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Vitamin Shoppe - Non-Oily Dry A, 10000 IU, 300 capsules
Vitamin Shoppe - Non-Oily Dry A, 10000 IU, 300 capsules
Offered by The Vitamin Shoppe
Price: $10.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Incorrect product description, September 25, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The product description on the page (when I bought a bottle from this vendor) says:

"Each capsule contains 10,000 I.U. of Vitamin A (as retinyl acetate)."

The bottle when received says: 10,000 I.U. of Vitamin A (50% as acetate, 50% as beta carotene).

Since I explicitly shopped for non-beta-carotene forms of Vitamin A, this was a useless purchase (or at most 50% useful!) because of the poor accuracy of the product description.


Ancient Turkey: A Traveller's History
Ancient Turkey: A Traveller's History
by Seton Lloyd
Edition: Paperback
51 used & new from $0.02

4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not A Traveller's History, April 24, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this before travelling to Turkey, looking for an accessible guide to the fascinating multi-layered history behind the cities and sights. That is not this book. It is not arranged by city or region: instead, the chapters are chronological through the history of the whole area. It is not accessible: the writing is both dense with unexplained historian-only asides and references, and also really dry and stilted.

So: It is not a history for travellers, and doesn't live up to its title! Maybe the title means that the author travelled to Turkey, and wrote a history?

We're travelling with friends to Turkey, and one of them said "I'm buying a Turkish history book so I'll be smart about where we're going"--turns out he found the same one on Amazon. We both were looking for some history for our travels, and this sounded perfect from the title and the positive reviews. But he also thought it was "terrible, unreadable, practically turned me off of history."

If you are making the same Amazon book search that my friend and I did, and looking for the same thing, DON'T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE WE DID!

Here's a much better alternative. The Cadogan Guide to Turkey is a general travel book that includes rich historical background to all the cities and individual sights described. This has been my absolutely favorite reference, with wonderful depth of vivid commentary.


RCA RP5620 SmartSnooze Dual Wake AM/FM CD Clock Radio (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
RCA RP5620 SmartSnooze Dual Wake AM/FM CD Clock Radio (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Gets even harder to use as it fails, February 7, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I expect simple electronics like this to just work. Even counting the CD part of this alarm clock, all of the pieces have been commodity chips for 20+ years. It should be a cinch to put the pieces together and make an easy-to-use, trouble-free device. This clock failed on practically every stage of design, construction and use.

I bought this based on the feature checklist, but each feature was hard to use or deficient. You have to swing a control dial around back and forth to access common, everyday functions like resetting the wake-up time. The "adjustable" display brightness goes from bright to very bright--when the most common need is for a "dim" setting. The CD choices were "start at the beginning" or "random play" -- no "start where you left off."

Worse still, within 6 months, the clock became flaky and undependable. On my clock, for instance, the control for setting the alarm would flicker between the alarm time and the alarm type (buzzer, CD, radio, off). At first I didn't see this, resulting in accidentally turning the alarm to radio (which was set to low volume by a separate control) while setting the alarm time--and missing a wake-up alarm! To continue to use the alarm clock, I needed to recheck all settings after each time I touched it--and swing that control dial back and forth to readjust as needed.

The clock went downhill from there until the control dial just stopped working altogether, and the display blinked a random time with no way to adjust it.

Poorly designed features, hard to use the features even as designed, and then rapidly breaking down to the point of unusable!


Carte Noire Kenya, T-Discs for Tassimo Coffeemakers, 16-Count Packages (Pack of 2)
Carte Noire Kenya, T-Discs for Tassimo Coffeemakers, 16-Count Packages (Pack of 2)
Offered by IPROZON
Price: $33.46
3 used & new from $27.98

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bold coffee, in between espresso and coffee, January 28, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought the Tassimo (Bosch machine) for the darker Starbucks coffees available on it. But I've gone and tried many of the European and other brands available as well.

The only brand that stands up to Starbucks for my personal taste test is Carte Noire. This is a little funny, because Carte Noire is a supermarket brand in France. (Kraft markets both Starbucks and Carte Noire in grocery channels, and they developed the Tassimo system.) To my taste, it's full-flavored without being overly bitter.

This Carte Noire Kenya is one of my favorites. It's in between the espresso discs and Starbucks coffee discs. It is bolder/darker and more intense than the strong coffees like Starbucks Verona or Starbucks Kitamu; but less bitter than straight espresso. The volume produced is in between as well--it underfills a coffee cup, but overflows an espresso cup. Finally, the Kenya is programmed in the Tassimo to add the "crema," the dark foam on top of an espresso, on a short cup of coffee.

If you have Tassimo, and if you like the darker Starbucks blends on it, and you want to check out one of the European brands--this is the one to try.


Built NY E-LT13-BRW Small Laptop Case (Brown)
Built NY E-LT13-BRW Small Laptop Case (Brown)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressively well made, great for netbooks, May 1, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Great design, build, and style! And perfectly functional small bag for a netbook.

