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SELF DEFENCE against the PSYCHOPATH    Essential Reading For Everyone
SELF DEFENCE against the PSYCHOPATH Essential Reading For Everyone
Price: £1.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fair introduction but lacks any 'Self Defence' tips., 2 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you've not read anything on the sociopath/psychopath subject before, this isn't a bad start. The author has researched other people's books on the subject, and presents a fairly concise, succinct synopsis of these harmful individuals.

My main gripe however is the first two words of title: 'Self Defence'. There isn't any. After correctly detailing what hopelessly nasty individuals psychopaths are, born without conscience or compassion, and destined never to acquire either, the author turns to the matter of how to deal with them. 'Evade and Avoid' is about the sum total of his advice. Keep away from bad people? I wish I'd thought of that earlier....

In reality, many of us have to endure sociopathic/psychopathic individuals for significant parts of our lives. They could be your parent, or your spouse, or your work colleague. They're quite likely to be your boss (ruthlessness so often appearing desirable in a Company's higher management structure). Over substantial periods of time, we can build new lives and escape from such people. But short term, we are mostly stuck with what bad luck or else bad judgement has given us.

I bought this book hoping for advice on 'What to do in the meantime'. There isn't any. It seems these people are such accomplished devils, that the author advises against crossing swords with them. So if you're looking for a book on this subject, try some others (e.g. 'The Sociopath Next Door' by Martha Stout or 'In Sheep's Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People' by George K. Simon). These alternative books don't have a real answer either, but at least you'll come away with a far better understanding of your foe than Rik Atherton's book has to offer.


Slug X Trap
Slug X Trap
Offered by Top Brand Discounts 4 u
Price: £7.79

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Simply does not work., 6 Jan. 2013
This review is from: Slug X Trap (Kitchen & Home)
I tried this product in a slug infested area, but it did not catch a single slug.

My kitchen gets regular nocturnal visits from these slimy friends, after a large soiled area (under the floor boards) became infested by slugs. A drain gulley problem caused waste water to partially bypass the drains, eroding brick mortar until the little devils could get inside and breed. Although the drain & mortar faults are now cured, I have a large enough slug population under my boards to be considered for the BBC's `Who do you think you are?' series, perhaps recalling many daring night time raids to Hoover up some kitchen crumbs.

If you Google the breeding habits of slugs, you'll realise that they'll probably outlast the human race. Tired of getting up in the early morning darkness to catch the odd one, I set up an infrared USB webcam, running some freeware time-lapse software. This confirmed very regular habits of them coming up from their soil home shortly after lights-out, spending hours doing a few loops of the bin area, and heading off back down just before dawn breaks. Having a job that means I see less of my bed than I'd like, my 5am kitchen visits would often catch them unawares.

I tried conventional `jam jar' beer traps with limited success. Above ground, they go up the tall sides but never inside. Under the floorboards, against a raised wall or soiled mound, the odd one would get caught.

So I had high hopes for the Slug-X trap. A low-rise rectangular box with approach ramps, there are a few small entrances leading to some round wells that you fill with beer. The idea is that like a daytrip to Milton Keynes, our slimy friends get lost finding the right roundabout exit and finally succumb to a pub visit in a fatally rough area. Well, they don't.

Time lapse footage shows the odd one going in, but later coming out again. Whether they've had a drink on me, I don't know, but I suspect they have. Even placing the Slug-X trap under the floorboards amid the darkness of their soiley home, not one single slug got caught in months. And there are dozens of them down there.

So sorry, nice idea, but it doesn't work. I reluctantly turned to poison pellets (`Eraza') in the end. These do work, but still 9 months after fixing the problem and spreading pellets and old-style beer traps widely, I still haven't completely won the battle. I'm hoping that by exceeding NHS binge-drinking guidelines for long enough, they may start to suffer the effects of chronic alcoholism, but so far they seem to enjoy a better quality of life than I do.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 28, 2014 8:14 PM BST


Fear - The Friend of Exceptional People
Fear - The Friend of Exceptional People
Price: £4.20

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but slanted towards physically violent situations., 7 Jun. 2012
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I found this an interesting book, and certainly Geoff Thompson has confronted and conquered many terrifying situations. The basic advice repeated throughout the book is that the body's 'fight or flight' adrenaline response creates a false sense of fear and panic, and he advises on conquering this by repeated exposure leading to desensitisation.

