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L. F. Smith RSS Feed (E. Wenatchee, WA)
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Lifeproof LifeActiv Quickmount Adapter - Mount - Retail Packaging - Black
Lifeproof LifeActiv Quickmount Adapter - Mount - Retail Packaging - Black
Price: $19.99
3 used & new from $15.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Works well, but there's a design issue..., May 13, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is the adapter pad that's needed to use all of the components of the LifeActiv line of phone cases and mounts. It's a thin pad that sticks to the back of the phone case and forms the connection between the case and whichever mount you're using.

It works very well. If you follow the instructions carefully, it should stick to nearly any phone case. Those instructions clearly say that it won't work on silicone or wood or on any surface with much of a texture. In addition, they say to allow the mount to "cure" for at least 24 hours before using it. That's important if you want your mount to stick.

The LifeActiv system works just as it's engineered to work. However, there is a potential issue with the design. No matter which mount you use, the phone ends up mounted with the screen facing outward. This, of course, exposes it to potential damage. There's just no way around this design feature.

Bottom line: It's a quality product that works the way it's designed to work. However, you need to decide for yourself whether the way the phone is mounted is acceptable to you.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 14, 2015 11:05 AM PDT


Lifeproof LifeActiv Belt Clip with Quickmount - Mount - Retail Packaging - Black
Lifeproof LifeActiv Belt Clip with Quickmount - Mount - Retail Packaging - Black
Price: $26.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Works fine, but there are some issues..., May 13, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The LifeActiv system works as it's designed to work. In addition, it looks and feels like a high-quality item that will last a long time. However, there are some issues.

The clip system works very well-- if you're careful to align the two parts before you let go of your phone. If you're in a hurry or misjudge, you may get a bad surprise. The little attachment pad that you stick to the back of your phone case has a very low profile. However, it does have a profile, so after it's mounted, your phone will no longer sit flat on a table. It's very important to follow the instructions for sticking the pad to the phone case, too. It should work on nearly any case that's flat and smooth, but it won't work on silicone or wood.

The biggest issue for me is that with the system mounted, you cannot store the phone with the screen inward, toward your body. It must fact outward, which, of course, exposes it to potential damage. This is a VERY big disadvantage in my view, but you'll have to decide whether it matters as much to you.

Bottom line: A well made mounting system that works exactly the way it's designed to. But the design itself is a potential issue.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 14, 2015 10:58 AM PDT


iPad at Work For Dummies
iPad at Work For Dummies
by Galen Gruman
Edition: Paperback
Price: $19.07
49 used & new from $9.52

5.0 out of 5 stars A serious and comprehensive guide, May 1, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a serious, comprehensive guide to using the iPad in a work environment. The book explains very thoroughly how to use an iPad and appropriate software to supplement or even replace a laptop at work. It covers how to set up the machine in a number of ways to enable the file sharing that is necessary in work environments, and it reviews various software for business purposes. The book has two significant strengths:

First, it is not Apple-centric. That is, it does not assume that you'll be using an iPad and a laptop or desktop Mac. The explanations include using the iPad with Windows, and it covers Apple, Microsoft, and other software.

Second, there is absolutely none of the cuteness and sophomoric humor that plagues many other "...for Dummies" titles. This is a serious, no nonsense book, written by a professional. At the same time, like other "...for Dummies" books, the information is delivered in small, easy-to-digest bites.

This is a comprehensive, well written guide. I recommend it most highly.


3M Dual Lock Reclosable Fastener TB3551/TB3552 400/170 Black 1 in x 10 ft (1 Mated Strip/Bag)
3M Dual Lock Reclosable Fastener TB3551/TB3552 400/170 Black 1 in x 10 ft (1 Mated Strip/Bag)
Price: $38.69
2 used & new from $38.69

5.0 out of 5 stars A great fastening product, May 1, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a great product! The idea is similar to standard hook-and-loop fasteners, like Velcro, but there are two very important differences:

First, the parts that function the way Velcro does are mushroom-shaped. This makes them cling MUCH better than any hook-and-loop product. I can't imagine any vibration that would be strong enough to shake a phone, radio, etc. loose once it was fastened with this product.

