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Profile for James M. Brining > Reviews


James M. Brining's Profile

Customer Reviews: 8
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Helpful Votes: 111

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James M. Brining "Pocketwatch Fox" RSS Feed (Torrance, CA)

Page: 1
Trakdot Luggage Tracker, Black/Orange, One Size
Trakdot Luggage Tracker, Black/Orange, One Size
Price: Click here to see our price
21 used & new from $44.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Peace of Mind - Just Add Batteries (preferably a new set for each trip), June 7, 2015
This review is from: Trakdot Luggage Tracker (Apparel)
I often travel with irreplaceable, one-of-a-kind items that must be put in checked bags because they're too big to carry on. Before I got the Trakdot I had two occasions where my bag was delayed in getting to the destination airport and that induced all sorts of temporary panic. The Trakdot won't make it impossible to lose bags, but it certainly gives me more peace of mind. I especially like how proactive it is, texting me and emailing me whenever it's near an airport so sometimes I'll know even before I get off the plane that my bag is there with me.

There is only one minor negatives I've noticed so far, and that's the battery life. I put the batteries in when I got the unit in February, turned it on, tested it out, and then turned it off again twenty minutes later. When I went to use it for the first time in the real world 3 months later, the battery status had already dipped down to 2 bars out of 3 even though it had been turned off the whole time.

In real world use, battery life was adequate. I put new batteries in the Trakdot and turned it on just before driving to the airport on a recent trip. I got a text within minutes of landing at my destination but completely forgot to power the unit off until 18h after I turned it on. When I finally did the batteries were still at 2 bars out of 3. So they should last at least a few days even after the longest of international flights. It's a little annoying but it's a minor issue, one that can be remedied by putting in new batteries in before the departure flight on any trip and pulling the batteries out when the Trakdot is not in use.

iOttie CSCEIO131 iOttie Macaron Protective Case Cover for Samsung Galaxy S4 IV (White) - Carrying Case - Retail Packaging - White
iOttie CSCEIO131 iOttie Macaron Protective Case Cover for Samsung Galaxy S4 IV (White) - Carrying Case - Retail Packaging - White
Price: $23.53

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clean & Comfortable Design, August 13, 2013
What good is buying a white phone if you're going to cover it up with a gaudy phone case?

Unless of course, you choose a case that's not only comfortable and durable but also retains the clean, white-backed look of your phone.

That's exactly what I was thinking when I got with this white iOttie Macaron case for the GS4. It adds a little bulk to the back and a little width and length because of the generous rubber bumper that borders the corners of the phone, but hey, the GS4 is extremely thin on its own and can stand to add a little depth to it.

It feels comfortable in my hand and still slides easily into the front pocket of my jeans. The case also has a decent sized lip bordering the screen, enough that if I place the phone glass-down on a table it keeps the screen from touching the tabletop. It goes on easy but takes some effort to get it off which is certainly better than the other way around.

This is a great case for the price and a great accessory for your phone.

Steelcase Amia Fabric Chair, Black
Steelcase Amia Fabric Chair, Black
Offered by BACKSTORE
Price: $689.00
2 used & new from $399.99

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nearly a Perfect Chair, June 25, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Steelcase Amia Fabric Chair, Black
I work from home and spend a lot of time sitting in front of a computer. When I'm done with my work day I... end up spending even more time sitting in front of a computer. Up until this point I've used office chairs frequently found at brick-and-mortar office stores. You know the type: $50-100 for chairs made with plastic painted to look like metal, cheap leather seat covers and low-quality foam. They're okay, but I figure if I'm willing to spend several hundred dollars on a bike I might ride once or twice a week, shouldn't I spend at least that much money on a chair that I'm sitting in several hours a day, seven days a week?

A friend of mine has a since-discontinued Steelcase chair that I liked a lot. I wanted a high quality but still fairly affordable chair and I decided to take a chance on the Amia because it was more affordable than other chairs in its class.


