Kensley Watson

Joined a year ago

Kensley's Favorites
Object-Oriented JavaScript
Object-Oriented JavaScript
Object-Oriented JavaScript by Stoyan Stefanov. Rated 4.3 out of 5 stars, with 51 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the javascript category.
Baby Loves Coding! (Baby Loves Science)
Baby Loves Coding! (Baby Loves Science)
Baby Loves Coding! (Baby Loves Science) by Ruth Spiro and Irene Chan. Rated 4.4 out of 5 stars, with 151 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the javascript category.
Javascript Concepts: 1St Edition
Javascript Concepts: 1St Edition
Javascript Concepts: 1St Edition by Mohammed Ashequr Rahman. Rated 5 out of 5 stars, with 2 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the javascript category.
Harry Potter I La Cambra Secreta
Harry Potter I La Cambra Secreta
Harry Potter I La Cambra Secreta by J.K. Rowling. Rated undefined out of 5 stars, with undefined ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the J. K. Rowling category.
The Shining
The Shining
The Shining by Stephen King, Campbell Scott, et al.. Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars, with 6067 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Stephen King category.
American Nightmares
American Nightmares
American Nightmares by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa , Mike Perkins, et al.. Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars, with 22 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Stephen King category.
Learn Java GUI Applications: A JFC Swing Tutorial
Learn Java GUI Applications: A JFC Swing Tutorial
Learn Java GUI Applications: A JFC Swing Tutorial by Philip Conrod and Lou Tylee. Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars, with 5 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the 'Java programming' category.
Django Unleashed
Django Unleashed
Django Unleashed by Andrew Pinkham. Rated 4.1 out of 5 stars, with 40 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the 'Python programming' category.
Machine Learning: 3 Books in 1: Python Programming, Data Science, Computer Networking for Beginners. Master the Mathematics of Machine Learning & Applied Artificial Intelligence (Step-by-Step Guide)
Machine Learning: 3 Books in 1: Python Programming, Data Science, Computer Networking for Beginners. Master the Mathematics of Machine Learning & Applied Artificial Intelligence (Step-by-Step Guide)
Machine Learning: 3 Books in 1: Python Programming, Data Science, Computer Networking for Beginners. Master the Mathematics of Machine Learning & Applied Artificial Intelligence (Step-by-Step Guide) by Jason Callaway. Rated 4.3 out of 5 stars, with 16 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the 'Python programming' category.
Learning Predictive Analytics with Python
Learning Predictive Analytics with Python
Learning Predictive Analytics with Python by Ashish Kumar. Rated 3.1 out of 5 stars, with 11 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the 'Python programming' category.
Microsoft SQL Server 2017 on Linux
Microsoft SQL Server 2017 on Linux
Microsoft SQL Server 2017 on Linux by Benjamin Nevarez. Rated 5 out of 5 stars, with 5 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the 'SQL database' category.
Learning Base R
Learning Base R
Learning Base R by Lawrence Mark Leemis. Rated 3.6 out of 5 stars, with 5 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the R programming category.
Swift iOS 24-Hour Trainer
Swift iOS 24-Hour Trainer
Swift iOS 24-Hour Trainer by Abhishek Mishra. Rated 3.7 out of 5 stars, with 13 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Objective-C programming category.
Tv Guide May 16-22 1998 Julia Roberts
Tv Guide May 16-22 1998 Julia Roberts
Tv Guide May 16-22 1998 Julia Roberts by TV Guide. Rated undefined out of 5 stars, with undefined ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Julia programming category.
Information Wars: How We Lost the Global Battle Against Disinformation and What We Can Do About It
Information Wars: How We Lost the Global Battle Against Disinformation and What We Can Do About It
This is something of a mixed bag, on one hand, Stengel was there, in the State Dept, on the other hand his biases show through rather blatantly.
Yes, there are factoids interspersed throughout the book, yet those same biases seem to drive the narrative and 'explanations' of the factoids.

While some of what is stated appears relatively benign as regards how the biases are managed, mangled and manipulated, the Anti-Trump narrative remains thinly veiled throughout.

As a book on misinformation, this book seems to indulge itself in the same basic process and Russia Today might, or ISIS, or any of the Eurocentric media outlets would use to convey a point of view based on a preferred outcome.

While honestly presenting myself as a Conservative Constitutionalist rather than a member of a specific political party, it is glaringly apparent that Stengel also has a bias toward all things "Progressive" (in my opinion)

I will confess some of the presumptive factoids are interesting as regards how the State Dept is run, and the inner workings are compartmentalized, the overall 'feel' of the book is one of carefully orchestrated informational chatter. In that vein, the chatter being a way to sanitize the lack of progress made in discerning and confronting the disinformation campaigns from those responsible within the US State Dept.

As for the last two chapters of the book, I only see them as an Obama Administration apologia, with sideline sections excoriating the brashness and non-diplomatic bumbling of the soon to be POTUS Donald Trump.

At best, this book will either feed a Liberal bias, or it will cement a predisposition of Conservative bias in the aftermath of what some of us see as the disastrous presidency of the most inept and Anti-American President ever foisted off on America, i.e. Barack Hussein Obama.
The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail
The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail
The subject of this classic is disruptive technology.

With the help of many examples from industry (disk-drives being his main workhorse) the author explains what technologies are likely to disrupt, who is likely to be disrupted, why they are likely to be disrupted and what the choices are that the established players have when presented with disruption.

The most important point is that disruption generally comes from the practice of repackaging and marketing already existing, straightforward technology at a lower price point to a new customer base that is not economically viable for the established players.

For example, QuickBooks was marketed to mom-and-pop stores who could not afford to pay an accountant and it was the el-cheapo version of Quicken. It is of no use to a proper corporation. JC Bamford got started with hydraulic backhoes that were good enough for small contractors looking to dig a small ditch but wholly inadequate for the purposes of a miner. 5.25 inch disk drives were marketed to the nascent market for personal computers and were of no use to minicomputer manufacturers.

Disruptive technology is cheaper per unit, but its price / performance ratio is much worse than that of the established technology. It’s not good enough for the clients of the established players. Ergo it must be sold on its (lower) price alone, meaning that its purveyors must seek new markets. Flash memory, for example, was first used in cameras, pacemakers etc. Not in computers!

There is a large number of reasons that established players will frown upon the new technology:

1. Good companies listen to their clients. Their clients will tell them they don’t want it. They will demand performance and they will pay for performance.

2. Profitability will be lower in the lower-margin disruptive technology. Profit margins will typically mirror cost structures and will thus be higher for the higher-end product. Established players will in the short term make more money if they allocate their resources toward not falling behind their immediate competition for the higher-end product. (i.e. “sustaining” their competitive edge in the higher margin / higher tech market)

3. The processes used by the established players to sell and support the established technology may not be the right ones for the new tech.

The main thing to realize is that the technology does not live by itself. It is embedded in a “value network.” A car serves a commuter, a digger serves a mine, a disk drive is screwed down somewhere in a computer etc.

The seeds of disruption lie in the fact that the technology itself and its value network may not necessarily be progressing at the same speed.

If the technology is improving much faster than the trajectory of improvement of the “value network” (for example, if the desktop PC users demand extra disk storage slower than the industry is capable of delivering extra disk storage), then

1. The point comes when the value network of the established technology does not need the incremental improvements on which the established players are competing with one another to deliver.

2. More importantly, a point comes when the performance of the disruptive technology becomes good enough to be embedded in the value network of the established technology. So 3.5 inch disks developed for laptops can do good enough a job for a desktop, for example, without taking up the space required for a 5.25 inch disk.

It gets worse: sure, disruptive technology is deficient in terms of features / performance, but the price sensitive customers who do not care so much about performance often care a lot about reliability. (A small contractor who buys a single backhoe digger cannot afford a maintenance team.) Similarly, the unsophisticated customers of the disruptive technology may care a lot about ease of use. (Mom and pop using Quickbooks have no idea what double-entry book-keeping is!) What this means is that when the performance of the disruptive technology has become good enough for it to be embedded into the value network of the established technology, it often brings with it an advantage in reliability and ease of use.

So at that point the disruptive technology is cheaper, more reliable and easier to use than the established technology, all while delivering adequate performance.

And that’s how purveyors of the established technology (who have been at war with one another to deliver on the ever-increasing performance their customers have been demanding) find themselves at a disadvantage versus the disruptors when it comes to reliability and ease of use right about when their customers tell them they won’t pay for extra performance or features any more.

The disadvantage of the lower-tech disruptor has created an advantage and it’s game, set and match!

What’s an established player to do? If I’m running a super successful company and I spot a new technology what am I to do?

