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Reviews Written by
G. Lewis "mgjjl" (Wales, UK)
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Topeak Explorer 29er Tubular Rack with Disc Mount - Black
Topeak Explorer 29er Tubular Rack with Disc Mount - Black
Offered by Wheelies Outlet
Price: £39.59

4.0 out of 5 stars but you can do a lot worse than the Topeka Explorer 29er, 24 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There are not many 29er panniers out there, but you can do a lot worse than the Topeka Explorer 29er. It's well made and as long as you have mounting points on your bike, it's pretty easy to fit.

I had no seat-stay mounting points on my bike, but had mounting holes near the wheels. Fortunately, you can buy a seat-post clamp with the right carrier bosses for about £10, such as the "Acor Seat Post Clamp With Carrier Bosses". Once installed, it's pretty solid and if you have a Topeak MTX bag, it's really easy to live with.

No complaints.


Finding Vivian Maier [DVD]
Finding Vivian Maier [DVD]
Dvd ~ John Maloof
Price: £12.50

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Finding what didn't want to be found..., 24 Oct 2014
This review is from: Finding Vivian Maier [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Vivian Maier's story is quite something. The secretive nanny who made a splash on the photography scene shortly after her death was, unbeknownst to everyone who knew her, a very talented photographer. However, it wasn't until her belongings were acquired at an auction by John Maloof, Ron Slattery and Randy Prow that anyone had any idea what an enormous collection of stunning images she had to her name.

Finding Vivian Maier is John Maloof's attempt at piecing together Maier's mysterious past. It features interviews with people who employed her as her nanny as well as a few friends.

It explores the lengths to which she went to keep people guessing. Using different names with different people; obsessively keeping the bedroom door locked etc.

It also explores some of the issues inherent in posthumously publishing the works of artists who did not curate their own work. As a photographer myself, what I would consider worth publishing may be entirely different to what a 3rd party would publish on my behalf. However, the decision has been taken out of Maier's hands and some people are understandably uneasy about that.

What isn't so good about Finding Vivian Maier is that it explores some of the darker parts of Maier's personality; the issues she had with other people and her hoarding. This feels invasive and a little disrespectful to someone who is no longer around to put forward their own side of the story.

Everyone has their own story and everyone has their own demons. If you're lucky, your demons die with you, they don't find their way into a documentary. In Maier's case it makes for a pretty sad tale of someone who clearly had mental health issues and who died alone because the people around her struggled to see through those issues.

I'm a fan of Maier's work and I love looking through the photographs that have been published. However, you can know too much about people and that risks taking the shine off their work. Maloof could have perhaps left out a few clips from people who appeared to have an axe to grind and it would have made for a far more respectful documentary.


Breville Halo Plus Health Fryer VDF105, White/Green
Breville Halo Plus Health Fryer VDF105, White/Green
Price: £99.00

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Weird on the outside, funky on the inside, 4 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The halo fryer is a brilliant piece of kit to have in your kitchen. If you ignore the extreme neon green motorcyle-helmet styling, it is simple to use and much healthier than a traditional fryer. Is has heat sources above and below which means in addition to chips and potato products, you can also cook chicken, fish and meats using the grill function.

I have tried a few of the recipes from the cookbook which comes with the fryer and have so far had a 100% success rate. The chips were fluffy inside, crispy on the outside and the Cajun potatoes were spicy and nicely crunchy. I also tried grilling some chicken which was done in 20 minutes and was still juicy.

Overall, very impressed, but the lid can be a little fiddly.


Phottix GEO One GPS Module for Nikon Geotagging for Nikon D2X D2Xs D2Hs D3s D3 D3X D700 D300 D300s D200 D5000 D90 Similar to Nikon GP-1
Phottix GEO One GPS Module for Nikon Geotagging for Nikon D2X D2Xs D2Hs D3s D3 D3X D700 D300 D300s D200 D5000 D90 Similar to Nikon GP-1
Price: £93.88

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bargain-tastic, 23 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having been left disappointed by the Opteka I decided to take the next step up in the GPS unit stakes and went for the Phottix. So far I've been very impressed with the Geo One's accuracy; the speed at which it gets a GPS lock outdoors and how it doesn't seem to thrash my battery that badly. GPS lock indoors is another matter --it needs to be outdoors.

I'm also impressed with the build quality, although the cable for my D7000 could do with a right-angled connector, as it does stick out quite a bit. Time will tell whether the unit or that cable stand the test of time, but if I get a year out of it I'll be happy.

Contrary to the description, it does work on more recent bodies --the square connector for D7000 and newer is included, as is the cable for D4 & D800 bodies, they just haven't updated the description or the packaging.

The manual for the Phottix is virtually identical to the Nikon GP-1 one and the quoted specifications are too. If you are looking at the Nikon unit, buy the Phottix instead, it's less than half the price.


Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-56
Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-56
by Anne Applebaum
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Useful research material, 15 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A well researched and expansive collection, showing the development of communism in Eastern Europe. A great book for research or if you want to learn more about the birth of communism outside of the USSR. Very interesting subject, however the author does have a habit of labouring over small details and occasionally assuming too little of the reader. It is unlikely you would pick up a book of this nature without an interest and some background knowledge of the subject and I sometimes felt like the book was more of a lecture than an informative script. This aside, I enjoyed the book and think it is worth reading - just be prepared to skip the occasional paragraph!


What In God's Name
What In God's Name
by Simon Rich
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but not gripping, 23 Jan 2014
This review is from: What In God's Name (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A simple book, but a good read nonetheless. Craig is an angel in the Miracles department who finds himself trying to prevent the destruction of Earth by getting two humans to kiss. The premise is quirky and the book is well written, if a little simplistic. Whilst not a gripping tale, it was interesting and would make an ideal holiday read for those who are not big readers.


Logitech G100s Optical Gaming Mouse - Black
Logitech G100s Optical Gaming Mouse - Black
Offered by KK Electronic Store
Price: £23.96

3.0 out of 5 stars Awkwardly placed in the market, 27 July 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Gaming mice have a reputation for being expensive, festooned with buttons and with outlandish styling. However, the G100s is none of those things. It is to all intents and purposes a fairly generic optical mouse with gaming pretentions. It is very responsive and quite comfortable in the hands, but it is unnervingly light, almost feeling cheap and hollow. The DPI is a fair bit higher than a generic optical mouse, but if you do a search for a mouse with 2500dpi, you might find this Zalman ZM-M300 Optical Gaming Mouse for £6 instead.

Here's the thing, its bigger brother the Logitech G400s Optical Gaming Mouse is just £5 more on here. If you want a gaming mouse, I'd go with that one instead. However, if you just want an optical mouse, I'm sure you'll find something much cheaper on here without looking too hard.


The Industrialist
The Industrialist
Price: £15.64

4.0 out of 5 stars Up there with Demanufacture...maybe..., 27 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Industrialist (Audio CD)
I'm a long-time Fear Factory fan. I've been to see them three times, I have all of their albums. However, they've had some trouble topping Demanufacture with their subsequent efforts. Obsolete was good in parts; Digimortal was ok but peaked at Lynchpin; Archetype was a brief return to form before the disaster that was Transgression. Mechanize and the Industrialist are almost like Soul of a new machine and Demanufacture all over again. Mechanize was a little rough & ready, brutal & sludgy and the Industrialist was the polished, clinical followup. If only they could maintain this momentum for a few more albums and I'll be happy. It's just a shame that their lineup has been so erratic lately.

Highlights for me include Recharger, God Eater and Depraved Mind Murder.


Philips Master GU10 6-50 Watt LED 4000 K 25D MV Spot Light, Cool White
Philips Master GU10 6-50 Watt LED 4000 K 25D MV Spot Light, Cool White
Price: £18.23

4.0 out of 5 stars The price you pay for efficiency..., 27 Jun 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Ok, it's a light bulb. However, it does provide a nice, strong light; it is much kinder to my electricity smart meter and it's a funky chrome colour and tastefully designed. The only real downside I can see is that they do cost a fair bit to buy upfront, especially if the light fitting requires three of them or more.


MASTER LEDspotMV D 6-50W GU10 WH 25D
MASTER LEDspotMV D 6-50W GU10 WH 25D
Offered by Philips LED Specialist
Price: £12.40

4.0 out of 5 stars Keeps the bills down..., 31 May 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Of all the home décor fads that have come and gone over the past few years, whether that be "open plan living"; painting everything magnolia; or replacing all carpet with laminate flooring, I'm invariably one of the last to catch on. One fad that always had me mystified however was the halogen spotlight thing. They're not particularly great for lighting a large room and, instead of needing one bulb you often need three or four of them.

It wasn't until our electricity company sent us a smart meter that I realised what the other problem was. These halogen lights are really quite greedy with the electricity. We have three bulbs on our kitchen light fitting and they generate quite a bit of heat and also drive our smart meter crazy.

Understandably I was keen to find an alternative arrangement, aside from only cooking in daylight. These Phillips bulbs seemed like just the thing. This particular bulb is rated at "equivalent to 50w" and they're certainly as bright as the bulbs they are replacing. They also reach full brightness pretty much instantly. This one has a colour temperature of 3000 Kelvin, which is slightly warmer than brilliant white. It's a pleasant light, not too yellow, not too cold.

Best of all, they barely register on the smart meter and that's a vast improvement on the old ones. They're quite expensive to buy initially, but as long as they last as long as they say they will, they'll eventually pay for themselves.


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