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Customer Reviews: 2300
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Steve Ramm "Steve Ramm "Anything Phonographic"" RSS Feed (Phila, PA USA)
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DII Home 60 by 60" Essentials Ultra Plush Travel Stadium Blanket, Small, Navy
DII Home 60 by 60" Essentials Ultra Plush Travel Stadium Blanket, Small, Navy
Price: $24.99

4.0 out of 5 stars REALLY soft – though somewhat thin – “blanket” to cuddle up with, February 8, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I generally review entertainment products on Amazon but when Amazon offered this product in exchange for an objective review as part of its “Vine Reviewer” program (where they send the products to selected reviewers), I requested one since – for years – I’ve been using a wool blanket I brought back from Ireland to keep me warm when watch TV on the couch.

The first thing I noticed when I took this 100% polyester “throw” (I can’t really call it a blanket, is how SOFT it is. I mean REALLY REALLY soft! Then I saw that it is not very large. It’s 60’x60’ square (that (five square feet). It will cover one person but not a bed. And it is thin so it’s not as warm as the wool blanket but certainly softer. And I find myself rubbing my hand over it as it’s like petting the softest dog hair.
I’ve seen similar “throws” in department starts and places like Marshalls for $19.99 so it seems a bit pricey here at $24.99.
I haven’t washed it yet either.

This is not something I would think you’d use outside the home (okay maybe for kids in a car). It may not be as warm as others but it sure is (dare I say it again) SOFT.

I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.

Steve Ramm
“Anything Phonographic”


2 PK C128 Black Laser Toner Cartridges Compatible Canon 128 Toner For Canon ImageClass D550 D530 MF4412 MF4580dn
2 PK C128 Black Laser Toner Cartridges Compatible Canon 128 Toner For Canon ImageClass D550 D530 MF4412 MF4580dn
Offered by Quicktoner
Price: $18.49

5.0 out of 5 stars 1/6 the price of Canon's and working GREAT after 2 months, February 8, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Because I have little reason to print things in color (and color cartridges are really expensive) I bought a Canon D530 copier 18 months ago for $99 and it's been a joy to use. I always bought Canon cartridges because I never used an "off brand". I would not buy a "remanufactured one" because it might leak. When the Canon cartridge started costing $72. (AFTER a 25% discount at Staples) I thought I'd TRY this "compatible one". I reasoned that if it didn't work and broke my printer, I could buy another one for $99 and stick with Canon. I've had these for over 3 months and copies look great. And the cost was 1/6 of the Canon one. Only time will tell how much ink is here but so far I've printed a lot.

So, after these two (it's a pack of two) wear out,. I'm sure I'll stick with this band and this seller.

I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"


Skippy Creamy Peanut Butter, Natural with Honey, 15-Ounce Jars (Pack of 6)
Skippy Creamy Peanut Butter, Natural with Honey, 15-Ounce Jars (Pack of 6)
Offered by SunnyFloridaStore
Price: $27.28
7 used & new from $26.50

2.0 out of 5 stars It’s not “Peanut Butter”. It’s a “spread” made with extra oil and I found it too sweet., February 8, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I generally review entertainment products on Amazon but when Amazon offered this product in exchange for an objective review as part of its “Vine Reviewer” program (where they send the products to selected reviewers), I requested one since I generally buy Skippy Peanut Butter (though I prefer the Super Chunk variety)..

The first thing I noticed when it arrived was that it is not “Peanut Butter”; the label calls it “Peanut Butter Spread” . I thought that might be because of the addition of honey, but it’s obviously not. The ingredients read “Peanut Butter Spread (Roasted Peanuts, Palm Oil, Peanut Oil, Salt), Sugar, Honey”. Comparing this my Super Chunk (which is called Peanut Butter on label, I see this has extra oil. (The roasted peanuts already have peanut oil in them so you are adding more fat without adding more protein.

The calorie content is the same though.

The taste is really too sweet for me (it may not be for you. Why didn’t they use the honey – rather than sugar – to sweeten it? But I will tell you that it is so thin and “creamy” that it will not tear a piece of untoasted bread as a chunky variety might.

So I could not find any benefits to switching to this variety. Just give me “peanut butter”, not a spread.

I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.

