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Philips Classics - The Stereo Years [50 CD Box Set]
Philips Classics - The Stereo Years [50 CD Box Set]
Price: $91.13
27 used & new from $88.14

5.0 out of 5 stars Phillips had such wonderful engineering during the period covered by this set, May 3, 2016
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Phillips had such wonderful engineering during the period covered by this set, primarily the pre-digital from 1960 to 1980. I have the first Phillips set, which is simply a joy to listen to, for both the sonics and the performances. If this set doesn't quite rise to the level of the first set, it is still one I am very happy to have. If you don't have the first set, which is a little cheaper, I would get that first. My guess is that you will want this one too, as I did -- and am very, very happy with it.


All Fall Down
All Fall Down
Offered by Great Price Media
Price: $11.59
73 used & new from $1.83

4.0 out of 5 stars an accomplished work,, May 3, 2016
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This review is from: All Fall Down (Audio CD)
It took a while, but I have ended up enjoying this album after all. It's a thoughtful, at times provocative album, which revisits thematically -- but not musically -- the familiar themes of self sabotage, sacrifice, love lost (and occasionally won) that Colvin explored so well on previous albums. However, there are many times when I found myself wishing that Colvin would forget the words for a while, and just break into one of her signature brilliant melodies and chord changes, There's not enough here in the latter department to merit 5 stars IMO, but I do think this is an accomplished work, even by the high standards one expects from an artist of such high stature.


La Boheme
La Boheme
Offered by cdgiveaways
Price: $22.78
19 used & new from $3.28

5.0 out of 5 stars Moffo born for this role, but fine singing from the rest of the cast too, May 2, 2016
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This review is from: La Boheme (Audio CD)
Anna Moffo was born for this role, and her performance is genuinely moving. Good singing from the rest of the cast too, with spirited conducting of Leinsdorf. Note that this is the original RCA release, which I happen to prefer sonically to the later SACD and Living Stereo releases, simply because it sounds closer to the LP, which I must have listened to 1,000 times over my life..


The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need
The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need
by Andrew Tobias
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.57
30 used & new from $7.20

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worthy and Entertaining, April 27, 2016
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I'm pretty sure I have bought every edition of this book as it has come out, and this is no exception. Besides being the most entertaining book ever written on investing (faint praise on its face, but Tobias rivals Michael Lewis when it comes to being able to do this), the book is full of not so much financial how-to, like most such books, but financial wisdom, which is much harder to come by. Perhaps the greatest of these is: Trust No One. If you have earlier editions, there is not a lot of new text here -- it's definitely an update, not a revision.

Speaking of revisions, I do have a quibble about what appears to be a change in emphasis from earlier editions, in favor of putting a large percentage equities into retirement 401Ks; my quibble is that there is little or no mention of the more recent arguments against that (eg., Merton, Shiller; Merton, in particular, argues that for most people, that the downside risks of stocks make them too risky for retirement accounts, except for very young workers; according to this view, stocks are appropriate only once the you have reached your minimum safe retirement level of future income, taking into account Soc Security and other pensions. Until that point is reached, you should be invested in safe assets, like TIPS ladders and, eventually, annuities. This is so despite the fact that stocks are statistically more likely to outperform other investments; the problem is that there is a real possibility that they will under-perform, leaving you below your minimum required retirement amount. See Merton's article, "The Crisis in retirement Planning, Harvard Business Review 2014). Although Tobias mentions the 2008 crash, he seems to suggest that the recovery in equities since then has made up for that. Alas, for many people, it has not; moreover, equities are richly valued right now, which suggests that their historic performance is unlikely to be repeated for future generations of retirees. So as Tobias advises, "trust no one," or I would say, take with a grain of salt, even this wise and immensely enjoyable book


South Pacific with Original Broadway Cast
South Pacific with Original Broadway Cast
5 used & new from $29.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Best CD of South Pacific by Far, April 18, 2016
This is the first CD release of SP, and by far the best: Below is my review of the later resissues, which have major sonic issues:

When I saw that Sony Classics had reissued this CD in May of 2009, I was hoping that it was a new transfer/remastering to compact disc of this enduring and (potentially) magnificent sound recording from 1949. Unfortunately, that does not appear to be the case. This appears to be the 1998 transfer/remaster, but now packaged in an eco-friendly cardboard digi-pack instead of the old plastic case. Other than that, it's the same.

So, what's the problem with the 1998 remaster? The problem is that the first CD release of this, from 1988, sounds SO MUCH BETTER! The 88 release is one of the most natural, rich, and "analog" sounding compact discs in my collection, quite amazing for the early compact disc era, when compact discs were themselves not yet a mature technology. The 88 appears to be a relatively straight transfer of the master tape. In contrast, the 98 version has a decidedly brittle sound, which several people have remarked upon in their review of the 1998 release, apparently unaware of how good the 88 sounds The root of the problem appears to be that the 98 mastering seems to have used rather cold sounding electronics for the transfer from tape to digital, and perhaps some digital processing, which has made the sound tinny and "synthesized." What we really need now is a flat transfer of the 1949 tapes,using proper analog mastering equipment. Until then, the release you want is the first release on compact disc (1988; Columbia CK 32604; DIDP 70263; Barcode: 7464-32604-2). The 1988 CD has the same cover as the mid-1950s LP release, the close-up of the Ezio Pinza and Mary Martin instead of the anchor pattern.) (see picture of above) The 1988 compact disc does not have the extra cuts of the 1998 transfer, but the sound is so much better, but it's well worth looking out for. I hope that some day Sony will consider releasing this again with a sensitive and respectful remaster. The performance, quite apart from the medium, is magnificent and deserves the best possible archival restoration.

