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Sushi Go! - The Pick and Pass Card Game
Sushi Go! - The Pick and Pass Card Game
Price: $8.95
128 used & new from $8.85

5.0 out of 5 stars Great lighthearted card game that is very easy to pick up, February 9, 2016
I opened the package, read the instructions for about 5 minutes or so, explained the rules to my friends, and we got to playing right away. Later I learned that this type of game mechanic is called "drafting," so if you are an experienced gamer, it may take even less time to understand the rules. This game is very easy to understand, and simple and quick to play, and we had a very good time playing it. As far as instant fun factor goes, I say this one score 10 out of 10 easily.

There is also a room for some bit of strategy too. Due to its drafting mechanic, you get to see exactly what cards are in circulation, and what cards other players are keeping. With some observation and memorization, the player can make educated decision as to which cards to keep and which cards to pass, thus maximizing the chances for victory. Sure, it's not the deepest or the most complex of strategies, but I think it's great for children and for grown-ups who don't usually play these games. I think this makes for a great "entryway" game for people new to board games and such.

I agree with the other reviewer who wished that the game had more cards variety. (If they ever make an expansion pack, I know I would welcome it.) But I imagine the makers really wanted to stress on the insta-fun factor for the lowest bar of entry, and I think they succeeded.

For more experienced card/board gamers, there probably are better options out there. But for casual gamers and newcomer gamers, I say Sushi Go is just about perfect.

Quantum Mechanix Firefly Playing Cards
Quantum Mechanix Firefly Playing Cards
Offered by ByteSlaves Gaming
Price: $14.99
7 used & new from $7.07

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A couple design nitpicks, but otherwise superb!, August 14, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I love it! The quality of the cards themselves -- paper stock, texture, print quality, finish, etc -- is superb. As other reviewers have noted, I would have loved to see four distinct sets of designs for each suits' face cards. As it is, the red cards (hearts and diamonds) share same face card designs, as do the black cards (spades and clubs).

Also, on 3 of clubs and 3 of diamonds cards, the Chinese erroneously say "7" of clubs and diamonds. For Browncoats of Asian heritage like myself, that stuck out like a sore thumb. Shame.

Even so, this is a beautiful set of playing cards. I might knock off a half star for the design shortcomings if Amazon allowed a half-star rating, but there's no questioning this is a highly recommended item to all the fellow Browncoats. Keep flyin'!!

RND Apple CERTIFIED Cable for iPad, iPhone, iPod (3.2 Feet/black)
RND Apple CERTIFIED Cable for iPad, iPhone, iPod (3.2 Feet/black)
Offered by RND Power Solutions
Price: $15.99
2 used & new from $9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Decent replacement cable, January 23, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This cable's Dock Connector plug is exactly the same size as the Apple plug that came with my iPhone 4S. This means it's going to fit every iPhone case out there (unlike AmazonBasics 3.2 feet 1.0 Meter USB Charging/Sync Cable for Apple iPod, iPhone, and iPad, whose plug is too fat to fit some iPhone cases, like the Lifeproof case that I use). It also means that, like with me and Lifeproof case, you might have to yank the cable by the wire portion to unplug it because the plug gets "buried" by the case (in other words, not enough of the plug is protruding to get a grip on).

The wire itself seems of reasonable quality, thicker than the official Apple cable, but thinner than Extra Long 6 Foot (6ft) iPhone / iPod / iPad USB Charge and Sync Cable Made of Premium Rubberized Non-tangle Material - Black. All in all, this is a decent replacement iPhone sync cable.

Extra Long 6 Foot (6ft) iPhone / iPod / iPad USB Charge and Sync Cable Made of Premium Rubberized Non-tangle Material - Black
Extra Long 6 Foot (6ft) iPhone / iPod / iPad USB Charge and Sync Cable Made of Premium Rubberized Non-tangle Material - Black

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It should fit all iPhone cases, January 20, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The issue with lots of third-party iPhone sync cable is that the plug can be thicker or wider than the original iPhone cable's plug, making it not fit the opening of some iPhone cases. I have a Lifeproof case (love it!), and that was the issue I had with cables like AmazonBasics 3.2 feet 1.0 Meter USB Charging/Sync Cable for Apple iPod, iPhone, and iPad.

