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Born Invincible
Born Invincible
DVD
Price: $2.99

4.0 out of 5 stars 5 of 5 (very good) One of a better non-Shaw martial arts classics from the 70's, April 13, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Born Invincible (Amazon Video)
Movie: Born Invincible (1978, Chinese w/English Dubbing)
Rating: 3.5 of 5 (very good)

One of a better non-Shaw martial arts classics from the 70's. This one features an entertaining variant on the 'revenge for wronged school / slain teacher' theme, and features an interesting spin on the invulnerable villain motif (compare for example with "Kid With The Golden Arms"). For me, the most enjoyable part of the movie were the series of training vignettes where one lead student after another trained themselves to a personal peak, and a unique personal style, and challenge the villain again, and again, and again ... a film maker's ode to loyalty and perseverence.

Recommended.


Floureon 4 Packs Rechargeable Cordless Phone Batteries for Vtech 6053 CS6219 Uniden BT1011 BT-1011 BT1018 BT-1018 BT1022 BT-1022 BT18433 BT-18433, BT18432 BT-184342, BT28433 BT-28433, BT284342 BT-284342
Floureon 4 Packs Rechargeable Cordless Phone Batteries for Vtech 6053 CS6219 Uniden BT1011 BT-1011 BT1018 BT-1018 BT1022 BT-1022 BT18433 BT-18433, BT18432 BT-184342, BT28433 BT-28433, BT284342 BT-284342
Offered by SEVESTO
Price: $9.99
4 used & new from $5.49

3.0 out of 5 stars Adequate, but need replacing every 2.5 yrs, September 30, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Product: Floureon Cordless Telephone Battery 4pk
Rating: 3/5 (average)

I've bought these 3x so far. The price is reasonable, and the last for a decent amount of talk time when fresh. My primary nit is their service life ... I've been having to replace them every 2 1/2 years, which is roughly 1,000 charge-days. Battery technology has improved to the point where 2,000+ charge days should be available, but this product hasn't been updated to keep pace, so I can only give it an average score.

Bottom line: they reasonably priced and work ok, but plan on replacing them every 2.5 years or so ... better still, keep at least 2 spares handy at all times for a set of 4 phones. TIP: The next time you replace your multi-phone cordless phone system, be sure to get one with a corded base phone, so you can use it in blackouts.


Pure Chess PS4 - PlayStation 4
Pure Chess PS4 - PlayStation 4
Price: $19.99
21 used & new from $13.01

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very pretty, but incompletely coded and buggy, March 27, 2015
Product: Pure Chess (PS4) by VooFoo Studios
Rating: 2/5 (below average)

I bought this game directly from the PSN as a Digital Download. I have very mixed feelings about it.

Likes:
* Nice graphics, looks very attractive.
* Includes a minimal tutorial on how the different pieces move, but that's pretty much it.
* Includes 100 chess problems, involving mate in 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 moves (20 problems each).
* The AI on setting 1 is useless, but once you move up to setting 3 or 4 the AI becomes quite challenging. However, the increased difficulty is more than offset by an inability to resign a losing game (see below).

Dislikes:
* UNABLE TO RESIGN (-1 star): There does not appear to be a way to resign a game against the AI if you're losing. I am literally gobsmacked that they neglected to code such an essential capability, and its absence seriously affects playability. If anyone figures out how to do it, please post a comment.
* NO SUPPORT (-1 star): There is apparently NO support for this product VooFoo Studio's forum ... as of this writing, numerous requests for help, and bug reporting by numerous users have all gone unanswered for many months. There doesn't appear to be any third party site fulfilling the role either, so anyone looking for support on this software is going to have a difficult time of it.
* BUGGY (-1 Star): Several trophies are bugged, poorly designed, or both. I've also read a lot of complaints online about the server being down, and being unable to select non-random opponents. After several failed attempts to connect myself, I eventually gave up.
* ADD-ONS: I cant really single out VooFoo on this, since EVERYONE does it, but the game only comes with a few basic chess piece styles, and only 3 choices of boring and unchanging music. There are some really beautiful pieces available for download, but you guessed it, they all cost extra, and there are no upgrades to the music, period. You're better off simply muting the game and turning on your stereo, trust me.

