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D. Blankenship RSS Feed (The Ozarks)

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Q Is For Quarry (Kinsey Millhone Book 17)
Q Is For Quarry (Kinsey Millhone Book 17)
Offered by Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Price: $7.19

5.0 out of 5 stars More reading pleasure from Grafton, August 27, 2015
As with so many books and series of books throughout my reading life, my wife; also a habitual reader (we have much is common) put me onto the works of Sue Grafton. I like and enjoy dusty old history books for the most part and hard core fantasy but I have to tell you that I have received a lot of reading pleasure from Grafton's works throughout the years.

This is actually a cold case file sort of story when heroine Kinsey Milhone, private investigator, is contacted by two old, retired and cranky cops to investigate a case that has bothered them for years and that they want resolved. Like so much of life, the unexpected happens and what was a cold case investigation turns into a dangerous situation for Kinsey. The geographical location of this is Southeastern California, an area I am rather fond of even though, in this case, it is fictionalized. Also different is the fact that this is more of a police procedural that the normal Grafton work; a genre that I am normally not all that fond of. But that being said...details, details, details and more details; indeed, this is a detailed work and that is something I am fond of.

The story here is well plotted and moves along at a good pace. It is a relatively fast read and it is entertaining. While we do not learn much more as to what makes Kinsey tick, the author has introduced some very interesting characters and has given us something just a bit different with this one. Grafton is a good writer and a fine teller to tales.

For readers who are unfamiliar with the `Alphabet Series' I suggest starting with some of the early entries. If you like it or them, then read on. If you do not like them...well, the world is simply filled with thousands of good reads that will likely ring your bell so why waste time on something you don't like?

Now I think I will grab another 1,000 page entry of George R. R. Martin's never ending series and read it before knocking off another couple of Grafton stories...nice to mix things up you know.

This was a library find.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks

Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix
Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix
by J. K. Rowling
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.39
428 used & new from $0.20

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The reading pleasure continues, August 23, 2015
With over 7,000 reviews here there is hardly anything I can add. I have been fascinated with this series since the first book was published and have given each and everyone of the books multiple readings. I simply like the story and like the way the author has presented it.

I will say that, other than the first book in the series, all should be read in order. This is a continuing story with many plot lines and a plethora of characters. To fully enjoy the series, this work included, a reader should read each book at least twice. There are many minute details in the first books that have great impact on the story as the tale is being told. This becomes extremely important by the time the last volume is read.

The Order of The Order of the Phoenix has turned into my favorite of the pack...other than the last volume. When I first read it, when it was first published, I did not care all that much for it on my first reading. The changed after my second and third reading and most certainly changed as the story concluded.

Now there are Harry Potter fans and there are Harry Potter haters. This is all well and good. There are some great books out there that I absolutely detest but have to admit that they are good...they are simply not my cup of tea. The same hold true with the Potter books...they simply are not for everyone.

In Phoenix Harry and crew are getting older and the story in many ways is getting darker. Remember that this is a continuing tale and the author has let the characters (who start as early teens) grow as the years go by. The first book in the series is meant for a younger crowd and the author has grown her characters and matured her story as her readers have grown and matured. Harry and friends were not meant to remain middle school children for years and years and years.

This book, along with each and every book in this series has given me much reading pleasure as I have read them over the years. I will no doubt give the entire set yet more reads as the years go by...even though I am sort of running out of them, i.e. years, even as I write this.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks

Halcyon T.™ Professional Tool Set: Zipper Case, Scissors, Ceramic Tweezers, Wire Cutters, 2-in-1 Ohm/Voltage Meter, Combo Screwdriver, Accessories Box, Coil Winder/Jig and Curved Tweezers
Halcyon T.™ Professional Tool Set: Zipper Case, Scissors, Ceramic Tweezers, Wire Cutters, 2-in-1 Ohm/Voltage Meter, Combo Screwdriver, Accessories Box, Coil Winder/Jig and Curved Tweezers
Offered by Halcyon Technologies
Price: $69.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything you will need and all is of the highest quality, August 23, 2015
To be quite honest I am not into vaping and don't expect to be during this lifetime. It is just not my thing and has little appeal to me. That is okay though. I have relatives and many friends who are. This is okay too. The problem is that I am the guy that people take things to when they want the fixed; fixed at a reasonable price - thin this case `reasonable' translates into free. I work on old clocks, fishing gear, small mechanical and electronic vintage things, guns and on and on.

