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Reviews Written by
M. G. Chisholm "chiefengineer3" (UK)

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Tala Cook's Measure
Tala Cook's Measure
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Simple,Brilliant, Retro - And Made in England, 29 Mar. 2015
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I first spotted these in a shop at a trendy seaside town at close on twice the price these are sold for on Amazon. Whilst both my wife and I baulked at the actual price we loved the retro looks and of course the practicality.

So when my wife spotted this on Amazon she bought two. One for her and one for our daughter as she now has the joys of making home food now she has babies to feed.

Primarily it is a simple way to measure without using a set of scales. Dry food mostly, but as Tala state on their website you can use it for liquid if you immediately pour it out into the bowl, as this is not leak proof and being tinned steel will rust if left wet. Also, no dishwashers. Hand wash in ordinary soapy water and then dry out.

What it is though is easy to use and quick. Old fashioned but brilliant. And best of all made - yes, actually made - in England.

Transformers: Age of Extinction
Transformers: Age of Extinction
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great CGI - No Soul, 29 Mar. 2015
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Essentially more of the same. Without the charm and Megan Fox's legs. The original live action (apart from the CGI) film was fun, different and had brilliant special effects. And Megan Fox.

This latest film has even bigger special effects - but cannot lift the bar much higher than the original - and for a movie that relies solely on then, it makes for a tough call. It would probably have worked well at that level if it wasn't for the length of it which, seemed to go on forever. And as fan of loud films with minimal story and plenty of visuals to not love this says volumes about it. Worst of all no Megan Fox.

So overall another visual bombastic movie but lacking in soul.

And did I say, No Megan Fox?

Airmax Anti Snoring Nasal Dilator
Airmax Anti Snoring Nasal Dilator
Price: £9.27

3.0 out of 5 stars Generally Effective for Me, 27 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I am an occasional snorer primarily because of narrowed nasal passageways. I'm not a Biffa bin in disguise so that's not an issue for me, simply the restricted air passage that becomes a problem if I get even slightly bunged up.

The wife goes mad, frankly.

I've tried all sorts of things having OD'd on nasal spray for too long. Strips? Okay - for a short while. The really strong ones that do seem to work have enough spring in them to ping off in the middle of the night. The less springy ones stay in place but do sod all.

So, here I am at what appears to be a new kind of product of which suddenly there are many types. I guess I'm not alone. It essentially is supposed to do what the strips do, but more effectively and it does. Just. For me personally, if I am slightly bunged up then they will work well enough to open up the passageways. If I have a bit more inflammation or catarrh then they are only partially effective with one side working better than the other.

Comfort? Okay(ish). I don't particularly like having them stuffed up my snozz, but when they are able to work I put up with it. I don't suffer from any associated pain and eventually I forget about them. If they give my wife a decent night's sleep then the slight irritation is worth the suffering for marital harmony.

Can I recommend them? Mostly yes. Given that they are not the worlds most expensive things, it is worth a punt to see if they do work for you. If they do, then happy days. If not - well, you haven't broke the bank.

Safety 1st Swivel Bath Seat (Pink)
Safety 1st Swivel Bath Seat (Pink)
Offered by Countryside Kids
Price: £14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Makes Washing the Babies Much Easier, 26 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought two of these for my wife (and grandmother) to use when we were taking over duties with our daughters 7 month old twins. As anyone knows, one baby is tough but two? Multiply by four the difficulties. So, anything that makes life a bit easier and safer is welcome and these little seats do a great job in that respect.

The original bathtime cradles where - and are very good - but recline the baby back quite a long way. And as the twins got older and longer we found that the little legs became offensive weapons as they kicked about. So sitting up solves the problem and these make it safe to do so.

Clearly you can't leave the babies alone, but it does make it much easier to put each one into the bath in turn and then remove them. They are well held in place and they can't slide out. Because they are upright we don't have the issue over one child being lamped in the head by the other as they splash about as well.

In terms of build. Well, plenty good enough. They are strong and stick firmly to the bottom of the bath.

Overall, a great little thing to make washing the babies just that bit easier and more fun.

