A bit more than a year ago, I finally fell onto the Smart Home and automation bandwagon. I wanted to monitor temperature and humidity in a few spots of the house. I ended up using Aqara Temperature & Humidity Zigbee sensors. I set up Home Assistant to keep everything local, and used a Nortek HUSBZB-1 Zigbee/Z-Wave adapter (affiliate link).
It didn’t take long until I frantically was adding more stuff: Mirabella Genio and Kogan Smart Bulb light globes, a Genio Power Plug with 2 USB ports and a Davis AirLink air quality sensor.
The rest of this post reviews all those products, with pros and cons. All in all, they are generally positive.
Continue reading Product Reviews: Smart Home
Due to heavy fire smoke in the area, we recently needed a way to monitor the outside air quality. Amongst the few devices that caught our eye, the Netatmo Smart Home Weather Station stood out as a decent compromise between features and price.
Until it turns out half the features (including outside air quality) aren’t measured locally, and instead obtained from other data sources.
Continue reading Netatmo Smart Home Weather Station: not as local as they say
Product: KitchenAid Food Chopper
I basically wanted something that made pesto but without the bulk of a food processor, mostly due to not wanting to lug something giant out of the cupboard every time I needed it. I came across the food chopper and thought I’d try it and for $139, it was more affordable than a lot of the bigger food processors.
Anyway, it does a great job with pesto, though, you should probably buy pre-grated Parmesan, and it wasn’t overly happy with the giant chunk that I put in there to begin with. I also tried grating cheddar in it, and it kind of turned it into a gross paste that might come out of a can in the US.
Update 2020-04-12: Despite great success using this device while it lasted, the blade’s socket, made of plastic, ultimately wore out, and started slipping in the driving socket. Or maybe it was the engine that lost its grunt. Anyway, it didn’t last the distance as much as we’d hoped. Removing the post from the “Good experience” category…
Continue reading KitchenAid Food Chopper: This really should be called the “Pestomancer 3000”
Item: Bonds “Zippy” Wondersuits
Purpose: All-in-one pyjamas
Continue reading Bonds Wondersuits: Cotton/Polyester
We have entered the world of baby paraphernalia, mostly because we managed to co-operate long enough to have a baby.
A thing to note is that new parents are taken advantage of by all of the baby supply people in two ways – first, the fear that your child will die or feel poor without some expensive bit of equipment; and second, if you don’t have some special bit of equipment, you will be massively inconvenienced.
Being mildly suspicious of the the whole industry, we did buy a lot of stuff secondhand before our baby was born. However, as time goes on, sometimes we need equipment (or so we think!) faster than we can source it, and some things are better off being bought new. Anyway, this flurry of spending has given birth (yes, I said it) to a whole new category on here: Baby Paraphernalia, in the hope that we can save unwitting new parents from wasting their money.
Our first review will be about the Nuk Suction Bowl.
Continue reading Nuk Suction Baby Bowls