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Profile for J. S. Hardman > Reviews

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Content by J. S. Hardman
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Reviews Written by
J. S. Hardman "Consultant software developer (contractor)" (Near London, UK)
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Under Armour CG Men's Shirt Thermal with 1/4 Zip
Under Armour CG Men's Shirt Thermal with 1/4 Zip

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very practical, slightly dodgy appearance, 9 Mar. 2013
I wanted a top for use while exercising, that was fitted, rather than either baggy or compression. Although Under Armour shorts and leggings work well for me, I have found that some of their tops appear to be designed for body-builders rather than just somebody who keeps reasonably fit, reasonably toned, and reasonably but not overly muscly. However, as this particular top was described as fitted, I thought I would give it a go. As it happens, the fit is perfect - no need to be a body builder to wear this one.

I know the top is described as ColdGear Thermo, but based on my experience of other Under Armour ColdGear products, I wasn't expecting it to be quite as warm as it is. Once you get into your exercise, you could cope with being in pretty cold conditions whilst wearing this "Under Armour ColdGear Thermo Mens Fitted 1/4 Zip Long Sleeve" top. The inside feels like a very thin fleece, but with a woven fabric outside, with a hexagonal pattern through it that traps heat. In cold conditions the wicking is pretty good, although in the warm it doesn't cope quite as well (but it's not really designed for those conditions). Just be aware that if your exercise takes you both indoors and outdoors, you may find cold sweat against your back.

As great as Under Armour products are, my usual irritation with a large part of their range is the colour schemes used and the lack of co-ordination between products. It may be that in the USA there is a larger range available, but trying to match different products in the UK is a nightmare, not helped by things going out of stock on a regular basis (buy the bits you want when you can!). As a result, I have this item in Black/Red (reminiscent of Post Office colours), wearing them with Graphite/Black/Red leggings or shorts. Although the individual products are great, the lack of coordination between products and the lack of availability when there are actually matching items in the range, means that the overall effect is not good visually!

Despite the irritation about appearance, this is yet another product from the Under Armour range that I recommend for good, effective, exercising, particularly in cold conditions. I'll be making a lot of use of this, and when I spot an equivalent not in the ColdGear range, I will buy that too.

Recommended.


Travalo Pure Essentials Refill Perfume Atomizer
Travalo Pure Essentials Refill Perfume Atomizer

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Looks very girlie, but very practical, 9 Mar. 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
When packing to go travelling, I've pretty much perfected the art of only taking what is required for a particular trip, and ensuring that as a result my bags are compact and light. The one exception to that has been where I am going on trips where I need to be "well-turned out" (so not hiking through Africa or South America), whether that be a trip that involves going to a wedding, going somewhere where there will be dancing, smart business trips etc. For those, the compact packing has always been ruined by the chunky bottle of smelly stuff (usually Dolce & Gabbana). I've always wondered why somebody didn't produce a sensible answer to this, and now I am slightly irritated that somebody did it before I got around to doing it myself and patenting the answer!

This "Travalo Pure Essentials Refill Perfume Atomizer" solves the problem. It is a sensible size for travelling (it can go in hand luggage on aircraft), has not broken so far (time will tell on that one), easy to fill, and easy to use. The only downside to it is that it looks very girlie. A more refined, gentleman's equivalent would be appreciated!

Although I haven't used it this way, it's small enough to fit in a pocket if you want to freshen up shortly before a meeting (not immediately before though, otherwise you'll engulf everybody in a cloud of smellies) or after finishing at the gym.

Suitable for use with smellies that have a removable nozzle.

Recommended, despite the girlie look. I might try and find a more manly version and give this one to my wife :-)


iBoutique® 30W Bayonet (B22) Daylight Energy Saving Light Bulb Equivalent Output 150 Watts (Full Spectrum) Great For SAD Sufferers, Snooker, Pool, Hobbies, Crafts, Photography
iBoutique® 30W Bayonet (B22) Daylight Energy Saving Light Bulb Equivalent Output 150 Watts (Full Spectrum) Great For SAD Sufferers, Snooker, Pool, Hobbies, Crafts, Photography
Price: £7.49

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best low energy, daylight bulb I have tried, but not for 8000 hours, 9 Mar. 2013
I have always preferred daylight bulbs, to standard yellow-ish filament bulbs, using them in various rooms around the house, particularly those where I spend a lot of time reading. When the old-style 100W filament bulbs pretty much disappeared from shops (particularly daylight ones), a number of companies started producing supposedly daylight, low-energy bulbs, but these never seemed to produce a great amount of light. As technology has improved things have got better. This iBoutique bulb seems to take advantage of those improvements. Of all of the energy saving daylight bulbs I have tried, this one from iBoutique is by far my favourite.

