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Nature's Way Primadophilus Fortify Women's Probiotic 30 Billion, Vegetarian Capsules 30 ea
Nature's Way Primadophilus Fortify Women's Probiotic 30 Billion, Vegetarian Capsules 30 ea
Offered by windowshop
Price: $31.99

2.0 out of 5 stars I'm still counting (but why not a single effective ingredient rather than 30 billion drones?), April 26, 2015
I saw this product at a Rite Aid while visiting relatives in California. "Nature's Way Primadophilus Fortify Non-Refrigerated Probiotic, Enteric-Coated Vegetairian Capsules" is all part of the description, which differs from the pictured product in that the product I purchased is: 1. not gender-specific; 2. Claims "8 billion" rather than 30 billion active cultures.

In short, I've experienced no change with regard to gas, bloating, irregularity--all of which the product claims to address in productive ways for the user. But perhaps an extra 22 billion active cultures would make all the difference--in fact, bringing relief to the distressing conditions the product claims to relieve. On the other hand, exactly who regulates the contents of these products, supporting the maker's claims about ingredients and potency? How am I to know that the manufacturer simply decided to claim 30 billion active cultures because some competitor with a similar probiotic claimed 25 billion?

I guess there's no way to know unless the consumer investigates for himself. If I can prove that my version has "only" 8 billion, then it would be easier to rate the superiority of the pictured product (Just imagine! 30 billion active critters in the same-sized capsule as the one I purchased. How can they do it? The wonders of modern science!) Or is it proof that, especially where health products and the universal quest for a pain-free, youthful existence are concerned, the example of P. T. Barnum rings louder than ever.

Offered by Jadeoo Shop
Price: $4.55
54 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just enough tang to be a reminder of the resurrected lord., April 22, 2015
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Prince of Peace Ginger arrived just in time--2 days after I had ordered it to replace the bag of Ting Tings that I was working on before leaving it behind somewhere in the house (unfortunately, I have yet to find a bag that comes with a GPS/locater such as the one installed in Apple's mobile devices). Reasoning that the Ting Tings would soon resurface (not yet, however), I looked for a comparably priced similar product with a different brand name.

Prince of Peace Ginger Candy comes with assurances on the package that the product will be warmly received by all members of the family, providing a zesty taste and bringing "comfort to the stomach." After the first piece I was a believer, though after a second and third the accumulative effect of the "tang" (i.e. heat) made me suspect it would be a "hard sell" to my 3 granddaughters (maybe as a test of their love?). Probably best not to press your luck.

The texture of Prince of Peace candy is slightly different from a couple of previous brands. Whereas the other candies each dissolved all at once, the Prince of Peace candies have a few lingering strands that hang on, just long enough to "prolong" the taste of ginger. Each piece is 15 calories, and alongside the list of ingredients is a reassuring column of uninterrupted zeroes for cholesterol, fat content, etc.

My sense is that, as was the case with Ting Tings, Prince of Peace Ginger Candy comes up slightly short compared to the overall quality of Ginger People Gin Gins. But as a ginger candy with an "authentic taste,", it represents a viable alternative for warming the tummy--possibly for a couple of days after the Gin Gins have been consumed (or misplaced). [I plan, henceforward, to retain one piece of each brand for a more exacting side-by-side evaluation.]

Ting Ting Jahe Ginger Candy, 5.25 Ounce
Ting Ting Jahe Ginger Candy, 5.25 Ounce
Offered by Lau Family's Herbs
Price: $4.53
15 used & new from $2.19

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Close enough to Ginger People Gin Gins to be the more compelling product for value seekers, April 19, 2015
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Ginger People Gin Gins are almost twice as expensive as Ting Ting ginger candy, and to some degree they justify their cost. Gin Gin's exhibit superior production values--from the wrappers to the sugary powder coating each piece. But when it comes to texture ("chewiness") and taste (authentic "burn") the two candies are close enough to make Ting Ting Jahe, which offers almost twice the number of pieces for the same price as Gin Gins, the more compelling value.

The burn of Ting Ting chews is not as immediately felt as that of Gin Gins, but once noticed it offers satisfaction comparable to the hot spiciness of Gin Gins. Of course, it's always possible to have too much of a good thing, especially where sugar is a concern. So there may be good reason for calorie-conscious consumers to spend the extra for Gin Gins. Sometimes less is more, especially when the extra cost for fewer pieces can be rationalized as the expense of buying a marginally upscale product.

