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Dr. Cathy Goodwin's Profile

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Reviews Written by
Dr. Cathy Goodwin RSS Feed (Philadelphia, PA USA)

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Scott-Vincent Borba Anti-Fatigue Concealer Kit with Concealer Anti-Wrinkle CC Cream and Tear-Drop Blending Tool, 02 Medium
Scott-Vincent Borba Anti-Fatigue Concealer Kit with Concealer Anti-Wrinkle CC Cream and Tear-Drop Blending Tool, 02 Medium
Price: $65.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Seems to work as promised, July 24, 2015
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As expected! I rarely buy cosmetics like this for myself so I was happy to try. I won't say my under-eye bags disappeared, but they were much less noticeable. People kept saying, "You look really good today!"

Easy to apply, lasted all day and was fine with my skin (which is not especially sensitive). I work at home but I'll be using it when I go out to meetings and social events. Good stuff.

All Dogs Go to Kevin: Everything Three Dogs Taught Me (That I Didn't Learn in Veterinary School)
All Dogs Go to Kevin: Everything Three Dogs Taught Me (That I Didn't Learn in Veterinary School)
by Jessica Vogelsang
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.01
79 used & new from $9.09

0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book except for one thing..., July 18, 2015
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For most of the book, I was enchanted! I loved Jessica's sardonic style as she described her introverted childhood, vet school experience, and her luck in landing a job in the same city where her husband works. Her stories about her patients and colleagues are delightful, without being disrespectful.

Jessica tells us about her personal life too. Her wedding had to be planned around her new job - she got a musician from Craigslist! - and her experience with puppies and kittens didn't prepare her for welcoming a human baby. She's very open about the challenges of having a baby and juggling a professional life ... even with the help of the dog!

Jessica's a good writer. At times I laughed out loud as I was reading.

But few if any clients seem to have adopted mixed-breed dogs. They're all mentioned by breed. It's better to adopt and then use the extra money to pay for flea treatment, vaccinations and more. And there was a reference to her husband buying a dog from a breeder. I've volunteered with rescue groups. A responsible breeder is far superior to a pet shop (these days many pet shops have started sponsoring rescues, not selling their own). But why not go to a shelter or rescue group? If you're nervous, find a dog who's been in foster care. You'll find puppies of all breeds in rescue. With so many dogs who are homeless and so many shelters filled to capacity, she had a good opportunity to reinforce "adopt, don't shop." And many adopted dogs live long, healthy lives.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 5, 2015 6:12 PM PDT

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5.0 out of 5 stars Good Charger For iPad, July 10, 2015
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I used it to charge up my iPad from a wall outlet. The cord is very short so it is really designed more for using on a desk with a computer. It seemed to charge a little faster than the cord that came with the iPad but I didn't time it carefully. No problems with wear and tear!

Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference
Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference
by William MacAskill
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.44
67 used & new from $10.94

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Giving from the head as well as the heart, June 15, 2015
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Recently, a friend said, "At some point I'd like to go work for a non-profit. I'd like to do some good at work."
As a consultant to career changers, I shuddered. I warned her that non-profits have totally different work environments than for-profits, and the career path goes one way. Instead, I suggested, why not work for a fun organization and donate the difference in salary?

I didn't know this option had a name: "earn to give." But it's an option MadAskill explains in this book.

The author presents five questions to help us assess how best to spend our charitable dollars, then illustrates each with a chapter. It's hard to argue with the questions. But coming up with data to answer them will be harder than the author suggests.

For example, the author suggests that a small cutback in meat or egg consumption can have a meaningful outcome - a reduction in supermarket orders, ultimately leading to production decreases. But I've read elsewhere that faced with reductions in sales, cattle raisers will kill off some stock and produce less. They won't change their methods of raising the animals. It might be better to donate to organizations that lobby for humane production methods and support farmers markets that provide humanely raised meat, poultry and eggs.

Another chapter suggests that voting is like donating thousands of dollars. I do vote and believe votes count - up to a point. The author illustrates with someone who's thinking of a career in politics. In the US, many of our social problems derive directly from lobbyists. In fact, it's been argued that legislators and even the president can't do much because the lobbying groups are so powerful. Obamacare was heavily supported by insurance companies who stood to profit. We haven't outlawed sugary soft drinks, which have been associated with many forms of poor health. I wish the author had talked more about the value of communicating with legislator; he does mention a demonstration that had an impact.

