Profile for Sears Braithwaite (of Bullard) > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Sears Braithwa...
Top Reviewer Ranking: 688
Helpful Votes: 73

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Amazon Communities.

Reviews Written by
Sears Braithwaite (of Bullard) "SB" (Ontario)
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
pixel
APC 8-Outlet 2525J Surge Protector
APC 8-Outlet 2525J Surge Protector
Offered by biddeal
Price: CDN$ 37.39
29 used & new from CDN$ 26.51

5.0 out of 5 stars Another beauties product from APC, June 6 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have two big APC battery backup/surge protection units for our desktop Macs. Unfortunately we had a nearby lightning strike and an old Windows laptop connected through ethernet had its motherboard fried, along with out cable modem. They replaced our modem and at the same time I ordered this surge protector. I power the cable modem, the Apple wireless router, and a WD My Book external drive through it.

Nice surprise (though I shouldn't have been surprised, seeing it is APC) the unit came with both a telephone cable and a co-ax cable. This is not mentioned that I have seen on the product description on Amazon.

The Orenda
The Orenda
by Joseph Boyden
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 11.00
13 used & new from CDN$ 8.66

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice novel, but Something missing, April 13 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Orenda (Paperback)
Unlike a lot of readers here, apparently, I had never heard of Boyden. I picked up the book out of an interest in local history and in the culture of the native Canadians--in particular their spiritual beliefs. You know--the whole Orenda thing.

The prose is excellent. The beginning is gripping and the characterization good. The middle slows. The ending is dramatic but feels contrived. Reminded me a lot of Michael Mann's film of Last of the Mohicans.

The publisher does not make it clear but from what I can make out, this is a fictionalized/parallel version of what happened to the Huron nation in the late 1640's, along with the Jesuit martyrdom. Very similar but I gather the people and places are for the most part invented.

I'm not sure what to make of Gosling and her magic. Is this "magic realism", or what? Weird. Though she was also my favorite character.

Which brings me to what for me is a hole in the story. The story builds up to a huge conflict between the two representatives of the spiritual side of either culture: Gosling and Christophe. And then goes nowhere beyond some simple friction and fireworks. I had intuited that THIS would take us deeper into the whole title theme--The Orenda. Obviously there was a huge gap between the 17th century brand of Catholicism espoused by the kind of Jesuits in the story and the traditional religion of the native people. Huge disappointment for me.

A less important gap but annoying gap: Huron government makes an early appearance--we briefly see the elders and their way of running things--and then pretty much disappear. Bird becomes the whole show. Yet this is during a time of crisis for the tribe. You would expect the leading members of the tribe to be furiously debating their direction at every turn. This is how most any society functions.

One of the virtues of the book is a lack of PC bias. The native people are ambivalent about the Europeans but clearly can't resist trading for their neat gear. Christophe is in many ways a deluded religious fanatic, but also very decent and brave. The natives are appallingly brutal in their torture customs, yet in other ways wonderfully tender. All in all the book presents a fairly mixed picture of the two cultures. Nobody comes out looking great.

In the end The Orenda left me feeling a lot like that Last of the Mohicans film: bleak and almost depressed. (Though as I recall, that film also left me feeling somehow exhilirated--its orgy of violence achieved a sort of operatic glory that was also cathartic.) In both cases I came away saddened by the waste--a culture both magnificent and appalling, almost wiped out in a pointless blood bath.

Orr: My Story
Orr: My Story
by Bobby Orr
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 15.20
26 used & new from CDN$ 1.00

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, Dec 3 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Orr: My Story (Hardcover)
Like Lava1964, Orr has always been to me the greatest player, but I have to agree with Lava's review. The book is often superficial, almost coming across as one of those celebrity books--lots of praise and love (but of course no dirt--this is Bobby Orr!). And a lot of life-lesson stuff. I wasn't looking for any of that. I guess I was hoping for something more along the lines of The Game, but Orr is simply not built that way. By nature Ken Dryden is a far more reflective man, and a bit of a poet. He brought his time in hockey to life. Bobby, on the other hand, glides over his.

Just one example: they both go over their formative years. Dryden wrote memorably about how important the driveway/rear area of his family home was to his development, and his childhood. He went into some wonderful detail there. Any Canadian kid could relate instantly. Orr likewise emphasizes how important playing shinny on the bay with his friends was--he learned to stickhandle through ten opponents, and we all know what that led to. But otherwise no real description of those long days on the ice, the other kids, how they organized themselves, and all the stories that would come out of that. Yet there is also a touching moment late in the book where Bobby writes, almost it seems as an after thought, that those games were, out of all the hockey in his life, the hockey he loved the most.

This book has sparked a fantasy for me: Orr is somehow kidnapped by a powerful publishing group and locked away in a cabin in the Rockies for a whole winter with Ken Dryden and Roy MacGregor (I would say Jack Falla, too, but that alas is no longer possible) and forced to co-author his real hockey autobiography.

