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Mrs Quoad (Huddersfield)

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200 Tagines & Moroccan Dishes: Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook
200 Tagines & Moroccan Dishes: Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook
Price: 2.07

3.0 out of 5 stars Useful starting point..., 1 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My wife bought me a (stunning) tagine for Christmas, and I instantly bought this for some inspiration. In the course of the last week, I've thoroughly browsed the 'tagine' recipes, and have tried two and a half - lemon / olive chicken; lamb with apricots; and my own variation on this book's 'lamb with apricots' recipe.

I'm left with the firm impression that this book offers a useful starting point. It gives me some suggested times for slow-cooking, and suggests a very sensible order in which things should be put in the pan. (I might've been inclined to brown the lamb before removing / later adding to the onions with the lamb dish, for example - not convinced this would've been an awful idea, but the recipe's suggestions certainly worked!) And it's also useful for some basic thoughts. Preserved lemons - great. Use cinnamon and cumin as a starting point (this certainly seems to be the tagine section's main theme!) - ok, that's a useful baseline for reflection / additions.

Beyond that... hmm. The two tagine recipes I've followed have turned out functional. Perfectly good. Very nice, even. Moist chicken. Tender lamb. Yeah. I'd eat this if it was served to me. But (for example) the side-dish for the chicken (sweet spinach) was the star of the dish, outshining the chicken by some considerable distance.

In the two dishes I've tried, there's been nothing that sets my world on fire, introduces me to sparkling new flavour combinations, or leaves me thinking 'chuffing heck, that's awesome eating.'

In contrast, today I've used the book's 'lamb with apricots' recipe but adapted it to my own tastes - adding preserved lemons, black olives, chilli, and raisins; and using home-made lamb stock in place of water. And, crikey. It's one of the loveliest things I've ever tasted. I could eat and eat and eat this. And then eat it some more.

In future, I think I may be looking to this book for ideas; but will then be adding a few bits and bobs over the baseline recipe.

It seems to offer perfectly ok food. I can see it appealing to people who want staunch, hearty, basic fare. But, in my experience, the dishes only began to shine when I went some way beyond the basics that were offered.

Callebaut 70% dark chocolate chips (callets) 2.5kg
Callebaut 70% dark chocolate chips (callets) 2.5kg
Offered by Food Angles
Price: 21.15

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic., 19 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Does the job. Lovely dark chocolate callets. Have served us well in a wide variety of comestibles. Will definitely buy again, for cooking and consumption needs.

Duo Gamer Game Controller for iPad
Duo Gamer Game Controller for iPad
Offered by Sharp Tech
Price: 9.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Regrettably obsolete..., 19 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?) made clear on Amazon US reviews. This controller is no longer mentioned on gameloft's website, and the list of supported apps is nudging obsolescence. Plans to build in MC4 support (or Asphalt 8, presumably) no longer figure - according to reviews.

Problem is, that means that this gamepad is only remotely viable for people who want to use a gamepad so badly that they're up for playing outdated iterations of games. Do I fall into that category? Hmmm, ooouuu, errrr, I'm not entirely sure. I don't mind blaffing a few gb on duff apps but, tbf, I've got a 128gb iPad. But would I waste memory in the same way on my 32gb phone? Heck, no.

I got this because it's a tenner (including postage), and that looked like a no-brainer. In practice, I'd kinda missed the whole obsolescence side of things. Caveat emptor! I'm still looking forward to MC3 - I just don't get FPS games with a gyroscope - but can't really see this ever being used for owt else.

No grumbles. And perhaps this had its time. But that time is probably no longer "now."

Klipsch Image X10 - High Performance Noise-Isolating In ear headphones
Klipsch Image X10 - High Performance Noise-Isolating In ear headphones

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, for 5 months..., 19 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Genuinely astounding earphones. A revelation in good fit, and did a beautiful job of blocking out ambient sound. They served me well through extensive transcribing in a busy office; and through a fair few hard workouts in a busy gym. Lovely bass. Lovely sound quality throughout, tbh.

