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Joseph "jck09" RSS Feed (Cincinnati, OH USA)
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The City of Mirrors: A Novel (Book Three of The Passage Trilogy)
The City of Mirrors: A Novel (Book Three of The Passage Trilogy)
Offered by Random House LLC
Price: $14.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Leisurely and Literary, or Slow and Boring, Depending on Your Perspective, May 24, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Summary: If you LOVED the last two books in this series, I think you’ll like this one too, as it repeats and amplifies the themes of the last two, using similar techniques. However, if Cronin’s style was starting to grow old on you by the last book, I wouldn’t expect a swerve in this one.

Cronin burst onto the vampire scene with The Passage, a leisurely, literary vampire thriller that enjoyed taking its time with characters, thinking about what made them tick, and occasionally having vampires chase them around. That style continued with The Twelve, and reaches its zenith and its terminus here, in the City of Mirrors.

The book follows several of the characters we know from the previous books, together with a few new ones, and follows a similar pattern to the last books - a long, slow build up, where we come to know our characters, followed by some desperate action, and behind all of it, the inscrutible hand of the Divine. In between all of it is a LOT of words - dream sequences, inner reflections, monologues, flashbacks, and other character revelation.

I enjoyed seeing what became of some of the characters from the previous books, but not enough to be really glad I had read this book. In particular, about half way through, one of the characters is captured and forced to listen to about two hundred pages of another’s back story, most of which I suspect was a result of the character reading and then imperfectly remembering Donna Tart’s A Secret History. Neither the readers nor the characters deserve such punishment.

As with the prior books, the writing is technically proficient, but didn’t grab me. Cronin never saw a character building detail he didn’t like, and even manages to put in a few dozen pages about a budding romance occurring to two previously unintroduced characters a thousand years in the future, each of whom has at most minimal connection to the book. If you like watching Cronin scat and jam, then I think that might work, but I found myself wishing he had a tighter editor. (On the subject of literature, the flood allegory from the first book seems to be replaced by a baptismal allegory, which might be brilliant, but if so, it’s over my head.)

Recommended primarily if you love Cronin’s style, or if you are desperate to know how things turned out for everyone.

Note: The "Amazon Verified Purchase" label is not correct - I received a review copy from Netgalley in return for my honest opinion.


PANASONIC - EYP-2BN110 - FUSE, 250V, 2A, AXIAL LEADED
PANASONIC - EYP-2BN110 - FUSE, 250V, 2A, AXIAL LEADED
Offered by DataAlchemy
Price: $4.37
4 used & new from $4.09

5.0 out of 5 stars Fixed the rear blower in our 08 Pilot!, May 20, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
If you have an older Honda that will no longer blow rear air, this is a good way to fix it. We used it to restore the rear air blower on a 2008 Pilot and love it. (Check the internet for instructions).

Two quick comments:

1) It's a mild pain to take apart and replace the unit. If you're willing to spend a little bit more money, you can buy a replacement for the whole unit and save yourself the trouble.

2) Note that the fuse you're removing has insulated wires, but this one doesn't. Without insulating the wires, this will result in your blower running continuously. I used some electrical tape, but I'm sure there's a more elegant solution.


iColor - Fashion Cute Dog 15"-15.6" Inch Laptop / Notebook Computer / MacBook Air / MacBook Pro Case Briefcase Bag Pouch Sleeve Carry Case (IHB15-006)
iColor - Fashion Cute Dog 15"-15.6" Inch Laptop / Notebook Computer / MacBook Air / MacBook Pro Case Briefcase Bag Pouch Sleeve Carry Case (IHB15-006)
Offered by Santa88
Price: $32.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Cute and functional, May 20, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
My daughter loves using this to carry her 15.6" laptop.

What's good:

- It's cute. It stands out, so you won't get it mixed up with someone else's.
- It's stretchy enough that she just sticks her power supply and mouse in one side, and it works fine, albeit with a few bulges.
- It's light enough that it basically adds no weight to the laptop.

What it's not:

- It's not seriously padded or supported. I don't this would protect the laptop against a drop or even a hard bump.
- There are no shoulder strap loops, so you'll be carrying this by the handle, or just by grabbing on.

