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Big Al "Alan Rivière" RSS Feed (Southwest, USA)
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   

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Folding 59" x 27" Windshield Sun Shade Black Silver Tone for Car Auto
Folding 59" x 27" Windshield Sun Shade Black Silver Tone for Car Auto
Offered by EUBUY
Price: $6.39
13 used & new from $2.90

5.0 out of 5 stars Best sunshades I ever owned, August 27, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I owned a variety of windshield sunshades through the years, including the cardboard and the soft panels accordion shades. But the best are these wire frame shades featured on this web page. They are made of nylon fabrics stretched over springy wire frames. Unlike the soft panel accordion shades which may go limp when they get very hot, these wire frame shades retain their shape even after sitting under a hot sun for a long time. They are also very durable. Cardboard shades rarely last more than a year, but I own two wire frame shades for over three years and they are still going strong. I highly recommend these wire frame shades to Amazon shoppers.


Jump-N-Carry JNCAIR 1700-Amp 12-Volt Jump Starter with Power Source and Air Compressor
Jump-N-Carry JNCAIR 1700-Amp 12-Volt Jump Starter with Power Source and Air Compressor
Price: $209.27
21 used & new from $209.27

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful jump-starter and good power source in the field, August 20, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This Jump-N-Carry JNCAIR 1700-Amp Jump Starter and Air Compressor is big, measuring 13-1/2 inches wide, 15 inches tall, and 6 inches thick. It is also heavy, weighing in at a hefty 22 pounds. It is a big and heavy combination of a 12V jump-starter battery and an air compressor.

The air-compressor control panel features a 0-60 psi pressure gauge, an on-off switch and a coiled air-hose with a screw-in chuck. The web page states that the length of coiled air-hose is 12 feet, but realistically, it stretches to no more than 3 feet without undoing the coils. Curiously, neither the Amazon web page nor the owner manual mentions the pressure rating of the compressor. Since the pressure gauge is calibrated to 60 max, one can assume that the pressure will not exceed that figure. It will have problem with bicycle or RV tires, which may go over 100 psi. The web page states the compressor's ability "to fill a 15" car tire from flat in under seven minutes". There are much more powerful stand-alone air-compressors on the market, rated at 120 psi or above and capable of filling 33-inch tires. Nevertheless, this Jump-N-Carry air compressor sounds robust and inflates quickly. It is adequate for most automotive jobs.

The jump-starter features two extra long 68-inch cables for a long reach with beefy rubber coated clamps. On the control panel, there is a DC voltmeter with a red button below to indicate the state of charge. On the left of the voltmeter are an AC charger plug and a 12VDC outlet. The AC charger is built into the jump starter. The user connects the AC charger plug to a 110VAC outlet with an extension cord (not included). The AC charger automatically regulates the charging current to prevent overcharge. It can take up to 36 hours to fully charge the jump-starter with the AC charger after extensive use. The 12VDC outlet can be used to charge the jump starter with a car battery, where AC power is not available. It is handy feature for camping trips and such. The user uses a 12-volt male to male extension cord (included) to connect the 12VDC outlet to the car port of an automobile with the engine idling. This DC charger is not automatic. The user must monitor the charging with the voltmeter to prevent overcharge. It can take up to 5 hours to fully charge the jump-starter in this manner.

Besides serving as a charging port, the 12VDC outlet provides power to 12-volt devices up to 12 amps. With an inexpensive 12VDC to 110VAC inverter (300 watts max, not included), this jump-starter can be used as a portable power source to charge cell-phones and laptops. It is handy on camping trips.

This Jump-N-Carry Jump Starter boosts 1700 peak-amp performance but it is somewhat misleading, because the common measure of a battery's starting power is the cold cranking amps (CCA). This is the amount of electrical current that a 12V lead-acid battery can provide at 0 degree F for 30 seconds while maintaining a minimum of 7.2 volts. This jump starter is rated at 425 CCA, which is above average for a portable 12-volt jump starter. It will jump-start most non-commercial vehicles with a dead battery above freezing temperature. For commercial vehicles or at below freezing temperature, Jump-N-Carry has a more powerful jump-starter rated at 950 CA (See Note below).

