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Samuel Chell RSS Feed (Kenosha,, WI United States)
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Trio And Quintet
Trio And Quintet
Price: $11.49

4.0 out of 5 stars A fine pianist out of the Bud Powell tradition, plagued by incarceration and drugs, but ending with an impressive discography, September 30, 2014
This review is from: Trio And Quintet (MP3 Music)
I was led to this album when, while browsing TuneIn channels, I heard the unmistakable tone and phrasing of Harold Land's tenor sax. Upon closer inspection, Elmo Hope's name appeared as the leader of the quintets featuring, along with Land, Frank Foster's appearance (he was more than the composer of "Shiny Stockings" and the playing partner of Frank Wess in the Basie Band sax section).

Hope's name appears on a number of my LPs, though none show him as leader. It's all too easy to merge in memory a number of promising but often drug-addicted West Coast pianists whose potential was never fully realized because of lives and careers interrupted by prison sentences, then shortened. Immediately coming to mind are Hampton Hawes, John Williams, and the least recorded but most immediately identifiable Carl Perkins (who died before the age of 30).

Unlike Perkins, Hope is not a pianist I would immediately recognize in a blindfold test--not because of deficiencies in terms of chops but because of his indebtedness to Bud Powell. He's never as intense, complex and "finished" as Bud at his best nor is he ever as faltering, fumbling, time-insecure as Bud as his worst. Hope's lines are frequently melodic and lyrical but fragmented and not well connected. His compositions remind me of some of the12 and 32-bar tunes out method books that use original melodies in lieu of paying the expensive copyright fees for Jerome Kern or Cole Porter standards. He uses lots of chord progressions, favors up-tempo tunes, and dispenses with niceties like rhythm change-ups and harmonizing. The two horns will invariably play the melodic line in unison, which sounds much like an improvised Hope chorus, and then the highlight of the tune becomes the extemporaneous inventions of Harold Land.

Land is simply in command for each of his turns, employing the dynamic contouring which, along with his slowly developing melodic narrative, makes his music so completely compelling (at this time he was playing alongside Clifford in the Clifford Brown/Max Roach Quintet--soon followed by the incomparable Curtis Counce Group, then in the 1970s the Harold Land-Bobby Hutcherson Quintet).

Special mention must be made of the bass-drum duo of bassist Leroy Vinnegar and drummer Frank Butler. Just as Philly Joe Jones absorbed bebop figures but played them "selectively" in comparison to the non-stop thunder of Roach's accompaniment, Butler (a pyrotechnican capable of burying all competitors) refines Philly Joe's approach even further. Listen to his pushing soloists with a single well-placed tap of the snare or fresh swipe of his ride cymbal. On one of the tunes, Hope deserves credit for totally bypassing the piano solo in favor of allowing us the pleasure of hearing bass and drums walk time unaccompanied!

Hope is definitely a pianist who belongs in the jazz collection of anyone who has none of his recordings as leader or supporting player. But first be certain to have am ample representation of Bud Powell and Carl Perkins material.


Shure EASFX2-10M Medium Soft Flex Sleeves (10 Included / 5 Pair) for E2, E2c, E2g, SE102, SCL2, i2c and QuietSpot Earphones (Black)
Shure EASFX2-10M Medium Soft Flex Sleeves (10 Included / 5 Pair) for E2, E2c, E2g, SE102, SCL2, i2c and QuietSpot Earphones (Black)
Price: Click here to see our price
7 used & new from $5.99

3.0 out of 5 stars These will not fit most earphones, September 30, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I Googled ear-tips and discovered the question concerning most likeminded inquirers: Comply Foam Tips or Google Olive Tips? Since the supporters for either side were close to equal in number, I ordered one pack of each brand (after determining that the pictured black tips are apparently the same as what were once referred to as "Shure Olives").

What I didn't take seriously enough was the specific phones for which these are intended. (The front cover of the package implies they're universal in terms of fit.) The fact of the matter is that they simply won't fit my (or most listeners') phones. The part of the tip that slides on to the extended "shaft" of the earphone is simply too tight, or too small in diameter, to fit over the wider diameter of most shafts (i.e. tip holders). Moreover, the sleeves of these Shure's are all but "un-stretchable."