This cable has no such issue. I didn't measure it with a ruler or anything, but as far as I can tell, its plug has exact same width and thickness as the original Apple cable plug, so it should have no problem plugging into any cases you have. The plug is slightly longer than Apple's, but that's a good thing. It means the plug won't be "buried" deep in the case when plugged in, and you won't have to yank the plug by the wire to unplug, which I had to do with the original Apple cable and Lifeproof case.

The cable itself is built with sturdy material that easily should last me until the time I upgrade my iPhone to a Lightning connector model. And 6-foot length is perfect for me. I am very pleased with this cable. Highly recommended.

Perfect Timing - Turner 12 X 12 Inches 2013 Los Angeles Dodgers Wall Calendar (8011221)
Perfect Timing - Turner 12 X 12 Inches 2013 Los Angeles Dodgers Wall Calendar (8011221)

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No. Just no., January 5, 2013
I'm a big fan of Dodgers (GO DODGERS!!!!), so when I saw this calendar at a local bookstore, I immediately picked it up and looked at the back to see who was on it.

Juan Uribe adorned January. That was a big warning sign right there.

Then there's James Loney in the calendar. Yes, the same James Loney who was traded to Red Sox in AUGUST of 2012. Ok, so Amazon says this calendar was released in September, so maybe the trade happened too late to be reflected by this calendar. Ok, fine.

Then there's Juan Rivera. Or at least it shows the *picture* of Juan Rivera. It lists the *info* of Juan Rivera (except the birthplace listed is actually of Juan Uribe). But the name says Mat Gamel. Who? Yeah, I didn't know either. I looked him up, and he's a backup first baseman for Milwaukee Brewers, and he played in a grand total of 106 games over the course of four seasons and a change. How Juan Rivera's name got replaced with Mat Gamel's, I'll never know. (I'll forgive the calendar makers for the fact that Rivera no longer plays for the Dodgers, since that development took place in October)

Anyway, I put the calendar back on the shelf and walked away. While I can understand some inevitable roster errors, I feel that Dodger fans deserve better.

SimplySleeper SS-47T Ultra Tough Premium Twin Air Bed (Air Mattress) with Built-in Fully Automatic Electric Pump (Puncture & Stretch Resistant!)
SimplySleeper SS-47T Ultra Tough Premium Twin Air Bed (Air Mattress) with Built-in Fully Automatic Electric Pump (Puncture & Stretch Resistant!)
Offered by SimplyGlobo.Inc
Price: $129.99
4 used & new from $80.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still no flaw after 2 months of daily use, June 7, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Due to my father coming in for an extended stay at my place, I had to sleep on this air mattress for about 2 months. I was worried about air leaking because that's what most other air mattress reviews talked about. Not this one. I have a bad back with a history of spinal surgery, so I need my mattress to be very firm, and this mattress felt just as sturdy and comfortable in the morning as it did at night. Well, actually I could tell there was a slight loss of air if I pressed down on the mattress with my hand, but lying down on it I could never tell the difference.

Inflating and deflating takes little less than 2 minutes with the internal pump. The pump is noisy, but not as noisy as I feared. I expected a full-sized vacuum cleaner level of noise, but it was more like a DirtDevil handheld vacuum cleaner noise. So I felt a bit less guilty to my neighbors when I inflated it at 1 AM. (For the record, none of my apartment neighbors ever mentioned the noise. I don't know if there were just being understanding, or if it just didn't bother them at all.)

The mattress can feel lumpy at full inflation, so I laid two layers of thick blankets on top of it for cushion. And I slept like a baby. And the mattress is still going strong.

For anyone in the market for an air mattress, I cannot recommend this highly enough. This one absolutely surpassed my expectations.

