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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rating the Actual Value of the Card = Average, October 9, 2012
This is for one class only. You pick the title and get to watch it as many times as you want for two years. Titles vary in value from about $30 up to $150.

The selection of titles that make this card of any value is rather limited, so check their website before purchasing: [...]

Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 Complete
Apple Color Complete
Apple Final Cut Pro 7 Complete
Apple Final Cut Studio Basic
Avid Liquid Complete
Boris RED 4 Complete
DaVinci Resolve Complete
eyeon Fusion Complete
GenArts Sapphire Complete
EDIUS Complete
Lightwave 3D v11 Complete

Those are the only courses worth over $120 that you can use this deal on. If you aren't interested in one of the above programs, this is not a good buy.

If you are interested in a lot of courses, the much better deal is the Platinum Card for full access for two years to everything for $250: Class on Demand Platinum Card

A quick comparison with a major online course site (Lyndadotcom) shows the Class on Demand courses to be of similar length (8 hours versus 6 hours for example). Probably best to try a sample course at each site and choose which style you prefer.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 15, 2012 4:41 PM PDT

Precor 240i Commercial Series StretchTrainer
Precor 240i Commercial Series StretchTrainer
Price: $699.00
2 used & new from $699.00

48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the Cost/Space for Some People, January 15, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I added scans of the stretching guide to the product images above so you can see the eight different stretches you can do with this trainer.

The Precor StretchTrainer is very well-built with the exception of the internal screw sockets used to anchor the handlebars. The metal is rather soft and if you don't have the bolt aligned correctly, you'll ruin that socket quickly. Just keep in mind (when assembling) that those bolts should spin in with almost no resistance in the beginning. If you feel the least bit of pressure, back off and try again. I had one socket that was slightly misaligned and just a bit of pressure trying to get the bolt in mangled the threads beyond repair.

A call to Precor customer service showed part of why the trainer is so expensive. I was able to almost immediately speak with a representative who was located in America, spoke clear English, and most importantly, was familiar with this exact product. (I'm not being racist in those comments, I'm applauding a company that didn't outsource its service. Whether or not someone speaks English is irrelevant except when I need to communicate.) The replacement handlebars were shipped two-day express and worked perfectly, the bolts screwing in like butter.

EDIT: I've noticed other reviewers commenting on difficult assembly. I found the assembly to be very simple (other than the above mentioned issue). I put it together alone...having a helper would have been nice, but I didn't find it necessary. Keep the first set of bolts loose until the end and you'll be fine. The only thing I can think of that might account for why I had an easier time of it would be that I assembled it on carpet...perhaps if you are on a hard surface, the parts might roll and slide too easily.

The primary stretch is supplemented by seven additional stretches using various combinations of leg positioning and methods of holding the handlebars. I also subtly change the hand positions to reach slightly different areas in stretching (you do this just by how it feels when you stretch).

The primary stretch "Lower Back" is great and as simple as it seems, it'd be very hard to replicate as effectively and safely without the machine. The other stretches are effective to a lesser extent and to varying degrees. While you can certainly feel the different stretches hitting different areas, you are also keenly aware during this that the trainer was built with the primary stretch in mind and then they started thinking about what else could be done with it so that the use could be expanded.

My least favorite stretches are the "Hamstrings" and the "Hips, Legs, Back". In these you have to hold your leg either extended straight or extended across your body while performing the stretch. While this is a good exercise, it hampers the effectiveness of the stretch tremendously. I wish they could figure out a way to have the leg supported in that position while doing the stretch. To get an idea of what I'm talking about, consider how good of a stretch you can get with (a) sitting on the ground with your leg out straight in front of you and leaning forward to touch your toes versus (b) sitting on the edge of a chair, holding your leg out straight in front of you and trying to touch your toe.

I really wish I had a lot of adjustment possibilities with the handlebars (tilting, raising, lowering)...that would add a lot to what I could get out of it.