Steve Ramm
“Anything Phonographic”


19-2 - Season 1
19-2 - Season 1
DVD

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love the acting of this Canadian Cop show but there are more questions than answers in the end., January 27, 2016
This review is from: 19-2 - Season 1 (Amazon Video)
I watched this on Acorn TV and really got into the characters and the story. It's a Canadian production. The title stands for the police car number assigned to the two lead cops. All the cars start with 19 in this precinct but theirs is car 19-2.

At first I thought this was a complete story but - unfortunately it isn't. I hate spoilers (really) but was surprised to see that after watching the 3 45 minute episodes, that it was really a "set up" with LOTS of loose ends and nothing ever gets resolved. So i felt jilted. I don't know if there will be a series 2 but this is not a story with any ending as it stands now. I'd make sure there is a second season before I'd commit to these three episodes. But, I LOVED the leads.

UPDATE: As I learned from a reader of my review there are actually 10 episodes to season one - they are being released one at a time. So, I will probably raise my rating if the story follows through in the next 7 episodes.

By the way, The series had a second season and was renewed in 2015 for a THIRD season.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 2, 2016 7:24 PM PST


Brownie Brittle Chocolate Chip Variety Pack, 20 Count
Brownie Brittle Chocolate Chip Variety Pack, 20 Count
Price: $17.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great product for chocolate lover with little “will power”, January 25, 2016
Though I generally review entertainment products on Amazon I do occasionally review food products and after returned from the Fancy Food Show in New York , this product was sent to me by the manufacturer for an objective review. I had so many different food groups to taste that trying it at the show was not a good choice.

I’ve purchased the regular chocolate flavor Brownie Brittle bags at Costco and loved them. But the bag was big and – though tasty – they are not low in calories (what sweet things are these days?). In addition Costco only carries one flavor. Then I got this variety pack. It’s really only TWO varieties but, who cares? At least I got to try something different – The Chocolate Chip and Salted Caramel flavors. There are 10 small bags of each. Yes, there is a lot of packaging but the best news is that the portions are controlled. Each 1 oz bag has 120 calories (and 4g of fat). If you start with a large bag you will most definitely eat more than that each time you open it.

The pieces are much smaller than those in a full size bag but that’s just less to break up. Another feature is that they stay fresher. The ones I got were dated as packed on 10/23/15 and the “best used by” date is 10/23/16 so you have plenty of time.

I’ve been enjoying these with my late morning (or early afternoon) coffee and the calorie content is less than a piece of toast. This is definitely a quality product.

I hope you found this review both helpful and informative.

Steve Ramm
“Anything Phonographic”


Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs [Blu-ray]
Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Adriana Caselotti
Price: $24.99
32 used & new from $15.94

56 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of new “Signature Collection” BD/DVD (including new bonuses) Coming Feb 2, 2016, January 24, 2016
The home video BD/DVD release of the latest home video version of Disney’s 1937 classic full length animated film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” , will not be released until February 2nd, but – as a journalist – I was provided with an advance screener in exchange for an objective review. You’ve probably seen the film so there is no reason to spend time on it. It’s a CLASSIC. But this is first time it is available on Digital HD and “Disney Movies Anywhere” and they added about 30 minutes of NEW bonus material, so that’s what I’ll concentrate on here.
If you don’t already own the “Diamond Edition” release (from 2009) you will find literally HOURS of bonus featurettes here. These run more than the 83 minute length of the film. If you already have the Diamond edition, here’s what’s new:
1) A four minute “in Walt’s Words” short which has the audio of an interview with Disney in the 1960s melded with archival footage and stills.
2) A seven minute “Iconography” short which concentrates on three “artists/fashion n designers” who are Making money from “Snow White” tie ins. This is –honestly – a throw away, in my opinion.
3) A five-minute short on designing the characters with current Disney Animators paying tribute to the original artists.
4) A 4 ½ minute short (cross promoting Disney Channel star Sofia Carson) which gives you “7 Facts” you may not know about Snow White
5) “Snow White in 70 Seconds” – which “raps the plot” in – ACTUALLY – 61 seconds. (not sure why they call it “70 seconds”.
6) A 3 ½ minute “alternate sequence – using story boards for “the Prince Meeting Snow White”

The colors are bright and the transfers are great and – if you had your kids watching the previous disc, it’s probably scratched. So you “might want to upgrade”. If, like me, you don’t have the film on BD, you’ll get a lot for your money here with all the old and new bonuses.

