Bourboncast – Episode 532

Bourboncast - DISDads Podcast Episode 532
Host: Aaron Rittmaster
Panel: Chad King, David Juart, Joshua Shusterman

Sure, we ran a little long. But what did you expect? In Episode 532, the DISDads Podcast panel continues our irregularly scheduled alcoholic beverage series with BOURBONCAST. The panel discusses (and samples) a broad selection of bourbons and talks about some of the best places at Walt Disney World to find a bourbon-based cocktail. Near the end, David Juart gives us the recipe for the perfect bourbon old fashioned.

Are you enjoying our side trips to the bar? What beverage would you like us to report on next? Tell us about it!

Leave a comment here on the blog; Email us at podcast@disdads.com; tweet us at DisDadsPodcast on Twitter; and check out our DISDads Podcast Facebook page.

If you enjoyed the podcast, we’d also really appreciate it if you took a moment to leave us a review on iTunes (If you didn’t enjoy the show, feel free to ignore that last link).

Our outro music is “Whiskey on the Mississippi” © Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

The DISDads Podcast is sponsored by Fantastic Memories Travel, LLC, and its Mouse Master Travel service, a specialized Disney Destination vacation planning service.

Another kindred spirit died last night

Alan and his daughterLast night, our extended community of Disney-fan dads lost another champion. Alan Mize was never an active member of the DISDads community, but he shared our interests and our spirit. I was lucky enough to get to know him just a little bit, through interactions on Twitter (where he went by the handle @NORMNB8S) and his role as a co-host of the Enchanted Tiki Talk Podcast (also on Facebook). I even had the privilege to interview him, along with his co-hosts, for a DAD Show in the early days of their podcast. Alan, along with Keith and Sean, built a wonderful community around their show. Now, it’s time for the DISDads community to step up and help support the community that Alan leaves behind. A young man in his 30s, with a three-month old child, Alan suffered a massive heart attack at home and later died at the hospital on Christmas Eve.

Friends of Alan have set up a GoFundMe campaign, to help his family defray the costs of his sudden illness and death. Any remaining money raised will be used to help pay for his young daughter’s college education. I encourage you, if you are able, to support this effort.

Rest in Peace Alan. My Festival of Lights will be dimmer for your light having left this mortal coil. Our thoughts and prayers – and hopefully some financial support – are with Alan’s family. Just a few days ago, as he was reflecting on the coming holiday, Alan posted a series of tweets that make a beautiful, fitting epitaph, though he had no idea that’s what he was composing at the time. We should all strive for this level of self-awareness and gratitude.

The DISDads Holiday Gift Guide Part 3: CyberWeek Tech Stuff

Part 3 of the DISDads Holiday Gift Guide focuses on gifts of a technological sort, most of which are part of Amazon’s Cyber Monday Deals Week. Once again, the links in this article are affiliate links. Our recommendations unaffected by where you choose to make your purchase, we stand by these recommendations, even if you buy elsewhere or choose not to use our affiliate links.

1. GoPro Hero+ Starter Bundle ($179.78) – Sure, the Hero+ lacks some of the most advanced features of the latest and greatest GoPro models. But this version is more than sufficient to capture cool action video of your family’s theme park adventures, and this Starter Bundle is less than half the price of the more heavily promoted (and excellent) GoPro HERO4 Silver Holiday Bundle). The Hero+ is a bit less powerful than the Hero Silver, but the Hero+ can still capture full HD video (1080p at 60fps) and 5 burst mode photo frames per section at 8MP each. The biggest elements missing from the Hero+ as compared to the Silver are the lack of a built-in touch display and lack of support for GoPro’s proprietary Protune production tool and time-lapse video. The Hero+ bundle comes with a 32 GB SDHC card, a head strap GoPro camera mount, and a floating hand grip (great for taking along on cruises and to waterparks and pools), in addition to the GoPro Hero+ camera.

2. I’ve written and talked about Anker external batteries for years now, and this model is the one I upgraded to just this past year. The Anker Astro E7 Ultra-High Capacity at a discounted price of $59.99 is the best value in an external battery that I’ve seen this holiday season. This is my third Anker external battery product, and I’ve had positive experiences with every one of them that I’ve used – I just keep upgrading to higher capacities to accommodate my family’s growing appetite for power on the go. An external battery makes using the My Disney Experience app in the theme parks much less stressful (quick Jimmy, just switch that Fastpass to Ellen’s Energy Adventure, my phone battery is down to 15%)! I can personally attest to Anker’s claim that this model will recharge an iPhone 6 ten times or an iPad Air twice. And I’ve found that it does a great job holding its own charge between refills. The E7 is a bit larger and heavier than the external batteries I’ve used before. If you want to keep the size and weight down, consider the smaller and lighter Anker Astro E4 13000mAh Classic Portable Charger for $29.99 and which can still provide a full iPad Air recharge or five iPhone 6 recharges.

