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M. Allen Greenbaum's Profile

Customer Reviews: 1358
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M. Allen Greenbaum RSS Feed (California)

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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: $30.63

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.

DII 100% Cotton, Machine Washable, Heat Resistant to 425 Degrees, Everyday Kitchen Basic  Pot Holder, Set of 2, Nautical Blue
DII 100% Cotton, Machine Washable, Heat Resistant to 425 Degrees, Everyday Kitchen Basic Pot Holder, Set of 2, Nautical Blue
Price: $9.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Blue, Blue, my Water is Blue..., February 16, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
These are inexpensive pot holders that do the job quite nicely for most hot dishes Even with the special material, however, they may not insulate up to a full 425 degrees-for that, they should probably be thicker. I like that you can place your hand inside the holder (like a mitt), and the color looks fine. That's good, because the color is the opposite of color-fast.

I these under water for maybe 10-15 minutes and blue dye kept washing off of them. At least the horrible odor attendant upon opening the page went away, but the blue dye just poured of these. Even after I used these as mitts to wash and wax a car (I had decided by this time I wasn't going to use them for their intendurpose), there was still some blue coloring. I don't know that this is "dangerous," but it didn't instill confidence in the product. Frankly, this quality mathem feel cheap. In addition,the very material that helps insulation is also too stiff, making these more difficult to handle. Nice try, but not something I'd recommend.

Retrospec Bicycles Floor Pump (Silver)
Retrospec Bicycles Floor Pump (Silver)
Price: $16.99
2 used & new from $14.78

4.0 out of 5 stars The Pump House Gang, January 16, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
With a steel main shaft, grooves to help hold the rubber tube, and a place to keep accessories, this is a thoughtfully designed bicycle pump, accommodating both Presta and Schrader type valve stems. If you're not sure which one you have, the net is filled with pictures and descriptions that help differentiate them.

Unlike some reviewers, I don't have many doubts about the durability, although admittedly, it has not been long enough to test this. However, all parts seems to fit together well, the rubber/rubberized bottom flat piece (the on you stand on to hold the pump steady) seems solid enough, and the pressure gauge is also adequate. The latter has an analogue display, and the reading can be hard to discern (as with a vacillating bathroom scale), but it's good enough to get a general idea of tire pressure. This may not be enough for a serious bicyclist but should be fine for most.

I did have some trouble getting this to stay on my Schrader valve. I had to give it a little twist around the value: NOt an easy thing to do. There's also a flat rectangular piece that you move from a 180 degree to a 90 degree angle after attachment (perhaps this is a lock), but this is quite long and you have to maneuver it so that the piece doesn't hit a spoke. However, because so few other people mentioned this as a problem, I'm going to chalk this up to my own inexperience, or perhaps the fairly cheap tires.

You can get a lot of pressure going in just a short time. The pump glides up and down very easily and smoothly-no noisy friction or stuck motion here. That was probably the quality I enjoyed the most. Also, the long pump size really speeds up the job. For just a little more money than a hand-pump, you get quicker results with ease. However, I'd say if others start to complain about getting this to attach to the valve (which, again, I haven't seen yet), you might want to take that a bit more seriously.

Chemical Guys SPI99316 Nonsense Colorless and Odorless All Surface Cleaner - 16 oz.
Chemical Guys SPI99316 Nonsense Colorless and Odorless All Surface Cleaner - 16 oz.
Price: $8.95
4 used & new from $8.95

4.0 out of 5 stars No Nonsense Cleaner Works Well, but No Ingredient List., January 15, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
At least the claims for this product seem a bit more honest than the chemicalguys pitch for "Go Green Waterless Car Detailing System" which doesn't seem that "Green" ( what's that petroleum smell; why so many safety warnings?) and isn't really waterless (after, all you have to rinse the micro-fiber cleaning fabric multiple times).

As stated there is no color and no (or very little odor) with Nonsense Cleaner. There's also no ingredient list, either on the bottle or on their website ( This wouldn't bother me especially except they seem to pride themselves on being an eco-friendly company, and the bottle lists safety precautions in case of inhalation or contact.

