Thursday, April 28, 2011

Gourmet Goodies and Vortex Goodness

Today is what we call a Good Day. When I got home from work there were not one, but TWO packages loaded with vaping goodness waiting for me. The first was some sample juice fun from the fine folks at Gourmet Vapor (who have now been added to the list to the right). The second was an awesome-looking new carto system from Got Vapes (also now linked) that is sure to keep my gizmo fix in check for a few days.

Still a week or two away from testing the juice, of course, since it's clearly going to have to steep a wee bit. Like the impatient child I am, I did try a couple or three of them.

Because I was ordering from Gourmet Vapor I naturally had to try my hand at mixing my own juices. I concocted one of my favorite beverages, Sailor Jerry Rum and cranberry juice, as well as an American Tobacco version of RY4 with a touch o' honey.  They're called Capt's CranJerry and US4-Honey, respectively. Give 'em a try if you're so inclined!

Gourmet Vapor sample and 15ml sizes.

I'll have full reviews on them once they've set for a bit, but even right out of the bottle I like. In fact, I think I like them a lot!  We'll give them some time and see.

Also picked up Maiden Coffee, Red Marble, RY-5, and RY-4. The latter two on my never ending quest to find the perfect RY-4, of course.  Just a little preview... Maiden Coffee really is as good as they say.  I've tried several "coffee" flavors and thrown away every one of them. Being the optimistic and hopeful vaper I am, I tried one more time. And this one has the potential to be a massive winner.

 Also in is a an intriguing device called the Vortex cartomizer from Got Vapes. I first blush it looks like a CE2 carto, but on inspection you'll find that it's quite different.  It is a "tank" style, as you can see, but there's no visable wicks. Instead the center air tube runs up the middle like normal and the wicks and atty are hidden down at the bottom in a little inclosure.  It's kind of like a tank version of a regular 808-D1 carto.
Vortex 808-D1 Cartomizer system with optional application bottle.

First impressions, right out of the package they smell like plastic. Bleh!  Quick rinse took care of that and I couldn't detect it at all when vaping on them.  They also have an interesting little cap on them where the mouthpiece goes. It comes off and they accept a standard drip tip/mouth piece just fine, but the cap is quite nice on it's own. Big squishy rubbery thingie.

That's kind of fun to say.

The only negative so far is that these guys are too thick for the cone on my VGo. So, it's vaping sans cone. No big deal really, they look cool enough, but don't stick it in your pocket when the carto is attached without the cone. They tend to break off and spill juice all down your leg.  Not that I've ever done that, I'm just saying...

Anyhow, I'll put them through their paces and see how they do.  My evil plan is to do a full review of several different 808-style cartos all at once but I'm waiting on one more type to come in this week before plunging in. Perhaps this weekend or next. So far, though, I'm liking it.  Then again, that's about a grand total of 15 minutes of vaping time, so . . .

The vaping world is full of really great small businesses. Patronize these folks. We want them to stay in the business for a long time to come and keep offering up these wicked good products. Two thumbs up to both Gourmet Vapor and Got Vapes and stay tuned!

Angel's Luck & Electric Dreams,

Monday, April 25, 2011

Alien Landing!

The Alien Visions E-Juice sampler arrived today.  This a great deal at twenty bucks if you've been thinking of trying their juice.  I ordered up the five 6ml bottle sampler and selected these in 18mg:

Order with no fear. Instant email confirmation, email confirmation on shipping, and everything got here in a few days. Very sweet! Two enthusiastic thumbs up on that score.

 Blah, blah, but what about the juice, right?

First, I dunno if this stuff needs to steep or not. The one I'm trying as I write this is Boba's Bounty. This is the flavor that drove me to the website after such enthusiastic reviews, positive and negative.  I love weird, oddball, out of the ordinary juices.  Something called Boba's Bounty fits the bill nicely.

No date of manufacture on the bottle, but these are samples, so I can't get too picky. The regular bottles may actually have dates on them. Regardless, I'll probably let all of these steep for about a week before I give 'em a proper test.

