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Sir Charles Panther "Life is hard. It's harder when you're stupid." RSS Feed (Alexandria, Virginny, USandA)
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Kid Charlemagne
Kid Charlemagne
Price: $0.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Solo Acoustic Cover, April 17, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kid Charlemagne (MP3 Music)
This is a nice little cover of the Steely Dan classic, one of my all-time favorite SD songs. I cam across this tune while doing a dedicated search for Charlemagne covers, and this one made the cut.

The tempo is a little faster than the original, and it suits the unaccompanied acoustic guitar well.

This cover mimics the vocals, and does it well. Dare I say it? Yes I do: it reminded me of Tuck Andress' masterful cover of Santana's Europa. While not packing the same visceral punch and pyrotechnical range of Tuck's ultimate homage to Carlos, this song did evoke that appreciation.

There is no board fade like you get at the end of the original; it's a flat cutoff.

Bottom line: this is well worth the price of the song.


Brainwavz S1 In Ear Headphones
Brainwavz S1 In Ear Headphones
Offered by MP4NATION
Price: $59.50
2 used & new from $53.54

5.0 out of 5 stars Super Earbuds, Excellent Sound, April 17, 2014
Disclosure: I was contacted by Brainwavz and asked if I would like to receive a product in exchange for a review. They decided on the product; I promised a fair and honest review in exchange.

First of all, is it supposed to come across as "brain waves?" I think that's what they're after, but phonetically it's incorrect, the pronunciation actually "brain wavs." Sorry, that's just the niggling editor and linguist in me.

In the box: a small hard case in a snappy red and black and inside the ear buds, an airline adapter (nice), a small bag with 7 additional pairs of differently sized earphone tips (silicone, bi-flange, tri-flange, etc.), and a separate baggie of one pair of Comply(tm) "premium" isolation memory foam tips.

Out of the box it's a nice picture, the full set in the case. The hard case is nice, and holds everything well, with two elastic inside pockets for storage of extra gear. And it's even got a double zipper, so you can zip north or south, up or down, whatever zippin' direction you choose, even both at once!

The memory foam tips are like squishable foam earplugs; you squish them down and insert them in your ear canal, and their slow expansion fits them snugly into place while blocking outside noise. This is a good concept but in my experience in testing these with the earbuds, it didn't work too well, at first. The foam squishes down just fine, but by the time you've got left and right figured out, the earbud oriented correctly, the cord snaked up and over your ear with the bud aimed right for a correct fit, the bud tip is already foamed back out, which kind of defeats the intent of getting it in while it's squished down. And you start over. I'll admit that after a few awkward tries I got the fit pretty much right, and I did detect a significant lessening of external sound with these memory foam bud tips in use. No, they did not block all sound, not even close, but compared to the rubber/silicone tips they block much more outside sound.

The cord, coming in at 1.3m (51.2") is an interesting flat design, much like wide fettuccine. It's got a wide split for the buds, plenty of room to get around your face and head, with a little slider that can tighten it up for you if snug is what you're after.

I do have one niggling observation: the L/R indicators. Usually you find the "L" on that one end, and you're all set. It took me some dedicated inspection to detect that "L," a tiny, and I do mean really teeny-tiny little mark in the molded plastic of the earbud frame (check it out in the main product image). And it's not in a contrasting color; it's the same color as the plastic it's molded into. I recommend a slight change to make it easier to find that "L."

The earbuds themselves feel good, a good metal feel in your hand, not some feather-light plastic. The feel hefty, which implies quality.

Performance: I own a pair of Sennheiser HD 570s, so I'm into headphone sound. And these were impressive from the outset. Excellent sound reproduction across the entire spectrum. The box promises "rich details," and I agree fully. They promise "deep bass," and I also concur. I thought the bass response was particularly good, with good bottom-end thrum and pop, but not overshadowing the mids and high end. Treble response is also excellent, with all manner of traditional and modern jazz coming through beautifully, brushwork very clear and distinct. The Talking Heads' original "Born Under Punches" was a test song, and was absolutely delightful.

Sound separation was very good, with the sound visually centered inside my head, not one side or the other.

