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M Cox "Shanghaied" RSS Feed (Houston, Texas)
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Corel VideoStudio Ultimate X8
Corel VideoStudio Ultimate X8
Price: $84.24
20 used & new from $84.24

4.0 out of 5 stars Very Intuitive User Interface. Works Very Well., April 22, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
It seems about all the video editor software offerings have very much the same style user interface now. And I think about all the major players have finally created 64-bit compatible code to make the rendering task much faster. And now they are all offering support for the latest XAVC S video editing standard for the consumer market announced by Sony in April 2013. It’s a slight notch below the highest 4K XAVC resolution of 4096 × 2160. The XAVC S is up to 3840 × 2160 resolution still very good. I’m starting to seriously consider buying into the 4K television and recorder market, but I still a bit apprehensive about the evolving standard.

Anyway, it seems to be pretty much a level playing field for video editors these days and it is becoming more and more difficult to distinguish one video editor from another. I’ve used at least three different brands so far from Adobe to Pinnacle to Corel VideoStudio Ultimate X8. I started using the Pinnacle software way back in early 2002, so I know it best. But there are some things on Corel VideoStudio I can’t seem to do on Pinnacle. I know it is possible to split video from the audio, but I can’t seem to find the way to do it. But on Corel VideoStudio, it is very easy and intuitive.

This Corel VideoStudio has a unique way of showing you all the available transition styles that I’ve never seen done before now. In the other competitive software brands, you have to click on each one to see what the transition effect really does. But in Corel’s version, they are all flashing at once and at first that almost drove me crazy trying to focus on which one was doing what. My wife really doesn’t like that, but on the other hand, you don’t have to click on any of them to know what it will do. It’s virtually sensory information overload to process it. I didn’t research it enough, but I wish I could create a favorites list to eliminate the ones I don’t like so much and not go into sensory overload looking at the entire listing at once. I haven’t read the user manual yet and probably won’t unless I run into trouble.

The rendering phase went reasonably fast – matter of a few minutes for her five minute video. I plan to try a one hour rendering project soon and I’ll try to remember to update this review at that time. I have a fast 64-bit computer running at 4.6 GHz, so I don’t expect it to take so very long. In the old days, I would start a video rendering project in the evening and let it run all night and into the next morning for a two hour video. And it wasn’t unusual for it to crash in the middle of the night.

My wife uploaded her video to Facebook only to have it rejected because of copyright infringement. She bought a MP3 download here on Amazon and used it for her background music for her exercise video. I was quite surprised that Facebook had software that could detect random copyrighted music. It’s not like she named it anywhere or maybe Corel copied the music name somewhere during the import into the background music. I wonder how they did that. So she was very disappointed after all her work to show her friends her exercise routine.

There are several video editing software applications in this price range and they are very similar to each other. If one company does something new, the others are quick to follow. Unless you are already doing 4K video projects, I haven’t seen much new from anyone in quite some time. My wife prefers the transitions on Pinnacle better, but she likes the ease of splitting out the audio on Corel better. In my opinion, it is better to be able to split off the audio and perform other functions without having to do a lot of research of how to do it. I watched her do the work and I coached her a few times, but she did it by herself for the most part. She mostly watched me when I did a short Pinnacle project. I purposely wanted to determine if she could do a project by herself on an applications she’s never used. This is the first time she’s ever been able to do a project from beginning to end pretty much by herself. And so that speaks to the intuitive nature of Corel’s user interface quite well if a pure novice can navigate herself around without any significant assistance. And she could have done it totally alone without me – possibly would have taken her ten or fifteen minutes extra. That’s a lot more practical than an extensive list of fancy capabilities that you rarely – if ever use. Also, Corel is a reputable company and they've been in business a long time.