Cooler Master B-Series 700W 12V Single Rail Power Supply
Cooler Master B-Series 700W 12V Single Rail Power Supply
Offered by Box Limited
Price: £49.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Near Silent, 26 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
When buying a power supply I want only two things. Enough power output to drive the computer components and to be as quiet as possible. Power output is easy to work out - it's stamped on the box...but noise? Until you plug it in no matter what is written in the blurb you won't know for sure.

And for me, keeping the noise down is important. It's surprising just how invasive a PC cooling fan can be and I'm prepared to pay a bit more to cut that back. This power supply does this admirably. In fact it is almost silent when the PC is not working hard. When doing a bit more and requiring more power the fan speeds up but even then remains unobtrusive.

Overall a brilliant value for money near silent fan.

Knipex 7006160 Diagonal Cutting Pliers VDE
Knipex 7006160 Diagonal Cutting Pliers VDE
Price: £22.84

5.0 out of 5 stars Best Electrical Side Cutters, 26 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Some tools you can cheat on and use for years, however some tools are worth paying the extra for and getting the best you can. Side cutters - especially ones for electrical installations are those kinds of tools. For kick off you really, really want to know that the things you are holding definitely will not pass a current through you if you make a mistake and cut a live cable. Just because something has what appears to be a plastic handle does not mean it is insulated. Knipex are a top brand item and they are the real deal with regard to electrical tools.

Secondly you could be using these all day long and a crappy pair of cutters soon makes your hands ache or gives you blisters. Whilst these will not do the work for you, the combination of high quality tool steel cutting edge and well made grips is as good as it gets.

Overall these are simply a must for those of use doing lots of electrical work.

Creating Realistic Landscapes for Model Railways
Creating Realistic Landscapes for Model Railways
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended, 25 Mar. 2015
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There isn't one book that has all the answers for any subject and railway modelling is no exception. You only have to look at the Amazon list to see that.

However, there are books that genuinely add to one's knowledge and this is one of them. It's up to date and uses more modern materials than some of the older books that certainly have appeal. The writing is clear and concise with plenty of pictures to back them up. Mr. Hill has also added a bit of background information about real landscapes to help you get the idea of what you actually want to achieve.

If I was to recommend only one book on this subject this might pip it. There are other more detailed works around but they definitely are aimed at the very experienced whereas this book could be used by the complete beginner who has some time and ability to create very good small scale landscapes.

If I'm also honest, I like reading these kinds of books when travelling when working overseas. The have a sense of comfort and nostalgia about them which in essence is what model railway creating is all about.

Tefal Easy Soup Automatic Soup Maker
Tefal Easy Soup Automatic Soup Maker
Price: £54.99

5.0 out of 5 stars It's a Close Call, 24 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
At the end of last year I bought my mum a soup maker from Morphy Richards and she liked it so much I bought one as well to take out to where I work overseas. Doing the expat thing it's too easy to end up eating the canteen food and packing on the lard so various types of veg soup is part of my answer to this problem. I have to eat, so eat healthily.

I reviewed that soup maker with a five star rating - which it still deserves. But of course here I have a Vine product to review so I can genuinely compare this item and my previous purchases.

This soup maker would seem to be a step up from my previous one with extra functions, i.e. the compote maker, although I do think my previous one would do the same, it was just wasn't given a separate button for this facility. The clean function is a good idea, although once again with my previous one, I'd just put hot soapy water in and set it on chunky soup for 5 mins and it achieved the same results - it just didn't have a specific button. Using an ounce of common sense says put some soapy water in it and let it go through a part cycle!

The actual soup making bit is pretty much identical to other makes. You put your ingredients in the kettle part, fit the lid which has the controls and blender attachment and choose your type of soup. Chunky or smooth. Like the other makes, the smooth is probably more effective and less time consuming. Yup, you get soup in about 20 mins but with the chunky type you have to spend a bit more time in preparation getting the chunks to a reasonable and even size. The setting that allows your soup to have larger bits in it is fine, but it certainly won't do all the work for you.

In terms of making soup, it could not be easier. Choose your veg and/or (pre-cooked) meat, add some stock which can be home made or bought and press go. In the time it would take to cook a pizza from raw you have something way more good for your body and soul. Certainly the waistline. In fact just by cutting out the lunchtime garbage and eating soup as a replacement I lost 2kg in three weeks.

