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Superior 2-Piece Cotton Non -Skid Bath Rug Set, Latte
Superior 2-Piece Cotton Non -Skid Bath Rug Set, Latte
Price: $37.38
3 used & new from $16.33

3.0 out of 5 stars Nice, but..., April 13, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a nice, good-looking set of Bath Mats. They are soft and plush and stay put with a non-skid backing. I have the larger one in front of the tub/shower and the smaller in front of the sink/vanity.

Since so many of the negative reviews here concentrate on the way these shed in the washer and dryer, I decided to launder them after only a few days of use to see just how bad the problem was. I washed on gentle cycle in cold water. There was some shedding, but nothing too terrible. Drying on low heat was another issue entirely. After just a few minutes, the lint screen was covered with a thick mass of fibers. I cleaned that off and restarted. Checking again after a few minutes, I found the same situation. I cleaned again, but found the same situation again in 10 minutes.

The last job my old GE dryer ever performed was drying these mats. Afterwards, I discovered that, though it continued to tumble, the dryer no longer heated up. Now, I don't know if this breakdown would have occurred no matter what I was drying--the dryer was an old dinosaur manufactured circa 1970--but I'm skeptical about coincidences. I think the heavy build up of material on the lint screen caused the old fellow to suicide by overheating. Because of the uncertainty about cause and effect, however, I'm averaging a 5-star "these look great" review and a 1-star "appliance killer" review.

From now on, I will just vacuum these like area rugs when they need cleaning.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 30, 2015 5:36 PM PDT


Sony MHCECL99BT Wireless Music System
Sony MHCECL99BT Wireless Music System
Price: Click here to see our price
15 used & new from $116.59

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not really a bookshelf system, March 25, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This could be a very decent, small stereo system with CD player, FM radio, Aux Input jack, USB input, and excellent Bluetooth connectivity. But Sony has made some bewildering design decisions that detract significantly from my satisfaction with the unit.

The speakers and sub-woofer are hard-wired. There are no plug sockets or screw-terminals on them. A wire emerges from the back of each thereby eliminating any possibility of using another cable or speaker wire. The wires are about three feet long and end in a proprietary connector that you plug into the back of the control unit. This drastically limits your options when you set everything up.

To me, this is a "bookshelf" system. I'd like to have the control unit and the left and right channel speakers on shelves in my bookcase at about eye level. I'm no audiophile, but even I know that a sub-woofer is most properly located on the floor (away from a wall if possible). The user manual for this Sony, in fact, recommends doing exactly that. Unfortunately, if the control unit is up on a shelf, this approach is impossible because the cable for the sub-woofer won't reach to the floor. So it's either put everything on or close to the floor or put everything up on a shelf.

In my mind, this tight coupling of its components reduces the MHCECL99BT to the category of "boombox" except that the four pieces don't physically attach to each other. If the manufacturer insists on forcing me to use their cables, then they should give me at least eight or ten feet for each component, so I have the flexibility to position them where I want and where they belong.

To add insult to injury, there are NO bass and treble controls. So, if I want to try to correct the in-your-face bass because my sub-woofer is up on a shelf where it doesn't really belong, I can't. Instead, Sony provides an Equalizer function, which is just a set of presets with no access to the individual audio frequency bands that "Equalizer" usually means. The choices are: Flat, R&B, Pop, Rock, Salsa, Electronica, Country, Hip-Hop, and Jazz. I can't adjust the bass and/or treble to my own taste.

Dimensions: All components are 12" high and 12" deep. The L and R speakers are 8" wide, the Control unit is 9" wide and the Subwoofer is 10¾ wide.

It appears that the target audience for the MHCECL99BT consists of those who can't get enough bass with their music. That's where the clear emphasis is. If you like to listen to all parts of the audio spectrum, you might want to look elsewhere.

