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M. JEFFREY MCMAHON "herculodge" RSS Feed (Torrance, CA USA)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

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Squatty Potty The Original Bathroom Toilet Stool- Slim Teak Finish 7"
Squatty Potty The Original Bathroom Toilet Stool- Slim Teak Finish 7"
Price: $77.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Much More Stylish Than the White Plastic Version, April 30, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
We've had the plastic 9-inch for about a year and while it works well, we thought for aesthetic reasons, we'd get the teak. It really does blow the white plastic one away in terms of visual appeal. Also we got the 7-inch model, which is more ergonomically friendly for everyone in height from five feet seven to six feet in the house. The white plastic squatty potty is now in the twins' bathroom. If you're looking to correct your posture in a stylish version of the original Squatty Potty, this is highly recommended.


DII Kitchen Millennium, Dishwasher Safe, BPA Free, Silicone Food Cover Lid/Splatter Guard, Creates Airtight, Watertight & Spill Proof Seal, Fits Various Sizes of Cups, Bowls & Pans, Set of 3- Red
DII Kitchen Millennium, Dishwasher Safe, BPA Free, Silicone Food Cover Lid/Splatter Guard, Creates Airtight, Watertight & Spill Proof Seal, Fits Various Sizes of Cups, Bowls & Pans, Set of 3- Red
Price: $14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Versatile and Helps You Avoid Plastic Wrap, April 30, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Pressing the center with one finger, you seal these lids on any container. The smallest of the 3 covers my twins' cereal bowls at night, which I prep, so that they can take off the lid and then pour their milk on in the morning. The larger two are too big for cereal bowls, but work fine for pots, Pyrex containers, etc. I like that I can put them in the dishwasher, and I don't have to deal with plastic wrap. Recommended.


DII Bone Dry Warm, Soft, Plush, Microfiber Pet Blanket for Couch, Car, Trunk, Cage, Kennel, Dog House, 36x48", Pink
DII Bone Dry Warm, Soft, Plush, Microfiber Pet Blanket for Couch, Car, Trunk, Cage, Kennel, Dog House, 36x48", Pink
Price: $14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars So Soft, My 6-Year-Old Daughter Took It, April 17, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This pink embossed microfiber blanket decorated with dog biscuits is so soft my 6-year-old daughter took it right out of the box and put it on her bed to use as a throw blanket. The fit and finish is top quality with solid stitching around the edges and no fraying. The microfiber should be durable for a dog's claws. The pink is very subtle, light, nothing tacky or bubblegum bright about it. Easy to store, very soft, and good for a throw blanket, and give give the plush microfiber blanket the highest recommendation.


Zuli Smartplug: Smart Home Control, Dimmer, Energy Monitor & Timer (Presence 3 Pack)
Zuli Smartplug: Smart Home Control, Dimmer, Energy Monitor & Timer (Presence 3 Pack)
Offered by A.G. LLC
Price: $118.99
11 used & new from $68.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Needs Some Fine Tuning But Great Idea, April 17, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a great idea, turning on the lights in your house with a phone app, and needs some fine tuning. For now, it only works on our iPhone through iTunes app and needs Location Services turned on all the time. It won't work through our iPad or any Android phone (though we tried to download app through iTunes on an Android it didn't work).

If they could expand this to Apple and Android phones and allow it to turn on every light in the house, as opposed to a few, without having the Location Services turned on all the time, the execution would be a "game changer."


The Visual Guide to First Grade
The Visual Guide to First Grade
by Thinking Kids
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.78
34 used & new from $7.27

5.0 out of 5 stars Connects Visual Learning with Critical Thinking, April 17, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
We’ve been told first grade will immerse my twins, now in kindergarten, into heavy reading and it will be easy to get behind, so it’s a good idea to get some supplemental material.

The Visual Guide to First Grade covers nature, insects, the natural world, math, language arts, women in sports, introduction to United States government, introduction to money and economics, and social studies, The VGK has fully realized illustrations that are effective for “real world lessons” consisting of “Think and Solve” (multiple choice and fill in the blanks), True or False, and Do the Math.

There are close to three dozen lessons. Each lesson is well thought out and is generally 4 pages long, requiring a good hour of your child’s time.

As a supplement to school that relies on thought-out illustrations with accompanying critical thinking exercises, this book is excellent. Highly recommended.


The Visual Guide to Kindergarten
The Visual Guide to Kindergarten
by Thinking Kids
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.95
25 used & new from $7.27

5.0 out of 5 stars Serious But Fun Supplemental Workbook for Kindergarten, April 17, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My twin daughters are in kindergarten and struggling to keep up with reading and writing. We’ve been told first grade will immerse them into heavy reading and it will be easy to get behind, so it’s a good idea to get some supplemental material.

The Visual Guide to Kindergarten is an excellent workbook. Addressing nature, insects, the natural world, math, language arts, the five senses, and social studies, The VGK has excellent illustrations that are appropriate for “real world lessons” consisting of “Think and Solve” (multiple choice and fill in the blanks), True or False, and Do the Math.

There are close to three dozen lessons. Each lesson is well thought out and is generally 4 pages long, requiring a good hour of your child’s time.

