Calvin Hall

Joined a year ago

Calvin's Favorites
Node.js in Practice
Node.js in Practice
Node.js in Practice by Alex R. Young and Marc Harter. Rated 5 out of 5 stars, with 8 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the nodejs category.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Book 6
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Book 6
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Book 6 by J.K. Rowling, Jim Dale, et al.. Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars, with 8772 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the J. K. Rowling category.
Harry Potter og Fangen fra Azkaban: Harry Potter 3
Harry Potter og Fangen fra Azkaban: Harry Potter 3
Harry Potter og Fangen fra Azkaban: Harry Potter 3 by J.K. Rowling, Torstein Bugge Høverstad - translator, et al.. Rated 5 out of 5 stars, with 1 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the J. K. Rowling category.
The Chessmen of Mars: The Barsoom Series 5
The Chessmen of Mars: The Barsoom Series 5
The Chessmen of Mars: The Barsoom Series 5 by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Arthur Vincet, et al.. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars, with 194 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the J. K. Rowling category.
MySQL Enterprise Solutions
MySQL Enterprise Solutions
MySQL Enterprise Solutions by Alexander (Sasha) Pachev. Rated 4.1 out of 5 stars, with 3 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the mysql category.
The Last Alchemist
The Last Alchemist
The Last Alchemist by Erik Hamre. Rated 4.2 out of 5 stars, with 644 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the J. K. Rowling category.
Cross Stitch
Cross Stitch
Cross Stitch by Diana Gabaldon. Rated 4.4 out of 5 stars, with 218 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Nicholas Sparks category.
The Dad Who Saved Christmas
The Dad Who Saved Christmas
The Dad Who Saved Christmas by Karen Rose Smith. Rated 5 out of 5 stars, with 6 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Nicholas Sparks category.
Saving Everest
Saving Everest
Saving Everest by Sky Chase. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars, with 17 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Nicholas Sparks category.
Calico Joe (Roman) (French Edition)
Calico Joe (Roman) (French Edition)
Calico Joe (Roman) (French Edition) by John GRISHAM and Abel GERSCHENFELD. Rated 4.1 out of 5 stars, with 19 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the John Grisham category.
John Grisham 3 Copy Box Set
John Grisham 3 Copy Box Set
John Grisham 3 Copy Box Set by John Grisham. Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars, with 3 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the John Grisham category.
Big Driver
Big Driver
Big Driver by Stephen King. Rated 4.2 out of 5 stars, with 369 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Stephen King category.
En la hierba alta
En la hierba alta
En la hierba alta by Stephen King, Joe Hill, et al.. Rated 4.4 out of 5 stars, with 37 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Stephen King category.
Java Programming, Loose-Leaf Version
Java Programming, Loose-Leaf Version
Java Programming, Loose-Leaf Version by Joyce Farrell. Rated undefined out of 5 stars, with undefined ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the 'Java programming' category.
Kotlin Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide
Kotlin Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide
Kotlin Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide by Josh Skeen and David Greenhalgh. Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars, with 33 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the 'Java programming' category.
Introduction to Python Programming
Introduction to Python Programming
Introduction to Python Programming by Gowrishankar S and Veena A. Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars, with 9 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the 'Python programming' category.
Programming #37:Python Programming In A Day & JavaScript Professional Programming Made Easy (Python Programming, Python Language, Python for beginners, ... Languages, Android, C Programming)
Programming #37:Python Programming In A Day & JavaScript Professional Programming Made Easy (Python Programming, Python Language, Python for beginners, ... Languages, Android, C Programming)
Programming #37:Python Programming In A Day & JavaScript Professional Programming Made Easy (Python Programming, Python Language, Python for beginners, ... Languages, Android, C Programming) by Sam Key. Rated 5 out of 5 stars, with 1 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the 'Python programming' category.
Laravel Testing Decoded
Laravel Testing Decoded
Laravel Testing Decoded by Jeffrey Way. Rated 5 out of 5 stars, with 5 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the 'PHP programming' category.
SQL & PL / SQL for Oracle 11g Black Book
SQL & PL / SQL for Oracle 11g Black Book
SQL & PL / SQL for Oracle 11g Black Book by P.S. Deshpande. Rated 4 out of 5 stars, with 43 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the 'SQL database' category.
TOAD Handbook (2nd Edition)
TOAD Handbook (2nd Edition)
TOAD Handbook (2nd Edition) by Bert Scalzo and Dan Hotka. Rated 4 out of 5 stars, with 13 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the 'SQL database' category.
R For Marketing Research and Analytics (Use R!)
R For Marketing Research and Analytics (Use R!)
R For Marketing Research and Analytics (Use R!) by Chris Chapman and Elea McDonnell Feit. Rated 5 out of 5 stars, with 3 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the R programming category.
R Programming
R Programming
R Programming by Dr. Sandhya Arora and Dr. Latesh Malik. Rated 5 out of 5 stars, with 1 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the R programming category.
Beginning Linux Programming
Beginning Linux Programming
Beginning Linux Programming by Neil Matthew and Richard Stones. Rated 4.4 out of 5 stars, with 47 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Go programming category.
We're Amazing, 1, 2, 3! (Sesame Street)
We're Amazing, 1, 2, 3! (Sesame Street)
We're Amazing, 1, 2, 3! (Sesame Street) by Leslie Kimmelman and Marybeth Nelson. Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars, with 131 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Julia programming category.
Warren Buffett: A Biography of the most Intelligent Businessman Ever
Warren Buffett: A Biography of the most Intelligent Businessman Ever
This short booklet is rather article.

The content is a bit chaotic, and poorly researched. There could be much more interesting thing written about Warren Buffet. Instead there are some generalities.

I am afraid that you can find better written and more valuable Warren Buffet's biography on Wiki - for free.

As you can see the author had written a number of articles on various topics - from JFK, Holocaust through Ancient Egypt, and nearly all of those articles are rated 1* due to poor research, grammar and writing. This should answer a question if this booklet is worth buying.

