Saturday, October 12, 2013

HDMX Jam Classic Speaker Review

I remember getting my first radio. It was the one from my Dad's workshop, with blobs of plaster dripped on it and a rather out of place replacement power knob. But it started my enjoyment of music.

My second was a boom box. I split the purchase with my parents. It was pretty cool, with detachable speakers and a tape deck. I could record music off the radio to listen to whenever I wanted. I started buying music, my first cassette was a Joan Jett and the Blackhearts album.

When I graduated from high school, I bought a pretty nice Denon receiver, CD changer.  It came to me with college and yes, my room mate and I had two 100+ watt stereos in our small dorm room.

A few years after getting out of the army, I upgraded my receiver and added as sub-woofer to the mix. This receiver was 5.1, so we stepped up to the world of surround sound on our DVD player.

I enjoy my music and listening to it in the best possible way; I've replaced my iPhone ear buds with some some noise-isolating Klipsch headphones.

I've never really gotten into listening to music on my phone, the built-in speakers just don't do justice for the music. But as more music is available with services like Pandora and Spotify, I'm beginning to listen to music on my phone.  It's been nice, as I read at night in bed, my phone is there charging and I listen to some music.

AT&T generously provided my wife with a HMDX Jam Classic bluetooth speaker, which means I get to play with it too.
The small, rechargeable speaker connects to my phone via bluetooth and does have a mini-stereo jack so I can use my iPod, too.  No wires necessary makes it pretty convenient; I just walk in my room, turn on the speaker and it automatically connects.

I only read for about 30 minutes a night and I charge every other week or so.  The user's guide indicates that it has 4 hour battery life, and do I think that the battery would last for a day at the beach or for a picnic.

The sound quality is good, considering the size of the speakers.  I can't turn it up to 11, but it does get pretty loud. I enjoy music that has a good deal of bass, and though this speaker won't vibrate my pants, its a huge improvement over my phone's built in speaker.

Its a great speaker for a kid's room, they're bright and colorful and could pair it to a computer, phone or any other bluetooth capable device. Maybe it'll get your kid started on a path towards being an audiophile.

Just so you know, I wasn't compensated for this post, unless I get to keep the speakers, as they were really given to Heather to review. The post embodies my honest opinion.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Cooking with swag

Having recently attended the 2013 International Food Blogger's Conference, we came home with a great deal of swag, particularly small sized samples of gourmet and healthy food.  You might have seen Heather's picture of our counter.  Being local, which meant we drove home each night, many companies would push us to take their extras. And we sure did, didn't we?

Last weekend, with the onset of fall in the Pacific Northwest, I decided to make Pumpkin Spice Almond Butter Muffins, which I saw posted on Hybrid Athlete.  Not only were the muffins paleo and had fall flavors, the recipe called for ingredients which I had received as swag at the conference.

The honey, vanilla and cinnamon were all conference swag.

Manuka Doctor Honey - Manuka honey from New Zealand with supposed health benefits.  But what is really awesome about it is the flavor and consistency.  It's thick, not like runny corn syrup honey with a nice floral taste.  While I've cooked with it some, I've probably eaten just as much straight from a spoon.

Lagrima Vanilla - Lagrima Vanilla is a local, boutique vanilla producer. The vanilla is smooth, without that bite that comes from most commercial vanilla. They use Ugandan beans and manufacture just a few cities north of me. I hope to check out their production facility someday and share that adventure on my blog.

Yen Bai Cinnamon - Sahale Snacks has scoured the earth and found the best tasting cinnamon in the forests of Viet Nam.  It has a much brighter flavor than other cinnamons I've tasted, with spicy bite more like red hots.

The muffins were a nice treat to welcome fall. My kids snatched up four before I even had a chance to eat any. Luckily, I was able to save some for my breakfasts at work - the idea was to make breakfast for the week, but alas, after my kids, there were only enough for two breakfasts (with some nice leftover frittata).

Using a few tips I got during the food photography sessions with Andrew Scrivani (just go watch his blog for a few minutes), I took this picture for your enjoyment!

Eat clean and stay fit!