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Customer Reviews: 419
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Helpful Votes: 1967




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Jeffrey N. Fritz "Nikon Jeff" RSS Feed (Morgantown, West Virginia)
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Jack Post  KN-22W-JE Knollwood Classic Wood Rocking Chair, Gloss White
Jack Post KN-22W-JE Knollwood Classic Wood Rocking Chair, Gloss White
Price: $101.57
14 used & new from $72.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Not Your Grandma's Rocker, October 25, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Jack Post KN-22W-JE Knollwood Classic Wood Rocking Chair went together quickly and the instructions were acceptably clear. Be aware, however, that the chair is packed in styrofoam that crumbles into little chunks when you remove the chair from the packaging. I'm not sure how environmentally friendly this packaging would be, but it's definitely not clean home friendly.

The construction requires wood glue but the glue is not supplied. Construction requires a rubber mallet but that also isn't supplied. Let's face it, not everyone has a rubber mallet in their kitchen toolkit drawer. If you need something other than ordinary tools those should be supplied--even if it's as common as wood glue.

Their are a number of manufacturing imperfections like a split in the vertical wood slat. The finish is okay, but definitely not top quality. That said, the chair does look great--just like Grandma's rocker. Sadly it sure isn't built like her rocker and that's a shame.


Pinzon 6-Piece Cosmo Pro Towel Set, Baltic Teal
Pinzon 6-Piece Cosmo Pro Towel Set, Baltic Teal
Price: $24.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Towels That Feel Soft, Wash Well, and Hold Their Color, October 21, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I am far from a towel connoisseur, but I can't see much to complain about with the Pinzon 6-Piece Cosmo Pro Towel Set. The towels are soft and they wash well. They are nice looking and appear to hold their colors. There isn't much more than you can ask for or expect in a towel set, so I am satisfied with them.


Eton Blackout Buddy H20 The Always-Ready Water-Activated Emergency Light, 3-pk (ARCBBH2010W_TRP)
Eton Blackout Buddy H20 The Always-Ready Water-Activated Emergency Light, 3-pk (ARCBBH2010W_TRP)
Price: $22.63

3.0 out of 5 stars Handy, Helpful Emergency Light But With Limitations., October 17, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
"Oh, oh, Martha. We've just had a power blackout and I can't see a thing. Where did we leave that flashlight?"

"Harold, look in the top drawer of my night stand."

"Ouch!"

"What happened?"

"I bumped my shin on that durn bedpost."

"Darn!"

"Now what?"

"I found the flashlight but the batteries are dead. Where do we keep the batteries?"

This is probably a familiar situation to you. We've all experienced needing a flashlight only to find that the batteries were no longer good. The Eton Blackout Buddy H2O attempts to solve this. It lasts for a long time in storage and is easily activated with a drop or two of water. That's the pluses. The downsides is that it can only be used once and is too small to give out much light.

If you can live with these disadvantages, the Eton Blackout Buddy H2O might prove useful in your purse, your night stand or your emergency kit.


SKLZ Massage Bar - Soft Tissue Massage Tool
SKLZ Massage Bar - Soft Tissue Massage Tool
Price: $29.99
2 used & new from $29.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Massage Bar That Leaves You On Your Own, October 17, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a wonderful but mysterious product. It is wonderful because it makes my back and thighs feel really good. After a long walk, the SKLZ Massage Bar works wonders in soothing my legs.

It is mysterious because I don't really know how to best use it. I'm sure that it's not that difficult. However, a short booklet telling me how best to use the massage bar would have been very helpful. If that had been included I would have happily given the SKLZ Massage Bar five stars.


In the Wind
In the Wind
Price: $25.47
19 used & new from $17.73

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An SACD Done Right!, October 13, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: In the Wind (Audio CD)
Steve Hoffman got the just released "In The Wind" SACD (Audio Fidelity) by Peter Paul and Mary right. Perhaps, the master survived the years well enough that it didn't need much playing around. (All the flaws of the original recoding are left in place--and that's a good thing. Hoffman even left the studio rumble in place at the end of "All My Trials"--thanks for the restraint, Steve!)

