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

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Metal Wall Decor Butterfly Sculpture 29x15 by Uma

This is a very nice wall hanging.  The butterflies are colorful and make an excellent  presentation against a white wall.   It is a bit fragile though.   I ordered two and one of them lost a butterfly in shipping.  It was easy to wire it back to the main piece but I shudder to think what would transpire if it fell off the wall and onto the concrete.  This was substantially less expensive than other similar items I saw and yet it seems very nice quality.
Made from rust free metal alloy
Green, red and brown finish
31.5 in. W x 9.06 in. D x 15.75 in. H (2.13 lbs.) Metal Wall Decor creates a feeling of having something unique because of its unique design concept. It is appreciated by all the visitors. This is an excellent anytime low priced anytime Wall Decor upgrade option. Designed exclusively for limited edition, it can be fixed even on rough wall surfaces for everlasting natural Wall Decor.

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

Monday, March 30, 2015

Miracle-Gro Fertilizer Spikes

Miracle-Gro 100386 Fertilizer Spikes for Trees and Shrubs, 12 Pack
Miracle-Gro 100376 Fertilizer Spikes for Evergreens 12 pack

I bought some small Emerald Green arborvitae.   I have used fertilizer spikes diligently every spring and fall.   Two of them even blew over in one winter storm and I had to pull them back up and stake them.  The spikes do the trick.  They are green and healthy.  I find Miracle Grow products work well.  The nice thing about spikes are that they are a once and done, as they are time released.  $9.97 at Amazon.  

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

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Bulbrite LED11A19/827/D 11-Watt (60-Watt) Dimmable LED A19, Medium Base, Warm White

I compared this bulb to the GE 13-Watt Energy SmartTM - 60 watt replacement compact fluorescent bulb.   This bulb is slightly smaller and is a more traditional shape than the coiled CF bulb.   This bulb did not get as hot as the CF bulb.  The visible light output was identical to my naked eye.  The CF bulb claims 825 lumens while the LED bulb claims 800 lumens.   Each are an economical method of replacing traditional incandescent lights.  The CF bulb claimed 13 watts used and the LED claimed 11 watts.  The CF bulb is not dimmable where as the LED bulb is dimmable. The CF bulb claims 8000 hours of use where as the LED bulb claims 24966 hours of use.  Besides waste heat and dim ability the major difference is price.  The LED bulb is $21.00 plus each and the CF is $1.53 each.   I think once the price on the LED bulb technology drops they will be a very viable alternative.  They are useful now in situations where you want to be able to dim the fixture and for those locations where it is difficult to change bulbs the LED makes sense due to it's increased lifespan.  

·                        Included in the box is: 1- 11 Watt Dimmable LED A19, warm white
·                        Perfect bulb for ceiling fixtures, chandeliers, outdoor fixtures, portable lamps and vanity lighting applications
·                        Optimized driver offers smooth dimming and is compatible with a wider variety of dimmers
·                        11 watts; 800 lumens; 80 CRI; 25,000 hour average rated life; Medium (E26) Base
·                        Dimensions: Maximum Overall Length is 4.13 (Inch); Bulb Diameter is 2.63 (Inch)

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

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Fisher-Price Shakira First Steps Collection Musical Friends Bouncer

I read a couple of reviews on this and was concerned it would be difficult to put together.  It was not.   The assembly is time consuming but not difficult.  The end product is rather cool.  The design means that the baby's own movement creates a bouncing chair.  If the baby is still as when asleep, the chair is quiescent.  There is a soothing switch which applies a low vibration to the frame which in turn is transferred to the frame cover on which the baby is positioned.  The soothing switch seems some what extraneous but I guess that might calm some kids. 

