Erin Lawrence with Exploring Birdfy Hum Feeder, Kamado Joe Smart Grill, and 2024 Chevy Traverse – HGG611

Erin Lawrence from Tech Gadgets Canada joined me this week. We delved into a variety of tech topics, starting with the Birdfy Hum Feeder, where Erin shared her mixed experiences, praising the seed feeder but expressing disappointment with the Hum feeder’s performance. Moving on to the Kamado Connected Joe smart charcoal grill, Erin’s review highlighted its impressive capabilities, transforming her into a confident cook despite her initial reservations about charcoal grilling. Lastly, we explored the automotive tech landscape with Erin’s exhilarating two-day test drive of the 2024 Chevy Traverse, demonstrating how advancements in auto tech are rapidly converging with smart home innovations. Thanks for listening!

Full show notes, transcriptions (available on request), audio and video at

Join Jim Collison / @jcollison for show #611 of Home Gadget Geeks, brought to you by the Average Guy Network.


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Show Segments

  • Show intro.[0:00]
    • Hail storms in Calgary, Canada.
    • Big thanks to Rich Hay for joining two weeks ago
  • Bird feeders and Canadian treats.[3:53]
    • Jim and Erin discuss Canadian treats and alcohol, including maple cookies, ketchup chips, and Canadian Club whiskey.
    • Erin Lawrence reviews the Bird Feeder, comparing it to a previous poor experience with the Bird Buddy feeder.
  • Bird feeders with mixed opinions on design and functionality.[7:29]
    • Erin Lawrence had a positive experience with a bird feeder and a less positive experience with a hummingbird feeder from the same company.
    • The solar panel on the hummingbird feeder doesn’t attach to the feeder, making it difficult to install.
    • The feeder leaks sugar water if it’s not held perfectly level and still, which can be frustrating.
    • Erin Lawrence shares her disappointment with a hummingbird feeder’s camera quality, hoping the company will improve it.
    • Jim Collison receives a free feeder from the company, experiences messiness, and shares pictures of the product.
  • Hummingbird feeder maintenance and cleaning.[14:55]
    • Jim Collison and Erin Lawrence discuss the importance of cleaning a hummingbird feeder regularly to prevent mold growth and keep the birds healthy.
    • They share their experiences with the feeder, including how often they refill it and clean it, and how long it takes for hummingbirds to start visiting the feeder.
    • Jim and Erin share photos of birds visiting their new bird feeder, including a yellow finch and a ruby-throated hummingbird.
  • Hummingbird feeder placement and solar panel issues.[19:18]
    • Erin and Jim discuss a hummingbird that sits on a power line, waiting for them to leave the patio so it can drink.
    • Jim Collison is having trouble getting enough solar power for his bird feeder, despite using a small solar panel in a bad spot.
    • Jim plans to move the feeder to a better location on the roof, which may improve bird visibility and access.
    • Jim and Erin discuss hummingbird feeders, with Jim mentioning his wife’s feeder makes a mess and Erin sharing her experimentation with placing the feeder for optimal viewing.
    • Jay shares his experience with the feeder, mentioning it has four screw holes on the bottom and is designed well but needs cleaning often, and Jim expresses hope for improved power management in future firmware updates.
  • Bird-watching app with features and user experience.[25:01]
    • Erin Lawrence found the app to be fun to use and interact with, especially through the community channel.
    • Jim Collison was using the wrong app for his hummingbird feeder and needed to look into it.
    • Erin Lawrence enjoys watching birds at her bird feeder, finds it relaxing and fun.
  • Bird feeders and cameras for birdwatching.[29:02]
    • Jim and Erin discuss bird feeders, squirrels, and bird species in their yards.
    • Jim Collison and Erin Lawrence discuss the Bird Buddy seed feeder, a product with a camera that can double as a security camera.
    • Erin Lawrence finds the product pricey but thinks it’s a great gift for someone, especially at the price threshold for gift giving.
  • Charcoal grills, ease of use with Komodo Joe connected grill.[33:17]
    • Jim Collison is interested in attracting more hummingbirds to Nebraska and considers hiring a girlfriend for Francisco.
    • Erin Lawrence is not confident in her charcoal grilling skills and has difficulty maintaining a consistent temperature, leading her to try the Komodo Joe connected smart charcoal grill.
    • Easy-to-use charcoal grill with temperature control and smart features.
  • Kamado grill features and benefits.[37:48]
    • Jim Collison and Erin Lawrence discuss the Kamado grill, a smoker technology-based charcoal grill with easy ash cleanup and clever design features.
    • Erin Lawrence praises the grill’s ease of use, clever design elements, and space-saving features, including folding shelves and locking caster wheels.
    • Erin Lawrence found the grill to be versatile and easy to use, with automated fans and manual temperature control options.
    • Jim Collison noted a drawback to the grill’s design, which he observed during a recent use.
  • Grill size and capacity for cooking for large groups.[42:21]
    • Jim and Erin discuss the space constraints of their grill for cooking for a larger group.
    • Erin Lawrence mentions the Kamado Joe grill as a versatile and easy-to-use option for small families, with a price tag of around $1600.
    • Jim Collison asks about the size of the grill, with Erin Lawrence estimating it to be a little smaller than a standard Weber grill, potentially accommodating 6 people comfortably.
  • Smart grills, car reviews, and self-driving technology.[46:20]
    • Erin Lawrence praises the Kamado Joe grill for its ease of use, premium feel, and seamless app integration.
    • Jim Collison agrees, calling it a superior product compared to other smart grills he’s tried.
    • Erin Lawrence tests the 2024 Chevrolet Traverse off-road and on the highway, noting the vehicle’s advanced smart technology.
    • Erin Lawrence tries Super Cruise for the first time and finds it scary but cool.
    • Super Cruise uses cameras and sensors to monitor driver attention and disengage if necessary.
  • Advanced safety and convenience features in new cars.[53:19]
    • Erin Lawrence is impressed with the advanced technology in the vehicle she drove, including safety features like lane departure warning and automatic emergency braking.
    • Lawrence is eager to incorporate similar technology into her own car, which is a 2010 model, and is considering purchasing a newer vehicle with more advanced features.
    • Erin Lawrence: Subaru’s Adaptive Cruise is fantastic, slowing car down before an accident.
    • Jim Collison: Subaru’s safety technology, including Adaptive Cruise, keeps drivers safe and informed.
  • Car technology features, including lane assist and automatic start/stop.[58:49]
    • Erin Lawrence and Jim Collison discuss the features of their cars, including lane assist and automatic start and stop.
    • Jim Collison is hesitant to use lane assist, finding it difficult to beat the car’s acceleration.
    • Erin Lawrence is impressed with Chevrolet’s vehicles and is considering purchasing one.
    • Jim Collison jokes about Erin Lawrence becoming an American by calling Chevy “Chevy” instead of Chevrolet.
  • New tech products from Sonos, Abode, and more.[1:03:56]
    • Erin Lawrence is excited to review Sonos’ new headphones, despite their high price.
    • Erin Lawrence and Jim Collison discuss Prime Day deals and review headphones.
  • Tech gadgets and podcasting with Aaron Lawrence.[1:07:25]
    • Aaron Lawrence is a tech gadget expert and YouTube personality.
    • Follow Aaron on Twitter @AaronYYC or @TVChick1313 for tech news and reviews.
    • Jim Collison reminds listeners to join the Discord group and leaves a message for John Sadler.
    • Adam Hickman will be on the show next week to discuss low-tech fitness gadgets.
    • Jim Collison mentions upcoming guests Adam Hickman and Jay Madison on the show.
    • Jim thanks Tony, Justin, and Ken for their contributions to the show.

