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10 Metal Shirt Collar Extenders
10 Metal Shirt Collar Extenders
Offered by Choice Today
Price: $14.99
7 used & new from $10.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Have a Favorite Shirt which has a Collar that has become a Tad too Tight? This is a Good Solution to that Dilemma., June 28, 2015
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This review is from: 10 Metal Shirt Collar Extenders
We've all faced it: the expanding neckline. That 15 1/2" collar that used to fit just right now needs a 16" size, and that means replacing the shirt. But what if your shirt is still in great condition and wasn't cheap, either? This little invention is designed to address that need. You simply insert the extender into the button hole of the collar, and it provides that little bit of extension that may be all you need. It is important to note that this item is not going to make a 15" shirt into a 16 1/2" shirt: it's made for a MINOR size adjustment. And the only reason I give it four stars instead of five is because, while this is great idea, it's not without it's issues. For example, if you look at the photo, you'll see it is made of a spring. That spring is what in part allows for the size extension. But springs PULL. That means that, even though you'll get that little bit of extra size, that spring is also pulling as it does. That means it is not a perfect solution, because that pulling by itself can cause a little discomfort. But for occasional use, and for saving that expensive shirt that you want to get a little more use out of before passing it on to someone else, its great. It's completely invisible under a tie, so you don't have to worry that it will show in any way if you are wearing a tie. They are also inexpensive. They are a bit tricky to get on and off (at least they are for me), but I can easily recommend these for the uses I've outlined above.

DiMeCard-SD: SD + microSD Memory Card Holder (credit card size holder, writable label)
DiMeCard-SD: SD + microSD Memory Card Holder (credit card size holder, writable label)
Offered by DiMeCard USA
Price: $9.95
9 used & new from $9.95

4.0 out of 5 stars A Handy Little Device for Storing Micro SD and Standard SDHC/XC Cards, June 28, 2015
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This device is pretty good for storing a small handful of SD memory cards, particularly micro SD cards. The reason why it favors the micro SD format is because it provides four slots for micro SD cards, and only two for the standard SDHC/XC format. It's find of nice idea, which is a small, credit card-sized shape that you simply insert the cards into for storage. As anyone who has more than one micro SD cards, keeping track of these little guys can be tricky because they are so physically small. This little card addresses that question in exactly the manner in which you see illustrated in the photo.

The device seems well made, and there are no squeaks or bending: this is a very stiff, and ostensibly, strong piece. It would be perfect for taking on trips, but equally useful for just managing cards at home. It's small size and weight makes it a pretty handy device for both settings. Why four stars, instead of five? Just a minor quibble: getting those little rascals back out of their slots can be tough (unless you have a decent length of fingernail, and then it's not an issue). I would have liked to have seen each slot spring loaded and lock, so that when you push the card in, it locks into place, and then to remove, pressing on it to have the spring push it out (a design you see on many computers and other devices). But this would have added cost to the device, for sure, and probably a bit of weight, too, so it really may not be that big of an issue with which to be concerned. But for storing these types of cards, I have no problem recommending it.

Joseph Haydn: The Complete Symphonies
Joseph Haydn: The Complete Symphonies
Offered by Little Harry's Music
Price: $49.24
38 used & new from $41.97

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Papa" Haydn Comes Alive in this Lovely Set Not to Missed, June 26, 2015
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There is no denying that individuals who have purchased the various sets of complete Haydn symphonies recording cycles have somewhat strong feelings about which are best. I have a number of these, and have particularly wallowed in both Dorati's groundbreaking cycle, but Fischer's, as well, and have to confess that each have individual strengths and weaknesses. The "even money" among reviewers does tend to favor the Dorati cycle for any number of reasons, and I, too, have so enjoyed his cycle over the years.

