Category Archives: Uncategorized

NFL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS: ATLANTA FALCONS VS. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (4:35 P.M. EDT NBC); TENNESSEE TITANS VS. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (8:35 P.M. EDT CBS)


Just a few weeks ago, the Philadelphia Eagles were cruising into the Playoffs. Then, their brilliant QB, Cqrson Wentz, got injured and the Eagles looked like their goose was cooked. We’ll see today when the Atlanta Falcons come to the City of Brotherly Love favored by 3-points. In the late game, the mighty New England Patriots are favored by 13 1/2 points over the Tennessee Titans. This game looks like a blow-out. Who do you think will win today?

FORGOTTEN BOOKS #457: RISE OF THE TERRAN EMPIRE By Poul Anderson


Rise of the Terran Empire is the third omnibus volume in BAEN Books’s “The Technic Civilization Saga.” The confederation of traders that kept order is breaking down. Poul Anderson shows how the Terran Empire emerges from the breakup of the old order. If you’re looking for that “Sense of Wonder” in Science Fiction, this volume has it in spades. Anderson also manages to create credible aliens in these stories, too.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
“Descent into Empire” By Hank Davis vii
Mirkheim 1
“Wingless” 293
“Rescue on Avalon” 307
“The Star Plunderer” 325
“Sargasso of Lost Starships” 363
The People of the Wind 437
“Chronology of Technic Civilization” By Sandra Miesel 663

THE CAPTAIN CLASS: THE HIDDEN FORCE THAT CREATES THE GREATEST SPORTS TEAMS By Sam Walker


Sam Walker has covered sports teams for 30 years. He founded the excellent sports section in the Wall Street Journal in 2009. Throughout his years of following sports, Walker was obsessed with the question of why certain teams won so consistently. In The Captain Class, Walker presents his theory of consistent winning: it’s all about the leadership. Walker provides dozens of examples where teams win while other teams–just as talented–don’t win championships. Walker cites evidence from soccer teams, cricket teams, baseball, football, and hockey teams. If you’re a sports fan, you’ll find plenty to think about in The Captain Class. If coaches read this book, they might rethink the way they build their teams. Most teams are focused on talent, not leadership. I’m convinced by Walker’s arguments that leadership provides the Winning Edge. GRADE: A
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
PROLOGUE viii
GREATNESS AND ITS ORIGINS: The Birth of a Freak Team 1
ONE: Alpha Lions: Identifying the Worlds Greatest Teams 13
TWO: Captain Theory: Importance of the “Glue Guys” 31
THREE: Talent, Money, and Culture: Alternative Explanations 52
FOUR: Do Coaches Matter? The Vince Lombardi Effect 69
PART II: THE CAPTAINS: The Seven Methods of Elite Leaders 87
FIVE: They Just Keep Coming: Doggedness and Its Ancillary Benefits 93
SIX: Intelligent Fouls: Playing at the Edge of the Rules 112
SEVEN: Carrying Water: The Hidden Art of Leading from the Back 133
EIGHT: Boxing Ears and Wiping Noses: Practical Communication 154
NINE: Calculated Acts: The Power of Nonverbal Displays 175
TEN: Uncomfortable Truths: The Courage to Stand Apart 185
ELEVEN: The Kill Switch: Regulating Emotion 204
PART III: THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION: Leadership Mistakes and Misperceptions 229
TWELVE: False Idols: Flawed Captains and Why We Love Them 233
THIRTEEN: The Captaincy in Winter: Leadership’s Decline, and How to Reverse It 255
EPILOGUE 271
APPENDIX 277
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 303
INDEX 315

DOLLARS AND SENSE: HOW WE MISTHINK MONEY AND HOW TO SPEND SMARTER By Dan Ariely & Jeff Kreisler


Dollars and Sense shows how to make better decisions about money. Dan Ariely and Jeff Kreisler talk about the bad habits we develop that cost us every time we spend cash or credit. My favorite part of Dollars and Sense dealt with the ways we “lose control” over spending. I fight that battle daily when AMAZON sends me recommended suggestions for books, Blu-rays, and music CDs. And AMAZON’S insideous 1-CLICK buying option just makes it so EASY to buy! If you want to solve some of your money problems in 2018, reading Dollars and Sense would be a good place to start. GRADE: A
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Introduction ix
PART I WHAT IS MONEY?
1 Don’t Bet On It 3 (4)
2 Opportunity Knocks 7 (8)
3 A Value Proposition 15 (6)
PART II HOW WE ASSESS VALUE IN WAYS THAT HAVE LITTLE TO DO WITH VALUE
1 We Forget That Everything Is Relative 21 (20)
5 We Compartmentalize 41 (20)
6 We Avoid Pain 61 (32)
7 We Trust Ourselves 93 (18)
8 We Overvalue What We Have . 111 (20)
9 We Worry About Fairness and Effort . 131 (18)
10 We Believe In the Magic Of Language and Rituals . 149 (18)
11 We Overvalue Expectations 167 (16)
12 We Lose Control 183 (14)
13 We Overemphasize Money 197 (16)
PART III NOW WHAT? BUILDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF FLAWED THINKING
14 Put Your Money Where Your Mind Is 213 (12)
15 Free Advice 225 (2)
16 Control Yourself 227 (10)
17 It’s Us Against Them 237 (16)
18 Stop and Think 253 (6)
Thanks 259 (2)
Notes 261 (8)
Index 269 (7)

