Best Pencil Sharpener

Best Pencil Sharpener
School Pencil Sharpener

I’m still looking for the best pencil sharpener. We’ve all done it, haven’t we? We cuss and swear at the top of our lungs when those cheap pencils break inside the pencil sharpener. Hopefully, we didn’t react this way while we were in our classrooms during school. Cheap, broken pencils are maddening enough to make any grade school child cuss like an angry, adult male failing an anger management class.  What we’re left with is a broken, cheap pencil and messy job of dissembling the pencil sharpener that was not up to the task. Thanks to computers, laptops and hand-held devices, pencils are not as popular as they once were, but for those of us who use them frequently, finding a good pencil sharpener is like gold. Personally, I find that crossword puzzles are a great way to relax. Unfortunately, it’s a little bit difficult to get to a point of relaxation when I’m constantly having to look for sharpened pencils. For that reason, I like to keep a few sharpened pencils armed and ready in every room of the house. This may sound obsessive, but it beats cussing like an angry adult male being expelled from an anger management class. I’ve been through a couple of different types and brands and trust me; not all pencil sharpening tools are created equal. I’m willing to cut a little deeper into my budget if it will get me a better sharpener. To get a better grasp of the facts behind pencil sharpening technology, it is important to understand the source behind the frustration of all pencil users. Before you trade the worst for the best, here’s what you look for:

Sharpening Cheap Pencils

A cheap pencil is a brittle one that can be easily snapped with two fingers. Because the wood surrounding cheap pencils is not very dense, they require a precision, finely honed sharpener to make them user-friendly. In technological terms, what you need is a high-resolution electric pencil sharpener to delicately grind through that brittle wood and reveal a tight, finely shaped point of graphite for writing. (Easier said than done.) It’s not going to happen with one of those hand-held, manually operated devices you brought to you with school back in the 1950s, 60s, 70s, 80s…. You will also not have much luck with the sturdy school sharpener mounted on thousands of classroom walls made to endure the grimy hands and abuse of the thousands of clumsy, careless students of the last several decades. Back in those days, pencils were robust enough to serve as both a writing instrument and a lead-based, weapon of deadly poison. Today’s cheap pencils would never hold up to the goring in the leg of that bully sitting next to you, nor would they stand up against an old-fashioned, School Pencil Sharpener. A cheap pencil is no match for the rugged Boston School Sharpeners of the past. As fighting with pencils in school became passe, the pencil quality in America declined dramatically. The older, more rugged pencil sharpeners were appropriately named Boston, a region where our forefathers roamed the country-side killing Brits with Bayonets; a slightly larger, less-evolved form of the # 2, lead pencil. But alas, those days are long gone.  An American culture which was once built upon a pioneer spirit and fierce determination to gore our enemies with blunt instruments has softened in favor of a society that demands a better, high-resolution, electric pencil sharpener.. The effective, poisonous lead has been replaced with softer, safer graphite. You won’t be able to get the precision, sharpened graphite point with those old, hand-cranked Boston, Pencil Sharpeners.   Those sensitive, cheap pencils require a soft touch at ultra high-speed RPMs. Graphite is finer and less dense than lead, meaning you need a more precision tool to get the job done. The newer, cheaper and safer graphite pencil requires a more expensive, high tech pencil sharpener. What is the sharpener for the job? I’ve found a couple of them that are best suited for the task at hand.

Panasonic Electric Pencil Sharpener

panasonic-electric-pencil-sharpener
Panasonic Electric Pencil Sharpener

Comes with a Hefty Price Tag

Would you pay $129.00 for an electric pencil sharpener? You would if you want the absolute best pencil sharpener. The Panasonic KP150BK comes with a price tag that could have made Paul Revere reconsider his business in Silver. There is a good reason for the high price of the best pencil sharpener. Over 51 users have rated the KP150BK 4.5 stars, making it the highest rated electric pencil sharpener you can buy. Does that make it the best pencil sharpener? Maybe. What is so great about it to demand such a high price tag? This high-end Panasonic Electric Pencil Sharpener actually used a steel cutting wheel which produces a perfect 16-point graphite end. Because there is an auto-stop feature, you will never have to worry about wasting wood or over sharpening a pencil. You will get a perfect, 16-point cut every time. But wait a minute? Besides Oprah Winfrey, who has $129.00 to pay for such a tool, whether it’s the best pencil sharpener or not?

