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M. Allen Greenbaum's Profile

Customer Reviews: 1367
Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,875
Helpful Votes: 17458

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M. Allen Greenbaum RSS Feed (California)

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DII Bone Dry Warm, Soft, Plush, Microfiber Pet Blanket for Couch, Car, Trunk, Cage, Kennel, Dog House, Blue
DII Bone Dry Warm, Soft, Plush, Microfiber Pet Blanket for Couch, Car, Trunk, Cage, Kennel, Dog House, Blue
Price: $14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Miniature Schnauzer gives this his Best Use of Polyester Award. I have to agree!, August 2, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
If I was very pleasantly surprised by this blanket, you should hear what the dog thinks! I'll translate, albeit loosely:

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, fellow person! I love this ultra-soft thing you got for me. I love it when you put it over me (keeps me warm, but not too hot), and under me...well, after eating, walking, flirting/standing my ground with other dogs, sleeping, and that weird squeaky owl you keep in the house, this is just one of my favorite things (even if you can't eat the fake bones someone drew on it). It's also wonderful to lay down or sleep on, so SOFT and PLUSH, it is so much better than those other so-called blankets you've given me, and waaaaay better than the floor! You think I sometimes don't listen to you, but I've heard you talk about how well it does in the laundry even after I *supposedly* get it dirty. (I am a very clean dog.) This blanket does everything you and I had hoped it would; in fact, it exceeds our expectations. I think you should get me another one for Christmas. I think I'll go lay down now (but let me know if you need help with leftovers; you can even wake me for that).

Pre de Provence Soap Shea Enriched Everyday 150 Gram Extra Large French Soap Bar - Rose De Mai
Pre de Provence Soap Shea Enriched Everyday 150 Gram Extra Large French Soap Bar - Rose De Mai
Price: $6.99
12 used & new from $6.49

4.0 out of 5 stars A Rose by Any Other Name (wouldn't have this many added ingredients)., July 24, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
That's some copy writer they hired over at European Soaps, LLC:

"May in Provence, that special time of year when Rose de Mai blooms for five weeks only.... Each bloom is hand-picked early morning, ...placed into the harvest basket...captures the essence of its hundred, fragrant petals..."

OK, let's assume that all of the above is true. It's OK if it's not; the soap can stand on its own merits: A rich smell (Notez bien: do not purchase if you're sensitive to scents or don't adore roses), beautifully presented inside and out, and, a hundred petals or not, it really is from France. It's quad-milled too, which means that the ingredients are mixed around four separate times, resulting in less water and a longer-lasting product.

So, you may wonder why this doesn't receive the coveted 5-star rating, the consumer products equivalent of the Palme D'or.

It's the ingredients. As you know, soap is a product of saponification, the mixture of a fat or oil with an alkali salt. We can expect, therefore, that some sort of salt will be present (lye, for example, is an alkali salt). However, there are many, many other chemicals to select from the (complete) ingredient list, not all of which sound so Gallic-ly romantic.

These include:
*Cl 73360 (D &C red 30 lake), Cl 17200 (D&C red 33 al lake).
(Whoa, the color is apparently not completely from les roses de Mai...)

There's also Sodium chloride, tetra-sodium etidronate, sodium hydroxide, tetrasodium EDTA, Sodium palmate, sodium palm kernelate (must be the salts).
Also, benzyl alcohol, amyl cinnamyl alcohol, cinnamyl alcohol, methyl 2-octynoate hydroxyisohexyl, 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde, alpha isomethyl ionone, hexyl cinnamal, butyphenyl methylpropional, benzyl benzoate.

The good-sounding stuff:
rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, helianthuus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, botanical rose blend (rosa damascena flower wax & rosa centifolia flower wax), butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter extract, rosa damascena (rose) flower extract, aqua (water), parfum (fragrance). And also...over 15 other ingredients including palm acid, glycerin, EDTA, citronellol, geraniol, benzyl salicylate, linalool, hydroxycityronellal, eugenol, citral, limonene, anise alcohol, cinnamal, benzyl cinnamate, coumarin, amy cinnamal, farnesol,and isoeugenol.