The booklet is worth 1*. The second is because I got it for free - for free I just don't like it (2*), but if I had spend money on this - I would hate it and give it 1*.
The Warren Buffett Way, + Website 3rd edition by Hagstrom, Robert G. (2013) Hardcover
The Warren Buffett Way, + Website 3rd edition by Hagstrom, Robert G. (2013) Hardcover
I am not finished yet merely half-way into the book but I wanted to review this book; I just could not wait ;-) to tell you all about it. I am taking my time and digesting it all because the meat needs to be chewed, enjoyed and digested thoroughly. I am enjoying each aspect of this book and can't say enough...............I am loving this book.

I have purchased several books pertaining to Buffett and have followed him and his work for a few years. I was interested in him not only because of his investments but his character is to be rewarded; money isn't everything. I have not finished the other books that I have purchased about him but want to be able to absorb this one first before moving forward into the others. Nor have I gotten a chance to delve into the website yet, I can't wait.

This book helps you to see and delve into the ways into which Buffett processes his investments but also shows how his upbringing, mentors and experiences has helped him in his investment endeavors and the investment choices that he makes as seen in Chapter 2: The Education of Warren Buffet. Here it provides an understanding of the industry and having hands on experience does help but in not letting money be your guide is best. Once you understand then you can make better and educated decisions.

Everyone may not be able to have the same types of successes as Buffett has had but to understand the method behind the man says a lot. Robert G. Hagstrom does a good job in breaking down the book. As in Chapter 4: Common Stock Purchases - Nine Case Studies in the tenets that he uses are valuable from Simple and Understandable and Price Point to Candor/Rationality. Stay tuned for a follow-up from me once I finish the book and review the website.

Up unto this point this book is Highly Recommended.
Steve Jobs: Thinking Differently (A Real-Life Story)
Steve Jobs: Thinking Differently (A Real-Life Story)
Patricia Lakin did an amazing job writing this book. It starts at when he was born to after he died. I learned things that I never knew before. At first when I learned that I needed to read a non fiction book for school from a list we got, I was really bummed out. So I got this book and started reading it. When I finished reading for the day, I was already half way done with it! That's how good it was. It made a kid like me who didn't want to read over the summer read the entire book in a few days!
The Coyotes of Carthage: A Novel
The Coyotes of Carthage: A Novel
This novel explores the underbelly of American politics and how “opposition research” and “political operatives” are used for public policy decisions as well as political campaigns.

A mining company wants to purchase a thousand acres of pristine public land in South Carolina to mine it for gold, and they have hired a Washington DC political operative group to persuade the public to allow them to purchase it. The main character, Dre Ross, is the DC firm’s point person.

Dre has issues, including being black in a mostly white world, a sick brother, recent rejection by a girlfriend, an increasing dependence on alcohol, and the fact that he’s a reformed felon. At the book’s beginning, the moral ambiguity of Dre’s job is the least of his issues.

The corporate greed of the mining company is painted in the starkest terms. In real life, the choices typically aren’t nearly so clear. For instance, instead of gold, what if lithium needs to be mined for electric car batteries or rare earth elements are needed for a wide variety of industrial, defense, and consumer applications? Or a company wants to construct windmills to produce green power, but nearby property owners don’t want their view of the sea impaired? By making the choice so clear, the book allows the reader to focus on Dre rather than the public policy issue.

The author writes good clean crisp descriptive sentences. It suggests he can write on a variety of topics.

I haven’t read a fiction book in this genre but have read several similar memoirs, including Confessions of an Economic Hitman, by John Perkins and We’re with Nobody, by Alan Huffman and Michael Rejebian.

The author obviously knows how political operatives practice their craft, but he doesn’t let the book get bogged down in those details. He stays clearly focused on the character development of Dre and how he evolves throughout the book.

In the latter parts of the book the plot begins to get chaotic, reflecting the increasing chaos within the mind of the main character.

The ending (not to be a spoiler) could not be more symbolic. And it clearly emphasizes the most important things going on in the book.

I liked the book a lot and would recommend it to anyone.
One Click: Jeff Bezos and the Rise of Amazon.com
One Click: Jeff Bezos and the Rise of Amazon.com
I still purchased the hard copy; however, I envisioned Jeff Bezos cursing me out for not buying it through the Kindle!

I found the book to be readable and insightful about Jeff Bezos and Amazon. What I found most intriguing about the book was the clear vision and fearlessness in which Jeff Bezos ran the company. He clearly is a risk taker who really knew what he was doing well ahead of other companies. He was also modest enough to say we do not know everything and have to work harder than everyone else to achieve our goals. This did not work out well for Borders, B&N, and some independents.

One of my favorite quotes at the beginning of chapter 8 is as follows "We know two percent today. I think Amazon.com may know as much as any other company about e-commerce, but I bet we know two percent of what we will know two years from know. This is the Kitty Hawk era of e-commerce, and most of the interesting stuff has not been invented yet." That is Jeff Bezos from 1998.

Another quote which I picture more from Google is "We used to joke that the ideal Amazon site would not show a search box, navigation links, or lists of things to buy. Instead it would just display a giant picture of one book, the next book you want to buy." This quote was from Greg Linden, a former Amazon Programmer.

The book naturally has some good insight on the development and growth of the company, but like books on Google and Apple, it tends to fly at a very high level (not a lot of new insight if you are modestly familiar with the companyA). One will not learn how to run a website from reading this book, but some good "tips". I paused to think about some of the key elements Amazon employed (think One Click, continuous improvement, and the Kindle) if I ever ran or had controls in a company.

