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Michael Fletcher (Murrieta, CA USA)

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Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I: 50th Anniversary
Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I: 50th Anniversary
by Julia Child
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 32.10
48 used & new from CDN$ 20.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Authoritative, June 26 2002
I have been a long time fan of Julia Child for her wit and humor. Her shows are still so entertaining to watch. But don't be fooled by her fun demeanor. She is a serious student and teacher of French cooking. I respect her and trust this book for recipes that are authentic and work flawlessly. I recently made crepes for the first time and tried her recipe for the batter. I was delighted to find them delicious with just the right flavor and consistency. That was no surprise to me at all. This book is great because gives the reader the knowledge to master the fundamental sauces and building blocks of classic French cuisine. Kudos to Julia Child for her anniversary edition of this cook's essential! If you're serious about cooking like I am, please do yourself a favor by rewarding yourself with this wonderful cooking tutorial.

The New Cooks' Catalogue
The New Cooks' Catalogue
by Burt Wolf
Edition: Hardcover
32 used & new from CDN$ 5.27

5.0 out of 5 stars Every cook's essential tool guide!, Nov. 9 2000
Kudos to Burt Wolf for creating an indispensable collection of kitchen cookware, gadget, tool, electrical appliance and everything but the kitchen sink reviews for both the new and experienced cook. There are tons of books dedicated to recipes and cooking, but this book gives you wonderful information on what cooking equipment to buy. I feel so much more informed and confident in my purchases since I've used this book. It has reviews and information on kitchen essentials all the way to esoteric gadgets you never knew existed. It's a great way to inventory and stock your kitchen. I also love the fact that it includes pictures and descriptions of currently available items with reviews written from an unbiased viewpoint. Also included are insights from many well known and talented chefs.
This should have been called, "The Kitchen Equipment Bible." It's that good! Highly recommended.

The Last Emperor (Widescreen Director's Cut)
The Last Emperor (Widescreen Director's Cut)
DVD ~ John Lone
Offered by M and N Media Canada
Price: CDN$ 50.46
15 used & new from CDN$ 17.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, inexcusable video transfer!, Sept. 15 2000
Since I saw Bernardo Bertolucci's epic, The Last Emperor in the theater when it was released, I have been a fan of this wonderful movie. I was thrilled when it was released on DVD and rushed to get my hands on a copy. I had never seen the director's cut which comes in at a whopping 3 hours and 38 minutes. Don't worry, the film is extremely long, but holds your interest captive the whole time.
To my horror, the video transfer on this DVD was one of the worst I had ever seen! I'm sure the VHS version is far superior to this transfer. Why would anyone cram such a long film with beautiful Oscar winning cinemetography onto one side of a single layered disc? The digital artifacts and shimmering are so bad that it's nearly impossible to enjoy the film. I have yet to see the director's cut of this movie because I had to stop watching. This is the only DVD I have ever returned due to poor quality. I still eagerly await a DVD transfer of this great movie that does it the justice it deserves.
Sadly, I heartily do NOT recommend this DVD due to dismal video quality although this is one of my favorite films.

Weekends for Two in Southern California: 50 Romantic Getaways
Weekends for Two in Southern California: 50 Romantic Getaways
by Bill Gleeson
Edition: Paperback
12 used & new from CDN$ 0.10

5.0 out of 5 stars Love is in the air!, Sept. 13 2000
Weekends for Two in Southern California: 50 Romantic Getaways is a wonderful book for the romantic in all of us. If you're looking for a great place to stay for the weekend, look no further! This book showcases 50 enchanting places to stay in Southern California when you're in the mood for love within beautiful surroundings. Each property is described in detail with room descriptions, prices and includes full color photographs. My wife and I love the Apple Farm Inn in San Luis Obispo. It's a charming country style inn that's more comfy and cozy than home and also has a great restaurant where homemade corn bread, apple cider and ice cream is featured. I love looking through this book whenever I am planning a trip away with my wife. I'm sure you'll love this book as well!
Highly recommended! Don't miss Bill Gleeson's other Weeekends for Two books for Northern California and other locales. They are great too! You'll feel warm and fuzzy just looking at these lovingly selected getaways.

The Sound of Music (Five Star Collection) [Import]
The Sound of Music (Five Star Collection) [Import]
DVD ~ Julie Andrews
Offered by OMydeals
Price: CDN$ 48.18
15 used & new from CDN$ 14.98

5.0 out of 5 stars I love this movie!, Sept. 8 2000
I never tire of this movie! I was delighted when I heard that this beloved classic would be released on DVD in widescreen and Dolby Digital and with THX certification to boot!
This movie has always been a favorite of my family and I was delighted to see it for the first time in widescreen never having seen the movie in a theater. The grandeur of the scenery can be enjoyed much more fully in this format. Every song is a classic that you'll love to hear again and again. The picture and sound quality is so superb, you won't believe it was released 35 years ago. The bonus disc with a making of documentary, musical outtakes and other goodies is a welcome bonus especially considering the low price!
For the price of a single DVD, why not own The Sound of Music and a bonus DVD for your family to enjoy for years to come? You won't want to see it full-screen with marginal sound once you've been spoiled by this wonderful set.
Highly recommended! Buy it today!

