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Profile for K. P. Siu > Reviews

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Content by K. P. Siu
Top Reviewer Ranking: 662
Helpful Votes: 85

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Reviews Written by
K. P. Siu (Toronto, ON)
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Critical Cycles Fixed Gear Single Speed Fixie Urban Road Bike
Critical Cycles Fixed Gear Single Speed Fixie Urban Road Bike
Price: CDN$ 224.99 - CDN$ 754.37

4.0 out of 5 stars Good price - not bad for customization., Sept. 1 2015
I bought this as a (relatively) cheap and good looking city bike, and it's perfect for the job. Assembly took a bit of time (particularly getting the pedals in right and properly tightened), but once assembled it was a joy to ride. The gear ratio is just about right for city riding - you can go at a leisurely pace, or go fast without breaking your legs if you want. As others mentioned, the paint tends to chip off a little bit if you bang it against stuff (bike posts, other bikes, curbs), which is probably the only real problem with the frame.

I made a bunch of modifications to the bike, including getting new bullhorn handlebars, new flat BMX-style pedals with a nicer pedal strap, and a new seat. At a minimum, you'll probably want to replace the seat and the pedals on this thing because the ones it came with are functional but definitely uncomfortable at more than a short distance. You might also want to add front brakes (odd that it only came with rear brakes). When customized though, it can look absolutely great. I went with an all-matte-black look, which turned out quite nicely (see picture attached). I was happy to be able to take off the "Critical" stickers to have a clean look (peeled off with no problem for me, but if it leaves any residue, try using some rubbing alcohol or disinfecting wipes to rub it off).

With full customization, I estimate that I spent about C$350 for a bike with good parts I liked and a great look, which is still about the same or cheaper than the next closest bike in this range (e.g. any of the $350-$450 offerings from PureFix, Vilano, or State Bicycles). Not a bad choice if you like fiddling around with your bike.

CableJive Microstubz Charge and Sync Cable Compatible with Android Phones Including Samsung Galaxy, Note, Blackberry, Windows, Nexus, Extra Short USB to Micro USB, 7Cm
CableJive Microstubz Charge and Sync Cable Compatible with Android Phones Including Samsung Galaxy, Note, Blackberry, Windows, Nexus, Extra Short USB to Micro USB, 7Cm
Offered by dealkings
Price: CDN$ 19.70
3 used & new from CDN$ 9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Very sturdy, great portable cable., Aug. 28 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Very handy and sturdy product, well worth the price. I kept breaking USB cables for my phones (accidental pocket-squishing, or too much cable-tugging). This short little cable does a great job because of its form factor, making it hard to randomly tug, and is the perfect length for a short "U" between a portable battery charger and phone if you stack them on top of each other, which is how I use this. Has lasted over a year in rough use.

Baleaf Men's 3D Padded Coolmax Bicycle Cycling Underwear Shorts M
Baleaf Men's 3D Padded Coolmax Bicycle Cycling Underwear Shorts M
Offered by Baleaf Sport
Price: CDN$ 19.99
2 used & new from CDN$ 19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great shorts for biking, Aug. 28 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Great shorts. Fits well - M seems to match North American sizes for me. Padding is very comfortable - better than some brand name ones from stores. Nice enough to wear under your shorts all day while biking in the city.

SODIAL(R) Road Bike Bicycle Cork Handlebar Bar Grip Wrap Tape + 2 Bar Plugs-Yellow
SODIAL(R) Road Bike Bicycle Cork Handlebar Bar Grip Wrap Tape + 2 Bar Plugs-Yellow
Offered by Happy Planet(Ships From HONGKONG)
Price: CDN$ 3.93

4.0 out of 5 stars Good product for the price - some caveats., Aug. 28 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Got this handlebar tape to match the yellow highlights on my girlfriend's bike. This was far cheaper than the ones in store (generally about $20). Feels just like most cork-type handlebar tape - not too grippy but provides a bit of padding for the hands. The colour looks pretty much exactly as the photo.