Use Electric for Cheap Pencils

best-electric-pencil-sharpener
Best Electric Pencil Sharpener

X-Acto ProX Pencil Sharpener

The X-ACTO ProX is less than half the price as the Panasonic KP150BK. Like the KP150BK, the X-ACTO has a steel cutting wheel and an auto-shut-off feature to prevent over sharpening of your pencils. Another great feature is LED illumination which indicates when sharpening is complete. The X-ACTO has a larger receptacle for pencil shaving and a multi-wheel dial for selecting different sizes of pencils. These are features the KP150BK doesn’t. The best part is the $59.00 price tag. But wait, it gets even better than that. I’ve found them for $50.00, online.

I think it’s safe to say goodbye to Boston and Bayonets for good and start enjoying the hassle free benefits of the latest and greatest Electric Pencil Sharpener technology. Or is it? …

Where to Buy HDMI Cables

Where to Buy HDMI Cables
Cheap HDMI Cable

My motto regarding HDMI Cables:
Just say, no to expensive home theater and audio/video cables. I’ll confess that I enjoy shopping at Best Buy and Walmart for technology gadgets. Generally, they have terrific pricing and selection. When it comes to cables, though – that is where I will politely tell them no every time. Sure, you got a great price on that new HP Photo Smart Printer, but then the Best Buy rep asks if you need a USB Printer cable. Your face takes on a confused expression of guilt and shame as you realize you cannot remember if you have a USB Printer cable at home or not. That Photosmart Printer just went up in price from $99.00 to $124.00 when the Best Buy sales rep informs you a 6′ cable is $25.00. Then, you wonder if it’s even long enough. The 10′ Cable is $30.00. Don’t worry if you’ve found yourself in this situation before. It’s happened to all of us at one time or another, and now I’ll let you in on a couple of dirty little secrets:

Buying HDMI Cables Offline

Walmart, Best Buy, etc., make up for their skinny profit margins on big-ticket items by selling the accessories like cables, ink and media for a massive profit.
You might wonder how stores like Best Buy can make money selling Desktop computers, Laptops, TVs, Printers and audio/video equipment for so cheap, and for good reason. The truth of the matter is that these stores don’t make a great deal of money on the primary items that cost you the most. They make up for it in accessories, ink and cables. Where-as a discount computer store might only gain a 2% profit margin on a PC, Mac or iPad, they make 500 – 1000% on that USB Printer cable the sales kid tried to sell you for $30.00. If that’s not bad enough, they will often use false tactics such as telling you the gold-plated printer cable for $10.00 more will give you better resolution. That is flat-out false. A digital connection is a digital connection and there will be no difference in quality between the more expensive cable and the cheaper one. The cable either works or it doesn’t work. A USB or HDMI Cable gets data from point A to point B. Now, there are certain electrical standards that a cable must meet in order to complete the task, but generally speaking, if it is advertised to work, it is supposed to work. The longer the cable, the more critical it is that the quality is good enough to do the job. There really is either no in-between with digital cables as is the case with analog, speaker cables where thickness of size can make a significant improvement in the sound of your standing, floor stereo speakers. Don’t get mad at your Best Buy sales person for wanting to sell you an expensive HDMI Cable or USB Printer Cable. They are just doing their job and in many cases, even they don’t realize how over-priced the accessories are that they are selling you. I know this from my own first-hand experience associating with Best Buy Reps when I worked a part-time weekend Gig promoting HP products in their stores. I don’t mind a store wanting to maximize its profit and revenue, but I used to cringe when these trained sales kids would relate false information to their customers about digital cables. Sometimes, the sales managers would try and train me to do the same thing, but I would politely refuse. I could never do that sort of thing and go to sleep that same night with a good conscience for making a customer believe he/she needed something he/she really didn’t need. Where to Buy HDMI Cables is a question with an easy answer.

Buying HDMI Cables Online?

Unfortunately, you won’t find a cheap HDMI Cable at any of your local discount stores. You might be able to find a good deal at your Harbor Freight store, but the absolute lowest pricing on cables comes from a handful of online retailers is where to buy HDMI Cables:

Monoprice.com

I love Monoprice. They have excellent pricing and service and a very large variety of not just cables, but computer, cell phone, audio video accessories, too. I’ve been using monoprice for about 3 years for HDMI Cables. Typically, a 6’ HDMI Cable costs me about $3.0.. Tack on another $3.00 for shipping per cable. Monoprice seems to make up for their low prices by adding a little too much in shipping. However, though, there are cheaper places to buy cables, I know their service is excellent. Cables require only 3 days to get to my home or office in Denver. 8’ HDMI Cables go for about $3.75 and 10’ HDMI Cables about $5.50.. Isn’t this better than paying $39.00 at Walmart, Target or Best Buy?

