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Customer Reviews: 591
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Terry Sunday RSS Feed (El Paso, Texas United States)
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Lumsing®17W 2-Port 5V 3.4A USB Wall Charger for iPhone6 plus/6, iPad air2/1,ipad mini3/2 , Samsung Galaxy S6 / S6 Edge, Nexus, HTC M9, Motorola, LG and More (grey)
Lumsing®17W 2-Port 5V 3.4A USB Wall Charger for iPhone6 plus/6, iPad air2/1,ipad mini3/2 , Samsung Galaxy S6 / S6 Edge, Nexus, HTC M9, Motorola, LG and More (grey)
Offered by ATC LLC
Price: $29.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just What I Was Looking For!, May 26, 2015
This compact little two-port USB wall charger, which I received free from the manufacturer in return for an honest review, is just what I was looking for. Now I can charge both my wife's iPad and my Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 using just one electrical outlet. Since we always have other demands on our kitchen outlets, being able to free one up is great.

I've tried multi-port chargers before, most recently a four-port unit, but it didn't work well for me. Apparently the charging current at each port was too low for efficient charging, and it didn't seem to work for my tablet at all.

This Lumsing unit, however, handles two devices with aplomb. Heavy for its size, it seems very well made, and is finished in an attractive pale blue coating that feels almost like finely textured rubber. I've never seen such a pedestrian device look more elegant. The folding electrical prongs snap in and out of their stowed and deployed positions with firm authority, and the two USB ports, legibly labeled 2.4A and 1A, are tight and precise. The unit doesn't block the other outlet in a two-outlet electrical receptacle when it's plugged in, and it has current-limiting "Intelligent Charging" safety features that prevent damage to any devices plugged into it.

I'm delighted with this Lumsing dual-port USB wall charger. If you'd like to reduce your clutter of power cords while adding a touch of elegance, pick up a couple of these today.


BlackMountainProductsResistanceBand,Orange
BlackMountainProductsResistanceBand,Orange
Price: $12.26
5 used & new from $10.40

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Seems Fine for What It Is, May 24, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
What can a reviewer say about a piece of rubber cord?

Never having used an exercise band before, I went into this experience completely cold, so I offer my observations as a rank novice.

This band seems very well made. The handles attach to the band through sturdy metal grommets that look like they'll never come loose. Black rubber sleeves over the joints add a finished look. Clad in thin sponge rubber over plastic cores, the grips are thick enough to grasp easily, and the textured rubber provides for a firm grip even with sweaty hands. The straps that attach the grips to the band have no loose stitching or sharp edges, and the sewing is tight. On the down side, the band exudes a strong, unpleasant chemical odor, but I'm sure that'll go away after a short time here in the dry Southwestern desert air.

Overall, this band, along with the included door anchor, appears to be a high-quality product.

The "Exercise & User Guide" that comes in the package explains how to use the band, and of course it includes the obligatory cautions, warnings and legal disclaimers ("Always use safety glasses..."). The step-by-step instructions feature small but useful black-and-white photos of each exercise. You can find many more exercises, including the lower-body ones that I was particularly interested in but that are not in the User Guide, on the Black Mountain Products website.

This Black Mountain Products band adds a new option to my exercise regimen, and I expect it to see a lot of use. Based on this sample, I'm very satisfied with the brand and the product.


ViewSonic VG2860MHL-4K  28-Inch 4K Ultra HD LED Monitor (3840x2160, 60Hz, 2ms, 20M:1 DCR, Dual HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort, MultiPicture)
ViewSonic VG2860MHL-4K 28-Inch 4K Ultra HD LED Monitor (3840x2160, 60Hz, 2ms, 20M:1 DCR, Dual HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort, MultiPicture)
Offered by MegaRetailStore
Price: $583.02
33 used & new from $450.00

4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I'd Be REALLY Disappointed If I'd Bought It, May 23, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This big monitor comes wrapped in anti-static paper and snugly nestled in Styrofoam inserts in the obligatory easy-to-carry cardboard box with an integrated plastic handle, which I wouldn't trust to actually schlep the thing around with. Loose plastic bags hold the base ring, the power cable, instructions and a software disk, and the connection cables. While the Quick Start Guide shows five different cables you can use to hook up the monitor to the computer, and one more to connect it to a phone or tablet, only four cables come with it (in addition to a speaker cable). If you need a USB-to-USB cable, or the honkin' big DVI one with the thumbscrews on the sides of each connector, you'll have to supply your own.

