Friday, September 11, 2015

Report: Four Items This Week – Best And Least Costly – RabbitTV

Today I'm going to report on four items. They can all be ordered from Amazon. All four lend themselves to the mobile lifestyle, but are also very useful for the fixed residence lifestyle, too. And, here's the kicker, they are all part of the products we've all probably seen on TV infomercials. They have that, now famous, or maybe infamous, phrase attached to them, “As Seen On TV.”

To begin with and to eliminate any misconceptions, I am not an avid fan or viewer of TV infomercials. I do have respect for some of the produers of the TV genre though. Through my professional career I knew the owner of the largest and most successful infomercial producer in the U.S. - you've seen their work with Richard Simmons, Tony Robbins, Fran Tarkenton, Cindy Crawford, Adam Levine and a plethora of other celebrity endorsers and hosts. Their infomercials and marketing span 68 countries. I met Bill Guthie of the Guthie-Renker Corporation before he founded the company when we were friendly competitors in the cassette duplication business on opposite coasts.

My professional experience in that field is limited to having produced a radio infomercial for Tiger Balm salve during the early 1990's. The west coast advertising agency of the U.S. distributors of the product line contracted me to produce the show. It's a great product and the infomericial did okay, but nothing like the success of Guthie-Renker.

That being said, I do occasionally see an infomercial that catches my attention. But, even more likely, I may see some of their products in certain stores. The “As Seen On TV” is what catches my eye. Two of these four products caught my eye in stores, one online and one on TV. They are: RabbitTV, GripGo Cell Phone Car Mount, Orgreenic Flip Jack Pancake Maker and the Orgreenic 10” Frying Pan. I have three of these products and use them on the road. I plan to add the fourth, the Orgreenic 10” Frying Pan before the fall is out. So, let's get started.


This little item is the smallest of the four, the least expensive and the neatest piece of techy stuff I've run into in quite a while. I found it in a Fry's Electronics store in Manhattan Beach, California this past January. That was when I was, unfortunately, waylaid for about two months with my, now legendary, engine problem. God bless my son for having the fortitude to put up with me for all that time. And, thank God for him being where I had the problem so I had a place to stay.

I was browsing the mind boggling array of electronic “stuff” at Fry's when I saw this little “As Seen On TV” RabbitTV device that was on sale for one day at a special price with a promo code I had downloaded. I asked a salesperson if this device actually worked. He said they sell bunches of them and no one ever brings them back or complains about them not working. I guess that's one way of answering the question without answering the question. So, for the special one day $2.99 price, I decided to take the Big Risk. I received the answer to my question from my own experience.


Basically, it's an aggregating device that connects you to an online service that aggregates all the broadcast and cable TV networks as well as connecting to thousands of streaming movie feeds, plus games, radio stations, sports and pay-per-view offerings. I'm not going to pull the wool over your eyes. From what I can tell, everything available through this device you can find, individually, yourself. But, this RabbitTV service has done all the work for you.

It plugs into a USB port on your computer. A screen prompt comes up. You make a couple clicks. The next thing you know you have literally thousands and thousands of choices of entertainment, news and everything else I mentioned above on your computer. Of course, you do need an Internet connection. This can be a public wifi connection, connecting through a friend or family member's secure wifi or your own wireless data connection from your wireless phone provider. In my case, it's AT&T.

Most of the TV shows aren't available until a day after they have aired on live TV or cable. Usually, there are at least the last five episodes of whatever show you want to watch. Personally, I like this because I can watch what I want to watch on my schedule. Some programs are part of premium services and you have to pay to watch them like you would on a regular cable or satellite feed. But, let me just say, as long as I have internet connectivity, and that's often through my wireless service, I have never had a time when I couldn't find something to watch.

So, thumbs up for RabbitTV. I highly recommend it if you want to get rid of regular cable or satellite TV service at home or if you are living the mobile lifestyle. I've included a link below to Amazon.

GripGo Cell Phone Mount
This item I actually did see on TV. I was so impressed by its flexibility, I bought three of them. So far, I've only used one, but the other two are in waiting. These have suction mounts for glass, like a windshield. They also come with a disk you can mount on a dashboard or any other solid surface that won't support a suction mount. You then attach the suction mount to the disk. It works perfectly.

You can use it for a
cellphone/smartphone, a variety of dashcam devices and even a GPS. I haven't used mine with a GPS, yet, but I have used it with my Kodak Zi8 palm-sized (like a Flip Cam) high definition camcorder to function as a dashcam. I've also used it with smartphones. As you look at the picture, you will see that it has a green surface that is very adhesive. You simply “stick” the phone, camcorder or GPS to this surface. When you want to remove it, you just pull it off. It's that simple.
However, it's a bit less reliable with very heavy devices attached to it.

After a while I found that the sticky surface lost some of it's stickiness. So, following the instructions that came with the mount, I washed it with some mile soap and warm water. Viola! It was as good as new.

So, another thumbs up for “As Seen On TV.”

Orgreenic Flip Jack Pancake Maker

Okay! This one I may have seen on TV, but it didn't make an impression on me until I actually saw one in person. “Whoa!” said I. This is cool. It's a two-sided, small frying pan, hinged at one end with dual handles that mate at the other side. The Orgreenic green ceramic finish on the cooking surfaces don't actually require any butter or grease. However, there is a simple prepping process with some butter or cooking oil before you use it. Nothing is supposed to stick to them. So far, they are right.

