Walker Wilson

Joined a year ago

Walker's Favorites
How to Make Money in Stocks: A Winning System in Good Times and Bad, Fourth Edition
How to Make Money in Stocks: A Winning System in Good Times and Bad, Fourth Edition
Don't get me wrong but this is one of the worst books I have ever read.

Let me explain why...
This book is about growth investing and growth investing only. The reason I thought the book is horrible is because the author go against some of the already proven techiniches and consensus already stabilished not only in Wall Street but for great legends like Benjamin Graham, Warren Buffett, John J. Murphy, Bulkowski, Nison and others.

For instance, he desregards the use of P/E or Discounted Cash Flow as a good metrics, giving exemples about the high P/E ratios found on Microsoft and other Tech Growth stocks and how the investor would have missed those stocks.
But he does not tell the story about the dot com bubble and how this same over valued P/E stocks went from a fortune to nothing, capitalizing on earning growth that even did not existed, more like a future promisse.

He gives other example about Bank of America with low P/E in 2008. For God Sakes a global financial crises and meltdown of stock market should not be a parameter for nothing and pro investor or not, who earned money in that year?

Other point the author dismiss based on his research is about Technical Analysis and some Patterns, saying almost all patterns have a low rate of success. The only pattern that he considers good is cup and handle because he was the first person to spot it and write about it, I guess...

On the final chapters the author have some chapters with titles like When to sell or how to time markets and stuff like that, but he does not give clear clues and techniques and pictures of how to do it and how to do it, he just talk in a shallow way.

He dislikes the idea of buying good and stabilished companys like Coca-Cola and Gillete just because the are too big to generate good profits or because he judges their management team old fellow with no interest to innovate or step out of the box. Also deslikes the idea of buy and hold good companies like Warren Buffett does.

In resume, is almost like he is saying "Go Big or Go Home!" and instigating the new investor to take risks with this unproven enterprises...

Like I said, this is a good for those interested in buy and look for growth stocks and maybe in this matter it can be a useful book, but to dismiss all the common sense and already proven techniques ranging from value investing and technical analysis for me would be madness
Invest Like a Guru: How to Generate Higher Returns at Reduced Risk with Value Investing
Invest Like a Guru: How to Generate Higher Returns at Reduced Risk with Value Investing
I use the research site GuruFocus almost daily. It’s my go-to source for fundamental stock research, and the screeners and graphing tools alone would be well worth the subscription cost.

So, I was thrilled to find out that GuruFocus founder Charlie Tian, PhD recently authored a book, Invest Like a Guru: How To Generate Higher Returns At Reduced Risk With Value Investing.

Tian doesn’t have a background in finance. He’s a scientist with a PhD in physics and an expert in fiber optics and lasers. Perhaps because of his unorthodox background Tian approaches the investing process in a scientific way, picking apart the strategies of successful investors to see how they work. Much of Invest Like a Guru – and GuruFocus too, for that matter – is focused on the strategies of wildly successful value investors such as Warren Buffett, Peter Lynch and Donald Yacktman.

The dominant theme of the book is quality. Buffett famously said “It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price,” and Tian spends most of Invest Like a Guru expanding on that core idea. Chapter 6 is particularly useful as a 20-point checklist of criteria to look for when seeking out quality companies, including consistent profitability, capital efficiency and insider ownership.

But while Invest Like a Guru is full of solid advice in what to look for in a stock, it’s far more useful in telling you what to avoid. As a case in point, Tian dedicates a chapter to deep-value investing, and I personally consider this the most important chapter in the book. I myself have gotten suckered into deep-value plays in the past, and they rarely seem to work out as planned or on the timeframe I had hoped.
Deep-value investing is what Warren Buffett called “buying dollar bills for 40 cents” earlier in his career. Later, he mostly eschewed the strategy, calling it “cigar-butt” investing.

The rationale is easy enough to understand: It’s hard to lose money buying a company that is worth more dead than alive. If a company’s net assets are worth significantly more than its current market price, management could sell off the company for spare parts and deliver a decent profit to shareholders. And generally, that would be the right move. Remember, if a stock is trading that cheaply, chances are good that it is a company with very deep problems.

The problem is that it never quite works out that way. Monetizing assets is messy and complicated, and management has a vested interest in keeping the enterprise going. And the longer they do, the more value gets eroded.

As a case in point, consider the case of Sears Holdings. Eddie Lampert and Bruce Berkowitz – both respected value investors – have effectively bet their careers on Sears in the belief that its real estate and brand portfolios represented massive untapped value. They problem is that the Sears retail business continues to deteriorate around them. They may eventually unlock the value they had hoped to, but it will have cost them dearly in money, reputational damage and – perhaps most importantly – opportunity cost. Had they focused their energies elsewhere, they might have made far better profits with far less headache.

Buffett himself learned the same lesson with Berkshire Hathaway, which was a failing textile producer when Buffett originally bought it. Berkshire eventually failed, but only after Buffett had wasted untold time and energy (not to mention money) trying to keep it afloat. Buffett called his purchase of Berkshire Hathaway a “$100 billion mistake.”