If Sony ever makes a "Rev. A" version of this product, some small engineering changes could transform it into a real winner. As is, it's a miss.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 19, 2015 1:17 PM PDT


Vaseline Intensive Care Healing Serum, Advance Relief 6.8 oz
Vaseline Intensive Care Healing Serum, Advance Relief 6.8 oz
Price: $7.99
5 used & new from $7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good...but smelly, March 17, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I get very dry skin on my hands and my shins during the cold weather, and this winter in the Northeast has been brutal. I've really needed some kind of skin moisturizer every day. For the past two years, I've been using Vaseline Intensive Rescue Repairing Moisture Lotion, Fragrance Free, 20.3-Ounce Pump (Pack of 3) with very good results. This Healing Serum is at least as effective as that one. It is a bit greasy when you first apply it, but it absorbs into the skin in just a few minutes and then you're good to go.

The problem, as many of the other reviewers have pointed out, is the fragrance. It is rather strong and it does persist for many hours after use. It isn't an unpleasant smell and not particularly floral or "girly." I would characterize it as almost a food-type aroma--maybe like freshly baked cake. It made me hungry! But after not too long, I couldn't stand it any more.

If you have no problems with scented products, this would be a fine choice for repairing your dry skin. If Vaseline made this in a fragrance-free version, I think it would be ideal for me.


BenQ GW2760HS 27-inch VA panel HDMI LED-lit Monitor
BenQ GW2760HS 27-inch VA panel HDMI LED-lit Monitor
Price: Click here to see our price
43 used & new from $170.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous value, March 11, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this monitor about 7 months ago, and every time I use it, it makes me smile! It produces a BIG, bright, well-saturated, razor-sharp image. My primary reason for wanting a large monitor was that I work with text quite a bit and, as I get into my 'senior' years, I'm having more trouble reading the screen. I use the Benq at least a few hours a day with a word-processor, and text is perfectly rendered--no blur, no aliasing, no shadow. I also watch videos on my PC quite often, and the GW2760HS' performance in this area is equally impressive. For the price, it is a fabulous value. I wholeheartedly agree with the many 5-star reviews that it's getting.

Rather than repeat all the praise, I'd just like to make 2 points that I don't see discussed in other reviews. First, though the Amazon listing for this monitor shows its Model Number as GW2760HS, when mine arrived its box said GW2760S, not 'HS,' and when I removed the monitor from the box, I was a little alarmed to see that the front bezel also identified it as GW2760S! I called Benq Customer Service and they looked up the serial for me and assured me that it was, in fact, the HS model. When I utilized the OSD to display Menu->System->Information it displayed GW2760HS for ModelName so I guess that clinches it. If its firmware thinks it's the 'HS' model, that's good enough for me.

Secondly, something that I never even considered when making the decision to purchase the Benq is the "Low Blue Light" technology available from the OSD. Basically, you can reduce the blue component in the monitor's illumination by steps from "Multimedia,' to 'Web Surfing,' to 'Office,' and finally to 'Reading.' Benq contends that it is the blue in a monitor's light that causes eye fatigue, and if you don't need it for what you are doing, you can and should reduce it. When I watch videos, I set it to 'Multimedia' but when I work with my word processor, I set it 'Office.' When I was evaluating monitors prior to purchasing this one, I dismissed this as marketing, but the feature has legitimate value and it has turned out to be very important to me. If you buy the Benq, I urge you to at least try it out.

Highly recommended.


Dickies Men's 35mm Reversible Belt,Black/Brown,38
Dickies Men's 35mm Reversible Belt,Black/Brown,38
Price: $14.80
4 used & new from $10.26

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Belt size is not the same thing as pants size., March 11, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this belt just about 1 year ago. I would estimate that I wear it 90% of days, so I've got the equivalent of about 10 or 11 months of daily use out of it. The leather is cracking at the belt hole that I use, so I don't know how much longer it will last, but I feel like I got my money's worth from it. It holds up my pants, looks good doing that and can be worn with any color since it reverses.

I see two remarks in other reviews for this belt that need clarification, I think. First, lots of reviews say that the belt is too small and doesn't fit. This is misinformed. Belt size is not supposed to be the same as pants size. Don't take my word for it. Just google "belt size" and you'll discover that you're supposed to buy a belt that is 1 or 2 inches larger than your *accurately* measured waist size. It's probably a dumb way to do things, but that's how it is and how it has been since belts were invented. My waist size when I bought this belt was 36" so I bought the 38" belt. It fit perfectly on the middle hole.