One thing I should not do is listen to my underlings. The dealers who sell my cars will not want a customer who just walked into the dealership to buy a V8 to drive out in a small electric car. The salespeople will keep asking me for the most expensive product because they will be paid a commission on their margin and will keep pushing me “north-east” on the price / performance chart. Resistance to disruptive technology often comes from the rank-and-file.

I also should not listen to my shareholders. Small markets (and all disruptive technology starts small) do not solve the growth problems of large companies.

First and foremost, I must understand that the challenge I face is a MARKETING challenge. The tech I’ve got covered. The resources too.

If my company’s processes and my company’s values (defined as “the standards by which employees make choices involving prioritization”) are aligned with the marketing challenge, I’m in luck: chances are that for my company this new technology will eventually become a “sustaining” technology.

I can get my wallet out and buy EARLY a couple of the new entrants. Early enough that my money is not buying process or values or culture, but merely assets/resources and ideally walking and talking resources (the founders) who will adopt the processes and values of my organization.

Alternatively, I can carve out some great people from my organization and:
1. Give them responsibility for the new technology and assign to them the task of identifying the customers for this new technology
2. Match the size of this new subdivision to the current size of the market.
3. Allow them to “discover” the size of the opportunity, rather than burden them with having to forecast it: “the ultimate uses or applications for disruptive technologies are unknowable in advance”
4. Let them fail small, as many times as necessary
That’s what IBM did when they ran their PC business out of Florida and what HP did when they realized ink jets would one day compete with laser printers!

If, on the other hand, my company’s processes or my company’s values are not aligned with the marketing challenge, then I need to buy a leader in the new technology, and have a finger in every pie. And I need to protect my acquired company from my organization. This is, obviously, a bigger challenge (and one my shareholders may not embrace, as their dollars are as good as mine, but the author stays away from this discussion!) As the succession in technologies plays out, I will then eliminate large parts of my current organization. The author cites an occasion on which this is exactly how things played out.

And there you have it! I think that’s the author’s answer to “The Innovator’s Dilemma”

Obviously, that’s a very quick sketch. You’ll have to buy the book to see the complete story (and to be convinced, I suppose). Be warned that in the interest of keeping the various chapters self-consistent you may find some repetition, but overall this is a very quick read.

I’m aware of people who really dislike Clayton Christensen. I’ve even come across a Twitter account that’s dedicated to trashing him. But I, for one, was convinced that he’s describing a valid concept with many applications.

Also, as a guy who established a disruptive business within an established player I totally experienced both the dismay of my superiors when they realized that “small markets don’t solve the problems of large organizations” and the discomfort of trying to shoehorn my project into the rather baroque established processes.

So I have lived through many of the steps the book describes and I reckon they are described very accurately. The research shows!
The War of Art
The War of Art
TLDR: This book is a written equivalent of Shia LeBeouf's "Just Do It" motivational speech - something that tries to be inspiring, but is cut with an undercurrent of crazy and unsupportable conjecture. It will resonate with some people and turn others off. Read on for a more detailed explanation.

The books is, roughly, divided into three sections: Resistance, Combating Resistance, and Beyond Resistance.

The first section was actually really good. It mostly got into what Resistance is - the counterforce to achievement - and the various ways it manifests itself. While not based on any sort of evidence or research, this section lays out an allegorical enemy worthy of an epic struggle.

The second section is mostly about how a professional behaves and how this behavior can overcome Resistance. The summary of this section is: show up, do the work, don't get distracted. This was the most prescriptive section of the book, but I'd say it leaned more towards inspiration than prescription. If someone complains that this book is "just common sense", it is probably this section they are referring to.

Emboldened by a couple solid sections, the author goes completely off the rails in the third. The book becomes very religious, espouses lousy pop psychology, and makes outlandish claims. If I were to sum this section up, I'd say the author puts forth the idea that the artist is a conduit for some sort of divine inspiration or work, made manifest through the benevolent intervention of angels. That might be slightly harsh summary, but not too far off the mark. He literally says "We were put here on earth to act as agents of the Infinite" and "The artist is the servant of that intention, those angels, that Muse." Okay, perhaps he's just being allegorical. Nope. When talking about the fruits of our labor, he says "That is to do the work and give it to Him. Do it as an offering to God."

Putting the religious aspects of section 3 aside, the rest of it is the worst kind of shoot-from-the-hip psychology. He does a deep dive into the Ego - ignoring the conventional definition and redefines it for his own purposes. He tries to draw a distinction between a hierarchical and territorial mode of thinking - unsuccessfully. He makes outlandish claims, like ignoring the authentic self may be the cause of cancer and embracing the self might be its cure. He, literally, says that becoming your authentic self could cure cancer. He goes on to explain how the colloquialisms for inebriation - stoned, smashed, hammered - are all referring to the destruction of the Ego in order to access the Self. There's no etymological basis for his statement. There isn't even any anecdotal evidence to support this. When speaking about the relationship between a mother and her child, he says "She knows it came out of her but not from her, through her but not of her." It's an interesting thought, but biologically incorrect. Lastly, he makes claims that are openly contrary. He says "Union and mutual assistance are the imperatives of life", but a few pages later says it would be incorrect to call friends for reassurance if you were feeling anxious. To me, this section felt like a mess and it ruined the book for me.

In summary, this book does not have any sort of authoritative voice on procrastination, productivity, or personal achievement. It is a snapshot of a specific artist's mental model of the creative struggle. If you are looking for some sort of cogent or practical insights, then you will be disappointed. If you would describe yourself as spiritual and, probably, believe that crystals have curative properties (no judgement), then this book will probably speak to you.
Survival
Survival
SURVIVAL is such a powerful and deeply lyrical album it blows the imagination! Next to EXODUS it's probably Bob's deepest and most profound release post the break up of the original lineup that included Peter & Bunny and that's saying something. His African Oneness and Rastafarian belief's comes through loud and clear with this album.

Critics and even some fans felt he had "gone soft" with the release of "Kaya" the year before this album. SURVIVAL quickly dispelled those rather ridiculous theories and is one of the most poetic and deeply profound albums ever to be released. It is chalked full of such powerful and heartfelt themes and truly takes several listens to grasp the full nature of what's being said.

This album affected me much the same way EXODUS did when I first heard it, such strong and moving lyrics and music compositions that hearkened back to classic smooth R&B/Soul rhythms that Marley and The Wailers grew up listening to and being marveled by. There was much controversy over the album cover which included all the major African Nations Flags which was one of the greatest displays of African Unity any artist had every openly portrayed up to that time with the possible exception of Earth, Wind and Fire. I've heard people state that Bob Marley and The Wailers only recorded Reggae songs with no foray into other genres and this is false.

There are, as previously stated, very strong R&B vibes to this album as well Jazz oriented compositions which are the perfect canvas for the lyrical masterpieces such as "Zimbabwe"; "Babylon System"; "Survival" and "Africa Unite". One of my personal favorites is "Top Rankin" which is one of the heaviest songs Marley ever recorded. I love everything about this album, is arrangements, recording and production, The Wailers, in their present incarnation, and I Threes are in top form and Bob is his usual poetic self dropping knowledge on all and forcing them to go deep within. That is truly what sets him apart from so many other songwriters and why his songs today are beloved by countless millions worldwide.

