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J. M. Taylor's Profile

Customer Reviews: 182
Top Reviewer Ranking: 4,174
Helpful Votes: 1305

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Converse Mens Chuck Taylor Sneaker
Converse Mens Chuck Taylor Sneaker
Price: $17.75 - $317.68

3.0 out of 5 stars Loved the Look, Hated the Feel, October 13, 2014
I lived a sheltered and deprived youth wherein I was deprived of Chucks growing up. At age 32, I remedied that by buying them locally. My review will have some 'No duh!' moments to those of you who've worn these shoes before, but here you all go:

The look is classic and minimalist; there's no gimmicks here. No air cushions, pumps, LED's, springs or rocket thrusters on the bottoms. They are canvas and rubber. This becomes super obvious when you get the box - it's long and narrow like the box you'd see at a take-out Philly shop. The shoes are folded in on themselves. I can appreciate that.

What I found I didn't like was essentially everything else. I have the high tops, and I basically need to lace these bad boys all the way up to feel like they won't shift on my foot and ankle (they run big, BTW). And since they're just canvas uppers, lacing them up all the way still doesn't give the wearer a sense of support along the ankle. But I'm not playing basketball in these things, so that's probably not a big deal.

The soles of these get me though - no cushion or support. Stepping on a curb or a rock allows you to feel the entire contour of said curb or rock. The whole shoe contorts around the object and, subsequently, so does your foot. No real sense of support or even protection. I've had sandals that have had firmer arch support!

Really, these shoes are about style. I'm glad I bought them because I like the way they look. But I'll likely go back to New Balance or some such company whenever these Chuck's need to get chucked. I'm less interested in looks and more in comfort and support. But, again I should emphasize - they look pretty sweet!

Parker SR1 Stainless Steel Straight Edge Razor and 5 Shark Super Stainless blades
Parker SR1 Stainless Steel Straight Edge Razor and 5 Shark Super Stainless blades
Offered by Deals on Main
Price: $19.99
4 used & new from $19.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Low Cost Entry to Straight Razor Shaving, October 12, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I wanted to try straight razor shaving on the cheap. I like shaving with safety razors, and this shavette seemed an interesting alternative to spending money on a razor that needed to be honed. This way I can snap my DE razors in half and use them with the shavette to experiment while keeping costs down.

This shavette is smaller than a typical straight edge razor (because the safety razor blades it uses are inherently smaller) so it won't cover as much real estate per pass. That's maybe a good thing for beginners, so they can concentrate on technique with smaller passes rather than having to deal with a larger blade.

This shavette is cheap, and it shows. The scales are slightly off in how they meet one another. The etching decorations are slightly pitted on the scales too. Also, the locking mechanism on the spine on the blade holder will come loose when the blade is folded into the scales too quickly. Thankfully, it stays locked in place during is use, and really isn't a problem. Loading a blade isn't too tough: on the outer, rounded end of the blade holder is a recessed portion that allows you to place a fingernail in to separate the two parts of the blade holder. In between those two parts are two copper pins that keep the blade itself aligned. When closing the two halves, you just need to slightly raise one over the pins, then click it down onto them, and swing the locking mechanism in place.

All of that sounds convoluted on paper, but if you have this razor in front of you it should make sense.

It's definitely a different shaving experience than with a DE safety razor. Invest in a styptic pen and/or alum bar. And go SLOWLY. Pay close attention to the angle of the blade. I generally have shaved well with it, but constantly nick my chin and upper lip. The more contoured portions of your face require special care.

Overall, I'm glad I bought this. I need a lot more practice with it. I think the shavette offerings by Dovo look like they are of a higher quality than this, but despite it's short comings, the actual shaving action of this Parker is consistent. As long as you realize that $20 gets you the bare minimum experience, this is a good entry to seeing if you might enjoy straight razor shaving.

Merkur 25C Long Handle Safety Razor, Open Tooth
Merkur 25C Long Handle Safety Razor, Open Tooth
Offered by FGP
Price: $37.99
5 used & new from $37.09

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Well-made, Comfortable 'Beginner' Razor., October 1, 2014
I'm newish to wet shaving, and I have a total baby face. My facial hair is sparse, but if I let it grow out eventually it just looks creepy.

I own a Feather Popular DE razor (which works well, is inexpensive and very light weight). I also own a Merkur 34c because this is considered to be the 'catch all' razor that many websites claim sets the standard. It is much heavier than the Feather, and seems to be more aggressive in its shaving action. I've practiced with it, but often cut my chin and lips. And despite trying different razors, the shave quality hasn't been as close as I'd like.I find that odd since I don't have much to shave.

I then bought this 25c after reading that many felt it was a better beginner razor than the 34c. I have to agree with them. I actually get a consistently close shave with the 25c than the other two. This surprises me since the blade is situated in such a way as to be less aggressive than the others. I also feel more comfortable shaving faster with this razor. It's an overall more mild razor to use.