I am sure that it helped that the recording was very well done in the first place. It was recorded at Sound Masters in New York by Bill Schawartu (who also did the original stereo mix.) The guitars are clear and clean. The bass isn't overdone. The vocals are crisp and smooth except for Mary Travers who tended to overload any mic they put on her. (What a powerful voice!)

My reference for judging the SACD is a few generations away from the master but good enough to judge the SACD mix against. It's perhaps my favorite PP&M album, so I have several other versions. I have the vinyl, the 4-track tape and yes, the CD. (Multiple copies of the same album--just as the record companies want it!)

This mix is on a par with the four-track and superior to both the vinyl and the CD. (As might be expected with the limitations of vinyl and the subpar source material too often used by the distributors when they re-release albums.)

The proof of the pudding was not my ears but Minnie, our dog. As soon as I put the PP&M SACD on she came into the room. She promptly jumped up on the chair, turned herself towards the speakers and appeared to be listening. (Her ears even went up between tracks.) There is no better recommendation!


De Niro: A Life
De Niro: A Life
by Shawn Levy
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $23.35

2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too Much De Niro -- Too Little De Niro, October 5, 2014
This review is from: De Niro: A Life (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Editors tend to like non-fiction books that are long. Very long. As a published author I have had editors tell me that they loved the manuscript, but couldn't I add another 50 or 70 pages. Manuscripts that are concise, short and to the point don't really meet with their expectations.

And that is the biggest flaw in "De Niro: A Life" by Shawn Levy. Instead of a biography that deals with the development of one of film's most interesting actors you get a tome that drones on and on. Even worse, it takes long detours into areas that add little to the understanding of what makes Robert De Niro, well, De Niro.

I am used to reading books that run long. But this book was too much for even me to finish it. I'm not even 100 pages into the book and, honestly, I don't know if I'll ever finish it. Perhaps we'll get a condensed version--a Cliff's Notes version--of the book. That would be nice because I really do want to learn more (relevant) information on this elusive and interesting actor.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 17, 2014 5:24 PM PDT


Black and Decker TO1303SB 4-Slice Toaster Oven
Black and Decker TO1303SB 4-Slice Toaster Oven
Offered by Girly Giggles Toy Shop LLC
Price: $59.98
8 used & new from $29.92

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Rate Toaster Oven, October 1, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Black and Decker TO1303SB 4-Slice Toaster Oven does the job and does it well.

It's easy and intuitive to use. It does a first rate job in keeping food warm and delicious. It makes toast as well, and perhaps even better, than a toaster. Plus you can make toast for more than one person at a time. It can brown one or two slices while simultaneously keeping an already toasted bread warm. Try that in a regular toaster!

As for cleaning, nothing could be easier.

There are a ton of toaster ovens out there. Even so, the Black and Decker TO1303SB 4-Slice Toaster Oven is certainly worth your consideration.


The Marriage Game: A Novel of Queen Elizabeth I
The Marriage Game: A Novel of Queen Elizabeth I
by Alison Weir
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.26

4.0 out of 5 stars A First Rate Book: Fiction But Based on Historical Research, October 1, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
"The Marriage Game: A Novel of Queen Elizabeth I" is another great novel from Alison Weir. This is a first rate fictional account of what could well had been Queen Elizabeth's real life. Although the work is fiction, it is based on historical research done by the author. This kind of extensive research is quite refreshing in a fiction work. "The Marriage Game: A Novel of Queen Elizabeth I" is a first rate book that I enjoyed very much.


Bose Solo 15 TV Sound System, Black
Bose Solo 15 TV Sound System, Black
Price: $449.00
12 used & new from $449.00

20 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent TV Sound System, but Missing HDMI and Other Expected Features, September 27, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I love hearing good audio from my television and usually wind up dedicating a receiver or amplifier to supplement the subpar internal sound systems found in most TVs. Therefore, the Bose 15/10 TV Sound System intrigued me as an all-in-one unit that could provide improved television audio.

Removing the Bose 15/10 from the shipping box, one quickly realizes that this is a large unit. Don't think "small" because the unit is over two feet wide, over a foot deep and over 1/2" high. It weighs in 12 pounds. In other words, it's manageable but big and hefty.

