Halle Cruz

Joined a year ago

Halle's Favorites
HTML and CSS for Beginners with HTML5
HTML and CSS for Beginners with HTML5
HTML and CSS for Beginners with HTML5 by Mark Lassoff. Rated 3.2 out of 5 stars, with 40 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the css category.
Pro MySQL (The Expert's Voice in Open Source)
Pro MySQL (The Expert's Voice in Open Source)
Pro MySQL (The Expert's Voice in Open Source) by Michael Kruckenberg , Jay Pipes, et al.. Rated 4.2 out of 5 stars, with 10 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the mysql category.
Web Programming Tutorial #1 | PHP & MySQL Web Programming Installation Guide w/ Wampserver | Video Walkthrough (25+ min.): A video walkthrough of installing Wampserver so you can practice PHP & MySQL
Web Programming Tutorial #1 | PHP & MySQL Web Programming Installation Guide w/ Wampserver | Video Walkthrough (25+ min.): A video walkthrough of installing Wampserver so you can practice PHP & MySQL
Web Programming Tutorial #1 | PHP & MySQL Web Programming Installation Guide w/ Wampserver | Video Walkthrough (25+ min.): A video walkthrough of installing Wampserver so you can practice PHP & MySQL by Cuda Education. Rated undefined out of 5 stars, with undefined ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the mysql category.
Las tierras baldías (La Torre Oscura III)
Las tierras baldías (La Torre Oscura III)
Las tierras baldías (La Torre Oscura III) by Stephen King. Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars, with 61 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Stephen King category.
Of Permanent Value: The Story of Warren Buffett/2014 Endless Extra Edition
Of Permanent Value: The Story of Warren Buffett/2014 Endless Extra Edition
The new edition of Andy Kilpatrick's fascinating biography of Warren Buffett, Of Permanent Value, is a large compilation of details about Buffett's life history. There are more than 2,000 pictures throughout the book that add interest to the well-written history of the man, his colleagues, family, and friends.

The author became fascinated with Buffett early on. He set out to document what he learned by writing it all down in this excellent book, adding new information every one to two years. Thus the new 2014 edition is named "Endless Edition" so that the reader is aware that much of what is found here is recent.

I heartily recommend Mr. Kilpatrick's book as an important addition to the reader's library. The reader will enjoy the lay-out, including the easy to read text, the arrangement of chapters, the many quips and conversations between Buffett and his acerbic partner, Charlie Munger, many new and interesting details about his rise to fame and fortune, and fully indexed notes.

I bought this book just before attending the Berkshire-Hathaway Annual Meeting in Omaha, May 2014. I began reading the book before arriving in Omaha and found the information contained within added so much more to my experience at the meeting. I learned that the author attends this meeting regularly and has done so for several decades. I met with him there and gained a new-found admiration for his work on documenting Buffet's life and for his dedication to teaching others through this fine book.
Interviewing Users: How to Uncover Compelling Insights
Interviewing Users: How to Uncover Compelling Insights
Steve Portigal does an incredible job of balancing the specific and general to create one of the most useful books I have ever read. The real-world “war stories” help clarify the points made in the book, while the insights drawn from those stories are applicable to anyone doing this type of work.

A lot of things I’ve read will point to the importance of research and even give an overview of certain techniques, but they don’t go in-depth on how to really do it. I’ll often finish a book and be excited by the concepts, but leave without anything concrete that I can apply directly to my work. This book is the first I’ve found with a comprehensive approach that covers every detail of conducting an interview. I was able to take what I’d learned and use it in my next trip out into the field. Even though many of the concepts have started to become habit now, referring to my notes is now a standard part of my prep work for each new trip. It keeps everything fresh and also reminds me to try new things.

I can understand other reviewers’ desires for more detail on synthesizing the research data and making it valuable/valued within the organization. This is definitely the area where I need the most help at this point. However, I found the included information on this topic to be a helpful start, and I agree that this can (and should) be a book all on its own. I also appreciate the laser focus that Interviewing Users has on, well, interviewing users. Steve Portigal sticks to the point and is delightfully thorough without coming close to being long-winded.

I’ve encouraged everyone on my team to read this book. If you are trying to become more effective in doing field research, I highly recommend that you also read this book (and more than once). Even if you’ve been conducting interviews for a while, you’ll find a lot of value here.
Leadership: In Turbulent Times
Leadership: In Turbulent Times
The best way to study leadership is to study leaders. How they exercised influence in their contexts provides examples of how we can do so in ours. For this reason, it is paramount for leaders to be well-versed in biography and history, the knowledge of people and their times.

Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Leadership in Turbulent Times provides case studies of the leadership of four U.S. presidents at critical junctures in their administrations:
• Abraham Lincoln exemplifies transformational leadership as he expanded the North’s war aims from union to emancipation through the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation.
• Theodore Roosevelt provides a model of crisis management by how he brought labor and management to the table during the Great Coal Strike of 1902.
• Exuding optimism and executing a plan to respond to the Great Depression in his first 100 days, Franklin Delano Roosevelt offers a master class in turnaround leadership.
• And Lyndon Johnson demonstrates visionary leadership by using all the forces at his disposal — including persuasion and hardball politics — to pass the Civil Rights Act (1964) and Voting Rights Act (1965), fundamentally altering the legal terms under which whites and blacks related to one another.

Goodwin presents these case studies in Part III of her book, “The Leader and the Times: How They Led.” Of each president’s White House years, she writes: “There, at their formidable best, when guided by a sense of moral purpose, they were able to channel their ambitions and summon their talents to enlarge the opportunities and lives of others.”

But those ambitions and talents didn’t emerge de novo or ex nihilo. The four presidents were influenced by circumstances just as much as they in turn influenced them. Part I, “Ambition and the Recognition of Leadership,” narrates the burgeoning sense of possibility each president experienced in his 20s especially, along with the recognition by their peers that they were destined for greater things. Part II, “Adversity and Growth,” shows how each one faced a test or series of tests that forced them to ask deeper questions of their life’s meaning — questions that, once answered, steeled their commitment to lead. Finally, an Epilogue examines how each man reflected on his enduring reputation, a fame that would last beyond both his administration and his death. How would they be remembered by posterity?

As with Goodwin’s previous works on these four presidents, Leadership in Turbulent Times is a gripping read, combining biographical detail and historical context. It is the addition of shrewd insights about leadership throughout the book that marks a departure from her earlier biographies. Those insights are well-grounded and explicit.

One of the great dangers of drawing lessons from biography or history is that such lessons smooth over differences, whether among the subjects of biographical inquiry, or between their times and our own. Doris Kearns Goodwin is well aware of this danger and largely avoids it. The leadership principles she draws organically arise from the events she narrates. Here’s how she explains the matter in the book’s Foreword:

"These four extended examples show how their leadership fit the historical moment as a key fits a lock. No key is exactly the same; each has a different line of ridges and notches along its blade. While there is neither a master key to leadership nor a common lock of historical circumstance, we can detect a certain family resemblance of leadership traits as we trace the alignment of leadership capacity within its historical context."

That “family resemblance of leadership traits,” the book’s explicit lesson, is what leaders will most appreciate about Leadership in Turbulent Times. Its implicit lesson is that leaders must know themselves and their own times if they want to change them. Leadership never occurs in a vacuum where principles can be applied automatically. Rather, it requires wisdom. Like the biblical men of Issachar, leaders understand the times and know just what to do (1 Chronicles 12:32).
KAGDIDA Bamboo Toothbrush Set with Travel Toothbrush Case, Useful Professional Tongue Scraper Cleaner and Cavity Defense Clean Dental Floss, Biodegradable Soft Bamboo Charcoal Toothbrushes, 7-Pack
KAGDIDA Bamboo Toothbrush Set with Travel Toothbrush Case, Useful Professional Tongue Scraper Cleaner and Cavity Defense Clean Dental Floss, Biodegradable Soft Bamboo Charcoal Toothbrushes, 7-Pack
These are the first bamboo toothbrushes I have tried and I'm very pleased with them. I don't know the exact criteria for soft or firm bristles. I used stiffer and softer ones over the years and these are perfect. Used one a few times daily now for almost two months and it still looks almost unused. These will last much longer than what I'm used to in a toothbrush. There is a slight perhaps rough feeling to the bamboo. I've read reviews about various bamboo toothbrushes, complaining about splinters or being so rough to cause bleeding. This is nothing at all like that. It's just that the bamboo might be ever so less smooth than a typical plastic toothbrush. I will definitely be purchasing bamboo toothbrushes in the future. The bamboo case works very well too. The cap was very tight, but after using it for a few days it's now snug fitting and perfectly fine. Definitely would recommend this set.
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.
The Complete Tolkien Companion
The Complete Tolkien Companion
I first purchased the Kindle edition, but found it cumbersome to search for specific entries as a search would yield ALL references in addition to the specific entry, e.g. a search for "hobbit" listed all the entries where the word hobbit is found. So I purchased the paperback and am very pleased with it. The Kindle edition could be vastly improved with a comprehensive index of links to the entries.
A reliable and worthy reference for Tolkien's master works, it is an encyclopaedia of persons, places and things born in J.R.R. Tolkien's creation of the world that brought us hobbits and the Lord of the Rings. The contents of its original edition (pub. 1976) spanned Tolkien's earliest works, i.e. "The Hobbit", "The Lord of the Rings", "The Adventures of Tom Bombadil" and "The Road Goes Ever On." The second edition, "The New Tolkien Companion" (pub. 1979), expanded to include "The Silmarillion" (1978). This third edition, "The Complete Tolkien Companion" (2004), now includes references for the twelve volume "History of Middle Earth" series and "Unfinished Tales" (1980) compiled and published by Tolkien's son, Christopher.
Truth or Die
Truth or Die
I usually love Patterson books, but this one was more like a first novel. Each chapter--only 2 or 3 pages--ended hanging with anticipation of what was to come. That became old after a while. The analogies were a bit over the top--example from page 176, "My right foot was like a cinder block on the gas, while my head was like a bobble doll, bouncing all around."