Tian finishes the chapter with the simple observation that “There are better ways to make money.”

If you’re new to value investing, I highly recommend Invest Like a Guru. But even if you’re a seasoned investor, you’ll find plenty of insightful food for thought. My compliments to Tian on a solid addition to the value investor’s library.
George Washington
George Washington
A perfect biography of Washington that you can either read to your kids or that they can read to themselves. The story details his birth, childhood, early education, his time spent on America's frontier, the Revolutionary War, his presidency, and his later years. The text is accompanied by lovely and appropriate pictures. I would recommend this book to anyone looking to teach their child/students more about George Washington.
Tell Tale Signs: the Bootleg Series Vol. 8
Tell Tale Signs: the Bootleg Series Vol. 8
Bob Dylan's Bootleg Series has set an unprecedentedly high standard for outtake collections. It is a testament to his artistry - and often dubious judgment - that the collections have had many songs on par with, as good as, and even better than previously released ones. The big question mark, though, had always been recordings from the last twenty years, as very little was known about them. However, the excellent Tell Tale Signs proves that these outtakes are as good as prior ones. Tell quite simply has some of the best music of the last few decades and is absolutely essential.

It makes more sense to discuss the album categorically rather than track-by-track, especially since, unlike prior entries, the running order is not chronological. Drastic differences in songs, especially vocals, are occasionally jarring, but it generally flows well and is certainly more interesting than a chronological order would have been. The first group is Dylan songs previously unreleased in any form, though a snatch or two may have turned up elsewhere, of which there are four. One might have expected more, but superb quality - far higher than one could have ever hoped for - more than atones. "Red River Shore" is nothing less than one of Dylan's best songs, an absolute masterpiece that would be nearly anyone else's peak. A Time Out of Mind outtake, it has much of that album's feel plus a Tex-Mex undercurrent pointing to later Dylan. "Marchin' to the City" is nearly as good, one of Dylan's best blues. It is also a Time outtake, and like several others, is notable in being recorded early in the sessions and thus free of the heavy Daniel Lanois production values that turn off many. The same goes for "Dreamin' of You," which while not quite as good, is excellent and noteworthy in being very uptempo - a distinct contrast to every other known Time recording. "Can't Escape from You" is a 2005 song and yet another near-masterpiece. A fully new venture, it mixes an R&B feel with the Rat Pack balladry Dylan has lately been fond of and has one of his most interesting vocals.

The second category is alternate studio versions of Dylan songs so different that they are practically new, of which Tell generously has nine. "Mississippi," Dylan's best latter-day song, is here in two versions; neither are as good as Love and Theft's, but both are very high quality. The first is simply amazing - a spare acoustic cut with a very different feel. The second is a Time sessions take with a very large band. "Most of the Time" is solo acoustic with substantially different lyrics - a drastic contrast to Oh Mercy's Lanois-drenched piece that many will prefer. The first "Dignity" is a solo piano demo with a highly gospel feel and somewhat different words - so excellent that its truncated nature is highly frustrating. The second is a full band take with a sort of rockabilly feel and many altered lyrics; it is inferior but quite good and a very interesting contrast. "Someday Baby" is also piano-led but with a band; a dramatically different vocal and alternate lyrics give a vivid contrast to Modern Times' straight blues version, and many will prefer this. The already obscure "Tell Ol' Bill" is here in an infinitely better version. Dylan shows his unparalleled ability to sing the same words so differently that the whole meaning is altered. His vocal blows the first out of the proverbial deep blue sea, and the music is also almost totally rewritten and greatly improved; what was pedestrian has moved into greatness. An Oh Mercy "Born in Time" predating its Under the Red Sky makeover is one of the few cuts to have circulated in bootleg form; diehards have long raved about how much better it is, and here is proof. The music, vocal, and words are so superior that the song moves from forgettable to near-sublime. "Can't Wait" has almost nothing in common with the Time song; the lyrics and vocal are better, and most will prefer the music. This may be the most revealing example of how Time might have sounded sans Lanois - a genuine revelation.

Category three is live versions of previously released Dylan songs, of which we get three. Two are Love and Theft songs, presumably to make up for the lack of studio outtakes from that album. "High Water" is a truly incredible 2003 version; Dylan's band then was perhaps the best he had had since 1975, and they truly rip it up on this jazzy blues jam. "Lonesome Day Blues" is closer to the original and less great but still very worthwhile. "Ring Them Bells" is another amazing performance; the music is totally remade, and Dylan gives one of his best latter-day vocals, leading the band through crescendo after crescendo. The cut comes from the legendary 1993 Supper Club acoustic shows, increasing the already strong desire to have the full concerts released.

The fourth category is live versions of traditional folk songs, of which two are here: "Cocaine Blues" and "The Girl on the Greenbriar Shore." They are the least remarkable tracks, and some may question their inclusion, but they are important in representing the many such songs Dylan has played in the last twenty-plus years.

