Dahlia Castillo

Joined a year ago

Dahlia's Favorites
Harry Potter y el cáliz de fuego (Harry Potter 4)
Harry Potter y el cáliz de fuego (Harry Potter 4)
Harry Potter y el cáliz de fuego (Harry Potter 4) by J.K. Rowling, Carlos Ponce, et al.. Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars, with 409 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the J. K. Rowling category.
Antony and Cleopatra
Antony and Cleopatra
Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare and Sheba Blake. Rated 3.4 out of 5 stars, with 31 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the J. K. Rowling category.
The Choice (Movie Tie-In)
The Choice (Movie Tie-In)
The Choice (Movie Tie-In) by Nicholas Sparks. Rated 4.4 out of 5 stars, with 110 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Nicholas Sparks category.
Ogni volta noi (Italian Edition)
Ogni volta noi (Italian Edition)
Ogni volta noi (Italian Edition) by Josie Silver and Alba Bariffi. Rated 4 out of 5 stars, with 3 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.
Una Navidad diferente (Spanish Edition)
Una Navidad diferente (Spanish Edition)
Una Navidad diferente (Spanish Edition) by John Grisham. Rated 3.8 out of 5 stars, with 20 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the John Grisham category.
Der Coach: Roman (German Edition)
Der Coach: Roman (German Edition)
Der Coach: Roman (German Edition) by John Grisham and Tanja Handels. Rated 4.1 out of 5 stars, with 12 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the John Grisham category.
The Secret Friend
The Secret Friend
The Secret Friend by Chris Mooney. Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars, with 86 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the John Grisham category.
180 Masterpieces You Should Read Before You Die (Vol.1): Leaves of Grass, Siddhartha, Middlemarch, The Jungle, Macbeth, Moby-Dick, A Study in Scarlet, ... The Way We Live Now, Sister Carrie...
180 Masterpieces You Should Read Before You Die (Vol.1): Leaves of Grass, Siddhartha, Middlemarch, The Jungle, Macbeth, Moby-Dick, A Study in Scarlet, ... The Way We Live Now, Sister Carrie...
180 Masterpieces You Should Read Before You Die (Vol.1): Leaves of Grass, Siddhartha, Middlemarch, The Jungle, Macbeth, Moby-Dick, A Study in Scarlet, ... The Way We Live Now, Sister Carrie... by Walt Whitman, George Eliot, et al.. Rated 4 out of 5 stars, with 1 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the John Grisham category.
22/11/63 [French Version]
22/11/63 [French Version]
22/11/63 [French Version] by Stephen King, François Montagut, et al.. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars, with 351 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Stephen King category.
STEPHEN KING BOOKS IN ORDER WITH SUMMARIES AND CHECKLIST - Stephen King Has Written Over 100 Novels and Short Stories: All Books Listed in Order - Checklist, ... and Summaries (Best Reading Order Book 105)
STEPHEN KING BOOKS IN ORDER WITH SUMMARIES AND CHECKLIST - Stephen King Has Written Over 100 Novels and Short Stories: All Books Listed in Order - Checklist, ... and Summaries (Best Reading Order Book 105)
STEPHEN KING BOOKS IN ORDER WITH SUMMARIES AND CHECKLIST - Stephen King Has Written Over 100 Novels and Short Stories: All Books Listed in Order - Checklist, ... and Summaries (Best Reading Order Book 105) by Avid Reader. Rated 3.6 out of 5 stars, with 2 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Stephen King category.
Het Instituut (Dutch Edition)
Het Instituut (Dutch Edition)
Het Instituut (Dutch Edition) by Stephen King. Rated 5 out of 5 stars, with 1 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Stephen King category.
Murach's Beginning Java with Eclipse
Murach's Beginning Java with Eclipse
Murach's Beginning Java with Eclipse by Joel Murach and Michael Urban. Rated 3.9 out of 5 stars, with 18 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the 'Java programming' category.
Introduction to Programming Using Python
Introduction to Programming Using Python
Introduction to Programming Using Python by Y. Daniel Liang. Rated 3.3 out of 5 stars, with 40 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the 'Python programming' category.
Starting Out with Python
Starting Out with Python
Starting Out with Python by Tony Gaddis. Rated 4.2 out of 5 stars, with 77 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the 'Python programming' category.
Artificial Intelligence: Made Easy, w/ Ruby Programming; Learn to Create your * Problem Solving * Algorithms! TODAY! w/ Machine Learning & Data Structures (Artificial Intelligence Series)
Artificial Intelligence: Made Easy, w/ Ruby Programming; Learn to Create your * Problem Solving * Algorithms! TODAY! w/ Machine Learning & Data Structures (Artificial Intelligence Series)
Artificial Intelligence: Made Easy, w/ Ruby Programming; Learn to Create your * Problem Solving * Algorithms! TODAY! w/ Machine Learning & Data Structures (Artificial Intelligence Series) by Code Well Academy and R.M.Z. Trigo. Rated 3.6 out of 5 stars, with 23 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the 'PHP programming' category.
Python For Beginners: Learn Python In 5 Days With Step-by-Step Guidance And Hands-On Exercises (Python Programming, Python Crash Course, Programming For Beginners) (Coding Made Easy Book Book 1)
Python For Beginners: Learn Python In 5 Days With Step-by-Step Guidance And Hands-On Exercises (Python Programming, Python Crash Course, Programming For Beginners) (Coding Made Easy Book Book 1)
Python For Beginners: Learn Python In 5 Days With Step-by-Step Guidance And Hands-On Exercises (Python Programming, Python Crash Course, Programming For Beginners) (Coding Made Easy Book Book 1) by James Tudor. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars, with 22 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the 'Python programming' category.
CodeIgniter 2 Cookbook
CodeIgniter 2 Cookbook
CodeIgniter 2 Cookbook by Rob Foster. Rated 3.8 out of 5 stars, with 7 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the 'PHP programming' category.
Sams Teach Yourself Ruby in 21 Days
Sams Teach Yourself Ruby in 21 Days
Sams Teach Yourself Ruby in 21 Days by Mark Slagell. Rated 4.2 out of 5 stars, with 10 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Ruby programming category.
Practical Data Science with R
Practical Data Science with R
Practical Data Science with R by Nina Zumel and John Mount. Rated 5 out of 5 stars, with 3 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the R programming category.
Objective-C Fundamentals
Objective-C Fundamentals
Objective-C Fundamentals by Christopher Fairbairn , Collin Ruffenach, et al.. Rated 1 out of 5 stars, with 1 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Objective-C programming category.
High Performance Computing for Computational Science - VECPAR 2006: 7th International Conference Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 10-13, 2006 Revised ... (Lecture Notes in Computer Science (4395))
High Performance Computing for Computational Science - VECPAR 2006: 7th International Conference Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 10-13, 2006 Revised ... (Lecture Notes in Computer Science (4395))
High Performance Computing for Computational Science - VECPAR 2006: 7th International Conference Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 10-13, 2006 Revised ... (Lecture Notes in Computer Science (4395)) by Michel Daydé, Álvaro L.G.A. Coutinho, et al.. Rated undefined out of 5 stars, with undefined ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Scala programming category.
Mastering Play Framework for Scala
Mastering Play Framework for Scala
Mastering Play Framework for Scala by Shiti Saxena. Rated 2.8 out of 5 stars, with 10 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Scala programming category.
Spark GraphX in Action
Spark GraphX in Action
Spark GraphX in Action by Michael Malak and Robin East. Rated 5 out of 5 stars, with 7 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Scala programming category.
The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal
The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal
Ben Mezrich’s Accidental Billionaires, the basis for the film, The Social Network, tells the story of the creation of Facebook, the characters involved, their motives and actions and the outcomes. The book takes us from Harvard and the creation of Facebook as a student project, to Silicon Valley and the multi-billion dollar company that Facebook is today. Accidental Billionaires is in large part a record of personalities and their interaction: Mark Zuckerberg, founder, primary owner and CEO of Facebook, who remains something of a mystery; Eduardo Saverin, his initial partner and co-founder, who takes legal action against Zuckerberg for later exclusion from the company; the Winklevoss twins, who sue Zuckerberg for alleged theft of their idea; and Sean Parker, Silicon Valley celebrity who connects Zuckerberg with venture capital and is himself later excluded from involvement with Facebook. The cast is virtually all male, with women present on the margins merely as sex objects.

