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Proberta Gerber "wine snob" RSS Feed (Sonoma, CA USA)

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Puffs Plus Lotion White Facial Tissue - 8 Family Boxes (124 2-ply tissues per box)
Puffs Plus Lotion White Facial Tissue - 8 Family Boxes (124 2-ply tissues per box)
Offered by Plenty Cosas
Price: $21.47
11 used & new from $15.86

5.0 out of 5 stars Spa treatment for a much abused nose, December 20, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Another one of my favorite products. I have lots of allergies and use a lot of tissues. The difference between the soft puffs with lotion and anything else without is noticeable to my nose. No more chapped nose. No more roughed up upper lip.

Can't guarantee this is cause and effect, but when I moved to the East Coast and faced my first winter with my usual allergies AND freezing temperatures, I got two skin cancers on my nose in six months. I had never had any prior to that. My dermatologist recommended the Puffs Plus to me then, and I've been using them for 20+ years and never had another skin cancer. Coincidence? Maybe. But my nose appreciates the kind treatment anyway. ;)


NOW Foods L-Arginine 500mg, 250 Capsules
NOW Foods L-Arginine 500mg, 250 Capsules
Price: $11.97
39 used & new from $11.97

5.0 out of 5 stars Good product made better by Amazon's extras, December 20, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I haven't taken pills from this specific order, but I've been taking the NOW L-Arginine for at least a couple years now. They are reputed to improve circulation, and since I spend many hours a day sitting at a desk, and have fairly severe nerve damage in one leg, I started taking them. They have worked well for me.

I generally choose NOW foods supplements for their quality and reliability, so, I'd prefer to keep using their brand. Happily, Amazon has them, eligible for Prime with its free shipping. I plan to also take advantage of their subscribe and save, once I pay attention to how long a bottle last me.

Good product made better by Amazon's extras.


Celebrate: Traditional Ethnic Entertaining in America
Celebrate: Traditional Ethnic Entertaining in America
by Hillary Davis
Edition: Hardcover
33 used & new from $1.02

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice survey of ethnic cuisines, December 13, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I am always curious to learn more about ethnic cuisines with which I am unfamiliar. When I saw this book by Hillary Davis, it seemed like a good idea. It has lots of beautiful photos, gives a summary of the cuisine/culture of each section, then a few representative recipes from each cuisine.

Cuisines covered range from Russian to assorted Asian, several European, to Mexican to Pennsylvania Dutch and so on. A good variety for anyone's interest. I have to say there are particular recipes I've been interested in for years in here, so I'm eager to try them out.

I took off one star because the recipes themselves have no headnotes, which I consider essential, especially in a book like this with so many disparate and possibly unfamiliar cuisines covered. Otherwise, a good book!


Best of Baking
Best of Baking
by Annette Wolter and Christian Teubner
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Best of Baking, and it really is!, December 2, 2014
This review is from: Best of Baking (Paperback)
I bought this book years ago and fell instantly in love. They say you eat first with your eyes, which makes this book a visual feast. I think every single recipe has a gorgeous photo to go with it. One of the things I do when I first get a new (to me) cookbook is "read" through it -- look at the pictures, check out the recipes -- and I had read through this book probably half a dozen times before I reminded myself that it was a cookbook, not a picture book. ;)

Originally published in Germany, I'm pretty sure, HP Books, here, bought the U.S. rights and republished it in English. Incidentally, if you look at HP books around that time -- 1980s-90s, you will find some very good paperback, English-language versions of some of the world's good cookbooks.

I'd been in love with this book for a while and baking from it a lot, every thing from dozens of cakes to authentic Italian breads, pizzas, calzones etc., and pastries! It has everything! I was talking to a woman in my office who also loved to bake who had just moved back here from Germany. She was telling me about this amazing baking book she had bought over there, and I was telling her about the amazing baking book I had. We agreed to each bring in our books the next day, and, you guessed it, hers was the original German version of mine. Not essential to the review, but a fun coincidence and a double endorsement for this book.

This isn't just your basic white, yellow, and devil's food cakes. It's totally European in style and scope and, so, is a great education for the avid baker, from dessert to a meal to a coffee klatch (spelling?). If you can find it, it is so worth the few dollars it would take to own it. Just delicious and so well done.


Tartine Bread
Tartine Bread
Price: $9.90

0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Chad, Chad, Chad. Why you gotta burn that bread?, November 27, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Tartine Bread (Kindle Edition)
UPDATE: After reading through the limited text of the sample one more time, key phrases such as: "...but after such a long rise, the resulting bread was sometimes more sour than I wanted. To counter this, I began using my wild yeast starter at a younger, more mild stage until I achieved the complex flavors I was after with the right balance of acidity..." persuaded me that there would be some good bread science in this book. So, I bought the Kindle version. Now, if only the darn thing would download properly in a form I can use, I will give it a thorough going through and publish a review of the actual book. I know you're all holding your breath for this. I just know it. ;)
----------------------
And the holes. Sheesh. How do you get the mayo to stay on the bread if you want to make a sandwich. And chicken salad? You'd be wearing it. Then there are the gum lacerations from the razor sharp shards of stainless steel crust. What were you thinking? Okay, very tongue-in-cheek here.

