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Steffan Piper RSS Feed (Palm Desert, CA)

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On the Road
On the Road
DVD ~ Garrett Hedlund
Offered by Clyde Parks
Price: $12.70
76 used & new from $3.11

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Kerouac would drink himself to death overnight if he ever saw this ..., November 29, 2013
This review is from: On the Road (DVD)
When I was breaking through my teen years, I read a lot of Kerouac. I always thought On The Road would make an absolutely beautiful film. The lushness of the storytelling and the vastness of the landscape is everything you might want in a visual epic. Although I thought The Subterraneans is a better book, most people have never read it.

I've been avoiding the movie they made with Kristen Stewart in 2012 as I just knew it would be like paint thinner upon my soul. I couldn't even get ten minutes in before I recognized the parts of the story they were trying to tell and then parts they just decided to make up for no reason at all. The rest was just mangled and poor. Or rather 'Unspeakably distasteful" to quote Bull Lee.

I guess there's a window of opportunity for a story like On The Road to be made and treated appropriately. I think they completely missed it for an entire generation. They should've made it at the tail end of the 90s when Hollywood was full of capable actors who were brimming with intrigue and bearing. Depp, Del Toro, Slater, McConnaghey, Mortenson, even Afflecks, Casey and Ben, both. Casey as Gregory Corso. Yes. Affleck as Ginsberg. I can see it.

Yeah, I get Viggo Mortensen as Old Bull Lee, but rewind about 10 years and he would've been a better Kerouac / Sal Paradise and McConnaughey his wild-eyed sidekick Dean Moriarity.

I hope to God my fingers never miss the channel button as I'm pushing past this forgetful mess.

Friends of Mine: Thirty Years in the Life of a Duran Duran Fan
Friends of Mine: Thirty Years in the Life of a Duran Duran Fan
by Elisa Lorello
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.79
17 used & new from $8.92

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There IS something you should know ..., September 4, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
"There's a dream that strings the road with broken glass for us to hold ..."

Elisa Lorello's highly-emotional memoir Friends of Mine is a journey back to a time where a lot of Generation X kids had begun to find the world around them, which had been pulling away from Reagan's 'Morning in America' - and stepping into the late afternoon of a super-charged pop music scene that had been climbing to reach its zenith, going worldwide with Live Aid in 1985.

Taken directly into the proliferation of the culture via MTV, cassette Walkmans, glossy wall posters of Madonna, Madness and Duran Durans' Patrick Negal iconic album cover, Lorello walks us through the hallways of her 80s childhood like a sun cast shadow clinging lovingly to every forgotten surface that you've longed for ever since which she wonderfully resurrects. Reading about her life back then is touching, tragic and many times teary.

In an era where large vinyl collections were the touchstone of almost every middle-class home and Rio was ever present, the effect of Duran Duran on a young girls heart and mind is an all too dangerous proposition from the start.

Friends of Mine is the story of a young Elisa's journey through a turbulent adolescence, finding herself relating more to the music of Duran Duran than most of the people outside of her own house, including her friends caught in the same cultural new wave of sound that was coming from almost every speakered surface of the time. She found herself coming of age in a family of frenetic, talented siblings that buzzed around her, growing musically, like an 80s rendition of the Partridge Family, but with a greater factor of cool, angst and far more interesting.

The deepest message of the story is about the power of music and the power it has on the listener over the long passage of years when we've somehow moved on from our youth, and achingly into adulthood. We cling to the comforting icons of that time and for whatever the reasons, we take them with us, forever paired.

Music effects everything about who we are, where we're going and the times in which we have lived. You'll hear echoes of it when you hear people drone on about how the 1980s was easily the greatest time to have lived through. Having been through it, you find yourself on the outside of it, not disagreeing at all, and the music being the last and only delivery system to the past. For those that hadn't, the effect of those years travels with them almost as indelibly.

The author gives us something better to think about when our faded hits are now no more than just the three minutes on whatever classic rock station while driving through our lives.

Elisa Lorello's very touching and hypnotic memoir is a powerful tale, evoking shadows of all of our years through one very different and lasting decade. Having shared the journey, the best antidote to being without - is that we can always find it in others.


This review covers the Advance Review Copy of the book I received earlier in Summer. What a fantastic gift to anyone who is a fan of Duran Duran, the eighties or Elisa Lorello. Thumbs up.


