Industrial-Sized Deals Books Gift Guide Books Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon $5 Albums egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Get Ready for the Winter Gifts Under $50 Amazon Gift Card Offer minions minions minions  Amazon Echo Starting at $84.99 Kindle Black Friday Deals TheGoodDinosaur Shop Now Tikes
Profile for Karen K. Hart > Reviews


Karen K. Hart's Profile

Customer Reviews: 376
Top Reviewer Ranking: 20,158
Helpful Votes: 1212

Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Karen K. Hart RSS Feed (Austin, MN United States)

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
I'm from Nowhere
I'm from Nowhere
by Suzanne Myers
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.69

5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely in the top tier for its genre., November 13, 2015
This review is from: I'm from Nowhere (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I really enjoyed I'm from Nowhere. While it isn't as complex and full of deep revelations as some books, it is very good at being what it is: the tale of a realistic teenager discovering who she is and where she comes from. When the first page explained what the narrator was going to do, as if the book was a thesis paper, I kind of went, "Oh, no," but that was the last moment where I felt that way. I managed to chisel out enough time to read I'm from Nowhere over the course of two days--not an easy feat for me--because I was enjoying it so much.
Wren's story isn't explained to death; Wren doesn't tell too much instead of showing. The upper-class characters are believably extravagant instead of overstated. Wren doesn't take a ridiculously long amount of time to figure out how she feels about the love interests in her life; she has self-respect and expects accordant respect from other people; I think I really would have enjoyed hanging out with her in high school. Her story isn't just a love story filled with cliches; her character has multiple facets. She explains things when readers may lack experience in the areas she's talking about (horsemanship, for instance), but does it quickly enough to avoid boring readers who DO have experience in the areas-or just aren't interested.
I think I'd like to see more books about these characters, but I'm awfully afraid the next one would be told from Honor's perspective, and I don't know that I'd enjoy Honor's perspective as much. Myers surprised me with the quality of I'm from Nowhere, though, so maybe I'd be pleasantly surprised if such a story happened.

Whim Flour Sack Kitchen Dish Drying Commercial Grade Towels, Set of 4, White
Whim Flour Sack Kitchen Dish Drying Commercial Grade Towels, Set of 4, White
Offered by KitchensKitchens
Price: $12.95
2 used & new from $12.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Not the ultimate towels ever, but useful., November 6, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I don't know if the "commercial grade" designation of these towels is earned. Although the towels are so thin that I can see the color of my skin through them without even holding them up to my light, the weave of the fabric is also coarse in a way so that the plastic from the tags holding them together left fairly sizable holes. I'm not sure how much heavy-duty use the fabric can sustain.
Still, the towels have their uses. My son used them to wipe down my husband's trike, and he said they were very absorbent and dried quickly. They're also a really good size to serve as ghost costumes for medium-sized (maybe 12" or so) stuffed animals.

