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Today's Weather Outlook for the Corridor

Today's weather forecast and a four day outlook.  Check this page for the latest weather reports in the corridor area.  Up-to-date weather conditions for the Iowa City area are observed at the Iowa City, Iowa City Municipal Airport, IA.  For weather conditions specific to other cities outside the corridor area, just type in your zip code below.

Coralville, Iowa, weather forecast

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Essential 'Must Have' Tools - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

Screwdriver SetEven if you're not handy with tools, you still need to have some on hand to do simple things like hanging a picture or tightening down loose screws on a door knob. 

Here's a list of the essential 'must have' tools for your house or apartment:

  • Hammer:  No, don't settle for a small tack hammer thinking all you'll ever do is hang a few pictures.  That's all a tack hammer is good for unless you're into cabinetry or upholstering and one of these days you'll find yourself needing something 'beefier'.  Get yourself a 16 ounce claw hammer.  It's a great all-purpose hammer and will suit most needs and basic tasks.   

Read on via

Meal planning from the grill - Grilling Good Eats


Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

Meal planning, especially when grilling, is kind of like a game of checkers or chess - you need to be thinking a couple moves ahead.

There's meal planning for the moment - tonight's dinner - and there's meal planning for future meals. 

Batch Grilling
Multiple meals, chicken, hot dogs, a chop, skirt steak, meatballs

When you're making dinner, think beyond the meal you're about to enjoy and knowing you need to put chicken on before the steak.  When I'm talking meal planning, I'm talking about grilling more than you'll need for dinner, grill up multiple meals!    Think about lunch the next day, leftovers for the fridge, future meals in the freezer.   You're already prepped and ready to grill tonight's dinner, so take advantage of that charcoal heat, think a couple moves ahead.  Doing little things like taking a couple pounds of hamburger out and making some patties to grill up along with that chicken or steak for dinner is meal planning for future lunch and dinner.  Had a busy Monday and don't feel like fixing a big meal?  No problem, cheese burgers it is!


Grilling Accessories & Gadgets - Grilling Good Eats

Chapter 13 - Accessories & Gadgets

Mike ThayerGrilling Good Eats

by Mike Thayer

I already covered 'must have' essential tools in Chapter 2, but let's do a quick recap of the basics needed for cranking out a great meal from the grill before we get into accessories and gadgets.  

The charcoal chimney: For me, there’s really no better way to light charcoal.  They’re easy to use and there's no foul lighter fluid smell or residue. 

Grill gloves: Get a good glove for working with charcoal chimneys, re-positioning a grill grate, lifting a hot lid or even pulling some hot baked potatoes off the grill. 

Tongs: NO grill master is without a good pair of metal tongs. For added control and gripping power, be sure to buy a pair with some kind of scalloped edge in the tip end. 

A good spatula: A metal spatula for the grill is a MUST have. Pay the extra buck or two for quality, a metal spatula with a rubber or silicone grip. Stay away from wood handles!

A basting brush:  Get the newest brushes made out of dishwasher safe silicone. They don’t grab as much sauce like the traditional brushes do but they last longer, the brush ‘hairs’ don’t fall out and they clean up much easier. You’ll have to do a little more dipping, but that’s OK.


Coming Soon: Who makes the best bargain brand (a.k.a., cheap) frozen pizza? - Bachelor on the Cheap

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

Pizza - Perhaps the greatest food invention ever and I don't know about you, but I don't know anybody that does NOT like pizza.....

So who makes the best of the cheap frozen variety?  How will your preferred brand stack up?

I like pepperoni, it's my go-to for a pizza topping and my favorite pizza combo is a thin crust, pepperoni, mushroom, onion, with extra cheese.  You won't find that combo in grocery stores, so with that in mind, part of this review/evaluation of pizzas is the ability to doctor it, as in add your favorite ingredients.  Lord knows the bargain basement brands don't exactly get crazy with copious amounts of meat and cheese.  A lot of folks 'doctor' pizzas before placement in the oven and I'm here to assist with that.  No, that doesn't mean I'm a pizza nurse...  Don't go there.....

In the name of 'Food Science' I'll be evaluating the typical bargain brand frozen pizzas you'll find at your local grocer in the frozen food aisle.

Is there such a thing as a bad pizza?

Stay tuned to find out....



Product Review: Water Shoes by Wave Runner - Bachelor on the Cheap

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

Water shoes, a.k.a., aqua socks....  They're great for fishing, they beat any other foot gear when it comes to launching a boat or even if just bank fishing.  If you're stuck on the shoreline, water shoes give you the confident ability to wade out from the bank a bit and extend your casting range.  There's no fear of slipping on rocks and your feet won't feel like two anchors once you step out of the water because water shoes drain and dry so well.

So what kind of water shoes should you buy?

Don't go cheap.  That's what I did on a recent vacation and while the shoes I purchased did the job intended, the quality was less-than-stellar.  What I bought amounted to a disposable pair of water shoes.

