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Mike From Mesa "MikeFromMesa" RSS Feed (Mesa, AZ)

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Dead Six (Dead Six Series Book 1)
Dead Six (Dead Six Series Book 1)
Price: $6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Not your normal thug book, June 22, 2015
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An interesting story of the intertwined fate of two mercenaries fighting for different causes. Both are at the top of their game but run into conflict when their areas of interest intersect and when they become involved with the same woman. Neither of these two men are what would normally be considered "good" men although neither consider themselves to be bad since they think of themselves to be soldiers fighting a battle and thus consider those targeted are "fair game". The story revolves around the discovery by one of these men that the people for whom they are fighting are as bad as, perhaps worse than, those they are fighting against.

By the end of the book I had become interested in the fate of both men in spite of the fact that I would not want to actually meet either in real life. The book is the first in a series and was good enough that I have considered buying the next book, but violent enough that I have not yet done so. If it was possible I would rate this book as 3 1/2 stars but, since I can not do so, I have given it 4 stars. It might be a bit too high, but 3 stars is definitely too low.


Himmler's War
Himmler's War
Price: $6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful new talent, May 16, 2015
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This review is from: Himmler's War (Kindle Edition)
Himmler's War presents us with a possible outcome of World War II in Europe if, by accident, Adolph Hitler had been killed in a stray bombing raid and Heinrich Himmler had taken over as leader of Nazi Germany. The basic premise is that Himmler would have listened more to his generals and consequently would have provided a better defense of the German homeland. The timing of the death of Hitler is critical and, in this book, happens after the successful D-Day landings at Normandy, thus allowing Allied ground forces to already have a hold on the coast of France. Since events after that diverge from the known events we no longer have Mongomery's failed Market Garden attack, there is no Battle Of The Bulge and actions in the war take increasingly different directions.

While I found myself questioning some of the directions events took in the book I was surprised at the extent of knowledge Mr Conroy possessed about events of the war and many of the major players and at how well the story as a whole hung together. Over and over again I came across events in the book that seemed quite reasonable considering the background of the individuals involved and their actual actions during the course of what is history. Thus time and time again people act in a fashion very reasonable considering the changed events and our knowledge of their actual feelings and thoughts at the time. For example we see Franklin Roosevelt, who believed that he knew and understood Josef Stalin, act exactly as we would assume he would act had events played out as in this book. Similarly we see Harry Truman act exactly as one could easily believe and Erwin Rommel act in a way both reasonable and predictable, given the events of the book.

The one lasting impression that I had after reading this book is that Mr Conroy has an amazing talent for reasonable and well structured alternate histories of recent events and I made myself a promise to read more of this books in the coming months. While some parts of this book seemed a bit too predictable my overall impression was of a talented writer whose work compares very well with those of better known writers of this genre such as Harry Turtledove.


Caliphate
Caliphate
Price: $0.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A truly terrifying apocalyptic tale., May 9, 2015
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This review is from: Caliphate (Kindle Edition)
Mr Kratman has painted a very dark picture of a world in which Islamic Sharia Law has been imposed on Europe, slavery is common and all who are not Islamic face a very cruel future. His premise is that Europe took no action when they had the chance to curtail Moslem immigration and that the demographics ended up dooming Christians to second class status as dhimis with little or no influence or control over their fate while the fate of others is even worse. Jews have completely disappeared from Europe (presumably killed by the Moslems), homosexuals are hung if caught and atheists, presumably, no longer exist, at least publicly.

The actual story takes place in two time periods - the "then" involving the time roughly contemporaneous to our time in which we follow the life of one of the main characters through her passionate anti-Americanism and her love for a moslem immigrant and the "now" (about 100 years later) involving the woman's descendants who (if still Christian) are now slaves and (if converted) now soldiers. The book may be a bit "over the top" but Mr Kratman has constructed a world which is true to its basic premise, that unfettered Islamic immigration will doom a Western society, with its limited birth rate, to ultimate Islamic rule and the end of the freedoms we think of as part of our Western Civilization's heritage. Freedom of religion, freedom of speech and the basic equality of all individuals are gone from Europe in this book and we see Mr Kratman's version of the period about 1000 years ago in Moslem controlled North Africa, Spain, part of Italy and the Mediterranean and the picture is far from that described in picturesque stories of Moslem Spain.

The United States, which basically has no part in the "now" storyline of this book, seems to have retained its basic structure as a Western nation although some of its freedoms are gone and it has been rendered basically "Moslem-free" through the actions taken after a series of nuclear terrorist actions destroyed several large cities and millions of people. The horrifying tale of the result of these actions, and those taken by the King of England after London suffered a similar attack, is best summed up by the term used in the book when it mentioned that the King, compared to the US President, "was sane". Traditional Moslem lands in the Middle East no longer exist as nations due to the nuclear retaliation of the US against those it felt were complicit in the attack on the US.

