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Reviews Written by
Thomas Duff "Duffbert" (Portland, OR United States)
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   

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IPOW Stainless Steel Red Wine Beer Bottle Opener Wing Corkscrew
IPOW Stainless Steel Red Wine Beer Bottle Opener Wing Corkscrew
Offered by IpowDirect
Price: CDN$ 11.76

5.0 out of 5 stars Takes the hassle out of opening wine bottles..., May 16 2015
I don't drink much wine, so I've only had the cheap manual corkscrews around the house. They're not fun to use, even if the reward is the wine after you get it opened. Having the chance to review this Ipow wing corkscrew was timely, as a friend sent me a bottle of wine that provided the perfect test case. Bottom line, this works really well.

This is extremely easy to use. You put the wings in the straight-up position, and twist the screw portion into the cork. It's very sharp and digs in with little effort. Once the screw is all the way in to the base of the cork, you simply move the wings from straight up to straight down. That causes the screw to lift out of the bottle, bringing the cork with it. No fuss, no hassle, no struggle. It works just as I would expect.

I like that the tips of the wings are rubber-coated to prevent slippage during use. I also appreciate that the top part of the corkscrew doubles as a bottle opener. So even though it may not get a lot of use on the wine side, it will definitely get use opening bottles.

This is hard to beat in terms of design, and for the price it's a no-brainer.

Disclosure:
Obtained From: Vendor
Payment: Free

Polaroid ZIP Mobile Printer w/ZINK Zero Ink Printing Technology - Compatible w/iOS & Android Devices - White
Polaroid ZIP Mobile Printer w/ZINK Zero Ink Printing Technology - Compatible w/iOS & Android Devices - White
Offered by Canadian Shoppe
Price: CDN$ 129.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgic for the olden days..., May 13 2015
This whole process made me a bit nostalgic for the Polaroids of my youth. I almost wanted to have to peel off the paper and wait for the picture to dry (they could have at least put that smell in the paper :-) )

It's nice to see Polaroid trying to stay relevant in the digital camera age.

The Polaroid ZIP printer gets an A for effort. As soon as you open the box, you can scan the QR code to download the app for your phone to connect to the printer. Charging up the printer is as simple as connecting a standard micro-USB cable (included), and you then add the paper. Since my phone is NFC-enabled, all I needed to do was touch my phone to the printer and it was instantly connected. When you install the paper they instruct you to put the blue sheet with a barcode facing down. However, they neglect to tell you the first time you print you will get that card back before your photo.

The app is simple to use. You just select a photo, optionally edit it, and print it.

The one thing I don't like is the claim the printer needs no ink. While this is technically true, it's because you need to buy the special paper which is where the ink is.

The photos are clear, though perhaps a bit dark. If you are using the 2 x 3 model, it's a bit small.

If you can find a need for mobile printing of 2x3 photos, this is a small, light, battery-powered printer that will get the job done.

MeasuPro BPM-50W Digital Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor with Heart Rate Detection, Hypertension Color Alert Display, Two User Modes, IHB Indicator and Memory Recall
MeasuPro BPM-50W Digital Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor with Heart Rate Detection, Hypertension Color Alert Display, Two User Modes, IHB Indicator and Memory Recall
Offered by CrestView
Price: CDN$ 39.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Convenient and accurate..., April 26 2015
The MeasuPro BPM-50W Digital Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor is working well for me. It's definitely easy to use, and it's more accurate than I expected from a wrist BP unit.

The unit runs on two AAA batteries, and comes with an instruction manual that's actually readable. :) Set-up took about two minutes to get the proper date and time set, and then it was time to measure my blood pressure. You wrap it around your wrist with the display facing palm-side up. The cuff inflates and takes about 30 seconds to come up with a reading. It can be set up to store up to 60 readings for two people, which makes it convenient for more than one person to use (without messing up the history for each other).

Normally wrist units are less accurate than arm units, but this one compares well to the readings I get from an arm cuff. It's more convenient than an arm cuff, in that it doesn't matter what type of shirt you're wearing. About the only thing I don't like is that it doesn't have a smart-phone app to store and track history over time. On the other hand, this is a lot cheaper than BP units that *do* have bluetooth or wi-fi connectivity. If those features are not important to you, this is a good choice for easy BP tracking.

Disclosure:
Obtained From: Vendor
Payment: Free

Stuhrling Original Men's 858B.02 Octane Silhouette Pro Analog Display Swiss Quartz Silver Watch
Stuhrling Original Men's 858B.02 Octane Silhouette Pro Analog Display Swiss Quartz Silver Watch
Price: CDN$ 86.82
3 used & new from CDN$ 86.82

4.0 out of 5 stars An elegant watch..., April 26 2015
The Stuhrling Men's 858B.02 Octane watch is a beautiful timepiece that looks great when worn, keeps great time, and comes in an elegant package. It's a bit too bulky for my tastes, but that doesn't negate it's looks and functionality.

