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C. Gordon "Doctor Death"
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OptiMate 4 Battery charger and conditioner
OptiMate 4 Battery charger and conditioner
Offered by Rossendale Motorcycles
Price: 50.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Rescues AND maintains, 25 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
At first glance the manual seems daunting, but all it describes is the stages that the charger goes through and what the various lights mean. I've had several chargers for bike batteries, this is by far the best.

I tend to ride my bikes on and off thoughout a year, and have a nasty tendency to leave batteries 'in situ' in my cold, damp garage when the bikes are sitting idle. Not having any power in my garage (or anywhere near it!), if I don't remember to remove the batteries from the bikes and bring them to the house, then go flat. VERY flat. My old BMW airhead is a case in point. I used it last to go to the Dragon Rally in Wales in February 2013. At the time of writing almost a year has passed. It was flatter than a hedgehog on the A14.Last weekend I removed the battery, brought it into the house and attached the Optimate. It tested it, decided it could fix it, and has recovered it fully. Once it's got it it charged it will go into a cycle of charge/no charge, and monitors the voiltage drop in between to make sure the battery is holding it okay. I'm pleased with the way this charger does things, I really am. The way the lights let you know what's going on is reassuring somehow.

I previously had an Oxford Oximiser which was good at maintaining a battery, but didn't have the recovery capabilies of this thing. Yes, the Optimate 4 is quite expensive, but cheaper than buying a new battery over and over again. Due to not having power available in my garage I haven't personally tested the little harness you can attach to the bike permanently, but my buddy at work used to use one on his CBR600 on a regular basis and it certainly performed okay for him, and I've known plenty of folks who have reported the same.

In short, if you're like me and constantly leave batteries to die in the cold, then buy one, you won't regret it.


Shopping Trolley Pound Token With Keyring - Smiley Face Design
Shopping Trolley Pound Token With Keyring - Smiley Face Design
Offered by MB Housewares ltd
Price: 1.11

5.0 out of 5 stars Does what it's supposed to!, 25 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Received a 'tongue out' smiley design (which I'm not fond of, I'll admit) rather than a plain smiley, but other than that it does exactly what it's supposed to!


Griffin Survivor Military Tested Case for iPhone 4/4S- Black
Griffin Survivor Military Tested Case for iPhone 4/4S- Black
Offered by Terminal 1
Price: 24.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great case, one star knocked off for that stupid button, 26 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've been using this case since October 2011, and felt that perhaps it was time I wrote a long-term test review.

This thing looks and feels like it could survive any knocks that you would care to subject it to. I bought mine because I work in an Engineering workshop, and let's face it - iPhones are fragile things, and like to break into unusable junk with the slightest drops. I've dropped it from several feet, used it with greasy and often wet hands, tossed it casually onto my worktop top with reckless abandon, and it's shared my overall pockets with bits of stray swarf, steel rules and ballpoint pens, and it's survived it all. Sure - the case is looking a bit worse for wear now with bits of the textured surface having worn smooth, a few scratches on the screen, and gunk that's got stuck in little nooks and crannies, but underneath all that, my iPhone is still about as pristine as the day I first got it. It's also survived countless hours in my garage at home and several camping trips with absolutely no problem.

Two of the little rubber bungs have recently (within the last week or so) broken off, but in all fairness both have been used a LOT during the past 15 months or so. I now have two open parts on the case, and maybe it's time to buy a replacement.

The reason I've knocked a star off is as follows: Yup, it's the button for the home screen. As has been mentioned in countless reviews before, if not modified it will very likely activate voice control in your pocket and end up causing you to make unintentional calls, and cause other general tomfoolery. Okay, so it's an easy fix - a minute or two with a sharp blade will cure this, but having to modify something before it's properly usable for its intended purpose is a bit much, and should have been sorted by the manufacturer BEFORE they shipped it.

Other downsides (not necessarily faults, and not contributing in any way to that loss of one star, but things which could perhaps be better) are, in no particular order: 1)The raised screen surround sometimes makes it hard to use the touchscreen towards its outermost edges. I've found this particularly problematic when moving apps and folders about the place. 2) The belt clip. I don't like it - it feels like it'll let go of the phone too easily (it clips around it, rather than having any kind of positive lock) and doesn't seem anywhere near as tough as the case itself. This may be purely down to perception, but I couldn't bring myself to trust it, and I never used it. 3) The size. Yes, it's chunky because it's strong, but it really does make a housebrick out of a very sleek piece of design (i.e. - your phone!). It can be a pretty tight fit in some trouser pockets - thankfully I'm well beyond an age where I'm going to be wearing skinny jeans and so I've never faced that particular 'Mission Impossible'! 4)Although it survives splashes and the like, it would be really nice if they could make a more water-resistant (or even waterproof!) version of this.