I bought a 10" netbook (the Samsung NC10-14GB, sweet little computer) and had a hard time finding an appropriate bag for it. In a regular computer bag, it would slide all around, and just leave wasted space. Besides, with a smaller computer, I wanted to have a smaller, sleeker bag for a more portable lifestyle.

The bags "made for" the 10" format (like this one) were just little neoprene covers with a handle. They didn't protect well, and looked like you're carrying a "tea party" munchkin briefcase!

I wanted to find a smaller, vertical-format bag for for my netbook--and this Built NY case exactly fit the bill.

The divider/organizer card inside the bag has a slot that I can *put the computer in,* which effectively hangs the computer in a stretchy neoprene pocket away from the bottom or sides of the bag. This is an absolutely ingenious system: simple and totally effective. It's like having a soft computer sleeve with several inches of rigid bumper around the edges.

I can put other small items in the organizer/divider, put the whole thing in the bag, and still have room for odds and ends in the bag itself. Not a lot of room, but I wanted a slimmed-down bag--so I guess I can't load it up with too much weight!

I'm really impressed with the design and build of the bag and divider. I've always looked a little askance at neoprene bags. Built NY won me over.

Here's the one problem (for which I do not subtract from my five-star review rating): For a man, it's just a little too girly to carry around as a shoulder bag! (I have the solid brown version, not even the polka dots!)

My sister got the Samsung, too. I think I'll give her this bag, and hope she loves it as much as I was ready to.


Oster 3186 Juice-n-Serve 27-Ounce Automatic Citrus Juicer, White
Oster 3186 Juice-n-Serve 27-Ounce Automatic Citrus Juicer, White
Price: $19.99
17 used & new from $15.00

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More fun than anything I've done in the kitchen with my pants on, April 20, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I am completely tickled by how fun this juicer is to use. I read the reviews on a half-dozen under-$40 juicers, and after all the talk of wattage and comparing strainers I just gotta say: Any one of these juicers is better than not having this much fun for one more day!

I've made three large pitchers of lemonade now. The motor seems fine for reaming citrus; the directions say not to juice continuously for too long. Sometimes it's tricky to get the "reverse direction" feature to kick in. The directions say "hand wash only," but life is too short: I put the pitcher, strainer, and rasp all in the dishwasher--so far to no ill effect. The plastic top cover just keeps the dust out when not in use.

This is the best under-$20 I've spent in the kitchen in a long time!


Kyocera Revolution Series Knives, 5-1/2-inch Santoku Knife, White Blade
Kyocera Revolution Series Knives, 5-1/2-inch Santoku Knife, White Blade
Price: $37.94
25 used & new from $32.95

47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great blade technology, well-done knife, and IT IS SHARP!!, October 11, 2007
I'm very impressed with the ceramic blade of this Kyocera knife. You can see here on Amazon that Kyocera is making a submarket with this ceramic technology. It really delivers -- it's sharp, light, and seems strong in the up/down direction. I've used a lot of different knives across the price spectrum for a broad range of cooking tasks, and this one slices cleaner, faster, easier than any knife I've ever used.

I never *really* imagined using a knife this sharp. It's what I imagine a hand-crafted Spanish Toledo steel sword or Samurai blade would be like. Except smaller. And lighter. And white.

However, be careful! Because it is both very lightweight and very sharp, the knife handles differently than any knife I've used before. And it is sharp enough to do real damage quite quickly. For instance, I received one of these knives as a gift from a friend who had recently got one for herself. It turns out that we *both* cut our fingers in the first few weeks of using our fancy new knives! In each case, we sliced through a fingernail that with a less-sharp knife might have afforded some protection. (I'm typing now with a bandage on my index finger.) I will be very attentive while using this knife from now on!

But, you know, it is a really nice, sharp knife.

The knife comes with care instructions that emphasize the the brittleness of the blade to lateral forces: don't knck the edge against anything hard, don't smack the flat of the blade to crush garlic. No dishwasher.

The special care is a small price for having such a unique knife in the kitchen!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 9, 2014 1:09 AM PDT


uni-ball Gel RT Micro Point Retractable Pens, 4 Colored Ink Pens(69093PP)
uni-ball Gel RT Micro Point Retractable Pens, 4 Colored Ink Pens(69093PP)
Offered by BEDLEE BARGAIN
Price: $13.99
2 used & new from $11.21

4.0 out of 5 stars My new favorite office pens, September 23, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
A retractable roller ball: How cool is that? These pens are fine point, but still write smoothly. No leakage issues, and the retractable tip is great. Sturdy so far. My favorite new make of daily pen in a long time.


ClearPro - Over the Ear Headset for Nokia Pop Port Phones
ClearPro - Over the Ear Headset for Nokia Pop Port Phones

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great price, good sound quality, bad construction quality, October 31, 2006
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this ClearPro headset and a very similar Plantronics headset (that cost more) at the same time. Tried them side by side, and to my surprise, both the sound quality of the earpiec and the voice quality on the microphone was appreciably better on this inexpensive headset than the Plantronics one.

