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!

Amazon

Friday, November 28, 2014

PLAYMOBIL Great Asian Castle


More than just some assembly required. 

This castle looked perfect for a grandson who already has two castles and this fits right in with the theme.   (BTW he has a 4'x16' foam board castle in my garage with an 8' tower and a original 4'x8' painting of a dragon storming a castle on one wall.)   So it is obvious there is a strong fantasy theme prevailing.

Finished product, more than 60 minutes. 
My initial reaction when I opened the box and discovered it was a DIY was not positive.  However my subsequent thoughts were that for an industrious 5 year old who enjoys puzzles this was actually better.   I would note that the 60 minute time frame suggested for assembly would be for an adult with no oversight by a 5 year old.   Maintaining focus for complete assembly could be problematic. 

The quality is good and typical of my experience with the brand.   I was personally disappointed in the dragon, which I expected to be larger and more ferocious.   Overall my impression is very positive but and this is a pretty large but, I think it is very pricey, at my time of review $137 at Amazon.  If that does not dissuade you, this is a gift that would appear to offer a lot of play time. 

From the vendor: 
·                        The Great Asian Castle is protected by a fierce fire-breathing dragon
·                        The yellow dragon can guard the castle from the attachable landing platform
·                        The functioning portcullis keeps unwanted visitors out, while the hidden trap door catches intruders
·                        In a secret cave, kids can hide the sacred dragon fire, which lights up!
·                        Includes four figures, helmets, shields and additional battle gear, skeleton, torches, flags and other accessories



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

Monday, November 24, 2014

Hot Wheels Marvel Avengers Die-Cast Vehicle (5-Pack)




What's not to like about Hot Wheels?  This five pack of Avengers "wheels" will thrill your average three year old to infinity and beyond.   I don't put an upper age limit on Hot Wheels as I clearly recollect running parallel Hot Wheel tracks from our apartment across the foyer and into the apartment across the hall and then having very serious Hot Wheel races.  Since everyone on the floor was in their twenties there may have been adult beverages in play.   Frivolity and competitiveness ran supreme!   So Hot Wheels that appeal to the older player with a movie or TV connection to the Avengers will probably appreciate this set.  

·                        Inspired by Marvel's hit Avengers film
·                        Delivers 5 of the coolest Avenger themed die-cast collectible vehicles
·                        1:64 scale die-cast vehicles with unifying themes in each package
·                        A must have for any Marvel Avengers or Hot Wheels collector
·                        Includes 5 Avengers themed Hot Wheels cars per pack


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

Thursday, November 20, 2014

OXO Good Grips 6-Piece Plastic Measuring Cups, White by OXO


Hmm, reviewing measuring cups. Well they measure.  Their measurements match the measuring cups I already have.  They have a nice feature in that they snap together in a space saving nest.   My other set is willy nilly all over the drawer.  From an organization viewpoint these are superior.   The measuring scraper has a hook that would allow this to be hung (hanged?).   That would be handy if I had a place to hang it.   I may add a hook somewhere to make these more readily accessible.   OXO makes a nice product and this is no exception.


Unique snapping feature keeps Cups together for storage
Scraper can be used to level ingredients and hang Cups for storage
Handles feature permanent measurement markings
Secondary color-coded measurements on sides make it easy to find the right size quickly
Each Cup features a convenient half-measurement line
This dishwasher safe set includes a scraper, 1/4 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/2 cup, 2/3 cup and 1 cup Measuring Cups.

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

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sling Media Slingbox M1



Sports fans this is a must buy product if you are unable to be at home to watch the game.   Too often it is easy to be away when the game is on and watching a game on DVR after you know the final score is less than exciting.  This product enables you to watch live anywhere you have Internet access.   If you put it on your cable box, you are able to access your DVR and your On-Demand from where ever you may be, with again the caveat that Internet access is necessary.   It can be WIFI or 4G or direct connect but Internet access is crucial.  

I found that computer access is very good.   You can actually use an onscreen remote to change channels or go to DVR or OnDemand just as if you were sitting in front of your TV.   Hooking an HDMI cable to my laptop I got an excellent picture on my flatscreen TV.  I was not as thrilled with the application on my tablet.   The remote was too small to use my fingers and I needed to use a stylus.   It did work and the picture was fine.   A caveat to Sling's claim of never any fees.   If you want an application for your phone or tablet, they charge you $14.99.   The tablet application will not work on your phone.   The phone application will work on your tablet with less resolution.   I was annoyed that they require two applications at $14.99 each to use your mobile devices.   It's not like I will be using both at once.  In fact if you try and log in on your tablet while you are running the Slingbox on your laptop you are given a choice of "too continue" and knock the laptop off or not too continue and continue using the laptop.  So they have the ability to keep you from having simultaneous users on different platforms so why charge you double for two mobile applications. 