Using the graphical Quick Start Guide, setup was a breeze with my six-month-old HP desktop system. I unplugged my old 23-inch HP monitor, plugged this one in using the same cable, glanced around for loose wires and commenced the smoke test. The display came on fine, with no need to install drivers (the included DVD contains nothing that you need to get this bad boy up and running).

That's when my disappointment began. The first thing that showed up was a message to set my display resolution to 3980 by 2160 pixels "for best picture quality." Well, I can't do that. Despite how new my system is, and its top-of-the-line specifications, the highest resolution my graphics card will support is 1920 by 1080 pixels. When I try to go higher. I get a message that it exceeds the available bandwidth. So I'm stuck with using this monitor at a reduced resolution from its capabilities. That may explain why it's as blurry as hell.

But that doesn't explain why the display is, to be charitable, crappy in many other ways. I adjusted all the brightness, contrast, sharpness, color temperature and other controls, and the display is still poor. It looks washed out under all room lighting conditions--conditions under which my original HP monitor was crisp, sharp, contrasty and brilliant. Maybe it's my system or video card or driver or something besides the monitor. But, if so, then this monitor is a long way from the "plug-and-play" standard. Using it makes my eyes start to ache within minutes.

In desperation, I RTFM'ed the User's Manual on the DVD. It said to look in the "Software" directory on the DVD for optional software. "Maybe there's a driver or something in there that'll improve the display," I thought. But there's no "Software" directory on the DVD. There's not much on it other than PDF documentation in dozens of languages. Strike two.

In addition to the washed out, blurry display, two things about this monitor really bug me. First is the buttons that control the clunky on-screen menus. Recessed under the front of the screen, they're tiny, the embossed legends on the bezel are impossible for my aging-baby-boomer eyes to read without a flashlight--and the power switch is the same kind of button located in the same place! I lost track of how many times I accidentally turned off the power while fumbling around for an adjustment button. This is the opposite of the "full ergonomic functionality" (whatever that means) that ViewSonic brags about in its ads.

Second, the integrated speakers suck. Sound quality was not important to me when I bought my new computer because I mainly use it for writing and graphics, not gaming, music or videos, so I bought the cheapest set of speakers I could find in Best Buy, Well, my $15 speakers sound like Carnegie Hall compared to the ones built into this monitor.

The multi-picture (up to four video sources) and picture-in-picture functionality is pretty cool, if you need such a thing, but I suspect most potential purchasers would not find it that useful. I have not tested its interface to an iPad or Android tablet, but I have no reason to believe that the display would be any better.

Techies may be able to fiddle around with the hardware and/or software to improve the display, but the casual user shouldn't have to jump through hoops to get decent image quality. You may need to buy a new graphics card to tap this monitor's highest resolution (as you probably would for any other similar monitor, of course, so that's not a downcheck for this one). Finally, there are some boneheaded interface quirks that users simply shouldn't have to put up with in modern computer systems, and especially not in a monitor at this price point.

I hate to look a gift horse in the mouth, given that I got this monitor free through the Amazon Vine program. But my obligation as an honest, ethical reviewer is to call `em as I sees `em, and I sees this monitor as not worth the cost. All things considered, I'd recommend looking elsewhere if you're in the market for this kind of monitor.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 1, 2015 10:53 AM PDT


TheAstounding, the Amazing, and the Unknown: A Novel
TheAstounding, the Amazing, and the Unknown: A Novel
Offered by Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
Price: $12.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Cool Premise, and a Great Book, May 17, 2015
Having just finished Volume 2 of William H. Patterson’s biography of Robert A. Heinlein, I was casting around for another book to read. None of the 15 books in my current “read immediately” pile struck my fancy. Then, in a stroke of good fortune, “The Astounding, the Amazing, and the Unknown” appeared on my Amazon “Recommended for You” list. It seemed like just the thing. And, amazingly, the Podunk public library system where I live actually had it available.

What a great book! With the premise that a few well-known pulp-era science fiction writers go to work for the U.S. Government in World War II to develop advanced weapons to fight the Axis Powers, this book is a pure gem of a period piece featuring a historical era that I find endlessly fascinating. Even better, the premise is true. While the details in this novel are fictional, it is a fact that Heinlein, Isaac Asimov and L. Sprague de Camp DID work together on research for the Navy during the War. Googling will turn up a great picture of the three of them in the lab.

