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Lost Cities - The Board Game
Lost Cities - The Board Game
Price: $31.85
23 used & new from $29.58

3.0 out of 5 stars OK at first but then kind of boring, September 16, 2015
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Lost Cities - The Board Game (Toy)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This game was fun the first few times we played it, but people quickly realized based on your initial hand of cards whether you had any chance of winning or not. You proceed down one of five paths of a given color by playing cards for that color in order from smallest to highest. If you get a hand of high cards you get stuck and get into a pattern of just discarding to get a lower card, which does not always work out. We have had players spend more than half of their game just exchanging cards, which isn't much fun.

You win the game based on points, and your points come from the position of your pieces on the boards, and the collecting of artifacts and victory coins. I have had great cards that allowed me to achieve good positions on the board, but still lost because other people beat me to the artifacts and/or victory points which can end up being much more lucrative. Kind of a crazy game. The vague instructions don't help either.

Anyway, we've been asking the kids "who wants to play Lost Cities?" every night for the last week or so, and nobody has taken us up on it. It really failed to capture their interest like other games (Settlers, Ticket to Ride, Incan Gold, etc.)

On the bright side, it is a very high quality game. The board is beautiful, and all of the pieces, the box, etc. are of high quality.

Electrolux UltraFlex Canister Vacuum
Electrolux UltraFlex Canister Vacuum
Price: $418.54
4 used & new from $376.69

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes Cleaning Hardwood Floors a Snap!, September 8, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have been a Dyson upright vacuum customer for the last 6 years. First, I had the Dyson DC-14 Multi-floor, which was an awesome vacuum. Quieter, more powerful, more maneuverable, more innovative than the Hoover WindTunnel it replaced. Alas, predictably it started breaking down right after the 5-year warranty expired, and so it was replaced with a Dyson DC-33. The Dyson DC-33 isn't nearly as good. A few of the important metal parts like the extension wand have been replaced with plastic, so they are not nearly as sturdy. Still cleans well and is fairly quiet, but I have my doubts about it lasting 5 years.

Dyson upright vacuum cleaners do a great job on carpet, but are only OK on hardwood floors, hence my reason for trying out the Electrolux UltraFlex Canister Vacuum...to see if cleaning our vast expanse of hardwood floor surfaces could be done better, easier, etc. After using the Electrolux on all types of surfaces, not just hardwood floors, for one month I am very impressed. Not only does it do a fantastic job and make vacuuming hardwood floors enjoyable & easy, but it is at least as good and maybe even better than the Dyson on carpet...which shocked me.

First, here are some things I really like about the Electrolux UltraFlex:
-Comes with a 12" hard floor attachment. Dyson doesn't include this and it's $30-$50 extra.
-The carpet attachment has four height positions. I have low pile oriental rugs, regular plush carpet, and longer shag (frieze) carpet, and this vacuum can be adjusted effectively for all 3 types.
-The Electrolux UltraFlex is much quieter than a Dyson. I've never heard a vacuum this quiet.
-It has a knob to adjust suction strength. What? I've never seen that feature on a vacuum either, but boy is it useful. We used the included dusting tool to clean some wood blinds and lampshades, and being able to dial down the suction to half made this a snap. Dust gets sucked up, blinds or shades stay put. I even testing vacuuming out a car with this vacuum, which it does a great job at, and at full strength this vacuum is so powerful it pulled the floor mats off the floor. Dial down the suction strength 25% and problem solved.
-This vacuum is very powerful. It is definitely more powerful on hardwood floors than my Dyson. Anything within 6" of either side of the floor attachment gets sucked in.
-The wand length can be adjusted by 15" in length. I'm six feet tall and use the longest length and can vacuum without hunching over whatsoever. When my son vacuums we shorten the wand by about 8" and it is perfect for him.
-True to the name UltraFlex, the vacuum is very flexible. With the exception of the carpet cleaning attachment, each attachment can be used with or without the extension wand, which is great for vacuuming in tight spaces like a car. The two most commonly used small tools are right at your fingertips so changing out tools is a snap.
-The retractable power cord is an awesome feature. When you are done vacuuming, press the retract button and the cord gets automatically wound up and sucked inside the vacuum body for storage. No more winding cords. Also, this cord is truly tangle proof...really a pleasure to work with.
-Using a canister vacuum for the first time in my life took some getting used to. I have only ever used upright vacuums where you are pushing and pulling the entirety of the vacuum everywhere you go, with nothing being pulled behind you. What I like about this vacuum is that even though you are pulling it along behind you, it is an easy roller that you don't feel like you are wrestling with. It rolls over the power cord and around corners no problem. It has a little more resistance when pulling it along behind you on carpet, but not too bad. Sometimes you need to bend down and lift the vacuum to re-position it, and it is not very heavy and has a convenient handle on top that makes this easy.
-The dirt tray is very easy to remove and empty.
-After one month of using the Electrolux I have not had to clean the roller brush yet. I have to clean it every two weeks on my Dyson, and this involves flipping it upside down and cutting off all of the tightly wound threads and pulling them off of the brush.

