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Zelig (Manchester, UK)

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Swordfish 1000XC 10 Sheet Cross Cut Paper/Document Shredder - 2015 Model - Ref: 45009
Swordfish 1000XC 10 Sheet Cross Cut Paper/Document Shredder - 2015 Model - Ref: 45009
Offered by Office Products Online
Price: £84.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Seriously unrelaible., 24 Sept. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Like a lot of modern households, we've invested in a decent shredder to maintain some level of security over the masses of financial bits and bobs we accumulate over the year. I bought this shredder - on the strength of its Amazon reviews - in March 2010. Considering we don't exactly hammer it (even though I use the recommended lube sheets once a month), the sheet sensor has started acting up and won't shred a full sheet of paper in one pass. Instead, we have to stand there like muppets turning the damn thing on and off again to get it to shred a single sheet in about four or five attempts. I went on the manufacturer's web site, which told me to clean the sensor area, but got no improvement. I haven't even bothered approaching the manufacturer directly due to another reviewer on here relating a tale of woe about when they did so. I'm out of the warranty period too, so this pile of junk is about to get replaced rapidimento. I won't entertain Swordfish products again.

So in short this shredder is not cheap, but it IS crap! Don't waste your money on it.


No Title Available

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great look, great customer service, 26 Jun. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought my first pair of Pookies in March. They look the business - way better than anything I can find of their type in the UK. I was so impressed that I bought a second pair in April. They're smart and comfortable - what more could I ask for? Well, I had a problem with the second pair (the drawstring on the waistband became detached) and because they're not exactly cheap, I decided to let the makers know that I was disappointed. Their response was fantastic. I was contacted in short order by the company's CEO (no less). Turns out that the incidence of reported faults with their clothing is virtually non-existent, so he was almost offended that something had gone wrong with the pair I'd bought. He bent over backwards to get everything sorted out for me in double quick time.

I'd have comfortably recommended Pookies to anyone prior to that, but with the excellent customer service thrown in, they richly deserve a 5 star review.


The Day Aberystwyth Stood Still (Louie Knight Mystery 6)
The Day Aberystwyth Stood Still (Louie Knight Mystery 6)
by Malcolm Pryce
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How green was my chalet?, 5 Mar. 2012
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Malcolm Pryce is a subversive genius, clearly in love with Wales and the Noir genre in equal measure. What better than a combination of the two into one glorious conflation (with raspberry ripple on top)? I have hugely enjoyed all of the Louie Knight books. In the space of six volumes, Pryce has given us - amongst other delights - the druids as mafiosi, The Welsh space program, the Queen of Denmark making urgently eliptical calls from a phone box, philosopher ice-cream vendors, the remnants of Welsh expansionism extending as far as South America and the Ukraine, and a rolling cast of frequently sublime, well-defined characters - most of whom are utterly barking mad.

Pryce writes intelligently absurdist fantasy, but still manages passages shot through with keen observation on the human condition - making Knight and the scrapes he gets into a vehicle for all sorts of discourses on life, loss, injustice, jealousy, treachery, greed, stupidity, philosophy, politics and economics. To do all that and still be uproariously, laugh-out-loud funny makes Mr Pryce a jolly clever bloke. Indeed, the books easily stand re-reading: you'll find lots you may have missed on the first sitting. I will never look at a stovepipe hat in the same way again. Thoroughly recommended.


The Guard [DVD]
The Guard [DVD]
Dvd ~ Brendan Gleeson
Price: £4.00

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Darkly hysterical, 1 Dec. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Guard [DVD] (DVD)
I'm really looking forward to being able to finish watching this all the way through when the DVD arrives. My previous attempt to watch it - on a night flight back from the US - was curtailed by a kindly stewardess who informed me that my laughing like a drain was disturbing the other passengers who were trying to sleep. I sheepishly turned it off. A gang of philosophy-obsessed baddies, the maverick cop from hell, and a sniffy college-boy FBI agent all combine to offer both a good plot and some darkly hysterical comedy. Gleeson, Cheadle and Strong are all excellent (I get the feeling it was a hoot to make). It's determindely un-PC and definitely not Fun For All The Family (unless your entire family is warped), but it is very, very funny.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 17, 2012 8:42 PM GMT


