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Richard Griffiths "SoulFireMage" (Bristol UK)

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Mental Health Nursing Made Incredibly Easy! (Incredibly Easy! Series) (Incredibly Easy! Series (R))
Mental Health Nursing Made Incredibly Easy! (Incredibly Easy! Series) (Incredibly Easy! Series (R))
by Debbie Evans
Edition: Paperback
Price: £22.94

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear, simple and readable., 2 Jan 2010
This was an impulse buy as I needed it for my current job and it's been well worth it.

Very clear easy descriptions of the common mental health issues handled by health workers in general.

As a reference, I've been able to work through most of the book in a few short hours and make sense of it. Someone training for the role would find this very quick and straight forward.

Of course, whilst reading it, it's the kind of book that might have you looking at people you know in a new way for a short time. That's temporary, once you've decided that your best made is borderline or your boss has OCD :).

Worth having if these issues are something you are training to deal with at a nursing and day to day care level. It covers interviewing and interaction, general care issues then delves into mood disorders, personality disorders, drug and alcohol abuse and more. It takes care to dig a little deeper, for example bipolar disorder is broken down into Type 1, Type 2 and cyclothemic as well as discussing rapid cycling. These are all described in some detail and DSM-IV extracts are used to elucidate how diagnosis would be reached. This is a nursing care level book and takes practical bullet pointed approaches rather than lots of theory. Treatment and communications issues in different cases are carefully laid out.

Possibly one of my best sudden impulse book buys this year.

Gripmaster Pro Hands Finger Excerciser
Gripmaster Pro Hands Finger Excerciser
Offered by Cave & Crag Ltd
Price: £18.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent, shame they won't do harder ones :), 26 Dec 2009
I use this now to warm up before doing any weapons work or before working on my proper grippers (Vulcan adjustable grippers from David Horne) and Heavy Grips 250+300. As such these only become a challenge when I've done LOTS of reps (50-150+).

What I really like about them however is, once I've done that many reps, each finger feels seperately warmed up and my typing/piano playing feels easier and quicker. Never mind that I get enough blood through my hands to avoid injury on the heavy grippers.

If you weigh over 250lbs (as I do) and can chin up that weight properly even once, then you probably will find these a little too easy, too soon. As a pure strength aid alone, not for the bigger guys. Having said that, even for someone like me, I would buy again if I had to. Great warm up tool for at least 4 different things I do with my hands! :P.

I also understand that rock climbers etc don't need crushing type grip exactly, but an enduring grip-so lots of reps on each finger would make far more sense.

Getting to Plan B: Breaking Through to a Better Business Model
Getting to Plan B: Breaking Through to a Better Business Model
by John Mullins
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting idea, 18 Dec 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The notion that most successes are actually not the first idea that started a company is an interesting concept. The idea that you could pre-empt this and set out fore armed is even better. An easy, clear read-this was a nice one to accompany a glass of wine before starting my new job.

Thank you.

TurnerMAX Geniune Cowhide Leather Double End Ball Punching Ball with Elasticated Straps, Red / Black
TurnerMAX Geniune Cowhide Leather Double End Ball Punching Ball with Elasticated Straps, Red / Black
Offered by Turner Sports
Price: £20.98

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy enough setup, 17 Dec 2009
Simple enough to pump up and setup. I had to double over the top elastic as my garage hieght is not great but it works just fine. Quality seems pretty good for the price. Chosen because the cheaper ones seemed to be connected via plastic hooks that I considered to be less long lasting.

No Title Available

17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I have several of these-had them a year, 18 Nov 2009
I've owned the 150,250,350lb of these for over a year now. Having recently acquired the 300lb, I decided to share my opinion :).

The two minor niggles that are not worth marking them down for are A)You do need to dip the coil bit in a little oil first to prevent annoying squeaking. This is only needed once. B)Cleaning the grip is a must after a few months, otherwise it's harder to keep a hold of them if you are using a heavier version.