In the fifth category are alternate studio versions of previously released Dylan songs that are not substantially different; four are included. "Everything Is Broken" has more prominent bass and altered words - a slight improvement. "Series of Dreams" is the same take as on Bootleg 3 but with later overdubs removed and a complete outro - small but telling distinctions making a notably better cut. "God Knows" is the other Oh Mercy song redone for Under; the lyrics are somewhat different, but it otherwise changed little and is comparable in quality. "Ain't Talkin'" seems early and incomplete - the only cut far inferior to the first release. The arrangement is not nearly as epic but has strengths all its own, and alternate lyrics make it worthwhile.

Category six has two previously unreleased studio covers. Though of course known for writing, Dylan is one of the all-time great interpreters, and these are milestones. Robert Johnson's "32-20 Blues" is better than anything on the World Gone Wrong album from which it was withheld - a truly memorable solo acoustic rendition. Even better is Jimmie Rodgers' "Miss the Mississippi," which is one of the album's highlights. Featuring some of Dylan's best recent harmonica, the acoustic arrangement is beautiful, and the vocal is profoundly moving. The cut comes from the full-band, David Bromberg-produced acoustic sessions preceding Good as I Been to You. It has long been rumored that the sessions were better than the two solo acoustic albums that followed, and this certainly suggests it. We seem to be getting a peek at the Great Lost Dylan Album, whetting already substantial appetites for full release.

The seventh and final category has previously released tracks, of which there are notably only three, all somewhat obscure. "Huck's Tune" and "Cross the Green Mountain" were buried on soundtracks to flop films. The former is one of Dylan's weakest recent cuts but not without strengths, and diehards will be glad for its wider release. Conversely, "Cross" is a monumental epic of true greatness. Dylan's intense Civil War interest has recently become known, and this is the best evidence - eight-plus minutes of nostalgic, history-drenched mastery that may well be the best Civil War song ever. Many reviews have touted it as the true highlight, and it is easy to agree. It is a major song and definitely deserved more exposure. Finally, we get "The Lonesome River," a bluegrass classic Dylan did for a Ralph Stanley album before O Brother, Where Art Thou? gave him renewed fame. Dylan reminds us that he is a great country singer, and Stanley joins on the choruses for a truly hair-raising duet. Some Dylan fans will be turned off by Stanley and the bluegrass music, but they are very well done as far as they go.

One can unfortunately not discuss Tell without mentioning the ultra-expensive three-disc version with extra songs. My review is restricted to the two-disc because I strongly believe the three-disc is a great rip-off - so much so that I did the unthinkable and did not buy it. This is truly remarkable in that I have nearly everything Dylan has released on album and in print plus bootlegs, have seen multiple concerts, own several related books and other merchandise, and have even written a book about him. The three-disc is simply not worth the cost and is one of the most shameless examples in the long, sorry record company tradition of milking hard-cores. I boycotted it and urge all others to; this is the only way such travesties will cease. It will hopefully be re-released in cheaper form, at which point I urge everyone to buy it; if not, I strongly suggest obtaining it by whatever means possible. Columbia deserves such deviousness and does not deserve our money; Dylan fans are some of the most loyal of any artist and should be treated with more respect and decency.

As for the two disc, it is in Dylan's top tier, which is to say that it has some of the greatest music ever made. This is really all that need be said. No fan can be without it.
Beyond Here Lies Nothin
Beyond Here Lies Nothin
I've been a huge Dylan fan for 25 years and still get excited when I see a new compilation coming out...especially one like this when you have songs that normally don't appear in compilations! If you're new to Bob's music, this is a fantastic place to start your Dylan collection - and I promise after listening to this you'll be getting all his individual albums! I started off with "Greatest Hits" and haven't looked back since!

So - me being an old Bob-Cat I'll shed some light on the songs from this collection:

