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Gizmophobic
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The Complete Garden Expert: The Expert you've been waiting for - All the gardening Experts condensed and updated into one enlarged volume
The Complete Garden Expert: The Expert you've been waiting for - All the gardening Experts condensed and updated into one enlarged volume
by D. G. Hessayon
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Competent but not inspiring, 21 Jan. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Since this series is by guys who know a lot more than I do about gardening its hard to criticise it on the basis of the information provided. However as a consumer with loads of gardening books I can't see where this one will take its place on the shelf. Its attractive enough with good illustrations and diagrams. Its also quite broad for its size if that makes sense, i.e. it covers a lot in quite a handy format. It's not the complete guide by any means and there are others more comprehensive. More importantly I find it curiously uninspirational, its factual without much passion for its subject.
I've a feeling it might make it outside with me if I need on site info, but its hardly the one I'd turn to on a rainy day for ideas.


Topstar Trend SY 10 Comfortable Design Swivel Chair to Intervertebral Discs - Black
Topstar Trend SY 10 Comfortable Design Swivel Chair to Intervertebral Discs - Black
Price: £172.75

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top star chair, 22 Nov. 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was about to report that this was one of the easier self assembly tasks I've had to deal with over the years when I glanced at the picture opposite which suggests I've put the arms on back to front.......oh well it seems to work fine that way too. Apart from that embarrassing faux pas it was pretty simple despite the minimal instructions, basically diagrams (without a picture of it fully assembled)-took me 30 mins including getting it out of box.
Chair itself excellent.Robust and comfortable. Very easy to adjust with the levers-I did for a minute think this was an attempt at sedentary Alexander therapy as it initially forces you into a very upright position-however when you use the lever its easy enough to adopt the standard slouch that I've carefully nurtured all this time.


Golden Records (PC & Mac)
Golden Records (PC & Mac)

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite the gold standard, 25 Oct. 2011
This review is from: Golden Records (PC & Mac) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a pretty good product for those who want to transfer vinyl to cd. Previously I've been using the ion Mixmeister-see previous review-however the substantial advantage to this software is its ability to distinguish the spaces between tracks. This does free you up to do something else while inputing the records (I haven't tried tapes)but beware, if you leave the record running, my deck doesn't shut off automatically, you will generate potentially endless useless files which are cumbersome to delete. You also have to register your software which presumably means for use on one computer only, a hassle this as it didn't like my old laptop and so has to be connected with my main one. It has a ridiculously short lead so effectively puts it up against record deck. Worst still, although it gives you the option to connect through amp(presumably this would allow you to hear the music properly while copying), I can't get it to work without being directly attached to computer. I've also had hassles with the disc burning function although this could be my computer which frequently has a ruck with windows exp, so I've been transferring MP3s to i-tunes and burning from there.
All in all not quite the answer I've been looking for but bear in mind my phobic response to gizmos.


Dirt Devil 1000 Watt Mains Handheld Vacuum Cleaner with Microban Antibacterial Protection
Dirt Devil 1000 Watt Mains Handheld Vacuum Cleaner with Microban Antibacterial Protection

5.0 out of 5 stars Tough little devil, 23 Oct. 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've only had this a few days but its already proven useful in my home office. As the latter is small and busy (like the product) its a hassle taking the house vacuum in there, especially if its only to deal with the usual confetti after emptying the shredder. Similarly hard to reach areas such as our stairs and the car are looking considerably smarter. Its also given my keyboard and hi-fi a spruce up and if you are inclined to dust books (remember them?)then this could be for you.
The machine is quite hefty and packs a fair bit of suction. There is a shoulder strap provided but its flimsy and I haven't found it useful. Its very easy to assemble and empty. Well designed attachment brush/nozzle is also good-remember to pull out the brush properly or it could scratch. Overall I can't fault-even the instructions make sense.


Boogaloo: The Quintessence of American Popular Music
Boogaloo: The Quintessence of American Popular Music
by Arthur Kempton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £21.50

3.0 out of 5 stars Misses its mark, 13 Sept. 2011
This is a long, often entertaining and insightful, but ultimately weary and rather jaundiced trip through the development of the business of black music in the 20th century. Its by no means a comprehensive history. For some reason the author largely ignores post war blues, instead drawing a line from the classic era of Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, through gospel Thomas Dorsey and Mahalia Jackson, the change to soul with Sam Cooke, then the Stax and Motown stories, and ending up in hip hop and Death Row Records. Almost all of the characters come across as unsympathetic and the emphasis is very much on the contortions artists had to go through to sell to a white market. Cooke of course epitomises this and while the gooey strings on most of his famous recordings bears this out,Kempton seems to have little faith that his recorded work would have developed if he had lived. Indeed he doesn't seem to like much of any of the music either. Only Curtis Mayfield, Smokey Robinson and the Temptations come out ahead in that respect, and there is certainly no sense of the awsome power of Stax in its heyday. Instead we get the long painful decline, better told elswhere. Kempton is quite amusing in his portrayal of Berry Gordy, citing Iceberg slim several times as the template for Motown-i.e. a pimp (Gordy) and his whores the artists. By the time I got to hip hop I wsa quite worn out and that's not where you want to be when you are reading about these guys. I'm no expert in our rapping friends but there was nothing here to alter my view of the ugly exploitation that hip hop and its bland R& B cousin represents.
Overall a diverting read but flawed with no overall cohesion and very little love for the music..


