Kassandra Ross

Joined a year ago

Kassandra's Favorites
MySQL and Perl for the Web
MySQL and Perl for the Web
MySQL and Perl for the Web by Paul DuBois. Rated 4.4 out of 5 stars, with 28 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the mysql category.
First Resort
First Resort
First Resort by Nanci Little. Rated 2.9 out of 5 stars, with 12 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the J. K. Rowling category.
Something Like Family
Something Like Family
Something Like Family by Heather Burch. Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars, with 281 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Nicholas Sparks category.
The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone
The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone
I have mixed feelings on this book. But overall, I highly recommend it.

When I first heard of this book, I was really interested in reading it and pre-ordered it on Amazon – since I like to ready and study the history and development of technology and Silicon Valley. I read The One Device over the course of a few days. No doubt, this boo was released a week before the 10th anniversary of release of the first iPhone - Friday, June 29th, 2007, to generate interest and sales.

If you want *just* a history of the development of the first iPhone, this book may not be for you – except for the last chapter. If you want to know more about what made the iPhone possible and everything that lead up to the iPhone in a historical context, then you’ll definitely want to read this book. I just felt that the book could have been organized with more about Apple than a lot of isolated chapters with some Apple and iPhone history sprinkled in, where the best chapter on the development of the iPhone was saved for last. These lines from the last chapter succinctly encapsulates the essence of the book and the development of the iPhone:

“… The stars aligned. They also aligned with lithium-ion battery technology, and with the compacting of cameras. With the accretion of China’s skilled labor force, and the surfeit of cheaper metals around the world. The list goes on. “It’s not just a question of waking up one morning in 2006 and deciding that you’re going to build the iPhone; it’s a matter of making these nonintuitive investments and failed products and crazy experimentation – and being able to operate on this huge timescale … Most companies aren’t able to that. Apple almost wasn’t able to do that.”

The One Device tells the story of the development of the iPhone – but much more so, the confluence of ideas and technologies over time that made the iPhone possible.

The book starts off with Apple’s “Explore New Rich Interactions” (ENRI) group and initial experimentations of multi-touch before even thinking about the smartphone. Then a chapter into the history of the phone, electronic communications and the smartphone. Then on to a chapter (“Minephones”) on the sources of materials of smartphones. Then to Gorilla Glass. Then a chapter on the origins and work on multitouch over the decades.

Then back to a chapter on Apple (“Prototyping”).

Then back to the history of the battery and lithium battery and the origins of lithium. Then a chapter on Apple’s interest in the camera & image stabilization. Then a chapter back to the history of sensing motion (gyroscopes, GPS, accelerometers, etc). And onto a chapter on the ARM microprocessor (“Strong-ARMed”). Then a chapter on cellular network infrastructure.

Then back to Apple (“Enter the iPhone”), describing Apple’s thinking on developing a mobile phone, as iPod was taking off. Then to a side-tracked chapter and history of Siri (along with voice recognition, and artificial intelligence). I say side-tracked, since the original iPhone didn’t have Siri – which came out in the Fall of 2011 with the release of the iPhone 4S.

Then a chapter on Foxconn and the Chinese labor force that assembles the iPhone.

The back to Apple on how secretive it is as well as its marketing prowess (“Sellphone”).

Then back to China and description of the Chinese component ecosystem and aftermarket and black market for phones.

Then finally the last chapter of the book – the last 50 pages or so (out of 380 pages) – “The One Device” - is the meat of what I was looking for – getting more deeply into the details (as much as one could to a general reading audience).

Overall, I would describe The One Device as a book version of the history of the smartphone analogous to the 1996 three hour PBS television documentary about the PC industry titled, “Triumph of the Nerds” – which I often say, is the best three hours of television, or at least documentary television, ever made. If you’re really interested in the history of what made the iPhone possible, this is terrific primer.

Some other thoughts – this book really also looks at the cost of the iPhone, smartphone and consumer electronics in general – the mining material & labor cost, the factory worker & cellular tower worker cost, and the environmental cost.

And finally, the cost to the Apple employees who gave their lives for the iPhone:

As stated in the book, “His doctor, he says, gave him an ultimatum. Do these two things or risk dying – lose weight and quit [Apple]. Thirty-six people I worked with at Apple have died,” he says. “it is intense.”

That intensity is also likely the reason that the team that built the iPhone has since scattered to the winds. As of 2017, besides Jony Ive, none of the executive staff at Apple was seriously involved in creating the iPhone.”
El libro de Steve Jobs: Luces y sombras de un genio (Ensayo general) (Spanish Edition)
El libro de Steve Jobs: Luces y sombras de un genio (Ensayo general) (Spanish Edition)
Este voluminoso y de cuidada edición volumen narra la historia de Steve Jobs desde su juventud (aunque incluya alguna breve pincelada de su infancia). Escrito a dos manos por los experimentados periodistas Brent Schlender (uno de los mejores conocedores de la industria informática desde su nacimiento, escribe para el Wall Street Journal y para Fortune) y Rick Tetzeli (editor ejecutivo de la revista de tecnología y negocios Fast Company, aunque también fue director adjunto de la revista Fortune y editor de Entertainment Weekly), que sin embargo decidieron que el libro fuese narrado en primera persona por Brent, que tuvo la suerte de tratar personalmente con Steve Jobs a lo largo de casi 25 años.

Hay un aspecto del libro que me ha gustado especialmente, y es su diseño. Concebido como un rectángulo negro casi por completo, tanto la portada, la contraportada como los cortes superior, inferior y frontal están en ese color. La tipografía y el estilo general, contenido y simple, siguen el estilo Apple totalmente (me refiero siempre a la copia de tapas duras, el resto no lo conozco).

El motivo de leer este libro no era por tanto que yo tuviese un especial interés en Steve Jobs. Pero empezó a picarme la curiosidad por Steve cuando leí el libro de Ed Catmull, Creatividad S.A. El retrato que Ed pintó de Steve no se parecía en nada a la imagen que tenía de él, y pensé que quizás su historia fuese más allá de la imagen polémica que han construido a su alrededor.

