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Friday, December 19, 2008

Goodwill Store: Color Tag Sale- Week of 12/19/08

Goodwill Color Tag Sale for the week of 12/19/08 through 12/25/08:
50% off Green item tagged merchandise.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Goodwill Store: Color Tag Sale- Week of 11/14/08

Goodwill Color Tag Sale for the week of 11/14/08 through 11/2/08:
50% off Orange item tagged merchandise.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fuel Gas Update: 11/13/08

Wow, seems like ages since I was able to fill up my gas tank and be under $20.00! Took lunch to go get some fuel for the ol' car and stopped by the Shell station in Irvine right off Alto (off the 5 fwy.) and regular 87 gas was going for $2.39 a gallon. I thought the lowest I've seen in South O.C. was $2.43 but apparently not.

I really wonder how much lower it can get. I still remember from over 10 years ago when I could fill up my tank for around $15.00 when fuel was going for around a buck-twenty during the lows in the late 90s.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Goodwill Store: Color Tag Sale- Week of 11/7/08

Goodwill Color Tag Sale for the week of 11/7/08 through 11/13/08:
50% off Blue item tagged merchandise and Pink tag clothing.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Goodwill Store: Color Tag Sale- Week of 10/31/08

Goodwill Color Tag Sale for the week of 10/31/08 through 11/6/08:
50% off Purple item tagged merchandise.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Goodwill Store: Color Tag Sale- Week of 10/21/08

Goodwill Color Tag Sale for the week of 10/21/08 through 10/27/08:
50% off Green item tagged merchandise.

Goodwill Store: Color Tag Sale- Week of 10/17/08

Goodwill Color Tag Sale for the week of 10/17/08 through 10/24/08:
50% off Orange item tagged merchandise.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Goodwill Store: Color Tag Sale- Week of 10/10/08

Goodwill Color Tag Sale for the week of 10/10/08 through 10/16/08:
50% off Blue item tagged merchandise.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Goodwill Store: Color Tag Sale- Week of 10/3/08

Goodwill Color Tag Sale for the week of 10/3/08 through 10/9/08:
50% off Purple item tagged merchandise.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Goodwill Store: Color Tag Sale- Week of 9/26/08

Goodwill Color Tag Sale for the week of 9/26/08 through 10/2/08:
50% off Green item tagged merchandise.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Goodwill Store: Color Tag Sale- Week of 9/19/08

Goodwill Color Tag Sale for the week of 9/19/08 through 9/25/08:
50% off Orange item tagged merchandise.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Goodwill Store: Color Tag Sale- Week of 9/12/08

Goodwill Color Tag Sale for the week of 9/12/08 through 9/18/08:
50% off Blue item tagged merchandise and Pink tagged clothing.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Goodwill Store: Color Tag Sale- Week of 9/5/08

Goodwill Color Tag Sale for the week of 9/5/08 through 9/11/08:
50% off Purple item tagged merchandise.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Goodwill Store: Color Tag Sale- Week of 8/29/08

Goodwill Color Tag Sale for the week of 8/29/08 through 9/4/08:
50% off Green item tagged merchandise.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Goodwill Store: Color Tag Sale- Week of 8/22/08

Goodwill Color Tag Sale for the week of 8/22/08 through 8/28/08:
50% off Orange item tagged merchandise.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Goodwill Store: Color Tag Sale- Week of 8/15/08

Goodwill Color Tag Sale for the week of 8/15/08 through 8/21/08:
50% off Blue item tagged merchandise and Pink tagged clothing.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Goodwill Store: Color Tag Sale- Week of 8/8/08

Goodwill Color Tag Sale for the week of 8/8/08 through 8/14/08:
50% off Purple item tagged merchandise

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Golf Equipment: Adams RPM Fariway Woods Sale at Walmart

I was able to find and buy the Adams Golf RPM 5 wood today when I stopped by Walmart to pick up some items for only $17.00 and it was originally priced at $69.99 and it came with an Aldila NV (for Adams Golf) graphite shaft.

Since I haven't seen Adams Golf stuff at Walmart when I was there last week I thought I missed out on the $17 sale that I've read about on GolfWRX forums, but decided to stop by the golf department anyways to see if they had any golf balls on sale and BAM saw three Admas RPM woods in the Laguna Niguel store.

RPM Low Profile Standard
· Flex: A, R, S, X
· Grip: Golf Pride Tour Velvet
· Shaft: Graffaloy Pro Launch, Aldila NV or NVS

There was a 3 wood, 7 wood and a 5 wood (which was the one I needed). Only the 7 wood had the $17 clearance tag on it, but the check-out had it listed for $17. Good deal, it even had the Aldila NV shaft in regular flex that I needed (saw Stiff flexes before). Check it out if you need fariway woods for your set at Walmart now.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Goodwill Store: Color Tag Sale- Week of 8/1/08

Goodwill Color Tag Sale for the week of 8/1/08 through 8/7/08:
50% off Green item tagged merchandise

Monday, July 28, 2008

GREATEST HITS- Golf Review: Intech Ripper Driver Review: 7/28/08

Since I've been slacking on my recent reviews, I'll be doing some "Greatest Hits" postings of my golf reviews that bring in the highest traffic to

Tried out the Intech Ripper driver (I guess considered Orlimar's more generic redheaded stepchild by King Par, the same manufacturer as Orlimar, Affinity, and Knight brands) on the course today and I was impressed with it, even my playing partner who was with me was impressed on it's distance.

