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Ski_man "ski_man" (W Midlands, UK)

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Dizzy Heights
Dizzy Heights
Price: £9.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Much, much better live!, 2 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Dizzy Heights (Audio CD)
Having loved pretty much every album Neil Finn has been involved in, this is the first one that left me feeling rather "ho-hum" about it on early listenings. Its not the quality of the song-writing or the quality of the music or the production - which are all top notch. It just all sounds a little too ethereal and uneventful. It seems to have the production values of a Sade album - silky smooth, but ultimately boring.

So, it was with some trepidation that I went to see him live last week. And, boy, I couldn't believe how good the songs of this album sounded live. They were astoundingly better. The drums, live, were strong and driving - unlike the rather tasteful, but subdued ones on the album. In particular "White Lies and Alibies" was altogether more involving, varied and powerful. "Divebomber" is clearly a track that folk either love or hate. I love it - it was the only track that I did love before I went to his gig. And it works surprisingly well live. Ok, he didn't play all the songs of this album, but the 4 or 5 that he did were among the highlights of the gig for me and my partner. The melodies and light and shade in each of those songs was magnified ten times.

Now, when I listen to the album, I can hear the details and variation in the songs much better. And I find that most of Neil's songs sound better live than on the original album. Neil himself has said that the recording process is the wrong way round. ie. that recording them first then playing live and evolving them would produce better albums if he could tour the songs first. I just hope that at some stage Neil does a live album of his solo stuff.

I suspect this is an album that sounds much better on hi-end audio equipment with headphones or a quiet room (which I haven't had chance to do). It certainly doesn't work particularly well in the car, or played at low volumes.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 25, 2014 10:03 AM BST


Snow Bunny's Christmas Wish
Snow Bunny's Christmas Wish
by Rebecca Harry
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.89

5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book & story, 31 Dec 2013
This book was given to our son (nearly 3 yrs old) as a present. We had no idea what it would be like, so were pleasantly surprised to find out how beautiful the illustrations were. There are a lot of sparkly bits (eg. The moon, frozen pond, etc) throughout the book giving it a magical and expensive feel. The story also has a real sense of adventure to it. The story is really gets across the spirit of Christmas. I couldn't recommend this book highly enough.


The No-No Bird
The No-No Bird
by Andrew Fusek Peters
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Great short story & nicely illustrated, 13 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The No-No Bird (Hardcover)
We bought this for our 22 month old son on the basis of a recommendation in a national newspaper. I'm so glad I did! Within a few weeks it has become a firm favourite with him (and us). I would say its up there with "We're going on a bear hunt" and "The Gruffalo" in his enjoyment. Not only does it have good message (about the perils of saying 'no' to everything) but its also great fun to read. I'm not sure how much of the story my son understands, but that matters little. What matters is that he demands that we read it to him frequently and hangs on every word all the way until the end - without trying to rush through. There are precious few books that he does that with! Highly recommended.


MOFRED® 10 in Pack Screen Protector Value Pack For Samsung Galaxy S2 II i9100 with Cleaning Cloth And Application Card
MOFRED® 10 in Pack Screen Protector Value Pack For Samsung Galaxy S2 II i9100 with Cleaning Cloth And Application Card
Offered by MOFRED PRODUCTS
Price: £9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good screen protector, 2 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
After trying a more expensive Golebo screen protector (£4 for 2) that made the screen resolution poor, I thought I'd give this make a go instead. And the result is much improved. It doesn't affect the screen resolution at all on my Galaxy S2 - so all pics, internet, etc are as crystal clear as without a protector. I would say touch sensitivity is ok - though my phone doesn't seem quite as sensitive since I upgraded the o/s to Ice Cream Sandwich anyway, so hard to say if the protector has affected it. Application is a little fiddly (as with pretty much all protectors) and I was still left with a few miniscule bubbles. But actually after using for a couple of days I can't see them when the screen is on, and I don't notice them when its off. As for comments about to much dust sticking... I applied it at my desk in an open plan office... and had no problem with any dust at all.

