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D. Blankenship RSS Feed (The Ozarks)

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How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Touch Hearts, Minds, and Funny Bones
How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Touch Hearts, Minds, and Funny Bones
by Terry W. Sprouse
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.00
11 used & new from $12.00

5.0 out of 5 stars What a delightful, well written and informative work this is!, October 21, 2014
Over the years I have had the pleasure of reading other books by Terry Sprouse and two things come to my mind when I pick up a new one. First, I am going to learn something and second, I am going to be entertained while learning. This book did not let me down in the least, but compared to his other work this one is on steroids! My goodness, what a pleasure to read this one was!

Of course being a student of Lincoln for over 50 years now helps (As far as I am concerned he was the best of the best when it comes to presidents) so I was delighted to see Sprouse's impressively active mind and talent directed to one of my historical heroes.

The author has examined Lincoln's known ability to tell stories and shown how they enabled a man of meager means and `lowly' origins to become one of our leading presidents and arguably a president who saved our nation. Sprouse show how Lincoln, beginning as a young man began honing his skills as a teller of tales and how he used these stories to win people over, make monumental decisions, and if I may, how to manipulate people into biding by his will. It was no accident that Lincoln had these skills.

The author then goes on to show how we too can develop these skills and put them to use in our daily lives and businesses. At the end of each chapter the author has given us a list of "Lincoln Lessons" which have been taught in the preceding chapter. While we may not agree with the author's assessment each and every time, I promise you that these little summations will give you much food for thought and much to ponder.

The book is filled with examples of the stories Lincoln used throughout his career and this alone makes this book well worth reading. Having read dozens and dozens of books on Lincoln's life, starting when I was a very young boy, I was familiar with a goodly number of the stories but I have never read a work where these stories were presented in a way that make them useful and pertenant, even in our `modern' day setting. There is timeless wisdom in Lincoln's words and they are something we all should study, read and heed.

I enjoyed this one cover to cover and plan to have each of my grandsons read it. There is simply too much good stuff in this book not to pass it along.

It should also be noted that the author, Terry Sprouse is a very skillful writer, using a style that makes one feel you are setting across from him over a cup of coffee discussing Lincoln stuff.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks

Sixteen Short Novels
Sixteen Short Novels
by Wilfrid Sheed
Edition: Hardcover
109 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A lot of reading pleasure is found between these two covers, October 21, 2014
This review is from: Sixteen Short Novels (Hardcover)
In the overall big scheme of things I am normally not a big fan of anthologies. But that being said I must admit that I do make exceptions and this book has been one of those exceptions. I bought this one at a library sale (.25 cents I think it was) quite sometime ago and it has become one of my "rainy day" go to entertainments. If you enjoy reading; enjoy the written word and you like a good variety then this is one of those volumes you really should have on your shelf. Goodness knows a person does not have to spend much in the used book section found here on Amazon, so it is precious little money well spent as far as I am concerned. Of course it is much more fun if you find it in an old book store or library sale. It is out of print...alas.

The short novel, or novella, if you will, is an art form within itself and "is a form which the greatest masters find essential for certain effects." I could not agree more. Some of the best reading I have had the pleasure of being involved with has taken this form.

This particular volume gives us a very wide range of these "effects," and the reader is served up treat after treat. The novellas of course do not have to be read in order, which is another thing I like, and rather than have sixteen different books scattered about the place, you can find them all here in on 1067 page volume. (I have to admit to some embarrassment here though and admit that I have individual bound copies of these stories...alas, stashed all over the place.

Anyway, this novel includes:

Andrea by John O'Hara

The Old Maid by Edith Wharton

Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck

Mario and the Magician by Thomas Mann

Pudd'Head Wilson by Mark Twain

Ward NO 6 by Anton Chekhov

Notes From Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Fall by Albert Camus

Old Man by William Faulkner

Youth by Joseph Conrad

The Lesson of the Master by Henry James

My Mortal Enemy by Willa Cather

The Ghost Writer by Philip Roth

The Ebony Tower by John Fowles

Catholics by Brian Moore

Blacking Factory by WIlfrid Sheed

Now you might say that "But I don't like......." Well what is nice about that is that no one is going to break your arm if you decide not to read that particular story. I am not particularly fond of Henry James, ergo I have yet to read his particular offering in this volume and chances are I never will. The others though...well, that is a different story. Folks, there is a lot of very fine reading here.

Due to the volume of this book the font is just a wee bit smaller than I normally read but the good news is that this is an older book, printed on good quality paper and the publisher has not used that `faded font' which seems to be so popular these days. (I wonder who thought that light colored letters were easier to read than nice bold ones?)

