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Martin A Hogan "Marty From SF" (San Francisco Bay Area)

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The Ultimate Bee Gees
The Ultimate Bee Gees
Preis: EUR 20,99

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5.0 von 5 Sternen The 50th Anniversary!, 4. November 2009
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Ultimate Bee Gees (Audio CD)
For having so many greatest hits packages, the first question is why another? 2009 is the 50th Anniversary of the Bee Gees and the first time they announced that they would, after all, reunite as the Bee Gees. When Maurice Gibb passed away in 2003, it was declared the Bee Gees were over and Barry and Robin went their separate ways. This is a celebration.

The nicest surprise is that fans are now given an official video disc of 18 of the Bee Gees more popular songs. "Spicks & Specks" is the original grainy black and white version, but "New York Mining Disaster 1941" is a rare clip, interspersing montages of children and coal miners which is a more direct reference to the lyrics. "Tomorrow, Tomorrow" represents the year the Bee Gees temporarily lost Robin but is a great song from their TV special "Cucumber Castle" and a nice addition even if a bit fuzzy. "For Whom The Bell Tolls" is one of their under appreciated gems and this video is one of their best (I miss "When He's Gone" as a video). "Still Waters Run Deep" is a rare video in that it is the single version of the song with an electronic harpsichord (not the album version). However, the most professional video has to be "Alone" with its images over the years spliced into the song.

The sound is far superior to all previous releases (other than the videos), including Tales from the Brothers Gibb and The Bee Gees - Their Greatest Hits: The Record. It appears that `most' of the songs chosen were all in the Top Twenty either in the USA or the UK. This makes for a nice Anniversary Edition, even if you already own most of these songs. The box is (as most are nowadays) a cardboard foldout with a slipcase. But the insert has a nice write-up from Sir Tim Rice with some photos of the group as they progressed over the last fifty years. Its not extensive, but gives enough information to sum up the Bee Gees career (so far).
Kommentar Kommentare (2) | Kommentar als Link | Neuester Kommentar: Nov 21, 2009 10:57 PM CET

Logitech G9x Laser Maus schnurgebunden + 2 Griffschalen schwarz und silber
Logitech G9x Laser Maus schnurgebunden + 2 Griffschalen schwarz und silber
Wird angeboten von PC-Kaufhaus24

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Great Gaming Mouse, 19. Oktober 2009
In appearance and feel, there is not much difference between this gaming mouse and the G9 gaming mouse. However, you can adjust the sensitivity of the mouse for gaming by creating up to five mouse profiles and you can determine the sensitivity you want, so your arrow can zip across your screen super-fast or go slower, depending on what kind of game you are involved in. The G9X has the enhanced laser which makes for more accurate gaming. Once you have that under control, your gaming precision is sure to get faster and more accurate.

As far as simply being a good mouse, it still has great features. Like the G9, there is a choice between a wider or thinner mouse grip. (I use the wider one as my hands are large and I have always had trouble with thinner mice). Plus, you can add weight to the mouse (up to 28 g), which is something I had never thought would be such a great advantage until I used it. The bulk and the sensitivity really improve handling. The scroll wheel can be adjusted to either a smooth or a click response (I prefer the click). Just the velvety feel and the wider grip make a huge difference. This might seem minor, but the cord is braided which makes it easy to distinguish when plugging and unplugging in the back of my desktop. In short, this version of gaming mouse is better than the G9 since it contains the gaming profiles and the enhanced laser (in software installation).

The Rock and Roll Book of The
The Rock and Roll Book of The
von David Comfort
Preis: EUR 12,51

5.0 von 5 Sternen Seven Immortal Stars, 12. Oktober 2009
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Rock and Roll Book of The (Taschenbuch)
David Comfort has taken on the immense task of condensing the biographies of seven of the world's arguably greatest rock artists. From the sixties of Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix to the seventies of Jim Morrison, John Lennon and Elvis Presley to the latest life and death of Kurt Cobain. They read like seven novella's with extensive foot notes and quotes from various people, most notably, the artist's themselves.

