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J. Chambers RSS Feed (Georgia, United States)
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Hexi stacks, Blocks for toddlers super light in storage container
Hexi stacks, Blocks for toddlers super light in storage container
Offered by Crystal Deals
Price: $19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Let your child's imagination run loose, July 31, 2015
Length:: 3:21 Mins

If you've ever played board wargames on a paper map or on a computer, you're familiar with hexes - the hexagonal blocks that military units move through and occupy. Hexagons are the ideal shape for these blocks, since they allow six directions of movement, and the hexagons fit together with no gaps.

Hexi Stacks uses plastic hexagons as building blocks. The product description claims that playing with the Hexi Stacks helps to develop logical thinking, spatial awareness, motor skills, creative play, and hand-eye coordination. I'm sure that's all true, but developing creative play may be the most important benefit. There are no instructions or suggested things to build. Your child can let their imagination loose to design their own creations and maybe learn a little about geometric concepts.

The blocks are made of a fairly soft plastic, and the blocks fit together snugly, but they're easy enough to pull apart when a child is ready to create a new structure. The set includes 20 blocks - 4 blocks for each of 5 different colors, and everything fits nicely in a sturdy storage box.

The hex blocks were 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.


Beacon 23: Part 3: Bounty (Kindle Single)
Beacon 23: Part 3: Bounty (Kindle Single)
Price: $0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The plot thickens, July 31, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
After getting through the disaster in Part 1 and his encounter with a sentient rock (or was it just a rock?) in Part 2, the isolation-loving station-keeper of Beacon 23 was suddenly visited by three bounty hunters looking for a criminal, who just happened to be one of the narrator's former lovers. A coincidence or not? The story builds up the suspense till the very exciting climax and a most unexpected finish.

The story delved deeper into the narrator's past actions as a soldier in the galactic wars. Was he really a hero, or was he living a lie?

And now it's on to Part 4 of this continuing story.


T-fal FR1014 Easy Pro Enamel Deep Fryer, Silver
T-fal FR1014 Easy Pro Enamel Deep Fryer, Silver
Offered by Connect Buy
Price: $59.73
17 used & new from $40.50

5.0 out of 5 stars The most enjoyable deep fryer we've ever owned, July 30, 2015
Length:: 2:10 Mins

After only a few uses, my wife and I have come to love the T-fal FR1014 deep fryer. In the past week, we've done breaded chicken tenders, eggrolls, shrimp, and fish filets. The fryer is very easy to use, and unlike some deep fryers that I've used in the past, the temperature settings are consistently accurate.

The FR1014 model is a nice balance between capacity and size. It's big enough to fry up enough food for a family of four in one batch (maybe two batches if you're really hungry) without taking up too much space on the countertop.

If I had to change anything about the deep fryer, it would be two things, and they're both minor:
* Add an audio beep when the green ready light comes on.
* Make the oil fill lines a little more visible.

The T-fal deep fryer is going to get a lot of use in our kitchen.


Classic H blocks 60 piece in a storage container
Classic H blocks 60 piece in a storage container
Offered by Crystal Deals
Price: $19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps you have a future engineer in the family, July 30, 2015
Length:: 2:06 Mins

According to the product description, playing with the H block set "helps encourage fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination." That's certainly true enough, but in my opinion, the real benefit of freeform building sets like this is to encourage kids to unleash their imagination to design and build their own creations. There's no instruction book or suggested designs to build - it's up to kids to use the blocks however they like.

I really believe in this kind of toy for youngsters. As a kid in the 1950s, I had most of the toy building sets of that era - wooden blocks, Lincoln Logs, Erector set, and a couple of others, and I think my mom and dad recognized that I might be heading into engineering. (They were right.)

The H blocks are all identical in size and shape except for the six different colors (10 blocks in each color). They're very durable soft plastic. The pieces fit together snugly, but they're easy enough to pull apart when a child is ready to tackle another project.

See my accompanying video for some ideas about how the blocks can be used. If it looks like I'm having fun with them, well, it's because I am.

The building blocks were 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.