The author is, like anyone else, writing from his own life experience. Inevitably, this puts a slant on the advice which will suit some readers more than others. Geoff Thompson is an experienced karate fighter, who to challenge his fears, deliberately worked as a bouncer in rough night clubs. Later, he moved on to being a boxer, boxing coach and security adviser.

Inevitably, this career choice means raw danger of physical violence features large in the text. He does try to broaden the focus to fear in general, but rarely do we move far from the heavy world of physical blows. The last third of the book is interviews with people from the world of boxing or special forces military. The boxing example I found especially irksome. Refusing to shake an opponent's hand, and engaging in vile 'grudge match' stunts just to spook him, is deplorable and should not be held up for admiration by the author.

Overall, I felt that as it went on this book became increasingly like a testosterone fuelled visit to a shady world of violence. For some readers, this will be exactly what they need. But For the majority of self-help book readers who probably face less physical fears in life, there are better books out there than this.


Precision PREC0047 Mains Powered LED Bedside Alarm Clock
Precision PREC0047 Mains Powered LED Bedside Alarm Clock
Price: £16.95

48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Illuminated Radio Controlled Clock., 14 Mar. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Spurred on by other good reviews, I took the plunge and bought one. I'm very pleased with it!

I wanted a clock which was both radio controlled and permanently illuminated. Few models offer both together. Radio controlled clocks are addictive, as once you've got one, you start to resent all the others slowly drifting out of time. Many clocks have a backlight you can temporarily press in the night, but that's no use if you want something visible across a darkened bedroom. This model delivers on both fronts.

Some reviewers have mentioned reception problems with the radio time signal. Well, mine's poistioned about a metre from a window, and has had no problems initially setting and then nightly resetting with the time signal. A small LED indicates success or failure of the nightly synchronisation. Another small LED indictates 'PM', note that this is a 12hr display only clock.

It is an alarm, but not sleeping in front of it, I haven't got much to say about that feature except to say that the alarm sounder, which goes off briefly when inserting backup batteries (2 x AAA, not supplied) didn't seem all that loud to me. Depends how heavily you sleep I suppose.

There's also a Hi/Lo switch for the LED display. Neither seemed amazingly bright to me, viewing from a few metres away, it perfectly readable on low. Those using it as and alarm & sleeping in front of it may have a different view regarding display brightness. It's powered by a low voltage mains adaptor with about a metre of wire length.

My only criticism is that it's perhaps a little 'plasticky' reflecting the fact that this isn't a major clock brand. But that's fairly irrelevant for the purpose of displaying the correct time, and I'm happy enough with mine to maybe get another one soon.

UPDATE: After reliability problems, I feel it's only fair to warn readers of my experience. After 7 months happy use, one of the 'segments' of the LED display failed, making the display unreadable at certain times. I returned it to the reseller for a refund, although I had to pay the postage.

Liking this little clock, I immediately bought another identical one, this time from another reseller. This clock had a fault whereby it refused to auto-set (it's radio controlled) regardless of trying every likely position in my house over 4 days & nights. The original clock had always auto-set easily, so I knew this was a fault. It also makes sense of some reviews talking of problems with the auto-setting.

I returned this replacement for a full refund plus on this occasion a postage refund too. Top marks to the resellers for service, but two faults in two consecutive clocks makes me doubt the quality of this product now. I'm not planning to risk buying this model again.


