free bottle of Beard Oil. To get it, all you have to do is visit their official website, wait for the form to pop up (it might take a couple seconds), and fill it out. They’ll ship you your sample and you can enjoy your free Beard Oil!

Celebrate National Sandwich Day on 11/3 at Subway!

National Sandwich Day (yes, that’s a thing”) falls on November 3 this year, and Subway has a very charitable deal to make the most of it. They are offering a buy-one-get-one-free deal for anyone who purchases a sub sandwich and a drink. Once you make your purchase, they will allow you to order another sub for FREE!

Subway’s popular Meatball Sub. A good choice for a freebie, huh?

But not only will you get your free sub, but once you take the deal, Subway themselves will donate a sub to Feeding America, the US Hunger Relief Organization!

This deal can be used at ANY Subway location.

Ready to help others on National Sandwich Day?

Wisconsin Cheese Variety Guide Review

A little something for you cheese fans out there.

As you probably already know, Wisconsin is known as the “Cheese State”, “State of Cheese”, or any other variation of that. Simply put, it’s known for its cheeses. With that in mind, it shouldn’t surprise you that there is an official guide to cheeses from Wisconsin called “Wisconsin Cheese: A Guide to Cheeses from Wisconsin”. You can order it online at www.EatWisconsinCheese.com. Let’s take a look inside.

It opens tri-fold style and is small enough to be pinned on any fridge for later reference. It doesn’t look like much at first, being fairly small, but once you open it you are greeted by a long list of many different cheeses.

The list is alphabetized starting with Anejo Enchilado Cheese and ending with Swiss & Baby Swiss Cheese. Under a very delicious looking picture of each cheese, there is a short description of what the cheese may feel or taste like. For example, Anejo Enchilado Cheese is described as “A bright, reddish-orange exterior with a firm, ivory interior. Texture is semi-soft, almost firm and slightly crumbly. It offers a full, strong, slightly salty flavor.” Can’t you just taste it already. I think you can tell by now that whoever was writing the descriptions for these cheeses was very well educated in the field, and probably enjoyed taste-testing them, too.

For some cheeses, there is even a little tidbit of history for those who are curious. Other cheeses, such as Colby Cheese, are labelled as a “Wisconsin Original”.

On the outside flaps, there are various tips for cheese enthusiasts, such as tips for cheese storage and cooking.

All in all, the Wisconsin Cheese Variety Guide is a neat little booklet to have on hand when you’re curious for a little info on cheeses. And the best part? It’s FREE! To get your Wisconsin Cheese Variety Guide, just visit their official website and fill out the form.

Night Provision BX-550 USB Bike Headlight review

BX-550 USB Rechargeable Bicycle Headlight

BX-550 USB Rechargeable Bicycle Headlight

I used to ride my bicycle a lot. During the last few years, day-to-day activities took over and I slacked off on pedaling outdoors. One reason for this is because my bike was not equipped for riding any time after the daylight hours. That just changed with the arrival of the BX-550 USB Bike Headlight from Night Provision. I received one free in exchange for an honest review, and now I have no excuse not to hop back on and pedal around the neighborhood at dusk to try it out. So, is it any good? Here is my Night Provision BX-550 USB Bike Headlight review.

Night Vision makes LED lights, including tactical flashlights and bike lights. This model is the BX-550, a USB rechargeable bicycle headlight equipped with a CREE® XML2 T6 LED capable of up to 550 lumens. It’s made of anodized 6061 aircraft aluminum alloy with ABS plastic and is rated IP65 water resistant. It is powered by a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery pack and has an detachable mount for easy attachment and detachment when mounted on the front handlebar of just about any bicycle on the market.

Not surprisingly, the BX-550 installs as advertised. The Easy-Click mount clamps to the handlebar of the bicycle with a locking lever that allow you to adjust and tighten the grip as needed for a firm hold. The bike light itself easily slides onto the mount and locks in place with a plastic tab. To detach the light, simply press the locking tab to release and slide the light off the mount, then pull the locking tab lever to release the clamp from the handlebar.

The only thing I didn’t like about the Easy-Click mount was the ease with which the plastic tab released the light from the mount. It was too easy. Also, when placing the light onto the mount, it didn’t just slide on and automatically click into place. I had to consciously remember to push up on the plastic tab to lock the light onto the mount. If I didn’t, the light would slide right off again.

BX-550 illumination

BX-550 illumination

The bike light itself is powerful and works well. It has four modes of operation controlled by a button on the top. The first press turns on the light in High mode with a full 550 lumens. A second press places it in Medium mode with 250 lumens. The third press puts it into low mode with 50 lumens. Pressing it a fourth time takes the light into Flash or Strobe mode at a medium brightness of 250 lumens. A press and hold for several seconds turns it off.

