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

Monday, October 16, 2017

Ventev Wirelesspro Dock



Phone snaps in on the right of the photo.
This works great!  I plugged it into my power port (the port formerly  known as the cigarette lighter port) and it worked immediately.  I then took the power port adapter off and plugged it into my car USB and Viola! It worked there as well.  So while I was tinkering I tried it on my desktop USB and my desktop did not like it but I tried it on my laptop USB extender and it worked just fine.  So not only does it give me a wireless charging option in the car it gives me a backup wireless charger for the desk.   My only  concern is that the vent clip was very difficult to get on the vent.  Once on the vent, it was very sturdy feeling but it was not easy to get on.  I may not use it on the vent and might just stick it in the glove box and charge there.  Regardless that small shortcoming does not detract from the versatility of this charger.  (I was going to photo it with my phone in it and duhh when my phone is in it I don’t have anyway of taking a photo.LOL)


·                        Plastic
·                        Charge your phone from 0% to 60% in 30 minutes
·                        Universal, fast, wireless car charger
·                        Spring-loaded Dual arms for effortless one-handed docking and a rotating vent clip
·                        Included is our dash port Rq1300 and our 3 ft. Charge Sync Micro USB cable
·                        One year limited warranty



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

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Jimu Robot


I got this today.  I can’t remember being more excited about a toy in ages.  This isn’t really a toy as much as a major learning experience.  The kit provides you with enough parts and directions to build three different robots.  Not having finished one yet I cant’s swear but it appears that you can then take off on your own and design your own robot.  STEM is getting a great deal of overwork for the 2017 holiday season.  This kit really does stretch the mind though.  The ability to create code to control your robot is mind blowing.  You can use your Apple or Android devices to program and control your robot.  I’m sure that Wall-E  had some impact on their design.  Since I loved that movie, this just rings my bell.

From the vendor:
Wall-E
·                 Build your own DIY robot with 5 smooth motion robotic servos, 1 infrared sensor, 2 LED and 397 snap-together parts
·                 An incredible addition to any STEM learning curriculum, boys and girls learn valuable skills with fun and engaging Robots, recommended for ages 8+
·                 Learn to code with Blocky and make your robot creation perform incredible movements with the pose-record-play function
·                 Share your designs and connect with other creators on the JIMU robot community available through the free JIMU robot app
·                 Download the free JIMU robot app on Apple iOS or Android Smart devices to program and control your robot



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

Sunday, October 8, 2017

K'NEX - Imagine 25th Anniversary Ultimatebuilder's Case Building Kit


I’ve written a lot about K’NEX over the last 6 months.  Frankly when K’NEX first came out I was not a fan.  How could anyone think they could replace Legos? However I have been won over.  They are not a replacement, they are in addition  to Legos.  My grand kids have both and they enjoy both.  K”NEX has made a big push in the STEM education arena.  I laud that as they supply good manuals and plenty of imaginative suggestions for their kits.  This particular kit is not STEM centric but it supplies a whopping 750 pieces to further fuel the imagination. My grand kids love these.

K’NEX claims they are willing to replace broken or lost parts, just call them.  I called at 2:45 PM on a Friday afternoon and was on hold for 5 minutes before I hung up.  It’s possible they actually do respond to phone calls but I can’t verify that and I am unwilling to sit on hold to discover the answer.  In that aspect K’NEX is as disappointing as most other companies claiming to be customer friendly.  Claims and reality are often quite different.

Considering what is normal for customer service today, I can’t ding them for not being any better than anyone else.

From the vendor:

750-PIECE PACK – This Ultimate Builder’s Case contains 750 classic pieces in bright colors and with sturdy plastic construction. The package includes many different rods and connectors to let builders create extravagant designs!