Included with the system is a remote control (more on this shortly,) the batteries for the remote, the documentation (nicely printed, easy to read and understand,) a power cord, and a series of connecting cables.

The unit supports both analog (RCA) and digital (Toslink and coaxial) audio connections. Why Bose decided to omit HDMI is a mystery. Clearly this is a major omission on Bose's part as virtually every HDTV and most every home theater device supports at least one HDMI jack.

While an analog RCA and an optical Toslink cable are included, the coaxial digital cable is only provided in the European version. And why is that? Does Bose think that everyone in the United States uses an optical connection for digital audio? If so, they are absolutely wrong. In fact, my HDTV has only analog and coaxial audio outputs. There is no Toslink output what-so-ever. Fortunately, I had a spare coaxial digital cable laying around and I used that.

It appears that the difference between the 15 and the 10 in the model number is tied to the remote control that is supplied with the system. The Solo 15 remote is significantly larger and more capable than the Solo 10 remote. Even so, the 15 style remote that came with my system is far from universal. It can't tell, for example, that my cable box changes the channel while my TV controls the source input. That forces me to press one the remotes's six source buttons prior to issuing any commands to a specific device. That is awkward and should be unnecessary. In addition, although apparently using the correct codes, the remote was unable to bring up the cable box's channel guide.

So, how is the sound from the Solo 15/10? After all, if the sound is not significantly better than the TV's own internal speakers, the device just becomes a very expensive TV stand. Reasonably good as long as you don't expect the Solo 15/10 to compete with your $5,000 home theater AV system. (Please do keep it out of the so-called "dialog" mode. In that mode the audio sounds roughly equivalent to a cheap radio--tinny and tiny.) And keep in mind that this is only a stereo audio system. It won't produce Dolby Digital or DTS surround audio. For that you really do need to go with another sound system.

Whether the Bose 15/10 TV Sound System makes sense for you depends on the quality of your TV's internal audio system, the amount of room that you have to offer it and your pocketbook. The device lists for nearly $400 and, although Amazon discounts it, the price is still roughly equivalent to what you would pay for a basic, low end home theater receiver. If Bose had managed to offer the Solo 15/10 TV Sound System at half the current price, they may have had a winner.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 22, 2014 10:11 AM PDT


Southern Enterprises Holly and Martin Ottico 3-Piece Tables
Southern Enterprises Holly and Martin Ottico 3-Piece Tables
Price: $199.99
5 used & new from $199.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Tables, Easy Construction, But Built With Horrid Hardware, September 14, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I wanted to give the Southern Enterprises Holly and Martin Ottico 3-Piece Tables a good review. In fact, I was looking forward to writing a positive review. A four-maybe even a five star review.

So much of the furniture that we have ordered from Amazon over the years has turned out to be poorly designed and/or poorly manufactured. The Southern Enterprises Holly and Martin Ottico 3-Piece Tables seemed to be a refreshing change. The looked good even in the box, they went together extremely well, and the well illustrated instructions were not only helpful they were polite--even going to far as to use the word "please."

It was only after everything was together that I discovered that the Southern Enterprises Holly and Martin Ottico 3-Piece Tables had sadly followed the trend of all the other furniture that has come from Amazon.

While the nearly completed tables were stacked I began tightening the legs (per the directions.) I tightened the hardware firmly but took care that it was not overly tight. However, in the process the gray table literally fell part. It didn't take long to find the cause.

Instead of using high quality hardware, these tables are manufactured with the soft aluminum hardware so typical of the Chinese junk on the market today. No piece of furniture, no matter how pretty or how nice it is, can hold together with such poor hardware. This was particularly an issue with the cam-locks--and essential piece of hardware in any furniture. You can literally take a knife and carve them--the aluminum is that soft!

I had to raid my junk box and replace every cam-lock with a one that was much stronger. Otherwise this furniture didn't stand a chance of lasting more than a few months.

If only Holly & Martin had specified better quality hardware these stackable tables would have been close to perfect. But, alas, this is not the case and that's a shame especially with stackable tables this nice and this useful.


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