Disc 1 starts us out with "The Times They Are A-Changin'" - title track to the 1964 iconic folk album which was pivotal in the Civil Rights movement! A cool live version appears on Bootleg Series 6!
"Blowin' In The Wind" - from 1963's "Freewheelin'" album and has been covered by countless artists/groups in the music business, especially in the 60's! Bob does a cool live version of this on Bootleg Series 7.
"Boots Of Spanish Leather" - this is from "The Times They Are A-Changin'" album and what a great, emotional love song - I usually don't care for love songs but this one is a complete masterpiece of a song - kind of similar to "Girl From The North Country"!
"It Ain't Me, Babe" - what a cool song this is from 1964's "Another Side of Bob Dylan" album! This is acoustic rock at its finest and has been covered by various artists... most notable Johnny Cash & June Carter in 1965!
"To Ramona" - another lost classic from "Another Side" - kind of has a mexican feel to it... a fantastic acoustic love song! I love the line "I'd forever talk to you but soon my words would turn into a meaningless ring"!
"Mr. Tambourine Man" - the first entry here from my personal favorite album - "Bringing It All Back Home" from 1965 - this is an absolute masterpiece and my all-time favorite Dylan song! The lyrical imagery on this is AMAZING!!
"Subterranean Homesick Blues" is the first rock tune included here from "Bringing It All Back Home" - the famous "Cue Card" scene with Allen Ginsberg is considered to be the first music video! Bob's rocking/rap vocal is in-your-face with tons of youthful energy!
"It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" rounds out the selections from "Bringing It All Back Home" - this is another cool lyrical imagery tune and one of the first Dylan songs I learned to play on guitar! Cool stuff!!
"Like A Rolling Stone" - from 1965's "Highway 61 Revisited" - I consider this to the be the greatest rock song of all time! So does Rolling Stone magazine... they ranked it #1 on their top 500 of all time list! This also hit #1 on the Cash Box charts and #2 on the Billboard charts! 'Twas a heck of a single back in the day - clocking in at over 6 mins.!
"I Want You" - from 1966's double album "Blonde On Blonde"! A rip-roaring little rock ditty that has a toe-tapping hook to the instrumentation!
"Just Like A Woman" - kind of a rock ballad from "Blonde On Blonde" that was a huge hit from 1966!
"Tombstone Blues" - from "Highway 61 Revisited" - an in-your-face rocker with cool lyrics - check out the live version from 1995's "MTV Unplugged" it ROCKS!!
"Desolation Row" - from "Highway 61 Revisited" - this is the debut of this masterpiece of a song on a Dylan compilation! Clocking in at over 11 mins. it is just amazing with driving acoustic guitars and Bob's piercing harmonica towards the end! REALLY cool stuff!! Check out the live versions from 1966's Bootleg Series 4 and the Real Royal Albert Hall Concert!
"All Along The Watchtower" - a cool acoustic folk tune from 1967's "John Wesley Harding" album - I love Jimi Hendrix and his cover ROCKS - but Bob wrote it and his version is the best to my ears!
"One Of Us Must Know" - we got back to "Blonde On Blonde" for this one... this was recorded on my birthday (Jan. 25th) and a really cool ballad-type tune! I LOVE the organ playing in this!
"Watching The River Flow" - this was from a recording session in 1971 which produced other really cool tunes like "George Jackson", "Spanish Is The Loving Tongue", a remake of "Only A Hobo", "I Shall Be Released" and others. Not included on an official album, Bob released this as a single and included it as the opening track on "Greatest Hits Vol. II". Kind of a rocking-blues tune with really cool electric guitar and piano!
"I Threw It All Away" - from 1969's "Nashville Skyline" album - a cool country-rock ditty that Bob performed at Johnny Cash's TV show the following year!

Disc 2 starts with "Lay Lady Lay" from "Nashville Skyline" - this was a top-10 hit for Bob in 1969 and still stands the test of time - makes one wonder why Bob hasn't been inducted in the Country Music Hall of Fame!
"You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" - another tune from the aforementioned 1971 recording sessions that eventually wound up on "Greatest Hits II" - this is a remake of the Basement Tapes original version from 1967 - a really cool country-rock tune that was performed by Mary-Chapin Carpenter, Rosanne Cash & Shawn Colvin at Bob's 30th Anniversary concert in 1991!
"The Man In Me" - so great to see a tune from 1970's "New Morning" appearing on a compilation beside "If Not For You! This is a cool little feel-good song and is featured on the Rock Mortgage commercials with the "la-la-las"!
"Knockin' On Heaven's Door" - a Top 10 hit for Bob from 1973's "Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid" soundtrack album! This has been covered by various artists such as Jerry Garcia, Guns & Roses and others... check out the rocking version on "MTV Unplugged"!
"Tangled Up In Blue" - probably the best-known tune from 1975's "Blood On The Tracks"! Bob tells a cool story on this and the drum-playing is off-the-charts cool!
"Simple Twist Of Fate" - the following track from "Blood On The Tracks" - a cool acoustic driven ballad of a tune with great lyrics!
"Hurricane" - from 1976's "Desire Album" - this one tells the story of how boxer Ruben Carter was falsley accused of murder! The fiddle playing and drums are amazing on this - and how about Emmylou Harris' backing vocals! That's the stuff legends are made of!
"Jokerman" - from 1983's "Infidels" - a 6 min. epic that sounds a little like a nursery rhyme... "Jokerman dance by the nightingale tune, bird fly high by the light of the moon"! Cool lyrics!
"Changing Of The Guards" - we got back to 1978 to Street-Legal's "Changing Of The Guards" which was probably the best song on there besides "Senor"!
"The Groom's Still Waiting At The Altar" - a rip-roaring rock tune from "Shot Of Love" - was added late to that album - started out as the B-side to "Heart Of Mine" in 1981!
"Ring Them Bells" - from 1989's "Oh Mercy" - a slower-paced piano driven tune that is sure to stir emotions!
"Brownsville Girl" - from 1986's "Knocked Out Loaded" album - this is one of Bob's best story-telling songs - an 11 min. rumble that's so great it only feels like 5 mins. gone by!
"Po' Boy" - from 2001's "Love And Theft" - kind of a humourous tune that's a tad on the jazzy side but super-cool and lots of fun to listen to!
"Thunder On The Mountain" - from 2006's "Modern Times" - Bob says in the lyrics that he's thinking about Alicia Keys - I didn't know he was an Alicia Keys fan! Great rocking tune!
"Make You Feel My Love" - from 1997's Grammy Award-Winning "Time Out Of Mind" - what a great love song!! Covered by Garth Brooks, Billy Joel & Adele but I gotta stick with Bob's version!
"Beyond Here Lies Nothin'" - from 2009's "Together Through Life" - kind of a slower-paced but super-cool rock tune that will get you in the mood to listen to that whole album!

