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Customer Reviews: 516
Top Reviewer Ranking: 802
Helpful Votes: 8351




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

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OXO Good Grips Coffee POP Container, 1.5-Quart
OXO Good Grips Coffee POP Container, 1.5-Quart
Price: Click here to see our price
9 used & new from $14.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent design, September 27, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Being from Seattle it (almost) goes without saying that I'm a coffee addict. I only purchase whole bean, grind my own, and use a French press to extract every bit of flavor each time. The challenge is that even when you drink a couple cups a day the first few are superior to the last unless you store the beans right. That's where this little beauty comes in. It's airtight, stackable, relatively space-efficient and comes with innovative UV-blocking technology that affords extra protection from moisture and light. The stainless cover looks nice and the push-button lock is not only robust and effective but also doubles as a handle for the lid. I like the design so much that I've already ordered two more. And, I'm considering them for holiday gifts (with a bag of Starbucks whole bean roast, of course).


Xbox One Madden NFL 15 Bundle
Xbox One Madden NFL 15 Bundle
Offered by Gadgets_Games_Goodies
Price: Click here to see our price
14 used & new from $472.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Never again, September 27, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The Xbox One itself is glitchy, but feature rich. Small improvements over the original, but I don't hate it. This bundle, however, sucks blocky nuts in hell. Seriously. It was shipped without a disk, crashes near every time I try to play it, and has to be re-downloaded frequently. Several times a day I'm wasting time downloading instead of playing. Madden is still my favorite game, but this horrendous combination renders it virtually unplayable. I will never purchase a bundle like this again.


Geoge Foreman GRP472P Removable Plate Grill, Service for 5
Geoge Foreman GRP472P Removable Plate Grill, Service for 5
Offered by Universalproducts
Price: $69.99
6 used & new from $49.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Underwhelming, September 24, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm a huge George Foreman fan. I've seen him box, watched him speak, and have long considered him a stand up guy. And, I always thought the George Foreman grill was a neat concept but never owned one until Amazon offered it up through the Vine program. I was excited to receive it… until I opened the box. Hmm, not exactly what I’d expected. Lemme 'splain:

The description states that this model has updated hardware and more durable components than prior models. Dunno about that, perhaps it’s true, but honestly I’m not all that impressed which really makes me wonder about the popularity of the prior models. The removable grill plates do not solidly lock into place and are so lightweight that I really wonder how long the ceramic coating will last, especially if run through a dishwasher on a regular basis (it claims to be dishwasher safe but I hand wash anyway). The non-stick surface does work fairly well without the need for cooking spray, especially for foods with a high fat content such as hamburger and makes cleanup take minimal effort.

Whoever listed this thing as a 5-serving grill, however, clearly doesn’t have teenagers… I’d call it more of a 3-serving grill, which is fine for my family but if you’re expecting something larger you will be in for a disappointment. And, it doesn’t really grill. There will be lines on the food from the cooking plates when you’re done, but they’re nothing like marks from a real wood fire grill and impart no extra flavor (obviously). There’s nothing to hold the drip tray in place, but so long as you don’t jostle it overmuch it will catch the fat that drips out in the cooking process.

Speaking of the cooking process, it is okay but nothing special. Since both sides cook burgers come out even and retain a fair amount of juices despite rendering out the fat into the drip pan, but they just don’t taste nearly as good as putting them on a Weber or some other “real” grill. Chicken breast dries out something fierce, even if you rub it with oil and seasonings first. Not sure why, but I‘m not finding success with that. It does make a pretty good Panini press though.

All-in-all it’s convenient, works okay, and is probably a good purchase for college students or folks who live in dorms/small apartments. But, it’s not something I’d buy again. Sorry George, luv ya lots, but your grill just doesn't knock me out.


NOCO XGrid XGB3 11Wh Rugged USB Battery Pack
NOCO XGrid XGB3 11Wh Rugged USB Battery Pack
Offered by Portable Solar City
Price: $29.95
8 used & new from $29.95

4.0 out of 5 stars When you absolutely, positively need to charge your phone anywhere, September 17, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I do a lot of hunting, fishing, and hiking. I'm not exactly using my cellphone on such trips, I use getaways are supposed to get away, but sometimes I need to keep it handy not only for emergencies but also for urgent business. In such cases it's imperative to have a portable charger as the batteries drain ultra fast when the phone is hunting for coverage. And that's where this little beauty comes in. Its ruggedized design makes it truly quite impact resistant and it's small/light enough to keep in a pack or pocket in case you need it. It's not waterproof exactly, but can stand getting muddy or rained on (so long as it's cleaned up properly afterwards), though I wouldn't submerge it. Since it's rechargeable from any USB power port including car chargers, laptops, AC adapters, and solar panels it's fairly easy to keep ready for any need. I'm able to recharge a Galaxy S4 from nearly dead to 100% before it runs out of juice though it's only good for one shot. Unfortunately it doesn't come with any cables, USB or otherwise, so you'll have to re-purpose something or buy an extra to use with it. All-in-all, however, it's a very useful and recommended device.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 20, 2014 2:48 PM PDT


Chasing Azrael (Deathly Insanity Book 1)
Chasing Azrael (Deathly Insanity Book 1)
Price: $3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding debut novel, September 16, 2014
This book is not only a fantastic debut novel, but a far better entry into the urban fantasy genre than I have read in some time. Supernatural aspects of the tale augment the character study rather than obscure it, as the heroine’s ability to commune with the dead allows her to cling to her departed husband’s spirit while slowly losing touch with the joys of living. The author covers some pretty heavy topics—loss, grief, obsession, even murder—in a fresh and compelling way. With outstanding dialogue, credible characters, and a compelling plot, Chasing Azrael is an excellent read. I not only recommend it, but can’t wait for the second installment in the series.

