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Customer Reviews: 227
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Brockeim "Playful Literary Adventurer" RSS Feed (Where the wind blows.)

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Eureka AirSpeed Pro All Surface Rewind, Bagless Upright Vacuum AS1092A
Eureka AirSpeed Pro All Surface Rewind, Bagless Upright Vacuum AS1092A
Price: $159.99
4 used & new from $122.37

4.0 out of 5 stars Super Sucker Upper with Cheap Plastic, March 22, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I like the Eureka AirSpeed Pro All Surface Rewind, Bagless Upright Vacuum (AS1092A).

It is bagless. I haven't used a vacuum which required a bag in years. All have been more or less like this, but still, I appreciate that I save money and hassle by quickly unattaching and dumping dirt.

The cord is relatively long at 27 feet. No need to replug as I move to other rooms. It rewinds at the touch of a button.

It sucks strongly. I have wood and low carpeting. Even still, a good suck matters. Crevices in the wood and carpeting hide bits of dust, and this vacuum helps get it out.

The downside is the plastics seem cheap. I don't know how long the on lever will last. Vacuums, by their nature, are shoved around and are not delicately treated, so a hearty sort of plastic is a must. Just the same, I give it four stars, and not fewer, because nothing has broken. Suspecting it might break is altogether different than actually breaking.

--Brockeim


Marvel Avengers Crunch Beach Towel
Marvel Avengers Crunch Beach Towel
Price: $22.00

5.0 out of 5 stars I Love It, March 9, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Simply said: I love the Marvel Avengers Crunch Beach Towel. What's not to love about the Hulk's bad self two-fisting the front with Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor on backup?

I'm a nerd at heart, and the towel brings me back to not only the great movies but days kicking back with a stack of comics as a kid.

The design is gorgeous, more like a comic book cover than a movie poster. I'm pleased.

This is a big towel, suitable from relaxing on the lawn or at the beach, but it is thin fabric. I'm concerned about the colorfastness but won't know until after several washings how much the Hulk's green stayed put.

--Brockeim


LG Electronics Tone Ultra (HBS-800) Bluetooth Stereo Headset - Retail Packaging - Black
LG Electronics Tone Ultra (HBS-800) Bluetooth Stereo Headset - Retail Packaging - Black
Offered by Deal Mice
Price: $63.50
74 used & new from $29.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Satisfactory Bluetooth Headphones, March 6, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
A month in and I've used this for phone calls while driving and while at home, watched videos and listened to streaming audio.

A couple imperatives:
Use the correct size ear bud. A full selection is provided in the box.
Adjust the wires by turning your head as far to the right and left while wearing. This will offer appropriate slack.

Sound is fine for conversation and general listening.
Decent bass.
A little hissy.
Surprisingly not tinny.
Pairs easily.
Bluetooth lasted about 25 feet inside before it started to break up.
I didn't notice Ambient Noise Cancellation at all.

These aren't high-end headphones. They are average-priced. Their primary job is to carry voices to and from, not to imitate a home theater. On that level, these are fine.

--Brockeim


Post-it Notes Value Pack, 3 x 3-Inches, Canary Yellow,  24-Pads/Pack
Post-it Notes Value Pack, 3 x 3-Inches, Canary Yellow, 24-Pads/Pack
Offered by My office innovations
Price: $20.62
22 used & new from $17.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As Remarkable As They Are Simple, March 3, 2015
Artwork I did not need. Yellow squares lightly attached across my walls were art enough, full of memories and hopes. Your office might have these same Post-Its reminding you to call Bill in shipping, or a phone number of the guy who called last week about his order. They are as remarkable as they are simple.

"Don't forget the roses," said one note pasted on my fridge.

"July 21, 10:00 am, the park on Hilton Road," reminded another.

"Aerate the wine after opening," said a third note.

Others covered every aspect of that picnic, and some detailed preceding and subsequent outings. Marked on tiny slips were notes she wrote herself.

"Hi sweetie. I'm thinking of you," said several.

"Come home early," noted more than a few.

One, though, only said, "Good-bye.'

I wonder where she is now. I wish there was a note that said, "I'm back."

May your Post-It Notes remind you of everything which matters, and stick long after you posted them.

--Brockeim
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 12, 2015 12:39 PM PDT


15 oz. ''El Grande'' Stoneware Sublimation Mug
15 oz. ''El Grande'' Stoneware Sublimation Mug
Offered by Maryland China Company
Price: $60.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For Coffee or Daisies, February 24, 2015
I love the El Grande. A single daisy rests in this mug. The white, soft shape, covered in a rich whitish glaze allows the subtle grace of the yellow daisy to enjoy center-focus. A splash of water, halfway from the bottom, will give the flower a few days of life, and for me, a few days of remembering why I placed the daisy.

This mug? Large enough to hold any necessary drink. Small enough to require refills. Thick enough to retain needed heat. Light enough to never burden anyone who sips.

May your cup always have a daisy, and if not, be flowing with coffee, hot and true.

--Brockeim


Braven LUX Wireless HD Bluetooth Speaker - Retail Packaging - Pearl
Braven LUX Wireless HD Bluetooth Speaker - Retail Packaging - Pearl
Price: $93.91
2 used & new from $93.91

5.0 out of 5 stars Packs a Punch (and there's more!), February 12, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've two of the Braven LUX Wireless HD Bluetooth Speakers. One is pearl (a fancy way of saying it is white), one is purple (better color tone than I expected).

