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. 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, January 28, 2014

Nuvu/Marco Island Cable is DREADFUL


I never knew a cable company could make Comcast look so good!  My cynical nature wonders if someone at Comcast is paying NUVU to be so bad.   The TV service locks up and pixalates.  The Internet connection  is intermittent and when it is working it is at about 1/10th of the speed for which I am paying.    It took three days and multiple phone calls to even schedule a service call.  The jokingly refer to customer service as being a priority in the incessant recorded message.  That is a flat out bad joke.    So if  your association is considering NUVU, I would strongly recommend reconsidering. It is after business hours now but tomorrow I will be looking to see if I can get an alternative.     

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

Sunday, January 26, 2014

CHAR-BROIL GOURMET TRU-INFRARED 2-BURNER PROPANE GAS GRILL



This grill is suitable for smaller spaces and less cooking.  It is perfect for someone who rarely needs to cook more than a couple of steaks at one time.  I did get 12 burgers on it so it isn't tiny, it is convenient.   Firing up one burner the grill doesn't seem to cook any faster than non-infrared.   Firing up both burners on high and you get up over 550 degrees rather quickly.    The fit on the actual grill pieces could be better.  Cleaning it is a bit troublesome.  You have to pull the grills out to get to the tray underneath which is where you get half of your "infrared" cooking.   I like the grill having the tray under the grills.  That means all the goop that usually falls down into the burners and eventually clogs the burner and causes failure remain on the tray.   That should give the grill a longer life. 

The yellow arrow points to where the grill does not fit well.  There
is too much play and you could nudge the grill down onto
the infrared tray. 
I did not like the open back on the propane tank storage. I spray painted the side of an old computer tower and used some magnets to hold that in place. It is open at the top so you still get air flow but it hides the unsightly tank.


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

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sterling Silver White Simulated Shell Pearl and Cubic Zirconia Pendant Necklace, (10mm) 18"




This is pretty little necklace.  I'm guessing the bulk of the price is in the sterling silver chain as CZs are very inexpensive.  I have no clue what value to assign to a simulated pearl but this is very nice looking.   It is very similar in appearance to the "real" I have purchased in the past.  It is a nice piece of jewelry for gifting to a preteen as it has a nice appearance and you won't feel badly when it is lost.  If it came in a cute little gift box it would be worth five stars.    $25.00 at Amazon.

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

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Toy Smith NightZone Football by Toysmith


Band nose to nose is what glows!
This is actually pretty darn neat.   The band around the ball (nose to nose) is very bright.   It seems durable but has not gotten a lot of play yet as it is too darn cold to throw it around outside.   It is a "nerf" like material that is relatively safe to use indoors.  (Don't pretend to be Manning going for the end zone.)  Inside is almost as good as a couple of glow sticks for lighting up a room.  In a power outage it could double as a night light.  I think it is a fun item and will be loads of fun out doors on a WARM night.  

8" foam football that glows super bright with lightband technology
Over 24 hours of continuous play
Intense glow for long distance play
Requires 2 CR1220 batteries (included)
Ages 6 and up

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

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

PhysiciansCare ReadyCare First Aid Kit for up to 25 People, Contains 182 Pieces by PhysiciansCare



Hmm,  this is a basic, very basic first aid kit   I guess I expected it to be more inclusive.  It has 112 bandaids which no doubt will be used.   Perhaps in our litigious society the vendor felt it imprudent to include things like an EpiPen or benedryl or even rolls of gauze.   This is essentially a large economy size box of bandaids.   It would be ok for a day care center where they wipe the dirt off, put on some antiseptic, slap on a bandaid and send the kid back out to the playground.   Anything more serious would exceed the limitations of this kit.   Considering the cost of even store brand bandaids I guess it isn't a terribly bad value at $29.99   


14- Antiseptic Wipes
6- Antibiotic Ointment Packets
16- Alcohol Pads
6- Burn Ointment Packets
16- 3/8"x 1/2" bandages
16 -1"x 3" bandages
80- 3/4"x 3" bandages
1-1/2" tape
1-triangular bandage
4-3"x 3" sterile gauze pads
1-Abdominal Compress
2-Pair Latex Gloves
1-Tweezers
1-Cold Pack
1-First Aid Guide
10-Finger Splints
10-3" Cotton Tip Applicators

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

Friday, January 10, 2014

Epson C11CD31201 Expression Premium XP-610 Wireless Color Photo Printer with Scanner and Copier


You have to temper your amazement over all the features in a reasonably priced printer with the fact that the printer manufacturers continue to operate on the razor/razor blade premise of sales.   Give away the razor, soak them on the blades or in this case, price the printer (for it's features) reasonably and soak them for the supposedly less expensive ink cartridges. 