Well I think this is a super-enjoyable and fun collection to listen to! Other cool compilations are Greatest Hits 1-3, Super Hits, Side-Tracks, Biograph & Masterpieces! And if you want to dive deeper into Bob's song canon, there's always the offical studio and live albums which are a blast - not to mention 15 volumes of The Bootleg Series!
Ranma 1/2 nº 02/19 (Manga Shonen) (Spanish Edition)
Ranma 1/2 nº 02/19 (Manga Shonen) (Spanish Edition)
Me atrevería a decir que es una de las mejores ediciones a nivel internacional de esta gran obra de Rumiko Takahashi. La impresión, el papel y la calidad de los acabados es genial. Me ha encantado. Además es de mayor tamaño que los tomos que se habían publicado de otras editoriales. Sin duda compraré toda la colección.
Ronzoni Gluten Free Rotini Pasta (3 Pack)
Ronzoni Gluten Free Rotini Pasta (3 Pack)
If you prepare this brand of pasta correctly, it is indistinguishable from normal noodles. I put a tablespoon of oil in my water, a teaspoon of salt, and boil for 12 minutes (that's longer than recommended on the box but I get better results with a longer boil). Drain but don't rinse (again, that goes against the instructions on the box).

Your mileage may vary.
Lord of the Rings
Lord of the Rings
I own both the BBC and Mind's Eye LotR dramatizations, and I am a life-long fan of the LotR novels. In that sense, I have a broad ability to review this production. The first thing any buyer MUST know is that this production was conducted in 1979 on a literal shoe-string budget using volunteer local voice talent and equipment. Bernard Mayes was the president of NPR at the time, and masterminded the production as a labor of pure love in a market that had not had seen radio dramatizations for many years. In this sense, you have to be willing to cut the production a lot of slack considering the difficult circumstances of the origins.

I will discuss the weaknesses first...

The Mind's Eye production (MEP) is lacking in quality and polish. The voice acting is definitely of a low caliber. Some of the principle actors are poor actors. In particular, the two main characters Frodo (Arrington) and Sam (Louise Bliss). Louise Bliss in particular is a terrible choise. I refuse to play along with the cast notes that call her "Lou" Bliss. This is Louise Bliss - the same woman who played Smurfette in the cartoons and you can tell. Some of the performances are painful to listen to in the same way that the kid in Phantom Menace was painful to watch. Others performers are more capable, such as Bernard Mayes himself who humbly gave himself the role of Gandalf. But none of the acting in the MEP comes across as 'good acting'.

Similarly, the production values of the MEP are poor. The music is a set of 'stock' music that has been used in many cheap, cheesy children's audio productions. The sound effects and other background noises are also noticably substandard. Sometimes they are comically bad and sound like laser beams when Gandalf performs magic. But in most cases the effects are simply basic and forgettable such as when they are clearly using silverware clattering together to make sword sounds. The overall production values of the MEP ranges from somewhat below average (at best), to poor, to the absolutely cringe-worthily laughable.

Where the MEP does shine though is in the scripting. This is beyond any doubt the most complete of all the adaptations. They include the bulk of the dialog, and quite often the narrator includes many of the lengthy descriptions that Tolkien wrote. They included the Tom Bombabil & Barrow Downs chapters, which most productions ignore. This is not to say that they do not abbreviate or condense at times. However, for the most part the MEP sticks to Tolkien's text more faithfully than most. If you are looking for a version of LoTR that is particularly detailed, then this is your best option.

