Reporter records more rave reviews

Reporter records more rave reviews

Posted: Friday, September 24, 2010 8:01 pm
By: By Donna Ryder

Reporter records more rave reviews | Donna Ryder, Just A Thought

I got such good comments about my last column on the USB batteries, I decided to tell you more about some of the new items I’ve been able to try.
The first new product I’d like to share with you is the gorillapod magnetic. It’s a small tripod made by Joby. The legs are about five inches long and have magnets, as well as rubber, on the bottom. The ball and socket joints make it easy to position the tripod just where I need it, even if that means wrapping it around a pole. It’s made specifically for compact digital cameras and mini video cameras, but I have been able to position my bigger digital Canon G5 on it and it actually held my Pentax K-1000 with a telephoto lens on it in the traditional tripod position.
The gorillapod is small enough to easily transport, but a friend recommends not getting it near the LCD screen of the camera. I haven’t been storing it in my camera bag and I’m pretty sure that I’m glad I haven’t.
The gorillapod would be perfect for those people who can’t seem to hold their cameras steady enough to get in-focus photographs and it’s good for those family portraits made with the self-timer on the camera. The pod can be easily positioned in a doorway on the metal hinges, therefore getting it high enough to get the whole family in the shot.
It’s the perfect stocking stuffer for the person in your family who enjoys taking pictures or for the club reporter responsible for submitting photos to the newspaper.
I haven’t found a small set of earbuds that my children like or that haven’t broken within the first week of use, that is until now. Empire Brands in Lindon, Utah, is marketing the Wicked metallics earbuds. They come with three sets of pliable rubber cushions, which makes it easy for each member of the family to use them. We use them mainly on our computer, but they can be used on other audio equipment, including the iPhone. My husband said they are some of the best inexpensive earbuds he’s ever used and they don’t have a lot of distortion in them.
Folks who don’t own a grill or don’t want to mess with cleaning one can use the EZ grill disposable instant grill. It is made of an aluminum pan with a stand and comes complete with charcoal. It is, as it states, an instant grill.
We cranked it up and let it sit for the required 15 minutes for proper heating. We cooked four pork chops — two at a time, four hamburgers — about a quarter of a pound each, then a slice of ham. After about an hour and a half, it still was producing enough heat to roast marshmallows. Though I prefer cooking indoors on my grill or in my infrared cooker, because I generally want to cook supper in as little time as possible, the instant grill would be great to take on a camping trip or to a tailgate party. I cringe whenever we go camping or stop at a picnic site because I simply hate the condition most of the grills are in at those locations.
The EZ grills are available at several local stores.
The latest item we’ve been able to try is the Thrustmaster Tennis Duo Pack for the Wii. It looks like a real tennis racket. There’s something about having as piece of equipment in your hand that feels the same as actually playing the game. I’ve scored better on the Wii using the equipment than with the simple Wii controller and I love the sound it makes when the air swooshes through its “strings.” The best thing about this racket — it comes with a foam tennis ball that you can take outside and play without the Wii. The one warning I do have to give is that you need plenty of room to play with these toys, especially if you really get into the “game” like I do when I play with the Wii. I have managed to hit the upright vacuum a few times, but no people yet.
And, for those curious about the USB batteries, they’re still working fine, but we haven’t had a chance to get to the Memphis Zoo to give them a full-day test.

Published in The Messenger 9.24.10

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