Easily start a Panini Grill using a Chimney Starter

A chimney starter is a useful accessory if you have a charcoal grill but hate struggling to get the coals burning evenly, and dislike the taste of lighter fluid. I would always get frustrated trying to start our charcoal grill, and usually ended up dowsing all the charcoal in lighter fluid and creating a massive fireball. Of course, then all the food gets that acrid lighter fluid taste. With our new panini press chimney starter, it’s quick and easy to start the charcoal grill, and no lighter fluid is required.

Assembly of Charcoal Grill Chimney Starter Equipment

The first step in using a charcoal grill chimney starter is to assemble all the necessary equipment. Obviously, you need the chimney starter as well as the charcoal grill. You also need charcoal (duh) and a lighter. Tongs or a poker are useful for manipulating the coals once they’re hot. Lastly, you need two or three sheets of newspaper. Notice, no lighter fluid required. This is a good thing.

Preparation of Panini Charcoal Grill Chimney Starter

Next you must prepare your chimney starter, charcoal grill, and other equipment.

Take the top and the grilling screen off the charcoal grill and set them aside, as you would normally to load the charcoal.

Crumple and twist the newspapers into rings, so they’re shaped liked donuts about the size of the chimney starter.

Slide the newspapers into the bottom of the chimney starter. The bottom is the section of the chimney starter with holes. The goal with the newspaper is to slide them in as doughnuts, so that a central space remains open. This will help promote the “chimney” action for which the chimney starter is named. As the newspapers start to burn, air will continue to move up the center of them, pushing the flames up through this corridor. You can try just crumpling the newspaper and shoving them into the bottom of the chimney starter, but I find it’s more efficient to use the ring-shaped sheets. Also, don’t use too much newspaper. It’s important that air be able to move through the sheets, so loosely crumpling a few pages is better than stuffing in an entire Sunday Times.

Place the chimney starter, newspapers now loaded, onto your charcoal grill. The section with holes and filled with newspapers should rest on the bottom screen of your charcoal grill, where you usually load the charcoal.

Dump the desired amount of charcoal into the top section of the chimney starter. I have a very small grill and usually only cook a few items at a time, so filling my chimney starter half-full is sufficient. For larger charcoal grills or more barbecuing, you might need to fill your chimney starter higher.

Firing Up the Charcoal Grill Chimney Starter

Now you’re ready to get started.

Light the newspapers through the holes around the bottom of the chimney starter. I usually try to get all the holes going at once to decrease the chances of it going out, but if you’re confident the flames will catch you can do it with just one match or light.

Stand back and wait. The chimney starter will begin to smoke ferociously. If you’ve loaded the newspapers correctly, the flames will be pulled up through the chimney starter and begin igniting the charcoal.

Once the newspaper has burned off (usually two or three minutes) the smoke will begin to peter out. Beware of burning pieces of paper at this point. If everything is going according to plan, some of the charcoal at the bottom of the starter should be glowing red and beginning to ash over (turn white).

Wait another ten or fifteen minutes (longer if you have more coals). Once the charcoal at the top of the chimney starter has begun to ash over, and most of the charcoal is almost completely white, the coals are ready.

Be very careful as you turn the chimney starter over and drop the burning coals into the charcoal grill. The sides of the chimney starter and the coals themselves are extremely hot. There also might be pieces of burning paper caught up in the base of the chimney starter. Be aware of what you’re doing. After you dump out the coals, the chimney starter should cool very quickly but at first it’ll be extremely hot, so put it somewhere people won’t accidentally bump it.

Once the coals are in the charcoal grill, spread them evenly using tongs or a poker and replace the grilling screen.

Now you are ready to grill, without using lighter fluid. This whole process usually takes about fifteen minutes for me, though your time will vary depending on the amount of charcoal and the size of your chimney starter. This is the best way to do it, honestly if you went with a restaurant sandwich press you’ll probably spend less time but a charcoal grill is a awesome selling point.

Is the Razer Mamba Wireless Gaming Laser Mouse 5600 DPI Too Much to Handle?

