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K. Crawford's Profile

Customer Reviews: 58
Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,068
Helpful Votes: 3758

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Reviews Written by
K. Crawford RSS Feed (Roseville, CA United States)

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Rite in the Rain All Weather Copier Paper 25-Pack
Rite in the Rain All Weather Copier Paper 25-Pack
Offered by 123CloseOut
Price: $13.12
16 used & new from $10.41

4.0 out of 5 stars Good for the price, August 11, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've used "Adventure paper" (AP) for many years with both my old ink jet printer and my new color laser printer. It's pretty pricey and when I saw "Rite in the Rain" (RR) for about half the price I decided to try it.

RR is much thinner than AP and it feels much more like paper. AP feels more like a thin spongy piece of porous plastic. Nothing wrong with that at all. RR felt so much like a piece of paper I was at first skeptical. I printed a double-sided maps on it and ran water over it for 5 minutes rubbing the ink to see if it would smear. It held up great. Then I soaked it in the sink for about 45 minutes. It was holding up, but it was starting to look "saturated"... but as I said it was holding up. I had to go and didn't want to leave over night, so I pulled it out. After drying it out, it was wrinkled but was still usable.

Other reviewers said things about ink smearing. If they meant ink like an ink jet printer (they didn't fully specify), I can't comment. But I can comment that both a ball point pen and a highlighter worked just fine without smearing.

Overall, AP is thicker, holds up better and also can be used with ink jet printers... but is twice as much as RR. For my needs RR works just fine, so I'll be using it, but there are reasons one might prefer AP.

DROK® DC-DC Converter Buck Regulator 5V-30V to 0.8-29V Constant Current/Voltage Power Supply Module 5A, LED Ammeter Voltmeter Display
DROK® DC-DC Converter Buck Regulator 5V-30V to 0.8-29V Constant Current/Voltage Power Supply Module 5A, LED Ammeter Voltmeter Display
Offered by DROK
Price: $15.69
3 used & new from $15.69

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Met all my needs and it's pretty dang small, July 30, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Very impressed with this little unit. I had a number of worries when I bought it, but I figured for $16 it was worth giving a try.

A few learnings:
1. The voltage meter measures the output voltage and from best I can tell can not be changed to measure the input (which is what I wanted).
2. The current meter runs off of the return/negative side of the converter. Make sure your load isn't grounded elsewhere, bypassing the current meter. (Although if you don't care, it'll work just fine without the return current going through it.)
3. You can short the input and output to bypass the regulator. For my application I wanted to be able to do this. The upside of doing this as opposed to switching the load's input between the regulated output and the main input is that the voltage meter still works.
4. Noise rejection is pretty good. I've got a noise problem in my environment (my boat) where my VHF radio is being affected by both EMF and electrical noise from other electronics. Using this regulator significantly reduced the electrical noise on the VHF radio.
5. The recommendation for using a heatsink for applications over 3 amps appear unnecessary when the moments over 3 amps are not that long, at least in a low voltage drop applications. The only time I get over 3 amps is when transmitting over the VHF radio (about 4.75 amps when everything else is drawing too). I transmitted for 20+ seconds at 1-2 minute intervals repeatedly at 95 degrees ambient temperature in my garage without the main chip getting meaningfully hot. To be fair, my voltage drop was only 2.1V (from 14.1V to 12V). This might be quite different when regulating to 6V off of a 24V input (or something similar).

Hopefully that data is helpful to others... as I said, it met all my needs, but I can see where there might be a few areas where others would disagree, particularly #1 and #2.

Pepperell Rexlace Plastic Lacing Cord, 450-Feet, Primary
Pepperell Rexlace Plastic Lacing Cord, 450-Feet, Primary
Price: $6.63
22 used & new from $4.40

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Missing red, July 29, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Overall exactly what I expected. It's the classic stuff used to make lanyards and necklaces and the such. My only complaint is that the set is missing red. If I was being really picky I'd say the colors skew a little neon for my tastes, but overall, red is the only meaningful color oversight.

Pope Francis: Why He Leads the Way He Leads
Pope Francis: Why He Leads the Way He Leads
by Chris Lowney
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.53
55 used & new from $9.64

3.0 out of 5 stars Despite it's many shortcomings... intriguing and needed book., July 22, 2014
There's much to like about "Pope Francis: Why he leads the way he leads" but at the same time, it was very frustrating to me.

First, I'll echo what others said about condensing it. I can't think of another book with so much repetition in 150 pages. He could have said what he did in a third the space... but then it wouldn't be a book, it would be a long essay, wouldn't it?