Safety note: with all earbud tips in I was more than able to hear my surroundings, even with the buds at very high volume. While it's never a good idea to ride or bike or run with buds or phones in, these do allow the outside to come in, somewhat.

I note that for this sound to come through these have to be properly fitted and snug in your ears. It took me a few tries with the different earbud tips to finally get it right and have the sound to its full potential. Make sure you get the fit perfect with these; once you do you'll get that great sound coming through.

Documentation: the only documentation is a single card, one side being the one-year warranty card and the other side being the instruction manual. Okay, they're earbuds; there's just not that much instruction to give for this kind of product. One of the true gems: "do not cut the cable." Now that's some valuable instruction.

Price: After testing these buds, I think the price for this product is in keeping with its performance and my assessment of its quality. You are getting what you're paying for.

Bottom line: I've tested a few of these in the last few years, and so far these are the best I've come across. They are well made, offer a wide range of fit options, and produce some really good sound, clear and distinct and solid.


Holiday Road
Holiday Road
Price: $0.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Passable Cover, April 16, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Holiday Road (MP3 Music)
When did this song become a "holiday" song? Just because it has "holiday" in its title it somehow can become a holiday song? No, sorry, not so. This song is about driving down the road, goin' down the road, about a vacation...remember? This is not a Christmas/holidays song. It just isn't.

That sorry fact aside, this is an okay cover. The pace is about the same as the original, and my untrained ear has it in the same key as the original. The opening bars has a flat-ish organ rhythm coming through that unfortunately makes this song sound low-budget, as it if had been recorded in a basement, on borrowed instruments.

The vocal is relatively close to Lyndsay Buckingham's original except for when you get to the chorus (the most important part or the song). Then it soars a bit too high, bordering at times on a little screechy. It's on tone, sure, but close to the edge, especially right at the end when the vocal climbs to the big finish and it sounds more like screaming than singing.

There's a passable guitar solo in the middle, a little awkward if you ask me.

Bottom line: if you like the original, you'll probably dig this one. It isn't bad, but it's not the best cover out there.


Top Quality Velvet Clothes Hangers - Very Strong, Slim, Space-Saving, Non-Slip Closet & Coat Hangers - Luxuriously Flocked, No Slip, Thin, Notched, Pink, Space Saver 'Love Hangers®' for Skirts, Scarves - Unique & Unusual Mother's Day Gift For Her, Women - Multiple, Bulk Sets of 10 - 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE
Top Quality Velvet Clothes Hangers - Very Strong, Slim, Space-Saving, Non-Slip Closet & Coat Hangers - Luxuriously Flocked, No Slip, Thin, Notched, Pink, Space Saver 'Love Hangers®' for Skirts, Scarves - Unique & Unusual Mother's Day Gift For Her, Women - Multiple, Bulk Sets of 10 - 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE
Offered by Living Concept
Price: $29.95

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hangin’ Wif Wuv, April 16, 2014
Disclosure: I was contacted by the good folks at Living Concept and asked if I would like to receive this product. I accepted, promising a fair and honest review in return.

This is not a product for guys. I’m not really seeing my rugby jerseys, jeans or dress shirts hanging on these. This is a product best for the ladies. And girls. Frilly clothing, costumes, delicate feminine underclothing and intimate apparel would look best on these hangers. I won’t be going out to buy any. The wife and 18-year-old daughter thought the hanger was pretty good.

The shiny metal hook implies that the entire hanger is metal—not so. The rest of the hanger is flexible plastic; you can clearly see and feel the plastic molding dots. The plastic flexes pretty well in all directions. So, there is ample give in the hanger, which is pretty good. The label says “strong,” although I probably won’t put a heavy winter coat on this hanger. But then again, it’s not really what it’s meant for.

It took some serious work, and I swear I thought I was going to break it, but yes, the metal hook swivels.

The “velvet” of the hanger has a nice feel. There is no padding, no give in the material; it is merely a velvety covering on the plastic of the hanger body. The product copy says that this is a non-slip texture, but not so much. It’s not slippery like satin or silk, nor is it rough or abrasive; it’s actually a nice feel. If you’re hanging your clothing correctly on the hanger, there shouldn’t be any slippage anyway—this is a function of the person doing the hanging, not the hanger.

