Backpacking Dad’s Overdue Reviews: The Most Overdue Review of All

08/19/2011 By Shawn Burns


This one is embarrassing in its overdue-ness. And it’s the inspiration for the series “Backpacking Dad’s Overdue Reviews”, in a way.

Back in June, just before Father’s Day, I was coming down off a mountain after hiking all day with the kids. Adrian had been in the backpack, Erin on her own upfront, and it had been a long day. My back was sore, and tired, and I was daydreaming about massages.

Out of the blue, as if by divine design, I received an e-mail asking if I’d like to review a massaging cushion from the HoMedics line of portable massagers.

Oh. My. Yes. Hello there, Deluxe Shiatsu One Massaging Cushion.

What a great idea! I’d review a back massager, possibly love it, possibly recommend it to everyone to buy for their active-and-exhausted spouses (spice?), and the world would be a way cool place.

Unlike many of the pitches I’d received until then, this one was personal, expressed clear familiarity with my blog, myself, my writing, etc… It was flawless, and perfectly timed. I could not wait.

So, I got the box in the mail, opened it up a few days later, and tried the massager out.

Loved it. Loved it. Loved it.

I love it.

It sits on a chair or the bed, something with some back support so it doesn’t fall away from your body, and then it just works at you. Heat, vibration, shiatsu, rolling, all the way up the back, all over the neck and shoulders; it has an adjustable spinal-column width function, so you can tell it where your back muscles actually are. I’m using it right now. RIGHT NOW.

If I were to say anything bad about this (and I think by now I have a history of being fair with the products I’ve reviewed, so I’m not just blowing smoke here; it really is hard to find something wrong with this thing), it would be that unless you are sitting on something with a very sharp, almost 90 degree angled back, the neck rollers aren’t going to be as effective as the lower-mid back rollers: your body (or mine at least) doesn’t naturally sit in a way that leans my neck and shoulders back even when I’m in a reclined position. I’m always leaning a little forward.

Now, “Shawn,” you might say, “June is not such a long time to have put off doing a review.” And you would be right, of course. It’s a shame to not get anything posted within a window that impacts the marketing push the reps are going for, but I’m not getting paid to write these reviews (and won’t accept payment to do them), so really, it’s just part of the cost of doing business that sometimes bloggers will miss the window.

This sounds perfectly reasonable to me, even if it is a little “screw the PR/Marketing people. Viva la Blogger!” However, I did not miss the window by a couple of months.

This review was supposed to go up in June 2010.



A couple of months after getting the shipment I received an e-mail “So….about that review….” I had been trying to think of a funny review to write, something along the lines of The Universal Everytool, and I had just been blanking. The more I tried to go for comedy, the harder the strain was. And then I started thinking “Okay, so I missed Father’s Day. Maybe this will be good for Christmas.” Nope. Valentine’s Day? Nope. Mother’s Day! Nope. I stared at this email in my inbox every single day for over a year.

I started to feel some feelings about being a review blogger, and I recognized my limitations in that respect, which led to the creation of the series “Backpacking Dad’s Overdue Reviews”, which I thought would just be one or two things, but has turned into several. I always thought this one would be the first one.

Ha ha. Nope. And I missed Father’s Day again.

So now you know the true, secret history of Backpacking Dad’s Overdue Reviews. Maybe, so I don’t feel so entirely guilty, you can go buy a HoMedics massager. for Labor Day. Happy Labor Day!

I really do love this thing.

This has been Backpacking Dad’s Overdue Reviews. To have your product featured on Backpacking Dad’s Overdue Reviews, send it to the address on the “Make Me an Offer” Page and then wait and wait and wait and wait. Maybe I’ll review it. But not right away. And maybe not for like a year and a half, because that’s how I roll. Sorry Rosalie.