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Bangarang EP
Bangarang EP
Price: $4.99
128 used & new from $0.26

5.0 out of 5 stars Stuck on this short collection, July 16, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Bangarang EP (Audio CD)
I've been stuck on this album for a while now - it's a short run of crazy, hyperactive breakbeats and glitches that occasionally settle down and wrap a song structure around the multiple guests that appear. While I don't appear to have this track on the CD, the Amazon digital download (which you get with a CD purchase thanks to AutoRip) also offers a very lovely piece of classical music, built from themes lifted from Skrillex songs, called the "Skrillex Orchestral Suite." Great music to listen to when driving, exercising or needing background music while doing repetitive work.


Lucifer Book Three
Lucifer Book Three
by Mike Carey
Edition: Paperback
Price: $22.33
55 used & new from $17.45

5.0 out of 5 stars Another great collection of tales, expertly spun from the world of Neil Gaiman's "Sandman", April 16, 2016
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This review is from: Lucifer Book Three (Paperback)
I recently decided to fill out my set of the Lucifer stories, and I love the fact that we have these editions: they are a good price, well bound, colorfully printed on good paper...and most importantly, the stories Mike Carey has put together to continue Lucifer's tale after Neil Gaiman's "Sandman" stories is executed with the same degree of skill and cleverness. Art quality can vary across the tales, but overall it is somewhat better than some of the work in Volume 2. The stories themselves take us to hell and back and many places in between. It seems to be a common theme that Lucifer will set the stage, events will draw out the characters, and eventually all the side stories draw together. I don't want to spoil this for you, but to paint a brief picture, we see the mundane world mix with fantastic creatures, fantasy quests across multiple mythologies, and a surprisingly deep conversation between Lucifer and The Creator that deeply explores divine purpose and free will. Lucifer is not a "good guy", and his motivations are his own--but often it is his reasoning that tends to turn the reader's perspective in new directions. These aren't stories for children. The content is explicitly violent and sexual, and liberties are taken with multiple religions (Christianity of course being front and center). For adults with an open mind, the Lucifer series of books is brilliant illustrated narrative, and highly recommended to those familiar with the DC Vertigo universe and looking to explore a bit further.


Death Of A Bachelor
Death Of A Bachelor
Price: $9.69
91 used & new from $5.30

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Evolution of a One-of-a-Kind Group., April 16, 2016
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This review is from: Death Of A Bachelor (Audio CD)
With each new album, Panic! at the Disco has managed to progress their sound in interesting directions, and I've found myself enchanted by all of them. Where some works have a fairly clear pattern--"Pretty. Odd" was a Beatles-esque feel from end to end--I'd have to say "Death of a Bachelor" is all over the map. We have knockout pop hooks like "Victorious", an off-the-rails song of excess ("Don't Threaten Me With a Good Time") accented brilliantly with B-52s riffs, and the wild Swing sounds of "Crazy=Genius" just to name a few...but more to the point, it seems like with every album, lead singer Brendan Urie is determined to stretch himself vocally. "Emperor's New Groove" hits some shocking high notes--then goes higher--"Golden Days" is belted out with intensity, and then we have two numbers that may not resonate with everyone, but are stylistically perfect: the title song "Death of a Bachelor" and "Impossible Year" are crooned out Lounge-style, emulating Sinatra. In between the extremes are some fairly familiar sounds, with "Hallelujah" and "The Good, The Bad, and the Dirty" comfortably sticking to Panic! at the Disco's core sound, and the smooth harmonies (and burgeoning cynicism) of "LA Devotee" also right at home.

If you're already a fan of "Panic! at the Disco" think of this as having some of the lyrical darkness of "Vices & Virtues", the tongue-in-cheek whimsy of "A Fever You Can't Sweat Out", and infectious vocals of "Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die!". "Death of a Bachelor" is an excellent new entry in Panic! at the Disco's Catalogue, and I can't wait to see where they go from here.


