Gieson Cacho on Madden 2013

The day of buying a new Madden game every year ended when I got bored but looks like this year might offer the upgrade that everyone needed. Are you going to pick it next Tuesday and if so, which console are you going to be playing?

"It needed a fresh look that took advantage of the current technology. EA Tiburon has slowly worked toward it, and finally, that game has arrived."

via San Jose Mercury News

I Fight Dragons: Kaboom! Review

This is only the second album that I’ve officially reviewed and by that I mean, listening to each song in repetition as well as spreading its songs throughout my day.  Of course, I also happen to be on a flight from JFK to San Diego on jetBlue using my wife’s MacBook Air paired with her Lady Gaga Beats Headphones.  Not the best listening setup as compared to my review of Justin Bieber’s latest album, but it’s what I have. So here goes. p.s. I’m also thinking about changing the format for reviews to be more like a simpler general review, but tell me your thoughts.


  1. Fanfare
    1. basic intro with all the video game sound effects you can expect from an intro when popping in your 8-bit NES cartridge --> excitement
  2. KABOOM!
    1. the title track starts off with a very fast upbeat drum line and mixes in more sound effects that help out transitions between the chorus.
  3. Save World Get Girl
    1. deep bass line intro, you’d never think it’d be fast paced.  Bottom line, it’s a great pick me up type song reassuring you always get the girl when you save the world.
  4. cRaZie$
    1. definitely a slower tempo that realigns the feel of the album a third through mixed in with multiple harmonies.
  5. Gloria (Interlude)
    1. A perfect throwback to a text and graphic transition from a frightful world to much calmer one.
  6. My Way
    1. Happy.  There’s clapping and “la la la’s” all around.  This is where the album actually starts to incorporate more game like midi files and sound effects.  It’s definitely calmer than the rest.
  7. With You
    1. one of the biggest changes of pace especially with guest Kina Grannis dropping in with a great harmony.  I almost thought that it was Incubus on the album.  This is a sweet song and is cute.  Probably could have been on an RPG of sorts.  Definitely an easy favorite to chill to and completely unexpected.  Probably my favorite on the track.
  8. Fight For You
    1. I’ll fight for you if you care about me.  I guess you can say we’re in it together.
  9. The Geeks Will Inherit The Earth
    1. the understanding and old adage of geeks being the losers of high school and the winners in the end. the song itself is a little geeky with robotic speak and spell coming at you.  they have funny lines such as “we need some sun” make the song entertaining.  I guess it’s almost like telling an old crush, we’re awesome now!
  10. Disaster Hearts
    1. A very slow song bringing you back down to earth and reality.  About getting over a dramatic life changing event its proves to be a sad song.  A very emo themed Death Cab kind of song.  Good but just a little too different in the mix.
  11. Don’t You?
    1. Partying after a disaster to get over things.  the guitar rift is pretty sweet beginning at 2:00.  that definitely brought the song back from the dead.
  12. Working
    1. it’s not working for me that’s what the song says and I agree.  it’s just too different.
  13. Before I Wake
    1. a charming song that might have sounded better as an acoustic solo
  14. Suburban Doxology
    1. a song that concludes the album well.  it’s almost like the end of a movie


It’s a great alternative album along the lines of a sub par Green Day mix.  Honestly, that might be a little bit of an overshoot, but that’s what it happened to remind of.  Fun throughout and the 8 bit anecdotes sprinkled within the tracks are honestly perfect.  Download the free tracks here or buy the album and support the group!!!

Justin Bieber: Believe Deluxe Edition Review

Disclaimer: This was originally meant to be posted on June 28th, but I was simply embarrassed.  But here it is with my name posted to it.  Have at it! Yes, I’m serious that I’m reviewing his new album Boyfriend.  Why?  Because Justin Bieber is without a doubt one of the internet’s biggest names and he is a social media monger!  Take my word for it, once you start following him on twitter, your feed will blow up with his retweets and messages leaving you with a daunting task of filtering out your friends’ news.  This is my first album review so here goes.  Oh yeah, I forgot to add, I’m listening to each song at least once and then again on repeat.  Yes, that’s at at least twice, maybe three time but it's so I can give each song an honest live review followed by multiple revisits.  By the way, I’m using Adelle’s Lady Gaga Beats headphones paried with my JDS Labs c421 headphone amplifier.  Just think of it as flowing commentary.

