Saturday, April 30, 2016

Reviewing the Wireless Computer Mouse

Logitech Wireless Mouse
Logitech Wireless Optical Mouse - Silver

No one minds a 'mouse in the house'  when it's a Computer Mouse, a necessary accessory to operating your desktop or laptop computer. 

I've gone through a few 'computer mice' over the years, but they were always the ones with a cord that plugged into the computer. When my most current 'mouse' wore out (stopped scrolling, which was an annoyance), I needed to purchase a new one.  I fully expected to acquire another mouse with a cord, until I got to the store and realized that almost ALL of the ones available today were 'cordless'.  Oh no, the mouse lost his tail. 


I'm one of those consumers who is slow to move on to 'the latest and greatest' when it comes to technology, mainly because each 'step up' seems to involve a learning curve.  At 'grandparent age', the learning curve for me is much longer and slower than it is for todays' younger people who are growing up in a technical world and know no other. My world began before computers and, admittedly even before television! 



Shopping for a New Computer Mouse


After looking at all of the computer mice available at the store, and talking to a knowledgeable store employee, I realized that the ones with a cord had a very limited selection (ONE model; black only) and were actually MORE expensive than the wireless mouse that was on sale that day. 


My New Computer Mouse
I ended up purchasing the Logitech M320 wireless optical computer mouse at Staples. It came with a tiny little nano receiver that you simply plug into your computer's USB port. 


Back Side of Wireless Mouse Showing on/off Switch

It operates on one AA battery (included and pre-installed) which provides two years of cordless life. 

You can even turn off the 'mouse' with a little button on the bottom when not in use, extending the life of the battery.  The Logitech M320 wireless optical mouse is also backed by a 1-year warranty.


Happiness is a New (Working) Computer Mouse


I LOVE my new computer mouse. It works perfectly  through the reliable wireless connectivity with plug-and-forget Nano receiver and there is no cord to get hung up or in the way! And the ergonomic design fits my hand perfectly and comfortably. 



My Computer Desk

I chose the silver mouse with a pebbly design shown here, as my computer keyboard is black and my desktop is gray.  But wireless mice also come in a variety of colors and styles to suit any decor or mood. 






Quick Links:



  • This Logitech M320 wireless mouse is currently on sale at Staples, where I bought mine.
  • Logitech and other brands of wireless mice are also available in many colors and styles on Amazon.
  • The story behind the invention of the Computer Mouse and how it got its name can be found on a Review This! post called "A Mouse Review for Race your Mouse Day"

 






    Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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    Friday, April 29, 2016

    FurReal Electronic Pets for Kids Review

    http://reviewthispersonalreviews.blogspot.com/
    Electronic pets for kids are the next best thing to having a real pet.  They are great fun and they can even encourage a sense of responsibility in your children.

    Do you live in an apartment or somewhere pets are unwelcome?  If you lack the facilities for a real pet, or if you are wondering if your child is ready for a real pet, getting him an electronic pet that he can love and care for might be excellent preparation for the bigger responsibilities up ahead.

    One of these electronic toys or virtual pets might be just the right thing for your little one.  Let them have fun while they find out what it takes to look after a live pet.

     
    Don't be misled though, the FurReal pets are first and foremost fun toys that any kid will love.


    FurReal Pets - A Puppy Dog


     FurReal Friends Get Up & GoGo My Walkin' Pup PetOne of the first lessons we must teach new puppy owners is to never let their dogs out for neighborhood walks without a leash.  This cute little electronic dog is one your child can literally take for walks.  The FurReal puppy is controlled by her leash, so she will never go out without it.  As adults, we all know leashes can save a dogs life, but children need to be taught and this gives us a risk free way to teach them.

    This adorable little puppy is soft and cuddly as well as clever!  She responds to a child's touch, just like a real dog.  The puppy also sits, barks and wags it's tail.