This is truly a wonderful journey and I would recommend this album for anyone looking to enjoy great lyrical content and a wonderful musical journey. This was one of his absolute best and it amazing that he was able to produce such a masterpiece on the heels of what Time Magazine calls the most important album of the 20th century and I agree! His career which was about to come to an unfortunate and tragic end as his illness would in very short order take him from us. This is a true classic and one that once again affirmed the true genius of Robert Nesta Marley. May he continue to rest in the peace that he fought so strongly for both for himself and so many others.
The Complete Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington Sessions
The Complete Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington Sessions
This recording is my favorite and I have been collecting music for over 40 years. This is not arguably the finest American pianist coupled with the finest American trumpetier. "The Summit" is 2 of America's most established legends ; Jazz icons playing with one of the finest Jazz bands of any age.
To the fellah that gave this recording a 1 star rating , evidently he listens to alot of rap music , case closed. If you cant get religion from this music , think about Joe Zwiebacks' GeraSpeed ..... ? Oh well we all have opinions right ? If you like Jazz music this recording will make you love it ...
Oh Satchamo , where did you go .....?
Savor the Duke tickling the ivories as only he could.
One other thing people should realize is , calling Louis Armstrong an Uncle Tom is taking alot for granted for all the crap he had to endure , to make a better life for his own race. Compared with what AAmericans have today , Satch made strides to make their own life better , and in his own life , he played in the finest halls and ate in the finest restaraunts at a time when that was unheard of in parts of this country. In fact Louis Armstrong is not only noted for being one of the finest American influential musicians , he is beloved as a personality , and if it took ONE or THREE of us awhile to see it , I would say we are talking of youngsters living in Padooka. Boom shaka laka boom !
Bob Dylan for Easy Piano
Bob Dylan for Easy Piano
Easy to play and gives me the opportunity to improvise with both hands. (Only thing is that I cannot remember what I played the last time) It's the melody and the chords that are important for me. Otherwise playing pieces as they are is pretty simple, at least as I see it. Unfortunately I do not recognise most of the pieces. Not the book's fault but nevertheless. I should have read the contents more closely.
Trouble No More: The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981
Trouble No More: The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981
Well, well, well, the Bobster has gone and done it again, he has re-visited one of the most reviled periods of his career (as he did with Vol 10) and shown us that perhaps the criticism that was meted out back in the late '70's and early 80's was undeserved. This of course is the period when he announced that he was a born again Christian and the three albums he produced over this period, Slow Train Coming, Saved and Shot of Love, reflected that conversion. Now because of the criticism I had avoided these albums, I remember as a young rock fan new to the delights of rock music, Sounds giving Saved a one star review and that stuck with me for many years. When this collection was announced a couple of months ago I thought 'WHAT!!!???!!', but then I remembered what had happened with Vol 10 of this excellent series when he revisited his Self Portrait, New Morning period that also came in for great criticism and that volume made so many have to re-think their criticism. Would this have the same effect?

Now I'm not a follower of any organised religion, I don't attend church (or chapel here in Wales) except for the odd wedding or funeral, but although I'm not religious that does not mean I do not appreciate many great artistic works that are influenced by religion. I enjoy listening to Handel's Messiah and Bach's Mass in B Minor, I appreciate the beauty of many great paintings that are influenced by religious themes and I enjoy the odd bit of gospel music and this is what we have here, some excellent gospel music sung by Bob Dylan and performed by one of his best touring bands.

I've seen Bob Dylan live on a few occasions and let's face he can be a pretty sloppy performer at times, his vocal delivery in particular can grate and give the impression he doesn't care. One of the things that stands out on this particular set of recordings is the passion in his vocal delivery, it's clear he's loving performing these songs, they really are coming from the heart. Added to that the backing band are top notch with five backing singers and two keyboard players to give it that real gospel feel, they really do deliver, the version of Shot of Love in this set is delivered with such passion I nearly did a Jake Blues and flip flopped down the kitchen and hallway with joy and shout Hallelujah!!, nearly but not quite. We also get the opportunity to hear how Dylan is constantly re-working his music, a few of the songs on this set are repeated to show how they evolved over a short space of time. Compare the version of Slow Train that opens disc 1 with the version from two years later that opens disc 2. The first version is closer to the studio version, whilst the later version there is more chugging feel from the backing band, both are wonderful to listen to and go to show why when he's on form Dylan can be such a mesmerising, but at times frustrating, live performer.

I have of course gone for the cheap 2 disc version, my pockets are not deep enough to afford the all singing box set, but as with with Vol 10 this has been a really pleasant surprise, and I'm quite taken with it. It won't be to everyone's taste, some may find the religious message in the songs is still too much, all I would say to those people is give this a chance, so much of the criticism that was aimed at this period was down to the shock of Dylan's conversion. Time is a healer and now we can approach these songs with a far more open mind that perhaps we could 38 years ago. Check it out there really are some delights here.
Under The Red Sky
Under The Red Sky
OK, it's not really worth five stars but I do get tired of all of the negative and derivative reviews of this album. Some critic mentioned "nursery rhymes" at some point in the past and every unoriginal thinker out there now seizes on this term and parrots it to death.
It's a rather "lightweight" album at times but there are really only two songs that seem to be based on the so-called "nursery rhyme" structure - "Under the Red Sky" and "Cat's in the Well," both of which have an undertone of dark ambiguity, more so on the latter which verges on subtly Apocalyptic. They are still both enjoyable pieces of music and nothing like what a person might expect who has actually bought a REAL "nursery rhymes sung for children" kind of album for their kids. It's simply a "structure" he uses, and by the way, lots of rock-and-roll uses that same kind of simple repetitive structure. The same "structure" is used on "The Beatles" (White Album) song "Cry Baby Cry" to great effect; here, it's probably the inclusion of a line like "the little boy and the little girl got baked in a pie" that trips people up. But it's more like a surrealistic dream than a child's story.
One odd fact is that this is the only Dylan album I have (35 so far) that includes all of the lyrics. There's nothing monumentally moving here, but there are lots of subtle little gems sprinkled throughout, couplets and phrases of vaguely philosophical despair and questioning.
"Wiggle wiggle" rocks, even if the words sound like Bob wrote them for his four-year-old daughter to dance to, and the highly-lauded "Basement Tapes" are full of verses of equally monumental silliness. No one ever complained about "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere," one version of which mentions "a flute that toots and a bee that stings, a bird that flies and and a sky that cries, a fish that walks and a dog that talks."
I don't consider "2 X 2" (which is a beautiful song) to be a nursery rhyme structure, as it and "10,000 Men" both seem to be based on a kind of gospel music that I used to hear when I was young. One of the songs I'm thinking of may have been called "Children Go Where I Send Thee" and used the same approach of counting one number higher on each verse. So what? It's an effective rhetorical technique and works well in those songs. Dylan knows all about old gospel and folk music and I'm surprised that people aren't recognizing some of those simple yet memorable devices on this album.
As I said, this album is fairly lightweight, for the most part, but quite listenable and fun, and there are no "skip-over" songs for me on it, unlike some of his best albums. ("Oh Mercy," one of my favorites, has at least one tedious song that I rarely listen to in its entirety, as do "Blonde on Blonde" and the last three "greats," "Time Out of Mind," "Love and Theft," & "Modern Times.")
This one is at least better than several of Dylan's albums and actually shows some of the same goofing-off spirit that occurs on some of his equally-listenable "Traveling Wilburys" contributions. And "Handy Dandy" is one of the most-fun Dylan songs out there, a song I can't help singing along with when I hear it.
It's not "Blonde on Blonde" or "Highway 61" or "Blood on the Tracks" but it's NOT "bad," although I can see how someone who was stuck in one of those '60's-stuff-only modes, whether folk/protest or '65-'66 triad-of-greats, might not think that this was up to snuff. It doesn't suck, it's just not "great" and in any case it's not irritating the way, say, the musical "sound" of "Empire Burlesque" seems so out-of-character and even contradictory to Bob's voice.
Best 3D Look
Best 3D Look
This is one of the best products I've ever purchased. I very rarely leave reviews, but I am floored by how great these little dots are.
I wanted a way to spice up my dorm room, and I wanted to do something neat with my lights. I bought a domed light with a blue light bulb, and then I put these little guys all over my walls. I keep my blue light on (it is important that you keep a light source on and near them before you intend to use them) before I go to bed and when I turn out the lights, these little dots just brighten the entire room up. I put up a couple pictures to give an example.

What I love about these dots is there's a great balance between the larger dots, the medium sized ones, and the smaller ones. They really are the perfect size to create small galaxies. They are extraordinarily bright for a glow-in-the-dark product, they are fairly cheap to purchase, and they stick to my walls perfectly! Again, I live in a dorm, so sticking things to the wall is always a concern. These dots at first didn't seem like they'd stick for very long, but I was pleased to find out that they stick just enough to keep them on whatever surface you want them on, but will come off with little hassle when it's time to get rid of them.

