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!



Please check out my other blogs
Pick of the Literate 
or Azure Dwarf’s Horde
or visit my web site

Monday, September 29, 2014

Case Logic Samsung Galaxy S4 EXTREME 2-Piece Case

This phone case looks as if it will provide more than adequate protection.  I am not adventuresome enough to try dropping the phone to make sure.   It is kind of a reverse Otter Box.  The hard shell is on the outside and the soft shell is inside.  I don't see why it wouldn't offer a good level of protection. It has a nice selection  of colors as well and at half the price of the Otter Box it is worth trying. I have had very good experience with Caselogic products.


  Slim fitted protection for Samsung Galaxy S4
·                        Design provides full access to all buttons and ports
·                        Deep frame construction prevents screen scratching and impact damage
·                        2 piece case includes rubber silicone base and rigid, interlaced shell for ultimate protection and style
·                        1 year warranty

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

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tenergy Batteries--Buyer Beware!

I strongly recommend not buying these batteries.   I had four of them in my Bluetooth keyboard.  I haven't used it for a couple of months and when it didn't work, I checked the batteries.   All four of the batteries had leaked in two different battery compartments.  One of the batteries is fused into the battery compartment.  I have attempted to reach the customer service line of the company.  They're a Pacific coast company and state their hours.  I have called during the hours they are supposedly open and get a recording telling me to leave a message.  I have tried emailing and got no response.  

The homily that all batteries are the same so buy the least expensive is WRONG.  All batteries are not the same and obviously all customer service is not the same.   These batteries leak and the total lack of customer support is appalling.    Save your money and your equipment and buy something else.    The few cents you save on the battery price will be off set by the price of the equipment the battery destroys!

Crayons on Steroids

Mead Academie Oil Pastels, 24 per Box, Assorted (98026) by Mead

These are kind of like crayons on steroids.   They give more vivid color if you press harder.  They also allow you to layer colors to make different shades or I guess it is blending color to get different shades.   I tried it on canvas paper and it worked really well.  It has an odor similar two my oil paints.   I'm certainly not an artist but I do like to dabble.  This product seems to be very good quality, keeping in mind I've had little exposure to different art supplies.  I stand by my initial statement, these are like crayons on steroids but with no roid rage.  They are fun to work with and if I had any drawing talent would probably work even better.

Vibrant pigments produce the creamiest, brightest colors; 2.75 inches long x .25 inches diameter
Ideal for creating quick and easy colorful drawings that have the look and feel of traditional oil paintings
Each stick is ready to use right out of the pack and includes a paper wrapping for a good grip
Keep the pastel in the paper wrapper to keep stick clean and hands mess free

Oil Pastels are AP non-toxic

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

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Eneloop Not Just Another Cereal, Oops Battery Revisited

Eneloop Not Just Another Cereal, Oops Battery

Grandchildren demand lots of batteries not just in their toys but in my cameras. I have two digital cameras that seem to suck the life out of whatever type of battery I install. I have myriad rechargeable batteries. Nicad and NiMh neither of which have been satisfying. I have tried brand name batteries and no name batteries. I have tried the expensive lithium disposable batteries but the disposable aspect offends me. Charge them up, pop them in the camera and they work just fine but they don’t hold a charge for any length of time. If I am lucky they still work 24 hours later but generally they need to be recharged on a daily basis.
I read about the Eneloop batteries and liked the idea but I have 16 AA NiMh that work, poorly but they work. Then my Lenmar SpeedCharger died. Luckily it died just within warranty, although Lenmar honored the warranty they did charge me $10.00 shipping and handling or 33% of replacing it.

The death of my SpeedCharger forced me to take a look at chargers and I found a deal at Amazon that offered a charger with the Eneloop batteries. I bit the proverbial bullet and ordered the deal. I like the fact that it includes those nifty little adapters allowing use of AA batteries in other devices. On receiving the Eneloop batteries I promptly put them in my cameras. They come precharged which is also a nice feature. Three days later they are still holding a charge. This beats the heck out of the traditional batteries I have used. Down side is that the charger takes 7 hour to recharge them. I still like the fact that I am not forced to change batteries every day on my cameras. Eneloop may not be the the ultimate solution but so far it beats the heck out of everything else I have used.

I blogged on Sanyo Eneloop batteries back on February 27, 2009 I have now had the batteries in two of my cameras for over 6 weeks. I pulled out one of the cameras last night and it fired up, flash worked and the shutter lag was diminished. I wasn’t really aware that the a big chunk of the dreaded shutter lag was based on the ability of the batteries to handle recharging the flash. I took 5 flash pictures almost as rapidly as I could depress the shutter. I am totally impressed with that. In addition the Lenmar, Sunpak and Energizer rechargeable nickel metal hydride batteries don’t hold a charge in the camera for more than two or three days. I find that a bit odd in that they hold up fine in a little flashlight that my grandson wanders around with and leaves lit on a regular basis. Bottom line is if you are dismayed with your rechargeable batteries I strongly recommend the Enloop batteries.

Update June 21, 2014.   I am still a fan of the Eneloop battery.  After three years of  use, they still work fine.  I have never tried to charge them on anything but the Sanyo charger. Oddly enough the new four pack of batteries I got are still labeled Eneloop but now they are a Panasonic product.   I then Googled how that happen and found out that Panasonic had bought 50.2% of Sanyo in 2009 and the remaining stock in 2010.   They have been phasing out the Sanyo name ever since.   Anyway, the batteries seem to work the same even if their branding has changed.   If they don't I will be back here to update you.  

