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St. Tomid "taa" (∆ngland)

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Vandorm Super Lite Alloy Bicycle Lightweight Presta Schrader Universal Bike Tyre Inner Tube Track Pump
Vandorm Super Lite Alloy Bicycle Lightweight Presta Schrader Universal Bike Tyre Inner Tube Track Pump
Offered by WoollyHatShop
Price: £10.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It does what it says... (hate those headlines, don't you? Not everything comes in a tin, and this certainly didn't), 31 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
£10, done. Was prepare to spend about £30, but thought I would try this first and send it back if it was gash. It's fine. I wasn't sure about the pressure gauge at first. It jumps around mid-pump, but settles on what looks like a correct reading. Pumps my van Schrader tyres and road bike Presta tyres. No faffing about with attachments at all. Until now I was satisfied with a semi-broken hand pump, and now I can see that with it I was only getting my bike tyres up to about 20psi. During a quadrathlon race last year somebody mentioned that my rear tyre looked flat, but it was the best I could do. The front tyre suffered less because it didn't have a 90kg bloke sitting on it. Now both tyres are 100psi (probably). Rock hard, brilliant.

Twinings Chai 50 Teabags
Twinings Chai 50 Teabags
Offered by Blue Herbs
Price: £10.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as nice as cheaper Chais, 31 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Twinings Chai 50 Teabags (Grocery)
I've recently discovered Chai tea. I don't know how I ever got by without it, as it's the only tea I drink now. But Twining's Chai is not my favourite. It tastes a bit like a thin chicken soup. Tesco's Chai is good, but Asda's is my favourite.

Brooks Mens Cascadia 8 M Running Shoes
Brooks Mens Cascadia 8 M Running Shoes
Price: £112.54 - £176.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Slippery when wet, 5 May 2014
I read a review in which somebody wrote these shoes make you feel like you are running barefoot on soft moss. They do a bit.

There is another reviewer who mentioned that these shoes struggle on wet rock. I use them for cross-country so it isn't a big problem but I do agree that they lose traction on wet rock/concrete/tarmac.

My main concern, however, is that I have suffered knee pain and shin splints since using these. I still use my old, cheap running shoes for road running, which might explain the shin splints. But my knee has been bad since Christmas, after running in these for 5km cross-country, on a soggy day.

The shoes might not be responsible for my knee injury, but the slippery-when-wet feature is defo for real.

Santa inflatable costume
Santa inflatable costume
Offered by Emporium Seven Limited
Price: £11.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Ho ho ho ho, 26 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought for a fancy dress run which was rained off, so will have to wait until next year before I can use it for intended purpose. However, costume is fantastically funny.

No Title Available

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Massive stylus, 26 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I like the case, and I didn't realise I would get a free screen protector with it. However, the stylus is too big. I would prefer to store it on the inside of the spine, but the only place I can put it inside the case is on the clasp side. I might get used to it, but I'd prefer a much thinner stylus, or a slightly larger case that could accommodate the stylus inside the spine. If the clasp was slightly higher that would also be better. I don't know where people with the flip cases store their massive styluses.

A Brief History of King Arthur (Brief Histories)
A Brief History of King Arthur (Brief Histories)
by Mike Ashley
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Who killed Arthur?, 7 Jan. 2014
This book has taken me many months to read. I am currently 20 pages from the end, and I hope I will finish it this week and finally move on to another book. The reason it has taken me so long to read is simply because it hasn't excited me, captured me, enchanted me. I can look at it and say 'not tonight, maybe tomorrow'. Some books demand to be read as quickly as possible. This isn't one of them.

There are a lot of names in this book (Anglo-Saxons, Romans, Bretons and native Britons) that you'll probably not have heard of before, and they all just blur into each other. It's so difficult even to recognise a name that has already appeared several times earlier in the book, let alone remember anything specific about them that will combine with the new details you are reading later in the book. There are several candidates for Arthur and the location of Badon (the battle he won over the invading Saxons which brought about a long period of peace). There isn't much discussion about the contenders for Camelot (Arthur's capital).

The author spends a lot of time reminding us that we don't know much about the real Arthur, and the few ancient documents which do survive aren't reliable because they contradict each other, or were written many years after the events they report. I just feel that you only have to say that once, and then you can begin to write about what little is known, and the different theories about who Arthur was. I would prefer to read a book which describes what life was like in sub-Roman Britain. What would Arthur have been like? I almost don't care who the real Arthur was because there's almost no chance that he was anywhere near as heroic as his legend. I suspect he would have been more like a mafia boss with a frightening wealth of power over the ordinary citizens, rather than a noble king who valiantly led his army into battle as he sought to protect Britain from her enemies.

