Clementine Baker

Joined a year ago

Clementine's Favorites
Learning to Fly
Learning to Fly
Learning to Fly by Spencer Durrant and Morissa Schwartz. Rated 4.9 out of 5 stars, with 18 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Nicholas Sparks category.
Sycamore Row (Korean Edition)
Sycamore Row (Korean Edition)
Sycamore Row (Korean Edition) by John Grisham. Rated undefined out of 5 stars, with undefined ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the John Grisham category.
The King (The Bowers Files Book 6)
The King (The Bowers Files Book 6)
The King (The Bowers Files Book 6) by Steven James. Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars, with 287 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Stephen King category.
LINUX Command Line: Become a Linux Expert! (Input/output Redirection, Wildcards, File Security, Processes Managing, Shell Programming Advanced Features, ... Commands) (Programming is Easy Book 4)
LINUX Command Line: Become a Linux Expert! (Input/output Redirection, Wildcards, File Security, Processes Managing, Shell Programming Advanced Features, ... Commands) (Programming is Easy Book 4)
LINUX Command Line: Become a Linux Expert! (Input/output Redirection, Wildcards, File Security, Processes Managing, Shell Programming Advanced Features, ... Commands) (Programming is Easy Book 4) by Matthew Gimson. Rated 3.9 out of 5 stars, with 8 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Shell programming category.
100 Stocks That A Young Warren Buffett Might Buy: Proven Methods for Buying Stocks and Building Wealth Like Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger
100 Stocks That A Young Warren Buffett Might Buy: Proven Methods for Buying Stocks and Building Wealth Like Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger
In this rather long book, the author first gives some background on both Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, his right-hand man, before giving a brief analysis of their investing style. The author then goes on to provide just a little bit of advice about how to manage your portfolio and other stock advice. But the bulk of the book by a large margin is the hundred stocks mentioned in the title. The author does give his choosing criteria based on his analysis of Buffett and Munger’s investing style. This is definitely not a book that you sit and just read straight through. You can do that with the first part, the more theoretical part, but the section on each of the specific stocks themselves should only be taken in small doses. The author made me curious enough that I think it would be interesting to follow these companies to see if he is correct in his assessments. All in all, I found it to be an interesting glimpse into two men who have amassed such wealth, as well as into the mind of the author—whom I’ve read before. I find books were people make analyses like these to be fascinating.

I received a free copy of this book, but that did not affect my review.
Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed with Early Achievement
Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed with Early Achievement
Rich Karlgaard defines a late bloomer "as a person who fulfills their potential later than expected; often their talents aren't even visible to others initially [and they may not even be aware of them]. The key word here is expected. And second, they fulfill their potential while marching to their own drummer. They don't grit their teeth to try to meet the expectations of their parents or society."

In his classic work, Denial of Death, Ernest Becker acknowledges that no one can deny physical death but there is another form of death that can be denied: The death that occurs when we become wholly preoccupied with fulfilling others' expectations of us.

For example, Karlgaard makes frequent references to the "early achievement obsession" and the damage it can do the late bloomers. They are judged according to the Wonder Child Ideal as exemplified by early bloomers -- including, listed in alpha order, Magnus Carlsen, Madame Curie, Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, John Stuart Mill, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Blaise PASCAL, Pablo Picasso, Arthur Rimbaud, and John von Neumann -- who achieved peak performance in one or more fields while in childhood.

Late bloomers suffer many of the same frustrations, aggravations, and anxieties that people with undiagnosed learning disabilities encounter, beginning in childhood. They are constantly the victims of unfair and usually humiliating comparisons and contrasts with family members and friends. Karlgaard identifies the major factors that can -- and often do, in combination -- delay blooming and perhaps even preclude it. His conclusions are driven by the latest neuroscience and cognition research. "That means our current obsession with early blooming is a human construct, not supported by science."

In Chapter 9, Kalgaard makes several key points while explaining "the keys to late bloomer persistence" by taking a closer look at the power of stories, the plasticity of persistence, and how they're linked. "Stories don't just describe what's happened -- they help determine what will happen. "The stories we tell ourselves help shape our attitudes and enhance our well-being. For late bloomers this is terrific news....if we late bloomers change our story [over time], we can change our behavior and even our life."

Then Karlgaard points out that, "While plenty of Freud's work has been discounted. part of his genius was in his ability to work with individuals to make sense of their otherwise messy lives. The key insight that Freudian psychoanalysts came up with was that their patients somehow couldn't keep the story of themselves straight -- or they had no story at all. They had the task of repairing essentially broken stories, like a script doctor. In other words, the real value in psychoanalysis was in working with patients to dissect or sift through random memories and events that on their own made little sense, to construct a coherent narrative. The story would be about how a patient got from point A somewhere in the past, to the present, then oriented themselves toward the future in a meaningful way."

In a sense, constructing a narrative did more than just help individuals see their life events in a new way. It shaped their reality by making it manageable."

Here's a question to consider. Who had the greatest impact on your personal growth and professional development? However different they may be in most respects, I'll bet all of them cared so deeply about helping you to succeed that they challenged you to meet (if not exceed) very high standards, then did everything they could to help you succeed. They cared enough to tell you what you needed to know and it was not always what you wanted to hear. Late bloomers need the same sustained support, encouragement, and reassurance.

