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Customer Reviews: 204
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Brockeim "Playful Literary Adventurer" RSS Feed (Where the wind blows.)

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Black and Decker CM3005S 12-Cup Tea and Coffeemaker
Black and Decker CM3005S 12-Cup Tea and Coffeemaker
Price: $61.73

4.0 out of 5 stars Solid Coffee Maker, October 17, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Imagine a strong upgrade from your parent's Mr. Coffee. This has all the bells and whistles you want. The trouble is, there are some you don't want.

I love not only that I can make 1-4 cups at a different setting, but that I can make it strong or regular. I'm mostly an espresso drinker so if I'm having coffee, the stronger, the better.

I also love that I can schedule when the coffee brews. Nothing unusual here, but a nice feature.

What's not needed is the capacity to brew tea. Any tea drinker knows the oils in coffee distort the flavor of tea. This feature only drives up the price.

Overall, since I'm not a serious tea drinker, I'm pleased. This is an excellent machine.

--Brockeim


Pinzon 9-Piece Bed In A Bag with Hamper - Full/Queen, Montrose
Pinzon 9-Piece Bed In A Bag with Hamper - Full/Queen, Montrose
Price: $64.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Kept Me Cozy on a Blustery October Afternoon, October 13, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
On a cold day as rain fell like a vigilante in pursuit of his goal, I sat on the couch warmly. There was no reason. Outside was the bitter wind.

My coffee tasted better knowing I was on the better side of the wall.

Then the power went out. I don't know why. Wind, I suppose. There was no point in asking. The winds have no responsibility to explain themselves to me.

Quickly, the drafty windows proved their inadequacy. And swiftly, it dropped to 50 degrees inside.

Alone with my coffee cooling fast, I wrapped myself into the Pinzon 9-Piece Deluxe Bed In A Bag. Just the comforter. The sheets and the rest were squirreled away for future guests. I'm less impressed with those, as they feel thin and already washed.

I survived the afternoon with a book, a blanket and the remainder of my coffee. Less pleasant afternoon are on record. Of better, there are few.

Should your power go out or unexpected guests arrive, you can be prepared. Conveniently, I had this blanket.

--Brockeim


Hamilton Beach 49995 FlexBrew Single Serve Coffeemaker
Hamilton Beach 49995 FlexBrew Single Serve Coffeemaker
Offered by Apex Stores
Price: $54.00
23 used & new from $24.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Use With K-Cups, Not Loose Grounds, October 7, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I tested this with K-cups and loose grounds. I don't have anything on the soft pods.

K-cups, of course, are readily available in plenty if flavors, but are usually lower quality coffee (no matter the maker) than fresh beans. Like any single-serve device, it worked. One mediocre, but properly brewed cup of coffee.

Loose grounds, right after grinding freshly roasted beans is the best choice. In this case, it was a mess. The beans themselves were from a major Chicago roaster, known for their knowledge and quality. I ground them on a profession-level machine. All good? Yes, until trying to brew. They were sloppy going in, left crumbs in my cup, and was difficult to clean.

If using only a K-cup-type coffee, you'll be more than pleased. Presuming that's most people, I give this 4/5 stars.

--Brockeim


Southern Enterprises Amberson Desk/Stool Set, White
Southern Enterprises Amberson Desk/Stool Set, White
Price: $154.81

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Suited As A Desk, September 29, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I thought of letters I would send to some address I'd long forgotten, to a girl long gone. I thought of poetry I might have dashed off in a moment of literary passion. Hidden in the corner of my home, lit by the flicker of my fireplace, I expected many hours delivering incredible tales of adventure, romance and well-read books into my journal.

I might still, but not with this desk.

It is less attractive than I expected. It is mechanical and non-aesthetic in a minimalist kind of way. A smudge from a thumb from the manufacturer stains the seat pillow. Screws and screw-holes are too apparent. The wood is heavy but is easily pierced by over-ambitiously screwing in a bolt.

Instead of letters, it will hold plants. Various vines will rest atop and watering cans and sundry tools will rest on the bottom.

--Brockeim


Heavy Weight Square 14-Inch Metallic Woven Vinyl Placemat, Black, Set of 4
Heavy Weight Square 14-Inch Metallic Woven Vinyl Placemat, Black, Set of 4
Price: $15.99

5.0 out of 5 stars For Picnics and Beyond, September 27, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As you walk hand-in-hand with the lady of your affections, and the blustery October winds blow with autumn vigor, you might choose to set forth a picnic spread.

All the expected elements of romance will grace your blanket: the wine, cheese and bread. Perhaps a batch of concord grapes, some cherries, and a rose.

Those winds that deliver leaves to dance mid-air might throw an ordinary placemat about. Not the "Heavy Weight Square 14-Inch Metallic Woven Vinyl Placemat." These hold their ground, unswayed by anything autumn offers.

They clean easily, look attractive, and offer an elegance to contrast the rustic woods around you.

They do not protect from spills as the lacing has holes.

Also useful on decks, boats, and mountaintops.

