Sep 23

Soft Claws for Cats ★★★★★

Soft Claws for Cats – CLS (Cleat Lock System), Size Medium, Color Blue

My cat has been using Soft Claws ever since I discovered them. When she has them on, she mostly uses her scratching posts. When they fall off, she goes for the furniture. I always know when one has fallen off.

Some things to know:

* Soft Claws are the same as Soft Paws. The same company makes them. One is marketed to consumers and the other to vets but there is no difference between the products.

* The CLS (Cleat Lock System) is now standard with all Soft Claws. They used to be marketed with and without. The ones with CLS had a clear base, but now they are fully solid colored and they all have CLS. CLS is the little ridges inside the claw caps that help hold the caps on the nails for longer.

* Medium fits my 13 pound cat.

* You may want to do as I do and buy extra applicator tips for the glue bottle. I find it’s easier than reusing the tips. I buy them straight from the manufacturer’s website.

* My cat didn’t like them when I first applied them on her as a kitten, but she didn’t hurt herself trying to get them off. I just kept reapplying them and she got used to them after about a week. She ignored it after that.

* I don’t bother trying to fill the caps 1/3 full. How are we supposed to know they are 1/3 full? I just stick the applicator tip in and fill until I see it coming to the top (don’t let it crest), release the tube so the glue is sucked back into the tube, and that’s enough glue.

* In an enclosed room: I clip my cat’s claws (not too short), let her go, prepare the caps, then place them on her. It takes only seconds to get them on her.

* I don’t bother to hold my cat down for five minutes (are you kidding?). I let her go right away. The caps stay on.

* Each box of 40 caps lasts my cat between four to six months.

Sep 23

Sony DCR-DVD403 3MP DVD Handycam Camcorder ★★★★★

This review was originally posted December 12, 2008.

Sony DCR-DVD403 3MP DVD Handycam Camcorder w/10x Optical Zoom

I have had the Handycam for quite some time and it is a thing of beauty. I will now pass it on to my brother with some sadness, as I hate to see it go. Very easy to use. It turns on and off quickly. Comfortable to hold. Image stabilization is very good. Sound quality and video is very nice.

The very best part about this camcorder is that it records to mini DVD that I could pop out and play right in my DVD player without having to convert or connect using wires. The only downside for me was the disc only recorded about 20 minutes worth of footage. I had to carry a small stack of discs with me when I went on vacation.

I have owned four camcorders and this is my hands down favorite.

Sep 23

Philips Sonicare Essence Power Toothbrush ★★★★★

This review was originally posted December 19, 2008.

Philips Sonicare Essence Power Toothbrush

Those cheap electric toothbrush don’t stand a chance against the Sonicare toothbrushes. My children’s teeth have never been cleaner. My 4 year old uses it without help from me and her dentist marvels at how she has no plaque. I’m sure they think I help her, but I don’t.

My other Sonicare is the Intelliclean. Compared to that, Essence doesn’t have all the bells and whistles, but in some ways, it’s better.

TIMER

There is a two minute timer, after which the toothbrush turns off. That’s all that’s necessary. The Intelliclean beeps every 30 seconds to signal the user to move to another quadrant. The kids don’t understand that concept very well, so brushing until the toothbrush turns off is all they need.

BRUSH HEAD HOLDER

That is a useful feature. The Intelliclean only had one brush head holder that tipped over all the time. This one comes with a brush head holder that holds two brush heads at once in a solid, untippable position.

EASY TO CLEAN AND KEEP CLEAN

Unlike Intelliclean, this one doens’t have an area within the handle for saliva and toothpaste to collect. Much more sanitary! To clean, simply wash and wipe down the handle and brush.

CHANGING BRUSHEADS

The Intelliclean needed to be pulled off and pushed on. The kids had trouble with that and would squeeze toothpaste all over the place. Essence is screwed on and off, which they can do on their own. The absence of toothpaste connected to the brush head means no toothpaste accidents.

TOOTHPASTE

Unlike the Intelliclean, the Essence doesn’t dispense toothpaste. That’s actually a plus, because it’s not easy to find those specially made tubes of paste. For the Essence, any toothpaste will do.

CHARGING

There is a base to put the toothbrush on. Very easy to use. Sometimes, the kids leave the toothbrush off the base for a day, but it still works when they finally get back to it. It keeps its charge for at least that long.

SPEED

Unlike Intelliclean, Essence only has one speed. That’s all that’s necessary for my kids. When there are multiple speeds, the kids play around with it instead of brushing their teeth.

IN SUMMARY

For a good, basic sonic toothbrush, choose Essence. Its simple, no frills design is especially suitable for children.

