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Michael Griswold "Michael Griswold" RSS Feed (Rockford, USA)
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The Meaning Of Sports
The Meaning Of Sports
by Michael Mandelbaum
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.12
89 used & new from $1.67

3.0 out of 5 stars Is This What Sports Means?, February 21, 2015
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This review is from: The Meaning Of Sports (Paperback)
Michael Mandelbaum has produced a very interesting and entertaining read in the Meaning of Sports: Why Americans Watch Baseball, Football, and Basketball and what they see when they do. 301 pages seemed to fly by in the blink of an eye thanks to a very fast paced and free writing style. I truly enjoyed learning about the evolution of the three sports and I thought that his idea of baseball being a remembrance of some previous era in America history, football as the Industrial Age, and basketball as signifying the new economy was a thought provoking way of looking at sports.

However, the Why we watch sports is an open question because I don’t know many people among the masses who watch sports because it reminds us of war or a past forgotten. I would’ve liked to have heard more on this, instead of this information being buried by page after page of information about the evolution of our sports. I am a sports fan, so I may be more willing than other reviewers to let such things go. Still, I can’t help but believe that readers looking for this book that answers the mysterious appeal of sports will be disappointed.


It's Not About Perfect: Competing for My Country and Fighting for My Life
It's Not About Perfect: Competing for My Country and Fighting for My Life
by Shannon Miller
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.25

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She's far from Perfect, She's Human, February 21, 2015
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I am an Olympics junkie, so when Shannon Miller’s biography appeared on Vine for All I immediately snagged a copy thinking that I was going to hear about her training as a young gymnast and her Olympic career. Readers looking for that will not be disappointed as her struggles and triumphs in the gym take up a majority of the book. What I truly loved however was how she was able to relate how her training as an Olympic level gymnast came in handy during her post-Olympic struggle to determine “What now”? As well as her fight against cancer.

I thought in the parts where she was worried about her weight and the story about her worrying how her son would react to her going through cancer treatment and losing her hair really served to humanize her to the audience because it is often easy to paint Olympic athletes as these super-human figures and Shannon Miller virtually never made herself out to be that at all. I found myself very inspired by her story. The bottom line is that while those of us who follow the Olympics know she was an amazing gymnast, her greatest success has occurred off the floor.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 23, 2015 2:48 PM PST


Solo: A Memoir of Hope
Solo: A Memoir of Hope
by Hope Solo
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $10.00
26 used & new from $3.75

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What to say about Hope Solo?, February 21, 2015
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This review is from: Solo: A Memoir of Hope (Hardcover)
Reading this book, I had the disadvantage or advantage of having Hope Solo’s recent troubles in my mind. Hope Solo has without a doubt overcome some tremendous obstacles to get to where she is today and I am sincerely hopeful (pun not intended) that she can somehow rise above all of this and have a happy ending that she says her family doesn’t do. Nobody should take pleasure in what is currently going on with her (whatever it is…)

I dedicated my opening paragraph to her recent troubles because one can’t really divorce themselves from them while reading this book. With one or two notable exceptions, it usually feels like it’s everyone else in the world verses Hope Solo. And maybe it is to some extent, I mean there has to be some of that if you’re going to rise to the top in any profession, but as I’m reading incident after incident with coaches, players, and professional dancers, coupled with recent apology after apology and her own words about apology statements in the book, I question how much of Hope Solo I can believe.

This is a case of current events overshadowing the book. I believe her family is and/or was a mess. I believe that she was truly devastated when her father died. I believe that something definitely occurred at the World Cup years ago. I believe that she is a hell of a goalkeeper. But I also believe that it isn’t just everyone else’s issue as is often portrayed in this book.


WD-40 300038 Specialist Long Term Corrosion Inhibitor Spray, 6.5 oz. (Pack of 1)
WD-40 300038 Specialist Long Term Corrosion Inhibitor Spray, 6.5 oz. (Pack of 1)
Price: $11.83
9 used & new from $11.48

4.0 out of 5 stars I used the WD on my WC, February 14, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I used the WD-40 on the pins on my wheelchair which seemed to stick every time that my mom attempts to remove the wheels on my chair, so that the chair will fit into the car and so far I can say that as far as a lubricant goes the product seems to do its job as most WD-40 products have throughout the decades. My wheelchair however, is already pretty corroded, so my analysis of its corrosive inhibiting ability could be limited. It is a fairly easy spray process although if you have a disability and need to get into a precise area, you may need some assistance from a steady hand, so you don't have a WD-40 puddle. It is also fairly quick drying, which is ideal in today's society where one does not have all day to wait around for something to dry. I would recommend this product.