The heart design is a nice touch, but I detect no design enhancement; the heart design doesn’t actually do anything.

The color as tested, “Purple Orchid,” is nice enough but as received is nowhere near the vivid purple shown in the product image. As received the purple is lighter in color; one might say it looks washed-out if compared to the product image.

The “super slim” design is slim in that it’s not the typical plastic tube. Rather, it’s flattened. So, slim is accurate, but I wouldn’t agree that it is “super slim.” The product copy’s assertion that the “super-slim design helps maximize your closet space” isn’t that accurate; closet space usage is determined by your clothing volume, not the hanger it’s on.

Price: at around $20, this is about right, I guess. The “original” price posted on the product page of almost $60 is patently ridiculous. There is no way that the materials, workmanship or design of this product is worth $6 per item.

Bottom line: This is an interesting take on the venerable and often boring hanger, nice for women and girls.


Zimmerli Pureness Micromodal Limited Edition Sexy Black Moire Semi-sheer Bikini Panty Large/Black
Zimmerli Pureness Micromodal Limited Edition Sexy Black Moire Semi-sheer Bikini Panty Large/Black
Offered by CustomShirt1 at Artists Woods
Price: $95.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Very Nice, But Awfully Expensive, April 11, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The wife looks magnificent with these panties on, absolutely wonderful. To me that justifies its expense--it's that simple.

But, if you haven't noticed already, this is one solidly expensive pair of panties. Without a doubt it's the most expensive pair of knickers I've ever paid for. I don't know if it has to do with EU import duties, IMF emphasis on the dwindling American really sweet panties market, sun spots or just the undeniable exquisite Olde Worlde craftsmanship of Swiss panty manufacuring, but these are expensive. I've got a couple of hundred-dollar ties, but this is the first hundred-dollar pair of panties I've gone in for.

This is a nice, sexy panty for those ladies who don't go for the thong or the string bikini. For those ladies who'd like a bit more in terms of coverage, these are a good match, while still achieving the additionally important goal of being highly pleasing to the male portion of the household. One might even say that these are sexy granny panties. The fit, color, feel and design are fully acceptable to this male consumer.

Fit: they fit as advertised, just tight enough to fit close to the body, but not too tight. They do not appear to run small or large--buy in your size.

Wear: she's had these for a couple of months now, and they are wearing well. They've held up well in the elastic of the waist and legs, and all seams are still tight and functioning properly.

Bottom line: these excellent, sexy panties, but rather expensive. It might just be the world's finest women's underwear, as advertised--you decide.


Nutrience Natural Healthy Adult Dog Food, 18-Pounds, Turkey, Chicken and Herring
Nutrience Natural Healthy Adult Dog Food, 18-Pounds, Turkey, Chicken and Herring
Price: $37.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Spendy Chow: Dog Didn't Like It, April 11, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
First and most importantly, the dog didn't like it. We didn't mix any of her old/regular chow with this stuff, just gave her this straight up. She took a long smell, a couple of bites and literally looked up from her bowl directly at me with what I interpreted to be the canine equivalent look of "Why have you given me this?" She did eventually eat it, given the fact we weren't giving her anything else.

Smell: definitely fishy; I could discern this immediately. Gurney the dog loves tuna, so I don't know if this is a turn-off or not. She got to know the smell, and didn't go near it until it was time to eat.

Taste: Gurney didn't like it, and neither did I. I tried a handful, and the fish taste came through, most clearly. Not the worst thing I've ever eaten (balut), but it's not something I want to pour ketchup on and eat with a spoon in front of Gilligan's Island reruns.

Size: the product size (as tested) is unsuitable for our 100-pound dog. We're buying the 40-pound bags on a regular basis.

Cost: this is expensive dog chow. It's coming in at more than $2/pound. We love Gurney, oh yes we do, but this price is a bit much for dry dog food.

Results: I detected no increased flatulence, nor any change for the worse in her stool. This is a positive outcome, given our experimentation with some other dog foods.

Bottom line: sorry, but I won't be looking for this in the pet store. The dog didn't go for it, and it's rather spendy.


