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Customer Reviews: 231
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Helpful Votes: 1284




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M. Garrison RSS Feed (Seattle, WA USA)
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Case Logic WMMB-100BLK Wasedo CSC Case (Black)
Case Logic WMMB-100BLK Wasedo CSC Case (Black)
Price: $27.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Well made bag, but the size is both too big and too small, September 25, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a sturdy, well made case with a good strap -- it looks stronger and more durable than many of the other camera bags I've tried.

The size is a bit odd, though. It is a bit too small for an SLR camera with even a single lens, or for my video camera, either -- but is far larger than needed for any other camera I've owned, even when you add in chargers, cords, and extra batteries. I could theoretically use it to carry other electronics gear with me when I travel (it's a great size to handle *all* of my chargers and cables), but then it's no longer useful as a camera bag -- given the size of the pockets, the only option would be to have the camera in there with all the other stuff, and the main reason I use a camera bag (as opposed to just shoving my camera in my purse) is to protect it from scratching and such. Of course, I could just put my camera and it's requirements in there, even though most of the bag would be empty -- but then the camera is flopping around a large empty space, and I'm carrying something that is bulkier than what I need.

So if this happens to be the size of bag you need (maybe you have one of the large point and shoot cameras with a giant zoom), this is a great bag. But for many camera users, the size is less functional than the measurements might make it seem. As for me, I'm now using it to store and carry some non-camera scientific equipment -- which means that the bag is getting some use, just not what I'd intended.


Visine Tears Lubricant Eye Drops Long Lasting Dry Eye Relief, 0.5 Ounce
Visine Tears Lubricant Eye Drops Long Lasting Dry Eye Relief, 0.5 Ounce
Price: $8.57
15 used & new from $0.25

4.0 out of 5 stars Relieves dry eyes, but only for a short time, September 25, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have chronically dry eyes, so am always looking for a good solution -- so much of what's on the market either doesn't work well, or works but stings or blurs vision. So I was eager to give these a try.

On one hand, you put them in and they absolutely relieve the dry eye sensation, with no stinging, blurriness, or other problems. On the downside, though, the effect only seems to last about 20-30 minutes. I know that isn't unusual with eye drops, but it does make them far less functional than they would be otherwise for people like me. As is, these seem very much on par with the other dry eye drops in my collection -- they work just as well as the others, but nothing that really makes them rise to the top to compel me to always buy them, regardless of which brand happens to be the least expensive that week.


Last Plane to Heaven: The Final Collection
Last Plane to Heaven: The Final Collection
by Jay Lake
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.96
37 used & new from $9.51

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Such an incredibly worthwhile read, September 25, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I don't know that I can do this review justice, so I'll just say that I found this collection to be a wonderful collage of stories in an anthology that manages to be thought-provoking and heart-wrenching in the midst of science fiction and fantasy stories that seem vividly real. I'm so very glad that I was able to swim through Lake's prose again like this. Despite enjoying several of his novels, I've always felt that short stories were where his voice was strongest -- and this anthology shows that in spades.

This should be an obvious read for those who've read and enjoyed his fiction before -- but it is also a great choice for those who have never read a Jay Lake story or novel. Although some of the stories are tied in one way or another to some of his previous work, there's nothing here that requires previous experience with earlier writing or that doesn't hang well on it's own. Definitely a worthwhile buy.

Someone asked for a list of the stories included -- after all, in buying an anthology, it can be useful sometimes to see if there are new morsels to savor or old favorites to love on. Here's the stories listed as they are in the table of contents, albeit not as nicely formatted as the one in the book:

Last Plane to Heaven: A Love Story
Angels i: The Houses of the Favored

SCIENCE AND OTHER FICTIONS
The Starship Mechanic
Permanent Fatal Errors
"Hello," Said the Gun
The Speed of Time
West to East
The Women Who Ate Stone Squid
Looking for Truth in a Wild Blue Yonder

Angels ii: Scent of the Green Cathedral

STEAM, PUNKS, AND FAIRIES
Spendthrift
Jefferson's West
They Are Forgotten Until They Come Again
The Woman Who Shattered the Moon
The Blade of His Plow
Grindstone
The Temptation of Eustace Prudence McAllen
That Which Rises Ever Upward

Angels iii: A Feast of Angels

PHANTASIES OF STYLE AND PLACE
Promises: A Tale of the City Imperishable
Testaments
The Fall of the Moon
A Critical Examination of Stigmata's Print "Taking the Rats to Riga"
From the Countries of Her Dreams
Unchambered Heart

Angels iv: Novus Ordo Angelorum

DESCENT INTO DARKNESS
The Tentacled Sky
Such Bright and Risen Madness in Our Names
Her Fingers Like Whips, Her Eyes Like Razors
Mother Urban's Booke of Dayes

Angels v: Going Bad

THE END
The Cancer Catechism
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 26, 2014 3:28 AM PDT


Leaving Time: A Novel
Leaving Time: A Novel
by Jodi Picoult
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.80

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A compelling, moving book -- especially if you don't see the ending coming, September 25, 2014
This review is from: Leaving Time: A Novel (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book is clear evidence that Picoult's writing just keeps getting better -- which in of itself impresses me, since so many authors who perennially ride the best seller list seem to coast rather than improve. "Leaving Time" has gripping, compelling characters, with more rich diversity in background than many of Picoult's books, and she manages to weave a temporally complex storyline that would seem trite from almost anyone else. When I'd originally read the cover copy for the book, I'd thought it would be all about Jenna, the daughter searching for her lost mother. But while Jenna is a moving character, we also get to know her scientist mother Alice in ways I hadn't expected, as well as a local psychic, Serenity. On top of all of that, I love that some of the elephants become characters in their own right, fully developed and individual.

