Sunday, November 07, 2004

The Final Chopper Report (I Hope)

To date I have used the Ultimate Chopper four times. About a week after I got it I noticed a long crack that went up one side, arched about an inch over the domelike top, and went straight down again. If the area were to break awaay it would look like the top piece has a door with a curved top in it, and a fourth of the cap would be missing. So I called the non-toll-free number they provided and they said they'd send a replacement, free. In the meantime I can use the original one, and I have some Superglue on hand in case it doesn't hold. The crack seems to be on the inside and not penetrating all the way through to the exterior of the piece, but who knows how long that will remain?
This points out the main problem with the unit: supreme cheapness of the components. It has done a fine job chopping things so far, but the cover piece, without which the started can't be activated, is made of the flimsiest, cheapest plastic on Earth. You have to handle everything quite gingerly or it will shatter like dropped icicles.
Another drawback is the modest size of the bowl that holds the material to be chopped. If you want to do onions, for examples, they'd better be no large than the average walnut or you have to cut them down to size. Once they're that small you may as well chop them all the way by hand.
I used TUC to mix up some scrambled eggs. They came out smoother than I've ever seen eggs before, but they spilled over the center of the bowl where the chopping assembly sits. This was with five eggs. When I make breakfast for the family I usually use six or seven, so I guess I'll have to mix them in two takes from now on.

For the past two weeks I've been line editing a manuscript for a lady in my critique group, which has put my own reading and writing on hold for the most part. I did manage to work through Grafton's "R" during lulls or as I lay abed trying to fall asleep, and while I liked much of it there were some elements that seemed off. Mainly, I think, it was Kinsey allowing herself to be the victim of a scheming airhead despite her better judgment, and against her character as established through the rest of the alphabet. And, when there was imminent danger, her excuse for not packing her gun rang false. With only eight more books in the series, I'm sure I'll stay the course and read them all, but I hope she uses a little more internal logic and common sense in the upcoming ones. I'm also bothered when a character claims to know nothing of some area (in this case, architecture) and then starts spouting jargon like an old hand.
And that's my take on "R" is for Ricochet. Respectfully submitted, Cap'n Bob Napier.

Oh, and just so you don't think I was a total goof off, I've managed to knock out a few chapters of my own book, which ought to be finished Real Soon Now.




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