Here at Fuller we will bring you the best the Internet has to offer in the companies that work on custom products.
“Oh, I forgot,” she says with an eye roll, “only guys can get hurt there.”
Jack Donaghy shouldn’t have been so surprised. Groin protection for women is a real thing, and lots of female athletes use it. Women who play sports like hockey, lacrosse and softball can experience discomfort when struck in the pelvic area. Additionally, female martial artists benefit from groin protection, not just because it protects them from strikes, but because many Krav Maga and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu techniques involve getting up close and personal, so groin protection for everyone makes everyone more comfortable.
The great thing about these Shock Doctor protectors is that they are low profile, which means you cannot tell by looking at a woman that she is wearing one. If Liz Lemon had been using one of these, she would never have had that awkward (yet funny!) conversation with Jack.
Other Shock Doctor Products
Shock Doctor specializes in products that protect athletes from injury. Odds are, if you head to Target or a sporting goods store to pick up a mouth guard, you’ll find a selection of Shock Doctor mouth guards on the shelf. Shock doctor products aren’t flashy or fancy but they last an awfully long time and are relatively inexpensive. So you can shell out extra money for some mouth guard or groin protector that makes all kinds of outrageous claims, or stick to what works. Shock Doctor gets the CPAC Fuller Gold Star of Approval.
The Japanese have a tradition of inventing quirky products that the Internet likes to make fun of. Recently, Mashable had an article that argued that some of them are actually really useful. We took a look at the article and determined that while they all may be useful, only a handful actually provide value.
Read what Mashable says here. And see our counter argument below.
1. The Banana keeper might be good for keeping bananas safe in backpacks. But isn’t it more cost-effective to simply make sure not to let your bananas end up there?
2. A microphone that mutes you as you sing into it? Buy one for all your relatives.
3. Dictionary desk pillow? Eh. It’s cute, I guess.
4. Selfie sticks do come in handy for people who take selfies. I’ve seen people using them. If you like taking pictures of yourself, and don’t mind carrying that thing around, get one of these.
5. The thing that softens your butter by turning it into little strands…yeah. You can just leave your butter out so that it’s room temperature. Hard butter problem solved, and for free.
6. A pillow that makes it easier to hear sounds when lying down? Do people lose their hearing when prone? I don’t understand. I’m sure the thing works, but is it worth shelling out money for? Prolly not.
7. A machine that converts office paper to toilet paper? Well, that’s just good green technology. Plus its a good way to get rid of those annoying memos that piss you off so much.
8. The little guy that sits on the edge of your ramen cup and turns color when it’s ready…buy that if you eat ramen a lot. Not if it will get dusty in a drawer somewhere.
9. Self stirring pot. Ok, that is kinda neat. A good thing to get if you multi-task and tend to be too busy to stir when you’re cooking pasta.
10. Summer cooling spray that looks like shaving cream and keeps you cool in the heat? Doesn’t water do that?
Forbes put together a list of “weird and unique” products. Of the 12 items on the list, only one is actually useful. (And a bunch of them are gross, so I will not mention them.) The First Sign Hair Clip looks like an ordinary hair clip with a daisy on it, but it has a built in microphone and motion sensor that activates when the wearer is physically attacked.
It’s a cool idea. When the sensors are triggered, the clip sends a message to law enforcement, and the embedded audio gathers evidence. Presumably, this will make police and prosecutors’ jobs easier, and help to secure justice for victims.
I doubt that the sensors are smart enough to differentiate between motion that happens during a physical attack, and motion that just happens. For instance, if you slip on a patch of ice, of if your friend lifts you up in a bear hug, or if you win the lottery and start jumping up and down, are the cops going to show up?
Wasting officers’ time would result in this thing getting yanked from the market, and fast.
There is a Better Option
It’s not nearly as high tech (which means its not as expensive) but it can do the same thing: gather evidence. It can also aid in self defense. I’m referring, of course, to the Key Cat. The Key Cat is a key chain shaped like a cat’s face, with two finger holes for “eyes” and pointy ears that gather DNA when plunged into an assailant’s carotid. It works like a brass knuckle, but is designed to buy you time so that you can run away and call for help.