Other data is even harder to come by. For instance, the author points out that the acclaimed "Scared Straight" program actually seems to increase teenage crime. The average person doesn't have access to this research and has trouble judging specific charities.

The author concludes with specific suggestions for giving money, both causes and organizations. But what's missing is that, when it comes to giving money and setting up bequests in a will, we often donate when we feel a personal connection. We don't run the numbers.

Although I appreciate the values assigned, I must admit I'll continue contributing both time and money to small, low-overhead dog and cat rescue organizations, where 90% or more goes to the animals. I do have other charities, but I believe animals affect quality of life, and animal cruelty has wider repercussions.

Play the Part: Master Body Signals to Connect and Communicate for Business Success
Play the Part: Master Body Signals to Connect and Communicate for Business Success
by Gina Barnett
Edition: Paperback
Price: $22.00
41 used & new from $4.86

4.0 out of 5 stars Goes beyond "body language" to social transformation, June 15, 2015
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The book goes beyond "body language" to talk about managing your impact and creating a style.

The author's client stories were fascinating. I especially liked the author's first example: she asked a client to claim her kingdom and walk like a queen. In another story, a senior executive was encouraged to respond to what was happening, with more spontaneity, borrowing techniques from improv theater. The executive transformed a routine, meaningless meeting into a productive business encounter.

However, these people were coached. An expert worked with them, identified their problem and selected specific exercises. It is hard to translate the coach's guidance into self-help, based on the book.

To be fair, the review copy wasn't formatted (lots of notes about what would be added later) or illustrated. But I got lost in the dozens of exercises. I'd have liked to see fewer exercises with more detail and attention paid to each one.

The exercises themselves seem sensible and they're not the same-old, same-old you see everywhere. They're mostly physical, not mental, so detailed photos and even a reference to a video would be helpful.

Hover: A Novel
Hover: A Novel
by Anne A. Wilson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.54
83 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Terrific story of Navy life for women pilots, June 12, 2015
This review is from: Hover: A Novel (Hardcover)
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I like reading books about military women and this one held my attention from the beginning. The military details are fascinating. I was reminded of the PBS series Carrier, which told the story of Navy life on a nuclear aircraft carrier, warts and all. This book does the same, but the warts are up there, front and center.

Sara Denning joins the navy after her twin brother dies, only to discover she has a true gift for flying. When we meet her, she's a beautiful Academy graduate flying helicopters on a long cruise in Southeast Asia.

But Sara's got a lot of demons and a lot of struggles. Unlike her easygoing roommate, Emily, she's tense and buttoned-up. She resists dressing up for shore leave. She's most comfortable in her uniform. Yet even in the Navy, she's got issues. Her commander hates her. A male officer comes close to sexual harassment, and he outranks her. Her friends become jealous when she's assigned more flights, although it's not her fault. She works horrendously long hours.

At first, I kept thinking, "This woman's got a really rough life." There's no mention of communication with her family or friends outside the ship. Her roommate reads romance novels but Sara doesn't seem to have a life outside Navy. Wouldn't she have gotten involved in activities in the Academy?

I'd also like to know more about her roommate, a girly-girl who (Sara admits) is an outstanding pilot and officer. How does she keep relaxed and easygoing, despite the same job pressures as Sara? The other characters are well-described but we don't know much about them.

All in all, though, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I wish I'd had a long plane ride to take it on. I was afraid the romance would take over the book, but although the plot seemed fairly predictable, the real action takes place aboard Sara's ship. I don't know how plausible the final scenes were, but the book is one of the best I've read in awhile.

Risk/Reward: Why Intelligent Leaps and Daring Choices Are the Best Career Moves You Can Make
Risk/Reward: Why Intelligent Leaps and Daring Choices Are the Best Career Moves You Can Make
by Anne Kreamer
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.08
108 used & new from $0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not really about risk and reward, June 12, 2015
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I was surprised to see so many positive reviews for this book. As another reviewer pointed out the book really isn't about risk, much less the relationship between risk and reward. She defines risk broadly: "getting out of your comfort zone to build vibrant networks of contacts," "perpetual sense of nimbleness," "learning to ask questions..." These are strategies to manage uncertainty but they don't define risk.

