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Tom McGee "Tom" RSS Feed (Springfield, IL USA)
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Oster TSSTTVDGXL-SHP Digital Toaster Oven, X-Large, Stainless Steel
Oster TSSTTVDGXL-SHP Digital Toaster Oven, X-Large, Stainless Steel
Price: $99.99
3 used & new from $79.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Quality, Handsome, Convenient, Versatile and Easy to Use Digital Countertop Oven with Convection that I Love! Enjoy!, March 26, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
After using another toaster oven that I really enjoyed over the past 6 months, I packed it up for office use after receiving this bigger and better Oster Digital Countertop Oven with Convection.

This handsome stainless steel toaster oven fits perfectly on my kitchen countertop. It warms up and cools down faster. than my conventional oven and I find it convenient for the things I use it for.

The counter space dimensions are 21.5 inches wide by 13 inches tall by 18 inches deep, while the inside of the oven measures 16 inches wide by 9.5 inches tall with a rounded back that is 16 inches at the deepest point.

Inside it has two removable racks, a durable baking/broiling pan and a removable easy to clean crumb tray.

I love the convenient digital controls for toasting, baking, broiling, warming and defrosting as well as one touch pizza cook setting. It also has a digital clock/display, up and down touch arrow for timer and temperature control settings and stop/cancel and start buttons.

The Turbo Convection Baking digital setting is used for faster, more evenly cooked food.

My favorite thing about this besides the Pizza Setting the size of the oven and rounded back allows me to do something my other oven toaster was too small for. My 15 inch clay pizza cooking plate fits nicely in this new toaster oven.

I have cooked pizza, toast, garlic bread, French fries and even quickly toasted rather than grilled cheese sandwiches and many other dishes with this oven and am comfortable using this oven.

Besides breakfasts, occasional lunches, Wok dinners and things I can boil on a stove top or cook in the microwave, in my family, I am not favorably known for my cooking skills; however, this oven like my microwave makes cooking quicker easier for me.

My wife also likes this oven, uses it much more than she did the other toaster oven and IS the best cook in the family!

The only drawback that I find with this oven is that, while it has great venting and cools quickly, it gets very hot on the metal and glass surfaces while it is cooking. Accordingly, we are careful not to place flammables near them.

I am impressed with the interior space of this handsome oven, love the digital controls and the glass front with a large cool handle and am fascinated that it cooks so well.

I recommend this product without reservation. I love it and I think many of you will too!

Enjoy!
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 12, 2015 5:29 PM PDT


Rubio: The Legend (Ben Blue)
Rubio: The Legend (Ben Blue)
Price: $0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Clever Technique used to Fully Develop the Exciting Life of now aging Navajo Warrior & Ben Blue's Friend, Rubio. Enjoy!, March 26, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Rubio: The Legend is the 7th and latest book in the Ben Blue series written by Lou Bradshaw. I have really enjoyed this series and wait impatiently while looking forward to the author’s next episode in this creative old western saga.

While this book would be enjoyable reading even if it is the first the reader has read in this series, I would recommend reading these books in order to fully appreciate Lou Bradshaw’s series as a whole.

From his parts in other books in this series we know that Rubio is a friend of Ben Blue. Now in his 70’s, Rubio is Navaho (Dine) lives on Ben’s land raising sheep and keeping cougars, bears and wolves away from Blue’s cattle.

We also have learned that he is called upon from time to time for his extraordinary ability to track and hunt men and beasts.

Further, we know that he was a legendary warrior in his prime and can still hold his own when trouble comes his way.

At the onset of this book, while riding one of his young half broke geldings he comes upon a blood smeared cougar feeding on a young mule deer that spooked the horse and bolts leaving Ben awkwardly falling, landing hard, twisting his ankle badly, scrambling in search for his rifle and worried the cat might consider him a better meal.

Fast forwarding to Rubio tending the injured Ben Blue, cutting his boot from his rapidly swelling ankle and jawing around their camp fire.

The author uses this dialogue allowing Rubio, normally a man of few words, to open up to Ben, telling him about his youthful exciting adventures and allowing the author fully develop this legendary character through this technique.

