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Showing posts from 2017

VeryFit Smart Band: Inexpensive but not cheap

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Experience based on an OEM sample for review purposes.

This budget fitness band which has a lot going for it:

Firstly being that it connects to standard USB for charging.. no screwy proprietary cord needed. Second, budget price point. If you lose it, you won't cry or beat up a stranger in frustration. Perfect? No. It has some customization issues and it’s 4-day power cell could be drained with more fidgeting use.  Overall it is a great starter for someone interested in branching out but unwilling to sell their car to afford a fitness band.

It was comfortable on my wrist and did not get that ‘fitbit’ smell of trapped sweat in plastic.

Probably the most surprising was that it has the same quality feel of prior Fitbit purchases. I expected it to have a cheaper feel to it, but it felt like a quality product as much as it appeared to be one. I doubt that anyone looking at it on my wrist or touching it would be able to tell how much it cost. The Budget aspect often turns people off befo…

Treasured Recipes: A blank canvas for your favorite foods

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Cooking is a BIG DEAL in my house. My wife and I are semi-foodies, loving to make amazing food, willing to go really far out of our way for a good meal (prepping ramen eggs or bone broth days in advance). On the other side of the coin, we have been known to settle for Taco Bell (and enjoy it) on a lazy night. To support our food habit, and sometimes just to read, we have stacks of cookbooks, from Ramen noodles to Paleo, Whole30 to heart clogging sandwiches.

Recently, the publisher of the cookbook Treasured Recipes reached out and asked if I had interest in cooking from their book and giving some feedback. It sounded like a lot of fun so I agreed.

Here is the kick- Treasured Recipes is a blank cookbook. There are no recipes.

Treasured Recipes (a Blank Recipe Book ): Your Favorite Recipe Journal and Organizer
148 pages
Rockridge Press
ISBN-10: 193975495X
ISBN-13: 978-1939754950

Please note, Links on this site may be affiliate links, helping support this site. Consider buying a copy of…

MO Direct Wireless Qi Charger: Not pretty but works great!

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Based on a free product recieved.
The MO Direct Wireless Charger definitely works!

At a budget price, the MO direct charger works as good as it’s more expensive competitors. It connects and successfully charges my NuCharger Qi battery case. Unfortunately, the iPhone 6+ cannot wireless charge natively, as such, I cannot test/vouch for this as a direct peripheral charger. I can see this device lasting a long time with daily use as the plastic is tough and durable. Buyers should expect they will need to buy or supply a longer cord though.. The one that comes in the box is way too short to be reasonable.

The charger does get warmer than I expected when actively charging, but not unreasonably so.

The Amazon description states it is an "Artist on your desk".. I do not agree. This is not a pretty charger. It looks like the device it is (a charger), not an object crafted to enhance the desk environment.



Buying via links on this site will not cost you extra, but helps support this…

Wicca Practical Magic: Not about the movie (which I loooooved)

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I am not a Wiccan, but I have some tendencies, enough thatI accepted a free copy of this book to review. I learned long ago that there is an incredible amount of power in belief alone, so my lack there of should not be a quanitifier of fact or proof.

Growing up in a region with a strong religious presence, I dabbled in anything NOT the norm where I lived. I spent some evenings at the Krishna temple, did some research on Catholicism, and was also a passenger on the Wiccan train. The latter, as you know from the title of this review, is where the emphasis of this review will reside.

I find that people deny the overlap between their beliefs and those of other religions. Ditto where science is concerned. Belief and science are often loving bed partners. For example, In science, we know that the right resonant frequency combined with aerodynamic ‘Flutter’ can shake a bridge to pieces. So why is it negatively reflected when a religion has belief in rocks that react to frequencies or influe…

Generations: We all forget our roots

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Greater than half of my life (so far) has passed since I was a teenager. Some days I cannot even fathom the decisions I made and the sense of ambiguity I felt.

I lose the feeling associated with being both Invincible and Powerless. Everything I thought I could do seemed to have arbitrary corrals blocking the path.

Well crafted Graphic Novels like Generations help remind me if those feelings, insulating the generation after me from my history hazed misconceptions.

For reference, this Graphic novel was written by Flavia Biondi.. Many websites are misspelling her name as Bondi (no 1st i) .. I am looking at you Barnes and Nobel, and other bloggers!
Generations (Flavia Biondi)144 pagesLion ForgeISBN-10: 1941302505ISBN-13: 978-1941302507ASIN: B076HCV9Z2 Buying books through links on this site will not cost you additional money. But, these links support this site and may generate a commission. Consider buying a copy for yourself or your local library!