I will also have to say that this set by Davies and the Stuttgart Orchestra, and released by Sony, is just a wonderful addition to this growing collection of recordings. There are a whole number of characteristics that argue in its favor: it's recording quality is superb and modern, the tempo of most pieces is neither too fast nor too slow, and, lets face it, at $50 for the entire set, it is more than reasonably priced. Any Haydn lover is going to have strong opinions about conducting styles, tempo, etc., etc., but I can easily say--and particularly so for those new to the Haydn symphonies--this is really a set not to be missed. It's sonic characteristics and the performance of the Stuttgart Orchestra combine to make a thoroughly enjoyable "romp" through Haydn's marvelous creations, and I would really recommend it first amongst all the sets for the newcomer. For the individual more familiar with the other previous recording cycles, this comes down to individual tastes, but my own reaction to this set is overwhelming positive. It's like experiencing Haydn "anew," and doing so with much more modern recording technology than many of the other cycle recordings. (Many of my older Haydn recordings, though still among my favorites, tend to be shrill and harsh at points: this Sony recording is almost devoid of any such harshness or shrillness, which is really great.)

So, for my own view, I easily give this a five star review, and, again, if you are new to Haydn or his symphonies, this is one of the best entry points I can recommend. The wonderful price makes it even all the more positive. Papa Haydn shines forth in these recordings, and it has my unreserved vote! It's a great way to learn and enjoy Haydn's symphonic works, and even if you are a seasoned Haydn aficionado with strong opinions about various recordings, there will be plenty here to make it worth your while.

Some of the other complete recording cycles:
Haydn: Complete Symphonies - Dorati
Haydn: Complete Symphonies - Fischer
Haydn: Complete Symphonies - Naxos

Life & Works of Chopin
Life & Works of Chopin
Price: $35.99
31 used & new from $6.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Siepmann Turns His Attention to Chopin, June 23, 2015
This review is from: Life & Works of Chopin (Audio CD)
Siepmann's treatment of the life and works of Chopin is simply one of his best out of the set he has made (Bach, Brahms, Mozart, etc.). We are lead from the early background of the child prodigy, including his birth in Poland (to a French father and a Polish mother), the state of European affairs at that time, his early hints of ability, and then hid first public write-up at age eight, where it was already beginning to be realized that there was something special about this boy. As with all his recordings, Siepmann does a wonderful job of contextualizing each period of the composer's life with works being written at that time, so you build an unfolding understanding of the composer's development over time. I would have to say that this particular production uses especially well selected pieces to play within the narration, which, as with his others, Siepmann wrote himself. This would be a wonderful set to give to someone not yet familiar with the works of Chopin, because the interspersed pieces are long enough to generate interest in the complete pieces. Siepann's narration, too, is splendid, he being blessed with a wonderful speaking voice, and when coupled with his expertise of the piano cultivated over decades, results in a thoroughly enjoyable and informative set. Yes, it is expensive. But it is worth every cent. You'll likely want to replay the set over and over to learn the inns and outs, and then you are on good footing to move on to experience the composer more.

When you want to dive into Chopin, I can highly recommend the Deutsche Grammaphon complete Chopin set, which you can now download from Amazon in mp3 format for only nine dollars (!) here: Chopin Complete Edition [17 CD Box Set] (make sure you click on the "mp3" box to get the nine dollar download).

This is another five star production from Siepmann and Naxos. Highly recommended.

Chopin: Complete Edition
Chopin: Complete Edition
9 used & new from $88.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Could There be a Better Way to Enjoy Chopin? It's Hard to Imagine ..., June 20, 2015
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Taken from Deutsche Grammaphon's top rated collection of Chopin recordings, this set, though released a few years ago, is still "the one to beat" due to its magnificent performance and recording characteristics. It's a doorway into Chopin that, on 17 disks, essentially covers all the extant works of the composer. This DG set is a unique, too, in that the recording technology does not "get in the way." From the moment you start, you are immersed in the delightful sounds that are uniquely Chopin's. I think Jeremy Siepmann was probably correct when he said that Chopin wrote music for the piano that Beethoven or Mozart could have never imagined (a great claim to make, but one that, I think, proves itself to be true).

There are at least one other "complete" Chopin sets available today, but this one offers, not only the DG label and an array of the greatest pianists of out times, but also a wonderful accompanying book plus copious written inserts for each of the disks. Recording quality is generally uniformly even, with only a few inconsistencies here and there, nothing that really can be faulted. This is really "plug and play" beauty, an immersive set of such sublime quality that it will always remain an important cornerstone in the classical enthusiast's world. I can't recommend it more highly.