3. Blue Yeti USB Microphone – Silver ($90.99) – I’ve owned and used this microphone for 3 1/2 years now, and it’s still probably the best podcasting technology investment I’ve made. If you are a regular podcast participant; would like to participate but feel like you need a decent microphone first; or you use your computer for other communications reasons (like recording singing children or Skype conversations with the grandparents), this microphone is a great choice. It offers multiple modes, allowing you to isolate just a single speaker, optimize recording sources on opposite side of the microphone, or capture it all equally. The build quality is excellent – the biggest problem with it is that it’s remarkably heavy, especially when attached to the included base. And though I never thought I would make use of this feature, the 3.5mm no-latency headphone jack has proven to be amazingly convenient. It’s MUCH less cumbersome than managing two wires coming out of the computer during a recording session, and gives you a lot better range of motion while connected. I actually use a pretty cheap pair of earbuds, with only one earbud in my ear, while recording, and combined with the Blue Yeti microphone, I don’t have any issues with speaker sound “leaking” into my recording source.

4. TiVo Roamio HD DVR with Product Lifetime Service ($299.99 + tax). First things first, ignore the price that automatically generates with the link. It’s only showing that price because Amazon itself is currently out of stock, and that’s the best price offered by a partner merchant. You can place a back order at Amazon’s price – even if you are in an area that has to pay sales tax on Amazon purchases, Amazon’s price is nearly $100 cheaper. Some of you know that I “cut the cord” with pay TV almost two years ago now, and this is the device that allowed me to do it. Our sole source of broadcast television is OTA. The Roamio can record four OTA streams at the same time (technically, it can record five streams at once, but I use one port to feed a TiVo Mini in another room). In addition to being able to watch and record over-the-air network broadcasts, I can use the Roamio (and the Mini, for that matter) to access my Netflix account, Hulu+ Account, and Amazon Prime account. If you have a Vudu streaming video account, that can be linked to Disney Movies Anywhere and gives you access via the TiVo Roamio to all of your Disney Movies Anywhere content (it may be possible to access your DMA content via the included YouTube account as well, but I haven’t tried it, so I can’t guarantee that will work). But to me, the “killer app” feature for me as a cord-cutter has been the relatively-recent rollout of OnePass. OnePass allows me to do a single search for a show in the TiVo interface, and get access to the content I’m searching for, regardless of source. As an example, one of my favorite shows is Agents of Shield. An episode got pre-empted by weather reports. Thanks to OnePass, I could go to my show list and watch the same episode that was available on Hulu+ (the only difference was that I couldn’t skip through Hulu’s commercials like I could the broadcast commercials). It’s possible that, once Apple rolls out it’s long-awaited ala carte television subscription service that the TiVo Roamio will be eclipsed and a cord-cutters magic bullet. But for now, in my opinion, Roamio is even better than it’s newer sibling the TiVo Bolt, because the Bolt maxxes out at four tuners, and would still lose one of those tuners to a Mini in another room. The only thing missing in all of this is a source for live televised sports. I don’t have a great answer for that just yet, other than it being a good excuse to get out of the house and enjoy your local sports bar.

5. Disney Infinity 3.0: Rise Against the Empire Bundle – Amazon Exclusive ($78.71) – Only available through Amazon.com (at least for now), get five “classic” Star Wars characters (Chewbacca, Han Solo, Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Darth Vader) AND the Rise Against the Empire playset, which includes Luke, Leia, and the Death Star-shaped playset piece. Note: these elements are only playable in the 3.0 version of Disney Infinity, and this bundle does NOT include the 3.0 game disk.

The DISDads Holiday Gift Guide Part 2: Gifts for the Home

Welcome to Part 2 of the DISDads Holiday Gift Guide, in which we tackle gifts for around the house. Once again, the links in this article are affiliate links or links to DISDads.com sponsors. Our recommendations are the same, even if you choose to make your purchase from another vendor or without using our links.

1. Capresso 465 CoffeeTeam TS ($209.95) – The version in the photo is the 464 GS ($159.95). The only real difference between the models is that the GS has a glass carafe and the TS has a stainless steel carafe. This one is a personal recommendation – the TS with the stainless steel carafe is worth the $50. I’ve gone through almost every major grind-and-brew coffee maker on the market over the last couple of decades, and this one is the best (by a fairly wide margin). It offers two major technical advantages over its competitors. First (and perhaps most importantly) it uses a burr grinder. Burr grinding means that the fresh coffee beans are ground more consistently and without being damaged by the friction heat generated by spinning-blade grinding. The advantage of the steel carafe is that the carafe does a good job of holding the coffee at temperature, without adding additional heat via a burner underneath the pot. That burner is the enemy of good-tasting coffee – it causes the first coffee through the brew basket to scald and can give the whole pot a burned taste. If you’re not drip-brewing coffee into a steel carafe, you’ve likely gotten used to the slightly burned flavor such that you don’t even realize its there — until the first time you brew a pot of coffee with good, fresh, beans that ISN’T burnt!

