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Dyson DC23 TurbineHead Canister Vacuum
Dyson DC23 TurbineHead Canister Vacuum
Offered by BrooksBrother (no tax anywhere)
Price: $382.88
9 used & new from $125.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "It brings me joy, pure, unadulterated joy.", November 25, 2011
So said my wife a minute ago. We've owned this vacuum for about a year and I'm told it's one of the best "expensive item" purchases we've ever made. This is used on carpet and linoleum flooring. The suction certainly doesn't appear to go and, what is nice about all such carried-vacuums, the entire weight of the unit doesn't have to move at all times. Also, it's easier to carry up the stairs, with its center of mass held closer to the hands.

It's possible some of the bad reviews are on account of people not cleaning out the filter (it does have one--it is a bag less unit, but there is a filter that should be cleaned out [not necessarily changed] every three months).

William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet: Music From The Motion Picture (1996 Version) [Enhanced CD]
William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet: Music From The Motion Picture (1996 Version) [Enhanced CD]
Offered by IMS Distribution
Price: $9.34
466 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best soundtracks I've heard, November 5, 2011
I am in fact tonight watching the movie for the second time. It's been 15 years, so it feels new. Except for the music. Though no huge fan of the original movie, the soundtrack found its way into my possession and has been played a great many times. There are a couple of songs I'm not great fans of, but most of the others are really good.

There is no genre to describe the music on this album. Little Star is a great song. As is To You I Bestow (two examples), and yet completely unlike the other.

In the end, it's just darn good music.

When We Dance
When We Dance
31 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb track, October 14, 2011
This review is from: When We Dance (Audio CD)
I won't get into the meaning of this song beyond any shallow impressions I have of the lyrics. Despite that, I've surely listened to this song a few dozen times over the years. Certainly a worthy spend of a buck here on Amazon.

Oster 6640 10-Speed Blender with Plastic Jar
Oster 6640 10-Speed Blender with Plastic Jar
Price: $26.77
37 used & new from $19.40

5.0 out of 5 stars Been using it trouble-free for years, October 9, 2011
I see this blender is hit or miss based on others' reviews. However, I have to give it 5 stars. This blender replaced a more expensive Black & Decker blender that gave up the ghost after no more than a year or two. This Osterizer I've been using for several years, and quite frequently. For example, I'm back on a smoothie kick now, so for the past few months each morning in goes a cup or more of frozen fruit, the protein, milk, orange. No complaints from this, no bad smells or bad sounds.

Occasionally I've been blending a huge amount of material and held down the "pulse" button except for many seconds at a time. I'm careful with this. I assume that if I did it for too long under load that lovely smell of stressed motor would pop up, but that's really using it beyond its design.

This isn't a very high watt blender and if you need to blend up a ton of material and or a huge amount of frozen fruit maybe you'll want better, but I've really had no complaints at all. If it died today I'd buy another.

Microwave Bacon Cooker - The Original Makin' Bacon Microwave Bacon Rack - Reduces Fat up to 35%
Microwave Bacon Cooker - The Original Makin' Bacon Microwave Bacon Rack - Reduces Fat up to 35%
Offered by ToysNGamesEtc
Price: $12.99
6 used & new from $12.85

5.0 out of 5 stars Works well to super-cook bacon minus its fat, September 30, 2011
I've put a good number of bacon packs through this--and it will hold an entire pack if you're ok doubling up on some of the strips. When the strips initially are hung they will touch the bottom, but after being scorched for a while will shrink up and then the fat can be drained away.

Really does function as intended.

Could be the kind of bacon I like, though. I enjoy bacon cooked until it's darn near burnt with nothing coming off it anymore. And, yes, this thing will end up creating bacon "loops" as some have complained about. If you want a magazine-perfect strip this won't do it for you. If you just want the meat cooked and the fat away this works fine.

I have had this going for over 10 minutes before until nothing but fat was sizzling on the bottom and the plastic gets hot but nowhere near close to melting and I can still hold the handle with bare flesh. I drain the fat in the garbage, not the sink.

