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Reviews Written by
Frederick S. Goethel "wildcatcreekbooks" RSS Feed (Central Valley, CA)
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Dead Distillers: A History of the Upstarts and Outlaws Who Made American Spirits
Dead Distillers: A History of the Upstarts and Outlaws Who Made American Spirits
by David Haskell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.64
61 used & new from $10.23

4.0 out of 5 stars A Unique History Of Distilling In America With Cemetery History Too, June 9, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is an interesting look at the distilling of spirits in the United States from about the 1600s forward to modern times. It includes legal and not so legal distillers and vendors over that time, along with their histories and where they are buried. The combination is quite unique.

The authors provide relatively short histories of various people involved in distilling in the U.S. along with fascinating tidbits about their lives and how they became involved in distilling. They also provide information on their deaths and where the bodies (if known) are buried. It is a truly weird mix of distillery history along with cemetery history.

I give the authors credit for the number of maps, photos, newspaper articles and photographs that are liberally spread throughout the book. It brings things to life (so to speak) and provides interesting background material.

This should be of interest to anyone with an interest in the history of distilleries as well as with some of the cemeteries mentioned. The book is oddly unique!


Silent Witnesses: The Often Gruesome but Always Fascinating History of Forensic Science
Silent Witnesses: The Often Gruesome but Always Fascinating History of Forensic Science
by Nigel McCrery
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.45
74 used & new from $7.23

4.0 out of 5 stars A Primer On The History Of Forensic Science, June 9, 2016
While this is not the most detailed book on forensic science, it is an interesting look at the history of how forensic science developed over the years. It delves into how the research in each subject (i.e. poisons) developed and them presents a few cases to show how the science worked.

The book is an interesting read that will provide the background for what we use today. I would recommend this for the lay person who is interested in how the subject has evolved and how it has changed detection of crime over the last 400 or so years.


We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler
We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler
by Russell Freedman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.31
61 used & new from $9.02

5.0 out of 5 stars A Story That Should Be An Inspiration And Warning To All, June 9, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have read quite a bit about World War II and have read a fair amount about the German and French resistance movements, but have never seen anything about this group or their activities. What they did is inspirational and should be known by school children as a message of courage and standing for what you believe in.

The story revolves primarily around several members of one family. The father was never happy about Hitler, yet his children entered the Hitler Youth for boys and similar programs for girls. It was there that they became disillusioned with what they saw. As luck would have it, the oldest child entered university to study medicine and had to do military service while studying medicine. It was there that he saw the destruction and stupidity of the war and vowed to fight it.

The individuals involved secretly printed leaflets that were distributed anonymously throughout Germany by mail. They would print them, they send them to random people that they took from phone directories, with the hope that people would give them to friends. Their activities caused massive problems for the Gestapo and tied up resources while the government tried to find who they were. Eventually, their leaflets made it into the hands of the Allies, who mass produced them and dropped them all over Germany from planes during bombing missions.

Eventually caught, none of them would give up the names of any of the others and they were sentenced to death in kangaroo courts. Nobody broke and they kept their secrets to their deaths. The Gestapo liked to use guillotines for civilian traitors, which was how they were executed. Eventually a number of members were caught, and enough were sentenced to die that it stirred up public opinion enough that the executions were stopped.

The book is well written and relatively age appropriate. Parents may want to determine for themselves how well their child can handle a book about this subject as it does deal with death and execution. Although not graphic, it might upset readers who are sensitive in the younger age brackets. I would highly recommend this, even for adults, as we can only stop mistakes in the future by studying the mistakes of the past.


Rubbermaid Commercial Infinity Traditional High-Capacity 4.1-Gallon Smoking Urn, Weighted Base, Black (9W33BLA)
Rubbermaid Commercial Infinity Traditional High-Capacity 4.1-Gallon Smoking Urn, Weighted Base, Black (9W33BLA)
Offered by My office innovations
Price: $147.37
45 used & new from $122.32

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Vessel For Butt Disposal, June 9, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My wife and I do not allow smoking in our house, so if anyone wants to smoke, they have to go out the front or back doors to fulfill their craving. When we first moved to this house, my wife was upset because there was no place to dispose of butts. We tried an ashtray on the patio table, but stuff blew out and made a mess. As a result, she bought me a plastic version of this disposal container for Christmas one year, along with one of those can ashtrays you see filled with sand for outside the front door. The rear one worked great, but the front one got water in it, the use cigarettes didn't come out easily and it started to rust badly. So, when I saw this I jumped on it.

This is obviously way more than I need for the front door of our house, but it is a great product. It is heavy…enough that it won't move in the wind and will stay in place. It is nice looking (for a butt disposal container) and the powder coating should last quite some time. It is easy to dispose of cigarettes into and has an awesome capacity. And, if need be, it can be bolte to the ground and locked…although neither will be needed by me.

If you need a very good quality container for cigarette remains, this is the item for you. Well built, well designed and tough, it should serve your needs for years to come!


South Main Hardware 810108 TSA-Accepted Resettable Luggage Lock (2 Pack), Orange
South Main Hardware 810108 TSA-Accepted Resettable Luggage Lock (2 Pack), Orange
Price: $9.85

2.0 out of 5 stars Not The Best TSA Lock Around, June 3, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
From the beginning of TSA approved locks, I have had a love/hate relationship with them. My daughter did extensive worldwide traveling as a teen after 9/11, and we tried using TSA locks. The original ones we bought were brass, were easy to set and worked well. The problem was with the TSA….the first time we locked her luggage they cut the lock off with bolt cutters, searched the luggage and then threw the pieces of of the mangles lock inside.

