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My Word is My Bond: A Memoir
My Word is My Bond: A Memoir
Offered by HarperCollins Publishers
Price: $9.78

5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating biography, filled with humour, and it does not bore you to tears, April 17, 2014
When he hears how some critics call his performance as 007 James Bond as too light or comical, Roger Moore would ask, how can anyone take this spy of a character seriously when he walks into any bar in the world and is instantly recognized by the bartender as "Mr. Bond"?

Such intelligent humor permeates this fascinating biography. While a few parts are a little hard to follow -- after all, these are recollections of an octogenarian -- the whole book is a breeze to read, in large part thanks to Sir Roger's true sense of humor, as well as candor. People into stars' personal lives will be disappointed by his lack of details, and self-remorse, over his three divorces, but at least he doesn't shy away from exposing his own shortcomings, whether it was money ("I'm such a ponce" is a frequent line in the middle chapters - in the pimp sense, not gay sense!) or women.

Fans of his TV shows and movies will walk away happy with tons of insider's stories regarding his popular outings as actor, while for me the most moving parts involve his later work as a UNICEF rep/ambassador. I've personally witnessed the sad lives of third-world children living in poverty, so I can relate to the experience Sir Roger had when seeing such tragic sights.

The book is packed with insights and candid comments on people and events. It's one of the best autobiographies and biographies I've ever read.


Belkin QODE Ultimate Wireless Keyboard and Case for iPad Air (Black)
Belkin QODE Ultimate Wireless Keyboard and Case for iPad Air (Black)
Price: $90.64
55 used & new from $47.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Wobbly, feels cheap, April 17, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This Belkin keyboard feels cheap, that was my first impression and is still my main impression. The keyboard also takes longer to pair each time with my iPad air, compared to a similar keyboard but made for the iPad mini. (Yes, you can use either one, but the case is designed for the specific iPad model.) Putting in my iPad air also took a little more effort than I felt comfortable with, and spoke of the rather shoddy quality of this product. I wouldn't recommend it, as there're better products being sold at Apple Stores.


Strathwood Hardwood Coffee Table, Gray
Strathwood Hardwood Coffee Table, Gray
Price: $125.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great outdoor furntiure, April 17, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a very easy to assemble outdoor coffee table that looks good, well, outdoors. It took me just a couple of minutes to put it together - just put the four legs in with the Allen wrench included by Amazon. The wood comes from SE Asia and is of high quality. I've left it outside for a whole month and it still looks new. I like it a lot.


LeapFrog LeapPad2 Power - Disney Junior Doc McStuffins Bundle
LeapFrog LeapPad2 Power - Disney Junior Doc McStuffins Bundle
Price: $99.99

3.0 out of 5 stars LeapPad 2 is much improved over the original one but apps still lack depth, March 19, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
We bought the original LeapPad when it first came out. It was a pain to use because it took a long time to stat up, had a rather poor screen, and, worst of it all, the Leapfrog Connect software was absolutely terrible.

This new version has improved every aspect, and the newer versions of Leapfrog Connect software (which I believe only runs on Windows, which is a bummer as my main computers are Macs, but do own a couple of PCs which unfortunately run the much hated Windows 8/8.1). What has not improved is they still seem to use USB 1 as the connector, for it takes a long time to download software (apps, ebooks, videos or music) to the Leap Pad 2. LeapFrog is apparently moving away from the cartridge model. Even though this LeapPad still has a cartridge slot, it's hard to find LeapPad cartridges in stores or on Amazon.com. Instead, apparently they expect you to download all software via LeapFrog Connect.

Here's a money-saving tip: you can buy the $20 LeapFrog download card for about 5 bucks off here on Amazon.com. LeapFrog also has frequent discount codes, for example, currently you can use CELEBRATE to achieve tiered discount savings.

Hardware-wise, LeapPad2 is solidly built. It's easy to hold by kids -- at least that what mine told me. the 5-inch screen has a resolution of 480x272, lower than that on the Nintendo 3DS, but okay for education-oriented games. It comes with 4GB of built-in storage memory. But it does not have an SD or micro SD slot for additional memory, so your kid should not transfer too much video or audio or photos to it. It has two separate low-resolution cameras, one on front and one on back.

