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If You Were Me and Lived in...China: A Child's Introduction to Culture Around the World
If You Were Me and Lived in...China: A Child's Introduction to Culture Around the World
Price: $1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful addition to an already great series., July 5, 2015
This is yet another addition to the delightful series created by Carole P. Roman for children which explores the culture, language and history of children of other countries. In this book, Ms Roman takes us to China.

Like the other works in this series, this one is well illustrated and the author has provided us with a very nice little pronunciation guide in the back of the book. The text is clear and precise and due to the nature in which the author has formatted this and other books in the series, it and they make a wonderful group read as there is plenty of prompts to draw children into discussions.

My daughter uses this series in her class room and they have been quite effective in both the reading and geography portions of her class. She is always kind enough to share with me.

This is a well done book which is quite useful and educational. I recommend it highly.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks


Blood Dreams (Bishop/Special Crimes Unit Novels)
Blood Dreams (Bishop/Special Crimes Unit Novels)
by Kay Hooper
Edition: Hardcover
250 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and entertaining...good first book in a trilogy., July 5, 2015
This is the first work by this author I have read. My wife is a fan of this particular writer and according to her this is the first book in a relatively new series and since she has been `encouraging' me to give this author a try, I thought `why not'?

Now I am not a real fan of most stories dealing with the paranormal or in this case, pre-cognition. This theme simply is not my thing, although my wife is happy with this sort of thing, as are a number of our friends. But hey, I will read just about anything if it is well written.

Anyway...

Despite my prejudices I do love a well told tale not matter the subject matter and I like even better a well written well told tale. I got that with this work. Kay Hooper is indeed a good story teller and this work had be hooked right from the beginning.

This story deals with a serial killer stalking the Boston area who finally messes up and takes out the daughter of a US Senator. The special FBI unit, manned primarily by psychics, takes on the case. Dani Justice is a young lady who has pre-cognitive dreams and she becomes involved with the case. The story floats from the investigation of this case to life issues Dani is dealing with.

The story moves well and the plot actually makes sense as you read and the author fills in gaps you think she has missed until you read a bit further. Dialog is well handled and I actually found the main characters quite interesting; not necessarily lovable, but most certainly interesting...they made me care. I found the book to be a easy read in that it was not all that difficult to follow.

Now for those of you that are offended by reading fictional accounts of blood, gore, rape and torture...yes, there is a bit of all those sprinkled liberally though out this work. If that sort of thing upsets you, they you may want to give this one a pass.

Overall I found the book well written. This is the first book in a trilogy and it has been written in a way that sets the next two books up quite well.

This was a library find.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks


VOROSY Trekking Poles Walking Hiking Sticks Alpenstocks for Travel Hiking Climbing Backpacking (Collapsible, Flip Lock System, 7075 Aluminum Alloy, 1-Year Warranty)
VOROSY Trekking Poles Walking Hiking Sticks Alpenstocks for Travel Hiking Climbing Backpacking (Collapsible, Flip Lock System, 7075 Aluminum Alloy, 1-Year Warranty)
Offered by TRAFUN
Price: $21.99 - $39.99

5.0 out of 5 stars It would be difficult to find a better trekking pole for the money, July 5, 2015
I never take walks or go on lengthy hikes without a cane or a trekking pole (at times, two trekking poles...all depends). Along with about 50 or more canes (I collect them and make them), I have five different trekking poles or sets of trekking poles. Some of these poles are collapsible, others are not.

I must say that for the money, the trekking pole being reviewed here is one of the better models I have used over the years. This is a stout pole and extremely light. It is comfortable to use and once you figure out how to set the thing up (More about that later), the thing takes about 20 seconds to be reading starting from taking it out of the nice little storage bag that comes with it.

The grip on this is extremely comfortable. The pole itself is very strong. I am a pretty good sized guy and I can lean most of my weight on the thing and it does not collapse or bend out of shape. Now don't get me wrong. A trekking pole is NOT a substitute for a traditional cane you are using it for a medical condition...like in my case...old age. A cane will give you more support where it is needed and does not take all that much practice in order to use it properly like a trekking pole does.

If you have a choice, two trekking poles are much more effective than one in most situations although one does nicely if used correctly.

Now the only beef I have with this thing is that the manufacturer should have included some set-up instructions. Good grief. I am pretty familiar with such devices having used them for years, but I spent a good hour figuring these things out and I am not sure I could have done it without the great reviews a couple of guys already posted here which gave me VITAL tips! Don't give up. Once you figure how this thing works future set-ups are a snap. (I notice that the seller has now posted some pretty good directions here on the product page...this was not the case when I received mine. If you follow these directions you should have no problem...still and all, it would have been nice to have had an illustrated sheet on hand when I first opened the box. Of course keep in mind that I am a complete clueless klutz when it comes to anything mechanical...I failed Tinker Toys when I was a wee one...much to my mother's chagrin.