SCOTT & BAILEY, SEASONS 1-5 [BBC Box Set]


From 2011 to 2016, Scott & Bailey delighted audiences with a mix of police procedural and dark humor. The series stars Suranne Jones, Lesley Sharp, Amelia Bullmore, Nicholas Gleaves, Danny Miller, and Pippa Haywood. Detectives Janet Scott (played by Sharp) and Rachel Bailey (played by Jones) investigate crimes while dealing with their own personal problems. Both characters are members of the Syndicate Nine Major Incident Team (MIT) of the fictional Manchester Metropolitan Police. I liked the mix of cases Scott & Bailey investigate. Sometimes, the women’s personal problems threaten to dominate the action, but fortunately professionalism always brings them back to Reality. Both women are flawed, but their toughness manages to overcome their myriad of problems.

If you’re looking for an excellent series with strong women characters, Scott & Bailey delivers. Many PBS stations broadcast this series. It’s also available on AMAZON Prime if you’d rather not buy the DVDs. GRADE: A

FIRE & FURY: INSIDE THE TRUMP WHITE HOUSE By Michael Wolff


Based on 200 interviews with members of the Trump Administration, Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House presents the chaos inside the West Wing as well as the infighting between key figures like Steve Bannon and members of the Trump family. One of the most incendiary claims by Wolff is that Bannon thinks Donald Trump, Jr. committed treason by meeting with the Russians to get “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. The other shocking aspect of Fire and Fury that struck me was that everyone who spoke with Michael Wolff thinks Donald Trump is an infantile idiot. Trump doesn’t read. He doesn’t study. He just loves to Tweet. It’s hard to gauge just how much of Fire and Fury is true and how much of it is just venting by frustrated White House staffers. Working for Trump is clearly a downer and the atmosphere in the West Wing is toxic. But, if much of Michael Wolff’s picture of White House dysfunction is true, then the USA is in deep trouble. This is a riveting book! GRADE: A
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Author’s Note
Prologue: Ailes and Bannon
Chapter One: Election Day
Chapter Five: Jarvanka
Chapter Six: At Home

NFL WILD CARD ROUND: Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1:05 p.m., Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints, 4:40 p.m., FOX


The Football Gods smiled on the long suffering Buffalo Bills when Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton threw a Fouth Down pass to Tyler Boyd who promptly ran for 49 yards and a Touchdown! The Bengals win knocked the Baltimore Ravens out of the Playoffs and ended the Bills’ 17-year Playoff drought. But, today, the Bills face the mighty Jacksonville Jaguars who are 9-point favorites. I’m sorry to say that I think the Bills season ended today. The late game today, featuring Deb’s New Orleans Saints, could be determined by which Cam Newton shows up. Newton has a rocket arm, but he also has impaired judgement at times. The Saints are favored by 6 1/2-points. I think the Saints will go marching on in the Playoffs. Who do you think will win today?

NFL WILD CARD ROUND: Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs, 4:35 p.m., ESPN/ABC , Atlanta Falcons at Los Angeles Rams, 8:15 p.m., NBC



Wild Card Weekend always produces some surprises. Today’s games include the Kansas City Chiefs who looked hopeless a month ago. The Tennessee Titans were up and down all season long. Hard to predict which team will win but I’ll go with the Chiefs who are 8 1/2-point favorites. The Falcons were the preseason pick to win the NFC again and go back to the Super Bowl. But a big obstacle stands in their way: the surprising LA Rams. No one picked the Rams to made the Playoffs. Many “experts” think the Rams might be headed to the Super Bowl instead of the Falcons. This game is easily the most intriguing matchup of Wild Card Weekend. I’m picking the Rams (6-point favorites) to win and continue their astonishing run to greatness. Who do you think will win today?

FORGOTTEN BOOKS #456: SLAYERS & VAMPIRES: THE COMPLETELY UNCENSORED UNAUTHORIZED ORAL HISTORY OF BUFFY & ANGEL By Edward Gross & Mark A. Altman


Table of Contents:Overview
Slayers & Vampires: The Complete Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Buffy & Angel by Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman follows the successful format of Gross and Altman’s critically acclaimed two-volume series The Fifty-Year Mission: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Trek. Slayers & Vampires: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Buffy The Vampire Slayer & Angel takes you behind the scenes of two of the most innovative TV shows of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Joss Weldon’s vision of a teenager girl going into a dark alley and kicking a vampire’s butt was realized in these popular series. As Gross and Altman describe Buffy and Angel, “Two decades after its groundbreaking debut, millions of fans worldwide remain enthralled with the incredible exploits of Joss Whedon’s Buffy Summers, the slayer and feminist icon who saved the world…a lot; as well as Angel, the tortured vampire with a soul who fought against the apocalyptic forces of evil.”