Ginger People Original Ginger Chews 3oz Bag
Ginger People Original Ginger Chews 3oz Bag
Offered by World Wide Chocolate
Price: $4.95
9 used & new from $2.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the one to beat!, April 18, 2015
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As a fan of ginger beers, ginger ales, ginger drops, and ginger chews (but NOT ginger bread or boys), I have no trouble awarding Gin-Gins a "high-five.". It's clearly the "best of breed" for the following reasons: 1. individual wrappers prevent drying-out of the candy yet are quick and easy to tear apart; 2. each candy is sprinkled with a light, powdered sugar to prevent sticking of the candy to the paper wrapper; 3. the individual candies are not so small that 2-3 pieces are unsatisfying nor so big that a single piece needs to be trimmed to a mouth-sized morsel; 4. the texture is as close to perfection as it gets--chewy (satisfying that oral instinct) without being sticky; rubbery but yielding to the mouth's digestive juices prior to being perceived as a foreign invader.

Finally, the most important feature deserving commendation--taste. The ginger is plenty spicy and "hot" but not so much that it neutralizes or, in effect, burns away, the taste buds for the next half-minute (a complaint I have against extreme hot pepper sauces like Mclhenny's Tobasco Sauce). Ginger should never be so hot that eating it becomes the heroic act of a masochist. I can't buy the notion that the therapeutic benefits attributed to ginger increase with the displeasure, or even pain, of eating it. Gin Gins have an agreeable but temporary "burn" that disappears in time for the taste of ginger to emerge as a clear winner.

In short, upper-scale ginger candy for the discerning palate.

The only reservation one might have about Gin Gins might be their relatively high expense. But the individual who can limit his intake to no more than several per day will be generously repaid by a superior product. (Should they exhaust the budget too quickly, give JuJu Fruit candy a try--seriously. At best, you'll stay within budget; at worst, you'll set yourself up for renewed pleasure with your next order of ginger.)

The Single Petal of a Rose: The Essence of Duke Ellington
The Single Petal of a Rose: The Essence of Duke Ellington
Price: $10.11
56 used & new from $0.97

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A tribute to Duke (the more flowery of the two) rather than Billy (more serious about flowers than Duke)., April 13, 2015
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I should have looked more closely. The title suggests this CD simply "must" be compositions exclusively by Strayhorn, the most admired musical horticulturalist of them all. Surprise--Marian approaches this as her all-Ellington album (with exceptions like the opening "A Train"). She has another album--"Plays the Music of Billy Strayhorn"--devoted to Swee Pea (Smart. Best make the most of every opportunity in these latter days of hard-copy musical documentation, whether by 78s, LPs EPs, 8-tracks, cassettes, CDs or DVDs. The population is streaming in music while the rest of us go fishing in the same stream. As a result, we become ever more burdened by the space-eating, heavy monstrosities that are our record collections.

Re: the above two albums: play the role of Marian and share the different challenges posed by each composer. With Ellington's "hits" (many over-familiar), the artist needs to come up with a new spin to wearisome favorites like "Satin Doll" and "Don't Get Around Much Any More" (a tune I'll play only on condition that it's a special request). With Billy, on the other hand, the pianist's challenge is to make the frequently rare and delicate harmonies, the required "voicings" of a chord (more critical than with Duke's tunes), the more unpredictable, even wayward, melodies--all of this must be made accessible to the listener--especially if she or he has had no previous exposure to tunes like "Blood Count" and "A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing."

In some respects, Billy's music is easier. Rather than scratch your head for a new way to play "Satin Doll," you simply follow the printed music in Billy's case, or "read the chart down." I have yet to hear an instrumentalist do anything in the way of meaningful improvisation with "Lush Life." Yet pianists never seem to tire of playing--and recording--the tune. (If only the same were true of listeners.)