The face of the watch is about 1.75" across and .75" deep. The wristband is a fold-over clasp, but it also has a latch that won't open unless you press in the buttons located on the side. That's a nice touch to make sure the watch clasp doesn't catch on something and fall off without you knowing.

There are three stems on the right side of the case to control the dial settings. The center stem, as expected, controls the hour and minute hands. You just pull it out, rotate the stem until you get the right hour and minute setting, and then press it back in. The top stem is really just a button that, when pushed, controls the calendar day dial. One push advances it by one day. The bottom stem is also a button, and that controls the hour of the day based on a 24 hour clock. One push, one hour advanced. There's also a dial for the day of the week, but I'll admit I have yet to stumble on the combination of stems and buttons that makes that move...

For someone of "normal size" (I'm short), this would be a great watch. On me, it looks a bit too large and heavy. I do better with Skagen slim watches that provide a very low profile when I wear it. Having said that, the Stuhrling is still a great watch, and I'd definitely recommend it to someone looking for this style of watch.

Disclosure:
Obtained From: Vendor
Payment: Free

Fytto Style 1067 Men's Comfy Support Travel and Dress Compression Socks, 15-20mmHg, Manufactured by Pintoli (XL, Black)
Fytto Style 1067 Men's Comfy Support Travel and Dress Compression Socks, 15-20mmHg, Manufactured by Pintoli (XL, Black)
Offered by Eshopic
Price: CDN$ 26.80

5.0 out of 5 stars They really helped reduce fatigue in my legs..., April 18 2015
These compression socks are perfect for me in a number of ways. For one, I like the support and compression they provide around my calves. I tried them out on a day when I was going to be moving around a lot, and they significantly reduced the fatique I would normally feel at the end of the day. I also like that they are longer and come up just underneath my knee. I tend to have problems with socks rolling down my legs over the course of the day, and there was none of that with this pair.

The fabric is very lightweight and slick, so I didn't have any problems wearing the socks with any of my shoes. I did notice that the foot portion of the sock was a bit on the long side, so next time I would order a medium instead of a large. Still, a quality sock with real benefits. In fact, I plan on taking these with me on an upcoming conference trip. They'll help with both the travel and the large amount of walking I'm planning on doing.

Disclosure:
Obtained From: Vendor
Payment: Free

The China Pandemic
The China Pandemic
by A. R. Shaw
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 15.86
9 used & new from CDN$ 14.23

5.0 out of 5 stars The characters and scenario drew me in immediately..., April 11 2015
Ce commentaire est de: The China Pandemic (Paperback)
Based on a friend's recommendation, I started the Graham's Resolution series by A. R. Shaw with the first volume titled The China Pandemic. It's a post-apocalyptic story of a group of people trying to survive a pandemic that has wiped out 98% of the world's population. I was thinking this would be interesting, but I didn't expect to get sucked in as much as I did by the characters and their interactions. I ended up caring for every one of the characters.

The virus started as a mutated bird flu virus that got out of control in China. It rapidly spread worldwide with no vaccine or way to stop it. Only two percent of the population showed immunity to the virus, but even then they still became carriers for anyone who hadn't been exposed yet.

The main character, Graham, has lost his entire family to the disease. As he's burying his father, a Korean lady who is near death brings her son to him, making him promise to take care of him. Graham has NO idea of how to raise a five year old that he doesn't know, but he doesn't see that he has much of a moral choice. His plan is to head up to his father's cabin as a refuge against predators and killers. Along the way, he picks up two teenage girls, an elderly man, and a woman around his age. This strange assortment of people have to figure out how to survive in a world that's completely foreign to them, as well as how to get along as a default family.

There are a few parts of the story where things are just a little too convenient in terms of finding what's needed, or how certain conflicts arise. Still, the characters and interactions were very real and likeable. I fought off sleep for the last couple of nights as I was trying to read "just one more chapter", and I decided to buy volumes 2 and 3 from Amazon since my library didn't have them. Very much looking to starting the next one this evening.

Disclosure:
Obtained From: Library
Payment: Borrowed

Ohuhu® 50 Feet Super Strong Garden Hose / Expandable Hose, 50 ft Expandable Garden Hose with All Brass Connector & Free 8-pattern Spray Nozzle, Green
Ohuhu® 50 Feet Super Strong Garden Hose / Expandable Hose, 50 ft Expandable Garden Hose with All Brass Connector & Free 8-pattern Spray Nozzle, Green
Offered by ProductProduction

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm very happy with this combo..., March 31 2015
I hate garden hoses. The ones I buy tend to dry out, kink up, and generally they're a pain to use. I got the chance to try out the Ohuhu 75' expandable garden hose, hoping for a different experience. I'm happy to say that I've been very happy with the results.

The hose is exceptionally light, which made it easy to carry around (another thing I hate about regular garden hoses). I hooked it up to our faucet in the back yard, and I had no leakage from the connection between that and the hose (a rarity in my case). I liked the connector for the other end that allowed for turning the flow on and off. That made it a *lot* easier to use with a screw-on bottle of weed and feed. The hose has remained durable over multiple uses, and I ditched the other hoses we had that were too much of a hassle to roll up and store after each use.