Merritline.com

Even cheaper than Monoprice, but I have not tried them so I cannot comment on their service. Today you can buy 6’, 8’ and 10’ HDMI cables for about $3.50, $5.50, and $8.99. But, here’s the cool thing: Free shipping., which makes your landed cost less than it does with Monoprice. Again, I’ve not tried meritline, so I cannot speak about their service and delivery.

Buy.com

The cheapest place to find HDMI Cables is Buy.com, though that is not where they ship from .Currently, a place called, SF Planet is selling a 3 pack of HDMI cables for the paltry sum of $6.79 including shipping! Buy.com is a good, one-stop shop to look for cables.

Cheap HDMI Cable Quality

I’ve used Cheap HDMI Cables for 3 years on two different HD Televisons, two different DVD Players and a Blu Ray equipped Playstation 3. I’ve never once had problems with the picture, quality or results of using cheap HDMI Cables. Next time you buy HDMI cables, buy a 6 pack of them from either of the online suppliers above, and pay only a fraction of what you would at Walmart or Best Buy.. Cheap HDMI cables are a no brainer.

Back UPS RS 1000

Back-UPS RS 1000
Back-UPS RS 1000

A good technological product is like an old pair of tennis shoes or jeans that you never want to replace. They just feel right and you never want to have to get rid of them even though there are newer, more powerful tennis shoes, or…err, UPS products on the market. The Back-UPS RS 1000 is the first serious UPS Backup product I’ve considered for home. In my office, I need to have a bunch of electronics powered into one single place and cannot afford to risk losing power; My beefy desktop computer, monitor, printer, laptop and other electronics that need to stay charged when the computer is turned off. Supposedly a 500VA or 350VA product is powerful enough, but can you ever really feel comfortable in the event of a power outage unless you go all out. The Back UPS RS 1000 by APC provides 1000 VA or 600 Watts of uninterrupted power in the event of a power failure or disruption. This just felt right to me! But it’s not just me. This particular UPS Model has been the long time friend of thousands of people for many years. Now, the old, standby, white Back-UPS has been replaced by a newer version in black with a BR next to its name. Here are the details.

Specifications of the new Back-UPS RS 1000

Back-UPS RS 1000
Back-UPS-R1000G

One of the things I liked about the Back Ups RS 1000 is its sturdy construction and tower, vertical form-factor. Weighing 22lbs, the new, Back Ups RS 1000 UPS is also extremely well made. It stands about 10” high, by 4 inches wide by 15” deep and weighs a hair over 23lbs. I like the vertical tower-type form-factor which makes it easy to place underneath or on top of your desk to the side of your monitor. The RS 1000 has 8 outlets: 4 for backing up your power and 4 just for surge protection only. The Back-UPS RS 1000 provides 14 minutes of backup time in the event of a power failure and has a surge rating of 355 joules which is quite good.

How well does the Back-UPS RS 1000 work?

My website work requires handling several different chores at once. Without UPS Backup Protection, and so many windows open with critical tasks running, any type of power failure could wreak havoc on my heart and soul. On two occasions in the last 3 years, I had very unexpected power failures while in the middle of working on some very critical projects (who isn’t) In one case, it required about 9 minutes of time to get out of all of my projects and safely shut down. The RS 1000 beeps when you have a couple of minutes left of power. I never got to that point. This unit has served it’s purpose and remains a great insurance policy. The original, white colored Back-UPS RS 1000 by APC is no longer made, though you can still see a few of them floating around on the web for around $129.00. It is essentially replaced by the black one above, which sells for around $169.00 – $179.00. If you are the proud owner of one of the older units you can replace the two batteries for them for under $30.00. That’s cheaper than buying a new power supply and since the Back-UPS RS 1000 has served you so well, why would you switch?  Go with the girl that got you to the dance and in this case, it’s the Back-UPS RS 1000.

