darkoshi: (Default)
Silk finally came out with a nutmilk that tastes as good to me as their soymilk - their "Protein Nutmilk". It has added pea protein. It also has added high oleic sunflower oil, giving it 8g of fat per 8oz serving, and which I suspect is what makes it taste better than their other nutmilks, which have 2.5g or less of fat.

The plain version which I tried has, per 8oz:
140 calories
8g fat
6g of sugar
10g of protein
220mg sodium
80mg potassium
45% RDA calcium
25% RDA vitamin D
8% RDA iron

They also have a low-sugar version which has 2g sugar. I haven't tried that one yet.

Normally I buy Silk's organic unsweetened soymilk, which has:
80 calories
4g fat
1g sugar
7g protein
75mg sodium
350mg potassium
30% RDA calcium
30% RDA vitamin D
6% RDA iron
50% RDA vitamin B12
and more of various other vitamins

Given that they both taste about the same good to me, it looks like the soymilk still has overall better numbers.

The flavor and consistency of the protein nutmilk reminds me of the Vitasoy brand soymilk which used to be my favorite until they stopped selling it over here.

Hah!... Vitasoy has had a factory in Ayer, MA since 1998!
So why haven't I seen their American-branded soymilk for sale in like, 10 years? I've only seen their Chinese-brand soymilk that comes in metal cans; the one time I tried that, it didn't taste as good as the previous "American" kind.

Hmmm. This article, Home / Articles / 2005 / New Food Products: Vitasoy Complete
New Food Products: Vitasoy Complete
: says "But faced with a U.S. market that appears to be leaning toward refrigerated products, Vitasoy and also Hain announced in December 2004 they were exiting the U.S. refrigerated soymilk market."

Now that I think about it, maybe I have seen their non-refrigerated product for sale in some places. Or was that Silk's non-refrigerated boxes? Now I'm not sure of my memories. Maybe after Vitasoy hadn't been available for a while, I switched over to Silk, and then even if I saw Vitasoy again, I didn't buy it because the aseptic boxes which don't need refrigeration aren't recyclable here like the refrigerated soymilk boxes are.

Update, 2017/04/16-18:
I've now also tasted the lower-sugar version of Silk's "Protein Nutmilk". It tastes as good to me as the first one did (apparently the first one was also vanilla-flavored, though I didn't really notice). But I have noticed that both of them do have an unusual flavor when drinking them straight, which some people might not like. It's sort of a chalky flavor, maybe from the added calcium or the pea protein. Maybe it is even more pronounced in the lower-sugar version.

But they taste quite good to me mixed with other things, like in a milkshake. And over preserved cherries - the nutmilk curdles into a lovely texture.

I must say, the package labeling on them is confusing. One is labelled "Vanilla" and says "HALF THE SUGAR of dairy milk". The other is labelled "2g sugar per serving". Now based on that, how are you supposed to know which one is the lower sugar one? In the store, I had to check and compare the numbers on the Nutrition Facts labels, to figure it out.

vegan frankfurters

Sunday, August 7th, 2016 06:31 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
These vegan Field Roast Frankfurters taste very good. They are very salty*, though. I think they'd work well cooked on a grill for a vegan cook-out, or sauteed, even though so far I've only had them microwaved.

The packaging is annoying. Each sausage is individually encased in a plastic film that you have to cut and peel off. So much work for a hot dog! I took the time to unpeel them all to begin with, and put them in a ziploc bag in the freezer, so that I could simply take them out whenever I wanted without all the work.

*If it weren't for that and the packaging, they'd be my new favorite. As it is, I suppose they're a tie with my other favorite, Yves hot dogs. For a while, I liked Tofurky Kielbasa the best, but over time I lost my taste for them, largely in part to them being so salty too. Which is odd, because in comparing them, the Kielbasa ones have the least percentage salt of the 3. My least favorite vegan dogs are the Lightlife ones; they seem bland to me.
darkoshi: (Default)
Since becoming vegan, I've never really missed having dairy butter. I remember butter being fairly bland or outright tasteless. Non-dairy vegetable margarine works just as well for me on hot pasta, potatoes, or toast.

