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

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Fool's Quest: Book II of the Fitz and the Fool trilogy
Fool's Quest: Book II of the Fitz and the Fool trilogy
by Robin Hobb
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.70

5.0 out of 5 stars Out-freaking-standing... as expected, July 6, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
A devoted fan, I've enthusiastically embraced each book of the entire Farseer saga and anxiously awaited this next installment. Believe you me, it doesn't disappoint! While 754 pages might seem daunting, I easily devoured it over the weekend. As always, Hobb's storytelling is top notch, with creative world-building, characterization, and dialogue that reads like a movie all topped off with an interesting and intricate plot. When FitzChivalry and the Fool brought the magic of dragons back into the world they thought they had secured both the Farseer succession and the stability of the kingdom, but of course that was not to be. And, quite suddenly, Fitz's daughter is dragged into the intrigue. What follows is a rousing, kick ass adventure that illuminates while it entertains. Very highly recommended!


Pridebit Kitchen Scissors, Multifunction & Come-Apart Kitchen Shears with Magnetic Holder, Green/Gray
Pridebit Kitchen Scissors, Multifunction & Come-Apart Kitchen Shears with Magnetic Holder, Green/Gray
Offered by Pridebit
Price: $19.95
2 used & new from $7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Well designed and useful, July 4, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This thing is fantastic. I have a similar kitchen scissors that came with my Shun knife set which costs 4 times as much and has less utility. It's got a bottle opener, fish scaler, nutcracker, peeler, and screwdriver bit, and can be separated into individual slicing knives. The peeler and knife functions don't work nearly as well as purpose-built tools, but I already have plenty of those. I primarily use this as scissors and as a bottle opener. It also comes with a handy sheath if you're knife block is already full or doesn't have a spot for kitchen shears. You can't beat it for the price!


Pridebit Julienne & Vegetable Peeler/Cutter/Slicer: Premium Quality Stainless Steel, Dual Blade with Cleaning Brush & Dishwasher-Safe
Pridebit Julienne & Vegetable Peeler/Cutter/Slicer: Premium Quality Stainless Steel, Dual Blade with Cleaning Brush & Dishwasher-Safe
Offered by Pridebit
Price: $19.95
2 used & new from $4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding!, July 4, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a wonderful kitchen gadget. Not only is it built from quality stainless steel that's dishwasher safe, but it's also multifunctional with a well designed peeler, julienne peeler, and a couple of attachments on the side for making wider strips such as lemon peels to garnish your cocktails. I really like it.


Case Logic KDB-101 Kontrast Pro-DSLR Backpack (Black)
Case Logic KDB-101 Kontrast Pro-DSLR Backpack (Black)
Price: $159.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Nearly perfect, July 4, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I do a fair amount of commercial photography, mostly sports such as football, so I'm often carrying around a couple camera bodies along with three or four long lenses and a general purpose lens. The challenge, of course, is finding a good pack to keep them all in, one that not only lets me organize everything so that I can grab it quickly but also protects $20k+ worth of gear. I've long been a fan of Case Logic and they come through for my needs once again with this product. The backpack is a nice blend of the functionality and convenience of a sling bag with storage space of a backpack. The build quality is excellent, even aspects others tend to skimp on such as the zippers and pulls.

I really like the plastic reinforced base, it not only keeps the shape and alignment but also helps assure protection for your equipment even if you set it down on something wet. Also, the internal dividers are easily repositioned for best fit and function. And, there's plenty of pockets for just about anything you might need to bring to a shoot. The camera hammock is a good idea, though the opening only works for small lenses not bigger primes (like the EF 400mm f/2.8L which is a staple of football and sports photography), and snags easily if you leave your lens caps on and reversed for storage as I like to do. Also, it says the built in laptop pocket will hold a 15" laptop but it's a ridiculously tight fit width-wise. I'm not comfortable cramming an expensive laptop in there but would have no problem using that pocket for a tablet or something smaller/thinner. The style is nice and the padding is good, but it would also be nice if more color options were available. Black is not only annoying in hot weather, both for the wearer as well as for the equipment, but it also tends to scream DSLR backpack making it a theft target.

All in all I'm pleased with the design, flexibility, and build quality. If they offered a second hammock strap for larger lenses and had a touch more room (width) in the laptop pocket I'd happily give it five stars.