In its narrative technique, Accidental Billionaires constantly switches viewpoint from one character to another, so that no one has the whole picture, the perfect, all-knowing overview. There is no omniscient narrator who decides among the competing viewpoints, an omission that allows the author to attribute criticism or condemnation of others to characters within the drama, but makes it difficult for the reader to reach a definitive conclusion about the events. Did Mark Zuckerberg steal someone else’s idea and get mega-rich on it, or was he a computer genius who developed an idea way beyond its origin and made that idea his own? The issue remains undecideable.

One aspect of the book’s appeal is that it gives the reader vicarious entry into a world of privilege, a series of exclusive subcultures: Harvard and its elite societies, the influential billionaires of Silicon Valley and the insiders to Facebook itself. Accidental Billionaires is partly a story of “lifestyles of the rich and famous” at a barely post-adolescent stage of their careers. This aspect, the exclusivity, is in tension with the “here comes everybody” ethos of the internet. Ostensibly, Facebook was always going to oppose and exceed that exclusivity, either sexually, where geeks could hope to hook up with hot girls, or on a much wider scale, where anyone with access to the internet could connect with and “friend” anyone else. Of course, Facebook has produced its own hierarchy and elite, where a few people are plethorically wealthy and control huge amounts of information about the rest of us.

Generically, there are large issues involved in Facebook and the internet as a whole: the relationship of private to public, individuals to institutions, elites to masses, security to risk, order to disorder, information and its ownership and so on. This is why reading about Facebook is interesting and useful, not so much for the details of its creation, or who stole what from whom or didn’t, but as a prompt to consideration of major issues that affect all of us: our relation as individuals to society, government, politics and power, to freedoms and restrictions, issues that go way beyond Facebook. The thoughtful reader will look past Mezrich’s enjoyable account of Facebook’s creation to consider these wider questions.
Invest Like a Guru: How to Generate Higher Returns at Reduced Risk with Value Investing
Invest Like a Guru: How to Generate Higher Returns at Reduced Risk with Value Investing
I use the research site GuruFocus almost daily. It’s my go-to source for fundamental stock research, and the screeners and graphing tools alone would be well worth the subscription cost.

So, I was thrilled to find out that GuruFocus founder Charlie Tian, PhD recently authored a book, Invest Like a Guru: How To Generate Higher Returns At Reduced Risk With Value Investing.

Tian doesn’t have a background in finance. He’s a scientist with a PhD in physics and an expert in fiber optics and lasers. Perhaps because of his unorthodox background Tian approaches the investing process in a scientific way, picking apart the strategies of successful investors to see how they work. Much of Invest Like a Guru – and GuruFocus too, for that matter – is focused on the strategies of wildly successful value investors such as Warren Buffett, Peter Lynch and Donald Yacktman.

The dominant theme of the book is quality. Buffett famously said “It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price,” and Tian spends most of Invest Like a Guru expanding on that core idea. Chapter 6 is particularly useful as a 20-point checklist of criteria to look for when seeking out quality companies, including consistent profitability, capital efficiency and insider ownership.

But while Invest Like a Guru is full of solid advice in what to look for in a stock, it’s far more useful in telling you what to avoid. As a case in point, Tian dedicates a chapter to deep-value investing, and I personally consider this the most important chapter in the book. I myself have gotten suckered into deep-value plays in the past, and they rarely seem to work out as planned or on the timeframe I had hoped.
Deep-value investing is what Warren Buffett called “buying dollar bills for 40 cents” earlier in his career. Later, he mostly eschewed the strategy, calling it “cigar-butt” investing.

The rationale is easy enough to understand: It’s hard to lose money buying a company that is worth more dead than alive. If a company’s net assets are worth significantly more than its current market price, management could sell off the company for spare parts and deliver a decent profit to shareholders. And generally, that would be the right move. Remember, if a stock is trading that cheaply, chances are good that it is a company with very deep problems.

The problem is that it never quite works out that way. Monetizing assets is messy and complicated, and management has a vested interest in keeping the enterprise going. And the longer they do, the more value gets eroded.

As a case in point, consider the case of Sears Holdings. Eddie Lampert and Bruce Berkowitz – both respected value investors – have effectively bet their careers on Sears in the belief that its real estate and brand portfolios represented massive untapped value. They problem is that the Sears retail business continues to deteriorate around them. They may eventually unlock the value they had hoped to, but it will have cost them dearly in money, reputational damage and – perhaps most importantly – opportunity cost. Had they focused their energies elsewhere, they might have made far better profits with far less headache.

Buffett himself learned the same lesson with Berkshire Hathaway, which was a failing textile producer when Buffett originally bought it. Berkshire eventually failed, but only after Buffett had wasted untold time and energy (not to mention money) trying to keep it afloat. Buffett called his purchase of Berkshire Hathaway a “$100 billion mistake.”

Tian finishes the chapter with the simple observation that “There are better ways to make money.”

