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Posts Tagged ‘review’

Church’s Chicken IS In Toronto – I Break My @ChurchsChicken Cherry

April 3, 2011 8 comments

 

Church's Chicken Toronto at St Clair West & Dufferin. (Picture actually taken March 21, 2011 not tonight.)

After hearing a lot about this place and having a whole discussion with some people on the interiorwebs – namely Sean and Justin (on Twitter they are @sboulton and @The_JMoney respectively) along some other people who honestly I don’t remember but they totally did chime in when we were having this discussion like 3 weeks ago – I decided I finally had to try this place out. It is supposed to be like the best fast food chicken ever according to some…or maybe even the best chicken ever I’m not sure.

So tonight on my way home from a day spent mostly at Yonge & Eglinton I, for the first time, took the TTC”s St Clair 512 streetcar – and didn’t find it that much faster than a bus to be honest – out to Dufferin and St Clair West to visit this reportedly amazing chicken restaurant that used to exist all over Toronto and is now relegated to this one location – as far as anyone knows. (P.S. another link for the 512 St Clair aside from the official TTC one linked above is this one from TransitToronto.org which I got via Wikipedia’s article about it.)

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REVIEW: The Thank You Economy By @GaryVee & An Open Letter To Gary

March 28, 2011 6 comments

I just finished reading Gary Vaynerchuk’s new book called The Thank You Economy. Gary, or @garyvee as he is known on Twitter, describes himself in his Twitter bio as a guy who is all about:

Family 1st! but after that, Businessman, @winelibrary, @Vaynermedia, Author of @TYEbook and a dude that Loves the hustle (hard work), people and the @nyjets

His bio on his own personal website is uber long so I will just say he has accomplished a lot and if you’d like to read it, check it out here

On to the book. I really enjoyed reading it and if you are already interested in social media (I know Gary hates that word as he says in the book but that’s what the world at large calls it so we are sort of stuck with it now) and how it relates to business in the 21st Century I recommend reading this book. Anyone can learn from it, from students to CEOs (if they’re open to hearing about something new where the ROI [return on investment] is long-term). I finished the book’s back pages as I sat on the TTC subway today waiting for my 30 minute trip which got stretched into an hour somehow and while I waited I wrote an email to Gary as he encourages people to do in the book. I received a very nice response directing me to a number of contacts but none were – as far as I could tell – suited to my own little review of the book. Actually, I don’t know if I would call the email I wrote a review of the book so much as comments and suggestions for the book so I will also review it a bit.

The book is well written. I am given to understand that he had a ghost writer write it – although I do not know the level of involvement Stephanie Land had in the actual writing of the book I am going to assume that Gary is more the type of guy who paces around a room with energy and just reels of his thoughts in sequence and Ms Land wrote them down. He probably then read what she wrote when she translated his verbal gestalt into words on a page and approved it but nonetheless he didn’t, it seems, actually do the writing of the book. I read that he had a ghostwriter in the acknowledgements – ya I read those.

The book definitely brings out Gary’s passionate feelings on the matter of social media and is sort of a guidebook for all of us of the generation that is slowly but surely taking the reigns of business and the corporate world from the Baby Boomers – Gary was born in 1975 making him part of the tail end of Generation X. The book gives us a lot of great case studies and examples of successful businesses in the 21st Century where companies chose to use heart and pull customers in to their orbit and then keep them there. He also mentions companies that sort of did the job but then failed to follow through – such as one company that made quite the boom with some of their advertising and then just failed to keep up the conversation online afterward. He gives opinions based on his own life experiences and their results and really makes you feel as if you are listening to him talk as he goes through the different aspects of the Thank You Economy.

It’s all in all a great read, very easy to get through, understand, and a lot to relate to. It is broken up into very easy to digest bite size chunks because, as I am sure @GaryVee of all people know, these days we are bombarded (and bombard ourselves) with so much constant stimuli a book with uber-long chapters and sections becomes difficult to pick up and actually get through. The book is designed for reading when you have 10 minutes to site down with it or and hour to sit down with it and that’s great in my opinion. Read more…

Microsoft Internet Explorer 9: A Google Chrome User’s Experience & Review

March 15, 2011 8 comments

This post is being written using Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 (IE9). I downloaded it last night when the full version became generally available to all as a full release during? after? its launch party at SXSW last night. Honestly, though I have been a Google Chrome user since pretty much the day it came out. Before that, I was a Mozilla Firefox user as Internet Explorer (IE) just wasn’t as good as the other browsers available. So when they had the launch party and I read about the it being available for download I didn’t really pay much attention to it.

However, all that changed when my friend Joseph aka @jpuopolo told me that the new IE9 is super FAST and I should really give it a try. He had been using it since it was available for download and said that he is going to be using it for a one week trial period to see if he will make the switch to it. He said in his mind so far so good and most importantly it’s UBER SPEEDY so I decided to give it a try. I My comparisons in this post and experiences in this post are using IE9 9.0.8112.16421 64-Bit and Google Chrome 10.0.648.133 both running on Windows 7 Home Premium.

