Disney Channel Movie Review: High School Musical

Emery

As a parent I must promote the new Disney Channel Film High School Musical. Not only does it have a great moral but it shows our youth that they can do anything that they set their minds too, no matter what their friends think.

Not only does the new Disney Channel Movie have catchy show tunes, but it also has a great moral behind the story.

It is a musical in true sense that would remind you of the musicals from classic Hollywood movies of the 1930s and 40s when it was in its golden phase and continues to be popular even today. It can also be viewed on tvmuse online as it is a popular platform for such films.

In the beginning of the movie two of the main characters meet at a New Years Eve party on Winter Break, both from different worlds and both Troy and Gabriella find that they have amazing voices and they have fun singing together. The movie then turns to a setting in New Mexico. Gabriella’s mother was transferred there and she comes to find out that is where Troy the boy that she met on winter break lives and goes to school.

They not only start to have a romantic encounter, but they also challenge the two stars of the school musicals Sharpay and Ryan in the new school musical.

As the show goes on it shows that just because you have an interest in something that your friends don’t, doesn’t mean that it’s all bad. In fact Troy’s and Gabriella’s friends learn that if they all work together they can make anything happen.

They figure this out by first trying to stop the call backs for Troy and Gabriella, and by breaking them up. For a short time it actually worked, but when their friends see that they are miserable without each other they come forward and tell Troy and Gabriella the truth.

Sharpay and Ryan are the devious ones in the film; they do everything they can to prevent Troy and Gabriella from performing in the callbacks, including having the callbacks for the musical rescheduled to the same time as the District Finals for the Basketball team, and the Scholastic Decathlon.

Troy and Gabriella’s friends learn to work together to help Troy and Gabriella to do both feats at once. They learn that working together as a team anything is possible.

This is a very good moral that we as parents need to teach our children today. With the constant cliques in the school systems, and one clique always thinking that they are better than the other clique. We really need to have more movies like High School Musical to show our children that just because you are part of one group, you can’t also be part or participate in a different activity.

Our society needs to show our children that they can do a multitude of activities and that there is nothing wrong with them.

Product Review: Roomba 500 Robotic Vacuuming Unit

Emery

In writing this review I must first admit that prior to buying and using a robotic vacuuming system I was very leery of the claims made by its’ manufacturer, iRobot Corporation that this small, self propelled, vacuuming system could provide a combination of powerful suction and brushing in one small mobile unit which could rival that of the most powerful manual vacuum.

My suspicion was based my experience with numerous vacuums I had purchased over the years. This ranged from small lightweight machines to huge, powerful monsters which in an effort to provide the most powerful suction resulted in a machine which weighed almost as much as I do (215 lbs.) and quickly exhausted the user. What is the Best In-Car Vacuum Cleaner for cleaning of the appliances. The efforts of the human will be less while cleaning the surface of the car. 

My previous experience with vacuums included purchases from relatively unknown manufacturers to the most established ones and included Hoover, Eureka, Bissel,Kirby, Electrolux, Shark, Dirt Devil and Orek….and included a wide range of models including canisters, bag and bagless and wind tunnel machines.

Based on that experience I concluded that regardless of claims most vacuums do little to distinguish themselves one from the other. Yes, some offer increased suction and others are bagless, but in general all vacuums apply the required suction and brushing action to pickup lint and small objects and deposit them on a filter for later removal.

And so when I read advertised claims by iRobot that the Roomba 500 offered a powerful vacuuming and brushing system which could automatically detect and adjust to any floor surface and match the cleaning performance of much larger systems I shrugged this off as just one more Madison Avenue promotion. There was, in my mind, no way this little circular dish, 14 inches in diameter, could house the power to propel the unit, drive brushes and power the vacuum necessary to do the job. I was not even convinced this little disc even provided enough room to hold the volume of litter it was designed to remove.

I was wrong. I have found this compact, powerful, little machine to be quite capable of living up to its’ billing and in many respects have found in to match or exceed the capability of its’ more powerful and much larger (and heavier) competitors.

