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Profile for C. Simpson > Reviews

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Customer Reviews: 23
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Helpful Votes: 148


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KOHLER K-4639-47 Cachet Quiet-Close with Grip-Tight Bumpers Round-front Toilet Seat, Almond
KOHLER K-4639-47 Cachet Quiet-Close with Grip-Tight Bumpers Round-front Toilet Seat, Almond
Price: $49.05
12 used & new from $29.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Soft-close mechanism failed after only 4 years, August 25, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Nice while it lasted, but the durability is not on par with the price paid. This lid has been lightly used in a two-adult household, so it has not been abused. This weekend, the lid suddenly lost all it's damping, so it now swivels completely loose like a plain hinge. It was perfectly fine the day before, then unexpectedly slammed shut instead of gently lowering as usual.

A $50 toilet seat from one of the "top" brands should last more than a few measly years - I expect something like this to be problem-free for at least 10 years, if not 20+ (such a simple part).

I've had disappointments with other Kohler fixtures recently too, including a very expensive kitchen faucet with ceramic "lifetime" valves which have failed after only 10 years, only to find that no replacement cartridges are available so the whole faucet had to get replaced. Ridiculous.

As an engineer for a major brand which prides itself on quality, I know very well that products can and will last a very long time if the company chooses to design them for longevity. Early failures clearly demonstrate that the company is deliberately opting to cut corners and sacrifice quality in the name of a few cents extra profit. The difference in manufacturing cost between this seat and a version which would actually last 25 years is probably about 50 cents or less. This foolish mindset is already eroding their customer goodwill - eventually, they will just be another junk brand that nobody wants and then they'll have a whole different profitability problem to solve!

I will not be installing Kohler any more.


Large Tropical Insulated Bag Plumeria
Large Tropical Insulated Bag Plumeria
Offered by shophawaiishop
Price: $11.88
3 used & new from $5.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Good for groceries, February 5, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Though it won't compete with a thermos cooler, this bag does OK at keeping refrigerated things cold while I bring them home from the store, and the velcro top keeps things from spilling everywhere if the bag tips over in the back of my car. It's a great looking bag, and I like that I"m not a walking advertisement for some big grocery store chain.

The large size is just about right for groceries.


Winix WAC9500 Ultimate Pet True HEPA Air Cleaner with PlasmaWave Technology
Winix WAC9500 Ultimate Pet True HEPA Air Cleaner with PlasmaWave Technology
Price: $259.99
33 used & new from $214.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good value & very quiet, February 5, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Dust removal:

I've only had the unit a few days, so I'll defer to others on it's effectiveness, but the professional reviews all rate this model highly for dust filtration. I have no reason to believe that it isn't filtering to the high standard claimed.

Noise:

I'm very sensitive to noise, especially in the bedroom at night, so this was my top consideration. I'm happy to report that this unit is satisfyingly quiet on the low setting (not silent, but quiet enough that you might not notice it running), and nearly inaudible with the additional "sleep" feature engaged. The Plasma (ionizer) function can also be turned off, in case you are bothered by the squealing noise that some people report on this model and it's cousin, the Fellowes AP-300PH. The only downside is that it really isn't filtering all that much air when it's turned right down to it's ultra-low "sleep" setting. But if you do need to turn it up, it's still fairly quiet, even on high. Turbo setting is much louder than high though - I definitely would not call it quiet, but it won't drive you out of the room either. So for most people this will be a trade-off depending on how much air they need to move. Note there are actually 5 fan speeds: "sleep", low, medium, high, and turbo.

If you are sensitive to noise, consider upsizing to a larger unit than is needed for your room, and just run it at a lower setting. A bigger unit can deliver the same amount of filtered air (CADR) at a low fan speed (less noise) as a small unit running it's fan hard (louder).

Cheap Replacement Filters:

Since I only just bought this, I haven't had to replace any filters yet, but I did research carefully to make sure I wouldn't get nailed later with overpriced replacement filters. There are a couple of options:
1. Buy the Winix "size 21" replacement cartridge 119110 with carbon granules. This is the pricey option, but people say it's a better filter for odor and VOC removal. You could also buy the Winix 115115 HEPA filter & carbon pre-filter, which is not as good as the Ultimate cartridge, but if you're going to do that then you may as well go straight to option #2, which is the same filter at a much lower price.
2. Get the Crucial Air HF-300 replacement filter set: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MMO0XTK/ These are designed to fit the Fellowes AP-300PH air purifier (which is a stripped-down and rebranded version of the Winix 9500). For 1/5 the price of the Winix cartridge, you get the main HEPA filter and 4 carbon pre-filters. These won't handle odors or remove VOCs as well as the Winix Ultimate cartridge, but they will take care of the dust and pet hair just as well. You could also buy the Fellowes brand HF-300 plus CF-300 filters, but it's the same thing as the Crucial Air filter, at a much higher price.
3. I guess if you're *really* cheap, there's a third option, which is to get a 3M Allergen Filtrete furnace filter (16x25") and cut it in half. Stuff some foam or paper towels along the cut edge to seal it, and viola, you have a HEPA grade filter for lunch money.

