Yehuda Flores

Joined a year ago

Yehuda's Favorites
The White Coat Investor: A Doctor's Guide to Personal Finance and Investing
The White Coat Investor: A Doctor's Guide to Personal Finance and Investing
So most parents don't educate their children about money and schools definitely do not. I heard the worst financial and career advice imaginable from college professors. This is more about personal finance than investing. Buy it before you apply to med school. The author repeatedly points out that most physicians don't earn that much anymore but are tempted to live as if they do. Much of the book offers common sense suggestions such as spend far less than you earn and save the rest. Perhaps the highlight of the book is that the author suggests that if you know enough to determine if a financial advisor is knowledgeable and isn't going to rape you with fees, then you know enough that you don't need a financial advisor. In my experience, that is largely true, a bit like choosing your physician.

You don't know what you don't know so either you can read a lot of Suze Orman or you can hire a smart CFA. However, be aware that a CFA is not an accountant and not a real estate, estate planing, or tax attorney. The portion on investing is perhaps too superficial. The author does cover personal finance such as disability insurance, excess liability, student loans and so on. I take issue with his advice on taxes. He suggests pushing the boundaries when paying taxes. Yes, there are some grey areas, and yes you might save a few dollars pushing those until you trip an IRS flag and are audited. Then you will pay your accountant for the audit and if you fight it, you will hire a tax attorney at $400 per hour. Assuming that you are right and that you win (and the first does not in any way guarantee the second) your expenses will be substantial, and if they are larger than your tax savings, too bad. In addition, you will likely be audited several more times. Congress writes tax laws, the IRS writes the tax code, and then there is case law; there is no one person on the planet who understands it all.
Finding My Virginity: The New Autobiography
Finding My Virginity: The New Autobiography
This is an interesting book no doubt. Branson is at his best when discussing various companies within his Virgin Group and how they were started, while his descriptions about how he makes business decisions is valuable for both establish business people and budding entrepreneurs. He is at his most dismal, however, when promulgating, in detail and even full chapters, some of his political causes and beliefs which are so left wing that at times it smacks of self indulgence as if he has to describe how liberal and truly open minded he really is. Of course, at the end of the day, life and all of its myriad of issues are a bit more complicated than that. He gives numerous pages to those he claims to have had good relations with and admires (Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama - not unsurprisingly - and those apparently less stellar, Donald Trump for example), but this is not necessary, even if it's true, and detracts from the book - leaving me to wonder where his editor is at times like these.

I also find it a real stretch of the imagination when he described his trip to Vietnam in 2015 and how he “told the crowd” about his "connection" to the country. However, that connection was only as a Vietnam War protester back in the 60's and not even in the US, but in the UK. Since I’ve lived and worked for over 5 years in Vietnam, his assertion is more than a stretch, it's disingenuous.

If Branson would have toned down some of his blatant political rhetoric and also spent a bit less time writing on arbitrary domestic/family issues, it would have made for a smoother, and more insightful - albeit- shorter read. I too, like other reviewers, wish I could ask for a refund, but the time for that has expired.
Higher Is Waiting
Higher Is Waiting
I expected a fun easy read, it was that and much more! My life experiences and the work I do allows for me to know what forgiveness could do to move people forward. I expected to get some insight on how this man writes so much brilliant work, intrigue and educate the people. I didn’t expect to shed so many tears. I did expect to be encouraged so then the tears were wonderful cleansing tools that leaps one soul forward. Thank you Tyler Perry for writing this book. Thank you for giving so much of yourself, letting your light shine. May this book do for hundreds of millions more that we all let our light illuminate this world on this little blue planet that The Creator may be pleased with humanity! Faith, hope, forgiveness, empathy, compassion, worthiness, awareness, belonging...Yeah I’m Encouraged! 



“There’s no magic time machine to reset the clock or reinvent our childhoods, but we can alter the present and future by changing how we think and feel about what’s happened in our past. No matter how difficult or disturbing your memories, they don’t have to crush your soul. You can transcend your experience. You can change your reaction. You can forgive.” Tyler Perry

Higher is Waiting is for everyone, however I do understand not everyone is ready at the same time to do the hard work, but I encourage you to take the small steps and get it done, the benefits are priceless. Mr. Perry uses his life experiences, lots of lessons learned the "hard way," to help others move through difficult times and be inspired to live and amazing life filled with grace and possibilities!


After all the tears during many of the storytelling, at the end of the book Tyler Perry made my heart smile and filled with gratitude! Thank you for writing and sharing your journey from a vulnerable authentic place. God speed! I read all day on 12/16/17 and finished on 12/17/17 1:17am. I couldn’t put it down, besides a brief three hour on the road running errands. This book was a wonderful treat to spend a day being inspired that will benefit people to move forward.
Louis Armstrong (German Edition)
Louis Armstrong (German Edition)
Es ist unbegreiflich, das der Verlag dieses grauenhafte Buch nicht längst eingestampft hat. Die Jazzfreunde sind es ja eigentlich gewohnt, dass ihnen gedruckte Jazzbetrachtungen wider den Strich laufen. Sei es in Tageszeitungen oder Illustrierten, im Fernsehen oder Rundfunk. Und da sind es ja nicht einmal die Fehler, die sich nicht nur auf diesem Gebiet in den Printmedien befinden – echte redaktionelle, d.h. korrigierende Arbeit – Lektorat – findet kaum noch statt. Darüber kann der am Jazz interessierte Leser auch hinwegsehen. Wenn aber in einer wahrlich renommierten Buchreihe, zumal noch von einer als Jazz-Professorin gefeierten Autorin, , in 4ter Auflage!, ein Jazzbuch erscheint, dass nicht nur in seiner absoluten Trivialität daherkommt, sondern darüber hinaus auch weiterhin trotz Information an den Verlag mit absolutem Nonsens angefüllt ist und bleibt, dann wird man nicht nur misstrauisch gegenüber dem als seriös angesehenen Verlag. Die Rede ist von Louis Armstrong: Mit Selbstzeugnissen und Bilddokumenten, dargestellt von Ilse Storb, Reinbek: rororo Bildmomographien 50443. Um nur einige der herausragenden Unsinnigkeiten zu nennen: Louis Armstrong „hat den etwas schmalzigen Schnulzenstil von Bing Crosby imitiert. Bing Crosby hatte mit Paul Whiteman und seinem Pop-Orchester trainiert“ (sic!, S. 75) / „Earl Hines spielte ursprünglich Trompete. Unter Armstrongs Einfluss wechselte er zum Klavier über“ (S. 22) – Dazu wird ein nicht näher erklärtes Zitat angefügt: „Natürlich war Hines ein Wahnsinnstrompeter, bis er Louis hörte und mit dem Trompetenspiel aufhört“ (S. 65; Anmerkung: Hines war bereits 1918 als Pianist – und nur als Pianist – Profi) / „1946 entstanden auch erste Aufnahmen mit Ella Fitzgerald, wie zum Beispiel das beliebte und vielgespielte „Summertime“ (S. 89; „Summertime“ wurde erst 1957 aufgenommen) / Joe Glaser … der ab 1925 bis zu seinem Tod sein treuer Begleiter und bester Freund war (S. 52), den Armstrong bereits 1926 kennengelernt hatte (S. 69, absoluter Blödsinn) / Die Reise wurde … gefilmt … für Edward R. Murrows Film „The Saga Of Satchmo (S. 99, der Film (1957) hieß „Satchmo The Great“ – korrekt auf Seite 108) ). Dem Ganzen ist auch heute noch Rainer Noldens bereits 1989 in der WELT erschienene Kritik anzufügen: „Nicht selten wirkt der Text, dessen vielfältige und zusammenhanglos kompilierten Erklärungen an einen unbearbeiteten Zettelkasten erinnern, ein wenig naiv und unfreiwillig komisch.“ – Ein ärgerliches Buch, der Rowohlt-Reihe wahrlich nicht würdiges Geschreibsel – und vom Kauf unbedingt abzuraten, denn – wie gesagt: Es gibt es immer noch, wird weiter aufgelegt und streut puren Nonsens unter die Leute, man kann es kaum glauben. Und nennen wir dazu ruhig einmal die Verantwortlichen in diesem Verlag: Herausgeber Klaus Schröter, Mitarbeit Uwe Naumann, Assistenz Erika Ahlers. Louis Armstrong, diese absolut herausragende und schöpferische Persönlichkeit, ein Künstler, der die gesamte Musik des 20. Jahrhunderts entscheidend beeinflusste, hätte in der Rowohl-Reihe eine würdigere Monographie verdient gehabt. Um den Lesern nur eine einzige kleine, ganz willkürlich ausgewählte Textpassage zur eigenen Beurteilung zu bieten, zitiere ich – absolut text-identisch – ab Seite 104 ff (bitte dazu die Aufnahme anhören!): „Die Handy- und die Waller-LP gehören zu den besten Einspielungen, die Armstrong seit Ende der zwanziger Jahre gemacht hatte. Honey Suckle Rose [sic] ist ein Tribut an den unsterblichen Fats Waller von Louis Armstrong und seinen „All Stars“. Nach einer kurzen Klavier-Introduktion singt Velma Middleton, begleitet von Louis’ einfühlsamer Trompete. Anschließend folgt ein Vokal-Instrumental-Dialog von Velma und Louis nach dem call-response-Prinzip. In schnellem Tempo schließt sich der Refrain an. Beide Sänger geben eine scat-Einlage. Louis spielt das Thema mit den „All Stars“ zusammen und improvisiert dann variantenreich, aber themennah und stellt einige Spitzentöne vor. Das Posaunen-Solo erscheint ausgesprochen „dirty“ und wird von einer toccatenhaften Klavierattacke, einem weichen, schlanken Klarinetten-Solo und einem behenden Baß-Solo abgelöst. Honey Suckle Rose endet kollektiv mit einem einprägsamen, kurzen Schluß.“ Man möge sich daraufhin einmal beim Abspielen, nach den Scat-Einlagen und dem „Vokal-Instrumental-Dialog“ suchen, und wohl erstaunt zur Kenntnis nehmen, dass kollektives „Harmonie-Unterlegen“ der Bläser beim Gesang „Begleitung durch eine einfühlsame Trompete“ bedeutet, und darüber rätseln, weshalb man die kurze Klavier-Passage eine „Attacke“ nennen kann. Dass ein einfaches Gesangsduett „Call and Response“ ist, wird wohl auch die hochgeehrte (Bundesverdienstkreuz) Autorin Prof. Dr. Ilse Storb aus Essen nicht erklären können. Und die verteidigt nicht nur papier- und wortreich ihre Feststellungen, sondern erhält gegenüber ihren Kritikern – siehe Faksimile – namhaften Beistand, sind diese doch „Erbsen-Zähler, Bankbeamte und Oberwisser“. Und für einen Professor Dr. Gerhard Kubrik aus Wien (Brief an Ilse Storb vom 30. Januar 2006) sind die Einwände „perfide Attacken“ gegenüber „einer angesehenen Wissenschaftlerin“ , mehr noch gegen die „führende Jazzwissenschaftlerin Deutschlands.“ Nun, das ist es aber gerade nicht, sondern es ist schlichtweg und ohne Ansehen der Person Kritik an einem unsäglich schlechten Buch über einen großen Künstler, der so etwas nicht verdient hat – „Stellt einige Spitzentöne vor“ – gestatten Sie bitte, liebe LeserInnen, dass ich respektlos lache…
Gerhard Klußmeier, Swinging Hamburg e.V.
Theme Time Radio Hour with Your Host Bob Dylan
Theme Time Radio Hour with Your Host Bob Dylan
If I was Prime Minister or President I would make Ace Records the national musical curator, and let them pick and choose any recording that they wanted for any project they wanted. They get it right time and time again, and this set is no exception, in fact this release even ups their game. You get two CDs containing 50 tracks and a beautiful 48 page accompanying booklet with a commentary for each track and illustrations galore. All housed in a neat card cover.

But, hang on, let's start at the beginning. Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour (or TTRH for short), the radio show, is everything you would expect of that eclectic, eccentric and electric troubadour. If you don't know it, though surely you do, each programme is an hour long and revolves around a specific theme (radio, jail, Christmas, luck, drink or whatever) with DJ Bob introducing each song in his sandpaper whisper, giving a brief and incisive commentary on the track or perhaps a pertinent quote or maybe a whimsical digression. The music played is hugely diverse, stretching back to the beginning of the 20th Century right up to last week. It covers all bases: country, blues, R&B, jazz, reggae, soul, rockabilly, punk, swing, any tributary that feeds into the great flowing meandering river of popular music. Each show is a delight and makes for fascinating listening whether you're a Dylan fan or not (though perhaps slightly more fascinating if you fall into the former category).