This really is a great buy and I can't recommend it more!
Thanos Solar Animal Repellent Ultrasonic Cat Repeller Motion Activated LED Flashing Light Keep Away Dog Fox Raccoon Deer from Your Garden
Thanos Solar Animal Repellent Ultrasonic Cat Repeller Motion Activated LED Flashing Light Keep Away Dog Fox Raccoon Deer from Your Garden
My husband & I recently moved to a house with large corner property, unfenced except sides near other houses. Despite putting up chickenwire & using cat repel sprays, our land still attracts a bevy of feral cats, who like to stalk & kill birds lying below the hedges waiting to pounce, as well as use our property for a litter box, and I am sick of the cleanup. This Thanos machine is an answered prayer, I have seen the cats circle it or try to go around it but they cannot stand the sound & leave the area within minutes. About the sound, if you are close to the unit it emits a beep, then shows its activation by a series of flashing lights (horizontal, like a movie marquee), only the beep can be heard by humans but it tells you it's working. Place it facing the area cats love to hang out in, and because it is about 1 ft tall with the connecting pole pieces (I would advise to only use one to make it shorter), dig a deep enough hole so the machine will be "cat level," then tilt slightly forward so even when they recline it will activate & annoy the cat. It has a wide range, a 40 ft arc and sometimes emits the beep even if you stand close behind it, but get more than one to place at different property entrances to discourage cat entry once & for all. It comes with solar AA batteries but I would suggest buying new AA solars (find here on amazon) to be sure the machine will be up & running after charging it in the sun for 12 hrs, also remember to remove the plastic film over the top solar panel. Thank you amazon for another effective remedy, I highly recommend this product and plan to buy others as needed
DIAMOND SELECT TOYS Marvel Gallery: Avengers Infinity War Movie Thanos PVC Diorama Figure
DIAMOND SELECT TOYS Marvel Gallery: Avengers Infinity War Movie Thanos PVC Diorama Figure
After purchasing this item BEFORE reading the reviews, I was terrified that I had just wasted my money. I was expecting the worst and had reserved myself to the fact that I was going to be disappointed. I received the item today and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised! The statue was excellent. Yes, there are some very minor imperfections, but I was definitely throwing a very critical eye over this piece. Thankfully none of the previously mentioned imperfections in earlier reviews were present in my statue. For the price, I am extremely happy, my money was definitely NOT wasted.
Sorry to those who previously received inferior items. They have definitely improved since then. I have to agree that the gauntlet looks pretty average. But overal, it’s still a nice piece.
X-Men & Wolverine Adamantium Collection
X-Men & Wolverine Adamantium Collection
This, like all the movies in the X-men series, is an adult movie. Both in subject matter and presentation. Adult situations. Not a good clean family flick. It is rated PG-13 but personally, I did not let my kids watch it until they turned 16.

The picture shows a nice box set but you don't get that. It is a thin box, and the plastic boxes are cheaply made. There really is nothing special that should make this cost over $50.
There are no extras.

The picture quality is poor, colors are muted and it is not full screen. There is a curve to the picture that looks like you are looking into a distorted curved dish. Very odd. The HD DVD/DVD costs less. That is the better buy.
The music is amplified during action scenes and too low during dialogue, so you have to continually turn the sound down then up.

If you are not familiar with the X-Men series...

SPOILER ALERT:

Professor Xavier sends Cyclops and Storm to Canada to save Wolverine and Rogue from Magneto, the attack is carried out by Logan's (Wolverine) half brother Sabretooth. Sabertooth is foiled and Wolverine (played by Hugh Jackman) and Rogue ( played by Anna Paquin) are injured and taken to the X-Mansion. Wolverine meats Jean for the first time and Xavier informs Wolverine of Magneto's plans. Logan decides to stay at the Institute. When Rogue, deceived by a disguised Mystique, leaves the Xavier Institute, Wolverine goes after her, while Cyclops and Storm follow him at the train station. Here, the team battles the Brotherhood, this time led by Magneto himself, who defeats the X-Men and kidnaps Rogue - who was his real objective - Rogue ends up in the hands of the government.
Baywatch (Extended Cut)
Baywatch (Extended Cut)
This movie remake of the popular Baywatch TV series follows the same tired spoofing formula as too many other TV shows remade into films. This Baywatch film includes too many of the same unnecessary "movie mocking" tropes, the same unfunny gags and takes the same tired cynical, sarcastic attitude towards the original TV series material as other movie remakes. Remakes such as The Brady Bunch Movie, Charlie's Angels Full Throttle, The A-Team, Dukes of Hazard, The Addams Family (which is probably the best of this bunch) and now Baywatch (just to name a few). Even the latest Star Trek from J.J. Abrams has injected some of these unnecessarily hammy, tropish, spoofing elements.

Some stupidity in this film includes... the overly stupid rookie, dressing in drag, making corny jokes about lifeguard stereotypes (and of the show itself), hamming up the body aspect, all of which is too much to bare in this farce. I don't see why any of it is necessary. It degrades the film and mocks the original TV show in the process. I don't go into TV-series-into-movie remakes to see the original TV material mocked and derided by corny jokes. I go into it to see an entertaining film that tries to relive and breathe new life into the original material through a new cast. Instead, The Brady Bunch Movie set this silly, mocking tone in stone. For whatever reason, filmmakers have latched full throttle (ahem) onto this oh-so-unnecessary formula as though that's what moviegoers really want when a TV series is made into a film.

We watched the original TV series because while the shows may have included jokes and humor, it did take the characters, story and itself seriously enough to make the show believable and the characters likeable. That's the reason we watched the series. That's the reason we liked it. The TV shows rarely, if ever, mocked themselves, their own characters or the material. Yet, here we are. At every step, the filmmakers of Baywatch take every opportunity to mock such lifeguard elements as tans, bathing suits riding up butt cracks, the nerdy horny guy, crude and awkward shower scenes, wearing too much tanning oil, calling out unnecessary homophobic elements, shaking boobs, showing slow motion characters with everyone else in real-time or whatever other low-brow humor the writers can find to mock the original TV series.

As I said, I don't go into these TV-series-made-into-films to see the original material mocked. I go to see and relive what made the TV series great. Yet, that's nowhere to be found in Baywatch. Oh well, in the annals of time, this film (like so many before it) will ultimately go down as a spoof. To this day, the best film spoofs include Airplane followed closely by GalaxyQuest which are only loosely based on more serious shows before it. If movie makers really want to create successful spoofs, they should go watch these films to understand why they worked and why this Baywatch film doesn't.
Fantastic Four: Resurrection of Galactus (Fantastic Four (1998-2012))
Fantastic Four: Resurrection of Galactus (Fantastic Four (1998-2012))
"Fantastic Four: Resurrection Of Galactus"
(Marvel Comics)

This was a good, quick read, old-fashioned superhero stuff, with the FF facing an omnipotent, reality-bending cosmic menace named Abraxas, getting sent off on various alternate-world quests to find the parts of a puzzle they need to stop the bad guy, and having their usual good-natured bickering. Actually, the FF seem in a pretty good mood during this era: Ben can change between his Thing form and his human body at will, Johnny seems to be having trouble regulating his flame powers, but Reed fixed him up with a special suit to help with that, and besides, he's dating the Atlantean hottie, Namorita, so how bad could life be? The story itself winds up being a little anticlimactic, but I enjoyed reading it anyway -- some fun alternate reality scenarios, though Abraxas turned out to be kind of a pushover. Backup features include several vignettes, perhaps the best of which is a cartoon-y story in the style of Marvel's old "Not Brand Echh" satire book, in which Carlos Pacheco, Jeph Loeb and the erst of the then-current crew made fun of themselves. I'd give this a 3.5 if I could. (DJ Joe Sixpack, ReadThatAgain children's book reviews)
One Piece, Vol. 15: Straight Ahead!
One Piece, Vol. 15: Straight Ahead!
With the Baroque Works agents on Little Garden defeated and Sanji finding the finding an Eternal Pose to Alabasta, the Straw Hats leave their new giant friends and begin their journey to Vivi's homeland. Along the way however Nami falls gravely ill, forcing the crew to take a detour to a nearby Winter Island in order to find a doctor. Unfortunately things are complicated even more when the exiled king of the Island tries to return.

This fifteenth volume of the One Piece manga is a transitionary volume that sets things up for future volumes. Having said this though, the volume does include a reasonable fight as Sanji goes up against the Unluckies. Other than this there is little in the way of serious action until the end of the volume but there is some nice humour and the race against time to get Nami treated is also well done. While I am not a great fan of this arc's main villain, the arc as a whole is relatively entertaining and this volume gives it a good start.

Overall this volume is worth around four and a half stars.
One Piece 02 by Eiichiro Oda (2001-02-06)
One Piece 02 by Eiichiro Oda (2001-02-06)
Sono un accanito fan della saga, fin dal primo numero acquistato tanti anni fa. Detto questo, la recensione di questo fumetto richiede un pò di parole, oltre al solito "fantastico".

Fenomenali come sempre il prezzo (più basso rispetto alle fumetterie), la spedizione (rapidissima) e la disponibilità (io in genere li preordino e mi arrivano il giorno dopo l'uscita ufficiale).

Detto questo, passiamo all'oggetto. Di questo manga, lasciando stare i disegni, l'originalità e tutto il contorno, devo dire che proprio il numero 92 mi ha un pò deluso. Sembra fatto a forza e in modo troppo rapido e sommario. Sicuramente rileggendolo assieme al 91 e al 93 (quando uscirà) lo rivaluterò, ma al momento credo si tratti di uno dei numeri meno convincenti della saga, se non per una cosa che non posso dire per scongiurare spoiler!

