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The Best Way to Unclog Drains

Clogged drains are really annoying, especially when it becomes a chronic problem. Our current apartment has been great so far, no complaints. Recently however, the drain for our bathtub was getting slower and slower; so much so that by the end of a shower we’d be wading in an ankle high puddle. After some searching and trying a handful of products, we finally found something that worked!

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An Epic Review of the Back to the Roots Water Garden Fish Tank

Back to the Roots Water Garden all set up

Aquaponics for All

Every now and then it’s nice to change things up. A few months ago, Peter recommended that I get a fish tank. He purchased one for his office and it was a big hit. The tank that he got for his office was from a company I hadn’t ever heard of called Back to the Roots. At first I was skeptical. I remember when I was a young child the ordeals of trying to take care of a betta fish. I thought it was inevitable that I would kill whatever it was that I put into the tank. Fish seemed like fragile creatures. But what Peter told me was that this company had taken care of all of the difficult parts of keeping a fish alive– the kit was fully stocked with food and even a coupon for a free fish. Additionally, the tank was set up as an aquaponics system with a grow bed at the top. The plants in the grow bed would extract the harmful nitrogen from the water and clean the tank. So, I figured I would give it a shot. How’d my tank turn out?

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BABOON Technical Bag (Go-Bag Small) Review

BABOON is a hip startup that sells travel bags. I was drawn in by the bold art direction of the photos/illustrations (good-looking models in strange David Lynch-esque situations and funny mashups like monkeys and dinosaurs) and cool interactions on their website and decided to get one. It was as impulse a buy because I didn’t really need a bag, but the prospect of getting something super new with some funky design details sounded like a good use of personal funds.

Check out the copy they use on their website for the bag I bought, the Go-Bag — Small in Blue + Dinos in Paradise ($175). Some might say it’s trying too hard. Others might find it entertaining. I think I was in the latter category:

The car pulls up at around midnight. Your phone lights up. The bag is at your feet, and it seems to have a glow to it. This bag tempted you to say ‘fuck it, I’m out.’ Roommates are sleeping, cat is sleeping, the whole world is sleeping. You’re a loon on the loose, a modern day trailblazer, a contemporary pioneer. Or at least a temporary pioneer. We’ll worry about the 9-5 in about 9 or 5.

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What We Bought on Amazon, Feb – May 2018: Books, Toilet Paper, and a Laptop

Our On-going Series on Stuff Bought on Amazon

We buy a lot of stuff on Amazon each month. This is a highlight reel of our purchases. If you want to generate your own report, check out this post.

Peter’s buys Feb thru May 2018 (3 months)

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A Review of The Purple Pillow After a Month of Sleep

I got hit with a Facebook video ad a couple months ago. It was for a pillow that’s unlike any other pillow out there. They likened it to sleeping on the tummy of a jolly fat man.

The timing of this ad couldn’t have been better for the advertiser. I had been struggling with a sore neck for the past three weeks. I’m pretty sure I dinged it when I was working out at the gym. My neck got progressively worse over the next week. My pillow, the highly-rated Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow, felt like it was making my neck even worse. I had several nights in which I reshaped the pillow all kinds of ways, turned it over and over several times, and even tried sleeping without one. I was fed up and grouchy from my uncomfortable sleep and sore neck.

That’s when the Purple Pillow came into my consciousness through a clever ad. It’s an entertaining one that’s worth watching just for laughs. The promise of a cooler pillow with amazing support felt like a silver bullet. I immediately clicked through and read about the product before placing my purchase. At $99, it was almost double the price of the Snuggle-Pedic, so I had some high hopes. They did have free shipping as well as a 100-night risk free trial offer, so worst case was that I would be able to return it if I hated it.

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Every Day Carry [EDC] Series: What I never leave home without

My every day carry

It never ceases to amaze me what people carry in their pockets and backpacks all day, every day. We’re going to start a short series where we profile each of the writers of BwF and what they can’t leave home without. My general philosophy is: better safe than sorry. It definitely shows in my every day carry items. Read on to find out what’s usually in my backpack or pocket!

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A Balm to Prevent Nipple Chafing While Running

I distinctly remember the feeling. After an 8-mile run on a Sunday evening, I stood in my shower and felt a prickly sensation on my nipples as the water ran down my body. Ouch. I looked down and saw that my nipples were reddish and looking raw. On previous long runs, I had worn a tight Underarmour shirt that had zero sway with my movement. This time around, I had on a looser shirt and I paid the price. The running had caused some major nipple chafing.

I knew I didn’t always want to wear a tight spandex shirt to run, so I looked for options on ways to prevent nipple chafing online. Vaseline seemed to be a popular method, but I didn’t particularly find the idea of applying the greasy and oily substance very appealing. I read up some more and came across Body Glide Original Anti-Chafe Balm. They sell what looks like a deodorant stick that you can apply on various parts of the body to prevent chafing.

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The AmazonBasics Automatic Travel Umbrella, with Wind Vent: The Perfect City Umbrella?

The AmazonBasics Automatic Travel Umbrella, with Wind Vent, Black is a fantastic umbrella, not just at the affordable $15.99 price point.

For some background, I live in New York City, where cheap umbrellas are plentiful. For years, I would buy $7 umbrellas from the local bodega and just replace them if they broke or I lost them. I must have gone through 4-5 umbrellas a year and recently after the last one broke I decided to look on Amazon for an alternative.

If I was going to spend more money on an umbrella, I put together some simple criteria:

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Mount Baker

A Buyer’s Guide for a Novice Climber Part 1

In a few days I’ll be climbing Mount Baker in Seattle Washington. Because this will be my first major climb, I really don’t know what to expect and having scenes from the movie Everest replay in my mind is not very reassuring. With an elevation of 10,781’ Mount Baker is the third highest mountain in Washington State. Let’s hope all those recent weekend hikes in Northern New Jersey and New York will be enough preparation.

Besides preparing physically, there has been a lot of climbing gear that I’ve had to purchase. Thankfully the guides on this climb have provided a comprehensive list of the items I will need. I’ll briefly go over some items and the brand/model I ended up purchasing or renting. Hope this provides some insight when you need to gear up for your first climb. Read More