Definitely recommended reading for some big box stores or older book stores that need to carve out a real niche to survive. The reminder and moral of the story is to think about how best to serve your companies needs and challenge the status quo. We are definitely past two percent of our knowledge of e-commerce, but a lot more excitement to come.
Elon Musk - We the future
Elon Musk - We the future
Elon Musk - We the future by Pavel Vodopadov. Rated undefined out of 5 stars, with null ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the "Elon Musk" category.
2017 President Donald Trump Inaugural Silver EAGLE Commemorative Novelty Coin 38mm. 45th President of the United States of America CERTIFICATE OF AUTHENTICITY
2017 President Donald Trump Inaugural Silver EAGLE Commemorative Novelty Coin 38mm. 45th President of the United States of America CERTIFICATE OF AUTHENTICITY
Came as described except for the certificate of authenticity card that was shown on the item description page. After seeing the shipping package that it came from China, I'm not surprised. Would have liked for this to have been made in the U.S. As an immigrant who came here legally, waited, took the test, and took an oath to abide by the laws of this union and to protect this union from all threats foreign and domestic, I am appalled by the left leaning media that represents anyone who is not a liberal as being white supremacists. There are law abiding citizens who believe in the rule of law and the vote and who believe that the extreme right are kept in check by the laws and the Constitution, but the extreme left is given maintream voice in the media to advocate the breaking of U.S. laws. Every decade, I see the center moderate voices overdrowned not by the extreme right who are kept in check, but by the extreme left, and the middle class dwindling.
Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub Coco Colada, 18oz, Ultra Hydrating and Exfoliating Scrub for Nourishing Essential Body Care
Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub Coco Colada, 18oz, Ultra Hydrating and Exfoliating Scrub for Nourishing Essential Body Care
It's one of those items you try to understand why the price is so low in comparison to others. The scents don't come close to what i expected each one I tried was just unusual scents that didn't blend well. As far as only foot/heel scrub it's acceptable. The texture is unpleasant for a hand wash. Everyone has their own taste so I don't want to leave an unkind review. I even tried the salt scrub instead of the sugar and it felt exactly the same way. Whichever it is the gritty ingredient does not disolve. Bought 4 and decided not to gift them or keep them. Couldn't quite get beyond the texture. It may exfoliate but so will sand. Much better products out there I do not recommend this one, sugar or salt.
Bamboo Toothbrush - Gentle Soft, 8 Pack – Natural, Biodegradable, Eco-Friendly Toothbrush by MitButy
Bamboo Toothbrush - Gentle Soft, 8 Pack – Natural, Biodegradable, Eco-Friendly Toothbrush by MitButy
Recently my dental office confirmed my suspicion that the common toothbrushes we were buying that used to be "soft" were no longer "soft." In my search for an alternative I stumbled upon these. I have always wanted to move away from the plastic toothbrush but pricing was always too high and quality too low. No more! I took a chance on these and they were exactly what our family needed. They are the Goldilocks of toothbrushes. The bristles are soft, but not so soft that you feel like your teeth aren't getting cleaned. The size of the brush head is nice too, not too big and not too small. The quality seems great, and the best part - no more plastic! An added bonus - they fit in our toothbrush holders! Woohoo!!! I will definitely be buying these again.
Avengers Marvel Titan Hero Series Blast Gear Captain America Action Figure
Avengers Marvel Titan Hero Series Blast Gear Captain America Action Figure
I have purchased a few of these 12 inch action figures and am impressed by all of them but this one. The shield doesn’t stay in his arm (which cause my 2.5 year old to get extra frustrated...first world problems around here). This one seems cheaper overall than the others I have purchased. The coloring/paint is sloppy and the shield situation caused me to review. I wouldn’t purchase again.
How to make Deadpool Costume - Deadpool's Swords and Back Sheath
How to make Deadpool Costume - Deadpool's Swords and Back Sheath
Awesomely nerdy Deadpool Cosplay Costume tutorial with great step-by-step information on how to craft the swords easily and quickly with great looking results. If you want to cosplay Deadpool, this is a great watch. And super cool intro to the video too. Thanks for all the tips Skyler! Hope that you'll have more Deadpool tutorials for the next movie too!
Tom Waits - Under The Influence
Tom Waits - Under The Influence
The Great Man absorbed all the unique and scintillating influences that intrigued me growing up - from the brilliant spoken word tonal rhythms of Ken Nordine, and the carny podium barking Lord Buckley, from the bizarre lyrics and innovative instrumentation of Captain Beefheart's Magic Band, from the rangy wandering mind of Jack Kerouac, to the essential Piano Man songwriter Hoagy Carmichael...Tom's taken hints from them all and together with his attraction to Kurt Weill's rebellious, melodic creations, has turned these influences into his own marvelous Big Tent Three Ring Circus, as any prime-number Sagittarius would do. Bless you dear man, we adore you.
Three Complete Novels (The Servants of Twilight / Darkfall / Phantoms)
Three Complete Novels (The Servants of Twilight / Darkfall / Phantoms)
I really enjoyed "Phantoms", but "The Servants of Twilight" and "Darkfall" were rather mediocre, and quite forgettable. "Phantoms" is a well written, suspenseful story with likable characters, and it kept me guessing right through the end... and when the "villain" was finally revealed, I was thoroughly impressed!

Though this collection is a good value, I was not particularly impressed with the quality of the physical book itself. Since the publisher's goal was to cram three full-length novels into one collection, the result is a book with very small font type with a ton of text on each page. After getting accustomed to reading on my Kindle, there's no way I can go back to reading a book that's printed in this style.
Dragon Ball Full Color Freeza Arc, Vol. 2 (2)
Dragon Ball Full Color Freeza Arc, Vol. 2 (2)
I cannot wait for the Namek arc to finish. Everything is green, blue or wearing the same armour. Greatly diminishes the appeal of the coloured version. Not the artist’s fault, it’s done well but Toriyama clearly didn’t think of the length of the storyline when he decided on the colour scheme. Great book as usual just not as amazing in terms of colours.
Gesammelte Werke, Bd.22, Satan und Ischariot
Gesammelte Werke, Bd.22, Satan und Ischariot
Das Buch bildet einen wunderbaren Abschluss dieses, auf mehreren Kontinenten spielenden Abenteuers, welcher Old Shatterhand und Winnetou zurück in den Wilden Westen führt. Für alle Karl May - Fans sicher mit fünf Sternen zu versehen, ist die Bewertung vor allem im Verhältnis zum ersten Band (Die Felsenburg) zu sehen, der atmosphärisch noch etwas dichter als das hier vorliegende Buch geschrieben ist
The Tale of Two Bad Mice
The Tale of Two Bad Mice
This one is just TOO funny, with a morality tale about greed, thievery, losing one's temper, and repentance for one's sins as a bonus.