20180603_080959I purchased a pair of Wave Runners at Walmart for $7.99.  They are a slip-on style, comfortable, the sizing is good - I wear a size 12 - and they fit nicely, the mesh breathes and dries well.  My only real knock on these shoes is the tread.  It's minimal.  As you can see from the pics, the tread is quite worn, after just two days of use.  Traction will most likely become questionable during my next fishing outing.  They're fine on sand, or perhaps at the pool, but I won't be able to trust them on mossy surfaces or sharp edged rocks/shells when wading into that next lake or river.

If you're in a pinch and/or forgot to pack your quality water shoes, the Wave Runner is OK, but know that it's a very temporary water shoe solution.  For $8, they did what I needed them to do on a two-day fishing trip that included a lot of bank fishing/wading.

Wave Runner water shoes gets 2 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  They're inexpensive, comfortable, dry well, but the tread doesn't last.  Spend the money on a water shoe with a thicker sole and better tread.

2 stars



The worst car charger on the market is made by iWalk - Bachelor on the Cheap

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

I recently assisted one of my sons with a phone upgrade at the local Sprint store, he got a Samsung S-9, nice phone.

While there and a bit of traveling on the agenda, I also picked up a 4.8 amp dual USB car charger, made by iWalk.  

First mistake:  Paying too much for the charger at a phone store, higher markup vs. say, Walmart.  Yes, I must admit, convenience got the better of me.  I paid $24.99 for the charger.  Sprint also offers dual port car chargers made by other vendors, but they're more expensive.

Second mistake:  This was an, "Oh yeah, I need one of those," impulse buys.  I didn't do any homework on this product, no asking around or reading any reviews regarding quality or performance.

iWalk 4.8A dual port car charger
iWalk Car Charger broken after first use

Long story short, I made the purchase and not two hours later decided to give it a try, my phone needed a charge.  Not only did I open the box and see a white charger inside even though the box said and the picture showed I was buying a black one, but guess what, the tip that engages the vehicle power port was not attached to the body of the charger, the insulator inside the cone tip was broken.  What was supposed to be a one piece gadget, was in two pieces, inside guts exposed.  I took the product back immediately and made an exchange, this time checking the product with the sales guy, opening up the box to ensure the charger wasn't broken.  This one was in one piece, not two and by gosh it was black just like the picture on the box!  But it wasn't removed from the packaging for a more detailed review.......  Could'a, Should'a....  Shame on me.

So I start traveling down the road, plug the charger into the port, plugged the phone into the car charger and so far so good.  My phone was at 23% and had charged up to 47% when I arrived at my destination.  I unplug my phone, pull the charger out of the port and guess what?  The tip remained in the port, same issue, broken insulator, rendering the charger useless.  Time for a refund.

iWalk Car Chargers Suck
Broken car charger tip

I'll be going for a different tip design with my next charger and it won't be anything made by iWalk.

The 4.8 amp dual USB car charger, made by iWalk gets zero out of five stars.  Even if this was a shipping issue, not the fault of iWalk, it begs the question, "They make it so fragile that a dropped box renders the chargers packed in the box useless?" 

I obtained two chargers and they both had the very same issue.  Chargers made by iWalk are NOT Bachelor on the Cheap friendly.  They suck, they're fragile, they're over-priced.

0 stars


Bachelor on the Cheap - On the road, who has the best travel stops?

By Mike Thayer

I don't know about you, but when on the road, I HATE pulling into a place that looks OK on the outside but has nasty restrooms and unfriendly and/or unmotivated staff on the inside.

So with traveling on the agenda last week, I thought it would be appropriate to rate the more well-known chain/franchise travel stops along our nation's highways, checking out who has the cleanest rest rooms, the best snacks, who pushes that ethanol crap, and more.  Basically, I evaluated which gas station/truck stop/convenience store chain is frankly, the most convenient overall?

I traveled through three Midwest states during my trip and here's what I found from worst to best:


Bachelor on the Cheap - On the road, who has the best travel stops?

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

I'm preparing for another road trip and it hit me, I need to do an article on travel stops!  I don't know about you, but I HATE pulling into a place that looks OK on the outside, but has nasty restrooms and lazy clerks on the inside.

So of the more well-known chain/franchise travel stops along our nation's highways, who has the cleanest rest rooms, the best snacks, who pushes that Ethanol crap, which gas station/truck stop/convenience store chain is frankly, the most convenient overall?

I'll write about my road trip experiences and travel stops in an article coming soon...

Stay tuned and,

Spend Wisely My Friends.....


Product Review: Organizing the closet with a hanging shelf by Threshold - Bachelor on the Cheap

Threshold Closet Organizer
This thing makes getting dressed easier, seriously!

You almost don't need a dresser with one of these in your closet.....  Almost.

Even if you're already a neat freak, you can maximize/better organize your closet space with a 4 shelf organizer by Threshold.  With reinforced shelves that can take on a surprising amount of weight, the organizer easily attaches directly to your closet rod with three hooks. The unit also has its own hanging bar for, in my case, business casual pants for work.