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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Friday, June 27, 2014

FIOS A Mistake


Verizon's FIOS is mediocre at best.  It has good picture quality but frankly even in HD I don't see a lot of difference between FIOS and Comcast quality.   On-Demand on FIOS is a sad and not funny at all joke.   I browsed a wealth of shows on Syfy tonight and all were pay per view.   I am astounded that I could not use the mobile ap to find a free movie.  Even doing a search for free movies only gave me movies with Free in the title.

The number of networks available for OnDemand on the mobile AP is also pathetic particularly compared with Comcast.   Totally disappointing.

The number of  TV shows available OnDemand on the normal TV is equally pathetic.  Well not as pathetic but compared to Comcast it does not compare.  Defiance on SyFy had three episodes listed tonight.   Checking other shows, the number available on FIOS is dwarfed by Comcast.

I am not a fan of Comcast.   I switched to FIOS to lower my bills.  In spite of their promises I have yet to see a lower bill.  At this point I will be switching back to Comcast if I can get their latest promo price.   If they offered the promo price to people all the time, we would not switch.  Seems simple but the wonderful folks at Comcast don't see it.   They keep jacking up the price and then you switch in frustration to another provider.   The sad thing is that the other provider is not only just as bad, sometimes they are worse.

Netflix, ROKU, Apple TV, HULU Plus, Amazon, Google Chromecast are either services or hardware designed to get you your TV.   Review here.

I'm torn between just dropping TV from Fios and getting an HDTV indoor antenna or changing back to Comcast.   The indoor antenna gets all of the channels I normally watch except for the ones that have very limited on-demand from Fios anyway.   This would mean getting a Google Chromecast or ROKU and some service, probably Netflix.  

Arrgghh!  Remember when ALL TV was wireless, you moved the rabbit ears to get better reception or if you were really technically sophisticated you turned the dial on your motorized attic antenna.   What did it cost?  The price of the antenna and the TV.   Sometimes purported progress isn't progress at all.  

BTW I'm open to suggestions.If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Buying Maytag's 27 cu.ft. side by side refrigerator(MSB27C2XAM) was a bad decision..


Purchasing Maytag's 27 cu.ft. side by side refrigerator(MSB27C2XAM) is a bad decision..
I called customer service and was told due to an unusually high number of calls my wait time would be 10 minutes. (That was a clue, high volume calls, hmm lots and lots of complaints) 25 minutes later I got a very cordial woman from the great state of Tennessee who asked if she could help me.   I told her about the labels, gave her model number  MSB27C2XAM  and serial number.   She put me on hold and after 10 minutes came back and said that since I hadn't called within 30 days (I called on the 37th day)  Maytag would do nothing about the problem.   Maytag considers the problem cosmetic and therefore they will do nothing.  


Now I realize that button labels do not impact the cooling ability of the unit.  However the attitude that they have a known issue and have not done anything to remedy it bodes evil for any functional issue.  If Maytag can't handle a cosmetic issue, what will they do if the unit has a functional issue.   It truly is sad to see a great American brand so lacking in their interest to keep customers happy.  I will repeat, the fridge keeps things cool, the freezer keeps things cold and I do get ice.  What worries me and saddens me is if Maytag's interest in customer satisfaction is so minimal on something simple, what can I expect on something major.  My own dumb fault, I bought four brand new Maytag appliances at a fairly hefty price and it is daunting to think it was because I erroneously thought Maytag still valued customer satisfaction.   (no wonder he is crying)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Maytag's 27 cu.ft. side by side refrigerator(MSB27C2XAM) should not be purchased!


Maytag's 27 cu.ft. side by side refrigerator(MSB27C2XAM)  should not be purchased since customer service is dreadful.   I called customer service for a very simple reason, the on-the-door control panel on my new over $1,400 (list price) refrigerator has each button labeled.   Well I have had the unit for five weeks and the button labeled ice is now blank.  Ice has worn off, gone!  Five Weeks!  Water is now more like "ater".   I googled the issue and discovered people have been complaining about the button labels for months.  

