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Mike H's Profile

Customer Reviews: 12
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Helpful Votes: 33

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Mike H RSS Feed (Galt, CA)

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Hamilton Beach 54615 Wavestation Express Dispensing Blender with 48-Ounce Jar, Black
Hamilton Beach 54615 Wavestation Express Dispensing Blender with 48-Ounce Jar, Black
Price: $24.95
65 used & new from $20.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For the price, can't beat it., November 17, 2010
I had the smaller personal sized blender, also from hamilton beach, for awhile but it wasn't powerful enough to crush ice or really even make great milkshakes.

This blender is super powerful, strong enough to chop up my ice, frozen berries, fruits, ect. I'm a jamba juice addict but the past few weeks I've been able to save some money by making these myself. I'm happy enough with the results to actually skip out on jamba, so far so good.

Minor Complaints:
-Sometimes have to take the cup off and shake it around a few times as the blades stop wanting to crush stuff up every once in awhile. Just a bit more work than a super expensive one.
-Hold the top of the blender as you're blending, I've almost had it vibrate off.
-It is starting to have a bit of a burning smell if I work it too hard, but it hasn't died on me yet.

For $20 you can't beat it. Try this out before laying down the big bucks on a vitamix or something.

Crumpler The Industry Disgrace (Black)
Crumpler The Industry Disgrace (Black)

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My best strap yet..., September 18, 2010
Of course by now you probably have realized the strap that came with your camera sucks...Whether you're using a canon or nikon or in my case an old heavy medium format Mamiya from the 70's.(which came with a narrow, hard leather strap that scratches and chafs your neck up, if you think standard dslr straps are bad get one of those...)

Anyway, I decided to get this crumpler strap for my mamiya. But for my dslr I use a cheap optech one. I think it was their 5-10 dollar range one, not the one that directly is made to compare to this crumpler strap. I must say I was happy or at least content with my optech strap. But I needed a new strap for my other camera and decided to try out one that's a little more expensive(without burning a huge hole in my pocket on one of the black rapid straps).

So a few days ago I went on a day trip with both my dslr(with optech strap and a light 35mm prime lens), and my mamiya TLR and crumpler strap. I have to say, very impressed by the crumpler strap. I can tell they put a lot of thought into the engineering behind this strap. My first impression was that the optech strap is better cushioned. But the crumpler strap seems to distribute the weight more evenly across your neck and shoulders. The neck part is more cushioned than the rest which keeps the strap as a whole very lightweight.

The main difference for me was the breath-ability of the materials and crumpler strap in general. The optech strap attracts the heat to the strap which then heats up your neck, and then the materials don't allow the sweat to escape making you heat up pretty quickly.

I may buy another crumpler soon to replace my optech as my dslr's strap, Or perhaps try out black rapid once I get more money to burn. If I do perhaps I'll update to say which is my absolute favorite.

I definitely recommend this strap though, you could go cheap with the optech and that'd still be a huge upgrade over your standard strap, but if you want true comfort even when carrying a long tele lens, this is your strap.

Tamrac 3385 Aero Speed Pack 85 Dual Access Photo/Laptop Backpack (Rust)
Tamrac 3385 Aero Speed Pack 85 Dual Access Photo/Laptop Backpack (Rust)
3 used & new from $95.00

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Still searching for the perfect pack..., September 7, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This pack is just "ok" to me.

You can fit quite a bit in it so it's good for those trips where you want to bring absolutely everything, a large 70-200 zoom+camera(large tele must be attached to the camera to fit in the case, so if you're planning on taking the camera out of the side pocket it's got to be with the tele if you plan to have the tele in your pack at all.)

Hiking- major downside is that all of the weight is on your shoulders, no chest or waist straps to take some of the weight. The shoulder straps are comfortable but it doesn't take much gear at all to wear you down with this pack on. I walked around LA/hollywood with this pack all day, and I was dead by the end of the day. It probably isn't the pack's fault but my back got SUPER hot wearing this both on my day trip to hollywood and also hiking; I went up a mountain with this, even though it only had a 35mm and the camera in the pack, my back got way too hot.

So I wouldn't recommend it for hiking, but that's not necessarily its specialty. I said it's good for a lot of gear, It's just small enough to make it through the carry on of an airplane. Just barely. I was also hoping it'd be small enough for bringing it to school(I'm a photo major). It's ok, but I'll admit I don't like looking like a turtle even when my pack is nearly empty. Unlike regular backpacks it doesn't collapse with less stuff in it, I guess that keeps everything protected which is great but I don't always like looking like my entire home is in my backpack.

The laptop feature is nice as well, and adds to this as a good travel bag(if you don't mind traveling heavy). But I guess it's true when people say that there's no ONE good bag for everything, I'll have to be like a woman with shoes and have different ones for different occasions. Next up I'll look into smaller/more portable bags and hiking bags.

So to sum things up, decent carry on luggage pack if you don't mind the size, but looking for lighter packs myself.