This bulb is quite long though - as I prefer lots of light I don't have anything beneath it, but if you use a shade of some sort (why would you?) you may find that you need to adjust it slightly.

Equivalent to a 150W bulb, but using only 30W, this light produces 1600 Lumen. It's bright enough that you won't want to look directly at the bulb, but as a result it lights up rooms very well.

However... the "up to 8000 Hrs use" seems optimistic - my first one lasted 550 days. I estimate it would be on 2-3 hours per day on average, so actual use before it died was 1100 - 1650 hours.

Recommended, despite the limited lifetime.


Aidapt  3-in-1 Pill Cutter/ Crusher and Storage
Aidapt 3-in-1 Pill Cutter/ Crusher and Storage
Price: £3.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Gone back to using a knife until I find something better, 9 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I used to have an old Dutch "Pill Tool" for cutting tablets into the required size, but when that was "borrowed" I needed to find a replacement. I couldn't find another of the type I had before, so I searched on Amazon and found this instead. I figured that what it does is so simple that it couldn't be that much different to my old one. How wrong I was. Whereas my old one cut cleanly through tablets almost every time, this Aidapt cutter seems to break approximately half of the tablets into multiple bits. Is it a design issue, a manufacturing issue, is the blade simply not sharp enough? I don't know. All I know is that this Aidapt cutter is now sitting unused, and I have gone back to using a sharp knife to cut tablets until I find a better cutter.

(oh, and like another reviewer, I have snagged my finger on the blade in the Aidapt more than once - it's never drawn blood, but it's come close).


Coghlans Eyeglass Repair Kit
Coghlans Eyeglass Repair Kit

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Has saved the day many times, 23 Feb. 2013
It's nothing more than a cheap feeling screwdriver and a similarly cheap feeling magnifying glass, but since I bought one of these whilst on a trip to the USA a few years back, it has saved the day for me and for friends/colleagues many times. I paid less than four dollars in the USA. On Amazon today, this is being quoted at three and a half times that including UK delivery. That's just ridiculous, but even at that price, if it saves you from struggling home with a lens missing from your glasses, then it could be worth it...

Recommended, but the current price, including delivery, is just ridiculous.


Berlitz Language: Finnish In 60 Minutes (Berlitz in 60 Minutes)
Berlitz Language: Finnish In 60 Minutes (Berlitz in 60 Minutes)
by Inc. Berlitz International
Edition: Audio CD

2.0 out of 5 stars Hasn't worked for me, 11 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've learnt the basics of multiple languages from audio CDs, and then gone on to other forms of learning for some, whether face-to-face instruction or using Rosetta Stone studio sessions with a tutor. In learning the basics of those languages I have experienced a range of quality in the audio CDs, with some being very good at getting the listener to a point where he/she can do certain tasks (coping in restaurants, shopping, typical tourist stuff etc), and others being good at teaching a large vocabulary. There have also been some that just didn't achieve much at all. For me, this Berlitz "Finnish in 60 Minutes" unfortunately falls into that latter category.

Now, I listen to audio courses whilst driving, so I am not in a position to look at any printed material until some time later. That can be a bit of an issue - certainly one Polish course I listened to had me thinking I had heard certain letters, but later reading of the materials showed that I had misheard some subtle changes in pronunciation. Where I have hit that problem before, it only took one look at the materials or a bit more knowledge of the language (especially Polish) and then I was ok listening again. I haven't found that to be the case with this Finnish course. Perhaps it is just me, but with this course, I feel I need words repeated and the sounds that I am hearing explained to me. My ear is not attuned to the sounds I am hearing, so I am not sure what I am hearing, so any attempt to repeat it is likely to be horribly wrong.

It may be that if you can sit and concentrate on this course, with the materials in your hand, then it may work. However, for the way I use it - listening whilst driving, it has not worked for me at all. There seems to be a dearth of cheap, Finnish, audio courses, so I'll persist with this and hope I can find time to work with the booklet more, but based on my experience so far, I cannot recommend this course, despite the very low cost.