+ This is a really solid chair, very well built. The seat post doesn't wobble, the seating surface is firm and the frame made of metal and high quality plastics.
+ It comes pre-assembled so you don't have to spend an hour figuring which bolts go where, trying to line up canvas holes with wood holes underneath or screwing on that one caster that just doesn't seem to want to screw in properly.
+ It's very adjustable. You get the standard controls you find on most chairs: Hydraulic lift and a recline/no-recline toggle (and unlike some lower-end chairs I've owned, the toggle doesn't give the impression that it'll flip itself on or off out of the blue). There are several more adjustable items too, like the ability to slide the seating surface forward or back to match up with your body type. The seat-back torsion level is also quite nice, allowing you to customize just how much resistance you encounter when leaning back. The armrests can be raised and lowered and locked into place easily .
+ It's a sharp looking chair. It's not too big but not too small and it has a very clean, functional design.
+ It's quite comfortable too, even though it's firm. Or firm even though it's comfortable (depending on your firmness-versus-comfort priority).


- The arm rests. They can slide forward and back, move in or out, even pivot at up to a 45 degree angle all in the name of adjustment (the Steelcase-provided video on the product page highlights just how adjustable they are). The problem is that with the exception of the height, there's no locking mechanism once you get the arm rests in the desired position. This results in arm rests that can slide out of position when leaned on or grabbed. They can easily be maneuvered back into place, but it's an annoyance.
- It does creak a bit more than expected when reclining, but that may be the result of having the recline-torsion knob turned too tightly. I dialed it back a bit and that seemed to reduce (but not eliminate) the creaking.

The arm rest movement and creaky noises are annoyances, but they shouldn't distract from the bigger picture that this is a comfortable and well built chair.

Kensington K39383US Universal KeyFolio Pro Case with Removable Keyboard for Galaxy, Xoom, eeePad Transformer and Other 10-Inch Tablets
Kensington K39383US Universal KeyFolio Pro Case with Removable Keyboard for Galaxy, Xoom, eeePad Transformer and Other 10-Inch Tablets

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for Typing, not so Good for Every Day Use, December 3, 2011
I purchased this case/keyboard combo because (at least at the time) I could not find a case built specifically for my Toshiba Thrive with a Bluetooth keypad built in. I like this case for the most part, but whether or not you do may depend on whether you prefer to use your tablet in landscape or portrait mode. Your faith in velcro may also play a role.

If you're looking to use your tablet as a pseudo-netbook, this case may be right up your alley. The keyboard is comfortable and thin and has an auto-off feature if you forget to flip the power switch off when you're done with it. Since it's Bluetooth it also leaves your USB slot open for other things. The case folds easily and intuitively to prop your tablet up with a nice laptop-like viewing angle as you type.

If you prefer to use your tablet more often in portrait-mode, you may want to look elsewhere. For starters, the case is bulky. With the Thrive it measures 1.75" thick when closed. That's not necessarily a deal breaker but it brings the tablet a lot closer size-wise to a small laptop and it doesn't feel quite as portable as it does case-less. Further, holding the case in one arm with the cover open is uncomfortable. My naked tablet has dimensions around 7"x10" but an open case is a whopping 17"x10". That's an extra 100 square inches of material in the form of case & keyboard resting on my arm. It may not sound like that big of a deal, but even with my long arms and it felt unwieldy when holding it this way.

It is a well constructed case with a handsome cover with a couple nice extras (a loop inside the case for a stylus; an elastic strap outside it to bundle papers), but because it's a one-size-fits most solution, it can't quite be everything to everyone. The Thrive for instance is on the bulkier side of tablets and thus stretches the corner mounting pieces. As a result it doesn't look or feel flush. Thinner tablets may fare better here. The larger set of mounting pieces (about 2.5" square) also obstruct the volume-up button and the headphone jack on my Thrive. There are smaller mounting pieces (about 1.5" square), but they don't have the same surface area of velcro underneath them. The velcro is strong stuff and I doubt it will fail, but I have a peace of mind issue using little tiny rubber corners to keep my expensive toy mounted in place. I have also had minor issues with the keyboard popping out of it's holder for some reason. It snaps firmly into place but after opening and closing the case a few times it starts to fall out.

