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Profile for J. Whiteside > Reviews


J. Whiteside's Profile

Customer Reviews: 92
Top Reviewer Ranking: 3,549
Helpful Votes: 1446

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J. Whiteside RSS Feed (Missoula, MT)

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Camco 20183 1" Hose Filter Washer - Pack of 3
Camco 20183 1" Hose Filter Washer - Pack of 3
Price: $1.47
22 used & new from $1.47

5.0 out of 5 stars Keeps My Sprinklers Free and Clear!, June 24, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've been working towards getting fully automated watering systems going for our gardens this year. We use water timers and standard garden hose for our water distribution. I needed a few hose filters to protect the sprinkler systems as we're on a well and sometimes get a little bit of sediment that makes it through. I was a little bit dubious as to how well these cheap hose filters would actually work, but I can now confidently state they do an excellent job.

Just a couple nights ago, I noticed that one of the hose/sprinkler combos was performing extremely poorly. I took a look at this filter and found a bunch of organic material that had gotten caught by these filters and was blocking the flow. I would MUCH rather be able to clean out a filter than I would unclog a sprinkler system from any organic debris that happens to make it into our plumbing! After a few moments, I was back up to full flow and very happy this cheap investment had protected the rest of the system!

I definitely recommend having one or more of these installed on your hoses, especially if you're using well water and don't have a whole house water filter inline with your water supply. A little bit of cheap insurance goes a long way!

Nikwax TX.Direct Spray-On Waterproofing
Nikwax TX.Direct Spray-On Waterproofing
Price: $21.50
5 used & new from $15.64

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good For Vertical Flooding Conditions, February 23, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've tried several of the alternatives to Nikwax products and every single time I keep coming back. Although I have probably a half dozen stories to tell about my experience, I only need to relay one fairly recent story to tell you why I trust this (and the other Nixwax products) for most of my waterproof gear.

In 2014, we set out for a month long road trip to Alaska in the middle of summer, planning to tent it all the way up and back. Unbeknownst to us, we made the trek in the wettest summer that pretty much everyone alive could possibly remember, it was wet! For 30 days straight, it rained 27 of them. This wasn't your average drip-a-bit then blow over type of rain. No. It was torrential downfall followed by a downpour followed by a steady drench thereafter. It was an unreal bout of rain, like we were living in a rain cloud for a month.

All my gear, including my tent, footprint, rain fly and gear's duffel bags were treated with this stuff or other Nikwax products. It's never a cheap preparation, but in hindsight, it's always worth every penny. Night after night, my aging camping gear and waterproof clothing were pounded from all sides with unrelenting rain, put away wet only to be brought out into more wet. What little breaks in the weather we could get usually dried things out just enough to get wet again a few hours later. We could barely get a break, except for maybe once every 8-10 days or maybe a lucky clearing during setup or teardown of camp.

The point? We stayed mostly dry. Our clothes, our sleeping gear, our camp gear. Dry, all of it. Every night. Every storm. It kept one pretty lady awfully happy, and that's no easy feat faced with constant rain! To be certain, some of it was probably technique as I cut my teeth camping in Oregon where you learn how to deal with rain well before you can afford technical preparations. But from one rain master to another, the secret to maintaining technical gear for whatever gets thrown at you is Nikwax. Bottom line, it's proven itself to be my trusted waterproofing material and probably always will be.

Is it perfect? No, it's not going to make Goretex out of nylon no matter how you slice it...but it'll be better than pure nylon, for sure. Does it help? Without a doubt. When your gear is starting to see it's age, will it revive it enough to keep it going? Yes, and my 20+ year old used and abused Cascade Designs tent that I'd take anywhere, anytime proves it. Do you need to augment your preparations for rain otherwise? That's probably a good idea, at a minimum a solid seam seal on all rainfly seams and liberal use of tarps, when needed.

I've used this stuff for years and that's only the latest reason I keep coming back for more.

Homemade Soda: 200 Recipes for Making & Using Fruit Sodas & Fizzy Juices, Sparkling Waters, Root Beers & Cola Brews, Herbal & Healing Waters, ... & Floats, & Other Carbonated Concoctions
Homemade Soda: 200 Recipes for Making & Using Fruit Sodas & Fizzy Juices, Sparkling Waters, Root Beers & Cola Brews, Herbal & Healing Waters, ... & Floats, & Other Carbonated Concoctions
by Andrew Schloss
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.88
87 used & new from $1.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Solid Choice For A Recipe Hunter, February 23, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I'm a somewhat experienced home brewer, wine maker and about five years ago, added soda making to the repertoire. The soda making has been the culmination of years of trying to eliminate high fructose corn syrup from my body completely, preferring natural sweeteners overall. With the addition of a kegging setup to my brewery, I had a lot more options at my finger tips than my previous "add yeast and drink before it blows up the bottle" methods used to provide. Specifically, I wanted to start looking into syrups that I could add to carbonated water, similar to a "SodaStream" but at a "pro" level, if you will.