This is a moderate strength cleaner (I used it without dilution) that does an excellent job on dust, dirt and grease, and even pick up old coffee stains on my vehicle's seat. I sprayed the cloth seat and let it soak, then picked up the first layer of dirt with just a cotton cloth. Repeated spraying and soaking, including loosening the old stain by rubbing with a microfiber cloth, removed a great deal more. Bottom line: While stronger cleaners for tougher jobs abound, this apparently more mild cleaner does a very good job at ordinary maintenance cleaning as well as stain removal. I do recommend using a microfiber cloth to help with cleaning, chemicalguys offers some at a fairly reasonable price, but you can purchase other brands as well (as I did).

Not to belabor the point, but I can't tell if it is truly milder because-that's right-they don't list the ingredients.

Although it will clean glass (e.g., windshield), I'd recommend other products for that. The fine spray will turn into a slightly (bur noticeable) sudsy liquid when you rub it in. It takes a little more work to remove than with non-sudsing cleaners (e.g., Windex).

As with the other product I tried, the sprayer feeder is far too long for the bottle, but no biggie: Just cut the tube to size with scissors. Overall, a very good product, but I can't say that it's miles above the competition. Currently, "Nonsense" is less expensive at the chemicalguys site, IF you order $50 worth of supplies so that you don't have to pay shipping.

Chemical Guys WAC707RU16 EcoSmart-RU Ready to Use Waterless Car Wash and Wax - 16 oz.
Chemical Guys WAC707RU16 EcoSmart-RU Ready to Use Waterless Car Wash and Wax - 16 oz.
Price: $12.19
2 used & new from $9.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mr. Chemical Guys: Tear Down Your Information Wall!, January 15, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
You have to look under the hood to really evaluate this product. It promises an 'ecosmart' and "waterless" quick wash and wax, but provides almost no information about the ingredients-not even on their website ( Yet, the bottle lists safety precautions in case of inhalation or contact. The website states it has carnauba wax; after that you're on your own.

There's a noticeable petroleum-like odor that belies the eco-friendly label. Furthermore, so much dirt is lifted off (yes, it works, I'll get to the "positives" below), that you'll have to rinse the recommended micro-fiber cleaning cloth several times over. The website proclaims that there is "no water waste." Undoubtedly this uses less water than traditional vehicle washing, but if you're careful and use one small bucket for soapy water and another for rinsing, you're probably not using the "120-160 gallons of water" cited at

The product works very well, however. It picks up a lot of dirt (you may wish to brush or lightly rub off some dirt before using the product), hence the need to rinse and dry any micro-cloth fiber material you use. I used a sponge-size product that is thick cloth on one side and microfiber on the other. Spray the product directly on the vehicle, wait no more than a minute, and thoroughly wipe off the light glaze produced by the spray. Note: The "atomizer" spray bottle produces a very fine spray that may blow back in your face if the wind is against you. You may need to wipe off any spots you missed, but the soft glaze make these easy to find. The wax (or whatever it is) works well, too: Over the next few days, I noticed fine water beads where the product had been applied.

Even though the website states that the product will "wash, polish, wax and protect in one step with no water waste, water spots, swirl marks, streaks or scratches..." and "protects against damaging UV rays," the motoring enthusiast and consumer should be informed about the ingredients so that she or he can independently evaluate it. No, I am not against flouridated water, but I am for full disclosure to the consumer.

Uncharted Ultra-Lite Packing Cube 2 Piece Set, Grey, One Size
Uncharted Ultra-Lite Packing Cube 2 Piece Set, Grey, One Size
Price: $20.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5* Strong and Useful, But Somewhat Overpriced, January 8, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I recently took these containers on a vacation, tucked inside a suitcase and was very pleased with the quality and functionality. Medicines went into one bag, and socks/underwear into another. They're made out of a unconstructed nylon (the "cubes," not the underwear), so they're very flexible and can fit into non-rectangular areas. The easy-gliding zipper will open all but the bottom of the container, making it easy to store and remove any object shape. I also thought they were very light yet strong, appreciated the mesh on one side so that I could see the contents, as well as the informal handle should one want to hold or lift it. Although too large for an ipod or Kindle (and no padding), these could be used for clothes, newspapers, snack bars, maps, etc.

