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David Austin "Clashist1977" (Sheffield, UK)
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Philips HP6375 Perfect Female 4 in 1 Bikini Rechargeable Trimmer Lady Hair Shaver
Philips HP6375 Perfect Female 4 in 1 Bikini Rechargeable Trimmer Lady Hair Shaver
Offered by Megga Distribution
Price: £104.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I Wish There Was A Zero Rating...., 17 Nov. 2012
I carefully researched the options for bikini trimmers before selecting this one. Although not all reviews were favourable, it appeared to me that the negative ones were all about failure to trim longer hair and the product guidance is very clear about how to do this with good results. I decided that the negative reviewers had probably not followed the instructions carefully enough....
Unfortunately, I was not to find out for myself.
I bought the device and took it with me abroad as a gift for my girlfriend. I put the device on charge for 10 hours, as per the instructions, and then disconnected from the power before pushing the sliding power-on switch to check all was well (the trimmer wont work while the power cord is connected). Two things happened at this point: the trimmer turned on as expected, but the plastic power switch fell off as did a small plastic component that was part of the on-off mechanism. After about an hour my girlfriend had pieced it back together and she then attempted to adjust the trimming length on the 'comb' head, one of four attachments that come in the package. You guesed it, THAT comb attachment then fell apart, again with internal white plastic components falling onto the floor as it did so. Another 2 hours of frustration followed as she tried to fix this latest malfunction but it proved impossible.
I had seen enough long before this. The whole product from packaging to the device itself felt cheap and flimsy and although I realise that I was probably unlucky with this individual unit, I had already decided to return it and get my money back. The one silver lining was I ordered it from Tesco Direct, picking it up from a local store, and there was no problem getting my money back even though I couldn't return it until 6 weeks after the purchase date and the receipt had been lost.


Wire: Complete Series [DVD] [2008] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Wire: Complete Series [DVD] [2008] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius. All TV Should Be This Good, 26 Oct. 2012
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When you are producing a TV show for one of the few channels in the world, HBO, that is subscription based and therefore doesn't have to aim for cliffhangers every 10 minutes to satisy advertisers, you have the chance to use a whole series to tell a story. That means approximately 10 to 13 hours (depending on the season) in which to build characters and complete a story 'arc'. No other art form, certainly not film, theatre or even opera has this chance, and the genius of David Simon is he was one of the first to see and exploit the full potential of this resulting in five gripping seasons of The Wire.
Couple the above with years of investigative journalism in the fields covered and the inclusion of an ex-homicide detective, ex-school techer, Ed Burns, as a co-writer (plus Simon's apprenticeship served writing for Homicide; Life on the Killing Streets and The Corner mini-series) and the result is simply the best TV to come out of the first decade of the 21st century.
There is a main story 'theme' to each season, dealing with aspects of life in Baltimore, Maryland, USA - a bankrupt city with an appalling drug problem, abject inner-city poverty and one of the highest murder rates in the US. For all that, Simon loves his hometown and, as he says himself, Baltimore is not just a back-drop but a main character throughout each season.
The Wire will make you both laugh and cry. Not everyone can take its gritty realism and if you are happy with the episodic format of, for example, 24, it may seem slow moving to start with. That's because it is. Stick with it through the first two episodes, use subtitles if you can't understand the Baltimore accent, and you will be rewarded many times over for the time you have put in. When you have finished the final episode of the fifth season, just start again on episode one of season one because, unless you fall extremely lucky, you aren't going to better this with another drama.
The one pity of The Wire, for me, is the 4:3 format, which HBO (or someone) decided to stick with throughout all five seasons. Do adjust your sets. Don't allow your TV to stretch the picture. There is a scene in season two with a display of the most spectacular breasts ever seen on television which it would be criminal to distort.
This is serious entertainment and all TV should aspire to be this good and this intellectual, especially when produced for channels without advertising. The BBC, which has always had the chance to produce series in this way, should take note - but they didn't even show The Wire until after it had completed in America. They should be ashamed!