We don't know where Badon or Camelot were. We can list some contenders, but I'd prefer to read about what those places would have been like. What would the battle of Badon have been like? What weapons were available, how long would the fighting last, how big would the armies have been and how did Arthur create and maintain his fighting force? How big would Camelot have been, what would it have looked like, what would it have been built of, who lived there, was it a permanent settlement or did it go wherever the king went? What did Arthur do during peace time?

The legend of Arthur also mentions a sword by the name of Excalibur. This is seldom mentioned in this book. Some of the Arthur contenders were also known for their swords. That's about all. I remember watching a TV programme where they theorised that 'the sword in the stone' alluded to the method by which swords were cast.

After reading this book I am none the wiser for who the legend of Arthur was based upon. I live near Cadbury Castle in Somerset. I will probably always believe it is the real Camelot. It simply doesn't matter if it was or was not. The author's preferred Arthur is Arthur of the Pennines, but we don't discover that until the end. Having said that, he is impressively unbiased when it comes to discussing the other Arthurs. It becomes clear that there was no one Arthur who was capable of living up to the legend. We'll probably never discover who most inspired the legend, but I think I now know who killed the legend of Arthur: the author of this book. I am now less interested in Arthur than I was before I began reading this book. There are just so many names and places listed that my eyes glazed over whenever I saw another one.

Shimano LVR Altus Ef51 7S Pair STI - Silver
Shimano LVR Altus Ef51 7S Pair STI - Silver

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What you think it is, 11 Sept. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this when there was no picture, no description and no reviews. All it had was the name and a few product features. I was prepared to take a risk on it. I received exactly what I was expecting. (What else could it have been?)

The name of the product and the product features actually presents a contradiction. The name says Altus, and the product feature promises Acera. Two different budget Shimano groupsets. I haven't studied the paperwork in great deal but so far I have not seen anywhere whether it is Altus or Acera. The box does not say either. I think it doesn't matter. It is Shimano, and it helps you change the gears and apply the brakes. If names are important to you you can spend hundreds of pounds on something that says XTR, Saint or Deore, and receive something that does the same thing but is 50 grams lighter (maybe more). Cut your willy off if weight is important :oD

One thing that is taking a bit of getting used to is the counter-intuitive gear-shifting direction. Counter-intuitive for me because these shifters replace a much older pair that came with a bike I bought in the 90s. I just spent 10 minutes looking at both pairs trying to explain why they are different. The thumb levers pull the cable in on both sets, because thumbs are stronger than fingers and you need strength to tighten the cable. I think the only difference is the dial on the right hand shifter. It isn't important. Either way you will get used to it. Maybe the new way is better than the old way.

The box contains all necessary cables and sleeves. In fact I only needed one of the brake sleeves. It was more than long enough for both brakes. You need a short length and a longer length for the rear brake and just one piece for the front brake. Maybe you can use the other sleeve to cover the bare brake and gear cables running along the cross-bar and down-tube. But it is extra weight, and we don't want that, do we!

I haven't yet added the supplied cable ends, the bits that tidy up the cable ends. They are very solid little bits of metal and I wonder if squeezing them on with pliers will damage the cable ends? One end has already frayed so I might as well put them on while I still can.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 31, 2014 3:48 PM BST

Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy
Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy
by Simon Blackburn
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.50

7 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unnecessarily impenetrable and/or shamelessly biased, 2 July 2012
Pitched as an introduction to philosophy, this book is actually very heavy going. Time and again I found myself re-reading sentences several times until I concluded that I couldn't get what the author was trying to say, before moving on to the next sentence, with some amount of hope that the previous sentence wasn't important anyway. It seems to me that modern philosophers have all reached the conclusion that the big questions have already all been answered as well as they are ever going to be. Therefore, the only way to find employment as a modern philosopher is to construct confusing answers for the unanswerable questions in order to hide the fact that, essentially, they have nothing new to say.