Now I'm not gonna go all flouride on you. All of these may be completely natural, found in les jardins de Provence or on the stairwell of Le Tour Eiffel. I'm not a chemist (apparently a requirement for really knowing your soaps), and it may be that a lot of these ingredients are pretty standard.

However, it's a question of aesthetics. They want to emphasize the hundred, fragrant petals; but I also see an ingredient list that reads like an order for Chem. 101. Tom's of Maine, at least, tells you where the ingredients come from. Now, all of this may be completely irrelevant. It's a very good product; I just wish I knew a little more about what goes into the mill (x 4).

TP-LINK Archer T2UH AC600 High Gain Wireless Dual Band USB Adapter, 2.4Ghz 150Mbps/5Ghz 433Mbps, USB 2.0, WPS Button, Supports Windows 8.1/8/7/XP
TP-LINK Archer T2UH AC600 High Gain Wireless Dual Band USB Adapter, 2.4Ghz 150Mbps/5Ghz 433Mbps, USB 2.0, WPS Button, Supports Windows 8.1/8/7/XP
Price: $35.30
41 used & new from $28.24

4.0 out of 5 stars IMproves Laptop Performance, But Does Not Fit Into Amazon Kindle, June 13, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
5* only if you need it, and you need it if you have spotty connections with certain websites, or the connection fades at unreasonably short distances. SOrry to pass this on to others, but their reviews have much more on which of the newer computers are likely to benefit from this and for which this is less likely to improve performance. For a 3-year old computer with an 8.1 Windows system and an old, old, router, I found that this increased reliability.

HOWEVER (and, ye,s that's a big "however") this will NOT connect to Amazon's amazing Kindle line. That is a big negative for me, because my laptop experiences very few problems at home. When I go on a trip, however, I pack lightly, taking one of my Kindles with me. Signal strength at hotels can vary greatly: On a recent trip down the California coast, one hotel (in Monterey, FYI) had fine signal strength; the other (near UCSB), had a weak signal. I opened up the TP-Link package for the first time, thinking how smart I was to bring it on the trip. BUt noooooooooooooooo, the USB connector will not fit into a KIndle (the TP-LINK connector is too big), only a laptop. Maybe someone here knows of an adapter; I'd appreciate the information; otherwise, I'd rather buy a high gain device with a Kindle-fitting USB connector.

Now Designs Oven Towel, White
Now Designs Oven Towel, White
Price: $9.99
5 used & new from $8.95

5.0 out of 5 stars La Serviette de Cuisine: C'est une chose belle. It's a beautiful thing. (Sorry, it's been decades since I took French.), June 13, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This oven towel--Excusez-moi!--SERVIETTE DE CUISINE!--is a large thick somewhat waffle-textured towel that is definitely better than one or two oven mitts or smallish oven towels for removing hot baking trays or casseroles (le cassoulet, je pense) from a hot oven. That's because it's easier to use one cloth barrier than two smaller ones: It can be folded in more ways and covers more area than something smaller or something that requires two separate heat buffers (e.g., two oven mitts). It's a nice off-white, folds easily-it's not too think-and yet it's thick enough to protect your hands. No, it's not the next new thing, but if you're looking for a new barrier between your hands and that straight-from-the-oven delight, these are definitely worth considering.

Cyberlink PowerDVD 15 Ultra
Cyberlink PowerDVD 15 Ultra
Price: $89.99
4 used & new from $86.96

4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5* Hi-concept/Lo-Tech Guy Likes It!, June 9, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
For those who notice these things (probably most, though not all people) the CyberLink Power greatly improves DVD video and audio, turning standard into high resolution, adding a pretty good 3D to 2D, enhancing vibrancy and resolution, and adding Dolby sound (quite an improvement over standard computers.) Rips CDs too! There's lots of organizational features (bookmarking, tagging, etc.), as well as storage capabilty. The only thing I don't like is that storage must be renewed later for a fee.

TheraBreath Dentist Recommended Soothing Oral Rinse- Natural Chamomile Flavor, 16 ounce
TheraBreath Dentist Recommended Soothing Oral Rinse- Natural Chamomile Flavor, 16 ounce
Offered by TheraBreath
Price: $11.99
5 used & new from $11.13

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5..... Ammonium Glycyrrhizate/Aloe Cocktail for Two!, June 1, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My consumer products review head, the underpaid and overworked Nicolas Turner, dropped off the followed memo at my London Flat (along with a 99% full bottle of this product.