I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.

Steve Ramm
Anything Phonographic.
Comment Comments (23) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 13, 2016 5:48 AM PST


Bridge of Spies BD + DVD + Digital [Blu-ray]
Bridge of Spies BD + DVD + Digital [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Tom Hanks
Price: $22.99
30 used & new from $17.99

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of BD version (including Bonus features) coming in early February – NO SPOILERS here, January 24, 2016
The home video BD/DVD release of the latest Spielberg film (and an Oscar nominee), will not be released until February 2nd, but – as a journalist – I was provided with an advance screener in exchange for an objective review. I won’t go into the plot very much here (no spoilers from me – and I recommend that you watch for spoilers in other reviews; after all this a suspense film) but will offer a few personal comments and then move on to the bonus material – which is some of the best I’ve seen lately.

I was in high school when the Berlin Wall was built and U2 pilot Gary Francis Powers was shot down in Russia. I knew much of the story, but there were parts new to me in this film (based on the true events). I do remember the “duck and cover” films in school and the building of fallout shelters. If you are a baby boomer you probably remember them too.

I thought Tom Hanks’ acting was superb but he has such an identifiable look and voice that you can’t help but seeing “Tom Hanks, the actor” rather than the character he plays. That, to me, is the ONLY weakness in this or any film he stars in.

There are four bonus features and they are substantial and really add a lot to the film AFTER you have seen it. The longest one – at 17 minutes – is the “making of” featurette with all the main cast and production crew. In addition there are comments from Gary Powers’ son – who founded a “Cold War Museum”. Next comes an eight-minute short on both the U-2 pane (they are still in operation) and the air force base where some events took of – and where parts of film were filmed. The five-minute film “Spy Swap” focuses on both the bridge where the final act takes place and how it was filmed and lighted. Finally is an 11-minute short on how Spielberg and his director of photography (who lived on the east side of the Berlin Wall) recreated the buildings of the period – including building a long wall for filming.

The film is 141 minutes but goes quickly. This is a period in America’s history that the younger generation will not know of unless they see this film. Like “Schindler’s List”, Spielberg has made a historical film which can be used to teach and lead to discussion.
I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.

Steve Ramm
“Anything Phonographic”


Mercy Street [Blu-ray]
Mercy Street [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Price: $22.99
21 used & new from $16.99

16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of BD & DVD – “The Civil War meets M*A*S*H in the this 6-part American produced PBS drama (Be aware of the graphic images, January 21, 2016
This review is from: Mercy Street [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Though the BD and DVD of this series will not be available until February 2, 2016, as a journalist, I was provided an advance screener in exchange for an objective review of the production and the bonus features on the Bluray and DVD versions. Because the series is still running I will not provide ant “spoilers” (I hate spoilers) nor give too many details. You’ll enjoy the series more, the less you know – except for some certain “warnings” – which will NOT divulge the plot details.

This six-part series was developed by PBS – and executive-produced by Director Ridley Scott to show that US mini-series can rival the quality of BBC series like “Downton Abbey”. The story takes place in Alexandria, VA in 1862 – at the height of the Civil War. Alexandria is right on the border of the “North” and the “South” and is the base for the Union hospital – where some Confederates are treated as well. Like the BBC dramas (like DA) this is a place where all “classes” come together in one building. There are soldiers from the North and South, doctors who are thrown into saving their “enemies”, “free” black men as well as slaves, and society matrons who find that “war is hell”. There are even a few moments that will remind you of “Roots”. There is some of the direct rawness of M*A*S*H (Robert Altman’s FILM version, not Larry Gelbart’s TV comedy), though this war was a hundred years earlier.

While the conflict between the sides (north vs. south; black vs. whites; rich vs. poor) runs through the series, there is a lot of “surgery” being practiced here and it is some of the most graphic and grisly images that I remember seeing in a long while. The BD/DVD is the “Original UK Version” and is not “edited” so I’m not sure what is being shown on PBS is ( I have not seen it there), but I do want to warn those with weak stomachs for “blood, skin and bones” to be aware of this. There is also some graphic language.

The series consists of six episodes, Each running just over 53 minutes each.

