It’s good to see you back after that hiatus, I was starting to get worried about you!
Anyhow, today’s post will be a set of quick reviews of various things I own, use, have experienced, or am otherwise qualified to comment about. Without further ado, let’s get started.
- Oatly (Oat Milk)
Due to what I suspect is a casein allergy, I’m a big fan of non-milk milks and this one is easily my favorite. The flavor is subtly oat-ey without being overwhelming and has a satisfyingly proteinaceous mouthfeel. I switched to using this in my coffee almost exclusively and I’ve really come to enjoy the taste more than cow’s milk – it almost tastes like a hearty pancake, but in a good way. I also like that they print the carbon footprint on the container (310 grams of CO2 per kg for the normal variety). I do wish it was cheaper; I understand why it isn’t, but minus one point anyway. Also, they get another point off for having a name that sounds like a pun I don’t understand (Is it a pun? Am I missing something? Leave a comment if I am).
Rating: 8/10, highly recommended, but it’s just… oat milk
- Logitech M570 (Wireless Trackball Mouse)
Anyone who has seen my t-shirt knows that I am passionate about my trackball mice. I was given this one as a gift about two years ago and have been using it regularly since. The power draw is low enough that the battery lasts for months at a time and the ball can be easily popped in and out of its socket for cleaning. My only complaint is that the left-click switch seems to have become less responsive over time, meaning I can no longer click and drag or highlight text (a quick look around the tubes reveals that this is apparently a common issue). If this turns out to be a fixable issue, I will update this review, but the durability leaves something to be desired regardless.
Rating: 6/10, recommended, guaranteed to make you at least 20% cooler
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (Mental Illness)
I discovered this about a year ago (although I’ve allegedly had it my whole life). Overall, I’m not a fan. The behavioral compulsions and horrifying intrusive thoughts are generally inconvenient and there’s a steep learning curve to be able to handle them effectively. Furthermore, the involuntary rumination on worst-case outcomes has really eroded my confidence in my ability to accurately predict the future. However, in fairness, the heart-pounding panic attacks do make it very easy to hit my weekly cardio goals, so I have to concede one point there. Final note, the flavor that I’ve been using has the Enhanced Anxiety Suite(tm). I don’t know if this comes standard, but it doesn’t seem to be a worthwhile add-on.
Rating: 1/10, not recommended, even as a gag gift
- 1963 Olympia SM-7 (Mechanical Typewriter)
I got my hands on one of these for free, which will not bias my review in any way, shape, or form. It had been sitting in a damp basement and needed a little elbow grease to get back to working order. There is nothing else that I have experienced that is as satisfying as the “clunk” that comes from the typeheads hitting the paper. The components are tightly engineered and, even after decades of neglect, this thing types like a dream. It is very easy to see why these machines earned Olympia the moniker “the Mercedes-Benz of typewriters”. I am especially fond of the adjustable key-resistance and the switchable, two-color ribbon.
Rating: 10/10, emphatically recommended, I might typewrite all my posts from now on!
- Highland Park Loyalty of the Wolf 14 Year Old (Single Malt Scotch)
I like this scotch a lot. It’s a lovely golden-yellow color, slightly lighter than most other scotches I’ve tried (I’m thinking of Johnny Walker Black as a reference). On the nose, it is slightly smoky, with some subtle cinnamon and fruit notes. Flavor-wise, the fruit sticks around with hints of apple and pear that blend nicely with a smokiness that is prominent but by no means overpowering. It’s comparatively affordable price makes it an excellent choice for someone who, like me, is not an avid scotch drinker but does enjoy the occasional tipple. Also, I understand this is what is called a “travel exclusive”, meaning it’s available only in duty-free shops and, in my opinion, there are worse ways to get drunk in an airport.
Rating: 9/10 highly recommended, best airport whisky I’ve ever had
- Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)
A full two years after it was released, I finally got my hands and nasal passages on a copy of this virus! The hype around it has been unbelievable, so my expectations were astronomical. Weirdly though, I did not enjoy it very much at all. Furthermore, after looking around the internet I see that user experiences with this thing are all over the map. To me, this indicates an abysmal lack of quality control that really should be addressed before the next version comes out. All in all, the ambitious global rollout was impressive but the non-tissue-specific infection pathophysiology just seems amateurish and disappointing. I wish I could think of something nice to say about it but frankly, it’s just terrible.
Rating: 0/10, not recommended, avoid if possible
- Soundcore Life Tune Pro (Wireless Headphones)
These were a gift from my mother-in-law (who, despite the stereotypes, is a wonderful person whose company I enjoy) and I have been using them essentially every day for the past three months. The battery life on these things is unreal – I charge them for maybe half an hour on weekends and I haven’t seen them go below ~20% charge. They also have an active noise-cancelling mode that can be used while listening to music or without being connected to a device; I use it all the time on the bus to work and it has drastically improved my quality of life. There is also a clever “transparency” mode that transmits everything (especially voices) so that you can hear everything around you. It can be activated by discreetly brushing the side of the headset, which is useful for eavesdropping (and situational awareness, I guess). My only complaint is that the sensor which pauses the music when it detects that you’ve removed the headphones is a little finicky and can sometimes pause randomly, but it doesn’t happen often.
Rating: 9/10, highly recommended, especially as a gift for your son-in-law