Those memories must be of the American pasteurized kind of butter. I have a different memory of the butter that my German aunt used to have on the table for breakfast. It had a much stronger uniquely pleasant flavor.

When I came across Miyoko's European Style Cultured VeganButter online, I was curious. When I saw it for sale in a local store, I bought a pack, even though it is expensive.

Upon first opening and tasting it, I was impressed. It did remind me of my aunt's butter, though the flavor is milder.

I had some on pasta and later on toast. It was fine that way, but nothing special. The flavor isn't strong enough to be very noticeable when combined with other food.

It is made mainly from coconut oil and is supposed to stay refrigerated. Removing it from the fridge to let it soften a while before eating, makes it easier to spread and improves the flavor. I've found that I like to eat it straight from the tub, just a bit at a time, for that unique flavor.

But considering the price, I wouldn't buy it to use it as an ingredient in other dishes, nor for toast and pasta.

Ingredients: Organic Coconut Oil, Water, Organic Safflower Oil or Sunflower Oil, Organic Cashews, Soy Lecithin, Sea Salt, Cultures.
darkoshi: (Default)
'Maya Kaimal' Spicy Ketchup - Yummy; spicy but not too spicy. Like a mix of ketchup and red barbecue sauce but not as sweet as the latter. Surprisingly, the main ingredient (after water and before tomato paste) is onion, though it doesn't taste of onion to me.

In the past I had bought a bottle of German "Curry Ketchup" (probably the Zeisner brand, but I'm not sure as I no longer have it), hoping for a taste like this, but that one was thin and overly sweet. I ended up throwing it away. This Maya Kaimal version is so good that I may order more of it if I can't find it in the store again. When I bought this bottle, it was on the "discontinued" shelf at EarthFare.

'So Delicious' Cashew Milk frozen desserts - None of the brands of non-dairy ice cream for sale around here have appealed much to me since they stopped selling Tofutti and Soy Dream. Not even the 'So Delicious' soymilk ones. But these cashew milk ice creams are delicious, especially the Dark Chocolate Truffle and Salted Caramel Cluster.

On the other hand, I tried Silk's new Cashew Milk, and didn't care for it. (I don't remember if I had the regular or unsweetened one). It lacked creaminess compared to Silk Unsweetened Soymilk. And it didn't taste nearly as good as the cashew milk I used to make myself by simply blending up cashews with water (though it's been a long time, so my memory might be inflating how much I liked the one I made myself).
darkoshi: (Default)
Lovely user answer to a question posted on Amazon about the "Twin Draft Guard Extreme Door Guard":

How about them windows?
asked by r.a. on January 1, 2014

Them windows, so distant, so hard to know. I remember once, way back, talking to them windows as they sat on the steps at the end of the day, smoking a cigarette and looking at nothing in particular. "Hey," I said, cautious but loud enough for them to here. "You look lonely." ...
hb answered on January 2, 2014
[click above link to read the rest]

The same person also left this product review on the same item:

If Hades had been guarded by Cerberus with the same vigor and vigilance with which the Extreme Door Guard guards my door, then Heracles would have been devoured like so much Purina puppy chow.

I'm not convinced it's an authentic/unpaid review, but it gave me a smile.


Sunday, November 10th, 2013 11:56 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
Jarhead - Good movie. Good soundtrack too, but the one on Amazon doesn't include all the songs that were in the movie. I can't find the version of "Jesus Walks" that played during the closing credits.

Battle Royale - Gory; not my kind of movie. Qiao watched it. I didn't intend to, but was intrigued every time I walked by, so probably ended up seeing about half of it.


Chicken-free strips by Beyond Meat - this product was discussed on NPR. I'm not convinced it's as innovative as it was described (there are plenty of other meat substitutes that I like), but pan-fried, the texture really is nice, chewy, and layered, and tastes good.