I had read a couple recommendations about this book providing syrup recipes, so eventually decided to pick it up. I was surprised that it didn't only provide syrup recipes, but alternative methods as well such as the traditional yeast/brewing methods for most of the recipes. This was really nice as it gives you a bit of flexibility in how you want to approach making the soda, particularly making things accessible if you don't have a CO2 setup.

This book doesn't disappoint with quantity or variety of the contain recipes...from modern to old, classic to bleeding edge, you're sure to find something you'd enjoy. I was surprised, compared to other soda books I own, with regard to the diversity of the recipes. Just a whole lot of options, some of which I would have never thought of and probably make a fine tasting fizzy drink! It's always a joy to crack open the book when we're planning out a new soda and so far, haven't duplicated a single recipe. (Not because they're not good...but because there's so much to try!)

To be entirely honest, I don't feel I'd be a good judge of the quality of this publication in actually teaching a person how to make home made soda. Reason being, I'm well versed in transferring liquids, steeping materials and pretty much all the techniques used to bring a batch from material to quality drink. I skipped over those sections almost entirely, but did note there was some good info on sweeteners and other basic topics. It might be OK? I don't honestly know.

I can probably say that of the three books I have on the subject, this one is my favorite. Certainly other books offer some recipes that I wouldn't want to go without, so I appreciate them all, but this one is the most accessible, current and fully featured of them all. If you're looking to dive into the deep end with home made soda, I wouldn't hesitate recommending this book! Cheers!

DampRid FG30K Moisture Absorber Refill, 42-Ounce
DampRid FG30K Moisture Absorber Refill, 42-Ounce
Price: $4.22
47 used & new from $3.86

5.0 out of 5 stars So Good I Haven't Had To Use It Yet!, February 23, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I purchased this refill kit for the two-pack DampRid containers, also purchased here on Amazon. I was originally anticipating needing to change out the material every couple months or so, but I'm thrilled to report that I haven't even had to change it once after 6 months. So, while I haven't technically had to use the bag I purchased as of yet, the original material outperformed my expectations by a long shot.

I use the stuff to maintain the moisture levels in a freezer based fermentation chamber. Prior to it's introduction, I was constantly battling moisture buildup, mold problems and other issues that were directly related to high humidity. Afterwards, zero problems. Better yet, I've gotten at least six month's use from the original container, so even on a maintenance schedule and near daily use, one of these bags will easily last me well over a year or more.

For the general cost of this stuff, it hardly even makes sense to try and research a DIY alternative...probably wouldn't save you much at all. I like's not an overpriced chemical that can be bought in bulk for pennies on the dollar, just because you don't know what it is. (It's calcium chloride, by the way.) Sure, it costs a bit more than the bulk stuff...but you get a free, identifiable bag and can be relatively sure it hasn't been exposed to the air.

It's good stuff. Their little containers are a pretty good value too. If you're looking for a way to keep moisture in check, this (or the bulk alternative) will work out just fine for you. 5 stars!

DampRid FG60 Refillable Moisture Absorber, 2-Pack
DampRid FG60 Refillable Moisture Absorber, 2-Pack
Price: $5.99
4 used & new from $5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great For A Fermentation Chamber Or Keezer!, February 23, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
After fighting humidity, constant wipe-downs and significant cleaning efforts in the freezer based beer and wine fermentation chamber, I finally decided to look into something that would help control moisture over the long term. I looked into the electric units but wasn't quite comfortable with their long term reliability and considered this consumable option for a trial run. Well, I'm into 6 months on my first unit with about 6 10-gallon batches run through the chamber and it's still running well on the original crystals. The chamber stays dry, whether I'm lagering at just above freezing temps, doing an ale around 62 degrees or even saisons at higher temps.

I was most worried that I'd have to constantly be changing out the DampRid material, but so far, that hasn't been a concern. Even if I went through a 42oz bag twice a year, that would work...but looks like I'm doing much better than that. At six months, no moisture to report and the stuff looks good, no pooling water or anything. May just replace once a year or so on a maintenance cycle, certainly economical enough and works out to pennies a day.

I did have to reduce my air circulation on the internal fan a fair bit when adding this as it was causing my bubblers to dry up within a day, something that would quickly expose the beer and wine to air. (At least I know it's working!) Once I dropped air circulation down to a trickle, I can easily maintain a batch's bubbler for the 2-3 weeks it'll typically stay in the fermentation chamber. Other than bit of tweaking, they pretty much just sit there and suck the water vapors right out of the air.