Non resta che aspettare Febbraio 2020 per vedere dove il buon vecchio Oda vuole andare a parare.
Ashley Bell: A Novel
Ashley Bell: A Novel
The plain and simple truth.....I've read lots and lots of books in the last 12 months. Some quite interesting, but poorly realised, some imaginative and well written, with a few very well conceived, with the writer at the top end of their craft. And then Dean Koontz pulls the rabbit out a of the hat...with this near perfect tale, with a well developed lead character and a story line that will keep you guessing right to the end.

Just imagine you are a bungee jumper, safe on solid ground. Then you do something reckless and throw yourself over the edge, fast leaving that safe ground above you. Your life saving elastic is stretching, stretching and getting tighter all the time. That's how the tention within this masterful story just builds and builds. Like gravity, you have no choice but to follow it down. You are never quite sure if these creations within the story can be true, or simply imagined. When things get really taught you'll struggle to remain calm, you won't be able to help yourself, you'll be rooting for the Bibi, Olaf, Pax, her family and best friend.
At it's peak tention, everything suddenly changes direction, just as as the universal law of gravity, you were never in control of your direction. Just as you see that place of safety that you jumped from right at the start, coming back to greet you, everything changes again! Suddenly you're floating and gravity has briefly been suspended, but you know what's coming and down you plunge yet again....only this time you might not want to trust that bungee elastic.

Perhaps just like me, you've been waiting for another of those real page turner's, a real classic of storytelling, where there's no filler, no wasted breath and everything is to play for. I defy anyone to not be taken aback by the revelations at the conclusion of this. You just have to read this - period.
Nora Roberts' Northern Lights
Nora Roberts' Northern Lights
While the book was much better and lots more details than the movie, I thought they did an excellent job casting the players, especially Hop, Charlene and Meg. In the book, Charlene tries to get Nate into bed several times and Nate doesn't meet Meg when he first gets to town as the movie showed. Mag also thought her mom had bedded Nate so she kept her distance. Also there was a screwed up part in the movie where they said they gloves belonged to Ed (the banker) when in the book, Bing reported his gloves and knife stolen from his truck when he turned the fishing pole in at the police department after he said he found it. There were several very funny parts in the book about the two brothers and the messes they got into that would have made the movie better but none of the detail was there. It was a hack job of the book. The acting was ok but they could have added more scenery of the area as that is very detailed in the book which made you want to see that area.. Little disappointed in the movie.. Wasted my money.
Brionne: A Novel
Brionne: A Novel
I needed an evening of relaxed reading, settling in with an old friend whose story I'd already heard, so I picked up Louis L'Amour's Brionne. L'Amour was a staple when I was growing up, and I still return to him again and again as I go along. Fair Blows the Wind remains my favorite novel by the author because it's such a combination of Old World swordplay, coming of age, and early Americana. But that's beside the point.

In James Brionne, L'Amour creates one of his best fighting men, a man who'd served in the Union Army during the Civil War, a man who had the ear of President Grant - and a man who had lost his wife to tragic circumstances. The first few pages of the book draw the reader in and sets him on a journey to see good triumph over evil.

The book is much as I remember it, written with a lot of introspection and bouncing around from character to character, with less action and tension than I would have liked. L'Amour also instills a romantic lyricism in his word choice, though. James Brionne is an educated man, a thinker, and that shows on the pages.

There's no real tension about where the reader is going to get during the read because the endgame is almost transparent. Still, L'Amour manages to throw a couple curves in there that will leave you unsettled about a few things as you turn the pages.

I wish there had been a little more to the story, and even the ending just seems to coast to a halt rather than escalating. The pieces just fall together without any real stress or narrative tension.

The plot is pretty thin even for a L'Amour novel, but the tale pulled me through again, and even though I knew how the book ended, and would have known anyway because it's so clear, I enjoyed roving through the Old West and stepping through my own past.
Bannon Brothers: Honor
Bannon Brothers: Honor
Janet Dailey has been a favorite for 20 years. She does not disappoint in this case. The hero is bigger than life, patient in giving the heroine time to adjust to him while supporting her and protecting her as much as she will allow. the heroine is smart, independent and willing to ask for help when she needs it while careful about falling too fast for this very appealing man.
A very good read with a mystery that keeps the reader in suspense.
Dragon Ball Z, Vol. 1: The World's Greatest Team
Dragon Ball Z, Vol. 1: The World's Greatest Team
The first volume of Dragon Ball Z -- 17th volume of the Dragon Ball series -- starts with a bang, and with Toriyama immediately expanding his world. With the introduction of his brother Raditz, we discover that Goku is, in fact, an alien; which explains his other-worldly strength (not to mention his tail, previously). Goku is part of the Saiyan race, from Planet Vegeta. A race of martial warriors who find suitable planets for life, and sell them to other extraterrestrials, right after wiping the planet clean of any life forms currently living on it. Earth was to be Goku's first assignment as a Saiyan child, but a childhood injury causing amnesia prevented this grisly fate.

For those without any prior knowledge of the show, this is obviously where things really pick up. The scope of the series is expanded from here on out, and oh is it fun.
Dragon Ball (3-in-1 Edition), Vol. 4: Includes vols. 10, 11 & 12 (4)
Dragon Ball (3-in-1 Edition), Vol. 4: Includes vols. 10, 11 & 12 (4)
These VIZBIG editions for Dragon Ball are a wonderful option. They pack three of the regular volumes in one book (except for the last book of each series: book 5 of the VIZBIG edition for Dragon Ball includes 4 volumes while book 9 of the VIZBIG edition for Dragon Ball Z includes only the last 2 volumes) in a larger format (kanzenban, instead of tankoubon) with full-color pages in some chapters (these selected chapters are entirely colored). Also, they're cheaper than trying to buy each tankoubon separately: each tankoubon is roughly $7.95 (Amazon price), whereas each VIZBIG kanzenban is about $12.20. Considering Dragon Ball is 16 volumes (tankoubon) long but only 5 kanzenban long, and Dragon Ball Z is 26 volumes (tankoubon) long but only 9 kanzenban long, well... You do the math.

The only caveat is, obviously, that the VIZBIG books are quite bulky: there could be more risk of damage from shipping and the books will fill a lot of space in your backpack if your planning to take them with you anywhere. Also, they're quite heavy and could make reading unconfortable: I read them while lying down on my bed, so I put a pillow over my belly to support the book while reading, otherwise my wrists would hurt after a while from the weight of the book. I also read them while riding the subway and it was quite difficult (definitely no stand-up reading), but I managed. Even with these nuances, I still think the books deserve 5 stars: the printing and binding (very important for such heavy books) are top-notch.

Some people complain about the translation because apparently it uses too much childish jargon, but I didn't find it annoying at all. Maybe there are better options for sociolinguistic register, but I can't really vouch for that, as my Japanese is not good enough to read the original manga. For the same reason, I can't confirm if the Viz edition really got censored (I went online for a quick check of some fan scanlations, but couldn't tell if there are actually redrawn panels).

Of course, if you're a collector, you might aim for the original tankoubon. Well, that task may prove a bit difficult, as, apparently, Viz is realeasing sort of a new edition of the tankoubon. I haven't confirmed this, but if it's true, soon the 1st edition volumes (the red ones for Dragon Ball -the kanzenban are yellow- and white ones for Dragon Ball Z -the kanzenban are red-) will be rare items soaring through the skies.

In all, I really think this was a very nice investment. I don regret it in the least and I actually recommend it strongly.
NYPD Red 3
NYPD Red 3
Mgmt review:
Many characters, too much "fantasy" & "romance".

Details:
1)
I was struggling throughout the book with the many characters that are somehow involved.
At the end it was ok, but I was at my limit (I'm really not good at remembering characters - therefore I don't read fantasy books, hehe).
2a)
While the previous books where (in my opinion) "balanced" and maybe more bent towards the descriptions of the "bad guys", this one spends quite a lot of time putting the focus on the "good guys" - for my taste the opposite would have been better.
2b)
This specific book focuses at 30% with personal drama/romance => I personally really wanted to avoid this kind of books => at the end things seem to be stable, so there are good chances for the next book to be again "neutral" => if it won't then I will give it 3 stars and stop reading the series/author.
3)
In the end I gave to this book only 3 stars mainly because there were just too many characters involved + too many characters did just what they were meant to do + I'm still not sure why some characters exist or did something specific.
Don't understand me wrong - there were twists in the story - it's just that I never felt like that there was "a way out" of any possible situation.
Pondering about the whole situation, I'm still not sure what the motivation for some chars was - Stephen King would have easily slipped into the book those 1000 extra pages to describe their current nightmares & dreams, hehe... .