Ring Cyba-Lite Auro Led Torch - Black (Old Version)
Ring Cyba-Lite Auro Led Torch - Black (Old Version)

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 12 Nov. 2011
I've been using my Cyba-Lite now for 3 years. I work regular nights in both industrial and countryside locations. The torch is compact, rugged enough to have withstood being dropped a few times, has a powerful beam which belies its size and has excellent battery life. Thoroughly recommended.


The Shadow Line [DVD]
The Shadow Line [DVD]
Dvd ~ Chiwetel Ejiofor
Price: £7.00

13 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A let-down, 17 Jun. 2011
This review is from: The Shadow Line [DVD] (DVD)
I saw The Shadow Line heralded in the press prior to it being aired. The fact that it set out to be complex and challenging intrigued me - I like a thriller with a bit of substance rather than just crash, bang, wallop all the way. The cast list was pretty impressive too.

After watching it - a serious commitment at 7 hours - I have to say I was disappointed. To me, the blame for that lies squarely with Hugo Blick for being too heavily involved in the overall production. The plot, cinematography and acting were all excellent, but some of the dialogue was so stagey and contrived that a decent script editor would have told Blick to do rather more work on it. On top of that, the final scene involving Gabriel (I'll not spoil it) was one too many where you could almost hear Blick thinking how much more symbolism he could shoe-horn in (remember the big red dice on the bent top-cop's desk? Oh dear!) By that time, Stephen Rea's Gatehouse character has moved from being genuinely chilling when we first meet him, to being an almost laughable cartoon villain by the end. Perhaps he wanted to stroke a white cat?

So in short, a very promising idea and plot badly spoiled by poor execution.


Cryptonomicon
Cryptonomicon
by Neal Stephenson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Massively rewarding read, 23 April 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Cryptonomicon (Paperback)
I haven't trawled through every review here, but I know I'm going to be at least the third person to say that this is - by some distance - the best book I have ever read. A complex plot covering several strands and three generations, it blends high science with pivotal moments of 20th century history. Don't be put off by the science - even a numbskull like me could busk it through these sections: it is enough to be aware of the sheer complexity facing the protaganists, rather than having to understand the science itself (though it's all there if you can handle it). Add to this some deeply moving plot lines, some wonderfully drawn characters, and relentless shifts in time and location to keep the reader on their toes, and it all makes for a compelling, utterly rewarding read - one that I have come back to time and again since I first read it, and I still find something new each time.

Stephenson's performance in writing this is quite staggering. It's rare to find someone who is clearly quite at home in the world of computer geekery (check out the explanation of Van Eck Phreaking, for example) who can also write such compelling characters or have such a feel for their place in historical events. When (on the first page) I first met Bobby Shaftoe, the sheer naming of the character made me groan inwardly. But after a while in the company of Sgt Robert Shaftoe, we realise that he is one of the greatest fictional characters ever written: part mad, part addict, part copper-bottomed hero, he is a work of genius.

And just when things are getting too technical/complicated/overwhelming, the guy is genuinely laugh-out-loud funny. I would never previously have thought of the bombing of Pearl Harbour in terms of its comic value, but when viewed through the eyes of a misplaced idiot-savant armed only with a navy-issue glockenspiel, it rapidly turns into a tour de force of comic writing.

Mills and Boone it ain't. This is an intelligent book for intelligent people (myself excepted). Buy it, read it, treasure it.


Field Grey: A Bernie Gunther Novel (Bernie Gunther Mystery 7)
Field Grey: A Bernie Gunther Novel (Bernie Gunther Mystery 7)
by Philip Kerr
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.74

5.0 out of 5 stars A return to form, 23 April 2011
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Like many others, I have followed Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther series since the excellent March Violets trilogy. Though I persevered with the Gunther books that followed this auspicious start, by the time of "If The Dead Rise Not" I had begun to tire of some of the plot devices because they either tended to rely on amazing, credibility-stretching good fortune, or because they brought Bernie into contact with real historical characters in fairly implausible ways. Can one man really be on first-name terms with Reinhardt Heydrich one minute before man-handling Eva Peron's breast the next? So I approached Field Grey with some trepidation - more to have kept faith with the series than anything else.