Ultimately I found this to be a good situational case. If I know I'm going to be going on a trip where I'll be doing a lot of typing it fits the bill nicely. For every day use though it's just too bulky when closed and too unwieldy when open, so I'm searching out a thinner, Thrive-specific case that doesn't rely on velcro to hold it in place.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 27, 2012 11:17 AM PST

WD 1TB My Book AV DVR Expander External Hard Drive  - USB 2.0 - WDBABT0010HBK-NESN
WD 1TB My Book AV DVR Expander External Hard Drive - USB 2.0 - WDBABT0010HBK-NESN
4 used & new from $194.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great product! (If you only need it for a few months) - Updated!, September 4, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The My DVR Expander is a handsome little 1TB drive that expanded my TiVo Premiere to over 100 hours of HD programming. It synced up effortlessly with the TiVo on start up and not only ran silently but provided a seamless video picture.

For 8 days.

Then it konked out. Its replacement lasted a full 3 months before it died.

I do very much want to like this product. It looks good and when it's working it works great, but in my experiences it hasn't worked nearly long enough. What's worse is that as of this writing it is the only expansion drive officially recognized by TiVo and thus the only expansion option that doesn't involve voiding the warranty.

If I had to do it over again I wouldn't buy this drive, but since I've already paid the money and it is still under warranty I'm RMA'ing it. Here's hoping that the third time is the charm.

UPDATE (9/22/2011) - The third drive died in less than a weekend! Three failed drives in 4 months was simply too coincidental to blame entirely on the WD MyDVR Expander and I began to suspect that the TiVo itself was part of the problem. When I divorced drive #3 from the TiVo and the TiVo still failed to start I had my answer: Bad TiVo. While I still blame the first failure on the MyDVR Expander, I will chalk up 'bad drives' number two and three on the Tivo and I have bumped up the rating to 4 stars.

That said, as a TiVo subscriber if I had to do all over again I still wouldn't buy this drive and would have invested in a Premiere XL instead. The drive works well enough, but it's one more thing to plug in and provides a second point of failure.

Amzer Rubberized Snap-On Crystal Hard Case for Motorola CLIQ MB200/DEXT MB200 - Blue
Amzer Rubberized Snap-On Crystal Hard Case for Motorola CLIQ MB200/DEXT MB200 - Blue

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Case, but Amzer Makes a Better One, September 7, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I originally ordered Amzer's highly rated Silicone Skin Jelly case for the Cliq, but when 4 months passed and Amazon still didn't have it in stock I ordered this case to tide me over for a while.

I wasn't sure what to expect from the case construction. 'Rubberized' and 'Crystal Hard' seem to be conflicting properties. Was it soft and rubbery? Or was it firm and plasticy? And what did 'Crystal' mean? Was it semi-transparent? I wouldn't know until it arrived.

It turns out, the case is best described as a rubberized hard case with a metallic (crystal?) paint coating. The product photo does not do it justice, as it is a lighter, glittery blue. Do a web search on 'Nissan 350Z blue' and you'll get a good idea of the color and sheen of this case. It's a well designed, sturdy case that snapped firmly into place and didn't crack or accidentally pop off as my previous low-budget case had a propensity to do. It also appears to be slightly thinner than the Silicone Skin Jelly case if bulk is your concern.

If there's a drawback to the case, it's the 'crystal' coating. The color on my case didn't seem to be evenly distributed, especially at the edges where the two pieces meet together on the phone. Furthermore, after using the case for only 2 months it was starting to collect scratches and scrapes that revealed the white rubber beneath the blue coating. Big deal? Not really. Probably more like a nitpick. After all, the case was doing it's job and keeping those scratches and scrapes from getting to the phone which is what's important in the end.

If you're looking to give your phone a little bit of flashy color this is a good case, but if you don't need your phone to make a fashion statement you might want to give Amzer's Silicone Skin Jelly case a look instead.

