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Customer Reviews: 199
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Brockeim "Playful Literary Adventurer" RSS Feed (Where the wind blows.)

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OXO Good Grips 8-Inch Chef Knife
OXO Good Grips 8-Inch Chef Knife
Price: $12.99
7 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: $22.99

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
Offered by Blessed Living _ BRAND NEW - FAST SHIPPING _ This item cannot be shipped to Alaska - Hawaii - Puerto Rico - PO Box and OUTSIDE of USA
Price: $70.01
3 used & new from $49.99

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 PC & Mobile Gaming Headset (TBS-4222-01)
Turtle Beach Ear Force Heroes of the Storm PC & Mobile Gaming Headset (TBS-4222-01)
Price: $79.99

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


Great Maps (Dk Smithsonian)
Great Maps (Dk Smithsonian)
by JERRY BROTTON
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.30
35 used & new from $16.26

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Guide to Earth Walking, August 27, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
If I were to walk the Earth, I'd like to think I'd use this book, "Great Maps," as a guide. In each new place, I'd like to look and see and smell all of it, then compare how historical mapmakers thought it might be, or how it used to be back then.

I love maps and am confident I know my state well due to years of staring at a large gas station premium map I had as a kid. Here, in "Great Maps," I see more than the confines of the state I call home, but the world.

The Earth cannot be walked, so all of those dreams are hindered. What I can still do is imagine what mapmakers believed. What they believed was based on the science of the time, their religious and cultural understanding of themselves and the world, and often, bad data.

Looking back, it is a wonder to me any sailor ever traveled to there, and back again. Regions are distorted, islands are missing, and entire continents aren't as we know them. The cartographers did their best, and with each new map came new travels and discoveries.

The structure of each map's entry is constant. We see an overview of the map, and related discussion. We see an icon of a man next to the map to allow us to see its relative size, as well as the exact dimensions. I had no idea how big the originals were. We learn something about the cartographer, how and why the map matters, and a "visual tour" -- close-ups with explanations.

Unfortunately, the close-ups are a weak point. Some seem digitally rendered at a low resolution, leaving them appear blurry or jaggy.

The book finishes with a nice nod to Google Earth. It may lack the artistic beauty of ones from the 1500s, but it has satellite imaging as its strength. We see the real Earth in all its fullness, without the biases and limitations of a cartographer. Apparently, Google Earth's data equals 10 petabytes.

A worthy addition to your living room coffee table, you and guests will linger over this for hours.

--Brockeim


Apple iPod nano 16GB Space Gray (7th Generation) NEWEST MODEL
Apple iPod nano 16GB Space Gray (7th Generation) NEWEST MODEL
Offered by TechGiant
Price: $154.99
41 used & new from $79.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent For Use on Train Rides at the Cusp of Summer and Autumn, August 25, 2014
The last vestiges of summer are eking out the daylight glory that is waning. Soon, the dull overcast of autumn will take over the brilliance of June, July and August. Within the space of the cusping transitional days, there will be cool music. The Apple iPod Nano will maintain and supply that music as you, like I, examine how many permutations of red and yellow can be tasted in a sunset.

With thousands of songs, you can listen from the corking of Port wine at the first sundown, through the first coffee after the second sundown. It comes in several colors, matching what you wear like a flower on your lapel, or a discrete tattoo above your belt. Where it lacks comparatively in functions found on larger iPods, it brings currency and portability.

Lengthen summer's last sunset and your pleasure of listening by taking a train west. Watch out the window, absorb the convergence of seasons, and be there when the next one arrives. The conductor will understand.

Whether Carlos Montoya's The Art of the Flamenco dances with sound through his flamenco guitar, or Andrea Bocelli's Sacred Arias glorifies the moment with his aria Gloria a te, Cristo Gesù, the Nano will satisfy.

May the grace of autumn be met with sound and color, tuned into music and scenery worthy of now.

--Brockeim


Dixie PerfectTouch 12 oz Insulated Paper Cups - 160-Count
Dixie PerfectTouch 12 oz Insulated Paper Cups - 160-Count
Offered by Clark Star Sales
Price: $19.79
15 used & new from $13.27

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keeps Coffee and Hope Warm in Lonely Parks, August 19, 2014
Inside my Dixie cup was coffee finished a few minutes ago. It was my solace as I sat alone on a bench in a wooded park. The cup kept it hot from first sip to last gulp, and I suspect keeps any drink as cold as mine was warm. I sat hoping the girl I met the afternoon before would bring the same smile she left with.

An hour ago, I hope she thought, "Sorry, really, I am, but John and I are back together."

