Tyler Garcia

Joined 10 months ago

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Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs
With the exception of one laptop and 2 non-smart cell phones, in my personal and professional life since 2004 I've had nothing but Apple products - computers (both desktop and laptop), iPads, iPods, and my crown jewel: my iPhone. None has ever disappointed me. I say this not to put forth a review of the Apple products but to explain that I am part of Steve Jobs's choir: I value, respect and rely on the products that he created. I'm sold, so to speak. And so it seemed only logical that I would eventually read this book to gain insight both in the genesis and evolution of Apple and in the person of Steve Jobs. The book did not disappoint in either.

What I found out about the early years and the development of the personal computer was fascinating. I do remember a lot of the news articles from those years - I was living in San Francisco at the time and a good friend of mine worked for Apple - but I would not consider myself previously knowledgeable about Apple in any comprehensive way. I learned so much of the nuts and bolts of Apple Computer, Inc., from this book. The chapters about the creation of the iPod, iPhone and iPad were very interesting to someone who has used these products for years and years and feels she has some proficiency using what they offer me.

But the insight I gained from the book on Steve Jobs the man left me very sad. While I consider him to have been a true genius with an almost other-worldly imagination, I can't imagine that I would have liked him very much or respected him outside of his professional arena. As the founder and developer of Apple Computer, he was spectacular. He had an intense imagination, vision, and belief in things that had yet to be discovered. He was fortunate enough to find those people who had the same precise work ethic that he did. To find those people and to hone the abilities of the ones who stayed, he had no reservations about crushing their substandard efforts or their feelings. The ones who lasted were the ones who believed in his vision and their Jobs-given opportunity to indulge and demonstrate their own creativity. The ones who lasted were the best and brightest the tech and artistic world had to offer. The ones who lasted were the ones who took his ideas and made them into our reality. I am profoundly grateful to them and to him for the advances they made in technology and artistry. And I guess the one cannot exist without the other. Without his exact personality would the tech world have been turned on its ear and eventually controlled by Apple? I don't know. Actually I doubt it.

In terms of his family, it seemed as if his attention to them was given only when it was not required or demanded elsewhere. His children were discussed very little; the same is true about Laurene Powell, his wife. But it is clear that in his wife he found the one person who was his equal in intelligence and commitment. Their marriage is portrayed as strong but him as absent.

The sections on his cancer and eventual death were moving but not enough to make me feel for him as a person. I am sorry he died but my sorrow has to do with the loss of him professionally and what he might have accomplished and achieved had he lived but not with the loss of him as a man. And yet I can recognize his genius and I'm glad I read the book.
The Story of George Washington: A Biography Book for New Readers (The Story Of: A Biography Series for New Readers)
The Story of George Washington: A Biography Book for New Readers (The Story Of: A Biography Series for New Readers)
I just knew that George Washington was the first president of the USA but never read about who was he and how he became the president. Also, it was a point that I never came across any book about him. "The story of George Washington" by Lisa Trusiani is a biography book for new readers, written fabulously and all the illustrations are done by John John Bajet. Both of them have done a great job of providing so much information about George Washington for young minds with amazing illustrations in the book.

There is a total of 8 chapters in the book. Starting with the introduction of George Washington, his birth history, family details, and the slavery tradition during that time. He was very hardworking, brave, and participated in wars. I truly loved the fact that he understood the market well and kept changing his business to make money with his wife.

It is very inspirational to read how he fought against all odds and lead people fearlessly. 

Chapter 5 was very inspiring where he worked so hard to make an army of soldiers with proper training and armor. Such a compassionate and brave leader he was on the battlefield. My son enjoyed reading this biography and I too got to know so many facts about George Washington.

This book helps to bust some myths and provides a timeline of events took place with geographical maps. Every chapter has some lovely quotes in big fonts and "jump in the think tank" will leave you in deep thinking. There is a quiz in the last to test your knowledge of what you read in the book. All the illustrations are wonderful.

I recommend everyone to read this book be it you or your kid.