As for working on vaping equipment, both RDAs or RTAs, I am completely self taught...well, that is not strictly true because everything I have learned has come right off of U-Tube where you will find everything you can possibly know about coil building, etc.

My problem was tools. While I have an over abundance of the things I am a firm believer that you MUST use the proper tool to get the job done. With this little kit I now have ALL the proper tools and a very neat little case to stash them in.

The storage box here is almost a work of art. There is a place for everything and all tools and equipment are held securely in place. This case is zip-up and is extremely well made. I have no doubt it will last a lot longer than I will.

It does contain a small storage box with six sections to hold small parts. Now you will not be able to store a hammer or pipe wrench in this little box but it is more than adequate for small parts.

The Ohm/Voltage meter, which runs on AA batteries works quite well and gives quite accurate readings.

The coil winders are a true wonder and for me, they were the key element in this set that impressed me the most. As noted by a couple of other reviewers here, do make sure you have a allen key that fits. The winders are stored in a little cloth bag which is a very nice touch.

The kit contains a very impressive set of precision tweezers which have a very, very fine point. I love these things. The ceramic tweezers are wonderful and extremely easy on the fingers when they are manipulated.

The wire cutters and needle nose pliers are pretty standard but of excellent quality. They are well made and I have no issues with the what so ever. While I must have a dozen or so like tools about the place, it is nice having these stashed in the same kit which is used for the same job. This cuts down on my having to dig tools out from all over the place.

The scissors is `meh.' It will cut cotton, yes indeed it will, but it is nothing to jump up and scream about. I have a set of surgical quality (actually, several of them) which does a better job. Not hat these scissors are bad mind you...they work fine...there are just better options available.

If you are contemplating the art of rebuilding these things then I would strongly suggest you go ahead and fork out the cash for this thing. In the long run you will save a lot of money. Everything you need in right here and it is ALL quality stuff. There is NOTHING worse than trying to do a good job on anything using cheap or inadequate might as well start with the best. Believe me...I know about such things!

Provided by seller in exchange for a review.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks

Miracle at Augusta
Miracle at Augusta
by James Patterson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.39
188 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this one even though it was just a bit flawed, August 23, 2015
This review is from: Miracle at Augusta (Hardcover)
Despite the flaws in this work; and folks, there are indeed some major screw-ups, I still enjoyed reading this it. First, I am a fan of this particular author...or should I say `team of authors,' but more importantly, I am an absolute pushover for any book about golf...never met a golf book that I did not like...I admit. Been playing golf for over six decades now and hope for another six - love playing golf, love watching golf and love reading about golf.....

This is a continuation of the story which these authors began with `Miracle on the 17th Green." It follows the continuing exploits (or lack of them) of Travis after he has been banned for the entire season due to a poor life choice.

This books is actually well written but I must say that unless you are a golfer and understand the game, you may not reap the full benefits from reading it.

Now when I say flawed, I mean that in a literal sense. As others have pointed out, NO pro golfer, much less two of them, would ever mistake a nine iron for a six iron. That would be like mistaking a single shot .22 rife for an assault rife weighing goodness know what. Also, some of the math dealing with scoring was just a bit off and hey, I am no math wiz. Also, the likelihood of a young man who only hit a golf ball for the first time a few months before shooting a 77 at Augusta...well, that is a bit of a stretch; even is a miracle is involved.

On the other hand, I enjoyed the discussion of various golf shots and the commentary on a couple of different courses. I also found the story of Travis helping a young lad who most certainly has some social problems and who, I think, was able to redeem his self confidence via the game of golf...I think; the authors sort of left us up in the air about that aspect of the story.

