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Eabag Summer Outdoor Water Resistant Handy Lightweight Travel Backpack Hiking Backpack
Eabag Summer Outdoor Water Resistant Handy Lightweight Travel Backpack Hiking Backpack
Offered by EABAG
Price: $30.00 - $35.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Inexpensive rucksack-style backpack for summer light hiking, July 24, 2014
This is a rucksack-style bag, meaning it loads from the top and has a hood style cover. There are two side pockets for water, quick snacks, camera, phone, etc.

Compartments:

Two cargo pockets on the sides, zippered and with flap closure to prevent rain leakage.

Inside the lid: small zip pouch for valuables, quick access.

Main compartment: no divider--it's just a large sack with a drawstring and skirt for loading and compressing the contents. Suitable for clothing.

The back is padded with foam and has net covering to reduce sweating on contact.
Straps:

Padded, contoured shoulder straps.

Buckles to close lid.

Cords, Rings:

Zig-zag elastic cord on back, for lashing in a canteen bottle, or to hold a jacket.

Four D-rings on the lid, two D-Rings, one on each of the shoulder straps.

Material: Lightweight cordura nylon.

This bag works for light day hiking or city hiking, even week-long train or bus trip to hostels, where you don't want much in the way of luggage and do want to be able to carry it on your back. It would hold about a week's worth of clothing (assuming you are carrying tee-shirts, underwear and a change of pants, and basic toiletries.) Not enough room for camera gear AND clothing, so this is basically your on-the-road minimal backpack but much bigger capacity than a daypack or book bag.

The price is minimal as well--this is not a complex hiking bag, no inside frame, basically, it's a rucksack that holds more than a daypack.


Philosophy Lemon Custard Shampoo Shower Gel and Bubble Bath, 16 Oz.
Philosophy Lemon Custard Shampoo Shower Gel and Bubble Bath, 16 Oz.
Offered by Lilly's Beauty Depot
Price: $28.95
4 used & new from $28.95

3.0 out of 5 stars Scent is not strong, July 23, 2014
Mild lemon scent, good lather. You get a recipe for lemon pudding on the bottle. But the fragrance is too faint to make this fun in the shower.


Philips Sonicare HX6211/04 2 Series Plaque Control Rechargeable Toothbrush
Philips Sonicare HX6211/04 2 Series Plaque Control Rechargeable Toothbrush
Price: $63.35

5.0 out of 5 stars Makes a huge difference to your teeth and gums, July 23, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Just try to go a week without one of these Plaque Control toothbrushes. I was on vacation and didn't bring mine with me and even with flossing, I was surprised at how much better this works than a regular brush, or even the Oral-B non-pulsing electric brush. This brush does hold a charge for two weeks, so if you are traveling, you may not need to bring a charger. I plan to travel with it in future and simply carry it in my carry-on luggage, since I don't want to lose it.

The brush heads on this model are newly-designed--they have curved bristles to follow your tooth shape. The battery light is two color (charged, needs-charging) unlike my current Philips, which simply flashes. It also has a new feature-- an "easy start" which is more gentle in action over 14 uses, so that you can get used to the more vigorous action of the brush. As usual, there is a 2-minute timer, to encourage you to brush, brush, brush. (One thing I had to learn to do is brush on the lingual --tongue--side of my teeth in the back. This isn't easy but it's good to practice as that is where a lot of plaque likes to hide.)

My older Philips Sonicare came with travel case as well as a sterilizer and a charger. This doesn't come with those accessories. Those things do come with the Philips Sonicare Elite which has the same 31,000 vibrations per minute that this model has. But this newer model is a lot less expensive, so if you resisted upgrading your older non-sonic toothbrush, this is a better deal and I will say, having used the Elite model for over a year, a lot more effective than other electric brushes I've used.


Rachael Ray 2-Piece Cucina Stoneware Cruet Set, Red/Brown
Rachael Ray 2-Piece Cucina Stoneware Cruet Set, Red/Brown
Price: $24.99
4 used & new from $24.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Cruet set for oil and vinegar, July 23, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This review is for the 2-piece Cruet Set (the listing at this writing, is for the entire Cucina line, but I'm just reviewing the cruets.)

These are the smaller twin brothers to the larger Rachael Ray Stoneware EVOO Oil and Vinegar Dispensing Bottle Set, 2-Piece, Red or the .Rachael Ray Stoneware EVOO Oil Dispensing Bottle, Red. These bottles are 8" tall, the same size as the vinegar bottle from the oil and vinegar set, but shorter than the oil bottles, which are 10 inches tall.

The colors and glaze are different as well--the EVOO bottles are in the bright colors that match various types of Ray's dinnerware and serveware (orange, green, purple, blue, white, red) This set is part of the "Cucina" line, which is designed to look like rustic Italian or Portuguese stoneware. It's done in more muted colors with that handmade, hand-glazed look. The bottles are dimpled rather than completely smooth, as if they were hand molded. The colors are a muted mushroom tan and a dull red.