Your view of this book will depend upon your view of the future where Moslems compose a majority of Western Nations. If you believe that a Moslem majority would enact Sharia Law as general law, then this book serves as a prescient warning. If you believe that Moslems, like earlier immigrants, will assimilate into society and become Western in behavior, then this book is just another example of scare tactics. Regardless, Mr Kratman has crafted a book in which the characters take on the air of real people and the events seem like a plausible, if horrifying, future. Your view of the book is likely to be shaped by your current politics.


Bluetooth 3.0+ EDR Wireless Earphones Stereo Earbuds+ Microphone Handsfree IP119
Bluetooth 3.0+ EDR Wireless Earphones Stereo Earbuds+ Microphone Handsfree IP119
Offered by xcsource
Price: $29.99
3 used & new from $11.89

5.0 out of 5 stars Very nice bluetooth earphones, May 6, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I ordered this to try to get away from having my wired earphones constantly catching on everything around me and pulling the earbuds out of my ears. I had never used a bluetooth earphone before so I did not know what to expect in terms of comfort, sound quality and battery lifetime, but was pleasantly surprised.

I listen to books (from Audible.com) on these and the quality of the earbud sound is quite good. The earphones are comfortable and, at least so far, the battery life is very good. The earphones come with plastic hooks to keep the earbuds from falling out of your ears and, while these work really well, they plastic is thin and comes off the earbuds easily so it can be easy to lose them if you are not careful. I worried about them breaking, but they have not done so yet.

I would have given these earphones 4 stars but I had the need to contact customer support for the company that sells them and was so impressed by how helpful they were and how quickly they responded that I decided that the superb customer service was worth of an additional star.


Operation Anadyr (Timeline 10/27/62)
Operation Anadyr (Timeline 10/27/62)
Price: $0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Polemic wrapped up like a novel, May 1, 2015
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My first though when starting to read this book was that the author had done a decent job of creating a believable “end of the world as we know it” story. We have the standard group of individuals, all somehow part of the story that is unfolding, a world situation that is coming apart and two story-line views, one that is the “now” and the other that is the “then”. The event that causes the apocalypse however, seems a bit far-fetched as the Kennedy Administration, which supposedly initiated a full-scale nuclear retaliation in response to a Soviet nuclear attack on a US ship, is the same administration that showed extreme caution when it failed to take any retaliatory action at all when, in real history, the Soviet/Cuban military shot down a US intelligence overflight. The author could have selected a more reasonable premise for the attack and, given that we now know that the Soviet military had permission to use nuclear weapons in case of a landing of US troops, that would have seemed a more likely scenario for initiating World War III.

However all of this comes apart when, about half way through the book, the author shows that this book is really an anti-American diatribe describing the past World Wars as a US attempt to solidify its economic and military hegemony. World War I began in the Balkans with the assassination of the Austrian Arch Duke and the US stayed out of the war, despite repeated requests for it to join from the French and the British, and only joined when Germany declared unrestricted submarine warfare and began sinking US ships. World War II in Europe began in Eastern Europe when Hitler invaded Poland and the US, which had returned to isolationism after the end World War I, refused repeated desperate requests by the British for it to join and did not even declare war on Germany after Pearl Harbor until it had declared war on the US. Given all of this it is hard to see what, other than extremely strident anti-Americanism, would case the author to make such a statement.

It is a shame because this book had the feel of a good first book in a apocalyptic series and I would certainly have continued purchasing the books were they not so ignorant of the real history of the real World Wars.


Kindle Voyage, 6" High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Adaptive Built-in Light, PagePress Sensors, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers
Kindle Voyage, 6" High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Adaptive Built-in Light, PagePress Sensors, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers
Price: $199.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mostly positive although some drawbacks, April 25, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I compared the Kindles at a local store and found that the Voyage had a much better display than the Paperwhite. While both were easy on the eyes and looked a bit like a paper book, the Voyage display seemed both clearer and a bit less like dirty paper than the Paperwhite and I decided that it was worth the extra cost, at least for me.

There are many positive things to say about the Voyage - it turns on and off quickly, the battery lasts me a couple of days (although not the 2 weeks they mention), it is easy to hold, the screen is easy to read in both the dark and in sun light and the page turns are better than on the Paperwhite, but there also are some shortcomings - pictures display poorly on it, it has no support for Audible books (although Amazon owns both and sells the books at a combination price), the experimental browser is a bit "clunky" but, most of all, it is a bit too small for my taste. I would have preferred a 7 or 7 1/2 inch display since it would allow me to see more text and, since many of my books are histories, would have felt more like a real book.

