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Flash Furniture XU-DG-6H3B-SLAT-BAR-NATW-GG Hercules Series Black Slat Back Metal Restaurant Bar Stool with Natural Wood and Seat
Flash Furniture XU-DG-6H3B-SLAT-BAR-NATW-GG Hercules Series Black Slat Back Metal Restaurant Bar Stool with Natural Wood and Seat
Price: $64.76
34 used & new from $63.02

5.0 out of 5 stars An Easy Five Stair Chair That Is Study AND Attractive (and Well Priced, as Well), April 27, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is an exceptionally sturdy and attractive chair. I purchased it to use with a "standing desk," and it works perfectly for that purpose. It is so sturdy because it is all welded metal (except for the wood seat). Not a squeak or a rattle, and I don't expect one anytime soon. Incredibly study. Comfortable, too. It comes in a number of colors and combinations, some with pads, some without. I purchased the non-pad version so I can switch out pads over time. And looking at it's price, it is an exceptional bargain, too. Now that I have it in person, I would have paid twice as much for it. I give this a complete five star rating.

Note:
Another nice touch is that the chair, because it's frame is welded metal, comes fully assembled (in a huge box). Al you need to do to compete the construction is screw four screws in to hold the seat in place. Every part of the chair came wrapped in styrofoam sheet padding, a really nice touch. The box, too, is as study as the chair itself, so no shortcuts taken. This chair is a delightful bargain in a day when so much junk is on the market.


Slang: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
Slang: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
by Jonathon Green
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.95
49 used & new from $5.75

5.0 out of 5 stars Want to Know the Origins of Slang? This is Your Ticket!, April 21, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is one of the most recent "Very Short Introduction" releases from Oxford, a series now numbering well into the 400's. I have about 20 or so of them, and most of them are extremely well done. "Slang" doesn't disappoint at all: even the opening pages, explaining the derivation of the word "slag" itself is completely fascinating. The book is clearly and well written, yet has a scholarship backing it that makes it very worth while for anyone who is interested in words, word use, dictionaries, and lexicons. On the other hand, you might just be someone who is interested in the subject, and with no background and a little effort, you can wade right into this text and learn all kinds of things about slang that you would have never imagined. It is certainly an excellent addition to the "Very Short Introduction" series, and I have no hesitation whatsoever in giving it a five star review.


Private Document Box bordeaux +++ STORAGE BOX +++ Quality made by Semikolon
Private Document Box bordeaux +++ STORAGE BOX +++ Quality made by Semikolon
Offered by brandnooUS
Price: $26.90

5.0 out of 5 stars They Are Not Cheap. But They Are GORGEOUS!, April 20, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
These stylish boxes from Semicolon are absolutely gorgeous. They are suitable for packaging gifts, storing papers, and just about anything you want. They are constructed to very high standards, with flat surfaces, excellent adhesion of the color components, and perfectly squared corners. They have highlight linings around the rim of the upper opening, and are lined inside, as well, with the same type of paper. Although the construction is from cardboard, it is a high grade cardboard that should hold up well under normal use (and as long as you don't try to put a bowling ball, or something as heavy, inside). The larger ones are topped off with a decorative pull tab and a band that keeps the lid from falling backwards when fully opened.This one is a rich red/maroon color that is just lovely, and easily could sit in any type of room regardless of how fancy. Yes, they are pricey, but they are simply lovely, and will serve in all types of applications. I'll probably be getting some more in different colors and shapes for all kinds of uses. Five stars!


The Evils of Revolution (Penguin Great Ideas)
The Evils of Revolution (Penguin Great Ideas)
by Edmund Burke
Edition: Paperback
83 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Edmund Burke's Abridged Thoughts on the Subject of "Revolution", April 20, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Edmund Burke was not only a great thinker, he was a marvelous writer. Although he is more famous for his still-standard reference work, "Reflections on the French Revolution," this text, "The Evils of Revolution" is a wonderful read, written by Burke to a French friend living in France at the time (the same scenario as when he wrote the "Reflections on the Revolution in France), and conveys a mountain of well thought-out and reasoned arguments on the subject. It is an entry point into both his own philosophy, but also to a day an age when people like Burke wrote in a manner and style that is almost non-existent today.

In a sense, this book could be viewed as an abridgment of the larger, more famous work, but it makes it no less worthy a read. You may not agree with all Burke has to say (after all, the French Revolution was essentially responsible for the right-left split in politics that continues until this day), and so your political outlook will align or not align with Burke at various points. But nevertheless, this is a highly thoughtful, often nuanced, and always deeply reasoned and impassioned plea against the dangers of revolution in ANY content (not just France).

