PureClean XL steam cleaner review

I recently took advantage of a promotion and received a PureClean XL steam cleaner because it’s a new product and they’re trying to get the word out about it. So I figured why not do a review of my experience!

Starting from the top, the unit was packaged well and comes with quite a few attachments. For a complete list, click here.

It’s super easy to set up, although I still recommend following the directions for your first time, as you’ll need to add in the right amount of water, learn the proper waiting time for the water to heat up enough for steam. But once it’s ready, cleaning is truly a breeze. I tested the cleaner on a vinyl floor and a hardwood floor, and as far as I can tell it worked tremendously.

I used one microfiber pad for the vinyl floor and a second one for the wood floor, so I’d be able to gauge the amount of cleaning that took place on both floors. Afterwards, each pad had dirt on it, so they must’ve done their job!

Be careful once you’re finished because this was over 30 minutes after I turned it off and unplugged it, as I unscrewed the cap to add more water, steam came out. So it stays hot for a while even after you’re done.

As I state in the video below, in the middle of some humor, my only complaint is the lack of instructions on using the cleaner on carpet. The instruction booklet lists the types of floors it can clean, carpet being one of them, but that’s the only time they mention carpet at all. It would be nice to have more details on that. I don’t imaging it will clean carpet as well as one of those cleaners you can rent from Lowe’s, Wal-Mart, etc, but for hard floors, I think it’s a good purchase!

-Out of the Wilderness

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Who is Noah Cyrus?

Shazaaaaam!!! Not to be confused with Kazaam starring Shaq O’Neil, I use the Shazam app on my phone when I hear a song and either don’t know the name, or can’t remember. By the way, when is Spotify going to buy Shazam? Wouldn’t that be nice? The new app would identify the song and then ask if you want to add it to your library. Talk about luxury! This is American, right? Make it happen Daniel Ek!

I’m laughing at a joke that I don’t get.

So this song comes on, kinda sounded like Miley Cyrus, and I kinda liked it. I opened up Shazam and was like, “Please don’t be Miley, please don’t be Miley…” because for some reason I don’t want to like her songs. Then I’m notified in a few seconds that it’s Noah Cyrus singing “Stay Together.” I thought to myself, “Does this dude know he sounds like a girl? Must be Miley’s younger brother or something.”

Oh dang, Noah Cyrus is a girl! Turns out she’s the little sister of Hannah Montana and Achy Breaky Heart’s daughter. I suppose Noah can be a girls name.

noah

image via Perez Hilton

Anyway, she and I are both Capricorns so I’m predicting that will be the only thing I like about her. This song has lyrics about drinking, smoking, partying, etc., I can’t relate there. A pastor here in Nashville says when he went in church as a youngster, Southern Baptists would get together not to brag about what they did that week, but about what they didn’t do. #SouthernBaptistlife I do like her dad, though. Say what you want about Billy Ray (or is he just “Cyrus” now?), but I believe he’s got a kind heart based on some interactions I had with him back when I was working at CMT.

I guess Noah’s the next Cyrus up. Her video for “Stay Together” has been on YouTube for a month and already has over 25 million views. Where are all these people and why aren’t they watching my videos?? I’d be fine if even half that number viewed this video of mine.

Noah’s also using the hashtag #nc17 which is clever (because it’s her initials and her age), and also concerning because of what NC-17 means in MPAA movie ratings. Plus in the video she writes 7 the annoying way. You know what I’m talking about.

So the takeaway from this is…

  1. Noah Cyrus is a girl
  2. Billy Ray might or might not just be “Cyrus” now
  3. I spent more than 1 hour on a Thursday afternoon writing about Miley’s sister, and I kinda feel shameful -Out of the Wilderness

 

 

Color me pink with joy

It’s spreading slowly. But it’s definitely spreading. I can honestly say, though (as I pat myself on the back) that I haven’t purposely itched the area… yet. I’ll admit another truth here, too, as much as I want to deny it: I have some kind of poison ivy or poison something! Worse yet, I haven’t been in the woods in months! So I’ve narrowed down the encounter to when I was playing volleyball. Someone there must’ve had it on their arm, got it on the ball, and transferred it to me during one of my Olympic-worthy digs. So if you see me with long sleeves in the coming days/week in the very beginning of a hot summer, now you know why. Don’t judge me! It’s because I have a layer of calamine lotion on 30% of my right arm, and under that… an itchy mess!

-Out of the Wilderness

That time I thought my dad was gonna freak out!

I’ve been nervous around my dad many times. And for all sorts of reasons but as a youngster it was mostly because I had done something wrong and punishment was coming down, sooner or later. Or other times growing up like when he was teaching me and my brother and sisters to water ski or basically teaching us to do anything near the water. That was his domain, hey he was in the Coast Guard for 27 years! If we couldn’t get it, we were sent to the poop deck!

As a young adult it was less about discipline coming from the former Coast Guard captain, and more about what he might say in front of friends about his single sons! “Any single girls out there… with insurance??” he would say. 

That line of questioning is an ongoing saga/joke in our family, but ya know what? I’m really happy to have a dad who cares about my life, even when he tries to play matchmaker. But I promise this isn’t about my life as a Hallmark movie, so moving right along…

This post is about back when I was in middle school in Stafford, Virginia. The years we lived there we attended Mount Ararat Baptist Church pastored by Dee Williams. We were faithful churchgoers on Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings, and Wednesday nights, too. My brother, who was year and a half older than me back then, and I had a lot of the same friends, and one was Daniel.