Canon RS-80N3 Remote Switch for EOS-1V/1VHS, EOS-3, EOS-D2000, D30, D60, 1D, 1Ds, EOS-1D Mark II,III, EOS-1Ds Mark II,III, EOS-10D, 20D, 30D,40D, 50D, 5D
Canon RS-80N3 Remote Switch for EOS-1V/1VHS, EOS-3, EOS-D2000, D30, D60, 1D, 1Ds, EOS-1D Mark II,III, EOS-1Ds Mark II,III, EOS-10D, 20D, 30D,40D, 50D, 5D
Price: $43.50
47 used & new from $12.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Overpriced, but hey it works, June 1, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this a few months ago for a field trip where I needed to do long exposures on a tripod. Can always just use the timer but it gets annoying waiting 10 seconds just to take the shot. I researched around and it seems I really only had a few choices for getting hands away from the shutter(in my case I've got the 30d). Canon's overpriced shutter release, random off brands that might or might not work, and even more wireless options that also may or may not work. Considering my trip was a week away I didn't have time to test out cheap alternatives. So I went with the Canon name.

My only real complaint is that the cord is only about 12 inches long. Steep price for 12 inches of wire, cheap plastic casing with some chinese circuitry thrown in.

But it does its job, I can do star trails, long exposures, it autofocuses, can lock it in place for time lapses as well. I've dropped this thing and I throw it around like a piece of junk but it hasn't broken on me yet.

With that said, perhaps cheaper 3rd party alternatives are worthwhile if you've got the time to experiment before you have to rely on it.

La Crosse Technology BC-700 Alpha Power Battery Charger
La Crosse Technology BC-700 Alpha Power Battery Charger
Price: $38.28
17 used & new from $35.24

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Slow is an advantage, not a negative..., June 1, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Alright so first off, there's at least a few reviews on here with people complaining that you can only charge your batteries in modes of 200/400/700 mAH...

While 200 mAH does take forever to charge, it's the safest for your bateries. If you've used any other chargers with super fast 1000 mah charges you'd know that the batteries get super hot. There's a possibility that your batteries could go bad(or worse, overheat), with these super fast chargers.

This Lacrosse charger is easily the best charger I've had, shows you exactly the mAH it's charging at, as well as the capacity. The modes are useful as well since I can discharge and charge for extra refreshed batteries. I use these with NIMH batteries for my flash photography. Put them in at night a few hours before sleeping and they should be done by the time you wake up the next morning(depends on how much you sleep I guess :P)

Anyway, great product at a good price.

SanDisk Extreme III 4 GB CompactFlash Memory Card SDCFX3-004G-A31
SanDisk Extreme III 4 GB CompactFlash Memory Card SDCFX3-004G-A31
Offered by BoBotechnic
Price: $94.88
5 used & new from $14.25

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great card, worth the money, April 1, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've got two of these now, one was purchased from bestbuy(don't buy from them they ripped me off as I payed about $20 more there...) I've only been able to compare it to a 1gb microdrive card that died on me, but these are super fast, reliable, and fair priced for what you get.

There's a newer version of this card out, the extreme iv, but it seems the price for that is over $100 so you might as well stick with these for now. Those ones are 15mb/s faster which is a noticeable amount but I've been perfectly fine w/30 mb/s and I do shoot sports and other action.

As for going for the biggest card out there like a 8 mb or 16 mb...I'd rather not unless my camera has video because that takes up a ton of space. I like my ability to have one card in the card reader and one in my camera. Plus I reformat my card fairly often anyway so my card isn't likely to be that full.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 24, 2010 7:47 PM PDT

Kingston 19-in-1 USB 2.0 Flash Memory Card Reader FCR-HS219/1
Kingston 19-in-1 USB 2.0 Flash Memory Card Reader FCR-HS219/1
Offered by Dekor and More
Price: $124.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bang-per-buck one of the cheapest improvements for loading images, April 1, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I love this thing, got it a few weeks ago after being someone who thought it was a dumb usb cable did a decent enough job... My photo professor recommended a card reader when I could easily just upload to my comp via usb cord and then bring my photos into class on a usb drive. I was definitely wrong about that.

First off, using the usb cord drains your cameras battery(who wants to charge the battery more often?they drain quick enough already!), card readers are powered by the usb cord via your computer. Also, I've had the occasion where my battery is low and I'm uploading a ton of shots and my battery in my camera dies...That's terrible for your card and you could very well lose some images or corrupt the data.

Compared to the usb cable, most readers will show you an amazing difference in upload speed. I can upload 4 gb of photos in minutes rather than hours...

and if you do have that many photos to upload, guess what I do? I've got a 2nd card that I pop in my camera and I'm off shooting something else while my card reader is at home uploading my shots. USB cables tie your camera down and slowly sucks your battery dry while you anxiously wait for your photos to upload...yawn...

Alright, onto this specific item. This reader is pretty fast(I haven't compared it to anything but a usb cord, and it whomps that), pretty compact, and reliable. It comes with a long usb cord but I haven't found the need for it, there's a tiny usb cord that's already attached and that's a good enough length for uploading my shots(I don't need my card reader to be 5 feet away from my computer haha). I use this simply for the CF card slot and it does work with newer cards, I use the sandisk 4gb extreme iii's.