Laura Stamm's Power Skating DVD
Laura Stamm's Power Skating DVD
by Laura Stamm
Edition: DVD
Price: CDN$ 25.80
9 used & new from CDN$ 25.79

5.0 out of 5 stars The Joy of Steel and Ice, Oct. 17 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I think simply watching this DVD a few times improved my skating. It is a great reminder of how to skate properly and will have you dying to get out onto the ice and practice.

The skills and drills are demonstrated by two hockey pros and their skills are amazing. The thing is filmed in high-quality, professional style and uses a lot of slow motion--you can FEEL their edges digging into the ice. The results are breathtaking.

All the drills are excellent, of course. But the average rec player will transform his or her game by seriously implementing the three basics that Laura introduces at the beginning (my mnemonic for this is "90/100/45")--that is:
1.) achieve a 90 degree knee bend at all times
2.) get 100% of your body weight over the working edge
3.) have that edge digging in at a 45 degree angle.
These three things alone will have you zooming around the ice like a demon.

Oh, and the music is decent too--not the usual lame-o muzak you get with instructional videos.

Rosewill Mechanical Keyboard with Cherry MX Blue Switch (RK-9000I)
Rosewill Mechanical Keyboard with Cherry MX Blue Switch (RK-9000I)

5.0 out of 5 stars Keyboard Heaven, July 23 2013
Highly tactile. Very clicky without being too loud. Brings back fond memories of the IBM Model M and my old Northgate.

Fed up with the mushy keys on my Dell Latitude and inspired by a co-worker who bought a Rosewill, I bought one for work.

What a difference. Keyboard heaven. After a few days use, much increased accuracy and speed. Besides sheer pleasure.

Cherry Blues may not be Buckling Springs, but they are darn nice in their own way. With a mechanical, I don't pound the keys. A light touch is all it takes and my fingers fly.

Next: to replace my silly aluminum Apple wireless keyboard (the triumph of design over mechanics/ergonomics) with a vintage Model M. The word is there's a well-known auction site where fleets of them harbor.

World at War
World at War
Price: CDN$ 48.83
17 used & new from CDN$ 30.60

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, March 15 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: World at War (DVD)
Just wanted to add to the ratings. Amazing series. Saw it on TV as a kid in some strange time slot. Saturday afternoons or something. Was deeply moved by it then and the effect is no less all these years later.

Still can't get over the vastness of the war. Anyone trying to describe the whole thing, as this documentary does, of necessity must break it up by geography/time. The effect is to describe many different wars. It is impossible, for me at least, to grasp what it must have been like to live at that time and take in all the events as they came.

The Best of Bobby Orr
The Best of Bobby Orr
DVD ~ DVD

5.0 out of 5 stars Heaven for fans of Bobby Orr, Nov. 12 2012
This review is from: The Best of Bobby Orr (DVD)
A friend loaned me this DVD because Amazon is out of stock. Hope a new edition comes out soon. Perfect mix of narrative, interviews, and clips. LOTS of clips. One incredible goal after another. Loved it. A superb athlete and a fine man all around.

Hockey Plays and Strategies
Hockey Plays and Strategies
by Ryan Walter
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 16.35
43 used & new from CDN$ 14.84

5.0 out of 5 stars Chalk talk heaven, Nov. 6 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
A gold mine of concepts and strategies. Well written and every strategy is given its own diagram. Thorough and excellent.

Inspector Morse Set Two Last S
Inspector Morse Set Two Last S
Offered by localMarket
Price: CDN$ 28.57
7 used & new from CDN$ 28.57

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great but Grainy, March 21 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Love John Thaw. Peerless. Five stars.

But the video quality of these DVDs is poor. One star.

How is it that video from the 1950's (e.g. Twilight Zone first season) is crisp and clear and these relatively recent productions look so poor? That's one for the tech gods to ponder.

Inspector Morse Set Four Infer
Inspector Morse Set Four Infer
DVD ~ Inspector Morse Set Four: The Infernal Serpent
Offered by importcds__
Price: CDN$ 23.39
12 used & new from CDN$ 23.39

4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Defective as heck, March 14 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I don't know who BFS is but when I put the DVD in the machine and their oh-so-amateur-half-a**ed logo ran I had a bad feeling.

Sure enough, about one third of the way through the first Morse episode, the DVD started to stutter, then finally froze. I haven't seen this happen in many many years.

To add insult to injury, the label on the disc says Made in Canada.

With hope and dread, we ran the second episode and hey, about a third of the way through it also froze.

Are they making these in somebody's garage with twenty-year old machines?

We never tried the last disc. Simply put in a return order with Amazon, for a refund rather than a replacement. This stuff is crap.

And we never got to hear the Morse theme. Didn't they play it near the start? Or was it always at the end?

Will have to find some other way to see the late great John Thaw. Too bad. I feel such ... remorse.

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4