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Customer Reviews: 758
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Reviews Written by
Kelly Sottelbaum RSS Feed (PacNW, USA)

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Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Crawl Around Car
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Crawl Around Car
Price: $59.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Big hunk of plastic. Equally entertaining., September 29, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Kind of small for the target range - probably only big enough for up to 2 year old kids. While it can be entertaining for a short while, it's not going to hold the attention of little kids for very long, other than spinning the thing on the back, and maybe throwing the shapes across the room.

Out of the box, some assembly is required. It's not difficult, but it also feels somewhat unnecessary...probably could have been pre-assembled in a slightly larger box. Overall, we're kind of unimpressed with it for a variety of reasons. First, it's pretty expensive for what it actually does. Second, there's not much variety, and while the back wheels spin, the front wheels are stationary...meaning less fun for the child. Third, the some of the plastic doesn't actually seal flush against itself - leading to a possible pinching hazard.

As a whole, I wouldn't really recommend this given the price and downsides that it has. While it can be somewhat fun, the fun and entertainment factor go away far too quickly to justify the cost.


BISSELL BOLT XRT PET 2-in-1 Lightweight Cordless Vacuum, 14.4v, 1315
BISSELL BOLT XRT PET 2-in-1 Lightweight Cordless Vacuum, 14.4v, 1315
Price: $119.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Great 2nd vacuum!, September 29, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
An excellent second vacuum! While the suction and versatility isn't quite what you'd want for a main household vacuum (and the suction area in the push-vacuum mode is kind of small), this one works excellent as a second, very convenient, touch-up vacuum.

My biggest gripe with it is that it's loud - even louder than my normal vacuum. However, the portability and convenience of it more than makes up for it, as it has plenty of suck-power to clean up things, it can easily become a "hand held" machine, and it's very lightweight... a quick detail for the cars can be done easily, as well as just getting crumbs off furniture where perhaps a child just ate.

The up to 20 minute run-time seems pretty low-powered, but in timing how much its used per session, it's actually much, much lower than that... twenty minutes of continued vacuum use would really be a lot.

Overall, a great vacuum that's a bit on the loud side that's very handy and is up to the task for getting things cleaned up! Recommended! (But, for our house with some carpets, some wood, some linoleum, recommended only as a second vacuum...)


@War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex
@War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex
by Shane Harris
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.89

4.0 out of 5 stars Good primer of how we got to where we are, September 28, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
A decent book, covering the US military affairs as it has related to the internet over the years, it did feel like there was something lacking. Yes, we know about NSA, we know about Stuxnet and we know the the Chinese continually hack into American systems to steal secrets (apparently it's easier to steal than to actually create new ideas themselves...) And while this book did do a good job encompassing the various aspects and possible players in the game, it did feel a bit short of presenting anything new to people who may already know about these issues.

As it is, if you haven't been kept up to date with how global affairs are playing out with computers, it'll be a good introduction. If you have already been following, may be able to understand more of the personalities of those within our government (and elsewhere), as they try to drive their own agenda. Like the NSA guy that basically wanted every important "critical" industry to share all of their data with the NSA, so the NSA could help protect them... and then at a briefing with the NSA, the "protection" NSA was hoping to share was things that the private industry had already been doing, and was much further along already. And how the current US, like usual, doesn't take a stand in anything - he loves to talk about it, and if it's popular, for example, to be on the side of popularity (NSA spying on Americans is bad) But when push comes to shove, he leaves the status quo, either done trying to remain popular or, more likely, overwhelmed with a chance to make a good decision and one that might actually matter.

Overall, the book is good...while I did read an advance copy (with a lot of repetition in it), I'll also hold out some hope that some of the terminology that is used a lot be defined a bit more clearly, so it's more accessible to more people (data packet comes to mind, but there were a couple others as well.)


Boom, Bust, Exodus: The Rust Belt, the Maquilas, and a Tale of Two Cities
Boom, Bust, Exodus: The Rust Belt, the Maquilas, and a Tale of Two Cities
by Chad Broughton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $21.74

4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and very informative, September 26, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Many lessons are to be learned from this well researched book; unfortunately, the lessons will fall on deaf ears as the mighty dollar and personal political beliefs speak louder. While each reader will likely take something different from this, there are a variety of things that really resounded with me.

