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James W. Durney RSS Feed (Tampa Bay area)
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Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War
Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War
by Karen Abbott
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.51

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad history!, July 28, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I looked forward to reading this book and wanted to like it.
The first problem occurred in the Introduction when the author talks about “Taps” being played in the 1861 army camps.
Taps will not exist for several months and will not be adopted as “official” until 1874.
I let this go, allowance being made for effect and establishing a mood.

The author’s idea of an overall plan for August 1861 just is not realistic.
Coordination of offensives will not occur until the spring of 1864.
At this time, the best plan was for Johnston to be held in the Shenandoah Valley.

The next problem is her stating the CSA waved Union Flags at First Bull Run.
Blue & Gray had not been standardized and both sides wore blue and gray uniforms.
Some of Johnston’s troops, in blue uniforms, caused some Union regiments to hold their fire making a contribution to them breaking.

I stopped reading when the author catalogued a series of Confederate atrocities during and after the battle.
She has men playing ball with severed heads, cutting off noses, ears and testicles for souvenirs.
Using dead Union soldiers for target practice and carving “Yankee shin-bones” into drum sticks.

Since the book is not properly foot-noted, we do not have her source for this.
In what passes for notes, she references the Times and Herald as sources.
In the next sentence, she admits newspapers tended to embellish stories of atrocities.
She fails to admit that no respected Civil War author accepts these stories as fact.
In stating them as fact, she is either a poor historian or dishonest, in either case I do not want to waste my time reading this book.

The major problem is that, she writes well and with authority.
People will accept what she says as fact.
While readable, the book is not close to history and contains basic errors.


300: Rise of an Empire (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet Combo Pack)
300: Rise of an Empire (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet Combo Pack)
DVD ~ Eva Green
Price: $24.96
60 used & new from $13.85

5.0 out of 5 stars The companion to 300, July 27, 2014
The two movies occupy the same time and incident.
Persia is invading Greece intent on replacing democracy with a god-king.
Instead of Spartans on land, we have Athenians on ships.
Instead of fighting a huge Persian army, we are fighting a huge Persian navy.
I’m not saying this to be nasty because both this movie and 300 are excellent movies for their type.
Blu-ray enhances the movie presenting a clearer, sharper picture coupled with improved sound quality.
The story unfolds easily, telling us what we need to understand leaving us with no “who dat?” moments.
There are several references to 300, both ending that movie and placing the two movies together.
Be aware that in addition to the graphic violence, flying blood and language, the sex is more graphic and prolonged n this movie than it was in 300.
This is a sit back, turn off your mind and have fun movie.


300 [Blu-ray]
300 [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Gerard Butler
Price: $9.78
168 used & new from $2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoy yourself movie, July 27, 2014
This review is from: 300 [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I’m sure you know the story and are reading reviews thinking you might like this movie.
You will like this movie unless:
1) You don’t like desperate last stands against outrageous odds
2) You don’t like sword, shield and spear fights
3) You don’t like special effects that look real but are impossible
4) You don’t like treasonous villains
5) You don’t like god kings
If you are still reading, you will like this movie.
Blu-ray enhances the movie presenting a clearer, sharper picture coupled with improved sound quality.
The acting is excellent with no false notes.
The story unfolds easily, telling us what we need to understand leaving no “who dat?” moments.
This is a sit back, turn off your mind and enjoy yourself movie, my wife and I did.