This review is of the hard cover edition and the binding is quite nice (E.P. Dutton).

This book is part of our private collection.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks

Instant Military Shine - Shoe Sponge for Black Shoes
Instant Military Shine - Shoe Sponge for Black Shoes
Offered by Shoehorn
Price: $6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Handy Kit To Have Around, October 21, 2014
After spending over twenty years in the military I can assure you that shinning shoes in on the list of things I do well...practice makes perfect. I must admit that I am now rather long in the tooth and don't obsess over shinny shoes like I did years ago, but on the other hand I am not a complete slob and like a nice looking pair of shoes or boots.

This little kit is absolutely ideal for those touch-ups that I constantly need. There is no mess, no fuss and no manic brushing. Now to be honest, this kit will not give your shoes or boots a "spit shine" of the sort I use to insist on, but it most certainly makes an easy job of removing or covering up those annoying scuff marks that mysteriously appear all the time.

This is an extremely handy little item to have around and I find myself using it quite often.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks

Pocket Vault - Hidden Travel Belt Wallet w/ RFID Blocker
Pocket Vault - Hidden Travel Belt Wallet w/ RFID Blocker
Offered by Shacke
Price: $13.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peace of mind and a well made product, October 21, 2014
My wife and I do a lot of traveling. Many of our adventures take place in extremely high traffic areas. We attend many auctions; always a crowded area and love walking through strange towns. Now people often accuse me of being paranoid. Paranoid I am not because in reality people are actually truly out to get me...or at least my money and my credit card information. If you don't believe this then I fear you may be living in a fool's paradise and you need to do a bit of investigation. Folks, we live in a different world that what my wife and I grew up in and we have been forced to make adjustment.

This ingenious little belt wallet meets our needs perfectly. It has room for money, travelers checks, credit cards and when needed, passports. It is very thing and extremely well made. The fact that it is lined with RFID Anti Theft material was enough to sell me on this product. This is becoming a MAJOR problem and I predict it will only get worse.

I do wear this thing on my belt on the inside of my pants. By doing this it would be almost impossible to have your pocket picked...and believe me, that sort of thing happens. I have been hit twice (both times in large cities) over the past fifteen years. If you are on a trip this can and does cause major problem and it can and does get rather expensive and once it happens there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.

Everything in this wallet is secured by well placed and strong zippers. Yes, it is a bit of a hassle getting things in and out of it but those few seconds pay off big time when it comes to peace of mind.

I very much recommend this wallet.

This wallet was provided in exchange for an honest review and that is precisely what you have honest review.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks

Yepal PVA Chamois Towel, Size at 26"*17", Super Water-Absorbing(5 Times Absorbing Than Normal Cloth) ,Durable Quality , Dot-Embossed Surface, Bright Color, Machine Washable , Cooling&Soft Dry, 1 Towel Per Round Tube Pack,Ideal Used As Car Clean Cloth, Sports Towel, Travel Towel, Pet Towel,Household Cleaning Cloth,Glass Cleaning Cloth
Yepal PVA Chamois Towel, Size at 26"*17", Super Water-Absorbing(5 Times Absorbing Than Normal Cloth) ,Durable Quality , Dot-Embossed Surface, Bright Color, Machine Washable , Cooling&Soft Dry, 1 Towel Per Round Tube Pack,Ideal Used As Car Clean Cloth, Sports Towel, Travel Towel, Pet Towel,Household Cleaning Cloth,Glass Cleaning Cloth
Offered by YEPAL
Price: $10.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Dogs, bikes, cow paddies and cat......., October 20, 2014
We have two cars and a truck. One car belongs to my wife and I am not allowed to drive it. The other car is the "family" car which I am allowed to drive, at times, and the truck is mine...all mine! My wife takes her car and the family car in frequently to have them detailed so I don't wash them. She does not trust me nor dose she like the way I clean them...go figure. My truck; a truck I bought new 15 years ago has never in its life been washed other than when it rains. I do periodically shovel out the junk from the floor boards but that is it. I tell you this because I do not use this wonderful PVA chamois towel to clean cars. My wife will not even ride with me in my truck...again...go figure.

I will tell you what I do use it for.

First, we have bicycles. I am extremely picky about the bikes. They are kept in a completely sheltered shed and when we ride them they are thoroughly cleaned each and every time in particular if there is ANY moisture on them. This chamois is beyond a doubt the best cleaning tool I have ever used on the bikes.