Show by show, then, the listener is being treated to nothing less than an alternative history of popular music. The themed approach prevents it from being a po-faced academic and ploddingly chronological exercise, rooting it instead in the realities of lived human experience, whether noble or mean, gleeful or grim. (Tony Blackburn used to do a similar theme based thing in his `Golden Hour' back in his Radio 1 days but of course with barely a hint of the wit and grace with which Bob acquits his role.) Bob Dylan is using his drawing power to expand our horizons by bringing to our attention songs and recordings that we should know about if we take music seriously (and serious doesn't mean joyless). If you think you know music but you've never listened to a song recorded before 2005, or 1990, or 1979, or 1967, or 1955 then TTRH demonstrates that being so blinkered isn't good for your soul.

This wonderful double CD then is a selection of highlights from the first series of TTRH. There is no involvement from Bob Dylan directly, though the producer of his show is a co-producer/compiler here, but really that's not the name of the game. Even if there isn't one linking theme, the track selection is wayward and intoxicating as you would expect, mixing the old, the new, the familiar, the unfamiliar into a big ole cauldron (or maybe a copper kettle) packed with flavours and spices that shouldn't mix together but act and react to one another to produce a mighty potent brew. The time span covered is as expansive as a typical show too. The second track here dates from 1930 and that's followed by Shortnin' Bread from 1960 and then the mighty Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes from 2002. That's eight decades straddled in the course of three songs. And they fit together just Jim Dandy.

This is real music for real people, as it is meant to be, with all facets of life addressed with wit and grit and sauce and elegance (in other words you'll find no hollow empty processed Westlife/Blue/Pop Idol/X Factor style bleating here). If you don't find the prospect of this set appealing then I guess you're in the wrong section on Amazon - home and garden is over there. To everyone else I say, don't think twice, it's alright to buy it.
The Complete Album Collection Vol. One
The Complete Album Collection Vol. One
I started buying Bob Dylan CDs in the early 2000s and very quickly collected every album in his catalog available at the time. Once you get into Dylan, you feel compelled to hear everything he ever did, so this boxed set is a great option for new fans. But what about those of us who already own a handful or even all of the CD masters or remasters released previously? Is this set worth buying? Is it a needed upgrade? Well, for the most part YES, but let me give you some details.

15 albums in this 42 album set were newly remastered for The Complete Album Collection in 2013. IMPORTANT: These newest remasters were done to Dylan's 1970s, 80s, and 90s releases, albums like Self Portrait, the previously unreleased Dylan 1973, Hard Rain, Street-Legal, Bob Dylan At Budokan, Saved, Empire Burlesque, Good As I Been To You and others. The classic 1960s albums ARE NOT newly remastered and all use the previous 2003 or 2005 remasters that most of us already own. So, the good news is that you aren't missing out on some amazing, true-vinyl-mix of John Wesley Harding or anything like that if you don't buy this boxed set. If you are a casual fan, just stick with your mid-2000s copies of Blonde on Blonde and Highway 61, there's no need to get this set unless you want to complete your Dylan discography (which I highly recommend). But if you already own all the mid-2000s remasters and older CD masters of the 1970s-90s material like I do, then you will be looking at the 2013 remasters to make up a lot of value.

My experience with the 2013 remasters has been mostly positive; however, I will offer some minor caveats for those who are on the fence or are worried about the $200 price tag. The good news is that there are some really great 2013 remasters included here. I also finished buying my Dylan collection before the 2009 remasters of Before the Flood, New Morning, The Basement Tapes, and Dylan & The Dead, so I will count those towards my list of new upgrades with this set (these all sound great). As for the 2013 remasters, Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid and Self Portrait really do sound more dynamic than the old original CD masters. "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" and "Alberta #1" have never come through my system with such presence or clarity. The 1976 live album Hard Rain really does sound significantly better, with Dylan's vocals pulled out from the muddy mix of instruments that they were buried in before. Some of the distortion remains on his louder vocals, but this could be left over from the original recording. Street-Legal actually uses the original mix of the LP (the CD apparently used an alternate mix all along), but I can't really say if it is superior to the older CD issue.

I guess the only negative criticism I could offer is that albums like Saved and the remastered mid-1980s to early 1990s releases don't really sound that much better than my old CD issues. I do hear some slight improvements to the overall dynamics or separation of instruments in these albums when comparing tracks in iTunes on my Bose speakers, but if you pressed me, I would have to admit that their remastering was perhaps not a necessary upgrade. But they are a welcomed one nonetheless!

For audiophiles who are worried about brick-walling, the Loudness War, or drastic changes to the original sound of Dylan's LPs, you have nothing to fear. I know that some people have had issues with over-driven distortion or "bad sound" from the special edition Harmonica USB files, but I haven't come across anything like that on the CDs. All of these albums show at least an 11 or 12 rating on the Dynamic Rage Database scale, which is quite good.

Even though I already owned these albums, I feel that the 2013 remasters are good enough to warrant a re-purchase of the whole catalog. I also neglected to get Dylan's four latest albums, so it was nice to round out my collection (even though the Christmas album is pretty cringy). Let me know if you have any questions!
Modern Times [Vinyl]
Modern Times [Vinyl]
I remember a time in America when We Shall Overcome and Blowin' in the Wind were national anthems for a civil rights movement that rattled our country to the rafters and unfortunately never actually commenced until that point in time. A young singer songwriter was a focal point of that movement and coincidentally is the same Bob Dylan who gives us Modern Times and systematically beats out on the Billboard Charts all the American Idols and classic rock wannabees and all this at the age of maybe 65. Bob is incredibly transitional- a metamorphosis of a singer songwriter as he exhibited in Nashville Skyline when he suddenly went country and Hurricane when he unexpectedly became urban and street wise and chronicled the events of a Jersey frame of a middleweight contender. When I first became attached to Bob Dylan in maybe'62, a young troubled comedian named Lenny Bruce dominated the pages of an ad hoc paper called the Realist and at the same time appearing at a Times Square dump known as the Dixie Hotel. Lenny was no Seinfield but instead a profane genius. Modern Times to me features some Waylon and Willie in it, some Hank Williams and possibly some Lynyrd Skynyrd influences all combined. The selections that seem to validate my thoughts are Thunder On the Mountain, The Levee's Gonna Break, and Spirit on the Water. It's not that Bob Dylan makes everybody in the music business look bad because of course there is plenty of quality out there. It's kind of like Bob is isolated in his quintessential excellence and nobody but nobody can come close to him poetically or lyrically. In my own frenetic and disjointed youth as a young journalism student at NYU with a raging society and a questioned war effort behind it, I remember Bob tramping around the Village in the early sixties talking Wood Gutherie and with Joan Baez on his arm. Whether it's Hurricane, It's All Over Now Baby Blue, The Master's of War or the prophetic and sadly current Hard Rain's a Gonna Fall, you have to look at Modern Times as another masterpiece and reflective of Bob Dylan's insurmountable cachet. Hit the purchase button now because it is absolutely essential that this CD be added to any existing ownership of Bob Dylan's Cd's, if nothing else, to make your collection up to date and verifiable as all inclusive Dylan.

Jay Adler
CD Reviewer
Bob Dylan: 1978-1989 - Both Ends of the Rainbow
Bob Dylan: 1978-1989 - Both Ends of the Rainbow
As noted by another reviewer, this is the third Dylan documentary in the series produced by UK-based Chrome Dreams. This one is far superior to the first ("Tales from a Golden Age" - which covers the same period, but certainly not as well, as "No Direction Home") and better than the second ("After the Crash"). It benefits from improved filming techniques and access to album versions of several songs being discussed. These are accompanied by music videos, and must reflect easier legal access to those as opposed to the album cuts themselves. In the earlier documentaries, music performances (where they existed) were essentially limited to televised live versions, with notations that the "original version" was on this or that album. This documentary features much less involvement by Clinton Heylin, and his contributions were obviously filmed at the same time as those included in the first two documentaries. That said, this films opens with the same statement by Mr. Heylin that closed "After the Crash," which nicely ties the two together.

The film offers some fascinating insights into the albums. I would not say that I agree with all of the interviewees about the quality of one or another album. Having come to appreciate Dylan much more recently, I have had the advantage of looking at his work as a whole, all at once. Thus, I do not have the visceral reaction to some of the albums that others have. Also, as a child of the `80s, that decade does not offend me, as it seems to have many of the individuals in the film.

The documentary covers, in quite a good depth, a little discussed period in Dylan's biography. However, although segments of it were certainly filmed subsequent to Dylan's Chronicles, Vol. 1, the documentary does not benefit from access to "Tell Tale Signs," as the commentators will occasionally lament the unavailable of other versions of some of the songs that do appear on that collection. That said, it is important to understand that this is a documentary about the process of the making of Dylan's music, the critical response to it at the time of its release, and a reassessment of it with the passage of time. The film touches on Dylan's biography only to the extent that it touches on the songs themselves. If that is what you are looking for, then you will be well pleased with this film. If you are looking for something else, however, then you should look elsewhere.
DND DC Duo Gel + Polish - 137 Pina Colada
DND DC Duo Gel + Polish - 137 Pina Colada
Love this color and formula! My nail salon that I go to uses this and I was in love with the color and durability of the regular polish. Haven't used the gel yet, but I won't do that myself. This is the most perfect pale pink nail polish and very flattering on all skin tones, even us pale princesses! Will definitely order more.
Kuman Pin pointer Water Resistant Metal Detectors with Holster Treasure Hunting Unearthing Tool Accessories Buzzer Vibration Automatic Tuning KW30
Kuman Pin pointer Water Resistant Metal Detectors with Holster Treasure Hunting Unearthing Tool Accessories Buzzer Vibration Automatic Tuning KW30
I just started metal detecting and after watching several videos understood that it was very important to own one of these pinpointers. So far it has been a lifesaver when it comes to digging up small coins or any other small pieces of metal. Honestly I have no idea how anybody found anything before these things were around. The metal detector will pinpoint down to a certain area but once you dig up a big clump of dirt it's not always so easy to find a Coin that's been buried for years and now matches the same color as the dirt itself. The pinpointer is well made feels good in the hand and works as advertised. The sheet that comes with it is also well built and very sturdy. I have never used any of the higher-priced ones however this one seems to do the job just fine. As stated it is not completely waterproof so that might be a showstopper for some of you that are going to use it in rivers or lakes and so forth. The LED light in my opinion is absolutely useless and I'm really not sure what it's for with the exception of making sure it's on when you're using it. I would highly recommend for anyone starting out as a great economical choice.
EcoFrenzy - High Quality Eco-Friendly Natural Bamboo Toothbrush: Soft BPA Free Charcoal Bristles, 100% Biodegradable Handle and Packaging. Vegan and Cruelty Free. (Pack of 4)
EcoFrenzy - High Quality Eco-Friendly Natural Bamboo Toothbrush: Soft BPA Free Charcoal Bristles, 100% Biodegradable Handle and Packaging. Vegan and Cruelty Free. (Pack of 4)
I’m giving this 5 stars because it is what it says. For me personally, I think the bristles are too soft, but it says in the title that they’re soft bristles. Despite the bristles being soft my teeth do feel incredibly clean which I was surprised about as this is my first time switching to bamboo toothbrushes. I think for the price and getting 4 of them, all while reducing the use of plastic to save Mother Earth these are great! And I do really like them and will be using them from now one.
Marvel Boys' Ugly Christmas Sweater
Marvel Boys' Ugly Christmas Sweater
This is a real knitted holiday sweater. Not a printed image. It's an amazing sweater for the price. My little 3 year old Marvel fan was a hit at all of our holiday parties. He felt like a true superhero. It has stood up to many washings. My 3 year old is really rough on clothes. He's a rough houser and a foodie so I'm working with dirt, grass, and food stains on the regular. It's still in amazing condition and hasn't shrunk one bit.
Wolverine Men's W03120 Work Boot
Wolverine Men's W03120 Work Boot
These boots were to replace a pair exactly like I have. They are comfortable boots but the soles don't hold up. The soles on the boots I have are developing holes in the sole where it looks like the rubber is simply breaking down. These new boots right our of the box have issues with the soles. I am guessing it is like everything else we buy, they figured out a way to make them cheaper but charge more. I am sending these new boots back because they look defective right out of the box. I have owned about 10 pair of Wolverine boots. This model is very comfortable as advertised, but they shouldn't call them work boots. If you actually work in them, they break down quickly.
Avengers: Infinity War - Everything You Must Know Before Watching
Avengers: Infinity War - Everything You Must Know Before Watching
Waste of time. Chances are, if you're interested to watch this in the first place, they aren't going to tell you anything you don't already know. Terrible narration.