What a very pleasant surprise: this is an excellent return to form by Philip Kerr. It's shot through with keen observations about what desparate people must do, and who they must accommodate, in order to survive. It also gives the reader a real flavour of the undercurrents at play in post-war Europe in his description of repatriated POWs and the economic differences between the four controlled zones of Berlin. Gunther's jaundiced worldview also goes some way to explaining European ambivalence to their US "allies" and the foment of anti-Americanism that would follow.Yes, there's a "real-life" historical character central to the plot, but rather more plausibly than previous outings.

But it's the return of Bernie's real charcter that is the main triumph for this book. He's always been a shrewd loner, but here he's older, beaten (but not broken) and more than a little fed up with being on the short end of things. And it's his sheer deviousness in playing one side against another that's half the pleasure in the resolution. He even gets the girl! Welcome back Bernie.


2032
2032
Price: £9.42

7 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Escape? Control? Just delete..., 31 Jan. 2010
This review is from: 2032 (Audio CD)
Like many of the reviewers here, I have very fond memories of Gong, having seen them quite a few times during the period where they'd signed for Virgin and frequently toured the UK to promote the tea-pot trilogy. I have one particular stand-out anecdote from a gig circa the Angels Egg period. Gong never arrived on stage with a bang in those days: they sort of drifted on one-by-one to an incremental vibe usually starting from Tim Blake's synthesiser noodlings and then gradually adding drums, space whisper, bass and then Bloomdido playing some cool jazz-inflected runs over the top. Next up in the natural order of things was Steve Hillage, who duly wanders on to stage (unusually toting an SG instead of his trademark Strat). Now I've seen plenty of stoned musicians before, but it has to be said that our Steve was clearly occupying a parallel universe at this juncture. Steve checks his volume control, cocks his head back into that familiar blissed-out squinting-at-the-sun position of his, and peels off a run - except not a peep issues forth from the guitar. Confusion breaks out on the Hillage features. He checks he's plugged in (he is), fiddles with the volume control and tries again. Nowt. Zip. Not a sausage. The look of confusion gives way to utter bewilderment - at which point a long-suffering roadie ambles on, walks over to Hillage's amp rig and flips it from "stand-by" to "On". Apparently oblivious to this, Steve has another crack. This time, ladeez'n'gennelmun, Mr Hillage is In The House: he peels off a staggeringly beautiful, head-melting run and all is well. Normal service has been resumed and that nice Mr Allen will be with you shortly. Whatever his subsequent dance-orientated musical output, at that time Hillage was one of the finest, trippiest, rock guitarists in the business.

2032 was made by that same "classic" 70's Gong line-up, the exceptions being Pierre Moerlin (no longer with us) and Tim Blake (too much previous bad karma to be asked). Now I've waited some months to allow repeated plays of this album to sink in before scribbling this review. I've also paid attention to the other, mostly highly-favourable, reviews on this page - mainly in the hope that I may have missed something. But having already set out my credentials as a Gong-lover of yore, it looks like I'm going to be the only serious nay-sayer here.

One of the strongest points of the old Gong was the sort of Feel-Good cosmic ambience they created. Hawkwind did Ominous-Cosmic (and lacked a lot in sheer calibre of musicianship), but Gong did a sort of blissful, other-worldly cosmic that made the listener feel better, whilst having the calibre of musicians that meant that the ensemble playing was efforlessly first-rate and the soloing was frequently beyond sublime. They flattered to deceive - they wanted you to think they were a bunch of hippies who just pitched up and played what they felt like, but underneath they were a very well crafted band. They made some great, enduring music along the way. So what a dreadfully missed opportunity this is. There is simply nothing here that bears the sheer quality of, say, Other Side Of The Sky, Isle Of Everywhere, A Sprinkling of Clouds, Inner Temple, Sold To The Highest Buddha, Castle In The Clouds, Flying Teapot ete etc.

