Darian Taylor

Joined a year ago

Darian's Favorites
MySQL 8 : Administration et optimisation
MySQL 8 : Administration et optimisation
MySQL 8 : Administration et optimisation by undefined. Rated undefined out of 5 stars, with undefined ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the mysql category.
Ask Limani
Ask Limani
Ask Limani by Nicholas Sparks. Rated undefined out of 5 stars, with undefined ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Nicholas Sparks category.
Arctic Protocol: A Dylan Baker Thriller
Arctic Protocol: A Dylan Baker Thriller
Arctic Protocol: A Dylan Baker Thriller by Tyler Blackthorne. Rated 5 out of 5 stars, with 4 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the John Grisham category.
The Long Walk
The Long Walk
The Long Walk by Stephen King, Kir. Rated 4.2 out of 5 stars, with 2031 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Stephen King category.
Revival: Roman (German Edition)
Revival: Roman (German Edition)
Revival: Roman (German Edition) by Stephen King and Bernhard Kleinschmidt. Rated 4.1 out of 5 stars, with 118 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Stephen King category.
Hacking University: Mobile Phone & App Hacking & The Ultimate Python Programming For Beginners 2 Manuscript Bundle: Hacking Mobile Devices, Consoles, Apps ... (Hacking Freedom and Data Driven Book 6)
Hacking University: Mobile Phone & App Hacking & The Ultimate Python Programming For Beginners 2 Manuscript Bundle: Hacking Mobile Devices, Consoles, Apps ... (Hacking Freedom and Data Driven Book 6)
Hacking University: Mobile Phone & App Hacking & The Ultimate Python Programming For Beginners 2 Manuscript Bundle: Hacking Mobile Devices, Consoles, Apps ... (Hacking Freedom and Data Driven Book 6) by Isaac D. Cody. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars, with 3 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the 'Python programming' category.
Code Complete (Developer Best Practices)
Code Complete (Developer Best Practices)
Code Complete (Developer Best Practices) by Steve McConnell. Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars, with 533 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Go programming category.
ScalikeJDBC Cookbook Japanese Edition
ScalikeJDBC Cookbook Japanese Edition
ScalikeJDBC Cookbook Japanese Edition by Kazuhiro Sera. Rated 5 out of 5 stars, with 1 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Scala programming category.
The Dhandho Investor: The Low-Risk Value Method to High Returns
The Dhandho Investor: The Low-Risk Value Method to High Returns
Pabrai has written a great book for value investors. Like Pabrai, I have followed Buffett/Munger for decades and attempted to emulate their investing style and philosophy. In this book, he goes through several examples of his investment strategy which includes finding stocks where if you are wrong you don't lose much and if you are right you win big, very big. He tends to make large and infrequent bets. Similar to Buffett he waits for the big fat pitches to come along and then swings for the fences with sizable bets on them.

If you have studied Buffett and Munger you will find a lot of his investment philosophy familiar of course but it is a good refresher and Pabrai communicates these principles well. I found the book an easy read and enjoyable. Other investment books sometimes I have to force myself to push through them but Dhandho was a breeze.

One big thing I learned from Pabrai that I either never picked up or internalized properly was the idea of making big bets. Over the years if I had a high conviction stock I would make an equal size bet on it. I might hold 30 to 50 stocks that make up the bulk of my portfolio. If one got too big I'd pare it down if my conviction on it was lower in order to keep diversification and lower overall risk. In hindsight, this was likely a mistake on my part.

Pabrai introduced me to the "Kelly Formula" which is a betting formula that gives you an idea of how big a bet you might want to make on a particular investment. Using this formula I found I probably should have made bets that were 10% or at times 20-30% of my total portfolio. In reality, most of my original stock investments never exceeded just 2% to 4% of the total portfolio value. As a result, I watched some higher conviction positions become multi-baggers over the years that would have had a higher impact on the portfolio had I simply bought more.

Of course, everyone says "I should have bought more of "xyz" but I look back and know there were some safe stocks I bought to be diversified with low risk and others that I had a higher conviction on that also came without undue risk. I simply did not apply the formula and bet as big as I should have.

I highly recommend this book to any investor and especially value investors. I wish it was written a decade ago or more and that I had found it. I'm sure with the knowledge I have gained from Dhando Investor I would have mostly likely beaten the markets by an even larger percentage.
Lessons from the Legends of Wall Street : How Warren Buffett, Benjamin Graham, Phil Fisher, T. Rowe Price, and John Templeton Can Help You Grow Rich
Lessons from the Legends of Wall Street : How Warren Buffett, Benjamin Graham, Phil Fisher, T. Rowe Price, and John Templeton Can Help You Grow Rich
Before commenting on what's in the book, I would like to take a moment to point out what is not. When the history of the great investors is written about the years 2000 to 2020, it will be filled with names different than those studied in this book. We don't know who those people are yet, but they will probably do something different from what these great investors of the past have done. Caveat investor! A backwards look at investment styles often does not translate into superior rewards in the future. That's one reason why 80 percent of professionals cannot beat the market averages. See John Bogle's Common Sense About Mutual Funds for more details on that perspective.
If you already know who Warren Buffett, Benjamin Graham, Phil Fisher, T. Rowe Price, and John Templeton are and what their investment styles are or were, you don't need this book. If these people or the details of their work are unfamiliar to you, this book will serve as a good introduction to those perspectives. It will also take you less time to study than reading the more definitive works on these people. If any of the approaches excite you, I suggest you go in for more depth elsewhere.
What is unique and valuable about this book is an attempt to blend the styles into one you can use to pick stocks and bonds. I thought that it was done reasonably well. Each investor is laid out in the same format, and then the results are summarized in the last part of the book. Basically, you are shown how to gather and evaluate the most appropriate information, and then to make a decision based on your evaluation.
There is also some good material to help you understand your risk profile, so you can focus on the relevant types of investments for you. There are also some questions to fill out like those that financial planners often use (that should be no surprise, given that the author is a certified financial planner).
My only concern is that this book could encourage you to try to do too much of your own investment picking and monitoring. Most people don't want to be that involved. And most people don't have the time or interest to do the job well, even if they want to. Although it is exciting to think about getting great investment returns, the odds are actually against you. If great results interest you, even after those caveats, I suggest you read ChangeWave Investing and think about putting 10 percent or less of your money into that approach. It could be the outstanding result that will become equally respected with the past greats in the future.
In any case, enjoy using this well done book to overcome your misconception, disbelief and procrastination stalls about personal investing. Your brief apprenticeship with the masters outlined in this book will give you a better understanding of what successful investment processes have looked like. Then see if they fit you.
Live long and prosper!
Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect
Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect
Matthew Lieberman’s book is good: it reads well, the structure is helpful and linear for the general-interest reader while also offering some depth for the detail-oriented bookworm or specialist. However, it sometimes overstretches in its interpretation of the brain activity generated in the experiments it considers. This is a classic problem, and the fact that it is starting to be solved within the neuro-science community means that the field is less likely to end up as the phrenology of the 21st century.

Lieberman makes clear that there are brain networks primarily in charge of social, self-referential and “mind-wandering” thoughts, and other networks that take care of problem-solving and analytical thinking, and these networks are both considered in building the case for how our brains make us human.

And two things for sure make us human: the fact that you can think what the other person thinks that you think (called higher-order theory of mind, and beautifully illustrated by the rock/paper/scissors game), and that we can project ourselves into the future (called long-term planning prediction and anticipation). No other animal can go that far; and the fact that humans created culture means that we have greatly complicated the inferences we can make regarding the evolutionary advantages of specific but complex behaviours such as altruism.

This apparently “human-only” characteristic is also well considered here, and it’s worth weighing Lieberman’s hypothesis about why we tend to avoid boasting about helping others and see it as a rewarding thing in itself.

Lieberman strikes me as an honest scientist, diligently searching for answers about why we feel pain on a psychological level (the end of a relationship, the death of a parent), or why we feel rewarded by praise or when we give money to strangers.

These are not new ideas, but Lieberman, like all original researchers, asks the right questions, looks for the best experiment to do, and tries to answer in light of real neural mechanisms. Classic social scientists are afraid of his kind. He is a threat to all those dark-matter classical psychologists who either backbench from half-dead theories or perform experiments sitting in their black boxes, where the mechanisms of “how behaviour happens” appear to have nothing to do with the workings of the brain.

I might not agree with some of the concepts Lieberman crafts from his experiments, but I am pleased that he shows determination in building a mechanistic, brain-grounded account of who we are. And surely one of the uses of this book should be as a spark to think about precisely that.

