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Customer Reviews: 471
Top Reviewer Ranking: 613
Helpful Votes: 6100




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Michael McKee "mystic cowboy" RSS Feed (Port Townsend, WA United States)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

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Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop (L5V-00001)
Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop (L5V-00001)
Price: $79.99
75 used & new from $54.95

4.0 out of 5 stars The keyboard helps my wrist pain - The mouse is worthless with my Mac, July 28, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this for probably the same reason that most people buy an ergonomic keyboard; my wrist hurt when I typed. The first good news is that the shape of the keyboard works very well to relieve strain on my wrist. The pain has steadily diminished over the last three weeks. The second positive is that, when I get properly aligned with the keyboard, I can type faster, somewhere between 5-10 WPM. That's a great and unexpected benefit. I also like the clicky action of the keys. The number pad is nice to have as I have to run a couple of spreadsheets.

On the down side, the mouse doesn't work well at all with my Mac Mini. The pointer jumps and the mouse is basically unusable. I've tried setting my system preferences to increase or decrease the tracking speed. No dice.

I've also found that I have to deliberately place my hands on the keyboard, and sit directly in front of it. I can't just turn and quick type a few words on an IM or email. This is probably a good thing, ergonomically. It improves my posture, and forces me to type with proper form. It's just an adjustment I've had to make. Bottom line - I got what I needed for my repetitive use problem and the keyboard seems well made. Too bad about the mouse.


Alaska Bear - Extra Large Size 100% Pure Silk Eye Mask Sleeping Mask Eyeshade(Black) - BETTER than SATIN, COTTON or POLYESTER materials - NO 'odor' or dyes problem
Alaska Bear - Extra Large Size 100% Pure Silk Eye Mask Sleeping Mask Eyeshade(Black) - BETTER than SATIN, COTTON or POLYESTER materials - NO 'odor' or dyes problem
Offered by AccMarket
Price: $9.99
2 used & new from $9.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for me but terrific customer service, July 24, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Original review:
Any product that gets worn has to fit properly. The Alaska Bear Sleep Mask doesn't fit my head well. The construction seems fine, especially for the price. Many sleep masks go to $20 and don't do a better job of blocking light. The material is very soft and silky.

My problem is that the mask pulls tight over my eyes and exerts uncomfortable pressure. The thin strap tightens the mask on my face, and since it is located in direct line with the eyes that's where it's tightest. The Alaska Bear does not have any kind of eye cups to redirect the pressure around the eyes. If you don't mind pressure on your eyeballs, this might be a good alternative. If, like me, you don't like that pressure, look elsewhere.

P.S.
The Alaska Bear people pay attention to reviews. Unasked for, the company sent me a refund for the mask along with a very nice note from Lily. I've added a star to the review to reflect the prompt and unexpected refund. I would not have sent the mask back because I realize that no product will fit everybody, and I did not think that the sleep mask was defective, just not right for me.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 25, 2014 1:02 AM PDT


10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works--A True Story
10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works--A True Story
Offered by HarperCollins Publishers
Price: $10.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars one man's story, July 14, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
First, the 10% happier phrase is a sort of slogan. It's Dan Harris' way of dealing with his unease with describing meditation, a way of not sounding like some hippy rather than any objective measurement or mindfulness tradition.

The book follows Harris' trip to and following mindfulness meditation. Eventually. The mindfulness starts somewhere between one third and one half the way into the book. The firs part of the book could have been greatly condensed. We're taken through stories that add little if anything to the narrative. There is also a lot of name dropping and NYC intellectual cynicism and disdain for anything that smacks of touchy feely or "sock and sandal" wearing new agers or baby boomers.

At the 52% point Harris gets to his first meditation retreat and the book gains more focus. The story starts to revolve around the author's attempts to put mindfulness practice into practical practice. That's when the book gained interest for me and the part that redeemed the book for me. I really don't care how difficult Peter Jennings was to work for but how mindfulness and metta practice worked in someone's life. That is here, but I'd suggest skimming the first part of the book if your interest is similar to mine. I feel this is a 3.5 start book. Normally I rate up but the overuse of the term bu-ju (buddhist jewish) got me. It's very clever. I was taken with it the first time I heard it, not in the book, but Mr. Harris is like that annoying dinner guest who says something clever that's appreciated the first time through, but wears the thing out after the third iteration and by the tenth or twelfth repetition has become annoying.