It's "Johann Schmidt" not "Johann Smith"
It's "Ragnarok" not "Ragnarack"
It's pronounced 'Nova Cor' not "Nova Corpse"

If they do something like this, the narrator should at least sound like he's educated or at least seem as though he knows what he's talking about.
Kraft Easy Mac Original Flavor Macaroni and Cheese (Microwavable Cups), 2.05 Ounce (Pack of 24)
Kraft Easy Mac Original Flavor Macaroni and Cheese (Microwavable Cups), 2.05 Ounce (Pack of 24)
I like these for meals. Since I'm single its nice to make the one portion and not have to fix a whole box of something. I just wish there was a way to keep it from boiling over. Just as a warning, fix these on a microwave-safe plate (not paper or styrofoam) because they boil over every time and the water is kinda sticky from the cornstarch or whatever is used as a thickener. Great for fixing at home, maybe not at work or school.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas: The Ultimate Edition
How the Grinch Stole Christmas: The Ultimate Edition
The blu-ray disc in the Ultimate Edition is a very good digital remastering. The colors are especially vivid (maybe even a bit too vivid on a few of the backgrounds), and the sound is also very good. We have not yet watched the 2 special features yet, but we purchased this solely for the classic main feature, so even if the extras are terrible that does not matter, and if we happen to like them (have hopes for the Halloween feature), that is a plus.

I originally gave this edition a one star rating, not for the content, but for the manufacturer's quality control., and I will leave that review unchanged below for reference by others.

After 10 days for international shipping I received my order today and opened the BD case to find only one disc, the DVD. No blu-ray disc, that half of the case is just empty. I can play region A BDs, but not region 1 DVDs, so the DVD is of no use to me. Fortunately, a short chat with an Amazon rep and a replacement is on order and should be here in another 10 days or so. 5 STARS FOR AMAZON SERVICE. In reference to another review, the outside of the case I received was also stamped "Disc Made in Mexico", but I'm not sure that that is relevant. The DVD disc itself is labeled "The Ultimate Edition", so that seems correct.

Bottom line, if you're purchasing this as a present, be sure to follow up and confirm that the recipient has received both the DVD and the blu-ray discs. I'm sure these are packaged by machine, so if one case is missing a disc it is likely that there are other cases out there that are also missing discs as well. Machine errors like this seldom happen only once. Really terrible quality control!
Love Between the Covers
Love Between the Covers
So I got to see Love Between the Covers for the first time at the Popular Culture Association's annual conference in Seattle, March of 2016 - and I loved it on sight. I had been waiting for the opportunity to view documentary since I first heard about it's creation, and I avidly followed it's progress when it was making its rounds at the documentary festivals in the time between its release and the PCA conference. I was half in love, I think, before the title screen even rolled.

I had previously seen the documentary "Guilty Pleasures" which had run on PBS, and while enjoyable it had been a little shallow and even a little critical of the romance readers who served as the documentary's focus. So I was excited, hungry even, for something new. Something in depth and up to date - something extraordinary!

Laurie Kahn (who is the absolute nicest person by the way) and her team did a bang-up job on Love Between the Covers. The romance community is widespread and complicated, so it would have been impossible to get everything that needed to be said into one 90 minute documentary. But that being said they got as much in there as they possibly could about our history as a genre and a community; about our diversity of backgrounds (for readers and writers) and our LACK of diversity when it comes to POC or LGBT writers and characters; and about the stigmas we face and the way in which we band together to overcome them.

The minute that LBtC released on digital I snatched up a copy, and I've watched it easily a half-a-dozen times since. What is more I recommend it to everyone. Fellow English students and scholars, friends, family, and my friends from the romance community who haven't seen it yet. And if you haven't watched it yet, trust me now is the time. Whether you're a long time romance reader, or someone who isn't sure they know what a romance really is, or even a romance "hater" who needs an attitude adjustment A.S.A.P., check this documentary out. You won't be sorry.
Carnal Innocence
Carnal Innocence
I discovered another Nora Roberts gem that I’d missed along the way and “Carnal Innocence” was published as recently as 2009. While it does have a romantic interest, that’s where the resemblance to a romance novel ends.

This is a complex tale of the seemingly lazy, even idyllic life in a small southern town that, in reality, doesn’t come close to being peaceful or contented after the brutal murders of several young women. The mystery and intrigue are spellbinding and the plot is rife with the complexities of the characters, especially the Longstreet family. They’re almost like royalty in the town of Innocence, especially since they own so many of the properties and businesses. The Longstreet family has been reduced to the three surviving adult children; Josie, Tucker and Dwayne.

A fourth character in this drama is Caroline, a world renown concert violinist who has taken refuge for the summer in what was her grandmother’s home. She is mentally and physically exhausted from the grueling demands of her too tightly scheduled life and she also needs an escape hatch to nurse a wounded heart caused by a cheating fiancé. When she meets Tucker she immediately recognizes the signs of a womanizer. Tucker is indeed interested in getting Caroline into his bed but sometimes the heart has different ideas. We can’t always choose who we’ll fall in love with.

This is a tantalizing tale of intrigue, small town drama, and enough twists in the mystery to keep the reader invested and guessing whodunnit. Roberts skill with the written word is no secret but this novel is, in my humble opinion, one of her best works in recent years. Her writing here is more exciting and at times even leaning towards poetic, whereas her most recent publications exhibit a very clipped, almost terse style of dialogue. Call me old-fashioned but I much prefer this writing style to the more recent. I welcome other reader’s comments on the subject. You won’t hurt my feelings if you have a different opinion so, no worries there.
The Calhouns: Catherine, Amanda and Lilah
The Calhouns: Catherine, Amanda and Lilah
The three stories revolve around 3 of 4 sisters who are trying to solve the mystery of some missing family emeralds. Each sisters story while revolving around the emeralds that belonged to their great-grandmother ends up finding the man of their dreams while looking for the emeralds at the same time that a jewel theif is also trying to find the emeralds. A little intrigue, a little mystery and a little romance equals some great reading. You will not want to put the book down.
The Black Book
The Black Book
Everyone assumes (correctly) that a missing black book – which may or may not be literally black or a book— was kept by the madam of a deluxe brothel frequented by prominent Chicagoans. It would contain the names of the patrons and of the police who allowed the business to function in exchange for payoffs. You can see why a lot of people want to get their hands on the black book. At least one of them is a killer.

The story, which alternates between present and past, begins with the discovery of three shooting victims in the bedroom of a high-priced condo. Two are dead – a woman detective and a woman prosecutor. The third victim barely survives but remembers nothing. He is Detective Billy Harney, our protagonist, the son of a top cop and the twin brother of a woman officer. Forensics points to him as the perp.

Not long before, Billy led a raid on that brothel. Among those arrested were the mayor and the archbishop. Will the case be dismissed because Billy did not have a probable-cause warrant?

Billy is put on trial for the murder of the two women in the condo plus the madam and a cop. (He had, shall we say, intimate relations with both women killed in the condo.) After a violent encounter, his memory is restored. He is able to testify about what happened in the condo. Not what the reader expects.

As a former police-news reporter in Chicago, I enjoyed revisiting the Windy City. Every chapter ends with a bang. But the timeline is tough to believe. Two big trials seem to begin almost immediately after charges are filed. Justice is not that swift in Chicago or anywhere else.

The astonishingly prolific James Patterson has more than 160 titles over (or under) his name. Co-author James Ellis, an Illinois judge, has written nine novels. I don’t know who composes the music and who writes the lyrics, but they make a good team. Patterson calls this book “the best work I have done in 20 years.” Maybe it is.
Honeymoon
Honeymoon
Got the book because James Patterson kept referencing it in his Masterclass. It was a quick read and I liked the idea but too many things didn't match up. Some of the discrepancies are -

Spoiler Alert-

One, O'Hara admits to being on another gig in Chapter 12 (presumably the Nora Sinclair case as noted in Chapter 105) but Connor, the reason for the investigation is not even dead yet. He dies in Chapter 18 and the money transfer happens in Chapter 21.

Chapters 48 & 50 set Molly up as being smart and very much in on the case but when Nora suddenly visits the office in Chapter 87 demanding to see the insurance policy, O'Hara is left totally in the dark. Not a word to say Nora was here snooping around. Hard to believe.

Nora sets up her Cayman Islands account in Chapter 14 under the name of Olivia Sinclair, after O'Hara admits to being on her case. In Chapter 21, we are told that the account is christened in style with 4.2M of Connor's money. Later in Chapter 60, she transfers about $6M from Jeffrey but in Chapter 106, Nora has an unexplained $18.5M in her account.

Agent O'Hara is absolutely clueless about Nora's background; parentage. He is surprised to hear about her family. Strange, if you have a file on someone you think is a serial killer.

In Chapter 73, Nora, in spite of the fact that she is just beginning to fall for him, tries to kill him with an omelette for no reason. No justification is given for the poisoning and no follow up occurs. First she tries to kill him and then she just goes on sleeping with him like nothing happened.

In Chapter 79, Olivia puts a letter, detailing so many things she had wanted to say for so many years, in Nora's purse. By chapter 110, the letter becomes a 'note that Emily is able to read in a few minutes.

In Chapter 85, Susan gets a call from Nora asking for O'Hara and Craig Reynolds in the same breath which would suggest to even the dumbest agent that O'Hara's cover was blown but amazingly, not only does she not inform O'Hara, she doesn't do anything else about it. Zilch. O'Hara is happy to go on a ride with Nora in spite of Susan and Molly having spoken with her that weekend.

According to chapter 94, O'Hara had just given the details of Nora's account to the Bureau and they were working on tracing her transfers. The problem though is that the Bureau is supposed to already know about the account because that's how they accidentally stumbled on Nora in Chapter 117. Meanwhile O'Hara is also unaware that Nora has been using Olivia as an alias and as her account name. He tries to correct Keppler in Chapter 92.

Lastly, what were the charges against her that were dropped? Because it was never proven that she killed the men. Connors corpse showed zero foul play.

Too many loose ends. I think the authors ought to rewrite the book.
Switch Bitch
Switch Bitch
1. The Visitor is perhaps the most interesting perspective I've read from in a long time. The narrator is a narcissist, a hypochondriac, and a player. In this story we are reading a man's diary that he has written in the first person of his chronicles of seduction. He has a fondess for all things elegant, unusual, and upperclass. Rarely do I meet such a character that I seemingly detest and admire at the same time. This short story will have you laughing, wondering, and feeling completely out of place in the world of Mr. Oswald Cornelius.

2. The Great Switcheroo is a short, funny read about two neighbors conspiring to have sex with each other's wives. With every detail carefully planned, their strategy is too foolproof to go wrong. This read will have you questioning your own performance skills for sure.

3. The Last Act portrays what it is like for a woman to lose her husband and everything else that made her life stable. It is fairly realistic in how she considers ending her own life on many occasions after her husband's death. The kicker to this story like most other's by Dahl is the horrific ending.

4. Bitch! What a tale! Now this one really caught me off guard. There have been many times when I questioned the affects of my perfumes on men. This story explores human sexuality in the most primal sense.
War
War
Fascinating read about the early years of ww2 and the pointlessness of war. Some scary thoughts and many set of the pants moments. A great read from a author I grew up thinking as a great dreamer and not a high flying pilot with a third for adventure. .
Stranger from the Tonto
Stranger from the Tonto
The story begins as an old prospector (Bill Elway) and a young range rider (Kent Wingfield), traveling together as a prospecting team, realize the old prospector was dying. Bill insists that Kent continue without him, but Kent refuses. Over their remaining time together Bill tells of an outlaw gang he was a member of whose base is called the Hole in the Wall, run by a rustler by the name of Bonesteel. But Bill was fired and run off by another gang member who had designs on Bonesteel's beautiful young daughter. Bill obtains Kent's promise to locate the hideout, kill the evil gunfighter Stole, so the girl Lucy is safe from him and steal her away so she will be saved from a life of danger. When Bill passes away, Kent's adventure begins.
Hobbit Facsimile Gift Edition
Hobbit Facsimile Gift Edition
 The special edition Hobbit, with lenticular cover, what a beautiful edition. Absolutely love it. This edition is not the standard one. It is the original one with out the changes that Tolkien made to make it more in sync with the lord of the rings. So this is not the one whi h is in the market and most probably you have read. Also it is a replica of the original edition to the extent of including the ads of that time.

