Beach-testing my Flopeds flipflops

Sand, sand, and more sand! And flipflops too.

I finally got myself a pair of brown Flopeds flipflops to go with my work uniform (my previous review’s over here). Luckily, they look a lot like our “official” footwear. The situation: I wear them 16 hours a day everyday, walk often, and the flipflops are constantly exposed to lots of sun, sand, and saltwater. The result after almost a month of abuse: they’re faring pretty well so far! πŸ˜€ There’s some wear and tear (to be expected) but they still look really good. And they’re still awesomely comfortable! The acid test would be if/when I go hiking in them πŸ˜€

The summer essentials: Canon S95 + Ikelite housing

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I’d been meaning to buy a new point-and-shoot camera for the longest time. Nothing against my 4-year-old Canon 400D DSLR – it’s a great camera that’s gifted me with some of my favorite photos – but there are times when I need/want a camera that fits into my pocket. Then there’s the fact that I want to be able to bring a camera underwater and an underwater housing and strobes for a DSLR will set me back P500k. I finally bit the bullet last February and bought a Canon S95 camera and an Ikelite underwater housing and haven’t regretted it since.

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The summer essentials: Amazon Kindle

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I got my Kindle 3 (Wi-Fi only) last December as a Christmas gift from my parents and it hasn’t left my side since. I love it. I LOVE it. I LOVE IT! πŸ˜€

Holding the Kindle

The Kindle 3 fits comfortably in my hand, with my right hand’s thumb resting exactly on the “next page” button. Yes, it is possible to curl up and read with a Kindle! πŸ˜›

The reading experience

The reading experience is just superb. With the E-Ink screen, it really feels like you’re reading off of a paper book. No eyestrain here! The “page refresh” feature (what happens when you load the next page) was almost seamless, though repeated use – when I was viewing a website, for example – made my head hurt.

Organizing your books

This is probably the most time-consuming and annoying part of owning a Kindle. To organize your books into “collections” (basically subfolders), you have to manually choose each book that you want to include in the collection. Since you have to use the 4-way button and the Kindle’s refresh rate is good but not blazing fast, the process gets really tedious, really fast. Here’s hoping that Amazon comes up with program that will let you organize books while the Kindle is connected to your computer.

Reading PDFs

If you’re getting a Kindle primarily to use as a PDF reader, consider getting the larger Kindle DX instead. Since you’re going to see the PDF’s pages exactly how they’re formatted, you either 1) have to fit the entire page onto the 6 ” reading area (tolerable if the PDF’s type is large to begin with), or 2) refresh the page every so often.

Web browsing

I wasn’t expecting a lot so I was pleasantly surprised to find the Kindle’s web browsing feature to be halfway decent. I managed to check my email and browse Facebook without getting annoyed at the wait time. This feature is best-used for text-heavy sites. I can browse for and read fanfic on my Kindle! *happy dance*

The summer essentials: VMV Hypoallergenics Armada Sport sunblock

Being a certified beach bum and diver, using sunblock is something I do automatically. I have three requirements for my sunblock:

  1. It shouldn’t be greasy or leave a greasy feeling on my skin.
  2. It should provide excellent protection and the sun.
  3. It shouldn’t have a strong smell.

I’ve tried several brands over the years with varying results. Hawaiian Tropic never even touched my skin because I found the smell so disagreeable. Banana Boat was too greasy. Until recently, Coppertone Sport (SPF 30) was my sunblock of choice for years because it met criteria #1 and 3, and moderately met #2. Coppertone Sport was it, until I discovered VMV Hypoallergenics Armada Sport 70.

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This sunblock is just awesome. Firstly, it’s hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic so no nasty redness or breakouts for me. Second, the formula is very light and non-greasy. My skin had a matte feel even immediately after application. And don’t let the name discourage you: even though it’s tagged as a “sport sunblock” with SPF 70 to boot, it’s light enough to be worn underneath makeup. And finally: no smell! You can apply this on your face and not have to put up with the overpowering scent of other sunblock formulas.

The only thing I don’t like about this product is its hefty price tag: the 185 ml tube in the picture cost almost P2,000. But if you’re out in the sun often and have particular needs, this sunblock is definitely worth it.

Product review: a camera bag that doesn’t scream “CAMERA BAG!”

When I bought my first (and so far, only) digital SLR, the bundle offered included a fully-padded and compartmentalized backpack that could carry the body with a 70-200mm lens attached, at least four other lenses, a flash unit, and all the other accessories you could think of. Besides being too huge for someone who’s just starting out, it none-too-subtly had the camera’s brand emblazoned all over the bag. Not really something you’d want to use if you want to keep a low profile. The solution? A Crumpler “5 Million Dollar Home” camera bag.

crumpler 5 million dollar home exterior

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