I could go on and on about all of the things I like about this vacuum, but I will just sum it up by saying that the Electrolux UltraFlex does a great job and is a joy to use. It is worth the money if you clean your own house.

Some things I don't like which Electrolux could improve on:
-The power cord length is too short. Even with the hose length included, this vacuum doesn't have the same reach as my Dyson vacuums had/have, and so I find myself having to switch outlets more often with is inconvenient. The total reach of this vacuum is 33 feet. That's power cord + extension wand + hose. The power cord alone on my Dyson DC-33 is 35 feet long, and with the hose I can reach another 12 feet beyond that. I wish this vacuum could reach another 5 feet.
-It is very difficult to attach the hose to the vacuum body. It took me about 10 minutes of fiddling with it when I first put it together. One thing is for certain...I will never ever take the hose back off again for fear of not being able to attach it again...which is a shame because it would be nice to have the option of separating the hose and the body for storage purposes.

All in all, though, there is a lot to like about this vacuum. Time will tell how reliable the vacuum will be, but as far as day to day use this vacuum is a winner that I will continue to use week in and week out.

AeroFryer 9349 Cooklite Aero Fryer, 1000-watt 4.6-Liter/4.8-Quart (Extended Capacity 7.1-Liter/7.5-Quart), Black
AeroFryer 9349 Cooklite Aero Fryer, 1000-watt 4.6-Liter/4.8-Quart (Extended Capacity 7.1-Liter/7.5-Quart), Black
Offered by BLINQ
Price: $135.49
7 used & new from $129.00

3.0 out of 5 stars A Mixed Bag, August 24, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The AeroFryer Cooklite is kind of a mixed bag, with some good qualities, and some not so good. It doesn't deliver on some of the promise of healthy fried foods. We put this appliance to the test for a couple of weeks in our every day cooking, with a variety of foods...not just french fries. Here's what we found:

-If you get your settings right, the AeroFryer Cooklite can achieve a better result than baking alone, and in less time.
-For foods like fries, cheese sticks, etc. that are already oily or battered for frying, the AeroFryer Cooklite does a better job than on regular foods like chicken breast or potato wedges.
-Simple to use, easy to put together and disassemble, easy to clean.

-The AeroFryer Cooklite capacity is small compared with the size of the appliance itself. We didn't find a single instance where it could really cook enough food for a family of 5. We had to use the extension ring every time because there really isn't enough clearance between the food and the heat lamp without it.
-We found it difficult to get the settings correct and achieve a good result. More often than not we ended up with food that was overdone on the outside (charred) and not done enough on the inside. It's not as simple, apparently, as following the instructions on the package, but reducing the time because the appliance cooks faster. You have to really pay attention to the overall 'doneness' and adjust accordingly, and even then it's iffy.
-The first time we used it on some french fries it actually took longer to cook them than if we had used a regular oven. We found that the analog controls are susceptible to malfunction. In other words, you can set the controls to 425 degrees and 15 minutes, but the oven apparently thinks it's set to about 200 degrees. You have to be very careful how you set the temperature. We found it was best to always start at 0 degrees, set the time, then move the temp up to the correct temperature after the oven was already started.