Luxury Filigree Metal Venetian Masquerade Mask
Luxury Filigree Metal Venetian Masquerade Mask
Offered by Trusted Merchant
Price: $11.49

5.0 out of 5 stars A simple, petite party mask, July 30, 2015
Length:: 0:27 Mins

I'm reviewing several of the Maskette party masks. These masks are made of lightweight bendable metal, with weights ranging from 0.80-1.85 ounces. The metal shapes were laser-cut and are very smooth with no sharp or ragged edges to scratch the skin. They're coated with a black enamel, and all feature sparkly rhinestones. Ribbons tie behind the wearer's head to secure the mask.

The Luxury Filigree Metal Venetian Masquerade Mask is one of the more petite masks in the series, weighing only 0.80 ounce. This is a nice-looking mask for Halloween parties or masquerades.

The mask 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.


u-Box Super Bright 900 Lumen Cree XM-L2 U2 Bike Headlight with Angel Eyes Daytime Running Light- Long Run Time Bicycle Headlight Bike Safety Front Light with Warning Blink - Can Be Used as a Mountain Bike Headlight, Road Bike Headlight, Kid's Bike Headlight and More with Waterproof 4 * 18650 Battery Pack-Better Performance than Night Rider Bike Light, Cateye Bike Light, Serfas Bike Light, Planet Bike Light, and Xfire Bike Lane Safety Light
u-Box Super Bright 900 Lumen Cree XM-L2 U2 Bike Headlight with Angel Eyes Daytime Running Light- Long Run Time Bicycle Headlight Bike Safety Front Light with Warning Blink - Can Be Used as a Mountain Bike Headlight, Road Bike Headlight, Kid's Bike Headlight and More with Waterproof 4 * 18650 Battery Pack-Better Performance than Night Rider Bike Light, Cateye Bike Light, Serfas Bike Light, Planet Bike Light, and Xfire Bike Lane Safety Light
Offered by Global Selection Online Co. Ltd
Price: $27.99
2 used & new from $27.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A small but powerful bicycle headlight, July 29, 2015
Length:: 2:40 Mins

I recently reviewed the u-Box CREE XML 7 x T6 9000LM Cycling Front Bicycle LED Headlamp and found it to be an excellent product. The u-Box Cree XM-L2 U2 headlight is also a nice headlight, and it's considerably smaller and lighter than the T6, weighing 10.5 ounces for the combined weight of the lamp and battery pack, versus 21.6 ounces for the T6. That's an important consideration if you're trying to shave every possible ounce off your bicycle's weight.

Showing its versatility, the light can also be worn as a headlamp with the included headband. In either case, the light is attached to a handlebar or the headband using one of the two rubber straps that are included in the kit. The strap is not as easy to attach as I would like, but it does have the advantage of not requiring any tools. The separate battery pack must also be attached to some part of the bicycle handlebars or frame with the included velcro straps.

The lighted halo ring ("Angel Eyes") with a separate control sets the headlight apart from other bicycle headlights that I've seen. It's useful when you don't need to illuminate your path, but need to make yourself visible. With its steady burn or flashing mode, it will certainly alert others to your presence. And the main headlight beam, which is controlled separately, has three illumination levels, so you can conserve the battery and only use as much light as you need.

The verdict: This is a powerful, very versatile bicycle headlight.

The bicycle headlight 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.


IL Picco Electric Salt or Pepper Mill Grinder - Battery Operated - Gravity Mill Operates By Tilting - Stainless Steel with Modern Design
IL Picco Electric Salt or Pepper Mill Grinder - Battery Operated - Gravity Mill Operates By Tilting - Stainless Steel with Modern Design
Offered by IL PICCO
Price: $16.99

5.0 out of 5 stars An attractive, easy to operate pepper mill - 4½ stars, July 29, 2015
Length:: 2:43 Mins

Although I've tried a couple of battery-operated pepper mills, I've always gone back to my old hand-operated grinder. Really, why use a grinder that requires buying batteries periodically when the manual ones work perfectly well? My opinion on that issue changed dramatically recently when I experienced a lot of pain and weakness in one hand. I saw my doctor about it, she referred me to a hand surgeon, and he took x-rays that showed the eight bones in my wrist were badly misaligned and showing severe arthritis. I'm now waiting for a follow-up appointment to see what he thinks I need to do.

What all of that means is that I'm now a lot more empathetic toward folks with hand problems who would appreciate an electric pepper mill that doesn't even require pushing a button - just turn the mill upside down, and the freshly ground pepper comes out automatically.