Comply Tsx-200 Comfort PLUS Earphone Tips (Black, 3 Pair, Large)
Comply Tsx-200 Comfort PLUS Earphone Tips (Black, 3 Pair, Large)
Price: $21.95
2 used & new from $13.25

5.0 out of 5 stars The best, July 13, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
These earphone tips are simply the most comfortable I've ever used. I've used them for a couple of months and they are holding up well t daily wear. They seal well enough for good sound and the anti wax coating keeps them clean. I'd like them a bit less expensive but I will gladly replace them when the foam quits working.


DMSO Cream with Aloe Vera Rose Scented -- 4 oz
DMSO Cream with Aloe Vera Rose Scented -- 4 oz
Offered by OxKom
Price: $19.06
10 used & new from $15.33

3.0 out of 5 stars May have helped, July 13, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I used this consistently for over a month, three to four times a day. My forearm hurts a bit less than it did when I started using the cream. Whether the DMSO is responsible there's no way to know. If so the effect is small and slow. There was no immediate lessening in pain. I also got an ergonomic keyboard, which may be the cause of the lower pain level, or it may have been the multiple daily massages that I applied to the sore areas when I rubbed in the DMSO cream.


Epson WorkForce WF-7610 Wireless and WiFi Direct, All-in-One Wide-Format Color Inkjet Printer, Copier, Scanner, 2-Sided Auto Duplex, ADF, Fax. Prints from Tablet/Smartphone. AirPrint Compatible. (C11CC98201)
Epson WorkForce WF-7610 Wireless and WiFi Direct, All-in-One Wide-Format Color Inkjet Printer, Copier, Scanner, 2-Sided Auto Duplex, ADF, Fax. Prints from Tablet/Smartphone. AirPrint Compatible. (C11CC98201)
Price: $179.99
9 used & new from $179.99

4.0 out of 5 stars I am very happy with the WorkForce but a bit annoyed at the setup and connection hiccups, July 8, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Where was this printer/scanner/copier 5 years ago when I was still in business as a graphic designer? I was still using an old HP Laserjet that cost me $1500. If you need the ability to print and scan double page spreads, I can't think of a unit in the price range that will do anywhere near as well.

Printing is good at a graphics business level. This is not a photo quality printer. Comparing the best images I could get out of this against my Canon PixmaPro 100, well, it was no contest. The dedicated photo printer produced richer and more nuanced color on several papers. Still, for someone who doesn't have aspirations as a serious photographer it will probably be more than good enough.

Text print is good, not quite the level of my Brother laser printer, but plenty good enough for business use. Are you seeing a pattern here? This is a very good all round machine that doesn't quite match dedicated, single-use machines. That's not a knock at all. Both my other printers are more expensive than this and much more limited. Print speed is good and I'm very happy with the auto duplexing. 250 sheets of paper is enough for me. If you want more, Epson makes a model for that, too. I've had problems in the past with Epson printers and the print heads drying up if I don't print for a couple of weeks. As I tend to print a lot in bursts and not at all in between that is a potential problem with this printer, especially as I travel a lot now. Network printing should allow me to send a document to print every couple of weeks. I can schedule that on my calendar. That's a kludge workaround, though. It's the reason why my other printers are not Epsons. If you have more regular print needs that may not be a concern.

Scanning is excellent for images. It appears to only scan in jpg or pdf formats. I'd like tiff, but that's another one of those tiny things that don't really detract from my overall excellent opinion of the WorkForce unit. Text scanning is also good, more than good enough for the pdfs to work for conversion to text in Adobe Acrobat. This is a good general purpose document scanner that should handle the vast majority of office needs.

The WF-7610 is large and heavy, but not unreasonably so for what it is. I was actually surprised when I took it out of the box. I can't imagine how it could be any smaller and still handle the paper size that it does.

Why only four stars? It took me over half hour to set the thing up. I use a Mac and it may be easier for Windows, but still... I couldn't get it to work directly through wi-fi and had to initially attach an extra USB cable to get things going. The cable is not included with the printer. After it was set up, I downloaded the iPad app and was able to print directly. That's excellent.

Printing from my Nexus 5 phone was a bit more problematical. I set the printer up and took it to my writing studio, which isn't internet connected. AirPrint from iOs devices simply require a wi-fi connection, which my Mac provided. With Android connections the document seems to have to go through Google's Cloud Print server on the internet. That probably isn't a big problem for most in this connected world, but I deliberately want to be out of touch when I write to minimize distractions.