I'm 185cm/6'1" and feel I'm getting close to the limit of being able to get the most out of it. I would guess that 190cm/6'3" is about the limit before you'll feel like you can't stretch far enough, but I can't say for sure. The lower end seems to be around 165cm/5'5" depending on arm length based on what others have told me when trying it out. A track to let the seat move forward or back would be nice to tailor the fit, but that would probably add $100+ to the cost.

... But how does it work?

It's not a miracle machine. Like any stretching, you won't notice effects right away. About three weeks in is when I started being able to tell. I wish Precor could design some way not have your grip strength be such a factor...when stretching I feel like I could get so much more if I just relax my arms and just let gravity do its work.

I cannot quite rate it as five-stars due to the grip strength and handlebar adjustment wishes outlined above, but it is a very solid four stars and remains a no-regrets purchase.

If you have a workout room/garage and have room for this, you won't be disappointed, but you have to use it and stick to it. If your space is at a premium, you'll probably want to use it for other things unless stretching your back is extra important to you (injury or whatnot).

The trainer takes up a little more space than an exercise bike (wider). It is heavy, but if you pick up the back end far enough (rolling it forward until the black "feet" come off the ground), it will slide on carpet very easily. When you put the back end down, it isn't going to move.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 19, 2015 10:12 AM PST

A Lovely Way To Spend Christmas
A Lovely Way To Spend Christmas
Offered by SONY Music Entertainment Downloads LLC.
Price: $9.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Slow, Soft Christmas -- No Holly Jolly Cheer, December 12, 2011
I debated how to rate this album for awhile while listening...

As a fan as Chenoweth's voice since her days as Sally in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, I figured anything with her singing would be 5-star material. And her voice in every song here is certainly 5-star quality. She's not on par with Bing or Roger, but she's sitting on the step below them and looking down on most of the rest of the contemporary field putting out Christmas albums.

What I don't like is the vast majority of the songs are the soft, gentle, background of Christmas Day style of ballad. I like a few of those at certain times, but mostly I like my Christmas songs to trumpet out the seasonal joy, or at least feature that sparkle more often than not. And with what we know Kristin's voice is capable of, I thought for sure it would be used to that effect quite often here. It isn't.

She showcases her vocal talents in a softer way. And that's what further led to a dilemma on how to rate the album...for that style of music they were going for, it is a four star effort.

But the rating is my own personal enjoyment, which is a two or three star listening. It's Kristin, so I went with three. That doesn't tell the whole story, but that's why we get to write reviews and not just click on stars.

(And does anyone else think she would make a great country star after listening through this album?)

(To save money (when the album is normal price), just buy the last track. "What a Wonderful World" is one of those songs that generally should be sung slow and Kristen does it very nicely. If you're a big fan on "Do You Hear What I Hear?", you can get that one next...I like the song with more festive pep usually, but this is a nice softer version to put in the shuffle.)

Wii LEGO Play and Build Remote - Blue/Red
Wii LEGO Play and Build Remote - Blue/Red
Offered by Big Game Vendor
Price: $43.99
8 used & new from $24.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Creative, but lacks MotionPlus, November 28, 2011
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Played around with this a little. Initial thoughts:

-- being able to build extrusions onto the Wiimote isn't going to work for gameplay, but the act of building is better for your kid's brain than playing the Wii anyway. If your kid loves Legos, this is sure to inspire time spent building and rebuilding stands to hold it and "inventive" new grips for playing, etc.

-- the buttons are slightly different from the standard Wiimote, but no different than the popular Nyko or off-brand motes -- don't see why this would cause any issues. They had to crush in the sides of the three little buttons (so it became two and one underneath) in order to fit a border for the Legos to attach.

-- the device does not have MotionPlus built in. This was frustrating to discover...Nintendo doesn't even make the non-MotionPlus version anymore, why would Lego make an inferior product choice like that when the rest of it is a great idea? Saving a couple bucks cost them a few sales with us, although we still bought one. If MotionPlus isn't important to you, then this should be a fun toy.