If you’re new to value investing, I highly recommend Invest Like a Guru. But even if you’re a seasoned investor, you’ll find plenty of insightful food for thought. My compliments to Tian on a solid addition to the value investor’s library.
The Little Yellow Book: Quotations from Chairman Xi Dada (COLLECTOR'S EDITION) (Over-Tone Collection)
The Little Yellow Book: Quotations from Chairman Xi Dada (COLLECTOR'S EDITION) (Over-Tone Collection)
I received this book and I believe it's a great medium to encounter President Xi's Thought. However, as an English-only addition without the original Chinese text I feel it is not as helpful as it could be. For instance, Mao's red book has a side by side Chinese and Englis (or German or Spanish) translation. So this would be helpful especially for people who may be using this book academically, to engage with Chinese-speakers, and for Chinese study. So if the publishers could get in touch with me when a bilingual version comes out, that would be outstanding. Thanks.
The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s: An Oral History
The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s: An Oral History
Ok...admission #1: I have yet to read most of this book. Why I am even bothering? Why am I bothering you? Because sometimes you just know. It's like meeting someone for the first time and after only a moment you just "know". You click. You're soul mates. You're in love. Or at least "in like". Admission #2: I haven't really watched the show. My daughter has been obsessed with it and my daughter is much more clever and intelligent and with-it than I can ever hope to be. If she says something is good then it's certainly worth my time to investigate, dabble and peruse. So, through her I've seen bits and pieces of it over the years. (Am I the only one who's experienced the oddity of never having seen something other than a snippet and then coming across it serendipitously channel surfing or looking over a daughter's shoulder find that you're seeing the exact same scene you saw the one other time you caught the program?). I've chuckled a time or two. Admission #3: I LOVE oral histories ('that's what she said') Seeing this was an oral history and having this program on my bucket list AND this being the second week of my life being on hold along with millions of others because of Covid-19 (I'm sensing a future 'oral history' of these strange days) I've decided to start Mr Greene's book AND begin binge-watching THE OFFICE starting with the original British version. I'll read along as I watch. Admission #4: Although true that I haven't actually read this book before audaciously 'reviewing' it, I have read through chapter 2 and have snuck enough of a peek at the rest to feel confident that my 5-Star rating will hold. Sometimes you just know.
Experiments in Honesty: Meditations on Love, Fear and the Honest to God Naked Truth
Experiments in Honesty: Meditations on Love, Fear and the Honest to God Naked Truth
Listen. I know this review says Nick wrote it. He didn't. It's Gwenn here.

I am not gonna try to sell you on something that I don’t think you need. I value our friendship and your money not being wasted too much for that. And even with all of that said I can, without hesitation, recommend you buy this book. I grew up in the Christian tradition. I was fully bought into that lifestyle. And then I lived outside of America. And now I don’t know what to think. I honestly don’t. There’s a part of me that just wants to throw up my hands and walk away, but there’s also something that won’t let me completely sever ties with my faith. I know a lot of people who are in the same spot. Friends—this book is for us. It really is a fresh look at issues of faith (and Jesus) formatted into storytelling chapters. My friend, Steve, the author, is a (relatable) mystic, a talented artist, and an award-winning storyteller. This book is an excellent collection of his stories. Some come from the Bible— some come from his life. All of them are very readable and make you think. You’ll want to read it once for the entertainment factor and the next time to let each episode ruminate. You need to buy it.
The Return to the Little Kingdom: Steve Jobs, The Creation of Apple and How it Changed the World
The Return to the Little Kingdom: Steve Jobs, The Creation of Apple and How it Changed the World
It is difficult to fully appreciate just how different and awkward early computers were to use. Linking bits together, typing code or running tapes to get it started and then being confined to using a small selection of software.
When Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were trying to sell computer boards at the Homebrew Computer Club in the 1970's, it was to enthusiasts who did not mind tinkering. By the time the Macintosh arrived in 1984, Apple was a growing profitable company selling a complete package to industry and domestic users.
This book provides a detailed look at how it all came about. The successes, failures and personalities that created a company so different to IBM and Hewlett Packard.
I have been using Apple computers for nearly two decades. I have bought in to the aspirations that come with buying such a machine. I 'Think Different', but still do a lot of computing and enjoy the experience using a current iMac.
Once you have read Return to the Little Kingdom, I think you will appreciate why owners and users of Apple computers are so devoted and happy that they have made the right choice.
The four star rating is only because I would have preferred to see a few photographs includedReturn to the Little Kingdom: Steve Jobs, the creation of Apple, and how it changed the world
Finding My Virginity: The New Autobiography
Finding My Virginity: The New Autobiography
This is an interesting book no doubt. Branson is at his best when discussing various companies within his Virgin Group and how they were started, while his descriptions about how he makes business decisions is valuable for both establish business people and budding entrepreneurs. He is at his most dismal, however, when promulgating, in detail and even full chapters, some of his political causes and beliefs which are so left wing that at times it smacks of self indulgence as if he has to describe how liberal and truly open minded he really is. Of course, at the end of the day, life and all of its myriad of issues are a bit more complicated than that. He gives numerous pages to those he claims to have had good relations with and admires (Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama - not unsurprisingly - and those apparently less stellar, Donald Trump for example), but this is not necessary, even if it's true, and detracts from the book - leaving me to wonder where his editor is at times like these.

I also find it a real stretch of the imagination when he described his trip to Vietnam in 2015 and how he “told the crowd” about his "connection" to the country. However, that connection was only as a Vietnam War protester back in the 60's and not even in the US, but in the UK. Since I’ve lived and worked for over 5 years in Vietnam, his assertion is more than a stretch, it's disingenuous.

If Branson would have toned down some of his blatant political rhetoric and also spent a bit less time writing on arbitrary domestic/family issues, it would have made for a smoother, and more insightful - albeit- shorter read. I too, like other reviewers, wish I could ask for a refund, but the time for that has expired.
Henry Ford: A curiosa vida de um dos maiores visionários da história (Portuguese Edition)
Henry Ford: A curiosa vida de um dos maiores visionários da história (Portuguese Edition)
Trata-se de uma resumida biografia deste que foi, sem dúvida alguma, um dos homens mais extraordinários da Administração e na configuração de produção fabril como a conhecemos. A obra apresenta curiosidades da vida de Ford, nas esferas pessoal, profissional, política, social e aborda ainda algumas polêmicas em que o industrial se envolveu. Por ser um livro sucinto, não há muito aprofundamento, mas nem por isso deixa de ser interessante.

De todo modo, este ebook nos dá uma ideia dos motivos que fazem de Ford um personagem tão importante para a história da moderna e quais legados deixara para as gerações que lhe sucederam, transformando-se em um inegável divisor de águas na indústria, e não por acaso, até hoje seus conceitos são estudados em universidades de todo o mundo e aplicados em organizações dos mais variados ramos.
Disguise Inc - The Candidate Vacuform Election Half Mask
Disguise Inc - The Candidate Vacuform Election Half Mask
The mask rested a bit too low on my nose and would have had to tip my head up just to see in front of me. I ended up just taping additional foam backing to the nosepiece inside to raise it a bit. The cord seemed just a touch on the loose side (and I have a hat size 7.5 head), but it managed to stay on for the brief time that I wore it. Would be nice if it could be tightened easily.

