Profile for Karen Newcombe > Reviews


Karen Newcombe's Profile

Customer Reviews: 8
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Helpful Votes: 469

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Karen Newcombe "Gaming Auntie" RSS Feed (So Florida)

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Fuji S8600Bundle Digital Camera Bundle, 36x Optical Zoom, 16MP with Included Lens kit
Fuji S8600Bundle Digital Camera Bundle, 36x Optical Zoom, 16MP with Included Lens kit
Offered by Shoplet
Price: $168.47
18 used & new from $159.99

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good bridge camera for a small price, December 1, 2014
This is my second Fujifilm Finepix camera. I selected the S8600 because I often take photos of wildlife and from a short distance and flowers up close. This camera does a good job of both micro close-ups and zooming in on, for example, a bird on the back fencepost. Some people complain that this camera takes a good shot then a blurry one then another good one. This is not an instant snapshot camera -- it is fairly sensitive -- so you do have to put in a couple of hours experimenting and learning to understand the settings and getting a feel for the auto-focus. For example, taking shots through the window of a bird at the feeder, the camera may try to focus on the glass, it's pretty sensitive. I often use this camera for work, as well. I'm not a professional photographer but I sometimes need to take a few photos of a client's staff members, office building or a product line for use in marketing. It's useful to have a camera with built-in settings for landscapes, portraits, and close-ups when I take these photos. For anyone who is learning photography and wants to do their settings manually, this is a good and inexpensive camera for getting started. The camera is light enough to carry around for a few hours, but is definitely not a pocket camera. The only design issue I've found is that the SD card slot on this model is inside the battery compartment, not entirely convenient if you like to use a card reader to download your photos. There are also USB mini-B and HDMI ports on the side of the camera, so you can always buy a cable to download photos instead of putting the SD card in and out all the time. I have not used the video feature so I can't comment on it. All around a good and inexpensive camera for the non-professional who wants something better than a snapshot/pocket camera but isn't ready for the learning curve, expense, and weight of a full-blown SLR kit.

Home Repair Handbook
Home Repair Handbook
by SunsetEditors
Edition: Paperback
70 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Don't experiment with home repairs: get this book and do it right the first time!, August 6, 2014
This review is from: Home Repair Handbook (Paperback)
I bought this book way back in the 1990s when I lived in an apartment in San Francisco. My landlord was notoriously bad at repairs, if I wanted it done right, I had to do it myself. This handbook got me through nearly every minor repair I was faced with in an old Victorian apartment: dripping faucets, replacing the kitchen faucet, adjusting double-hung window sashes, etc. I still have the book today in 2014 and I still use it to help me install light fixtures correctly and do other minor work around my house. The instructions are easy to follow and the illustrations are very clear. The first chapter outlines the basic tools you may need and what each of them is used for, including the different types of nails, screws and glues. My only wish is that Sunset would make it available again with a hard cover.

Rurouni Kenshin Live Action Movie [Japanese Audio with English Subtitles] [All Region]
Rurouni Kenshin Live Action Movie [Japanese Audio with English Subtitles] [All Region]
DVD ~ Keishi Otomo
Offered by Media_Universe
Price: $19.96
4 used & new from $11.20

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We loved this movie!, December 23, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
My niece is a huge Kenshin fan and we were worried that the live action film would not live up to the animated series. No worries! It has terrific action sequences, good casting and acting, and moves along at a nice clip. We were extremely happy with it and are looking forward to the next one!

