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BettieLuv "Bettie_Luv" (Toronto, Canada)

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Mr Midshipman Easy (Classics of Naval Fiction)
Mr Midshipman Easy (Classics of Naval Fiction)
Price: CDN$ 7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Thank You, Captain Marryat, Nov. 27 2015
Way back in 1949, when I was 5 years old, I would hide from the domestic violence at home by squeezing into a crevice beside an armchair. Facing me when I wriggled round towards the wall was a little shelf on which was a textbook about the Hindi language and a library book entitled "Mr. Midshipman Easy". So, to run away a little further in my mind, I picked them up and read them.

The Hindi textbook was entertaining to me because of the writing which, as I recall now 67 years later, was somehow all like hooks suspended from overhead lines.

As for Mr. Midshipman Easy, it was the first book that I actually read. Not in sequence; just pages at random and sentences at random.

But in my daily secluded states of terror, it conveyed meaning after a while except for the long words. Two syllables were alright but three were a bit much and my brain's voice mispronounced them. And of course adult life concepts and humour passed me by. Of course, when I went to school I could already read and I was sent out to play when there were reading classes.

I hadn't touched or seen the book since then and I don't know what happened to it because we never had a proper home or possessions. It just disappeared like everything else did from time to time.

Now, at last, I'm happy and secure and decided to read it properly as a grown-up.

When I started to do so, I was a bit afraid that it might trigger traumatic recall. In fact, though, it had exactly the opposite effect. I was delighted by the simple story that it told and by the way in which it did so.

It is like sitting with a retired sea captain from 200 years ago while he told a good old=fashioned yarn with lots of salty sea stuff and battles and adventures ("scrapes") and insights into social and class attitudes of his section of history.

Now being an adult, sort of, I could appreciate the particular joy of reading a book that was written by a man who had lived the life he was describing and was contemporary to that time.

My thanks to Captain Marryatt for the refuge when I was a frightened little boy and for providing an entertaining tale for me now that I am a retired old lady.

Resident Aliens: Life in the Christian Colony (Expanded 25th Anniversary Edition)
Resident Aliens: Life in the Christian Colony (Expanded 25th Anniversary Edition)
Price: CDN$ 14.29

1.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't communicate a universal Church, Nov. 6 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I read this book and write this review as an ordinary churchgoer, a simple member of the laity.

I was christened / baptised in the Church of ENGLAND, catechised and confirmed in the Church of ROME and am now a registered parishioner at a church of the Anglican Church of CANADA.

I only read the first half of the book and then considered that to continue would be a waste of time. The book is written in tangled multi-syllabic academic language unsuited for communication to any at-large audience whether that audience be Christian or not, clergy or not, in the pews or in the street.

Moreover, the author addresses Christianity as if it was significantly present to his subject only in Protestant USA. The influence and relevance of The Vatican should, for his subject, have been shown to be hugely present and significant to his argument as also should Christianity as it is related to social activism and civil rules and pressures in South and Central America, the Islamic areas of South East Asia, the emerged politics of the former USSR, the moral forces of African governments and the materialist pressures of China.

Catholicism in the Philippines and how that fills pews in North America arguably under three flags (Vatican, Philippines, resident nation) in which to be alien by the authors' definitions and how that might or might not control the courage or timidity of decisions implemented by a worldwide Catholic hierarchy that expects obedience was nowhere on the author's horizon when I gave up reading the book half-way through.

There was no indication that the book would address the multiples of 'alienation' that my formal Church-given versions of Christianity either represent or provide opportunities for. Each of them literally flies the flags of nations both inside and outside the nave and two of them fly two flags because they have a foreign head, one a monarch and the other a pope, in addition to the national flag of residency and secular citizenship. Only the Church of England flies only one flag because it is the national established Church. In each of my churches, the head of the church is also the head of state and in one of them the state exists only for that reason.

If this book addressed in any specifics how any church-going Christian or any significant denomination of Church can become 'resident alien' in that situation, which is not unusual in the modern world, then it was not evident by the time that I'd read half of it. I started the book fascinated to find out, but I was disappointed.

