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J. S. Hardman "Consultant software developer (contractor)" (Near London, UK)
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Gore Universal Windstopper Thermal Balaclava Mask
Gore Universal Windstopper Thermal Balaclava Mask
Offered by Leisure Lakes Bikes
Price: £29.99

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Used in extreme conditions, and it still did the job., 29 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Sold as "Bike Wear", I bought this Gore Universal Windstopper Thermal Balaclava Mask for use on a trip north of the Arctic Circle, to wear under either a trapper hat or a helmet depending on which activity I was doing at the time (anything from husky sledding, cross country skiing, snowmobiling or simply sitting in a snow-hole after dark waiting for the Northern Lights to appear). In temperatures well below zero, and during snow fall, the combination of this balaclava with hat or helmet worked perfectly. Even during hard work, having the balaclava was useful as it absorbed perspiration - at the end of the activity, the balaclava could be removed to prevent the outer headgear freezing as body temperature returned to normal. The balaclava also helped prevent irritation that would have resulted from the outer headgear getting sweaty.

Recommended.


Choir: Gareth Malone
Choir: Gareth Malone
by Gareth Malone
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not overly exciting, but nice. Some background to the TV series., 29 Mar. 2013
This review is from: Choir: Gareth Malone (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Gareth Malone is one of those people who can inspire people to do things that they would never normally even attempt. Having watched most of his TV series, this book ("Choir" by Gareth Malone) is a nice addition that gives Gareth's view on some of the scenes from the series, with some extra information thrown in. It provides a little information about Gareth's personal life and his ambitions for the choirs he creates and works with. And it confirms the message that singing is both fun and useful therapy. The book reads easily, and chronologically works through the various Choir series, although at times the individual chapters then jump around a bit. As another reviewer mentioned - it has a feel of having been ghost written, but I don't know if it was.

To summarise - not hugely exciting, but nice.


The Negotiator in You: At Work (BBC Audio)
The Negotiator in You: At Work (BBC Audio)
by Joshua N. Weiss
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £9.25

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Poorly presented, not much more than bullet points, 23 Mar. 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
"The Negotiator in You At Work" written and narrated by Dr Joshua N. Weiss, is one of those single CD audio books that you know is going to be pretty superficial. When the running time of the CD is only 30 minutes, it's obviously going to be very superficial. So, when I listened to this for the first time, my expectations were not high. On the amount of content, what the CD delivered was pretty much what I expected (although I have heard even worse on other similar titles), but what really struck me was how appalling the delivery was. Dr Joshua N. Weiss is not a natural narrator - the words just coming burbling out of his mouth at such a rate that the listener does not have time to take in what he said before he is onto the next subject. There is no pausing, no emphasis, just a stream of words. If you listen to this, you will either discard it after the first listen (or give up part way through), or you will listen to it multiple times to try to pick up each point that he is making. I listen to audio books whilst driving, and played this one three times in order to try to pick up everything that was said. Lesson for "AudioGo" the company behind this - listen to your narrators, and if they are unsuited to the task, get somebody else to do it.

In terms of content, there isn't much, but when the CD is only five pounds on Amazon, and Dr Weiss can probably rake in large consulting fees, he probably doesn't have much incentive to put much material on the CD. It's more a taster to try and get people's interest. I suspect that if I were to pick out any useful bits and list them as bullet points, there wouldn't be that many. Actually, what this CD feels like is exactly that - a presentation done with bullet points where a visiting consultant delivers his spiel to a small room of junior staff. In that situation where time can be taken to expand on each point, and people have time to think about what is said and interact with the person giving the presentation, it could be useful. But, delivered as badly as it is, this stream of words is not very good. Where it makes up for it though, is that there is a PDF workbook that can be downloaded (as far as I can see, you don't actually need to buy the CD to get the workbook). That PDF is basically the bullet points etc. It still isn't in any great depth, but at least it gives you something you can look at to remind yourself of things in future.

Audio CD not recommended. PDF download of some minor interest, but probably available without buying the CD.


Kariban Short Sleeve Baseball T Shirt Mens
Kariban Short Sleeve Baseball T Shirt Mens
Offered by Outdoor Look
Price: £6.06

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flattering and comfortable, for general use and light-moderate exercise, 23 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A few years back I worked for a company that was taken over. To keep the existing staff happy, the new owners handed out a goodie box to every member of staff. None of the items in it were expensive, but they were all good quality. One of them was a shirt with the new parent company's name stitched on the front. I don't normally wear anything with company names on - after all, why give them free publicity? But that shirt was (and still is) really flattering and really comfortable. Years later, it is still in really good condition, but as I get so much use out of it I thought I would try to find another. One look at the label inside, which identified the manufacturer as Kariban, a quick search on Amazon and voila - same shirt, no company name on the front. Result. I bought one in the same colours as my original (white body with black shoulders), and one in the same colour as my running shorts (grey and black). I am as happy with these new ones as with the original.