I have lived in many places where there were mice aplenty, and we co-habit-ed quite cordially for the most part. Ditto for the spiders, ants, and the occasional little lizards or baby snakes. The true persona-non-grata are the roaches and centipedes. I live in Japan, so there are a few others.

Anyway, a true gem of a story, with all of Miss Potter's other works, read over and over again to as many as will hear them.
Rita Hayworth's Shoes: A Novel
Rita Hayworth's Shoes: A Novel
Before I jump into writing about Francine Lasala's absolutely fabulous novel, RITA HAYWORTH'S SHOES (yes I loved it), I have to tell you, I too am a shoe girl/chick/broad! I have more shoes and handbags and LBDs (little black dresses) in every size, because like many, let's face face it, MOST women my weight bounces, forget yo-yo-ing, SO its ALL about ACCESSORIES! Right now we're thin and LOVING it! The reason being, we're walking long distances, eating hearty breakfasts and skipping junk, but back to Francine. I see some darling red shoes on the cover of her book and hello, Rita Hayworth, I have to read this. Thank goodness I did! You have to love, Miss Smarty Lasala not only writes novels, she's quite the promoter. She includes a nice little chunk of how new novel which is also out now, so once you finish this one, you're going to want to buy her newest book. But first here's a little bit about, Francine Lasala's novel, RITA HAYWORTH'S SHOES.

Amy wants a ring on her finger so badly she agrees to get married at the counter of KATZ DELI, while the butcher preps a very lean brisket and schmear. Then the groom calls two hours late to say he's not going to show-up for the "I dos." No one wants to believe it, but then again, they never did like that David, and please, the wedding location was his idea!

Turns out he's run off with another woman, but Amy still has hope that he'll come back to her and they will live a life of marital bliss. Meanwhile her friends and family can't be happier, believing David is the reason for her less than happy state and has held her back from getting her PhD at the University where she works.

Francine Lasala's novel, RITA HAYWORTH'S SHOES is a sassy chick-lit, romance, mystery mixed with magical realism, which I'm finding incorporated into fiction more and more. At a low point in her life, Amy comes across a pair of red shoes supposedly worn by film star, Rita Hayworth at Smitty's second hand shop. After some nudging, well, you know what happens.

"She had never been one of those women who went gaga for shoes, but there was something about these- shiny, red leather pumps with a dramatic high heel and an embellishment on the toe that looked like a happy little daisy."

Keep an eye on that daisy and where Amy travels in those red shoes. Lasala creates a wonderful menagerie of characters but you better pay attention, because it's easy to get lost in the drama of RITA HAYWORTH'S SHOES. There are lots of twists, turns and surprises right up to the very last page, so don't expect to know the ending until you've read the final word. But the best part? Of course, there's a happily ever after!

Francine Lasala's newest novel is THE GIRL, THE GOLD TOOTH & EVERYTHING.
Der Präsident: Roman (German Edition)
Der Präsident: Roman (German Edition)
Inhalt laut Klappentext:
Luther Whitney, ein Einbrecher, plant seinen letzten Coup. Eine leerstehende Villa schient dafür wie geschaffen. Doch als er gerade das Schlafzimmer ausräumen will, fährt ein Wagen vor. Ein distinguierter älterer Herr und eine junge Frau steigen aus und betreten das Haus, offensichtlich bereit für eine heiße Liebesnacht. Aber es kommt zum Streit und zu heftigen Auseinandersetzungen. Von seinem Versteck aus beobachtet Luther, wie zwei Leibwächter die Tür aufstoßen und die Frau erschießen. Alle Spuren werden eilig beseitigt. Luther will die Mörder jedoch nicht so einfach davonkommen lassen. Er ahnt nicht, worauf er sich einläßt ...

Inhalt von mir ergänzt:
Luther Whitney wird Zeuge eines Mordes und kann kaum seinen eigenen Augen trauen... den direkt an dem Mord beteiligt ist eine Person, die die ganze Welt kennt: Der Präsident! Luther will diese Tat nicht ungesühnt lassen und sucht Kontakt zu dem Exfreund seiner Tochter, Jack Graham, der sich mittlerweile auf dem besten Weg zum Staranwalt befindet und eine schillernde Zukunft vor sich hat... doch wird man ihm, dem Kleinkriminellen, überhaupt Glauben schenken?

Die Charaktere:
David Baldacci ist es gelungen, die einzelnen Personen sehr detailliert zu zeichnen. Auch, wenn Luther Whitney ein Kleinkrimineller ist, ich hab' ihn irgendwie sofort ins Herz geschlossen. Jack Graham ist auch von Anfang an ein Sympathieträger, ebenso wie Jacks Exfreundin Kate. Selbst der Präsident Richmond und die Stabchefin Gloria Russel sind so menschlich beschrieben, dass man fast Mitleid mit ihnen haben könnte... wobei die Betonung auf "fast" liegt. Baldacci schafft es, den Leser in die Welt des Buches hineinzuziehen, man bekommt das Gefühl, man wäre mittendrin.

Mein Eindruck zum Buch:
Am Anfang des Buches erlebt man den Mord an erster Front mit und man könnte meinen, damit ist schon die ganze Spannung raus, aber im Gegenteil: Jetzt geht's erst richtig los! Der Spannungsbogen hält über das ganze Werk hinweg und ich konnte das Buch kaum aus der Hand legen. Der Schreibstil von David Baldacci ist flüssig, spannungsgeladen und auch, als ich völlig übermüdet war und dringend schlafen musste, wollte ich "nur noch ein Kapitel" lesen ;-)