While the screen is okay in pixel density, especially for the target audience, its brightness and contrast cannot be adjusted, unlike the old LeapFrog Explorer or Leapster, for example. Worse, it still uses resistive touch technology, so it doesn't work well with fingers. Instead, you're expected to use the attached stylus. Here the stylus is literally attached via a lanyard to the side of the LeapPad2, and there's a little indented holder for the stylus, but it's a crude solution. A stylus slot would have been a much better feature, so the stylus wouldn't fall out of place frequently.

LeapFrog's learning apps are okay. They suffer from a serious lack of depth across the board -- and they ain't really cheap. A typical app costs 10 dollars each. Some audio books cost 10 or the more interactive ones cost 25! (C.f. half that much for interactive Nook ebooks or much, much better-made ebooks on the iPad.) I actually paid for a few additional apps to the ones that came with the review unit. While my kids enjoyed a couple of them, they finished all the levels within a day or two. Not the best 20 bucks I've spent. I get much better values out of iPad kids' apps; even free iPad kids apps have longer play time.

The LeapFrog Connect software, which you need in order to download apps and other files (and to make the LeapPad2 really work, otherwise it keeps reminding you to connect to the PC), is much improved. Gone are mysterious disconnects and vanishing files or cryptic error codes that even LeapFrog's support couldn't help me with. A couple of times it still failed to download purchased contents to the LeapPad2 on first try, but a disconnect and reconnect of the USB cable solved the problem immediately. Now, notice that you can't charge the LeapPad2 from the USB port; you *must* use the separate AC adapter which plugs into a rounded charge port on the LeapPad2. This unnecessarily creates an unnecessary necessity for yet another unnecessary accessory. (I hope you liked my humor.)


Philips Norelco CC5059/60 Kids Hair Clipper
Philips Norelco CC5059/60 Kids Hair Clipper
Price: $34.99
4 used & new from $34.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good for younger kids, March 19, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
We're a family that always looks for ways to save money, as we're not rich. One of these ways is we give our kids haircuts (and I myself go to the local Chinatown for 5-buck cuts.) Our regular hair clipper was bought at Costco, and it does a good job. This Philips clipper is designed specifically for young kids -- I say young because the clip head is kind of small, and the attached comb guide is has a small contact surface area. The comb guide can be adjusted so you get to cut hair to the right length. Instead of the "size 0", "size 1", "size 2", etc. used by professional barbers, the guide here has marks in inches, which is not a real problem for kids, unless you're about to have your kid auditioning for Sesame Street or Disney Channel something, in which case you wouldn't be cutting his/her hair yourself to begin with, would you?

The clipper is easy to use. The small contact surface on the guide, and the fact it's not made of some super-hard plastic like the combs on professional clippers, makes it relatively comfortable on the kid's scalp (or so I've been told by the test subjects...). It's also usable as a cordless clipper, as it contains a built-in LiIon battery that can run about 35 minutes per charge. I've noticed no clipping performance difference whether on AC or on recharged battery. The clipper is comfortable to hold for adults who have small hands, e.g., most moms, but not so comfortable for people like me with big hands, but still passable.

If you have boys younger than 8 or 9, this is a good clipper to have -- and it takes only 3 or 4 cuts at home for the clipper to pay for itself in savings, not to mention your little one(s) will get the haircut in a comfortable and familiar setting.


Fellowes L80-95 Personal Laminator with 10 Pouches , 9.5-Inch (5711001)
Fellowes L80-95 Personal Laminator with 10 Pouches , 9.5-Inch (5711001)
Price: $29.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Solid light-duty laminator, March 19, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is the perfect laminator for thin documents like most photos and printed paper. I had owned one laminator before, and that laminator would take forever to warm up and be ready to laminate. This one starts up fairly quick and is ready in a little over 2 minutes. (One must keep in mind that all laminators require warm-up time.) I've laminated a few 4x6 photos without any problems, and in the process delighted the kids.

The laminator is compact and easy to operate, so it's great for laminating light-duty school projects, i.e., no double-thick paper. I believe for thick paper you need higher-grade pouches, which this laminator does not appear to be able to accept. But for simple lamination jobs, this little Fellows does a solid job.


Eucerin Baby Eczema Relief Instant Therapy, 2 Ounce
Eucerin Baby Eczema Relief Instant Therapy, 2 Ounce
Price: $7.99
7 used & new from $6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This works faster than just regular cream, February 27, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Thanks to the genes I contributed, my kids suffer from year-round Eczema. We've been using Aveeno to give them relief from the redness and itching. But recently I noticed that Aveeno had been raising their prices on their products, so I'm glad now there's an alternative from Eucerin, the skin treatment brand.