Second, we have two Boston terriers and one Chihuahua who thinks he is a wolf...or at least a very large coyote. Our neighbor lady (92 years old and eccentric) has (as near as I can figure) about 30 feral cats that live in her barn, on her porch and in one of my sheds. These cats think of our orchard as their giant litter box. Now I like cats but the problem comes in that our dogs like cat crap! They think it makes them smell quite nice. It is a constant battle and needless to say our three dogs get a LOT of baths! They also think that our other neighbor's cows leave the most intoxicating paddies around just for them to roll in...Again, they get lots of baths!

This chamois has been a wonder product. All of our dogs are short haired and this thing allows us to pat them dry and it works wonderfully on their short fur. The patting does not seem to bother them as much as the rubbing that we do when we use a standard bath towel and goodness know, I do not want to upset those dogs!

The cloth is easy to clean. I normally hand wash mine but throwing it in a machine works just as well. Like other reviewers have warned, you need to keep this thing slightly damp. I leave mine in the plastic tube when not in use and when the tube runs out I will use a zip lock bag. If you do let the towel dry out, no problem. Just moisten it a bit, wring it out and you are ready to go.

I have to tell you that this thing has impressed me and it has saved on the laundry bill big time as to cost and time.

A sample was provided for exchange of an honest review and that is precisely what you have honest review.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks

Coffee Press Replacement Screen Parts(2PK)Universal 8 Cup Stainless Steel Mesh -Best for 34oz KONA French Press
Coffee Press Replacement Screen Parts(2PK)Universal 8 Cup Stainless Steel Mesh -Best for 34oz KONA French Press
Offered by Idylc Homes
Price: $7.99
2 used & new from $7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Well made filter - fits different brands - extras are handy to have around, October 20, 2014
If you have and use a French Press coffee maker, no matter the brand, you WILL eventually have to replace the screen filters. It is the nature of these screens to eventually wear out no matter how careful you are in cleaning and using them. We use ours twice a day, every day.

The nice thing about this screen filter, and it was a pleasing surprise, is that two are included. For us this works out well as they fit other brands other than our Kona. Our daughter has one of those other brands and these filters fit her maker also.

actually, I would very much encourage everyone purchasing a French Press to go ahead and purchase an extra filter or two so that you have them on hand when needed. Our old filters have begun (after very, very heavy use) to let just a few grounds through. These new filters take care of that quite well. The price here is extremely competitive.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks

Gorilla Grill Gloves for Ovens, BBQ, and More. Withstand Heat up to 662F
Gorilla Grill Gloves for Ovens, BBQ, and More. Withstand Heat up to 662F
Offered by Shacke
Price: $19.99
2 used & new from $13.90

5.0 out of 5 stars The most versatile and functional gloves we have used, October 20, 2014
Of all the oven and grill gloves we own, and we own and have used a bunch of the, these are quite likely the most versatile and functional of the lot. We have a fire place, a wood stove and three BBQ grills. I say this because it needs to be known that my wife and I are constantly around open flames and heat. This does not even count the two ovens we have in the kitchen.

I note from other reviews here that the one size fits all has come into question. I have moderately large hands...not fat large, but long and slender. My wife has smaller hands. Neither of us has had a problem with the fit. I do suspect that if a person has very, very large hands that these may be a pretty tight fit. That being said though, I note that with use, even with my hands, that the glove more or less adjusts itself to the hand being placed in it.

I prefer these gloves hand over fist to the traditional baking mitt. With these gloves you can get a very good grip on what ever it is you are trying to handle. You can also use them when finer motor skills are needed such as turning skewers on the grill. This is a real advantage and they are the first glove I have worn that I did not drop at least one and/or burn myself while turning the things.

Now they say that these gloves will protect your hands up to 662 degrees. I have absolutely no idea how to actually test this claim as I have absolutely no intention of sticking my hand into a fire that hot just to test the things. But I will say that I have used these on a very, very hot gas grill and a very, very hot charcoal grill as well as an oven with the temp at 400 degrees and they worked perfectly.

Read the cleaning and storage directions closely on the box these gloves come in. They are machine washable but should not be kept or used in a damp or wet condition.

My wife loves these gloves. Most of her burns over the years, and there have been many as she is a habitual baker, occur on her wrist. These glovers allow her the maneuverability of her fingers yet protect her wrists better than any glove she has ever used.

I can highly recommend these gloves. I received these gloves in return for an honest review and that is precisely what you have here - an honest review.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks

Five Complete Hercule Poirot Novels
Five Complete Hercule Poirot Novels
by Agatha Christie
Edition: Hardcover
79 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful selection of Poirot novels, October 20, 2014
I use to not be overly fond of anthologies of any sort but I suppose time and age had mellowed me somewhat; well, that and book shelves that have long ago over flowed. I find myself purchasing more collections now rather than going the "one book at a time" route.

