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sb-lynn RSS Feed (Santa Barbara, California United States)

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Motorola VerveRider Lightweight, Wearable Stereo Earbuds
Motorola VerveRider Lightweight, Wearable Stereo Earbuds
Price: $69.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to set up, comfortable, and work as advertised, July 24, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My husband primarily uses these as a Bluetooth answering device for use when he's driving. He seldom uses them for music,

As far as using them for the phone, I would give these 5 stars. He only likes to use one of the earphones since he wants to be able to hear traffic sounds with the other ear. The one earphone enough is so loud and clear he can easily hear the conversation even with the loudest noise outside and he reports that the person at the other end of the phone hears him as clearly as well.

One star off as far as music quality - I tried these and although they are really nice, they aren't perfect but very good. If you are buying these solely to listen to music I think you can find better quality at a cheaper price, although I do think these are very nice.

Super easy to connect with your Bluetooth device and very very comfortable. Recommended.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 25, 2016 7:11 AM PDT

Nobody's Fool
Nobody's Fool
by Richard Russo
Edition: Hardcover
30 used & new from $35.96

5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite books by one of my favorite writers, July 19, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Nobody's Fool (Hardcover)
I love Richard Russo and I have read everything he has ever written - except this. Why I put this off I don't know. When my book club picked this I was only too happy to finally give it a go.

I am happy to say that it may be my favorite one of all, comparable to Empire Falls.

Brief summary and review, no spoilers:

This story takes place in upstate New York in the small village of North Bath. The place has become one of those small towns where commerce has passed it by and the town is hoping to get an amusement park built nearby in order to bring people back.

Donald "Sully" Sullivan is the main character in this novel and he is 60 years old and is the upstairs tenant of his 8th grade teacher, Mrs. Beryl. Her son, often referred to as "the Bank", is jealous of Sullly and is one of those trying to get the amusement park built.

Sully is about as down and out on luck as is the town, but he gets by his wits and by hard work. He works doing construction work for a philandering boss named Carl who is married to the town beauty. Sully's best friend (or at least the man who hangs around him the most) is the simple-minded yet sweet character nicknamed Rub.

Things start to change when Sully becomes involved with his son Peter and his grandson Will who have returned to North Bath and when Sully starts to have more and more problems with his ailing knee. What happens to Sully and his friends and family? What characters will end up staying with each other? Will the amusement park happen?

And as with any Russo novel, we have an assorted group of eccentric and wonderful characters who provide us with banter and humor mixed in with some truly poignant and memorable moments. We also learn about each characters past, and in particular about Sully's abuseive father, and how that affected Sully and made him the person he is today.

I flat out loved this book. It was made into a move in the early 1990's with Paul Newman as Sully and it was wonderful picturing him in the role as I read the book.

Highly recommended. The sequel Everybody's Fool was just released recently and I plan on reading that soon.

Losing My Mind: An Intimate Look at Life with Alzheimer's
Losing My Mind: An Intimate Look at Life with Alzheimer's
by Thomas DeBaggio
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.98
133 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Alzheimers; from the patient's point of view, July 11, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This book, as stated in the title, is an intimate look at what it's like to have Alzheimer's Thomas DeBaggio was himself a successful farmer and author of books about plants and herbs when in his 57th year, he realized he was starting to forget things, specifically the names of the very plants and herbs he had known so well before.

The book starts off just when DeBaggio has received his diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer's and he has decided to write this to memorialize his experience for the benefit of himself and others. The book is told in an unusual way with almost three types of narrations - we go back and forth in time as DeBaggio tells us about his past and then breaks in with his experiences at the present time he is writing. And then there are short passages interspersed throughout that have professional and scientific news on Alzheimer's talking about its possible causes and treatments with the latest medical breakthroughs and updates. In some ways this was a interesting way to tell the story, but for me at times it would interrupt the natural flow of the narrative.

