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Samsung 27-Inch Curved LED-Lit Monitor S27D590C
Samsung 27-Inch Curved LED-Lit Monitor S27D590C
Price: Click here to see our price
38 used & new from $297.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Great color, fantastic brightness, good brand, July 23, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I used to be a huge ViewSonic fan but I've had regular problems with their power supplies going out. I have actually opened them up, found the clearly burned out power supply, ordered a new OEM part, replaced it and had that one burn out 2 years later. Meanwhile, I have yet to experience this with Samsung. This 27-inch curved monitor is my latest upgrade from yet another dead ViewSonic.

And it's fantastic. It blows my 5-year old Samsung monitor out of the water, sitting side by side, and that one was slightly better than my ViewSonic. The brightness is incredible. This is the first flat screen monitor I've ever bought where I had to turn the brightness down from 100 because it's just way too bright. The curve isn't noticeable when looking at the screen straight on. It just seems natural. It also makes me want 2 more of the same for a "super wide screen" experience.

I'm a gamer and don't find the "game mode" necessary -- response time is fast enough anyway in normal mode.

Probably the only warning is that it doesn't take DVI, which has been a standard monitor plug for years. You can buy an adapter but these days you probably have HDMI or DisplayPort available anyway.


Handcrafted Nautical Decor USS Constitution Tall Ship, 15"
Handcrafted Nautical Decor USS Constitution Tall Ship, 15"
Price: $39.99
2 used & new from $32.79

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad for the price., July 22, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a fun little conversation piece. For the price, it's not bad. I kind of wish they'd leave off the ship name, actually, since it's a fairly generic model that they recycle (with minor modifications) for other ships -- what I'm saying is that this is not an accurate representation of the USS Constitution. Not really all that close, even. But that shouldn't necessarily stop you. Accurate models, from what I've found, will require you to build it yourself or else spend $500+ to buy a pre-assembled version. Those look fantastic and if you don't mind the $500, I'd say look into those.

But for this price range, it's decent enough, and one of the things you can converse about over it is the differences between this model and the real thing!

It arrived fully assembled and other than a little bit of untangling, was ready to go and ship shape (ho ho ho).


Stinger Mosquito Repellent Lantern, Black/Blue
Stinger Mosquito Repellent Lantern, Black/Blue
Price: $15.34
5 used & new from $12.19

4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for camping and day-long barbeques, July 22, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Note: Make sure you shop around for refills. Currently the ones on Amazon are double the price of the ones on the manufacturer's website.

I had much better luck with this thing than I ever have with citronella candles. I think if nothing else, the fan wafting out repellent is better than the candles that mostly send it into the atmosphere along with the heat from the flame. Of course, if you only plan to use it for an hour or two every Sunday then the candles are more practical: you can always blow them out and save the rest for another day, whereas these pads will dry out.

Still, we used it for an all day barbecue and hangout session and it worked notably better in its area than the candles and tiki torches did in theirs.

Also note that the description of "accent lighting" is accurate. Some people seemed to expect an actual lantern (like a bright light) but this is really just for accent. It has a blue internal glow, about enough to see where the lantern is and that's it. The real question is if you think the price of the refills is worth it.


Philips Norelco Shaver 7700 for Sensitive Skin, S7720/90  Frustration Free Packaging
Philips Norelco Shaver 7700 for Sensitive Skin, S7720/90 Frustration Free Packaging
Price: $209.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Takes Getting Used To, July 12, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Edit:
Upon further use, I find this shaver grows on me. There is a technique to its use, though. Because the rotatory blades are spaced so widely apart, you need to sort of rotate the shaver as you go, to get full coverage. The individual rotors do well with the fine detail and the flexible head helps with the jawline.

So I've basically gone from hating it to liking it after thinking about and giving it another shot. Just be aware that if you're used to foils, blades or even other rotatory shavers with closer spacing, this will take some getting used to.

The charging/cleaning system is a bit of a gimmick, of course. For a monthly fee, basically, it will clean your shaver for you. You could just wash it yourself, though, and use the charger as just a charger. The head pops off and comes apart fairly easily for cleaning.

The variable length beard trimmer it comes with works well too, and pops on and off like the other shaver head.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 13, 2015 5:25 PM PDT


NVIDIA SHIELD
NVIDIA SHIELD
Price: $199.99
2 used & new from $199.99

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for casual users., July 12, 2015
This review is from: NVIDIA SHIELD (Video Game)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is an Android based streaming device with some interesting Nvidia twists meant to appeal to gamers (which I am!). My evaluation of it so far is "needs some more work".

