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Church & Dwight Co 03020 Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda 55 oz.
Church & Dwight Co 03020 Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda 55 oz.
Offered by My Great Goods
Price: $9.06
33 used & new from $3.92

4.0 out of 5 stars Home made laundry soap, July 25, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
For some reason the local grocery and drug stores near me have stopped selling washing soda, and I was really in a bind because I use it to make laundry detergent. Amazon to the rescue! My box of washing soda arrived wrapped in plastic to catch leaks from any damage to the box, which I appreciated. I can't say much about quality - washing soda is washing soda, and I don't have the means to evaluate it chemically, but I've been happy with the performance of this product, so no complaints there. For those who can't understand why anyone would make their own laundry detergent, let me just say that I can smell the rancid fat in most commercial detergents, and this is, to say the least, NOT pleasant! No amount of perfume smell covers it up for me. Maybe that makes me a super-smeller ... who knows? For those of you who may also be sensitive to smells, try making your own laundry detergent. There are a variety of recipes out there, but I generally use 2 cups washing soda, 2 cups borax, and 1 bar of grated castile soap (scented or not - I like Dr. Bronner's Citrus Castile Soap personally). My clothes come out clean and I can actually WEAR them without gagging, which I can't say for most commercial detergents. I also use washing soda to dye plant-based fabric (cotton, linen, rayon, etc) with fiber reactive dyes (e.g. Procion-type dyes). Very useful product.


Victorinox Travel Organizer
Victorinox Travel Organizer
Price: $24.45 - $32.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Convenient, roomy, sturdy, & great details, December 24, 2013
I have been using this as a travel wallet for the past 5 years, and as a regular day-to-day wallet off and on for much of that time. This is a powerhouse for traveling. It's sturdy and the zipper still works well after frequent use. The outside pocket is ideal for boarding passes, and the inside top right pocket fits several passports. I particularly like the size of the bill slots and pockets. They have been sufficiently large for every currency I've tried in them, and I can't say the same for any other wallet I have owned. I also like that there are several pockets large enough for bills, so I can carry several currencies at once and keep them separate from one another, while also having room for receipts or other travel documents. I use the zippered coin pocket for coins, SIM cards for several countries, and on occasion my wedding ring when I don't want to walk around with a visible diamond. There is one zippered bill pocket, which is perfect for a combination of coins and bills in the currency you are not currently using. Please note that this wallet is too large to fit in the pocket of anything but a travel jacket or vest or a bag. You should not expect to be able to put it in your pants pocket. For women, the size of the wallet is one of my considerations in selecting a purse. It doesn't fit easily into every purse I own. Because of its size and shape, though, it neatly stacks with an iPad or books in a backpack, and I like that I can easily find it in my backpack without the fishing around required by a smaller wallet.

I have been so satisfied with my own Victorinox wallet of this design that I am back now to buy one for my Dad's birthday. My mom spotted my wallet yesterday and after a short discussion we decided it's exactly what Dad needs and hasn't been able to find, despite being a frequent international traveler. As long as you take into account the size of the wallet, so you're sure you will have an easy way to carry it, I really doubt you will be dissatisfied with this travel organizer.


Danish, Compact: Learn to Speak and Understand Danish with Pimsleur Language Programs
Danish, Compact: Learn to Speak and Understand Danish with Pimsleur Language Programs
by Paul Pimsleur
Edition: Audio CD
Price: $34.78
31 used & new from $24.33

