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iStabilizer Mount XL - Smartphone Tripod Adapter for Wide Phones
iStabilizer Mount XL - Smartphone Tripod Adapter for Wide Phones
Price: $15.94
11 used & new from $15.94

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't work with a Samsung Galaxy Note II + Otterbox Defender case combo, July 16, 2013
This iStabilizer XL still doesn't open wide enough to fit an Otterbox Defender case for the Samsung Galaxy Note II phone. I'm not complaining too much, as I realize this combo pushes the already wide Note II that much more into small tablet territory. But they do advertise prominently (here and everywhere else) that it's aimed at wide phones like the Note II and will "even cradle your device while in your preferred case or bumper." Not true for the Galaxy Note II's Otterbox Defender case (At full stretch, I'd say the mount is still about 2mm too narrow.). There's also no way this mount will accommodate your wide phone in a portrait (upright) position, as mentioned on some other websites. [edit: I suppose it will if you tilt the tripod head 90 degrees after mounting, but I'm not sure if the friction will hold the device in that position for long without it falling out...]

On the actual packaging, the maximum case/device width that the iStabilizer XL will work with is listed as 88mm (minimum 55mm).

The mount itself is constructed well. It's basically a spring-loaded unit that stretches to fit your device/phone. Foam padding is pretty generous at the base, and the top of your device is held by a small soft rubber (silicone?) pad. It's reasonably held there by friction, not by a clamping action. The plastic portions of the leg and the base itself are solid and don't flex, encapsulating the metal "universal" thread at the base for the tripod. The springs are adequate enough-- if your device fits.


Deluxe Soft Case PSC-600
Deluxe Soft Case PSC-600
Offered by Rand's Camera
Price: $5.47
48 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Could Have Been Better for the A1300. . ., January 10, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Canon lists this as the correct case for the PowerShot A1300, but it's a very tight fit for this camera (maybe too tight for some users). The leather-like front flap, while it looks nice, is fairly stiff, contributing to the tightness when it's pulled closed over the A1300's protruding grip. The side nylon panels that fold in accordion-style are pretty stiff too. If you're used to Canon's older gray microfiber cases for their past generation A series cameras, you might be a bit disappointed overall. Think minimalist holster rather than an enclosed case. As such, there's no pocket for memory card or for battery storage (which would have been nice since the A1300 uses plain AA batteries). There is a belt loop (not clip) in the back. Additionally, the convenient center hole at the top of the flap does match perfectly with the wrist strap anchor location on the side of the camera. It's not mentioned anywhere, but the case uses a magnetic button closure, like those you see on phone holsters and women's purses.

For the way I use the camera, though, I would prefer to have a case that's not so tight fitting for quick access. I'd also like hook-and-loop (Velcro) closure, rather than magnetic. There are other companies -- Case Logic and Lowepro come to mind -- that make generic camera cases offering storage and zippered compartments, maybe even some better padding. But they all have that "I'm going hiking" look to them... Aesthetics aside, those might be a better deal in the end.


Kitrics Keypad Timer/Clock
Kitrics Keypad Timer/Clock

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You'd Be Surprised How Hard It Is To Find A Good Kitchen Timer, January 19, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this to replace my broken manual wind-up timer. I was obsessively looking for another good mechanical one, but couldn't find a durable one that doesn't look like some sort of whimsical fruit. After comparing it to everything else out there, I'm glad I bought this one. Here's why:

- It's one of the few timer models with a full number pad. Coming from a wind-up model, I didn't want to stand there repeatedly pushing cheap minutes/seconds keys with ingredient-soaked fingers.

- You can operate this timer with ONE finger, WHILE it's on the refrigerator door. The magnet is large (for the unit's size), is centrally located, and there are little tabs at each corner stabilizing the unit against the fridge surface. I don't know who designs other digital timers, but most seem to have their (usually weak) magnets perched on top of some kind of pedestal. Push a keypad button while it's on it's magnet, and the whole thing teeters off. You'd think this would be the first thing taught at the timer design school. . .

- I don't want to spend too much on a kitchen timer. Some of the others cost twice as much as this one. For the same great "Made-In-China" quality. . .

- It uses ONE watch-type battery, changeable with a coin, unlike the Taylor 10-key (the closest similar model to this one).

Other highlights:

- It's also a simple clock. And that's, delightfully, the only other function this device has.

- Using it as a timer, it shuts off automatically after not using it awhile (but still remembers your last time setting when you "wake" it. Very Smart.).

- There's a fold-out hook, in case you want to nail it to the wall.

What I don't like about it:

- This timer is small. Tiny, even. I wish I could read it from across the room, but I can't.

- When it goes off, it's only about as loud as a travel clock, and sounds just like one. Not quite as satisfying an alarm as a wind-up bell, although it's loud enough to be annoying. And no, this one doesn't tick. . .

- There's no folding support, so it's not designed for free-standing. The base is flat, though, so you can actually stand it up nervously on a flat surface. Until, say, a toddler strolls in and bumps the table. . .