While trying to "force" the sleeves on an Altec and then an Ultimate Ears headphone, I tore the sleeve of one of the Shures and cracked the plastic shaft of the UE earphone. A commentator on the internet insists the sleeves can be forced over any earphone, but I'm not about to risk further exasperation and damage. Moreover, a visit to the Comply site allowed me to confirm the mismatch. Shure earphones, for the most part, require Size 2 and even Size 1 Comply Tips. On the other hand, the vast majority of earphones, according to the Comply chart, take Size 4 tips.

Conclusion:These tips are best avoided if yours is not a pair of the specific phones listed in Amazon's ad for the product.


8 Classic Albums - J J Johnson
8 Classic Albums - J J Johnson
Offered by Fulfillment Express US
Price: $13.24
34 used & new from $8.48

5.0 out of 5 stars A good introduction to the prolific, prodigious, and always impeccable master of the modern jazz trombone, September 30, 2014
Make no mistake. J. J. was not merely "the Miles Davis of the trombone" or a trombonist who was "good for his time." Not only was he the indisputable "father of the modern jazz trombone" but he remained the greatest living exponent throughout his life. Yes, it's true that players like Watrous, Rosolino, Fontana, etc. managed to extend the range of the horn into the register of the trumpet and to play with the speed and accuracy associated with valved instruments. But it was J.J. who brought the instrument into the modern era without changing its essential properties, the qualities that made the trombone as pleasurable to hear as a saxophone or trumpet.

He had technique to spare, but more often than not he "spared" the listener the tedium of pointless extra notes. Instead, he invariably selected the "right" notes. He could take the most treacherous harmonic progression (e.g. "Turnpike") and play the notes "that counted." He never "over-reached," and he never fell short of executing with panache and precision, varying his attack and timbre (often through use of the cup mute) to suit the occasion. If I have one regret about J.J.'s career (much of it spent as a composer and arranger), it's that he never recorded with the iconic John Coltrane, considered by many to be the most influential musician during the 2nd half of jazz' still relatively brief history. (Not to take anything away from Curtis Fuller--who, or course, was a J.J. disciple--but every time I hear the recording "Blue Trane,", it's difficult not to think "If only that had been the iconic master of the modern trombone, J.J. Johnson").

J. J. was a musician of such consistency than virtually any of albums under his own name assure the listener of a good representation of his playing. The present set of 8 albums makes for a good start toward coming to terms with the prodigious, prolific musician, whose best recorded efforts must necessarily include albums NOT under his own name. "Sonny Rollins Vol. 2" is arguably among his very best outings, a burning Blue Note session with Silver on piano (and both Horace and Thelonious Monk on one track: "Mysterioso"). Additionally, it's an album that comes closest to deserving the epithet "classic."

Of the visible albums, the J.J. and Kai Winding album (on Impulse) is arguably one of their less efforts--flawless but carefully timed and assembled. And the Columbia album "J. J. Inc." was, in my personal experience, somewhat of a let-down compared to the half-dozen Columbia albums I had already collected by J.J. "In Person" is an album I lost, then spent 10 years tracking down. (I eventually found it at the legendary mid-Manhattan record emporium, Colony Records.) It's far superior to the later album featuring the same cast of J. J. and cornetist Nat Adderley in the front-line. Also, J. J.'s Jazz at the Philharmonic appearances with Stan Getz (on Verve) might be considered essential by J.J. folowers.

Despite devaluing the word "classic," this set promises to be one of the most consistently satisfying releases in the "Classic Album" series.


