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Customer Reviews: 389
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Man in the Middle "strasma" RSS Feed (Irvine, CA)

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Prepworks from Progressive International PSMC-13 Microwave Food Cover and Colander
Prepworks from Progressive International PSMC-13 Microwave Food Cover and Colander
Price: $10.55
9 used & new from $5.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Twofer kitchen gadget that really works, October 28, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is surprisingly useful, and saves space by serving two distinct purposes in the kitchen without needing any extra space for storage. On the one hand, it's a tall microwave cover, something I've needed as our previous one always touches the food of any full dish it protects. On the other hand, it's a colander, something I don't need often, but do need badly on occasion, yet hate to give space in a small kitchen. Best of all, by storing it in the microwave, it doesn't take up any cabinet space. Not bad for half the price of our previous microwave cover!

Highly recommended.

Incipio Journal Cover for Kindle Voyage, O2
Incipio Journal Cover for Kindle Voyage, O2
Price: $29.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I'd hoped, October 28, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Sad to say, I liked this case better before my Voyage arrived. On its own, the cover is light and strong, and has a bit of a pocket on the underside that might hold something thin. I figured I would use it as I did the Built Neoprene Kindle Sleeve (Fits Kindle Keyboard), French Bull Vine on my old Kindle 3 (keyboard), popping the Voyage in for transport and safety, and out for reading. Also, for those who care, it does look like a real book, has a soft lining, and a pleasant colored pattern.

However, once I tried inserting my Voyage, I realized that's a no go. It took a lot of force and careful aiming to get the Voyage into its cover, enough to ensure I won't do that often. So now I'm stuck with an on-all-the-time cover that doubles the bulk of the Voyage when closed, and triples it when open. And unlike some Kindle covers, this one doesn't automatically power up the Kindle when the case is opened. It took a minute or so to find the button on the back that lets you still push the button on the back of the Voyage. But that still isn't enough, as you still have to swipe the screen sideways to finish the power up. (I have the version with ads, so perhaps the ad-free version doesn't need swiping.)

As for protection, perhaps still not enough. I recently broke the screen on my old Kindle by leaning an elbow on a paper that was over the uncased Kindle. From trying the same without the Voyage installed, I expect this case, strong though it is, would still not have saved it, as it's fairly easy to bend the cover by putting pressure on its middle. The magnetic closures are also rather weak, on one of 3 tries to toss the empty case on the floor, it fell open. Dust and water protection are also minimal.

Not recommended.

Update: Since my wife would also like a sleeve case for her Paperwhite, I've just ordered two inexpensive alternatives for us to try that fit both the Paperwhite and Voyage: Synthetic Leather Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle 6" E ink Display, Kindle Fire HD 6, Kindle Voyage Sleeve by Dockem; Slim, Simple, and Professional Executive Case - Soft Microfiber Felt Lined Dark Brown Basic Synthetic Leather Protective Tablet Pouch Cover and Bear Motion for Kindle - Premium Felt Sleeve Case for Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Voyage.

Offered by mnmresale
Price: $11.00
7 used & new from $11.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Great case for a GPS plus its cord, October 26, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Fits both our 5" Garmin GPSes well, including their charging/traffic data cords. Case is very well made and very protective, just as you'd expect from one of the two makers of the Swiss Army Kife.

To avoid theft, we keep our GPSes out of sight when not in use, leaving NOTHING visible to a thief: no rubber suction cup, no power cord, nothing. That makes this case really useful, in giving us an easy way to pack and unpack each GPS before storing it out of sight. Fortunately, both our GPSes work well enough without having to be mounted to the dash or windshield, and some places don't allow that anyway.

Quite a bargain.