Munich 1972: Tragedy, Terror, and Triumph at the Olympic Games
Munich 1972: Tragedy, Terror, and Triumph at the Olympic Games
by David Clay Large
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $22.46
65 used & new from $2.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Munich 1972 for Everyone, February 12, 2015
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Giving a proper treatment to the 1972 Munich Olympics is a complex task because the Black September hostage taking tends to act as the gigantic elephant in the room that everyone either remembers or wants to know something about. David Clay Large takes a different tack in Munich 1972: Tragedy, Terror, and Triumph at the Olympic Games. While there are approx. two chapters that deal with the hostage taking, bumbled response by the West Germans and eventual repercussions that can still be felt during Olympic Games today. Large also dedicates significant portions of the book to the athletic competitions, the various political impediments and challenges to holding a games in Munich including: the Nazi Legacy, one or two Germanys, African boycotts, and Cold War tensions between the US and the Soviet Union.

Beyond the international intrigues, there was also a battle within West Germany over how to construct and pay for the games [leaving aside the debate whether they were worth the cost]. This debate continues down to present times as we see less cities bidding to shoulder the cost of the Olympics. For those persons interested in cultural activities, there’s a section on German cultural attractions as well.

I consider David Clay Large’s Munich 1972 to be like a sampler because there’s a little bit of everything for different audiences, but readers will have to look elsewhere if they want to dig deeper on a given topic. It is overall, a good introduction to the 1972 Munich Olympics.


Classic Brands Mercer 12 Inch Hybrid Cool Gel Memory Foam and Innerspring Mattress, Full Size
Classic Brands Mercer 12 Inch Hybrid Cool Gel Memory Foam and Innerspring Mattress, Full Size
Price: $377.29
3 used & new from $377.29

4.0 out of 5 stars Days and Nights with this Mattress, February 12, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I wish that I could do a half video/half written review, so that the world could witness the utter hilarity of getting this mattress into the house and then dragged back into the bedroom just so we could set it up. On the bright side, I think I successfully got in my cardio work that day. Moving the mattress is a two person job whether you’re carrying it or in my case because of my disability dragging it across the floor. Getting all the tape and plastic off was a bit of a challenge reminiscent of Whack a Mole [whenever we got one piece off another one seemed to appear].

The inflation process is actually really cool to watch provided that you’re a good distance back from said mattress and you can actually sleep on it within a few hours of set up. Because of the sheer size of the mattress you’re going to need a decent amount of space, particularly if you’re like me and this was an upgrade from a twin mattress. I’d have to say that this one takes up 3-4 inches more space than my previous one.

The mattress is fairly cut and dry. I have found it to be the perfect blend of soft, yet firm and supportive. If you’re considering this as an upgrade from a smaller size, you should also invest in new sheets and pillow cases. If one can solve the problem of moving it into the house and into the room where you will be sleeping, then the rest of the time with this mattress should be golden.


Barilla Fettuccine Pasta, 16 Ounce (Pack of 8)
Barilla Fettuccine Pasta, 16 Ounce (Pack of 8)

4.0 out of 5 stars Quality Pasta, February 11, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
We really enjoyed the Barilla Fettuccine Pasta. It cooked up soft but firm, as opposed to many of the other pastas we have tried that usually end up either hard/crunchy or unevenly cooked with some parts being soft while other sections of the pasta are hard/crunchy, particularly on the ends. The cooking time of 11-12 minutes is fairly accurate, although in our case it ended up being 12-13, but if you can't wait one more minute to complete your pasta, I think you have bigger issues in your life than pasta.

We used a can of Prego Homestyle Alfredo Sauce with this pasta and were able to get four servings out of it because we are a small household of two people. We had it with pork chops twice and burgers, so it is definitely a versatile dish that can fit with any main course. It had a really good taste and seemed to hold the sauce well without turning into sauce with some pasta buried beneath it. Overall, I would buy this pasta again, although not from Amazon because the multipack would just be too much pasta for a small household that only eats pasta a few times a month.