Two hours ago, she did nothing. I waited.

Three hours ago, she texted, "Ran into an old friend. He and I are catching up. See you soon."

Four hours ago, she called to say she'd be a few minutes late.

Five hours ago, she emailed to say she was looking forward to seeing me.

Six hours ago, I woke, remembering meeting her 18 hours prior in this park.

"We should walk again," she said. "Same time tomorrow?"

Time passes properly, hour-by-hour, as does hope. As you wait, have a good cup of coffee kept warm by a Dixie cup with an appropriate lid. Time will not stop because of it, but it will be more pleasant as it goes. Be sure the ones you buy have lids as some things should not be spilled.

--Brockeim


De'Longhi EDG605RDolce Gusto Circolo Flow Stop Coffee Machine
De'Longhi EDG605RDolce Gusto Circolo Flow Stop Coffee Machine
Price: $164.51

3.0 out of 5 stars More Work Than I Prefer, August 18, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
There are two parts to my review. The first part is a four-star view on the coffee itself within the context of what it is trying to accomplish. The second is a two-star reaction to the machine.

In short: I don't mind the flavor for a fun cup of coffee, but find the machine to be more work than I'd like. It's sleek design and red color aren't enough for me to be enthusiastic.

The Coffee
You could say this is cappuccino for dummies, though it is not exclusively foamed milk/espresso mixes. Everything is pre-measured, packed in sealed capsules. Keurig users will find this a familiar process but will enjoy the coffee more. Pop a capsule in, press a button, and a drink comes out.

There are various flavors, but all have that McDonald's cappuccino taste. It is much better than gas station joe, but not what you'll find in mid-level coffee chains like Starbucks.

The Machine
After set-up, you'll find the process frustrating. Mind you, it works just find and accomplishes the task at hand perfectly. Getting there is a bit Rube Goldberg for my tastes. This isn't true for all Dolce Gusto machines, or all De'Longhi. It is true for this one.

To make a straight cup of coffee (not an espresso-based drink like a latte), you put the capsule in, adjust the setting for that particularly drink, and press a button. Easy enough, and setting it uniquely for that drink is a nice feature.

To clean up, you remove the device the capsule is in and dump it into the little bucket they include. That bucket has two parts so that the coffee can drip into the other. There is no reason for this, but adds to the clean-up.

Don't even think of adding water while the machine is going. Instead, you turn it off and remove the water container. It doesn't come off easily. And, it is on the back of the machine. You've got to turn the thing around to manage it.

All of this work isn't worth the pay-off. While it looks pretty, they sacrificed design sensibility to achieve this. There's no way I will do all of this when I'm in a hurry. Enjoy it for what it is: a decent capsule-based single-serve device, but do not expect high-end cafe quality.

--Brockeim


De'Longhi EDG605B Dolce Gusto Circolo Flow Stop Coffee Machine
De'Longhi EDG605B Dolce Gusto Circolo Flow Stop Coffee Machine
Price: $179.99
6 used & new from $125.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Coffee is Good, Machine is Not, August 15, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
There are two parts to my review. The first part is a four-star view on the coffee itself within the context of what it is trying to accomplish. The second is a two-star reaction to the machine.

The Coffee
You could say this is cappuccino for dummies, though it is not exclusively foamed milk/espresso mixes. Everything is pre-measured, packed in sealed capsules. Keurig users will find this a familiar process. Pop a capsule in, press a button, and a drink comes out.

There are various flavors, but all have that McDonald's cappuccino taste. It is better than gas station joe, but not what you'll find in mid-level coffee chains like Starbucks.

The Machine
After set-up, you'll find the process frustrating. Mind you, it works just find and accomplishes the task at hand perfectly. Getting there is a bit Rube Goldberg for my tastes. This isn't true for all Dolce Gusto machines, or all De'Longhi. It is true for this one.

To make a straight cup of coffee, you put the capsule in, adjust the setting for that particularly drink, and press a button. Easy enough, and setting it uniquely for that drink is a nice feature.

To clean up, you remove the device the capsule is in and dump it into the little bucket they include. That bucket has two parts so that the coffee can drip into the other. There is no reason for this, but adds to the clean-up.

Don't even think of adding water while the machine is going. Instead, you turn it off and remove the water container. It doesn't come off easily. And, it is on the back of the machine. You've got to turn the thing around to manage it.

All of this work isn't worth the pay-off. While it looks pretty, they sacrificed design sensibility to achieve this. There's no way I will do all of this when I'm in a hurry.

--Brockeim


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