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Customer Reviews: 498
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Helpful Votes: 8208




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L. A. Kane RSS Feed (Seattle, WA USA)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

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Philips Sonicare HX6211/04 2 Series Plaque Control Rechargeable Toothbrush
Philips Sonicare HX6211/04 2 Series Plaque Control Rechargeable Toothbrush
Price: $64.36

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Effective and easy to use, July 24, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
At my last checkup my dentist informed me that I'm heavy-handed. In other words, even with soft bristled brushes I press down so hard that I'm damaging the enamel on my teeth. He suggested Sonicare as a solution to the problem. I was a little skeptical, as it seemed an awful lot like a sales pitch, but less than a week later Amazon offered me a unit to try out via the Vine program. Hmm, perhaps the universe is trying to tell me something... Well, after using it for a few days I'm convinced. Dunno if it really removes 6x the plaque of a manual toothbrush, but it certainly does an outstanding job of cleaning my teeth (at least once I discovered the trick of letting the Sonicare do all the work, before that I kept pressing hard enough that the motor stopped temporarily). It's got a smart timer that "forces" you to brush long enough to do the job (2 minutes), vibrates at an amazing 31,000 strokes per minute), comes with a nice angled brush that easily reaches everywhere it needs to go (and changes color when it needs to be replaced), and holds a charge for ~ 2 weeks of daily use. It really causes the toothpaste to foam, squishing it deep into the gum line and between the teeth where problems are most likely to occur. My teeth haven't gotten any whiter, but my mouth absolutely feels cleaner. Overall, I don't see how I can give any toothbrush 5-stars, but I truly do like it.


Ameriglo Pro-IDOT Tritium For Glock20/21
Ameriglo Pro-IDOT Tritium For Glock20/21
Price: $84.72
24 used & new from $74.36

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Snowman from Hell, July 18, 2014
I affectionately call this sight the “snowman from hell” since when you align the dots the sight picture looks an awful lot like a snowman. You can also align the sight picture by centering the front dot in the notch just like any traditional sighting system and ignoring the smaller dot below it. In fact, in high stress situations the rear dot pretty much disappears yet your eye is drawn to the front sight, which is much of goodness in my book. It’s very easy to see in any light, nice orange dot in daylight and big glowing green dot at night (with a smaller dot underneath). Great for rapid target acquisition, particularly when microseconds count. If you’re lucky, the reward for second place in a gunfight is a long and painful rehabilitation. If you’re not... well, let’s just say second place is a very bad thing. This innovative, high visibility sight system might just be the advantage that makes all the difference on "that day" if it ever arrives. I like it so much I've installed it on three different Glocks. I also own one of Ameriglo's ghost ring versions, which fits a slightly different purpose.

It’s easy to install this (or any other Ameriglo) sight with the right tools, but if you’ve never done it before and only need one sight set installed you may be better off having a gunsmith do it. That costs ~ $60 where I live, but you might be able to find someone cheaper as it only takes ~ 15 minutes in my experience. Investment in a sight pusher and Glock front sight tool (hex driver) is best, particularly if you are confident with hand tools, understand guns well, and plan to do this more than once. And, you’ll need blue LocTite (the removable kind) or equivalent. Obviously, clear the gun, double-check to assure that it's empty, and then remove the slide to begin.

Without a sight pusher you can use a padded vice (even taping aluminum bars over a standard vice will work if you’re gentle… Nevertheless, the more-or-less tool less version is to screw a couple wood scraps down onto a hunk of plywood or large board to hold the slide. Either way, secure the slide then gently tap the rear sight out with a ball peen hammer and rod (brass, aluminum, or wood rod that won't scratch the finish on the slide; don’t hit it with a hammer directly). Once the rear sight is removed, remove the front sight. There are three methods it might be attached with, swedge, pin, or screw. If you’re not planning on re-using it, simply yank the front sight off with a pair of pliers.

