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T. Wicker "Bibliognost" RSS Feed (Tupelo, Ms United States)

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Think Tank Photo Urban Disguise 40 Classic
Think Tank Photo Urban Disguise 40 Classic
Offered by ETCH DIGITAL
Price: $229.00
24 used & new from $229.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Carries your DSLR, Lenses and 13" Laptop, June 5, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
My favorite bag is the Think Tank Retrospective 7, but I needed a bag that would allow me to carry the same gear as the Retrospective along with a 13.3" MacBook Air. This bag fits the bill. The Retrospective 7 measures 13.5"x9.5"x7" (externally) while the Urban Disguise 40 measures 14"x10.8"x7.5". So, just slightly larger, which was important because I was going to be carrying this with the strap cross body for significant periods of time around the cities I was visiting between meetings.

The bag is similar to the Retrospective in that it has an interior front pocket, but unlike the Retrospective, it's not set up for business cards, pens, etc. That function is reserved for the zippered pocket on the front flap - which is actually more convenient to access than the Retrospective. Under that flap is a catch-all pocket that can be divided in half and which Think Tank says can handle two DSLR bodies. It has the capacity, but I'm not sure that's where I'd want to store an expensive camera body even with the front flap protection. A good place for wide-angle lens hoods, though. Also like the Retrospective, the Urban Disguise has a zippered rear pocket. The Retrospective can handle a full-size iPad (10") or 12" MacBook, while the Urban Disguise has room for both an iPad and a 13.3" MacBook (separate pockets for each). I'll carry the MacBook and an iPad mini. The Urban Disguise does not have the small zippered compartment inside the back of the interior compartment, which the Retrospective does, but I haven't used that pocket much in any event.

The Urban Disguise is designed to look like an upscale business brief case, with leather trim on a ballistic nylon body. The interior compartment is not accessed messenger bag style by lifting the flap, but instead via a top centered zipper. What makes this really functional is that once you've opened the zipper, you can fold back the top making your camera(s) very accessible. I've attached a couple of photographs to show this feature. All of the zippers are YKK and the workmanship on this bag is top notch. In addition to the zippers, the bag has top handles that are sturdier than the top handle on the Retrospective.

While I will likely use this bag in a manner similar to the Retrospective, with one DSLR, lens attached, and two or three other lenses or a flash unattached, you can fit two cameras with lenses attached (see photo). So, for instance, you could have a Canon 7D Mark II with a 70-300L side by side with a 6D with a 24-70L f/2.8 attached. You could still squeeze a small prime in the main compartment, but it'd be a tight fit. Most people will probably use it with a single camera with a 24-70 or 24-105 attached and a 70-200 f/2.8 (which I hope to own one day) unattached along with one or two other smaller lenses. The bag has plenty of storage for other accessories, notepad, business cards, pens, etc., and (like all of the Think Tank bags) a rain cover in case you're caught in a downpour.

The only real downside that I encountered is the strap. The strap on the Retrospective is best in class as far as I'm concerned. I've hiked all over several cities with it as well as through woods with no discernible paths and it won't wear you or your shoulder out. In part that's because the pad on the strap stays put on your shoulder with its "grip-strips" while the well made strap can slide back and forth as needed. The Urban Disguise strap's pad is fixed. You can adjust it to sit where you want, but then that's where it's going to stay on the strap even if you move the bag back to front, etc., on your body, so it might move off the optimal position on your shoulder. Still, this is a minor complaint and the strap is comfortable and doesn't cause fatigue once you've adapted it to where you want it to be 90% of the time. The other 10% is going to be when you've pushed it to the back of your body while pushing through a crowded area or when you've pulled it around to very front while changing lenses.

Overall a great bag that is very well constructed and thoughtfully laid out. Again, my favorite is the Retrospective 7 because I like the casual look and the way it really molds to my body. But with a laptop on board, molding to your body is not going to happen anyway. Only slightly larger than the Retrospective 7 and very manageable fully loaded, I recommend this bag without reservation.
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Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 14-42mm 2RK lens (Silver)
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 14-42mm 2RK lens (Silver)
Price: $449.00
15 used & new from $409.00

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Side By Side With a Full Frame Yields 5 Stars, June 1, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I like the idea of a smaller camera with interchangeable lenses and after reading reviews on the various makers and models decided to begin with the least expensive Olympus OM-D available. There are a lot of menus and choices, but after browsing the manual and experimenting a little bit, I found the camera to be quite user friendly.