This is a decent protector at a very cheap price.


Golebo Semi-Matt screen protector for Samsung I9200 Galaxy S2 - (Semi-matt, Air pocket free application, Easy to remove)
Golebo Semi-Matt screen protector for Samsung I9200 Galaxy S2 - (Semi-matt, Air pocket free application, Easy to remove)
Offered by DISAGU protectionfilms
Price: £1.25

2.0 out of 5 stars Poor resolution., 26 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Good points: goes on fairly easily, fits exactly, no bubbles, quite thick but still as sensitive as the screen itself

Bad points: gives a slight pixelation to the screen. After using a couple of weeks, I usually only notice this when viewing white screen (eg. Google search), but also sometimes when looking at photos / video.

Other points: It does smear quite easily, though also cleans easily. I haven't used a screen protector before so can't compare it to any others.

Update: After 3 weeks of use I got fed up of the poor resolution and found I was getting headaches after using my phone, so I removed the screen protector. Straight away it became clear how much this screen protector had affected the resolution. In fact I'd forgotten how brilliant the resolution on my Galaxy S2 is... and how poor this screen protector had made it. I then ordered a different make (Screen Protector Value Pack for Samsung Galaxy S2 II i9100 (Pack of 10) from UK Gadget Trading Ltd). Although not as easy to apply without getting a few bubbles, it doesn't affect the resolution or the sensitivity. So I'll chuck my spare Golebo screen protector in the bin.


Graco Junior Baby Group 0+ Car Seat (Orbit)
Graco Junior Baby Group 0+ Car Seat (Orbit)

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some positives, some negatives..., 1 Dec 2011
This car seat works really well with the Graco Quattro Sport Travel Sytem (and maybe other Graco Travel Systems as well?). It clips in and out, so you can transfer your baby between Travel System and car without disturbing them.

However, we encountered the first issue when we put our newborn in the car seat. His head kept lolling forward. We even had one or two people beeping us as they were concerned! We bought some shoulder pads for the straps which helped a fair bit (we also tried neck supports, but they were too big for a newborn). The car seat was at the correct angle (which is fairly upright).

After about 4 months we ditched the Travel System and bought a stroller, but kept using the car seat for the car only. Up until that point the car seat had done its job. The next drawback we noticed was in about June time. The weather wasn't particularly warm, but our 4 month old son kept getting very warm in his seat (despite the aircon being on). After a one hour drive typically his back was soaking with sweat! We were rather concerned about this and looked into all sorts of solutions. The only thing we came up with, which did help, was to drape a muslin cloth between his back and the seat. I think the problem is caused by the 'plasticky' material that the car seat is made of - it just doesn't breathe. And there's no effective ventilation. So not pleasant during the summer, and possibility of baby overheating.

My final criticism is about adjusting the seat when they get to 6 months. For newborns there is a polystyrene wedge that goes under the cover and sits around the bum area. Like a lot of people, I guess, we'd forgotten about this. So when ours little boy reached 7 months we started to wonder why the straps were so tight. I adjusted them to make sure they were on their 'longest' setting - which was a right faff - but they were still too tight. I turned to the manual, which is informative but so detailed and written in about 20 different languages, to find out what we could do. Hidden away on page 57 (or thereabouts) in the tiny diagrams, I came across the wedge. Removing it did make the difference, though it must have been relatively fragile as I broke it in the process! Hence, we won't be able to use that seat for another newborn.

I've no reason to doubt the safety of this model, but given these flaws in the design I would look at other models if I were buying again.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 5, 2011 4:11 PM GMT


FOMO
FOMO

4.0 out of 5 stars Vibrant stuff from Finn jnr., 25 Nov 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: FOMO (Audio CD)
I brought this based on my love of Neil Finn / Crowded House's material. Sons and daughters of great musicians / songwriters rarely deliver on the promise they've inherited. So, I wasn't expecting too much from Neil's son. However, this album has put a smile on my face. Whilst its way too early to exact comparison with his father, Liam Finn is obviously his own man, and is developing his own sound. And yet, you can hear something of the Finn pedigree (both Neil's and and uncle Tim's) in his writing and singing.