Anyhow, right out of the bottle Boba's Bounty is certainly vapable. (Is that a word?  Is now. Ha!) Oh and it's fairly thick and... red!  Not like blood red, but a translucent red that looks funky going into the carto. Should look wicked in a clear CE2. heh!

But what does it taste like?!?

Well, many people say it's a sweet tobacco base.  I don't get tobacco at all. I get... some sort of sweet cereal. Can't put my finger on it, but I'm flashing back to Saturday Morning cartoons.Sweet and a little nutty and something baked. This is not a bad thing, just unexpected from something that's suppose to be a tobacco flavor.

I'm vaping on my VGo, but I've kind of been using it all day. Still seems to be going pretty strong, though. I'm using a standard KR808-D1 carto (~3.0 Ohm), one of the Premium cartos from Vapor 4 Life. I've also popped the carto onto my (fully charged) V2 long-style 808 and getting pretty much the same, although the flavor dropped a half-notch.  Regardless, this seems to be a good juice that'll perform well at different voltages and resistance.

 After steeping for about a week or two, we'll pop this juice into a CE2-style carto, use a fully charged VGo battery, and see what it really does.  I'll use the CE2 on account VG does not play well with regular filler-style cartos. I haven't used a pure VG in a CE2 yet, so It'll be interesting to see what it does.

 When you apply Boba's to the filler, let it sit for a good long while. It's going to take some time for it to soak up the juice.  I bottom filled this one and then topped it off with drips directly into the carto.  Works nicely, but go slow and let it absorbed fully, and give it a dab with a paper towel before vaping.

So far, so good for Boba's Bounty. I like the flavor.  Great, puffy cloudy vapor production, as expected. Solid throat hit and, for it being VG, a surprisingly strong flavor on the inhale and exhale. Winner? The more I vape it, the more I like it.  I'm gonna call it a winner.

Next up we have Hype, which I wanted to try for two reasons. One, well, it's called Hype. How can you not try a juice called Hype. Second, it's described as a blend of peaches and melon. The only three fruity flavored juices I've enjoyed thus far are Cranberry, Pear and Peach. Since the point of this exercise is to stretch my vaping boundaries past standard tobacco flavors, Hype sounded like a good try. (I also grabbed the blueberry one, so....)

I used a lower resistance carto on this one because... well... because I could.  This is not a terribly sweet vape. Just the right amount of sweetness, actually. A taste, as it were. Hard hit of the peach up front with a nice smooth melon flavor at the end. The melon is more like a honeydew than watermelon. It also lingers. I can taste it after exhaling the vapor for several minutes afterward.  Good vapor for a PG liquid and a medium-sized throat hit.

All that adds up to a complete win and a strong recommendation if you want a nice fruit vape without all the sweet fruity nonsense. Big puffy, clouds of vape your face off goodness on this one.  I can see this being added to my regular arsenal. Yuppers!

The other's I've only gotten a whiff of so far, but we'll get reviews on them up and running ASAP.  In fact, we'll do a proper review on each of these after I've let 'em set a bit.  I'm a little leery of the blueberry one, because it smells exceedingly strong.  Well, it is called Very Berry, after all.  Smells like that nasal assault of blueberry madness you get when you make muffins out of a box. You know, when you pop the can open to drain the juice out?  Yah, smells wicked strong like that.  We'll see...

So far, AVE is batting 1000 in my book. A lot of times when I order samplers I really only get one or two that impress me. Two out of five right off the bat (vape pun!) has me encouraged.  With smooth, fast service and juice like this, I'm thinking Mr. Labarre at AVE will be seeing more of my hard earned dollars shortly.

Angel's Luck & Electric Dreams,

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Gear Review: Evolution Wrapz

A little while back I got to looking at my good ol' generic KR 808D-1 batteries I picked up from Vapor Kings.  Quick aside, VK is freakin' awesome. Local to me, fast response, fast shipping, great inventory, and awesome products. Click 'em and buy. They rock.