Price: $3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A musician's take: Disney story saved by brutally honest glimpses of music, living and learning, April 13, 2015
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This review is from: Whiplash (Amazon Instant Video)
The name "Fletcher" kept bothering me during this movie--it's the name of the protagonist of "Mutiny on the Bounty" (a story about a merciless tyrant on the high seas); it's also the name the actress playing the heartless, sadistic nurse who provokes mutiny among the inmates in a mental institution ("One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"); finally, it's the in-your-face, ultimately unpardonable, decapitating fraud posing as a "tough love" teacher in "Whiplash." And it is Fletcher (J.K. Simmons)--not Andrew, the aspiring jazz drummer (Miles Teller)--who is at once most intoxicated and self-deluded by the iconic name and reputation of Buddy Rich.

The stories about "Traps, the Boy Wonder" havge, throughout my entire life, focused less on his undeniable talent than on things like his firing half the band minutes before a job because the musicians appeared with mis-matched socks. Then there are the notorious "Buddy tapes," recorded surreptitiously by band members on the bus. They reveal an egomaniacal martinet, capable of erupting with streams of withering profanity directed at some outmatched, hapless, underpaid young musician who is fired on the spot, then ejected from the bus to fend for himself in the hot Nevada desert.

At its heart, "Whiplash" is nothing more than a young man's rite-of-passage story with a Disney-esque ending. What separates it from other films are some brutal truths about instrumental music and jazz . 1. Andrew has no illusions about the price of being the best. Say goodbye to friends, marriage, relationships because in order to be like Bird or Buddy, you'll need to sacrifice your whole life to your ax, 24/7, no short cuts (so much for garage bands); 2. The competitive pressure is so intense and the chance of a single career-ending misstep is so great that either can lead to self-destruction on the way up and even after you become top drummer with the Jazz at Lincoln Center orchestra; 3. The final otherwise predictable scene (kid defies all the odds, comes back from abject failure and near death to perform the world's fastest drum solo) is perhaps the best-filmed / edited / mixed instrumental solo yet (a big plus when you consider that the general population is not merely clueless about jazz but instrumental music in general.

Those three things may not make it a great film, but it's exceptional simply by their inclusion. To get to them, the viewer will need to tolerate a whoppers such as these: 1. How many teachers today can get away with repeatedly throwing lethal objects--cymbals, chairs, etc.--at their students? And that failing, how many can practice tough love to the extent it drives kids to commit suicide? 2. Since when is music an athletic competition about who's the fastest? (It's hard to recall a single swinging moment in the movie. Where's the "chic" of the high-hat's off-beats? 3. Since when does being the fastest, or even the best, drummer, make you a mega-star (or even guarantee an income stream?). Instrumentalists, and jazz musicians in general, are not paid like rock stars.

The film begins to make more sense when you see the teacher--not Andrew--as the one who's suffering from delusions of grandeur because of Buddy Rich. It's not Buddy's reputation as a drummer but as an mean, foul-mouthed leader continually berating his musicians that's most relevant to the story (for those of us who know the score). But Buddy did not adopt that persona until late in his career, when he began traveling with his own band of young kids half his age. Most were clueless about Buddy's accomplishments (star of the annual Jazz at the Philharmonic series; house drummer at Verve records for a host of jazz greats). He knew he could not rely upon his distant reputation as a drummer to get the respect that was his due: instead, he chose to become their worst nightmare, terrorizing them in return for their fearful serious regard. His tough-talking ways were as much about his own survival as "shaping up" his young troops.

The movie's Fletcher is a hard-nosed, nasty and mean, knucklehead who, as we see in the scene where the disgraced Fletcher is "reduced" to playing tepid piano in a jazz club, remains a captive of his own ego, rationalizing his narcissistic exhibitionism as for the good of promising students like Andrew (who's gullibiltiy at this point must be shared by the audience for the movie to work its formulaic "boy makes good" magic. Nevertheless, J.K. Simmons' Fletcher reveals, even during the expertly edited drum solo, that remains a one-dimensional character who, even after his disgrace and ejection from the musical conservatory, is a vindictive, resentful teacher, continually throwing off his coat to display a well-buffed hard body to go along with his megalomaniacal temperament. Had the script allowed him to undergo a transformation in his own views about music, teaching and learning, the film might have had not merely a believable character (I've known my own share of Fletchers in the music education business) but a sympathetic one as well.

The film also could have used, in addition to the undeniably well-edited drum solo, more stretches of hard-swinging jazz. To its credit, it ends abruptly with the climactic drum solo, not lingering around for the usual sentimental fluff.

