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PelvicSurgeon (NYC Area)

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1.0 out of 5 stars Made My Cat Mad at Me, 2 Jan. 2014
The package says, "Mixes like putty, bonds like epoxy, hardens like steel," when really it should read, "Mixes like day-old Play-Doh, bonds like library paste, hardens like . . . something that never ever hardens."

The directions for use advise to roughen the surface to which you expect this to adhere, which I did. Then, to activate the putty, the directions advise the user to knead the product which will then become warm. That makes sense; an exothermic reaction between its components will allow for adherence. Though logical, it doesn't happen appreciably. I kneaded and kneaded with very little warmth to the product at all. Still, I persevered, affixing the two roughened edges of plastic together with a suitable amount of this ever so slightly warmed putty. Finally, after several maneuvers, I got it to adhere and clamped the plastic on either side of the repair overnight. The next day, it remained as putty-like as it was to begin with, despite package claims that it, "sets up in 5 minutes."

And just how pray tell did this product ruin the trusting relationship I had with my cat, Bruce? Well, you see, years ago when he was just a wee kitten, I bought him a (then quite pricey) electronic cat toy that utilized fuzzy logic to create random motion (it was the first generation of its kind). It was, of course his very favorite toy to use during my sixteen hour absences from home (a girl's gotta work to buy cat toys, after all), until one of the humans in our life crammed it into a confined space of inadequate height, thus snapping the swing arm in half. Despite my diligence and mad internet shopping skillz, I was unable to find a suitable replacement. Electrical tape failed to provide an adequate or lasting repair. The toy, with which neither of us could bear to part, with relegated to my to-be-repaired shelf for at least two years.

Then one day, while reading reviews as part of a search for the ultimate cordless phone system, I happened upon a recommendation for this product from another reviewer, who claimed that it would work perfectly to repair the regularly prematurely breaking earpiece of a Panasonic phone system (about which many reviewers of the phone system had complained). I purchased both the phone and the QuikSteel that day, promising Bruce, the cat man, that I'd finally repair his toy. Both items were Prime Eligible at that time.

Poor Bruce anxiously awaited the arrival of the QuikSteel, even running to answer the doorbell several times in the intervening two days.

Finally, the miracle cure for his toyless woes arrived. He patiently sat by while I rigorously kneaded the putty. He checked on his clamped toy multiple times during the 24-hour cure time. When the time came, and I gently removed the clamp, his toy was in pieces again before we even managed to turn it on once. He stayed mad for days, and I think just a bit of his trust eroded that day.

So, keep your cat happy and do not buy this product. And if you don't have a cat, don't buy it anyway, because it doesn't work at all.

The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking
The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking
by Jeff Hertzberg
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.42

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now with Weight and Volume Measurements for All Ingredients, 2 Jan. 2014
While I admit that the authors have omitted the rise and bake times in their statement that these artisans loaves can be routinely enjoyed at home with only 5 minutes per day, their explanation for their reasoning is quite valid. Their, "5 minutes," includes active time, time that must be solely devoted to the process. During the rising, resting, chilling, and baking, the artisan can be doing other things and therefore the time is not really devoted to the bread.

The bottom line is that you cannot decide to have this bread and eat it, let alone just have it, in a mere five minutes. That said, five minutes now can, indeed, give you great bread later on in the same day. And I simply cannot imagine a lifestyle that is truly busy enough to preclude carving out the requisite daily five minutes for this delicious, inexpensive, and nutritional bread. Believe me, if I can do it, then so can you, but it does require just a bit of planning.

I must admit here that I did cheat a bit. Having heard about this wondrous technique, I went directly to the authors' website to learn more about it. I then proceeded to make the Basic Recipe, without ever purchasing the book. Then I graduated to Brioche, Pannetone, and Hot Cross Buns, all courtesy of the instructions on the website. My family and I have been enjoying the fruits of these authors' labors for several weeks now. I began to feel guilty for having exploited the authors, and decided that I really ought to buy at least one copy of the book. That was a few weeks ago, when the revised edition was available only for pre-order. I decided to go ahead with the revised edition, despite concerns that some of the original recipes may have been sacrificed to allow room for the newly added ones.

As explained by the authors in this new edition, a major difference is the addition of weight measurements for all of the ingredients. It was as if they'd read my mind. Many times, while diligently measuring out 7 cups or more of flour, I had lost count and had to remeasure. Each of those times, and many in between, I longed for weight measurements so that I could use my digital scale, Ozeri Touch Professional Digital Kitchen Scale (8 kg / 17.6 lb Edition), Tempered Glass in Elegant Black (which I adore), and never worry about losing count again. Apparently, others had voiced this request through the website, and the authors actually heeded the advice of their readers!