Black Hearts: One platoon's descent into madness in Iraq's triangle of death
Black Hearts: One platoon's descent into madness in Iraq's triangle of death
by Jim Frederick
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading: Understanding 21st Century Warfare, 26 Oct. 2012
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Unfortunately, I must start on a negative note.
This book is presented to the public by the publisher, certainly in its paperback form, as some sort of roller-coaster thriller which happens to be a true story. If you are, in fact, looking for some sort of first-hand true account of non-stop action I recommend Dan Mills' Sniper One. With the publisher using phrases on the cover such as 'descent into madness' and words like 'climax', 'intense' and 'fast-paced' the casual observer might even pick this book up believing it to be fiction, and if that is what they are looking for I recommend they watch Apocalypse Now or read Conrad's Heart of Darkness; better still do both.

Now, onto what this book is really about.
This is a detailed investigation of a single atrocity and the events and circumstances leading up to and surrounding the soldiers and battalion involved. It is presented in the very best of journalistic tradition - at times one can sense the author's struggle to not pass any personal judgement - and is exceptionally detailed, revealing and sympathetic. You can read other reviews for information regarding this event.
What I will add is that I believe this book to be essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the stresses and strains placed on the modern 'western' soldier, especially in the US forces where tours of duty are much too long and often enforced second or even third tours. Beyond that, it is equally useful reading for any student of psychology and even students of organizational theory and ledership. In fact, I would warn any reader who is not au fait with terms such as 'The Pygmalion Effect' that they ensure they have psychiatric reference sources available to them during reading.
With due deference to the appalling subject matter, especially to those directly involved on both sides and generally to anyone who esteems NATO's armed forces, this book is an exciting recounting of a company's deployment in the most extreme of circumstances, terifically well researched, edited and presented and deeply, deeply disturbing. Excellent.


Logitech K360 Wireless Keyboard - Black, UK layout
Logitech K360 Wireless Keyboard - Black, UK layout
Price: £24.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Grown To Like It, 20 April 2012
If it wasn't for the slight rock on the less than perfect back struts this would have been easily a 5 out of 5 review ... as it is 4.5 out of 5.

I bought this keyboard online, because I already had a logitech mouse with USB unifier and wanted a keyboard for heavy text work with my laptop. I bought Logitech M325 Wireless Mouse - Victorian Wallpaper with USB unifier at PC World but a month later they were clearly no longer interested in selling Logitech kit (or anything judging by the terrible, terrible service) despite the fact they had assured me I could add a keyboard later. So, I was playing that dangerous game for someone who needs a certain quality in their keyboard; I was taking pot luck by buying blind without testing it out first.

Initially I was very disappointed. The keyboard felt cheap, especially the all important key action and the struts at the back somehow contrive to actually NOT give a stable, angled board but leave a definite and annoying wobble when typing with the struts down on a flat surface.

Eventually I came to do some work which required a lot of text typed quickly and I decided to give the K360 another go as my (very good) laptop keyboard wasn't quite up to the job ... nor was my back up to bending over a laptop keyboard for the time the work would take. As I typed I became more familiar with the rather subtle keyboard action and consequently my speed began to increase. And increase. Eventually I was flying along at great speed and accuracy and found the key layout to be totally logical with every key more or less exactly where you want it to be and where there are slight differences to a full blown desk top keyboard the good design means you adapt to these very, very quickly.

The excellent logitech USB unifier worked from the off and I had no trouble 'tuning' this keyboard in with my existing unifier from my Logitech M325 Wireless Mouse - Victorian Wallpaper (5 out of 5) and tucking away the unifier that came with the keyboard as a backup unit.

While this is never going to reeplace my fully active 20 year old IBM keyboard for professional typists that I have attached to my desktop, it is perfectly good for heavy work away from home with my laptop ... for god knows how much less, as the IBM keyboard, if you could buy that quality at all today today, would be at least 10 times the price of this K360.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 16, 2014 9:10 AM GMT


Enemy Coast Ahead- Uncensored: The Real Guy Gibson (Soft Cover)
Enemy Coast Ahead- Uncensored: The Real Guy Gibson (Soft Cover)
by Guy Gibson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.95

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning First Hand Account, 19 July 2011
As an avid reader of first hand combat accounts I have to place this book at the very top of the pile. Gibson's book is simply stunning.

The immense power of this book lies in the story of unbelievable courage shown by the men of bomber command. Gibson takes us through the early days of the war, the tragic waste of the skilled aircrews thrown away in obsolete planes and flawed tactics, the tremendous spirit shown by these young men in the face of almost inevitable death and the deep sadness of seeing their comrades lost with such regularity.

After defying the odds and completing one tour of duty, Gibson transfers to night fighters rather than resting, before going back for another tour on 'heavies' and eventually forming and leading the elite 617 squadron on the famous Dams raid.