Fazit:
Ich war wirklich positiv überrascht und würde dieses Buch definitiv jedem Thriller-Fan ans Herz legen.
Khamsin
Khamsin
good book in good condition ---satisfied
Three Trumps, A Nero Wolfe Omnibus: The Black Mountain / If Death Ever Slept / Before Midnight
Three Trumps, A Nero Wolfe Omnibus: The Black Mountain / If Death Ever Slept / Before Midnight
I have never read a Rex Stout story that I did not like - I just really enjoy his style. There was, however, a certain "spark" missing in these three stories included in this one book, (they were totally unrelated stories). It almost appears that Stout had a ghost writer for the first story (The Black Mountain), as the characters are there (Archie and Nero), but were quite out of character - perhaps because the scenes of action are mostly Europe and not the streets and state of New York (city and state, that is). But the stories seemed to improve from the first to last in that they became truer to form and certainly were more like Stout's signature style. This would have been a five star rating except for the "otherness" of the first and, partially, second of the three stories.
Chuo Kozo-tai (Vol. 1) [in Japanese Language]
Chuo Kozo-tai (Vol. 1) [in Japanese Language]
内田康夫のファンなので基本的に4つ星の評価をしています。

人間に対する厳しい観察眼を持っていることが作家の条件だと思いますが、その底に人に対する温かさが感じられる作家が好きです。その一人が内田康夫という印象を持っています。陳舜臣もその一人で、文章構成も流れも違うのですが、何となくこの二人の作家に流れる人に対する温かさを感じるのです。多くの作家の作品に接していおるわけではありませんので間違っているかもしれません。
The Sherlock Holmes Collection
The Sherlock Holmes Collection
This is a beautiful, well constructed, and finely printed volume of the collected works of Sherlock Holmes. These are my impressions of the book (mostly good!):

THE PROS:

* It is a hardcover book with a cloth cover. It has an elegant houndstooth pattern and simple cover design (as shown in the picture). It also comes with a yellow ribbon bookmark and a slipcase for storage. Overall I think it's a really attractive book that would certainly catch my eye on the shelf. It's one of those book designs that makes you want to read it.

* The binding is cloth and seems to be very durable. Cloth bindings are, of course, commonly used on big books, such as bibles and dictionaries, that are large and heavy and need to last a long time. I think that's the goal with this volume as well.

* The book itself is quite large: approximately 10 inches tall, 7 inches wide, and nearly 3 inches thick. It's also fairly heavy owing to its thinnish pages. In my opinion, these attributes qualify as good things. The entire collected works are here in one volume, which I can keep in a single place on my bookshelf, and use as a single volume when I want to take the book on a trip or read the stories to my children. But I see that this is a matter of preference (see my "cons" section below).

* The text is printed on the small side, but I think it falls easily within the readable category (not always to be expected from a single volume edition of Sherlock!). See my photo for a better look.

* The paper is nice, in my opinion. It's not quite as thin or glossy as bible pages, but it's on the thin side. Any thicker and it could never fit into a single volume.

* The price is right. I briefly considered 
The Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection
The Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection
I already have the complete Sherlock Holmes long stories in book form which I have had for many years and have read several times and I don`t normally read books more than once.
As this Kindle edition was only 49p I bought it as it also includes the short stories of which I have read the first although not for the first time.
I will give this book 5 stars.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2016 Edition) [Includes Digital Download] [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2016 Edition) [Includes Digital Download] [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
A charming introduction to the wizarding world of Harry Potter!

Chris Columbus’ children’s fantasy adventure film Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001) is a dreamy fantasy picture that will make you want to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I loved growing up with these movies as a child, now as an adult, I appreciate their delightful filmmaking and storytelling all the more. Richard Francis-Bruce edits this movie with such a natural pace that time flies by with a new quaint scenario of magic every scene. Columbus set a new standard for family entertainment by creating all this cinematic iconography with his greatest film: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. It is pure joy for 152 magical minutes of childhood nostalgia.

J. K. Rowling’s writing is like stepping into the magical fantasy world of wizards and witches that we all dreamed of casting spells and going to far away places. She understands the perspective of children desiring more from life, whether she writes about family, friends, love, adventure, travel, or courage in the face of adversity. Rowling invented an entire magical universe all her own that I’m forever grateful for her mind. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is a delightful family movie that remains a personal favorite of mine to this day.

Harry Potter famously found the most talented child actors around with natural performances, nice chemistry, and genuinely heartfelt emotions. Daniel Radcliffe is incredibly sympathetic and likable as the eager, yet shy Harry Potter. Rupert Grint is hilarious as the endearing poor fool Ron Weasley. Emma Watson was born to play Hermione Granger with her quick wits and adorable charm. She plays Hermione more smug initially until she warms up to the boys and their adventurous spirit. Tom Felton is perfectly cast as the villainous bully Draco Malfoy. His name even means bad guy, so you know Felton had this in the bag with his smug face and elitist attitude as Draco. He lets you know Malfoy is wealthy and comes from a long line of money and isn’t afraid to cheat his way to the top. He’s a phenomenally hateable antagonist and memorable character.

Richard Harris is so kind and gentle as the formidable wizard headmaster Albus Dumbledore in all his flowing robes and magnificent beard. He sounds so soothing and knowledgeable that I think Harris’ serene and kindly Dumbledore is my favorite incarnation of J. K. Rowling’s iconic wizard character. Maggie Smith is gleefully stern as the brilliant witch Minerva McGonagall. Harry Potter is simply her best acting. Robbie Coltrane is hilarious and sweet as the lovable giant Rubeus Hagrid. Alan Rickman is phenomenal as Severus Snape with his wicked wit and morbidly serious tone. Rickman is so fun as Professor Snape because of the look of disdain he puts on so well. Richard Griffiths is very fun as Harry Potter’s mean uncle Vernon Dursley alongside Fiona Shaw’s wicked Aunt Petunia Dursley. Ian Hart is interesting as the timid and stuttering Professor Quirrell.

I must mention the legendary actor Sir John Hurt cameos as the nice wand merchant Garrick Ollivander in the most mystifying scene in Harry Potter when Harry chooses his wand. Hurt captures an air of mystery and warmth that you will believe in magic!

Other excellent supporting roles of note are David Bradley as the sadistic groundskeeper Mr. Filch with his cute cat Mrs. Norris. Matthew Lewis as the cowardly Neville Longbottom. Warwick Davis as the bank teller goblin and Filius Flitwick. Verne Troyer as Griphook is scary and neat. Harry Melling is such a jerk as Dudley Dursley. John Cleese is funny as Nearly Headless Nick like Julie Walters is kind as Ron’s mother Molly Weasley. You can even see a cute young Bonnie Wright as Ron’s little sister Ginny Weasley at the train station!