Lucifer Book Two
Lucifer Book Two
by Mike Carey
Edition: Paperback
Price: $20.45
57 used & new from $15.13

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent set of stories spun from the groundbreaking "Sandman" series., April 16, 2016
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This review is from: Lucifer Book Two (Paperback)
Trying to take a story run from Neil Gaiman's Sandman series means some pretty big shoes to fill, particularly when the premise of a Lucifer spin-off series is going to be based on one of the most memorable moments of the original Sandman story arc. Mike Carey pulls it off extremely well. Lucifer is a complex character: he's not a good guy, he's far from a one-dimensional bad-guy, and in the vast range between these two extremes we are taken to fantastic worlds, strange mythology, and interesting plot twists. I have some of the original trade publications of these stories: the art quality can vary widely. This volume brings them together in a thick volume of decent binding, good paper, and bright coloring--the price is definitely fair for the quantity of stories, plus we get a few sketches thrown in at the end. "Nirvana" was an unrelated side story that we also get inserted here. There is a very strange tale of political intrigue and demonic psychodrama in a corner of Hell that has chosen to emulate London high society from an earlier century ("A Dalliance with the Damned")--this one is probably the most hit and miss of the set, with some seeing its final plot twist as a great philosophical message, others finding the sex, violence and depravity overstated and boring. The last half of the book is my favorite, with a wide variety of unusual characters and stories gradually converging on one point (I'm trying not to spoil any of this for you)--the will and plan of Lucifer. In fact, if there would be any point of criticism for the series, it's just that there is a repeating pattern: Lucifer speaks cryptically, leaves for a bit, perhaps does his own side story separate from the other characters, and it all comes together just at the end to wrap it up neatly.

If you're a fan of the DC Vertigo publications and you like the mash-up of fantasy, mythology, and magic with everyday people and places, then you should give Lucifer a try. Some of the content is not for the faint of heart, but definitely worth the effort to read it.


The PMI-ACP Exam: How To Pass On Your First Try (Test Prep series)
The PMI-ACP Exam: How To Pass On Your First Try (Test Prep series)
by Andy Crowe PMP PgMP
Edition: Paperback
28 used & new from $32.18

3.0 out of 5 stars A good start, but needs depth and an update, January 14, 2016
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The most important thing to know about this book is that it needs to be updated to a newer version: the PMI-ACP exam changed in October 2015 and the focus is broader than this book covers. This book is still a good reference for someone just getting started with Agile - you may have limited experience or your exposure was in a shop that's "Agile, but..." This book will help you fill in the gaps of surface knowledge but it doesn't dive deep enough to cement the knowledge you need for the exam. I ended up getting more knowledge (almost too much knowledge) out of Mike Griffiths' book published by RMCProject.com.

The online practice exam coupon still worked for me in November 2015. However, it's not a great exam in that the questions and answers aren't pulled from a larger pool or randomized--it gets easy to know that the answer to this question is a) and that one is b). In the end, because the FastTrack software wasn't yet ready either, I ended up relying more on the Griffiths book than anything else.

If there is a strength here, it's that Crowe goes more in depth about innovation games, though again there are some in the Griffiths book that aren't in this one. Crowe's better about teaching you *when* you'd use a particular innovation technique while Griffiths gives you more of the *what*.

If you're studying for the PMI-ACP, good luck to you! If you need some surface knowledge to get started, I'd suggest using this book (whenever they get around to updating it) for a little while but then plan on moving a little deeper. The new PMI-ACP exam was, for me, almost completely questions about "This is what's happening--what do you do?" and not about a list of things and pick the one that matches, or fill in the blank for the definition of a term.


OXO On 12 Cup Coffee Maker with Removable Kettle
OXO On 12 Cup Coffee Maker with Removable Kettle
Offered by PJNSales
Price: $253.35
25 used & new from $182.00

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really Delivers, January 10, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The OXO "On" 12 cup coffee maker (a.k.a., "The Barista Brain") really is a fantastic piece of equipment. It's not cheap to be sure, but you do get a lot for your money, and so far I've been very happy with it. It's interesting that the look and feel are high-tech, but using it is extremely simple to do. You put water in the pitcher, turn it so it clicks into place, then tap the button and dial up what you want it to do.

One feature I love is how it can boil water *and* make coffee--a lot of times on the weekends I'll make some coffee for myself and for my daughter I'll fix a cup or two of chai, or her favorite tea. I can do that with this unit and have it produce both at the same time. The unit is smart enough to know how much water it's got in the pitcher, so it not only accurately heats the water, it won't accidentally mess up your coffee--if there's not enough water, you won't be able to dial in an amount of coffee that it can't make with the water you've given it.

