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Customer Reviews: 615
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Altra Stone River Nightstand with Linen Fabric Panel Front, Gray Oak
Altra Stone River Nightstand with Linen Fabric Panel Front, Gray Oak

4.0 out of 5 stars Men really do come in handy!, March 5, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
After reading the former review "If you don't mind the assembly" I turned chicken and ran for the nearest man to help a helpless old lady (85). The nightstand weighs 38 pounds and after struggling to get it in the door I decided this nightstand and I were not going to tango. My handyman- inclined friend made me feel somewhat mollified by remarking the stand wasn't all that simple to assemble. However all is well and it is now sitting next to my bed where it will hold books under the drawer and in the drawer odds and ends for late night reading, pencils for making notes for reviews, granola bars, a notebook or two and even a hair dryer and curlers.

The nightstand is handsome, grey in color, quite distinctive, the cloth pattern on the drawer a nice touch. Bravo to the other reviewer for heroically putting her stand together herself. No heroics here but all's well that ends well, and we both have our nightstands performing nicely as a handsome piece of furniture and perhaps a catchall.. Cheers!


Crucial MX200 500GB SATA 2.5 Inch Internal Solid State Drive - CT500MX200SSD1
Crucial MX200 500GB SATA 2.5 Inch Internal Solid State Drive - CT500MX200SSD1
Price: Click here to see our price
43 used & new from $212.98

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine workhorse for your PC!, March 5, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My initial intent for this SSD was to use it as a secondary drive, which I did. Very satisfied with its performance. Much faster, as expected, than my old HDD. I have an older Dell Dimension E521 (amazing what we consider old when it comes to electronic products and computers!) and will eventually clone my primary drive to achieve faster boot times and to increase storage space. Based on what others have said in the reviews, I would expect a MAJOR reduction of boot time. As my older system has lots of programs that start on boot up, I am looking forward to the decreased boot time. This drive is easy to install and (obviously) quiet since there are no moving parts. Predicted life span and not hearing those typical warning sounds of impending HDD failure is something to look forward to also.

In summary, this SSD is an amazing product that for not much money, you can increase performance, reduce boot time, add lots of storage space economically, and have a reasonable expectation of not having a sudden drive failure as with a HDD. Great product for the money.
--
Roger Meyer


Jerry Baird's Gourmet Seasonings Jalapeno Sizzling Salt, No MSG, 4.8 Ounce
Jerry Baird's Gourmet Seasonings Jalapeno Sizzling Salt, No MSG, 4.8 Ounce
Price: $5.85

5.0 out of 5 stars Turn bland into bounce, March 1, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
We did not know who Jerry Baird was, so we Googled him and found this former college professor has spent some thirty years perfecting his gourmet spices by cooking for hungry Texas cowboys from a chuck wagon. And what is a chuck wagon?. a wagon carrying cooking facilities and food for serving people who work outdoors such as lumberjacks, and cowboys. The cowboys in Texas have been Jerry Laird's guinea pigs as he concocted various herb and spice combinations to liven up Tex-Mex food which morphs into Tex Mex gourmet foods with Jerry's unique blends of herbs and spices. “You can put it on anything that ain't movin'. ”

There are at present nine different seasoning combinations. We have the Jalapeno Sizzling Salt which can literally be sprinkled on anything that would be improved by a little Jalapeno pizzazz. Bear in mind this is a salt substitute- don't add table salt on top of it! If you love those little green (and hot) peppers you'll love this seasoning without being overwhelmed. It's particularly cool on bland vegetables such as cauliflower and Brussels sprouts and on top of a salad. Campfire cookery is just as much an authentic cuisine as Julia Child's French Chef. And it's made in America!