I decided to field test it today (third day since I received it) and take a couple of comparison shots with my Canon 6D. It wasn't exactly a fair comparison because I was using the kit lens that came with the Olympus versus a top of the line Canon "L" lens. The range of the lens was similar (accounting for the difference in crop factor), but I realized once I got back to my computer that I should have shot the Canon at 200 ISO since that was as low as the Olympus went without extending it to the "LOW" setting (ISO 100). I shot both cameras in "Manual" mode because that's usually they way I shoot. Both comparison images were cropped in with the photos at 100% in my editing software to show detail.

Although the Canon photos were noticeably more detailed and had better color rendition much of the difference is likely to be due to the quality of the lenses as opposed to the cameras - I'm going to try out some of the Olympus primes and set them up against similar primes from Canon to get a better side-by-side comparison. Frankly, I'll be surprised if a full-frame DSLR doesn't still edge out the Four Thirds competitor, but I'll update this review once I've done the comparison. Still, I have to admit that I was impressed by the quality of images I got for a lens that basically cost me less than $50 as part of the combination deal with Amazon.

I've also owned Canon's 10D, 7D and the 7D Mark ii bodies and all of those felt as if they were better and more solidly made than the E-M10. That's not to say that the Olympus feels "cheap". Far from it. I was a little concerned about reviews that indicated that the E-M10 was "fragile" or that buttons or dials ceased to function. Those reviews appeared to be in the minority and I decided to take the risk on the camera because I liked the idea of a smaller camera for occasional travel (when photography is not on the main agenda) while still being able to control features like ISO, shutter speed and aperture through the camera options and choice of lenses. I'm looking forward to trying some of the mid-range lenses Olympus has on offer.

Bottom-line: I'm glad I chose this "entry level" version to experiment with and have been very pleased with the quality of images I've seen so far. As I see the results from other lenses I'll decide whether or not to upgrade the camera body or just keep the E-M10. Shooting with it today was very pleasant, convenient and satisfying. In addition to the two side-by-side comparison images I'm going to try to post with this review, I'm adding a photo taken a little later after I'd stowed the DSLRs and was just getting a kick out of shooting the Olympus. I predict I'll enjoy working with it.

UPDATE: I picked up a couple of primes (17mm and 45mm about equivalent to my Canon 35 and 85mm lenses) and did some comparison shots. I cropped in very close at 100 percent and the Canon 6D full frame with the 35mm appeared much sharper than the Olympus. However, if you're just looking to print regular size (5x7 or 8x10) prints or use on Facebook or other websites I doubt you'll notice the difference. With the 85mm shot in lower light, wide open and at ISO 800, the Olympus and Canon are much closer. In fact, I'd have to give the edge to Olympus on the color saturation. I cropped these closer once I realized that Amazon reduces the image size so much that you lose detail you'd see in a larger image. I'm upping my original rating from 4 to 5 stars, particularly given the value to performance ratio on this little gem.

So - I remain very pleased with the Olympus and I'll be shooting with it a lot. Highly recommended.
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Quicken Home & Business 2016 Personal Finance & Budgeting Software
Quicken Home & Business 2016 Personal Finance & Budgeting Software
Offered by esolutions_tech
Price: $69.99
12 used & new from $65.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars There Ought to be a Law . . ., March 21, 2016
It's a really terrible product. At certain times, especially with online banking, it will simply freeze. Look for a solution online and you'll often find the exact issue that someone else has posted and the response from Intuit is a FAQ that fails to even begin to address the problem. BTW, if you encounter a problem with "Connectivity" in which Quicken contends that the password is incorrect and you re-enter the password (which you've gone online to verify IS correct, you may see a spinning green circle that never ends. The program is frozen and is non-responsive. Intuit doesn't address this exact problem other than an inane menu of items that you CAN'T get to because the program is non-responsive. Solution so far: start Task Manager (in Windows), end the process for Quicken. Windows will then close Quicken. Don't try to open Quicken, but instead restart your computer (you might be able to end a process in Task Manager, but I didn't experiment with that). Once you've restarted, open Quicken and instead of trying to download from within the program go online directly to the account in question and manually export into Quicken. You'll likely be required to re-associate the account in Quicken, but at least you'll have you're items downloaded. As for fixing the problem . . . we'll see, in the past I've been able to download manually from online a couple of times and the problem resolves.

