Bet On Vegas As The Place To Watch The Super Bowl

LAS VEGAS, February 4, 2015 – Super Bowl Sunday has seemingly turned into a national holiday with a large percentage of the country focused on the two NFL teams facing off for the annual championship.  Though television has been bringing better viewing experiences with high-def, cable cam, and surround sound coverage, the best place to watch the game is in the stadium itself.  So you didn’t have $2500 (or more) for a ticket to Glendale, Arizona, to watch the Patriots and Eagles?  The next best place to watch the “big game” was in Las Vegas.

I went to the Super Bowl last year in New Jersey but the opportunity did not present itself for this year.  So I thought I would go check out the atmosphere that Las Vegas offers to watch the big game.  I will refer to it as the “big game” as the NFL may crack down on me for using the official name without its permission.

I have been to Las Vegas the past 24 years to watch the opening weekend of March Madness.  The crowds, the game wagering, and the atmosphere make for a wonderful experience to view the games and cheer on your favorite team (anyone but Duke).  So Vegas seemed like a perfect place to watch the big football game, the countless hours of pregame, viewing parties and post-parties.  I found that there are so many football-related activities in this city during the big game weekend that the NFL may want to award Las Vegas all future rights to play the game here.

Quick research on local festivities showed dozens of viewing parties on Super Sunday. Though you could belly up to almost any bar and casino, the real fun happens inside private parties hosted in hotel ballrooms and restaurants.  Prices ranged as low as $25 for a standing room only space to several hundred dollars for a seat, all-you-can eat buffet and open bar.  Of course you could find the champagne and bottle service tables at high-end clubs for $1000 or more.  If that was in my price range I probably would have opted to hop over to Arizona and watch the game in person.

After placing a few bets Sunday morning on the game’s outcome (don’t ask my outcome.  Thank you very much Coach Pete Carroll, NOT!), I put on some comfy walking shoes and hit a few parties on the famed Las Vegas Strip.  First stop was LAVO – a popular club inside The Palazzo – for the annual Lavo Bowl.  $65 got you a general admission ticket with either open bar or the buffet.  Tough choice.  Drink or eat.  $120 got you both which probably works out the best since doors opened 90 minutes before game time.  At $120 I am sure many patrons were hoping for overtime but the young, hip crowd appeared to get their money’s worth of special cocktails, Kobe sliders, salt and pepper shrimp, and more.  The vibe was rocking which matched the look of the club with its sultry lighting, plush couches and long bars.

Watching the game action was easy no matter where you were in the club as flat screen and projection TVs were never out of glimpse wherever you turned.  I did not notice a lot of jersey-wearing party goers here as it seemed the bipartisan crowd was more concerned that final score was over 47 points.  Onto the next spot.

Carmines facadeHeading south down the Strip I stopped in to Caesar’s Forum Shops, a high-end mall attached to Caesar’s Palace.  Carmine’s Restaurant had an inviting placard in front touting its “Big Game Party on “17 big screens.”  For $75 it seemed reasonable thanks to the Italian Buffet from the legendary Italian family-style restaurant based in New York.  The venue was more open and airy than LAVO which is the difference between a restaurant and a nightclub.  A long buffet table welcomed viewers with wings, pasta and other tasty offerings found on the regular menu.

Carmines posterThis crowd was into game watching and cheering a bit more than LAVO patrons.  I spotted many Patriots and Seahawks’ jerseys in the crowd.  Loud cheers could be heard down the Forum Shops cavernous walkway where shoppers tried to get a sneak peek into Carmine’s to see what just happened on the screens.  The vibe in this party was very “homey”.  If I had a giant kitchen at my home with hundreds of tables and 17 big screen TVs, this would have been a typical football watching party I would have thrown.  Waiters kept replenishing the dozens of chafing dishes throughout the afternoon with more delicious food.  By halftime no one seemed to be focusing on Katy Perry’s show on TV but rather piling more on their large plates.Carmines food

I am hoping Carmine’s throws a similar March Madness viewing party this March when I make my annual visit with my college buddies.

My final stop was at a large ballroom bash inside The Cosmopolitan.  Many of the larger hotels and casinos throw watch parties in ballrooms and theaters as they can sometimes fit thousands of people in the seats.   This $300 ticket was not for the faint of heart or stomach.

