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A Scot "Nearly Nordic" (So Far North)

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Sportube Wire Case Pin Travel Accessory - Black, 6 X 5 X 2 Cm
Sportube Wire Case Pin Travel Accessory - Black, 6 X 5 X 2 Cm
Price: £4.58

3.0 out of 5 stars it may be a good idea to secure it to the case with a ..., 14 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
One of these was attached to the Sportube Series 3 case when it arrived, and keeps the "inner" half of 2-part case to be secured fully inside the "outer" (ie, top) half, while you store it in loft or garage.

The U-shaped wire is very stiff, and the "loop" on the right of the photo is through a hole through the bolt. The loop on the left is only held in place by the tension of the stiff wire, there is no way to secure it. To open it, you just use a little force to pull that end off the pin.

It's not too hard to imagine this happening in airport baggage handling, if it snagged on anything while on the conveyor belts/chutes. As suggested in one of the reviews, it may be a good idea to secure it to the case with a bit of string, or bootlace, I could imagine this being lost very easily.

I would never trust this to keep the valuable contents secure on a flight, or even on a parked car. Would you trust £1,500 of ski gear to a £5 unlockable clip?

It's fine if you want to store your skis in the case, or to transport on your roof-rack. I already have several TSA-approved cable lock padlocks, but the one sold by Sportube has much thicker wire, plastic coated.


I bought a pack of 2 along with the Sportube 3, as it was unclear what it any extras came with it. I'm sure there will be plenty of other DIY uses they can be put to :0)

Sportube Series Three Original Hard Sided Skicase - Black, 37 x 18 x 107 cm to 183 cm
Sportube Series Three Original Hard Sided Skicase - Black, 37 x 18 x 107 cm to 183 cm
Price: £89.43

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Robust, good-value, flexible protection for skis or boards, 13 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Just received delivery of the larger model (37w x 18d x 183l), which is intended to carry my daughter's new snowboard (164cm), but will also be investigated to see if she can also get her skis (168cm) to fit inside together with the board. I'm not convinced, but it would be great if she can.

Although we've not used the case yet (but I have borrowed one before), I've noticed a few conflicting comments about "missing parts", though appreciate some of those posts are up to 3 years old.

There is nothing in the current (Dec 2014) product description which promises any extras, though I'd noticed comments about getting one pack of 3 sets of the ski bands. When I ordered it, I added a set of bands, a pair of locking pins, and two of the detachable handles.....and a pack of the bags for holding clothes.

When I opened the package up, there was one of the "spring loaded" locking pins (which to be honest I'd anticipate losing on any flight, as they don't really "lock"), and there was one of the detachable handles inside the case.

Unless you're needing the case in a hurry for an imminent holiday, I'd suggest it's worth waiting till you see what is/isn't inside it, before buying the extras. I now have 3 handles, and only one set of ski bands.

However, while I was reading all the reviews of the 3 different models, the price for the wider one dropped by over £20, so I guess I don't mind too much :0)

While in the local ski shop today, organising bindings for the new snowboard I noticed a very basic board bag, with not too much padding, for £85. For that, you can buy one of these, which I'd suggest will keep a new board far better protected on flights, on your roof-rack, or in the loft. The two grab-handles along the spine make handling the case very easy. Although the open ends might seem very flexible to some, remember that once you put the two halves together, it becomes a lot stronger....and the more the overlap, the stronger it'll be. I'd expect this type of material to be less likely to crack than some other more rigid cases I've seen. Even if it does get bashed, I'd rather have a cracked/dented case than ruined skis/board.

As someone else has commented, the value of the contents can easily add up to £1,000 to £1,500, so in my view this is a very worthwhile expense to protect that gear.

Once we've used it, I'll post some further info.....

Norton Security With Backup 2.0 25GB: 1 User, 10 Devices [2015] (PC/Mac/iOS/Android)
Norton Security With Backup 2.0 25GB: 1 User, 10 Devices [2015] (PC/Mac/iOS/Android)
Price: £36.04

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars pretty much the same as with the allegedly frustrating version, 12 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This option is what's bizarrely described by Symantec as "frustration free packaging" (cardboard wrapped in shrinkwrap plastic, pretty much the same as with the allegedly frustrating version, which has slightly more cardboard & also shrink-wrapped).

This costs currently (Dec 2014) around £8 more than the other version (, which is clearly advertised with the word "Card" in the title.

To cover all my business & personal Macs (all have bootcamp partition, with Win 7) I had bought the "Card" version above to simply renew the licences & to be able to download it onto my iphone for the first time. It deserves its 5/4.5 star rating, for both the software & this much more customer-friendly multi-standard (Win/Mac/IOS) pack.

