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SmartCat Ultimate Scratching Post
SmartCat Ultimate Scratching Post
Price: $39.99
20 used & new from $30.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nicer and Taller than most! BUT a couple of small critcisms worth mentioning, February 7, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
There are some great things about this scratching post, and a couple things that might not be obvious that some people will want to know.

Some of the "pros" will also be "cons" for some of you.

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT IT:

- VERY tall! Almost twice as tall as most others I've seen & bought. My cats are BIG and this is the first post that lets them fully stretch.

- As scratch posts go, this is well made. The materials feel stronger than most others I've purchased and the sisal is MUCH more tightly knit together than the standard "rope in a circle" posts. This unit looks and feels like it is tightly carpeted rather than wound.

- Easy assembly. Although it still arrives in a few pieces and requires assembly with a couple of screws (like most do) it is very easy to put together. All you need is a screw driver and about 2 minutes, done.

- Appearance (the good part). This looks much nicer in a living room than the common circular / rope post. It looks more like a piece of furniture meant for a living room.

WHAT I DON'T LIKE AS MUCH ABOUT IT (and this is being really picky):

- The wood used doesn't look like real wood (as it did in some of the photos when I purchased it). It is clearly particle-board with some varnish coating.

- Appearance (the not so good part) - The pictures in the description (at the time I bought it) did not clearly show the VERY obvious seam down the middle of two sides and ALSO through the base. The base is two separate pieces of wood, and after assembly the seams are very visible and very pronounced. Also; there are two VERY visible screws / holes on the top piece of wood. These facts take a bit away from the otherwise really nice appearance. At first I was very disappointed about the seams and the screw-holes at the top being so visible, but I kind of got over it fairly quickly.

- The sisal fiber is very slick - as if coated, with kind of a "plastic" sort of feel to it, rather than the usual raw non-coated sisal rope feel of a common cat scratch post.

- The sisal fiber coating is so tight against it that at first it seems it's not obvious to some cats that it's meant for the same thing. They have a harder time digging their claws into it than plain sisal rope.

UP FOR DEBATE / WILL VARY:

- It's easy to tell that some cats will not take to this like a common scratch post. My cats were unsure of it at first when I replaced it into their old common post spot. For the first 5 days I was really worried that they weren't going to use it, but after that they started to (phew!). We have now had this for about 28 days, and during the past 16 days they've started to use it more.

- For some folks the large size of this might not be suitable. It caught me a bit off-guard, but fortunately we had a good spot for it. For some of you it might not be practical due to the sheer size. It takes up considerably more space than most common posts.

- Don't throw your old post away just yet. I'd recommend putting your old one in a different room so your cats still have that to go to if they don't like the unusual coating and pattern of the sisal (and in case they don't like the slick wood base as opposed to carpeted ones).

- You could possibly hide the screws in the top by placing some kind of decoration on it (maybe a vase) but then you take the chance of your cats getting bonked over the head with whatever you set on the top, as the surface is slick / varnished particle board.

- I think the coated sisal fiber and it's pattern make it harder for cats to get their claws in and do what they would naturally do with the common sisal rope types. (My cats, however, are adapting).

SUMMARY:

This is clearly a higher quality post than most and it's obvious why it is a bit pricey. It is really nice! On the other hand, I think a bit more could have been done to hide the seams and that the screws in the top. As long as you realize that the seams are very visible, and that it is much larger than "normal", and that you're taking a gamble on whether or not your cats will like it, I'd say give it a try. It's definitely nice, but maybe not exactly what some folks might be expecting in terms of appearance and materials. Ultimately my cats get to decide; and they have decided they'll use it and we were "allowed" to replace the old fashioned post with this. But we still have the old one in another room, and they still go to that instead sometimes. Overall I'm happy with the purchase.

* I've taken some detailed photos to post if Amazon will let me add them to Customer Photos on this listing. It didn't offer the option before I started typing this, but maybe it will allow me to after this review is approved. If not, then I'd say there are some things about it that someone doesn't want you to see before you buy it ;-)


The Winery Dogs
The Winery Dogs
Price: $5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars surprised and amazed! but not for the usual reasons, September 13, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Winery Dogs (MP3 Music)
Great sound and some of the best rock n roll I've heard in years! Very well written songs in a mixed bag of tricks. Lots of soul and everything from straight ahead balls out rock to heartfelt very moving ballads. You can't lose with these guys / this album!

