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Smart Weigh GEM20 High Precision Digital Milligram Scale 20 x 0.001g Ideal for Weighing Gems, Jewelry and other Precious Objects (Silver)
Smart Weigh GEM20 High Precision Digital Milligram Scale 20 x 0.001g Ideal for Weighing Gems, Jewelry and other Precious Objects (Silver)
Offered by MeasuRite
Price: $24.99
2 used & new from $17.21

5.0 out of 5 stars Simple, but precise, July 11, 2014
This scale is great for gems or other small things that need to be weighed (dope?).

This scale weighs small items up to 20g and reads out to .001g increments.

The scale comes with two AAA batteries, a small tray, tweezers, and two 10g weights for calibration.

I have a natural distrust of things that need to be recalibrated. Usually entering the calibration mode only makes things worse. I was surprised how simple this was to calibrate though. The two weights made it really simple and accurate. I noticed that the weights didn't weigh the same 10g though. I hit them with some 409 and a paper towel to clean them up and then they magically weighed the same again.

This is a very specific scale for fairly narrow applications. If you need to weigh something that weighs more than 20g then you're out of luck. But for what it does, it does it very well.

I was provided this item for review.


Telescoping Extendable Handheld handle Monopod Pole + Thumbscrew +Tripod Mount and Wrist Strap Accessory Kit for Gopro Hero1 Hero2 Hero3 Camera 9-41"
Telescoping Extendable Handheld handle Monopod Pole + Thumbscrew +Tripod Mount and Wrist Strap Accessory Kit for Gopro Hero1 Hero2 Hero3 Camera 9-41"
Offered by Empire Palace USA INC
Price: $14.96

4.0 out of 5 stars Decent portable monopod, July 8, 2014
This is a great little monopod with a universal screw mount for cameras or a mount designed for GoPro cameras. I tried it with my regular camera and my knock-off GoPro (I call it my NoPro or my FauxPro). The hardware worked for both applications.

This monopod is lightweight and portable enough to fit into a handbag or hip pocket.

I see the other reviews that are critical of the quality of the hardware and the fit & finish of the parts. I didn't have any problems with the hardware. I wouldn't crank the tension down too tightly or it will break, just like any similar lighweight hardware would break.

I used this monopod to steady my camera at one of my kids' sport events and was really happy with how it worked.

I was provided this item for review.


Ipow Portable Travel Fold-Up Tablet Stand + 5 Pack Microfiber Screen Cleaning Cloth for Apple iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina / Samsung Galaxy Tab Note / BlackBerry PlayBook / Tesco Hudl / Microsoft Surface Pro 2 / Google Nexus 10 7 FHD / LG G Pad 8.3 / Sony Xperia Tablet Z / and All Other 7-12 Inchs Tablet PCs (Black)
Ipow Portable Travel Fold-Up Tablet Stand + 5 Pack Microfiber Screen Cleaning Cloth for Apple iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina / Samsung Galaxy Tab Note / BlackBerry PlayBook / Tesco Hudl / Microsoft Surface Pro 2 / Google Nexus 10 7 FHD / LG G Pad 8.3 / Sony Xperia Tablet Z / and All Other 7-12 Inchs Tablet PCs (Black)
Offered by Empire Palace USA INC
Price: $7.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than I expected, July 8, 2014
I expected this to be a decent stand, but I didn't expect to really be wowed. This stand is fantastic though.

I use my Kindle Fire HDX 8.9" tablet for a lot of things besides just reading and surfing. As one other reviewer pointed out, tablets are great in the kitchen. I also use mine in the garage for technical service manuals. I already have a nice cover with a keyboard and the cover folds into a stand. I've never been very satisfied with the range of motion of this cover though--I just can't always get the right angle to see my recipes or manuals.

This stand is very sturdy and offers an incredible range of angles for holding your tablet. The two lower legs fold out sideways to make a good cradle for for your device. Then the back rotates from a competely vertical right angle to nearly flat on the tabletop. When you're done, it folds up into practically nothing. The folded dimensions are about 1" x 1" by 6" (give or take). It fits perfectly into a kitchen drawer or even a pants pocket.

The other nice surprise was that it came with a nice stack of soft cloths (four of them). I love soft cloths. I use them to clean my tablet screen and my eyeglasses. Good stuff.

I was provided this item for review.