Carrot brownies - I had an inspiration to shred a carrot into my normal brownie mix. The brownies ended up even softer/gooier than usual. Beyond that, not a big difference in taste. I'll try them again after they've been chilled; they're usually better that way.
darkoshi: (Default)
I'm quite pleased tonight to find out that Mr. Clean Nyplex gloves are finally being sold again, just under a different name - Bliss gloves.

I've had to patch tiny holes in my old pair of Nyplex gloves with silicon glue, in order to keep using them for washing dishes. They are 3 years old now. The material has stiffened to the point where they are no longer comfortable, and cracks/holes are becoming more frequent. As it will soon be winter, ie. chapped hands season, I'll be in need of a good pair again.

None of the other brands I've tried were as good as these Nyplex ones were.

Ever since getting to know someone who is very allergic to latex, and reading that latex allergies may be induced by frequent exposure to it, I've tried to avoid it where possible.

As for why I've never even tried using the dish-washing machine that is in this house, well. The seal looks bad; I'm afraid it would leak water. I'm not sure the machine would do a good job. Maybe it would waste more water than when I wash the dishes by hand. Maybe it would make annoying noise. I seem to have a hang-up about it, and I'm not sure why.
darkoshi: (Default)

Verdict: undecided. (See Below)

It's a nice, light, quiet, and inexpensive keyboard.

But a defect with the Enter key on the keyboard I got makes it fairly unusable for me. I am returning it for a different model, rather than risking getting an exact replacement which might have the same problem.

The end portion of the video compares the loudness/quietness of typing on this keyboard compared to a laptop and a standard keyboard.

2013/10/13 UPDATE: I returned the defective keyboard and ended up buying another one of the same model, as I really liked it except for the defective key. The Enter key on the new one worked fine, but unfortunately the new keyboard had a different defect. The period (.) key didn't work unless pressed very hard. The Alt key also sometimes didn't work. As I got 2 bad keyboards in a row, I would advise against this model.

I have also tried out a different SIIG model - JK-US0412-S1. That one is more expensive, and the one I got does not have any defects. It is fairly quiet, but seems somewhat louder than the JK-US0612-S1. Key-presses on the US0612 sound thuddy, whereas on the US0412, they sound higher-pitched and "clickier". I'm not sure why, but typing on the US0412 doesn't feel as good to me, particularly when I happen to hit keys with fingernails rather than fingertips.
darkoshi: (Default)
I wanted post reviews of 2 items I had bought from Target.com.

After writing the first review, I was informed that it was over 1800 characters, but only 1000 were allowed. So I had to figure out what to cut out while keeping the important parts. Then, after submitting it, it didn't even show up with the other reviews! Hopefully that is only temporary.

Now, after writing the 2nd review, the page keeps giving me an error message "Please modify your submission before continuing." It doesn't even say what is wrong with the submission! If I change the review to just "TESTING TESTING this is a test", then I don't get the error. So apparently, it doesn't like what I wrote in the review. But it doesn't say why!

I spend my precious time trying to be helpful by posting authentic reviews, and this is what I get for it.

Now I'm not going to trust any reviews I read on their site. Surely any other real reviewers like me would be similarly off-put by all this BS.

... after more fiddling around with my review, I've determined the error is shown whenever I include the word "pipe" anywhere in the review. If I remove the "pipe" word, no error. WTF???
The product has metal pipes! What is so bad about me mentioning something about the pipe!!??

After some thinking, I thought the problem might be because I used the words "knob" and/or "rubber" (as in "wood knobs" and "rubber band"). But "pipe"!?

Oh, looky. "Pipe" is not accepted, but "pipes" is. Well, maybe "pipe" should be my new 4-letter word. That pipe-dammit pipety piping site wouldn't piping accept my piping wonderful review.
darkoshi: (Default)
One of the reasons I finally decided on this Yogachair brand of kneeling chair was that it comes in several different pretty colors. Another thing that appealed to me was the curved bottom which makes a rocking motion possible. The design appears to be very similar to the more highly priced "Variable Balans" chair by Varier.