Unless you’re a hard-core FPS gamer, this rather expensive mouse is probably way more than you need. It promises to deliver wireless freedom with lag-free response. 

This is a very precise mouse with customizable resolution up to 5600 DPI, including five sensitivity changes activated by buttons. Early adopters of this model were complaining of jitter, but this problem seems to have been resolved with new firmware or a special Teflon ring supplied by the manufacturer.

The mouse has many button options and is fully customizable. The on-board memory lets you create and manage separate profiles that automatically activate for certain games.

Battery life is quite good, and the mouse can be recharged through the docking station. Alternatively, if you plug it into the USB cable you can continue to use the mouse while it’s recharging.

As with other Razers, the mouse design is nicely ergonomic and feels good in the hand. The glowing LEDs give it a cool futuristic look as well as indicate battery life and DPI stage.

This rodent is simply too much mouse for most of us. Certainly a typical gamer or computer user would be better off saving some money and choosing a less high-end piece of hardware. But if you demand the fastest, most precise, most feature-filled mouse around, this one is likely to make the short list.

Here are some of the features of the Razer Mamba Mouse 5600 DPI:

  • – Instant wired/wireless convertibility
  • – Battery life and DPI stage indicator
  • – Ultra-large non-slip buttons
  • – Zero-acoustic Teflon feet
  • – 5600 DPI laser sensor
  • – On-board memory
  • – Ergonomic design

Here is what current owners have to say about the Razer Mamba Wireless Gaming Laser Mouse 5600 DPI:

Matthieu P. Raillard: “The Mamba is an amazing mouse on many different levels. First is the design/looks/aesthetic element. This is a beautiful looking AND feeling mouse. I also own a Razer keyboard, and the Mamba, like the keyboard is encased in a rubber/plastic material that is durable yet maintains great tactile feel. …The DPI options are absolutely insane, and this is a very, very accurate mouse.”

Panasonic Milano Series ER-GB40-S Review

The Panasonic Milano Series ER-GB40-S gets close to being a professional hair styling tool without costing the earth. The Panasonic Milano Series ER-GB40-S does more than just trim beards and shape mustaches. It can also reliably be used to style your hair and trim body-hair. Can be used wet, or dry, and can be used tethered to the wall outlet, or cordless with a short time on the charger.

 The Basic’s of Panasonic Milano Series ER-GB40-S

The Panasonic Milano Series ER-GB40-S comes chock full of features that will work just as well in the bath as in the salon. The most innovative feature, I feel, is that it is totally submersible in water, and washing it out under a flowing faucet is not a problem. I am able to take it into the shower and trim my hair or shape my goatee. The wet and dry feature of the Milano is a huge plus point for versatility and it is one of my favorite features. I can even accomplish something that is not possible on most other trimmers, which is to use the trimmer together with shaving foam.

The blades, which are the most important part of the trimmer, are made of hypoallergenic stainless steel. This is important because hypoallergenic blades help protect sensitive skin from developing rashes; and, the second is that these stainless steel blades are corrosion-resistant, which allow a constant razor-sharp blade and keeps it safe.

There are nineteen settings to choose from with the Panasonic Milano Series ER-GB40-S. Each setting is placed at 0.5 mm increments for precise length selection. These numerous settings take the length from 1 mm cut all the way to 10 millimeters, approximately one-third of an inch. The settings are controlled with an easy-access dial within reach of your thumb. With one hand you can just scroll the dial to the desired setting and the telescopic beard guard slides into place. This is definitely a far cry from the cumbersome multi-attachment options some of the other trimmers present.

The highly efficient rechargeable batteries run for 50 minutes on a full charge. The indicator light is a handy feature, showing the level of charge at any instant, removing the need for any guesswork. This goes a long way in extending the life of the rechargeable battery. I disapprove of trimmers, or any other electrical equipment, that don’t have this feature.

The chassis of the trimmer is contoured to perfectly fit the angle and shape of a man’s natural grip. This makes it ergonomically effective and gives an effortless feel to the trimming process. I find it to be a robust trimmer that feels solid in my grasp, and this affords me the ability to guide it with purpose and precision.