In summary, this appliance is a nice idea, but it doesn't really live up the overall goal, and it now sits in the box as we have gone back to traditional baking. My guess is the same thing will happen to you.

SKLZ Pro Training Goal, 12' x 6'
SKLZ Pro Training Goal, 12' x 6'
Price: $299.99
2 used & new from $299.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Amazing Soccer Goal!, August 1, 2015
This review is from: SKLZ Pro Training Goal (Sports)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a really amazing soccer goal! You pay for it, but what you get for the higher price is quality, ease of setup, and portability. I must say, it also looks really cool too.

We have had numerous other goals over the years...the kind with lots of poles, and a net that attaches via lots of Velcro straps. Those Velcro straps last about a week and then it's off to your local home improvement store to buy a bag of zip ties so you can keep the net attached. Within a year, the poles start sagging and rusting...and you got what you paid for.

This goal is different. First of all, you can tell by working with it that it is built with a lot more quality than a bunch of hollow metal poles. The engineering is superb. I'm pretty slow when it comes to putting things together, and I put this together in 10 minutes. Now that I know how it works, I could do it in just a few. The whole frame is one piece that folds out in less than a minute once you know what you're doing. The concept of the flexible net rods is genius, because the net actually forms the front frame of the goal. The upside of this is a lighter weight system, and a system that absorbs ANY shot you can dish out without tipping over. You don't even need the included stakes. The downside, of course, is that you can't clank a shot off the crossbar or side post because they are soft.

My 8 year old has one of the best legs in his league and this goal can handle anything he can dish out. Just to be sure, though, my 16 year old who plays a very high level of club soccer drilled a few into the net, and it absorbed his power with ease. He was impressed.

In Summary, I wish I had bought this goal years ago because it might have saved me money in the long run. I like that I can pack it away in less than 5 minutes to store in my basement during the off season. I think that will help it last longer too, not being in the elements year round. I highly recommend this goal!

AT-A-GLANCE Weekly / Monthly Planner, Collection, Academic Year, 13 Months, July 2015-July 2016, 5.88 x 8.25 Inch Page Size (YP106A-07)
AT-A-GLANCE Weekly / Monthly Planner, Collection, Academic Year, 13 Months, July 2015-July 2016, 5.88 x 8.25 Inch Page Size (YP106A-07)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Planner/Agenda, July 5, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
We got this for our High School aged son to use to keep track of his life in High School. Our mantra is "plan your work, and then work your plan". We found that the busier he got, the better chance there was that he would forget an assignment. It's amazing to see the negative affect of one blown assignment on an otherwise great semester. Here are our observations:

-The look of of the planner is high end, with nice neutral colors and a stiff/rugged burlap feeling cover.
-The size is great, about 6" x 8.25". Fits easily in a book bag or briefcase.
-3YR Reference includes current year + 2 forward. (2015 thru 2017)
-Personal Profile Page, where you can write your name and contact info for someone to contact you should you lose the planner.
-Logical and useful arrangement of each month sectioned off with it's own tab, and then laid out with month-at-a-glance, and then weekly detail pages where you can write plenty of planning content by day. This is how he manages his life, on a weekly basis with the need to record some long range stuff. I know in the business world this is how it is too.

There are extra pages at the end to record contacts and extra notes, there is a holiday dates list, and there is a time zone map, which for this purpose has limited usefulness, but it doesn't hurt anything to have it there.

The one wish I have for this planner is some kind of small pocket on the inside cover to slide a business card into, or to keep a few index cards handy. Other than that, this planner is a winner!