Every human life is a work in progress. Obviously, some take much longer to "bloom" than do others. Some never "bloom" or at least fulfill a few expectations. Fortunately, Rich Karlgaard's book wholly repudiates the early-blooming madness. "We all have a supreme destiny: to discover our gifts [and help others to discover theirs] however long it takes, to pursue our deepest purposes, and to bloom."
The Prize: Who's in Charge of America's Schools?
The Prize: Who's in Charge of America's Schools?
Russakoff does a great job documenting a city that is normally ignored. She outlines the issues in a powerful narrative, and has no problem showing the arrogance of the righteous--Cory Booker, Chris Christie, et. al. If Booker runs for president in 2020, this book needs to be re-released, and he needs to be asked about what is contained here.

February 1, 2019 update: Because Booker has announced his run for president, I thought I would place here my full review for my blog and Africology: The Journal of Pan-African Studies.

***
Book Review: Neo-Colonialism By PowerPoint: The Fight For, And Against, The Newark, N.J. Schools

The word “conspiracy” gets thrown around a lot in African communities, ever since the middle of the last century. And it’s understandable: the assassinations of King and X, the discovery of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s COINTEL-PRO files, and the disposal in one way or another of any leader of African descent who doesn’t toe the blood-dotted line of the West. But how much of a conspiracy is it when the victim doesn’t have the required amount of power for self-determination in the first place? This book, released today, is about how relatively powerless people fought back against their status when, insult to injury added, even their relatively little power was taken from them.

It starts with Cory Booker, the neo-liberal mayor of Newark, New Jersey, and Chris Christie, the conservative governor of the state, secretly deciding all by themselves in the backseat of a Chevy Tahoe in 2009 that they will transform American education by turning Newark into a laboratory for the New York-based, greatly monied education reform movement. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook, develops a political man-crush on Booker and signs on by 2011, pledging $100 million (to be matched by other donors) to make New Jersey’s largest city into a charter-school haven in five years, staffed by six-figure, non-unionized teachers. Like the benevolent colonizers of old, all believe they go in with good intentions: self-government by the dark, poor people has not worked in the internal colony, the reasoning goes, or the state would not have taken over the school district back in 1995. The teacher’s unions are stopping progress, the reformers argued to themselves, by making sure they tie the hand of local politicos and school board members. So, they privately reasoned, the only way to change the system is to overthrow it—to go past all the community obstacles. So they hire $1,000-a-day consultants and get to work.

After absorbing the opening shot heard-round-the-world of the revolution it now understood it was a pawn in, the Newark grassroots is then introduced to Cami Anderson, a white woman of hippie background who has been named the school’s superintendent by Christie and Booker. Like education reformer Michelle Rhee did in Washington, D.C., she then sets out, from the community perspectives, to close as many schools and alienate every teacher and parent she can. Meanwhile and not coincidentally, charter schools, some rising out of the closed public ones, begin flourishing in the the old, struggling-against-decay, never-recovered-from-the-1967-rebellion ghetto, providing resources and specialized attention to small, selected groups of poor Black and Brown children the always-struggling public schools can’t match.
Everyone flexes what muscle they have. The teacher’s unions demand their back pay as a condition to their negotiations with Booker and Anderson over being able to fire bad teachers and financially reward good ones, and get it. The money people get their calls answered from the celebrity mayor, who eventually uses his Captain America persona to get elected to the U.S. Senate in 2013. Newark students organize and protest Anderson, with more than a little help from a well-known local name: Ras Baraka, a high-school principal and city councilman (and one of the sons of poet-activists Amiri and Amina Baraka). He seizes the issue that will get him elected mayor in 2014, defeating a Theo Huxtable-type candidate propped up by the same education reform movement. “The festering resistance to Anderson, the backlash against [the top-down reforms], and the first mayoral campaign of the post-Booker era became one and the same.” The street protests grow so large and consistent in Newark that Christie—days away from announcing his Republican presidential nomination run this past summer—makes a deal with newly-elected Mayor Baraka that, at this September 2015 writing, may transfer city education power back to the people a year from now. A bewildered Anderson is sent packing, replaced, amazingly, by a former state education commissioner—one of the chief architects of the neo-colonial plan! Whether the new school district superintendent cleans up his own mess is this story’s next chapter, to be written by today’s journalists and tomorrow’s historians.

Dale Russakoff, a longtime Washington Post journalist and resident of Montclair, a middle class suburb of Newark, embeds herself with Christie, Booker and Anderson while, simultaneously, sits in on more than 100 school-related community meetings (“There it was again: disrespect. The word rose from conversations all over the auditorium”), and the reporting not only shows, but shines. Her spectacular juggling act blames everybody but those whose demonstrated first commitment is to the students. In her telling, nearly everyone involved received something and/or learned something but the city’s least-of-these. She makes a clear observation that needs to be on T-shirts in the city: “For four years, the reformers never really tried to have a conversation with the people of Newark. Their target audience was always somewhere else, beyond the people whose children and grandchildren desperately needed to learn and compete for a future.”

The book’s author might not agree with the following assessment: that her carefully crafted work clearly documents that white supremacy’s psychotic historical urge to covertly or overtly experiment with the lives of poor Black people—whether medically, socially, economically or, in the case, educationally—is not some obscure 19th or 20th century Africana Studies classroom topic, but as current as the next awarded education grant. African-Americans used to be classified as sub-human, because of their three-fifth status under the U.S. Constitution. Then, after the Civil War, they became second-class citizens, because they didn’t have the right to vote or use public accommodations. In this updated 21st century form of pseudo-democracy, poor Black and Brown communities like Newark are filled with sub-citizens: those who have no input on their future, no matter how much taxes they pay and how often they vote. Christie and (especially) Booker should be ashamed of their public actions here, but who could, or would, succeed in shaming them that they would actually respect?
Mark Zuckerberg, Vampire Slayer - Volume 1: The Crimson Hack
Mark Zuckerberg, Vampire Slayer - Volume 1: The Crimson Hack
Looking for a fun summer read? Well, click, download and enjoy this book already! This is a funny, clever, tongue-in-cheek take on one of the more influential aspects of modern life...the development of social media..., but...with VAMPIRES. COME ON, could anything go better? Download the book, head outdoors and immerse yourself...but be sure to look over your shoulder.
Elon Musk and the Quest for a Fantastic Future Young Readers' Edition
Elon Musk and the Quest for a Fantastic Future Young Readers' Edition
I'm not really the best person to review this book. You may dismiss it entirely.

