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Profile for J. Manning > Reviews


J. Manning's Profile

Customer Reviews: 9
Top Reviewer Ranking: 4,864,789
Helpful Votes: 222

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Reviews Written by
J. Manning "jodm" RSS Feed (Salt Lake City, UT USA)

Page: 1
Ikea 301.841.73 Holmo 46" Floor Lamp
Ikea 301.841.73 Holmo 46" Floor Lamp
Offered by Amazing Disposable
Price: $18.88
19 used & new from $15.58

2.0 out of 5 stars Limited Functionality, December 14, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This lamp as designed is not suitable for anything except for creating a limited type of ambiance in a room that's short on furniture.

It is too short to be a functional as a floor lamp, and too tall to be a table lamp. It holds a single light bulb approximately 2.5 feet off the floor, so putting any type of normal furniture near it will block it. It is too fragile to be put in a child's room with shorter furniture.

Although rated up to 75w, the brightest bulb you would ever want to put in this lamp is a 40w soft white. I tried a soft 60w and the lamp shade paper was simply too thin. It was simultaneously too painful on the eyes yet still lit the room very poorly compared to a normal table lamp with the same bulb. Even with a soft 40w, it creates a bright point of light in the middle of the cylindrical lamp shade and doesn't illuminate the top and bottom of the shade like you might hope. A dimmer bulb might provide more even illumination within the shade, but would do little to illuminate the room. In short, I think it's better at being a decoration than a lamp.

My lamp also arrived with a wobbly top support that could not be securely tightened, so it leans, and makes me nervous about the paper touching the bulb and catching fire. This wobbliness appears to be a somewhat common defect.

Positives? I like the floor switch, the base is compact and sturdy, and it was cheap. And it disassembles and packs into an 11x9x3 inch box.

Also, with a little bit of ingenuity you can convert this "floor lamp" into a table lamp by removing the top and bottom segments and screwing the part holding the lightbulb socket directly into the base, whereupon it becomes only 22" tall. You just need to improvise a fastener to attach a lamp shade if you don't use the top segment. Re-attaching the top or bottom segment adds another 11" each if desired.

The Elder Gods - The Dreamers Book 1
The Elder Gods - The Dreamers Book 1
7 used & new from $16.92

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely Bad, January 20, 2007
I couldn't believe that David Eddings could write a book as bad as the reviews were saying, so I had to read it myself. I'm sorry to say that the reviews were spot on. This is bad by any fantasy novel standard, not just Eddings's. The dialogue is terrible, the repetition of exposition is maddening, and the majority of the thinly-developed characters all sound alike and are almost interchangeable in any particular conversation. The authors were already taking on a challenge by having the main characters be "gods" who are never in any danger and seem like they could brush away what few obstacles they face with a wave of their hand if they wanted to, but when you add the element of "dreamers" who foretell the future with nigh perfect accuracy, and the events in the story play out just as they're foretold... I mean, how do you create suspense or any sort of compelling story out of that? The book needed to be either thought-provoking or high comedy to work, and it's not anywhere close on either count. It just has no redeeming qualities, and I've never said that about any fantasy novel, let alone an Eddings novel.

Stars at Saint Andrea
Stars at Saint Andrea
2 used & new from $10.93

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars the least special album from Devics, October 12, 2003
This review is from: Stars at Saint Andrea (Audio CD)
Speaking as someone who has bought and treasured everything this band has ever been willing to sell, this one left me flat. I think the first problem is that they've almost completely lost their rhythm section, other than a couple songs featuring Ed on bass. The songs in which both Ed and a session drummer are brought in, such as "My True Love," instantly jumped out to me as the strongest tracks and most like their older albums. One-man-band Dustin O'Halloran is immeasurably talented, but I think all the double-tracking he did in recording this album mostly by himself subtly changed the soul of the music. It no longer has that tightly meshed and textured feel. It's thinner, and the empty spaces that a drummer or a bassist (who digs bass more than Dustin) ought to have filled became more noticeable to me with each listening. Electronic drums don't cut it, and that's the other problem: electronics. Dustin is almost as good on the synth as he is at every other instrument, but none of it makes the songs better. Everything that's special about these songs comes from Dustin's guitar or piano and Sara's vocals. There are many, many bands that do electronics as well as Devics. There are a few who can match their moodiness (hence the unfortunate comparisons with Portishead, a great band but not really what Devics is/was about). I can count on one finger the bands that were doing this with an authentic, vintage sound, using no special effects other than tremolo. So because of that I think this is Devic's "least special" album. I really hope they have Ed full time along with a drummer on their next album. Maybe with a rhythm section in place the electronics will have more to contribute (if they must go in that direction).
In any event, I would give all of Devic's three previous full-length albums a shot before coming back for this one.