Cheek to Cheek (Deluxe)
Cheek to Cheek (Deluxe)
Price: $15.88
22 used & new from $12.86

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fast-moving program and increasingly rare example of two endangered species: "swing" and the Great American Songbook, September 28, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Cheek to Cheek (Deluxe) (Audio CD)
The "booklet" that comes with the 15-track edition is short on information but long on pictures--primarily from a single photo-shoot portraying Gaga in a kind of drunken / Dionysian / orgy with her entourage while Tony sits somewhat nervously in the margins of the frame maintaining a nonplused, bemused look throughout. It makes it especially tempting--and convenient--to characterize the music on the album as second place to Lady Gaga's own ambitions, to which the music necessarily comes in second (why couldn't there have been photos of the recording session and some sort of back story about the genesis of the session?)

The Los Angeles Times critic chooses to go that route, all but insisting that Gaga has played Tony for a fool and that we the listeners are the true victims, forced to endure "unbearable" results. But the latter is clearly an overplaying of the critic's hand. Regardless of Gaga's motives, the sincerity of her love of jazz and of the treasures of the Great American Songbook, what we hear simply doesn't support such a negative conclusion about the music on this disc.

The naysayers do have a point that Gaga's strains occasionally sound "forced" and that her elocution is far from consistent. On "I Can't Give You Anything But Love," for example, she adopts, whether out of insecurity or an imperfect idea of how a jazz singer should sound, a quasi-drunken persona reminiscent of Amy Winehouse's inebriated-sounding persona during her duet with Tony on "Body and Soul." And though Gaga's version of "Lush Life" here is ratcheted back from the sonic assault on the song she displayed earlier this year at the Montreux Jazz Festival, it still is a dozen notches above the the ennui, cynicism and weltschmerz of the song's lyrics. (One only can hope that this song's title was not responsible for the idiotic boozing depicted in the numerous included photos of Gaga.)

But these few missteps do not detract from the enjoyability of a program as professionally performed and well paced as this one (many of the songs under 3 minutes). And the pre-released videos and published interviews of the pair implying a mutual admiration between the two seems borne out in each spirited performance (some of which--Tony's "Don't Wait Too Long" and GaGa's "Nature Boy"--are genuinely touching). Of all the performances on Bennett's two "Duets" albums the performance of Tony and Gaga was the closest thing not merely to jazz but to its vital heartbeat--"swing," a word that, sadly, is disappearing from the English language as no longer of any use to most people, whether as a noun, a verb, or an adjective.

If any reason is needed to celebrate the success of the present recording, look no further than the contemporaneously released Fats Waller tribute album by Jason Moran, a MacArthur Fellow and the new director of jazz performance at the Kennedy Center (successor to the big shoes of jazz pianist (extraordinaire), composer, historian, spokesperson (passionate and persuasive), educator Billy Taylor).

It's hard not to wonder what Taylor and Waller himself would have made of Moran's most recent project. All Rise: A Joyful Elegy for Fats Waller. "Ain't Misbehavin'," for example, is reduced to processed unintelligible voices with underpinning provided by processed Fender Rhodes' electric piano and enough funky, pounding deep bass notes to fill the earphones of any bass-hungry hip-hopper--or to satisfy any DJ looking for a "mood jazz" soundscape pumped loud enough to make slow and sensual dancing the only option.

That's not Fats Waller. Not even close. It's certainly not the Great American Songbook (to which Fats was a major contributor). Despite the title, it's neither joyful nor arousing. It's simply another "noise" (Gaga's characterization of her own music prior to the present jazz recording with Bennett) added to the lifeless digital din of our present-day mediascape. Compared to so much of the mood jazz, contemporary jazz, M-Based, World, Roots, Fibonacci-influenced, New Age, Gen-X, Post-Modernized, fusion, free, boundary-erasing music that passes for jazz these days (and, then, only after pointless "over-processing" via gratuitous "gear" and software programming), "Cheek to Cheek" is one of the most "bearable" albums of the new millennium. (And I have no doubt that Irving Berlin would have heartily approved.)