The authors interviewed almost 100 writers, producers, directors, filmmakers, sociologists and stars from Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel. The interviews included:
Joss Whedon
Guillermo del Toro
Felicia Day
Anthony Stewart Head
Charisma Carpenter
James Marsters
David Boreanaz
Amy Acker
J. August Richards
Eliza Dushku
Christian Kane
Julie Benz
If you’re a fan of Buffy and Angel, this is a must-buy. Even if you have a casual interest in these two franchises, Slayers & Vampires includes plenty of information about movie-making, TV script writing, directing, acting, and the business side of Hollywood. Highly recommended! GRADE: A
Table of Contents
ONCE MORE, WITH KNEELING by Mark A. Altman, 9
VAMPIRES AND SLAYERS, OH MY! by Edward Gross, 15
PART ONE: BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER “She saved the world … a lot.”,
BLONDE ON BLONDE, 19
HELLMOUTH OR HIGH WATER, 37
HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL, 65
BEWITCHED, BOTHERED, AND BUFFY, 96
SOUL MAN, 121
YOU GOTTA HAVE FAITH, 153
THE SPY WHO LOVED ME, 174
A FIGHT FOR LOVE AND GLORY (aka DEATH IS YOUR GIFT), 192
MORE THAN A FEELING, 214
LEAVING SUNNYDALE, 258
PART TWO: ANGEL “Fangs, don’t fail me now.”,
BACK IN BLACK, 291
OUT OF THE PAST, 367
HERE COMES THE SON, 400
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, 421
L.A. LAW, 452
PART THREE: ACROSS THE BUFFYVERSE “If there is no great glorious end to all this, if nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do.”,
BEYOND BUFFY, 499
GIRL POWER FOREVER, 506
Acknowledgments, 521
About the Authors, 523

BENEATH AN OIL-DARK SEA: The Best of Caitlin R. Kiernan, Volume Two


Beneath An Oil-Dark Sea is the second volume of talented Caitlin R. Kiernan’s short stories. You can read my review of her first volume, Two Worlds and In Between, here. The stories in this volume were published between 2000 and 2013. A bonus is a bibliography of Caitlin R. Kiernan’s work from 1985 to 2015. My favorite stories in this massive collection (600+ pages!) are “Pickman’s Other Model (1929)” and “Houndwife.” Both stories are homages to H. P. Lovecraft stories. Kiernan is prolific so the quality of the stories vary. When she’s good, she’s very very good. When she’s not so good, she’s just average. If you’re looking for provocative stories by one of the best Science Fiction and Fantasy writers now publishing, I recommend Beneath An Oil-Dark Sea. GRADE: B+
Table of Contents:
Introduction by S. T. Joshi
PART ONE (Atlanta, 2004-2008)
Bradbury Weather
Pony
Untitled 17
A Child’s Guide to the Hollow Hills
The Ammonite Violin (Murder Ballad No. 4)
A Season of Broken Dolls
In View of Nothing
The Ape’s Wife
The Steam Dancer (1896)
In the Dreamtime of Lady Resurrection
Pickman’s Other Model (1929)
PART TWO (Providence, 2008-2012)
Galapagos
The Melusine (1898)
As Red as Red
Fish Bride (1970)
The Mermaid of the Concrete Ocean
The Sea Troll’s Daughter
Hydraguros
Houndwife
The Maltese Unicorn
Tidal Forces
And the Cloud That Took the Form
The Prayer of Ninety Cats
Daughter Dear Desmodus
One Tree Hill (The World as Cataclysm)
Black Helicopters
Epilogue: Atlantis
Bibliography/Publication History
Illustrations (Bonus in Limited)
Falses Starts II Table of Contents (Volume Exclusive to the Limited Edition)
Prolegomenon
The Path of Silence
Iris
Romeo and Juliet Go to Mars
The Benefactions of Demons MM. Newcoment, Watt & Boulton (1900)
The Diamond Friendly
There are Kisses for us all
There will be Kisses for us all
A Piece of the Sky
May 5, 2013
May 6, 2013
May 8, 2013
Penance to the Pool of Perversity (1917)
Noah’s Raven
Mechs Have Better Things to do with Fallen Angels
Words Written Backwards
Deep Ocean Vast Sea
Glove
(Dead) Love Among the Ruins
Untitled 19
Night in an Eye of God
The Seeker in the City of Stone Flowers