Sony PS3 Media/Blu-ray Disc Remote Control
Sony PS3 Media/Blu-ray Disc Remote Control
Price: $36.90
23 used & new from $24.67

99 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent "universal lite" remote, December 5, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Amidst the hustle and bustle of moving to a new place, I lost the remote for my Samsung TV. Instead of getting a new remote for Samsung, I decided to give this PS3 remote a try. It worked out perfectly.

Programming is a standard fare for a universal remote in this price range -- you find your TV's model from the manual, and enter the corresponding code into the remote. There were 4 different codes for Samsung TV, and I had to try them one by one, and as my luck would have it, it was the last one I tried that worked for my TV. But once the correct code was entered, it worked beautifully. Not only did it handle the basic functions like volume, channel, and input selection, the remote could even navigate the TV's setting menu, which I found to be a very pleasant surprise. Pressing the Subtitle button (the one you would normally press while watching DVD/Bluray) while the remote is in TV mode let me turn on/off the Closed Caption function of my Samsung television too. I have absolutely zero need for a Samsung remote now.

And of course, pairing the remote with my PS3 was a cinch. All in all, from unwrapping the packaging, to inserting the included 2xAAA batteries into the remote, to pairing it with PS3, and to finding the right code for my TV, the whole set-up process took maybe 10 minutes. Probably less.

I should mention that I've been a console gamer for 20+ years now. That is to say, using a game controller like the PS3 controller is a second nature to me. I have no problem using the DVD/Bluray function with the PS3 controller. But my guests don't share my familiarity with the PS3 controller, and that was the primary reason why I decided to get this remote. But now that I've actually used it, I find that it really *is* easier to control the DVD/Bluray function with the remote than with the PS3 controller.

One feature I really like is the 15-second skip function. Normally, that function is accessed by pressing the triangle button on the PS3 controller, and then selecting the correct icon. In other words, it takes multiple button/d-pad presses with a PS3 controller, and consequently, I've never used it. But the remote has a dedicate set of buttons for that function (backward and forward). So if I miss a bit of dialogue or action while watching a film, instead of rewinding and playing back again, I just have to press one button, and it instantly goes back 15 seconds. This is really, really convenient.

One minor negative is that, like another reviewer mentioned, the weight balance feels off. It's rather top-heavy, which is accentuated by the fact that the volume and channel buttons are located way at the bottom of the remote. It's not a big deal, and you quickly learn to get used to it, but it's one of those minor details that you wish Sony had gotten right.

For those who use their PS3 as their primary DVD/Bluray playback device, I can wholeheartedly recommend this remote. This is one of those items that I did not know I needed until I tried it.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 5, 2013 12:23 AM PST

Sony PSP Game Case - Blue
Sony PSP Game Case - Blue

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sturdy and well-built case, but no provision for Memory Sticks at all, December 4, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
As I was shopping for a case for my new PSP 3000, I chose this one because of the Case Logic name. And the build quality is excellent, just as I hoped. I travel abroad quite often, and I would have no problem trusting this case to do its job protecting my PSP in my crowded backpack.

PSP is nicely secured with a single thick elastic band down the middle, and there is a pretty roomy pouch with a velcro cover on the top side. I put Psp Battery Kit (2200mAh extra capacity battery) in my PSP, so my PSP is a little bit thicker, and still I had no problem comfortably storing the original battery and its cover, plus 2 UMDs in the pouch. If I didn't put my original battery in the pouch, I imagine I'd be able to store 3 or 4 UMDs with ease.

So why 3 stars instead of 5?

The case makes absolutely no provision for Memory Sticks at all. There is no storage slot or anything. The only option is to put the extra Memory Sticks in that big pouch along with the UMDs and the extra battery, etc. To make matters worse, the pouch's cover does not go the full length of the pouch; there is about an inch of space to either end where the pouch is uncovered. That may not be big enough for UMDs, but it's big enough for Memory Sticks to squeeze through. I can easily imagine the little thing accidentally slipping out of the pouch while I'm trying to take out a UMD. I'd hate for that to happen while I'm sitting in an economy seat of a crowded flight. Yikes!

