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

Friday, September 30, 2016

daddy is gone trailer

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

AYL TC80 4-In-1 LED Flashlight

Roughly two weeks later: The vendor replaced the flashlight.  The new light works just fine.  Obviously, I got a defective one.  It was cumbersome to get a replacement. I finally figured out how to message the vendor through Amazon messaging.  Sadly I did not know how to do that prior to this experience or perhaps that is a good thing.  I would advise the vendor to put some kind of contact information on their box or on their instruction sheet.  It was very frustrating trying to figure out how to make contact with them.  Flashlight should be five stars now but the difficulty to making contact forced me to ding them a star for poor communication.  Once communication was established it went just fine.

Interesting flashlight from AYL but sadly it failed immediately.  I followed the diagram to put batteries in the flashlight and I had a functional flashlight for less than 5 minutes.  It stopped working.  I thought perhaps I had old batteries and I tested the batteries with my battery tester.  They showed just fine. I replaced the batteries with a new set anyway and still no light. I thought perhaps I was reading the symbols incorrectly so I reversed the batteries, still no light.  I then emailed the vendor to see if they had a solution.  I did not get an email back.  I could find no contact information on the vendor on their Amazon page in spite of their Limited Lifetime Guarantee.  The flashlight seems like a high quality build.

  I guess it just is a bad unit but since I don't have another one to compare it to I am forced to write a less than stellar review.

·                        VERSATILE 4-IN-1 TELESCOPING BODY: Lightweight and compact, the AYL TC80 flashlight features a 180 degree extendable/retractable body for precision lighting coverage. Thanks to its ideal size, it can be effortlessly handheld and carried where it’s needed the most, be it while working in the garage, exploring the outdoors, or during emergencies or power outages, lighting up your surroundings and helping you stay safe in the dark.
·                        SUPER BRIGHT LED, SUPERIOR LOW LIGHT VISION: With a high-performing, CREE XP-E R3 LED on its front, as well as 3W COB LED, 15 RED Blinking LED lights across its body, our tactical flashlight will provide powerful illumination, spanning over 300+ feet from its front LED.
·                        HANDS-FREE MANUVERABILITY: A powerful magnetic base lets you attach your pocket flashlight to any metal surface giving you full vision in tight spots. Our flashlight’s metal base comes in particularly handy when you are working in your workshop, garage or craft room, allowing you to maintain your full range of motion and perform all important tasks, such as restorations, renovations and handiwork, with unprecedented ease.
·                        OUTDOOR DURABILITY: This high power LED flashlight is made with solid, aircraft-grade anodized aluminum that's both water and shock resistant and features a smooth, sleek alloy finish. FREE of any cheap coating or plastic parts, our flashlight is made to last and facilitates all-weather use. Whether you’re indoors or outdoors, caught up in a flood or torrential rain, armed with the AYL TC80 flashlight, you’ll never feel lost or hopeless.
·                        SATISFACTION GUARANTEED: Each battery powered flashlight is backed by our top-of-theline customer service, a promise for quality and a Limited Lifetime Guarantee. Don’t Waste Another Minute Living In Fear, Purchase Your Very Own AYL TC80 Ultra Bright LED Tactical Flashlight NOW & Be Prepared At All Times!

I did receive this flashlight at no charge in exchange for an honest review. 

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

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Adora GiggleTime 15"Girl Vinyl Weighted Soft Body Toy Play Baby Doll with Laughing Giggles and Harnessed Wrap Carrier Holder for Children 2+

weak seam
This should not be on your purchase horizon.   The concept is good but the execution is dreadful.   The doll is soft.  The construction is very poor.   The seams, as shown in my photos, were inexpertly sewn.   The giggle voice is a box with the Velcro seam on the back of the doll.  The Velcro is not sewn on to the doll correctly. The To get to the box you have to unbutton the onesie the doll is wearing.  The top button failed immediately.  I can't even find the part that came off which is troubling as that could be ingested by a child.   The pressure sensitive giggle box uses button batteries which are always problematic.  The giggle is more suitable for a Halloween toy as it is not endearing but frankly a bit demented.   The packaging was gross overkill on wiring the doll and sewing the carrier to the box.   I don't think it is well constructed, the quality of assembly is highly suspect and I can't imagine how quickly a child could destroy it through normal play.   It is cute and it could be cuddly if it was better quality.  

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

Note the Velcro is not sewn in properly.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Creativity For Kids Spark!Lab Smithsonian "Invent Boundless Bridges" Building Set

Another building set but this one has the Smithsonian name on it so it provides it with a bit more panache.   As opposed to Legos, this set does not provide specific instructions on how to make a project.  It does provide a general book of instructions showing how the pieces can be used together and recommending which are better for what purposes.  It is recommending a process for inventing and creative thinking.  It is most definitely a teaching toy that realistically should be a child/parent project. 


From the vendor:
·          PERFECT FOR STEM: (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Integrates concepts usually taught as separate subjects and emphasizes the application of knowledge to real-life situations
·          EXPLORE IT: Make your dream bridge a reality. Search famous bridges and how they were designed. Explore bridges near you! Use the Spark!lab invention process to crate your own unique solution
·         SKETCH IT: Use the Spark!Lab invention guide to draw out your designs. This helps inventors visualize what they are about to build. Problem solving and creativity in a fun open-ended way!
·        CREATE IT: Start your journey of invention with over 280+ pieces, including sturdy, flexible building sticks, foam connectors, brads, straws, string and more. Construct up to 4+ unique bridge designs
·         TRY IT: Many inventors think this stage is the most exciting part of the process. Does your bridge work the way you want it to? if yes, congratulations! You now know the process of invention

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

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Armitron Sport Men's Quartz Resin Fitness Watch, Color:Black (Model: 20/5108BRG)

Once again a very good looking watch from Amitron.  This one is easier to set the time and the date.  I like the back light for night time use.   Stop watch, alarms, pacer I don't see myself using, that's why I have a phone.  One window has a random window with little changing dots.  I have no idea what that is and the manual had no explanation.  I have attached a photo of the "manual".   You can see the size of the diagram and the manual by the inclusion of a penny in the photo.   Paper isn't that expensive, a manual that can be read easily with diagrams that can be seen would seem to be a very desirable feature.   Manual size and incomplete description is the basis for a one star ding.  

·                           Rose gold-tone resin case and top ring; analog-digital display with time, seconds, day and date; black resin strap with buckle closure
·                           Functions include: chronograph, lap time, pacer, five alarms, dual time, military time, 100 year calendar, countdown timer, hourly chime    and backlight with three                  second delay
·                           Quartz Movement
·                           Case Diameter: 55mm
·                           Water resistant to 100m (330ft): in general, suitable for swimming and snorkeling, but not diving

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

Friday, September 16, 2016

Farberware Santoku Knife with EdgeKeeper Self-Sharpening Sheath, 7-Inch

The built in sharpener is an interesting feature.  I  am a bit obsessive about keeping my knives sharp.  If this works well, it is very nice.   The grip has a good feel and the knife feels well balanced.  I think this knife will get a lot of use. Only $10.50 at Amazon. Oh, the packaging is dreadful, the impossible to cut clam shell indestructible clear plastic. It took a knife and scissors to get in it and I screwed up the scissors otherwise this would  be five stars.

  • Farberware EdgeKeeper Knives feature a sheath with innovated technology that is designed to automatically sharpen the blade with each use
  • The EdgeKeeper protective sheath contains a built-in mechanism that hones the blade before and after each use, maintaining a blade's razor-sharp edge
  • The blade is made from high-carbon steel that lends strength, sharpness, and durability
  • The Santoku knife combines the best features of a chef's knife and a cleaver, with a wide, heavy blade that is ideal for chopping, slicing, and dicing
  • Hand-wash only with warm, soapy water and dry immediately

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

Monday, September 12, 2016

Ever Brite BRITE-MC12/4 Ever Brite Motion Activated LED Solar Light, Black by EverBrite

This is very similar to another brand of LED Solar light that I have reviewed.   It is the same size and look as the other light.  The difference is this light comes with 3M adhesive to mount on a smooth surface and it has an on/off switch that is accessible.   The light is surprisingly bright and the motion sensor works as advertised.   This is an inexpensive security light and ideal over a door that needs a light. My only beef is that it came in one of those heavy plastic clam shells that defy a pair of good scissors.  Is that really necessary?  I was tempted to ding it a star for lousy packaging but the review should be about the light not the pain in the tush packaging
From the vendor:

·                           Super bright cob LED lights
·                           Motion Activated
·                           Solar powered
·                           3M adhesive backing, no tools no wiring
·                           Durable & weatherproof

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

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Sleep Master Memory Foam Mattress Topper, King by Sleep Master

It's Alive! At least that is how is looked when I opened the plastic inner wrap.   Take note this is surprisingly heavy.   The white bag it comes in seems to be straining on the leash when you take it out of the box.  I tore the bag at the seam rather than cutting as I was nervous about cutting the topper.   It feels very soft to the touch and seems high quality but never having had a topper before I can legitimately verify that.   It feels very comfortable laying on it.   It adds enough thickness to our older King mattress in our guest room.   The increased thickness makes the new style sheets fit better as they are designed for the new thicker mattress.  It does seem to make the old mattress feel better. 

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

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Bluetooth Headphones Lightweight AX8 V4.1 Wireless Sport Stereo In-Ear Noise Cancelling Sweatproof Headset with APT-X/Mic for iPhone 7 Samsung Galaxy S7 and Android Phones

I'm getting mixed messages from these headphones.  Directions are good, I am frequently a severe critic on directions.  These were good.  I charged the headphones and then set up to pair them.   I initially tried my Samsung TabS and I could not get a pairing.   I then successfully paired the headphones to my Samsung S7 and to my Amazon Fire.   I tried the telephone capabilities on the S7 and that worked just fine.  I listened to Pandora for awhile and that too worked fine. So as far as function, I see no problems with this headset.  Now my concerns the cord is both conveniently and inconveniently short.  It doesn't get in the way but the volume and MFB (multi function button)  are out of sight and every change is done blind.  Now if your head isn't as big as mine, you may have enough slack in the cord to see what you are doing.  I would have no objection to a larger control button.  However the control button is basically similar to those on other Bluetooth headsets I have tested.  Besides the unknown reason it would not pair with my Samsung tablet and the inability to see what I was doing, the headset is just fine.  

The music was clear as was the phone.   For me a larger visible control button would take this from a four star product to a five star product.

I received this headset for free in exchange for an honest review.

From the Vendor:
·                        HEAR MUSIC LIKE YOU NEVER HAVE BEFORE Our Bluetooth headphones feature Bluetooth 4.1 + EDR APT-X audio decode technology, giving these wireless earbuds unparalleled stereo sound quality. CVC 6.0 Digital noise reduction technology, intelligently filter ambient noise, enable clearer sound during calls and while listening to music; You've truly never heard music sound so good from sport headphones!
·                        PAIR WITH ANY 2 BLUETOOTH DEVICES AT A TIME These Bluetooth headphones for iPhone 6, Android phones & tablets and other Bluetooth devices can pair with 2 different devices simultaneously! This gives you double the possibilities for answering calls and streaming music to your workout headphones, all while enjoying premium Bluetooth earbuds wireless sound quality
·                        LONGER LISTENING With our Bluetooth headset, running & workouts can go for longer to the beat! The polymer 80mAh battery in the Bluetooth headphones wireless device provides 7 hours of talk & playing time & 175 hours of standby time. Much more than other sports headphones!
·                        NOTHING TO HOLD YOU BACK Our wireless headphones pair with devices up to 10 meters away, and the Bluetooth headset has mic functionality, so you don't have to stop working out to answer calls! The running headphones are even sweatproof, so you won't have to worry about wearing them when you're giving a strenuous workout your all
·                        SO EASY TO USE The volume, sound, song selection and telephone controls are all right on the wireless Bluetooth earbuds, making these the most convenient Bluetooth earbuds for running, sports, lifting weights & more! For All Bluetooth Devices Including iPhone 6, iPad, iPod & Samsung Galaxy S6

Giant Foods Mobile App Invades Privacy

Giant Foods mobile application permissions are listed below.   This is the information you give up for the "privilege" of printing out coupons and spending money in their store.  This is hardly the only application that is invading your privacy.  No wonder identity theft is rampant.  

Are they nuts or are we nuts?   

Why would you give this kind of information to anyone?

Is your privacy so unimportant that you 
will give it up for a lousy coupon?

This app has access to:
Device & app history
  • retrieve running apps
  • find accounts on the device
  • find accounts on the device
  • precise location (GPS and network-based)
  • send SMS messages
  • read phone status and identity
  • read the contents of your USB storage
  • modify or delete the contents of your USB storage
  • read the contents of your USB storage
  • modify or delete the contents of your USB storage
  • take pictures and videos
Wi-Fi connection information
  • view Wi-Fi connections
Device ID & call information
  • read phone status and identity
  • close other apps
  • receive data from Internet
  • view network connections
  • send sticky broadcast
  • change network connectivity
  • allow Wi-Fi Multicast reception
  • connect and disconnect from Wi-Fi
  • full network access
  • run at startup
  • control vibration
  • prevent device from sleeping
  • Google Play license check

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Dell 2.0 Speaker System with Waves Maxx Audio - AE215

Surprising sound quality for desktop speakers.   These set up without reading any instructions which is good since so many people hate to read instructions.   The speakers are attractive and as mentioned quite surprising sound quality.   The fact that they use USB power rather than an electric outlet is a mixed blessing.  I like it because the system I put it on had USB ports to spare and the lack of another cord snaking down to the UPS is good.  For those who are lacking USB ports the inability to plug in the speakers could be a downer.   The vendor emphasizes that the speakers have a headphone jack which although it is a good feature, one would almost expect that in a speaker set of this quality.  Overall impressive quality at a reasonable price of $43.00 at Amazon. 

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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