Bottom line: This game is pretty, and I very much wanted to enjoy and play it, but the missing resign capability, the lack of support by VooFoo, and ongoing problems with their server have all soured the experience for me, and I've since shelved it. I recommend saving your money and looking elsewhere for a more complete program that is actually supported by the people who wrote it.

NOT RECOMMENDED


No Title Available

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A hybrid personal vaporizer & mini power bank, March 26, 2015
Product: Innokin itaste MVP2 (11w)
Title: A hybrid personal vaporizer & mini power bank
Rating: 3.5/5 (v.good)

The Innokin MVP2 is a clever pocket sized hybrid device that combines the functions of a “Personal Vaporizer” (PV), and a miniature power bank. I purchased it for both roles - both to minimize my pipe smoking (my wife has asthma), and also as a power reserve for my cellphone. It fulfills both roles quite well, albeit with some minor ergonomical nits.

TIP: If you’re new to vaping, be advised that the MVP is just a PV base/controller - to vape with it, you will also need an atomizer/cartomizer/clearomizer which, depending on the seller and how they bundle the device, may be included or may be sold separately, so be sure to check the terms of sale to see what is/isn’t included. I purchased mine off-site, and it came with an iClear 30 clearomizer.

Likes (Power Bank):
• CAPACITY: The MVP 2.0 holds 2600 mAh, which is more than most users will need for several days of vaping, with enough left over to put a nearly full charge on most smartphones. Standby power seems excellent too ... as a light user, I’ve gone as long as a month between charges. The device has USB & micro-USB connectors on the bottom, along with a switch for charging mode (default) or output mode (for powering other devices). However, it merits mention that battery technology has progressed rapidly since the MVP2 (11w) came out. As of this writing, the newly released MVP3 offers 3800 mAh.

Likes (Vaporizer):
• COMPATABILITY: The 510 connector on top offers fairly wide compatibility with most atomizers/cartomizers/clearomizers, and includes an optional ring for added support (and aesthetics) for larger capacity tanks.
• ADJUSTABILITY: The MVP2 offers both variable voltage (3.3-5.0 in 0.1v increments), and variable wattage (6-11w in 0.5w increments). Personally, I’ve never needed more than 9w, but hardcore cloud chasers looking for sub-ohm vaping might want to consider the 20w variant of the MVP2 or even the newly released MVP3 which can go up to 30w.
• OHMs METER: The MVP2 automatically detects the resistance of any vaping device attached to the 510 connector upon power up, and will automatically switch to an appropriate default setting (for both voltage and wattage) whenever it detects a tank change ... which you can manually finesse with the VV/VW controls..

Nits (Power Bank):
• ERGONOMICS (-3/4 star): On the MVP2, the USB & micro-USB ports are awkwardly located on the bottom (and lack dirt covers), so to recharge it or drive another device, you need to lay it down on its face or side ... which can/will flood most vaporizers/clearomizers, and therefore most must be detached before doing so. The MVP3 partially resolves this problem by relocating the micro-USB port to side of the device.
• HEFTY/TIPPY: The MVP2 weighs in at a somewhat hefty 155gr (5.4 oz.), and its tall narrow design make it tip prone.

Nits (Vaporizer):
• CONFUSING CONTROLS (-3/4 star): The VV/VW display and controls on the lower side are needlessly confusing and unintuitive (even more so because of the pointless puff counter), and most users will need to consult the manual if they want to manually finesse the automatic defaults for their tank of choice.
• VAPE BUTTON ERGO: On the MVP2, the vape button is located top center on the forward face. Some users may find the location and firmness of push required to be a bit awkward. Personally, I don’t mind ... except for the fact that one’s thumb obscures the charge level LED, so the only way to see the current charge level is to turn the device off (3 pushes) and quickly move your thumb out of the way, then turn it back on again (3 more pushes). The newer MVP3 relocates this button (and the others) to the side of the device, which resolves the issue.