El libro me ha gustado, mucho. Es más que evidente que ambos periodistas saben cómo escribir una buena historia, y la narración te engancha e informa a partes iguales. Va de lo general a lo más específico. He sobrevolado buena parte de la historia de la informática reciente, desde los años 70 hasta casi la actualidad. Brent y Rick saben de qué hablan, entienden la parte tecnológica y la empresarial, además de la humana. Es curioso e incluso divertido ver hasta que punto las relaciones personales entre los grandes magnates de las empresas más punteras influyen en cómo se desarrolla la tecnología y, por ende, el mundo que nos rodea.
Si me tengo que quedar con una sola razón por la que merezca la pena leer este libro, sin embargo, no sería nada relacionado directamente con la tecnología, la innovación, la gestión empresarial o con sus famosos desaires y discusiones. Creo que lo más interesante de su biografía es ver su proceso de aprendizaje. Cómo supo evolucionar, limar sus asperezas y defectos -aunque nunca desaparecieron del todo, claro- y sacar el mejor partido posible de sus grandezas. Cómo aprendió, gracias en parte a Ed Catmull, a tratar a las personas, a entender las sutiles y complejas relaciones humanas. Cómo no permitió que nada de esto afectase a su familia y cómo supo separar ambas áreas de su vida. Y por cómo supo encajar y aprender de sus grandes y llamativos errores, de sus tremendos y públicos batacazos. Nadie nace siendo grande, decide -con enorme y a veces desmesurado esfuerzo- superar y aprender de cada caída y de cada fallo.
The Four Trials of Henry Ford
The Four Trials of Henry Ford
The Four Trials of Henry Ford is a great book, not only because of its fast-paced narrative but because it will appeal to readers with a wide variety of interests. In its essence, it is good story-telling. However, because it is also true, it adds considerably to our understanding of Henry Ford the man as well as to the development of the Ford Motor Company and the beginnings of the auto industry as a whole. This book will be of interest to history buffs, biography readers, auto enthusiasts, attorneys and others who appreciate the drama inherent in the ups and downs of historically significant trials. As an attorney using original source materials such as pleadings, briefs and trial and hearing transcripts, the author provides us with the kind of compelling detail that brings the four trials to life. We feel that we are present in the courtroom. Most importantly, this is an essential book for those who have always had a general sense of Henry Ford as an American icon and hero. Here, the reader may find that Mr. Ford's shocking ignorance and bigotry make him more of a tragic figure than one to be emulated. And in showing how these failings become amplified by the man's increasing wealth and influence, the author provides us with an object lesson that is as relevant as today's headlines.
Aretha Live at Filmore West
Aretha Live at Filmore West
I am not usually a fan of 'LIVE' recordings, but every now and then, a force of life like Aretha Franklin comes along. These times are few and far between.This album makes you wish you were there, especially after she 'disvovers' Ray Charles in the audience!
Bob Dylan: I Was There 1958-1969
Bob Dylan: I Was There 1958-1969
Bob Dylan: I Was There 1958-1969 by Neil Cossar. Rated undefined out of 5 stars, with null ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the 'bob dylan' category.
A Tribute To Bob Dylan In The 80s: Volume 1 [2 LP]
A Tribute To Bob Dylan In The 80s: Volume 1 [2 LP]
I am not a fan of these tribute albums but this one deserves high praise. Instead of semi-famous people murdering the famous Dylan songs here we have some lesser known artists getting stuck in to lesser known songs. The one exception to that rule is Slash's version of Wiggle Wiggle, it is not only an affront to the ears but totally out of character with what is actually a really solid album.

The highlights for me are Brownsville Girl (reprise), Series of Dreams and the acoustic version of Every Grain of Sand; all are affectionate homages to the original songs and they all sound great to my ears. They are obviously not as good as the originals and I do get the urge to listen to Dylan's versions when i play this cd...but that that is not a bad thing, i have never heard anyone other than Dylan do these songs so it is useful to have a different take on them.

As you can see from the selection of songs this cd is really aimed at the Dylan connoisseur, half the songs have never had an official release so the little in joke line-changes that are occasionally inserted will pass over your head if you have not heard the song.

Having said that the versions are of such a high quality and have such a nice modern sound that this could be a good starting point for anyone who is not familiar with Dylan's 80s stuff.

Finally the profits all go to charity too so if you have bothered reading this far you might as well go ahead and order it- there is a moment during the acoustic Every Grain of Sand when the guy takes the trouble to reproduce the noise of a dog barking (from the Bootleg 3 version) with just his keyboard- that is almost worth buying the album for on its own!
NSQTBA Womens Basic V Neck T Shirts Rolled Short Sleeve Summer Casual Tops with Pocket S-2XL
NSQTBA Womens Basic V Neck T Shirts Rolled Short Sleeve Summer Casual Tops with Pocket S-2XL
Just received my order of 2 shirts (Colbalt blue & aqua). Both are beautiful bright colors. They are sooo comfortable. I ordered a size bigger so its flowy like the model pictured and it was perfect. I am heavy busted & thick and this shirt was still flattering and did not make me look heavier. The material quality is great. Definitely feels like it could last. Also, thick enough so my bra doesn’t show.
WOLVERINE Men's Overpass 10" Composite Toe Waterproof Work Boot
WOLVERINE Men's Overpass 10" Composite Toe Waterproof Work Boot
These boots have been my “go to” boots for years, in fact this was my third purchase of this pair and the first 2 were the best boots I have ever had.

That being said - this pair was an exception. The fit and finish was as good as it can get and is what I have come to expect from Wolverine but after a few weeks of wear I noticed something felt off. We live and work a small family farm and my daily life is very demanding on footwear but these boots have always dealt with it until this pair. After 5 weeks of use the soles were disintegrating, so much so that I could see the inside of a boot through the sole of the heel.

I took several pictures immediately and contacted Wolverine even though I was not too hopeful. I received a reply within a couple days simply asking for more pictures of specific areas of the soles, I sent them within an hour of the request. About 3 days later I received an e-mail from Wolverine apologizing for the issue and they sent me a complete refund.