  1. All Around the World (featuring Ludacris)
    1. opening up the album is a deep bass dance hit.  it’s catchy yes especially with Ludacris inserting his few lines (2:34) creating the bridge.  either than that, its’ nothing special or different from a traditional dance song.  I’ll bet we’ll be hearing it soon at a club near by.  Mixed with the fast then slow down rhythm, its a hit.
  2. Boyfriend
    1. its been on the radio for at least the past month as his hit single.  everyone that has heard it mistakes it for Justin Timberlake as his falsetto hits key notes during the lead in.  am I tired of it, maybe just a touch but its still a hit as iTunes will tell you.
  3. As Long As You Love Me (featuring Big Sean)
    1. boring.  its tries to be an interlude reminiscent of maybe a dru hill era but its confusing and too edited.  there’s a limit to how much you can post produce a song and this one is over the top.  I’m not impressed by Big Sean (2:03) either.  “I don’t know if this makes sense...” yeah, it doesn’t really.  The lyrics are okay at best.  “But the grass ain’t always greener on the other side, its’ green where you water it...but i’d rather work on this with you than go ahead and start with someone new as long as you love me.”  To me, it’s just talk.  It just tries too hard.
  4. Catching Feelings
    1. a great acoustic intro and different than the three previous songs.  It’s a welcome change of pace.  It’s a great love song.  Shoot, i think it’ll be great on piano and better as an acoustic solo.  Bieber actually sings on this track which is a nice surprise.
  5. Take You
    1. Bass is back and Justin’s voice is deeper.  =)  He’s a little more serious.  It almost feels like the third song song especially with the dance beat.  I was about to skip ahead about a minute and half into it.  It’s just boring.
  6. Right Here (featuring Drake)
    1. Electronic again but its expected right?  a slower beat, a duet mix makes this track different.  Drake opens up and Justin flows in and out as they complete each other’s sentences.  Justin says “Right Here” 35 times in 204 seconds.
    2. :44, :49, :54, :59, 1:00, 1:02, 1:03, 1:07, 1:09, 1:12, 1:14, 1:48, 1:52, 1:57, 2:02, 2:03, 2:05, 2:06, 2:10, 2:11, 2:15, 2:17, 2:39, 2:44, 2:49, 2:54, 2:55, 2:57, 2:58, 3:02, 3:03, 3:07, 3:09, 3:13, 3:14,
  7. Fall
    1. Acoustic again, thank you.  It sounds almost like a musical play coming to an end.  Its celebratory.  I’m guessing it’s suppose to bring you an uplifting feeling.  Positive.
  8. Die In Your Arms
    1. Gospel?  I like the snapping.  He even has an aside and talks in various parts of the song.  It’s almost Jackson 5 like.  Okay, that might be too crazy of a compliment, but I’m moving my head and jamming at the same time.  I like the track.  I might not listen to it ALL the time, but it’s nice.
  9. Thought of You
    1. Clapping this time.  the Chorus isn’t exciting.  The you-whos are okay to say the least but it does border annoying.  Justin is now trying too hard to be gospel / up beat but its not horrible.
  10. Beauty and a Beat (featuring Nicki Minaj)
    1. partying like 3012?  that’s just absurd.  What finer things are you going to be able to show her then than what you can in 2012?  It’s going to take you 1000 years to convince her you’re good enough. “All I need is a beauty and a beat who can make my life complete?”  I mean, it’s cute but just silly.  The bass lines and electronica are annoying especially the popping.  This could have been a better song with it.
    2. Nicki Minaj (2:29) doesn’t make sense until around... yeah never.  Calling Selena, “Selener” to make a rhyme, that’s just silly.  That’s taking it a little too far in my amateur book.
  11.   One Love
    1. quick percussion, warm organ, it’s a dreamer song.  mediocre again, nothing that exciting or different.  gets a little long
  12. Be Alright
    1. I’m starting to get the feeling that I prefer the acoustic songs a lot better.  It’s a ballad and you once again get the opportunity to hear Justin as is.  It’s pleasant and he communicates the lyrics well reassuring me that “everything’s going to alright.” =P
  13. Believe
    1. the title track to the album, this should be it right?!  It’s an admission to Justin’s life and a thank you to all his fans and those that supported his throughout his career.   It’s a great acknowledgement and welcoming.  It fits the bill as a Broadway musical song.  A moving chorus, gospel for the bridge, its definitely a celebration of awesomeness.
  14. Out of Town Girl
    1. I don’t know where the start.  It’s not catchy or exciting.  Almost Ginuwine.  Come in and ride up on it.  My Pony.  Skip it.
  15. She Don’t Like the Lights
    1. the sound of a camera shutter rewinding and shooting over and over.  great... apparently Selena doesn’t like the lights.  stay away and give us some privacy please.  Got it.  She wants the Biebs for herself apparently.
  16. Maria
    1. I love how Justin Bieber calls out his stalker.  Its a little long and by the end, we get the point.  Did she deserver her own track?  Well, I guess that’s her “reward.”  Michael Jackson inspired without question.  You can figure out that one for yourself as it mimics
  17. Love Me Like You Do
    1. Robin Thicke but worse.

I guess you can follow that as the album progressed, I got tired of the album but it does have its highlights if few.  Sure, Justin Bieber is able to compose a full album with only a few fillers and sure his songs are hits.  Luckily, its sprinkled with his talent and I’lll even go as far as saying his guests weren’t needed.   a solid B-  

Getting my first Brazilian...

...Blowout :) I bought an online discount coupon for a Brazilian Blowout at the Ronk Hair Design in downtown San Diego for $100. This was a steal considering their website has the service listed for $349. I had heard about this treatment from a few friends and wanted to try it out for myself. According to the Brazilian Blowout website, this hair treatment uses bonding technologies to improve the health and condition of the hair by creating a protective protein layer around the hair shaft to eliminate frizz and smooth the cuticle. I have dry, course, thick, wavy hair that can really only be managed with the right product and an expensive flat iron and getting a Brazilian Blowout seemed perfect for my hair.

I made my appointment by texting with my stylist, Nicole. It was pretty easy to schedule an appointment with her and the location was especially convenient since the salon was right down the street from our downtown apartment. Nicole told me the treatment would take an hour and a half and also advised me come with “dirty” hair because the product would adhere to my hair’s natural oils better.

When I got to the salon, Nicole took me right away. She took me to the back so she could put the product in my hair and then we went to her chair where she had to blow dry and flat iron my hair to seal in the product. She then had to take me to the back again and wash my hair in the special Brazilian Blowout shampoo and conditioner. Another round of blow drying and straightening had to be done and in an hour and a half I had my new smooth, frizz-free hair!

Unlike other hair treatments similar to this, I had the option of washing my hair whenever I felt like it and it didn’t smell like chemicals. Nicole encouraged me to purchase the Brazilian Blowout Anti Frizz shampoo and conditioner set because she could otherwise not guarantee my results would last up to 12 weeks.

It’s been more than 12 weeks since my Brazilian and I can say my results lasted about 10 weeks. The shampoo and conditioner set did last for more than 12 weeks. During the 10 weeks, I was able to blow dry my hair straight for the first time... ever. It was nice to have soft, shiny hair that just took quick run with my flat iron. The only negatives were the salon itself did not have any air conditioning and being a summer day and getting two rounds of blow drying and straightening, it got a little warm. Also, the shampoo and conditioner set was a little pricey, about $75.

My Brazilian was good while it lasted, and I would definitely consider doing it again. And it looks like 1st timers can get theirs for $149! Check out their website: Ronk Hair Design

UPDATE: "USC Chemistry Professor Confirms Brazilian Blowout Poses No Exposure Risk - Comprehensive Study Shows Formaldehyde Exposure Levels Fall Well Below All State and Federal Health and Safety Exposure Standards" via That's another plus for Brazilian blowouts!!!

