Tablet To Go with the T-Mobile Trio AXS and T-Mobile Free Data

I’m becoming a bit of a gadget hoarder since my day job involves review and writing about technology. I have about a half-dozen tablets, for example, ranging from a full size iPad — and iPad Mini — to a Kindle Fire HD, a Dell Windows 8 tablet, another as-yet-unreleased Android tablet and a shiny new HP tablet on the way. They’re all Wif only, though, no T-Mobile data plan, nothing through AT&T or Apple. Just…Read More

Cheap Wireless Plan + Budget Phone = Back To School Win

My poor 10yo. She’s been lobbying for a few years now to join the big kids club and have a gadget, a device, a cellphone of her own. She’s only in 5th grade (well, as soon as school starts up again) but everyone else in the family not only has a mobile device, but seems to use it far more often than is healthy and rational. Still, without a cheap wireless plan and, frankly, cheap…Read More

Some Cool SIGG Thermoses

Many thanks to the team at SIGG for sending along a care package of thermoses to start our back to school acquisitions (and here it’s still 5 weeks until school starts. Yikes). They’re all cool and incredibly well made in Frauenfeld, Switzerland from BPA-free and phthalates-free aluminum: But the two that are really standouts are the Thermo unit that has a built in tea filter, and the little blue children’s travel series thermos. First, the…Read More

Zoo Visit Research with Animal Jam? You bet!

A few weeks ago I was one of the drivers / chaperones for my 10yo daughter’s field trip to the Denver Zoo and we had a great time, as we always do. It’s a nice zoo and for every enclose that’s small and vaguely depressing, there are 2-3 that are beautiful and spacious. As time and budget permits, the zoo continues to grow and update enclosures so that the animals have ever better enclosures. As…Read More

Animal Jam, a Virtual World for Kids from National Geographic Kids

Tip: I’m giving away an Animal Jam club membership! Details at the end of the article. There are few brands I respect more than National Geographic, having grown up on the monthly magazine that has always been home to the most amazing photography and captivating articles and nature, animals and the world around us. The world has gone digital, however, and a print publication, however prestigious, seems a bit old school. NatGeo has kept up,…Read More

Review: Dyson DC65 Animal vacuum cleaner

I hate vacuuming. But I love the new Dyson DC65, which is super easy to use, ingenious in its design, and really sucks. I mean, like, sucks up dirt. Watch my review video (and look for the funny bits near the end): Check out the Dyson online if your curiosity is piqued: Dyson DC65 Upright “Animal”.Read More

Cleaning up my darn garage with Rubbermaid FastTrack

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Weave Made Media® and Rubbermaid, but all my opinions are my own. #weavemade #FastTrack Full Disclosure. My neighbors and I have a community garage sale every May and it’s something I participate in for a couple of reasons. The most obvious is to sell some of the junk uh, “stuff” we’ve had accumulate since the last garage sale and make a few bucks…Read More

Stay in touch with Mom w/ Walmart’s Cheap Wireless Plan

Just so you know, I am a member of the Collective Bias Social Fabric Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. Before all these cheap wireless plans, before cellphones, staying in touch with Mom used to be about letters and phone calls. You know, land lines. Those big devices that were chained to the wall with a cord and had a handset that…Read More

Taxes, Refunds and the Walmart Family Mobile Plan

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. And so it came to pass that I was working on my taxes – yech – and realized that my impending refund could be used to lower my mobile phone bill and net me a very nice new Samsung Galaxy Exhibit smartphone and some sick peripherals…Read More

Review: Critter Cruise iPad geography game

Everything being equal, I’d rather see my kids read printed books and play board or cards games over electronic, but I can’t deny that we live in the 21st Century and just as I find gadgets and gizmos compelling — and never have my smartphone too far from me — so do my children also enjoy their devices and access to technology. Even — sigh — the little one. At ten she’s already lobbying aggressively…Read More

If Teen Shakespeare Texted…

My daughter A- and I have a great relationship, one that’s improved as she’s gotten older. It’s fun to have little ones, no question, but there’s something really terrific about having a young adult in the family, someone with whom you can have more mature and thoughtful conversations, with whom you can play and joke, knowing that they’ll pick up on it and keep the rhythm up, in their own inimitable way. That’s what I…Read More

Last Minute Holiday Shopping at Best Buy

Tip: I am a member of the Collective Bias Social Fabric Community and this shopping expedition was part of an insights study for Collective Bias and its client for which I received a nominal payment. Then again, I was already a regular Best Buy customer, so it was an easy fit… Five days before Christmas and there I was, braving the crowds at Best Buy, hoping to find some cool tech gifts. Here’s what made…Read More

Forza Motorsport 5, an Xbox One and M&Ms, Oh My!