For a case that's specifically designed for PSP, and for someone like me who wants to keep as many things as possible on Memory Sticks to reduce clutter (gotta travel light!), I consider this a critical design flaw -- hence 3 stars. I would have no problem giving this case 5 stars if it had some means of securely holding Memory Sticks.

Hunt Through the Cradle of Fear
Hunt Through the Cradle of Fear
by Charles Ardai
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
33 used & new from $0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not nearly as enjoyable as the first book, June 23, 2010
I really enjoyed the first book of the series, Hunt at the Well of Eternity. It was no high literature by any stretch of imagination, but it was a very fun, popcorn literature. For what it was trying to be, it was a great success.

So it was with that expectation I picked up the second book.

Unfortunately, I did not find this book nearly as enjoyable as the first book. In fact, I even found it tedious at times. I finished the first book in just over two days. This one took me almost two weeks.

I pin the blame on the author's writing style. The first book was written by James Reasoner, and he had a writing style that was very concise and to the point. He did not waste words on literary embellishments, and simply focused on telling the story, and that led to a very quick and easy read, adding to the sense of momentum to the adventure.

The second book, on the other hand, was written by Charles Ardai, and unfortunately he felt the need to embellish the action with unnecessary detail. For example, when you're tearing off the fare meter from a taxi cab to throw at your pursuers, do we really need to know what increment the meter is counting its fare? Surely Mr. Ardai feels he is bringing the scene more fully to life by describing objects in detail, but all he's really doing is breaking up the action and slowing the story down. Mr. Ardai is actually the creator of the Gabriel Hunt series, but it appears that Mr. Reasoner understood better that the series needs its writing to be fast, focused and streamlined in order to be the action-packed page-turner it wants to be.

This book makes another big blunder, and that is its deceptive length. The story comes to an end at page 217, while the book itself contains 267 pages (not counting the usual preview excerpt to the next book). The remaining 50 pages contain a separate, unrelated novella by Mr. Ardai. There was no indication anywhere else in the book that there would be a "bonus" story until that point, so the ending came very abruptly as I was expecting the story to unfold for 50 more pages. It really did not leave a satisfying impression to finishing the book.

All in all, I am very disappointed with the second installment to the Gabriel Hunt series. It is as if my favorite movie was followed by a subpar sequel by a different director. And despite the fact that the "different director" in this case is actually the series creator, that's exactly what happened.

Hunt at the Well of Eternity
Hunt at the Well of Eternity
by James Reasoner
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
29 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Popcorn-worthy guilty pleasure novel for guys, May 10, 2010
Reading this book was like watching a low-budget 80s action flick -- flat single-dimensional characters with a cliche plot whose twists you can see coming from a mile away. (Sorry, I just felt compelled to describe a cliche with another cliche.)

Thankfully, this isn't a movie, so its action quotient is not restrained by budget. And clearly, the operating mantra while writing this book was "action, Action, ACTION, and MORE ACTION."

And boy, does this book move fast. In the very first page (which contains only about a half page of text), not only are we introduced to the hero and his brother, but also the mysterious woman who brings them something that kickstarts the story. Of course, she is also "the loveliest woman he has seen in quite some time." What else is new.

The first 40 pages or so also contain no less than two gunfights/brawls and two vehicular chase scenes. Once again, "action, Action, ACTION, and MORE ACTION."

If you like things such as character development, character drama, lush prose, and other similar literary ornaments, then this is not a book for you. This book doesn't even pretend to contain any redeeming literary qualities. It is shamelessly, intentionally, and proudly simplistic, and that's exactly where the book's charm lies. This is a guilty pleasure novel for guys.

"Hunt at the Well of Eternity" is a fast-paced page-turner. It's campy, and it's fun, even if it's mindlessly so. That's exactly what the writer(s) were shooting for, and they succeeded magnificently.

If you are in the mood for a book equivalent of an 80s action flick, I cannot recommend Gabriel Hunt highly enough. Don't forget your popcorn.

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