In the early 1970's I used to watch the USA launch rockets into space. So exciting! I grew up reading science fiction: Asimov, Heinlein, etc. I remember seeing a cut out diagram of the space shuttle for the first time. So amazing to live during that time for me. International Space Station, super sonic jets, moon landings. The future seemed to be in space, it sure was in my imagination. Space stations, moon bases, permanent habitats on Mars. The space shuttle was just the beginning and I dreamed big.

Then, the shuttle exploded. A fluke, right?

Fast forward to 2017. The space shuttles are retired. The ISS is the size of a double wide trailer and about as interesting. The USA can't even get an astronaut there without getting the Russians to allow a trip on their fleet of rockets that aren't any different from the one's in 1970. The super sonic jets have been retired and no one has landed anything on the moon in the last couple of decades except China and their lander performed its mission of making it there and then going to sleep forever.... What happened? We all have cell phones and the Internet and so what. We know all about "famous" people" in entertainment news and the world looks more and more like "Brave New World" everyday. In the 1970's we dreamed of Mars and beyond, now we are consumed with consuming. So depressing.

I only knew about Mr. Musk or SpaceX or Tesla in a vague way. But my 15 year old became enamored with Tesla's electric cars and who am I to argue? I got her this book. I always read everything I get for her so we can discuss it (but mostly she just nods her head...) but I've finished this book and I don't think she started....

I have a man crush on Elon Musk.

The book's writing is solid, but kind of plainly told. Maybe the author didn't want to oversell the drama, so that's OK.

But this story of Elon Musk, SpaceX and Tesla is something taken directly out of an Asimov book. If I wrote this book as fiction 15 years ago, no one would buy it. How will it all really end? Will Elon Musk pull the Earth out of its funk and restart the future? Hokey, I know, but that is his goal. He is doing things that very smart people have said for 20 years are not possible. I now see that the dreams we had have always been possible, we just stopped dreaming and did other things.

In 20 years, someone will write the next and pretty much final chapter of this story. Now that, COULD be an even more interesting book.....

Having said all that, I gave the book a 5 star rating, not because the writing is perfect or the story told completely, but just because the story and Elon Musk are amazing and the stuff of my dreams.
Japanese Singles Collection (Blu-Spec CD2)
Japanese Singles Collection (Blu-Spec CD2)
過去のディランの総集編的な二枚組CD。
これまでのディランの印象的な曲が網羅されており、なかにはなかなか聴けない曲も。発売当時のジャケット写真も懐かしい。
Fallen Angels
Fallen Angels
I listened to this album on the day of its release while driving to work. I can recommend it without reservation and thus the five stars. I need not repeat the information contained in the useful review by Bill Pence. However, I want to start this review by saying that I think that the comparisons to Sinatra that accompanied most reviews of the Shadows in the Night album and which are bound to accompany this one are overblown. I am a huge Sinatra fan and I am familiar with the vast majority of his recording output. The fact is that over the course of his career, there are few songs that qualify as standards that were not recorded by Sinatra; Skylark is a noticeable exception. Thus, any artist who issues an album of standards will necessarily be revisiting territory staked out by Sinatra. The question is not whether the artist is recording a song by Sinatra; the question is whether the artist brings anything to the song that makes listening to it worthwhile. In this, (unlike, say, Rod Stewart) Dylan succeeds. The production is masterful and the low-key arrangements allow you to actually hear the words and melody. Over the course of his career, Dylan has had a tendency to change his singing style from one album to the next. It is best, I think, to realize that on each album he is acting a role. This album reinforces my conception that most of the time, the voice you have heard is an affectation. This is true, too, here: the role he plays here is different than the one on Shadows. On that album, there was a melancholy air; the voice you heard was one who was looking back with regret. On this album, despite similar instrumentation and similarly low-key arrangements, Dylan plays the role of someone who has seen it all, but nevertheless has hope. It is like the fellow on Shadows, who was resigned to the fact that he was at the end of his life and did not have much to show for it, just met someone who has revitalized him. There is obvious trepidation. The arrangement on, It Had to be You (which begins with the full preamble leading into the song you are familiar with) is not the big-band, Harry Connick, Jr., version from When Harry Met Sally; it is a song that is delivered as a simple statement of fact. This is true of all of the songs on the album. I am not sure if I would say that this album and its immediate predecessors are masterpieces. I will tell you that they are very, very good. They are among, I think, his best output. I will also tell you that it was Dylan’s Austin concert in May of 2015, where he sang the songs from Shadows, that convinced my wife, finally, to embrace him as an artist. Fans of Dylan’s who grew up with his music in the 60s may not appreciate what he is doing here; but the fact of the matter is, if you go back to his very first album, you will see that what is doing here is what he has always done and trying to limit him to a particular time and place and genre is to miss entirely what he is and always has been about.
Java Cookbook: Problems and Solutions for Java Developers
Java Cookbook: Problems and Solutions for Java Developers
... you might want to keep your 3rd edition around since this new edition covers new topics such as data science at the expense of Java 8 recipes that were in the third edition. Those recipes are not null and void just because of an update.
Flo-Kem 11192 Enzyme Odor Eliminator with Pina Colada Fragrance, 1 Gallon
Flo-Kem 11192 Enzyme Odor Eliminator with Pina Colada Fragrance, 1 Gallon
I noticed that one (?) of our cats was peeing on the carpet (will know for sure when I get the camera set up! 😂) and I tried shampooing, vinegar, baking soda and a product called Dumb Cat but nothing got rid of the smell. I got this yesterday along with a black light. The carpet lit up and I sprayed this on the spots and will go over them again tonight and hopefully get it shampooed this weekend. It has definitely taken away the smell! Now I want to empty their litter boxes and spray them down with this. Just for fun I thought I would see how clean ( or not) the toilet was with the black light before I went to work this morning. I have to say that for the first time I can remember I couldn't wait to get home and clean the toilet! It "looks" clean! I can also say that this is the first time I've ever cleaned the toilet in the dark with a black light! I don't think I'll ever clean it again without this product or the black light! Chances are if you think your toilet is clean, this product and a light will prove you wrong! The scent is great and I will order more when this gets low.
BESTEK 300Watt Pure Sine Wave Power Inverter DC 12V to AC 110V Car Plug Inverter Adapter Power Converter with 4.2A Dual USB Charging Ports and 2 AC Outlets Car Charger, ETL Listed
BESTEK 300Watt Pure Sine Wave Power Inverter DC 12V to AC 110V Car Plug Inverter Adapter Power Converter with 4.2A Dual USB Charging Ports and 2 AC Outlets Car Charger, ETL Listed
This is not a review.

