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Customer Reviews: 164
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Helpful Votes: 4604




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Matthew T. Weflen "Matthew Weflen" RSS Feed (Chicago, IL)
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YESTERDAY'S NEWS PRODUCTS 702315 Softer Texture Fresh Scent Cat Litter, 26.4-Pound
YESTERDAY'S NEWS PRODUCTS 702315 Softer Texture Fresh Scent Cat Litter, 26.4-Pound
Price: $14.99
7 used & new from $14.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Poor odor control dogs this cat product, August 27, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This litter does one thing really well and two things really poorly.

On the plus side, it breaks up well and makes it easy to determine which areas are wet. Scooping it is not an issue, and there is no dust. Others have claimed no tracking, this is not my experience. Our two cats seem to get it in their paws and track it at least into the bathrooms where our boxes are located, and occasionally further.

One annoyance, though, is the color of the litter. The dark coloring can make it difficult to see poops.

The big negative for me is odor control. Namely, the lack of odor control. Although it seems to do pretty well with poop odors, it does very little for the ammonia smell that urine can create. After one or two days, there is a distinct ammonia odor that gets progressively worse. In my experience both Feline Pine (which recently became more expensive and dropped from Subscribe&Save) and Fresh News (same price as this product) do a much better job controlling urine odor.

As such, my recommendation for a natural litter is Fresh News. It's not as good as Feline Pine, but it is way better at this price at controlling odors.


The Golem of Hollywood
The Golem of Hollywood
by Jonathan Kellerman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.48

3.0 out of 5 stars Irritating format led to flagging interest, August 27, 2014
This review is from: The Golem of Hollywood (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This was not as good as Kellerman's other books, which I have enjoyed in the past. I lost interest about halfway through. The format of the story goes back and forth between the main narrative and interspersed chapters of a version of a biblical story of Jacob and Esau's sister. These interludes took me out of the main narrative and didn't really offer anything to the main story, at least to me.


Huggies Little Movers Diapers, Size 4, 112 Count
Huggies Little Movers Diapers, Size 4, 112 Count
Price: $42.93
5 used & new from $35.28

5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbency, containment, convenience., August 27, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
All questions about cloth vs. disposable aside, these are some pretty nice diapers.

1. They absorb and hold a LOT of moisture. They do a good job of wicking it away from the skin, too, which helps prevent rashes.
2. The "velcro" attachments are really excellent. The double-locking sort of velcro strips do a great job of adhering, but allow for easy re-adjustment, too. We've used diapers that didn't stick nearly as well.
3. The leg-line does a good job of containing any accidents. We've had no leaks in a downward direction.

So look. These diapers will do a good job of keeping your kids and your house/clothes dry. Whether or not that is a good thing for long term pottying is a separate question. These work as well as advertised and are great for certain situations.


Water! Water! Water!
Water! Water! Water!
by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $10.79
41 used & new from $6.79

5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and informative, August 27, 2014
This review is from: Water! Water! Water! (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Our son (going on 3) really enjoyed this book. He found the writing and the illustrations to be interesting, and he retained the information quite well. He has been talking about water and the roles it plays in the world very happily since reading this book. I give it a hearty recommendation for kids with an interest in science.


Farberware Commercial Nonstick 8.25-Inch and 10-Inch Twin Pack Open Skillet Set
Farberware Commercial Nonstick 8.25-Inch and 10-Inch Twin Pack Open Skillet Set
Price: $39.95
7 used & new from $39.95

3.0 out of 5 stars Great cook, fragile non-stick coating, August 27, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
1. These pans do a good job of distributing heat to give a nice, even cook. I fried and scrambled eggs, made grilled cheese sandwiches, and made hamburgers/veggie patties in them.

2. These pans are really heavy. This is a plus and minus. On the plus side, I used these pans in tandem as sort of a panini/grilled cheese press. They're that heavy. On the minus of course is the increased difficulty in maneuvering the pans.

3. The non-stick coating works great but is EXTREMELY fragile. I took a grilled cheese sandwich off of the pan with a metal spatula once, and gingerly at that, and still saw scratches in the coating. This was pretty disappointing compared to the T-Fal pan we also have.

So, all in all, I can't really recommend these pans for everyday kitchen use. They cook well but the coating is too temperamental to be relied upon long term. Go with one of T-Fal's pans.