While Kreamer worked with a professionally developed survey, she says she was surprised that Myers-Briggs tests didn't "shed some light." After all, she says, "whether one is introverted or extroverted or analytic or intuitive certainly relates to one's baseline willingness to take risks at work." Certainly? Based on what? Myers-Briggs isn't far removed from astrology (see The Cult of Personality by Annie Murphy Paul, among other sources) and it's not clear what kind of light could or should be shed.

Kreamer's survey found 4 clusters; she refers to them as a matrix but they seem to be just a list of types: pioneers, thinkers, defenders and drifters. The division isn't based on risk but on a general approach to work, sense of mastery and openness to change. It was also difficult to separate experience from style; for instance, Thinkers might want to start a business but not know the steps to take.

This book will appeal to many readers because people often like to be categorized. However, it's not clear that categorizing will be especially helpful. Pioneers tend to be action-oriented people who combine logic and intuition in decision making; they can completely relax and turn off from their jobs; they're flexible. These qualities seem desirable (after all, Pioneers make the most money) so why not focus simply on how to achieve those qualities? In fact the book's subtitle says it all: Intelligent leaps and daring choices are the best career moves you can make. Why not just focus
directly on how to make them?

I have to say that Kreamer's characterization of Drifters seems spot on. I know several Intentional Drifters, who hold day jobs - some for very low wages - so they can pursue their creative endeavors. I've also known several Unintentional Drifters who could be characterized as Unintentional Drifters. They demonstrate learned helplessness (my point, not the author's). As Kreamer says, they "lack the Pioneers' vision and chutzpah, Thinkers' ambition and focus, Defenders' prudence and reliability and Intentional Drifters' laissez-faire." Some are reliable and consistent when they're in a job under supervision, but those left to find a job in their fifties and sixties have few options.

Kreamer suggests these Unintentional Drifters build a network and start marketing themselves; however, without ambition, vision, chutzpah and focus it's very hard to do these things. Unintentional drifters often have been beaten down so much they give up. They sometimes need therapy but rarely can afford high quality therapy; one Unintentional Drifter told me she got a lot of "poor you" sympathy from a therapist, which made her feel better but didn't help her move forward.

Ultimately, the challenge in today's workplace is to become more entrepreneurial, often starting in a small way. Some people do not have the option of returning to a job. The question is, how do you motivate the 90% who are not pioneers to take charge of their careers and roll with the punches today? Why does one Thinker break the mold to become a successful entrepreneur?

Kreamer's sections outside the four categories don't seem especially original. She has a brief discussion of luck but I would add that studies show careers often result from serendipity, not planning. The section on being true to yourself offers some unrelated bits of advice, such as, "Be clear about what you want," "Turn avocation into vocation," and, "help yourself by helping others." She then gives examples of people who seem to be following each piece of advice. However, these maxims will not work for everyone and can backfire; many people aren't clear what they want till they've been searching for a long time.

Neutrogena Rainbath Replenishing Ocean Mist Shower and Bath Gel, 8.5 Fluid Ounce
Neutrogena Rainbath Replenishing Ocean Mist Shower and Bath Gel, 8.5 Fluid Ounce
Price: $6.99
9 used & new from $6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Nice freshening shower gel, June 7, 2015
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I wasn't sure I'd like this product as I haven't used anything from Neutrogena in years. But I was pleasantly surprised. It's a gel product that works like a skin cleanser but feels light and fresh - perfect for summer! I didn't notice the scent while I was using the product, but a faint scent does linger on my skin. I generally avoid scented products but this one wasn't strong enough to bother me and didn't last long. There's probably a variation depending on your skin type. I was trying to place the scent ... sort of a citrus? It smelled clean!

I've also used it to wash my hands - not at all drying, leaves my skin soft.