I rashly assumed that there were so many on-line complaints that Maytag would have come up with a solution.   Boy was I wrong!  Come back tomorrow to find out why you should not buy Maytag's 27 cu.ft. side by side refrigerator(MSB27C2XAM).
This is what it is suppose to look like, my label is now worn off after less than 30 days of use. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Free: Victoria Simcox's The Warble 6/23/14 to 6/27/14


Free: Victoria Simcox's The Warble 6/23/14 to 6/27/14



A Great treat and it isn't even Halloween!
Get Victoria Simcox's delightful book, 
The Warble  FREE for a very limited time.



This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Beware of Maytag MSB27C2XAM 27 Cu. Ft. Side by Side Refrigerator



 The Maytag name used to indicate high quality.   I am not sure that is still the case.  We have used this unit for five weeks.  The lettering on the ice dispenser button has worn off and the water lettering is showing wear.   The ice maker is LOUD!  The ice disbursement system seems semi-sentient in it's ability to miss whatever type of glass you are using to capture it.   Way louder than our old GE.   The shelves are deep but not very flexible in configuration.  Overall this is an average refrigerator.

However average drops to below average when customer service enters the picture.  The Maytag brand used to be synonymous with quality.  My, how times have changed.   Growing up in a steel town I am predisposed to buy American.  Most of the time that works just fine.   Maytag is doing their best to prove me wrong.   I might add, I have been known to cut off my nose to spite my face.   I am sadly willing to go to the ropes over a principle, perhaps even more than a physical problem, principles are important.   Maytag has decided that principles are unimportant.   Customer service should be paramount in today's competitive world.   Researching new appliances I sadly found most of the top rated brands were foreign.  I felt that Maytag would provide strong customer service based on their historic reputation.   However historic is the key word here!  Customer service seems to be lost in history at Maytag.   Check back on the 24th to see why Maytag's 27 cu.ft. side by side refrigerator(MSB27C2XAM) should be taken off of your wish list. 


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

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Who Broke The Maytag Repairman's Heart


Remember the Maytag commercials where this guy was the star?
He is gone and so is Maytag customer support. 
Check back tomorrow to see why.  



Friday, June 20, 2014

The Stainless Steel Appliance Scam



If you have purchased stainless steel appliances in the last couple of years you may have been surprised that a magnet will stick to it.   Everybody knows you can't use magnets with stainless steel.  

Surprise!, your Daddy's stainless steel had nickel in it which made it stronger and invisible to magnets.   When the price of nickel rose dramatically in the first decade of the new millennium, vendor found they could get the same "look" of stainless steel for less money by not using nickel.  

So magnets work but what did you lose?  Well strength and perhaps more importantly the cheaper, nickel free stainless can rust! 

What? Stainless steel doesn't rust!  Well, your Mommy's stainless steel didn't rust but the new stainless steel can.  

How can you tell if you have old high quality stainless steel?  Do the magnet test, if it sticks you have new cheap stainless steel that may rust.   If the magnet wont' stick, congratulations you have dodged another bullet in the dumming down of quality of modern products.  

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

Monday, June 16, 2014

Transformers Age of Extinction Generations Deluxe Class Dinobot Slug Figure


Ages 8+ are on the label for this Transformer.   If a senior citizen such as myself can transform it, my guess 5+ would be more accurate.  The quality seems good for this transformer.   They have improved the feel and the parts moved smoothly.   Having been a Triceratops fan since my youngest son made a 3/5 scale paper mache  in nursery school, I was predisposed to like this toy.   The only drawback is that I feel it is over priced at $25.49 at Amazon when it is $14.99 at Sears with free shipping. 

·                        2-in-1 Dinobot Slug figure converts from robot mode to dino mode and back
·                        Triceratops mode
·                        Includes 2 swords
·                        Changes in 8 steps
·                        Deluxe Class Series M4 No.003 Dinobot Slug



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

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Black and Decker Toaster Oven TR0620 Safety Alert


 Putting this in perspective, this is not a Black and Decker Bash.  I have had this toaster oven for five years.  It is possibly the fourth Black and Decker Toaster oven of various models over the last twenty years.   It worked, as all of them did, ok, not super but more than adequate.  This one was sent to me after the previous model failed under warranty.   Last week, this model, TR0620 would not turn off.   The control could be advanced to off but it would not stay off.   That is a very serious safety hazard.  I unplugged it and plugged in later, with the control in the off position and the oven turned on immediately.   I called B&D and they said it was out of warranty.  I was aware of that and just wanted to know if it was repairable or if I could get parts for it. The woman I spoke to was somewhat abrupt but not flat out rude.  Curt would probably be the best description.   She said no repairs and no parts.  I expressed my concern regarding the very real factor of a safety issue and suggested they might want to put that on their web site or even send out a letter to registered owners.   She said she would let someone know of my concern. 