Much of what Burke has written has proven to be true. Even in France, a wonderful country that I call my second home, the split caused by the French Revolution remains unresolved. Burke's writings could have been very helpful at the time the event occurred had it been heeded. I highly recommend it. Five stars.


Badoit Naturally Sparkling Mineral Water (1L)
Badoit Naturally Sparkling Mineral Water (1L)
Offered by Zorba Online
Price: $20.78
2 used & new from $10.79

5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Beverage. Period., April 19, 2016
Do you like sparkling water, but find that the more famous brands are too strong, and burn your throat when you drink it? Badoit is your answer. I've been drinking this water for the past twenty years, and without question, it is my favorite sparkling water. And that's saying a lot, because I've tried an awful lot of the many different brands over the years.

I first tried Badoit in about the year 2000, on a trip to Paris with my wife. I instantly liked it. In fact, so much so that, whenever we return to France, one of the first things we do is run right over to MonoPrix and pick up two large six packs of Badoit and two small six packs. We go through it in hideous quantities throughout our trips, and actually prefer it to most other beverages. I think the thing that makes it special is that it has just the right amount of air content, with the bubbles being very, very small, much smaller than the more famous brands in the US, and much less "burn" during drinking . So, you can drink this stuff in most quantity and enjoy its smoothness, yet still have that little "fizz" that makes it refreshing. It's truly probably my favorite drink of any type.

According to the labels, the water is pure sourced from a specific région ( St. Galmier) in France, and has no added or injected content. I suspect that may be true, due to the strict rules concerning labeling that are in force within France. By the way, there is terrific, short write up on the background and chemical composition of the water on Wikipedia.

The only bad thing? In the US, this water is very expensive, due to it's limited transfer to North America, as opposed to other more famous French and Italian drinking waters. In France, a large six pack (that is, six one-liter bottles) will only run you about four or five Euros, which is about six American dollars. So, put in on your list for your next trip (or first trip) to France. It's an amazing beverage.


Ensign Peak Toiletry Travel / Shaving Bag, Black
Ensign Peak Toiletry Travel / Shaving Bag, Black
Offered by Sacks & Such
Price: $16.99

5.0 out of 5 stars High Quality, Light, Inexpensive, and Comes in Different Colors ... What's Not to Like?, April 9, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
What's not to like a bout a high quality, lightweight travel bag that only costs about seen dollars? The material of which it is constructed is very strong, like a fine ballistic nylon, and the zipper is both smooth and feels like it will withstand repeated use. A modestly large, flat nylon carry strap is on one end, and will fit all but the largest hands. A side pouch helps keep smaller items separate and handy. I liked this so much that I turned right around and ordered another in a different color to hold other items. So, this case, although classified as a toiletry bag, can really be used for all kinds of uses. Five stars.


iGadgitz Clear PC Hard Back Case Cover for Sony Walkman NWZ-A15 NWZ-A17 NW-A25 NW-A27 8GB 16GB 32GB & 64GB Protective Shell + Screen Protector
iGadgitz Clear PC Hard Back Case Cover for Sony Walkman NWZ-A15 NWZ-A17 NW-A25 NW-A27 8GB 16GB 32GB & 64GB Protective Shell + Screen Protector
Offered by igadgitz_usa
Price: $13.99
2 used & new from $7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The Cure for Your Sony NWZ-A17 Player Case Needs!, March 14, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a very nice hard shell, clear case for the Sony Hi-Res portable player (NWZ-A17) that is so difficult to find a case for. The shell is highly transparent and glossy, which really accentuates the look of the somewhat less-than-desirous painted surface that Sony, for some inexplicable reason, chose to put on a $300 player. The player snaps into place, and the fir it perfect. There are cut out for the mechanical buttons on the side, as well as for the lanyard string opening on the bottom right of the player. Unfortunately, the front mechanical buttons are not covered, but that is likely more that you really can't cover these with a hard shell design. The case does, however, come with a removable screen protector, and, when coupled with the price, is truly a five star deal.

Note:
I've purchased a few items now from iGadgitz, and they have been great each time. Shipping is fast, and when I had a customer service issue, I was answered immediately and helpfully. Great company to buy from.


Electrolux UltraFlex Canister Vacuum
Electrolux UltraFlex Canister Vacuum
Price: $399.99
21 used & new from $319.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Vacuum Cleaner with Superior Performance, Light Weight, and Operates Very Quietly, March 13, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Wow, this is truly a remarkable vacuum cleaner. It is my third Electrolux. The first was when I was a child, was built out of steel, and would have likely withstood running over by a car before damage (even the head was made of steel and aluminum, and the canister had no wheels, instead using the stainless steel "sleigh" design that you see on industrial vacs), and the second was (we still have it) the innovative "Oxygen" model which was, and still is, a highly impressive vacuum in terms of its cleaning power, overall design, HEPA filtering, and general ease of use.