In summary - tough as old boots, and a must for everyone who works (or plays) in a rough environment. Okay, it isn't the prettiest of things, but it lives up to its name and genuinely is a 'survivor'. WoRth every penny, in my opinion!


Domain
Domain
Price: 3.59

4.0 out of 5 stars The best of the trilogy!, 9 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Domain (Kindle Edition)
As I stated in my previous review of 'Lair', after two fairly similar (but enjoyable) books in the 'Rats' series, it was difficult to see where he could go with the idea next and not repeat the same formula, but he managed it, and managed it with style!

It's no spoiler to let slip here that the book is set in a post-nuclear London (the opening of the novel begins in spectacular fashion with the attack itself), and is focused around a group of survivors in the aftermath. The rats themselves hardly appear at all until a fair way into the book, and I've often wondered if the novel originally started as a story sans rats, and he later realised here was an opportunity not to be missed, but maybe that's pie in the sky...

I've previously said that 'The Rats' and 'Lair' seemed tame by modern standards - 'Domain' is a definite break from this pattern, and is full of some fairly extreme violence, and throughout the book, the mood is suitably bleak. If there were an award for 'most peril faced by protagonists in a single book', this would be a serious contender. No sooner do the protagonists get themselves out of one scrape then they are facing another - out of the frying pan, into a succession of ever-bigger frying pans, as it turns out. It's a fairly unrelenting series of set pieces, which some people will hate, but which action-lovers will adore.

The post-nuclear world is described beautifully (not sure that's the right adjective to use, but what the hey), and is about as bleak as you could imagine.

In short - it's by far the best of the Rats trilogy, and well worth a read. I think it would be readable even without reading the first two volumes, as Herbert provides enough info on the previous encounters with the rats to give a decent grounding (and let's be honest - they're giant, ferocious man-eating rats - just how much more do you need to know?).


Lair
Lair
Price: 0.99

4.0 out of 5 stars More of the same, 6 Oct 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Lair (Kindle Edition)
After reading `The Rats', I knew at some point that I'd be wanting to revisit the other two books of the trilogy, and as this is the first of the two sequels, it's the logical place to start (or to continue, if you'd rather...).

The main protaganist this time around is a pest controller, working for `Ratkill', a nice little set up to get us into the action, this time based in Epping Forest, where a small group of mutant rats that survived the mass extermination at the end of the previous book have been laying low and building their numbers, safely out of the sight of their natural enemy, man.

As with the previous book, I was survived just how tame the gore actually is, and how much of it there isn't. Time has moved on, I guess, but it's still a fun story, driven more by action and plot rather than character development - once again, Herbert excels at the set pieces in the book, and of course there is the obligatory early Herbert sex scene, which although still making appearances in his later books, is more sporadic. There are the usual little vignettes showing the Rats at their devious work, and these are always fun.

All in all, there's not much different here from the first book, but it's definitely worth a read if you enjoyed the previous offering. It's short, it's very easy to read (much like most of Herbert's early work), and well worth a go.

After reading this first sequel, it would be easy to think that there was nowhere to go with the mutant rat saga without creating a third book that was almost identical to the first two, but Herbert went for it, and did it in real style!


Rumble Roller Original Blue - Compact Size 12.5cm x 30cm
Rumble Roller Original Blue - Compact Size 12.5cm x 30cm
Offered by Physio Supplies Ltd
Price: 41.50

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Painful, but effective!, 1 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having had some trouble with my lower legs whilst training - shin pain if I run, and calf pains/cramps doing my martial arts training, I'd heard about foam rolling and thought I'd give it a try. When I saw the Rumble Roller, the knobbly bits looked like a logical progression.

If you've never tried foam rolling before, it does take some getting used to, but practise makes perfect, and there's a leaflet included, not to mention numerous guides on the internet.

If you've got knots, this will help to get them out, but it can be painful, and it's a matter of trying different ways of sitting and lying with different amounts of pressure of muscles on roller until you find what works for you. It can be painful, I admit, particularly on softer ares, but it is pretty effective and cheaper than paying for sports massages on a regular basis, and the pain can be lessened by the aforemention pressure variations. You need to find what works for YOU.

Apparently the black version is firmer, but believe me, if you're new to this, the blue is more than firm enough!


Mueller Sports Bottle with Straw Lid 1Ltr Clear
Mueller Sports Bottle with Straw Lid 1Ltr Clear
Offered by Firstaid4sport
Price: 4.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It is what it is!, 1 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It's basically what it says it is - a one litre drinking bottle with a straw. My only complaint (and most bottles with straws are like this, to be fair), is that due to the way the straw enters the lid, it's not watertight, so just hoofing it into your bag with the rest of your gear isn't really an option, as stuff will get wet. If you take this to the gym empty and fill it up there, of course, that's not an issue.