So, anyway... I had ordered up some pretty generic 808s from them and have been carrying them both around in my pocket for about three months. They've been bashing into my keyring, getting dropped on the floor, kicked about and experiencing various other abuses. If you look closely at the black one below you can see where the cap over the LED popped off and light dangles out of it like a popped out eyeball or something. Weird but fun in the dark.

In short, they were looking a bit scruffy.

Naturally I knew there would be a solution out there, so I went a-huntin' for wraps.  I checked out several sites and companies and, based on the designs available and price, settled on Evolution Wrapz of Twin Falls, Idaho. They have some truly wicked cool designs, so I ordered up a couple to spiffy-up my beat up 808s.

The website is snazzy, which I like. Nothing deters me from buying more than a piss poor website. Crappy fonts, bad pictures, and poor layout does not inspire me to whip out my credit card.  Evolution's site is colorful, displays their product well and is easy to browse.  Kudos on that score.

Ordering was a simple and standard affair, but payment arrangements are through Pay Pal.  Is there anyone who doesn't have a Pay Pal account now? Well, you'll need it for this.

Shipping was cheap at a buck-fifty for First Class. It did take about 10-11 days for them to arrive, which is odd in this day and age. Ok, so when I was a kid everything you ordered came with the standard disclosure "May take 6-8 weeks" but nowadays?  Meh. But I'm probably being too picky.  10-days isn't so bad, except when you're checking your mailbox every day, anxiously awaiting your new toy and .... digressing again... I know ....

One of the nicest things I like about Evolution is that they go out of their way to help make sure you get the right size wrap for you PV and then have a solid set of instructions on how to install the thing. There's suppose to be a video coming soon, but honestly it's pretty straight forward if you're using an automatic.  Manuals are a bit trickier.

Here's the package that arrived:

Included in a zip lock bag are the instruction sheet, the wraps, and a handy dandy alcohol swab.  The swab is a nice touch, since the instructions insist you need one to wipe down your PV before you apply the wrap. Since I don't think I've ever actually owned an alcohol swab (or a cotton ball... why do we need those? Nevermind) it's nice they stuck one in there.

The wrap itself is a sticker. It's a really, really nice sticker. But it's a sticker. Printed on a fancy printer on fancy paper, but when I first open them up, I was kinda... hey, it's a sticker printed on some dudes inkjet! Why I oughtta!

Then I started wondering "Well, what were you expecting? A little guy that pops out with a mini-airbrush to do a custom pimp-my-PV job on it?"  "Yes! That would be awesome," I answered!

I worry me sometimes. Sigh.

Okay, so it's a well done, glossy coated printing of the design, cut to fit your e-cig. If you tried to do this yourself, you certainly could, but I bet it'd be a royal pain in the ass. $4.99 each isn't a bad price.

First thing I did was ignore the instructions.  They don't have any tips on installing on a manual bat anyhow. Ha!  I measured everything off using the trusty eyeball method, wiped down the battery and started applying the sti... wrap.  As I go around the battery, everything is smooth until I hit the button.  At this point I whip out the X-Acto brand hobby knife and start hacking away to make a hole.

That wasn't as good an idea as I hoped.

Surprisingly, it still looks pretty good! Well, that crappy hack job on the button area doesn't look so hot, but that's my bad, not Evolution's.  In fact, these things look pretty damn sharp when they're applied. The colors are nice (hard to tell in the blurry photos, but what do you expect when I've got a camera and a bottle of Sailor Jerry, really?) and the finish is pretty sweet.  Love the graphics, too.

Some tips.  First, measure it out and trim it up.  Oh, and read the directions. They're right. True it fits the standard size 808 just right, but the overlap on the short side (horizontal) is a bit much.  Way better to trim that off with the knife a tad.  To keep it centered, trim a bit on both sides, test wrap it with the backing on it, trim a but more, and so on.

Also, plot out where you'll be cutting the hole and go slow, poking the wrap with the tip of the knife as you work around the button.  Slicing in a hurry will not do you any good.  Might as well take your knife to a five dollar bill. Same effect.

The second try went much better.

The cut for the button is much tighter on this one (I know you can't see it in the picture). Also, the black on black (or same color on same color) goes a long way to hiding any butchery.

