LG LCD TV (Model 42LK450)… and related events

We had been watching our 27″ 15 year old TV for like, well, 15 years now. It still worked perfectly fine so we never really thought of replacing it. We were on basic cable, far from fancy, but suited our needs. Last week, my in-laws surprised us with an early Christmas gift: a 42″ LG LCD TV. Whoa. Talk about big – compared to our 27″ of course. We’ve got the living room for it, so why not?!

My hubby and my father-in-law plugged it in… with our basic standard cable. Hmm. I kind of wanted my old TV back. This LG model 42LK450 is Full HD 1080p. Non-HD channels, coming in from standard cable, look horrible. I mean absolutely horrendous. I felt like crying. Ok, maybe not that dramatic, but I was disappointed. To encourage myself, I put in a DVD. That was better, much better. The image came through crystal clear, the colors were fabulous and even the sound was very nice. My in-laws mentioned I might want to get digital cable. ***SAY WHAT?*** I was already pissed at our cable company for cutting our extended cable channels telling us if we wanted them back, to get digital cable. I didn’t want to give them one more penny! I WILL NOT BE SUCKED IN TO THIS CONSUMERISM CRAP! A week later, we’re plugging in our digital cable box… (with PVR). :S Holy mother of God!!! Totally forgetting the consumerism thing, I am freaking out seeing how clear the image is on my new LG TV! Even the non-HD channels look awesome.

For the past few days now, I rejoice in the ability to record the shows I want, rewind a live show when I wasn’t sure if the New York chick said she wanted “poutine“, and seeing it all on a fabulous TV! A victim of consumerism… I enjoy digital cable.

The 42” LG LCD TV – 42LK450 has a sleek design, it was very easy to setup and use – I don’t even think my hubby looked at the instructions, and I picked up the remote and just played with it. The colors are amazing once you’ve gone through the wizard to set them up to your liking. It’s even got an energy saving feature that allows the screen to automatically adjust its intensity based on the ambiant lighting. I also enjoy the “ratio” button on the remote that allows me to quickly adjust the screen ratio for the show that is on; no need to dig through the menus. The remote control is also sleek, thin and has buttons that are just the right size with big enough characters that you don’t strain your eyes in the dark.

I suggest you get this TV only if you have or plan on having digital cable, or if you want to use it just for movies or connecting to the Web. The LG (Canada) website sells this TV for $699.99, but we got it at Costco (Canada) for $537.00, so shop around for the best price.

I’m still not sure I like seeing the actors’ HD pores on a 42″ screen, but that’s a personal thing; t’has nothing to do with the TV.

Final score: 4 out of 5

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Tassimo vs Keurig

Ok, first things first… One word: Starbucks. The Tassimo brews Starbucks t-discs. Not just one type of Starbucks coffee, 5 kinds of Starbucks coffee, plus Starbucks Cappucino. What more can one want?
*** 2012/01/02 Update: Starbucks no longer produces Tassimo t-discs 😦 ***

All right, not everyone likes what I like. That’s why I will try my best to be objective about the Tassimo versus the Keurig coffee brewing systems. Honestly, I think both are just as good. It really depends on your personal taste and what you’re looking for in an individual coffee brewing system.

I suck at making coffee. Literally. Using a traditional coffee maker, my java was always either too strong or too watery. Whenever I had company over for dinner, I’d get one of my guests to make the coffee. How embarrassing is that?! Any single-serve coffee system would improve my coffee ten-fold, no doubt about it.

What I enjoy about the Tassimo (I’m on my second version of the machine) is the ability to make more than simple coffee or tea: Lattes, cappucinos, chai latte, etc. If you don’t like that stuff, then the Keurig might be better for you. Although I have heard Keurig users complain that its coffees are not strong enough. Personally, the Kahlua flavoured coffee is yummy.

Really, list what you want in a coffee maker to help you make a decision and buy your machine at a “client satisfaction guaranteed” store so you can easily return it if you don’t like it. My two-cents.

Tassimo final score: 4 out of 5

Ms Vicky’s Unsalted Chips

For health reasons, we’ve been gradually cutting out sugar and salt from our family’s diet. The toughest part for both my hubby and I has been chips. We already eat ealthy, so it hasn’t been a shock for us. But on occasion, we enjoy the crunchy, tasty, yummy little round potato slices as a snack. So cutting them out entirely was a little tougher.

One day, while doing the groceries, in the snacks aisle, I was grieving giving up my crunchy fav when I “stumbled” across what seemed like a beam of light coming right at me. Awe struck, I was mesmerized by Miss Vickie’s UNSALTED hand made style chips. No salt??? Really? I had seen “reduced salt” and “lighlty salted” but never unsalted. And these are kettle style chips, so they’re cooked so we can actually taste something other than salt.

I picked up a bag and we tasted them that evening. Yum-my!!! We ate the whole bag. Ok, so we actually shouldn’t be eating the whole bag – they are still starchy potatoes. But we just couldn’t resist.

These beauties are crunchy like no other chip, they taste like, well… potatoes. A lot. It’s just potatoes and vegetable oil. The oil being the only downside. I prefer sunflower oil.

The best part? 0 sodium, 0 sugar. And the fact that a lot of them are folded in half. Did you know you need to make a wish before you eat a folded chip?

They are more expensive than other brands, but they are totally worth the price.

Final score: 4 out of 5 (had to take a point for price)