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Customer Reviews: 189
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Steve Harrison RSS Feed (Tucson, Arizona USA)
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Fool or Physician: The Memoirs of a Sceptical Doctor
Fool or Physician: The Memoirs of a Sceptical Doctor
Price: $4.75

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and interesting, though lightweight, March 14, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is the story of the author's work, while a young doctor, in Africa, London, and the South Pacific. It is more autobiography than social or political commentary but its observations and outlook will interest Daniels/Dalrymple fans. Lighter than his later books, this is a great $5.00 Kindle, leisure read.


Epson WorkForce Pro WP-4020 Wireless Color Inkjet Printer (C11CB30201)
Epson WorkForce Pro WP-4020 Wireless Color Inkjet Printer (C11CB30201)
Price: $95.99
90 used & new from $45.00

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A real disappointment, March 14, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Since Epson is still selling this thing I have come back to replace completely the glowing review I gave it in March 2012. Maybe there should be a rule that you must use a product for six months before reviewing it. As so many reviewers have reported, eventually the printing head starts leaking and your printouts look like the watercolors your children make with their fingers. And, as several others have reported, the machine sooner or later has trouble realizing that there really is paper in the main paper tray. That so many have the same problems signals basic design issues -- that Epson knows about since, as once again other reviewers have reported, it doesn't want your old machine back when it replaces it with a refurbished machine that doesn't work either.

I doubt that by now (August 2014) anyone will read far enough into this string of reviews to see this but at least I can do my tiny bit to reduce the product's overall star rating.


Nike Zoom Vomero+ 6 Running Shoes
Nike Zoom Vomero+ 6 Running Shoes

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most comfortable shoe of all, February 25, 2012
The Nike Zoom Vomero has more cushioning than any other shoe in the Nike line -- or, as far as I know, in any other. The most cushioned Asics shoe, for example -- the Gel Nimbus -- doesn't even compare. To get this level of cushioning, though, the Vomero gives up a degree of structure, strength, and durability. This is not a shoe for sports or cross-training; it doesn't support the foot well enough. For running it will be great if your foot doesn't need a more structured shoe but may not last as long as less cushiony runners. But for walking and casual wear, the Vomero is fantastic -- you can't do better.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 9, 2012 12:27 PM PDT


No Title Available

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great shoe for active use, February 25, 2012
The Air Max sole provides the highest amount of cushioning available in a structured shoe -- more, for example, than in the Asics Gel Nimbus. The Nike Zoom Vomero has even more cushioning (more than any other show I know of) but is built for light weight and cushy comfort rather than strength and durability. The Air Max's structured aspect is most noticeable in the forefoot and toe box, which are shallow vertically to hold the foot in place. This is a serious shoe that wants to be used hard -- running, training, playing sports. Its like a well-designed piece of athletic equipment: it makes the activity much nicer to do, and is not at all uncomfortable, but you always know its there.

For the most cushioning consistent with an active, athletic lifestyle, this is the shoe to get. It will also get you noticed; it is not at all inconspicuous, though the simpler and more restrained color patterns are handsome rather than simply flashy.


Verilux VB03WW4 Readylight Solar Rechargeable Flashlight, White
Verilux VB03WW4 Readylight Solar Rechargeable Flashlight, White
Price: $24.95
2 used & new from $24.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A decent product but not without drawbacks, February 23, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Lightweight and comfortable, this flashlight uses six LEDs to produce what seems to be an average amount of light, though nothing much more than that. It is made of a plastic that doesn't seem as if it would stand up to much abuse. (As to its sturdiness, notice that at the moment almost all the reviews were posted by my fellow Vine reviewers and I in the last couple of days, which is when we received them; not much time to judge how long they will last.)

The top side of the opening at the rear swivels open, allowing the flashlight to be hooked onto something. But what? You can't store a solar-powered flashlight in a closet or corner somewhere, or stick it in a drawer, unless you're a lot more disciplined than most of us will remember to be about setting it in the sun once in a while to make sure its charged. And when you try to use it and find that its flat, you can't just pull out some spare batteries and get it working again; recharging takes several hours.

The battery seems typical of those commercially-available units used in solar devices. But it has what appears to be a proprietary connector (on a wire that must plug into a wire in the handle), so you may be stuck buying expensive replacements from this manufacturer. My experience with apparently-similar solar batteries is that they don't last long unless you're very careful about charge/discharge cycles.

This might be something nice to have if you need a flashlight on a boat, since I bet it floats and could get a lot of sunlight there. But as a practical matter a regular flashlight, plus an extra set of batteries, is probably a more dependable and convenient solution.


Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama, and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet
Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama, and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet
by Heather Poole
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.48
113 used & new from $0.06

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Primarily a biography, February 7, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This first part of this book is an interesting look at the training and life of flight attendants. But as it goes on it becomes more and more about the author's relationships, living arrangements, relatives, etc. The book is written for those who will be interested at least as much in catty gossip as in behind-the-scenes airline information.


Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil
Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil
by Tom Mueller
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.19
118 used & new from $2.69

27 of 81 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A sociopolitical diatribe, January 3, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Full disclosure: I could only get about halfway through this. There is some interesting information here about olive oil and its industry but the book is for the most part a screed against the evils of capitalism, industrialism, and free trade, which poison people for the sake of greed and compete unfairly against wise and saintly local farmers. Reading between the lines one can discern that extra-virgin olive oil is extremely costly even with EU subsidies, is an acquired taste (as, to his credit, the author allows more than one of his interviewees to admit), and its marketing is hampered by the facts that Italy's bureaucracy is corrupt and its legal system a shambles. Whether you will enjoy this book depends on which of these views you believe reflects economic reality.
Comment Comments (17) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 26, 2012 10:54 AM PDT


Taco Bell Chipotle Sauce, 8-Ounce (Pack of 6)
Taco Bell Chipotle Sauce, 8-Ounce (Pack of 6)
Offered by SoDelShopper
Price: $24.89
5 used & new from $16.00

2.0 out of 5 stars For Taco Bell Fans Only, October 18, 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This review applies both to the "Chipotle" and the "Spicy Ranchero" flavors, neither of which tastes much like anything identifiable. The base is a thin mayonnaise made from soybean oil, chemically dyed to vivid and rather odd colors. To that are added various natural and artificial flavors to create a strong, though only moderately spicy, flavor.

This isn't really a sauce and it isn't very Mexican. What it is is the sort of bright-color/strong-flavor condiment that kids like to squirt over everything. Juvenile palates are evidently what it's intended for. Since that describes the clientele Taco Bell targets, it should go over well with them.


The Fall of the Faculty
The Fall of the Faculty
Price: $9.74

32 of 55 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Pot and the Kettle, September 12, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This book's thesis is that the growth of administrative bureaucracy is a strategem designed to take control of universities away from tenured professors, resulting in a dumbed-down curriculum taught by dumbed-down teachers. As someone who has had occasion to work with both faculty and administration, the thesis has appealing elements. The overgrowth of the bureaucracy has been astounding. (My grandfather was a university official who, with a secretary and a student assistant, did jobs now spread among three deans, a number of associate and assistant deans, and countless staff. Given the growth of the student body and of regulations in his area of concern, my grandfather's office should definitely be two, three, or even four times larger - but not 35 times, especially since computers have streamlined the work.) And, like any bureaucracy, university administration prioritizes in favor of preserving and expanding itself rather than the activities it is nominally in charge of administering.

The cause of reducing university bureaucracy, then, is a good one. But despite his engaging (though a bit heavy on the sarcasm) style Ginsberg is not a good advocate for it. His viewpoint is that of the other problem on campus - the arrogant, ivory-tower professoriate. (I do not know Prof. Ginsberg, I merely express the impression one gets from the book.) Versions of this book could have been written - and probably have been - as any number of faculty senate committee manifestoes and AAUP publications. Professors should run the university, trustees and legislators (those who merely "pay the bills") should have no say, people who are not professors are "only interested in making money," professors are broadminded and wise (he pays lip service to the idea that a few are less than perfect but doesn't seem to believe it) while administrators are greedy and stupid, athletics are worse than useless and student athletes are just "big dummies," the second most important thing on campus is the amount of money professors get (for their "research," says this professor of political science, carefully not mentioning that a huge number of faculty complaints boil down to salary/benefit issues), and the most important thing is tenure. To Ginsberg, any administration - no matter how big or small - is bad if it disagrees.

As it tends to. I knew two university presidents who met Ginsberg's description of perfection from a (largely-imagined) golden age: intelligent and experienced professors who selflessly took on the burden for awhile before returning to honorable (i.e., scholarly) pursuits. Both had to spend much of their time as President fighting to prevent people like Ginsberg from running things. (Again I refer to the author's apparent persona which, for all I know, misrepresents.) Many professors on any campus are breathtakingly knowledgeable about their subjects and breathtakingly ignorant about everything else. That in itself is not a bad thing. But many of those decide that they are all-wise Renaissance men and women who really ought to be in charge - if not of the nation then at least of the university. The results are faculty politics at least as fierce as anything in the administrative world and faculty demands that are far too often uninformed, self-interested, narrow-minded, and unrealistic.

Prof. Ginsberg's cure is as bad as the disease. His book makes valid points against the bureaucracy - and by the end of it I was rooting for the bureaucracy.


The Shakespeare Thefts: In Search of the First Folios
The Shakespeare Thefts: In Search of the First Folios
by Eric Rasmussen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $21.12
112 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant little stories, September 6, 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The title is misleading; most of the book has nothing to do with thefts. It is just a collection of stories about individual first folios and their buyers, collectors, and researchers, as told by a researcher who is not shy about including himself in them. But it is an interesting little book, written in a breezy and conversational style, for bibliophiles and Shakespeare fans.


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