The Dictator - Extended Preview
The Dictator - Extended Preview
DVD
Price: $0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Sacha Cohen Takes Control as the Dictator, September 24, 2014
During the last few years, as a retired pedagogue, I've had occasion to check out the most popular dramatic shows on television. 'NCIS, " with Mark Harmon, is rated #1 in terms of audience, but not far behind it is a similar piece of fluff called "Bones." They all have in common several obsessions that apparently ring true these days with the American spectator:

1. graphic, extended examination of dead people and their body parts;

2. an unwavering faith in the rectitude and integrity of the FBI or similar agency, including complete trust in anyone who flashes a badge (which invariably gets the holder anywhere s/he wants to go (apparently most citizens are much better than I at recognizing, decoding, and validating a law-enforcer's credentials);

3. a propensity for numerous digressions into the area of romance, sex, and having babies;

4. a fetishist attraction to bright screens that serve as digital deities, riveting our attention with their colorful, fast, and omniscient access to the terrorists in our midst (with software and hardware that never misses a beat--no crashes or freezes!). In a close competition for most decorative set, "CSI: Miami," with its iridescent screens and cutting-edge technology operated by Hollywood "models" (male and female), is a strong contender for first place. The primary action consists of our watching a screen of other people watching screens, a continual "mirroring activity" leading us, like the submissive subterraneans in Plato's "Allegory of the Cave," to the inescapable conclusion that the only "reality" that counts is the one mediated through the "screen-within-the-screen" configuration of the show (while you're at it, make sure your smart phone's screen is big enough to disclose the layers of such embedded screens).

[Caveat: Occasionally, cable offers a series in which screens are alien--e.g. "Mad Men," which is a welcome "oasis" existing in a place between the "mirage drama" of the modern cop shows and the formulaic editing of the monotonous "reality" shows ("Pawn Stars," "Storage Wars," " Swamp People")].

The indisputable king of popular trash TV is a series called "Criminal Minds," the most sensationalistic, exploitive, salacious, violent, dangerous and hypocritical show arguably in the history of television. Call it "a rape a week" or a child-abuser per week"--it's the same mind-numbing plot over and over. And, even more than the aforementioned two shows, it features "profiling" as the law's best friend. But who's REALLY being profiled is the American spectator and his insatiable appetite for this cynical, soul-killing, life-denying, virulent sensationalism disguised as serious drama. (These shows that glorify "profilers" should strike fear into any of us who have discovered the internet"s insidious invasion of our privacy by reducing our identities to quantitative consumer likes and dislikes.)

The irony is that most Americans will no doubt dismiss Cohen's "The Dictator" on the grounds that it's vulgar, disgusting, and--horrors!--"politically incorrect"--but worse--it's a movie watched by an audience that must be too "low-class" to know the difference! Hence, the real pornography gets a pass because of its utter moral hypocrisy and sanctimonious messages (all of it pretending to have "socially-redeeming value") while the soft porn of a Sacha Cohen (or a Jerry Springer) merely gives these same viewers more reason to continue to watch flagrant and insidious fare like "Criminal Minds" every week--all the while congratulating themselves on their superior good taste.

As for Cohen's movie, "The Dictator" is not Chaplin's "The Great Dictator" or W. C. Field's "The Bank Dick" or the Marx Brothers' "Duck Soup." But at least it tries to retain some of the spirit of genuine satire, which exaggerates but does not sensationalize, which gives us heroes like Jonathan Swift's archetypal Gulliver, but does not allow us to get "chummy" with them. Unlike some of the worst maudlin drivel of Robin Williams or Eddie Murphy (both admittedly singular talents), we don't become weak-kneed with warmed-over sentimentality as Sacha's irresistible charm wins the day. To the contrary, Sacha is resolutely, incorrigibly crude, vulgar, oblivious to the feelings of others--he is "THE" dictator, after all. Just as we warm up to our Arab protagonist as, setting aside differences, he romances and marries a Jewish feminist, the film ends with a close-up of the Dictator's hand, signaling: "Exterminate this irritation").

"The Dictator" is an average movie, but ratings are necessarily relative: compared with any of the aforementioned recent media fare, it's 5 stars (but your kids don't need to see it--and it they do, you'll probably feel uncomfortable watching it with them). Compared with the classic cinema mentioned above, it's 2-3 stars. Compared with Sacha's other films, I preferred it to the previous two that I've seen. More than likely, it's Sacha's best effort--which raises the question: why would someone watch a film that everyone knows up front is satire (with no scarcity of vulgar scenes thrown in)--and then proceed to pan it!?!.