When I heard who the lineup was going to be I was expecting a bunch of over the top epic noodling.

Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be an entire album full of just very well done songs that are accessible to anyone.

I hear (what should be) at least 2 big radio hits on here. In fact, the songs "Elevate" and "I'm no angel" are both better than anything on the airwaves.

Love it!


Axis of All Things
Axis of All Things
Price: $15.46
4 used & new from $15.46

5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling and fresh and inspiring!, June 3, 2013
This review is from: Axis of All Things (Audio CD)
After first hearing Chris' original release "The Master Plan" almost a decade ago, this CD was a long awaited and much anticipated release for me.

To be honest I was a little worried that I might not be as stoked about it as I was with his first release since so much time had passed, but after just the first listen my worries were immediately put to rest.

IMO, this album takes the term "guitar virtuoso" to newer, less cliche' level. Once again Chris focuses on melody and composition which are really important factors, but his accuracy with such clean playing on the faster more complex riffs really stands out to me. I love the fact that nothing seems "forced" about the playing on these tracks, and it has a more organic feel than his original release.

Above all, Chris manages to take a genre of music that is often overlooked these days and makes it fresh. You don't have to be an old guitar-slinger to enjoy this stuff (but if you are then it will double your enjoyment of what you hear!). This CD is quite easily the bridge between the "guitar hero" generation of music fans and today's younger music fans. Though the music will especially reach out to muso types, you could easily spin some tracks from this at a party with younger generations and literally watch them stop and listen as if to say "whoa! what's this?".

Excellent musicianship all the way around, and in regard to Chris' skills, well, I would rank him up there with the more well-known household names of Vai and Satch and that lot. Dude is simply amazing...


The Master Plan
The Master Plan
Price: $19.09
7 used & new from $7.76

5.0 out of 5 stars Solid, fresh guitar virtuosity and composition. Fantastic!, June 3, 2013
This review is from: The Master Plan (Audio CD)
I've owned this CD for many years and I never get tired of it. Chris is like the "next generation" of guitar hero. Although there is an abundance of shredding, it's clear that this guy is focused on melody and composition. The tracks have a "completeness" about them with a sense of direction, and the melody lines are very memorable. The opening track "Kryptica" is my favorite and is the appropriate opener for the first taste of his style and sound. His riffs are very CLEAN and CONTROLLED, without any excess use of "tricks" and no slop. If you enjoy instrumental music in the same genre as the likes of Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Joe Satriani, John Petrucci etc... then this album will knock your socks off and inspire you. And despite it being the older of his two official releases, it's very fresh! I love it just as much as his newest release "The Axis of All Things". Extraordinary work, and a must-have for any instrumentalist.


Amprobe BAT-200 Battery Tester
Amprobe BAT-200 Battery Tester
Price: $6.26
8 used & new from $6.26

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Maybe I got a lemon. Meter reads same for all batteries., January 17, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Based on the positive reviews and very affordable price combined with the 9V reader, I decided this would be a good handy choice. I need to know my battery levels for the 9V's I use in the "active pickups" in my guitar.

PROS:
Packaging is good and everything looks fine with the unit. Arrived in perfect condition with no damage, easy to use as it looks.

CONS / DEAL-BREAKER:
No matter what type of battery I test (AA, AAA, 9V) and no matter the status (new, used, old) the meter consistently shows me the same reading - always in the red just near the yellow.

Even the four brand new Energizer Max 9V batteries that I purchased last week show the same reading as two Energizer 9V's I've had sitting in a drawer for three years - all six tested are metering in the Red.

Perhaps I received a faulty unit but now I'm hesitant to purchase another. Returning this to Amazon.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 11, 2013 7:21 AM PDT


The Master Plan
The Master Plan
Price: $0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Contemporary sounding guitar "hero" style, December 29, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Master Plan (MP3 Music)
This guy is incredible and I love his playing style. He's modern sounding even though this release is older, and he writes with finesse. It's not some pointless shredfest. This cat creates SONGS that just happen to contain some of the most impressive guitar work I've ever heard (and I say that as a fan of Vai, Malmsteen, Petrucci, and the many other greats).

If you play guitar you need to hear this!