The BD has English subtitles and about 30 minutes of “bonuses”. In addition to a number of “deleted scenes” (one lasts eight minutes; the others much shorter) there are short (2-3 minute) featurettes about Historical Accuracy, the background on two characters and the southern family that is housing the northern troops, and the cast. Some (not all) of these can be seen on the PBS website.

The acting is excellent, the script well done (though some often -used clichés are there too). If you miss it on PBS – and are prepared for the violent images, I think you’ll like this.

I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.

Steve Ramm
“Anything Phonographic”
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 9, 2016 1:38 PM PST


Time Scanners: Machu Pichu
Time Scanners: Machu Pichu
DVD ~ .
Price: $17.99
18 used & new from $12.29

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating PBS show answers long-time questions as to how the ancient Peruvian city was built and how the inhabitants survived, January 18, 2016
This review is from: Time Scanners: Machu Pichu (DVD)
35 years ago I had the opportunity to travel to Peru and spend New Year’s Day at the site of the 500-year-old Inca city in the Andes Mountains – Machu Picchu. Though I’ve traveled to many others places in the world this one ranks with the Great Wall of China as the top two highlights. It’s one the places that “you must see before you die” (I’m glad I did!)

Everyone I know who has visited this “lost city” (It sat undiscovered until 1919 when explorer Hiram Bingham came upon it.) has wondered how the still-standing building frames made from huge boulders were moved into place. (The wheel had not been invented yet). A second question was “why were there so many terraces?’ And, a third question was “how did the 1,000 or so inhabitants get water to drink, wash and plant, when the city was on top of a mountain 8,000 ft above sea level?”.

There have been studies but now a new form of laser photography can actually provide the answers. This is the goal of the laser photo experts – who call themselves “time scanners” and they have done these analyses for other historic sites and the results have been the PBS series “time Scanners” of which this 53 minute episode is just one that has been released on DVD.

I won’t tell you the answers to the three questions above, but I felt that what was proposed made sense. It helped fill in the “gaps” of what I have read over the years.

If you are an “armchair traveler”, watching this show will give you a feeling for the beauty and awesomeness of Machu Picchu and might even convince you to visit there during your life.

There are no bonus features on the DVD. It does have English subtitles.

I was provided an advance screening copy in exchange for an objective review.

I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.

Steve Ramm
“Anything Phonographic”


EyeBook: Sixty Artists, One Subject
EyeBook: Sixty Artists, One Subject
by Jenny Lynn
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.37
21 used & new from $13.37

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beauty is in the Eye of The Beholder – and this well-crafted photo book is a Beauty, January 17, 2016
Conceptual photographer Jenny Lynn spent years collecting images which centered on the human eye for years, hoping one day to curate an exhibition or, possibly edit a book. To my knowledge, the exhibition never happened but, by “curating” this book – which combines photographic image (and photos of paintings or other mixed media) with brief quotes related to seeing or observing – she will certainly reach a wider audience. (I can’t help by thinking that this would be the perfect gift for an Optometrist or for display in either an optometrist’s or optician’s waiting room.

Though Lynn is an American artist, living in Philadelphia, the 132-page hardbound book was published by the Italian publisher Damiani, and printed in Bologna, Italy The print and reproduction is superb and the book is well-bound. There are 60 “images” and almost as many quotes (a few pages are blank). The images, presented chronologically, date from as far back as 1535 (a colorful scientific diagram of the human eye) to 2009 (a mixed-media photo/embroidery piece). Lynn inserts one of her own photos (from 1982) as well. I’d love to tell you which page it is one, but the pages are not numbered. Nearly all the images were new to me – one by Rene Magritte and a William Wegman dog from 1994 seemed familiar – and nearly all show only one eye. A very few show two and the Robert Crumb caricature has three (!) and another has four (!!).

The quotes are taken from works by William Blake, Walt Whitman, Sartre, Kerouac and poet Billy Collins. Only one is from the artist of the graphic it is coordinated with.

I’ve looked through this book a few times already and each time I find a different page to stop at and spend some time with. Lynn says that she was surprised, when she came up with the concept. That there were no art books devoted to the eye. She’s probably right. And I’m glad she followed through with it.

I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.

Steve Ramm
“Anything Phonographic”


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