I started with the God chapter and it soon became apparent that the author is trying to prevent the reader from 'thinking' for themselves, by subtly peddling his mildly atheistic viewpoint. At least, I think that's what he was doing. It's hard to know for sure when you find yourself unable to read so much of it. To quote page 151: "To jump the gun a little, I am going to present a fair number of reasons against supposing that anything recognizable as religious belief is true. Some readers may feel threatened by this. They can take some comfort from the tradition in theology that the more unlikely a belief is to be true, the more meritorious is the act of faith required to believe it. But at the end of the chapter, the restless spirit of reflection will cause us to look at that view as well." Look at the nice long words he uses. And the long meandering sentences. This isn't even an example of one of his most impenetrable paragraphs. This is the paragraph that first alerted me to the fact that the author is not neutral, but wants us to think he is. Condescendingly, he tells us here that believing in God is reasonable, but wrong. I think :oS

So, that whole chapter is devoted to semi-dismissing some of the weaker arguments FOR the existence of God. Some people will be delighted and encouraged by the conclusions that the author shepherds us towards, but religious people, agnostics, free-thinking philosophers and even open-minded atheists (I know there are some) will be disappointed. Whoever you are, whatever you believe, you have to admit that there are zero bomb-proof arguments for or against the existence of God. From a religious point of view, that can only be a good thing. Evidence of God's existence would remove the need for faith, and with it all those meritorious benefits of faith-based belief. If there were any bomb-proof arguments against God, then we wouldn't keep getting fed with all the weaker arguments.

What would have been nice, and neutral, is a substantial section in which Simon exposes the flaws of the most common atheistic arguments AGAINST the existence of God. However, if you are a non-neutral author addressing this subject, then probably you are only ever going to be interested in arguing your side of the debate. Missed opportunity, epic fail. Did he do that because he is not confident enough in his atheism? If he was confident then he'd have no need to worry about arguing the other side. To paraphrase Epicurus: "Is Simon willing to be neutral, but not able? Then he is impotent. Is he able but not willing? Then he is biased. Is he both willing and able? Then why argue only one side of a debate? Is he neither willing nor able? Then how can we call him a philosopher?" Shazam, my friends. Sha-zam!

The rest of the chapter is subdivided into bite-size chunks, but the sources he quotes are often even harder to digest than his own words. The first one is 11th century medieval monk St. Anselm. I won't repeat it here, but suffice to say it is written in a way which might have made sense to Anselm and his chums nearly 1000 years ago, but is pretty difficult to read for us today. Okay, one small part of Anselm's quote: "But when this same fool hears me say 'something than which nothing greater can be thought', he surely understands what he hears, and what he understands exists in his understanding; even if he does not understand that it exists (in reality)...". Urgh, is the word. Translation required, Mr Blackburn. Request denied.

Please don't allow this book to put you off the subject of philosophy. I have several philosophy books which are all much more readable than this. After reading most of the God chapter I can tell you that so far I have learned nothing interesting. A basic introduction, in terms of subjects dealt with, it may well be. But a basic introduction needn't be this difficult to read. I suspect that the people who say this is a good book, or not deep enough, are people who want to tell the world how intelligent and well-read they are. I am very intelligent, but I couldn't read this and I don't mind admitting it.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 22, 2015 3:38 PM BST

Guild Wars Trilogy (PC DVD)
Guild Wars Trilogy (PC DVD)

3 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The fun didn't last long for me, 26 Jun. 2012
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It may be because I don't play games much these days, but Guild Wars got boring fast. Initially I was quite addicted, for a few weeks at the beginning of this year when I finally first got it (late to the party, me), but I haven't loaded it up once since then (5 months ago). I remember a game called Asheron's Call, for which the servers are still live 11 years since I played it. The graphics weren't as good as those in Guild Wars, but then again how often do you find a good-looking game that also plays well. If you spend too much money trying to make a game look good, then you'll be eating into the budget that other games developers spend on making their games fun to play.

I loved Asheron's Call but I only played it for two months because I left for university. I vowed to go back to it one day, but never did. I decided to buy Guild Wars instead, as that is where all the players are at now. I never tried World Of Warcraft but I remember being very bored watching my older brother play it a few years ago.

I think what I don't like about Guild Wars is the fact that other people only exist in the towns. They can join you in the town in order to go questing together, but that's not as cool as randomly meeting someone in the middle of nowhere, outside a dungeon and deciding to go questing together in an unofficial way. When you go questing in Guild Wars there will usually be one person senior to the other. Either way it's bad, so I preferred to go questing alone, which then means it's like an offline RPG. Played plenty of those already, they're fun enough but I didn't want that when I bought Guild Wars.

You probably want to know why one person being senior is bad. Some will disagree and that's fine. Sometimes it works well for people because what I see as bad they might actually enjoy. What I enjoy they might hate. That's what makes the world go round. When you begin, probably your first taste of team-questing will involve going around with somebody who completed the game long ago, has been everywhere and seen everything. Now all they do is wait around in towns and use the game as a chat room in which to chat to their pals, occasionally going questing with newbies who come along. If you are the junior partner, you may feel that you are somehow holding them back, making them do quests way below their level. They'll never admit that's true, and that's probably because it's what they like to do, (running around, showing somebody how to play the game). Nevertheless, I could never shake off the feeling that they were doing me a favour I could never repay, and that I was holding them back from doing something far more interesting than holding my hand. The longer the questing went on, the greater the guilt. On the flip-side, when you are the senior member of a quest party and you still have your own thing to do, the last thing you'll want to do is repeat something you did on your own yesterday. I can't even remember if I ever teamed up with a junior partner, but I imagine that's what it must be like. The best arrangement must be when you have two or more players at the same part of the game, at very similar levels, but with totally different character skills. That's when questing could be best, but I suspect the opportunity for that might be rare.