StriVectinLABS 5-Minute Weekly Glycolic Peel
StriVectinLABS 5-Minute Weekly Glycolic Peel
Price: $89.00
5 used & new from $89.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Off To a Good Start - But Too Early to Make Conclusions, April 21, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
For a long time, I’ve been wanting to use a product like this so I can do some skin treatment at home. My impression so far is that I think this may not be aggressive enough to produce much of a noticeable effect unless it is over a much longer period of time. I've only had it for about three weeks. I haven't observed any redness inflammation yet and no irritation either. I think my skin is still fairly resilient despite its 71 year age. After I apply the two-step product, it leaves the skin very shiny. Without any effort, I can see exactly where the lotion was applied. It is kind of an unusual appearance in fact. I’m still not quite acclimated to the end result. Sometimes I wonder if it is a good result or a mediocre result or an unnatural appearance. I think I’ve got to use it much longer to make a determination. But for certain, I don’t think it is a bad result. And it is doing something. A lot of products don’t seem to do anything.

I have only one light colored age spot and it has ever so slowly increased in size over the past half dozen years. The dermatologist said it is nothing about which to be concerned - rather normal for a person in their early seventies. So I think maybe this two step process might give it a lighter color eventually. I think it will take a long time, so no reason to predict any outcome at this time. Otherwise, I have lots of fine lines around my eyes from squinting and forehead wrinkles from frowning, but far less than other people my age. I so regret not wearing sunglasses in my lifetime. Eye wrinkles are almost exclusively caused by squinting. In fact nearly all facial wrinkles are avoidable if we just avoid frowning and squinting and even excessive smiling. I didn’t know this in time, so now it is damage control that I must do.

I'm extremely cautious about putting this product anywhere near my eyes. I am surprised there aren’t any warnings I could find about using this in proximity to eyes. Maybe it’s just common sense to stay away from our eyes. That is best left to a professional such as a plastic surgeon except they charge so much money. I actually underwent an acid peel just after I turned 60. The doctor put some eye shields onto my eyes and pulled my eyelids over it to protect my eyes. And, of course, he sternly warned me not to open my eyes in the slightest. He applied a moderately strong acid for 15 minutes feathering out the acid to avoid a demarcation line.

The first three days it looked like I had a very severe sunburn. I didn’t go out because it was really obvious that it was only the area around my eyes that was deep red in color. And then the skin started peeling off just like a severe sunburn. Naturally the area was moderately swollen from blood rushing to repair all the skin damage. It really worked well for about two weeks except for the redness. The wrinkles were gone, but it was mostly because the area around my eyes was mildly swollen which stretched out the skin and naturally the wrinkles, too. After a few months, the skin was already returning to its original state, wrinkles and all. But the new skin was definitely better than before the treatment. After a year, the procedures effects were completely gone. That cost me $700 and that was 11 years ago. This product isn’t cheap either.

I have a fair number of neck wrinkles that are beginning to annoy me, but none that are deep. So that's one particular area where I’m using this product. It’s still too early to make any claims. I have to write this review now because it is a requirement of the Amazon Vine program.

Recommendations:

If you are still young enough, the very best thing you can do to avoid future wrinkles is to stop making so many facial expressions, wear sunglasses and stay out of intense sunlight. Keep your skin hydrated with lotions and drink lots of water to avoid dehydration from the inside. When your hair turns gray, color it. That alone will knock off a lot of years. Don’t become overweight. Of course, never smoke. Alcohol in moderation or not at all. So when you look into the mirror, you will see a younger person and that just might motivate you to do the other things to avoid aging so fast. I did a fairly good job of some of those recommendations. People are genuinely surprised and oftentimes shocked when they learn my age. I’ve had to show my ID to get my senior discount several times or get my benefits.

I think this may be a good product if you plan to use it regularly and for the long term. Nothing magic is going to happen overnight or even the first month. The best thing to do is prevention. Otherwise, you have to do damage control and it is never as good as prevention. I will update this review as time progresses. I’m giving it a 4 star rating just because I haven’t owned it long enough to make a fair conclusion or recommendation. I refuse to exaggerate reviews or knock a product down without making a fair scientific test. Everybody’s skin is different, so you can expect a lot of variation even if everybody follows the directions exactly the same.