All in all I was a bit disappointed by this episode.
The Celestial Bed
The Celestial Bed
This was a story about a sex therapist, Dr. Freeberg and one of his sexual 'surrogates', Gayle Miller. After the Doctor is ran out of Arizona with threats of charges of pandering and prostitution, he moves his family and his practice to Southern California where he has to defend his beliefs once again. While I did not consider this to be a love story, I did enjoy the romance between Gayle and Paul Brandon, who also worked as a sexual surrogate in Dr. Freeberg's office. The people that this couple try to help could also cause the destruction of Dr. Freeberg's practice. If the author was looking for a new title of this book he could have easily called it "A GUIDE TO SEXUAL FULFILMENT", because it was full of intimate instructions on reaching sexual satisfaction. Overall it was a very good book that was well worth the time spent reading it.
The Fantasy Makers: Tolkien, Lewis, and MacDonald
The Fantasy Makers: Tolkien, Lewis, and MacDonald
"The Fantasy Makers" is a Canadian documentary which is chockfull of fascinating information about three fantasy writers, all Christians, who have authored some of the best known and best-loved books of the last sixty-plus years. Two of the authors' names are immediately recognizable: J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, authors of "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Chronicles of Narnia", respectively. The third author, George MacDonald, is not so well known. MacDonald was a 19th-century Scottish minister and writer. He was a major influence on both Tolkien and Lewis, and the first part of the documentary tells us a lot about MacDonald's life, including this tasty morsel: that MacDonald "writes the first-ever work of fantasy of the modern era," a book that "Is the Harry Potter of its day," The book is
called "Phantastes."

Director Andrew Wall chose fourteen interview subjects for his documentary, ranging widely across the spectrum of people considered experts of fantasy literature. His interview subjects include a Methodist pastor and gamer, Derek W. White, who is known as the Geek Preacher, Dr. Helen Cooper, Professor of English at the University of Cambridge, and Matthew T. Dickerson, a professor of computer science and fantasy writer, and eleven others. All of the participants offer insightful and pertinent information on the three authors featured in "The Fantasy Makers," and on the history, challenges, and attributes of fantasy literature, as well
.
Shot partly on location in the province of Manitoba, Canada, the interviews take place in libraries, gracious book-filled offices, and at least one church. All of these locations add an aura of beauty to the film. In addition, actors represent the three featured authors at various stages in their lives, which helps to give the documentary a visual time-stamp.

One of the surprising revelations of "The Fantasy Makers" was an observation by two contributors, Malcolm Guite, and Kirstin Jeffrey Johnson. They believe England experienced a time when the English, as a people, lost their story -- their identity. After the Invasion of Normandy in 1066, says Malcolm Guite, the English abandoned the Arthurian legends and other myths of their past and took on stories of France, Rome, and Greece. George MacDonald, among others, recognized this regrettable situation and it was at this time that he wrote "Phantastes." According to Guite and Johnson, it was because the popular fantasy story "Phantastes" told of knights and chivalry in ancient England that the English became reacquainted with and grew interested in regaining their own story. Their imaginations had been awakened by a fantasy story, but they then moved from fantasy to reality and began pursuing their English identity. Such is the power of story. As author, professor, and theologian, Leonard Sweet says in his video from Tabor College (Tabor E-lab #6, 2014) "Bring Back the Table": "Identity requires narrative form."

"The Fantasy Makers" is an excellent documentary which discloses many fascinating aspects of the lives and works of fantasy writers George MacDonald, J.R.R. Tolkien, and C.S. Lewis. Buy yourself a copy of this DVD and get ready to be delighted and surprised.
Aragorn: J. R. R. Tolkien's Undervalued Hero
Aragorn: J. R. R. Tolkien's Undervalued Hero
One of the great things about Tolkien is the broad range of people who enjoy his books. It seems that everybody can get something out of them. There is a lot that we can agree on even from that broad range of readers.
Angela Nicholas has produced a very good book. It was very valuable to me to have such a detailed timeline of the movements of the Fellowship in The Lord of the Rings. I am astounded at the level of detail that she has gone to.

The list of Aragorn’s relationships was just as detailed. In fact, it is exhaustive. Somewhere around pages 350-400, I started thinking, Where are the Eagles? But then I found out that she lumped them in with the animals, so I lost that argument. I guess that including Shadowfax in with animals is worth arguing, but I always thought of the Eagles as intelligent creations of Manwe.

On her scale, she views Aragorn as having self esteem issues and being indecisive. While I respect her personal interpretation, I think that Tolkien had a different intent. Aragorn would never have used the word self esteem. And indecisiveness is not an issue when you are working through a situation with no obvious answers. You do the best you can with incomplete information.

The difference, I think, is world view. Tolkien was Christian, and Catholic. The original view of kingship is that it was ordained by God, and that there were consequently responsibilities of the king to take care of God’s people. A king is not a dictator, a tyrant, a burden, a miser or a monster. A king should be able to unite his people, to watch out for their interests, to develop them, heal them, protect them and love them.
The modern view of kings is based on bad kings.
Aragorn is clearly matched up with this spiritual view of kingship. When you’re doing God’s work, self esteem is not a topic on the table, because it’s not about me. It’s about others, and being a humble servant. Doesn’t mean that he is subservient or that he knuckles under to his people when they’re wrong. He is responsible for keeping them on the right track. That means giving orders when necessary, punishing those who harm his people, and rewarding those who help.
Another expression of this used today is a title of the Pope: the Servant of the servants of God.

I grew up in an old-fashioned rural neighborhood. My extended Catholic family was surrounded by the remnants of two German religious communes. We had the best neighbors! I had a huge number of good male role models – humble men whose word was their bond, who dealt fairly with people, didn’t deal with cheats and frauds at all, and treated women with respect. Neighbors who had troubles were helped, usually with time and labor. Those men might have laughed at self esteem. It’s a modern concept. Good for you if it works for you, but that culture was more other-centered than modern culture is.
And Aragorn was definitely other-centered. The corrupt kings of Numenor? They were very modern in their self-centered approach to power and riches.
In a sense, Angela undervalues Aragorn, too. That doesn’t make her wrong, just incomplete, perhaps the only incompleteness in her book.

Come with your own book of maps.

Another book about relationships in LOTR that I enjoyed is Marjorie Burns 
The Tale of Ginger and Pickles (Peter Rabbit)
The Tale of Ginger and Pickles (Peter Rabbit)
Something of a warning to treat your shopkeepers well. Ginger and Pickles run a very nice shop, but they accept payment in credit, and have a hard time collecting. To the point where they finally have to close shop and skip town to avoid their own debts, despite their ledgers showing so much in sales. After their disappearance, other shops raise prices, refuse the return of goods, and generally abuse their customers. In the end, a middle ground shop is opened, with good products and fair prices, but one which accepts no credit.

A warning to shopkeeper and purchaser, in the end, and an interesting sort of moral to be taught to children. Still, it's cute, and an okay addition to the Potter collection.

While you can buy Potter stories individually, I have to advocate for getting a complete or near-complete collection of her stories. While this story will entertain most children for one or two readings, it does not shine unless taken in with the rest of Potter's works. And make absolutely sure you get one a collection with the original illustrations of Beatrix Potter herself. Her genius was not just in text, but in her visual storytelling. The watercolor technique in general is quite difficult and unforgiving, but Potter seems to have practiced it with as much ease as if she's gone into a countryside with a modern camera. Crisp and lively, these pictures are true works of art.

