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Profile for Ben C.A. Nettle > Reviews


Ben C.A. Nettle's Profile

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Animal Alphabet: Slide and Seek the ABCs
Animal Alphabet: Slide and Seek the ABCs
by Alex Lluch
Edition: Board book
Price: $7.95
96 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Well Loved, Works on multiple levels, December 10, 2012
This is an extra tough board book that works on a variety of levels. Initially, the pictures (artistic and well done) and sliding animals are very entertaining. Next, it helps children learn the letters, and has both upper and lowercase clearly laid out (not common among many ABC books), and next it has the names of each animal with the letter highlighted. In the front of the book it also has the full alphabet on one page for easy viewing of the order.

This book has given our daughter many many readings full of enjoyment, and she asks for it repeatedly. She now knows all her letters but still comes back to this again and again for the animals, sliding, and words.

If you only buy 1 ABC book, this is a great option. It is durable, travels well, and will provide a lot of entertainment.

Fisher-Price Little People Tow 'n Pull Tractor
Fisher-Price Little People Tow 'n Pull Tractor
Price: $16.19
38 used & new from $16.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Little Tractor, Durable Too!, November 18, 2012
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
As with all the Fisher Price Little People sets, this is a cute and fun toy for toddlers, so this is more of a list of things of note.

The back gate of the cart folds down to create a ramp, and the hay bale is removable for play. There are two seating points, one on the tractor and one on top of the hay bale. The pig and cow are both very cute, and the cow is about twice the height of the pig. It's not quite as loud as some of the other FP Little People sets (like the Ferris Wheel), but as far as I can tell, there's no off switch. It sings and plays sounds when the driver seat is pushed down. Only the farmer can be stuck into the driver seat (the animal bases are too wide).

The one thing that surprised me is the tractor and cart are mounted together, so it doesn't "drive" like a tractor exactly, but that makes it so there is less to break, and the pieces will stay together.

Another win for Fisher Price though, and it definitely makes it's mark for fun and durability.

BROWNING BR316 NMO 3.5-Inch Chrome Magnet Mount
BROWNING BR316 NMO 3.5-Inch Chrome Magnet Mount

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High Quality, Solid Mount, Paint Safe, November 9, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I purchased this to go with the BROWNING BR-180 Amateur Dual-Band Mobile Antenna and it has worked wonderfully. The mount holds very strong even at highway speeds, and holds on tight even with minor hits to the antenna. The cable is sufficient to run just about anywhere through a vehicle with some length to spare, and the finish on the mount is high quality. The teflon pad on the back of the mount helps to prevent any damage to paint or vehicle, and the connection is very tight with the antenna, so there is no wobble.

An additional connector will be necessary for most hand-held radios and some mobile radios. Since I use a handheld (Yaeus VX-8DR) a SMA-BNC on the radio and a BNC-PL259 works well to allow me to rapidly disconnect/reconnect to the antenna with minimal wear on the SMA connector on the HT.

Very please with this purchase overall, and the ability to swap antennas in the future will be very handy.

BROWNING BR-180 Amateur Dual-Band Mobile Antenna
BROWNING BR-180 Amateur Dual-Band Mobile Antenna
Offered by GizmosForLife
Price: $27.48
50 used & new from $24.30

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works GREAT with VX-8DR, November 5, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is the first antenna I've added to my VX-8DR aside from the rubber ducky it came with. I went from hit and miss signals in my area to being able to consistently pick up our local 2m repeaters and IRLP nodes. Signal strength has increased significantly, and I'm now receiving signals clearly that I previously could not get at all. Transmission is also great, and I can hit the repeater approx 20 miles away where before I was missing contacts entirely.

I'm very happy with this, and it has paired nicely with the BROWNING BR316 NMO 3.5-Inch Chrome Magnet Mount and it has held strong. The antenna is a little tall to mount on the roof (due to the height of my garage) so I mount it on the trunk, which works out nicely. The antenna withstands highway speeds nicely, and is flexible enough to bounce back from minor smacks. And since this is separate from the mount, I don't have to buy a completely separate system to switch over to 6m.

To connect this easily to the VX-8DR without straining the (somewhat fragile) SMA connector, I purchased an SMA-male to BNC-female 20" lead, and a BNC-female to PL-259-male adaptor. This is a great way to quickly connect/disconnect the HT to the antenna, and has no noticeable impact on either 2m or 70cm bands (BNC has some band limitations when getting to higher frequencies, but it's not an issue on these bands).

Overall, I definitely recommend this antenna, even for those very new to the scene. It is a great addition, even for a HT, and will allow for much greater performance than your typical stock antenna can provide.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 24, 2013 7:43 AM PST

Baby Dolls: Sophie Doll by Kids Preferred
Baby Dolls: Sophie Doll by Kids Preferred
Price: $13.10
18 used & new from $9.20

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Our Daughter Loves Her Doll, October 18, 2012
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:2.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Our toddler has had this doll (she calls her "doll", not Sophie) since shortly after she was born, and is thoroughly attached to it. It has travelled everywhere, and experienced a fair amount of rough treatment. It's soft and squishable (no hard parts), lightweight, and easy to fit in any bags. And on top of that it's cute. Plus, she now points out all of dolls parts (eyes, hair, feet, etc.).