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a good method for this language, July 26, 2013
Danish is the 10th language I have studied. In general I have found Pimsleur Language Programs to be a useful part of language learning because the audio approach helps the learner to gain an "ear" for the language. I tend to add a written text alongside the audio so I can get a better understanding of how the sounds translate into a written form, but for many languages the letter-sound correspondence is fairly straightforward, so this process works reasonably well. Unfortunately Danish is extremely difficult to learn in a solely verbal fashion. The phonology of the language has been changing rapidly and the letter-sound correlations are becoming increasingly irregular. Additionally, different speakers seem to use slightly different sounds for the same words (this is readily apparent in the differences between the two main speakers used in these recordings). There also seems to be a general sense among Scandinavians that Danes tend to mutter. I have developed a fairly decent ear for languages over time, but much of the time when I was listening to these recordings, after I'd heard the words spoken by two speakers I still could only make a very inaccurate guess about what sounds were in the words. The letter-sound correspondence in Danish tends to be irregular, with lots of silent or barely audible consonants and inconsistent relationships between spelling and sound. This means that a lot of distinct words are likely to sound identical or nearly identical for a novice language learner, and sometimes there is more variability between speakers than between words.

Because the Pimsleur approach does not include a written script, I spent a great deal of time looking up possible translations for each word, trying to figure out exactly what word was being used in any given situation. Trying to sound out the word to guess the spelling was very little help. Often when I finally located a word I was shocked to find that the actual word had none of the consonants I heard in it (e.g. I heard "vil" but the actual word is spelled "meget"). Because of the variance between speakers and the tendency of the speakers to drop consonants, I found this method of learning quite unsatisfactory without a written script. Because the correspondence between written and spoken Danish is a significant obstacle in learning the language, and because many of the sounds are subtle or mumbled by speakers, I don't find a purely auditory method of learning to be very helpful for Danish. If you know what sounds to listen for, sometimes you can discern why two speakers sound slightly different. If you don't already know how to spell the word, though, trying to find it in your dictionary is a nightmare.


Chimes Mango Ginger Chews, 1lb Bag
Chimes Mango Ginger Chews, 1lb Bag
Offered by Orange Casa
Price: $12.49
7 used & new from $12.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, May 7, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have been a fan of Chimes ginger chews for a long time, and got hooked on the mango flavored ones when I found them sold in a specialty store in small tins. The price in these larger bags is much more reasonable, and I was very pleased to find that Amazon was carrying them. If you like a little zing, these chews are quite tasty, and you may find yourself getting hooked.

By going through a rough pregnancy and later developing a vestibular disorder, I have become unhappily familiar with nausea, and have been very pleased to discover that Chimes ginger chews are some of the few things that actually work well to reduce nausea (unlike most of the other remedies I've tried). I now carry the mango ginger chews with me at all times, and they've saved me in difficult circumstances more than once. For anyone going through medical treatments or pregnancy or any other situation in which nausea becomes a persistent problem, I highly recommend trying out a bag of these chews.


Blooming White Tea with Mango Flavor (Gift Bag)
Blooming White Tea with Mango Flavor (Gift Bag)
Offered by TeasZen
Price: $19.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly delicious!, May 7, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
My previous experiences with blooming teas had left me with an expectation of a nice show but not much flavor. This one knocked my socks off. The fresh mango white tea flavor is one of the best white tea combinations I've had. I am a daily tea drinker and tend to be particular about tea, so it was a pleasant surprise to find a blooming tea that I wanted to brew simply because it was a great tasting tea. Blooming teas are fairly costly, but I can keep refilling the water in the pot and the flavor carries on.


Blessed Are the Cheesemakers
Blessed Are the Cheesemakers
by Sarah-Kate Lynch
Edition: Paperback
29 used & new from $1.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars creative, funny, and intelligent, February 9, 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this book on a whim and ended up being pleasantly surprised. The book explores love, loyalty, and family ties. Corrie and Fee are two quirky elderly Irish cheesemakers who realize that they must pass on the business before it's too late. Abbey, Corrie's estranged granddaughter, has been living on an island for 8 years with a husband who belittles her. Kit, a grieving alcoholic stockbroker in New York, reaches his lowest point when, shortly after his wife's death, he is fired from the company he helped found. Their stories come together when Abbey and Kit both escape their circumstances, with the help of friends, and end up in Fee and Corrie's dairy. The rest is a mixture of humor, surprises, and an insightful glimpse of love in its many forms. Along the way we meet the pregnant, vegetarian, singing milkmaids (one of the elements that make the cheese special), a cat named Jesus who turns out to be a she, and Fee and Corrie's housekeeper and dairy manager, who nurtures and cares for lost souls while managing the milkmaids.