Author Paul Malmont takes that premise and molds it into an exciting adventure yarn that brings these characters to life. He seamlessly inserts enough snippets of real biographical information about each of them that I often found it hard to discern the boundary between reality and make-believe—and that’s a good thing in a book like this. Other period and genre personalities, such as L. Ron Hubbard, John W. Campbell, Jr., Hugo Gernsback, Virginia Gerstenfeld, Jimmy Stewart, Fred Pohl, Judith Merrill, Cleve Cartmill, Forrest J. Ackerman and even Albert Einstein, appear in cameo or larger roles. They add a richly textured aura of complexity and verisimilitude to the story. The writers’ real-life wives also play significant roles. As far as I know, Mr. Malmont does a superb job of getting the details of everyday life during that time right, for the most part. There were only a few technical slips that I noted in passing.

“The Astounding, the Amazing, and the Unknown” is one of those books that I read with page-turning excitement. I found it almost impossible to put down. While it’s still fresh in my mind, I intend to research the true story of what the science fiction writers whose works I grew up with really did during World War II. In the meantime, the ruddy glow of pleasure and satisfaction that I gained from reading this outstanding book has yet to fade.

If the names I mentioned above cause you to nod your head and smile in pleasant recognition, then you owe it to yourself to read “The Astounding, the Amazing, and the Unknown.”


Astounding, the Amazing, & the Unknown by Malmont, Paul [Hardcover]
Astounding, the Amazing, & the Unknown by Malmont, Paul [Hardcover]
by Paul.. Malmont
Edition: Hardcover
31 used & new from $3.45

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Cool Premise, and a Great Book, May 17, 2015
Having just finished Volume 2 of William H. Patterson's biography of Robert A. Heinlein, I was casting around for another book to read. None of the 15 books in my current "read immediately" pile struck my fancy. Then, in a stroke of good fortune, "The Astounding, the Amazing, and the Unknown" appeared on my Amazon "Recommended for You" list. It seemed like just the thing. And, amazingly, the Podunk public library system where I live actually had it available.

What a great book! With the premise that a few well-known pulp-era science fiction writers go to work for the U.S. Government in World War II to develop advanced weapons to fight the Axis Powers, this book is a pure gem of a period piece featuring a historical era that I find endlessly fascinating. Even better, the premise is true. While the details in this novel are fictional, it is a fact that Heinlein, Isaac Asimov and L. Sprague de Camp DID work together on research for the Navy during the War. Googling will turn up a great picture of the three of them in the lab.

Author Paul Malmont takes that premise and molds it into an exciting adventure yarn that brings these characters to life. He seamlessly inserts enough snippets of real biographical information about each of them that I often found it hard to discern the boundary between reality and make-believe--and that's a good thing in a book like this. Other period and genre personalities, such as L. Ron Hubbard, John W. Campbell, Jr., Hugo Gernsback, Virginia Gerstenfeld, Jimmy Stewart, Fred Pohl, Judith Merrill, Cleve Cartmill, Forrest J. Ackerman and even Albert Einstein, appear in cameo or larger roles. They add a richly textured aura of complexity and verisimilitude to the story. The writers' real-life wives also play significant roles. As far as I know, Mr. Malmont does a superb job of getting the details of everyday life during that time right, for the most part. There were only a few technical slips that I noted in passing.

"The Astounding, the Amazing, and the Unknown" is one of those books that I read with page-turning excitement. I found it almost impossible to put down. While it's still fresh in my mind, I intend to research the true story of what the science fiction writers whose works I grew up with really did during World War II. In the meantime, the ruddy glow of pleasure and satisfaction that I gained from reading this outstanding book has yet to fade.

If the names I mentioned above cause you to nod your head and smile in pleasant recognition, then you owe it to yourself to read "The Astounding, the Amazing, and the Unknown."


