Monday, June 4, 2012

The mega toothbrush and other amazing consumer stories

I'll bet that title got your attention.....

In the interests of full disclosure, I'm not always an early adopter of new technology.  We had an "electric" toothbrush when I was a kid, but it felt more like a gimmick than a useful device.

My wife and I have always been interested in good dental hygiene, and have always taken steps in that direction.  We had first tried better manual toothbrushes (angled, different length bristles, etc.), and that helped, to be sure.  Then we added anti-plaque rinse to our twice-daily brushing and flossing, and that helped, too.  Then we began using Listerine, and that REALLY helped (although it doesn't taste good, I don't care what flavor you use).  But the dental cleanings were still indicating that we needed to do more.

Enter the Philips Sonicare.

Both of our dentists recommended this to us, but we only took the plunge last week.  Simply put, each time I use this device, my teeth and gums feel like I just left the dentist's office.  Wow.  Bought this with dividend coupons from a major retailer, so our out-of-pocket was almost nothing.  So we're pretty happy right now.  So wow again!

As I mentioned, I'm not normally a fad shopper.  But there have been other "latest and greatest" things that have been just that.  Scotts, the lawncare company, came out with something called Snap.  It's a spreader that comes with cartridge-style bags of lawn fertilizer, seed, weed killer, pesticides, etc. and it's premeasured, taking all of the guesswork and study out of things.  Lawn looks great, I don't have to joust with a fly-by-night lawncare company, and, most importantly, my wife is very happy with the results.  Win-win!

Here's another one:  Mio.  That's the little squirt bottles of "water enhancer" that was heavily advertised at its introduction, but not as much lately.  I'm not supposed to drink as much tea as I used to (kidney stones and tea are connected, it turns out), so finding other stuff to drink was a priority, and I just didn't feel right about significant increases in my soft drink consumption (although I'm drinking a Coke Zero, my favorite poison, right now).

So I gave Mio a try in several flavors, and it's actually pretty good!  Of course, it's chemical soup, just like a diet soda, but I haven't grown ulcers or the like since I started drinking this stuff about a year ago.  It's also great to squirt a bit into a bottle of water to take with you.  Of their current flavors, I like the lemonade the best, followed closely by fruit punch.  Also like the peach tea, mango peach (and I don't like peach flavored ANYTHING as a rule) and the orange-tangerine.  Try it, you'll like it.

One more:  Pillsbury frozen biscuits.  OK, I admit that I love to cook but am no baker, so canned biscuits were a great boon to me for some time.  But we were visiting our daughter around the holidays last year and she used some of these frozen biscuits, and they're very good!  You bake as many or few as you need, and reseal the bag and save the rest for the next visit.  A great idea, and no worries about expiration dates and such, either!

I'll close with another subject that's not so great.  We live next door to a rental house.  We bought our home 16 years ago, and our original neighbor was so active in her lawncare that we just assumed that she was the owner of the home.  Not so.  She was a renter, as have been the majority of the people who have occupied that home since.  I won't go into detail about these people but we've literally run the gamut of humanity since that time.

And a "for sale or lease" sign arrived in the yard Saturday.  We could be in for some problems, so stay tuned.


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