I'm a high handicapper at the moment (20+) and currently using a TaylorMade R7 460 draw with 13 degree head and an upgraded Aldila NV 75S stiff flex shaft (I originally got this since I needed fast help with my slices and to get the ball up in the air easier since I had a slow swing speed in the beginning). Now that I'm better handling my swing with a driver I've been looking for a lower lofted driver (10.5-11 degrees) with a regular flex since the 13* driver I have pops up in the air too much nowadays. This Intech Ripper driver actually comes with an Aldila shaft. Never heard of this version, it's a "Reflex" version shaft name with low torque and high modulus (what is that?). Regular flex with reactive technology. Surprised it didn't come with Winn grips like the John Daly Dunlop drivers also at Walmart at the same price.

So I busted out the Intech Ripper on the first par 4 288 yarder on the course (I did the same course the day before with my TaylorMade) and hit the ball square on to about 235 yards which was on track the same distance I did the other day with my TaylorMade but actually a bit straighter. Good launch angle and good flex on the generic Aldila shaft. I used the driver on about 3 more holes and actually got maybe 10+ yards more than the prior day. Now this is probably that we were on a slower pace so I was able to line up my drives better and got my swing on a groove. There was one hole that I took a couple extra drives to see how much I could belt the Intech Ripper and I got a couple "thunk" sounds but they still went about 150+ yards and stayed pretty fairly on the course. The big positive I can say about the driver is that even though it's square it sounds like my TM driver with a nice medium pitch "click" sound when hit properly down the fairway and none of the aluminum bat sound as the Sumo2 and FT-i.

Though the Intech Ripper head cover is pretty weird looking, it actually pops on and off super-fast compared to the sock covers, the only thing I see that might go bad is the locking mechanism that attaches to the shaft might wear down and stop clasping to it or that the shaft area it locks into might start scuffing. Looks like the Fury and I think they should have made some minor cosmetic changes to the Fury or the Ripper/Cube body more to show more of a difference between the $40 vs. $250 version better.

The Intech Ripper was used n the driving range today and I'll have to say for a $40 driver it hit as well as my Taylor Made R7 Draw. I was hoping since it was a regular flex Adila shaft on the Ripper that it'd go a but longer than my TM with a stiff flex Adila NV 75S shaft, it went just as far though around 225-245 yards so it's the same distance as my current driver. The plus I'd have to say that surprised me was that I got consistent straight draws with only a few draws hit and actually no slices at all which I am prone to. So for the price I'd have to say the club is good, didn't know the carbon on the head is only a decal! So after use on the course two days and on the driving range this club is good for a high handicapper like me. Just to have another test I will compare my hits using my friend's Nike Sasquatch driver vs. the Intech Ripper.

Score: 3 out of 5

Friday, July 25, 2008

Goodwill Store: Color Tag Sale- Week of 7/25/08

Goodwill Color Tag Sale for the week of 7/25/08 through 8/1/08:
50% off
Orange item tagged merchandise

Friday, July 18, 2008

Goodwill Store: Color Tag Sale- Week of 7/18/08

Goodwill Color Tag Sale for the week of 7/18/08 through 7/25/08:
50% off
Blue item tagged merchandise and Pink tagged clothing.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Movie Review: Superman II (2)- The Richard Donner Cut (2006)

Review: Thanks to the Circuit City DVD sale this week, Mr. Monster was finally able to purchase the long awaited Superman II- The Richard Donner Cut for only $5.99.

For those who don't know, Richard Donner was the director of the original Superman movie and was filming the sequel at the same time as part I. After nearly completing Part II, Donner was taken off the movie by the studio and replaced with another director, Richard Lester who ended up crafting his own story and releasing the sequel that we've seen over the last 30 years. Lester used some footage from Donner's version but Donner's unique take never resurfaced, until 2006.

After being seen by only a few and reading that Donner's version was also good (I liked Lester's Part II also) I wanted to be able to compare their films. In a short take Donner's version has the strongest take on Clark Kent/Superman's decision to lose his powers in order to be with Lois Lane, his speech on giving so much to humanity and only wanting one thing he desired was pretty strong. There is also additional scenes with Marlon Brando's Jor-El speaking to his son. Another strong point is that the three villains had stronger presence here and were more diabolical in taking over the U.S., I do wish that their deleted scenes that was not integrated into the main move WERE added in.

There are weaknesses to this film as well. The film misses some of the more light-hearted and comical aspects from Lester's film, scenes are not played out as long causing viewers to miss segments that would explain ideas better such as why Clark had to lose his power? I do wish they cleaned up some areas that did not make sense such as the villains able to talk to the astronauts on the moon (airless) and such. The ending for me was the low point since it takes the same cue as the original movie and so I wish they updated it for this version. Sure, it was the original intended ending, but since it was already done in Part I, why do it again 30 years later when they could have made the ending more logical. The first eight minutes of the movie is also a recap of the original film that ties into Part II, a bit longer than I feel should have been shown.