They work well if used consistently and carefully. I can currently close the 250lb with a little work and am 3/4" away from closing the 300lb (yes, that exact measurement is my ego ok? :P). If you are going to train grip this far, I would recommend spending a little time on various grip exercise sites in general. It is possible to overtrain just sat at your desk. I did at one point when I first got them!!

Note, I am 6'3" and have moderately large hands.

The other tools I'd get for hand work are a Powerball (the metal one is very nice but the plastic one is plenty of work and easier on smaller hands), and some elastic bands to do the reverse of gripping just to balance the muscles a little. One gripper good for finger strength is the Prohands gripmaster pro. This device relies on far more repetitions and seperating the fingers out however.

I do work with some hand weapons like bo and knifeplay hence the requirement to build hand strength.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 5, 2010 8:51 PM BST

Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction
Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction
by Steve McConnell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £21.07

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read-Unexpectedly so from this beginner :), 21 Oct 2009
The short version of my review: Imagine spending about 20 years in a team who have to figure out all the shortcuts, problems and best ways to build solid programs and code. Then you all decide to put the best and most frequently occurring things into a book or two. This is one of those two books. This way you can find new issues rather than rediscover old ones.


I've done little programming. Some Turbo Pascal ten years ago. Just enough to know what an object, method and property is but not much more. Certainly nothing modern. I've opened up Visual Studio and only just linked to a simple table.

This book was highly recommended online, so on a whim I thought I'd give it a shot. I still have to learn the specifics of VB and maybe C++ at some stage.

However, if all you have is the level of knowledge I have, this is an enjoyable read. I covered a lot of ground in the first couple of days and will probably finish it in the next week or two time allowing. The writing style flows well, and makes his points as clear as they can be to a novice. I suspect seasoned developers need this far less of course.

I would highly recommend this be read by anyone who has to take the time to learn any programming for work-or even self interest. Alongside their chosen language tome of course :).

A good book that fits with this is The Pragmatic Programmer by Andy Hunt which is referred to in this. Another well written piece of work.

My comparison is a number of other programming books I've had time to flip through to try and grasp the basics recently. Many are quite difficult to get into at all, purely on style rather than content. Something I've experienced with other text books. The author's voice makes so much difference!

Edit: A few months from this review I've had to code some stuff to make my life easier. Nothing fancy, literally just a form front end that is populated by queries as you move through the interface. The logic of my data and querying is tied to the interface-a bit of a no-no. My coding is still mostly sub routines/functions with a bare bones misceallanous class doing some donkey work (dressing up strings, returning some values etc).

Despite this beginner level of programming, I followed at least some of the notions in the first few chapters of this and Andy Hunt's book, the program itself is very very easy to modify. Naming things, minimal global variables (2 actually) and passing the least amount of data between sub routines as possible (usually 1 or 2 parameters).

So my point is, even if you've just started and only understand the difference between a sub routine and a function or have the vaguest idea of what a class/object is (like me!), this books first chapters are still worth having read whilst you embark on your own learning curve. The process of having done so, will give your mind a useful framework to fall on as you get to grips with the simple end of programming and be a great foundation when you take it further.

Note that the above paragraph implies it's a beginner's level book. It's not-it reaches quite the way through to fairly experienced coders.

In conjunction with the book by Andy Hunt who's specific advice is very readable and enjoyable, the two books would be very much worth any programming student/hobbyists time. Also anyone who has a development department to manage/negotiate with. Simply understanding much of the basics in these two books makes it easier for you to concieve of what/how you would like things to happen-even if it's broad brush.

Andy Hunt's book is The Pragmatic Programmer. The technologies described are nearly a decade out of date-though many still relevant enough to be handy. It's the principles and advice that are priceless.

Powerball 350 Hz Metal Pro
Powerball 350 Hz Metal Pro

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent quality, lovely exercise, 1 Oct 2009
I've had mine since it was released.

I hit 11,574 today with it. It's smoother but more intense than the plastic version for sure.

Use it enough and you may get an odd callus on a finger or two-but that's if you use it a lot over a month.

The forearm will swell quite nicely after using it at 3/4's full effort for about a minute. Short bursts of high speed have limited value when using this, great for ego, but muscles don't really respond as well.

