Random Bits of Projects

August 14, 2011

Drinkwell Pet Fountain (original) Review

I have had a Drinkwell Pet Fountain for my two cats for about a year. This is one of the early models that had finally come down on price for me to try. It is not the most positive review. To be fair, the newer models may be different, I do not know. (Model number coming soon). I am just dropping a quick review in case you are thinking of getting one. I would insert a picture but the thing is in the trash and I am too irritated to drag it out.

Note: I am reviewing this based on its use for cats. Using this fountain for small dogs may be a little different as far as frequency of cleaning, etc. But it might still give you something to consider.


March 22, 2011

Thinking of Getting a Roomba? Personal, Ongoing Updates from a New Owner

Status as of last update April, 2012 (at the end): Batteries replaced with an affordable generic. Works great! Also generic filters work well.

Are you starting to think you might want to try a robotic vacuum cleaner despite knowing better? This post will be about my experience over time with one. Likely, it will not be the most helpful, outside of links, until I have had it for awhile. I thought I would update and share anyway as time goes. I will give my initial thoughts, the type of home it will be working in, the model, and various other input. The input on my actual experiences is a little further down if you need to skip ahead (have run it in every room as of this posting). I will make notes in the body of the post, as well, on whether what I researched actually holds up to actual use. So this site is still in the works. Updates will be added as time goes. This will be updated for at least a year, barring the unexpected.

The lead up: I always thought the idea of a little robot going around cleaning seemed like a splendid idea. Well, anything or anyone cleaning for me is a splendid idea. I will take what I can get. But when I first heard about Roomba, I was skeptical. And yes, it seemed like I should be. I had not heard much of anything good about them and the few I have seen in action, was lacking. Bad cleaning and they break easy. So I wrote it off and moved on. Years pass and then the other week I see them for sale in our local Bed Bath and Beyond. I grew curious and started to research them online. My thinking was that if they are coming out with new ones after all this time and all of the bad reviews, they might have fixed something. And I mainly started looking because I am a nerd and I was curious. Really, I cannot afford to go buy something like this and it turn out to be a gimmick. But darn it, I want something to clean for me AND a new toy!


January 16, 2011

Review of Tetra, Whisper Filter (EX 30, 45)

I was cleaning my fish tanks out today and was grumbling about a few of my filter systems like I normally do when I clean them when I realized that I have never updated any review for the things in my sad, neglected blogs.

So here goes.

I have had the Tetra, Whisper Filter systems for 2 years (already?)  now. Size EX 30 and 45. When I posted on how to convert the filters to something less expensive and customizable, a reader had asked if I noticed a difference in their performance when compared to older models. At the time, I thought I had but I had not had them long enough to be sure. Well, now I can definitely say. I do not like them. I continue to use them along with the older models since I already have them, but I would never use them alone.

I am comparing these to the use of Whisper 10-20, 30, and 40, as well as one TopFin 60 in fresh water tanks. These filter are also for the budget conscious.


May 16, 2009

Review of Donvier Yogurt Cheese Maker (whey drainer)

cheese drainer box englishItem Reviewed:

Donvier by Cuisipro, Yogurt Cheese Maker (fancy name for a yogurt drainer. You still have to make the yogurt and use an incubator.). For use with yogurt that does not have gelatin added as a thickener.

If you have been making your own yogurt and yogurt cheese you may be familiar with draining the whey from the yogurt to thicken it. The batch I am using for this post will be made into thick Tzatziki. Often people use linen sacks or fine cheese cloth to do this. I ran across this little device some time ago and finally decided to try it though I had some reservations. The linen bag works just fine, I just hate washing the thing and scraping the yogurt out. I tend to get covered in yogurt (but I am handicapped in the kitchen). I am also never sure if I get the bag clean enough, though so far it seems I do. I also cannot find a fine mesh strainer the right size around here to use, so I ordered this off of Amazon.com.


December 14, 2008

Maple Story Online Game to Level 25, Warrior


A few months ago I came across Maple Story by Nexon, an online game that is so simple, yet addicting. It is a free, side scrolling (great for dial-up connections) game where you choose your character, statistics,and “job” and then go online with people world-wide to kill some mushroom butt.

Here I will give an overview of the game and updates as I go along. There are many posts available explaining in depth details about the game so I will just give you a view from my perspective as I go along.


November 16, 2008

French Press Review-The Big Bodum

Just popping in. As of 2011, I really do like the Big Bodum. It is worth getting. If you are new to french presses, there will be a few things to get used to, but the flavor is much richer.

Old post below, maybe it will still be helpful. I hope to rewrite it within a reasonable time.


I have had a small french press for years and liked it very well. Due to this, I figured bigger would be better so I can easily share with my husband without having to make one mug at a time. I came across a sale and purchased a 12 cup (4 regular mugs) Bodum french press. My original was Bodum so I wanted to stick to the brand since I liked it very much.

  • Brand: Bodum
  • Model: Chambord
  • Size: 12 cup. 1.5L/51 oz.


October 24, 2008

Knitting: My First Fingerless Mitts

Filed under: Knitting,reviews — virtuallyamy @ 5:32 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Pattern: Berry Hill Fingerless Mittens by Liz Thompson. (Free through Ravelry.com-read my post about it if you have not heard of it).

Needle: US 4 / 3.5 mm (4 double pointed needles)
Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Silky Merino (Wool)
How much?

1 skeins = 150.0 yards (137.2m) Some left over. Plenty for longer cuffs than in the picture. (I goofed on length)
Colorway: 1102
medium/easy-to medium in difficulty.
The colors do not come out nice in the pictures.

October 10, 2008

Using a Stove-Top Espresso Maker

Making a nice espresso does not need to have a big expensive machine to do it. All you need is one simple device. A stove-top espresso maker.

These handy things come in many shapes and sizes. Some will even pour the espresso into one or more cups for you. The one I am going to show you is a basic kettle type.

Here I will show you how to use the one I have and review it.


September 14, 2008

French Press Review

If you like coffee and would like to try a different way to fix it that brings out the flavor, consider a French Press. It is very easy to use and does not take much more time than drip coffee makers or maybe even the same amount of time, depending on how strong you like it. I find the coffee tastes a bit like coffee with a hint of espresso.

Here I review my own French press.


August 5, 2008

Yogurt Maker Review

I recently started to make yogurt using a “yogurt maker”. There are several kinds out there so I thought I would let you know how the one I own works.

  • Brand: Yogourmet
  • Model: Multi
  • Price when I bought it: Under $50 U.S.
  • Duration of time owned at time of posting: 3 weeks (now much longer and I still like it) (Still like it a year later)

Most recent update (September 14, 2008)