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Customer Reviews: 19
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Mig Jants "MJ" RSS Feed (Wisconsin)

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DKnight Magicbox Ultra-Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker (Single) (Black)
DKnight Magicbox Ultra-Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker (Single) (Black)
Offered by DKNIGHT INC
Price: $19.99
3 used & new from $19.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Weak bluetooth connectivity. No bass. High noise presence. This is a $25 bluetooth speaker., August 22, 2015
First of all: The $99 retail price is a ploy. This is not a $99 speaker. It seems like a bargain to be getting it for 75% off, but then you receive the item in the mail and think, "oh right, it's a $25 bluetooth speaker." Nice marketing ploy there by the manufacturer.

Now to the performance of the product. It's not very good. Here are my complaints:

- Almost no bass. Very weak bass. Tested the speaker with some good EDM jams (the new Jamie xx) and basically the kick was just not present. It sounded more like a "tick" than a "kick".
- Noise. It's not as noticeable at higher volumes because of the signal-to-noise ratio increase, but at low volumes and with "quieter" music, you can hear a weird high-frequency noise. I don't know what it is (maybe interference from poor shielding?), but it wouldn't go away. Try listening to some Nick Drake or Vashti Bunyan at 25% volume. No good.
- Bluetooth pairing. Wow. Terrible. My iPhone 5S would pair and then if I stop the music for a few minutes, it was unpaired and pairing it back up again sometimes would take 60+ seconds. Periodically the speaker would produce a loud *beep* (different from the sound it makes when turned on or when pairing). I don't know if that's an indication that it's trying to pair but failing. In any case...the whole reason I want a bluetooth speaker is for the bluetooth connectivity. If that feature is weak, I'm not keeping the product.

I bought a JBL Flip 2. More money, yes, but for the improved sound and connectivity, I'm happy to spend a little extra.

Bottom line: this is a $25 bluetooth speaker. IF you think you're getting a $100 speaker at a great price, think again.


The Folded Clock: A Diary
The Folded Clock: A Diary
by Heidi Julavits
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.39
103 used & new from $2.95

4 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good With Coffee, April 9, 2015
This terrific book,
In a lovely way it pairs
with coffee and milk.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 13, 2015 12:30 PM PDT


Norpro Instant Read Espresso Latte Steamed Milk Drink Thermometer 6" Long New
Norpro Instant Read Espresso Latte Steamed Milk Drink Thermometer 6" Long New
Offered by Kitchen Outfitters Inc.
Price: $7.16
17 used & new from $7.15

3.0 out of 5 stars Works fine. Fits nicely in my kettle and I use ..., September 19, 2014
Works fine. Fits nicely in my kettle and I use it to make sure my coffee brews at the right temperature.

The face of the thermometer is a bit confusing, though. There is a lot of red shading and extra lines that just make it hard to read. I think I'm reading it right, but I have to stare at it for a bit to make sure I'm reading it right.

Good for the price but I'd love if they didn't put the unnecessary crap on the face of it.


WORX WG775 Lil'Mo 14-Inch 24-Volt Cordless Lawn Mower with Removable Battery and Grass Collection Bag
WORX WG775 Lil'Mo 14-Inch 24-Volt Cordless Lawn Mower with Removable Battery and Grass Collection Bag
Price: $192.00
73 used & new from $134.40

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars insult and injury: sub-par product; abysmal customer service., July 25, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
**UPDATE on August 23, 2015**
I paid for shipping on my warranty-covered replacement battery on June 5th. I received a notification that my battery has shipped on August 19th. It took WORX 2.5 months to honor a warranty and replace my battery. If you want to buy a product from this company, do so at your own peril.

***************************

I bought my lawn mower about 1 year ago. All told, it was fine for the first few months. Then little by little the battery stopped working as well as it had been; now I'm in a situation where I can barely mow half my 2500 sq ft lawn before re-charging. Unacceptable, really. Even having just sharpened the blade, the battery goes for maybe 20 minutes, if that.

So I contacted WORX customer service. Welcome to purgatory. Call hold time was an average of 45 minutes, sometimes over 1 hour.

I actually emailed them first, because I thought, "hey this is a young company...digital all the way!". Got an email reply perhaps 4 business days later with good news ... they will replace my battery for just shipping cost: $14. Nice! But hold on--I have to call them to provide payment details for the battery. Can I provide that info online? No, of course I can't. Only over the phone. So I try calling them; several times. I was on hold so long that I had to hang up the phone. I also tried their "call back" feature, only to find that the call back came over an hour later and when I was unable to answer my phone.