I've been using the chair for about a month now, whenever I'm using my home computer, and haven't felt the need to switch back to my regular chair. Surprisingly, the lack of a backrest does not bother me. I like the yogachair a lot.

Sitting up straight in the chair is easier to do and much more comfortable than in a regular chair. I also like that you can rock the chair even while doing something stationary like typing. I suppose that might be giving my back some extra exercise. You can also put your feet down on the floor and change into various non-kneeling positions.

It is possible to slouch in the chair, and I find myself doing that fairly often - either slouching my back, or slouching forward while leaning my arms against the table.

Due to my tendency to rock in the chair, it tends to move around some, so I have to reposition it fairly often. But it's light-weight (ten pounds), and very easy to move.

Occasionally, I put a folded blanket on the seat of the chair. Doing that increases the angle
of my legs, and gives my back more of a stretch. When I do that, I have to raise my laptop/monitor height a little, as I'm then sitting higher.

I'm 5'4" tall and weigh about 110 pounds. The chair fits me fairly well. I think it would fit shorter people too, but I'm not sure how well it would fit heavier people, or people with longer legs.

The wood parts of the chair are thick and solid. Due to the design of the chair, with no front connecting bar, the knee rests aren't entirely steady - they can wiggle a bit side to side as you shift around. Since I'm a wiggly person, I see that as a positive thing. But it's one reason I'm not sure the chair would be good for a large and/or heavy person. The website says that the max recommended weight is 250 pounds, but I'm not sure that I would trust someone of that weight to safely sit in my chair.

The cushions are firm and comfortable. I'll have to see how well they stand up over time, but for now they are fine.

Depending on how I sit/kneel in the chair, my toes touch the bottom wood rails. With my houseshoes on, my toes can touch the ground This doesn't bother me, but it may be more of a problem for someone with longer legs and larger feet.

The instructions that come with the chair advise you to check the screws every once in a while and to re-tighten them when necessary. The chair has a built-in holder for a small allen wrench that comes with it. Reviews by other people mention that the screws have a tendency to come loose. After using my chair for about 2 weeks, one of the knee pads was a little loose, so I tightened its screw as well as the other screws. It was simple to do. If the screws were to start coming loose often, I might drill some more holes and add more screws. The seat and knee rests are attached with both dowels and screws, so it should be relatively simple to replace the dowels with extra screws.

After using the chair for a month, I haven't noticed any improvement in my back problems. It may be because I still slouch too often. Or it may be that my back problems aren't related to how I sit at all. Nevertheless, I like the chair.

darkoshi: (Default)
I have a container of "GreenShield organic laundry detergent". I'm not sure if I got a bad batch or if it's supposed to be this way.... It is very thin; the consistency and color of rice-milk. It doesn't even feel soapy when I rub it between my fingers. It says to use half a cap-full for a load in a regular washer, and a third for an HE washer. But I suspect that even were I to pour half the container into the machine, that it wouldn't cause much suds.

I've used it for several loads now, and I can't say if it works or not. I've seen some stains/spots left on the washed items, but that can happen even with other detergents. I'm going to be buying some other detergent, as this one simply doesn't seem right to me. I'd be curious to hear from anyone else who may have used this product, and if theirs was as thin as mine.

lights and music

Sunday, March 28th, 2010 11:58 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
I wonder why solar-powered yard lights are mostly sold with nickel cadmium batteries instead of nickel metal hydride ones. I seem to recall it being almost 10 years since NiMH started replacing NiCd for rechargeable batteries, due to being better for the environment, no memory effect, and higher capacity.

Ah, this page gives some possible reasons, such as NiCd batteries being less sensitive to temperature extremes and lasting for more recharging cycles.

I'd advise against getting the small yard lights which are sold individually and cheaply. I got 2 of them, and the batteries they contain are not standard sizes, so they can't be easily replaced. They don't look as water-proof as the LED crystal ball I got last year, either. Besides those, I also got a 2-pack of glass/metal stake ones, and a 4-pack of plastic LED lanterns which I plan to hang in a tree (I got those from Lowes - even Lowes has a nice selection of solar yard lights to choose from). The glass/metal ones look to be the best quality of the lot (although I am partial to real glass over plastic, so that may have me biased).