Prego Homestyle Alfredo Sauce 14.5-ounces (Pack of 6)
Prego Homestyle Alfredo Sauce 14.5-ounces (Pack of 6)
Offered by Grocery Deals
Price: $20.79
4 used & new from $20.79

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sauce that Served the Purpose, February 11, 2015
We bought Prego Homestyle Alfredo Sauce to put on a box of Fettuccini pasta because we didn't know what other type of sauce goes with Fettuccini. While I would not necessarily buy it in the quantities that Amazon sells it in because we are a small household that is not exactly crazy into pasta, I would buy this again. The sauce seemed to really soak in without overpowering the pasta and creating an dripping inconsumable mess. It creates a creamy taste that reminds me a little of the packaged Fettuccini Alfredo that I used to get pre-packaged several years ago. It was a decent way to prevent myself from eating boring, plain, pasta, so on that score it did it's job and I am satisfied.


Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community
Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community
by Robert D. Putnam
Edition: Hardcover
125 used & new from $1.16

4.0 out of 5 stars When Social Commentary is Overwhelmed by Stats and Verbiage, February 10, 2015
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Robert Putnam has something very important to say that I think would be of interest to any American whether in a small town or a big city. Putnam is making the case that Americans are less civically engaged then they were a generation or two previous and that this disengagement is troubling for the health and functioning of American society. This idea is nothing remarkable, just turn on your television and watch the news and hear about the violence in this country. There seems to be a general lack of respect for the value of human life these days and this disconnection could potentially be explained in part by our declining sense of community outlined by Putnam in Bowling Alone.

The problem is that Putnam’s core thesis of declining civic engagement being problematic for American society is buried underneath an admittedly impressive array of figures and statistics that left a man that has a Master’s Degree befuddled at times. This opens up a bigger problem, it is a dense and heavy slog that while fine as a academic work, may not make its’ way into the hands of the people who could really use the information to affect change within their community. Not everyone is blessed to have had access to the book smarts that I have, nor should we believe that a bunch of academics are going to be the saviors of the world. Street smarts and community knowledge are going to be needed just as much as academics to deal with this problem.

While other reviewers have brought up the validity issue of some or all of the measures of social engagement that Putnam uses, I am more sympathetic because it is a difficult concept to measure. Bowling Alone was for me a very sobering analysis that made me reconsider the things in my own personal life and if a book can do that, than it is obviously quite valuable. I just wish that I didn’t have to wade through 411 pages of verbose prose and stats to have this sobering wake up call.


Israel Since the Six-Day War: Tears of Joy, Tears of Sorrow
Israel Since the Six-Day War: Tears of Joy, Tears of Sorrow
by Leslie Stein
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $22.19
55 used & new from $10.34

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It Certainly is a History, February 10, 2015
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Leslie Stein in the conclusion of his trilogy on the rise of Israel takes us from the Six-Day War to present. This book is a history of Israel from the perspective of a man who obviously feels very passionate about the Zionist cause. If one is cognoscente of this fact going in, then they will find it a much more tolerable read. However, with that said, I felt that I was only getting one side of a very complicated story, particularly when dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Conflicts do not reach that level of intractability without some level of intransigence on both sides. From the authors perspective, Israel gave x, y, z, and the Palestinians still would not take various peace deals because they want everything. Let’s take this position as the absolute gospel truth for a moment, this book gives little to no voice to the Palestinian side of the conflict, except for various mentions of Ariel Sharon being committed to building settlements. My long point is that Israel has more than its fair share to answer to concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and I was hoping for a little more balance.

My secondary concern relates to how this book lays out the alternative perspectives and divisions in Israeli politics. While there are some wonderful sections such as the 1973 War and the late 1980’s, I was at a loss particularly when the formation of new political parties were mentioned, and would’ve liked to heard more such as more detail on why the splits occurred or the difference between this new party and the one that it splintered off from, if applicable.

I also didn’t particularly care for the placement of the social and economic issues section in the last section of the book. While it is done very well, I feel that it should have been placed earlier to provide the reader with more insight into the social and economic difficulties, which Israel is facing today. It would have fit in really well in the sections on the 1980’s and 1990’s where the economy had issues for example.

I had a professor who famously told my class to read everything that we could get our hands on and make up our own minds, for that reason alone, even though I was not crazy about this book, you should read it and make up your own mind because these issues are not subject to easy solution because their subject to human emotion and pride which often distort rationality and logic. This author has laid out a clear articulate vision of Israel over the last four decades. The validity of that vision is open for debate.


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