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Customer Reviews: 581
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WayneChicago "ck1" RSS Feed (Fox Valley, Illinois USA)
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Heavy Duty Landmine Total Body Crossfit Workout Core Trainer T Bar Row
Heavy Duty Landmine Total Body Crossfit Workout Core Trainer T Bar Row
Offered by barbells4me
Price: $199.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended for the home gym, and astonishing customer service from Barbells4Me, July 1, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Heavy Duty Landmine from barbells4me is an outstanding compliment to my weight training workouts at home. I had considered one in the past, but thought Landmines were mostly for cross-fit training, which they are. But, for the bodybuilder who enjoys traditional exercises (e.g. squats, overhead presses, etc.), the Landmine is also amazing. It provides just the right amount of stability to perform, say, a one-arm overhead shoulder press, so that I can use more weight than I could with a dumbbell alone. It does not provide the restriction of a Smith machine, which is great; it’s an “in-between” for a free dumbbell and a Smith machine, one could say. It certainly is a compliment to those methods and adds great variety to a workout.

Sure, one could jam the Oly bar end in a corner without a landmine, but it would chew up the corner (or the corner of your power cage) and chew up the end of your Oly bar. Some people throw an old blanket into the corner first, but that is insufficient for protection, especially if one does explosive moves with the landmine. One slip, and there goes the drywall. Also, this landmine, unlike a blanket, need not be used in the can be placed against any flat, solid surface: a flat wall, the side of your power cage, the bottom of a heavy bench, against weight plates on the floor, etc.

This particular device is solid and well-built, as are the other products that I have received from barbells4me (I highly recommend the Calf Block and the Free-Standing Dip Bars from Barbells4Me, available on Amazon, and I have written reviews of those products, too). The shipping weight was 33-pounds, including the box and packaging, so the true device weight is likely around 30-pounds. It was well-packed in a strong shipping box and bubble wrapped (see photo). It easily accepts two Olympic plates, and I use two 45-pound plates on it to add more stability. When the plates are on top of the device, they are held in places by the welded plate pin. Note: when the 45# plates are atop the device, the “corner” cut is underneath the plates, so when one places the device in a corner, it is the plates themselves that will bump the two sides of a corner (not the device). This is, actually, a good thing as it saves the corner (sheetrock, floor molding, etc.) from damage by the metal of the device, if that makes sense. I typically use mine against a flat sidewall of my gym as I have equipment in the corners. With the twin 45-pound plates on it, this Landmine stays nicely stationary against, and without damaging, the flat wall. Many lighter weight land-mines cannot be used on a flat wall.

The mechanism of this device is smooth in all planes of motion. It is not simply a nut and bolt through a hole in the sleeve, but rather, it has a metal rotating bushing, brass, through which the bolt travels. It's quiet and buttery.

As others have mentioned in their reviews, the device, even when weighted (45# plates x2 plus the #30 device = #120), can still shift during use. Placing it against something solid, or in the corner of the workout room, or in the back corner of my powercage, or a flat wall or weight rack, is best. Whether on a concrete floor, a rubber mat, or a rug, it will likely shift and move on you, so best to plan to use it tucked against something.

I had an issue that is mentioned by a couple of other reviewers: my relatively new Body-Solid brand Oly bar end did not fit into the sleeve of the Landmine. Both ends of the barbell would only go into the sleeve about half way, and then would get stuck. It was terrifically difficult to even get the Oly bar back out of the sleeve; it was as if the Landmine sleeve was somehow tapered toward the inner/far end. Here’s the great thing: a simple email to Barbells4Me via Amazon merchants contacts provided me (and the other reviewers who had this issue on Amazon) with complete kindness and care. Roger at Barbells4Me replied to my email that same day. He noted that a few of the sleeves had imperfect measurements as part of the manufacturing process. He understood completely, and offered either a return and refund, or a new sleeve (easily attached in place of the existing sleeve with two bolts and nuts) that has been personally tested by him before shipping. The Landmine is such a great device, I saw that immediately when I opened the box (see photo), and I certainly wanted to keep it, so I asked Roger to please ship me a new sleeve. Boom, 2-Day USPS Priority and the new sleeve is here and it’s a perfect fit for my Oly bar. I mention all of this so that (a) if you get one of those rare sleeves that’s too tight for your bar (assuming your bar is straight; try both ends first), don’t panic, just contact Roger and he will help you, and (b) Barbells4Me, located in NY state, is an honest Amazon seller and it’s reassuring to purchase from them. I have no personal affiliation with Barbells4Me, but am just a satisfied customer of their products.

