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A John (Uk)
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Rapesco Heavy Duty Punch, Hole Punch Zero - 65
Rapesco Heavy Duty Punch, Hole Punch Zero - 65
Price: 21.23

4.0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect, 10 Oct 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is an effective hole punch. The blurb says it does 65 sheets at a time. Yes, it does. You do need a bit of strength to push the lever down with 65 sheets in, but it does punch through the paper. In fact, I found it would work with 70 sheets - but I couldn't fit any more into the gap. The plastic bit coming out of the side measures where to punch to enable even fitting into folders.

So why only, "almost perfect". It isn't for wanting more sheets. The bottom opens by a bending plastic section, to release the little circular bits of paper - and it doesn't feel very robust. For an excellent hole punch, I would have preferred a more robust system, possibly a tray?

But I'm being picky. It works brilliantly. And its never moving off my desk. Ever.


Zoo Park - Run Your Own Animal Sanctuary (Mac DVD)
Zoo Park - Run Your Own Animal Sanctuary (Mac DVD)
Offered by Gameseek
Price: 11.48

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor, 29 Sep 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I didn't like this game. The idea is that you build a zoo, look after the animals, and run it as a successful business. But there is no manual, and I found myself unable to progress beyond the initial water buffallo. Other animals need to be unlocked, but after two evenings trying to figure out how to - I gave up.

And its a shame. My kids love playing zoo type games, but there are others in the market, which are better, and more absorbing. My daughter assures me that in creative mode, this works ok, but on the regular game, it didn't.


Heels on Wheels
Heels on Wheels
by Katie Dailey
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and funny, 19 Sep 2013
This review is from: Heels on Wheels (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I bought a bike about 2 months ago. Back in the saddle after about 15 years. So, this book did appeal.

The book has encouragement, and advice. There is guidance on what bike to buy, and what to wear (a change of clothes is recommended), and other useful discussion points. Like make up. Now I'm putting on full make up prior to the commute, but then, I only have one big hill to negotiate. But the book does suggest leaving make up in the desk draw at work. I wonder if I can requisition a mirror?

This is the kind of thing that will appeal to those getting back in the saddle. There is guidance on bike maintenance, plus some of the websites which support cycling.


Leiths How to Cook (Leiths School/Food & Wine)
Leiths How to Cook (Leiths School/Food & Wine)
by Leiths School of Food and Wine
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 20.40

4.0 out of 5 stars Really good cook book, 2 Sep 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
There are very few cookbooks which genuinely cover all the key methods, with explanations. This does just that. It looks at vegetables (including how to slice them), stocks and sauces, eggs, pasta, shellfish, fish, poultry, meat, pastry, puddings, bread, biscuits and cakes. I love the explanations - for example, what makes different sauces, and clear guides for the basics, bread sauce, hollandaise, mayonnaise, mint sauce etc...

There are plenty of recipes, usually for the classic dishes. The book covers roasts (including game), souffle, omelette, macaroni cheese, bread and butter pudding, scones, shortbread etc... It the kind of book you'd keep for constant referral, and would give you confidence in trying something new. I tried stuffed chicken breasts for the first time, and it worked really well. The picture instructions made it really easy. For experienced cooks, they may feel this is too basic, but I like the way you can check to see if you are actually doing something right. I'm a fan of programmes like Masterchef, and Great British Bake Off - and this has the answers to many of the questions I hear contestants ask, such as the different temperatures for different results with sugar.

I'd highly recommend this. It would be a good gift for someone moving into their first home, as it falls into that rare category - "if you are only going to buy one book....buy this one."


Zyliss Herb Tool Cutter
Zyliss Herb Tool Cutter
Price: 11.94

5.0 out of 5 stars Very efficient, 26 Aug 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Chopping a large bunch of fresh herbs can be time consuming, particularly if you want a fine chop. This device really helps there. Its easy to use. There are five blades, and you roll the device over the herbs until chopped to the degree you want. I was surprised just how quick it was. Cleaning was easy. My only concern would be what happens when the blades start to dull - it would be almost impossible to sharpen them. But, with herbs, that isn't likely to be an issue for some time.

So I would recommend this. It fits into a standard kitchen draw, and comes with a blade cover for storage.


City Builder (PC DVD)
City Builder (PC DVD)
Offered by Game Trade Online
Price: 8.74

3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting little game, 26 Aug 2013
This review is from: City Builder (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The premise of the game is that you are a builder, who must hire the specialist teams and vehicles to construct a city. There are other builders, who sub contract work to you, and, once you progress, you can start your own projects. There are three levels of difficulty, easy, medium and hard.

All in all, this isn't a bad little game, and can be quite absorbing. The graphics are relatively simple, but that's ok. The game is marketed as 3+. To be honest, I'm not sure this would work with a child that young. The game requires a degree of patience, so I'd tentatively suggest 7+ would be more appropriate, although it would depend on the individual child. My 10 year old didn't really like it, but he prefers construction games, where he gets to design what he builds. In many ways, this is more of a management / transport game.

