This week, the OnMilwaukee.com editorial staff is hip on a device that will let you talk and drive safer, replacing some old bath fixtures, a tasty brunch, a revealing looking into the life of a polarizing figure and much more.
These are a few of our favorite things this week:
BlueAnt Wireless Supertooth Light Bluetooth speakerphone -- I've already blogged about my confidence in talking on the phone and driving at the same time. However, I know the time is coming when Wisconsin, like so many other states, will make it illegal, so I got proactive and bought the BlueAnt Light Bluetooth speakerphone. For about $35, it's pretty good. The small device attaches to your sun visor, pairs with your cell phone very quickly, and just works. It only has two buttons (plus volume controls), but that's all you need, since it already knows how to use your phone's voice dialing feature. Call quality is very clear, and people on the other end of the conversation say it doesn't sound like a speakerphone. If your car doesn't have a built-in Bluetooth system, this is a decent, safe and easy alternative. Cheap and high-quality, it's worth picking up online, even if you, like me, don't think you need it. --Andy Tarnoff
Buying a cheap, new shower head -- I read somewhere recently that shower heads are some of the most ripe places for bacteria development. And, honestly, how often do you clean that encrusted crap off your shower head? So, instead of bleach cleaning, I just bought a new, $15 Water Pik model at Home Depot. It installed in a few minutes and with five flow options it's a new, clean and healthy option. --Jeff Sherman
The Contender at Honeypie -- I'm not gonna lie; I love brunch, and I take it seriously. And, because I prefer to go all-out when brunching -- I'm talking no fewer than three beverages (usually coffee, juice or water and a Bloody Mary) and a hearty meal, possibly with extra sides -- I eat it rather infrequently because, let's face it, good food and drink adds up quickly. Last weekend, with a couple birthdays to celebrate, some friends and I ventured to Honeypie as newcomers to their brunch menu. I've long loved the breakfast burrito at Comet, its sister Cafe, and decided to give "the contender," Honeypie's version of the burrito, a try. As it turns out, it's nothing like the Comet entree, and that's OK. Stuffed with sausage, cheese, sweet potatoes, bell peppers and topped with sour cream, salsa and cilantro, it's unlike any breakfast burrito I've tried. Added bonus? It's gigantic. It also comes with a side of perfectly seasoned breakfast potatoes for a total of $8. And vegans, it can be prepared just as deliciously your way, too. Final verdict: The contender emerges victorious ... and so does the consumer. --Julie Lawrence
Keurig single-cup coffee maker -- It took my husband about three years to convince me we should own one of these. I did not understand why a coffee maker that only makes one cup at a time would be a good idea for hardcore coffee drinkers like us. And now I get it. It only takes about 30 seconds for the machine to brew a cup of coffee that's 192 degrees, which is the perfect temperature and basically as hot as it can possibly be without burning your mouth. The machine uses "K-Cups," which are little plastic cups filled with one serving of coffee grounds (available from many large coffee producers), and this was originally one of the reasons why I didn't want the machine. However, once I found out you can use any ground coffee in this machine after buying a reusable K-Cup, I agreed to give it a try. Now, I'm hooked. I get a cup of Alterra coffee that's as rich and strong as a cup straight from the cafe for a fraction of the price and I only have to wait a half-minute for it. I may never come down from this caffeine high again. Check out Amazon.com for this product. --Molly Snyder Edler
"Dear Andy Kaufman, I Hate Your Guts" -- You think Brett Favre is a polarizing figure? Andy Kaufman was loved and hated as much as anybody in the 1970s and he loved every second. Kaufman's signature bit of the time came when he channeled the bravado of pro wrestlers and offered $1,000 to any woman who could pin him in the ring. This book is a collection of letters -- some serious, some hilarious and some downright scary -- written by women who wanted to take him up on his offer. There are photos, drawings and creepiness throughout the book, which includes a foreward by Bob Zmuda, Kaufman's close friend and confidant. If you love Andy Kauman, this is a book you've got to have. --Drew Olson
SafetyStick -- This four-in-one roadside emergency tool is small enough to fit in your driver's side door pocket and could prove invaluable in an emergency. The size of a small flashlight, the SafetyStick has a flashlight, a flashing red LED, a window breaker and a seat belt cutter. Best of all you can use the flashlight and the flashing red lights at the same time. There is also a magnet on the base so you can stick it on the side of your car when you're stuck on the side of the road in the dark, alterting passing drivers that you're there. It retails for $18.95 and is made by Waukesha's Safety Bright company, which makes other roadside emergency regalia, including those red triangles. --Bobby Tanzilo
"The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Live" on DVD -- In conjunction with the 25th anniversary, Time Life has released "The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Live," an amazing nine-disc collection of historic performances, acceptance speeches and behind-the-scenes footage of previous induction ceremonies. For $120, it includes more than 24 hours of footage, including 52 unedited induction tributes (Axl Rose inducted Elton John, McCartney inducted Lennon, etc.) and 125 historic performances. There are too many to fully capture how cool this box is, but imagine 1988's rendition of the The Beatles' "I Saw Her Standing There" with George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, John Fogerty, Mick Jagger and Billy Joel. Again, wow.
The set also includes "The Concert for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame" from the opening of the museum in 1995, which features performances by John Mellencamp, Bon Jovi, Eric Burden and the Animals, Lou Reed, Soul Asylum, The Kinks, Ann & Nancy Wilson and many more. Add in more than nine hours of never-before-seen backstage and rehearsal footage and you've got enough to keep almost any rock fan glued to their TV for days.
As much as some fans might knock the Rock Hall for some obvious nomination/induction oversights, (why aren't Alice Cooper, Todd Rundgren and Neil Diamond in the hall already?) with this set -- they got it right. The DVD set is available exclusively online at RockHallDVDs.com or TimeLife.com. --Mike Pflughoeft, special to OnMilwaukee.com.