Lieberman the scientist is a firm believer in the theory that we are wired to connect, or, to put it rather better, that we have evolved, through natural selection, to be social animals that thrive now in almost all “ecosystems” using the unique feature of mentalising; and that we cannot avoid thinking, and thinking what the other person is thinking…capisce? He brings the book to a courageous conclusion in his attempt to use “social brain” concepts to guide policymaking. I cannot help but applaud any bid to use scientific evidence to back decisions for learning, business or politics in general. The way we are and how we think must be taken into account when deciding the kind of society we want – and the good news is that it can be based on real research into who we are.
Elon Musk on Climate Change
Elon Musk on Climate Change
Elon Musk on Climate Change by Elon Musk, Alison van Diggelen, et al.. Rated undefined out of 5 stars, with null ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the "Elon Musk" category.
#foreword - 11oz Hashtag White Coffee Mug
#foreword - 11oz Hashtag White Coffee Mug
#foreword - 11oz Hashtag White Coffee Mug by undefined. Rated 89 out of 5 stars, with undefined ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the "Larry Page" category.
If 6 Was 9 - A Tribute To Jimi Hendrix
If 6 Was 9 - A Tribute To Jimi Hendrix
The track list in the review above is for the cd with bonus tracks. I have the vinyl and got the cassette to get bonus tracks. But the cassette I received does not have bonus tracks.
Track Listing: (Audio Cassette) that I received:

Side 1
1. May This Be Love - Thin White Rope
2. Wind Cries Mary - Scott Mathews, Chuck Prophet
3. Fire - Trick Bag
4. Third Stone from the Sun - David Dreams
5. Spanish Castle Magic - Monks of Doom
6. I Don't Live Today - Corn Dollies
7. Can You See Me - Thee Hypnotics

Side 2
8. Who Knows? - The Bevis Frond
9. Purple Haze - The Shamen, The Shamen
10. Spanish Castle Magic - Stretch Heads
11. Foxey Lady - Giant Sand
12. You Got Me Floatin' - Styler & Baldwin
13. If 6 Was 9 - Obsequious Cheesecake
Data Structures and Algorithm Analysis in Java (3rd Edition)
Data Structures and Algorithm Analysis in Java (3rd Edition)
Look, I'll be honest. I'm one of the few students that actually uses and appreciates textbooks. I don't like doing my reading online either because I like having a physical copy to mark, make notes in, and pass through. And I don't often groan about textbooks either. Sure, they're overwhelmingly boring. But for the most part, I find them useful (some more than others) and read them cover to cover. So to get me cranky about a textbook you have to do your fair share.

And oh does Mark Allen Weiss deliver. The book is a complete nightmare. A great textbook is able to walk the reader through each part of the field he's learning, teaching it to him one piece at a time. I've always said if a textbook is great, you should be able to learn the subject from it without the aid of a teacher. Data Structures and Algorithm Analysis in Java isn't even adequate or below par -- it's straight garbage. It's the sort of book that makes one thankful for the premise of Farenheit 451.

The author frequently likes to explain things while missing out important steps in the logic -- steps which may be obvious to experts in the field, people who have been studying computer science and mathematics for a long time, or exceptionally keen students, but which will utterly befuddle the rest of us. His English is clunky. He has a very unique talent for phrasing things in the most non-intuitive way possible. Relatively simple topics become a nightmare.

I've spent the semester spending hours on Khan Academy, Google, or in my instructor's office seeking clarification of topics because trying to learn from this book is utterly hopeless. I'm learning Data Structures just fine, but this book has only been an obstacle to that process, not a help.

Do not waste your money on this garbage. You won't use it. Even if you're a stickler for textbooks, trust me, this isn't worth it.
Vol. 8-Bootleg Series-Tell Tale Signs
Vol. 8-Bootleg Series-Tell Tale Signs
Enjoying all the Bootleg Series so far, haven't got 11 yet but it's going to take a lot to beat this one.

I'm a big fan of Dylan's newer recordings, especially "Love and Theft" and "Modern Times" so an album of outtakes and live recordings from that last twenty years is for me. Favourite track has to be the live version of High Water - almost worth it just for that. This is a must buy for fans of Dylan's later years.
Shelter From A Hard Rain
Shelter From A Hard Rain
I have a lot of affection for this recording, a Colorado Dylan/Rolling Thunder Revue concert in Colorado broadcast on TV in 1976. I recorded it with a hand held mike off the telly, and I still have the tape. You may recall Bob and his band wearing knotted hankies on their heads. Some say the '76 Rolling Thunder was inferior to the tour of the year before. I actually think some of these versions are better than the Live 1975 ones. Also you get a rollicking 'I Pity the Poor Immigrant', simply the best ever version of that song. It's a bit like hearing Dylan backed by an augmented Crazy Horse at times. Ragged glory, indeed! PS What happened to 'Knocking on Heaven's Door'?

Note: There is another CD called 'Live in Colorado, 1976,' which seems to be identical to this.
Supkitdin Kitchen Scale, Digital Food Scale, Multifunction Accuracy Scale LCD display,Stainless Steel (oz/lb/g/kg/ml/milk ml)
Supkitdin Kitchen Scale, Digital Food Scale, Multifunction Accuracy Scale LCD display,Stainless Steel (oz/lb/g/kg/ml/milk ml)
I love it. The measurements are accurate. There are 6 units including water and milk. Which btw is awesome. You can add cup or bowl and zero it out to measure just the content inside. As you can see above with the pictures the LED lights are bright and are very visible. It does run on two AAA batteries which is much simpler than the watch batteries. It is compact enough it fits in a drawer. Wipes off clean. All around very nice scale.
OMMO Metal Detector for Adults, Waterproof Metal Finder Detector Outdoor, High Accuracy Adjustable with Pinpoint & Disc & All Metal Mode, for Detecting Gold, Coin, Treasure Hunting
OMMO Metal Detector for Adults, Waterproof Metal Finder Detector Outdoor, High Accuracy Adjustable with Pinpoint & Disc & All Metal Mode, for Detecting Gold, Coin, Treasure Hunting
I purchased this for a gift for my husband and he was surprised with his new toy (really, what else would you call this for a 50+ year old man?). The detector was easy to put together. It's lightweight too. Comes with it's own zippered carrying case - nice for keeping it clean and out of the way when not in use. It also came with a digging tool to find those treasures. He's used it out in the yard for a quick trial run and has had fun with it, although he hasn't found any treasures. We do live in Civil War battlefield areas so we're looking forward to traversing some farmland to see what we can find. Definitely a fun, get outdoors and explore gift.
Hitman: Agent 47
Hitman: Agent 47
This movie was a bit of a slog to get through for me. I've been an avid fan of the Hitman video game series for years now and it feels like the director and the producers of this movie either took their entire understanding of Agent 47 from the back of the game boxes or the studio massively interfered with the movie and decided "Hey, people don't want a boring spy movie- add more brutal murders and crazy stunts!"

And because of this, most of the movie feels like the antithesis of how I always perceived Agent 47, or at least how i always played him. Instead of being a tight, tense thriller, with Agent 47 narrowly escaping the enemy and assassinating a single target (or multiple targets, depending on the contract, but generally only killing his targets and nobody else) before seemingly disappearing into thin air, It decided to give Agent 47 some strange kind of Gunkata and instead of relying or stealth, have him walk straight into a conflict, guns blazing (or using whatever isn't nailed to murder everyone in the nearby vicinity).

If you're just needing a dumb action movie to pass the time, this is okay. However, if you're a fan of the Hitman game series... well... here's to hoping maybe the third reboot they do is closer to the source material.

One nice thing though: they remembered the rubber ducky.
X-Men: Apocalypse
X-Men: Apocalypse
In the 1990s Apocalypse was one of the X-Men’s greatest foes in the comics. Brian Singer who either directed or produced almost of the X-Men movies starting in 2000 attempted to capture the rivalry between the two in X-Men Apocalypse. If one had seen the secret ending to X-Men Days of Future Past this was hinted at as a young Apocalypse then known as En Sabah Nur was ruling Egypt and creating pyramids with his four horsemen looking on.

This movie starts in that time period as En Sabah Nur was attempting to absorb the abilities of another mutant, but was disturbed by guards that wanted to kill him. While he escaped with his life, he was entombed inside of his pyramid.

Things then flash to the 1980s where various characters are added to the story. (Each X-Men movie covers a different decade by the way, First Class is the 60s, Days of Future Past in s the 70s, and this one the 80s.) A young Scott Summers’ mutant powers of optic rays are emerging and his brother Havoc brings him to Professor Xavier’s school. There he meets a young Jean Grey and Jubilee. Grey’s powers and the future of the film are hinted at while in school as she has a nightmare full of fire and Apocalypse. In Germany, Mystique saves a young Kurt Wagner aka Nightcrawler from a mutant death match against Angel. In Poland, Erik Lehnsherr, Magneto, is attempting to build a family and working in a steel factory only for his secret identity to be discovered and his wife and child to be killed in the process. He returns to his evil ways as a result. In Egypt, CIA agent Moira MacTaggert discovers a cult that revives Apocalypse and frees him from his tomb. He wants to rebuild his four horsemen and finds Ororo aka Storm, Psylocke, Angel, and Magneto. That sets the stage for the third act of the movie as the X-Men come to grips with Apocalypse’s desire to rule the world. Before that can happen the government interferes when Colonel William Stryker shows up at Xavier’s school and captures several of the students.