Best Sports and Fitness Water Bottle | 18oz | Eco-friendly | Perfect for Running, Gym, Yoga, Tennis, Outdoors | Durable & Impact Resistant | Narrow Mouth, Air Hole for Fast Water Flow | 1-Click Easy Opening | Dust and Leak-proof Design | With Carry Strap | 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
Best Sports and Fitness Water Bottle | 18oz | Eco-friendly | Perfect for Running, Gym, Yoga, Tennis, Outdoors | Durable & Impact Resistant | Narrow Mouth, Air Hole for Fast Water Flow | 1-Click Easy Opening | Dust and Leak-proof Design | With Carry Strap | 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
Offered by Viitrade
Price: $24.95

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Handy and nice looking, February 26, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I used this bottle for the first time today by taking it to work. I particularly like the diameter. It's not too big and is very comfortable to hold. The sealing mechanism is well designed and easy to use. The cap pops open with a simple push of the button. The opening button can be prevented from accidental opening by simple flipping up the locking bar. It is comfortable to drink from and water flows easily because of the air hole. Both the air hole and the drinking spout seal easily by merely snapping the lid closed. The carry strap is a handy addition which allows you to carry it with one finger, if you so choose. Overall, it is attractive, easy and convenient to use, seals well, and comfortable to hold. The only negative I would give it is the price point. It seems a little high, but it is a quality bottle. Highly recommended.

-- Roger Meyer


Athletec Sports Ultra Absorbent Yoga Towel Set, Blue
Athletec Sports Ultra Absorbent Yoga Towel Set, Blue
Price: $29.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We give it a workout!, February 24, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
These are very light weight, bunchable towels that easily fit in your gym bag or even your purse. The larger one covers my mat perfectly. The towel microfiber is soft and the member of our family appreciates it the most is our baby, Ellie, thirteen months old, who toddles over to it where it is sitting on the kitchen linoleum floor. She loves to do what I do so she uses some inventive baby style yoga positions after plunking herself down on the towel. She coos and strokes it. Not to be out-maneuvered by a mere toddler our cat once joined her and soon was rolling around on his back. The bigger towel works very fine as a towel-towel for a quick dry after the shower. Well, our Athletec Sports Towel got a very nice reception by our family. So if it's not on the floor it's hanging over the towel rack in the bathroom.We like the color, too- a deep blue with chartreuse lettering and trim.

--Jean Browning


The Temple of Light: A Novel
The Temple of Light: A Novel
by David Piazza
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.58

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too wordy, too long!, February 22, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
It is hard to judge the style of a novel that is translated, in this case from Italian but the prose is clear and purposeful; however, there are many cliches. The novel itself represents a great deal of research of pre- renaissance Italy and its powerful warmongering states but it is too long, with too many characters and the reader-at least this reader-got somewhat bogged down. Some of the characters talk like college professors and at length about the architecture of the cathedral among other things. There is too much unnecessary dialog and data in this novel which slows the plot.

Italy itself in the fifteenth century was not a unified country but consisted of states vying for power and the most powerful state was Milan. The supreme ruler of Italy was the Catholic Church which held sway over all the states, however in Milan the church was infiltrated by Celts who had first come to Italy many years before. These Druids performed their rituals in deep secrecy, hidden away in a subterranean cave near the cathedral which was in the process of being constructed. I checked with Google, having never heard of Druids practicing alchemy and the magic arts anywhere in Milan, let alone Italy. Author Piazza is right: the Druids were a large presence. In the novel they built a temple "The Temple of Light" near the foundation of the cathedral, and their goddess was Belisama who in the novel evolved and morphed into the Virgin Mary. The brotherhood are intriguers and deadly serious about ancient prophecies which must be fulfilled.

The protagonist of the story is Niccolo, son of the deceased Duke of Milan, who demands on his deathbed that the Archdeacon Onorio bring up Niccolo in secret as his son as the Duke had many enemies and many might be tempted to kill the boy. Unknown to the Duke, Onorio is a Druid priest. As he grows up, Niccolo feels his calling as a sculptor and little by little practicing the craft on hunks of marble he morphs into an artist. Interwoven with his story are threads about the beautiful dark haired Lorenzo who is a paid killer and his sister Maria who had become an aristocrat's mistress but is discarded when convenient. The aristocracy is powerful and at times ruthless and at times cruel. That might makes right was alive and well in fifteenth century Milan.

