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jem (New Forest, UK)

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That Near Death Thing: Inside the TT- The World's Most Dangerous Race
That Near Death Thing: Inside the TT- The World's Most Dangerous Race
by Rick Broadbent
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars An exceptional book, 11 Feb. 2013
This book was given to me by my son for Christmas. For a start it was great to have a proper hard cover book. I don't get on very well with paperbacks.
I have had an interest in the TT for years, but my interest was intensified by the film TT3D: Closer to the Edge about the 2010 races and then I became friendly with a girl who lives on the Rock, as she calls it, and the two together were enough to persuade me to go myself last year, 2012. It was an amazing experience and I shall be going again this year.
So I knew all about 2010 and 2012, but but less about 2011 and this book supplied all the answers. It is beautifully written and it's been a long time since I had a book I was so reluctant to put down. The author is the Chief Sports Writer for The Times and he has a true journalist's ability to delve beyond the obvious, but beyond that I love the style in which he writes. I feel I know the riders he focuses on in particular quite intimately now and I am really looking forward seeing them again in June.
I would recommend this book to any fan of the TT, but more than that to any sports fan who enjoys a well-written book and wants to widen his horizons. It is truly exceptional.

English Grammar for Dummies, UK Edition
English Grammar for Dummies, UK Edition
by Lesley J. Ward
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.19

18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth keeping..., 10 Jun. 2010
I'm one of those people who still cares about the English language. Others might say I get a bit pedantic, but it really does upset when I see the language mutilated on social networking sites like Facebook, even by some of my friends. Prime examples are 'your' instead of you're' and 'definately' instead of 'definitely'. The distinction between 'their' and 'there is another that is often confused.

There's one person I'm thinking of in particular here. She has just had her 28th birthday and when I bought this book I was thinking of giving it to her as a present. In the end I decided not to do so, partly because I did not want to spoil our friendship, but mainly because I found the book to be much more helpful and interesting than expected. It's good to have my own views confirmed for a start, but it has also taught or reminded me about a few points.

I use it as a reference book, dipping into it as and when I feel the need, but for someone who recognises that their English is not all it might be it would be worth studying the book seriously. The style is easy to read and the author has a good approach to the subject.

I'd recommend it to anyone who cares about the use of English or who wants to learn more about it.

iPod Shuffle 2nd Generation Charger
iPod Shuffle 2nd Generation Charger

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just the job, 20 May 2010
This Charger does exactly what it claims to do and that is charge an iPod Shuffle 1GB 2nd Generation. I have a red one and the standard charger had lost part of the insert. The battery was flat and the Apple Genius store said I would have to buy a replacement Shuffle.
I bought one of these chargers instead and as soon as I connected it up the Shuffle started charging and within a couple of hours was ready to go. I am happily able to listen to all the music I have on the Shuffle. The only snag is that I can't change the music, but this charger doesn't claim to be able to do that. It simply does what it's supposed to do. Five stars.

New Asics Gel-Dominator Mens Trainers UK Size 6 (EU 40)
New Asics Gel-Dominator Mens Trainers UK Size 6 (EU 40)

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly what it says on the box, 13 Nov. 2009
I have nothing but praise for these trainers. They are exactly as described - trainers designed for walking. Compared with running trainers, the front of the sole is not so flexible, which is fine, and the heel area provides good support and cushioning from the gel in the sole.

When I put them on I feel I could walk twice as far as with conventional trainers, much less walking shoes.

These are the first Asics trainers I have had, but they won't be the last.

Officially Licensed DSi Carry Case - Black (Nintendo DS)
Officially Licensed DSi Carry Case - Black (Nintendo DS)

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best yet, 29 Oct. 2009
I agree with the comments made in the previous review about the quality of the item and the padding - it is certainly the best case of its type that I have seen - but there is one important point I would add.

Although the case is described and packaged as being for the DSi, it works equally well with the DS Lite. In fact mine has a black DS Lite in it at the moment, which is a perfect fit. The slots for spare games are very useful and I couldn't be more pleased, hence the five stars.

However, I do have a DSi coming, even if it's not until Christmas, and right now I am wondering if the smaller console might not be a slightly loose fit in this case. Reading the other reviews, I think not and I don't think Nintendo would make such an obvious mistake, but it's a thought. Maybe I shall use my old DS Lite case, which feels slightly smaller, for the DSi. That would be ironic, wouldn't it?

Creative Vado HD 8GB High Definition Pocket Camcorder with 2" LCD and integral HDMI Cable
Creative Vado HD 8GB High Definition Pocket Camcorder with 2" LCD and integral HDMI Cable

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect little recorder, 1 Oct. 2009
I don't see how anyone can find fault with the Creative Vado HD, particularly at the new, reduced price.

I have had mine since March, when it was a birthday present (otherwise I might be feeling a bit sore about the price reduction) and it's done everything I have asked of it. Admittedly I have used a mini-tripod quite often, but that's for times like when I'm using it in a car when I'm driving.