"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort."

With these words we are introduced to Middle Earth. The Hobbit is a timeless classic, which is a tale of Bilbo Baggins, the wizard Gandalf, Gollum, and the spectacular world of Middle-earth recounts of the adventures of a reluctant hero, a powerful and dangerous ring, and the cruel dragon Smaug the Magnificent.
This book was written in 1937 and even today it is a best seller all over the world. The way Tolkien narrates the story you will know he is a master of his trade right away from the first page. This book started it all, the Lord of the rings, Simarillion, Beren and Luthien, Children of Hurin and the multi-million dollar industry. But at it's heart this is a simple children's story which Tolkien wrote for his own children and that's why it works.

Hit the Helpful button and let me know if this review was useful to you. Thanks for reading.
There and Back Again: J R R Tolkien and the Origins of The Hobbit
There and Back Again: J R R Tolkien and the Origins of The Hobbit
This book offers probably the most in depth look at the writing of “The Hobbit “ and “Lord of the Rings” Instead of offering the reader another biography of Tolkien, the author goes way behind the scene and offers us a view of what really inspired Tolkien’s writing. Such influences would include literary influences, life time experiences and his interest in philology or the study of languages.

The first two parts of the book kept me glued but the third and final part had me reading on in pain. Way too scholarly at the end, something that perhaps only a linguistic major would appreciate.

To begin with “The Hobbit was first meant to be told a children’s tale. “Roverandon was a tale he came up with in order to comfort a child after losing a toy dog. He would grade papers at Leeds and in his boredom he would draw upon the paper and hence the idea of the Hobbit. The shire of Hobbit’s home was originally inspired by the village in which Tolkien grew up in Sarehol which is near Warwickshire. There are several literary influences for “The Hobbit” Kenneth Grahm’s “Wind in the Willow” provides an inspiration about a Ground hog who lives like Bilbo, in a hole in the ground. “Babbit” is another story of escape where in a man who works in a futuristic boring factory town escapes away with a faery princess and comes back changed. “ The Merry Land of the Snergs” features Hobbit like creatures who are sort of bungling and one of them must save two human being. Besides literatue Tolkien also drew from Norse Literature especially the idea of the ring, the dwarf list came from a work called Volupsa.

Bilbo is put in on chance adventure one which he did not ask for. The dangers takes to Rivendel where there are dragon and elves and sorts of danger. Yet Tolkien has created a world that us unique. It is a well ordered world that believes in faery like beings that could come into a story and change everything around. Tolkien offered forward a definition of a faery story. It was a story in which a man or woman would travel into the world of faery and interact. It was not the same as an animal fable or a travel story. Tolkien considered it a faery story yet it had elements of a travelogue and an animal story. Obviously Bilbo is traveling but in Tolkien’s mythos there are talking animals especially in the History of the Middle Earth Series. You have Tevildo, a talking cat,Huor a speaking hound who fights against Morgoth. Beorn who appears as a shape shifter appears in the Hobbit and he communicates with his animal servants. Beorn could be based on a Norse legend called Bothvi who was a bear warrior that struch up an uneasy alliance with a Norse Kings.

“Not green, great dragons” scolded Mabel Suffield “rather great, green dragons” a correction in grammar but never a challenge as to whether or not dragon existed. Tolkien had a great desire for dragons. Yet he did not want one in his neck of the woods. Tolkien had red and gold dragon in his works but never green ones. Tolkien oft times considerd himself a Hobbit and in the “The Hobbit” Bilbo had a similar longing for dwarves. Tolkien’s main inspiration for dragon came from Norse Mythology and The Red Fairy Book. Dragon were oft to mean green as they always horded their gold

The review can get rather exhaustive so I shall closeout and advise reading the book. I give 4 stars out of 5.
Gesammelte Werke, Bd.10, Sand des Verderbens
Gesammelte Werke, Bd.10, Sand des Verderbens
In diesem Band sind fünf Erzählungen Karl Mays mit Kara Ben Nemsi zusammengefasst.

'Die Gum'
Die Geschichte spielt beginnt in Algier. Eine Handelskarawane der Latréaumont wurde auf dem Weg nach Timbuktu überfallen und eine Sohn der Familie entführt. Trotz Lösegeldzahlungen kam er bis zum Eintreffen Karl Mays nicht zurück. Emery Bothwell, ein alter Bekannter des Reisenden, ist vorab in die Wüste aufgebrochen, um den verschollenen Sohn aufzuspüren. Kara Ben Nemsi macht sich dann ebenso auf den Weg. Die Reise führt durch die nördliche Sahara, wo Kara Ben Nemsi nicht nur seien alten Freund Bothwell findet, sondern auch die Raubkarawane (Die Gum) überwältigt.

'Christus oder Mohamed'
Diese Geschichte spielt in Marseilles und Tunesien. Sein alter Kumpel, Kapitän Frick Turnerstick steht ihm bei diesem Abenteuer zur Seite. Zu Beginn der Geschichte gab es einen Zwischenfall mit einem Tunesier in Marseilles, den sich Kara Ben Nemsi zunächst zum Feind macht. Nach diversen Abenteuern in Tunesien wird der Tunesier schließlich zum Freund Kara Ben Nemsi, als er dessen Sohn vor einem Panter rettet.

'Der Krumir'
Diese Geschichte spielt in Tunesien. Hier besteht der Engländer Lord Percy ein Abenteuer mit Kara Ben Nemsi. Sie queren immer wieder die Pfade des Krumirs, einen Gauner, der Pferde und Kamele stiehlt, Leute entführt und sich seine eigenen Gesetze in der Wüste macht. Am Ende bringen unsere Helden den Gauner zur Strecke. Auch 'Krüger Bei' taucht zu Beginn in der Geschichte auf und reistein paar Kilometer mit unseren Helden.

'Der Sand des Verderbens'
Diese Geschichte spielt im 'Sudan'. Ein Tuareg versucht Kara Ben Nemsi, der sich mit seinem Diener Kamil Ben Sufaka einer Handelskarawane angeschlossen hat, in eine Falle zu locken, wo sie von einem Stamm der Tuaregs überfallen werden sollen. Am Ende rettet Kara Ben Nemsi den Sohn eines Tuareg-Führers aus dem berüchtigten Sandsee (Sand des Verderbens) und kann mit seiner Karawane ungehindert den Weg fortsetzen.

'Der Raubzug der Baggara'
Diese Geschichte spielt wiederum im Sudan. Mit seinem Gehilfen Ben Nil und dem Schwarzen Marrabah befreien sie 'Sklaven' aus der Hand eines englischen 'Missionars'.

Diese Kurzgeschichten sind eine willkommene Abwechslung zu den orientalischen Reisebeschreibungen Karl Mays (Band 1-6). Es kommen Personen als Reisebegleiter vor, die man sonst nicht allzu häufig antrifft. Aber am Ende gewinnt immer 'der Nemsi', der Franke, wenn er sich in diesem Band auch öfters mal eine Beule geholt hat. Da ich die Geschichten Karl Mays seit meiner Kindheit immer wieder gerne lese und ich mir öfters mal 'Klassiker' zu Gemüte führen will, durchackere ich langsam die Karl May Bibliothek.
Für dieses Buch 4 Sterne.
The Last Battle (Chronicles of Narnia)
The Last Battle (Chronicles of Narnia)
I enjoyed the earlier Narnia books. This one, though, was a real problem for me.
SPOILER ALERT

1) The bad guys are dark-skinned worshippers of a different god - aka Muslims. Unless they are honorable - then they were following Jesus but just didn't know it.
2) CSL wants to get in his description of heaven (which is actually kind of cool) but can't figure out any way to do that except killing everyone in a train wreck. Yes. A children's book ends with everyone being thrilled about a train wreck. Yippee.
3) Everyone, that is, except Susan who is left behind because at age 20 or so she has become interested in lipstick, nylons and invitations. Guess losing your family (parents,too) in a train wreck will cure that.

Very weak ending that reflects CSL's worldview. Two ways, mainly. 1) He led a very solitary life. His happiest childhood moments were spent reading and building a fantasy world. He lost his mother at a young age, went to some pretty horrible boarding schools, fought in WW1, converted in his thirties, hadn't married at the point he wrote this (his mid-fifties). It is easy to see why he would view young people dying so they can return to a fantasy world and proceed to heaven as a happy ending.
2) He viewed social life as torture when he was young. He spent most of his time with boys and men. So when looking for a candidate among his characters to represent a believer who has fallen away, who better than a vapid young woman.

Very disappointing end to a pretty good series.
C. S. Lewis at War: The Dramatic Story Behind Mere Christianity (Radio Theatre)
C. S. Lewis at War: The Dramatic Story Behind Mere Christianity (Radio Theatre)
The first two CDs contain a high-quality radio-drama with an introduction by C.S. Lewis' step-son, Douglas Gresham. It covers the history of C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity extraordinarily well, carefully weaving the most important details into a tight script. I previously read Justin Phillips' book, C.S. Lewis in a Time of War, and George Sayer's biography of C.S. Lewis entitled, Jack: A Life of C.S, Lewis, which describe many of the details that are woven into this radio-drama.

The additional CDs that are included are a dramatization of Mere Christianity and are also high-quality. For those who are unfamiliar with C.S. Lewis' book, Mere Christianity, it is the best summation of Christianity that I have ever read. It is broken up into four parts. C.S. Lewis spends the first part of the book arguing for the truth of Christianity. Lewis spends second part of the book explaining what orthodox Christians believe. He goes onto explain what Christian behaviour should look like, and spends the last portion of the book explaining God, the Trinity, and God's relationship with humanity. C.S. Lewis was intentionally careful about avoiding some of the doctrinal differences that divide Christians, instead focusing on the beliefs and behaviours that unite orthodox Christianity, hence the title, Mere Christianity.

Overall, I have been extremely happy with my purchase. I've listened to the CDs several times already and just purchased another copy for my brother who is a pastor. I recommend this radio-drama and audio-book set to anyone who is interested in learning more about C.S. Lewis, or wants to step back in time with him, or simply wants an introduction to Christianity itself. May God bless you through what you hear.
Ice Station Zebra
Ice Station Zebra
I read Alistair Maclean’s books as a teenager and liked them. This time around I’m very disappointed. The story is all right but I’m constantly jolted out of the immersion by the ridiculous British speech of the American characters. Just like Lee Child (creator of “Jack Reacher”), Alistair apparently never spent enough time with Americans to learn the differences between American and British words, phrases and speech patterns. This results in a breakdown of the realism I need in a work of fiction. It’s distracting. For example, herein you’ll find an American submarine captain who says, “I fancy a stroll round the cabins.” That’s just one of hundreds of things said by American characters in this book that real life Americans would never say. The only times I’ve ever hear an American say he “fancied” something is when he was imitating a Brit. And Americans say “around”, not “round”, when describing a destination.

I don’t know if this is laziness on the part of the author or simply a failure to understand that readers will notice. But I do know I can’t stand it. Had this story been set on a British submarine, it would’ve been great, but I can’t get past a sub full of Americans who speak Brit.
Alistair Maclean's Hostage Tower
Alistair Maclean's Hostage Tower
I had just finished this book's sequel, also by John Denis, "Air Force One is Down", so my expectations for "Hostage Tower" were at rock bottom. My expectations were not exceeded but spot on. Do not get me wrong. I am a MacLean fan, but that does not include being a fan of cheap MacLean imitations like this. John Denis has neither MacLean's talent for spicing up a story with mystery nor his wit. "Hostage Tower" is a pedestrian, trivial, predictable hostage drama where everything unfolds as you would expect a hostage drama to unfold. No mystery. No wit. No plot twists of interest. A plot full of holes, ranging from the utterly silly or the obviously impossible to plain contradictions. A B-movie was filmed in 1980, based on this book. It is the least interesting MacLean movie I have ever seen. Read: Boring from start to finish. The film's rating on the International Movie Database [...] is as low as 5.3/10, which is a scandal for a "MacLean" movie. At least the film makers have the valid excuse that the script was useless from the start, but then again, why bother making a film out of it in the first place?

