Cassius James

Joined a year ago

Cassius's Favorites
How to Do Everything with JavaScript
How to Do Everything with JavaScript
How to Do Everything with JavaScript by Scott Duffy. Rated 4 out of 5 stars, with 5 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the javascript category.
The Nitch
The Nitch
The Nitch by Satyrus Jeering. Rated 4.3 out of 5 stars, with 48 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the J. K. Rowling category.
Programming #15:C Programming Success in a Day & CSS Programming Professional Made Easy (C Programming, C++programming, C++ programming language, CSS Programming, ... CSS Programming Guide , Rails, PHP, CSS)
Programming #15:C Programming Success in a Day & CSS Programming Professional Made Easy (C Programming, C++programming, C++ programming language, CSS Programming, ... CSS Programming Guide , Rails, PHP, CSS)
Programming #15:C Programming Success in a Day & CSS Programming Professional Made Easy (C Programming, C++programming, C++ programming language, CSS Programming, ... CSS Programming Guide , Rails, PHP, CSS) by Sam Key. Rated 3 out of 5 stars, with 1 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the 'PHP programming' category.
Berkshire Hathaway Letters to Shareholders
Berkshire Hathaway Letters to Shareholders
There have been critics who have written reviews on here that this book is no different than going online and printing out all of the shareholders letters and there are others that say that you should pick up Lawrence Cunningham's version because that version is editorialized and I am here to tell you that I have done all three, not because anyone has told me or I recommended it, but because I have thoroughly entrenched myself in the study of Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger and Berkshire Hathaway and I will tell you this edition and book is an outstanding treasure and amazing addition to anyone's library, full of awesome information and knowledge about the inner workings of Berkshire Hathaway. I'm actually very sorry I didn't get it much, much sooner. I cannot recommend this book strongly enough...10 STARS!!!!!
The Job: True Tales from the Life of a New York City Cop
The Job: True Tales from the Life of a New York City Cop
I came across this book quite by accident and talk about serendipitous good fortune! The wife had C-Span's Book TV on the tube. They were broadcasting from a Methodist church in Savannah as part of the city's annual book festival. When Steve Osborne stepped to the pulpit, er podium, I wasn't sure what to expect, and I was blown away. He's the real deal -- from his Noo Yawk accent to his beat cop intensity -- but you can't judge a book by its cover or an author by his. Osborne is engaging, articulate, and funny as hell. The man speaks from the heart and, as you might expect, he has seen more than his fair share of serious s***, but here's the deal. You would think that constantly seeing people at their worst and in the worst of situations would suck your soul right out of your body, but Osborne writes with a humanity and empathy that is compelling and moving. To be our "best selves" on our "worst days" is a high bar to which many of us aspire, and a standard that Steve Osborne has cleared many times. The book is a fun read. It's like having a cop giving you the skinny over a couple of beers in a bar. I'd love to tell you it's the next best thing to being there, but that's not really true. Being able to vicariously experience some of the stuff that Osborne so skillfully describes is, in my estimation, actually preferable to being there. Osborne strikes me as an example worthy of emulation among those who wear the badge as well as the rest of us in terms of how we treat people. Borne out of his stories, Osborne shows us how to make a difference if we only have the willingness to look for the opportunities around us every day, and the courage to act on what we see.
The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail
The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail
The subject of this classic is disruptive technology.

With the help of many examples from industry (disk-drives being his main workhorse) the author explains what technologies are likely to disrupt, who is likely to be disrupted, why they are likely to be disrupted and what the choices are that the established players have when presented with disruption.

The most important point is that disruption generally comes from the practice of repackaging and marketing already existing, straightforward technology at a lower price point to a new customer base that is not economically viable for the established players.

For example, QuickBooks was marketed to mom-and-pop stores who could not afford to pay an accountant and it was the el-cheapo version of Quicken. It is of no use to a proper corporation. JC Bamford got started with hydraulic backhoes that were good enough for small contractors looking to dig a small ditch but wholly inadequate for the purposes of a miner. 5.25 inch disk drives were marketed to the nascent market for personal computers and were of no use to minicomputer manufacturers.

Disruptive technology is cheaper per unit, but its price / performance ratio is much worse than that of the established technology. It’s not good enough for the clients of the established players. Ergo it must be sold on its (lower) price alone, meaning that its purveyors must seek new markets. Flash memory, for example, was first used in cameras, pacemakers etc. Not in computers!

There is a large number of reasons that established players will frown upon the new technology:

1. Good companies listen to their clients. Their clients will tell them they don’t want it. They will demand performance and they will pay for performance.

2. Profitability will be lower in the lower-margin disruptive technology. Profit margins will typically mirror cost structures and will thus be higher for the higher-end product. Established players will in the short term make more money if they allocate their resources toward not falling behind their immediate competition for the higher-end product. (i.e. “sustaining” their competitive edge in the higher margin / higher tech market)

3. The processes used by the established players to sell and support the established technology may not be the right ones for the new tech.

The main thing to realize is that the technology does not live by itself. It is embedded in a “value network.” A car serves a commuter, a digger serves a mine, a disk drive is screwed down somewhere in a computer etc.

The seeds of disruption lie in the fact that the technology itself and its value network may not necessarily be progressing at the same speed.

If the technology is improving much faster than the trajectory of improvement of the “value network” (for example, if the desktop PC users demand extra disk storage slower than the industry is capable of delivering extra disk storage), then

1. The point comes when the value network of the established technology does not need the incremental improvements on which the established players are competing with one another to deliver.

2. More importantly, a point comes when the performance of the disruptive technology becomes good enough to be embedded in the value network of the established technology. So 3.5 inch disks developed for laptops can do good enough a job for a desktop, for example, without taking up the space required for a 5.25 inch disk.