The music is typical kids toy music, kind of bouncy and steel drum like.  There is a switch for a longer playing tune or a short ditty. The music starts when either the child or adult pulls one of the two brightly colored dangling toys.  When the music plays the red, yellow and blue lights flash and illuminate the parrot, cat and zebra with instruments that stand on the top rail.  The 10 day old grand daughter is not impressed but I suspect as she gains mobility the hanging toys will be within reach and she can entertain herself.   Right now it is just a comfortable place to sleep.  It seems stable and secure and the build quality seems quite nice.   The method of securing the baby seems good.  I like it. 
 Price:   $59.99 & FREE Shipping at Amazon

From the vendor:
Baby-activated musical activity toy bar with global beats, music and colorful lights really gets baby moving and grooving!
Animal activity toy friends bounce & wiggle as baby bounces in the seat
Plays up to 20 minutes of music
Light show encourages eye-tracking

Machine-washable, dryer-safe seat pad

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

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Motor Movers and a Primer on Transporting Your Private Car

Moto Movers did a super job!  
Everything they told me, they  did.   
Don Edwards at 480-719-7915 is a professional who delivers what he promises. 
I highly recommend his services.  Read below to see why.  

BTW I did not receive a dime for recommending  Don, he is not a relative nor married to a relative.   This recommendation is purely based on my satisfaction with a job well done.  

Transporting your vehicle can be a smooth move or a traumatizing event.   I recently had to move my car from Florida to Pennsylvania.   The process started with the Web where you can put in your information and get online quotes and lots and lots of follow up phone calls.  The prices ranged from $495.00 to $1000.00 to move the same car on an open carrier.   Almost every transport agent suggested that the competition would low ball you and then jack the price up when the time came to move your car.  Oddly enough they were right.

I chose the transport company based on review found on Transport Reviews, what other information I could find on the web and information from the Better Business Bureau.   I tried using the company that a friend used and recommended but they appear to do their own moving and wait until they have enough cars to make a trip. Their schedule and my schedule had no overlap.  Frankly none of that mattered.  I ended up selecting the top ad on Google and placed my order for transport about a month ahead of my need.  

Now the people you are dealing with are not the people who will actually be moving your car.   They are agents or brokers.   Somewhere there is the "board"  where your car and your destination and origin are listed as well as when you want your move.    This "board" is where the actual people who move your  car go to find business.  The carriers bid on the business that they want.   The broker puts up a price he wants to pay and if the carrier is willing to take the price they bid on it.   Obviously destination place a part in their decision.   Since this is the first time I have transported my car I was concerned about timing.  I did not want to end up in Pennsylvania with my car still in Florida.

You are told by all of the brokers that you have to have a window of days for the car carrier, such as April 1 to April 3rd.    Here is an example, you get quoted $850.00 to move your car.  You accept that and your broker then posts on the "board" $650.00 to move your car.  His commission is the $200.00 difference.  Then a carrier bids and if the broker feels the carrier is a good quality carrier he may accept the bid.  Then the carrier calls, you, the customer and says he can pick up your car on April 2nd.  You agree on where to meet and then on that date you meet the driver and your car is picked up.   With luck it will arrive when the carrier has said they will.  

My misfortune was the first company I chose.  The guy there promised me everything and delivered nothing.   He had my info for over a month and I was assured everything was fine.  He gave me a date that I would get concrete information on when my car would be picked up.   He did not meet that date.  Two days later he said he was having trouble finding a carrier.  Would I  be able to drive two hours away to pick up my car?  This was touted as door to door service.  I said I was not willing to drive two hours away and we ended up compromising on a 30 to 40 minute away location and the transport would be a couple of hundred dollars more than he had quoted.    He said he would get back to me.   Meanwhile it is Monday and my car needs to be picked up before my flight on Friday.

I called Don Edwards at Motor Movers.  He explained the process and suggested a price but gave me a caveat that it was just an estimate as he might need to negotiate for a carrier due to the short time frame.  He said he would get back to me in 24 hours.  Twenty minutes later, Don called with a pick up day and a carrier.   The carrier called me and since my Florida origination point was in a gated community we agreed on a meeting place 5 minutes away.  The car was picked up and delivered to us the day after we got home.  Delivered to my front door.  No marks, no mileage on the car and no problems whatsoever.  

The broker you chose will have a major impact on the carrier you get.  I strongly recommend Motor Movers and Don Edwards due to the exceptional service I received. 