If you don't play an instrument but enjoy instrumental journeys, you need to hear this!

5 stars easy!


Disposable Food Preparation Gloves - Box of 500: Large
Disposable Food Preparation Gloves - Box of 500: Large
Offered by betterlife cuis
Price: $9.90
7 used & new from $9.90

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Holes in them right out of the box, easily torn, December 29, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
For the price I was NOT expecting perfection. I knew that these would fit loosely and would not be "super strength".

I had reasonable expectations for cheap kitchen work gloves.

But there is literally already a hole between the fingers on about half the gloves I pulled out of the box, before even putting them on!

And the ones that don't already have a hole will tear quickly if you use them for anything that requires a little effort (like stirring a pot of sauce or mashed potatoes).

Not even worth the cheap price, sorry.


The First Thing We Do . . .
The First Thing We Do . . .
by Bertram Gibbs
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.56

5.0 out of 5 stars Downright refreshing and surprising!, December 21, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I took a chance on this book at the recommendation of a friend and I was pleasantly surprised. I must admit I'm not an avid bookworm because of my limited time and the fact that I get bored with predictable overly-edited writing.

This not being by a "famous author" I wasn't sure what to expect but I found myself really drawn-in by his style and mix of intellectual and raw throughout the book. Just the right dose of both, well balanced.

I'm not going to give away any spoilers here but just when you think you know what's going to happen next the author throws you a curve that won't let you set the book down. I'll just say this - the storyline was nowhere near as typical as I was expecting and I couldn't have known just how gritty and gripping this was going to be! Looking forward to more from author Gibbs!


Yeowww Catnip Bags, 1-Ounce
Yeowww Catnip Bags, 1-Ounce
Price: $5.95
13 used & new from $0.49

1.0 out of 5 stars Bad batch? Our cats will not even touch it!, September 21, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
SHORT VERSION - We ordered this same product back in November 2011 and our cats LOVED it. Lasted a long time too. Just bought a fresh bag first week of September 2012 and this batch they will NOT even touch it! Bad batch??

LONGER VERSION - We have 2 male domestic Tabby's almost 4 years old, and about once a week it's a ritual - we put the scratching post in the middle of the room and sprinkle two piles of Yeowww on the base, and it's kitty party time. They usually immediately start munching on it and rolling around in it, playing, and having a blast! We keep it sealed in a small plastic container for freshness and one bag lasted us a very long time, very happy kitties. BUT that was the first bag we bought. This new bag we just bought (same *exact* brand / packaging, same size, texture, smell) is a completely different experience for the cats. Following the same weekly ritual we sprinkled a couple piles on the bast of the scratching post and they came running over to get their usual "fix", but then something strange happened... instead of gobbling it up and having fun, both of them sniffed at it a few times and had no interest in it. In fact, what really amazed us was when one of the cats then tried to BURY it as if it were a pile of you-know-what, and then they both walked away. They wanted absolutely NOTHING to do with this fresh batch.

We're absolutely puzzled by this and wondering - could this somehow be a "bad batch" that we received??

I hate to give it 1 star but based on this experience I must. We now have to try to find a different brand that they liked as much as the previous bag of Yeo[...] Big disappointment and a waste of money since it's not something we can't return for a refund (what could we base it on? I don't think saying "our cats didn't like it" would warrant a refund). Bummer :(


Lucky Champ Litter Champ Premium Pet Waste and Odor Disposal System, Taupe
Lucky Champ Litter Champ Premium Pet Waste and Odor Disposal System, Taupe
Price: $25.99
2 used & new from $25.99

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Litter Champ is Excellent! No more shopping bags! One small flaw., July 25, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
We were VERY skeptical about ordering this - wondering if it would fit well, how economical the bags would be, odor control, etc... - But now that we've had it over 4 months (at the time of this review) I think it's safe to give experienced opinions. First opinion - GLAD WE BOUGHT THIS!

* THIS REVIEW/RESULTS BASED ON USE FOR TWO ADULT MALE CATS, POPULAR CLUMPING LITTER, BOX SCOOPED EVERY DAY *

* THE PROS:

- VERY SIMPLE TO USE. It's so easy to remove a full bag and start a new one.

- SMALL STATURE / BIG CAPACITY. fits well in most cramped places, but still big enough to hold plenty of waste.