Technically, Males Are Dummies and Other Stories
Technically, Males Are Dummies and Other Stories
by Robert J. Sullivan
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.99
6 used & new from $8.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grab a copy, sit back, relax and enjoy, July 27, 2014
A book of short stories can be a questionable item, stories can seem repetitious or vary so much that you lose cohesion.
These 12 stories written for science fiction magazines have a common feel.
The author’s skill keeps them from being repetitious, resulting in an interesting mix of technology, horror, fantasy, alien invasion and different planets.
Readers will find some gems and some “I liked that one” but there are no dogs in this book.
My gems are “Technically, Males Are Dummies”, “String Theory” and “Trust Me”.
The first is about applying technology to daily life and observing how we relate to each other.
The second is a good old-fashion horror story.
The last is about decision making and the affect it has on life.
“Invoice H10901 – 3 Wooly Mammoths” puts us in an alternate world trying to fill an order in spite of a saber-tooth tiger.
“Between the Bronze Mirrors” has us facing demons during the age of steam as rivals fight over a railroad.
“Watershed” is an old-fashion alien invasion with a surprise ending.
My old friend Sam Dane makes an appearance as hard nose as ever.
Danby, a New York cop that solves problems, could partner with Sam Dane but he deserves his own series of novels.
Entertaining, amusing, thought provoking and just fun describe the stories in this book.


Burn Notice: Season 1
Burn Notice: Season 1
DVD ~ Jeffrey Donovan
Offered by Price Clock
Price: $12.00
224 used & new from $1.03

5.0 out of 5 stars You need to start here, July 26, 2014
This review is from: Burn Notice: Season 1 (DVD)
Burn Notice lasted seven seasons for very good reasons.
The stories are uniformally interesting.
The acting is excellent.
The dialog is fast, sure and funny.
The characters are likeable.
All of this makes a show that is fun to watch.

Burn Notice works on several levels:
The lowest level is the current story. Michael Westen is always helping someone; this story is complete within the show. The solutions are clever and the execution while not flawless is believable.
The next higher level is how the characters interact. These are on-going stories that may or may not appear in an episode.
There are a number of story lines the most important is Michael Westen's relationship with Fiona Glenanne his ex/current/ex girlfriend.
Michael's and his mother have a strained but loving relationship for another on-going story.
The ability of Sam Axe to find and maintain a relationship with a wealthy woman provides comic relief.
The highest-level story is Michael trying to find the why and who of his burn notice.
Because of all these story lines, starting anywhere but the first season is difficult.
This series is swift, smart and fun, relax sit back and have a good time.


An Empire on the Edge: How Britain Came to Fight America
An Empire on the Edge: How Britain Came to Fight America
by Nick Bunker
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $21.78

5.0 out of 5 stars Action Reaction Action Reaction, July 26, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
We tend to see history from an American perspective, understandable, as we are Americans.
One in awhile an “other side of the hill” history appears reversing our view and finding the missing pieces to the puzzle.
This book places the events leading up to Lexington and Concord within the political, social and economic world of Great Britain.
To do so, the author includes events outside of Boston giving them an importance we seldom see while presenting a picture of a building rebellion.
The King and the government do not want to lose America.
However, their view of America’s place in the Empire is very different from what Americans want that role to be.
An action by one side always produces a reaction by the other.
Each side working with limited information and suffering from selective blindness stumbles into rebellion.

The text is informative while easy to read making this as much a “page turner” as a history can be.
Without that, this book would bog down in details.
We get a real picture of the America, England and the Empire in this book.
Communication is in months.
Government is limited and almost “part time”.
Officials function and make decisions without experts and position papers.
Nepotism and favoritism place men in positions they are unqualified to fill or where they refuse to perform but from which they cannot be removed.
India, the Caribbean, Europe impact decisions.
The price of tea and the value of the East India Company stock and central issues resulting in the Boston Tea Party.

This is one of the best books on the subject I have read and recommend it as essential reading!


Palette Painting Tray for Artists. Acrylic, Oil Paint. 11-well Circular Palette Washable White Durable Plastic. ***Lifetime Quality Guarantee*** By the Leading Brand of Art Materials, Chameleon Art Supplies.
Palette Painting Tray for Artists. Acrylic, Oil Paint. 11-well Circular Palette Washable White Durable Plastic. ***Lifetime Quality Guarantee*** By the Leading Brand of Art Materials, Chameleon Art Supplies.
Offered by Chameleon Art Supplies
Price: $4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Worth buying, July 23, 2014
This is an intelligent add-on saving S&H, while being useful.
This is made from a sturdy plastic and has sufficient weight to not tip or slide when used.
The indents hold a reasonable amount of paint and clean up wasn’t a problem.
If my six year-old grandson can use it to paint a box w/o problems it works!