Anyway, this is a very, very nice trekking pole and is selling at a very nice price at this time. I am going to go ahead and give this one five stars simply because the seller has taken the time and effort to correct the directions thing here on the product page...that was nice of them...and smart.

Product provided for testing and review.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks


Paladineer Inernal Frame Hiking Backpack and Hiking Daypack and Climbing Camping Outdoor Sports Travel Backpack Bag and Backpack for Travel Hiking Climbing Running Cycling Camping Outdoor Sports 85L Camouflage
Paladineer Inernal Frame Hiking Backpack and Hiking Daypack and Climbing Camping Outdoor Sports Travel Backpack Bag and Backpack for Travel Hiking Climbing Running Cycling Camping Outdoor Sports 85L Camouflage
Offered by Patrol Outdoor
Price: $64.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Cost effective way of owning and using an excellent pack, July 1, 2015
There are backpacks and there are backpacks. In this price range this is one of the most functional, comfortable and best built packs I have tried over the years (Been at this game for over 60 years now).

Now what I meant by that there are backpacks and then there are backpacks is that each has its particular use and each has its limitations. If you are planning to become a through walker on the Appalachian or Pacific trail, then you probably should shop for a pack with a bit more sophistication and functionality. Pack which are made for treks such as this cost several hundred dollars and you pretty well can figure you get what you pay for.

On the other hand, if you are talking journeys lasting a few days to a couple or three weeks (Depending upon weather conditions and seasons), then the pack being reviewed here is quite adequate and will do you a great job. I would not hesitate to make a one or two hundred mile trek with this one, but I would hesitate if we are talking thousands of miles of nonstop trekking.

This pack holds a tremendous amount of gear...most of which, by the way, you don't really need and will regret packing after a few days, and is tough enough to take quiet a beating.

The shoulder straps and belly strap is well padded and quite comfortable when properly adjusted. (Adjusting a pack properly is an art form and take some trial and error...all packs are like that). Normally packs in this price range can be and are, in particularly at first, quite uncomfortable after several miles. Not so with this one. The design is actually quite remarkable.

I can recommend this one highly without reservation.

Product provided for testing and review.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks


Paladineer Hiking Backpack and Folding Handy Lightweight Running Cycling Backpack Daypack and Climbing Camping Outdoor Sports Travel Backpack Bag and Backpack for Travel Hiking Climbing Cycling Running Camping Outdoor Sports 12L Orange
Paladineer Hiking Backpack and Folding Handy Lightweight Running Cycling Backpack Daypack and Climbing Camping Outdoor Sports Travel Backpack Bag and Backpack for Travel Hiking Climbing Cycling Running Camping Outdoor Sports 12L Orange
Offered by Patrol Outdoor
Price: $25.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful biking pack, July 1, 2015
You will notice after reading the descriptions on the product page that this is a smaller backpack...and indeed it is. I have quite a number of packs stashed here and there in my home and my wife and I use them for various jobs. Due to the size, weight and comfort of this particular pack, it is absolutely ideal for bike riding.

I multitask when I ride and combine my bird watching with riding. This pack is quite able to hold two birding field guides, water bottles, a small pare of binoculars and my note pads, and other actually unneeded stuff I tote just out of habit. All fit well and are quite easy to access.

I also am fond of the color of this pack since the orange is easy to spot by drivers which makes this pack, in reality, yet another safety device.

The pack is very well made; good stitching, rugged and functional zippers, light weight yet rugged enough for the job I use it for. The shoulder straps, stomach and chest are fully adjustable and very comfortable. The pack can be fitted perfectly for the individual wearing and using it.

While you certainly cannot call this pack "water proof," is it though quite water resistant.

You are getting a lot of backpack for the money with this one.

Product provided for review.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks


No Limits: The Powerful True Story of Leah Goldstein: World Kickboxing Champion, Israeli Undercover Police and Cycling Champion
No Limits: The Powerful True Story of Leah Goldstein: World Kickboxing Champion, Israeli Undercover Police and Cycling Champion
by Lori Moger
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.39
30 used & new from $11.08

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the top five autobiographies I have read in years - absolutely fascinating and inspirational, June 30, 2015
Every so often as a reader you find a book; history, biography, autobiography, fiction, et al, that simply reaches out to you on the first page and tightly clings until you hit the last sentence on the last page; indeed, the last word. This work was one of those works that did this to me. I am so grateful.