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

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Glad Press'n Seal Wrap

This is pretty nifty stuff.  It is far superior to traditional plastic wrap.  I personally find most plastic wrap as next to useless.   This stuff sticks to itself and to the bowl or container it is wrapping.  I put it over a glass of ice water and turned the glass upside down (over the sink) and not a drop came out. I thought that was pretty darn impressive.  I put it on a bowl and left it for 24 hours and it was still sealed just as tightly 24 hours later.  My only negative is that the serrated edge to tear it off should be a bit longer. It was difficult to get it to tear the wrap evenly.  All in all this is a very good product and far superior to plastic wrap.

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

Saturday, September 13, 2014

CoverTop Universal 15.6-Inch Laptop Shock Protection 100% Pure Silicone Cover (LCBLACK156)

This looks like a decent product.  It is pretty heavy duty.  In spite of claiming universal fit, it did not fit my Acer laptop. It fit my Toshiba laptop but there was enough tension on the cover that it didn't close properly.  I surmise that if you put it on and then weighted down the laptop with a couple of books, it might stretch but due to it being silicone, I doubt it.  The bottom is covered with a bunch of knobbies that would give you some air flow on a hard surface.   It feels like it would provide a modicum or protection.  It comes in a variety of colors.   I see this product being more appealing to the younger set who tends not to use traditional computer cases.  My laptop is not carried around and when it is carried it is in a traditional case with plenty of padding, carry strap and pockets for accessories.   The kids just top their laptops into their backpacks and in that scenario, this cover would be of good use.   Fit could be an issue regardless of universal fit claims. 

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

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Never Forget!

Please take 4.25 minutes to watch this remembrance of September 11, 2001.   Please offer a prayer for those who died that day, their families and for all those who are sacrificing themselves for the rest of us on a daily basis; especially our cops, firemen and troops. 

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

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

VIZIO S2121w-D0 21-Inch 2.1 Sound Stand

This is a very nice product.  The form factor is less obtrusive than the standard sound bar.   The set up was very simple.   The TV recognized it and immediately worked.  Bluetooth pairing was seamless and also very easy.  The sound is surprisingly vibrant.   I was shocked at how good the bass was.  The remote is simple to use and the documentation was adequate.   Overall my impression is quite good at $266.00 it isn't the cheapest solution for the lousy sound most flat screen TVs have but it is a good one.

 Follow up, I wanted to program my universal remote with the code for the S2121w-D0. Imagine my surprise when I could find zero documentation on-line under any Vizio site I could find. The product comes with a quick start guide that works fine but...nothing advanced. So I called and got a delightful young woman who tried her best to help me but to her surprise she could find no documentation for this model either. I am aware it is a new product but that means it should be more important to have proper documentation available. I had to knock this down one star due to lack of documentation. The customer service rep, provided me with the codes for their other sound bars and I will try those and report back here on my results.

2nd follow up, I was unable to get the sound stand to respond to the Fios remote.  I tried multiple solutions to no avail.  I then had to reprogram the Fios remote for my Yamaha sound bar 
and that was a 5 minute task with the documentation that accompanied the Yamaha.  Vizio may be able to do it but with out documentation, you couldn't prove it by me.  If you can deal with the pain of having to turn up the volume and turn on the sound stand with it's own remote, the sound is quite nice but the inconvenience turns me off. 

·                        Enjoy up to 101 dB of room filling, crystal clear sound with less than 1% harmonic distortion
·                        Integrated subwoofer adds rich, powerful bass with low frequency responses reaching as low as 60 Hz
·                        Conveniently stream your music wirelessly from a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth
·                        Premium audio with Dolby Digital decoding, plus DTS Tru Volume, DTS Studio Sound and DTS Tru Surround audio post processing provide enhanced audio fidelity, consistent volume levels, and surround quality audio without the need for rear satellite speakers
·                        Compact form factor provides versatility to be placed under the TV as a stand, as a table top device for music, or in other places where a sound bar won't fit, such as custom built-ins or traditional media cabinets

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

Friday, September 5, 2014

RCA Indoor Antenna ANT111F

Good price, absolutely useless at my location.   I don't know if this antenna picks up digital or analog anywhere but it sure didn't pick up anything at my location.   Since I am an hour north of Philadelphia and about an hour and half south of NYC, I should have been able to pick up something.  I got butkus!  Well I got glimpses of stations but nothing stable enough to watch.   A disappointing experience as I concluded I could dump the cable box on the TV where I exercise since I don't watch anything of consequence when I am exercising.  Well with this antenna, I would not be watching anything, let alone something of consequence.  

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

Monday, September 1, 2014

Genuine Joe GJO01014 Low-Density Flat Bottom Trash Can Liner, 60 gallon Capacity, 58" Length x 38" Width x 0.80 mil Thickness, Clear

This type of bag is surprising in it's strength.   It is certainly not puncture proof but it is more so than some I have had.   It is good for leaves and shredded paper.  Sharp object puncture it fairly easily.   It sounds like it should fit the big waste disposal service can but it doesn't.  It works great in a standard 30 gallon can with overlap.   Pretty good value for the money when buying the box of 100 at $29.95 at Amazon. 

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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