Thursday, October 31, 2013

Four: The Son: A Divergent Story (Divergent Series)

Four: The Son: A Divergent Story (Divergent Series)

Complete your Divergent library with the Four stories!Fans of the Divergent series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth will be thrilled by "Four: The Son," the third of four stories, each between fifty and seventy-five pages long, set in the world of Divergent and told from Tobias's perspective.In "The Son," Tobias struggles to find a place in the hierarchy of the Dauntless. He also begins to suspect that a foul plan may be brewing within the Dauntless leadership and discovers


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Demigod Diaries (The Heroes of Olympus)

The Demigod Diaries (The Heroes of Olympus)

What dangers do runaway demigods Luke and Thalia face on their way to Camp Half-Blood? Are Percy and Annabeth up to the task of rescuing stolen goods from a fire-breathing giant who doesn't take kindly to intruders? How exactly are Leo, Piper, and Jason supposed to find a runaway table, dodge a band of party-loving Maenads (who just might be a little psychotic), and stave off a massive explosion...all in one hour or less? 
With his trademark wit and creativity, Rick Riordan answers these q

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Command Authority (Jack Ryan) Reviews

Command Authority (Jack Ryan)
  • Command Authority (Jack Ryan) [Hardcover] [Dec 03, 2013] Clancy, Tom and Greaney, Mark

The #1 New York Times-bestselling author and master of the modern day thriller returns with his All-Star team.

There’s a new strong man in Russia but his rise to power is based on a dark secret hidden decades in the past. The solution to that mystery lies with a most unexpected source, President Jack Ryan. 

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Tough Luck (Hard Rock Roots) (Volume 3)

Tough Luck (Hard Rock Roots) (Volume 3)

TOUGH LUCK (Hard Rock Roots #3) - A New Adult Rock Star Romance Book #1, REAL UGLY, & Book #2, GET BENT, are available now! Book #4, BAD DAY, releases December 1st, 2013 Mature - Ages 18 and Up. Contains sex, drugs, violence, and rock 'n' roll. From the Amazon Bestselling Author of 'Losing Me, Finding You' and 'Keeping Never' "He wasn't just playing music, he was commanding sound and demanding sacrifice." Ronnie McGuire is my target. But I wish he wasn't. I didn't sign up for this destruction,

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Secrets in the Shadows: HarperImpulse Contemporary Romance

Secrets in the Shadows: HarperImpulse Contemporary Romance

A must-read for fans of Kate Morton!In 1920s Blackpool, eleven year old Rose wanders away from her parents and has a unique gift bestowed upon her. This gift will leave a haunting legacy, seeping down through the generations…Decades later, Louisa has a vision of her mother walking into the sea. This isn’t the first time it happens and it won’t be the last, but what she sees isn’t always what she wants. The rest of her life is spent trying to change the future that haunts her.In present d


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Friday, October 25, 2013

Mass Production of Beneficial Organisms: Invertebrates and Entomopathogens

Mass Production of Beneficial Organisms: Invertebrates and Entomopathogens

Mass Production of Beneficial Organisms: Invertebrates and Entomopathogens is an essential reference and teaching tool for researchers in developed and developing countries working to produce "natural enemies" in biological control and integrated pest management programs. As we become aware of the negative impact of pesticides in human health and on the environment, interest is rapidly increasing in developing biological pest control alternatives. Tremendous advances have been made in beneficia

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini - REVIEW and SUMMARY

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini - REVIEW and SUMMARY

WARNING: PLEASE bear in mind that this book is a SUMMARY BOOK of 'And the Mountains Echoed', NOT the full book! Welcome to 'EasytoDigest' chapter by chapter SUMMARY, REVIEW and ANALYSIS of 'And the Mountains Echoed' by Khaled Hosseini... INSIDE you will find: - Book overview - A little bit about the author section - Chapter by chapter summary and review - Character involvement discussion - What emotional issues are raised EACH CHAPTER - What discoveries are made EACH CHAPTER - SIMPLE BU

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Frail First Baseman

October 25, 1986 - World Series Game 6, Red Sox vs. Mets

On May 2, 1986, Americans mourned the loss of their Fall Guy. Colt Seavers (sometimes known as Lee Majors), using his dual roles as Hollywood stuntman and all-around bad ass bounty hunter, shut down a morality eroding night club and sent its corrupt owner to jail for selling PCP to impressionable kids. After making our neighborhoods safer, and our Friday nights on ABC just a little brighter, Colt said goodbye to us forever.

