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David Bowers "@iamdavebowers" (Boston, MA)

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Nerf Tactical Vest
Nerf Tactical Vest
Offered by a1 Toys
Price: 23.79

0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars You really want your child to wear this?, 1 April 2013
= Durability:1.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:1.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Nerf Tactical Vest (Sports)
Honestly. What do you think your child looks like wearing this jacket? I'm not against any kind of toy weapons, but this is the type of jacket mass murders wear.


Painting
Painting
Price: 10.91

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars For Completionists Only, 1 Mar 2013
This review is from: Painting (Audio CD)
Sadly, I must report, that this is the worst Ocean Colour Scene album by a country mile. I've bought every OCS album (studio, bestof, or live), nearly every single (including the 2CD singles), solo albums, dvds, attended many concerts, and purchased the T-shirts, and this is the only OCS purchase I've regretted.

It starts with six catchy, but forgettable tunes, with only "If God Made Everyone" having any lasting impact. Before it divebombs into the some of the worst lyrically and musically terrible songs the band has produced. Professor Perplexity is embarrassing, Mistaken Identity nonsensical. The last two songs are bland and would be b-sides on any other album.

The only truly good tracks are George's Tower, which is haunting but far too short, and The Union with it's excellent guitar riff and reminds me of Go To See Boys.

Perhaps the solo albums have taken their toll on the band as both SF and SC solo efforts are far superior to this album.

Sadly this album will go the way of On The Leyline and the Self Titled Album, pulled out only when I've overplayed everything else.

Oddly, there are a lot of positive comments for this album and I have no idea why, other than blind love for the band. Ask yourself - how many of these songs will you be listening to in five years time and how many would make it onto an OCS best of album?


The Walking Dead Volume 1: Days Gone Bye
The Walking Dead Volume 1: Days Gone Bye
by Robert Kirkman
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.69

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 28 Days later with slow zombies, 30 Mar 2011
I received this as a gift from someone who knew I enjoyed both comic books and zombies. I was aware of the TV show but have yet to watch it. After reading the foreword by the author about how this is an epic story that left off where films would finish, I'd say I was short changed. This is very much the run-of-the mill zombie story, not far removed from 28 Days later in style or story, with a classic story arc.

It was a fun read, not overly heavy on dialog and full of great drawings, that may serve as an entry into a series that goes on to be great, however solely on the merits of this vol. alone, I'd say it was an average zombie affair with potential to live up to the author's hype.


Mining the Social Web: Analyzing Data from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Other Social Media Sites
Mining the Social Web: Analyzing Data from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Other Social Media Sites
by Matthew Russell
Edition: Paperback
Price: 24.79

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but lacking in practical examples, 30 Mar 2011
Mining the Social Web by Matthew Russell, published by O'Reilly, is an overview of data mining popular websites such as Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and more. It even goes as far as touching on the semantic web and the not-so-popular Google Buzz.

Each area is covered with a brief explanation of how to set up any programs, a look at the API, some examples of the mining code and a couple of suggestions on how to use it. The book covers a lot of ground which is either a blessing, or a curse, depending on what you're looking for.

I found this book only partially useful because it really didn't delve deeply into any one area. It could have focused solely on Twitter, showing more business, or personal specific examples. Instead we had sections on the semantic web and e-mail mining, while interesting, are not specific to a 'social web' book. Linkedin makes an appearance, one example used being grouping all your contacts with the same job title. How useful is this really? I understand it's an example but that's what I wanted more of - really useful examples I could apply to day-to-day business activities.

I'd recommend this book to anybody with some programming knowledge (Python being a huge help) who wants to know a little about a lot. For those looking for in-depth social mining techniques, I'd look elsewhere.

Disclosure: I received a free electronic copy of this book as party of the O'Reilly Blogger program


Two Gentlemen of Lebowski: A Most Excellent Comedie and Tragical Romance
Two Gentlemen of Lebowski: A Most Excellent Comedie and Tragical Romance
by Adam Bertocci
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.28

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars O contemptible shrew, 30 Mar 2011
As a huge fan of The Big Lebowski I enjoyed every page of this "play". Unlike other TBL books out there this does not merely quote line after line from the film, this recreates the story in a Shakespearean setting and a great job it does. My favorite aspect is the writer's ability to substitute the shear amounts of swearing for equally hilarious lines, or keeps lines that now take on new meaning.

It's a short read and although I wouldn't recommend it to non-Lebowski fans, you certainly don't need to be a thesp to enjoy it.


Droid X: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals)
Droid X: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals)
Price: 9.78

4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for those new to Droid, 30 Mar 2011
The Droid X is one of the latest smart phones to use Google's Android Operating System (OS). While I love Google's products, they're not the most user friendly, especially when it comes to super technical devices. This is where Droid X The Missing Manual comes in. It covers in detail all the major features of the phone including calling, texting, web, apps, maps, calendars and much more. Preston tells you what to press and when to press it, including what issues you may have along the way. Unless you are extremely tech savvy and happy to make mistakes, this book is a wise purchase and a time saver.

