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Nick "whereishawkins" RSS Feed (Chicago)
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   

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Riedel O Champagne Glass, Clear, Set of 2
Riedel O Champagne Glass, Clear, Set of 2
Price: $24.95
15 used & new from $22.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Great champagne glasses for "everyday champagne", December 8, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I was looking at an alternative for "everyday champagne glasses" since sometimes I don't want to break out the fancier flutes with stems if we're getting a cheaper bottle to share or for mimosas. The glasses are nice and sturdy and drink out of and I don't have to worry about accidentally knocking over glasses (it happens) as much. I'm rather happy to use these on nonspecial occasions for bubbly. They should serve me well for many years to come.


L'Occitane Almond Milk Concentrate, 7 oz.
L'Occitane Almond Milk Concentrate, 7 oz.
Price: $49.00
2 used & new from $49.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Great moisturizer!, December 8, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
What a fantastic moisturizer! I got this for the better half and ended up using this myself. One of the common traits in the reviews for this is the smell. Neither I or my significant other actually noticed much of a smell. I had half expected to be overwhelmed but the smell was pleasant enough. It melted into my skin fairly quickly and didn't leave my fingers feeling greasy or left a residue. The jar seems rather small at 7oz but I didn't use more than a small amount so we could potentially get a few months out of this jar. As for the price? It seems a bit expensive but you get a lot of utility out of such a small jar. Absolutely recommended.


FUEL iON iPhone 5/5s Magnetic Wireless Charging System, Case with Stand - Charges Faster and More Efficiently than Qi Wireless Chargers.
FUEL iON iPhone 5/5s Magnetic Wireless Charging System, Case with Stand - Charges Faster and More Efficiently than Qi Wireless Chargers.
Price: $79.99
7 used & new from $72.31

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting product with a terrible implementation, December 5, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I really like the idea of a wireless charging system - I don't want to be lugging cables around and instead, I want something more civilized to put my phone on at night. The FUEL iON system, made by Patriot, has such promise but ultimately disappointed.

Patriot is a brand I'm familiar with - a maker of quality flash drives. That I like. The charging stand is well built and feels really sturdy. One major oversight: It's missing a wall plug. No AC plug. I guess Patriot's idea is that this would be plugged into the computer to charge. Once you plug in stand in, and place the case on the phone, it works great. The charging was faster than a normal wired charge and the upside is that it sticks pretty well to the stand.

However, the case you need to put on in order to actually charge magnetically is pretty flimsy. It doesn't feel like it will add any protection to the phone. And since it adds a bit of depth to the bottom of the phone, you'll need a headphone extender in order to use most headphones (I didn't have any that were able to reach.)

I really wanted to like this product. Wireless charging would be amazing. However, at $80 (for starters, because obviously you'd need to invest in a charging infrastructure if you wanted to be able to charge in multiple locations) to provide a "solution" is ludicrous. And considering the fragmentation of the wireless charging market, I can't really recommend this as someone who wants to get into wireless charging. The Duracell Powermat is half the cost but doesn't have a nice magnetic stand - but the upside is that Starbucks will be using that technology (PMA) in 2015.


Glyco-Flex II Soft-Chews for Dogs, 120-Count
Glyco-Flex II Soft-Chews for Dogs, 120-Count
Price: $32.47
14 used & new from $29.99

3.0 out of 5 stars If your dog eats them they'll probably help., November 28, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As my furballs get older, I want them to stick around and I want them to be without pain as they age and still try to jump around like they always have. Unfortunately, 2 of my 3 refuse to eat these - not a good sign since they are not particular eaters. The other one, however, seems to be moving a bit better after several weeks. One of the common issues with bichon frises is hip dysplasia, and I know it'll only get worse as time progresses. And I'm sold on glucosamine treatments for humans since they work for myself. However, getting the dogs to eat it is another issue - even wrapping this up in treats doesn't seem to help much since the dogs eat around the soft chew.

Overall they work, but if your dog is fussy, this may never get eaten.


Vetri-Science Composure Small Canine, 30 Mini Bite-Sized Chews
Vetri-Science Composure Small Canine, 30 Mini Bite-Sized Chews
Price: $8.85
16 used & new from $7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Dogs liked them, but didn't seem to help, November 25, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have a trio of tiny neurotic rescue dogs, and they are prone to being loud barking messes. I thought something like this might help calm them down so we can work on systematic desensitization in order to work on their anxiety issues. I only noticed a bit of an improvement. The dogs certainly loved these as treats, but they only seemed to get about 30 minutes of "relaxed" time before they were back to being anxious girls. It might be worth it if there were fireworks or kids outside (Halloween) but the tried and true method of small doses of children's benadryl (per our Vet) for them to sleep through it might be a better option.