Clark Terry Quartet With Thelonious Monk vinyl record
Clark Terry Quartet With Thelonious Monk vinyl record

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Even apart of the high musical quality, how can a session like this NOT be reissued?, April 3, 2015
Given this unexpected but logical match-up of two of the music's most colorful and identifiable instrumental voices, I'm nearly shocked that this album was allowed to become so obscure and scarce. Granted, it can be found in comprehensive collections of the work of either C.T. or Thelonious, but I would have thought the meeting of Clark (then a starring soloist with Ellington) and Monk an historic event warranting reissue (especially since the rhythm section is completed by two equally distinguished jazz greats--redoubtable "walker" Sam Jones and drummer Philly Joe Jones--the pair comprising Bill Evans' favorite rhythm section before his meeting up with Scott LaFaro and Paul Motian.

It's rare to come upon an album without a title. At some point--either before or after (the more likely scenario)--the date was released with a sexier, more colorful cover and a title borrowed from one of Clark's compostions: "In Orbit." Shortly after this date, Sonny Stitt and Gene Ammons would meet for a session on Blue Note entitled "Boss Tenors in Orbit" (the rhetoric of JFK and the "musical spacemen" among the ranks of jazz adventurers amounted to a field day for the writers of jazz album titles). And Duke Ellington himself would try to please the Columbia brass, who were bent on replacing him with Brubeck, Miles, Monk, et. al. (big bands were historic artifacts) with down-scaled efforts with contemporary, "space-related" titles: "Blues in Orbit."

On the present session Clark sticks with his flugelhorn throughout and contributes 6 of the 9 tunes while Monk, somewhat surprisingly, contributes only one. What surprises me most about this session is the use of tempos faster than Monk typically favored (Clark, on the other hand, could "eat up" any tempo, locking his horn with the drummer's ride cymbal and pouring out non-stop melodic lines, thanks to his mastery of the technique of "circular breathing." In addition to negotiating the bight tempos, Monk employs more raw piano technique here than would be the case shortly after this session (he would receive a contract from mighty Columba Records and become the subject of a Time Magazine cover story--both reason enough for him to project a more eccentric and colorful persona, with more rough edges in his piano playing).

In a blindfold test I would have immediately identified CT but second-guessed myself before coming up with a pianist's name (in fact, I would have been more certain about naming the bass player, Sam Jones). All of the typical "Monkisms" are on display, but they sound more facile and clean that the usual Monk solo. Consequently, I might have guessed another player--one familiar enough with Monk's playing to imitate it-- (Walter Davis, Jr. and Jackie Byard are two such pianists who come to mind).

But there's no reason for this album, bringing together two of the most colorful voices in jazz, to be consigned to the vinyl dust bin. Especially, with the recent passing of Clark, some of us sense the end of what was in retrospect a glorious era in jazz history. And since when has Monk lost his appeal? Yet apparently the producer of this album (Orrin Keepnews? It's on Jazzland, a Riverside subsidary) apparently felt the original album--even with Monk's name place first--was unorthy of a reissue? That's cause for concern.

Think about it: Wynton Marsalis once rankled readers with some dismissive comments about Miles' hip-hop period. But Miles at the end of his life returned to the rich orchestral sonorities of Gil Evans while promoting pianist-vocalist Shirley Horn's haunting and sublime reinterpretations of the love ballads of the American Songbook. Marsalis, on the other hand, seemed to close his book on Armstrong and Ellington in favor of sharing the microphone with Willie Nelson and Eric Clapton (both worthy musicians.but heretofore inadmissible to the world of Tatum, Parker and Coltrane). What Miles briefly undertook---the erasure of 60 years of jazz evolution--Wynton finished for him.

Maybe there's hope, if the words of a reactionary musician named Bob Dylan bear listening to. In a recent widely published interview, the artist most frequently identified with the shift from professional composers to music of and by the people dismissed the music of his own generation as ephemera, declaring that whereas the music of his generation has come and gone, the music of Irving Berlin, Johnny Mercer, Cole Porter and Frank Sinatra never went away--it's still with us! When the present-day digital din finally clears, perhaps then more of us will come to our senses about what's been under our skin, a hungry yearning burning too deep inside our hides to remain hidden.