It gets worse: sure, disruptive technology is deficient in terms of features / performance, but the price sensitive customers who do not care so much about performance often care a lot about reliability. (A small contractor who buys a single backhoe digger cannot afford a maintenance team.) Similarly, the unsophisticated customers of the disruptive technology may care a lot about ease of use. (Mom and pop using Quickbooks have no idea what double-entry book-keeping is!) What this means is that when the performance of the disruptive technology has become good enough for it to be embedded into the value network of the established technology, it often brings with it an advantage in reliability and ease of use.

So at that point the disruptive technology is cheaper, more reliable and easier to use than the established technology, all while delivering adequate performance.

And that’s how purveyors of the established technology (who have been at war with one another to deliver on the ever-increasing performance their customers have been demanding) find themselves at a disadvantage versus the disruptors when it comes to reliability and ease of use right about when their customers tell them they won’t pay for extra performance or features any more.

The disadvantage of the lower-tech disruptor has created an advantage and it’s game, set and match!

What’s an established player to do? If I’m running a super successful company and I spot a new technology what am I to do?

One thing I should not do is listen to my underlings. The dealers who sell my cars will not want a customer who just walked into the dealership to buy a V8 to drive out in a small electric car. The salespeople will keep asking me for the most expensive product because they will be paid a commission on their margin and will keep pushing me “north-east” on the price / performance chart. Resistance to disruptive technology often comes from the rank-and-file.

I also should not listen to my shareholders. Small markets (and all disruptive technology starts small) do not solve the growth problems of large companies.

First and foremost, I must understand that the challenge I face is a MARKETING challenge. The tech I’ve got covered. The resources too.

If my company’s processes and my company’s values (defined as “the standards by which employees make choices involving prioritization”) are aligned with the marketing challenge, I’m in luck: chances are that for my company this new technology will eventually become a “sustaining” technology.

I can get my wallet out and buy EARLY a couple of the new entrants. Early enough that my money is not buying process or values or culture, but merely assets/resources and ideally walking and talking resources (the founders) who will adopt the processes and values of my organization.

Alternatively, I can carve out some great people from my organization and:
1. Give them responsibility for the new technology and assign to them the task of identifying the customers for this new technology
2. Match the size of this new subdivision to the current size of the market.
3. Allow them to “discover” the size of the opportunity, rather than burden them with having to forecast it: “the ultimate uses or applications for disruptive technologies are unknowable in advance”
4. Let them fail small, as many times as necessary
That’s what IBM did when they ran their PC business out of Florida and what HP did when they realized ink jets would one day compete with laser printers!

If, on the other hand, my company’s processes or my company’s values are not aligned with the marketing challenge, then I need to buy a leader in the new technology, and have a finger in every pie. And I need to protect my acquired company from my organization. This is, obviously, a bigger challenge (and one my shareholders may not embrace, as their dollars are as good as mine, but the author stays away from this discussion!) As the succession in technologies plays out, I will then eliminate large parts of my current organization. The author cites an occasion on which this is exactly how things played out.

And there you have it! I think that’s the author’s answer to “The Innovator’s Dilemma”

Obviously, that’s a very quick sketch. You’ll have to buy the book to see the complete story (and to be convinced, I suppose). Be warned that in the interest of keeping the various chapters self-consistent you may find some repetition, but overall this is a very quick read.

I’m aware of people who really dislike Clayton Christensen. I’ve even come across a Twitter account that’s dedicated to trashing him. But I, for one, was convinced that he’s describing a valid concept with many applications.

Also, as a guy who established a disruptive business within an established player I totally experienced both the dismay of my superiors when they realized that “small markets don’t solve the problems of large organizations” and the discomfort of trying to shoehorn my project into the rather baroque established processes.

So I have lived through many of the steps the book describes and I reckon they are described very accurately. The research shows!
Love Life Walk
Love Life Walk
Where to start. Steve has been a part of our family for a few years now. My father-in-law met Steve in a little bar/diner on the Oregon California border. Who was this man walking across The United States carry a sign that said "Love Life"? We soon found out that he was a man of conviction, a man with a humble heart, a man who loved people, and a man who wanted nothing more than to honor his precious children.
On Steve's second visit to our neck of the woods he was gracious enough to come and talk to the kids in our high school. We live in a rural area, our high school has just under 80 kids. So this wasn't going to be some huge room full of rowdy kids. This was a small gymnasium with kids who wanted to listen, who wanted to hear from this guy carrying this sign. And listen they did, Steve impacted our small community and impacted our youth. For that I am forever grateful.
Love life, love people, just love. Thank you my amazing friend, We love you.
Elon Musk: The Life, Lessons & Rules For Success
Elon Musk: The Life, Lessons & Rules For Success
Elon Musk is an extraordinary, inovative, inspiring and thought provoking entrepreneur ! This hand book of his success formula had left me thinking deeply about the concepts and possibility of living on Mars. I feel it is important to in-habitat Mars correctly taking in to consideration ethical and sustainability points of view for the planet. Other wise if we disturb the equilibrium of it's eco system then we may end up creating undesirable effects long term just as it is happening on Earth. However it's an exciting period in the history of man kind and Elon's insights and ideas brings this possibility closer to us.

I really admire his work ethics, determination, drive and vision as a business man. It was really reassuring to know that some of his beliefs are what I believe in too, such as a quality product will speak for it self. He doesn't believe in mass marketing and puts his profits in to improving the product and services. "People are always willing to pay a premium price for a compelling product" he says and gives the example of Apple products; this is so true !