Zombicide Box of Zombies Set #5: Zombie Dogz
Zombicide Box of Zombies Set #5: Zombie Dogz
Offered by Art's Game Store
Price: $24.98
16 used & new from $19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Making it harder to survive, July 12, 2014
Zombicide is not a game you expect to win. In time, your small group of survivors is overrun by hoards and hoards of zombies.
The fun is in working together to stay one-step ahead with the occasional victory as a bonus.
This is an addition to a main game and not playable as a stand-alone item.
This expansion contains 20 Zombie Dogz figures, 12 spawn cards and rules of play.
The two-pages of rules simply fit the dogzs into the existing game covering spawning, movement and targeting.

Like Fatties, Runners and Abominations Zombie Dogzs do not automatically appear in a game.
First, you have to draw one of the 12 spawn cards and second, you have to have a survivor at the right experience level to spawn dogzs.
You can play several games without seeing them and then see them every game for a week.
This unpredictability is a major feature of Zombicide making each replay of a mission different.
When they appear, they are a “game changer”!
Three actions make them the fastest zombie in the game an open zone between you and the zombies is no longer safety.
Dogzs can move two zones and still attack.
Additionally, they are the last range attack target in a zone.
In a group with Fatties and/or Abominations, they are almost impossible to stop.

The dog-set use a two-piece figure and base system, which prevents breaking them off the base.
It can cause you to “drop” a dogz but you won’t lose one.
As with all Zombicide figures the dogzs are realistic and fearsome.
While they make winning harder, they make playing more fun.


Smart Weigh CSB2KG Cuisine Digital Kitchen Scale with Removable Bowl, 2kg by 0.1g, Black
Smart Weigh CSB2KG Cuisine Digital Kitchen Scale with Removable Bowl, 2kg by 0.1g, Black
Price: $14.99
4 used & new from $14.10

4.0 out of 5 stars Versatile and useful, July 5, 2014
A food scale is an important part of many diets to weigh portions in ounces or grams.
The scale needs to be easy to use, reasonably accurate and not very expensive.
A quick cleanup is good, as we may be weighing several items for our meal.
This scale meets and/or exceeds all of these requirements, adding attractive with a small footprint.
It works in both grams and ounces with a high contrast blue backlight display for easy reading.
The bowl is large enough to hold reasonable servings, easy to clean and dishwasher safe.
This model holds two kilos reporting at 0.1 gram weights.
If the 2kg, 4.4 lbs, is not large enough, there is a 5kg, 11 lbs, version available.


Fox Tower, Normal Size Dice Tower for RPGs and Board Games The Settler of Catan, Stone Age, Small World, Ghost stories, and Dungeons & Dragons. FoxTower
Fox Tower, Normal Size Dice Tower for RPGs and Board Games The Settler of Catan, Stone Age, Small World, Ghost stories, and Dungeons & Dragons. FoxTower
4 used & new from $24.95

5.0 out of 5 stars A real improvement to game night!, July 4, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Board games require dice.
Dice are rolled, tossed or somehow moved, to change them during play.
This can create questions about a “real” dice roll, usually after a very lucky result for a player.
Dice can go bouncing across the board knocking pieces out of their way.
Dice can roll off the table creating a question on accepting the result.
Do you know someone who seems “better” throwing dice than anyone else?

Simple, fair, sturdy and good looking this item solves all these problems.
Assembly is snapping the 3 pieces together and the attaching the fence.
With a reasonable footprint, the tower easily shares a card table with a game.
The interior platforms are steps not slides forcing the dice to tumble.
Zombicide uses less than six dice at a time, which is never a problem.
To test my tower, I rolled 10 dice at a time with no problems.
My son tested the tower with the RPG style dice and the tower passed easily.

The tower is sturdy with a heavy plastic construction.
This prevents it from moving or tipping over during play.
This is the best dice tower available and worth every cent you spend.


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