Zwipes 782 Microfiber Two-Pocket Pet Towel - Pack of 3
Zwipes 782 Microfiber Two-Pocket Pet Towel - Pack of 3
Price: $6.63

4.0 out of 5 stars Doggie Towel with Hand Pockets, April 8, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
In the wide, wide world of dog accessories, there’s no shortage of cool (and often absolutely needless) things to buy for Rover. But for post- bath time or after a seriously wet and muddy walk, a towel is a towel, right? Sure, some cute little paw designs make it stand out as a dog towel, but other than that, the dog towels are the ones that are fraying, ripped, or just too ratty for continued use in your bathroom.

Not quite. The difference here is that this doggie towel has custom pockets on both ends. That gives you the equivalent of mittens so that you can hold onto the towel as you’re drying off Rover. This is a nice little innovation, and it works well. The pocketed end of the towel naturally gets the most work, and will get the wettest/dirtiest the fastest.

Note that this is microfiber, so this is not a heavy cotton towel that is going to soak up the wet for hours on end and still ask for more (and get heavier and heavier). As a synthetic microfiber, it will absorb pretty well, but it’s only going to take so much until you’ve got to wring it or dry it. Where the cotton will soak up almost forever and the microfiber will not, the cotton takes a long time to dry where this thing dries very quickly. You can leave it out in the house and it’ll dry fast. Laid out in the sun or in the dryer, it’s ready in about 10 minutes.

And you get a little cotton twill loop at one end so you can hang it up. Nice little addition.

Size: note that you have three choices of size, and a corresponding number of towels in that respective pack. We got the big size for the 100-pound black lab Gurney. This was the right size for this dog.

Price: price as tested is absolutely fantastic, the pack of three 35” x 12.5” towels for less than $6.50. This has to be promotional, so buy now while they’re cheap.

Bottom line: this is a good product with a little bit of innovation. The dog likes it, and it works great to get her dry and clean.


SterlingPro 8 Cup (1 liter, 34 oz) French Coffee Press-#1 With 2 BONUS Screen FREE(over $25 value)-Durable Coffee & Espresso Maker with Stainless Steel Plunger & Heat Resistant Glass--- Best shinning Chrome--Great Christmas & Birthday Gifts for Coffee Lover-Limited Quantity!!
SterlingPro 8 Cup (1 liter, 34 oz) French Coffee Press-#1 With 2 BONUS Screen FREE(over $25 value)-Durable Coffee & Espresso Maker with Stainless Steel Plunger & Heat Resistant Glass--- Best shinning Chrome--Great Christmas & Birthday Gifts for Coffee Lover-Limited Quantity!!
Offered by SterlingPro
Price: $65.00
2 used & new from $29.85

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Passable French Press, March 21, 2014
Disclosure: I was contacted by SterlingPro and offered this product for review. I accepted, promising a fair and honest review in return. Honestly, I find this request a bit interesting, given that there are almost 250 online reviews of this product, with more than 210 of them being four or five stars (that's close to an 85% approval rating). Why do you need me to help sell it?

First of all, SterlingPro, you need to work on your online product copy. Get someone who is a (competent) native English speaker and have them rework your product copy here online. As it is now, it’s not helping you sell this product. You need work on spelling, grammar, syntax and usage.

I also recommend you work on the product box copy. Think capitalization and more nuanced grammar and syntax. Also, is the “beaker” the same as the “carafe?” I see the two used online and on the box; you should be consistent. This is not a major failure of this product, but your presentation could be much better.

The product copy assertion that the plastic lid liner will not touch the coffee during brewing is accurate, but it’s completely wrong in saying that it will not touch the coffee during pouring. Unless you take the lid off, which means extracting the entire filter apparatus from the beaker (while your fresh-brewed coffee is in it), your coffee will come in contact with the plastic lid every single time. This isn’t that big a deal, but I note a question about BPA content of the lid, which has either been dodged or glossed over, depending on your perspective.

The online product copy specifies that the product comes with two extra screens. My box actually had three inside—nice touch. I would recommend to SterlingPro that you list them as a separate sales item, and link them to this product for downstream sales (although I don’t get how two of them are worth $25, when the entire product costs $29). Same with the glass beaker.