Altec Lansing   Remix Earbuds, Black - MZX356
Altec Lansing Remix Earbuds, Black - MZX356
Price: $19.99
5 used & new from $10.80

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best new phones from Altec Lansing in 8 years, March 31, 2015
These Altecs come as an unexpected pleasant surprise. I had been a fan of the Altec Backbeat Titanium model (UHP 326) from 7-8 years ago. But every successor--including Altec's attempts to attract female customers with a lightweight model ("Bliss"), and its release of a high-end, double-anchor, double armature phone (the "Ultra")--were disappointments, problematic in fit, audio quality and build quality. (The worst were the in-ear "Upgraders"--which employed an unworkable "ear mold" in place of an ear tip.) The common complaint against the cloth-covered 326's and its siblings (i.e. that they conducted excessive "microphonics," or sound produced in the earpiece upon rubbing or scraping the cable), was, imo, a non-factor to those of us who don't run, skateboard or break-dance while wearing headphones.

I had assumed that, after the aforementioned failures, Altec Lansing had exited the competitive field of earbuds altogether. Then I discovered these phones, the Altec Remixes. They're impressively packaged in a compact black box with a fit kit of 3 pairs of silicone tips and with speakers that are firmly attached to a stylish flat-metal base, which has a clear L or R marking. The cables are flat and tangle proof, with a convenient and effective on-line volume control and mic. The cables and volume control do place extra weight on the earpieces, making a secure fit all the more essential (the addition of a mid-cable, shirt-pocket clip could have alleviated some of the downward pressure of the cable).

The sound gets high marks for full, precise and "true" bass frequencies that are neither boomy nor unbalanced. Treble, on the other hand, is overly strong--changing the character of some instruments and sounding somewhat shrill. However, upon changing from the new Sharp phone (with Harman-Kardon audio enhancement) to an Apple iPod Touch 4G, I'm not experiencing any annoying volume spikes in the upper frequencies. As usual, fit is key. For me the largest tips are the ticket, covering the ear canal and blocking out ambient sound (if you prefer smaller tips, it's probably because you insert them deeper into your ear canal). I've never heard Paul Chambers' opening notes on "Kind of Blue" sound at once more full, realistic, and musical. The same goes for Scott LaFaro's bass on the early trio albums with Bill Evans. Overall, the phones are worth the asking price of $20, similar, possibly even superior to, the JBL J10 and J30 series costing upwards of $30.

I divide headphones into 2 groups: a. faithful and accurate but unexciting fidelity; b. enhanced but undistorted audio. I'm as yet unsure about which is best. The $10 Ultimate Ears 100's are good examples of the first type--feather-weight yet durable; these Altecs, on the other hand, "enhance" certain frequencies--and affect gain and transient response-- just enough to "excite" the senses without deceiving them. For the moment, I'm enjoying the pleasure of hearing with equal clarity all 3 members of Bill's stunning first trio--whether I choose to focus on the ensemble sound or Bill alone--for the evenness of his touch, the clarity of his inner voices, the dynamic scale of his playing. Motian's brushwork and high hat are less forward in the mix than bass and the piano--but I'm no drummer--nor am I a fan of Motian's body of recorded work, with Frisell and others, following his departure from Bill Evans. So that degree of dampening suits my tastes whereas a percussionist might prefer louder drums.

The latter details may strike some readers as irrelevant. I supply them to illustrate the unavoidable subjective element in the favoring of a particular set of earphones. What instrument do you want to be reproduced most clearly and accurately? Which player of that instrument commands the greatest part of your listening?

At least, you can be assured that these Altecs--providing that you find the right fit and audio player (e.g my going to an iPod after the first experience with a Sharp phone)--can be counted upon to afford you the luxury of focusing exclusively on the music and its instruments. As I write this, the Altec Remixes are sounding better than my Altec phones listed at 5 times the price!