It's had food and drinks spilled on repeatedly, and other than a little bit of pilling, it handles the washing machine well, comes clean, and is dry the same day so it's not missed for bed time. We just recently bought a second (just in case one got lost) and have been alternating them to keep the wearing even, but after a number of washes the first is still in great shape 2 years in.

Attwood Bellow Signal Horn
Attwood Bellow Signal Horn
Price: $16.21
7 used & new from $11.14

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy To Use, Loud, No Batteries/Refills Required, September 18, 2012
These things are very loud, coming in at 110 decibels (equivalent to a chainsaw or rock concert on the decibel chart). It's *slightly* quieter than some can powered air horns that come in around 125 decibels, but this has a few benefits over those. Remember, sustained exposure at these levels can cause serious hearing damage.

This horn requires no external power (batteries, compressed air, etc.), and is run purely off of lung power. It's easy enough that a 2 year old can send out a full volume blast (ours has played with it several times). It won't rust or corrode, is made entirely of durable plastic, and so is incredibly light weight. This is something you can keep on your boat, in your emergency pack, etc. and never have to worry about if it will work when you need it. It's a very impressive little device, and at the cost is a great safety item. Also meets U.S. Coast Guard Rule 33, Annex III (according to the manufacturer).

For something that can produce massive amounts of sound, and be used an unlimited number of times, this is a great buy.

Aqua Bottle Stage 4/5
Aqua Bottle Stage 4/5
Offered by resalvager
Price: $14.99
2 used & new from $14.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Leaks, Breaks, Design Fades, August 1, 2012
We own two of these. One in pink, one in purple. We bought the second one after the tab on the lid of the first broke, thinking it was a fluke.

It wasn't.

The tabs to open/close the cover for the straw broke on both of the bottles we have, in a short amount of time. The lid does not have a gasket but rather is a plastic to plastic connection, so it leaks if turned certain ways. The design on the front of the bottle fades and completely rubs off after a few weeks. These were hand washed every time (never in a dish washer), so it wasn't exposed to high drying heat.

It holds water, and has a nice flexible straw, which makes it easy to drink out of, as long as your munchkin keeps it vertical. It doesn't do much to prevent spills, and if left on its side will leak from the threads and leave a large puddle wherever it sits.

Overall, it gets a 3 because it is easy to drink out of and hold, but we won't be buying more.

LEGO Bricks and More DUPLO Pink Brick Box 4623
LEGO Bricks and More DUPLO Pink Brick Box 4623
Offered by Amazing Plush
Price: $47.60
22 used & new from $18.00

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cute Starter Set, June 6, 2012
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is the first set we purchased for our daughter (so far). We got them as an easter present, as it just seemed to fit. The pink is pretty adorable, and the colors of the blocks are all just plain cute. I don't remember them catering to girls nearly as much when I was little. The rabbits, carrots, and flowers are all favorites, and our daughter will wander around with a rabbit in each hand playing.

Initially I had thought a 30 piece set would be far too few for enjoyment (from my Lego days), but she really has a ball with them, configuring them every which way. The lid to these snaps on nicely and has plenty of room for more in the bin. With 30 of them, it is plenty of parental work to find them all at the end of the day, so the number of blocks is a good fit.

Our daughter stays well entertained, which makes us happy as well. And how can you go wrong with Legos?

Fiskars Titanium Nitride No. 8 Shop Snip (12-79266984)
Fiskars Titanium Nitride No. 8 Shop Snip (12-79266984)
Offered by Avalanche Brands
Price: $16.94
15 used & new from $12.30

47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Hoof Trimmers, April 23, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
We use these to trim the hooves on our goats, so this may be a little different than the standard review.

The snips are solidly built, with a good set of quality contoured grips. The spring action is smooth and allows for fine control when working around the "quicks" on the hooves, helping to avoid any damage or accidental cuts. The lock can easily be operated with a thumb or fore-finger (depending on how you choose to hold them) so it's great for one-handed operation (important when you're wrestling with goats). The tips of the snips are narrow enough that they can clean out the inner gap of the hoof (even for our Nigerian Dwarves), but just rounded enough that you won't jab their tissue. They do a good job of accurately and sharply cutting, so there is no tearing of the grown out hooves, which can lead to infection.

It may not be their intended primary purpose, but they are perfect for what we use them for!
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 2, 2013 11:35 PM PST

Brush, Brush, Brush! (Rookie Toddler)
Brush, Brush, Brush! (Rookie Toddler)
by Alicia Padron
Edition: Board book
Price: $6.21
69 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars It's a winner with our daughter, April 9, 2012
We received this as a gift for our daughter (almost 20 m.o.) recently. I read through it once before reading it to her, and thought it was slightly silly, but that it wouldn't be of much long term interest to her. Wow, was I wrong.

The book is meant to be read to the tune of "Do Your Ears Hang Low", and flows fairly well to that. The first time I read through it, my daughter was already very into it. Surprisingly, after the 10th time or so she had me read through it that morning, she was still thrilled with it. By the end of the first day, she was "reading" it to herself (upside down and singing along in her own language, not truly reading it) she enjoyed it so much. At this point, I don't even know how many times she has brought us the book in the last few days, as I have lost count. She was already good about letting us brush her teeth prior to this, but she really does enjoy the book itself, and likes to haul it over to us for multiple read-throughs.

It just goes to show that my initial thoughts were way off, and this truly has some staying power with our daughter. It has become a very happy addition to her little library.

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