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Customer Reviews: 223
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Brockeim "Playful Literary Adventurer" RSS Feed (Where the wind blows.)

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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
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: $99.99
2 used & new from $99.99

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
Offered by AMZ CYBERBEAR 1
Price: $83.22
2 used & new from $83.18

1 of 1 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
3 used & new from $114.95

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
27 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
7 used & new from $37.36

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


PNY BL8200 PowerPack - Universal Portable Rechargeable Battery Charger
PNY BL8200 PowerPack - Universal Portable Rechargeable Battery Charger
Price: $32.99
10 used & new from $16.07

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quick, Complete Charge, December 18, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a battery with two USB outlets (PNY BL8200 PowerPack - Universal Portable Rechargeable Battery Charger), allowing the user to charge two things at once.

I tested it using my smartphone and Kindle.

As promised, both items charged completely and quickly.

It is heavier than it looks, but not a big deal. About the size of a classic iPod, it is handy to have along on plane trips where access to electricity might be challenging. This can especially true with international travel where the power sources vary. Or, as a backup in case your power ever goes out.

It charges itself likewise as swiftly, plugging in via a USB/micro cord. Little blue lights tell you when it is fully loaded.

This is my first battery charger, and I thought it might be one of those tech tools that I'd have no use for. To the contrary. It has already helped during a long session at a library, and at a cafe, both where outlets weren't easily accessible.

--Brockeim


GE Lighting 13909 Energy-Smart LED 16-watt, 1600-Lumen A21 Bulb with Medium Base, Soft White, 1-Pack
GE Lighting 13909 Energy-Smart LED 16-watt, 1600-Lumen A21 Bulb with Medium Base, Soft White, 1-Pack
Price: $20.84
3 used & new from $18.13

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bright Light, Good for Reading, December 12, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have this installed in my reading room where I'm sitting now. I'm finishing up some chocolate, listening to Sergei Prokofiev's "Scythian Suite," and about to begin a cup of afternoon coffee on a brisk December day. It is overcast so I need a light to read. The GE Lighting 13909 Energy-Smart LED 16-watt, 1600-Lumen A21 Bulb with Medium Base, Soft White is meeting my needs.

The installation was no different than any other bulb, and it brightened immediately. In other words, it is a light bulb which is neither too glaring nor too dim.

The box tells me it will last 22.8 years. If it does not last until 2037, I'll report back my complaint and ask GE for a replacement.

Note: This is lighting an entire room, a small home library. It is not suited for a desk lamp. That's not a concern for me, but important to know.

--Brockeim


Rowenta HU5120 Intense Aqua Control Ultrasonic Warm Mist 360 Humidifier with Unique Baby Mode
Rowenta HU5120 Intense Aqua Control Ultrasonic Warm Mist 360 Humidifier with Unique Baby Mode
Offered by North To South
Price: $164.99
12 used & new from $141.00

8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quiet and Efficient, Simple to Use, December 10, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I am running the Rowenta HU5120 Intense Aqua Control Ultrasonic Warm Mist 360 Humidifier in my living room. It set up in moments, not counting the waiting time for the water to work its way through the system.

It is quiet. I don't even hear a mild hum.

The water tank filled easily. After waiting the prescribed 10 minutes before turning on, it went to work immediately. This humidifier is an asset to an otherwise dry home.

The steam is clean, and is blown heartily into the room. For all its power, it takes up minimal space and is lightweight.

I love that it monitors the humidity. This means I don't have to guess. It is simple to use from start to finish.

--Brockeim


Remington Products Lithium Powered Rotary Shaver, Get Into The Swing, XR1340GOLF
Remington Products Lithium Powered Rotary Shaver, Get Into The Swing, XR1340GOLF
Price: $199.99
3 used & new from $136.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good, Not Great, Razor, November 28, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I used this with three days and one days stubble (several times), and wondered why the price is so high. The shave was close, but not impressively better than the $30 electric razor I keep in my office.

It does swivel and contour as advertised. While I don't think it changes in how clean the shave is, I do think it speeds up shaving a small amount.

Shaving wet or dry is helping, but this feature is not unique to high-end razors, but the better lower-end ones as well.

The "3-month subscription to next issue" was a nice, but for me, a useless touch. I effectively have this already through the Zinio app my pubic library provides.

To be clear, I received not Get Into The Swing, XR1340GOLF but the Road Warrior, XR1340REBL. The mechanics of the reviewing process requires me to post here. However, it seems the only substantial difference is design-related. I don't golf so it is just as well.

I love the razor. My concerns aren't about quality, but about price. As such, I give it five stars, but with that warning.

--Brockeim


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