Showing posts with label Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reviews. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

DEAD SIX is Out Today

DEAD SIX is out today! « Monster Hunter Nation:
"The plot is big. The action is big, but we kept it plausible. The tactics/equipment stuff is solid. One of my proof readers is a guy that Jack Bauer would hang out with. We did our homework. Considering that we wrote this years ago and put in the Arab Spring, a narcotrafficante revolution in Mexico, and stealth helicopters, none of which (we knew) existed at the time, I’d say we were at least semi-plausible in our brainstorming process. We took some liberties with reality, all authors do, but we tried not to make them stupid liberties."
Larry must be listening to my suggestions.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

W.E.B. Griffin

Slim recommended W.E.B. Griffin to me before my first beach trip this year. I picked up The Lieutenants: Brotherhood of War and finally read it at home, since I can't read a ton of books on my vacations due to the preschooler factor. I really enjoyed it, so I ran over to McKay's before this trip to get the next book in the series, but McKay's is like a box of chocolates. I ended up getting the first and second book in his Presidential Agent series. I finished By Order of the President and liked it as well. Lovely... another author and several series that I'm going to spend lots of time reading.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Attention to Detail

Now this is attention to detail..
"Eckert was dedicated to testing every part. According to Scott McCartney, in order to choose his wiring, 'Eckert acquired some mice in cages and starved them for a few days. Then he put different kinds of wire in their cages to see which kind they enjoyed eating. The least appetizing brand was used in ENIAC.'"
The Man Who Invented the Computer: The Biography of John Atanasoff, Digital Pioneer

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Baofeng UV-3R: eHam.Net Reviews

There are a few reviews of the Baofeng UV-3R coming in at Generally, they are positive, but I would give the radio a high score based on the value provided for such a low cost.
Baofeng UV-3R Reviews at

Friday, May 6, 2011

Baofeng UV-3R Review: DENMONKEY YouTube Follow-Up

DENMONKEY addresses some questions that resulted from his first video.

Baofeng UV-3R Review: Eden Valley Radio Society Forum

M5TXJ has a review of the Baofeng UV-3R on the Eden Valley Radio Society Forum.

Overall, another positive review. I won't repeat everything he says, but he sums up:
Size, price, performance, dial locks by pressing down, charging battery in situ, clear display, simple menu system, long battery life, reasonable power output, did I say price!

instructions don't match updated firmware, no dual band aerial, slightly poor fit of battery cover."
Some of the sellers are now offering a dual band antenna instead of including both a UHF and a VHF antenna. Since I don't use 440, if I get slightly better performance out of the VHF specific antenna on 2M, then that's a win for me.

I'll say it again - the barrier to entry, from a cost perspective, to ham radio is very low. I suggested that someone could spend $15 to get their license and then use Echolink from a phone or PC to "get on the air." If you want to play radio with a real rig, a $55 UV-3R would go a long way. (Of course, some people spend a lifetime and small fortune on ham gear.)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Harry Potter in Space

Well, not exactly, but rumors of a screenplay of Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game are circulating. I loved the book and it is one that I could read again. (It is an easy read.) After reviewing the article, I must surmise that I am a little fuzzy on the details since I don't recall Ender being extremely violent. At the time, I must have thought his actions were justified. I'll have to dig out my copy and take it to the beach for a re-read.

Of course, I think Harry Potter could be cast in a similar violent light. It is hard for me to find fault with a character that is persecuted and fights back. As an aside, it also reminds me of Gord from the Greyhawk Adventures by the Gary Gygax, co-create of Dungeons and Dragons. Gord was a small, homeless orphan who had to fight for survival. As with Harry and Ender, Gord becomes very powerful and must deal with the responsibility that comes with that power.

Ender's Game (Ender, Book 1)Saga of Old City (Greyhawk Adventures #1)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Time to Hunt and The 47th Samurai

Well, I ended up reading, not one, but both of the other Stephen Hunter books about Bob Lee Swagger.

First up is a Time to Hunt which is really several stories in one. It tells the story of Donny, Bob Lee's partner, and how he ended up as part of the sniper team. It also describes the events surrounding Bob Lee and Donny's heroics in Vietnam. For me, the intertwined stories worked a lot better than in the previous novel. Conspiracy theory lovers will enjoy this one. It is my favorite book in the series so far.

The 47th Samurai moves Bob's Excellent Adventure to Japan as he stumbles into trouble (surprise!) as he is pulled into his father's past. A samurai sword that Earl brought home turns out to be much more important to than he ever suspected. (And I have no idea why Bob's wife puts up with him.) To be honest, it was more of the same with some Asian seasoning. I liked it and it was an easy read, but I might let other books jump ahead of it in the queue. My lack of excitement may be partially due to some Bob Lee overload. I typically enjoy reading a series of books, so that I can follow a character in depth, but it might be too much of a good thing in this instance.

