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Profile for J. Philip Magnier > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
J. Philip Magnier "PMagnier" (Galway Ireland)
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Bosch Rotak 43 LI Ergoflex Cordless 36 Volt Lithium-ion Rotary Lawnmower with x 2 batteries (43 cm Cutting Width)
Bosch Rotak 43 LI Ergoflex Cordless 36 Volt Lithium-ion Rotary Lawnmower with x 2 batteries (43 cm Cutting Width)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Step Forward, 16 Sept. 2014
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I subtracted one star for the poor manual: it's mainly full of safety directives and has no text with the drawings. There should also have been more detail on battery use, such as it seems fine to leave it charging and you need to press the red arrow up to get it out.

This mower is for suburban lawns. It's lightweight which is great for pushing and mavoeuvering but I wouldn't buy it if you tend to bulldoze with your mower a lot. It does seem quite fragile, but I'll give it a chance to prove itself there though I won't be using it for heavy jobs on uneven ground. I've kept my old petrol machine for the more difficult and uneven patches, some of which I only mow twice a year.

After using it, petrol machines seem hopelessly out of date, dirty, smelly, and noisy. They are the past, this is the future and the present in many cases also. The batteries do charge quickly as promised, are easy to change, and last long enough for the aforementioned suburban smallish garden. Turning it on and off is great compared to a petrol mower.

It does labour a bit on some ground and threaten to cut out but I've found that raising the back wheels deals with that.

After owning a house for over 14 years, I've found our lawn mowers to be easily the most disappointing purchases overall: we've had a few including an expensive one. A Steve Jobs would make a fortune in this area. This is a step in the right direction, so far I'm glad I bought it, but it's not the final answer by any means. Time will tell whether it's worth the 4 stars I gave it or only robust enough to deserve a 3.


The Perfect Distance: Ovett and Coe: The Record Breaking Rivalry
The Perfect Distance: Ovett and Coe: The Record Breaking Rivalry
by Pat Butcher
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Story, 30 Dec. 2012
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A story that is actually more amazing than I remembered though I followed it at the time. The season after their Moscow Olympics, 1981, was the biggest eye-opener: these guys were taking turns in breaking their World records, just about every other week, and they didn't even race one another once during that year.

The book was written by a specialist athletics journalist and it shows, he knows what he is talking about. Other than their running, what fascinated me most were the colourful parents they both had. Seb's father and Ovett's mother were very extreme personalities, and you have to wonder whether the athletes would have been so driven without their parentage.

I give it a four instead of a 5 because, despite my praise of the author in the previous paragraph, I thought he could have made more of the drama throughout. At the pivotal races, he is workmanlike in his writing than mind blowing which the material deserved. But I nevertheless highly recommend this book.


Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970
Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970
Price: £7.99

0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 2 Mar. 2012
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I seem to be a minority of one among reviewers here but, though I am a great Cohen fan, I do not recommend this DVD. He seems to be completely stoned throughout the performance and his singing suffers a lot as a result. And for some reviewers to say that it's great social history is nonsense; any pub with drunken fighting on a Saturday night has as much social relevance.

He's a great artist, there are much better versions of his songs out there, and "I'm Your Man" is a really, really great DVD.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 3, 2013 11:11 PM GMT


Leo the Last (ITA)
Leo the Last (ITA)

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful, 26 Jan. 2012
This review is from: Leo the Last (ITA) (DVD)
Definitely John Boorman's worst film. This one seems to be from a "Movement" that was short lived, the British experimental films of the middle and late 1960s. Most of them were pretentious, self-involved, boring beyond endurance, and this one is no exception.

John Boorman has made some great films, Point Blank, Deliverance, Excalibur, The Emerald Forest, don't waste your money on this one.


Play of Consciousness: A Spiritual Autobiography
Play of Consciousness: A Spiritual Autobiography
by . Muktananda
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.98

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 9 Jan. 2012
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This is the most personal, honest, and inspiring book on higher consciousness I have read. No one else has gone into the detail of the journey in quite the same way.

Highly recommended.


Garmin Forerunner 405CX GPS Sports Watch with Heart Rate Monitor (discountinued by manufacturer)
Garmin Forerunner 405CX GPS Sports Watch with Heart Rate Monitor (discountinued by manufacturer)
Offered by Start Fitness
Price: £249.95

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended but takes a little getting used to, 20 Dec. 2011
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I had no intention of upgrading from my 305 but it got lost/ stolen, so I thought long and hard about another 305 or one of these 405CX. I changed my mind a few times, but finally took the plunge after reading many reviews and asking friends.