Scrivener For Dummies
Scrivener For Dummies
Price: $13.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful for beginners and advanced users alike, September 5, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I had heard of Scrivener several times, but it wasn't until I saw Karen Prince's video on why she loves writing with Scrivener that it dawned on me this was a _writer's_ software. Hey, I'm a writer! I could use this thing! I quickly tracked down Katytastic's video on how she uses Scrivener to outline her books, and on the basis of those two videos, I was sold. Once I got my hands on Scrivener I was a little daunted. The program is highly flexible and can adapt to your individual writing style, and can be used for very simple to highly complex projects. For everyone who is accustomed to software that is utterly inflexible, this means adjusting your brain a bit. What? Software that I can adapt to my own style? What an idea! After watching all the tutorials and noodling around for a few days, I realized I didn't really want to go back and search through the video tutorials every time I wanted to understand a feature. The officially supplied tutorials are wonderful, cogent and nicely done, and I've watched some of them two or three times, but I like to be able to look up a feature, read about it, test it in my computer, and think about how I'd like to use it. That's where Gwen Hernandez's book comes in. So far as I can tell, she covers every feature in Scrivener from the most basic to the most advanced, and the book is arranged in a logical, useful order. It's easy to find the information you want, and her explanations are clear and concise, with the usual "Dummies" style humor added for fun. The book has a good solid, useful and comprehensive index, a feature I find immensely useful - one of my pet peeves is technical manuals that have an index written by someone (perhaps the office cat?) without a clue what an index is used for. So thank you Gwen Hernandez for getting my Scrivener use off to a great start, and now that I've been using it for a few months, for helping me figure out how all the other great features can help make my writing life easier.

Ped Egg Pedicure Foot File, Colors may vary
Ped Egg Pedicure Foot File, Colors may vary
Offered by BIC Warehouse
Price: $11.79
17 used & new from $8.58

2.0 out of 5 stars Has Ped Egg changed their product? June 2012, June 19, 2012
The Ped Egg I bought a few years ago - probably 2009 or 2010 - was wearing out, so I bought a new one this weekend, June 2012. It does not work even as well as the old worn out one I am replacing. I wonder what happened? Did I get a bad one, or have they changed the blades so they are no longer as sharp? I am very disappointed and there is no place on their home page to contact them directly and make an inquiry -- which is a bad sign in itself. I had to go to several stores to even find the thing - usually a sign that they are no longer selling well, which could also be due to a cheapening of the product. Has anyone else had this same problem?

50 Words For Snow
50 Words For Snow
Price: $13.99
33 used & new from $9.47

53 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtle dangers and beauties, November 23, 2011
This review is from: 50 Words For Snow (Audio CD)
Of any living musical artist, Kate Bush is the one who best understands her materials - music, voice, silence and words - and how to use them. She confessed in an interview this week (Nov 22, 2011) that she has lost interest in writing pop songs. For anyone else this would be a disaster; for Kate and for us it is a godsend. Pop music is really for teenagers after all; this album is for grownups. In 50WFS Kate has pared back her trademark lush layering of sound to key elements, yet they are used more artfully than in any of her previous work. It is recognizably Kate, but with a new kind of muscle and power that calls to mind the martial artist - someone who is at once both peacefully gentle and powerfully able - even dangerous.

You should listen to this album as an album: snow is a subtle, fragile, beautiful and often deadly substance. As we move into the songs we are guided through landscapes of beauty, death, absence, mystery, unification, humor and joy. Each song tells a story, yet all are united through Kate's unique musical approach. As one interviewer joked with her, "They won't be singing THESE songs on the X Factor." No indeed. 50WFS is in another class entirely. You likely won't get it on the first listen, and you may not get it on the third or fourth. But keep listening and the songs will open up, you'll begin to understand the great artistry at work here. Then your heart, too, will be caught up.

Only Kate has the mastery to take something as trivialized in popular culture as the Yeti and return to it the full mystery and elusiveness of the being that the lamas claim is a god. The erotic snowman of Misty IS a god - the God of the Greenwood in winter guise, summoned by the blood on her hand, and taking his one-night-stand with a human as the ancient gods were wont to do. Lake Tahoe is a place where snow can kill you rather quickly, as can falling off a cliff into the icy lake; the lonely spirit of this legend finally finds peace when her old dog comes home to her. Yet these are not ponderous or overly serious songs, they have an open, light, airy quality underpinned by darkness. Kate turns playful in the title song and enlists Stephen Fry for a roll call of 50 ever more ridiculous words for snow - even including the Klingon word: peDtaH 'ej chIS qo'.