·                        CREATE 3D CONSTRUCTIONS – Encourage your child to bring his dream design to life by building three-dimensional models. Whether he’s creating a cool vehicle or a pirate ship, this set allows a multitude of 3D configurations.
·                        PORTABLE STORAGE CASE – Allow your child to play and learn wherever you are with this building set. It comes with a sturdy case inspired by the design of the original case from the early 1990s.
·                        FULL-COLOR INSTRUCTIONS – Encourage your child to build and create with the 25th Anniversary Ultimate Builder’s Case. This set comes with color-coded, easy-to-follow instructions that will teach your child to craft 50 models of varying size and difficulty.
·                        STEAMagination™ – It’s the connection of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts & math) with a child’s natural curiosity and creativity and it powers the fun of each and every K’NEX® building set.  Building with K’NEX puts children on a path towards a fundamental understanding of STEAM/STEM subjects.
·                        DEVELOPMENTAL BENEFITS – K’NEX supports key areas of a child’s developmental growth.  As they click the different parts together and discover how the building system works, they’re strengthening hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, problem-solving skills, spatial awareness and exercising their imagination!
·                        COMMITMENT TO QUALITY– K’NEX rods and connectors are responsibly made in America at a landfill-free, zero-waste green manufacturing facility in Hatfield, Pennsylvania.  We test to the strictest quality and safety standards, ensuring that your child has a successful, trouble-free building experience.
·                        PARTS GUARANTEE – Broken part?  Missing part?  If you find yourself in need of a replacement for any reason, just give us a call!  We’ll get you what you need so that your child can get back to building as soon as possible.


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

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

LEGO DC SUPER HERO GIRLS Eclipso Dark Palace 41239 Building Kit (1078 Piece)




I am fond of toys that diminish stereotypes. The character of Wonder Woman was the first female super hero that I can recall.  I loved the movie and like that my grand daughters have a super hero to admire.  This is a great set with a serious number of pieces.  My youngest (now a father) always said the more pieces the better!  Way to go Lego!

·                        Features a foldout palace, opening tubes to hold lego dc super hero girls characters, powering station, planning room, vanity cabinet, weapons cabinet, a kryptomite creation section.
·                        Includes 3 mini-doll figures: wonder woman, eclipso and the flash, plus 3 orange kryptomite figures.
·                        Accessory elements include a staff, sword, flail, sai, wonder woman's lasso of truth, wonder woman's shield, laboratory bottles, lipstick, brush, perfume bottles, pickaxe, hammer, anvil, and crystals.
·                        Eclipso dark palace measures over 14in (36cm) high, 10in (27cm) wide and 5in (14cm) deep.
·                        Kryptomite training station measures over 2in (6cm) high, 1in (3cm) wide and 1in (3cm) deep, invisible jet measures over 1in (5cm) high, 6in (17cm) long and 8in (21cm) wide.


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

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Tour Gear Custom Fit Golf Belt Brown with Matte black Buckle


This is pretty darn nifty. It comes in a one size fits almost anyone. You cut it to 2" over your waist size an clamp the cut end into the buckle. The tongue of the belt then inserts into a rachet on the buckle. You pull it to your comfort level and you're done. It release with a knob on the bottom if you are right handed. It feels and looks very good. Also a better concept that similar belts I have. $20.00 at Amazon.

Ratcheting belt buckle for a perfect fit
Available in black, White or brown
One size fits all

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

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

K'NEX Education STEM EXPLORATIONS: Levers & PULLEYS



K’NEX always grabs my attention as it is a local company.  I don’t know anyone who works there but I always feel good about supporting local businesses.  K’Nex has worked diligently to become part of the STEM trend.  Their manuals are clearly illustrated and the instructions are age appropriate.   They  have experiments that utilize the parts that are included in the kit.  Frankly unless supervised I don’t see many of the experiments being used but the intent is good.  In my opinion, the best use of this product is promoting creativity.  The creation of a project that is not defined in the manual is a measure of the versatility of the product.  In the case of my family, the use of levers and pulleys will translate into medieval weaponry.
 ·                        The set includes 130+ parts for a single child or team of 2 children to build 3 unique lever or pulley models: a balance, a wheelbarrow and a Sailboat.
·                        Students will learn about lever classes, pulley systems, resistance, effort, mechanical advantage and more!
·                        The experiment guide is aligned to National STEM standards and is appropriate for Grade levels 3-5.


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

Friday, September 22, 2017

Graco Kendall 6 Drawer Double Dresser, Espresso



This dresser got mildly savaged by Amazon reviewers.  My experience was far more positive than most reviews.  Yes, the assembly is time consuming and not intuitive.  However you should realize that when you buy it that you are going to input a certain amount of labor.  The quality of the piece is good.  I have no clue what the wood is but it does not appear to be any kind of particle board or pressed wood.  The only non-wood is the back of the dresser and the drawer bottoms.   I did have one of the cams come out but re-insertion was not an issue.  The back was pre-drilled for the screws but one side was pre-drilled incorrectly and was far too close to the edge.  Finally the back bottom support bar would not seat on the dowel so I used an L bracket and some glue and that took care of that problem.  The drawers all work smoothly and the overall appearance is quite nice.