2. Disney 4 Mickey Waffle on a stick mini-waffle maker ($29.99). Sure, we’ve all seen other Mickey Waffle-makers, some of which were probably even less expensive. So why recommend this one? Because everything’s better on a stick!

If being able to make Mickey Waffles at home is good, being able to make Mickey Waffles-on-a-stick at home is GREAT! They’re not just cute to look at. The bargain waffle-makers make waffles that are too thin – they’re all crust, and the ears in particular are prone to burning. This waffle-maker makes nice, thick, Belgian-style waffles with deep grooves (the better to hold syrup). And the non-stick plates generate sufficient heat to get a good, crisp, outer crust.(And it comes with 50 ready-to-use waffle sticks, just to get you started). It makes four mini-waffles at a time.

3. Masterbuilt 2-Door Propane Smoker ($194.92) – From the kitchen to the deck out back. This is a great option for someone interested in getting into smoking meat, without the challenges of managing a wood fire. The smoke is generated by wood chips (and there’s no soaking necessary). Propane is generally cheaper than electricity as an alternative fuel to wood. And perhaps more importantly, propane smokers have a much better track record than electric for long term reliability. (Electric smokers tend to run into issues with their burner elements, especially when they’re stored outdoors). Multiple racks, with easy and direct access to all of them, give you much more flexibility than bullet-type smokers. The 30-inch model in the photo and it’s larger 44-inch cousin both offer a second, bottom, door that gives you access to the wood chip tray and water pan. This allows you to make adjustments to the smoke source without unduly affecting the temperature of the meat. For some reason, the middle-sized 40-inch unit lacks the separate door (so any time you need to make an adjustment to the wood chips or the water pan, you have to open the door for the entire smoker, allowing precious heat to escape).

4. Samsung UN55JS7000 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2015 Model) ($997.99) – Let me start by saying that this is definitely a more expensive item than I was planning to put on this lis when I first started compiling it. But the deal on this set is simply too good not to mention. There are some even less expensive 4K TV deals this holiday season, and come of them are decent sets. The hard part is figuring out which ones and for how long. This is the first name-brand TV in this size class and resolution category that I’ve seen for under $1,000. List on this TV is nearly $2,000, so your not likely to find it any cheaper. If space is at a premium, Amazon has the 50-inch version of the pictured TV for $200 less. And if you’ve got room in both the location you want to use it and the budget, the 60-inch version is just $300 more. Oh – and this is a good example of why you need to be careful reading online reviews. There are some highly critical reviews listed with this TV on Amazon – but if you read carefully you’ll see that they’re almost all referring to much earlier TVs, from when 4K technology was in its infancy. They’re really criticisms of the initial implementations of 4K TV technology than they are of the particular TV, and they’re not reviewing a TV with the same technological specs as the ones currently being sold.

5. We’ll wrap up this list by heading back to the kitchen for the VonShef Professional Fully Automatic Ice Cream Maker ($159.99). This is a great price on a true self-contained, automatic ice cream maker. It’s more expensive than the Cuisinarts because it’s got it’s own built-in compressor. That means there’s no need to pre-freeze the container for 12 hours or more, and no need to purchase a second container in order to make more than 1.5 quarts of ice cream in one night. Order some Dole Whip mix and you can feed your WDW addiction at will (and even make your own adult Dole Whip floats, with coconut rum and vanilla vodka).

Notes:
a. None of these products were provided to the writer or DISDads.com for review purposes.
b. The opinions expressed about these gift options are solely our own and we have not been compensated to provide these opinions
.

The DISDads Holiday Shopping Guide – Part 1: Gifts for Kids

As the holiday shopping season begins, here’s our guide to great gifts for kids this year. In the interest of full disclosure, all of the links in this article are affiliate links or links to DISDads.com sponsors. Our recommendations are the same, even if you choose to make your purchase from another vendor or without using our links.

http://mousemastertravel.com/index.php/choose-your-disney-destination-bonus/1. It probably comes as no surprise that the first recommendation from a website that started as a gathering place for fans of a travel destination is to book a vacation. But there’s solid science behind our recommendation that the best gift is the gift of family vacation memories. More than a decade of research by Cornell University psychologist Dr. Thomas Gilovich suggests that, dollar-for-dollar, we derive more happiness from experiences (and particularly shared experiences) than we do from material things. Consider contacting site and podcast sponsor Fantastic Memories Travel / Mouse Master Travel to book your next family vacation as a holiday gift that keeps on giving, as the family participates in the planning process (and check our their “Choose your Disney Destination Bonus Offer for bookings made by the end of the year).