Further note (reprint of earlier comment): The 1988 CD among the most natural and analog sounding of my entire collection, and the latest reissues are among the worst -- highly processed, constricted, and closed. The Sony/Columbia remastering team of of Deutsch and Proper have done some very good work on the other classic musicals (My Fair Lady NY); mediocre but better than the first issues on others (eg., King and I; MFL London), but this is inexcusable.


J.K. Lasser's Your Income Tax 2016: For Preparing Your 2015 Tax Return
J.K. Lasser's Your Income Tax 2016: For Preparing Your 2015 Tax Return
Price: $13.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best organized, and most totally reliable of all three ..., March 19, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this, the EY, and the CCH US Master Tax Guide,, the three leading single volume tax guides. The others have their strenghths, but the JK Lasser is by far the most comprehensive, best organized, and most totally reliable of all three -- by a long distance. They've been perfecting and honing the information for decades now, and it really shows. Answers are easy to find, are to the point, and what I particularly like is that they know when to flag "pitfalls" -- things you might not get right on a first or even second read (eg., the rules for deducting health care premiums). Highly recommended.


EY Tax Guide 2016 (Ernst & Young Tax Guide)
EY Tax Guide 2016 (Ernst & Young Tax Guide)
Price: $13.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is useful as a secondary resource, March 19, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is useful as a secondary resource, but it's not as well organized nor as comprehensive as the similarly priced JK Lasser tax guide. If you are getting just one, the JK Lasser is definitely what I recommend. I've owned both the print and Kindle versions of each over the years, and the JK Lasser Kindle edition also has a more user friendly index and better cross links in the text.


Uncovered
Uncovered
Price: $9.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars She is a great artist in every sense, March 19, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Uncovered (MP3 Music)
I've been a devoted Shawn Colvin for 25 years, and have all of her albums and many of her rarities as well. She is a great artist in every sense, but every artist has periods of inspiration and periods of stasis -- whether it's Dylan, McCartney, or Tchaikovsky. I liked this album, but it doesn't "ring" like her great ones. While a few of the songs resonate, for the most part, she seems to be at an emotional distance from the material, like she'd just as soon be doing something else. That's ok, she's more than earned the right to take a night off. This is a pleasant enough album, but it's not one I expect to listen to very often.


Quicken Willmaker Plus 2016 Edition: Book & Software Kit
Quicken Willmaker Plus 2016 Edition: Book & Software Kit
by Editors of Nolo
Edition: Paperback
Price: $39.78
47 used & new from $29.21

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's What You Don't Know That's the Problem..., January 29, 2016
I was hoping this would be close to the level of sophistication one finds in Intuit's excellent TurboTax and QuickBooks. If your estate situation is at all complex (such as: high net worth, life insurance, younger or special needs children, divorce, high state death taxes, significant IRA assets), this isn't for you. It's more like a good MS-Word template. If you have a very simple estate and more or less know what you are doing, this is definitely better than not having a will at all. However, the real risk in DIY estate planning isn't what you know, it's what you don't know. (eg., if you inherit Mom or Dad's IRA, as a non-spouse IRA beneficiary, you can only do a trustee-trustee rollover -- otherwise, it's taxable immediately.) Unlike TurboTax, this doesn't prompt you with a series of questions that might warn you of tricky situations and possible traps. Although it comes with a pretty good (but hardly definitive) guide in written form, it would have been helpful if the advice in the guide had been integrated into the Q&A of the program. That's why I can only give this 3 stars, even accepting it wasn't designed for more complex situations.


Quicken WillMaker Plus 2016
Quicken WillMaker Plus 2016
Price: $47.86
8 used & new from $47.80

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Do you know what you don't know?, January 25, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I was hoping this would be close to the level of sophistication one finds in Intuit's excellent TurboTax and QuickBooks. If your estate situation is at all complex (such as: high net worth, life insurance, younger or special needs children, divorce, high state death taxes, significant IRA assets), this isn't for you. It's more like a good MS-Word template. If you have a very simple estate and more or less know what you are doing, this is definitely better than not having a will at all. However, the real risk in DIY estate planning isn't what you know, it's what you don't know. (eg., if you inherit Mom or Dad's IRA, as a non-spouse IRA beneficiary, you can only do a trustee-trustee rollover -- otherwise, it's taxable immediately.) Unlike TurboTax, this doesn't prompt you with a series of questions that might warn you of tricky situations and possible traps. Although it comes with a pretty good (but hardly definitive) guide in pdf form, it would have been helpful if the advice in the guide had been integrated into the Q&A of the program. That's why I can only give this 3 stars, even accepting it wasn't designed for more complex situations.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 14, 2016 7:57 PM PST


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