Amazon Echo
Amazon Echo
Price: $179.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Alexa is Just Amazing!, June 19, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Amazon Echo (Electronics)
The Amazon Echo is a 5 Star product all the way! We love "Alexa". We rely on her for a lot of help around the house now.
-We love the ability to ask Alexa to put stuff on the "Shopping List". Then when we are at the store we can read the shopping list right on our iPhone and cross stuff off the list when we buy it. No more fumbling for or forgetting a paper list. This has been a game changer for us.
-We use the Timer function daily. We have trained the kids to set Alexa's timer for 1 hour before they start playing Wii U or PS4, and then she notifies them when their time is up. And they do it every time, and cheerfully. No more Us vs. Them. Love it. We also set a timer whenever we need to be reminded to take something out of the oven. Setting a timer with Alexa is a snap. You just say, "Alexa, set a timer for 1 hour" and it is set. She even confirms it with you, saying "One hour, starting now".
-Additional functions we use are the Weather Reports, Sports Scores, the ability to listen to our favorite local Radio Station live and in digital quality, streaming Prime music content, and even an occasional Joke or two.

We love Alexa. Everyone who visits and sees our demo, wants one too. The sound is great, Alexa is helpful and easy to use, and it looks great on our kitchen counter top. Each week we receive an email from Amazon containing tips and tricks for Alexa, and they are always notifying us of new capabilities...some of them very advanced. Alexa is not like Siri, where you can ask her any question and she looks up the answer. But that type of capability may come over time. Nevertheless, Alexa is PLENTY useful without it. Highly Recommend!

Linksys AC1200 Amplify Dual Band High-Power Wi-Fi Range Extender with Intelligent Spot Finder Technology and AC Pass Thru (RE6700)
Linksys AC1200 Amplify Dual Band High-Power Wi-Fi Range Extender with Intelligent Spot Finder Technology and AC Pass Thru (RE6700)
Price: $85.36
53 used & new from $75.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't Be Easier!, June 14, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Linksys AC1200 Wi-Fi Range Extender couldn't be easier to install. One recommendation I have before you start is to download the IOS or Android app TELSTRA WI-FI MAXIMISER and do a wi-fi signal strength map of your house. It was very enlightening for me, and pointed me in the right direction on placement of the AC1200.

I plugged the AC1200 into an outlet that I thought would receive enough signal from my Uverse NVG589 router, but was still far enough away to spread the signal farther. I waited about a minute, and sure enough, a new wi-fi network called "Linksys Extender Setup" appeared on my iPhone. I connected to this new network using my iPhone, then opened Safari and navigated to "http://extender.linksys.com".

A handy wizard pops up that guides you through the setup. The first thing it told me was that I had placed the AC1200 in an optimal location. Not too close and not too far. Next I selected the network I wanted to extend, and gave it the password. My password has 38 characters in it, and that was not a problem at all. Then it connected, and setup was done. Now I have much better signal strength in the remote corners of the upper floor of my house.

This is a wonderful, easy to install and manage device that can give you terrific results. No need to be any kind of technical expert. Just follow 3 easy steps in the included Quick Start Guide, and you're all set!

An additional note: The AC1200 is built such that you can plug it into the lower outlet of a double outlet, and it does not block the top outlet. It shares nicely. Also, I have tested plugging our vacuum cleaner in and out of the pass-through outlet on the AC1200, and it works great, and also doesn't pull the AC1200 out of the wall when you unplug the vacuum.

Hitachi DS10DFL2 12V Peak Li-Ion Cordless Driver Drill with 2 Batteries and Quick Charger
Hitachi DS10DFL2 12V Peak Li-Ion Cordless Driver Drill with 2 Batteries and Quick Charger
Price: $89.99
25 used & new from $65.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Very Nice Value Drill, May 31, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Hitachi DS10DFL2 12V drill is a very nice value drill. You get a lot for $100. You get the drill, two batteries, the charger, a nice hard case, and a useful selection of screwdriver bits. I also own a 12V Dewalt equivalent, and it cost $25 more and didn't come with a hard case or the screwdriver bits.