Got this for a Halloween joke costume but I guess now that he's prez I might actually use this again?
Forever Undefined
Forever Undefined
Forever Undefined by Forever Undefined. Rated undefined out of 5 stars, with null ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the undefined category.
Wolverine Men's Floorhand Waterproof 10" Steel Toe Work Boot
Wolverine Men's Floorhand Waterproof 10" Steel Toe Work Boot
Good, quality work boot, with lots of room for heavy work socks. Atrractive, functional appearance, whether pants are tucked inside the boot or pants are pulled over the exterior sides of the boot. I haven’t found out if they are waterproof yet, but it looks like they will be very water resistant for a breathable leather boot. And I didn’t buy these leather boots for wading around in several inches of standing water anyway, and in those situations, I’d wear some clammy rubber boots, not these good, everyday leather work boots. These Wolverine boots are great for construction, chores, just about any kind of work, and the steel toe is not even noticeable, except when you just find out it’s protected you from stubbing your toe! The only caveat might be, because they do have the convenience of a pull on boot, if you planned to go hiking for miles and miles, you would probably want to wear a lighter boot with laces that fit around your feet tightly, but that’s the case with almost all pull on boots. Highly recommended boots.
Dean Koontz - Collection: Watchers & Midnight
Dean Koontz - Collection: Watchers & Midnight
So far I have only listened to "Watchers" because I only listened to this DVD in the car when I was going somewhere. I started it when I had to take a long trip out of town--I listened to it going and coming home and still did not hear all of the story. This was a very long story but worth the time to listen to it. This was my first experience in listening to an audio book & I was very pleased with the story teller. He was not boring at all and made the story come to life. I haven't listened to the second story yet but am hoping that the same story teller will be telling that story too.

As far as the story itself goes, I read the book when it first came out--years and years ago. In fact, it had been so long ago that I only remembered the dog, Eisenstein, and the Outsider and why the Outsider hated him. I did not remember that the story was very graphic and has sex scenes in it or I would not have lent the paperback to my 10 year old great-grandson.! Now I know why he called me and asked me should he really be reading this. I collect and save all Dean Koontz stories so I had had this physical book for a long time.

If you like books by Dean Koontz and you like stories about hero dogs, you will love this story.
Caminos: Agenda 2019 (Spanish Edition)
Caminos: Agenda 2019 (Spanish Edition)
TODO ME GUSTA Y ME SIRVE, YO DESDE QUE SALIO LA PRIMERA EDICION DE AGENDAS ANUALES PAULO COELHO, LAS UTILIZO PARA MI CONSULTORIO Y CASA, Y LAS CONSIDERO NO SOLO MUY BIEN DISEÑADAS SI NO QUE ME FASCINA DIARIO LEER LAS FRASES DE SUS LIBROS DEL CUAL TENGO LA COLECCION.
LA RECOMIENDO PUES LA MAYORIA DE SUS FRASES LE HACEN A UNO EL DIA MIUY AGRADABLE.
Phoenix: A Tale Of The Future
Phoenix: A Tale Of The Future
Osamu Tezuka is a household name in Japan, often refered to as the God of Manga. He started work in the late 1940's and personally invented virtually every part of the visual and storytelling style that are now part of the Manga basic language. He's the Shakespeare of the artform.

Well maybe not. He's was not the greatest true artist out there and sometimes his characters and dialog-tone are too similar from one book to the next. He produced litterally 10 pages per day for many years, and such amazing output makes these foibles more understandable.

But what he does contribute more than anything else is real situations, with suffering and death and unexplained chaos. There's no way to tell where a Tezuka story will move, just like real life. He's not writing with a formula, or writing 'just so' stories where things have to balance. He's far better than that. His people are often shallow, but they have real emotion and convey it very simply and with great precision.

Largely due to Tezuka's influence over other writers and artists Manga became a major Japanese cultural export to the entire East Asian region. He was by far the most famous person in his artform for many decades and when he died in 1989 the whole Japanese nation mourned his passing.

These Mangas, especially the Pheonix series which was written for adults, make a an over-arching statement about the nature of the world & how he sees a cycle of hope and destruction and rebirth. One reads Tezuka and automatically thinks 'this is about something deeper than what's on the page..what is he trying to say here?'.

In this book, which documents the end of the world and humanity and then it's rebirth in the very distant future, the Phoenix takes her chosen human servant on a journey through the microverse and the macroverse, showing it to be a place of vibrant life and spiritual energy.

It was both incredibly ambitious and very moving - I felt transformed by reading it - that this wasn't just a comic - that this was a worldview that was real and which could be conveyed successfully through this artform.