No more cheesy car stunts, no more GMC 4x4, and sadly, no more Heather Thomas.

The same night we lost Colt, the Boston Red Sox lost 4-1 to the Oakland A's, dropping them to the third place in the American League East. In that game first baseman Bill Buckner went 0-4 while stranding three base runners.

But in May Buckner was far from Boston's fall guy. In fact, thanks to 102 RBIs and 59 extra base hits, Buckner was very much in the good graces of Bostonians all the way to October. He was a key cog in the wheel that had taken the Red Sox from third place in May, to just an out away from beating the Mets in the World Series, ending 68 years of postseason misery and bringing good baseball times back to Beantown.

But in what stands as one of the most famous half-innings in baseball history, the bottom of the 10th of Game 6, after Wally Backman and Keith Hernandez recorded the first two outs, those cogs began to break. Gary Carter lashed a single to left. Kevin Mitchell lined a single to center. And when Ray Knight followed that with a single to center of his own, New York had the tying run just 90 feet away.

Relief pitcher Calvin Schiraldi had been solid for the Sox all season, finishing the year with an ERA of 1.41. And in his one earlier World Series appearance, he'd pitched a scoreless ninth inning to pick up the save in Game 1. But he had already pitched the 8th and 9th innings, and perhaps along with a little fatigue, nerves were setting in for the 24-year old.

Bob Stanley was Boston manager John McNamara's veteran in the bullpen. And Stanley was having a great Series. He'd picked up the save in Game 2 and had thrown three scoreless innings in Games 3 and 4. Yet it wasn't until after Schiraldi had been touched for three straight hits before McNamara made the pitching change. That was mistake #1.

Stanley, twice an All-Star in his career, and a former starting pitcher with as many as nine complete games in a single-season, was given the most important task of his life: retire Mookie Wilson. But with the count 2-2, and the Sox just one strike away from champagne - as they had been with Knight - Stanley buried a wild pitch in the dirt, scoring Mitchell to tie the game, 5-5, and moving Knight, the winning run, into scoring position.

Very few people talk about that wild pitch. Or the three straight hits that preceded it. Or McNamara's decision to stick with Schiraldi for a third, disastrous, inning after he'd already blown the save in the 8th. But everyone knows what happened next.

After fouling off several more pitches from Stanley, keeping his at-bat alive with a 3-2 count, Wilson hit a soft groundball down the first base line that appeared to send Game 6 into the 11th inning. Then, in the blink of an eye, it was through the legs of Buckner and into right field, scoring Knight all the way from second base. Game over. Red Sox choke. Mets win.

And after an 8-5 Mets victory in Game 7 two nights later (rain pushed it back a day), the World Series tickertape parade was being scheduled for New York's "Canyon of Heroes." The city of Boston's October parade plans would have to wait another eighteen years.

The condemnation was swift and thorough and pointed. Buckner was to blame for the loss. It was an easy groundball, he was a major league baseball player, and with everything on the line, an error on such a play was unforgivable. Why didn't he get down on the ball - at least keep it in front of him? Why, Buckner, why?

But I have a question. Why don't those same people ask why Buckner was in the game in the first place?

In Games 1, 2, and 5 - the three games won by Boston - Buckner was on the bench by the final inning. He was playing on badly injured legs, having torn away much of the muscle from his ankle. And because they so greatly limited his mobility, McNamara has used Dave Stapleton as a defensive replacement when the Sox had a late lead. So what was different in Game 6? Why was Buckner still in? Extra innings, up by a pair of runs, with a chance to close out the season; surely that's the time to slant every possible percentage to your favor.