Second, it sure felt like Mr. Lowney was shoehorning Pope Francis into his personal management/leadership philosophy. Multiple times in the book he freely admits that Pope Francis would object to the way he was twisting his words... and yet that didn't seem to stop him from co-opting Francis' words.

Third, Mr. Lowney's experience as a Jesuit Novice and excitement over a Jesuit Pope has blinded him to tons other examples of Catholic leadership that reenforce his points. The most glaring example of this was his discussion of how leadership positions within the Jesuits are temporary and once completed most return to "lesser" positions within the order. How can you talk about that and NOT mention the courageous example of Pope Benedict stepping down as Pope? It's a historic example of not seizing and holding power for power's sake. Not mentioning it gives the impression of an author who is writing from a partisan perspective and unwilling to acknowledge those outside his bubble.

Fourth, who is Mr. Lowney writing to? He writes as if the audience is business leaders of all creeds, yet the title of the book and it being published by the Jesuits, will prevent it from getting much play outside of Catholic circles. It feels like he spends a quarter of the time he's not repeating himself apologizing for the Christian nature of his words and trying to find a way to generalize it so that it is widely appealing... yet failing miserably in doing so.

Fifth, Mr. Lowney keeps speaking to the need for "change", particularly within the Catholic Church, without spending any time talking about what sort of change that is, other than how leaders lead. In one aspect this was a result of what I spoke of in my previous point, where he seemed to be avoiding anything that could dissuade a reading of a particular ideology from reading his book. Nevertheless the result was he appears to be advocating change for change's sake without any grounding as to why or where we should be headed.

Despite all of that, and I recognize it's a litany of complaints I'm making, I couldn't help but like what Mr. Lowney has to say about what makes a good leader. I wish FAR more leaders would embrace the message he was preaching. And since there are so few out there willing to promote a vision of leadership like this, I have to praise Mr. Lowney for doing so.

Can one see why it was a frustrating read to me?

My advice to Mr. Lowney: Write two more books. One that makes no mention of God and is truly a general leadership book. Write a second that embraces out Catholic faith in its fullness and refuses to apologize for it. In both cases, leave Francis out of it and talk about the merits of your leadership ideas on their own merits. I'm confident both would be better than this jumbled mess that practically gores itself on the fence it is trying to balance on.

Estes Savage BT55 2 Stage Kit
Estes Savage BT55 2 Stage Kit
Price: $20.42
12 used & new from $17.90

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Estes elastic straps stink!, July 2, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The weak part of all Estes rocket kits is the elastic. I've now had 3 different Estes rockets, this one included, that have structurally failed during chute deployment because the elastic snapped. While I might buy an Estes kit again, I'll be using my own shock cord that I won't be concerned about it failing. I docked it one star for this.

Overall, this is a 3-star rocket. It was indeed quick to build (the criteria for purchase on this one was prime-shipping and build-able in an evening) and it's design is OK. The plastic fins and booster assembly are a bit weak, and were more difficult to understand how to put together than I would have liked, but they did make for quick assembly. It would also be nice if the sustainer was a 24mm engine size, like the booster as opposed to the smaller 18mm size.

Sperry Top-Sider Men's Authentic Original Boat Shoe,Amaretto,9.5 W US
Sperry Top-Sider Men's Authentic Original Boat Shoe,Amaretto,9.5 W US
Offered by Peltz Shoes
Price: $88.00
2 used & new from $87.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Are Sperry's getting even narrower or are my feet getting fatter?, July 2, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've been wearing Sperry TopSiders for 25 years and they're still my favorite shoes. At some point many years ago I realized that I needed to buy the wide sizing of the shoes. I could buy the normal width and within a month my feet would stretch out the leather and they'd be fine, but why deal with that month of overly tight shoes? The wide sized ones were perfect.

But when I put these ones one I immediately took them off to check to make sure that they didn't accidentally ship me the normal width ones. Nope. They just feel tight even though they're the wide size. Maybe I just got a pair that were on the narrow side...

But overall, I still love my TopSiders!

Soffe Men's Classic 100% Cotton Pocket Short, Black, XXL
Soffe Men's Classic 100% Cotton Pocket Short, Black, XXL
Price: $12.99
2 used & new from $9.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Name brands are increasingly for suckers, July 2, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I used to buy more name brand clothing because I could count on certain quality levels that no-name clothing wouldn't have. But increasingly those name brand companies are trying to squeeze every dollar of profit out as opposed to putting out a quality product.