Overall it's a highly enjoyable read.


No Title Available

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Junk, July 12, 2005
This player is designed to play audiofy books on SD cards. It will not play anything else (e.g. MP3s, etc). The player itself is very lightweight and seems pretty cheaply made. The buttons are not protected, so it's easy for it to turn itself on if it's rattling around in a backpack, etc. My first complaint about the player was that it doesn't contain the features you are likely to need for language learning. One of the big pluses of this player is that you can use it to listen to the Pimsleur language courses on book chips. The problem is that it uses a non-traditional system of navigation buttons. There is a "skip to the next track" button, a "skip to the previous track" button, a stop/play button, and an "information" button. On the Pimsleur language chips each 30 minute lesson is a track. So if you are listening to a lesson and decide you want to hear a phrase again or go back to some part of the lesson you can't just go backwards a short distance by "rewinding." Instead you have to use the information button which will tell you where on the track you are in time. You can move to different positions, but it's a pretty clumsy system. The only thing that makes this bearable is that if you stop (turn off) the player, when you turn it back on it automatically skips back several seconds. So, in a pinch you can turn it off (hit stop), then hold down the play button to turn it back on. It says "AUDIOFY" and then skips back several seconds so you can hear something again. This isn't a very efficient or precise way of backing up in the lessons, and it also means that you keep hearing "AUDIOFY" all the time.

Also, I find that with the Pimsleur lessons it often takes me longer to repeat a sentence or phrase than is allowed on the recording. This means that I usually start and stop a lot so I have the chance to produce the sentence myself before hearing the answer. You can sometimes press the stop button briefly and it will function as a pause button. Sometimes when I do this, though, it turns itself off. It's possible that I just got a bad unit (read on).

Most annoyingly, my player constantly turns itself off randomly (usually after less than 30 seconds of playing or immediately after I turn it on), or locks itself on with no sound, so I can't turn it off without removing the batteries! I have not yet listened to a full half hour of a book chip and the player is so erratic it's driving me nuts! I thought at first it was the cheap batteries shipped with the player, but it does this with standard name-brand batteries too.

The book chips contain the software for the player on the chip, so supposedly you can also use the book chips with certain other players (e.g. some but not all hardware running Palm OS), but when you do, you must use the Audiofy software to play the chip rather than an MP3 player. This means that even if I try to use the book chips on my Palm I still only have the same limited number of functions.

I've also had a lot of difficulty getting the bookchips to work on a Palm Pilot. I have a Tungsten T and a Tungsten T3 and haven't been able to get the book chips to work on either of them, despite being fairly "tech-savvy."

My advice ... Don't buy the audiobook player and be hesitant about the Pimsleur bookchips. If you know you have a device that can read the chips and you can live with the limited range of functions built into the software that plays the bookchips, you may be happy with the bookchips. I hope that the manufacturers will build more functionality into the software for the bookchips. If they do, this would be an excellent format to listen to Pimsleur programs. At this point it fails to live up to its potential.

*** Added note at a later date: The company shipped me a new player. The problem with turning off all the time was with my original player. The new player doesn't do that, so at least I have a unit now that works the way it was designed but it still has the same basic design problems. I was pleased that the company responded quickly to my request for help, by sending out a new player, but I'm still not impressed with the player design and function.


Remembering the Kana: The Hiragana / The Katakana
Remembering the Kana: The Hiragana / The Katakana
by James W. Heisig
Edition: Paperback
26 used & new from $5.75

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very mixed, but still 4 stars, July 12, 2005
This book is actually two slim books bound into one volume. The first is Remembering the Kana: the Hiragana, and the second is Remembering the Kana: the Katakana. The customer images (photos at top) from Benjamin Mischler show both sides of the book so you get a feel for how it is bound. I have the version with the cover he shows, and the ISBN is the one listed for this book.