That pretty much sums it all up. Low quality performances and production values combined with a high level of detail and faithfulness to the text. I would say this production is suitable for children, but not as much for adults. Poor acting and bad production values will jar your experience. Overall, a less satisfying experience than the BBC production - but longer.
Trend Lab Dr. Seuss Oh, The Places You'll Go! Unisex 5Piece Crib Bedding Set
Trend Lab Dr. Seuss Oh, The Places You'll Go! Unisex 5Piece Crib Bedding Set
We are in love with this nursery set and for the price compared to a lot of other sets you get more for your money. A lot of the Dr. Seuss sets seem to only be 3 pieces and are the same price or more than this set which is a 5 piece set and the set includes all items you will use either practically or for decoration. It's the best gender neutral Dr. Seuss set I could find because it really could be used for either gender and doesn't give people an indication of what you're having if you know but want to keep it a surprise. Some of the other gender neutral sets seem to lean more toward boy or girl and people then tend to make comments that can be hurtful.
Hollywood Affairs.
Hollywood Affairs.
ja schade, nur 3 Sterne dafür, dass das Buch mit sehr gut ausgewiesen wurde, es lediglich meines Erachtens nur mit gut zu bewerten ist. Versandkosten wurde in Höhe von 3,-- Euro erhoben. Das Buch wurde für 1,45€ verschickt.
The Case of the Sleepwalker's Niece
The Case of the Sleepwalker's Niece
I have long been a fan of Perry Mason, both the books and the TV series. I remember the TV series fondly when I saw it in reruns as a young adult, and the books were my introduction to the mystery genre.

This is the eighth Perry Mason, novel, from 1936. Typical of the early books, Mason here is a fighter willing to skirt around the edge of the law to protect his clients.

The case opens when a young woman comes to see Mason about her rich uncle Peter Kent, who is a sleep walker. Her uncle is a nervous anxious man whose divorce from his wife is about to become final. The wife says that a while ago Peter Kent tried to stab her while he was sleep-walking. The niece wants Perry to get medical treatment for her uncle, and to protect him from the scheming wife Doris, who has already defrauded and ruined one ex-husband. Perry is intrigued by the question, if a sleep walker kills someone can he be prosecuted for murder? After all, he presumably does it unconsciously. The niece has been studying sleep-walking with the book "Sleep Walking and Moon Walking", by I. I. Sadger. There actually is such a book, and it can be downloaded today from some free websites.

Soon Perry meets Kent, and learns that he has other problems. His ex-partner, Frank Maddox, is suing him. Kent wants to get his affairs and the divorce finalized so he can marry a nurse he has fallen in love with. Suddenly Doris Kent wants to stop the divorce from going forward. Is she colluding with Maddox? A showdown is arranged, and Perry spends the night in Kent's house after meeting there a large cast of characters:

Peter Kent, the sleepwalker.
Edna Hammer, the niece of Peter Kent.
Jerry Harris, boyfriend of Edna.
Lucille Mays, the new fiancé of Kent.
Frank B. Maddox - partner of Kent; Chicago inventor.
Duncan, lawyer of Maddox.
Philip Rease, half brother of Kent.
Arthur Coulter, butler.
Helen Warrington, secretary of Kent.
Bob Peasley, boy friend of Helen.
Dr. Kelton, acquaintance of Mason, who says Kent is faking some symptoms.

Around 10:00pm, Jerry Harris and Helen Warrington drive off to spy on Doris Sully Kent, the wife (or ex-wife?) of Peter Kent, in Santa Barbara. They are to watch her house until some of Paul Drake's operatives can take over for them. Early the next morning, Perry and Edna discover that in spite of their precautions someone has indeed been stabbed to death -- Philip Rease, the half brother. Ah, but wait, the night before at the last minute, he and Maddox had traded bedrooms. Was Maddox the intended victim? Kent is soon arrested.

There are very good courtroom scenes with Hamilton Burger. There is a very good "gotcha" plot twist at the end.

Positive: lots of potential suspects. Good use of Sgt. Holcomb and Hamilton Burger. Good courtroom scenes. Interesting subplot about an unrelated case that gives Perry an idea. Some romance between Perry and Della.

Negatives: defendant not particularly sympathetic. Not much use of Paul Drake. No emotional kick at the end.

The Half-wakened Wife also involves a group of people, including adversaries, spending the night at a secluded location when a murder occurs. The Howling Dog also involves a nervous unbalanced rich man.

Definitely recommended.
Demons and Druids (Daniel X (3))
Demons and Druids (Daniel X (3))
I liked the concept of the book, but writing a literary review based on a few chapter teaser is difficult. I was not invested in the characters by the end of the preview. I was not captivated by scenery or even the action sequences. It was ok, but not spectacular. I truly hope in the full novel that character and setting development is more thorough.
Judith Krantz's Princess Daisy
Judith Krantz's Princess Daisy
This is a little pricey, as its out of circulation, but I feel it was absolutely worth it. For anyone who read the 1980's romance novel--it is an essential film to see. For others, if you are a fan of period dramas like A&E's Pride & Prejudice or the rendition of Wharton's The Buccaneers, then Princess Daisy will likely fall within your interests. For an 80s mini series, it's surprisingly timeless. Well acted and charming, with a plot that manages to be different yet unsurprising. I was in love. I wish to goodness Princess Daisy would be recirculated.
Alice's Adventures Under Ground (Oneworld Classics Gift Editions)
Alice's Adventures Under Ground (Oneworld Classics Gift Editions)
This is NOT Alices Adventures In Wonderland. This is Alices Adventures UNDERGROUND, which is the manuscript for Wonderland. This book was originally written for Alice Liddell whom Lewis Carroll based the character on. This early version was given to Alice as a Christmas present, and it is filled with Carroll’s handwritten text, and his own illustrations.