Yes it is jingoistic, yes it is bullish, what else could it be from a warrior and leader of this nature at time when total war was still raging? Indeed, it is these traits that give us great insight into the prevailing feelings and attitudes of the men involved that make first hand accounts so valuable in our assessment of history. We should be thankful that this document encapsulating the spirit of the aircrew was written by one of their greatest leaders before he too gave his life to the cause.

After reading this book maybe a dozen times over the last 40 years, I recommend it unreservedly to all.


Survivors
Survivors
by Terry Nation
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better Off With The DVD Box Sets, 19 July 2011
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This review is from: Survivors (Paperback)
Survivors was an excellent 1970s BBC TV series of three seasons duration created by the author of this book, Terry Nation. This book takes up the story from the beginning and runs beyond the end of the TV series (to five years after 'The Death'), but does little to flesh out the characters or scenarios that are looked at in some detail within the original TV series.

Terry Nation only worked on the first season of the original TV series and my guess is that this book was a project to lay out his ideas of where he would have liked the series to go had he been involved with it for a longer period. Thus the book runs through the first few months of survival following the TV series quite closely then diverges markedly after that. It rarely goes into great detail, especially with the characters, and could almost be described as a series of snapshots taken from the five year period covered; making it a very easy read.

It is that divergence that is of most interest to ardent fans of the series and to those who enjoy the 'post-apocalypse' genre. The TV series fans get an ever-differing story, the genre fans can enjoy some fairly unique ideas and more 'real' scenarios than could be easily depicted within a TV series eg. How quickly nature reclaims the roads and untended fields.

My copy of the book has a (mis-leading) photo cover from the very good re-make of the TV series which follows a different story line again. Unfortunately this re-make was cancelled by the BBC after season 2 despite the terrific cliff-hanger ending; leaving many fans bitterly disappointed. I'm afraid this book will do little to make up for that disappointment, but is much better than nothing if you were left still dying for more.

To sum up: Don't read this book if you haven't seen the TV series. Both the original and re-make are better than the book and both worthwhile viewing in their own right. The first series is best, though perhaps a little plodding now it's 35 years old despite the story being cutting edge in its time.

If after watching both series you still hanker for more, or if you simply love the genre and are interested in the well thought-out ideas of a brilliant sci-fi script writer, then by all means go ahead and buy this book.


Poker Omaha Intermediate
Poker Omaha Intermediate

4.0 out of 5 stars Solid Omaha High/Low Advice, 26 Nov. 2010
Andy Nelson is a proven poker author, strategist and winner.
This is his intermediate level book on the tricky strategies involved in Omaha high low split (8 or better) poker. Following on from his 'book one' beginners guide, this book concentrates on firstly winning hand selection then the texture of the flop, how it fits your hand and what to do next. How to maximise a winning position and when to recognize and release your hand in those situations where you have that very costly second-nut hand.
An excellent section on reading other players by their betting patterns and how to avoid getting involved for only one quarter of the pot.
Other sections include maximising your positional play and how to keep emotions in check so that you remain on your 'A game' while others crumble.
Once you've mastered the basics of Omaha high/Low this book will definitely help take you on to another level while avoiding bad (costly) habits such as playing hands which look good initially but quickly turn into trap hands on the flop.
My main criticism of the book would be that it is too short. However, there is a lot of down-to-business information packed in to it and no space is wasted on poker anecdotes and the like.


Citizen Soldiers: From The Normandy Beaches To The Surrender Of Germany
Citizen Soldiers: From The Normandy Beaches To The Surrender Of Germany
by Stephen E. Ambrose
Edition: Paperback