First, one of the vastly under-qualified people to become CEO of Maytag that really did wonders to destroy the company. Brought in because, as it sounded, he was charismatic and a good speaker, it reminded me tremendously of a certain community planner and another completely unqualified person that happens to be the current president of the country...with similar results, but fortunately for America, there are more checks and balances than with a CEO of a company.

Secondly, in the name of the mighty dollar, hundreds of millions were invested to give "jobs" to people that would make a tiny fraction of what an American worker do...in Mexico. This has been a recurring theme for the past several decades - America has certain policies and laws that other countries don't that make doing work here more expensive...combine that with the fact that an unskilled laborer outside of America may make a dollar a day, vs. an unskilled laborer in America (and part of a union) making 15 bucks an hour...it doesn't really add up. 15 bucks an hour and full benefits and pension certainly seems like the workers were getting too much, but then flop it to Mexico, and the workers are getting so little that it's equally unbalanced. Mostly, it seems, that companies with the resources to do so, will seek to find any "competitive" advantage, even if that advantage is paid by those working for it. The irony.

The book was much further in scope, but certainly was losing steam three-quarters in...culminating in some ambiguous "policies" that America could/should institute to keep everyone happy, nearly all I disagreed with. We don't really need more safety nets that cost taxpayer dollars...a much more simple approach would be that all imports to the US must have been manufactured under the same standards that America would have - or else there's a huge tariff. So the Mexicans working for a dollar a day, or the Chinese working for a couple cents a day would be required to make the US federal minimum wage, for example. Do that, and manufacturing isn't going overseas. (Yes, I realize it's not that simple, but increasing taxes to add additional safety nets isn't quite so simple, either...and the more we try it, the more we see it doesn't work.)

Overall, the book was entertaining, but not exactly going to keep you up all night turning the pages. Certainly gives you things to think about, and an interesting piece of US history. Recommended.


Puffs Softpack Basic Facial Tissues; 1 Softpack; 132 Tissues Per Pack (Pack of 9)
Puffs Softpack Basic Facial Tissues; 1 Softpack; 132 Tissues Per Pack (Pack of 9)
Price: $18.77

4.0 out of 5 stars Same product, in plastic pouch instead of cardboard box., September 23, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
From what I can tell, these are the same Puff's as you can buy in a cardboard box, but in a plastic sleeve instead. So...for the Puff's themselves, they're as good as always - thick, soft, and while these ones don't have the lotion built in to keep your nose from getting chaffed, they're still great.

As far as the packaging goes - I'm not sure what to think. They're just in plastic instead of cardboard. Which means it's probably cheaper for P&G to product, and it's not recyclable from what I can tell - while the cardboard ones are. In fact, the plastic pouch may be of this earth longer than I am... so the company saves money, the world gets more plastic, and marketing sells a "new" product.

All in all, it's a good product and the plastic packaging does have a couple advantages - the most notable is that you can see how many are left, and it doesn't take as much space to keep a half-full pack as the cardboard ones.

Overall, I'd recommend these as much as the ones in a cardboard box, but I'll keep buying whichever ones are cheaper.


BIC Kids Pencil - Pink Barrel, (1.3 mm), 1-Count
BIC Kids Pencil - Pink Barrel, (1.3 mm), 1-Count
Price: $3.49
6 used & new from $0.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good pencil, bad eraser., September 17, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Liked the pencil - even more so because we actually got it in blue. Feels nice in the hand, comes with lots of spare lead... But, the eraser is a bit large and floppy, making it difficult to erase things.


★ #1 Lavender Essential Oil ★ Rare Premium KASHMIR Grade, 100% Pure, Organic and Highly Effective Lavender Oil • Stay Young and Living Well Now with Lavender Oil Fragrance, Good for Aromatherapy, Sleep, Relaxing, Massage, Hair, Wellness and Much More. 100% Satisfaction or Money Back Guarantee
★ #1 Lavender Essential Oil ★ Rare Premium KASHMIR Grade, 100% Pure, Organic and Highly Effective Lavender Oil • Stay Young and Living Well Now with Lavender Oil Fragrance, Good for Aromatherapy, Sleep, Relaxing, Massage, Hair, Wellness and Much More. 100% Satisfaction or Money Back Guarantee
Offered by Prime Time Commerce
Price: $35.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, fragrant oil - great for homemade soaps., September 15, 2014
Imagine lavender oils you may have used in the past...then imagine it with maybe "fresher" and sweeter smell. And that's what this stuff is. I'm not sure what most people do with this stuff, but we have a tiny "essential oil pillow" on our night stand that we can add scents to - and lavender is great for adding it there, as it helps sleep.