This product is highly recommended.
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Datexx The Miracle Cube Timer
Datexx The Miracle Cube Timer
Price: $14.20
8 used & new from $12.69

3.0 out of 5 stars True tips from ownership., June 26, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
A couple things might not know without owning this cube timer:

The timer requires 2 AAA batteries, which are not included.

The timer is fairly cheap plastic, sort of a thin plastic, not at all rugged, and if one drops it, it will break. The battery cover is a slide-on, slide-off affair and is, again, thin, so open with care.

There is a one-year warranty mentioned in the package insert; it says to contact the company by an email address provided for instructions on how to ship the device back for a replacement/repair. (note: I would estimate the shipping at around $7 (if the company is in the USA), and thus about half the price of a new device.)

There is a loose “fob’, a tiny weight, inside the device that flops when you move the cube; it is presumably what signals to the cube which side it is upon.

There IS, believe it or not, a small digital countdown timer on the “business end” of the cube--that is, the end that has no number (it is opposite the “0” side and is thus desk-down when the device is not counting, and up on one side when the device is counting). So, one can, in fact, see how much time is left in the countdown at any time during the countdown without pushing a button, but by simply looking at the countdown “clock”.

The device does not tell time.

The device seems accurate.

The device does shut off when one turns it with the “0” side skyward.

Despite the answer to my question on Amazon, there is an on/off switch and the instructions included with the cube are very specific: the unit should be switched to “off” when not in use. (Those that answered my question say they leave theirs on all the time, just on the “0” position, and the battery lasts a long time, one person saying a year).

Although neat, I like the ability to set the time and want a simple to use device, and thus the Polder magnetic slim timer is best for me. (Which has many advantages to this cube, and with a direct input timer setting, I can enter, say, 20 minutes as in five seconds, whereas turning thus cube is one second). Your experience may vary.

Black Mountain Resistance band Handles
Black Mountain Resistance band Handles
Price: $11.58
3 used & new from $9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Lifetime warranty, but cheaper alternatives., June 23, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have BMP bands, and like their customer service, but one of my handles came without BMP logo on it, the other had the logo (both handles have it in the picture). If I have a warranty issue, will they take care of it with no marking whatsoever that it's BMP?

Cayman brand handles are 25% less expensive on Amazin, look identical, and have a lifetime warranty, too. Just a consideration, esp if someone is buying several sets of handles.

Easton YB14S50 S50 Youth Baseball Bat, Red/Black, 26-Inch/16-Ounce
Easton YB14S50 S50 Youth Baseball Bat, Red/Black, 26-Inch/16-Ounce
Price: $19.99
7 used & new from $11.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional home protector that doubles as sporting equipment., June 23, 2015
I'm reviewing this bat for my intended purpose: self-defense. It's the perfect heft and length for a below-average to average size person to wield one-handed (a Goliath might want a Lousville Slugger) during an impromptu early morning skirmish in your master bedroom. The aluminum is firm and will not shatter when cracked against solid objects such as forearms, mandibles, shins and skulls; a wooden bat, should it have an occult imperfection in the ash, might splinter, thereby giving your intended target a rather distinct advantage for the remainder of your altercation.

The simplicity of the unibody design cannot be topped: no moving parts to fail at inopportune times, such as when your attacker has you in a headlock and you are trying to catch the bridge of his unguarded proboscis with blind back-flicks of your bat-holding wrist (your other wrist preoccupied by that claustrophobic space between his clenched bicep and your carotid artery, your wrist's desperate efforts slowly failing to bring your vision back to full-field from its dusky descent into tunneling). A bat is designed to never fail, unlike, for instance, a police blackjack baton with its messy two-piece design of rotating handle loosely bolted perpendicular to thermoplastic baton body. While showy, with repeated wrist flicks moving the baton as quickly as the wings of a nectar-feeding hummingbird, this display of power holds little utility for the pajama-clad homeowner who is about to be choked-out by a stranger in front of his wife and two tearful tykes.

This bat stores conveniently between my mattress and box-spring and I appreciate that it is narrow enough not to cause "princess and the pea" discomfort against my spine during slumber (my ample back-fat perhaps playing an allied role). This gem has a perfect handle-end to allow, during an intruder situation, a rapid grab-and-deploy, like Zorro pulling his sword from a sheath; the handle end-nub and knurling also permit me the hands-on reassurance that I demand of my home defense weapons, a reassurance that has developed into a nightly ritual, immediately after lying down and saying my prayers, of hanging my hand off the edge of the bed, fingertips gently inserted underneath the mattress, to fondle the business end of the bat handle as I drift into the dreamland of sugarplum fairies.

if one of the fairies gets out of line in my dreams (it's usually the drunk one with the club foot), I can right them swiftly with 15 ounces of well-lathed aluminum.