Keep in mind, all of Beatrix Potter's works are in the public domain! You can find fairly cheap copies out there, since royalties don't need to be paid to anyone. Just double-check quality before putting your money down.
Blindside (Michael Bennett Book 12)
Blindside (Michael Bennett Book 12)
Why did you go down this road ??? I can only believe that Michael Bennett IS NOT THE good father that Mr Patterson makes him out to be. How can a man be a good father when one of his sons is a drug dealer ? AS for him getting a job , forget it , who in their right mind wants a jailed dealer AS a employee ? NOT ME . He is barred from the military , NO police force will have him . No bank or other type of financial business will have him . Mow lawns and shovel snow is all he will be good for . Next problem for him will be when the drug enforcement guys come around and order him to become a snitch or he will go back to jail . That will be a lot of fun , this whole series was a good read for me until Michael was jailed , after that thumbs down , I am thru with this series , NO more for me . This is not what entertains me . I read it to see how it ends , but that's it NO more for me . Thank you Mr. Patterson but no thank you NO more for me , I am done .
Born in a Small Town: The Glory Girl/Promise Me Picket Fences/Midnight Sons and Daughters (Midnight Sons #7) (Harlequin Superromance, No 936)
Born in a Small Town: The Glory Girl/Promise Me Picket Fences/Midnight Sons and Daughters (Midnight Sons #7) (Harlequin Superromance, No 936)
This story is a tale of a very young girl that falls in love at a young age and even though the love of her life leaves their town, he eventually returns and her heart still has the same feelings and she fights her feelings and in the end all is well with the two lovers.
Well done and leaves those of us with romantic hearts, are not disappointed.
Debbie Macomber books are always entertaining and the men are so gorgeous, as always, and she spins a new story around the sexual tension and beauty of Alaska, actually makes one wonder if the cold is all that bad, interesting observation.
The Three Little Pigs and The Big Red Dog (clifford's Fairy Tails)
The Three Little Pigs and The Big Red Dog (clifford's Fairy Tails)
My daughter loves these Clifford books. And it seems you can only find the fairytale versions at school book fairs. Great book. However, do not care too much for regular paper pages... our other Clifford fairytale book has the waxy pages which are perfect for a toddler or child to flip through pages without ripping them.
Rohan at the Louvre (Louvre Collection)
Rohan at the Louvre (Louvre Collection)
I'm a huge fan of Hirohiko Araki and his comics, so when I heard that Rohan at the Louvre was being published in English, there was no question I'd buy it; in fact, I already had it in the Japanese magazine serialization and the hardcover French edition. It's a five-star for me, or for several other groups of people, but there are some problems with this volume regardless.

It's a gorgeous volume; the hardcover binding isn't too hard or too flimsy-feeling, like a nicer picture book. The printing quality is excellent, and while the author is known and loved for occasionally garish color use, the beautiful coloration on the interior pages is soft and dreamy, with colors reminiscent of early 1900s children's books accented with splashes of blacks and brights. If you're a fan of Hirohiko Araki's art, you want this regardless of whether or not you like the story as the single most inexpensive "artbook" you'll ever find.

The story is a decent standalone; its themes are similar to some of the other Rohan short story one-shots that haven't been published in English, but that's not necessarily a drawback. What is a drawback is that you really will get far more out of this comic if you have already read some of Araki's other work including Rohan Kishibe as a character, none of which has ever been published in English. There's a charming scene where three characters from Diamond is Unbreakable show up to say a few lines; for a dedicated Araki fan this is a wonderful shout-out, but for someone who hasn't read those comics, you might be left wondering who these people are. In fact, while Rohan's "ability" is explained very simply in the first few pages, its name is never given; if you're a pre-existing fan you might know that it's Heaven's Door, but when Rohan later refers to it AS "Heaven's Door", it's not explained, nor are some of the mechanics of how Heaven's Door works which wind up being crucial to the comic. I loaned my copy to someone who had no previous knowledge of Araki's works, and while they enjoyed it, they were a bit confused. Even so, it's a nice self-contained story, and the Louvre setting elements add to the story rather than feeling like they were shoehorned in just for product placement.

As far as the English editing and translation goes... The translation itself is quite good; it preserves the distinctive speaking style of the original comic while still being readable (delightfully so, in fact) in English, and the section in the back about the Louvre collections is a good primer for those who've never been there. However, as a long-time manga reader some of the editing is a bit sub-par. There's a few typos near the end, and some rather dubious typeface usage that I really don't agree with. The fact that the dialogue and the SFX subtitles are all set in the same typeface is a bit jarring as well.

I'd recommend this to anybody who enjoys the art of Hirohiko Araki, or to anybody with an interest both in artwork and in horror stories (because this IS a rather creepy horror story, with some pages full of strange gore). It isn't a perfect book, nor is it a perfect edition, but it's still good enough to have a place on my shelf for years.
At the bottom of the flower (1995) ISBN: 4877280812 [Japanese Import]
At the bottom of the flower (1995) ISBN: 4877280812 [Japanese Import]
今回は浅見光彦が京都で事件に巻き込まれます。
華道という、一般の方にはなじみのない世界。
そこを舞台に、浅見が奮闘します。
今回の見所はエピローグでしょうか。
まさか、こんな終わり方をするとは、こんな終わり方が許されるのか。
浅見がこんなグレーゾーンに立ち入ってしまうとは。
一見の価値ありです。
なお、これは内田康夫さんの100冊目の作品だそうです。
かと言って、別に特別版というわけではありませんが。
Possessed by the Sheikh (Arabian Nights Book 3)
Possessed by the Sheikh (Arabian Nights Book 3)
When a young woman is stranded in the desert by her adulterous boss, she is kidnapped by a group of outlaws. The man who captures her advises her that he will sell her for a profit, but she comes to realize he really captured her to keep her from being abused by other members of the group. When he is challenged for her the only way he can protect her is to marry her but he assures her that the marriage is a tribal ceremony and will not hold up in her country. When they give in to passion and he realizes she was a virgin her captor vows to make the marriage real. Later it is revealed that her captor is not really an outlaw but half brother to the king who is undercover to foil an assassination plot. When she is injured protecting him, her new husband believes she loves him as he loves her. When she threatens to leave him if he cannot be honest and caring with her they discover their love for one another.

I had a bit of a problem with the two people in this book falling in love in one day. I know it happens in books, but it happened to them without even knowing anything about each other but the ugly words they throw around. This just wasn't too believable but it wasn't bad either. The hero is hot just give him a personality and he would have been hotter.
Carry On... Follow That Camel
Carry On... Follow That Camel
Carry On Follow That Camel (1967) lacks the pace and sparkle of some of the Carry On's other historical epics which is surprising as it was always the period comedies where the team scored best. The fact that Sid James, Barbara Windsor and Hattie Jaques are missing may have something to do with it. As a substitute for the absence of Sid James, the team brought in American comedian Phil Silvers who enjoyed success with his self-titled television show in the 1960's. Basically Silvers reprises his role as Sergeant Bilko in this entry (his only Carry On) and it doesn't quite blend in so well with the rest of the teams characterisations although there are some laughs to be along the way.
After being accused of cheating in a cricket match, Bertram Oliphant (Jim Dale in a familiar characterisation) gives up his fiancee (Angela Douglas) and with his bumbling butler Simpson in tow (Peter Butterworth) joins the Foreign Legion. The Fort he ends up in, which is run by Sergeant Knocker (Phil Silvers) soon comes under seige from Seeikh Abdul Abulbul (played brilliantly by Bernard Bresslaw who relishes every manically evil moment).
The desert scenes are vastly impressive and other regulars of the cast such as Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey and Joan Sims (who is shamefully underused in this one though still puts inan effective performance as the sultry and exotic Zigzig) but the feel-good factor of most of the Carry On films is evidently missing here. Though there are some laughs to be endured the film can best be described as just enjoyably average overall.
Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Part 1" Memorabilia, 30 x 40 cm
Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Part 1" Memorabilia, 30 x 40 cm
I am a HUGE Harry potter fan, so have an ever growing collection on framed memorabilia that is slowly climbing across the walls and taking over the room!

This frame did not disappoint! Well worth the buy for Potter Heads!

Arrived quickly in a good condition with a secure packaging.

Very happy with my Siriusly good poster!
Guía clasificada del Campamento Mestizo / Camp Half-Blood Confidential (Percy Jackson) (Spanish Edition)
Guía clasificada del Campamento Mestizo / Camp Half-Blood Confidential (Percy Jackson) (Spanish Edition)
Libro en buenas condiciones de origen, emplayado y nuevo. Un libro con material adicional de la saga principal, detalles que son buenos conocer para entender mucho mejor la saga, corto en material pero rico en información. Redactado en primera persona y con algunas ilustraciones que permiten idealizar mejor las cosas. Consultar el mapa de lectura en Internet para saber como realizar las lecturas de estas tres sagas que son buenas para los amantes del genero y pasar el rato en general.
Funko Pop! Games: Jedi Fallen Order - Cal Kestis with BD-1
Funko Pop! Games: Jedi Fallen Order - Cal Kestis with BD-1
After reading the reviews, I expected the worst but it arrived faster than expected and in a cardboard box, not a bag like previous reviews. So it looks like feedback was taken into consideration, or maybe international (UK+) have a box delivery.

The tracking froze about a week ago and had me worried but it arrived today despite tracking saying it’s still in America so don’t worry too much.

The item came in perfect condition and I’m super happy with it after being a huge fan of the game. It’s the perfect little bobble head pop for my collection. The lightsaber was a little bent but nothing a little bending couldn’t fix.

Honestly, it’s better than I expected and I’m so, so very happy.
Shtetl Days: A Tor.Com Original
Shtetl Days: A Tor.Com Original
Spoiler alert - the plot and the story have a Twilight Zone minute when we recognize this village is a theme park, but the true power of the story comes from quietly, simply imagining the inner life of Jews in Poland circa 1925, and a briefer, off stage imagining of a triumphant Third Reich running the whole world, a century into the thousand years and no end, no challenge in sight. No alternative easily imaginable within a functioning totalitarian society with 'way too many self-selected enthusiastic Nazis, so many that they bug every conversation, analyze and respond in a few hours.