I somewhat question the price for the two containers, although they seem fairly reasonable if discounted (as currently does); they don't seem worth the full price. On the other hand, perhaps the nylon crop had a bad year, because similar items also seem overpriced. I'd definitely recommend these for their quality and versatility.

Iliving Ilg927 Deep Tissue Vibration Foot Massager, Grey
Iliving Ilg927 Deep Tissue Vibration Foot Massager, Grey
Offered by Basic pH Solutions
Price: $79.20
3 used & new from $79.20

3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5* Bad, bad, bad... Bad Vibrations., December 16, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Deep Tissue Vibration Foot Massager is designed to apply deep (i.e., infrared) heat and adjustable strength massage, especially to aching feet because of the tilted angle. Infrared heat theoretically should penetrate more than just a heating pad or (if anyone owns these anymore) a hot water bottle, and I found that this was effective. Although somewhat awkward, you could also place this against your back or hold it against your shoulder, etc.

The problem I have with this, echoed by the people who tried it at my Deep Tissue Vibrator Party (using this device only, of course) , is the strength of the vibrations. Adjustable (high, medium, low) it may be, but the lowest setting can be uncomfortable strong. One would think that with a double-pronged attack on aches and pains (heat, vibration), one could turn the vibration way down, or even off, especially if the affected area is too painful for massage. But nooooooooooo. Interestingly, it seems like the lowest vibration occurs during the random setting, a mode that alternates between low, medium, and high. However, this is pre-set, and you cannot adjust when it switches to each setting.

Some people may like the range of vibration strength, but I wish they had decreased the "low" setting, or added more levels. It's OK, but I was not entirely pleased.

Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair Booster Serum, 1 fl oz.
Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair Booster Serum, 1 fl oz.
Price: $75.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Costly Moisturizer, Other Benefits May Be Questionable, December 5, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a pleasant moisturizing cream that may or may not reduce the appearance of wrinkles on your skin. I've looked up the major active ingredients (the hyaluronic acid, reservatrol, and fruit stem cells) and it appears there are few, if any, double-blinded random clinical trials with humans that test these ingredients for the (non-hydration) benefits implied by this product. Of course, there are lots of companies and health magazines, etc., who have great enthusiasm for their efficacy. Many of these sources stand to make some money off your belief in this.

I'm not going to state that the active ingredients don't provide the advertised benefits, but I do feel skeptical. I will attest to the moisturizing properties and to it's pleasant scent, easy application (a tiny bit goes a long way), a slight tingling sensation that is probably an astringent agent (if it bothers you, perhaps either don't use as much or don't use in sensitive areas), and a very high price. That last one is probably not desirable.

McAfee Total Protection  2015 3 PCs
McAfee Total Protection 2015 3 PCs
Price: $32.26
16 used & new from $25.00

5.0 out of 5 stars What they used to call "User-Friendly", November 22, 2014
This review is from: McAfee Total Protection 2015 3 PCs
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I got so sick of AVG Free reminding me every few hours that I needed to restart my computer (even, it seemed, when I chose "remind me in 24 hours" that I decided to give McAfee a try. AVG free worked fairly well (in conjunction with WIndows pre-installed firewall, etc.) and in my last tune-up found no viruses. However, the free version doesn't do that much, and then there were those pesky reminder pop-ups.

One downloads McAfee (you must set up an account to do this; I suppose I had donet his in the past but didn't remember), and set-up is easy. There's a privacy warning with which you must agree (it will collect and store personally identifiable information for purposes of back-up and security), but at least it's up front. One thing I didn't like during set up: They present two "subscriptions," one longer than the other, but don't explain the differences. I just picked the longer one and hoped for the best. Downloading the installation files took about 15 minutes on a not super-fast WI-FI connection. It takes another 5 minutes or so to run those files.