Science Fiction Theatre
Science Fiction Theatre
DVD ~ Truman Bradley
Offered by ClassicFlix
Price: $27.78
15 used & new from $27.78

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better Than the Bootlegs, but Not Perfect, May 15, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Science Fiction Theatre (DVD)
"Science Fiction Theatre" made a huge impression on me as a child. Host Truman Bradley's weekly, folksy "Let me show you something interesting" introductions, and the tidy little 30-minute shows themselves, stoked my nascent interest in science and technology to blazing proportions and greatly influenced my eventual career choice of aerospace engineering.

Remarkably, although I was just five or six years old when the series aired, and despite having seen them only once, I still remembered a couple of episodes in detail more than 50 years later (specifically "Living Lights" and "When a Camera Fails").

Of course, I have bootleg DVDs recorded from the Sci-Fi Channel, as do most reviewers here, I suspect. But buying this "professional" release was a no-brainer. It's a great-looking set. The eight single-sided DVDs sport colorful, if a bit garish, labels that mimic the liner art, and there's a complete episode list on the inside of the case insert. The DVDs snap securely onto four plastic "pages" in the case. No way will they get scratched.

That's the good news. The less-good news is that the picture and sound quality still leave something to be desired. They're much better than the bootlegs, based on the few episodes that I've assessed so far, but they're not perfect. Colors and contrast vary noticeably from episode to episode, and sometimes even from scene to scene within an episode, and no one would describe the picture as "sharp." The audio is not particularly clear, and a low-pitched rhythmic pulsation mars the sound track in some places.

But I'm not complaining. I love this set. Timeless Media made the DVDs from the best sources available, and the fact that this classic early-days-of-television show exists at all makes up for the fact that it doesn't meet sky-high expectations honed by today's digital media. If you grew up with the show, or if you want to glimpse what the world was like "back in the day" when scientific literacy was important and respected, check out "Science Fiction Theatre."

We'll never see the likes of it again.


Samsung EPL-1PL0BEGXAR USB Connection Kit
Samsung EPL-1PL0BEGXAR USB Connection Kit
Offered by VK SHIPPER
Price: $13.48
22 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works Like a Charm, May 14, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
As a person who sees no reason to buy more "stuff" than I really need, I've stumbled along without a smartphone for many years. My single-function TracFone serves my limited needs quite well, thanks for asking. I've also always made do with a couple of relatively old digital cameras that still take great pictures, although they're a little low on the megapixel scale. And a couple of years ago I finally bought a Samsung tablet, mainly because I didn't want to schlep around a bulky laptop when traveling. And therein lies the rub...

For several reasons, among them a bigger screen for viewing and the fact that I post photos to Facebook while I'm on the road, I need to transfer photos from my cameras to my tablet. I used to download the photos from the camera to a desktop computer and then transfer them from there to the tablet. Cumbersome, yes, and, of course, it only works when I have access to a desktop on the road, which is not always the case.

So I bought this handy little device that lets me plug the USB cable from a camera directly into the charging/data connector on my Galaxy Tab 2 10.1. It works like a charm. After everything is plugged in and turned on, the tablet sees the photos on the camera as files on an external USB drive, and I can copy and paste them to the tablet's memory card with reckless abandon. The adapter is compact, well made, cheap and useful. What's not to like?

But, for those of you who do not RTFM, this adapter DOES NOT WORK with Samsung tablets newer than the Tab 2 series. The tablet connector underneath the nice, snap-on dust cover is the old, thin 0.8-inch-wide one, NOT Samsung's current Micro-USB style. So don't buy this adapter and expect it to fit your Tab 3 or Tab 4 or Note or whatever, because it won't. It's JUST for the Tab 2 series with the wide charging/data connector...

...which means it was obsolete even before I bought it. But that's okay--it fits right in with my wide assortment of other antiquated electronic devices.


Sterling Silver, Created Opal, and Blue and White Topaz Pendant Necklace, 18"
Sterling Silver, Created Opal, and Blue and White Topaz Pendant Necklace, 18"
Price: $46.03

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Attractive and Well-Made, May 10, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Neither my wife nor I are by any means jewelry experts. So I can't really comment on the value of this necklace, or say anything about how it stacks up against other similar products. However, I can offer some opinions about its appearance and quality.

It comes in a quite large, sturdy, 2-inch-by-2.5-inch-by-4-inch hinged black box with a handy blue ribbon pull-tab for easy opening and the obligatory (and easily removable, if you so choose) gold oval "Made in China" sticker on the bottom. If you plan to give this necklace as a gift, the box is perfect for the job.