You can always help support this blog buy purchasing your Brazilian Blowout Anti Frizz supplies simply using our amazon link below. Thanks! p.s. If you didn't know already, I'm the second from the left!

Why I Love My Gucci Bag

I bought my first Gucci bag as a reward for finishing my NP program.  It was a little preemptive since I have not solidified a nice NP salary, but the bag was to provide inspiration and motivation.  I was always eyeing a good Gucci bag, but with such a big accomplishment behind me, I decided it was time. I needed an over-the-shoulder bag that could fit all my essentials - wallet, iPhone, makeup bag, keys and sunglasses.  Turns out the Gucci travel & business / medium messenger bag fits all that plus an occasional water bottle.  It’s the perfect travel bag because not only can it hold the essentials, it hugs close to your body so it’s secure and on your person at all times.  The lady who sold me the purse told me to use a stain protector all over the fabric part of the bag because dark colors can easily rub off on it.  I listened to her, after I wore a pair of new navy blue pants and got a nice hue of blue on the back side of my bag.  I was able to get the blue out of my bag and immediately grabbed a bottle of Scotch Guard and sprayed my bag accordingly.  Since then, I’ve spilled coffee and Jamba Juice on my bag without any new stains.

Overall, although on the pricey side (it is a designer bag afterall), this is a great bag that is comfortable to wear, fits everything, and gets compliments all the time!

Here's the description pulled straight from the Gucci website:

  • beige/ebony GG fabric with brown leather trim
  • nickel hardware
  • adjustable shoulder strap in green/red/green signature web
  • zip-top closure
  • front flap pocket with magnetic snap closure and inside zip, cell phone and pda pockets
  • 12.6"L x 1.2"W x 10.6"H
  • MSRP: $730

Why I Love My Air

Seven months ago, I made my first big electronic purchase EVER, a new MacBook Air. After years of hand-me-downs from my husband (1 custom desktop, 1 HP dv1000 laptop, and an IBM T43) I was definitely overdue for a new computer. The last laptop I was used was the world’s heaviest and bulkiest laptop that did the job, just not fast enough. I didn't know what flash storage was, unibody construction and all that fancy mumbo-jumbo but I knew that it was pretty. Note: I was only familiar with Mac OS X from using my husband's MacBook Pro or his previous Titanium.

I love that my Air is so lightweight, fast and of course, pretty! My laptop is portable enough to slip it into my work bag with room for everything else I need. It's so fast that I can just open it up and pick up right where I left off. And you can’t mess with the overall look of the Air. It’s so modern and sleek, but still maintains a classic look with a full sized keyboard & Apple's Multi-Touch Trackpad.

As far as my transition from the PC world to the Mac, it was pretty smooth. Being a forever student and knowing papers had to be done, I didn’t know how I would fare with Apple’s version of their word processor names Pages. After a few frustrated calls to my husband, I was able to get through a few documents and familiarize myself with the general layout. Although I still prefer Microsoft Word, Pages is quite intuitive and user friendly.

My MacBook Air was definitely a smart purchase and has officially converted me to becoming an avid Mac user. Now I hear that they are going to update it already? Boo.

My specs of the one I bought are: 13" 2.13 Intel 4GB RAM 256GB flash storage. The highest model in the bunch and I love it!

You can watch my unboxing here!

Silva Limited: Custom Bamboo Macbook Pro Case

Deciding on what case to house your precious $2k investment (+/- $1000) is an agonizing feat. There are so many covers, protectors, bags, totes, backpacks, and sleeves to choose from and somehow, someway, you want to be different all while still being cool right? I think that Silva Ltd. has hit the right note providing the look for the coffee house, walk in the park, I'm cool so come talk to me fit. Check it. Over the last year, the latest thing in materials and manufacturing comes in the form of bamboo. Clean, environmentally friendly and always an eye catcher, bamboo has been formed and fitted to serve as bike frames(Stalk Bamboo Bicycles), iPhone / iPod / iPad cases (Grove Bamboo Cases), and now, Macbook Pro cases brought to you by Silva Ltd.

Albeit on the pricer side at $179.99 for either the 13" or 15" model, the Silva Ltd. case features:

● 100% Solid Carmel Bamboo – CNC machined and hand assembled ● Hand-Crafted Leather Strap – Hand burnished and oiled ● Wool Felt Lined Interior – Protects your Macbook ● Hand Rubbed Finish – Hard, glass-like finish ● FREE Shipping

Looks like a solid, fine piece of Macbook Pro worthiness. The company FAQ offers an extensive set of answers to any questions that you might pose. Check it out and tell us what you think? I know that I've been looking for something to replace my 11 year old Brenthaven bag, and this just may be the ticket!

In Review: Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxes

Bonhoefferwas my first e-book purchase in the Amazon store for my new Kindle 3G Wireless Reading Device, Free 3G + Wi-Fi.  What a way to break it in!  It is a fairly tough read spanning 591 pages in the print version and chronicling the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German Lutheran pastor/prodigy who came into his prime just before and during Hitler's reign over the country.  It's a story deep in theology and heavily weighted toward a Christian point of view as you might expect.  Bonhoeffer was part of the German civilian minority that opposed Hitler's rise to power from the very beginning.  The Bonhoeffer family has a deep and influential history in Germany that provided Dietrich with the means and connections to maximize his effectiveness in his efforts against Hitler inside and outside of Germany and later would influence his treatment in prison. Bonhoeffer's view on Hitler's rise to power is best summed up in an excerpt from Timothy Keller's forward to the book.

"How could the 'church of Luther,' that great teacher of the gospel, have ever come to such a place?  The answer is that the true gospel, summed up by Bonhoeffer as costly grace, had been lost.  On the one hand, the church had become marked by formalism.  That meant going to church and hearing that God just loves and forgives everyone, so it doesn't really matter much how you live.  Bonhoeffer called this cheap grace.  On the other hand, there was legalism, or salvation by law and good works.  Legalism meant that God loves you because you have pulled yourself together and are trying to live a good disciplined life.  Both of these impulses made it possible for Hitler to come to power."