What we have instead is a serious lack of inspiration going on: Portal kicks off with a embarassingly bad punk-ish riff that reminds me of a drunken old fart trying to breakdance at a Christmas party, and then segues into an opportunity for Hillage to stretch out. Except he doesn't; he's too busy keeping synch with his own echo-box to remember to cut loose and really play a bit. What happened to the fireworks Steve? Where the band used to be able to play at length and still retain the listeners interest, we now have Escape, Control, Delete, which commits the cardinal sin of being just shockingly dull - both musically and lyrically. Guitar Zero sounds like a poor Gong tribute-band not quite managing to pull off a sort of re-hashed vibe circa Camembert Electrique, but not good enough to have made it onto that esteemed album. And then we get to Wacky Backy Banker. What a travesty of misjudgement this track is. Another poor pseudo-punk riff (Hillage must have spent too long hanging round with Jimmy "If The Kids Are United" Pursey when he dallied with Sham 69. Pursey knew a thing or two about crap riffs); Daevid Allen singing in faux cockney but with nowhere near the same elan (or irony) as Damon Albarn; and the lyrics: Jesus! Rhyming "banker" with "wanker". Really? It's as if Elvis Costello - a true master of the venomously barbed lyric - never happened inbetween times. What's the point?

The whole lazy premise of this album seems to be "It's near-as-damn-it the classic line-up: what more do you want?" Well if you want punters to pay for it and keep coming back for more, quite a bit more craft actually guys. It's simply not enough to be nostalgic for nearly the old gang: if I want to see what grey hair looks like, I can just look in the mirror. If you're really in it for the music - and not just the lucrative reunion tour market (as a cynic might suggest) - you really must try harder next time.

Taken together with Aellen's smug, misanthropic Gong Dreaming 2 memoirs, 2009 was a pretty bleak year for Gong output. Time to get a grip: you (hopefully) never blow yer trip forever...
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 26, 2013 10:21 AM BST


Telstar [DVD]
Telstar [DVD]
Dvd ~ Con O'Neill
Offered by Wowudo
Price: £3.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And the Meek did not inherit the earth..., 24 Nov. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Telstar [DVD] (DVD)
Anyone who has ever sweated about the pressure they're under at work will have to do a bit of a rethink when they see a very young Mitch Mitchell (later of Jimi Hendrix Experience fame) being implored to "play it better" at a studio session. The studio is not a high-tech acoustic palace such as Abbey Road: it's a converted upstairs flat in Islington - and it looks like it. But this is not Mitch's immediate problem. No, Mitch's problem is that a deranged, stocky gentleman is pressing the barrel of a shotgun against his forehead and it's not beyond the bounds of possibility that he might just pull the trigger. The session does not end well for Mitch's trousers...

Welcome to the tailspin world of Joe Meek: Out of control, pill-popper, occultist, paranoiac, recklessly gay at a time when it was dangerous to be so, lousy businessman and pretty much madder than a bag of ferrets. Oh, and musical genius - despite being tone deaf. Nick Moran's film of the life and death of Joe Meek is a joy from start to finish. It veers seemlessly between the hysterically funny, moments of real pathos, and scenes of gut-tightening tension. Moran also makes good use of limited flashbacks to the young Joe that inform his adult character.

Con O'Neill's portrayal of the unravelling adult Meek is masterful, but he is amply aided here by excellent performances throughout by the supporting cast: Kevin Spacey as the old-school Major Banks, Tom Burke as the fey Geoff Goddard, JJ Field as the calculating but useless Heinz, James Corden as the resilient Clem Catini, and a star turn from Ralph Little as the long suffering Chas Hodges.

This is a Must See for anyone with an affinity for either the times or the music, and a useful snapshot into the early musical lives of those who would go on to be some of THE major names in the world of Rock. Highly recommended.


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