reviews

m. werneburg, 1997

I started writing two-line movie reviews on New Year's day of '97, and carried on for a decade or so.  But in 2011 I scotched them, because there were only so many ways of saying, "Oh gods, that was a waste of time." Also, with two kids who has time for movies. It's just as well; A.I. sent me on a huge rant, I can only imagine what I'd have written about Prometheus. (All that promise....)

I also decided—in early 2009—to permanently remove my album and theater reviews due to their poor quality and inconsistency. I just don't know what I'm talking about.

book reviews

Which leaves my book reviews, of which I have not so many but I think the quality is better and they're certainly more relevant and timeless. Enjoy.

camera reviews

Curiously, the page requests keep coming for my collection of humble reviews of out-dated camera equipment. In no particular order:

watch reviews

The second most popular page on this entire site is my recounting of the destruction of a St. Moritz watch I bought and learned to regret. Here are my humble reviews of watches:

Related articles

my fishing watch – the Casio MDV-106

2017.03.15

I bought a beater Casio that turned out to be a fine watch –with a few warts.

don't buy a St. Moritz made-in-Canada watch

2011.06.12

My tale of woe regarding a "Canadian made" wrist watch.

quietly despairing with Seiko's SARB 033

2017

Seiko's SARB line of watches exist to give "aspirational" Grand Seiko owners something with which to pretend it's all right.

camera reviews

2002

Reviews of the cameras I've used extensively. Makes include Minolta, Pentax and Olympus.

my fishing watch – the Casio MDV-106

2017.03.15

I bought a beater Casio that turned out to be a fine watch –with a few warts.

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reader comments

review of Sharp

I HAVE ONE ABIUT 15 OR 20 YEARS OLD. THAT ONE QUIT.

BUT LUCKY I HAD PURCHASED ANOTHER ONE. CAN THE OLD ONE BE FIXED. WHERE CAN I PURCHASE A NEW ONE OR FIX THE OLD ONE???

LEO J GEORGE
27 LAURAL, ATTICA,NY 14011
2007.12.20

It's been a long time since I used that organizer. I've really got no idea. Sorry. 8(

-Michael
Flight to Cancun, Mexicoi

We encountered many problems with Air Transat, we booked our flight to Cancun in October of 2003, leaving for Mexico ion May 22, 2004 and was informed 3 weeks b4 we left that our flight had been cancelled and rescheduled with Westjet. We originally had club seats on a charter fllight and pre-selected seats, instead we were booked on Westjet with no pre-selected seats,, not meals and small seats and to top it off, there was eleven of us and we were limited to 3 drinks to a person. No TV, no meals, and 8 hours in the air. We left from Vancouver and we thought we would be able to go through duty free and of course that did not work out, on our stop in Calgary we had 10 minutes to go through duty free and get back on our plane.

Of course, I will never book through Air Transat again, I would rather drive to Seattle and fly from there.

Coming back my son and daughter-inlaw were not seated together, instead they were across aisles from each other.

I cannot believe that we spent this kind of money and were treated this badly. This was probably one of the more expensive trips we have taken, and we also had our grandchildren with us.

I was told by my travel agent that apparently they booked Westjet and AirTransat was suppose to supply everything anyways these our my comments.

Your gripes, except for the flight cancellation sound relatively minor. I've never understood why people expect luxury when flying discount (I think someone else commenting on this website said the same).

BARBARA AND JOHN MASSEY
2004.06.11

But it is worth noting that while Air Transat does their very least to ensure that their customers are happy, they're also raking in record profits.

-Michael
your review of Swept Away

I thought I better let you know that the Japanese animated film is called Spirited Away.

Swept Away is, by all accounts, a terrible film Guy Ritchie made starring his missus.

Thanks

Josephine
2004.01.07

Thanks for the tip. I've changed the entry.

-Michael
YO-520 Manual

For anyone looking for it go to:

http://media-server.amazon.com/media/mole/MANUAL000008824.pdf

Dan Warren
2003.12.20

Thanks for the tip, Dan.