Bonhoeffer was an early detractor from the Nazi regime as was his upper class and highly influential family.  He ministered to people inside and outside of Germany both before and during Hitler's rise to power and used that as a platform to help spread the word on the atrocities that Hitler and the brutal SS were committing.  In the beginning of the war and to some extent until the end many of the horrific acts by the Nazis went unnoticed by the world.  Bonhoeffer would eventually play a role in the assassination plots to kill Hitler, including the famous Valkyrie plot that would seal his fate.

I found the book inspiring at the deepest levels.  Dietrich was devoted to his ministry, his family, his country and his friends until the very end.  Even at the moment of his own execution, by direct order from Hitler himself in one of his final self-centered moves in the last weeks of the war, Dietrich remained true to his values and dedicated in his faith.  A German doctor overseeing the executions observed, "I was most deeply moved by the way this lovable man prayed, so devout and so certain that God heard his prayer.  At the place of execution, he again said a short prayer and then climbed the steps to the gallows, brave and composed."

As I said before this book is build upon a theological foundation and accommodates the Christian reader though I would recommend it for anyone as the story is a remarkable account about a selfless man who died for a purpose greater than himself without hesitation.  Once you get through the thorough background of his life and the detailed build up necessary to understand the extent of his sacrifice you will be rewarded with a moving, purposeful ending that will leave you wondering if you can ever read another book again.

Here's a YouTube video summary.

If you'd like to support this blog, buy this book now using the Amazon link below!

The First App for Mac Worth Buying

I've been using Sparrow for a little over 5 months in beta and today, Sparrow has launched it's veritable 1.0 for $9.99 on Apple's Mac App Store.

Primed for Gmail centric users, 1.0 takes the look and feel of the browser translating it to an app that closely resembles Twitter's Mac client (formerly known as Tweetie for Mac.)  A joy to use, it's robust interface easily replaces what Apple's Mail client lacks.  While still lacking IMAP support for other providers, Sparrow is readying version 1.1 converting it to a full-featured mail client that will be compatible with other IMAP services. Download it today and change the way you communicate!

For others wondering if a "lite" version will be released, as noted by @sparrowmailapp in response:

@splee Yes, Sparrow Lite has been submitted at the same time than Sparrow and hasn't been reviewed yet by Apple.

Hey Lady! -- Shoes / My Review

Choosing my shoes for my wedding was one of my favorite parts of wedding planning. There were so many options to choose from - Stuart Weizman, Christian Louboutin, Badgley Mischka, I wanted one of each! But when my friend told me about these twins he knew and their shoe company, Hey Lady, I was curious. I google’d them and after a few minutes of browsing their website, I was already torn between three pairs. What makes their shoes special is not only are they adorable, they are comfortable - a match made in shoe heaven! Of course it was hard to feel the comfortability of the shoe through their website, but with features like a full insole of Nasa-developed shock-absorbent Poron performance memory foam and lined in soft 100% lambskin leather, I was sold. I ordered my pair of Yes, Ma’ams with a few hints and suggestions from Jessica, one of the twins. She was nice to enough to correspond via email with questions I had about sizing and heel height - something you would never get from those high end shoe designers. She was so helpful and I eagerly awaited for my shoes to come.

My shoes arrived in a cute box with a handwritten note from Jessica. She enclosed pads for the shoes because the flower detailing on the shoes has been said to be rub on the toes. After inserting the pads, I tried the shoes on and loved the overall look immediately. The shoes were a little on the stiff side, but would loosen with wear.

The first comfortability test of the shoes came with my dress fitting. I wore a 15 pound ball gown that needed about two and a half hours of fitting time. My seamstress, Ruby, worked tirelessly pinning layers of taffeta and tulle. When she finished, she asked me what kind of shoes I was wearing. She told me most girls would not have been able to endure the 2+ hours without complaining. I told her my feet felt great! She then asked me for more information on the shoes so she could recommend them to the other girls she tailors wedding dresses for and I was happy to do so.

The second test was during my dance lessons that I took with my dad for our Father Daughter waltz. After getting through the hour long dance lesson, my dance instructor, John, asked how my feet were doing and of course, they felt great. He was shocked, but was impressed at the comfortability of the shoe.

The final test came on the big day. I was able to clock in 10 out of the 12 hours in my Hey Lady shoes. I lasted through an hour long ceremony, four hours of picture taking, a rhumba with my husband, a waltz with my dad and a handful of songs on the dance floor. I probably could have lasted the whole night, but the weight of my dress and the sheer exhaustion took its' toll.

My Hey Lady shoes were an essential part of my big day. They were comfortable, stylish and my feet thanked me at the end of the night.  I would highly recommend these shoes to anyone getting married or anyone wanting an amazing shoe for a any occasion.

Check out the site:

photos by Hey Lady and Zelo Photography

Review: Contour Showcase for the iPhone 4

Nearly six months has passed since the debut of the iPhone 4 and up until two days ago, I've been forced to either go naked or use Incipio's Silicrylic Hard Shell Case with Silicone Core which, by the way, didn't even prevent the front glass from spiderwebbing from a 3" drop! Lucky for me, Apple has been there time and time again. In case you didn't get it yet, adellelijah is an Apple fanboy/girl but then again, we love anything we can get our hands on to review! Two years ago, I reviewed the Contour Showcase for the iPhone 3G which was the best and only case that I recommended for the iPhone 3G/S.   It wasn't until the day that I took mine off that my iPhone 3G suffered a devastating front glass crack after being dropped.  It was within a 24 hours of taking off the case that I dropped it hat making a $75 mistake.

