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Planes (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy)
Planes (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy)
DVD ~ Carlos Alazraqui
Price: $17.11
75 used & new from $3.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother, November 9, 2014
Weak remake of Cars

So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love
So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love
by Cal Newport
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.60
123 used & new from $10.29

3.0 out of 5 stars Good concepts, too ambitious, April 21, 2014
Cal Newport has some valuable ideas here. Where he falls down is trying to turn it into a theory of everything. His theory fails to adequately address when people follow his ideas and start to really get good at something, but still burn out on it and decide it's just not for them. (His story of Thomas at the Zen Monastery is a great example.) Sure, you can argue that they didn't find it "meaningful" enough, but given that two different people can find different levels of meaning from the same activity, how is that not another word for passion?

He also needs to work on his presentation. Clearly he understands the point that repetition is important in driving home your message. But somewhere around the fortieth or fiftieth he repeated the phrase "Following your passion is a bad idea", it simply started to annoy me, and made it very difficult to follow the rest of his narrative.

If he would back off from the hyperbole, and shorten this by about a third, I'd be much more enthusiastic.

Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows, Book 1)
Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows, Book 1)
by Kim Harrison
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.59
286 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wanted to like it, April 4, 2014
Kim Harrison has put a lot of good elements into this story, and perhaps the series gets better over time. But I kept getting frustrated with the main character. Despite her alleged skill as a "runner", we don't ever see anything that hints of competence. Every plan she tries to execute fails. She repeatedly makes decisions that are patently foolish from the reader's point of view. She muddles through by a combination of luck, friends, and villains who follow the comic book archtype too closely.

Perhaps Ms Harrison's plan is to show Rachel's development over the series, and wants to start with a very low baseline. I wish her the best, but I just can't bring myself to see where it goes.

Adobe Premiere Elements 8 [OLD VERSION]
Adobe Premiere Elements 8 [OLD VERSION]
Offered by Digital Orbit
Price: $19.99
10 used & new from $3.05

1.0 out of 5 stars Would be nice software if it worked, December 26, 2013
Sadly, it doesn't, at least for me. Spent several weeks on the online forums chatting with a very knowledgeable and friendly expert, who was utterly unable to coax the software into producing a usable file. We cleaned out junk files, upgraded my Ram, you name it. I finally tried Pinnacle Studio 14, and it worked perfectly the first time.

Quicken Premier 2013 [Download] [OLD VERSION]
Quicken Premier 2013 [Download] [OLD VERSION]

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, February 4, 2013
One star might be overkill, but Intuit explicitly asked for me to write a review right at the moment when I was feeling particularly frustrated with their product.
I've used Quicken for many years, and it's been some time since there's been any new feature I've cared about. I try to use the existing version as long as possible until they threaten to kill my ability to download transactions from my banks. I would have happily paid them to get support extended, but instead, they forced me to install the new product which has a worse interface and new bugs. Why can't they show consistent $$$ amounts on accounts on all screens? The discrepancy is minor, but disturbing. Also, their new portfolio of investment assets is a major leap backwards - no longer possible for me to view positions and then enter a transaction on the same screen - they force me back to a previous screen, which wastes time and makes detailed reconciliation difficult.
Other interface changes are neutral, just irritating that I have to learn new places to find things.
It bewilders me why they have to keep all these programmers on staff just to make the product worse over time.
Update: The Bugs continue to mount. Today I tried to reconcile transactions. It warned me that the two transactions I was trying to reconcile had different amounts. Not true, they were exactly identical. It refused to let me say they were the same, so I eventually had to leave the reconciliation screen and delete one of them.
The bug list grows and grows. Investment lot positions are calculated incorrectly due to commission costs under Account view. It shows correctly when I look at the original transaction. I wasted 25 minutes trying to figure out why it was not reconciling to my account statement.
Gotta hand it to them - it takes real effort to make so many bad decisions in the interface. It used to be that you would "accept" a downloaded transaction from either of two buttons. Now one says "Accept" and the other says "Save". As far as I can tell, they do the same thing. Why the different labels? When I fixed a wrong password, it acknowledged it, then gave me a big button saying "Proceed to next error". Confused, I clicked it, and got right back to the same screen, asking me to retype the same password I had just fixed. WTF?

Griffin iTrip Auto FM Transmitter for iPod Black
Griffin iTrip Auto FM Transmitter for iPod Black
Offered by TurboDeals
Price: $14.95
9 used & new from $0.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Works great when it works, January 14, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Sadly, it often doesn't work. Normally, when you start it up, it flashes "Griffin" briefly, then shows you the station you're tuned to. However, it often goes to "Griffin" and stays there continuously. Unplugging and trying again sometimes helps, but may take ten, twenty or more tries.

Anybody have a solution for this?

Contacted Griffin. They have a great return policy, and new unit works pretty well. Broadcast strength not everything I could wish for, but basically good. So upgrading from two to four stars.

The Dark Knight Rises [Blu-ray]
The Dark Knight Rises [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Christian Bale
Price: $8.99
165 used & new from $1.24

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Weakest of the three but still good, November 10, 2012
Let's face it - this had no chance of beating The Dark Knight. I'd also have to rate it a tiny bit below the Batman Begins movie. But still, even as the weakest of the three, it stands very high in movies released in 2012. If you enjoyed the first two, you'll watch this. If not, don't bother.

Performance Jogger Strap Supporter 2-Pack
Performance Jogger Strap Supporter 2-Pack

3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fine product, but why no size 31???, November 10, 2012
Take a look at the sizing guidelines for this.

Small is for 28-30.

Medium is for 32-34.

Is there some law of nature that all clothing manufacturers believe prevents people from being a size 31? WTF???

The Magicians: A Novel (Magicians Trilogy)
The Magicians: A Novel (Magicians Trilogy)
by Lev Grossman
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.52
197 used & new from $2.13

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating but Flawed, May 5, 2012
There's much to dislike in this book, including unpleasant characters, and an ending that leaves you with a sour taste in your mouth. Despite these shortcomings, I'm still finding myself reading it a second time. Much of the writing is absolutely gripping. It's not a book you read for "plot" - agree with some criticisms that not a lot happens until they get to Fillory (and I think that's a weaker part of the book. It's about the texture, and the fascinating world the author has created. The test to get into Brakebills is wonderful, and the romance between Quentin and Alice is one of the most natural, least "forced" pairings I can remember.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 13, 2012 11:00 AM PDT

The Map of Time: A Novel (The Map of Time Trilogy)
The Map of Time: A Novel (The Map of Time Trilogy)
by Félix J. Palma
Edition: Hardcover
108 used & new from $0.01

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I want the story that matches this book cover, May 5, 2012
I give the publisher high marks creating a book cover that would catch my eye and draw me in. I saw this in a bookstore, and couldn't resist. Sadly, the story didn't match the intrigue of the cover - while I liked all the potential elements, it seemed a bit flat. Much attention is given to a story within the story that is criticized for being boring and unlikely. I agree with that criticism - it didn't help much that it formed so much of the foundation of the book.

If somebody ever writes a story that really lives up to this cover, I'll be all over it.

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