NOTE: I have not changed my default browser settings on my computer. I didn’t know if I was going to and as the testing went on I decided definitely against it. Similarly, although IE9 has the same option as Google Chrome to make different websites into ‘apps’ within the Windows taskbar with their own icons I didn’t bother switching those over and just left them as Google Chrome ‘apps’.

For everyone who wants to know what my verdict is without reading my full thoughts: As of the writing of this post I’m going to stick with Chrome. IE9 is a definite improvement from previous versions of IE but it isn’t enough to get me to switch.

INSTALLATION, LOOK, & FEEL

Installation was pretty painless. I went (using Chrome and feeling like a traitor) to Microsoft.com and clicked on the link which took me to the IE9 Download Page and I downloaded IE9. Once it was finished downloading and began its install it told me it needed to shut down EVERY OTHER PROGRAM that was running on my computer because apparently it is integrated with Windows that deeply. I made sure I had left nothing open which wasn’t already saved and complied (first grumbling in a tweet for having to turn off every program) then waited for it to install. Once it was done installing it told me it needed to reboot Windows. I allowed it to reboot Windows and watched Windows shut down, inform me it was making changes/updates, turn off, my computer to turn back on, begin the boot sequence into Windows, Windows to inform me it had to make some more changes/updates before booting and then was finally presented with my usual login screen.

That whole process was not quite a strike against IE9 because I can understand why it happens but it didn’t earn any points in my books. I would have liked a warning about the reboot and maybe I would have chosen to do the install later, but then again there MAY have been one and I ignored/missed it.

The look and feel of IE9 is so-so. It is definitely better than previous versions of IE giving the user the option of having the “Status Bar” (the little bar at the bottom of the screen that displays links and other information) always showing or merely floating and appearing when necessary much like Chrome does. As to the top bar – I have read on other blogs that they think the top bar takes up a couple LESS pixels than Chrome’s but I disagree. You can judge for yourself in the picture below which one is bigger, but when I loaded the same page in IE9 & Chrome all I gained was an extra line of text and some white space at the bottom so however it does it Chrome is displaying marginally more on one screen than IE9.

(You can click the picture to view it in full size – 1920 pixels wide – & really judge for yourself. These top bars are taken from IE9 {top} and Google Chrome {bottom}. My screen this screenshot was taken on is 1920 pixels wide and these are unchanged from that resolution.)

Personally, I still like the Chrome top bar better but that could also be because I am used to it. I am given to understand that the reason Microsoft chose to leave all that space on top is so users can easily use the “Snap” feature of Windows 7 with the individual tabs. Quite frankly, I don’t care – as a Chrome user, I see all that space on top as WASTED. I think they should have given us the option to move everything so it is more compact. You can move the tabs below the Address Bar (now called the ‘One Bar’ but we’ll get to that) and take up more room but you can’t make it so it takes up less screen real estate. At the end of the day, in my books, the name of the game is SCREEN REAL ESTATE and Microsoft wasted way too much of mine in IE9.

In terms of the size of the top bar it isn’t a strike when viewed against Google Chrome because they are so very close. However, in terms of giving a cleaner look and making you almost forget you’re using a browser at all Chrome definitely is the winner. I think IE9 could have had this if they had allowed for more customization of the top bar but because they didn’t they lose points here.

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Product Review: Cromwell & Cruthers Shaving Oil

January 11, 2011 4 comments

During Movember (the November long worldwide fundraising and awareness building campaign in the fight against prostate cancer) I signed up for what I thought was only a sample of Cromwell & Cruthers (C&C) Shaving Oil. When it arrived I found that the small bottle is expected to last for 100 shaves! Yes, that small bottle – which is next to a standard sized Gillette shaving foam bottle & an Axe hair product container for sizing in the picture below lasts 100 shaves. I was as amazed as you are, I promise.

I finally decided today to give it a try and then write about my feelings on the product. Honestly, I had no idea what I was going to write about until I realized I needed a shave anyway. In retrospect I should have done a before & after picture of my beard and then maybe a picture in a few days of a before & after I shave with my more usual shaving foam (and the same razor) but here we are. Aside from sending me the bottle of shaving oil for free as they did to anyone else who was participating in Movember who wrote on the C&C Facebook page I do not work for C&C or have any association with them whatsoever. I am writing this review entirely of my own volition for the reasons mentioned above.

I shaved with the oil and it does give a pretty smooth shave. It has a nice smell to it too, very light but definitely there and I would say a “manly smell”. C&C says you do not need to add any aftershave of any sort because the oils naturally soak into your skin and give the same function as an aftershave and while I don’t regularly need aftershave the feeling of it on my face was – interesting. The thing about it that annoyed me to no end was the oil caused the little hairs to stick together in clumps between the blades of my Mach 3 and were a pain to clear out while shaving. I notice in the C&C video on their website they show the oil being used with a straight razor but I don’t have a straight razor – maybe someday as I have heard they are amazing – so maybe proper use of the product requires a straight razor.