For those who are new to Wonderland, I would recommend you watch the Disney cartoon first, then read the book Alice’s Adventures In WONDERLAND, then read the sequel, Through The Looking-Glass. If that isn’t enough Wonderland for you, then read this.

This book is a scan of all the pages from Liddell’s Christmas present, and it all comes together to tell the early version of Carroll’s story.

This copy is ALMOST perfect. The Scans were all taken in Black & White, hiding Carrols use of different inks, and losing the page yellowing. I also would have preferred if the pages reached the edges, but they have a small border around it. My last complaint is that they made little effort, to make the binding look genuine. While reading the book however, it’s easy to forget these minor issues.

This is truly a book for the fans. It’s great to see how Carroll’s story had changed, before it was released. The Scans are clean, and Carroll delivers with legible handwriting, and unique insights througkh sketch of the world he has created. With that said, if you are as hardcore as I am, check it out.
Lego Harry Potter Marauder's Map 4751 Set Retired
Lego Harry Potter Marauder's Map 4751 Set Retired
King of Shadows
King of Shadows
Nat is a talented orphan who is chosen to be part of an international Shakespeare festival. The first part of the book is about the people he's working with and the plays he's in. But when Nat gets sick and slips into a coma, he's really traveled back in time to Elizabethan England, where he is performing in the same plays with Will Shakespeare, who befriends him and gives him a very special gift. The rest of the book is about Nat's relationship with Shakespeare and the other actors, as well as the differing interpretations of the plays that he's in.

I liked that we're told right away that Nat's in a coma rather than having it revealed at the end of the book that it's a dream or hallucination. Also, the discussions of how different time periods and directors see the plays in various ways was a sophisticated concept for a kid's book; it's nice when the author assumes some intelligence on the part of the reader! The story is interesting on many levels -- we learn a lot about England of the time, but within the context of interesting events and happenings -- drama without violence.

Highly recommended.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (Four-Disc Blu-ray Deluxe Edition)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (Four-Disc Blu-ray Deluxe Edition)
With this next to last installment of the Harry Potter series, we have the beginnings of a major, but logical, turn of events. Deathly Hallows Part 1 leads us into that final reckoning with Voldemort that we all know has been coming, and, as such, a much darker take on that inevitability. All previous movies have really been about the training necessary to confront the boss; mere rehearsals for the final showdown. With these final two installments we get to the real heart of the matter and it must be darker. No, Hallows Part 1 (and for that matter Part 2 as well) are not as much fun as the previous movies. This one's getting much more serious, as it should. These movies are so superbly crafted and executed that they are a testament to the near reverence held for the source material by Rowling. The directors have done an amazing job bringing Rowling's books to life in a way that truly reflects their spirit. Needless to say it's also a testament to the wondrous descriptive writings of Rowling which enabled this to happen in the first place.
Also, as a movie, we watch as the character relationships between Ron and Hermione and Harry and Ginger come to fruition. The acting by all concerned in these films has been a delight to watch.

I have only one negative, and that has to do with the 3D version of the film: it comes across as way too dark. When I watch the 2D Blueray version, it looks great, but for some reason, 3D is not nearly as enjoyable because of that darkness. I attempted to find some way to lighten it up, but couldn't figure it out. My other 3D films, such as Avatar or Life of Pi, etc don't have this problem, so I am wondering if it was simply a case of this particular version of the Deathly Hallows that has this issue. Part 2 has the same problem in 3D. I will continue to investigate and see if there is any solution to this. BTW: I have a 60" LG "smart" 3D tv. I have had no other issues at all with other 3D films with this set.

If you are a fan of the whole Harry Potter experience, Deathly Hallows Part 1 is a must and is yet another very worthy work of art in that franchise. Obviously, if you are not a fan, then there is probably little here that will compel you to seek it out. It is part of a piece and an essential component of the whole.
Dexter Outdoors Caping Knife, 3-1/2"
Dexter Outdoors Caping Knife, 3-1/2"
Very sharp worked great on deer. I have purchased a set from this brand and love them. I have many much more expensive brands of knifes and I find these to be a diamond. Trust me it’s a great knife. If it were 3 times the price it would still be worth it.
Entry Transmitter, Dual Button, Black/Gray
Entry Transmitter, Dual Button, Black/Gray
This remote is 100% better than the original remote that came with the garage door opener. This remote looks, feels, and works much better than the original. The two best features of this remote are the battery and battery location (in the front of the remote while using a AAA battery, versus having to pry the remote apart and using two CR2032 batteries). This remotes uses a learning button, located in the battery area, and is so simply to program this remote. You will never want one of the old style openers again. Plus, the price of this opener is "half" the price than that of the old one. Enjoy this opener!
Chamarra de punto con guirnalda de Tipsy Elves, suéter de Navidad con adornos
Chamarra de punto con guirnalda de Tipsy Elves, suéter de Navidad con adornos
Sized accurately, came quickly and looked great on. I got a ton of compliments at our ugly sweater party, however over the course of only maybe 5 hours sitting at a desk/standing and going to lunch, I lost 2 jingle bells that are on the buttons (the snaps that made the buttons functional stayed on with no problem), 5 plastic ornaments, and a 4" piece of tinsel came loose and was sticking out off of the sweater. Be prepared to secure everything after you buy it or to shed throughout the day.
Cisco RV042 4-port 10/100 VPN Router - Dual WAN
Cisco RV042 4-port 10/100 VPN Router - Dual WAN
UPDATE 5/25/12:
My new ZyWall USG 50 was functioning perfectly for a week, and tech support even answered e-mails. However, my cable modem went bad, so I cannot be 100% sure the the problems that I had were related to the RV042. Needless to say, the ZyWall has a superior interface, and I do appreciate at how they provide support, rather than a phone number that just disconnects you after you are on hold for some time, and a website for which it's not easy to simply send an e-mail to support with the S/N.