BOTTOM LINE: this is a really, really, really terrible product. If you are not a Quicken user already my advice is to steer clear. Unfortunately, there are really no alternative products out there. Personally, I'm considering constructing my own using Microsoft Access. Until another alternative enters the market users of Quicken will simply have to suffer from Intuit's total lack of customer service. It's such a racket that I wonder why our lawmakers don't step in and do something about this.


The Last Page
The Last Page
Price: $6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Read, October 22, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Last Page (Kindle Edition)
Audacious with a capital "A" - that was my first thought when I started reading The Last Page. How in the world are you going to take on a controversial topic like the ending of Mark's Gospel and the resurrection? How on earth do you end a novel like this, much less address the ending of Mark?

Well, Joe Edd Morris pulls it off in my opinion. The novel switches back and forth between the late 1st century and the early 21st century seamlessly. The main characters (both past and present) are ones that you can identify and empathize with, especially Mark, but the main emphasis is on the story: both the story that Morris has plotted out and the story of the "Good News".
If the subject of the ancient Middle East interests you - if you're a believing Christian - if you would like to see the geography of this world come alive - then you should read this book.

Warning: while the book is an enjoyable read from the start you really need to set aside two or three hours when you pass the 3/4 mark because you're not going to want to put the book down!


Radar Express
Radar Express
Price: $0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Reliable, July 1, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Radar Express (App)
I had a competing app on my iPhone that wasn't available for the Kindle. I got this app instead and it's been great. No problems, no lockups, just does the job.


Daily Bible Study Winter 2014-2015
Daily Bible Study Winter 2014-2015

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent companion to Adult Bible Study, February 23, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Well written daily meditations help to bring focus to each day's Scripture. Reading the daily Scripture passages greatly enhances a student's understanding of the main lesson in the larger context of the Bible and the short essays in this book are just the right length for daily study. I especially like that these books are now available in Kindle format.


Outback Trading Co Men's Co. Deer Hunter Oilskin Jacket Bronze X-Large
Outback Trading Co Men's Co. Deer Hunter Oilskin Jacket Bronze X-Large
Offered by Killer Hats Co
Price: $132.67
8 used & new from $132.67

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Barn Jacket, January 31, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Excellent barn coat. The extra large size fits as expected and the coat is perfect for early morning chores when the temperature is anywhere from 40 degrees to below 10 degrees and provides excellent protection from the wind.


Bible
Bible
Price: $0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, January 30, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Bible (App)
It's great having all of my Logos titles available on my Kindle Fire HDX. I use several other apps as well, but this one is my principal Bible app.


Kindle Voyage E-reader, 6" High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Adaptive Built-in Light, PagePress Sensors, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers
Kindle Voyage E-reader, 6" High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Adaptive Built-in Light, PagePress Sensors, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers
Price: $199.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars After Two Months, January 1, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The verdict is in as far as I'm concerned. Voyage is a winner.

For the best in-depth review, read the one by J. Chambers. Which begs the question: why am I even bothering to write a review after 1,380 others? For two reasons: (1) I thought people might be interested in hearing from someone who has used the new Voyage for two months; and (2) an e-reader this good deserves to be rated five stars.

I've owned every version of the Kindle e-reader except the Kindle Touch. I reviewed the 4th generation Kindle here - http://www.amazon.com/review/R2A5PLT8M9N21A?ref_=pe_623860_70668520.

I still have the 4th generation, although it doesn't see much use since I bought the Kindle Paperwhite. When the Voyage was announced I was attracted to it because of its slightly smaller size. While I was interested in the higher resolution, hardened glass screen, adaptive front light and pressure sensitive page sensors, the smaller size and lighter weight were the reason I decided to order it and I'm pleased on both those counts. However, the reason I'm reading on the Voyage rather than the Paperwhite is the higher resolution and better front lighting. I was apparently lucky in that I never had an issue with two-toned or uneven lighting. I had both the 1st and 2nd generation Kindle Paperwhites and didn't have problems with either of those as far as lighting was concerned either. The 1st generation Paperwhite had cooler lighting, the 2nd had warmer, while the Voyage is the most neutral front-lighting in a Kindle I've yet encountered.