My only issue with this, and it's not the fault of the product, is that I keep reading about how this kid invented this like she discovered the wheel. I know with certainty I used similar products many, many years ago.

Coghlan's 1005 Flint Striker
Coghlan's 1005 Flint Striker
Price: $4.99
67 used & new from $3.63

97 of 100 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does work if not in a hurry, September 26, 2011
Length:: 1:23 Mins

Attached you'll see this Coghlan's Flint Striker

1) VERY EASILY starting some fresh dryer lint. Man, that stuff burns. Took two strikes here. When I tried earlier it was one.
2) Less easily but still confidently starting some dry paper towel folded over twice. Took a dozen (?) attempts, similar to when I was camping recently--approx same number of strikes required.
3) Not in the video, but confirmed on two occasions now, this striker will catch a pile of _dry_ pine needles. There are thick pine needles and there are fine. You want the finest possible and as dry as possible. This past weekend using just fine pine needles and wood shavings I got a fire going from scratch. I will say it took probably fifty strikes or more. Not easy, but does work in a pinch.

What you also can't see in this video is that the strike tool is now decently gouged in the middle, so it looks like a slight bow from the side. Also, it's flatter now. When I first shaved the paint off the tool using the accompanying striker I couldn't get much in the way of sparks, but the saw-part of a pocket knife did very well. However, now after 100-200+ strikes the flatter gouge area is such that the striker that comes with this tool works fine (and is what I used in the video). You want to draw the pointed ridges of the striker downward. No need to actually hit it or anything, but more or less a perpendicular angle, pushing down quickly while pushing the two units together to increase friction.

Conclusion: I prefer BBQ lighters to start fires. However, if I was without one or matches and really needed fire I'd be glad I had this. Like few things in life it actually gets better with more uses (at least until it's used to the point it snaps).

This is the only strike-type fire starter I've ever used, so I cannot compare it to Swedish Firesteel, which many seem to think is the premier such device. If I ever try one I may revisit this review.
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 28, 2014 5:59 AM PST

Foscam FI8918W Wireless/Wired Pan & Tilt IP/Network Camera with 8 Meter Night Vision and 3.6mm Lens (67° Viewing Angle)
Foscam FI8918W Wireless/Wired Pan & Tilt IP/Network Camera with 8 Meter Night Vision and 3.6mm Lens (67° Viewing Angle)
Offered by Foscam Digital Technologies LLC
Price: $59.99
31 used & new from $39.69

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Little redeeming qualities, September 20, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I got this in last night and have spent around three hours playing around. I'm technically quite savvy. I'll list the good and the bad below:

- pan and tilt works and is quiet
- night vision not bad. Due to the LEDs that support it (growing red faintly) if you have this camera no a porch and get a lot of reflections on, say, the railing, you'll not be able to grab anything further away. I think that's more a fault of the kind of caliber night vision reasonably expected in a sub $100 camera than this camera itself. When tried indoors without any bugs around, though, I saw constantly "wisps" of movement across the screen
- On Windows 7 following the quick-install instructions I got the wired signal happening right away and then next up the wireless (I used WEP encryption with my router) worked fine, too--first time

- picture quality is ghastly. Like, shocking. If you could take the movie The Human Centipede and apply its awfulness to picture quality you'd have this. In 2011 I'd expect better even from a super cheap camera in basically any product
- Terrible "Engrish" in the quick-install. Engrish being when a person with poor english writes something in english. There's just no darn excuse for that. I could have translated the manual to decent english in literally 20 minutes. Why can't Foscam find somebody to do this, buy them a case of beer for their trouble and be done with it? Shameful.
- flaky wireless. I said above wireless hooked up first time, and it did. However, it's really iffy--even with the camera 5' away from my router it's as if the wireless bandwidth is often dial-up in performance. The result is that frame rates can be very low (down to a couple/second) and very, very regularly when I try and bring up the camera's website it will time out...or it will load up the entry screen with "undefined" as all of the web controls' labels. While trying to figure out if it was wifi range or simply the camera getting choked up and unable to send back signals I went start > run, "cmd". Then "ping -n 10" (that IP being the iP of the camera). One would expect 10-30 ms responses for something on a local network but this would even time out the occasional request and average over 100 ms, with some responses 200-300 or even more. I didn't try this test wired
- Software is pretty bad. The main complaint actually is that it requires a browser running (IE if you want all features). Therefore, if you have the idea that you want this camera to be running autonomously for days or weeks on end just sending back FTP images (as I had wanted), you can forget it. Requiring an instance of IE running at all times to manage it is absolutely unacceptable. There are plenty of third party IP camera applications such as ispy connect that could work in this capacity (basically in the background), but they cannot make the camera more responsive or solve its flaky wifi.