These shorts are no exception. These are nice, reasonably good quality sweat shorts and probably better quality than the name brand competitors based on the reviews.

Electronic Digital Caliper 8" with Extra large LCD Display Screen with Carrying Case
Electronic Digital Caliper 8" with Extra large LCD Display Screen with Carrying Case
Offered by Factory Authorized Outlet
Price: $39.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Great value for the price, July 2, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I saw a lot of negative reviews around this product, both speaking to it's build quality and it's accuracy. I ended up buying it anyway because there were enough positive reviews and nobody could touch it from a cost perspective for an 8" long caliper. Those talking about build quality are accurate... this is a cheaply made unit and reflects that. But you know what, it's good enough for most around the home-shop stuff. Accuracy wise, it looks reasonable. Again, I'm sure there's better stuff out there, but it comes pretty close to meeting its specs, which frankly is impressive to me.

Overall, for the price, it's hard to complain. For those who insist on top-notch stuff, put your money where your mouth is and spend $60 on an 8" iGauge or even more for a traditional elite brand. But don't buy this $20 one and complain that it's not up to your quality expectations.

Zebra M-701 Mechanical Pencil, 0.7mm, 1 Each (59411)
Zebra M-701 Mechanical Pencil, 0.7mm, 1 Each (59411)
Price: $6.09
20 used & new from $5.71

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Only 0.7mm option!?!, June 26, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I was so excited about the M-701 when I ordered it. I had recently received an F-701 pen and was thrilled with it's design. A definite 5-star pen. I like the 301 series pen and pencil too, but the 701 series is a significant step up.

But then when it arrived I realized I had mistakenly ordered a 0.7mm version. Oops, my mistake! No reason to dock them stars for that... until I realized, at least as far as I can tell, Zebra doesn't MAKE a 0.5mm version of the M-701. That's completely bogus and a real turn off. I'll be nice and only dock them 2-stars (since my complaint is not specifically about this model but about the 701 line as a whole), but I won't be buying again.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 14, 2014 6:19 PM PDT

AB Earth® Leather Men's Briefcase Backpack Messenger Laptop Bag Handbag,M43C
AB Earth® Leather Men's Briefcase Backpack Messenger Laptop Bag Handbag,M43C
Offered by AB Earth
Price: $129.00
2 used & new from $129.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome briefcase/backpack, May 29, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've been looking for a briefcase/backpack combo for a long time. It seems the offerings have gotten a lot better since the last time I looked a few years ago, but most of them all had the same problem: In the briefcase configuration, the bag was vertically/portrait in orientation. That's not how a briefcase is supposed to be oriented... it's supposed to be horizontally/landscape in orientation. At least for me, a big part of the reason I wanted a combo bag was so that it disguised the fact that my briefcase was also a backpack. The portrait orientation just screams "not a briefcase".

AB Earth is the only company I found that made a landscape oriented briefcase and a portrait oriented backpack combo bag. Huge props for them for doing it right. It is the reason I picked the bag.

In regards to use of the bag, it's just barely and I do mean BARELY big enough for my 17" laptop. It's a big laptop (HP Elitebook 8570w) and I knew it was going to be a risk that it wouldn't fit (some comments suggest it only is big enough for a 15" laptop), but I decided to take the risk when I bought it. My laptop is 15.0" wide, 10.1" tall and 1.51" thick. The tightest dimension in the bag is the 10.1" tall, but the 15.1" wide is also very near the maximum that could fit. Perhaps you could fit something a 1/4" wider, but even a 1/10th of an inch taller would be a problem. The thickness is not an issue.

The leather is of good quality. This is a bag that will last. It has that already worn in look that some leather items have these days and frankly, although it looks nice, I'd prefer a bad that was more pristine to start. I'll break it in just fine all by myself. If there's one thing I can be sure of, it's that this bag will get heavily used and start to show it's wear. No need to accelerate that process.

I like the wide array of pockets. The two main sections allowed me one for my laptop and one for my folders and clipboards and the such. The ample number of smaller pockets and sleeves allowed for dedicated spaces for USB devices, chargers, pens, pencils, 6" ruler, cables and the rest of all the stuff we're burdened carrying around. The one missing pocket size was one for a checkbook or billfold. None of the pockets were tall enough. I was able to solve that by cutting open the bottom of the liner in the zippered pocket between the main section and the small sections, which made it just tall enough for my old pocket dayrunner that I now mostly use as a checkbook and business card holder.

The billfold problem is the largest complaint I have about the bag and considering how picky I am, that's a resounding recommendation for how great the bag is. Definitely a 5-star bag.

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