With a few deft brush strokes, the inner solitude and even community of re-enactors starts to become clear, as a window on a society where the banality of evil has consumed almost all the oxygen, the spiritual space John Paul re-awakened preaching in the old Evil Empire. There's a parable about God being able to create sons for Abraham by the open power of His original act of creation, but here I think we see the quiet working that may be a greater miracle. Or as Hillel said, where ever two or three gather to study Torah, the true presence is also there, even in a theme park.
Harry Potter Illuminating Wand Pen
Harry Potter Illuminating Wand Pen
No deja de ser una varita de plástico con un led de luz en un extremo y boli normal en la otra.

El moldeado es bueno, la verdad, y da el pego bastante.
La luz ilumina lo justo, es más para hacer el juego, más que como linerna, desde luego.

Y el boli es uno de bola normal y corriente. Tampoco es para escribir mucho, porque es algo grueso y largo, así que es incómodo si vas a escribir mucho. De nuevo es para jugar y "escribir hechizos".

Por el precio que tiene no es mala compra como detalle o regalo para fans de la saga.
Poison Promise: Elemental Assassin, Book 11
Poison Promise: Elemental Assassin, Book 11
***“Some of us don’t appreciate such salty language.” My smile sharpened. “Sorry, ma’am,” I drawled. “But I can assure you that cursing is going to be the least of my sins today.”***

Well at least we are back on track again after that entire book that was just one long flashback. Gin is now up against an emotion draining, drug dealing, mad scientist vampire so we are back on solid ground.

It’s been a busy year in Gins life. She’s killed a few bad guys, got her heart broken by one dude and fell in love with another. She discovered a deeper well to her magic and her skills and picked up a few friends along the way. She has also come out of the closet so to speak and now absolutely everyone knows she is the infamous assassin the Spider.

Well it is another day so it is time to go up against yet another bad guy. Benson isn’t just another Vampire drug dealer, he likes to play mad scientist and his new drug Burn that is out on the market seems to target people with Elemental magic and give them an even bigger high. He reminds me a little of a bond villain and can be a bit OTT at time but all in all he’s a pretty good villain.

Bria on the other hand shows just how like Gin she can be in her single minded craziness and maybe goes a little overboard but she is a woman on a mission to bring Benson and his drug empire down. Finn as ever never lets anything get to him. Not even the new wedge between his girlfriend and almost sister. He at least was the comic relief that this book needed.

***“Aw, man,” Finn said, coming up to stand beside me, a black duffel bag dangling from his hand. “I didn’t even get to shoot anybody.” “Well, look on the bright side,” I drawled. “Your clothes didn’t get messed up. Neither did your hair.” Finn perked up at my reasoning.”***

But the most interesting part of the book actually came in the last few chapters as it is revealed who Mab’s long lost relative is and what they’ve come to Ashland for.

All and all a decent recovery to what was for me a horrible last book. I’m really hoping that Gin and MMM have an interesting battle ahead since she seems like she might be more of a handful than even Mab was.
Power Rangers Lightning Collection 6" S.P.D. Shadow Ranger Collectible Action Figure
Power Rangers Lightning Collection 6" S.P.D. Shadow Ranger Collectible Action Figure
On paper this figure is amazing. Amazing articulation, show accurate, and detailed all for an affordable price. I was really looking forward to finally owning a detailed SPD Shadow Ranger but was disappointed by the poor quality control. The right hand / sword grip is so loose at the wrist he can't even hold his sword up, merely the weight of the blade is enough to cause it to swing down almost immediately. Paint applications are spotty an even textured in some places.

The sword and morpher fit well into the hand and the unmasked dog-like head is nicely detailed. It's great that they include a next piece as well to help the details of the unmasked look. The additional hands are nice as well and the lightning effect on the sword is one of the better effects of this wave.

The negatives, outside of my quality control issues, are minor. I wish they'd provide more photos or details on what parts are. It took me a minute to figure out that the blue ring is meant to be his neck and that could be explained better. The joints aren't generally the same stiffness and in particular some are unnecessarily stiff (ankles, part of the shoulder, etc). And finally I feel like some of the hand held accessories could use a little more paint. This is generally across the whole line though and are relatively minor compared to the overall accomplishments of the figures.

That all said the quality control issues effectively ruin this toy for me. I've got the rest of the line and they all have varying degrees of quality issues with White Ranger being the best (only two paint application problems) and Shadow Ranger being the worst (loose wrist, multiple paint issues). Based on other reviews and photos it seems others have gotten a lot more lucky than I have though so it may just be my figure(s). Just may be something you need to risk or is better to buy in person where you can monitor things.

This would be a 4.5/5 otherwise.

Pros:
- Cost effective
- Detailed accessories
- Great articulation

Cons:
- Poor quality control for joints and paint applications
- Minor nitpick issues (e.g. more paint for accessories)

Overall it's a great figure on paper that could use a little bit of a refinement to be perfect. Unfortunately the quality control aspects for the entire line let these figures down. Worth checking out but better to buy in person where you have better control over selection.
Creative Economy Entrepreneurs: From Startup to Success: How Startups in the Creative Industries are Transforming the Global Economy
Creative Economy Entrepreneurs: From Startup to Success: How Startups in the Creative Industries are Transforming the Global Economy
Too many talk about the importance of creativity, few do it, and even fewer grow a creative ecosystem and economy. The authors and founders of Creative Startups are doers in the creative economy. Through Creative Startups, over 450 jobs have been created across five global sites and over 90 startups. Within their experiences so far, nearly $50 million in investment capital has been raised to support the creative startups.

More than being instigators of creative economies and ecosystems, they lead by example in what they created and by sharing their lessons and insights in their book, Creative Economy Entrepreneurs. This book delivers many examples of entrepreneurs who tapped into their creative spirit and then gathered a diverse team to make it a reality. While some investors stay away from creative entrepreneurs, others realize less risk resides in the creative economy. The authors, Loy and Aageson, share why interconnectedness is essential to supporting the entrepreneurs and innovation. When a cluster builds around similar creative initiatives, momentum gains, even in tough economic situations. Supporting innovative clusters is one motivator and powerful example of the creative economy.

Creative Economy Entrepreneurs is much more than a guide or blueprint for developing and supporting innovation in different communities. It also shows the power of collaboration, partnerships, clusters, diversity, and more. Cities, universities, and others community developers can learn a great deal from Loy and Aageson in what they have shared in their book and in the work they have done.
BeeGreen Reusable Grocery Bags Foldable Shopping Bag Large 50LBS Reusable Tote Groceries Bags with Pouch Bulk 6 Pack Ripstop Fabric Washable Durable Lightweight Black Grey Royal Navy Teal Moss
BeeGreen Reusable Grocery Bags Foldable Shopping Bag Large 50LBS Reusable Tote Groceries Bags with Pouch Bulk 6 Pack Ripstop Fabric Washable Durable Lightweight Black Grey Royal Navy Teal Moss
I was looking for lightweight foldable bags to keep in my pocketbook and car for shopping other than grocery. I can see that they would be great for groceries because they are sturdy and would hold a lot of groceries. However, I have other bags for grocery shopping.
For these, I wanted bags for other shopping. While my other grocery bags can be thrown in the grocery cart, I don't want to really carry them around while at the mall or Target. These lightweight bags fold up so that you can put a few in your pocketbook with no problem at all. They hold a lot. They were easy to re-fold and put into the storage bag.
The storage bag is not attached to the bag. However, there is a hook on it that can be attached to the bag so that you do not misplace it.
I have not had reason to wash them yet. But, so far, I am very happy with this purchase. I am considering purchasing more for both myself and other people.
I will also note that the company has contacted me twice already to ask about my satisfaction with the product. I have not had a problem with the product so I don't know how they would handle it if I did, but the fact that they reached out suggests that they are interested in providing good customer service.
Reptiles
Reptiles
I Have an Australian Blue Tongue Skink Which is part lizard and snake there the best herp to raise for first timers easy to take care of and smart they are affectionate and always doing something New ! They lol a moist tropical Environment they are from the Outback in Australia where the area in moist and has water features near by as in streams and water falls and rocks and plants that are edible so you want to mimic the same environment in your Bio tank with Water falls heated mats under the special dirt made of moss and mixture of lome and shreds of coco nut it holds the moistre in well you can get all your information from this magazine it's great 👍 for all reptiles thank you !

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