    If the idea behind getting your child an electronic pet is in part to teach her how to care for a dog, this is as real as it gets without being live.  The FurReal puppy is a delightful little companion for children over four years old


    FurReal Bunny 


     FurReal Friends Hop `N Cuddle Tan BunnyChildren enjoy visiting pet stores.  Well, in truth, we all enjoy visiting and admiring the precious little creatures.  The animals often tug at our hearts to take them home, but it is nearly impossible to ignore a child and the pretty pet when they are begging to go home together.  But, in the real world pets require more than simple adoration.

    Bunnies are so soft and they look so very cuddly.  Rabbits are also very quiet pets.  Children aren't frightened by bunnies the way they are by some loud or rambunctious dogs.  But we should all keep in mind, live bunnies require a lot of care.  In some ways, they can be more work than a dog.  After all, you can't just let the bunny out into the back yard to take care of his business.  We had a few bunnies when I was a child and I can assure you, they require large cages that need to be cleaned frequently.  
    It really is easier to give a child an electronic bunny to play with.  To be honest, real bunnies don't "play" well.  They are adorable to look at, but they are not playtime pets.



    FurReal Kitties


     FurReal Friends Daisy Plays-With-Me Kitty ToyKitties are another pet that looks perfect for children, but in reality might not be the best companion.   Many cats are loners and they choose when they will grace you with their presence.  I can't even begin to guess the number of times I have seen a child chase a cat around a room, or house, just to touch them.  And, Lord have mercy!  They better not try to pick that kitty up!  Cats have claws, unless the claws have been surgically removed, and trust me when I say, cats know how to use their claws.  It is often the first very real lesson a child learns about live cats.

    FurReal kitties are the type of cats suitable for children.  They won't claw them, they won't run and hide from them, they won't bring the child dead animals, and the best part, they won't stink up the house.   Don't get me wrong, I love cats!  I have 3 grandkitties myself and I wouldn't trade them for anything, but my daughter didn't have cats until she was an adult and started adopting cats all on her own.   

    A FurReal kitty will play with your child.  They will let them pet them and they will purr in delight over your child's presence.  Yes, this truly is the best cat pet for a child.



    FurReal Electronic Pets for Kids Review Written by:
    House of Sylvestermouse




    Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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    Thursday, April 28, 2016

    Review of Nature Photo Tips

    Indian Paintbrush
    On a beautiful April day, I visited Shaw Nature Reserve, which is located about an hour west of St. Louis, Missouri.  I took the trip with two of my photographer friends and we set out on the trails to try to capture the beauty that surrounded us.  The Indian Paintbrush were in full bloom so we had lots of opportunities for colorful photos. In this article, I will share some of my tips on photographing wildflowers and highlights from my day.

    Capture the Overall Feel of the Area

    Although I love to take close up photos of the flowers, I like to have some of my photos showing the overall feel of the area. This photo shows a field of the beautiful orange Indian Paintbrush.  There is also a touch of a purple wildflower in the photo.

    Lines can Draw Interest to Your Photos

    Lines in a photo can draw interest to the area.  In the first photo I used an old rail fence and in the second photo the branches of the tree on the right-hand side of the photo lead you into the wildflowers.

    Close Up Photos are a Great Way to Hone in on a Specific Flower


    Wide Angle Lenses can Give a Different Perspective

    I had read a tip recently to use a wide angle lens when taking flower photos and get in very close to the flower (just a few inches away).  This will make the flower look much bigger in relation to the background.  I tried this and here is the result. A tip for you who only have a camera phone with you.  This shot can work great with most camera phones that have good wide angle lenses.

    There is More than Wildflowers

    When I photograph a place that has beautiful flowers, I also try to take a few photographs to give a feel for the rest of the area and my day.  The photos below show a fallen tree, my photographer buddies, and the path to the trail house.


    Zazzle Note Cards

    I enjoy making notecards from my photos.  Here are a few I made from my trip to Shaw Nature Reserve.