Siepmann said that Chopin, born of a French father and a Polish mother in Poland, was actually "more French than the French," and taught France what piano music could be beyond the grand period dominated by a string of German and Austrian prodigies. It's hard to deny that. To listen to these pieces is more than to listen to simple piano playing: there was something unique, something unusual, something truly special within this man, and the sounds that emanate from the piano in these pieces stand alone among even the greatest of composers. They are beautiful, lovely, surprising, sometimes ticklish, sometimes profoundly sad, often wonderfully optimistic. They are jewels in the crown of written music, nothing short of that.

Definitive Technology SM45 Bookshelf Speaker - Black
Definitive Technology SM45 Bookshelf Speaker - Black
Price: $199.00
10 used & new from $158.92

5.0 out of 5 stars Pop These Puppies into your Mid Range System and be Surprised for a Treat, June 18, 2015
These tiny (and yes, they are pretty small) really pack a wallop that far exceeds what you might expect for a speaker of its size and price. They are not going to outperform your multi-thousand dollar speakers, but at $200 each, they are surprisingly good. The fullness of sound they produce is wonderful, and they actually reach down pretty far, so you may not need a subwoofer at all, unless you really want heavy bass. They are physically attractive, too, both with the face plates off or on. They are finished in a faux wood veneer, but that's to be expected in this price range, and when you couple that finish with the glossy back front (underneath the front speaker grill), they really do look good. I would have to say that, for the price, these speakers are going to be exceptionally hard to beat. They are clear, precise, and punctuated: and if you listen to classical music, they might just be the ticket, since most classical does not reach way down into the depths on most occasions. Don't get me wrong: if you pair these with a powered subwoofer, they will sound better, but then the same can be said for almost any speaker set at any price, because a powered subwoofer relieves the speakers of trying to reproduce all those lower end sounds, allowing the speaker to concentrate on what it does best: mid and high ranges.

The speakers have a high quality connection pair at the back, finished off in burnished bronze/gold color, and they feel well made, as well. Pair them with some Sewell wires, and you're all set to go. Highly, highly recommended for those building a mid range system. Easily a five star item

Life and Works of Liszt
Life and Works of Liszt
by Jeremy Siepmann
Edition: Audio CD
Price: $17.98
30 used & new from $7.89

5.0 out of 5 stars Siepmann Turns his Attention to Liszt, June 17, 2015
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This review is from: Life and Works of Liszt (Audio CD)
Siepemann is amazing in bringing these composers to life. His presentation style, his vocal delivery, and his script (which he writes himself, by the way) are simply first rate. The narration is accompanied by intejected pieces by the composer to illustrate a certain point in the composer's life, and so we can contextulaize a little better when these key pieces were written, and what was going on at that specific portion of the composer's life when the piece was written. This recording on Liszt is shorter than the others Siepmann has made, being only two disks instead of the normal four, but it is nonetheless fascinating. These are not recordings made to the level that is done with, say, The Teaching Company, which dedicates ten to thirty hours on a single composer or musical topic, but they are first rate for introducing a composer, some of his major works, and getting someone interested for the first time. Actually, even as someone who has listened to classical music for many years, I've learned quite a number of new things listening to the Siepmann recordings, and I can't recommend them more highly. These are easy five star products, and yes, I know they are a little pricey, but what you get out of them is truly enjoyable, entertaining, and educational. Recommended for both the beginner and the more seasoned listener!

P.S. My Sipemann, why no "Life and Works" of Handel? I would just love to have you do that, but it seems my dear Mr. Handel always gets "short shrift" by the musical community. I'm not really criticizing here, but just asking, please do one on Handel! How wonderful that would be!