Bottom line: The Innokin MVP2(11w) performs well in both of its roles (PV & miniature power bank). However, it does suffer from some minor ergonomic issues, some of which have been resolved in the newer MVP3. Because of the recent release of the MVP3, there are plenty of deals out there on the MVP2, so it pays to shop around. If you can find it on sale, the MVP2 is worth buying, but if you dont mind playing a little extra, the MVP3 is a better choice. I hope that helps people.


Numi Organic Tea Gunpowder Green, Full Leaf, Loose Leaf, Temple of Heaven Green Tea, 16 Ounce Bag
Numi Organic Tea Gunpowder Green, Full Leaf, Loose Leaf, Temple of Heaven Green Tea, 16 Ounce Bag
Price: $16.63
12 used & new from $16.63

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great tea at a good price, January 16, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Product: Numi Organic Tea Gunpowder Green (16 oz)

I've tried several other popular bulk brands of gunpowder tea from both China and Japan, and many of them brewed up too murky/dusty and/or oxidized to varying degrees. Loose perls almost always have a better flavor and longer shelf life than bagged versions (which are basically single servings of tea dust, often oxidized), however as in all things, there are many levels of quality and you generally get what you pay for.

This particular brand of gunpowder tea is far above average, and offers a lot of bang for the buck:
> Consistently fresh (not oxidized like many cheaper bulk varieties).
> Air-proof packaging.
> Nice tight 'perls', with minimal breakage and minimal tea dust.
> Organically grown.

It brews up a very clean clear pale chartreuse color (with only a trace of fine sediment), with a flavorful and gently herbaceous edge that's not too bitter (provided you dont brew it too long or too strong), and it can be enjoyed hot or cold, and with or without condiments. In my household, we mostly lean towards plain and unadorned, but sometimes switch to a little honey with either milk or lemon.

Note: Although FAR less dusty than most, a small trace of fine sediment is unavoidable when brewing ALL loose teas, and this one is no exception. The small traces of sediment that appears in the bottom of the pitcher after straining is normal and doesnt affect flavor. However, if you're a stickler for pristine appearance (say, for a dinner party), you can easily run the strained tea though a paper coffee filter to obtain a perfectly clear appearance.

Recommended.

Brewing instructions (for 1/2 gal): If I'm brewing several days worth just for myself, I'll fill a 3 qt stainless steel sauce pan with just over 2 qts water, heat it to 180F on my induction plate (about 6-7 mins), turn off the heat, then add 1/4 cup of tea pearls and let it steep for exactly 3 mins. Then I'll pour it though a small fine mesh conical strainer into a pyrex pitcher and refrigerate it for up to a week. Anytime I want some, I'll pour it straight from the fridge and drink it straight (cold) or briefly reheat it to tepid in a microwave safe mug.


Sakai Takayuki Grand Chef Gyutou 240mm (9.4")
Sakai Takayuki Grand Chef Gyutou 240mm (9.4")
Offered by YuiSenri
Price: $153.00
8 used & new from $149.50

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern Super steel (HRC 60) meets classic Western Chef Knife, January 15, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Product: Sakai Takayuki Grand Chef Gyutou 240mm (9.4")
Comment: Modern Super steel (HRC 60) meets classic Western Chef Knife
Rating: 4.5/5 (Excellent)

This is a detailed comparison between my well worn & much loved 20+ year old Wusthof Trident Classic Chef (TCC) 10", and a brand new Takayuki Grand Chef Gyuto (GCG) 240mm ... a throw down between a classic western style Cadillac, and a state of the art competitor featuring modern super steel and a more aggressive design.

This gets a little longwinded, so if you're not a knife geek like me, feel free to skip to the bottom of the review ...