So, put the Flip Jack on a heat source like a kitchen stove, propane or butane stove, electric heating plate or an open fire to pre-heat it. Then, you pour in some pancake batter. You let one side of the pancake cook then simply flip the pan over and cook the other side. Like magic with no effort or splashing batter, you have a perfect pancake. What's not to love?

But, here's the thing. This little gem is not a “one trick pony.” It's sold to make pancakes, but I've made sunny side up eggs, over easy eggs, scrambled eggs with cheese blended in, open sided omelets, hash, grilled cheese sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, small steaks and other things. It seems to work with just about anything I might want to cook or warm up in a frying pan. The nice thing is that because it has the second cooking surface, it acts as an automatic cover. This, retains the heat inside the pan and starts cooking the top surface at the same time the bottom is cooking.

So, let's say I do a one sided omelet, for example. I put the eggs in the pan. I let them cook until I believe the bottom is cooked enough. I flip the pan, open it and now put my cheese, tomatoes, black olives, spinach, seasonings and whatever I want on my open faced omelet on the cooked side then close the cover. While the second side is cooked, the cheese and goodies I added on top are melting and cooking inside the top of the pan. When I'm done, it's perfect.

And I love this feature. Whatever it is, it slides out of the pan onto my plate. Then, a quick wipe with a damp cloth and the pan is clean and ready for the next use. This is definitely another “As Seen On TV” thumbs up.

10” Orgreenic Frying Pan

This is the only item of the four I'm reporting on that I don't have and can't testify to its performance and value. However, based on my experience with the Orgreenic Flip Jack Pancake Maker, I fully expect the same kind of performance from this pan. Orgreenic makes both a 10” and a 12” version of this frying pan. For my purposes and based on having limited space in a van dwelling, I'm going to opt for the 10.” It should serve my needs more than adequately.

It is a traditional style frying pan. It does not include an attached second cooking surface like the Flip Jack. I think it would be awesome if it did. I fully expect it to perform just as well as the Flip Jack for all the kinds of things one would use a frying pan for.

For example, I think frying up a batch of corned beef hash in the frying pan while cooking a couple sunny side up eggs in the Flip Jack would make an awesome breakfast, lunch or dinner. I might want to fry up a nice ham steak, perhaps, to go along with some fried potatoes and onions. I am salivating as I imagine frying up some peppers and onions and then a couple nice pieces of smoked, Polish or Italian sausage, slipping the sausage into some Kaiser rolls and filling them up with the peppers and onions.

Okay, I can't officially give the Orgreenic 10” Frying Pan a thumbs up, YET! But, I'm sure it will earn it the first time I use it. And with that said, I just made myself hungry, so I'm going to have to go rustle up something to appease my growling stomach.

The Bottom Line

Here's the bottom line. While two of these items are related, that is, cooking oriented, all four of them can make your life just a little better. As a minimal, simple living type person, I really don't want to load up my life with a lot of “stuff” I might use once in a while or maybe have around “just in case.” I've been there and done that. I'm past that phase of my life and I hope you are, too. If you order all four of these items from Amazon, you'll get free shipping, four compact, lightweight, immediately and continually useful items for less than $40.00 (more than $35.00 though, in order to qualify for free shipping from Amazon).

I don't know about you, but frankly, I can find a lot of ways to blow 40 bucks and not know what I got for my money. So, if you're an RVer, vandweller, tiny house dweller or just someone living large by living simple and minimal. I offer these four items for your consideration. Certainly, not everyone needs these four items. But, I'll bet a lot of people's lives have been made a little better by them. Maybe you're one of them.

As always, I'm including links to Amazon for these items and I remind you that I am an Amazon affiliate, so they pay me a small stipend if you order through my link. It costs you nothing more than you'd normally pay, but it does help me keep this blog and my simple lifestyle rolling. Thank you for your consideration.

I'm also including links to the Orgreenic 12” Frying Pan for anyone desiring a little more cooking space or possibly having two frying pans. And, I'm including a link to the Orgreenic cookware set. Frankly, if I had room in the van, I'd buy this complete set. A day will come when I may have to or choose to settle down in a fixed location once again. I hope this Orgreenic cookware will still be available because it will be one of my first purchases.

Oh my. It's time for some dinner. 


Edie said...

Thanks Ed for the very informative reviews. I ordered the rabbit and flip pan thru your links.

Ed Helvey - Location Independent Traveler said...

Glad you found the reviews helpful, Edie. And thanks for ordering through my links. I very much appreciate it.

I think you'll love both of these items. They've become essentials for me. BTW, when You get your RabbitTV plug-in, you'll need to set-up an account when you use it for the first time (no fee). After that you'll receive emails, usually a few months after you've had your plug-in attempting to get you to sign up for their $9.99/year premium Rabbit Plus service. I have not signed up and my plug-in continues to work perfectly. Their offer says the Rabbit Plus provides even more channels and services. To be honest. I haven't run out of choices, yet, and doubt I ever will.

Live free & be happy,