I raised the review to 2 stars to indicate that the product might work, and given that it's the least expensive for what it claims to do.

I just got the product today and spent way too much time trying to make the most basic functionality work. I am thoroughly puzzled as to why I cannot get the RV042 to recognize my cable ethernet connection, while it recognizes the dsl connection just fine. I tested the cable connection and it works fine connected directly to a laptop. The system summary page only shows for the cable modem. The Release and Renew buttons are there when the wire is connected, so I know the router sees the wire. I even wasted lots of time upgrading to the latest firmware and resetting to factory settings, both of which just wasted lots of time. i then tried to open a support ticket with Cisco, but that is not easy, as I spend tons of time registering, and to enter a support ticket, I have to register again! and the system does not recognize me. It is amazing how much time this router has cost me. So right now, the router does not do anything more than my existing wireless router for me. If I can't get this feature to work, I'm returning this product.

To make matters worse, I must have tried for 30 minutes to create a support account, and I finally just got this message:

The Registration application is unable to process the registration request.
We apologize for this inconvenience. Please attempt your registration again. If you continue to have registration problems, please contact the Registration Support Team via an email to [email protected]
Thank you,
Registration Support Team
[email protected]

So, I ordered a Netgear Dual Wan to see if that works any better. Scratch, going to try the "ZyXEL ZyWALL USG50 Internet Security Firewall with Dual-WAN, 4 Gigabit LAN/DMZ Ports, 5 IPSec VPN, SSL VPN, and 3G WAN Support".

I found some tech support conversation that recommended lowering the MTU and disabling the SPI, and, arghhh....nothing. Just wasted more time.

So I'm trying to call the special amazon toll free number (800) 814-0180. Just holding, holding, and then disconnected. Arghh....3 times!

Next day, I try again. And it seems like unplugging the cable modem and unplugging the router, and making sure the MTU is manually set at 1492, and it gets an IP address, and the speed seems decent. It's not quite as fast as a direct connection to the cable modem (maybe 80%), but it's a fair bit faster than the DSL line. OK. I cancelled my order for the USG50 and give the cisco one a try.

Then a couple days later, my Internet connection is again wonky! No matter what I do, I can't get the RV042 to recognize the cable modem. Several hours of trying to get it recognize it fails again, and the address never goes to anything other than

Sure, the problem could be my cable modem, or maybe there is some magical configuration needed.

May 12, 2012
Once I get the ZyWall USG50, I'll be able to compare it. Today, I tried not only turning off the cable modem but also unplugging the cable, and then I turned on the cable modem, waited for all lights to go green, and then connected the cable to the rv042, and it worked! Very puzzling. Note, I did not turn off the rv042. Also, it seems like the rv042 would definitely detect the cable when it displayed, but release and renew never did anything. Then, a day later, the rv042 again lost the cable connection again.

May 20, 2012
Dual wan has been working now for about 7 days. Does work fine when it works.
Yogi Tea Infusión de Hierbas Classic, 17 bolsitas
Yogi Tea Infusión de Hierbas Classic, 17 bolsitas
Incuriosito dalle ottime recensioni ho voluto provare questa marca acquistando il Classic e Felicitá. Trovo ottima la qualitá degli ingredienti, il packaging e il fatto che ogni bustina sia completamente chiusa in modo da non fare perdere la aroma come avviene spesso col thé commerciale. Sia Classic che Felicità non sono thè ma tisane, precisiamolo, intanto. Dopodiché passiamo al gusto. Ecco qui sinceramente mi sarei aspettato qualcosa di più. Dopo aver letto le vostre recensioni pensavo quasi ad un trionfo di sapori al palato..un esplosione..mmm non proprio devo dire. La Classic ha davvero un bellissimo odore di cannella (ne ha il 50%) e come facile immaginare é anche il sapore predominante. Ho avvertito giusto un retrogusto di chiodi di garofano e quella sensazione di piccantino data dallo zenzero(ma davvero lieve quasi impercettibile). Se non lo avessi letto avrei detto: sto bevendo acqua calda e cannella!

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