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J. Chambers RSS Feed (Georgia, United States)
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Bounty Select-a-Size Paper Towels, White, 12 Huge Rolls
Bounty Select-a-Size Paper Towels, White, 12 Huge Rolls
Price: $28.92
23 used & new from $28.92

5.0 out of 5 stars The "Quicker Picker Upper" wins again, May 1, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My wife and I have used these paper towels for several years. Besides being thick paper towels that absorb a lot of water (or other liquids), we love the ability to pull off a half-towel that when folded, makes a nice napkin. The roll is just slightly too big for our under-cabinet roll dispenser, so we pull off a few sheets and lay them on the countertop to be used first. A full-size sheet is 12"x11"; a half-size sheet is 11"x6". Folded in half, the half-size sheet makes a nice 5½"x6" napkin.

The Bounty Select-a-Size Paper Towels are in my opinion the best paper towels on the market today, and their Select-A-Size feature makes them one of the most economical ones.


Hubsan H501S X4 Brushless FPV Ready to Fly Quadcopter, White
Hubsan H501S X4 Brushless FPV Ready to Fly Quadcopter, White
Offered by Battery Superstore
Price: $299.99
7 used & new from $299.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A very capable and fun flyer, May 1, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Length:: 4:39 Mins

After flying several of the $50-$75 Hubsan quadcopters, I'm very glad to see Hubsan come out with a higher-end flyer with GPS navigation. The H501S X4 is not up to the standards of a Phantom DJI 3, but it's making headway. Make a few more improvements, including a controllable gimbal-mounted camera, and the Hubsan will be a contender in that market.

This is a fast and nimble quadcopter. The screen refresh rate is the first I’ve seen that's fast enough to fly first-person view (FPV). The wide angle lens makes distance judgment a bit difficult, but overall the Hubsan really does FPV better than any other quad I’ve flown. It's not super easy to fly right out of the box, but if you pay attention to the instruction manual and have a little patience, it doesn't take too long to get flying.

A couple of things to note:
* Normal Mode - When it sets the sensitivity to 60% you cannot start the motors. I found the minimum sensitivity is 65%. The motors were difficult to start, but they did. So leave it in Expert Mode and use the trim to adjust the sensitivity to 65 if you're a novice.
* Standard vs Altitude Hold - Standard hold is the fastest way to crash the quadcopter. After the motors start, you cannot let go of the throttle for even one second. If you do, the throttle centers and jumps to 50%, and the quadcopter will leap off the ground at an alarming rate. This really isn’t an option you should choose. Stick with Altitude or GPS hold (preferably GPS hold).

There are a few issues I do think could be handled better. The battery is large but drains outside the quadcopter at a puzzling rate. Fully charged in the morning, the battery was only half full for an early evening flight. Because the battery is so large, the charge time is a bit excessive (2+ hours for a full charge). If you enjoy flying the quadcopter, go ahead and plan on buying a second battery.

Video quality is high, but without a gimbal with a pan and tilt function, it is difficult to get the exact video coverage you want. Again, the FPV is the better reason to buy this quadcopter.

You have to calibrate the compass every time before takeoff or after you change the battery. This matters, so don't forget.

Overall, with GPS hold, a large battery, and a high power-to-weight ratio, the Hubsan H501S X4 is a really fun quadcopter to fly.


10x42 BaK4 Fully Multi Coated Lens Monocular Best Quality Compact Pocket Size Perfect Choice of Monoculars Telescope for Spy, Bird Watching, Hiking, Sailing, Shooting & Hunting by SureCentral
10x42 BaK4 Fully Multi Coated Lens Monocular Best Quality Compact Pocket Size Perfect Choice of Monoculars Telescope for Spy, Bird Watching, Hiking, Sailing, Shooting & Hunting by SureCentral
Offered by SureCentral
Price: $52.87

5.0 out of 5 stars A nice compact monocular for general use, April 30, 2016
Length:: 3:35 Mins

From Wikipedia:
"A monocular is a modified refracting telescope used to magnify the images of distant objects by passing light through a series of lenses and usually prisms, the application of prisms resulting in a lightweight, compact telescope. Volume and weight are less than half those of binoculars of similar optical properties, making it easy to carry, and also proportionally less expensive. Monoculars produce 2-dimensional images, while binoculars add perception of depth (3 dimensions), assuming one has normal binocular vision. Monoculars are ideally suited to those with vision in only one eye, or where compactness and low weight are important (e.g. hiking). However, monoculars are sometimes preferred where difficulties occur using both eyes because of significant eye variation or poor vision in one eye."