It's cheap, it improves your upload speeds by a ton, and it doesn't tie your camera up. So buy it. Some people do go for firewire uploading(which is INSANE fast) but those systems are hundreds of dollars. I find this to be a perfectly fine, cheap solution.

BENRO C-297M8 Carbon Flexpod
BENRO C-297M8 Carbon Flexpod

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very sturdy, March 23, 2010
I only got this a few weeks ago so I can't comment on the durability long-term, but it seems like a very solid set of legs. I've used it fully extended, which can go taller than me and I'm 5'11". While it extends to 70+ inches also factor in that your dslr+ballhead add about 5 or 6 inches.

With my 70-200 f/4L and dslr(which is a 30d at the moment.) it holds very sturdy even in very awkward positions or when I accidentally don't even balance it correctly. It does come with a bubble level but sometimes I'm in a hurry and just wing it. I'm sure with cheaper CF legs trying to hold weight in awkward positions just isn't going to work.

I really enjoy the horizontal column for macro work, and even in that awkward position it's still strong enough to hold a decent amount of weight, you're more likely to have the whole thing tip over due to the awkward positioning than the strong clamp breaking.

My advice is to go with a great ballhead first, I went with the Acratech Ultimate Ballhead with Quick Release, Level and Detent Pin, Supports 25 lbs. which is absolutely a great combination. I feel like with this combo I don't ever have to worry about leaving my tripod unattended for really long exposures.

The twist-lock knobs for the legs take a little getting used to, and it is easy to forget to tighten one, but once you get used to it it's much preferred over quick-lock systems. Lever locking systems tend to break over time.

Get a good tripod combo now instead of wasting your money on cheap ones that break or drop your gear.

By the way, Amazon should put the weight of the legs on here. While it's carbon fiber it's still around 3.5 pounds. But considering it holds a bunch of weight you should consider stability over a super lightweight model(aluminum models that hold this amount of weight are still twice as heavy).

UPDATE 5/18/10
Still holding up strong. I don't use it as often as I expected, but when I do it's fairly light and easy to use.
Update #2 9/04/10
I now kind of wish I had a more compact tripod. But still no complaints about durability or stability, I recently used this to shoot photos of waves off of the edge of a cliff. But for hiking I wish I had a smaller/lighter pod, this holds way more weight than I need.

I wish I could trade this for the benro travel angel type pods, which hold enough but are also compact. I'm sure those would also be less stable, but maybe I made the wrong compromise...

Adobe Photoshop Extended CS4 Student Edition [Mac] [OLD VERSION]
Adobe Photoshop Extended CS4 Student Edition [Mac] [OLD VERSION]

5.0 out of 5 stars Confused at first, works now, March 3, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Bought this a few months ago for my photography classes, without reading reviews. I was scared when I first got it because I hadn't gotten my student id yet and was reading all of these reviews about how adobe does not want to grant licenses and about all of the so called loopholes you have to jump through to get licensed...

This is how simple it turned out being:
-go to the site on the box
-scan my photo id, upload it to their site

I got an email the next day with my number. After hearing all of the negative reviews it ended up being that simple? yep. No problems whatsoever. I'm guessing the people who had problems were people who decided they'd try to fool the system and just "say" they go to a certain school when really they're a random guy who wants cheap photoshop. (the only way to beat the system is go and register for a few units at a community college and get a photo id and say you have certain amount of units and you'll be there for years and years- I didn't do that though, I'm actually a photo major :) (don't kill me adobe).

anyway, I've heard the only downside to the student edition is you can't upgrade when the next version comes out. But adobe charges you $200 to upgrade anyway(even though you spent $800 on the whole CS haha) so if you buy cs5 student edition when it comes out you still saved yourself the $800 or whatever it is.

The Dark Tower Boxed Set (Books 1-4)
The Dark Tower Boxed Set (Books 1-4)
by Stephen King
Edition: Paperback
Price: $24.04
74 used & new from $16.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Caution: Will make you lose countless hours of sleep, December 28, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This book series is simply amazing. Book after book King throws out a pure masterpiece. Harry Potter? LOTR? NO! Dark Tower whomps those series' as King manages to combine several fantasy worlds with the real world. King's past of creating very high suspense in his thrillers swirls in with unconventional-to-king genres such as western and fantasy(despite some fantasy attempts such as "eye of the dragon" which I do NOT recommend..)

The main character is very "clint eastwood"-ish. Every book in the series has some sort of climax which usually involve tons of violence, and that's not giving anything away as each book is also very deep and meaningful. You wont grab one of the books and think the whole thing is just a stepping stone to the next book, you'll be intensely fighting to stay awake to see what happens in the next book, or you'll be rushing to order the next one and be mad that it's not coming fast enough.

You might as well order them all now so that when you're done with "the waste lands" you don't have to wait a week for them to deliver the "Wolves of the calla".

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