I'm jealous as hell that one so young has got it all together and producing good / interesting songs. Unlike his father, who's songs often need repeated listening until they weedle their way into your brain, most of Liam's songs have a vibrancy that appeals on first listen. Yet, they're certainly not mindless catchy ditties. Far from it. I think this album will have longevity. And its hardly prophetic to say, so I think will Liam Finn. Watch his star rise!


Pajama Club
Pajama Club
Offered by Bee-Entertained
Price: £6.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Something fresh and different from Neil Finn, 25 Nov 2011
This review is from: Pajama Club (Audio CD)
Having been hooked on Neil Finn's output in all its forms since he first appeared on this scene, I was delighted when he announced that Crowded House were reforming. However, as much as I love the 2 albums released since the reform, I have to admit to them being a not quite grabbing me like any of CH's or Neil's previous albums. So, I was intrigued when I read about the origins of Pajama Club. A collaboration between Neil and his wife Sharon (by her own admission, fairly new to playing an instrument) didn't fill me with great hope.

But curiousity got the better of me... and, boy, am I glad it did!

This album sounds like the freshist thing NF has done in years. I suspect he had more fun doing this, than any recent (more 'worthy') albums. It certainly sounds like it. Most of the songs have an energy about them, and rhythm that is imho missing from recent CH efforts. Whilst the songs are more stripped down than multi-layered CH songs, they're by no means simple songs. There are some cool chord sequences, instruments are used sparingly - but more effectively as a result, and I'd say that the the lyrics are a lot more intriguing than they were on 'Intriguer'. I think Sharon can be given a lot of the credit for the overall vibe of the album.

There's so much MOR music produced these days that lacks originality. And its often over-produced thus losing any vitality it started with. Most bands are under huge pressures to sell records that they can't afford to experiment. Crowded House have always sounded like they were enjoying themselves, though their recent material has a darker and more contemplative feel to it. So its great to hear an artist who's paid his dues, able to write brilliant songs still, going off on a limb and trying something different. If it was a stinker, I'm sure NF wouldn't have released it. But its not, and there some good, original songs here. After all, its Neil Finn, what do you expect?


SUNSHINE KIDS Buggy Fan
SUNSHINE KIDS Buggy Fan

2.0 out of 5 stars A bit rubbish really, 25 Nov 2011
Having searched extensively for a small fan to cool our baby whilst in his car seat, I struggled to find any that looked like they would do the job (and be baby safe). I read a number of reviews of various ones that all bemoaned the lack of power they had. As we were about to set off to France on holiday, I took a gamble and ordered this one.

On the upside, it looks nice and its well made.

On the downside, it just doesn't have enough umph to muster even the lightest of breezes. It pales in comparison to those hand-held fans that are readily available at every airport and holiday resort.

Frankly, I wound't bother. Just crank up the aircon or open the window. I suspect that only 12v plug-in fans would have the power to make any difference.


Dimplex DXGL02 Glo-Fan Heater
Dimplex DXGL02 Glo-Fan Heater
Offered by Fortune Bliss UK
Price: £51.50

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great unit, but why oh why the bright light?!, 25 Nov 2011
This review is from: Dimplex DXGL02 Glo-Fan Heater
Almost a great little product. It looks good, it kicks out heat (or cool air) well, and the sound is a 'smooth' sound and pretty unobtrusive. However, the one feature which counts as a negative imho is the ring around the fan that lights up. When its blowing cool (room temperature) air, the rim lights up neon blue. When its blowing our warm air, it goes red. If the room is dark, it will illuminate the whoe room. What's the point of that? It makes it unusable for using in a bedroom at night - unless of course you want your bedroom lit up sporadically like a cheap brothel!

Its a shame, 'cos its a neat unit. I'm going to see if I can paint over / blackout the rim to stop the invasive light.

However, the heating function, thermostat and display are all good. If you want this for daytime, its v good. If you want it for nightime, get your black marker pen ready...


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