Hanover Newport 6-Piece Outdoor Wicker Lounge Set, Brown/Tan
Hanover Newport 6-Piece Outdoor Wicker Lounge Set, Brown/Tan
Price: $1,449.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Wicker Lounge Set - Comfortable and Sturdy, April 18, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've had this for several weeks now and spring has definitely arrived here near Houston – plenty of spring rains already. I still bring in the cushions if it looks like rain, but I've missed a few unexpected showers already. Being new and all that, I still leave the shipping plastic on the cushions when we aren't using it. Maybe when the new wears off, I'll be comfortable leaving the cushions out in the rain unprotected, but not yet.

I'm exactly six feet tall and weigh 185 pounds - the only shortcoming in terms of comfort is my head is not supported well when I'm in the chairs using the ottoman. I just had major neck surgery four months ago, so I'm still rather protective of my neck. I found a cylindrical neck cushion and it does fairly well to fill in the gap behind my neck to support my head. I can lie there for long extended periods of time comfortably. As would be expected, it's not as comfortable as my soft leather recliner chair, but still a reasonably close second. The cushions are just right - not so soft but definitely not hard. My wife is 5 feet 2 inches tall and 110 pounds. She fits easily with lots of room left on both the chair and the ottoman. And there's lots of room left over when we are both on the love seat. We've only been married less than two years, so we still nestle together comfortably.

I’ve been looking at similar wicker furniture while we’ve been out shopping just for comparison. I found a somewhat similar wicker furniture grouping for $775 on sale – not counting sales tax or delivery charges. But I did not like the cushions – hard and quite significantly thinner. You can see the cushion thickness of the Amazon set in the photos. The construction quality was not on a par with this Amazon set at all. The chairs were smaller and just didn’t look like they were in the same league. I don’t think I would have purchased the $775 set even without knowing about the Amazon set. It was a fair price, but I just didn’t quite feel like it was something I would want it long term. Of course, a new buyer would not have the luxury of being able to test or compare the Amazon set to a local set like I’ve been able to do the past few weeks.

I looked at three major name recognized stores to compare quality. I didn’t find any that compared favorably to this Amazon set. The Amazon set is obviously more expensive than what I examined locally. You would expect there should be a difference. For me, this would have been a fairly serious investment if I had purchased it, so I’d want some assurance from credible testimonies. In fairness, I did not find any local stores with products in this price range. The sale prices had the slashed markdown prices in the $1200 range, but I don’t think anyone would have taken that as a serious non-sale price. They had the same number of pieces and cushions. But the overall quality just wasn’t there.

This is the first time I’ve owned wicker furniture and I am much more than satisfied with it. It is relatively lightweight and easy to move and yet sturdy at the same time. It is definitely not flimsy. It’s rock solid so to speak. My wicker furniture color is different than the photos. It looks like a medium brown in the photos, but mine is a very dark brown mixed with a heavy dark ash or charcoal color. I didn't think there was any brown at all at first. I thought it was black, but my wife corrected me. I wanted it to look more like the photos. Maybe after it has been in the weather for a while, the color will become lighter and more like the photos, but I’m not sure of that yet. The cushions are the same color as the photos. I really like the thickness of the cushions and their comfort – good support without being hard.

My set was delivered by Pilot Freight. The local freight pickup point was next to Houston IAH airport. I’m in the countryside about an hour northwest of the airport. They were very accommodative of my schedule – I had to change the delivery time three times because a doctor’s appointment kept changing. They even delivered it earlier than scheduled so that I could leave for the doctor appointment – perfect timing. My giant box was delivered in a regular panel van. The box filled the entire inside of the van. A man and a woman unloaded it onto a flat furniture dolly and put it into my garage in well under ten minutes. I signed the paperwork and the total elapsed time was about 15 minutes – very efficient.