This book should have been titled "How to make money for MacLean and his publisher without actually going through the trouble of writing a book himself". It may be tempting to make a quick buck out of a well-reputed name by having a B-author write a book and put a MacLean stamp on it, but in the long term, it risks discrediting MacLean's name.

If you are desperate for something to read, for example if you are a hostage yourself and the alternative is staring into a wall or reading the yellow pages, or if you have been forced on vacation with your mother-in-law and need an excuse to distance yourself from her, then maybe this book can distract you for a couple of days. In most other situations, this book is a waste of paper.
Biss zur Mitternachtssonne: Die weltberühmte Liebesgeschichte endlich aus Edwards Sicht
Biss zur Mitternachtssonne: Die weltberühmte Liebesgeschichte endlich aus Edwards Sicht
Da ist sie also, Bellas und Edwards Geschichte aus Edwards Sicht. Darauf habe ich sehnlichst gewartet.

Als ich die ersten Bücher gelesen habe, war ich Mitte 20, also kein Teenager, der sofort dahinschmelzt, bei gutaussehenden, charmanten und geheimnisvollen Vampiren. Dennoch habe ich die Bücher geliebt. Deswegen hatte ich mich über dieses Buch sehr gefreut.

Es tut mir so weh und leid

Edward erzählt und seine Geschichte und er beginnt damit, dass es eine Neue auf der Schule gibt. Zunächst ist er genervt von der schönen Isabella Swan, aber nach und nach spürt er, dass er sich zu ihr hingezogen fühlt. Doch er weiß auch, dass diese Liebe nicht sein darf, schließlich ist er ein Monster.

So viel zu der groben, allen bekannten Handlung, denn Bellas Geschichte sollte man auf jeden kennen, da die Charaktere um Edward herum nicht richtig vorgestellt werden. Sie sind halt da und so ist es eben.

Ich weiß gar nicht, wie ich beginnen soll, aber ich weiß, es wird ein Veriss sondergleichen, und dafür möchte ich mich jetzt schon einmal bei allen Fans entschuldigen, zu denen ich ja eigentlich auch zähle. Deswegen tut es mir nicht weniger weh, was jetzt kommt.

Fangen wir aber erstmal mit dem Positiven an. Die Geschichte, die mich als Fan so gefesselt hat, aus Edwards Sicht zu erleben, war ein Grund für mich, dieses Buch zu kaufen. Und ich wurde in diesem Punkt nicht (vollständig) enttäuscht (mehr dazu später). Eine besondere Stärke dieses Buchs ist es, Edwards wahres Alter glaubhaft darzustellen.

Die Sprache wirkt an der einen oder anderen Stelle (für heutige Verhältnisse) antiquiert. Zitat: „Es wäre besonnener von dir, nicht mit mir befreundet zu sein.“

Nervig schön

Und da hört das Positive leider schon auf. Zu viele Dinge, die mir negativ aufgefallen sind, überlagern den Lesespaß, den ich bei der originalen „Twilight“-Reihe empfunden habe.

Die Autorin hat in diesem Buch einfach zu stark versucht, das Twilight-Fieber wieder zu entfachen. Auf jeder Seite wird mindestens einmal beschrieben, wie „schön“ Bella ist. Eigentlich ja ein Klassiker bei der heutigen Romantasy-Literatur, aber irgendwann wird es einfach nur noch nervig. Ebenso oft wird erwähnt, wie alt Edward ist, und wie Bellas Geruch und ihre ständige Röte (soviel Blut wie sie in den Wangen hat, müsste ihr Herz schon aufgehört haben zu schlagen) seinen Appetit anregt.

Und Apropos „Appetit“: Edward wird nicht müde, zu betonen, dass er ein Monster ist, und das es besser wäre, wenn sie sich nicht ineinander verlieben würden. Er ist innerlich zerrissen und voller Selbstmitleid. Er lebt nicht, ist einfach nur da.

Ich würde ja eine Antidepressiva-Therapie vorschlagen, aber ohne Blutkreislauf …

Überhaupt wirkt Edward in dieser „Alternativgeschichte“ äußerst egoistisch und egozentrisch. Es dreht sich alles nur um ihn, man könnte das Gefühl haben, dass Bella nur eine Schachfigur für ihn ist. Von dem „liebevollen“ und „fürsorglichen“ Vampir ist jedenfalls nicht viel zu spüren.

Und wenn wir schonmal bei den Unterschieden zwischen der Original-Reihe und diesem Buch sind, was ist bitteschön mit den Dialogen passiert? Ich habe extra nochmal die alten Bücher abgestaubt und nachgesehen. Ja, völlig anders. Hier muss allerdings zu Stephenie Meyers Ehrenrettung gesagt werden, dass das die Übersetzer von Carlsen verbockt haben. Schämt Euch!

Zuviel „Bedward“

Da es sich um eine Erweiterung der „Twilight“-Reihe handelt, war mir ja klar, dass Bella einen großen Teil spielen würde. Dass es sich dabei aber eigentlich nur um eine viel zu ausführliche Nacherzählung von „Biss zum Morgengrauen“ handelt, war mir nicht klar. Wie gerne hätte ich etwas mehr über Edward erfahren. Wie ist er zu dem geworden, was er heute ist? Was ist kurz vor dem ersten Treffen mit Bella passiert? Und was ist passiert, als er nach Italien gereist ist, um Bella zu vergessen, und seinem Leben ein Ende zu bereiten? Nichts. Nur Bella und Edward…. Bedward…. ich hätte wirklich lieber im Bett bleiben sollen.

Es geht nur das Gefühlswirrwarr, das hin und her zwischen „Ich liebe sie“, und „ich darf sie nicht lieben“, und dem völlig seltsamen Verhalten von Edward, bei welchem er genau das Gegenteil von dem tut, was er sagt.

Auch neue Informationen suchen Fans vergeblich. Es ist wirklich nur ein „Hier ist die Liebesgeschichte, aber dies mal aus Edwards Perspektive“. Zumindest in diesem Punkt hat die Autorin nicht zu viel versprochen.

Trotzdem ist es für Leser unabdingbar, dass sie den ersten Band der Original-Reihe kennen. Sonst würden einige Dinge überhaupt keinen Sinn ergeben.

Unnötige „Cash Cow“

Was kann man also letztlich über „Biss zur Mitternachtssonne“ sagen?

Nun, zunächst einmal ist dieses Buch wirklich nur was für totale Hardcore-Fans (zu denen ich mich nicht zähle). Wer dem „schönen Vampir“ vollends verfallen ist, und lieber mit Bella getauscht hätte, der soll hier bedenkenlos zugreifen.

Für alle „normalen“ Fans fehlt aber einfach der Charme, und die Rückkehr nach Forks wird durch diverse kleine und große Probleme getrübt, angefangen von Edwards Dauer-Depression, über stupide Wiederholungen bis hin zu den geänderten Dialogen.

Scheinbar versucht Stephenie Meyer hier an frühere Erfolge anzuknüpfen, um das Twilight-Universum noch ein wenig zu melken. Das kann gut gehen („Biss zum ersten Sonnenstrahl – Das kurze zweite Leben der Bree Tanner“), in diesem Fall ist es aber nur ein unnötiger Cash-Cow-Rohrkrepierer.

Denn dass Stephenie Meyer auch außerhalb von „Twilight“ gute Geschichten erzählen kann, hat sie mit „Seelen“ eindrucksvoll bewiesen, ebenfalls ein Buch, dass mir sehr gut gefallen hat. Sie hätte Forks hinter sich lassen sollen, aber das ist nur meine Meinung.

Wäre dieses Buch eine Art „Interview mit einem Vampir“, also Edwards Lebensgeschichte, die an dem Punkt endet, als er auf Bella trifft, wäre ich vollends begeistert. So muss ich aber leider gestehen, dass dieses Buch für mich ein Fehlkauf war, der meinem Fan-Dasein absolut nichts gebracht hat.
More Than Love
More Than Love
Love this book.....have read if for so many years ..again and again...Roselinda and Richard..perfect lovers😚😚
Thank you Amazon n Kindle
Some buried Caesar: A Nero Wolfe mystery
Some buried Caesar: A Nero Wolfe mystery
"Some Buried Caesar" was first published 70 years ago, and it's one of Stout's best early Wolfe novels. It's an "away from the brownstone" story. Wolfe travels to rural upstate New York to exhibit his albino orchids at a county fair. Odd for an agoraphobic, or at least travel-phobic man? Yes, but Wolfe was confronting someone Archie Goodwin, Wolfe's dogsbody, calls "an enemy". In Archie's words:

"The above-mentioned enemy that Wolfe was being gracious to was a short fat person in a dirty unpressed mohair suit, with keen little black eyes and two chins, by the name of Charles E. Shanks. I watched them and listened to them as I sipped the milk, because it was instructive. Shanks knew that the reason Wolfe had busted precedent and come to Crowfield to exhibit albinos which he had got by three new crosses with Paphiopedilum lawrenceanum hyeanum was to get an award over one Shanks had produced by crossing P. callosum sanderae with a new species from Burma, that Wolfe desired and intended to make a monkey of Shanks because Shanks had fought shy of the metropolitan show and had also twice refused Wolfe's offers to trade albinos, and that one good look at the entries in direct comparison made it practically certain that the judges' decision would render Shanks not only a monkey but even a baboon. Furthermore, Wolfe knew that Shanks knew that they both knew, but hearing them gabbing away you might have thought that when a floriculturist wipes his brow it is to remove not sweat but his excess of brotherly love, which is why, knowing the stage of vindictiveness Wolfe had had to arrive at before he decided on that trip, I say it was instructive to listen to them."

As always, Archie tells the story, in his own cheeky & genuine way, with many sharp observations. It's not Stout's terse late-style, but it's still very much Archie and lots of fun!

In "Some Buried Caesar", Archie's long-term "lady friend", Lily Rowan, makes her first appearance. This isn't the Lily of later Wolfe novels, but there are several Lily-Archie sparks & dialogues, right from the beginning where she calls him, "Escamillo" -- the manly bullfighter who stole Carmen away from her solider lover in Bizet's opera, "Carmen". That has ironic bite in context, a context I won't share. I'm not giving any plot hints, because surprises start in the first chapter, and why spoil them?

But to tease you into the book, let me add some dialogues from Archie/Lilly. This begins with Archie:

"Oh, possibly Clyde's father sicked them on. I know when I mentioned your name to him last night and said you were there, he nearly popped open. I got the impression he had seen you once in a nightmare. Not that I think you belong in a nightmare, with your complexion and so on, but that was the impression I got."
"He's just a pain." She shrugged indifferently. "He has no right to be talking about me. Anyway, not to you." Her eyes moved up me and over me, up from my chest over my face to the top of my head, and then slowly traveled down again. "Not to you, Escamillo," she said. I wanted to slap her, because her tone, and the look in her eyes going over me, made me feel like a potato she was peeling. She asked, "What did he say?"

And a little later, again starting with Archie:
"Did you and Clyde get engaged?"
"No." She looked at me, and the corner of her mouth turned up, and I saw her breasts gently putting the weave of the jersey to more strain as she breathed a deep one. "No, Escamillo." She peeled her potato again. "I don't suppose I'll marry. Because marriage is really nothing but an economic arrangement, and I'm lucky because I don't have to let the economic part enter into it."

There are wonderful bits of description, plot twists & dialogues on almost every page. Highlights include the surprises in the first few chapters, Archie's time in jail, and the denouement at the end. If you want a plot summary, go to Wikipedia, which has plot summaries of all Wolfe novels.