Axe Cooling Face Wash, Chilled, 5 Ounce
Axe Cooling Face Wash, Chilled, 5 Ounce
Price: $4.09
18 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Very good ... Chilling, you might say ..., June 18, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a good facial cleanser that leaves your face feeling like you just wiped it with a nice menthol or very subtle witch hazel. There is no witch hazel in this, but it leaves the feeling that is somewhere in between the two.

These Axe products also all have a very nice invigorating scent that is often too musty, too generic or too obvious in other men's line products.

I've since restocked this product but only wished that it came in a larger size, like a 10 or 12 ounce container. 5 ounces? Honestly, that's a bit "girly" LOL. Women are typically more conservative with the use of their product and not wasteful. Men on the other hand, are more prone to blast out a big gob of this stuff in our hands and accidentally wash our whole body with it first. This stuff needs to upsized.

Prometheus (Blu-ray 3D/ Blu-ray/ DVD/ Digital Copy)
Prometheus (Blu-ray 3D/ Blu-ray/ DVD/ Digital Copy)
DVD ~ Noomi Rapace
Price: $14.99
87 used & new from $9.81

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too many unanswered questions to love this unconditionally ..., May 27, 2013
Too many unanswered questions on this film. I'm forced to post this after many months of thought and add mine to the sea of over 3,200 reviews. (3,246 as of posting). This film will, like Blade Runner, likely have several different releases and edits to shore this up over the passage of time. Hopefully Ridley takes care of this sooner rather than later. He's approaching the same problems that Weyland faced.

Here goes:

I've finally rewatched Prometheus one more time last night, after a long period of letting it digest. I think I might've seen it now 5 times total. I'm stunned to say that after all these months, no hype, no expectation, nada ... honestly ... that film had A LOT of problems.

It was still good, but it was a definite let down. Better writing than Tron:Legacy? No. Not even close. The visuals were very good. But too many plot holes - and a whole sea of different plot holes than the ones people were bitching about before elsewhere on the internet.

1. Why was Peter Weyland represented as an old man, since he was a master of robotics and making robots that look like humans? Cosmetic surgery didn't seem like it would be that difficult. He should've been represented as a young man, but still dying. Even in 2013, life expectancy is about to shoot up to around 200-300 years in the next 50 (for those who can afford it), so why do we see the ruler of the Universe incapable of basic surgery? Makes no sense. I get that people might have been confused about the difference of aging and physical appearance, but it would've fit to see this addressed appropriately. Just Google: Aubrey de Gray.

2. Why did Ms. Vickers even go along on the flight? She could've stayed home and run the company from Earth (her main priority) if she believed that he was going out there to die, which she had stated. Her very presence after that dialogue killed her character. Did the real Ms. Vickers send a Replicant in her stead? This will likely open the next film if so.

3. After waking from hypersleep, Shaw became shocked to discover what the real mission was and that the mission had a corporate interest that superseded the scientific. This reaction and plot twist was incredibly unbelievable and poorly thought out. One would be trained, debriefed and know full well what was going on, and expected, long before that ship would've ever leave Earth orbit. Recall Aliens 2, when everyone awakes. Everyone was clear on the mission.

4. Millburn (with Fifield abandoned during storm) thought that a snake looking animal on a foreign planet, where everyone mysteriously died, that rises up into an attack posture, like a cobra, is non-threatening and a 'good girl'? That whole scene should've been removed / reshot / never shown. That is seriously bad writing. C'mon, ya'll. This scene has universally been derided the most and found to be the weakest of ideas.

5. What was with the weird sexual energy between Ms. Vickers and Peter Weyland, her father? It was never explained, never looked at beyond the one scene in his bedroom, although definitely underlined. For what reason? The scene between Weyland / Vickers and then the later scene with Capt. Janek (Idris Elba) and Vickers, where he questions her about being a robot - leaves me to believe that Ms. Vickers, too, was a Replicant, and probably not dead -- yet. Here, we once more approach the "I want more life, Father!" Nexus 10?

6. The theatrical version's end fight scene between Shaw and the Spacejockey was way too convenient and over too quick. You could blink and miss it. The extended scenes fight version was the scene they should've shown. Editing down for time is always a bad idea and one would think that Ridley Scott would learn his lesson. I don't think he can blame anyone else other than himself on this one.

7. The Prometheus had *absolutely no means of defense*? Really? Ramming the other ship was the *only* option? That's bad writing. Ship travels through hostile space to a distant location and not even a single missile? That didn't seem to fit the story line at all. Other ships in previous films look like mining vessels. Okay. Got it. But the Prometheus looked like a serious piece of hardware. No defenses? Fail.