Cosmo Cowboy CheerleadersLet’s start with the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders welcoming patrons into the venue.  That was almost worth the price of admission.  The seats in two-level stadium seating venue were packed and the floor of the cavernous Castellana ballroom was filled with round tables, comfy couches, blackjack tables, four bars and rows of freshly made food being cooked and served by chefs.

But for all of the food and fun this, after all, was a football watching party.  Instead of having flat screen TVs, we got to focus on movie theater-size projection screens in front with a six-side projection screen hanging from the ceiling.  Sound was piped in so that we didn’t miss a word of Al Michael’s play calling on NBC nor any of the expensive commercials.Cosmo screens

Let’s get back to the food.  Going with the big game football theme we had our choice of New England Clam Chowder or Seattle Creamy Stew (they did have Buffalo wings in case the Bills made it to the big game).  Snack stations throughout the venue served high-end fare from chicken kabobs to steak sliders, while other kiosks simulated in-stadium experiences like hot dogs, popcorn, and peanuts.  After an afternoon of party-hopping all I really wanted was a little dessert.  By “a little” I mean I started with a Haagen-Dazs bar followed by a brownie, chocolate chunk cookie, two homemade Rice Krispies treats, and an apple tart.Cosmo Desserts

The game came down to a final defensive play that made Seahawks’ bettors wish they hadn’t eaten so much.  My final play came about 20 minutes after the game-ending whistle when I left the Cosmopolitan ballroom and headed up to my room to take a nap.Cosmo soups

Compared to last year when I sat in freezing MetLife Stadium in the Jersey suburbs watching a blowout big game, my experience this year in the beautiful Las Vegas climate made for a more fun time.  Sure I didn’t get to see the fireworks and flyovers in person.  But the wagering, strolling, non-stop eating and drinking in this city is the way to go if you don’t have the cash and the patience to visit the actual game (the security to get into the stadium last year took roughly the same time as my flight from Houston to Las Vegas).

So here’s to next year’s big game.  I have just under one year to get in shape for more walking, drinking and eating to prepare to watch the 50th version of this football championship.  The weather and setting should be nice in Santa Clara, California, but Las Vegas will be my site for experiencing the most fun that day.

And if the Seahawks make it for the third year in a row someone PLEASE tell Pete Carroll to hand off the ball the Marshawn Lynch.  And take the over.

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Ford F-150 Named Truck of Texas at 2014 Texas Auto Writers Assn. Truck Rodeo

20141009_083515[1]I spent a few days in San Antonio last week living a dream for most every truck fan in the world.  Sixty fellow auto journalists and I had the duty of driving trucks, SUVs and CUVs up-and-down hills, through flowing streams and mud, and dirt and paved roads while judging them across 17 categories.

The annual Truck Rodeo organized by the Texas Auto Writers Association convened at Knibbe Ranch.  This event gives us one-on-one time with teams of manufacturers including designers and engineers.  Even better we had the opportunity to drive the trucks with these reps so we could experience the drive by the men and women who gave birth to these vehicles.

Below is the press release that touts the winners.  Congrats to them all.  Now it’s your turn to test drive them…at your local dealer.

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Ford F-150 Named Truck of Texas at 2014 Texas Auto Writers Assn. Truck Rodeo

The all-new Ford F-150 was named Truck of Texas at the 2014 Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) Truck Rodeo.

“This year, the Texas Truck Rodeo had a record number of vehicles on hand for our members to evaluate,’ said Michael Marrs, president of TAWA, “We want to thank all of our partners in the automotive industry as well as sponsors for making this such a great event.”DSC_9469

Sixty auto writers drove 75 vehicles on and off road for two days (Oct. 9-10) at the Knibbe Ranch outside San Antonio to choose the prestigious Truck of Texas. This year’s Texas Truck Rodeo, which was sponsored by the Steel Market Development Institute, also saw the 2015 Lincoln MKC take the CUV of Texas; the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee capture the SUV of Texas title for an unprecedented fifth straight year; and Ford being named the Truck Line of Texas.

Doug Scott, marketing manager of Ford’s truck group, said, “This is a significant honor, one of the three big ones along with the Motor Trend and North American Truck of the year awards. Our entire truck team is proud and honored to win the Truck of Texas trophy.”

Winning the Compact Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV) title was the 2015 Honda CR-V Touring; the 2015 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium was named the Mid-size CUV; the 2015 Kia Sedona SX was named Full-size CUV; and the 2015 Lincoln MKC was named Luxury CUV.