This is to give numbers so if a musician (or anyone with a sound system) decides to use their amp with an inverter, one will know approximate numbers.

Amp used - Boss Acoustic Singer Pro 100W - Power Requirements 110VAC 50W
Bestek 300W Pure Sine Wave Inverter
Battery - Raion RG12220FP - 12VDC 22AH (20Ah 10.5V SLA-AGM)
Current tester - Extech 380947 clamp on current meter

Battery connected to Inverter, Invert ON - .7A idle (Fan is running and USB power ports active)
Side note - With Invert off but connected to battery and cell phone connected, .4A draw
Amp Connected and turned on - 2.7A draw (2.8A with cell phone connected)
Playing @50% vol, 2.7A constant - 3.0A on hard sturmming

Based on this formula: 1A @12VDC will equal to 10W of AC power. In this case, the amp draws 50W which will require 5A from the battery. So based on those figures, I should get about 2~3 hours (don't forget efficiency calculations) of usefulness.

However, based on the numbers above, it look like maybe 4~5 hours if no one else is plugged in. I did not test with a microphone but I suspect the draw will not be much more than 3A with a possible max peak of 4 amps.

Added - CAUTION - the inverter is storing energy. Once turned off and disconnected from the battery, there is still the potential hazard of sparks flying if the (+) and (-) leads from the inverter touch. I did not test to see how long the energy is stored or if there is a bleeding resistor installed.

So if you are a musician or an entertainer who uses a sound system, this inverter will power a 100W amplifier for several hours (based on the AH of the batter used).
PEAK Mobile Power Outlet, 2000 Watt
PEAK Mobile Power Outlet, 2000 Watt
Had this wired directly to two golf cart batteries and it would draw 40 amps plus on the charging leg of my 7 pin rv plug and reset my auto trip breaker, and show low voltage. Batteries were new, topped off and the low volt beep would go off anytime any power was used. The batteries should never draw more than 40 amps while constant charge to run 1.5 cu ft mini fridge that was new. Was running a small mini fridge that will run off a 1000 watt inverter. Was on the second day of 14,000 road trip.... Amazon refunded money due to 2 months on the road before returning home, the seller refused due to wanting item back.I as most people, do not carry the box to my inverter, Amazon made it right. Thank You.

Purchased one from auto store, same style and model, not a bit of problems, beside the $75 higher price. No clue, what was wrong with the first one.
Maybe my luck and others, roll the dice, but went back to a 20 amp auto trip breaker for rest of the trip with no issues. Maybe there is a bad batch? No idea but at least test for several days if not longer if you are installing and then taking a road trip.
Marvel's Avengers: Secret Wars Season 4
Marvel's Avengers: Secret Wars Season 4
I should have trusted my instincts on purchasing the Avengers: Secret War series. I have enjoyed the previous Avengers installments, so I figured I’d take a risk. The Avengers: Secret Wars has a silly Disney feel to it instead of that magic that was Avengers seasons 1-3. They’ve changed a few of the vocal talents, and I’m sure there had to have been a very good reason for that (Ant Man and Iron Man name a few). I really liked Adrian Pasdar as Iron Man and Grant George as Ant Man. The current voice of Iron Man is the voice actor who portrays Iron Man in another installment of the Avengers series. In my opinion, the season 4, Avengers Secret Wars seems flat, basically lacking in dynamics, I don’t really care for the current line-up of Avengers which is simply following what happened in the comic book storyline, and I really didn’t like those comics either.