-Michael
Air Transat IS Craptacular!

Hi Michael,

I've been taking a peek at your site from time to time and just noticed your letter. Did you get any response from AirTransat? I'm curious because of a recent journey with SkyService to Costa Rica where we encountered similar shoddy service.

Cheers,

Mitch

Mitch Sprague
2003.12.17

A response from AirTransat? As I recall, they told me off. What did I expect. I'll never fly with Air Transat again, that's for sure.

-Michael
SHARP YO 520

I USE MY YO 520 EXTENSIVELY. I HAVE OVER 1000 NAMES, OVER 200 SCHEDULE ITEMS, AND OVER 200 MEMO ITEMS. 300 kB HAVE BEEN USED TO RECORD THESE AND OTHER ITEMS. THE INFO IS BACKED UP TO A COMPUTER AND ANOTHER YO 520. I HAVE A RESERVE SUPPLY OF AN ADDITIONAL 5 YO 520s TO REPLACE ANY THAT MAY MALFUNCTION. THAT HAPPENS SOMETIMES BUT I'LL BE USING THEM FOR YEARS. NOT A DAY PASSES THAT I DON'T USE MINE 10 TIMES. WITH THAT AMOUNT OF USAGE THINGS DO GO BAD SOMETIMES.

JOHN GUNTER
2003.10.10

As I said in our private correspondence, my own organizer has packed it in. The screen no longer functions, despite a change in batteries. It served me well for three years, and got my through four moves, a couple of job changes, and a few other hectic episodes, so I can't complain.

-Michael

my organizer is not work j dont why help meeee

2003.09.13

Your email address didn't exist when I responded, so I don't see what I can tell you. Other than "I don't work for Sharp Electronics!" 8)

-Michael
Lost operational manual

I lost my electronic organizer manual for the Sharp yo-520. Can you send me one? Or can I download it?

Please let me know before I send my address...

GC

Gretchen Coyle
2003.08.31

Gretchen. I am not affiliated with the Sharp Electronics people in any way. Please see mywizard.com for the answers you seek. Good luck!

-Michael

Where can I get the software for my YO-520?

Larry
2003.08.24

From mywizard.com. Good luck, Larry.

-Michael
ZQ-520 / YO-520

I got one recently, and have found it to be a really good tool, my job is a programmer and i have filled it up with code snippets, but i have also found it great to put ideas in to it that i wake up with during the night.

Also does anybody know if we can add applications to the organizer or update the amount of memory???

carl
2003.08.12

Carl;

I've no idea whether this is possible, but it seems that mywizard.com might be a good place to poke around for such answers.

-Michael

I don't see anything in the documentation about data when changing the batteries. After you replace the batteries and hit reset, is your original data still in the organizer or is it lost (requiring a synch with your PC database???

Mary
2003.07.01

My manual is long gone. I don't even remember how to set the time zone. But I still use it for memos and the calendar function. Good luck with your search!

-Michael
Problems with software

I have recievd a gift from afriend in china a YO-520 organizer but unfortunately the software and manual accompanied are of YO-515P

I am not able to syncronise my data with PC could u be of any help can I download the software and manual if yes pl get me the link

Thanking you in anticipation

Dr Kukreja

Dr Ajit Naniksingh Kukreja
2003.04.10

Have you had a look at mywizard.com? I'm not associated with the Sharp people at all (my post is just a private review).

-Michael

Ace of Spades ... Production quality??? ... experimental??? ... I think you've missed the point mate!!

2003.04.07

I'm always astonished when people take the time to write something, then won't put their name on it. Seems... limp, somehow.

I stand by what I wrote; I'd sooner listen to this band's earlier or (even much) later works than this album.

-Michael
help

where did you find this laptops external cd rom? and was it reasonably priced

mary kurth
2003.04.06

Mary;

I tried responding to your query via an email, but your account was full.

