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!

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Please check out my other blogs
Pick of the Literate 
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Sunday, December 10, 2017

LEGO Star Wars Resistance Transport Pod 75176 Building Kit (294 Piece)




I just reviewed the First Order Heavy Scout Walker and this will be somewhat repetitive. I don’t know if the Disney connection of owning the Star Wars franchise is impacting the Lego line or not.  This unit has lots of pieces and that is always good with Legos.  The Heavy Waker  did not impress me with it’s design..  It doesn’t appear to have the thoughtful and often realistic nature of traditional Lego models.  This resistance transport pod I got at the same time seems like it had a more thoughtful design.  Another thing I noticed is the packaging seems to be decreasing in quality.  The packaging does not in any way deter the function or fun of the Lego set but it would hopefully tie in with a price decrease but I haven’t noticed that.   So as always, Lego makes a good, challenging toy that provokes learning when your kid says the heck with the diagram and creates his own walker, for that it gets the usual 5 stars plus they always enjoy the plastic missiles.  Characters included are Includes Finn and Rose minifigures plus a BB-8 figure

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

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

How To Spot A Card Skimmer


Special Thanks to my buddy Gerry for sending me this video.  It is the season to be jolly and to be scammed so 
watch and learn!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Lego First Order Heavy Scout Walker




I don’t know if the Disney connection of owning the Star Wars franchise is impacting the Lego line or not.  This unit has lots of pieces and that is always good with Legos.  I’m not sure about the design though.  It doesn’t appear to have the thoughtful and often realistic nature of traditional Lego models.  The resistance transport pod I got at the same time seems like it had a more thoughtful design.  Another thing I noticed is the packaging seems to be decreasing in quality.  The packaging does not in any way deter the function or fun of the Lego set but it would hopefully tie in with a price decrease but I haven’t noticed that.   So as always, Lego makes a good, challenging toy that provokes learning when your kid says the heck with the diagram and creates his own walker, for that it gets the usual 5 stars.  Characters included are General Hux, a First Order Gunner, Resistance Trooper and a First Order Flametrooper.

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

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Super Book Deal

This book sale is an opportunity to put
your money where your mouth is!

A group of authors are providing 25 books at a ridiculously CHEAP price and 100% of the royalties will be donated to  
One America Appeal  for Hurricane Relief.

This is a Win-Win situation 
if there ever was one. 

You're getting hours of great reading
and doing good as a bonus!
Link

R.E. McDermott's books alone are worth far more than $10, 
I have read them all and loved them. 
Go to this link and revel in having gotten a terrific bargain and done some good for the poor folks struggling to recover from this years devastating hurricanes.
This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Perky Pet 50182 Birdie B&B Wood Chalet Bird Feeder


This is an attractive feeder but.....  It fills easily.  It is filled and ready for action.   After 10 days of use the white top locking mechanism is cracked.  Seems like this is mediocre quality. 

·                        Decorative wood feeder with clear side panels to Monitor seed levels
·                        Twist-to-lock keeps lid secure to keep squirrels out
·                        Easy to fill and clean
·                        Roof overhang keeps seed dry & fresh
·                        1.25 lb. seed capacity



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

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Crazy Money Saving Book Deal and Helping Others


This book sale is an opportunity to put
your money where your mouth is!

A group of authors are providing 25 books at a ridiculously CHEAP price and 100% of the royalties will be donated to  
One America Appeal  for Hurricane Relief.

This is a Win-Win situation 
if there ever was one. 

You're getting hours of great reading
and doing good as a bonus!
Link

R.E. McDermott's books alone are worth far more than $10, 
I have read them all and loved them. 
Go to this link and revel in having gotten a terrific bargain and done some good for the poor folks struggling to recover from this years devastating hurricanes.
This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Kensun AC/DC Rapid Performance Portable Air Compressor Tire Inflator with Digital Display for Home (110V) and Car (12V) - 30 Litres/Min


This is way better than my previous air compressor.  This has a air cord long enough to reach up a tire. It has both an AC and DC cord that are plenty long.  It does recommend running the DC version while the car is in auxiliary mode and maybe someone with electric knowledge can explain that but I don’t like the idea that it is drawing down the car battery.  The light is a nice feature as it saves from trying to juggle a flashlight while inflating a tire.   The lighted dial and the ability   to set the pressure and have it stopped when it is reached is also another good feature. 
I can only wonder how they got both the inflator hose and the DC cord in the cord storage compartment.  I gave up and used two pieces of Velcro to attach the AC and the DC cords to the handle.   The inflator hose fits fine in the storage area without the other two cords being involve.   Overall this is a good unit.
 











