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Chris (London, UK)

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The Time Traveller's Guide to Elizabethan England
The Time Traveller's Guide to Elizabethan England
Price: 4.68

5.0 out of 5 stars Take a walk through Elizabethan England, 24 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
History books are notoriously bad at holding the interest of many readers. The are typically a long read, and even If they start out with a memorable event, they all too soon descend into little more than a list of people and dates with little in the way of context. Historians seem to be a dour group who live in a bygone time in an apparent attempt to escape the modern world, and its social heirs and graces such as humour.

However, Ian Mortimer is a witty and interesting writer. He not only has a refreshing way of looking at the past from a contemporary perspective (repeatedly comparing modern England to then) but he also writes with an interesting and factual style.
It is almost like a sense of adventure that I find myself reading about many of the horrors of Elizabethan society. This is perhaps why the book is named such: The Time Traveller's Guide to Elizabethan England. This allows us to understand that the writer is not just recounting the data from the past, but he is interpreting the information and giving us an experience of the past.

I've really enjoyed this book. If you have even a passing interest in this time, then I know you will enjoy this book.


Kitchen Craft Master Class Quarry Marble Rolling Pin and Stand
Kitchen Craft Master Class Quarry Marble Rolling Pin and Stand
Price: 16.16

5.0 out of 5 stars An incredibly sturdy utensil, 24 Jan 2014
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What can you say about rolling pins? They are what they are, and I would have to be a tele-shopping presenter in order to be able to describe the positive attributes of them. However, compared to all the others I saw recently in a high street store, this is by far the heaviest and most impressive of them. I remember how in the old comedy sketches, wives would threaten to beat their husbands around the head with a rolling pin. Those were made of wood whilst this one is made of marble, and even tapping someone's bonce with this would most likely kill or maim them.

It comes with its own little stand, which allows it to take pride of place in your kitchen as a kind of ornamental piece. It is a thing of beauty and much nicer than those basic wooden or plastic ones. We have black marble counter tops so the rolling pin just adds to the kitchen.

The only bad thing that I can mention is that I've seen several retailers selling exactly the same rolling pin using their own brand. There is no maker's mark or label on it, so I can only presume that these are all sourced from the same origin and then sold as their own product. The price is always around the same - just under 20 too.


Jewelry-Schmidt-Collier / Necklace with Emerald / White Topaz Heart Pendant Silver 925 Rhodium-1, 67 carats
Jewelry-Schmidt-Collier / Necklace with Emerald / White Topaz Heart Pendant Silver 925 Rhodium-1, 67 carats
Offered by schmuck-schmidt-24
Price: 244.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Cheaper build quality and gemstones than illustrated, 24 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I am terrible when choosing presents. Often I wait until the last minute before frantically running around trying to find the right gift. However, this is my secret because almost always Amazon comes to the rescue. However, last year I needed to get a Christmas present for my woman, and having decided that I was getting her a necklace, I found myself scouring the Amazon marketplace.

Enter this Jewelry-Schmidt pendant. I wanted emeralds because those are her birth stone, and after looking at many nice looking ones, I settled on one of the more expensive ones I could find. It was only a few days before Christmas when it arrived, and I ripped open the parcel and packaging to examine this object.

I was somewhat disappointed if I am being honest. The Amazon pictures are limited to show just the front of the pendant which should have rang alarm bells, and when I examined it, I could see that not only were the emeralds very anaemic looking - they were also irregularly set - as though someone had chucked them in using superglue and not much else. In addition, the silver is not very lustrous, and the irregular stones mean that I would have to have professionals clean the pendant in order to avoid disturbing the stones.

In addition, the silver mount is very flimsy, being concave and showing a rough back to the pendant. It would have been better to polish the interior or attach something to hide it. Instead it just makes it look even cheaper. I was not happy but as it was coming up to Christmas, and this was the main present, I packaged it as best I could and after giving her all her other gifts, I handed her this one.

Fortunately, she is an angel and was over the moon that I had got her something else. A pendant that is over 300 isn't the sort that she wants to wear everyday, so we agreed to get a cheap 20 one for everyday use. The thing is, the finish on the piece of high street tack is of a higher quality than the Jewelry-Schmidt pendant!

Stay clear. Jewelry is notoriously variable in quality and just because something is expensive means nothing. Naivé people like myself will often end up making someone very wealthy through buying their expensive trinkets.


Le Creuset 26 cm Cast Iron Square Grillit, Marseille Blue
Le Creuset 26 cm Cast Iron Square Grillit, Marseille Blue
Price: 76.50

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the sturdiest implements for your kitchen, 24 Jan 2014
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Capable of everything including frying, grilling, frying, barbecuing, and baking without losing its new quality, this cookware is a useful thing to have in your kitchen. Le Creuset has gained a lot of popularity over the last few years, being sold in all the quality big name stores such as John Lewis, Lakeland, etc. There is a reason for this. Their products are one of the best that you can get without going to specialist chef's kitchenware retailers.