Everyone is running from something. It …

Unboxing the NuCharger Qi5000: oh the glorious hours of comics ahead of me..

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I was recently given the opportunity to test out a battery extension case for my iphone 6+. The NuVending company hooked me up in exchange for a public review. See YouTube Unboxing video and usage perspective below:

The timing couldn’t be more perfect to begin investigation of battery accessories. I have been charging my phone twice a day for months and eeking out trickle charge wherever possible.

Why? My usage has skyrocketed.

My iphone 6+ has close to eliminated my use of PC for non work projects. My aging iPad mini is sluggish when I load up a 250MB graphic novel. Reading comics on my phone has become a defacto action and a super convenient way for me to stay up to date. The trouble is that they present poorly when the power sucking brightness is too low. All of my book reviews and video reviews are written filmed or compiled via the 6+.

The NuCharger Qi5000 is a great product, but anyone touting perfection is feeding you a line. It has flaws, not many, but noticable: some wonke…

Katrina Hates the Dead: About to earn $2.99 of my hard earned silver

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I picked up a preview teaser copy of Katrina Hates the Dead through an Instafreebie link. This was my first time using Instafreebie and probably my last. Let's handle the IFreeb issue first before we talk comics.

Instafreebie is a website/App that allows authors and artists to set up giveaways and route them through an authorized system that helps diminish piracy by tracking valid app download connections. Pretty cool idea. The problem is spam email. By downloading anything you are basically giving carte blanche access for someone to email you with marketing junk. These are usually authors you showed interest in, but many of these authors have no idea about email and mailing list etiquette. I suggest avoiding this system. If you are routed there, just stop and track down the author directly.

Now! On to Katrina!

I do not have a ton to say yet. The Katrina comic I gained access to was a single 22 page issue of awesome. The apocalypse makes landfall and humanity is screwed. After th…

Some Rights of Memory: Drunk Mary is my spirit animal.

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I loved this book but had to rewrite my perspective entirely 4-5 times before I felt it captured my reading experience. While this review reads a little plain, this was a complex review to put to paper. Strangely, Malone’s Some Rights of Memory started me contemplating about the past; It made me feel very lucky that I grew up with some flexible low ambitions, lots of pot, boredom, and authority problems.

In the late 1990’s I was post high-school, working crappy temp service manufacturing jobs and donating plasma for cigarette money. I spent all of my remaining cash on ramen noodles and supplemented my dietary needs with lots of booze. I found great solace in the bottomless coffee at Denny’s and free saltine crackers.

Had I been a quarter as ambitious as Aiden Davies, I could have used a fragment of that sodium-laden energy and gotten some hustle on. I could be retired right now and wandered my own private beach wearing nothing but a smile and a diamond-encrusted jock strap. Well, you…

Interview: Q&A with Joseph M. Reynolds, author of Make Dust Our Paper

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During the Fall, I received a copy of a book that has had surprising staying power in my mind. Initially, I had mixed feelings, some ambiguity regarding the work. When it clicked with me, it really fell right into place.

Make Dust Our Paper has reserved a permanent place in my collection.

Like the nosy reader I am, after reading I emailed the author with a few followup questions about the plot. Ultimately, he answered my questions then he agreed to be interviewed about his novel and other topics. The holiday season is terribly busy for people, so I really appreciate that he was able and willing to take the time.

With that, much thanks to Joseph M. Reynolds!


Synopsis of Make Dust Our Paper:
"Carrigan approaches the millennium New Year craving climax and culmination. What he finds instead is constant anti-climax, and lack of definitional consequence for his failures and failings and genius. A conceptual heir to Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise, this novel explores everything …

Scarecrow Princess: I have a suggestion to read instead of this.

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I am utterly disappointed with this Lion Forge ROAR release.

An Italian import, I read the English translation of this Graphic Novel. I was initially drawn in by the plot description and atypical artwork. Unfortunately, The Scarecrow Princess has some inexcusable issues that block me from suggesting it to other readers.
The Scarecrow Princess (Federico Rossi Edrig)160 pagesLion ForgeISBN-10: 1941302424ISBN-13: 978-1941302422
READ THIS, NOT THAT
So beyond this is a pretty negative review. I suggest you skip this book and read Nilah Magruder’s M.F.K. instead. While I have not yet read MFK, is on my short list of seemingly amazing work I need to prioritize.