 Things that Could be Better with the Panasonic Milano Series ER-GB40-S

As with all things, even the best will present opportunity for improvement, and I feel the same way about the Panasonic Milano Series ER-GB40-S. While I don’t have a major problem with it, the GB40 ‘s charger is only compatible with 110v outlets. This initially presented a challenge for me, as I travel to countries that use 240v instead. I had considered purchasing a transformer until I realized that a full charge fully takes care of my needs. With a 50 minute reserve, I am able to keep it for 10 days with 5 minutes of daily use. Still, I would prefer a 100-240 v charger.

The blade guard needs a little understanding and appreciation before use. If you point it in the wrong direction, it is going to cut a lot closer than you expect, once you get used to it this actually becomes an advantage as it can deliver a much more accurate trim.

Other Features that are Handy

With most of the necessary features handily accessible on the trimmer, there are also a number of other features that make it a great all round option. I particularly like the fact that the unit has a sensible grip .  The rubber sheath that wraps parts of the trimmer provides adequate grip even when its wet in the shower and easily rinses off under the spray. I’ve never had to wash it as rinsing seems to suffice. Shavings come off easily with the inbuilt water drain design. Being among the best rated beard trimmers, the ER-GB40-S really performs well and does what it says on the box.

For personal grooming, this Panasonic Milano Series ER-GB40-S is a professional tool that can be relied upon for daily use. It allows a handy adjustment to layer the facial hair for certain styles of beards and it lends itself to both head and body hair trimming . Being able to layer your hair is a real bonus and is accomplished easily with the telescopic hair guard. This is clearly one of the outstanding features and makes trimming a more complex beard much easier with the Panasonic Milano Series ER-GB40-S than some of the other cheaper alternatives.

The unit has a pleasantly designed cradle to charge it in. Trimmers that don’t have the cradle are usually just cast on the counter and can be unsightly. The cord that snakes across the bathroom counter is an eyesore as well. However, with the Pansonic’s cradle, every accessory has its place and the cord can be neatly tucked into position as the entire ensemble sits neatly on the counter, charging.

I focused a lot on its ability to get wet and stay immersed in the water, that I neglected to mention that it works just as well when it’s dry. These are for times when you want a quick shave in the office or if you are on the red-eye for a meeting and need to get a shave on board. The dry, cordless option is an amazing feature that lets you keep up your appearance anywhere, even when you’re not home

All in all the of the Panasonic Milano Series ER-GB40-S is a slightly more expensive beard trimmer but this is also reflected in the build qualit and all round functionality it will do everything you need of a beard trimmer and more!

Traveling to the Caymans

Many people enjoy traveling to other countries, especially those of exotic or tropical locale. Here are some tips for traveling to the British-owned Cayman Islands in the western Caribbean. First, do some research. Learn about what activities are offered on the islands. The Caymans are known for excellent scuba diving and snorkeling. George Town offers duty-free shopping. Take a trip to Hell and back. There are so many activities among the three islands that you may need to spend a few weeks there to experience it all.

Learn about the currency and exchange rate. The Caymans do have their own currency, but US currency is accepted at most businesses. The exchange rate is set and is $1.25 US dollars for every CI dollar. I would highly recommend going to the bank and exchanging your US dollars for CI dollars. There are banks on the islands that are happy to do this for you.

You should realise that if you have a contigo autoseal west loop stainless travel mug with easy-clean lid, 16 0z. you’re going to have no issues with refilling drinks, so begin rejoicing before you even arrive at the caymans.

Do some homework on the hotels and resorts of the islands. Most of the most popular hotels and resorts are located along Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman. These offer spectacular views and easy access to one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. Do be careful of booking a cheaper, locally owned hotel. These may not offer the same quality and service most of us are used to. You are better off paying a little more for a hotel or resort owned by a more recognizable chain, such as Marriott or Comfort Suites. Many of the resorts offer activities such as a social hour with live local entertainment, free appetizers, and discounts on drinks. Take advantage of such activities and meet other guests staying at your resort.