Second, the adhesive that sticks the closure strips to the dashboard or whatever is high-temperature. It will maintain its grip in a hot car or in direct sunlight. Typical hook-and-loop tape will let go at some point when it gets hot enough.

There is one potential downside: The fasteners grip so tightly that you can't just pull whatever you have mounted off, as you can with regular hook-and-loop. It takes some real effort and a bit of time.

If you need a Velcro-type gripping system that REALLY sticks together regardless of vibration and that won't let go in the heat, this is the stuff for you. I recommend it most highly.


Jackson Safety 25675 V50 Calico Polycarbonate Anti Fog Safety Eyewear, Smoke
Jackson Safety 25675 V50 Calico Polycarbonate Anti Fog Safety Eyewear, Smoke
Offered by Safety72
Price: $9.99
3 used & new from $9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding safety glasses, April 20, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
These are outstanding safety glasses at a good price.

I have a couple of pair of good safety glasses, but they aren't tinted, so they aren't good for any length of time outside. These glasses are actually dark-tinted sunglasses with UV block rating. The result is no glare at all and no squinting.

In addition, they're extremely comfortable. They fit snugly without pinching, and they have foam around the lenses that does a good job keeping sawdust, pollen, etc. out of my eyes. They look and feel very sturdy, but at the same time, they're very light. Finally, they come with both over the ear frames and a headband, so if I need real goggles, I can have them in about 30 seconds. There's a fabric bag to hold everything.

One important proviso: There is no way to order prescription lenses for these glasses, and they're not large enough for regular glasses to fit underneath them. If you need prescription glasses, shop for a different product.

Bottom line: These are really nice glasses at a very good price. I recommend them most highly.


Roundup 5003240 Weed and Grass Killer III Ready-to-Use Trigger Spray, 1-Gallon
Roundup 5003240 Weed and Grass Killer III Ready-to-Use Trigger Spray, 1-Gallon
Price: $10.87

5.0 out of 5 stars Kills weeds quickly, April 13, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Roundup Weed and Grass Killer kills weeds and grass. That pretty much says it all. It's an excellent product, and Amazon offers it at an very good price.

The most notable thing about Roundup is that kills weeds very quickly. Apply it in the morning, and the target weeds are looking pretty unhealthy by sunset and dead in a few days. That, of course, is what you want in a weed killer. Further, this is a premixed product with a pump dispenser. This means if you see something sprouting, you can just spritz it immediately, without the need to mix something, put it into a sprayer, clean the sprayer afterward, etc.

Now, there's an 800-pound gorilla in the room: The active ingredient in Roundup is glyphosphate, which the World Health Organization has described as "probably carcinogenic to humans.” Some research links it to other serious health conditions, too. However, the WHO is referring to dangers associated with large-scale agricultural use, not garden clean up. Common sense tells you not to spray yourself with it, let kids roll around on plants you've sprayed, etc. Like every other chemical, if you pay attention to the instructions, you'll be OK.

Bottom line: This stuff works very well. There's nothing else I've seen that's better, safer, or lower priced.


Imperial Blades IBOAT340-1 Universal Fit 1-3/4-Inch Bi-Metal Tin Storm Blade, 1-Pack
Imperial Blades IBOAT340-1 Universal Fit 1-3/4-Inch Bi-Metal Tin Storm Blade, 1-Pack
Price: $15.95
7 used & new from $11.16

5.0 out of 5 stars Good quality at a good price, April 13, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Since this is pretty much a "Brand X" blade, there's a temptation to assume that it's going to be sub-par in quality. Happily, that's not the case. This is good quality at a good price.

The blade will cut through wood, metal, and PVC with apparent ease. Oscillating tool blades are notoriously fragile and quick-wearing. This one seems to be tougher and more resilient than the name-brand blades I've bought. I've used it quite a lot, and the teeth seem as sharp as they were when I installed it. More importantly, it hasn't shed any teeth yet, something I've had name-brand blades do within seconds of their first use.