I have throughly enjoyed reading his "Life, Lessons & Rules for Success" handbook and learning from his wisdom. I look forward to many more books from him as he expands his consciousness to higher levels.
Oprah Winfreys Special Wisdom (Korean Edition)
Oprah Winfreys Special Wisdom (Korean Edition)
Oprah Winfreys Special Wisdom (Korean Edition) by Oprah Winfrey and Jaehoon Song. Rated undefined out of 5 stars, with null ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the "Oprah Winfrey" category.
Energy: A Human History
Energy: A Human History
Free flowing and highly readable, indeed engrossing with many fascinating vignettes about historical events that shaped energy markets. And I was pleasantly surprised this was not an ideological treatise about fossil fuels and climate change, in fact reading between the lines it seemed to me that because of their inability to be scaled without huge subsidies the author is highly skeptical about renewable sources like wind and solar, waxing instead about the lost promise of nuclear, lost because in a democracy irrational fears (in this case about radioactivity) become accepted in to the public discourse as hard fact. He probably needed to be circumspect about his skepticism of wind and solar for fear of being skewered alive on the altar of political correctness by the "climate scientist" cabal, always fearful of some counterargument to the Faith jeopardizing their research grants.....
The Beatles Lyrics: The Stories Behind the Music, Including the Handwritten Drafts of More Than 100 Classic Beatles Songs
The Beatles Lyrics: The Stories Behind the Music, Including the Handwritten Drafts of More Than 100 Classic Beatles Songs
Hunter Davies is an authority on the Beatles. He's written numerous books, including an authorised biography and he spent a lot of time with them, both on tour and in recording studios. I recently read Philip Norman's excellent bio of Paul and this is an excellent companion read to that biography.

Davies has, over some 50 years, acquired a large number of original bits of ephemera. Scraps the f paper with jottings, squiggles and amendments, showing the development of many memorable songs. In the recording studios, he retrieved ( with permission) bits of ciggie packets, notepaper etc on which early working notes were made. He's also trawled the world for access to other known written records, so this is a truly comprehensive insight. Combined with his personal knowledge of the Beatles, it's an authoritative and informed account.

There are numerous pictures of the scribblings; some not so easy to read on a kindle, but clearer on a tablet. Some of the originals were faded before being reproduced. Davies goes through the Beatles recordings in order, placing each disc in context with some background info. The lyrics and how they sometimes changed make fascinating reading and this is a book I've really enjoyed. A must for any Beatles fan, but also a compelling slice of social and popular music history.
Jimi Hendrix Experience - Smash Hits (Songbook): Drum Play-Along Volume 11
Jimi Hendrix Experience - Smash Hits (Songbook): Drum Play-Along Volume 11
Like Hal Leonards other drum playalongs, this book is a fine value for $13.

As I said in the other review, you probably want to buy the Amazing Slow Downer software full package for $40, as the limited version included on this CD will only play from the CD directly, and you'll certainly want to rip the CD and use ASD to open the MP3s from the laptop or PC harddisk, instead of waiting for the CD to reposition all the time.

Plus to slow down and catch the notes as first performed by Mitch Mitchells flying hands, you'll want the full ASD package, which has like 5 ASD slow down modes (the included CD only has one mode), which really improve the quality as you slow down to 50% of the correct BPM.

I think the guitar lead, while not at all Hendrix style, was still fun to play along to.

Highly recommended if you want to learn Mitchell style of drumming. You could DIY by ear, but this will save you alot of time. Transcription quality seems high, as usual with Hal's books.
Atlantic Records 1960s Collection (6LP)
Atlantic Records 1960s Collection (6LP)
Questo cofanetto Atlantic mi ha davvero sorpreso. A fronte di una spesa tutto sommato contenuta (32 Euro in offerta) ti porti a casa sei dischi magnificamente riversati e stampati.
Confezione un po' al risparmio, con copertine in cartoncino stra-leggero e senza inserti; però le buste interne (bianche) sono foderate col polietilene (cosa rarissima in questo genere di raccolte) ed il cofanetto esterno è bello robusto.
Il motivo per comperare questa edizione "Atlantic Records 1960s Collection", oltre la bravura di Aretha Franklin (non potrete fare a meno di mettervi a ballare ascoltandola), è la qualità tecnica dei sei vinile di medio peso (135 grammi), puliti, piatti, silenziosissimi, probabilmente di provenienza Pallas (Germania), e riversati con estrema cura.
La lacca di "Aretha Arrives" è stata tagliata dal famoso Kevin Gray, tecnico del suono americano che si è occupato di riversare moltissimi titoli di etichette audiophile come la Music Matters e la Analogue Productions.
Anche gli altri cinque dischi sono stati riversati benissimo, probabilmente da file digitale ad alta risoluzione. In ogni caso tutti e sei i dischi suonano molto bene e rendono l'acquisto di questo cofanetto convenientissimo anche al prezzo pieno di 57 Euro.
Voto artistico: 9
Voto tecnico: 8 1/2
The Great Chicago Concert 1956 - Complete
The Great Chicago Concert 1956 - Complete
There has never been a jazz musician who was so beloved all over the world as
Louis Armstrong, and artistically speaking, he was not the only single most import-
ant and highly influential inspiration for every music instrumentalist or singer during
his time. And where Louis was concerned, there was no separation, he was really
theatrical, which made him one of the greatest and most beloved jazz celebrities in
music history. Recorded live at Chicago's Medina Temple on June 1st, 1956 and
soon released in January of 1957, The Great Chicago Concert showcases another
unforgettable concert performance by Armstrong and His All-Stars where they give
a sweeping set of live music as this unique and typical event began with a musical
revue celebrating 50 years of jazz. Featuring roughly two hours of highly versatile
jazz and specialized fun, the sprawling live track set starts off on two medleys, and
proceeds with an array of his original classics like Do You Know What It Means To
Miss New Orleans, West End Blues, Rockin' Chair, Clarinet Marmalade, Mack The
Knife and When The Saints Go Marching In. Also added to this live jubilent album
Are his usual slick takes on jazz or pop standards, like Basin Street Blues, Struttin'
With Some Barbecue, Indiana, The Gypsy, Stompin' At The Savoy, a high octane-
driven reindition of Ko Ko Moe (I Love You So) and even a couple `new' hits which
he had presented in the mid-1950's--The Faithful Hussar and Big Mama's Back In
Town. Though his choice of selections would change slightly from one night to the
other--as well as one year after another, the certain elements have remain just as
consistent, and no matter how often how often a composition was repeated, Louis
opened every show with Sleepy Time Down South, where it was almost invariably
followed by Indiana, Louis Armstrong gave all his best during every performance--
no matter where or how many times as heard by the audience--he have managed
to give a great performance right up to his death, and The Great Chicago Concert
of 1956 is one of those highly successful moments that rank as one of his best.
Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid
Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid
Unfortunately a lot of (Country/Cowboy) music lovers may miss out on this one because Bob Dylan's name is on the cover, and they just can't begin to imagine how wonderful he sounds when he's in a laid back country mode.