Mindfulness at Work For Dummies (For Dummies (Psychology & Self Help))
Mindfulness at Work For Dummies (For Dummies (Psychology & Self Help))
by Shamash Alidina
Edition: Paperback
Price: $16.24
50 used & new from $11.74

4.0 out of 5 stars Decent introduction to mindfulness practices in business context., July 7, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Some of the book has directly to do with what has been called mindfulness. Some of it is a rehash of time/value management systems we've seen before with the old concepts incorporated into what the authors call Mindfulness at Work Training (MAWT). I guess one needs to rebrand material in order to be a consultant in the field.

There is a lot of good information here: some brain science, some behavioral methods, some prioritizing, some nicely thought out mindfulness exercises. It's presented in the typical Dummies fashion in a very upbeat manner and in bite sized pieces. What I find interesting is that in the entire book there's almost no discussion of mindfulness before the 1970s and Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder The Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society, and its well known program, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBST). There's also an amusing lack of the term meditation, which is where mindfulness practices originated. Instead, we get 'mindfulness exercises'. I understand that meditation brings up images of granola eating hippies, blissed out on their yoga mats. That's not what hardcore business people want to think about, but the historical and practical links still exist.

I do find the relentlessly upbeat tone of the book unrealistic. Mindfulness practice will not solve all ills. It will not make firing (sorry, downsizing) somebody less painful, regardless of the fact that the situation is presented in the book. Mindfulness training, as it's presented here, is a form of mind fitness. As such it has great value. But as bit of physical fitness will not give me Arnold arms or my wife a Beyonce body. Neither will a bit of mental training steamroll all business problems. It helps, but, as with physical training, mindfulness training has to be practiced diligently, and the more it's used the more it helps. The funny part is that long term, focused mindfulness training may be antithetical to the business productivity model championed by the authors.

This brings to mind a story told by Kabat-Zinn the founder of MBST. He gave a mindfulness training to a high powered Boston Law firm, one of those that requires great dedication by its attorneys in order to advance. After the training, and after the attorneys had practiced for a while, a bunch of them quit. The focus on mindfulness must have shown them that the high achieving, high personal sacrifice, productivity based lifestyle wasn't for them. I wonder what will happen if mindfulness training becomes widespread in business. Will people find that actually paying attention to their actions and motives causes them to opt out of the fast track, or, heaven forbid, need to put ethics first? Something to consider.


Fotga Black 39mm to 49mm 39mm-49mm Step Up Filter Ring
Fotga Black 39mm to 49mm 39mm-49mm Step Up Filter Ring
Offered by fotga-store
Price: $5.49
2 used & new from $4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good value, July 2, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Hey, it works. It's inexpensive. The threads are well machined. What more can I ask?


Pet Naturals Calming for Cats (21 count) 1.11oz.
Pet Naturals Calming for Cats (21 count) 1.11oz.
Price: $4.79
51 used & new from $2.89

4.0 out of 5 stars Some benefit, July 2, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Okay, the cat eats the soft pills and seems to like them. After dosing him before a trip to the vet he seemed a bit more relaxed. It wasn't a huge difference, but every little bit helps.


Buffalo AirStation AC 1200 (AC866 + N300) Dual Band Wireless Router (WHR-1166D)
Buffalo AirStation AC 1200 (AC866 + N300) Dual Band Wireless Router (WHR-1166D)
Price: $49.99
34 used & new from $49.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Decent for the price, July 2, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a current standard wireless router that will run at ac speeds, which my Macbook my Mac Mini and iPad do just fine. I put it in my office and it works well enough. At home I tested the range against my Airport Extreme. The Apple router. I get good reception on my Macbook in our detached garage but none at all when running the AirStation. Not a big deal, I've tried other routers and none have quite the range of the Airport Extreme.

One thing to note: This is advertised as having gigabit speeds on the incoming ethernet port. That's only on the incoming signal. If you live in a place that has fiber optic internet connection, great. Most of us won't need that kind of WAN speed. And the gigabit is only on the incoming port. All the ethernet connections for local network connections are the old 10/100 "high speed" ports. Since my computers and NAS are capable of gigabit ethernet that doesn't help LAN connection speeds at all. This is the first router that offers faster wireless connection than wired. I tested the connection speed by copying my music connection between computers, about 36 GB. The transfer speed timed out to about 300 mbps, much faster than the wired speed of the network.

I've been trying to find a way to password protect the router from access on the setup address (192.168.11.1) but can't seem to find that setting. Since password protection is necessary for accessing the network, that's probably not a security problem.


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