Unlike the Feather, it has the same heft that the other Merkur models have which greatly aids in the shaving action: no pushing the razor into the face, but rather let the weight of the head draw the blade down in short strokes.

Unlike the 34c, this has a long handle. I've since become more accustomed to the 3 inch handle of the 34c, but it took getting used to. I don't have large hands, but the short handle was uncomfortable to use at first. I enjoy the longer handle personally. I grip it the same as the short (like a dart, towards the end) because this allows the weight of the head to draw down across your skin more easily. Some say the shorter handle is better because you can maneuver it more easily along the contours of your face. I don't think it makes a difference. I flat out felt that the Feather Popular and this Merkur 25c were just more comfortable than the 34c.

The comb is interesting on this too. It's an open comb, unlike the bar that the Feather and 34c (and many others) sport. Its designed for allowing longer hairs and beard growth through to the blade more easily. Since I don't possess a manly beard, I can't attest to that. It DOES seem to keep more shaving soap/cream on my face right up until it meets the blade. Less seems to get pushed away. That might just be my imagination though.

On thing I dislike about this razor is that it comes apart in three pieces instead of two. The 34c is easier to replace the blade on because it is two pieces. The Feather is even simpler, as it is a butterfly style. The three piece can be slightly cumbersome to change out, but it's not rocket science. You get used to it. It's just a minor quibble of mine.

When I shave with this razor, unlike the others, one pass is generally sufficient and I don't get the stinging razor burn or nicks like I do with the 34c. My shaves are more efficient, and my skin is generally much smoother when using this razor. With the other two, I need to do multiple passes in various directions.

I guess this razor just agrees with my face.

Epson WorkForce WF-2530 Wireless All-in-One Color Inkjet Printer, Copier, Scanner, ADF, Fax. Prints from Tablet/Smartphone. AirPrint Compatible (C11CC37201)
Epson WorkForce WF-2530 Wireless All-in-One Color Inkjet Printer, Copier, Scanner, ADF, Fax. Prints from Tablet/Smartphone. AirPrint Compatible (C11CC37201)
Offered by Quick N' Easy Buy
Price: $82.00
24 used & new from $58.00

4.0 out of 5 stars it is a good multi-function printer for occasional home use, September 10, 2014
Overall, it is a good multi-function printer for occasional home use. The scanner is clear and easy to use. The ability to print from my iPhone 5 is appreciated (you need to download the Epson app for that) and the responsiveness of the wireless function when I hit 'print' from my computer is more than acceptable. It hasn't had a paper jam or feed error either.

What I really dislike about the printer is the fact that you MUST have the color cartridges in order to just print in black. The advertising says that you only need to buy the cartridge that you need. But I only bought a black cartridge and had to run out for the color pack just to print black and white. The company says that it uses a bit of each color when printing in black to keep the heads from clogging, but I find this suspect. As I understand it though, many other printer manufacturers do this as well so I guess it isn't just Epson making a money grab.

Diamond Select Toys Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country: U.S.S. Excelsior Electronic Ship
Diamond Select Toys Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country: U.S.S. Excelsior Electronic Ship
Price: $47.80
19 used & new from $47.80

5.0 out of 5 stars The sculpt is beautiful! The pain job is perfect to my eyes, August 10, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The sculpt is beautiful! The pain job is perfect to my eyes, the nacelles and saucer section are all straight as an arrow, and the voice clips are very loud and crisp! Finally, the LED's in the nacelles, impulse drive and deflector are bright and beautiful. The main deflector could be used like a flash light in a pinch!

The stand for the Excelsior is better than my TOS HD Enterprise stand. It's much more stable; no tilting forward in a nose dive (yet). I really dig it, and love having it displayed in my living room for guests to see.

Round 2 AMT ST Enterprise Set (3 in 1) NCC1701, 1701A, 1701B  1:2500
Round 2 AMT ST Enterprise Set (3 in 1) NCC1701, 1701A, 1701B 1:2500
Offered by MyQuickMart
Price: $14.69
51 used & new from $12.59

4.0 out of 5 stars Highly Detailed Mini-prise Models, Some Tweaking Required., August 10, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I loved the fact that these ships were to scale with the other 1/2500 Star Trek ships in AMT's line up. It's cool to get the sense of size progression as the ships evolved. Also, I live in an apartment at the moment, so I don't have a lot of room to display a big honkin' starship model. These are a nice alternative.

I actually bought two of these kits, one for a practice build and one a 'for real' build. There were a few molding discrepancies between the two, so quality control could be better. The upper saucer section of the TOS Enterprise had the rear impulse deck nearly missing, and both kits had considerable flash to remove. Also, a few ships had gaps in the hulls when assembled, again due to molding errors. Some time with putty, sandpaper and paint would likely mitigate the latter problem areas.