However, this book comes to market relatively late for a phone that has been out for 8 months. By now many people (including myself) have muddled their way through Droid's various features. If you've had the phone for more than 3-4 months then much of the information will be redundant to you. I found the most helpful sections to be the tip boxes, often finding quicker ways to perform day to day tasks, while the bulk of the text reaffirmed my experiences. I can highly recommend this book for new users, less so for the Droid initiated.


Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal
Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal
by Oren Klaff
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 9.79

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening and Entertaining, 30 Mar 2011
Last week I was approached by McGraw-Hill to review Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff and I keenly accepted the offer. Having finished the book last night I'm happy to report this is one of the more interesting AND entertaining business books that I've read.

In Pitch Anything Oren introduces his S.T.R.O.N.G theory to teach us why our pitches are failing, how to reach out to the inner brain and offer our audiences what they really want. He provides many techniques in how to avoid the obvious traps that put us at a disadvantage and he uses personal examples to help us understand. He confirms one of my popular beliefs that brevity is king, he points out the obvious (numbers are dull) and suggests how we can cause desire from our pitches.

The book is relatively short at 200 pages, which is a blessing and a curse. I dislike long, heavy business texts, preferring books like Pitch Anything that focus in on one business element. However, early in the book Oren states that his methods could be used far beyond multi-million dollar business pitches, but they're never discussed in this book. I would like to have had a few less personal stories about obtaining missing millions of dollars and more information on how the every-man could use Oren's technique to pitch a pay rise, or how to effectively position yourself in large group meetings. This book would then become relative to a much wider audience.

The highest accolade I can give this book is that I WANT to recommend it to others, but I WON'T, as I don't want them using these techniques against me!


The Same Crooked Worm
The Same Crooked Worm
Price: 10.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great First Album!, 5 Dec 2010
This review is from: The Same Crooked Worm (Audio CD)
If you enjoy acoustic guitars, soulful vocals and inspired cello, this is the album for you. The songs on The Same Crooked Worm work beautifully together to create a relaxing, slightly melancholic album worthy of many listens. Thoroughly enjoyable and highly recommended.


B Sides, Seasides & Free...
B Sides, Seasides & Free...

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars B-sides in name only, 1 Jun 2010
In 1996 Ocean Colour Scene rose to fame with their album Moseley Shoals supported by a string of hit singles including The Riverboat Song, The Day We Caught The Train, The Circle and You've Got It Bad. Each single came with a plethora of great b-sides that could easily have made the album itself. B-Sides, Seasides & Freerides is the collection of these b-sides and what a collection it is.

While Moseley Shoals featured one rock track after another, this album is a mellower, melancholic affair, best highlighted by Outside of a Circle, a cut down acoustic version of The Circle. Singer songwriter Simon Fowler describes this as the intended version of the song, written on a rainy day in a cold flat in Birmingham.

Every song on this album is heartfelt and there are some absolute classics. That the song Robin Hood still makes it into their live sets (often as the set opener) and has countless covers on YouTube is a testament to the strength of the songs.

The anomaly on this album is Day Tripper, a cover of the Beatles classic by OCS and Oasis. Worth a listen, even if it is out of place.

There are 2 versions of this CD available, the first had a limited print run that instantly sold out, the second released years later to satisfy the continued demand for this classic album. Physically the two releases should be near identical.

I highly recommend this to anyone who lived through the Britrock era and/or enjoys acoustic guitar and Hammond keyboards.


The Dark Tower: Drawing of the Three Bk. 2
The Dark Tower: Drawing of the Three Bk. 2
by Stephen King
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Character over story, 26 May 2010
I've been a Stephen King fan for years but only picked up The Gunslinger at the end of '09. While the first book in the Dark Tower series was a quick, fun read based around a Clint Eastwood style cowboy, book two headed in a very different direction.

Book one gave glimpses that many realities existed in this world, including our own and The Drawing of the Three expands on this idea and focuses wholly on Roland visiting our world and bringing back a party of unwilling adventurers.

For large parts of this book King focuses on character instead of Story. Many people would write this tale with all the adventurers thrown together and they learn about each other as they go. Not here. King take hundreds of pages to introduce each character, concentrating on their back-story and their personality, but with little overarching story progression. Personally I found this hard going. I wanted to move on towards the tower, to discover more of Roland's world and his adventures and that didn't materialize.

I'm glad I stuck with it, as although I didn't fully enjoy the first two thirds, the end does bring the story to a satisfactory close and left me looking forward to this group's adventures. I hope to find them in The Wastelands.


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