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Customer Reviews: 31
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Todd Thorne "laesta" RSS Feed (The Woodlands, TX United States)

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Texas Grill Covers 7553 Premium Cover for Weber Genesis E and S Series Gas Grills Including Brush and Tongs
Texas Grill Covers 7553 Premium Cover for Weber Genesis E and S Series Gas Grills Including Brush and Tongs
Offered by Quality Choices
Price: $110.00
3 used & new from $38.48

5.0 out of 5 stars Fits a Genesis Silver B series grill, May 10, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The width and depth are about perfect. Height-wise, it's a tad tall but that isn't a big deal.

What a joy it is to have a cover that's easy-on, easy-off again. Like many people my previous Weber brand cover had shrunk so much, it felt like I was shoving a fully-laced corset over my grill. No more. The Texas Grill Cover is a delight.

Regarding the two Velcro cinch straps on the sides, I've decided to leave them loosely bound. Enough to keep the cover from easily blowing off but not so much I have to constantly undo and redo the straps. That will cut down on some fumbling as well as them dragging through and picking up dirt and debris.

It does seem like the Texas Grill Cover material is less dense (thinner) than the previous Weber cover I had. As long as it holds up and isn't prone to shrinking or cracking though, I'll be content.

All in all, I'm pleased. The two bonus utensils have come in quite handy as well.

Recommended


Kidde PI2010 Smoke Alarm Dual Sensor with Battery Backup, White
Kidde PI2010 Smoke Alarm Dual Sensor with Battery Backup, White
Offered by Gatzies
Price: $36.94
17 used & new from $27.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kidde Customer Support makes the difference, May 10, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
For over two years I've had three of these detectors monitoring for smoke and fire. Installation of them was a snap since they were replacing previous units that had exceeded their lifespan. The only difficult spots I recall were figuring out which circuit breakers to switch off for the installations and then connecting the AC cable to each detector. I found the clips on the ends of the cables to be rather balky, difficult to snap securely into the socket on the unit. This was all very minor though.

What I wanted to share with everyone for this particular review was a reflection on Kidde Customer Support. I give them an A+. This was after one of my three units started sounding nuisance alarms. I followed all the suggestions in the manual before calling for help. I promptly got an agent who verified my unit's information, double-checked all my remedial actions and then shipped me a replacement. Unfortunately, a shipping mistake was made and I received the wrong unit. When I called a second time, the agent apologized, reconfirmed my unit's details, and a few days later the correct replacement arrived. It is now on duty and guarding my family against harm. The 'extra' replacement unit is mine to keep and use should I choose to add a secondary detector.

Bravo, Kidde Company. This smoke alarm is a good product backed by delightfully excellent customer service--a combination that seems all too rare these days.

Recommended


Transience
Transience
Price: $8.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What you've been waiting for, April 2, 2014
This review is from: Transience (MP3 Music)
For fans who know what to expect from an Amethystium album, Transience delivers. This release gives you more of what you crave, with new forays, explorations and revelations offset now and again by feelings of déjà vu. Kind of like meeting up again with an old friend you remember well but then you find so many new things about them to enjoy.

If you've discovered Transience as your first Amethystium experience, congratulations. You've got several more albums you'll get to delight in next as you fill your rotation list with Amethystium works.

This stuff is like the Crema from a superb cup of espresso: intense, rich and silky, with the sugary flashes beautifully countered by a steady undertone of bittersweet. Nothing understated here. Not a lot of soft, gentle, subtle passages lurking within, but those occasional delicate touches feel like they're woven into just the right spots. They keep you from becoming caught up too deeply in some lush soundscapes, several of which start small and grow to near mountainous proportions.

One piece of advice... be sure to enjoy Transience in a listening setting that delivers a solid bass experience. You'll want to feel what you're hearing. And often, I suspect.

Highly Recommended.


The 5th Wave
The 5th Wave
by Richard Yancey
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $11.30
180 used & new from $2.80

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Proves the really fortunate ones are those who die first, April 11, 2013
This review is from: The 5th Wave (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
A YA and nicely fresh take on (alien) invasion of the body snatchers. With plenty of extra doomsday survivalist hell thrown in. A sequel (or two) will be needed to get this tale fully resolved, FYI.

*No Spoilers*

MY LIKES: Besides the riveting action scenes and the head games the characters played with each other (and themselves), I particularly enjoyed the twists, turns and blindsides in the story. The best ones are those you think you see coming but then get surprised. I had a few. Nice.

MY DISLIKES: I get the fact that intense action stories are... well, chock full of high-caliber action. Great stuff there. Where I struggle some is after the characters have taken enough punishment that they should be doing rehab for 12 months, the next scene has them run a world record 50-yard dash while dodging lightning bolts and hurdling 10-foot-tall killer penguins. OK, Yancey didn't write THAT particular scene. Still, the book had a few scenes where I swear I heard the theme music from Rocky playing in the background as a character dragged their totally wrecked self up off the mat for another round.

THE TONE: High velocity pacing. Short to medium length chapters ending with a pop. Gritty, grueling action that doesn't feels gratuitous. Dark mood, dark thoughts, dark prospects, dark characterizations... it's a deliciously dark tone throughout.

