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Profile for J. Crowley > Reviews


J. Crowley's Profile

Customer Reviews: 27
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J. Crowley "mmcjprof" RSS Feed (NM USA)

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Goson Heavy-duty 1/4 Size Cooling Rack, Cooling Racks, Wire Pan Grade, Commercial Grade, Oven-safe, Chrome, 8 X 10 Inches, Set of 2
Goson Heavy-duty 1/4 Size Cooling Rack, Cooling Racks, Wire Pan Grade, Commercial Grade, Oven-safe, Chrome, 8 X 10 Inches, Set of 2
Offered by e-World Enterprises
Price: $8.45
9 used & new from $2.99

3.0 out of 5 stars No right size racks on offer, August 30, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
We can ignore the insults from another reviewer. These are the only racks that are presented by Amazon as quarter size. There is no distinction in the description between bun pans and sheet pans. They are also the only racks that Amazon offers that fit inside a quarter sheet pan. All the others are too large to fit inside. These leave a large margin on all sides when set inside the sheet pans, so they will slide in use. I am debating whether to keep them or not, but the alternative seems to be racks that hang over the sides. Too small, or too large? Can't we have one that is just right?

Red Herring
Red Herring
Price: $0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Stimulating word game with no need to spell anything, November 22, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Red Herring (App)
I have always liked games, and now that I am entering my retirement years I want games that will challenge my brain and keep me sharp. This game requires you to put sets of four words into categories, without knowing the categories. Some are challenging. Do you know what clocks and noses have in common? They are both things that run. Others are simple, like birds (but always with one you never heard of). In each game, there are several words marked *, indicating that there is additional information provided if you tap on them. The red herring title refers to the fact that there will be one column of leftover words. Some words can fit into more than one category. Robin can be a bird, but it can also be in a phrase starting "round ______." Some games are easy, and some are impossible. For a modest fee, you can have an unlimited number of hints.

One advantage of Red Herring over most word games is that you do not have to know how to spell. For some people, this is vitally important. You get the mental exercise of discovering the categories, without the frustration of remembering quirky English spellings.

The game is free, but the developers have found a way to earn a return on their efforts. You get one new game per day free, plus one initial set of 50 games. After that, additional bundles of 50 games are $.99. Two cents seems to be a fair price for each new game. You will no doubt also end up buying the hints package. I like that it is a modest one-time fee. So far, I think I have spent about $6 on a game that I play in the morning and at bedtime. That seems fair to me.

Nut Butter: Teach Me Everything I Need To Know About Nut Butters In 30 Minutes (Peanut - Almond - Walnut - Macadamia - Coconut)
Nut Butter: Teach Me Everything I Need To Know About Nut Butters In 30 Minutes (Peanut - Almond - Walnut - Macadamia - Coconut)
Price: $2.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A good copy edit would help, November 22, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I got this for free, and I got what I paid for. I found it simplistic and repetitive. A good copy edit would help. There are few recipes, but lots of generalizations. It is listed as a 30 minute read. I think it has 15 minutes of information. If you want to make nut butters, you can buy this book, or you can just google nut butter.

Total Victim Theory
Total Victim Theory
Price: $2.99

3.0 out of 5 stars First person plural, July 23, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Ballard has crafted a book from the inner lives of his key characters. He captures their hopes and despair, pulling you into the narrative with the immediacy of the first person. The story jumps in time and place around the southwest states, primarily Colorado, Texas, and th Mexican state of Chihuahua. The plot is sufficiently twisted to keep readers guessing and turning pages into the night.

My complaint about the book is that the plot requires trained police and FBI agents to act stupidly by failing to go for help when it is clearly indicated. Law enforcement requires sharing, not isolated actions. When one of the victims is closely linked with the narrator, that is information for the team, a clue to be worked on, not a private message from the killer. When two agents have obviously been poisoned, it's not time for them to refuse to seek medical help. Over and over, Ballard depends on the blindness of otherwise intelligent characters to make his story work. This is a disservice to the hardworking professional officers and agents in real life. Of course, many detective stories require failures by the police to keep the chase moving. I read a lot of detective fiction and am becoming sick to death of dumb police and brilliant psychopaths. It is time for writers to get more creative.

A Darker Domain
A Darker Domain
Offered by HarperCollins Publishers
Price: $11.14

3.0 out of 5 stars Great start, disappointing ending, April 11, 2014
This review is from: A Darker Domain (Kindle Edition)
The is the first Val McDermid book I have read, though I have been tempted when I browse mysteries at my bookstores. The first two thirds are impressive, as she deftly switches between contemporary scenes and events 20 years earlier, and between two initially unconnected cases. Of course, since they are both in the same book, you know that they will connect eventually. The connection is handled well so that the blending of the cases is organic within each story.

It is a police procedural, and the primary cops are well drawn and nicely complicated. The female detective is not glamorous but sensible and dogged. The other characters are more cliched. The supervisors are clueless, which seems to be a requirement in British detective fiction. There is the handsome but egocentric billionaire (looks like Richard Branson and acts like Rupert Murdoch), the villagers who are suspicious of outsiders but completely chatty to locals (both in Scotland and in Italy), the bitter abandoned wife and the ambitious journalist. We have seen all of these people before.

The problem is the ending. All of a sudden, characters start behaving in ways that wrap up the mystery but have nothing to do with their personalities as set up in the rest of the novel. The contrivances include both the police and the suspects. The Britishism that comes to mind is that the ending is "too clever by half" to be convincing.