Panasonic DMP-BDT210 Integrated-Wi-Fi 3D Blu-ray DVD Player
Panasonic DMP-BDT210 Integrated-Wi-Fi 3D Blu-ray DVD Player
2 used & new from $139.00

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice Player -- Poor Streamer, July 23, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Have been using (or trying to use) the player for about a week now.

The button-less sensor on top for opening the tray sounded like a stupid gimmick to me, but I've actually been using it and enjoying the convenience (makes messing with a disk in the dark really easy ... or it is just a yardstick measuring the laziness of having to push a button -- either way I like it).

Plays Blu-Rays fine, upconverts DVDs nicely. Seems about the same as the previous Panasonic Blu-Ray player (non-3D) we upgraded from, just a smaller form factor. Haven't tried 3D yet.

The problem with this device is with the wireless connection. It works sometimes, partially connects other times, and is generally slow.

We are connecting to a ~24Mbps Comcast feed with a (Motorola SB6120 SURFboard DOCSIS 3.0 eXtreme Broadband Cable Modem) via an Asus Wireless-N Router (RT-N56U). The DMP-BDT210 has the latest firmware.

I have tried connecting to the 2.4GHz and 5GHz options from the Asus Router, tried 20, 20/40, and 40 MHz options for channel bandwidth, tried hidden and unhidden SSIDs, tried WPS for making the connection as well as manually setting everything (many times), tried moving the router around for different angles, tried resetting the router and modem many times, etc. The distance from router to player is about twenty feet and almost line of sight...I've moved the router up onto the top of the computer sitting on a desk -- from there it is line of sight to the open door, a 45' turn to go down a hallway about ten feet to open up into the tv room with the player against a wall a slight turn to the left.

It will seem to connect to the network about 80% of the time, allow internet connections (YouTube, etc.) about 60% of the time, and allow Netflix to stream about 33% of the time. (Rough estimates based on the last few days' attempts -- I'm sure the big Netflix outage over the weekend was part of the problem, but far from all of it.)

I've been able to verify the problem is with the DMP-BDT210 because every time (except during the outage) the player cannot play a Netflix movie, we've had no problem streaming it with the Wii instead. (The Netflix interface is a lot better on the Panasonic than the Wii though.) Also, the buffer loads far faster on the Wii connection than through the Panasonic when waiting for a Netflix movie to play -- I haven't yet figured out if this is because Netflix is streaming a lower quality feed for the Wii connection and our tv is just upconverting it so well I don't notice any difference.

I'm debating waiting for a firmware fix or returning it for something else...wanted to stay with Panasonic to go with our Panasonic 3DTV though.

Elvis 75
Elvis 75

60 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice selection, some overlap with Elv1s, December 29, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Elvis 75 (MP3 Music)
Probably the most popular Elvis compilation album lately has been Elv1s Elv1s 30 #1 Hits. If you have that album, which is better overall, you may want this one too as the overlap isn't too terrible:

Songs only on "Elvis 75"
Always On My Mind
An American Trilogy
Blue Suede Shoes
Guitar Man
How Great Thou Art
I Forgot To Remember To Forget
If I Can Dream (Stereo Mix)
Little Sister
Love Me
Polk Salad Annie
That's All Right
Viva Las Vegas

Songs only on "Elv1s"
(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear
(Marie's The Name) His Latest Flame
(Now And Then There's) A Fool Such As I
(You're The) Devil In Disguise
A Big Hunk O' Love
A Little Less Conversation (JXL Radio Edit Remix)
Crying In The Chapel
Good Luck Charm
Hard Headed Woman (from "King Creole")
One Night
Return To Sender
She's Not You (Remastered)
Stuck On You
The Wonder Of You
Too Much
Way Down
Wooden Heart