I was never a Thor fan until watching the Avengers animated series. I didn't know Thor supposed to funny (I thought with his King James dialect, who would be stiff and serious).The chemistry between Thor and Hulk provides enough dynamic fun in and of itself (another key element missing from the Avengers: Secret Wars series). I like Black Panther and Vision and the voices that represent them, as well as the stiff comic relief that both characters provide. Ms. Marvel is annoying to me and it seems as if the writers have chosen to spotlight her presence.

If you’re looking for that dynamic and entertaining vibe of the first three seasons of the Avengers, you might be disappointed with season four. But who am I.
Thanos Solar Animal Repellent Ultrasonic Cat Repeller Motion Activated LED Flashing Light Keep Away Dog Fox Raccoon Deer from Your Garden
Thanos Solar Animal Repellent Ultrasonic Cat Repeller Motion Activated LED Flashing Light Keep Away Dog Fox Raccoon Deer from Your Garden
My husband & I recently moved to a house with large corner property, unfenced except sides near other houses. Despite putting up chickenwire & using cat repel sprays, our land still attracts a bevy of feral cats, who like to stalk & kill birds lying below the hedges waiting to pounce, as well as use our property for a litter box, and I am sick of the cleanup. This Thanos machine is an answered prayer, I have seen the cats circle it or try to go around it but they cannot stand the sound & leave the area within minutes. About the sound, if you are close to the unit it emits a beep, then shows its activation by a series of flashing lights (horizontal, like a movie marquee), only the beep can be heard by humans but it tells you it's working. Place it facing the area cats love to hang out in, and because it is about 1 ft tall with the connecting pole pieces (I would advise to only use one to make it shorter), dig a deep enough hole so the machine will be "cat level," then tilt slightly forward so even when they recline it will activate & annoy the cat. It has a wide range, a 40 ft arc and sometimes emits the beep even if you stand close behind it, but get more than one to place at different property entrances to discourage cat entry once & for all. It comes with solar AA batteries but I would suggest buying new AA solars (find here on amazon) to be sure the machine will be up & running after charging it in the sun for 12 hrs, also remember to remove the plastic film over the top solar panel. Thank you amazon for another effective remedy, I highly recommend this product and plan to buy others as needed
Badman
Badman
This wasn't funny. It was slow moving, even for a 5 minute segment and yet, it dragged with no apparent destination. Okay, so it was supposed to be parody, but even parody is supposed to be SOMEWHAT funny. I laughed at the idea of how in the world did this make it to Amazon Prime in the first place? Who released it from its YouTube prison? When is it going back? Did it escape? Is there an all-points-bulletin looking for this satire? I'm calling the Police and getting the reward for the information that will lead to the capture of this atrocity.
Rooster doodle-doo
Rooster doodle-doo
Not to worry if 2014’s Rooster Doodle Doo flew below your CG animated feature radar. Its direct-to-DVD release here in the US was modest at best despite receiving distribution from omnipresent Universal Pictures.

The film is actually a French Canadian production known as Le Coq de St-Victor or as that translates in English: The Rooster of St. Victor. It was released originally in Canada on February 21, 2014, comes in at a run time of 80-minutes and is in fact based upon the children’s book The Rooster of San Vito by Johanne Mercier. The piece was adapted for film and directed by Pierre Greco.

The story tells of the villagers of tiny but quaint St. Victor who are beyond fed up with the mayor's rooster, whose crow wakes them daily at 4am. After a brief bout with insomnia himself, the rooster begins to crow even earlier than usual, prompting the villagers to stop complaining and start taking action.

When the mayor unveils a golden statue of his prized pet, the villagers begin to use the public forum to demand a quick exit for said rooster- the living one, not the statue. When the mayor of a neighboring village serendipitously shows up with an offer to trade his lucky donkey for the noisy fowl, the villagers are thrilled, and, against his better judgment, convince the mayor to part with his beloved rooster.

Now, finally able to rest peacefully, the villagers quickly become acquainted with a life of laziness, opting to spend their days swimming in the mill pond rather than turning wheat into flour and playing golf rather than growing essential crops.

As you may have seen coming, before long the town begins running out of food and the neighboring village, you know- the one that convinced them to part with their rooster in the first place, suddenly benefits from a whole lot of desperation-induced business.

Realizing the error in their reasoning, Florence the baker and Lucien the carpenter have a complete change of heart and begin concocting a plan to get the rooster back.

By itself, it’s a charming little anecdote; almost the type of fable one would expect to have been handed down through the generations years and years ago. Its got irony, some clever lessons on motivation and the value of a hard day’s work. Unfortunately what it lacks is a solid enough hook to be worthy of 80-minutes of animated feature film.

While what’s there is certainly watchable, domestic audiences, (especially the younger ones) will undoubtedly feel unsure about such things as the time-frame, the locale, the characterizations and so on. I mean after all, can it be assumed modern youngsters grasp the connection between the wheat in the fields, the grain in the loft of the mill and the bread on the dinner table? And even if they could, is there much relatability to a rooster-adoring, bicycle-riding mayor who finds himself at the mercy of his disgruntled subjects to the point of being forced into a livestock exchange?

It all comes off as antiquated at best and foreign at worst. At some points, a combination of the two. To make matters worse, the pacing suffers pretty steadily throughout. There’s enough material here to make a decent 23-minute time slot but having to push it to 80-minutes means a lot of meandering around for a fairly lackluster payoff.

Perhaps most noteworthy of the project, however, is a very unique look to the art and animation style. While CG is often criticized for looking too uniformally perfect, too sterile; Rooster Doodle Doo brings a pallet and style that seems to almost combine the simplistic sensibilities of the 2D (hand drawn) era with the type of camera angles only possible through CG. It’s pretty endearing.