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Best Ambrose Offering., 12 Jun. 2005
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This is the best book Ambrose has put out there. 'Band Of Brothers' is about one very small part of the allied effort and the Ambrose style of hero-worship soon becomes very sickly, 'D-Day' is totally mis-titled, riddled with errors and insulting to the non-US allies, but 'Citizen Soldiers' sets out to be a sweeping look at the men who fought in the US army in NW Europe and the result is very well worth while. Don't let the books mentioned above put you off reading this one.
There is nothing in this book about the Pacific or Mediterranean Theatre of operations except the odd passing reference, usually to compare statistics.
What Ambrose does is take quotes from written first hand accounts, quotes from oral histories at the Eisenhower Centre and then quotes from his own research and conversation with veterans. This book puts them all together in a largely chronological order to give the reader a very good idea of conditions and attitudes of GIs from D-Day to victory in Europe. The finished product is very readable and skips along at a good pace despite the almost 500 page length.
My main criticisms of the book are these:
* The maps are disappointing in both ease of reading and level of detail. Several pages are set aside for good quality glossy prints of photographs which would have been better used for quality map reproduction in my opinion.
* Although Ambrose keeps his own opinions to himself more than in his other books, they are still present from time to time and it is fair to say that his selection of quotes often seems to have been made to back-up his own beliefs.
* Ambrose's knowledge of the air war in Europe is certainly lacking and the book is weak in this area.
* While the book is about American GIs, on occasion the lack of mention of other allied actions can leave the reader confronted with obvious questions going unanswered.
Having said all that, I would recommend this book to those interested in the European theatre with the simple caveat that you must never take any Ambrose book as your single source of information about any single aspect of that war.


The Corner: a Year in the Life of an Inner-city Neighbourhood
The Corner: a Year in the Life of an Inner-city Neighbourhood
by David Simon
Edition: Paperback

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Day To Day Survival In The Inner City, 8 Jun. 2005
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A remarkable work of journalism, even exceeding Simon's more famous work 'Homicide: A Year On The Killing Streets'.
The reader is taken into a world few of us would dare approach as outsiders but almost immediately we are empathising with most of the characters.

This book is a terrible endictment of inner cities throughout the world, but especially in America. Aspirations are crushed by the surrounding apathy and good intentions drowned by the endless supply of readily available, highly addictive cheap drugs. The complete breakdown of the education system and any sort of meaningful law and order, described and explained by Simon in horrific detail, show that the next generation(s) are doomed to follow the old as avenues of escape are all but cut off.

Yet even among the gun toting teenage gangs, the adolescent mothers and their long term addicted parents and grand-parents we recognise people with potential, those with gentle and friendly natures, those with a wonderful sense of humour, simple people, lazy people, hard-working people - in short, every day characters and personalities we all recognise. But society has failed them, utterly broken down and failed them dismally.
There, but for an accident of birth, goes every one of us.

There are those who continue to care, continue to work to try and bring some sort of meaning to life in the ghetto. Some are saints who, at least for a time, refuse to give up on a cause so lost it is bewildering, while others are just not prepared to recognise the hoplessness into which their own neighborhood has descended.

More than anything this book is a slap in the face for those who say 'I would never let it happen to me, I'd find a way to better myself'. If we're honest with ourselves, if we think back to what influenced us as children - our role models, our peers, our parents, the level of expectation for our future generated by our surroundings - how many of us can truthfully say we could fight our way out of such a situation?

Simon isn't offering solutions, but he does show us why those attempted so far have failed before they even started. However, this book allows us to begin to understand the true nature of the problem and only by first understanding can we hope that one day, perhaps, there may be a solution.


Enemy Coast Ahead (Bomber crews)
Enemy Coast Ahead (Bomber crews)
by Guy Gibson
Edition: Paperback

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Raw Courage, 5 Jun. 2005
As an avid reader of first hand combat accounts I have to place this book at the very top of the pile. Gibson's book is simply stunning.
The immense power of this book lies in the story of unbelievable courage shown by the men of bomber command. Gibson takes us through the early days of the war, the tragic waste of the skilled aircrews thrown away in obsolete planes and flawed tactics, the tremendous spirit shown by these young men in the face of almost inevitable death and the deep sadness of seeing their comrades lost with such regularity.
After defying the odds and completing one tour of duty, Gibson transfers to night fighters rather than resting, before going back for another tour on 'heavies' and eventually forming and leading the elite 617 squadron on the famous Dams raid.
Yes it is jingoistic, yes it is bullish, what else could it be from a warrior and leader of this nature? Indeed, it is these traits that give us great insight into the prevailing feelings and attitudes of the men involved that make first hand accounts so valuable in our assessment of history. We should be thankful that this document encapsulating the spirit of the aircrew was written by one of their greatest leaders before he too gave his life to the cause.
Technical details are necessarily censored from a book written at the height of the hostilities but this in no way detracts. Those interested can easily fill in the blanks through reading books such as Max Hastings' 'Bomber Command' or Paul Brickhill's 'Dam Busters'.
After reading this book maybe a dozen times over the last 35 years, I recommend it unreservedly to all.


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