This is an autobiography of a truly remarkable human; Leah Goldstein. I of course knew of this lady, being interested in such matters, but `knowing of' and `knowing' are quite two different things. After reading this work I now feel that on a certain level I now "know" Ms Goldstein, and I have to tell you I feel richer for the experience. What a wonderful story to share with the world!

The work is written in the first person and tells of Leah's strange and remarkable life journey as she races in the Race Across American; a 3,000 mile ultra endurance race. The book spends time with Goldstein (her thoughts and experiences as she rides) and then cuts all the way back to her early child hood...back and forth throughout the book. I like this method of telling her story. Ms Goldstein was fortunate to find a writer like Lori Friend Moger to tell her tale...quite a skilled author, I must say.

While reading this fascinating story of a young skinny girl who became a leading figure in the art of Tae Kwan Do at an early age and then changing disciplines to kickboxing where she became World Kickboxing Champion in her weight division. She then migrated back to Israel and joined the military where she eventually became an undercover officer with the police force. Moving on she eventually became a cycling champion which culminated in her becoming one of the best, if not the best, ultra endurance bikers in the world. Fascinating!

I've seldom met or read of a person with the drive and determination possessed by this lady. It is difficult to imagine a more dedicated individual; a dedication which was reflected in everything she ever tried. As I read this work I kept thinking, "This is one determined, single minded and fanatic individual." Goodness! What guts! There is a lot to admire here. Few people have pushed the physical and mental boundaries as this lady has.

Folks, there is much to be learned here and hopefully this work will fall into the hands of many up and coming young folk.

Now this is certainly an inspirational book...no doubt about that, but it is NOT a preachy inspirational book. Leah inspires via her actions more than her words. (Although I do hear she gives great motivational speeches at this time). It is also a record of her training methods but is in no way a `how to do it book." As a matter of fact I personally felt she often went over the edge as far as training and diet regimens go...they obviously worked for her but I have great doubts if they would be for everyone. When I ran my mantra was `run till you puke' but she takes that concept far, far beyond what I could ever imagine, or truth be told, endure. Wow! On the other hand her philosophy of hard work and setting our goals high is spot on as far as I am concerned. The message of HARD WORK shines through on every page.

I was impressed by this work due to the fact that Ms. Goldstein is brutally honest as to her shortcomings and weaknesses. This was almost as impressive as her many accomplishments. There is not "rah, rah look at me" stuff in this book...she tells it like it is - the good, the bad and the ugly. (Much more good here though than anything else - as I said...what a remarkable woman!

This is a read that will stick with me for a long, long time. I do wish I had read it when I was in my early teens....I would have learned much as there is much to emulate, and it is so well articulated in this work.

I am old now and must tell you that I have been greatly disappointed in many to most of our recent `sports heroes.' Leah Goldstein is what I consider a hero, both in sports and in life. She is indeed an individual to look up to.

The book is extremely well written in a no nonsense manner - a very professional job here. As I said earlier, Lori Friend Moger is truly a talented author. Moger's work ethic is obviously quite similar to Goldstein's and they make a great team.

Great read and I highly recommend it. This is one of those books that I will read several times again.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 1, 2015 7:25 AM PDT


IL Picco Salt and Pepper Grinder Set - Adjustable Coarse - Salt Mill and Pepper Grinder - Suitable for Sea Salt and Spices - Stunning Design
IL Picco Salt and Pepper Grinder Set - Adjustable Coarse - Salt Mill and Pepper Grinder - Suitable for Sea Salt and Spices - Stunning Design
Offered by IL PICCO
Price: $39.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive set of grinders - very functional!, June 29, 2015
Of all the pepper, salt and/or spice grinders we own and use; and there are many, this set is probably the most attractive and functional of the entire lot. Both my wife and I cook. Since her illness I have taken over 90 percent of the cooking in our home and I use this set right at the stove.

Both of these grinders are extremely well made and the ceramic grinding element should last a long, long time and is virtually corrosion free. I love the fact that the grind is adjustable on both units and can be set from fine to very course; depending upon what you need.

I use the pepper grinder purely for pepper and of course the salt strictly for course salt...sea salt, to be precise.

While I am not normally a great fan of the `modern' look, I must admit that I make an exception with these because they are so functional and so handy. The current asking price is extremely attractive and I have paid much, much more for grinders of far less quality and versatility.