Songs on both
All Shook Up
Are You Lonesome Tonight? (Remastered on "Elv1s")
Burning Love
Can't Help Falling In Love
Don't Be Cruel
Heartbreak Hotel
Hound Dog
In The Ghetto
It's Now Or Never
Jailhouse Rock
Love Me Tender (Movie Version on "Elvis 75")
Suspicious Minds
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 29, 2009 11:18 PM PST

HydraBrush Express Power Toothbrush
HydraBrush Express Power Toothbrush

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cleans Well But Needs Improvement, August 23, 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've used the HydraBrush for ten months now and originally bought it because it looked like a toothbrush I used fifteen years ago that brushed both sides of your tooth at once...I really liked that toothbrush, but could never find another one.

Here's my bullet list of points to consider:

POS - I use it regularly. I would often skip brushing my teeth when I knew I really should just because I was in a hurry or tired or whatever. The HydraBrush cuts your brushing time by 75%. You are literally done in under a minute. I brush my teeth a lot more often now which, if you are lazy like me, is a huge plus to your dental health.

POS - It is still working without any problems.

POS - My teeth do feel cleaner than with either the $100+ Sonicare or the $80 Braun that I also have.

POS - The HydraBrush comes with both sizes of brush heads so you can see which works best for you. I use the extra long, regular brush heads and have had no problem with them. The first day or two my gums were feeling the abrasions, but it stopped quickly.

NEG - The build style seems to be the best the 80s had to offer. I'm not sure of any other way to describe it than that -- it just appears to be a design that would have looked and seemed great in the 80s. It is bulky. You have to charge it with a plug in type AC adapter. It has a manual flip-switch to turn it off and on. The Sonicare and Braun are light-years in front here and much more pleasant to use.

NEG - You cannot get it wet. Huge minus for me. They provide a little rubber collar to keep water from dripping down the case while you are using it ... mine split after two days. Doesn't seem to be necessary unless you drool though. I like to brush my teeth in the shower in the morning to save time and help me wake up...can't do it with the HydraBrush. I use my Braun instead.

NEG - Lousy recharging system. You have to plug it in via an AC adapter. The Sonicare and Braun have charging bases that you just drop the brush into...they are far more convenient than the HydraBrush. This is a huge negative in my opinion.

NEG - Base is useless. Doesn't work with the charging cord as another reviewer pointed out. The company needs to buy a Sonicare to see what a base should be like.

POS/NEG - I'm not sure how well this is really cleaning my teeth. It definitely cleans the large surfaces better, but the Sonicare and Braun advertise about how their fifteen zillion vibrations per millisecond vaporize plaque at the gum line, between teeth, etc. I'm not sure if this HyrdaBrush is really getting to those places with its totally different style. To be safe, I use the Braun also and alternate between the two.

I will try to regularly check this review for comments to answer any questions anyone may have.

Sweet Seasons Lemon Bread Mix, 18-Ounce Package (Pack of 6)
Sweet Seasons Lemon Bread Mix, 18-Ounce Package (Pack of 6)

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very odd flavor, October 25, 2007
As a lover of all things lemony, I was quite disappointed at the strange flavor of Sweet Seasons Lemon Bread. While the texture is perfect, and the lemon bread bakes up into a pleasant, moist loaf, with a nicely-browned top, the flavor does not live up to the product's otherwise appealing attributes.

It was too buttery, and had a fake lemony taste that was too subtle. A stronger lemon taste might have tipped the balance over into good territory, but as it was, the lemon is too subtle. When overpowered with the butter and the slightly malty taste from the malted barley flour, the overall flavor was one of unfortunate sickly-sweetness.

Our 8-year-old daughter did like it, though, and it mixes up very quickly and easily, so it might be a good bet for children.

Pioneer Inno Portable XM2go Radio with MP3 Player
Pioneer Inno Portable XM2go Radio with MP3 Player
13 used & new from $84.49

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars So far...not great., September 21, 2007
FIRST WEEK .. 20-SEP-2007

We've had the Inno for one week now and have driven across three states with it, hooked it up in the house, and tried to use it outside while walking/running.