I am only about half way through the book but I no longer feel involved with the protagonist as there is action after action without much plot. I find it difficult to even know what the point of all this action is about. I no longer care and am going to quit reading this book, at page 176. I hate to quit a book so this is unusual. But my time is worth more than finishing this one.

I am surprised Patterson put his name on this book. I see the writer as having potential, but I don't think this book was ready for publication.

Sorry to have to say this, but I think readers can find many more exciting and engaging books to spend their time with than this one.
Cecily Parsley's Nursery Rhymes
Cecily Parsley's Nursery Rhymes
Gentle nursery rhymes with age old wisdom that envelope babies, young children, and parents alike greet you in this classic collection of eight children's nursery rhyme's.
The softly washed water color world of Beatrix Potter's pallet coaxes you into the imaginary world of Ceclily Parsely, a mouse who, "...lived in a pen and brewed good ale for gentlemen; Gentlemen came every day Till Cecily Parsley ran away."
There are other known characters in this collection as well. Goosy Goosy Gander also wanders through the pages acommpanied by those five little fingertip-pigs who go to market, stay at home, eat meat,have none, and the littlest one who goes crying all the way home, wee wee wee! The Three Blind Mice and Ninny Nanny Netticoat, the first riddle every child should hear and know, also bring life to this delightful 4"x5.5" (approximate size) child-sized book.
The innoncence of childhood is captured in Potter's muted tones while the rhythm and rhymes of the poems encourage and develop the young child's delight in language-play while it also encourages the love of language. For the sheer pleasure of hearing a young child's laughter, cuddle up and read this book to him or her.
August Noir: Dallas 1940 (Dallas Noir Book 1)
August Noir: Dallas 1940 (Dallas Noir Book 1)
AS A BETA READER, I RECEIVED A FREE ADVANCE COPY OF THE BOOK IN EXCHANGE FOR AN UNBIASED REVIEW.
This is a simple, fun read - one of those books you pickup when you want to escape for a hour or two.
The book is not polished but one that makes you ask the question as you move through it - what next...
The characters are developed but not too deeply - reminds me of one of those books in a series - where the first book is simple and as each successive book is released the characters become deep and involved.
There is a lot of room for expansion of this book into a fun series with the two main characters...
I hope the author creates a series.

I recommend the book for those who want a fun quick read when life is so full of stuff that you just want to escape into a simpler world of mystery.
Elephant Brand Bandanas 100% Cotton Since 1898-5 Pack
Elephant Brand Bandanas 100% Cotton Since 1898-5 Pack
I am so disappointed in this purchase. The designs are cute, but they are such low quality. I purchased these to catch my sweat when running, as I tend to sweat a lot, and I run a lot. These will not work for that. Immediately upon opening my package I was concerned at how thin the material was and how “crispy” they felt, so I hand washed them in the sink. My review and photos are after the washing.

These are so thin compared to my other bandanas (some of which I purchased at the dollar store) that they are virtually see through, and while washing them softened them significantly, it also caused them to start falling apart. I have a second order arriving today and I just wish I had waited to receive this one before placing that one. So very disappointed. I would return them, but it’s not worth the effort of doing so. I would not recommend.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
I’m totally kicking myself for waiting so long to read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda! This was just about the cutest novel ever! When I was midway through my ebook I went out and grabbed a paperback so I could have it on my shelf. That’s how much I loved it even before I was finished!