If you are looking for a snappy pop album to jazz up your Christmas party, you are in the wrong place. But if you're willing to be adventurous, head off the trail on snowshoes, and can handle a little risk, buy the whole album - not just one or two songs - put it on, sit in a dark room with a brandy, and let Kate's magic work on you.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 8, 2013 1:57 PM PST

Anthology of American Folk Music (Edited by Harry Smith)
Anthology of American Folk Music (Edited by Harry Smith)
Price: $68.30
32 used & new from $67.67

374 of 381 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mysterious, Beautiful and a Kick Inside, August 21, 2002
I half heard a story about the Anthology on Natl Public Radio a few months ago while I was getting ready for work. The story kept coming back to me, until I had to buy the Anthology to get some peace. Instead of peace, I find that I am now disturbed, intrigued, and haunted.
Music is ill-suited to being described in words, so I'll use an entirely different experience to try and convey what listening to this Anthology is like.
I once knew a fellow who had grown up on Bechtel construction project sites around the world. As a kid playing in the dirt at these sites, he'd collected a box full of those stone tools that humans made and used for something like three million years. I found that once I had turned one of these slips of chipped obsidian or shale over for a moment, it settled naturally into my hand. There was a spot for my thumb, another spot for my forefinger, and my hand was making a scraping or digging motion with the thing. The tool and my hand still remembered their ancient partnership, without any volition from me. This sensation was simultaneously disturbing and satisfying and made the hair stand up on my neck.
This sensation is very close to what I feel listening to this anthology. You will not hear the familiar, highly produced music we're now so comfortable with. You will hear the voice and sound of music as it has been for millions of years -- and you will recognize what you are hearing as being utterly, essentially human.
These recordings were, of course, made only 75 years ago in the 1920's, surely part of the modern era. Yet this was the last moment in time between the old world and the new world. We still sing and play music for the same reasons we always have, but the way we used our voices and instruments for millions of years has been changed by technology. So if these not very old recordings feel strangely like a link to something ancient and mysterious, that's because they actually are.
There is a great beauty in the voices on these recordings, many of which are almost shrill, almost off-key -- unfamiliar to our pampered contemporary ears -- but also perfectly right. There is a mystery in the odd and sometimes fragmentary lyrics, whose once important meaning is now lost.
We can still share the depth of feeling through the music itself, sometimes so strongly that your heart leaps as though you'd been kicked from inside. But, as it says in the booklet of notes, while we can share in the emotions that impelled someone to sing about The Coo Coo Bird in the first place, we'll never know why it was important to live on a mountainside in order to see Willie go by.
Perhaps the true power of this Anthology is that every recording is genuine in a way that is no longer possible. I recommend it.
Comment Comments (11) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 16, 2012 4:09 PM PST

Born Free: A Lioness of Two Worlds
Born Free: A Lioness of Two Worlds
by Joy Adamson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.31
136 used & new from $0.01

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Born Free - Well worth reading!, January 26, 2001
When I was a child, Born Free had been recently published and made into a movie. I must have read the book twenty times, and it has had a lifelong impact on me.
Joy Adamson captures not only Elsa's story, but the Adamson's love of Africa, the people,the animals, the land itself. Through Born Free I learned of the complex personalities and emotions that animals have, just as we do. I learned that there are many ways to live your life - a job, a family and a suburb are not the only options.
Through the difficulty the Adamson's had in finding a suitable wild home for Elsa, that I learned that the world is under tremendous pressure from human expansion, and became conscious of our responsiblity to ensure survival for creatures who cannot speak to defend themselves against our incursions.
Born Free is sometimes treated as a children's book - as though that were some reflection of diminished quality. But the ideas and values I absorbed as a girl from Joy and George Adamson, from Elsa and her cubs, were complex and important -- they have been with me my whole life.
And I would bet that dozens of notable careers in wildlife preservation, ecological studies, veterinary medicine and zoology, were inspired by a visit to the movies one afternoon to see the story of Elsa, or by a dogeared library copy of Born Free with it's bright yellow jacket.
This is a wonderful, captivating book, which can be read for simple enjoyment. But I also hope that it touches people as deeply it touched me, and engenders some interest and concern -- if not active help -- for the tremendous difficulties the people and wildlife of Africa are facing today.

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