February 28, 2011

Acceptable Haircut Kit for the Ordinary Person: review: Remington Products HC5550AM Professional Cord/cordless Rechargeable Haircut Kit with Turbo Boost:

Remington Products HC5550AM Professional Cord/cordless Rechargeable Haircut Kit with Turbo BoostSometimes in the flurry of writing all day, of venturing into galleries, and sipping coffee in cafes reading old magazines left by earlier customers, a haircut is skipped. In that flurry, time is spare, but trims are needed. My haircut kit arrived just in time.

Testing all the attachments would not be done. The main trimmer sufficed. The trimming I needed was behind my neck. With this, the Remington Products HC5550AM Professional Haircut Kit sufficed. It charged quickly, indicated when I could use it, and provided the grooming necessary. The device cleaned easily, though hardly was required. It felt comfortable to hold, and the two levels of speed work with the touch of a switch.

Missing on my model, but on a different model is the feature indicating how much time is left to use before charging again. The USB charger will be handy if I ever travel and have a trimming emergency, but I think it may go used as an electrical outlet will probably be nearby.

Soon, I will need the skills of a trained stylist. Today, and for a while, I can avoid this expense.

May your hair be forever in place, but when a few strands go renegade, keep them in check by trimming with a Remington Haircut Kit.

--Brockeim

Remington Products HC5550AM Professional Cord/cordless Rechargeable Haircut Kit with Turbo Boost

February 15, 2011

Sophisticated Practicality: Cashmere Feel Camel, Black, White and Red Plaid Scarf (review)

Never have I worn a more comforting scarf. In the cool of an early November evening, just after dusk, when the breeze blows inward, flirtatiously, willing, and yet tentatively, the secure warmth of a classic plaid scarf is like a hearth-bound fire, all girded in goodness, all gentle and sure.

The plaid pattern, of course, brings a sophisticated though pleasantly masculine presence to whatever you might wear. It has an afternoon tea-like class to it, but a brisk morning practicality. Whether tossed on as an accessory on your way to see "Don Giovanni," or part of a snow-shoveling ensemble, you'll find these scarves meeting the intended need without compromise.

Cashmere Feel Camel, Black, White and Red Plaid Scarf--Brockeim


Cashmere Feel Camel, Black, White and Red Plaid Scarf

Cashmere Feel Camel, Black, White and Red Plaid Scarf

February 14, 2011

February 13, 2011

Speedy, Adequate Espresso: Nescafe Dolce Gusto for Nescafe Dolce Gusto Brewers, Espresso, 16-Count Capsules (Pack of 3) review

Nescafe Dolce Gusto for Nescafe Dolce Gusto Brewers, Espresso, 16-Count Capsules (Pack of 3)I own and use regularly an espresso machine. The Nescafe Dolce Gusto machine isn't that. It is a single-cup brewer. What it is, however, is a solution when time is in the way.

My home is open, and friends know they are welcome to stop by without much notice. The beauty of this is I can enjoy the company of wonderful people. The challenge is that my time to prepare is minimal. Using a single cup system, I meet their needs, while focusing on hosting duties. Given time, I can grind beans, whip cream, and more. Without time, guests can still enjoy a better than average espresso.

The term 'espresso' is used here loosely, but accurately. Unlike some single cup systems, high pressure is used to make the espresso. Is it the same as a standard espresso machine? No. It is not that sophisticated. Still, for what is asked of this machine, the espresso flavor is very good. There is a nice crema, and the roast is medium to slightly dark. Those looking for a stronger flavor ought look elsewhere, but, for the average chain coffee house customer, this will be more than adequate.

A better solution for those looking for speed with a more authentic espresso should invest in a standard espresso machine and ESE pods. The pods are single-serve, ready-made. However, if you own the Nescafe Dolce Gusto machine, and love its convenience (great for other flavors), give these a shot. Keep them handy when friends honor your home with an unexpected visit.

--Brockeim

Nescafe Dolce Gusto for Nescafe Dolce Gusto Brewers, Espresso, 16-Count Capsules (Pack of 3) 

February 10, 2011

Chopin's Solo Piano Reminds Me of Romance: The 99 Most Essential Chopin Masterpieces (Amazon Exclusive) review

While traveling, I caught a concert in a church. Chopin's delicate "Nocturnes" highlighted the evening, drawing not only me, but Nancy. She sat near the front, on the right.

She paused while leaving to thank the pianist. Fascinated by her accent, her voice and her smile, I could not help but smile in return as we both exited into the foyer.

Casablanca"Chopin's my favorite," she said, "Though I could be inclined for Bach, if the mood is good." Naturally I agreed, and, without guile or hesitation, asked her to join me in a walk along the river. We both knew there was no river, but we walked anyway. Darkness ran into morning, and we sipped espresso while sitting close on a nonexistent bridge overlooking the nonexistent river. Imagining boats going by, she noted the lights were beautiful against the shimmer of the slowly rising sun on the water. But the sun finished rising, and I was soon returning home.

"But what about us?" she asked.