Was it worth the read? Well, this one takes about two hours to read so I would say yes it is worth it. I enjoyed it and from my point of view, that is all that counts. I must admit that I admire Patterson from breaking from his traditional genre. That takes nerve. I remember how John Grisham had the snot beat out of him by various readers when he left this sleazy legal books and wrote "A Painted House," a rather remarkable book which has proven to be one of this best works. But hey, to each his own I say.

This was a library find.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks

The Bordeaux Betrayal: A Wine Country Mystery (Wine Country Mysteries)
The Bordeaux Betrayal: A Wine Country Mystery (Wine Country Mysteries)
by Ellen Crosby
Edition: Hardcover
78 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A cozy with an edge...very pleasureable read...well written, August 23, 2015
The author of this work, Ellen Crosby is most certainly a good teller and writer of stories. This is the third book in this particular series (Wine Country Mysteries) and more or less take up where volume two leaves off. This is not the sort of series that absolutely MUST be read in order to understand the jest of the story and can well we read as a stand-alone, but I will say that reading the first two books in the series will enhance the reading pleasure that comes with following this story.

This is not a `book report,' such as a number of my beloved teachers required decades ago, so I will not give you a blow by blow summary here. Briefly put though, a very old bottle of wine is donated for charity auction purposes. This is a bottle of wine ordered by Thomas Jefferson for George Washington. Only one bottle has survived over the years and how it survived and what will become of it and is it truly the real deal is what the story is all about.

The author has blended the life style and geography of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountain country (I must tell you that this is all seen through the eyes of people who most certainly not middle class folk, but rather...well, rather rich and most certainly privileged.) This is okay with me...hey, everyone has to be something. Mixed with the daily doings of the folks here is a rich mixture of history and more than enough discussion of wine and wine making. Of course you have a couple of love interests going and needless to say...murder most foul! The body count though is relatively low and like most cozy mysteries, not all that graphic.

I do have a couple of concerns though, miner though they may be. I had difficulties keeping all the characters straight in my mind as I read this thing and actually found myself sifting through back pages just to find who the character was I reading about at the current point in the book. My second complaint, yes, I like to whine from time to time, is that our primary heroine, a supposedly bright, intelligent and aggressive woman can be, at times, dumb as a fence post and most certainly would not do well in the diplomatic corps. She seems to go out of her way at times to annoy people to the point that she can become rather unlikeable at times.

I do like the fact that the author has given our protagonist a physical handicap although being reminded on every other page that she uses a cane may be pressing the fact just a bit much from time to time.

The book is filled with interest characters and once you figure out who is who and who is doing what to who they are a pleasure to read about an interact quite well.

Now this is most certainly a `cozy mystery' but a cozy with a bit of an edge. There is perhaps a bit more sexual situations (nothing graphic) than you would normally find at it is not gratuitous, and sometimes the language can be a bit harsher than you normally find in this genre, but on the other hand, the language used in the book is no worse than you hear in everyday life unless you have insulated yourself in a bubble or convent.

This is a good story and a very fast read and I am looking forward to reading the rest of the books in the series.

This was a library find.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks

Wheat Thins Toasted Pita Original, 8 Ounce by Wheat Thins Toasted Pita
Wheat Thins Toasted Pita Original, 8 Ounce by Wheat Thins Toasted Pita
Offered by Nakoop Books
Price: $52.98

5.0 out of 5 stars I've Got to admit...I like these things!, August 20, 2015
Well snack stuff comes and snack stuff goes. I can remember the only chip type snack you could purchase were potato chips packaged in a cellophane bag that often time had green edges around them and were pretty stale by the time you got them home from the grocery store. Now days there are shelves and shelves of chip snacks...some of them will last; some of them will go...chip snacks are apart of our ever changing world.

Now I purchase a bag of these toasted wheat thins Pita bread dipping chips for the express use of eating a spinach and avocado dip my wife makes. I must tell you that I am impressed with these things. I like the texture and I like the flavor. Of course I must admit to being a fan of Pita bread anyway, but in chip for...well, it adds a different dimension.

For those of you who care:

Serving size 17 ciips.....

Calories 130
Total Fat 4.5g
Cholesterol 0% (Yeah)
Sodium 160 mg (bummer)
Potassium 60mg
Carbohydrates 20g

While you may not be able to call these "health food," I have most certainly put worse in my stomach.