What was truly wonderful - and what made this book unique - is that this is the rare insider's look at Alzheimer's as DeBaggio makes us understand what it really is like to have this horrible disease and feel your memories and your sense of self fade away. As he elequently explains, we all know we are mortal, but having early-onset Alzheimer's is especially horrifying because you know you will be gone soon and in such an awful way that can be especially challenging for caretakers and those left behind.

My father died of this horrible disease. Hopefully someday soon there will effective treatments because at this time, there is really not much doctors can do. And thank you Mr. DeBaggio for sharing your very personal and often terrifying experiences with us all.

meori Classic Medium Foldable Box, Marine Blue, Collapsible Box To Organize, Store and Carry Anything and Everything
meori Classic Medium Foldable Box, Marine Blue, Collapsible Box To Organize, Store and Carry Anything and Everything
Price: $29.99

5.0 out of 5 stars I own many of these type Maori foldable boxes - I am a huge fan, July 8, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I own probably 5 or 7 of the Meori foldable boxes, although the other ones I own are the larger sized ones with the two compartments.

I am such a big fan of these boxes because they are not only attractive, they are incredible durable and you can use them for so many things. I am in the midst of trying to "declutter" my house which has been daunting to say the least, but these beautiful Meori boxes have helped make that easy. I use the larger ones to store shoes and pants, and i have used this smaller one for vitamins and medicines that usually clutter the table.

Do note that these do not have covers. Also note that this particular foldable box isn't all that pretty in that it is a solid blue which is nice enough, but check out the patterned larger Meori boxes because they comes in wonderful vibrant colors and patterns and they can instantly make your house look tidier and prettier at the same time.

Easy to set up, use, and durable. A+ for me.

Recommended. Obviously. I now own 6 of these!

The Ballroom: A Novel
The Ballroom: A Novel
by Anna Hope
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $27.00

5.0 out of 5 stars A look at life in a British asylum in the year 1911, June 28, 2016
This review is from: The Ballroom: A Novel (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Brief summary and review, no spoilers.

This story for the most part takes place in the year 1911 and the location is an asylum in the Yorkshire moors. We are told what happens from the viewpoint of three different characters: a young woman named Ella Ray, an Irishman named John Mulligan and a psychiatrist named Charles Fuller.

We find out from the start that Ella Fay has just that day been admitted to the asylum because in a temper, she had broken a window at her sweltering workshop to try to get some air. When she is first brought there she is still upset and tries to run away only to be caught and gets herself in more trouble and is finally admitted. She realizes that trying to persuade those in charge that she is sane will be no easy task, for a variety of reasons, not the least because women were often institutionalized like this for frivolous reasons and because no one really seems to care about her predicament.

While at the asylum, Ella becomes friends with a woman named Clem. Clem comes from a good family and they have put her there for reasons somewhat unclear - perhaps related to an eating disorder or just her inability to fit in with normal society because of her intellectual ambitions. Clem is always seen reading a book and becomes an friend for Ella.

John Mulligan is also an inmate. We know he has been there awhile and we are not sure why. We know he is a big, strong melancholy man who seems resigned to work hard and not cause problems. His issues as far as his being a patient seem clearly related more to depression than anything else. He doesn't seem to even want to leave.

The other point-of-view character is Charles Fuller, who is one of the psychiatrists at the asylum. He is not the aggressive, ambitious son his father wanted but instead prefers music and the arts has set up a weekly dance at the beautiful asylum ballroom where he plays the piano and allows the male and females inmates to dance and interact in the hope that this could help them get better. Charles is both idealistic and wants to do good. It is at this dance that Ella meets John and a possible relationship ensues.

But these are difficult times, with World War I looming, workers striking and psychiatrists and politicians talking eugenics. And with Charles harboring some secrets that he himself cannot acknowledge, it might all come crushing down by the end.

This is really a beautifully told tale. The time period itself itself is one of my favorites - Edwardian England and a tale told from a asylum on a Yorkshire moor no less. We not only get an insight as to what life was like for those on the streets of London, we also get an insiders view of what was happening to those patients inside these asylums, and how so many were wrongly institutionalized and how all were so mistreated. If you weren't mad going in, you might be when you finally got out.