Other issues cropped up as well: a major one for me being the nacelles on the Enterprise B. They mounted very crookedly, and if you are familiar with the design (and I'm guessing you are since you're reading this far) the nacelles and pylons on that ship have a lot of 90 degree angles. That means that if any part of them is off or bent, it is very noticeable. On my practice kit, I've attempted to cut and remount the nacelles and pylons to correct this issue, but have met with little success.

The ships all come with a bunch of high quality, highly detailed decals. The Enterprise refit/A (yes you can make either, which is cool) and the B have some really nice ship-wide decals that mimic the famous Aztecing body panels of the movie models. I used acrylic paint to create a few details not covered by decals (Bussard collectors, sensor domes, etc.). Even the TOS Enterprise has decals which, although minimal, look very nice on the finished product. A gloss coat before putting on decals and then a dull clear coat after all decals are on brings everything together. The final dull clear coat is a nice protector of the decals and really makes the finished ships look cohesive!

The kit states that there is no glue required. I found this to be a dirty lie. The pegs on one plastic piece are very often too large or not lined up with the corresponding holes on the other piece. A sharp hobby knife to slice the pegs off level and the use of Tamiya Extra Thin Cement did the trick nicely. The extra thin cement is a liquid which wicks into the lines and crevices of the tiny ships, dries very quickly and clear. I recommend it!

The final 'issue' with this kit, which is inherent to the other Enterprise kits in this line (C, D, E) is the lack of display stands. It would be nice to have something to mount these things on, and even better to mount all of the Enterprises together in one large stand, but modeler is left to fabricate their own.

Round 2 AMT Star Trek Enterprise 1701-C 1:2500
Round 2 AMT Star Trek Enterprise 1701-C 1:2500
Offered by MyQuickMart
Price: $14.69
26 used & new from $12.91

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice, Compact Scale Kit!, July 14, 2014
I enjoyed building this model. I hadn't built a kit in 20+ years, and thought I'd take it up with these 1/2500 Star Trek kits. The actual build of this kit was pretty straight forward, and all of the plastic pieces fit together very easily with minimum sanding. I used Tamiya's Extra Thin Cement as it wicked into the tight seems of this model nicely and didn't build up.

Some have commented on the difficulty of applying the water slide decals on this model. Most went on very easily for me. The main saucer sections have a raised grid-like pattern on them that can make it tricky to slide the decal around for positioning purposes. I found that cutting those decals into smaller pieces made them less likely to tear while applying them. I also used Micro Sol afterward to get the decals to 'melt' into the raised pattern on the saucer. That gave the decals a cool painted-on look.

I used acrylic paint to paint the Bussard collectors, parts of the nacelles, the main deflector, and the shuttle bay doors. I also carefully painted the phaser arrays on the saucer. The rest of the detailing was from the decals. I also used a .005 Micron pen to fill in the windows. The decals are translucent so the darkened windows show through well.

One thing I didn't like about this model was the lack of a stand. The other ships in this scale from AMT don't have them either. Some only have a hole in the star drive for a homemade stand the builder has to devise (like this Enterprise C). Others, like the Enterprise D don't even have that. I'm only marginally handy so I'd have appreciated if AMT had included a base of some sort. Look online for inspiration - some modelers have made bases where many of these ships are mounted in dynamic poses.

It's a pretty easy build, even for a guy like me who hasn't played with a kit since he was a kid. A bit of patience with the decal is required but well worth it.

Star Trek - USS Enterprise Iconic Vehicle
Star Trek - USS Enterprise Iconic Vehicle
Offered by The Wandering Merchants
Price: $48.89
17 used & new from $41.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really neat toy (or model) of the newest Enterprise, June 3, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I, like many, balked at the Abrams version of the Enterprise. It looked too stylized. The phasers pulsed like a machine gun and weren't a steady stream. The bridge looked like an Apple store. But like many, I too have difficulty with change. And the more I looked at the newer Enterprise, the more I liked it. The more it 'sunk in'. I liked the pulsing phasers (in battle, they seem more exciting and even practical). I love the over-sized, beefy nacelles - they scream 'power' to me. So with that, I decided to buy this for myself.

The sound clips are scant: only about four or so. They are loud and clear, but don't do much for me. The nacelles, deflector dish, and lower sensor suite on the saucer glow a nice bright blue when activated. The top of the saucer has cutouts where white light shines through, illuminating the areas where running lights exist in the movies. The impulse engines glow a nice crimson red. The only thing I did to change it was to open up the saucer section, and apply black acrylic modeling paint to the inside of each saucer half. This cuts down on light bleed though the plastic of the model.

The ship itself is very sturdy, and feels like it could take a tumble from a kids' hands, unlike my Diamond Select models which are more for 'big' kids.