First, a little historical perspective on the relevant alloys. The Wusthof TCC uses a monosteel construction (read: uniform rather than clad) of x50CrMoV15 stainless, whereas the Takayuki GCG (also a monosteel construction) uses a more modern formulation from Sweden called "AEB-L". When the former was first developed several decades ago it was considered an excellent steel for surgical tools, because of its superior stain resistance (read: ability to endure repeated trips through medical autoclaves without rusting), toughness and sharpen ability. HOWEVER, metallurgy has come a long way since then, and although still highly rated for stain resistance, x50CrMoV15 now decidedly mid-range in hardness and toughness by current standards. My 10" Wusthof was hardened to HRC 54, which is considered quite soft by today's standards for high-end knives (which range from HRC 60-68). That softness meant it was relatively easy to sharpen, but by the same token it also dulls somewhat quickly, and even faster if you put a more aggressive edge than the 21-24 degree factory one (I switched mine to 18). Thanks to increasingly stiff Japanese competition, Wusthof has since improved their heat treatment results from HRC-54 up to HRC-58 in recent years, but that's still slightly shy of modern super steel territory. The AEB-L in the Takayuki GCG has been hardened to HRC-60+ (which I read as just shy of 61) ... hard enough to fall into the low end of super steel territory (60-68), but not so hard that it's prone to the sort of chipping that some of the harder and more expensive high end knives can be susceptible to if handled carelessly.

Ok, let's get to it ...

Likes:

* Western Profile and Handle: In shopping for a state of the art 'hybrid' chef knife (read: western profile & Eastern metallurgy), my first decision point was whether I wanted a western or eastern profile (read: full or medium bellied western, medium or flat bellied gyuto, medium or flat bellied santoku) and a western or eastern handle. After 20+ years of using a full size medium-bellied 10" chef like the Wusthof TCC, I decided I wanted to stick with the familiar ... although I've acclimated to numerous cutting techniques, I still like the gentle rocking motion of western style `push cutting' rather than Eastern chopping, so I went with a western handle, and a medium-bellied western profile in the blade, and a traditional Western ambidextrous "50:50" single V edge (rather than a left or right handed japanese 'chisel' blade). That narrowed the field down tremendously, but it still left plenty of reputable hybridized 240mm gyuto candidates {e.g., Kikuichi TKC, Akifusa, Tojiro DP F-809, Richmond SRS-15, Hattori FH, Kohetsu HAP40, et al}.

* Mono-Constructed High-tech steel: my second decision point was in leaning towards materials and construction that are slightly more forgiving in terms of cost, stain & chip resistance and sharpenability, at the expense of being slightly less aesthetically beautiful and high performing ... that ruled out most hand-forged master crafted high carbon steels & beautiful multi-layered Damascus clad blades, as well as hybrid claddings of dual-alloys. After a fair amount of research, I happened across the Takayuki GCG, which seemed to offer the best of both worlds, and a tremendous bang for the buck at a mere $160 USD. It was a hard deal to beat on paper - similar price range as my drop-forged mono-steel Wusthof and a similar blade profile, but a much harder steel with a sharper edge ... I stopped reading, rolled the dice and ordered one, and a few short days later it arrived in the mail.

* Aggressively thin yet strong: Straight out of the box, my first surprise was how THIN the blade is, and also how strong it is despite that thinness. At a svelte 2.45mm at the spine base, the gently flexible GCG is not as thin as some of the "laser" gyutos out there, but it's HALF the thickness of my suddenly hefty Wusthof TCC, and nearly 90 grams lighter. It almost felt like a toy, the first time I held it, and I began to doubt myself ... but after a few days use its unusual prowess quickly won me over.