Salton RA3A 3-Cup Rice Cooker
Salton RA3A 3-Cup Rice Cooker
6 used & new from $39.99

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful product even when functioning, January 31, 2002
My cooker has never had any electrical problems, but it may as well since I'll never use it again. The directions were inaccurate, it spewed liquid rice out the top in every direction, and it badly burned the rice anywhere it touched the bottom or sides of the pot. Worse, the pot became badly scratched after I repeatedly had to chisel burnt rice-crust off of it, and after awhile the rice began to have a metallic aftertaste. I would not buy this product again at any price.

My Beautiful Sinking Ship
My Beautiful Sinking Ship

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to the Lounge of the Lost, January 21, 2002
Unique, whimsical, sometimes ethereal, often dark humored, always moody. This is a very talented, highly professional band dedicated to playing vintage musical styles, but only in minor keys. Their previous releases featured a guitar sound often inspired by surf and flamenco, with layers of tremolo. "Sinking Ship" is a much more piano-driven recording. A literal one-man-band, Dustin O'Halloran apparently fell in love with an upright piano before this album, and the result is several creepy little songs which wouldn't be out of place in a smokey 19th century lounge. Even in songs in which piano isn't featured, it's often tucked in under other instruments, such as the Moonlight Sonata-like melody that emerges from under the bombastic "My Beautiful Sinking Ship" single, recognizeable only at its pauses. Sara Lov does not have the most powerful lungs you're ever going to hear, but she's very versatile and alters her style to whatever suits the song, ranging from an ethereal Julee Cruise to a husky Courtney Love and somewhere in the middle like Gwen Stefani. Giving the album that extra edge of authenticity is Ed Maxwell's upright bass, which he'll sometimes play with a bow when a cello-like sound is required. An accordian and jazz-style guitars also make an appearance in the soundscape. That's the other thing about this band. When they insert an uncommon instrument into a song, it blends in seemlessly rather than leaping out an shouting, "this is alternative!" All their sets are tight. Nobody plays a single extra note that doesn't mesh with everything else.
This is a special little band. They're worth your time.

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1)
A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1)
by George R. R. Martin
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.48
436 used & new from $0.01

143 of 154 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Brutal Read, February 6, 2001
You have about 500 other reviews to choose from so I'll try to keep this practical and useful. If you're the sort who reads "fantasy" novels to escape from the troubles of your everyday life, run screaming from this book. There is no heroic quest here, and little or no magic. Instead we're given a land that would comfortably fit in next to our own world's medieval history, centered around the schemings of royal families and populated by characters who on average are capable of cruelties that would only be attempted by a great villain in any other fantasy novel.
And yet it's the people who make this book such a compelling read. This is an intensely character-driven novel right down to its very structure, which is broken into chapters dedicated to 8 different characters, each a flawed protagonist in his/her own way. The book itself weighs in at over 800 pages, and very little of that is spent on battles or scenery, or even a resolution to the plot. Instead it's densely packed with the thoughts, feelings, schemes, and observations of the characters, and you're unlikely to avoid getting very emotionally entangled to at least one of them. The combination of this with the brutal setting makes you genuinely cheer whenever a sympathetic character finally accomplishes something positive, or groan with dread when another character makes a tragic mistake. And you might be shocked at how willingly you would murder a character with your bare hands if only you could leap into the pages. I think it's this sort of emotional response that has so many readers proclaiming this series a great work of fiction.
A few potential negatives: The book itself has no resolution, it's an installment in a huge epic that will require a big appetite to finish. Also, there's an unusual level of sexual content, and almost none of it is what you'd call romantic. I'm not squeamish, but I found it very oppressive at times. This is, perhaps realistically, a very unkind world towards women. Finally, most of the main characters are disconcertingly young, ranging from 7 to 15 years old. I think the idea is for them to age into their primes over the course of the series (if they live), but given the overall tone of the book the innocence and brutality can clash uncomfortably.
Overall, definitely read it if you prefer gritty realism and have an appetite for large scale storytelling. Avoid it if you're sentimental or have enough grim reality in your life already. This book is not for everyone.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 24, 2014 12:25 PM PDT