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

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Mr. Coffee BVMC-SJX33GT 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker, Chrome

If you read my review on the Cuisinart DCC-750 Coffeemaker you will have read how dismayed I was with its performance and its worthless warranty.  This coffee maker exceeds my expectations.  Granted after the miserable experience with the lousy Cuisinart the bar wasn't too high.   The coffee is good, there have been NO overflows and the programming for early brewing was easy.   There are settings to allow for a more robust brew as well.   This coffee maker is giving us excellent service.  BTW this was 2/3 less than the previous coffeemaker so not only does it work well it is a terrific value as well!

Recognized as one of the best products of 2011 in a leading consumer research magazine
Removable filter basket lifts out for fast and easy filling and cleaning
Brewing pause 'n serve lets you pour a cup of coffee while the coffeemaker is still brewing
Special cleaning cycle makes cleaning your coffeemaker quick and easy

2-Hour auto shut-off keeps your coffee hot for 2-hour, then automatically shuts off

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

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A Scale With Weight Loss Advice: Taylor 7209 Glass Digital Cal Max Scale

This is a good looking and reasonably priced scale.  The neutral aspect of it's design allows it to be used with practically any decor.  I am glad it does not have a voice function.  It weighs about a pound heavier than our current Taylor digital scale.   That is weighing people not the weight of the scale.   The BMI feature is interesting.  Body Mass Index is one popular method of identifying obesity.  You input your height, weight and activity level.   This is supposed to identify your BMI.   It than ascribes calories to maintain the current weight.  Oddly it suggested a weight somewhat heavier than my current Taylor scale but assigned me considerably more calories to maintain about 1.5 pounds more than the older scale.  I don't intend to increase my calorie intake despite being given a get out of jail free card by the scale software.  The concept seems good and anything that helps reduce caloric intake should be encouraged.  In my case, common sense will overrule technology and I will NOT start eating more. BTW the photo makes the deck of the scale look white, it is clear.

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

Friday, March 6, 2015

Ultra Stop Non-Slip Indoor Rug Pad, A MUST Have for Throw Rugs

Works as advertised. The rug was a flat out hazard prior to putting this down.   It cuts to size easily and makes an attractive hazard merely attractive.    A short but sweet review.  This is a product I highly recommend.  Particularly if you have grand kids that motor about with abandon.  This will keep them from doing a header into the nearest wall. !

Non-slip rug pad for rugs over hard-surface floors
Open weave construction allows the area rug to breath and helps make vacuuming easier
Helps keep rugs in place to prevent bunching and shifting
Made with polymer coated polyester scrim - guaranteed to hold non-slip properties for 10 years

Care and Use: Hand wash in mild detergent, rinse and air dry

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

Monday, March 2, 2015

Diono Pacifica Convertible Plus Booster Seat with Body Pillow

There is no question that this is a quality item.  Every piece seems to be top of the line as regards materials.   Design, I am not sure.  As a grandparent I have seen many car seats for both my kids and my grand kids.   This seat may be a touch to ambitious in regards to maximizing their market.   The concept of a Swiss Army Knife seems to be their design model.  Don't get me wrong, a good Swiss Army Knife can be a handy tool but sometimes you need to narrow your options to get a superior tool.

As I said, the materials and workmanship seem top notch with the seat.   However it's complexity is daunting.   Talking to a friend on the local police force I found that many car seats are incorrectly installed and consequently not providing the expected level of safety.   The physical installation of the seat is relatively clear but the conversion from rear-facing, to front facing, to toddler, to large child is somewhat confusing.   The manual also is not straight forward.   It hops around and refers to other pages in the midst of explanations. 

If you are willing to accept a rather complex piece of equipment with less than stellar instructions, this unit should be the only seat you need to every buy your child as it goes from infant to 120 pounds. (Have to wonder why you are strapping a 120 pound, 4' 9" kid into a car seat rather than a traditional seat belt but the manufacturer touts that range of client.)

From Vendor:
Steel frame gives unmatched protection and durability for a 12-year product life
Reinforced deep side walls with energy-absorbing foam for maximum head and body side impact protection
Luxurious two-piece infant body pillow provides extra support and comfort along with memory foam in the seating area
Accommodates children rear facing 5-50 pounds and forward facing 20-90 pounds and in booster mode 50-120 pounds and up to 57" tall
Pace saving design allows extra room for passengers while providing spacious interior for child

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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