Secondly, some good folks are saying that the belt is junk because the reversing buckle comes apart. That is true, it does. But it is trivial to fix. Just remove the part of the buckle that's still attached to the belt by removing two recessed screws that hold it to the leather. Inside that part of the buckle is a spring-loaded screw that mates with the other half that has come apart. Put a small screwdriver into the head of that screw, compress the spring so the screw extends and turn the detached part of the buckle back on to the screw. It takes about 3 minutes. In the year that I've owned the belt, I've had to do that twice. The most challenging part was finding the little screwdriver buried in the bottom of my toolbox!

I've owned several Dickies clothing products. They are no-frills, reasonably-priced items that are good value. I find this belt to be no exception.


3M Interior Transparent Weather Sealing Tape, 1.5-Inch by 10-Yard
3M Interior Transparent Weather Sealing Tape, 1.5-Inch by 10-Yard
Price: $6.30
25 used & new from $2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, March 11, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I pretty much live in my bedroom. My desk and PC are there, the TV that I prefer to watch is there, my bed is there. Unfortunately, there is also an ancient double window there that leaks cold air in the fall and winter. I will eventually replace it, but for now this 3M Tape and a space heater do a fine job compensating for the frigid seepage.

We've had a brutally cold winter in the northeast, so I've been able to give the product a good trial and it passed with flying colors. The top halves of each window are stationary and are pretty tight, so I just sealed the lower halves. It makes a huge difference in the windows' draftiness.

The tape is easy to apply and pretty forgiving. If you don't like the way it looks, you can pull it up and try again. If the paint on your windowsill is old and flaking, like mine, you will pull some of it up when you do so, but that's the fault of the paint, not the tape. If you take your time and the surfaces you're applying to are nice and flat, it's very unobtrusive. I did mine in November and it is as smooth and tight now (March) as when first applied. I found that working with short, overlapping pieces was easier than trying to do long, continuous ones.

Make sure that you clean the application areas with alcohol, as the packaging directs. This product is for indoor use only.


Barilla Protein Plus Elbow Pasta, 14.5 Ounce (Pack of 8)
Barilla Protein Plus Elbow Pasta, 14.5 Ounce (Pack of 8)
Price: $15.52

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, February 5, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I used to be partial to the DeCecco brand of pasta, but about ten years ago, on my weekly food shopping trip, I discovered that my local supermarket was out of that brand, and I had to "punt." The Barilla was right next to where the DeCecco should have been, and was in plentiful supply, so I put a box in my cart and I have never looked back.

This "Plus" pasta is not quite as good as Barilla's regular line, but it is still very good. It has the consistency and taste you expect from good quality pasta. In an effort to improve the nutrition of my pasta consumption, I tried Barilla's Whole Grain line a few years ago, but didn't care for it at all. This one is much more to my liking.

With regular Barilla pasta, I find that cooking to the minimum time listed on the box gives me the "al dente" quality that I like. With these, if I do that, I find them a bit too rubbery. Cooking to the maximum time (8 minutes for these elbows) yields a much more satisfactory result.

As an evening snack and especially in cold weather, I like to have a bowl of soup. I've been adding these elbows to that little treat and I find that they fortify both nutrition and satiety.


Pinnacle Studio 18
Pinnacle Studio 18
Price: $52.99
32 used & new from $42.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Difficult, December 22, 2014
This review is from: Pinnacle Studio 18 (CD-ROM)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I had tried Pinnacle Studio 16 a few years ago, but didn't like it mainly because I experienced great difficulty trying to figure out how to use it. Pinnacle 18 (this version) tries to address this problem by providing 6 weeks free training from Studiobacklot/Class on Demand.

The online course is good, but Studio 18 is still a complex piece of software and requires no small amount of effort to learn. To go through all the lessons at a relaxed pace took me a month. One distracting element in the Backlot course, is that it uses a Studio 16 course as its basis. Most of the changes in Studio 18 are internal, so this is mostly transparent. However, there are some interface differences between the two versions, and when you encounter one of these, the course video halts, puts up a slide explaining the difference and then returns to the presenter. It can be a little confusing.