    Indian Paintbrush Card
    Indian Paintbrush Card by mbgphoto
    Find more Wildflowers Cards at Zazzle



    Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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    Wednesday, April 27, 2016

    BelVita Breakfast Biscuits to the Rescue: A Review

    BelVita Breakfast Biscuits came to my rescue this morning.  I had hardly slept all night because of health problems. Sometime during the night I started having mild heart palpitations and I had to keep changing positions because sometimes my sleeping position aggravates them.

    I woke about 6 am with a call of nature and took the pills I need to take on an empty stomach.  I keep them handy in a small pill organizer in the bedroom for convenience. Then I went back to sleep.

    I woke up again about 9:45. This time, as I was waking, I got one of those very painful leg cramps in my calf. Of course, nature was also calling urgently again, but I couldn't walk right away. I had to hold my hands over the cramp to keep it warm so it would relax, while at the same time I was trying to flex those leg muscles. The cramp finally relaxed enough so I could walk to the bathroom, but I was still feeling faint from the pain I'd been in. I used the walker for support.

    While I was on the white throne, I almost passed out. I thought my husband had gone to church,  but he heard me after I had finally made it back to bed and came to check on me. I still felt weak and faint and didn't dare get up. I knew part of my problem was that I hadn't eaten anything for about twelve hours. I needed energy and water, quick. I asked Hubby  to bring me a package of BelVita Biscuits, a banana, a cup of tea, and a glass of water, and he did.

    BelVita Breakfast Biscuits to the Rescue: A Review
    BelVita Breakfast Biscuits by My Bed,  © B. Radisavljevic

    I raised the head of my bed so I could sit and eat the makeshift BelVita breakfast and drink the tea. The banana was too hard to peel and didn't really sound good anyway, so I skipped it. I sat and absorbed the nutrients so I'd gain some strength. 

    It worked. In about fifteen minutes I was able to go to the kitchen and drink a lot of water and have a bit more food. You'd better believe I'll be leaving a pack of BelVita cookies beside my bed from now on, just in case, along with what's left of a small bottle of water the dental hygienist gave me on Tuesday.  I can refill as needed. I hope I won't need these again, but better safe than sorry.

    Big Box of BelVita Breakfast Biscuits in My Pantry,  © B. Radisavljevic


    We first discovered BelVita Breakfast Biscuits at Costco in a box like the one above, except they were the blueberry flavor.  I always read labels, and I was pleased to see that these breakfast "cookies" have only 320 calories for the four breakfast biscuits contained in an individually wrapped package. There is no high fructose corn syrup. Each package contains 4 grams of protein and three grams of fiber, so when you need breakfast fast and portable, one can just add some  milk or yogurt or nuts and some fruit and be ready to eat.

    When quince and apples are in season, I make a fruit compote with them and that is a perfect accompaniment for the breakfast biscuits. You can see how I prepare it in my post Quince Fruit from Blossom to Table. I often pair the BelVita cookies and the fruit compote as a bedtime snack, as well.

    BelVita Breakfast Biscuits to the Rescue: A Review


    The BelVita biscuits are cookies you don't have to feel guilty about eating. They are delicious without being overly sweet. They pair well with apples or pears or sweet strawberries. As I experienced this morning, they provide the boost of energy and nutrients on needs to start the day.

    BelVita Breakfast Biscuits come in many flavors.  Kosta likes blueberry  best, but they no longer carry any flavor but Cinnamon Brown Sugar, so we buy that. I recently discovered that Smart and Final and Food 4 Less had started carrying BelVita and had more flavors, but they were in smaller packages that made them more expensive. I did try the chocolate flavor, but didn't like it as well as the other flavors I had tried. Kosta thinks he might like to try the Cranberry Orange variety. We will probably buy at least some of our BelVita at Amazon now, since they currently have a good deal on the Blueberry flavor.

     belVita Cinnamon Brown Sugar Breakfast Biscuits (15 pk. 4 ct.)
    These are just a sampling of all the Belvita varieties available. There are so many sellers and packaging configurations one has to read the boxes and descriptions carefully to make sure of getting the best deal. Whichever size box you get of BelVita, though, you can be sure that the contents will be yummy. If your local stores don't offer this brand, order some at Amazon so that you will be prepared with something healthy next time you need to grab breakfast in a hurry. BelVita Breakfast Biscuits can also  come to your rescue next time you have a hunger emergency.




