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Fire HD 6, 6" HD Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB, Black
Fire HD 6, 6" HD Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB, Black
Price: $114.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Great for Amazon Services, Bad at Everything Else, February 16, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a very well priced tablet with good hardware. Amazon, of course, sells it not for profit of the device, but for the profit of the services.

Integration with and use of Amazon services are the purposes of this device. It is so integrated in fact that by default the browser (Silk) will route all your traffic through Amazon servers. Linking it to your Amazon account allows you to use all the Amazon services as well.

This is great IF you primarily use it for Amazon content. Amazon does offer a wide enough variety of services to make it worth getting a dedicated device. Books, audio books, videos, music, and other services including shopping on Amazon are all very seamlessly done through the Kindle Fire. The Kindle Fire HD 6 is smaller and very portable than other tablets, while being great for the content you can get through it.

However, if you want to use it as a general computing device, it is severely limited. The Amazon Appstore restricts what is available for the Fire, and many applications (such as alternative browsers) are not available for it.

The interface has an interesting design. The central "carousel" will list your activity, including books, documents, movies, apps, etc (it will not do individual webpages). All you can do it remove content one at a time, otherwise, there is nothing you can do about this. You can put favourites at the bottom for quick access to particular apps and there is a horizontal list at the top of particular Amazon services. But the Carousel dominates the screen.

Because of this, it should be viewed as an Amazon device, not a general purpose tablet. To increase security you can enable a passcode to use it, encrypt the entire device, and turn off the use of Amazon servers for the browser.

By default though, it would be a major security and privacy risk for most users of the Internet.


Shakes the Clown
Shakes the Clown
DVD ~ Bruce Baum
Offered by newbury_comics
Price: $29.99
7 used & new from $23.44

4.0 out of 5 stars Do you want to be entertained?, January 8, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Shakes the Clown (DVD)
Why do we watch films, especially comedies? To be entertained.

This movie is very entertaining, however, it is also very original. It tells a story of a clown, named Shakes, who is an alcoholic. He has job issues, a framed-for-murder issue, a relationship in trouble, etc. No one element really dominates the story. I think this may be considered a failure of story telling, the "finding the real murderer" element takes place almost by accident and everybody accepts the truth (mainly, because the witnesses tell the truth when asked), so Shakes is not hiding out or looking for the real murderer for that long. Entire movies have been based on that premise, but not this one.

The relationship is not the focus either. Judy and Shakes are present throughout the film, and their relationship is in focus, but it does not focus on this any more than it focuses on Judy's friend who is trying to be a chef.

The comedy is based on the ridiculous nature of the visual elements, some slapstick, a few jokes, and petty personal conflict.

The best thing about this film to me is that it is original. It does not follow a formula. It is like a documentary, of a sort, of a person's life (Shakes) without a script. We just see what happens, and what happens is very funny and entertaining.

Of course, if you expect to see a typical plot and a string of jokes, then this movie is not for you. The film is almost a metaphor, not meant to be taken literally (I highly doubt so many clowns walk around in full getup all the time and beat up mimes on sight), but the metaphor does not matter, because it is funny to watch.

In a way, it is an abstract movie. It is not so much about an alcoholic clown and the conflicts, but what the alcoholic clowns and the conflicts represent.

And what it represents is not that important either. It is just funny to watch.

I give it four stars, even though it is the best movie in its field, because it is a highly unique movie, and it is difficult to judge such a film. We judge against expectations, and it may be difficult for many to know what to expect. Expect to be entertained. If you expect anything else, you may be disappointed.


St. Therese of Lisieux: Her Last Conversations
St. Therese of Lisieux: Her Last Conversations
by Saint Thérèse de Lisieux
Edition: Paperback
Price: $16.95
38 used & new from $4.67

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Against Sentimentality: Death of a Saint, December 28, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
St. Therese of Lisieuw is famed for her work concerning her life (Story of a Soul). That work was actually three separate works written at different times at the request of her sisters and superiors in the convent. There are a number of editions of it, but only one which keeps the original text in translation (John Clarke translated that as well).

That work may make it less evident that Saint Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face was a young woman who slowly died of a horrible painful disease. Death was looking her in the face for an extended period of time and she interacted with her sisters much during this time.

It would be easy, and erroneous, to think of St. Therese as merely a sheltered woman who was sentimental about the faith and never had any temptations against it. While she acknowledges that she was privileged to have a loving family and a lot was given to her, her life was not easy or sentimental.