There are two possibilities as to why McNamara didn't make the defensive switch that he had been making all series. Some people blame sentiment. McNamara liked Buckner. He was a team player nearing the end of his career. And the manager wanted to let Buckner win his first World Series on the field and not the bench. Possible, and plausible, but not how you manage your way to a World Series ring - which McNamara never did.

The second possibility is that McNamara simply forgot. Considering the way he watched Schiraldi get touched for three straight line drive hits, losing the lead for the second time in three innings, McNamara seemed more like a spectator in the 10th inning than the actual skipper. Also, not how you manage a team in the World Series. Or softball beer leagues, for that matter.

Somehow, however, McNamara escaped the hammering Boston media. Buckner was run out of town the following season, released by the Red Sox in July. But McNamara managed his way through an entire season fifth place finish in 1987. In 1988, with the Sox still stuck in fifth at the All-Star break, McNamara was finally replaced by third base coach Joe Morgan. (Not to be confused with the Hall of Fame second baseman who knocked in the winning run in Game 3 of the 1975 World Series against Boston after Cincinnati was given a giant assist from umpire Larry Barnett. Read the book The Worst Call Ever for that complete story.)

Buckner finished his playing career with 2715 hits. That's more than Ted Williams, Jim Rice, and Carlton Fisk. Yet those three men are Red Sox heroes. Buckner is unabashedly the ultimate Red Sox goat.

It's time the weights of that designation get deeded back to man who doomed the frail first baseman: manager John McNamara.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Jesus Calling - 365 Day Perpetual Calendar

Jesus Calling - 365 Day Perpetual Calendar
  • Daily flip calendar.

Words of reassurance, comfort, hope. Words that have made her increasingly aware of His Presence and allowed her to enjoy His peace. Each day is written as if Jesus Himself were speaking to you because He is. Do you hear Him calling?

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Superfruits: (Top 20 Fruits Packed with Nutrients and Phytochemicals, Best Ways to Eat Fruits for Maximum Nutrition, and 75 Simple and Delicious Recipes for Overall Wellness) Reviews

Superfruits: (Top 20 Fruits Packed with Nutrients and Phytochemicals, Best Ways to Eat Fruits for Maximum Nutrition, and 75 Simple and Delicious Recipes for Overall Wellness)

“Paul Gross, the “Berry Doctor,” gets beyond the marketing hype on superfruits. By looking at nutrient density, research support and popular appeal, Gross delivers a cornucopia of offerings that can easily enhance well-being. Further, he includes ideas to add the nutrient-rich fruits into the diet, whether via simple suggestions in the breakdown of each offering, a list of the types of products to look for in the supermarket, or by following the creative recipes. Gross enables readers to m


Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Battered Suitcase Summer 2011

The Battered Suitcase Summer 2011

The Battered Suitcase, Summer 2011, Vol 4, Issue 1: A journal of intelligent and imaginative prose, art and poetry exploring the human experience.


Experiencing Corrections: From Practitioner to Professor
  • Used Book in Good Condition

Written by scholars who have practical experience in corrections, the readable essays in this one-of-a-kind collection draw on real-world experiences to illustrate theoretical and methodological concepts and demonstrate approaches to corrections practice. Spanning the three general types of correctional environments—incarceration, community corrections, and juvenile corrections—the essays discuss working in prisons or prison systems, juvenile residential and community corrections, and probat

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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Percy Jackson's Greek Gods

Percy Jackson's Greek Gods

A publisher in New York asked me to write down what I know about the Greek gods, and I was like, Can we do this anonymously? Because I don't need the Olympians mad at me again. But if it helps you to know your Greek gods, and survive an encounter with them if they ever show up in your face, then I guess writing all this down will be my good deed for the week.

So begins Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, in which the son of Poseidon adds his own magic--and sarcastic asides--to the classics. He e

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Seven Wonders Book 1: The Colossus Rises

Percy Jackson meets Indiana Jones in the New York Times bestselling epic adventure Seven Wonders! The Colossus Rises is the first book in a seven-book series. This first installment chronicles the story of Jack McKinley, an ordinary kid with an extraordinary problem. In a few months, he’s going to die—unless he finds seven magic Loculi that have been hidden in the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.Rick Riordan calls Seven Wonders “a high-octane mix of modern adventure and ancient secrets.

