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frozen01 RSS Feed (Elmhurst, IL United States)

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Earth Friendly Products Wave Auto Dish Gel High Performance, Lavender, 40 Ounces (Pack of 8)
Earth Friendly Products Wave Auto Dish Gel High Performance, Lavender, 40 Ounces (Pack of 8)
Price: $34.86
3 used & new from $34.86

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely useless, August 8, 2013
I used to think "detergent is detergent". I bought this stuff on a whim simply because of the price; the fact that it was eco-friendly was a nice bonus.

As I used the Wave detergent, I slowly began realizing that my dishes just weren't really getting clean. In fact, sometimes they came out dirtier than they went in, and at first I thought it was my dishwasher.
When the dishwasher started to smell like rotting food, I figured this confirmed my suspicion. Something was wrong.

Before I called the landlord, I tried a different detergent. Holy cow, what a difference this made.
My dishes came out spotless, silverware shiny, glasses and even tupperware were clear. And the smell? Gone.

Turns out, there was nothing wrong with my dishwasher at all.

Using Earth Friendly Products' Wave dishwasher detergent left my dishes dirty and covered in film and caused my dishwasher to smell.
It was positively the worst dishwasher detergent I've ever used, no exaggeration.

Purina Tidy Cats Pure Nature Cat Litter, 7.5-Pound
Purina Tidy Cats Pure Nature Cat Litter, 7.5-Pound
Offered by PetFoodParadise
Price: $24.99
2 used & new from $24.99

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If only I'd known about this product sooner!, March 3, 2013
Seriously, how come nobody ever told me about this stuff? Do you know how much back pain I could've saved? How much dust and odor I could've prevented?

I've been using clay-based litter my whole life, but Tidy Cats' wood/corn based litter caught my eye and I saw how light it was (a big factor since I'm on the 3rd floor and live by myself) so I decided to give it a try.

I have three cats, and two litter boxes. I filled one with this litter and the other with my old clay litter, just in case the cats didn't take to it. The first things I noticed were the pleasant smell (I'm very sensitive to strong scents, and this is fine) and how there was virtually no dust.

I didn't scoop the litter boxes for a few days, just to really test things out.

First, the wood/corn litter was MUCH easier to scoop through. Where the clay litter is heavy and resistant, the wood/corn litter just parted in front of the scoop with no strain or struggle. I got through the wood/corn litter box in half the time it took me to scoop the clay one.

The clay litter clumps were harder, but the wood/corn litter clumped just fine. Where the clumps stuck to the side, I had to fight the clay litter; with the wood/corn litter the clumps came right off.

And the SMELL. Oh my goodness. When I started scooping the clay litter box, it smelled TERRIBLE. When scooping the wood/corn litter box, however, I barely smelled a thing even though I'd let it sit several days. It wasn't just a little difference; the wood/corn was leaps and BOUNDS better. So I slowly began filling the clay box with more and more wood/corn (it's almost all wood/corn now). The cats are taking to it just fine.

Lastly, tracking. The wood/corn litter definitely tracks more than the clay... however, it's not very much more and it is easier to clean up. Sometimes I would find clay litter as far as the living room, but the wood/corn doesn't really seem to get much further than a few feet from the litter box.
With the clay, I vacuum it up, and when I go to dump the reservoir into the trash, there's a puff of dust. With the wood/corn litter, there is, again, virtually no dust.

The wood/corn litter is about 1/3rd of the weight, is easier to scoop, smells much better, tracks more but not as far, is easier to clean up what has been tracked, and my apartment won't be anywhere near as dusty.

Yeah, I'm a convert.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 9, 2014 2:31 PM PDT

Twilight at the World of Tomorrow: Genius, Madness, Murder, and the 1939 World's Fair on the Brink of War
Twilight at the World of Tomorrow: Genius, Madness, Murder, and the 1939 World's Fair on the Brink of War
by James Mauro
Edition: Hardcover
123 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars A familiar format, but a worthy read, November 11, 2011
It doesn't take much time to realize where the inspiration of the book came from. Everything about it... the subject, the dichotomy of the plot, the title, even the SUBTITLE... are reminiscent of "Devil in the White City". As a result, there is an air of cheapness and coattail-riding to this book, but it is worth it to look past all that and dive in anyways.