Overall a great book without any doubt. This book was sent to me by the publisher. I am not forced to write any positive reviews. All opinions are mine.
Christmas In The Heart
Christmas In The Heart
Many people thought that Bob Dylan's album Christmas in the Heart must have been some kind of sick holiday joke back in 2009, but I think it has held up well in the years since. This is one of the more offbeat, but finest holiday albums released in the past 20 to 25 years. And as the years (and Christmases) go by, it seems more and more that this is the Christmas seed from which all of Dylan's recent "great American songbook" albums have sprung from. This album was meant to echo the classic, old-time Xmas songs of way back when. Like Sinatra, Doris Day, Bing Crosby, Burl Ives and company. The arrangements and production values reflect that. Yes, Bob's voice is ragged, creakly, sandpapery and rough, but you get a feeling that he puts new life into these songs which can seem tired at best in the hands of another singer. And you feel that he truly believes the sentiments expressed in these songs, something very rare in today's Xmas albums. Another trick of the trade that Bob (and perhaps everybody) knows: just like the late great Leonard Cohen, Bob uses sweet female voices to be the sugar on his sometimes hard to get vocals. The backup singers here remind me of the Andrews Sisters. The point is that this album works.
Highlights include Here Comes Santa Claus, I'll Be Home for Christmas, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, The Christmas Song and more. I'd never heard the song Christmas Island before, but now I have to rank it among my favorite Xmas songs. It's cute and kitschy. This album is recommended for Dylan fans, Xmas album nuts, and those who grow a bit tired of the holiday fare on Lite FM. It's also a wonderful primer for those who wish to get into (or try to appreciate) Dylan's more recent standards albums, Shadows in the Night, Fallen Angels and Triplicate. All in all a nice recommendation. Happy (very early) Holidays!------------------------------PEACE
BTW-The one bad song was Must Be Santa. Dylan doing a polka??!!
#374 in Office Products
#374 in Office Products
After testing one pen in each color:
1.) The ink in all three colors flowed evenly (thin lines) onto white note paper.
2.) The red pen produced an acceptable medium red or raspberry color. - I prefer dark red ink.
3.) The black pen produced an acceptable medium black or dark grey color. - I prefer dark black ink.
4.) The blue pen produced the most satisfactory dark blue color on paper. - I normally prefer a black ink pen over a blue ink pen, but not in this specific Bic ballpoint pen.
5.) With little pressure to paper, the tip of the pen moved smoothly as I wrote across the page.
6.) The opaque plastic pens are color matched to the ink inside them. - You can see how much ink is in each pen.
7.) The pens aren't flimsy. - They appear to be reinforced above the tip (where you grip when writing).
8.) The lids fit snuggly.
Overall, this was a very good deal as long as the rest of the pens work equally as well as the three I tested.
Marvel Studios' Captain Marvel
Marvel Studios' Captain Marvel
Theater review. Possible spoilers. What better entertainment for International Women’s Day than the Marvel Universe’s first film headed by a new character who is a woman. For those who don’t remember at the end of “The Avengers: Infinity Wars” (2018), Thanos pretty much took out much of the world’s population including some Avengers using the power of the 6 Infinity Stones. At the end of the film a wounded Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) is seen using a device to call Captain Marvel for help.

So this is the origin story of Captain Marvel. It turns out she was once a crack Air Force jet pilot. But I’m getting ahead of myself. As usual, I will give a disclaimer about my Marvel geeknous. I have none. I’ve seen all the movies and liked almost all of them. At the same time I may screw up some characters, events, timelines and who’s a good guy and who’s not. The film opens on the planet Hala occupied by the blue-blooded (literally) Kree. A young woman known a Vers (Oscar winner Brie Larson) is decked out in a form-fitted aqua-green jump suit, as is her trainer Yon-Rogg (Jude Law). It is clear that the Kree have some seriously good fighting skills, but Yon-Rogg keeps telling Vers to control her emotions before launching some of her more serious weapons, especially fiery blasts from her fists. In what seems to be a well-placed and recurring attack on the emotional stability of women, we are sure to see more.

Vers keeps having nightmares and dreams often involving a woman of mystery called Supreme Intelligence in the credits played by 60-year old Annette Bening who also fills out her uniform nicely (not a sexist comment). Vers has memory intrusions as well of living another life in another world. She wants a combat assignment and finally gets it as an attack is planned on another planet by the Kree’s enemy, the shapeshifting Skrulls. In a series of exchanges and perhaps my confusion the Kree squad – including Vel - and led by Yon-Rogg, chase the Skrull leader Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) to Earth. Frankly I’m not sure who was chasing who. Vers gets separated and gets to Earth first, right through the roof of a Blockbusters Video and next door to a Radio Shack. These obvious “ancient” references are played for fun and it all works, including plenty-o-songs from the ‘90’s. When Vers gets her action on, the songs seem to be those with female leads (Garbage, Salt-n-Pepa, TLC and No Doubt). Nice!