In conclusion, the Jump-N-Carry jump starter/compressor is big and heavy. It is a chore to lug around and takes up precious space in the trunk of a car. It is above average in starting power for a portable jump-starter and a good portable power source in the field, but the air compressor pressure is a tad on the low side.

Note: Cranking amp or CA is measured at 32 degrees F. It is a less stringent measure than CCA. The manufacturer does not provide the CCA rating. Check out the Jump-N-Carry 950 CA jump-starter here:

Jump-N-Carry JNC950 2000 Peak Amp 12V Jump Starter


Energizer 2032 Battery CR2032 Lithium 3v (1 Pack of 5)
Energizer 2032 Battery CR2032 Lithium 3v (1 Pack of 5)
Offered by West Distribution
Price: $3.39
25 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Can't beat the price, August 17, 2014
These Energizer 3 Volt CR2032 lithium button batteries are packaged in foil and cellophane bags of 5, but they work just like those in retail packages. And you can't beat the price. I highly recommend them to Amazon shoppers.


Miracle-Gro 300157 Indoor Plant Food 48-Spikes, 2.2-Ounce
Miracle-Gro 300157 Indoor Plant Food 48-Spikes, 2.2-Ounce
Price: $3.99
3 used & new from $2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars My houseplants are thriving, August 17, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
These Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food Spikes work great. My houseplants are thriving. They are easy to use; just water the house plants and press a few spikes into the wet soil once a month in spring and summer and once every two months in fall and winter. This is the instruction on the package: two spikes for a 3-4 inch pot, three for 5-6, four for 7-8, five for 9-10, and six for 11-12.


Goal Zero 42011 Sherpa 100 Solar Recharging Kit
Goal Zero 42011 Sherpa 100 Solar Recharging Kit
Price: $599.95
4 used & new from $599.95

3.0 out of 5 stars Loaded with useful features but the power pack I received is defective, August 14, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This Goal Zero 42011 Sherpa 100 Solar Recharging Kit comes with three major items: the Sherpa 100 Power Pack, the Sherpa AC Inverter, and the Nomad 20 Portable Solar Panel. Each item can be purchased separately.

The Sherpa 100 Power Pack is basically a 12V rechargeable Lithium-ion NMC (lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide) battery. It may be charged with the AC charger (included), the Nomad 20 solar panel (included), or in a car with the optional 8.0mm 12V Car Charger (not included, see Note 1). The manufacturer says it takes up to 3 hours to fully charge the battery with the AC charger, 4 hours in a car, and 10 to 20 hours with the Nomad 20 solar panel. There are four power outputs: two 5V/2.1A/10W USB power sockets, one 12V/10A/120W output socket with a car port adapter, and one 7.4mm 19V/6A/120W laptop charging port with a charging cord and a variety of plugs for direct plug-in to different brands of laptops (see Note 2). There is a 9mm sidecar port rated at 9-13V, 10A, and 120W for the optional Sherpa AC Inverter. At the front panel, there is a very bright LED light and a mini LCD screen to show the charge level.

The Sherpa AC Inverter converts 12VDC to 110VAC. It is rated at 100 watts. It must be used in conjunction with the Sherpa 100 Power Pack via the sidecar port or in a car with the optional Sherpa Inverter Car Adapter (not included, see Note 3). With this inverter, virtually any electronic device that plugs into an AC outlet at home or office can be powered up in the field. I found it most useful.

The Nomad 20 Portable Solar panel converts solar energy to electricity. It consists of three interconnected solar panels folded into one compact 8 inch x 13 inch portfolio with a zippered mesh pocket containing all the power cords. There are three power outputs: a 12V/1.3A/20W output for charging the Sherpa 100 power pack, a 5V/2.1A/10W output for USB, and a 6.5V/1.1A/7W output for compatible electronic devices. There is also a chaining port to hook up to a second Nomad 20 solar panel for additional power. This Nomad 20 is useful in the field and on the trail where resources are limited.

This Sherpa Recharging Kit is loaded with useful features. It deserves a 5-star rating - if everything works. Unfortunately, this is not the case with the unit I received. Right out of the box, the LCD screen of the power pack does not work. The backlight turns on but the screen is blank. Without it, there is no way to tell the charge level of the power pack. Furthermore, the 12VDC output of the power pack does not work either. I plugged in the car adapter, moved the switch at the front panel to 12 Volt, and inserted a 12V spotlight into the car port socket. The 12V power indicator light on the power pack did not turn on and the spot light did not light up. I tested the voltage output at the car port socket with a multimeter and the meter read zero volt. Apparently, I got a defective unit. It might just be a fluke, but it does speak to the workmanship of the product. So buyers beware (see Note 4).