Relax. I jest. No one is going to use this on a sugarplum fairy; it's exclusively for use againsts felonious miscreants who break my front door glass and reach in to jigger my door lock open at 2AM.

This youth-sized aluminum bat--economical, solid, prettily, if rather pansily, painted in pink--is highly recommended for your arm's-reach home arsenal.

I suppose one could hit a baseball with it, too, if so inclined.

HP Pavilion 23cw 23-in IPS LED Backlit Monitor - 23"
HP Pavilion 23cw 23-in IPS LED Backlit Monitor - 23"
Offered by Secure Hardwares
Price: $187.50

4.0 out of 5 stars Streamlined and clean., June 22, 2015
Bought from local box retailer today and I will update this review with use.

First unit, DOA. Plugged in properly and the unit was getting "juice" because a little light on the rear of the unit indicates supplied power, yet, nothing happened when pushed the Power button. Tried everything--hooking it to my MacBook Pro, hitting all other buttons, etc. No go...the screen remained dark as a door. I called HM Tech support, toll-free, and they did answer the phone and tried a couple things, and basically said that it needed to be returned to the store where I bought it. So, yeah, it was toast right out of the box, not a flicker.

Labored to put it back in the box and exchanged it. Next one, same day that I bought the other, no issues. Same power outlet, same set-up, and the thing powered on superbly. I am using it with a MacBook Pro (2012 model) with a mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter. The monitor has one VGA, and two HDMI inputs (note: the older model of this unit, still available, has one each of VGA, DVI-D and HDMI). I had no issues with color or saturation. I needed to adjust nothing but brightness, which was on 90/100 out of the box and I toned it down to 55 for night use (if sun in my window, I go up to about 70). Note that I am not too picky about colors and such as I use this for writing (Word files) and surfing the internet; I do not watch full movies, DVDs, BlueRay, or do film or photo editing on it.

I love that the bezel is invisible, it;s behind the screen somehow. Clean design. Menu buttons are underneath the right side, and are physical buttons (not virtual buttons). The menu works smoothly, easy to navigate.

I do find it low on my desk, so putting it on a riser/lift is a good idea. It does not adjust up and down, it does not do portrait views/swivel or rotation, but the screen does tilt back-and-forth (i.e. angle up and down). It does not rotate, so if one is going to rotate it to show another person things very often, then they would need to invest in one of those 12-inch rotating "Lazy Susan" type things; the base of this is small enough that it would fit on the rotating disc (sold on Amazon). I've seen some pretty expensive monitors (like the Samsung line of higher-end 4K monitors) with some very rickety innate stands, but this one is held on two sides, like the photo, and is stable. I like that, without a single "trunk" under the screen, I can actually use the space under there for USB hub, storing the keyboard when I want it out of the way, etc. The stand clicks into place (rather than screws) and has a button to unhitch it from the monitor, and another to unhitch the silver uprights from the black base; I like this set-up as, without tools, I can simply remove the stand and either store or transport this monitor.

This unit does have the power brick in the center of the two part power cord, not on the computer end or on the plug (there is no "wall wart"). It has no built-in speakers. It is 23-inches, as advertised, and I looked at the 21.5 inch model in the store and that was good too. I bought this one because it was on a better sale, but, honestly, the 21.5 incher was almost identical seeming when sitting in front of the monitor.

I have avoided HP products since they were always middle-grade and, when they announced leaving personal home computing (and then changed their mind) in the Fiorina CEO days, I have never returned. Now, in the Whitman CEO days, perhaps HP is back to some utility. That said, there;s little excuse for a DOA screen.

Overall, quite a bargain for the price, frankly. I will keep my star rating for now, and update in a couple months to report back and change it accordingly. It's a good and clean monitor with a great picture and sturdy design.

Google Drive and Docs In 30 Minutes: The unofficial guide to Google's free online office and storage suite
Google Drive and Docs In 30 Minutes: The unofficial guide to Google's free online office and storage suite
Price: $6.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unnecessary. No tips in this book., June 21, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I'm sorry, but I am an amateur on Google Drive and Google Docs, yet I learned next to nothing from this thin book. It's all quite elementary, and spending the hour that it takes you to read this book to, instead, just peck around in Google Docs will give you better knowledge and sVe you ten bucks for the book. Google has made Docs and Drive so simple, a trained ape could navigate it. If you hit a small glitch, like how to use Docs offline, for instance, just search it on Utube and there are two-minute videos showing everything. Being honest, the things that one might wish to know--can I write a full-novel manuscript (100k words) in Docs; can I make a printable pamphlet in Docs; can I use a pre-made Will, Bill of Sale, etc. in Docs from public templates, etc.---not in the book!