The book starts off with Simon in the closet about his sexuality and emailing back and forth with an anonymous boy from school, ‘Blue’, who was in the same boat. Simon found himself getting more and more attached to this boy without even knowing his true identity, desperately wanting to meet in real life. These interactions were everything! I love the connection they had and the support they gave each other as they worked their way around coming out to family and friends. There was even a bit of teasing and flirting going on as they tested the waters of their friendship to see if there was the potential for it to go further. I just loved the progression of their relationship from start to finish and found it just completely adorable!

Simon is a breath of fresh air of a character. He wasn’t just adorable with Blue but in every other capacity as well. He gets along with others easily and genuinely wants to find the good in people and make friends. He sort of navigates a lot of life’s changes throughout the book in sometimes awkward and hilarious ways and sometimes in serious and real ways that made him that much more relatable.

“But I’m tired of coming out. All I ever do is come out. I try not to change, but I keep changing, in all these tiny ways. I get a girlfriend. I have a beer. And every freaking time, I have to reintroduce myself to the universe all over again.”

If Simon and Blue weren’t enough, Simon’s relationship with his family and friends also made this book everything that is was. Little family moments cracked me up like The Chipmunks, the Facebook Scavenger Hunt, and of course OREO’s! That’s the sort of family I strive for with my own kids, a close knit family that have fun together. Simon’s group of friends with all of their ups and downs (and love triangles…) were a great addition and showed the reality of what friendship can be and the art of forgiveness.

Seriously, if you haven’t read this book yet, don’t be like me and wait for anything! Grab yourself a copy and introduce yourself to Simon and the rest of the amazing cast of characters. Don’t forget to grab yourself some OREO’s for when you do!
4 Pack HATOSHI 2 Pack Privacy Screen Protector + 2 Pack Camera Lens Protector Compatible with iPhone 12 Pro Max 5G 6.7 inch Tempered Glass - NOT for 12 Pro 6.1 inch, Easy Installation Tool, Black
4 Pack HATOSHI 2 Pack Privacy Screen Protector + 2 Pack Camera Lens Protector Compatible with iPhone 12 Pro Max 5G 6.7 inch Tempered Glass - NOT for 12 Pro 6.1 inch, Easy Installation Tool, Black
So I work in IT and often help people with their phones, including installing protective screens blah blah.

Most of them these days come with some kind of plastic guide to make adhering the glass a more accurate process. Until today I would have said the InvisaShield one is the best. It's not. This is the best! The guard holds the glass sheet and then fits over your phone so the sides of the device guide the application and because you're not then trying to add the glass into the guide, but rather it's already there, the shield doesn't have any play. I wiped my screen down, applied the shield with the guide and it is sub-millimeter prefect on all sides. No slight tilt, no x or y axis drift, it's perfect. The cover for the camera bump (which, ugh, why do the lenses protrude?!) also fits perfectly. It's a smaller bit of glass with precision made indentations for the phone's lenses, which guide it on easily.

There are two front facing shields and two camera shields in the package, one guide, and three sets of cleaning/wipes/stickers etc because a little extra tiding never hurts. For $15 this is 100% the best shield ont he market for the guide alone.

I do have to take a star off for shipping, it was supposed to be 2-ish days and it was more like 7, but worth the wait.

Pro Tip: If you install a shield after taking a shower the steam in the air in the bathroom will stop dust from floating freely and ensure a much cleaner application of the shield. Really any steamy environment will work to prevent dust in the air settling onto the screen.
GYRO SHOP 8 Collectible Pokeball + 24PCS Mini Poke Action Figures pet Pocket Monster Action Figure Toy for Kids Ages 2 and Up
GYRO SHOP 8 Collectible Pokeball + 24PCS Mini Poke Action Figures pet Pocket Monster Action Figure Toy for Kids Ages 2 and Up
I have a daughter (3 years old) who is newly obsessed with Pokémon! She has wanted poke balls for a while now and I found these and decided to get them despite there being no reviews at the time! We have had them for a week and they have held up to drops and tosses just fine! She pretends to "catch em all!" The set comes with stands for the poke balls and 24 Pokémon figurines. The figurines aren't 100% accurate but very close, the worst thing is that some painted features are smeared or painted in the wrong spots! Regardless of if you're a life long Pokémon fan who wants poke balls to display or a kid just getting into Pokémon, this set is well worth the price!!

Recent posts by Halle Cruz
Message Halle Cruz