This HMDX Audio portable speaker case for an mp3 player is one of the things I got at Bed, Bath, and Beyond yesterday - I got a pretty purple one. The size is actually 6.5 inches wide, not what it says on that linked page. The sound quality is quite good, and it's louder than a different mini-speaker I got last year.


Dang it, LiveJournal is still returning this message:
Error updating journal: Client error: Sorry, there was a problem with content of the entry

when I try to save any post with a link to an ezinearticles page. I first noticed this was happening in January, and it is still happening. So I had to add an 'x' to the beginning of the first URL above.

Update: was able to get link to post using www. in front.

nifty things

Sunday, January 10th, 2010 09:06 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
I'm tasting a bottle of Swedish "Christmas Soda", Julmust, which I bought at World Market. The flavor is interesting - it tastes a bit like red wine to me (I don't like wine), but pleasant - slightly sweet and spicy instead of sour, slightly bitter, and without an alcoholic taste. It is less sweet than regular soda. The label says it has only 9g sugars per 8 fluid ounces, but 22g carbohydrates. Can that be true? What would the non-sugar carbohydrates be? The ingredients are: carbonated water, sugar, natural color (caramel), natural hops flavours, natural malt flavours (produced from barley), citric acid, flavours (natural and artificial), preservatives (sodium benzoate).
I like cola better, but this is quite drinkable too.

Oh! And it foams like beer when you pour it in a glass!


Another drink I got at World Market is "Glögg". You're supposed to mix it half and half with either water, or water and vodka, rum, or red wine, and heat it. I mixed it with hot water. It tastes like the German Glühwein to me. Unfortunatly, one of the evenings I was drinking it, my throat started feeling scratchy and I ended up coming down with a sore throat and then a cold. So now my mind correlates the drink with unpleasantness, even though the drink most likely had nothing to do with it.


I bought myself a Flossgrip floss holder, as I was getting bothered by having floss wrapped around my fingers, cutting into my skin and fingernails whenever I flossed. The flossgrip is great! You can use your own floss with it, and it reduces the amount of floss you need. You can floss with one hand!


At Halloween-time, I bought a short string of purple solar-powered LED mini-lights at Target (similar to these). I've got them wrapped around a tree branch near my house door, with the solar panel/battery in a nearby hanging basket.

I also bought a crackled glass ball on a spike, with solar-powered LEDs in the glass ball (similar to this). It has multiple colors and cycles through them. It starts shining when it gets dark in the evening and stays lit for a few hours - it only has a double-AA size rechargeable battery in it, charged by a small solar panel. The purple lights have a larger battery and solar panel and stay lit for longer. They are both very pretty and neat.

(no subject)

Thursday, January 1st, 2009 06:55 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
My handwriting is messy even when I'm purposefully trying to write slowly and legibly.

It's a new year, hurrah! Only a few months till the weather gets warm again.

My brother and his girlfriend/wife are immigrating to the U.S. from Germany.


Product Review: LinkSys WRT160N V2 Wireless-N Broadband router (N Ultra RangePlus).
Some minor problems installing it (following the instructions, we kept getting "302 Internal Error"). Configuring it manually worked ok, but we kept having problems with the internet connection. In the end, there seems to be some kind of issue with the router and DNS, as on both the wired computer and the wireless computer, we sporadically but frequently get page load errors... if we keep retrying to reload the page, eventually it works. Sometimes, one website would work and others would not. Sometimes, everything would work fine for a while, and then we'd start getting the page load errors again. This did not happen when connected directly to the modem, or when using the old router (which we've reverted to now again), so it is not a problem with the DNS servers themselves. Tried searching online for a solution to the problem, to no avail. It might be a problem with the latest firmware build, but LinkSys does not have the previous build available for download, so we could not try downgrading to it.
So, thumbs down on this product :(
Although, it does look nifty. Nice sleek shiny black plastic; looks sort of like a stealth bomber in comparison to the old router.

