Categories
Adventures

Product Review: Ecoflo Stainless Steel Water Filter Bottle

So, the doctor says I’m going to die if I don’t change my ways. According to him, sitting for 8 hours-a-day slurping down caffeinated high fructose corn syrup is not how to live a long healthy life. He recommended something called eksersize and claims there’s a type of food that grows out of the ground. Gross.

After my appointment I went by the health food store to grab the fish oil he recommended and gear-up for a healthier lifestyle. In the water section (the store has a water section) I found an interesting water bottle that filters as you drink. The Ecoflo Stainless Steel Water Filter Bottle.

Ecoflo Stainless Steel Water Filter Bottle, self-filtering

The Ultimate Water Bottle

The label claimed you could fill it with river, lake, stream, or even pool water and drink safely. Awesome. Not only will it help me kick my coke habit, but I now have a trusty source of clean water to carry me right on through the apocalypse.

Its made of 304 food grade, non-leaching , BPA and lead-free stainless steel. That means you don’t get that plastic taste or brain cancer. Bonus.

Screw plastic water bottles.

This thing filters 150 gallons of water before having to change filters. That’s 960 20oz bottles of water. Even if you bought in bulk, that much water would cost about $150. The Ecoflo cost $35, saving me $115. I’m all about saving money.

What about replacing the filters? I couldn’t find any info at the store and assumed they were expensive. The manufacturer’s website says each new filter costs $20 and cleans 150 gallons.

Sold

I’m now a proud, and somewhat leaner, owner of  a self-filtering water bottle. When I have it with me I drink way less soda and coffee. The only negative thing I have to say about the bottle is that sucking through straw took some getting use to. It takes a little more suction than a regular sports bottle might.

Tornado Proof

That’s right, my Ecoflo has also came in handy as a survival tool. The tornadoes that recently destroyed the south hit my city, Tuscaloosa, hard. The government issued a water warning for several days after the disaster. We were all supposed to boil our water before drinking, or use bottled water. With confidence I filled up my Ecoflo straight from the tap. After not dying from some water-born bacterial nastiness, I’m convinced of Ecoflo’s filtration claims.

Recommended

I recommend buying one for yourself and even everyone in your family. Especially if you like saving money, travel, or live in a disaster prone area.

Perfect for Paleo

If you happen to be following the Paleo Lifestyle this water bottle is critical since water and coffee are basically the only fluids recommended.

Bought one yet?

Thanks for reading, and if you decide to buy the Ecoflo please use the affiliate links I’ve provided to help support my blog. I leave with a promo video created by Ecoflo:

Categories
Inspirations

Book Review: The Four Hour Work Week

Summary

Overall, my mental and emotional experience reading the The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris felt something like this:

I’m having a chat in a coffee shop with Tim, the author. He suddenly flips over the table, screams “Eighty Twentyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!”, punches me in the face, injects an adrenaline shot into my neck, and throws me into a Ferrari that flies off into space.

In other words, it was moving.

Context

I finished a this book sitting at the foot of my pregnant wife’s hospital bed listening to the sound of the IV machine pump fluids into her dehydrated veins while she got some well-deserved rest from the effects of Hyperemisis Gravidarum. Because of her condition, she wasn’t able to care for our 2-year old while I was at work. We moved in with her parents. Life was hard, but good. Hated to see her that way. As she fought to give life, I pushed even harder to work for a better life for our family. Tim’s book entered my life at the right time.

Take Aways

I had an idea of what the book was about from friends and reviews. My general impression was something about traveling, business and four hours. I was pleasantly surprised to find more depth than I expected. Yes, there were business tips and travel how-tos that were very helpful, but what stood out to me were Tim’s ideas about lifestyle design. Here is a brain dump of my lingering impressions of how the book affected me:

  • gave me hope
  • opened my eyes to a new world of possibilities in business
  • made me feel like I CAN do something different with my career if I choose to
  • revived dreams I’d almost completely let go of
  • gave me permission to pursue the life-STYLE that I think is best for me and my family instead of accepting what someone else expects of my time
  • informed me about how to start a product-based business
  • informed me about traveling smarter
  • explained the power and purpose of automation
  • helped me understand the reason big businesses outsource parts of their business to other countries
  • made me realize that I’m not alone when it comes to ideas and feelings I’ve had about a drastically different work and life style
  • inspired me to be more focused while working
  • made me question my current lifestyle
  • confirmed ideas I’ve had about restructuring my work life because the current 8-5 structure that keeps you away from family all day doesn’t seem natural (most people were in the “family business” a short few hundred years ago)
  • confirmed ideas about the benefits of fasting from media and information

Live Smarter

Although I don’t agree with all of Tim’s philosophical ideas, I appreciated his honest logical approach to everything, including spirituality. Whatever Tim’s spiritual beliefs are his book came into my life at the perfect time. It may even have been a God thing. I could see his book being extremely helpful to missionaries because of the international lifestyles they live.

