The Essential Phone Part #4

I can’t help but feel annoyed when I write so much about a product, but I never receive a reply. That’s not what persistence is all about though. A persistent person is faced with these kinds of challenges and doesn’t let them get in their way. They know that they’re not gonna get what they want right away, so they have to keep working at it until they do. In the case of Essential, I have put together several parts thus far and the only reply I received was one message thanking me for my kind words.

I started the series as a way to get the attention of the company that was interesting to me. I still want together their attention. I feel like they’re doing great work and not getting the attention they deserve for it. That doesn’t mean I’m saying that I’m the person that’s going to get them noticed. I just know that if I continue to talk about it someone might come across them and it might start a conversation. You can’t get it so people start talking unless you put the point across that there’s something worth talking about.

Tech reviewers have covered the Essential phone pretty extensively. Anyone who is anyone in this room has talked about this phone. Why am I trying to add my voice to the discussion? This is a question a lot of people asked themselves when they dip their toes into unfamiliar waters. I feel like this is a crazy question. Why not? Why are the people who have cultivated a huge audience reviewing these products the only voices who should be talking about them? If more people talked about technology, perhaps the new products coming on the market wouldn’t seem so intimidating.

I also dislike the fact that audience size is the sole measurement of a reviewer’s worth. A big crowd does command more attention; however, it does not prove that the creator is somehow better at what they do than someone whose audience is smaller. I don’t believe that my articles about Essential are a waste of time. I will continue to write about them until I am able to forge a bond that leads to me discussing their future products as well as the phone known for currently. I want to put down all my thoughts about them and see where things go later on down the line.

Blair’s Sauces and Snacks Preview

Blair’s Sauces and Snacks is a company I’ve heard a great deal about ever since I started watching Hot Ones on the First We Feast YouTube channel.

Hot Ones features Blair’s Mega Death with Liquid Rage as the hottest sauce in their rogues gallery of fireball inducing buffalo wings. After seeing countless celebrities look down the barrel of this sauce and wither while ice cold Sean Evans, the host of Hot Ones, lobbed questions at them from across the table, I couldn’t help but reach out to them.

I was pleased to find out that they had a lot of products in their repertoire that play on the same theme. They’re all geared towards melting the mouths of anyone who’s daring enough to try them. I am intrigued by businesses who want to go out of their way to do one thing particularly well. Whether it’s the coffee companies I’ve covered or purveyors of hot sauce, if you’re focused on selling a particular type of product, you should go above and beyond.

The best part of Blair’s Snacks and Sauces is the affordable prices they attach to each of their products. Normally, when you venture off the beaten path and buy something from a specialty manufacturer, you’re left with a sky high bill. That’s not the case with this company. You could load your cart up with all their products and be pleasantly surprised when you see the final price sauce.

Any time I find a product that I like I want to have more and more of it. This becomes a problem when the product in question is out of my price range. I find solace in the fact that nothing on Blair’s Snacks and Sauces’ website costs too much. I would be able to get a healthy dose of their wonderful sauces without having to worry about it.

I’m fond of hot sauces in all their forms. I have locked horns with some of the most ferocious brands in the industry. I feel remiss in avoiding this one, especially since it’s billed as an insurmountable challenge on one of my favorite shows. In these situations, I look at it as though there’s no better time to make amends than the present. I will reach out to them as soon as I can. Perhaps we can forge a relationship. I’m hoping they send me a bottle or two so I can learn the true meaning of liquid rage.

What I Want to be as a Technology Content Creator

As someone who consumes a considerable amount of technology related content, I’ve noticed a number of trends. The first being the fact that so many creators in this genre act like they’re solely responsible for the content they’re releasing when really every piece of content is the result of the concerted effort of a team of trained professionals. I’m not faulting people who embrace collaboration to make their content better; however, I feel like they need to be more honest. Don’t create the impression that a piece of content is created by one individual just because they happen to be the focal point. Generate an identity that’s more indicative of the group that’s responsible than an outdated presence that has nothing to do with current realities.

I am a person who is fully invested in whatever I’m creating. I feel weird reaching out to other people to work on content. I worry that I will be reduced to nothing more than a byline at the end of the of the collaborative process. That’s not to say that I will avoid collaborating in the future. I’m saying that the opportunity has to be right. It has to fit within my mission and be conducted with people who share my creative vision. I will never compromise another person’s voice as long as they don’t do that to me. I’ve worked with people in the past who went out of their way to question everything I put on the page, forcing me to twist my words to fit what they wanted.