The finished product is wicked sharp.  I'm duly impressed with these wraps.  Evolution Wrapz has a solid product and a great way to spiffy up those older, chipped, grungy looking batteries.  I'm thinking of trying one of thier holographic wraps for a VGo battery and see how that works out.  I'll letcha know...

I'd recommend these without hesitation for anyone who wants to jazz up a plain old battery. Bigger ones are available (1.5" X 3" is standard 510, 808, etc. while the bigger 2" by 3" works for Ego, Vgo, Tornado, etc.). They'll obviously work best on automatic batteries for the stick-style. Cutting a nice hole through the thick sticker is tricky. The big ones would work nicely on the bigger batteries without modification since the button is generally above the bat's body.

If you're looking for something a little different, cover up unsightly blemishes, add a little bling to your vaping, or just want a little vanity factor, give Evolution Wrapz a try. It's damn fine sticker.

Angel's Luck & Electric Dreams,

The ol' Vape O' Rama

So why Vape-O-Rama? I dunno. Change it? Keep it? Well... I dunno that either.

What I do know is I love vaping. My story is pretty simple and standard. My little ones gave me the "Daddy when you gonna stop smoking? Ya know New Years is a good time to make a resolution and we don't want you to, you know, die."


I ordered up a V2 Cigs standard kit back on January 14th. Got it, smoked it, haven't touched a cigarette since.*

But like most things that are cool and mildly geeky and fun with lots of options and gizmos and stuff to play with, I quickly became an obsessive vaper. What? Manual might be better than automatic? Sure, I'll take one. There's different cartomizers? Well, why not! Different battery types?!? Well, gimme some of those, yes sir! Mods?!?! Oh, hell yah!

And so on...

It's just sick.

But tasty sick!

Like most things I dive into head first I have this uncontrollable desire to share my experiences with others. This is probably why I'm a Trainer. I can't help it. Ta-daaa! Here's a blog!

First, things first. "What do you vape?" you ask. Well, here goes but keep in mind I'm really new at this. I'm still expanding my arsenal.

I love the simplicity of the 808-style batteries.

My current vaping machine is a KR VGo from Vapors Heaven with CE2 XL Cartos. This is the 1300 mAh version. It is truly a Vaping Beast. I love this thing. I'll review it soon and the cartos, as well, since I have several "CE2" 808-based "tank" cartomizers on the way.

Juice-wise things tend to change a lot. All day vapes I like RY4 and "Cowboy/USA Mix/Mboro/Whatever." In fact, my current quest is the perfect RY4. Suggestions welcome. My first love is the "cowboy" flavor in the V2 carto, probably because it was my first. Now V2... where's the juice! You promised! Ahem.

I'm also enjoying a Cranberry mix from Vapor Renu (16mg, 20mg caffeine, Renu blend, smooth hit). Tastes like cranberry cocktail. Also, having a bit of the Jeremy's Black Tea Blend from Vapor Kings. Perfect in a lower ohm carto for a nice warm tea vapor.

I'm also trying out stuff from Johnson's Creek, Mrs. Ts Bakery, and Alien Visions. More on those later, too.

Basically, I'm still trying a LOT of stuff. My immediate goals are to try a box mod (buy it? make? Anyone got a good set of plans?) and try all the damn juice I can. Looking forward to trying some from Backwoods Brew and a few others, but most of the flavors I'd like to try are out of stock. Gah! Ah well, probably for the best.

Longer term, I can't wait to try the Buzz and the Darwin and really high-end stuff like those. Wooot! Love to here some experiences on those and other mods you've enjoyed.

Anyhoo, drop a comment on here and let me know what you're favorite juice is because I'm always looking. Favorite RY4. And a solid box mod. Thinkin' of trying the Wet Box. Hmmm... Next up we'll talk about some PV goodness.

Angel's Luck & Electric Dreams,

*Technically not true... I took three puffs off one about a month ago. I use to put those nasty things in mouth?!? SRS??? I nearly hacked up my intestines. Stay away from those things kids. they'll kill ya.