The #1 problem is the same as the Nexus: I don't know if this is Google trying to cut out Amazon or Amazon failing to work with Google but I don't see any way to view my Amazon digital content (Prime Movies, purchased movies, rented shows, music, etc) on this device. I think it locks you into the Google Play Store and the Amazon app is noticeably missing. That's the kiss of death for any device for me now -- I'm too invested in Amazon for digital content. If Amazon is to blame, tell me so I can send Jeff Bezos a Firmly Worded Letter. They shouldn't be trying to steer people into their Fire hardware as much as they should be trying to sell digital content to all sorts of devices. If Google is to blame then shame on them. Either way, though, as an Amazon Prime customer with lots of purchased Amazon content, this device screws me.

The gaming angle of the Shield seems like a cool idea but:
* I tried a free app game that somehow caused the Shield to turn off...?? I was playing it and the device just turned off. I had to unplug it and plug it back in to get it to turn back on.
* I was surprised to learn that I could tie it into my desktop to play games from my desktop. Games that support a controller seem to show up automatically, so I got Planetside 2 and Witcher 3 on my list. This is pretty impressive and lets me play with a controller from my TV downstairs instead of sitting at my PC. In theory I think you're supposed to be able to play any game this way (although games without console controller support would be clunky) however I tried Magicka (which does support controllers) and the game crashed immediately. No idea why -- I went back to my desktop and tried it there and it started up just fine.

So I see where they're going with it and there's some tempting features here but, even if we disregard the stability problems, Android gaming, while actually coming along nicely, is not up to par with a real console system. Desktop streaming is....I want to say a bit of a gimmick. Most PC games aren't practical for console control play and I don't have a real pressing need to play Planetside 2 from my couch instead of on my desktop.

I guess the use-case here is if you want to be an early adopter, you want a streaming Android device, you get your digital content from Google Play exclusively, you want a greater ability to play games from your couch and you don't mind that early adopter pain that will go with it, go for it!

Kind of a narrow audience, there.

My vote is you wait for the "Nvidia Shield 2.0". Or maybe 6 months after this review by which time they may well have more things ironed out with software updates (I've already downloaded three big ones). But the physical problems of desktop vs couch are not going away anytime soon and I just don't see the Shield scratching too many people's itches.

If you really want a streaming device for TV and don't care about games, get the Roku.

If you want a streaming device that can do Android games (why do you want that?? does anyone??) I would actually go with the Amazon Fire over any of the Google devices.
Comment Comments (11) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 20, 2015 12:52 PM PDT


Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows Book 1)
Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows Book 1)
Offered by HarperCollins Publishers
Price: $2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I wouldn't rush to buy more than the first book if I were you., July 11, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Nosir, I don't like it. As a fan of Dresden Files, Iron Druid Chronicles and the Kate Daniels series I feel it's safe to say I like the genre, and I gave this series about 2.5 books before giving up on it, but in the end I just couldn't deal with it any more.

The writing style is good and I enjoy the setting, the concept and the characters themselves, but what sent me over the edge was the character interaction: it's annoying and it never gets better. The main character might as well be a parody of abusive relationships and people who don't or can't get out of them because that's what she's in and well into the 3rd book it was still going on. The setup between the characters didn't make much sense and the "vampires are super dangerous creatures on the verge of going crazy at any moment but it's fine, we can live with them" concept didn't make sense either. I trudged through on the assumption that the character problems would get resolved at some point but, like I said, well into the 3rd book they were still a mess. It just wasn't enjoyable enough to keep giving it a try when there are so many other books to read.

If you want a very similar series with better character interaction, try the Kate Daniels series.

Or go ahead and try this book, but if you reach the end and think, "Man this is pretty good but I hope the character interaction gets better in the next book", that's what I thought. It doesn't.


Magic Bites (Kate Daniels)
Magic Bites (Kate Daniels)
by Ilona Andrews
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.19
156 used & new from $0.03

5.0 out of 5 stars This series is so good it's.......preternatural (*ba-dum-ching*), July 11, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I vouch for this entire series. Despite the rather ridiculous cover art and uninspired book titles, the content is fantastic -- series vs series, I think this actually beats out Dresden Files, which is high praise coming from me, and I'd put it tied with Iron Druid Chronicles.