JuiceBar JB01S Pocket Solar Charger
JuiceBar JB01S Pocket Solar Charger

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hit and Miss, August 1, 2010
My experiences with the Juicebar have been hit and miss. With my iPod and iHome portable speakers it works like a charm, charging up the batteries fairly quickly. Things are different with my phone though: Even when fully charged the Juicebar can only fill up about 20% of my Motorola Cliq's battery before it empties.

I'm willing to chalk up the poor performance on the phone charge to my finicky phone, but there is another, more disappointing aspect to the Juicebar: Once I empty its batteries the solar charging feature is useless. I had my fully emptied Juicebar sitting in direct sunlight for 8+ hours and it didn't charge at all. Once I connected it to a computer via USB and got a little bit of charge in it the solar charging feature started working again, but this is an unfortunate flaw. When I purchased the charger I did so thinking it would be a good thing to have in case of emergencies, extended power outages, camping trips, etc. but knowing that the battery won't recharge from the solar panels once it completely empties limits its effectiveness in this regard.


UPDATE: As two commenters have pointed out, had I read the instruction book I would have noticed that there is a small reset button on the unit that will re-activate the Juicebar if it fully runs out of battery life. I have bumped up my review by a star, but will say in the defense of non-instruction readers like me that the button is not labeled and is a pinhole reset button like one you might find on a DVD-drive that requires inserting a paperclip or something else similarly small & narrow to press it. So no, it is no longer 'useless' once it runs out, but it is a bit frustrating for the asking price if need to reset it after every third or fourth charge (as has been the case in my experiences). Thanks to J. Miller and L. Flanigan for pointing out my mistake!
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 21, 2013 11:40 AM PDT

Indianapolis Colts: Road to Super Bowl XLI (Post-Season Collector's Edition)
Indianapolis Colts: Road to Super Bowl XLI (Post-Season Collector's Edition)
DVD ~ Tony Dungy
Offered by MightySilver
Price: $22.08
16 used & new from $12.89

25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It is what it is, but it could have been more, September 11, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
**NOTE** This review based after watching just one of the four games in this set**NOTE**

As a long suffering Colts fan it's great to have these DVDs to remember a very special season, especially the AFC Championship game that was one for the ages. As I re-watched that game last night, I found myself cheering and pumping my fist again, even though I already knew the outcome.

That said, I was disappointed in two aspects of this DVD set.

1) While the game was broadcast in HDTV, the footage they used for the DVD set was from the standard definition, 4:3 aspect ratio broadcast. Players looked blurry on my 55" HD-TV. I'm not asking for HD-DVD or Blu-Ray version of the games, but I figure at the very least they could have used the HDTV broadcast footage to create a higher quality DVD and possibly even a 16:9 presentation for the growing number of people with HDTVs.

2) The editing left much to be desired. I would think that people ordering this set would be football purists who want to see the games as they were broadcast, but at times the editors go to a 'compressed game' style, editing out huddles, replays, etc. To their credit, they USUALLY do this reasonably well. For instance, if a team goes three and out on a relatively meaningless drive in the middle of the second quarter the time between plays magically disappears, while late in the game every second--even full time outs--is aired as is. HOWEVER, there were some very key plays in the New England game, specifically Marvin Harrison's fantastic 2 point conversion catch and Reggie Wayne's late-game, almost-fumble that DID NOT EVEN GET REPLAYED ON THE DISC! Additionally, there are times in the presentation when the commentators are cut off mid-sentence to edit out a huddle or a replay. I understand that the NFL does not want to rebroadcast Jim Nance doing an on-air commercial for Rules of Engagement or telling us that the third quarter was brought to us by Sprint, but there's got to be a seamless way to show the full game.

I give it 3 stars because it does allow me to remember and re-live these magical four games. It got those 3 stars before the DVDs even arrived on my doorstep. It failed to earn any additional stars though because of the editing and the decision to use the standard definition feed to broadcast the games.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 31, 2011 6:47 AM PST

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