So while this review is on a bad pair of boots - I still consider this a positive review. The way they handled my issue was exactly what I would want any Company to do AND they are truly great boots. I am wearing a new pair as I type this. Customer service can not get better than this.
Avengers 1-4 Complete Boxset [Blu-ray] [2019] [Region Free]
Avengers 1-4 Complete Boxset [Blu-ray] [2019] [Region Free]
In these days of streaming video, one may wonder - why buy Blu Ray discs? The cost of one disc/movie more than exceeds cost of one month of streaming and one can watch as many streaming movies as one likes. If one thought like that, one is right in a way but completely wrong also.

First of all, the quality is so much better. All FHD/4K is not equal. Steaming service and cable TV optimize on bandwidth by reducing the sampling bit rate. It may not be apparent on the phone, tablet or a small sub-40" TV sitting 8 feet away. But on a large screen, the loss of quality is noticeable - or at least I can notice it.

Secondly, the sound quality too matters. Streaming and cable services do not provide 7.1 channel lossless audio such as DTS HD MA. I love DTS and it is never available on streams/cable. Makes a huge difference with an HT system. Thirdly, it may be a while before a new movie appears on streaming service or cable. Finally, the Blu-Ray has so much extra content. For instance, this pack, on its first disc - The Avengers (Avengers Assemble in UK) - it has a short film called "Item 47" in the extra. It is a 5-10 minute clip. There are deleted scenes, alternate endings, director's commentary, and so on.

Overall, Blu-Ray is worth it - for people like me at least.
14” Pizza Cutter by Kitchenstar | Sharp Stainless Steel Slicer Knife - Rocker Style w Blade Cover | Chop and Slices Perfect Portions + Dishwasher Safe – Premium Pizza Oven Accessories
14” Pizza Cutter by Kitchenstar | Sharp Stainless Steel Slicer Knife - Rocker Style w Blade Cover | Chop and Slices Perfect Portions + Dishwasher Safe – Premium Pizza Oven Accessories
Works perfectly!

The only drawback I've seen with this pizza cutter is my 14 year old son enjoys using it so much all of our other pizza cutters are getting no work. Seriously, I think the others must be dealing with depression because since this was delivered they just lay there in the drawer.

This 14" pizza cutter cleanly slices through a freezer pizza or piece of toast or even a sandwich in one quick press.

We have tried to branch out on ideas of things to cut but honestly who can resist pizza? You might find yourself eating pizza too often just so you can use this pizza knife. If this happens to you there are many things you can do including making calazones, submarine sandwiches, toast, pancakes, waffles, maple bars, bagles, and if you are really wanting to use your 14" pizza cutter on something a bit more health conscious you can use it to make yourself a chopped salad (though, if you are using yours on vegetables you should know it doesn't work well on tomatoes).

Seriously, this is a great pizza cutter and my son loves to use it to chop through a pizza pie in one quick crunch like they do in a pizzeria. I guess it makes him feel like a professional pizza cutter..... I really hope he grows up to have higher aspirations!
NEOVIVID Thoreau's Go Confidently Quote Engraved Compass with Stamped Leather case, Camping Compass, Boating Compass, Gift Compass, Graduation Day Gifts
NEOVIVID Thoreau's Go Confidently Quote Engraved Compass with Stamped Leather case, Camping Compass, Boating Compass, Gift Compass, Graduation Day Gifts
Great craftsmanship. I was very impressed by this compass and its quality build. It has a nice weight to it and is made of a dense material that feels high quality. The compass itself functions well.

As a gift, it is a very impressive piece. The quote was a huge hit with the recipient and it will be a great keepsake for years to come. I however was not a big fan of the leather pouch and chose not to include it with the compass when gifted. The pouch itself is a nice leather, but I do not like the brand name embossed into the leather as I think it takes away from the clean, high quality of the entire package.

I highly recommend!
The Confession (Fear Street, No. 38)
The Confession (Fear Street, No. 38)
I liked it. But i didn't love it. R.L.stine has done better. I suggest "the halloween party" if you want to see a good book. the goosebump books are really good too. This book was predictable and boring. UNEVENTFUL throughout most of the book. The good parts were here and there, there was some good parts. But i have read better from R.L. Stine and this is not one of his best. Don't let the awsome cover decive you.
Captivated: The Donovan Legacy
Captivated: The Donovan Legacy
This was a reread for me. I really like this book. It is the first in a series about the Donovan Cousins that were born each with different magical powers. Their family is magical going back many generations.

This is Morgana's story. She is the witch in the family who specializes in spells and magic. She owns a shop called Wicca that sells crystals,lotions and bath salts along with other magic tools.

Nash Kirkland is a sci-fi, horror movie writer and seeks out the infamous witch to help with the research for his next screenplay. He doesn't believe she really has powers and she isn't out to prove herself.

This is a fun fantasy filled tale. It is fun to watch him realize her power is real and to watch them fall in love. Like all good romances they have their obstacles to overcome. A Very enjoyable read.

You'll want to read the next three stories starring Morgana's cousins.
Search for Love
Search for Love
Serenity has just lost her parents, but receives an unexpected letter from her mothers' mother whom she knew nothing about. She visits her grandmother and her mother's childhood home at the family's Brittany Estate. At first, her grandmother is rude and makes accusations about her father being a thief. Serenity defends her father vowing to find the truth. While at the Estate, she also meets Christophe, who is formally polite, brooding, arrogant, annoying insufferable and conceited, and yet she is drawn to him and cannot understand why. Christophe has similar views about Serenity and he knows that Serenity's grandmother wants them to wed. While searching for a way to prove her father's innocence, she fights her feeling for Christophe and his domineering, bossy attitude. To say the sparks fly is an exaggeration. Two fiery tempers, a strong attraction. A classic Nora romance with two unforgettable characters.
Trouble Shooter: A Novel
Trouble Shooter: A Novel
I'm a huge fan of the late Louis L'Amour and have bought and read 24 of his westerns, 3 short story collections, his sci fi Haunted Mesa, The Last of the Breed, Lonesome Gods, Walking Drum and his first book of poems...Smoke from This Altar. INMO one of America's greatest authors and not just a Western writer but much more. L'Amour the only author to receive the Congressional Gold Medal and The Presidential Medal of freedom by President Reagan.