If you start questing on the Internet for the "Perfect cup of coffee", you're going to find a lot of information. What's interesting about the OXO On is that it does all of those things that the "SCAA" says you should do for that perfect cup and you can tell. The amount of flavor I'm getting out of this coffee machine blows me away. I used to do bold coffee in order to get strong flavor, but now that can actually be a bit overwhelming--and I'm finding that the "blonde roasts" that used to taste watery to me instead come through amazingly rich and delicious. I was replacing a Braun Select gold-cone filter system that I'd loved for years and now I dare to say that this OXO On tastes more Starbucks *than* Starbucks. The coffee really is flavorful and I'm enjoying it a lot more now. I think it's the combination of the shower head, the way the brewing cycle times water dispersion, the heat the brewer can generate, and the fact that the carafe gets filled with a special tube that distributes the flavor evenly throughout the coffee--weird tech that actually works.

That said, this system still isn't perfect. There are some things you should be aware of for the 12-cup system:

- the pitcher lid pops open, but the top doesn't actually come off. In other words, you can clean this thing, but you're not going to be able to stick a hand down in it because it doesn't come apart. Ditto the carafe - the center piece unscrews but the top of the carafe doesn't come apart.

- there is no burner to keep coffee hot. This is no big deal for me because I like to finish my coffee within an hour or two of making it and the double-lined stainless steel carafe will keep it hot for an hour and pretty warm through hour #2. If you're someone who makes a pot in the morning and keeps hitting it throughout the day, this will disappoint you.* I have a simple plug-in coffee warmer at my desk to help keep my travel mug hot.
*one thing you might want to know if you are a "drink the same pot all day" person--it's bad for you. My father learned when he had to have his gall bladder removed that the most common factor contributing to gallstones is drinking stale coffee that's had the acids build up in it for hours. You might consider making smaller brews as desired

- you can't make less than 4 "cups" of coffee. This is also not a problem for me. For one thing "Coffee cups" aren't the same as "measuring cups"--the accepted definition of a cup of coffee is somewhere between 4.8-5.4 ounces, depending who you talk to. The measuring cups in a typical American kitchen are 8 ounces. So "4 cups" of coffee on this unit is as much as will fit in my travel mug, about the size of a Venti starbucks. It's built this way just because the brewing process in the unit needs a minimum amount of water to work with, so 4 "cups" it is.

- it's not fast. From cold filtered water to finished coffee takes 8-10 minutes. I don't really care because I'll set it up, make breakfast, and not really be ready for coffee until I'm done eating--timing works perfectly for me. But if you like to sit down with the coffee first thing, you'll want to either set the timer the night before or plan ahead in your morning.

- paper filters only. I used to use the metal basket you could rinse and re-use for a year, but I can't find one for the size of this unit's grounds basket: it's huge. I think the top diameter of the basket is about 6" or more, and the bottom not much narrower. So I just broke down and bought a cheap box of 1,000 Bunn paper filters.

If you have the money for a good coffee maker, the OXO On really is a great piece of machinery. There are a few minor inconveniences, but I still find it to be a great product and I'm glad I got it.


Great Eastern Soul Eater Excalibur 6.5" Stuffed Plush
Great Eastern Soul Eater Excalibur 6.5" Stuffed Plush
Price: $9.43
22 used & new from $3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FOOL! hardy...and fun, January 10, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The moment I saw this, it had to go into my cart, a surprise hilarious gift for my wife, who loves Excalibur even more than I do. We all got into Soul Eater thanks to our daughter.

The Plush Toy is soft, looks much like the character, and....about that green color: it's weird, because Excalibur really does look pretty white all over in the anime, but if you look at the manga, he's got some shades of color to him, and in that sense this plush is a little truer to form.

I did something fun for this that you can try too (update - I linked to a picture in the comments of this review!) I bought a simple white gift box, put Excalibur inside, and drew on the outside with a sharpie to make the box look like bits of Excalibur--one side was the eye, one side was just the edge of his ruff, the sides of his hat, etc. Down into the box he went, with a piece of paper folder at the corners to spell out F-O-O-L when you open it. If you're getting this as a gift for somebody, you might want to give that a try!