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    Tuesday, April 26, 2016

    Reviewing the Kaytee Finch Station

    Easy Way To Attract More Finches

    One of my favorite birds is the American Goldfinch and I have found that using the Kaytee Finch Station is a great way to get more of them to visit my backyard. Before placing the feeding station in my little bird garden, I would have a few of these lovely little yellow birds come around but only just a few. After having placed this feeder with mesh tubes next to the other feeders, I found that even more came to dine. It is not unusual to see 10 to 15 goldfinches feeding at the same time. What a beautiful sight that is!

    The image to the left is not one of the little finches that visits my own yard but one that I found at Pixabay. I never seem to have my own camera ready to grab a neat shot of the sweet little goldfinches that come to my yard. 

    I have to admit that when I first saw the Kaytee Finch Station I thought it was one ugly feeder. It has a large yellow dome that serves as both protection and the place where you add the nyjer seeds. Then the mesh sock tube hangs from the dome.


    I took a chance on it anyway because I really did want to have more finches feeding in my backyard. I have not been disappointed! The joy of seeing all those finches feeding at one time far outweighs the not so attractive looking feeder. Just goes to show you that birds don't care if a feeder is pretty or not, they want something that helps them find the food they want to eat in an easy way.

    The added benefit of that plastic dome at the top is that the squirrels can not get to the mesh sock. Oh they try, believe me they try! Those little varmints (squirrels are my mortal enemies, you know) may get to the dome but they slide right off.

    I also love that inside the package is a spare sock which comes in handy if for some reason the other one gets torn. Honestly, I haven't had to use the spare but I know I have one if I need it.

    Oddly, I find that it is mostly the goldfinches that feed on this feeder. The cute little house finches don't seem to use it as much as the goldfinches do. I have seen them go to it but they don't stay long. That is fine with me because the view of several yellow birds hanging on that sock is just breathtaking!

    If you love to feed the avian visitors in your yard and you like goldfinches, you will not regret getting a Kaytee Finch station. The tube feeders work well but this one with the mesh sock has worked better for me than the tubes that I have used in the past.


    Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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    Monday, April 25, 2016

    Moultrie Game Camera Review



    I had considered purchasing a game camera for some time. I have considered placing one on my balcony rail as security for my Jeep and urban parking lot. I have also wanted one to capture wildlife during camping trips. Price and uncertainty about ease of use stopped me from making the purchase. Until recently. I learned from a friend how easy-to-use the Moultrie A-5 Game Camera is and the price was easily within my budget.  With the purchase of a piece of land teeming with wildlife, buying a game camera seemed like a logical choice. 



    The Moultrie A-5 Digital Game Camera Gen 2


    This model of Moultrie is an easy-to-use 5.0 MP game camera.  It comes with the "belt" and a clip that attach it to a tree.  I just added the batteries and a SD memory card.  The easy-to-use and understand control panel are under the door that latches securely shut.  


    control panel and battery compartment
    My favorite feature is the count-down display. It shows that I have set the camera and begins a count down so that I can leave the area without having my photo taken. Much like the arming of a home security system.  Like a home security system, the last thing I want is to set it off on myself. I know, I know, in this case it is only a picture. But I really don't want to see what I look like when I'm wandering around my yard at The Shack.

    The price of game cameras seem to fluctuate. I purchased mine around $45.  Then we found some at a big box store, on the clearance shelf, for $30!  Yes, we snatched them up.  If you can afford to pay more, you can purchase a model with higher pixels (resulting in better photo quality). But for what I want, this photo quality and price tag suits me just fine.