So halfway through the book, I gave up. The book is irrelevant. There is one God, one Jesus. In fact, one Christianity. I attend church as one Christian united within the one Mystical Body of Christ.

Manga Studio 5 Beginner's Guide
Manga Studio 5 Beginner's Guide
by Michael Rhodes
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 51.57
17 used & new from CDN$ 51.25

1.0 out of 5 stars Be Aware of Deficiencies, Oct. 24 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Having paid a significant price for the paperback edition of this book, I learned that:

- a chapter of the book isn't in the book; it's only available online.

- the illustrations were so poorly drawn, texted and printed that they are difficult to see and decipher clearly while using the book for the exercises in the book.

- to compensate for their own knowledge of the inadequacy of the illustrations, an inadequacy admitted by the author in the book, the publisher supplements the book with a downloadable PDF file 192 pages big. So in theory I now also have to pay for the paper and ink to print that?

- Often the illustrations don't match what I see on the screen when I'm using the book. For example, the Register a New Document button in the book is a texted button but on my screen I discover with frustration and difficulty that the function was served by a small diskette icon.

- the instructions are incomplete. The author leads us to making our first New Document and invites us to play. For me nothing happens until I experiment in a state of irritation and finally discover for myself that first I need to add a layer on which to draw.

Maybe the author is referring to a version earlier that Manga Studio 5 or maybe his Mac version looks different from my Windows version. If so, Packt Publishing should not take our money without providing for that.

I will however concede that I'm enjoying using the book but that's because I am learning about Mange Studio 5 by debugging this book's errors and omissions and I like solving puzzles. Its inadequacies are an entertainment since, being retired, I have time on my hands.

Having had the joy of learning from excellent books such as Scott Kelby's series for Photoshop applications, I find myself feeling contemptuous of the relatively amateurish, uncaring, unprofessional quality of this book. I cannot recommend it. It's as if they took my money in breach of contract relative to what they provide in it.

DEWALT DC725KA 18-Volt Cordless Compact Hammer Drill/Driver
DEWALT DC725KA 18-Volt Cordless Compact Hammer Drill/Driver
Price: CDN$ 238.99
6 used & new from CDN$ 222.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't have done without it, Oct. 4 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I'm a lady in her seventies who dared to renovate her apartment all by herself. I bought this drill thinking it might be useful. In fact it has been indispensable. I love it. It does the job it was designed for and is easy to use. Powerful enough, versatile and well balanced even for the hands and arms of an aging lady. And my apartment is beginning to look gorgeous. :)

Manga for the Beginner: Everything you Need to Start Drawing Right Away!
Manga for the Beginner: Everything you Need to Start Drawing Right Away!
by Christopher Hart
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 18.71
39 used & new from CDN$ 9.32

4.0 out of 5 stars Given me a new hobby, Oct. 4 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
A bit over-produced and pricy for the simple contents BUT the quality of the contents is good. It's well presented. In fact in has started me on a new hobby of drawing Manga just for fun. Thank you Mr. Hart.

Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book
Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book
by Johanna Basford
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 18.86
84 used & new from CDN$ 6.09

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Beware!, Oct. 4 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
BEWARE! - Only use dry media. The paper is too porous for wet media like ink or felt pen. Also, unfortunately, the paper doesn't have quite enough tooth for me for colour pencils. I'm having quite good fun with CarbOthello pastel pencils. However, even then I've had to break the binding of the book. It is far to tightly bound to lie flat enough or for any colouring to approach the book's spine comfortably.

Quicken Cash Manager 2011 [Old Version]
Quicken Cash Manager 2011 [Old Version]

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Works beautifully for me, April 13 2011
I can't imagine what the previous 1-star reviewer was trying to do or was expecting. I had upgraded to Cash Manager 2011 from a version that was several years old. When this latest version imported the data from my previous one, it not only did so flawlessly, it very intelligently reapplied the Business Expense categories from the defunct T2124 form to the newer T2125. It did so without error. I did't need to make any manual adjustments. The rest of the program continues to work effectively and efficiently as, in my experience, all previous versions have. My cash management needs, incidentally, are not simple. I have multiple credit cards, debit cards, bank accounts and cash accounts together with a need to track tax-eligible expenses for my small paying-hobby business. It does the job and does it well. Such frills as I don't need, such as charts and graphs, don't intrude and one of these days might be useful. I enjoy using this time-saving program. In fact, I now wonder how I ever managed without it.