Many common threads of the artists are presented from childhood through to the end of their lives. Who could conceive that so many of these artists experienced traumatic childhoods, bouts of severe alcohol and drug abuse, sexual promiscuity and ambiguity all accompanied by severe low self-esteem. It seems that the brilliance in the artist lies in the pain and lack of a normalcy that drives them to stardom. It's hard to believe that some of the prophetic quotes are from the artists themselves.

"I've been dead a long time" - Jimi Hendrix.
"The more you live, the less you die" - Janis Joplin.
"Cancel my subscription to the resurrection" - Jim Morrison.
"My life is over. I'm a dead man!' - Elvis Presley.
"Everybody loves you when you're six feet in the ground" - John Lennon.
"I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not" - Kurt Cobain.
"Fame is the soul eater" - Jerry Garcia

Particularly fascinating is the life of Janis Joplin. From a poor family in Port Arthur, Texas to being a huge success at the time of her death, Joplin's life is a daily tragedy. She is a good example of the artist with no self esteem that rises to stardom with the accompaniment of heavy drug and alcohol use. Sexual promiscuity is just another drug. Family and friends tore her apart and her basic need of simply wanting to be loved is heart-breaking.

Kurt Cobain, on the other end of this timeline, also suffers the same struggles as the other six, particularly similar to Joplin, in that his sexuality is never truly defined, his childhood was marred with abuse and the drugs and alcohol both fueled his talent and destroyed it. Of particular interest is his marriage to Courtney Love, who unlike so many of the other artists love interests or partners, is truly evil. There is no guessing or speculation here. Comfort provides well documented facts. Cobain's story is one of the most interesting and bizarre. Was it a suicide or homicide?

All seven of these artists share the same emotional problems, bad upbringings, drugs, poor relationships, abuse from managers and friends, that it's mind boggling to read each story, much less seven. David Comfort has supplied an enormous amount of information and delivers it in a thorough and fast-paced manner . You won't be able to put this book down.

HP Officejet J4580 Multifunktionsgerät mit Fax
HP Officejet J4580 Multifunktionsgerät mit Fax

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4.0 von 5 Sternen You Get What You Pay For, 11. Oktober 2009
Keeping in mind that you get what you pay for, I decided that when my `HP Desktop 920C Printer' ran out of ink, I would purchase this item. I like the idea of having a copier, scanner and FAX machine in one, but was dubious about quality. The basic printer works fine and the color was vibrant and crisp. It easily takes photos from my computer files and prints them out quickly. However, sometimes the printer does not recognize that there is paper in the tray (which happens often). Also, the tray holds about half the amount of paper that my older `HP Printer' held. As far as speed, I can say it is about twice as fast as my older printer. It is also far noisier than any printer I have had in the past.

The scanner is nice in that you can place the originals face down and they feed directly onto the copier glass, one by one as a fairly high rate. The conversion factor to editable text is very cool, which was something I was not expecting and there are plenty of other editing techniques that are supplied. I'd say that this scanner is just a little better than my previous `EPSON Perfection V200' scanner.

The FAX portion of this machine was the trouble maker. I have an ooma Hub - VoIP Phone Device with No Monthly Phone Service Bills that uses my computer's DSL for long distance. Hooking up the FAX to include the OOMA was troublesome. It took a long time for me to get both of them to work together. If you only have a direct line from the copier to your phone, you probably won't have a problem. The transmission of a sheet was fairly quick.

The appearance of the HP Officejet J4580 is slick with a small phone keypad, a digital readout telling you what is happening in any process (also shows the date and time automatically) and a few other convenient short cut buttons. The software is simple to install (I used the recommended version). There isn't anything too terribly difficult to understand. For the price, the scanner and the copier make it worth while, although the FAX portion was a problem. I've had printers for over ten years now and I have yet to have one that doesn't use up a lot of ink. This HP claims it is conservative, but I'll have to wait and see. Price to product ratio is pretty good.