The quality of the footage in low light is amazingly good. It's a shame in a way that there isn't a facility for adding a lens hood, because sometimes bright sunlight can be a nuisance, but it is with any small camera and this one really is small.

I have played my video clips back through a 37" Panasonic HD TV and again the quality was fantastic. I have a Sony HD laptop and I think that helps get great reproduction, too.

For me the Creative Vado HD is the best.

Sight Training (Nintendo DS)
Sight Training (Nintendo DS)
Price: £4.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More fun than it sounds, 15 Sept. 2009
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
I think this is an excellent game. It does primarily test your eyesight, but your brain needs to be working pretty well also. There are basically two types of game, Core Training, which is the harder stuff, I find, and Sports Training, which is more for fun. I should mention that I have a basic eyesight problem in that one of my eyes is what's known as a lazy eye. It affects my peripheral vision to some extent. It's fine in day-to-day activity, but not so good when you're concentrating on a small screen because really only one eye has to try to do the work of two.

As mentioned above, you start off doing all the games at Normal level, but if you get a high score you are given the option of doing them at the Hard level. In both cases the game keeps track of your scores (and those of anyone else who opens a separate data file) from day to day, so you know if you are geting better (or worse).

You start off by completing an Eye Age Check and you are supposed to renew this at regular intervals as another means of showing your progress. The youngest age is 20. Mine was 18 years less than my actual age until tonight, when I did another check and have slipped back by 6 years. Grrr.

The exercises are supposed to be based on your Eye Age Check, but I reckon they are easier when you first start out because I'm finding it quite hard to match my best scores. Maybe they will become easier after tonight's check! You can complete a day's standard exercises in a few minutes, but there are ways of getting back into the system if, like me, you want more practice. In fact, I have scored the maximum in Normal level in several exercises, so I opt for the Hard level. For some reason I'm especially good at Table Tennis and American Football, but not so good at Volleyball in the Sports Training group. Some of the exercises in the Core Training group are the ones I find most difficult because of my lazy eye, but I'm getting better at them.

I have Brain Training and More Brain Training and I would put this game at the same level. It's maybe not for someone who primarily wants to play games, but if you want to exercise your mind and your eyes at the same time, it does the job very well.

Prostar Dash Trainer Socks
Prostar Dash Trainer Socks

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality trainer liners, 10 Sept. 2009
These are really nice socks. They are well made and feel far more durable than the rather skimpy ones offered by Nike and the like. It also helps that they they are specifically the correct size for my rather small feet. 'One size fits all' type socks tend to be too big.

I've given them 5 stars, because that's what they are worth to me, but I should mention a couple of points for other people to consider.

The colour choice is very specific. You either like what they offer or you don't. Plain colours are not an option. I bought 3 pairs initially, 2 for myself and 1 for a lady friend who loves everything pink.

However, she also likes her trainer liners to be definitely 'no show' and these are not. The contrast colour surround at the the top of the sock will show. For me it's not a problem, but for others it may be. I haven't discovered what my friend thinks of hers.

I bought another pair of trainers yesterday and my first thought was that I must get another pair of these socks in the colour I haven't yet had to go with them.

Nike Mens Air Max
Nike Mens Air Max

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disaster area!, 18 July 2009
This review is from: Nike Mens Air Max (Apparel)
These were quite possibly the worst trainers I have ever bought. I'm not surprised that other people have been disappointed in them.

I knew as soon as I opened the box and tried them on that they were not for me, so I sent them straight back. I doubt very much if Amazon would sell trainers that were not genuine Nike, but that's the best I can say about them.

I have a friend who is a reasonably serious runner. He is very scathing about trainers like these. He says they are "fashion accessories for chavs" and, having seen these ones, I know exactly what he means. It would be a big mistake to buy them and think that you could use for them running or indeed any other proper sport. No way, José.

Altec Lansing iM-237 Orbit Ultraportable Speaker for MP3 Players (Silver)
Altec Lansing iM-237 Orbit Ultraportable Speaker for MP3 Players (Silver)

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding little speaker with many uses, 18 July 2009
This is an outstanding little speaker and it works well with iPods and MP3 players, but it does much more than that. You can plug it into the headphone socket of a laptop and get greatly improved sound. I have a Grado HD recorder and the only fault with it is that the sound isn't very strong. Playing videos back through a TV is no problem, because you simply adjust the volume on the TV, but playing them through my laptop was a problem until now. Simply connect this little speaker and all is well. I also have an old but still elegant Apple iBook with a good selection of iTunes music on it. The standard speaker is weedy in the extreme, but again the Altec Lansing is the complete solution.

It is very well-made and the connecting lead is built in and when not in use simply winds around the base out-of-sight and harms way. Everything you need is in the box. The speaker and lead, a smart, soft carrying case and even the the three AAA batteries, so it can be in use in moments. The batteries seem to last for ages and if you wanted to you could use rechargeable ones. It sounds as though earlier versions had a complicated on/off mechanism, but now there is a simple push button with a small green light to let you know it's on.

One of the best buys I have made in ages.

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