Although many artists have since come along who are more gifted than Tezuka and a few of his more recent Manga peers are at least his equal in other ways (Hayao Miyazaki), I can think of none who would pursue such an unusual and central human theme in this way, with such directness and with the talent to succeed. That's why he's the God of Manga. He will be in print for centuries to come.
The 8th Confession (Women's Murder Club)
The 8th Confession (Women's Murder Club)
The 8th Confession, by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro has hit gold once again. Sgt. Lindsay Boxer and her partner, Rich Conklin are once again faced with affluent San Franciscans who are murdered! But how? Dr. Claire, of the coroners office, San Francisco, cannot find any causes of death. Down the street there is a murder of a man named, Bagman Jesus. He was found on the street with his face totally caved in with six 22 caliber rounds fired into his head! Bagman Jesus is homeless and therefore is not high on the list in homicide division case load. But, Cindy Thomas, SF Chronicle, has other ideas. She is trying to get homicide interested in solving his murder. Cindy takes it upon herself to try and find the killer or killers. She goes to Rich Conklin for help. He agrees to help her but only when he has the time. Right now he and Boxer are deep into these murders of the rich and famous. Yuki Castellano, is in trial and nearing its end. The jury goes out to deliberate when it is learned that one juror is a problem. Yuki thinking is that perhaps this juror will cause a mistrial. Will the trial start all over again? It is a weak case as it is. The judge places the jurors in a hotel where they can continue without any interference. Yuki while walking across the street does not notice a car and she walks into it cause her head injuries. She awakens in the hospital with Dr. John Chesney looking after her. This is the beginning of a love affair? Dr. Chesney is a strikingly good looking doctor not much older than Yuki. While all of this is going on, Joe, Boxer's lover, is on assignment in the mid east and will be gone perhaps a month or more. Boxer and Conklin have this feeling between them and Boxer does not want it to go too far, although at times she nearly gives in to him. However, during the into Bagman's death, Conklin and Cindy, brews a new love. It is by shear chance that Boxer and Conklin discover just how the murders where committed. Cat Girl? Who is she? Conklin, how did he also end up in the hospital near death? There are so many questions while reading this thriller, you'll want to continue till you have all of the answers. DP. Castro Valley, CA.
The Last Trail: Classic American Western Novel (Illustrated)
The Last Trail: Classic American Western Novel (Illustrated)
This book is not easy to review. Keep in mind, it was written in 1906. You can't expect enlarged views about minority groups, even from the narrator's POV. Add to that the fact that Mr. Grey is writing about his own antecedents (the Zanes), who were instrumental in wresting the beautiful Ohio Valley from the "savages". Jonathan Zane is the main character. His side kick, Lew Wetzel, after whom Wetzel County was named, also plays a large part. The two bordermen (poor man's versions of Daniel Boone) are on the trail of hoss thieves, girl kidnappers and general riffraff (with a handful of red shirt "Injuns" thrown into the mix). The Shawnee should sue this guy's estate for defamation of character. Jonathan Zane is mesmerized by a woman, who urges him to give up his ridge running for other far more entertaining pastimes. But first he must put paid to two rivals, each who is attempting to steal his bride. All works out in the end--sort of. Those from the Wheeling area will enjoy this piece of little known (if heavily romanticized) history. Anyone with a drop of Native American blood will be horrified by the casual way the Ohio Valley settlers reflect upon the moment of future glory when their red-skinned neighbors are "gone", i.e. dead or driven from their homes.
Naruto: Chapter Book, Vol. 10: The First Test (10)
Naruto: Chapter Book, Vol. 10: The First Test (10)
Despite his knack for mischief, Naruto is serious about becoming the greatest ninja in his village. But first he has to learn to buckle down for his worst challenge yet--written tests! Can Naruto keep his wisecracking ways under control, or will he be kicked out of Ninja Academy? James Sprouse Jr Author of The Hit Book Angelcat. 
Richard Scarry’s Best Little Golden Books Ever!
Richard Scarry’s Best Little Golden Books Ever!
So many stories i truly enjoyed from my childhood and can now share with my own little one. It wasn't exactly the book that had everything I was expecting. but, its a great start, and one i'm so glad to have in my child's library. It came in wonderful condition, the pages were still so crisp there were a few I had to pull apart very gently. but, once i did that, every page turns with ease. I would highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to relive some childhood favorites as well as show their children some unedited stories the way they were meant to be told.
Karlson Flies Again
Karlson Flies Again
It probably was a bad omen to get a new translator by the name of Sarah Death for this book. This trilogy were my favourite books of the childhood. I remember coming home being upset about lots of thing and feeling like nothing would make me feel better and then opening one of the books and feeling happy and cosy again. The books are so wonderful and funny, warm and nostalgic but now shot dead through the heart by this translation and horrible illustrations. I remember as a child laughing at the name of the housekeeper - Freken Bok, imagining what it's like to live in Sweden... But would the current readers even guess that Karlson and Erik live in Sweden? Probably not... The names of all the characters are needlessly anglicised (purely for mercenary reason in (false)hope to sell more), language is charmless and the book probably would be better without any illustrations such as these.
Does Oxford University Press thinks nobody else remembers earlier and much better translations or that nobody can read translations in other languages and compare? I think they should be ashamed of themselves.

However, despite all this I would still recommend this book if you cannot read it in any other language where it's better translated. If you want a purely innocent book full of fun - this is it. If the book had original illustrations and sensitive translation it would deserve not 5 but 10 stars...
Erik lives in Stockholm with his Mum, Dad, brother and sister. A perfectly ordinary happy family. He is maybe a bit lonely because he is the youngest in the family and he really wants a dog. Erik (Smidge in this book) befriends a flying man Karlson, who is naughty and fun, who loves cream cakes best of all, and chocolate and toffies, all other sweets in the world and any other food and ...playing tricks. And Erik realises that quite often he has to forgive Karslson's shortcomings because Karslon is the best friend any child could wish for. So, if you read original translation you probably wouldn't enjoy this book but your children (from 6 to 12 years old? I kept it on my bed table until I was 14) most probably would love it.
Smoldering Desire (Hellfire Series Book 3)
Smoldering Desire (Hellfire Series Book 3)
***Book 3
5 stars
I purchased a copy of the steamy romantic suspense Smoldering Desire : Hellfire Series book 3:Rider and Selena by Elle James and this review was given freely.
A drama packed requited love realised steamy romance with some family drama, some local violence, a vindictive ex and a happy ending. Bitter,divorced, and penniless, financier Rider Grayson returns to Hellfire, Texas to open a garage and rebuild his life near his siblings and their Coyote Creek Ranch. But Rider soon realises he needs more when he sees the ranch foreman's daughter Selena Sanchez is now an adult.

***Book 4
4 stars
I purchased a copy of the steamy short story Hellfire in High Heels: Hellfire Series book 4: Lola and Daniel by Elle James and this review was given freely.
An opposites attract, older woman with a younger man teaser or steamy introductory interlude to the romance between Lola and Chance's fire fighting partner the ex-military man Daniel Flannigan.

***Book 5:
5 stars
I purchased a copy of the steamy novel Playing With Fire:Hellfire Series book 5: Lola and Daniel by Elle James and this review was given freely.
Suspenseful and drama packed with the underlying themes of revenge and a second chances at love. This sequel contains many scenes with the close knit matchmaking Grayson clan.
Heart broken after the tragic death of his partner in a mission gone wrong, thirty three year old former US Customs and Border Protection agent Daniel Flannigan moves to Hellfire, Texas to focuses on a career in firefighting until the lonely and fit designer shoe focused forty three year old widow Lola Engel's constant false alarms and calls for attention wear his will power down.

***Book 6:
5 stars
I purchased a copy of the mildly steamy novel Up in Flames:Hellfire Series book 6: Chance and Kate by Elle James and this review was given freely.
Suspenseful and action packed with some violence,a touch of irony and a hint of steam. Still grieving after losing his girlfriend during their last deployment, restless ex-Army Ranger now full time Hellfire firefighter and EMT Chance Grayson tries to suppress his PTSD and survivor guilt with activity while avoiding his well meaning family until former military police Kate Bradley and her retired service dog Bacchus join the Hellfire police department eliciting feels Chance can't avoid.