To cover the family PCs (a couple of which don't have NIS just now), I thought I'd order the CD/DVD version as we have unbelievably slow & erratic broadband. Since this package was ordered, the product details have changed & it now says "printed access code".

It's effectively the same as the other 10-device option above, in slightly simpler packaging, but for £8 more.

I think that's far more frustrating than anything connected with the packaging :0)

The product, however, is still worthy of 5 stars.

Live From Dixie's Bar & Bus Stop
Live From Dixie's Bar & Bus Stop
Price: £12.92

5.0 out of 5 stars A great, raw, solo acoustic of the best., 28 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Great solo acoustic performance from one of the legendary under-valued singer-songwriters, from a relatively late phase of his creative height......his first two 1975/76 albums didn't reach enough people in the UK until 3 albums later, around the time of this recording.

The DVD of this performance is also very good, especially if (like me) you managed to miss a few chances of seeing him live in the UK.

The sound on this 2-cd set is, however, superior....and is easily one of the best of the flood of older "unofficial" live radio/bar/college recordings appearing just now.

A pity the tracks aren't available to listen to, briefly, here.....but if you have any interest in Guy Clark's songs, just buy it, you won't be disappointed.

Guy Clark: Live From Dixie's Bar And Bus Stop [DVD] [2014] [2013]
Guy Clark: Live From Dixie's Bar And Bus Stop [DVD] [2014] [2013]
Dvd ~ Guy Clark
Price: £13.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Real, live, "raw", historical Guy Clark solo performance, 28 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This was perhaps originally just a "home movie" recording by the bar owners, and seems to have been captured on one of those mid-80's "new-fangled" camcorders, from the frequency of "hokey-cokey" zooming & panning across the audience members. It is, though, what most of us would likely be doing, had we been in the same room, so I guess it is very much like being there :0)

The quality of transfer to DVD is fairly good, as 30-year-old video goes.

It is a solo, stand-up, acoustic show, with a small & very attentive/appreciative, and surprisingly quiet (for a US bar!) audience, in a setting he seems very much at-home with.....even the pool players are quiet.

The review below mentions only 12 tracks. This DVD does contain all 28 tracks (ie, the same content as on the 2-CD set), split into two sets on the main menu. There are only 23 listed on the DVD back cover, but there's a wee footnote that the 5 other tracks (tracks 7-11 from the CD track list) have been removed from Set 1 & are included as extras, on the Set 2 menu. My impression is that the "technical issues" are perhaps the cameraman's (temporary) fondness for zooming in on various (mainly female) audience members, and an excessive amount of panning across the audience on those 5 songs....there's nothing wrong with the sound on all 5.

It has the kind of "down-home" feel that you might think Guy is fond of, from the few other examples of video of him, either on stage, or at home (in the "Heartworn Highways" DVD, with his old buddy Townes van Zandt, and young Steve Earle. There are even some kids running (quietly!) around & playing amongst the audience....and one who seems keen to join Guy on stage.

I recall being very surprised to find that by the time Guy became more of a household name in the UK, he was already into his 40's, with quite a history of writing, playing, and having some great songs covered by other artists, some very successfully. I think this was recorded just before his 5th album (Better Days) appeared, and much of the great stuff from his first 4 albums is included.

Having been "hooked" by the Old No.1 & Texas Cookin' albums around 3 years after they were first released by RCA in '75/'76, and discovering them thanks to some old fanzines that pre-dated mags like Mojo, those greats are "LA Freeway", "Desperadoes Waiting For A Train", "Coat From The Cold", "She Ain't Goin' Nowhere", "The Last Gunfighter Ballad", "New Cut Road", and "Texas Cookin".....and the fabulous "Randall Knife", a new song at the time, from the 5th album.

The music market seems to be flooded with 60's/70's radio shows & former bootlegs just now, many of excellent (digitally cleaned-up) quality, some less so. This, for me, is in the upper level of both "raw quality" & value-for-money. Performances like this are never going to have the sonic/HD quality of, for instance, much of The Dead's DVD catalogue, but it's a very good 30-year-old performance from an artist all-too-few of us have been able to see live.....and considering he's into his 70's, might not see.

On that basis, and for the "in the room" feel of the performance, any wee "technical issues" can be forgiven. This really is a "historical document", featuring a performer who has been way too neglected, commercially.

More please, if anyone has other concerts filmed/recorded :0)

Live At The Matrix December 1970
Live At The Matrix December 1970
Price: £9.97

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some jams just work....., 24 Oct. 2014
As a fan of The Dead & probably most of the Byrds family tree artists, this combination of Crosby, Garcia, Lesh & Hart is one I've been very interested in hearing.....and it appears to work very well.