I love technology and I want to talk about it in a way that makes it more accessible to people who might otherwise be intimidated by new devices. There are so many misconceptions about technology that I want to dispel. I hate the fact that the dialogue about new technology has become so pretentious that nobody wants to get anything other than the most basic, affordable device out there. That needs to change. I believe that any concept can be broken down and simplified to the point where it’s understandable by the masses. It just takes someone who wants to work on their content to make these concepts more appealing on a universal level.

Technology can be a tremendous tool. I feel like it’s being underutilized and stuck in a state where it’s used for nothing but frivolous purposes. Granted, every person has the right to use the devices they purchase however they see fit. At the same time, if millions upon millions of high functioning devices are used for nothing more than basic purposes, I feel like we might as well go back to the olden days where we all had to deal with bricks with buttons. The big issue here is how all tech reviewers present their devices. They do it from an “all specifications all the time,” meaning they read off the box rather than telling you what a device actually does. I believe that every person should get a detailed breakdown of every possible thing their device can do for them.

Seeking Coffee from Across the Pond

I’ve written many articles about coffee I’ve been able to get my hands on from brands in the United States. A few Canadian companies have sent their wares. I’m by no means done writing about all the coffee I’ve tried. I don’t want to rush content on here just for the purpose of checking a box on a task list. I want all my content to come naturally in a way that makes me happy. That being said, I don’t think my collection of subject matter is complete by any stretch of the imagination.

In the past, I made efforts to reach out to overseas companies to see if we could forge a partnership. I think that this process ended with some coffee from one company in India. That’s all. Hundreds of emails resulted in one hit in one company. I’ve never been pleased with that kind of paltry output. Coffee is more than an American thing. It’s a matter of great importance to the human race.

2018 will mark the 5th year I’ve talked about coffee. During this time, I’ve grown greatly frustrated with the task at hand. So many other outlets have covered coffee in the driest way possible. They choose to bog the reader down with jargon, making the world of coffee inaccessible and arrogant. I’ve been judged for not playing by their rules more times than I can count. Don’t expect that I’m going to join the crowd anytime soon.

The next phase of this project will involve me tying up loose ends, finishing profiles of coffee entities from other countries. In the meantime, I will be firing off messages to companies that haven’t been receptive in the past. I know full well that this will end up being the same dud it was before. I plan to approach this with a bit more persistence this time. I won’t take no for an answer.


The Thermos and Aladdin brands are known for their flat colors and functional designs. Migo is different because everything about their products is about standing out and looking lively. I’ve seen some products that look like these from other brands; however, I have a hard time trusting them since these brands aren’t as time tested as the other ones under the PMI Worldwide umbrella. That’s not to say that these similar looking products are somehow less than in terms of their quality. On the contrary, chances are they are just as well made as the products from Migo. It all comes down to the level of trust you have in a brand though.

As with any product that’s primarily sold overseas, I would imagine considerable difficulties in getting Migo products stateside. In the interest of having informed reviews, I will put in the work necessary to get my hands on a few of them. An article like this one is more speculation than actual substance. I don’t like writing articles about products unless I’ve had them in front of me and put them through their paces. Sometimes I fall short in this pursuit. It doesn’t stop me from keeping the door open and revisiting the topic from time to time.

There’s nothing wrong with having a drink container that’s lively. Not everyone uses their container during break time at the job site. Some people want their container to go with the bright colors in their clothing or the places they visit. Color should not be the only quality that people look like in a container though. You should also determine whether the container is well made and worth the price that’s being charged for it. Value is key in any purchase, especially when it comes to items we’ll use on a daily basis.

I wish that the products from the Migo brand were available in this country. You can tell the market for which these products are intended because all of the text on their website is in a different language and the reviews are from countries in Asia. I’m not saying that it’s wrong for products to be sold in one part of the world and nowhere else. Whenever I’ve come across products like these, I can’t help but want them to be nearby. It’s impossible to tell whether a population will enjoy a product until they’re given the opportunity to get it.

