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Pallus the Phallus (UK)

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Logitech Z200 Speaker - Midnight Black
Logitech Z200 Speaker - Midnight Black
Offered by Ballicom International
Price: £29.38

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 Stars. Not SO bad but bass does ring and there are many alternatives., 24 Feb 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've revised my review after a couple of days' listening.

These provide a good stereo effect and, especially with vocals, the speakers can 'disappear' so the sound seems to come from all around and not identifiably from the 2 sound sources.

Connections are all nice and accessible and the on-off/volume switch is fine; volume increases smoothly (linearly, not exponentially). The speakers are hard-wired though, which restricts positioning.

The high frequencies are acceptable and your cymbals/horn sections ting and er.. 'trump' pleasingly (although they seems to peak at Polystyrene-squeaking frequency, whatever that is).

My main complaint is with the ringing bass: there is a strong peak around 150Hz which makes me cringe when a note hits it. Bass drums can sound like a knock instead of a thump. This is a shame as testing shows that they are capable of going a lot lower; the passive radiators (bottom 'drivers') work as they should and travel more than the powered (top) driver at lower frequencies.

With a parametric equaliser this peak could be smoothed-out which would increase listening pleasure. Given the opportunity, I'd also try to boost the frequencies towards 15kHz.

But one shouldn't have to play with the source signal and even though these are relatively inexpensive, there is a LOT of choice in this price range for 2.0 sets, for example:

JBL Jembe 2.0 Computer Speaker System - Black
Genius SP-HF 500 A Wired Active
Trust 19021 Tytan 2.0 Wired Active
Philips SPA1260 Wired Active

I also use Logitech's Logitech X-140 Multimedia Speakers (2.0) which sound more involving right out of the box, have a protective grille and thicker, more rubbery wires. Although other X-140 users reported whining and noise, mine work fine and I would not consider these Z200s an upgrade.

The Z200s ARE still growing on me though, and, listening to Rush 'Here Again' at close to top pelt they sound pret-ty good!

PS. Although new, mine arrived with fingerprints all around the volume knob -from the assembly worker, perhaps?
[My ref: Slightly lacking Logitech monoliths. EQ would add potential. Feb 2014]

Alpen Fruit & Nuts Trail Bar 48g x 3 (Pack of 11, 33 bars in total)
Alpen Fruit & Nuts Trail Bar 48g x 3 (Pack of 11, 33 bars in total)
Price: £17.89

3.0 out of 5 stars Over 1/3rd sugar (35%). Sweet and fruity. Too sweet for me., 24 Feb 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The texture of these bars is more fruity than nutty. That is, I got more of a sweet, sticky/chewy raisin-like experience rather than a crunchy, nutty one.

Interestingly, after chewing these down, there is a kind of gritty, seedy texture. A bit like the seeds in fresh figs.

But these are way, way too sweet for my tastes. The fruit is sweet enough on its own, why added sugar, glucose syrup and glycerin is needed to add further sweetness is beyond me. I wish SOMEONE would make a cereal bar low in BOTH fat AND sugar!

Having said that, my colleague tried a bar and said "Yes.. OK, not too sweet." -so obviously this is down to individual preference; if you don't find standard Alpen meusli too sweet then you may like these bars.

Instead of the 33 bars described, I only received ONE pack of three bars which is probably a blessing, considering.

Having a browse, I was surprised to learn that Weetabix (made by the same people) is the most popular cereal in the UK. AND it is officially a LOW SUGAR cereal (under 5%). Shouldn't that send a message to the manufacturers.. low sugar=popular??

3 stars may seem harsh but there are a plethora of cereal bars available and I don't find these at all outstanding.

Tideland [DVD]
Tideland [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jodelle Ferland
Offered by lightningdvd
Price: £15.28

5.0 out of 5 stars STUNNING! Also MAD and BEAUTIFUL at the same time!, 22 Feb 2014
This review is from: Tideland [DVD] (DVD)
There are dysfunctional families and then there is this messed-up sh..

This is a film full of extremes in imagery, emotion and experience.

But it ain't a swashbuckling adventure, so if you're into Indiana Jones this won't be for you.

It's more a study of a child's reactions to extreme circumstances. It reminds me a bit of Life is hot in Crack Town and I'm not Scared ("Io non ho paura"), both of which I would thoroughly recommend if you like this.

I'd say it manages to show the world through a child's eyes absolutely brilliantly. Very touching.

It may be called 'weird' by some but I'd describe it as 'out of the ordinary' which is JUST the kind of refreshing crazy stuff I love. Especially when it is done so skillfully and beautifully as this.

Tacwise HD-73 73/12mm Heavy Duty Plier Bundle Staples (5 Boxes of 5000)
Tacwise HD-73 73/12mm Heavy Duty Plier Bundle Staples (5 Boxes of 5000)
Price: £61.34

4.0 out of 5 stars The Beast with 25,000 teeth! Robust and well Recommended., 19 Feb 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Great value package this, should you have 25,000 things to staple.