Two things to note: the tape does not come with a "sticky" side like most of the other handlebar tapes I have bought. You can probably still apply it without any problems provided you use a bit of tension, however, I used some double sided tape in the application which helps it hold better. In addition, the bar end caps that came with this had a strange logo of a roll of tape on it (see photo). I opted to use other end caps I had lying around. All in all, not bad for the price.

Dual LCD Monitor Desk Mount Stand Heavy Duty Fully Adjustable fits 2 /Two Screens up to 27" ~ (by VIVO)
Dual LCD Monitor Desk Mount Stand Heavy Duty Fully Adjustable fits 2 /Two Screens up to 27" ~ (by VIVO)
Offered by V-I-V-O
Price: CDN$ 56.97
2 used & new from CDN$ 56.97

5.0 out of 5 stars Sturdy and effective, Aug. 13 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Bought this for dual 24" Asus VG248QEs, which are probably on the heavier end for monitors, but the stand had no problems with them at all. Really sturdy even on an old IKEA desk. The adjustability is great. I can swing my monitors in all directions and bring it closer or further easily. Saved me a ton of desk space. Would recommend. One feature I would havr liked ks the ability to adjust height more easily, but it's not a significant problem especially at this price. Definitely better than the ones you get in the big box stores.

Fosmon Crystal Clear Screen Protector Shield film for the HTC One M7 - 3 Pack (Fosmon Retail Packaging)
Fosmon Crystal Clear Screen Protector Shield film for the HTC One M7 - 3 Pack (Fosmon Retail Packaging)
Offered by theWireless Company
Price: CDN$ 5.40
2 used & new from CDN$ 0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars but this one was actually better than any others I have used, July 21 2014
Was skeptical at first because I usually use a wet-apply screen protector (like the Invisible Shield and others), but this one was actually better than any others I have used. It is a great thickness and extremely durable. Each should last 9-12 months with heavy abuse (i.e. keys in pockets) before replacement. Since it comes in a pack of three you should never need another screen protector. It was also "crystal clear" as advertised - you would not know there was a screen protector unless you looked very closely. The feel of the screen protector was very glass-like and smooth.

Perixx MX-2000B, Programmable Gaming Laser Mouse - 8 Programmable Button & 4 User Profile - Omron Micro Switches - Gold-plated USB Connector - Braided Fiber Cable - Avago 5600DPI ADNS-9500 Laser Sensor - DPI Switch 100-5600 - Weight Tuning Cartridge - Ultra Polling 1000HZ -Black
Perixx MX-2000B, Programmable Gaming Laser Mouse - 8 Programmable Button & 4 User Profile - Omron Micro Switches - Gold-plated USB Connector - Braided Fiber Cable - Avago 5600DPI ADNS-9500 Laser Sensor - DPI Switch 100-5600 - Weight Tuning Cartridge - Ultra Polling 1000HZ -Black
Offered by Perixx CA
Price: CDN$ 49.90
7 used & new from CDN$ 34.99

5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great gaming mouse that can match up to the Razers ..., July 21 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a great gaming mouse that can match up to the Razers of the world without the hefty price tag. Just make sure you pair it with a good mouse pad.

Samsung ML-D2850A Toner Cartridge for ML-2850/2851
Samsung ML-D2850A Toner Cartridge for ML-2850/2851
Offered by Hi Tech Deals
Price: CDN$ 71.13
24 used & new from CDN$ 50.45

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's toner. It works., Dec 12 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is your usual laser printer toner cartridge. It works fine as far as it goes, though a bit pricey (they all are). I've run through a few of these already but they always seem to last just about exactly the stated page yield (unless you are printing photos or something). I find that it's possible to eke a few more pages when it starts to run unevenly by pulling it out and shaking it around a bit, then play around with the printer settings.

Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan
Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan
by Jake Adelstein
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 17.99
42 used & new from CDN$ 7.35

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An imperfect account from a flawed person; still entertaining., Nov. 27 2013
There are a lot of flaws with Adelstein's actions, behaviour, and possibly his morals. He certainly seems more interested in "the story" and "the scoop" than looking out for his friends, family, and acquaintances. However, his actions and morality are not the subject of the book, nor are they fatal to the story. In fact, in a somewhat perverse way, they make the book a much more interesting read.