Chris Columbus’ charming direction is what makes Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone so charming. You want to visit these magical places in an enchanted English countryside as it all looks real. The production design is mysterious, dusty, warm, and quaintly inviting. The practical effects are mixed carefully with excellent for the era CGI, where a talking snake looks real as does many magic spells. The only green screen that’s noticeable is the backgrounds while students fly on brooms and the troll. Even the sorting hat still looks cool.

Judianna Makovsky and Graham Churchyard’s costumes are already iconic from Dumbledore’s robes, Snape’s suit and cloak, to the Gryffindor scarves. Clare Le Vesconte’s make-up is inspired with crazy choices for goblins and wizards alike. John Williams’ score is so pleasant that you can never forget his theme songs for Harry Potter. He carefully composed each piece for each scene as the notes are cues for particular moments on screen for magical emphasis. He outdid himself with one of his most beloved and memorable scores within his illustrious career as a composer.

Columbus brings his usual Christmas spirit and child’s playful attitude alongside his resplendent directorial choices. The scary sequences are dark and mysterious, while various payoffs are cleverly established earlier up with clever framing and sequencing on his part. His swift and imaginative direction transcends time and age as he crafted a wonderful feature for all ages. John Seale’s striking cinematography captures wide shots of Hogwarts castle, dark foggy forests, hidden chambers, and brightly lit halls with equal grace. Seale’s close-ups are iconic and very expressive.

In conclusion, Chris Columbus directed a classic film with Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone with his creative direction, Williams’ legendary score, and a cool cast of talented kids.
Loungefly x Harry Potter Hogwarts Houses Crests Bifold Wallet
Loungefly x Harry Potter Hogwarts Houses Crests Bifold Wallet
 I received this as a gift for my sister, but when it arrived the zip was broken and wouldn’t do up. It’s a nice looking purse, but if the zip doesn’t work then it’s kind of pointless. Two of the teeth on the zip were bent and were not able to be fixed, they were loose and I couldn’t give it as a present. I have messaged the seller regarding a refund but am yet to receive a response. If it wasn’t for the zip fault, it would have been a great gift
Doublju Womens Basic Slim Fit Simple 3/4 Sleeve Button Down Shirt with Plus Size
Doublju Womens Basic Slim Fit Simple 3/4 Sleeve Button Down Shirt with Plus Size
Pro tip: follow the "product description" sizing guide and measure yourself. I am a 43" in the chest and ordered an XXL. I didn't want a tight fit. As a result, the shoulder is rather baggy and the shoulder seam extends beyond my actual shoulder. However, the torso fits very well and the length is perfect. The sleeve cuff is too tight when buttoned, but I usually roll my sleeves a bit anyway, so this is not a problem. It's just to point out the slight inconsistencies in the proportions.
Delivery took a week (I'm in Canada).
All in all, I'm very happy with the product and the price and will order again.
Sherlock Holmes Harry Houdini: Transformations
Sherlock Holmes Harry Houdini: Transformations
Kindle Unlimited

From what can tell, sometimes not so good on book titles and whatever, the follow is basically part 1, 2, and 3 in the continuing story of Harry Houdini Transformations series. Think read 1 in a collection but could be wrong, since read so many by this writer of different collections.

Sherlock Holmes Harry Houdini: Transformations
Sherlock Holmes Harry Houdini Gift of Magic (Transformations Book 2)
Sherlock Holmes Harry Houdini The Third Transformation
My Sweet Emily
My Sweet Emily
My Sweet Emily

Travelin' down this dusty road,
never knowin' what you might find,
glad for this fork in the road,
you're always on my mind...

(Chorus): And we go walking,
Always hand + hand,
Spend the time talking,
you make me a better man...

My Sweet Emily, My Sweet Emily...

All you do in this life,
can't help it, makes me smile,
our joy cuts through the strife,
you make my life worth while... (Chorus)

Grateful our chance has begun,
all I want is to dance with you,
the best thing I've ever done,
was getting to meet you... (Chorus x2)
Baby Mobile 100% Felt Ball Bed Bell Mobile Crib Jewelry Creative Pendant Toy Wooden Wind Chime Nursery Decoration
Baby Mobile 100% Felt Ball Bed Bell Mobile Crib Jewelry Creative Pendant Toy Wooden Wind Chime Nursery Decoration
Such a beautiful mobile! Mobile legs and mobile music player is sold separately but comparing this mobile to other wooden mobiles around, this is the best value and quality. It comes with a sander if you need to sand the wood but I didn’t need to. I only did it for fun. Got so many compliments, I also wanted something that still have a childlike touch to it like an animal character and this was perfect. It also have little bells attached to the bottom of each sheep heads lol extremely adorable I’m so happy with this purchase. They did an awesome job.
Cast Alaska
Cast Alaska
Kind of a documentary. More just watching people fish.
1) yeah, the soundtrack has some more punk/rock'ish music. But if that's your major turn-off from this like some of the other reviews, then I suggest you find a new hobby, or just not watch it.
2) one major issue with one of the fisherman in this. He stated that an 18"-20" Rainbow in the lower 48 is a "fish of a lifetime" I hate to say when someone is wrong, but wow, is he WRONG. Lots of places where wild fish top over the 20" mark. 30" like they're going for is a different story, those are few and far between, or non-existent in some areas.
So yeah, just that one guy with the "I'm from Alaska and smell my own farts" mentality is a little annoying. The older gentleman is pretty humble though, I like him.
Dove crollano i sogni (Nero Rizzoli) (Italian Edition)
Dove crollano i sogni (Nero Rizzoli) (Italian Edition)
Comprendo la finalità di denuncia sociale che l'autore ha voluto imprimere a questo libro, ma non la condivido. E un po' mi disturba. Il quartiere genovese di Certosa è degradato e mal frequentato come molti altri. Nel Paese e nel mondo. Tuttavia, abbassare il livello culturale del prodotto che si offre ai lettori con la pretesa di offrire la visione di uno spaccato di realtà urbana senza speranza e con sogni effimeri, speculando sul crollo di Ponte Morandi, usato come metafora, non serve e non è educativo. Svilisce lo scrittore (al quale rimarrò fedele, nonostante la delusione di questo libro) e le persone che in quel quartiere sono costrette a vivere e lo fanno senza imbastire progetti criminali. La protagonista è una poveretta (nel senso denigratorio del termine) che concentra le energie sull'uso utilitaristico del proprio corpo. E anche se il romanzo non lo rivela, è facile immaginare che da ciò che accade attorno a lei nell'ultima pagina del libro non apprenderà nulla. Lo stesso nulla di cui è fatta la ragazza.
The Art of Rivalry: Four Friendships, Betrayals, and Breakthroughs in Modern Art
The Art of Rivalry: Four Friendships, Betrayals, and Breakthroughs in Modern Art
The book examines the friendships and rivalries between four pairs of 19th and 20th century artists (in the following non-chronological order): Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon, Edouard Manet and Edgar Degas, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning. My review is perhaps too long, but, concentrating as it does exclusively on the relationship between these artists, it deals with only one part of this superb book, which brings the artists’ personalities vividly before us, is full of other incidents in their lives and has perceptive things to say about the climate in which they worked.