The one, best reason I can think of is that it poignantly captures the atmosphere of a pre-war America through the eyes of a common populace with nothing to do but pray war never comes. Although the visuals aren't particularly striking... there is a distinct lack of picture being painted here... I did nonetheless feel like I was peering into a very realistic past. This book takes you to the precipice but doesn't quite bring you in. I couldn't see in my mind the people attending the Fair, the clothing of the period, or anything like that, but I was awash in the emotion. My heart broke several times while reading this book, and I could feel the fear, trepidation, and exasperation of the characters that populated this world, even if I couldn't quite picture them. So it's worth a read just for that.

Whereas "Devil in the White City" managed to tell two interwoven stories at once, each being quite interesting in its own right while being very clear how they were connected, "Twilight at the World of Tomorrow" fell flat in that regard. The very first page of the book introduces you to Detective Joe Lynch and takes you through the story of a rather mundane murder and the even more mundane life of his ever-growing family (luckily, not too many pages are dedicated to this), but you go through a full three-quarters of the book before you understand what this side story has to do with the main plot at all. When it finally clicks, the purpose suddenly becomes very transparent: the author is trying to familiarize you with this character so that the events late in the book pack more of a punch. The problem is, it was completely unnecessary. Those events, especially paired with the photograph at the beginning of the chapter in which they reside, are more than enough. The rest is just a distraction... or worse, filler.

Another side story, this time about Albert Einstein, also felt rather pointless, and it seems as though he was thrown in simply because everyone knows who he is. His actions, aside from a small anecdote about the speech he gave at the Fair, don't have any impact on the Fair or even really the war (as it is told in the book), until the very end. But even then, his one contribution, the one justification for including him in this story, is only flippantly mentioned, taking up about a half of a sentence. It felt as if the author just got sick of writing about the war, or felt it distracted us from the main story, and wanted to wrap it up as quickly as possible.

Despite these flaws, the book is worth the read. Worlds Fairs are about a nation's hopes and dreams, tolerance and drive, morals and ideals, and, ultimately, paint a picture of both how the people think of themselves and how they want to be viewed; the face they put forward for the world to see. The subject matter is, as a result, a lens into the world upon which we built ours, and as such, I found it to be quite fascinating, regardless of the distractions and lose ends.

3.5 stars

The Anglo Files: A Field Guide to the British
The Anglo Files: A Field Guide to the British
by Sarah Lyall
Edition: Hardcover
25 used & new from $0.09

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fairly spot on assessment, August 20, 2011
Let's be clear: This book is NOT a glowing review of the United Kingdom or the British, and it is not good for an ex-pat's nostalgic romp. It is not a serious cultural study, either; more like musings on a foreign culture and its people. It is, at its core, though, a loving one. Written by an American woman who moved to London for love and job, it's an outsider's look at a country that, while so similar to the one she left behind, is different in glaring and odd ways. Lyall doesn't pull any punches, but rather tells a story of the British culture as she has experienced it.
And I know how she feels! I'm an American dating a Brit and picked up this book as an addition to Bill Bryson's (unfortunately aging) work on the subject as well as the travel guides and cultural studies I've collected along the way (I need all the help I can get). I feel like this book was made for people like me, like I was chatting with a catty girlfriend about our international loves, in that way that women tease about their significant others to one another. There were many times where I couldn't help but bust out laughing and think "that's SO true!" Most importantly, I was grateful for the subjects that no one else seems to cover (like the depth of England's love of drinking... I'd always marveled at exactly how much liquor my own Brit could knock back without being any worse for the wear, and now I know that's not unusual). In the end, it felt like she was a good friend sharing her experiences with a foreign culture that I have also found myself stuck into... experiences that I have not quite yet fully had myself, but when I do, will be all the more prepared for it.

Is this the best book about British culture? No. If you're interested in learning about the British, do not start here. But once you've gotten past those, I do recommend picking this up to delve deeper into the psyche of a nation. Just realize that it is fairly tongue-in-cheek at times and a bit sarcastic, that it is written from the perspective of an outsider and her observation on the people as a whole (and in some cases, individually), and that it is not written for Britons directly.

Sherlock: Season 1
Sherlock: Season 1
DVD ~ Benedict Cumberbatch
Price: $24.96
15 used & new from $18.57

63 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Overall a must-see and can't wait for more!, September 8, 2010
This review is from: Sherlock: Season 1 (DVD)
I'll admit, I was skeptical at first. After all, half of the allure of Sherlock Holmes is the grittiness and fog contrasting against the elegance and splendor of the Victorian era. How would this translate in a modern era? Surprisingly well, it turns out. Although only 3 episodes have been released (and yes, it has been renewed for further seasons/series), Sherlock has already found a place in my heart (and a permanent slot on my iPod). The acting is absolutely fabulous, and it is a smart blend of action, suspense, drama, and comedy, filled with references to the novels.