The originator of the classic Western hero Hopalong Cassidy was Clarence E. Mulford. When he retired he passed the torch to the younger Louis L'Amour to write Hopalong Cassidy novels. L'Amour wrote 4 in the series...all best sellers.

Trouble Shooter is great. Hopalong Cassidy saves a man from being dry gulched and takes an interest for a young lady losing her ranch and it "disappearing". He is able to temporarily disguise himself with the name Cameron as he wanted no trouble as he is extremely fast with a gun. We see him and others teeming up to gather cattle that got loose in bad prickly cactus and thorny trees for an evil rancher Tredway. Tredway is actually a wanted outlaw that has killed at least 11 men or more...many in the back. Also the lust 3 outlaws had for $60,000 in gold and two of them murdered. Lots of beautiful scenery description and a great plot in this book. Lots of fighting, gun fighting, cattle collecting, lots of murders, double crossing and "Frontier Justice" given out. Cassidy uses his brain a lot to get out of trouble , but when needed is very good with a gun.

This book is a Western Classic. No wonder it was a best seller. I liked it so much, I plan to buy the other 3 best sellers in the Louis L'Amour Hopalong Cassidy book series at used prices to read and add to our family library. If you like Westerns you will love Trouble Shooter. 5 stars.
Terror Keep
Terror Keep
This is a J. G. Reeder book, and while it's not a rigorously plotted piece of work (few Wallace books are) I liked it much better than the more famous volume, Wallace's collection of short stories THE MIND OF J. G. REEDER. Wallace was not really a mystery writer, per se, his books are not known for their elaborate plots or their fair play puzzles,

Wallace was a thriller writer, and this is really a thriller novel with some "classical detection" elements. In that way this book rather accurately presages modern crime fiction, which tends to have just this blending of action, suspense, and just some puzzles to keep you involved.

Reeder sends his assistant/sort of love interest away because his arch enemy has escaped from the criminal asylum -- but somehow where she's ended up is no better, and the two stories reconverge. Plot makes almost no sense (why did Reeder send his love interest to the one spot where she'd be in danger?, and the climax is ill-imagined, but I still liked this one. Reeder is much more appealing here than he is in the short stories -- he's actually a real character, and not just a knockoff of Sherlock Holmes -- the subsidiary characters are amusing, and there's a lot of fun little bits: Reeder waving a stick (? I forget) in front of him on a staircase while a cop looks on agog, Reeder operating under the worst crush a man has apparently ever felt for anyone, ever; Reeder staying up all night to beat an assasination attempt. And more.

Really more like three and a half stars. Not Wallace's finest moment, but worth a look and a good example of Wallace at his prime.
DRAGON BALL 2
DRAGON BALL 2
今では押しも押されぬ大ヒット作ですが、初期の作品を見ておりますとテスト的な要素もあったのではないかな、と感じられます。1〜2巻で一つの完結になっています。反響しだいで継続もあり、打ち切りもありという状況だったのではないかと思います。そういう意味で、やはりこの1〜2巻が原点、魅力が詰まったものになっているのではないでしょうか。そのせいか、非常にテンポよく物語が進みますし、練られたものであったように感じます。面白いです。
Astro Boy 1963 Volume 1
Astro Boy 1963 Volume 1
When I first saw the first 5 episodes I knew I had to have the remaining 26 episodes of the first vol. to see their unique Max Fleischer, early Disney look that Osama Tezuka established with his take on ASTROBOY! Astroboy has Betty Boop's eyes and Popeyes strength! If Betty Boop and Popeye had a Robot son it would be Astroboy! After I watched all the episodes after the first 5 that I watched earlier, I could see how the show's anime can hold up! Astroboy's adventures can stand the test of time because while other anime became slicker, Astroboy remained unique with it's Max Flischer view of the future in the year 2000!

In the first 5 episodes Astroboy is created by Dr. Boyton after a tragic car accident takes his own son's life! While Dr. Boyton brings Astroboy to life while playing Tocatta and Fugue on his equipment he is stymied by his robot son not growing an inch and refuses to accept him which leads to Astroboy's yearning to be like a real boy while defending the humans he has come to protect!

Much of the humor comes from sight gags whether it's the robots comically following themselves hand over foot (literally!) or Astroboy's pulling a starfish off his face and finding his face on the starfish before he puts it back on!(literally!) the gags have that Dave Flischer feel to them that keeps you from taking the adventure too seriously and Fred Ladd, the american producer, keeps the voices translation fresh and funny! For the most part the picture and sound quality is first rate! Only one episode early in the series with a robot named Colosses had any trouble with the sound, otherwise it was all first rate!

The Black and White episodes are clean and clear with a clear; crisp playback of sound and picture, well worth the price especially at $13.00 for a 1st season of episodes numbering 26 episodes! So get these episodes and I'll get the 2nd season to go with the first!
The Store
The Store
I've been a fan of James Patterson's writings since his first book. This, I'm, stuff cannot be written by JP*. If he truly wrote this drivel, then it's time for him to take a nice break...from writing!!

JP*, you're so busy helping other authors get established, for which you are to be commended, that your OWN material is suffering! Badly!

'The Store' is tired and boring. A lot of unnecessary characters. A storyline that's been over done. An ending you can see coming from miles away.

A Jacob writes a book and is turned down. He goes to the Store and is also turned down. Boo Hoo! Angry about it Jacob writes a "Tell All" 'bout the Store.

Store finds out and trouble ensues: they've got cameras/people/listening devices etc. everywhere! Scared, Jacob moves his to a new State/City. Stepford City to be exact. (BORING) From there it gets worse.
Skip this book or, go to the last two chapters and be done!

Stephen King, John Sandford, Dean Koontz, John Grisham, Sandra Brown, Mary Higgins Clark etc., I can't wait to read your new books! Why? Because I "know" they were written by you!!

JP*, it's time to Stop the Madness!
The Lake House (When the Wind Blows Book 2)
The Lake House (When the Wind Blows Book 2)
I read this book years ago in paper back but re-read it recently on Kindle.