My recommendation to anyone seeking an exemplary model of satire: read Swift's "Gulliver's Travels" which, taken as a single voyage or as a whole, is spell-binding storytelling and scintillating social criticism on every page. That's a large project, but here's a small one: Look up a free copy of Swift's "Modest Proposal" on the internet and print it out. Take an hour to read it. If that's no longer breathtakingly horrific and funny, there's no longer any hope for civilization in the 21st century.

[Final commendation: Sacha is at his best when he eschews all special effects, camera tricks, bathroom, sophomoric, and pubescent "humor" and relies on his own rhetoric (presumably written hy Sacha). One routine he uses to comic effect is the "anticlimactic series construction." (Eg.: when Sacha decides to jump off a bridge upon first experiencing unrequited love, his associate begs with him not to kill himself: "You must remember that you are the last of the great dictators--Saddam, Gaddafi, Bin Ladan, Cheney. And now, only you!" (Personal observation: for better or worse, it would appear Cheney has not abdicated his dictatorial position.)]

Not only did that get a chuckle out of me (my wife says the first in 3 months), but in the context of the story it's enough to persuade Sacha to return to his greater mission--i.e. giving a speech before a United Nations delegation of world leaders about the virtues of "government by dictatorship." What follows is inspired rhetoric of sufficient substance to bring the "The Dictator" up to the level of truly worthy satire!

No doubt some in the audience are already aware of the inefficiency/ineffectiveness of democracy vs. autocracy. So as Sacha begins to list the advantages of the "rule of one," we go along with the premise as all too familiar--and true. But with each new recommendation on behalf of dictatorship over democracy, we increasingly are made aware that Sacha is describing the disparities, deceptions, inequities that describe 21st-century America! No doubt a good share of the viewing audience will claim Sacha's impassioned, crescendoing rhetoric supports their view--of a white, patriarchal, disproportionately wealthy America whose reform is the priority of our current leader. But many others will interpret the speech as supporting their own political position that Obama is operating outside the law like a "dictator," committing criminal actions that call for lawsuits and even impeachment, even during his final two years in office.

But that's the difference between propaganda and art. Shakespeare's Henry V can be interpreted as his most heroic, patriotic protagonist, rallying England whenever a crisis arose (and Churchill could quote from the play); others will see the Bard's Henry V as a dictator and a merciless despot. What's at stake here is not taking sides or having an opinion but bringing the audience to the discovery of (drum-roll) an idea--of something capable of generating discussion and leading to better understanding--perhaps even knowledge--of the complicated world we live in (or, especially since the explosionof the social media, the world that lives in us).

Who would have thought a Sacha Cohen movie would encourage greater understanding of our own country and (gulp) a bit more self-knowledge within individual viewers? For that matter, who would have bothered to even have a thought to attending another off-beat flick by the maker of "Borat"? Maybe that's the trouble: Americans don't WANT to see movies that require them to think. Thinking is hard work--at an opposite pole from the "entertainment" we associate with the movies. To the filmmaker who provokes thought under the guise of entertainment we owe an inestimable debt. No one can "make" you (or me) think. But a filmmaker who can "trick" us into thinking "in spite of ourselves" is someone to watch. "The Dictator" could be a disposable film, a mere SNL sketch, a fluke--or it could be the beginning of the filmmaker's "coming of age, " of acquiring his own voice. It's too early to say. But for the present, this unlikely potentate bears close watching and listening (even if, unlike 90% of comedians and dictators, he's not short!)