PMI Worldwide

PMI Worldwide is a conglomerate that operates two institutions in the world of coffee containers, Aladdin and Stanley. They also owns another container brand called Migos, which seems to primarily be based out of Asia. I’ve never heard of this brand, but I’m willing to put in the work to learn more about it. To say that I know about Aladdin and Stanley is an understatement. If you have been involved with coffee in the past century, chances are you have had some dealing with one of these brands. It doesn’t even have to be coffee either. The containers that these brands sell have a multitude of other uses.

I have been remiss in covering the up and comers without tipping my hat to the originals. I would love to even establish relationships with this company and its subsidiaries. I used to own some units from their past, but I have since parted with them. This decision is one I’ve regretted ever since I made it. I plan on establishing a collection of vintage coffee containers once I have enough room to store them. My favorite thing about these units is the quality of their craftsmanship. They stand the test of time.

When I think of Stanley and Aladdin containers, I think of hard work. I think of a scrappy laborer lacing up their work boots as they fill their containers with coffee or soup or whatever else. In this scenario, the container is usually coupled with a metal lunch box. As the whistle blows to tell them it’s break time, they open up their container and pour whatever is inside into the little cup on the top. This image of their products is primarily the reason why I respect what they do so much.

My main goal with looking into these institutions is to figure out how they compare with the more contemporary brands. I have no doubt that they will compare favorably. It’s foolish to think that brands that have the history these ones do would do anything to jeopardize their reputation. I’ve worked to find people who work for these organizations. These efforts have been unsuccessful. I’m not giving up though. I love digging deep into corporate pocketbooks to find contact information for decision makers. They love to hide to the best way to get in touch with them. That doesn’t stop me. I find out sooner rather than layer.

Metal Pour Over Filter: Looking for a Bigger One

I’ve been struggling with the current metal pour over filter I have. It’s not big enough. I am able to adapt it so it suits most of my needs, but if I start trying to make more coffee than what fits into a single pot, I run into a problem. The amount of grounds it takes to ramp up coffee production is tremendous. When you have a relatively small pour over filter, you will be left with a limited amount of grounds. As the grounds you’re using absorb more water, the speed of your brewing will slow to a crawl.

I do not want to have to make my own filtration system to accomplish my objectives. All homemade filtration apparatuses have their drawbacks. They are by no means as effective as what’s available in the commercial marketplace. They have a tendency to be messy and time consuming to rig up. I would rather have something that’s ready right out of the box. I’m able to do that with my current filter. Why would I have to do anything else with something that does the same job but on a much larger scale?

When it comes to making great coffee, there’s absolutely no room for nonsense. I feel like the influence of corporate juggernauts has removed any flexibility from the equation. You have to make coffee the way they want you to make it or else you have to empty your bank account to purchase implements that only luxury coffee shops can afford. The fact that things are this way is unacceptable. We should be able to make coffee however we please for an affordable rate. The amount of money we spend to get a run of the mill coffee maker should be the same as what it costs to get a luxury cup of coffee.

I will be talking to as many people in the coffee world as possible until I find an affordable, effective solution to my pour over filter problem. The conversations I’ve had with coffee people have taught me a great deal about what’s out there. It’s like when a politician tours the country to introduce a new policy. That’s what I’m doing here. I am going around to see how I can take my pour over coffee brewing to the next level. As soon as I solve this problem, you’ll be first to know.

Trucker Coffee: In It for the Long Haul

A friend of mine told me about something he called trucker coffee. I had never heard of such a thing in all my years of covering coffee. Making this coffee involved an intricate process of brewing the coffee three separate times. The idea of taking an already brewed pot of coffee and sending it through some grounds yet again seemed like a novel concept to me. Being the connoisseur of all things coffee, I didn’t want to let this opportunity pass me by.

Here’s How this Coffee is Made

1/2 cup coffee grounds for 4 cups water

3/4 cup coffee grounds for 8 cups water

1 cup coffee grounds for 12 cups water

As you go through each step of the process, you have to make sure the filtering is precise or the end result will be a gritty brew. This is also a process that requires a considerable amount of patience. As the coffee goes from one step to the next, it becomes thicker. Regular coffee makers have a hard time handling this and tend to slow down quite a bit. I used a pour over filter to get the job done. It made it take longer, but it didn’t end up clogging up my coffee makers

When it came time to get to the final step of the process, the amount of grounds in my metal filter was almost too much for its size. After completing the brewing, I went to look for a bigger filter and was ultimately unsuccessful. For future instances where I generate a batch of trucker coffee, I will likely have to make my own filtration system if I am unable to find one elsewhere.

