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Caramba (Scotland)

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Bose ® Companion ® 2 Series III Multimedia Speaker System
Bose ® Companion ® 2 Series III Multimedia Speaker System
Price: £89.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not enough volume, not enough bass., 13 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The speakers come nicely packaged in lots of sturdy plastic (so not too environmentally friendly) with the usual instructions in multiple languages, although the set-up is pretty straightforward. The only bit where you might need a glance at the instructions is connecting the power supply, the little adaptor has a built-in folding flat 2 pin plug that clicks(not entirely convincingly) onto a UK 3 pin adaptor or 2 pin round plug, giving you an adaptor plug with the lead sticking out the top (which in my case required a bit of rearranging of plugs to accommodate it).
Once plugged in to my Mac, I-Player on, turn the volume switch on & music comes out. Nice & straightforward.
I tried it on a small range of music genres (light pop, cello heavy classical, & rock) - the sound is clear, but a bit too "light" for me (my Roberts DAB/dock is found & boomy, the Bose speakers are light & delicate), but the big decider for me was the volume. Sitting at my computer with the speakers right in front of me, I turned the speakers all the way up...& I sat there listening to a fairly comfortable level of volume with the speakers less than 2 feet from me. Not deafening, not even a touch too loud. Very disappointing.
So I am returning the speakers. They're probably perfect if you want just a clearer sound than your computer provides, or to listen to fairly gentle music in an otherwise quiet environment, but it you like loud music, or like me, you want to play music through your computer while you do stuff elsewhere in a medium-sized room, then this is not for you.


Tales from the Old School of Tattooing
Tales from the Old School of Tattooing
by Sean Hobden
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.13

1.0 out of 5 stars What tattooers did when they weren't working., 21 Feb. 2015
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The book starts well with stories of British tattooing in the 1970s, but sadly, after about 25 pages it descends into stories of practical jokes & drunk lads mucking about. Only the names of the old guard of British tattooing raise this above similair stories you'd hear down the pub. Depends what kind of book you want I suppose, if you want accounts of actually tattooing in britain, then Ron Ackers' autobiography is a better bet, if you want a book of what tattooers got up to when they had a few drinks, then this is the book for you.


Mau Moko: The World of Maori Tattoo
Mau Moko: The World of Maori Tattoo
by Ngahuia Te Awekotuku
Edition: Paperback
Price: £39.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Maori tattoo's place in maori culture, 21 Feb. 2015
This book reads like it was written as an academic thesis on tattooing in maori culture ancient & modern. The authors have clearly done a lot of research, there is a wealth of short excerpts from early accounts of maori culture, through more recent academic articles & finally, excerpts from interviews with modern tattooed maoris. However, this all reads like it was written by authors with little or no knowledge of tattooing (some aspects of tattooing or being tattooed are treated as being exclusive to the maori cultural experience), & it is aimed squarely at a readership well versed in maori culture & language. Both the authors & their interviewees regularly use maori words not included in their brief glossary of maori terms, as a european I was frequently unsure if a term used referred to a person, publication, building, town, tribal group, etc.. It even took me a while to figure out that when the word "moko" is used they usually just mean a maori-style tattoo, most tattoo books use "moko" to refer (presumably inaccurately) to maori face tattoos only.
Overall the book gives a good overview of maori tattoo culture with an emphasis on its place in contemporary traditional culture, & it is well illustrated throughout with early illustrations of tattooed maori, photos of modern tattooed maori, tattoo tools (ancient & modern) & related artefacts, although there are occasional odd commissions - patterns described in the text are not always shown, & the short mention of preserved heads has no accompanying picture (or any comment on the tattoos they preserve).
The book would benefit from information on the tattoo art & design (the connection with traditional wood carving is often mentioned but not explained in any depth), the use of maori tattoo in gang culture & prison tattooing (clearly indicated in Neleman's book "Moko"), a clearer discussion of who is classed (by themselves or others) as "maori" (if it is believed that only maori should be entitled to wear these tattoos does this just mean those with a genetic link to the ancient maori, regardless of their participation in maori society, or can one "convert to "maori"?), & most importantly extensive notes & translations for readers not versed in the language & culture of New Zealand.