CIT 450w Gold 12CM Silent Atx Power Supply
CIT 450w Gold 12CM Silent Atx Power Supply
Price: £18.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent cheap Power Supply, but not quite 'silent'!, 14 Mar. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
When my Dell Dimension 5100 suddenly played dead instead of starting up, it didn't take long to diagnose the power supply as at fault. Normal mains voltage was in OK, but zero showed on the various output power connectors. Dell original PSUs are hard to find, and very pricey when you do, certainly not worth it on a 7 year old desktop. This little number saved the day for under £20.

It's an `ATX' type supply. Plenty of spare leads (others have listed them already) and cable length. As a generic supply, it's not quite as neat as the original Dell item, but it does the job with connectors to spare. The Sata connectors, straight not right-angled, still allowed the case to close despite Dell putting the hard drives sideways and very close to the side cover. A little time with some cable ties soon had things fairly tidy.

A couple of points to note though. The mains power socket was slightly too wide for my Dell, just fouling the metal case when pulled in with the screws. Cutting away a small corner of metal from the PC case soon solved that. The screw pattern means you can only fit this PSU one way around, with the fan facing down into the PC, not on the rear as the manufacturer's one did.

The other small point is noise. It's quiet, but not silent. My old Dell's one was virtually inaudible, at times you weren't sure if it was even on. This makes a very low rumble. Still very quiet, but my partner (not a geek) commented as soon as she'd switched it on that she could now hear it.

But that's a very small gripe. To save an old PC like this for so little, you can't go wrong. Highly recommended.


Seagate ST315005EXD101-RK 1.5TB Expansion USB 2.0 3.5 Inch Desktop Hard Drive
Seagate ST315005EXD101-RK 1.5TB Expansion USB 2.0 3.5 Inch Desktop Hard Drive
Offered by BOMS
Price: £84.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Reliable drive, faultless after 6 months use., 22 Nov. 2009
I've had the Seagate Expansion 1.5Tb in use for 6 months now, and have to say it has worked flawlessly.

Reading some recent Amazon reviews, and some comments elsewhere, it would certainly appear that Seagate have some kind of `early failure' problem affecting some recent drives. Googling almost any make of hard drive, you will find a mixture of polarised reviews - they either work fine or else crash & burn, with no brand being immune.

In the 6 months mine has been in use, I have certainly used & abused it. Lengthy backups & validations, and defragmentation routines too, have sometimes left this unit working non-stop for days. I haven't had a single problem.

The flat/sleek design lacks a fan, which can be seen as a good or bad thing: Fans keep hard drives cooler, but also can fail themselves and so prematurely finish your drive. Mine gets warm (the case is only 35C after days of running) but never hot. It makes no noise except a quiet shriek for the first second of spinning-up. No clicks or anything else.

I think prospective buyers should pause for thought here. Any hard-drive may fail (about 1 in 100 apparently) and its failure is only a disaster if you haven't mirrored the data elsewhere (those using one for extra space, not backup, be warned). Microsoft's free & excellent SyncToy 2.1 will do a fine job of synchronising data to another drive for safety. Most electronic failures will occur very early in a product's life (Google `bathtub curve'), well within warranty, and if a buyer submits their new drive to extended tests, using Window's detailed surface scan, or the free SeaTools utility, which spend many hours crawling over the disk, this will give ample time to ensure you've got a good one before entrusting data to it.

So, would I buy another? Yes, definitely, given the provisos above. And with the price tumbling due to the occasional failures mentioned, you could argue they are better value than ever.


No Title Available

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beware! This is NOT a teaspoon measure!!, 20 July 2009
This nice little cast iron spoon is far smaller than you might expect for a one teaspoon measure, the reason being that it is not a teaspoon measure, despite claims on the packaging!

It in fact dispenses about one third of a teaspoon of salt, even a 'heaped' spoonful is nowhere near the stated measure.

KitchenCraft have just reluctantly confirmed that 'the measure on the spoon was incorrect,we have now discontinued the spoon from our range'.

So if you want a nice little teaspoon measure, this is NOT it!!


Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1.5 TB 3.5-inch Hard Drive (7200 RPM, 32 MB Cache)
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1.5 TB 3.5-inch Hard Drive (7200 RPM, 32 MB Cache)

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Product, no problems at all with Firmware now., 10 April 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought one of these a week ago (April'09) , and so far very happy. Mine came with the latest firmware, the previous problems are clearly described on Seagate's support forum and they've resources there to check if your drive needs updating. Mine didn't, guess some of the older unhappy/problem reviews date from back then.

It is a 'bare' OEM drive as another reviewer said, but very well packaged as you'd expect from Amazon, with a sticker on the outside giving basic installation info if needed. What would you do with lots of expensive Seagate printed boxes after you fitted the drive anyway? Throw them away, that's what.

I fitted mine in a Dell Dimension, if you've one of those PCs you may like to know that Lindy's 17" Sata cable, sold on Amazon via Lindy reseller, is just right for Dells which stick the HDD drive bays right down at the bottom front of your PC, not in a stack up high with the rest of the drives as would be more normal. Sata of course means none of that fuss with jumpers to set and master/slave stuff in BIOS, but it also means you have to buy the Sata cable separately as you're unlikely to find a coiled up length in your old PC as in the older Pata/IDE drive PCs.

Windows initialised the drive, after boot up, following a worrying several minutes of saying nothing about the drive. No updates to my 4 year old PC were needed to accept the 1.5Tb drive, though I do tend to keep mine uptodate via Dell's own support pages.

Partitioning went fine, formatting such a large drive could of course take many hours, so be prepared to leave it running overnight perhaps.

In use, it's very quiet, hardly know it's there, and it just works. Must confess to be slightly 'edgy' about having so much storage in one unit, but thus far, I have nothing but praise for Seagate yet again.


No Title Available

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful, but a real struggle to use extended, 1 Sept. 2008
Having just read the first/only review of this product, I feel I have to add my own experiences.

I have had these extending hedge trimmers for several years. My problem was a privet hedge which had grown far too tall, and far too wide, thanks in no small portion to an idle neighbour who refused to cut his side. As the hedge 'bushed out', it grew far wider than any ordinary cutter could reach, which is what drew me to this product.

This cutter is an awkward, back-breaking thing to use. The basic design flaw is that the motor/cutter assembly is all at the far end. Yes, cutting blades have to be there, but motors do not. The result is a massively off-balance device. Imagine attaching your conventional electric trimmer to the end of a long wooden pole, and then manoeuvring it, perhaps working up ladders too. Reeling in a monster fish would be no harder. Petrol trimmers always put the motor at the opposite end to the cutters, creating a natural balance, even better if there's a shoulder strap. But with all the weight at the far end, using the THS400 extended for several hours is an absolute test of strength. Fully extended, my other half could hardly lift it off the ground to horizontal.

The cutting blades aren't especially long, given the intended use, and the motor seems only average in power (my basic Black & Decker is much better) which is a disappointment for such a monster, but perhaps they were minimizing the weight problem. The motor doesn't over-run much, nor does it vibrate, but with the effort this thing takes to hold horizontally, you could miss a minor earthquake. A small annoyance is that to turn the blade through 90 degrees (e.g. cutting across a hedge's top with the main body held vertical) the trimmer unit has to be first rotated 180 degrees on its axis, wasting a bit of time. The adjustments feel clunky and rough, they've tried to make this thing mostly from heavy duty plastic components, and so it feels a little imprecise.

Despite what the other reviewer says about using it close up, this is almost impossible. Even fully collapsed down, the handle assemble is far too long and bulky for that, meaning you can't cut what is right in front of you. I keep my basic B&D trimmers to hand for anything within normal reach, and boy do they feel like a blessing in comparison.

I've tried to be balanced in this review. I still use the THS400 several times a year, and if you find yourself in my predicament, they could be a godsend. But light, balanced or manoeuvrable they are not, and the day after using them you'll certainly feel the after effects. They are about half the cost of petrol trimmers, so could be an answer for some people. But I think this is one product you need to find in a shop and try out (horizontally extended!) before you buy online.


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