As a supplement to school that relies on thought-out illustrations with accompanying critical thinking exercises, this book is excellent. Highly recommended.


The Pawnbroker: A Novel
The Pawnbroker: A Novel
by Edward Lewis Wallant
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.09
59 used & new from $8.10

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unrelenting Realism Can be Cruel in This Masterpiece, April 14, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I agree with critics who hail Edward Lewis Wallant’s post-World War II novel The Pawnbroker as a masterpiece. In perfect prose, written in the third person, that focuses mainly on concentration camp survivor Sol Nazerman who now runs a pawnshop in Harlem for an organized criminal.

Nazerman is a fully realized character, stubborn, disaffected, nightmare-plagued, solitude-seeking, still traumatized by his imprisonment in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. He seems to repress much of his pain and despair and he contrasts starkly with his co-worker, the young and jumpy Jesus Ortiz. Their contrast provides much of the novel’s tension and becomes a major point.

The novel is peppered with Nazerman’s flashbacks of being a concentration camp prisoner. These flashbacks are juxtaposed to the desperate souls who come into the pawnshop eager to pawn their limbs for some money for food or their next fix. Free will is absent in this novel. Characters are driven by forces they cannot control.

The sum effect is unrelenting despair that reminds me of Nathanael West’s Miss Lonelyhearts. If you’re ready for this kind of ride, then you’ll be in good hands with the Pawnbroker.


Behold the Dreamers: A Novel
Behold the Dreamers: A Novel
by Imbolo Mbue
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $23.01

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Re-Evaluating the American Dream After Worshipping the Idols of Consumerism, April 9, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
In Imbolo Mbue’s masterful novel, about a married couple from Cameroon fighting to live in America and find the American Dream, there is a scene where the husband Jende, a chauffeur, tells his rich boss, Clark Edwards, a Lehman Brothers executive, that where he is from in Cameroon as you drive upon the Limbe city limits there is a sign that says Limbe is the city where everyone is your friend.

The Limbe sign is a symbol of ambivalence to Jende. On one hand, the loving community connection is a place of love and innocence; on the other hand, Limbe is a city where you’re stagnant, where “you can never be a somebody.”

This novel is about Jende and his wife Neni, a pharmaceutical student, moving away from innocence and landing in Harlem and trying to find the American Dream of Privilege, Power, and Consumerism. Jende and Neni are too wise and complex to not notice materialism’s traps, but even their awareness and small town values don’t seem to diminish consumerism’s spell on them.

Indeed, much of the novel’s tension is watching Jende and Neni, fighting tooth and claw to make it in America, bearing witness to the obnoxious privilege and extravagance of Clark Edwards and his family.

This fever dream of consumerism, however, comes to a shrieking halt in 2008 when the Great Recession kicks Lehman Brothers off a cliff. Jende watches his boss Clark Edwards in the aftermath of his company’s near death and he must re-evaluate his pursuit of the American Dream. At one point in the novel, he says to himself regarding the Great Recession: “In many different ways it would be an unprecedented plague, a calamity like the one that had befallen the Egyptians in the Old Testament. . . . They had called an abomination upon their land by worshipping idols and enslaving their fellow humans, all so they could live in splendor.”

This novel’s brilliance is watching Jende and Neni, sobered by the Great Recession, re-evaluate the American Dream while at the same time maintaining their drive to strengthen their love and discover what "home" really is.

Fast paced, fully realized, sympathetic, this is an outstanding novel. Highly recommended.


Ubbi Step Stool, Gray
Ubbi Step Stool, Gray
Price: $19.99
2 used & new from $19.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sturdy and Does Not Wobble, April 9, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This stool is for my 6-year-old twins' bathroom sink. It is solid, well built, and does not wobble. There are no sharp edges. There is good foot grip to avoid slipping. I need to get a second one since my twins can't share it. It's also easy to clean. This is a necessary bathroom accessory for children who aren't tall enough for the bathroom sink. Recommended.


Allen Edmonds Men's Odenwald Chukka Boot,Black,13 D US
Allen Edmonds Men's Odenwald Chukka Boot,Black,13 D US
Price: $295.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Look Like Military Cadet Boots and Run a Half Size Large for My Size 13, April 5, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Mine arrived last night. I've been wearing them around the house to break them in and check the fit. They run a half size too large (I wear 13) and should be fine with thick socks (which I bought for a pair of overly large Gary Trask Chukkas, which were a size too big and had to be returned). My right shoes had a dimple or dent near the toe. I was able to poke my finger from the inside to remove this dent and so far it hasn't returned. I wonder if this is common since I've seen Amazon reviewers complain about this with other brands of chukka boots.

The comfort seems apparent, and I don't anticipate any blisters even with the half large size. My guess is 12 would be too snug, so I'll stick with the slightly large 13. I often need a wider width, but no problem with these regular width shoes.

I've been looking at these for about a year. I'm a big fan of chukkas and I didn't want to spend this much, but the look appealed to me. In person, they remind me of military cadet boots. They look super cool with jeans. If I get any blisters or if the dent comes back in the toe, I'll do an update, but for now these are getting 5 stars.


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