Overall, an impressive addition to the literature of Moko, Maori culture, & indigenous tattooing, that I hope will be extended & enlarged to become the definitive book that the publicity tries to tell us this is.


Jumbo LCD Radio Controlled Digital Wall Clock (Technoline WS 8005 M)
Jumbo LCD Radio Controlled Digital Wall Clock (Technoline WS 8005 M)
Offered by BatteryLogic
Price: £19.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Won't connect to radio signal., 19 Feb. 2015
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This clock is almost identical to a Precision wall clock I have, the only visible differences being the name on the frame & the date & month are in American format on the Precision clock (month then date), & in British format on the Techno-Line (date then month). However, while the Precision clock can pick up the Atomic clock radio signal in my flat or in my shop with ease, the Techno-line clock can't.
This clock arrived set to the correct time & date, & showing the little satellite dish logo to show it had been set by the Atomic clock overnight, in the couple of months since then it has completely failed to connect to the signal again. So basically I have just a normal LCD clock with no self-setting ability.
Also the display is only sharp when viewed from an angle, looking at it straight on it looks fuzzy, as if the screen was misted.
(To add insult to injury, the batteries that were in the clock ran out within the first week - ex-display?)


Danish Tattooing
Danish Tattooing
by Jon Nordstrøm
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars overall a nice photo book of the history of Danish tattooing, 4 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Danish Tattooing (Paperback)
Although Nordstrom's "Danish Tattooing" is less impressive than his "Nordic Tattooing" (paperback instead of hardback, about 20 pages thinner, & a chunk smaller) it is fairly similar - short (usually 1/2 page) biographies of 14 tattooers in english & Dutch, accompanied by lots of photos of tattooers, tattoo shops, antique tattoo machines, clients, a few pages of newspaper clippings, & 31 pages of flash sheets. The book covers Danish tattooing from 1895 up to the present day, but is mostly concerned with the 1960s biker era tattooing.
This is quite a pricey book for it's size, but you're unlikely to find this information presented in any other one book. For me the pictures were the big draw, and the book is well illustrated with lots of period photos, many of them full page.
So, overall a nice photo book of the history of Danish tattooing, the pictures being more photos than drawings or flash makes this feel more of a snapshot of the industry than of the art itself (compared to the Nordic Tattooing book which is mostly flash). A fine addition to any tattoo fan's bookshelf, shame it won't a hardback though.


THE REGIMENTS OF SCOTLAND: THEIR HISTORIES, BADGES, TARTANS,ETC.
THE REGIMENTS OF SCOTLAND: THEIR HISTORIES, BADGES, TARTANS,ETC.
by J.B. Kirkwood
Edition: Hardcover

3.0 out of 5 stars A nice vintage (1949) summary of the Scottish Regiments., 18 Sept. 2014
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This is a nice little book with short summaries of each Scottish Regiment, generally 2 pages of the regiments history & more famous incidents, lists of Battle Honours & Victoria Crosses awarded, information on the Regimental Tartan, Regimental March, Regimental Journal, & Regimental Association. All this adds up to about 3 pages of information for each regiment prefaces with an illustration of the cap badge.
I bought this expecting more illustrations & was disappointed to find that the only illustrations are the drawings of the badges heading each section. No pictures of the tartans, or of the uniform, etc., so for me it's a disappointing book, but if you're after a nice concise overview of the Scottish Regiments then this could be the book for you.


Brother Original LC1100HYBK High Yield Black Cartridge LC1100HB
Brother Original LC1100HYBK High Yield Black Cartridge LC1100HB
Price: £16.04

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not suitable for Vegans, Vegetarians, Hindus, ..., 3 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The cartridge took about 20 pages of printing before it started printing properly, but this may have been due to bad storage or something - I contacted Brother about it, but they had no suggestions & seemed fairly disinterested. After the 20 pages the cartridge works perfectly though, printing nice solid pigment ink black.

However, these inks contain Glycerin. Brother says "Some of the Glycerin in our inks may be derived from Beef Tallow Oil." & "We’d have to conclude the ink is not suitable for vegan use." So if you are morally or religiously opposed to boiled cow in your ink, you might want to avoid Brother inks.