Black & Decker JW200 Lids Off Jar Opener, White
Black & Decker JW200 Lids Off Jar Opener, White
Offered by Three Thirty Three
Price: $98.97
172 used & new from $4.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Does what I need it to do., November 27, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have arthritis in my hands. This opener lets me be independent. It effectively opens virtually any jar and I do not have to hunt down anyone to help. This is a keeper.

Farscape: The Complete Series
Farscape: The Complete Series
DVD ~ Ben Browder
Offered by amazingwildcat
Price: $76.99
19 used & new from $62.62

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great series., November 26, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The good news: this is all the episodes of the greatest scifi series. There are some good extras. For me, I was disappointed to find that there are no closed captions.

Samsung UN50F5500 50-Inch 1080p 60Hz Smart LED TV (2013 Model)
Samsung UN50F5500 50-Inch 1080p 60Hz Smart LED TV (2013 Model)
Offered by Your Daily Deal

6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pretty picture, but not so smart tv., November 26, 2013
I got this on sale at a local big box store on a special sale. I have had Samsung electronics in the past. This looked great--50 inch wifi, smart tv. What's not to like?

I have called support once and chatted with them three times in two days. The manual is useless. Out of the box, the TV needs to have a software upgrade. (Over a high speed connection, the download took 20 minutes.) Software upgrades are not unusual, but the setup does not direct you to set up your network connection and then upgrade the software. The good news? Once upgraded, I could connect to Netflix. The bad news? I can't seem to connect to other services. Also, it drops the signal a lot.

There are no explanations of the connectors on the back of the TV. I am hearing impaired, so I use wireless headphones. They worked fine with my old Samsung. This model does not have RCA connectors (even though their website shows a picture of RCA connectors). It has only a 3.5mm connector. The only solution was to buy another connector cable. If you go to the online manual and search for headphones, you get no hits, by the way.

The box says wifi in big letters on the front. However, it's rudimentary. The TV has no bluetooth capability. Worse, it does not work with a wireless keyboard. Why anyone would want to have a wired keyboard connected to a 50 inch TV? If you sit close enough for the keyboard cable to reach, you are too close to the screen. Every cheap PC can use wireless keyboard. Sadly, only Samsung TV's from model numbers 6400 and higher can work with a wireless keyboard. If you can't use a keyboard, entering information (movie or tv titles, etc) has to be done with the arrow keys on the on screen keyboard. It's at best cumbersome.

In the first two of my three online support chats, I mentioned wanting to use a wireless keyboard, and both times they indicated that it was possible. After the second chat, I bought a new one first checking that it was HID capable. It was only on the third chat that the consultant revealed that the TV did not have the required capability. I could use a WIRED HID keyboard.

So far I have not been able to get the universal remote to work with my set top satellite box, or with my Samsung Blue Ray DVD player. In fact, to turn on the TV I now have to use both the Samsung remote and the satellite remote. This TV has a list price of $1300. I do not see any reason that such an expensive piece of electronics would be so firmly mired in the previous century. I am right on the edge of returning it to the store, sale or no sale. It will certainly be a long time before I purchase another Samsung product.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 30, 2013 5:26 PM PST

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Two-Disc Special Edition)
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Two-Disc Special Edition)
DVD ~ Ian McKellen
Price: $12.01
138 used & new from $2.97

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars OK if you love FX, sad if you love Tolkien, April 12, 2013
I have read all of the Tolkien books about Middle Earth, most of them many times. I was concerned when I heard that they were making a trilogy out of the shortest of all the books, and my concerns turned out to be fully justified. The Hobbit, as written by Tolkien, is a journey of discovery and self-discovery, wondrous at both. Tolkien was a meticulous, careful writer and everything in the books is there for a reason. The books lend themselves to cinema, with their brooding landscapes and range of strange creatures, so it's no wonder that Peter Jackson wants to film them all.

Sadly, Jackson gets so caught up in his visuals that the wonders present in the books get sacrificed continuously to the lusty special effects. Start with the visit of the Dwarves to Bag End. In the book, the dwarves come in pairs, and each pair comes with a hood of a specific color. Jackson gives us Dwarves dressed in some cross between Viking travel wear and cloaks designed for winter in Game of Thrones. No hoods, nothing to make the travelers invisible to the casual eye. Worse, the brilliantly humorous troll scene, with the trolls tricked into arguing until daybreak about the proper way to cook hobbit turns into an action sequence. The only scenes that were substantially faithful to the book were the ones between Gollum and Bilbo. The rest is just a more or less standard fantasy adventure. I wish Jackson had taken the lessons he learned from the LOTR--that, when in doubt, use the language of Tolkien--and applied them more to the Hobbit.

That said, my young adult son loved it. For him, the brilliant special effects were enough to keep him enthralled. The trilogy will make money, and no doubt set a new standard for digital film making. Too bad that they did not leave in enough Tolkien for those of us who love the books. The Hobbit
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 13, 2013 6:20 AM PDT

Dancin' Abs by Jazzercise
Dancin' Abs by Jazzercise
5 used & new from $36.88

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for the traveler, July 10, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Dancin' Abs by Jazzercise (DVD)
I was looking for a Jazzercise DVD that I can take with me on business trips and on vacation. The problem for me was that most of the DVD's use weights, and I'm not blowing ten pounds in my suitcase on a weight set. This workout uses no equipment at all, so you can just pack your workout clothes, pop this in your laptop, and keep up your fitness routine. It's a great abs workout, and will keep your cardio going as well. It would be a bit tricky for someone who has never been to a Jazzercise class, since the standard steps (step ball change, triplets, etc.) are not explained. Otherwise, the instructions are clear and the instructors make sure you know exactly what muscles should be used for the moves. It's also fairly low impact, so my knees did not ache at the end. It's a good purchase if you want fitness on the road.

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