At the urging of my wife we purchased a Roomba with the agreement that if it did not perform up to our (her) cleaning standards we would return it. The store in question agreed to this arrangement.

I was assigned the task of reading the instructions and preparing the Roomba for a test run.I was surprised to find that Roomba included a recorded voice demonstration which made the Roomba set-up quite easy. There was also a voice guided demonstration of Roomba features.

Our initial test in our home subjected the Roomba to a variety of floor surfaces. Our home has wall to wall carpeting in some rooms, bare hardwood floors in others and vinyl in the kitchen and bathrooms. The Roomba was used on all of these surfaces and did in fact travel from other surface to the next without manual intervention or adjustments of any kind with no loss in cleaning efficiency.

Starting the Roomba in our largest carpeted room I watched as the small disc-shaped robot came to life, rotated 360 degrees, as if looking over the task at hand, and then began making successively wider concentric circles as it began vacuuming the room. It was soon obvious from the cleaning tracks left in the carpet that the little machine was applying a powerful brushing and suction action, but as a test I would periodically introduce a foreign object (small piece of thread, lint ball, small piece of newspaper, some bread crumbs, etc.) in its’ path and watched as Roomba passed over and removed them all.

After its’ initial circular path the Roomba was programmed to change over to a completely random path, crossing the room on a diagonal, then on meeting a wall hugging it until on meeting resistance (furniture, another wall, etc.) the machine would rotate and start out on a completely new path. While this sounds a little chaotic the randomness of Roomba’s route proves to very beneficial as in the course of covering an entire room it traverses and recrosses the same area of a room multiple times before it considers the job done.

I was impressed when the Roomba on approaching my planted deposits of pencil shavings (my test) stopped over the center of the shavings and rotated 360 degrees for some 30 seconds until it was sure the spot was clean and then continued on its’ original course.

When using the Roomba in our upstairs bedrooms I considered using one of the included “invisable walls” to prevent the Roomba from running up to and falling down the stairwell. Invisable walls are small portable devices (included with Roomba) which emit a transparent beam which the Roomba is programmed not to cross. These “walls” are used to keep the Roomba out of rooms or other areas which are considered off limits for the Roomba. However, recalling the orientation instructions I decided to test the feature of the Roomba designed to protect itself from falling down stairwells. I watched as the little machine hustled its’ way up the head of the stairwell. It never slowed until the instant the first 1/8 inch of the Roomba crossed the edge of the top step. At this point the Roomba stopped suddenly and completely and rotated 180 degrees and resumed cleaning.

As an aside, the Roomba offers a significant advantage over any conventional vacuum when it comes to vacuuming beneath beds. Here, in the land of “dust bunnies” the little robot excels as it traverses back and forth,stopping frequently to do a 360 rotation as it detects and removes heavier dust accumulations.

After two hours of continuous cleaning I stopped the Roomba and opened its’ dust collection bin. There was a striking assortment of lint, cat hair, small carpet fibers and all of the test objects I had introduced. I was totally impressed with quantity of debris the machine had found and vacuumed in rooms that had never gone more than a week between routine vacuuming. I would estimate that the uncompressed wad of lint and cat hair and other debris measured roughly 36-40 cubic inches. Roomba claims its’ collection filter also screens out invisable dander and allergens.

Emptying the dust bin is easy. One removable section of the Roomba gives access to the dust bin and allows this to be dumped into a trash collector or can. The filter is easily cleaned witha small brush or by blowing away collected lint.

While I have not used this feature the Roomba provides a capability to Prue-schedule cleaning up to seven different cleaning times at which time the Roomba will self start and clean for a programmed cleaning period, after which time it will return to its’ home base for recharging of its’ batteries.

I found only two features of Roomba which I feel could be improved…..I have difficulty effectively deploying the “invisable walls”. I use these to block Roomba from area which I do not want Roomba to enter. These may be rooms which are temporarily limits (such as a room in which I have spread out work papers on the floor) or permanently off limits. I have found that the invisable walls do not cast a definite straight line beam, but rather cast a broad beam which grows in width with distance from its’ origin point. This makes deploying the wall to block a very specific location difficult as the beam width is unknown. As a result one of two situations may occur, either the Roomba penetrates the beam or more likely the Roomba stops far short of the area intentionally blocked and leaves that area un-vacuumed.