The Majestic Silver Strings (Bonus DVD)
The Majestic Silver Strings (Bonus DVD)
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £17.60

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Majestic experiment, 18 Aug. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a seismic shift for Buddy despite the presence on vocals of country stalwarts Emmylou Harris,Lee Ann Womack,Patty Griffin and of course wife Julie. It starts off with an old Tex Owens song "Cattle call" complete with yodels-however the ghostly guitar intro from Bill Frisell, reminiscent of the Band's last waltz theme, hints we're into something a little different. The next two tracks though could be on any of Buddy's other excellent albums. "No good lover" is at the border of country and blues and rocks along, while "I want to be with you always" is a delghtful country ballad with Patty Griffin.
It was at the beginning of the next track that I thought someone had changed the cd without me looking. "Barres de Prison" is sung by Marc Ribot-new name to me-with a voice closer to Leonard Cohen and subject matter to match. Its a sad and beautiful song with lovely guitar from Frisell. Next up is "Meds" sung by Womack and although I'm not too familiar with her either I expect this is quite a departure. I'm reminded more of some of the quirkiness of the likes of Rickie Lee Jones than country and the next track "Dang me" could be on the last "Drive by Truckers" album-unbelievably its an old Roger Miller song,,,,,,brilliant interpretation by Marc Anthony Thompson who again is completely new to me. "Bury me not on the lone Prairie" is even further away from Miller country. Again an adaption of a traditional country song this is firmly in the land of alternative country-closer to Cowboy Junkies than country cowboys. As though awakening from a dark (but amazing) dream we're back to country with "That's the way love goes" sung by Shaun Colvin and again greatly benefitting from the excellent and moody guitars of Frisell and co. 'Freight train' is an instrumental designed to show them to even greater effect.In fact Frisell is all over this album and prompted me to revisit his previous takes on country such as Beyond the Missouri Sky. Back to pretty straight ahead country with Emmy singing lead on "Why I'm Walkin' and back to Buddy's trademark rocky style with "Why baby why". The last two tracks are again in familiar territory -Womack sings Return to me before Julie Miller ends the album to excellent effect with her collaboration with Frizell "Gods Winged Horse"-well they had to get HIM in there somewhere.
This is absolutely a 5 star addition to Miller's catalogue although old fans will have some surprises in store and if you are coming at him from the Emmylou corner you'd be better to go to an earlier album first. That said there is something for a lot of differing tastes here without a clunker anywhere.Wonderful.


The Band Of Heathens
The Band Of Heathens

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soulful easy country, 25 July 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Band Of Heathens (Audio CD)
Despite the resemblance to 70s country rock thankfully BOH are closer to Little Feat than the Eagles. This one is produced by Ray Wylie Hubbard who shows up on one track-Cornbread- and the lads are also joined by Patty Griffin to excellent effecton backing vocals for three tracks, (Gurf Morlix and Stephen Bruton also contribute). The playing is fine throughout with strong songs too. I'm not quite as taken with it as the later One foot in the Ether but its an easy 5 star.


Stay Positive
Stay Positive
Offered by Bee-Entertained
Price: £4.25

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Few positives and its not staying, 18 July 2011
This review is from: Stay Positive (Audio CD)
I came at this one from the Drive by Truckers connection-Patterson Hood gets a guest vocal credit and David Barbe is in there too. To be fair the DBTs took a while to grow on me but try as I might I can't keep trying with this. Its not terrible-there are indeed similarities with the guitar driven rock side of DBT-the lyrics are interesting-first time I'd heard Judas rhymed with Massachusetts-I even quite like the lead vocalist although there is a certain flat monotony to him that wears after a while-but not nearly as much as the rather gauche pub like chorus on several tracks. Main problem though is the lack of variety-every track has this relentless self important anthemic attack-a total absence of charm and sense of humour-I'm reminded of U2 and not in a good way-look out Oxfam here it comes.


Live in Germany.. -Digi-
Live in Germany.. -Digi-
Price: £9.47

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Miller light, 17 July 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a very solid live album from Emmy's unfortunately short-lived Spyboy period. Apart from a brief revisiting of her catalogue at the time of Wrecking Ball and the later Red Dirt Girl most of my EH collection dates back to her 70s heyday. I got into Buddy Miller a few years back (see other reviews)and when I heard about their collaboration I was drawn to reigniting my interest in Emmy. I haven't been able to access the previous Spyboy album although have heard great things about it. Unfortunately this isn't quite the album I'd hoped for-no clunkers, nearly half of it is from Red Dirt Girl-Buddy and the rest of the band are fine-although there is a rather distant (stadium) feel to a lot of it and it doesn't come alive until Buddy is brought forward for a stunning duet on "love hurts"-there is a similar shiver up the spine to 'Boy from Tupelo'-the audience are a bit muted-no laughs at all when Emmy quotes Towne van Zandt's about there being two kinds of music-The blues and Zippy de do da-while this is certainly closer to the former its not quite the stunner I'd hoped-still easy 4 stars.


Supergets® Black Top Flip PU Leather Case For Blackberry Curve 8520/ 3g 9300, LCD Screen Protector And Micro Fibre Screen Polishing Cloth
Supergets® Black Top Flip PU Leather Case For Blackberry Curve 8520/ 3g 9300, LCD Screen Protector And Micro Fibre Screen Polishing Cloth

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple quality problem solver, 12 July 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I use my blackberry almost exclusively for work (I haven't used the camera function in six months) so it is constantly in and out of my pockets, getting bashed by keys/coins etc.-this and the ease it which it can be dropped made me go for a bit of protection. This works really well-phone still fits in pocket-slight increase in bulk makes it feel more secure-I can also check I've got it without digging around in pocket. Great value-looks good too-charger works without removal-exactly what I'd hoped for. The plastic screen protector wouldn't separate from the sticker so that went in the bin and the cloth isn't up to much but its the case I needed so easy 5 star.


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