And a fun Archie description of a New York county fair in the Great Depression 1930's:

"It was another fine day and the crowd was kicking up quite a dust. Banners, balloons, booby booths, and bingo games were all doing a rushing business, not to mention hotdogs, orange drinks, popcorn, snake charmers, lucky wheels, shooting galleries, take a slam and win a ham, two-bit fountain pens, and Madam Shasta who reads the future and will let you in on it for one thin dime. I passed a platform whereon stood a girl wearing a grin and a pure gold brassiere and a Fuller brush skirt eleven inches long, and beside her a hoarse guy in a black derby yelling that the mystic secret Dingaroola Dance would start inside the tent in eight minutes. Fifty people stood gazing up at her and listening to him, the men looking as if they might be willing to take one more crack at the mystic, and the women looking cool and contemptuous. I moseyed along. The crowd got thicker, that being the main avenue leading to the grandstand entrance. I got tripped up by a kid diving betwen my legs in an effort to resume contact with mamma, was glared at by a hefty milkmaid, not bad-looking, who got her toe caught under my shoe, wriggled away from the tip of a toy parasol which a sweet little girl kept digging into my ribs with, and finally left the worst of the happy throng behind and made it to the Methodist grub tent, having passed by the Baptists with the snooty feeling of a man-about-town who is in the know."

All right, this isn't the "every word carrying its weight", mature-style Stout. Later Stout probably wouldn't have detoured the action, but I for one don't mind the detour when I'm having a good time. In "Some Buried Ceasar, I'm never impatient for Archie to get on with it, only glorying in the now-gone world Stout is weaving.

I've given extended Wolfe quotes mainly for the newcomers, and even for some old fans who have discarded Stout's earlier work. I love this writing, and I delight not only in reading, but also in re-reading, even knowing what's next. If these quotes entice or even just intrigue, buy this and give it a read. If you're a first-timer, or one whose fallen away, you may become/re-become a Wolfe fan, or as we say, a member of the Wolfe Pack!
The Cup and the Lip (Murder Room)
The Cup and the Lip (Murder Room)
A favourite era from an age where plot, characterisation and setting was more important than cliched sensationalism. Elizabeth Ferrars may be less read these days but, in my opinion, she is superior to Christie despite being less prolific. This is only the second of her novels I have read - Unreasonable Doubt was the other - equally as well written. There will be others.
JK Rowling Is A Wizard
JK Rowling Is A Wizard
I got this story because of my love of the Harry Potter series, but I am very disappointed in what was supposed to be a story in "a humorous take on Harry Potter fandom." I did not see the 'humor' at all. It is tragic story loosely woven in fandom. Even the writing itself is not tight and neat. This is written with a very negative view and the tale villainizes the story-teller J. K. Rowling and the main performers (not the characters) in the Potter series. I even wondered if the author hated Ms. Rowling. The story also needs a serious editing for punctuation, grammar (not the UK versus the USA stuff, but real honest grammatical mistakes), and for its often weird and nonsensical sentence structure. I stuck with the story to see if it would lighten up at the end, but it overall left me unsatisfied that the main character was still dysfunctional and questioning his loyalties and his reality. The story also seemed unfinished (not just open-ended). Don’t bother with this story. Find something with a positive take on the fandom if you care at all for Harry Potter series or tales of wizards and witches.
The Battle of Hogwarts and the Magic Used to Defend It (Harry Potter)
The Battle of Hogwarts and the Magic Used to Defend It (Harry Potter)
Ordered the book as a birthday gift. As it hasn’t come out for sale in Mexico, I ordered it from the USA and paid special shipping. The paper on the back of the wand camed ripped off and the magnet wont hold it together when you pull the wand... Don’t like damaged goods...
Consolation: A Novel
Consolation: A Novel
My mother recommended this novel to me not long before she died, so it will have a bittersweet memory to it as long as I live. Neither she nor I have ever been to the mighty city it illuminates so gravely, Toronto, but maybe that fact added to the childlike wonder and mystery with which poet Michael Redhill has composed his story. There is something Oz like, something Byzantian, to the life history of any great city, and Redhill piles this sense on thick, at the same exact time as his narrative becomes literally a place of deconstruction. This leads to a peculiar sense of being given something wonderful, and of losing something equivalent, as the novel's plot seesaws back and forth between the present day and the world of early Ontario, back in the 1850s when a hardy band of winterized pioneers were making a mini-England out of a cursed and chilblained landscape. Not to mention that it was the early days of photography, an infant art that, in recent years, has seen a huge market constructed around it, so that everyday photographs, not only "art" photography, of a certain era has been widly prized behind its makers' wildest dreams.

On top of which, CONSOLATION has the rich characters and the exotic spectrum of histories churning that animated Pasternak's DOCTOR ZHIVAGO or indeed Tolstoy's ANNA KARENINA. If i turn to Russian models to get at my experience of living through CONSOLATION, maybe it is because Redhill's novel has a moral authority that haunts the reader long after he or she has finished the very last page. Up until then we have been anxiously awaiting the results of a mystery--so the photos exist, the photos that researcher David Hollis staked his professional reputation on? A ring of photos that, laid end to end, would represent the old city of Toronto, circa 1850, like the mirrors on the edge of a revolving music box? Marianne, his widow, thinks she has it figured out, and she's waiting grimly as one of those mariners wives of the 19th century, stalking her widow's walk from her hotel room overlooking the construction of a new civic area. She's a fascinating character, but from one perspective more than a little mad. In this she is a true daughter of Canada, as we see from the grand, operatic switch to the daily life of Jem Hallam, the man who might have taken the photos.

Hallam is a brilliantly drawn character, vulnerable, talented, generous, superstitious, given to strange bouts of obsession and drawn to all the "wrong" elements in life. He is the exemplar of the early settlers of Canada, the men and women whom fate drew together to form a city. His relationship with the master photographer under whom he serves as apprentice, and with the master's assistant, the beautiful Claudia, serve as wheels to propel his story closer and closer to what seems like an inevitable heartbreak. I was just about four fifths through with the story when I realized where I had heard the name of the author, Michael Redhill, before. He is one of the editors of BRICK magazine in Canada, and I had had some e-mail dealings with him about fifteen months ago. Why did he not mention he had CONSOLATION coming up around the corner? You know how US authors don't miss a trick, and they'll turn their e-mail "signatures" into living, Vegas, adverts for their novels! I thought of CONSOLATION also while looking at Edweard Muybridge's panoramic photos of San Francisco (1877-1878), of course a far later epoch of photography than the one Redhill handles. I won't spoil the ending for you but be prepared, you're in for one of those grand, satisfying finales.
Ata-Boy Harry Potter Gryffindor House Crest Officially Licensed Patch, Pin and More!
Ata-Boy Harry Potter Gryffindor House Crest Officially Licensed Patch, Pin and More!
Crocheted a Harry Potter scarf for one of my grandchildren and ordered the patch to place on it. I was a bit worried that the patch wouldn't iron onto yarn, so I did it twice, and it is actually fairly stable. I tried to sew it around the edges, but I couldn't get a needle through the patch. It looks great on the scarf and UPS is delivering his scarf to him today. Looks like I'll need to order more ... Honeybee
Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, Volume 1
Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, Volume 1
Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, Volume 1 by Society for Psychical Research (Great Br and Harry Houdini Collection (Library of Co. Rated undefined out of 5 stars, with null ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the "harry houdini" category.
Mary Poppins Returns (With Bonus Content)
Mary Poppins Returns (With Bonus Content)
The Disney magic of cinematic legend is in fine shape in the new “Mary Poppins Returns,” even if the imagination of the fabled Disney Imagineers is a little rusty. The stars of the picture during publicity appearances have been going out of their ways to stress that the movie is not a remake of the fabled Academy Award-winning 1964 classic “Mary Poppins,” but a sequel. And that might very well be.

But viewers who mistake the picture for a remake can be forgiven, because “Mary Poppins Returns” pushes its narrative through the self-same template of the original, right down to the placement of the musical numbers. Only the haunting and heartbreaking place occupied in the original picture by actress Jane Darwell and “Feed the Birds” is left vacant. In fact, about the biggest difference between “Mary Poppins” and “Mary Poppins Returns” is that this time around the magical nanny has three children in her charge instead of two.

Set some thirty years after the events of the original picture, in “Mary Poppins Returns” Jane and Michael Banks are now adults who barely remember their childhood adventures with the nanny who literally drifted down from the clouds. Jane has taken after her suffragette mother and is now a political activist fighting for the rights of oppressed workers. And Michael, a recent widower unable to support his three young children as an artist, has recently taken a part-time job as a teller in the Fidelity Fiduciary Bank where his late father once toiled as a senior partner.

Already disenfranchised by the death of their mother, Michael’s three adorable children are soon additionally troubled to learn that the bank is about to foreclose on their family home. Michael’s absentmindedly forgotten to make the three most recent payments to Fidelity Fiduciary after mortgaging the property to meet the family’s expenses. The family will be evicted if they’re unable to pay off the loan in full by Big Ben’s final toll of midnight, three days hence.

To breathe some desperately-needed order into this chaotic situation, Mary Poppins returns, literally descending from the clouds to return the children’s kite during a stormy day. And with the help of her old chum Jack the Lamplighter, a former apprentice to the original film’s Bert the Chimney Sweep, the magical nanny endeavors to teach the Banks children the value of organized imagination...and remind the grown-up Michael and Jane of the love and wonder often left behind when children become adults.

The biggest danger of producing a new movie founded upon the magic of a beloved motion picture classic is that the new movie will inevitably and automatically be compared with the original, a risk that Disney of all studios knows well. Since...well, since forever, the studio’s been occasionally pilfering their own vaults to wring new memories--and money--from old classics.

Fortunately--thankfully--”Mary Poppins Returns” is strong enough and contains sufficient movie magic to not only withstand comparisons with the 1964 musical classic, but also to stand on its own feet. The viewer can’t help comparing the two pictures, but the filmmakers seem to expect the comparisons, if not welcome them...and even challenge them. And you know what? They win the challenge.

There’s been some minor complaining about actress Emily Blunt’s characterization in the title role being...well, a little nasty, snotty with a capital B. Detractors suggest Blunt invests the beloved nanny with unnecessary amounts of sternness, conceit, arrogance, and a chilly exterior. Translation: Emily Blunt is not Julie Andrews.

But that’s just the price the actress pays for her characterization being accurate to Travers’ storybooks. Julie Andrews could sing through a smile even when she was weeping tears of heartbreak, an attribute which worked well for the 1964 picture. But Blunt, who has a surprisingly strong singing voice and has been referred to by co-star Lin-Manuel Miranda as “human sunshine,” is primarily known, and lauded, as a dramatic actress. Occasional eye-rolling aside, Blunt brings all of her artistic qualities to bear in the picture, and more than holds her own in the choreography department also.

Blunt is an experienced-enough performer to invest the role of Mary Poppins with wit, charm, charisma...and during her performance of the song “The Cover is Not the Book” even an unexpected breath of sexuality Andrews could not manage even during her brief nude scene in the 1981 comedy “S.O.B.” Had Andrews not appeared in the role first, and won an Academy Award for her performance, Blunt’s interpretation might be considered definitive, and receive unqualified praise. The highest accolade: P. L. Travers would be delighted with Blunt’s characterization. And that says a lot.

No slouch in the human sunshine department himself, Lin-Manuel Miranda shares many of Emily Blunt’s artistic qualities as Jack, the Lamplighter. Already an entertainment legend through his historic success as the author, composer, and star of Broadway’s “Hamilton,” Miranda with his warm smile, kind eyes, and open, guileless countenance transforms the Lamplighter into a wonderful companion for the children...and also eventually for the single Jane Banks. Miranda shines in his every scene, but wisely--and generously--dims his star power a little when sharing the stage with Blunt or the children.

Also making appearances in “Mary Poppins Returns” are Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer as the adult Michael and Jane Banks, Julie Walters as Michael’s housekeeper, and Colin Firth as Wilkins, the president of the Fidelity Bank and villain of the piece. That’s Royal Shakespeare Company veteran and frequent film villain David Warner as Admiral Boom next door.

Dick Van Dyke appears in a charming cameo, at age 93 almost miraculously nimble as Mr. Dawes, the bank’s chairman. Meryl Streep and Angela Lansbury also contribute brief musical performances, Streep in more or less the spot occupied in the original picture by the great comic actor Ed Wynn. Karen Dotrice, the original picture’s Jane Banks, can be seen in one brief shot near the beginning of the picture, as an stylishly-dressed woman in front of the Banks home. And that’s the voice of Chris O’Dowd as the animated Shamus the Coachman.

Directed by Rob Marshall, an old hand with movie adaptations of Broadway musicals after his experience with the Academy Award-winning “Chicago” from 2002, as well as “Nine” in 2009 and “Into the Woods” in 2014, “Mary Poppins” was adapted from Travers’ books by David McGee, with new songs by composer Marc Shaiman and lyricist Scott Whitman in the tradition of the 1964 original. Academy Award-winning “Mary Poppins” co-composer Richard Sherman was a music consultant on the new film.