Lawrence Kane
Bestselling author of Blinded by the Night and ten other books


OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Colander
OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Colander
Price: $24.99
5 used & new from $24.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great design, September 14, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have several plastic colanders and always wanted a stainless steel one. OXO's version is truly nice. It's 4 quart size is roomy enough to accommodate two bags of cooked spaghetti, which is perfect for my needs. It has taller than average non-slip feet the better with which to drain pasta water in your sink and comfortable, non-slip handles to carry it around with when needed. It's got a nice looking brushed stainless finish, a very interesting swirled hole pattern that's aesthetically pleasing and works as well as any other I've used, and is actually nice enough looking to double as a fruit bowl if you are so inclined. The packaging says that it is dishwasher safe too, though I always wash it by hand as it takes up far too much space in the dishwasher. All in all it's a great design, solidly built, just the right size, and near perfect for the job. I wholeheartedly recommend it!


Mead Academie Wirebound Sketchbook, Medium Weight, 11 x 7.88 Inches Sheet Size, 70 Sheets (54062)
Mead Academie Wirebound Sketchbook, Medium Weight, 11 x 7.88 Inches Sheet Size, 70 Sheets (54062)
Price: $16.77
2 used & new from $16.77

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great sketchbook, September 7, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
In 40+ years of martial arts I've used a variety of different training journals to take notes, sketch techniques, and keep track of things I want to remember (after 7 concussions written media is a must). While I've used (and created) fancier products like Journey: The Martial Artist's Notebook, this offering from Mead is a very nice sketchbook, one that fits my requirements nicely. It's inexpensive, contains 70 pages of quality paper, is spiral bound so that it will lay flat when needed, and contains micro-perforated pages that can stay in the book or tear out cleanly.


Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Garden Soil, 1 Cubic Foot
Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Garden Soil, 1 Cubic Foot
Price: $5.49
2 used & new from $5.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Works as advertised, September 2, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is really good stuff... for the right application. I have successfully used both for outdoor flower beds as well as for indoor potted plants. Using moisture meter on the latter it truly does appear to control moisture as advertised. And, the fertilizer works to Miracle-Gro standards which I've found to be pretty high. The only caveat is that you shouldn't use it on plants (e.g., citrus trees) that don't like "wet feet" as it will rot the roots in such circumstances.


How Do I Keep My Employees Motivated?: The Practice of Empathy-Based Management
How Do I Keep My Employees Motivated?: The Practice of Empathy-Based Management
Price: $6.15

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding and sorely needed advice, August 22, 2014
I've had plenty of bad bosses. Most everyone has, right? Heck, it weren't for the prevalence of horrible leaders Dilbert wouldn't be one of the bestselling, funniest cartoons in human history. How many times have you thought, "Scott Adams must work here" no matter what company you work for? While we cannot control what others do or attempt to do to us, we absolutely can and should do the right things when dealing with those over whom we exert influence. The challenge is that many don't know how. That, my friends, is where this wonderful book comes in.

Seriously, this is an outstanding and badly needed book. It teaches leaders (it's not just managers who can benefit but anyone in a leadership role at every level of any business or institution) how the brain functions, why empathy creates an environment in which employees can become fully engaged in work, how to empathize in a way that can become a source of emotional security and strength, how to become more empathic, and why an emotional bond with others creates sustainable motivation. After all, in an emotionally secure work environment where employees have steady, secure relationships with their supervisors and do not feel threatened by miscommunication or different points of view they can focus all their attention on business outcomes, solving problems, learning, growing, and ultimately being far more productive than those who waste energy on dysfunction in the workplace.

Self-evident, right? But, how do you do it?

Despite the fact that he's a college professor, Langelett's book isn't just academic theory. Iit provides practicable, actionable, real world advice for creating an emotionally secure work environment, giving hope, and helping people grow personally and professionally. Importantly it also teaches how to avoid common pitfalls in making this happen: non-empathetic behavior, accepting every employee for who he/she is, punishment vs. consequences, failure for holding each person accountable, managing manipulative people, attempting to become counselors rather than managers, and promoting people who cannot empathize into supervisory positions. And, it provides specific recommendations of how to practice empathy-based management principles to hold others accountable, deal with problems, practice patience, handle anger in the workplace, and overcome a host of other common challenges.

While the tone is a bit academic the materials are very approachable and sorely needed. Most books on motivation are too heavy on theory, over-philosophical, or simply don't work. This one does. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Lawrence Kane
Author of Sensei Mentor Teacher Coach: Powerful Leadership for Leaderless Times and ten other books


OXO Good Grips 7-Piece Nesting Measuring Beaker Set, Multicolored
OXO Good Grips 7-Piece Nesting Measuring Beaker Set, Multicolored
Price: $19.99
3 used & new from $19.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice design, August 20, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This practical beaker set is designed for measuring and pouring liquid ingredients for cooking or baking, with easily viewable fill lines. They're made of plastic and appear a bit on the flimsy side, but they've withstood a couple uses okay so I'm reasonably certain they'll last if you treat them gently. They stand upright by themselves, a critical feature when filling, and nest together to form a nice compact package. All in all it's a nice design, very practical. If you're an avid baker they're awesome. For other types of cooking they're definitely useful.


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