A Study in Pink (Steven Moffat): Written by the mastermind behind the latest season/series of Doctor Who starring Matt Smith (my favorite year of DW to date), and other gems like Jekyll (another modern retelling, this time of Robert Louis Stevenson's Victorian horror story), A Study in Pink re-introduces you to the characters of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson. Based more off the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories than the movies that made the term "dearstalker" a household name, Holmes solves mysteries the police cannot using his powers of observation, keen ability to connect the dots, and a smartphone. Watson, an Afghan war vet once more (things never really do change, do they?), is introduced to Holmes while looking for a roommate, and finds in him a friend and partner who can satisfy his need for adventure and danger in the humdrum of post-war life. On the advice of his psychiatrist, Watson begins a blog about Holmes' cases, and thus fulfills the role of biographer to the famous consulting detective. In this story, the police are looking into a series of deaths that are believed to be suicides by ingestion of pills, but Sherlock knows are murders. The mystery takes second-stage to the characters in this one, though. While the story suffers a smidgen for it, you will still have a ton of fun watching the characters develop and the stage get set. A pitch-perfect introduction to what is surely going to be a beloved show for a long time.

The Blink Banker (Stephen Thompson): A series of mysterious spray-painted symbols links murders and disappearances to ancient Chinese artifacts. Easily the weakest of the three stories so far, but still a good time, with some particularly fine acting by Martin Freeman. The ending is especially chilling, and worth the price of admission alone.

The Great Game (Mark Gatiss): An explosion rocks London, and soon the culprit challenges Sherlock in a race against time to solve seemingly unrelated cases before the next bomb goes off. Dr. Watson shines in this episode, showing that he is not the bumbling idiot as often portrayed in the movies (but NOT in the books, mind you; while he is not Sherlock's equal in terms of training, he is nearly as smart, and certainly more world-wise). There are also some lovely moments between Sherlock and Mycroft, great character exposition with regards to how Sherlock's mind works, and the nemesis that has been winding himself into the plots and lurking in the background.
And the ending... oh, my. My friends and I are still talking about it!

This program is more like three stand-alone movies, each episode being about 1.5 hours with a satisfying conclusion to wrap it up at the end (with one minor episode 3 caveat, about which I will not go further to avoid the slightest chance of spoiling the moment). But like any movie and its sequels, it is still best to watch them in order.
(A side note: The price might seem like a bit much for only three episodes, until you realize how much you would be paying for one stand-alone movie. And this show is better than most movies I could name.)

Doctor Who: Through Time and Space (Doctor Who (IDW))
Doctor Who: Through Time and Space (Doctor Who (IDW))
by Tony Lee
Edition: Paperback
67 used & new from $13.54

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful artistry, good stories, a fantastic collection!, May 22, 2010
From the moment I saw the cover art I knew this was going to be good, and upon cracking open the pages I was not disappointed!

Cover art:
Front: Well, you can see this for yourself, but it's a lovely still of Ten (as portrayed by David Tennant) and Martha standing in the whispering gallery. Wonderfully detailed and watercolor-esque, with the nu-Who logo and "THROUGH TIME AND SPACE" at the bottom.
Back: Stone brown background with delicate Gallifreyan circular design. The background is a matte finish while the design stands out and is smooth - very beautiful! Has short descriptions of each story.

The Whispering Gallery:
Art: A mixture of pencil, watercolor, computer, and photorealism (esp. the TARDIS). Close-ups are beautifully-detailed pencil/watercolor with quite a bit of work put into them. Background drawings are a bit more loose and cartoony, creating an interesting dichotomy that takes a few minutes to get used to but definitely adds to the enjoyment (though it does clash just a little bit with the somber storyline).
Story: Ten and Martha. The Doctor returns to the home planet of a previous companion to discover a society who never show any emotions. Easily the strongest story of the book and quintessentially Doctor Who: The companion (in this case, Martha) learns about an alien culture but can't help injecting her human heart into things, the Doctor must play Sherlock Holmes to discover what is causing all the pain and suffering for these people, there's a big beastie baddie, a chase, and a clever resolution (if a big hurried).
9 out of 10