Nights at the Vanguard
Nights at the Vanguard
Price: $16.58
27 used & new from $10.46

4.0 out of 5 stars Superb performance by one of the all-time greats--and you're definitely in the front row., September 21, 2014
This review is from: Nights at the Vanguard (Audio CD)
Tommy acknowledges the presence of Rudy Van Gelder in his introduction, and rightly so: the majority of his recordings were engineered by RVG. I'm sure that many pianists appreciated the "forward presence" given the piano by Van Gelder, regardless of the orchestration. This technique was ideal for quintessential hard bop ensembles with a pianist such as Horace Silver. But it frequently came at a price: the accurate reproduction of the piano's sound "in nature" and, therefore, the individual pianist's expressive contouring and detailing of that sound--not only through note choices and chord voicings--but through the intricate and complex application of fingers to the keys, whether for one note or a nuanced, "singing" phrase. In other words, the "touch" unique to the individual player is often muted. Van Gelder's distinctive approach to making the piano clear and audible on each of his recordings also had the by-product of homogenizing the touch of a pianist such as Tommy Flanagan or Bill Evans.

The instant I heard a track from this album, I recognized the sound, first, as the "RVG piano." It's only after repeated listenings that I've been able to focus on the utterly unique "Tommy Flanagan piano." That qualifier will mean more to some listeners than to others. For those who treasure the distinctive RVG sound above that of all other recording engineers, and whose focus is on "what" is played more than "how," this album must rank as another 5-star recording by one of jazz' supreme artists, with two musicians--Mraz and Foster--who play up to his level.


4 Classic Albums
4 Classic Albums
Price: $16.74
15 used & new from $6.62

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 out of 4 = a "good deal" for admirers of this most distinctive, impeccable voice in jazz piano, September 21, 2014
This review is from: 4 Classic Albums (Audio CD)
Of these four albums, three could be considered close to essential (i.e. "classic") to listeners who appreciate the distinctive, inimitable Flanagan "touch." No other pianist in the Bud Powell tradition (or before it) could play single-note lines of such exquisite beauty and precision. He contours the dynamics of his lines so that they seem to "breathe" with the quality of a singing human voice. The album "Jazz: It's Magic" is a fairly conventional, overly familiar "hard bop session" that could do with one or two fewer horn players. The other three dates grant the listener a sharper focus on Flanagan's "magic."

The only reason I must withhold a star is my slight disappointment that the engineering of the recordings does not capture the subtle nuances of Tommy's touch as described above. Van Gelder is rightly recognized as an important if not seminal engineer in the history of jazz recordings. He makes the horns sound bigger than life while still retaining the full and clear sound of the accompanying instruments--piano, drums and bass. However, the trade-off is a lack of ambience and depth as well as a constriction of the piano's natural overtones and harmonics. The result is often a "homogenization" of various pianists' individual touches. RVG works for a Bud Powell or Red Garland but not as well for a Flanagan or Bill Evans.

Besides sessions under Flanagan's own name, followers of the great pianist (who was Tony Bennett's accompanist when I met him) would do well to look for his presence on the albums he made with J. J. Johnson who, in all respects, was the impeccable musical twin of Tommy Flanagan. it's no surprise that Tommy was always J. J.'s first choice to occupy the piano chair in his most noteworthy small groups.


Altec Lansing Upgrader Series Earbud Headphones w/ Microphone - Uhs301
Altec Lansing Upgrader Series Earbud Headphones w/ Microphone - Uhs301
Offered by Everything Authentic
Price: $5.99
4 used & new from $3.75

4.0 out of 5 stars Some good features, but if the buds don't fit, you can't acquit, September 18, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought these phones strictly for the the cool and practical Altec-embossed case, which I had been looking for at length (its spring-closing successor isn't as effective, imho). As for the phones, they originally listed at $50 but apparently were a bust for Altec. No doubt users will try them out for fit, and perhaps 1 out of 5 will find that one of the included sizes is secure and comfortable. Reviews were less than enthusiastic:

http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/reviews/entry/altec-lansing-uhp301-snugfit-earbuds/

I must say that the phones actually sound pretty good. They're the "hanging bud style" rather than in-ear phones, but they try to be different by providing, in addition to a simple round rubber piece for hanging them off the ear, several pieces that are approximately molded to the ear. After trying the different sizes, ahd rotating each in my ear (moving backwards, or counter-clock-wise, seems to be the most effective), I was able to get one of the molded pieces to slip under a part of my upper ear for a fit that was good for doing the treadmill. (The 2nd ear took even longer.) The next time will be the acid test: if they don't hold tight, I'll return to my preferred in-ear phones (Altec Backbeat 326).