Freud and Bacon met for the first time in 1945, when Freud was 22 and Bacon 35. They took to each other immediately. They were both wild, led rackety lives and were socially undisciplined, Freud’s paintings were at that time very precise, controlled and result of the closest scrutiny; Bacon’s the very opposite: impulsive and daring; and Freud was fascinated by it (and by Bacon’s extrovert personality). Bacon, for his part, admired Freud’s draftsmanship, though probably indifferent to his friend’s work. They made portraits of each other. Freud’s portraits of his sitters often took weeks; Bacon’s distorted portraits were mostly dashed off in an intense spurt from memory or from photographs. Bacon was, at that time, much better known and very much better off than Freud, who became financially dependent on him until his own marriage in 1953 to his second wife, Lady Caroline Blackwood of the Guinness family. The relationship between Freud and Bacon began to fray as Freud observed Bacon’s masochistic infatuation with and dependence on one of his lovers, the violent Peter Lacy; Bacon resented one of Freud’s intervention in 1952, and made more negative comments on Freud’s style. Their close friendship came to an end (though they still socialized on and off for the next twenty years or so and they even worked on each other’s portraits. And Bacon’s work contributed to the changes in Freud’s later style, when Freud abandoned precise linear draftsmanship for an equally intensely observed but now powerful impasto and for the three-dimensionality of heavy bodies. There is now a ruthlessness about his depiction of flesh which some critics have called “cruel”, which is also a charge made against Bacon. Freud now became really successful and prosperous, and perhaps Bacon’s resentment of this brought about their final falling out in the early 1970s. Smee has written four books on Freud, which may account for this chapter to be the best and least speculative of the four. It is superb in its analysis of the personalities and works of both men.

Manet and Degas, both in their late twenties with Degas the younger by about three years, first met in 1861. Manet was had a relaxed and sociable personality, Degas an austere, puritanical and somewhat tortured one. Manet seemed happily married; Degas, though moved by female beauty, was a natural bachelor. Manet was already a fluent painter of “real life” subjects (as distinct from the allegorical, historical or mythological subjects that were favoured by the establishment of the Salon), whereas Degas was struggling to find a path between Ingres and Delacroix, the revered senior artists representing Neo-Classicism and Romanticism respectively. Manet persuaded him to abandon this for painting “real life”. The two men became close friends, but Degas was anxious to be his own man and not merely an acolyte of Manet’s. Smee argues that the difference that appeared between the two men was that Manet was interested in external appearances and paid little attention to expressing characters through faces (true, I think of Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe, but surely not of Olympia? And Smee himself writes about Manet’s interest in the face of Berthe Morisot with whom he was for a while bewitched), whereas Degas looked for an inner truth in the people he painted and that this would best be captured if he caught them unawares. Degas was good at conveying tensions in a marriage. In 1869, during the period when Manet was known to be pursuing Berthe Morisot, he painted a picture of Manet and his wife Suzanne. He showed Manet on a sofa listening to Suzanne playing the piano, and painting conveyed a distance between them (partly caused also by the fact that Manet was not very interested in music). Degas presented the picture to the couple; but when he next visited them, Manet had cut a piece off the painting, which upset Degas very much. Smee sees this episode as very important; but the two men did not break off their friendship, though “its intensity was missing”.

When Matisse and Picasso, his junior by twelve years, first met in 1906, Matisse was an established painter and Picasso was a rising star. Matisse was well disposed to Picasso as a fellow flag-bearer for modern art and encouraged him, but Picasso was determined not to be Matisse’s follower, and it was long before the two men were equals, with Picasso the bolder innovator and seeing himself as a rival to Matisse. Art historians agree that that this rivalry did exist, though Smee has, I think, too many phrases like “Picasso must have felt”, for which there is no evidence. The “breach” between them was over Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” (1907 – that is only year after their first meeting), but Matisse was not one for personal grudges, and, as in the case of Manet and Degas, the two men kept up friendly relations; and much of the antagonism was between their respective followers. When Picasso embraced cubism, Matisse even painted some pictures with something of cubism about them.