Some Bob Dylan lovers may pass it by because there are only a few Dylan songs on this soundtrack recording.

I held back from purchasing this gem on CD, guessing sooner or later Columbia / Sony would eventually issue a remaster - but no need to worry on that score as this version of the CD sounds as brilliant as I remember the original LP/vinyl issue.

Musically it's loaded with Cowboy Movie atmosphere, a little bit of Country rock, a little bit of very tasty acoustic guitar playing, a few appropriate songs from Bob Dylan about Billy The Kid & Pat Garrett, including the astonishing "Knockin' On Heaven's Door".

Sounding as fresh now as it did back in the early 70s, this entire recording is short and sweet, just like Bob's "Nashville Skyline".

Listening pleasure guaranteed!

Musicians include Booker T., Roger McGuinn, Bruce Langhorn, Russ Kunkel, Byron Berline, Jim Keltner & Carl Fortina.

Always on sale at Amazon, and at a very nice price, there really is no excuse for not getting hold of a copy of this.

"Pat Garrett got your number....."

Bob Dylan: A Life In 37 Albums
Bob Dylan: A Life In 37 Albums
I'm sure that many Dylan fans would find this all a little superficial and not offering anything new. Nevertheless I found it a pleasant run through of the studio albums. Nice to have an illustration of each cover; an actual listing of the individual tracks would have been nice.

Mr Redford mentions many of the tracks recorded at the time which ended on the cutting room floor, destined for the Bootlegs. But as said, nothing new for the experts, but I found the information and opinions expressed quite entertaining.

All in all worth the price.
Bob Dylan - The Little Black Songbook: Revised & Expanded Edition
Bob Dylan - The Little Black Songbook: Revised & Expanded Edition
There are unfortunately some glaring omissions in this book, some key Dylan songs are not included, like With God On Our Side, Tombstone Blues, Buckets of Rain, Highway 61 Revisited, It takes a lot to laugh it takes a train to cry, Highway 51 Blues, Pretty Peggy-O, Baby let me follow you down. Instead, a bunch of throw away outtakes and filler material have been included. The author made a poor selection, and I can't give it more than 2 stars.
Wine After Whiskey
Wine After Whiskey
works great. Downloaded with no issues. good price. Have had this song for several months. Had no issues at all so far.
The Collected Essex County
The Collected Essex County
I'm going to review this series as a whole and not separately, because you cannot take one book away from the trilogy. I have never been a huge fan of graphic novels, or sports related stories in general. This trilogy is both, a graphic novel that centers around hockey, specifically the Toronto Maple Leafs, so I didn't know how engrossing it would be or if I made the right choice buying it. It was lying around my house for a while before I finally picked it up and started reading...when suddenly I was on to the second volume, then the third, then I was online looking up more of Jeff Lemire's work...

Wow. What a fantastic series this turned out to be. I was fully immersed in the lives of those characters that I was surprised to get to the last page. The illustrations and artwork were so profoundly beautiful, I could feel my heart clench at a simple expression drawn on a character's face, a simple sigh, a simple bow of the head.

The first book portrays the lives of Lester, a young boy who has just lost his mother to cancer, and his Uncle Ken. Lester moved in with his uncle after his mother's death, but can't seem to get along or find any common ground between them, leaving their relationship awfully strained and awkward. All of which is beautifully portrayed through the illustrations, making you breath the awkwardness and tension between them. Lester then befriends Jimmy, an older, childlike man, who runs the local gas station after suffering an injury, which ended his professional hockey career. Lester and Jimmy love to play pretend, in which Lester is a superhero out to save the world from aliens. Lester finds he can be himself around Jimmy, even sharing with him the comics he's drawn.

The second book talks about two brothers Lou and Vince, primarily through a series of flashbacks that Lou is having, in which so much regret is depicted. This, for me, was the all time favourite of all three volumes. The artwork was so powerful and expressive that it almost brought me to tears. So many emotions, so many provocative moments. Jeff Lemire has outdone himself with this one. The artwork is very simple, black and white drawings, with very little dialogue. You could go pages without a single word written or spoken by any of the characters, but the illustrations alone would tell the story. The one page that really stuck in my mind is a series of panels, in which Lou and Vince and his son Jimmy are watching hockey on TV and you can tell the years passing, by the way they were aging from one panel to another and the way Jimmy was getting bigger and bigger, until you reach the last panel where it's just Lou and Vince watching Jimmy playing on TV. Absolutely brilliant portrayal of time passing, without having to spell it out to the reader that the years are, in fact, going by.

Another example of the brilliance of Lemire's artwork was in the beautiful depiction of Lou meeting Vince's girlfriend for the first time. You immediately know what will happen just from their facial expressions upon meeting. You can tell. You can see it from the very beginning just by that one moment they share. And yet, when it happens, it doesn't make it any less disappointing and does not take away the shame and regret that accompanies that incident.