The Time Machination:
Art: Not as big of a fan of this style, but it does lend to the grittiness of Victorian England. A bit more solid and blocky.
Story: Just Ten, no companion (unless you count HG Wells). The TARDIS is in need of a refueling, but Cardiff is a bit far away, so the Doctor enlists the help of Mr. Wells. That is, until Torchwood shows up. Similar to the Shakespeare Code in character interaction and plot. Entertaining, but not ground-breaking.
7 out of 10

Art: Mix of computer and traditional comic book. Less abrasive than "The Time Machination", not as elegant as "The Whispering Gallery".
Story: Ten and Donna. The TARDIS lands on a planet whose inhabitants have perfected everything. This comes at a price, of course, and quickly the Doctor and Donna discover that they've been enslaving a robot species who are too human for comfort. A bit of a "be careful what you wish for" tale with a slightly silly ending that is fun and pretty much classic Donna.
8 out of 10

Cold-Blooded War:
Art: Similar to "The Time Machination", blocky and solid but with a bit more shading to it.
Story: Ten and Donna. By a twist of fate, a woman has become the ruler of a highly-patriarchal race, causing civil unrest and violent factions. The story itself is a welcome one, but the execution could have been better. It almost literally beats you over the head with the message, and the comparison to Islamic societies is an incredibly obvious one that I could have done without (Donna even mentions burqas at one point). That said, I like everything BUT the execution. The characters are wonderful, especially the little imprisoned girl Agita, and there is plenty of action. I could have seen this as an actual episode, were it not for the heavy-handedness of the moral message.
6.5 out of 10

Room with a Deja-View:
Art: More photorealistic than 2 and 4, detailed with rich color and shading. The way David Tennant's lips are drawn at times (with solid outlines), though, is very distracting and stops me from 100% loving the art.
Story: Just Ten. Okay, this is a difficult one. The TARDIS receives a distress call, and bored out of his mind, the Doctor answers. He discovers an alien being about to be executed for murder, but they're having a bit of trouble interrogating the suspect. Why? Well, this alien lives his life backwards. Literally. Not like Benjamin Button... his life is literally in reverse, like playing a movie on rewind. The Doctor has to pull a similar trick as in "Blink" to be able to understand a conversation whose end is its beginning, and the frames are written from the perspective of the alien (meaning the conversation ends at the beginning so you have to find the page where the conversation starts from the perspective of the alien and work your way backwards). The result is a LOT of work and confusion for very, very little payoff. I understood it the first time through, but didn't think it was a good way to approach this (though it was VERY clever).
4 out of 10

Black Death White Life:
Art: More realism, mix of traditional comic book, computer, and a touch of watercolor, especially on skin tones which is a nice effect.
Story: Ten and Martha. The TARDIS accidentally lands in 1669 while on the way to a Beatles concert. The Doctor and Martha find themselves smack dab in the middle of the Black Plague. While Martha aids the sick, the Doctor discovers the church have themselves a healing angel... but not one of this heaven or Earth. Another classic Doctor Who tale, with aliens injected in historical Earth fact and lore, action, compassion, and a touch of humor, making this a solid addition to the collection and a possible good source for a future episode.
9 out of 10

Miscellaneous: Includes seven full-page photographs and illustrated stills of David Tennant as the Doctor along with Martha or Donna.

Overall, this is a must buy for any Doctor Who fan!

Heretics Fork [HD]
Heretics Fork [HD]
Price: $2.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor writing causes the show to drag, April 29, 2010
As a household of sci-fi fans, we tried several times to get into this show. but it is incredibly boring, despite the potential. Nothing ever seems to happen. There's no suspense, no surprise, no twists, nothing scratches the surface. Their attempts at plot twists are ho-hum, and I've never once found myself thinking "I wonder what will happen next?" because I know that every time I tune in, three things will be true: 1) The Visitors are evil (blatantly so; no shades of gray here), 2) They're trying to lull humanity into a false sense of security, and 3) There is a resistance. Everything else just feels like it was thrown in to have something happen, but it really doesn't have any relevance to what's going on.
The acting is pretty good but you really can't connect with any of the characters. There's nothing there to relate to, nothing to grab you and suck you in.

Wii Fit Plus with Balance Board
Wii Fit Plus with Balance Board
83 used & new from $43.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great, fun, EASY way to keep in shape, March 20, 2010
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
I got my Wii Fit about two weeks ago, and already I'm feeling more energetic and more toned than I was before!

