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Eric F. Kaufman "Captain Eric Kaufman" RSS Feed (San Diego, CA USA)
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Singles
Singles
Price: $10.00
52 used & new from $4.20

5.0 out of 5 stars male fronted rock band that's managing to be catchy, classic, and entirely enjoyable, September 30, 2014
This review is from: Singles (Audio CD)
There's not a lot of male-fronted rock bands these guys that I really enjoy. They're either desperately hipster-ish, trying to relive the 70's, or just swept up in some other genre. Future Islands threads the needle by doing something interesting that's insanely catchy and despite having a very distinct voice I have yet to grow tired of listening to the album on repeat.

Really well done.


You Are Your Own Gym: The Bible of Bodyweight Exercises
You Are Your Own Gym: The Bible of Bodyweight Exercises
Offered by Random House LLC
Price: $8.59

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good For Many, Might Be Lacking Depending On Your Needs, November 2, 2013
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For a bit of background I'm a former very-amateur power lifter and slightly better Olympic lifter. I'm from the land of Bill Starr and Mark Rippetoe, and found myself living in third world countries with no access typical strength training equipment.

Pros:
- There are a lot of exercises in the book. One very nice thing Mark Lauren did was to present a roadmap to some of the more difficult exercises. A great example is the pistol squat, incredibly effective but also only for those with great strength and flexibility. Mark shows easier exercises (like an assisted single leg step up, or lunges) that help to prepare for the pistol.
- The exercises are broken out into body areas which helps for someone to pick and choose but also ensure that they're going about it in a balanced way.
- A lot of the ridiculous myths about strength training are laid to rest. It's sad that it's required to do so, but it is, and someone looking to "workout" and coming across this book will be well served by the general nutrition and training guidance offered.

Cons:
- The author re-brands a lot of existing exercises. A great example is the "Let Me Ups", which is also known as a supine row or an inverse row, and has been around for a long time. There are also better training guides, better pictures, and more instruction available by a simple Internet search than on the author's "Let Me Ups".
- "Blasting" some part of your body doesn't mean anything (but is commonly used by the author), and soreness is a bad way to gauge the effectiveness of an exercise.

In the end it's a good book to have if only to have so many bodyweight exercises in one place. If you're without a gym you'll probably be trying to find some quality exercises and you can do that with this book. At the same time, you can spend twenty minutes on the Internet and find all the valuable exercises in this book with better write ups, instruction, and images.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 4, 2013 6:14 PM PST


Empires of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify the World
Empires of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify the World
Offered by Random House LLC
Price: $11.06

5.0 out of 5 stars Jill Jonnes Made Me Care About These People and This Story, November 2, 2013
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Terrific. I had a loose understanding of Tesla before. I knew that J.P. Morgan was a banker (sort of). Westinghouse made industrial machines, and Edison discovered electricity.

Jill Jonnes did a terrific job of showing me that I had a loose grasp, if that, on history and that these people were real human beings with incredible highs and lows. As much as it's a story about the history of electrical light, it's also a tale of innovation, brutal capitalism, genuine humanity, and eccentrism.

A good author can bring a story to light, but a great author can leave an impression with you and change your way of seeing the world. Really an amazing job.


The World's Most Dangerous Place: Inside the Outlaw State of Somalia
The World's Most Dangerous Place: Inside the Outlaw State of Somalia
Price: $15.12

5.0 out of 5 stars Approachable, entertaining, and encompassing, November 2, 2013
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Excellent book. One of those rare times when an author can combine a nuanced topic with an approachable and engaging narrative. Fergusson also did a terrific job of explaining and following the Somali nation, which is no longer confined to a state and explains it all in the context of a proudly nomadic people.

Interviews with pirates, Al-Shabbab child soldiers, UN officials, contractors, Londoners, and Somalis living in America's heartland all come to together in a book that really should be read by anyone who wants to have an opinion on Somalia and the Somali people.

Often times material like this is unapproachable and wrapped in context that the author assumes you already know. Happily, Fergusson's work is entertaining and accessible to nearly anyone.