Then there's the third volume that illustrates the life of nurse Annie Quenneville, who is going around working her shifts. The one shift the comic focuses on is Lou's, where we find out that the nurse looks after Lou, who has gone deaf, has a drinking problem and barely speaks. She also looks after her own grandmother, who has a story of her own that we end up reading about through flashbacks and memories.

Beautiful novels, all connected and interconnected in the most incredibly subtle ways making it look effortless. All the stories come together, until it climaxes right where we started - with Lester and uncle Ken.

Wonderful, wonderful series. I am so glad I bought it, and I feel privileged to have experienced this sort of brilliant work.
Wolverine: Chasing the Phantom
Wolverine: Chasing the Phantom
If you are interested in Wolverines, this is probably the best documentary I could find. These animals are amazing, but very hard to film. Hopefully as technology improves we can learn more, but at the time of this film you had to be a Wolverine in order to keep up with and film a Wolverine. A Russian extreme cold special forces soldier couldn't keep up with these animals.
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
A film that gave us a story packed full of action, amazing stunt work, a really imaginative production design, a fantastic score and lastly one of the greatest heros in cinema, Indiana Jones, an archaeologist/adventurer. The film released in 1981 took inspiration from the swashbuckling 1940s/1950s era of Hollywood, in that respect the premise is simple, our hero must find the treasure, rescue the girl and save the world. The film was largely shot on location in North Africa and this adds a touch of grit and realism which really benefits the film, you see the little flies landing on the actors faces during a few close ups and see the sweat rolling off their brows. The film largely takes place in one location Egypt, with the very early part set in South and North America.

The Blu Ray transfer looks really great, with lots of rich earthy colours, reds, browns, sandy yellows, greys & dark leathery brown, these tend to make up most of the costume design. The picture aspect ratio is 2.40:1 (Wide screen) with a 5.1 audio sound.
The supporting cast are also very well written and good fun too, from the heroes to the villains. The tone of the film is adventurous and the pacing certainly gives the whole thing a massive injection of energy. There's a slight theme of magic v rationality, as the initially skeptical Indiana Jones is confronted with the dangerous reality of the power held within the lost ark he is seeking.

There is not much in the way of character development, though the relationship between Dr Jones and the feisty and rather attractive Marion Ravenwood changes over the course of the film. The movies hail from the decade that was the 1980s and so we're given a slightly stronger female love interest than audiences were used to in the 1960s and 1970s, Marion's character shares similarities with Princess Leia in the Empire Strikes Back or Charlie Blackwood in Topgun, beautiful and alluring but also a tough-minded woman who takes no nonsense and will stand up for herself. You could certainly get away with more too in the 1980s cinema than you can today, the film features quite a lot of violence, blood and swearing for something that children were allowed to watch, I doubt a PG film today could get away with anything like this.

The film's logic is not intended to be taken as 100% realistic, a main character in a realistic action film would probably die after the first 10 minutes. For this reason it's possible to overlook the numerous injuries Jones picks up which would put most people into hospital. The fact the German's had no presence in Egypt is also something you have to overlook in the film, the British in fact were in control of Egypt in 1936, it would have made more sense if the Fascists were working from Libya, but then Libya doesn't feel as Biblical as Egypt does, so I suppose the location was switched. You'd have to be pretty picky though to let things like this stop you from enjoying the film, the whole thing is about a search for a magic chest.
Lovers and Gamblers
Lovers and Gamblers
OK, so it's probably not fashionable for a bloke to like Jackie Collins, but hey, I like them. They're not too serious, they're funny, entertaining, and the characters always have a little bit of somebody you know in them. Lovers and Gamblers is one of Jackie Collins' best. The characters are enjoyable to read, whether you like them or not, realistic and flawed, none of them perfect. My favourite is Bernie Suntan, shame about his icky sticky end. Some of the more technical scenes are a bit short on detail, but hey, that's never the reason you pick up a Jackie Collins book. Let's face it, you read her books to be entertained, and with this one, she doesn't disappoint. On reading the kindle version, beware of indie-author levels of typos, but it's still a brilliant book. The tension right through is all between Al and Dallas. Will they, won't they? And only Jackie Collins could make a character as thoroughly dis-likeable as Al King turn into something more.

Other books you might like to read
The Prodigal Daughter (Kane and Abel Book 2)
The Prodigal Daughter (Kane and Abel Book 2)
Archer has tried to make a stand-alone novel that also serves as a sequel to the original Kane and Abel, an epic novel which we read 30 years ago or so. We listened to Kane and Abel again this year on a long driving trip, and then bought this sequel and listened to it also. The Prodigal Daughter takes the reader (listener) back through a huge amount of set-up that readers familiar with Kane and Abel really don't need, but which is inserted for the benefit of people who are stepping into the series at this second book. That makes it a little tedious at the outset. But the really tedious parts come during descriptions of the heroine's political campaigns, which read like a political procedural or maybe a Wikipedia report for chapter after chapter. This book lacks the personal attachment we experienced with Kane and Abel, as well as its sweeping perspective and building collision of characters, and substitutes instead a lightweight chronicle of the second generation. If we had had anything better to do on the drive, we probably would have abandoned this one at the halfway point.
Jeffrey Archer The Clifton Chronicles Series 7 Books Collection Set
Jeffrey Archer The Clifton Chronicles Series 7 Books Collection Set
I had actually read all of these books as they came out I had some in hard back some on kindle and had lent others out. I wanted to read them one after the other as I felt I had lost some of the storyline with the intervening gaps. My husband bought me the complete series of 7 books for under £30 which I thought was great value. I have reD all 7 in 2 weeks Jeffrey Archer is a really good story teller and I have enjoyed a couple of weeks of escapism.
The Collected Short Stories of Louis L'Amour, Volume 3: Frontier Stories
The Collected Short Stories of Louis L'Amour, Volume 3: Frontier Stories
I have been a real fan of action western stories for more than 30 years and my favorite western writer is Louis L’Amour. I have read a great number of his books over the years but I had not read this particular collection (The collected short stories of Louis L’Amour Volume 3 Frontier stories, 560 pages) and when I saw it on Amazon for a bargain price I purchased it.

