FTC Disclosure

Life is complicated enough without getting into hotwater with federal agencies so: TAKE NOTE Many things I review I got at no charge in exchange for an honest review. Consider this as informing you that ALL things I review may have been gotten at no charge. Realistically about 60% but in order to keep things above board just assume that I got the stuff free. I do not collect information on my readers. If cookies or other tracking stuff is used on my blogs it is due to BLOGGER not ME. Apparently the European Union's new rules state I need to inform you if cookies are being use. If they are it isn't byu me, consider yourself INFORMED.
Words like, “sponsored,” “promotion,” “paid ad” or even just “ad” are clear ways to disclose that you’re being paid to share information and links so BE AWARE that some of what I write can be described as an AD by the government. BTW I will NEVER say a product is great, super or even acceptable if it isn't, whether I got it free or NOT!

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Please check out my other blogs
Pick of the Literate 
or Azure Dwarf’s Horde
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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Need an Illustrator?



Introducing DART

Dani has illustrated 10 books for me.  I also produce books for clients and she has illustrated 6 books for them.  My web page is www.bentrim.info .  Click on Terrific Illustrator on the left hand tool bar to see examples of the work she has illustrated.

I am posting this as a favor, no money changed hands for this recommendation.   Dani is attempting to go full time as an illustrator and needs more work.   Please take a look at a page on my web site to see examples of her work. 

She is available at:


Saturday, September 15, 2018

Great Travel Alternative to A Carry On Bag-The Cabin Max Metz Backpack


I liked the fact that this backpack opened like a suitcase.  That made it much easier to pack.  The size is equivalent to a carry on bag and should fit in the overhead compartment of most airliners.   The ability to carry it on your back is what makes it more versatile than a carry on bag, even a spinner carry on.   If you have a large suitcase and are trying to pull it and a smaller carry on that also has wheels you are suddenly out of hands to hold escalator handles or open doors or to dig out your passport.   It does not have chest straps nor does it have a built in back pack frame which I saw on other bags.   For my purposes, it worked perfectly.

If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Pay More For a Hole


If you are expecting a hole in one leg then give this another star.  I did not see the hole in the knee when I ordered these.  They fit well but I'm not a fan of the hole in the pants.  I've got plenty of jeans that I use to work in the garden that have holes in them, I don't need a new pair to have a hole. Perhaps it is age related, I like the skinny type of look but the holes leave me cold, that is a look for the very young. 

If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Friday, September 7, 2018

AmazonBasics USB-C 3.1 10-Port Hub with Power Adapter - 65W (20V/3.25A), Silver



Didn't care for this 3 port plug. 
Amazon Basics have come across as very solid quality.  This hub is no exception.  It seems like there are never enough USB ports.  I tested this on a Chromebox and it worked very well.  I also tested it with a standard USB cable as opposed to the C type and it worked just as well.   I do not have many units with a USB-C port.   The only down side I see is that they used one of those weird three circular port power cables to the power brick.   Shades of the old Dell power brick cable if you lost you were screwed until you could get the proprietary cable back. I don’t know of Dell got over that but I was surprised that they didn’t use a standard cable for the brick.  Probably had a good reason but I don’t know it.  Otherwise this will be a valuable addition to my gear. 

If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Arlo Security System by NETGEAR – 6 Wire–Free HD Cameras, Indoor/Outdoor, Night Vision (VMS3630B)




This is an interesting system.  The absolutely wire free aspect is great, particularly if you have a wife is diametrically opposed to visible cables.   The visual aspect of the cameras is great even at night.  The installation or setup was a breeze.   The cameras synced quickly with no issues.   The required an immediate upgrade via download and four of the six cameras did that flawlessly.   The other two took multiple restarts to get the update successfully accepted.   The phone software works well and I was easily able to see the cameras remotely.   So my initial impression is very positive.

I did receive this system in exchange for an honest review.   The documentation for this system is abysmal.   There is no identification on the cameras to determine which of Arlo’s cameras they may be.  This makes it difficult to determine what is expected of the camera.  
Supposedly voice interplay is included however there is no indication of this in the phone or computer interface that I can find.
Batteries are supposedly rechargeable but the batteries themselves do not indicate they are capable of recharging.
This is supposedly Alexis (Amazon Echo) compatible but there is no place to instruct on how to implement that.
There is a claim a hard drive can be added to the base station via USB with no instructions as to implementation.

I have used NetGear equipment and in fact sold NetGear equipment for as long as they have had consumer products.  I like their products.  I like this product but there are many questions and no answers.

The system came with a letter thanking me for reviewing the product and suggesting they wanted honesty.   This may be more honest than they hoped.   Their letter also had an email address for any questions.   My naive expectation is that tech support or even customer support should be immediate, it has been 72 hours and I have not heard back, that doesn’t come close to meeting my expectations. (it took one week to get an automated response that they are looking at my questions.)

This seems like nice equipment but their website and support as well as contradictory information makes it difficult to recommend the system.

 From the vendor:

·                       100% WIRE-FREE - Wire-Free design and magnetic mounts let you discreetly place cameras where you want and monitor your home from every possible angle
·                       HD VIDEO - See in stunning clarity and sharper details with HD cameras and watch live stream or recorded videos from your computer, smartphone or tablet using arlo's free app
·                       OUTDOOR READY - Use Arlo cameras outside in any weather condition
·                       NIGHT VISION - Cameras provide HD clarity, even in the dark
·                       MOTION ALERTS - Motion Activated cameras and customizable activity alerts provide real-time email or app notifications while home or away
·                       APP & CLOUD STORAGE - Use the Arlo app to check in from anywhere or rewind up to 1GB of free cloud recordings to see activity you missed.
·                       COMPATABILITY - Works with Alexa for voice control


If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Craft-tastic DIY Charm Bracelets Kit Craft


This is very cute and there are a lot of charms.  It’s suggested age is 6+ but I think 10 plus is more
realistic.  The charms are very small and they involve sticking them together so you are looking at some serious manual dexterity.  The rings to hang the charms are shown being twisted with fingers.  Again, I’m not sure most kids have the dexterity to do this without a pair of tiny pliers such as jewelry pliers.  I like the idea but I think the age recommendation needs to be upped.


If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Orbit 56805 Precision Arc Gear Drive Sprinkler with Adjustable Knobs, Gray


Orbit 56805 Precision Arc Gear Drive Sprinkler 
with Adjustable Knobs, Gray

I guess for the price, I expected more.  This is ok, it works as advertised but the adjustment is a little cranky.  It does not rotate smoothly to place the tabs that restrict the area of spray.  Conceptually it is sound, trying to limit the water to some areas and put more on others with the same unit.   The base does allow a stable platform for the spray, sprayers with one leg can swivel to an area you don’t want watered. (like the windows, LOL)  This is better than what I was using. 

·     Unique sprinkler that adjusts its watering path to Custom shapes, allowing you to spray Only what plants and areas need the hydration, while also cutting down on water waste
·    12 easy-to-grip adjustable knobs, so you can set your watering area with Precision and exactness
·    Adjustable from partial- to full-circle (30 - 360 degrees) with whisper-quiet spray action
·    Hose swivel for easy hose Attachment and installation
·     Durable spike base so you can keep your Precision arc in Place


If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.
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