I'm always going to miss the sturdy mechanical kitchen timers that we all grew up with. The Lux one with the little rocket-ship dial that I could actually see while sitting in my breakfast nook (NOT the cheap, incredibly unreliable knock-off versions of it available today). I'd trade digital accuracy for one of those old ones, any day. Unfortunately, no one can make 'em like they used to at this price anymore.


FRAM CF10285 Fresh Breeze Cabin Air Filter
FRAM CF10285 Fresh Breeze Cabin Air Filter
Price: $15.19
22 used & new from $13.66

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Will NOT fit on a 2006 Toyota Solara, July 15, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This filter will NOT fit on a 2006 Toyota Solara, despite the application guide saying it will. It's not Amazon's fault: Fram's own catalogs are wrong. The correct part is the thinner and wider FRAM CF10132 Fresh Breeze Cabin Air Filter.

Hope this saves some frustration. . .


Energizer AA Lithium Batteries 4 count, Lasts 9 Times Longer
Energizer AA Lithium Batteries 4 count, Lasts 9 Times Longer
Offered by National Deals
Price: $5.71
193 used & new from $2.71

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Side Benefit: Makes Your Device Really Lightweight, December 24, 2007
I'm usually not one to rave about AA batteries. But these are the best. You've probably seen these advertised and on the store rack and have wondered, "Why the heck should I pay anywhere near $10 for four disposable AA's?" These ARE everything the reviewers say, AND they are incredibly lightweight for cameras, mini-flashlights, etc.

I use these in two Canon PowerShot A-series point-and-shoot cameras. The older one uses four AA's and the newer two. It makes a big difference in weight for both cameras. So much so that a friend held one of these cameras and immediately said, "Man, these Canons are so lightweight. . .." They aren't (using normal batteries), but I just let it slide. Her camera is a featherweight "purse-sized" Sony. These batteries are so light I'm thinking they might even imbalance a larger camera with AA's all in the grip (I actually like SLR's with a little heft for stability.).

Like everyone else, I use point-and-shoot cameras sporadically, sometimes going weeks or months without using them. The rechargeables would, of course, drain out and never be ready when I grab them for some moment I wanted to capture. And going back to the old Ni-Cad days, I'm hesitant about plugging in rechargeables for weeks at a time straight. I know charging technology (not to mention the batteries themselves) has improved and moved on, but still. These have to be the perfect batteries for the way I use the cameras.

I like these so much I'm thinking of using them for the remote controls around the house. Overkill, yes, but that's how much I love them. Gotta look for coupons or something. . .


Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone
Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone
Offered by MEGA Media
Price: $11.10
61 used & new from $0.83

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is it bad to say I like this better than the original soundtrack?, June 1, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I never thought Yo-Yo Ma would do Gabriel's Oboe (Track 1) from THE MISSION justice, but I was wrong. There's a pureness to this version that makes it easier casual listening than the version(s) on the soundtrack CD itself. So no matter how much I love the theatrical "largeness" of the Original Soundtrack (not to mention the full choir), this is the version I grab for the CD player/iPod/whatever.

My two other recommendations are Main Theme from ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST (Track 11) and Ecstasy of Gold from THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY (Track 12). I suggest playing these consecutively as a single medley. Track 11 *WILL* bring tears to the manliest among us --particularly if you remember in the movie where Sergio Leone pulls the camera up to reveal the town rising.

I get the feeling "hardcore" classical fans would dismiss movie scores as commercial work. I truly believe Ennio Morricone transcends that. Even moreso than, say, John Williams, and on a different plane than a Danny Elfman. And I can't say more about the emotion Yo-Yo Ma brings to the table than what's already been discussed.


McCulloch MC-1275 Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner
McCulloch MC-1275 Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner
Price: $139.00
4 used & new from $139.00

104 of 109 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for what it is, September 8, 2005
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
What it will do:

- Clean surfaces without using chemicals

- Melt away the "soap" part of "soap scum"

- Melt away grease from any painted or chromed surface

- Make vinyl flooring look almost new

- Clean the porcelain on the sink & toilet without leaving any film, chemical scent, or residue whatsoever

- Save you money on a lot of the household chemicals

What it won't do:

- Magically clean anything without wiping it (unless your toilet is covered with grease for some reason like in those commercials. I think you might have to see a doctor for that, but I digress. . .)

- Dust any surface that has a layer of dust on it

- Remove scale or heavy hard-water stain

- Bleach any white surface that is seriously dirty/stained

- Save you money on distilled water

I bought this machine because I wanted to use less chemicals & cleaning agents around the house, and it doesn't disappoint. I do use distilled water in it though. It doesn't create a huge amount of puddles either, as I had feared. After the initial warmup (~10 minutes), I never ran out of steam or had to wait for the thing to replenish. The capacity is more than adequate for household chores. Excellent on greasy stoves (no heavy rubbing) and vinyl flooring. I don't really use the brushed nozzle tip to scrub anything (A separate green scrubbing tip is included for just that.). I do wish they had included some more replacement pads for the mop attachment, but you can easily make a couple of your own with cheap terry-cloth rags (It's not some exotic fabric.). Everything just smells genuinely clean, instead of "Lemony Fresh". . .