The authors also explain that the number of pictures in their original edition was severely limited by their publishing budget, and that the new edition includes 150 How-To-Black&White photos and 40 color images of their loaves. Having never seen the original edition, I don't know first hand how this measures up, but the authors mention that the other edition had only 8 color photos and, "a smattering," of Black&Whites.

As for recipes, the only recipe I've sought that wasn't available on the website (or in the other edition, apparently) was the Pretzel Bun Recipe, which is proudly displayed on page 207 of this edition.

That brings me to another point regarding the Index. The index in this edition, at least, is a delight to peruse. Within the first ten minutes of opening the book, I'd already found many old favorites and new loaves to try in the coming weeks. There's even a Soft White American Loaf for all those kids (and young at heart) who lamented the loss of Wonder Bread from the shelves when Hostess met its demise. Also, it's notable that the book includes recipes and ideas that go beyond the breads, such as spreads, sandwiches, and even a Moroccan-Style Gazpacho. This is more than just a collection of no-knead bread recipes; it's an entire cookbook with a well-planned and easy to use index.

Oh, and for those of you who felt duped because you cannot actually eat the bread 5 minutes after deciding to prepare it, try the Naan Bread on page 260. There's no required rest and no oven to preheat for this one, making it the fastest bread in the book.

Just one final point. I have many times been enticed by cookbook authors' claims of fast and easy recipes only to find that indeed they would be fast and easy if only I could find the rare (and/or expensive) ingredients in my local grocery store. The Master Recipe in this book was created, tested, and perfected using Gold Medal All-Purpose Flour, precisely because that's what most people have in their pantries or can easily find at the local chain grocer.

Thank you, Chef Francois and Dr. Hertzberger for my new favorite cookbook!

UPDATE: I just realized that I neglected to mention that each recipe has BOTH weight and volumetric measurements for its ingredients in table form. So, if you'd rather use measuring cups than a scale, you're free to do so. Yesterday, I used the scale for the flour but measured the other ingredients by volume.

Reusable Ties, Adjustable, Pre-cut, 8", 100/PK, Black
Reusable Ties, Adjustable, Pre-cut, 8", 100/PK, Black
Offered by Creston
Price: £8.25

5.0 out of 5 stars I am addicted to these . . . please help, 2 Oct. 2013
Yes, I have a problem. After trying several brands of these over the years, I found myself preferring the quality of these, Belkin® - Multicolored Cable Ties, 6/Pack - Sold As 1 Pack - Color-coded., of which I even bought a pack the same day I bought this Velcro brand 100-pack. Now that I've actually used them side-by-side, I no longer prefer th Belkins. Yes, the Belkins may seem slightly easier to apply initially, since they don't force the user to thread one end of the strip through a hole near its other end. But actually, over time I've come to realize that I actually prefer the threading method required with the Velcro brand, because once one becomes adept at it, it's actually self-tensioning. Much easier to get a neat and smooth tight wrap with the Velcro brand.

Also, the value of these is incredible. In fact, I think that's what's done me in. I have found so many uses for these critters that at one point I think I was obsessed with them. No joke, I got up out of bed one night to go put these on all the stored extension cords in the closet. I now can admit that I have a problem and begin the long road to recovery. Seriously, I bought these only about a month ago, and I have less than 25 left. At least I'm more organized and my house seems more clutter-free. Don't discriminate against the threading closure system, it is your friend.

As for the quality,or lack thereof, that seems to concern some folks on the U.S. site - really? I just don't see why these need to be of higher quality. Most users are going to wrap up the slack on the Blu-Ray Player's cord and just leave it there indefinitely. And if you are planning to remove it and re-apply several times daily, so what if one wear out or breaks the fiftieth time you try to readjust it? You've got a hundred of them anyway.

Command - Round Cord Clips, 5 Adhesive Strips, 4/PK, Clear, Sold as 1 Package, MMM 17017CLR
Command - Round Cord Clips, 5 Adhesive Strips, 4/PK, Clear, Sold as 1 Package, MMM 17017CLR

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for holding round cords 3-6 mm thick, 2 Oct. 2013
I had a project in mind, knew I wanted a product like this, but needed the internal dimensions of the clip to decide which variety and size of cord clip to buy. Unfortunately, at the time, I didn't realize that the bottom of the product page for this item has a, "Customer Questions and Answers," box where one can ask such things as dimension of the Amazon community. I could have saved myself a lot of time by asking there. What I did instead was run to a slew of Brick&Mortar stores trying to eyeball the product. Yes, a slew, because none of the stores had this product even in a non-clear version. In the end, I realized that I could just order these from Amazon to eyeball them; the A-Z guarantee coupled with a Prime Membership provides virtual Kevlar.