The benefits outweigh the learning time to -- literally -- get up and running with the 405CX. It's smaller and could pass for an ordinary watch. It's much easier to charge as no "cradle" is needed. You can just plug in the USB connection to your computer and do it at your desk at work (assuming you work in some kind of office). Charging seems much quicker though I haven't timed it. In addition, you can check the battery charge which you couldn't do with the 305. You can also turn off the GPS facility which cuts down the battery drain a lot. They prefer you to keep it on as a plain watch (it seems) when the GPS is off. I assume it's possible to turn it off completely but why bother.

Really the only drawback is the time to learn how to use it. It's not particularly intuitive so my recommendation is to read the online manual. The Quick Start printout that you get is not of much help. There are videos online as well but I find reading to be quicker. The touch outside metal (as distinct from touch screen) functionality is okay but needs a bit of practice.

After 3 weeks, I'm very happy I upgraded. However, the 410 is out there now so these comments could be redundant unless this older 405CX is cheaper. I have no desire to upgrade again ;-)

Addendum September 2014
Nearly three years later, I have a comment. It does have a bug in that the Lap button now locks the bezel on its own (it's supposed to do it only conjunction with the Start button). Locking is where you "freeze" the display when you are training/ running. This bug means that you can't save your run details. I have a tip to get around this. Only have one display setting enabled at a time (that is, the fields on display - pace, time, distance, etc. - when you are training or racing). You set these up under Menu-Settings-Data Fields. It is possible to have three display settings enabled and also heart rate. When they are enabled the display can cycle between them by accident when the watch is not locked.

Update October 2014
Watch now completely gone, no response to anything that I do.
I would have hoped for more than three years from this watch. I have a friend who has had constant trouble with Garmin watches so I'm inclined to think that Garmin produce too many watches without testing them properly. Next time I'll be trying other manufacturers.


The David Lean Collection - 9 Disc Box Set [DVD]
The David Lean Collection - 9 Disc Box Set [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ralph Richardson

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Director, 27 Mar. 2011
Indeed, as people say, a brilliant offering. Lean had unbelievable versatility as a director. I totally recommend the set.

However, I can't say I agree that all the films are top class. With the earlier ones Lean was still feeling his way and did not have final control in many instances. This Happy Breed is an interesting period piece but no more. The amazing Celia Johnson is miscast here, and much of it is stagey with stock characterizations. Also, Lean apparently said he felt very uneasy doing Blithe Spirit and it shows.

All the classics are as good as ever. Among the less well known I loved The Passionate Friends, what a great actor Claude Rains was.

I can't wait for the follow-up set.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 20, 2011 5:11 PM GMT


The Years Of Lyndon Johnson Vol 3: Master of the Senate: Master of the Senate Vol 3
The Years Of Lyndon Johnson Vol 3: Master of the Senate: Master of the Senate Vol 3
by Robert A. Caro
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterwork, 20 May 2009
Master of the Senate is the third of four books in the Johnson biography by Caro. It's the lesser of the three so far published but an amazing read nevertheless. The first two, Path to Power and Means of Ascent, are as good a pair of non-fiction books as I have ever read. Utterly enthralling as historical and psychological works, and written to the highest standard possible. The Senate book is as important as them but a little boring in parts because of the background detail on the Senate history.

I had no interest in this man before reading these works but I literally can hardly wait for the fourth and final book on Johnson's presidency.


Road Racing for Serious Runners
Road Racing for Serious Runners
by Scott Douglas
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Most Helpful, 2 July 2008
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I've read a few recently, and this is the most accessible, concise, and broad ranging book on running I've read; (broad ranging in terms of covering a lot of distances). For the serious club runner, I'd recommend it strongly.

My only gripe, and the reason I give it 4 rather than 5 stars, is that, for some weeks in the training plans specified, it is difficult to see how the specified workouts add up to the total mileage! It seems like they allow for an awful lot of warm up miles.


Run to Win: The Training Secrets of the Kenyan Runners
Run to Win: The Training Secrets of the Kenyan Runners
by Jürg Wirz
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.95

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Odd Book, 29 April 2008
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I write odd because it is not an easy book to categorise. "Training Secrets", forget it; it's been a while since I read it but I can't remember any secrets. Some of the race tactics are good, though hardly applicable to me. Some of the photos are good. There's a lack of standardisation through the chapters; some of the formatting of the schedules is dire and makes it too hard to work out what they were doing.

It's a nice historical summary of Kenyan running but has a slightly amateurish feel to it.


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