Picture Yourself Learning Corel Paint Shop Pro X2
Picture Yourself Learning Corel Paint Shop Pro X2
by Diane Koers
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 31.99
22 used & new from CDN$ 2.65

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Remarkably Good Book, Nov. 17 2009
I have only just received this book and have done no more than sample it. However, already I could not be more pleased with it. Having been using Paint Shop Pro for many years, I had a nagging feeling that I should be able to do more. For example, I was using layers, but only by trial and error, or by instinct. I felt that perhaps I wasn't uncovering all of PSP's potential. Also, Mask Layers were a mystery to me but I seemed to be managing without them by selective copying and pasting.
Recently, I obtained a set of textures. At the same time I saw some wonderful work by other photographers that used textures creatively. Technically, I was unable to unlock the effects as well as they could. (Artistically, I might or might not be their equal.) I was playing with the idea of buying Photoshop Elements while saving for Photoshop proper, but then happened to read a review of each of those products. Photoshop CS4 is, of course, superb, but very expensive. The review of Photoshop Elements 8 actually referred to PaintShop Pro Photo X2 and came out favourably on the side of PSP X2.
So, I bought this book to see what I was missing. I already see that I was using much but also overlooking much. PSP X2 is so rich in features that I'm now inclined to forgive the cussedness of the way in which its program is coded and the annoying nature of its management and support.
This book is superbly illustrated, the subects are described clearly and the instructions are supported by easy to understand step-by-step exercises so that one can read, see and do. The book also includes what looks like a very good chapter on digital scrapbooking but I will read that later, scrapbooking not being my thing (yet). And yes, how to do 3-D images really is described, and (LOL) it works, - in an amusing way which I will imitate.
Not only have the mysteries, features and techniques of layers been uncovered for me by this book but it has also revealed characteristics of basic controls that I hadn't noticed. I am so enthralled and refreshed that I'm going to swallow any pride of years-of-use and start from the beginning, with all the humility of a beginner, and work through the book from start to end. I know that I will learn from each and every chapter.
If you have PaintShop Pro Photo X2, I urge you to buy this book. It's better than any manual that could have come with the software. It's both informative and entertaining and will lead you to enjoy PSP X2 to the fullest.

(Oh, and I forgot to mention, the CD that comes with the book contains lots of useful, creative and entertaining little goodies.)

How To Cook Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Food
How To Cook Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Food
by Mark Bittman
Edition: Hardcover
34 used & new from CDN$ 19.97

3.0 out of 5 stars Depends on what is meant by "everything"., March 12 2002
God bless America, I love you. But this book has a viewpoint that presumes "everything" is "America". That's annoyingly narrow minded. Mainly, though, it's inconvenient.
More worldly books have the old-fashioned "spoon and cup" measuring system down one side of the ingredient list and the metric measures down the other side. This book has only the old spoon and cup system. It does make grudging acknowledgment of an international market by including a few, not very good, conversion tables on the end papers.
Also, the contents seem very "American", notwithstanding the "foreign names" of the recipes.
For example, the ingredient nomenclature is defiantly American. No international alternatives in brackets in this book. You get eggplants and zucchinis and lump it. No aubergines or courgettes.
I was hoping that "everything" would include some of the plain cooking that I'd experienced in Europe, UK, the West Indies, the Near and Middle East and the Indian subcontinent. And the Southern States of the USA.
There are interpretations of some of the dishes, but they are such as might be served in a shopping mall in Buffalo.
On the bright side, the index is intelligently organised.
Also, I have been able to adapt many of the recipes, often by reducing the sweetness drastically, or by making allowances for the probability that the rice quantities and times are based on it having been bought in a colourful box at a supermarket. That kind of thing.
It is excellent if you're a middle class, suburban American living and cooking in middle class, American suburbia.
Otherwise, it requires interprtation.
At least it did teach me that I've been pricking the shells of my eggs at the wrong end all these years. For that, thanks.

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