I'll give the SureCentral monocular high marks for optical properties, solid construction, and ergonomic design. At 6.1" long and weighing only 7.8 ounces, the monocular is portable enough to fit into a jacket pocket. I don't have the means to perform qualitative optical testing, but subjectively the optics appear to have good sharpness and contrast. The monoculars are fine for situations where a 10X magnification is appropriate.

With binoculars and monoculars, there's always a tradeoff between magnification and size of the objective lens versus the size and weight of the device. With 10X magnification, the monoculars are fine for general purpose use, including watching sports, hunting, hiking, and bird watching.

About the BaK-4 prisms: Binoculars and monoculars are made with prisms that serve as mirrors to reflect the incoming light between the objective lenses and the eyepieces. Prisms also invert the image that the objective lenses project. Prisms come in two types: roof and porro prisms. The SureCentral monocular has a BaK-4 barium crown glass roof prism. BaK-4 prisms are generally preferred over the less expensive BK-7 borosilicate porro prisms because they have a higher refractive index and give brighter, well defined images.

I have one quibble about the monocular. The user manual states that the minimum focusing length is 1.5 meters (about 5 feet). I found that the minimum focusing length is actually about 15-20 feet.

The monocular was provided to me for evaluation. I did not promise to post a review, but I stated that if I did review the product, it would be an honest, unbiased review.


New - Kindle Oasis with Leather Charging Cover - Black, 6" High-Resolution Display (300 ppi), Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers
New - Kindle Oasis with Leather Charging Cover - Black, 6" High-Resolution Display (300 ppi), Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers
Price: $289.99

41 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb e-ink reader, but is it worth the money?, April 30, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Length:: 6:24 Mins

Okay, if you don't want to read my whole review, I'll summarize it right here: The Oasis is the most technologically advanced e-ink reader that Amazon - or anyone else, for that matter - has produced to date. But is it worth $290 for the least expensive version (wi-fi only with ads)? In my opinion, the answer is no, not when the very capable Paperwhite is available for $100 (at the time I'm writing this). But I'm sure that there is a market for the Oasis, probably for the techno-geeks and gadgeteers like myself who love trying new products like the Oasis, and serious readers who want the absolute best possible experience in reading. But for the typical reader, I just don't think the Oasis adds enough to the reading experience to be worth the high price, especially for those who already have a Paperwhite or Voyage.

For reference, here's a brief comparison of the Oasis with the Paperwhite and the Voyage:

Oasis (2016)
-----------------------------
Size: 5.6"x4.8"x0.13-0.33" (thickness varies)
Weight (wi-fi version): 4.6 ounces (without battery case)
Display: 6" diagonal, 300 pixels per inch, 16-level grayscale, LED front-lit
Storage memory: 4GB
Page turns: Touchscreen plus page turn buttons
Number of fonts: 9
Display lighting: Manually adjustable front-lighting (10 LEDs)

Third Generation Paperwhite (2015)
------------------------------
Size: 6.7"x4.6"x0.36"
Weight (wi-fi version): 7.2 ounces
Display: 6" diagonal, 300 pixels per inch, 16-level grayscale, LED front-lit
Storage memory: 4GB
Page turns: Touchscreen
Number of fonts: 8
Display lighting: Manually adjustable front-lighting (4 LEDs)

Voyage (2014)
--------------------------------
Size: 6.4"x4.5"x0.30"
Weight (wi-fi version): 6.3 ounces
Display: 6" diagonal, 300 pixels per inch, 16-level grayscale, LED front-lit
Storage memory: 4GB
Page turns: Touchscreen plus PagePress (haptic sensors)
Number of fonts: 9
Display lighting: Adaptive light sensor (automatic) plus manually adjustable front-lighting (6 LEDs)

When I received the Oasis, the setup was quick (although you do have to go through a brief tutorial), and after downloading some of my books from the Amazon Cloud and adjusting a few settings to my liking, the Oasis was ready to go.