In summary, the dresser does take some labor and the build quality has some minor issues but it looks good and will do it’s designed job.


·                 Features 6 spacious drawers to store clothes, toys and other belongings
·                 Universal dresser coordinates with Graco or any other children’s furniture
·                 Made with high quality pine wood and composites, features durable steel hardware
·                 Euro-glide drawers with built-in safety stops
·                 Available in multiple safe, non-toxic finishes. Anti-tipping. Double boxed for extra shipping protection


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

Monday, September 18, 2017

Columbia Men's Kersey RFID Blocking Extra-Capacity Slimfold Wallet


The wallet looks good which is much better than my previous RFID blocking wallet.  It also held all my cards which are not inconsiderable.  It is not paranoia if they really are out to get you and if you are in an urban area it is certainly possible to be targeted by a "sniffer".  Since some credit cards have RFID chips.  Realistically most RFID chip you may have are probably encrypted and not susceptible to sniffing.   However if I am going to pay $25 for a new wallet, I may as well get one that blocks sniffing.



·                        75% Other Fibers, 25% Leather
·                        Imported
·                        Hand Wash
·                        Slim bifold wallet with extra flip-out sleeve featuring tonal stitching and Columbia logo patch at front corner
·                        Features RFID-blocking technology for security


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

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Bushnell 16MP Trophy Cam HD Essential E3 Trail...


This is a very impressive gadget.  I have seen these trail cameras on TV but have never owned one.  The camera seems very durable.  The setup instructions were a bit obtuse but not terribly so.  It took awhile to set up the camera but once set up, it seems to work ok. I experimented with the settings and they appear to work.   One interesting note, you can use a standard SD card with this but if you want to avoid going out and pulling the SD card or bringing the camera in and connecting it to your computer here is an idea.  I put an eye.fi mobi card in which is a wireless SD card.  If you set the software on your phone or tablet you can have the photos transmitted to those devices automatically.  This assumes where you are putting the camera is within your wifi envelope.  If it is, mine is, then you can bring your photos up on your phone without removing the SD card or the camera. This works as it is how I am using the camera. Well it worked in setup mode.  It did not work in actual "on" mode. So perhaps someone can make it work but I didn't.

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

Sunday, September 10, 2017

DII Snowman Christmas Countdown, Indoor/Outdoor Holiday Décor For Walls & Doors



Christmas is Coming!
This is large enough to hang on the door but it doesn’t seem outdoorsy.  It is really cute and should be a hit with the kiddies. It is well made and should hold up for  years.
·                         
·                        "DAYS OF CHRISTMAS" sign measures 16.5" long x 12.75" wide and is the perfect sparkling asseccory for your home
·                        MADE OUT OF meduim-density fibreboard and a tin hanging loop for strong quality that you can rely on
·                        INDOOR AND OUTDOOR USE, Hang your signs on your door for a magical hello, or indoors to complete your winter wonderland house
·                        CELEBRATE THE MOST WONDERFUL OF THE YEAR with style and grace, DII holiday décor is sure to put your family and friends in the mood to celebrate!
·                        PAIR WITH DII HOME DÉCOR, Coordinate with DII tablecloths, placemats, napkins and more


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

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Pro Aegis 15.6" Laptop Backpack With Rfid Pocket Backpack


My traditional laptop carry bag is nowhere as nice as this.  One of the things I like the most is the strap that allows you to slip it over your rolling carry-on handle.   There is plenty of room and padding for my laptop and a pocket for my tablet and my phone and thumb drives.   This is well thought out and looks good as well.  Best of all it keeps your hands free and you feel a lot less encumbered when traveling.
·                        Imported
·                        polyester lining
·                        Internal iPad/ tablet pocket.

·                        RFID data protection pocket helps secure personal data encoded on credit cards, IDs & passports
·                        Back strap slides over luggage handle
·                        Padded back and backpack straps for added comfort
·                        12x10x18.5
·                        12x10x18.5




























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

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Sabrent 7-Port USB 3.0 Hub with Individual Power Switches and LEDs


Sabrent 7-Port USB 3.0 Hub with Individual Power Switches and LEDs included 12V/4A power adapter (HB-UMA7)

This is a nice unit.  There is no setup.  I plugged it into my laptop and into my surge and all my devices worked.  I tried the switches and they all worked.  The 7 port is great as there always seems to be something new that needs plugged into a USB port. The power cord struck me as a bit of a nuisance until I realized that having its own power supply allows charging of those devices that are to demanding for a standard USB hub.  I have a more portable Sabrent unit for travel but this one will be a fixture on my desk.