I give this volume mixed reviews, because the I would rate the two books it contains very differently. First, an overview: The book is laid out with the two sections back to back so that when you are reading one section the other is upside down. This is a helpful layout because as you are flipping through the hiragana section you don't accidentally stray into the katakana section (and vice versa), so it's easier to keep the two syllabaries separate. Each book has you learn the kana in a very specific order. Each page contains one syllable, and the bottom of the page tells you what page you should go to next and what page you came from last. Each of the two books is broken up into sections, with the instruction to do one section at a time, spending about a half hour on each section. Each page has the romanji (English equivalent sound) on the outer edge of the page and the kana on the inner edge. This allows you to flip through the book to test yourself, only seeing the romanji version, and then opening the book further to see the kana "answer." Another strong point of the book is that it shows examples of the kana written in a number of different fonts. This helps you get a feel for different ways you might see the character written, and it also helps with understanding what aspects of the character are "essential." At the bottom of the page there are several words (usually two or three) using the characters you've already learned to help you test yourself on what you are supposed to know and to see the character in context. The middle of the page includes a sketch of how to write the character, with the order of strokes, and a description of a memory device (a little story) to help you learn the character. The quality of the memory devices is the main area where the two books differ, and I'll discuss this by section.

The Hiragana: For the Hiragana section the memory devices are often very elaborate, but memorable (think of the seven dwarfs being pursued by a wasp which flies down and grabs two of them). Not all of the memory devices will necessarily work well for you, but once you've learned how the system works you can substitute your own memory devices. There were several characters for which I just couldn't "get into" the memory device provided by the author, so I made up my own. The order in which the individual characters are presented is very helpful, and the author makes use of similar elements of characters to help you remember them. There is only very minimal coverage of dipthongs, plosives, voicing, and long vowels. This is enough to get you started (e.g. understand that they exist), but not enough to really understand these topics.

The Katakana section: Note that this section is written by a different set of authors. The katakana section is, in my opinion, pretty weak. For many of the katakana the authors simply don't give a memory device. Instead they rely on the similarity to the hiragana. For some of the katakana this works nicely, as the katakana character is similar enough to the hiragana that it's easy to remember. For others, this device fails miserably. At times the authors rely on a sort of "intuitive" connection between the hiragana and katakana. They say something like, if you move your hand as if you were writing the hiragana but substitute a slash here and straight lines for curved lines you will "automatically" get the katakana. Sorry, but it doesn't work for me. If this is your first introduction to the kana (and isn't that sort of the point of buying this book?) there's too much that isn't specified in this approach. I ended up having to make up my own memory devices for all of these characters. This is fine, but I wish they hadn't relied so much on the "you'll just figure it out" approach. Also, in the katakana section there are several times when there are two characters that are essentially the same, except for slight variations in angles of lines or direction of the strokes. For example, shi and tsu are almost identical, as are n and so. The authors never mention this, though, so when you get to the second character of the set you think, "didn't I just study this?? Isn't this that other character?" When you go back and compare them you can see the similarities and differences, but I think it would have been much more helpful for the authors to pair these characters and point out the differences so you could start out learning those characters by thinking of their differences. Finally, in the katakana section there are a number of times when the example katakana words and phrases use characters you haven't learned yet if you are following the order specified in the book. This is annoying and is just poor editing.

In general the editing of the whole volume leaves something to be desired. There are a number of minor typos in the English descriptions. They aren't enough to interfere with your ability to read the text or to slow you down significantly, but they show sloppy editing. Also, as was mentioned by another reader, the technique to remember the order of the syllabary is not helpful. The author just has you sing the syllables in order. There are better mnemonic devices out there (e.g. "Ah Kana Signs! Take note how many you read well - n", from Henshall and Takagaki's book on learning hiragana and katakana).