Fujitsu HandyDrive V 500GB 6,4 cm (2,5 Zoll) externe Festplatte USB
Fujitsu HandyDrive V 500GB 6,4 cm (2,5 Zoll) externe Festplatte USB

4.0 von 5 Sternen Small and Efficient, 26. September 2009
This drive is small enough that you can put it in your briefcase and transfer any and all data to another computer (pictures, songs, movies, etc.). The small LCD screen always shows you how much space is still left on the drive. It looks great.

I have a Western Digital Essential Edition 500 GB USB 2.0 External Hard Drive WDH1U3200N that I used to back up all my data. It is the size of a good book. Comparing the Western Digital and the Verbatim, I found some big differences. Downloading 27 GB of data to my Western Digital took about 2 hours to complete. Downloading the same amount of data to my Verbatim took about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Sure, its just `drag `n drop' walk away time, but it was faster.

The Nero software is something that you have to experience. It is fairly basic, but Nero has some inherent problems and you really don't need it to back-up your information. (P.S. Stay away from MEMEO from Western Digital. It is complicated garbage. I lost a great deal of data using it).

The installation is very simple. Just plug the drive into a USB port and install. I am truly amazed at how small but efficient this external drive is. Much nicer than a larger external drive that is heavier and takes up more space. If you have a laptop, this is an excellent back-up drive to use in your travels.

Octave (Remastered)
Octave (Remastered)
Preis: EUR 13,98

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4.0 von 5 Sternen Surround Sound Would Have Saved This Album, 24. September 2009
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Octave (Remastered) (Audio CD)
As the eighth album form the original ensemble of the Moody Blues, this is the only one not to be remastered in 5.1 (actually 4.1 as the center speaker is not used). I can only guess it is because the group recorded at the Record Plant in California and did not have the same access to the mixers. However, Justin Hayward and Alberto Paroldi did a fine job remastering in stereo with this 2009 release. The songs are more vibrant than the original recording and the five `live' songs are incredibly clear, unlike the 'Caught Live + 5' album, which had horrible mixing.

As is usual with the first song on a Moody Blues album, there is a special effect `hook' used for introduction. However, "Steppin' In A Slide Zone" falls short as a single with a repetitive chorus and forced melody. In fact, some of the songs sound terribly dated, which is unusual for the Moody Blues earlier albums. "I'll be Level With You", "Top Rank Suite" and "Survival" just seem out of synch with a typical Moody Blues song. Note that this was a tough period for the group in general, not knowing what the future held. However, songs like, "Driftwood", "The Day We Meet Again" and "One Step Into The Light" (Mike Pinder's only contribution) are represented in the classic Moody Blues ethereal sound. In Fact, Pinder's song contains lyrics that harken back to the psychedelic era and the mellotron works well without being overpowering.

The additional five live songs don't make up for the lack of the quadraphonic sound most had hoped for, but at least they are crisply and clearly recorded. Again, "Driftwood" (with its reverb guitar) and "The Day We Meet Again" are nice surprises.
Kommentar Kommentar (1) | Kommentar als Link | Neuester Kommentar: Aug 17, 2012 3:02 PM MEST

Katyn [DVD]
Katyn [DVD]
Wird angeboten von komplett-allesguenstig
Preis: EUR 4,85

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Devastating History With No Relief, 22. September 2009
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Katyn [DVD] (DVD)
World War II stories seem to never end, but "Katyn" is a new and extremely important part of world history. Directed by Oscar winning director Andrzeg Wajda, this two-hour masterpiece is a witness to courage and tragedy at their extremes.

In 1939, Poland occupants are surrounded by the Germans to the west and the Russians to the east. This is an inescapable situation for the Poles. There are several families situations that are weaved throughout this film with wife's and daughters searching for their Polish officer husbands, brothers, relatives and friends. This sets the tone of the film, and personalizes it. First a wife and daughter find their Polish officer husband as they flee the Germans, only to see him disappear. A University is visited and the professors are asked to meet with the Russians; a fatal mistake but unavoidable. Officers and intellectuals are held at various camps, waiting to be executed.