This collection has 28 short stories and I really enjoyed reading these action packed stories which were interesting and enjoyable. If you are into western stories you should check out this volume 3 collection. Louis L’Amour is truly the master of writing realistic and page turning western stories.

Rating: 5 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Training alone in Combatives and Self-Defense)
Le pain des fossoyeurs (FREDERIC DARD) (French Edition)
Le pain des fossoyeurs (FREDERIC DARD) (French Edition)
le commis de pompes funèbres qui, tombé amoureux de son épouse, zigouille son patron et planque le cadavre en le faisant cohabiter dans la même boîte qu'un client ordinaire....c'est pas banal !
mais comme souvent, les personnages ne sont pas passionnants, lui, genre grand méchant mou et elle, une midinette de roman-photo de ces années 50; ça baigne un peu dans l'eau de rose.
le style est un peu lourdingue et les dialogues ne sonnent pas toujours juste....du pur frédéric dard, qu'en définitive je n'apprécie pas vraiment.
le tout fait un petit polar qu'on lit facilement en 2 heures et sans déplaisir particulier !
Naruto Retrospective
Naruto Retrospective
I've grown up with Naruto and it just feels like he's so real. He's become a part of my world with great inspiration and a great example of believing in yourself and following your dream to the end. Just reminiscing on past chapters is like traveling back in time. I still can't believe its over but highlighting some past favorites is fun & I would def recommend this to anyone who wants to feel nostalgic & or simply have a quick fun read.
Naruto - Tome 56 (Shonen Kana) (French Edition)
Naruto - Tome 56 (Shonen Kana) (French Edition)
Alors cet avis ne jugera que sur la qualité du livre.
Non pas sur son contenue, car si vous achetez ce tomes c'est que vous avez lu tout les précédents et donc que vous connaissait l'histoire.

Donc le livre est arrivé avec 1 jour d'avance et en parfait état.
Le Plus Grand Livre du Monde ! French language version of Biggest Word Book Ever ! (French Edition) (A.M. ALB.ILL.A.)
Le Plus Grand Livre du Monde ! French language version of Biggest Word Book Ever ! (French Edition) (A.M. ALB.ILL.A.)
Livre géant, pour enfant. Super belles images. Mes enfants l'ont beaucoup apprécié à partir de un an et demi jusqu'à 5 ans. Très solide. Les enfants s'endorment dans le livre en le lisant. Mes petits enfants le demandent chaque fois qu'ils viennent à la maison. Livre d'images, par thème. Avec inscription du vocabulaire en français. On peut suivre une vingtaine de personnages sur toutes les pages. Très, très recommandé. Le meilleur livre d'images en format géant.
Ken Follett: The Transformation of Writer
Ken Follett: The Transformation of Writer
Narayan Radhakrishnan of Rebeccasreads highly recommends KEN FOLLET: The transformation of a writer as a fascinating

"critical companion" of the progress of the craftmanship of one of our most popular writers of the last half of the 20th century. Do catch our Interview with Carlos Ramet.
Prisoner's Base (A Nero Wolfe Mystery Book 21)
Prisoner's Base (A Nero Wolfe Mystery Book 21)
“I had never seen eyes like hers. Either they were brownish gray flecked with brownish yellow, or brownish yellow flecked with brownish gray. They were deep in, wide apart, and moved fast. “What’s the matter?” she asked.
That was phony. She must have been used to people, at first sight of those eyes, staring at them; she probably expected it.’’

This is great writing! With just a few sentences, Stout establishes Archie’s interest in this young woman, which plays a key role in the story.

Later, Wolfe explains why he won’t allow her to stay in his house for a week . . .

““I admit,” Wolfe told her, “that if I had accepted a commission from you, or if Mr. Goodwin, acting as my agent, had taken money from you unconditionally, I would be bound to your interest and therefore unable to consider Mr. Helmar’s offer. But there is no such bond. I am not committed to you in any way. There was no legal, professional, or ethical obstacle to prevent my disclosing you to him and demanding payment—but, confound it, there was my self-esteem.’’

Now this theme, Wolfe’s self-esteem and its significance, threads throughout this book (in fact, all of Archie’s reports). Interesting, since current thought also focuses on self-esteem. However, the difference is wide. I enjoyed this old-fashioned depiction of genuine self-esteem that requires sacrifice and cost.

“I can’t do it. Also there is Mr. Goodwin. I have rebuked him for installing you and told him to get rid of you, and if I now collect ransom for you he will be impossible to live with or work with.” Wolfe shook his head.
“So it is by no means my good fortune that you chose my house as a haven. If you had gone anywhere else, Mr. Helmar would have come to hire me to find you, I would have taken the job, and I would surely have earned the fee. If my self-esteem will not let me profit by your presence here, through chance and Mr. Goodwin, neither will my self-interest permit me to suffer loss by it—so substantial a loss—and I have two suggestions to offer—alternative suggestions.’’

This is vintage Wolfe. He won’t betray her. Nevertheless, he expects her to understand his valid interest in receiving payment to legitimate effort.

The clear reasoning, precise explanation, the balancing of self-interest with honorable principles forms the foundation of this drama. Not solving the mystery, not exposing the villain, but, revealing the deep feelings of Archie, both for the woman and Wolfe; along with Wolfe’s commitment to Archie and his choices make for a touching read.

Wolfe explains to the police why he is planning to investigate the murder . . .