The score shouldn't reflect the overall enjoyment of the movie, it is enjoyable but if you were expecting something significant, then this DVD isn't it. It has certain good aspects not present in the theatrical version, but nothing super-new that would warrant non-superman buffs to go out and get this version. For film historians and comic book geeks, this one is for you. Compare and enjoy!

Score: 2.95 out of 5

Friday, July 11, 2008

Goodwill Store: Color Tag Sale- Week of 7/11/08

Goodwill Color Tag Sale for the week of 7/11/08 through 7/17/08:
50% off
Purple item tagged merchandise.

*Orange County, CA locations only.

Comments: Mr. Monster was finally able to complete his Matrix Trilogy DVD set by getting the first Matrix movie for half-price at Goodwill for only $2.49.

I was also able to pick up fpr the Playstation 2(I'm old school like that) Need for Speed: Most Wanted for only $5.00. It looks like someone dropped off the Need for Speed trilogy set 3-pack (featuring Need for Speed: Underground 1 & 2, and Most Wanted. I debated getting Underground 2, but since I do rarely play games anymore I just wanted the latest one I can play for a few minutes.

Also, parents and guardians of kids in these stores. Please keep you kids with you and not running around like wild animals while you shop. Having them run around playing with items and trashing them is not good for the store and sooner or later they will get hurt.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Movie Review: Batman: Gotham Knight- 7/9/08

Review: I thought Gotham Knight was a nice looking movie, but very plain and down right boring in parts. "Work Through the Pain" was the best section for me since it opened up another training aspect of Bruce Wayne that shows how he can take all the hits and near-death events and continue to survive.

"Deadshot" was a good section as well, closest to a comic book type story. The rest of the episodes were more in the vein of Batman vs. mobsters and moved slowly for me, they probably kept it this way to tie into the more Dark Knight theme without the more outlandish themes with more comic-type villains.

Did enjoy seeing the original Tim Burton Batmobile though. The animation style is pure Japanese anime, with certain styles reminding me of the over-the-top Fist of the North Star series from the 80s. Still, though it looked nice it had no substance or "wow" moments for a comic book super hero.

Score: 2.75 out of 5

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Magazine Stuff: List of Subscriptions- 7/8/08

Here's a listing of the current subscriptions Monster of the currently receives.

I highly recommend checking out Fat Wallet and Slick Deals for listing of deals to receive these and other free magazine subscriptions.

Callaway Magazine
Car and Driver
Computer Shopper
Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM)
Elle Décor
Golf Digest
Golf for Women
Golf Magazine
Good Housekeeping
Metropolitan Home
Popular Science
Travel and Leisure Golf
U.S. News and World Report

Monday, July 7, 2008

Movie Review: Wanted- 7/7/08

Review: Based on a comic book, Wanted (2008) is a send-up of the traditional "loser guy becomes hero" flick. I read the original comic series and that Wanted book varies greatly from the film. Let me break the two formats for you in case you want to compare.

Comic Book version- Wesley is a down-and-out guy with a cheating girlfriend, bad job and no direction. In comes Fox, a super villain assassin brought in to train Wesley after his super villain assassin father is killed. Wes then get trained by Fox and a myriad of villains and comic book-style monsters in the ways to kill others. Becoming aware of his abilities, Wesley robs, kills, rapes innocent people along the way to become an super villain killer.

It is explained that the evil villains have gotten together in the past and eradicated the super heroes from the world, so now no one can stop them. They rule earth and do what they wish. There is a fracture in the villain alliance and now Wesley must choose sides in order to gain control of the world. Bloody killings and deceit are shown as Wesley comes to realize his place in the world as a cold-blooded evil killer.

Movie version- Wesley is a down-and-out guy with a cheating girlfriend, bad job and no direction. In comes Angelina Jolie, a super villain assassin brought in to train Wesley after his super assassin father is killed. Wes then get trained by Jolieand a myriad of specialists such as the Gunsmith, Repairman, Butcher, etc. in the ways to kill. Becoming aware of his abilities, Wesley kills, people told to him by Morgan Freeman who explains that by killing one, it saves thousands along the way to become an super killer.

The movie does not explain who the people being killed are or why. It comes down to a cheesy fabric loom telling in secret code who should be murdered. There is no talk of the assassins as being "evil" at all, just killers doing bidding by a machine. There's a slight twist in the end to change Wesley's point of view as to who he should trust.

Still the movie varies greatly from the comic and tames down the killings, plot points to a more generic action movie level. Exciting in some areas, but hardly pushing any boundaries that you've seen in The Matrix, Mission Impossible series, etc.

3 out of 5 (movie)

Score: 4 out of 5 (comic book)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Golf Review: Sports Authority 4th of July Sale- 7/6/08

Sports Authority is having its 4th of July Sale this weekend and some of the deals are pretty good.

The Cleveland HiBore XL and Callaway X 460 drivers are selling for $149.99. The Nike SuMo Square, Callaway Big Bertha 460 and TaylorMade Burner Draw are going for $199.99.