I recommend it. Read it: Buy The 4-Hour Workweek here

The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated

Categories
Adventures Ideas Inspirations

What’s the best computer for graphic design: Mac or PC?

WARNING: This post contains completely biased opinion from a Mac user.  You may experience entertainment and a desire to purchase Apple products. If symptoms persist for more than 30 days, save your money and call your local Apple dealer.
Mac vs PC ad guys

Nick Elam, sent me a controversial question that inspired this post:

What kind of computer do you suggest for graphic design? Mac? PC?
My laptop is too slow to handle my graphic design work lately so I’m looking for a new computer. Lots of people say “go with a Mac”, but I could build a PC with a faster processor and better video card for a lot less. What do you think?

I’ll answer Nick’s question with pure opinion. I don’t feel the need to regurgitate a balanced Mac/PC debate. That’s been done, and that’s what links are for:

Quick summary: I use Macs.

  1. As a graphic designer, the tools you use daily will influence your work on some level.
  2. Apple is able to “design” the entire user experience of their products since they build the hardware and software themselves.
  3. If your budget is an issue, find a refurbished or used Mac. They hold their value extremely well. I bought a 2006 iMac 24″ as a family computer in 2009. After we replaced the video card in 2010,  it functions perfectly, even with the latest Mac OSX installed. It’s definitely not as swift as my 2011 Macbook Pro, but it get’s the job done.

Let me start by saying buy a Mac

Apple Mackbook Pro 15 inch early 2011
My current laptop 2011-2013

And let me follow that up by saying buy a Mac now. I don’t care if you can mine silicon, weld transistors, and engineer the motherboard yourself. Using a Mac is better than using a Windows PC for graphic design, like using a pencil is better than a rock and chisel for drawing portraits.

I’ll explain.

Space defines action

I believe your environment influences your work. As a designer it makes sense to use things that are well designed. Interacting with a well designed product actually teaches you how to design better.

User experience trumps hardware specs

Apple Vs Microsoft Switchboard
Now that Intel Macs can run both Windows and Mac OSX there is no need for other hardware. If you are only interested in comparing hertz and bytes, then there isn’t much difference between a Mac and a Windows PC. However, by only comparing hardware specs you’re missing the bigger picture. As a graphic designer your computer is your business partner. You will spend hours everyday interacting with this machine. Designing your latest masterpiece, communicating with clients, sending out invoices, getting lost in a Twitter/Facebook hole; all of this happens on this one device. That’s why I believe the software on your box is a little more important than the metallic bits inside.

This is where Macs move way ahead of PCs. The Mac operating system is an intuitive streamlined environment. It simplifies basic interactions, and doesn’t get in the way productivity. This efficiency will pay big dividends in the daily grind of being a graphic designer.

Modern Macs can do it all

I use a Mac for all computing purposes, except for the occasional website debugging that I have to do for Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer isn’t made for Macs anymore. This means I must traverse into the nether regions of darkness to find a cheeto-encrusted Windows-based PC to test my website. Even testing Internet Explorer bugs. I simply open Parallels and can swipe between Mac & Windows easily.

The necks of PC fanatics are thick with veins by now. I haven’t given a lot of statistics, references and bar charts to prove my theories. But as I said before, I’m simply voicing the opinion that’s been formed in me after years of working with both Macs and Windows-based computers.

I choose mac. What do you use?

UPDATE! Windows 8 is a game changer and definitely put the Microsoft Windows' UI in a better place. Definitely check it out, use it, learn from it. But as of 2013, I'm still leaning Mac. After a few iterations on some of Microsoft's new concepts in Windows 8, I may be singing a different tune.
Categories
Inspirations

The Best Watch Design I’ve Ever Seen.

Awesome On Air watch design

This extraordinary minimal wrist watch designed by Iskender Asanaliev, features a clear LED display that shows the current hour with a hand built from the minutes. The minutes are ultra slick numbers fashioned into the shape of the hour hand.

On Air watch design time examples

This watch is not currently in production. The designer is still looking for a manufacturer. Personally I think Nike could make this work with one of their product lines. A beautiful piece.
read more

Categories
Inspirations

Scientists Invent Holodeck!

The ultimate gaming experience: 360 degree virtual reality. Nice tights.
The ultimate gaming experience: 360 degree virtual reality. Nice tights.

FINALLY! Every gamer has dreamed of the day of real virtual gaming. Well, my cheeto-loving friends, our day has finally come. The VirtuSphere let’s you run around in what looks like a huge plastic soccer ball that sits on rollers. With a headset over your eyes and a gun in hand, you can literally run, jump, or crawl around the virtual environment. Now you can rack up kills in your favorite first-person shooter while getting a great cardio workout. Of course it’s very expensive right now. Only military forces, governments, and big entertainment companies have bought them so far. It may take a few years for VirtuSphere to come to your nearest discount super-store. But when it does, Halo will never be the same. WOOT! WOOT!

Military training in VirtuSphere
Military training in VirtuSphere

read more