All in all, this is great for carrying a laptop around the house, or as a sleve to protect a laptop in a bag. Recommended for those uses


Outward Hound Kyjen 30072 Fire Biterz Durable Tough Squeaking Dog Toy, Firefly, 3 Squeakers
Outward Hound Kyjen 30072 Fire Biterz Durable Tough Squeaking Dog Toy, Firefly, 3 Squeakers
Price: $16.99
2 used & new from $15.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and mostly indestructible, May 18, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Our lab mix puppy loves destroying toys, especially squeaker toys. Even the super tough squeaker toys only last a week or two, until he finally gets to a seam and pulls it apart.

Other than the wings, which went pretty fast, these toys have held up so far, even against our hound's best efforts. They're made of fire hose material, so there aren't many seams, and the limited stitching that they do have (basically, stitching on the wings and a seam at each end of the tube) seems unusually strong, because he can't wreck it, at least not so far.

Our dog enjoys running around and squeaking these things, and they're great for tug of war. The only down-sides are (1) the squeakers are fairly quiet (this might be a plus for you, but probably not for your dog) and (2) while he enjoys playing with this, he doesn't like it as much as he likes the toys he can destroy. I'd probably give this 4.5 stars, but rounded it up because it's so impressively indestructible.


Outward Hound Kyjen 30070 Fire Biterz Durable Tough Squeaking Dog Toy, Sea Monster, 3 Squeakers
Outward Hound Kyjen 30070 Fire Biterz Durable Tough Squeaking Dog Toy, Sea Monster, 3 Squeakers
Price: $16.99
2 used & new from $16.45

5.0 out of 5 stars Cute and apparently indestructible!, May 18, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Our lab mix puppy loves destroying toys, especially squeaker toys. Even the super tough squeaker toys only last a week or two, until he finally gets to a seam and pulls it apart. This guy is a cute blue sea monster with three squeakers, and our dog likes it as much as possible for a toy he can't destroy. Our dog loves shaking it and playing keep away or tug of war.

This line of toys have mostly held up so far, even against our hound's best efforts. He was able to chew off the tongue and the fins, but so far, he can't get into the tube itself. It's made of fire hose material, so there aren't many seams, and the limited stitching that they do have (basically, sewing on the fins and a seam at each end of the tube) seems unusually strong, because he can't wreck it, at least not so far.

Our dog enjoys running around and squeaking these things, and they're great for tug of war. The only down-sides are (1) the squeakers are fairly quiet (this might be a plus for you, but probably not for your dog) and (2) while he enjoys playing with this, he doesn't like it as much as he likes the toys he can destroy. I'd probably give this 4.5 stars, but rounded it up because it's so impressively indestructible.


Outward Hound Kyjen 30068 Fire Biterz Durable Tough Squeaking Dog Toy, Dragon, 3 Squeakers
Outward Hound Kyjen 30068 Fire Biterz Durable Tough Squeaking Dog Toy, Dragon, 3 Squeakers
Offered by Fat Happy Pets
Price: $19.23
2 used & new from $15.95

5.0 out of 5 stars So, far, indestructible!, May 17, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Our lab mix puppy loves destroying toys, especially squeaker toys. Even the super tough squeaker toys only last a week or two, until he finally gets to a seam and pulls it apart.

These toys have held up so far, even against our hound's best efforts. They're made of fire hose material, so there aren't many seams, and the limited stitching that they do have (basically, seeing on the feet and a seam at each end of the tube) seems unusually strong, because he can't wreck it, at least not so far.

Our dog enjoys running around and squeaking these things, and they're great for tug of war. The only down-sides are (1) the squeakers are fairly quiet (this might be a plus for you, but probably not for your dog) and (2) while he enjoys playing with this, he doesn't like it as much as he likes the toys he can destroy. I'd probably give this 4.5 stars, but rounded it up because it's so impressively indestructible.


Dell Inspiron i3459-3275BLK 23.8" Touchscreen All in One (Intel Core i3, 8 GB RAM, 1 TB HDD)
Dell Inspiron i3459-3275BLK 23.8" Touchscreen All in One (Intel Core i3, 8 GB RAM, 1 TB HDD)
Offered by Bonbon Electronics(No Tax Anywhere)
Price: $749.90
36 used & new from $662.88

5.0 out of 5 stars Great all in one for home use, May 13, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a great choice for a home computer. It's got a great screen and speakers, adequate camera and processor, and is easy to set up and use.

What's good:

- I think this is really well optimized for normal home use. The screen is gigantic and clear, the processor is fast enough for Office products, web surfing, light photo editing, and most other tasks that people might want to do.