Either way, Excalibur was priced right, built well...and...MAYBE you're worthy to hear his tale. It began in the 12th century...
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 10, 2016 12:56 PM PST


The Book Of Souls
The Book Of Souls
Price: $10.49

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best is Back, January 10, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Book Of Souls (MP3 Music)
I used to be a HUGE Iron Maiden fan. I still am, but we had our rough patches. I never really clicked with Blayze Bailey, couldn't really get into "Dance of Death" or "A Matter of Life and Death" like I could "Powerslave" or "Fear of the Dark", but still I've been faithfully giving each album a try. "Brave New World" and "The Final Frontier" have been the only recent albums that stood out for me...until now.

I'm really sorry to hear this might be their last studio album, but at the same time, I'm really glad that The Book of Souls is a good album for Iron Maiden to go out on. It seems to have the passion and energy that the earlier classic Bruce Dickinson albums did. The songs have that same Steve Harris writing that gives you long stretches of rhythmic fretwork and elaborate bridges. Bruce's vocals, frankly, sound just great. His singing seems to be back to its old form and that's a pleasant surprise.

If you're a fan of Iron Maiden, this 92-minute double album should make you very happy. It reminds me of that stretch of music from Seventh Son of a Seventh Son through Fear of the Dark, plus Brave New World mixed in for good measure. If you're a fan who's going to be seeing them on this tour--I'm jealous! I hope you enjoy The Book of Souls as much as I have. It's been like a trip back to the best of times for Iron Maiden.


SoundBot® SB240 Sapphire Blue/Black Bluetooth Headset for Music Streaming & HandsFree Calling for 20 Hours of Talk Time, 400 Hours of Standby Time w/ MicroUSB Charging Port & Cable Included, Blue
SoundBot® SB240 Sapphire Blue/Black Bluetooth Headset for Music Streaming & HandsFree Calling for 20 Hours of Talk Time, 400 Hours of Standby Time w/ MicroUSB Charging Port & Cable Included, Blue
Offered by Primo Super-store
Price: $17.99
5 used & new from $16.19

5.0 out of 5 stars A good way to cut the cord, January 10, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
My daughter loves the behind-the-head style of headphones, but I got really tired of having to replace pair after pair because the plug would short out, or she'd catch the cord on things, or some combination of both (ahh, the awkwardness of being a teenager).

She really loves these SoundBot SB240 Bluetooth headphones. She says they pair very easily with both her iPad and her iPhone 6S--which is a relief because the PIN number/press-the-button pairing dance that some Bluetooth devices have to do gets her annoyed really quickly and the next thing you know, I'm trying to make the things talk to each other. More importantly, she likes the sound they produce. Her music tastes trend towards Motionless in White and Black Veil Brides, so I can't promise you these will drop the bass like Beats by Dre. I can just tell you that they sound good enough for her ears and cost a lot less.

I'd tell you I would buy another pair of these, except to be honest I already have. I'm hoping these will hold up just because there's no cord to get snagged, but just the same, she liked them enough that I'm holding onto a second set just in case the awkward sets in again.


Microsoft Sculpt Comfort Bluetooth Mouse (H3S-00003)
Microsoft Sculpt Comfort Bluetooth Mouse (H3S-00003)
Price: $24.99
157 used & new from $12.20

5.0 out of 5 stars Nice for everyday mousing and small enough to be somewhat portable, January 10, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this for my father to use with his Windows 10 tablet. He's never bothered to get a decent mouse for anything because to him it's just a tool...but I found that not only did I enjoy the way the Sculpt felt under my hand, he really loved the feel, and the ability to tap that blue band with the Windows Logo to bring up the Start Menu in Windows 10.

So far, my father has really enjoyed using this mouse. The wheel is small and simple, which is what he needs. The buttons click cleanly and are easy to press--no loud noises or need to thump the thing. The thumb-rest assumes you are using your right hand for mousing, and is a good way to keep your thumb off the mousing surface and out of the way. This is useful for a mouse you're going to be toting with you around the house or at a café tabletop.


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