Through these intermediary battles with the now shapeshifted Skrulls, Vers meets Fury and Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) both with CGI engaged to make them younger. Works well with Jackson in particular who is in a lot of scenes. The scenes with Vers and Fury are witty enough to make the film watchable alone. A third wheel is a house cat called Goose who is likely to be remembered as much as the lead actors.

As time goes by, Vers's memory begins to come back. She reunites with Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch, “Brotherhood”) a fellow pilot. The two flew together and Vers discovers her real name is Carol Danvers. As Carol more memories return including interaction with a scientist named Wendy Lawson who looks a lot like Bening.

To be honest, this film closely follows the set up established for all of the Marvel films by Kevin Feige. What is remarkable is that Captain Marvel slides right in there without a hiccup. The film is fun, flashy, exciting and entertaining. Larson is perfect in her role. She goes from a newbee warrior with a bit too much attitude to a confident superhero who absorbs energy to create a character every bit as strong as any we’ve seen so far. When the Captain is at full throttle, glowing through the sky it raises one’s pulse. Let’s see how she does with Thanos in a couple months. Recommended.
Q & A 5 (monthly Shonen Sunday Comics)
Q & A 5 (monthly Shonen Sunday Comics)
ネタバレはしたくないので書かないですが、オチがひどすぎます。
もしかして打ち切りだったのでしょうか?
漫画の中でも作者のグチなどいろいろありましたが、
そうは言ってもちゃんとした作品に仕上げて終わると思ったのですが。
こんなことばかりしてたらいいかげんファンも見限ると思います。
Pushkin Threefold: Narrative, Lyric, Polemic and Ribald Verse, the Originals with Linear and Metric Translations
Pushkin Threefold: Narrative, Lyric, Polemic and Ribald Verse, the Originals with Linear and Metric Translations
This collection of Pushkin's work, presented in the original Russian, then in linear and metric translations (i.e. literal and rhyming), is a classic. Contains not just a large chunk of Evgeny Onegin, but also some 74 shorter Pushkin classics, masterfully chosen and translated by one the poet's most gifted translators.

Originally published in the 1970s, this book has been out of print for some time, but now is brought back in this reprint edition, which should be in any Russophile's library.

{As reviewed in 
How the West Was Won
How the West Was Won
I bought this as it is one of the updated volumes in the Lost Treasures format. How interesting that Beau L'Amour's postscript and notes includes a lengthy recounting of Louis' travails with the movie industry. Guys who "like to throw their weight around" because they can get away with it is nothing new. That Weinstein fellow is just treading in tracks that have long been in the making. High time for that trail to come to an end.
It is endearing to know that Louis fought the battle for authenticity. His reader is being immersed in a credible world based on reality. That wind blowing through my hair is the real deal, not the breeze of some studio fan. I find myself part of the story, not removed from it, thanks to attention to detail. Thanks LL. Thanks Beau.
Mikeneko Homuzu No Aki in Japanese
Mikeneko Homuzu No Aki in Japanese
赤川次郎先生の代表作、三毛猫シリーズ。
どの話も、片山と妹・晴美の人柄の良さと温かさにホッと和みます。
殺人事件が起きても、どこか心が癒される話ばかり・・・。
赤川先生の作品は、気構えせず読める。そしてその後何となく元気になってる。
だから好きなんです。
The Perry Mason Casebook: The Case of the Sulky Girl / Case of the Careless Kitten / Case of the Fiery Fingers
The Perry Mason Casebook: The Case of the Sulky Girl / Case of the Careless Kitten / Case of the Fiery Fingers
Always liked the TV series but reading the books is even better. It's hard not to imagine the characters as being anyone but Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale, William Talman & Co but the "real" Perry as invented by Erle Stanley Garner, shows Perry as a slightly more sinister guy, ready to do almost anything to win a case, and, what I always suspected, at least in one of the stories, it appears that his young "confidential secretary" Della is also his girlfriend! Shock horror! But seriously, three great reads in this book which was published some years ago and is not so cheap to buy!
Edgar Wallace: Gesammelte Werke: Andhofs große Literaturbibliothek (German Edition)
Edgar Wallace: Gesammelte Werke: Andhofs große Literaturbibliothek (German Edition)
Und dann folgt die Salve aus der Maschinenpistole. Ich denke, ich kenne alle deutschen Edgar Wallace Filme, mit Joachim Fuchsberger, Eddy Arendt, und vielen anderen deutschen Spitzenschauspielern aus der Zeit. Gelesen habe ich bisher noch nicht eine Kriminalgeschichte von Edgar Wallace. Und nun habe ich so viele auf einen Haufen. Ist einfach toll. Die fehlenden bestelle ich mir nach, wie zum Beispiel der Zinker. Ist ja nicht das Gesamtwerk, sondern "lediglich" die "Gesammelten Werke"; das ist ein kleiner Unterschied den manche nicht beachten. Ich bin froh dass ich diese Kindle Sammlung gekauft habe.
Doigt de Dieu (Folio) (French Edition)
Doigt de Dieu (Folio) (French Edition)
C’est l’Amérique des « poor withe trash » qui est la matière des romans d’Erskine Caldwell. Celle qui laisse mariner dans les bas-fonds de sa société de consommation un ramassis de losers laissés pour compte. Rebus social destiné au pilon, inévitables dommages collatéraux ou encore taux acceptable de déchet nécessaire à la survie d’un capitalisme le cul et la chemise toujours collés à ces revendeurs de terre promise et autres promoteurs de séjours longue durée dans un au-delà à résidences privées à accès protégé.