The Hitachi DS10DFL2 12V feels very nice in your hand. It is lightweight, well balanced, and has a great feeling grip. Everything is right where you'd expect it to be too. Speed control on top. Direction change right above and slightly behind the trigger.

This drill has plenty of power to drive a 3" screw through a pressure treated deck board and into the deck frame. No problem. I believe you could use this drill to do an entire deck job. So it will be more than satisfactory for the average home use.

The speed control is very granular and easy using the trigger, and the chuck action is very simple and accurate, so bits are easy to load and unload. The batteries are small and light yet provide quite a bit of uses per charge, and they charge relatively quick. My Dewalt batteries are a little easier to attach and remove, but that is a very minor difference.

All in all, this drill is winner. I had never tried a Hitachi cordless power tool until now, but this drill has made a believer out of me.

Delta Faucet 9178T-AR-DST Leland, Single Handle Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet with Touch2O, Arctic Stainless
Delta Faucet 9178T-AR-DST Leland, Single Handle Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet with Touch2O, Arctic Stainless
Price: $349.13
7 used & new from $345.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Faucet by Delta, May 29, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Leland Kitchen Faucet with Touch2O by Delta is definitely a 5 star faucet in my book, for the following reasons:
-Easy to install. Could be easier, but it still only took me 1 hour after I had removed my old faucet.
-Beautiful, high quality components. Arctic Stainless is actually closer in tint to a real stainless sink.
-Very powerful and effective spray setting.
-Six AA batteries included for the Touch2O to work.
-Made to be installed in a tight space behind your sink. You need as little as 4 inches of depth for this to faucet to mount. The Faucet itself only uses one hole, and occupies 2.5" on the counter top surface.
-The Touch2O works really well and is very useful for anyone who does some hand washing of dishes, pots, pans, etc.
-I especially like that the Touch2O lights up to tell you when it is active, and what temperature water will come out if you touch the faucet.

I replaced a non-Touch2O version of the Delta Leland Kitchen Faucet with this one. They install almost exactly the same. I think anyone who is handy with a wrench and understands basic plumbing can install this faucet. The instructions include helpful diagrams, and the install is organized to be done in steps. For each step there is a bag of parts that are used in that step, which is very helpful. The install does not require any plumbers putty or thread seal tape.

I mentioned that the install could have been easier. The water supply lines are very stiff, which makes maneuvering underneath the sink somewhat difficult. The supply lines get in the way of fastening the faucet to the counter top deck. The threaded pipe and nut used to secure the faucet in place require about 500 turns it seems. I had to switch hands because one hand became fatigued, but eventually got it tight enough that I could then use the included wrench to make the last few turns.

I'm a big fan of Delta Faucet because of products like this. The 4 year old Delta Leland Faucet I removed to put this one in, came out as easy as it went in. No rust or corrosion, and still looks and works great. I have removed numerous Moen faucets that I had to chisel out because they were so corroded underneath. You won't have that with a Delta faucet.

If you want to take your kitchen to the next level and put in a high quality faucet that is stylish, compact, functional, AND Hi-Tech...then this is the one for you.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 12, 2015 1:00 PM PDT

Calvin Klein euphoria Eau de Parfum, 1 fl. oz.
Calvin Klein euphoria Eau de Parfum, 1 fl. oz.
Price: $49.00

5.0 out of 5 stars A Euphoric Scent from Calvin Klein, May 16, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This scent smells wonderful on my wife. She characterizes it as follows:
-Medium weight, not light and flowery
-OK for daytime use, but better for night time...out on the town use
-Not musky
-Smells good, complex and sophisticated, long lasting but not overpowering
-The silver bottle is easy to hold, is attractive.

I like how my wife smells while wearing this scent. I do not smell this scent anywhere else in the workplace, or after hours so I think it is a less common scent, which I think is nice.

This would make a great gift for any woman who doesn't want to smell like a flowery body spray bomb went off. Highly recommend.

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