Target Beef

Target Beef
Target Beef

Grocery Store Beef Ratings

Target vs. Costco and the Rest

Do you have a beef with the beef at your grocery store? Have you ever grilled that perfect looking steak only to discover it tastes bland and isn’t nearly as juicy and delicious as it looks? A medium-rare, perfectly cooked steak should taste as good as it looks. If it doesn’t meet your expectations on a consistent basis, it is time to consider another beef supplier. If the meat your getting is fresh, but doesn’t taste very good, then it doesn’t matter how well you cook or prepare it. You simply cannot make a great tasting steak or roast from a poor quality choice of beef. Conversely, even an overcooked steak from a good choice of beef can be enjoyable. The key is to find the beef supplier that consistently offers the best what you want. Some Beef Ratings are clearly in order, here.
Four of your favorite Beef Suppliers are rated below on Freshness, Selection, Flavor and Price. Which one hits the target?

Target Beef Ratings vs Kroger Beef

Kroger is known as King Soopers in my local area. I don’t want to run down King Soopers because their pricing and selection of products, overall, still makes them my favorite grocer. Where I have a beef is with King Soopers Beef. For years, I kept tolerating inferior Kroger steaks, fooling myself into thinking I could make it taste better on my next effort. I finally admitted there is just no way to make a great tasting steak out of an inferior cut of beef. King Soopers has plenty of other good products. Their ground beef is okay. Their Pork chops, pork tenderloin, chicken and sausage is all just fine. But when it comes to beef, particularly steaks and roasts, Kroger or King Soopers, just doesn’t cut the mustard. It’s not that the meat isn’t fresh, it just has very little flavor. I don’t believe the problem with Kroger Beef is limited just to their regional King Soopers stores. Relatives and friends in other states have made the same complaints about poor quality steaks and roasts coming Kroger Beef.

Kroger Beef Ratings

  • Freshness: 8
  • Selection: 7
  • Taste / Flavor: 4
  • Price: 7
  • Overall: 65%

 

Target vs Costco

It used to be that whenever I wanted a good tasting steak, I would splurge on Costco. Costco Beef, whether it’s for roasts, steaks or hamburger is usually pretty good, but not always. Their filet cuts are almost always excellent, but I’ve had some pretty ordinary tasting roasts and stew meat coming from Costco. Costco’s Beef selection isn’t the greatest and you can always expect to pay more than you would at the local King Soopers store. But, if you want a tasty, expensive steak, Costco won’t let you down.

Costco Beef Ratings

  • Freshness: 9
  • Selection: 6
  • Taste / Flavor: 7
  • Price: 5
  • Overall: 68%

 

Walmart Beef

It may not be the place to get the best cut of steak or roast, but Walmart Beef, overall beats King Soopers. For selection and price, Walmart Beef has Costco beat too, in my opinion. Face it, we’re not looking to make a gourmet steak everyday. If you want to make 3 or 4 meals a week with reasonably priced beef, Walmart will save you a good deal of money over Costco. Also, I’ve had pretty good luck making decent tasting steaks and roasts from Walmart Beef. Walmart steaks are not always impressive, but they are consistently better than steaks from King Soopers or Kroger Beef.

Walmart Beef Ratings

  • Freshness: 8
  • Selection: 7
  • Taste / Flavor: 6
  • Price: 7
  • Overall: 70%

 

Target Beef

There is one place that never misses the market when it comes to picking out a good cut of meat. When I discovered Target Beef, cooking and eating steaks became fun again. You simply cannot pick out a bad cut of meat from Target. I don’t care whether its ground beef, chuck steak, stew meat, round roasts, rump roasts, rib roasts, t-bone steaks, sirloins, etc., you name it, Target Beef is consistently of a very high quality. For Christmas, I chose a 10lb Rib Roast that was amazing. I’ve also had excellent T-Bones and Sirloin Steaks. But what clearly sets Target Beef apart from the rest is the fact that it’s consistently flavorful and tasty regardless of how much you pay or how you cook it. I’ve taken cheap chuck steaks from Target and fried them in a skillet until they were well done and they still came out tender and delicious. I like my steaks medium-rare, but I’d take an over-cooked steak from Target over a King Soopers medium-rare steak any day. It doesn’t matter whether you grill it, roast it or fry it up in a pan, Target Beef comes out on top.