Kindle version review: This is clearly an older book when you read it on Kindle - it doesn't have the navigation of the more recent books, books that were actually published with Kindle in mind. There is no table of contents. The typesetting is fine, the pagination is fine, it's just the navigation that presents problems.

Story review: I really like James Patterson. Even his mediocre stuff is still fun to read. This story definitely falls into that category, especially if you are reading it and When the Wind Blows in a fairly close span. That said, keeping in mind that this was written years (even decades?) later the repetitive nature of the stories is understandable. This story has some of its own fun parts (the robots, the clones) that are different from the fun parts of When The Wind Blows. I personally can forgive the author for wanting to revisit the bird kids. And there aren't a lot of situations in which they can be inserted. So the mimicry of the original story is partly due to audience demand to hear from them again, and they are still fun, after all, to paraphrase, who of us has never dreamt of flying?

So overall, it's a decent read. If you've read when the wind blows recently you may wish to wait some time before reading this, but otherwise it is totally worthwhile.
Gesammelte Werke, Bd.52, Die Pyramide des Sonnengottes
Gesammelte Werke, Bd.52, Die Pyramide des Sonnengottes
Es handelt sich hier um eine sechsteilige Reihe, um eine Umgestaltung eines Kolportageromans Karl Mays: "Das Waldroeschen". Die sechsteilige Reihe umfasst: a) "Schloss Rodriganda" (Band 51) b) "Die Pyramide des Sonnengottes" (Band 52) c) "Benito Juarez", (Band 53) d) "Trapper Geierschnable" (Band 54), e) "Der sterbende Kaiser" (Band 55) und f) "Die Kinder des Herzogs" (Band 77). Bis jetzt habe ich nur die beiden ersten Romane gelesen und kann sie wirklich sehr empfehlen. Ich bin von der Handlung (die in Spanien, Mexiko und Deutschland spielt), und ganz besonders von der positiven Romanfigur "Dr. Sternau" sehr beeindruckt. (In Karl May Romanen sind gewoehnlich die guten von den boesen Darstellern deutlich abgegrenzt). Was ich jedoch etwas beanstande, ist das Fehlen von Zeichnungen. Wenn Karl May Romane ca. 10 Zeichnungen beinhalten wuerden, waere es meiner Ansicht nach noch interessanter; man koennte z. B. Dr. Sternaus oder Rosetas Aussehen genau betrachten. Was die Qualitaet der Buecher anbelangt, so musste ich zu meinem Bedauern feststellen, dass das Papier mit der Zeit leider vergilbt, fast braun wird, und der auessere Goldrand wird ganz matt und glaenzt nich mehr. Auch finde ich den Preis 19,90 Euro ein bisschen zu hoch. (Als ich 1989 anfing Karl May zu lesen, kosteten die Buecher nur 17,80 DM, also umgerechnet knapp 9 Euro).
Baby-Sitters Little Sister Series, Books #1 to #24 (Set of 24 Books)
Baby-Sitters Little Sister Series, Books #1 to #24 (Set of 24 Books)
As a homeschool parent, I was always on the lookout for the next book or book series that would really get one of my kids reading. Of course, interests vary, so book choices need to be tailored to each individual child.

When my older daughter discovered The Baby-Sitters Club books, I knew I was onto something. I must have bought 100 of these books, all of which she devoured. She also reread many of them. At that age, anything that gets them reading and keeps them reading is a win. From that perspective, I can highly recommend these books.

My daughter loved them so much that she was never willing to part with them. She now teaches fourth grade … and took the books to her classroom!

One of the characters has Type I Diabetes. While I applaud inclusion of any character with a disability in children’s books, mistakes were made. We know this because my younger daughter has Type I Diabetes. But even that proved educational because we discussed the diabetes situations as they arose.
The Dwelling Place
The Dwelling Place
Although this novel is very much a Cinderella story, this characterization somehow diminishes it's importance. The book spans most of Cissie's life, a young girl, born into poverty who loses her parents unexpectedly and is left to fend for herself and her nine siblings. It is Dickensian England, those not fortunate to be born into privilege, are born into poverty. Cissy is determined, strong, indefatigable and ultimately triumphant. She will keep her family together against all odds. And boy, are there odds.

I enjoyed this book, however it was not an easy read and by that I don't mean the writing, I mean the reality of life in that era-- Man's inhumanity to man. The poor seen as inhuman, wild, mistreated and easily exploited. Such lack of empathy is hard to fathom, and hard to understand, nonetheless it is historically accurate.

This book is written in a regional English dialect, and so therefore sentence structure and expressions may seem a bit odd to an American ear. Do not be off put by this, unfamiliar words, expressions, and idioms are certainly understandable in context. It is a very good book well worth your time, but it's scope is expansive. This is not "a year in the life, " it is epic, spanning many, many years, and while it never faltered in it's ability to keep my attention and interest, there are moments when I thought. "Oh...this is going to take some time to get from here to there." If you're not up to it, and just looking for a quick entertaining page turner, this may not be the right book for you.
The Hit (Will Robie Book 2)
The Hit (Will Robie Book 2)
There can be little argument that David Baldacci writes a good story and in Will Robie he has another American government sponsored assassin running alongside Mitch Rapp and well, there are too many to mention in a short review. The story, too, follows familiar lines - people at the top of various government agencies tending to believe they are better than their peers, organising the elimination of others who get in their way or threaten the American way of life.

They send in the likes of Robie to mete out justice, as they see it so when another of their official killers begins to target a few of their agency staff without authorisation, events take a turn for the worse. Robie is sent to deal with Jessica Reel, the other assassin taking the law into her own hands.

From this point, there is plenty of action. Robie has a job to stay alive and Reel has a list of people she wants to kill, now adding Robie to it.

But, of course, all is not what it seems. CIA, FBI, MOD, Homeland Security, there's hardly an agency which is not trying to outdo the other. This is where the book falls short. There are so many different groupings involved that the author spends far too much time explaining why this man or that can or cannot do this or that, mostly through the thoughts of Robie or Reel. This is irritating and repetitive, it slows down the action which when it arrives is always packing a punch. Baldacci scores very well here. You find yourself turning pages at great speed but then come more thoughts on the whys and wherefores.