GPS nav, part 2

Tuesday, December 25th, 2007 10:14 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
I discovered today that the Pharos unit has a stylus which can be pulled out and used for the touch-screen. Using the stylus, or even my fingernail instead of my fingertip, the touchscreen responds quite well. Is this common with touchscreen interfaces, that you shouldn't actually use your fingertip?

The documentation that came with the product seems quite lacking, in that it did not mention the stylus other than showing it in a diagram of the unit, nor several other things about the unit.
darkoshi: (Default)
Forestfen wanted to have a GPS navigation unit for her car, especially for finding her way around when looking at houses as part of her real estate business. So I bought her a Pharos Drive GPS 150. It cost $150 at Newegg.com and has a $50 rebate.

I set it up yesterday and tested it on a trip. It seems to work fairly well for the price.

Entry is via touch screen, but that part does not always work well. I sometimes need to tap several times for my touch to be recognized, even though the unit makes the clicky sound each time I tap. I'm not sure if this is a problem in general with the product, or just on this particular unit. Touch-screen seemed like a plus at first, but now I think I'd prefer buttons.

You can enter your destination, and it will calculate a route and give you voice prompts as you travel. The voice prompts are in a cool-sounding female electronic voice. If you don't make a turn when prompted, it automatically recalculates the route and continues giving prompts based on the new route. You can specify that you want the "shortest" route or the "quickest" route. When navigating an area you are familiar with, you may notice that the calculated routes often aren't the ones you would normally choose on your own, but I suppose that would be the case with any GPS product.

It did one time choose a route that included a road which was blocked off. But upon driving past the blocked-off road, it came up with a new route. When recalculating routes, not once did it say to turn around and go back the other way - it seems to be programmed to try to find the best route without doing a U-turn, and without going back to the roads that you by-passed.

When one road going straight ahead becomes another road with a different name, the unit does not mention this in the route details. This can take getting used to. For example, it said to turn right on a particular road and drive 15 miles. The road was much shorter than that. However, the 15 miles were including the next road that this one ran into, as well as part of the highway that the next road ran into.

Yesterday I was able to get a GPS signal from inside the house next to the windows. Today it is cloudy, and I was not able to get a signal until going outside, and even then it took a few minutes.

(no subject)

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007 06:54 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
The new version of the deodorant smells different than the old one - like a typical feminine deodorant scent - and stronger. I don't like it. And my underarms feel slightly itchy. Please let it just be in my mind, and let me get used to it. WHY do they take a well-liked, tried-and-true product and then change the formulation like that? The old version had triclosan, whereas the new version has zinc ricinoleate. Maybe triclosan does have some negative qualities, and Hain Celestial Group, which bought out Para Labs, the maker of this previously fine product, felt that using a different ingredient would be better. But I wish they had not changed the scent.

I hope they didn't change the formulation of the Mint Julep deodorant too. Surely they wouldn't change the scent of that one. It wouldn't be mint julep anymore if they changed it.

I've gotten some holiday spirit back. The thought of putting up a christmas tree even has a bit of appeal.

I made some wonderful creamy vegan macaroni and cheese yesterday. Yum.

I've been given a used metal file cabinet. It will let me store some of the stuff I still have standing around in boxes. Yet it seems so big and .. not very pretty. I don't know where I will put it. I've gotten used to the existing spaciousness in my house, and anywhere I put that big thing will no longer be as nice and spacious.

(no subject)

Sunday, December 16th, 2007 10:43 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
Aaack! The stores finally have my Queen Helene Aloe Deodorant back in stock, but it's different now! It's white instead of yellowish-clear, and the ingredients are different. I hope it still works as well as the prior formulation. It's the best deo I've used even though I sometimes have to reapply it during the day. It's the only one other than the Queen Helene Mint Deo, that doesn't end up giving me a rash when I use it a lot.

I was just watching Prime Suspect on PBS. It was interesting. More interesting to me than any drama show I've seen in a long time. I hope the 2nd part of tonight's show is shown next week at the same time, not that I miss how it ends.