I would recommend this. Its relatively easy to pick up, and easily absorbing.


Homedics Circulation Device
Homedics Circulation Device
Price: 144.34

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to use, 25 Aug 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Out of the box there is a foot plate with pads, which looks like a set of scales, lead and plug, remote control, batteries and four body pads. All the pads have electrodes, which deliver an electric stimulus. The amount is controllable on a scale from 1-99, direct on the foot plate, or from the remote control. The foot, or sole, pads are controlled separately to the body pads.

This is marketed as a home-medical product, primarily to improve lower limb circulation. I cannot comment on that, as I do not have a problem with lower limb circulation, and the manual does not reference any research. What it does do, is stimulate muscles, which is likely to help circulation. Each session lasts for 30 minutes. The manual does warn that the level should be selected individually, to the point where the stimulation can be felt. I did try the maximum level for my feet, but had to turn it down after a couple of minutes. After use, I found my lower legs had a warm tingly feeling for at least an hour. I have had a back problem in the past, which affected the feeling in my feet, so I don't know if this is related, or that sensation would be replicated in others.

The first time I tried this, I only used the sole pads, where you sit with your bare feet placed on the foot plate. The second time I also used the four flexible body pads on muscles higher up my leg. The body pads are like a toning belt, except you have complete control over where the pads go. The manual suggests it can be used to ease sore muscles, as well as toning.

I really liked this. Its really easy to use, and that in itself makes it appealing.


The Snowball Effect: Communication Techniques to Make You Unstoppable
The Snowball Effect: Communication Techniques to Make You Unstoppable
by Andy Bounds
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.09

4.0 out of 5 stars Efficient, 24 Aug 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
One of my drives at work is to be efficient - I hate wasting time. This book does the same thing. While it is marketed as effective communication techniques, it is really about using those techniques to make things more efficient; to stop wasting time with unnecessary communication and make things more focused.

The premise is a simple one. Focus on your audience. What do they want? Then the approach depends on the form of communication, whether email, phone call, meeting or presentation. The book suggests that you can use the index to dip into the areas you want. And herein lies the reason it didn't get 5 stars. I don't want to use the index. I'd rather use the contents page to identify the section for emails, the section for meetings etc... Instead, its organised in sections on efficiency, persuasion, enjoying your job and eliminating negatives. I would rather it looked at methods of communication, and then structured the issues of efficiency, persuasion etc... within those. I think the reason it doesn't, is because there are already plenty of books on things like improving presentations.

The content is good. The advice is very sound, and is generally effective. The advice on emails and presentations was particularly good, and I was intrigued by some of the advice on meetings. I may try restructuring our agenda's based on this, and see what the result is. Another factor I thought was interesting is in the structure of papers. I'm tempted to book in a meeting with the person who wrote the template for meeting papers, and discuss some possible amendments to make them more effective, and more efficient in the meetings.

I would definitely recommend this book. I'd like to give the sections on email management to a couple of particular individuals in my organisation. Its an area which really can make a manager more effective and efficient. The mark of a good book is whether you would consider giving it to someone else to read. This one, I would.


Colgate C600 ProClinical Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush
Colgate C600 ProClinical Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush
Price: 48.99

3.0 out of 5 stars I have the wrong hand shape...., 12 Aug 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've been using this toothbrush for two weeks now, and my teeth are noticeably whiter, and cleaner. Going from an ordinary toothbrush to this, has helped. I love the small brush head too. The toothbrush has 3 modes, a deep clean (which I use), and then two which vibrate a bit slower, and are therefore a bit gentler for sensitive teeth.

But the toothbrush does remind me of cities grinding to a halt in winter because of the wrong type of snow. I'm there, with the toothpaste brushing against my teeth.... and it all stops. Why? Well, I can only assume that my normal looking hands must be the wrong shape. You see, the on/off button is on the front. Its quite big, and raised against the body of the toothbrush. So my fingers inadvertently turn it off while brushing. And it happens at least once, every time I brush. This means that I can't actually use the 2 minute timer to guide my toothbrushing time. Because I've had to turn it on again. At least once. Is it annoying. Well.... yes, kind of. And its a shame, because a smaller button, or lower / higher on the handle, or a switch mechanism, or a cover for the button would have all stopped this issue. I'd be curious to read the product testing reports. Someone surely spotted this earlier? In the proto design stage? Before widespread manufacturing?

Oh well.

If it wasn't for that minor flaw, I'd be highly recommending this. It comes with a spare head, and cleans well. I like it. In between grimaces when it turns itself off again.


Delonghi 5513290061 500g Vacuum Coffee Canister
Delonghi 5513290061 500g Vacuum Coffee Canister
Price: 29.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Eats Batteries Loses Vacuum, 11 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Great Idea that may work better for beans less so for ground coffee.

Not enough control over vacuum and a mains adapter solution would make it better.


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