Not unnaturally for these hard-nosed characters, they have their weaknesses. Events of the past, wrong turnings taken though fortunately in this pair, no alcoholism or bad marriages. Inevitably, too, the pair are drawn together as it becomes clear that all is very unclear, that somebody somewhere is pulling strings that shouldn't be pulled.

It's not hard to see why government malfunctions when this crowd is involved. But, thankfully, Robie and Reel gradually get to the root cause and in a finale which, frankly, is rather a let down. There's the usual denouement but it's all set out as if the author had reached the required number of words, so thought of a quick ending and put down his pen.

There's enough in this book to enjoy and enough to see if Robie stays the course for later appearances. Keep watching.
Mr. Tickle (Mr. Men and Little Miss)
Mr. Tickle (Mr. Men and Little Miss)
Imagine if you could sit in bed and with your arm, reach out the door, down the stairs and into the refrigerator to take out a cookie! Mr. Tickle can! In some ways, Mr. Tickle is a nuisance as his long arms get everywhere. Yes it is funny when we tickles the teacher in school but not so funny when he tickles the greengrocer, causing the apples to spill or tickles the station master causing the train to be late.

Mr. Tickle never apologizes, just goes on his way to see who will be his next 'victim'. At the end of the day he goes home and laughs as he remembers who he has tickled.

A good conversation starter to see if you children can see how Mr. Tickle could behave a little better. Nothing wrong with tickling but is it sometimes inappropriate?!
Last Night at Tremore Beach
Last Night at Tremore Beach
Peter Harper was a famous pianist but following his distress after his marriage break up he failed to find inspiration to write any more music and moved to an isolated beach side rented cottage in Ireland.

His nearest neighbours Leo and Marie become good friends and his life there is very tranquil.

All this changes on the night he visits Leo and Marie for an evening meal and gets caught up in an horrendous storm on his way back to his cottage.

Peter is struck by lightning and as he recovers from this, he suffers some terrible, frightening nightmares which seem absolutely real to him as he experiences them and they seem to predict something terrible is going to happen both to him, his neighbours and the girl he forms a relationship.

For anyone who liked Stephen King's earlier works, this seems to fit the same category. It has hints of the supernatural along with a cracking storyline which keeps the reader hooked and trying to guess if Peter is slowly going mad, or having a nervous breakdown, or if these nightmares are a vision of things to come.

All the characters are believable and make the reader feel they know them.

I've not come across the author, Mikel Santiago, before but if this book is a hint of further reads to come, I need to find more books by Mikel.
Groovy Harry Potter Backpack Hogwarts Express 9 3/4 Borse
Groovy Harry Potter Backpack Hogwarts Express 9 3/4 Borse
My son loved the bag. But unfortunately the two zips broke off during the first time he used it. Have returned to Amazon and shall purchase another one and hope the same thing doesn’t happen again. Great bag maybe I was just unfortunate to purchase a faulty one.
Ata-Boy Harry Potter Hufflepuff House Crest Officially Licensed Patch, Pin and More!
Ata-Boy Harry Potter Hufflepuff House Crest Officially Licensed Patch, Pin and More!
It came and was loose in the plastic package, no longer stuck on the paper backing for the package (the logo that says Harry Potter) when I ripped off the Cellophane.. I realized the back of the patch was rough, this patch was already used on fabric .. ripped off and returned . The glue was already melted and you can see fuzz from the former piece of fabric. Due to Xmas almost being here I don’t have time to send it back and and get a new one for the present I’m making. Having to hand sew it on instead 😑
Magic Destiny (Half-Blood Hunter)
Magic Destiny (Half-Blood Hunter)
Needs a better editor. Typos (or perhaps just inadequate knowledge of spelling, but I'm hoping for typos) are pretty prevalent. Improper use of commas and bad (choppy) flow of thoughts. It reads more like someone trying to describe scenes in a videogame than someone doing actual world building of their own.

All of that said, it has potential if someone could clean it up and smooth it out.
Bride's Farewell
Bride's Farewell
I loved this book, and I can't help feeling that some of the people who've given it bad reviews are missing the point. This is a thought-provoking and refreshingly honest read, with clever observations about many things, including human nature. And there are morals to be drawn, if you like morals. For instance (without wanting to give the story away) when Pell goes home she realises a few things about her quest for freedom, and when she finally finds her horse her decision is unexpected and admirable.
As a farmer and country-dweller who loves horses and dogs, this book was a breath of fresh air because the dogs and horses actually behave like real dogs and horses. Also, things like hunting and poaching are portrayed as an integral part of country life - neither particularly wicked nor particularly romantic (although the poacher is pretty romantic if you like the tough, silent type).
I've always been fascinated by Romanies, and for some time I owned a vardo, so I enjoyed the Romany angle to the story too.
The ending fitted perfectly, although I didn't want the book to end.
All in all, this is a brilliantly written, subtle story that gets under your skin and makes you wonder about all sorts of things. I'm now going to go and read Meg Rosoff's other books.
Ring Spotlight Cam Mount (Black) with Echo Show 5 (Charcoal)
Ring Spotlight Cam Mount (Black) with Echo Show 5 (Charcoal)
When the Ring Pro camera sees the EERO Pro mesh router (likely at full strength), it will ask for your Wi-Fi password during set up and unfortunately, after you ENTER IT PROPERLY, it does not connect?!? The Ring Pro camera "thinks" you have entered the wrong password, via their app setup, when...THAT IS NOT THE CASE. Then the camera goes from a flashing blue light to a flashing red light...BAD! Ring Tech told me to return the camera because they too thought it was defective.

After I got my replacement camera, the same thing happened again. I was pulling my hair out. To verify the Ring Pro camera was working properly, I temporarily hooked the camera to my iPad hot spot and it logged on and worked perfectly! So, I eliminated that the camera was defective itself.

What happens is that the EERO Pro mesh system is trying to connect via 5.2 or 5.8 Ghz ONLY!! The Ring Pro camera only operates at 2.4., even though EERO Pro does operate at 2.4 GHz. The mesh system did NOT want to change because the signal strength to the unit was "excellent" as it was less than 25 feet away from one of the EERO pods.