Stephane Cesareo, Lincoln Global Communications Manager, said, “It’s been a long time since Lincoln participated in the TAWA Truck Rodeo and we will definitely keep coming back. I had never been to Texas and have really enjoyed meeting the friendly members of TAWA and seeing some of the Hill Country of Texas.”

20141009_141932[1]The 2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk was named Compact Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV); the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4×4 was named Mid-size SUV; the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD was named Full-size SUV; and the 2015 Range Rover Evoque 5-Door was named Compact Luxury SUV.

“We are extremely delighted and proud that for the fifth consecutive year, the respected and influential Texas auto writers have named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the SUV of Texas,” said Mike Manley, president and CEO of Chrysler Group’s Jeep Brand.

The 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit EcoDiesel 4×4 was named Mid-size Luxury SUV; and the 2015 GMC Yukon Denali was named Full-size Luxury SUV. The 2015 Jeep Wrangler was named Off-road SUV.

Mid-size Pickup Truck title was won by the 2015 Chevy Colorado Crew Cab; and Full-size Pickup Truck was the 2015 Ford F-150 King Ranch. Luxury Pickup Truck was the 2015 Ford F-150 Platinum; and Heavy Duty Pickup Truck was the 2015 Ram 2500 Laramie Longhorn. Off-road Pickup Truck was the 2015 Ram Power Wagon.

Commercial Vehicle was the 2015 Ford Transit 250. Other winners in the competition included: Best Connectivity, Chrysler Group’s UConnect Access; Best Powertrain, Chrysler Eco Diesel Engine; and Best Technology, 2015 Ford F-150 King Ranch high- strength military-grade aluminum body.20141009_103032[1]

The Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) was founded in 1987, with a mission to promote quality and accuracy in automotive journalism and disseminate information about the industry through news related print, online and broadcast media. For more information, please visit www.texasautowriters.org. TAWA’s communication are powered by PR Newswire.

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Media contact: Communications@texasautowriters.org; 469-363-7371

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GMC and Chevy Slim Down Their Trucks

Trucks are supposed to big, right?  This is Texas and we like rolling around in trucks where we have to use a ladder to step inside.  Large enough to have a bed that can fit an actual king-size bed.  Side mirrors that rival the size of a chicken-fried steak.

But Texans – and residents of the other 49 – now have new options in truck size from GM.  Two of its brands have rolled out vehicles in the mid-size range that are squarely gunning for the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier and a soon-to-be-released model from Honda.

I spent some time in Del Mar, California, a seaside community just north of San Diego, putting the 2015 GMC Canyon and Chevy Colorado through paces in traffic, hills, parking and, yes, a beautiful sunset.

2015 GMC Canyon

These trucks come in a wide variety of configurations but the basics are upfront for the GMC and Chevy models.  A four-cylinder engine, rear-wheel drive and an extended cab with rear-hinged doors are standard features.  Options include a V-6, crew cab and four-wheel drive.

While the inside of each vehicle are identical in most features (save for the nice upgrades in the Canyon), the aesthetics on the outside stand out with nods from each brand.   The Colorado’s nose and front end is classic Chevy with a sportier design, hard-molded matte black plastic and lots of color.  GMC styling can be seen immediately on the Canyon with the larger, bolder nose; metal grill and wide headlights.

2015 Chevy Colorado

The technology in the trucks makes driving and comfort easy on everyone.  The driver information center in between the speedometer and tachometer is controlled by some clever switches and buttons on the turn-signal stalk.  Buyers who opt for the Canyon SLT or Chevy Z71 trims equipped with the navigation system get color and even more information.  GM also offers full Wi-Fi hotspot capability with its OnStar 4G LTE offering that will allow up to seven different devices to connect simultaneously.

Setting up the hotspot can be as simple as using your voice and the connection speed was as fast as driving in the speed lane.  I can imagine my kids enjoying trips a bit more by burying their heads in their portable devices streaming music, watching YouTube and giving me directions of the nearest bathroom via their own GPS.

A standout interior feature in the extended-cab and crew-cab versions is the storage space – seemingly every inch is useful.  From the door pockets and small cutout in all the doors to the extra space underneath all the seats, little interior space was wasted.

GMC Canyon console

All Canyon and Colorado models come with six air bags, a locking tailgate that hydraulically lowers slowly and a backup camera.  I tested some models with lane departure and collision warning systems, text-messaging alerts (so much for my Samsung smartwatch) and a feature for iPhones that allow Siri to control some features.