“As you may know, he is not indifferent to those attributes of young women that constitute the chief reliance of our race in our gallant struggle against the menace of the insects. He is especially vulnerable to young women who possess not only those more obvious charms but also have a knack of stimulating his love of chivalry and adventure and his preoccupation with the picturesque and the passionate. Priscilla Eads was such a woman. She spent some time with Mr. Goodwin yesterday; he locked her in a bedroom of my house. Within three hours of her eviction by him at my behest, she was brutally murdered.’’

And this guilt, this sense of personal responsibility, reveals Archie’s character.

“I will not say that the effect on him amounted to derangement, but it was considerable. He bounded out of my house like a man obsessed, after telling me that he was going single-handed after a murderer, and after arming himself. It was pathetic, but it was also humane, romantic, and thoroughly admirable, and your callous and churlish treatment of him leaves me with no alternative. I am at his service. He is my client.’’

“ Rowcliff’s voice blurted incredulously, “You mean Archie Goodwin is your client?”

And so the interaction of Wolfe and Archie as client and workman makes this story memorable. As far as I can remember, none of the other stories ever repeat this situation.

I read these novel about fifty years ago. Liked them enough to eventually read them all. Now, old and returning to favorite things of youth, Wolfe and Archie still touching.

In fact, I see more of what makes them special. I didn’t grasp what I was enjoying then, but I’m glad I did.

Maybe my grandson . . .
La estrella robada (Spanish Edition)
La estrella robada (Spanish Edition)
Je suis normalement une fan des romans de Mary Higgins Clark, cependant je suis déçue par cette histoire.
Je m'attendais à un récit plus captivant, avec plus de suspens... à la moitié du livre, on connait déjà la fin.
Cinereplicas Harry Potter Plush Keychain - Chibi Collection - 4.5inches (Harry Potter Quidditch)
Cinereplicas Harry Potter Plush Keychain - Chibi Collection - 4.5inches (Harry Potter Quidditch)
Jolie grosseur de porte-clé bien qu'un peut trop parfois, cela dépend de chacun vis-à-vis de là où il prend sa place.
Une douceur très agréable, là dessus, rien à dire.
Par contre, je suis extrêmement déçu de la peluche en général. Elle ne ressemble pas à un niffleur, on dirait plutôt un pingouin.
Moi qui suis fanne de niffleur, je suis très très déçu et bien entendu, j'arrive pas à faire le retour. Tant pis...
Du coup, ça ne vaut pas son prix ni toutes les étoiles.
Box Fan for Sleep
Box Fan for Sleep
The film starts slow, but trust me, there’s far more to see. Director Mark Knight has returned for a sequel to his original short film titled “Box Fan 8 hours for sleep.” The critically acclaimed film left viewers wanting more, so he offered up one entire extra hour of footage and concluded the storyline in masterful fashion. The film is best described as captivating. Time flies by as you await the next plot twist. Roughly 8 hours later, you’re left feeling refreshed as the movie winds down in honorable fashion. 5 stars. Breathtaking.
Harry Potter i la pedra filosofal (SERIE HARRY POTTER) (Catalan Edition)
Harry Potter i la pedra filosofal (SERIE HARRY POTTER) (Catalan Edition)
Perfecto e ideal para mi hijo al que le encanta Harry Potter. Ya le compramos los 7 libros en castellano y los devoró hace ya un año. Ahora necesita leer más en catalán porque aún tiene algunas faltas de ortografía, y qué mejor que probar su Harry en catalán. Estupendo, está encantado, hemos tenido que decirle que lo dejara ya porque se lo hubiera leído todo el primer día.
Magic The Gathering - Arcanis The Omnipotent (039/249) - Eternal Masters
Magic The Gathering - Arcanis The Omnipotent (039/249) - Eternal Masters
Arcanis is a pretty swell fella, he has lots of knowledge he's willing to share and knows how to vanish when things get rough. He's definitely no push over either, supporting a 3/4 frame he can avoid burns and still kill chumps. Tapping him at anytime with no other costs gives you 3 card draw - hot damn! This guy has clearly been around the block a few times, my favorite thing to draw in EDH... just, you know, keep him alive.
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story
Life changing! Really. Truly.

Donald Miller decides to edit his life (as you would edit your character's life in a book) and the life he used to lead was just a normal life, a life, I am sure most of us can relate to.

He starts with an instant hook:
"IF YOU WATCHED a movie about a guy who wanted a Volvo and worked for years to get it, you wouldn't cry at the end when he drove off the lot, testing the windshield wipers. You wouldn't tell your friends you saw a beautiful movie or go home and put a record on to think about the story you'd seen. The truth is, you wouldn't remember that movie a week later, except you'd feel robbed and want your money back. Nobody cries at the end of a movie about a guy who wants a Volvo. But we spend years actually living those stories, and expect our lives to feel meaningful. The truth is, if what we choose to do with our lives won't make a story meaningful, it won't make a life meaningful either."

Who wouldn't want to read further? Isn't this, unfortunatelly, what most people strive towards, obtaining something...material? (whether they admit to it or not)

"In a pure story, there is a purpose in every scene, in every line of dialogue. A movie is going somewhere." - and this gets Donald thinking...where is his life going, where is he, as a character in it, really going?

"A character who wants something and overcomes conflict to get it is the basic structure of a good story." - true...yet, Donald muses, we go through our life trying to avoid conflict, tryng to have it too easy and our lives become meaningless, i.e. we do not live good stories.


"But I also wondered if he wasn't right, that we were designed to live through something rather than to attain something, and the thing we were meant to live through was designed to change us. The point of a story is the character arc, the change."


"But I've noticed something. I've never walked out of a meaningless movie thinking all movies are meaningless. I only thought the movie I walked out on was meaningless. I wonder, then, if when people say life is meaningless, what they really mean is their lives are meaningless. I wonder if they've chosen to believe their whole existence is unremarkable, and are projecting their dreary life on the rest of us."

This book is full of amazing wisdoms like this and it is entertaining, biographical as well as very philosophical.