The box is very heavy and sizeable: 36 inches high, 66 inches wide and 41 inches deep. I forgot the weight, but it was in the ballpark of a couple hundred or more pounds as I recall. I’m an engineer and I was amazed how efficiently that box was filled. The two chairs fit exactly into the love seat and the cushions were placed underneath the chairs and ottomans perfectly. There was no wasted space anywhere. I think they designed the box first and then designed the individual pieces. I would never have been able to put the pieces back into that box after removing them. If you think you might send it back for some reason, better take a lot of photos and videos. The chairs and love seat were strapped together and it was much too heavy for me to lift them out of the box, so I tipped the box over and crawled inside to snip the straps. I’m almost 71 years old and it was not a major problem for me to unbox it by myself. But it wasn’t all that easy either. It took a long time to cut down the cardboard to fit into the recycle trash can. Again, it was amazing to me how well that box was packed. It took a while to assemble the table, but otherwise, it was just a matter of putting the cushions into the chair to make that part ready to occupy. I needed a rest anyway after cutting up the cardboard before tackling the table assembly.

If you have this kind of money to buy wicker outdoor furniture, I think this is a good value overall. It’s not cheap, but it appears to have the quality I’d want in a set like this. You may want to shop locally to get an idea of the differences this has to offer. The chair back is about 35 inches high and the love seat is about 34 inches high. I thought it would be the other way around. The widest part of the chair arms is about 29 inches wide. The love seat is about 63 inches wide. Ottomans are about 28 X 22 inches in width and depth. The cushions range from roughly five inches thick to approaching seven inches thick depending upon the piece and position.

I think this is a good value and I cannot think of any issue that comes to mind. It is up to the buyer to decide what price range they can afford, but I think if this is your price range, you certainly won’t go too wrong with this set. It is impossible to predict future pricing or sales. Yes, I got this on the Amazon Vine program. I do rate the things I occasionally receive the same way I would have if I paid for it in full. It is what it is, free or otherwise. I’ve spent a lot of my own money at Amazon – a lot. It takes quite a long time to truly assess a product and write an informative and objective review. Yes, I’m very happy to receive this product, but I’ll never knowingly mislead anyone. I still have a conscience. I just paid for a less expensive non-wicker set a few months before I received this set. I’ve written 675 reviews – most on ordinary things like everybody else buys. I’ve given one star reviews and everything in between for Vine items. There is no pressure whatsoever to inflate reviews – makes absolutely no difference from what I’ve seen and done. At the moment, I’m in the top 1400 reviewers at Amazon – not so easy to accomplish or maintain. If I slow down writing reviews, my ranking slips fast. It’s sort of a job in fact - no rest in retirement. Actually, I think I need to take a nap in that wicker chair right now.


Quicken Home & Business 2015
Quicken Home & Business 2015
Price: $68.66

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Regret Upgrading from Quicken 2012, April 10, 2015
When I imported my Quicken 2012 backup file into this new 2015 Home and Business application it appeared it just ruined decades of faithful record keeping dating back to 1992. Thankfully I had the foresight to save a backup file and loaded it onto my laptop computer with Quicken 2012 installed. I read the negative reviews extensively, but I just could not believe they were accurate or true. It was the one and only reason I bought this 2015 version. I was perfectly happy with the 2012 version. I despise their marketing strategy of disabling the ability to download transactions from your various bank accounts after 3 years. It doesn't cost them one penny to allow indefinite downloads. It is like we have to rent Quicken on a three year contract. Or else, it will stop performing certain key features if we don't upgrade. I have just recently started to hate Intuit. I think they must have some new greedy management that gets huge incentives to cheat their customer base.

I didn't realize how bad the Quicken 2015 version was until today when I looked back a couple of years and saw insane numbers. For instance, it showed over $30,000 in cash and then a few months later, it was negative by $19,000. This is my pocket money account. I would never have this much cash with me at home or anywhere else. I finally found the problem. In some accounts, it was sorted by category instead of by date. I never touch the headings, so this is something that Quicken 2015 did during the import from my 2012 backup. I was totally panicked until I found the source of the problem. I nearly uninstalled it to go back to Quicken 2012.