- NO MORE SHOPPING BAGS - Anyone who has toiled with this knows - it's a hassle and not environmentally friendly. The "green" plastic bag supply for Litter Champ is way better to deal with and more biodegradable.

- HOLDS A LOT OF WASTE - Even with TWO cats, clumping litter, and daily scooping, we only have to change out the bag every FIVE DAYS!

- BAG/LINER LAST A LONG TIME - FOR US ONE TUBE LASTS OVER 3 MONTHS! Yes, really! The "bags" are actually one very long "tube" of bag/liner material that you simply snip/tie off to remove pieces of when full. We just recently ran out of the one that came with it - the first bag supply just lasted us from March 20th to July 15th!

- LIFE IS BETTER - Dealing with litter removal is simply more pleasant than before. Pressing with a foot to pop the lid and simply dump clumps into Litter Champ is SO much easier than what we were doing before.

- REFILLS ARE ECONOMICAL - At the time of this review (July 25, 2012) refills are available 3 for $22 at [...] - based on our experience with the first roll that's OVER 9 MONTHS SUPPLY for $22! From our calculations based on the first roll, the bags cost us less than $30 per year!

- REFILL ROLL EASY TO REPLACE - We were concerned that it might be a pain to replace the bag since it's one long continues tube, but the refills are extremely EASY to replace. Most people won;t even have to read the directions, but if you do it will probably only be once. Very simple / fast to replace!

- REMOVING A FULL UNIT - So simple - open the front door, grab the green plastic and pull it out a little, and use the built-in slicer right in the door to chop the top and tie it off. Done!

-----

* THE CONS (really only one worth mentioning:

- THE SCOOP THAT COMES WITH IT - As other reviewers have mentioned, the holes in the scoop that comes with it (and fits the lid perfectly for neater scooping) are a little wider than most other scoops, therefore it misses some of the "finer crumbles" of clumped litter, so we use a finer scoop most of the time. This is not a big deal if your finer scoop is small like the one that comes with this unit, but if you use a larger scoop like we do then it's harder to get everything into the unit as neatly. So for us this means a little extra cleanup on the top / around the unit itself if we're not careful.

- CLEANING INSIDE THE LID - This really shouldn't even be a "con", it's a fact of life when dealing with cat litter. The top area surrounding the hole for dumping the scoop into the unit gets litter crumb buildup on it and occasionally you have to brush the litter crumbs into the unit so the lid will close firmly.

-----

* THE DEBATABLE:

- ODOR CONTROL - Some reviewers complain that there's not enough odor control. For my family the experience has been different - we think the odor control is very good EXCEPT while you're scooping or removing a full bag. When the unit is open like that, then yes it can be a bit stinky in the room, BUT the other 99% of the time while the Lid and Door sit closed then the odor control is fine. (At least in our experience after almost 4 months using Litter Champ).

-----

** BOTTOM LINE:

HAPPY PURCHASE - The Pros FAR outweigh the Cons and we highly recommend the Litter Champ! It has made our daily scooping and litter room maintenance a much easier / more pleasant experience. We save time, trouble, and mess. Way less hassle that shopping bags, and better for the environment since the green bag/liner for Litter Champ is far more biodegradable than plastic shopping bags. WORKS GREAT, MAKES LIFE EASIER!

STARS - Taking off one star for the scoop holes being too big and having to use a different scoop.

-----

UPDATE - JUNE 2013:

We bought this Litter Champ on March 16, 2012
We bought our first Litter Champ 3-Pack Refill bags July 11, 2012
We bought our second Litter Champ 3-Pack Refill bags December 31, 2012
As of today June 3, 2013, we still have one Refill bag/tube left to go.

So doing the math, we're averaging one Litter Champ 3-Pack Refill about every 4 to 5 months = about $48 a year

WAY more economical than the competitor product we tested, which required a refill bag/tube within 3 weeks.

So even after testing out it's biggest competitor (which now sits in the garage collecting dust) we're still VERY happy with this purchase. It saves us a lot of time, hassle, and money. (And although there is no solid proof - the bags are much more biodegradable / exo-friendly than using plastic shopping bags).

At less than $50 per year (at current price) for refill bags/tubes, this is SO worth it! Very convenient, easy, clean, and economical.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 3, 2013 1:49 AM PDT


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