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wickerwoman RSS Feed (Seattle, WA)

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Dansko Men's Professional Oiled Leather
Dansko Men's Professional Oiled Leather
Price: $80.00 - $140.00

1.0 out of 5 stars These aren't really Danskos... buy Sanitas, August 15, 2013
After years of buying Danskos I thought I would never need to shop for another brand of shoes. Unfortunately, the last pair I bought (about two years ago) was one of the worst pair of shoes I've ever owned. They squeaked unmercifully no matter what I did and the squeaking never wore off or went away. They were a smaller size than the ones I had bought before (I got them online in the same size as my last three pairs). They pinched my feet and took months to break in and they only really broke in when the sole split in half after about four months except then water leaked in through the crack every time it rained. And they still squeaked. And the leather rubbed off around the ankle after only a few weeks and looked like crap. And then all the staples started falling out.
Honestly, they should not be able to continue to trade as Danskos while peddling this third rate crap. And their customer service is useless.
I read online that the quality of these shoes dropped dramatically when they split with Sanitas and it is really, really obvious from this last pair. My next pair will be Sanitas.

The Kitchen Revolution: A Year of Time-and-Money-Saving Recipes
The Kitchen Revolution: A Year of Time-and-Money-Saving Recipes
by Rosie Sykes
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $39.88
49 used & new from $20.18

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not really time or money saving, but recipes are intriguing, February 14, 2011
I love the idea of this book- recipes organised into "big meals from scratch", creative use of leftovers, meals based on seasonal produce and meals designed from pantry staples. I really like that it's organized by month making use of what is theoretically cheap and available. The authors (one of whom is a professional chef) also take pains to present recipes in almost excruciating detail to help complete novice cooks.

As I started to delve deeper, however, I found probably 90% of the recipes contain or are based on ingredients that are too expensive or are not available in my area (duck, rabbit, smoked fish, venison, deli-style marinated vegetables, wines, tons of fiddly ingredients like creme fraiche that are expensive and will go off before completely consumed). Their test cook apparently spent £50-60/week for four people- in New Zealand I could spend half my life tracking down budget sources or substitutes for those ingredients and still pay at least twice that for one person. And the weekly meal plans don't include breakfasts or lunches so the real cost or following the plan would be even greater.

Also, many of the recipes are not realistically scalable for single people and cannot be used for leftovers because they contain fish, sauces or cream or other non-reheat-friendly ingredients. Not many of the recipes are brown-bag-able either.

This is not a book for budget cooks, but rather for foodies looking for variety and a more systematic and creative approach to leftovers. Unless you are already spending three hours a day or $400 a week cooking, you will not save time or money with this system.

A similar approach is taken in "Going Solo in the Kitchen" and I would recommend that book for beginning cooks who want to waste less food and save money.

The Core Balance Diet: 4 Weeks to Boost Your Metabolism and Lose Weight for Good
The Core Balance Diet: 4 Weeks to Boost Your Metabolism and Lose Weight for Good
by Marcelle Pick
Edition: Hardcover
224 used & new from $0.01

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great resource, terrible recipes, December 9, 2009
This is one of the best books I have ever read explaining in simple terms the science behind weight loss and providing truly customized plans to combat the many contributing factors to stubborn extra weight (from hormonal imbalances to depression and stress.) She goes far, far beyond most diet books in explaining exactly why it is so hard to shift certain kinds of weight.

Pick provides a number of great things to do while you diet to help boost your metabolism, reduce stress and focus on general well-being rather than simply weight loss. This is a great book for learning dieting tricks and techniques which you can carry over to other plans.

Unfortunately, the majority of the recipes are terrible. Barely palatable. And not easy to adapt for a single cook, resulting in days and days of terrible left-overs. I stuck with the plan for a full month, made about 95% of the recipes and would not make a single one again. I lost about 12-14 pounds in that month, but I would not be able to stick to these meal plans for much longer than that.

I would recommend this book for tips, techniques, inspiration and science and then I would take all of that information and follow Barbara Roll's Volumetrics plan which has amazing recipes and a very handy modular system for menu plans.

Where the Red Fern Grows
Where the Red Fern Grows
DVD ~ James Whitmore
Offered by Pharm-Assistance General Mercantile
Price: $18.80
94 used & new from $0.01

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dated version of a classic book, October 23, 2009
This review is from: Where the Red Fern Grows (DVD)
Where the Red Fern Grows was one of my favorite books as a kid and I watched this movie probably half a dozen times when it first came out. Coming back to it as an adult, some things hold up but problems are glaringly obvious.

On the plus side, I think the movie captures the period well. It's a great story and its essence comes through in the film version. The actor playing Billy is excellent, very believable and sympathetic.

But... the other child actors are *really* terrible from the younger sisters speaking in monotone out into space to the two bullies who mumble and don't react to anything when it isn't their line.

The camera cuts away from anything even remotely disturbing (in a movie about hunting!) making it hard to follow the action at critical points. I don't need extreme close-ups of animal butchery, but why make a movie about hunting if you can't film the action sequences or the climax in any way that makes sense?

What dates the movie the most, however, is its winsomeness (Chop down that tree Billy! You promised your dogs!) and its inability to adequately explain tragedy within the terms of the story. The attempts to console Billy seem absurd, even callous, to a modern audience.

I would strongly recommend the book to anyone who hasn't read it. The film version will entertain serious fans but it falls short of classic children's movie status.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 11, 2012 10:48 AM PST

Aria Roleplaying (Aria Series : Canticle of the Monomyth)
Aria Roleplaying (Aria Series : Canticle of the Monomyth)
by Christian S. Moore
Edition: Paperback
33 used & new from $10.96

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good sourcebook, unplayable game, August 22, 2009
The subtitle "Canticle of the Monomyth" should give you your first clue. This is neither a kid's game, nor a particularly enjoyable or understandable rpg for anyone who doesn't have PhDs in sociology, political science and anthropology.

It has no rules, no game mechanics, no direction, no real hook. All you're left with is the idea that you're somehow supposed to be doing something with the empire you just spent three weeks creating in gruesome detail. By then I've usually quit and started playing Civ IV again.

On the other hand, if you are creating a fantasy world for a novel series you are writing, this is a great book for summarizing broad concepts of government, economics, religion, etc. It will help you create a more detailed and fully imagined world. Just keep your dictionary and google handy.

The Sims 3 - PC
The Sims 3 - PC
Price: $20.62
138 used & new from $6.99

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The straw that broke the camel's back, July 25, 2009
This review is from: The Sims 3 - PC (DVD-ROM)
Sorry EA, but I refuse to buy this game or any future expansion packs for it. It's not bad enough that you left in a feature on Bon Voyage which will eventually render my game unplayable and that you never released a patch for it for Macs, and you never even released Free Time or Apartment Life for Mac... you expect me to pay $50 for a game which is actually worse than the one I already own but has "seamless neighborhoods"?
I have no interest in a version of the Sims that doesn't allow neighborhood building and where one family (which may represent an investment of weeks of gameplay) can disappear if I play another one. Do you even play your own games? Do you have no understanding whatsoever of why the Sims is popular?
Please release Free Time and Apartment Life for Mac and then get cracking on Sims 4 and we'll pretend this entire fiasco never happened.
I've spent hundreds of dollars on Sim games over the years and can't even begin to express how disappointed I am that I can't complete my Sims 2 game and that Sims 3 looks so abominable.

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