Onto the review.  Packaging as always remains the same as previous generations and if you don't take a close look at the name of the specific case you are purchasing from Contour, you might just end up with a something else besides the Contour Showcase iPhone 4 offering Premium Protection.  Priced as one of the most expensive offerings, it comes with a holster that doubles as a flip out stand for enjoying movies or FaceTime moments and of course, the case itself.  Made of a light weight polycarbonate, and bordered in a rubberized finish, Contour boasts that its case is shock absorbing.  You can clip it into the holster face out of face in for some privacy vertically or horizontally and whatever your choice, you can't go wrong as this is the best of the best.  Appropriate holes for all necessary access and covers for the sleep / wake button and volume buttons offer superb tactile feedback.

The Showcase protects every edge of the iPhone 4 as well as offering a full clear cover for the back.  Without the White iPhone 4, I guess it doesn't matter whether or not its clear, but it still gives hope to showing the world that you have the latest and greatest mobile phone. Gone is the top quarter plastic layer from the previous generation leaving unobstructed views when using the front facing camera. When plugging in the Apple charger or USB cord, the case doesn't come in the way of the connector although, other connectors might have issue with the spacing available.

One of the biggest differences from the previous generation Showcase is placement of a side latch which effectively does a great job of keeping the device in the case.  The case snaps in closing from right to left which is a little backward but I'm guessing Contour did that so you can properly get snug to the volume buttons. Holding it in your hand actually makes for a comfortable fit and doesn't get in the way. Occupying the space in your pocket, the case doesn't feel too bulky.

A negative change is the absence of a thumb latch which helps you take the phone out of the holster.  This makes it a little harder to remove the device in case and with the holster doubling as a stand, Contour degraded the actual utility of the clip itself.  Since day 1, I've already had the entire phone in holster come off of my belt in the car, on the aircraft while sitting down and even when wearing a jacket bending down to pick up a pen.  Good thing the jacket kept it from falling to the pavement.  I've taken pictures of the clip and if you look closely, it's rounded off which doesn't provide much of a grab to the belt.  I have to admit that this is really bothering me lately as it always feels like the holster + phone can be easily snatched away.  I actually don't like it one bit.  The holster makes for a perfect stand but then again, it might as well not be called a "holster."

Conclusion: Even with the short comings of the holster causing a little frustration, I'm giving the latest Contour Showcase my personal recommendation as the case to protect your Apple iPhone 4. This is my 3rd case housing my iPhone 4 and you can bet your dollar that this is my last. I've included a barrage of photographs below. Click on any of them for a larger shot. Because of the holster not living up to 100% of functionality, I am forced to give it a 9/10.

Ugg Abilene Boots

So the other half of adellelijah told me I could only buy another pair of Ugg Boots if I reviewed them.  I quickly said yes, mostly because I had already bought them, hehe. I saw them last year during the Nordstrom Half Yearly sale, but since we were in the midst of dropping dollars on our wedding, I admired them from afar.  About a month after we got married, the boots were still waiting for me at Nordies and I just so happened to have a $20 coupon from Nordstrom - it was a sign!

The boots do run on the small side - a few online reviews said this as well.  But they are very stylish - I get compliments every time I wear them, and comfortable - I’ve worn them for hours and my feet are still feeling great. They are perfect with leggings, skinny jeans, and even shorts. I hope the cold weather hangs around a little longer so I can wear these boots more!

picture provided by zappos

Adelle Opens the Box of her Brand New Apple 13" MacBook Air

After a week of contemplating, calling various San Diego Apple stores and actually leaving a few stores with disappointment, then waiting another 12 hours, Adelle eagerly opens up her brand new Apple 13" MacBook Air. One of our first video blogs, check it out here on or visit our youtube channel.

At the Movies: The Social Network

I was fortunate enough to be invited out to see an early screening of The Social Network. I have to thank Loli for taking me, it was her advanced screening invite. I'm just going to make it a rule that anything that she invites me out to will be cool and awesome from this point forward. I have to say this is the first advanced screening that I've been do in my adult life, I saw Top Gun on NCAS Mirarmar, but that was a long time ago. We both got there a little later than we planned. I blame traffic, that shouldn't of been there in the first place. Boo traffic. When we finally did get into the lobby of the theater, we got stuck in the 2nd line. Yes, 2nd line. I wish we had known about the Yelp registration so we could of been seated with all of the other 1st liners. I would of blogged about this earlier, but they took our phones at the door and I came home to a kitchen full of ants and had to clean up, but here we go. I'm not going to be giving away too much of the movie by giving a synopsis. The Social Network is an adaptation of Ben Mezrich's book The Accidental Billionaires. This is the story of how Facebook came to be. Basically, Mark Zuckerberg creates Face Smash, a site that allows user to compare female students based on pictures from their school's online Face Books,  which will become the keystone to creating Facebook. Face Smash brings a lot of negative attention to Mark from the female student body and the Harvard administration. This notoriety is noticed by Cameron and Tyler Winkelvoss and Divya Narendra who want to use Mark's talent to help create a dating website which caters to women who are interested in Harvard men. Mark uses the basis of this idea to begin work on creating Facebook with the financial backing of his friend Edwardo Saverin. As Facebook becomes more popular there are complications between Mark and Ed that leads to a lawsuit by Ed for control of the company as well and intellectual properties lawsuit by Tyler, Cameron, and Divya.

The format of this movie is from the prospective of Mark Zukerberg as he recalls the events he's being questioned about in 2 separate lawsuits. I find this to be an effective tool to justify the chopped up timeline. There were only a couple times when the quick cuts between lawsuits caused me to forget which group of lawyers he was talking to. The pace of this movie was very good. It moved very fast and did not leave you too much time to wonder what the score was for the Padre game. The writers did a good job of putting a great set of 1-liners in for all of the cast. This helped with the movie because, as the movie starts to become too serious, you get a great 1-liner to break it up. This made it more believable.

The Social Network portrays Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg') as a very intelligent man that lacks some of the social graces everyone wants him to have. Jesse Eisenberg does an excellent job or portraying  Mark as and ADHD genius and an outright dick. You're going to hate Mark a little as you watch the movie, which is good acting.  I have to say, I did feel some empathy toward the characterization because he is so intelligent but he doesn't have the patience to wait for people who are steps behind him. I think this is true with a lot of people with vision, they are challenged with the suffering of fools. I still think that Mark's Machiavellian tactics were borderline unethical, but you don't become a Billionaire CEO without making enemies along the way.

