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P. Hamm "p-squared" RSS Feed (Maineville, OH)
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Westcott Titanium Bonded Scissors with Soft Grip Handles, 8" Straight
Westcott Titanium Bonded Scissors with Soft Grip Handles, 8" Straight
Price: $6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars terrific scissors., November 17, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
They are, quite simply, great paper-cutting scissors. Much better than the ones I'm used to having around the office, with a more comfortable handle, and they're a great bargain to boot. Seem much sharper than I've been used to, too.

total improvement.

No complaints, nothing negative about these whatsoever.


Rumours of Glory: A Memoir
Rumours of Glory: A Memoir
by Bruce Cockburn
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.85
38 used & new from $12.71

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Precious Gift to Bruce's Fans, November 17, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Disclaimer: I believe there are two kinds of people in the world. Those who recognize that Bruce is the greatest songwriter in the history of popular folk/rock music, and those who just haven't heard enough of him yet. So, you know I'm an uber-fan. I have everything he's ever recorded (in some cases multiple copies on vinyl and CD), and have seen him live more than any other artist. (Bruce, my brothers and I are the ones who always shout out for the really weird songs whenever you're in DC. We've made you laugh at us more than once. Sorry for ruining your concentration, at least we didn't do that crap at the National Cathedral in 06.)

Bruce memoir is not one he needed to write. Rabid fans like me (I've been listing him as a favorite songwriter for just over 30 years, having discovered him through the 1981 US Greatest Hits collection "Resume") are going to buy his music and see his concerts and even learn to sing and play his songs as long as we are blessed to have him crank them out.

Bruce takes us through all of the political, societal, personal and spiritual highways and byways that have informed his songwriting, activism and life over the years, and the ride is worth it. The story is impossible to put down (I read it in 3 or 4 sittings over 4 days), engaging and sometimes even humorous.

We get a lot of great answers to questions about his writing (like the identity of the person who actually put that bullet hole in that wall... although I'd like to know if Bruce actually sent the pictures he took... Bruce, I know you're reading... spill the beans... did ya?), and a lot of insight into both his highs and lows, his successes and failures and failings. Totally honestly, he paints a picture of a remarkably flawed man, but by the end of the book I liked him even more than I did at the beginning.

The political landscape, as Bruce sees it, is outlined graphically and with great detail, and I appreciated being informed on more than a few things I wasn't aware of, but for me, the spiritual insights were worth the price of the book alone. I know Bruce hesitates to call himself a Christian right now, but the love that God (through Christ) put in this man to give him the boldness to speak and write about the issues he's faced, not to mention the guts to visit places I would not think I would be brave enough to, still speak of a man whose spirit is very much in line with Christ. (Bruce, we are not all right-leaning capitalist republican immigrant-hating bastards, I promise you).

When I was a very young Christian, there was a very short list of prominent songwriters and authors who kept me from becoming a mindless american fundamentalist. Bruce is at the top of that list. He has made more truly great albums than anyone else I'm aware of, and his fan list reads like a who's who of great artists in their own right.

Those who are looking for detailed musical info about Bruce's unique (and incredible) playing style won't find that here. There's only SO much room for details in this book!

If I were to fault this book at all, I'd like about a chapter more of where he's at in life now, but perhaps that is too close to be easy to write about. I'd also love chapter names so I could go back and find passages while I'm listening to, say, "The Charity of Night" and want to read again about where he was then, or "In the Falling Dark". I suspect the book will make more sense and appeal to Bruce's legions of fans than those who aren't, so... what are you waiting for... get the box set, too and you can listen your way through a whole new perspective on the last few decades of politics, religion and culture.

So thankful for this book. It will be a true rarity. A musician biography I will read more than once.

Thank you, Bruce! for this book, for dozens of albums of incisive and amazing songwriting and music, and for caring about your fellow man and making us want to do that, too.


OXO Good Grips Poultry Lifter
OXO Good Grips Poultry Lifter
Offered by WineStuff
Price: $13.84
7 used & new from $9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Idea, Perfectly Executed, Where Will I Store it?, November 7, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I still think that for someone who has difficulty lifting a heavy turkey, they will still want one other tool with this, but not necessarily to hold it steady, as this does the trick in that department. This product really does what it claims to do, is built sturdily, and is really worth the price (not everything that OXO makes is, imho, but this is a standout, a real winner).

Now... I have no idea where this will fit in my already overcrowded drawers of kitchen utensils... hmm... have to think about that one.