This one, however, blows it away (no pun intended). At nearly only half the weight, this one works as well, if not better, than the Oxygen model, retains the HEPA filter, has a better electric beater bar, and comes with a much improved bare floor accessory that has a hinged assembly, wheels, and integrated fixed-bristle brush design. And QUIET ... this thing makes noise, but it's nothing like other vacs I've used, and you can even carry on a conversation while using it.

The design is exceptionally cute. It looks like a droid out of Star Wars, but if it didn't work well, that would not matter. The parts and assembly quality appear first-rate (mine is made in Hungary, and it feels and looks like a German-built device, just like the Oxygen one, which was built in the Czech Republic). A really nice and thoughtful design is that the handle assembly on the base can be used to pick up the vac to move to a different place in the room, but if you want to carry it up the stairs, you rotate the device 90 degrees, revealing an integrated handle that allows you to carry the device so that the center of gravity is much closer to your body, making carrying up and down the stairs so much easier than before. And, you can store the device on a shelf or other dedicated area using that same technique.

This thing pulls up dust and dirt like I've never seen before. Even the finest particles are captured, and when you are ready to dump the canister, you press the release button on the top of the device, and the whole front canister pops right off. A nice touch, the canister EASILY goes right back in place, something with which I've struggled with before on numerous other devices. This one goes back on every bit as easily as it comes off, and that means less frustration and less time wasted.

Both the power and the cord retractor are engaged by separate foot buttons on the base of the machine. And the cord retractor works very well. After about five years, the cord retractor on my Oxygen model went out, and replacing that part is well over $100, so I hope that will not be the case with this unit, but it works very well and gives no indication that it will fail early.

The brush head is powerful, has four depth settings for different types of carpeting and hard floors, has LED lights to illuminate well in front of what you are vacuuming, and indicator lights for the various position settings.

It's very quiet, very effective, very light, well designed, and built of quality parts. It's only half the price of some of the other European brands that are equivalent to it. How can it be rated as anything less than five stars? An amazing piece of equipment that looks as good as it performs. Vacuuming will never be fun, but this one gets you quite a bit closer to that illusive target ...


Fujinon XF 16mm F1.4 R WR
Fujinon XF 16mm F1.4 R WR
Price: $999.00
12 used & new from $439.00

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Fuji's Best Lenses to Date, March 12, 2016
Trying to be as objective as possible, and speaking as a person who has a pretty extensive amount of experience with most all the Fuji lenses, I can say that this lens is one of the very best Fuji has put out to date (early 2016). This 16mm lens is incredibly sharp, focuses almost instantly, has excellent color rendition, a truly outstanding mechanical build with nearly all metal and glass construction, and, of course, who could overlook its massive F/1.4 aperture that not only drinks in light, but also makes possible all kinds of impressive effects. I fully realize that much of what I am saying here has already been said multiple times by previous reviewers, but I feel there is still value in hearing comments from as many people as possible, and that's why I think it's good that I go ahead and write this review.

First, my "objective" pros/cons list of the Fujinon XF 16mm lens:

PROS
++ Sharp, sharp, sharp images, among the sharpest of any lens I've ever used
++ Near instantaneous focusing
++ Extremely quiet focusing mechanism
++ Beautiful color rendition
++ MASSIVE F/1.4 aperture makes shooting possible in all types of low light settings, plus provides great bokeh
++ Manual focusing ring with clutch mechanism
++ Manual aperture ring (but can be left in automatic, as well)
++ Not really that physically heavy, when one considers the size of the aperture, and the glass needed to support that aperture
++ Outstanding mechanical build, with nearly all metal and glass construction
++ Smoothly operating manual rings
++ Fully weather sealed
++ Specially coated optics

CONS
-- Aperture ring spins too easily (come on, Fuji, why can't you get this addressed on ALL your lenses?)
-- No anti-shake technology (but this may not really be a "minus," since we can argue its addition would add weight, cost, and degrade overall image quality)
-- Pricey (but, again, maybe not, since you can get it on sale twice a year, and it favorably compares with lenses two and three times its price from other manufacturers

"Non-Objective" Comments – My “Impressions”
This lens feels beautiful in the hand. It operates smoothly, is built in Japan, and makes you feel like you are using a real Zeiss or a real Schneider lens (like the ones they used to make in Germany). The lens is basically all metal, like many of the "XF" series lenses are, and you can feel the difference from the second you pick it up. As I say, this baby takes SHARP, SHARP, SHARP photos. It's incredible. There is almost no need for post-processing sharpening in many cases, something I would have never imagined possible. And the colors are beautiful, saturated without going too much with it, which indicates that both the glass design, as well as the optical coatings on the glass components, have been implemented very well. And, in case you might have missed it, this lens focuses so closely that it may be (and you'll have to check me on this) the closest focusing lens in the Fuji lineup. This means the lens can almost be used as a macro lens, and if you like to shoot in museums and want to get close up to items, this may be your ticket.