Tip: I am a member of the Collective Bias Social Fabric Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and its client. ‘Twas the night before Christmas, And all through the house, Not a creature was stirring, Except our hyper kitten Kiwi, alas. Actually, it wasn’t the night before Christmas but rather a few days before the madness of Black Friday when I popped into the…Read More

Video Review: Dyson AM05 Hot+Cool Floor Fan

In which I share my chatty video review of the slick, high-end Dyson AM05 fan, which is by far the most technologically advanced fan — and space heater — I now own: [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xraEMktYLo&w=640] You’ve probably seen these fans at Bed, Bath and Beyond and other homewares outlets. Next time you do, have a closer look and try to figure out where the air comes from and how it works. Like other Dyson products, it’s quite…Read More

Coolest Box of the Week: Loot Crate

I get so many packages and boxes that I think UPS is going to just make my house a special stop for all its trucks. I mean, odds are they’ll have something for us loaded, so why bother worrying about optimizing the delivery routes? Just stop every time instead. 🙂 Lots of what I get is pretty cool, including all the review and eval units that vendors and manufacturers send for AskDaveTaylor, but after you’ve…Read More

Team EnergyStar: Teaching Kids Energy Isn’t Limitless

When I was in college, one of my pals got a check from the State of California each semester to cover additional living costs as part of his scholarship. I don’t remember much about the details, but I distinctly remember one semester when he decided he’d spend it on a big TV. He scraped by – barely – on Top Ramen. Every night, that’s what he’d eat (it’s about $0.25/meal) and we’d all gather at…Read More

We’re Lovin’ the Magic Jinn

We get lots of stuff in the mail and my kids have truthfully become rather blasé about new toys and games, just as I too have rather become more skeptical that the latest box on the doorstep is going to be something fabulous. Often, it’s quite the opposite. Worse, I’m a bit of a toy and game snob thanks to both my board game addiction (thanks to Days of Wonder, Fantasy Flight and Zman Games,…Read More

To My Surprise, I Lost Weight on Holiday…

I can only say that my daughter must be a great influence, because we just got back yesterday afternoon from our 9-day college road trip and this morning I stepped on the scale with more than a smidge of trepidation. I figured I’d probably have gained a pound or two with my Ghiradelli hot fudge sundae consumed in Monterey, California (and totally worth it!) and various snacky things including some late night cookies at my…Read More

The Challenges of a Modern Day Dad

It’s the week leading up to Father’s Day and really the first full-bore week of summer vacation for my kids both. And since their Mom’s out of town, all three of them are with me this week. Bored, bored, bored. Which is making getting anything accomplished — and I have a lot on my to-do list, as always — difficult. Summer camps? Nope. Trips? Eventually, but not this week. Friends? Most are out of town,…Read More

Snapchat Reminder: The Internet has no Delete key

I’ve given talks at local schools about online privacy and about issues related to oversharing with teens, and one thing that I hear back with some regularity is “no, things really do delete” after I remind them that nothing is ever really deleted on the Internet. Given some of the things that kids today are posting (not to mention adults!) it’s no surprise that these highly digital teens are really hoping that what the developers…Read More

Instagram Beauty Contests: Good Idea or Bad?

A recent article in the Denver Post piqued my interest: Instagram Beauty Contests Worry Parents, Child Privacy Advocates. In the article (that originally appeared in the Washington Post), the writer explains: “Any of Instagram’s 30 million users can vote on the appearance of the girls in a comments section of the post. Once a girl’s photo receives a certain number of negative remarks, the pageant host, who can remain anonymous, can update it with a…Read More