Not a Silent Night: Mary Looks Back to Bethlehem
Not a Silent Night: Mary Looks Back to Bethlehem
by Adam Hamilton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.61
39 used & new from $10.31

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Christmas, from the heart of Mary, October 26, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
There's a reason a lot of people buy books by Adam Hamilton. He writes for everyone to understand, and engages the reader very handily by sharing stories that inspire and sometimes confront.

Looking at Advent and Christmas from the point of view of Mary might not be a new idea, but this kind of thing is more than most Protestants attempt. In fact, he calls on some very unlikely sources for his musings, including traditions that are celebrated in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox worlds but virtually ignored among protestants.

What results is a very readable and moving tribute to the real meaning of Christmas, told in a pretty new and interesting way. There's not a lot of content, so this will be a short read for most, but during such a busy time of year, is that really a bad thing?


DII Home Essentials Hand Crocheted Storage Baskets for Drawers, Closets, Bathrooms, Kitchen, Organization, Food and More Set of 3, Stone Blue
DII Home Essentials Hand Crocheted Storage Baskets for Drawers, Closets, Bathrooms, Kitchen, Organization, Food and More Set of 3, Stone Blue
Price: $34.99
2 used & new from $31.49

3.0 out of 5 stars Nice and sorta functional but expensive., October 26, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Yes, they do what they're supposed to, although I find them a little "floppy" for the kinds of things I'm keeping in them. The color is very neutral and goes okay with most anything around it, and the construction quality is just fine. They are more decorative than practical, but can hold what you need to.

The seem awful pricey for what you get, so shop carefully, as others have mentioned.


Panasonic LUMIX G 20mm f/1.7 Aspherical Pancake Lens for Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Cameras (OLD MODEL)
Panasonic LUMIX G 20mm f/1.7 Aspherical Pancake Lens for Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Cameras (OLD MODEL)
28 used & new from $268.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Solid sharp wonderful lens, a bit pricey., October 19, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I am very tempted to give this lens a 4-star review, because, compared to comparable "normal" lenses from companies like Canon (which I haven't used much) and Nikon (which I've used extensively) this item (and it's recent replacement, the "II" model) seems a bit pricey. But the lens performs so well, and is such a great match for a µ43 camera, that I just have to go ahead and give it 5.

I opted for the older model because it gets more love from reviewers out there than the newer "II" replacement. I compared it to the only lens I have that operates in the same focal length, my Olympus 14-42 II kit lens, and I tested on my Olympus OM-D EM-5 in relatively close focusing. That's not where the lens is probably at its best, but is, in my situation, the best way to test. Because of that combination by the way, I don't have automatic correction of Chromatic aberration (purple fringing), but I will start by saying that in normal use, I found it to be a non-issue. I can see it in over-exposures for sure, but it's really not visible in final use for me, so I don't even have to correct it.

The minuses...

*It's bigger than I suspect it needs to be. I think the newer version of thislens (not as well-regarded, but probably excellent) is a bit smaller around.
*It's focus makes more noise than any of the other µ43 lenses I've used or handled. Maybe that's only my sample. I would NOT use this for video. Since I don't plan to, it's not an issue. But if you do video, and don't have an external microphone, you might need to skip this lens. But then, when I DO shoot video, the totally silent kit lens works great, and you can bump up the ISO on modern bodies to shoot video, so again, it's not really an issue.
*It hunts for focus a bit, actually. But when I use the touch screen on the Oly to select focus it's very fast. I wouldn't use this, or most µ43 cameras and lenses, for sports or action anyway.
*It is called a "pancake" but is not small enough to make either of my µ43 bodies "pocketable. ALMOST, but not quite.

But it's still 5 stars... because.

*Even though I think it could be smaller, it's still tiny enough to stick in your pocket to have "just in case". This lens plus one of my camera bodies is so compact and carryable it feels like cheating.
*Wide open it's totally usable, very good in the center, and still pretty good at the edges. It's the most usable wide open lens I think I've ever tested.
*by f2.8 it's almost as sharp as it's gonna get, all over the frame. There is no photo that you can take with a µ43 camera that won't print at its best between about f2.8 and f5.6 or f8.
*At f4 and f5.6, compared with the kit lens, this lens totally DEMOLISHES the kit lens. It is at it's best, and the kit lens is at it's wider settings.
*at f5.6 and f8 it seems to be as sharp as any lens I've ever used on a small format (35mm and below) camera. Even thought the kit lens is very well behaved at f8 and f11, this lens is still clearly sharper.
*If you use a panasonic camera that doesn't have on-board in-body IS, know that this lens doesn't have it. My Olympus has built-in IS, so I'm good to go.
*The bokeh is really wonderful from wide open to f2.8 or so.

