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2nd Chance
2nd Chance
by James Patterson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $31.50
603 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Good entry to a series I am fond of, July 27, 2015
This review is from: 2nd Chance (Hardcover)
I made the same mistake that several other reviewers here made in that I read this second offering in Patterson's Women's Murder Club series right after I read the first novel in the series. And yes, the formula was precisely what I found in the first. This is okay as it is a good formula which makes this offering a wonderful fast moving light weight read. I probably would have appreciated it more had I waited awhile and read it on down the road. I have a problem with (or I suppose you could call it a blessing) in that every novel (with a couple of exceptions) written by Patterson run together in my head and I pretty well forget the story within a few days after reading them. Back to back was a bit much though.

Anyway...

This was a very nice fast read and was most certainly not `high literature' which is precisely what I was looking for. Killing off a Sunday afternoon during the heat of the summer when I cannot be outside is just fine by me...it was either fry doing yard work, watching T.V., of which I would rather eat ground glass, or read this book I had on hand...the book was the best choice by far.

This story features a relentless sniper who is killing black people who are involved with police work. Is it a racist killer, a hater of cops or is there a hidden revenge factor involved? Actually, this twisting and turning that Patterson threw in was actually pretty good and it kept me guessing throughout most of the book.

The Women's Murder Club of course becomes involved in the case and the interplay between the women is quite well done.

All in all I enjoyed this one but plan to give it a few weeks before I start the third novel of the series.

This was a library find like all the books I read.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks


Worst Case
Worst Case
by James Patterson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $21.99
44 used & new from $3.15

4.0 out of 5 stars Easy fun lightweight read., July 27, 2015
This review is from: Worst Case (Hardcover)
Was this the best novel I have ever read? No. Was this the best James Patterson book I have ever read? No. Was it the worst of the two categories I have listed above? No.

We have here a book that was fast reading and entertaining. It is one you can knock off in a few hours. It is entertaining in spots, funny in spots, tragic is spots and completely unbelievable in spots. Hey folks, this was fiction...it was a story that was pretty well written; not great mind you, but most certainly readable and was a nice break from reality and the real life problem that, like all people have, plague my life.

We have a killer on the loose who kidnaps really, really, really rich kids and if they are not able to answer certain questions he asks them...well, he kills them! He never asks for ransom and the police never really know, right up to the end, why this nut job is doing it.

The case is being run by Detective Michael Bennett along with a hot chick FBI Agent who specializes in kidnapping. We go between Bennett' investigation and his home life with his 10 kids, housekeeper and grandfather who happens to be a priest. There is a love interest of course, i.e. Bennett, the FBI agent and....well, read the book and find out who is the third side of the triangle.

The story is easy to follow, the action so, so, and the author, Michael Ledwidge does gives us a rather unexpected and twisted ending.

This is one of those books that I will completely forget about after I read the first chapter in the next book I read but I did enjoy it for the few hours it took to read it. Escapism anyone?

This was a library find.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks


Junkman's Daughter (Tales of Young Americans)
Junkman's Daughter (Tales of Young Americans)
by Sonia Levitin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $11.38
40 used & new from $1.56

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful story filled with lessons we should keep in mind this very day, July 27, 2015
What a wonderful story of an immigrant family who came to America where "the streets are made of gold." This story is typical of the strong people who left their native homes throughout the years, immigrated to America, and through hard work and sticking to their high work ethic and family values did indeed fin that the roads here are paves with gold.

In this case though the gold happens to be junk...yes, junk. The family, working together, finds that the junk found of the streets can actually be gold as they work, building up a business and eventually become quite successful.

The illustrations in this work by Guy Porfirio capture the times perfectly and go perfectly with the well written text.

This work is filled with good lessons. America became strong due in large part to the immigrant population. We were lucky that we have always attracted the best and the brightest from around the world and I personally feel we are still doing so. This book can act as a reminder as to where well all originally came from. My family came here from Germany. My wife's family came from Ireland (and was of course also Native American). Thank goodness they did and thank goodness they had access to the American dream.

I do love this story and this book.

This was a library find.

Don Blankenship
The ozarks


The Case of the Fiddle Playing Fox (Hank the Cowdog 12)
The Case of the Fiddle Playing Fox (Hank the Cowdog 12)
by John R. Erickson
Edition: School & Library Binding
9 used & new from $2.66

5.0 out of 5 stars Something has been sucking eggs in Sally May's hen house...I wonder.....?, July 27, 2015
For those of you familiar with and know of Hank the Cowdog and his sidekick Drover will not be at all surprised to find that Hank and Drover have actually been outsmarted by a fox, and I do not mean an ordinary run of the mill fox; no, it is a fiddle playing fox.

There is trouble in the chicken house again and Hank must lead an investigation and solve the wretched mess. And can you just imagine there someone has been sucking eggs? Gosh, wonder who that could be???? And let me tell you...Sally May is MAD! Poor Hank!