Spracht Conference Mate Portable NFC Enabled Bluetooth Conference Mate, Black
Spracht Conference Mate Portable NFC Enabled Bluetooth Conference Mate, Black
Price: $65.99
11 used & new from $60.76

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great speakerphone and BT speaker, July 2, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm a big fan of Bluetooth (BT) speakers in general. The same goes for wireless BT headphones and USB connections on car stereos. The fact that I can playback my entire music collection from the phone in my pocket just about anywhere I am continues to blow my mind. I've kind of turned into a collector of BT speakers. I have one on the sink in my master bathroom, in the garage, my office, and now this one in my kitchen. Each one is a little different and serves a slightly different purpose.

I think my favorite BT speaker is the one in my bathroom (ECOXGEAR ECOXBT Rugged and Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Speaker) because it's waterproof and I can drag it into the shower with me.

This Spracht Conference Mate is awesome though. It's focus is unique compared to the other BT speakers I own. It's designed to function as a speakerphone connected via BT to your smartphone. This is fantastic. I use my iPhone for a lot of conference calls when I work at home. The call quality isn't as good on my phone's speaker setting, so I sometimes end up having to hold the phone to participate on the call. Being able to use a good speakerphone on these calls is fantastic. Even better is the fact that this is a premium speakerphone as good as the ones that I use in our conference rooms at work. This means that I don't have to sit right on top of the device to participate on the call. Even better is the fact that more than one of us can comfortably participate in these calls now.

One of my daughters lives out of state and we like to have family calls with her. My wife and I love the fact that we can dial her up on my iPhone and then set this speaker on the table while we all talk to her. Sometimes we use video calling on our computers too, but the signal is patchy and we always mute the PC and use the phone too. This speaker is the perfect solution for those calls.

The controls on this device are good. The volume up/down buttons are large and responsive. The phone button is good too, so when I am playing music and someone calls, I don't need to walk over to my phone. I can just press the phone button to take the call. A few of the other BT speakers I own have a similar phone function, but none of them are as good as this one. The rest have terrible mics and the other party has a hard time hearing.

I love this speaker. I use it in the kitchen to play music and audio while I cook and clean. It's more than just a speaker though; it's perfect for conference calls.


Mead 3 x 5-Inch Index Cards, Ruled, 100 Count, White (63350)
Mead 3 x 5-Inch Index Cards, Ruled, 100 Count, White (63350)
Price: $4.09
33 used & new from $0.53

2.0 out of 5 stars Pricey, June 28, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Normally I don't factor pricing or shipping into a review, because the price can change any time and the shipping isn't really the under the vendor's control.

In this case, the shipping was fine, but the price seems really high for such a commodity. You can pick these up at your local OfficeStapleDepotMax for less money and get a larger quantity.

The index cards themselves are fine. An index card is pretty much an index card. These come with both a back and a front and four nifty square corners. We use them for all sorts of purposes around the house. I won't be buying any of these Mead cards for $3.25 per hundred though.


Cappec's Bluetooth Wireless BBQ Thermometer - Smoker friendly
Cappec's Bluetooth Wireless BBQ Thermometer - Smoker friendly
Offered by Cappec
Price: $79.95
2 used & new from $69.80

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Grill Accessory, June 25, 2014
If you browse through my reviewer profile you will see that I have reviewed many different BBQ accessories over the years. I love gadgets and I love to grill. I've used a number of different wireless thermometers and rarely grill without one anymore.

This one is innovative compared to the others that I've used, because it uses a Bluetooth (BT) connection to connect to the CAPPEC app on my iPhone. (Search for "CAPPEC" in the iTunes store.) Since the iPhone has way more capabilities than a simple LED readout on a monitor, there are a lot more features available through the app. Awesome! For example, if you're a data junkie like me, you'll love the ability to watch a graph of the temps of your meat.

So what do you get with this thermometer?

* A small black box that kind of reminds me of an AppleTV unit, only smaller.
* Two meat probes.
* A little screwdriver that you'll need to get access to the battery
cover. (I wish I had found this before I struggled to get into
the battery hatch. It's a lot easier with this little jeweler's
screwdriver.)

Download the app from the app store (iTunes or Android...ooh, I wonder if I can side-load this onto my Kindle Fire tablet?) and launch the app. Don't do like I did and try to pair the receiver in the BT settings, because that's now how this device works. Just make sure BT is turned on on your phone. The app recognized my receiver right away.

Here's a quick note about Bluetooth technology. I don't recall the precise limits of the BT standards, but in my experience most BT devices have a range of less than 25'. This one had a comparable range where the signal was good up to about 20'-25'. That's fine with me, but it means I need to leave my iPhone outside near the grill. Otherwise I'll have to reacquire the signal when I go back outside. This is important to understand though: This thermometer is wireless, but it's not what I'd call "remote". Although you're not exactly tethered to the probes, you can't go inside to powder your nose and expect to keep the signal going.