***Book 7: Lily
5 stars
I purchased a copy of the mildly steamy novel Total Meltdown:Hellfire Series book 7: Lily and by Elle James and this review was given freely.
An action packed and emotional crossover novel featuring the Brotherhood Protectors from Montana and a steamy fast paced romance. When Hellfire kindergarten teacher Lily Grayson's summer plans for traveling as an Au Pair fall through, the father of her favorite student, the wealth widower Antonio "Tony" Delossantos convinces her to watch his children at his Hotel in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica only to find the cartel kingpin El Patron waiting to exact his revenge.
Musashi Miyamoto [VHS]
Musashi Miyamoto [VHS]
Es fällt wirklich nicht leicht diesen Film zu bewerten,
zum einen ist der Film selber wirklich gut.
Er hält sich von den Filmen der Trillogie als einziger genau an die Buchvorlage und Kostüme sowie Schauspieler sind perfekt.
Das große ABER folgt aber auf dem Fuße.
Das Mastertape des Films war wohl nicht das beste, und von digitaler Nachbearbeitung ist nicht das geringste zu sehen.
Die Bildqualität wirkt wie ein vom TV aufgenommener Film nach 4 Jahren.
Wäre die Bildqualität auch nur Durchschnitt hätte ich 5 Punkte vergeben.
Trotzdem für Musashi - Fans ein muss.
Life and death. Twilight reimagined-Twilight
Life and death. Twilight reimagined-Twilight
As a fan of all (or so I thought) things Twilight, I really did not like this story. I thought it would be interesting to see the genders swapped with all the characters, but instead it made it unlikable. I understand that everyone is on this kick of women-can-do-everything-the-same-as-men. However, I do not think any strong female would ever fall for a male who is weak and clumsy like the character Beau was made out to be. I went back and read the foreward written by the author and she makes a statement about Twilight being the same story no matter if the strong character was male or female and she was trying to prove that with this re-imagination. Well, she failed. She is still an awesome writer and I love her books, but this one should've been left on the printer. While reading this, I was curious why Beau still went to live with his father instead of the parents being switched. She mentioned this in the foreward as well. She said it wouldn't have been believable for a dad to be given custody versus a mom with a steady job....um, you wrote a book about vampires and werewolves. What about any of that is believable???

On a final note, just in case you are wondering if the same will be done with the remaining books, the answer (SHOULD BE) no. This book actually went into Beau becoming a vampire and what happens after; which is different so you get new material from the author's mind!
By Wilbur Smith The Triumph of the Sun (The Courtney)
By Wilbur Smith The Triumph of the Sun (The Courtney)
Another brilliant story, supported by excellent characters a strong historical context. It really does have everything you would want in a great book. There is a nice touch of love interest and also revenge amidst the carnage and yet also gut wrenching graphic brutality. You really feel you are in the action, the hot desert, the squalid cities and strange customs and behaviours which make this a fascinating read.
James Bond Volume 1: VARGR (Ian Fleming's James Bond 007 in Vargr)
James Bond Volume 1: VARGR (Ian Fleming's James Bond 007 in Vargr)
This volume reprints the first six issues of the James Bond comic by Warren Ellis and Jason Masters. It contains a single adventure, from start to finish, plus the original and alternate comic book covers, and a few pages of artist Jason Masters' character designs.

I came to this book with low expectations and finished it feeling that Ellis and Masters had done a good job. They give us a grittier, harder and more downbeat Bond than we are used to experiencing by way of his cinematic exploits, and I think the storyline is correspondingly more credible. Theirs is also a Bond who reaches for the bottle and the cigarettes after moments of stress; a Bond who is developing a drink problem. In fact, their Bond is not an especially smooth nor attractive character. He looks a bit too beaten-up for that, and perhaps also a touch too ripe. Like an ex-rugby player who is on his way to becoming a reactionary old boozer.

So downbeat is their James Bond, that when he does eventually get to drive a posh car (his own) the effect is more than a little absurd. I found myself thinking: In his line of work, does he really need to be drawing this much attention to himself? Probably not.

Ellis and Masters clearly chose to dispense with the flashy gadgets and the expensive-looking interiors; to just strip the thing down to its basics of character, situation and plot, and I think their approach has worked. Which is not to say that it's perfect, nor beyond criticism. The artwork, in particular, could have done with a greater sense of style. Perhaps a little more Steranko or Gulacy might have helped. Generally speaking, I felt that Masters was better at the fight sequences than he was in those moments which required a degree of peace and stillness - such as the office scenes, for example - where the poses and facial expressions of his characters began to look theatrically exaggerated. In fact, I don't think that Masters finally settled upon his "look" for James Bond, nor really relaxed into what he was doing, until the sixth and final issue. And while his interior and exterior scenes have the precision of architects' drawings, like so many architects' drawings they also lack a good deal in terms of both style and sensibility.

However, the story is well paced and Ellis is clearly a good enough writer of comics to know when to stay out of the way of the pictures; which means that the dialogue, when it comes, is both terse and to the point. It also means that those sequences which have no dialogue at all are generally well thought through from beginning to end. Providing a visual narrative for lengthy sequences which have no words is clearly a part of this scriptwriter's art. It is also clear from the in-jokes and references which the script does contain, that Ellis did his homework before writing it (i.e. he read the books). This has added texture, substance and a certain sureness of touch to the finished product.

If I had to sum up the approach which Ellis and Masters have taken, in a sentence, then it would be this: They respect the work (Fleming's), hate the politics and have subverted the canon.
Three Men Out (A Nero Wolfe Mystery Book 23)
Three Men Out (A Nero Wolfe Mystery Book 23)
This 1954 collection of three Nero Wolfe novellas, all of which first appeared in The American Magazine in 1952 and 1953.

The first, "Invitation to Murder" (aka "Will to Murder) - An aging playboy, a wealthy family's black sheep has approached Wolfe to investigate the death of his sister, who had been his meal ticket for years. It wasn't that her death concerned him as his brother-in-law getting control of the family fortune. At Archie's urging Wolfe accepts the case and dispatches Archie to the unorthodox household. A few hours later Archie discovers their client dead and manages the near impossible - luring Wolfe to leave the brownstone on a case.

The second, "The Zero Clue" (aka "Scared to Death") involves a competitor of Wolfe's, a mathematician who uses complicated mathematics to solves problems, has come to the brownstone to hire Wolfe. He believes that one of his clients has committed a crime and wants Wolfe to confirm his suspicions and then report it to the police. Unfortunately when Archie goes to the client to get the information needed to begin the investigation the client is nowhere to be found. When the client later turns up dead all the clues point to Archie and Wolfe as the killers.

The final story "This Won't Kill You (aka "This Will Kill You") finds Wolfe at a baseball game of all places, perched most uncomfortably on a too small wooded seat. Of course a crime is committed, and in order to return to the comfort and security of the brownstone Wolfe and Archie must solve it.