*However* the cable running into the left earbud had begun splitting the bud's casing after 4ish months. And the sound quality began dying after 5. I now need to wiggle my earbuds *and* the earphone jack incessantly in order to get anything approaching decent sound, and the earphones are all but dead for practical purposes.

So, erm, 100 every half year. Going by current rates. But they're so darned good that I'm still looking at a second pair. I've previously blown the best part of 200 on Sennheiser something something 700s, the dire (and unfixable) fit of which rendered them total junk. So, ay. 100 for something that will *at least* work looks like a semi-functional deal.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 18, 2013 10:34 AM GMT

Sennheiser IE 7, High-Fidelity Noise-Isolating Ear-Canal Phones
Sennheiser IE 7, High-Fidelity Noise-Isolating Ear-Canal Phones

1.0 out of 5 stars Profoundly irritating - could *not* secure a decent fit / sound isolation, 15 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've owned these for about 18 months now (I think). I bought them looking for a massive step change in the quality of sound I was getting from my previous 20-30 earphones, and - after rigorously checking Sennheiser and other comparable reviews - settled on these.

I couldn't get them to fit too well from the off, irrespective of which ear buds I used. The driver (?) outside the ear off balances them, and makes it impossible to plug 'em as deep as I would like.

As a result, despite the visually impressive drivers, and the positive reviews, I've had - frankly - pitiful noise isolation, bass, and sound in general for the last 18 months. Which kinda matters, given 90% of the time these're used in the gym.

I've tried everything I could think of, including infinite readjustments of the over-ear metal holders, removal of the over-ear metal holders, and trying the buds off earphones that've previously worked. But, nope. Nothing. They've been consistently semi-adequate to dire.

It was only on getting a new iPod (with new, cheap, plastic Apple earphones) that I realised I was getting more solid sound out of them than I was from the ie7s. Time to change!

I've since bought Klipsch X10s. Cost about half of what the ie7s originally cost (100 vs 190ish) and the difference is breathtaking. Sound clarity! Excellent bass! No need to play things at full volume! Sound isolation!

I've seen a few similar reviews elsewhere, so this doesn't seem to be a problem that only I've experienced. If you've got the wrong ears, you've got no chance.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 3, 2014 4:59 PM BST

Duronic USB External Slim CD-ROM Drive x24 (Black)
Duronic USB External Slim CD-ROM Drive x24 (Black)
Offered by DURONIC
Price: 29.99

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Complete failure, tried with multiple OS X / Windows Vista / Windows 7 lappies and desktops, 4 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Got this for my partner, with the intention of installing MS Office (which we had on disc) on her (disc driverless) Samsung netbook.

Her netbook would power up the drive, but wouldn't recognise that there was anything in it.

OK, so... we tried it on other lappies / desktops around the house, using an assortment of discs.

We've experience the same problems now on a Dell XPS 1330; a Mountain Lion iMac (mid-2011); a Snow Leopard MacBook Pro (2009); a Lion MacBook Pro (2012); and a Samsung... erm... something 250.

We've experienced the same problems with the (genuine / original) MS Office install discs; with an assortment of DVDs; and with a number of audio CDs, too.

We've tried searching for and DLing drivers, and - tbh - pretty much anything else under the sun that'd get Office onto my partner's netbook.

In the end, I gave up, googled how to map my Dell's drive onto our network so's her netbook could access it, and used that instead.

A total waste of about 3 hours, though it did - to be fair - kickstart me into finding a cheap (well, free) and effective solution.

Drive is being returned directly!

Un Lun Dun
Un Lun Dun
Price: 3.79

4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Oops. A children's book., 31 Dec 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Un Lun Dun (Kindle Edition)
My bad.

Bought bc it was 0.99 in amazon's Christmas sale, and bc china mieville has quietly interested me for a few years. This was to be my introduction to his writing.

Perhaps not. I thought it was insufferably simple & cliched, until I twigged I'm about 17yrs older than its target audience.

In that light, it's probably unfair to comment much further.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 3, 2012 2:24 PM GMT

Apple Pro Training Series: Logic Pro 9 and Logic Express 9
Apple Pro Training Series: Logic Pro 9 and Logic Express 9
by David Nahmani
Edition: Paperback
Price: 31.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Basic, basic, basic., 20 Dec 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm not a 100% newcomer to DAWs / semi-DAWs, but might as well be. Previous experience essentially involves some dainty tinkering with Garageband (on iPad), Korg iMS-20 (again, iPad) and Nanostudio (again...)