A lot of the negative reviews of this book seem to focus on the author's somewhat self-centred account, and (rightly) question his actions and his apparent lack of care for those around him. But that is a separate matter from the content of the book itself. Many stories follow flawed protagonists, and this one is no exception.

Tokyo Vice's strengths are in the amusing and interesting anecdotes of Japanese culture, journalism, and crime. In this respect, it is probably unparalleled. There are some blogs and articles of the sort, but none that really get into the dark underbelly, the nitty gritty of day-to-day life in the Japanese underground. Jake's account is certainly unique and insightful. For those of us intrigued in culture (especially Japanese culture), this book is a gem. Anyone who also studies Japanese culture might observe how rare it is to get such an honest glimpse into the "dark side" of Japan, which is not often portrayed in any form of media (other than glamourized Hollywood scenes).

The narrative is probably a bit weak, and the flow could have used some more work. But keeping in mind that this is not a novel but a memoir of an exhausting decade, I give Adelstein a pass on the point. Sometimes it does seem that fact and fiction blend together, though given the circumstances that seems to be fine.

Overall, an interesting read that doesn't take up too much time. There are certainly many dark moments though, so don't read it if you aren't ready for some emotion.

Fire and Ashes: Success and Failure in Politics
Fire and Ashes: Success and Failure in Politics
by Michael Ignatieff
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 22.45
11 used & new from CDN$ 2.89

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A lesson in failure, but a bad one., Nov. 14 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Michael Ignatieff is something of an enigma. Here is a man who has been a historian, a journalist, a broadcaster, a screenwriter, a professor, and a politician. By any objective measure, this should be considered a wildly successful career. Yet Michael Ignatieff is regarded as a failure. It is the last profession he chose - politics - that irreparably tarnished his reputation, and that is the subject of this book.

This book has been described as "a professor's search for lessons" in political defeat. This description misses the point, unless it is only an introductory lesson. The "search" is only cursory, and its lack of depth is likely caused by the same problem that plagued Ignatieff's short political career. The flaws of the man himself are reflected in the flaws of the book.

Ignatieff is no doubt a smart man, and it is evident that he is very well-read. He is a good writer, though his style of communication will irritate many because of his use of highfalutin verbiage and metaphors. Nonetheless, one gets a good glimpse of the inside workings of the Liberal Party machinery through the eyes of a consummate "insider's outsider".

The insights that the book provides are unique, if only because it is rare to hear about the secret back room dealings of political leaders. It is interesting, for instance, how Ignatieff was the last holdout against the proposed coalition between the Liberals and the NDPs (so he claims); or how Ignatieff was lured back and pursued doggedly by Liberal insiders despite the obvious red flags; or how Bob Rae blew up at his (former) friend for "jumping the queue", so to speak.

Those insights (which are not all that surprising for those who have followed Canadian politics closely), however, are the only real reasons to read the book. The "search for lessons" is ultimately flawed because it asks only "how?", and never "why?".

The reader is treated to history lessons of how things came to be, and how it was that Ignatieff came to power, and how it was that Harper was able to easily trounce Ignatieff, and how the campaign fell apart despite having some legs at the beginning. Unfortunately, Ignatieff, as sharp as he is, never goes deeper to analyze why voters didn't connect with him, or why the Conservatives were able to campaign more effectively than the Liberals, or why the party looked for him in the first place.

Those would be true insights that a man of Ignatieff's stature and mind could have provided, but did not. That was a missed opportunity. Alas, his failure to ask why was probably the reason he failed at politics. He had breadth of knowledge, but it never seemed he had the curiosity to become a real expert in his last chosen field (politics). Voters ultimately saw through this superficial gloss, and rejected Ignatieff the politician.

Canadians are probably not afraid of electing a smart and accomplished person as Prime Minister. Ignatieff, however, was not the right man. Read this book and you will understand why. Or not, because in the words of Ignatieff, "there is nothing so ex- as an ex-politician."

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