The pepper mill requires 6 AAA batteries. In my accompanying video, I show how to open the battery compartment.

The reservoir for holding peppercorns is the largest one that I've seen in a battery-operated pepper mill, so it doesn't have to be refilled as often. There's an adjustment on the bottom of the mill for setting the coarseness of the pepper. It's not especially effective - turning it didn't affect the size of the pepper particles as much as I expected, but it was acceptable. I like very coarsely ground pepper, and I liked the mixture of ground pepper that came out. Most of all, it's fast. For most foods, it only took 3-4 seconds to produce enough pepper for my taste.

It's an attractive, easy to operate pepper mill, and one that older people or anyone with weak or painful hands will appreciate.

The pepper mill 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.


FROGS: Fun Facts and Amazing Photos of Animals in Nature (Amazing Animal Kingdom Book 18)
FROGS: Fun Facts and Amazing Photos of Animals in Nature (Amazing Animal Kingdom Book 18)
Price: $2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The truth about Kermit, July 29, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Unlike many of the books in the author's Amazing Animal Kingdom series which feature wild animals that most people will only encounter in a zoo, this one is about a common critter that almost everyone has seen in the wild and that kids sometimes keep as a pet. The author has written a fine illustrated introduction to frogs, including their physiology, their habits, life cycle, and their diet (they're carnivores). Some of the interesting facts I learned about frogs:

* Frogs range in size from less than half an inch to more than a foot long.
* A group of frogs is called an army.
* Frogs shed their skin and grow a new skin every few weeks.
* Most species of frogs have lungs, but they breathe through their skin instead of the mouth or nose.
* The difference between a frog and a toad.
* A simple way to determine if a frog is male or female.

The book concludes with some fun facts about frogs: "Froggy Fun Facts." With its excellent color photography, the book is an interesting introduction to frogs for grown-ups as well as children.


Royalty Filigree Venetian Queen Mask
Royalty Filigree Venetian Queen Mask
Offered by Trusted Merchant
Price: $13.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A big, exotic-looking mask, July 28, 2015
Length:: 0:36 Mins

I'm reviewing several of the Maskette party masks. These masks are made of lightweight bendable metal, with weights ranging from 0.80-1.85 ounces. The metal shapes were laser-cut and are very smooth with no sharp or ragged edges to poke the skin. They're coated with a black enamel, and all feature sparkly rhinestones. Ribbons tie behind the wearer's head to secure the mask.

The Royalty Filigree Venetian Queen Mask is one of the biggest masks in the series, as well as being one of the most dramatic-looking, with its huge egg-shaped blue sapphire crowning the mask. Two of our nieces, ages 12 and 14, loved the masks, and the older one chose this one as her favorite.

This is a nice-looking mask that should attract plenty of attention at a party or dance or whatever event it's worn at.

The mask 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.


Hintel LCD CO Carbon Monoxide Detector Poisioning Sensor Warning Safety Alarm - White
Hintel LCD CO Carbon Monoxide Detector Poisioning Sensor Warning Safety Alarm - White
Offered by hintel
Price: $10.39

5.0 out of 5 stars Reliably alerts you to the buildup of carbon monoxide, July 28, 2015
Length:: 2:58 Mins

Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, but highly toxic. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 170 people die per year in the United States from carbon monoxide poisoning. Many of these deaths could have been prevented if carbon monoxide detectors and alarms had been installed. The Hintel CO detector is designed to sound the alarm if concentrations of 50 ppm CO are detected. (In the United States, OSHA limits long-term workplace exposure levels to no more than 50 ppm.)

The Hintel CO detector is simple enough to operate: Just pop the back cover off, insert 3 AA batteries, put the cover back on, and mount the detector on a wall, using the included hardware. Press the TEST button to check the batteries and electronics, and the detector is good to go.

Or is it? Keep in mind the fact that the self-test and the blinking green light only confirm that the detector's batteries and electronics are functioning. You're not actually checking the sensors. So I decided to do a realistic test of the detector's ability to pick up dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. As you can see in the accompanying video, the detector passed with flying colors.

Based on my own testing of the detector, I'll give it five stars and two thumbs up.

The CO alarm 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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