I was impressed by Andrew Garfield's Edwardo Saverin. You could see the progression from college dorm friend who has the startup money and business knowledge to help Mark with his idea to disgruntled friend as he's slowly pushed out from his seat as co-creator. Edwardo's story did not share the same screen time as Mark, but his was the true focus of the story. His character showed the most emotional content out of all of the characters. Brenda Song played Edwardo's girlfriend, Christy Lee. I was taken aback a little because I know her from the Disney Channel shows. I guess she has to make the change from Mickey Mouse Club to adult actor, and she picked a character that helped her get there.

Justin Timberlake plays the co-creator of Napster, Plaxo and Facebook, Sean Parker. Justin Timberlake's portrayal was good, but not excellent. I think I was influenced by the subject mater. Justin Timberlake does a fine job of being the flashy guy who, talks a lot of talk, is manipulative, and paranoid. There are times where I though his acting was forced, but how much more acting can you put behind, "...he's in the zone, that's what I'm talking about!", "...Take another bong hit.", and " need to come out to California. That's where it is." I was actually more irritated by Sean Parker's characterization that anyone else's in this film because he's just like Iago, from Othello, who's jealousy and manipulation does enough to latch onto Mark Zuckerberg and secure him part ownership of Facebook.

Armie Hammer's Cameron and Tyler Winkelvoss was impressive. I honestly did not know it was the same actor. They did a great job on wardrobe and editing. The Winkelvoss's portrayal seemed like the classic "Jock" that had to be written in to intimidate the "Nerd". I wonder how much of this characterization is true to their real life personalities? Even though I realized this was going the way of the Revenge of the Nerds format, I wasn't swayed by the movie.

Overall, I recommend that you see this movie in the theaters. I think everyone should take the time to get a little history lesson on how Facebook came to be. I walked away with a better understanding of how Facebook came to be. I think I might even go out and get the book. I also wanted to delete my profile, but then, who does a better  job at social networking as Facebook. I realized that this is what the movie was about, how Mark Zuckerberg took something that was good at what it does and is cool and turn a profit out of it. He even has business cards that say, "I'm the CEO, bitch."

This movie won't disappoint, go see it. I actually want to see it again. I'll give it a 4 out of 5 (still haven't come up with a rating system...).

Additional Links:

The Social Network Official site -

Wikipedia: The Social Network  -

The Accidental Billionaires -

Wikipedia: Othello -

At the Movies: Catfish

I was invited out this morning to watch the documentary Catfish with my friend Loli. I accepted not know a single thing about this film, which was a good thing. I had a totally open and unbiased opinion. She told me some background about the movie the night before on the phone, but being a Man, I totally forgot what she said except, "meet me at the theater around 10:10." I actually forgot the name of the movie when I showed up, but I was early and went to look at golf equipment at the Sport Chalet. This worked out in my favor, because now I could just stand in line with her and learn the name of the movie. I make a few jokes about the movie title, Catfish, because I had no idea what it was about.

"Maybe it's about a giant Catfish that eats people."

"Maybe it's about a guy who's in love with a catfish."

"Maybe it's about a man who falls in love with a woman and she looks like a catfish."

My friend Loli first found about about this film through a combination of Facebook, from a friend, and then on an interview on the Ellen show. After watching the movie, I find the Facebook connection rather appropriate.

Catfish is a documentary about the personal relationship Nev Schulman, a New York Photographer,  develops with, Abby Peirce, an 8 year-old artist from Michigan, who paints one of his photos printed in a newspaper. Abby sends Nev the painting and their friendship began. What follows is Nev taking several other photos which are re-painted by Abby. Nev soon develops a friendly relationship with Abby's Mother, Angela, Abby's Father, and Abby's older Half-Sister, Meg. Once Meg is introduced, the real plot of the documentary begins with Meg and Nev developing a long distance relationship via email, text and Facebook. During a work trip by Nev, his brother, and their friend to film a dance festival in Colorado, the 3 discover clues that begin to shake Nev's resolve in his online relationship with Meg and her family. Nev takes the opportunity to head to Michigan and uncover the real story Meg and Abby.

I don't want to get too in depth with this synopsis because this is a documentary that everyone should watch. The basic premise of the movie is something that has been a concern of mine for a while. How do you trust the friends you make online though social networks, emails,and  instant messages? Personally, I don't usually correspond to people I don't know in real life. I've made a few friends with people I met on online games, but our friendship is solely based on that game and does not extend beyond that world. Also, my job requires me to manage project and people that are not physically located near me, but again those relationships usually don't extend beyond the confines of work. I have concerns with people who readily make friends with people they met online and easily develop true feelings for that person based on their online persona. We've all read and heard several stories of people whom break out of the confines of medium that attempt a real life relationship. But then again, I've done online dating so I guess that makes me something of a hypocrite...

Overall this film was very enjoyable as a documentary. It does a good job of capturing the budding relationship that Nev has with Abby's family via emails, Facebook, and phone calls. The production of the movie is very on the go, with some of the film taken with professional grade cameras and a point and shoot cameras using the video capture feature. This actually sold me into the movie more, because it made it more relatable because it felt like something I would do if I was a young 20-something. When they use Google Earth to show the transition from city to city, I was sitting too close to the screen to appreciate this low budget trick. At my distance, it was nauseating. The film did a great job of showing the range of emotions that Nev went through as you went through all of the plot twists throughout the film. I have to give credit to Nev's friend who helped Nev and his Brother realize the sensitivity they had to bring to this unique situation. I actually found myself becoming emotionally attached to people in this film; indifference, joy, and anger .

I recommend this film to anyone who has a Facebook page. I think I'll be talking about this movie for years to come. I don't want to ruin the plot line to the film, but even if you have basic understanding of the whole story, how it's told will bring you to the theater. If I had a rating system, I would give it 4 out of 5 (that's something I'll have to work on before the next film review.)

