Saturday, January 28, 2012

Review: Popchips Sweet Potato Chips

I am always looking for healthy, low calorie snacks, so when I heard about Popchips, I was intrigued.  They are crunchy chips that are not fried, and not baked, but created using heat and pressure to make them pop into being.  Since I love sweet potato chips in general, I thought I would give these a try.

The first thing I noticed was the color.  They looked a bit lighter in color to other sweet potato chips I have tried, and I think this is due to them not being fried.  They really looked the same color as fresh, cooked sweet potatoes.  I did not notice any particular smell, other than good old sweet potatoes.  So far so good.

In terms of taste, I thought they tasted great.  The chips were nice and crispy, with only a hint of salt, so you really got to enjoy the naturally sweet flavor.  I can really see that these will help satisfy cravings for something crunchy, something salty, something sweet, and especially something that is all three.

The texture is definitely not that of a typical potato chip.  They are lighter, crisper, and airy, not as dense as a rice cake, but not as greasy as a typical chip.  All in all, I was really pleased with them.  Someone looking for a healthy replacement, or enjoys other veggie chip type snacks would really like these, I think.  For a die hard chip lover, these would might not satisfy you upon first taste, but give them a couple of chances; personally I loved them.

With the snack size bag being 100 calories, I am pretty sold on these as a healthy snack alternative.  This would be a great addition to a sandwich for lunch, or an in-between meal snack.  I am happy to add Popchips to my snack rotation.

Monday, January 23, 2012

That time that I almost witnessed a crime

Today, I went to work, like I always do, and spent the first minutes firing up the computer, checking email, and going through the beginning parts of my morning routine.  Suddenly, we heard all these sirens, and before I knew it, the main street in my town was full of police cars, ambulances, and uniformed officers running, yes, running, into a local storefront.  Something bad was going down.

Over the next three hours we watched cop cars circle the blocks, and lights flashing.  Eventually some of the emergency vehicles left, and details trickled in.  A drug store in town had been robbed at gunpoint.  Apparently, the female suspect was apprehended; she had been attempting to steal opiates.  This happened on the next block up from my office, in plain sight.  Scary stuff, and everyone was a little shook up.

Incredibly, this was not the first time I almost witnessed a crime.  Well before Hubby and I were married, before we were even dating, I lived in a suburb of Pittsburgh, part of the South Hills area.  It was a nice, clean area, little crime, and very few problems.  I lived near a large, lovely 24 hour market, so I would just pop in whenever I took the notion.  One Friday night, my timing was inexplicably bad.

I headed to the market, walked through the doors, and took little notice of what was going on around me.  I gathered some produce and frozen foods, and it was only when I went to the register that I learned I had walked into the store in the middle of a robbery.  The suspects robbed the cigarette counter, and made off with several thousands of dollars worth of cigarettes.  I had breezed in during the event, none the wiser.  By the time I was at the register, the robbers were long gone, and police were taking statements.  Since I had not seen anything, I was free to go.

(In trying to find the news story of that incident to no avail, I see that since I moved away from that area, about 4 more robberies have happened a block from where I lived.  Guess it is not so quiet after all.)

Clearly, I have someone looking out for me.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Review: McAfee Antivirus Plus 2012

In this day and age, it pays to have your computer protected by antivirus software.  So, when I was given an opportunity to review McAfee 2012, I jumped on it.  Between the two of us, we have 5 computers we use on a regular basis, plus a couple more in storage, so I really liked that this software was licensed for 3 computers.

We loaded it on my husband's desktop first, since he recently ran into issues with a virus.  The installation was pretty simple.  You do need to make sure any other antivirus program is removed, so that this one will properly load.  He says this is typical, but for people who have not encountered this, they may be surprised, so be prepared.  Installation was a snap, the only issue was an erroneous dialog box that claimed the licensed expired in 10 months, not 12.  However, when Hubby looked at the actual program info on the computer, the correct expiration date was shown.

The next day, we installed it on one of my laptops.  Again, I had to remove my previous program.  Otherwise, installation was painless.  I did not get the erroneous dialog box (I actually never got one at all) and the program info on my computer shows the correct expiration date. 

So far, so good, on both of our computers.  The scans seem non-intrusive, and I have not noticed a slow down in the performance of my computer.  The only mildly annoying this is that the program checks the validity of all the links people post on Facebook, and displays green checkmarks next to them in my Facebook feed to alert me that the links are safe.  And really, that is probably a very good thing, given the number of garbage/virus infested links that get posted with titles like "see what happened when this dad walks in on his daughter, OMG so embarrassing!!!!!".  While I know not to click those, clearly other people do not, because I see them all over people's pages.  This software seems like it would help someone not so tech savvy to determine what is or is not safe.

Is this the best antivirus software out there?  Probably not.  This is not actually the full McAfee suite, so it gives very limited protection.  But for me, it seems to be adequate.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Cartoons by Hubby: Occupy Lunch

The Backstory: As many people in my part of the world do, we had pork and saurkraut for New Years.  We had leftovers, and I did not want them, so hubby has happily been eating them.  I suggested that he take the rest as his lunch today.

He informed me that the pork to saurkraut ratio was not optimal, and there was hardly any pork left.  He then went on about the elitist pork and informed me that the saurkraut was the 99%.  So here you have it, the 99% kraut protesting.  Occupy Lunch.