  • 7 Ports (output); 1 Port (input)
  • Blue LED indicates power status for each port
  • Supports transfer speeds up to 5Gbps (USB 3.0), 480Mbps (USB 2.0), 12Mbps (USB 1.1)
  • 12V 4 Amp power adapter included to power up high powered devices.
  • Easy to setup: Plug & Play and Hot Swappable

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

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Kaytee Gold Spray Millet


I like to feed the birds.  Normally I use just black sunflower seeds.  I added this four days ago as it seemed like a good idea.  I have not seen one bird on it.  I don’t know if I am displaying it incorrectly but generally when I put out suet or other treats the birds find it within 24 hours.  This was serious money AT $130 for 20 pounds which I had hoped would translate into more birds at the feeder.  So far not so good.

Maybe I hung it wrong???


·                        Highly palatable treat
·                        Good for encouraging weaning and getting birds to eat
·                        Adds recommended nutritional variety to a bird's diet
·                        Ideal for bonding and playtime
·                        Natural with no artificial colors or flavors
·                        Contains 20 Pounds


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

Friday, August 25, 2017

Geeni GN-BW903-999 Lux 1050 A21 Smart Wi-Fi LED Tunable Light Bulb, White E


Everything but the little smile is accurate!

I don’t often oooh, over a new product.  This bulb is ooooh rated though.  It set up easily upon downloading the app to my phone and setting up an account.  You need to input your router password and the bulb is recognized.  To get it recognized by your Amazon Echo you need to do a few more steps but all of them are quite simple.  Once set up you can control the light by your Amazon Echo or your phone.  You can even brighten or dim your light and change it from a cool white to a sunny yellow.  Pretty darn impressive for a light bulb. 

From the vendor: 
This item is certified to work with Amazon Alexa     Control this product with your voice through any Alexa device
Control all your lights using your smartphone from anywhere, at anytime using the Geeni app (iOS 8 or higher/Android 4.1 or higher)
No hub required, Wi-Fi built-in
75-Watt equivalent, 1050 lumens, 2700K - dimmable to any level
Set your schedule to turn your lights on and off automatically and control whole Groups of bulbs at once
Voice control with Amazon Alexa & Google assistant

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

Monday, August 21, 2017

Bissell Powersteamer Powerbrush Carpet Cleaner


There is no steam involved on this cleaner. I was a bit bemused when I read the instructions and nothing was mentioned about power steaming, it’s because there is no steam.   With that aside, this seems to do a pretty good job.  I tested this on a powder blue sheared carpet, a longer sheared carpet, a very flat kind of mat carpet, a woven oriental type carpet and a bath mat.   The only one that it seemed to have issues with was the very tightly woven, flat mat carpet.  The brushes pulled some loops up on it.  On the rest of the carpets, it ran just fine.  There were a lot of lint balls after I was done but that is noted in the manual with the suggestion to vacuum after the carpet is dry.  I did not have any noticeable stains on any of the carpets but the one that it didn’t like so I don’t know how well it pulls up stains.  I can tell you that the water it pulled up was pretty darn dirty so it certainly looks like it is working.  I removed all removable pieces to rinse after the test.  Pulling the wet lint out from above the brushes was pretty disgusting but again,  that is an indication it is working.  Overall, this seems to do the job one would expect.  It certainly isn’t professional grade carpet cleaning but between the pro jobs, this will do the trick. 












 ·                        5 cleaning rows on its dirtlifter powerbrush to lift dirt and stains out of carpets
·                        Sprays, scrubs and suctions to clean carpet
·                        Includes a stain tool for hard to reach areas and cleaning upholstery and stairs
·                        A large, 2 in 1 water tank system makes it easy to fill and empty the dirty water
·                        Includes 8 oz. Bissell Deep cleaning Formula

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

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Calphalon 1932442 Classic Nonstick All-Purpose Chef Pan


Reviewing cookware is a bit challenging. If you screw up something it provides an excuse for your error by stating, it  must have been the pan, not me!  So far I haven't screwed up anything in this pan.  Only had it a couple of days and so far nothing is sticking to it.  Hand washing it is required but that isn't a hassle as I hand wash all my decent cookware and all my good knives.  This is a nice size and it has a wok like shape which I like as it doesn't give you that seam area which can be a problem to clean in some traditional type skillets.  It states do not use cooking spray.  So far that hasn't been a problem.  This is a nice addition to my kitchen tools.

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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