As a straight-ahead Bluetooth, it is terrific. If I want to pipe in music from my phone, I do. I also have used this to create an ad hoc speaker phone environment. While my phone certainly has a speaker, this amplifies it.

The Bluetooth reach is 33', per the manual. I can say it covers a 20' room just fine.

There's more (I feel like a late-night TV shopping show). Two of these speakers can be easily be combined into right-left speakers. I love this. Otherwise, the sound is merely a very good version of mono.

Is that it? Oh no! There's the use as an external battery for your phone or other device. While it is not an optimal solution, it will be handy when you forget your plug.

Speaking of plugs: There's a micro USB input, a standard USB out, as well as standard aux in and aux out. There's a nice rubber cap for that, but it is the sort of thing you'll toss in your junk drawer and effectively lose.

I'm pleased and happy to have been introduced to these. For their wonderfully portable size (fits in your purse or man bag), they get the job done.

--Brockeim


HoMedics SP-100H 3D Shiatsu and Vibration Massage Pillow with Heat
HoMedics SP-100H 3D Shiatsu and Vibration Massage Pillow with Heat
Price: $49.88
5 used & new from $49.88

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Wine, But No Whine: A Quickie Massage When the Real Thing Can't Be Found, February 7, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
No machine can replace the kind warmth of real hands. Machines don't care about ambiance. Machines won't pour you a glass of wine. And no machine will offer soft whispers asking you how it feels.

Real hands are what we all really want.

But machines also never get tired. In this case, the HoMedics SP-100H 3D Shiatsu and Vibration Massage Pillow with Heat is also portable. It never whines and it says no. And it goes exactly where you want without hesitation.

Unlike the sensual, candlelit back rub, you can bring this to work. You won't need to disrobe, or otherwise have to make accommodations.

It rubs, warms, and vibrates, and any combination therein. I'm not clear about the vibrating function, and so, I will not personally use it. The warmth is not hot, meaning you can use this for as long as you like.

I am happy to have it. When the real thing is not available, this is a decent replacement.

--Brockeim


Oregon PowerNow CS1500 Self-Sharpening Electric Chain Saw
Oregon PowerNow CS1500 Self-Sharpening Electric Chain Saw
Price: $129.00
2 used & new from $126.95

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly As Hoped For, January 25, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I tested this saw cutting fallen branches and logs from a cherry tree (look, George Washington wasn't the only one).

Set-up was a breeze. All I had to do was pour in the small bottle of chain saw lubricating oil, plug and go.

Once I got started, it was clear the chain had loosened. A quick twist of the dial on the right side resolved that.

The saw felt balanced, albeit slightly awkward to hold. The ease-of-use offsets any concerns there.

The chips were a healthy, proper size. By no means were they dust.

The cut itself was clean and direct. I cut exactly where and how I intended.

You'll need more oil, so head to the hardware store. Pick up safety goggles and gloves if you haven't got any.

I am exceedingly pleased with the Oregon PowerNow CS1500 Self-Sharpening Electric Chain Saw. I expect finishing off that pile of cherry tree logs to be reduced quickly.

--Brockeim


Pinnacle Studio 18 Plus
Pinnacle Studio 18 Plus
Price: $69.61
23 used & new from $69.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Tremendous Upgrade at Reasonable Price, December 26, 2014
This review is from: Pinnacle Studio 18 Plus (CD-ROM)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
For me, a hobbyist maker of videos no one sees, the Pinnacle Studio 18 Plus is an upgrade. A huge upgrade. I had been using MovieMaker which bundled free on my Windows computer.

While this remains entry-level video editing software, it far exceeds my expectation. My average home movies may not reach the Scorsese-level, they will be better produced, better looking, and better sounding.

There's a learning curve if you've never edited a video previously. And if you've worked with, like me, is MovieMaker, you'll find you'll need to be patient. You can do a lot, from effects, layers, interesting things with sound and speed.

To make this work, you'll need a good camera, a good eye, and a good sense of how to use it. Plan your video before breaking out the camera. Be creative from start to finish, and then, the software can do its job.

A tip: The more VGA VRAM, the better. Ideally, work with two monitors to fully appreciate the abundant features.

--Brockeim


T.S. Shure Wooden Magnetic World Map Puzzle
T.S. Shure Wooden Magnetic World Map Puzzle
Price: $49.11
9 used & new from $38.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Show Someone the World, December 26, 2014
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I showed her the world over a pot of coffee.

When a neighbor asks for coffee, you do not give her a pound and send her home. You invite her in and prepare a treat. You grind the beans, brew the Joe, and pour a cup.

So it was when Nancy knocked ever-so-kindly on my door.

As we sipped, she asked if I traveled. I pulled out this map, with all the pieces astray.

It took a full cup to sort through North and South America and western Europe as we lingered over shared stories of cities we used to know.

We moved into Asia, Russia, and Australia. We emptied the pot at Africa and Antarctica. Sunset arrived on the city we lived in, and parted ways.

Tomorrow, we'll do it again.

The magnets are weak and country borders are vague. This is an educational toy, not a true map, but for Nancy and I, and probably the students in your life, it can elicit wonderful discussion.

--Brockeim


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