De Kooning’s early art work showed that he was a very fine draftsman, though this bothered him, and he was looking for an escape from this particular talent. He moved away from representational to abstract art, but the latter was still linear and disciplined. Pollok, on the other hand, was initially unhappy about how poor his own draftsmanship was, and for this and other reasons he took to bouts of binge drinking during which he was occasionally violent. He then attached himself to Thomas Hart Benton who saw talent in him and helped him to improve his skills in representational art; but this did not satisfy him either. He experimented with surrealism; then was influenced by Roberto Matta, who got him to draw with blindfolds. In 1942, encouraged by a Jungian analyst, he began to doodle; some of this now went into his paintings; Peggy Guggenheim took him up, and he suddenly became famous among aficionados of modern art. The great 180 square feet mural he painted for her in 1943 a single night were, if you like, a gigantic but wonderfully rhythmic doodle. From there he moved on in 1947 to his famous drip-paintings of canvases he laid on the floor: to these apparently chance marks also he imparted a rhythm. Pollock had first met De Kooning in 1941. Fame had so far eluded De Kooning. He now began to admire the freedom in Pollock’s work (rather as Freud had admired Bacon’s) and he began to cut loose in his own paintings. The works he showed in 1948 were fluid and thickly-painted abstracts, though they lacked the rhythm of Pollock’s. As these began to attract attention, Pollock became aggressively jealous of De Kooning. Even so, they established a gruff and sometimes literally sparring friendship. They were now regarded (and regarded each other) as the two great masters of modern American painting. Just as in the case of Matisse and Picasso, it was not they but their followers (notably two leading art critics who hated each other) who sided with one and denigrated the other. In 1950, De Kooning abandoned abstract art and embarked on his famous set of “Woman” paintings. He was embarking upon something new and vigorous and much acclaimed at the very moment when Pollock’s work was becoming mechanical, critics were turning against him, and his behaviour became more intolerable than it had ever been. But De Kooning would not have achieved the fierce freedom of these new works if he had not initially been liberated by Pollock’s influence. When Pollock saw these figurative paintings, he shouted drunkenly to De Kooning that he had “betrayed” abstract art. There was of course no betrayal involved, any more than there had been when the paths of Freud and Bacon or of Manet and Degas or of Matisse and Picasso had diverged; and I don’t think “betrayal” merits its place in the subtitle of this book. The last few pages of this chapter show how, after Pollock’s death in a car crash in 1956, De Kooning’s behaviour and alcoholism became increasingly as unhappy and as alcoholic as that of his late friend. At the time of Pollock’s death, De Kooning was considered the greater artist; but that, too, would change during the remaining 41 years of De Kooning’s life.

Sadly, the book has only 18 illustrations. Thank goodness for Google Images!
VIVO Carrying Bag with Shoulder Strap for Portable 4:3 Projector Screen with Tripod, 72 inch, 84 inch and 100 inch Screen, Bag Only, PS-BAG-100
VIVO Carrying Bag with Shoulder Strap for Portable 4:3 Projector Screen with Tripod, 72 inch, 84 inch and 100 inch Screen, Bag Only, PS-BAG-100
The bag definitely is long enough for the screen I have but is not wide enough in the center of the bag where the screen's carrying handle is. The material used in the bag's construction is very thin and lightweight, so I don't expect it to stand up to a lot of use. There are no reinforced areas at all. The straps and handles are very thin and low-grade. The zipper is a very poor quality and I expect it to burst at the center where the bag is stretched tight over the screen. I am not impressed with this bag at all and will shop around more next time.
Spigen Ultra Hybrid Back Cover Case Designed for iPhone 12 | iPhone 12 Pro - Crystal Clear
Spigen Ultra Hybrid Back Cover Case Designed for iPhone 12 | iPhone 12 Pro - Crystal Clear
I had used Ultra Hybrids in the past and in comparison, the iPhone 12 model is very different. Most notable change were the button coverings. Previous Ultra Hybrids had the TPU material molded around the buttons allowing for a very responsive and tactile click that emulates the feeling you are clicking on the button itself. The button coverings on the iPhone 12 Ultra Hybrid instead goes over the buttons and creates a very flat and flushed look with the rest of the phone. They also added these unappealing button indicators on top of the buttons (+,-, and PWR) like their customers don’t know what their buttons already do and need to look at the side for guidance. The flatter buttons also created a more unnatural clicking feeling where it feels like like you’re pushing the side of the phone instead of clicking a button. Taking a screenshot just feels uncomfortable trying to push both sides of the phone while changing the volume with using my right hand had often resulted in accidentally hitting the power button instead of the side of the phone for support.

Another flaw with this case compared to my previous experience is it is missing a leg on the corner where the camera bump is that’s allows for flat table usage. The iPhone 12 Ultra Hybrid comes with three legs out of the box as an attempt to raise the phone to protect the camera but fails to slightly raise the camera side leaving the phone rocking when you use it flat on the table.

I have had good experiences with Spigen Ultra Hybrids in the past but this case is a step on the wrong direction. Even their iPhone 12 Quartz Hybrid (similar case but with a tempered glass back) has preserved the original tactile button cutouts. I am hoping for a refreshed version 2 reverting some of the major changes they’ve introduced into this years design.
Cisco RV160W VPN Router with 4 Wireless Ports plus Wireless-AC VPN Firewall, Limited Lifetime Protection (RV160W-A-K9-NA)
Cisco RV160W VPN Router with 4 Wireless Ports plus Wireless-AC VPN Firewall, Limited Lifetime Protection (RV160W-A-K9-NA)
This is a stable running router, but the user interface stinks (and I am being nice), the features are geared towards an external server user management, and the operating range of this unit is pathetic. Adding to the woes, the on-unit certificate to router is "expired" and cannot be fixed by anything I can find or that I have tried, you cannot use the Cisco router management app, and online support is limited to the manual. So if you actually want a useful router, don't buy this half baked product. It is unbelievable that Cisco discontinued their other routers and list this as the replacement. Maybe they should purchase Linksys back from Belkin and regain knowledge on what customers actually need plus they can learn again how to write router management software.

To be fair, I used this router for a few months now and I am able to use it after learning the quirks. But the sad part is that I need more access points because this unit itself has VERY weak signal strength compared to just about any wifi router out there. Also, I had to learn quickly that the lease time must be no more than 480min or clients get locked out until either the router is rebooted or the lease is forcibly reset. Oh, and I haven't been able to get the remote management feature to work on this thing so clients must manually reboot the router unless I am on-site to correct the issue. Yet another reason to not get this router.

Update:
I am removing this router from my network and going back to using an ASUS Router. I had replaced an ASUS because the WiFi transmitter started to overheat after a few years of trouble free operations. I thought I would give Cisco a shot because of their reputations. BIG mistake. At least with ASUS I have powerful signal strength AND I have the option of using ASUS or Merlin firmware of which both are far more user friendly, more easily configured, and have far more integrated user management features than what is in this Cisco unit.

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