This would be a good introduction to the series, and is a delight to those who are already fans - for the treat of seeing Archie trick Wolfe out of the brownstone if nothing else. As always with this series the clues are all fairly presented for the reader to follow although it is nearly impossible to arrive at the solution before Nero.
Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone: Hermione Granger, BandaiS.H.Figuarts
Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone: Hermione Granger, BandaiS.H.Figuarts
Product was delivered in crushed packaging. Utterly crushed. Like whoever sent it was angry with it. Strike one. I’m a figure collector, and I keep all original figure packaging..except this one. It is a mess. The figure does not look of the same quality as my other SH Figuarts Potter figures. Plastic is bendy and feels cheap. Paint job on face is also of low quality. Face attachment does not connect well. Strike two. Her left arm falls off constantly. I own many SH Figuarts figures, and have never seen quality control issues like this. Strike three. I will never use this seller again. May just return it. Awful.
Metamorphosis
Metamorphosis
This is not the movie you think it is. I purchased this to show to my students after reading the novel, and it is a christian musical concert! Definitely not anything remotely close to Kafka's novella. EXTREMELY disappointed with amazon.com
Two Themes from Harry Potter And the Sorcerer's Stone: For Solo Harp (John Williams Signature Edition - String)
Two Themes from Harry Potter And the Sorcerer's Stone: For Solo Harp (John Williams Signature Edition - String)
Lovely tune, but I don't think a harpist ever proofread these scores. It uses the bisbigliando notation for one-handed trills. Many of the pedal changes are not marked; sometimes they are marked after they are needed; of the pedal changes that are marked, they are sometimes placed above the staff and sometimes between the staves. There are measures with very strange pedal/note choices... there's a measure (#29 of Fluffy's harp) that has [pedal changes to Eflat and D#] Eflat B F# B F# D# Enatural... The one Eflat would have been perfectly easy to do in D#, saving two pedal changes. Fingerings for Fluffy include 4-th-slide, two-handed bisbigliando, one-handed trills, triplets (3-against-2), 32nds, rolled chords; Note range is F1 to E6. For Hedwig there are also 32nd-note-hextuplets and -septuplets.
Thread of Death (Elemental Assassin series)
Thread of Death (Elemental Assassin series)
Das Buch habe ich sehr schnell gelesen.

Gut, dass die Geschichte mit Mab Monroe endlich zu Ende gebracht wurde. Es erscheinen neue Feinde. Das bringt frischen Wind in die Geschichte.

Auch die ewigen Vorwürfe der Moralisten finden Ihr Ende und es finden Versöhnungen statt.

Gin hat noch einen alten Feind aus dem Lager der Mab Monroe, der er schafft, dass sie ihr Inkognito aufgibt, um viele Leben zu retten.

Leider sind seither sämtliche profilierungssüchtige Killer hinter ihr her.

Daher beschließt sie mit ihrer Schwester in Urlaub zu fahren - in die alte Heimat der Schwester.

Zuerst ist Gin ziemlich eifersüchtig auf die Freundin der Schwester. Sie hat Angst ihre Schwester zu verlieren.

Doch die Ereignisse überschlagen sich. Die Freundin - so stellt sich heraus ist mit Gins früherem Geliebten Detective Caine (dem Moralapostelpolizisten), verlobt und wird vom örtlichen Vampir bedroht, der sie aus ihrem Restaurant verdrängen will, um dort ein Casino bauen zu können.

Natürlich hilft Gin sofort und tritt für die Freundin der Schwester gegen den Bösewicht an. Doch hat sie sich überschätzt. Durch die Konzentration auf ihre alte Feindin Mab Monroe hat sie völlig vergessen, dass es auch andere gefährliche Bösewichte gibt.

So gerät sie in eine Falle und wird fast völlig ihrer Kräfte und ihres Blutes beraubt. Doch sie gibt nicht auf und schafft es, den Vampir auszutricksen und ihn trotz der schlechteren Karten zu schlagen.

Die Schwester erkennt, dass sie Gin Unrecht getan und eine Doppelmoral gelebt hat. Gins ehemaliger Geliebter will sie zurück, doch Gin hat inzwischen Owen Grayson gefunden, der sie so akzeptiert wie sie ist und ist mit ihm glücklich. So kann sie mit dem moralischen Polizisten abschließen.

Zuhause geht alles wieder seinen gewohnten Gang.

Ein tolles Buch - kann ich nur empfehlen.
Mythical Dragon Wine Bottle Holder Statue in Medieval & Fantasy Bar or Kitchen Table Decor Sculptures and Decorative Gothic Racks and Stands As Gifts for Wine Lovers
Mythical Dragon Wine Bottle Holder Statue in Medieval & Fantasy Bar or Kitchen Table Decor Sculptures and Decorative Gothic Racks and Stands As Gifts for Wine Lovers
Firstly, this is a simply gorgeous item, beautifully made, it has nice heft to it, super shiny, well painted, beautiful detail, and I am very happy with this purchase. I do however, want to alert people there may be illegal knock-offs going on with this item. When you get your dragon bottle holder, make sure it is made by DWK Corporation. You should also get a nice gift box, but definitely make sure the maker is DWK. There is another one going around out there which is most definitely not the same item, but makes their ad pages look like it's the same item. Buying online is difficult enough as it is without companies trying to trick consumers.
There are several pages offering what look to be this same dragon, but I purchased two of ASIN B00B4Z490M ($15, presumed manufacturer being Pacific Trading / Pacific Giftware, and sold by Celery Street.) The first one I received was simply in a Styrofoam surround with no indication of a manufacturer, and was very broken, 4 toes, both horns, tip of tail. I returned it and received a second, even more severely broken dragon. I contacted Celery Street who just said it must be Amazon's fault and there was nothing they could do. That level of uncaring offends me so I have left them my first 1-star review, I apologize Celery Street but "there is nothing I can do."
I then purchased this one, at $26, expecting the same dragon just hoping for an unbroken one. I was annoyed to be paying more, but it was a birthday gift I was determined to give. When I opened the Amazon box for this one I was delighted to see a very nice gift box. And when I opened that box to check on damage I was blown away by the beauty of the item, and by the extreme difference in the two dragons, but mostly in the fact that I had never questioned the legitimacy of the first two dragons I received. I've gone back over and over the pages and I still can't say I see enough of a difference that I should have thought immediately I had received a knock-off. And that makes me think it is intentional mis-advertising.
So buyers beware. $15 would be a fair price for the Pacific Giftware dragons (if that really is the manufacturer, as I said it came without indication of the maker), IF they could get you one unbroken, but even then it's a "decent" but not great item. The paint job is meh, the details are meh, there's no luster or shine, no presence, it's very much a $15 piece of background decoration. The DWK dragon is just stunning. Pictures can't do it justice. If Pacific Giftware could have gotten me an unbroken one, but I had a chance to see it side by side with the DWK dragon, I would have gladly paid the extra $10 for the DWK and more.
I also advise staying away from the seller Celery Street, items can get damaged but there's no excuse for poor customer service, especially on Amazon. (first image of dragon in the Styrofoam is the first broken dragon I received. Other images are the beautiful DWK one I'm glad I accidentally bought).
Guns & Gears
Guns & Gears
Guns & Gears by Erised. Rated undefined out of 5 stars, with undefined ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the "erised" category.
Ball:Death Wall free
Ball:Death Wall free
Ball:Death Wall free by undefined. Rated undefined out of 5 stars, with undefined ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the ball category.
Bamboo Charging Station for Multiple Devices (Included 5 Port USB Charger, 5 Pack Charge & Sync Cable, Watch & Air pod Stand), Electronic Device Desktop Organizer for Cell Phone, Tablet, Watch, AirPod
Bamboo Charging Station for Multiple Devices (Included 5 Port USB Charger, 5 Pack Charge & Sync Cable, Watch & Air pod Stand), Electronic Device Desktop Organizer for Cell Phone, Tablet, Watch, AirPod
Absolutely love this item . Definitely worth the money .. great quality for sure . Glad I finally bought one . Researched and this was the least expensive but bamboo wood not plastic or cheap metal . It’s fits my iPad Air with case 10.5 inches my AirPods 2 with case which I can be used on either side and Apple Watch 4 and iPhone 11 Pro Max with case and pop socket on it .. and one additional space for another device . It has 3 apple ports and 2 android ports . I used my usb charger for watch but 3 Apple ports work great . Must buy . Fast delivery as well great packing definitely be buying other items from this seller in future.i have cables duct tape because I want a snug fit for them item is sturdy and does stay put ...
Amazon Basics Folding Plastic Chair, 350-Pound Capacity, Black, 2-Pack
Amazon Basics Folding Plastic Chair, 350-Pound Capacity, Black, 2-Pack
Just received these chairs and I'm so impressed. I was not expecting the quality but I was pleasantly surprised. They came in perfect condition wrapped in plastic and with protective cardboard covers on parts of legs for protection. They worked perfectly right out of the box. Nice bright white color and here's the best part - they are really comfortable for a folding chair!!! I bought these to have as extra seating for dinner parties and they look great and fold up really flat. I bought four and when folded, they take up practically no room and are not bulky folded. The material they are made out of will be really easy to clean with a magic eraser or just to wipe them down. I HIGHLY recommend these for extra seating you may need. I am going to buy a few more for the summer when we have alot of people over for barbecues!!!!! LOVE THESE CHAIRS!!!!!!!!!
Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker | WiFi + Bluetooth | 900W (Discontinued)
Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker | WiFi + Bluetooth | 900W (Discontinued)
First of all, a disclaimer; this is going to be a technical review for the WiFi version of the cooker. I am an IT consultant with network engineering experience.