I hereby declare the mid-size truck category war to be reignited.  The GMC Canyon and Chevy Colorado are the first out of the gate and have a head start over the new Toyota and Honda versions.  It’s a great start and I would be happy to ride off into the sunset with one of them.

 

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Who Wants To Code?

For those looking to get in the crazy, fun, growing world of technology, you may want to take the smart path (instead of the one I did).  Time to go back to school – at least for three months.

If you are in Houston (and actually several other cities around the country), take a look at The Iron Yard Academy.   You will learn many aspects of the industry including web design and mobile, front end and rails engineering.

The Houston class begins September 22 at START in downtown.  Even better, The Iron Yard helps graduates find jobs.  And who doesn’t want a job (other than my kids)?

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Hydration Nation

How many times have I told you to hydrate?  Especially during the summer and especially if you are outside.  LISTEN TO ME, people!   I run, I’m a gym rat, I golf, I sweat, I drink water.  Lots of water.

We interrupt this blog to type about a specific water I just found…Biliner.  And it is gooood.  Over the past few weeks I’ve had several bottles at my side almost everywhere I go including in the radio studio.  I could give you specifics but here is some info from a recent press release:

Hydration on the Golf Course, Rehabilitation off Course

If you aren’t enjoying a cold beer on the golf course, what drink should golfers opt for? Ever noticed PGA TOUR players almost always opt for natural spring water during events? Why? One, they can lose significant fluids walking 18 holes in heat and humidity and dehydration is a risk even after just a few holes. Two, sugary sports drinks choc-full of electrolytes are unnecessary given the aerobic pace of walking.

Enter BILINER, the world’s oldest, purist spring water. BILINER was an official preferred water of the 2013 WGC Cadillac Champion. During the event, Tiger – among dozens of other top-ranked players — opted for a cold BILINER Royal Class spring water on just about every other tee box.

 

Celebrating its 350th anniversary this year, BILINER can be purchased in 400-plus stores in over 20 states from Louisiana and Texas west to Arizona and California. Golfers – and those who love them – who shop at Albertsons, Central Market, Sprouts Farmers Market, Rouses, Huckleberry’s Natural Market and other boutique stores can likely find BILINER on the shelves.

For hydration on the course, BILINER Royal Class Spring Water fits the bill.  A natural, high-quality spring water ideal for healthy hydration, Royal Class is noted for its velvety taste and perfect balance of minerals (pH 7.54). It is “untouched by human hands” and bottled at Biliner’s sterile plant in the Czech Republic. It is available in bottled 0.5-liter 12-packs (MSRP $1.49 per bottle) and 1-liter 6-packs (MSRP $1.99 per bottle).

Recovering between rounds is made easy with BILINER Premium Mineral Water. Originating from volcanic rock, Premium is a naturally sparkling, alkaline functional mineral water with a real taste of high concentration of minerals (over5000 PPM) with pH 8.0. It is bottled exactly as it flows from its source and contains sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron, as well as anions of chloride, sulfate and bicarbonate. It is available in bottled, 0.5-liter 12-packs (MSRP $1.49 per bottle) and 1-liter 6-packs (MSRP $1.99 per bottle).

Oh, and back to that 350-year anniversary: BILINER’s volcanic, mineral-spring source was discovered in 1664 on the noble Lobkowicz estates in royal Bilina in the Northern Bohemia region of what is today the Czech Republic. Balneologists flocked to Bilina, drafting extensive reports about the water’s healing and medicinal powers. BILINER Healing Spa was founded in the early 1700s, and bottle-based distribution began mid-century. BILINER was awarded for all the health benefits in Chicago in 1892 and also 1893. Today, BILINER water is bottled in the world’s most advanced and sterile filling factory.

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Beat The Heat With A Non-Stop Visit To Vail

What’s the deal with Colorado?  Why do so many people flock to this land-locked state not just to play in the winter snow but to soak up the summer fun in its high altitude?

I don’t look into these questions too deeply.  I simply visit the Rocky Mountain state regularly – seemingly a few times each year – and thank God I’m a country boy.  Last year the family visited Beaver Creek, minus my oldest son who was at summer camp.  After seeing our photos and hearing our stories, the kid insisted he make the next trip with us.  And thus the Garfield Colorado trip of summer 2014 included him and his two younger brothers.