I wound up buying a parallel-port external CD-ROM for roughly $CAD 200. It's made by 'backpack': it's slow, but it works.

-Michael
Fido is a MAJOR dissapointment

I am one unhappy customer of the Fido product and consumers really need to consider the the value in a dollar or two when considering cell service and what can happen if they make the wrong choice.

I relied on Fido service and time and time again I have been disappointed getting delay voice calls, unable to speak with customer service agents, features that are built in to be so annoying, being put on hold and finally hearing that they lost all my personal information from my handset. Prior to your last screwed-up, I could handle some of the negative aspects and at times was good but the last big one was the final straw.

When I first got the phone I was proud of it, small compact, new and upcoming company but lately i've been embarrased to own it because it seemed to give me problems whenever I used it in front of someone.

Even after sending a similar email like this to the company, the response I got was that they would talk to the customer service agents that delt with me initially. From thier point of view it seems that the customer is always wrong and always has to wait. Why can't companies understand this simple failure... if they did their books would reward them but instead they never know.

Now i'm shopping for another phone.

Suggestion: Don't buy a Fido

Ken Hakes

Ken Hakes
2003.01.31

That's too bad. I've found it worthwhile, but then I haven't had to deal with their customer service recently. I have read commentary by 'industry analysts' that suggests the company is not long for this world....

P.S. By 'your last screwup' I hope you don't associate me with Fido for some reason?

-Michael
Yo-520 windows 2000

The package stated this works with windows 2000, it did with windows 98.

I have updated my computer to windows 2000 and now yo-520 does not replicate. I have done everthing your techs told me to do and it still does not work. Finally they admitted that they do not know why but with some windows 2000 units the yo unit does not work.

Are you addressing this issue or not?

Jim
2002.11.04

Erm, no. I am NOT affiliated with Sharpe Electronics.

-Michael
Need some help

Hi. i haven't seen a lot from your site, but i crossed it because i was looking for information about my YO-520, specifically i am looking for a manual, i know i can get it at sharp's home page, but since i live in Mexico i don't think i can get anything this far, so if you know of some place where i could get that manual on line i would really appreciate that you tell me where this could be... well, thanks for the trouble, and good look finding your job.

Hi! I saw your comment on my home page; perhaps you could look at the mywizard.com site for help, contacts, or downloads?

PSYke BeLMoNT
2002.09.25

Good luck!

-Michael

Dear Friend: I just bought a YO-520 Sharp organizer, and heartily agree with your review.

Cordially,

Robin

Robin
2002.09.14

Groovy. Still using mine, after two years so it must do the job.

-Michael
Fly air NZ you ---fool

I find it interesting your love of Air NZ, you must not know that this same airline that you give a rating of 4 put a DC-10 into the side of Mountain. KILLING ALLL ( look up your internet you fool!!!) I to have had many flts on many different airlines and would put Air NZ at the mid to bottom of most even Ga on safety. READ the inq. to the mess to understand what it said they did to cover up this the truth. PS good luck with the job hunting, Air NZ needs every bum and fool on its seats.

Tony May
2002.09.02

The best part of this comment is that I can try to guess what you mean by "---fool".... Is it 'assfool', like "assclown" from Office Space?

Did we forget our meds, today? Thanks for your good wishes (I think).

-Michael

is popular culture the same as mass culture?

gaynor
2002.07.13

Yeah, good question. I used that title because I didn't know what else to call my collection of lightweight reviews on lightweight movies, books, and whatnot.

-Michael
thanks for reviewing my Fiji guide

Hi Michael, Thanks a lot for the insightful review of my Fiji guide http://www.southpacific.org/fiji.html which you posted on your site. It’s always encouraging to hear that a reader found my book useful—I do the best I can. Happy travels to you in future.

David Stanley!
2001.12.01

Hey, cool. Yeah, it was a lifesaver. Fiji's awesome and your book really does the job.

-Michael