I purchased this one at a library sale (someone had donated it) for .25 cents and trust me folks, that was quite a well spent two bits.

As the title states this is a collection of five of dame Christie's novels featuring the little Belgium detective Herecule Poirot. These novels have been selected to feature Christie at the height of her power as a writer and in the publishers opinion; an opinion I happen to agree with, are the five Poirot novels which best represent this most interesting of Christie's characters. The novels included here are:

Murder on the Orient Express

Thirteen at Dinner

The ABC Murders

Cards on the Table


Death on the Nile

Now I will not lie to you and tell you that these are new reads for me. I have read each of these novels several times over the years and plan to read them again not far down the road. This book makes these particular novels quite handy and I do plan to purchase more like collections as I find them.

This is a hard cover book and the binding is well done. At 663 pages the font is a bit smaller than I usually prefer but it is never-the-less readable...despite the fact that I am getting a bit long in the tooth.

If you are a Christie fan in general or a Poirot fan in particular, then this is a great book to add to your collection. (Actually, I think I have three of these on my Kindle also, but old habits die hard and I still prefer to hold a real book in my lap.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks

ALEX Toys - ALEX Junior, My Busy Fire Truck Baby Activity Center with (8) Activities, 1997F
ALEX Toys - ALEX Junior, My Busy Fire Truck Baby Activity Center with (8) Activities, 1997F
Offered by 5 Toys
Price: $32.72
13 used & new from $30.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Not too complicated; not too 'busy,' lets the child think and to a certain extent, imagine, October 19, 2014
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
We now have our first great grand child (Not sure where the time went) and are once again going through the `toy thing." Fortunately for her, our great granddaughter, she has a great grandfather who is still as fascinated with toys as are the wee ones. I am not really sure which of us likes it best.

This wooden truck has numerous doodads all over it; whirly things, mirrors, beads that run along wire rails, wheels and pop-ups. It is actually quite fascinating to watch and the little girl seems quite fascinated with it. I like toys with bright colors, moveable parts (which are safe) and a toy that is very well built and not fall apart after a couple weeks of abuse. It is amazing the damage a six or seven month old child can cause...almost as much as an old man. Now at the age she is now she needs someone to play with her with this particular toy as she is simply too young to maneuver all of the parts. She will though watch in fascination and you can tell by the look in her eye that she is learning and it is just a matter of time until she is doing all that fun stuff herself.

This toy fills all of the above mentioned requirements with the addition of being quite attractive. It is sturdy, well made and unless I am extremely mistaken this toy should last quite a while and take a goodly beating as all toys do.

We are extremely satisfied with this as so is Lindsey Long Legs.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks

Aunt Dimity Goes West (Aunt Dimity Mystery)
Aunt Dimity Goes West (Aunt Dimity Mystery)
by Nancy Atherton
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.19
94 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Relaxing read, October 17, 2014
If you like the cozy mystery genre, and trust me folks, the Dimity series is as about as cozy as you can get, then you will probably like this series. I read them for relaxation...they are my mind candy and I could not do without them. Anyway, in this offering Lori, her two twins and her live-in nanny are packed up and sent to a isolated cabin in Colorado so that Lori can recover from the physical and emotion trauma she suffered in the last book.

The town of Blue Bird, in the Rocky Mountains, is almost a clone of the English village where Lori and her family live and the author has even designed the town characters to almost match perfectly the ones Lori left back home in England. Now I found this to be a fast and fun read although I did run across a couple of things that simply annoyed me.

First, Lori has become such a helicopter mom when it comes to her two boys that she is simply off the charts. Good grief, I sort of feel sorry for the two little guys. Lori almost faints at the mentions of snakes, rabbit holes, cold weather, riding horses and on and on and on. Surprisingly though, she is all to willing to constantly dump the care of the two boys off on the nanny or any stranger that passes long as he is a good looking guy.

Second, Lori really needs to lock up some of her hormones for a bit. Again, as in almost all of the novels, she is having fantasies about and flirting with the first good looking guy that comes her way. It this case it is the young 21 year old care taker..I agree with another reviewer who felt this was sort of creepy. We hear tales of "dirty old men" all the times. Well in this case Lori is quickly becoming a "dirty old woman."

Other than that I enjoyed this one as much as the previous novels and found it to be a funny and relaxing read.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks
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