L’Amérique pauvre de Cadwell est grotesque bouffonne cocasse, mais blanche Elle se traine dans ces caravanes délabrées comme d’éphémères radeaux toujours prêt à sombrer dans la défonce au rabais. Mais elle n’est pas caricaturale car ses pauvres ne sont pas les anti-héros sortis d’une bande dessinée, mais bel et bien des êtres de chair et de sang qui s’accommodent de pingres désirs chichement satisfaits. Ici l’auteur nous rapporte l’histoire de Molly, bonne fille déjà trop grosse, déjà trop vieille, déjà trop veuve, et toujours prête à partager son corps pour un peu de bénéfice et beaucoup de reconnaissance. Sa fille qui ne veut pas ressembler à maman mais qui avec le cerveau d’un petit pois assure la relève.

Mais voilà c’est un roman d’époque, qui ne fait que parler de son temps sans effet de manche, sans exhibition facile, juste en racontant, les personnages se suffisant à eux-mêmes. L’humour supposé par la lecture du quatrième de page est, comme le dirait Molly, aussi faiblard « qu’un fond de culotte peu garni ». Un livre dans la lignée des sales pauvres blancs mais qu’il faut replacer dans son époque pour mieux en saisir l’impertinence et l’originalité.
The Moneypenny Diaries: Secret Chapters
The Moneypenny Diaries: Secret Chapters
Both stories were like visits to old friends. Such a fun break from the modern day problems we are facing right now. If you are a fan of the Fleming books these short stories are worth more than a look.
Plot It Yourself (A Nero Wolfe Mystery Book 32)
Plot It Yourself (A Nero Wolfe Mystery Book 32)
This is one of Nero Wolfe’s most interesting cases. The crime is a series of fraudulent plagiarism claims against highly successful authors. The client is a committee of writers and publishers — which makes for wonderfully chaotic meetings with people who can’t agree — and lots of bothersome phone calls from committee members.

The investigation provokes multiple murders. The fraudster is so clever that Wolfe ends up congratulating the criminal for a flawless performance of crime!

By this point in the series, Wolfe has achieved enough control of his dread of women to use female detectives in addition to his usual operatives. Fritz the cook is always in dire fear that Wolfe will marry one of them. Poor Fritz has other trials in this book too. Wolfe has vowed not to touch beer or meat until he catches the culprit!

This is a total about-face. Wolfe is generally a master procrastinator. At the commencement of a difficult case, he’ll read a book, study his globe, count the bottle caps in his drawer — anything but work!