The second, although minor problem, involves the Roomba getting stuck underneath a low piece of furniture or bed. This happens rarely, but even when it does the Roomba is programmed to shut down when this occurs rather than run down its’ battery or strain its’ motor.

In summary, the Roomba is a surprisingly effective and powerful tool for vacuuming virtually any floor service. I have compared dust and lint accumulations in the same room over the same period for the Roomba and my traditional stand up vacuum and found the Roomba removes a higher level of debris.

The Braun SmartControl3 Wet and Dry Shaver – Review

Emery

Have you been thinking about what to get your father, husband, or even brother for their birthday and have been pondering the thought of maybe getting one of those new Braun SmartControl3 Wet and Dry Shavers? If you have you might want to read this review to help make your decision on whether or not to buy the Braun SmartControl3 Wet and Dry Shaver.

The Braun SmartControl3 Wet and Dry Shaver comes with a safe three stage cutting system with one fixed head to help you get a close comfortable shave while shaving either with water or without. It also has a pop up trimmer for trimming or shaving your mustache, goatee, beard, or side burns. The Braun SmartControl3 Wet and Dry Shaver also comes with a rechargeable battery, a recharge electrical cord that plugs into an electrical outlet so you can recharge your electrical shaver, and a small black carrying case just incase you travel and need something to place your electrical shaver in.

Braun SmartControl3 Wet and Dry Shaver also allow you to shave dry or with shaving cream and water, but the choice is fully yours. However the males in my family still use shaving cream and water while shaving so they get that soft scruff free skin and they usually stick use their aftershave so their face wont feel dry and itchy. I guess when you shave dry it cause your face to be itchy and sometimes even peel after, so I would recommend to any of you who buy the Braun SmartControl3 Wet and Dry Shaver to use the shaver with a good brand name of shaving cream and some nice warm water.

The Braun SmartControl3 Wet and Dry Shaver is apparently easy to use with its on and off buttons that go up and down, and it becomes cordless when you don’t feel like having the cord attached when you shave. The battery in the electrical wet and dry shaver usually last around a half and hour and can be recharged in five minutes if you need to use it right away and the battery dies on you while shaving. However before the shaver dies it usually will alert you buy making a beeping noise and flashing a little red light that is built into it.

You can purchase the Braun SmartControl3 Wet and Dry Shaver at Wal-Mart, Target, Wal-Greens, Rite Aid, Best Buys, and Sears. The Braun SmartControl3 Wet and Dry Shaver usually cost in between thirty to seventy dollars depending on where you buy and what sales are going on in the store you purchase the shaver at. However you can find the Braun SmartControl3 Wet and Dry Shaver at a discounted price online at Amazon.com and the Ebay Store. However you may need the model number to get the exact electric wet and dry shaver that I am telling you about when you go and purchase it online or at a store and the model number is 4775.

I hope after you have just read the review on the Braun SmartControl3 Wet and Dry Shaver you have a better idea on how it works and whether or not to buy it for your loved one or not. I know when I bought it for my loved one they simply loved it. If you would like to read more about the Braun Smart Control Wet and Dry Shaver all you have to do is go to one of the links I have attached to my review and it will provide you will some more extra helpful information on this product.

Tech Review: Eureka Optima Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Emery

Vacuum cleaners have been around for a long time. Eureka has been one of the most popular brands almost since day one. The new Eureka Optima has all the quality and convenience of all the other Eureka uprights with a few extra advantages. It is smaller than most other uprights, but just as powerful. It is light weight and easy to maneuver. The round handle seems a little strange at first, but it’s easy to get used to.

The Eureka Optima doesn’t use bags. Have you ever been unable to vacuum because you were out of bags and the stores were closed? It can’t happen with the Eureka Optima. The wind tunnel pulls all the dirt, dust and particles into a clear plastic container that is easy to empty. The added advantage of having a receptacle instead of a bag is that if something gets sucked up that shouldn’t have been, jewelry or small change, for example, it is much easier to locate and retrieve that fighting your way through a dust cloud as you pour the paper vacuum bag out.

