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

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Timex T121B Alarm Clock with 0.7-Inch Red Display

This is a nice size, a very clear display and on the loud setting a very loud alarm.  Luckily it has a softer setting on the alarm. It was easy to set the clock and the alarm without opening the included documentation.   The battery backup is nice, but someday I would like to see a clock that the battery backup would keep the clock working through the power outage and not just hold the settings.  Overall this is a nice clock at a good price at $14.49 on Amazon at the time of the review. 

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

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wrangler Men's Authentics Premium Straight Stretch Pant

I am sitting here in my new Wranglers and being totally impressed with how comfortable they are.  The fit is spot on and they move as I move with no binding.  They are jean cut but not denim.  The fit is more "modern" and much more acceptable to my kids and grandkids than my old jeans.   These are dressier than my new jeans and sharp enough to wear with a sports coat for that casual semi-dressy look.  I like them.  I did check the label after I saw a negative review stating that they were mis-labeled as 5% spandex and were only 2%,  my label says 5% and I have no clue how you would determine otherwise so it isn't a problem for me.   I like them!

·                        95% Cotton/5% Spandex
·                        Imported
·                        Machine Wash
·                        Regular seat and thigh
·                        Stretch fabrication
·                        1 year warranty
·                        Engineered for comfort
·                        Made in Bangladesh

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

Friday, November 20, 2015

Folkmanis Harbor Seal Hand Puppet

This is really a cute seal.  It seems well made and has a very appealing, gentle expression.   I am not sure how you control the front flippers as I saw no means of doing that.  The mouth is traditional hand puppet controlled.  I have a large adult hand and my fingers were no where near the flippers.  There are minimal insets or pockets at the flippers either so don't anticipate using the flippers regardless of the sales description.  If your hand is low enough to put fingers in the minimal flipper pockets, there is no way it will be long enough to operate the mouth.  I like it regardless of the flipper control but more as a stuffed animal for the grandkids than a truly functional hand puppet.

·                        Made using the highest quality materials
·                        Award winning design
·                        Great fun for toddlers and children
·                        Easily animate the antics of this engaging Harbor Seal plush hand puppet
·                        Ideal for stage and puppet theater, storytelling, teaching, daycare, pre-school, pretend play, role-playing, presentations, games, parties and gifts
·                        Your hand controls the mouth, expressions and front flippers of this interactive aquatic mammal puppet
·                        Constructed from high-quality materials with exceptionally realistic details; easy to care for years of play
·                        Comfortably slips over the hand; measures 19 x 7 x 8 inches (LxWxH)

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

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Panasonic RP-HXS400M-A Sound Rush Plus On-Ear Headphones, Blue

These have a very good sound.  I tried them on my computer and my phone.  I called and left a message on my land line and the microphone performed just fine.  They were as comfortable as my much more expensive headphones are, which sadly isn't all that comfortable.  I frankly prefer ear buds but you do seem to get better sound out of this style.   The switch or microphone on the line is a bit obscure.  There was zero documentation so I pushed it, I guess that cut out the microphone, I wasn't 100% sure.  I would like a clearly labelled off or on and gasp maybe even some documentation.   However I suspect that old guys are not their target market and the kids probably have had this kind of switch on their gaming devices.  I liked the sound but am not keen on zero documentation.

·                        On-ear headphones deliver dynamic sound and comfort
·                        Powerful bass and treble with 40mm neodymium drivers
·                        Foldable design and padded ear cups -- perfect for storage and travel
·                        Integrated mobile controller, compatible with iPhone, Blackberry and Android
·                        Tangle-free cord, four bold colors to choose from

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

Monday, November 9, 2015

Lenox Expressions from The Heart, Love China Ornament

This is a very attractive and stylish Christmas ornament.  Lennox is a brand that has a long and illustrative history with my family.  It has epitomized quality.  This will make a nice gift for those of you who gift ornaments.