There are many more mutants and Easter Eggs are introduced as well. Caliban shows up two times in Germany. When some of Xavier’s students attempt to escape the government they run into Wolverine. His appearance relates back to the X2 film from 2003 where the story of Logan and Colonel Stryker is fleshed out. Angel becoming one of the four horsemen and gaining metal wings is taken directly from the comics.

Ultimately the story comes down to what it means to be part of the mutant family. Does it mean domination as Homo Superior and survival of the fittest, which is what Apocalypse offers, or to live together, Professor Xavier’s alternative? There’s a third path as well which Mystique talks about that is full of fear and struggles as the human race still fears and persecutes mutants.

Overall, the action is great such as when Quicksilver saves the students at Xavier’s school from an explosion. There is another huge battle at the end that really plays upon the power of Apocalypse compared to all the others allayed against him. There’s a good mix of humor thrown in as well such as when Summers destroys Xavier’s favorite tree while showing off his powers. Or when Xavier sees MacTaggert for the first time in years and says in a slip of the tongue that he was going to check her out. In the end, it’s the second best of the current three X-Men films only behind Days of Future Past.
Curly Sue
Curly Sue
I have loved this film since my childhood and I have been trying to get my hands on a copy for a long time now. I was hesitant to buy one of these copies as it didn't specify the Region number and I was worried it wouldn't play on my dvd player as most copies I have come across are US Region only. Anyway it arrived and played perfectly much to my delight!
I'm not going to go into specifics about the film as I am guessing that anyone buying it has already seen it and knows the story. I was slightly nervous that having not seen it in years that it might not live up to expectation as so often happens when you revisit childhood favourites but I needn't have worried, it has really stood the test of time! A really lovely film and delighted to have it in my collection.
Rubie's Marvel 2nd Skin Deadpool Adult Costume
Rubie's Marvel 2nd Skin Deadpool Adult Costume
The costume worked great for my little big man. My son is 8 and wearing men's clothes so this costume was perfect and he loves it. Only flaw was the zipper. Lucky for us it happened after Halloween. But the zipper is not sewn right at the ends so one of the two zipper heads came off. I managed to fix it enough for him to continue playing in it around the house. So just a heads up if this is a Halloween costume be careful zipping and unzipping. Other than that the costume was great and my kid loved it and adults did too.
X-Men / Dr. Doom Annual (1998) #1
X-Men / Dr. Doom Annual (1998) #1
Take a trip back to the earliest days of the X-Men and watch as their greatest trials through the years play out for... Doctor Doom? The Onslaught Saga reaches deep into the past as Doom travels through time seeking to harness its power. As he does he learns the future that will become the Marvel Universe we know. This whole comic essentially sets up many of Doom's major decisions you'll know of later and I think it's a brilliant idea. Jorge Gonzalez, who's written almost nothing else I could find, writes a fantastic Doctor Doom. All the intelligence, the arrogance, everything that makes him a compelling villain. Artist Aaron Lopestri for his part brings each era of the X-Men to life with expert skill. I don't know how this idea came into being but I found the results to be fantastic. As a bookend to Doom's role across the Onslaught Saga, this works.
5/5
Realm of the Ring Lords: The Myth and Magic of the Grail Quest
Realm of the Ring Lords: The Myth and Magic of the Grail Quest
I am a huge fan of Heinrich Schlieman...the brilliant, multilingual, millionaire, entrepreneur, adventurer who everyone thought was completely mad...until, that is, he found the ancient city of Troy. When others asked him, "How did you know it would be there?", he answered, "I have known all my life...ever since I read Homer's Iliad." My point is, the ancient legends, myths and archetypes that have shaped our disperate cultures throughout the millennia, may actually have a basis in fact. At least, that's what Laurence Gardner argues and he does a wonderful job (in the way only Laurence Gardner can) of weaving myth and fact into another compelling history of humanity. As a linguist and psychologist, I am charmed by his etymological and character analyses. Throughout my reading of this book (and I have read it probably three times now), I repeatedly experienced moments when I felt as though I was reading something I already knew, but could not recall ever learning. So much of it makes so much sense! Still, with all my high praise, it is not a book for the uninitiated. Those who are unfamiliar with Tolkien (the rare person I presume) or those who have no interest in ancient, polytheistic Mythologies, legends of fairies, pixies and elves, vampire and werewolf myths or have no interest in learning about ancient people and geographies should probably steer clear. Those readers, on the other hand, who wish to be challenged on their existing beliefs, who long to look at maps and understand the mystery/history behind the established, "victor's" history... those are the readers who would most likely enjoy this book. I have read every book written by Laurence Gardner (save one), and I find myself going back, rereading, dog-earring, highlighting and taking notes on this book and "The Lost Secrets of the Sacred Ark" more than any of his others. That is not meant to discredit his other works, rather to emphasize my strong personal preference for this particular achievement. If you have enjoyed Laurence Gardner's work in the past, by all means, get this book. Read it critically...don't believe everything you read...and you will learn something new...even if you have felt you have known it all your life!
The Dentist and Dr. Seuss
The Dentist and Dr. Seuss
Being Dr. Cohen’s brother-in-law, I can appreciate this video in a very special way. You can see his commitment to obsessions and see why this endeavor took him past his usual 6 month barrier. Knowing Charlie, I can promise you that whatever he writes, says, discovers, comes from endless hours of research going beyond what most of us would ever do. If there is a way to get to the truth, Charlie gets there, no matter how many sleepless nights he has to spend. We can all benefit greatly from his hard work. Best of all, Charlie never loses the joy and fun of these stories, even while presenting a very professional end result. And yes, his house really does look like a Dr. Suess museum. God bless his wonderful wife, Maggie, for allowing it all to happen.
From Canal Boy to President Or the Boyhood and Manhood of James A. Garfield
From Canal Boy to President Or the Boyhood and Manhood of James A. Garfield
I have read a great many of Horatio Alger's books, this has got to be the worst one so far, about halfway through the book I was losing the will to live but I pressed on, you though will probably want to form your own opinion so here is a rough outline of the story

James is 4yrs old his father had died leaving his mother and three siblings, the eldest being Thomas at 11yrs, the family were short of money and Thomas went to work for a local farmer, James eventually started school, at 21yrs Thomas returned with enourgh money to build the family a better house, James 14yrs had an interest in carpentry and helped

After many small jobs, mostly involving carpentry, James had a yearning to go to sea, he left for Cleveland hoping to get employment on a ship but they just laughed at him, a cousin of his owned a canal boat, the Evening Star, he was employed to look after the horses and sleep on board, James was now 15yrs eventually being promoted to Bowman, he fell in the water 14 times but stuck at it

He returned home after being struck down by fever and discussed his future with his mother, a teacher visits James and advises that he should go to Geauga Seminary and improve his education, so at 16yrs he leaves with two other boys, one his cousin and sets off, he was to learn English Grammer, Philosophy, Arithmetic and Algebra, he found some work with a local carpenter to help with expenses, at 18yrs he was offered the job as teacher back at home during the winter break, he accepted, he had problems because he knew most of the boys but things went well, he returned to school but every winter returned to teach

The next school he attended was Hiram College where he met his future wife Lucretia he worked as the janitor to pay his way, James was now 19yrs, he then transfered to Williams College where he stayed for 2 years, a year later he became President of the institution and married Lucretia, in 1859 he was nominated for the Ohio Senate and was elected

With war breaking out he was made Lieutenant Colonel of the 42nd regiment, soon he was to be Colonel and was to drive Marshall from Kentucky to enable it to come under Union control, he fooled the enemy into thinking he had 10,000 men when he had only 1,400, Marshall believed this and ran and he is promoted to Brigadier General, with the war still running he is convinced he could serve his country better by becoming a congrssman, in 1863 he took his seat in the house of representatives, what follows is politics, politics, politics until made President in 1880, then again lots of politics until his assassination
Frankenstein: Prodigal Son
Frankenstein: Prodigal Son
There is a murderer on the loose and it is Carson and Michael's job to find the killer. Harker (another member of the New Orleans Homicide division) is attempting to find peace with himself. Deucalion only wishes to finish what he has started. Victor is trying to make his world perfect. Roy is trying to complete his mission of making himself perfect and finding the perfect girl for himself.