These cruets are slightly unstable on an uneven surface like a quilted placemat unless they are filled. It would be a good idea to set them on a salad plate or decorative pottery tray because they tend to tip a bit, the base being a bit narrow for the height of the bottle. However, when filled, they feel a bit more steady. The flip lids can get stuck a bit sometimes, so I make sure the hinge is oriented on the top of the bottle opening to encourage it to close, but even so, sometimes it won't. The silicone plugs do a good job of sealing the opening. You need a funnel to fill these--unless you are very steady.

As for the color, I thought it was logical to have the red for "wine vinegar" and the brown for extra-virgin olive oil. You can have fun with guests: "Figure it out!" There are matching Rachael Ray 4-Piece Cucina Stoneware Dipping Cups if you like to serve oil and vinegar dip with bread at the table. The cruets plus cups could make a very nice wedding or house-warming present.


Sons (The Good Earth Trilogy Book 2)
Sons (The Good Earth Trilogy Book 2)
Price: $9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sequel to "The Good Earth", July 23, 2014
Wang Lung, who is the main character of the Good Earth, opens this book by dying. That's no surprise--that's where the Good Earth leaves off. And as expected, the three sons of Wang Lung are a huge disappointment. They have only aspects of the father as he was as a young man--a hearty, hard-working, opportunistic but (generally) moral man. As Wang Lung became rich, he left off his peasant values, and his sons inherited none of them; the eldest inherited Wang Lung's greed and lust, the middle son, his acquisitive nature, and the youngest, who becomes a war lord, his dogged determination to conquer the land and Wang Lung's selfishness when it came to seeing the needs and wants of anyone outside himself.

The rise of "Wang the Tiger" is the best part of the story, and Buck is clever in how she interweaves the story of all three brothers and their sons. The story begins to drag at the last third of the novel and it seems that the weight of Chinese history as it transitions to the several revolutions that led up to the Communists are weighing down the entire book.

As a transitional book (the middle of a trilogy) it suffers from the middle-trilogy problem--too much transition and not enough resolution of conflicts. Even so, the rise of "The Tiger" is fascinating and gives an inkling into how men like Chiang Kai-Shek or Mao Zedong could have gathered forces around them and taken over towns and provinces, one after the other in that vast land.

This is really only worth reading if you've read The Good Earth, because you need the background of the characters from the first novel to really appreciate it.


Guitar Stand for Acoustic/Electric/Classical Guitars and Violin, Ukulele, Bass, Banjo, Mandolin - Folding, Portable and Lightweight - Fits Your Gibson/Fender/Taylor/Yamaha Music Instruments - The Ultimate for Concert & Travel - Premium Accessories by Nordic Essentials™ (Metallic Dark Blue) - Lifetime Warranty
Guitar Stand for Acoustic/Electric/Classical Guitars and Violin, Ukulele, Bass, Banjo, Mandolin - Folding, Portable and Lightweight - Fits Your Gibson/Fender/Taylor/Yamaha Music Instruments - The Ultimate for Concert & Travel - Premium Accessories by Nordic Essentials™ (Metallic Dark Blue) - Lifetime Warranty
Offered by Nordic Quality
Price: $59.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Great for traveling with more than one instrument, July 22, 2014
If you need a lightweight instrument stand, this is a good idea. It's a very compact unit, barely a foot long and weighs only 396 grams, which is about 13 oz. So it's under a pound. This means you could put one or more in your luggage.

The up side is these don't take up much space or weight. The rubber grips on the bottom legs hold your guitar, uke or mandolin and prevent them sliding off. However, if you are worried about knocking over a priceless guitar, they are not as secure as a rack with an added grip for the neck. If you are in a high traffic area, where the guitar can be knocked against, this won't prevent it from tipping over.

If you own a shop and have instruments on a counter, it could be a relatively inexpensive way to display an instrument for sale.

For travel when you can't bring a lot of luggage, this is handy. There are a lot of severe weight restrictions now when you fly (40-50lbs in checked, 18lbs for hand luggage.) They even weigh the "personal" item--backpack, on some airlines. So if you have your best instrument in a carryon, and want a stand, you can add this and only take up less than a pound and a small area in your backpack or carryon.

If you are busking and traveling by public transportation, this cuts down on the weight and bulk for setting up outside.

Summary: very compact, sturdy, but not as secure as a stand with a neck grip.


Verilux VT10WW1 HappyLight Liberty Natural Spectrum Lamp, 5K Energy
Verilux VT10WW1 HappyLight Liberty Natural Spectrum Lamp, 5K Energy
Offered by Brookstone
Price: $39.95
2 used & new from $39.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compact size, bright, July 21, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This isn't an entirely fair review, because we have over 12 hours of sunlight right now and this is the kind of light you use to avoid "Seasonal Affective Disorder" or SAD (the November Blues.) And I just got back from Scandinavia, where it was light all night (which I have to tell you, is so much fun. You really just don't feel tired and it's one am and it feels like seven o'clock.) So, to reproduce my Finnish adventure, I put this on my desk. But for a fairer test, I'll update this during winter.