The printer set up easily with the pictograph easy start guide.  Wireless connection worked well.   Setting up scan and remote print was less stellar.  I got the Windows 8 message of "Program Compatibility Assistant"  popping up a couple of times so I am not sure that it all installed ok.  The email/remote print tested out ok.  

The instructions are rudimentary at best.  The QR code for Epson Connect worked on my smart phone but not on my tablet.   I was able to print from my tablet using email print.  I got the printer to print a good quality photo and to do duplexing. (two sided printing)  The photo was not the best photo quality that I have seen in inkjets.  It is good but not superior than other printers I have. 

The paper cassettes are flimsy and easily push too far into the printer.  It seems like the printer has a lot of features but it remains to be seen if it will hold up.   Price:$99.99

Consumer-rated unbeatable photo quality from an ultra-powerful Small-in-One
Auto 2-sided printing; dedicated photo tray
Ultimate wireless for tablets and smartphones
2.5" LCD plus touch panel
LCD Screen & Memory cards
Fast - ISO Print Speeds (Blk/Clr)
Save Money with Individual Ink Cartridges
Save Paper - Auto-2 sided printing
Hassle free - Dedicated Photo Tray



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

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Excellent Price on a 7" Tablet but Check Reviews


Mixed reviews on this but at this price, it may be worth the gamble. Read the reviews at Amazon. This seems like a really good deal on a 7" Jelly Bean tablet. I got a groupon kind of thing at $69.95 plus $10 shipping, this link is to Amazon where it is $69.95 and includes free shipping. This is just a FYI, I have no financial stake here.


About NORIA T2 7" Android Tablet PC
The Noria T2 7" Android Tablet features all the glorious capabilities of Google Android JellyBean 4.1, including: web browsing, video playback, music playing, Webcam and external camera and whatever else you can possibly pray for lies waiting in the thousands of apps in the Android marketplace. This tablet ensures that staying connected to your friends, your news, and your favorite sites is just a touch away.
NORIA T2 comes preloaded with important and useful Apps: Google Play Store, Netflix, Skype, Google Chrome Browser and more.
Specification Highlights
• Powerful and fast X15 ARM Dual Core 1.2GHz CPU 
• Runs Google Android JellyBean 4.1 Operating System
• 8GB Flash Memory Local Storage(expandable to 32GB with MicroSD card!)
• Long lasting 2200 mAh Battery lasting 3-4 hours.
• Wireless: Wifi 802.11b/g/n 
• Supports External USB (for External keyboard, 3G Modem, etc.) 
• Front and rear facing camera 0.3/2.0MP
• Built-in 3D Accelerator and 360 degree gyro sensor allows for an awesome gaming experience
• Supports all video and audio formats including: AVI, MP4, FLV, 3GP, MKV, WMV, MP3, WMA, OGG, AAC, WAV FLAC
• Multi-touch High Resolution(800x400)capacitive screen is responsive, sharp and interactive
• E-Book: PDF, TXT etc. 
What's in the box? 
1 x Tablet PC 
1 x Wall Charger 
1 x User's Manual in perfect English
1 x Micro USB Cable 
1 x USB (F) to Micro-USB (M) Adapter 
1 x Bonus HDMI Cable

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

Monday, January 6, 2014

VIZIO S5430W-C2 54-Inch 3.0 Soundbar


VIZIO S5430W-C2 54-Inch 3.0 Soundbar
Price:   $299.99.