* Exquisite Sharpness: Let's skip the marketing hype and let pure science do the talking here. As measured with my digital "Angle Cube", the factory edge angle on the Takayuki is more than TWICE as sharp as the original factory edge used to be on my Wusthof (10 vs 21 degrees). Straight out the box, the blade was impressively sharp, and the thinness of the blade made it feel positively diabolical. Although it pulled a little, I was able to shave ribbons off an outstretched sheet of paper ... a few swipes on a 4000 grit stone fixed that right up, and it was gliding though the sheet in short order. It even glided though unpeeled yellow onions (try that with a Wusthof). I'm known among friends and family for keeping my edges pretty sharp and immaculate, but this was a whole new level of cutting performance for me, and I've since had to lighten my cutting stroke with the Takayuki, to avoid gouging my cutting boards.

* Hardness/Edge Retention: The surprising thinness of the blade, and the aggressiveness of the edge were already impressive enough, but I was equally impressed at how long it's able to retain such an edge, courtesy of the AEB-L steel's greater hardness and durability (re: HRC-60+ vs HRC-54), and the reduced force needed for cutting. To give a practical example, if I had to julienne a half pan of bell peppers with my old Wusthof, I'd typically have to pause and steel at least 3-4 times during the task in order to maintain separation of the slices. With the Takayuki, I'd probably have to steel at most two to three times during all that, even though it has a much thinner blade and edge. Ya gotta love that ... a thinner edge that can hold its edge longer than a thicker one, courtesy of a more advanced steel.

Minor Nits:

* Minor Performance Limitations: This is not a flaw, but rather recognition of a design trade-off that requires the user to be more aware of choosing "the right tool for the right task" for different types of culinary prep. In this instance, because of the thinner and more aggressive nature of this blade, I don't recommend doing things like using the spine to crack open coconuts, or using a rubber mallet to hammer the blade though hard winter squash, or using the tip and blade to perforate and split large blocks of frozen spinach or cube up boneless salmon fillets straight from the freezer (all things that my sturdy wusthof handled with grace and aplomb). I have a cheap thick-spined plastic handled 8" chef knife for such tasks now (under $20 USD). I also don't recommend using super steel (or ceramic) knives for hacking up bone-in cuts like chicken parts or spare ribs, because cutting bones could chip the edge ... and the harder and thinner the steel, the more susceptible to chipping it is (try to tiddlywink a roofing nail with a razor blade and you'll see what I mean). In this case, the AEB-L steel looks like a clever compromise by the designers ... hard enough to hold a very aggressive edge, but not quite so hard that it overly prone to chipping and hard to sharpen.

* Less Stain Resistant: One advantage that the Wusthof's x50CrMoV15 stainless has over Takayuki's AEB-L steel is that the stain resistance of the former is a bit more bulletproof. The former can be run though a dishwasher repeatedly and put away wet without worries, whereas the latter can develop faint rust dots if not dried in reasonably timely fashion, and some faint whorls of a patina will slowly begin to form over time (easily removed with some Bartender's Friend).

* Unbeveled Choil: Where the Wusthof Trident has a clumsy antiquated reinforced finger bolster (which actually gets in the way of sharpening after years of heavy wear), the Takayki has a flat featureless choil, the trailing edges of which they neglected to micro-bevel for comfort (unlike the spine, which is properly micro-beveled). However, you can correct this manually with a few minutes use of a diamond steel, held at an angle.

* Suction: Not a complaint, but rather a minor quirk - the sides of the blade are so flat/smooth that slices of zucchini will tend to `suck' onto the sides of the knife a bit harder than the more beveled surface of a hefty 10" wusthof.

Bottom line: I've been a loyal fan of my trusty 10" Wusthof Trident Classic Chef since I bought it over two decades ago, but long years of use and countless re-sharpenings have worn it out (read: it's lost it's belly curvature), and while shopping for a replacement I've discovered that metallurgy has advanced quite a lot since then, and the Takayuki GCG is just one example of the coming deluge of knives that will combine the best aspects of Western and Eastern knife traditions. The Wusthof is decisively stronger and more versatile, whereas the Takayuki is decisively sharper, more precise, and holds its edge longer ... they're comparable, yet very different. Meanwhile the Takayuki GCG 240mm is an excellent introductory option for aficianados of Western chef knives who are eager to see what the technique and technology obsessed East has to offer, courtesy of the internet and an increasingly global marketplace. In my case, I chose performance over versatility, and I haven't been sorry ... and I have some inexpensive supplemental tools handy for the relatively few tasks my Wusthof used to handle that my Takayuki cannot.