This spellbinding tale is filled with descriptive writing that places the reader at the scene where Rubio battles against a formidable foe for the hand the woman he loves and later abandon’s his tribal life for a one man mission upon which his legend was made.

This was a quick and entertaining read that I wholeheartedly recommend without reservation.

While this action packed adventure focuses on the life of Rubio, if you only read one book in this enthralling series, I recommend that you pick this one as a standalone novel.

Enjoy!
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 1, 2015 1:06 PM PDT


Secrets of State
Secrets of State
by Matthew Palmer
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.48

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This Was a Compelling, Satisfying, Entertaining, Well-Written, Exciting & Haunting Suspense Thriller! Enjoy!, March 22, 2015
This review is from: Secrets of State (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Secrets of State is the second novel I have read by Matthew Palmer.

This 419-page entertaining and predominately believable thriller starts out a bit slow for my taste; however, as the story unfolds it grabbed me, picked up the pace and held my interest to the very end.

Palmer carefully develops numerous interesting characters and in some cases keeps the reader guessing whether they are good or the bad guys.

The author's Foreign Service experience, skilled writing technique, character development and vivid storyline paint a credible tale that kept me on the edge of my chair flipping pages while wondering if there really is a secret group of puppet masters that are pulling the strings of political movers and shakers in America to influence and manipulate historical events over time and behind the scenes.

This secret clandestine American group--the Stoics--are people of influence who believe that they have a special duty to make difficult decisions in hard times maneuvering policy makers and events in what they consider to be in the best interest of the Republic. In this case, through deceit they pit the leadership of Pakistan and India against one another with the goal of nuclear destruction that would alter the balance of power.

The protagonist, widower Sam Trainer, has left the State Department and accepted a profitable position with Argus Systems, a company he quickly learns is not what he bargained for when he intercepts a false political message involving his mistress, Vanalika Chandra, the wife of Indian Embassy political counselor, Rajiv that was transmitted to the Pakistan government.

His investigations of the source of intelligence misinformation sparks murder and a set of events that puts both his and his daughter, Lena's, life in peril.

Graduating from Sanford with a degree electrical engineering, Lena moved to Mumbai, India where she works in a high-tech job that supports her real love, teaching underprivileged children in the slums of her deceased mother, Janani's hometown, Dharavi.

Suspense builds as separate story lines involving groups Jihadist terrorists, Dharavi organized-crime members, Sam's friends and family, the American Stoics and their Pakistani counterparts merge while Sam desperately tries to foil the nuclear plot and save his daughter's life or die trying.

I was intrigued and captivated by this engaging international political suspense thriller and recommend it without reservation to those who enjoy the unraveling of a complex plot that is written by a savvy, bestselling, articulate and compelling storyteller with an enriched vocabulary.

Enjoy!
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 1, 2015 1:04 PM PDT


Just Like Me, Climbing a Tree: Exploring Trees Around the World
Just Like Me, Climbing a Tree: Exploring Trees Around the World
by Durga Yael Bernhard
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $12.56
39 used & new from $8.86

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's My Favorite Educational Children's Book Ever! If You are a Parent or Teacher of K to Grade 3 You Don't Miss This Gem!, March 22, 2015
Just Like Me, Climbing a Tree Exploring Trees Around the World is written and illustrated by Durga Yael Bernhad.

Like all of the Wisdom Tale books sent to me to read and review, the quality of the story, art, printing and binding make it a treasure and pleasure to share and display in my home.

This particular book is not only suitable for children 5 and older, but also for adults who are interested in learning facts and information about various trees throughout the world.

These 34-pages of pictures and text are printed back to back on 17 thick, quality acid free paper bound with a high grade hardback cover and an equally superior dust jacket.

The caliber of this book exemplifies Yael’s record of solid accomplishments when it comes to writing, illustrating her creative award winning children’s books. As an avid tree lover she is more than qualified to share knowledge of trees in this delightful and fun educational and ecological gem.