I became interested in video editing several years ago and discovered the freeware VirtualDub early on. I love it for its simplicity, and during the entire time that I was using Studio, I kept thinking, "this is so much easier to do with VDub and its plugins." That may merely be a result of the fact that I seldom use the features where Studio is strongest: Multitrack editing, Multimedia, Support for Cameras and Capture Devices, 3D, and Library Organization.

With regard to program stability, Studio 18 has crashed on me a few times (most often after importing very large clips) but not too often.

It seems pretty fast. I'm guessing that this is largely due to its support for 64-bit architecture (I was running it under Windows 8.1). Operations that would require 30 minutes to an hour in VirtualDub complete in just a few minutes in Studio 18.

Another area where Pinnacle excels is in support on both input and output sides for a large number of video formats. MP4, WMV, AVI, etc, whatever you have, whatever you need, Studio can read it and write it.

Studio 18 is hard to master because it seeks to emulate a professional Video Editing environment, which is inherently complicated. If that's your goal, then this might be the software you want.


Koss Pro4S Full Size Studio Headphones, Black with Silver Trim
Koss Pro4S Full Size Studio Headphones, Black with Silver Trim
Price: $149.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, December 8, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I like these headphones very much and they have become my "go to" set.

I have been using them daily to listen to music of all kinds as well as the spoken word. I guess a total of about 20 to 30 hours of use. I'm not an "audiophile," and I don't know if there's anything to the headphone "break-in" argument or not, but I also played a pink noise loop through them when I wasn't using the PC for anything else. Perhaps an additional 30 hours there.

Everything seems clear and undistorted with no break up or rattling at high or low frequencies. They do appear to require a higher volume control setting than other headphones and its my impression that they drain the batteries in my iPod and Roku3 slightly faster than others.

They are not noise-cancelling headphones, but the soft leather ear cups do an excellent job of sealing out the rest of the world so nothing interferes with whatever you're listening to. I liked that they seemed to give a very even performance across the audio spectrum. My understanding is that calling them "studio" headphones means that they are supposed to have a perfectly flat response. Some headphones that I have owned sounded like they had a built-in "loudness filter" that artificially hyped the treble and bass and I was always fiddling with a software equalizer to try to remove that. With these, I use the equalizer to just tweak the sound to my liking.

The Pro4S headphones seem well-made. They are comfortable to wear and quite light (on my kitchen scale they are 6.9 ounces without the cable), although as other reviewers have mentioned, they do fit tightly and feel like they are squeezing your head. Unlike other headphones I've seen, they are understated and unobtrusive in appearance--flat black with silver trim and a Koss logo on the outside of the ear cups. The coiled audio cable can be plugged in to either left or right ear cup.


New York Giants NFL Infrared Space Heater, LW-NFL-0005
New York Giants NFL Infrared Space Heater, LW-NFL-0005
Offered by bookboy33
Price: $159.95
5 used & new from $159.95

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, November 29, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I pretty much live in my bedroom. My desk and PC are there, the TV that I prefer to watch is there, my bed is there. Unfortunately, there is also an ancient double window there that leaks cold air in the fall and winter. I will eventually replace it, but for now this space heater does a fine job compensating for the frigid seepage.

We've had a few very cold evenings in the northeast this fall, so I've been able to give the Helmet Heater a good trial and it passed with ease. I placed it about six feet behind my desk chair, set it to its lower setting (600 watts) and switched it on. It takes just a few minutes and the chill is gone! Its fan propels the heated air in my direction silently.

My only reservation is that the heater does not appear to have UL Product Certification. I've checked and I don't see the UL sticker that one finds on all sorts of electrical appliances (in the US, anyway). Underwriters Laboratories is an independent testing organization that checks and certifies products for safety. Although it appears to be well made, a space heater has tremendous potential for disaster, and it would be comforting to see the assurance from UL especially when the manufacturer is not well known.

Don't turn the heater off by unplugging it from the wall outlet. When it is switched off, the internal fan will continue to run in order to cool off the heating elements to a safe level. If it's unplugged, that won't happen and you run the risk of an overheat.

The unit is generally spherical in shape, about 13 inches in diameter with a flat bottom. In use, the outside and base remain relatively cool to the touch. Louvers on the front allow you to direct air flow up or down. Controls are simple to use and easily accessed. I did not detect any odor the first time I used it as did some of the other reviewers.


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