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Ultimate Edition)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Ultimate Edition)
DVD ~ Arnold Schwarzenegger
Offered by WonderBook-USA
Price: CDN$ 38.89
35 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Features galore!, Sept. 8 2000
This is the most feature packed DVD I own!
Terminator 2 THE ULTIMATE EDITION DVD actually has 3 different versions of the movie; the original theatrical release lasting 136 minutes, the special edition version lasting 153 minutes and an extended special edition clocking in at 155 minutes and 43 seconds which is accessed by an "Easter Egg" discussed below.
You can access the extended special edition version by selecting special edition from the menu and then entering 82297 on your remote's numeric keypad. You may have to press "enter" after each number on certain DVD players. An easier method is to just select title number 3 from your remote.
The picture quality and sound quality are top-notch on this DVD and it is my top choice for showing off my system to friends and family! It includes Dolby Digital 5.1 EX, DTS 5.1 ES and Dolby Digital 2.0 mixes. The EX and ES designations refer to a new standard that includes a sixth channel of sound that is designed to emanate from a rear center speaker. I have a 5.1 setup, so I couldn't test this feature, but it's nice to know it's there.
This release comes in two formats; either a DVD-18 disc or two DVD-9 Discs. The DVD-18 is a double-sided, double layer disc and contains the entire 6 hours of material on one disc that needs to be flipped and the DVD-9 is a single-sided, double-layer disc which has the material on two discs. Don't worry, the content on both versions is the same. The two disc version might be preferable for DVD changer users. Due to manufacturing limitations with the newer DVD-18 format, the DVD-9's were created to better meet demand.
One really cool thing about this title is that the trailers for Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS play according to which audio setting is selected. These are nice to demo your system with! Also, the THX trailer at the beginning was customized for T2 as a bonus.
If you love this movie, get this version now! It has enough bonus materials to warrant a purchase even if you already own the previous release on DVD. This is an awesome special edition that betters the Laser Disc special edition at a quarter of the list price! There are English and Japanese trailers, 700 storyboards, a 26 person audio commentary, making of T2 and T2 3D featurettes and DVD-ROM material as well.
Last, but not least, you get "THX Optimode," a tool to properly adjust your home theater audio and video settings for optimum enjoyment. I recommend Video Essentials or Avia Guide to Home Theater DVDs for critical system adjustment, but this is a great tool for free! To access "THX Optimode," select "Sensory Control," click your remote's left button and click on the highlighted THX on the endoskeleton's skull.
This is a great DVD with my highest recommendation!

When I Look in Your Eyes
When I Look in Your Eyes
Price: CDN$ 15.00
105 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Diana does it again!, Aug. 15 2000
Since I bought "Love Scenes" about a year ago, I have absolutely fallen in love with Diana Krall's music. I believe she is the foremost rising jazz star of our time!
Although I like the simpler, more intimate sound of her earlier recordings, "When I Look in Your Eyes" is truly wonderful too. Diana's other recordings are with her trio of musicians and have a more intimate jazz club performance sound.
On this recording, Diana employs Johnny Mandel's string arrangements as well as her own musicians to create a larger sound. Don't get me wrong, the sound is a little less intimate, but certainly still very good. As a matter of fact, most listeners would likely prefer this sound.
If you are not tempted to compare Diana's voice and style to other legendary jazz vocalists and keep an open mind, it's likely you'll find yourself wanting all her recordings. I don't tend to compare musicians with each other, because they each have their own style and should be enjoyed independently.
That said, I can heartily recommend this album to jazz lovers and all music lovers. You'll miss out on something very special if you don't discover Diana Krall's special gift. I have seen her in concert, and she was delightful and the music was sensational! If you fall in love with her music too, please do yourself a favor and see her vocal and keyboard skills in person.
But, first start by getting this album and seeing what the fuss is all about!

One Size Fits All
One Size Fits All
Offered by Polar Bear Store
Price: CDN$ 33.69
11 used & new from CDN$ 1.28

5.0 out of 5 stars Pop harmonies at their best!, Aug. 15 2000
This review is from: One Size Fits All (Audio CD)
One Size Fits All is a wonderful a cappella pop album that is aptly named because it is so widely appealing. This album is well known in high end audio circles for its natural vocals and superb recording. I bought my copy after seeing it in many audio stores during my college days.
This is one of my favorite CDs, not only because it impresses on my high end audio system, but the songs are downright infectious. Don't be surprised to find yourself humming and snapping your fingers even after the music stops playing.
Highly recommended!

Standing in the...
Standing in the...
7 used & new from CDN$ 26.17

5.0 out of 5 stars Now this is great gospel!, Aug. 15 2000
This review is from: Standing in the... (Audio CD)
Standing in the Safety Zone by the Fairfield Four is my all-time favorite gospel title in my music collection!
The first track sounds a bit crackly and lo-fi. If you were to listen to this track and judge the CD, you would be very mistaken about the quality of sound from this recording. The first song is an older track, but all the subsequent tracks are crystal clear, moving and engaging.
Although this is a gospel title, I love to play this for friends to show off my high end audio system. The vocals are spacious, harmonious and full of life. The recording is superb and the performance is fantastic. I especially like the bass vocals on this album. The sound is exceptional, but the songs are uplifting and moving as well. This is a recording that will touch your ears and your heart.
I heard about this CD in one of my high end audio magazines. They used this CD to test some esoteric audio gear and they raved about how good it was. That review intrigued me, so I bought a copy and it remains one of my favorites.
Unless you are offended by Christian lyrics, get this album now! You will be in for a real treat!

Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money-That the Poor and the Middle Class Do Not!
Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money-That the Poor and the Middle Class Do Not!
by Robert T. Kiyosaki
Edition: Paperback
159 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Whets your appetite, Aug. 10 2000
Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a great introduction to the psychology of creating wealth. If you're a financial genius, this isn't the book for you. However, if you're the average person who needs a little nudge in the right direction, this is a great primer!
This book reads more like a novel than a financial manual because I believe the author wanted to make finances interesting for the masses. What I got from the book was a concise understanding of how to make money work for me and the motivation and confidence I needed to take action. Since I read this book, I have enrolled with an online stock broker. The motivation I've gained more than pays for the price of the book.
Highly recommended for financial novices!

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