Overall though it is difficult to recommend Rooster Doodle Doo on account of its poor pacing and failure to ever introduce a character or plot element that can easily be latched onto. There are some very good elements present, especially within the moral of the story itself but sadly the delivery isn’t subtle or clever enough to warrant the 80-minute investment required.
One Piece, Vol. 38 (38)
One Piece, Vol. 38 (38)
CP9 has been revealed and Galley-La is in flames. The Straw Hat Pirates, already reeling from the loss of two crew members, have been beaten and scattered across the island. Franky, the dismantler boss of Water 7 has been exposed as the shipwright Cutty Flam and the blueprints to the ancient weapon Pluton are now at risk. The chips are down, and all seems lost. It's time to fight back.

One Piece Vol. 38 sees Luffy and the gang regroup and chase after Robin, setting up the next phase of the Water 7 story that will take place on the judicial island Enies Lobby. In that regard this volume is mostly transition and setup, though it still moves at a good pace and contains a few surprises along the way. Unfortunately the best surprise from the last page of the volume, Usopp's new alter ego Sniper King, has been revealed on the cover. Not sure why Oda did this as the next volume is more Sanji and Sniper King-focused, but there it is. Otherwise it's fun to see Sanji once again in a covert role and there's some great usage of supporting characters like Kokoro that really tie the story together.

I should also mention I'm quite liking Viz's translation efforts during this whole accelerated publishing program. While there's still room for debate on what some character names and attacks should be called, the actual scripts have been fairly strong. In particular, the characters seem to be coming into their own voice such as Nami's "This is so not the time!" to Luffy and Zoro referring to Chopper as a "little jerk" for passing out while clinging to his head. The characters have grown substantially since the early volumes and its nice to see the translations evolve from the flatter readings of the past.

Keep on reading, One Piece isn't slowing down any time soon.
Northern Lights
Northern Lights
STORY BRIEF:
Nate was a cop in Baltimore. His partner was killed on the job. Nate felt responsible and was sad, withdrawn and depressed for months. He left Baltimore to become police chief of a small town in Alaska, hoping to further lose himself. He meets Meg who is a fiercely independent bush pilot, flying people and supplies around Alaska. She has more masculine traits than feminine and is the initiator of casual sex. Some mountain climbers discover a dead body with an axe in his chest. The body has been sitting in a cave on the mountain for 16 years. Nate's cop instincts awaken as he investigates. The murderer starts doing things to stop the investigation.

REVIEWER'S OPINION:
It was a long book and a little slow at first. But the last half made it worthwhile and kept me interested. It was an interesting group of characters. I enjoyed watching what life was like for a small town police chief, breaking up fights, taking care of drunks, dealing with teenage orneriness. Nate was a good man, taking care of his town. But when murder happened, he turned back into the tough, Baltimore cop - investigating and protecting. Solving the murder and his relationship with Meg brought him back to life.

I would have liked a little more understanding of the motivation for the murder. The love story between Nate and Meg could have used more relationship development. It started with Meg wanting casual sex and later they sort of realized they were in love. It was ok but could have used a little more sizzle. I enjoyed the Alaskan lights in the sky, the beautiful wilderness, and the lifestyle.

DATA:
Story length: 635 pages. Swearing language: strong. Sexual language: mild. Number of sex scenes: 4. Total number of sex scene pages: 10. Setting: 1988, 2004 and 2005 Alaska. Copyright: 2004. Genre: romantic mystery.

OTHER BOOKS:
For a listing of my reviews of other Nora Roberts and J.D. Robb books, see my 4.5 star review of "Angels Fall" posted on 6/30/08.
Secret Star (Stars of Mithra Book 3)
Secret Star (Stars of Mithra Book 3)
This is the final story in the Stars of Mithra trilogy and the writing is up to the high Nora Roberts standard. It is so easy to criticise a writer's work and my thoughts and feelings might easily have been swayed by an unpaid bill or lack of sleep (to paraphrase Ebenezer Scrooge).
However, I found this story slower than the previous two with less action and not as suspenseful. The areas I did not like where structural, the devices used to tell the story. Revealing the enemy's identity did not work for me. I preferred the elusive figure of the first two novels when the reader was given insight into the thoughts and feelings of the villain without knowing his name or status. In the high society that Grace, the main female character, inhabits not knowing which of the people she meets is the villain causes the reader to doubt and question everyone. Revealing his identity at the dénouement would have been far more shocking and suspenseful.
Grace was complex but most of what we know of her is through hearsay. There is one scene which could be described as revealing had we not already known about what she was doing. Seth, the male interest for Grace, is a rigidly controlled cop with preconceived ideas about her. The changes he undergoes to see through the persona she presents were not strong enough. Again, he learns more about her through hearsay than through their own interaction.
In the first two novels Bailey and MC have a great many challenges to deal with alone and with their respective male interests. By contrast, Grace slips easily through the story. Her problems with her family and people's perception of her are not on a par with witnessing murders or being on the run. Having said all that, the novel is still a higher standard than most in this genre and is a most enjoyable read.
The Illustrated Dan Brown Collection: The Da Vinci Code Special Illustrated Edition / Angels & Demons Special Illustrated Edition (2-Volume Set in Slipbox)
The Illustrated Dan Brown Collection: The Da Vinci Code Special Illustrated Edition / Angels & Demons Special Illustrated Edition (2-Volume Set in Slipbox)
The illustrations in "The DaVinci Code" are beautiful and add a great deal to the enjoyment of this exciting, intriguing book. The last 3 pages, the climax which solves the code, is nothing short of spectacular with the addition of the photographs. The quality of the book is excellent, heavy paper and clear color pictures. I borrowed this book from the library but it is worth buying for the collector.
Live And Let Die
Live And Let Die
Sean Connery finally said goodbye to Bond, the character that had made him famous, with `diamonds are forever'. So for Bond's eighth big screen outing we were introduced to Roger Moore (and his eyebrow) in the lead, the third actor to play the part on the silver screen.