Additional Link:

IMDB Catfish -


Official Website:

Catfish - Official Trailer

Coo Coo for Coconut Water

While on GTalk with Elijah last week we were joking about a long night out combined with his fatigue from a Sprint Triathlon which lead to a painful in-flight headache and water wasn't helping with his dehydration. I mentioned that he should of taken some Coconut Water because it was better than a bottle of Gatorade since it had more electrolytes. Then I made a joke about what plants crave from the Mike Judge movie Idiocracy, which he didn't get.. I've been wondering about the health benefits of Coconut Water for a while. I was first introduced to it by a friend who swears by it for those long nights drinking; one before and one after. I'm pretty much a Gatorade or Water person to relive the day after pains of my self induced liver poisoning. I tried a sip once, and haven't given it much thought since then.

Without getting into a lot of details about what's in Coconut water, the main benefits are the high mineral contents; specifically potassium. These mineral levels equate to higher amounts of electrolytes than most sports drinks. The potassium levels are twice the amount you would get from eating a single banana.

Why is high potassium important? Well Sodium and Potassium are both alkaline metals and are very close in the Periodic table. By taking in Sodium or Potassium this allows our bodies to move water through our systems faster also it helps with muscle contractions. So science tells me that Coconut Water has the advantage over a Gatorade or Water. Great!

I began to wonder what other applications Coconut Water could have other than the cure for a common hangover. I thought I was onto an untapped resource. Since Coconut Water could be used to help rehydrate, then drinking it on a plane would be perfect. I don't know about most people, but being in the conditioned environment makes me dehydrated. So I proposed that we should work on getting Coconut Water into airports and airplanes.

I was already too late to collect my genius money. Vita Coco and JetBlue started serving Coconut Water to passengers back in 2009. A day late and a dollar short on that idea. This hasn't stopped me, I'm on a mission to buy some to give Coconut Water an honest try and see what else it should be marketed for. I don't know if they're pushing it enough as a sports drink substitute. I think I'm going to pack a few away for my long flight to New Zealand in November.

Update: After writing this article. I spend and afternoon golfing and an evening drinking at one of my favorite dive bars which lead me to become dehydrated. I tried to find some Coconut Water at my local Vons. They did not have any available. I'm beginning to wonder how well companies are doing with their ad campaigns against traditional sports drinks. Do I have to go to an Asian Market to get some?

Additional Links:

Vita Coco -

JetBlue -

Coconut Water -

Potassium  -

Complimentary Vita Coco Available on JetBlue Airways This Fall, AOL Daily Finance -

Idiocracy -

Heavenly Cupcakes

on our mission to find the best cupcake in san diego, elijah and i found ourselves at a cute little cupcake store tucked away in the streets of downtown.  an added bonus: it's a mere 3 blocks away from our house! we selected the seasonal pumpkin, the s'mores, red velvet and vanilla coconut.  we dug into the pumpkin one first and it was great!  just the right amount of pumpkin and cinnamon.   the cake itself was moist and spongy too.   the cream cheese frosting was a little on the sweet side, but still enjoyable.

we ate the s'mores cupcake a day later and turns out after a quick nuke in the microwave, it's still delicious! the chocolate cake was still moist and tasty. the frosting was good too and this one wasn't too sweet.  so glad to find that the the day old cupcakes hold, which isn't always the case.

overall, i would go to heavenly again, the cupcakes were tasty and they are still good the next day.  it also doesn't hurt to have a cupcake shop just a brisk walk away from your house!

Up next... Heavenly Cupcakes off of Island & 6th.  on Twitpic Up next... Heavenly Cupcakes off of Island & 6th.  on Twitpic

Baby Cakes: Desserts - Drink - Dine

Running errands for the better half of the day, Adelle and I found time to hit up another local shop in San Diego called Baby Cakes.  After an amazing meal at Arrivederci Ristorante, we rounded the corner in continued search of the Best Cup Cake in San Diego.  Had I known that it was housed in a 1889 Craftsmans Home, I wouldn't have drove past the little cottage tucked away between two large cement walled buildings.  Parking is scarce in front of the shop but there is one spot reserved for those that are picking up or taking out.  Apparently they are serious when they mean 15 minutes only with a large sign taunting you that they WILL tow your car.

Upon entering the front yard, you're greeted with a gate that leads you to a well designed and organized patio allowing you to enjoy the San Diego weather coupled with a cup of coffee and their token dessert.  Then, all of sudden, entering the house, you have a pub style bar mixed in with two display cases of goodies.  Low and behold, they also serve food! Soon to be serving liquid desserts and lunch 7 days a week!? Looking for minis...we didn't see any. Who are we kidding anyways with mini cupcakes?! If you're going to indulge, do it right with the "regular" sized dessert.

Ordering a half dozen for the Monday night "Chiefs" Game, we headed home happy and excited for the little babies.  We were so excited that the pictures below were snapped rather rushed.  We'll be sure to update the blog with better pictures of all the places and cupcakes in the near future cataloging the entire experience.  For now, please excuse the amateur quality, but hey, it's the real deal; no confetti, setup or over exposure touch ups.

Elijah's Take: Times have changed. I actually enjoy Pistachio and this cupcake is no exception. The light green provides a heartening feel that it's a sweet dessert and nothing more. Sprinkled with bits of pistachio on top of the light frosting, it's sponginess wedges itself perfectly in your mouth. It's just the right amount of sweet and nutty that I've come to love. There's even a chance that I might be able to overzealously consume a half dozen of these bad guys before I'd get sick. As for the traditional "Baby Cake" flavor, it was the definition of the cupcake taste. I mean, if you go to an ice cream shop and order cake batter, that'd be the taste. Or maybe the scratch-n-sniff sticker when you were a kid with a cake on it, that's what "Baby Cake" smelled / tasted like. I recommend partaking in the ambiance outside of the cottage. The next time we are there and you spot us, call us out and we'll buy YOU a cupcake! Just follow @adellelijah on twitter to find out when and where.