    Our Moultie Game Camera Pictures


    My roommate is monitoring an area where he hunts. He's captured deer, a fox, birds, and apparently, occasionally, the blowing wind during a snow storm.  Well... I should say he caught the movement of the trees during a windy storm.  If only we could capture photos of the wind!


    deer during a snow storm



    I love seeing fox

    I only set up my camera at The Shack just last weekend. There is evidence of many large deer there. And we may have seen bear scat last weekend. I'm certainly no bear scat expert but it was a pile of something from a large animal. I am very excited to have a camera set up to record some of my visitors.  

    So far, I've captured Willy and the neighbors dog. (Oh boy, I hope the neighbors dog isn't a problem after I move there permanently and add chickens and rabbits to the family! At least I don't have to worry about that for awhile).

    I will soon move the camera so it captures the entrance of The Shack. I will know if I have human visitors while I'm away. 


    Willy loves being at The Shack


    visiting neighbor dog


    For More Information - 


    There are many reviews online.  This includes a great many video reviews.  I want to caution that as you search for reviews, you make sure that you are looking at the Gen 2 model. Older models had different features.




    In order to help you decide if the Moultrie A-5 Gen 2 Game Camera is for you, be sure to look at the nearly 300 reviews on Amazon, complete with nearly 100 questions that have been answered. It is likely that any of your specs and technical questions will be answered there.  I will leave that information to the experts.
    See Amazon listing for more information




    Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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    Friday, April 22, 2016

    The Jungle Book (2016 film) - Movie Review

    By Disney [CC BY-SA 4.0
    (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)],
    via Wikimedia Commons

    The newly released movie, The Jungle Book, is the best new movie of 2016!


    The combination of a fabulous book, excellent actors, and spectacular animation techniques makes The Jungle Book one of the best movies ever released.  

    I sat in amazement as I watched the new movie version of The Jungle Book unfold on the big theater screen.  The characters were so realistic it was seriously hard to believe that they were not real live animals.  

    I have read the book by Rudyard Kipling several times, I've seen the original Disney The Jungle Book many times, but the new Jungle Book movie starring Bill Murray as Baloo literally breathed new life into the old beloved story.


    Bill Murray as Baloo


    By Paul Sherwood from Welland & Toronto, Canada
    (Bill Murray  Uploaded by Diaa_abdelmoneim)
    [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)],
    via Wikimedia Commons
    For as long as I can remember, Baloo has been one of my all time favorite animal characters.  His cheerful personality in the original Disney movie always made me want to dance and sing right along with him.

    I didn't initially want to see the new Jungle Book movie because I didn't want my mental image of the beloved bear to be ruined.   Once I found out Bill Murray was Baloo, I decided it might be okay.  It was better than okay!

    Bill Murray is Baloo!   There could be no better choice to play that part.  Since Bill Murray has always been part comedian and part serious actor, he was perfect for the part!!!  Baloo the Bear is fun-loving, easy going and yet very powerful in the jungle.  All of those descriptions apply as well to Bill Murray.



    Oh, and yes!  He does sing "The Bare Necessities" with Mowgli.  They were so precious together.  


    Christoper Walken as King Louie


    John Harrison [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)
    or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)],
    via Wikimedia Commons
    King Louie was always my least favorite character in The Jungle Book.  Much to my surprise, that is no longer true.  This is The Jungle Book character that has forever changed for me, and it is a great change.

    Christoper Walken, as King Louie, was magnificent!  The man actually made me like the orangutan.  So much of Christoper Walken's personality showed though that the orangutan made me laugh.   

    The really crazy thing, there was a part of me that wanted Mowgli to give this King Louie the desired red flower (fire). 





    Exceptional Animation in Jungle Book 2016


    I've seen a lot of animated movies in my lifetime, but the new Jungle Book animation is truly beyond spectacular.  You can see the real human actors in the facial features of the animals.  Their voices were not simply dubbed in.  When I looked at the face of Baloo, I could see Bill Murray's expressions.  The same thing was true for King Louie.  Those eyes are so very recognizable especially when the voice matches.  

