Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Kirkland (Costco) Marinara Sauce Review

I just wrote a product review of Dave's Gourmet Heirloom Tomato Organic Pasta Sauce, which is wonderful stuff.  On my previous trip to Costco, I was excited to discover Kirkland Marinara Sauce because just about everything Costco makes under the Kirkland name is fantastic in both price and quality.  Unfortunately, this sauce left me feeling flat.

I wouldn't describe it as horrible.  It's a pretty decent marinara sauce.  It just didn't have the deepness and richness of flavor I like in a marinara sauce.  For my spaghetti, I actually prefer the Prego Heart Smart sauce that Costco also sells and is on the shelf right next to the Kirkland Marinara.  It just doesn't live up to the Costco Kirkland reputation, IMO.  Oh well, I guess they can't be perfect.

Volume Control on iPhone headphones not working

I got a set of headphones to review for Amazon.com and they included a volume control on the cord.  While I was checking them out with my iPhone, I found the volume control wouldn't control my iPhone.  Odd behavior for a brand new set of headphones I thought.  When I tried them with my daughter's iPod, they worked fine.  So, I realized I had a problem with my iPhone.  I did a quick Google search and found the problem.

I carry my iPhone in my pocket and have for years. After all that time, a lint ball had formed in the socket where the headphones plug in.  My earphones worked just fine. But, the lint ball was keeping the plug from making contact so that the volume control worked.  The solution was extremely simple.  I used a bobby pin, as you can see in the picture.  But, you could use a toothpick.  Be careful digging around inside your iPhone.  I was a little nervous.  But, I gently removed a major wad of lint.  And, voila!  The volume control on the headphones worked perfectly.

Dave's Gourmeet Red Heirloom Organic Pasta Sauce Review

Our family is pretty picky when it comes to pasta sauces.  I like to make my own.  But, since linguine or spaghetti is one of those things we have on nights when there's no time to make dinner, it's good to have a good pasta sauce in the pantry. We have tried everything from Ragu to gourmet sauces and have found a few that we really like.  They are often quite expensive.  At Costco the other day we saw Dave's Gourmet Red Heirloom Organic Pasta Sauce and had to try it.  At $6.99 for two 25.5 ounce jars it wasn't as expensive as some we had tried and, after having seen the prices for it on-line, we are going to stock up on it while Costco has it in stock.

The sauce has a nice fresh taste and is slightly lighter and sweeter than other tomato sauces that we've really liked. I usually like a lot of tomato paste in my sauce giving it a rich, deep taste.  This sauce isn't like that though. The blend of herbs in it are just right and it has enough garlic without having too much.  I often jazz up the jar sauces we buy adding extra herbs to give them some punch. But, this sauce is balanced just right right out of the jar. The ingredients list lists things you'd put into your own tomato sauce, no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives or any unpronounceable ingredients.  So, it's healthy, tasty and (if you get it at Costco) doesn't bust the wallet.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

How to completely wipe your iPhone


iPhone 2g, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4
Image by reticulating via Flickr
Since Apple comes out with a new iPhone every year or so and since their phones are generally sold with pretty restrictive contracts, there is a market for used iPhones as us geeks who want to stay on the bleeding edge upgrade to the newest shiny device and those who don't want to be locked into exorbitant data plans seek to find an iPhone free of contract.  But, before you sell your iPhone, you want to make sure you wipe it clean so the next guy doesn't get all of your information.  This tip will show you how to reset your iPhone quickly and easily.

I was told the best way to do this was through iTunes and restoring the phone to factory settings. I realized that is not the fastest or the easiest way as I tried to walk my senior uncle through wiping his phone. He somehow ended up spending hours because instead of just doing a restore to factory settings, he somehow managed to have the phone backup update to the latest release of iOS and restore all his data- completely defeating the purose and costing him a lot of time.

It turns out there is a fast and simple way to do this.  Simply turn on your phone, go to Settings-->General-->(scroll all the way down to) Reset-->Erase All Content and Settings  

You'll get a series of warnings that you are about to wipe all of the data from your iPhone and you will need your iPhone PIN to proceed.  It does take a while (it took my phone no where near an hour- nor did it take my uncle's that long).  But, after doing this your phone will be as fresh as the day you took it out of the box.

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