You make around 1.2ltrs of soup and that's enough for three people. The Morphy Richards unit makes 1.2 to 1.6 ltrs, so if maximising your quantity is the most important choice then look elsewhere.

Now, whilst you can make soup in about 20 mins, there is prep time and unlike Jamie Oliver, I can't manage that in two minutes. However, what I do is make up a few batches and then bag the soup in the travel container in a portion and then freeze it. I then take the frozen bag out of the container and leave it in the freezer. Each morning as I leave for work I grab a frozen soup and dump it back into the plastic lidded box to be nuked at the worksite.

Which leads me onto something to watch out for. If you are going to make a few soups in a go it's best to leave the soup maker to cool down completely in between batches to avoid it catching on the bottom. I found that out the hard way on my other soup maker and noted that this would do the same.

Build quality is first class and the looks are the best out there. It is a little bit more expensive than it's rivals and in terms of soup making performance I don't think there is much in it, so the extra money is really down to the style and 'feel.' To my mind I would pay the extra ten quid for this one as it's just got that bit more hint of quality about it and sacrifice the 0.4ltrs capacity. 'You pays your money you takes your chances,' as they say. For me, right now on my third soup maker - all still working I may add - this is the best one.

And one more thing - hence this small edit. This soup maker comes with a proper recipe book of soups rather than the usual few pages chucked in for effect.

Price: £1.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Puzzle Game, 21 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Trainyard (App)
In general I don't bother with free apps. I'm naturally wary of either a rubbish app or one that will rip your wallet open later. However in this case I'm glad to say that that free so far means free and the gameplay is excellent.

And this does provide nice bite sized puzzles that are progressive and sufficiently difficult to keep the interest of a fan of this type of game. Essentially you combine trains and track to arrive at a destination or destinations in a variety of ways. Simple idea not so simple to solve.

Anyway a great way to take your mind off a boring office meeting.

Oral B Vitality Plus Floss Action Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush
Oral B Vitality Plus Floss Action Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush
Price: £19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Top Value For Money and Performance, 21 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Having had a load of powered tooth brushes over the years I have come to the conclusion that it really is a system of diminishing returns. Now, clearly I got this to review via the Amazon Vine system - thanks - but I have bought a number of these brushes. The reason? I work overseas and offshore a lot and if I'm on a regular rotation I tend to leave my basic gear behind so I don't have to drag it back again. The rule of thumb though is not to leave anything you want to keep as there is no guarantee of a return.

So I buy a half decent electric brush that won't have me crying in my soup if I lose it. And at the last count I have bought four of these - or versions of them - plus this nice to have, over the last six years.

The performance is great for the money. Yup, I agree that a top end brush will be better but to compensate I simply continue my cleaning regime about ten seconds more. And considering that this brush is twenty quid with two heads included you are looking effectively at a tenner a brush, which is not much more than a decent manual item. Talk about value for money.

Now, I do see that the two heads are there presumably so that more than one person can use this brush, however I rather think that this is not very likely. In reality you are not going to mess around changing heads no matter how easy - and these are - just so two people get to use this bum basic electric brush. My advice? Buy two and use the two heads for your you own use.

Not sure how often you are supposed to change the heads - never checked - but in the spirit of keeping my ivories intact as long as possible I tend to change the heads around the five week mark to ensure that they are in tip top condition. They are not expensive. Certainly not as expensive as a visit to the dentist for new gnashers.

What else? Well, this brush is dead easy to clean. Simple, sealed and generally smooth, a good scrub now and again maintains hygiene levels. The charging base is common to all the Oral B range. Yup, some look a bit flasher than others but thankfully they all have the same charging fitments it seems. In our house we leave one unit in each bathroom and I leave one wherever I am working overseas if it's a regular run and I'm ashore so the wife doe not have to bring the entire unit.

Does it work? Well, I'm 47 and have been using electric toothbrushes for as long as I can remember and so far have only got one filling which, is pretty good going I think.

Overall, given the price it seems daft not to ensure you do the best for your pearly whites and this brush is a properly good cost effective solution.

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