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G. Essex "Semper Bufo" RSS Feed (East Coast USA)
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Damask Stencil Anna - Reusable Large Wall Stencils - DIY decor
Damask Stencil Anna - Reusable Large Wall Stencils - DIY decor
Offered by Cutting Edge Stencils
Price: $49.95

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great product + great delivery time = 5 Stars, December 21, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
My wife (professional painter) needed the pattern for a client of hers, and wanted to make sure it wasn't one of the flimsy stencils that will simply fall apart after a bit of use (she's got some square footage to cover!).

Two great things here:

1. Ordered this at the height of the Christmas rush...and it still came five days earlier than the earliest predicted delivery date! In fact, thought it wasn't Prime, the package came two days after ordering. That's a company that's on the ball. Thanks.

2. According to my wife (she's the expert, not me), these are tough, good stencils which will last through the job (and probably after). Thick, sturdy - and they even included a little "kitty cat" stencil as a freebie. (Yeah, that's weird, but it's a nice touch.)

In short: perhaps the fast delivery would only be worth four stars, and perhaps the good quality of the product would only be worth four stars...but put together, and I couldn't honestly give them less than a perfect score (especially considering some of the stuff you find online, both product- and service-wise). Nicely done.


Electronics All-in-One For Dummies
Electronics All-in-One For Dummies
by Doug Lowe
Edition: Paperback
Price: $17.76
70 used & new from $14.95

57 of 58 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent info, fun projects, needed a good editor..., March 30, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've a coding background, and have a few ideas for projects that require more non-virtual skills like electronics. I thumbed through this at a B&N cafe one night, and really liked the style, so I ordered it off of Amazon.

Doug Lowe is a lot of fun - most of the "For Dummies" writers are (even if I still get uncomfortable and mock-offended at the implication of the series title every time I read one of these!). The info and exercises are very cool, and I'm getting a good "from the ground up" knowledge, just what I'm looking for. He shies away from some of the complex stuff that I'd actually *like* him to get into, but I head to the Web to fill in the gaps.

I wouldn't mind a little more in-depth "Here's what's happening in the circuit for this exercise" - early on, I fried a resistor and blew a fuse when seeing what I could try to change things up on one particular circuit, which was at least partly my fault for not doing the math (!), but might have been avoided if I'd had a little more detail on what I *could* experiment with and what I *shouldn't*.

Over all, the book is great...but there's one big drawback: editing.

It becomes very, *very* obvious that a lot of the passages *and the exercise instructions* were done using quick cut-and-paste jobs. This makes sense given how interrelated everything is, but it can trip things up if it's not carefully edited! As an example: the equations for finding total capacitance in series are identical to those for finding total resistance (or inductance) in parallel...and in the section on one, in several spots they used the units for another! (Though not consistently, making it even more confusing, if slightly more accurate.) Similarly, many of the exercises have cut-and-pasted components lists from a previous exercise...but they are *not* the correct list for the exercise into which they've been pasted. Serious attention to detail is required on my end, as somebody experimenting with electronics - I'd say some serious attention to detail should be expected on their end as well, as the editors of the book.

Worse than that, though, are spots where information (like important equations!) is mistyped or outright *omitted*. (In one spot, the paragraph introduces the background of an equation, and then presents it by saying "Like this:" - with the colon - but the equation is not printed. The copy moves right along to the next paragraph. Oops.) In most of these cases, simple logic will tell you what's *correct* (or, if you're not up on your skills, a quick Web search), but it started getting a bit unfortunate after a handful of these. I've been writing the correct info into my copy of the book, but I'd feel awful for somebody who didn't have Web access and didn't remember the basics to be able to correct all of these errors.

Since this book is "for dummies," it seems wrong that said dummies are expected to fill in the gaps themselves to get everything right.

Despite those problems, I still dig the book, and it's been very helpful - starting (before opening the book) from only a basic knowledge of household wiring and repair, and some decent fundamentals in physics and basic electronics, I'm now well on my way to working on the projects I had in mind, and I'm only halfway through the book. It's a good "crash course" on the subject, and - aside from the editing problems - presents everything I was looking for so far.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 14, 2016 8:17 AM PDT


Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag 2013
Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag 2013
Price: $47.45 - $3,000.00

26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not quite what was needed - and product descriptions or pictures imprecise, November 19, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I'm one of those "like to be prepared" people - always have on me a flashlight, multi-tool, sketchbooks, compact umbrella, and so on. Been using my excellent small bag (my "man sack") for a few years, with the only drawback being it's not waterproof - in heavy rain, I take a plastic bag (which I carry in the man sack) and put the bag in it to protect it.

All I really wanted was the same basic deal, but in waterproof form. This product seemed to fit the bill...but there were doubts. One reviewer stated that the flap does *not* go all the way across, leaving gaps where water just pours in (and now that I've seen the bag, the waterproofed *inside* would therefore fill up with water!). However, there were two different pages on Amazon of the exact same item, and the pictures were different:

[...]
In that one, you can see the flap doesn't go all the way across (in the tri-color I'd settled on - gunmetal/cement/algae green).

[...]
In that one, it *does* seem to cover the corners (in the same tri-color I picked).

I gave them the benefit of the doubt - maybe since that other reviewer complained, they'd fixed the problem (not hard, really - when I got the bag, I saw exactly where some simple extra stitching would be required).

As it turned out - nope. Still the "gap" problem. Which made it pretty useless in terms of waterproofing.

I was going to make do with it anyway, maybe stitch up the gaps myself, but after a couple of days the other negatives (various reviewers have mentioned some of them) caught up and I just wasn't at all happy with this thing. The drawbacks (from my perspective):

* The "memory strap" is clunky and uncomfortable;

* The clips for the top flap have *long* dangling straps that just get in the way (when *closed*!);

* The VelCro really does get as annoying as other reviewers have said;

* The bag doesn't flatten out as nicely as I'd expected it to (as my old one does) when loaded;

* The compartmentalization isn't as efficient as it could be (a lot of spots are hard to get in and out of when I just want one of my items quickly);

* Even though I got the "extra small" size, this thing is *huge*. I can understand that might be a "pro" (not a con) for some buyers, but my whole point in getting one of these is to have something *compact* but useful. If this is the "extra small," perhaps Timbuk2 needs to make an "extra extra small" for the folks who are looking for the same thing I'd like to find.

* And, of course, even though the material is waterproof, the bag - thanks to the poor design of the flap and opening (the stitching needed really is pretty obvious!) - is *not* waterproof. I'll be kind and say "water resistant," though even that term would lead you to expect that a product won't *fill up* with water (which this one most certainly will in the rain).

Ah, well. At least Amazon's got a great return policy. Thanks, Amazon - no thanks, Timbuk2.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 5, 2014 8:30 PM PST


Jabra Headset with On/Off Button
Jabra Headset with On/Off Button

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good Sound, Terrible Durability, July 8, 2006
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've now gone through three of these Jabra headsets, and while the sound quality is fine (both earphone and microphone), every one of them has suffered from the same exact problem - they can't take even the slightest tug on the wire, for instance when I accidentally catch it on a doorknob or cabinet handle, without ceasing to function. Even when there isn't any visible damage, the wire inside the sheath is obviously broken, because the headset no longer works. Keep in mind that I'm not talking about "strong" pulls on the wire, just a momentary tug as I walk past a waist-high cabinet with my phone in my pocket and the headset on my ear. These things should be far more durable than they are; it's frankly pathetic. I'll be looking at other brands from now on.


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