Powerextra™ High Capacity 4500mAh for Makita 18v Battery BL1830 BL1815 194205-3 194309-1 LXT400
Powerextra™ High Capacity 4500mAh for Makita 18v Battery BL1830 BL1815 194205-3 194309-1 LXT400
Price: $156.99
4 used & new from $48.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Like the first one, October 26, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is my second Powerextra 4500mAh battery for my 18v Makita devices. Like the first one, I love its extended power life before needing to be recharged, double that of a regular battery, which matters when that takes a leaf blower from a useless 5 minutes of use to a sufficient for our needs 10 minutes.

I knocked off 1 star because one day after I'd had it about two weeks, it refused to charge, giving an error status. I prepared to return it, but then decided to first run down the battery for safer shipping, and lo and behold, it then charged again successfully, and I've not have a charging problem with it since. Sadly, if I ever do have another such problem, it's now out of the initial 30 day easy return period, but works so well when it works that I consider it worth the small risk.

Preserve Protect & Defend
Preserve Protect & Defend
Price: $4.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, October 19, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
My wife read this book first, and then insisted I read it too. I'm glad she did, as it covers a big area of interest for me: the religious and political views of our nation's founders, in a way that is very timely today.

One of this book's greatest strengths is also its only weakness in my view. The book relies heavily on the actual words of our founders, sometimes having to work overtime to fit them into the dialog of this novel. The technique mostly works, with the possible exception of hearing President Washington discussing the flaws of socialism in added dialog when that concept hadn't existed until later in our history. (It almost fit, as he was discussing current events now.) [Trying to avoid spoilers.]

This book covers much the same ground philosophically and religiously as the Peter Marshall and David Manuel American history series The Light and the Glory, From Sea to Shining Sea: 1787-1837 (God's Plan for America) and Sounding Forth the Trumpet: 1837-1860 (God's Plan for America).

This book is definitely worth a read, and serves as a good quick reference on its topics later. I was particularly impressed by all the footnotes. Without slowing down the story, they provide lots of meat for further study. (There may be a typo in number 144, which is sad, as I'm very interested in its premise.)
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 20, 2014 10:03 AM PDT

Dark Space (Book 2): The Invisible War
Dark Space (Book 2): The Invisible War
Price: $1.47

4.0 out of 5 stars More perils, this time thankfully with some payback, October 16, 2014
This is another good read for fans of military sci-fi. It's also clean enough for younger readers, which is pretty amazing, given that one of the main characters has been "chipped" to thing she's a call girl. This is book two of a series that includes a part 3, so again it ends with everybody temporarily OK, but still all in peril, with several tales unfinished A way to get book 3 for free is also listed on the copy I got, so I look forward to seeing how they all solve their current problems.

My one unhappiness with the previous book was that the bad guys got all the luck and all the good toys throughout the book. This time the luck was distributed more evenly, with lots of bad things still happening to good people, but also lots of bad things happening to bad people, and some good things happening to good people.

As the term good people suggests, I'm now liking the protagonists more than in the first book, and more interested in seeing them survive their various troubles and somehow, someday, reach a happy ending together.

Overall, I liked it better than the first volume, and look forward to book 3.

Overwhelmed: Winning the War against Worry
Overwhelmed: Winning the War against Worry
by Perry Noble
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.57
64 used & new from $6.61

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Warts and All, October 10, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
One of the things I really like about Perry Noble, both in person and in his books, is that he's warts and all. A lot of pastors (likely including me in those days) pretend to be better than they are, and not to have the problems that they do. Not so for Perry, who has openly discussed his problems with weight, pornography, and his marriage.. This book is a great example of how he shares truths about himself that don't make him look good, and that frankly might get a pastor fired from some churches. This deeper level of honesty is also why his books are more worth reading than the annual new book from other famous pastors.

It takes real courage for a pastor to admit being depressed enough to need help, yet Perry does, as did our previous pastor Bill Hybels. I admire them both more for that.

This book reads like Perry's mental process getting through that time, studying the Bible stories that helped him through. A lot of the ground he covered is familiar, and the progress over it uneven, but his perspective is different enough to be worth reading anyway, and funny too, despite being about depression. There are also real pearls of wisdom, such as: "The Bible calls those who will not work lazy, but it calls those who will not rest disobedient."

