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Customer Reviews: 512
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Reviews Written by
willie "roadie" RSS Feed (pineapple park, FL, USA)

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Aqua Sphere Kaiman Exo Swimming Goggles with Clear Lens, Blue Muted/White
Aqua Sphere Kaiman Exo Swimming Goggles with Clear Lens, Blue Muted/White
Price: $19.69
8 used & new from $19.47

5.0 out of 5 stars Improved strap alignment and locking!, October 28, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
After picking up swimming two years ago (up to about a mile every morning), I initially struggled to find a decent pair of goggles. Our pool is saltwater chlorinated and hard on the eyes and gear. I started out with cheap goggles, but they didn't last. My current pair is the Finis Surge, but they were a 30 percent premium over others (I see the price has come down somewhat).

But these goggles fit me perfectly, and offer a few significant advantages over the Finis:

1. they come in a reusable protective case
2. very soft! (perfect fit for me)
3. a similar, but better strap adjustment with holding tabs!

The Finis straps are starting to loosen up in use - this Aqua Sphere won't loosen due to the two small locking strap tabs. The tabs also have the benefit of keeping the straps aligned and close to the head (no waggling stragglers there!)

My initial impressions were confirmed at the first workout. Very comfortable, didn't loosen up at all. We'll see how this pair holds up after a year's use. If there is any downside to this pair, it's the fact that the nose bridge piece is non-adjustable - but it fits great for me!

Thai Deodorant Stone Stone in Velvet Pouch -- 1 Pouch
Thai Deodorant Stone Stone in Velvet Pouch -- 1 Pouch
Offered by Warehouse Deals 4 Less
Price: $5.99
19 used & new from $0.95

3.0 out of 5 stars not best quality, October 27, 2014
1. my stone arrived in one piece, not shattered, but other folks may not be so lucky considering that this really isn't a 'stone' at all - it is a formed 'cake' made from - supposedly - ammonium alum, or perhaps potassium alum (preferred for shaving)

2. the pouch is gimmicky; most folks just want to be able to use the cake for deodorant or as a post-shave treatment

3. there is no detailed listing of ingredients other than 'mineral salts' - a quick read online about alum should give you everything you need to know

4. these are not naturally occurring stones - higher quality cakes are translucent due to high-temperature forming - most are cloudy and possibly crumbly

5. allow to air dry after use - do not store wet or you'll end up with a mess

6. not a bad price for the amount, but not quality formed

Brother PE540D 4x4 Embroidery Machine with 70 Built-in Decorative Designs, 35 Disney Designs, 5 Fonts
Brother PE540D 4x4 Embroidery Machine with 70 Built-in Decorative Designs, 35 Disney Designs, 5 Fonts
Price: $399.00
4 used & new from $399.00

5.0 out of 5 stars So easy this cave man can do it!, October 26, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Investing in an embroidery-only machine is a serious commitment; fortunately, the cost of materials doesn't have to be expensive, and the rewards and satisfaction are great. The PE540D is one the low-end lineup of today's modern machines. Its stitching is fast enough for home use, its size is portable, and for its price-range, offers a lot of flexibility within the craft of home embroidery.

You won't get everything you need to get started in the box, but you'll be pretty close. I'm new to these embroidery machines (a long-time sewing fan though; i sew, but my wife doesn't), but was able to scrounge up the base essentials from a trip to the local box-mart - I had to find some form of stabilizer and some colored thread to give it a try. I think my first tri-color effort was a winner - take a look at the customer images or image attached to this review.

The box contains the machine, power cord, and bag of base accessories (scissors, screwdriver, picks, brush, four bobbins [with one in the machine]). Including a plastic dust cover was a nice touch, as was including the USB cable to transfer digital patterns to the sewing machine. I used my Linux netbook to download, then transfer a couple .pes patterns to the machine; a simple drag and drop task after the machine 512KB 'disk' became available. However, just transferring the files to the machine is not enough! You must then select and SAVE the pattern on the sewing machine - else it will disappear if you turn off the power (had me flummoxed the first time) - NOT very intuitive! But it works, as you can see from my first nice embroidery job!

On that note, I would like to take off one star from what is, in all appearances, a five-star machine: For the manual and on-line support. I don't know if it is because the machine is so new that it barely appears to exist on Brother's web site, but there is no excuse for what I view as a very bare-bones user manual. Each of the editing and layout features deserves better and more extensive treatment. A step-by-step using a simple example and included dual-color pattern would be *very* beneficial. Using the previous pattern transfer and saving example is another task that deserves better or more thorough coverage. Finding specific lists of matching accessories, threads or bobbins should be more prominent in the on-line literature. THERE IS NO DOWNLOADABLE MANUAL AT THIS TIME!!!