Known for his roles in Ivanhoe and The Saint, Moore was a good choice. He had the on screen presence and mannerisms to carry it off, but was no Connery clone His Bond was just different enough to Connery to stand out, and it is this attempt to be different that was the secret of his success in the role. Moore's Bond seemed a more human construct, slightly less remote and dangerous but still ruthless when it comes to getting the job done.

In this film Bond is sent to America in order to sort out some drug smugglers. Along the way we have fun as we see the typical Englishman deal with the mean streets of Harlem, there is the excellently staged and thrilling bug boat chase through the Florida everglades, and the immortal stunt with the crocodiles. Into the mix there is a large dose of voodoo, and it sometimes seems that Bond's antagonists are not of this world. After the almost embarrassing attempt to be hip with the last film, the producers got it largely right this time, and largely because of the change of actor the humour and seventies fashions work a lot better.

There are notable performances: Yaphett Koto as the villain - a very underrated actor Koto gave this role his all and made a memorable Mr. Big, and Jane Seymour as Solitaire, the voodoo priestess who finds the tarot cards stacked against her... There is also an excellent score featuring Wings, it is up there with any of Shirley Bassey's themes for the series and fits the mood and style of the film to a tee.

It is a film which is full of atmosphere, entertaining in terms of thrills and humour and a great way to pass a couple of hours.

Notable in the Bond canon that it is the second film not to feature Q, and Bond carries a Magnum rather than the usual Walther PPK.

This ultimate edition really is the best version of the film I have owned. The picture has been lovingly restored and cleaned up, and looks amazing. Really, I am not just saying that. It looks superb. The sound has been similarly treated and there is an option to listen to it in 5.1 DTS surround, which is truly exceptional.