So whilst I had the most basic understanding of track layout, interface, etc, I was essentially new to the programme. This looked like an indispensible addition, given I was going in with ignorance and enthusiasm in equal measures.

Yeaaahhhh.... So after ordering it, I began to have a more detailed look at the 'Look Inside' function. And, tbh, there's nothing in the first 252 pages that I don't feel REASONABLY ok with. I'm probably missing a fair few shortcuts, back alleys, and seamless ways of working; but there's nothing there that screams out 'YOU NEED TO COMPLETE THIS LESSON!' The final 3 lessons, too, look remarkably basic.

The book has now arrived. Four (or five) days later, I still haven't done more than skim through it, wondering whether or not it's REALLY worth the 20ish for the extra learning it'll bring.

It's also set out in lessons. Which rankles. Do I really want to go through a 2 hour lesson, using someone else's media / data in order to learn the Chapter 1 basics? Hmmmm... Maybe I do, tbh. Do I want an extensive lesson on the use of loops? Probably not, tbh. As a very self-directed PhD student, I'd far rather have a resource that I can dip into and out of.

It's probably worth mentioning that the Apple manual for LP is pretty staggering. I've printed out about 4-600 pages of it (so far), and've loved the level of detail it contains. It can be dipped into or out of, and comes with a handful of (admittedly brief and component / element-specific) tutorials.

Reading software manuals might not be everyone's cup of tea; but I'd urge you to at least look at Apple's offering before going ahead with this.

I can see the benefits. I can well believe that I'm missing out on a fair few conveniences, shortcuts, and useful working practices. But... this really does look like 400 extraordinarily basic pages. Even as a near-absolute beginner (and this is certainly my first full-on DAW), this is looking like it's pitched a little too low (and a little too structured) for my liking. I'm strongly considering a return.

DIGIFLEX Flexible LED Reading Light Lamp for Amazon Kindle
DIGIFLEX Flexible LED Reading Light Lamp for Amazon Kindle
Offered by Digiflex
Price: 2.99

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Inappropriate for new Kindle, 21 Nov 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I recently got the new, keyboardless kindle & saw this as a way of reading without waking up my partner.

No chance, unfortunately.

As other 1-star reviewers describe, the clip is inappropriate for the device. It just can't get a firm (or even half-decent) latch. It either completely obscures a chunk of the screen, or else is completely unstable. It seems to have been designed for a far bigger gripping surface.

With batteries, it also adds a whole lot to the kindle's weight.

Not sure how it would be used with an iPad, either. My iPad is backlit (aren't they all?!) which kinda nullifies the point.

Will be returning this directly.

6 Pack iPad 2 Screen Protector for New Apple iPad 9.7 inch Tablet 2nd Generation
6 Pack iPad 2 Screen Protector for New Apple iPad 9.7 inch Tablet 2nd Generation
Offered by Akis Enterprises
Price: 4.22

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hmmmm, ok but not fantastic., 24 May 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Ordered this pack after my iPad picked up a scratch, despite being cosseted beyond measurable belief.

Of the 6 that arrived, 2 were effectively unusable - a long bubble down the middle of the protectors turned out to be defined by two long (but thin) scars in the plastic.

Of the others... The first fitted onto the scratched screen beautifully.

However, apple then replaced my iPad because of the scratch (!), and fitting a protector on the replacement turned out to be an utter nightmare. I discarded 2 after foul-ups on my part. Started off wonky, bubbles, not good enough. A third attempt went on perfectly; but it was then that i discovered the twin scars. A fourth went on superbly; but 3 days later an edge had lifted, creating a 2 inch bubble along the edge that couldn't be squeezed out.

So a week or so later, I've now got the final protector fitted, compete with dual scars, and have put in an order for a second batch of 6.

Obviously theres a compromise between user error and manufacturing error going on here, but it's definitely a good thing that there are 6 to a pack.....

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