Roseland NYC Live
Roseland NYC Live
Offered by MEGA Media
Price: $8.99
156 used & new from $0.28

23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Music better listened to alone, October 5, 2000
This review is from: Roseland NYC Live (Audio CD)
First off, for a live album, the recording is outstanding. It's clear, balanced, and the acoustics are excellent. Obviously it's not on par with the ultra-produced "Dummy", but you have no right to expect better from a live performance.
Beth Gibbons's voice is much more fragile here. At the right emotional moments this can aid a song, but at other times you're trying to will her to hold a note she's straining for, such as in "Humming." There are, however, songs where she seems to be in her comfort zone, like "All Mine." But on the whole, the standard set in the studio albums just isn't reachable.
I was hoping the orchestra would be more prominently featured. The songs that make use of it definitely benefit, and you'll enjoy the horns in "All Mine" and the strings in "Only You." "Strangers" is the track where it really hits you, and I so dearly wish they had cut the electronic sounds from it entirely so I could fully enjoy it. The more popular songs don't fare as well. "Sour Times" should be skipped. It was an experiment, and I understand why they wanted to try it, but they never should have recorded it. It's barely recognizable in the bad sort of way.
The audience... I will never forgive them. They mostly stay out of it, but what they did to "Roads" was just criminal. The band had a beautiful set prepared for "Roads," and these escaped mental patients turned it into a clap-along. Yes, "Roads," one of the loneliest songs you can imagine, a clap-along. To this day my enjoyment of the studio recording is lessened due to the experience. Those people should have been sterilized immediately. If the preservation of beauty matters to you, skip that track, always.
I am not a fan of live albums, but I would say that Roseland is among the more worthwhile of them. Some of these songs are really enlarged in this context, and the rest are at least different enough to make the experience new. But definitely get the studio albums first.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 20, 2012 12:29 PM PDT

How We Quit the Forest
How We Quit the Forest
32 used & new from $0.55

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I'd like more 'Ether,' less 'Forest', April 19, 2000
This review is from: How We Quit the Forest (Audio CD)
I think Kelly Bone had it right the first time. This CD is unique, and has some charm, but it's not "Thanks for the Ether," which in addition to being unique was also beautiful. I really disliked the prominence of distorted cello on this album. On several tracks you have to listen very closely to reassure yourself that you're not hearing an electric guitar instead. Rasputina sans cello simply isn't Rasputina. The use of electronic drums works better, but even that's unnecessarily intrusive in a song like 'Mayfly.' In some songs you wish they'd use a bass for rhythm instead. However, I did love the piano in 'Watch T.V.,' and there are still plenty of Ether-like tracks such as 'Rose K.,' 'How We Quit the Forest,' and the humorous 'Christian Soldiers.' Please, ladies, let your cellos speak in their true voices.

Happy End of the World
Happy End of the World
10 used & new from $3.02

28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I hate that I love this, January 23, 2000
This review is from: Happy End of the World (Audio CD)
I like my music moody, and difficult to listen to. I loathe pop, and I never dance. And yet I found "Happy End of the World's" ridiculous cheerfulness to be irresistable. More than once I've caught myself singing, "La, La-la, La-la, LA la la," (those are actual lyrics) while out in public, and then I want to hide. Pizzicato Five does everything wrong: they use badly outdated pop samples, and sing in Japanese when they're not babbling complete gibberish. And yet you get the impression that they could skip merrily into Hell and make Satan himself giggle.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 8, 2012 2:39 PM PDT

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