The most obvious difference in the Oasis compared to the older Kindles is the different thickness on one side of the reader. The greater thickness (0.33") accommodates the battery and most of the electronics. It also makes the Oasis much easier to hold one-handed (which the designers clearly intended), especially with the reduced weight of the Oasis (4.6 ounces versus 7.2 ounces for the Paperwhite and 6.3 ounces for the Voyage). For hand-holding the Oasis, Amazon has done a real service for us southpaws by making the Oasis ambidextrous. You can rotate the Oasis 180 degrees to hold in the other hand, and the screen display remains upright, thanks to an accelerometer that senses the rotation. To turn pages, you can use touchscreen swipes or use the buttons on the side. And these are actual raised buttons, not the flush haptic sensors like those in the Voyage. I'm a swiper myself, but I know that many people miss the buttons, so for them it's good news. And you can reprogram these buttons if you want to reverse the page forward/page back functions.

The Oasis manages the weight reduction with an electroplated polymer frame. I won't pretend to know what that means, but the reduced weight is very noticeable for anyone used to earlier Kindles.

As oddly shaped as it is, the Oasis fits nicely into a custom-designed cover that has a built-in auxiliary battery that with the Oasis's own battery will give much more reading time than any previous Kindle. For now at least, Amazon is only selling the Oasis with the leather battery cover, which is one reason for the high price of the Oasis. Note that the cover includes the magnet that activates the very useful Auto-Wake feature of the Oasis.

The front-lighting of the Oasis is quite different from the Paperwhite, which has 4 LEDs located at the bottom of the screen, or the Voyage, which has 6 LEDs at the bottom of the screen. The Oasis has 10 LEDs, and they're located on the side of the screen. Amazon says this gives brighter, more even lighting, although I can't see a lot of difference from the Voyage. But many people complained about both the Paperwhite and Voyage, objecting to the faint shadows that extended into the text. (The Paperwhite did have noticeable shadows, although at the time I got mine, it was shortly before I had cataract surgery, so I didn't notice them until after the surgery.) Note that the Oasis does not have adaptive lighting that automatically adjusts the brightness, as the Voyage has. You have to manually set the lighting as with the Paperwhite. In my opinion, that's not a major loss, since it's easy enough to adjust the lighting manually.

Like other Kindle models, the Oasis text is very visible and easy to read outdoors, even on bright, sunny days. There's no glare or washed out text as with a back-lit LED tablet or phone. This is one of the biggest advantages of an e-ink reader like the Oasis over tablets and phones.

As with the last few Kindle e-ink readers, there are no provisions for audio, including text-to-speech, a speaker, or a headphone jack. If you want to play audio books, you'll need to buy a Kindle Fire or another brand of tablet or smartphone. My reviews of the Paperwhite and Voyage e-ink readers have received dozens of comments from folks who wanted Amazon to restore audio features to their e-ink readers. In my opinion, it's not going to happen. Amazon bought Audible a few years ago, and they want you to buy Kindle Fires, not Kindle e-ink readers, to hear those books read.

Amazon has added a newly designed Ember font. It's a sans serif font that's been in use on the home page of the Kindle Voyage and the current Paperwhite. (Look at the words "goodreads" and "store" for examples.) I'll try the new font for a while to see if I prefer it over the Bookerly font that I've been using since it was introduced in 2015 for the new Paperwhile. Amazon has since upgraded older Kindles and Kindle reading apps with the Bookerly font, but they haven't said yet if they'll do the same with the Ember font. My guess is that they will after the Oasis has been out for a few months. Note that the Oasis does not have the Publisher font that the Voyage has.

The Oasis comes with a USB charging cable but no charger. Any AC charger or vehicle charger that outputs 5 volts at about 1-1½ amps should work just fine. This includes any Kindle chargers you already have, as well as most cellphone chargers. Or you can recharge the Oasis from a USB port on your computer. Note that Amazon's own AC charger is 5V/1A and usually sells for $20. If you don't already have a suitable charger and need to buy one, you can buy third-party chargers for considerably less than Amazon's.

My thoughts about the "Special Offers": To me, it's not worth the $20 to opt out of the special offers. They're not really so intrusive, and they don't pop up while you're reading, and occasionally you'll even see an offer that you're interested in. After a while, you hardly notice the ads, or at least that's been my own experience. My advice is to take the special offers and save $20. Later, if you find you don't like seeing them, you can ante up $20 and opt out of the ads.