The downside is that it doesn’t call for help for you like the hair clip does, and you can’t use it passively: you actually have to hit someone with it for it to work. But it only costs $9.95 and it won’t call the police when your dog jumps on you.
The choice is yours.
The Pros and Cons of the German Grocery Chain
Will you really save a ton of money if you shop at Aldi? The numbers have already been crunched, so rather than re-crunch them, I’ll refer you to this article here. In a nutshell, it says that while Aldi claims to save you over 40% on groceries, it really only saves you 20%. That’s still a lot, and if you’re in a position where every penny matters, that 20% is going to mean a lot to you.
But still, there are pros and cons to shopping at Aldi.
Pro: You can walk out of Aldi with a full grocery bag and be amazed at how much less you spent, compared to other stores. That’s a pretty big pro.
Con: If you’re brand loyal — say you prefer Land O Lakes butter or a certain flavor of Doritos — you’re outta luck. Aldi only carries Aldi brand stuff. If you don’t like having to find the closest equivalent to the thing you actually want, Aldi should not be your first stop.
Pro: Aldi makes up for its lack of Doritos by bringing you stuff you can’t get anywhere else: German chocolate. And this. Actually, these are why I don’t shop at Aldi that often. If I did, I’d gain 200 lbs off of these.
Con: Coin-operated grocery carts. That’s just a pain.
Pro: “I shop at Aldi” is a much nicer-sounding sentence than “I shop at WalMart.” Also, there’s no website called “People of Aldi.” You know what I’m talking about.
Pro: It’s not called “Whole Paycheck.”
So there you go. I think there are plenty of good reasons to shop at Aldi. If you’re looking for a way to slash your grocery budget, shopping at Aldi is a great option.
As a follow-up to my last post about where to buy Japanese Kit-Kats, I thought I’d write about another hard-to-find confection: Russian candy.
I know what you’re thinking: that Russia isn’t exactly known for it’s chocolate. While that’s true, Russian candy is every bit as good as Hershey’s, and has a slight edge: it comes in colorful wrappers bearing adorable characters like “The Squirrel” or the “Clumsy Bear.”
These chocolates, and many other Russian delicacies, are available on russiantable.com. While there are other sites that sell these same candies, we chose russiantable.com because their wide selection includes beautiful gift sets for New Years and other holidays.
What’s more, the site offers everything from buckwheat groats to dried salt bream. If that won’t satisfy your Russophilia, what will?
Kit Kat bars are, for some reason, very popular in Japan. So popular, in fact, that the Japanese make Kit Kats in an impressive array of flavors, ranging from “sweet potato” to “cherry blossoms in the snow”*. They’ve done a great job of adapting a foreign-made thing for Japanese tastes. And even if you’re not Japanese, aren’t you a little curious to try a kiwi, wasabi or Nagoya Red Bean Sandwich Kit Kat?
We sure are. But descending on the 7-11 stores of Tokyo in search of every flavor of Kit Kat is not on our radar right now. So what’s a gaijin to do if he/she wants to try an exotic Japanese Kit Kat?
What anyone who wants something exotic or Japanese must do: turn to the Internet. Here at CPAC-Fuller, we have already done the work for you. There are many online stores that offer Asian candy but their selection of Japanese Kit Kats is often limited. This variety pack offers 15 flavors of Japanese Kit Kat, including edamame, purple sweet potato and pear.
O shokuji o o tanoshimi kudasai! (Bon appetit!)
*We have no idea what that means.
If you have an Etsy store, and sell items offline as well, then you should take advantage of the Etsy card reader. Etsy is offering card readers to its sellers — for free. When you make a sale with the card, the sale is reflected in your online store, so your on and offline sales are streamlined and your inventory is always accurate. The Etsy reader takes a 2.75 cut on every sale.
Benefits of Selling on Etsy
If you’re an artist, crafter or seller of vintage items, you should consider setting up an Etsy store (if you don’t have one already). The great thing about Etsy is that people already use it to shop. There’s an Etsy app that users can download to their phones and browse while they’re sitting around at airports, train stations or waiting for no-show dates. Because people are already on Etsy, it is a good way to make sure people see your product, especially if your product is the kind of thing people don’t know they want until they see it.