Hank the Cowdog books are an absolute delight for both the young and the old. I am not sure how the author keeps coming up with these hilarious stories but I sure hope he keeps them coming. It is interesting to note that this series of books, and I think there are over 30 of them now, are some of the most checked out books in our local library...and it is not all just kids who are reading these things.

This is excellent family fun.

This was a library find.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks


G4Free® bicycle mirror cycling mirror bike mirror Handlebar Rearwiew Mirror 360° Rotate Adjust
G4Free® bicycle mirror cycling mirror bike mirror Handlebar Rearwiew Mirror 360° Rotate Adjust
Offered by G4Free
Price: $12.88

5.0 out of 5 stars As good or better than any other bicycle mirror I have used over the years, July 27, 2015
I am probably the last person on earth that should be writing a review of bicycle helmet mirrors. I absolutely hate these things and have never owned one that I did not hate. I hate the image I get in the corner of my eye...it reminds me of having a fly or big bug flying around my head. I feel like a complete geek wearing one of these things.

That being said though, I firmly believe that I would be out of my mind not to wear one and never place helmet to head or hit the road without one attached. I much prefer to look like a geek than your common everyday road kill. I also have found that as I am now older (well into my dotage, truth be told), that it is not only difficult, but it is actually quite painful to constantly turn my head to see what is coming up behind me. I also must admit that my eyesight, or at least my eye/brain reflexes are not what they use to be...i.e. when I see something it now takes longer for it to register in my mind. Hey, getting old is nice and better than the alternative, but there are several downsides to it, it's a part of life. Having a helmet mirror saves neck pain, and it most certainly makes me more aware of what is going on around me.

I do most of my riding on secondary roads...two lane with no bike lane available. It is absolutely necessary for me to know what is coming up behind be; even if I ride against traffic as I do sometimes. I do a lot of walking along the same routes I ride and it is absolute horrifying how many people are busy on their cell phones completely oblivious to what is on the road with them...terrifying place out there right now folks! Mix cell phone people with our local merry band of meth heads and life on a bike can become quite exciting and you need to even the odds as much as possible.

This mirror is easy to attach to the helmet. The Velcro patches are universal and you can purchase all you want at your local Wally World if you want to use this thing on multiple helmets as I do, or if the Velcro wears out. The hold is quite firm and there is little chance other than crash or abuse of the mirror becoming detached.

The mirror angle is quite easy to adjust. I am not overly happy with the optic on the mirror but then in all fairness to this mirror, I have never in my life been happy with ANY optics on ANY helmet mirror. It is adequate enough though to let me know what is coming even though I may not be able to read a book with the thing at 100 yards.

The mirror is light and easy to install and is an absolute snap to adjust to what ever angle you need or want. It is well built and I don't see this thing braking unless I abuse it or take a header over the front bars of by bike in which case, at my age, my neck will probably break before the mirror does.

Is this the best helmet mirror on the market? I don't know because I have not used all of them. I will say that I have used several over the years and this one stacks up pretty good against those that I have used. This like the other still makes me look like a geek but.....

Product provided by G4Free

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks


G4Free? blue Premium Portable Mini Bike Pump With Hidden Flexible Hose - Aluminum CNC Construction 130 PSI Bike Pump - For Mountain, Road Or BXM Bikes - Lightweight & Extremely Tough - Bike Frame Mounting Kit Included ¡­
G4Free? blue Premium Portable Mini Bike Pump With Hidden Flexible Hose - Aluminum CNC Construction 130 PSI Bike Pump - For Mountain, Road Or BXM Bikes - Lightweight & Extremely Tough - Bike Frame Mounting Kit Included ¡­
Offered by G4Free
Price: $18.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Does everything it says it will do and does it well. I have nothing to whine about with this one, July 27, 2015
Over the years I have owned and used quite a number of these small hand pumps for my bikes. Some of them have been great while others were tossed after one attempt and one flat. (Actually, If you look closely in the brush between Wichita Falls, Texas and Burkburnett, Texas you may find one of those not so good pumps rusting away about 15 yards off the road way...it has been laying there for over thirty-five years now I hope, and I hope it has suffered while doing so. (Yes, I threw a tantrum).

Anyway....

This little pump which weighs only 6 ounces and is just under 8 inches long is a rather amazing little tool. I must admit that I approach any of these mini-pumps with a jaundice eye and with some trepidation. So far I have to tell you that I have been impressed with this little thing. Like other reviewers have pointed out, it takes between 100 and 120 hits to fully inflate a tire (depending upon the tire) which while a pain, is certainly better than no pump at all or a pump that simply will not do the work for which you paid it to do. This is by far the strongest pump of this class I have used over the years and to be quite frank, I am delighted with the thing.