Highly recommended.

I look forward to seeing how my favorite western brands (like Wusthof) continue to up their game in the coming years, in order to be a part of the technological advances and cross-pollenization of techniques that are currently underway.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 20, 2016 3:28 AM PDT


Potassium Sorbate - 1 oz.
Potassium Sorbate - 1 oz.
Price: $5.75
13 used & new from $0.95

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent easy to use stabilizer, November 4, 2014
This review is from: Potassium Sorbate - 1 oz. (Misc.)
Product: Potassium Sorbate (Stabilizer)
Rating: 5/5 (excellent)

When I was homebrewing regularly back in the 1990's, I routinely used trace minimal amounts of sorbate in my finished still meads and ciders to help inhibit flors and protect residual brix against unwanted refermentation. Since I'm no longer brewing regularly, I mostly just use it these days for things like stabilizing homemade sauces and condiments (ex: bartenders simple syrup, sweet hot pepper sauce, etc) that need to hold up for months in my refrigerator (which is rife with microbes), and which are not already protected by either high salt, high alcohol, or high hygroscopic viscosity (ex: undiluted honey). A 1-oz bottle is enough to last most people for several years, as you'll rarely need more than 1/8th tsp at a time for most non-brewing uses.

This is a good product ... its room stable, non-clumping, flavorless, and it dissolves into solution quickly under modest heat with no boiling and minimal stirring required.

TIP: Do not use this for homebrewed beer unless you force carbonate, as it can inhibit natural carbonation. This product is for beverages that have already undergone fermentation and fining. It is also not an anti-oxidant or a replacement for sulfite. If you're not sure of the role and use for stabilizers like sorbate, I urge you to read up on their proper usage online.


Honeywell UV Germ Free Cool Moisture Humidifier
Honeywell UV Germ Free Cool Moisture Humidifier
Price: $54.99
197 used & new from $25.00

185 of 214 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre Performance & False/Misleading Specs, November 3, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Product: Honeywell Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier, HCM-350
Comment: Mediocre Performance & Misleading Specs
Rating: 3/5 (Average)

After having paid $53 for this, I had modest expectations that it would live up to its product description. Unfortunately, my results thus far are disappointing.

Likes:

* Noise: The unit is reasonably quiet on low and medium fan.

* Humidification: Performance for a single room is adequate, if unspectacular.

Dislikes:

* Tank Size Lie: The amazon description clearly states "2 gallon" tank size, which is INCORRECT. The tank size is only one (1) gallon - I measured it. As a result, on med/hi fan in very dry weather, you'll need to fill this upwards of two (sometimes more) times a day depending on how dry the air is, not the "24 hrs" as claimed.

* Incorrect "Cool Mist" designation: In direct contradiction to the packaging and Amazon product description, and widely accepted use of the term, this unit is NOT a "cool mist" (aka an "ultrasonic") type humidifier. Instead, this is a simple evaporative humidifer with a water tank, a wick, and a fan. "Cool moisture" perhaps, but definitely not "cool mist". This is a case of advertising that's either deliberately misleading or demonstrates a clear lack of understanding of accepted use terminology - either way, the designation is incorrect. The fact that many reviewers ballyhoed this units lack of white mist {and the resulting wet floors} clearly demonstrates they didn't understand either.

