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Customer Reviews: 554
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Joseph "jck09" RSS Feed (Cincinnati, OH USA)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

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Minecraft Animal Toy (6-Pack)
Minecraft Animal Toy (6-Pack)
Offered by The Gaming Broker
Price: $21.33
122 used & new from $15.32

5.0 out of 5 stars Great animal figures for Minecraft fans, September 16, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
These are currently a little pricey, but otherwise great plastic minecraft figures. They look just like the in-game figures, and are posable with movable legs and heads. Any Minecraft fan would be delighted.

This set includes most of the "animal mobs" - one each of the cow, sheep, pig, wolf, ocelot and chicken. (No squid, rabbit, or bat, though.)


OXO Good Grips Professional 6-Inch Utility Knife
OXO Good Grips Professional 6-Inch Utility Knife
Price: $16.99
4 used & new from $9.51

4.0 out of 5 stars Decent mid-sized stainless steel utility knife., September 15, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a reliable stainless steel knife. It's sharp, and its medium length means I can use it to take apart a piece of meat or to pare vegetables. The handle just as nice and grippy as you would expect from an OXO product.

It's a little light for me - I still prefer a chef's knife or a santoku for most tasks, because I like the extra weight - but this utility knife is still a solid performer, and I'd be glad to recommend it if you are looking for a mid-sized lightweight stainless steel knife.


OXO 11108600 8-Cup Good Grips French Press Coffee Maker, Silver/Black
OXO 11108600 8-Cup Good Grips French Press Coffee Maker, Silver/Black
Price: $39.99
4 used & new from $24.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Cool innovation in French Press Coffee, September 11, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
For any newcomers to French press coffee, the idea is that you put very hot water and coffee grounds into the carafe, let things steep, then push down the plunger (or "press") to push the grounds to the bottom of the carafe. The advantages are (1) unlike a paper filter, you get some more of the oils from the beans, resulting in (IMHO) more flavorful coffee and (2) you can make coffee without a percolator. I keep a French press at work, and if I want to make a few cups in the afternoon, it's perfect for the job.

OXO has made a nice press. It looks pretty good, with a nice grippy handle and plunger, and with an aluminum jacket that fits over and accents the glass carafe nicely. OXO's biggest innovation is that this unit is a little easier to clean. Instead of shaking or rinsing to try to get the grounds out of the bottom of the carafe, the bottom lifts out to make dumping the grounds much easier.

I like it a lot, but there are a couple things that could be better.

- The unit is not insulated, so after a while, your coffee will cool off.

- Although theoretically, the glass carafe lifts out of the liner for easier cleaning, it's a very tight fit, so I remove mine as little as possible.

- Both the plunger and the grounds cup use rubber seals - I'm not 100% sure how durable they are, and will update.

- The unit is hand wash only.

I know, that's a lot of quibbles, but each one of them is small enough that I still like this a lot. Recommended if you get a good price and don't need an insulated unit.


Febreze Eureka Aa Replacement Vacuum Bag, 3-Pack
Febreze Eureka Aa Replacement Vacuum Bag, 3-Pack
Price: $5.34
8 used & new from $5.09

5.0 out of 5 stars "What's that great smell?", September 11, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I normally don't like a lot of masking odors, but Febreze seems to hit the sweet spot. We use these in our downstairs vacuum, and they leave a balanced floral scent that is pleasant without being overpowering.

I think these are a great choice for anyone with a vacuum that takes Aa bags, but I can't do better for a review than my daughter, who looked up as I was vacuuming and asked "Hey, what's that great smell?"


Ravensburger Empire State Building - Night Edition - 3D Puzzle (216-Piece)
Ravensburger Empire State Building - Night Edition - 3D Puzzle (216-Piece)
Price: $26.24
41 used & new from $22.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Great looking and fun, but one tedious flaw, September 11, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Summary: This is a cool looking puzzle that's kind of a pain to prep, but fun to build and great to look at.

What's good:

- It's a Ravensburger! We've been enjoying their 3D puzzles for years, and this one is no exception. Once assembled, it looks great, and you can choose between a very hard puzzle challenge (if you don't use the numbers to assemble), or a technical but easier one (if you do.) Without numbers, this is very hard, because many of the pieces are so similar.

- As stated, this looks great. It comes with an LED (batteries not included) that cycles through a color series for great visual impact.

What could be better

- We had a few pieces that didn't fit perfectly, which made doing the puzzle without numbers even harder than it should have been.

- As everyone else said, it's a pain that the corner pieces have to be bent by hand. The corner pieces give the finished product a cleaner look than the interlocking teeth that Ravensburger used to use, but it's not really much fun to spend an hour bending pieces instead of building.


