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Review: Rowenta Pro Master DW 8800

Getting right to the point: This is a high quality iron that you will not be disappointed with.  Those words aren’t really strong enough.  If you are have come to appreciate that good quality equipment sometimes costs more money, this iron is for you.

Full Review:

Rowenta Pro Master DW8080 iron

Rowenta Pro Master DW8080 iron

Occasionally in life you use a product that you are expecting to be good, but you don’t realize how good it can be until you use it.  The Rowenta Pro Master DW 8800 is one of those products.

It’s an iron.  Seriously.  How much different can an iron be?  They all get hot and take wrinkles out of clothes.  This is almost a commodity now.  Even so, there is a difference.

I have historically ironed more than anyone in my house, and even today, though I pay one of my sons to iron for me, I still iron a considerable amount, especially when traveling for work.  Because I often iron in hotels, I had almost seen the full gambit of irons, from basic irons with the most advanced feature being a spray nozzle that leaked to a “deluxe” hospitality iron that steamed, had an extra long cord, and even offered a headlamp to better see the wrinkles you were trying to remove.

For the last couple of years our iron at home has been a most basic iron, but it has done the job.  Even so, I have been looking to upgrade to one with a steam feature for some time.  It is the one feature I miss when it is not available, as it really helps get the wrinkles out.  A couple of weeks ago, someone touched some red plastic with the heated plate of our iron, and this pushed me to action.  After looking at numerous irons and reading numerous reviews, I decided to follow an instinct I only began to appreciate in my late thirties: buy quality equipment.  Quality in this case was the Rowenta Pro Master DW 8800.

Rowenta seems to be an iron appreciate by professionals: laundry mats and the such.  This is for good reason.  My first reaction was nothing short of utter amazement!  While it seemed to get hot faster that our other iron, that was not the feature that blew me away.  It was the variable steam feature that steams your clothes automatically while ironing WITHOUT pressing a button.  If you wish to steam vertically, perhaps curtains or even suit jackets, there is a button that produces serious bursts of steam.

All of this was amazing to my gadget loving self, but it was not until I ironed my most difficult shirt this morning that I truly appreciated how amazing this iron is.  This iron glides across my clothing like no other iron I have ever used.  The constant steam feature easily removed wrinkles I have wrestled with on this particular shirt for minutes in the past.  The “High Precision Tip”, while not a big deal to me, did indeed allow me to get into certain spots on the shirt easier.  As if this wasn’t enough, the constant steam feature also allowed me to iron my pants in half the time.  The steam pushing through my pants allowed me to be done ironing after only ironing one side of the pants.  That sort of thing makes me seriously happy.

All this said, the iron is comfortable to hold, and the weight of the iron speaks to its high quality.  From what I have read, this isn’t the same for all Rowenta irons, but those made in Germany posses a level of quality not seen in those made in China.

It remains to be seen how well this holds up, but my first impression is a solid WOW.  I am anxious to see how well the “Anti Calc” feature keeps the calcium buildup down, and I am anxious to see if the heated plate remains smooth after months of ironing, but for now, I am amazed.

All these good points aside, I do wish the iron had a longer cord, but this is a small price to pay for the rest of the incredible features.  I didn’t measure the cord, but I suspect it is 7 feet long.  I would have appreciated 10 feet, but again, this is a small complaint in comparison to the rest of the features.

If you are in the market for a new iron, and if you don’t mind spending more money to get a high quality iron, don’t hesitate and purchase the Rowenta Pro Master DW 8800.  You will not be disappointed.  A solid 5/5 stars.

The Chicken Chronicles

Whoa! Talk about a tough week for relatively new owners of outdoor chickens – this week has been one of the hardest so far. We had an some unusually cold weather come through the region this week, like much of the country, and it really challenged my thinking on taking care of the ladies.

If we step back a short month or two ago, we had some temperatures in the high teens, and at that point in time I chose to attempt to heat the coop with a red heat lamp. It was obvious the birds did not like the light, and I didn’t feel it was helping that much anyhow. When they started talking about single digit temperatures this past week, I was really puzzling over what I would do.

We had already insulated the coop with plastic on most inside walls, which helped more than the red heat lamp in my opinion, but it still was not enough for single digit temperatures, at least it wasn’t enough to make me feel comfortable. I wasn’t worried about our hens dying, but I was worried about the Rhode Island Reds getting frostburn on their combs and waddles. They are cold hardy bird, but that exposed skin worried me. The Easter Eggers, on the other hand, do not have much exposed skin, so I wasn’t too worried about them.

