Category: review

After 1 Week With The New 2017 Ford Explorer Sport

After 1 Week With The New 2017 Ford Explorer Sport

I’ve had my 2017 Ford Explorer Sport for a week now, and have really been enjoying it. I knew I wanted to do a YouTube video for it, but I didn’t want to do one of those typical “here’s the air conditioning, here’s the radio, it has a gazillion speakers, listen to how good it sounds (since you can really tell over a YouTube video!)”

I decided to make a video highlighting some of the features that I enjoy most, and that I think are really well thought out. I also pointed out a few observations of things I think could be better, but that aren’t that big of a deal because, as a whole, this really is a fantastic package.

Watch the video to see more!


A Review of My Apartment

A Review of My Apartment

I was originally going to post this on Yelp, as I typically would for a business that’s either gone far above or far below the line of good customer service. But, after reading it, I’d rather just share it here instead. Why? A number of reasons, the most important being the management company seems to be extremely “sensitive”, and considers even the lightest of remarks as “slander”, for which they’ll slip a note under your door expecting you to remove it from social media as a violation of the lease. (Observed from someone else’s post… I don’t know if that’s true or not…)

I don’t even know if that’s legal, but since I don’t feel like being evicted, or instigating drama,  I figured I’d share it here instead: 

(Apartment Complex Name):  Mediocre Living, at Its Best

I’ve been living here for about 2.5 years; I don’t love it, and I don’t hate it.  

Management:  Used to be better, has been declining since I moved in. Then again, this seems to be a trend wherever I move. I’d like to think I’m not the one bringing bad juju to every apartment complex I move to, but it seems like this is a trend within the industry. Perhaps it’s because rules and laws are getting stricter, or profit margins are down so it’s harder for rental properties to be profitable… I don’t know. There must be some reason for management decline over the years, and here at (Apartment Complex Name) it’s no exception. 

When I first moved in, the office staff knew me by name. Everyone was super friendly. Now… not the case anymore. I’m just a number. I’m known only by my apartment number, and that’s it. Someone has to look in a computer to learn about me, and by “about me” I mean my payment history and whether or not I’ve been delinquent on rent.  There’s more to me (and anyone else living here) than just my/our financial obligations… 

Property:  Overall, is very nice on the outside…except for the gates that they can’t seem to keep working. People seem to crash into them, forcing them to be left open 24 hours a day. Also, the gate entry system doesn’t make any sense… you press a button and both sides open at the same time. How is that safe? Some bad guy/girl could just wait by the opposite gate, and let themselves on to the property when someone comes in the opposite front gate. 

A gated community? No. More like…a community with decorative gates, providing no actual security. I brought this up to the management once, and they told me there were many CCTV cameras. I work in the tech field, so I know how to spot one… I have yet to find any. If they have them, as they say they do, they’re hidden very well… but I’m not holding my breath. 

Maintenance… Ah, the biggest measure of inconsistency. They either want to help or they don’t. It all depends on who’s working. 

I’d had HVAC issues for most of last summer, and it took the better part of 5 visits for them to be resolved. I then asked the property manager if there was any kind of compensation I could get for my inconvenience… previous places I’d lived, if there were a problem with the unit, they’d offer a discount on a month or two’s rent just to say “Hey, we get that you’ve been a good on-time-paying tenant, we own up to dropping the ball, here’s our way of making it right.” — I’m not expecting a free month’s rent, but some kind of concession would be appropriate. I was told, very coldly and without compassion by the manager, “We don’t do rent concessions.” – I was then offered a carpet cleaning, which I have yet to have done since they don’t ever seem to remember this. 

All of that aside… those are relatively minor gripes, in the grand scheme of things. 

The apartment is…for lack of anything else…fine. It’s a roof over my head that keeps me safe from bad weather, it keeps me warm in the winter and cool enough in the summer ( it’s comfortable, and (other than insufficient closet space) it’s got enough room for me to live. If I knew what i know now when  was looking for apartments, I wouldn’t have chosen it. Do I regret it? Not really, because nothing catastrophic has happened to me as of yet. I’m hoping that if something like that does come up, though, maybe management/maintenance/etc might be on the upswing of improvement to where it won’t be as bad as some other peoples’ reviews up here. 

Would I recommend moving here?  Yes and no.

YES if…
– You’re an easygoing, calm, patient, and professionally-behaving person
– You don’t mind things taking a long time to be fixed
– You don’t mind not having a personal relationship with the office staff
– You don’t need that sense of security living in an actual gated community (which this isn’t)

NO if…
– Minor imperfections in service/etc would prompt you to complain.
– You want the office staff to know you by name, and how you take your coffee.
– You have no patience…for…anything at all. 

Based on another poster’s review, the management may see this as “slander” or a means for me to deface their reputation. That’s not the intention of this at all. I’m doing my due diligence to write an objective and honest review as a tenant of 2.5 years. This apartment complex isn’t for everyone, but it is for you if you align with what I’d described above. I think this place COULD be so much better. It used to be. I think there’s tremendous potential for this to truly live up to being as luxurious as it’s advertised to be.  

Come in and have a look around, and make the call for yourself, but don’t forget about other neighboring properties.

As you can see, I’m fairly easygoing, despite my reputation as being overly critical of customer service. I’ll admit, I’ve become a bit more picky when it comes to customer service, but I have basic expectations that I don’t believe are unreasonable. I know when it’s appropriate to sit back and wait, and I know when something just isn’t right when it comes what “should be.” 

What do you think of this review? Would you give my complex a shot based on this review? 

A Great Little Mic!

A Great Little Mic!

I was in the market for a small lavalier mic for use in an upcoming video project, and wasn’t interested in going with an elaborate wireless set up. I didn’t want to spend more than $150 or so per microphone, since I needed two of them, and most of the wireless rigs were starting around $300 for one microphone. Thankfully, I stumbled upon the Audio Technica Pro70 as a great option. I’m a big fan of Audio Technica products, so I figured I’d give them a go.

I did a basic review of the microphone for my YouTube channel, since I do enjoy doing product reviews from time to time:

…and then realized that it came with hardware to mount it to an acoustic guitar. As it turns out, my acoustic guitar, a Taylor 110, does not have any electronic pickups so this would be all the more useful. Talk about bang for one’s buck, eh? Here’s the mic on acoustic guitar:

As you can hear, it’s a great mic for the price tag. I picked mine up for $99 per mic at a local camera shop. I’ve seen the mics ranging from around $100 per mic up to around $150, so be sure to check around your local professional audio shops for the best deals to be had.

One thing to note: You will need some type of audio interface to connect this microphone to if you’re looking to use it for doing vlogs, YouTube videos, etc. This is not a USB microphone. If you’re new to this type of equipment, I’d recommend calling the folks at Sweetwater since they are very knowledgeable and helpful, and happy to get anyone started regardless of skill level or past experience.

We Are The World 25 For Haiti

We Are The World 25 For Haiti

We Are The World 25: Haiti… a friend posted on twitter that this was a “FAIL”… I wanted to see for myself, and for the most part I disagreed… until 5:51…which is when I just had to shut it off. What I really liked was how they integrated Michael Jackson into it from his previous recording. THAT was cool. I thought T-Pain and his AutoTune was a little much. I’m glad he was there to begin with, but it got old kinda quick. There were some artists in there I didn’t recognize… anyways, check it out, I’d be interested to hear what you think. It’s a great concept, a good cause, don’t get me wrong.