Ionizer Function:

Another reason I bought this model is that the ionizer can be turned on or off. I'm undecided on the benefits of ionizers vs. the risks of low-level ozone (which is unavoidably generated to some degree by all ionizers - some are better than others). I have read lots of reviews on the Fellowes AP-300PH (which is nearly the same air cleaner) complaining about the ionizer making a squealing noise. Some people go so far as to take their air cleaner apart to disable the ionizer. Well I don't want to be taking anything apart to 'fix' it, so the extra few bucks for this model is worth the ability to just shut off the ionizer with a press of a button if it turns out to be an issue.

Other Features:

- Dust & Odor sensors: these seem to be a bit of a gimmick (the odor sensor on my unit goes up when I increase the fan speed) but thankfully it doesn't matter - you can ignore these and just run the fan on a manual speed setting.

- "Auto" mode: tries to measure the dust and odor levels, and change speed accordingly. Pfft. This feature doesn't seem to do anything - it just goes to the low speed and stays there. In theory this is a nifty feature, but in practice it doesn't really deliver. I just end up manually setting a higher speed during the day to get good air turnover and cleaning action while I'm away. Then at night I manually set the sleep mode so the noise won't bother me.

- Remote control: handy sometimes. The Fellowes AP-300PH does not have a remote. One nice touch is a little recess on the top of the unit to hold the remote so it won't get lost. 2x AA size batteries seems silly - this remote could have been made much smaller if it used 2x AAA size cells. Maybe they designed it for AA batteries because the remote gets used a lot (see front panel controls below)

- Front panel controls: These really suck. They are not very intuitive (e.g. you have to hold down the power button to turn the ionizer on / off, and there is apparently no way to set it to sleep mode, only auto-sleep mode which uses the light sensor), so you pretty much end up using the remote for everything.

- Dimming display: in 'sleep' mode, the display dims, solving a common complaint with the Fellowes AP-300PH - namely that the display is too bright in a darkened bedroom. Shut off the ionizer function, and the little animation goes away too, for even less nighttime annoyance.

- Light sensor (auto-sleep): This is supposed to go into the ultra-quiet 'sleep' mode and dim the display automatically at night. Unfortunately, the sensor doesn't really pick up the ambient light in room which isn't brightly lit, so it tends to go into sleep mode prematurely when it could otherwise be cleaning at a higher fan speed. This feature is a good idea, but in practice I end up manually setting the sleep mode. It needs some kind of sensitivity adjustment or calibration so you can set it to operate correctly in your particular environment.

- Style: Meh. It's not bad, but definitely lacking refinement, especially the controls and display, which look really cheap with the fake chrome, and the totally uninspired rectangular display bezel. More companies need to take some cues from Apple or Band & Olufsen and get their industrial design up to scratch. Winix has some new models with improved styling, like the U300 (which has almost identical features, but has a lower CADR than this one on the low/quiet setting and is noisier on the high setting), and the P300 (like the U300 but uses the lower-tier filters instead of the "ultimate" series).

- Fit & finish: Not bad for a pile of plastic. :) No serious fit issues, squeaks or rattles... it feels pretty solid overall.


Colgate Value Travel Toothbrush, Soft, (Colors might vary) (Pack of 6)
Colgate Value Travel Toothbrush, Soft, (Colors might vary) (Pack of 6)
Price: $5.82
3 used & new from $5.82

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for travel and at work, December 23, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Best travel toothbrush I've found yet, and perfect for the office - discreetly folds away into your pocket.

Compared to the similar GUM folding toothbrush, these ones are much better built. The GUM ones tend to have a wobbly joint between the handle and brush when the brush is extended for use, these ones are fairly solid. These Colgate ones also have a slightly slimmer profile when closed.

About the only thing to complain about is some of the garish colours. I'm not going to take a lime green toothbrush to work...


S&P BOR-100 Metal Adjustable Round Grilles
S&P BOR-100 Metal Adjustable Round Grilles
Price: $17.60

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It'll probably hold up just fine., December 5, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
As another reviewer stated, there isn't a speck of metal in this product. Not even a staple in the packaging. However, it looks nicer than most of the other 4-inch grilles, and the center dome screws in and out (with lock nut to fix the position), allowing some adjustment of airflow. It'll probably hold up just fine.