Corel Painter 2016
Corel Painter 2016
Price: $379.00
13 used & new from $379.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kind of overwhelming., October 27, 2015
This review is from: Corel Painter 2016 (CD-ROM)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I first used a paint program when I was in about first grade, learning to use a mouse. Over the years, I've used design tools in Mouse Paint, ClarisWorks, AppleWorks, Paint, Photoshop, GraphicConverter, Word, and probably some programs I haven't thought to list. I worked with Photoshop in college; I lived with two design students and paid attention to their projects; I create digital images on a fairly regular basis.
And I find Corel Painter 2016 daunting.
The tutorial videos are helpful, clear, and show users exactly how to do things. They also seem to assume the users have been with Corel Painter since its inception--which I haven't, and I didn't expect it to be so much more complicated than the paint programs I'm accustomed to. I'm sure people who know Corel Painter in and out don't want to be bored with tutorials for beginners, but I got the feeling I was in over my head when I loaded the first tutorial video. There are SO many brushes and SO many variables. I start wondering, "Am I using this audio brush right? Is this what it's supposed to do?" or "Can I change the color scheme of this hens-&-chicks brush?" and have to look up the answers. So far, the Help section has been useful. However, there's SO much to remember that it's overwhelming--like starting up with my first paint program all over again, or taking a class where I have to achieve goals I wouldn't have thought up on my own. I think you'd have to put in a ton of time with Painter to use it masterfully and purposefully, saying, "I'm going to paint mountains that look like this" and then actually achieving what you said you would. At this point, I'm kind of utilizing the beginning finger-painting approach: "What does this do? OK, maybe it'll look good if I do something with it over here."
As far as functionality goes, I've had a couple complaints so far, and I don't know how frequently they might happen in the future. I'm using Mac OS 10.10.5. I've had Painter crash once in the middle of my designing, and the Undo function is ignoring me almost more frequently than it's working. So if I save after every action that I like, I should be safe, but that draws the process out even more and is distracting. I've had the Undo issue happen a few times with GraphicConverter lately, too. Maybe it's a problem with the OS, or maybe it's just too much for my computer when I work on a big file with other applications open at the same time, but I don't even get an error--nothing happens at all.
I've made a few images with Painter now, and at least two of them have stricken me as being more like something automatically generated than something I actually designed myself. That doesn't mean I don't like them--it's just that I don't necessarily feel like I'm controlling my results to the extent I usually can.
I think Corel Painter can be a fun application for most people and maybe even a very useful tool for people who are particularly skilled and experienced, but be prepared: it's not simple.
Comment Comment | Permalink

The Key to Extraordinary
The Key to Extraordinary
by Natalie Lloyd
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.02

4.0 out of 5 stars A book where lively happiness skips through fields of quiet sadness., October 26, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Thinking back over The Key to Extraordinary feels a bit like remembering a childhood summer or a vivid but rapidly fading dream: distant and slightly bittersweet. Although the existence of Emma's magical Tennessee seems farfetched, it never seems forced. Natalie Lloyd does a great job of showing rather than merely telling, of sparing us unnecessary detail, and of avoiding bumbling awkwardness. Although there are lots of sad aspects of the book and plenty of happy ones, the observation that struck me most was one that I don't remember Emma herself ever making: that the blue flowers described in the story could have been of great use to her before her voice even took up the tale.
There are messages here about finding joy in times of sorrow and about destiny leading us in unexpected directions. I found the book to be wholly original and appropriate for the recommended age range (8-12), even if younger readers may not grasp all of it at once.

Wordlock MatchKey Cable Lock, 10mm/8', Black
Wordlock MatchKey Cable Lock, 10mm/8', Black
Offered by Avalanche Brands
Price: $12.24
29 used & new from $9.30

4.0 out of 5 stars Seems to work OK., October 23, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm not really sure how the word matching makes this lock more secure. I guess if you had a bunch of similar keys on your keychain, it would help you find the right one in a hurry, but if you dropped the key and someone found it, they'd also probably be able to find the matching lock in a hurry.
My husband has been using the lock with his recumbent trike. He thinks the extra length would be irritating if you were used to a shorter cable, but the longer cable works great for the recumbent, allowing him to keep the frame in a loop with the cable and then hook the locking portion to the bike rack. Since the recumbent doesn't fit naturally in the bike racks, this lock keeps him from having to worry about placement or crowding a regular bike in order to get his locked up. His main concern at this point is that the cold weather to come will make the cable less flexible.