The internal radius of the cylindrical clip part is exactly 1 cm. The cord I clipped was 6 mm and round in cross-section. These were a perfect match, meaning that the cord was just difficult enough to slide into the clip that nothing will make it slide out on it's own, yet manually easy enough to intentionally remove from the clip to be used for non-permanent or semi-permanent fixation. I don't think one could force a cord any fatter than 6 mm through the opening to be held by this clip. However, a cord with a cross-sectional diameter less than 3 mm probably will not stay in the clip.

One note regarding the clear adhesive strips. I wasn't that proficient at applying them at first and I wasted a few of the adhesive strips. Each packet of 4 clips comes with 5 adhesive strips (i.e. you can only waste 1). My particular project involved securing round (not flat) speaker wire for very long runs across areas that wouldn't accept staples (such as mirrors and metal ducts), and said project required nearly 100 clips spaced at about 10 cm apart. Not realizing that my skill would quickly improve, I thought I'd need more than 1 per 5 to waste and ordered these, Command Small Refill Strips, 20 Strips per pack instead of the exact replacement, which would have been these, Command Small Refill Strips, Clear, 12-Strip. No biggie. I was an idiot and got white strips instead of clear. I'm actually glad I made the mistake, though, because the white adhesive strips ARE BETTER than the clear ones. Ironically, the white ones adhere more quickly (shorter setting time before usage) and yet once cured, they are removed more easily and with less potential for damage.

The trick with the clear strips is to let them cure before applying any force (putting anything in the clip) for LONGER THAN 1 HOUR. The manufacturer recommends 1 hour, but some of the early waste of adhesive strips was due to detachment when I tried to force the wire through the clip only 1 hour after applying the clip to the wall. I learned quickly, and let the clips cure for 3-6 hours subsequently with better results the longer I waited. Unfortunately, I tried to remove one of the adherent clips (meaning one that was stuck to the wall for many hours before its 1st use) and I wasn't careful enough. I pulled the tab at a very slight angle away from the wall, and it removed a small chip of paint with it - my fault not the product's. The white ones are easier to remove without accidentally pulling at an angle because they are spongy and thicker (like regular double-stick foam tape) so they start out a few mm from the wall. Hard to describe, but the clear stips are flatter (like double-stick Scotch Tape), and thus lie flatter on your wall. Unless you are VERY careful, it's difficult to pull absolutely against the wall. Tweezers might help there.

Norpro Spaetzle Maker
Norpro Spaetzle Maker
Offered by US-ZINC
Price: £14.85

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dough never sticks, 15 Aug. 2013
I bought this tool about seven months ago after finding a recipe online for a Hungarian Stew over Nokedli (which is apparently the Hungarian version of spaetzle). I cannot compare use of this maker to any other other method, because I had never made Spaetzle before. But, if you are reluctant to use this because you fear that the dough will stick or be difficult to remove from the unit, then have no fear. I've been using it at least weekly for over 6 months now without those issues. In fact, we love the home made pasta so much that I was doing it twice weekly for the first two months! We now eat Nokedli in place of other boxed pastas with a variety of dishes; I use white pepper (1/8th tsp for 250 grams flour) in place of the nutmeg.

I've read some reviews that state that the pasta cooks onto the maker without falling down into the water. Solution: use a deep pot, like a spaghetti pot, and only fill it halfway with water. This pasta won't absorb much, since it's not dried, and you just don't need a whole pot full. This keeps the heat further away from the stainless steel maker. It also obviates the need for oven mitts or other hand protection. You need to work fast when doing this; I can't imagine how difficult it would be with gloves on! And, there is no need to hook the maker onto your pot until the water has reached a full boil - otherwise you risk heating up the maker and creating the situation in which the pasta cooks onto it and is difficult to push through the holes. Just snap it on at the last possible second when your water is boiling and your batter is at pot's side.

Particularly when you first start making this, it helps to start with cold batter, too. I usually prepare the batter, cover it, and refrigerate it for the ten minutes or so it takes my ceramic stove to boil the water.

Also, you need a good Spider Strainer to scoop the noodles out rather than pouring the whole pot through a colander. This pasta is too delicate and cooks too fast for that method. I bought this one Helen's Asian Kitchen 5" Spider Skimmer Deep Fry/Boiling Water Strainer Scoop for the job, mostly because it was inexpensive. Now I use the Spider Strainer for lots of other things, too.

Another thing I've learned - I warm up my serving bowl for about five minutes in the microwave (I put a little water in mine, but my mother does hers dry) before I start. I put a small pat of butter in the bottom of the hot bowl and keep it next to the pot while I make the Nokedli. That way, I can give it a quick stir after each addition of pasta with the Spider Strainer, thus coating it before it sits. Then, when I'm done making the pasta, I cover it, knowing that it will stay warm for about 15 minutes. This gives me time to quickly wash the Nokedli maker and Spider Strainer before sitting down to eat; it's so much easier to get the dough off while it's still hot.