The story has a wonderful twist of sorts. I said the time period is mostly 1911, but there is a brief Preface from 1934. You do not know who the characters are, and don't assume as you read along. I was quite moved when we returned to find out at the end in the Epilogue.

Lastly, be sure to read the Author's Note at the end. You find out that the author's great-great grandfather was a patient at a similar asylum also noted for its grand ballroom. Fascinating stuff.

ARC Devices InstaTemp Non-Touch Digital Thermometer
ARC Devices InstaTemp Non-Touch Digital Thermometer
Price: $31.90
10 used & new from $25.00

3.0 out of 5 stars The pros and the cons, June 24, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have an autoimmune disease that is often the cause of me having a low-grade fevers. Because of this, I have tried numerous different types of thermometers and I am always in search of the perfect one - one that is both accurate and easy to use.

This one has a lot going for it, but it also has some problems.


1) It's extremely easy to use. You simply point the tip at the center of the forehead and click. You must make sure that area is clear of hair and sweat and the device should be held approximately 0.5 to 1.25 inches away.

2) The display will not only show your temperature, it also has different lights that are indicators of your temperature. In other words, a red light indicates an extreme - either the temperature is very low or very high. Yellow for slightly high or low, and green for normal.

3) Its light and its speed are the biggest pluses for me, especially when using on young children. You can take someone's temperature in seconds without disturbing them other than clearing away hair or sweat from their foreheads. You can easily read the temperature in a dark room since it lights up.

4). It's cool looking. I know, kind of a shallow looking reason but a plus anyway. It's very modern, sleek, and techie looking.


1) The temperature reading will only stay on the screen for 4 seconds. That may sound like enough time but it isn't, especially if you're taking your own temperature. You have to immediately turn and look at it or else it disappears and you can't get it to reappear on the screen - you have to retake the temperature. Which leads me to my biggest complaint...

2) It's not all that accurate. I've taken my temperature and that of my son several times and the results are inconsistent. Plus, I know when I have a low-grade fever and I tried this out when I did and sure enough, the thermometer indicated that I did, but then a minute later it indicated that I did not.

I did not want to give this lower than 3 stars because with all of my experience with these type forehead non-touch thermometers, this is actually one of the better ones. It is so easy to use and that's a godsend if you have small kids. But if you really need to have an absolute accurate reading I think your best shot is the old-fashioned under-the-tongue one.

Sleep Master Traveler Elite Folding Guest Bed
Sleep Master Traveler Elite Folding Guest Bed
Price: $99.00
6 used & new from $94.05

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for the price; pros and cons, June 24, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This traveler folding guest bed is easy to set up. You simply unfold the legs and it's ready to go.

It also folds up quickly for easy and relatively tight storage with a strap that locks it back into place.

Now is it comfortable? I think it is, but I don't think it is quite as comfortable as the Zinus Night Therapy Weekender Elite Folding Guest Bed with Bonus Storage Bag that I have also reviewed. That bed has a thicker cushion and it also comes with a storage bag which I find very useful. That one is a little more pricey, but if the storage bag and the extra cushioning are important to you I'd go with that.

Note that neither of these are the size of full twin beds - they are slightly narrower - so if you are a larger/bigger person this may not work for you.

Still, these are nice, convenient stowaway beds and infinitely better than the old blow-up air mattresses for wanted (and the occasional unwanted) guests.

MIU COLOR® Foldable Cargo Trunk Organizer - High Quality Washable Waterproof Storage with Reinforced Handles - Bonus Car Cooler - Black
MIU COLOR® Foldable Cargo Trunk Organizer - High Quality Washable Waterproof Storage with Reinforced Handles - Bonus Car Cooler - Black
Offered by MIU COLOR Shop
Price: $69.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice trunk organizer, June 23, 2016
I love trunk organizers like this and have used them in the past with other cars that I've owned. I tend to just toss things into my trunk and within a few weeks it can get kind of scary in there.

These type organizers make all the difference. And this one is a nice size and seems sturdy enough.

