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J. Blilie RSS Feed (Twin Cities, MN)
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SET OF 2 - 16-Inch Long, Wine Glass Rack, Wire Hanging Rack, Wine Glass Hanging Rack, Wire Wine Glass Hanger Rack, Stemware Rack, Under Cabinet, Chrome Finish
SET OF 2 - 16-Inch Long, Wine Glass Rack, Wire Hanging Rack, Wine Glass Hanging Rack, Wire Wine Glass Hanger Rack, Stemware Rack, Under Cabinet, Chrome Finish
Offered by Onesource International
Price: $9.45
2 used & new from $9.45

4.0 out of 5 stars Sturdy, working great for us, August 6, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
These worked really well for us. Maybe if you are expecting display quality aesthetics these might not be for you; but they worked great in our cabinets. Very solidly made -- extremely rigid, which helps keep the glasses in place (and prevents bouncing when you put them on the racks.) Finish seems very good. Good value for the price.

They may not be perfectly aligned to the attachment flanges; but I didn't expect them to be. I installed as follows: (I pre-drilled holes): locate main (front) mounting flange relative to the previous one. Install one of the screws to this flange. Align the back (smaller, one-hole) flange to make the rack parallel to the previous ones. Install the screw in the back flange. Install other the screw in the front flange. Fast and easy.

The screws that come with aren't the greatest (but when are they ever?) However, I only stripped one out of 18 screws. Impact driver is always recommended with wood screws.


Glass Spice Jars- Set of Six Glass Spice Bottles
Glass Spice Jars- Set of Six Glass Spice Bottles
Offered by LaPrima Shops
Price: $9.12
5 used & new from $6.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Very nice spice jars, August 6, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Excellent jars. Nice size. They seem very solid, including the lids and sprinkle baffles that come with them. No issues of any sort. Well packaged to prevent damage/scratches. Ordered more for future replacements.


Brass Mortar & Pestle, Khaldasta Spice Grinder (Size#3)
Brass Mortar & Pestle, Khaldasta Spice Grinder (Size#3)
Offered by indian mixer grinder store
Price: $21.99
2 used & new from $21.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent M&P, August 6, 2014
Excellent tool. I bought the smallest size (#3). This is a little larger than the current one we have. Excellent finish. Nice thing about the pestle: The grip ring is well above the rim of the mortar (which prevents pinches - ouch!). And the pestle is rather longer than on our other one, which makes it easier to use. Nice M&P. If you've never used a square-bottomed M&P, do try it: Works much better for crushing whole spice than the round-bottom ceramic models usually seen in the US. Also more or less indestructible.


Fallen Giants: A History of Himalayan Mountaineering from the Age of Empire to the Age of Extremes
Fallen Giants: A History of Himalayan Mountaineering from the Age of Empire to the Age of Extremes
by Maurice Isserman
Edition: Paperback
Price: $17.83
134 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly Written and Exciting Overview of Himalayan Climbing, January 24, 2014
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I enjoyed this book more than any climbing book I've read in many years. It is superbly written and meticulously researched and annotated. As I approached this book, I felt its size and heft, looked at the text and saw the smallish font and the amount of print on each page, and I thought, oops, this might be a tough slog.

Nothing could be further from the truth. I'd been in a spate of reading thriller novels and this book was more un-put-down-able than nearly every one of those novels. This book was a page-turner throughout and only indulged in tiny doses of navel gazing, when called for by the individuals being described. This is the story of mountaineering in the Himalaya from the earliest historical accounts to the 2000s, told like a fireside tale. Gripping and full of life.

It would help to have some knowledge of the climbing history and the terrain covered to get the most out of this book; but it really does provide plenty of detail. As with any NF book that moves across the land in its story, it's a good idea to have an atlas or maps handy if you need to orient yourself.

The emphasis is on the fourteen 8000-meter peaks, their first ascents, and other of the very highest peaks in the range. This is understandable, since these were, for nearly the entire history of Himalayan climbing, the greatest challenges: Just getting to the top of the greatest peaks. They were the lodestones of almost all climbers until the 1960s. Therefore, many of the smaller, more technical peaks are not covered (though some of the most famous and earliest are.) The book also focuses on other firsts, such as first ascents by climbers of various nationalities and by women.

By the time of the 1970s and beyond, when the range was opened to far more expeditions (and commercial trips) a severe selection of which climbs were to be covered had to be made. I think the climbs covered in the later periods reflect the interest of most readers of climbing narrative. You may not find you favorite ascent from the 1970s through the 2000s covered in detail (or at all); but a good selection of "firsts", news-worthy, and, especially, influential climbs are covered well. The intent of the book seems to be to indicate key climbs that drove the mountaineering ethic and climbing style in the Himalaya (including commercialization); and the authors accomplished this well. And did it in a very entertaining and readable style. Bravo!

Highest recommendation.

Regarding the charge of anglo-centrism: Well, yes, they tailored the book for the British and American reader. And they primarily used feet for elevations and miles for distances. Tailoring your book for the intended audience? Wow, who knew?!


The Andalucian Friend: A Novel
The Andalucian Friend: A Novel
by Alexander Söderberg
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.48
170 used & new from $0.01

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Thriller -- Until the Ending, January 10, 2014
This is an well-written and very complex thriller. Sjoderberg keeps pulling out plots twists that keep you reeling, all the way through. I remember thinking at one point: Wow, this is the climax of the story -- but I'm not very far into it. And looking to see that I was only 1/3 of the way through. Interesting story and characters. Well written throughout ... until you get to the end.