* Overstated/Irrelevant Sterilization Efficiency: There is a channel in the base of this device that allows water to run from the tank to the wick/fan chamber, over the middle of which is a small inverted UV bulb. The problem here is that the bulb only works on the water coming from the tank, whereas most (but not all) of the microbial concerns with an evaporative system involves unavoidable buildup in the wick, and the UV is nowhere near that. In other words, the 99.9% efficacy cited on the packaging only applies to incoming water from the tank, and has nothing whatsoever to do with microbial blooms that develop in the wick which are then blown into the room, and therefore that 99.9% claim is entirely unreliable. That's why UV is more commonly used in true "cool mist" humidifiers instead of evaporative ones - in the latter, you can't position it where it can do the most good, whereas in the former you can. Again, a clear failure of technical understanding on the part of the designers. Furthermore, most (sub)urban buyers are connected to municipal water supplies that are already pre-treated for microbes. Bottom line: unless you're using untreated well, river or rainwater, the UV bulb in this device is completely superfluous, and a waste of wattage.

* No Digital Humidistat: The packaging makes a deliberately vague claim that their " Self Regulating Evaporative System naturally adjusts output". Potential buyers are clearly invited to assume that there's an automated humidistat that controls the output, and (if true) they then assume it's somehow adjustable. WRONG. It's just a wick and a fan folks, and that's it - the drier the air, the more evaporation. That's like calling gravity a "fully automatic form of natural locomotion". Yeah.

* Needlessly clumsy to move: Since the no-slip rubber feet are uncharacteristically functional, and because the housing lacks a knob or clips to attach it to the base, only way to move this unit (once assembled and run) is to disassemble it by first turning it off, lifting out the tank, lifting off the unattached housing, then repositioning the base (being careful not to spill), and then putting it back together. Don't even think about getting your hands underneath and lifting the whole unit up, because the water in the tray will spill and if the housing gets askew (easily done), the water tank will promptly begin chugging its contents onto the floor. Not good.

* No "Filter": An "evaporative wick" is not the same thing as a filter. The clear implication on the packaging is that this is a cool mist system that filters the water before transforming it into a mist, and this system does neither.

* Astroturfed Ratings: The currently inflated Amazon product rating (560 reviews with 4/5 stars average, yet the tank is only half its stated size ?!!), and the fact that none of the other reviewers I skimmed noticed the misleading/erroneous entries in the product description leads me to believe a fair amount of 'astroturfing' has occured. Anyone who gave this product 5 stars has reason to feel embarassed.

Bottom line: Although quiet and moderately functional, the misleading and/or false product claims, clumsy design, and lack of a humidistat only nets this unit a 3/5 (ok) star rating from me, and I feel that's being generous in the cause of objectivity. The description led me to expect more, and in hindsight wish I'd found something more honest and better performing. Honeywell used to be a name you could usually trust, but given that most of their manufacturing has long since been outsourced to China, this is no longer true.

----------------
UPDATE (23-Jan-2015): I've seen about a 30% improvement in evaporative output by changing to a different model wick. Instead of the somewhat flimsy cylindrical wicks that are default, I used a pair of Holmes H100-6 wicks, which are not only more substantial they're also less expensive (and usually come 6 to a box). The only hitch is that they're square. What I do is gently bend them into a pair of crescents that face each other (foil lattices facing outwards) and form a cylinder, and then place them in the indented tray, and as luck would have it the sizes almost perfectly match the chamber for this unit.
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 14, 2015 7:05 PM PST


OneTouch VerioIQ Blood Glucose Monitoring System 1 Each
OneTouch VerioIQ Blood Glucose Monitoring System 1 Each
Offered by St. Vincent
Price: $17.99
13 used & new from $17.99

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Important information, April 2, 2014
Product: OneTouch VerioIQ Blood Glucose Meter
Rating: 3 of 5 (average)

First, the important information: see the recall alert, listed under "CONS" below. As for my review: this seems to be a decent, reasonably accurate unit. Read on, for the pros and cons.