And it works very efficiently, allowing reliable stapling of a serious wodge of paper/card with little effort. The staples clamp very securely -the folded legs dig right in so don't leave any exposed sharp ends.

But it ain't pretty to look at.

Nor does it stand up on its end which would make for easier quick-access grabbing.

The loading system works fine but again, is a bit ungainly.

And the staples are thick, so a bit too butch for stapling a spine into a printed-out manual or document on office paper. In this instance, an heavy duty stapler taking your standard skinny staples would better suit, offering neater presentation.

However, for commercial packing use, this stapler has the strength and reliability required.

A separate sharp-ended anvil (bottom sticky-out bit) is supplied for piercing top sides of cardboard boxes to allow stapling together of flaps at the top. The anvil does require a screwdriver to change, though.

Overall, HIGHLY recommended for demanding trade use or relevant heavy-duty home applications.

[My Ref: Businesslike, thick staple cardboard stapler. Feb 14]

A Short Book About Drawing
A Short Book About Drawing
by Andrew Marr
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.50

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly Worthy Marmite!, 17 Feb 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Marr puts himself down with exaggerated modesty; he states that he doesn't think he qualifies as an 'artist'.
However, I reckon he could teach his mate Hockney a thing or two (although Hockney really should have explained to Marr how to use SEVERAL mirrors when attempting self-portraits, so one isn't looking DIRECTLY at oneself).

Like Hockney, Mr Marr has taken to using a tablet and app' to create pictures and around half of his published images are in this format. They're mostly not my bag and look more like illustrative work than creative pieces to me. Still, there is a variety of his work included so there should be something for everyone; there's even a very enjoyable oil painting of a tree with some cheeky foreground detail.

The book is physically very well made and has a nice canvas-like covering. I'd say that a few coffee-stains and thumb-prints would embellish rather than spoil its appearance. Read it down the boozer without a care!

This IS a short book and is an easy and pleasing read. It does stray a bit into 'What is art?' territory but not for any nauseating length of time. He states that drawing is perhaps as relaxing as smoking a joint in a warm bath (I wouldn't know -I haven't had a draw in years!). He then goes on to say that it requires nerve and strenuous concentration -a tad contradictory.

The writing is uncomplicated and reads as if Marr is speaking naturally, sometimes with a glint in his eye, which raised a smirk or two from this reader.

He gives very specific references to endorse his opinions, naming works and artists as well as excerpts from books. This could be very useful indeed for philistines like myself who may be tempted to delve a little deeper into the subject. The references are noted in the (wobbly) margin right next to the relevant text, rather than hidden in a bibliography at the back. Being able to smash these notes into Google as one reads is great. All 5 stars awarded.

Marr states that he doesn't consider his work saleable and wouldn't exhibit his work (except for charity, p'raps) but I'd be surprised if he hadn't submitted works to 'open' exhibitions, maybe under a pseudonym, because he IS a cheeky chipmunk.

And if he's drawn the tree he likes in Devon so frequently, why can't someone have the opportunity to buy a sketch and hang it on the back of their bathroom door?

I would!

[My Ref: Marr the Cheeky Chipmunk and some of his works. Feb 2014]

Almo Nature Rouge Dry with Chicken 750 g
Almo Nature Rouge Dry with Chicken 750 g
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Crack for cats!, 16 Feb 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Infuriatingly fussy mog usually only eats pricey small trays of Sheba and the like (mixed with Iams).
Sometimes she even gets fresh prawns!

Tried this Almo stuff out.. tore off the top, poured some neat into feline's bowl and placed bowl on kitchen floor. I found the re-sealable pack a bit fiddly; it didn't seem to close properly.

Went off to make a cuppa and on my return discovered that the cheeky chancer had gobbled-up her portion and was ON THE WORKTOP WITH HER HEAD IN THE ALMO PACK!

So my only complaint is that the re-fastening pack isn't greedy cat proof.

I was very surprised indeed and can thoroughly recommend Almo to those whose cats are fussy eaters.

[My Ref: Almo large cat food pack broken into by greedy grey. Feb '14]

TP-LINK TL-PA6010KIT(UK) - TP-Link AV600 Pln Hplg Ad Ggbt port T Pk
TP-LINK TL-PA6010KIT(UK) - TP-Link AV600 Pln Hplg Ad Ggbt port T Pk
Offered by Kikatek
Price: £44.90

4.0 out of 5 stars Work Great. 600 megablips worth the extra? Um. Um. Ummm.., 2 Feb 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Super. Smashing. Great Powerline adapters. But are they worth the extra? ...

One simply inserts one of these wee cuboid devices into the mains and connects it via ethernet to one's router. The other (and further) adapter(s) can then be plugged into any other mains socket in the house, and your Smart TV etc. plugged into that via ethernet cable. It's simple and in my experience very effective. Plus, you can get some adapters which also provide WiFi output -a very effective way of extending wireless over previously impossible distances.