As well as the superb presentation of the film, there is also a host of extras, original trailers, informative audio commentaries and the such. These are exhaustive and some of them quite interesting. But these really a garnish for the main course, which is the film itself. This is an excellent release, and does the film justice. This series of `Ultimate editions' really sets the standard for film releases. It really does not get any better.
Harry Potter Party House Banners - Complete Hogwarts House Wall Banner - Perfect Indoor Outdoor Party Flag - Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw Banner Set (5 Pack) (38 inch * 25 inch)
Harry Potter Party House Banners - Complete Hogwarts House Wall Banner - Perfect Indoor Outdoor Party Flag - Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw Banner Set (5 Pack) (38 inch * 25 inch)
I used it to decorate for my daughter’s birthday! The banners were made of silky nylon material, which makes the banner light and easy to hang. There are also 2 holes at the top ends of the banner in which you can easily attach to a string or hooks for hanging. The colors of each banner were vibrant with meticulous replicas of the seal of the Hogwarts Houses. The plus is that it also comes with the seal of the Hogwarts School. My daughter was really amazed by the banners!
UCMMA 12 - Never Back Down - Part 1
UCMMA 12 - Never Back Down - Part 1
10 to 1 pre-fight crap to actual fights. The only good fight was the last one and it faded to black before the first round was over. The other fights were mismatched amateurs and one fight with bizarre rules and a referee intent on chopping the action to bits.
iDesign Orbinni Steel Over-The-Door Storage Hook - 1" x 3.8" x 6.3", Chrome
iDesign Orbinni Steel Over-The-Door Storage Hook - 1" x 3.8" x 6.3", Chrome
Some years ago I ended up buying one of these over the door hooks and have used it for years. After I moved into my new place I decided I wanted two more of them, but couldn't remember where I got the first one. After checking some brick & mortar stores I looked on Amazon and found the exact ones I had so I ordered two of them. They have come in the mail and they are just as good as the one I already had. Still can't remember where I bought the first one years ago, but I am glad that Amazon also sold them.
The Peanutshell Safari Animals Musical Crib Mobile for Baby Boys & Girls | Digital Music Box with 12 lullabies…
The Peanutshell Safari Animals Musical Crib Mobile for Baby Boys & Girls | Digital Music Box with 12 lullabies…
Disappointing product. To be honest, i regret not spending the extra $20 to get a more legitimate / sturdier mobile for my third kid. Our first mobile lasted 7 years, and just broke down. Parts of this new mobile all felt very cheap & light... ours came with the “peanutshell” brand label already torn, so i spent some time getting the whole sticker off cleanly. The plastic pieces are just super flimsy and the stuffed toys loosely attached with fraying strings to the cheap plastic. To be honest, I’m a little worried about some part of the mobile (arms / animals) falling into the crib. (which would certainly be a risk for baby). I’m going to monitor for a few more days and unfortunately buy a new, sturdier mobile if i have to. Like another customer said, it’s also not great that this doesn’t play full lullabies, rather snippets of 12 different lullabies, which is a little “ADHD” feeling, in my opinion.
Diagtree 2 PCS Authentic Sheepskin Auto Seat Belt Cover Shoulder Seatbelt Pad for Adults Youth Kids Toddlers - Car, Truck, SUV, Airplane,Camera Backpack Straps - High Density Soft Australian Wool
Diagtree 2 PCS Authentic Sheepskin Auto Seat Belt Cover Shoulder Seatbelt Pad for Adults Youth Kids Toddlers - Car, Truck, SUV, Airplane,Camera Backpack Straps - High Density Soft Australian Wool
Bought these for extra comfort in my primary vehicle. With multiple surgical scars and an old clavicle break, this cushion takes off just enough seatbelt pressure to keep me comfortable and my ride safe. They’re also just soft and fluffy and just feel nicer than a seat belt digging into your shoulder/neck/chest. I plan to buy more for my back seat—upgrade my car hostess game at a very reasonable price.
Basic Fun Simon Electronic Game with Digital Screen and Built-In Counter, 9-Inch Diameter
Basic Fun Simon Electronic Game with Digital Screen and Built-In Counter, 9-Inch Diameter
This is a great gift idea for kids of ANY age and for adults too! My kids range in age from 5 years old through 18 years and they all enjoy it. It is fun game that can played alone or with multiple players. It can be played in the house, in the car, on camping trips, etc. Yes, it is an "older" game but is really timeless and it is probably one of the few games that can successfully compete with video games. This is a great gift for all. I am glad I purchased it.
Morphys Adjustable Deep Sleep Bed Pillow Hotel Quality Luxury Beds 100% Cotton Cover Hypoallergenic and Dust Mite Resistant Washable Firm White, 45x70cm
Morphys Adjustable Deep Sleep Bed Pillow Hotel Quality Luxury Beds 100% Cotton Cover Hypoallergenic and Dust Mite Resistant Washable Firm White, 45x70cm
I must say I finally found MY pillow. I have been looking for it for 5 years since i moved to London and had to leave my boyfriends pillow back in Hungary. I grew up sleeping on feather pillows which was always soft and comfy but since i am with my boyfriend i cannot have feather because of his allergy. He had a good pillow in his flat but it got out of our hands after moving here. Since then i am struggling with these poor cheap pillows that i could find in the stores and they were all quickly flat and hard and even the original filling was too stiff for me. I also tried one feather pillow and it was soft and perfect except that after a few months of useage it "expired" and with a sudden allergy attack i had to put a stop on using it. So i thought to buy and expensive memory foam pillow which felt really good for my hand but to sleep on it felt like rock. My boyfriend had a really good memory foam pillow and i hoped it will be similar. And THEN i thought ok I will try a cheaper one so at least i am not throwing money out the window with every pillow and looked deeply into reviews of cheaper pillows and i was specificly looking for negative reviews that would say it does not support it is too soft as before with the memory foam everone said it has a good support but that is not what i needed. And here it is! I live it i have been usong it for a few weeks now and the shape has not changed yet is is nice bouncy but still soft. PERFECT FOR ME
Yesker YES-43 6 Pack Teflon 16x20 Heat Press Transfer Sheet Super Sale TIME, 6-pack, Brown
Yesker YES-43 6 Pack Teflon 16x20 Heat Press Transfer Sheet Super Sale TIME, 6-pack, Brown
Bought these back in October and just now getting around to trying them out. DO NOT like them, I would rather pay the extra money for the other craft mats even though they are smaller.
One of the ad pictures shows it with what I am guessing is beaded water. I don't know what they put on it before taking that picture but water doesn't bead up, it goes right through it!
I use gesso, medium gel, paints, ink etc in my art and always pour it onto a mat. Glad I went to clean it up right away as EVERYTHING went right through the mat and onto my worktop!
Blueair Blue Pure 411+ Air Purifier for Home 3 Stage with Washable Pre-Filter, Particle, Carbon Filter, Captures Allergens, Odors, Smoke, Mold, Dust, Germs, Pets, Smokers, Small
Blueair Blue Pure 411+ Air Purifier for Home 3 Stage with Washable Pre-Filter, Particle, Carbon Filter, Captures Allergens, Odors, Smoke, Mold, Dust, Germs, Pets, Smokers, Small
Excellent product if it works. We bought four (two 411+ and two 121) and three of them are working fine. One just stopped working. It happens. Why the abysmal rating ? Product support. They list their phone lines as open 8 hours per day. The reality is about 4 hours. Doesn't really matter - they don't answer them anyway. They do not return calls. The have a chat line - but nobody there either. The chat converts to an email. And they don't respond. And they have email - you guessed it - they don't answer those either. The design of these units and quiet operation is awesome - but they have to work for more than 30 days to deserve even one star. 5 more days - then I am going to return it.
After a week of trying to contact them - finally got hold of a human being. Immediate replacement under warranty was initiated (still in progress). They have regained my faith and trust. Still lose one star for the awful difficulty of contacting them.
Ultimately - would I buy another for myself ? Yes. Would I recommend to friends and family ? Yes.
***
I would still recommend them but warranty service continues to awful and infuriating. Got my first call form a human being this morning - but the caller ID was "Teletech Corp" which feels like a robocall or telemarketer. I did not answer the call, but the message left was clearly from BlueAir. The subsequent callback conversation was with a BlueAir employee who was not empowered to do anything - simply taking down my information for yet another person to call back. I am neither impressed nor hopeful.
Ending with a positive - I live in the Northern California fire zone - within 10 miles of two fires that burned over 400,000 acres. Smoke outside has been awful. Air Quality has been as high as 510 at my location. The filters work so well that while inside my house - the air was clean and could not even detect the smell of smoke or ash.
Hope you get a good one - they work extremely well when they do. If it fails, get ready for some real frustration.
***
I have given up. This company does *NOT* stand behind their products. They are incapable of providing support for their products

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