Sep 21

Xperitus BOS-26U Hi-Speed Quality Micro USB To USB Cable ★★★★★

Xperitus BOS-26U Hi-Speed Quality Micro USB To USB Cable (Pack of 5) 3.3 Feet Braided Tangle Free [Type-B] Compatible with Samsung Mobile Phones Galaxy S4, Google Nexus 5, Nokia Lumia 1020, Galaxy S3, Moto G, Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, Asus Google Nexus 7 7-inch, Sony Xperia, HTC One And More (Green, White, Black, Red, Blue) [Micro USB Cable]

It’s hard to imagine being excited over micro USB cords, but I am. A whole set in five different colors. In that tangled mess at my charging station, I know which cord belongs to what device.

Braided cords are attractive. They don’t tangle and they are more durable. Xperitus cables manage to not be too thick, so I can roll them up and carry them with me. When I look in my drawer full of cables, guess what I pick? They work just fine, exactly as expected. I love them.

This product was provided for review by The Ago!

Sep 21

Neat Oh Everyday Princess Sophie Doll ★★★★☆

Neat Oh Everyday Princess Sophie Doll and Bean Bag Chair

If you think Princess Sophie is a girl doll, think again. She’s a teen. My daughter took her out to change her clothes (we get one change of clothing in the box) and said, “She has boobs, Mom . . . sadly.” She’s supposed to be a girl, at least my daughter thought so.

The tiny garden tools are cute but easily lost. The room scene is just the cardboard background that comes in the box. What I disliked is her hair, which was chopped at the ends. There was no effort to make it evenly across. I’m talking at least an inch between the longest and shortest strands. I’ve never seen doll hair so sloppily cut. If I hadn’t spotted it with my own eyes, I might have scolded my daughter for taking scissors to the doll’s hair.

My little one likes the doll, though. It sits in the beanbag chair, very cute. She says it’s four stars. If she’d given five, I’d have helped her deduct a star for the sloppy haircut and boobs.

This product was provided for review by the Amazon Vine program.

Sep 21

Nerf N-Strike Elite Dart Refill Pack ★★★★★

Nerf N-Strike Elite Dart Refill Pack (75 Darts)

I bought these Nerf N-Strike Elite Dart Refill Pack to go along with my son’s new Nerf Elite 2-in-1 Demolisher. He only had ten, and he really did need more than ten. 75 is more like it — only now, there are darts all over the house. It turns out the cat likes it as much as the kids. Whenever they cock that gun, she comes running, which prompts them to shoot the gun. It’s an endless cycle.

The original darts in the gun would jam. I learned not to store the darts in the clip. That warps them somehow. These darts have not been improperly stored. No, they’re not stored at all. They cover the floor, evidence that they work great. No jamming.

Sep 21

Microsoft LifeCam VX-5500 ★★★★★

This review was originally posted December 20, 2008.

Microsoft LifeCam VX-5500 (White)

I own a Lifecam VX-3000. When the LifeCam VX-5500 came out, I jumped at the chance to compare.

SOFTWARE

The directions clearly state to install the software first before connecting the USB cable. I promptly put the disc in, it began installing and then an error message telling me I need to be connected to the internet for installation. No problem. Anyone buying a webcam must surely have an internet connection. I connect to the internet and begin installation. I wait, and wait, and wait. It’s installing. I wait. 10 minutes pass by. I decide something must be wrong. I discontinue installation. I check my operating system: Windows XP with service pack 3. That should be okay. Maybe it’s the previous installation of LifeCam 1.4. Lifecam 2.0 must conflict. I try uninstalling 1.4 but it doesn’t show up in that computer’s menu of programs to uninstall. I plug in the webcam and it works with Skype. That’s pretty much all my son uses it for, so it’s fine.

My other computer did the same thing upon installation. I was able to uninstall LifeCam 1.4 on that one but still no go for LifeCam 2.0. I call tech support. The guy says give it half an hour. I couldn’t believe my ears. I had too keep asking him, “Really???” Yep. He told me to go to the website, it will be better. That was much better. Anyone need help installing this software go to the website and download from there. It didn’t take half an hour, just a few minutes like it should have.

Troubles installing aside, LifeCam 2.0 does not disappoint. It lets you record and send photos, audio and video at the touch of a button. I had fun playing around with the special effects. You can distort your image or add animals and scenery or dress yourself up. They made for some fun videos and photos.

VIDEO

The video is crisp and clear. There is no problem with video. In bright conditions, it’s great. In low light conditions, it’s still good. There isn’t the extreme graininess I sometimes see in webcams.

AUDIO

When compared to the VX-3000, VX-5500 audio shines. The VX-3000 audio was so poor, I added a microphone even though it came with one built in. The VX-5500 has one built in, too; but this one I can use! It’s crisp and clear, no static and no need for any other microphone.

AESTHETICS AND DESIGN

The faceplates are cute, but I prefer the look of the VX-3000 myself. Square isn’t my thing and I’m not into all changing colors, although my son liked choosing. Changing the faceplates is easy enough, just snap on and off, no screwdrivers needed.