One of the positives for those of us who have styled beards or goatees or mustaches that the C&C product provides is it doesn’t obscure your vision of your facial hair leading to a more precise shave if you are trying to mold & trim your facial hair. That is one of the reasons I would recommend this for product for “manscaping”…you want to be well aware of where/what you’re shaving when you’re doing that and the more you can see, the better! (Note: I have not tried to manscape with this product but if my readership would like, I will)

Another one of the positives of C&C is definitely for those of us who are frequent travelers you do not have to worry about bringing this on a plane or buying shaving foam/gel when you get to your destination. I would even say it is worth it to keep it around as I don’t see an expiry date on the bottle and it is good to have for a trip when you’re packing only to realize…you forgot Kevin! (for those of you who have no idea what I mean by that reference, please see this Home Alone movie preview here) but seriously, who among us hasn’t been packing for an early morning flight at 11pm only to realize they need some essential toiletries and then have to go find a 24 hour drug store or a variety store if all else fails. Keep one of these bottles around and you’re all set!

Would I buy this product to completely replace my regular shaving foam? No. Being a guy who prefers a clean shave – except for during Movember – I feel the Gillette shaving foam I regularly use does a fine job. From a cost perspective, however, I think the C&C Shaving Oil carries the day. I called my local Shoppers Drug Mart and asked about the cost of my standard Gillette Series Shaving Foam – $4.99 for a 255mL bottle and the cost of a bottle of the C&C $5.99. I don’t know how many shaves I get out of a bottle of shaving foam but I don’t think it’s 100 and if I can actually get 100 out of that small C&C bottle it sounds like it carries the day in the cost benefit analysis.

Have you tried this product? What did you think? Should I try to manscape with it?

[For more on Cromwell & Cruthers check out their site here]

Review Of About.Me Personal Profiles & Announcing My Personal About.Me Page

December 23, 2010 2 comments

My About.Me Profile Page: About.Me/Dan_L

I recently read that the new About.Me personal profile page service was out of beta and I loved the idea of it – especially their domain name. Even if the very similar Flavors.Me has more options – I haven’t set up a page there yet so I don’t know – I still think that About.Me trumps it by virtue of its domain alone. The domain says exactly what the service is whereas ‘Flavors Me’ doesn’t.

If you want to check out my About.Me profile page it is at About.Me/Dan_L. I chose the name Dan_L because, as per usual DanLevy was already taken, and on Twitter my handle is Dan_L. I also consulted with some friends/followers on Twitter as to whether I should take DanielLevy and the feedback was to stick with my Twitter handle.

As you can see in the above screen capture of my About.Me, it serves as a one stop launcher for social media pages/identities and other links as well as a spot to put a bio and it is all on top of a nice picture – JPG, GIF, or PNG. with a maximum file size a whopping 5MB. The maximum visible background image About.Me will display is 1680×1050 pixels. About.Me’s service doesn’t stop there – they also have an analytics and data area to show the owner of a profile the amount of views their profile has received, if & where links to your About.Me are, and more. As well, according to a TechCrunch post talking about the opening of the beta they said that, “additional analytics layers are being added to show your activity on various social networks as well, if you’ve authorized About.me to access those services.

One nice touch is the option to add an “Email Me” button which, as you can see in the screen capture above of K’naan’s About.Me, doesn’t open any email program on your computer (and then giving away that person’s email address to every spammer in the world) but rather just pops up a window with no personal information being given out.

Now, some criticism about the site – First things first, they need to make it mobile friendly. I loaded my page on my BlackBerry Torch 9800 right after I set it up and I got the full-page with the full picture. If this going to be my go to page which I am going to give people who want my contact info there really should be an auto-detect/resizing/reformatting for a mobile browser – even if that means losing the background picture. More options in terms of fonts available would be nice but it’s a free service in beta with no ads so I’m not going to complain. I’d really love it if About.Me could autoscale the background picture based on the viewer’s resolution. Assuming that isn’t in the cards it would be great if there were some way to preview your profile as it will appear on different browsers and with different screen resolutions.

I would love to hear your feedback and comments on my personal profile page. Any thoughts on how I should change it? One thing I want to change is the avatar picture I have now. That is one of my favorite pictures of me, don’t get me wrong, however because of the way the me in the background picture is ‘looking’ at the bio/links box I would love to have a picture of me looking down in the direction of the main picture as my avatar. I DID think of just flipping the background image and making that my avatar but decided against it.

More Info:

About.Me’s main page here

My own About.Me here

TechCrunch’s Article regarding About.Me here

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