Despite these critiques, I am still giving this book four stars because I think the technique is very helpful in learning the kana, and the things the authors do well they do very well. The layout of each page is fantastic, and the approach to learning is also very good. I found the use of memory pictures to be very helpful. The use of the story-pictures to aid memory is not intended to be a long term device. As you use the kana more you stop thinking about the pictures and start just recognizing the syllables in context. The story-pictures are very useful, though in the initial learning of each syllable. In other words, while you are at the stage of needing to think about each character as you read a word, using the memory devices will bring the right syllable or character to mind. It is this initial learning stage that is greatly aided by this book. I don't think this approach becomes a crutch because as you use the characters more your mind automatically uses the simplest tool to help you retrieve the right sound or character. Once you can recognize or write them by sight, the simplest tool is that immediate recall, without going through the picture. As you get faster in reading and writing kana, you will find that for more commonly used characters, you no longer need the memory device, you just know them. For more obscure characters you may need the device to jog your memory. Once you are fluent with the characters, the memory devices will drop out of the picture.

In addition to this book I would also recommend "A Guide to Learning Hiragana and Katakana: First steps to reading and writing Japanese" by Henshall and Takagaki. This book is a nice complement, because it offers lots of space to practice individual characters (as a workbook) and it offers LOTS of examples for practice in reading and writing. It also has better descriptions and examples and practice for the plosives, long vowels, dipthongs, and voicing. This book helps solidify what you are learning in Remembering the Kana. I think the two are a good pair.


No Title Available

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for the price, however ..., June 18, 2005
We did a LOT of searching for train tables, and this is actually the second table we've purchased. Our three year-old son has been using this table regularly and is very happy with it. The scenery is nice looking and the height is excellent for a preschooler.

Our one complaint about the table is that we did not feel the top was sturdy enough. The top bends if you put pressure on it, particularly over the drawer where there is no support along the front of the drawer, and it's hard to get the two pieces of the top to sit flush. We ended up buying some small supports and mounting them on the underside of the surface to make the top more stable, and the table is wonderful now. This was not a difficult job, but it did take an extra hour or two to make it sturdy. The problem of support for the tabletop may not be an issue for gentle users, but our son tends to be rough with toys (and also likes to climb). On the first train table we bought the top ended up falling through because the table top flexed enough to slip out of the supports (we had it set up in a setting where a lot of kids were using it).

Also, for younger kids, playing with a train table may be less frustrating if the pieces are fastened down. We planned a layout for this table and screwed down the tracks from the top, countersinking the flathead screws so the trains don't run into them. This has worked very well with this table, and the table top is firm and thick enough to provide a surface for the screws to grip. When our son gets older if he wants to make his own layouts we can easily unscrew all the parts, but for now this works very well.


201 Turkish Verbs: Fully Conjugated in All the Tenses (201 Verbs)
201 Turkish Verbs: Fully Conjugated in All the Tenses (201 Verbs)
by Tal‚t Sait Halman
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.62
77 used & new from $2.99

64 of 66 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't get tricked into thinking you need this book ..., August 21, 2002
The 201 (or 501 or whatever) verbs books have been around for a long time and can be very useful, particularly for languages with a lot of irregular conjugations. If you are a beginner and won't be able to study the language and need to be able to pull a verb out of a hat without knowing much about the language (including how to make a sentence with the verb you've chosen), this book is for you. If, on the other hand, you are a beginning student of Turkish stocking up on all the books you might need to learn the language, there is one very important thing you should know. All Turkish verbs are regular. In other words, this book could be about 15 pages long - one page showing how to conjugate one verb and about 14 pages listing 200 other verbs that you can conjugate in exactly the same way. If you understand vowel harmony (an important concept you should learn in the first week or so of studying Turkish) and you have a dictionary, you really don't need this book. Go to the library and find this book. Pick any verb - copy the page and you've got the whole book.
I happily completed two years of college Turkish without ever referencing this book. The existence of this book was actually one of the running jokes of my Turkish class! Put your money toward a high quality Turkish dictionary instead.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 18, 2013 4:56 AM PDT


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