I like the characters, I like what they do and I like how the series progresses. Kate Daniels starts off powerful and stays that way with the series developing more around character interaction and political intrigue rather than personal power level advancement ("Dragon Ball Z Syndrome"). The writing is solid, if you can excuse the overuse of some terms (Kate Daniels drinking game! Take a shot every time you read the word "preternatural", especially around book 4...) Not everyone lives through every adventure, so it's enough to keep you on your toes, but it's no Game of Thrones either.

Basically if you're looking for "modern day / altered reality fantasy with a strong female protagonist and good character interaction, dialog and action", you're in the right place.


Delta 54445-PK H2Okinetic® 5-Setting Shower Mount Handshower, Chrome
Delta 54445-PK H2Okinetic® 5-Setting Shower Mount Handshower, Chrome
Price: $75.38
9 used & new from $58.42

5.0 out of 5 stars You get what you pay for, July 7, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I know -- "why pay so much?" Well, I've gone through so many of the cheaper showerheads. They keep breaking. The worst is when they crack at the base because the entire base -- where you hang the showerhead -- is actually hollow plastic, so that cracks and water sprays out!

This one is still a plastic showerhead but usually that's not what causes problems anyway. The big difference is the solid metal piece that attaches to your pipe and is where you attach the hose and hang the showerhead. That's what you're paying for. There's no chance this thing can crack and break like all those cheaper ones I've gone through.

And the head itself is nice enough. I wish it had a better "mist" setting but I do like the "pause" feature. I especially like the way you can set it to be "halfway paused" and get an even lighter water flow rate (that's nice when SOMEONE has been using all the hot water and you know you need to stretch what's left).

Hose seems solid, no trouble at all with the connections, no leaks. Works great; hopefully it will prove worth the extra expense in the long haul.


TOGGLER SnapSkru Self-Drilling Drywall Anchor, Pack of 20
TOGGLER SnapSkru Self-Drilling Drywall Anchor, Pack of 20
Price: $7.75
8 used & new from $6.93

5.0 out of 5 stars This is what you need, July 7, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
These are the best, easiest to use drywall anchors I've ever tried. I literally just discard the drywall attachment options that come with things (like shelves) and use these instead. You don't want to screw up your drywall by using something too weak so if you want to get it right the first time, I don't think you can go wrong here.

The "self-drilling" works pretty well. Personally I drill with a tiny bit first just to make sure I'm not going to hit a stud, then follow that hole with the self-drilling anchor. Works great. I've gone through 2 bags of these attaching various things and they're very solid.


Roku 3 Streaming Media Player (2014 model)
Roku 3 Streaming Media Player (2014 model)
Offered by WorldWide Distributors
Price: $102.99
73 used & new from $60.48

4.0 out of 5 stars Still the King, July 7, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Despite my 4 stars, I'd still suggest this is the best streaming box, overall, if only because of the number of apps it supports. There are things you can't get on Amazon Fire and things you can't get on the Google boxes but Roku has it all.

It is pretty far from perfect, though. There are tons of "channels" (apps, really; one per streaming provider) and no standardization between them. They look different, they operate different, they have different requirements. Some are free, some are subscription, some are pay-per-view, some require you have active cable service and some offer different options and the only way to see which is which is to load them up and try them one by one. It's a hassle!

So that's why I don't give 5 stars: the presentation is not great. Lots of room for standardization and improvement. Still, though, when my parents wanted to cut their cable, I got them a Roku. I took the time to sign them up to the good channels and get things organized and they still have to call me sometimes for some "how do I" questions but I think they're getting more enjoyment out of the Roku than they would have out of the other streaming box options. My one disclaimer is that I have never tried Apple streaming products, but I never will -- I hate the Apple ecosystem, I especially hate iTunes and I refuse to get drawn into that swamp. Even if the Apple box is superior in every way, I would still not recommend it because I wouldn't wish the Apple ecosystem on anyone. ("It's a trap!")

Roku is still the best game in town in terms of giving you lots to watch and not restricting how you want it.

If you're cutting cable, get a Roku and get an HD antenna and you're on your way. (I recommend Netflix as the #1 streaming app by far. Hulu Plus can be worthwhile if you watch a lot of current TV shows. Use Amazon as a fallback -- if I can't find what I want streaming, I will rent or buy digitally from Amazon. These 3 sources account for like 99% of my watching.)


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