Still it is probably the best non backlit eReader available and it is much easier on my eyes than my Kindle Fire. While I would have preferred something bigger I am satisfied enough with it to recommend it as probably the best eReader of its type.


GRV Ba15s 1156 1141 High Bright Car LED Bulb 18-5050SMD DC12V Warm White Pack of 10
GRV Ba15s 1156 1141 High Bright Car LED Bulb 18-5050SMD DC12V Warm White Pack of 10
Offered by GRV-LED
Price: $88.80

5.0 out of 5 stars I bought these to replace the normal incandescent bulbs in ..., March 3, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought these to replace the normal incandescent bulbs in my RV. They are much less expensive than those from some of the RV specialty stores but seem to work perfectly. They fit into the sockets perfectly, run cooler and are a bit brighter than the originals. They should use much less battery power although that is something that I will only know from further usage.


Sabrent USB 3.0 To 2.5-Inch SATA Hard Drive Enclosure Case (for 9.5mm, 12.5mm 2.5-Inch SATA-I, SATA-II, HDD and SSD) Black (EC-TB4P)
Sabrent USB 3.0 To 2.5-Inch SATA Hard Drive Enclosure Case (for 9.5mm, 12.5mm 2.5-Inch SATA-I, SATA-II, HDD and SSD) Black (EC-TB4P)
Offered by Store4PC
Price: $16.99
13 used & new from $9.80

5.0 out of 5 stars Best enclosure I have tried., February 3, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have several of these enclosures which I use with some re-purposed laptop drives as external usb drives. I have tried several different enclosure types but found this one to be the best that I have used. The case is solid metal with a soft padding on the top and bottom to make it easy to hold and less slippery. The disk drives slip into the case without any difficulty and can be removed just as easily. The top and bottom of the case are held together by 4 screws which are supplied with the enclosure and the case comes with a slip case to keep it from getting dinged.

Best of all, the case comes with an on-off switch so the drive does not power up when the connector is plugged in unless the switch is in the on position. All in all a great enclosure.

UPDATE:
I now have purchased 4 of these enclosures and, although my review of them has not changed, the manufacturer seem to have changed the items that come packaged with the unit.

In all previous purchases the unit has come with (1) the enclosure, (2) 4 screws to close the enclosure, (3) 4 screws to use to keep the disk drive in a laptop bay, if you wish to return it to a laptop, (4) a screwdriver, (5) a slip case to protect the enclosure and (6) a piece of soft and spongy styrofoam to keep the drive from moving around when inserted (the enclosure is a big large for a drive so the plastic keeps it firm against the sides of the enclosure).

However the last of these that I bought did not include the styrofoam and, without it, the drive tends to bang against the sides if moved vigorously. It did include a new item, two plastic side strips to cover the screw holes, but if these are applied they just have to be removed if the user wants to open the case and change the drive being used. The omission of the plastic means that the user needs to find another way to keep the drive stable inside the enclosure. I used some cardboard temporarily until I can find a better replacement but I thought I should mention this change as it has an affect. The enclosed slip case, which I use regularly with these enclosures, was also much smaller in size and the enclosure now barely fits into it.

I would not change my rating - the enclosure is still very good - but the change is troubling in the sense that it might mean that more will be changed in the future. This is not the least expensive enclosure, but it is also not the most expensive and I think the unit will be less attractive as a purchase if the manufacturer continues to cheapen the product by reducing its usefulness.


ZeroLemon Car Charger 5.1Amps / 25.5W Triple USB Aluminum Shield Rapid Charger for Apple and Android Devices - Champagne Gold / Black - Lifetime Warranty
ZeroLemon Car Charger 5.1Amps / 25.5W Triple USB Aluminum Shield Rapid Charger for Apple and Android Devices - Champagne Gold / Black - Lifetime Warranty
Offered by Fenix Select - Authorized ZeroLemon Retailer
Price: $12.98
2 used & new from $12.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Great little device., January 25, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this charger to use in an RV in an attempt to keep our smart phones and my wife's iPod charged. I tested it when it arrived and found, just as described, that it would charge almost every device I have. We used this for a couple of weeks and I was so pleased with the versatility and reliability of this device that I ordered a second one for our car.

It is convenient to use, small enough to store away when not in use and charges everything I have asked it to charge. It works so well that I have stopped using the small inverter that I used to use for charging devices. This is much easier to use and quite a bit smaller. I am very happy with this charger.


Pantai Sweetened Chili Sauce For Spring Roll
Pantai Sweetened Chili Sauce For Spring Roll
Offered by GREEN-LIFE
Price: $8.75
2 used & new from $1.68

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is the right sauce but it is expensive for ..., November 28, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is the right sauce but it is expensive for a small bottle. We are used to buying a much larger bottle for much less money, but at an Asian store, not online.


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