Oral-B Pro 5000 SmartSeries with Bluetooth Electric Rechargeable Power Toothbrush
Oral-B Pro 5000 SmartSeries with Bluetooth Electric Rechargeable Power Toothbrush
Price: $99.99
2 used & new from $99.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice toothbrush, but Bluetooth seems more of a gimmick, November 21, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Since my old Sonicare died, I was looking at getting that same quality cleaning out of this Oral-B toothbrush, and after a week of brushing my teeth with it, I'm a bit unsure as to whether or not I can really recommend this versus my old Sonicare at nearly half the price.

Setup is rather simple, and you'll be looking at a long (12+ hours) initial charge to get the toothbrush topped off. By default, the toothbrush is in "Professional mode," so every 30 seconds, you'll get a change in vibration to know when to move on. The idea is that you do a 2 minute clean. Whereas my Sonicare powers off after 2 minutes, this keeps going so if you wanted to go to a "deep clean", you would do another minute (3 minutes total.) After this, the Oral-B does not power off, so you have to keep track of this yourself. I let it go for 5.5 mins and my teeth felt clean but I realized that I needed to shut this off myself.

I liked the pressure sensor - ideally with a brush like this, you don't really exert much effort against your teeth. Instead, you let this toothbrush the work. The toothbrush will show a red LED if you use too much pressure. This is helpful if this is your first electric toothbrush because there will be a learning curve. Also, even if you have good dental hygiene, you will probably notice that the toothbrush will make your gums bleed a tiny bit.

As for the Bluetooth syncing, I downloaded the iPhone app and I was able to sync data from the toothbrush. It showed time I spent brushing and I could look at the data to see if I was applying too much pressure. It also has fields for if you've flossed, cleaned your tongue and rinsed. However, I can't seem to find a way to add that to the app once I've finished brushing my teeth. There is a timer on there so if you change modes on the toothbrush, you can keep the same routine. Also, you can change the modes on the app and enable/disable modes (like whitening mode and sensitive mode) and turn on news/weather on the app, so as you look at the timer for 2 minutes while you brush your teeth, you can get news highlights. It'll also remind you to get a new brush head every 90 days or so - something I'm really horrible at doing. But the app only tracks one user, so you can't swap brush heads. But overall, the app needs a bit of work. I thought I would really like this, considering I am obsessive about my Fitbit and other data tracking devices to improve my health, but this made me feel indifferent.

The user manual is pretty weak - it includes multiple models in the SmartSeries line and most aren't really relevant to this particular brush. I was a bit confused at getting this set up.

So I'm torn: This is a solid toothbrush that will deliver an excellent cleaning but at $130, I really can't recommend it. Sure, it's nice to use the app to sync with my phone, but it really is a bit of a gimmick. Coming from having a Sonicare, it really doesn't do much more than the one I had at half the price. I am really not sure if this is worth the premium price.


1888 Mills Naked Brand 6-Piece Bath Set with 2 Bath Towels, 2 Hand Towels and 2 Wash Cloths, Blue
1888 Mills Naked Brand 6-Piece Bath Set with 2 Bath Towels, 2 Hand Towels and 2 Wash Cloths, Blue
Price: $46.21

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty amazing towels and bath set!, November 20, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The older I get the more I realize how nice it is to get out of the shower and get dry with a nice towel. I've used these for a few days and they're larger than most of the towels I have. As for getting dry, they seem to suck up tons of water off of me - a lot better than I'm used to. They feel pretty sturdy and fluffy to me. They're well made and haven't faded at all from the first wash. The towels are soft and don't seem to rub my sensitive skin wrong.

Overall I'm happy. Going from towels I should have shamefully gotten rid of years ago to this feels like a major leap. Towels like this to me make me feel like I'm using ones from a high end hotel. The price is a bit expensive to me, but quality sometimes is. 4 Stars.


