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Gizmophobic
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American Kid
American Kid
Price: 21.98

8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite the ticket, 17 May 2013
This review is from: American Kid (Audio CD)
From the title I'm guessing the inspiration for this album as the artist's childhood, although it's hardly entirely autobiographical . Nine of the 12 tracks are Griffin credited, with two giving Plant a co-credit. The only non original helps bring the rating down a star. The cd I was playing before I put this one on was Willie Nelson's twofor-Red headed stranger/To Lefty from Willie-I bought it for the former title and wasn't very familiar with the Lefty Frizell songs on the latter so was expecting the worst when the first track was pure cornball country in the form of "Mum and Dad's waltz"- with lyrics such as "Cause I'm happy and I pray every day for mom and pappy". It was pap like this that put me off country music for decades before being tempted back in by the likes of Steve Earle, Buddy Miller and indeed Patty Griffin. Imagine the bad karma then when the same song cropped up smack in the middle of this one. I guess it must be a favourite of Patty's, or maybe is included for her late father whom the cd is dedicated to. Unfortunately it's very much a schmaltz on the landscape, as it was on the Nelson cd (which improved markedly on subsequent tracks).
Most of the rest of the cd is very fine indeed. I was a little disappointed that the Dickinson brothers weren't allowed to stretch out a bit more but was equally relieved that Robert Plant largely stays in the background. That said the 2 co-written tracks are considerably weaker than most of the Griffin originals.
The production is agreeably sparse throughout, with the instrumentation dominated by guitars, and mandolin . (There is something called an omnichord on the final track which I could have done without.) Nearly all of the tracks are rather plain ballads, the exception is the excellent "Don't let me die in Florida", which has an edgy business that could have put it on Buddy Miller album.
Overall a fine entry into the collection from a fine artist but I'm still left feeling a little short changed.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 22, 2013 6:22 PM BST


Alfred Hitchcock's America (PALS-Polity America Through the Lens series)
Alfred Hitchcock's America (PALS-Polity America Through the Lens series)
by Murray Pomerance
Edition: Paperback
Price: 14.91

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reads without a hitch., 8 May 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I enjoyed this take on Hitchcock's American films. Its pretty much a series of essays on various aspects of how the America of the time was interpretated and in turn was an influence in shaping these movies. There are 5 chapters; 'scapes', 'personalities', 'values', 'social form' and 'marriage'. Much of it rings true (and novel) to me, e.g. I hadn't noticed there was not a happy marriage in evidence in any of the films. However I think it might be stretching it a bit to suggest as the author does, that this reflects the U.S.'s relationship with the U.K..(I'd have thought in the light of the recent focus of the old master's rather suspect interest in Tippi Hedren and the like that the finger could be pointed at a different, more domestic target.) I understand the author is a professor of sociology. Thankfully he mainly keeps the book accessible to the non academic however he does fall into the often distracting habit of liberal use of extensive footnotes. These are often facinating in themselves but equally often seem to have been included for their entertainment value rather than further illumination of the arguments discussed. Either way it might have been better to put them at the end of the book rather than the end of almost every page.
Overall its an entertaining and stimulating read. It does make me want to watch all the movies again, then again that doesn't take much..........


Comply S-400 Active Earphone Tips (Medium) - Charcoal Black 3 pairs
Comply S-400 Active Earphone Tips (Medium) - Charcoal Black 3 pairs
Price: 9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Comfy , non slip result, 7 May 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
These are everything you would hope when fitted to compatible earphones. Mine are Panasonic-sorry don't have the number but I had to remove the clear plastic cones and replace with these. The fit is immediately better with improved, although not complete, isolation of extranaous sounds. As I cycle with these I'm glad I'm still able to hear traffic. The two big pluses though are improved comfort and much less chance of them slipping out. As to sound there may be a slight dampening but its hard to detect and only the most picky would complain or even notice it. Overall fit for purpose and with 3 pairs will probably outlast the phones.


Tonino Lamborghini KS-6024 2400W Electric Chainsaw
Tonino Lamborghini KS-6024 2400W Electric Chainsaw
Price: 126.62

5.0 out of 5 stars Formula 1 performance, 7 May 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
What red-blooded person can fail to be excited by the prospect of using a chainsaw? This one is no disappointment. It comes out of the box fully assembled, but should you need to take it apart to clean it, or replace the chain no tools are required. A single captive bolt attached to an easy to turn knob holds the drive cover and the blade in place, and the only other adjustment is the chain tension which is set using a knurled wheel.

Once out of the box and with the chain tensioned according to the instructions all you need do is fill with chainsaw oil, plug in the power and you're ready to go.

It cuts easily through tree branches 20cm in diameter (I had nothing bigger) in a matter of seconds with no drag. The power compared well with a petrol chainsaw I have borrowed before. When you release the trigger the chain stops immediately, which seems like a very good safety feature. All in all a fine piece of kit.