I used to start playing late in the evening, intending to play a couple hours, finishing before midnight. But I'd usually still be online at 3am. It's easier to come offline when you are questing alone. It's much harder to end your session when you have a friend. They spent the last three hours helping me out, but now I'm gonna leave them now that I've got what I wanted. It doesn't seem like it's the right thing to do. With Asheron's Call, questing partners came and went. There was no sense of having to stay with anyone for longer than a dungeon or two. With Guild Wars, you enter the out-of-town area and stay with your friend until you enter the next town. At that point you can break-up, but not before.

It looks nice and it plays well, and there's a nice big population of people to chat to, but I just don't like it. I probably stopped playing just because I wasn't getting anything out of it. I don't know what I'm supposed to get. A sense of achievement maybe. What do I get out of other games? What did I get out of Asheron's Call? My style of play turned Guild Wars into a single player RPG with a chat-room. I'm sure the developers didn't intend for me to do that. That's probably why it isn't much fun for me.

One other thing. I have said it looks great, but I think it could look a lot better. I imagined being able to see beautiful vistas of the world. All I could see was the near distance. After that, everything goes foggy and blurry. Oh, how I would love to turn a corner and see a breath-takingly gorgeous mountain range before me. It must be possible, even with a mid-noughties graphics card like mine. I seem to remember Assassin's Creed being quite beautiful on my computer, even with buggy graphics that forced me to stop playing until I upgrade my hardware. Also, I noticed the maps on Guild Wars don't give you much freedom to explore. You might want to know what happens when you get to the edge of the map. Answer is, you can't. The path takes you around in a big circle, with a near-vertical face on either side of the path preventing you from going off-map.

In summary, it's okay but I wanted more. It's very popular because it's free to play, after you have bought the game of course. I sometimes wonder if it would be better if I had chosen an MMORPG with a subscription fee. They say, you get what you pay for. Guild Wars popularity probably has more to do with it being subscription-free, not because of how good it is. Any MMORPGs with similar popularity, but requiring a subscription can only be popular because they are good.

White Padded Bubble Envelopes 140x195mm STG 3 100 ENVELOPES
White Padded Bubble Envelopes 140x195mm STG 3 100 ENVELOPES
Offered by Globe Packaging
Price: £8.34

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good value padded envelopes for CDs, 19 Jun. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
CDs fit well, but as another reviewer stated they are too long. By trimming them he has managed to reduce the weight so he can post CDs in the under 100g band, saving 30p on postage each time. Envelopes specifically designed to fit CDs would be good, but I don't think they are available (conspiracy theory below). Each one of these envelopes is 10g. You could just about trim off about 2g, and sometimes that will be enough to get the parcel under 100g, but it's quite a bit of work and you might end up with a slightly messy looking envelope.

The first envelope I picked out of the box would not accommodate a normal sized DVD case, but the second one did, just. I took another sample size of 10 envelopes and tried each one with a normal sized DVD case. Five of them were just big enough, three were not and two were borderline. If you want to post an even mixture of CDs and DVDs then this might be the product for you.

I have been posting DVDs in simple paper envelopes and finding that the total weight usually goes over 100g, so you might as well use a padded envelope for DVDs. CD cases are more likely to break in transit so you probably would not want to use lighter paper envelopes for them.

I do wonder if these envelopes are cheap because Royal Mail subsidizes the cost of them, knowing they will be used to post CDs, and the size takes them over the 100g mark, so they can get an extra 30p back each time. Me, I paid £6.90 for a 1.3kg parcel, delivered by Royal Mail, that should cost £6.50 to post. How does that work?

Two other things. The self-adhesive glue is brilliant. With some envelopes I get paranoid that they won't even remain closed by the time I get them to the Post Office, so I have to tape or glue them too. Not these ones. Peel the removable strip away and close. Also, for some reason the manufacturer has put a slit at the beginning of both ends of the crease. Maybe it is to make the envelope easier to open, but I'm not a fan. As I said, I'm a paranoid one and I wonder if the slits might grow. Should I tape them? Probably not. They're fine, just a little insignificant unnecessary worry.

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