Full disclosure: this review is based on the sample, which was not enough to entice me to spend even this small amount of money to learn how to burn my bread. No.

As a sample, it was very poor. Pure vanity. The obligatory all-about-me section (hey, everyone's got them) and many pictures, some, well, yeah, Chad you but looks cute in a wetsuit, were the sum total of the sample. How about more substance in this sample?

For my tastes, the bread is ugly, but I'm willing to learn. Maybe not to like my bread burnt, but surely someone as renowned as Chad Robertson can't have been doing it wrong all these years. Hey, your selling a product -- your expertise -- so you gotta win me over, and the Amazon sample option is one great marketing tool. Show me what you got -- how about a recipe or two, a peek at the index or the full table of contents? No, they aren't always available from the "Look Inside" feature. Let me get an idea if maybe, burnt crusts and massive holes aside, there is something for me in this book.

But from this sample, I'm not seeing it. Sorry.


USTOP New USB Heated Mousepad and Hand Warmer
USTOP New USB Heated Mousepad and Hand Warmer
Offered by USTOP
Price: $2.99
2 used & new from $1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money -- don't get your hopes up, November 14, 2014
I bought this exact mousepad, but not on Amazon, so this is strictly a review of the product. I bought two so I could have a backup. Little did I know that I would need that backup after only three days of using the first pad. It heated quite well, a little too hot at times since there is almost no insulation between your hand and the heating "element." I only kept it plugged in when I was using it, so it didn't get burned out from overuse.

The second pad lasted five days. Then, kaput. In addition, this pad is made for small hands and mini-size mice. The average adult hand and a full size mouse are a tight fit and give you very little mousing room.

The issue seems to be that the heating element is very poorly made (flimsy) and not actually incorporated into the pad. What you have is a mitt, which has a sheer fabric pocket in the underside of the cover and a hole in the far side of the pad coming from that slot. The "heating element" is a set of very fine wires sandwiched between a couple pieces of cellophane. Yes, cellophane. There are two very fine wires coming out the ends of this cellophane and feeding into the USB cable. To heat the pad, you have to slip the cellophane sandwich and the USB cable into the fabric slot, then feed the cable out through the hole in the far side.

It looks to me as though giving the cable even a small yank could break a wire. Not sure if that's what happened to both of mine or if they were just that flimsy that they weren't made to last even a week. I previously had a similar mousepad that had the heating works embedded in the cover. It worked great for the several months I needed it in last season's cold weather. The only reason I bought this new one is that when I got my old one out to plug it in, it only had an inch of USB cable coming out of it. LOL! Something seems to have eaten the rest of the cable. I haven't been able to find that model again, but I live in hopes. Oh, the old one's cover is thicker and the whole thing is roomier, as well.

I wouldn't recommend this particular mousepad to anyone who actually needs it to heat up and keep doing so for the next several months (or more).


Love is a Mystery: Six novels of love, laughter and lawbreaking
Love is a Mystery: Six novels of love, laughter and lawbreaking

5.0 out of 5 stars What can I say, they knocked me out., September 11, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I paid 99 cents for this bundle, and it was worth ten times that, twenty times! I've bought a lot of these bundles because they're a good way to discover new (to me) authors I might like. This bundle was such a success. I had read one of these books before, but all the others and their authors were new to me. What can I say, they knocked me out.

The styles run the gamut from noir to cozy to chick lit to straight up mystery. The romance level varies, and the depth of emotional involvement, as well. But there is really something for everyone in this bundle. My particular favorites were "The Zen Man" by Colleen Collins and "The Honeymoon Cottage" by Barbara Cool Lee, neither of which are what you would expect from their titles). In fact, I liked this bundle so much, that I'm taking the time to review a few of these books on their individual pages.

Give it a try, really. At this price it's pure gold.


The Hobo Chronicles
The Hobo Chronicles
by S.E. Schenkel
Edition: Paperback
5 used & new from $9.92

5.0 out of 5 stars A little noir, a little scruffy, but all good reading, August 28, 2014
This review is from: The Hobo Chronicles (Paperback)
Rockford Files meets Cold Case. Really excellent! Schenkel's characters are pitch perfect and sense of place vividly evocative, i.e., you feel like you're there. This novel, the first in the Acey Tapp series, opens with Acey unemployed, in danger of losing his apartrment and facing the imminent death of his mother. He needs to get his act together, get a job and, at 40-something, grow up. He applies for a job with an ailing P.I. named McMunn. Almost immediately, McMunn is hospitalized, near death, and Acey has to prove himself by taking over one of the man's cold cases. The mother of a teenage girl who disappeared decades ago wants to know what happened to her.

Then there's the body of a hobo found in a bin in a parking lot. What's his story?

