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Reviews Written by
Mike Powers "mkp51" RSS Feed (Woolwich, ME USA)
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

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Bayview Classic Brown Bonded Leather Club Chair
Bayview Classic Brown Bonded Leather Club Chair
Offered by Rosenbridge Sales
Price: $211.00
2 used & new from $210.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Uncomfortable, poor quality, and too small for our needs., June 28, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
We ordered this Bayview Classic chair because we needed one more accent chair for our large living room. It looked like it would be a perfect choice.

When the chair arrived, we were very disappointed. The chair is much smaller than we anticipated. It's barely adequate for an average sized person, and far to uncomfortable for a large person like me to sit in. The seat cushion is very hard and the back is too short.

The overall quality of the chair is not very good. The bonded leather seems okay, but the overall fit and finish is poor. When I removed the chair from its box, one side of the back panel had separated from the frame, leaving a three-inch long opening along one side. I'm not sure this is a result of a defect in materials and workmanship or damage done in shipping (the cardboard shipping container was in terrible condition when it arrived), but either way, we are completely unsatisfied with this purchase.

I emailed the seller directly (as required by Amazon), and have requested a return authorization and full refund.


Cribbage Pro Online
Cribbage Pro Online
Price: $2.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Good cribbage app, but read EULA and permissions carefully before using,, June 21, 2015
This review is from: Cribbage Pro Online (App)
"Cribbage Pro Online" is the paid version of "Cribbage Pro" by Fuller Systems. It's a very good cribbage app for Android devices; as such, it is functionally identical to its ad-supported sibling, with the same good AI, and a similar tendency to try a bit too hard to win at higher difficulty levels. Game play remains smooth, but graphics are average at best; card backs and faces look great on my 10.1-inch tablet, but are small and hard to read, especially on my smart phone.

One of the game's great strengths is its statistical record-keeping. It maintains a very comprehensive record of each player's win-loss record, and breaks down average scoring by difficulty level in several categories. The game also freely awards badges for in-game accomplishments.

When I purchased "Cribbage Pro Online" a couple of years ago, I did so primarily to remove those pesky ads that can reduce device battery life. Before downloading the app, I had read many customer reviews warning of its EULA and list of permissions. I read these documents carefully and found that their language was indeed rather ambiguous. As a result, I have not used this game in multi-player mode, nor will I. Instead, I use Cribbage Pro Online" as a standalone, ad-free, single-player game. Used in that manner, "Cribbage Pro Online" remains a very good game that provides me with hours of cribbage-playing fun. Recommended.


TacticTrainer
TacticTrainer
Price: $0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good app for chess training., June 21, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: TacticTrainer (App)
In my ongoing efforts to improve my distinctly mediocre chess playing ability, I'm always on the lookout for good chess apps. I stumbled upon "TacticTrainer" a few days ago. This is an app that's designed to help improve a chess player's tactical ability by providing a series of chess puzzles to solve.

This is actually a pretty good app for chess training. I've attempted to solve several puzzles so far, and have not yet succeeded at providing the correct answer to any problem without giving up. Despite that, I have noticed that I am studying and analyzing positions more carefully, and I'm able to see more clearly whether or not my move choices are sound. From that standpoint, the app has already proven itself helpful.

Game graphics are about average for a modern-day Android-based chess app. I am able to select from a limited number of chessboard colors and chess piece styles. I can also select which tactical motif - i.e., fork, pin, block, x-ray attack, etc., - that I wish to study. Or, I can allow the app to select a random puzzle for me. The app analyzes my responses and gives me an estimated Elo score. (My current score reflects my chess playing abilities pretty well.)

With the free version of this app, I must be connected to the Internet in order to download puzzles. The free app also dispkays small and unobtrusive ads. A paid version removes the ads and allows players to use the app offline.

Although I'm still learning how to use "TacticTrainer" to its best effect, my first impression of it is generally positive. Recommended.


Kindle for Android
Kindle for Android
Price: $0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Works perfectly, no matter which device I'm using., June 18, 2015
This review is from: Kindle for Android (App)
I currently own three Android devices: a smart phone, a 7-inch tablet, and a 10.1-inch tablet. I installed the Kindle for Android app on all three of them because I find it convenient to read my books on any one of them from time to time. Kindle for Android works perfectly no matter which device I'm using. I especially appreciate the way the app synchronizes my content when I switch between devices. The app also synchronizes with my Kindle Fire HD and my Kindle for PC app, so no matter where I am and what I'm reading, I never lose my place or my bookmarks.