The first 25 pages are ideal for use in classroom audiences from 4 to 8 years old. They introduce poetic age appropriate questions with backgrounds of a wide variety of children in or climbing various trees of the world to accelerate the interest and imagination of these youngsters.

Each of those pages has a small rectangular boxed frame identifying the common name, scientific name and, habitat of the tree pictured there with a circle containing a drawing its leaves and fruit.

The next 4 pages are dedicate an intriguing paragraph of detailed informative attributes of each of the 12 trees in this book—for example, there are over 300 types of willow trees that have deep aggressive roots, grow rapidly, are native to China, are fire resistant, have bark containing salicin (first used for making aspirin) and have a short lifespan for a tree: only 40 to 75 years. On the other hand, many of China’s Gingko trees live as long as 2,000 years and the short and gnarly Olive trees native to Israel can live for thousands of years with proper pruning. In contrast sacred to the Mayan people, Brazil’s Kapok tree can grow up to 230 feet high; has fluffy fiber fruit pods used as stuffing for pillows, mattresses, stuffed toys and life jackets; and its seeds are used in soap and make good fertilizers.

These 12 paragraphs contain many interesting tidbits for each of the trees including their important relationships with people, animals and other plant life within their ecological habitat.

The inside lining on the front and back covers of the book depict the shape of a world map with an arrow pairing the common name, location and picture of the tree.

The last page of the book describes “Why You Should Be Careful When Climbing Trees;” provides the location “For more information about trees and how this book was made;” and tells you were you can download the “Just Like Me Song” written and sung by award-winning children’s performer Laurie McIntosh.

While l enjoy all of the Wisdom Tales publications that I have read, this is my favorite!

This is a wonderful educational medium that is a perfect way to bond and share fun times with children between the ages of 4 to 8 years old.

Enjoy!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 26, 2015 12:33 PM PDT


When the Animals Saved Earth: An Eco-Fable
When the Animals Saved Earth: An Eco-Fable
by Alexis York Lumbard
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.04
30 used & new from $10.43

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The greatness of a nation and its more progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."~ Mahatma Gandhi. Enjoy!, March 21, 2015
When the Animals Saved Earth retold by Alexis York Lumbard and illustrated by Demi is an impressing book for children 5 and up.

This is a story that originated over a 1,000 years ago that has been retold in many languages through the ages.

As usual, Wisdom Tales Press has published this amazing historical tale with quality binding, acid-free paper with wonderful illustrations.

While my only child is 30 and engaged to be married in spring of 2016, it is never too early to collect quality children books to read to future grandchildren.

As expected, this book is a gem will is a tool to aid parents while spending quality time entertaining and interacting with children while incidentally teaching them life lessons.

Alexis York Lumbard and Demi bring wisdom and beauty of the world's cultures to the minds of eager young minds. This book is a prime example.

Enjoy!


Sweet Home Collection Supreme 1800 Series 4pc Bed Sheet Set Egyptian Quality Deep Pocket - Queen, Gray
Sweet Home Collection Supreme 1800 Series 4pc Bed Sheet Set Egyptian Quality Deep Pocket - Queen, Gray
Price: $30.28
3 used & new from $21.83

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Caveat Emptor! It Looks Nice, Feels Good, Sleeps Well, Fits Perfectly, but Poorly Stitched in China & Not Made to Last. Beware., March 21, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Here is the thing. In my experience, you get what you pay for. From a cursory appraisal the packaging looks like you are getting a quality 1800 thread count 4 piece Egyptian Cotton Queen Sheet set for just over $30, but that is not the case.

I do not know what the thread count is, but 1800 Series is a name, not a thread count and Egyptian Quality is not Egyptian cotton.

These sheets are made in China. They have single stitch borders, must be washed in cold non-chlorine bleach water and dried on a low heat setting.

They are soft, feel comfortable, look nice and fit my bed perfectly; however, one look at the stitching compared to all of my other sheets tell me that they are not made to last.

I hope I am wrong, but time will tell. I will keep you updated.