Target Beef Ratings

  • Freshness: 8
  • Selection: 8
  • Taste / Flavor: 9
  • Price: 8
  • Overall: 83%

Ruskova Vodka


Ruskova Vodka
Ruskova Vodka

Give us your rating on Ruskova Vodka: 

Our Score
It had been a while since I had a good, Vodka Martini when I picked up a 1.75 Liter Bottle of Russian, Ruskova Vodka at my favorite Liquor store. I decided it was about darn time I tried a Russian Vodka, but didn’t want to pay $10-$15 more for a top brand like Stoli. Since finishing off my last bottle of the highly rated, value-priced Svedka Vodka,  I had gotten kind of bored and went back to Gin Martinis and my old stand by scotch martini, the Rob Roy. I didn’t stop there: I even tried the Citrus Flavored Vodka by Rokk which quickly became too sweet for my tastes. Needless to say, I was ready to go back to a good old fashioned, unflavored Vodka Martini with little or no vermouth and a couple of olives. The 1.75 Bottle of Ruskova  for only $16.99 quickly caught my eye. I was tempted to try something new. The more expensive Russian Vodka, Stolichnaya was sort of what I was after, but I was in no mood to pay $26.00 for it. The Ruskova from Russia was right up my alley. Another lesser known Vodka with a value price like the Swedish, Svedka that became my favorite a few months ago. I might have found something better and even a little cheaper here.

Ruskova is a Russian Vodka

I’m not here to tell you that Ruskova is the Best Russian Vodka, but I can tell you it stacks up very well with most of the other vodkas I’ve tried. In fact, by the time I was half-way down my second martini, I was beginning to believe that Ruskova could quickly become my favorite Vodka Martini brand. Ruskova probably doesn’t have the overall smoothness of the bargain priced Swedish Vodka, Svedka and other more expensive brands. However, Ruskova has something the other non-Russian Vodkas lack: Soul. Ruskova has a little bit of sparkling vanilla flavor. It hits the front of your mouth with a very clean flavor. There is some bitter aftertaste in the way it finishes; much like Sobieski, but it has much more character along the way. Ruskova makes a very tasty martini; full of creamy, clean fruit type flavors that other vodkas lack. It is not too sterile, nor is it to pungent. Ruskova makes an excellent Vodka Martini.

Vodka Martini Secret

If you really want to taste the full spectrum of its unique flavor, use very little olive juice and/or vermouth with a vodka like Ruskova. On my first try of a new vodka, I usually pour a shot into a glass, warm, then sniff and taste. Doing this beforehand will give you a better idea as to how you want to make that first martini with Ruskova Vodka.

Final Rating

  • Smoothness: 90
  • Flavor: 94
  • Value: 90
  • Overall: 90

 

User Ratings

Our Reader Score
[Total: 4 Average: 3.5]


Home Water Filtration Systems

Home Water Filtration Systems
Whole House Water Filtration System

Home Water Filtration Systems have a place in just about anyone’s home. Maybe some more than others would appreciate these home appliances. I’ve always taken good tasting water for granted. Denver has a pretty good water supply. Most of the time, the water coming out of our tap is clean, odorless, cold and tastes good. Odor and bad taste are the first two, immediate issues that cause people to look into a water filter for their home. Another big concern of bottled water drinkers and tap water drinkers is health. Not everyone agrees on the level of minerals and contaminants that should be in our drinking water, but we can all agree that we think it should taste good. There is another reason, though, to consider filtering the water that comes out of your tap: Skin Care. Some of the water supplies coming into our tap lines can be very high in chlorine and other minerals that can be irritating and harmful to our skin. I inherited a water filter with the used home I purchased nearly 4 years ago. I cannot say that the water tastes, feels, looks or smells any different than the water I’ve drank at other homes in my suburban area, but I do know it works. After a few months, the Charcoal filter gets filled with muck and slime. I can imagine that if I had really smelly, fishy water I would appreciate owning a whole house water filter more than I already do.

Reverse Osmosis Water Filter Systems

Most home water filter systems use a process called Reverse Osmosis to purify the water coming out of your tap. RO or Reverse Osmosis is the same purification process that bottled water companies use. Basically, RO or Reverse Osmosis, is a filtering process where-by water enters through one filtered membrane and gets processes through another. Many water purists complain that bottled water like Dasani and Aquafina are nothing more than RO Purified Tap Water and due to the Reverse Osmosis process taste flat due to the fact the minerals are completely removed in the purification process. See my Bottled Water Rating Brands. I’m here to tell ya: If you’ve ever tasted the horrible water in certain places of Texas and Arizona, you’d be darn glad to have water that tastes so pure and clean. Essentially,  RO home water filtration systems allow you to make your own Bottled Water. Why not have such a Water Filter in your own home instead of buying bottled water? There are a few good water filtration systems on the market, but not all of them are created for the same purpose. Whether you have foul tasting water or too much copper or other minerals makes a difference in choosing between the number of home water filters on the market.