I was disappointed in B&D response regarding parts and or repairs.   Five years is a good life for a small appliance.   However I was dismayed over the apparent lackadaisical reaction to the safety concern.  
 

Thus this blog, if it reaches one person who has this same model and makes them alert to real possibility of a fire hazard, it was worth the time it took to write it.  

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Belkin Universal Case for 7" and 8" Tablets




This case isn't actually universal.   It fit poorly on the Amazon Fire.   It fit fine on the Galaxy Nexus 7".   It has a camera flap which is nice for the tablets.   My Fire, obviously, doesn't have a camera.  The material seems durable.   It is flexible enough but the price of $38 at Amazon is rather high as it isn't really anything special.

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

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

FUEGO FELG21C Element Gas Grill Carbon Steel


This grill is smaller in size but has some nice features.   Assembly was reasonably straight forward.  The included wrench like all included wrenches is worthless but it was a nice gesture.  Assembly was pretty straight forward.  The instructions were adequate, not great but not particularly bad.   Assembly was pretty straight forward.   The size is substantially smaller than my previous grills but then so is the number of folks for whom I grill. 

 The size is appropriate for practically everything but a large party.   The quality seems very substantial and a very reasonable price.   The grill top is very solid and appears to be the one that needs seasoned.  They do not make it clear which one of the two grill tops they seem to have for the same grill. One needs seasoned and the other does not.   Size wise this would be a great grill for an apartment or small area.   There is no tray or table attached which is one of the reasons it is so diminutive.   The burner set up as a higher intensity burner in the center and lower on the outside.   The center burner seems to incorporate the outside burner while the outside burner seems to allow the inside burner to remain unused providing a more indirect and slower cooking.  

The electronic ignition does not work.  I tried three different batteries and it never generated a spark.   The instructions state to put the side of the grill down that is marked face down.   I found nothing anywhere that said "face down".   There was a bag of screws that were very similar in appearance and are not the same.   Two bags of clearly marked screws would be better.  Overall, ignoring the minor issues, it is a nice grill that seems like it should be reasonably durable. 


·                        Designed in California by former Apple Chief Designer Robert Brunner and entrepreneur Alex Siow; winner of Vesta's Best Gas BBQ & Spark Design Award
·                        Heats to 500F in just 5 mins; 21" heavy-duty 15lb porcelain-enamel cast iron grate creates perfect sear marks; 250F to 700F temperature range
·                        With over 20 hrs. of cooking time on a single fuel tank, the Element's patent pending dual zone burner offers the highest efficiency in its class
·                        Measuring 36"H x 23"Dia and supporting 346 sq. in. of primary cooking area, it's large enough to cook 16 quarter-pound (4 1/2" Dia.) burgers at once
·                        Featuring a hinged door for propane tank storage, easy to clean residue tray, electronic ignition and anti-tilt locking wheels

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

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Celebrate Amazon Debut of Hardy Belch and the Predator: Addressing Internet Safety



Celebrate Amazon Debut of Hardy Belch and the Predator: Addressing Internet Safety by buying Jack's Diabetes on SALE at Amazon!
(click here)
Sale from June 2nd to June 9th 2014

Jack's Diabetes


Diabetes is not just a word to 12-year-old Jack.   It has changed the way he lives his life.   Jack has learned not to just cope with a disease but he can live his life the way he wants while successfully treating his diabetes. 

This book’s goal is to help children realize that although the onset of diabetes can be frightening it does not mean the cessation of normal life.  This book provides a story that helps both the youthful diabetic and their peers to understand the impact of diabetes and one method of therapy.  It is not a recommendation for that therapy and all medical decisions should be discussed with your physician.

ISBN-13:978-1475268331 

ISBN-10:1475268335

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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