Note 1: Check out the car charger @ http://www.goalzero.com/p/39/8-0mm-12v-car-charger/28:4/

Note 2: The plugs fit the following brands of laptops: Asus, Dell, HP, IBM, Lenovo, Panasonic, Sony, & Toshiba.

Note 3: Check out the inverter car adapter @ http://www.goalzero.com/p/204/sherpa-inverter-car-adapter

Note 4: Amazon has a very generous no-hassle return/replace policy. Defective products can be returned or replaced with free return shipping within 30 days. Goal Zero has a reasonably good warranty - 180 days for power cells and 1 year for other products. Check it out here: http://www.goalzero.com/support.html.


Etekcity Indoor/Outdoor Moisture Sensor Meter, soil water monitor
Etekcity Indoor/Outdoor Moisture Sensor Meter, soil water monitor
Offered by Etekcity
Price: $6.99
2 used & new from $6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Takes the guess work out of watering, August 10, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Note: This review is on the Etekcity Indoor/Outdoor Moisture Sensor Meter. Amazon is lumping reviews on seven different meters together. That can be confusing to shoppers.

This moisture meter takes the guess work out of watering. The user inserts the probe into the soil and the red needle moves into one of three zones: DRY, MOIST, and WET. No battery is necessary. It works well. The meter itself measures 2 inches wide, 3-1/4 inches tall and 1-3/8 inches thick. The probe is about 7-9/16 inches long. It is ideal for use with indoor potted plants. It can be used for outdoor plants too. I have a word of advice for shoppers who want to so: Do not use the probe to stab the soil like a stake. It will not last long. Use a metal stake to make a hole in the soil and insert the probe into the hole. A long Philips screwdriver will do.


Fluke 424D Laser Distance Meter, II Class, 100m Range, +/-1mm Accuracy
Fluke 424D Laser Distance Meter, II Class, 100m Range, +/-1mm Accuracy
Price: Click here to see our price
9 used & new from $352.97

5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent measurement tool for the professionals and the serious homeowners, August 8, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This Fluke 424D Laser Distance Meter is small, measuring 2-1/4 inches wide, 5 inches long, and 1-1/4 inches thick. It fits comfortably in my palm. It is also light, weighing no more a few ounces. It runs on two AAA batteries (included). Access to the battery compartment is difficult. To install the batteries, I had to use a flat screwdriver to turn a plastic screw and to pry the cover open with a miniature flat screwdriver.

This Fluke meter is called a distance meter; it does distance measurements with a laser beam - up to 330 feet according to the webpage. But it can do a lot more than that. It can calculate and display area, circumference, and volume, like those of the interior of a house after the user makes the necessary distance measurements. There is a leveling function that shows the angle of the meter from the horizontal continuously. Furthermore, it has a "stake out" function which marks predetermined distances from a fixed point. This function is useful in the construction of the wood frames of a house. The meter can calculate and display vertical height based on the Pythagoras' Theorem, like that of a wall or a window by two distance measurements from the same point, one at the bottom of the wall or window and the other at the top. Based on the Law of Cosines, it can calculate and display the corner angle of a room by making three distance measurements. There are 20 memories for data storage.

The user can change the reference point from the front of the meter to the end or to a tripod by pressing a button on the meter repeatedly. The same button selects the measurement unit among meters, feet, and inches. There is a built-in threaded tripod connector for use with a tripod. There is also a flipped-out end-piece with two positions for use with the end of meter as reference point. There is a timer for delayed measurement to minimize meter movement by the user and an electronic compass for structure orientation. A tiny paper "Quick Reference Guide" and a CD with a detail manual in PDF format come with the purchase. The same manual can be downloaded at the company website (See my comment below for the web address). Read it up before purchase. A hand-strap and a meter holder with belt loop are also included.