Now about the app...

I work for a major entertainment company and a big part of our business is mobile apps. Because of my job I'm probably a tougher critic of mobile apps than most people. And although I have a couple of small gripes with this app, overall I'm very very happy with it. And the genius of creating an app to connect to this thermometer is that the manufacturer can release enhancements and bug fixes in the future. That's fantastic, because I've used some remote thermometers that were pretty good but had flaws that could never be fixed. I'm happy to know that this one will be upgraded over time.

So the device itself is pretty rugged and durable. The probes are very substantial and I expect them to last a long time. Frankly I doubt I'll use both probes simultaneously very often, just because I typically only cook one type of meat at a time. On the other hand, I've been burned before (bad pun) by inaccurate sampling when I put the probe in the wrong spot. It's nice to have two probes and be able to poke the meat in more than one location.

Overall I'm very happy with this thermometer. It's actually strong competition for my previous favorite. The only reason I can think of to use my former favorite thermometer is if I need to leave the area and need a remote unit. But I actually prefer to hang out by the grill, so that's probably not going to be an issue.

Well done, CAPPEC.

I was provided this item for review.


Hudson Cast Iron Cleaner XL 7x7 Premium Stainless Steel Chainmail Scrubber
Hudson Cast Iron Cleaner XL 7x7 Premium Stainless Steel Chainmail Scrubber
Offered by Hudson Essentials
Price: $24.99
2 used & new from $14.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good for my BBQ grill too, June 25, 2014
I wish I had a dollar for every time I've been asked "what's that chain mail potholder for?" It's NOT a potholder; it's an awesome scrubber pad. I guess the barrage of questions is my fault for not putting this away after I'm done with it.

This scrubber is great for cleaning cast iron skillets, but frankly I don't cook with cast iron enough to justify a special cleaner. But I DO use my cast iron BBQ grill toppers (ManGrate Grill Enhancement System) all the time. I'd say I grill an average of 2-3 times a week all year long. I like to keep my grills clean, but I've always been a little nervous about cheap wire brushes. I don't know if it's a wife's tale or not, but the notion of the wire bristles coming off and imparting themselves into my family's food gives me the heebie jeebies. So a scrubber like this is a great accessory.

To use this on my grills, I just fold the hanging loop ring into my palm so it won't get stuck in the grills. Then I scrub each individual grill with this chain metal pad. It does a great job getting the crud off my grills.

Then I take it to the sink indoors, squirt a little soap on it, and wash it out. If I were smart I'd shake it off and put it away right away, but I'm not, so I have to endure the questions. And so it goes.

I was provided this item for review.


Zeetron Cute Hippo Rubber Compact Usb 2 in 1 Usb Cable (Usb to Lightning for Iphone 5s 5 Ipod) (Usb to Micro for Samsung, Htc, Nokia, Blackberry, Lg) (Green)
Zeetron Cute Hippo Rubber Compact Usb 2 in 1 Usb Cable (Usb to Lightning for Iphone 5s 5 Ipod) (Usb to Micro for Samsung, Htc, Nokia, Blackberry, Lg) (Green)
Offered by Zeetron
Price: $9.99
2 used & new from $9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars I love this cable, June 18, 2014
This cable is sooooo clever!

This is a short cable with a USB connector on one end and two connectors on the other end: micro USB and Lightning for Apple devices. All this is bundled up in a keychain with a cute hippo head on it. What a clever way to ensure that you have your two most-used cables with you at all times.

The first thing I noticed when I tried this out is that I didn't get the nagging message telling me that the cable isn't compatible with my Apple device. Most of my Lightning cables are cheap third-party knock offs. I've gotten used to this annoying message; it's fine with me as long as the cable actually charges my phone. But I'm much happier when I don't get that message, because sometimes the phone truly doesn't recognize the cable and doesn't charge. I have a couple other Zeetron cables and they are all very reliable like this one.

Honestly the design of this keychain fob doesn't really fit my personality. It just doesn't go with my big diesel pickup truck. But I'm also a geek who works for a major technology organization. At work, geeks are cool. So I put a little clip on it (search for "trigger hook" here on Amazon to see what I'm talking about, or see the link in my comment below) and clipped it onto my laptop bag. Now I have a handy-dandy dual use charge cable right at my fingertips whenever I'm at work or travelling.

This is a super clever design and incredibly useful. And even if you don't love the hippo motif, just cut it off and still use the handy little cable.