Most of the house brands from Sports Authority such as the Tommy Armour and RAM brand items are also selling at a big discount, good for those beginning golfers in need of sets of clubs, gloves, shirts, golf balls. The 45-pack of Wilson ProStaff for $19.99 is a good price for those who need new balls and don't want those packaged used balls.

I do recommend calling the store ahead if you are looking for the golf clubs on sale. My local store in Orange County did not have any of the HiBore XL drivers on stock and apart from the Cleveland wedges nothing else from the manufacturer.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Movie Review: Get Smart- 7/5/08

Review: Do you remember the old Don Adams "Get Smart" t.v. show? Well I do, barely. For a show I watched with my cousins when we were in elementary show I remember only a handful of items from the series. I remember Agent 99, Agent 86, Jaime, The Chief, the Cone of Silence, shoe phone, the opening sequence...and that's it.

I don't remember any episodes or plots since it wasn't remarkable, well that sums up this movie.
Steve Carrell pulls off Agent 86 well, with the style of Don Adams I remember. His deadpan humor and determination to b a good secret agent move the film along well. Anne Hatahway is a smart, strong and confident Agent 99, though her character is a big departure from the original series, her character initially dislikes Maxwell Smart and hijinx ensues.

The plot is standard "bomb the world" scenario and the agents are to track evil Russian spies with nuclear weapons. There a slight reveal of a double agent and it was pretty easy to see, like a needle in a Rock. Thre are nods to the original show such as the t.v. show suit, car, cone of silence, brief use of the shoe phone and the motto, "Missed it by that much."

Overall Get Smart was an interesting diversion with a handful of laughs. I've read others call this an action movie with comedy and I see it the other way. The action sequences are over the top implausible, but fits in with th tone of the movie. Nothing too exciting or original, but still charming. Just like the original Get Smart series.

Score: 2.85 out of 5

Friday, July 4, 2008

Goodwill Store: Color Tag Sale- Week of 7/4/08

Goodwill Color Tag Sale for the week of 7/3/08 through 7/10/08: 50% off Blue item tagged merchandise.

*Orange County, CA locations only.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Golf Review: Wilson Alignment 3000 Putter- 7/3/08

Review: Picked up the Wilson Alignment 3000 putter just over a couple of months ago and have been able to take it on the course twice and practice with it occasionally.

I don’t know how old this putter is and when it ended its production run but the version I have bought had some scrapes and wear on the face and heel of the putter.

The face of the putter is smooth with alignment marks on the top edge and back of the putter. The alignment dot helped me position myself over the ball better since I tend to angle my hits at times and end up topping or smacking the ground behind the ball.

Kind of like the See More putters, there is a dot and lines on the head letting you know if you are over the top, or under the ball at alignment. The weight is pretty hefty, this is old school steel face and shaft. The grip is a tough plain black rubber with Wilson inscribed in white at the front. The white Wilson logo on mine was dirty and I tried to clean it off and ended up taking some of the paint off so I tried to fill it in with some white paint again.

It has been almost two years from when I switched out from using my first blade putter, the one that came with my Top Flite HCT Tour starter package. I wanted to try going back to a blade to see if that would help me from hitting the ground since the mallet tended to make me aim and chop down on the ball causing chunks of grass to fly instead of moving the ball forward. During my first game with the Wilson putter it helped me stand over the ball. The following game though the magic wore off and my putting was in the dumps again.

For the value that you should be able to acquire this putter at I would recommend it just to get you standing over the ball properly then you can stick with it or move back to your other putter.

Score: 3.5 out of 5

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Golf Review: Nike Dri-Fit, Sphere Dry and Nike Dri-Fit UV Golf Shirts- 7/2/08

Review: Nike Dri-Fit, Sphere Dry and Nike Dri-Fit UV golf polo shirts. When playing golf and being out in the open environment, you know you have to take care of yourself or you’ll be exposed to the varied conditions of the course. From rain, mud, snow, sun and heat. Since I play in Southern California the main hazards are heat and sun. I’ve picked up a few Nike golf shirts and after starting off with regular polos and sweating through those easily, decide to choose my golf shirts with the moisture-wicking capabilities.

The Nike Dri-Fits play comfortable with some styles feeling like cotton while some are smooth-feeling like nylon or soild blends with the various fabrics and technology used. The Dri-Fits do delete moisture and sweat faster than regular cotton shirts. Where regular polos would be soaked on the chest and lower back for me, at the end of a game with the Nikes the perspiration is either gone or 1/3 as small as the cotton shirts.

The Nikes are prevalent so picking up a new shirt for under $30.00 is easy especially since styles are being introduced seemingly every quarter. I’ve been able to get Dri-Fits for under $20 at some Ross stores. The Dri-Fit UV are suppose to shield your body from harmful UV rays that do happen to get through the garment. I don’t remember seeing how long the UV is suppose to work or what SPF it is, but I haven’t had a burn or anything with the ones I’ve used. The one Sphere Dry shirt I have feels light and reminds me of the thinner Adidas ClimaCool shirts. For the price of the Sphere Drys versus a regular Dri-Fit shirt I don’t know if I noticed anything significant with the little openings cooling me down greatly.