And there is the chestnut-haired Angelica with whom Niccolo falls in love, but he is noble and she is a commoner. Angelica, Lorenzo and Maria are threaded through the novel and in Niccolo's life. There is a great deal of detail about the Druids, their philosophy, they are guardians of the Philosopher's Stone. They seek a temple with direct access to the Virgin Mary, a pillar of light. But there is too much on this plate. I felt I had to plow through endless detail to finally reach the end. The novel is erudite but needs lightening up. I feel rather guilty giving this novel three stars because it is obviously a huge undertaking, but author Piazza, who has great potential, needs an editor who can separate the grain from the chaff


The Dead Lands: A Novel
The Dead Lands: A Novel
by Benjamin Percy
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.26

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written, and thought-provoking, February 17, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Benjamin Percy.is a descriptive writer, rather a rarity these days with the popularity of he-man prose with no adjectives, the text an unadorned skeleton. The prose in this highly original thriller is beautiful. and sets you down into the plot where you feel belonged and part of the action. Lewis Meriwether (formerly Meriwether Lewis of the Northwest Passage) Wilhelmina Clark (morphed into a girl from William Clark) along with a ragged survivors of a holocaust, a nuclear war that has flattened North America, eke out an existence in the Sanctuary. The Sanctuary is the ruins of Saint Louis, the famous arch in shreds, the vestige of the city supporting a few survivors who have reverted to riding horses, killing the little game they can find with bows and arrows. The small population lives on the decaying ruins of Saint Louis and is coerced into obeying its leaders. Escape is ruthlessly suppressed. But rain rarely falls and the area is drying up.

Creating a new wrinkle in the famous Lewis and Clark expedition which was sent by Thomas Jefferson to head West into unknown territory in 1804 is ingenious. In “The Dead Lands” after radiation from a nuclear holocaust and a flu epidemic have devastated North America the narrative compares the formidable dangers of slogging into the wilderness in 1804 with the present formidable dangers of slogging into the nuclear radiation-ravaged Dead Lands.

From out of nowhere a girl on horseback arrives at The Sanctuary. This young woman who will guide the small party West is Gawea, a modern edition of the famous Shoshone guide and interpreter Sacagawea* who married one of Lewis and Clark's expedition members. Gawea has come from Oregon, riding alone by horseback. She tells Lewis he is being summoned West by Aran Burr. A version of the arch-traitor? You the reader will not understand this until you reach the end of the book.

Six people sneak out of the Sanctuary-Lewis Meriwether, Wilhelmina “Mina” Clark, a woman doctor, two young men, and Gawea. They must travel over a vast dead civilization, the mid-west remnants of America, with horrid reminders and echoes such as a decrepit ferris wheel, children's skeletons in a bus, a mummified body on a brass bed. They are attacked by man-sized white bats, horrible mutations and enormous white bears. Danger lurks under every leaf. The poor horses suffer from one catastrophe after another, they whicker and scream and drum their feet and die.

In the meantime, back at the Sanctuary the remaining citizens of the city rail against the authoritarian rule of the mayor. Simon, a brash young man who is a thief (but lovable) and his girlfriend Ella are subjected to constant indignities and coercion of a dictatorship where floggings and executions seem to be an everyday affair and where freedom does not exist. They learn of the adventures of the group that has gone West via a mechanical owl programmed by Lewis with a cavity inside for hiding letters. Ella and Simon face a great dilemma: should they also venture forth into the dangers or remain in relative safety in what is really a prison.

Surely one of the hallmarks for a great science fiction or fantasy novel is its plausability.. Benjamin Percy's bone-chilling story in no way seems contrived as he seamlessly records the adventures of a latter day Lewis and Clark. One of the characters, John Colter, was a real member of the explorer team and is considered one of the first mountain men, an expert tracker at home in the wilderness. In the book he is a strange man who dressed in black and rode a black horse. A knight come riding in a way, but just as vulnerable physically and emotionally as the rest of the explorers.

When the little ragged band reaches the Pacific they have suffered just about any indignity, hardship or physical pain possible. Some of their woes are self-inflicted, others the slings and arrows of enemies lurking everywhere. The voice of Aran Burr has beckoned the little troupe to the Pacific like a Siren. Aran Burr is a symbol- you will have your own interpretation based on the fact that Aaron Burr was the
arch-traitor of the early, struggling America. The novel is really an allegory. It takes you to the frontier of the human soul. The greatest human emotion is love, which will conquer evil. Will the adventurers finally see in a glass face to face? The ending of the novel is stunning, delicious and exactly right.