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: $14.77
2 used & new from $14.77

3.0 out of 5 stars Medium weight sketchpad for casual use, especially with pencil, September 8, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a nice sketchbook that is pretty much just as described, and would be good for casual use. The "mediumweight" paper isn't really thick enough to stand up to significant marker or watercolor use without bleed-through, but it's good for pencil or light pen sketches. The perforations are good, and the included pocket is handy.

Recommended if you can get a good price and are comfortable with the medium weight paper supplied.


Jenga "Throw-n-go"
Jenga "Throw-n-go"
Price: $22.12
27 used & new from $16.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Fun spin on family classic, September 8, 2014
This review is from: Jenga "Throw-n-go" (Toy)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a fun twist on classic Jenga. Like the old classic, you stack up bricks, 3 to a level, then remove bricks from the bottom or middle and add them to the top.

The twist on "Throw-n-go" Jenga is that there are three different colors of bricks and a six-sided die. Depending on what side you get, you might have to remove a particular color or position, remove two bricks in one turn, or reverse back to the last player.

It's fun - we have been playing with our nine year old, and she's always happy to set down her iPad and play a game of Jenga, which is all we can ask.


Peugeot Clef du Vin "Travel" Wine Tool
Peugeot Clef du Vin "Travel" Wine Tool
Price: $50.00
2 used & new from $49.95

2.0 out of 5 stars Fun, but I prefer the Vinturi, September 2, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Summary: This is a interesting gadget, and definitely changes the taste of wine in my blind tastings. With that said, I prefer the Vinturi aerator, which I thought added a nicer depth and is a more fun experience. Subject to that, moderately recommended.

Background: I love wine, and love glassware or gadgets that improve the overall experience. So I was glad to get a chance to review the Clef du Vin wine tool. Basically, this is a short stick with a tiny disk of mostly copper, plus small amounts of silver and gold. The manufacturer has a patent on the material, which is supposed to catalyze wine to simulate aging - 1 year per 50 ml per second. Peugot primarily promotes this as a tester - you can use it on one bottle to see how your wine supposedly will taste in 2, 4, 10 years, or whatever, then store the remaining bottles until peak drinkability, or you can use it now to "age" your wines.

I'm deeply sceptical of the ultimate claim - from what I've read, the process by which wine ages isn't all that precisely understood, but most experts deeply doubt that 10 seconds of exposure to this alloy will produce the same experience as ten years resting in a cellar. (The New York Times' best guess is that it might catalyze some of the sulphur out of wine, which might improve flavor but isn't the same thing as aging a wine.)

The only good way to test would be to get a case of wine, do a blind taste test now to compare the exposed glasses to the not-exposed, take careful notes, then drink the remaining bottles on schedule. That test would take several years and a better palate than I have, so for all I know, this works as promised, but I doubt it.

So with all that harrumphing out of the way, here's what I did. I rounded up two friends and three bottles of various wines (a medium priced cabernet, zinfandel, chardonay, and poured three glasses of each. One glass of each I left as is, one I dipped for four seconds, and one I dipped for 10 seconds.

The gadget definitely has an effect. Each of my tasters could correctly identify the three glasses. On the other hand, no one thought that the effect was similar to either ageing or aeration - basically, the wines tasted a little sweeter and possibly less complex the longer the stick was dipped.

If you like wine toys, or are looking for a gift for a wine fan, I think this would be worth a try. But after using it, I'm probably going to leave it in the kitchen drawer. I like using a decanter or a Vinturi aerator a lot - IMHO, those add to the ritual of serving wine and usually improve flavor, but the Clef du Vin didn't seem to change the flavor in a way that I enjoyed, and I'm not confident that it can tell me how long to shelve my wine for best taste.


FRAM CF11182 Fresh Breeze Cabin Air Filter
FRAM CF11182 Fresh Breeze Cabin Air Filter
Price: $16.46
10 used & new from $14.94

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Fit for a 2010 Insight, August 29, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This fit a 2010 Honda Insight perfectly. The only difference was that in the OEM model, the "this side up" side faces the cabin, while in the Fram model, it faces to the side, and the unlabeled side faces the cabin.


Paper Mate Clearpoint Mix and Match 0.7MM Mechanical Pencil Starter Kit
Paper Mate Clearpoint Mix and Match 0.7MM Mechanical Pencil Starter Kit
Price: $11.05
2 used & new from $5.20

2.0 out of 5 stars Does What It Says, But Why?, August 25, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This product is exactly what is described, but unless you get a great price, I would recommend a colored variety pack instead.

It's basically one mechanical pencil with a fine (0.7mm) tip, no replacement lead, and a set interchangeable colored tops and erasers. You can pick which eraser you want to go in which top, so you can color coordinate, but it seems wasteful - presumably you're eventually going to use all five erasers, so why not include a second body and a container of replacement leads.

It seems a lot simpler just to get a multicolor variety pack, or to buy one nice pencil with some replacement erasers and leads. This isn't really one thing or the other - it might be fun for a middle school kid who likes customizing, but even then not for more than several minutes.


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