For those struggling in life, we may see the saints as impossible examples, but in this work you see a human who loved Jesus, but also was assaulted by temptations towards atheism, materialism, and nihilism, while suffering a deadly disease which caused her pain constantly.

She knew it would kill her, but she did not know when. Her words during this time may be very enlightening to those now. One will see that a holy life is not sentimental. Loving God is not about feelings or inclinations. One will see that temptations towards things of this world are something which can assault anyone, and that to give up faith because of them is against the example of the saints.

This work is written as a compilation of notes from various people, and as such, it has a lot of footnotes and explanations as many quotes are literal or in an unseen context. It is well worth studying for those who want to follow the example of the saint and to see what her life was in reality.


Life Everlasting
Life Everlasting
Price: $0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Death, Judgement, Heaven, and Hell, December 28, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Life Everlasting (Kindle Edition)
The theology of the Church has much to say about death, judgement, heaven, and hell, and this book is a great overview of all the last things.

For those who want to know what the Church teaches about Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, and our immortal souls, this is a great work. However, it helps to have some prior exposure to the theology of St. Thomas Aquinas, which the most recent council (Vatican II) calls the "Perennial Philosophy" of the Church.

The common perception of Heaven and Hell are very superficial, and studying it properly may help avoid errors such as the idea that Heaven is in the clouds with people with wings and harps or that God is an old man with a beard in the sky.

The nature of humanity is body and soul. Our perceptions are through the senses. Death is the separation of the soul from the body, and as such, the experience is truly unlike anything we can imagine in life. However, we can rationally examine it.

Also, for those who find Hell to be a troubling teaching, this work explains it well. Hell is not the injustice many suspect it is, but it is also far more terrible, as those in Hell have chosen it and cannot make another choice.

The beginning of the book examines the nature of the human soul which many would probably find enlightening. The soul is not something we generally can experience directly in life, as we are sensible creatures and even our own intellectual acts are subliminal to our senses.

I highly recommend this work.


Sparco Cash Box, 5 Compartments, 11-3/8 x 7-1/2 x 3-3/8 Inches, Gray(SPR15507)
Sparco Cash Box, 5 Compartments, 11-3/8 x 7-1/2 x 3-3/8 Inches, Gray(SPR15507)
Offered by BestSource OfficeSupplies
Price: $19.04
18 used & new from $13.33

3.0 out of 5 stars Not As Pictured: Cheaply Made, November 28, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
It is not like the picture which represents the product when I ordered it or when I write this.

The image shows a gray box with "Locking cash box features a five-compartment coin tray that automatically lifts when top is opened", and that is what it generally is, however, the bottom of the box shows random items in it, as if it were an open flat bottom.

It is not. The bottom has fingers and dividers for storing cash. It would not be possible to put items in the box as shown in the picture. Since that was why I ordered it: so I could store my larger than average checkbook, checks, and extra cards without having to lift a tray out.

I returned it because it was not as shown. But the lock did not seem to work. I was unable to ever get it to lock. Locking a box like this is more of a way to prevent accidental openings rather than security, but it should work. I would have returned it for that issue as well.

And finally, the lid did not align with the body. It closed, but it was noticeably ill fitting. The latch worked, so it was not shifted after manufacturing. It just seems to be cheap construction and poor tolerances.


South Bend Stainless Steel Split Ring
South Bend Stainless Steel Split Ring
Price: $1.01 - $15.73

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heavy Duty Split Rings and Decoding the Sizes, November 4, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
These rings are exactly what they are stated to be.

However, the main issue people will probably have is the sizing. The single numbers do not make sense to many people. But you can get charts of them all by searching the Internet for "Split Ring Size Chart". They are used for tackle making for fishing.

They are rather heavy and will take some effort to open. These are not keyrings. They are for heavier duty use.

For people trying to guess the sizes, I think people will overestimate the size. The #10 size is smaller than a dime (US currency). If you are using these for purposes other than lure making for fishing, you should get a larger size than you think you would use if you were using a split ring for keys.