This skillet - or grillit as it calls itself - is great for preparing anything in. I bought mine for my girlfriend for Christmas after she requested a generic one. I thought I would get her a decent one, but when it arrived she nearly dropped it due to the sheer weight. This is the one bad point about it. The cast iron material makes this almost as heavy as lead, and if you've got weak hands or wrists like my girlfriend, then you may struggle not to drop it. Never a good thing to drop when you have it full of boiling oil!

Yet despite this, I love this pan. Its attractive colouring makes it stand out to guests, and the sheer quality of the build means that if you treat it well, you will get a lifetime of usage out of it. This is the last grillit that most cooks will ever need. It is a little pricey for some people, but those are the people who will buy several replacement grillit pans over their lifetime - ultimately spending more on the replacements than the Le Creuset costs.

A definite addition for all wannabe chef's kitchens.


Real Drum with Light Effects
Real Drum with Light Effects
Price: 0.00

1.0 out of 5 stars Awful malware disguised as an app, 24 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Real Drum with Light Effects (App)
I love to play the drums. For when I cannot play due to limited access (for example, when I am on the bus or train to work), I like to keep a collection of apps installed on my Kindle Fire to give me that satisfaction.

Unfortunately, the Kindle Fire is poor at multi-channel I/O. Almost all the apps have a delay problem when trying to click something on the screen, then something a split second later. This lag is not important when reading but when trying to play virtual drums, it is terrible. Even the most rhythmic of us will sound like absolute amateurs when trying to tap out a beat. Despite this, I still try them out in the hope that one day something will defeat this hurdle.

Some of the apps out there almost manage it, and even if they don't, they at least give it a good try. Not so with "Real Drum with Light Effects". Not only does it load slow, and play inadequately when more than one drum is simultaneously clicked, but it also has some of the worst default drum samples loaded by default. Instead of a nice standard five piece drum kit, you get a collection of a snare, a bass drum, a splash, a crash, and a SINGLE tom! This wouldn't be so bad if those default drum played the actual sounds that you would expect from those drum descriptions. Oh no - the creator of this app seems to know nothing about drums - as they have assigned electronica samples to the drums.

The worst is still to come. Before you even get through to the drums, you'll be presented with no less than two sets of terms and conditions. These are normal in games, so most people will simply click "accept" as they will believe that the terms and conditions refer to the app itself but this is not the case. Instead, this app will install adware and spyware on your device. This will cause adverts to pop into your device's toolbar, and these will remain long after you remove the RDwLE app.

Frankly - I am shocked that Amazon allow this kind of dross to be sold for their devices. This app should be banned from the app store. Keep well away!!!!


Dashlane Password Manager
Dashlane Password Manager
Price: 0.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kindle's port of a useful desktop application, 3 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Dashlane Password Manager (App)
Intro
-----
I'm always forgetting my passwords. Those that I do remember, I have either written down or are reused so many times that if any one of the accounts that use them were to be hacked, it would not be difficult to hack the others. Apparently this is an all too common problem.

Pro's
-----
Dashlane enters where most web browsers stop in their password management efforts. Much like LastPass, the idea is that you defer all password management to the application which then logs you into sites when you visit them. It was also ahead of LastPass and other competitors in its attempts to increase the security level of an individual's password profile. For example, it will look to repetition of passwords, or weak passwords (such as those consisting of only a few, all lower case, all alphabetical or numerical characters) and will produce a security score. You can then login to those sites that do not pass the Dashlane standards, and change the passwords to something more secure. A further feature is that Dashlane will generate its own passwords for you. These are complex passwords which would be very difficult to randomly calculate. It also features 2-step authentication - an incredible feature that basically recognises the device and location you are connecting from. If it doesn't recognise your location, you will have to enter a code that Dashlane sends to you through your mobile or email - in the same way that Google and a few other Internet services are implementing. Dashlane really comes into its own with the ability to backup to the cloud - provided you get a paid account - and this is very handy especially with the ability to save all your credit card details and purchase receipts in Dashlane's databases.

Cons
----
Nothing is ever as simple as it first appears, and Dashlane does sometimes give me browser problems. Sometimes I visit a website, and instead of it automatically logging me in or asking me for my master password (for those accounts you want extra security on), it will just sit there doing nothing, and no amount of clicking the application or uninstalling and reinstalling will stop this from happening. My only option is to exit Dashlane. Not just quit the application but because it appears to still run in the background (according to Windows Task Manager) I have to terminate the process. Another issue I have with the product is that it doesn't always play well with some sites and their subdomains. I work in web development, and often host temporary sites locally. They will often have the URL http://localhost or http://localhost:3170 or http://mysite.local. In many of these cases, no matter how many times I tell it to, it just will not remember the password.