The taste of triple brewed coffee reminds me a lot of cold brew. I’m amazed by this fact because most cold brew takes three days to finish. This coffee was done in the course of an hour. I have always wanted to do more cold brew. The process is such a pain in the butt though. Knowing that I can get the same result without having to go through all the back breaking labor is a relief.

I like to come up with inventive ways to make coffee without needing electricity or a traditional coffee maker. I know that there will be times where I won’t be able to depend on these conveniences. That’s when I will get out my metal filter, warm up some water, and start making trucker coffee.

Sometimes you have situations that knock you off your feet and make you realize that you have so much more work to do. This is one of those situations. I thought I knew a lot about coffee. I don’t…and I have trucker coffee to thank for it.

Thailand Unique Review

Click Here to Check Out Their Website

I don’t know how I heard about edible insects, but when I did, I knew that I had to try them somehow. I looked for companies that sold them and found Thailand Unique. Getting in touch with them was a bit of a challenge; however, they finally got back to me, saying they would send samples of four different crispy critters they carried. I waited and waited until I received verification that they had been shipped. Due to the distance between Thailand and where I live, it took a bit of time before their package arrived on my doorstep. I was so excited when I went to the mail and pulled out their box though.

If you’re reading this article and wondering whether I’ve lost my mind, hear me out. I am a person who is curious about everything in the world. In the case of food, I have to try it before I dismiss it from my diet once and for all. It took me a minute to try what Thailand Unique sent me. This delay wasn’t the result of apprehension, but rather resistance from the people with whom I live. They were not hip to the idea of me eating dehydrated bugs, so I had to wait for the perfect moment when I had the house all to myself.

In their package, I got armored tail scorpions, small crickets, bamboo worms, and silk worms. First, I tried the small crickets and then I went for the armored tail scorpions and bamboo worms, respectively. All I could taste was a little bit of salt and all the texture that goes with each bug. I didn’t mind it. At first, I was thrown off by all of it, but I wanted to proceed for the purpose of this review. I refuse to chicken out and dismiss something just because of misguided first impressions.

After thinking about the bugs from Thailand Unique for awhile, I realized that I am not informed about what this company has to offer. Out of their entire inventory, I tried four of their bugs. To get the full scope of what this company is all about, I would need to try all of their products. I never know if a company is willing to enter into such an arrangement until I ask them. I am fully willing to write more about them if they want such a thing.

Addicted Sauce Co. Review

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I love it when a company sends me a little bit of a product and I’m left both intrigued and frustrated at the same time. I’m intrigued because the product I’ve received piques my interest, but I’m also frustrated that there’s so little of it at the same time. That’s the feeling I’m left with looking back on what Addicted Sauce Co. had rocketed towards my doorstep. They sent me a good mix of their best and boldest in the most adorable little bottles imaginable. Looks can be deceiving though. The mixture contained within was anything but adorable.

When I set out on this project to try all the hot sauces I could get my hands on, I prefaced the journey with the fact that I knew full well that I would come across a blend or two that would melt my face clean off. I had that moment when I opened up Addicted Sauce Co.’s Trinidad Scorpion sauce and dumped far too much on a burrito i was having for lunch. The spice immediately hit my mouth as if I were throwing a glowing piece of charcoal and it lit my tongue on fire on contact.

In the past, all the hot sauces I encountered came and went in a hurry because I had a tendency to dump them on my food in large quantities. That’s not the case with these sauces. If I made my food swim in them, I probably wouldn’t live to tell the tale. I’m pondering building a glass case behind which I can store the sauces in case of emergency. This would make it so I could break the glass whenever I felt adventurous and then have a piece of living on the wild side. Having them out in the open might expose me to the temptation of their scorchy goodness.

At the end of each review, I ponder whether I want to know more about the company in question or if it’s better that I let them slip into the ether like all the other brands that have disappointed me in the past. When it comes to Addicted Sauce Co., I’m thinking they fit into the category of companies I want to know more about. I did not have the chance to sample everything in their repertoire and I’m interested to see how they approach all the other flavors they cover. I know that if you were to try one of their sauces you would feel the same way.

Click Here to Visit Their Website