This fine little appliance also has a hose for all those places the rest of the upright won’t go. Convenience and power are the best reasons to buy a Eureka Optima. However there are other reasons as well. For example, it comes in a box for easier transport when you purchase it. It is simple to assemble. You can’t beat the price. The Eureka Optima sells at Wal Mart for under fifty dollars! Imagine, a vacuum with so many advantages at such a low price!

The Eureka Optima vacuum comes with a fourteen page instruction booklet, printed in both English and Spanish. Simple directions for assembly and instructions for maintenance are combined with warnings of how to use the Eureka Optima safely. For example, the booklet says not to vacuum up and flammable materials, use caution when vacuuming stairs, and check the cord every time you use it to be sure it isn’t damaged. There is also a section in the booklet about troubleshooting your Eureka Optima vacuum. It explains how to reset the brush roll, how to remove clogs, and how to clean the filter.

As with most appliances, the Eureka Optima comes with a limited warranty. Any damage that is caused by damaged or defective parts at the time of purchase is covered. If damage is caused in the normal use of the machine, however, Eureka cannot be held accountable. So, try to be as careful as possible and pay attention to maintenance.

I bought a Eureka Optima for my wife for Christmas this year. She used it to clean up after we took down the Christmas tree and was delighted with how quickly the job was done. The hose did a great job on the window sills and inside the couch and chairs as well. It gets into places the dust collects and cleans it right up. Our daughter has a Eureka Optima, too, and bigger messes to tackle. She has a dog, two cats, and two children that leave messes everywhere (not to mention hair by the truck load!) Her Eureka Optima needs the filter cleaned a little more often than ours will, but she uses hers every day and has never had a problem with it.

Review: Dyson DC17 Absolute Animal Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Emery

We have a large family – two parents, one child, 3 god-children who visit all the time, four cats, two dogs and a frog. My daughter has asthma and while the frog presents no problem the four indoor cats do. I did a lot of research for an upright vacuum cleaner that would be able to keep the cat hair out of the house as well as dust and dirt. I shopped and tried out different brands but the best that I found was the Dyson DC17 Absolute Animal Upright. It is certified asthma and allergy friendly according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. The system has a sealed design so that it picks up the dirt but only expels clean air back into the house. The bagless system with HEPA filtration and Dyson’s Root Cyclone technology made this a must for our house.

I was amazed at how clean my house looked after I used this vacuum. I had thought that my old vacuum was doing a good job but once I used the Dyson DC17 I saw the difference this machine can make. The Dyson DC17 captures 99% of dust particles as small as .3 microns and with the Level 3 Root Cyclone™ technology the system has continuous strong suction power. There is an extra motor in the power head to get the deepest dirt from carpets and furniture. The Quick-draw Telescope Reach™ wand allows you to have 16 feet of extended reach and is easy as pressing a button (it extends just by pressing the button and I love this feature). I use this wand to clean the tops of my curtains, the corners of my ceilings and any hard to reach area. Emptying the dirt is very easy and sanitary with the Clear Bin™ canister. A simple push-button trigger allows for quick, hygienic emptying so that you never come in contact with the dirt.

My system cost $550 but I have found this model now online for as low as $375 so it pays to do a little browsing online before purchasing. My Dyson came equipped with the 12-amp motor, a lifetime HEPA filter, has a 35-foot cord length, a 51-foot maximum reach, has auto carpet height adjustment, a mini turbine head, a low reach floor tool, the carpet care kit and crevice tool as well as the dusting nozzle amp; upholstery tool. All of this and a manufacturer’s 5-year limited warranty made my purchase very satisfying.

I have not had any trouble with my machine. I did find it a little difficult in the beginning because it was bigger than my other vacuum but after about a week I was running this machine all over my house and cleaning places that had not seen a vacuum in ages. I highly recommend this machine not only to homes that have pets but to anyone who appreciates a clean home and loves convenience.