And the coffee? It’s okay, no real complaints. Despite the guarantee (in image #4) of no coffee grounds in our coffee, we did in fact consistently get grounds, sometimes a little and sometimes a lot. Usually we got a ton of grounds when we filled the beaker to its full one-liter size. We got the fewest grounds when we filled the beaker halfway or less.

Now, some folks are really hard over on no grounds in their coffee, but for us it’s not that big of a deal. We go camping and use the old campfire coffee pot, so we know from “groundy” coffee. Most of the grounds do not float, and you’ll find them right there on the bottom of your cup, and you’re not going to ingest them anyway. Even if you do, a few grains of coffee grounds passing through you is no big deal. But we do note the emphatic tone of the product copy in promising no coffee grounds, which doesn’t square with our experience.

We found it easy to clean. We had no problems with it in the sink or in the dishwasher. We experienced no other problems with this product.

Bottom line: This is a simple, solid product that works essentially as described. It sells for a reasonable price and appears to be relatively durable, but its claim of no coffee grounds in your coffee is not borne out in our experience with it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 22, 2014 8:41 AM PDT


Just Watch Me: Erotica for Women
Just Watch Me: Erotica for Women
Price: $9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars I've Been Here Before, March 21, 2014
For me this book was déjà vu, all over again. Right from the beginning, it seemed awfully familiar. I double-checked to make sure I'd not read it before--nope, spine was unbroken, pages still pristine, no notes or highlighting, and no posted review.

So I went back and checked, and found the answer in my 20 September 2008 review of Best Women's Erotica 2006. Same book, different titles. This book IS Best Women's Erotica 2006. Same stories, in the exact same order, same number of pages. I give four stars here only because I feel a bit duped in having bought an identical book with a different cover and title.

So what to say about this book that I didn't say in 2008? Uh, well, it still basically works. Even though I'd read it all five and a half years ago, the stories still captured my attention, still took me away, and still got through to me just like they are supposed to.

I note that of the 20 stories, there is only one that is from a male author (at as far as we can tell from the authors' names), Lee Skinner's "Vicarious." As this is a book of erotica for women, I found the inclusion of this story interesting, in that it relates a two-man, one-woman threesome, with one man sharing his woman with his boss and friend, written from the male POV. So how did it come to be in an apparently carefully selected collection of erotica for women? My guess is its core message of a man, basically a good guy, so deeply grateful for the attention and especially the pure lust and open-minded willingness of a mature woman. He says it twice in the story, and even closes with it: "Thank you." I couldn't agree more.

Bottom line: This is a fine book of erotic fiction, which will work for any man or woman in the mood for unflinchingly written adult stories. Just make sure you only buy one.


Suave Professionals Men 2 In 1 Shampoo and Conditioner, Alpine Fresh, 12.6 Ounce
Suave Professionals Men 2 In 1 Shampoo and Conditioner, Alpine Fresh, 12.6 Ounce
Price: $3.69
3 used & new from $3.69

4.0 out of 5 stars Acceptable Wash for Man-Hair, March 20, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
It's expressly for men, although I really could tell no difference between this and what my wife uses, other than the scent. This is good shampoo, which left my hair delightfully silky and manageable.

The scent: officially it's "alpine fresh" but I'm not smelling the mountains at all. That unique and hard to come by scent will lie forever in the realm of Badedas, the classic German body wash. Now that's alpine, at least in my mind. The scent is not unpleasant at all; in fact, it smells more like a breakfast condiment than a personal cleaning solution. The "fresh" aspect is spot-on, but what I'm really smelling in this scent is much more like berries and fruit. It's not a heavy, commercial/industrial faux fruit smell, like the one that assaults you when your wife drags you into the candle store at the mall. No, the scent is much more natural, light and pleasant. Upon rinsing the scent stays but is not overpowering.

It comes out of the bottle easily and quickly, being just a little bit more viscous than some shampoos I'm used to. I liked that, in that as the bottle began to drain it was still easy to get the product out, and I didn't have to stand there for 15 or 20 minutes for the product to ooze its way down to the spout.

Bottom line: good product, that does exactly what it says it will, and smells great while doing it. Yes, I will look for this when I go shopping.


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