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Friday, October 18, 2013

The Justices and Injustices of Ecosystem Services

The Justices and Injustices of Ecosystem Services
  • Used Book in Good Condition

Humankind benefits from a multitude of resources and processes that are supplied by ecosystems, and collectively these benefits are known as ecosystem services. Interest in this topic has grown exponentially over the last decade, as biologists and economists have tried to quantify these benefits to justify management interventions. Yet, as this book demonstrates, the implications for justice and injustice have rarely been explored and works on environmental justice are only now addressing the im

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Schaum's Outline of Heat Transfer, 2nd Edition (Schaum's Outline Series) Reviews

Schaum's Outline of Heat Transfer, 2nd Edition (Schaum's Outline Series)

The ideal review for heat transfer course More than 40 million students have trusted Schaum’s Outlines for their expert knowledge and helpful solved problems. Written by renowned experts in their respective fields, Schaum’s Outlines cover everything from math to science, nursing to language. The main feature for all these books is the solved problems. Step-by-step, authors walk readers through coming up with solutions to exercises in their topic of choice. 269 solved problems and 92 answer

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Warren County Winery Train


A single, seasonally-aged leaf, carried by the mid-September billow, floated toward the main and side tracks paralleling the Delaware River at Phillipsburg's Lehigh Junction Station-a sign of the time, and a sign that it was time for wine-one of the many products of autumn's harvest. But, before I reveled in the oak-hinted vintages the latest grapes had produced, I first had to access a local winery-specifically, the Villa Milagro Vineyards, located some eight miles from here in Finnesville. That experience, combined with the rails, would result in what was dubbed the "Warren County Winery Train." But why the rails?

A glance over my left shoulder up the hill to an imposing brick building, currently painted green, indicated more. Like a full-sized, living history book, it revealed its past. It was once the Phillipsburg Union Station, and the gravel on which I stood fronting the tracks while I awaited my wine-or at least my method of getting to it-represented but a shadow of the town's former railroad self.

"Never the twain shall meet" goes the saying, but it did here, if "twain" could be defined as "train." Located in western New Jersey, on the edge of the region's Lehigh Valley and on the state line (here that line is actually a river) with Pennsylvania, Phillipsburg was incorporated as a town by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 8, 1861, and is today Warren County's largest city, mirrored by its sister, Easton, across the water.

But that water, perhaps more than anything else, gave it rise. Situated at the confluence of the Delaware and Lehigh rivers, it naturally evolved as a transportation hub, linked, via the Morris Canal, to New York City's industrial and commercial centers from the 1820s onwards, and to the west, via the Lehigh Canal.

After barge-negotiation of the waterways, products and goods were transferred to one of five major railroads, all of which also converged here: the Central Railroad of New Jersey, the Lehigh and Hudson River Railroad, the Lehigh Valley Railroad, the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad, and the Pennsylvania Railroad. Local transportation was facilitated by five streetcar and interurban railways.

All these trains needed more than the splotch of gravel on which I stood to process passengers and products, and part of that deficiency was remedied by Union Station, located at 178 South Main Street and constructed by Frank J. Nies, architect for the Lackawanna, in 1914. It was also used by the Central.

Symbolic of the city's great railroad era, it was the last vestige of what once encompassed a complex of stations, roundhouses, turntables, interlocking towers, signal bridges, and coal pockets. Having served as a political campaign headquarters, a pharmacy, a bank computer center, and a sporting goods store, it is occupied today by the Friends of the New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center, whose members are restoring it to its turn-of-the-20th-century splendor. Negotiation of its required tools and equipment (and resultant dust), however, still offers a glimpse of its ticket windows and waiting areas, along with an n-gauge model railroad layout and a few artifacts.