More from Chat GPT

Jim Collison and Erin Lawrence discussed various tech gadgets, including smart telescopes, bird feeders, and grills. They shared their experiences and opinions on these products, with Jim expressing excitement about setting up smart telescopes outside and Erin revealing her ignorance about this aspect of technology. They also discussed their predictions for Prime Day and shared their experiences with hummingbird feeders and smart grills. Finally, they discussed their experiences with the 2024 Chevrolet Traverse, focusing on its advanced technology features and safety features.

Some of the key products discussed include:

  • Bird feeders from BirdFee and Bird Buddy, including a hummingbird feeder and seed feeder
  • Smart telescopes
  • Canadian snacks like maple cookies, ketchup chips, and Canadian Club whiskey
  • The 2024 Chevrolet Traverse SUV
  • The Komodo Joe connected smart charcoal grill
  • Sonos’ new headphones


“I had a positive experience with a bird feeder and a less positive experience with a hummingbird feeder from the same company.” – Erin Lawrence discusses her reviews of different bird feeders.

“You’re getting a lot with it. And this grill is certainly it felt absolutely well made to me. It feels well made to me. Feels premium.” – Erin Lawrence praises the quality and features of the Komodo Joe connected smart charcoal grill.

“Super Cruise uses cameras and sensors to monitor driver attention and disengage if necessary.” – Erin Lawrence explains how the self-driving Super Cruise technology works in the Chevrolet Traverse SUV.

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