Now I ride a hybrid so I do not race nor do I take those 100 plus road trips of my youth. Twenty miles on secondary roads is my limit now so I am not overly concerned with the aerodynamics of my bike...yes, I have one of those mini-packs under the seat of the primary bike I ride and this little pump fits that little pack perfectly along with a digital pressure gage and muli-bike tool. What more could you want? This pump does come with a holder that can, if you so wish, be attached you your bike frame. It also comes with two needle ends incase you want to fill soccer balls and such.

I am impressed with the design of this thing and very much appreciate the fact that you have a hose attachment which is ingeniously hidden within the pump itself and can easily be removed and hooked up. This will and has saved many valve stems and is oh so much easier to use.

It was interesting to note that when this pump arrived that the portable air tank I have was on empty and at that very time I noted my yard tractor had a low tire...I thought "why not?" Well this puppy actually topped the tire off despite the pressure...it actually did the job! (And yes, I am going to speak to two of my grandsons who last borrowed my air tank!)

This pump compares favorably to pumps selling for two times the amount this one is selling for.

This product supplied by G4Free

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks


Best Military Folding Spring Assisted Pocket Knife - Bright LED Light Built In! - Perfect for Hunting, Survival, & Camping
Best Military Folding Spring Assisted Pocket Knife - Bright LED Light Built In! - Perfect for Hunting, Survival, & Camping
Offered by Stonebridge Mall
Price: $29.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You are getting a lot of knife for the money with this one...I do like this knife, July 27, 2015
I collect knives; been collecting them for over 60 years now. The grandkids are going to have one heck of an auction one of these days...sort of wish I could be there to see it. This tactical knife is a great addition to my collection...it is rather unique.

Anyway...

When you evaluate a knife there are several factors to consider. Keep in mind as you read this review that I am comparing this knife to like knives in the same price range....i.e. those that fall around the $30.00 dollar mark. Now I have knives that sell for literally hundreds of dollars and I feel strongly that knives such as this should not be compared. We are sort of talking apples and oranges here. Now that being said, the Defender Extreme being reviewed here stacks up extremely well against those in this price range. As a matter of fact I would be more inclined to place this one in the 60 to 70 dollar range when all is said and done.

This is a good looking knife and is obviously well built. There is absolutely no play in the hinge portion of the blade and handle, and the opening and closing action is quite smooth and precise. I note that one reviewer here has noted that the blade does not lock open. With the knife I am holding in my hand while doing this review this is not a problem. The knife locks to the open position and stays that way. I have put tremendous force on it and it simply will not close unless you flip the folding lock. I don't know what is going on with the other guys knife but if it were me I would return it as there may be a defect.

The knife has a wonderful heft to it and the blade is sharp; both the cutting and serrated portion. I still have enough little boy in me that can appreciate the `coolness' in the look of this knife. It looks like it means business...actually not only does it look cool, but it looks rather scary at the same time.

As to function, this would be a great knife to use in your backpack to act as a survival knife. I like the fact that there are actually three ways to open the blade. You have a small lever type nub on the back that with a flick of the finger will spring the blade open. You also have two (both sides of the blade) of the traditional thumb flip type. The only reservations I have as to safety is the fact that I could see, under some circumstances, where the nub on the back of the knife could cause the blade to come open in a persons pocket. This is unlikely but hey, it could happen.

This knife has a removable belt clip and a small flip out LEB flashlight on the side. I had some trepidation as to the flashlight (it is a little thing) when I first saw the knife but it is actually quite functional (very low light; but light there is), and it does not interfere with the functionality of the knife itself. As for the batteries...these are very small button batteries. When you receive the knife, remove these batteries, remove the covering on the batteries and reinsert them. The light is turned on and off my twisting the small head of the light.

Like all your knives, keep this puppy sharp, keep in well oiled and keep it clean and don't put it away damp...it should last a long, long time and give you great service. This is a very good chance to own a very nice tactical knife at a very reasonable price.

Product supplied by Stonebridge Mall

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks


Manual Coffee Bean Grinder - Excellent Stainless Steel Hand Crank Mill From I Love Coffee AFL Products. Take Our Portable Grinders to Work, Camping and Outdoors- Fresh Beans Espresso Anywhere. Compact and Easy to Clean with Free Brush and Bag. Aeropress Compatible. Have Your Fresh Coffee Wherever You Want!
Manual Coffee Bean Grinder - Excellent Stainless Steel Hand Crank Mill From I Love Coffee AFL Products. Take Our Portable Grinders to Work, Camping and Outdoors- Fresh Beans Espresso Anywhere. Compact and Easy to Clean with Free Brush and Bag. Aeropress Compatible. Have Your Fresh Coffee Wherever You Want!
Offered by AFL Products
Price: $49.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ideal grinder for our particular situation and needs, July 26, 2015
There are just two of us that drink coffee in our home on a daily basis. Actually, we drink coffee during most of the day. I suppose I am trying to say that my wife and I drink a lot of this beverage.