Moultrie Game Spy M-990i Gen 2 10.0 MP Camera, Mossy Oak Treestand
Moultrie Game Spy M-990i Gen 2 10.0 MP Camera, Mossy Oak Treestand
Price: $117.02
65 used & new from $99.47

4.0 out of 5 stars I really like the clarity, but would appreciate more sensitivity., October 16, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My basis for comparison, as far as trail cameras go, is the Primos TruthCam 25. I mostly judged the Moultrie Game Spy M-990i Gen 2 based on my previous experience with the Primos camera, which doesn't mean they're exactly equivalent models. Here's a summary of differences I saw between the two:

Primos TruthCam 25:
* D batteries, with a percentage representing how much power they have left. I think it goes in 10% increments, and it seems to jump around a bit (it might say 10% when I go to retrieve the card, then 20% when I start it back up).
* No camo + bigger camera adds up to the camera being much more visible if strapped to a tree.
* The latch on the door is sometimes painful to use, particularly when it's cold. I also feel like the door isn't as secure, and earwigs have gotten into this camera repeatedly.
* The lack of a preview screen means you have to guess at the positioning of the camera to get the angle you want to achieve. Trial and error are necessary if you want to get a particular view for your shots.
* It's MUCH easier to retrieve the card from its slot. Since the slot is on the bottom of the camera, though, the protective rubber insert tends to collect water when it's been out in a hard rain.
* I used this camera with iMovie 6.0.3 and had no trouble processing the videos. I haven't tried it with iMovie 8.0.6, which is what I have now.
* The photos aren't as sharp as the Moultrie's, and the color in the color photos seems a bit duller. I feel like the infrared capabilities are at least comparable.
* There's no sound with the videos.
* There are three sensitivity settings for motion detection on this camera. On medium sensitivity, I don't seem to catch small animals, but even a moderate amount of wind will set the camera off.
* The thermometer sometimes seems accurate. Other times it seems WAY off. I almost think it's random.

Moultrie Game Spy M-990i Gen 2:
* AA batteries, plus an estimate of how much time the camera will run on them. I don't know if this estimate is based on the camera running on time lapse or what, but it keeps telling me I have 5 1/2 days left, and when I check it about a week later, it's still running.
* Lots of fancy options like time lapse.
* There's an eject button for the batteries. It wasn't intuitive to me that pushing "EJECT" on the front of the camera was what I needed to do to release the bottom compartment, and this topic wasn't covered in the manual.
* The camo really works. If I didn't know the camera was there, I wouldn't notice it against pine bark.
* Smaller than the Primos.
* Hopefully no earwigs in door. I think this door will be easier to open in the cold.
* I love the preview function. It's very useful to see exactly what the frame setup looks like.
* It's harder to retrieve the card. I like that the card is protected from the elements better, but it's kind of in its own little niche and difficult to remove. I'm not looking forward to attempting this maneuver when it's -20F and I'm wearing gloves.
* I get an "unsupported developer" error when I try to import videos from the camera into iMovie 8.0.6. I'm sure this problem is associated with some setting I need to change, but it's a pain to have to figure out what that is. The photos and videos import into Photos 1.0.1 with no issues. I can't figure out how to upload one of the videos to add to my review, either, though--I can add the photos fine, and I could add different videos if I wanted to, but the Moultrie ones are grayed out in my list.
* The daytime photos look awesome--clear and bright. I'm not as impressed with the infrared functionality, but the difference in daytime photos almost makes up for that.
* There's sound with these videos. I hear an electrical crackle at the beginning of each video.
* There are two sensitivity settings for motion detection. On the high sensitivity setting, the camera doesn't pick up anything bigger than a cat. Upon going back through two or three weeks' worth of photos, I see two of cats, a few of deer, and a bunch of me. I know there are regularly chipmunks, squirrels, and birds in the area where we're aiming, and we were expecting to get some of raccoons, but the cat photos feature the smallest animals the camera seemed to pick up. There aren't NEARLY as many photos on this camera's card as I think there would be on the other's card if we put it in the exact same position.
* The thermometer seems a lot more accurate.