Peacemaker 44mm High Security Laminated Padlock By Commando Lock
Peacemaker 44mm High Security Laminated Padlock By Commando Lock

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Attractive Looking Padlock for Basic Security, October 19, 2014
The Commando Lock Company 44BC padlock (which this one appears to be) is a very attractive basic padlock. It has a black chrome plating of its laminated steel body. The shackle is 5/16" in diameter (comparable to a Master Lock #1). It has a five pin cylinder with basic security pins.

While the padlock is marketed as "high security", in practice, it is not any more secure than the most commonly attacked part of a padlock: the shackle. The regular hardened steel shackles (stamped "Hardened") are no more secure than those of the Master Lock #1 in cut resistance. The boron alloy hardened steel shackles (stamped "Commando") are harder to cut, but are significantly easier to cut than the shackles of the Master Lock Pro Series (Master Lock 911DPF Laminated Pin Tumbler Padlock is a retail version of a Pro Series with the same diameter shackle as this lock, but it is more secure and rekeyable).

This is a good basic padlock for low security uses. It is better than most retail locks in department stores, but where it counts, it is not going to be significantly more secure in practice.


Commando CZ Commercial BORON 1 3/4" High Security Padlock
Commando CZ Commercial BORON 1 3/4" High Security Padlock

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Basic Padlock, October 19, 2014
The Commando Lock Company padlock is a 44mm wide laminated padlock with a 5/16" diameter shackle. It is comparable to a Master Lock #1 in dimensions. However, unlike a Master Lock #1, it comes with a harder shackle (a boron alloy), a five pin lock cylinder with security pins (Master Lock #1 comes with a four pin lock cylinder with all basic pins). The pick resistance is marginally better, but if covert entry is a concern, this padlock is not very pick resistant.

On Amazon, the comparable Master Lock product would be the Master Lock 3KALF Commercial Padlock with Keys, 1-1/2-inch. However, that lock (a Master Lock #3) is smaller than this Commando Lock and the Master Lock #1.

If protection against destructive entry is important, this padlock is superior to the comparable Master Lock product in all respects except that it costs a little more.

Choosing a padlock requires understanding of one's security needs. The shackle can be cut easily with 36" bolt cutters, but I was unable to cut it with 24" bolt cutters, which easily cut the regular hardened steel shackles of this diameter.


Master Lock 911DPF Laminated Pin Tumbler Padlock
Master Lock 911DPF Laminated Pin Tumbler Padlock
Price: $17.58
15 used & new from $14.65

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Padlock from Master Lock, August 20, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Master Lock makes a variety of padlocks for different markets. The Master Lock 911 is a Pro Series padlock in retail packaging. This is the highest security padlock they make and it is normally not available to most consumers (although, you can buy them, they are marketed towards businesses and industry).

The lock is well worth its cost. It has a very hard boron alloy steel shackle which is replaceable (you could buy new shackles of different lengths even to replace it). It has ball bearing locking, the most secure way to secure a shackle of this kind of padlock. It is stronger and impossible to shim open.

The lock cylinder, like all Pro Series padlocks, has more pins and security features which make it harder and more time consuming to pick.

Also, it is rekeyable.

For the price, this lock as it is sold is very good, and the flexibility and features it has allow it to be potentially even more useful depending on one's needs.

While it is impossible to recommend any security tool without knowing the security needs, this padlock is well worth its price.


iCHANGE Interchangeable Shackle Padlock System by Commando Lock
iCHANGE Interchangeable Shackle Padlock System by Commando Lock

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Innovative But Too Expensive, July 30, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This padlock design is quite innovative. It is possible to remove the shackle using only the key. This allows one to use either of the shackles provided.

However, this model of the iCHANGE has a cost which does not seem to be justified for the average consumer. The shackles it comes with are only case hardened steel, the same sort of steel on a Master Lock #1 (normally, around $9 in the store). Despite the stronger body and greater pick resistance, the shackle is the primary target by those who would compromise one's security. The cost of the padlock as it is now makes it a better deal to buy two padlocks with two different shackle lengths from this company (the Peacemaker 44BC would be the normal version of this lock).

However, it is built well and it does what it is designed to do, but it would have a very limited appeal for most users of locks.

The removable shackles would enable one to buy better shackles and perhaps future products to increase the security, but that would be a significant cost for essentially one padlock.

If one foresees one's padlock shackle being cut often and you are fine with that (some applications of padlocks would require this), then it is likely a time saver and ultimately a money saver as replacement shackles only cost about $2.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 6, 2015 9:49 AM PDT


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