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PJ Online "pjonline"

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Firebird: An Alex Benedict Novel
Firebird: An Alex Benedict Novel
by Jack McDevitt
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Another fine adventure, 16 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I quite like the way in which these stories are narrated by the "second character", Alex Benedict supposedly being the first. It somehow puts you in the skin of the narrator. As to the story, it builds up atmosphere and suspense such that you want to read the next chapter and then the next and the next and... oops, I've finished the book too quickly.

The story is built around an "existing mystery" in that interstellar ships going missing at a rate of about 1 every 30 years. In particular, one person that went missing where Alex is seeking artefacts related to that person. These disappearances are put down to "life" by the authorities. But is it? Alex isn't so sure, and neither are you.. or Chase.

These books are very easy to read and very enjoyable. It may be that the "limited" perspective of a single narrator allows you to build the Alex Benedict world in your head as you read. Whatever it it is, just read and enjoy!

No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to set up - works well, 16 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
After the wifi failed on my laptop I used it via a cable for a while then came across this. Just plugged it in and away it went. Get a really good signal wherever I am in the house, better than the original card. Just follow the install instructions. Marvellous.

Allesschn. Tendenza T5
Allesschn. Tendenza T5

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First impressions...., 13 Dec 2012
First, not sure why Amazon isn't confirming this as a "verified Purchase" as it just arrived via Amazon from Germany. Only took 4 days to arrive (I think the FedEx plane was delayed due to the bad fog we are having!) in a box that was quite banged up. The inner box was also damaged slightly, but the slicer seems fine so no worries there.

Anyway, first impressions...

The operation is quite noisy, it screeches a little which is disconcerting, but time will tell. It may just be the gearing. It comes with a European plug and a very short lead (94cms) so you will need an adaptor to test it before you hack off the plug and replace it for a UK version. Look carefully in the bottom of the box for the adaptor that I missed on first unpacking!

The slicer is quite small, smaller than I imagined. I have just sliced home made salt beef and it works very well. The motor does seem to labour a little when the meat covers more of the blade but it doesn't seem to be a problem. The slices come out clean and precise. The adjustment knob is very firm and "feels" very precise when you turn it which is reassuring.

The blade release is easy to use and works very well. The blade feels VERY SHARP, keep fingers clear during cleaning! It is quite easy to clean as it comes apart, however, small bits of meat can get trapped in places so you need to look carefully when wiping down the main body.

It comes with a small (18cm x 24cm) oblong tray to place between the feet. I chose the two foot T5 design as I thought it looked more stable, the downside of that is that it is not as versatile as the T10 when it comes to catching the things you slice. The T10 allows any plate to sit under the slicer which I didn't consider when ordering. The provided tray fills up quite quickly.

I will be using this quite a bit over the coming weeks for home made cured meats (bacon, salami etc) so will update this review if anything else stands out.


OK, yes, the blade is VERY SHARP! I have successfully sliced a chunk of Parma Ham to thin slices which I considered the ultimate test. Easily handles salami, bacon, or cold cooked meats. It doesn't get used too often, but when you need it, it performs the job well. Still screeches a bit though.

Duronic KS5000 Large Digital Display 5KG Kitchen Scales with 24.5cm Diameter Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl
Duronic KS5000 Large Digital Display 5KG Kitchen Scales with 24.5cm Diameter Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl
Offered by DURONIC
Price: £49.99

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More scale adventures..., 19 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have been on a bit of a mission to find decent scales of late. Three pairs of Salter scales failed quite quickly and although 2 were replaced under guarantee, the last pair went in the bin as I was fed up with them failing after a relatively short time (a couple of months in the case of the last pair). I tried a pair of James Martin ones which were OK, but the display was quite hard to see in some conditions and so I moved on to the Duronic KS5000.

The actual scales are quite small and compact. The mixing bowl seems quite well made, but I have only used my existing plastic bowls so far. The bowl is a nice "extra" but not essential. The display is great, large and bright, so can be seen even with a dusting of flour on it. The graduations for imperial also make a quick and rough conversion easy, although I usually only need grams. They start up quickly, much quicker than the James Martin pair and the measurement seems to be quicker too. The "quicker" measurement means it's easy to measure small amounts or get that last 1g to register when adding ingredients.

My only dislike is that the buttons are on the actual weighing platform, so pressing the button also affects the sensors. This is a minor issue and one that is only solved by spending a lot on a commercial pair of scales, which then need a large space to store them (you can't have everything!).

By Light Alone
By Light Alone
by Adam Roberts
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Laborious reading, 7 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: By Light Alone (Paperback)
Literary it may be, but you will probably be rolling your eyes as you read the prose that seems inappropriate in a SF book, and prose it has in abundance.

The actual premise is a good one, genetically engineered people that can use their hair to photosynthesise food, and the possibilities to explore the politics and social relationships in such a world are extraordinary IF you can navigate the often flowery and verbose language. Just imagine, you can flaunt your wealth by shaving your head and buying food which only the most wealthy can afford.