However, I only got to try once: When I disconnected the ClearPro after this first test use, one of the two plastic prongs of the pop-port connector broke off. I suppose that we can partially blame Nokia for this proprietary and somewhat retarded connector style. But in comparison, the Plantronics version of the connector was much more solid.

In general, the construction of the over-the-ear, mic boom, etc., on the ClearPro was all somewhat- to greatly-flimsier than the other headset.


Risotto: More than 100 Recipes for the Classic Rice Dish of Northern Italy
Risotto: More than 100 Recipes for the Classic Rice Dish of Northern Italy
by Judith Barrett
Edition: Paperback
Price: $21.60
160 used & new from $0.01

44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Classic of American Cookbooks on the Classic Risotto of Northern Italy, October 29, 2006
I bought and heavily (!!! see below) used this cookbook soon after it first came out in the late 1980s. It was a breakthrough cookbook for its time, and hugely popular, and is still a wonderful resource that I can recommend today almost without hesitation.

In the late 1980s, I first started seeing risotto offered frequently in Mediterranean or even New American yuppie restaurants in the SF Bay Area when I visited on business--but not yet readily in fine restaurants in Seattle, for instance. Risotto was a clear trend for foodies, but hadn't yet hit mainstream nationally. So it was with impeccable timing that Barrett and Wasserman released "Risotto" in 1987.

I caught the bug early and hard. After I got this cookbok--in one my inspired food specialty frenzies--I wanted to make everything risotto. It was the perfect, versatile one-bowl (though usually 2-3 pots) meal that could fit any flavor or fancy, a base for any vegetables, seafood, meat, fruit, or herbs you wanted to cook with that day. I literally cooked risotto two or three times a week for 8 months, from fall harvest through a Seattle winter and into springtime baby vegetables. And I used this cookbook for all of it.

This cookbook "Risotto" had many virtures. First, it is an exceptionally clear introduction to risotto: its history, varieties of rice, geography, how it is cooked and used, etc. Second, as other reviews state (and you can see in the Search-Inside-The-Book table of contents), it covers many kinds of risotto and has plenty of recipes: cheese, vegetable, meat, fish, fruit, liqueur, leftover.

But the strongest (and non-obvious) feature of this cookbook is how it makes use of its Basic Recipe. Up front, with tips and tools and techniques, it describes a canonical recipe for making risotto: the broth, the oil/butter and minced onion and rice, the first stir of liquid, the stirring and adding broth, the sauteed "soffrito" ingredients, and the final additions of cheese, broth, and sometimes cream to stir in. The cookbook gives ingredient amounts for cooking the basic recipe for different size dinners, with a few additional tips for making more or less than the canonical (serves 4) recipe.

In the rest of the book, recipes all can then say, for instance: Start with the basic recipe, but this time we're going to add the chopped spinach after 10 minutes of stirring in step 3; or Once the rice is coated in the oil, stir in 1/2 cup of white wine (instead of broth); or In the last step, omit the cheese and broth and use 1/2 cup of cream. And of course the soffrito, the usually-sauteed ingredients mixed in, were different for every one.

I usually resist a standardized recipe, feeling like a straitjacket. But this had the opposite effect. Having a single Basic Recipe was a great way to build confidence and proficiency with a new way of cooking. And building 100 recipes off of it--including restrained, classic Italian risottos, together with more creative or adventurous combinations--made it clear how once you'd mastered the Basic Recipe and how to apply it, you could do anything with risotto! And even though I may have made the cookbook sound mechanistic by focusing on the Basic Recipe, it really is one of those cookbooks where all the recipes are a joy to read, with notes about the history of the recipe or about the ingredients, etc.

Now, nearly 20 years later, this cookbook easily stands the test of time. The techniques are clear, straightforward, complete. All of the best-known, classic Italian risottos are present. And there are dozens of variations that are great on their own, and as a guide to what you can create beyond them.

The only small hesitation that I have today with this cookbook is a consequence of its strength. The Basic Recipe is a good learning tool, and is the way that a generation of American home chefs have now been introduced to cooking risotto. But there are actually variations in how risotto is made--what fats to use, how much broth to add and how to stir, using alternative tools like pressure cookers, etc. Once you're an over-the-top risotto fiend like I became, you'll want to explore those as well. Fortunately, one of the co-authors of Risotto (Barrett) went on to publish a follow-on risotto cookbook that is just as delightful--and goes all out with different ways of cooking risotto and more novel and creative recipes. See "Risotto Risotti" at [...]

Oh, so what was my favorite single risotto of the dozens I made from this book? A simple one, actually. An asparagus risotto made with early-spring skinny shoots. It was the most completely-green risotto I've made, and was brimming, overflowing with that aromatic "grassy" flavor of the best asparagus--the closest I've come to ethereal grazing in a bowl.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 7, 2008 5:51 AM PDT


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