One thing of note which I have not seen mention on the product page is that fact that if you need a precise amount of salt and/or pepper in such things as baking, you can leave the lit on the delivering end of this grinder and catch the salt or pepper allowing you to dispense exact amounts. The lids hold approximately on teaspoon each.

This is an excellent grinder set and I could not ask for more.

Product provided in exchange for an unbiased review.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks


V-LIGHT Architect Style CFL Desk Lamp with Adjustable Arms and Heavy Duty Weighted Base (VS100502BC)
V-LIGHT Architect Style CFL Desk Lamp with Adjustable Arms and Heavy Duty Weighted Base (VS100502BC)
Price: $28.99
2 used & new from $23.92

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a multiple functional lamp this one is....I love this thing, June 29, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
You get a lot of lamp here for the asking price. As has already been pointed out, this is not really a true architectural lamp. No, what it is, is a very versatile and multi-task lamp and that is just fine with me. Although I must say that if a person wanted to use as an architect lamp it could function just fine as one.

I personally use this as my bedside reading lamp. I can adjust the lamp to shine directly on the book I am reading without lighting up the whole room. On the other hand, if I need a `room light' I can quickly adjust the direction of the lamp toward the wall or floor and I have plenty of light to be able to function in the room during the dead of night.

This is a very, very heavy lamp which is a real plus for me as it is extremely difficult to accidently be knocked off of my night stand. I love the location of the on and off switch...there is no fumbling about trying to turn the thing on after coming out of a dead sleep.

The lamp is very attractive and functions perfectly. I was amazed at the cost of this thing. I actually have a really honest to goodness architect lamp in my office which set me back a couple hundred dollars a few years ago. Now I cannot compare this lamp to that expensive one of course but I tell you what...there is not a great deal of difference in the lighting quality or maneuverability in either lamp.

I am extremely pleased with this lamp.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks


V-LIGHT Full Spectrum Natural Daylight Effect Magnifier Task Lamp with 3-Diopter Glass Lens and Desktop Base (VS40203B)
V-LIGHT Full Spectrum Natural Daylight Effect Magnifier Task Lamp with 3-Diopter Glass Lens and Desktop Base (VS40203B)
Price: $34.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Okay lamp with several flaws...indeed, several flaws, June 29, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Overall this is not a bad lamp per se. I suppose a lot depends purely upon taste and use. Like several other reviewers here, I am not overly fond of the quality of the light it produces. Someone here compared it with the light you often find in public restrooms...arrrrgh....they hit the nail on the head! I don't like this.

The lamp seems to be reasonably well built for a lamp in this price range. The magnifier, such as it is, is a useful feature. The lamp is quite heavy and chances are slim that it will be easy to accidently tip over or knock off the desk.

The lamp was relatively easy to assemble but due to the plastic fittings I am not sure how long the threads will last on this thing if you are forced to make adjustments. I already note, like others, that the lamp has a tendency to not hold its position which is a real pain since I am constantly having to adjust the thing. You do indeed need a socket driver to accomplish this and again - this is a real pain.

I have a similar lamp I have been using for years, i.e. magnification lamp, which I use for fine work. The lamp being reviewed here is a far, far cry from the quality of my old lamp, but truth be told I paid something like 150.00 for that old lamp several years ago so it would not be fare to compare the two.

I will stick with my old lamp and the one being reviewed here will be relegated to a very low usage desk I keep in by back-up office, i.e. the guest bed room. I suppose I will eventually change the light bulb in this thing to at least get rid of that wretched `white light' effect.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks


Pre de Provence Soap Shea Enriched Everyday 150 Gram Extra Large French Soap Bar - Rose De Mai
Pre de Provence Soap Shea Enriched Everyday 150 Gram Extra Large French Soap Bar - Rose De Mai
Price: $6.99
12 used & new from $6.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Love the scent and feel of this stuff, June 29, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My wife loves this soap and I must admit that I am rather fond of it too. The scent of rose is one of my favorites and this largish bar delivers. Note that when you first use this soap the scent is quite strong but is quickly sort of gears down and becomes quite pleasing after just a bit.

This is both an excellent hand soap and bath soap. The smoothness of the lather it creates is a wonderful feeling and it leaves you with that well washed feeling after use.

I was also gratified to find that it is free from animal testing; an important element in any product we use in our household. I was also gratified to see that the price here is quite reasonable for what you are getting.

I most definitely classify this as luxury soap; and I should add that it is a luxury soap that is affordable.

Neither my wife nor I have any complaints as to this soap what so ever and in fact recommend this highly. We will be purchasing more of this stuff in the future.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks


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