Now that the old sights are removed, install the new ones. The front is very simple, just press it in place, put a couple drops of LocTite on it, and then screw the hex nut in place. It should be firm but don’t over-tighten or you risk damage. The LocTite will assure it stays in place as long as you don’t mess with it for a minimum of 24 hours. The rear sight usually fits in place relatively easily, but if you can’t slide it in about a quarter of the way by hand you might need to gently file it a bit before you can push it into place. I’ve been lucky so far and only found one that wouldn’t center up nicely with a sight pusher or hammer/rod. Regardless, you can center it by eye by looking down and judging the distance from the edge of the sight to the edge of the slide. If it looks even, chances are good that it’s right. I wouldn’t use LocTite on the rear sight unless it’s loose, since you’ll want to make any finishing adjustments at the range (and they’re usually a really tight fit anyway).

There are numerous videos on Youtube showing this process too.


Mental Rehearsal For Warriors (Meditation) (Volume 2)
Mental Rehearsal For Warriors (Meditation) (Volume 2)
by Loren W. Christensen
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.99
6 used & new from $8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rock solid, useful, and very well written, July 9, 2014
Taking a defensive handgun course in the 80s I learned about an amazing combat performance enhancer, a method that trained the brain to help us acquire and refine physical skills more quickly. The instructor called it visualization. While it worked, the process was limited to only one of our five senses. Mental rehearsal, on the other hand, fully engages the whole mind and body. It’s the next evolution of visualization.

I’m by no means a world class martial artist, yet I have used mental rehearsal to excel in judo, kobudo, karate, and fencing, as well as a variety of close-quarters combat applications. Far more importantly, 90% of Olympic athletes report that they use the process too. Top athletes don’t waste time on anything that does not work. It is an extraordinarily powerful tool to rehearse strategies, correct mistakes, focus attention, overcome mental glitches, regulate anxiety, increase confidence, and avoid losing your edge while recovering from injuries.

As always, Christensen’s book is well written and practical. It is logically laid out, easy to understand and near effortless to apply. And, most importantly, it works. Martial artists, soldiers, law enforcement officers, and athletes in any field can leverage these techniques to excel in their endeavors. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

Lawrence Kane
Author of Sensei Mentor Teacher Coach and ten other books


In the Name of Self-Defense:: What it costs. When it's worth it
In the Name of Self-Defense:: What it costs. When it's worth it
Price: $7.99

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I did it your honor... but I had a darn good reason...", July 4, 2014
All too many folks fail to realize that "self-defense" is an affirmative defense. What this means is that you are admitting to an action that is a crime, but arguing that you should not be punished because it was justifiable under the circumstances. In other words, "I did it your honor... but I had a darn good reason."

It's worth repeating: claiming self-defense is admitting to the basic crime (murder, manslaughter, or whatever). The challenge is that if your self-defense plea fails, you will be punished for the crime you just admitted to. The burden of proof shifts to you. The prosecution does not need to prove that someone was killed or maimed or that you did it, your plea did his job for him. YOU must prove that you had no choice but to react the way you did. It's a hell of a lot harder than just babbling something about being afraid for your life. You have to know the law, understand the dynamics of situation you found yourself involved in despite any adverse affects of adrenaline, surprise, or shock, clearly articulate (directly and/or through your attorney) in a court of law, and prevail under harsh examination.

And that's where this outstanding book comes in.

The real question isn't whether you need the information contained herein, that goes without saying, but rather whom should you trust to acquire it from. After all, hundreds of folks including yours truly have written extensively on this subject. Once an outlaw street-fighter named "Animal," Marc has evolved into one of the good guys, currently a violence professional and expert witness, someone defense attorneys regularly call upon to bolster their client's cases. Most of us in the business consider him the grand old man in the fields of self-defense and violence dynamics. And, he's a hell of a writer too.