I think this camera would solve its purpose if you're ok with babysitting it regularly. So that means checking in on employees every once in a while for example, but I wouldn't trust it to run long term without needing attention. I'll be trying a different brand. For "true autonomy" you need a better camera than these $100 or $200 cameras are, like Mobotix, which has image processing on board. Seems to me a much better approach to life, and it can by itself send images around where they need to go. That is not a slight against this camera though since all in its price range require hand-holding by a PC. I strongly suspect that in this price range the better approach is to rely on ethernet, like the Panasonic that Amazon sells for a little over $100 but isn't wireless. Its night vision is supposed to be worse than the foscam, but better software and day time images.

Westinghouse TX-42F430S 42-Inch 1080p LCD HDTV
Westinghouse TX-42F430S 42-Inch 1080p LCD HDTV

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Discontinued TV..., September 19, 2011
I believe this TV is discontinued, but after 46 months of use I can now effectively review it, and perhaps it will hint toward Westinghouse's future TVs.

This is a 1080P TV and the price I paid was excellent. I don't regret the purchase at all, but over the years I've had two main problems. BTW, I don't use the TV's speakers at all.

1) Sometimes while switching between various HDMI inputs the TV will simply fail to recognize, so I need to turn it on and off. Not a huge problem.
2) Image Retention. This is a big problem, actually. The "no input selected" box has been permanently burned into the top of screen faintly. Noticed it months if not a year or two ago and it's never gone away, even with long power-downs. Maybe playing with bright or dark only images would fix, but I doubt it. There appear also to be, noticeable on lighter images, black vertical bars to either side of the screen. There are several on each side and they do not appear to coincide with the placement of 4:3 screens. The third IR issue is if the TV is warmed up and an image paused, it will sometimes remain there as a ghost. For example, if I have something paused for a long time--like 15-20 minutes, I can see ghost images of faces or logos for 5 minutes if not longer while I resume play.

I'd buy another Westinghouse if the price was right. At the time it was, the TV was maybe $900 and competitors were about $1200 I think (from brands I'd actually heard about), but in a sense you do get what you pay for.

Century 21 Guide to Inspecting Your Home
Century 21 Guide to Inspecting Your Home
by Century 21
Edition: Paperback
24 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty chintzy, September 14, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I got this some years back, hoping I could inspect a house I was buying and save the $250-350 of a pro. This book won't let you do it. It gives some information on housing construction and things to look for but beyond the fact that the book is now getting fairly old, it's just not going to bring an amateur up to the level they need to competently inspect a home. And it lacks the details to educate a professional further anyway. I don't really see the point to the book to be honest.

Panasonic KX-TG5433M 5.8 GHz DSS Cordless Phone with Answering System and Three Handsets
Panasonic KX-TG5433M 5.8 GHz DSS Cordless Phone with Answering System and Three Handsets

5.0 out of 5 stars Great phones, September 14, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Been using these for 4.5 years now. No issues at all. Sound quality is good, battery life still great, has no interference at all with our wifi due to its spectrum. Definitely would buy again. We have the base unit on the top floor of a two story house and one of the remote receivers in the basement has no issues at all.

Only gripe is that if you're on mute and change between speaker and handheld mode mute will turn itself off. BEWARE OF THAT if you're on a conference call and swapping between those modes :)

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