Archie Goodwin, as always, is a wry, caustic, and completely entertaining narrator. I was hesitant to read this book because I thought, from the title, that there might be an Ellery Queen-type challenge to solve the crime myself. No worries on that score. Wolfe does all the thinking and solving required!
Fire-Tongue
Fire-Tongue
I read this after having burned through a number of other Sax Rohmer ebooks, and it wasn't my favorite at all; I much preferred his Fu Manchu novels.

The story is standard pulp fare -- detective, mysterious murder, dark secrets, enigmatic villain, beautiful ingenue, etc. So far, so good. Like other Rohmer books, there are some elements which presage the Indiana Jones movies (especially, here, Temple of Doom).

This particular pulp potboiler has several problems, though.

1) The writing is comically bad. The keynote might have been when the protagonist declares this the "biggest case of my career" when we have literally no idea who the villain might be, but there were many other sharp contenders (an honorable mention must go, for example, to "You are out after one of the big heads of the crook world").

2) the plotting is painfully predictable. When an elderly man visits the protagonist, announces he thinks people are trying to kill him, begs for assistance, and then decides to tell Our Hero about it all later that day, over dinner, instead of, you know, right then in his office like he came there to do. . .yeah. We all know about how long that guy's going to live (exactly long enough to choke out an Enigmatic Phrase over the soup). By itself, that kind of thing wouldn't be so bad, but, well, there's another problem:

3) The misogyny and racism. The best example of this work's misogyny might be this two-line exchange between the protagonist and the ingenue: ""Why do you insist on treating me like a child?"/"Perhaps because I enjoy doing so". The real kicker, though, is the books' casual racism; lines like "The manicurist incident indicated an inherent cruelty only possible in one of the Oriental race" are all too common, and whenever the heroes take an oath it's "on [their] honor as a white man," etc. On the one single occasion where a caucasian does something reprehensible, the narrator takes care to note "the prominence of upper jaw singularly reminiscent of the primitive Briton . . . utter stupidity and dogged courage are the outstanding characteristics of this type."

It's possible to defend that sort of thing by saying Rohmer was a creature of his era, but even at the time he was writing, Rohmer was decried for the rampant racism in his books; one of the later Fu Manchu novels, published shortly before WW2, features the protagonists attempting to save a Hitler analogue and thereby foil Fu Manchu's plot to prevent a world race war.

Regardless, though, for a modern reader, this kind of thing is fairly painful to read. In his Fu Manchu novels, it's worth working past the racism just to read the iconic descriptions of the Fu Manchu character. Here, though . . . well, there's no Fu Manchu here, and without that iconic character, what's left is just racist pulp. Skip this one, and grab the Fu Manchu series instead.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Extended Version)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Extended Version)
Harry Potter's (Radcliffe) second year at Hogwarts is affected by the opening of a legend known only as the Chamber of Secrets.

The second instalment of the series brings more adventure and more imagination to the now infamous adaptations of J.K Rowling's wondrous world.

Rowling's first novel broke barriers for the concept of magic and a different world and the film broke numerous records all around the world with a stunningly entertaining and enjoyable family make over.

Chamber of Secrets follows in its footsteps by targeting family viewing again with humour for the young (Errol the Owl) and comedy for the old (Kenneth Branagh as Gilderoy Lockhart) and never underestimating the significance of magic relating to serious issues.

The question of friendship, the treatment of children under adoptive parents and the importance of blood relations are all points that become even bigger in the sequels and here we again see another wonderful build up and get to see where they all began.

Like Philosopher's Stone, this has a mystery all set up for the students to figure out and there are subtle hints being dropped along the way with laughs, drama not to mention twists and turns but ultimate fun and great family viewing.

All the stars reprise their roles from the Philosopher's Stone with the younger stars like Radcliffe and Grint noticeably more sophisticated and mature in their approach to their respective protagonists. Jason Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy is perhaps one of the finest pieces of casting that have been implemented into the series. Branagh, Rickman and Richard Harris' last major film role are all stand outs once again but like the first, these films are all about the magic narratives.

J.K Rowling's second novel was more flowing and slightly more exciting than her first, not to mention darker. This was noted by Columbus who uses a more artistic style to capture the more mature moments.

There are lapses and moments which feel a bit outdated. Not to mention recent novels have hindered the meaning of elements, in particular the diary but don't let that take the shine of the adventure that is still sharp and entertaining.

