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Steve in Japan

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Close to the Bone (Logan McRae, Book 8)
Close to the Bone (Logan McRae, Book 8)
Price: £3.32

5.0 out of 5 stars An essential part of the Scottish crime trilogy, 13 Nov 2013
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You have Rankin and Rebus for Edinburgh, you have Brookmyre and Parlabane, Jasmine etc for Edinburgh and other parts of Scotand......but you must have Macbride and Logan McRae for Aberdeen! There are definite regional flavours and nuances, none more so that Macbride writing about the Granite City

I was a bit late reading Close to the Bone, and the story definitely benefits from knowing where we last left Logan. He is still put-upon, over-burdened by work and taking regular beastings from anybody above him in the hierarchy - particularly of course Steel. He is still in counselling (not surprisingly). But he can still crack a case and takes no prisoners.

Plenty of unfinished business for Logan which I hope will mean a return in the not too distant future.


Saints of the Shadow Bible (Inspector Rebus 19)
Saints of the Shadow Bible (Inspector Rebus 19)
by Ian Rankin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £7.00

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best, 9 Nov 2013
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Getting older seems to agree with Rebus. Maybe he can`t do all the things he used to be able to, but his intellect and humour are intact. A sharp plot, crackling dialogue, and even a few laughs. Recommended.


Mio Alpha Heart Rate Monitor -
Mio Alpha Heart Rate Monitor -
Price: £130.99 - £343.58

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No Chest Strap Required, 3 Nov 2013
The good points

1. Yes, no chest strap required. Thats pretty good, one less smelly thing to carry around and wash after the gym.
2. Its simple to set up - just the 12 hour time, and your preferred Heart Rate zone (the lower and upper limit)
3. The HR monitor for me works pretty well. Just occasionally the HR reduces without reason to 80 or 90, but very soon comes back. The impact is negligible over a decent period, say 40 or 60 minutes.
4. Simple colour indicator on the watch shows if you are in the HR zone set (green), under it (blue) or over it (red). Quite nice becase you can see it with just a glance, no need to check the watch face.
5. Large simple monitor, easy to read in normal light
6. Rechargeable via USB charger supplied, so no batteries required

The less good points

1. The data output is very limited - just time spent overall, time in the zone and average HR. And that data is kept only for the last workout. No history. Compared to the cheaper Suunto M2 that isn`t great.
2. I couldnt turn off the alarm that beeps if you are outside the zone. Thats a bit irritating if you are deliberately having an easy day. I suppose I could reset the "zone" for that day only, but thats a bit of a faff to keep doing that
3. No backlight so if you run in the dark, thats going to be a problem.

Overall I think an interesting development in the world of heart rate monitors. Can`t help feeling a bit more functionality would really make it a class leader
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 13, 2014 8:07 AM GMT


Negative Buoyancy
Negative Buoyancy

3.0 out of 5 stars Did I get the whole book?, 29 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Negative Buoyancy (Kindle Edition)
I liked this book, a bit chick-lit light but pretty good holiday reading. But having spent the time reading it, the ending was frustrating - as in, it didnt have a proper ending. Literally left the characters in mid drama. So much so that I wondered if I had actually got the whole book or not.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 11, 2014 6:26 PM GMT


The Charred Forest Murders (Elements volume 4)
The Charred Forest Murders (Elements volume 4)
Price: £2.49

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good story but who proof read it?, 29 Oct 2013
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I like this series of novels - good stories. But the number of mistakes in the kindle version is a worry and actually reduces your enjoyment. Bits of dialogue between two or three people are presented with no indication of who said what. "Off" is often written as "of". There are occasional sentences where words are simply missing. And so on.

I have noticed this in a few kindle versions of books and its not right. Kindle books are as expensive as the paper book. We shouldn`t be presented with something that is not the finished product.


Cartrend 50207 Rim Stand XXL up to 285 mm Tyre Width
Cartrend 50207 Rim Stand XXL up to 285 mm Tyre Width
Price: £27.13

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Weak, 29 May 2013
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was looking for some way to store my winter rims, and this is just the job. Mine are 225/45 R18 and I went for the XXL size to be in the safe side. Solidly made and a very neat way of storing the wheels.

Update - 2 of the 4 legs on the base have now broken. It is not sturdy enough.


A Delicate Truth
A Delicate Truth
by John le Carré
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Still got it...., 29 May 2013
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This review is from: A Delicate Truth (Hardcover)
Now in his eighties, Le Carre is still writing fiction that in my opinion leaves the competition staggering. Contemporary fiction which is beautifully written, and credible - that is someting of a rarity but Le Carre has been doing this for 50 years. If I had one small criticism, it would be that his heroes are almost always of a type - quite familiar to people who have read a number of his books. Well-educated, male, civil servants, want to do the right thing, poor at relationships.....quite a theme there. However, that didn`t detract from the reading experience - actually felt warm and familiar.

His writing has lost none of his bite - he takes a well aimed swing at Canary Wharf (and by extension the banking culture) towards the end of the book.

A national treasure (although he would hate to be called that).


Brookite Cutter No.3 Kite
Brookite Cutter No.3 Kite
Price: £9.40

5.0 out of 5 stars Top Kite, 18 Mar 2013
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Brookite Cutter No.3 Kite (Toy)
Solid and well constructed, nice bright colours, really easy to fly and my 4 year old son loves it. Great value.


Zero Day (John Puller 1)
Zero Day (John Puller 1)
Price: £3.59

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Reacher-lite, 29 Jan 2013
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I am pretty broad church and will read most things with an open mind. I bought this because some reviews compare it favourably with Lee Child`s Jack Reachers books (which by the way are guaranteed to pass several happy hours). Well, if it is to be compared with Reacher, my conclusion is this book comes off a poor second. I didn`t believe in the main character - a super soldier who would rather be in the military police? I didn`t like the story with its lazy cliches (e.g when the spectre of terrorism rears its head, our hero says "I haven`t seen one turban in Drake". Good grief). I found the whole plot convuluted at best. All in all quite poor.


Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Aftermath of World War II
Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Aftermath of World War II
by John W Dower
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.25

5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece, 20 Jan 2013
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As a resident of Japan over the past 12 years, I have been meaning to read this book for a long time and I am delighted I finally got around to it. Over the years there have been many aspects of Japanese ideas and opinions on this most sensitive of subjects which I didn`t understand. Many of these issues remain current to this day.

All of my questions and many more are comprehensively answered by Mr Dower`s painstaking and thoroughly researched work. I knew the US influence on post-war Japan was strong, but quite how strong, pervasive and longlasting (for good and ill) is staggering. Mr Dower has written a gripping and human account of a tumultous period of history.


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