Probably best for a long haul flight or bout of illness in bed to tackle it.

Ponderous and wooden.

Blue Spot 19275 Diamond Sharpening Stone Set (3 Pieces)
Blue Spot 19275 Diamond Sharpening Stone Set (3 Pieces)
Price: £8.58

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How sharp are these!, 7 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I had never sharpened chisels before but got a bit fed up with blunt chisels and didn't want to buy yet another set as I had a set of Chinese pretenders and a set of Stanley. I used these diamond stones, along with a basic guide purchased separately (Faithfull Honing Guide).

I have now managed to sharpen 2 sets of chisels plus one which I thought beyond hope. The beyond hope one was very damaged, so I cut the end off with an angle grinder to an approximate 30 degree angle and then honed it with these diamond stones and a guide to an edge that easily cuts wood (and fingers) again. I now have two sets of very sharp chisels! Even though new chisels aren't much more than the stones and guide, I can keep my existing sets very sharp now so in the end, I will save quite a lot of cash instead of replacements.

Only thing to add is a small hand sprayer filled with water to clear away the filings while honing and a non-slip mat.

Painkiller Jane - The Complete Series [DVD][2007]
Painkiller Jane - The Complete Series [DVD][2007]
Dvd ~ Kristanna Loken

3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Waste of a good concept, 7 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Similar premise as the current TV series Alphas but ultra-violent with flawed characterisations.

Ultra-violent - uses lots of blood bags to simulate gun shots, and there are lots of gun shots.

Flawed, why would you consider everyone dangerous, even if they could further your own cause and they seem to want to help. What does the main character want to do? Kill them even if it means their own death???

Just plain daft in parts. Trying to be gritty with poor old style American series writing. Could have been so much better.

The Family Meal: Home cooking with Ferran Adrią
The Family Meal: Home cooking with Ferran Adrią
by El Bulli
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.47

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What's not to love?, 19 Sep 2012
A very comprehensive cookery book. It starts with the basic "what you need" in the kitchen, store cupboard and fridge. It then gives a series of menus with quantities for 2, 6, 20 or 75(!) people.

Each menu is laid out in pictures with a time line for planning which makes prep very easy.

Each menu is beautifully illustrated as a step by step guide.

The menus are very "Spanish" in that there is much less vegetable than most Brits are used to seeing and a lot of fish.

The Caesar salad dressing recipe is out of this world, just be careful it doesn't split. If it does, it can be rescued by re-introducing the mixture to another egg yolk.

Hitachi C18DL/L4 Cordless Circular Saw (18 V, Body Only)
Hitachi C18DL/L4 Cordless Circular Saw (18 V, Body Only)

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than I expected..., 17 Aug 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
First a bit of back story. I have 2 Hitachi products, both around 5 years old, a drill and an impact driver. I have used both extensively and they are still going strong. Both came with the Hitachi Universal Charger and 14.4V Li-Ion batteries. The batteries, at 14.4V, were the sticking point for extending my cordless range of tools as most other items are 18V, so as the chargers were universal I decided to order the 18V saw bare and then find a supplier of 18V batteries.

The supplier got the saw here in a little over 24 hours, marvellous service.

The saw itself is lightweight and cuts extremely quickly and accurately. Cuts are clean with little or no splintering. It also has a little LED light to see where you are cutting. It has no riving bar to get stuck but this may make cutting large sheets more tricky but I tend to do sheets on a table saw for better accuracy. However, it gets better....

Before I sat down to order new 18V batteries, I just thought I'd try the 14.4V ones. I know the battery casings are slightly different for the 18V and 14.4V ranges so didn't expect anything. They fit and work! They won't have the speed or capacity of the 18V ones, but at the slightly slower blade speed the saw cuts very well. So despite Hitachi making these for the 18V EBM1830 pack, the saw also has an additional groove on the side of the battery slot for the 14.4V BCL1430 pack.

As the other reviewer said, it doesn't come with any case or bag. I have cases for the other two items stuck in the loft. I carry them in a large power tool bag from Wickes which holds the two drills, charger, spare batteries, drills and bits and now the saw which is a better solution for me.

Overall, delighted with service and product.

Evolution 280W Mini Belt Sander
Evolution 280W Mini Belt Sander
Price: £24.99

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good for small jobs..., 14 Aug 2012
Saw this in a shop and got it on a whim for a job I was doing at the time.

The good;

- Sands very very fast
- Easy to use
- Leaves a good finish
- Easy to change/align belt
- Fits into small spaces

The not so good;

- Gets VERY HOT when using for more than 10 mins at a time
- Can get "sanding tracks" if you don't keep even pressure and movement going

Overall, I am very happy with the job it does. I sanded a lot of tanalised timber for a garden project and it did a sterling job. It shifts material much faster than a finishing sander or "mouse" type device. The belt seems to be extremely hard wearing. I have probably had the sander going for over three hours with the same belt and no signs of it wearing out just yet.

Would have been 5 stars if the handle didn't get quite so hot that you have to turn it off to let it cool down.

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