The Bone Triangle (Unspeakable Things Book 2)
The Bone Triangle (Unspeakable Things Book 2)
Price: $2.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Stopped Reading 1/2 Way, November 2, 2013
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I rated the first book 4/5. It was a really good premise that had a couple of flaws but overall a good read.

(not really spoilers, but some tidbits below)

The second book however I couldn't finish. "Objects" mysteriously became "artifacts", and the new love interest was a near carbon copy of the first book. The shame about it is that the premise and possibilities the author drafted up is really quite unique and imaginative. The characters and action however left a lot to be desired. The main protagonists find themselves in alternate dimensions and treat it with the complexity of getting off at the wrong bus stop.

Halfway through I found myself not caring about the characters and what happens to them. Additionally, the back story makes up for 20% of the second book so you're wading through the first book's synopsis as well.

Not my cup of tea, maybe book three will be better.


Curtains [HD]
Curtains [HD]
DVD
Price: $2.99

19 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Apparently "The Dome" Robs Citizens of Character and Stories of Plot, September 20, 2013
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(some spoilers, but it's hard to ruin this terrible series anymore than it ruins itself)

The Dome is many things, but apparently a side effect is that the characters inside are made wafer thin and proceed along junior high school level plot lines.

Reading the reviews of folks who say they are hooked or that they were really interested in the story just blows me away. What story? Most of the episodes advance the plot line of the dome ahead by about a half an inch. In 45 minutes you'll get:

- 44 minutes of redneck cliche dumbed down drama
- 1 minute of something that sort of addresses, ya know, the whole "dome" thing

And the suspension of disbelief doesn't exist, if it ever did. The "Thirst" episode was the best. Within ten seconds people went from having a full street riot to high five'ing each other and doing group hugs once the completely improbable rain started to fall. I found myself struggling between the feelings of seeing impossible sociology and impossible science play out before my eyes at the same time.

By the way, the MOAB "missile" is in fact a bomb, which one of the characters knew, but was then subsequently lost when it was repeated that a "missile" was being fired at them.

I suppose if you have absolutely terrible taste and can't distinguish Jefferson and Adams from Beavis and Butthead, this might be right up your alley.


Narcoland: The Mexican Drug Lords And Their Godfathers
Narcoland: The Mexican Drug Lords And Their Godfathers
by Roberto Saviano
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.42
77 used & new from $12.95

44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Low On Entertainment, Exceedingly High On Content, September 14, 2013
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I, like others I'm sure, was waiting for this book for a bit. I had pre-ordered it weeks before it came out and it represents about the tenth book I've read on the subject. I've lived in Mexico for one year, speak passing Spanish, and before my time in Mexico itself I lived in San Diego directly on the US/Mexico border.

If you're looking for an accessible and easy read on growth, impact, and interactions of narco cartels in Mexico, don't get this book. One of my personal favorites is The Fire Next Door: Mexico's Drug Violence and the Danger to America. In that, you'll get a very engaging and straight forward book that lays out, with graphic description, the corruption, violence, and destabilization caused by narcotics cartels in Mexico.

In Narcoland: The Mexican Drug Lords And Their Godfathers, however, you're going to be exposed to a long stream of dates, names, and places. The writing is laden with facts and as others have pointed out, it is a difficult read.

As an example, most books on narco cartels talk about "El Chapo" Guzman being smuggled out of jail in a laundry cart. It was the popular story and it certainly is Hollywood-esque so it just continues to get repeated through most books. You'll find that very few books on narco cartels involve actual in-country first person research. Anabel Hernandez however is a glaring exception and lays out the math with interviews, witnesses, and transcripts to show how Guzman was dressed up as police officer and simply walked out the front door.

Further, the discussion of the Oliver North's involvement in the "Contra supply chain" is the most detailed discussion of Mexican cartel involvement I have read to date during the Iran Contra Affair.

