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Pecos Bill RSS Feed (Gaithersburg, MD United States)

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Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Pancake Syrup, Original, 20 Ounce (Pack of 6)
Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Pancake Syrup, Original, 20 Ounce (Pack of 6)
Price: $38.20

5.0 out of 5 stars It's hard to find a syrup without a long list of ingredients., September 14, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
So it turns out that some of those other ingredients other syrups use probably make syrup more like you think it should be: thick.

If you're prepared for this to be a thin syrup (rather easily soaked up by pancakes) then I say go for it. The ingredients list is as short as can be, it tastes absolutely great and there's no high-fructose corn syrup. But it needs to be stored in the refrigerator which means you'll find yourself heating up some to use it and it's on the thin side relative to other syrups.

Still, hard to fault it. Probably the only way to make it able to be stored at room temperature and thick when warm is to add those ingredients you are trying to avoid by buying this!


What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions
What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions
by Randall Munroe
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.40
89 used & new from $13.26

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What if you didn't buy this book? Best not to think about that one., September 13, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
XKCD fans: Just buy the book. Trust me. Don't even bother with the reviews. You want the book.

Everyone else:
You do not need to be an XKCD fan or know anything about that webcomic to appreciate this book. Just know that once you find you enjoy the book (and you will), you also have a webcomic you can go read which you may enjoy.

The book is similar to the concept of Mythbusters, but tackling far more bizarre issues and drawing on the power of math and science to arrive at answers. Can you build a jetpack out of AK-47s? What would happen to a normal airplane in the atmospheres of other planets? If your printer could literally print money, how much would it impact the global economy? These questions and many more await! I frankly cannot imagine the type of person that would not enjoy this book. The Q&A format of the book lends itself to reading in short spurts so it's a perfect coffee table book as well. (Who DOESN'T want to know how long air friction would take to stop an arrow in a zero-G environment?)

With typical XKCD style humor and animations, the book is witty, funny and informative, although hopefully you will never find yourself in a nuclear submarine stuck in orbit (but the book will tell you what you may reasonably expect to happen, should that ever be the case).


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
22 used & new from $209.27

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big Amps for Big Jobs, September 11, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is something everyone should own -- a portable jumpstarter, pump and power station that you can keep in your trunk. There's a lot of these on the market and I think what sets this one apart is:
+ Larger, more powerful battery
+ High quality parts throughout
- No built-in inverter
- No "off" switch; the cables are always live

You can buy a separate inverter if you want to power devices (up to 300 watts) but it also provides direct 12V DC power if you have, say, a cell phone charger for your car's 12V slots.

You can charge it from a wall outlet or from the 12V slot, though be warned that you only get overcharge protection if you use the wall outlet plug. The fact that the cables are always live seems like an odd choice to me -- most of these portable jump starters can be switched off. Maybe the argument is that it's one less thing to break, though, and the cables are well insulated so you're not likely to discharge it accidentally.

At any rate, I think the main selling point here is the powerful battery. Note that if you're not sure how much amps you need, you might check your manual for your "cold start" amperage requirement (a Hummer H2 requires 880 amps so 1700 should start just about any regular passenger vehicle).


Allen Sports 5W USB Rechargeable Aluminum Light Set, Grey
Allen Sports 5W USB Rechargeable Aluminum Light Set, Grey
Price: $46.74

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better for safety than for illumination, August 21, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I compared the Allen ASL5x-R bike light kit with the Cyclolite Metro 360. The two lights are similar in price, but the Allen light kit includes a tail light. I was only interested in the head light and did not factor in the tail light for this review.

The Allen light is a nice looking, fairly light weight and compact light. The light is easily mountable without tools with the provided clamp. However, the light is not bright enough for lighting dark roads at night. It may be useful as a safety light in daytime or at night when riding in areas that are lit by street lights. In fairness, the Allen light brightness is rated to be about 30% less than the Cyclolite, which seems accurate. The clamp allows for on the fly horizontal adjustment via a ratchet-like feature, but unfortunately after only two rides, the adjustment developed enough play in it that it would it would "drift" from road vibrations. This made it necessary to constantly readjust it.

Pros:
- USB rechargeable
- Adjustable light beam (from spot light to flood light)

Cons:
- The light is not nearly as bright as the Cyclolite.
- The light has a separate charger that makes it necessary to remove the battery in order to recharge. This is inconvenient. I would rather be able to plug the USB charger cable directly into the light as the Cyclolite does.
- The horizontal ratchet style adjustment adjusts in 15 degree increments. A finer adjustment, perhaps 5 degrees, is needed to center the light beam in front of the bike. The idea of ratchet is nice, but impractical unless it provides finer increments.