This book was filled with many side stories, that, while I was reading it I was unsure how everything would fall into place. After you get a third of the way into the story, you realize that you are following two different stories, one of Carson and Michael along with the New Orleans Homicide division and the other of Victor and Deucalion. When the conclusion of the novel comes about everything fits into place.

When I first started reading this novel I was blown away by the amount of characters that I was following. The novel started off following four different people all with different story lines. I was unsure of exactly how I liked that but, I believe that it really worked out. I also wasn't happy with the amount of jumping around between stories. It seemed that every new chapter (which consists of about three pages on my kindle) we were headed to a different person. I was left wondering how anything was really going to advance with the amount of jumping around. It soon became apparent that all of the jumping around led to one story line.

I really liked the book and once I picked it up I couldn't put it down. I loved the developing story line and never knowing what was going to happen next. I always had a pretty good idea of what was going to happen, I was never able to get it partly right (i.e. killer is found, starts running, gets caught, dies. When in reality killer is caught, runs away, starts to change, gets in a tight spot, almost makes it out, gets killed and yet gets away at the same time).

I didn't like all of the jumping around. I never felt like I got to know the characters in the beginning of the book. By the end of the book I had a good knowledge on the characters but I was lacking some form of attachment to a individual character. I also didn't like how none of the characters really developed through the story. Carson was Carson from beginning to end, Michael was Michael from beginning to end etc. The only one who really changed throughout the book had such a small part in the actual story line that the change was easily overlooked.

Overall the story line was amazing and fast paced. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes mysteries and especially anyone who likes mysteries where they are drawn to a mystery and then the end comes and the reader is like 'What just happened, I'm blown away'.
Twilight Eyes
Twilight Eyes
I have become very disenchanted with Dean Koontz over the last few years; his recent work, in my opinion, leaves a great deal to be desired, and is overly preachy to boot. I look back on his earlier work with rather more affection, especially Twilight Eyes. This is one of those rare books I can go back and reread every few years, and still enjoy it nearly as much as I did the first time I read it. It stands out from most of Koontz' work, mainly because here he eschews most of the trademarks he brings to almost everything he writes. Most of Koontz' books A) are set in California, B) have protagonists in their thirties, C) have a dog (especially a Golden Retriever, which Koontz seems to think is the noblest being in the animal kingdom), D) have a psychopathic human villain whose point of view is elaborately depicted, with extensive justification for his atrocious acts. Here the hero and heroine are just a couple of years either side of twenty, rather than Koontz' usual thirtysomethings, and the story takes place on the east coast (mostly Pennsylvania coal mining country). In fact, not only does the action take place elsewhere than Koontz' preferred southern California setting, he even set it in the past: the early sixties -- probably owing to the impossibility of having a freak show in this carnival if it had been set in the eighties when the book was written, and such attractions were no longer considered socially acceptable. A couple of his trademarks that he does bring in here are the "heroine with the traumatic childhood," and "patient and understanding hero who helps the heroine overcome her traumatic childhood." Still, these trademarks are a bit less heavy handed than in some of his other books, and he's not remotely as preachy here as he got to be later in his career.

The story itself is an interesting one, where the teenaged hero can sense the presence of beings he calls "goblins" who can perfectly masquerade as ordinary human beings, but who are filled with hatred and loathing of humankind, and derive their sole pleasure from the anguish and suffering they inflict on the ordinary humans around them. The main character runs away to join a traveling carnival after he kills one of them in his home town, forever cutting himself off from "straight" society, and forcing him to make a life for himself among the carnies. This ultimately proves of great use to him in his crusade against the goblin-kind. The carnival setting also does much to set this book apart from Koontz' more usual fare, and makes it interesting in its own right as well. The explanation for the existence of the goblins turns out to be scientific rather than supernatural, and even though it is very farfetched, one can still suspend disbelief easily and enjoy the story. All in all, it's one of Koontz' more unusual and entertaining stories, and I recommend it.
The Novels of Nora Roberts, Volume 1 (Nora Roberts Collection)
The Novels of Nora Roberts, Volume 1 (Nora Roberts Collection)
Now this volume of Nora Roberts stories had me hooked to my kindle and not wanting to let ANYTHING get in my way. I didn't want to work or talk to friends and family...I just wanted to immerse myself into the stories. However, RL does intrude and I hated putting the book(s) down for any reason and that darn work...kept me away for hours....sigh...but whenever I got the chance...I put myself into Nora's capable hands.
Yes, these books are dated...however...they are still really fun to read and just enjoy the time spent in Nora Robert's Land.
The Collected Short Stories of Louis L'Amour, Volume 6, Part 2: Crime Stories
The Collected Short Stories of Louis L'Amour, Volume 6, Part 2: Crime Stories
I waited for long to get back to Louis L'Amour. it was in my school days, 40 years ago that I began tasting westerns. The simple theme, strong characters, even the villains are portrayed as true living humans with ordinary feelings. There are stories where a shot is not fired by acceptable ending. That's the L'Amour's art. He is indeed great. No I have the entire 7 volumes of his short stories. Started collecting all of his short stories and then get back to his novels.
Asterix 34. Asterix & Obelix feiern Geburtstag (German Edition)
Asterix 34. Asterix & Obelix feiern Geburtstag (German Edition)
Der Band hat ein Contra und ein Pro verdient:
1) Contra: Die Goscinnysche Story und sein Witz fehlen. Jede Nacherzählung hier im Voraus drohte auch noch dem Leser die Freude bei den wenigen verbliebenen guten Ideen nehmen. Eine gute Geschichtenidee (am Anfang) ist z.B. dann schneller vorbei, als man eine Legion verprügelt. Eine Goscinny-Idee wird zwischendurch recyclet, ein paar Gags mühselig durch eine "Geburtstags"-Story zusammengeleimt. Das ist keine Geschichte.

Wenn Uderzo tatsächlich die Serie weiterführen will, wenn er sie gar nach seinem Tode weiterführen lassen will, wie in den Medien kolportiert wird, dann wird es Zeit für a) eine Qualitätskontrolle und b) einen Super-Texter, vielleicht aus einem ganz anderen Bereich.

"Non omnia possumus omnes" (Wir können nicht alle alles), um mit dem Piraten zu sprechen. Sonst reden wir hier vom allerletzten Band, bei dem die Fans noch dabei waren. Avez-vous compris, Môssieu Uderzo?

Also ganz daneben?
Nicht ganz, ein kleines gallisches Dorf leistet ja noch Widerstand. Asterix hat als Figur so viel Kraft, dass es zu Sternchen (asteriscus = Sternchen) doch noch reichen wird.

2) Pro: Es gibt auch einiges Gutes. Die _Erwartungen an einen Asterix sind halt auch immer überirdisch. Die - von Mortimer & Blake abgeschaute - wohlfeile Japanophobie von "Gallien in Gefahr" zumindest ist zum Glück unterblieben. Dass Thierry Mébarki einfärbt, ist auch ok und nichts Neues. Bruder Frédéric Mébarki wurde ebenso bereits im letzten Band als Hilfszeichner eingeführt.

Gewisse Kunstanspielungen sind amüsant und gut gemacht, einige würde ich mir glatt als Poster aufhängen wollen! Betrachtet man das alles als Band _über Asterix und - ich ertappe mich bei einem "Hoffentlich" - als einen Abschluss, dann hat das "Goldene Buch" genügend verstreute Juwelen. Dann zumindest gehen drei Sterne schon noch in Ordnung. Man vergleiche es doch mal mit anderen aktuell erscheinenden Comics.

Fazit: Die Erwartungen muss man leider auf Normalmaß herunterschrauben. Ein weiteres Mal in dieser Form wird sich Uderzo nicht mehr erlauben können. Für Fans bleibt es jedoch noch ein Muss - und sei es, um evtl. gebührend Abschied nehmen zu können, und weil die Figuren auch interessant ausgeleuchtet werden. Tres asterisci.