Note that I have used a web-site called finlandforum, and have been in contact with the Finnish Embassy. Both people on the forum and at the embassy have been incredibly helpful. Learners may find useful resources through either - hopefully, more useful than this course.


Under Armour UA Coreshort Pro Men's Shorts  Graphite/Noir/Blanc Size :Large
Under Armour UA Coreshort Pro Men's Shorts Graphite/Noir/Blanc Size :Large
Offered by Vivomed
Price: £45.60

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very comfortable, lots of support, 11 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There are items in the Under Armour range that work really well for me, and there are some that do not. These Under Armour Core Compression Men's 9 inch Coreshort Pro shorts (and the very similar Coreshort Pro shorts - very little difference) fall into the category that work. If I want a bit of extra warmth then I go for the leggings equivalent (Under Armour 2012 Men's Core Pro Compression Leggings), but otherwise either of these Coreshort Pro shorts are my preference when exercising.

They provide support where it's wanted (the X design seems strange at first, but it works) and good moisture properties to keep you comfortable even during a long workout. When they say Compression, they do mean it - these seem to work best when really snug - just take care to arrange things so that nothing sensitive gets bruised during exercise!

The only downside I find regularly with Under Armour, is that when you find an item you like, they very quickly sell out and it's hard to get the same again (in the UK, at least). Be warned.

Highly recommended.


No Title Available

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great shorts - excellent support, 11 Feb. 2013
There are items in the Under Armour range that work really well for me, and there are some that do not. These Under Armour Coreshort Pro shorts (and the very similar Core Compression Men's 9 inch Coreshort Pro - very little difference) fall into the category that work. If I want a bit of extra warmth then I go for the leggings equivalent (Under Armour 2012 Men's Core Pro Compression Leggings), but otherwise either of these Coreshort Pro shorts are my preference when exercising.

They provide support where it's wanted (the X design seems strange at first, but it works) and good moisture properties to keep you comfortable even during a long workout. When they say Compression, they do mean it - these seem to work best when really snug - just take care to arrange things so that nothing sensitive gets bruised during exercise!

The only downside I find regularly with Under Armour, is that when you find an item you like, they very quickly sell out and it's hard to get the same again (in the UK, at least). Be warned.

Highly recommended.


Under Armour UA Coreshort Pro Men's Leggings
Under Armour UA Coreshort Pro Men's Leggings

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not my colour, but very practical. I like them., 11 Feb. 2013
There are items in the Under Armour range that work really well for me, and there are some that do not. These Under Armour 2012 Men's Core Pro Compression Leggings fall into the former category - I love them, although not quite as much as the Under Armour Coldgear Baselayer which is simply phenomenal (although with a different purpose).

These leggings may not be the greatest of colour schemes, but they are incredibly functional - providing support where it's wanted (the X design seems strange at first, but it works), just enough warmth to keep your muscles safe, and pretty good moisture properties to keep you comfortable even during a long workout.

I use mine for cardiovascular workouts, including cycling, running and sessions on the cross trainer. No chafing so far, although some careful arrangement of family jewels can be required to prevent bruising of bits - when they say Compression Leggings, they do mean Compression!

Despite the strange colour scheme, these can actually look good too. You don't have to be a serious athlete to wear them (I just like to keep fit - certainly not a serious athlete), but it's possibly best to get to the point where your stomach doesn't hang over the waistband before using them in public! Thankfully, these are so good, that having them is an incentive to get rid of any excess around the waist... I did!

The only downside I find regularly with Under Armour, is that when you find an item you like, they very quickly sell out and it's hard to get the same again. Be warned.

Under Armour 2012 Men's Core Pro Compression Leggings - recommended.


Smartwool Adult Hike Liner Crew Socks
Smartwool Adult Hike Liner Crew Socks
Price: £13.40 - £14.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good sock liners, but wish they were cheaper., 27 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought these sock liners in preparation for a trip to Finland, where an extra layer is really necessary for winter activities. They worked perfectly there, under a thicker pair of woollen socks. However, they are useful too for activities in the UK, particularly when trying to avoid blisters, such as when wearing in new boots. Wearing two socks per foot, whether two thin socks, or one thin one inside a thicker one, is a great way of reducing the risk of blisters. These ones have the added benefit of being warm too.

Recommended as liners inside other socks. Just wish they were cheaper.


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