MBQUART QUBFour Oversized Wireless Bluetooth Speaker (Blue)
MBQUART QUBFour Oversized Wireless Bluetooth Speaker (Blue)
Price: $199.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good volume and range for a small speaker, August 21, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Note that the only reason I'm marking 1 star off is because the microphone is not that good. If you don't care about the mic, I'd say read this as a 5-star review. In regards to the microphone, though, what I thought it would be was like a desktop speakerphone able to take in all the room but the mic is not up to snuff for that job. It's a pinhole mic on the side of the unit and for best results you should be be sitting near the device and talking towards that hole in the side. It will barely pick up someone 5 feet away to the other side. It also sometimes echos the output so the person on the other phone may hear themselves back through the line.

So yeah, the mic was not their best idea.

The rest of the device (which is to say, the whole bluetooth speaker thing) is great. Internal battery makes it portable, bluetooth pairing makes it easy to use from a distance and the sound quality is good for a speaker of this size. As you might expect, it doesn't do so well on the bass (sorry kids, no dubstep) but it does very nicely outside of the deep bass range and has very good volume. Plenty of volume for a small party or outdoor setting.

And it's easily small enough for luggage so this is a nice option if you like to bring a better speaker along on trips to pair with your tablet.

All around, I like it. Good sound for its size and very easily portable.


BISSELL CleanView Plus Rewind Bagless Upright Vacuum with Triple Action Brush, 1332
BISSELL CleanView Plus Rewind Bagless Upright Vacuum with Triple Action Brush, 1332
Price: $99.99
3 used & new from $99.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well thought out features, August 15, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a fantastic vacuum with a lot of well thought-out features. It's also far, far, quieter than my old Dirt Devil with no apparent loss in power (and better edge cleaning). The only things my Dirt Devil has over this one is a light on the front (no light on this one), a longer hose and a longer cord. But the other features are far superior here. Let me count the ways...

Easier cleaning: the main filter is washable and the bin dumps out from the bottom with no messy filter inside for all the nastiness to cling to (as in my Dirt Devil, which is awful to empty out).

The "TurboBrush Tool" is amazing. It has, I guess you'd say, a wind powered motor in it. When you hook it to the hose and air gets sucked through it, it powers a turbine that cranks brushes. It's hard to explain. The short version is it's way easier and better at cleaning my carpeted stairs than any other vacuum I've owned.

The auto-reeling power cord is a nice touch. I swear, wrapping the cord back up is my least favorite part of vacuuming and with this you just push a button and it reels it back into the unit.

Also, I'm not sure, but I don't think the main brush is powered in the usual way of a motor turning a belt. On my Dirt Devil, if ever that brush gets stuck on something there's an immediate burning smell and sometimes a broken belt as the motor keeps trying to crank the stuck brushes. I hit my shower rug with this Bissel, it tried to eat the rug, the brushes stopped turning and....that was apparently not a problem? No burning smell, no busted belt. I dunno if it's powered the same way as the "TurboBrush Tool" maybe? Not sure, but whatever happened to safely stop the brush without burning the belt, I like it.

The hook points for the attachments are a lot better thought out too. They sit more securely on the back of the unit, whereas my Dirt Devil attachments are forever falling off and getting misplaced as a result.

Anyway, this is a WAY better vacuum than I was expecting for the price. I've had absolutely no problems with it and it has replaced my Dirt Devil.


Ziploc Twist N Loc Container Small 3 ct (Pack Of 3)
Ziploc Twist N Loc Container Small 3 ct (Pack Of 3)
Price: $7.71

5.0 out of 5 stars A good twist on an old concept!, August 14, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
See what I did there? A good twist?! Cause it's got.... you know... it twists....nevermind.

So yes, these are twist-top ziploc containers. The lids go on like a mason jar. The only thing to really be aware of here is that they are still thin plastic so you can still easily crush them (and squeeze out your contents in the process) but they're a step above the usual "burp" lids. They aren't going to pop off or have the old "I thought the lid was on tight but it wasn't" problem.

One of those ideas that seems so obvious, you're not sure why they weren't doing it all along.


Dell Inspiron i3043-5000BLK 19.5-Inch Touchscreen All-in-One Desktop
Dell Inspiron i3043-5000BLK 19.5-Inch Touchscreen All-in-One Desktop
Price: $429.99
16 used & new from $429.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Anemic, August 9, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I will start off with the one possible use case, which is why I didn't give this thing 1 star:
* You want minimalist design. No bulky case, just a monitor that has everything in it.
* You don't mind that it has to always be plugged in (this is a desktop, not a laptop or tablet).
* You want Dell warranty and Dell support.
* You want something very, very basic for like Facebook, maybe Facebook games, simple web pages -- news, weather -- maybe an MP3 player and that's it.