For the good price and wide variety of styles to choose from the Nike Dri-Fit line is a good manufacturer to choose from. The fabrics do dry faster than other “moisture wicking” golf shirts I’ve had and there are just so many styles to choose from based on your mood for game day it’s hard not to like the Dri-Fit selection.

Score: 3.75 out of 5.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Golf Review: TaylorMade Rescue Mid Hybrids- 6/30/08

Review: The Taylor Made Rescue Mid hybrids that I have are the second set of hybrids that I have had. At first I was using the clone hybrids from Pinemeadow and then decided to upgrade. I chose the Taylor Made Rescue Mid since the price at the time (2006) was decent since Taylor Made just released the more update Dual Rescue hybrids.

I currently play the 3 and 4 hybrids with regular flex, steel shafts and I do have to say that they are outstanding clubs for the price. When hit they project a nice steel click and fly decently. I am able to hit the 3 hybrid around 165 yards and the 4 hybrid at 145 yards. The clubs do show some slight ballooning and even with the 3 hybrid tend to pop up in the air easily. This is great when not a strong hitter, not that good for trying to blast a long shot from under a tree.

The grips are nice standard Taylor Made sleek and smooth style. The hybrids come with an easy to pull on and off cover with a detachable chain to call out the club number. You can routinely find these clubs brand new for under $90.00 these days, even lower for used version since it is now a couple generations old with the Rescue Dual and now the Burner hybrids proliferating the market.
These clubs provide a lot of forgiveness for me and am able to drive the ball further compared to when I hit long irons such as a Callaway 3-iron, Dunlop SST 5-iron and maybe even my new Ben Hogan Edge CFT (haven’t hit it yet) 3-iron.




Score: 4 out of 5

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Golf Course Review: UPDATED David L. Baker Golf Course, Fountain Valley, CA Golf Course- 6/28/07

Review: David L. Baker Golf Course in Fountain Valley, CA. Game played on Saturday 6/28/08. Played a game at David Baker around 10:00 a.m. and the course was pretty light on golfers. I have never seen David Baker so sparse especially on a Saturday. I’ve seen the course backed up 3-4 teams deep, even during the So. Cal fires last year when the air was smoke-tinged and the course still had back-ups. Don’t know if the heat warnings earlier this week scared players off or people cutting back due to the economy, but we were able to complete the course in under 3.5 hours. We could’ve finished in about 3 hours but we did encounter a slight slowdown due to some five-somes on the course reading the greens pretty slowly.

The course fairways finally had some green color to it, still brown in some areas but betting then I’ve seen it in a year. After the first few holes the greens are fast and smooth, only on the first front nines are their outstanding divots and patchy colors.

The sprinkled ponds on the course took four golf balls from me that day, water color ranged from the normal green tinge to some weird looking brown murkiness. If you can still get on the course without traffic, then the $27.00 cost is reasonable. We did see around the early afternoon a group of three golf carts playing the first hole that looked like a golf class starting play that significantly causes a back-up on the course, so pick your tee time wisely.

Score: 3.25 out of 5

Friday, June 27, 2008

Goodwill Store: Color Tag Sale- Week of 6/27/08

Goodwill Color Tag Sale for the week of 6/27/08 through 7/3/08: 50% off Orange item tagged merchandise.

*Orange County, CA locations only.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Golf Review: Youth Nike Golf Clubs and Stand Bag- 6/23/08

Review: Nike Golf sells a line of off-the-rack golf clubs and equipment for kids. I just went to the site and I couldn't find a set description so they may be tweaking it still, a British site though as some item features.

For the aspiring young golfer, Nike offers sets of equipment based on their height. You can choose between Par Red, Birdie Blue, and Eagle Silver- tagged equipment for little tykes up to tweens. I will be reviewing the Blue color equipment since based on the color range only certain clubs are offered. The taller you are the more clubs to choose from.

The Nike kids driver (blue) looks like the previous 2004 adult Ignite driver, comes with graphite Nike shaft and steel club face. The driver has a nice pop and I've seen it pop balls around 125 yards, I do believe that the club should have a larger face since the version here is very shallow. The shaft also is very stiff and I wish Nike offered a more flexible version, why do kids with low swing speeds get stiff flex?

The hybrid club is approx. a 3- iron club and along with the mid iron and pitching wedge come with graphite, regular flex shafts. The hybrid is nicely weighted and offers good distance. The two irons offered in the Blue set are decent, though distance is not as long or forgiving as the prior clubs. An offering of a sand or lob wedge would have been nice to help out kids launch into the air balls from a deep bunker.

The Nike putter is the one color length that did not match up with the user. The steel shaft and half-circle mallet design in the Blue color was very short so the putter length had to be moved up to the Silver color selection, while a bit longer than needed, it at least wasn't as extreme as the short length of the blue. Putter comes with a soft polymer-like insert. Nice feel, though some grass chips do sometimes get caught in the edges where the insert in the face and body of the club meet.

Last but not least the golf bag, this one was also chosen to be the Silver instead of blue tag since the Silver offered more room. The bag is very light, comes with dual shoulder Izzo strap system and four pockets and four club dividers.