In the Car. Not bad surprisingly since we do not have the car kit. The battery lasted about four hours at a go so a car power adapter is a must for trips. We used it at various points along the I-5 corridor on the west coast and reception was passable in almost all locations. Songs would usually play through without dropping reception, with maybe twenty percent having an occasional hiccup. Overall it was enjoyable and with a car antenna I'm sure it would have been excellent.

In the House. Very hard to find reception indoors. The antenna had to be right up against the window for us and turned 'just so' and still on the whole window sill, there is a spot only four inches wide where the antenna will get reception. Once you go through the hassle of placing it and running all the wires (power wire, antenna wire, line out wire), it works nicely. I'm pleased with that aspect of the home use. I'm still trying to figure out how to plug the line out into my soundcard to play XM on the computer, but that's not an Inno issue. As far as trying to wear the Inno like a Walkman around the house...forget it. No reception at all indoors without the antenna. Not a big disappointment to us though.

Portable Outside. This is, of course, why we bought the Inno and not a cheaper alternative that just plays in the car and house. This is also where the Inno fails miserably. I have read that users in big cities will have a more positive experience because of the repeaters/signal boosters XM has placed in large population centers. We live in a suburb of a major city and must be too far from the repeaters because reception is terrible. The land here is flat, no hills, no forests, no giant towers, no buildings over two stories in the area, and no good reception. We can hear enough of the song to know what is playing and that's it. The reception cuts out with every other step and every other turn. It doesn't matter if the Inno is in a pocket or held over my head with the antenna facing south.

Overall. The build quality of the Inno is nice and it feels very solid in your hand. The menu layout is good enough. The screen is easy to read, but they use such weird graphics for some of the channel names that you can't tell what they say. That's not really a big deal though because you'll quickly get to know which channels you like and where they are.

Two aspects of the Inno have us a little frustrated though. The first is the lack of any number keys like we had on our Roady XT. We didn't consider this until realizing how easily we jumped from Channel 7 to Channel 54 on the Roady...just push the "5" and the "4" buttons, versus how we must do it on the Inno...scroll down from 7 to 54 by hitting the down button forty-seven times. A digital keypad is accessible through the menu on the Inno, but for us it isn't a great substitute. I think perhaps with time, we'll grow more dextrous with menu items and not have a problem. Also, favorite channels and removing channels could alleviate some of the hassle for those who have just a few channels they jump between.

The second aspect that is frustrating, and this one is major, is that we cannot figure out any way to preview song titles and artist names while scrolling through channels, a standard feature on the Roady. To see what is playing on "Lucy", you have to leave your current station and tune in to "Lucy". This is highly annoying and completely unnecessary for a device dealing with this technology. I will continue to search for a way to preview song titles and update this review if I find one. If you are reading and know how it can be done (or can verify that it cannot be done) please leave a comment to educate both myself and any other users seeking advice here so they are not misled or left wondering.

Conclusion. Although it has been only a week, we were happier with the cheap Roady than the Inno that costs ten times as much. We will give it some more time before going back though. Perhaps we will try the antenna headphones, but they are such lousy headphones, you need to use them as an antenna around your neck only and plug your real headphones into the free jack. Pioneer really didn't put enough thought into this device in my opinion.

Note. I will periodically check this review for comments and answer any questions anyone asks (if I am able).
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 12, 2007 7:50 AM PDT

Kingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark
Kingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark
by Ridley Pearson
Edition: Hardcover
27 used & new from $1.59

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Extended Commercial, June 22, 2007
"The Kingdom Keepers" has an interesting premise, and I give it three stars for being a mildly entertaining read. Unlike other reviewers, I found the focus on the geographical and architectural details of the parks interesting. The book's biggest shortcoming is its narrative choppiness, and it all too often comes across as little more than an extended commercial for Walt Disney World.

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