------
Nachtrag 8.11.09. Ich lese es gerade auf Französisch. Selbst ich merke dabei: Mindestens drei Anspielungen/Wortspiele wurden im Deutschen vergeigt. "(Ich denke) An dasselbe wie Du Wüstling" wird eigentlich als Scherzzitat des französischen Kultkomikers Coluche aufgelöst - im Deutschen erscheint es als ernst gemeint und Asterix selbst zuzuschreiben (was hinten und vorne nicht gepasst hätte). Geradezu verfälschend ist es auch, dass der gotische/deutsche Akzent eines dargestellten Obelixes nicht angezeigt worden ist. Vielleicht war es einfach zuwenig Zeit, doch ansonsten wäre dies eine schiere Schande für Übersetzer Klaus Jöken. Adolf Kabatek selig und Gudrun Penndorf hätten das besser gemacht.
Hunting Lost Mines By Helicopter: Adventure in the American Desert
Hunting Lost Mines By Helicopter: Adventure in the American Desert
Interesting book. I would have preferred a 'pinch' more insight into the Lost Dutchman legend, but perhaps that is being unfair. Most of us interested in this topic could not afford the expense of helicopter-camping ... although if we could, we certainly would have explored more of the semi-inaccessible places.
Zéro pour la question (SAN ANTONIO) (French Edition)
Zéro pour la question (SAN ANTONIO) (French Edition)
Publié en 1968, ce livre fait partie de la période de San Antonio que je préfère (fin des années 1960, début 1970).
Le style est plein de verve et d'humour.
Bérurier (personnage secondaire mais ô combien important) est de la partie et nous gratifie d'aventures rocambolesques.
Malheureusement, l'histoire est à dormir debout, Cela arrive souvent chez San Antonio, mais là, il faut avouer que c'est du grand n'importe quoi.
La fin du livre (qui constitue l'éclaircissement du mystère censé nous avoir tenu en haleine tout au long du récit) est un sommet de l'abracadabrantesque.
A lire pour ceux qui aiment le style san-antonionesque et les péripéties de Bérurier. Ceux qui aiment les intrigues solides feront mieux d'aller voir ailleurs.
Pour quelqu'un qui ne connaîtrait pas San Antonio, je conseillerais plutôt de lire "Les Vacances de Bérurier",
The Surprising Imagination of C. S. Lewis: An Introduction
The Surprising Imagination of C. S. Lewis: An Introduction
Root and Neal’s work, The Surprising Imagination of C.S. Lewis: An Introduction, is a fine introduction to both the corpus of Lewis’ work and the imaginative faculty he possessed as reflected in those works. The authors draw deeply from Lewis’ rich and varied words (they draw extensively from his academic and imaginative writings - see table of contents) and remain faithful to Lewis’ voice. Root and Neal help us understand how the imagination for Lewis was “the organ of meaning” through which the world, as presented to our senses, is encountered as it is, but also as a signpost by which we catch glimpses of the Eternal.

True to Lewis’ own desires to see with the sight of others, the authors help us see with Lewis (and others) in an attempt to encounter and grow in ever closer approximations to the Real - both God and the works of his hands. Root and Neal draw from Lewis’ works and thoughts from his early years of atheism to the latter years of his Christian life. Rather than his Christian faith presenting a scandal to the mind, we see a Lewis that ultimately became more integrated and satisfied: his mind and heart were united through the imagination and thus he walked in greater harmony with himself, the world around him, and his God.

While the book is academic, it remains accessible. What is more, the authors desire to draw the reader into his or her own self-reflection. Root and Neal have successfully invited us to join Lewis on the same journey, giving us a lucid and inviting path upon which we might walk toward greater discovery. The goal: to wed the intellect or reason with a baptized imagination that births a true knowing of the Real and one’s own proper relationship to it. True knowing is experienced when we begin to see things as they are, whereas a false knowing is to see things in a distorted way. The latter results from a misuse or abuse of the imaginative faculty and, in the end, we “break the world” (as Steinbeck says of the tragic character of Aaron in East of Eden). To see things as they are is to submit to their “divine, terrifying, and ecstatic reality” (as Lewis writes in an introduction to George MacDonald’s Phantastes).

The book is not without its weaknesses, however. Each chapter opens with an introduction and definition of the stated imagination. However, some of the chapters leave us searching too long for a clear understanding. Other chapters state quite clearly the definition of the stated imagination and begin to elucidate it from Lewis’ works.

Furthermore, it is not always clear whether we are meant to understand the types of imagination as identified by Lewis himself, or as identified by the authors, giving name to what Lewis was doing in each respective work. They speak for Lewis, as if he identified and named the imagination type, but we can’t be certain because there are no sources cited that make this clear. Clear, consistent citations where Lewis names and describes the particular uses and abuses of the imagination seems necessary. From all the evidence, it appears as though the authors have given us a book that communicates Lewis’s explicit and implicit understanding of the uses and abuses of the imagination. Where identifying the implicit (if this is their goal), the authors lack the requisite care in stating that this is a paradigm they are applying to Lewis’ understanding and his work.

As stated above, the authors aim to draw themselves and the readers into the work of self-reflection and discovery so that we all might walk circumspectly in relationship to Reality around us. This goal is, I believe, noble and fitting. For us to remain unchallenged and unchanged by an encounter with the truths as presented in this work would seem to be contrary to Lewis’ own desires for himself and his readers and any person on a quest for greater meaning. That said, some chapters tend toward the loquacious and sermonic; whereas others offer the personal invitation and challenge, but speak more concisely, remaining more purely concerned with a single-minded commitment to explicating Lewis’ own thought.

All in all, the work is a fine introduction to Lewis and the uses and abuses of the imagination as he identified them in the works of others and his own. Root and Neal have offered us a gift that proves to be intellectually and imaginatively rich, challenging, and gratifying.
Caravan To Vaccares 1ST Edition
Caravan To Vaccares 1ST Edition
As the story opens, a man is hunted to his death in the caves near the French city of Vaccares. The scene shifts to Vaccares itself, where an annual Gypsy gathering is in progress, and where two young and attractive Englishwomen are being treated to dinner in the same restaurant by two men who appear to be rather fractious rivals. The rivalry puts a strain on the evening, but the fun is only beginning. Out of this rather off-beat opening, master storyteller Alistair Maclean will spin yet another thriller.

One of the two men in the restaurant is Neil Bowman, a soft-spoken young man with unusual job skills, a quality quickly observed by Cecile Dubois, with whom he is paired for dinner. Bowman, it seems, is in Provence to investigate a smuggling operation somehow tied to the Gypsy gathering, and he enlists the incredulous but plucky Cecile in his plans. Neil and Cecile will be a good team; their partnership produces some excellent repartee as they follow a trail of clues through the Gypsy encampment into some dangerous situations. As it turns out, Bowman has quite a few enemies, and will need all the help he can get outwitting some ruthless opponents and surviving a lethal confrontation in a bullring. A twisting plot will turn back on itself a couple of times before coming to a surprising, even shocking conclusion. Oh, and the other man in the restaurant is a duke, a gourmand, and perhaps a great deal more...

"Caravan to Vaccares" is a solid Maclean novel, if not neccessarily one of his best. Maclean puts some effort into working the flavor of his Provence location, including the Gypsies, into his narrative. The plot itself is perhaps more convoluted than necessary to tell the story, but it's still fun, and recommended to Alistair Maclean fans.
Bleach 34
Bleach 34
Also ich liebe Bleach, daher kauf ich ja auch den manga. Wer sich überlegt Band 35 zu kaufen, kennt ihn vermutlich.
Daher will ich Euch sagen: Ich liebe Bleach und jeden einzelnen Manga, daher empfehle ich Euch auch diesen hier.

