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, April 27, 2015

Avery Postcards

Avery Postcards For Laser or InkJet Printer, 5.5 x 4.25 Inches, White, 200 Per Box (05689)
Price:   $10.99 at Amazon

I've used Avery products for years.  This sheet of postcards printed just fine in my Canon inkjet printer.  The stock has a decent weight to it and does not feel overly flimsy.  It is not as stiff as the traditional drug store post card but it has a heavier feel than I expected.   I used the Avery site avery.com/print for my printing test.   The online software can be accessed with a simple sign up.  There were a surprising number of designs to choose from and a simple to use editor.  The post cards turned out well and I only had to trash one page as I turned it wrong to print the back.   These would be fine for sending out announcements regarding events or whatever, assuming you still use snail mail.  They would also work as tent cards for table placement or trade shows. 

 From the vendor: 
Create invitations, announcements and reminders with your laser or ink-jet printer.
Feeds automatically from paper tray.
Heavyweight card stock with ultrafine perforations, separates cleanly.

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

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Golf Board

This is cool and it really might get younger 
people interested in golf!

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

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Belkin Hi Speed Usb 2.0 4 Port Hub

This hub works with my printer, my cooling pad and my keyboard.  It does not work with the Microsoft Notebook Optical Mouse 3000.  I don't know why but since the hub has freed up the rest of my usb ports, it doesn't really matter.  The cable to connect the hub to the USB port is too short.  It measures .75 inches without stressing it's connection to the hub.  That length would be insufficient even if my laptop was sitting on the desk rather than on a cooling  pad.   The cooling pad adds enough height that the connection from the hub to the computer is stressed due to the shortness of the cable.   I have to prop the hub up so that the USB connector stays securely plugged into it's port. Otherwise this hub works  well.

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

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Lexol 1316 Clean and Condition Leather Care Pad - 20 Piece

I used this cleaner on a 25 year old leather chair.   Over the years where the back of the legs hit the leather, the off white leather was yellow.  I used this pad on that yellow and was pleasantly surprised that the soiled yellow area is now nearly off-white again.  The cleaner worked very well.  

I then used it on sunscreen marks on the black leather of my car interior.  Those marks came off without  a trace.  

My only suggestion for the vendor would be to seal each pad in it's own air tight pouch.  The last leather cleaner I purchased was in the form of much thinner wipes and they dried out long before I used the whole container.   These are pad, much thicker than wipes and they handled the pressure I exerted when I scrubbed the chair.  I do wonder though how quickly they will dry out even when stored in the sealed jar in which they were packaged.
From the vendor:
·                        Non-flip, twist cap jar of 20 heavy-duty felt applicators saturated in 3-in-1 formula
·                        Lexol 3-in-1 formula special non-darkening formula ideal for use on light-colored leather
·                        Convenient - quick and easy way to maintain leather beauty and durability
·                        Offers premium UV protectant to help protect leather from harmful sun damage
·                        Ideal for leather auto upholstery, saddlery, boots, briefcases, luggage, sports equipment, shoes, furniture and handbags

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

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Preen Garden Weed Preventer Plus Plant Food

This is a product I have used for several years.  My lawn guy recommended it for my flower beds.  It seems to work well, not perfectly but well.   Frankly anything that keeps me from bending over in pulling weeds is worth buying. 

·                        Garden weed preventer plus plant food in shaker top bottle
·                        It prevents weeds and feeds plants in one easy step
·                        Balanced fertilizer promotes abundant blooms, increased yields and strong root development
·                        Safe for use around over 200 established flowers, vegetables, trees and shrubs
·                        One application feeds your plants and prevents weeds for up to three months
An attorney friend(Martha) sent me this data sheet and it should be read before buying this.  Thanks Martha!

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

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Excellent Flashlight For the Car

This is definitely one of the cooler flashlights I have seen.  The flashlight aspect is very bright without a lot of spread.  I got decent visibility even at 100 feet distance.  Within 10 feet it was very bright.   The lantern aspect also worked very well.   I was impressed with that as well.   The flashing red led’s are excellent for a road side situation or to signal distress.  The magnet on the base will hold the flashlight to a metal surface but only in the vertical position.  I tried a variety of metal surfaces, stove, fridge, car fender and the magnet is not strong enough to hold the flash horizontally despite their photo showing it horizontal on a car.   I don’t feel that is a drawback to the light.  It would be a nice additional feature but not necessary.   This flashlight will replace the current light in my car’s glove compartment. (does anyone actually keep gloves in there?)  I recommend it.  I received this light for free and was asked to do an honest review, frankly I always write what I think but it doesn’t hurt to point out that fact.   Despite being free, I really like the flashlight.

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

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Bose Solo 15 TV Sound System, Black

An aside that has nothing to do with the performance of this unit, the box was wrapped with approximately 32' of twelve inch plastic wrap.  I don't know if that is an indication of Bose's quality commitment or an anal packer.   Regardless it was moderately impressive.  I am sitting here listening to Led Zeppelin "Whole Lotta Love" and the sound is excellent.  I plugged in the optical cable and turned on the unit and had very high quality sound, frankly impressive sound.  

