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Audible is a membership-based audiobook service from Amazon.

How My Audible Membership Improved My Health, Intelligence, and Leadership Skills

Audible is the audiobook service offered by Amazon. I’ve been using Audible almost daily for the past couple of years, and I can sincerely say that it’s been a life changer.

A little bit about the service and what you’re actually buying with a membership:

  • It’s $14.95/month for the Gold Membership and each month, you get 1 credit that you can use to buy a book. You’ll notice that some books are quite expensive if you were to buy them without a membership, climbing to the $50+ territory. (use this link to get two free audiobooks when you sign up)
  • I make frequent use of their refund feature (go to Audio Purchase History and you’ll be able to return books). When I finish a book before I get the next month’s credit, I opt for a refund of the book and use the credit to get the next book. I’ve done this more than ten times now and it hasn’t posed any problems for me.
A view of the Audible Library screen.
This is what my “Library” on Audible looks like.

I’ve always felt that reading books is one of the best investments you can make in yourself. I keep a running list of books that I want to read, constantly scour for new books on blogs and book review sites, and ask people if they’ve read anything interesting or helpful recently.

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Great Sound at a Great Price: Amazing Budget Earphones

Sick of cheap earphones? Nowadays your newest smart phone most likely comes packaged with a pair. iPhones come with a pair of the ubiquitous white earphones. Windows phones come with a pair of black ones that actually fit quite snug compared to the iPhone ones and even come with a few choices of ear bud tips. However, don’t expect anything amazing with these free earphones; yes they get the job done but if you appreciate a better quality sound or fit, you’re going to have to fork over a few extra dollars for a decent pair.

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Three Best Gifts for Techies: Amazon Echo, Trunkster and iPad mini 2


Trying to find a gift for the techie in your life? Don’t want to spend thousands on a DJI drone or hundreds on a hoverboard? Then read on to find out our recommendations for what we think are less expensive (but not cheap) but still the best gifts for techies. We’ll also explain why we think these gifts will be well appreciated and oft-used by the recipient. We own two of these items and at least one of us is hoping for the third this holiday season.

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Cutting Costs with a Better Razor: Cheap Shaves with Dollar Shave Club?

Shaving Costs with Dollar Shave Club

I joined Army ROTC my freshmen of college and served on active duty for almost five years immediately after I graduated. During my time as a cadet and as an Army officer, I shaved daily. One of my pet peeves was how expensive razor blades seemed to be. It wasn’t convenient to go to Costco or Sam’s Club in New Hampshire and this was before Amazon really took off so online ordering with free delivery was out of the question.

Probably as a result of having to shave all the time, my facial hair now grows very quickly. I’m one of the few Asian guys that I know who can grow a full beard. As a result, I wind up having to shave every two days or so, even though I don’t need to be completely clean shaven all the time any more. In total, I’ve probably spent thousands of dollars on razor blades and handles over the years. Enter Dollar Shave Club, a company that professes to be a more economical option for purchasing razors and razor blades. I told myself I would give it a try after my apocalypse-level supply of Gillette blades ran out (turns out I had stockpiled 3 years worth of blades from my Army days). Was it time for me to give up my Gillette Fusion Proglide?

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Six Months With the Apple Watch: Did It Change My Life?

The ability to change the face is a really useful feature

In the beginning

I received my Apple Watch Sport to great fanfare in early May 2015. Despite seven months on the market, many people are on the fence about the Apple Watch, including Silicon Valley insiders who should be early adopters. I think it is perfectly rational to want to wait until the next generation watch comes out. One good thing about being a second mover is that you get to learn a lot of the lessons generated by early adopters cheaply and efficiently. Lots and lots of great reviews are already out there! So why should you read mine? For one, I’m not a professional tech writer– I’m probably like you, the reader, just a normal person who wants to get more out of life with technology. So if you want to know more about the Watch and specifically my experience with the Watch over the last six months, I’ll be trying to answer the following questions in this review:

  1. How has it held up during that time?
  2. Has it changed my life? What are six things I like about the Watch?
  3. What other gadgets can the Watch replace to justify the $349 (low end) price tag?

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Darn Tough Socks: Merino Wool

Darn Tough: Best Wool Socks for Winter and Great Gift Idea

After spending most of my life wearing cheap cotton socks, I’ve become an evangelist for wool socks. Starting with Smartwool and Wigwam socks from CostCo. a couple years back, I immediately felt the benefits of wool socks. They were more durable, odor-free, and kept my feet warmer than cotton socks. In New York, where I live, the winters can be brutal, and having the right socks on can be a huge boost to daily comfort.

Last year, I stumbled upon a brand called Darn Tough. Based in Vermont, Darn Tough was conceived in an effort to keep the family-owned Cabot Hosiery Mills in business. They specialize in making high-quality socks and they also offer an unconditional lifetime guarantee. All you have to do is fill out a form and send your socks back and they’ll replace it, no questions asked (I have a couple socks on their way because my dog chewed holes into them — update 12/14/15: see the end of the article for what happened).

Retailing at $15-20/pair, Darn Tough is not cheap. However, if you factor in durability and the lifetime guarantee, I think it’s a pretty fair price. I opted for the Merino Wool Micro Crew Cushion Hiking Socks in black. I thought it was a good-looking sock and the length seemed just right. Here’s the mix of fabric:

  • 61% Merino wool
  • 36% Nylon
  • 3% LYCRA spandex

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