--Brockeim


OXO Good Grips 8-Inch Chef Knife
OXO Good Grips 8-Inch Chef Knife
Price: $12.99
8 used & new from $12.99

4.0 out of 5 stars For Everyday Cutlery, September 20, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
In the great, grand continuum of cutlery, this is an average knife. I am not a chef and so, for my everyday use, this is adequate.

Whatever the knife is intended for, I can say what I'll use it for: cake, fruit and meatloaf. Nothing especially heart. It is too weak of a blade for things like an apple, but feels right cutting a lemon.

True as advertised, it doesn't slip. For me, I've never found a knife that did, but for older people, that's a good feature.

I have knives for most cooking occasions. This one will do just fine.

--Brockeim


InterDesign Coffee Pod and Beverage Place, Clear
InterDesign Coffee Pod and Beverage Place, Clear
Price: $22.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Better for Knicknacks and Less for Coffee Pods, September 19, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The goal of a coffee pod keeper is to keep coffee pods. It isn't to replace pods frequently. This box, with drawers, is too small for those who drink two cups daily.

For the occasional drinker who might just as likely have tea, this fine.

Pros:
Clear plastic. You know what is inside.
Two drawers = two flavors (for you Keurig fans).
Boxes on top for different kinds of sweetener.

Cons:
Size of drawers. For example, if you like Nescafe Dolce, you can only fit six pods in each.
Injection locations of the plastic are obvious, giving this a cheap appearance.

For me, I won't use it for coffee pods. Instead, it is headed to my office for paper clips and loose change.

--Brockeim


Geoge Foreman GRP472P Removable Plate Grill, Service for 5
Geoge Foreman GRP472P Removable Plate Grill, Service for 5
Price: $49.99
5 used & new from $41.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Not George's Best Work, September 17, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I am already a George Foreman fan. That is, the concept of his cooking devices. I have been using them for years.

The gist: Equal heating on the top and bottom, with an angle to assist with removing fat and grease. This means a sandwich like grilled cheese will cook faster, and the result will be healthier. It works as intended.

The primary differences in this one is that it has a bigger cooking area and that the cooking plates are removable, two great features.

The cooking area seems to be around twice what the normal size is. It says "service for five." What you are really looking is room for two ordinary sandwiches.

The plates are easily removable. While a quick hot, wet rag will get the job done most of the time, getting a full clean through the dishwasher is good. Replacing them is somewhat difficult. There's a knack to it.

The ceramic coating on mine came slightly chipped. Not so much that I'll bother to return it, but enough so that I need to acknowledge in my review. This is either an engineering or shipping problem. Either way, the manufacturer needs to resolve it in subsequent devices.

--Brockeim


Francois et Mimi Set of 6 Large-Sized 18oz Handpainted Artisan Coffee Mugs (Sky)
Francois et Mimi Set of 6 Large-Sized 18oz Handpainted Artisan Coffee Mugs (Sky)
Offered by Luzy's Storage Place
Price: $19.95

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Big, Un-artful Mugs: A Poetic Review, September 7, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
To love these more,
I wish I could.
To love them all,
I thought I would.

Their size, their mouths,
so kind and wide,
with blues and greens
from side-to-side.

Washed by machine,
each, they held true,
every version
of every blue.

But no artist's
soul were these wrought.
Children's fingers,
and so well-taught.

Artisan? No.
I laugh at such.
Alas, so bland,
and not so much.

Or, in simpler words, calling these hand-painted artisan coffee mugs, however they were actually produced, is pretentious. I'm not questioning that these painted using someone's fingers, but it seems more like someone dipped their hand in five slightly different colors of paint, and swept the down the mug.

They are big, the kind you'd think to use for hot chocolate or soup. Too big for my use as coffee goes. They survived my dishwasher. But art? Nothing of the kind.

Go to the dollar store and save money, or go to your favorite cafe and spend the same and get something more attractive.

--Brockeim


Turtle Beach Ear Force Heroes of the Storm Gaming Headset for PC and Mobile Devices (TBS-4222-01)
Turtle Beach Ear Force Heroes of the Storm Gaming Headset for PC and Mobile Devices (TBS-4222-01)
Price: $67.52

4.0 out of 5 stars Good Sound on Entry-level Headphones, September 3, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Casablanca is not like other movies. It is not noted for special effects or a brash soundtrack. It is subtle. You need to watch it several times to catch half of the quick lines or lifts of an eyebrow.

What does this have to do with headphones?

Watching a great movie with solid headphones makes it more intimate, so long as the headphones meet the mark. Watching one of the best movies ever through impressive headphones helps discover parts of the movie you have missed.

For the average gamer, especially one who likes to chat with another player elsewhere, this will get the job done. For the average listener of movies and music, again, this is adequate. These are great entry-level headphones.

The "Turtle Beach Ear Force Heroes of the Storm PC & Mobile Gaming Headset" covers the ear completely. Outside noise is limited. Over many hours, these will be less comfortable than a higher-end set, but expect them to be fine.

Being able to change the volume through the switch on the wire is convenient.

--Brockeim


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