Carefresh Timothy Hay Pet Food, 32-Ounce
Carefresh Timothy Hay Pet Food, 32-Ounce
Offered by UNPLUGGED
Price: $7.57
17 used & new from $4.10

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard candy that your GP can't live with or without, March 30, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
For the half year that I've had Sparky, I've ended up alternating Carefresh with Kaytee Timothy hay in the small wooden crate hung on the side of his cage. Both are quite dry and hard, but I've read that this brittle quality is a requisite for the animals to keep their teeth (which never stop growing) from becoming overly sharp or out of alignment. Nutrition is secondary to their continual habit, while awake, of chewing, practically non-stop. As far as differences between the two brands, Carefresh strikes me as fresher, but it also has the longest strands of hay, requiring me either to cut it myself or "fold" it and force it into the crate dispenser. Kaytee, on the other hand, is cut short, making it easier for the animal to put it out of the crate (which they seem to prefer to foraging the hay from the floor of their quarters). Occasionally, I'll offer the long strands of Carefresh to Sparky, who seems to enjoy tearing into them and breaking them in half (for the owner this slow method admittedly gets "old" in a hurry).

As far as his nutrional needs, I don't expect Sparky to receive much of value from the Timothy hay, and he seems to go to the prepared pellets only when I haven't offered him other treats. (Forget the Kaytee dry treats in the shape of a small circle: Sparky refuses to have a nibble at either of the two varieties I've ordered. Count both as another loss on these highly food-savvy rodents. They know what they like--even before taking a single bite!)

The food that has worked the best for Sparky--and his audience--is parsley. It ranges in price from 69 cents to $1.29 per bunch (for the imported Italian variety, which is leafier, fuller and longer than the American variety). Sparky puts his two tiny 4-fingered hands on the edge of his open cage door and simply slurps each of these long, leafy pieces into his system as though each were a strand of spaghetti ("slurp" is metaphoric, since he's actually processing the plant via the fastest moving teeth your ears are likely to hear. After exchanging a nose kiss with him, I put my ear up to his jaws to be able to hear the powerful mandibles and sharp teeth that can dispose of a foot-long plant with the speed and efficiency of a John Deere threshing machine.

I always tell young children that guinea pigs are "goldfish with fur," to be watched and appreciated rather than handled. That's to discourage the kind of clumsy handling that leads to a falling GP, a broken leg, and eventually a dead pet. But in reality, they're super-intelligent in certain areas--such as food (if the parsley is a day too old, Sparky will immediately spit it back at me--that is, if he even allows me to insert the stem into his mouth). And these small but comparatively heavy animals are actually quite affectionate even though, like an intelligent "real" pet pig, they as a rule hate being picked up. But once you've got it off the ground and onto your shoulder (with one hand firmly under its heavy hindquarters), it's usually perfectly content (and, unlike a potbelly minipig, it won't squeal--or, in a GP's case, "wheek") its head off until you have no choice but to set it back down or suffer a ruptured eardrum.

All in all, they're pretty good pets, for the owner willing to give them some attention each day (I pick him up once a day to ensure he never loses my scent). I can't understand why, when I found Sparky at Petco (or maybe it was vice versa), he was going for half the price of a rat or gerbil--cheaper than a hamster and 15 X less than a chinchilla. Where he lags behind a minipig is in potty-training (ignore the sellers who suggest otherwise). On the other hand, unlike a potbelly pig, a GP will enjoy fresh grass without rooting up and destroying your entire back yard.

[I'm not suggesting that guinea pigs are related to minipigs, which are many things but definitely NOT rodents. If you want a GP that will grow as large as a rodent, look into a Capybara. (These German Collie-sized rodents can be gentle and sweet--and easily toilet trained. They can also be more than a handful--and, although they're vegetarians just like their baby cousins, they can represent a serious danger to any inexperienced handler.)]

Black & Decker CHV1510 Dustbuster 15.6-Volt Cordless Cyclonic Hand Vacuum
Black & Decker CHV1510 Dustbuster 15.6-Volt Cordless Cyclonic Hand Vacuum
Price: $45.41
14 used & new from $28.93

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good suction, small suction area (good for arm exercise, bad for weak and tired arms), March 24, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Our old Black & Decker handheld had begun to "suck" (figuratively). I was in a hurry, so this one--listed as Amazon's best seller--seemed like "can't miss." The problem is that it can, and does, miss dirt to the left and right side of a suction head that is considerably narrower than its predecessor.

No doubt the smaller suction area increases the air-intake power of the device. But it does come at a cost, which may affect buyers who prefer not to take numerous swipes at larger surfaces in need of clean-up. Were I to purchase another handheld vacuum, I'd look more closely at the width of the end of the nozzle as well as its power rating. (You may wish to check out the handheld vacs with higher overall consumer ratings than this one.)

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