Serenity: The Shepherd's Tale: 3 (Serenity (Dark Horse))
Serenity: The Shepherd's Tale: 3 (Serenity (Dark Horse))
by Dave Stewart
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.34

3.0 out of 5 stars Back-story rather than story., 27 May 2014
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This short book (only 48 pages of story) does what it sets out to, it's a prequel to the Serenity movie, filling in Shepherd Book's mysterious background in a series of short flashbacks taking us in stages backwards from the Serenity movie back to his childhood. This obviously means that the rest of the Firefly crew barely appear, but then this is Shepherd's story, not a Firefly episode. While Book's back-story is something viewers have been waiting for for a long time it's presented here as a series of events rather than as a story, so rather than a tale in which we learn about Book's dark past, instead we get his life flashing before him, which may have worked beautifully within the context of a larger story, but her it feels a bit like reading a resume.

The artwork is lovely inky brushwork by Chris Samnee, with colour by Dave Stewart, reminding me a lot of Batman Year One. The art's nice & clear & easy to follow (unlike a lot of modern comics) & Samnee nicely captures Book's likeness (the brief cameos of the other Firefly characters fare less well, relying on clothes & hair colour to identify them, but it's still clear who's who).

The story by Zack Whedon is based on an outline by Joss Whedon (judging by comments in Zack's Afterword Joss' outline was probably extremely sparse), so don't expect anything recognizable as Joss Whedon's work (no funny bits or quirky language, not even any imaginative cursing in Chinese).

Overall this is a nice read with excellent art, that fills us in on the backstory that the TV series never got a chance to tell, but the brevity of the book means that this feels more like information than entertainment. This is not the way the story would've been told if it had been told in the Firefly series, but it's the only option we've got. So 5 stars for finally giving us the backstory we've been waiting for, but cut back to 3 for not feeling like a lost episode of Firefly.

Maybe it would've worked better as an audio adventure read by Ron Glass (Book in the series), similair to the Doctor Who audios.


Window mannequin Male Matt White
Window mannequin Male Matt White
Offered by Qubeat GmbH
Price: £109.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Basic single-pose shop dummy, 11 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Window mannequin Male Matt White
A straightforward fibreglass clothes-display mannequin.
It comes in 7 parts (head & torso; left arm; right arm; left hand; right hand; hips & right leg; left leg) plus a stand (a square glass platform with a metal arm that screws together through the glass & slots into the back of the right calf).
It's pretty tall, standing about 190cm (6ft 3inches) on the stand, & built like superman (31inch waist, with a jutting 38 chest), with very pronounced musclature on the torso, although the forearms are strangely chubby & undefined, with fat wrists at the seam where the hands screw on. The feet & ankles are similairly fat & clunky looking.
The whole thing slots together fairly easily, just as well, since it doesn't come with any form of instructions. The limbs only fit in one position, the mannequin cannot be re-posed.

Assembly tips - place the hip/leg upsides down on the ground (having removed the connector screw & cone) to make it easier to attach the other leg. Stick some feltfeet or tape around the hole through the glass plate before screwing the metal through it, this'll help stop chipping the glass when you're assembling it (it's tempered glass & will chip very easily). You might want to stick some feet on the glass too, since strangely the stand doesn't come with feet.

So, fairly run-of-the-mill shop dummy, the only big downsides are that you can't pose the dummy, & the glass stand is a bit too fragile.


Charles Fréger - Wilder Mann
Charles Fréger - Wilder Mann
by Charles Fréger
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.73

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scary monsters! but in German only., 7 Jun. 2013
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A lovely, & slightly weird book.
Nearly all photos, most of them full page (14x18cm) of strange traditional European wildman performers in costume. The photos are simple shots of the performers in the landscape looking like monsters from a Jan svankmayer movie, or perhaps a particulary scary episode of Dr Who. The text is fairly concise - a short introduction (6 pages), an overview of the ritual costumes in Europe (7 pages) & 20 pages of information on the photos with details of the festivals.
A lovely book, just a shame it's all in German, fingers crossed for an affordable English language edition (currently this edition is 1/4 of the price of the English version).


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