Note, this is an affiliate link. No extra cost to visitors, but makes this site a few cents if used.

Fatal flaws, lets discuss the biggest of them. We wont even talk about the rest.

I was annoyed that the creators of this comic chose to so strongly sexualize the fourteen year old female protagonist. But it is more than just sexualizat…

Quarry's War: Vietnam war vet, Hitman, Lover of ladies

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Starting Nov. 29th, the HardCase Crimes comic monthlies begin to release for Max Collin’s Quarry’s War. Don’t care for Single issues? They have the first trade paperback slated for July 2018.

Quarry has a long history:
- 5 pulp novels released in the 70’s and 80’s
- A pulp revival in the 2000’s with 8 new novels.
- Cinemax (skin-emax?) tv series launched in early 2017.

The first issue covers a bit of Quarry’s backstory- this comic has a split viewpoint, both as a sniper in several Vietnam tours and as a domestic Hitman. One page is 1972, the next 1969. Alternating consistently, each is a distinct plotline. In ‘72, Quarry is prepping to kill a gangster.. in ‘69, he is hiding on a hill searching for a way out of a firefight. It is unclear if the entire series will be presented in this way.

The upcoming release date is exciting as Titan has been pushing out teasers for Quarry’s War about six months now; Emails, ComicCon,  advance copies through a recent press release. If you have been p…

Trumpeterville: A meh and blah sandwich with pickles

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What a confused mess our world is in. Daily, we are inundated with examples of where we as a Human race can improve ourselves. These examples really make themselves known when world leaders seem to be comparing their delusions and Despotism. 
As it is a highly efficient tool in political commentary, Satire is a strong component in the deluge of Trump-centric books published since the 2016 election. Satire is not only efficient, it is effective; it gives extra power to ideas and concepts, while using the most minimalist of approaches. Occams Razor in action.
With that stated, this book is loosely satirical. It took reality, very minorly modified it, and slapped the label onto it. In actuality it renamed the individual parties and allowed real life to lampoon itself.
I expected more effort. Trumpeterville (Dean Gessie)46 pagesAnaphora Literary PressISBN-10:1681143798ISBN-13:978-1681143798 Buying books through these links cost readers no additional money, but help support this site. 
I wa…

DayBlack Vol 2: Page after page of black ink and red blood

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Keef Cross! You slapped me in the face with a wiffle paddle of love.
I was late to read Volume 1 of DayBlack, only learning of the comic series a few years after it was released. At the time of review, I made comments about how long it was between issues. I made a comment akin to ‘blah blah several more years before volume 2’.
I know it was just your marketing calendar, BUT, you seemingly timed the announced release of Volume 2 about three(?) days after I ran my mouth... I felt the sting of the pain stick and the force of the beating, but not until after hearing the ferocious mouse squeak of air through its holes. I will refrain from that mistake in the future.
DayBlack, vol 2 (Keef Cross)
96 pages
Rosarium Publishing
ISBN-10: 0996769234
ISBN-13: 978-0996769235

Purchasing books through links on this page  will cost you no additional money but WILL help support this site.
Digital available now, Pre-order dead tree book avail.
Use the site search to locate the first volume review if inte…

Firefly, Back from the Black: someone needs to beat some sense into The ‘Verse

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When I say the verse, I actually mean the universe we live in. Been a long time since fans made it known we Browncoats have pockets full from gettin paid and a liking to spend some cash. How lucrative does something need to be before the rights owners will allow a reboot of something? We get it, there is a legitimate conflict of interest for tv copyright holders vs movie copyright holders.

‘Spose it doesn’t matter much. 16 years from the Battle of Serentity till series start. 15 years since cancellation of Firefly. Can’t change the outcome of the war or the minds of TV executives. Can’t force a person to catch money being thrown at them..

Long winded intro complete. Fans keep making content that is Firefly centric.
Witness the shiny cuteness..
Firefly: Back from the Black (Joey Spiotto)
160 pages
Titan Books
ISBN-10: 178565375X
ISBN-13: 978-1785653759
This is a pretty great coffee table book. The only real words in it are from the Author introduction discussing how he was late to Firefly …
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