5 Sterne, weil mir der Manga gefällt, der Versandt schnell war und auch sonst alles in Ordnung war =D
One Perfect Family: The final instalment in the uplifting Ellindale Saga
One Perfect Family: The final instalment in the uplifting Ellindale Saga
I have loved reading The Ellindale Series which ends with One Perfect Family,it has been a joy getting to know and love the residents.Leah,Jonah,Rosie,Finn,Charlie,Todd and Harry.Tam Crawford has been on the road for years but when a dear old lady who he did work for dies he has to visit a solicitor who is dealing with her will.To find that she has left him money to make his life better on the understanding that he help others,tam knows he can make his dream come true and go home to the only place he feels at peace.Along the way he meets phyllis who knows a woman that without help will end up in poor house.Tam and Cora meet and decide to help each other live better lives.I won't give the whole story away but will say this book is worth 5* if not more.I look forward to the next from Anna Jacobs.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 [Blu-ray + DVD]
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 [Blu-ray + DVD]
Ich mag die Story im ersten Teil.
Aber der letzte Teil, nun ja ich weiß nicht recht was ich davon halten soll.
Am besten fange ich von vorne an.
Bella scheint ein neugeborener Vampir mit Superkräften zu sein da ihr Verlangen nach menschlichem Blut kaum vorhanden ist. (Jasper, der bisher jüngste der Cullens, hat nach wie vor Probleme damit, Superbella nicht?!)
Dann diese unglaubliche Aussage von Jake dass Bella und Edward ein tolles Paar sind. War er da bekifft? So eine Aussage passt nie und nimmer zu ihm, selbst jetzt nicht wo er auf Renesme geprägt ist.
Renesme als Baby, sie sieht so unnatürlich aus, wie so ein ferngesteuerter Außerirdischer. Was lief da falsch, warum kann man nicht ein normales süßes Baby zeigen?
Thema Prägung. Ich hab das so verstanden dass Renesme ab dem Zeitpunkt ihres Erwachsenseins so alt bleibt wie sie da ist. Also für immer 21? Was ist mit Jake, er altert doch trotzdem, mich würde wirklich brennend interessieren wie die Zukunft der beiden aussieht. Ewige Zukunft für Bella und Edward hin oder her, Renesme wird Jake eines Tages verlieren.
Und wer sagt dass sie sich auch auf Jake prägt, sie hat doch keinen Funken Wolfsgen in sich? Wie genau funktioniert das mit dem Prägen überhaupt, prägt sich einer, in dem Fall Jake, und der andere, in dem Fall Renesme, ist dem willenlos ausgesetzt? Was für ein Schwachsinn, ist das dann überhaupt wahre Lirbe was Renesme für Jake empfindet? Und wann weiß bzw merkt sie es?
Zurück zur Handlung im letzten Teil. Es geht alles viel zu schnell.
Jake zeigt sich Charlie gegenüber als Wolf. Die Szene wie Charlie darauf reagiert fehlt leider.
Renesme altert so schnell. Warum fällt Charlie das nicht auf?
Wo ist Bellas Mum, warum lernt sie Renesme nicht kennen?
Wo sind Bellas Schulfreunde, wie haben sie Bellas Verschwinden aufgenommen?
Dann die ganzen Verwandten, so viele neue Gesichter, auf keinen kann man näher eingehen, geschweige denn sich Namen merken.
Und dann die Kampfszenen.
Ein Witz, man fiebert im Kampf mit, ist betroffen wer zum Opfer wird, und dann war das alles nur eine Vision.
Alles endet im Happy End, der einzige Verlust ist Irina die in ihrer Trauer um Laurent einen Fehler gemacht hat.
Ich weiß echt nicht was ich vom letzten Film halten soll.
Sehr langatmig, alles geschieht viel zu schnell hintereinander.
Und Edward ist eindeutig wirklich ein Waschlappen. Steht nur rum mit leidendem Gesichtsausdruck. Wo ist Beschützeredward aus dem ersten Film?
Die beste Rolle ist für mich Aro, er ist unglaublich, auch von der schauspielerischen Leistung her.
Es sollte sowieso eine eigene Reihe über die Volturi geben, das wär mal was.
Der Abspann am Ende war nochmal richtig schön, weil nochmal alle, wirklich alle Gesichter zu sehen waren, das war schon berührend.
Was mir in allen Filmen sehr gut gefällt ist die Filmmusik, die ist perfekt gewählt.
The Paperboy
The Paperboy
This movie is worth watching for Nichole Kidman's performance alone. She is mesmerizing, no matter what they ask of her. Some people miss the point of the movie, it's about being denied the love you need. For these characters, it severely affects their lives. Jack misses his mother and his father is distant. He seems unaware he is looking for a mother in Anita and Charlotte and a father in Ward. The scene with Charlotte peeing on Jack is vaguely reminiscent of a birth, with Jack red, swollen and helpless. Anita takes care of Jack's family but her own two kids that she barely sees are mentioned frequently. Charlotte doesn't spell out how she was raised, but her behavior makes it clear she thinks abuse is love. Ward is drawn to danger in his choice of lovers, made clear by the scar on his face and the song, "that man is dangerous' played when he's choosing a new lover, and Charlotte making it clear that Ward has a dark side that comes out through sex but doesn't necessarily have to do with sex.. The racial storyline isn't as clearcut, for example Ward's coworker Yardley makes love to Charlotte, crossing racial lines, probably because these characters represent affection or parents and their sex shows this type of love is close but unavailable. The movie does take it too far sometimes, but for those who say they don't know what this movie is trying to say, it's all about parent issues and unavailable love and the filmmaker's conclusion is that this need drives people into danger and they can't be saved.
Mistrals Tochter - bk1221
Mistrals Tochter - bk1221
Versand wie zugesichert!
Aber: Der Zustand des Buches wurde mit "gebraucht, gut" deklariert. Tatsache ist, der Einband war unten eingerissen, der Deckel hatte oben Schmutzflecke und wies oben und unten ehemalige Einknickungen auf. Bei dem Preis wäre der Zustand realistisch, jedoch sollte dem Käufer nichts vorgegaukelt werden. Bei ehrlicher Beschreibung hätte ich mich für ein anderes Exemplar und höheren Preis entscheiden wollen. Schade.
To Love is to Live
To Love is to Live
I have owned a (now very fragile) copy of the paperback of this book (along with loads of other Denise Robins books) since my 20s (which is longer ago than I like to mention). I was THRILLED that amazon have issued so many of her books for kindle but in particular this one which is my absolute favourite. I don't know why, just that the characters are so compelling as is their story. A beautiful read.
Harry Potter Adult Ravenclaw Robe
Harry Potter Adult Ravenclaw Robe
The good: fast shipping, nice ravenclaw emblem, perfect length for a 5' 7" girl, sleeves were in a great spot, it looks nice when on

Downfalls: it is very thin, 100%polyester so it can be clingy and a little hard to get wrinkles out of, it came with a seam completely undone>so I had to repair it straight from the package, the hood lining is not connected to the robe itself>so I had to put a stitch in the top to keep it together, for the hood, it was to thin to stay up, but it was nice looking

Overall, I would definitely recommend getting this, we used it to get dressed up for Harry Potter world in California and she looked great, paired with a dress shirt and a tie we bought before going, you couldn't tell she got her stuff from outside, movement on the Cape was great, and it was a bonus that it was lighter, it didn't make her hot or get sweaty. When it was raining, didn't help though!

Go ahead and get this one if you are looking for a cheaper way to get an outfit together, plus it comes very quickly!
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Combo HD DVD and Standard DVD)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Combo HD DVD and Standard DVD)
If you're a die hard, cutthroat Harry Potter fan, then the motion picture adaption of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" will raise quite a few flags. Much was cut out due to time constraints and to appeal to a wider audience, instead of only the "fans" of the book series.

However, that is not to say that the film adaption of the 5th book in the Harry Potter series falls along the ranks of box office duds "Super Mario Brothers", or the horribly mistaken "Johnny Mnemonic". "Order of the Phoenix" is a fine film that, while shifting the emphasis of certain parts in the book, creates a captivating film that only falters a few times.

Dark dreams ravish Harry Potter in his sleep, dreams of Voldermort's return, and Cedric Diggory's death.
In his 5th year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, things are once again taking a turn for the worse. Voldermort has returned, and he is bent on eliminating the one person that can defeat him, Harry Potter. Dark dreams plague Harry's mind. The school comes under fire when a new Defense against the Dark Arts teacher is announced. control of the school is soon wrenched away from Headmaster Professor Dumbledore and into the hands of Ministry of Magic stooge Professor Umbridge, who bans defensive magic in her eager attempt to disable Hogwarts. The students, in rebellion form Dumbledore's Army. Meanwhile Voldermort is amassing his own army...

If you're an avid fan or the casual reader, I'm quite positive there is much to enjoy here; if not for the themes then for the amazing picture quality and engrossing audio quality. The video quality is pristine, making every detail, every imperfection stand revealed. Its not really all that big of a deal, but I really enjoy the fact that I can make out the finest detail in every scene. You can see the minute detail on the castle walls, cracks, dents, and the general wear and tear on wood, and the pores and imperfections on the faces of each actor. Again, not a HUGE deal, but 1 more level of ambiance that really makes the film come alive.

Colors are vibrant (especially the greens, reds, pinks and blues), the blacks are black (sometimes they get a little too black) and the whites are white. It is a treat alone to admire the amazing video transfer and the awesome audio. "Order of the Phoenix" is by no means a "demo disc", but it will probably turn some heads, especially during the blue screen shots, and the CGI-infused scenes. At times there is a noticeable amount of picture fuzz, mostly on faces and bright special effects, but it is so minute that it doesn't detract from the experience.

The audio is excellent, especially if you have a nice surround system. I'm using a cheap RCA one, and it sounds amazing. Lots of bass heavy moments, very reminiscent of movie theater audio quality.

The Harry Potter books have translated very well to the silver screen, and these films are a must for the avid Fantasy fan. The acting is of pretty high quality, especially noteworthy since the cast is mostly kids.