Hey MAG,

SInce you stiffed me for the PROs and CONs format of my last consumer review, I'm going to attempt something more, as they say, "integrative," this time. This stuff isn't bad at all, and would make a nice shower or bridegroom gift for someone who needs a hint. It certainly works well; the refreshed feeling lasts for a long time (or til you swill your next big cup of coffee), and there's no alcohol, unlike those that popular amber-tinged mouthwashed named after Dr. Lister that seems like it *must* be working because of its medicinal look and drying, puckering feeling in the mouth.

SPeaking of alcohol, someone put too much aloe or chamomile or glycerin, or ammonium glycyrrhizate (derived from licorice) in this, because it has a taste which, if it were in tequila or scotch, could only be described as vegetal or "green." In fact, the taste recalls tequila; that is, if one *can* recall tasting tequila. That was a big downer for me. I'd rather drink some quality tequila, then brush my teeth really well, including the tongue, like that woman advises Leonard to do in "Super Sad True Love Story." The ingredients seem mostly natural, although some of them were so unnatural -sounding I had to look them up in Wikipedia. My paraphrasing (don't want to plagiarize!) follows the symbol ~ below, and I couldn't always tell exactly the purpose of these chemicals. Overall, it seems thoughtfully formulated, but I'm returning 99% of the bottle to you, in accordance with Vine rules (although I suspect you're just too cheap to give anything away), and that unfortunate more-than-a-hint of green tequila.

Catch you later,



Purified Water (Aqua)
Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice,
PVP ~Polyvinylpyrrolidone, several chemical properties and uses
OXYD-8 (Dr. Katz's patented version of Cl02) ~CIO-2 is chloride dioxide, a disinfectant
Chamomilla Rectutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract,
Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernal Extract,
Allantoin ~anti-irritant, protects skin
Glycerin (from vegetable sources)
Sodium Citrate
Xylitol ~oral hygienist recommended this
Polysorbate 20 ~a surfactant or wtting agent (like Sodium Laurel Sulfate) which may help the taste spread more evenly
Tatrasodium Pyrophosphate ~a tartar control agent that removes calcium and magnesium from saliva, thus preventing them from being deposited on teeth.
Disodium EDTA-Copper Used by dentists and other oral health professionals to remove inorganic debris
Ammonium Glycyrrhizate~ natural material isolated from the licorice plant, Glycyrrhiza glabra for flavor,
Menthol, Citric Acid, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Benzoate
Does not Contain: Alcohol, Saccharin, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Benzalkonium Chloride (an allergen)

Vega One All-in-One Nutritional Shake, Chocolate, 16 Ounce
Vega One All-in-One Nutritional Shake, Chocolate, 16 Ounce
Price: $29.99
8 used & new from $29.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this "nutritional powder" for so many reasons, April 25, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I love this "nutritional powder" for so many reasons. It tastes great-not so chemica as others because of the food-based ingredients-, it mixes much more easily than other brands (I like adding it to soy or milk-based juice/vegetable smoothies), it has excellent nutritional value, and you're dealing with an ethical company. One 46 gram scoop (serving per container, approximately 10) has 170 calories, 6 grams of total fat, no trans fat, no cholesterol, 30 mg of sodium, and 13 grams of carbohydrate, of which 7 grams are dietary fiber!.

In addition it has 20 grams of protein (40% of the DV) and 50-90% of Vitamins A, C, D, E, K,the B vitamins( thiamine, Riboflavin, B6 (15% of B12 and 50% Folate as well), Biotin, and Pantothenate. There's 20-30% of Calcium, Iron, Phosphorus, and Magnesium.

The ingredients are vegan, non-genetically modified, and include pea protein, whole flaxseed, cocoa powder, maca root, broccoli, spirulina, kale, calcium from organic marine algae, a fruit and vegetable blend, probiotics, and much more. (A reprint of the label can be found at their website,

At the current sale price, each serving costs about $3.00, higher than we might like, but competitively priced with products that pack this much nutritional value and with this ingredient "pedigree." And, again, the rich chocolate flavor is delicious, and the products textures lends itself to mixing.