I don't know how well they'd work in a really humid environment, but these units have saved me a lot of cleaning time and other efforts related to brewing for that, it gets a win sticker!

VenTech VT DF-6 DF6 Duct Fan, 240 CFM, 6"
VenTech VT DF-6 DF6 Duct Fan, 240 CFM, 6"
Offered by Low_Baller
Price: $24.95
5 used & new from $17.77

5.0 out of 5 stars Get The Hot Air Outta Here!, February 23, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
We decided to do our garden starts indoors under artificial light this year to try and get a good jump start on our northern climate. In years past, we've had to get the timing down just right and after a couple close calls with late winters, it just made sense to bring things into where they can be better controlled. Amazon, of course, made it easy to get in everything we needed for the right price, too!

No indoor system is complete without appropriate ventilation and I was quite relieved to see the old days of squirrel cage fans were largely over. This inline fan absolutely hit the right price point for me, allowing me to vent the generated heat with ease. Although we're running a Sun Blade 6 lamp 4' fixture, the heat generated is still someone significant, raising temps to above 90 degrees in no time with no ventilation. Hooked this up to an STC-1000 temperature controller (cheap temp control, if you're willing to wire it) and was able to evacuate the heat and maintain a specific temperature with just a small bit of work. I'm currently using passive intake systems, so just the exhaust fan was adequate for my needs.

Noise wise, I was hoping for a bit quieter, but it's certainly not anything to be worried about. If you're going for silent, this might not be up your alley...but for the price, it works and doesn't keep us up at night or cause guests to wonder what's going on in the other room. Another drawback is there aren't any good mounting points for the fan, so something had to be figured out there...I used bungees and a couple small drilled holes to suspend the fan, further eliminating any noise. Size-wise, this isn't much larger than the 6" dangling protrusions, electrical boxes or anything else to take up space...just a fan in a tube, really.

As for longevity, I don't have enough data to report but it's been holding up to regular starts and stops so far. If anything happens, I'll be sure to update the review...otherwise, expect it's lasted! Overall, it was the right price and right fit for our needs!

Vittles Vault 60-Pound Stackable
Vittles Vault 60-Pound Stackable
Price: $37.49
11 used & new from $37.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic For Storing 50lb Grain Sacks!, February 23, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
These were on my wish list for a long time, wanted to get away from the bucket and gamma seal storage I was using for brewing grain (primarily base grains) as that method just doesn't scale very well. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely am sold on the gamma seal...but I wanted to avoid using 3 buckets for a single bag of grain. This system easily tripled my storage capacity in roughly half the overall space, and at the same time improved access, so it was a welcome change to my storage methods!

These will fit an entire 50 pound grain bag with much room to spare. You could probably get away with 1.5 bags if you really pushed it. I love that they stack on top of one another, I was a bit worried about stability but haven't had any issues to speak of. It makes storing 150+ pounds of grain in less than 4 square foot quite a reality. When I get ready for brew day, I just scoop out what I think I'll need, weigh the amount and refine as necessary. The horizontal access makes getting to the product quite easy and the included scoop was a nice touch, although maybe a little bit small for my purposes. I can fairly easily lift an entire unit if needed, but it's not the easiest thing to do.

If you're not familiar with the gamma seal, they're a great method of keeping a relatively air-tight system. This will keep whatever you keep in them fresher for longer, especially when you're working with grains that can have a stable shelf life of a year or two when stored optimally. Although I can't speak for this particular product, it's the same seal as you can buy for 5 gallon buckets, so I'd expect similar performance. I've used grain from storage a full year and a half since I bought it without any troubles whatsoever.

A couple ownership notes...these are some big containers! You might want to put some though into where you'll keep these as they're a bit on the large side to have in, say, a hallway. Also, if you have kids, keeping them in a location where they can't be climbed on or something like that is a good idea...I'd hate to see what would happen if a full container fell on someone. I wouldn't say that they're inclined to tip over or anything, but they're not super secured either.

About the only drawbacks are that they don't have good handles, so moving around a full container can certainly challenge you. Eventually, I intend to make some polypropelyne straps to help lug the things around when needed. I also wished the scoop was a bit larger, but I imagine it's just a cost/benefit ratio...if they provided larger scoops, people would want them smaller. Oh well. Overall, though, I love having easy access to my always-fresh brewing grains, so whatever drawbacks are minimal!