8. Strangely, the centerpiece scene of the film, from what I saw, with the most energy and action, was the self-abortion / self-surgery scene with Shaw and the Alien fetus. Odd that a scene like that would be the center-piece in the editing. Odd that a meaningless scene that was fully spectacle become the biggest scene in a film that was ... 100% spectacle. Well, haha ... maybe not ...

9. Having the waking Spacejockey kill Peter Weyland and rip David's head off for no apparent reason without any kind of hesitation or even having the Spacejockey ask how long he was in Hypersleep for, (like a Han Solo shooting at Darth Vader without even hesitating), was probably the worst writing of the film. Yes, it's a top secret Military Installation and he had to kill anyone on sight immediately, but after having been asleep for a few thousand years ... one would wake to ask questions ... no matter who you were. That's honestly poor character development. If you did that in a novel, people would accuse you of 'avoiding conflict / resolution' which is pivotal for any story. Thus, I'm accusing them of avoiding conflict in order to wrap things up too quick.

10. I wasn't bothered by the falling ship scene as typically, when someone throws something at you, and you run away to avoid it, there's often a scenario where you end up running directly into the downward arc of it. However, that being said, the real problem of that scene was the physics of forward momentum, or lack there of. After those ships took off, they would inevitably crash down farther away in the direction of travel and not fall back to earth -- in reverse. Yes -- that was definitely odd. I need to see that one in a simulator before I would've said: "Yeah, let's do that in the final minutes of the film."

And then there's this ... possibly the whole point of this thing ...

11. Perhaps this film is actually, in some strange, tangential way, about abortion. Not the morality of it, which is what we humans seem to get wrapped up in, but the reality of it. Like the line from Fight Club, delivered by Tyler Durden:

"Listen to me! You have to consider the possibility that God does not like you. He never wanted you. In all probability, he hates you. This is not the worst thing that can happen."

Humans now become D-Listed as an awkward, embarrassing accident. Which opens the obvious reality that -- we, the humans -- are a greater threat somewhere down the line genetically, than all these monsters we've set out to find or discover, perhaps including even our own engineers. Consider the following:

A) Dude offs himself in a primordial stream and up we pop like a goddamned freak show.

B) The Engineers panic and set in motion a desire that they need to kill these bashtards (us) off somehow, before it's too late. Like they knew we were too-violent based upon the missing strands of DNA that we lacked from our forefathers.

C) Make goo -- make a boatload of it, enough to possibly wipe out two worlds -- ship it off to Earth -- wipe them out, because these acid blood, body humping, multi-strain life-forms are less dangerous than those freaky Earthlings are. Wow. Now -- that's something to consider. Those humans are destined to destroy everyone and everything, they're tribal and pretty stupid to boot. Eff those effers. Send in the bugs. Send them now!

I give 3 stars, because while it was beautiful and somewhat entertaining. The writing is incredibly questionable. It doesn't deliver what it could have, or even leads us to believe.

Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 6, 2013 2:51 PM PDT

Paula Deen Signature Dinnerware Tatnall Street 16 Piece Dinnerware Set, Bluebell
Paula Deen Signature Dinnerware Tatnall Street 16 Piece Dinnerware Set, Bluebell
Price: $62.99
4 used & new from $62.99

5.0 out of 5 stars I'm a sucker for cornflower blue ...., March 8, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have to admit -- I really like this dish set. A lot. I collect fine china and have done so for years. Everything from Mikasa, Wedgewood, Spode, you name it. Blue always gets me though. This set wasn't hard to reach for.

I wasn't very happy to see the "mugs" though in this set. Why can't we have some nice 9 ounce tea cup and saucers? A lot of people do own espresso machines and high-end coffee makers. What's the problem with having a cup and saucer? "Mugs" are for hot chocolate and when I want to take my cup of coffee somewhere, like my backyard, my garage or down to the mailbox. I really don't understand the desire by these dish manufacturers to keep flooding these useless mugs at us.

Other than that, the plates and bowls are perfect size and sturdy. The design is attractive and people who have eaten lunch off of these plates at my house have all mentioned how attractive they are. They definitely stand out.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 24, 2013 10:56 PM PDT

Singing Machine SMC4TVBK CDG Karaoke Player
Singing Machine SMC4TVBK CDG Karaoke Player
Price: $39.99
21 used & new from $29.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad... Really Bad ..., March 8, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When designing a product, one always has to ask the main question, first: "Who are you designing for?" or "What environment would the customer use this product in?"