If that's you then okay, maybe this IS what you're looking for. Simple, basic, compact, not too fast and not too expensive.

But this product makes me grumpy. Read on and I'll tell you why.

It's compact, and has a lot of the problems that compact machines come with, namely lack of power. But usually compact machines lack power because they are meant to be portable and run off of a battery -- power is your tradeoff. This machine, however, is a desktop. It needs to be plugged in, which limits its portability anyway, which would be fine IF IT HAD POWER, but it doesn't. It's neither portable nor powerful!

The Celeron processor is meant for notebooks. The 2.16 Ghz clock speed with 2 cores and 2 threads is anemic even by laptop standards. The 5400 RPM drive is painfully slow and is a real bottleneck (it particularly dragged out the update process, which took ages).

What really grinds my gears, though, is that the machine is barely powerful enough to handle Netflix. Running it on Chrome causes the video to desync after a while and the audio will start to turn to static. I've updated the drivers from the Dell site (except for the BIOS, whose update consistently fails -- haven't figured out that one yet) and Netflix won't work under Chrome. It's like it can't keep up. It does work under Internet Explorer -- presumably IE is doing something just efficiently enough to get it over the hump -- but the bottom line is that I should at least be able to open up my favorite web browser and use all aspects of the web -- including compressed, streaming HD video -- straight out of the box on a machine that has no batteries and must be plugged into the wall to operate for this kind of price tag.

I feel like this machine is a bad idea coming out of marketing, or people who didn't understand that these days, even the web needs a fair amount of processing power to handle compressed video streams. The overall sluggishness when doing literally anything in Windows just adds to the pain. Frankly, if you're looking for a desktop machine which must be plugged in, like this one, you could spend $500 on NewEgg, build your own machine using one of their "Super Combos" and end up with something that will blow this thing out of the water.

I really liked what I assumed was the concept -- the minimalist desktop computer with everything built into a touchscreen monitor -- but they should have put in a better processor (if there's enough wiggle room in that price tag to add in a small SSD for the operating system, that would go a long way to alleviating the pain too).

Oh, also, it does not have any USB 3.0 ports and there is no video out (possibly owing to the overall lack of power in this machine) or built in DVD drive. Not problems in themselves (though the lack of any video out was disappointing) but it makes me grumpy on top of the other issues.

There's just not enough power in this box to make this machine feel painless.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 9, 2014 4:26 PM PDT


DII 100-percent Cotton, Ribbed 13x 19" Everday Basic Placemat Set of 6, Nautical Blue
DII 100-percent Cotton, Ribbed 13x 19" Everday Basic Placemat Set of 6, Nautical Blue
Price: $24.00
5 used & new from $21.60

3.0 out of 5 stars The Washing is the Hardest Part, August 7, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
These are great except for the care needed to wash them. After reading the other reviews here, I made sure to follow the directions, namely laying them flat to dry rather than tumble drying. This still causes some wrinkling and they have to be ironed out (particularly the edges). I didn't notice any shrinking or fading but still, this is a hassle.

The ribbing design looks and feels great but I think that's the main culprit behind why they're so hard to wash -- that and they're 100% cotton. Which normally I am in favor of but while thin cotton (such as a t-shirt) tumbles well and hangs well without needing an iron, my experience has been that thick cotton will need an iron and this is no exception.

So I do like these better than the usual vinyl or bamboo placemats, be prepared to put time into keeping them maintained.


Francois et Mimi Stainless Steel Double Wall French Coffee Press,34oz
Francois et Mimi Stainless Steel Double Wall French Coffee Press,34oz
Offered by Luzy's Storage Place
Price: $49.95
3 used & new from $47.45

5.0 out of 5 stars A great french press for personalized coffee brewing, August 1, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a very nice coffee press. There's another 34oz Fancois et Mimi stainless steel press and the only real difference is that this one is shiny while the other one is "brushed", giving it more of a flat metal look. Both are quite attractive and do the job well.

The parts are basically the standard french press gear: inside is a metal mesh on a rod that you press down after the brewing process. The mesh can be unscrewed and thrown into the dishwasher. The only really tricky thing is that the knob on top also unscrews, so you need to unscrew the mesh by twisting the rod, not the knob.

The double wall is nice for keeping your coffee hotter while it brews (versus the standard single-wall glass presses) and it's nice to have a metal press so I don't worry about breaking it.

These french presses are perfect for the office where you want your own custom coffee brew without having to use the community coffee maker.

(I also use mine to brew loose leaf tea. Same principle as brewing coffee and I think it's a little less hassle than the "tea balls" other people use.)


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