Size: Compact
·                        Kensun quality: Brought to you by one of the most trusted names in automotive accessories with incomparable customer service!
·                        Unique versatility: Transcends the function of regular air compressors by being adaptable to both home (AC – wall socket) and car (DC – cigarette lighter socket) use. With digital presets and additional attachment nozzles you would be hard pressed to find something that this compressor cannot inflate, from the heavy-duty, like car tires, to the delicate, such as a beach ball, it is perfectly equipped to achieve the perfect pressure for any situation, outdoors or indoors.
·                        Advanced functions: AC/DC adaptable. Digital pressure gauge with LCD display and unit conversion. Digital presets function for easily delivering the ideal pressure where it is needed. Range of pressure measure: 90psi. Accuracy of measure: 35psi +/-1psi. Continuous working time: 30 minutes at 35psi.
·                        Useful features: White LED work-light for easy illumination in the dark. 2 attachment nozzles for a multitude of uses (tires, basketballs, beach inflatables, etc.)
·                        Specifications: Inflation time: AC - 5 mins; DC - 5.5 mins. Black woven hose (outer length): 23.6in (60cm). Cable length: AC - 5ft 10.8in (1.8m); DC - 10ft 9.9in (3.3m). Maximum current: <10A. Air flow rate: 7.9gpm (30L/min). Operating temperature: 14 to 140 degrees F

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

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

KLUTZ LEGO Make Your Own Movie Kit


This is very clever.   The book is the major feature in this LEGO set.  The faces, figures and scenery are fine but the book is excellent.  It is a well written tutorial on how to make stop action movies.   The proliferation of tablets and phones with cameras that enable video makes this a no-brainer for the adventurous LEGO devotee.  

  • Stop-motion animation is easy with accessible (and free) apps available for tablets and phones.
  • Projects are an easy introduction to animation. Mini movies can be made in as little as an hour.
  • Stop-motion animation scales up to older or more advanced kid moviemakers.
  • Great for ages 8+.
  • Includes a 80 page book.


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

Saturday, November 18, 2017

K'Nex Zoo Friends Construction Toy (55 Piece)


I am a confessed K’nex fan. They are made in the good old USA and they are fun! This is the first one I have gotten that is focused on the youngest builder.   The recommended ages are 3-5 years old.  The set only has 55 pieces but in my case the hundreds if not thousands of K’nex already here will provide many more options.  The big goggley eyes made these builds adorable.

Build new colorful kid K'Nex Zoo friends and go wild!
·                        30 fun building ideas!
·                        Watch your child's imagination grow as they create K'Nex friends of their own!



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

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Magnavox Outdoor Waterproof Portable Speaker with Bluetooth Wireless Technology (MMA3628)


This is a nice little speaker.  It is about the same size as a 20oz drink can.  It paired just find once I realized that it pairs under MMA3628 which may be obvious but it wasn’t in the instructions by name.  One of my pet peeves is the tiny print on instructions.  For pity sakes, use 10% more paper and put it in a font that is legible to the naked eye!  I ain’t dead yet but my eyes do not focus on any point size that small.    Besides the tiny print, the sound is good and hopefully so is the waterproof part.  I am not courageous enough to test the waterproof part, only time will tell.


  •  
  •  
  • Rugged outdoor speaker with IP67 dust and waterproof protection
  • Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity for easy wireless streaming from smart devices
  • Hands-free phone answering function lets you take calls using the speaker
  • Built-in 10-hour rechargeable battery
  • Includes AC/USB adapter, USB charging cable, and 3.5mm aux-in connection cable


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

Friday, November 10, 2017

Fisher-Price Think & Learn Teach 'n Tag Movi




This is too doggone cute.   The robot gets kids to move and play games rather than parked in front of a screen.  A toy that interacts with the kids and gets them up off of their behinds is truly a welcome sight.  It encourages play and should make the homes cat’s crazy.  It moves and makes noises while encouraging the kids to play while being simplistic enough for very young children to use by themselves.  


​3 ways to play! Alpha fun actions think & move shapes learn & play games.
​teach 'n tag movi can move here, there & everywhere—360 degrees of mobility! ​.
Light-up buttons on movi’s head enhance game play.
​see movi’s facial expressions change during play—60+ different faces!

​teaches preschoolers following directions, critical thinking skills & gets them up and moving!


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

Monday, November 6, 2017

Euri Lighting SP38-1000h LED PAR38 Bulb, Econ Line, Soft White 3000K, Dimmable, 13W (100W Equivalent), 1050 lm, 40 Degree Beam Angle, Medium Base (E26) UL-Listed


Hmm, apparently I am not super discerning when looking at light bulbs.  I tested this and I did not notice any blue tint.  I only mention that as I read some of the other reviews and there were some concerns about the color of the light.   I had no color concerns.  It seemed bright, not quite as bright as the 100 watt it replaced but considering the life span and what a pain it is to change that light bulb due to it’s location, I am totally pleased with this bulb.  I did try and test it in my track lighting over my work bench but it was a little too big to fit into the track lighting hoods.  Considering the draw I thought I could replace the 60 watt bulbs in the track lighting but alas these don’t fit.  Otherwise this seems life a excellent value at $8.99!


·                     Dimmable
·                     UL certified for your safety
·                     Mercury Free & Shatter Resistant
·                     3 Year / 25,000 Hour Lifetime and Warranty based on 6 hours per day / 7 days per week


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

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Club Champ Deluxe Cart Golf Bag



This  is a surprisingly spacious golf bag while not being enormous.  You could carry this cart bag without difficulty.   The orange trim is just that trim, it doesn’t try and convince anyone of your sports team allegiance.   There are pockets everywhere.  There are an adequate number of slots to keep your clubs organized.  Construction seems quite solid. I like the bag.


·                        Extra padded carry Sling
·                        7-Way padded top with full length dividers
·                        7 large storage pockets
·                        Protective zippered Hood
·                        Towel ring, glove patch, umbrella holder & more


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

Sunday, October 29, 2017

RoomMates RMK3025TB Star Wars Classic Darth Vader & Stormtroopers P&S Wall Graphic, 32" Wide 23.14" High


Star Wars is always a good idea in my family.  The coffee cup Darth Vader I'm not your father joke never gets old.  This wall covering is easily removable if it does get old but the Star Wars fans in this family run from 8 to 71 years in age so this will be a hit for years to come.  Good readily recognizable graphics


·                        Easy to apply - just peel and stick
·                        Applies to any smooth surface
·                        Removable and repositionable with no sticky residue


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

Saturday, October 28, 2017

RAVPower 2800mah Samsung Galaxy S4 Replacement Battery FAILURE


I blogged on this on July 10, 2016.   The battery worked fine for over a year.  Today I noticed the phone was warm and I popped the cover to find this battery swollen.  It looked just like the Samsung battery it replaced.  I don't know if it is an inherent flaw in the S4 or if the battery is defective.  I do know that the RAVPower website has not warranty information  on the battery.  So buyer BEWARE this may not be the product for you and BEWARE of a company that doesn't have clear warranty information on their web site.


RAVPower 2800mah Samsung Galaxy S4 Replacement Battery for I9500, I9505, Sgh-m919 (T-mobile), Sch-i545 (Verizon), Sgh-i337 (At&t), Sph-l720 (Sprint), with NFC [Not for Galaxy S4 Active or S4 Mini]

This battery is charging well and is a great replacement for the faulty batteries that came in the Samsung S4.   After my phone shut down and I opened the case to see the severely bulged battery, I googled the issue and discovered that the bulging battery was a known Samsung issue.   After considering a OEM replacement battery, I decided it made no sense to get a battery identical to the one that failed.   I searched the compatible batteries on Amazon and this battery had significantly more positive reviews than most other batteries.

The price was attractive although with Amazon's new $49.00 minimum for free shipping, I was forced to use an alternative vendor and pay for shipping.   Frankly I almost made the purchase on  eBay since there was free shipping on several batteries but this battery seemed better.

I am happy with the battery and the pop in replacement factor.  I have not seen any increase in longevity with the battery even after multiple recharges.   Even with expedited shipping this battery cost me approximately $20.  I called several local wireless stores and the cheapest replacement battery was $40.00.   It mystifies me why so many mortar and brick stores lose so much business by grossly overpricing their goods.   Even if they paid the same for the battery as I did without the expedited shipping they would make a hefty 100% profit.   Instead they don't sell a battery and keep fueling the expansion of Internet business.  Having had a brick and mortar location when I was in the computer business, it pains me to see such a lack of foresight. 

I recommend this battery based on my experience.

 

·                        Tested under strict quality control standards. CE and RoHS certified.
·                        Top-rate A+ battery cells, over 500 repeated charging cycles.
·                        Over-Heating, Short-Circuit, Over-Charging & Over-Discharging Protection
·                        Voltage: 3.8V Capacity: 2800mAh
·                        Contains: 1 x cell phone battery
 

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

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Faber-Castell 48Ct Classic Color Pencil & Sketching Tin Set



This set has a nice range of colors.  The metal tin also is a nice feature as it keeps the pencils in one place and decreases the need for re-sharpening.   The only thing the set fails to do is improve my drawing skills.

·                        Explore the world of art! Faber castell grip sketch pencils with a soft-grip zone allows for comfortable writing
·                        The lead is break-resistant and easy-to-sharpen
·                        Includes 2 grip sketch pencils and a sharpener
·                        Housed in a sturdy metal tin with removable trays


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

Friday, October 20, 2017

DII Foldable Fabric Storage Containers (11x11x11") Set of 2, 11 x 11 x 11", Pineapple Gold


I love this type of storage.  The fabric seems durable and the size is good for a variety of things.  Much nice looking than the shoe boxes they replaced.  The glittery pineapples are a bit much but then who sees them in the closet.

From the vendor:
  • Non-woven
  • Imported
  • FITS INTO CUBE ORGANIZER - Storage bin measures 11x11x11", the perfect size for most cube organizers
  • STURDY CONSTRUCTION - Non-woven fabric storage bins have cardboard sides and a removable bottom to give shape and add structure while still allowing bins to fold flat when not in use
  • ALWAYS TRENDY & STYLISH - These bins are available in fun, trendy and adorable styles and colors, a perfect addition to a nursery, home office, craft room, or use as a laundry hamper, adds a splash of color to any room while also being functional
  • ORGANIZATIONAL SOLUTION FOR THE HOME - Find a place for knick knacks, children's' toys, magazines, craft supplies, and more with these sturdy, everyday bins that can be tucked away in closets, side tables, under beds, in storage cubes, or a shelf



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

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.
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