I have been a loyal customer since about 1990 or about that timeframe. I've had random issues with stock purchases for years. I've had to do the calculations by hand or Excel to be more exact because I could never trust Quicken to make the profit or loss calculations correctly and I don't understand why, either. It's simple arithmetic.

If you are upgrading from a prior version and have extensive data files dating into antiquity, I suggest you try to control yourself and keep your credit card in your wallet where it should remain indefinitely. Don't be tempted or intimidated into buying this version. The 2012 version of Quicken is just fine - but I am not confident with this one. Also, every time I opened my Quicken file with this version, the loading time was far longer than in Quicken 2012. I've got a really fast computer running at 4.6 GHz and it takes 8 seconds to load. It's not such a long time, but Quicken 2012 was near instant with the very same file.

I've been a Quicken defender and advocate of this product for 25 years and now my faith and confidence are destroyed. I will not upgrade again. I will have to record things from the internet by hand because Quicken is being a total jerk by disallowing me to continue doing that after April 2015. It's totally arbitrary. They must have some new jerk in marketing who is trying to gouge its customer base to coerce customers to upgrade every three years. That is being totally idiotic. And they jacked up the prices of TurboTax this year as well. They stripped out Schedule C without telling anyone. And the new version is far more expensive. Well, I've had enough of Intuit. I quit. I've already decided I won't spend another penny on Intuit products. I hope everybody else does the same thing. It is the only way they'll become sensible.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 13, 2015 7:51 AM PDT


T-fal C836SA Ultimate Stainless Steel Copper-Bottom Heavy Gauge Multi-Layer Base Cookware Set, 10-Piece, Silver
T-fal C836SA Ultimate Stainless Steel Copper-Bottom Heavy Gauge Multi-Layer Base Cookware Set, 10-Piece, Silver
Price: $172.31
3 used & new from $172.31

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Long Term Cookware Investment, April 6, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is obviously a very nice set of cookware with a copper pattern for improved heat distribution visible on the bottom. My wife particularly likes the large size of the steamer. We have another set of stainless cookware that is considerably more expensive than this one and yet this steamer is significantly larger. She said that if she had to choose, she would pick this less expensive set because of the steamer size. My wife compared the partially clad copper to the natural gas burners on our Jen Air cook top. In most cases the flame misses the copper pattern, but still, fire is fire. It will conduct heat all across the bottom fairly well all on its own. In spite of its inherent risk, I prefer natural gas stoves for that reason – haven’t tried induction heating yet.

The rank order of metal heat conduction starts with silver followed by copper, gold then by aluminum and other metals. Stainless steel is about 5 times less of a heat conductor than copper. That doesn’t mean it can’t get equally as hot. It just takes longer. And to prove it, that stainless steel handle will become way too hot when you cook something a relatively long time. You will need a pot holder – and get a longer one. From what I’ve researched, the copper thickness on cookware is exceptionally thin. I don’t know why – it’s not all that expensive.

We’ve had stainless steel cookware in the past and eventually, it got significantly stained inside and discolored outside from the outset. So this time I decided to do some homework how to keep it looking pristine. And surprisingly, it’s not all that difficult. My wife has been using this cookware for about three weeks and the internal stains and external discoloration were already apparent. To clean the inside, I just poured some household vinegar into the pan (when it is cold) and swished it around and the stains disappeared almost instantly – looks like new. We’re absolutely trying to make a point not to scuff the stainless steel. Smooth polished surfaces are exceedingly easier to clean, so keeping a polished surface is essential. And for the exterior, I bought Bar Keepers Friend Soft Cleanser for Stainless Steel, Porcelain, Ceramic Tile and Copper – about $5 each. And within a few seconds effort, the tarnished copper looks bright again. But remember that copper is really thin. Absolutely don’t abrade it. Oh, there is one really annoying thing the manufacturer did; they put a small rectangular sticker on the bottom of the pots and pans and it is stuck really hard. The best I could do was to peel the paper surface off and use Goo Gone to get the adhesive removed. Why did they do that? Even after all my meticulous effort, the pattern of that sticker is still visible.