The main differences between powerline devices are:
Physical Size
Connection Speed
Number of network connections (Ethernet Holes) available.
Mains 'through' socket (it can have a plug hole on the front so doesn't use-up a socket).
Whether or not they have a power switch and/or powersave mode where they go into standby.

What can I say, you can see for yourself they have no plug socket on the front and there's only one hole on the bottom. They are small but quite deep so almost cube shaped.

I already have a TP Powerline network and the guide thus stated these only need plugging in to join the network. However, I actually had to press the little 'pairing' button on this and the master plug for them to pair. I managed to do this without TOO big a sigh.

They go fine just as they're supposed to. That is, I can stream HD fillums seamlessly all around the house, from the drive connected to my router and via Lovefillum via (8 meg)broadband. They do all this, just like my TP-Link PA411KIT AV500 500 Mbps Powerline Adapter - Twin Pack ones do.

And this is a good point -these have no conspicuous advantages over the 500-speed ones with which they are compatible. The inclusion of a Gigaabit port is just about relevant as one will hopefully achieve speeds higher than 100Mbps. 600mbps doesn't mean precicely that -it's a theoretical number.

I find the powersave function does work but only when devices are switched off at the mains. My Soundbridge and Squeezebox players, when on standby themselves, still keep the adapters 'awake'. I would prefer an on/off switch on the actual adapter as well.

Against manufacturer's advice, I use these on mains extensions all over the house with no problem. Sometimes on daisy-chained extensions! I buy individually switched mains extensions to compensate for no switch on the devices.

Overall, these work fine. But worth the extra over the standard 500mbps ones? Probably not.


[My Ref: I need TEE PEE for my BUNG HOOOOLE. 600mbps Adapters Jan 14]

Weetabix Oatiflakes 550 g (Pack of 5)
Weetabix Oatiflakes 550 g (Pack of 5)
Price: £10.90

4.0 out of 5 stars Very nice high-sugar cereal. Health claims a bit naughty., 28 Jan 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This cereal isn't CAKED with sugar but IS a high-sugar cereal despite not tasting TOO sweet.

>The flakes are brown like Bran Flakes, not golden as shown on the box. I've posted a picture.

>They have a great texture.. Not crispy like corn flakes but more crunchy/crumbly. A really nice munch.

>Taste-wise, they are a bit malty like Shreddies and noticeably sweet. Overall, a nice treat.


Despite suggestions covering the box that this is a healthy food, these are a HIGH SUGAR CEREAL. Look-up low sugar cereals and you'll find that up-to 5g total sugars per 100g is considered low sugar. Over 15g is considered high-sugar. These Oatiflakes have 14g total sugars per 100g (see the box side panel image). Certainly not low-sugar by any means. (Better than Special K though, which contains 17g sugar and is freely marketed as a weight loss food!!)

Looking in my fridge, I found that Tizer, the sugary fizzy pop, contains 5.7g of sugar per 100ml, so around 6%. In comparison, this cereal contains over twice as much! We all know how a slice of white bread contains more salt than a bag of salt & vinegar crisps; we should be similarly aware of sugar quantities in cereals.

I saw some granola in the supermarket today. It was made up of over 20% sugar. It still made health claims as it contained oats. Apparently any cereal containing oats can claim to lower cholesterol regardless of any other unhealthy ingredients.

I DO like this cereal but buyers really should be able to see through suggested health claims and decide for themselves, by checking the ingredients list and making-up their own minds, whether the product will be suitable for their diet.

Sugar and Maltodextrin (glucose syrup) are 2nd and 3rd on the ingredients list here.


[My ref: Proper Munchy and Tasty Cereal Flakes Sporting Usual Outrageously Misleading Health Claims. Make you fart, too. Jan 14]

VonShef Compact Portable Double Hot Plate Table Top Hob in White 1500W
VonShef Compact Portable Double Hot Plate Table Top Hob in White 1500W
Offered by Designer Habitat
Price: £12.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Plates heat well but so does the whole surround! Functional., 19 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This double hob arrived in new condition and looks clean and tidy.

Both plates heat up well and the controls work as expected.

The only downside is that the whole chassis gets very hot, not just the plates.

Overall, very good value and perfectly functional.

Red Tape Tilmore Shoes Brown
Red Tape Tilmore Shoes Brown

5.0 out of 5 stars Very good. Needs close fit to avoid slipping-off. TOP VALUE!!, 19 Jan 2014
As in the picture. These arrived in new condition with original packaging intact.

I saught these out as I'd previously bought a pair in size 8 from Barratts online which I'd returned as they slipped-off. I couldn't remidy this with inner soles.

My ideal size is 7.5 to 8 but these are best for me in 7s as the snug fit ensures they stay on.

The leather on the side seems softer and more flexible than the upper which adds to comfort.

One note is that shoe protector/waterproofer spray does darken these a lot; after spraying, mine went from chestnut colour to proper dark chocolate.

Recommended. Especially at this price (bankrupt stock?).

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