Sunday, December 2, 2007
I had originally purchased the blu-ray of this, but ended up also buying the DVD version of this because of all the bonus material included on it. Sadly the bonus material is not included on the blu-ray or HD-DVD versions.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Throughout the first year I had no trouble with it. I used the machine once every month or so; I tried a few of the loaves of bread from the included recipe book. I really enjoyed the machine, and it is quite powerful for its rated 250 watts.
Then I bought this wonderful book, The Bread Baker's Apprentice, by Reinhart. Only then did I realize how woefully inadequate this machine is for medium use. I started baking bread once a week, from a lighter ciabatta to heavy whole wheat breads and bagels.
The machine vibrates so much while mixing breads that I am afraid it is going to fall on the floor. The pin holding the tilt head on also works its way out, one of these days I am afraid it will fall out and the mixer head will fall off. While mixing dry doughs, like bagels, the motor strains so hard that it sometimes stops for 1 second at a time and makes buzzing noises before it finally is able to knead the dough. This causes excess heat in the motor that I am sure will cause premature failure (it has the electrical burn smell afterwards).
In the last few months the machine has quickly declined, and it is on its last limb. It is only a matter of time before the motor burns up or the gearbox fails. When it does fail I will probably fix it and keep it around as a meat grinder since it has the power take off unit that can run the meat grinder attachment. One of the nice things about these mixers is they are completely serviceable, but I will replace it with a DeLonghi (Kenwood) DSM7 that is better suited for my kneads (pun intended).
As I said, this mixer is excellent for light use, and for a single loaf (or 2 small loaves) of bread at a time. If you intend to bake bread frequently, it would be wise to invest in something heavier duty.
Given the excellent performance, it is a close contender with Garmin. With the heavy discount on the price it should be a first choice.
Monday, November 26, 2007
If you've enjoyed the previous fully-loaded releases of the smash hit franchise, "Spider-Man 3" Special Edition is a well recommended purchase. The 2007 summer blockbuster is presented in 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen format. Its crystal clear picture quality contains some bright colors and fine resolution. Its 5.1 Dolby Digital sound is first-rate with great clarity and intense surround effects. Its special features include several behind-the-scenes and SFX featurettes, photo galleries, Snow Patrol "Signal fire" music video, trailers, TV spots, blooper reel and two informative audio commentaries by director Sam Raimi, cast members and production crew. Overall, "Spiderman 3" Special Edition scores "B+".
PROS: design, 2GB RAM, 250GB, Vista home premium (mine was 32-bit unlike above comment).
-Comes with 12-cell battery which is bulky but lasts at least 4 hours watching movies and listening to music. The battery also raises the laptop off the table, which helps with cooling.
-Roxio software for CD/DVD burning is sufficient, and its LightScribe software is easy to use.
-I wasn't too impressed with the LightScribe function as it prints light-medium gray text/images onto the CD - a little too light for my taste. But the technology is supposed to replace chemical damage your CDs would otherwise get from stickers and writing.
-I thought 14 inches would suffice, but 15.4 inches really make a difference in organizing my desktop and music folders, navigating through Excel spreadsheets, and obviously watching movies.
CONS: no bluetooth (I didn't think I'd need it but found it would've been helpful for a wireless mouse or keyboard, etc), and a little heavy for everyday portability. Although Home Premium is equipped for TV recording, you need to buy a separate TV tuner for that to happen.
OVERALL: GREAT product for its price, especially if you can find it on sale like I did. It is in no way a high end laptop but pretty darn good for everyday use. On a scale of 1-10, 1 being a lay user and 10 being very tech savvy, this would be perfect for up to 8.5
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Yep, couch time again.
Unfortunately, Stern's outrageous, misogynistic persona is neutered in this film--no doubt to appeal to a mainstream audience. But by softening Stern the character becomes a superficial parody; a "kinder, gentler" Howard is unappealing to both his fans and his dissenters. Granted, the movie depicts some of Stern's famous (infamous?) radio spoofs, but only as a device to show Howard as a disc jockey trying to break free from the bondage of management nimrods rather than the broadcaster's true psychological inclination.
Kind of takes all the fun out of the man, if you ask me.On the positive side (and the film, as I've said, does have its moments), Stern is surprisingly comfortable and believable in front of a camera, and his unwavering loyalty to fellow broadcaster Robin Quivers is fascinating. But if you're looking for a real dose of Howard Stern I suggest you bypass PRIVATE PARTS and tune in to his cable show. That is, if your wife will let you.