This is a fine adaptation of the award winning novel that delivers everything a family film should and reminds us of what happened at the beginning and when watching years from when it was made (2002) it brings back some magical memories.

8.5/10
There And Back Again: An Actor's Tale
There And Back Again: An Actor's Tale
Als totaler Fan der Filmtrilogie habe ich schon gespannt auf das Erscheinen dieses Hörbuchs gewartet. Besonders weil ich auch die ganzen Hintergrundinfos auf den SEE-DvD's verschlungen habe und davon gar nicht genug bekommen kann. Zu diesen Infos ist das Hörbuch eine wunderbare Ergänzung, denn Sean Astin erzählt hier, wie er persönlich die Dreharbeiten und die Zeit danach erlebt hat, was er gedacht und gefühlt hat. Und obwohl er auch kurz auf sein Aufwachsen in Hollywood als Kind zweier Schauspieler und seine bisherigen Filme eingeht, ist es keine Biografie, nein, es ist tatsächlich " There and Back Again - An Actors Tale". Der Autor erzählt, wie er, als er von der Verfilmung hörte, die Rolle unbedingt haben wollte, ohne zu wissen, wer ein gewisser "J. ... Tolkien oder so ähnlich" überhaupt ist, wie er sich dann auf das Vorsprechen vorbereitet hat und seine Freude, als der lang ersehnte Anruf kam. Der Aufbruch nach Neuseeland, das Kennenlernen von Cast und Crew und die (viel zitierten) Freundschaften, die in der Zeit entstanden sind. Aber auch, dass er sich nicht mit jedem gut verstanden hat (wussten wir es doch!). Er gibt Einblicke in seine Vorstellung von der Rolle als Sam, die manchmal auch von der des Regisseurs abwich und wie er sich dabei gefühlt hat. Er beschreibt sehr anschaulich, wie es für ihn war, diese oder jene Szene zu drehen, wie er sich vorbereitet hat etc.und wie er feststellen musste, dass nach dem Ende der Dreharbeiten alles erst so richtig losging. Dann führt er den Hörer über die Veröffentlichung der beiden folgenden Filme und die Zeit dazwischen zur Oscarverleihung vom Februar 2004, womit die Geschichte, die "Actors Tale", auch endet. Zwischendurch erfährt man etwas über Seans Ambitionen, nicht nur als Schauspieler, sondern auch weiter als Regisseur oder sogar Produzent zu arbeiten und über sein Verantwortungsgefühl für Frau und Kind und dem damit verbundenen Wunsch nach finanzieller Sicherheit (nicht alle Schauspieler sind Millionäre!). Einiges wusste man schon, sehr vieles noch nicht. Das Buch ist nicht exakt chronologisch, der Autor schweift manchmal ab, aber im positiven Sinne. Ich finde, das lockert das Ganze auf und macht es informativer und anschaulicher als wenn er sich stur an den Ablauf "Kindheit - Familie - frühere Filme - Herr der Ringe" gehalten hätte. Zusammenfassend kann man sagen, dass "There and Back Again - An Actors Tale" ein sehr offener Bericht über 5 Jahre im Leben eines jungen ambitionierten Schauspielers ist, bei dem der Autor den Hörern insbesondere einen sehr persönlichen Einblick in seine Sicht der Dinge gibt und dabei auch die negativen Gefühle wie Neid, Ärger und Selbstüberschätzung nicht ausspart.

Fazit: Für jeden Herr der Ringe-Film-Fan ein Muss, aber auch für alle, die sich für einen "Hinter den Kulissen-Bericht" aus der Filmwelt interessieren.

Achtung: Da Sean sein Buch selber liest, sollte man schon gut englisch können. Allerdings spricht er langsam und deutlich und ist daher gut zu verstehen.
Alternate Generals III
Alternate Generals III
This is an interesting collection of thirteen short stories of alternative history from Antiquity to the Viêtnam war by a range of authors. In all cases, the historical outline is modified in a number of ways. Most of the stories are good, original and enjoyable, although they are a couple that I found much less good that the others.