2. Bounce-Off Party! ($99.99) is a great (but more expensive) update to Bounce-Off ($17.25). The game is sort of halfway between beer pong (no beer is involved) and Connect Four. A challenge card is chosen, which sets the pattern required to win that round of the game. Players bounce balls onto the game grid, attempting to match the pattern for the game. The different patterns on the challenge cards ensure that each game is just a bit different, requiring a different ball arrangement to win the game. The Party! version expands the original, opening up play for more players. With both head-to-head and relay options, the six included game grids mean up to six players OR six TEAMS of players can play the Party version. (For Ages 7 and up. 2-4 players for the original game. The Party version can accommodate up to 6 – or more playing in teams).

3. I know that there’s a lot of Lego love out there, but for my money there’s no better building toy than Playmags ($89.99 for the linked 100-piece set). These are actually the slighly-less-expensive version of this sort of toy, but still well-made and playable. Geometric-shaped plastic tiles have magnets along the edges of the tiles. Careful placement of the magnets allows any two tiles to attract to one another along the edge. Resulting three dimensional structures are remarkably sturdy and stable. The originals from Magna-Tile are a bit stronger, so if your kids are hard on toys, they may be worth the price premium to you ($74.50 for the linked 48-piece set). These magnetic building toys are appropriate for ages 3 and up (and I’ve watched teens have fun building with them too).

4. Yes, I prefer iPads. Yes, I know that this is an older model. But the $34.99 “Black Friday Weekend” pricing for a 7″ Amazon Fire WiFi tablet that can take a microSD card for storage expansion is pretty darned hard to beat as a child’s tech gift.

Its specs aren’t top-of-the-line, but an IPS screen puts its image quality at the top of the line for a tablet in this price range. Frankly, it’s biggest hardware weakness is the mono speaker and lack of Dolby Audio. Out of the box, the 7″ Fire tablet only connects to Amazon’s app store. If that’s not enough for you, relatively straightforward instructions for just adding the Google Play store or fully rooting the device are pretty readily available.

5. Thames & Kosmos Electricity and Magnetism ($40.99). Though this kit carries an ages 8-15 recommendation, it’s probably more accurately good for ages 6-11. Those on the younger end can learn from and enjoy the experience of working with an adult on the 62 different experiments that are available. Those at the older end of the spectrum can safely explore the experiments on their own, without being bored by them. The well-organized kit divides the experiments into Electricity, Magetism, and Electromagnetism sections and includes 60 pieces to complete the various experiments. It should be noted that two rather important pieces are NOT included – those would be the two AA batteries that are necessary for any of the electricity-related experiments.

What are some of your favorite children’s gifts that you’re recommending this holiday season? Tell us about them in the comments!

Notes:
a. None of the Amazon affiliate linked products were provided to the writer or DISDads.com for review purposes.
b. The opinions expressed about these gift options are solely our own and we have not been compensated to provide these opinions.
c. Mouse Master Travel is a site sponsor and podcast sponsor, but travel is a great gift regardless of which travel agency you choose or whether you choose to work with a travel agency at all.

DAD Show #136 – Podcasting Inception with Zeek & Rachel from Behind the Magic Podcast

BtM-DDPThis week on the DAD Show, we’re podcasting out appearance on another podcast. DISDads Podcast host Aaron Rittmaster was invited on a “With Us Wednesday” episode of Behind the Magic Podcast, and we left the mics rolling to give you a bit of a behind-the-scenes look at how their podcasts come together. I hope you enjoy our little trading spaces experiment – head over to their site and give the show a listen the way Behind the Magic put it together!

The DAD Show is sponsored by Kingdom Strollers, Orlando’s Premium Stroller and Crib Rental source.

Do you have any questions or comments about our show swap with Behind the Magic Podcast? Have a vacation story you’d like to share with us or another “Destinations And Diversions” topic you’d like to suggest? Tell us about it! Email us at podcast@DisDads.com; tweet us at DisDadsPodcast on Twitter; and join in the online discussion of the podcasts on our DISDads Discussion Boards; and check out our DISDads Podcast Facebook page.

If you enjoyed the podcast, we’d really appreciate it if you took a moment to leave us a review on iTunes

Thank you to Mitch Furman for our intro and outro music.