If your textured white tub is stained, then you're still going to have to use some kind of bleach-containing chemical on it, although it will power right through caked-on soap. If you clean your tub regularly, then this won't be a problem. There is temptation to grab a citrous cleaner for lighter jobs (cabinet handles, etc.), unless you actually enjoy firing up a steam engine for everything. It also tends to be very loud, especially in the confines of a fiberglass shower stall. Ear protection wouldn't be a bad thing. Seriously.

My objective was to cut down on the closet full of half-used chemicals and their fumes. And this machine accomplishes that big time.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 5, 2009 12:04 AM PDT


Gerber 07563 Pro Scout Needlenose - Multi-Plier
Gerber 07563 Pro Scout Needlenose - Multi-Plier
Price: $44.31
35 used & new from $44.31

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why I chose the Gerber over the Leatherman, November 22, 2003
Simply put, if you use the knife blade a lot, go with the Leatherman Wave. That one has four separate locking blades (2 of them knives) that you can deploy without opening up the tool. If you can make do with one small (albeit really good) blade, then the Gerber 600 is better. Both of these tools (plus the SOG I've bought for a distant relative) are very well made.
Here's why I bought the Gerber for myself:
- What I find myself doing is not-so knife-intensive.
- ALL the tools lock in place, whereas with the Leatherman, only the four blades do. The last thing I want is to be in a hurry (which you will be, if/when you need one of these instead of a full tool kit) and have the screwdriver fold on me.
- As small as the single, half-serrated blade is, it's still a Gerber blade. Marketing or not, Gerber makes knives. Other companies just make little knives for their tools.
- The scissors are of an incredibly simple design, and I can say that they cut like they are truly of Fiskars quality.
- The extra tool kit (6 slotted/phillips bits) that I bought with my Gerber 600 fits neatly in the sheath, instead of in an extra box like the Leatherman's does. The adapter is a lot simpler, too. I highly recommend this little extra kit.
- There's a ruler (3 in./8 cm) imprinted in the sides of the Gerber (none on the Leatherman). I thought this was just for show, basically, until I really needed it one day (at which point, it became invaluable).
- You can replace the saw blade EASILY on the Gerber with standard (I forget the size) blades you can find at the hardware store. You don't have to take the tool apart to do so, either.
- It's WAY less bulky than the Gerber 800 Legend
The Gerber MP 600 Pro Scout doesn't have a lanyard loop, though.


Once Upon a Time in the West (Two-Disc Special Collector's Edition)
Once Upon a Time in the West (Two-Disc Special Collector's Edition)
DVD ~ Henry Fonda
Offered by too many secrets
Price: $34.29
207 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best transfer quality I've seen for a film of '60s vintage, November 19, 2003
This DVD set rocks. Image quality is better than some recent film DVD's. And yes, it's full 2.35:1 (I don't know how you can show this film any other way, given Leone and Cinematographer Colli's use of frame-- Not to mention the "John Ford" vistas.). I have MGM's THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY for comparison, and the image quality of that DVD doesn't even come close. And what's crazy (after all my raving about the image) is that the sound is even better. I've NEVER before heard Ennio Morricone without it sounding like it's played on a mishandled LP.
I'm too young to have seen this film when it was in the theaters. I bought it to see it with my dad, who's a big Western fan (It was either this or DJANGO). Suffice to say, it did not disappoint. It's the first time he's seen the ENTIRE Sergio Leone masterpiece, uncut. It's all there: the tedium, the off-pacing, the weird camera angles, the extreme depth of field, all of the wonderful stuff that throw "purist" Western fans into a tizzy. Claudia Cardinale in her prime can still clober any current model/actress in vogue in the looks department. And no matter how long it's been, there's still a small gasp when you realize that it's Henry Fonda in the black hat-role (The role freakishly DOES fit the blue-eyed actor.). And the two (until-now) missing scenes with Jason Robards-- the film wouldn't be complete without them, added length or not.

Now if they could only release Leone's A FIST FULL OF DYNAMITE with this much quality, then we'd all be happy. I want to shock my dad again with how good DVD's can be with old(er) flicks.


12 Monkeys (Collector's Edition)
12 Monkeys (Collector's Edition)
DVD ~ Bruce Willis
Offered by Videophile549
Price: $6.73
183 used & new from $0.01

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Documentary in the DVD, June 23, 2003
What makes this film so great is in the details. The cartoons that comes on in the background. The ingenious meshing of Hitchcock dialog in the theater scene. Just to mention a very few. And the intelligent premise that someone actually coming to us from the future would very likely be treated as insane and institutionalized in our present, rather than hailed as a hero.
I always considered Brad Pitt as a just a "face," but this movie proves otherwise. His performance eclipses that of Bruce Willis, even though this is considered the start of Willis' more serious acting endeavors.
Worth mentioning: Included in the DVD, there's a significant documentary entitled "The Hamster Factor and Other Tales of Twelve Monkeys." It's more than the usual "Making Of. . ." press-kit documentaries that are thrown in with other movie DVD's, and worth watching/sitting-through. It shows the agonizing process of film making in general, even for someone like Gilliam.


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