A FAV LINE: Even if the stranger is a little old lady sweeter than your great-aunt Tilly, hugging a helpless kitten, you can't know for certain--you can never know--that she isn't one of them, and that there isn't a loaded .45 behind that fuzzy kitten.


Klipsch Image S5i Rugged In-Ear Headphones with 3-Button Remote (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Klipsch Image S5i Rugged In-Ear Headphones with 3-Button Remote (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Offered by Cellular Hookup
Price: $124.99
7 used & new from $90.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ear Candy, May 5, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
For my first listen of the Image S5i Ruggeds I put them in for three and a half hours and power walked several miles. I wore them Sport Fit, over-the-ear style using the medium earpieces and, after a bit of fiddling to get them seated and positioned, I never touched them again. They didn't budge the whole time.

I used the alligator clip to keep the remote control from flopping around. Clipping it to my back t-shirt collar seemed to work best. Thanks to the raised buttons on the remote, I could reach around and use the controls by touch. That didn't take long to figure out.

I have no issue with the size of the remote but I think most folks will want to secure it with the clip. From the top of the remote to each bud, the cables are just over 13 inches, which means you'll be clipping it high on your person, not too surprising since Klipsch expects you'll also be using the microphone in the remote and it needs to be in the vicinity of your mouth. From the bottom of the remote to the plug, the cable is just over 38 inches long, plenty of reach down to my belt line.

How did the S5i sound? In a word: delightful. I shuffled through rock, jazz, shoegazer and classical and all the music was rich with solid bass undertones, which I did not find excessive at all. My previous buds were Shure's E2c model and after today I'd give the S5i the nod for best overall sound, certainly delivering better bass than my tired old Shures were providing.

In terms of noise isolation, I'd say the S5i muffled external sounds by about 75%. I could still make out road noise, conversations, PAs, etc., though they were all well diminished. No problems muting the music and having a conversation with a barista while my S5is stayed inserted--very cool. Hours of wear did not cause me any discomfort. I probably could have installed the large earpieces and enjoyed less external noise but I suspect I would have suffered canal fatigue as a result. I'll stick with the mediums.

I noticed just a tad of cable noise during hushed passages, very acceptable. All the cables seem a bit thin but they are quite flexible. Let's hope that translates to durability. The S4 and S5 models all seem to have a bit of a problem with some cable fraying at the buds and the plug so we'll see how mine hold up.

I made one phone call using the S5i. No complaints, not on my part or the person I was speaking to.

My gripes are very few and petty. I wish the plug was L-shaped and thus a bit less likely to catch on things. The remote increase and decrease buttons change the sound volume by larger increments than I'd prefer. I felt like I wanted half as much as it was doing. Lastly, single and double presses on the middle remote button weren't much trouble but triple presses were finicky. None of these are a deal-breaker, not even the goofy safety light on the durable clam shell case, which is probably sure to burn through its battery if you jam the case into a pack or pocket with gear that pokes the on/off button.

In summary, my iPod Touch and iPhone have found a perfect companion set of ear buds. The Image S5i from Klipsch meets all my expectations and delivers an amazing value. I'm looking forward to years of enjoyable use.

Recommended.

Update April 2013:
It's about a year later and these ear buds are holding up quite well. The sound remains supreme. The remote is functioning perfectly. Phone calls on them are a real pleasure and nobody has complained on the other end about my sound quality. No cord fraying yet, not even at the vulnerable joints. The only issues I had are: a) cosmetic dulling of the back of the remote thanks to the finish being eaten away by sunscreen, and b) the alligator clip fell off on a plane, never to be found (I bought two others to try).


Ashes
Ashes
by Ilsa J. Bick
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.17
112 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Doomsday is a rush, February 12, 2012
This review is from: Ashes (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Note that this story is part 1 of a series. Be advised.

*No Spoilers*

MY LIKES: Mix a plucky set of young, flawed survivors with a fried US backdrop. Add cutthroat scavengers, heartless brutes and a smattering of zombies. Wrap it with a ticking clock that could spell tragedy for our heroes. Dump in a mix of secrets and shame. What's not to like?

MY DISLIKES: Overall the story kept me believing in the plight and conditions of this shattered America... with one exception. At times the characters have near video game resiliency. By that I mean bash 'em, beat 'em, smack 'em, tumble 'em, and they bounce right back up.

THE TONE: The story keeps a tight focus on Alex, our resourceful but damaged teen heroine. In the beginning Alex is personally doomed and defeated. When the Big Event soon happens that dooms the whole US, Alex transforms into a real fighter. She spends the rest of the story and (I assume) the sequels figuring out exactly what she has to fight for. Engrossing stuff.

A FAV LINE: The downside was that the antinausea drug didn't work--sooo just her luck--and she puked about every five minutes, driving the bulimics at school a little nuts because she was, like, this total pro.


The Eleventh Plague
The Eleventh Plague
by Jeff Hirsch
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.66
134 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars A Post Plague Party not to be missed, February 12, 2012
This review is from: The Eleventh Plague (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Stephen, a 15-year-old, does what he must to survive. At times, readers might disagree with his choices. That's a good thing.