Know that:

*f8 the tiniest bit of diffraction sets in because of the format (NOT because of the lens), at f11 it's an issue if you're going to print above 8 x 10 I think, and at f16 it will clearly be an issue in most photos. This lens does NOT go beyond f16. Good thing. f22 on µ43 is not pretty at all. My kit lens goes to f22. It's really useless there, too.
*This is important for many photographers. If you do not really print but only view on-screen and on the internet, the ONLY reason you buy this lens is because you need low light performance. Even the cheapest lenses are good enough for on-screen viewing.
*I would estimate that if you shoot either this or a kit lens between wide open and f8, all 4x6 and 5x7 photos will look exactly the same.

I'm delighted with this lens and will probably leave it on my camera most of the time.


Love: The Saint and the Seeker
Love: The Saint and the Seeker
by Christina Stevens
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.00
26 used & new from $2.94

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written, but lacking the Force that drove Mother Teresa, October 17, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
First off, I really didn't think I was going to like this book when I first started it, but it grew on me rather quickly, although I think some judicious editing might have eliminated a few dozen pages and left us with a much improved book. The author really lets us in to this unique relationship she had, for a short while, with one of the greatest saints our modern world has ever seen, even though it seems to take forever for us to actually meet the nun.

But... Mother Teresa's life was bound up In Jesus and the Gospel. That is largely absent from this book, and for that, I think that it suffers. I understand why, as the author clearly has a non-religious agenda in writing the book, but I think it takes a lot of the power out of Mother Teresa's side of the story.

Altogether well-written and worth your time, though.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 10, 2014 3:28 PM PST


D'Addario EJ46FF ProArte Carbon Classical Guitar Strings, Dynacore Basses, Hard Tension
D'Addario EJ46FF ProArte Carbon Classical Guitar Strings, Dynacore Basses, Hard Tension
Price: $14.21
6 used & new from $12.79

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great strings, good price, October 2, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm very much a casual player on nylon strings. And I used it on a cheap nylon string guitar.

I've had nothing but good luck with D'Addario strings, and their nylon strings are no exception. They stay in tune fine, haven't broken on me (but I'll keep this set on for years, so let's see) and stretch out quickly enough.

The tone of these sounds pretty similar to other sets I've used from them in the past. In other words, clear and crisp and articulate.

I won't even try anybody elses classical strings at this point.


Roxio Toast Titanium 12 Mac
Roxio Toast Titanium 12 Mac
Price: Click here to see our price
36 used & new from $80.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Standard for Disc Production on Mac, September 26, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
For so many years, there was Toast, and then there was everything else.

Now, in 2014, chances are your new mac didn't even COME with an optical drive for reading OR writing.

But sometimes only a disc will do, and Toast will make it. The user interface has been drastically simplified since the last version I used, but all the functionality and more is there. Some have complained about the clunky way it creates videos or some such, but to me, the single purpose of this program is to get content you create in other programs onto a disc for replication or distribution. If you need to edit video, go somewhere else if you really need to.

It doesn't hurt that, for me, it's still the absolute best and simplest way for me to back up my CDs so that I can leave the originals at home. (Yes, I still use CDs, a lot of people do.)

There's a few added goodies, like screen recording and a rudimentary databasing tool. You can even convert video to play on your portable device or game console. I have other stuff for that that I'm used to. I honestly don't use them, couldn't care less, but they work, and the program hasn't gone up in price in decades.

Full marks.


Belkin WeMo LED Lighting Starter Set: Two WeMo Smart Light Bulbs and WeMo Link to Control Multiple WeMo Bulbs from Anywhere, Wi-Fi Enabled (F5Z0489)
Belkin WeMo LED Lighting Starter Set: Two WeMo Smart Light Bulbs and WeMo Link to Control Multiple WeMo Bulbs from Anywhere, Wi-Fi Enabled (F5Z0489)
Price: $99.99
9 used & new from $75.96

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Flawed but great idea., September 23, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
What a great idea.

What a flawed idea.

Yes, it works. You can control your lights from your phone or tablet, and although setup is a little klunky, and the instructions are inadequate, you will figure it out.

You can't control these from your computer. You must use a tablet or phone. I really dislike that.

And this really burns me up, not just about this product but so many others.

My only tablet at home is an old iPad, from the first generation. Like almost everything else, it's totally unsupported. Apple stopped at IOS 5 on that device, and you can't use anything that requires IOS 6 or later, including the app that controls these. The reason I'm only giving this product 2 stars is that it CLEARLY says on the box that you can use it with the original iPad. You can't.

The light bulbs work great and don't get hot. But as other reviewers have stated, there may be better options for you out there.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 24, 2014 8:25 AM PDT


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