The allure of the mountains west of Denver called us again.  This time just a few miles down from Beaver Creek to Vail.  This destination, like last year’s, makes for convenient travel thanks to non-stop flights from Texas into Eagle County Regional Airport (EGE).  United Airlines has several weekly flights directly into this cozy airport from George H.W. Bush Intercontinental Airport while American Airlines operates service from D/FW.

The trip from EGE to Vail took about 30 minutes in a comfy SUV driven by Colorado Mountain Express.  Our driver pulled into what we would call home base for the next few days, The Sebastian, a resort located near the foot of the Vail mountainside.

The Sebastian is a Trip Advisor Four Diamond property is a chic social hub for owners, hotel guests and the local community.  The inviting lobby offers a roaring fireplace, plush couches and some of the friendliest staff I have met during my travels.

It is a wonderful place for families for many reasons including the variety of room choices and suites.  And when traveling with kids one of my rules has been to put those boys in their own rooms.  We checked into a three bedroom suite overlooking the 11,450 foot tall mountain complete with kitchen, dining area and washer/dryer.  It was a big suite.  I barely saw the kids when we were in there.

The next several days found us eating, hiking, climbing, fishing, eating, laughing, swimming and eating.  Maybe it was the thin air but our appetites were big and the food did not disappoint.  From small sandwich shops to the luxurious restaurants in The Sebastian, we added back the weight that we lost throughout our active days.

Leonora, an Alpine Bistro & Tapas Bar, offers fresh, local and organic ingredients with tapas, crudo and Alpine bistro fare   The wine list is extensive but I was more impressed with their bourbon selection (you know me).  Frost is the bar you can never pass up as it is just off the lobby.  The warm atmosphere has an amazing adventure in microbrew and bartenders who take pride in the art of mixology.  I can imagine how rocking this place is for après ski.

One of the more famous eateries in the village is the Vail Chophouse, situated a few yards away from the bottom of the mountain.  I can imagine patrons visiting during the winter skiing directly onto the patio and partaking in a late-afternoon cocktail while still attached to their skis.  Red meat is aplenty in the chic yet comfy restaurant.  I’m more of a seafood guy and the menu did not disappoint.  A three-tiered seafood smorgasbord of lobster tail, oysters, jumbo shrimp and crab legs could have sufficed for my dinner but I still had the perfectly grilled salmon a main course.

While the kids enjoyed the chophouse burger and, of course, chicken tenders they were eager to catch some food of their own out of the local rivers and creeks.  The following morning found us knee-deep in Eagle River slowly casting fly rods into the cool running water.   I tried to explain to the boys that fly fishing is vastly different from the fishing they have grown up with in the Texas lakes and Gulf of Mexico.  This is an active sport that takes a different technique and some guidance, which Daddy could not provide.

So some expert anglers from Gore Creek Fly Fishing led us on a half-day experience that we won’t soon forget.  After suiting up with waders and getting state fishing licenses we received hands-on lessons on the way to catch trout in the local waters using flies and a rod.  I have been fly fishing before and was a bit concerned the boys would have a little difficulty getting the casting motion down and reaching the goal – catching fish.  Guess who caught fish before the old man?  All three kids.

Our guide told us that fly fishing can be a sport enjoyed throughout the year but the summertime is when the best fishing happens.  Not to mention you could be standing in an ice pond come winter.  We caught and released nearly a dozen rainbow and brown trout but not before taking photos with our booty and prepping our stories to tell of the whoppers we caught.

3,000 feet above that river sits the summit of Vail Mountain.  There are a few ways of traversing the steep mountainside.  While we saw hikers and bikers trek up and down the dirt trails we decided the 10 minute ascent in an enclosed gondola was more our speed.  Atop the mountain are breathtaking views of the Gore and Sawatch Ranges.  And more adventure.

Adventure Ridge provides daylong fun for all ages.  A zip line allows you to soar a few hundred yards down the mountain and a ropes course provides a challenging way to prove to your kids that your parents still have a bit of athleticism.  The three-level ropes course was one of the most memorable parts of our trip as it not only tasked us with problem-solving ways on maneuvering but also incredible views of the mountaintop and surrounding area.

Back down at the base of the mountain Vail provides its own exhilaration and views.  The layout of the town allows for relaxing strolls down narrow streets populated with taverns, shops, boutique hotels and family gathering places.  Vail Village encompasses the east end of town and has an old world Bavarian-style charm.  Covered wooden bridges provide picturesque walkways over Gore Creek.  A pint of ale (or hot cocoa for the kids) makes for a nice afternoon stop on flower-covered tavern patio.