I spent some time reading up online to see what others had chosen to do, and it seemed I wasn’t the only one suffering from indecision. I think it is because most chicken owners look at their birds as pets that happen to lay eggs. That is certainly how they are seen here. I was able to find references of folks who used the red heat lamps as I had done before, and others who used other heaters, but the resounding message from the experienced chicken owners was that people worried too much. I found examples of people who lived in some very cold places who had never heated their coops, and from what I could tell, if you could keep the wind out and the coop dry inside, the birds would likely be fine. So, I decided that was what I would do.

Even so, there was a small concern: water. How would I keep the water from freezing? I decided to use a heated growing mat under their water dish to try to slow down the freezing. When that didn’t seem as effective as I had hoped, we surrounded the water bowl with some insulation (old towels in plastic bags), which seemed to help quite a bit.

Second, we took a large tarp and draped it over the coop on three sides and part of the fourth. This provided two things: a reduction in airflow and a insulation.

The Coop Wrapped in a Tarp

The Coop Wrapped in a Tarp

I was shocked at how well this seemed to do. Thankfully we had built the coop with enough ventilation at the top that even with three sides covered, there was plenty of ventilation for the moisture to escape. This seems to be one of the largest concerns. I read a great piece of advice that said if you notice frost on the inside walls of your coop, you have too much moisture. We did not notice that at all.

After a day or so, I began to be a little concerned at the lack of light in the coop. I didn’t want to introduce the extra heat or risk of fire, but I wanted to add some light in there, so I mounted a fixture on the ceiling and put an LED bulb in it to help with the light.

The temperatures did get very cold, with two days being in the singe digits.  If it didn’t hit 0° F, it sure came close.  When I woke one morning it was 1° F, and I suspect it had been colder.  The second wave didn’t get quite as cold, but it was still single digits.

A several things I noticed through all this. First, there was no frostburn, and the ladies seem little bothered by the cold. Second, they miss their recess breaks out roaming the yard. Third, I think they like the light during their daytime hours. Fourth, the Easter Eggers are either smarter than the Rhode Island Reds, or they need more heat. Why would I say that? Because those little ladies finally started roosting on the big plastic container which contained by heated growing mat and the water bowl.  ALL SIX of them made this their sleeping quarters. 😀

Easter Egger Hens Huddling Around the Water/Heating Pad

Easter Egger Huddle

The big plastic container is to keep their water from spilling into the coop’s bedding.  The heating pad is in the big plastic container.  There is a 1 gallon water bowl in the big container, and it is surrounded by towels to hold in the heat as much as possible.  The hens are either in the container, on the side, or at the edge.

Thankfully this bitter cold spell is over, but I feel better about future cold spells now that we have been through this one. I am sure the birds do too.

Oh, even throughout the cold spell, the Rhode Island Reds continued laying, though I think the numbers were a little less than they have been. Perhaps that was due to the decreased lighting for a few days.  I show the Rhode Island Reds laid 20 eggs this week, and the Easter Eggers laid 3.

Yesterday Charity let the hens out to play for a while, and they were thrilled.  I guess they had cabin fever after being locked up for so many days.  Freckles must have really been that way.  As we were trying to get them back into the coop, she flew up into a tree!  This is at least twice as high as I have seen a chicken fly, if not three times the height:

Freckles in a Tree

Freckles in a Tree

We finally got her down though after threatening to clip her wings and poking her with the blunt end of a pole pruner.  😀

Oh, I also had to repair the coop some yesterday.  Both doors to the run had boards that had broken which was causing the doors to not be able to be propped open easily.  Both are fixed now, though I sure wish they would break in warmer weather next time.

The Red Juice in Raw Meat Isn’t Blood

Friction Welding

Friction welding?

How could I have gone this long in my life without having heard of such?  Be sure to watch the videos!

Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables

As a home gardener, I am no stranger to funny looking fruits and vegetables.  In fact, many home crops look that way.  It doesn’t change the taste a bit though.  In fact, I am humored at how heirloom vegetables now sell for a premium, but no one minds the oddities that come along with those.  Even so, do you think all tomatoes that come off the commercial vine are round, perfectly red, and almost perfectly sized for a bun?  Of course not!  But do you know what happens to those imperfect tomatoes?  They are likely to be disposed of.  Sure, some may be sold to companies that use those less-than-perfect looking vegetables in their soups or other products, but many are just disposed of.