Criminal That I Am: A Memoir
Criminal That I Am: A Memoir
by Jennifer Ridha
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.38
94 used & new from $0.01

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Naive lawyer meets manipulative prisoner in broken justice system, June 6, 2015
I gave the book 5 stars because it held my interest. I agree with the reviewer who described it as a slow train wreck. The pace does slow down after the first chapter; in fact, a good part of the book is about the author's ruminations on her situation.

I ran across the book in a New York Times ad and requested it from the library, expecting a story about the miscarriage of justice. I hadn't read any of the stories in the news.

You can read about the book in other reviews. After reading (skimming some sections), my reactions were (possible spoiler alert - if you don't know Ridha's "crime" - which was reported widely - and want to be surprised in the book, stop reading):

1 - The Justice System is not about fairness. First of all, as Ridha notes, Cameron Douglas was involved in drugs for a brief period in his life. He was arrested after that episode was behind him. If he'd been a nameless person instead of a movie star's son and grandson, he'd have been ignored.

2 - Once incarcerated, the Bureau of Prisons denied Douglas his lawfully prescribed medication, disregarding the instructions of a judge. This circumstance led to Ridha's crime, helping him get his legally prescribed meds. The BOP also failed to protect Douglas after enlisting him as a "cooperator," a cruel role that the prosecution forces on many people. So while ordinary mortals are required to answer for their actions, the BOP has no accountability and appears to be above the law.

3 - Ridha seems incredibly naive from start to finish. I'm surprised she wasn't better supervised by her law firm or at least trained in dealing with prisoners. I once heard a talk by a life coach who'd formerly worked in the criminal justice system. She was cautioning someone not to get involved with a person in prison because, she said, they will use people who seem naive. "We call it plucking the chicken," she said.

4 - Douglas sensed Ridha was vulnerable. In her discussion of Douglas (published as an excerpt in an online magazine), she says he had a serious learning disability but a sensitivity to people. He knew how to push her buttons.

5 - Just being associated with a crime - whether you're innocent, guilty or guilty with special circumstances - you're punished severely, well beyond the sentences delivered by the system.

Sadly, Ridha doesn't seem to get it. She took calls from Douglas, even after she learned that he had shared the meds she brought and bragged to his jailhouse friends. She did have the sense to reject his plea to move in with her after release. She says herself that they were not close - not roommates or colleagues or family members or even ex-relationship partners. So why not just drop him?

Some sources criticized her light sentence, but I think it was appropriate. She was naive. Alas, many people (like Piper Kerman of Orange Is The New Black) do something really dumb, just once, and pay a much higher price.

The justice system is broken. That's the ultimate, unspoken lesson of this book.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 8, 2015 3:57 PM PDT

Becoming Ellen
Becoming Ellen
by Shari Shattuck
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $26.01
73 used & new from $1.69

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the series and looking for the next volme, May 17, 2015
This review is from: Becoming Ellen (Hardcover)
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I've just read the first book in the series, Invisible Ellen, and strongly recommend reading that book first. I'm not sure I would have followed the story or been as interested in the characters.

The book is well-written escape fiction. It's got some plot twists but mostly it's like a modern day fairy tale. In fact, at one point the heroine, Ellen, notes that she'd learned to give up on fairy godmothers a long time ago; yet her own story has been changed when she takes action to save the woman, Temerity, who will later open doors and change her life.

In this book Ellen slowly emerges from her horrific childhood with the help of her new friends, Temerity and Temerity's brother Justice. Their parents are psychiatrists and Justice is dating a beautiful young doctor, Amanda.

Ellen gets involved in the lives of people around her: a young boy on the run from an abusive home, a very young girl whose mother has been incapacitated by injury, employees in her store endangered by a fork lift driven by a druggie ... and it seems like more! There's a hint of romance that's absolutely charming.

The book moves at a nice pace. The crimes at Costco were more compelling and more realistic in the first book; we'd have to believe this particular store has more than the usual share of bad apples. The people in Ellen's life appear conveniently able to patch up holes and fix problems as they arise.

As with the first book, my first reaction was a concern with the lack of realism. But in both books, I found myself absorbed in the story. The characters are fun to spend time with. I found myself thinking about Ellen after the book was finished, and I'm looking forward to the next volume in the series. The books offer a pleasant way to escape and are so well done they deserves five stars..

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