- As an "all in one", the computer is built into the screen. It comes with a wireless keyboard and mouse, so basically all you do is stand up the screen, hook into your home network, and you're ready to go. It also has touchscreen capability, which is very handy with Windows 10.

- We're using this for Office products, web use, and videos off Netflix, Youtube, and Plex, and like it a lot.

What this computer doesn't have or doesn't do well:

- This isn't super portable. With the giant screen, this thing weighs 17 pounds, so while you COULD move it from room to room like a laptop, especially if you're using wifi, I don't imagine anyone is going to be taking this to class (especially with no battery).

- It doesn't have the hottest new specs. No solid state hard drive, and I doubt the processor would support high end games.

- I'm not sure how easy it is to take this apart and make changes to it, the way you could to a tower or even a laptop.

Subject to that, I think this is an affordable computer that does a great job! Recommended for normal home use.


IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Indoor Weight and Hairball Care Dry Cat Food 3.5 Pounds
IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Indoor Weight and Hairball Care Dry Cat Food 3.5 Pounds
Price: $7.49
8 used & new from $7.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Keeps our indoor kitties healthy and happy!, May 13, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
We have two middle aged indoor cats, and this is the only food we will feed them. (1) Although they have sensitive enough stomachs that they throw up almost anything else, they can almost always keep this down; (2) I can't guarantee that it's thanks to IAMS, but they definitely have stayed at healthy weights and haven't had hairball problems while eating this food and (3) they love it - they just can't wait to be fed.

Recommended - , as I said, it keeps out indoor cats healthy and happy!


SiliconDust HDHomeRun PRIME Cable HDTV (3-Tuner)
SiliconDust HDHomeRun PRIME Cable HDTV (3-Tuner)
Offered by Electronics Expo
Price: $123.55
92 used & new from $73.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great for a TWC/WMC HTPC!, May 10, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Worked great for a Windows Media Center HTPC. (Time Warner just went digital, and for reasons I can't adequately explain, I'm philosophically opposed to just renting their DVR.). Here's how I put my set-up together.

1) We had an old eMachines Windows 7 computer we were retiring. We used the partition to wipe the hard drive and reinstall Windows 7, in order to clear away the years of add ons and hopefully speed the thing up, then just added an antivirus program and otherwise left it clean. (Whatever you do, don't upgrade to Windows 10 if you plan to use Windows Media Center - WMC is not included in Windows 10.)

2) TWC copy protects their digital content. One of the only ways to record and replay "copy once" content is with Windows Media Center, either directly or through an extender. I tried an XBox 360 extender, but it was very slow, so we decided to hook the PC directly to the computer. That required a new video card to get HDMI output out of my old computer. I went for a cheap, fanless, low power card - no good for games, but great for videos, and also quiet and with low energy usage.

3) I have my silicon dust and my HTPC in a different room from the router, so I added a gigabit switch in my media room, so they can connect without having to go all the way over to my router. (I would have tried without this, but I needed the extra connections anyway, and putting the switch in the same room speeds the connection.)

4) In order to get the HDHomeRun to work with TWC cable, I went to the store and asked for a "channel switching adaptor" and a cable card. I hooked coax from the wall to the adaptor, and from the adaptor to the HDHomerun, plus a USB cable from the adaptor to the Homerun, and added the Cablecard to the Homerun. Then I called TWC's cable card support line from my house and spent about 15 minutes adjusting various settings to get the cable card set up.

5) Once the cablecard was set up, I went to my WMC settings and reset for the new tuners - so far, it's been working great!


Sofa Sack - Bean Bags 6-Feet Bean Bag Lounger, Large, Charcoal
Sofa Sack - Bean Bags 6-Feet Bean Bag Lounger, Large, Charcoal

5.0 out of 5 stars Gigantic and heavy, but super comfortable, May 10, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
At first glance (once you get this thing expanded), it looks like a GIANT bean bag chair. On closer inspection, it's even better - the memory foam chunks make this thing soft and comfortable, and it's easily big enough for both of our kids plus our dog on movie night.

Be warned - it's huge and heavy. If you don't have a sofa-sized area for it, it won't fit in your room, and at 70 pounds and 6 feet, once you expand it, it's probably not leaving the room in one piece.

But assuming what you want is a super comfortable, super gigantic, "bean bag sofa," I'd strongly recommend the 6 foot Sofa Sack.


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