The spray nozzle that comes with the hose is also very nice, with a number of patterns ranging from a gentle mist to a full-on blast. It's funny, but it almost gets lost attention-wise since I was so focused on the value of the hose. But having the nozzle and hose combined into a single package is an excellent value.

I may well end up getting another set for the front yard so that I don't have to move the hose around.

Disclosure:
Obtained From: Vendor
Payment: Free

Honeystore Women's Sexy Lace and Chiffon Babydoll Nightwear Long Gown Lingerie with Thong
Honeystore Women's Sexy Lace and Chiffon Babydoll Nightwear Long Gown Lingerie with Thong
Offered by Honeystoreca
Price: CDN$ 56.89

5.0 out of 5 stars And it looks very nice..., March 29 2015
I got this for my wife, and it looks very nice... what can I say? I like lingerie. :)

It's a "one size fits most", and it does stretch to cover curvier bodies. The fabric is semi-transparent and very soft, so it covers up the body while also revealing it for a nice tease. The bodice area is unstructured, so it won't provide much in the way of support. Having said that, it showcases that area very nicely. This has a lot of stitching with the lace insets and all, and I'm pleased that they are all finished and lie flat. It's a solid construction and also comfortable to wear.

This is definitely worth buying and wearing for that special evening. I'd be happy if that were most evenings. :)

Disclosure:
Obtained From: Vendor
Payment: Free

iCooker® Coffee Mug - Camera Lens Thermos Travel Mugs for Men & Women - Model 1:1 Canon EF 24-105mm F/4L IS USM Lens - Latest Generation Refreshments With Drinking & Quality Stainless Steel Insulated - Best for Morning - Cool Personalized Photo Plastic Mugs with Lid - Lenscup Insulated Tumbler, Vacuum - Cool Dishwasher Safe Customized Cup Holder for Photography - Awesome [12oz]
iCooker® Coffee Mug - Camera Lens Thermos Travel Mugs for Men & Women - Model 1:1 Canon EF 24-105mm F/4L IS USM Lens - Latest Generation Refreshments With Drinking & Quality Stainless Steel Insulated - Best for Morning - Cool Personalized Photo Plastic Mugs with Lid - Lenscup Insulated Tumbler, Vacuum - Cool Dishwasher Safe Customized Cup Holder for Photography - Awesome [12oz]
Offered by Arcadia Mall
Price: CDN$ 58.22

5.0 out of 5 stars Unique travel mug..., March 28 2015
This iCooker camera lens thermos travel mug is pretty cool, especially for a camera enthusiast. Aside from looking *exactly* like a coffee mug, it does a good job in keeping your hot drinks hot.

The mug holds about 10 ounces of liquid, so it's a bit smaller than some of the other travel mugs I have. I do like the way it tapers, however. It does a good job in fitting solidly into cup holders in cars. The lid is a typical screw-on top with a sliding cap where the fluid comes out.

The mug does a good job in retaining heat. I found that my contents were still hot after four hours, which is about the longest I would go before consuming whatever I was drinking. I found no leaking problems at all, even when I tilted the mug at a steep angle.

The big draw of this mug is, of course, the fact it looks like a camera lens. On that score, it's *excellent*. Even up close, it looks like it's ready to screw into your camera. It has all the ridged rings and switches that you'd see on a normal lens. In case you're wondering, nothing moves on the outside of the cup. All the features are ornamental and fixed in place, so the person using it will not be able to play with the switches and rings. :)

If all you want is a travel mug, you probably would like one that's bigger and holds more liquid. But as a gift for your favorite photographer (or yourself), this is hard to beat.

Disclosure:
Obtained From: Vendor
Payment: Free

Symphonized NRG Premium Genuine Wood In-ear Noise-isolating Headphones with Mic (Turquoise Blue)
Symphonized NRG Premium Genuine Wood In-ear Noise-isolating Headphones with Mic (Turquoise Blue)
Offered by SeventhContinent Canada
Price: CDN$ 29.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Good sound, distinctive looks..., March 22 2015
I've been trying out these Symphonized NRG Premium Genuine Wood In-ear Noise-isolating Headphones, and they are very nice. Great sound, comfortable, and no noise bleed-through.

These headphones give me a high amount of distance (4.5') from the plug to the earbuds. I've had no issues of them inadvertently being pulled from my ears due to having too short of a cord. Speaking of the cord, I like the fabric covering that they use for it. It makes the cord quite flexible, and it seems to resist tangling better than the normal vinyl cord.

In terms of sound, these are really good. The bass is rich, and the whole sound range is as good as I would expect on regular earbuds. The vinyl earpieces are comfortable, and the package comes with three sets to give you a solid fit, whatever your ear size happens to be. Also, there is no sound bleed-through for anyone sitting next to you. Your co-workers and friends will thank you for that.

Of course, the cherrywood finish on the earbuds give these a classy look, definitely something distinct and different from what you'd normally see. All things combined, I like these a lot.

Disclosure:
Obtained From: Vendor
Payment: Free

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