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Customer Reviews: 20
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Helpful Votes: 206




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Andrew Ford "From B-town" RSS Feed (Bloomington IN)
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Tyke Supply Dual LCD Monitor Stand desk clamp holds up to 24" lcd monitors
Tyke Supply Dual LCD Monitor Stand desk clamp holds up to 24" lcd monitors
Offered by Super Deal
Price: $49.49
20 used & new from $38.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Three years / zero problems, March 31, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this back in 2010 and have been very pleased. It is not pretty but it does exactly what the product description says, and it is a great value. I love having a less cluttered desk top. I wish that Tyke would offer an accessory shelf that would clamp to the post.


Apple Mac Mini MD388LL/A Desktop (NEWEST VERSION)
Apple Mac Mini MD388LL/A Desktop (NEWEST VERSION)
Offered by DataVision Computer Video
Price: $794.00
20 used & new from $700.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Quick, clean but a little pricy, January 21, 2013
This is my first Mac; I've been frustrated with windows based systems for years, and have loved my iPhones, iPad and my airport network gear. When the newest Mac mini was announced last fall, I decided to pull the trigger.

I upgraded the RAM to 16. GB myself for much less money than what Apple would have charged. The process was a tiny bit harder than I had anticipated; the upper module was harder to seat correctly than the lower module. The other set up tasks were a breeze, and there was so much less cable clutter than I was used to. Sound and graphics are terrific for such a tiny box.

I would give this 5 stars, but I think more could have been included for the price, such as more RAM, or a faster HDD, or a lower upgrade price for an SSD or the much hyped fusion drive. I would really like to see Apple make the HDD as simple to upgrade as the RAM, but if the recent trends in upgradability seen with other apple products are an indication, this is unlikely to happen.


Litter Robot LRII Automatic Self-Cleaning Litter Box, Black
Litter Robot LRII Automatic Self-Cleaning Litter Box, Black
Offered by Automated Pet Care Products Inc.
Price: $369.00

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Needs better electronics and/or design, August 22, 2012
I purchased two of the units two years ago for three cats and am pleased with their operation - WHEN THEY WORK. The cats took to them with no issues and they have made litter control a two minute per week task. The shell and motors are well constructed, but the electronics are of questionable quality, or design. Both units failed last year within a week of each other (either power jack or circuit boards) within the warranty period. To the manufacturer's credit, they were quick to respond to my request for assistance and repaired both units quickly with little effort required on my behalf.

One of the units failed again this week; not surprisingly, the culprit was either the power jack or circuit board. In the process of working out a repair. I requested a refurbished replacement unit, since my Litter Robot had been repaired by them less than a year earlier. I was told that the unit was out of warranty (true) and that they would send me parts to replace the faulty components-- they did not indicate that there would be a charge for the parts.

This must be a common failure with this product. In both cases, I receive canned trouble shooting instructions, including offers for DYI replacement parts and link to a YouTube video demonstrating the repair. The control panel on the other unit I own does not work properly; the motion sensor and timer seem to function, but pressing the "cycle" button does nothing. I have to toggle the power switch to make it run.

I will update this review after I fix the units and have a few months of experience with the repairs.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 27, 2012 9:30 AM PDT


Weber 7416 Rapidfire Chimney Starter
Weber 7416 Rapidfire Chimney Starter
Price: $14.99
31 used & new from $14.09

5.0 out of 5 stars Super Weber quality, July 16, 2008
I have had my Weber chimney started for years, and it has held up well. It holds an ample supply of fuel and paper starter material. My only gripe is I would like to see the helper handle include a heat shield like the main handle.


Mr. Coffee BMX3 Burr Mill
Mr. Coffee BMX3 Burr Mill

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars See updates-- died a few days after warranty expired, January 5, 2008
UPDATE 10/30/08--- I would take this down to at least two stars, if Amazon would let me. The grinder died just a few days past the warranty expiration.

My wife and I have owned this for about two months now. We bought it at Meijer for about $22, which was only a few dollars more than they were asking for blade type grinders. We make only drip coffee, so we cannot speak to the problems people have had with very coarse or fine grinds. With a few experimental pots, we found a good grind for coffee the way we like it. It is actually quieter than our old Braun blade grinder. We have not found it difficult to clean, nor have we had problems with static build up (tap the ground coffee holder gently a few times before opening) or coffee discharged on to the counter. Our only gripe at this point is that the bean hopper does not quite hold enough to make 2 full ten cup pots for our coffee maker, so we refill the hopper after each batch.