Time to HuntThe 47th Samurai (Bob Lee Swagger Novels)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Awesome Holster Review

You can have some faith that your pistol won't fall out of this holster.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Book Review: Black Light

I finished Black Light last night. It was the second book in the Bob Lee Swagger series by Stephen Hunter. This story flashes back to the events surrounding the death of Earl Swagger, Bob's father, as Bob tries to discover what actually happened. I enjoyed the book, but liked Point of Impact slightly more. Hunter does other books about Earl and I think those might be a better read without the jumping back and forth in time. Up next is A Time to Hunt, but I've got to do some reading for my Sunday School class, so it may be a while before I continue with Bob Lee's adventures.

Black Light

Friday, December 31, 2010

True Grit

I saw True Grit (2010) today. I've not see the original, but I've heard good things about the remake. I came away being being lukewarm about it. The plot was straight forward and enough to keep me interested. I didn't buy Matt Damon and Jeff Bridges in their roles. There was too much of The Dude in Cogburn and Damon doesn't make for a believable talkative, if not out right effeminate, Texas Ranger. Also, there were some rough transitions between scenes that were jarring. On the plus side, there were several excellent one-liners and bits of wisdom (like not needing a good lawyer, but rather a good judge) to keep things moving.

Since I didn't love this movie, maybe I should have gone to something with different actors like Tron: Legacy. Oh, wait, nevermind.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Book Reviews: Point of Impact & First Family

I've had some downtime around the holidays, so I read a couple of books.

First, I read David Baldacci's First Family. This is the fourth book in the Sean King and Michelle Maxwell series. I've read a handful of his books and I can't say they are that memorable. I enjoyed several of his other books in the Camel Club series, but all in all they are mostly escapist reading. I've had this one for a long time, but the last Camel Club book I read was so disappointing, I put off reading this one. His stuff is good enough that I've read more than one, but not so good that I feel compelled to ever pick up another of his novels. I think a good alternative (especially to the King and Maxwell series) would be Nelson DeMille's John Corey and Kate Mayfield from Plum Island and subsequent books.

I got Stephen Hunter's Point of Impact for Christmas and burned through it. I had seen Shooter, the movie with Marky Mark, so I had an idea of the plot. I really enjoyed this book. Not surprisingly, the novel had a lot more depth than the movie. In addition to more information about Bob Lee Swagger, you get the whole back story on Special Agent Nick Memphis. If you are into guns, you'll also appreciate Hunter's attention to details when it comes to the rifles and long range shooting. I definitely recommend it. Good thing, too, as I also got the next three books in the Bob Lee series as gifts.

First FamilyPoint of Impact

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Station Agent

The Station Agent is a great example of a movie that doesn't occur on some grand scale - it is just a movie about people, their personal struggles, and their evolving relationships. I have no idea why the XYL and I picked up this movie. We watched it some years ago and were quite surprised how much we enjoyed it. If you want more info regarding the plot, Wikipedia has the usual write-up. I generally enjoy action movies and thrillers with lots of twists, so the fact that I liked this says something I think.

The Station Agent

Friday, December 17, 2010

George R.R. Martin

George R. R. Martin is a favorite author of mine. (Of course, like most of his fans, I hate him, too because he can't hit a deadline to save his life.)

His Song of Ice and Fire series is probably my favorite of all time. Here are some of the reasons why:

1. Magic is rare. Magic isn't so powerful that it makes armies meaningless. There is balance.
2. He isn't afraid to kill (or maim) the primary characters - even the likable ones.
3. The scope is realistic - it isn't about saving the world from the "Big Bad," but rather about families and kingdoms as they struggle to survive and conquer.

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Monster Hunter International & Vendetta

Larry Correia has made a name for himself in the gun world by writing action-packed fantasy with extremely accurate descriptions of the weapons used by his characters.

I really enjoyed Monster Hunter International. It was fast paced and the characters were interesting. I won't go into any further detail, but I give it the official Brick's Good Read Recommendation.

I picked up the second book, Monster Hunter Vendetta, when it came out. I must confess that it was slightly disappointing. It was more of the same (good), but I have grown weary of stories that always involve saving the world (bad). MHI had the advantage of being novel. Since I was familiar with the characters, Vendetta had less to offer and was viewed with a more critical eye. It was not without it's moments - I laughed out loud at some of the jokes about the G-nomes (especially the one carrying the P22) and the troll. In these instances, Correia blends fantasy, guns, and the internet cultures very well.

I will probably pick up the next book, but I hope he can tell a story that isn't dependent on saving the universe.

Monster Hunter InternationalMonster Hunter Vendetta

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Magpul Dynamics DVDs

I ordered the 4 series set of Magpul Dynamics DVDs (Handgun, Carbine I & II, Aerial) along with the new Magpul Shotgun videos from Brownells. They had a sale on the 4 pack and a coupon for 10% off.

I'm glad I ordered the Magpul videos now instead of waiting on the on the Daniel Defense/Larry Vickers training series. I agree with ENDO and don't think I could stomach much of "LAV."