These clubs were previously picked up over a year ago during the yearly golf clearance at Target stores so some items like the bag was purchased for $15 compared to the usual $40-$50. Sports Authority stores also sell this line along with Nike kids golf shoes, golf towels, kids golf balls and gloves. Some of the club appearance have been changed in the current product line, the putter sold now looks more like the adult Ignite line with the triangular shape.

For an off-the-rack kids golf equipment and decent price the Nike line is a fine choice. The selection is nice is that you can buy just a few items (putter and iron) just to see if you kids likes the sport instead of have to plunk down a lot more buying a full array of equipment like the Callaway, Ping, Cobra, or La Jolla packages.

Score: 3.25 out of 5

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Goodwill Store: Color Tag Sale- Week of 6/20/08

Goodwill Color Tag Sale for the week of 6/20/08: Blue items and Pink tag merchandise.

It looks like Goodwill Stores in Orange County, CA came to their senses and ended their short-lasting test of only having the color tag 50% off sale from Sundays through Thursdays.

For some reason they instituted several weeks ago that they would not offer the usual 50% off color tags on Fridays and Saturdays, i don't know if the bright reason for that was those days were their high traffic days and that they could bring more cash flow by not discounting items on those days. Well I'm guessing that that trick did not happen since in the stores I went to when they had the limited days, store traffic died down and these are stores that you do not go to splurge but to save money.

Thankfully it looks like the Goodwill stores came to their senses and brought back the color tag discount throughout the week with the sale items starting on Friday and switching at the end of Thursday. It was a rumor I overheard last weekend, I wish they announced it since there was a dvd set that had this weeks colors that I was waiting on to get discounted, but alas it was gone on Saturday.

A big yay for bringing in the old promotion back. I'm also hoping they're keeping the two-color discount together with one general color item 50% off any item (clothing, books, movies, accessories, electronics, etc.) and a second color just for merchandise. I think it will help drive additional sales if customers can expect to buy more items instead of waiting until a particular item's color is chosen.

I do have a suggestion for Goodwill which I think can bring it some additional revenue as well as make some shopping bargain hunters happy, offer discount code coupon books. For example for $10.00 a customer will receive a Goodwill store booklet with coupon discounts good for 50% any one color item, 25% off blue color clothing, 15% orange tagged books, etc. Buyers would buy this so they can buy on the spot an item they'd like to purchase at a discount and not have to wait, Goodwill can make some extra cash by selling a routine item for goods that may sit around for long periods (increased cash flow).

I'd also like to note that the San Diego Goodwill stores have a different pricing and merchandise strategy from Orange County stores. The one Mr. Monster visited in North County had hand labeled color tags, but the store did not have discounts based on the color (maybe it's only on certain sale days). The store was a lot smaller, but the selection of goods had more retail store clothing that had tags still attached such as Dockers, Banana Republic, etc. that were not the usual Target store overstock/return merchandise.

I wonder of the San Diego branches get donated items from mall/retail stores directly since I saw some with tags from Marshalls and TJ Max. The store even had a section on the clothing racks labeled New Items for the women's side, I guess so you don't have to spend too much time looking through for recently stocked items.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Golf Review: Nike Dri-Fit Golf Gloves- 6/21/08

Review: I have been using the Nike Dri-Fit golf gloves for the last couple of years on and off. For the price they sell around $10.00. These are synthetic gloves and have held up longer than some other name brand gloves I have used in the past.

I did choose this Nike version since I was looking for black golf gloves and the Nike Dri-Fits were the most readily available at a good low price. They also come in a nice vented hard plastic case which helps keep them in shape instead of throwing them crumpled into the side pockets of your golf bag.

I have regulated this version of the glove to mostly practice and driving range so it's been going on almost a year for me. The last version I used during play laster about six months before rips appeared. This one I use for practice and sometimes play, the only wear showing up is that the synthetic leather around the thumbs and wrist area are rubbing off and exposing the lycra fabric.

The fit is good for a ML and breathes well without any major discomfort notice. Plus since this is a black colored version, dirt and stains are hard to notice. Major pluses for the glove holder.

Score: 3.5 out of 5

Friday, June 20, 2008

Golf Review: Neoprene Golf Iron Head Covers- 6/20/08

Review: When I first got into golf I started noticing on my sets of irons that they were getting scratched up and dinged, and not just from hitting the ground during my horrible play!

Carrying your irons around in your bag during a typical day of play or even dragging it out to the driving range does cause the clanging of the clubs to happen at they batter themselves in your bag.

I decided then to try and keep my irons in nice condition as long as I can since I don't apply to the terms that certain golfers have in the thought that having scuffs and scrapes on your irons is a normal part of the game and a good "game scar" to show. Well, this can be applied to you car as well, it gets dings and bumps as well during normal use and if I see a horrible dent in it then I would get an auto body shop to fix that big dent on my car, that why I try and keep my car in a garage or not parked in tight spaces... I like keeping my things in good condition.