Cookrite Cooking Thermometer - Instant Read - #1 Best Digital Thermometer For All Food, BBQ And Candy - 100% Lifetime Guarantee - Great For 4th Of July
Cookrite Cooking Thermometer - Instant Read - #1 Best Digital Thermometer For All Food, BBQ And Candy - 100% Lifetime Guarantee - Great For 4th Of July
Offered by Aspekt
Price: $36.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Maybe I got a bad copy?, July 2, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I was given this thermometer in exchange for an honest review. Unfortunately for the manufacturer that means that I need to be honest... and I don't like it. It's consistently 5 to 8 degrees off (which would be easier to account for if the exact error was consistent but it's not), which doesn't sound like much but for steaks, roasts, etc. that's enough to wreck your cooking (or risk causing food poisoning). And, it takes 30 seconds or longer to lock in the reading. The handle is cheap plastic, hence may not last, but the controls are intuitive and easy to operate. The design is okay but the lack of accuracy and slow reading speed pretty much makes it useless to me. The most important thing about a meat thermometer is accuracy followed closely by speed of reading... All things considered, this experience really makes me wonder if I was unlucky enough to get a bad copy or if other reviewers just shilled for the manufacturer because they got a freebie...


Dark Disciple: Star Wars
Dark Disciple: Star Wars
by Christie Golden
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.01
23 used & new from $15.01

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A terrific and fun read, June 28, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'll admit it, I'm a bit of a Star Wars geek. While I'm not into the comics or cartoon shows, I have read every novel and (of course) watched every movie multiple times. It's unfortunate that many of my favorites are no longer canon, yet if this book is representative of of what to expect going forward it's going to be a fantastic ride. My understanding is that this novel is based on a series of un-produced The Clone Wars episodes featuring Asajj Ventress. For those who do not already know she is a former Sith apprentice turned bounty hunter, and a very compelling character. Without giving too much of the story away, Jedi Knight Quinlan Vos teams up with Ventress in an attempt to assassinate Count Dooku. Reminiscent of the interrelationship between Ben Skywalker and Vestara Khai, while not a romance novel exactly the interplay between the two is far more complex and better written than virtually anything else in the original novels. And, it's compelling reading... Solid characterization, a believable plot, and excellent pacing make this a terrific read. I finished it in two days.


Ohuhu® Precise & Sharp Belt Leather Round Hole Puncher / Belt Puncher, Adjust Your Belt/bag By Punching Additional Holes Where Needed, Heavy Duty, 2.0mm - 4.5mm
Ohuhu® Precise & Sharp Belt Leather Round Hole Puncher / Belt Puncher, Adjust Your Belt/bag By Punching Additional Holes Where Needed, Heavy Duty, 2.0mm - 4.5mm
Offered by Ohuhu Direct
Price: $14.99
2 used & new from $14.99

4.0 out of 5 stars You really can't go wrong for the price, June 27, 2015
This is a pretty decent, cheap punch. There's plenty of leverage to cut through the thickest belt without twisting or bending the frame, and most of the common punch sizes you might need. Nevertheless, the strike plate is steel rather than brass so the punches get dull pretty quick if you use them a lot. And, they're not easily replaceable like most high end brands, but then again those cost 3 to 4 times as much or more than this one does. I used to do commercial leather crafting and armor work many years ago. While that kind of work would destroy these things in short order, for occasional crafting or small projects they are exactly what you'll need.


Broan Model 659 Heater/Fan/Light, 50 CFM 2.5 Sones, White Grille
Broan Model 659 Heater/Fan/Light, 50 CFM 2.5 Sones, White Grille
Price: $114.78
14 used & new from $71.50

4.0 out of 5 stars Good heater/fan/light that offers excellent value, June 26, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
When my house was remodeled in 1986 we installed a Nautilus heater/fan/light, a unit with the exact specifications of this Broan unit. What I didn't know back in '86 is that the contractor not only kinked the ventilation hose but also misaligned the exterior vent. Consequently I was only getting about 25% of the expected airflow. Well, that caught up to me a few weeks ago when the old unit caught fire. Thankfully there's a safeguard built in that shut it down, so the only damage was to the unit itself, but that left me searching for a replacement. And, I must say that I applaud the design; it's held up surprisingly well given the lousy installation and airflow challenges.