Another caveat is that if you are on the road and want to watch the game, anyone at home trying to use the same TV you're accessing through the Slingbox will be thwarted.  The Slingbox grabs the cable box and it is in control.  The local user can not watch another channel while the Slingbox is being accessed.  Well they can but that prevent the use of the Slingbox.  (I tried.)  

Sling claims multiple devices can be used with their box.   I have only tested the Roku and it worked fine.   Much easier than lugging my laptop to the TV every time I want to use it. 

BTW I just thought maybe I should look at my Kindle Fire for the Slingbox and I would have to buy the application again, even though I bought it for my Acer Tablet.   I guess due to Amazon store selling it for the Kindle and Google Play Store where I bought it for my Android tablet.   Needless to say I am not spending $14.99 to put it on all my devices.

Overall this is pretty darn cool technology.   It would be better with out the multiple application fees. It would be better if the home user could watch a different channel while Sling is working.  Hey, you DVR one or sometimes more channels and watch another channel, why that can't be done with the Sling is over my pay grade.   I did try the Belkin TV and was told by their technical support that a laptop is not a mobile device so it would not work with my laptop.  I have since read in some forums that people have made it work with their laptops but I returned it.  If their tech support is not supporting laptops I have no interest in being a beta site.   I worked in computers for 25 years, if someone wants me to beta a product they can pay me.  

So the Slingbox does what I need it to do. 


Watch and control live TV on a tablet*, phone*, PC, or Mac
Play and schedule DVR recordings
WiFi connectivity and Ethernet port
Absolutely no monthly fees

Watch on a second TV anywhere via Apple TV, Chromecast, and Roku , Component and composite in/out ,Easy and quick set-up

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

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Rain-X Glass Treatment Trigger


This product works very well.  I make a 12 hour round trip in the car once a month.  It is dismaying how often part or all of that trip is in the rain.   I diligently replace my wiper blades and clean them often but still I am not satisfied with my vision through a wet windshield.   This product causes the water to bead and even without wipers the windshield has increased clarity, particularly if you are going over 25 or 30mph.   Note that even following the application instructions,  you need to vigorously wipe the post application haze off.  I apparently did not wipe vigorously enough and my windshield looked cloudy.   After doing a more vigorous wiping, I was quite pleased with the results.  It definitely provides more clarity of vision and thus provides a safer ride.

$10.19 at Amazon for a spray bottle

·                        Improve all-weather visibility, safety and driving comfort
·                        Helps easily remove frost, ice, salt, mud and bugs
·                        Apply to exterior glass
·                        In tests conducted by a major university, better visibility improved driving response time up to a full second or moreIf reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Tomcat Mouse Killer X (Kid Resistant Refillable Mouse Bait Station w/ 32 Bait Blocks, 0.5oz


  
I have used Tomcat products in the past.  The bait blocks have worked well.   I often see a nibbled bait block but rarely see a rodent.  The rodents I do find are dead.   The bait station is far more child proof than the ones my exterminator uses.   I was unable to get it open until I read the instructions.   I realize the average young child is extremely adept at getting into things they shouldn't but this bait station should thwart them.   The mouse bait blocks are half the size of the rat bait blocks and do not have a hole down the center.  I have used that hole to run a screw through and put the rat blocks on the baseboard of the garage or on a plank.   This product is for the smaller rodents and should be as effective as the larger bait blocks.  

Includes: Refillable Bait Station. Includes 32 bait refills. 1 Bait Block kills up to 12 mice Based on no-choice laboratory testing. Weather resistant station; for use both indoors and outdoors. Child and dog resistant station.

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

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Garmin Approach S2 Golf GPS Watch Support Update 5/29/15


This unit works seamlessly.   My wife turns it on when she goes to whatever course she is playing and it finds the course. It is somewhat confusing for the non-technical person.  It provides front, back and middle of the green.   That is all my wife wanted from a golf GPS.   It is much more convenient than the Callaway hand held unit she used previously.   The unit has more features but they add a level of complexity that a non-technical person probably doesn't want to use.  

5/29/15  Garmin came through with bells today when I called for support on my S2 gps.   The charger clip broke and I was dismayed.  Josh in their support department took care of my problem and a new charger clip is on the way at no charge.  So the one year warranty is actually true and the tech support was prompt, understandable and very professional.   BTW you can rubber band the clip to the watch for charging purposes but that is hardly suitable when it is still under warranty.   

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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