Thursday, March 13, 2014

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

DeLonghi HMP1500 Mica Panel Heater:
I got this heater as a replacement to one that was in a slow-death decay period. It's actually much bigger than I expected (about the size of an artist's easel or a baby gate for midgets), but rolls around nimbly. As a non-fan-based heater, it's incredibly quiet and easy to adjust. The heat, however, is weird. It is definitely hot enough, but its radiating action means that it serves better as a room heater than a directed foot heater. It also radiates heat out of the top, which means that sticking it under a desk is probably a no-go. However, it's "good enough" for me until it breaks in a year.

Final Grade: B-

Hamilton Beach Set 'n Forget 33967A Slow Cooker:
We got this slow cooker as a wedding gift and have used it dozens of times in the past four years. Like most modern slow cookers, it cooks too hot -- low is really high and high is really super-high -- but this can be worked around with a little practice. The dealbreaker is the fact that it has now randomly turned off in the middle of the day on three separate occasions, rendering dinner either delayed or chewy. Examination of Amazon reviews shows that this is a known issue with the entire line of Hamilton Beach slow cookers. Having disappointed me for the final time with Monday's corned beef, I'm going to have to drop this to a DON'T BUY.

Final Grade: F

House of Cards, Season Two:
The second season, while still eminently watchable, lacks something I can't put my finger on that hooked me through the first season. While I'm glad to see a show that only rarely stoops to explaining things that the viewer should figure out, it sometimes doesn't quite give enough context to various character motivations. This results in plotlines that meander away more than they tie together (compared to the first season, where all of the various plots intertwined and snowballed to conclusion). The closing scenes played out exactly as I expected them to, but I never really felt that there was a true struggle to get there. That said, I'll definitely watch a 3rd season.

Final Grade: B

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