Eventually, I am able to pay for the shipping on the battery, so I'm thinking, "great...soon this whole thing will be resolved." Well not so fast, self... A few days after paying for shipping of the replacement battery, I look at my order status on the WORX website. It says "backordered". So I sit in the phone call hold queue for another 50 minutes so I can talk to a human (they didn't reply to my email about what "backordered" meant). After waiting 50 minutes, the human on the other end tells me that it will be at least 3 weeks before they have my battery to ship. 3 weeks. After 1-2 weeks of phone tag and horrendous customer service. Un f#$king acceptable!

I will never buy anything this company makes ever again, and I will advise all of my friends and acquaintances the same.

And a pre-empt to WORX employees perusing these reviews ... do not try to contact me or reply to my post. Your terrible customer service thus far has destroyed your reputation. I've tried very hard to get decent service from your company, and you have failed miserably. There is clearly nothing else you can do.

If WORX is still a viable brand in 5 years, I will be very surprised.


Maxpower 334339 Air Filter For Sears Tecumseh Eager 1 Engines
Maxpower 334339 Air Filter For Sears Tecumseh Eager 1 Engines
Price: $6.39
12 used & new from $3.10

5.0 out of 5 stars It's an air filter. It fits., July 25, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a good product at a good price. It fits my Tecumseh engine. That's what I call an A+ review.


The Infatuations
The Infatuations
by Javier Marias
Edition: Hardcover
12 used & new from $1.99

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm Infatuated, June 27, 2013
This review is from: The Infatuations (Hardcover)
Another novel in Marias' now 'signature' style: light on action and heavy on deliberation. The book's narrator, Maria, spends the entirety of the book analyzing her relationship with a man who has arranged for the murder of his best friend. Throughout the novel, we're provided with dramatic details, but the drama is only a vehicle for Marias to talk at length about the impermanence of our relationships with one another. He gracefully highlights the many forms of infatuation we as people generate: primarily between individuals and with the romantic ideals we create around our relationships.

This is not a 'page turner' of a novel. There is really very little to the story, and Marias so effortlessly reveals certain details through his narrator that it often seems like no story is being told at all. The real pleasure lies in how his characters interact and the decisions they make with regard to each other and themselves. This is an extremely profound, nearly poetic novel about the strength of relationships and the power of romantic ideals.


Glass: Music in 12 Parts
Glass: Music in 12 Parts
Price: $18.10
42 used & new from $8.49

5.0 out of 5 stars The human touch., March 7, 2013
These recordings are definitely more 'organic' sounding than the Nonesuch edition. I originally didn't like this edition because most of the pieces feel like they're played at slightly faster tempos, which made me feel a little anxious. However, where there is a kind of smoothness that I think comes with the Philip Glass Ensemble's performance. It's more human-feeling, despite the mechanical nature of the compositions. The Nonesuch recordings were more 'lush', but if you're not doing a direct comparison, I don't think you'll find anything to complain about with this newer edition.

A note on the packaging of the 4xCD ... not the greatest, though for the price, I guess it's not terribly surprising.


The River Swimmer: Novellas
The River Swimmer: Novellas
by Jim Harrison
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $25.00
82 used & new from $0.01

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More of what we love from Jim Harrison, January 11, 2013
In these two relatively short novellas, Harrison offers one male protagonist in each: one an adolescent swimmer and the other a retired painter. But the signature that runs through much of Harrison's work is in both of these characters: they are burdened by their reflections, their impulses, and especially in the case of Clive, the aging painter, their regrets. Harrison here adds two more inspired stories to his already large bibliography.

The first story, "The Land of Unlikeness" follows 60-year-old Clive, a bitter ex-painter (of 20 years) and recently retired professor of art history. This narrative has become almost a template for Harrison: a character banished by or burned out on a complicated urban life seeks refuge in his hometown, a rural Michigan location. The story is a series of reflection upon experiences which provide a series of realizations about the man's identity, and this process allows him to heal previously damaged relationships with his mother, sister, and especially his daughter. Like much of Harrison's work, it's beautifully written, full of witty observations and acknowledgements of subtle ironies that very often go ignored. The protagonist is deeply flawed, but he's good at his core, and Harrison communicates that well.