The built-in help function is rudimentary, but certainly assisted me in getting familiar with how to properly thread the upper color. I do wish there was more than 512KB memory for patterns - seriously, Brother? That's like 1990's cellphone memory! Should be at least 1GB or 4GB internal.

Oh, and 'pattern cards'? Crude by today's standards, but understandable for those entities concerned about copyright issues.

However, using this machine is a joy, especially threading the needle - WoW! Easy peasy for sure! For my first effort, I used a couple spools of cheap Coats and Clark 40wt machine thread, along with the included 90wt white bobbin thread. I finally settled on a tension setting of 3.5, but even so had a break or two the first time. The machine will stop, ask to be rethreaded, then continue on happily finishing the color, ask for a change, then finish the color or pattern.

Lots of classic Disney and the new Pixar patterns are included. Since I'm an oldie, the classic Disney appeals, but I'm really more interested in other patterns and fonts. The editing and layout firmware in the PE540D is not bad considering the touch-screen, low-resolution LCD. You can also resize and rotate text and patterns to fit your needs - quite handy!

I tested out the machine with a few thrift-store $0.25 bandanas, and used cheap tear-away paper backing stuck on with Dritz Basting Spray. Turned the bandana upside down, cut the paper to the hoop size, lightly gave the paper a few shots of Dritz, pressed the paper down, then put in and tightened on the hoop, which was then put on the machine - snap! click! Ready to sew! Press a button, and away she went!

I think I'm going to have fun with this machine. My first investment will be in some quality thread, and then the 'small' hoop, so I won't waste so much stabilizing paper when doing small patterns. The PE540D comes with the 'medium' hoop. For my needs - not doing larger images - this machine fits the budget and needs perfectly! I look forward to more sessions.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 26, 2014 4:53 PM PDT

Perfect Fitness Smart Hydro Water Bottle
Perfect Fitness Smart Hydro Water Bottle
Price: $29.99

2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars OK for iPhone 5!, October 22, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Since the evil descendent of Mother Bell had been running a special lately on the iPhone 5 (one penny less than a Washington), deciding how to handle this new electronic appendage has been kind of a conundrum. This is especially true for my spouse, who likes to do power-walks with me on the beach or in local parks, but wants to stay available and in touch (my father-in-law is 85).

This small hydro bottle with a neoprene wrap is the perfect solution, and it is described by the manufacturer as being specifically for the iPhone 5. Keep in mind, however, that the small 10 oz capacity of the bottle is more suitable for a sweetened energy gel/drink, or for us, the perfect amount of water for use during our shorter (3 mile) walks during cooler weather - we normally carry 24 oz insulated bottles here on the Gulf of Mexico.

i'm not sure what the 'cord wrap for headphones' feature means, but if the maker is referring to a non-velcro space in the closure tab - well, there's one there.

Also, the iPhone 5 fits, but the facing clear plastic is about 3/8" longer than needed - you'll need to find the best spacing for the phone, which slides in *from the bottom* via a cut slit in the neoprene.

The phone touch screen functions just fine through the clear plastic, which was my biggest worry.

My wife likes this new iPhone 5 accessory - it works for her!

Seventh Generation Granite and Stone Cleaner, 18 Fl Oz
Seventh Generation Granite and Stone Cleaner, 18 Fl Oz
Price: $4.49

4.0 out of 5 stars smells great and works!, October 18, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
i'm really a 'green' person, but this stuff could make me a convert... it's basically coconut oil with a host of other ingredients (maybe some not so 'green'?)...

but it smells great and gets the kitchen surfaces clean! i used it on glossy formica and it worked just fine

the only beef i have might be with the price - a bit pricey for only 12 oz of cleaner - but should last for a while?

you will like the smell of this though - much better than Windex, trust me!

Wipe New HDL6PCMTRRT Headlight Restore Kit
Wipe New HDL6PCMTRRT Headlight Restore Kit
Price: $10.53
8 used & new from $10.53

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars easy to use, works!, October 18, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
this is a one-shot kit you can use to remove fogging from multiple headlights - if you have a buddy with a car who needs to de-fog his lamps, invite him over - this kit should handle at least four headlights...

i have a 2011 Nissan, and believe it or not, fogging started to appear on *one* headlight's upper left quadrant (the sun is brutal 'round these parts, so i'm not incredulous)...

i wet a rag, doffed the gloves, then sanded lightly on a wetted portion of the headlight, then wiped clean and dried... tore open the packet of 'Wipe New,' and swiped the affected area ONCE (according to the directions) - the lens appeared crystal clear!

this is nasty stuff though, so DON'T get it on your car's paint job - anywhere!

the downside is that the product instructions caution to a) do this job protected from the elements and b) allow to dry protected for 24 hours... for you folks without a garage, this may mean an overnight parking garage cost

considering the reasonable cost of this kit, the results are worth it - and if you live in a state and have to face a passing inspection, this kit will pay for itself (too bad it doesn't work on fogged windshields on vintage cars)