The fold-up design does help with portability. If you need one to carry around, this one folds flat, unlike VX-3000.

Pros:
+software is fun and easy to use
+video is crisp and clean
+audio is clear, no static
+faceplates for those who like to change colors
+folds up for portability

Cons:
-impossible to install software from disc.
-square just isn’t as pretty as round

SUMMARY

Overall a great buy. This webcam shines in every aspect but software installation from disc. You won’t be disappointed.

This product was provided for review by the Amazon Vine program.

Sep 21

UltraShip 55 lb. Digital Postal Shipping & Kitchen Scale ★★★★★

This review was originally posted December 21, 2008.

UltraShip 55 lb. Digital Postal Shipping & Kitchen Scale

I bought the UltraShip Scale to use for buying postage and mailing small packages from home. So far, I haven’t had any problems.

OUT OF THE BOX

Assembly was easy, just put the top of the scale on. The unit comes with a mail tube holder and letter/envelope holder, though I don’t use either. They just sit on top of the unit to keep things from rolling or sliding off. This can be useful, I just haven’t had the need.

OPERATION

Push the button to turn it on and then weigh the object. It’s that easy! It can weigh in grams, pounds, kilograms, pounds and ounces or just ounces. To change the unit of measure, press the button on the side of the unit.

There is a hold button to keep a reading when I remove the object from the scale. I haven’t found any reason to use that feature, but I suppose some people might find it useful.

The scale turns off after awhile, which can save batteries, though I use a power adapter.

DETACHABLE DISPLAY

This feature is useful if one is weighing a large box which obscures the display. To detach the display, the scale must be turned over and two hands must be used. It’s a clumsy procedure, so not something anyone would want to go back and forth on. Either the display stays on or off. Going back and forth is too time-consuming.

ACCURACY

I have found that this unit is as accurate as I need it to be for Paypal postage. Haven’t had any problems as of yet.

Pros:
+easy to use
+accurate
+hold feature
+includes tube holder and letter/envelope holder
+detachable display
+automatic shutoff feature
+runs on batteries or with power adapter (sold separately)

Cons:
-detaching display is a clumsy, awkward procedure

SUMMARY

This scale works well, is easy to use, is accurate and can weigh objects up to 55 lbs. It is perfect for a small business.

Sep 19

Juno Power JUNOJUMPR ★★★★★

Juno Power JUNOJUMPR (BLACK) – Pocket-Size Car Battery Jump Starter and Portable Charger for Smartphones, Tablets, Cars and Motorcycles; 6,000mAh with Single 5V/2A and LED Flashlight; Car Battery Charger and also Portable Battery Charger for iPhone 6 Plus, 6, 5S, 5C, 5, 4S; Samsung Galaxy S3, S4, S5; Motorola Moto X; HTC One; Nexus 4; and More

Our family has a hobby. We like to hunt for gold. One way to do that in the desert is to use a machine called a dry washer. Ours is electric. It runs off a ride-on lawnmower battery (smaller version of a car battery), which is heavy and takes up room.

Enter the JUNOJUMPR. On our last trip, I took out the JUNOJUMPR and hooked up the battery clamps to the clamps on the dry washer. Voila. It worked! I thought 6000 mAh would not last for more than a few minutes, but we ran it for a whole hour before giving out. I was so impressed. It’s much easier to port a JUNOJUMPR than it is to carry a lawnmower battery. It may not last as long, but it’s so much smaller (the size of a smartphone) and lightweight.

The JUNOJUMPR comes with one flashlight LED bulb and one USB port. I used that to charge my HTC One M8. 88%, I was a little disappointed. I tried again, this time on my iPhone 4S. It gave a full charge, this time with 3 out of 4 power indicator lights showing. Now that’s more like it.

This is a great battery to have when a 12 volt battery is required. Instructions say it’s not for V8 vehicles or engines over 3.5 liters. It works with 1.5 – 2.5 liter and some 3.5 liter engines. I’ve not jump started my car, but my Honda Odyssey is 3.5 liter and a V6. I hope that qualifies under “some 3.5 liter.”

This product was provided for review by the Max Borges Agency.

Sep 19

Dragonwing girlgear Girl’s Chill Weight Workout Capri ★★★★★

Dragonwing girlgear Girl’s Chill Weight Workout Capri, Medium (12), Black with Azure Blue

Okay, so it’s way too hot to figure out if Dragonwing girlgear Workout Capri will keep anyone warm. My ten year-old wore them anyway to gymnastics over her leotard. She’s normally a size 10/12, and the 12 capris were a little baggy on her middle, but they didn’t fall.

She likes them. It looks like she’ll be able to like them for a whole nother year or two. They are well-constructed at the seams and have a lot of give. Very comfortable.

This product was provided for review by the Amazon Vine program.