Now for our normal coffee drinking - you know, those first cups in the morning that you absolutely must have in order to function properly, we use an old fashion percolator. I know that these have become out of the good graces of a lot of people but that is what we were raised on and that is what we like

On the other hand, the coffee we drink during the day and those cups we have after supper are made using a French Press...we own four of them. We use a French Press because we like different coffees as we drink the stuff throughout the day. We do not drink any particular blend in mass quantities nor do we store massive amount of beans. We like variety and hate purchasing large amounts of beans of any given bean on the off chance that we might hat the stuff. Hey, coffee beans or expensive!

This little hand held grinder (one of three we own), allows us up whip up enough coffee for the two of us and allows us to use a large variety of beans which we purchase in small amount. We have found that a small grinder like this saves money as we do not over purchase beans that we do not like or get tired of quickly.

This grinder is easy to use and is quite smooth to operate. Even my wife, who has problems with arthritis can manage it. It is quite; much, much more quite than any electric grinder we have ever used which is a good thing because for some reason the sound of an electric coffee grinder drives two of our dogs sort of insane and we not only have to listen to the grinder doing its thing, but also a lot of howling and barking...not a good sound; no, no, no...not at all!

Anyway, this grinder is adjustable and with a little practice and experimentation you can find the perfect grind to fit your particular coffee maker's needs. We have also found that this grinder is ideal for travel.

I must say that this particular grinder performs much better than several we have used that costs much, much more. The price here is quite reasonable when you consider what you are getting.

Product provided by AFL Products I love Coffee for review purposes.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 26, 2015 11:44 AM PDT


George Foreman GRP1001BP 6-Serving Removable Plate Grill, Black
George Foreman GRP1001BP 6-Serving Removable Plate Grill, Black
Offered by Four Seasons Purchases
Price: $84.99
6 used & new from $47.88

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not too bad bu;t could have been much better, July 26, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I suppose this grill is okay and I can fully see how it may be quite useful in some situations. I must admit that I am not what you would call overly thrilled with this thing. Some of the issues I have are as follows:

First, the chord if far, far too short and in our particular situation we are forced to do a lot of rearranging of `stuff' on our counter tops in order to use it.

Second, when you place meats on this thing that are of different thicknesses, you do not get full contact from the upper half of the grill. Yes, it will eventually cook but you must constantly check the thing and make sure all is cooking evenly...removing some cuts sooner than others.

Third, the grease catcher thingy could have been better designed as it is easy to spill grease all over the palce.

Forth, despite the removable plates, this thing is still a pain to clean.

Fifth, this thing takes up a tremendous amount of storage space.

These complaints I have might quite well be unique to our particular situation and not all may find the same thing to whine about....it is just my opinion.

On the other hand, this grill is superior to other GF Grills we have had in the past due to its larger size. It does cook well and the food is tasty. It is also quite good in preparing vegetables. It is attractive.

As far as how long this thing will last...well, time will tell. If this sucker goes belly up on us in the near future I will update this review.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 26, 2015 11:47 AM PDT


1000 Piece Charles Wysocki Love Jigsaw Puzzle
1000 Piece Charles Wysocki Love Jigsaw Puzzle
Offered by Serious Shops
Price: $16.73
5 used & new from $15.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and well done puzzle which was good for several novels and the Boston Terrier got his share, July 25, 2015
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This was an interesting puzzle to work. We listen to books on CDs while doing these things and this one was good for six semi lengthy novels...not great novels mind you, but ones we could listen to with half an ear so as not to be distracted while doing the puzzle and holding a conversation.

This puzzle, like all Buffalo puzzles was made of good heavy stock and the pieces were well cut and of course the Charles Wysocki painting, like all of his work, was a pleasure to the eye. This one did have one piece missing but I am 99.9999 percent sure that it got knocked to the floor and our Boston terrier ate it....I know I didn't anyway. This was a pity as we normally donate completed puzzles to local nursing care facilities and to the local library...can't do that if we mess up and let the dog eat though.

Now we purchased this one at Wal-Mart and the price here on Amazon matched perfectly with what we paid.

This is about the eighth or fifth Buffalo puzzle we have worked on and have been quite happy with the lot. Do keep in mind though that the actually puzzle will NOT be as clear and defined as that of the picture shown here on the product page...it is a bit more blurry. The nice thing about Buffalo products though is that they include a nice big poster picture which is a blessing for old eyes like ours.

As far as difficulty goes, on a scale of 1 - 10, with 10 being the most difficult, I would give this one a 5.5, keeping in mind that it is only 1,000 pieces. That is good though, as we multitask as we do these things.

Very happy with this product.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks


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