I hope these tips help! I loved mine so much that I gave my sister one for Christmas, too. Since I've been tweaking MY RECIPE for a while, I'll share it in a comment after this review is published. This review is more than long enough without it, but someone may be interested . . . I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this maker!

Tip Summary :
1) Deep pot only HALF full of water
2) leave Spaetzle maker off of your pot while water heats to a boil
3) chill batter for 10-12 minutes in refrigerator
4) warm serving bowl - if using butter or oil, put it in the bottom of the bowl at the beginning, and stir as you go
5) do not use colander method to drain - use slotted spoon or invest in Spider Strainer (link above)
6) wash tools immediately - that's why you warmed the serving dish, it'll just take a couple of minutes now
7) try white pepper instead of nutmeg for more versatility in matching this pasta with other entrees

UPDATE: Still adore this indispensable gadget, and find that even with very frequent use, it's holding up well. I'm updating today because in the interest of variety, I've started adding seasoning to the boiling water. A favorite that requires minimal effort is the addition of one tub of Knorr Vegetable Stock Pot 4 x 112G to the cooking water once it has begun to boil. This adds a subtle, yet different, flavor to the homemade noodles. This trick works well with Knorr's chicken and beef flavors, too, but I've chosen the veggie flavor for versatility as the finished product complements the widest variety of entrees. Enjoy!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 15, 2013 9:12 AM BST

Nature's Miracle Products CNAP5720 Just For Cats Hairball Remover
Nature's Miracle Products CNAP5720 Just For Cats Hairball Remover

5.0 out of 5 stars Has never failed to remove a vomit stain, 15 Aug. 2013
Not pleasant to discuss, I know. But I just want to let you know that this works better for potential cat barf stains than anything else (I say, "potential," because using this, even if a few days have passed and the stuff is dried on, there will be no stain). Fact of life : cats barf. I have 2 cats, one long-haired and one short-haired, and cat vomit is just part of our lives together.

I used to use this Natures Miracle 351-05155 Natures Miracle Just for Cats Stain and Odor Remover 16oz, which worked well, but sometimes left a faint stain when dealing with vomit. It's great for other feline-related stains, but my 2 boys never urinate outside the box. Face it, food has strange colorant in it, and bile is sometimes involved, so I bought this Hairball-specific product as soon as I became aware that it is available, and it works better for us, since stomach contents are the only feline-related messes I see.

One more point. Usually I know they've vomited because either someone has heard it happening (if you have cats, you know this sound . . .), or someone steps in it. Every once in a while, though, I find some a little too long after the fact (i.e. it's dried). It does have that food-dye crazy color to it that matches the hue of their favorite meat cereal. Even in those instances, this product has never failed to remove the stain. I even used it on a silk comforter with great results, more than once.

If you have cats, you NEED this stuff. It WILL happen; what if it's on a silk something-or-other? After all, the only thing worse than feline vomitus is the sound the poor things make when drawing it up!

Fred Cake Candelabra, Silver
Fred Cake Candelabra, Silver
Price: £5.87

5.0 out of 5 stars Super Cute, Light-Weight, and seemingly durable, 15 Aug. 2013
I bought this through Amazon after seeing it elsewhere because it was marginally cheaper and I'd be armed with the Amazon A-Z guarantee and superior customer service. It is even cuter in person! It comes in two pieces which easily snap together and do come apart again for storage (kind of hard to see in the picture, but it is not flat when you lay it down to put in a drawer or cabinet - the two tiers of candle holders sit at right angles to each other adding dimension and overall ador-a-bility). I've used it once, on a very exquisitely decorated cake. Notably, contrary to my initial concerns, it was not heavy enough to sink into the deep frosting on the top of my cake. It seems durable, and I expect to have this for years to come.

I read some reviews in which reviewers had issues finding candles thin enough to fit. To me, the candles included appear to be of standard width. I recently found myself in the party supply store, Party City, and eyeballed the birthday candles for width. Almost all of the candles stocked in that particular store appeared to be similar in width to the ones included in the package with the Cake Candelabra. This led me to believe that there is a standard width for such things and that this holder accommodates that standard, but I can't say that with 100% certainty since I didn't actually fit any candles into the holder. I really don't expect that to become an issue, at least for me.

I usually try to list Pros/Cons when reviewing for Amazon, but I just can't think of anything negative about this item. I am truly pleased with my purchase, especially since I saved a few bucks. We recently had a celebration with a really fabulous cake and everyone commented on the Candelabra. I highly recommend it!

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