This is the third sound bar that I have tested.  While the $1000.00 Yamaha sound bar is better than this one for spoofing the sound direction, it is not substantially better in the face on front sounds.   BTW when they say 54" they mean 54" which with a 40" TV looks a bit silly.  Regardless of looks, the sound is great.  The setup was fairly straight forward and I had excellent sound in less than 5 minutes.

Then it got more interesting.  The programming of the unit was pretty easy.   Getting it to run on my Comcast remote was not as easy as I hoped.   It took a few minutes to figure out the somewhat murky instructions.   I know have the volume and mute working with the Comcast remote.  I struggled to no avail to get the unit's on/off to synch with the Comcast remote.   That is not a terrible hardship as it has an econo mode which simply turns the sound bar after a period of no input.   So you really only need the Vizio remote once a day to turn the unit it on.  Or heaven forbid you could pry yourself out of your Barko Lounger and physically turn the sound bar on.

The bluetooth synching worked very simply.   It was so smooth that I didn't realize I was connected.   The music from my tablet sounded great.    When I wanted to switch back to TV I overlooked the input button and had a momentary panic as I couldn't figure out how to get back to the TV.  Then I looked a 1/4" to the left and saw the input button, had an ahha moment and was back in the groove.   So bluetooth works simply and well.

 I played with the center console section that is supposed to enhance dialogue.   Frankly I didn't see any difference before and after.   

I'm not a sound engineer so no technical stuff here.   The unit gives me high quality sound and simple setup.   I do wonder how well it will sell at the $299.00 price tag when 50" screens are dropping so much in price, the perceived value might not work when compared to the TV price. 

►103dB of room-rocking, crystal clear sound with less than 1% total harmonic distortion
►Deep Bass Modules add serious low end frequency without the need for an external subwoofer
►Connect to your TV with an easy, one-cable setup - HDMI-in, HDMI-out (ARC), analog and digital input options (all cables included in the box).
►Wirelessly stream your music from a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth. Sound ►Pressure Level measured using pink noise at 1 meter, C-weighted. Total harmonic distortion calculated as electrical measurement of amplifier distortion.
►Source Bluetooth playback device must be enabled with aptX technology.
If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Dirt Devil Hand Vac 2.0 Bagless Handheld Vacuum, SD12000



Price:   $34.99
This is somewhat different than my other Dirt Devil and my Shark.  The Shark has good suction and decent tools but has no beater brushes.   My older red Dirt Devil has a removable hose and with a custom made, rube goldberg narrowing attachment I can use it to get into tight spots in my computers when I am too lazy to get out my computer vac.  This vac does not have the ability to remove the hose and put on attachments.  It does have a more powerful motor and a significantly stronger beater brush.  

The filter is washable which is also a nice feature.   Emptying it is quite simplistic, just position your self over the trash can and flip up the release, shake (the vacuum) and the dirt does a gravity dive into the trash.

Dirt Devil provides a suitably long cord so you are not tethered on a tight leash.   Pick up is again above average and better than my older model Dirt Devil.   While not as convenient as my dust busters, this sucks infinitely better than they do.   Not often describing a product that sucks is a positive thing but in this case it most definitely is a positive.   My pardon if the word sucks offends you but searching for a synonym that as accurately describes the vacuum action was futile.

At $35 on Amazon it is a reasonable price for the product.  Of course Amazon has it priced at $34.99 which is now $0.01 less than their free shipping event horizon.   Therefore to get free shipping try and find something for two cents to get you over their new and much resented $35.00 purchase minimum. 

I did not ding the vac for having no accessories, it does no claim to have accessories so how can you complain about that.  If you read the description, you should know that.   It did come with a back up beater brush belt and a tool to help you install it.  I recommend a back up belt for any belt driven tool you use as the famous Murphy will certainly appear when you can least likely to afford being beltless. Overall a very nice little vac.

I did receive this for free to provide an honest review and if I didn't like it, I would not pull any punches.   (Don't believe me, check out some of my other reviews.)


Details
Motor-driven high-speed brushroll that keeps rolling through and mess big or small.
20' powder cord with integrated storage.
Easily clean your couch then your stairs - without unplugging
Reusable quick-rinse filter
One-touch bottom empty dirt cup.
Go anywhere- clean where your full size vac can't (stairs, cars, upholstery and more).

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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