From the vendor:
      Crafted of porcelain and accented in gold
              Includes a gold tassel cord for hanging
              Measuring a height of 3.5 Inch
List Price $20.00
$12.00 at Amazon at time of review. 

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

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Kaplan New SAT Premier 2016 with 5 Practice Tests: Personalized Feedback + Book + Online + DVD + Mobile

SAT seems like a harmless word but it strikes fear into the stoutest hearts of high school students.  I recall concern about the SAT way back in the 60's when the test was printed on papyrus.  Not overt concern because I was luckily or lucky regarding standardized tests.  I had class mates that quite literally threw up due to stress over the SAT.  Colleges are finally realizing that the overemphasis that has historically been placed on tests such as the SAT has blithely ignored more accurate and reliable measures of potential academic success.  However digression is doing ill service to a review of this product.

The first word that came to mind when I picked up the 1336 page behemoth of a book was hernia.  The second, after perusing the table of contents was comprehensive. Not being a teen I was peripherally aware that the SAT has been redesigned for 2016.   (about time)  This book, the accompanying DVD and the Kaplan web site are designed to help the next generation of guinea pigs, I mean students, successfully get high scores on the SAT.  As near as I can tell without taking the SAT this book should provide a measure of comfort for the student that can wade through it.  There is a wealth of material and it should give a close to substantive experience that hopefully will transfer to the actual test.  Traditionally SAT scores have risen as students retake them.  The experience and perhaps the wearing down of anxiety no doubt contribute to that phenomena.  

Perhaps the best advice I saw in the book was the encouragement to complete the now optional essay portion.   If at the time of testing the student has no interest in a school that requires the essay they may feel why bother with the essay.  Reality is that people change their minds and directions.  The essay portion can not be taken separately.  Imagine a student's frustration if after taking the SAT a school that requires the essay is suddenly leavened into the mix.  The entire test would have to be re-taken.  If a school does not require the essay,  the completion of the essay will not count against a student.  However if it does require the essay, it must be completed.  The simple solution is to complete the essay regardless of it being labeled optional.

This book and its five practice tests should allow a student who diligently utilizes all its tools to approach the SAT experience with a modicum of confidence. 

An editorial aside to this review is that as a high school guidance counselor I saw students who aced the SATs crash dramatically in college.  Conversely I saw  students who despaired over even getting admitted to college after an abysmal SAT experience graduate college with honors.  It is so very difficult to measure motivation, desire and ambition.  This book should provide confidence but please remember the SAT is not in any way a measure of future success in life.  $25.50 at Amazon at time of review.  

From the vendor:
Prepare for the New SAT with confidence! With more than 75 years of experience and more than 95% of our students getting into their top-choice schools, Kaplan knows how to increase your score and get you into your top-choice college!

Prep Smarter. Not Harder. Our comprehensive SAT prep program for the new SAT reviews every concept tested on the new exam. You won't find a more complete guide on the market! It features exclusive methods and strategies as well as more than 2,000 practice questions guaranteed to raise your SAT score! Each practice question is accompanied by a detailed explanation that includes strategic advice and step-by-step instruction that shows you how to get the right answer the expert way.

Kaplan's New SAT Premier 2016 program includes:

* 5 realistic, full-length practice tests, including a Diagnostic Test to guide your studies
* More than 2,000 practice questions, with detailed explanations
* A DVD with expert video tutorials from master Kaplan teachers
* An online center with additional practice questions and prep resources
* A comprehensive overview of the changes to the new SAT
* Kaplan Methods for the more challenging Reading Comprehension, Writing and Language, and Essay sections of the new SAT
* Kaplan Methods for the new difficult math content tested on the new SAT

Kaplan's New SAT Premier 2016 provides you with everything you need to improve your score, guaranteed. Kaplan has helped more than three million students successfully prepare for standardized tests, so we know that our test-taking techniques, methods, and strategies work. Kaplan's New SAT Premier 2016 is the must-have preparation program for every student looking to score higher and get into their top-choice college!

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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