If you carry a concealed weapon, work as a bouncer, security professional, criminal defense attorney, or martial arts instructor, or are just a regular citizen who cares about protecting yourself and your family, you need this book. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Lawrence Kane
Bestselling author of The Little Black Book of Violence and many others


SmartSign Adhesive Vinyl Label, Legend "Notice: All Activities Monitored by Video Camera" with Graphic, 10" high x 7" wide, Black/Red on White
SmartSign Adhesive Vinyl Label, Legend "Notice: All Activities Monitored by Video Camera" with Graphic, 10" high x 7" wide, Black/Red on White
Price: $6.11

2.0 out of 5 stars Too thin, June 27, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
It's exactly the size, image, shape, and wording I'm looking for, but it's so thin that it's virtually impossible to attach to anything without bubbling. My intent was to cover an aluminum sign of the same size and shape that didn't have the wording I really wanted, but unfortunately it's so thin that if there's any writing on what you attach it to you'll be able to see what's underneath through the sticker. To correct the problem I tried purchasing another one and sticking the two of them together on top of each other to get the thickness and opacity I was looking for, but unfortunately they're cut slightly differently so even though I got the edges exactly aligned the images were off a bit. Consequently it looked worse than the original problem and I wound up throwing them both out. If the Lyle Signs were to print exactly the same thing on thicker vinyl and it'd be perfect. Alas, they do not... sigh.


Francois et Mimi Large Stainless Steel Double Wall French Coffee Press,50oz
Francois et Mimi Large Stainless Steel Double Wall French Coffee Press,50oz
Offered by Luzy's Storage Place
Price: $54.95
9 used & new from $46.67

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's not Frieling, but it's pretty darn good nonetheless, June 23, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm a bit of a coffee snob (sorta comes with living in Seattle I suppose) who prefers brewing with a French press to any other version and has used most of the major brands. After having a glass carafe press shatter on me about a decade ago I've chosen only stainless steel versions ever since, all of which have double-wall designs (not sure they even make single-walled ones). Beyond the whole not getting scalded or having to pick glass shards out of yourself thing, the outer surface stays tolerably warm while the coffee inside stays hot much longer than the glass ones. This one holds 50 ounces, is dishwasher safe (though I wash it by hand anyway), and has a nice mirrored finish. I like the "no drip" pour spout too; it works quite well. However, I'm not wholly satisfied with the screen, which is a bit of a problem. My Frieling press (which costs a LOT more) has an extra layer of mesh, hence does a much better job of keeping the fine particles in the pot rather than winding up in the cup. Sediment is fine (and expected) with Turkish coffee brewed in an ibrik, but not so much with a French press. This one isn't quite as refined and doesn't look quite as nice either, but that's an aesthetic thing, not a fit or function thing, hence no biggie. All-in-all, while it's not a Frieling it's pretty darn good nonetheless, definitely a great value for anyone who wants a French press but isn't willing to make a huge investment.

If you're not already familiar with how to properly use a French coffee press, here are a few tips to make the most of it:

Use quality, freshly roasted coffee beans and grind them while the water is heating using a conical burr grinder to assure an even grind (blade grinders can be inconsistent, leaving particles that may not filter properly causing sediment). Use filtered or bottled water (trust me, that makes a huge difference). Heat water to the right temperature (~ 200 degrees F), which you can get by letting boiling water sit for ~ 30 seconds to cool down. Pour in just enough liquid to cover the grounds, stir gently with a chopstick, and wait a few seconds for the coffee to start to bloom (create a foam). Then, pour in the rest of the hot water to the desired level (don't make much extra as whatever you don't pour will continue to steep and eventually become bitter), stirring gently once again. Put the plunger on top to keep the heat in, but don't press down for about 30 seconds to allow the grounds additional time to settle. Press slowly and evenly, then pour immediately after the plunger reaches the bottom of the carafe. Finally, be sure to clean the coffee press thoroughly after each use.

Enjoy!


Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band - Black
Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band - Black
Price: $129.99
50 used & new from $84.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's pretty much a glorified pedometer... but I like it, June 19, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I won't debate style, that's in the eye of the beholder, but I will discuss function. The Garmin Vivofit fits great, is very comfortable, and comes with two different sized bands so that you can choose the best option. I've had no issues with the clasp, so I suspect they've made changes since some of the prior reviews came out. Or I got lucky... Regardless, I wear it all day, most days, but take it off at night. I also remove it whenever I'm doing something that likely tear it up such as sparring or working on my truck. Under those parameters it's proven to be plenty robust. It's water resistant enough to shower with too, though I wouldn't risk swimming with it.

Insofar as accuracy goes, well, it depends... It's roughly as accurate as a Nike Fuel Band, the only other fitness band I've tried, but there are pros and cons with this design. If you're walking or running unencumbered it's as accurate as any pedometer I've used, perhaps more so. The challenge comes with everyday movements, carrying objects, and such. For example, I get about 900 steps from taking a shower, shaving, and brushing my teeth in the morning if I wear it on my strong-hand arm, clearly a miscount. However, if I'm carrying something it's way, way off on the low end. For instance, I pushed a shopping cart around Costco for ~ 45 minutes last night and recorded 27 steps when it should have been a few thousand. Perhaps those affects balance each other out, but I didn't go to the bother of comparing it to a pedometer so I have no way of knowing.

Battery life is a huge bonus with the Vivofit. It lasts ~ a year. The device wirelessly synchs to a PC and/or smartphone, so you avoid the hassle of recharging or manually connecting it too, a nice touch. The Garmin website has a pretty good dashboard which tracks your activities, lets you connect with others, presents challenges, awards badges and whatnot. Motivational to some I suppose, but of all the functions I only use the tracking charts.

All-in-all, it's a pretty robust design that does what I need it to do. I'd buy it again.


Tony Lama Men's Stallion 7900 Boot,Black Stallion,10.5 D US
Tony Lama Men's Stallion 7900 Boot,Black Stallion,10.5 D US
Price: $139.90
11 used & new from $136.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good value, June 5, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have a couple exotics (alligator and ostrich) that I wear on special occasions, but wanted something sturdy and decent looking for everyday wear. These are not a "top of the line" boot by any means, but they're comfortable, well fitting without any break-in period, and easy to wear on a regular basis. Quality is good and sizing is exactly as expected too. Would absolutely purchase them, or pretty much anything else from Tony Lama, again.


Ozeri 4x3razor Digital Pocket 3D Pedometer with Bosch Tri-Axis Technology from Germany
Ozeri 4x3razor Digital Pocket 3D Pedometer with Bosch Tri-Axis Technology from Germany
Price: $22.93 - $42.95

3.0 out of 5 stars DOA, but great customer service, June 5, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I had high hopes based on prior reviews, but sadly they were not met with the initial unit. Upon removing the tab to activate the battery it appeared to work... I was able to go through all the settings, but once I clipped it on and walked around it would not count steps. Reset the device and started over again a couple times to no avail. I have subsequently been contacted by Ozeri customer service who is sending a replacement unit. More to follow when it arrives...
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 6, 2014 12:05 PM PDT


Dukkha Unloaded (Sam Reeves Martial Arts Thriller)
Dukkha Unloaded (Sam Reeves Martial Arts Thriller)
by Loren W. Christensen
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.51
44 used & new from $9.17

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This series just keeps getting better and better, June 4, 2014
Dukkha Unloaded is a fast-paced, riveting tale that deftly handles deep subjects like violence, PTSD, and race relations in a compelling yet unpretentious manner. Christensen’s experience as a soldier, law enforcement officer, and martial artist lends a gritty realism that’s sadly lacking in similar stories. It’s enthralling, entertaining, and consequential, so good you may not realize that you’re actually learning something when reading it.

Lawrence Kane
Bestselling author of The Little Black Book of Violence, among other titles


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