1. Lies

    Grey skies and a solemn season,
    Within the time of mirth and cheer,
    No smiles or at best fleeting,
    Grief behind the lids shut tight.

    But not that type of this I see,
    A smorgasbord of wicked deceit,
    A web of layers intricate,
    A goal so clear the message dear.

    A cunning devil in plain sight hides,
    Plotting and planning in broad moonlight,
    Stirring, pothing, ingrained evil,
    Bred not born and heightened toll.

    Forgiveness cannot be gifted now,
    The steps past sane in thousands count,
    Down the path to unknown consequence,
    Alone on that route the bitch descends.

  2. Dizolve Laundry Detergent

    A photo of the Dizolve fragrance free laundry detergent package.

    I recently discovered Dizolve laundry detergent which looked like a really interesting product. I mean look, it’s:

    • readily biodegradable
    • safe for septics
    • hypoallergenic
    • phosphate-free
    • free of added dyes
    • free of chlorine bleach
    • free of 1,4-dioxane
    • paraben-free
    • got vegan ingredients, no animal testing

    It’s physical form is pretty cool too. Most laundry detergents in Ireland are in powder or liquid form. Dizolve uses paper-like strips. This means it’s simple to measure the amount you use.

    They suggest one strip for one load, but you can gauge yourself how much you need depending on the type of load. For example, a heavily soiled load might take two strips, or for a half-load or a handwash you could use half a strip.

    The one downside I’ve experienced is that the strips have to be torn into small pieces for use in a front-loader (the most common type of washing machine in Ireland). If you’re using a top-loader, you can just drop the strips into the machine whole, and you’re done. It’s a minor issue, but worth noting if you’re the easily frustrated type.

    A photo of a hand putting strips of Dizolve into a front-loader and a top-loader washing machine

    I’ve used the strips in a few loads now and results have been good. I did a normal load (approx. 6kg) with a single strip and there clothes came out clean. I used a single strip on a white load at 30°C and the soles of some socks weren’t brilliant white. Next time, I’ll bump the temperature to 40°C and see what happens. I’ve seen similar results from my Method detergent, so I’m not writing it off just yet.

    I’ve ordered a packet of Fresh Linen, so the clothes smell clean too. I’ll be back with an update after I’ve used them a few times.

  3. Araya via Jimmy by Fellow

    A story about a bike I bought from a family friend, that served me well for many years.

    It was then neglected for about twenty years, and exposed to the elements, so I brought it to a man in Belfast who renovated it to a state similar to it’s former glory.

  4. TaoTronics Portable Bluetooth Speaker

    A photo of the speaker

    I was looking for an inexpensive bluetooth speaker for my children when I came across the TaoTronics Portable Bluetooth Speaker on Amazon.

    It seems to be well manufactured, has a nice rubberised exterior, and sits neatly on it’s built-in rubber feet.

    It comes with a 1500mAh Li-ion battery, which according to the documentation, can provide up to ten hours of audio playback.

    Bluetooth setup was straightforward, and I tested it with an old iPod (iOS 6), and my iPhone 5S. It also supports NFC auto-pairing which I’ll try out soon. This means you can just hover your phone over the NFC point on the speaker and it’s ready to roll.

    You can also connect devices that don’t support Bluetooth via a standard headphone cable (3.5mm), or via the micro USB port. I tried both of these and they worked as expected.

    Sound quality and volume are both very good for the price and size of the unit.

    Only downside, albeit a minor one, is the undocumented “lint and dust magnet” feature.