PROS:

* Display: The chief attraction of this unit is a brightly lit, easy to read, colorful display ... much better than other models with hard to read LCD displays. The unit also features pattern alert notices, whereby if the machine detects a significant change in your glucose patterns lasting several days (i.e., a high or low trend), it will alert you.

* Accuracy: I've found the unit to be reasonably accurate. Some people have raised flags on this point, but I've found that using test strips that are either expired or have been stored improperly can be the cause. The kit comes with a small bottle of test solution (something most people ignore or throw away), which if read out of range is cause for replacing your test strips with a fresher batch.

CONS:

* RECALL (-1/2 star): Units manufactured from December 14, 2011 through March 7, 2013 are subject to a recall. To receive a free replacement, call LifeScan Customer Service at 1-800-717-0276 to verify your OneTouch Verio IQ Meter Serial Number. The reason for the recall is the unit shuts off at extreme glucose levels instead of displaying the intended "EXTREME HIGH GLUCOSE above 600 mg/dL" warning. Hmmm, that's not very helpful in a life threatening situation where permanent eye and kidney damage are starting to occur.

* BATTERY (-1/2 star): This unit has a sealed internal battery that isn't replaceable, and is also rather weak. Even unused it will go dead in a mere 2-3 weeks, and because it lacks non-volatile memory (NVM) you'll lose your entire glucose history (tip: keep a manual copy somewhere). IMNSHO, the unit should be redesigned to add NVM, and replace its proprietary internal battery with something over the counter that's replaceable and rechargeable (ex: AAA Eneloop, with 1+ yr standby time).

* PLUG/INTERFACE (-1 star): The wall-end of this cord has a USB plug that connects to a wall outlet plug. Unfortunately, the unit-end of the plug (that connects to the device itself) is a proprietary trapezoid instead of the current industry standard micro-USB. That means you have to add yet another unlabeled proprietary cord to your power strip. Also, as of this writing, there was/is no driver that lets this device talk to a PC with Windows 7.

Verdict: It's bright and easy to read, and reasonably accurate, but it's got a weak proprietary battery with poor standby time, it forgets your history if it runs out of juice, and it can't talk to your PC. This unit is fine as long as you keep it charged and dont mind keeping a handwritten backup log, but if you want a unit that less forgetful and can talk to your PC, look elsewhere.
Comment Comments (9) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 25, 2015 7:16 AM PST


UCO Stormproof Match Kit with Waterproof Case, 25 Stormproof Matches and 3 Strikers - Yellow
UCO Stormproof Match Kit with Waterproof Case, 25 Stormproof Matches and 3 Strikers - Yellow
Offered by Go2 Outfitters
Price: $8.86
40 used & new from $5.39

4.0 out of 5 stars Great product, excellent value, March 14, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Product: UCO Stormproof Match Kit with Waterproof Case (25 matches + 3 strikers)
Rating: 4.5/5 (excellent)

This is a well designed product and a good value for its price.

Likes:

* Case: It's sturdy, waterproof, visually loud for easy identification, reasonably crush proof and shock proof, and has a well integrated external slot for holding one of the replaceable strikers (which work with both waterproof and regular matches).

* Matches: There are 26, and they work very well indeed - windproof, submersion proof, you name it. Well made, and reliable. A cotton ball is included in the cap, to prevent the matches from rattling around.

Cons:

* Striker (-1/2 star): Sadly, although three replaceable strikers are provided, unlike the matches they are not waterproof, and become useless if wet. They're also not very durable, even if kept dry. A set of sturdier water resistant strikers would be a welcome upgrade, as would an alternate fire starting option (ex: a sturdy flint integrated into the base, and a tube with a steel striker).

* Pocketability: This is a very minor nit (no stars), but the case, although waterproof and well designed, is a little bulky. It'd be nice if it fit as comfortably in one's pocket as it fits in a backpack, box or desk drawer.

Highly recommended. I bought two of them: one for a household emergency kit, and a spare for portable casual use (I replaced the waterproof matches with non-waterproof 2 1/4" diamond "greenlight" matches).


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