Still, not wanting to spend too much money I decided on neoprene covers. They're low-priced, easy to put on, and light. I got these shown in the photo from Walmart for less than $10.00. They had labels from 4-SW. I do wish they had eliminated the 4 or had one blank or "x" since I would have liked to use on on my lob wedge, so instead I place the 4 on it.

My other friends have variations on the materials for the head covers, some expensive like the Club Glove version and some with the old-school hard plastic material. These have kept my irons in good condition, though I do take them off completely during games since I do not like spending extra time putting them on and off during course of play as well as the possibility of losing them moving around the fairways.

I recommend getting them for as low-priced as possible around $10 since the more expensive versions you can instead get extra golf balls. Mine have started to rip a bit after almost 2 years of play, but only a little. Check out your local Walmart, Target, Big 5 or Sports Authority store for them locally.

Score: 3 out of 5

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Movie Review: The Happening (2008)- 6/19/08

Review: Another new hyped film by M. Night Shyamalan. The reviews haven't been kind and I'd have to agree. I liked the Sixth Sense and Signs (except the water deus ex machina), flat on Unbreakable, haven't seen The Village fully (kinda boring in the parts I've seen on cable), and don't want to watch Lady in the Water (read the spoiler and plot and it was ridiculous).

The premise to The Happening seemed interesting. People killing themselves from out of the blue and the rest of the populace trying to figure it it out and running outta the way. Well if you've see the recent horror film The Ruins, there's the plot twist inserted into this movie.
The acting and actors were flat and the premise ridiculous when halfway through the movie a side character brings out his theory on why people are dying.

The studio keeps bragging on how this is the first R rated movie from M. Night and the scenes that should be enacted on screen to showcase the horror of the deaths are all shown IN THE TV COMMERCIALS. That's right, if you watch the trailer then 90% of the "gruesome" deaths are already shown to you.

The ending is a big let down with after 3 months post-mini apocalypse everyone seems all honky-dory and then another outbreak appears elsewhere. Beejezus! My main problem was how characters who seemed smart make really bad decisions: Leaving a Hummer behind when running away, not stying together or letting each other know they're moving, and the most problematic for me was escaping the root of the menace by closing door and windows...when the toxic "thing" should already be part of the oxygen based on where it's coming from. Beejezus Part II!

1.5 out of 5

In honor of M. Night's movies and the twists he put on them, here's a link from Yahoo! exposing the Top 20 movie plot twists!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Golf Review: Spalding Leather Golf Cart Bag- 6/18/08

Review: I was able to pick up this Spalding Golf Cart Leather Bag at a thrift store for cheap, less than $10.00. The only problem at the time was that it was in bad shape, gum/tar marks, dirt, and regular wear. But seeing that it was a nice retro-looking bag and made of genuine leather, I wanted to give it a try since I did like the red with white trim look. After using cleaning agents to remove the gunk and a lot of elbow grease to remove all the dirt and such I was able to get this in pretty pristine shape.

This Spalding cart bag has four pockets. Two pockets in the front and one large side pocket and one small valuables pocket in the other side. The bag has three dividers and the strap is still in good shape.

All in all it is now in good shape and I bring it out on courses where I do not need a stand bag such as when the courses we play are cart-only. It's fun coming to courses having this old school bag in play.

3.5 out of 5. High rating since I bought it at such a low price.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Golf Review: Golf Digest Pull Cart- 6/17/08

Review: Picked up this Golf Digest brand pull cart from Target and have had this in use for just under two years and it's holding up well. I paid $30.00 for it though it's sometimes on sale at the store for $25.00 when their golf clearance happens.

Here are some features:
• Lightweight pull cart has removable wheels
• Designed to fit any standard golf bag
• Lightweight, compact design for easy storage
• Convenient score card holder
• 20.47Hx30.7Wx45.6D"

This pull cart is pretty light and I'm able to carry it one handed up and down flights of stairs. The two golf ball and four tee holders are handy. More expensive carts have additional water bottle holders and larger score card holders, but then you pay for the price, if you do get the three-wheeled cart at least. The wheels, though plastic, have not had any significant problems or break-downs.

The downsides to this cart are as follows: 1. Having to tighten the wheels during the start of each game since they do loosen up throughout a game., 2. The pencil holder is hard to accommodate certain pencil sizes and ends up getting lost during a game. 3. Trying to keep the front of the bag facing forward does not work well since the bag tends to turn sideways throughout the game. I've had to either leave the bag facing sidewards (leaving one side of the bag and pockets inaccessible) or at times drilled holes and inserted screws into the top holder to keep the bag from turning.

For the price though at around $30.00, this is the lowest price pull cart you can find new. Sometimes Sports Authority has a three-wheeled version push cart on sale for $50.00 to $60.00 which is a good price. My golf buddies who have the more lavish Bag Boy three-wheeled push carts end up skipping on bringing them along since they take up a lot of trunk space while I am always able to take this version since it does fold easily into my car's trunk.

Score: 3 out of 5

Monday, June 16, 2008

Golf Review: Fila Sunday Golf Bag- 6/16/08

Review: Picked up this Fila Sunday Golf Bag to replace my previous Wilson Sunday Golf Bag. I was looking for a Sunday Bag that was weighted at the bottom so the bag did not tip over when loaded with golf clubs like the lighter-weight Wilson golf bag. The Fila golf bag has one front golf pocket, one side valuables pocket, a mesh pocket, a clip ring, and one large side pocket.