I loved Crosby's "If Only I Could Remember My Name" phase, so the inclusion of lengthy versions of Cowboy Movie & Laughing (& the superb Triad), which develop into typically "drifting" Dead jams, is fascinating, and they are the stand-out tracks, musically & vocally. It's good to see a couple of Dead standards (Bertha & Deep Elem Blues) included, with Garcia taking the lead.

The Lesh/Hart meandering rhythm style seems to work well with Crosby's story-like lyrics, and Hart's soft drumming on Laughing, with Garcia's trademark guitar work, transforms this into a track worthy of any of the great Dead sets.

I probably wouldn't give 5 stars to any of the soundboard/radio show pre-digital recordings, as they're never going to be comparable to a modern, or expensively remastered, album or concert. This is, however, at the top end of that recent slice of the music market, and one of those rare chances to listen to a quite unique piece of music history.

Definitely worth risking a tenner on this, if you're a fan of either The Dead, or Crosby.

Price: £15.04

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A guy whose music deserves to be Collected, 13 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Collected (Audio CD)
This 3-CD set is worth the price for the 3rd CD alone, if you're already an addicted JJ fan. This is a Netherlands release, produced in 2006, covering his first 11 studio albums, with 1 track from that "Closer To You" album.

The selection of tracks across his influential early work is very good, and for me a good sample of the vinyl albums, though I do already have this on the excellent "Anyway The Wind Blows" anthology from 1997.

After this, there are just 3 more studio albums, 1 live album, and the excellent collaboration with Clapton on "The Road To Escondido". It's uncertain if JJ's commercial popularity will be considered enough to produce one of those excellent Rhino posthumous anthologies, but I'd hope someone will consider his catalogue & his style significant enough to justify this.

If not......then this collection might soon take on a greater significance as one of the few ways of collecting some of his rarer material.

Hebrides - Islands on the Edge [DVD]
Hebrides - Islands on the Edge [DVD]
Price: £6.30

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I thought the first two parts were good, though puzzled that it skipped winter completely, 11 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Heard so much about this, and finally ordered it on the strength of attending a concert by one of the musicians on the soundtrack.

I thought the first two parts were good, though puzzled that it skipped winter completely.....but the 3rd & 4th parts were becoming monotonous & there's a lot of repetition.

I hadn't appreciated it was 99% animal world stuff, with almost no content about the people, and the land, what makes the Western Isles what they are. What a wasted opportunity.

Caligula: Uncut Edition [DVD]
Caligula: Uncut Edition [DVD]
Dvd ~ Malcolm McDowell
Price: £7.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Pathetic, absolute drivel, 11 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
All those years, thinking I must have missed a "classic". Pathetic, absolute drivel, and about as well acted/produced as any average porn film you can see in most hotel rooms in the Netherlands. My old latin teacher would be birlin' in his grave if he saw how the (genuinely depraved) Roman Empire was depicted in this....I think he died before it was released.

McDowell really is an appallingly poor charicature of someone history tells us was a powerful dictator.....though I guess he's well type-cast as a bug-eyed lunatic. I'm quite amazed Helen Mirren's career survived this.

Was it just my imagination, or does the musical score keep repeating a wee excerpt from "My Way". Not much that's original here.

Face The Music (Box)
Face The Music (Box)
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £140.10

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sensational Career Retrospective!, 16 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Face The Music (Box) (Audio CD)
I recently re-housed & trimmed down my music "library", and was surprised how many box sets of long-term (ie, since the mid-60's) favourites had been accumulated....generally along with all the originals in a mix of vinyl/CD.

This one, though, is a wee bit special. I do have everything from Grin to The Loner, and a few of those excellent soundboard recordings seeping out of every independent label.....but still there must be almost 3 hours of unreleased & rare tracks within the near 12-hour 9-CD audio part. The 2-hour DVD, though, is stuffed with gems, very little of it (if any) to be found on the official DVDs.

The book is also that little bit different from the usual....a genuine life-story, and Nils own words to describe his own choice of tracks, very personalised.....and there's a wee, signed & numbered card, just to boost your collector's value, eventually :0)

To pick stand-out favourites would be difficult, there are so many....some magical songs, some fabulous acoustic guitar work, and a shed-load of blistering, soaring electric guitar tones. "Delivery Night", one of the live tracks, perhaps epitomises Nils live, great lyrics (a lot of relationship stuff in his work), driving rhythm, and amazing guitar.

Play it loud...!!!

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