While on the islands, take advantage of their bus system and taxis. These are extremely cheap and taxis will take you to any point on the island. My husband and I were able to travel by taxi from our resort at the George Town end of Seven Mile Beach to Hell for about $5.00. I don’t remember how far it was, but it seemed like it was all the way across the island. And if you are walking along the sidewalk and vans honk at you, it’s a taxi wanting your business. Don’t be afraid to flag them down if you want to ride.

Talk to the locals. Find out where they eat or shop. They will be able to save you money. Avoid eating at the resorts. While the food may be fantastic, the prices are very expensive. We ended up walking a few blocks to a little restaurant in a strip mall. The portions were huge and the prices were very reasonable. Talking to the locals is also a great way to experience some of their culture!

Take advantage of the inexpensive wine and spirits. I highly recommend Tortuga Rum and Tortuga Rum cake. It is very difficult to find in the United States, so bring some home with you. All of the wine and spirits on the islands are much cheaper than here at home and some of them are made locally. Try some of the Jamaican beer and rum, too. The legal drinking age in the Caymans is 18, but always exercise caution when drinking alcohol.

Take lots of pictures so you will always have those to look at later on. The moment will come flooding back to you!

Relax and have fun! Being prepared ahead of time will allow you to have time to enjoy your vacation. Have a plan before you depart of things you want to do, but don’t get bent out of shape if you don’t get to do it all. Being mad about it will only ruin the time and good memories you do have left of your trip. Most of all, have a vacation that you will remember for the rest of your life!

MSI CX62 6QD-047US Review

Known for its high-quality support service, MSI has yet again delivered an appreciable market offer in the shape of the CX62 QD-047US. Marketed as a laptop for business use and games, it succeeds in providing a great deal of benefits at an affordable price. Its quality, design, and performance has helped MSI gain the upper hand in its targeted market segment. If you are looking for any of the characteristics mentioned above, it is safe to say that the MSI CX62 QD-047US will not disappoint you.


The CX62 6QD-047US’s sturdy appearance adds to its persona of durability and robustness, the two qualities looked for in a laptop designed for business use. The matte black exterior gives it a regal appearance, further adding to its appeal. Its 15.6-inch screen size is comparable to the other laptops available. The smooth keypad is highly responsive and easy to use. All of these features help give the MSI CX62 6XQD-047US a royal feel.


It provides an exemplary performance at a reasonable price. Its Intel Core i5-6300HQ quad-core processor helps provide a fast speed of 8GB DDR4 2133MHz and a hard drive of 1 TB. Along with a Windows 10 operating system, it comes with a Nvidia GeForce 940MX graphics coprocessor, making it a worthy choice for gamers. Its lithium-ion battery is known to be long lasting, therefore being suitable for business work, and its 1366×768-pixel screen resolution provides a great visual experience to its users.


The MSI CX622 68D-047US succeeds in providing premium quality to its users. Its high speed along with excellent graphics makes it an ideal offer for gamers – MSI CX’s target market. Added to this, its decent quality of audio and high data carrying capacity make it a holistic offering. Its compatibility with Windows 7 and 8 also helps differentiate it from its competitors.

Pros and Cons

The keys are comparatively small which acts as a sour spot in the overall experience along with the trackpad which has a poor feel. Its sturdiness may also prove to be troublesome for those who value portability. However, since it is targeted to gamers and for work use, one can say that its build is tailored to the needs of its specific target market. Its quality of being upgradable and backward compatibility greatly outweighs the cons. Furthermore, its hard drive size and processor count are comparatively better than other laptops in the same price range. Overall, given its price, the benefits and value derived from it by far outweigh the cons.


If you are in need of a sturdy laptop which can withstand rough handling and continuous use, the MSI CX62 6QD-047US may prove to be a worthy choice. Not only does it provide great graphics and audio, but its large memory and backward compatibility also give its users the option of remaining in their comfort zone and using an OS which they are accustomed to. These user-friendly features are what makes this laptop stand out among its competitors.