GE Water Filter

My own home water filter unit is a GE, Model # GXWH30C, called SmartWater Chemical Reduction System. As you can see from the picture, the GE Water Filter is installed between the incoming and out water lines. GE refers to the GXWH30C as a Chemical Reduction System. From my Swimming Pool Testing, I’ve learned that I have a fairly high amount of metals in my water which is probably the previous home installed a GE Water Filter. The GE SmartWater uses a Charcoal Filter which seems very effective in what it is designed to do – reduce chemicals in the water. Unlike some home water filtration systems, this model is more apt at taking out chemicals than removing unpleasant tastes and odors which is really not an issue in our area. Still, it would be interesting to know how well this GE Water Filter would perform in other areas where foul tasting and bad smelling water is often a problem. I looked into some other home water filtration systems that would be better suited for the job of providing cleaner aroma and taste. The first place to shop?

The GE SmartWater Filter supposedly uses some of the RO technology, but people have reported better results of cleaner water from other brands such as Aquasana.

Aquasana Rhino EQ-300

Aquasana systems have the highest rating I’ve seen anywhere. Only 7 user have rated these on Amazon, but all 7 of them were extremely happy with the taste of the water – and this is coming from people whose water supply was downright nasty. Aquasana seems to do an excellent job of taking out the foul odors and tastes in your tap water and making it taste just as good as your favorite bottled water brand. What could be wrong with these kind of systems for your home? Well, it’s not cheap. The EQ-300 run from $400 – $1,000 and that doesn’t include installation. Unless, you are real handy with plumbing, you will need a professional to tap the system in between your main water line. Professionally installed home water filtration systems do require a small, but worthwhile investment.

Culligan Water Filter

Culligan is a name we all recognize, especially for water softener products for the home. Remember “The Culligan Man?”
Culligan also sells a few high quality water filter for the home. It is easy enough to find a Culligan part online, but I had trouble finding ratings and reviews on the Culligan water filters, themselves. There are other brands which are more popular with better track record like GE, Watts and Aquasana.

Watts 

The Watts WP5-50 Premier Five-Stage Manifold Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment System is one of the most reviewed home water filtration systems I could find. If you’re looking for a whole-house water system with a track record, the Watts WPS-50 has an average 4-Star Rating from 28 Amazon Users. Unfortunately the WPS-50 is not for the entire house, but it will give you great tasting water out of the kitchen sink. The Watts WPS-50 is a water filter that fits under the sink. People who complained about scale buildup and sediment in their kitchenware had really good things to say about the Watts WPS-50..

Conclusion

Which water filter is best? It depends: If your objective is to merely get a good tasting glass of water and/or pot of coffee, the Watts Water Filter Model # WPS-50 is all you need. If you need to get clean, chemical free water running through the entire plumbing of your house, you’ll want a whole house home water filtration system like the Aquasana or GE SmartWater Filters.

BMI Scale

BMI Scale
BMI Scale

A BMI Scale is a device that some people are looking for, yet probably don’t even need. If you’re wondering how to find your BMI, you might be able to stop worrying about it.
Body Mass Index or BMI is a mathematical number derived from the National Institute of Health which supposedly determines if we are at a healthy weight.Why should you want to Know How to find your BMI? Well, maybe you don’t.
While many of us regard the National Institute of Health (NIH) as experts on the subject of healthy living, let’s remember these are the same people telling us lies about Fat and Cholesterol. NIH is of the same generation of fraud medical scientists that brought us trans fats in place of healthy, safe animal fats many decades ago. As a result, hundreds of thousands of obsessed, healthy people are eating bland, unhealthy low-fat diets and taking, expensive, liver-toxic statin pill prescriptions. I put very little stock into nutrition advice from mainstream health institutions like these and so naturally, I am very skeptical about the NHI BMI Product. At Product Review Ratings, I consider BMI a product worthy of some serious contemplation and review, but you should have zero concern about how to find your BMI. When I decided to look into my own Body Mass Index Number I became even more skeptical about the value of the NIH BMI product they are feeding us with our weight scales. How to Find your BMI is about as important as knowing your astrology horoscope.

How to Find Your BMI for Weight and Age

Proper Weight for Height and Age

Is there a such thing as Proper Weight for Height and Age?