Feit LED Dimmable G25 Decorative Bulb - Uses only 8 watts PACK OF 3
Feit LED Dimmable G25 Decorative Bulb - Uses only 8 watts PACK OF 3
Offered by K&J'S MAX
Price: $14.99
38 used & new from $8.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Unbeatable for the price, a few things to keep in mind, August 27, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've been living with these bulb for a few weeks. I initially bought them for a bathroom mirror fixture, but liked the light (and the price) enough to purchase more of them for floor and table lamps. Here are my observations:

1. These bulbs draw 7.2 watts of electricity, not 8. I measured several of them with my Kill-A-Watt meter, and they all came in under the advertised 8 watts.
2. There is indeed a short delay when turning them on. I'd say half a second. Since I am used to the CFLs these replace, this is no big deal for me.
3. These are of course in the decorative size, so they are wider than a standard bulb. Keep this in mind when you plan to replace bulbs - I like the wide globe for "Decorative" lights, i.e. lights that one might see at any given time (in a lamp, ceiling fan, or sconce). These might not fit in some ceiling fixtures - it depends on how close the shade is to the socket.
4. The base of these bulbs gets hot, but not terribly so compared to other CFL or LED bulbs.
5. The dimming function works, but is not great. They don't get terribly dim on the low end, and there seem to be some visible steps in the brightening. So it's not as smooth as some dimmers.
6. The color temperature is cooler than an old incandescent. but it is by no means blue. It is a really pure white, very close to sunlight.

All in all, for under five bones a pop, this is a great buy. Hopefully they last as long as the rated life. If they do, I'll definitely enjoy these lights for a long time. I give them 4 stars for the delay and for the lackluster dimming performance. But overall I'm very enthused.


Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey [Blu-ray]
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Neil Degrasse Tyson
Price: $39.96
66 used & new from $18.83

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, not terribly deep, good a/v quality, lackluster extras, July 15, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Content: Certain episodes are triumphs of presentation (particularly the leaded gas and global warming episodes). Others are a bit scattershot and frustrate by jumping around between subjects too quickly. Overall, a very entertaining show that provides a wide survey of current science, the scientific method, and science history. This doesn't go as deep as some documentary shows (such as Brian Greene's Nova specials or Neil Shubin's PBS shows on evolution), but it is a good show for whetting the scientific appetite.

The Blu-Ray: Video and audio quality are generally excellent, with loads of fine detail. Black levels do fluctuate a bit, but colors are always vibrant. Outdoor HD shots are typically better than space footage, which shows the most variability in quality.

The extras are rather lackluster. Only one episode receives a commentary. The lone making of documentary is pretty good, if a bit self-congratulatory. The interactive cosmic calendar is a waste of time and effort - too cumbersome to enjoy using, not enough content within it. I really would have liked to see deleted scenes, or perhaps additional spotlight documentaries on certain topics.

In sum, this is a good buy to get a layperson interested in science. It will entertain but probably not completely satisfy someone who has already delved into the topic matter in other formats.


Craig Frames FM74DKW 12 by 16-Inch Rustic Photo Frame, Smooth Grain Finish, 2-Inch Wide, Dark Brown
Craig Frames FM74DKW 12 by 16-Inch Rustic Photo Frame, Smooth Grain Finish, 2-Inch Wide, Dark Brown
Price: $20.99
2 used & new from $14.39

4.0 out of 5 stars Impressive frame for the price, June 17, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is an MDF picture frame with a faux wood finish. If you go in knowing that and adjust your expectations accordingly, you should be quite pleased.

This frame perfectly fit a piece of 12x16 art we purchased. The glass is smooth and even. The rear enclosure used a metal pin style of fastening around the object (see the manufacturer pictures) and the hanger is a hinge piece that maintains a good stickiness (meaning it doesn't fall flat the second you try to hang it). The frame was packaged extremely well and arrived with no damage. From a normal viewing distance, you'd be hard pressed to tell it's not wood, and the "antique" finish is quite convincing.

For the price, I don't think you can do better. Would definitely order again.


The Ascendant: A Garrett Reilly Thriller
The Ascendant: A Garrett Reilly Thriller
by Drew Chapman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.08
145 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good debut, nice topic, a few annoyances, May 15, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The topic of stock and bond manipulation might sound dry, but really it isn't. It's the topic of a new nonfiction piece, "Flash Boys," by "Moneyball" writer Michael Lewis. So the question here is whether this treatment of the topic is a bland, paint-by-numbers thriller in the vein of Dan Brown, or is something more interesting. The answer is sort of in between. Character names have a penchant for sounding like Hollywood scripts ("Garret Reilly" is the protagonist), and the style veers a bit florid at times ("Then Blackness Overtook Avery Bernstein.").

Overall, this was competent and mostly engaging. By the end, however, things sort of jumped the shark and seemed to lack verisimilitude. Perhaps future novels will be more consistent from start to finish.


Death of the Black-Haired Girl
Death of the Black-Haired Girl
by Robert Stone
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $2.26
128 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brisk style, interesting story that defies "Thriller" conventions, May 15, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Robert Stone has written what might be called an "arty" tale of an unexpected death, but he does so admirably free of overly florid descriptions or unbearably twee trickery. Instead, he creates an interesting set of characters surrounding his central victim, Maud. The character description is reminiscent of Richard Russo, though perhaps not quite as adept. The backdrop is a New York college, with the various types of people you might find there, young and old. Maud herself is a student, who gets involved romantically with a professor. Overall this was a very quick read and was entertaining and interesting, throughout. I did not really like the title, it indicated more of a murder mystery (e.g. all the other "Girl with the Insert XYZ" type cash-ins), when really this was more of a story about all the surrounding and contributing aspects of her death and the effects it has on the other characters.


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