*No Spoilers*

MY LIKES: For younger readers who enjoy post-apocalypse tales, this is an appropriate one. Intense and shocking at times, yes. Profanity, sex, drug use and assorted depravity, no. Scholastic lists it for ages 12 and up. Keep that in mind and it's an enjoyable, harrowing story.

MY DISLIKES: Nit-picky. The plague seems to have been a boost for Ma Nature here. Rust and elemental desolation is in serious overdrive just 10 - 20 years after civilization's downfall. Also, though not made clear, the plague seems to have run its course, leaving the survivors safe from it but stuck with the chaotic aftermath.

THE TONE: When it's everyone for himself, when is it ever safe or appropriate not to be selfish? This challenge grips and tests Stephen all through the story right up to the ending. It's a slick dilemma done well enough to make the readers imagine being in Stephen's shoes, wondering what hard choices they would make.

A FAV LINE: It was like the end of the world had returned, eager to finish its work.


A Web of Air (Mortal Engines Quartet)
A Web of Air (Mortal Engines Quartet)
by Philip Reeve
Edition: Paperback
51 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Hungry for more Hungry Cities? Try this, September 30, 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I actually read A Web of Air prior to Fever Crumb, the 1st volume of the series. If this is also your situation, no worries. Philip did a fine job diving into the plot of this book while providing enough back story nuggets for the characters and elements to make sense. Enough but not too much.

That being said, this series is a prequel, leading up to the era of the mobile, insatiable cities. If you're trying to decide which series to read first, Fever Crumb's or Mortal Engines, my opinion is it doesn't matter. Both can be enjoyed on their own merits.

*No Spoilers*

MY LIKES: The wry humor, unique personalization, and indomitable spirit Philip injected into the Mortal Engines series is back. I chuckle at how he twists contemporary items into the lore of this dystopian future. Neil Armstrong becomes Niall Strong-Arm here. Delightful. People, places and plot are rich with detail that entertains in an irresistible, almost gossip mongering fashion. Never enough juicy gossip, is there?

MY DISLIKES: A very minor quibble and this is a personal preference. I'm not fond of shifting from one character's head to another without some significant scene transition involved. It doesn't happen often and Philip handles it well, infinitely better than I could ever hope to do. I also felt the book's end was a tad rushed, like a hurried attempt at the 300 page mark to set up book 3.

THE TONE: Though this is a return to the Hungry Cities experience, A Web of Air seemed a little more relaxed to me. Less intense and frenetic than its predecessors (Book 1: Fever Crumb aside, since I haven't read it yet). Fewer revelations about the history that ultimately led up to this dark future. Scaled back overall intrigue. Fewer fascinating locations. Not to worry though; the heart is still true and very much pulsing away at the center of the story.

A FAV LINE: You could tell he was dead because of the expressionless way his eyes watched the ceiling and because of the two big holes in the front of his tunic.


The Roar
The Roar
by Emma Clayton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.35
94 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Kids + Dystopias naturally go together, August 28, 2011
This review is from: The Roar (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Part 1 - be advised. The story reaches a stopping point but won't be resolved until a sequel comes out.

*No Spoilers*

MY LIKES: Mmmm, dystopia. I always love seeing other authors imagine how crummy of a future we're going to have. This one has an evil government bureau, intense class struggle, kids as 'resources,' mutant powers, a divided world (the protected urbanized one versus the wild, savage, lethal one), oh and immersive video games used to produce and refine talent in the participants. What's not to like?

MY DISLIKES: Grown-ups (Grups, anyone?) are pretty two-dimensional in this tale. I can see how some readers feel the themes within are preachy.

THE TONE: Ellie (most of the kids, actually) gets menaced and is in peril for the extent of the story. Pretty intense action and violence included, which some younger readers may be desensitized to these days but not all--thus posing a challenge for parents are trying to be selective for what their kids get exposed to.

A FAV LINE: They all looked the same, the men; bald and grumpy, with their stomachs hanging over the waistbands of their dark blue YDF uniforms--they could have swapped lives for a weekend and their wives wouldn't have noticed."


Eifelian
Eifelian
Price: $16.72
22 used & new from $7.58

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Brilliant, April 16, 2011
This review is from: Eifelian (Audio CD)
If you adore female vocals that are lush, grab-me-and-never-let-go style, even if few words are involved, you are going to fall madly in love with Erin Welton on Eifelian. There are 14 delightful tracks here where she will serenade you with amazing pitch, range and octaves, sometimes through lyrics, but most often with just her mesmerizing vocalizations. Even better, her vocal weaves are perfectly matched by Scott Ferrell's accompaniments across a battery of instruments that produce riffs, beats and melodies ideally structured to showcase Erin's voice while still being catchy.

I have several works by Autumn's Grey Solace and I think first-timers to them can't go wrong with this choice. Definitely if you enjoy Cocteau Twins, you should give Eifelian a listen.

Highly recommended.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 11, 2011 1:36 PM PDT


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