If some of the sets seems familiar, the original background artwork created for “Mary Poppins” by legendary matte artist Peter Ellenshaw was resurrected for the picture.

The highly-recommended “Mary Poppins Returns” is rated PG for some mild thematic elements and brief action.
Allie McCrae and the West Point Half-Blood
Allie McCrae and the West Point Half-Blood
Abbott's dialogue brings life and an authentic sound to this historic tale beginning in the land of Ireland and spanning across the ocean to New York and eventually out west. Allie McCrae is a man of honor and grit, both characteristics that will serve him through diversity at each step forward. Don't delay, buy your copy for the fella on your Christmas list who loves a good tale of horses, bad guys, and even winning the girl.
Dujard Toys 13510 Harry Potter Magic Capsules
Dujard Toys 13510 Harry Potter Magic Capsules
Alerte aux Fans d'Harry!!
Une capsule mystère qui va vous délivrer en 3 tours de mains et e magie , le personnage caché à l'intérieur.
🧙‍♀️ La capsule en elle-meme est superbe, elle représente le blason de Poudlard.
🧙‍♀️Elle plaira à tous ceux qui adorent la saga, Elle servira de rangement au personnage, mais également elle pourra décorer un anniversaire sur le thème d'Harry Potter, tant elle est superbe et bien faite, un vrai objet déco.
Le principe ? 🧙‍♀️🧙‍♀️🧙‍♀️
On découvre notre personnage en 3 étapes, qui sont l'ouverture de la capsule en suivant un cheminement numérique ( 1,2,3) Ainsi vous trouverez :
🧙‍♀️ Un blason avec la couleur de votre maison( et deviner en partie le personnage),
🧙‍♀️Une bandelette magique qu'il faudra passer sous l'eau pour voir apparaitre votre sort!! effet sensationnel! pour nous c'etait " Expelliarmus" qui est le sort utilisé par Harry et ses amis pour désarmer leurs adversaires.
🧙‍♀️ Et enfin , en derniére etape, vous decouvrez votre personnage accompagné de son accessoire et animal.
Je suis tombé sur Harry, quelle chance!! je ne sais pas qui était le plus heureux des deux, mon fils ou moi? hahaha
🧙‍♀️ Mais il y a 10 personnages à collectionner, vous pouvez donc tomber sur :
Harry Potter
Harry Potter en tenue de Quidditch ( wouahouuu)
Ron Weasley
Hermione Granger
Ginny Weasley
Luna Lovegood
Drago Malefoy
Cho Chang
Severus Rogue
Cédric Diggory
tous les personnages recurrents et importants au fil de la saga .🧙‍♀️🧙‍♀️🧙‍♀️
Cette capsule est fantastique et bien magique !!! Je valide à 100% et sang de griffon ce jouet !!
On veut toutes les collectionner !! Merci au fabricant de créer des jouets qui mettent des étoiles pleins les yeux
Pokemon Champions Path Booster Packs Bundle Lot of 4 Sealed Packs
Pokemon Champions Path Booster Packs Bundle Lot of 4 Sealed Packs
I bought 8 booster packs from this seller and these are all the rare pokemon cards I got. 6 out of 8 packs contain a rare holo Trainer card and 2 of the packs are junk rare holo cards. This is super suspicious and these packs might be resealed. Lesson learned, never buy booster packs online from Amazon.
Brother DS-740D Duplex Compact Mobile Document Scanner
Brother DS-740D Duplex Compact Mobile Document Scanner
Before you buy: This product did not come with a manual or any other instructions. So I thought great plug and use. No way. Had to go online to download a manual. Manual is limited and does not help with using the software. I found the scanner itself easy to use. However, why would I want to scan something if I can't name it, adjust settings (doc or photo), dpi, or put it in an associated file so I can find it. Took 30 minutes to find where the thing dropped my first scan. Once I went to the brother site, I was offered a free version of Paper Port 14 (Nuance) - No better than Windows File Explorer. All the software is difficult to use. It took me 4 days of on/off and frustration to figure how to use the software and scanner. Still it was not as efficient or timely as using the big ol' HP. This only does one page at a time. At one point a different software screen opened for additional pages, however I lost control of all my settings and adjustments. Eventually, I gave up. Did not cry about it. Looks like a great travel size and fits in my computer bag. But why bother; I expect trouble on the road. Just tossed the thing in the trash and I feel so much better. Back to my HP scanner and no mobility scanning. If you think you are good at handling this type of stuff, go for it.
Reversible Baby Mobile - Pretty Brain Development Infant Stim Mobile Gives Visual Stimulation to Engage Your Newborn - Mobile is Handmade of Black and White Felt - Nursery Decor for Boy or Girl
Reversible Baby Mobile - Pretty Brain Development Infant Stim Mobile Gives Visual Stimulation to Engage Your Newborn - Mobile is Handmade of Black and White Felt - Nursery Decor for Boy or Girl
This is the best mobile I found out there. There are very colorful mobiles with nice themes to match bedding. However, babies can only see black, white, and some shades of grey during their first few months of life. Therefore, this is exactly what they need, a black and white mobile with geometric shapes, and this mobile is perfect.

A colorful mobile defeats the purpose of the mobile, which should be to entertain the baby and stimulate its brain and eyes development. The bedding sets that are sold with a matching mobile, should not be used since baby should only sleep on a fitted sheet without any blanket, pillow, stuffed animals, or crib bumpers to reduce risk of suffocation. On the other hand, mobiles need to be removed when baby turns 5 months old or when babies are able to stand in the crib or grab the mobile, to avoid entanglement danger. This is around the time babies start seeing colors and will be more active, will start exploring more and being less time in the crib. Therefore, they can be stimulated with other colorful toys. There is no longer need for a mobile in the crib.

I bought white fitted sheets, the black and white mobile and white 3D wall butterflies to decorate the wall behind the crib. I think that’s more than enough. Baby will sleep in our room, no need for a nursery since the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies sleep in the same room with the parents until they are 1 year old to reduce risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

The mobile is hand made and it looks really pretty. It does not have a holder but it’s perfect to hang from the ceiling or you can buy a holder and attach it to it. However, the mobile doesn’t need to be moving constantly. Babies follow movements a lot because they don’t see many colors, but they will see the colors in this mobile. Some might find it overpriced but handmade products from a small company, deserved to be rewarded. My baby is not due yet but I am sure she will love to look at the mobile. If she does not like it, I will update this review. Hope this helps. I would definitely recommend this mobile.
Unleash your creativity
Unleash your creativity
Not the greatest quality, but at the same time it’s still significantly better than other coloring books I’ve bought off Amazon.

The pages are on the thinner side and you can see the image on the following page. However, images are only printed on one side and not both so it’s not a huge deal.

A nice variety of pictures. Some are very detailed and others a little more simplistic. The lines are nice and sharp.

Ultimately, for the price, this was a great buy.

I bought it for my 6 year old niece who will not care about the quality at all and only that there are lots of pretty unicorn pictures to color. She will love it!
Masala Chai
Masala Chai
Tender movie about real people in India. Gorgeously made, and uplifting and lovely music
Car Guys vs. Bean Counters: The Battle for the Soul of American Business
Car Guys vs. Bean Counters: The Battle for the Soul of American Business
Bob Lutz belongs to a dying breed which will be missed when it's gone. Garrulous, opinionated, politically incorrect and unstintingly frank, it's hard to see how he ever made it in corporate America, and harder yet to see how his like will ever make it again.

More is the pity is my assessment and, for that matter, his too.

Over a long career Lutz has held senior positions at all the big US automobile manufacturers and at least one European one. The closest he came to outright CEO was an eight year spell as Vice Chairman at General Motors from 2000 until its filing for Bankruptcy Protection in 2008.

This book - Lutz' second - entertainingly recounts that period and GM's corporate history leading up to it; a history, in Lutz' telling, organised around the theory that GM was, from its heyday in the 1950s and 1960s, laid low by the cult of Total Quality Management.

I must declare something of an interest: I work in an industry, and for an organisation, suffering a similar blight. Lutz' passionate peroration rang resonantly with me.

Now, of course, everyone believes things aren't quite what they used to be. But even without knowing much about cars it's hard to argue that any vehicle in GM's 1998 fleet could bear favourable comparison with a '57 Chevvy, a '65 GTO or a '68 Camaro.

By 1998 the fall from grace was complete. Lutz identifies a number of factors at work. Some have the air of hobby horses environmental skepticism) and bete noires (Toyota, and the "left wing" media's love affair with it); many go against the political grain and are expressed indelicately (if entertainingly) enough to prompt those who wish to, to write the book off altogether: pooh-poohing concerns about the melting ice cap, Lutz remarks "Hello! Polar Bears can swim!"

Many, however, are insightful and benefit greatly in their expression from Lutz' direct approach. Lutz writes simply, clearly, and with great humour.

Chief among his targets, as the book's title suggests, is the cult of the management consultancy which has swept the world since the summer of love. The relentless drive towards cost cutting, commoditisation, brand segmentation and regularisation - all things, Lutz concedes, which have their place in a well-run organisation - at the expense of product excellence, instead of in support of it (a component of product excellence is reliability and value for money, after all) is the operating cause of GM's long decline and fall.

Lutz' anecdotes are never less than hilarious as they illustrate how process and efficiency was allowed to drown out all other components, including not just design and style but product quality itself. A $25,000 investment cannot be branded and flogged the same way a toothpaste can, and as long as the predominant management ethos is that it can (for decades GM assumed their customers chiefly wanted a low-cost means of conveyance from points A to B, and that anything more was a nice-to-have), the management strategy is bound to fail. For in that scenario GM is competing with the second hand car market, a fight it simply cannot win. And nor did it.

Product excellence, Lutz argues compellingly, must be the overriding goal to which all other endeavours are aligned. Product line rationalisation is always justified if it permits greater focus of resources on better quality product. This is no more than a codification of the 80:20 rule. Somehow, with TQM, this truism of capital production was lost in the PowerPoint miasma.

Lutz is equally perspicacious on the subject of regulation, and he isn't quite the gas-guzzling scorched earther you might expect. the sine qua non of GM's trouble was Government political weakness in response to the 1970s fuel crisis. Instead of doing what every other developed nation had long since done, and imposing taxes at the pumps to constrain demand, congress took the politically convenient measure of constraining supply, by imposing draconian constraints on engine capacity and configuration. Having for a generation enjoyed pump prices a quarter of those anywhere else in the world, US manufacturers suddenly found themselves having to drastically retool, redesign and reconfigure their entire fleets, by regulatory fiat, whereas their European and Japanese competitors, long used to higher fuel prices in their domestic markets,were able to flood the US market with well developed, tested and compliant vehicles. Needless to say the new range of four cylinder American cars were beset with teething and performance problems, and as Lutz would have it, the US manufacturers have been on the back foot ever since. Lutz' view is that pump taxes would have given GM the breathing room to modify its fleet over a sensible period of time.

That complete revision of the product range unhappily coincided with a period where the Bean Counters were allowed the run of the ranch, and a catalogue of disasters, all briliiantly recounted by Lutz, ensues. I had to wipe away tears of laughter on the tube - never a good look - at Lutz description of the GM ash tray that worked at 40 degrees below zero.

There are great lessons to be learned in this candid, entertaining book, and I dare say Mr Lutz would be an excellent raconteur.

Car-making, in essence, is a simple, if difficult business which requires the instinct of product experts - "car guys" - to be successful. The drive to manage away the idiosyncrasies of these very individuals in the name of consistency and process misses the stark fact that often times it is precisely that idiosyncrasy that generates the spark of excellence in the first place.

In the final analysis Lutz is grudgingly respectful even of Toyota: still a privately held business, with excellent processes and systems but still subject to an imperial will that Lutz found sorely lacking at GM.

A hymn to all those at the peril of management consultants and other well-intentioned parasites, this book is well recommended.

Olly Buxton
UKor Switch TV Dock, Portable Charging Stand for Nintendo Switch,Compact Switch to HDMI Adapter,Mini Switch Docking Station with Extra USB 3.0 Port, Replacement Charging Dock for Nintendo Switch
UKor Switch TV Dock, Portable Charging Stand for Nintendo Switch,Compact Switch to HDMI Adapter,Mini Switch Docking Station with Extra USB 3.0 Port, Replacement Charging Dock for Nintendo Switch
It bothers me that docking is not straightforward as it is with the original dock, you have to be careful to line up the male connector from the dock into the other end in the switch.