As I usually do, I advise people to consult a doctor or professional nutritionist, dietician, or related health professional before making dietary changes. At $3.00 per serving, it's comparable to the cost of a fast food meal, and it's far better for you. Highly recommended.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 27, 2015 9:16 AM PDT

Neutrogena Cool Dry Sport Sunscreen Spray, SPF 30, 5.5 Ounce
Neutrogena Cool Dry Sport Sunscreen Spray, SPF 30, 5.5 Ounce
Price: $8.97
13 used & new from $8.97

5.0 out of 5 stars Hot Town: Summer in the City!, April 25, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Neutrogena has long been a favorite company, having used their skin and hair products for many years. I found that this product did as well as others, and the company notes that Cool Dry Sport is sweat and water resistant (not sweat and water proof). Since resistant is a fairly vague word, I would follow their directions about re-application, or better, yet, ask a doctor or related professional.

An important subjective consideration is whether you prefer sprays or lotions. Sprays, in general, go on and feel "lighter," may dry faster and work quicker; however, I find that lotions give me more sensory feedback about whether I've covered everything, and that's why I sometimes prefer lotions. However, I've used both "delivery" systems and feel fine with a spray (some adults or kids may not prefer it). As noted by others, this is very lightly scented, and not labelled as hypo-allergenic, but I had no unpleasant sensations or reactions. The Neutrogena website offers more information about the non-active ingredients, as well as some nice tips about augmenting sprays/lotions protection with hats and other clothing, and limiting exposure. This is serious stuff, and if you have any doubts about whether this product is right for you....yes, please consult a doctor.

I like this product (and the packaging), and would buy again.

Conair Interplak Rechargeable Power Toothbrush
Conair Interplak Rechargeable Power Toothbrush
Price: $33.99
30 used & new from $32.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Under (No) Pressure: Seriously Under-Powered, April 25, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
For those who have loved their old Interplak, all I can say is make sure this is the identical model to what you used before. I don't know what Conair was thinking, but this is the worst toothbrush I've ever used, with the possible exception of some completely flimsy manual one the dentist hand out when we were kids. There's just too little power.

Now, it's true that the brushing action is more important than the POWER, per se. We're not talking horsepower here. However, when an electric toothbrush is so weak that it stops when it accidentally rubs against your inner mouth, when it's so weak that it barely moves when used with toothpaste, when it's so weak that you don't feel you're really getting your teeth clean...well, there's not much point in buying it.

The best part about this toothbrush is the eight-bristle brush-one of the best I've used. It does, indeed, reach down between your teeth. Although probably not a substitute for flossing (as with all consumer health products, ask your health provider for her or his recommendations), they're very well designed. Too bad they're saddled with such a bad motor. Even worse, I can find a place to buy substitute brush heads The ones pictured here on aren't the same as the 8-bristle brush that comes with this. A month or more ago, I did see replacements, but they cost more than twice the price of the entire toothbrush, and I didn't see them for sale at the Conair website.

If for some reason you want an extremely gentle toothbrush that may not brush your entire mouth without stopping a few times, and you don't want to replace the only thing good about the product (the brush heads), you might want to purchase this. However, there are much better toothbrushes out there, many of which have "low" vibration mode for gentle brushing, and I'd recommend those instead. As said above, your dental health provider may be able to recommend something better.

Mead 2-Inch D-Ring View Binder, Pack of 4, White (W465-44WPP)
Mead 2-Inch D-Ring View Binder, Pack of 4, White (W465-44WPP)
Price: $34.36

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 1/2 Meh...Nothing to write home about, but does the job., February 26, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is your basic binder, IT has a few extras, but they're ones that most people expect these days: A vinyl cover into which one can place a cover sheet, the great D-rings (easier to open, stronger, and hold more than the old-school O rings), and internal pockets. They're a pedestrian white, but the vinyl should protect against most stains.

I think the argument against these is mainly price. They're not huge and the cover could be thicker, so it doesn't seem like a great deal. However, they're more than serviceable and if you don't feel like comparison shopping (or your office is paying for this) you could do worse than picking up this 4-pack. You could do better by waiting for a sale, though.

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