At age 49, I wear the same size jeans I did 20 years ago. I could probably stand to lose about 5 lbs, but I wouldn’t want to lose anymore than that. Using the BMI scale below, I put in my numbers and came up in the overweight category. Even if I lost 10lbs, my weight would just barely fit into the so-called “normal” category. So, according to the NIH scale, I shouldn’t be wearing the same size pants I wore when I was 25 years old. I should be skinnier. There’s a big problem with BMI. No two men or women of the same height and weight look or feel the same. Because muscle weighs more than fat, BMI can be a very misleading indicator of one’s proper weight. A very muscular, lean and fit 5’8 athlete might weight 180lbs might have a higher BMI than a guy who actually looks overweight and is out of shape. If I decided to get into a vigorous exercise program like the P90x Workout, I could be in danger of gaining even more weight by increasing my muscle mass. Is there really such thing as a Proper Weight for Height and Age? What’s right for one person is not necessarily the same for someone else. I have a brother in law who is as fit, lean and thin as a rail, yet the doctor told him his BMI put him in the obese category! No two people with the exact same BMI necessarily come anywhere close to matching the same body appearance. BMI is a ridiculously bad product for gauging your weight and health. In case you’re curious, it’s very easy to calculate your BMI.

Measuring without a BMI Scale

In case you’re curious, here’s how to find your BMI without the need for any special machinery or weight scales.
Here is the BMI Formula:
BMI=(Your Weight in LBs) / (Your Height in Inches Squared) X 703
Wouldn’t it help to know your body fat and muscle percentage?

Forget about How to Find Your BMI

Body Fat Percentage Chart More Useful

A better variable for calculating your proper weight is to know your Body Fat Percentage: The chart below, should be used as a guideline only. Remember, what’s healthy for one person may not be the same for another, and vice versa. We’re all built differently, so why waste time learning how to find your bmi?

body-fat-percentage-chart
Body Fat Percentage Chart

While it is one thing to to use a chart like this for a reference, calculating your actual Body Fat Percentage is another challenge entirely. And again, Body Fat Percentage is just one part of the equation for knowing your health, fitness and proper weight. There is a much better way to calculate all of this.

There are much better ways to measure your body composition. The Omron Full Body Sensor Body Fat and Body Composition Monitor is more than just a BMI Scale. The Omron will measure your weight and body composition in 7 different ways:

  1. Body Fat Level
  2. Visceral Fat Level
  3. Skeletal Muscle %
  4. Resting Metabolism
  5. Body Age
  6. Body Weight
  7. BMI (Body Mass Index)

Despite the fact that BMI is only 1/7th of the equation of these super, health scales, they are still referred to online as a, BMI scale.
Factoring in Body Fat and Muscle percentage into the equation makes a great deal more sense. One, can actually monitor the full progress of an exercise program with one of these Health Monitor Scales. It would be interesting to monitor the results of the P90x Workout with the Omron Body Monitor. The Omron Body Sensor on sale below has been rated 4 out of 5 stars by over 70 users. The accuracy and value of these machines is confirmed by the testimonies of those using them to gauge the progress of their work-out programs. Imagine, if they were using ONLY a scale to gauge the results of their health program. Using only a BMI scale wouldn’t do them much good, would it? The much better option is a full Weight/BMI/Body-Fat and Muscle Scale like the one below. You can forget about the question of how to find your BMI and worry about a healthy body, instead.

Waterpik Cordless Water Flosser

Waterpik WP 360 Teeth Cleaner
The Waterpik WP 360 is one of the most affordable products on the market of flossers. How does the Waterpik WP 360 do against corded flossers like the Popular WP 100?

waterpik cordless water flosser
Waterpik-WP360-Water-Flosser

Corded Flossers

Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Water Flossing can be really cool; if not so necessary sometimes. It beats spending a fortune on Dental Insurance.

Ten years ago I had a porcelain crown put around one of my top molars on the left side of my mouth. The crown work created a gap which is always prone to getting jammed up with meat and other foods that are sometimes hard to remove with regular floss. Sometimes, the floss itself gets jammed in between two teeth and that creates a real problem.  Have you ever tried to remove shredded threads from the deep crevices of two or more teeth? It ain’t easy – and it ain’t fun. If a fragment or sliver of popcorn gets stuck between your teeth and deep into your gums, forget about it! This can cause weeks of problems, pain and a possible infection if it isn’t removed. This is what happened to me just recently and I was without a Water Flosser to deal with it. Our expensive corded, Waterpik clogged up and broke a few years ago, so I was without out one for a few years when I finally had to go back and buy another one. I went to Walmart to see what was available and at what price. The Waterpick WP 360 seemed to be the one that was least expensive. So, I bought a Waterpik WP 360.