Fotodiox Lens Mount Adapter w/Aperture Dial, Pentax K Lens to Sony NEX E-mount Mirrorless Camera e.g. Sony Alpha a7 & NEX-7
Fotodiox Lens Mount Adapter w/Aperture Dial, Pentax K Lens to Sony NEX E-mount Mirrorless Camera e.g. Sony Alpha a7 & NEX-7
Price: $22.95
4 used & new from $20.08

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mostly good, but ruined by a lack of attention to detail, December 5, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The lens mount fit was a little stiff, but the body side bayonets fit just about perfect. The locking tab is serviceable, and the actuator ring works OK albeit a little loose front-to-back and with an excess of silicone grease oozing out just a bit. So, pretty good build quality given the price point. And that's almost all there is to it...

So this would have been a 4-star review, reflecting the good value, except for one critical thing - this adapter does not have proper light baffling, and I was having a lot of shots ruined by what looked like light leakage or heavy ghosting. Turns out, this was off-axis light reflecting off the inside surfaces of the adapter barrel onto the sensor. At shallow angles of incidence, the black anodized aluminum is quite reflective. The problem is particularly severe with fast lenses in high-contrast scenes, as the bigger glass / larger exit aperture tends to let through more stray light, closer to the adapter walls where it can bounce off the inner surfaces at those shallow angles. I suppose I could have stuck some gaffer tape in there to break up the glossy surfaces, or maybe glued in some felt, but it really shouldn't be necessary to hack around such a glaring design flaw / manufacturing shortcut.

Since I had taken it with me on a multi-week vacation and was beyond the 30-day return period, I parked this adapter in the "bin of forsaken gear", and bought myself a Novoflex adapter, which I'm much happier with. The Novoflex is much better built and all inner surfaces are grooved to prevent light reflections toward the sensor. This is the difference when you buy a quality German product - all the little but important details are taken care of, and the fit, finish, and quality control are much better.

I recommend you spare yourself the grief and just spend the dough for a quality adapter.


Quickway Brands Quick Glo Chrome Cleaner - 8 oz. Jar
Quickway Brands Quick Glo Chrome Cleaner - 8 oz. Jar
Offered by Dave 'n' Mark's
Price: $13.94
25 used & new from $10.75

5.0 out of 5 stars Better than I expected, December 4, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Saw this mentioned on Jay Leno's garage ... wasn't expecting a whole lot, but this stuff is pretty impressive. I cleaned up a pretty rusty chrome exhaust tip in just a few minutes. It took little effort, and did a great job - the chrome looks almost new.


Opticron Rubber Objective Lens Covers 32mm OG M Pair fits models with OD 42~44mm
Opticron Rubber Objective Lens Covers 32mm OG M Pair fits models with OD 42~44mm
Price: $22.27

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, December 4, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Perfect fit for my Leupold Katmai 6x32's, which measure 43.5mm outer diameter. Good quality.


Genuine Bayer Aspirin Tablets, 50 Pouches, 2 Tablets/Pouch
Genuine Bayer Aspirin Tablets, 50 Pouches, 2 Tablets/Pouch
Offered by C&L SALES
Price: $13.49
28 used & new from $11.57

3.0 out of 5 stars Coated tablets, January 7, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
For emergency use (especially heart attacks), you really want un-coated Aspirin for fast absorption, but uncoated tablets are hard to find. So this isn't the ideal addition to first aid kits, but something is better than nothing. At least the little pouches are pretty robust so they'll protect the contents until needed.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 26, 2014 12:02 AM PST


Ivation Long Range Wireless Thermometer - Dual Probe - Remote BBQ, Smoker, Grill, Oven, Meat Thermometer - Monitors Food From Up To 300 Feet Away
Ivation Long Range Wireless Thermometer - Dual Probe - Remote BBQ, Smoker, Grill, Oven, Meat Thermometer - Monitors Food From Up To 300 Feet Away
Offered by DBROTH
Price: $59.99
10 used & new from $41.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Works great with the smoker, January 7, 2014
Did my first smoke with this thermometer on Thanksgiving day - a bone-in breast that turned out just fantastic! Best turkey we've ever done, and the remote thermometer was not only easier to monitor than the mechanical guage, but the accuracy really helped get the vents dialed in and the meat cooked to perfection.

Both transmitter and receiver seem to work just fine with NiMH rechargeable batteries - some devices don't like the lower voltage.

Before the first use, I did seal each probe where the wire comes out using some Permatex Ultra Black high-temp RTV silicone I happened to have handy ( B0002UEN1U ) as others have recommended, to keep moisture from getting in and ruining the probe. Any good quality RTV silicone will do, just make sure it has a high enough temperature rating.

The reviews were right - this is a great little thermometer.

Happy smoking!


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