The top section of the bag is cloth-lined so there is no need to worry about scuffing the shafts of the golf clubs. The should pad holster is pretty padded and holds the bag up well. I like that the Fila logo plays throughout the bag and even the zippers have the logo molded into them. There is an internal frame skeleton within the bag to keep the structure sound, I don't know if it's just my bag but the frame in mine twists easily making it seem broken but I cannot find within the seems a broken rod.

Overall it's a nice light Sunday bag which you should be able to find low-priced in the secondary market.

Score: 3 out of 5

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Movie Review: Shutter (2008)- 6/15/08

Review: If you've seen The Ring or The Grudge or the countless other asian remake films Hollywood has put out, then you've seen Shutter. If you'd like to see Pacey from the Dawson's Creek t.v. series get his due, then this is the movie for you. Standard fare for horror.

A newlywed couple move to Japan where the photographer husband is schedule to shoot. Strange appearances and ghostly images start to appear on film, windows, reflective things etc. so the wife starts to investigate. There's a small plot twist in the end that I saw a mile coming. There's maybe a couple jumps but nothing out of the ordinary.

There are tons of similarities to The Ring movie (which the American film I find the pinnacle of the u.s. remakes) with the dead girl, plot twist at the end, fly, appearing in media, etc.
A good dvd rental or catch on HBO but nothing too spectacular or original.

2.95 out of

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Goodwill Store: Color Tag Sale- Week of 6/14/08

Goodwill Color Tag Sale for the week of 6/14/08: Blue

Since I haven't seen posted on any other websites or even noted in the Southern California Goodwill stores, I will be posting what color tags are being used for the specials of the week.

For those of you who don't know, every week the Goodwill Stores here in Southern California place certain items on 50% discount. Items in the store usually have colored price tags on them such as green, blue, pink, and purple.

At the beginning of the week (Depending on how it changes, either Friday or Sunday) one of the colored tags are chose and any items displaying that color becoms 50% off the listed price.

Now the 50% off is good for some items that form some reason Goodwill marks pretty high. Some of the electronics such as t.v.s and stereos they actually mark higher than new flat screens at retail stores or even tagged new items from Target which are out-of-season or returns but are not used at all are sometimes priced at Goodwill higher than the actual store price tag!

As noted in postings, I check out Goodwill for golf items sometimes such as getting Nike One Platinum golf balls for a dollar each (they were new in sleeves but the boxes were dinged), or buying old putters and wooden clubs for fun.

So check it out, maybe you'll find something good. It's also for a good cause.

Golf Review: Top Flite Golf Shoes- 6/14/08

Comments: Picked up these Top Flite sneaker golf shoes at clearance at Target a while back. I wanted a golf shoe that was more inclined for walking the golf course than my previous Dunlop Sport saddle shoes so when I saw these sneaker types on sale I grabbed them.

Nothing too fancy about these Top Flite golf shoes. Mainly white with navy blue trim and the bottom has orange accents with stabilizers. Comes with meal thread Top Flite branded spikes. After I wore the spikes down I replaced them with Pulsar spikes but one thread on a spike from the originals has worn down so I could not rip it off at all. So the bottom of one shoe has all but one new spikes on it.

Cleaning is easy, just wash and scrub with a brush, I did add in gels for the long walks since the padded insoles were thin for me. It's not water proof so be careful on wet and muddy courses. The shoe has held up for me with only one cut inflicted on it after two full seasons.

Score: 2.75 out of 5. Lower rating because of the defective spike thread and limited water proof abilities.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Golf Review: Dunlop Sport Saddle Golf Shoes Golf Shoes- 6/13/08

Comments: I purchased these Dunlop Sport saddle golf shoesand wore them for about 10 rounds of golf and I can attest that they feel very comfortable.

As you can see from the photos, the shoe is in good condition, spikes are original Dunlop spikes. There are scuff and marks on the toe of the shoes as well as on some sections of the heel area since I used these shoes when I rode golf carts and I tend to scuff my shoes on the pedals.

I do wish there was more cushioning in the show, I had to add in some gel pads for walking rounds so I usually kept these shoes as backups for when I rode golf carts and switched to my more sneaker-like Top Flite shoes for walking. I did get this shoe back in Maui at the local Walmart there for a low price and brought it back to So. Cal as my first official golf shoe. A good beginner's shoe for the price, less than $30.00 retail, but it does scuff easily.

Dunlop Sport Features & Specifications

Lace up these lightweight shoes for a day on the course. Maximum comfort comes from the cushioned footbed and rubber outsole. Synthetic leather helps with breathability and supports all ranges of motion. Get ready for tee time.

Dunlop Sport Shoes Product Details:

-Comfortable golf shoes with brown shoelaces
-Synthetic leather upper

-Cushioned footbed

-Lightweight rubber outsole

-Original Dunlop spikes with one Softspikes replacement

-Care: Wipe clean

2.75 out of 5

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