I was provided this item for review.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 18, 2014 12:37 PM PDT


TeiKis - BBQ Grill Mat (2) and Skewer (2) - Heavy Duty Non-Stick Grill Mats and Flexible Grilling Skewers - Do NOT put the mat in direct contact with flames
TeiKis - BBQ Grill Mat (2) and Skewer (2) - Heavy Duty Non-Stick Grill Mats and Flexible Grilling Skewers - Do NOT put the mat in direct contact with flames
Offered by Mckinley Distribution
Price: $14.99
2 used & new from $14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Skewers, June 17, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a pretty cool set. The vendor sent me a set of these skewers and mats to evaluate and review. I loved them so much that I bought a second set so I'd have four of the skewers.

First I have to confess that I haven't used the mats yet. I haven't quite found the right use for them, plus I keep my grill pretty hot and these are only for use up to 500 degrees. The skewers though, oh the skewers...

I made a nice big set of kebabs for my family and quickly realized that I can't recall the last time I made kebabs. Why not? Because I've always had such horrible luck with them. I have such a hard time turning the kebabs without just having the chunks of stuff twirl around on the skewers. So the food cooks unevenly and a lot of the pieces even fall off. That's no good at all. But these skewers loop around on themselves to make a complete ring, which means that it's very simple to turn them over: just grab the pointy end with your tongs and gently turn the whole business over (use a spatula to support the other end if you're worried about being too rough with them).

These wire skewers are nice and long. Each one is the equivalent of two or two and a half of the regular wooden skewers that we typically use. So each one makes a perfect serving for one family member.

I had a few fears with these loopy skewers:

1) They'd be too hot to handle.

2) They'd be too tough to clean.

3) They'd be too unwieldy to store.

I used tongs and a spatula to take everything off the grill. Then I figured I'd need my heavy duty BBQ mitt to hold one end while I wrestled the kebabs off the lines, but by the time I got them into the kitchen and got down to business they had already cooled off. Awesome!

Then when it was time to do dishes I just soaped them up and used a sponge to scrub them. They cleaned right up!

When I was all done, I just coiled them up on themselves and they made a bundle about 6" in diameter. They fit in my BBQ cupboard just fine.

Like I mentioned before, I got a set of these for free to evaluate, but I loved them so much that I bought another set so I'd have four for my family. Adios wooden sticks!


[AYL® Best Garlic Press Stainless Steel] ★ SALE! BUY 1 Garlic Press AND GET 1 Black Cleaning Brush FOR FREE! ★ Make Your Own Freshly Crushed and Minced Garlic and Ginger from Unpeeled Cloves and Ginger ★ Enjoy the Amazing Health Benefits of Garlic - Great for Garlic-Mixed Cooking Spices, Herb & Garlic Marinade Recipes - Now You Can Easily Add it to Every Dish of Food! ★
[AYL® Best Garlic Press Stainless Steel] ★ SALE! BUY 1 Garlic Press AND GET 1 Black Cleaning Brush FOR FREE! ★ Make Your Own Freshly Crushed and Minced Garlic and Ginger from Unpeeled Cloves and Ginger ★ Enjoy the Amazing Health Benefits of Garlic - Great for Garlic-Mixed Cooking Spices, Herb & Garlic Marinade Recipes - Now You Can Easily Add it to Every Dish of Food! ★
Offered by Accessorise Your Life
Price: $49.99
2 used & new from $15.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sturdy garlic press, June 6, 2014
This is a very solid garlic press. I've owned four garlic presses that I can think of (plus this one, so five overall), and the first three were absolute junk and broke within a year or so. The one I've been using for the past four or five years is showing no signs of breaking, but it's not perfect. The orifices on that one are too small and easily clog.

This press has very sturdy handles and action. The orifices on the press are big enough to prevent clogging. My only slight misgiving is that it has very square edges. Square edges create corners. Corners are harder to clean. I worked on a cleaning and sanitation project for a pharmaceutical company and rule #1 was to use rounded edges to prevent hard-to-clean corners. On the other hand, rule #2 was to avoid porous surfaces for the same reason. The food surfaces on this press are very smooth and don't create any hygiene issues.

Don't get me wrong. I'm no clean freak. But pressed garlic is messy and many of my recipes call for multiple heads of pressed garlic, so it's important to me to be able to quickly clean out the peels so I can press the next head. The instructions said to just run the press under the faucet, but I like to avoid introducing too much water to my recipes if they don't call for water. I actually had good luck with a toothpick. I could just dig the peels out with the point of the toothpick. Wooden skewers work well too.

This is a great press. In most ways I like it better than the one I've been using for the past few years. I'm glad to have a second one.

I was provided this item for review.


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