Waterpik WP 360 Over Corded Flossers

corded-waterpik
Waterpik with Cord

Corded Waterpiks

Waterpik is the most common household brand name for a dental tool known as a water flosser that shoots powerful jet streams of water between your teeth to clean them. There are other brands, but Waterpik is the first consumer model and therefore so popular that its brand has become a generic name for Water Flossers in general. There are other brands of Water Flossers such as Panasonic, Braun, Conair and Teledyne. My first Waterpik, like the one pictured left, came with a long flexible cord which is attached to a base that you fill with water. This is probably the most popular form of water flosser. It holds enough water to clean your teeth for about two minutes and it has adjustable setting which at full strength is powerful enough to make your gums bleed profusely. The good news is that it doesn’t take the most powerful stream of water to get most anything out of your teeth. The other good thing is that after repeated use, your gums will become healthier and stop bleeding. That said, it’s not all fun and games with a Corded Waterpik. The Waterpik WP 360 has no strings attached.

Disadvantages of Cord Type Water Flossers

I was constantly worried about keeping the corded waterpik sanitary. The base is easy enough to rinse out and clean but the long cord has to be purged of all of it’s water before it is put away. If there are several people wishing to use the same waterpik, I recommend constantly wiping it down with rubbing alcohol before and after use. Also, you might want to sterilize the hand held portion of the water flosser where the attached pik fits inside. I constantly worried that there might be water and mold trapped inside the cord. Needless to say, these corded water flossers are powerful, but not the most convenient to use and keep clean. That is probably why I procrastinated so long before purchasing another Water Flosser. Finally, my corded waterpik clogged up after a few years and had to be thrown away. I was ready to try a cordless and the Waterpik WP 360 was the one they had in stock at Walmart.

Waterpik Cordless Water Flossers

The Waterpik WP 360 Water Flosser Pictured at the top of this review is a Cordless Water Flosser by Waterpik. Why choose this one over the corded model above? Price is certainly one consideration. This Waterpik cordless water flosser sells for around $25-$30 where-as a Corded Waterpik typically ranges between $40 and $70. A Cordless Waterpik has no long cord to worry about cleaning or getting clogged. The base of the unit is built-in to connection where the flossing tool is held. The downside is that the WP-360 does not hold as much water and can only be used 30 seconds at a time before you must refill it with water. I read this on the box before I purchased it and it did not bother me until I realized that the base is too tall to fit under my bathroom sink faucet. I had to find a small pitcher to fill first with water then pour into the WP-360. Small matter, really. The WP-360 is not as powerful. There are two different flossing tools; high pressure and low pressure. I found that the high pressure tool is quite a bit more gentle than the corded waterpik. Don’t expect to get the same power from the WP-360 as more expensive corded models. Still, it was able to take care of the sliver of popcorn kernel that was stuck in my teeth for days. After a couple of jet streams of water, the matter was dislodged from my teeth along with some blood which is to be expected the first time you clean a problem spot between your gums. I continued using the waterpik for a couple of days. The problem area remained sensitive for a few days until it was completely healed. I really like how user friendly the WP-360 is to use and clean. At $29 bucks a pop, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy one for each member of the household. It’s exactly what your teeth need at times. IN fact, Waterpiks have been recommended by dentists for reversing gum disease!

Waterpic WP-360 Specifics

The WP-360 is the most affordable way to keep your teeth clean by Water Flossing. No messy, long cords to deal with – just a small tank of portable water that sprays jets of water between your teeth. Easy to keep clean and affordable enough that everyone in your family can have one by their sink.

WP-450

The WP-450 provides a little more water capacity and flexibility than the WP-360. People have said that it is easier to use and holds a charge better than the WP-360. If you can pay a little more and want a rechargeable water flosser, the WP-450 is for you.

WP-100

The WP-100 is probably the most popular water flosser on the planet. The WP-100 gives you more power and water capacity than either of the other two rechargable units. Because it is electric, you will never have to worry about it losing its charge. Over 1500 Amazon Users rated the WP-100 4.5 stars, the highest rating for a Waterpik water flosser, you’ll find anywhere.

If the WP-100 is the most popular on the planet, the WP 360 is the most popular Waterpik cordless water flosser in the universe.