It easily made my "favorites" shelf.
How to Build Better Learning Communities
How to Build Better Learning Communities
Ms. Pearce wraps up this Delightful Read, with the following parting thought: “…It Does Not End Here…..Only this book ends here. It is here, where you apply your own genius, creativity and solutions fitting your particular circumstance..”

Truer words were never spoken.

Ok, Ok, I admit it; I was a complete Social Media Moron…which is one of the main reasons I found this book so enlightening…and guess what, now, I get it!

If you are a professional assigned the daunting task of creating a Corporate Social Media platform from scratch, or simply interested in what all this, “Social Medial Stuff” is about, “How to Build Learning Communities,” will prove extremely Enlightening.

The book is packed with lots of insightful info, very little “fluff”, and three traits of a Great Treatise:

1) Honesty
2) Simplicity
3) Usefulness

So in summary, Buy This Book, Read This Book, but most important, Use This Book!

Charlie T.
It is hard to find good, reasonably priced sweatshirts. I ordered numerous brands of sweatshirts to compare apples to apples. I found these to be the cheapest. They are too light weight. They are short at the waist. Very little elastic in the waist band and neck. The brand isn't really the problem since one of the better sweatshirts I found for the price was Hanes also. for $2 more per sweatshirt. The best sweatshirt for the price , in my opinion, and in the same general price range so far, is the Hanes Ultimate Heavyweight Fleece Sweatshirt.
Traeger Grills PEL331 Signature Blend 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets - Grill, Smoke, Bake, Roast, Braise, and BBQ (20 lb. Bag)
Traeger Grills PEL331 Signature Blend 100% All-Natural Hardwood Pellets - Grill, Smoke, Bake, Roast, Braise, and BBQ (20 lb. Bag)
I wish I could give a zero stars rating for these pellets.

I've been smoking on a pellet grill for years and these are the worst pellets you can use. They do not tell you there is no actual Mesquite wood in their pellets. In fact, none of the flavors listed have that actual type of wood in them. They use a base of alder and then treat the pellets with oils to produce the flavor they proclaim to be.

I felt really stupid when I found this out as I had spent hundreds of dollars on Traeger pellets. When I actually found some 100% mesquite pellets I could not believe the difference, it was night and day. The flavor of the meats coming out of the grill improved 10 fold.

Do yourself a favor and spend a few extra dollars and find an actual 100% mesquite product, I use Lumberjack brand. If it doesn't say 100% mesquite you are getting something less than you want.
Feel Good Classics Christmas: 100 Songs to Make Your Feel Happy During the Holidays
Feel Good Classics Christmas: 100 Songs to Make Your Feel Happy During the Holidays
Excellent Christmas music at a bargain price! I bought this on a flyer, thinking there wasn't much risk involved, given its price; I was pleasantly surprised to find one hundred classical Christmas songs, like you may have heard when you were growing up. None of the songs sound silly, and there's no modern day bling or spin like so many Christmas songs have these days. People of all ages will enjoy this music.
SWTNVIN Car Stereo Android 10.0 DVD Player for GMC Sierra Yukon Chevrolet Buick Chevy Silverado Double Din 2G RAM 32G ROM 7 inch Multimedia Radio Navi support WiFi BT Steering wheel Free Backup Camera
SWTNVIN Car Stereo Android 10.0 DVD Player for GMC Sierra Yukon Chevrolet Buick Chevy Silverado Double Din 2G RAM 32G ROM 7 inch Multimedia Radio Navi support WiFi BT Steering wheel Free Backup Camera
The following was emailed to [email protected] (per Amazon support) but I never got a response.
* * * * * * * * *
I received the radio from Amazon and while I didn’t notice anything unusual in the packaging, I have concerns that this may have been a refurbished / returned unit.

1. Rather than the WiFi and GPS connectors being threaded connectors hard mounted to back of radio they are instead hanging off of a 2” very thin cable. The WiFi didn’t work and I noticed that threaded connector was loose and I was able to shove the wire back in the connector and it seems to work but that doesn’t seem to be a reliable connection.

2. The blue plug to back of radio for aux/video in that I don’t use had a frayed fire so I just left it out of the radio.

3. The handsfree calling seems to use the cheap built-in mic on the face of the radio and people say they have a hard time hearing me talk. I thought it would have used the existing factory installed mic in the headliner above the driver’s seat.

4. The wifi connection to my iPhones has to be manually connected each time. I would have though if I was plugged into the built-in USB port at least it would auto connect to the iPhone hotspot feathering feature like it does with my laptops or for that matter via Bluetooth.

5. There seems to be no instructions on how to upload additional content or remove the videos/songs that were preinstalled as samples. Also, how to use the “GPS Card”??

6. The biggest frustration is that I was only able to get my iPhone to connect via Bluetooth and even disconnecting mine I can’t get my wife’s iPhone to connect via Bluetooth. (Even the original factory radio supported multiple Bluetooth connected phones rather than just one).

7. Finally, it seems like it takes quite a while to boot up the android OS when I first start the vehicle. )I’m half way down the street before the radio even starts playing.)
Halter Executive Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair with Adjustable Headrest and Armrest (Mesh Seat)
Halter Executive Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair with Adjustable Headrest and Armrest (Mesh Seat)
I got this to replace my old chair that was hurting my back. I sit in it 9+ hours a day working from home so it's important that it is comfortable and provides support, and this one does. The seat cushion is firm but not hard. Back support is nice, especially with the adjustable lumbar support. The armrests adjust up-down, forward-back, and rotate left-right which helps when sitting in different positions. The rotation isn't something I knew I needed but now I don't think I could do without it. The headrest adjusts up-down, but even in the lowest position it didn't work well for me (I'm 5'6") so I just took it off. If you're taller the headrest should work fine. Overall I would recommend this chair.

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