    Each of the animals were exceptional!  I dearly loved Mowgli's wolf mother, Raksha in the new movie.  She is gorgeous, expressive and very believable.  Prior to seeing this new adaptation of The Jungle Book, I would not have even remembered her name.  Now, her image and her protective strength will come to mind when I define motherhood.  

    It is truly hard to believe that this movie, this story that I was previously so familiar with, had such a powerful impact of me.  I largely attribute that affect to the realistic animals and their interaction with what appears to be a real human boy.


    You can see for yourself in the photos above how very realistic the animals look and how beautiful they each are.   The little wolf cub sitting next to Mowgli is his little wolf brother, Grey.  The stunning beauty in the lower right photo is Mowgli's wolf mother, Raksha.


    The Two Big Cats in the The Jungle Book


    Shere Khan, the tiger, is so gorgeous that at first he is really hard to dislike.  Just in case you are not familiar with the story, Shere Khan desires to take revenge on Mowgli for the injuries he suffered when he killed Mowgli's human father.   His hatred of the man-cub is palpable and sadly diminishes his outward beauty.

    I saved one of the best til last.  As the story goes, after Shere Khan kills Mowgli's father, Bagheera finds him and gives him to the wolves to raise because of their strong, protective family pack.   Bagheera, who is so profoundly well played by Ben Kingsley, is beautiful inside and out.  I have always thought black panthers were pretty, but Bagheera's beauty goes beyond the fur.  He is wise, protective, intelligent, loyal and above all else, good.


    More Notable Actors in The Jungle Book 2016 

    Simply stated, all of the actors are exceptional and deserve a standing ovation for their performance.  

    Here are a list of the main actors in Jungle Book  (2016) 

    All of these actors, and more, worked together to make The Jungle Book film of 2016 the best movie of the decade!  You will not want to miss it.  While quite suitable for kids, this movie is not just for children.
     

    The Jungle Book (2016) Movie Review by:
    House of Sylvestermouse





    Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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    Thursday, April 21, 2016

    Seascape Photography


    Down by the Sea

    I have always been fascinated by the sea, so seascape photography has been a wonderful hobby to pursue.
    I am continually mesmerized by the beauty of the ocean. I love the way it never looks the same. The beauty of the waves, the reflections of the sky and clouds, and the way the wind interacts all make the sea a fascinating subject to photograph.
    There is something quite wonderful about being by the seashore. I have lived all of my life in the midwest, miles away from the sea but I have always been pulled by the allure of the sea.
    On this page I will share with you some of my favorite photos from trips to the seashore. 


    Sunrises

    I  love a beautiful sunrise, but it seems that when that sunrise is coming up over the ocean it is even more stunning.  Here are a few photos I took this year of the sun rising over the ocean in Jupiter, Florida.  They were all taken on different days, from the same location, and yet each one is different.  I will never tire of getting up early and enjoying the sunrise over the ocean.



    Before the Sunrise

    If you get up really early, you will find that on some mornings the colors about 30 minutes before the sunrise can be quite spectacular.  It only lasts for a few minutes so be sure to have your camera ready.





    Moonlight Photography

    Another fun way to look at the ocean is in the moonlight.  To take these photos it is important to use a tripod with your camera and set your speed for a longer exposure.  Here are a few moonlight shots I took in Jupiter.


    Waves and Rocks

    I like having something in the foreground on my seashore shots and these rocks worked great.
    I hope you have enjoyed to my seascape photography.  The following are links to some of the Zazzle products I have created from my photographs.

    Sunrise in Paradise Card
    Sunrise in Paradise Card by mbgphoto
    View Tropical Cards online at zazzle
    Sunrise and Waves Ceramic Tile
    Sunrise and Waves Ceramic Tile by mbgphoto
    Find other Sunrise over ocean Tiles at zazzle.com



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