The necklace itself is well made. The pendant is .8 inches tall and .4 inches across (larger than you might think), and is heavy for its size. It's very nicely finished, with no rough spots or sharp edges anywhere. The 10 stones (five blue topaz, four white topaz and one opal) are securely set in three-prong mounts in a way that lets light through from all angles. The blue topazes are very pale and the milky-white opal offers intriguing rainbow highlights. It's an attractive, eye-catching design.

The box-style chain is extremely thin, delicate and flexible, but the spring-ring clasp fittings are big enough so that it's not too hard to fasten. I especially like how the pendant attaches to the chain in such a way that it won't turn around when worn. That's a nice touch.

If you're looking for a gift or to expand your own jewelry collection, check out this necklace before you buy any other. Again, I'm not an expert, and we all know beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but this attractive, well-made item could fill the bill for you.


KitchenAid KBLR19CRER Streamline Ceramic 1.9-Quart Casserole Bakeware - Empire Red
KitchenAid KBLR19CRER Streamline Ceramic 1.9-Quart Casserole Bakeware - Empire Red
Price: $39.00
3 used & new from $38.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fine Casserole, but a Little Small, May 7, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've always been satisfied with all of the KitchenAid products I've owned, be they cookware, small appliances, large appliances or whatever. I expected to be satisfied with this Streamline Ceramic 1.9-Quart Casserole, and I am.

It's sturdy, hefty and well made. The red-and-white glaze is attractive and seems durable. The lid fits relatively tightly, and the knob on top of it is large enough to grab while wearing oven mitts. The two handles on the bowl look deceptively simple, but they're deeply indented on the bottom, which provides a place to stick your insulated fingertips and gain a much more secure grip when you're taking it out of the oven. That's a nice touch. All in all, this casserole seems to be a high-quality product that should give years of faithful service.

However, be aware that this particular model is really small. The capacity shown on the bottom is 1.9 quarts. That's about half the size of the casseroles my wife and I usually use, and nowhere near big enough to handle the ethnic recipes that we typically prepare. The Product Description lists the size as 12.8 by 11 by 4.9 inches, but those are the dimensions of the box it comes in! I measured the inside of this casserole at 8 inches square (it has very rounded corners) and just a little over 2 inches deep. That's small.

If your casserole cooking tends toward small quantities, you're sure to find the quality, sturdiness and thoughtful features of this KitchenAid Streamline Ceramic 1.9-Quart Casserole perfect to fill your needs. If you're feeding a large family or going for leftovers, however, you should consider getting a larger size.


Wellrox Women's Newport Sandal, Luggage Nubuck, 11 B(M) US
Wellrox Women's Newport Sandal, Luggage Nubuck, 11 B(M) US
Offered by Shoebuy
Price: $103.95

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wellrox RULES!, May 5, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Wellrox Newport sandals resemble a classic Birkenstock but with toe-separating technology. The padded fabric toe separators are thick but relatively soft, and offer moderate separation combined with outstanding wearability and long-term comfort. They compress a little but still keep the toes well separated. In no time at all, you forget you're not wearing just a regular sandal.

Like Birkenstocks, the Newport's Nubuck-surfaced, contoured, cork-like footbed provides good arch support. The instep strap, the dual front straps and the toe thongs anchor the foot firmly in place without being constricting. The instep strap has an adjustable buckle, and the front straps, while not adjustable, are neither too snug nor too loose. The straps all have a soft, padded fabric inner lining for maximum comfort and to eliminate abrasions. The Newports have no unfinished corners, skipped stitches or sharp edges anywhere. They are unbelievably comfortable. The fact that they also provide postural benefits and help align the body is icing on the cake.

Judging by the Newport model, Wellrox quality is great. The toe separators are well attached to the footbed and to the front strap with no weak points, the straps are all firmly anchored in place, and the footbed and thick, hard-rubber sole seem to be bonded together to stay. The Newports are well made, and I expect them to offer years of use.

With its ever-growing lineup of attractive styles, colors and sizes, Wellrox has transformed the toe-separating sandal concept and moved it from a niche market into the mainstream, while setting the standard-of-excellence bar very high. There's no denying that Wellrox sandals are expensive, but, in my opinion, their quality, "user-friendly" designs, outstanding comfort and potential health-and-wellness benefits justify their price.


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