The one problem with the Harry Potter motion picture film series is that, the only way to truly understand the story arc, you really need to start with "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" and work your way up. As far as character development in this series, it is constant and ever changing, but the primary groundwork for most of the characters was established in the first three films. "The Order of the Phoenix" doesn't delve too far into any of the main characters, aside from their feelings, and the casual dabbler may get lost in the intertwining story arcs.
Harry Potter 2020 Pocket Planner (Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizards)
Harry Potter 2020 Pocket Planner (Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizards)
I've bought this planner two years ago (planner is for 2 years plus) and I loved it. It fits in my purse so it's great to carry with and it has extra pages. Perfect design and a great Hogwarts cover. This year's New calender-the layout is still great-but 4th cover is so boreing! Gray with a Gryffindor logo! I almost didn't buy it, in fact I bought another planner but I gave in and bought this one also because it's so useful. I'm a Slytherin and I'd like an inclusive cover! And more color!
Charades Ravenclaw Student Children's Costume, As Shown, Large
Charades Ravenclaw Student Children's Costume, As Shown, Large
Costume is excellent! I previously purchased a Ravenclaw robe from a different seller but immediately returned it due to very low, flimsy quality. But this seller, Blockbuster Costumes, provides a very high quality product. We recently visited Universal Orlando and the robes sell for $125 in the parks, but this costume from Blockbuster Costumes is similar in quality for a fraction of the price. Plus, it comes with super nice sweater and tie! The “dickie” collar is included, but my kids (yes, I ordered 2 of these) will substitute collared shirts instead. When it arrived, the robe and tie were wrinkled, but I ironed them and now they look like authentic/legitimate robes for the Hogwarts enthusiasts. My kids will be wearing the costumes for Halloween, as well as upcoming visits to Universal (we live nearby). My twins are 11 years old, average height. Size Large is perfect fit. I highly recommend this costume!
FolkArt Chicken Coop, 8.5 x 9.5-Inch Coordinating Stencils (Pack of 2), 8.5" x 9.5", 3 Count
FolkArt Chicken Coop, 8.5 x 9.5-Inch Coordinating Stencils (Pack of 2), 8.5" x 9.5", 3 Count
My Granddaughter has fallen in love with chickens-real chickens- to the point that she goes to chicken auctions and if she sees some favorites she dares the locals to bid. They get dirty looks. I used this stencil to metal emboss the rooster which looks like hers known as Popeye. I mounted the metal embossing on canvas then stenciled some of the hens and chicks. I'm giving it to her for Christmas.
BandLab Machines "Link Analog" Portable Studio Recorder
BandLab Machines "Link Analog" Portable Studio Recorder
Ridiculously poor latency whatever you do with the settings. Strum your guitar. Make a cuppa. Go to the loo. Come back and your efforts will only just be appearing in your digital audio workstation (DAW). Easy to use but does not do what it claims unless you are prepared to alter your playing drastically to compensate for the latency. I returned the item at the end of May via a courier and I'm still waiting for my refund at the end of June. I would've contacted the seller directly to discuss all of this but that option no longer seems to exist any more.
Deathworld: No. 1
Deathworld: No. 1
I haven't read a ton of science fiction. My genre reading often leaned towards fantasy more than sci-fi. The author, Harry Harrison, was apparently quite a prolific writer and seemed to be generally well liked so when this book came on my radar and I decided to give it a try.

I enjoyed the way the book introduced the reader to the fiction of the universe being presented. Our main protagonist is a man named Jason who lives his life as a professional gambler. He is introduced to us during a conversation with the other primary character, Kerk, a large and ultra-strong man from the planet Pyrrus. During their initial conversation we learn that Kerk is ambassador to Pyrrus and they make money mining and trading. We see a moment of amazing quick draw as both men pull their guns in suspicion of one another. And we learn that Jason is a gambler who, according to Kerk, can seem to win whenever he wants to.

We later learn that Jason trades the risk of losing big to the risk of angering the high money players and casinos by using psychic abilities to manipulate the odds in his favor. As a result, Jason is often making hasty get aways from one big win after another. Kerk hires Jason to gamble money for Pyrrus and within a couple of chapters Jason's victory has angered the wrong people and we have a high speed getaway that could be something out of a mid-20th century gangster movie but instead is souped up with sci-fi vehicles and weapons and a getaway plan involving manipulation of class and cultural biases.

In the short span of these early chapters, we not only learn a bit about the character but we also find out about the universe that Harrison is creating. It's one with the gritty underbellies of casinos and gambling much as we might find on Earth but with added sci-fi elements of beings both psychically enabled and super-strong.

I really enjoyed the way the book quickly established so many key elements without berating the reader with endless pages of exposition or boring futuristic history lessons. Instead, we're given a fairly fast paced plot and character driven romp using concepts we're familiar with to introduce us to the nuances of the fictional universe. The writing may not be perfect, but as a lesson in how to "show" rather than "tell", it earned my nod of approval.

As the book continues, we learn about the Pyrrus, the Deathworld of the book's title. Kerk and his people are in a constant war. Not against another nation or advanced alien race but against the planet itself and all of the plant and animal life on Pyrrus. Jason is given a chance to leave but his curiosity draws him to the planet and he sees firsthand how every plant and animal seems to have adapted not only to be deadly to humans but to have an active desire to hunt down and attack the human colony where Kerk and Jason land.

I won't spoil the plot of the book other than to say that Jason's curiosity leads him first to see if he can train himself to survive on the planet in the same way that the native Pyrrans do but also to try and deduce why the planet and its creatures are attacking the humans. His quest for answers seems fruitless but he's persistent and the end result was interesting and unpredictable, at least to me.

I found the sci-fi elements generally believable. Naturally there were some things that felt a bit dated which is understandable considering the book is nearly 60 years old. And yet, the way plot, characters and technology worked together felt natural. The language and behaviors also seemed to generally transcend time and work well enough. I remember reading some Heinlein and Bradbury stories and finding myself laugh sometimes at the "Leave it to Beaver" interactions and language that sometimes happen. There are some moments in Deathworld that felt a little stilted but generally it felt alright.

It was also refreshing to see a female main character that wasn't a simpering damsel in distress. There were small twinges of male-centric ideals in the book but not nearly as much as some other older novels I've read. I think part of this could be due to the concept that on Pyrrus everyone must become fully able to defend themselves against everything the planet throws at them. Thus the women, as well as the men, must be strong and fully capable. Jason's initial observations of Meta, the main female character, seem to balance between the stereotypical chauvinistic thoughts and other more modern and equitable treatment of women. It's not perfect but it was better and more thoughtful than some stories I've read from the era.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The writing was simple and to the point while also carrying enough depth of plot and character development to make for a fun and interesting story. The story arc was intricate enough to propel from one segment to another and keep me guessing as to the final trajectory and yet the whole progression felt fairly natural. While I approached this as a sci-fi novel, the science-fiction elements often took a back seat to the adventure and exploration. I enjoyed the fact that the science and technology didn't become a character unto itself. The story was entertaining and the ending was fun. I was happy to learn that there are two more books following the adventures of Jason. I'm not sure when I'll read them but I've put them on my radar and I look forward to reading more in the future.

****
3.5 out of 5 stars
Victorian Magic (Routledge Library Editions: The Victorian World Book 31)
Victorian Magic (Routledge Library Editions: The Victorian World Book 31)
This book is like sitting down with an old timer who knows all the best stories about the good old days -- if by "good old days" you mean 19th century stage magic. Very readable, and vivid. Full of good anecdotes. Really gives a strong sense of the time period.