Anker® Astro E5 15000mAh External Battery Pack 2-Port 3A Output Portable Charger Power Bank for USB Devices (Black)
Anker® Astro E5 15000mAh External Battery Pack 2-Port 3A Output Portable Charger Power Bank for USB Devices (Black)
Offered by SuperSalesNY
Price: $57.98
3 used & new from $49.00

5.0 out of 5 stars 10K mAH Battery In The Real World - Good Enough!, February 19, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've had this battery for over a year now and it's definitely been a worthwhile purchase for me. The original intent was to charge e-cigs during my smoking cessation process while I was away from a power source, something that happens quite regularly to me. It worked great for that purpose and kept me topped off at all times. Well, I've been done with that for quite awhile (yay me!), so it's really just come down to portable cell phone charger and for charging other things that can be powered via USB when access to grid or vehicle power isn't an option.

Overall, it's been a really good battery that has held up for a good amount of charge cycles. I would say that you can't expect the rated mAH values of 15,000 mAH, but that's marketing hype that's used industry wide. You can expect, though, roughly about 10,000 mAH from this battery and that's a "real world" tested result...and to that end, it's still one of the better batteries on the market. I get about two full cell phone charges from it and I have a big battery that lasts several days on my phone, so that's pretty good. It takes quite a long time to charge up from empty (~24 hours), but I probably expected that from a relatively low voltage USB charging source.

It will likely work with most standard USB devices and I haven't yet found anything that's been incompatible. Overall, it's been nice to have access to basic USB power when doing things well away from the grid, something I do quite often. It was really helpful on a month long road trip we took last year and allowed us to top off devices without keeping the truck running to produce a simple 5V charge. I would say that if 10K mAH is acceptable to you and you see the need for a product like this, I would definitely recommend it!

Hanes Men's 5-Pack Classics Yarn Dye Exposed Waistband Boxer - Colors May Vary, Black/Blue, Large
Hanes Men's 5-Pack Classics Yarn Dye Exposed Waistband Boxer - Colors May Vary, Black/Blue, Large
Price: $17.87
15 used & new from $17.22

5.0 out of 5 stars Won't Turn You Into A Super Model, February 19, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I'd never bought under garments online before. I tried online clothing purchases a couple times with jeans and unfortunately, decided that this was one area where online purchases didn't quite add up for me given that fit is so crucial. Well, it came time to replace some boxers...and I figured, really, how bad could this get screwed up?

Well, turns out you can buy your boxers online. I think I speak for most guys in that we don't really care about an exact fit about these things...we only care that it doesn't cramp the precious cargo and that they don't hang down to our knees. We generally know our size, most boxers will fit well enough if you order the right size and it's generally an uneventful purchase that never ends up in a return. We continue to wear them until they develop holes or the elastic band fails. Other than that, we don't think about it and we don't want to think about it.

I could go into all sorts of detail about how these will make you look good for your honey when you're down to your skiviez, just like the commercial or image on the product's plastic wrap. But that'd probably be a lie, since if you're the type to focus so much on looking good in your skiviez, you're probably not into your average Hanes mens wear either. What I can tell you is these work like any other kinds of boxers and maybe even reassure you that buying them online will probably work out as you expect, given you select the right size. I can maybe save you the agonizing effort of going to the mall to select these things and maybe spare you the completely illogical embarrassment that comes from checking out with your Hanes underwear by some dude (or worse yet, beautiful woman) behind the counter.

Nothing further really. Just a decent set of boxers.

Maytex No More Mildew Premium 10 Gauge Shower Curtain Liner with Rust Proof Metal Grommets, Clear
Maytex No More Mildew Premium 10 Gauge Shower Curtain Liner with Rust Proof Metal Grommets, Clear
Price: $10.98
24 used & new from $5.49

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clearly Disposable When It Doesn't Live Up To The "No More Mildew" Hype, February 19, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Well, I'm on my second one of these. After a good long while of probably a couple years, the mildew on my older identical Maytex shower curtain had gotten out of control. I can safely say that this product will not eliminate mildew, but then again, I didn't expect it to either because I realize that would likely be impossible. Still, it could maybe be considered "mildew resistant" and doesn't require a whole lot to keep in maintained for a decent amount of time. For the price, I'll just choose to replace it when it gets bad...I have no interest in going over a shower current with a brush, bleach water and giving it a thorough cleaning.

So, it doesn't live up to the hype...but I didn't believe the hype to begin with, so I'm not really disappointed. Nonetheless, it's a decent shower curtain, does the job it's intended for and is relatively easy to maintain for a decent amount of time.

Fortunately, Amazon still had the same model I had used previously and it was a couple dollars cheaper than when I purchased it previously. Rather that shop for a different model, wondering if it will fit my shower and risking a potential return, I figured I'd just go with the same exact one so I'd know it fits without incident. And it does. I don't really know what else to say about a shower curtain. It's something you'll use almost every day, barely think about and is only a problem if it fails to keep the water contained.

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