Instead doing it to sheer exhaustion, at a more moderate speed, makes things happen.

High quality
Good for carpal tunnel and may be suitable for rehab from some types of injury.
Gradual, spiral type stresses through the complex hand and forarm muscles allow for a surprisingly deep exercise.
Comes in a decent display case and has a spare runner for the inside, if you wear the original one out. Not needed it yet.

The rubber grip slips, I now don't use it; the metal is so smooth you end up having to keep wiping it with a towel to remove all moisture. Integral grip would make it easier as actual slipping due to moisture can mean a less effective workout.
The red cord ends are plastic, you need them to start the gyro, they do wear out. However, powerball company will send you new ones.
I would consider adding David Horne's Orbigrip if you are into more arm action as both tools complement each other well.

Hummer-Style Jeep Twin Seat 12V Battery Powered Ride-On - Black
Hummer-Style Jeep Twin Seat 12V Battery Powered Ride-On - Black
Offered by Playtimes
Price: £199.95

124 of 130 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of bits to assemble-Stronger than the manual says :), 13 Aug 2009
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
I built this with a friend in about 1.5hrs. Lots of washers left over!

Plastic body has a few rough edges but nothing that would be a problem for kids.

It is stronger than the manual says, as of course once built I was very adult and tested him :). I'm 132kgs. I doubt the motors will run with that weight-I didn't get to find out.

Update: I'm hurt...I got 2 unhelpful votes :P. Oh well...

Not quite sure what else folks would have wanted to know to change those votes.

My family bought a red version of this car for their kids. We all chipped in..and it was worth it.

They had a LOT of fun round the park with him. Driving for over an hour or more with no real signs of slowing down.

A word of caution. The car has 2 speeds-it's not clear on the website I bought it from. The first gear is a reasonable walking pace.

The second had me jogging a little to catch them. It does go quick enough that you need to be on your toes with it. I've got long legs too!. I'd estimate 6-8mph perhaps? Either way, if you are NOT a highly active parent then you need someone who can move a bit quick if your kids are driving it round the park.

The kids in question were 3 and 6 (closish to their 4th/7th birthdays!) and weigh about 60kg between them perhaps?
Comment Comments (11) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 2, 2013 9:15 AM GMT

The Pursuit of Perfect
The Pursuit of Perfect
by Tal Ben-Shahar
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great not so common sense, 17 July 2009
This review is from: The Pursuit of Perfect (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Reading the first few chapters of this is like coming home. A realisation that in actual fact, this is damned common.

People don't start stuff, don't start living even just for this reason.

They wait until the right moment, until they or the world is perfect.

This is the antidote to that type of thinking.

I'm extremely pleased that the author wrote this-it made an impact on my own life when I received it.

You don't have to be perfect, you can aim real high, you can aim to be perfect but that is only a destination. Destinations are end points-taking your attention away from the journey.

It's the journey we're all here for. He reminds us of that.

Neuroanatomy Through Clinical Cases
Neuroanatomy Through Clinical Cases
by Hal Blumenfeld
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice illustrations, clear writing style on the whole, 23 Jun 2009
This book is challenging because you need to get a decent grasp of terminology and anatomy quite quickly to make any progress. You get cases to try and diagnose the most likely causes. To do this, grasping the main essentials in this complex subject early on is vital otherwise it might be slightly ego bruising :).

At least that is what I found.

The drawings are excellent however and the chapter on the Neurological exam is very clear and practical. Very easy to learn from.

The only drawbacks to this book is the paper and binding. It's a softback and thinner paper. This makes it less practical than a hard back would be-espectially if your a student carrying this in a bag of some kind. I think it would be easily damaged.

If you are the sort of learner that enjoys something like House (medical TV series if you don't know it) and likes trying to second guess what they'll come up with, then this book caters for you.

However, it does expect you'll put quite a bit of background knowledge together to figure out the correct diagnosis.

I would supplement this with Draw It to Know ItNeuroanatomy: Draw It to Know It . Between the two you could get a good start on neurological thinking and general structures. Adding a Netter's Concise Neuroanatomy to this would be of genuinely useful reference benefit.

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