As with the mount, the light itself worked as advertised. At full illumination it is very bright, and has a wide area of coverage. According to the manual, the light will operate for up to three hours at high mode and ten hours in low mode, presumably on a full charge. I haven’t tested that out, since my night rides would not usually exceed 30 minutes, but it’s a good reason to keep the BX-550 charged up in case the extra time is needed.

Which brings us to the battery and the charging capabilities of the light. The BX-550 is powered by a 2400 mAh lithium-ion battery, which is easily removable if it needs replacement. The light has a built-in micro-USB port for charging with a computer or portable power bank equipped with USB. The power button on top of the light is also a multi-color status light. It glows red when the battery is depleted or while the light is charging and blue when fully charged or when the light is on in any of the its operating modes. Charge time varies depending on the state of the battery, but my first time charging completed in less than an hour.

As for weather resistance, the BX-55 seems durable enough. The IP65 rating means that it has full protection from ingress of dust or a spray of water projected by a nozzle 6.5mm or less. In other words, it’s dust proof and water resistant, but not waterproof. Since I don’t usually ride my bike during inclement weather, I can’t fairly review it’s resiliency to the elements based on my own experience, so I’ll have to defer to the Ingress Protection rating. It may survive a ride in a rainstorm, but don’t drop it in a puddle of water.

I do have one concern. After a few minutes in high mode, the head of the flashlight becomes fairly hot. I don’t think it gets hot enough to burn the skin, but it is a lot warmer than I expected. When using this light, be sure to give it a few seconds to cool down before you detach it from the mount.

Overall, the Night Provision BX-550 USB Bike Headlight is a nice little light for cycling. It’s small, but powerful and provides sufficient light for a little biking around after dark or just before dawn. It’s easy to mount, easy to use and easy to recharge. As long as you remember to push up on the lock tab and you remember to recharge it after use, it’s a handy little accessory for any cyclist who likes or needs to ride at night. #BX550

Disclaimer: Disclaimer: I received this product free in exchange for my unbiased review. The opinions are my own.

ShikShook Premium Cocktail Shaker Set review


ShikShook Premium Cocktail Shaker Set

ShikShook Premium Cocktail Shaker Set

Recently I received a ShikShook Cocktail Shaker Set free in exchange for my honest review. The quality was about what I expected for a product of its price point, so I wasn’t disappointed. I was just hoping it would exceed my expectations. The kit includes the stainless steel shaker, the double jigger, two pourers and a nice bag to store and transport the set. Essentially it is everything you need to mix a cocktail, minus a couple of cocktail glasses and of course, the ingredients to be mixed.

The shaker itself seems a lighter and thinner steel than it probably should be, so the exterior will become cold quickly if you add a lot of ice. The top cover is a bit cumbersome to secure over the shaker, and once you get it on, it can pop off without much effort. The top cap fits over the strainer a little better, but is also easy to remove, so you will need to be careful and hold the strainer cap and top cover securely assembly securely before shaking to keep the drink from leaking through the top of the strainer or entire assembly from coming apart while shaking. It isn’t difficult to keep it all together, but it does not seem to be designed for too vigorous a shaking.

The pourers seem to fit bottles well and they seem to work just fine. I was somewhat surprised with the double jigger, though. It is advertised as a 1/2 oz shot on one side and 1 ounce on the other, but there are no markings on the jigger to indicate where these levels are. Do you fill it to the brim, or a some reasonable point below? Without an accurate level of measurement etched or marked somewhere on the jigger, there’s no way to know for sure if you are really pouring the appropriate amount of liquid into it or not.

The branded velvet storage bag is a nice touch, and the drawstring adds a little class, but considering how thin the shaker assembly is, the fancy bag may be a little too classy for this set. I wouldn’t call this a heavy duty shaker, because it isn’t, but for occasional light duty use at home it should do the job. nevertheless, the storage bag overhypes the contents inside it.

This shaker kit includes one more item, an ebook called 100 Recipes For Cocktails. Well, it’s not exactly an ebook. It’s just a flyer with information on how to redeem the free ebook online. However, to redeem the item, you first register on the ShikShook web site as a “VIP member” to access or download it, and since I didn’t want to risk exposing my e-mail address to one more mailing list, I declined the offer. It’s probably a good source of drink recipes, and it is part of the package, but as I already have too many sites to log into, too many passwords to remember and my mailbox already gets bombarded with stuff I don’t read, I passed on it. If you decide to purchase the cocktail shaker set and need an ebook of cocktail recipes, as long as it’s part of the package I’d say give it a try.

I would not call the ShikShook Cocktail Shaker Set professional grade or a premium product, but if you like a cocktail every once in a while, it’s not a bad set for the price. Just don’t forget to keep a hand firmly over the top of it before you shake.

The ShikShook Cocktail Shaker Set is available at Amazon.com.

Disclaimer: I received this product free in exchange for my unbiased review. The opinions are my own.

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