My thoughts about wi-fi only versus wi-fi + 3G: Nowadays with wi-fi being so available just about everywhere you go, many people won't need 3G. However, if you do decide to get the wi-fi + 3G Oasis, note that that there's no additional cost to download books over 3G (the book publishers pay that cost).

The bottom line: The Oasis is certainly the most technologically and functionally the most advanced of all the Kindle e-ink readers. It also has the sharpest and brightest display. But it's very expensive at $290 base price and as much as $380 if you get wi-fi + 3G and opt out of the ads. That's a lot of money, considering that you can buy a Kindle Paperwhite for $100 (at the time I'm writing this), and the Paperwhite is a superb reader. But consider this: Amazon is only selling the Oasis with the matching case, at least for now. Amazon's leather cases for Kindle typically sell for $40-$50. Adding a battery pack inside the case probably adds another $50. So the cost of the lowest priced Oasis itself without the battery case would be about $190-$200, which puts it in the price range of the Kindle Voyage, which currently sells for $200. So the Oasis isn't quite so expensive when you look at it like that. The Oasis is going to appeal to readers who sometimes go "off the grid," where an AC power outlet isn't always available for recharging. But you can buy portable batteries fairly inexpensively now, and they're made with capacities of 25,000mAh or more and can keep a Kindle going for many months, assuming Amazon's estimate of 30 minutes of reading a day. As I mentioned earlier, techno-geeks and gadget lovers will also buy the Oasis. But I kind of doubt if the total market for the Oasis is very big. However, on the basis of its features and its performance, the Oasis is genuinely a 5-star product, even if it doesn't sell very well.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave comments or email me, and I'll try to answer them.
Comment Comments (15) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 30, 2016 6:46 PM PDT


Ceptics GP-5PK International Travel Worldwide Plug Adapter Set
Ceptics GP-5PK International Travel Worldwide Plug Adapter Set
Price: $10.99
4 used & new from $10.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended for international travelers, April 29, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought the international travel adapter set as a gift to one of my sisters who traveled to Ireland recently. I had been looking at international adapters for some time, but when the Ceptics GP-5PK set popped up in a Lightning deal, I bought it. After seeing the set up close, it looks like the plug adapters are well made and should last for a long time. My wife and I have collected a number of plugs and voltage converters over the years, and the Ceptics adapters compare very favorably with the ones that we have.

I recommend the Ceptics GP-5PK plug adapter set for international travelers.


Original Tedco Gyroscope
Original Tedco Gyroscope
Offered by Corydor
Price: $7.14
25 used & new from $2.36

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun toy that demonstrates a scientific principle, April 28, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Original Tedco Gyroscope (Toy)
Length:: 2:11 Mins

In 1917, the Chandler Company of Indianapolis, Indiana created the "Chandler gyroscope," a toy gyroscope with a pull string and pedestal. Chandler continued to produce the toy until the company was purchased by TEDCO, inc. in 1982. The Chandler toy is still produced by TEDCO today.

I had one of the Chandler gyroscopes back in the 1960s, and as best as I remember, it was identical to the Tedco gyroscope. The gyroscope can be used to demonstrate the principle of conservation of angular momentum in a science classroom, although if I was a science teacher, I would choose a better quality gyroscope. This one is really meant to be an inexpensive toy, and for that purpose, it works fairly well, fascinating young and old alike with its mysterious force that seems to defy gravity.


Travelmate Memory Foam Neck Pillow, Dark Blue
Travelmate Memory Foam Neck Pillow, Dark Blue
Offered by TravelMate
Price: $11.95

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soft and comfortable, April 28, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
My wife and I recently bought an adjustable bed where each side can be independently adjusted to elevate your head. We found, however, that our head would roll to the side while we were asleep, leaving us with sore necks in the morning. We have inflatable neck pillows that we've used for air travel, but we wanted a foam pillow for nighttime sleeping. Based on the reviews and prices, we purchased two of the Travelmate neck pillows, and we've been very happy with them.

Besides the pillow's comfort and reasonable price, two things really make the Travelmate stand out:
1. The velour-like cover is removable for washing. The cover's fabric is 75% cotton, 25% polyester. Washing instructions are machine wash warm, no bleach, tumble dry low, iron low.
2. The pillow has an elastic cord for hanging it on a hook or over the handles of a rolling carry-on bag.