How does this stack up to the Diamond Select models? I'd say favorably. The DS models have more intricate paint jobs (at least my two do), but the lights and sounds are comparable. This Enterprise absolutely destroys the DS models with regards to its display stand. The DS stands that I have needed to be glued internally before I could display them. They simply would keel over and crash. The new Enterprise has a socket and the stand has a ball, and friction keeps it steady. You can pose the ship in any angle possible, and its solid as a rock.

The major downfall of this Enterprise for me is that the saucer section is canted upwards. This is mostly noticeable from the side. Others have mentioned this issue, and said there was no way to correct it. Unfortunately, I have to agree at this point. There are screw on the inside of the saucer where the 'goose neck' attaches, but this joint also seems to be glued or otherwise sealed.

There are lots of nice details etched into the molding of this ship, but the paint job doesn't highlight them which is a shame. I used a 005 black Micron pen to fill in a few details, but left the rest blank.

Aside from that, this is a fun ship to have set up next to your TV or on your desk. It also doesn't cost an arm and a leg like some of the Diamond Select models either. Unless you build your own model, or until an outfit like Diamond Select acquires the rights to make the new Enterprise, this is your best bet for a 'JJ-prise' of your very own.

Star Trek: U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 High Definition Ship
Star Trek: U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 High Definition Ship
Offered by ToyWiz
Price: $99.99
4 used & new from $99.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Sharp Details, Excellent Sculpt, Sub-Par Stand, May 21, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I don't usually buy toys/models like this but after playing the miniature game Star Trek: Attack Wing by WizKids, I found my love for the Trek ships rekindled. A lot of thought went into the smaller details of this ship. The top and bottom of the saucer have a port and starboard blinking running light, one red and one green. They are quite small compared to the other lights, so the proportions seem correct for what they are. The top of the bridge and the bottom of the saucer (the bottom phaser ports or where the captain's yacht would be on the newer Enterprise models) both light up with a very bright white light. Not too distracting for my tastes, but I can see where some wouldn't like it. Finally, the Bussard collectors on the front of each nacelle are really stellar (bad pun - couldn't help myself). To simulate the motion and lights of the 1960's studio model, a steady but slowly changing color LED or LED's was placed in each. The colors will constantly change from red to orange to yellow and back. It's a fairly subtle effect, but it looks very impressive! There is a tiny bit of light bleed on the top edge of my saucer where the running lights are, but the rest of the plastic is opaque enough to carry forward the intended effect.

The sound clips are great: Audio and speech are clear, and the appropriate sound effects are all present and identifiable. A nice touch: hold down the bridge button for 5 seconds or so and all lighting effects come on without sound. Much appreciated!

The sculpt of the model is great: the saucer section and the warp nacelles are all spot-on straight and in line; no sagging that I could tell. The details such as port holes, shuttle bay doors, and paint details are all rendered and applied clearly and beautifully. Another nice touch is that Diamond Select used screw hole covers that are the same color as the main body, minimizing the site of silver screw heads popping out. There are no jarring breaks in the exterior visuals due to hardware. The only qualm I have with the sculpt is that the seams where different pieces are joined (like along the warp nacelles lengthwise) are very noticeable. But for this price, I'll live.

The glaring issue is the stand. It is nicely shaped with the base looking like an all black command insignia. A thin piece of plastic arcs up and at the top of that is a ball joint and a cylinder that fits over it. the cylinder has a peg that snaps into one of the battery cover doors the ship comes with (the other cover is smooth with no opening if you don't care about the stand. Another nice touch by the manufacturers). The overall stand has me suspicious of its quality, especially the ball joint that only stays in place via friction, and the saucer section of the Enterprise model is heavier than the rest, and off center. The ship will tilt forward over time making me worry about it's safety. If I wanted an Enterprise to crash land, I'd put Troi behind the wheel, you know?

I want to display this on a small shelf by my TV because, again, I think it's a great looking model for the price. But I need to figure out some more secure method of mounting this thing.

Stand aside, and for the price, I'm actually really impressed by the Enterprise. I don't know how great it would be for younger kids, but for us older kids with a penchant for sci-fi, it fires the imagination!

Clear Sleeves: Standard Card Game Pack 50 Sleeves
Clear Sleeves: Standard Card Game Pack 50 Sleeves
Offered by Think Fast
Price: $5.25
20 used & new from $0.94

5.0 out of 5 stars Great for Star Trek: Attack Wing!, May 4, 2014
These fit the main ship, secondary weapon, crew, captain, and most other 'standard' cards that come with Star Trek: Attack Wing. For the damage deck, I use the FFG's yellow packaged clear cards since they are geared for a much smaller size. Both types of sleeves are clear, easy to insert cards in and they retain the cards perfectly. Do discoloration at all. Highly recommend both for Attack Wing and X-Wing as well!

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