It's small enough to be on any desk (mine is small) and it's diffused light from the Optilux lens in front. I get up before dawn (dogs...jet lag) and it was nice to light up the area as I was trying to get my back-to-work face on. It's a bit bright and distracting.

I did find one use for it that was unexpected--it's a nice light to have on if you are doing sewing or crafts. While you'd want a lamp directed on your work, the natural light color makes it easier to see stitches you're working on, and the color of the thread.


Filtrete Premium Healthy Living Filter, 16-Inch by 20-Inch by 1-Inch, 6-Pack
Filtrete Premium Healthy Living Filter, 16-Inch by 20-Inch by 1-Inch, 6-Pack
Price: $129.43
2 used & new from $129.43

5.0 out of 5 stars Great filter for dust and allergens, July 21, 2014
This is the elite filter with 2200 MPR rating, and it states there is a 3 month life, though in our area, when grain is being harvested, we get about 1 month, then the filter is visibly dirty. If it hasn't rained and they are bringing the soybeans in, the dust and particles really make for dirty air. But normally, in winter, we can get two or three months from a filter.

When these go on sale, they are a good deal compared to the home supply stores. The price of these filters has risen steadily over the last decade--it seems every time we went to the big box store, they were another couple of dollars more. And 3M keeps adding new filters, changing the name and the color of the label, so it's confusing which is the one you want. A friend suggested putting the model and size for your furnace on your cell phone as a note. That works well.

Buying six at a time not only saves money, but it helps you change the filter regularly, which you ought to, especially if you suffer from allergies. We always noticed a huge difference when there is a new filter installed. We put a note on the last filter in the box, writing on it with a Sharpie pen, time to order more.


The Golem and the Jinni (P.S.)
The Golem and the Jinni (P.S.)
Offered by HarperCollins Publishers
Price: $8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Earth & Fire combine to make magic in Lower East Side, NYC, July 19, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This well-researched and well-written novel takes place in the Lower East Side of New York during the the early 1900's when many of our grandparents and great-grandparents arrived in the US. The golem (a creature created out of clay in Jewish myth that acts as a protector and destroyer) and a jinni (yes, in a bottle) are brought to the US and they seek freedom from their own shackles, as their immigrant neighbors seek to make new lives as well.

The character of the golem (Chava) is believable and she is the more successful of the two. But where the Jinni shines is in the weaving of the story of his life in the desert and the tragedy and cruelty that bound him into the copper flask.

This novel took the author seven years to write, and the loving care and research she showered on her work make this an amazing novel. I couldn't put it down for a minute.


Storm Tide
Storm Tide
Offered by Random House LLC
Price: $7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Small town life, big drama, July 19, 2014
This review is from: Storm Tide (Kindle Edition)
This is a pretty good novel--co-written by Marge Piercy and her husband Ira Wood. Normally, I do not like collaborative writing. In this case, the transition from writer to writer is handled by Piercy writing two out of the three streams of the story and Wood handling the David portion. David is a former baseball pitcher, come home to his small Massachusetts town on the Cape. He becomes embroiled in small town politics, fighting against a corrupt establishment that pits real estate deals against environmental concerns, and he also starts a controversial affair with Judith, a prominent divorce attorney whose husband is dying of cancer. He also starts an affair with Crystal, who is not all that she seems. The outcome is shocking, though not for the usual reasons of jealous lovers.

I liked the ambiguity of the love affairs--why is David attracted to both Crystal and Judith? What is Judith doing, if she loves her husband Gordon? Who is using who?

At first, I found the "David" chapter style jarring compared to the others--Wood writes in first-person and Piercy in third-person, yet as the story accelerates, this becomes less of an issue as we become familiar with the characters. And the characters are well-drawn. In an odd way, David, though written by Wood, reminds me of Piercy's character Joel from her novel Vida, and Judith reminds me of Vida Asch, a forceful, educated woman committed to her social beliefs. Joel was Vida's younger lover in that novel and David is in a similar role in "Storm Tide."

The story accelerates to a shocking end, and there is tragedy and regret. The entanglements of the town machinations, each person's intent, evil, selfish or otherwise made for real drama. I found the book hard to put down, and as usual, I find Piercy's writing gritty and real, her characters breathe right out of the pages. I am not as familiar with Ira Wood but his David worked well here. The fact he was a baseball pitcher, however, is pretty much a useless device. He could have been anything. It was extraneous to the story. In fact, I thought he'd have been better cast in another line of work. A bit of a flaw in the novel. Is this as good as "Vida" or "He, She and It"? No, but I still found it gripping. I probably won't re-read it the way I read "Vida" and most of Piercy's other novels over and over.


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