After it's finished, you'll find a McAfee Icon on either a toolbar ("task manager" in Windows) or on your desktop. Double-click on this and you'll open up the system. The interface is clean and easy to understand. Large windows inform you that you have operating virus and spyware ("real-time scanning"), and "web and email protection," current updates, and an active subscription. In addition, the system allows one to "lock-up" files on your PC for extra security (whatever that means), and to use an electronic "shredder" to permanently delete your most senstive files (it's my understanding that this is almost impossible to do). You can also set-up "online back-up" of selected files.

McAfee goes a little nuts with their labelling of features, but at least you get a very clear idea of what it's doing for you. Along with the above-mentioned "online Backup, "File Lock," and "Shredder," there's the fairly self-explanatory "home Network Defense" (fix issues while running computer, track "intruders"),"Quick Clean" (improve performance by erasing unnecessary files) and one of my favorite names, "Vulnerability Scanner" (wow, what if it really were!) which simply provides the latest software updates to Windows "and your programs"). Finally, it lets parents or other adults control kids' activities on the net.

"Total protections" adds a spam-blocker ("keep risky email out of your inbox"-most email services already provide something like this) to the McAfee "Internet Security" version, but does not have the protection for mobile devices, password manager, and biometric voice-and face-identity secure cloud storage of the next highest version, "Livesafe."

I think what I like most about McAfee is the ease of use, the ability to customize the settings (for example, what type of information it will scan and remove as "unnecessary," and the ability to act now or schedule protection activities for the future. That, and no unwanted pop-ups (and hopefully none in the future when my subscription is almost over).

BlackBerry Passport - Factory Unlocked Smartphone - Black
BlackBerry Passport - Factory Unlocked Smartphone - Black
Price: $587.45
48 used & new from $417.88

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you're not into extra small, this is the way to go!, November 19, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
THis may be the device that rescues Blackberry fro irrelevancy (and bankruptcy or a buyout; RIMM [the sybol for the company] stock has taken a beating the last few years. BUt, you're not reading this to make money, onto the palmtop! (Oops let's NOT use the word "PALM" here, speaking of pain....

I've been very reluctant to use "smart phones," my cell phone is a dumb phone from Samsung that I got for probably under $25. I just didn't need it except when I was traveling, and I don't do that very often. No, no reason to get a smart phone, when I have a Kindle for books, an HP laptop (OK, so it's not as light or as small as a MacBook), an Ipod for music, a Kindle Fire for apps and movies, a digital camera, a Tom-Tom navigator GPS while driving, and a junky but manageable cell phone for emergencies.

I think I just answered my own question. This new Blackberry is a combination of all of the above in one device, and for once, you don't sacrifice ease of use to have the "convenience" of a multi-function device that leaves one confused and disappointed. I would rather have this slightly larger phone with a real keyboard, a wide, high quality responsive screen for video or reading text(no squinting!), real integration with email, two-way communication between, for example, your home computer and your phone (and a port for flash drives when you don't want to or have no need to send "data" over the phone, an internet browser that is fast and dependable, and all sort of automatic shut-down and resume features. The practical size of the real keyboard (with one virtual row) and the auto-suggestion of words makes composing easy and much more fun. fans will especially enjoy using this as a reader (although nothing beats the Kindle Paperwhite for outdoor reading), and the availability of Apps should satisfy most users. Audio quality is exceptional as well (sort of like, "it even has a built-in phone"), ostensibly one reason for buying this.

IF you want a multi-function device that was engineered for everyday use (and with power that lasts a surprisingly long time), and don't require that it be extra-slim, this is the model for you. You can wean yourself from at least some of those other electronic devices you've collected over the years, or at least save them for special purpose use (e.g., take your digital camera when you're planning a day of photography; your KIndle Paperwhite if you're vacationing and want to read outdoors). It's not inexpensive, but when you consider what you get (but, please, think about whether you really need everything, and not about your gadget envy/competition with friends), you may feel it's well worth it.

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