Conclusion
----------
Dashlane on Kindle is an obvious application for all existing Dashlane users, and will be essential for anyone using the Kindle Fire and it's browser. However, I feel that due to the lack of serious use at present on Kindle of serious web applications, it will always be a handy extra rather than something that people want to buy for its features. It also has some issues that I can only hope they will sort out in the near future with software updates and patches. The strange thing is that many of my colleagues swear by it, and have no problems. It seems I am just unlucky in some ways. The other main point is that Dashlane is still by far the most attractive looking password management application. LastPass recently upgraded its interface but it seems a little late to the party. Dashlane is the slick cousin that threatens to steal the show. I'm going to have to find a lot more issues with it before I go back to LastPass.

Try it. You might just like it. Plus - can you ever really put a price on security?


Panaracer Flataway Tyre Liner 700C PC -
Panaracer Flataway Tyre Liner 700C PC -
Offered by Cycle Surgery
Price: 11.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Expensive but invaluable, 14 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Just as with IT network staff, the sure sign that something is good is when it is not noticed. This product is similar to our IT guy at work in that we only notice him when something goes wrong. The other day I realised that he was doing a fantastic job because our Internet hadn't gone down in some time. Many of my colleagues never even gave him a second thought, and this is the same principal by which we have to judge our liners.

On average, most of us do not sit around every day wondering at the marvel that is our lack of punctures, but it is precisely this metric that indicates to me how good this product actually is. I usually average a puncture a week, but haven't had one since using this Tyre Liner in several months!

Panracer Flataway Tyre Liner is made of Kevlar - the same thing that bullet proof vest are made from, and it seems a good choice. The material is soft and flexible, but incredibly strong. Try to cut it and you will see just how tough it is.

All in all - I have a sense of relief that this stuff is wrapped around my tyres. It does the job and I am confident that it will continue to do so. I highly recommend it as it is very easy to fit.


The Lies of Locke Lamora
The Lies of Locke Lamora
Price: 1.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great gritty book in the style of Prince of Thorns, and co., 12 Oct 2013
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My first love of fantasy books was the whole AD&D series, which I read as a teenager. However, as I grew more mature I realised that there was a disparity between adult fiction and fantasy. The protagonist shouldn't always be a whiter than white individual - just as many of us have various shades of grey. In order for me to trust a character, I have to share an understanding of a characters outlook on the world. In TLoLL, gritty characters show you all the nastiness of a medieval-style existence. Poverty meant that far from bowing to each other and wearing our hats at jaunty angles, we have always had a money-oriented view of the world. Without money, life is harsh. This is something we might forget in our lives - surrounded by charitable organisations that offer beds to the homeless - but the characters in this story never forget that they must earn money by hook or (more often) by crook. Sold as a slave boy, our main character is anything but a "good" person. He causes nothing but trouble wherever he goes and the story is based around his misadventures. It is very similar to Mark Lawrence's, "Prince of Thorns" or George R. R. Martin, "Song of Ice and Fire". Fans of those would really be doing a good thing by purchasing this book. Everyone else would find an entertaining yet somewhat dark story set in a city of thieves.


Nike Air Max Command Anthracite Silver Grey Trainers (397689 077) (UK 13 US 14 EUR 48.5)
Nike Air Max Command Anthracite Silver Grey Trainers (397689 077) (UK 13 US 14 EUR 48.5)

5.0 out of 5 stars Smart looking, comfortable, and easy to clean - what more could you want from a trainer?, 4 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have always bought Nike, and in particular Nike Air Max trainers. They proudly become my 94th pair ever owned. Sometimes I have to go for another shoe in Nike range because the shop fails to stock my size. Luckily, this supplier had a good stock level (having a sized 13 foot is effectively a disability you know!). I've always regretted using a different trainer, because the Air Max range always seem designed for a little more street than the other brands. For example, a lot of the other trainers use materials that are harder to clean. They will scuff, and eventually look worn.

This particular brand are no different from their successful ancestors. They are durable, comfortable, and they look good. They have a soft cloth upper - in keeping with the other Nike Air Max range - but the difference with this pair is that they are darker than others. This means they hide any stains better. I've previously found that white laces, while looking smart at the beginning, eventually appear grubby. Not so with this pair as most of the trainer is darker in colour, but the shoe maintains a smart style by having a white trim to the sole. This basically highlights the trainers, and because it is the toughest part of the trainer, it can be easily cleaned using a baby / face wipe.

All in all - these appear to be great trainers. I can tell within a day if trainers are going to last. These ones most definitely are.


Before They Are Hanged: The First Law: Book Two
Before They Are Hanged: The First Law: Book Two
Price: 5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Second successful story, 13 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There can be no doubt that Joe Abercrombie is one of the best of modern day fiction authors. He writes on an epic scale but manages not to lose the reader. In person, he is a charismatic and witty individual, which shows in his books. Suspenseful chapters are touched with humanity and an easy prose. I am an avid fan now!


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