Daniel was out riding his bike one day. I think it was some kind of bicycle ride fundraiser thing. He had a 10-speed so the tires were really skinny. Well, partly because of that, when Daniel’s front tire hit a rock, Daniel went over the handlebars. It was bad. He hit the pavement face first and was rushed to the hospital. He had to have surgery, stitches, all that, but I don’t remember the exact extent of his injuries, except that it was bad.

So the first weekend that Daniel was back home, my brother and I wanted to visit him. He lived across the street from the church. Sunday we all spilled out of the van but instead of going to Sunday School like we were supposed to, my brother and I went over to see Daniel. Well, long story short, we ended up hanging out with him and missing church completely!
Red Fang GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

We were in for it.

“What, you don’t love God anymore!???” our dad would challenge.

“You’re terrible people.” he would say.

“Wash the van with your tears and a small rag!!” he would demand.

But it wasn’t like that at all. In fact, it was so much the opposite. Our dad was actually proud of us.

The day went on as a usual Sunday but I won’t ever forget the surprise of that day. I was expecting a fatherly fallout, a patriarchal poop deck punishment, a dad discipline to match the offense of missing a church service. Instead it was a pat on the back. He asked how Daniel was doing. He knew something I didn’t know way back then: relationships trump ritual every day of the week.

My relationship, and my brother’s, too, with Daniel was more important that day than going to Sunday School, than sitting to hear a sermon from Dee (sorry pastor, wherever you are!), than going through the motions of being a Christian. So on an pretty ordinary Sunday I learned something about my dad and from my dad:

  1. My dad is full of surprises.
  2. God is more interested in relationships than rituals.
  3. Sometimes it’s OK to skip church. 😉

Thank you Dad, and happy Father’s Day from your slightly more favorite son!

-Ben

Despacito and less than 51 hit Spanish songs in America

Luis-Fonsi-Despacito-ft.-Daddy-Yankee-screenshot-2017-billboard-1548I’m about 5 months behind the rest of the world in learning about one of the contenders for song of the summer this year, “Despacito.” By now you’ve probably already scoured the internet to find out who the lead actress is (2006 Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera), so there’s really nothing new I can bring to you in that regard.

Premios+Juventud+2014+Press+Room+qbrmUWjHaIJxBut in honor of Puerto Rico trying to become the 51st state, here’s a list of 51 or less “Spanish” songs that have been popular at one point or another in the US. Have any to add, let me know in the comments!

La Bamba –  Ritchie Valens

Livin’ La Vida Loca – Ricky Martin

Macerana – Los Del Rio

Feliz Navidad – José Feliciano

I Adore Mi Amor – Color Me Badd

Conga – Gloria Estefan

Rico Suave – Gerardo

Bailando – Enrique Iglesias

Seven Spanish Angels – Willie Nelson

Santeria – Sumblime

Heaven – Los Lonely Boys

Granada – Luciano Pavarotti

No Tengo Dinero – Los Umbrellos

5 to 20 country songs about Mexico – country artists like George Strait or Toby Keith or Tim McGraw

 

 

 

 

What if God is the sun?

“God is like the sun; you cannot always look at it, but without it you cannot look at anything else.” — G.K. Chesterton.
img_20170603_115600.jpgFirst, I hope you read this with an open mind, especially if you’re a Christian like myself. Because it sounds a lot like pantheism to say God is the sun, but that is not my intention at all. When I refer to God, I’m speaking of the God of the Universe, the one who created the sun actually 🙂 so take all of this as just a day dream that turned into a conversation with a good friend, and something I believe God is capable of doing if He so chose to.

OK, OK, on with it! I’m a big fan of endings with a twist. I still remember those wow moments in a couple of M. Night Shamayaya movies The Sixth Sense and The Village. I’ve also started watching Leverage and that show is great for having surprise endings. I guess I like the thrill of expecting one thing, but then something else totally out of the blue happens. Side note, I just watched Split (M. Night Shamyaha movie) and it’s pretty great, too! I recommend it.

img_20170603_114640.jpgA few months ago I was chatting with a friend. I’m not sure exactly how we came up with this notion, but what if God is the sun? What if, at the end of time when Jesus returns and order is restored, we have the biggest OMG moment as God says, “Hey y’all, hey Dolly… I’ve been here the whole time!” (Who doesn’t love Dolly Parton, right?)

Wouldn’t that be a crazy twist no one saw coming!? Sounds a little far-fetched, I know, but I do find it quite interesting how many attributes or characteristics of God actually align with the sun as we know it. Here are a few:

  • The Bible often refers to God as “light”/ the sun is light
  • God never sleeps or slumbers / the sun is always “on”
  • No one is able to look at Him / have you tried looking at the sun directly?
  • He’s everywhere all at once / on earth, the sun is kinda everywhere all at once (if reflecting off the moon counts?)
  • God is not bound by time / the same sun that shines on us also shined on dinosaurs
  • God feeds nature at the proper time / the necessity of sunlight for food to grow for humans, animals, fish, etc.

In Genesis 1 the story of creation goes that God created light, and later created the sun. So I totally get it, chances are God isn’t the sun. But maybe He dwells in the sun at times. Who knows. His ways are higher than ours, right? But these kinds of thoughts interest me very much. What does God do that would blow our minds if we knew it? What has He done in the past, or will do in the future, that will leave us in even more awe? In the future, will there be some kind of twist no one saw coming?

-Out of the Wilderness