This time, I walked my iPhone (with the app) about a good 75-80 feet away from the EERO PRO mesh system to "force" the EERO to switch down to the 2.4 GHz band, before entering my Wi-Fi password...and THEN IT WORKED!

Again...take your phone, with the Ring app, and walk a good distance AWAY from the EERO Pro mesh system to FORCE IT to connect at 2.4 GHz!! Ring support did not know about this. EERO support was baffled. But now they both know! Do this or you will want to return this camera. Now it works great!
Clear Crystal Oak Magic Wand
Clear Crystal Oak Magic Wand
When I ordered this wand I was worried that for the price I was paying I was going to end up with a poor quality junkie little item. But I was completely wrong this wand is exactly like it is pictured it is a beautiful wand, amazing quality and a true work of art. I absolutely love this wand.
Samsung Electronics Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G Factory Unlocked Android Cell Phone, US Version, 128GB of Storage, Mobile Gaming Smartphone, Long-Lasting Battery, Mystic Bronze
Samsung Electronics Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G Factory Unlocked Android Cell Phone, US Version, 128GB of Storage, Mobile Gaming Smartphone, Long-Lasting Battery, Mystic Bronze
To preface this, I am being forced to purchase a new device as all US networks are apparently no longer supporting Huawei devices in the very near future. I decided to give the Note a try as it seemed that it would keep up with my daily usage for work and I've always desired having the S pen.

I've been using this phone for a few days now and it is soooooo slow. Apps and Google searches take way too long to load. Hotspot is just downright awful. Battery life is sub par. Fast charging is much slower than what I had. Camera doesn't quite compare to my old phone's Leica camera, which I figured it wouldn't. Not sure what kind of scam this is but I'm definitely returning it. Also didn't come with earbuds or the phone clone connector. Don't get me wrong, the phone looks great. The S pen was everything I was hoping for. The screen is spectacular and super bright. The 120hz refresh rate was cool for maybe the first 10 sec, then I realized it was a pretty worthless feature. Scrolling to the end of long page in a few seconds does me no good when I'm trying to read posts or search for information on that page.

I went to AT&T to get my phone diagnosed. He tested it against his Note 20 Ultra and his phone ended up being twice as fast as mine running the same speed test, on the same network, on the same unlimited plan... all after my device took an additional 10-15 sec to connect before even starting the test.

My advice, don't waste your money. Just because Samsung markets like crazy doesn't mean their phones are any good. For a flagship device and the price point, this phone falls well short of being worth it. I came from a two year old Huawei Mate 20 Pro and it's sad that Samsung can't make a phone that is able to compete with it. Not what I expected for my first Note phone. I've never been a Samsung hater by any means, but this experience just solidifies my previous viewpoint to never buy a Samsung device. Won't make that mistake again.

Update:
I made that mistake again... In my defense, I was hoping this was an isolated incident or just a simple case of a bad device. I ordered another unlocked Note 20 Ultra from Best Busy to compare. Unfortunately for me, it was not. That device had all the same issues. Slow network speeds with AT&T (I live in a major city so this shouldn't happen, period). This phone also didn't come with earbuds so it seems like Samsung is just getting cheap on consumers.

I tried swapping the SIM card with my girlfriend's S20 and it still didn't work. All calls were sent directly to voicemail and text messages were very hit or miss. AT&T had no idea, but I'm sure it was out of the hourly employees realm to troubleshoot. I had to switch back to my Huawei Mate 20 Pro. After 10 min or so I got a couple delayed text messages that were sent days ago in response to a text I originally sent from the Note 20 Ultra. SMH...

I'm just downright confused at this point. Not sure whether it's an issue with the device or with the 5G network, or both. You also can't change which network bands you want to use, ie. turn 5G off. You can only toggle 2G on and off. My buddy has full control with his Note 10+ which is really mind boggling. Either way, both phones have been returned.

I'm self-employed and my phone is my lifeline. I don't have time to play these games or wait for Samsung to release an update. Such a shame because I really wanted to like this phone and I loved the S pen so far. Samsung just has a history of not being able to meet my expectations. The even bigger shame is that I can't upgrade to better Huawei device...
Japan: The Cookbook
Japan: The Cookbook
Rarely do I write reviews, but this book deserves all the stars I can give it. I collect cookbooks, and whenever Phaidon releases a new one, I automatically purchase it. Although the books are always beautifully presented, the quality of the recipes can vary, and some of the books have practically no recipe notes at all (squinting at you, VEGAN).

Fortunately for me, this cookbook checks all of my boxes. The presentation is gorgeous, with full-color photographs accompany every two or three recipes. Furthermore, there is a LOT of information about ingredients, preparation methods, meal presentation and cooking/serving equipment. You can really learn a lot just by paging through this volume, which is one of the most important qualities I look for in a cookbook.

I would also note that this book is bound in such a way that it stays open on a cookbook stand, which is a huge help. It's a sizable tome, but not so thick that it won't fit in my stand. That may not be important to some, but it's nice to be able to use a cookbook without scraping up the bottoms of the pages as you wrestle the thing into your cookbook holder.

So, final verdict: BUY IT. ::)
Your Museum Needs a Podcast: A Step-By-Step Guide to Podcasting on a Budget for Museums, History Organizations, and Cultural Nonprofits
Your Museum Needs a Podcast: A Step-By-Step Guide to Podcasting on a Budget for Museums, History Organizations, and Cultural Nonprofits
Exactly as promised, this is a concise, crystal clear guide written with verve and very much in a coaching tone. More than that, it's written with empathy. The author went through hundreds of hours of trial and error in creating her own podcast, and wants to save others the time of figuring out their next steps. She has interviewed lots of other experts, analyzed lots of podcats of all types, and has written a book that will get readers started right away in finding their own niche for their museum- or historic-site-based production.