So figure out what your level of involvement is in narco cartels. Some people watch television news, others read Foreign Affairs: it depends on how deep you want to understand a subject. The deeper you go, the harder (but the more valuable) the material.


Brilliance (The Brilliance Saga Book 1)
Brilliance (The Brilliance Saga Book 1)
Price: $2.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Those Well Written Page Turners, September 12, 2013
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This book is sitting comfortably at 4 1/2 stars for a good reason: it's a great book. From the first sentence to the last paragraph I was flipping the next page button on my Kindle as fast as my eyes could scan the content. It was one of those rare books where I put off eating a little bit, cut went into my sleep schedule, and found myself getting annoyed at people who were trying to talk to me.

My wife asked me what kind of book it was and I replied, "Action, intrigue, and a tiny bit of sci-fi." She asked if it was futuristic and I said, "Not necessarily. Really, it's just a quite good story."

I think the author could describe a man digging a ditch in a barren desert with no else around and probably tell the story in an engaging way. If you're looking for fiction done right, you shouldn't skip this book.


Apocalypse Z: The Beginning of the End
Apocalypse Z: The Beginning of the End
Price: $4.99

3.0 out of 5 stars A Good Zombie Read, Not One of the Best, August 31, 2013
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If you're like me you've read a lot of zombie literature. If the book is readable, has zombies, has characters, and something resembling a plot, I'm in.

This story was entertaining but there are a lot of superior zombie books out there. Unfortunately it's not enough anymore to simply go from building to building clearing out zeds. As another reviewer noted, a large part of zombie literature is about the societal collapse and possible re-birth. Apocalyptic stories, by their definition, should probably address the apocalypse itself. The main character in this book, primarily because of the story telling, didn't really draw any deep insights or offer much depth there.

Particular to me, the boating scene was absurd and the author either isn't a sailor or hopefully doesn't go offshore. A) He's in a storm with a spinnaker up B) Thinks that no one uses anchor chain and instead uses "high tech climber rope" C) Manages to singlehand dock a 40' boat like a champ and D) Have the boat self steer, under sail, away from a dock, towards a channel entrance.

I guess a lot of zombie readers aren't sailors, but if you're going to write about something and talk specifics, you should probably get it proofed by someone in the subject area. If the author mix-and-matched calibers of weapons and said an Uzi was a hunting rifle he's no doubt get the same treatment from weapon enthusiasts.


3M Ultrathon SRL-12 2 Oz Insect Repellent Lotion - 2 PACK
3M Ultrathon SRL-12 2 Oz Insect Repellent Lotion - 2 PACK
Offered by TCP Global Corp
Price: $14.86
12 used & new from $13.76

4.0 out of 5 stars Updated: Ultrathon really does work well, July 8, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I spent about six months on the mainland of Mexico, on the Pacific side, at around 20 degrees latitude. Translation: lots and lots of bugs. Jejenes, mosquitoes, and all kinds of nasty.

The Ultrathon left me feeling pretty greasy and I needed a lot of it to cover a given area. That wouldn't be so bad but the "up to 12 hours" thing for me meant about ~5 hours. Which is fine unless you're putting it on before sundown and staying out until late in which case on the walk home I'm fresh meat.

In the end the 100% DEET solutions and Permethin clothing sprays are the best.

--- Update 11/2/2013: ----

I also spent the summer down here in the tropics with mosquitoes so thick you can literally stick out your hand in any direction, make a fist, and dead-smeared mozzies will be all over your palm and fingers.

Ultrathon is not magic, and if you're sweating like a pig you will get a couple hours from it tops: there's not a lot of ways for it to adhere to skin that has water constantly pouring off of it. But on the plus side, it tends to bind well with the water so even a quick application on sweaty skin will keep the bastards off of you.

The "12 hour" rating is for some conditions somewhere in the world where you're not sweating, which probably means no mosquitoes, so I still object to that.

But that little squeeze tube goes on easier, lasts longer, and makes much less of a mess than spray on DEET solutions. I'll be sticking with Ultrathon for the rest of my time in the tropics.


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