Definitely worth a read.

Garmin Nuvi 2589LMT North America
Garmin Nuvi 2589LMT North America
Offered by Bikes & Parts
Price: $224.98
11 used & new from $204.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing improvements in just 3 years, October 10, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Last month we misplaced our Garmen Nuvi 1450LMT from 2011. Rather than keep looking for it, we decided to buy another, as our only other GPS (a Garmen Nuvi 350 from 2006) would cost more to keep up to date on maps than to replace.

We selected this model for its lifetime maps for all of North America, including Canada and Mexico, as we sometimes travel outside the U.S., and really need help finding our way around when we do.

Several improvements stand out:
1) This model is much thinner than the 1450, especially at the edges, making it much easier to hold in my hand
2) The cable is much less clunky, no longer needing a bulge for traffic reception
3) Traffic no longer puts ads on screen - odious enough that I'd turned off traffic on the 1450 to get rid of them
4) Time from power up to satellites acquired is not a few seconds, rather than minutes
5) Pinch to zoom and scrolling are vastly easier to use than previous screen controls
6) Voice navigation is new and neat
7) Satellites are acquired more reliably than on the 1540 with the GPS on the armrest between the front seats of our cars, rather than having to be set on the dash to avoid losing the GPS signal.
8) Updates are easier than before, with less extra software to install first, and less hassle in registration. Ours needed 8 updates on arrival, but adding them was easy once connected to our PC, and it was nice to see all of our Garmin devices managed together on the same Web page.

Naturally, today we found the 1450. But no way are we returning this new 2589. We have two cars, so now both have a 5" GPS, with our 4" Nuvi 350 demoted to use on our tandem bicycle. (Even its 8 year old map is better than none at all in a cellular dead zone.)

Since we normally have a passenger to do the programming of the GPS, we turned off the feature than disabled programming when on the move. But that may still be a bit buggy, as our 2589 once today suddenly changed its view to all of North America, and refused to either return to menu or change its view, while we were driving. To fix it, I turned it off and on at the next stop light, and all was well, and has remained well since. If it does turn out to be a bug, I'm sure Garmin will automatically fix it with the next update.

Living near mountains, as we do, we find our dedicated GPSes useful even though we also have phone GPS apps.

Good Living Ice Stick - Colors Vary, Pack of 1
Good Living Ice Stick - Colors Vary, Pack of 1
Offered by 10dollarwholesale
Price: $5.29

3.0 out of 5 stars Works well if resulting sticks are used promptly, October 5, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
As hoped, the ice cubes from this tray fit through the mouth of a drink bottle. The tray is also easy to fill with water and empty of frozen ice sticks. Sadly, the sticks also evaporate fairly quickly in the freezer, so after a few weeks, each stick is only half its original size. That may be why some such trays come with a cover.

Update: Oops, I dropped the tray yesterday, and a corner of it shattered. Oh well. Nice while it lasted.

Dark Space
Dark Space
Price: $0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Dark indeed!, October 5, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Dark Space (Kindle Edition)
This is a good read for fans of military sci-fi, It's also clean enough for younger readers. Definitely the start of a series, as it ends very abruptly with the line "And prepare to be amazed." Fortunately, a way to get book 2 for free is on the next page, so I expect to soon know what it is I'm to be amazed about. The text is well-edited, and currently free was a wonderful price.

My one unhappiness with the book is that the bad guys got all the luck and all the good toys throughout the book, sometimes illogically [spoiler alert: no self-destruct feature? Oh well, maybe it will be won back and useful later.] I prefer stories with happy endings where the good guys win, and I suspect that will be a few volumes in for this series, if ever. Also, good guys here is only relative to the book's bad guys. There aren't many characters in this book I'd want as a neighbor.

Overall, if you like space stories, give this a try.

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