A newer town center-style area in the Village seemed to be the hot spot during our stay.  A large green space surrounded by shops and condos allowed the kids to run around, toss a football and kick a soccer ball.  This is the same space an ice rink occupies during the winter months and I can only imagine how inviting that setting is.

A short walk or a quick, free bus ride away is Lionshead on the west side of Vail.  I found this section of town to be a bit more modern with newer architecture yet still retaining a village-style feel.  What could be described as a high-end outdoor mall includes a space for a wintertime ice rink, shops, ice cream and pizza joints, and more inviting taverns, restaurants and bars.  Between meals we found time to stop off at Blue Moose Pizza in this area for design-your-own slices and soda.

Back in Vail Village we decided to spend one evening challenging our taste buds and bowling skills in the modish Bol.  Gourmet food and 12 pound bowling balls just can’t be beat.  We reserved a colorful lane flanked by large TV screens and ordered chef-prepared burgers, steaks, fries and seafood while participating in the Garfield Boys Bowlathon.  Finally something I could win.

When planning a visit to Vail during the summer I would suggest scheduling a Sunday to experience the Farmer’s Market & Art Show.  Colorado’s finest are showcased including locally grown produce, international dishes, fresh baked goods and even Colorado wine.  The Art Show feeds travelers’ creativity offering everything from beautiful clothing and jewelry to handmade home items.

Sure we could have played golf on one the nearby courses.  White water rafting trips also enticed us as did hiking and biking tours.  But we couldn’t decide who was more tuckered out – dad or kids – from our adventures in eating, fishing, and well you know the rest.  And there was no shortage of ways to relax especially back at The Sebastian.  The swimming pool and hot tubs provided a nice respite.  The spa and gym also make leaving the property tough.

The hardest part of our visit was packing up realizing we were about to leave a climate that averages 75 degrees during the day and 45 degrees at night would soon give way to the heat and humidity of home back in Texas.  An easy ride back to Eagle County Regional Airport via Colorado Mountain Express was a final hurrah to end our boys’ getaway.

As I have written before, for those that imagine Colorado as a place to only enjoy the winter, my simple advice is to GO WEST, young man.  Thanks to non-stop flights directly into the most beautiful parts of the state there is no reason to swelter and sweat in your hometown this summer.

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VIDEO: Keep Your IZON On Your Home With WiFi Monitor

I’ve covered the tech industry a long time now and I have been amazed how simple home monitoring and security has become.  Years ago if you wanted to have cameras set up around your house you would call a contractor to have expensive, wired ones installed.  But now this industry segment has become “do-it-yourself” with small cameras connected to your wireless network.

I have several around my home including the new Izon 2.0 Wi-Fi Video Monitor.   It looks like a large lipstick tube which means you can place this most anywhere in your home or office.  The device ingeniously sits on a magnetic base so it can be tilted or mounted at almost any angle.  It only needs to be powered up, which is done by plugging in a USB connector to an electrical outlet or a computer.  Boom, you’re done.  At that point all you need to do is download the app to your smartphone, connect to your WiFi network and you can now monitor and listen to anything.

The Izon 2.0 allows for live streaming of audio and video to your iPod, iPad or iPod Touch.   It also has settings for motion and noise detection that can alert you through your smartphone.  And if that’s not enough the audio and video can be recorded automatically to a free, private account with the touch of a button.  $129.95

Click the video image below for my video review from WFAA-TV in Dallas/Ft. Worth.

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VIDEO: Thinnest Charging Cable Goes Wherever You Go

The last thing I want to do is to schlep around an extra battery pack or a cable to recharge my phone when I am out. I found two new little gadgets that can go with you wherever you go as the USB cables fit securely inside the form of a credit card and a house key.   Check it out by clicking the video below.

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VIDEO: Make It Rain (In Your Yard) From Anywhere

The remote controlled home just got a little smarter.  Take a look at this WiFi-enabled device to control your lawn sprinklers.  It’s a gadget called “Rain Commander” and allows you to schedule your sprinkler system from anywhere in the world. Click the video below to watch.

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VIDEO: Smart Watch or Fitness Tracker? Which Is For You?

The smart watch and fitness tracking industries are growing rapidly but do you really need one?  I have been testing a few of these and found out that some work, some are tough to figure out and some you can’t live without.  Click the video below to “watch” my thoughts.

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