My only problem with this book is that if you see the ending coming before she expects you to, the book just doesn't read as well as I'm guessing it would otherwise. So if you're going to read this book, I suggest you do it without seeing any spoilers first, without flipping to see the last pages, etc. Find yourself a secluded spot, and read it all the way through.


No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind
No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind
by Daniel J. Siegel
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.32
48 used & new from $12.33

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Overgeneralizes the science involved, but still concretely helpful, September 10, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As with the previous book, I think that this one is useful even if it greatly oversimplifies or overgeneralizes the neuroscience of child brain development. The best thing about this book is that it really helps reframe some of the underlying assumptions about parenting and discipline, and gives concrete tips for how to use discipline in ways that help enhance executive function in the long run, so that children grow into adolescents and then adults who are able to handle their impulses and emotions while making and acting on good choices.


Maybe One Day
Maybe One Day
by Melissa Kantor
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.86
75 used & new from $2.44

4.0 out of 5 stars There has been many a YA book in the last ..., September 10, 2014
This review is from: Maybe One Day (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
There has been many a YA book in the last 20 years trying to be the successor to Lurlene McDaniel's books about adolescents with cancer, and most of them have ended up being far cheesier than McDaniel's books ever were, but this one absolutely succeeds.


Faking Normal
Faking Normal
by Courtney C. Stevens
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.86
74 used & new from $5.55

5.0 out of 5 stars Intense, emotional, but excellent., September 10, 2014
This review is from: Faking Normal (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This was an intensely emotional read, but so very, very well-written. It's hard to do a review justice without getting all spoilery on this one, but it is very much worth the read.


Vivitar Black and Silver Designer Wrist Strap
Vivitar Black and Silver Designer Wrist Strap
Offered by Fenix Management
Price: $7.83
4 used & new from $1.75

3.0 out of 5 stars Cute, but started to fall apart within weeks, August 7, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
On the upside, when I ordered this strap as a replacement wristlet strap for my wallet/phone case, I was pleased to be able to finally find something that was a good fit for me style-wise. It's not plain black, but neither does it have those glued on "rhinestones" that so many other straps have right now -- the silver and black seems to be printed on, and actually looks even nicer in person than it does in the picture. It's also a very comfy strap; not too long, not too tight, doesn't dig into my wrist, etc.

On the downside, the strap is apparently made of a two-ply material -- almost like a very heavy duty ribbon that is printed only on one side, and with two strips glued together with the printed sides facing out -- and within two weeks, they had started coming apart. By now, they've come completely apart. Because both sides are still firmly attached to the metal bit at the end, it is still essentially functional as a wrist strap, as long as I make sure to put my hand through the correct "hole" instead of between the two ply pieces. If I'm wearing it, the weight pulling down on it makes it look like the two ply pieces are still stuck together, so it looks ok until I take it off, at which point you see the yellow-white underside of each ply, and the whole thing starts to look ratty.

I'm giving it 3 starts instead of 2 for a couple of reasons. One, I really, really like the print instead of the stuck-on rhinestone thing. And two, despite the problems, it's still basically functional even if it doesn't look great, enough so that I still have it on there until I can find a replacement.


The Child Psychotherapy Treatment Planner: Includes DSM-5 Updates
The Child Psychotherapy Treatment Planner: Includes DSM-5 Updates
by Arthur E. Jongsma
Edition: Paperback
Price: $41.05
78 used & new from $26.90

4.0 out of 5 stars this book seems like "paint by numbers" psychotherapy if you just flip through ..., June 30, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As with the others in this series, this book seems like "paint by numbers" psychotherapy if you just flip through it. If you think about the ways in which it can be more functionally used, though, it's use becomes more apparent. Especially for people who need help figuring out how to put their clinical documentation into the right words without spending time on that over and over again, this can be a big time saver. Likewise for those just starting out, who want to make sure that they aren't missing something that they really should be addressing, this gives a good list to scan.


MeadTrapper Keeper, 1.5 Inches, Sewn Binder, Black (72173)
MeadTrapper Keeper, 1.5 Inches, Sewn Binder, Black (72173)
Price: $15.55
2 used & new from $15.55

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a disappointment in functionality, but it is what it is, not what it was., June 30, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I was a big Trapper Keeper nut as a kid, and still have a couple of the 80s/90s ones left, so was excited to see this come in the mail.

On one hand, it still serves the same basic functionality -- it's a binder that won't suddenly fly open at inopportune times, unlike traditional binders. And on the upside, unlike many products which seem to go down in durability in subsequent generations, this actually seems to be made of quite a bit sturdier material than the ones I owned as a child. Also, while I miss the awesome sauce designs of the old-school Trapper Keepers, having something where I can shove in my own page / photo / label / whatever probably works for me on a more functional level.

On the other hand, there are some ways in which this Trapper Keeper was a significant let-down for me.

1) The Trapper Keeper now closes with a snap, and one which takes a decent amount of force to close. Now, I hate the sound of velcro as much as the next person, so I totally understand why they went away from the velcro route. But instead of going with a magnet, clasp, elastic, or any of another more functional options, they went with a snap -- which means that it has to be lined up well, then pushed with enough force that it can bend or mark the papers inside.

2) The old school Trapper Keepers came with 2-3 folders -- you might well decide to buy more (most of us did, I think), but at least you had something to start with. This, on the other hand, comes with nothing at all inside but dividers -- which are not nearly as useful for me in today's world as they were in the 90s, given how rarely I (or anyone else I know) uses loose leaf filler paper now. Folders that fit will in something like this are harder to find than they used to be, and I know few people who want to pay a shipping charge so that they can buy a folder or two online.

Truthfully, this was closer to 3 starts for me, but my nostalgia and the fact that it still has the same Trapper Keeper logo nudged it over to 4 stars at the finish line.


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