Now I prefer these to the ones which are flavored with garlic as the garlic they use is a bit overwhelming.

These are stiff enough and strong enough so that they are not constantly breaking up when I use them on my wife's dip...which is pretty thick.

I purchase mine at our local Wal-Mart and while the are not the cheapest things in the world, the eating pleasure is well worth the extra my opinion.

These puppies will fill you up rather quickly.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks

French Pastry Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery Book 21)
French Pastry Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery Book 21)
Price: $1.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Lucy...go back home and stay there., August 20, 2015
I enjoy cozy mysteries and have enjoyed several works by this particular author. I like the books set in Tinkers Cove but I must tell you that Lucy's trip to Paris, France was a complete bust as far as I am concerned. Wow, talk about a nice small town girl from Mane turning into the Ugly American overnight...not good! I fear that when Lucy boarded the plane her I.Q. dropped by at least 40 points.

I did not feel the author used the use of the French language scattered throughout the text very effectively and about the only thing it did was interrupt the story ling and made for some very frustrating reading. I could not, even with my imagination, imagine a supposedly bright individual such as Lucy doing some of the really, really idiotic things she pulled in this one, i.e. taking out across Paris, a strange city for her, at tight riding across it on a bicycle.

I normally find this series humorous and amusing - sort of reading candy. Not so this one. Not one line in this work even brought a smile to my face. I had to agree with one reviewer that the entire books was more of a "History of France for Dummies" than anything else and I must say, being somewhat familiar with the history of that country, it was a rather boring history the author wrote at that.

As I said, I enjoy this series. Will I continue reading it? Yes, I will still give it more chances but if future books turn out anything like this one I will be forced to drop it from by to be read list...hey, life is too short and there are too many extremely good reads out there.

I am giving this one two stars simply for sentimental reason (Over all, I am fond of the series) but I am sorely tempted to give this one a single star...bummer. I suppose I am more peeved that I should be because my wife warned me away from this one and I did not listen to her...teaches me a lesson!

This was a library find.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks

SecurityIng® Pocketsize 415LM 3-Mode XPG-R5 LED Professional Outdoor Flashlight Torch with Moonlight Mode
SecurityIng® Pocketsize 415LM 3-Mode XPG-R5 LED Professional Outdoor Flashlight Torch with Moonlight Mode
Offered by ePathDirect
Price: $16.59

5.0 out of 5 stars A very powerful little light...this one will go by my reading chair, August 19, 2015
My goodness, flashlights have come along way over the years. I can remember the rather clunky things we used when I was a small child - we are talking back in the 1940s, and there most certainly is a world of difference in the technology from then until now.

It rather amazes me that a small light such as this (It just over 3 ½ inches long) running on only one AA battery, can produce so much light.

The switch on this thing is on the back end of the light can be handled by one hand. There are three modes available, really dim, sort of dim and very bright. While I have not measured it, this thing can throw a beam of light a long, long way...farther than many larger lights I have used in my time.

This is a well made light can should be able to handle drops quite well. As I have not hurled it against any brick wall I cannot be for sure just how well built it is but I have dropped in from about four feet onto the tile floor in our kitchen with no apparent damage what so ever.

This comes with a battery. It also has a clip if you want to place in your pocket. It is made from high grade aluminum and has a very nice heft to it.

We go through many electrical outages where we live, which is way out in the woods in an isolated location, so we have flashlights and lanterns all over the place in each room in our home. This one is being placed by my reading chair where I spend most of my evenings and nights. It takes up very little space and is an ideal light to grab so I can find the other lights stashed throughout the house.

Furnished by seller for review purposes.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks

SecurityIng® Ultra Bright 3 Modes Waterproof 300 Lumens Camping Light with Free Hanging Hook - Best Camping Lantern and Emergency Lantern for Hiking, Camping and Other Outdoor Activities (Green)
SecurityIng® Ultra Bright 3 Modes Waterproof 300 Lumens Camping Light with Free Hanging Hook - Best Camping Lantern and Emergency Lantern for Hiking, Camping and Other Outdoor Activities (Green)
Offered by ePathDirect
Price: $26.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent emergency light., August 19, 2015
Our home is filled with various emergency lighting implements. We live way out in the woods in a rather isolated area (hilly and wooded) and experience frequent electric outages; some of them quite lengthy - the longest being eight days during an ice storm. Lighting we need along with alternate heat sources, but that is another story. This lantern makes 4 of this type we addition to numerous flashlights. We have them stashed all over the house and indeed, in two of our out buildings.