I could think of several ways to end the novel that would have been more interesting. I won't reveal spoilers; but it felt like it ended in mid-sentence. I'm always a little worried when an novel writer includes an "epilogue." The story just stops. It's like he got tier/bored with the book and just decided to stop. Many story theads are left unresovled -- and not in the kind of that leads to a sequel (IMO).

Seriously disappointing ending after all the good stuff that led up to it. Doesn't fit with the rest of the book. And why did he include an "epilogue" if he didn't intend to use it to tie off the story threads (isn't that the purpose of an epilogue?!)


The Happy Atheist
The Happy Atheist
by PZ Myers
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.67
67 used & new from $3.37

45 of 55 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's Just OK, August 30, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Happy Atheist (Hardcover)
I was excited to read PZ's book, because, though I don't like the invective on his site and its almost-cultish feel (I rarely read it now), I do like his strong stand for atheism and we need the firebrands as well as the Dan Dennetts.

So, I've read it through (it only took me 2 1-hour sittings; this is a very short book). My reaction: Meh. The book is, as many have pointed out, essentially a re-print of existing blog posts from Pharyngula. It's short, small format, not much print on a page. Basically pretty "lite".

As a formerly dedicated reader of his blog, I felt I was reading nothing new (literally). I had hoped for a structured book in the vein of The God Delusion or The End of Faith, with PZ's wit and take on the subject of religion generally. Especially considering the build up to it. If you like his writing and want a nicely turned-out hard-copy of some favorite posts, then this will serve you well. If you wanted something broader or deeper, then this isn't it.

This book was a let-down.


Miniature Ballista Kit - Wooden Desktop Warfare Ballista
Miniature Ballista Kit - Wooden Desktop Warfare Ballista
Offered by Tru Inertia
Price: $15.60
5 used & new from $15.60

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little toy - does take some skill to assemble, May 3, 2013
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
My 9-year old son loves this toy! I did most of the assembly. This is probably too hard to assemble well for a child younger than 12 or so (in my opinion.)

The parts are laser cut (the laser does burn the wood, hence the slight wood smoke smell) and very accurate. Some of them fit so pefectly that glue might have been optional (we glued all joints). The assembly of the wooden parts is really very simple. My only advice would be: Lightly sand the laser-cut surfaces if they are going to be gluing surfaces. The burnt wood remnants interfere with good bonding. Sand on a flat, hard surface to maintain a flat surface on the part. Use sandpaper around 180-grit. Don't sand too much. (All that said, it probably glues fine without sanding.)

The only tricky part was inserting the spring arms into the string loops (torsion springs) and winding up the torsion springs. Once some tension was on the sytem, it was no problem; but getting started required a third hand (from my son). Balancing the arms top-bottom and between the two arms was simple.

This is really quite historically accurate. The big innovation that the Greeks developed (and Romans further developed) was using torsion of bundles of fiber (sinew or hair) to power the swinging arms of what is essentially a crossbow. Much more portable, adjustable, and effective than a single, large bow member. This was artillery for a long time. The Greeks also developed bows made of compound materials (bone on the compression face, sinew on the tension face).

Cautions: It shoots pretty hard! Make sure your child has some safety training before letting them loose with it! I tell mine to treat it just like a gun -- it IS a gun.

Full disclosure: I am a mechanical engineer and wood worker. However, no special strength in either of these areas is required to assemble this toy.


Laptop Battery for Select Apple MacBooks
Laptop Battery for Select Apple MacBooks
Offered by KUAI LE
Price: $18.37
21 used & new from $18.35

5.0 out of 5 stars Value for Your Money, February 15, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This battery works just fine: Fits, charges up fine, runs fine. The little green and orange lights and their button work just like the original battery.

Yes, it's not EXACTLY the same color as the rest of the MacBook case; but it's on the BOTTOM!
Yes, it isn't a perfectly flush fit with the MacBook case; but it's completely acceptable from this standpoint.
Yes, the little rubber foot isn't the same color as the other feet on the MacBook.

These issues are extremely minor and they are all on the bottom of the unit, out of sight 99.9% of the time.

These minor cosmetic issues are EASY to choose for a $25 battery instead of a $125-$140 battery. Unless you think of a tool like a MacBook as an artistic statement, this battery is the way to go, IMO.

I bought 2!


Sony CFDS05 CD Radio Cassette Recorder Boombox Speaker System (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Sony CFDS05 CD Radio Cassette Recorder Boombox Speaker System (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Offered by Audio Plaza
Price: $58.79
37 used & new from $38.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great LITTLE Boombox, February 7, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I wanted this boombox so I could have music in my shop. It's tiny and yet sounds great (for a small boombox -- hey this isn't BOSE speakers!)

Things I love about it:
Small size
Everything easily accessible from the front and top
Easy to read butons, displays, and symbols
30 presets on the radio
Easy radio preset programming
Surprisingly good radio reception
CD player, top access, simple mechanical lid
The CD player remembers where you left off!
MP3 player input on the front of the boombox
Individual pushbuttons to select each music input
Price

Doesn't have a remote; but I don't really need one. And the remote ALWAYS dies before the unit ...
I have not used the tape player -- I don't used cassette tapes anymore.

This is a perfect unit for a small boombox.


Timber Wolf Bandsaw Blade 82" x 1/4" x 10 TPI x .025 Thickness
Timber Wolf Bandsaw Blade 82" x 1/4" x 10 TPI x .025 Thickness
Offered by Woodline USA
Price: $23.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Blades That Are Worth the Money, December 10, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
These blades just cut better. I can cut straighter, cut nicer curves, cut cleaner, use less force, and have better control with these Timberwolf blades. I won't be going back to the cheaper options. Obviously proper setup is important; but these are great blades.


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