Simply put, Kindle for Android is a great app! Highly recommended.


100 Singalong Songs for Kids
100 Singalong Songs for Kids
Price: $7.08
72 used & new from $6.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful "sing along" songs keep our grandchildren singing with smiles., June 18, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Our two youngest granddaughters are, as of this writing, three and four years old. Both of them have always loved music and take particular delight in singing. We bought this three-CD set of "100 Singalong Songs for Kids" with them in mind. They absolutely love it! We keep it at our house so that they can have fun singing and dancing whenever they visit. The songs are all light-hearted, very well performed, and most suitable for their age group.

Whenever they play one of these CD's, our granddaughters enthusiasically belt out each song with a big smile on their faces. The songs are infectiously fun, too. I frequently find myself joining in the merriment right along with the girls.

"100 Singalong Songs for Kids" is sure to please children of all ages. Highly recommended.


CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Season 1
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Season 1
DVD ~ George Eads
Offered by MightySilver
Price: $13.50
220 used & new from $3.98

5.0 out of 5 stars The best police procedural drama of its generation... and perhaps of all time., June 18, 2015
When "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" premiered on CBS in October 2000, it quickly joined the ranks of my favorite television shows. This police procedural crime drama was one of the few shows each week that I would actually make time in my busy schedule to sit down and watch.

For several years, I've been collecting DVD sets of each season of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation." (I now own 12 seasons of the show on DVD.) Season 1 was actually the first DVD set I ever purchased of any television series.

"CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" Season 1 successfully does what every inaugural season of a TV show should do: introduce viewers to the characters, setting, and premise of the show. From the very first minutes of the first episode, I knew this show was going to be a winner, destined for television greatness.

"CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" is all about the grave shift at the Las Vegas crime lab. Dr. Gil Grissom (William Peterson) is newly appointed as the shift leader. He is capably assisted by Catherine Willows (Marg Helgenberger), an experienced CSI Level 3 investigator; and Warrick Brown (Gary Dourdan) and Nick Stokes (George Eads), a duo of competent but somewhat less experienced forensics analysts. There are also several "lab rats" - technicians who work inside the crime lab in their own specialties. Most notable among them is Greg Sanders (Eric Szmanda), the DNA technician, who is young, capable, but a bit hyperkinetic. Rounding out the night shift is Captain Jim Brass (Paul Guilfoyle), a hard-boiled, cynical detective who serves as the police department's liaison with the crime lab.

"CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" Season 1 has several notable episodes that quickly established the strength of the show. In "Blood Drops," (perhaps the best episode of the season, and one of the best all-time) Grissom and his team investigate the grisly slayings of four out of six family members, a crime in which the lives of two sisters are, for some reason, spared. A shocking plot twist near makes this a particularly compelling - and heartbreaking - episode.

Other standout episodes include "Unfriendly Skies," where the team is called to investigate an-flight murder on a jetliner after it lands at Las Vegas; "The I-15 Murders," in which the team must determine who is responsible for a series of abductions and killings along Interstate 15; and "Gentle, Gentle," another moving episode in which the team must investigate the kidnapping of an infant from a wealthy family.

These and other episodes set the tone for this excellent series and established "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" as the best police procedural drama of its generation... and perhaps of all time. No wonder was so popular with viewers that it ran for 15 seasons! Highly recommended.


DroidZebra Reversi
DroidZebra Reversi
Price: $0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars A very powerful (almost unbeatable) Reversi app., June 15, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: DroidZebra Reversi (App)
DroidZebra is an excellent Android-based app for playing the game of Reversi (also known as Othello). It has a very powerful engine that is almost unbeatable for casual Reversi players like me. Still, I like the app very much.

Some notable features: "DroidZebra" shows board coordinates, and it also shows a list of moves made by both the player and the computer. It also lists the opening book used in each game. One drawback: the game's performance on my Kindle Fire HD can be a bit sluggish at times. The game certainly doesn't respond to my inputs with the "snap" of AI Factory's "Reversi" app.

Despite this minor performance issue, I find "DroidZebra" challenging fun to play. Recommended.


Bangor Daily News
Bangor Daily News
Price: $0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Keeps me very well updated on state and local news, weather, and sports., June 15, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Bangor Daily News (App)
I'm originally from Bangor, Maine, although I don't live there any more. The Bangor Daily News (BDN) is my hometown newspaper. I've always thought it is the best newspaper in Maine.