The label inside says 100% cotton. The cut is flattering. The colour combination (shoulders different colour to body) is flattering. The shirts are comfortable. For a cotton shirt, this is about as good as they get, so recommended for any use for which you would wear cotton. That includes light-moderate exercise. However, for heavy exercise where you will be sweating a lot, I would go for a wicking, man-made material, rather than cotton. But, with that one exception, I highly recommend these Kariban shirts.

Recommended.


The Day After [DVD] [1983]
The Day After [DVD] [1983]
Dvd ~ Jason Robards
Price: £5.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Traumatic viewing, but essential viewing, 23 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Day After [DVD] [1983] (DVD)
I've watched a number of films and TV series similar to "The Day After", varying from truly terrible productions to pretty good (for their time) productions with varying degrees of reality (or what I perceive to be reality). Of the ones that I have seen, "Threads" is probably the one that had most impact on me in terms of realism, but "The Day After" comes just behind that (in some aspects it is better, in others not as good). The inclusion of film from nuclear tests and missile tests certainly adds to the effect in "The Day After", but probably the most pit-of-your-stomach moments are the images of multiple missiles in flight. Definitely one of those images that if you ever saw it for real, you would think "oh ****, it's all over now".

"The Day After" was the cause of nightmares for a friend of mine when she first saw it many years ago and still has an effect years later. I can understand why. So, although not quite as harrowing as "Threads" (and probably not as harrowing as "The War Game" which I have yet to see as it is so expensive on Amazon), this is a film that will have an impact on anybody who watches it.

Recommended, as long as you are not the type to have nightmares.


G Data Total Protection 2013 3 user 1 year license (PC)
G Data Total Protection 2013 3 user 1 year license (PC)
Price: £57.44

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple to install and use. Ideal for non-techie users., 9 Mar. 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Wanted some anti-virus software to run on an old 32-bit PC that is running on a local area network that already provides good protection from the outside world. As such, the key for this particular machine was to have something simple to set up and something that was simple to maintain, whilst providing unobtrusive protection without slowing the machine down too much.

The box contains both a CD ROM and booklet with instructions in various languages. The instruction booklet is (thankfully) not full of small print, but straightforward and easy to follow. It reminded me to uninstall my old virus software from a different provider, and even suggested I might want to use any special clean-up program that the old provider's website might recommend. Loading the new software took a while, but on this old PC this was not unexpected. Once installed it was easy to load updates to both the software and the virus signatures.

The only thing that seems a little strange is that Windows Security Alerts appears to recognise that the G Data anti-virus software exists on my machine, but does not recognise that it is switched on. So it tells me that my virus protection is switched off, yet when clicking the box "Turn on now" it takes me to the new software which happily confirms that everything is fine and protected. There does not appear to be any impact on the ability of the software to function though, as this appears to work ok.

Overall, this software meets my needs for this particular PC.

Recommended.


John Pilger - The War You Don't See [2010] [DVD]
John Pilger - The War You Don't See [2010] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Julian Assange
Price: £8.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Should be compulsory viewing in secondary schools, 9 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It has been clear for many years that the mainstream television channels broadcast a very limited amount of world news (for example, how often does the BBC show anything about Central or South America?). It has also been abundantly clear that the amount of investigative journalism on the mainstream channels has reduced and reduced over the years. Even something like the BBC's Panorama programme rarely shows anything as challenging as it did 25+ year ago (although it does seem to be recovering from the depths it had reached). With the advent of satellite television and 24 hour news, which largely means sitting on a loop that repeats every 15 or 20 minutes, the depth of news coverage on the traditional channels has got worse and worse. I find it telling that I regularly switch to Al Jazeera English to get more information, both in terms of world coverage and in terms of in-depth reporting.

The lack of knowledge amongst many of my friends, colleagues and acquaintances about what happens in the world, often in their name, worries me. Would our troops have died in Iraq and Afghanistan if people were more informed and more questioning? Would so many civilians have died? Would civil rights across the world have been destroyed to the point that rendition to a place of torture was allowed to happen? Would we allow people who should be on trial for war crimes to run governments?

I have recommended previous John Pilger titles to some of my friends and colleagues, and watching them has opened their eyes to things that they previously knew nothing of. Quite how news coverage has got to the state it is in is what John Pilger covers in "The War You Don't See". I wouldn't say this DVD is as informative, challenging or "in your face" as some of his previous titles, but even so, this is another John Pilger title that people should watch, if only to make them ask what else is out there.

For me, I only learnt one thing from this DVD - the use of white phosphorous by the USA (we criticised Israel for using it, but who knew about the USA using it?), but for many viewers I think the whole DVD could be an eye opener. I think this should be shown in secondary schools to make teenagers ask questions before their minds get too blinkered.

For more challenging viewing, I'd recommend anybody considering watching this to also watch "John Pilger - Documentaries That Changed The World ".

Recommended.


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
Offered by FragrancesCosmeticsPerfumes
Price: £12.59

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: £6.49

6 of 6 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
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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.


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