I am surprised that the unit does not have Bluetooth as that is pretty much common in TV sound systems today.  The last three I have had were Bluetooth enabled.  I can't ding Bose on that as they do not infer or advertise the presence of Bluetooth so you know you aren't getting it when you buy the unit.  

The remote is also somewhat impressive.  It is a universal remote that will allow one remote for DVD, X-Box, cable box, TV and two auxiliary units.   Bose seems like they do  not want to skimp.  
I have not owned a Bose product before but have "heard" that they put out good gear.  This unit seems to support that.   Impressive sound, not a lot of extraneous and most often useless features found in some competitors.  If you want a good quality sound system for your TV, this would be a good choice.

Follow up: I had a bit of trouble getting the Bose remote to program for my FIOS cable box. I think the programming instructions could be a bit clearer. Steps are clear upto number 5. Number 5 is to hit the + on the volume bar. It turns out that when you input the suggested code, that is only identifying the brand. The + on the volume control is then fine tuning down to which ever model you have. Each time you hit plus you change the code. Worked fine after Mike the Bose technician explained it. BTW that is a major PLUS for Bose in that it was quick and easy to get a support technician. Oddly enough with the exorbitant monthly fees I pay to FIOS it was far more difficult to get a tech on the phone who then explained that their "new" remote can not be programmed to control multiple devices. A true short sighted "upgrade" from my point of view. So in spite of being familiar with the more ergonomically comfortable FIOS remote to control my devices I will be using the Bose universal remote that was included with the Solo 15 to control all my devices. So kudos to Bose and shame on FIOS.

·                        One-connection convenience for clearly better TV sound
·                        Fits under most TVs 46" to 50", or can be placed on a shelf directly below TV
·                        Easy bass adjustments from control knob on the back of the system
·                        Included universal remote to control your TV and other sources
·                        Advanced Bose technology lets you hear more of the sound you've been missing without needing to constantly adjust the volume

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

Monday, April 6, 2015

Corel PaintShop Pro X7--updated

Preliminary report is mixed and has nothing to do with the performance of the software.  My desktop machine exceeds all specifications for the hardware.  I have RAM, processor and storage in gross excess of all specifications.  I am running Windows 8.1.   The software would not install.  I rebooted my system and still no install.  I disabled my antivirus and spyware protection and still no install.  

I then tried the software on a Windows 8.1 laptop of less capability and was able to get the software to install.   I make every effort to maintain software parity on both machines.  I want to be able to go from one to the other seamlessly and have the same software installed on both machines.  I back up to the laptop multiple times each day so it should be as close as possible to the same installed software with the minute differences in hardware.  

I don't know why the software will not install on my desktop.  There is no support phone number on the software spec sheet that is included.  I suspect most users do not have a stable of computers to try new software installations.   That the software would not install on two machines so closely configured is alarming to me and probably to Corel as well.  Most users would give up after the first five or six attempts, I gave up after multiple reboots and approximately ten attempts.  I will be back with an update if I solve the problem.  I am not bothering to look at the software features as they are moot if it can't be installed easily. 

It is now 6 months since I tried to install this software.  I thought that perhaps a Windows 8.1 update or six might have solved the problem.  No Change!  Still will not install.  4/6/15

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

Friday, April 3, 2015

Roxio Creator NXT 3

This is a rather encompassing software package.   I was able to immediately edit photos, capture video and edit the video.   This looks like this drastically simplifies the steps needed to create a video trailer for one of my books.   The red eye removal in the photo section worked easily and well.   The interface is reasonably intuitive.   I was able to do everything I tried without resorting to (gasp) reading any help files.   It is not a speed demon.  My only criticism is that things load slowly.   The video template was so slow I thought it wasn't working.   Outside of that, it seems like a very good Swiss army knife type of program that will enable the average user to do a multitude of tasks.   I don't see this as a professional grade program but it is user friendly enough and sophisticated enough to appeal to the average user in need of graphic tools.  It is a lot of program for less than $100.00. 

From the vendor: 
Turn up the creativity with the exciting new video tools in Roxio Creator NXT 3, the complete digital media suite. Record directly from your screen with new Live Screen Capture to add unique content to movies, presentations or demos. Make a movie or slideshow in minutes with new FastFlick, the 3-step multimedia app. You also get easy photo-editing tools and everything you need to rip, mix, burn and share your favorite music. Want to preserve your irreplaceable media files? Creator NXT 3 lets you burn, back up and copy to CD, DVD and Blu-ray Disc. Sharing is also a breeze with support for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, iPhone 6, iPad, the latest phones and devices, Facebook, YouTube and more.

·                     The complete digital media suite
·                     Record directly from your screen with new Live Screen Capture
·                     Make a movie or slideshow in minutes with new FastFlick
·                     Burn, back up and copy to CD, DVD and Blu-ray Disc
·                     Share on YouTube or Facebook, Microsoft SkyDrive, Google+ and Flickr

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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