Champion Heavy Duty Leather Dip Belt
Champion Heavy Duty Leather Dip Belt
Price: $40.99
14 used & new from $32.79

5.0 out of 5 stars Great belt., June 21, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Amazing quality. Just use a hammer to smash in the brads as the inner portion is sharp and will chew up your shirt.

Manta Squat Pad
Manta Squat Pad
Offered by #1 Supplement
Price: $32.99
2 used & new from $31.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Fits Rogue Bella Bar, saves my neck! Goliath product less expensive than Manta Ray., June 21, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Manta Squat Pad (Misc.)
Great for high-bar squats. I use a six-foot Bella bar, by Rogue Fitness, due to the smaller size of my home gymnasium. The handle is thinner than a traditional Oly bar (see Rogue website for specs) and yet this device still clips on the bar and stays on it. Due to the thinner Bella bar, it was particularly painful on the spinous processes (spine bones), but this is resolved with this device.

I considered the large foam Squat Sponge pad, the thick one that is contoured, but for five bucks more, this one would last forever, I figured; the Squat Sponge Pad would wear, hold sweat and odor, and might eventually crack, as foam tends to do. I'm glad I chose the Manta by Goliath.

Note that this is the Manta by Goliath, and not the Manta Ray pad. They are almost identical, and I'll let them fight it out in court as to who stole which ideas from whom. All I know is, the Goliath device is twelve bucks cheaper than the other device. Lol. This Goliath product is well-made, will likely last forever, so I'll never own the genuine Manta Ray, it appears.

This has thin foam lining the inside, where it touches the skin. Whether it makes a difference over the competitors Manta Ray blue plastic device, I cannot tell. Seems that most of the benefit is not the thin foam liner, but rather the fact that the device spreads the weight over the trapezius area better. In fact, I would prefer this device to be even wider yet.

Cannot do low-bar squats with this device, if that's your thing, because this cannot be slid down the back; it must rest atop the trapezius, above the scapula.

Glad I purchased this device.
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Coloring Fun with Alcohol Ink Markers: People: With Instructor Jennifer Dove
Coloring Fun with Alcohol Ink Markers: People: With Instructor Jennifer Dove
DVD ~ Jennifer Dove
Price: $24.99
20 used & new from $15.16

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing instruction For Alcohol Marker Users: Make Your Images Pop!, May 24, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Jennifer Dove is an amazing artist. Her ability to use Copic markers to create 3-dimensional images is beyond compare; I suggest any cardmaker/papercrafter to please search her name and images online to see her style. For me, I wanted to take the stamped images and pop them off the page. I wanted depth: curls in hair that roll off the paper, eyes that sparkle, realistic skin tones with cheeks that are full, lips that look moist. Although I'd had other in-person Copic classes, I had never found a video tutorial. Live classes are hard to remember as the tips come so quickly (although I do plan to attend Ms. Dove's Boot Camp someday, especially if she will conduct it once in Chicago...hint, hint).

This is a DVD and a separate CD. Both played easily in my Windows PC (no clue about Apple), and I put Copic-friendly sheets of paper in my laser printer to print out the practice sheets; the first twelve pages are color lists, etc. and I used regular printer paper, the pages 13-26 or so are the practice images that I colored while watching Jennifer. There is no smearing or smudging or blackening of Copics when using laser ink (I think inkjet ink might smear, but I do not know).

Then, onto the DVD which I watched on my computer. The production is professional, ideal lighting and sound. Jennifer moves through skin, eyes, hair, etc., and each segment is bookmarked in the disc for easy access. I liked most that I could watch each segment repeatedly, picking up the nuances along the way.

Well worth the 25 dollar investment. I've watched it three times already. Five-star.

Note: this is for intermediate to advanced Copic users; there are no basics of Copic markers on this DVD, such as refilling, color selecting, blending, etc. Ms. Dove has another beginners' DVD which I do not own. Thanks, Jennifer, for such a great disc. Enjoy everyone.

From Kat, Wayne's wife.

TOPS Marble Composition Books, 7.5 x 9.75 Inches, College Rule, Hard Cover, 100 Sheets, Black, Box of 12 Books (63796)
TOPS Marble Composition Books, 7.5 x 9.75 Inches, College Rule, Hard Cover, 100 Sheets, Black, Box of 12 Books (63796)
Price: $22.70
9 used & new from $14.96

2.0 out of 5 stars NOT HARD COVER@!, May 13, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
These are NOT hard cover. They are not chipboard covers. They are not heavy-duty covers. They are flexible, paper covers.

The books are useless for my purposes of crafting, which is to artistically design and modify he covers for permanent sign-in books (weddings, visitations, etc.)

Not as advertised. I imagined the reviews were for a former product and that Amazon would be on their game in fixing the error.

Going back on Amazon's dime. Fix your listing Amazon!

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