I have a small bathroom and wanted the easiest possible installation so I chose this, a virtually identical replacement for the old unit. Because it's modular I could have simply swapped out components, but given the age of the old unit I chose to replace the whole thing... Despite having to crawl around in the attic to do part of the work it only took about an hour to complete the job, 45 minutes of which was getting the old unit out without breaking anything around it. The new one went in flawlessly. Now that the ventilation is working right too, I find it to be a much quieter yet more powerful fan that the original but I'm not sure how much of that is the unit and how much is the hose. The heater is a bit noisier, but not overmuch. I chose an LED bulb and it works great. All-in-all, I'm very glad I did the swap out. It looks much better than the old unit too.

Is it the best heater/fan/light out there? No, not at all. But, for the money it's a great value, one that does everything it's supposed to do. I'm planning to swap out another one in my second bathroom later this year too, just to have an upgraded device, and have no hesitation about purchasing this again.


Yale Security AYRD-DDV7001-619 Digital Door Viewer with Internal Memory, Small, Silver
Yale Security AYRD-DDV7001-619 Digital Door Viewer with Internal Memory, Small, Silver
Price: $91.88
3 used & new from $85.99

4.0 out of 5 stars One of the best of the breed, June 24, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
There are a ton of digital door viewers out there to choose from, but the challenge I've found in researching them is that most aren't horribly well made or reliable. Kinda arbitrary, but I figured that one built by a door lock company would be a reasonable bet. Turns out I was right. It's very easy to install, even if you don't already have a pre-drilled hole in the door. And, it works fairly well. It's a wider view than an old school tube, but not quite as much as I would have preferred, and relatively poor resolution. Nevertheless, unless the sun is low in the sky back-lighting whoever it's facing toward you can make out faces easily enough. And, record them if you desire. The night vision is reasonably good too... again, faces are recognizable enough to tell if it's a stranger or someone you know. Adding a motion sensor light to your porch can truly make this thing rock at night too.

It's no thing of beauty, but it's not horrible to look at either. It's a bit on the thick side, but roughly the same dimensions (length and width) as a smartphone, so it doesn't look too strange on your door. The outside component is actually decent-looking and not overlarge either. It easily allows you to see out without any chance of someone on the other side of the door looking in, surreptitiously scouting your house (burglars often have tools for that), or seeing you block the light on the other side hence knowing you are home when you don't want them to (such as a potential home invader scenario). The batteries seem to be lasting well, and are very easy to change when needed. The only thing I truly dislike is the doorbell function. Volumes are insane thrash metal band (high) or shrieking alley cat (low), and the various tune options are totally obnoxious. Thankfully you can simply turn the damn thing off so it doesn't ring at all. I have a separate doorbell anyway.

All-in-all, it's not the perfect solution but it works as described and is vastly superior to the old school peepholes.


Soundpeats Q2 Mini Lightweight Wireless Stereo Sports/running & Gym/exercise Bluetooth Earbuds Headphones Headsets W/microphone for Iphone 5s 5c 4s 4, Ipad 2 3 4 New Ipad, Ipod, Android, Samsung Galaxy, Smart Phones Bluetooth Devices
Soundpeats Q2 Mini Lightweight Wireless Stereo Sports/running & Gym/exercise Bluetooth Earbuds Headphones Headsets W/microphone for Iphone 5s 5c 4s 4, Ipad 2 3 4 New Ipad, Ipod, Android, Samsung Galaxy, Smart Phones Bluetooth Devices
Offered by SoundPEATS Audio
Price: $29.99
2 used & new from $18.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice bluetooth headset, June 24, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Easy to pair, easy to use, this is a pretty nice set of headphones. They come in a kit with a useful storage box, extra pads for the earpieces, and a short USB cord. They're a bit better for listening to music than for talking on the phone, as calls tend to sound a bit washed out like the person is in a well. Nevertheless, in my test calls my voice came through clear and loud on the other end. Also, the cord is just barely long enough on my head; no issues for me but that might be problematic for some users. The ear pieces are comfortable for about 45 minutes or so, then they begin to get annoying. I'm only knocking off 1/2 a star for comfort and 1/2 for phone call quality because for the price this is a really good value.


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