Never, ever buy anything from Amazon unless Dr M von Vogelhausen has reviewed it first…
Fellowes P-58C Cross Cut Shredder with SafeSense Technology
***** a discerning shredder
Well, this is a remarkable little guy. I have lots of documents and paper that I need to destroy irrevocably, and for decades I have relied on one pair of scissors and a great deal of free time, horlicks and patience. I recently decided that the time had come to move into the machine age (a decision approved of by my robot masters), and so at the top of my list was a shredding device. Enough backstory – what’s it like?
Well, it’s sharp in all the right places, like a good gin and tonic (but not as fizzy). It makes a satisfying, slightly panicked machine-sound when it shreds. Despite my initial concerns, it shares none of the characteristics of Shredder from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
If I have one caveat, it is that it can be very picky about its shredding duties. I had no trouble getting through my 400 page verse novel about the aborted ballet career of Desert Orchid, or my short stories about the Civil War told from the perspective of a family of radioactive ants. However, when I came to try to destroy the first in a series of manuscripts of historical romances (“Nights of the Round Table”), I found the shredder simply passed the paper through intact. I scolded it; I pleaded with it; to no avail. When I took one of the manuscripts to an illegal backstreet shredder, the Fellowes P58-C sulked for days. We are fine now – we have reached an understanding.
All in all, unless you need to shred romantic fiction, I wholeheartedly recommend this product.
Oxford Thesaurus of English [Hardcover]
***** very, very useful
I really like this great, useful book. It has changed the way I use language, which I have found useful – and that’s great for a writer! I found its layout useful, and the clarity of the text was great – I liked that. It is useful to be able to find synonyms using alphabetical order, a great idea. It can even be useful when trying to think of synonyms to solve a crossword. All in all this book has been of great use to me changing the way I write, and I greatly recommend it.
Kirstie Allsopp – Craft [Hardcover]
***** a lifesaver, although not how I was expecting
Several days ago, I was piloting my frigate between the clashing crystal rocks of doom, thirty miles off the coast of Swindon. I had suffered a mutiny at the hands of my crew, thirty nearly identical automatons whom I had delighted in dressing up as characters from “Murder she wrote”. Suddenly, I remembered Jessica Robofletcher’s curse as I bundled her into the brig. “A storm is coming, Captain Dr. von Vogelhausen, ye scurvy humanoid.” I looked up at the sky, which was, reassuringly, above me; and I saw dark, cloudy clouds. “Arrr,” I mused aloud. Another thought struck me: “Arrr.” The storm raged, we began to take on water, and to sink, and I feared all was lost. I freed my treacherous crew, and waved them off into the lifeboats, still in costume, hoping that the currents would take them to the New England coast of the eighties, where they would be able to fit in.
So I stood on the deck of my beautiful frigate (which I had named the Infinite Seapuma), and saw the foaming madness of the waves heading for me, as I had always somehow known it would. Then it ocurred to me – perchance Amazon might rescue me? I searched its labyrinthine e-corridors and saw the title of Kirstie’s latest opus. “Arrr!” I shouted, in deluded triumph, like an octopus misunderstanding chess. Kirstie is very handy, I was thinking, and I can use this book to teach myself to build a raft, as the title suggests. O hubris! In the salty spray and with the unfortunate motion of my dying frigate, I had missed the C.
When the book arrived, I had in fact already swum to shore, and had constructed a beach hut, using only the power of my mind, and some building supplies. I was looking at the bareness of my shelves, and sighing, “Arrr…” As luck would have it, I had no need of rafts – the Swindonian islanders have banned them, for their flatness – but I did need decorations, and pretty things. So it was that Kirstie Allsopp came to my aid, once more. What a book – it’s A-OK, KA!