*In 2000 the US Mint issued a gold-plated dollar with a rendition of a Shoshone girl engraved upon it. The coin was a tribute to Sacagawea but most people hadn't a clue as to who Sacagawea was and the rendition appeared rather uninspired to boot. The coin like the one of Susan B. Anthony bombed.


Avery Folded Two-Side Printable Clean Edge Business Cards for Inkjet Printers, White, Matte, Pack of 120 (8820)
Avery Folded Two-Side Printable Clean Edge Business Cards for Inkjet Printers, White, Matte, Pack of 120 (8820)
Price: $12.99
29 used & new from $12.88

5.0 out of 5 stars Very good quality!, February 7, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Avery 8820 printable business card stock comes as a 120 sheet package suitable for inkjet printers. These business cards are not the usual 2" x 3-1/2" card stock, however. This particular version is a folded two-side printable card stock. This means you can print on up to four sides, thereby conveying much more information. They could even be used as place cards for meetings, dinners, etc. As with most all Avery products, templates and software for printing on these cards is available on line at the Avery web site.

Once printed, the cards separate cleanly by folding along the scored lines. The cards can then be folded in half for presentation or placement on a table.

Having used Avery products before, these folded two-sided printable business cards are up to par with their other products. These cards are probably not extremely popular, but do fill a particular need quite well.

--- Roger Meyer


Corel Painter Essentials 5
Corel Painter Essentials 5
Price: $44.38
18 used & new from $41.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it!, February 5, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Painter Essentials 5 is a marvelous sandbox for anybody. This offering from Corel is an hors d'ouevre for Painter 2015, the latest pro edition. When you access the Windows menu from Essentials 5 and select Photo Painting, a box pops up. Open any photo which will plop on to the canvas. Increase its size if necessary by clicking the zoom in button (a magnifying glass icon) on the left tool bar. You can then select from 11 painting styles-impressionist, pen and ink, watercolor, and seven more. Click on your selection then start and your photo is transformed right before your eyes. You can stop the painting genii at any time to preserve a great image by pressing stop. When the painting is done a soft cloner brush is automatically activated and you can go over any areas you wish to restore in detail- especially eyes.This is a very cool feature.

A function which is especially useful and downright fun, as well as being full of potential, is the kaleidoscope feature which is accessed from the left tool bar. An excellent demo is provided by You Tube here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiOupbMhEfM

Any kaleidoscope you construct will be an absolute original piece of art. And chances are nil you'll never be able to repeat any design you produce. Each one is totally unique.

With the photo painting brush you can add portions of one photo on your canvas to another one, The potential here is huge. For instance, you can add a colorful scene from one photo and insinuate it onto a black and white image. The possibilities within the Essentials 5 software are huge. It truly means the sky's the limit. The techniques are highly sophisticated but the software can be enjoyed by anyone, serious artist or hobbyist or Sunday Painter. Or even a kid. This consumer-level program gives anybody digital power. And that in itself is awesome.


HP DeskJet 1010 Printer (CX015A)
HP DeskJet 1010 Printer (CX015A)
Offered by pcrush-outlet
Price: $36.54
71 used & new from $20.88

5.0 out of 5 stars Super little machine!, February 5, 2015
The HP Deskjet 1000 series are the greatest in my book. The only downside is the fact that with heavy use they tend to conk out in about two years.However the excellence of the colors is for me worth a shortish life. Factory determined and set, you can't adjust the color, but unless you wish to in some way distort them for effect (which you may well wish to do) this little hard worker is spot on colorwise. The 1010 is easy to set up, but does not include a USB cable, but it's likely you have one from a previous printer. The white color of the 1010 is nice for a change. I am an artist and I swear by the performance of the Deskjets which is as good or better than printers costing three times as much.

If the printer says you are out of paper and you are not, push the paper down hard and press the start button once. This will engage the gears and you are rolling.


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