I was curious enough to start the book expecting to quickly shelve it for reference later, on that "someday" when I might start thinking about a podcast. But I was hooked after the first chapter, as curious about the author's telling of her own learning process in creating her "Museums in Strange Places" podcast as I was about what it would take to create my own. It's a quick read that covers a lot of specific details and very practical advice. She covers everything from how to find a strategic niche for a podcast to how to pitch it to a board of directors, how to name a podcast to what kind of microphone and editing software to use, to various ways of constructing a script and reading it, to marketing tactics you might consider. "Here are the options," she seems to say; "These are most practical, and I'll save you time by letting you know that this is what I did and here's why it was a good or bad decision." Oftentimes she's able to give examples of current podcasts that you can refer to in order to hear what a choice of microphone or production technique will result in, or how a specific marketing technique plays out. And always she makes it feel concrete and personal by referring to her own experience:

"...with hard floors and tall ceilings and nowhere to set up a permanent recording space, so before I upgraded to the collapsible sound shield, I would open my wardrobe, hang a blanket over the doors, and use a scissor boom arm stand to hold the microphone in front of hanging clothes while recording my scripts. I’m not saying this is a perfect setup, but it did the job, and my sound came out pretty good." (p.36)

Or... "Also, watch out for wind. When I was recording ... wind was the single biggest reason for unusable audio. If you must record outdoors in a windy location, try to get behind something that will keep the wind from hitting your mic directly or use your body as a windbreak." (p.37)

Or..."You can also try reading the script in a few funny voices or accents in order to get out of your own head." (p.53)

A truly enjoyable reading experience, "Your Museum Needs a Podcast" is a one-on-one workshop with a dynamic instructor that you can keep on your bookshelf to consult anytime.
Mastery Mart Shredded Memory Foam Pillow, Removable Bamboo Pillowcase, Adjustable Orthopedic Pillow, Hypoallergenic for Stomach, Neck& Side Sleeper, Anti Snore Pillow (King size)
Mastery Mart Shredded Memory Foam Pillow, Removable Bamboo Pillowcase, Adjustable Orthopedic Pillow, Hypoallergenic for Stomach, Neck& Side Sleeper, Anti Snore Pillow (King size)
This is my first ever shredded memory foam pillow and I like it. I REALLY couldn't get on with the Panda pillow I ordered about a year ago (that was a solid block of memory foam) and I was having trouble finding a brand of pillow that was the right height for me (they seemed either too puffy or too flat).

I liked the idea of shredded foam as I guessed I could take some out or move it around until I was happy.

When it arrived, as many other reviews have said, it was very flat. Once you break open the vacuum though it'll quickly begin to expand. Still, I would recommend that after about 10-30 minutes you unzip the inner pillow case and just start tearing apart any memory foam that has become stuck together as a result of the vacuum. For me, the pillow then doubled in size and it was about perfect (it looks massive in the photo, but it really isn't that big - ha).

I didn't have to take any memory foam out myself (I see that others have). I usually sleep with two pillows, but this single pillow is now right for me. I didn't put a pillow case on it as it comes with one (although it's not the best looking - see photo). The reason I didn't is because the pillow is too large for most that I have and it ends up compacting it, ruining the comfort of it. I think I'll need to order a larger pillow case to resolve this - although the one it came with is fine for now.

As I had hoped, the shredded foam means that you can easily adjust the shape of the pillow and the angle of the stuffing to get that 'head on a cloud' feeling. That being said, it's still a pretty firm pillow - so you won't feel like your head has sunk into it like you do with some pillows.

Overall, I'm fairly impressed with this pillow and it seems to be well priced compared to other memory foam pillows (although expensive compared to standard ones from Asda, etc).

I still don't think I can claim to have found 'the best pillow ever', but I'm happy to take this one as a stop on the journey! :D
[2 Pack] CTYBB Cases Compatible with iPhone 12 Pro Max, 6.7 inch, Anti-Yellowing, Military Grade Protective Cases, Clear + Clear
[2 Pack] CTYBB Cases Compatible with iPhone 12 Pro Max, 6.7 inch, Anti-Yellowing, Military Grade Protective Cases, Clear + Clear
I always tend to opt for transparent cases to enjoy the aesthetics of my phone and this case is exactly what I was looking for. Fits the new iphone 12 pro max really well with accurate cut outs for the charging port and camera. It’s light weight yet solidly built and it seems like it’d be able to withstand a moderate drop. It also resists fingerprints and dirt pretty well which is always something I worry about with transparent cases. For the price it’s a really good value especially considering you get two of them!
The Umbrella Academy: Dallas
The Umbrella Academy: Dallas
Watched the Netflix show and thought I’d check out the book to see how things stacked up. There are similarities between show and the books but the feel is very different. I thought the books focused more on the team and being superheroes whereas the show was more focused on each character and their development. Both are good but if you’re expecting the same, exact storylines between medium, you might be disappointed. The art is very cool and the style is familiar but special. I bought all three books at the same time and found the price for what I received very reasonable. It’s a fun read!
TP-Link AC1200 WiFi Router (Archer A5) - Dual Band Wireless Internet Router, 4 x 10/100 Mbps Fast Ethernet Ports, Supports Guest WiFi, Access Point Mode, IPv6 and Parental Controls
TP-Link AC1200 WiFi Router (Archer A5) - Dual Band Wireless Internet Router, 4 x 10/100 Mbps Fast Ethernet Ports, Supports Guest WiFi, Access Point Mode, IPv6 and Parental Controls
In the past, I have configured other routers successfully as access points. The TP-Link AC 1200 doesn’t allow you to access the router setup page if you have a modem-router combo gateway, but always defaults to the gateway IP. And there is no way that I found to temporarily bypass the gateway's router while configuring the new device.

Amazon's help agent had no specific knowledge of the TP-Link AC 1200 router in question, nor about how computer networks are configured in general. It is unfair to these employees and to customers to represent that they have strong skills in these areas. My call was a complete waste of time. The manufacturer's "chat help" was even worse. In all I wasted at least 4 hours dealing with these people.

The manufacturer's "Tether" app is supposed to make installation easy, but requires you to provide them with your email and password before you can sign in. This lack of security awareness and potential exposure to their marketing spam is unacceptable. The irony is that the router seems to be working perfectly on its default SSID and password, but using it that way exposes your network to any casual hacker.

Though I purchased new, it was obvious that this item had been previously returned to Amazon by another customer, as the packaging had been opened and there was handwriting on the instruction pamphlet. Shame on Amazon.

I will be returning this router.

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