For example, if you make origami wedding veils, you might have a hard time selling that on your own website. Why? Because no one searches for “origami wedding veil”. But if someone looking for a wedding veil is swiping on Etsy and your origami version pops up — presto! A sale.
And now with free card readers from Etsy, you can sell your origami wedding veils online and off.
Your fridge is crammed, and there’s no space to put that six-pack of Stella Artois Cidre. But you’re having a party in a few hours and that Stella Artois needs to chill. What are you gonna do?!
Well, you could clean out your fridge, for starters. You probably don’t need to hang on to that half-full jar of gooseberry jam that you’ve had for two years. And some of those takeout containers are probably right on the edge. Get rid of those and you don’t have to worry about where to put your cider.
But if your fridge isn’t full of stuff that shouldn’t be there and you need the space on the bottom shelf for your cheese-filled endive and crudites, cleaning out the fridge isn’t an option. You’re going to have to to plan B: magnetic rails.
That’s right. Stick magnetic rails to the underside of a shelf, and let the magnets attract the metal in your bottle caps. The Stella Artois will hang from the shelf, bat-like, held in place by the magnetic strip. The bottles will hover safely over your endive. The endive won’t have to budge an inch.
But not so fast. This product hasn’t quite made it into Skymall yet. The creators made a prototype and took to Kickstarter to fund the mass production. If you like the idea, find the creators on Kickstarter and toss them a few funds. It’s probably not a bad investment — can’t you see these in college dorms everywhere?
It may share a name with a mythical island that disappeared into the mist, but Avalon Precision Metalsmiths is anything but mythical. The company provides precision casting services for a broad range of industrial applications and industries. Avalon Precision Metalsmiths is a new company formed in 2014 when Precision Metalsmiths merged with Avalon Castings. Prior to the merger, both companies had several decades worth of experience.
Why We Like Them
Avalon Precision Metalsmiths operates four facilities that each have the same equipment. What does that mean, you ask? It means the company can take a project from start to finish faster than most other companies can. Efficiency like that is something we definitely like to see. Also, they’re a full-service company, which means they save their clients time and money by handling everything their clients need. That’s Aces in the CPAC-Fuller book. They also provide off-shore metalsmithing for clients who need parts at a lower cost.
I have to mention that at CPAC-Fuller, we do express a preference for companies that strive to keep their manufacturing here in the United States. American-made matters to us. However, though Avalon Precision Metalsmiths operates an offshore facility, they do a considerable amount of manufacturing here in the US. Additionally, their offshore facility enables them to provide greater flexibility to their clients. And flexibility is another thing we like around here.
Who They Serve
Avalon Precision Metalsmiths serves a wide range of industries, from the Oil and Gas industry to the Aerospace industry.
How Can I Learn More About Them?
Visit their website at www.avalon-castings.com.
If you follow this blog, you know that we review products to help you decide what to buy. But you don’t have to wait for us to review something! If there’s a product, service or company that you’re interested in but unsure about, let us know! We will investigate the product and put to to the test. With the use of our trained eyes, we will point out the pros and cons of the product, so that you can make an informed decision before you buy.
Online Product Reviews: How to Shop Smart
When you buy online, it’s always a good idea to check out the customer reviews. Read through all of them, or at least several of them — you don’t need to read through hundreds of reviews. Read just enough to see if the reviews reveal a common thread. Of course, when you read online reviews, you have to take everything with a grain of salt. Sometimes, people get disgruntled by one thing — a shipping problem, for example — and their frustration spills over and causes them to rate their entire experience as a negative one, even if its a good product. The odd one-star review that’s full of nasty comments can usually be disregarded. However, if all the reviews are one-star reviews? Buy that product at your own risk.
Another way to shop smart is to really look at product specifications. The specifications should tell you how big the product is, which will tell you if it will fit in your space. It will offer technological information, like memory or hard drive space. The specs will also let you know whether it has special features, like a touch screen or if it comes in different colors.
Ask your friends! Does your friend have that Kitchen Aid mixer you’ve been eyeing? Ask her if she’s happy with it. Does your brother use that gadget you’re not sure about? Get his opinion. Do you use Twitter or Facebook? Ask your social network! If sites like Yelp and other review sites tell us anything, it’s that people like offering their opinions on things. And we do too! If you have a product you would like reviewed, send us an email at [email protected]