The Travelmate gets two thumbs up from my wife and me.


Flatware Set, Dealight 3-piece Stainless Steel Dinnerware, Service for 1
Flatware Set, Dealight 3-piece Stainless Steel Dinnerware, Service for 1
Offered by DealightStore
Price: $36.99
2 used & new from $12.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All the signs of quality flatware, April 27, 2016
Surprise, surprise! The Dealight flatware set actually has four pieces, including a bonus cocktail fork - a 5¼" two-tined fork for spearing hors d'oeuvres. The four pieces are packaged in a nice box that's suitable for gift-giving to newlyweds or anyone else who's starting their dinnerware collection.

The Dealight flatware has a solid, heavy feel to it. I couldn't bend one with my hands if my life depended on it (except for the thinner cocktail fork). The Dealight flatware looks and feels in every way like first quality flatware.

The stainless steel flatware has a mirror finish. I checked, and the flatware pieces are attracted to a magnet, indicating that it's made of a "ferritic" steel, most likely an 18/0 (a/k/a 430) steel. This grade of stainless steel is very durable, it's resistant to corrosion, and it has a polished appearance. The stuff is virtually indestructible and with proper care should last a lifetime.

The product description shows an accurate picture of the flatware, but do note that the table knife has a pointed tip with a 2½" serrated edge for cutting meats and fibrous foods.

The flatware was provided to me for evaluation. I did not promise to post a review, but I stated that if I did review the product, it would be an honest, unbiased review.


SanDisk Ultra 32GB Class 10 SDHC UHS-I Memory Card Up to 80MB, Grey/Black (SDSDUNC-032G-GN6IN)
SanDisk Ultra 32GB Class 10 SDHC UHS-I Memory Card Up to 80MB, Grey/Black (SDSDUNC-032G-GN6IN)
Price: $12.49
39 used & new from $7.05

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast enough for HD video and other uses, April 27, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The card is preformatted for the FAT32 file system, with 29.7 GB available, and there's no crapware on the card. For benchmarking tests using ATTO Disk Benchmark software, I put the card into the SD card slot in my PC running Win 10. The results gave read speeds up to 37.9 MB/sec; write speeds were up to 24.5 MB/sec. The card exceeds the standard for Class 10 SD cards, which is 10 MB/sec minimum data transfer rate.

The card is fast enough to capture full HD video or still images shot in continuous mode. The 32 GB capacity will hold approximately 6,400 10-megapixel JPG image files (average file size ≈ 5.0 MB). For 1080p HD video, the card should hold up to 8 hours of video, depending on frame rate and other factors.

For performance, the read speed is very good. The write speed easily meets the minimum requirements for its class. For most purposes that these cards are used for, it's fast enough.


Genuine CZFerro EDU Blue Colored Ferrofluid 30 ml
Genuine CZFerro EDU Blue Colored Ferrofluid 30 ml
Offered by Ferrofluid Displays
Price: $29.99

5.0 out of 5 stars You don't have to understand it to have fun with it, April 26, 2016
Length:: 2:02 Mins

From Wikipedia:
Ferrofluids are colloidal liquids made of nanoscale ferromagnetic particles suspended in a carrier fluid (usually an organic solvent or water). Each tiny particle is thoroughly coated with a surfactant to inhibit clumping. Large ferromagnetic particles can be ripped out of the homogeneous colloidal mixture, forming a separate clump of magnetic dust when exposed to strong magnetic fields. The magnetic attraction of nanoparticles is weak enough that the surfactant's Van der Waals force is sufficient to prevent magnetic clumping or agglomeration. Ferrofluids usually do not retain magnetization in the absence of an externally applied field and thus are often classified as "superparamagnets" rather than ferromagnets.

Okay, I have two engineering degrees, and I didn't understand more than half of that. But ferrofluid is like magic sand and other novelties to keep on your desk top to befuddle friends and co-workers. In a simplified explanation, it's a liquid that responds to magnetic fields. But you don't have to understand it to have fun with it. The magnet that's included works okay, but if you have a more powerful neodymium magnet, it's even better.

See my accompanying video for more details about the ferrofluid. Note that the video demonstration is with the black particles, but the behavior of the blue particles is the same.

The ferrofluid was provided to me for evaluation. I did not promise to post a review, but I stated that if I did review the product, it would be an honest, unbiased review.


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