3/2/08 update-- Regular cleaning is a must. Make sure the top burr is firmly reseated when you re-assemble. I have started using a French press to make coffee at work. The coarse grind works very well for me.


Motorola Q Cellular Phone PDA Snap-On Crystal Case Cover - with Removable Fixed and Swivel Belt Clip - 2 Color Options, CLEAR
Motorola Q Cellular Phone PDA Snap-On Crystal Case Cover - with Removable Fixed and Swivel Belt Clip - 2 Color Options, CLEAR

1.0 out of 5 stars impairs texting, feels flimsy, no screen protection, unable to remove swivel, October 10, 2007
I ordered this as a replacement for the silicone cover I have been using for a few months. I carry my phone in front pocket, and the silicone tends to "grip" a bit, making a quick draw hard.

The biggest drawback is the thickness of the material. It is sufficient at the edge of the keyboard window to impair typing (i.e.hard to press the "Q", "A", "alt", "P", "ENTER" and "Shift" keys.) This could have been addressed by shaving back about 1/16" of an inch. Product is made of a brittle plastic that would "probably" crack if dropped. (I did not feel safe testing this theory.) There is no protection for the display. I was unable to remove the swivel stud, as advertised, which I think would make it uncomfortable to carry in my pocket.


Sango Splash 16-Piece Dinnerware Set, Service for 4
Sango Splash 16-Piece Dinnerware Set, Service for 4

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pretty but not durable, September 14, 2007
My wife and I bought 2 of the four place settings, along with the cream/sugar set and the serving platter/serving bowl about 3 years ago. We thought this was an aesthetically pleasing pattern. I can accept some chipping due to careless handling, but I am disappointed by a problem with the salad plates. If you look at the picture, there is a spiral quality to the glaze/finish. We have had 5 of these plates break in the dishwasher, with failures along the spirals --- breaking into crescent shaped fragments. I would not buy this product again.


Coleman 4D Battery-Operated Air Pump
Coleman 4D Battery-Operated Air Pump

4.0 out of 5 stars works as advertised, August 20, 2007
This is also a useful tool to have when trying to start a campfire or barbeque pit. Beats sticking you face down in the coals and blowing! I'll bet Coleman's lawyers will soon add a disclaimer telling you not to do this...


SMOKENATOR 1000 Kettle Barbecue to Smoker Converter
SMOKENATOR 1000 Kettle Barbecue to Smoker Converter
Offered by bbqkettleaccessories
Price: $59.95

117 of 123 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Takes the guesswork out smoking!, August 20, 2007
I felt kind of silly spending over $50 (including shipping) for a piece of sheet metal, but I do not regret it after using this. The Smokenator Man obviously did his home work because it maintains a consistent 230 degree temperature inside my Weber kettle--perfect for lovely smoky pulled pork goodness! The time he spent in researching the settings, and writing the instruction manual makes this a worthwhile purchase. The construction is top notch - a nice sturdy piece of stainless steel that conforms perfectly to the interior of the grill.

One caveat--The instructions are written for the "modern" Weber 22 ˝' grills - the types with the one touch ash removal system. I have a caveman model, old school grill (circa 1997) that has the 3 round vents similar to the vent on the kettle lid. The extensive tables in the manual and a little high school geometry allowed me to find the temperature "sweet spot" for my grill.

I have also used my Smokenator with the ring that came with my Weber rotisserie (see my review for that device.) This allows for a much larger cooking chamber -perfect when smoking a lot of food for a crowd.

3 reasons to buy this:

1. Cheaper than buying a new smoker

2. Saves room on my patio--Made my Weber Kettle even more of a multi tasker.

3. Easier to tend than Brinkman barrel smoker or Weber Smoky Mountain, as the fueling and food handling are done at waist level--no bending over or crawling around on the ground.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 4, 2009 8:08 AM PDT


One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer
One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer
by Nathaniel Fick
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.18
351 used & new from $0.01

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and thought provoking, August 17, 2007
Most of my Amazon reviews deal with grilling, but I felt compelled to give my opinion. Nathaniel Fick is welcome to dine on steak or some pulled pork at my home any time he visits Bloomington, Indiana. The book is wonderfully written. He skillfully balanced descriptions of the people, events and emotions he encountered during his tour with the USMC. He did not rely on the tool of describing the technology of modern warfare to impress his reader. He is no Tom Clancy and I found this to be refreshing.

I went to his website and read an number of articles and reviews he has published since completing this book. He makes a number of astute observations on politics, the war, and the state of our nation. I hope to see more from him soon.


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