I've written some very glowing reviews of Singing Machine Karaoke players in the past. I've probably made this company a fair bit of money as I had the spotlight review on a previous model for three years. I must've answered close to 50 customer emails regarding my review for would-be purchasers. Each time I edified this company to the utmost. Here -- this particular device is about as wrong as it can be.

First of all, the menus built into the software are klunky and difficult to find, use and adjust. When I plugged my unit in, the echo was cranked all the way up. I kept digging around trying to find how to normalize it but the menus looked to be designed by someone using COBOL or Fortran. Wow. I couldn't believe it. It was like dealing with machine code. I thought it was a joke. If you think an entry level user is going to be okay with this, guess again. The on-screen software is ugly and unfriendly.

Second, the device opening is about as awkward as everyone has stated in the other reviews and sometimes even moreso. The moment you stand up and sing with a wired mic, you're always looking at the thing hoping your're not going to launch the device across the room if you whip the mic cord too hard.

Third, the microphone is probably the worst I've seen since something bought at radio shack in the 80s. It's really bad. I mean bad. The voice projection is hollow and tinny, like you're singing through a tin can even at a basic singing level. If this is for kids, with softer voices -- guess again -- most kids belt into the mic in their natural loud kid voice. Nothing but distortion. This mic is nothing like previous wired mics from this company and they should probably just recall this thing and forget it.

So, who would use this and where? Kids? I don't think so. This thing is difficult to use, sounds bad, looks dumb and just all-around unfriendly. So, we have to conclude that it's for adults ... who live in quiet, small, spaces like those micro-apartments reported on the news of 250 square feet in San Francisco ... or the other side of the same coin ... adults in correctional facilities. Karaoke for Prisoners. Fantastic idea.

Need a karaoke machine for the kids? Try this one by the same company, it's fantastic. I own one and have given several as Christmas presents.

Singing Machine SML-385 CDG Karaoke System With Sound and Disco Light Show

Don't be fooled by this hunk of garbage, Singing Machine makes the best entry level Karaoke Machines, without doubt. This thing must be just an experiment by them that got out of control. I expect greater things from them, but it definitely won't look anything like this nasty device.

Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 17, 2013 7:34 PM PDT

Verso Trends Scholar Notebook Case for Kindle Fire HD 7" (will only fit Kindle Fire HD 7")
Verso Trends Scholar Notebook Case for Kindle Fire HD 7" (will only fit Kindle Fire HD 7")

5.0 out of 5 stars Classy ..., March 8, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Great case. Nice magnetic seal. Built to last and nice materials. This actually looks like a composition notebook and hides nicely on my book case in my office. People are less inclined to put their mitts on my Fire with this.

Planet Waves NS Tri-Action Capo, Black
Planet Waves NS Tri-Action Capo, Black
Price: $14.49
42 used & new from $10.85

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Capo ..., March 8, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is an excellent capo. The tension against the strings is perfect. It stays in plays when I get a bit rough with the neck or bang the bottom with my palm for feedback and it's incredibly well built. You really get perfect and continuous tension. Other capos can sometimes cause fret buzz, especially on the high E, but this has a very natural grip to the neck almost like an artificial hand -- as it's supposed to be.

The black metal also looks better against my rosewood necks, but that's just me.

Verso Prologue Antique Case for Kindle Fire HD 7", Tan (will only fit Kindle Fire HD 7")
Verso Prologue Antique Case for Kindle Fire HD 7", Tan (will only fit Kindle Fire HD 7")

5.0 out of 5 stars Great look ... nice feel ..., March 8, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I own a Kindle Fire, but I got this particular case for my Kindle Keyboard 3G because I really didn't care for the several cases I purchased before, or the way any of them fit. This particular design wraps it in nicely, snugly and completely secure. It's my opinion that these Fire Cases are excellent for Older Generation Kindles. Just saying.

All that's missing is a built in light and I probably wouldn't ever need another cover.

Bauer Cloth Hockey Blade Jacket Medium
Bauer Cloth Hockey Blade Jacket Medium

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic ..., March 8, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Purchased these for my Bauer Vapor 3.0 adult skates and they fit perfectly. Well made, nice materials and the pull-tab make it easy to slip on and off.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 23, 2013 5:53 PM PDT

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