Besides that the switch won't stand straight but will lean back after you dock it, that means the female end in the switch will be under pressure and could easily get damaged in the wrong hands.

If it was just an inconvenience I'd had rated it 4, but I do fear I might need to buy a new Switch because of a faulty dock design.

If the original dock was $50 buck I'd had bought it instead, but it just too way expensive, almost $100 after taxes.

This portable dock is a great value for the money, you just need to be careful.
TC Electronic Sub 'N' Up Octaver Pedal
TC Electronic Sub 'N' Up Octaver Pedal
I'm a fan of TC electronic pedals and have several different models. I was using the Sub 'N' Up for both bass and guitar, but no longer have it on my board. I got it mainly for the "up" feature. Especially on bass, the octave up did not work well. The sound was mostly undefined and weak, especially compared to the octave down feature. I didn't find the tone print feature to be very helpful. It's a shame really, I very much wanted it to work. So my search for a good octave up pedal continues. I've held on to the pedal because the octave down feature does work well, and it tracks surprisingly well, even on bass. Combined with a mild overdrive, like the Dark Matter, it makes for a decent synth sound.
Simple Joys by Carter's Juego de pijama de algodón de 6 piezas
Simple Joys by Carter's Juego de pijama de algodón de 6 piezas
I have to admit that in reality the votes are not all in. My granddaughter has not yet worn them. BUT that being said I had purchased her a multi-pieced Caters set to wear at my house. She came recently to my house bringing her own pjs. She changed into the my Carters set because mine were more "comfortable" She ended up taking the Carter set home where my daughter says she loves them. This set looks to be of the same quality. The fabric is not a cheap light weight knit but it is not so heavy that it cannot be worn in the summer. I love the versatility of the pieces all really "go" with all the other pieces. The graphics should appeal to the little girl in the little girl. Really cute. The sticker price is higher than I wanted to pay but it well worth it considering what you get!!!
GarageMate: Open your garage with your iPhones, Androids, or Apple Watch. Easy setup. Secure. Bluetooth4.0. Please read description fully before ordering.
GarageMate: Open your garage with your iPhones, Androids, or Apple Watch. Easy setup. Secure. Bluetooth4.0. Please read description fully before ordering.
I usually don't come on here and write reviews for things, but for this I have to.

First off, I am not sure how old my garage door opener is. I bought the house and it was already here, so I was worried that when I try to use this thing, it will be too old. I know that it says that it will work with most openers made after 1993, and I'm fairly sure mine was made not that long ago. But with my luck, it wouldn't work.

Two: I usually have bad luck with these types of things. I usually fail at trying to get them hooked up and working (my smart thermostat installation got so bad, i just said forget it and returned it...after a week of trying to get it to work.)

So, first off: it's incredibly easy to install. After reading the directions, it took me about 10 seconds to install just too wires and then plug the unit in. After that, you have to download the app and sync it to the unit. If you've ever synced anything via bluetooth to your phone, then you'll be fine with this. It's no different.

After that, you're good to go. It works perfectly. So I know that there's some other wifi openers on here, where you can open from anywhere in the world and things like that. If you want something like that, go for it. But for half the price and the quick installation, this one was definitely worth it.
Elviros Memory Foam Knee Pillow with Strap, Leg Positioner Pillow for Side Sleepers, Between leg Pillows for Pregnancy Sciatica Relief, Back, Leg, Hip, and Joint Pain
Elviros Memory Foam Knee Pillow with Strap, Leg Positioner Pillow for Side Sleepers, Between leg Pillows for Pregnancy Sciatica Relief, Back, Leg, Hip, and Joint Pain
really found this has made a difference. i suffer sciatica and lower back pain (definitely down to bad posture) and when i lay in bed at night i feel so much pain through my legs. this certainly doesnt get rid of the pain but does take some of it away. having the legs elevated a touch feels much better. sleeping on the side with the double spacer is really clever especially as am so used to having a pillow do the job every night. really impressed. arrived in the smallest box. was ready to return it but by evening it soon formed a good shape. pleased with it
ESR USB C to Lightning Cable, [0.6ft MFi-Certified], Braided Nylon Power Delivery Fast Charging for iPhone 12/12 mini/12 Pro/12 Pro Max/11/XR/XS Max/XS/X/8, for Use with Type-C Chargers, Black
ESR USB C to Lightning Cable, [0.6ft MFi-Certified], Braided Nylon Power Delivery Fast Charging for iPhone 12/12 mini/12 Pro/12 Pro Max/11/XR/XS Max/XS/X/8, for Use with Type-C Chargers, Black
When it first arrived and I opened it, I was actually rarely surprised in how well the quality was. I’ve always purchased chargers with this same type of material and they always seem to rip up towards the ends due to that area always being moved around. I will be able to better tell with time. If it lasts me longer than most chargers with this material then it was worth the money. It’s already at a great price for a USB-C to Lightening charger. One thing I noticed too, is that the charger is a little stiffer than most that I have purchased with this material and I mean that in a good way. Most chargers with this material are too flimsy and that’s one of the main reasons they rip up over time. This still has flexibility to it, but stiff enough to make it last over time. I also love the fact that it has a cable tie attached to it. I am the type of person who cable ties all of my cables for organization. It charged up my phone pretty fast too. I am satisfied:)
CHUWI HeroBook Pro 14.1 inch Windows 10 Laptop Computer, 8G RAM / 256GB SSD with Intel Gmini Lake N4000 Notebook, Thin and Light
CHUWI HeroBook Pro 14.1 inch Windows 10 Laptop Computer, 8G RAM / 256GB SSD with Intel Gmini Lake N4000 Notebook, Thin and Light
So this is with the laptop here for ~24 hours.

1. it arrived sooner than expected. I ordered it 5/2 and it arrived 5/10 -- so about a week quicker than expected.
2. The laptop was extremely well packaged.
3. As expected, it's quite light (fragile). I haven't weighed to compare, but it's comparable to my older ipad in its case. I wouldn't recommend this for a machine that you're going to be carrying around and opening and working with it in a variety of conditions. Definitely not milspec grade.
4, I selected this laptop with some firm criteria: cost, 8GB, & SSD. When I found this, I ran it past my husband who's stronger technically than I am. He looked over the description, read the reviews, and conditionally approved it. His concerns were that it wasn't that fast of a processor, but as I'm mainly using this for browsing web sites and keeping track of my email, that's not a big issue as not a lot of cpu processing is called for. The fact that it doesn't have a fan is a big plus as its quieter and one less mechanical part that could break. I wish they made one w/a larger screen but the pricing is amazing. And it is a higher-resolution screen.
5. Out of the box, I turned the laptop over to my husband for him to get the initial setup completed. He got it up and running on our house network, installed security sw and handed it back. He commented that it was a pretty good little laptop and especially good at the price. (It's quite convenient when you're married to your IT guy.)
6. So one little (literally) issue has come up. This afternoon when I went to use the laptop, I noticed the battery power had dropped quite a bit. Checked the connection to the cpu and outlet. All good but still running down. Got my husband involved later this afternoon. He went and got some meter and there was a question about if the problem was the power source or the port it plugs into. Much fiddling around. That's when we discovered that we had the power plugged into the headphone jack.

Okay fine. Most cpus have a different-sized jack, probably for that reason. Once we got that sorted out, it went back to charging. With the laptop open and facing you so that you can view the screen, it plugs in on the left. Oh, and the battery icon shows a wee tiny plug next to the battery. I told my husband/IT guy that he lost some cred on this issue.

I may come back and add more comments as I continue to use this laptop. My original reaction is that this is a fairly fragile laptop. I wouldn't recommend it for people who want to haul it around to meetings or buy one for people/kids who want to use it for gaming or while working on the bus or at the beach. On the other hand, it's a darn good cpu for the price.

I am a happyish camper.

So, still
Me and My Mates Vs. the Zombie Apocalypse
Me and My Mates Vs. the Zombie Apocalypse
There are some actual laughs in this film from Australia which includes some stand-up comedians in its cast, so the good news is that's it's not a complete waste of time the way many low budget zombie movies, comic or serious, can be. On the other hand it's not much of a zombie movie, which throws the whole thing off. The zombies are mostly a plot device that sets up a small cast in a single location to get into a few comic situations, but mostly engage in fast dialog and tossing out one-liners to each other.

Two telecom workers meet at an abandoned telephone exchange station seeking shelter from the zombie apocalypse which has suddenly descended on Australia. They are soon joined by their boss and his sexy daughter and after a while by her boyfriend and his best friend. Their plan is to hole up there and use the equipment to contact the military to come rescue them. They manage to bring fairly much beer to survive on. More and more zombies can be seen gathering outside through the windows (I assume they're on the second floor).

The big problem is with tone. From the get go nobody seems particularly frightened or freaked out about what's going on. Its all very casual as they arrive and it never feels like anyone feels any fear or terror. They mostly joke around, two of the young men flirt with the girl and one of them will do anything to get on the boss's cricket team. The zombies are good as far as the makeup goes, but they're mostly kept out of the picture until something needs to happen. They can be lethal but mostly don't matter. They're slow-type zombies and oddly intelligent, like figuring out how to get in the front door using a key card (which almost disqualifies them as zombies). The really great zombie comedies, for me only Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland and Scout's Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse are genuine horror movies with a lot of humor in them and are able to maintain a real sense of tension.

Popular Australian comic Jim Jeffries is listed as the star but is probably only in this film as a favor to a cast member, probably director-writer Declan Shrubb. In any case he's not really in the film very long. Alex Williamson is funniest as clueless stoner Darryl and Greg Fleet as tough boss Roy is a good foil for him. Everyone here actually does a good job with their roles but those roles are very underwritten so they're mostly "types" - hot girl, Asian guy, blond jock, etc. There are a few extras and a few moments outside the small set but not enough to really open up a film with such a small budget.

The one-liners are funny and so are many of the jokes, especially the Australian jokes. But it's more comedy sketch than zombie film so be sure that's what you're in the mood for.
Kaffeevollautomat One-Touch-Bedienung Tragbare Kaffeemaschine Eine Berührung zum Brauen Thermkanne und Timer-Funktion Schnelles Aufheizen Schnelles Aufheizen für Zuhause, Büro, Wohnmobil
Kaffeevollautomat One-Touch-Bedienung Tragbare Kaffeemaschine Eine Berührung zum Brauen Thermkanne und Timer-Funktion Schnelles Aufheizen Schnelles Aufheizen für Zuhause, Büro, Wohnmobil
Kaffeevollautomat One-Touch-Bedienung Tragbare Kaffeemaschine Eine Berührung zum Brauen Thermkanne und Timer-Funktion Schnelles Aufheizen Schnelles Aufheizen für Zuhause, Büro, Wohnmobil by undefined. Rated undefined out of 5 stars, with undefined ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the kaffeevollautomat category.
NETGEAR Nighthawk AX3000 4-Stream Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 Router - RAX35-100NAS
NETGEAR Nighthawk AX3000 4-Stream Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 Router - RAX35-100NAS
Good modem but could not get speed when connected to my sb8200 modem. I have gig download and so many tries but no luck. Apparently, the WiFi Was fine with almost 500mbs. Good range. Returned it getting to link AX3000.
Finally got the Netgear AX8 works great. Wifi if fast. Connected to laptop is slow but i think you have to take down firewall and anti-virus to see the real speed or your internet speed may be trotling with ISP. Comcast has this issue unless you have a fiber set up. No issue with Netgear Nighthawk. Tibe serous Any one of these WiFi6 routers are good. From the cheaper TPlink for 129 to this Netgear which is 300. Get the C.1000 modem or Sb8200 so you are good for couple of years.
Marca Amazon - Happy Belly Mezcla de frutas deshidratada, 7 x 200gr
Marca Amazon - Happy Belly Mezcla de frutas deshidratada, 7 x 200gr
The pineapple has the only definable flavour, which is probably due to the added sweetening. An earlier reviewer described the texture perfectly, especially that of the apple, as one of those shrimp-like sweets at the 'Pick & Mix'. Bought these as a healthy substitute to fill up on when peckish & the ploy worked. I ate four pieces, one of each 'flavour', & didn't eat another thing all evening - the bathroom being too far away from the kitchen.

Recent posts by Yehuda Flores
Message Yehuda Flores