The device is great on paper. The actual part that does the immersion cooking is as far as I can tell, flawless.

Unfortunately, the wifi version is hobbled by TERRIBLE FIRMWARE
1. If you have a 2.4ghz/5ghz mixed network, don't expect it to connect properly.
2. If you have any special characters in your network password (IE, a more secure password), don't expect it to connect properly.
3. If you expect these problems to be fixed in the future, don't. I've talked to Anova support and the device is not firmware flashable.

This means that if you run a WiFi access point where it uses 5ghz 2.4 ghz mixed mode and does not allow you to disable the 5ghz channel, such as certain UniFi products, you are out of luck. I even tried setting the UniFi access point to it's lowest power setting for 5ghz band and taking the anova out of range of 5ghz to pair to 2.4ghz, and no luck whatsoever.

I did not attempt to change my wifi password.. that's the line for me. I'm not going to lower the security of my network to accommodate a single device. Besides that, I'd have to go and change the wifi password on about 100 devices throughout my house. Not worth it.

Speaking of not worth it, the WiFi version of the device is 55 dollars more than the bluetooth version. That's 55 dollars for a function that only works under certain conditions.

I feel like this is an issue with a firmware developer simply writing sloppy wifi connection code somewhere in the process. Probably a few lines where the password is not encapsulated in quotes.

The wifi feature has great potential with home automation software and smart home integration, and the possibility of linking to google home, while not needed, is cool. Unfortunately the same people that are most likely to use these kinds of features are the type who will have a secure wifi password and a 5ghz band.

Now here's something interesting for the more technically minded people.... All of the above is based on their troubleshooting suggestions, their advice for getting the thing to connect to wifi. My evidence shows that none of that is actually the problem.

The thing is, the device actually does connect to the wifi, according to the DHCP logs on my server. It connects but then will not register that it's connected. Sloppy code somewhere is keeping the connection process from finishing. I'm not sure if it's in the smartphone app, or the firmware of the device itself. See below:

Dec 5 21:25:14 dhcpd DHCPACK on 192.168.5.11 to f0:fe:6b:65:f7:80 via vmx0
Dec 5 21:25:14 dhcpd DHCPREQUEST for 192.168.5.11 (192.168.0.1) from f0:fe:6b:65:f7:80 via vmx0
Dec 5 21:24:54 dhcpd DHCPACK on 192.168.5.11 to f0:fe:6b:65:f7:80 via vmx0
Dec 5 21:24:54 dhcpd DHCPREQUEST for 192.168.5.11 (192.168.0.1) from f0:fe:6b:65:f7:80 via vmx0
Dec 5 21:23:43 dhcpd DHCPACK on 192.168.5.11 to f0:fe:6b:65:f7:80 via vmx0
Dec 5 21:23:43 dhcpd DHCPREQUEST for 192.168.5.11 (192.168.0.1) from f0:fe:6b:65:f7:80 via vmx0
Dec 5 21:23:23 dhcpd DHCPACK on 192.168.5.11 to f0:fe:6b:65:f7:80 via vmx0
Dec 5 21:23:23 dhcpd DHCPREQUEST for 192.168.5.11 (192.168.0.1) from f0:fe:6b:65:f7:80 via vmx0
Dec 5 21:23:23 dhcpd DHCPOFFER on 192.168.5.11 to f0:fe:6b:65:f7:80 via vmx0
Dec 5 21:23:23 dhcpd DHCPDISCOVER from f0:fe:6b:65:f7:80 via vmx0

As you can see, the device is making it past the wifi connection process, using the correct password, and then looking for a DHCP address (Which I have statically assigned to 192.168.5.11.) The fact that the device does that, and then doesn't realize it's done it, and then goes through the wifi connection process again (and again, and again) until it errors out shows that the problem is badly designed firmware or software.

I'm going to attempt to return the device and get the bluetooth version, or maybe look at another product with proper wifi integration. Such a shame! It's a great little product!

Edit: I'd like to add that I offered to their support person to consult pro bono with their development and engineering department, and the request was not even acknowledged. The support department is a joke.
Eric Carle My Busy Book
Eric Carle My Busy Book
I was on the fence about these busy books becaue they don’t really share pictures of all the figurines or the play mat... but I took a chance and it’s awesome! I got this to keep my kid busy and quiet during church and I’m not disappointed. The figurines are sturdy, the book talks about each figurine included, and the play mat is large (maybe 24x36in... I haven’t measured, just an estimate).

The reason I gave 4 out of 5 stars is because of the construction of the “book.” The book pages are like a board book and are perfect. But the construction of the back of the book that holds the toys and play mat is flimsy, held together by tape. If I were to remove the clear plastic covering (held on by the tape) the pieces would freely move around, making traveling with it pretty impossible. So I’ve kept the plastic and tape in place, though I don’t think it will have longevity with constant play. Otherwise for the price it’s amazing! Toys, a book, and a play mat for around $10-12 is really reasonable, considering that buying most toy figurines can be that much or more on their own.

Recent posts by Dahlia Castillo
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