I've used Eucerin products for years. I usually find their products very effective but a little on the oily side. This cream, luckily, is not oily. It's a white cream with a very slight alcohol-like scent. (Benzyl alcohol is listed third from last on the long list of inactive ingredients.) The active ingredient is listed as colloidal oatmeal 1.0%, same as Aveeno's baby eczema lotion.

My kids have been using this for a few days and the relief is apparent. I think it works slightly faster than the Aveeno offering, but it's possible due to the fact my kids have been using Aveeno since they were born and their skin adapted to Aveeno lotion. I'll keep using the Eucerin to see if it's at least as good as Aveeno. If yes, I'll keeping buying it, and use both on my poor offspring's poor skin.


Dr. King's Natural Medicine Anxiety and Nervousness, 2 Fluid Ounce
Dr. King's Natural Medicine Anxiety and Nervousness, 2 Fluid Ounce
Price: $14.99
36 used & new from $11.51

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It gives me an anxiety attack to think about whether this works..., February 19, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Ok, just kidding. I have a cabinet full of these homeopathic anti-anxiety remedies. This Dr. King's remedy has 22 active ingredients. It's liquid held in a bottle with a pump. You pump 3 sprays into your mouth, up to 9 times per day. It has zero taste. BTw, the box the bottle came in is big enough to hold two bottles, but you get only one bottle - at least that's what I got.

It's always difficult to say whether things really work. So far I'm not too sure about this remedy. I have a couple of brands that I'm somewhat confident gives me relief a few seconds after using, but this one so far has not proven to be effective. The thing is, I cannot say it doesn't help me, either. I may need to use it for longer to gauge its effectiveness. I do wish they had included an information sheet inside the box, to help us understand the ingredients.

On the box it says "FDA Reg #1053442". I include this in case you want to lok it up.


Pinnacle Studio 17
Pinnacle Studio 17
Price: $52.24
36 used & new from $52.24

5.0 out of 5 stars Cost-effective capable video editing software for casual users, February 19, 2014
This review is from: Pinnacle Studio 17 (CD-ROM)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Upfront, I should admit that I'm mostly a Mac user, and I use iMovie for my video editing needs. However, I actually started out editing videos on Windows, and I have a powerful i7 laptop that I use for spreadsheeting and number crunching, so I thought I should install a commercial video editing program on it, to take advantage of its faster processor, more memory and faster drive than my Mac.

I should point out that the Pinnacle Studio software comes in four flavors, and this is the lowest edition for Windows. (A fourth edition is for the iPad; I haven't tried that out yet.) One step up is the Plus edition, and above that is the Ultimate edition. Don't ask me the differences; you can find the specs at Pinnacle Sys' website. (Mostly the higher editions add 3D and then 4k support.)

The software does have an iMovie feel to it. It's still not as intuitive as iMovie, but overall for a Windows video editing program, the interface is surprisingly well thought out. Compare with the clunker variously known as Windows Movie Maker or Windows Live Movie Maker (why use a couple of syllables when 7 spread over 4 words will do?). The software is also fast and responsive.

Obviously for a casual consumer program like this, editing tools are limited. If it means anything, Pinnacle says this basic edition includes 1,500 effects (transitions, titles, frames, etc.). The emphasis here is twofold: getting your video files organized into one single "movie", and sharing your brainchild with the world. You can share to the usual social web suspects, but also Box and of course iOS easily.

I've only made one short home movie on Pinnacle Studio 17 so far, but I came away impressed with its ease of use and level of control for a casual video editor. My dad, who spends all his spare time editing home made movies, was using an Adobe product and not too happy with its slow performance and confusing workflow. I feel confident I can recommend this program to him.


Baxter of California Night Cream AHA, 4 fl. oz.
Baxter of California Night Cream AHA, 4 fl. oz.
Price: $24.00
4 used & new from $24.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly gentle and effective, February 19, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As I get older my skin gets dry more and more easily, especially during this past gruesome winter. This night cream has helped me quite a bit. It's not oily, which made me happy. It's slightly scented with perfume. I would have preferred a scent-less cream, but the gentle scent here does not bother me too much, dissipates after a few minutes. Obviously I never conducted a "clinical trial" to see if it really relives dryness of my skin, but I definitely feel that it has helped my skin survive this winter.


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