A typical theme is that of the historical losers (such as Marc Antony and Cleopatra or General Lee) becoming the winners but victory brings its own set of problems, some of which are just as bad or even worse than what happened historically. Some of the stories, such as the two just alluded two (The Road to Endless Sleep and East of Appomattox) are quite moving. Others, such as "Murdering Uncle Ho", a story where the United States invades North Viêt Nam with a massive army and continues the war for over twenty years, almost feel more realistic than what happened in reality.

A couple of other stories among my favourites involve religion in various ways, with Genghis Khan and the Mongols concerting to Judaism or Joan of Arc surviving her trail and becoming a heretic in the eyes of the Church. The one I liked the least, and which is intended to be a parody, was "First, Catch Your Elephant" and takes place when Hannibal and his army is crossing the Alps during the beginning of the Second Punic War.

Four stars
USB Microphone with One-Touch Mute and Mic Gain Knob MAONO AU-PM421 Professional Cardioid Condenser Podcast Mic for Online Teaching, Meeting, Livestreaming, Gaming, Broadcasting
USB Microphone with One-Touch Mute and Mic Gain Knob MAONO AU-PM421 Professional Cardioid Condenser Podcast Mic for Online Teaching, Meeting, Livestreaming, Gaming, Broadcasting
 This is my first mic for doing voiceovers of videos for remote learning and for future videos that I will use for when we go back to normal school. I like how it comes in a quality box that could be used as a case since it doesn’t come with one. Inside the box the foam pieces have cut outs for each item for the microphone which is nice. The price of the microphone is a great benefit for how well it is built.

The pop filter that comes with this seems large which is great for blocking out the loud sounds of many words you are saying. USB cable is premium quality and comes with Velcro strap to keep it together/organized The table clap and microphone arm are quality. Table clap has foam padding inside it where it is on the top of the surface it is connected to so it isn’t scratching it. Microphone arms has multiple tightening nuts so you can lock at a specific angle. Microphone has a matte black finish to reduce fingerprints and looks spectacular. Microphone is heavy which makes it feel like it is built with premium materials. Microphone has knob on it to turn up and down the mic gain which is great to be able to adjust it on the mic. One tap mute button is nice on the mic and turns great when mic is active and red when muted.

Only thing I wish this much mic came with is a real case and desktop microphone stand, but other than that it is a great deal for the quality MAONO provides.
Planting in a Post-Wild World: Designing Plant Communities for Resilient Landscapes
Planting in a Post-Wild World: Designing Plant Communities for Resilient Landscapes
I picked up Rainer and West's book at the library recently, having read some favorable reviews here and on Garden Rant and elsewhere. I have a somewhat different take on it. I thought it's evangelism for an ecologically-focused gardening was, in general, a welcome antidote to the horticultural industry's single-minded focus (responding, in all fairness, to client desires) to promote "Flower Power" by marketing the most highly ornamental, often new and unproven hybrids, without consideration of their adaptability locally, and frequently requiring extensive use of need to pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. I think the book should be read with great caution, however, because its prescriptions for planting and maintenance require a wealth of experience and a detailed knowledge of plant husbandry very rare among self-taught gardeners and even uncommon among professional garden designers.

There are also a number of what, to me, seemed peculiar assertions in the book about the natural world. "In nature, plants have an order and visual harmony," where traditional gardens are "arbitrary assortments" of plants chosen for "personal preference." To anyone who has grappled with a laurel-infested swamp, or cut a path through second growth mix of hardwoods, or fought with the woody invasives in an abandoned meadow, or a setting overtaken by highly aggressive honeysuckle, such broad statements about the harmony, balance, and inherent beauty of the natural world seem romantic in the extreme. And as for "personal preference," what is a garden after all other than a place that gives the gardener great joy. A knowledgeable gardener may well chose to temper his passions with an eye toward environmental sustainability (which is undoubtedly a good thing), but it is not the only thing.

Of greatest concern, perhaps, is the intimation (often stated forthrightly) that the design of plant communities can be achieved, practically, with modest help. One of the most enthusiastic proponents of ecological gardening, Larry Weaner, was recently quoted in the Washington Post stating "It is difficult, if not impossible, for gardeners who want to move away from traditional garden models to find the labor and advice geared to ecological gardening." Many of the design goals promoted by Rainer are identical to those of the great plantsman, William Robinson, who in The Wild Garden, set forth many of the same principles -- naturalized plantings, using plants from the same climates (if not the same habitat), layered, with a focus on clear, defined edges to minimize chaos and impose some measure of structure. Gertrude Jekyll, although a fan of Robinson, cautioned that his designs, if they could be achieved at all, required much "coaxing and persuading." The garden writer C.W. Earle was even more critical, noting that wild gardening is an illusion and a snare, "requiring the most judicious planting with consummate knowledge and experience of plants."