This video, Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables, does a good job at showing the ridiculousness of our decision making with regards to fruits and vegetables.

What about you?

Would you buy inglorious fruits and vegetables if there were no discount?

If not, would you buy them at a discount?



Yes, I know these aren’t as unlgorious looking as the ones at the link above, but apparently I don’t often take pictures of inglorious vegetables.

Some Things Don’t Make Sense

Some things don’t make sense.  Sometimes these things that don’t make sense frustrate me more than they should.  Today I encountered one of those things.

I live in the state of Kentucky.  I was preparing to pay my car registration and thought about mailing it in.  Then I was reminded why I dislike doing this:





I cut that off a little short; it should have showed a $2 fee.  This makes no good sense to me.  Well, let me rephrase.  I understand that they have to mail an envelope back to me, but a $2 fee for this is absurd.  I chose not to do this on principle.

Then I noticed that you can pay on the Internet.  I was once again reminded why I dislike doing this:



In case you can’t see that good, there is a $5 convenience fee for renewing on the Internet.  While the $2 fee can be justified, I suppose, an extra $3 cannot, in my mind.  If a system is set up properly, there will be reduced costs for the County Clerk if paid online.  They said it right though, it is a convenience fee.  I believe they know that folks don’t want to drive to the courthouse to pay this, and because of that they can make an extra $3.  When a business chooses to do this, that is their choice as a business.  I may not like it, and I can choose to shop elsewhere.  When a government does this, it is somewhat akin to robbery in my humble opinion.  Now, the truth of the matter is that I don’t have to pay online, and I didn’t.  It still doesn’t change the principle of the matter though.

Even if I am frustrated about it again next year, I very well may choose to pay it.  It depends on my mood.  It probably would save money over a drive to the courthouse, but in this case my wife is going to Benton anyhow.

Okay, rant over.

Choctaw update

It is amazing to me how different the trip can be this year from last year.

To begin with, the water was out the first couple of days. A waterline had burst in the woods near the church. Even so, we have really been blessed.

Yesterday and today we have spent much of our time helping the pastor of the church which houses us and hi wife move. They have taken over two more local churches, including the one where the chief attends church.

Last night we also did Bible school with the local youth, and we had an adult Bible study which was fantastic. There were 10 or so adults in the class – about twice as many as last year. Tonight we will also have vacation Bible school for the children, and it is our groups night to lead. We will be teaching on the Fruit of the Spirit. We will also be working with the adults again, which is where my heart really is.

After the moving today, we walked around the tribal Council area and prayed for the leadership, all of the social services that are offered here, and the people in general.

Hopefully, later I will be able to share some pictures I have taken. There were really some adorable little kids at the vacation Bible school last night.

As I understand it, we are going to have Indian tacos tomorrow night or Thursday night. That will be a real treat. Even though I don’t eat bread most of the year I will eat it for this trip.

Thanks again for the prayers, and if you wish to give to help pay for the transportation on the trip, it isn’t too late. Just visit our site: Choctaw 2014

Making Stickballs

What an interesting day. We began our day at a local church, but this afternoon we are relaxing before a full day of work tomorrow.

We have encountered an interesting issue already – the water line burst in the woods, so we have been without water for almost 24 hours, and it doesn’t seem that it will be fixed until tomorrow.

The team is watching a local Choctaw teach us how to make stickball a this afternoon. It is really fascinating and a very intricate task. Check out Elijah working in one:


Soon it will be time for a short nap, and then more work this afternoon as we prepare for a busy evening.

Three Great Things Leaders Do

There is a plethora of articles out there on leadership, but the many of them are misguided. The concepts are fairly simple, and while I would not have necessarily chosen these three things as my top three, they would all be on the list.

Three Things Great Leaders Always Do

  1. You must have a clear vision.
  2. Actually care about people.
  3. Be the hardest working person in the organization.


Welcome to 365 Days of Me, where you can catch a glimpse into my life. You are likely to hear my thoughts on the Bible and my relationship with Christ, photography, gardening, and a plethora of other topics along with potentially humorous or interesting stories about things that are of mostly no consequence.