"We'll always have the river. We didn't have it, we found it when you came to hear Chopin. We found it last night." We might as well have been in Paris, and she might have been Ilsa. (Casablanca)

To all of this, these 99 pieces composed by Chopin, from the Nocturnes to the Sonatas, are beautiful, gentle, and worthy of their small fee. May they remind you of a warm night listening in a church.

--Brockeim

The 99 Most Essential Chopin Masterpieces (Amazon Exclusive) 

Brilliant Choice for Reading and Frightening Cockroaches: GE 11585-12 A21 Incandescent Soft White Light Bulb, 200-Watt, 12-Pack review

GE 11585-12 A21 Incandescent Soft White Light Bulb, 200-Watt, 12-PackSome days need more light than others, and on the dim afternoons, when all is bleak and lonely, this little light is the one to shine.

At 200 Watts, this soft white bulb will reach into every corner. Cockroaches will find your abode no home for their families. However, its use is more than the bane of vile vermin. Though it ubiquitously streams its luminance into the nests and nooks of nasty insects, the bulb brings forth ease for all readers no matter how light or deep the book.

When Saturday hits, and there's a rain dropping down gray clouds and overcast skies, flip the switch with one of these in the socket. Find your next favorite book, and begin a new reading adventure, confident your bulb will be there throughout each page.

With the right shade to disperse the light, this bulb will brighten the room in a smart way without the inconsistent irritating buzzing of a fluorescent tube. You, and a hot chocolate, can sit on the laziest of chairs and linger through the longest of books without ever so much as one eye tiring.

It will last 750 hours. That will bring you 150 five-hour Saturday afternoons, or, if you read at a pace of 150 pages a Saturday, around 105 of the last Newberry Winners and Honor Books, going all the way back to 1974. Those are superb books deserving the whitest of lights, and this beauty will give these books the glory they earned.

Buy several and make your home a happy place for you and your books, and an unhappy one for the six-legged beasts which now roam.

--Brockeim

GE 11585-12 A21 Incandescent Soft White Light Bulb, 200-Watt, 12-Pack 

February 04, 2011

Tasty, But Underwhelming Cereal on a Frozen February Morning: Crunchy Nut Roasted Nut and Honey, 10.8-Ounce (Pack of 4) reviewed

"February made me shiver," sang Don McLean when remembering our loss of Buddy Holly. As a blizzard moved into the Midwest this February, and freezing temperatures took over, the shivering started.

Proper planning would have supplied me with a broader range of food before the storm, but... that's the thing. I didn't. Snowed in, I could not leave. The United States Postal Service, however, was undaunted, however, and left the box of Crunchy Nut Roasted Nut and Honey at my doorstep, thanks to Amazon.com. Though not starving, I appreciated the newness of the cereal, different from my usual Cheerios, Apple Jacks and raisin bran. Would it be different enough to add to my routine?

Like as when manna came for the Israelites, I gave thanks. While watching "The Thin Man" series the next morning, I ate the cereal dry (as I usually do), reaching into the box as if it were popcorn.

What's In A Name?

American Pie* The crunch: loud and grinding, much like the sound of a dog eating a Milk Bone.

* The roasted nut: reminiscent of other cereal peanut butter flavors.

* The honey: I never tasted honey. I tasted a sweet undertone, but not distinctly honey.

* The 10.8 ounces: One box. It took three movies to finish.

I enjoyed the Crunchy Nut Roasted Nut and Honey, but cannot say I found it distinguished from any other cereal. The flavor is underwhelming, but adequate. I may have it in rotation, but it will not be a staple. May your coldest days be warmer with a good breakfast, excellent mail delivery, and Myrna Loy.

--Brockeim

February 03, 2011

Colorful Paperclip Secures Sundry Files and Envelopes: ACCO Nylon Coated Jumbo Paper Clips, 150 Clips Per Box, 1 Box, Assorted Colors (72520) by ACCO

ACCO Nylon Coated Jumbo Paper Clips, 150 Clips Per Box, 1 Box, Assorted Colors (72520)

Nancy arrived at the cafe where I often write. She sat down. We might have talked for hours as we often would. We didn't. She meekly smiled, opened my black notebook (which I brought out of habit), and fastened an envelope with a paperclip. She whispered something as she left.

Sleek, carefully curved, and firm, the pink clip held tight the crisp envelope inside. These paperclips we used at work when we first met. Nancy introduced herself one morning last year as my editor. I gave her an article draft, and she clipped it inside a manila folder. Conversation followed. The next few months were beautiful.

Now, Nancy edits elsewhere. The envelope and paperclip are still secured. Never rusting, the clip's vinyl covering protects the paper from dark ruddy stains. This one paperclip holds the balance of memories. Until I open the envelope, her letter says what I like. I expect this to continue.

The box contains 150 paperclips of all colors, which, for any office, is not enough, but for the casual home desk, might do.

May your rough drafts, envelopes from lovers, and sundry office files be properly organized with ACCO Nylon Coated Paper Clips.

--Brockeim