Zojirushi NS-LAC05XA Micom 3-Cup(Uncooked) Rice Cooker and Warmer
Zojirushi NS-LAC05XA Micom 3-Cup(Uncooked) Rice Cooker and Warmer
Price: $127.00
23 used & new from $79.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Rice Maker that Opens Up All Kinds of Possibilities, Makes it Simple, and Reduces Cooking Costs, as Well, June 16, 2015
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This is an amazing rice cooker. In the United States, most of us have experience with rice that is to say, well, spotty, at best. This is what has led us to "instant" rice, because of the difficulty of making rice correctly (and without too much fuss). Well, all I can say is to chime in with the many others who swear by this rice maker, because it does both: it makes amazing rice, and it does it without almost any apparent effort. You just measure in the correct amount of rice using the supplied cup, pour in water up to the indicated line within the bowl, shut the lid, and flip it on. About 45 - 60 minutes later, you'll have a perfect serving of rice, better than you can make it on your own in a pot.

But that's not all. Due to the manner in which this unit seals, and it's use of thermometric feedback which measures temperature throughout the cook cycle, you can actually leave the rice in the bowl all afternoon, and it will still be perfect. It's really quite amazing, and I was totally unbelieving until I tried it out myself. But it actually works. It's really quite amazing. Now, to folks in Asia, there is no breakthrough here (Sony, after all, made their first rice maker right after World War II). But to those of us over here on the other side of the globe, a device like this can seem completely amazing, and now you can make rice anytime with little effort. And it makes all types of rice: white, brown, wild, and so on. The device measures temperature and other settings to make things come out correctly regardless of the rice type.

It's a tad expensive. However, if you think of how much rice you can easily and simply make with it, you'll be making rice more often, and you'll actually be cutting down on your food bill because you are making your own rice. And it opens a whole world of possibilities of rices you would never before try, because of their complexity. It's as simple as pie now, and even with the exotic rices, you'll still be saving money.

I can'r recommend this device more highly. It's an amazing cooking tool that, if more people in the US knew about, it would be constantly out of stock. This is a six star device out of five. No Kidding.

Sunbeam 2013-912 Xpress Heat  Microplush Heating Pad for Quick Pain Relief,  Extra Large (12" x 24"),Olive
Sunbeam 2013-912 Xpress Heat Microplush Heating Pad for Quick Pain Relief, Extra Large (12" x 24"),Olive
Price: $37.32
16 used & new from $34.42

4.0 out of 5 stars Good Quality Heating Pad, June 16, 2015
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This is adequate heating pad that is built with a good level of quality, and a nice control panel on the cord. It does appear to be a product that should last for some time. It operates well, warms up quickly and has 1 "plush" side and one not so plush side. The only reason I am rating four stars is because I wish it would warm to a slightly greater degree. I know that we have to be careful with heating pads so as not to scald the skin, but I feel that this unit could probably stand to go a little warmer at the top end and still be within a good safety range.

The control on the electrical cord has a backlit readout for both intensity and a timer function. The readout is clear and large, and most people, even more elderly folks who might have a little trouble with seeing up close, should not have trouble seeing the readout. It's not too bright, either, which is a plus, since sometimes I use this at bedtime, and bright lights are pretty annoying when trying to fall asleep.

So, overall, it is a very well-built heating pad, and in spite of my wish that it were a bit warmer and a bit warmer on the high setting, I'm glad I got it. Four stars.

Delta Faucet RP5836 Tub Spout Pull-Down Diverter, Chrome
Delta Faucet RP5836 Tub Spout Pull-Down Diverter, Chrome
Price: $20.77
14 used & new from $17.14

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Replacement for Delta Pull-Down Spout, June 15, 2015
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Installation on this spout was so simple that I had to laugh. My current spout, which I must admit is the same model and make, although working, was showing signs of its age with marks, lack of shine, and other peculiarities. So, I thought I would give it a chance and try to replace the spout with this new unit not knowing what I was getting into. It turns out that for this particular model the spout literally screws into place onto the pipe is protruding from the wall, and so all I had to do was take the old spout and gently turn it counterclockwise until it started to give, and then continue turning it until it spun completely out of place. I then took the new spout and reverse the procedure, turning clockwise until the spout was firmly and fully set in place.

This new spout looks great, and works great as well, but like most things today, it is not made of metal, but of a chrome plated plastic. That may or may not matter, but it does mean that when you are working with it you must be careful not to crack it by turning it too harshly or turning it too far. Once it's in place however you cannot tell the difference between it and a solid chrome piece. It has made quite a difference in the way my bathtub appears. Five stars.

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