Stainless steel is ideal for cookware because it can be made smooth so that food doesn't stick as easily and it is resistant to corrosion. Steel itself is an alloy of iron and a small amount of carbon. Stainless steel is created by adding chromium and nickel. That is the 18/10 number you often see promoted. It is 18% chromium and 10% nickel. It’s not stainless steel unless it is at least 10.5% chromium. Chromium alone isn’t enough to make cookware gleam; you need nickel as well. Incidentally nickel is a very hard metal and that’s why you want that 18/10 number when you buy stainless flatware – so it won’t bend easily.

Anyway, bottom line is this is a really good investment for your long term cookware. Unless you are a master chef, you can do just fine with this 10 piece set. And for a little more money, you can also opt for the 13-piece set. T-fal is a very reputable company. T-fal got its name from the words TEFlon and ALuminium. They invented the non-stick cookware industry. Obviously, this cookware has no Teflon or aluminum in it.

Yes, I did get this as a promotion on the Amazon Vine program. I don’t let that influence me when I write my reviews. I’ve given a fair number of one-star reviews on the Amazon Vine program and everything in-between. It is what it is, free or not. There is no requirement or incentive for us to give favorable reviews. I do have a conscience and I will not mislead anyone for any reason. And I have also purchased multiple sets of cookware from Amazon with my own money - including T-fal.


Summer Infant Baby Link Wi-Fi Internet Viewing Camera, Link Wi-Fi Series
Summer Infant Baby Link Wi-Fi Internet Viewing Camera, Link Wi-Fi Series
Price: $138.01
20 used & new from $138.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Works Fantastically. Very Easy Network Setup, too!, April 3, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Initially I received the Summer Infant Baby Zoom Wi-Fi Video Monitor and Internet Viewing System, Link Wi-Fi Series. It is the same except come with a handheld monitor for use in your home. Then I was so impressed that I bought this one as an add-on camera. It is almost unimaginable how easy it was to set it up. Today's cell phones and tablets and Android or Apple apps have made all the difference. I don't understand the negative comments on this product. I honestly can't find any fault with either unit I have and I'm probably going to buy a third one. My wife set up both cameras by herself in 15 minutes with zero assistance. Actually, it took her 20 minutes for the second camera because she said she got confused how to add a camera and lost about 5 minutes. Split screen works great and also works great from remote locations via your cell phone. The video is very good although it's not quite HDTV. I've never seen any pixilation like some mentioned.

When we were trying to use her Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 GSM cell phone remotely, a message came up regarding enabling it for 3G or 4G connections. It took less than a minute to enable it. At first we didn't think it was working. I don't know why it didn't default to 3G/4G. Anyway while we were waiting in line at the post office, we decided to check in remotely. And there was our living room reasonably clear even though the lighting was not so bright because the lights were off and curtains closed. You can adjust the brightness to an extent. There was a delay of a few seconds when panning the room. Just wait a few seconds before touching the arrows again until it responds or you may end up watching the ceiling or the floor. I think the delay was about three or four seconds. We have a fast cable network and the cell phone is 3G - not the fastest.

And after my wallet recovers, then I'll buy a third camera to overlook the driveway to use it as a surveillance camera. It says you can have up to four cameras on one network and you watch it on split screen up to four quadrants. And eventually, I may purchase a fourth camera. We are currently using split screen with two cameras.

If you don't already have a second camera when you press the split screen tab, it even goes to the Summer Infant web page to buy the second remote for $150. I was so impressed, that I ordered it - except I bought it from Amazon for $125. Ordinarily I would never purchase any product with such bad reviews, but maybe this is an updated version. If everyone received the camera systems I did, the reviews would be outstanding.

You can take snapshots remotely, record video, press to talk and do a split screen. This morning while I was less than half awake in the kitchen making coffee, my wife said something into the microphone and scared me. I knew she was still in bed and I thought someone else was in the room with me. She thought it was funny. She moved this camera into the kitchen the previous night. No privacy anymore.