Rainer and West do acknowledge, at times, the resource and maintenance demands presented by their approach. They concede that choosing regionally appropriate plants "takes a high degree of plant knowledge." In portions of the book where they provide specific advice (in contrast to those in which they rhapsodize about the natural world), they do caution that ecological gardening "requires a rich collaboration with contractors and garden staff" and "complex plant communities only persist if designers and land managers collaborate," and strongly recommend ongoing "consulting with soil scientists to read and interpret soil tests," and the use of plant designers (like Rainer and West) as part "of a plantings life as regular and ongoing consultants." Basically, it seems to me, they are talking about New York's High Line, or the Longwood Meadow Garden, or other institutional or municipal gardens with a staff of volunteers and long-term consulting contracts with a "garden design firm."

Recognizing the difficulties inherent in ecological gardening given the diversity of natural communities, they also try to provide some practical design guidelines. They walk the reader through various models and taxonomies used to organize and design plant communities worldwide and propose an alternative approach based on what they call "archetypal landscapes" -- grasslands, woodlands and scrublands, forests, and edges, together with some design concepts (functional, seasonal, structural layers) to apply to various settings. These are helpful, on balance, but also fairly vague. The archetypes seem to revere a pre-Colombian world, not the suburban or highly urban world many of us live in. The authors correctly say that plants should enhance a sense of place and memory, but that often means -- to many gardeners -- the peonies of their grandmother, or the favorite Southern camellia, or even the highly drought-sensitive magenta azalea -- not the remnants of a midwestern Great Plain. When the authors talk about exploring a site for its emotional resonance and directing one's attention to where a "dense thicket of existing shrubs may be used to line a path that opens into a sunny, low meadows" they seem to be talking about design advice for the high net-worth hedge fund manager wondering hot to best disguise his helicopter pad at this house in the Hamptons. They're not talking about the middle class 100' foot lot with the neighbor's propane tank in the background, and the circle of earth left by the old above-ground swimming pool in the foreground..

I tend to think that their goal is worthwhile. Maybe this book will be the progenitor for others for "the rest of us" -- who wish to make our backyard gardening more sustainable and beautiful, at reasonable cost.
Spigen Ultra Hybrid Back Cover Case Designed for iPhone 12 | iPhone 12 Pro - Matte Black
Spigen Ultra Hybrid Back Cover Case Designed for iPhone 12 | iPhone 12 Pro - Matte Black
Though i like the overall design of the product and how it showcases the beauty of iphone 12, im not satisfied with the quality expected of a brand like Spigen. Like others mentioned the clear back is a fingerprint magnet. The edges though while offering adequate protection it doesnt seem to line the iphone inner edges perfectly. There is a persistent air bubble on the clear back. I managed to get rid of it once but it came back again. Its disappointing because after spending a hefty sum on the iphone this case cheapens the look a bit. Like i said, its protection seems adequate but the overall look is not what i wanted. My advice for prospective buyers, Move on from this.
Vivo Y91i (Ocean Blue, 3GB RAM, 32GB Storage) with No Cost EMI/Additional Exchange Offers
Vivo Y91i (Ocean Blue, 3GB RAM, 32GB Storage) with No Cost EMI/Additional Exchange Offers
THE PRODUCT IS NOT USER FRIENDLY, THERE ARE SO MANY UNNECESSARY APPLICATIONS R AUTOMATICALLY STORING. THE MESSAGE SECTION OPERATION IS VERY BAD AND NOT USER FRIENDLY. IF U WANT DELETE ANY APP
IT WILL GO TO GOOGLE ICON ALSO TIME CONSUMING FOR DELETION. NOT AT ALL A USER FRIENDLY OPERATION.
FURTHER THE BATTERY WILL TAKE 5 TO 6 HOURS FOR FULL CHARGE AND GET VERY HOT AFTER 3 HRS PLUGGING . VERY DIFFICULT OPERATION FOR PHONE CLONING. NOT WORTH FOR MONEY.
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