In 1940, the Russians murder most of the Polish officers, while letters, rumors and messages are spread from camps to families and back. It is painful to watch. The Germans exploit Russia's murderous rampage to gain allies. Meanwhile, Polish residents are forced to sign allegiance to Russia, but there is a resistance, which is eventually fatal for most. Director Andrzej Wajda weaves real footage of the discovery of mass graves to the Polish people (actors) in town squares. (The films are authentic and Wajda splices them perfectly from black and white into the color film). These films are the most horrific one will see, even in documentaries. Polish officers are shown being systematically executed in the most egregious style. This is interweaved with families contemplating what happened or actually finding out the demise of their husbands and sons. It is heartbreaking.

The ending with the actually reenactment of the Polish armies being executed in mass graves while bulldozers bury the evidence is startling and upsetting. The final scene with a hand holding a rosary is devastating. The film is one of the most factual (although the family dynamics are fictional) that one can witness. Its the kind of film that you understand, can relate to and pulls you in every direction. You know this happened 70 years ago, but the reality is palpable and upsetting. There are no light moments - this is the real world. It is a tribute to the people of Poland and their bravery.

This film is for fans of history and the truth. To date, approximately 22,000 Poles have been found in mass graves in the "Katyn" forest and these mass grave discoveries are continuing to be found.

von Debbie Lee Wesselmann
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 18,24

2.0 von 5 Sternen Primal Relationships, 8. September 2009
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Captivity (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Dana Armstrong is the director of a chimpanzee sanctuary in South Carolina. The animals she and her under-funded staff tend to are primarily discards from experiments and research. The novel opens with a horrible discovery that someone has let the chimpanzees loose, some of them deemed dangerous by the locals. It appears that there are many residents and groups that want to see the sanctuary shut down and this event is a grave threat. As the story progresses we learn a great deal about Dana and her upbringing which seems to make sense of all the passion.

Dana's parents brought her up with a brother and a chimpanzee for a surrogate sibling in a curious unconventional family experiment. With such an unusual family dynamic, you learn to understand what drives Dana's passion. However, Dana grew in one direction while her brother, Zack went in another. Their upbringing is an interesting corollary for their adult concerns and passions.

One of the main forces driving the story is the threat of the local university closing the facility. This would not only mean a loss of a job, but the loss of the chimpanzees that Dana has grown to love over the years. In fact, sometimes it seems Dana's real family is this group of intelligent animals more than her own brother's relationship.

I had some trouble getting through this novel. I'm more a non-fiction person.

Wake Up Call for Telemarketers
Wake Up Call for Telemarketers
Preis: EUR 19,62

4.0 von 5 Sternen A Special Packaging, 26. Juli 2009
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Wake Up Call for Telemarketers (Audio CD)
Chances are you've received an Email with a Tom Mabe joke call attached. Tom Mabe lives in the Louisville, Kentucky area and has a good ol' boy sense of humor that actually goes a long way. I find myself listening to comedy albums only once as the joke has been told and is over. The advantage to Tom Mabe's collection is you have a CD full of jokes and a DVD with "Candid Camera" type scenes that are more risqué than television.

The CD contains great jokes on the phone regarding a man who wants life insurance on his wife - right away, another phone victim hears how Tom really treats those obnoxious Holiday Carolers and phone calls where he is in the bathroom. Half of this CD is an attack on tele-marketers who he not only berates, but checks into a hotel full of telemarketers and subtly harasses them all night long (sales for sleeping pills, wake-up calls, etc.). They are funny the first time, so maybe pass it along to a friend.

An added treat is the DVD which contains many funny clips including Tom at the Kentucky Derby naked wearing only a men's urine receptacle in the front. It seems the fine people of Kentucky can have fun after several beers. Then there's the scene of two guys just relaxing fishing when Tom and his assistant show up in radioactive suits and give them dire warnings. The ending is hilarious. The blind pilot walking around the airport is clever as is a pizza delivery boy who sees two men dressed in S&M outfits. Of course, the girls (and guys) in bikinis for a car wash proves everyone can take a joke.