Schenkel starts right out, showing us what Acey's made of -- gadfly, depressed drinker, lost child who never knew his father, yet capable of charm and wit. The story fascinated me, the way it meshed all the seemingly disparate elements and personalities -- some really fascinating personalities -- just superb. This is the book that introduces the team that carries through all the subsequent volumes of Acey's story and sets the standard for excellent storytelling.


Guaranteed Justice (Justice series Book 5)
Guaranteed Justice (Justice series Book 5)
Price: $3.94

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No! Big fat NO!, July 19, 2014
Up front: I haven't read any of this authors other books, nor will I. I got this as part of a bundle.

To quote another reviewer: "Book has a surprising ending." I'll say, and an appalling surprise it is, as in, i can't believe she wrote that. And someone published it. Oh, wait. There is no publisher listed, so I guess this is self-pubbed. .

SPOILER ALERT

People gave this five stars? In addition to being amateurishly written, it is completely open about its message...Hey, the justice system fails you, it's okay to kidnap, torture and murder the bad guy.

Now, in another genre, i wouldn't agree any more with this sentiment than I do here, but at least it would fit that genre. Come on,.six women and two men, tho of them former and one a current police officers are all fine with knowing their "friends" did this? They even conspire to keep their friends safe from prosecution? I know, in spite of the common language, that there are cultural differences between US and UK mores, but...I'd say, "I'm speechless," but I've already been going on a bit.

END SPOILER

The characters, what can I say? The female characters are almost uniformly pains in the patoot in one way or another, didn't like any of them. The victims were so OTT damaged and wouldn't accept any help that I soon lost sympathy with them. If the crime that begins the book was supposed to be a clear case of date rape drugs, it sorely missed the mark. It looked more like the woman drank too much and was stupid (or drunk) enough to go off with some guy she didn't know. Doesn't excuse the crime, but it did set me off on a negative vibe with this book.

At one point, Fiona's (sister of the first victim shown) boyfriend says he has a plan to get even with the attacker, then...well, he vanished and so did his plan. The series protagonist, Lorne, seems a bit manic and unrealistic and a little too busy woman to really fulfill her responsibilities, always able to bully someone else into taking over for her. If someone questions her decisions or point sout potential problems, she just gives them the old "get with the program" and they cave. These are mostly the men in her life who are cardboard placeholders, until someone more dynamic comes along. The only one who seems to have Lorne's number is her sister Jade who has only a couple walk-ons in this book.

Nope. Sorry. Book has no redeeming virtues IMO. If only we could assign minus stars and knock off someone else's overeffusiveness.


Some Like It Charming (A Temporary Engagement Book 1)
Some Like It Charming (A Temporary Engagement Book 1)
Price: $0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty darn good, June 28, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Somewhere between chick lit and womens fiction, Some Like it Charming is the story of a guy, Ethan Howell O'Connor, who is too charming for his own good and has left a string of broken-hearted women behind him. He tries to laugh that off, but it is really getting to him -- he doesn't like hurting people. All his charm is aimed at making people happy, but he makes them too happy for too short a time. Result: one more weeping, shattered woman.

He has a brainstorm, to wit, if he can get the one women who cuts him off at the knees every time he tries to be charming, Mackenzie Wyatt, to pose as his fiancee, he won't break her heart, but he will be protected and so will all those women who DON'T see through him. They are both fierce competitors, so when Ethan comes up with this great idea, he sells the deal by appealing to Mackenzie's need to win. She finally, if reluctantly, agrees. Basically the deal is that they will pretend to be engaged for six weeks, then she will dump him and they will go their separate ways, both heart whole.

She tries to control their enforced closeness by vetoing sex, even kissing, because nothing is harder to resist than a charming man who's good in bed and fun to be with, darn it. He wants sex to be part of the deal, but he doesn't want her to fall in love with him. Boy, does he not want that. Every time he thinks she might be softening up about him as a man, he feels a little sick. You see, he's tired of breaking hearts. He wants to get through one relationship, beginning to end, with no broken hearts, no tears, no regrets.

Can they each overcome their issues to see that they just might be perfect for each other? It's touch and go.

Helping from the sidelines are his grandmother, who wants them to wind up together, and his mother, who hates Mackenzie on sight...and the feeling is pretty much mutual. Mackenzie's long estranged father gets thrown into the mix, too, explaining a lot about why she is so anti-charm. There are no extraneous characters in this story, it all is pretty believable, taking the vast sums of money as placeholders for real life. I liked it a lot, would recommend it and will read more by this author.

That's actually four and a half stars, but Amazon doesn't let you do that. That half star got taken off because of the barely a lick and a promise that was given to the main background of the story. He's the president/owner of the company, she makes more sales than anyone in any of their branches...but WHAT DO THEY SELL??? Stocks? Real Estate? Software? Well, not the latter, but really. Every reference to the company or to sales etc. popped me right out of the story. If it's not worth telling us what the company does for its money, then it's probably not worth mentioning the company. My opinion.

Still recommend as a good solid, fun read with more emotional depth that a lot in its genre.


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