The advantage of these phones (assuming they fit) is that the lack of a seal not only admits crucial ambient sounds (like the phone ringing or your cat screaming for its first meal of the day) but makes the listening experience painless and indeterminate--you can be assured of NOT experiencing listening fatigue with this type of earphone.

P.S. One solution to making the phones work with your unique ear structure is to convert them to in-ear phones. This is most effectively accomplished (at a price that's 3 X that of the phones) by investing in the following foam tips: Comply Whoomp Foam Tips (Platinum, 3 Pairs, Medium).


Kimberly-Clark¨ Professional KIMWIPES Ex-L Delicate Task Wipes, Cloth, 4.4 x 8.4, 280 per Box
Kimberly-Clark¨ Professional KIMWIPES Ex-L Delicate Task Wipes, Cloth, 4.4 x 8.4, 280 per Box
Offered by BestSource OfficeSupplies
Price: $5.90
12 used & new from $3.75

3.0 out of 5 stars Not sufficient by itself., September 17, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Streaky screens don't bother me: I see the streaks and various artifacts only when the screen of my iPod or computer isn't lit. Eye glasses are another matter. Although the streak, specks, markings are too close for the eye to see, the shadow or marking in itself represents an "affront" to your field of vision. Even more irritating is wiping the glasses with a handkerchief or tissue only to discover you've made matters worse--sometimes after holding them under a faucet of running water.

Then my wife gave me some Walgreen's "Premoistened Lens Wipes." With the addition of some water and isopropyl alcohol they cleaned my gasses so effectively I kicked myself for not coming up with this simple solution many years ago. The KimWipes, unfortunately, are not pre-moistened. Used dry, they improve matters--but only slightly. You'll need to order a complementary (not complimentary) bottle of lens cleaner, which pushes the price up to the level that made the Kimberly-Clark wipes seem like a preferable alternative.


Jockey Men's Underwear Classic Brief - 4 Pack
Jockey Men's Underwear Classic Brief - 4 Pack
Offered by DealGenius
Price: $16.00
2 used & new from $16.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I'm white inside, but that don't help my case...": Pops was right, but Jockey's got your back with offerings in blue and black, September 9, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I once had a conversation with the CEO of Jockey International and, after a weak response to a question about "today's students" (a frequent, though usually dead-end, subject: you are learner or you're not), I sensed enough of an opening for a question that had long been on my mind--viz. why do Jockey's white men's underpants soon become loose and baggy whereas their black and blue entries always seem to hold their shape? When put to a woman CEO of irreproachable integrity during what was a semi-formal, public event, my internal monitor ruled in favor of the mute button over a query that might be judged in bad taste or, worse, unacademic and impertinent. The more I thought about it, the more I (like Hamlet) refrained from taking action.

Nevertheless, the question continues to nag--in direct proportion to white briefs that continue to sag. It was Fats Waller who wrote the provocative, even profound, popular song most often associated with Louis Armstrong, "What Did I Do to Be so Black and Blue?" The song is saying, "Like it or not, my color is nothing of my own doing--I can't accommodate it to your personal preferences." But is Jockey equally powerless to make full-rise white shorts that ascend to their wearer's expectations?

Being a student is, by definition, a continual lesson in humility, so I won't pretend to have an answer. I've tried enough brands to learn that the white shorts made by Fruit of the Loom and Hanes fare no better--if anything, both are worse for wear than the Jockey brand. There's nothing like Jockey black and blues to give a man the welcome feeling of starting the day off with a lift--that sense of having your act together even before taking it on the road and hitting life's always-challenging next stage. But I refuse not to purchase white shorts along with the colored ones (we all could use a little more humility every 3rd or 4th day).


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