This is a well made light with plenty of heft to it when the three D batteries are installed. With a rubber like protective coating around the top, bottom and lower sides, it can withstand a pretty good drop without suffering damage. The batteries are very easy to install; you merely twist the bottom.

The light this unit puts out is not as bright as some of the others we own. It is a softer light; a fact I appreciate. Some of the like lanterns we own will absolutely blind you if you look at them closely. This particular light gives a nice glow about a goodly sized room.

It does have a handle on the top and comes with a hook from which to hang it if you so wish. We personally will be using this one on tables.

The top also contains a flashlight which is pretty neat...I have never seen one designed like this and the flashlight works quite well. The control button, located on the side is easy to use and due to the design and location it is easy to find in the dark.

You are actually getting quite a lot for your money with this one.

Product provided for review purposes.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks

Gourmet Boutique Chic Professional Hand Zester Grater Rasp with Protective Cover Guard
Gourmet Boutique Chic Professional Hand Zester Grater Rasp with Protective Cover Guard
Offered by Premium Markets
Price: $14.97

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not much to not to like about this one...rather amazing, actually, August 16, 2015
When this seller offered to send me this zester I did a quick mental inventory (and then actually check out the kitchen storage area) and realized I already owned seven zesters of different makes and models. I thought to myself that getting another would either appear to make me look greedy or make me appear to be a hoarder...which, by the way, I am...sort of. Then I thought of my daughter who is an excellent cook and I thought of my four grandsons who are also extremely good cooks and I thought...well why not?

I am glad I did. I have to tell you that this is a rather unique kitchen gadget and is far, far superior to any of the other like items I own and use.

The first factor relative to my above statement is the handle on this thing! Good grief, how comfortable. This may not seem like a big deal for those who have never used one of these instruments but believe me, when to start reducing a large block of very hard cheese to usable shavings it becomes a big deal. You can and quite often will end up with hand cramps! The comfort of using this thing is rather stunning. Due to the size and comfort of this handle my wife, who has sever arthritis in her hands, is able to use this thing in relative comfort...this is a blessing.

And let me tell you, this sucker is sharp! The eight inch working portion of this blade can rip through the hardest of cheeses and chocolate is a snap. It is perfect to use on lemons and oranges and very hard spices like nutmegs. Do be careful though when using this thing because it can take quite a lot of skin off your fingers very quickly. It has a great guard and the cutting action happens on the drawback rather than the forward thrust making it much safer than other like kitchen instruments.

This zester comes with a protective plastic like cover and I strongly suggest you keep it on when the zester is in storage. This is not something you want to run into when you are digging though that cluttered drawer where you keep such things. The cover also protects the edges of the many, many little blades.

And speaking of protecting the blades...This thing is absolutely dishwasher safe but you really should hand wash it. Placing ANY cutting tool in the dishwasher is a very bad idea if you are at all interested in protecting the integrity/sharpness of the instrument. Dishwashers bash things about and can turn sharp into dull in very few washings.

A couple of items to note:

There are two small rubber tips on the end of this thing so when you brace it against a hard surface the slippage is cut down to almost nothing.

The back of the zester has two rails which allow the stuff you are grating to gather and not fly all over the place and it is very easy to remove the shredded stuff with a finger or small kitchen instrument.

There is a nice hole in the handle which allows you to hang this in storage if that is what you want...I don't do this but probably should.

The blade is made from stainless steel so a chance of rusting is nil. The blade is very stiff and very strong and is well set into the handle.

Ah, the fate of this zester...after deep thought I have decided to keep this puppy for myself and give some of the others to my daughter and grandsons - Hey, I am old and they are going to probably get this thing in a few years anyway...might as well enjoy it while I can.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks

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