Summer Infant Baby Zoom Wi-Fi Video Monitor and Internet Viewing System, Link Wi-Fi Series
Summer Infant Baby Zoom Wi-Fi Video Monitor and Internet Viewing System, Link Wi-Fi Series
Offered by BLINQ
Price: $189.59
25 used & new from $140.31

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb In Every Respect - Amazingly Simple Network Setup!, March 31, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Update: I bought an add-on camera and it was difficult to imagine how easy it was to set it up. Today's cell phones and tablets and Android or Apple apps have made all the difference. I don't understand the negative comments on this product. I honestly can't find any fault with it. I was so impressed that I immediately purchased an additional camera that arrived yesterday. My wife set up the second camera in 20 minutes with zero assistance. It took her 15 minutes for the first camera, but she said she got confused how to add the second camera and lost about 5 minutes. Split screen works great and also works great from remote locations. This is the add-on camera I purchased:

Summer Infant Baby Link Wi-Fi Internet Viewing Camera, Link Wi-Fi Series
--------------------------------
The video is very good although it's not quite HDTV. I've never seen any pixilation like some mentioned. I asked my wife to do the setup by herself because I didn't have time to do it. I was astounded when she came back about 15 minutes later and said she was finished. I honestly didn't believe her at first. You do have to turn off the remote handheld monitor before setting up the network. In fact, just watch the video at the top left of this web page and that will walk you through the entire setup. She didn't watch the video until after she finished the setup reading the directions only and using her female intuition. She said that she didn't know she had to turn off the monitor and that caused a couple of minutes delay during the setup. I was prepared for some long difficult frustrating setup task and that is the reason I procrastinated for two weeks to set it up. And then I had to persuade her to do it. She resisted, but she did it. Now she thinks she is a network genius.

When we were trying to use her Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 GSM cell phone remotely, a message came up regarding enabling it for 3G or 4G connections. It took less than a minute to enable it. At first we didn't think it was working. I don't know why they don't default to 3G/4G, but maybe not all users have those capabilities. Anyway while we were waiting in line at the post office, we decided to check in remotely. And there was our living room reasonably clear even though the lighting was not so bright. You can adjust the brightness to an extent. There was a delay of a few seconds when panning the room. Just wait a few seconds until it responds or you'll end up watching the ceiling or the floor. I think the delay was about three or four seconds. We have a fast cable network and the cell phone is 3G - not the fastest. This is pretty amazing in my book - less than 15 minutes setup time beginning to end. I ordered another remote camera to put upstairs. And if that works, then I'll buy yet another camera to overlook the driveway. It says you can have up to four cameras on one network and watch it on split screen up to four quadrants.

My wife installed the Android App on her Samsung Note 8 cell phone and the display is very good. You can pan the camera remotely by touching the arrows at the edge of the display. You can take snapshots remotely, record video, press to talk and do a split screen. And when you press the split screen tab, it even goes to the Summer Infant web page to buy the second remote for $150. I was so impressed, that I've already ordered a Summer Infant Baby Link Wi-Fi Internet Viewing Camera, Link Wi-Fi Series - except I bought it from Amazon for $125. Ordinarily I would never purchase any product with such bad reviews, but I think maybe this is the newest version, so it might be okay. I'll update this after it arrives on Friday. I think if everyone received the camera system I did, the reviews would be outstanding. Incidentally, today is March 31, 2015.

Although I did get the initial monitor on the Amazon Vine program without cost, I paid for the second add-on camera myself. And before you think I give 5 stars to every product I receive, then I invite you to look at the many Vine reviews I write. I give out my share of 1 stars on Vine products and everything in-between. It is what it is - good or bad and free or not. It's not exactly free either. I have written 670 reviews to date and I taken so long to write them that I feel like I've worked for the privilege - not to mention spending a fortune on Amazon products the past decade.

This is not only going to be our future baby monitor, it is going to be our home security system, too. I ordered an additional monitor immediately and it arrived in two days - $125. Not free anymore. That's the peril of being an Amazon Vine member. If I really like a product, I often end up buying additional ones.


Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Food - Starter Food for New Grass Plus Weed Preventer, 5,000-sq ft (Starter Lawn Fertilizer Plus Crabgrass, Dandelion & Weed Preventer) (Not Sold in FL)
Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Food - Starter Food for New Grass Plus Weed Preventer, 5,000-sq ft (Starter Lawn Fertilizer Plus Crabgrass, Dandelion & Weed Preventer) (Not Sold in FL)
Price: $35.97
14 used & new from $35.97

5.0 out of 5 stars Works Amazingly Well, March 19, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I planted new Bermuda seed late in the fall last year in some areas where the chinch bugs destroyed my St. Augustine grass and this Scotts product is just like what I need this spring. The grass is starting to green up here in the Houston area and the winter and early spring weeds are flourishing. But I put down another Scotts Turf Builder Bonus S Southern Weed & Feed in early winter last year to be prepared. There is a vacant lot next to my house and all the seeds blow onto my property. But this year it is so different than prior years because I discovered Scotts Turf Builder Bonus S Southern Weed & Feed last year.

The vacant lot next door is thick in green clover, crabgrass and dandelions right up to my property line (no fence) where I put down the Scotts Weed and Feed last winter. So this stuff really works miracles. It's simply amazing. In years past, I was determined not to use chemicals on my lawn and tried to pulls weed and it was a hopeless battle. I don't know how they manage to selectively kill only the weeds and leave my mixed Bermuda grass and St. Augustine grass unscathed, but they do.

I used the Scotts 76121 Turf Builder EdgeGuard today and after a few passes on the lawn today, it was quite evident the setting that I from the bag of fertilizer was way too much. So I changed it to half their recommended setting. I used two bags for my entire yard with a little extra left over. I used a trowel to scoop up the Scotts fertilizer so I could lightly sprinkle it in some areas the broadcast dispenser couldn't reach. I didn't do that last winter and those pesky weeds were thriving in those areas. They will definitely be gone in a week or so. The bag says it will be effective for about six weeks, so you'll probably have to put down another pass in a couple of months as it rains and new seeds start sprouting.

I got this particular bag on the Amazon Vine program, but I've purchased a multitude of bags of Scotts Weed & Feed fertilizer in the past year. It is the only brand I've ever used for this purpose and I see no reason to deviate from a proven product. I think you'll be more than satisfied with the result.


Small Polar Bear PawGard  Cut-Resistant Glove (Small)
Small Polar Bear PawGard Cut-Resistant Glove (Small)
Offered by Ask The Meatman
Price: $19.95
3 used & new from $5.00

2.0 out of 5 stars Overpriced and Size Not So Correct, March 19, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Disappointed. Way overpriced for a single glove. The only reason I ordered this one was because it was available in a size small. I bought it for my wife who weighs 110 pounds and is 5' 2" tall. I regret it now. I'm 6 feet tall and weigh 185 pounds and I can fit my hand in that glove. It's snug. It is not a size small in my opinion.


Mechanix Wear MHS-05-500 Heat Sleeve (Sold in pairs)
Mechanix Wear MHS-05-500 Heat Sleeve (Sold in pairs)
Price: $18.86
30 used & new from $18.00

2.0 out of 5 stars Way Too Small - Petites Only, March 18, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Much too small for a man's arm. These barely fit my 5' 3" petite wife who weighs 109 pounds. I can barely manage to pull them past my elbow and it is bordering on pain even with my arm outstretched, let alone when I bend my elbow. I am extremely disappointed in the size. I don't know if this material shrinks in the wash, but if it does, even my wife will have trouble with it. I'm 6 feet tall and weigh 185 pounds and not so much of it is fat. My BMI is 25.

I will have to keep looking for a long arm length sleeve that I can wear outdoors while wearing a short sleeved shirt. I thought this one had the best potential, but obviously not. I want it primarily to prevent sunburn while driving and doing yard work or playing tennis. I am open to referrals for a bigger size.


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