Review – Hawthorn Suites at the Victorian Resort in Galveston, TX

Emery

The Hawthorn Suites is located at the Victorian Condo Resort on Seawall Blvd in Galveston, TX. My husband and I wanted a quick weekend getaway at the beach. But, with 2 small children our hotel choices were limited. We needed something with at least one separate bedroom, a kitchen, and a dining room table and all on the seawall. After 2 days of searching every single hotel on Seawall Blvd, I found the Hawthorne Suites. It seemed to have everything we needed and had tons more to offer as well.

The Hawthorn Suites is easy to find off of Seawall BLVD and 61st Street next to the Super Wal-mart. Upon entering the circle drive toward the entrance, the hotel appears to be reminisce of the east coast cap cod style homes and hotels from the 1900’s. At first glance I was extremely impressed and thrilled at the location and the exterior of the hotel. The lobby was not up to date and was small and reminded me of an old motel lobby area. The front desk employees were extremely nice and helpful. Very pleasant to talk to and helped with any questions. The hotel had been overbooked and sold out for the weekend. We were greatly surprised that they so graciously upgraded our room from a one bedroom to a two bedroom at no additional charge.

The room was pleasantly surprising. After seeing the lobby I wasn’t sure what to expect. There was a small foyer that lead to a very large kitchen and huge living/dining area. The kitchen was well equipped with a small refrigerator, stove top, sink, and dishwasher. There was also tons of cabinets stocked with cups, plates, dishes, and silverware along with plenty of counter space. Coffee maker with coffee and cleaning supplies also came in the kitchen. There was a large sleeper sofa, side chair, coffee table and armoire with a large TV that completed the living room area and a nice size kitchen table and 4 chairs set in the corner made a great place to eat breakfast. The balcony door was right off the living room and had a great view of the gulf. The oversized balcony had a small table and two chairs to enjoy the gulf breezes.

The two bedrooms in our condo were very spacious. There was actually a 3rd kids room off the front foyer. It was small but had bunkbeds and a small dresser. There would be perfect for kids. Since we were traveling with 2 small kids, the room was perfect size to house one of the 2 portable cribs. Plus, it gave our youngest son privacy during naps and bedtime. The secondary bedroom had a queen size bed, flat screen TV, dresser, ceiling fan and a view of the family pool. The master bedroom had a queen size bed as well and a flat screen TV. Huge dresser, large closet, and bay windows that overlooked the gulf of Mexico completed the room. Each bedroom had its own bathroom with an extra door from the 2nd bathroom to the living room.

The room supplied all the same amenities you would find in another hotel room such as tolietries and essentials. Towels, pillows, and extra blankets. The hotel also featured 2 huge swimming pools. A family pool complete with zero depth entry features a water drop mushroom, a floating alligator, water cannon bubbling jets to tickle your toes and an adult pool with a rock waterfall and surrounded by trees. The hotel also has 2 hot tubs, 2 picnic areas, and a fish cleaning station, tennis courts and a fitness center. The Hawthorn has cruise parking, a full hot breakfast buffet complete with waffles, eggs, sausage and more.

The Hawthorn Suites is just steps away from the sandy beach and warm gulf waters. Many restaurants and stores surround the hotel. It is in a great location. This hotel was perfect for our family. Each of our 2 boys had their own room and we had our privacy as well. Our night didn’t have to end at 8pm when it was lights out for the kids. We both agreed that when we return to Galveston, this was our hotel of choice. Perfect in every way. I could not say enough nice things about this hotel. Now, the hotel was undergoing some major renovation and restoration at the time of our stay. Even with this going on, we never encountered any problems with our room, the service, the food, or anything. The best part about the trip was sitting on our private balcony that overlooked the gulf after the boys were sleeping and enjoying the quiet and listening to the ocean waves. We had an awesome time.

Product Review of the Eureka Altima Turbo Bagless Vacuum Cleaner

Emery

I love my pineapple hued Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum cleaner. I bought my Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum cleaner at Wal-Mart for a very reasonable $79.88 before tax. It was neither the cheapest nor the most expensive bagless upright vacuum cleaner in the store. After comparing it to the other bagless vacuum cleaners on display, the Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum cleaner seemed like the most logical purchase. Moreover, its Good Housekeeping seal of approval along with Wal-Mart’s generous 90-day return policy made it a no brainer when deciding to bring it home and to give it a spin. On my return home, this is what I found.