I used to have a gym membership. The workouts were mind-numbingly boring and repetitive, and I HATED going. I had to keep my iPhone stocked with games, books, TV shows, and movies to get me through my workout. Even worse, after six months of going to the gym 2-3 times a week and working out for 1-2 hours each time, I wasn't losing any weight. So I was really skeptical when my friend got her Wii Fit and she told me she lost 10 lbs in two months. I decided to try it though, because although I tend to be a bit lazy, I'm also really competitive so I thought it might help. And it has! The best part is that the games are not repetitive, and they keep your mind occupied and entertained so much that you don't really even realize that you're getting a good workout. After the first few times that I used the Wii Fit, I never thought that I'd lose much weight. I mean, the games were so simple, and I wasn't breaking a sweat or anything. But only two weeks later, working out 3-5 times a week, I'm seeing an improvement already. My stomach is flatter, for one, and I just feel better. Already, my weight is starting to tick down just a little bit, and at this rate, I think I'll start to see more significant weight loss here very shortly. And that hour that I'm working out just flies by.
The games are so much fun that we even play the Wii Fit at parties. The snowball fights are my favorite, but there's also skiing, snowboarding, skateboarding, bicycling, jogging, boxing, kung fu, soccer, an obstacle course, and even this cute little game where you flap your arms like a bird to fly between checkpoints (that one is a hit at parties because you look really ridiculous but it is a lot of fun). I usually stick to the games, but they also have yoga and aerobics for the more fitness-minded. I'm not really into yoga, but I have tried a few of the aerobics and I like what they've done. They make you focus on keeping your balance, so your mind is, once again, occupied with keeping your balance correct and your score high rather than on any tedium. So rather than just repeating the same motion over and over, each time is a challenge to keep that dot in the circle (representing your center of balance) and outdo your last score. You also have a "personal trainer" to give you tips and encouragement, and the simple "body tests" make it easy to stay focused on your goal.

Bottom line: Wii Fit makes working out fun instead of a chore, and despite the simplicity of the games, and the fact that it really doesn't feel like a workout, you still get results. Lots of variety and challenge means you'll never be bored. Added bonus is that the cost of the Wii Fit equals about 2-5 months of gym membership, so you end up saving a ton of money too. If you're trying to decide between the Wii Fit and the Wii Fit Plus, definitely go with the Plus!!!

US Forge 108 Shaded #5 Economy Cup Brazing Goggles
US Forge 108 Shaded #5 Economy Cup Brazing Goggles
Price: $9.54
9 used & new from $3.30

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Faulty bridgepiece, December 24, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This was bought as a costume piece. It arrived very quickly, in just a few business days, in adequate packaging. The goggles contain two set of lenses, a clear set and a shaded set, which can be easily removed and replaced.
The only problem is that the bridgepiece (the part that connects the two halves just above the nose) consists of a string of metal beads (sorry, I'm not sure of the correct term) that thread through a hole on each side of the two halves, connecting them, and through the small black tube shown in the picture. This string does NOT hold. The goggles will sit on your face or head just fine, but the slightest stretching (for example, when you're pulling the goggles off or putting them on) will pull the metal beads out of the holes on the sides of the goggles, breaking the connection between the two halves. It requires needlenose pliers to fix and you have to take a lot of care when putting the goggles on and taking them off so as not to tug on the string of metal beads at all, otherwise the goggles will break again.
As a costume piece that will only be worn a few times, it is a mild annoyance. If you were actually planning on using this for welding or any sort of work- or hobby-related activity, I would imagine that this would get old very fast.

This Is War
This Is War
Price: $5.99
71 used & new from $0.01

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pretty disappointing..., December 8, 2009
This review is from: This Is War (Audio CD)
I don't know. I keep listening to this and nothing sticks. It's not bad, but it's certainly not that great, either. I like the lyrics, I love Leto's voice of course, but the chorus is distracting, and the melodies are pretty bland. As a concept album it's okay, but it's inconsistent. "Closer to the Edge" sounds like Gabriel Iglesias, "Stranger in a Strange Land" sounds like sleepy techno-Goth, "Hurricane" gets a little too close to hip-hop, "Search and Destroy" sounds like U2 with a few voice effects, and "Alibi" sounds like the Kings of Leon decided to write a lullaby. It's like a "mix" station in a CD.
The best part of "This is War" are the lyrics, but lyrics alone would not make me want to buy this album. I want music that will take me on a journey, not read me a poem.
Maybe I'll enjoy it more if I listen to it a few more times, but for the time being, I'm just not convinced.

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