Finding the "Best" Cupcakes in San Diego

On the flight from Atlanta to San Diego, a neighboring passenger asked me a very personal question:  "What should we do in San Diego?"  I say personal because San Diego is a city that I am proud of.  Some can say I'm overly proud to be a native San Diegan and for this, my passion runs deep.  Without surprise, I had a hard time coming up with a definite list because if you were to ever come to my hometown, I'd zoom you around on a whirlwind tour to make sure, by gosh darnit, you experience EVERYTHING.  So I guess the during the month of September, instead of the "back to school" moniker, adellelijah will be posting on...Finding and Sampling the "Best" Cupcakes in San Diego. As snobby as Yelppers & their reviews can be, one cannot help but search and read reviews on the locale. Querying "Cupcakes in San Diego" the result yielded over 200 different places! I decided that I was not going to let reviews cloud adellelijah's take so we'll try to make it as uninfluenced as possible. No, we're not going to spend over $500 sampling, but we will definitely hit as many places as possible.

The first cupcake stop immediately after the traditional Pt. Loma Seafood lunch (Fresh Alaskan Halibut Sandwich) was Cupcakes Squared Inc. We've heard multiple amazing reviews from peers and even a "2009 Voted Best in San Diego" that it would be without a doubt the best place to start. Located in Point Loma on 3772 Voltaire St (between Poinsettia Dr & Worden St), parking was ample while the shopping center looked a bit "older." Walking in, you're instantly greeted by square cupcakes!  You would have thought that the "Squared" moniker would have prepared you but it's different. Not in a bad or good way but more of an exciting, lets get some in my mouth already way.  There is a table or two outside of the store, but it's mostly just a bakery and not a cafe that some might be accustomed to when venturing to a place of sweetness.  So don't be alarmed.

We ordered a large Smores Square and 4 minis; Lilikoi, Not So Red Velvet, Chocolate Peanut & Cheesecake.  In one word: Decadent...maybe another word to describe would be Lushious, Moist, amazing... I Loved it!

Upon cutting into the cake and placing the morsel onto your tongue, it's just complete.  I know that I have a lot to learn in reviewing food, but you have to go there yourself and check them out.  You won't be disappointed.  It's smooth, not too light or heavy, it's the Goldilocks of cupcakes.

When you do go to their store, makes sure to navigate to their website first and check out the Daily Baking Schedule as certain flavors are rotated.

Foodview also has a great rundown of the best places in San Diego which they conducted in October of 2008 so is here to conduct a two year updated

Netflix iOS goodness

Netflix Logo I've been using the new Netflix iOS application on my iPhone for a couple weeks now. Initially released on Thursday, August 28, 2010.  This is a wonderful addition to my already growing application library on my iPhone. This app allows you to access the Netflix Instant Streaming library of Movies, TV Shows, and Documentaries .

Cost of the App:

The Netflix iOS application is available for iPhone and iPod touch in the App Store for free. Who doesn't like free? I also have a Slingbox. To access it, via my iPhone,  I needed to purchase the SlingPlayer Mobile app ($29.99 USD) plus the cost of the Slingbox device.  When looking at how much a somewhat similar application costs to access a device you had already purchased, free is a great move by Netflix. This allows more people who do not have a Netflix account consider joining.

Netflix :

To access the content, you will need to have a Netflix account. The most basic Netflix account allows you access to 1 DVD out at-a-time and unlimited instant access for $8.99 USD per Month. Don't bother with the Limited account, you won't have access to the instant streaming library.

I've been a Netflix member for a while now and I have to say the online library gets better with each week. There have been recent agreements with studios that allow their content to be streamed online increasing the quality of the content avoidable to users.


I've had the pleasure of using the app for a couple weeks now. I've tried it out on both by home wireless network and the AT&T 3G network. I have to say, it works well. The online content streams at a resolution of 480 x 360. On my iPhone 3Gs this looks great. I can notice some jagged edges, but the normal everyday user won't see those imperfections. On a mobile device, watching online content in HD resolution is a waste. It would cause a lot more bandwidth to stream the content and the mobile device size wouldn't do it justice. The only other reason to upscale the resolution would be to connect your iPhone to a TV.

Netflix iOS Application - Home

The interface is rather easy to use. The layout is simple which is good. When you start the application, you are brought to the Home menu which displays Netflix's categorized recommendation to you. If you don't want to view those recommendations there is a option to browse via Genre. If you are looking for something specific, there is a Search option available.  You also have access to your pre-existing Instant Queue. All of these feature work as they well as they should. The only improvement I would recommend to Netflix is to add the functionality of using the horizontal on screen keyboard instead of slaving me to making spelling errors with the vertical one.

Pushing Daisies Title

I've been using the Pushing Daisies: Season 1 content as my test for this application. Using my home WiFi connection, the content load quickly and streams well. I also turn off my WiFi connection on my iPhone and do see a slight degradation in quality of the picture, but not enough to lessen my enjoyment. It's so insignificant that a normal person wouldn't see it. So big kudos to Netflix for the online content on the iPhone. The only issue that have is with switching from WiFi to 3G on the same episode. When I stopped the playback and changed to the 3G network, the app seams to have an issue with picking up where it left off. Sometimes it's able to correct itself, but often I'm having to start the show over again.

One last warning. If you already have a Netflix account and have several Netflix approved streaming devices (PS3, XBOX, Roku, Approved TV... etc.) you want to make sure you haven't reached your limit. Netflix allows for 6 devices to stream online content. Using your preferred browser counts as a streaming device. I was surprised to find out that when I added my iPhone I maxed out and was not able to watch the online content from my browser unless I removed one of the devices from my profile.


I would recommend this app to anyone who has an iPhone and unlimited data plan. If you don't have unlimited data, you don't want to be wasting your data minutes on watching movies at work, on the bus, or on the train.  Go out there and get it! Watch some good movies on your iPhone and recommend some to me.

Additional Links:


Official Netflix Blog:

Sling Media: