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Reviews Written by
Charles Ashbacher (Marion, Iowa United States)

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Mpow® Bluetooth 4.0 Stereo Headphone Headset - Supports Wireless Music Streaming and Hands-Free calling
Mpow® Bluetooth 4.0 Stereo Headphone Headset - Supports Wireless Music Streaming and Hands-Free calling
Offered by Patec
Price: CDN$ 42.39

4.0 out of 5 stars Easy and comfortable to wear, some technical problems, Aug. 16 2014
This review was written by Rachel Pollari, edited by Charles Ashbacher

I own several pairs of Apple earbuds and a fantastic pair of Bose noise-cancelling headphones, but I’d never gone wireless. After trying these, I might never buy headphones with a cord again. These are obviously bulkier than earbuds—which I can stuff in my bag without taking up much space—but they are more comfortable, adjustable, quick to set up and easy to use when in place. There was no discernible difference between wearing these or my earbuds while I sat around the house, but at work, while moving around and lifting objects, it was fantastic not to have a cord in the way! After two hours of listening, they still sat comfortably on my head. The buttons over the ear worked properly. The sound quality was fine, and I had no connectivity or noise issues while in use.
The first time I connected these headphones to my iPhone 5s via Bluetooth, they paired up right away. However, since then, each time I turn them on; it has taken at least three tries before I can get a successful connection. As I’ve never used Bluetooth headphones before, I cannot say it is any better or worse with other brands, but considering it takes two seconds to plug in my earbuds and then I’m ready to go, having connectivity issues is time-consuming and frustrating.
However, ultimately, for my needs, the wireless-ness outweighs the extra minute I have to spend pairing it with my device. If you’re looking for basic, comfortable, simple-to-use wireless headphones with acceptable sound quality, these might be for you.

Lighting EVER 5 Watt CREE Super Bright LED Bike Light, LED Bicycle Light, Included 3 AAA Batteries
Lighting EVER 5 Watt CREE Super Bright LED Bike Light, LED Bicycle Light, Included 3 AAA Batteries
Offered by Neon Mart Canada
Price: CDN$ 37.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Quantity of light is impressive, it is a mini searchlight, Aug. 13 2014
Before I completed my testing of this light, the concept of a dimmer switch on a light for a bicycle seemed absurd. However, after testing the quality of this light the reason was clear. I tested it at night on an urban street with few streetlights. At the brightest setting the light was able to illuminate a stop sign at over 1,000 feet away. There was also a clearly discernible lighting on the side of a lightly colored building at the same distance and it is clear that I did not reach the maximum distance where both would occur. One thing is certain, no biker in the world can out pedal the reach of this light.
Installation of the light is simple; there is a u-shaped piece with two slots where corrugated straps slide in. You then twist the bolt that uses the grooves in the straps as threads, allowing you to tighten the circular clamp to fit on the handlebar. The light is mounted on a swivel with grooves so that the angle of the light can be adjusted. There are eight different positions, not all of which will be useful. For example, pointing the light at the ground seems pointless. I banged the light several times to determine if the angle of the light would change from the impact and it did not. Even if you are not a biker, you can find many uses for a portable light of this brightness, it is a mini searchlight.

This item was made available for free for review purposes

Lighting EVER 50W Super Bright Outdoor LED Flood Lights,150W HPS Bulb Equivalent, Warm White, Security Lights, Floodlight
Lighting EVER 50W Super Bright Outdoor LED Flood Lights,150W HPS Bulb Equivalent, Warm White, Security Lights, Floodlight
Offered by grabthesale
Price: CDN$ 82.30

5.0 out of 5 stars Light is powerful and allows you to see for a significant distance, Aug. 13 2014
This is a powerful light, to test it I placed it on the porch of my driveway and directed it towards the street. I then used existing items such as trees, mailboxes and bushes to determine how well I could clearly recognize them. I was very careful in discerning specific smaller characteristics of those objects that were receiving only the light from this flood light, these were things that I generally had not noticed before. There are no street lights for some distance in any direction and no porch lights were on in the immediate neighborhood.
Once I identified the markings, I then paced off what I determined was the limits of the objects that could be clearly identified and I arrived at a limit in the neighborhood of 140 feet plus or minus 10. Even slightly darker objects could be clearly differentiated at that distance. It would have to be a creature on the high end of the sneaky skill set before they could catch you unawares from the direction this light is pointing.
Once I have completed this review I will be giving this light to my parents. They operate a set of rental cabins in an area so remote that there is only spotty cell phone service, moderate radio reception and only one reliable over the air television station. This light will be installed to illuminate an area that to date has remained dark, increasing their safety and security.
This item was made available for free for review purposes.

Dream Deceivers: Heavy Metal on Trial [Import]
Dream Deceivers: Heavy Metal on Trial [Import]
Price: CDN$ 25.27
15 used & new from CDN$ 15.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Many social messages in this video about extreme teen rebellion and the need to blame others, Aug. 6 2014
When their child does something terrible, it is natural for the parents to blame others for the event. In this case, two teenage boys put a loaded shotgun to their face and pulled the trigger. One of the boys died immediately and the other lived but was horribly disfigured. The boys were major fans of the heavy metal rock group Judas Priest and their parents launched a lawsuit against the group for damages. Their claim was that there were subliminal messages in the Judas Priest songs that influenced the boys to pursue the suicide route. This movie sets the context and covers the trial of that lawsuit against Judas Priest.
The movie is disturbing on several levels, while you feel for the parents; once the trial is underway the revelations demonstrate that all was not well in the homes where the two boys lived. There was a history of alcoholism and drug use among the parents as well as the boys. Both of the boys had been in various levels of trouble for many years, so there were many warning signs of problems before they shot themselves. The two boys rebelled against authority as well, but that just meant they were fairly normal teenagers. This type of problem persists today; unfortunately today the boys take their guns to school instead.
It seems to be a permanent aspect of the human progression that children adopt behaviors and interests that scare their parents, especially in music. Elvis, the Beatles, Kiss and other groups have all rose to prominence among the young to the consternation of their elders.
The result of the trial is announced at the end of the video and it was a reasonable verdict. While you do have some empathy for the parents, it is obvious from all the evidence that is given on the video that this was just a tragedy of extreme teen rebellion. The video is very well put together and is a look into the teen life of hero worship, experimentation with new things and considering the world of “old people” to be repulsive. There are many different social messages in the documentary, making it an appropriate tool in sociology and psychology classes.

Smart Weigh Professional Digital Kitchen and Postal Scale with Tempered Glass Platform
Smart Weigh Professional Digital Kitchen and Postal Scale with Tempered Glass Platform
Offered by MeasuPro
Price: CDN$ 26.99
9 used & new from CDN$ 24.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Accurate, easy to use. Highly recommended, July 30 2014
Review written by Adriana Boettcher, edited by Charles Ashbacher

The scale is compact but versatile. A press of the button converts the units measured from grams to pounds, so the scale will work for precise measurement of any recipe. I tested the scale against products already measured and sold by weight, just to test the accuracy. I could find no flaw; it was spot-on each time and calculated the weight in grams or ounces in seconds. I highly recommend this product. As a lover of food but novice cook, I can also attest to how easy it is to use. You do not have to be an expert to enjoy this product. However, like any mechanical tool, I would want to test it long term to make sure it works consistently over time. For now, I give it five stars.

Smart Weigh CSB2KG Cuisine Digital Scale with Removable Bowl 2kg x 0.1g - Black
Smart Weigh CSB2KG Cuisine Digital Scale with Removable Bowl 2kg x 0.1g - Black
Offered by MeasuPro
Price: CDN$ 19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Clear instructions, accurate weights and small enough to remain on the counter, July 30 2014
Review written by Kimberly Menke, edited by Charles Ashbacher

The Smart Weigh Cuisine Digital Scale performed well for me. The instruction booklet was clear - from telling you to take that plastic tab out of the battery compartment to changing the unit of measure to using the tare function.

Since I weigh a lot of food to keep my portion sizes accurate, I really like the tare function. That way I can just keep resetting as I add different foods to my plate until it's full and ready for consumption. This makes for fewer dirty dishes as well.

The bowl is a nice size, I like the spout feature and the display is easy to read. The scale doesn't take up a lot of space, so I can keep it on the counter, recommended when you're following Weight Watchers and trying to make your kitchen space friendly to keeping track of how much you're really eating - if the scale is in sight, you're much more likely to use it.

I compared items on my non-digital scale to the weights they had on the digital scale (and in some cases what the packages themselves said they should weigh) and found the digital scale to be accurate. So, I didn't have a need to follow the instructions for calibration, but they look to be pretty straightforward if I ever need to follow them.

Again, this scale is pretty user-friendly, has practical features and a good size.

EACHINE X-POWER X4 7800mAh External Battery Power Bank With LCD Screen Option: White
EACHINE X-POWER X4 7800mAh External Battery Power Bank With LCD Screen Option: White

5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful and efficient portable charger, July 29 2014
Review written by Caytie Ribble, edited by Charles Ashbacher

This eachine charger is a lovely product, it is small and compact, so it travels very well, the instructions are easy to follow and it folds up neatly to fit in the travel case the machine comes in. When properly packed the charger easily fits into a standard jeans pocket. It charges a phone in about an hour and a half, and the battery life of the charger itself is excellent, it can be used for multiple charges.
The charger has a handy display to let you know how much battery life is left in the charger, and it works with a wide variety of devices. It does get rather warm when it is charging so it is important to keep it ventilated. Overall it is a great product.

Jumbl™ Mini Portable Car Jump Starter Power Bank w/12,000mAh Capacity - Supplies Car Battery w/Boost of 400 Amps - Features LED Light & Dual USB Device Charging Ports
Jumbl™ Mini Portable Car Jump Starter Power Bank w/12,000mAh Capacity - Supplies Car Battery w/Boost of 400 Amps - Features LED Light & Dual USB Device Charging Ports
Offered by Canadian Shoppe
Price: CDN$ 99.95
2 used & new from CDN$ 99.95

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very impressive product that could be a lifesaver, July 29 2014
This kit is one of the most useful packages that you can keep in your vehicle. The core is a powerful rechargeable battery that holds a charge for a few months and can be recharged using a standard wall outlet or the cigarette lighter outlet in a vehicle. There is a set of five blue lights on the side that clearly indicate the progress of the recharge. Cords for both purposes are included.
Once charged the battery can be used to jump-start a vehicle using the battery connectors that are included. The only disadvantage here is that the cords for the jumper cable is very short. The black is only five inches long and the red is slightly less than nine inches long. While that does not present a problem in my truck, I am sure there are vehicles where this could prove awkward as there may not be a flat place to put the battery. The claim is that a fully charged battery can provide approximately 20 jump starts but I have not had the opportunity to test it.
There are two USB output ports that can be used to charge mobile devices and the kit contains cords and the following adapters:

*) Apple 30-pin
*) Apple lightning
*) PSP
*) Mini USB
*) Micro USB

So you can use it to charge just about any mobile device.
Finally, the battery has an LED bulb so that it can serve as a flashlight that can be set in three modes:

*) Standard steady light
*) Flashing strobe
*) SOS emergency mode

The light is bright enough to perform close-in work and to be seen for long distances at night, but it is not powerful enough to walk through the woods at night.
This is also an excellent mobile power source for wilderness camping. The case is eleven inches by nine inches by two-and-a-half inches with a sturdy handle and latches. It is lightweight and easy to carry and the charge would last for all but the longest of trips.
I work late one night a week at a remote location and am required to be the last to leave. To date I have relied on my cell phone to provide backup in case my truck does not start. From this moment on this kit is my backup. It is versatile and extremely useful and in the bad weather we have in Iowa, could literally be a lifesaver.

NEW 2014 Professional Straightening Iron 1.25 Teal Tourmaline Set, Includes Heat Resistant Travel Bag & Blue Tourmaline Heat Protective Hair Mask *Bonus* Travel Size Jumbl Brush and Mirror Included
NEW 2014 Professional Straightening Iron 1.25 Teal Tourmaline Set, Includes Heat Resistant Travel Bag & Blue Tourmaline Heat Protective Hair Mask *Bonus* Travel Size Jumbl Brush and Mirror Included
Offered by Canadian Shoppe
Price: CDN$ 46.95

5.0 out of 5 stars A functional product with some style, July 10 2014
This hair care device is a very good product, while there are no setup instructions, operating it is largely self-explanatory. There is a set of safety instructions and as is the case for all devices that use heat, it is a good idea to at least scan them before using the product. The on-off switch is right next to the dial that changes the heat settings. The device will heat to 460 degrees Fahrenheit as compared to other brands that only go to 410. This higher heat setting works better in straightening the hair.
Only 1-2 inches of hair should be put in the clamp at any time and it may take more than one clamping if your hair is thicker. As is the case with all products using heat on your hair, you must be careful near your scalp and ears, especially with the higher heat setting. Overall, nearly every user will be satisfied with this product. The travel bag is also very useful.

Jumbl Multi-Purpose Steam Cleaner and Sanitizing, System with Attachments - 1550-Watt Continues Pump Streamer - Great Handheld Steam Cleaner For Bed Bug Treatment - Clothing, Fabric, Garments, Indoors, Outdoor, Kitchen, Bathroom, Shower,
Jumbl Multi-Purpose Steam Cleaner and Sanitizing, System with Attachments - 1550-Watt Continues Pump Streamer - Great Handheld Steam Cleaner For Bed Bug Treatment - Clothing, Fabric, Garments, Indoors, Outdoor, Kitchen, Bathroom, Shower,
Offered by Canadian Shoppe
Price: CDN$ 45.99
2 used & new from CDN$ 45.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very handy little cleaner, does the job(s), July 10 2014
This steam cleaner is very lightweight and the water reservoir is easy to attach and remove, no strength is required, making it easy for elderly or unstable hands to use. Being light and relatively small, it easily fits into a corner of a suitcase, making it available for light touch up work on clothing that has been slightly wrinkled from being packed into a suitcase. However, it will not handle more severe creases that will still have to be done with an iron.
There is also a squeegee attachment that allows it to be used on hard surfaces like windows. It is also possible to use the machine without an attachment; there is a small outlet where the steam sprays out. Used in this way, it is possible to spray steam on difficult to clean hard surfaces, such as in a bathroom or in the kitchen, for example a wooden cutting block or a tile floor with depressions. This would be especially valuable for the person that wants to avoid using cleaners or perhaps has allergies to commonly used cleaners.
When being used, this cleaner does occasionally spit water, but that is a common trait of steam cleaners, so this is merely a statement and not a criticism. This cleaner was used in many ways and it worked well but not well enough to be assigned superlatives. However, for the price it is a good deal.

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