It is very easy to open and once you put the panels down to flatten out the bottom two compartments, it feels quite solid. This organizer has the added perk of having various pockets along the side which is nice. I put my umbrella in one of them but I mainly used the two large compartments to put all my shopping bags and papers and I found that I was able to put most everything in my trunk in them.

Do note that there is no cover to this organizer. I have had others that have zipped covers and those have their advantages; you can keep sweater and blankets in them and they seem to keep cleaner and better that way. But then you can put more in the ones like this. Note also that this comes with a separate freezable lunch bag but I wasn't that impressed with that as much as I liked the organizer itself.

Do note that I received this organizer in exchange for my honest opinion, which this is.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 2, 2016 6:54 AM PDT

KONA'S CHIPS® Chicken Jerky; Dog Treats Made In USA ONLY - 100% USDA Chicken, Chemical and Grain FREE. All Natural, Healthy & Safe Treats For Your Dog. 1 lb Bag
KONA'S CHIPS® Chicken Jerky; Dog Treats Made In USA ONLY - 100% USDA Chicken, Chemical and Grain FREE. All Natural, Healthy & Safe Treats For Your Dog. 1 lb Bag
Offered by KONA'S CHIPS
Price: $29.99

5.0 out of 5 stars My maltipoo loves them, June 23, 2016
I am very careful about the food and treats I give my 6 month old maltipoo. He is just getting all his adult teeth so I'm able to start adding some additional treats not available to him before, like Greenies and bully sticks.

I am very leery of any dog foods or chewing toys not made in the U.S., especially those made in China after that terrible experience a few years ago where so many dogs and cats died from jerky make in China that turned out to be poisonous to these animals. Just heartbreaking.

So I researched these and when I was offered the opportunity to try them out for free in exchange for my honest opinion and talk about our dog's reaction to them, I agreed.

I am happy to say that he absolutely loves them. They are a bit on the big size for him (he is just a little 6 pound guy) so I break them in half and give them to him. He happily chews away at them and they have become his favorite treat. The ingredients listed all appear to be safe and healthy and made in the U.S. At first I was concerned that he might have trouble tearing them apart and that they might pose a choking hazard but that has not been the case at all; he has no trouble eating these and breaking them into little bits.

So I very much recommend these for those dogs 6 months and older. The only reason I wouldn't suggest you give them to dogs any younger is because my vet says that she does not like dogs under that 6 month limit eating any hard treats like jerky or bully sticks until they get their adult teeth. I never asked her specifically about these so you may want to ask your vet to see if it's okay for your puppy.

They are on the expensive side, but I know that they are safe and good for my dog and he absolutely loves them.


meori Classic Large Foldable Box, Hibiscus Red With Flowers, Collapsible Box To Organize, Store and Carry Anything and Everything
meori Classic Large Foldable Box, Hibiscus Red With Flowers, Collapsible Box To Organize, Store and Carry Anything and Everything
Price: $34.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So attractive and sturdy; so many ways you can use this, June 18, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The foldable box I am reviewing is one with the Hibiscus Red design.

This is not only a very practical and useful box, it is also exceptionally attractive and sturdy. When I first opened it I was so pleasantly surprised with its striking appearance with its bright colors.

As I said, the box is extremely sturdy and it's supposed to be able to hold up to 65 pounds and we had no problems when we put heavy things (weights and books) in it. It stays true to form and the handles make it so easy to carry even the most heavy and awkwardly shaped items.

What also makes it exceptional is that it flattens out completely. It's very easy to open up to its full size and you just flip over two inside hard flaps to make the bottom hard. It is divided into two equally sized compartments with an elastic mesh interior pocket. You can open it and flatten it back out in two seconds.

Note that there is no cover for this, but if you're looking for an attractive, utile box that would look nice displayed but can also be stored away easily when not in use, this would be perfect.

Edit to add - even though I was given this particular hibiscus red box for review, I liked it so much I just went online and purchased two more (in two different colors) at full price. They're that nice.

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