The color rendition of the photos is just gorgeous; I read one reviewer use the descriptor "cinematic" for this, and I understand what he means. You just have to take the photos yourself and then pull them up on a 4K or Retina screen, and you'll see this characteristic. It’s almost certainly a result of the physical design of the lens components, the few number of elements employed, and the specific type of coating applied to the elements.

It's just simply a terrific lens, worth every bit as much as it costs. It, like all Fuji lenses, goes on sale about twice a year, and when that sale comes, it is usually around 20% off, so that's the time to grab it. But even at retail, this lens compares with lenses at twice or three times its cost from other manufacturers. It's true it does not have anti-shake technology, and Fuji still seems not to have figured out how to make the aperture ring a bit tighter as it should be (shooter, beware! -- check each time you pick up the camera, or you'll be shooting at a fixed F/16!), but the lack of anti-shake really doesn’t matter. With such a HUGE aperture, you'll likely not even need anti-shake technology in most conditions, and some even argue that anti-shake technology can actually slightly degrade image quality in some situations (this is on open debate; I take no position on it). This lens simply takes beautiful images, is fun to use, and is a quality piece of work in an era when so much of our equipment is one step short of junk. (Do you appreciate high quality, Japanese-manufactured equipment that compares with German equipment that is out of your price range? Then these Fuji "XF" lenses—with the XF 16mm right at the top-- are your ticket.)

When you combine its quality, it's lovely 16mm width (24mm equivalent, one of my favorite shooting widths), and its massive aperture, this is a lens that will rightly and certainly take its place at the top of Fuji's lineup. (And that's really saying something, because anyone who has had experience with these Fujinon lenses knows just how good most of them are). Some people just leave it on their camera because they like it so much. It's a five-star item that begs a much higher rating, were it allowed. I use it with an X-T1, but to be honest, I'll use it with my regular X-A1, too, because it will work its magic with both.

I’ve said this in other reviews of Fuji items before, and I feel silly repeating it again, but these items are so impressive that it is simply hard to believe. They are a tad on the pricey side, but not in comparison to what you get. This is true Japanese quality that rivals the best of German brands, but at a much lower price. And that quality shows, not just in the handling and usage, but in the images these devices take. “Five stars” seems hardly adequate at all. If you haven’t tried them yet, do so, and see what you think. I’d be surprised if you didn’t agree.


Scattered Ashes
Scattered Ashes
Price: $18.99
25 used & new from $13.72

5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite, Sublime, Haunting ..., March 11, 2016
This review is from: Scattered Ashes (Audio CD)
With stunning clarity and a pinnacle of human performance, this album, already the recipient of a slew of highly positive reviews by some of the most prestigious institutions that conduct such reviews, this album is truly an amazing piece of art. The performances are so good, and the sonics so well proportioned, that you almost feel like you are floating in air by about the first half-minute of the first track. Its feel is haunting, mesmerizing, almost hypnotic in effect. Another amazing recording job by Linn Records (no surprise there), this recording surpasses the normal limits of recorded sound and transforms one into an other-worldly place of sound, echoes, resonance, and sublime recitation of Latin text to achieve something that is truly unique in recorded music. The album itself is short, consisting of only seven tracks (each by a different author), some of it's background information lost to history, but it doesn't matter. The music is almost "spectral" in nature: it floats, it intones, it weaves a texture of overlapping vocal sound that you have to hear to believe. I purchased the studio master version of the recording directly from Linn Records, but the CD version--particularly if it is listened to with a good audio system, or ripped into lossless format--will yield nearly equal results. "Mesmerizing" is the word that keeps coming back to me, but it is haunting, introspective, and meditative all at the same time. It takes us back to another time, to almost another world, and is truly unique in both its impact and quality. I feel foolish saying "five stars," because this recording is so much more than that. Put on your best headphones and player, close your eyes, and start the performance, and see if you don't have the exact same experience. A truly amazing achievement of both performance and technical recording, you've got nothing like it in your library.


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