Bright Starts Baby Toy, Hide 'n Spin Monkey
Bright Starts Baby Toy, Hide 'n Spin Monkey
Offered by SupplyKick
Price: $57.60
8 used & new from $34.60

4.0 out of 5 stars Actually Entertaining, November 14, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm not too big of a fan of electronic toys for toddlers. Most make noise and light up, but offer little more than that. However, I am impressed by what is done by the Hide and Spin Monkey.

Our one-year-old is fascinated by it. It is large enough for him to hold on to and stand up with, but small enough that he can reach over the top of it to play. After about an hour of play, he figured out that pushing the nose will cause the monkey to drop down and release the balls to the hopper. I love the fact that it has two volume levels, though I can't imagine when you would want it set on the loudest setting.

In short, he loves it. That's good enough for me. Now for some nitpicky things *I* don't like about it:

* The buttons are a little harder for someone to push. I think that delayed my son's discovery of the functions of the toy because he would push the right button to do something, but he didn't push it hard enough.

* It takes AA batteries. I know they're the most common, but anything with a motor means a drain on power. I think C or D batteries would have been more appropriate with their larger capacity.

* No switch when putting balls in through the barrel. It's great that the toy counts the balls as you put them in the monkey's hat, but it would be nice if a switch were placed at the hole in the barrel as well. For such an interactive toy, it seems odd they would leave that out.

* The timeout for counting the balls could be lengthened. Sometimes it takes my son a while to get himself coordinated to stand up with a ball in his hand to place it in the hat. By then, the monkey has "forgotten" the count of balls placed in his hat and starts over at 1 again.

* I appreciate the need for the carousel's motion to be easy to be stopped, but I wish it could be done without the plastic gears slipping. Perhaps by a slipping belt instead. Either way, it doesn't inspire confidence to hear plastic gears grinding against each other every time my son leans against it while it is rotating.

Overall, these are minor issues. I'd still say it's worth 4 stars (and the purchase price).


DII Home Essentials 300 Thread Count 100% Cotton Top Fabric, 8-Ounce, Medium Fill, Breathable, Hypo Allergenic Plush Basic Mattress Pad, Queen
DII Home Essentials 300 Thread Count 100% Cotton Top Fabric, 8-Ounce, Medium Fill, Breathable, Hypo Allergenic Plush Basic Mattress Pad, Queen
Price: $48.40

5.0 out of 5 stars Comfortable mattress pad helps me sleep better, November 14, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The older I get the more I realize I enjoy having a comfortable bed. After a few night's sleep on this mattress pad and I'm a happy man.

Out of the box the mattress pad had a funky odor that went away with an initial wash. It was easy to put on and has remained solidly attached through a few nights of sleep. What I noticed is that it made my already decent mattress that much better of a sleep, something I really never thought possible. My mattress also felt a bit warmer, which helps because midwest winters make you want to hibernate. And the mattress pad feels solid enough that I'll get several years out of it. My old one had sides that were super flimsy and ripped. This mattress pad won't have that issue. And if it's worth anything, my dogs love this mattress pad too as evidenced by them rolling around on my bed more.

The mattress pad works well for me - it makes my comfy bed that much comfier, provides better padding than my old one and actually stays put and doesn't slide around if you toss and turn. It's a worthwhile upgrade to your bed and if you're like me, it will make you sleep a bit more comfortably.


Pearls of the Southern Skies: A Journey to Exotic Star Clusters, Nebulae and Galaxies
Pearls of the Southern Skies: A Journey to Exotic Star Clusters, Nebulae and Galaxies
by Auke Slotegraaf
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $27.98
44 used & new from $19.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book for all those who want to be astrophysicists, November 11, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is an excellent coffee table book for the person who wanted to take an astronomy course in college, but got put in astrophysics instead because he was an engineer. I don't care about calculating the Eddington luminosity of a main sequence star. I just want to look at cool stuff through telescopes! I mean, that aforementioned fictional person just wanted to look at cool stuff through telescopes.

The photographs of each celestial body are beautifully done. The text descriptions next to each give you just enough information to be annoying to others at a party, but not enough to bore you.

The appendixes at the back of the book give some basic encyclopedic definitions of some celestial bodies, and it has indexes for both the common name and catalog designations of the bodies featured. I love their section describing the equipment and software used to acquire the images.

I only wish that the book was ever so slightly larger. It is already a decent sized book, but a coffee table book is allowed to be a bit ungainly. I think these photos deserve a larger format.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 11, 2014 11:58 PM PST


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