Let the buyer beware. If it seems like it is too good to be true, it probably is.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 23, 2015 2:00 PM PDT


The Mermaid's Child
The Mermaid's Child
by Jo Baker
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.61
60 used & new from $8.23

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Content is NOT Suitable for Children! It's a Unique, Compelling Adventure by an Amazingly Talented Writer! Don't Miss it!, March 21, 2015
This review is from: The Mermaid's Child (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Malin Reed did not ask to be brought into this world, but she was. Raised by a father who had little time for her and a grandmother who resented her, Malin did not even know her age or birthday. When she asked about her mother, her grandmother said she was a whore while her father said was a Mermaid, but neither would expound upon it. She chose to believe the later, that she was “The Mermaid’s Child.”

Used, abused, unwanted, unloved and on the run to escape her misery or die trying. All she wanted was to know her mother. All she ever wanted was someone to love.

The Mermaid’s Child was my first exposure to author, Jo Baker, but it will not be my last. Baker knows how to paint a vivid word picture with many facets to enthrall the reader with a spellbinding tale of intriguing adventure like none that I have ever read.

That said, this book is not for everyone. It traces some 10 or 12 years in the life of a young woman who does what she has to do to survive. Parts of the story shines the light on loathsome language and sexual behavior that bring uncomfortable realism that some would prefer hidden in the shadows. I would only recommend this book to adults who are willing to read through some offensive subject matter.

Nevertheless, this is a clever, very unique writing style that I have never been exposed to. The author transitions between settings and stages separated with new characters and adventures that Malin experiences over time yet, the author shares the protagonist’s thoughts along the way in a manner which serve as a review of the characters past experiences.

Likewise, the author uses symbolism to bring the story home—for example, near death herself in the baking desert sands, Malin observes an old bony work horse struggling, dragging a load stumbling one weary step at a time and wonders to herself what made the horse determined and willing to drag itself instead of climbing down the nearest ditch and die. Like the horse, Malin contemplated the point of living her life filled with pain, suffering and unending struggle.

The story had a hauntingly satisfying ending that left me thinking about the skill and imagination it takes for an author to piece together a captivating tale like this.

This was a compelling adventure that I am glad I read. I think you will be to if you can get passed some unseemly language and behavior.

Enjoy!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 23, 2015 2:01 PM PDT


Ohuhu® Makeup Cosmetics Organizer Acrylic 3 Drawers Storage Box / Acrylic Makeup Organizer, 9.5" X 5.5" X 4.5" - Perfect Gift for Valentine's Day / Mother's Day / Wedding Anniversary / Birthday
Ohuhu® Makeup Cosmetics Organizer Acrylic 3 Drawers Storage Box / Acrylic Makeup Organizer, 9.5" X 5.5" X 4.5" - Perfect Gift for Valentine's Day / Mother's Day / Wedding Anniversary / Birthday
Offered by Ohuhu Direct
Price: $17.99
2 used & new from $17.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Durable, Clear Acrylic 3-Drawer Cosmetic Organizer Suitable for Many Uses. Enjoy!, February 28, 2015
Recently Ohuhu sent me an invitation to receive a handful of products in exchange for an honest review. This Cosmetic Organizer was one of those products.

This is a simple clear acrylic, 3 drawer lined cosmetic organizer that weighs about 2 pounds and measures about 1 inch by 9 inches by 5 1/4 inches. It fits nicely on the bathroom counter and is a handy see through box convenient for organizing my wife's cosmetics, tweezers, etc.

It looks clean, durable and attractive to me and I suspect that people will find it useful as a cosmetics organizer, jewelry box, sewing box organizer for small items of one kind or the other.

Enjoy!
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 26, 2015 1:58 PM PDT


Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus NP940X3G-K06US 13.3-Inch Laptop (Mineral Ash Black)
Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus NP940X3G-K06US 13.3-Inch Laptop (Mineral Ash Black)
Offered by Laptop Deals and More
Price: $1,129.00
21 used & new from $752.20

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In Spite of my Resistance to Windows 8.0, This is the Most Powerful Computer that I Have Ever Owned! Enjoy!, February 28, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I will forgo the technical aspects of this Samsung laptop as many others have done a formidable job.