I installed the "BDN Maine" app on my Kindle Fire HD7 very soon after I acquired my device in 2012. Since then, I have relied almost exclusively on this app to keep me updated on state and local news.

"BDN Maine" is an Android-based app that does an excellent job of fulfilling my requirements for timely, accurate, and comprehensive news coverage. The app concentrates on news within Maine, so I can keep abreast of everything that's happening from the state capital in Augusta to the small towns in Midcoast Maine where I live. One especially noteworthy feature: the app divides news coverage into regions within the state, so I can concentrate on news from a particular area whenever I wish. "BDN Maine" also keeps me completely up-to-date on our local weather forecast and sports scores and events throughout the state.

"BDN Maine" is an excellent news app that keeps me very well updated on state and local news, weather, and sports. Highly recommended.


Avenue Six Curves Tufted Chair. Chocolate Fabric
Avenue Six Curves Tufted Chair. Chocolate Fabric
Price: $268.11
17 used & new from $261.93

5.0 out of 5 stars Very nice addition to our living room., June 15, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
We needed a new accent chair for our home, to replace an old and worn recliner that came with our house when we bought it. We chose the Avenue Six Curves Tufted Chair because it appeared that it would fit into our living room perfectly.

We were not disappointed. This is indeed a very good chair, one that's comfortable and obviously very well built. It's covered with a high quality dark brown microfiber fabric that is easy to maintain and keep clean. The chair looks great in the spot we selected for it.

Our new chair did require assembly when we got it. Putting it together was not particularly difficult or time-consuming. However, using my own battery-powered screwdriver and Allen bit, instead of the tiny manufacturer-supplied Allen wrench, definitely made assembly a lot easier for me. It took less than 30 minutes to put the chair completely together.

We are very satisfied with our new Avenue Six Curves tufted chair. It's a very nice addition to our living room. Highly recommended.


NCIS: Season 8
NCIS: Season 8
DVD ~ Mark Harmon
Price: $11.88
83 used & new from $6.47

5.0 out of 5 stars "NCIS" Season 8: a standout season in every respect., June 14, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: NCIS: Season 8 (DVD)
One of my annual rites of summer each year is the purchase of another season of my favorite TV show on DVD: NCIS. I now have all eleven available seasons of this show on disc, and have just recently pre-ordered Season 12.

"NCIS," of course, is the long-running, very popular police procedural crime drama that, as of this writing, has completed its 12th season and has been renewed for a 13th. It has aired on CBS on Tuesday nights at 8:00 since it premiered in 2003. The show revolves around the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), an actual civilian-run law enforcement agency of the U.S. Navy. It follows the investigations of the Major Case Response Team (MCRT) located at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, DC. Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Harmon) leads this team, which is made up of Special Agents Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly); Eleanor Bishop (Emily Wickersham) (who replaced the departed Cote de Pablo midway through Season 11); Timothy McGee (Sean Murray), Chief Medical Examiner Donald "Ducky" Mallard (David McCallum), and forensics expert Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perrette.)

I've always thought that "NCIS" Season 8 was (and remains) one of the show's very best seasons of all time. This particular season, which ran from September 2010 through May 2011, is packed with some of the most dramatic, suspenseful, and moving episodes in the history of the show, and gives strong evidence that writers, producers, and actors were consistently working at their "full stretch" of creativity.

Powerful individual episodes abound throughout the eighth season. "Enemies Foreign" and "Enemies Domestic," are two linked episodes where a visit to the US by Israeli Mossad director Eli David embroils the entire NCIS agency in chaos. It is in this pair of episodes that NCIS Director Leon Vance's shadowy history begins to be revealed. Other singularly outstanding episodes include: "Recruited," where the MCRT investigates a Navy recruiter's murder while "Ducky" is visited by his predecessor as Medical Examiner; and "A Man Walks Into a Bar," where each MCRT member must undergo a mandatory psychological evaluation, while at the same time investigating the shipboard slaying of a Naval officer.

"NCIS" Season 8 also embarks on a wonderfully dramatic and suspenseful multi-episode story arc involving the "Port-to-Port Killer," a case that introduces a new team, complicates personal and professional relationships between agents on both teams, and further strains the already tenuous relationship between Director Vance and Special Agent Gibbs.

Simply put, "NCIS" Season 8 is a standout season in every respect. Highly recommended.


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