From there, after replacing the locks, we discovered that the TSA were opening the luggage with their key, but were not reattaching the locks. We would find them in the luggage. So, eventually we gave up….it just didn't seem worth the bother anymore.

When I saw these, I thpught maybe I would give them a try again….maybe the TSA has gotten better. These locks are made of plastic with a metal hasp. Truthfully, they are cheaply made and I have yet to be able to get the combination to set on either lock, despite numerous tries. I feel like they would break if the TSA bothered to try to use their key. They are just not a great product.

It is likley better to save the money, and buy good theft insurance for your luggae. I have to really question if any of them work, and all they are realy going to do is stop pillfering in the luggage areas. They certainly will not stop a dertemined thief who will either just pry the locks off the luggae or steal the entire bag.


Adventure Plus for Cats  4pk 9lb+
Adventure Plus for Cats 4pk 9lb+
Price: $34.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Product That Uses A Chemical Other Than Methoprene, June 3, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
In most of the products of this type, the active ingredient that prevents fleas and ticks from reoccurring is a chemical called methoprene. Sadly, in many areas there is a developing resistance to this chemical and these products stop working. Bayer came out with a completely new formula that does not use methoprene and this company uses a very similar formula that should avoid, at least for now, the problem of resistance.

I work with these chemicals in a mosquito control district, and the best advice I can give is to keep switching products that work. If, as in my area, there is no resistance to methoprene, you can mix this compound with one containing methoprene to help slow the development of resistance.

All together, this is a good product that works well and will help in areas that have a methoprene resistance problem. Just remember that reliance on this for a long period may also have a problem with resistance. I will be adding this to my rotating arsenal, because it works and the price is excellent!


Holmes Arm & Hammer Odor Grabber and Air Cleaner, Black
Holmes Arm & Hammer Odor Grabber and Air Cleaner, Black
Price: $19.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Not A Very Effective Odor Remover, May 30, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I am not sure what the market for this is supposed to be, but I found it to be less than effective in removing odors from even fairly small rooms.

I am using it in a downstairs bathroom to eliminate obvious odors. It has been mildly effective, but not to the point where I would keep running it and buying new filters when needed.

The fan has two speeds. The lowest speed barely moves any air at all, although it is quiet. The high speed moves air, but sounds like a jet landing. There must be a happy medium.

This might have worked for some people, but not for me and as a result, I cannot recommend it.


Night Therapy Mygel Memory Foam Traditional pillow, Set of Two
Night Therapy Mygel Memory Foam Traditional pillow, Set of Two
Offered by Sleep Revolution
Price: $45.00
2 used & new from $45.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Great Pillow, Just Not The One For me, May 25, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I think everyone can agree that a pillow is a very personal item. Everyone has what they like, don't like and finding the right pillow can be a chore or adventure. This is made even tougher by the fact that most places won't let you return them after you have tried them so buying a new pillow is very hit or miss. (We have a lot available for guest use!)

I have been using the same pillow for longer than I care to admit in public and am quite dedicated to it. ( I'm one of those that travels with their pillow). My pillow is foam and was made years ago and I haven't been able to find a replacement. Foam pillows just aren't made anymore….until recently.

When I saw this available on Vine, I jumped on it. I have been looking for a new pillow for some time and it looked like it might fit the bill. It was actually quite firm, which I love, however it was a tad too thin for me…if it had been another inch or two thicker I would have been in love. I continue to try it to see if I can get used to them, but so far, no luck.

If you like a firm pillow this might just be for you…it fit all my boxes except for thickness (even though it is pretty thick).


Scotts Wizz Hand-Held Spreader
Scotts Wizz Hand-Held Spreader
Price: $19.97
14 used & new from $19.97

5.0 out of 5 stars This Product Made Fertilizing My Lawn A Whole Lot Easier, May 18, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
have been using a hand-held spreader since we moved to California about 12 years ago. The lawn is way too small to be bothered with getting a regular spreader, and my previous properties were large, allowing utilization of a tow behind unit.

I was hopeful when this arrived. I currently use a Scott's hand held spreader, however because the crank is on the right side, I have to hold the weight of the fertilizer in my left arm and it does get tired after a little while. Also, the hand crank is only moderately reliable as to amount of spreading being done. The speed of your turning the crank determines everything.

I have actually used this unit twice now and it worked perfectly both times. The handle is comfortable and allows for easy operation without fatigue. It spread like a champ, although I have had some trouble with getting a setting for the fertilizer I use (a granular generic brand) The Scott's guide is pretty worthless for anything other than their products, so it has been hit or miss on that.

One thing to note…the chute opens wide on the most open setting. With my other unit, it needed to be wide open to work well. Be careful the first time you use this…I started out at the widest setting and ended up cutting by more than half.

Finally, it is nice to have the edge guard feature. It keeps the fertilizer on the lawn and not all over the driveway and walk ways. My wife always complains that it gets tracked in, but now there is little to nothing to track in.

I am very pleased with this and hope it continues to perform well in the future. I have only done about 2,000 feet sq. over two uses, so I don't know yet about battery life. IF you need a handheld spreader, then this is for you!


The Complete Guide to Nudism, Naturism and Nudists
The Complete Guide to Nudism, Naturism and Nudists
by Liz Egger
Edition: Paperback
Price: $17.99
21 used & new from $13.15

5.0 out of 5 stars Wish This Was Available When I Took The Plunge, May 18, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I began to look into being a naturist about one year ago, and I wish I had been able to have a book like this available to me then. If it was out there then, I didn't find it, but it would have been very helpful.

The book covers most of what you need to know about nudism: what it is like, how to behave, what to wear (and what not to, the pitfalls of nudism and many other things. If you are thinking about becoming a naturist, I highly recommend this book. It is also god for us newbies, too!


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