I fought off Windows 8.0 long and hard, but finally caved in order to buy the Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus NP940X3G-K06US 13.3-Inch Laptop (Mineral Ash Black).

I loved my old laptop and tried hard to hold onto my Windows 7 computer, having repaired many broken parts and programs over the years, but finally realized that my trusted Toshiba was on its last legs and had to be replaced.

When I finally realized that I was going to have leave behind a user friendly system in the name of progress for a new system that I did not want to have to learn, I decided to do some research and take the least bitter medicine on that trek.

Accordingly, I relied on my trusted source, Consumer Reports and went with their recommendations.

Although I am still learning, I have figured out how to add my frequently used websites to my easy access favorites to ease the pain.

Although I occasionally experience a dreaded sudden change of program while I am in the middle of writing a review or researching something on the internet; I am getting better at controlling this computer. It is so much faster and powerful than any other computer I have ever operated.

The operating system for this computer is an unwelcomed alien that I fight to control, but the computer itself is a lot of bang for the buck. It is thin, light weight, lightning fast, very portable and convenient for my uses.

I like the fact that I can use the touch screen mode or the keyboard mode interchangeably and the reality that within seconds of hitting the power button I am up and running. I also am impressed with the quality back lighted enhanced keyboard.

While I pride myself in adjusting to change, I was in love with my last computer and resented the forced change in operating system; however, this system is growing on me and this computer is unquestionably a step up in speed and performance.

I give a raspberry to Windows 8 for making me change systems, but a solid 5 stars to this ultrathin, powerful, lightweight Samsung Laptop.

Enjoy!
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 15, 2015 5:30 AM PDT


Thunder Hawk (The O'Malley Saga)
Thunder Hawk (The O'Malley Saga)
by Tom Austin
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.99
19 used & new from $5.96

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Well-Written, Fast-Paced Engaging Western Full of Intriguing Action and Spellbinding Entertainment. I loved it! Enjoy!, February 28, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I was a bit reluctant to pick this book because it is the fourth book in The O’Malley Saga, I had not read the first three and had never heard of author Tom Austin. On the other hand, I have read a great deal of fantastic Wild West books lately by authors I was not familiar with so I thought I would give this one a shot and I am sure glad I did.

This was a well-developed fast-paced intriguing and entertaining tale. The first thing I did after turning the final page was to order the first three in the series—The Blood Oath, Thunder Mountain and Pahgosa.

The story begins in the early 1800’s with indentured eight year old protagonist Tirley O’Malley working some 200 miles away from home for an abusive silversmith, Charles Gates in Charleston, West Virginia under a ten year contract.

A little taller than average for his age, Tirley takes after his mother, Edith, in size while his older brothers, Thomas, Donal and Kevin who stayed on
the farm take after their tall father, Fergus.

Careful not to complain and eager to please his father, Tirley does not reveal the abuse or the fact that the Gate’s are neither holding up their end of the Apprentice contract educationally nor in silversmith training; however, over the next four years Tirley’s hard work has help shaped his muscular body.

Thinking he killed Charles Gates after knocking him unconscious with a pitchfork handle fighting back while being abused with a buggy whip, Tirley flees his master and sets in motion a series of dangerous events in a remarkable adventure where he is adopted by a Pawnee tribe. Over time, he excels as a fearless warrior, after mastering the use of an assortment of weapons while developing superior tactics, fighting and survivor skills. That combined with his sound judgment, unique awareness and a record of humble success time after time make him a legend and folk hero to many tribes like the Pawnee who gave him the and Crow and hated by defeated enemies like the Sioux, Blackfoot and other tribes he has humiliated in battle.

This quick and easy 274-page entertaining novel is full of interesting characters and colorful language; however, there is no profanity, making it suitable for young readers and adults who are looking for an old western tale with tantalizing energy.

I recommend this episode in the O’Malley Saga wholeheartedly and without reservation. It is a gem!

Enjoy!
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 19, 2015 11:14 AM PDT


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