I didn't think I'd like the pressure-sensitive page turn sensors and had planned to turn them off, but it turns out that I use them most of the time now. After two months, I find that I can use them even in the dark despite the page-back sensor's small size. It's still nice to have the touch screen option, however, and I use it 25-30% of the time for page turns.

I have used the adaptive lighting, but not on a regular basis (about a third of the time). When I have used it, it comes quite close to matching the manual settings I prefer in various lighting conditions (generally in the 8 to 15 range). Probably the best indicator of how well this feature works is that I forget that I've turned it on.

Based on the comments in other reviews, I've seen a lot of people ask about audio. No - the Voyage doesn't have audio. That's not a deal killer for me, but may be for some. For audio, I turn to my Kindle Fire. The other common question concerns Wi-Fi vs 3G. Considering that you get 3G without a plan, if you think you'll be in situations where Wi-Fi isn't readily available, then go for it. It's a good bargain. If, on the other hand, you think Wi-Fi will suit your needs, spend the money on a good book!

The battery life in my experience is at least as good if not better than that of the Paperwhite. I read two to three hours on average per day and I hardly ever turn Wi-Fi off. Under those conditions I find I need to charge the Voyage about once every ten days or so. Unlike the Paperwhite, the Voyage seems to charge better using the wall charger than USB.

Although this review is about the Voyage, I'll sidetrack to mention that I also have become very fond of the origami cover, although I didn't think I would initially. It supports a great many reading positions even without using the origami features. My only complaint on this (as well as other "official") covers is the price.

Which version would I recommend? Like many others, I'd have to say that the issue really comes down to cost. When I ordered my Voyage, the delivery date was far enough in the future to let me "save up", which helped me justify the $199, Wi-Fi only version. I'm 6'2" and have large hands, but the smaller size is still more conducive to reading than any other Kindle version to date. I wouldn't want an e-reader any smaller, but this one is wonderful for reading in any posture or position I've tried. So, my primary reason for ordering the Voyage (size and weight) still matter a lot to me, but the reason I'm using the Voyage almost exclusively is the much better screen resolution and (to my surprise) the touch sensitive page turn sensors. If cost isn't an issue, then there's no question: order your Voyage now. If cost is an issue then either the Paperwhite or the basic Kindle are both excellent e-readers in their own right.

So much for my two month's two cents worth. As indicated above, I also felt compelled to rate the Voyage because it really does deserve five stars. I've read the bad reviews and I've kept up with comments on some of the other reviews and (other than lighting issues on a few which I have heard Amazon is good about replacing), it's obvious that most of those who have purchased a Voyage are happy. That's certainly been my experience. My advice is to take the bad reviews with a grain of salt and recognize that a bad experience is more likely to motivate someone to write than an overall good experience. The fact that there's a time lag of up to two weeks even now when ordering a Voyage speaks volumes about real-world user satisfaction.

And now, the bottom line: Putting aside all of the technical aspects of the Voyage, the acid test for me has always been reading. With this version (as with the last two Kindle versions) the e-reader simply doesn't get in the way of the e-reading, allowing you to immerse yourself in a good book.


Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Telephoto Fixed Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Telephoto Fixed Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
Price: $749.00
32 used & new from $500.00

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great lens, December 7, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I love this lens! It's fairly light weight, unobtrusive and fun to work with. As you'd expect with a prime, the image is sharp and the lens focuses very quickly. Because it's so unobtrusive I found it was easy to carry into a concert and none of those sitting near me were disturbed when I took a few photos sans flash. Others taking photos with point and shoot cameras and/or smart phones were much more noticeable due to the LCD screens versus the view finder on my DSLR. It's not as versatile as some of the zoom lenses I own, but if you know you're going to be shooting 200mm and want a fast lens then this is a great choice.
This image was taken from the seventh row at the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, Tennessee on a Canon EOS 7D at 1/250s, f/6.3, ISO 1600. This is the image un-cropped and with no adjustments.
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