It's only happened once, but the Moultrie camera did forget my settings somehow on one occasion; maybe it's something I did, but I ended up with videos with incorrect time stamps on them instead of the stills with correct time stamps I'd intended to get. It ended up being kind of a funny accident, because I liked one of the resulting deer videos a lot, but it's still not what I intended.
I haven't tried the time lapse function, but I like knowing that it's there.
Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the camera. I really, really love the preview function! I hope the Moultrie works well in the winter. . .and that I can retrieve the card from it without dragging the whole camera inside and then having to set it back up later.
Comment Comment | Permalink

Tweezerman  Mini Slant Tweezer, Classic Stainless
Tweezerman Mini Slant Tweezer, Classic Stainless
Offered by Beautylime
Price: $11.76
16 used & new from $5.97

2.0 out of 5 stars They just don't tweeze., September 24, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought these tweezers based on all the great reviews, thinking they'd be excellent for us. I like the way the slanted edges make their way to fairly sharp points; this shape is sometimes helpful for digging out and scraping splinters, although not more so than the use of pointed tweezers or nail clippers. But--and maybe we got a rogue bad pair--these tweezers just don't tweeze. The tips come together way too far back for us to use the tweezers for small hairs or splinters. No matter how hard I've squeezed, I don't think I've ever gotten the Tweezerman mini slant tweezer to pluck a single hair or remove a single splinter. So this is a scraping and poking tool, not a squeezing/plucking/tweezing tool. I eventually got a cheap pair of novelty tweezers at a toy store that works much better.

Folkmanis Tyrannosaurus Rex Hand Puppet
Folkmanis Tyrannosaurus Rex Hand Puppet
Price: $26.99
30 used & new from $26.70

4.0 out of 5 stars Goes great with the little T. rex., September 17, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This tyrannosaurus hand puppet makes a great parent for the smaller Folkmanis T. rex. The teeth in the big T. rex are actually sharper than I'd expected, so it's not really fun to have one chomp your arm, but the dinosaur has a charming scaly appearance and a good shape for easy manipulation.
I wonder if Folkmanis will have feathered dinosaurs at some point!

Now Designs Swedish Dishcloths, Kitchen Essentials, Set of 2
Now Designs Swedish Dishcloths, Kitchen Essentials, Set of 2
Price: $12.99

4.0 out of 5 stars I think these will do well for us., September 17, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When I put the Swedish dishcloths in a washload for their initial cleaning, I had read the statements that they would be stiff and get more pliable when wet. When I moved the laundry from the washer to the dryer, I picked one of the dishcloths out but, not finding the other after going through the load three times, thought I'd missed getting it into the washer, and started the dryer. When I removed everything from the dryer, I discovered that the dishcloth had been in there after all.
Both dishcloths seem fine after the washing, but the one that went through the dryer did shrink maybe a quarter to half an inch, so I wouldn't recommend making that mistake. I've wiped up a couple of messes with the cloths so far, and I think they'll be very useful for situations where a slimmer profile or greater flexibility than one would find in a sponge is warranted.

Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx
Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx
by Sonia Manzano
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $12.78
68 used & new from $6.83

4.0 out of 5 stars Where Sonia Manzano came from before she got to Sesame Street., September 17, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Although most of the circumstances described in Becoming Maria were not experiences that struck me as being incredibly unique to Manzano (I'd read about similar events in actors' memoirs, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, the memoirs of adult children of alcoholics, etc.), the combination of them certainly made up her individual personal experience in a way that tells the reader where she was coming from. The things that stood out to me as the most unique were her detailed descriptions of people's appearance--and she was not delicate about the descriptions but also didn't seem to ultimately judge people based on their looks--and the huge revelation that it wasn't possible to rescue someone who didn't want to be rescued. I think many children of parents who have been victimized by angry/alcoholic/addicted spouses very much want to rescue those parents and feel guilty that they haven't done enough to make it happen. The idea that they couldn't rescue victimized parents who weren't ready to take a stand is actually something of a relief in the face of that guilt, I think.
I'm sure it was painful for Manzano to relive some of the events of her young life for us to read about, and I'm glad she did. I see this book as a gift from Manzano to current and future generations.

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20