Tricks are described, but the secrets are not revealed, so you don't have to have the magic spoiled by reading how it was done. This is about the magicians, and their shows, and their lives.
VTech Soothing Ocean Slumber Mobile
VTech Soothing Ocean Slumber Mobile
While my wife and I first love this item, and so did our baby girl, the company does not stand behind their product. After normal use for only 60 days, the mobile first started wavering in and out on the music, then the rotation disappeared, and now it is absoolutely dead. Another word of caution to other potential customers - instead of carrying the standard 90 day return/exchange policy that many items on Amazon this item has a shorter return window. That alone should send alarms going off in your head as to whether the company stands behind it's products. After discovering the malfunction, I contacted VTech Kid's customer service department via a link on their website because we called 3 times and were unable to reach anyone by phone. Another red flag. I have posted the response from their customer service department, because this has to be seen to be believed. The customer service has the gall to tell me to try fresh batteries and to make sure they are alkaline. They go on to be even more offensive by saying "If it is still not working, kindly advise us if something happened to the unit that might cause the issue". I'll let you be the judge of that, but that surely sounds like an accusation that we did not use the mobile properly and caused it to malfunction. There are many more products by companies that will not treat the consumer in this fashion. I don't understand why they needed to respond to me the customer in this way.
LIVINO Rainbow Balloons - 12 Inches Latex Balloons - Colorful Balloons, Perfect for Rainbow Birthday Party Decorations, Balloons for Birthday, Helium Balloons Bulk Pack of 100
LIVINO Rainbow Balloons - 12 Inches Latex Balloons - Colorful Balloons, Perfect for Rainbow Birthday Party Decorations, Balloons for Birthday, Helium Balloons Bulk Pack of 100
These would work well if you're looking for a giant pack of balloons to be able to grab and blow up for your kids on the fly. I got these for a rainbow party and unfortunately I don't think they are going to work. The colors are not very evenly distributed. 17 red vs 3 green (6 total green, but there are 2 different green colors). The quality is also not great compared to balloons from a party supply store. They are thinner, smaller and one arrived deformed.
Missing 411: The Hunted
Missing 411: The Hunted
I met Dave through email, concerning a search and rescue I was involved with as a WA state, Chelan County Mt Rescue climber in 2003-04? around Aasgard pass near Leavenworth WA. Dave was looking for some details he had not found, from the Chelan County Sheriff's office, of which I told him anything I knew, which I didnt think important. I remember some details I said, did make his first book, which got me to buy it! Haha. Anyways, spending time in the deep wilderness, that is basically contiguous from Alaska to the deserts of Southern california, going East towards Montana and south, is a vast unending forest, only second to Siberia Russia. Having spent years in the vast, I can only wonder if another large fauna animal, with the rest of the animals, that made their way over Berengia, during the last interglacial period, was maybe a large primate? We know large primates lived in the relative neighborhood of Kamchatka, Russia, so...why couldn't something come over and STILL found a way to survive here? People forget...Grizzly bears, moose, bison,antelope,musk ox all survived. Obviously, a lot of the ice age animals did go extinct, but certainly a higher than normal, intelligent, primate, would have the ability to survive, if a Grizzly could. David has NEVER said he thinks these disappearances are the result of a bigfoot creature; but, given the isolated factors/qualifications, of these disappearances, one can only conclude, that at least some of them, could be the result of an unknown, North American Primate. My opinion, predator people, are the danger in the woods...serial killers in training, nutsos...take your pick...bring a sidearm, know how to use it and always go with a buddy (who has a sidearm). You'll probably come home. Also, I tell people, pay attention in the friggin woods! Don't space out. Keep a high level of situational awareness at all times! Enjoy yourself, but never completely relax. Remember, in the vast, YOU are your own police. There is no one to help you, so treat being in the woods, with a certain decorum of respect. Or don't...and become glorified in one of Dave's upcoming books. Your choice.
3DS Charger, AC Adapter Charger Home Travel Charger Wall Plug Power Adapter (100-240 v) for Nintendo New 3DS XL New 3DS 3DS XL 3DS New 2DS XL New 2DS 2DS XL 2DS DSi DSi XL
3DS Charger, AC Adapter Charger Home Travel Charger Wall Plug Power Adapter (100-240 v) for Nintendo New 3DS XL New 3DS 3DS XL 3DS New 2DS XL New 2DS 2DS XL 2DS DSi DSi XL
My 3ds exploded and our apartment burned to the ground thanks to this product. easily the worst thing I've ever purchased, I'm now homeless in portland because I purchased what amounts to an act of terrorism. I DID however rake in a boatload of insurance money thanks to this unfortunate accident, as a result I got the 3ds replaced, paid off the landlady and the tenants whose homes were ALSO lost in the blaze, and bought a hooker to boot!!
Unfortunately finding an apartment in oregon can take upwards of a year and my life is in constant danger because roughly 20 percent of the homeless are psychopaths, but i digress. this product SUCKS!! don't buy it unless you need the insurance money with zero fraud!! the midwest is lucky this didn't turn into yet another huge wildfire, I was panicking the entire time as our dog barely made it out of the house. truly, a great terrible product. 10/10 don't buy it.
Set de 2 cadenas de luces de fantasía tipo luciérnagas Yihong, a pilas y a control remoto, resistentes al agua, con 8 modos de parpadeo, 50 luces LED y alambre de cobre de 16.4 pies, para decoración de dormitorios, bodas y festivales (de color blanco como el día)
Set de 2 cadenas de luces de fantasía tipo luciérnagas Yihong, a pilas y a control remoto, resistentes al agua, con 8 modos de parpadeo, 50 luces LED y alambre de cobre de 16.4 pies, para decoración de dormitorios, bodas y festivales (de color blanco como el día)
Ok, so let me just say that these little lights are amazing! I bought them solely based on reviews and hoped for the best. Well, I'm just blown away by how neat these things work! Batteries are not included, so I had to do a store run to fix that. Each string takes 3 AA batteries and each remote takes a flat watch battery, but it's well worth it! These little guys really put on a show! I love that I have 8 different choices for light shows. I also love that there's a timer if I want to use it. I finally have solved the problem of how to light the wreath on my front door without having an ugly cord, or using other light sets that eat batteries in a day or so. Trust me, you can NOT go wrong with these things! I've seen similar stings in stores....but without a remote, without the 8 light sequence choices, and for a much higher price for just one string! So happy with these. I bought 2 sets of 2, but I may be ordering more. They're that neat!
Bioterti Plush Fun Animal Hats One Size Cap Polyester with Fleece Lining
Bioterti Plush Fun Animal Hats One Size Cap Polyester with Fleece Lining
I usually don't give bad reviews and wanted to give them a chance to redeem their product.

I ordered the koala hat and found out the nose and white-mouth center piece patch were uneven. I contacted customer service which they were really sweet about it, so they sent me another hat. The other 1 came in, but still had a crooked nose so I went ahead and fixed both of those. But then, I noticed that the second one sent in had a rip on the top right ear. I was very saddened. I have 2 hats now and spent little money on it, so I didn't go on the hassle to get a refund and send them back.
The fit was alright, mind you my head is around a L/XL hat size. It fit around the half of my forehead.
Viva Slots Deluxe! Free Slots
Viva Slots Deluxe! Free Slots
I like this game. Not only do you get bonuses often but you actually win from time to time! One of the better slots simulators I've played. This one's a keeper!
Xylichew - Botes de goma de mascar 100% xilitol, sin OMG, gluten, aspartame y goma sin azúcar, cuidado bucal natural, alivia el mal aliento y la boca seca
Xylichew - Botes de goma de mascar 100% xilitol, sin OMG, gluten, aspartame y goma sin azúcar, cuidado bucal natural, alivia el mal aliento y la boca seca
Ok, here is the review to settle all the 5 star and 1 star reviews. I am posting from experience.

Because I travel overseas a lot, with much time on planes, and sometimes out "in the field" without access to clean water, I have been chewing xylitol gum to keep my teeth clean.

A few years ago, I stumbled onto Xylichew licorice gum in bulk at a big discount, so I decided to stock up. This was a risk because I wasn't sure I would like it. I must have purchased about 100 packs. I liked it so much. Here is what I liked about the "Original" Xylichew:
1. The gum base of Xylichew was soft - for example, now when I chew other gums, I don't like them because the gum base is noticeably more difficult to chew;
2. The licorice flavor was nice, not to too sweet, subtle, long lasting.
3. I liked the individual blister packs, they are easy to put in my shirt pocket.

That's about it, that's all you need in a gum.

When my supply was running low, I looked for the Xylichew, I found the gum advertised here on Amazon and ordered the case quantity. It is a totally different product. The only thing that remains consistent is that this new company bought the "brand name" but they did not buy the formula. So, if you are looking for a good licorice xylitol gum, you will not find it here. This product has nothing to do with the former product except the name.
1. The packaging is different.
2. This product says it is made in the USA, whereas the former product says it was made in Finland.
3. This gum is not soft.
4. The licorice flavor is not long-lasting, and quickly develops a bitter flavor.

The last point, the bitter flavor, is so concerning to me that I decided after two pieces I didn't want to chew it any more. However, once you buy the product, you cannot return it on Amazon. I don't know why, but it says this product cannot be returned.

I will try to post some pictures soon of the beloved "former" Xylichew, I still have a few packages left. RIP Xylichew.

I will keep this one around I guess in case I get really desperate. You've been warned.
Gomitas Jujubes, caja de teatro de 5.5 onzas, paquete de 12
Gomitas Jujubes, caja de teatro de 5.5 onzas, paquete de 12
These semi-flavorless plastic lumps are my very favorite candy in the world. I knew, with 100% certainty, every jujubes carrying store in New Orleans. Once upon a time, approximately last year, I was having a bad day. I had been hit by several cars (New Orleans does not have good drivers), and was PMSing like nobodies businesses. I went to New Orlean’s 7 jujubes carrying drug stores. Nothing. I found a jujubes tracker online that said jujubes were near. They were not. I went to every drugstore and box store in New Orleans, Metairie, and Kenner. Jujubes were gone. I cried hysterically in a CVS parking lot. For a while I found a shop that sold jujubes filled cookies. I would buy the cookies and break the jujubes out and eat them. It was an expensive way to get a fix, and the jujubes were too soft after having been baked. My life was in shambles.

Thank you. After a year of searching, I finally found real, rock hard, filling ruining jujubes. I feel complete. Don’t you dare ever run out. Really. Wtf will I do then? Eat jujyfruits? Gross. Anyway, thanks!

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