The title story, "The River Swimmer" is a tale of 17-year-old Thad, part of a history-rich farming family in Michigan. Thad's obvious blessing is his uncanny swimming ability, both his physique and his disciplined focus on the activity. The story revolves around Thad's inner conflict: should he build his life around his family's farm, or pursue his love of hydrology at his college of choice? His swimming ability is a complication because others would love to see him swim competitively, which he has no interest in. The story is full of evil characters with evil intent and well-meaning, yet fundamentally flawed characters. The story overall is another beauty--Harrison uses the story to demonstrate the contrast between the pastoral life and that of the typically urban, academic world. The protagonist sees value in both, and both worlds feature deep flaws and incredible beauty.

Overall this pair is more or less what I'd expect from Jim Harrison. I enjoy it as I do all of his work, though I'm not surprised by anything here. Perhaps the third novella should have been another Brown Dog episode, but that's not for me to say. Perhaps the fact is simply that Harrison has hit upon something so perfect that he can winnow away at it infinitely and continue to produce these excellent stories.


Xelement Mens Leather Motorcycle Winter Gloves - X-Large
Xelement Mens Leather Motorcycle Winter Gloves - X-Large
Offered by LeatherUp
Price: $29.95

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Depends on what you mean by 'cold weather'., October 26, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I ride a scooter in Wisconsin and I needed something to keep my hands warm in the Fall and Spring, when temps can be in the 30s or 20s. I've been using these gloves for a couple weeks and they do keep my hands warm when it's, say, 45 Fahrenheit. This morning I drove to work (only 7 miles) in 36 degree temp. and my hands were very cold by the time I arrived. Mind you, I only travel 35 mph, so I'm not subject to blistering winds or anything. But clearly the gloves are not going to cut the mustard in mid-30s temps. SO the description really depends on what your definition of 'cold' is. If cold means 45 degrees Fahrenheit, then OK...they are cold weather riding gloves. If you happen to live in a region for which 35 degrees is only moderately cold, then probably these 'cold weather' gloves are not the ticket for you.

I should say that overall the gloves fit well and the gauntlet style is great for riding--easy to get my sleeve tucked into the glove. HOWEVER there is plastic knuckle reinforcement on the gloves, and especially the top knuckle plate tends to be uncomfortable--it kind of crushes my hand when i grip the handlebars tightly. I honestly can't imagine a scenario in which I would need a plastic knuckle guard on my gloves (OK, I get in an accident, so then what, most of my hand is ruined, but not my knuckles? it really makes no sense), so to me that addition is stupid and cuts down on the overall comfort of the gloves.

So all in all, these are DECENT gloves for moderately cold temps. They keep the air out, but the insulation is not much different from any other mediocre glove--once the temps get down into actual cold territory, your fingers will be cold.


The Skating Rink
The Skating Rink
by Roberto Bolaño
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $21.95
71 used & new from $0.01

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Concise, unpretentious, but still classic Bolaño, August 11, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Skating Rink (Hardcover)
Bolaño's style here is much sparer than in his later novels (most notably 2666 and The Savage Detectives, but also to a lesser extent in Nazi Literature in the Americas and Amulet). Where typically I am accustomed to seeing long poetic gesticulations over the simplest of events, objects, or people, in "The Skating Rink", Bolaño sticks to more concrete language. That being said, he also manages to assemble this gripping story in a way that flows as smooth as anything else he's written.

"The Skating Rink" reads like an extended version of one of Bolaño's short stories. He sticks to facts and concise descriptions of events. Even demonstrating the unimportance of superficial details, he simply names the primary setting for this novel 'Z' (a city). He probably could have done a similar thing with his three main characters (who also are our three narrators through this tale), and in fact he has done such a thing in many of his other short stories. All this trimming of unimportant details really serves to highlight the powerful atmosphere and action that Bolaño can create by focusing only on truly important elements. By his descriptions of the city Z, we get vivid photography of a town bathed in mystery and squalor. The campground and the Palacio Benvingut are built into fully imaginable locations.

I read this novel in a few hours--it's definitely difficult to put down. The allusions to "the murder" and "the body" increase and amass as the novel moves forward, building anticipation. The choice to alternate between three narrators serves to provide something of a 360-degree perspective on the event of the murder and the events leading up to it. Even though each narrator is not explicitly tied to the next, each shares a handful of contact points with the next (friends, relatives, colleagues), to the point that by the end of "The Skating Rink", it seems that all three narrators could be in the same room, telling the same story collectively. At the start they seem very separate, but by the end they are very close.

An enchanting experience, undoubtedly! One of Bolaño's shortest novels, but very easy to digest and very difficult to forget. There is less poetry and more description, more action. Definitely a must for fans of other Bolaño works.


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