In conclusion, this Fluke 424D Laser Distance Meter is not for the casual users. It is targeted for serious homeowners who do their own home innovation and professional homebuilders. As such, it is an excellent measurement tool.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 8, 2014 9:10 AM PDT


The Pantheist World View
The Pantheist World View
Price: $0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars An introduction to Pantheism, July 31, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This free digital pamphlet is published by the Universal Pantheist Society based on Visalia, California. It very briefly describes Pantheism (See note) and the views and goals of the Universal Pantheist Society. Those who wish to know more about the topics may visit pantheist dot net for additional info and resources. This pamphlet is a good start for readers interested in Pantheism.

Note: The following is a brief summary of what I understand of Pantheism:

(1) Some people call Pantheism a religion; others call it a philosophy.

(2) Pantheism embraces an all-encompassing immanent god.

(3) An immanent god such as the Pantheist god resides within this universe and is subject to its laws. This is different from most mainstream religions, which feature a transcendent god or gods. A transcendent god is outside of this universe but controls events in it by supernatural powers without subjecting to its laws.

(4) The Pantheist god is all encompassing: He/she is made up of people, animals, mountains, deserts, stars, galaxies and so on. In other words, the Pantheist god is the Cosmo and hence the Pantheist motto: All in one and one in all.

(5) It follows that people are not the center of the universe as in many mainstream religions but only a part of it, and that there is an interconnection among all things.

(6) Pantheism rejects a personal god. The Pantheist god does not keep track of what a person does, nor does he/she punishes or rewards the person.

(7) Pantheism rejects the afterlife. Life is here and now. Death is the end of the consciousness of an individual. However, the elements of his/her body remain part of the Cosmo after death.

(8) Pantheism paints a glossy picture of Nature and the universal interconnectedness of all things, including all human beings. It does not adequately address the violence, cruelty, misery, and suffering in the natural world and the evil side of human nature. To me, unless and until the dark side of Nature and human beings is accounted for and explained in a satisfactory manner, Pantheism appears to be immature and naive.


Tide Pods HE Laundry Detergent, Free & Gentle, 35 Count
Tide Pods HE Laundry Detergent, Free & Gentle, 35 Count
Price: $10.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quality product but the price needs to come down somewhat, July 30, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have been using powdered detergent for years. I wear a dust mask when I add detergent to my washer because the powder makes me sneeze. The Tide Pods HE Laundry Detergent solve my sneeze problem.

These Tide laundry pods consist of milky liquid in small 2 x 2 x 1 inch silicone-like pillows. The user tosses one or two of these pillows into the washer depending on the size of the load before he/she adds the clothes. No measuring is necessary. The wash comes out clean and fresh. This Tide detergent is as good as any detergent I ever used. Supposedly, it is gentle to the skin because it does not contain any dye or perfume. I never had skin problem with detergent so I cannot speak to the gentle nature of this product. However, the price at 31 cent per load is a tad too high. That is almost three times the price of the powdered detergent I am using. It is a quality product but I won't buy it until the price comes down somewhat.


Orbit 30060 Arizona Outdoor Misting System Basic 3/8-Inch Cooling Set
Orbit 30060 Arizona Outdoor Misting System Basic 3/8-Inch Cooling Set
Price: $21.71
32 used & new from $15.81

5.0 out of 5 stars Outdoor air conditioning of a sort, July 20, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This Orbit 30060 Arizona Outdoor Misting System is an inexpensive outdoor air conditioner of a sort. It cools the surrounding somewhat in those searing hot summer days by spraying a fine mist into the air.

Installation is fairly easy. The hardest part is to attach the tubing to a structure. In my case, I mounted the mister on the ceiling of my patio cover linearly with the 10 nail-hanging clamps (included), after I hammered them into the wood. The pre-assembled mist line and the lead tubing are both about 10 feet long. The user screws on the five brass and stainless steel nozzles and the "Auto Drain Valve" (included). This auto drain valve, installed at the end of the mist line, automatically drains the system when the water is turned off. The lead tubing connects to the "T-Filter" (included), which, in turn, connects to a hose bib or a garden hose. The mist from the nozzles covers an area about 10 feet long and perhaps 2 feet wide. The manual states that the working range of water pressure is 45 to 123 psi. The water pressure at my location is consistently around 70 psi. At this pressure, this Orbit misting system produces a continuous fine mist without any dripping. I am happy with this purchase.

P.S. Anything under the nozzles quickly becomes wet, so plan the placement of the nozzles accordingly.


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