Turtle Wax (T-128KT) Premium Trim Coating Kit
Turtle Wax (T-128KT) Premium Trim Coating Kit
Offered by Ron's Home and Hardware
Price: $12.99
3 used & new from $12.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars it works, October 17, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
i have a 2011 Nissan with a bit of rubber/plastic trim at the liftgate - in a little over 3 years the surface has chalked out - looks pretty bad...

so i took this kit, which comes with a pair of dumb plastic food-handler-type gloves (threw them away and used my nitrile garage/workshop gloves), and sliced a wedge off the included black sponge - this allowed me to apply the trim coating into the ribbed detail of the liftgate trim...

it took 3 coats, but i was finally rewarded with a nice surface - it looks a bit 'wet' but definitely better that the whitened chalking appearance

we'll see how long this stuff lasts! i REALLY liked the companion Turtlewax Jet Black for tires - put two coats on and tires still look great more than a month later!

Pride by Instinct Cheshire's Recipe with Chicken and Chickpeas Dry Cat Food 5.0 lb Bag
Pride by Instinct Cheshire's Recipe with Chicken and Chickpeas Dry Cat Food 5.0 lb Bag
Price: $19.99
3 used & new from $19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Chow now, Meow!, October 15, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Amazon requires me to review this product, but it really should be my polydactyl cat, Cyrus, reviewing this chow. He has seven toes on his right front paw, and six toes on his left front paw, which qualifies him for an extra signing bonus as a Yankee shortstop.

The 5 lb. bag arrived safe and secure. Meow one star! It also arrived crisp and fresh, thanks to the great tyvek-like bag material, so unlike the triple-layer paper found on most feline feed bags. Meow two stars!

Also nice is the 21st Century press-and-seal seal for the bag, something most feline feed manufacturers seem to have overlooked in their haste to bilk their furry customers nowadays. Meow three stars!

Finally, there's the smell and taste. Simply divine! Scrumptious! Crunchy with a crisp afterbite and a 10-minute face-cleaning. Setting and serving this chow has not been a catastrophe - it was a cataclysmic devouring, resulting in excess chow littering the feed area - Cyrus *loved* it! Meow two stars!

If Cyrus is happy, I'm happy. And that's what counts. Good feed. Get it.

Safety Razor Travel Kit with Scissors and Case
Safety Razor Travel Kit with Scissors and Case
Offered by OlliesMarket
Price: $28.75

5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this kit for the handle - FABULOUS!, October 14, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Purchased this kit primarily for the razor's handle - it is absolutely one of the better-made DE travel razor handles on the market (there are much pricier ones, such as Above the Tie and Weber bulldogs, vintage, the Maggard MR8 stainless 90mm handle [bargain!], and the iKon 67mm stainless 'Tuckaway' [bargain!])

The obvious comparison for this kit would be to the same-priced Parker A1R - i have both, and i have to say that i prefer this kit. The kit comes wrapped in plastic in a small cardboard box, all unmarked except for the bottom of the large portion of the two-part handle, engraved with the word 'Pearl.' All razor parts are wrapped.

There was a small 5-blade pack of 'Tiger' razorblades. All components of the kit appear to be made in India. The razor head is unmarked, unlike the Parker A1R, which has the word 'India' underneath.

Finish and plating on the handle - the shining star of this package - is superlative. The head has the typical fit and finish of its ilk, but was just as good as my Parkers and Merkur 500. However, the head i received in my travel kit held my Derby blade perfectly, with little pre-tightening alignment required (for comparison, no such alignment is required on the made-in-the-USA stainless Weber polished head - drop in the blade and tighten the handle with confidence - excellent tolerance and machining).

The pair of scissors will do an exacting job of trimming hair to complete your tonsorial. They are extremely sharp and pointed - a good thing - if a bit wobbly. As others have mentioned, keep the tubing for safety.

The entire package weighs about 7 ounces. The razor has a nice 108-gram heft, and the handle - the absolute best part of the kit - is 3 and 3/4" long - great for a travel razor!

The shave? Aggressive! You can tell just by looking at the gap. However, the shave was good, BBS after two passes. And unlike the Parker A1R's head, which has bitten me every time i've used it (6X), there was no spilled blood on my maiden voyage with the razor.

A great kit at a great price with a fabulous handle (wish i could buy the handle separately - i'd get a couple). 5 stars, baby!

Good & Plenty Licorice Candy, 5 Pound Bag
Good & Plenty Licorice Candy, 5 Pound Bag
Price: $12.51
22 used & new from $9.89

5.0 out of 5 stars good for my soul, bad for my blood pressure, October 9, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
arrived fresh, soft and chewy

now my blood pressure is suffering because i cannot, will not, just can't stop EATING THESE CANDIES!

actually, i am consuming them in moderation...

these things are delicious!

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