The package says it fits all oscillating tools. I don't know about that, but it fits my Bosch tool fine.

Bottom line: It seems to be a very good product at a very good price. When I need more blades, I'll happily buy this one again-- and others by the same manufacturer, too.


Deal: My Three Decades of Drumming, Dreams, and Drugs with the Grateful Dead
Deal: My Three Decades of Drumming, Dreams, and Drugs with the Grateful Dead
by Benjy Eisen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.51
74 used & new from $14.35

15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not great..., April 3, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm not a Deadhead, but I am a fan of the Grateful Dead's music. I also enjoy insider books by rock 'n' rollers. That's why I was eager to read Bill Kreutzmann"s book. The subtitle promises that it details his "three decades of drumming, dreams, and drugs." I liked the book, but the focus of the book is on the drugs, not the drumming and dreaming.

Kreutzmann was a founding member of the Dead, present at ground zero when the psychedelic San Fransisco sound exploded into being in the sixties. He knew and worked with all of the big names, like Carlos Santana, Janis Joplin, the Jefferson Airplane, the Quicksilver Messenger Service and on and on. Can you imagine the things he saw and the stories he could tell?

"Could" is the operative term here. Unfortunately for us-- and even more so for him-- he was stoned for most of his career. In addition, of course, he didn't know nearly fifty years ago that he'd be writing a history some day, so he didn't keep records of what happened. The result of that combination is a rambling, discursive book with many, many vague, fuzzy spots.

In the end, it's a cautionary tale. Kreutzmann repeatedly tells us that the band's and his personal drug use negatively affected their music, their finances, and most importantly, their health. The Dead lost four keyboardists to drug-related health issues, and Jerry Garcia died in his early 50s, a sick, old man who could barely stand up on stage. One wonders what they could have done if they had been recreational drug users, rather than helpless junkies. Of course, it's possible to argue that the music wouldn't have been the same without the heavy drug use. It's hard to know. However, Kreutzmann's account makes it clear that the drugs took a toll.

Structurally, the book is a bit frustrating. It's arranged chronologically, but very frequently, it veers out of order. The co-author, Benjy Eisen, is a professional journalist, so he should have been able to smooth out the narrative. He didn't.

Bottom line: I liked the book, and I recommend it. It's certainly not one of the great rock histories, but it is a look inside of one of the most influential bands in rock history, told by one of the few people in a position to know what he's talking about.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 5, 2015 10:00 AM PDT


Capital Teas Cream Earl Grey Black Tea, Keurig Cups
Capital Teas Cream Earl Grey Black Tea, Keurig Cups
Price: $16.60

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great tea in a convenient form, April 3, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is excellent tea. I'm more of a coffee drinker, but I like the occasional cup of tea. However, I don't care for the process-- and the mess-- of making it. This tea in a K-cup solves that problem.

The tea is very nice. It has a complex combination of flavor hints, but none of them are sharp or cloying. The name "Cream Earl Grey" is well chosen. Tea can be somewhat astringent, but this one is not. It's smooth, rich, and tasty.

Bottom line: I really like the flavor of this tea, and I love the convenience. I will happily buy more when I run out.


NEET Keeper Cable Manager - Frustration-Free Packaging - Light Blue
NEET Keeper Cable Manager - Frustration-Free Packaging - Light Blue
Price: $12.00
2 used & new from $12.00

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A solution in search of a problem, March 21, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This little sleeve works, but I keep wondering why anyone should bother with it.

It's a nylon fabric sleeve with a wire stiffener and a zipper. The idea is that you stuff a cable or two into it, zip it up, and then... Well, that's the question. According to the product insert, you could wrap it around your wrist, you could twist it into a sort of phone stand, or you could make a golf tee out of it. Sure.

It works fine, but I honestly can't think of any reason to have it, especially at about $12 a pop right now on Amazon. It's a solution in search of a problem-- and not likely to find one.


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