I bought it purely because I do Kendo, and on the hottest days, training hard leads to some serious sweating, and if you know anything about kendo, taking a drink with the gear on is impossible with a regular bottle. This type of bottle means a quick glug can be drunk without interrupting the flow of the keiko too much.


Sennheiser HD201 Closed Dynamic Stereo headphones
Sennheiser HD201 Closed Dynamic Stereo headphones
Price: 14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic sound for a bargain price!, 1 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I initially bought these as I wanted to be able to watch late-night TV at a decent volume without waking anyone else in the house up. However, having also tried them on my Sony micro system and my MP3 players - iphone and a Creative Zen, I've found they're also brilliant for music too. At the price point I paid (they were closer to a tenner than the twenty quid they go for now), they have far surpassed all expections, and are still a bargain at their present price.

In short, they are light, comfortable, have (to my ears, anyway) good lows, highs and middles, and also look half-decent too! They've been tested with a variety of music - from Drum and Bass to classical, to rock and the more extreme ends of many genres (the dulcet tones of Insect Warfare, for example), and have performed well with all of them.

I only ever use these indoors, would never think of looking like one of the total tools that insist on wearing headphones around the place when a quality pair of in-ear phones will do the job just as well, but I suspect that for the folks who are into that sort of thing these headphones aren't expensive or flashy enough - it IS all about the pose value, right?

Unless you genuinely have a real ear for subtle differences in audio quality, these headphones are by far the best thing you'll find even at two or three times the price. Even my notoriously fussy mate, who's a long-time recording musician, thinks they're good!


Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui
Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui
by Karen Kingston
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

3.0 out of 5 stars Helping you to understand your cluttering habits, 26 Aug 2012
This is a book of two parts, really. If the whole of the book was like the first half, I'd probably give it four or five stars, and it was on the strength of reports of the first half that I bought this book. I think it's really helped me understand the WHY of my clutter, and as a result has helped me to let go of a lot of 'stuff' that I was hanging on to, and has made me realise the completely ridiculous emotional attachments I have to stuff that is actually not worth my time. I also realise I was hanging on to a lot of things because of a feeling of "I've spent good money on that, I can't just get rid of it", when in fact hanging on to it still doesn't get you your money's worth. Also hanging on to things because "they might come in handy" at some point, is almost always a recipe for disaster.

It's when it gets into the nitty gritty of feng shui itself that it loses the stars, going on about wealth areas in your home, and health areas, etc. etc. It's new age garbage (I know the practice of feng shui is centuries old, but it's been picked up in the west a whole lot more recently) with no more merit than astrology. I've given up on the rest of the book, as it's utter nonsense, but the first five or six chapters are priceless in understanding your hoarding, and really gave me the incentive to tackle the 'crap mountain', as I've come to refer to it.


No Title Available

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Takes a while to get it right, but when you do, oh boy..., 19 May 2012
As I've stated in the title, if you've been using multi bladed razors and 'goop in a can', there's a certain technique to using a safety razor - you can't just attack your face like you would with your "Gilletewilkinsonswordfusionmachpowerspringyguardwirehydrofivealoestrip XXXVIII", to do that invites a bloodbath.

To use a safety razor you first need to accept that you need to slow down a little and that skin prep is everything, or at least 80% of the battle. A good soap or cream (I've just discovered Proraso after using Trumper's for a while - considerably cheaper, and the menthol is very refreshing), worked up to a good lather and applied with a brush - badger is best - I 've got a Vulfix 660, had it for the best part of two years now and it's still going strong. Blades are a matter of taste - I started with Derby Extras, but then moved on to the legendarily sharp Feather Hi-stainless, now I refuse to use anything else.

The Merkur 34C is a simple piece of kit that feels solid, and has good weight to it (it's a substantial piece of metal)- let the razor's own weight do the work for you, don't add any pressure, and you'll get a great shave. No reason to cut yourself if you take your time. I used to hate shaving, now it's almost a pampering session - shaving need not be a chore. There's plenty of good advice on YouTube - Mantic59's videos have already been recommended, and I'd go along with that.

Changing blades is a snip, just unscrew the head with the knurled knob at the bottom of the handle and the head will come into two pieces, remove the old blade, pop in a new one, on goes the top bit, screw the know back up - job done.

It's easy to look at the Merkur 34C (AKA the HD) as being expensive, but with the new multiblade garbage at about a tenner (and about ten quid for a pack of four blades!), the savings soon become evident, even if you opt for more expensive blades as I do. It's also worth pointing out that the Merkur is a design which will not be updated every five minutes as with multiblades. It will quite literally last a lifetime (actually several lifetimes, I could imagine this being just as serviceable in a couple of hundred year's time!) There is little that can go wrong.

One more thing, RINSE it in your sink or under the hot tap as you shave, DON'T be tempted to tap it against the porcelain as you might with a multiblade - I suspect the sink will lose!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 10, 2013 10:29 AM BST


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