And the other use I had was to buy some Pure Lye and Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil and make my own scented soap! Sure, it was an attempt to make something as great as Vi Tae Coconut Oil Soap...the jury is still out while my soap "cures" for a bit, but it certainly smells wonderful!

Overall, a great product that has made my soap smell great. Recommended.

Disclaimer: I received this product free in exchange for an honest review.


Rachael Ray Nutrish Soup Bones Dog Treats, Chicken Flavor, 3-Count , 6.3 oz, (Pack of 8)
Rachael Ray Nutrish Soup Bones Dog Treats, Chicken Flavor, 3-Count , 6.3 oz, (Pack of 8)
2 used & new from $70.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Dogs love them!, September 14, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The good news is that the dogs love them. The bad news is that a constant supply of these to said dogs would prove to be beyond my pay grade, especially given how quickly the dogs chew/eat them.

Given the quality ingredients, though, I would recommend these, and will buy them again on occasion...they may be a bit messy, but giving dogs a real soup bone is a bigger mess that I don't want to contend with, either. Overall...good dog treats, but don't expect them to stay around long!


10.80V,4400mAh,Li-ion,Replacement Laptop Battery for IBM ThinkPad R50, R51, R52, T40, T41, T42, T43 Series (Standard), Compatible Part Numbers: 08K8194, 92P1010, 92P1011, 92P1058, 92P1060, 92P1062, 92P1067, 92P1070, 92P1071, 92P1074, 92P1075, 92P1087, 92P1088, 92P1089, 92P1090, 92P1091, 92P1101, 93P5002, ASM 08K8192, ASM 92P1064, FRU 08K8193, FRU 08K8195, FRU 08K8214
10.80V,4400mAh,Li-ion,Replacement Laptop Battery for IBM ThinkPad R50, R51, R52, T40, T41, T42, T43 Series (Standard), Compatible Part Numbers: 08K8194, 92P1010, 92P1011, 92P1058, 92P1060, 92P1062, 92P1067, 92P1070, 92P1071, 92P1074, 92P1075, 92P1087, 92P1088, 92P1089, 92P1090, 92P1091, 92P1101, 93P5002, ASM 08K8192, ASM 92P1064, FRU 08K8193, FRU 08K8195, FRU 08K8214
Offered by powerleader
Price: $14.48
8 used & new from $8.74

3.0 out of 5 stars Good battery for price, bad quality assurance., September 13, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Had to get two of these batteries (ordered from same seller, "True Energy") because the first while, while it slid into place perfectly and locked...it was dead on arrival. Wouldn't take a charge, and the T42 just sat there with the battery light flashing at me. Returned for full refund, and figured I'd try again...same battery, same seller, and 2-3 days later, got to try again.

Second chance: battery again fits perfectly, and upon initial plugging in, the battery light flickered, turned green, then turned yellow...it was charging! Left for a few hours, and when I got back, it was done charging. Depending on the brightness of the screen, the battery, between 90 and 100% charged, says it has nearly 3 hours worth of a charge.

So, all in all, not bad. Pretty much exactly what I was looking for, but especially given the price.

But do note that the price seems to be extremely low because the company likely got rid of all the quality-assurance. I have a 50% success rate with them, which...well, it's horrible. Not sure if the first one was unlucky, or second one was lucky, but I'm glad one of them worked.

Recommended as a very cheap replacement, but you may end up doing your own QA and rejecting some before you find a functional one.


Munchkin Latch Lightweight Pacifier, Green/Orange, 0+ Months
Munchkin Latch Lightweight Pacifier, Green/Orange, 0+ Months
Price: $5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great pacifiers - and work with the extra accessories, September 13, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As pacifiers, these work well and babies take them easily. However, the fun doesn't stop there! Munchkin also has an accessory (that comes with a single one of the pacifiers), that mimics a heartbeat: the Munchkin Latch Lightweight Pacifier and Heartbeat Clip, 0+ Months. That heartbeat is intended to audibly "rock" the child to sleep, as the heartbeat is what they've been hearing for months.

Overall, a good product that I wouldn't hesitate to buy more of or recommend to others!


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