1. The Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum with HEPA filter sucks up dust and dirt like no one’s business.

At 12 amps, this is a powerful machine. My husband and I marveled at the dust balls, hair and dirt that were collected after the first few sweeps over our carpeted living room floor. There is something immensely satisfying about seeing the dust and debris accumulate in its clear plastic canister.
Its HEPA filtration system, also, makes it an ideal vacuum for the allergy sufferer.

Furthermore, the Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum cleaner has five adjustable settings for floor and carpet height. With one pass over our vinyl flooring in the kitchen, bathroom and entryway, it has made sweeping with a broom a thing of the past.

2. The Eureka Altima Turbo bagless upright vacuum has cool accessories that make cleaning easier and fun.

The telescopic self-cleaning duster is a hoot. It is tucked into the narrow, clear canister on the side of the Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum. You just twist the handle that sticks out of the canister and pull it out for use. The handle of the duster can extend out to 3 feet for high reach dusting. After use, stick the duster back into its canister and turn on the vacuum. When you pull the plastic lever located beneath the duster canister, dust is sucked right out of the duster and into the Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum. This suction action also “charges” the duster with electrostatic electricity making it a virtual dust magnet for your next cleaning. Is that cool or what?

The Power Paw with Riser Visor is another nifty accessory that is included with the Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum cleaner. This little attachment flips up and down for horizontal and vertical cleaning of stairs and upholstery. However, as much as I love my Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum, I have to admit that this 25 pound machine makes it too heavy and cumbersome to ergonomically clean a flight of stairs (Isn’t that why they invented the Dust Buster?). However, the Power Paw worked great cleaning the sides and seats of my upholstered sofa, ottoman and chairs.

The extra long crevice tool and wand is another great accessory of the Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum cleaner. It’s ideal for cleaning baseboards, corners and any narrow, hard to reach area such as between the refrigerator and wall.

The upholstery and dusting brush can be attached to the extra long crevice tool and wand for cleaning your more stubborn dusty areas that need to be vacuumed. I’ve used the upholstery and dusting brush on our computer keyboards, baseboards, fans and even the coils on the back of the refrigerator.

3. The Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum cleaner is a streamlined machine that makes cleaning quicker and more efficient.

All of the above accessories and attachments have their own separate compartments located on the vacuum cleaner itself eliminating unnecessary trips to the utility closet for different attachments and brushes.

Instead of unwinding a cord for operation, an easy cord release allows the user to quickly plug in the vacuum for use.

4. The scuff resistant furniture guard on the front and sides of the Eureka Altima Turbo bagless upright vacuum cleaner prevents damage and unslightly marks to your home and its contents.

This light gray rubber guard allows you to get amazingly close to the baseboards without any damage or scuff marks to the molding.

5. The Eureka Altima Turbo bagless upright vacuum cleaner’s no touch bagless system and non-pleated filter system makes it easier to clean.

To get rid of the dirt and debris that has accumulated in the plastic canister of the bagless vacuum, all one has to do is push a plastic slider to the right at the bottom of the canister, take it out and dump its content into a trash can.

Moreover, the Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum cleaner has a flat surfaced, one-piece spongy filter that is more easily cleaned than its pleated counterparts. You can use warm water and mild soap when necessary to clean it, or you can just thump it a few times to get rid of the excess lint. The filter should be air dried before putting it back in its place.

There are only a few changes that I would like to see made to the Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum cleaner. It would be great if it were a few pounds lighter and had a one and a half inch higher handle and a two foot extension hose that could be stretched up to 4 feet for cleaning drapes and cobwebs at the corner of ceilings. However, the accessories included in this bagless vacuum cleaner along with its powerful cleaning ability makes this bagless upright a truly exceptional deal. If you are searching for an all around, powerful bagless vacuum cleaner with a lot of bells and whistles without the bells and whistles price, you will be very happy with the Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum cleaner.

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