If you collect comedy albums, this is a good one, but personally I'll pass mine on. I listened, watched and enjoyed, but its better with company. The only comedy album I've watched alone or with company repeatedly is Sam Kinison, just because he is so outrageous. Tom Mabe comes close to crossing the line, but always leaves you laughing. For a CD and a DVD it is a good deal for those who like audible and visual humor.

von Cloris Leachman
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 18,87

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Chutzpah - Over and Over!, 20. Juli 2009
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Cloris (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Cloris Leachman had always been from the `Mary Tyler Moore" show or "Young Frankenstein" or "High Anxiety". I never knew much about this patron of the arts until I read this autobiography. It is delightful. I felt like I walked into Cloris Leachman's house and we just started to chat. That is the atmosphere you experience when reading her autobiography. It is linear in style, but she manages to inflect an interesting back-story here and there, making the read all that more interesting. It is literally a walk through time in this woman's life where she reveals unbelievably funny, bizarre and sad situations she had dealt with. This stands out as more personal than most autobiographies from celebrities and no doubt, she was assuredly helped by her partner George Englund.

She begins with (of course) her childhood and how much her mother encouraged to do what she wanted in piano or acting. All of this in a household where the father was less than available. I was surprised to know that in Des Moine, Iowa, she saw a play starring Katherine Hepburn and was so struck with the theater, she immersed herself into it, eventually later landing a part on a Broadway stage in New York opposite Katherine Hepburn!

Cloris Leachman is clearly a down to earth and a talented woman who never lost sight of her family or her place in the theatrical world. She's not humble, but simply matter-of-fact. She has no fear of productions on stage and explains several very interesting experience with famous and not famous co-stars that make you laugh or cringe. But she is never judgmental and at first you'll wonder whether she is a workaholic or just loves theater so much, she can't turn anything down. In fact, she loves performance so much, she'll take any jobs, at one point taking on understudies for seven roles simultaneously for two plays in New York, 1947. In 1948, she began a spot on radio for Kraft TV, mesmerizing the audience, particularly in a time when women were not to out-do men. She just takes it all in stride.

She explains her method of acting, what props are most available and what plays she had been in. She also tells of times where she just happens to meet people that are famous, but in a neighborhood sort of way. I did not know that her husband Producer George Englund) and Marlon Brando were very close friends, nor that Judy Garland was Cloris's neighbor and confidant, where Cloris would make lunches for Judy's family when Judy was troubled. Accidentally finding herself in a room with Jackie Kennedy (awkward) after being invited to the Kennedy Hyannisport compound, she explains how easily one can be intimidated by "USA royalty". She meets the entire family and it is explained as if you were there, frantically trying to say what is proper and be a good guest. There are some very funny moments.

Cloris speaks of stating that Ronald Reagan would run for the Presidency simply by non-verbal clues from Nancy Reagan or her conversations with Hillary Clinton about Bill Clinton's run for President. My lord. She even knew Charlie Chaplin very well. All of this is presented in the most unpretentious way that you realize she has no need to embellish. It simply is not necessary. She admires these famous people, but is not stricken with a sense of overwhelming admiration. They are all humans.

The one thing that really strikes one as you read this, is that her family is the most important thing to her. Even through a separation and much later a divorce from Producer George Englund, it is clear that they are soul-mates forever. Her achingly short chapter on her son who passed away form drug abuse is heart-felt and you know why the chapter is so short. She observes life in a way that is rarely found. Her philosophies are not new nor inspirational. They are simply what she believes and this brings about her persona as it really is. She does not choose to be a celebrity, she simply chose to act in any way or capacity that was available to her, her precocious personality be damned or not. She ends with her attitude about greeting people with hugs. There is nothing better than that. She tells the reader that all she wants to do is put a big hug around you as you read her story. Cloris Leachman is a woman who is human with a great deal of class and love.

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