The Hobbit
The Hobbit
by J. R. R. Tolkien
Edition: Audio CD
Price: 9.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Solid BBC audio dramatisation, 28 April 2013
This review is from: The Hobbit (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A 1969 BBC radio production of Tolkein's classic. Unlike Peter Jackson's contribution this stays very faithful to the book as I remember it. There were a couple of surprises in pronouciation-Gan-dalf?-Toreen? still you'd think the BBC should know so maybe Jackson got it wrong. Its pretty light on sound effects and does have a dated feel to it but I've no problem with that.


Einhell 4173737 Hose Trolley BG-HR 60 Z Blue
Einhell 4173737 Hose Trolley BG-HR 60 Z Blue
Price: 35.31

1.0 out of 5 stars Sending me off my trolley, 28 April 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've had a few assembly problems with various products in the past but have always got there in the end. I've now spent about 2 hrs with this over 3 sessions and its still in bits in the garage. The first problem is there is no text in the instructions just a series of 26 pictures-you're probably better of with the help of the picture on the box-I have finally managed to get the thing almost together, with the obligatory screws left over but there is very little margin for error in assembling the trolley chasis to the drum-there is just a plastic screw which is supposed to cover both ends of the individual metal poles. I really can't see this taking the weight -I haven't even put a hose on it let alone pushed it around the garden and its collapsed every time. This could of course be my incompetence but I somehow doubt it. I may have another go when there is less to do in the garden but I can see me just using the drum and chucking the rest-be warned.


Lexar 16GB JumpDrive S70 USB Flash Drive Memory Stick
Lexar 16GB JumpDrive S70 USB Flash Drive Memory Stick
Price: 8.49

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Convenient portable back up, 16 Mar 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Not much I can add here to existing reviews. This provides a reasonably secure and convenient way of transferring data without lugging your laptop around. I guess you could save a couple of quid with other products but this works well wth my laptop so hard to fault.


Positive Psychology in a Nutshell: The Science of Happiness
Positive Psychology in a Nutshell: The Science of Happiness
by Ilona Boniwell
Edition: Paperback
Price: 11.03

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Count your blessings you haven't bought this, 16 Mar 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I attended a workshop in positive psychology a few months back and while having mixed feelings about the approach I did find it interesting enough to warrant further investigation. Unfortunately this book offers little to encourage me in pursuing it.
It starts promisingly enough by putting the case that much of psychological therapy is somewhat constrained by the disease model. A fair point and those of us who have experience of the `coal face' of NHS mental health work will recognise the tendency to prioritise addressing deficits rather than promoting strengths. One reason of course is that resources are more limited than ever and the more serious cases will always be the priority. However I first heard the rather disparaging phrase `the worried well' 25 years ago , and even then ` strength spotting' in clients would not be the priority for most health professionals. That said many contemporary approaches, including CBT and EMDR for example, do take account of clients' resources in shaping interventions. Similarly many of the therapeutic `tips and tools' the author offers up here are well known to therapists from other backgrounds, e.g. pleasant event scheduling is common in the behavioural approach to depression and lifestyle balance approaches are well documented in the relapse prevention literature.
The fact that not a lot is actually new here may partly account for the rather desperately evangelical tone of much of the book. This makes for a rather irritating read overall. There is a huge use of exclamation marks and worse still is the tendency to ask repeated questions to make a point. Is this irritating? Does it ease communication? Is it lazy? See what I mean?
The biggest problem of all is the attempt to back up opinions by selectively referencing articles with very little attempt at balance. Two examples jump out at the first reading. On listing `interesting facts about well being', (p46) we have, "Watching soap operas enhances well being." This is not a fact but a finding and indeed later contradicted on p72 , ".. people squander about a third of their free time in front of their T.V. screens......". The real doozie though is the assertion that "not smiling in childhood photographs almost certainly predicted subsequent divorce."!!!!!!!!!!!!! My turn.
Overall then this has the rigour and tone of a mediocre 6th form essay. It hasn't completely put me of the subject but it was close.


Citizen Men's Eco-Drive Two-Tone Watch #BM6544-51A
Citizen Men's Eco-Drive Two-Tone Watch #BM6544-51A

3.0 out of 5 stars 6 years in and toast, 11 Mar 2013
I've had this six years and its given excellent service but started to become increasingly difficult to charge over last few months, funnily enough just as its out of warranty. Now it won't hold charge over 24 hours so pretty much uselss. Quotes from local jewellers (who say they have to send it to makers), start at 70-watchdoctors online have just quoted me 90----so attached to it as I am-looks as good as the day I got it-its looking like landfill-goes against the grain given that I got it to avoid the battery replacement but the cost (without another warranty over 12 months) seems prohibitive given the price of a replacement )probably from another maker). Any ideas?


UKayed 48 DVD/CD Padded Storage Wallet In Black
UKayed 48 DVD/CD Padded Storage Wallet In Black
Offered by Etrade247 Ltd
Price: 4.99

2.0 out of 5 stars limited use, 20 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
You don't always get what you pay for or even pay for what you get but in this case I wish I'd gone for a better quality product-I bought 3- zip broke on one first time out-it now stays open-as others have pointed out the plastic sleeves are very flimsy and so wrinkle and stick-just about possible to get 48 cds and shut but if you are flicking through often or even regularly handling they will not last-archive use only.


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