Where did all the trains go? Like numerous other US cities served either by main or branch lines, the wheels were either transferred from the rails to the roads or the skies, decreasing demand prompting service reductions until the town had closed its book on the railway era. The Lackawanna, for example, had run its last passenger train to Phillipsburg in 1941 and New Jersey Transit followed suit four decades later, in 1983.

Today, the area is only served by two such rail concerns. The first, the Norfolk and Southern, operated freight trains and accessed Phillipsburg via the former Lehigh Valley Railroad tracks, crossing the river on the Lehigh and Hudson River Railroad Bridge. The second was a tourist railroad, the Belvidere and Delaware River (Bel-Del) Railroad, operating under the Delaware River Railroad Excursions name as far as Riegelsville.

With the sheer thought of it, I could now feel the fermented liquid running down my throat, since it would transport me to the all-important vineyard. But it first had to run on the rails before I could reach that point.


That railroad hardly plied smooth ones to get where it is today. Indeed, its own journey, which was characterized by obstacles and setbacks, was a circuitous one-and often without track and the rolling stock needed to use it. Then again, the situation was not as ironical as envisioned, because establishing a railroad was never its intention from the start.

Its origins lay with the New York Susquehanna and Western Technical and Historical Society, a not-for-profit educational group founded in 1988 with eight members, to restore engines and coaches and preserve New Jersey's railroad history. With it came the first idea of establishing the previously mentioned New Jersey Transportation Museum.

Wheels first rolled, at least in the direction of its restoration destination, with the lease of a self-propelled, 1950 Budd RDC-1 (M-1) passenger car from the United Railway Historical Society intended for the museum.

Initial train operations were not its own, but paved the way (a long way) toward it. Its members, along with those of another group, staffed those undertaken by New Jersey Transit to Hawthorne for skiing purposes and Vernon in early-1990, thus providing initial hosting experience of rail-facilitated events.

After the United Railway Historical Society signed a lease for the Morris County Central engine house in Newfoundland and four former Morris County Central members themselves began work on the M-1 in July, the need for funding arose and, looking back at the revenue-generating rail rides it had hosted, the New York Susquehanna and Western Technical and Historical Society elected to extend that effort, running trips with full dining service on the Susquehanna line.

Gleaming like a gemstone just polished by a jeweler, the restored M-1, periodically rolled out of the engine house, attracted considerable interest and it operated its trial trip to Sparta on September 12, 1992. While it had only been displayed when it had been rolled out, it was now ready to wear-or, more appropriately, ride-and the public was eager to try it on-so much so, in fact, that the tourist journeys begun later that month in Whippany had culminated with an oversold one at the end of the Christmas season, necessitating an impromptu capacity increase from its existing 88 seats to 117 with temporary folding chairs and the accommodation of five children to a seat bank.

Historic and scenic tourist railroads were hardly novelties, but those operated by single, self-propelled coaches were, and capacity could not be adjusted to meet demand by coupling another car to it, simply because the society did not have one. However, a scouting trip to Tennessee yielded two-as in "two more"-an M-2 acquired by it and an M-4 purchased by some of its members.

Intending to operate its own sightseeing excursions, New York Susquehanna and Western purchased a Mikado SY steam engine from the Valley Railroad.

Despite what appeared to be increasingly green signals, the September 11 terrorist attacks abruptly turned them all red, their resultant-and prohibitive-liability insurance requirements for steam engine operations leaving the Susquehanna little choice but to sell the society the engine it could no longer afford to operate on its own track. Leasing its cars, along with those of another rail concern, it was able to inaugurate its own service, using New Jersey Transit tracks.

Funding now proved its own obstacle. Escalating New Jersey Transit movement and inspection fees left it virtually trackless. Then again, it did not own any coaches to couple to its just-acquired locomotive, even if it had the rails to do so.

The latter problem was solved when it purchased five 1950s-1960s Long Island Railroad 3/2 Pullman coaches and three 1960 ex-Metra (of Chicago) Pullman Galley bi-level ones, and these were added to the vitally important equipment roster, which now included the three 1980 Budd SPV-2000s (M-1 through M-4), the steam engine, and the previously obtained 18-ton, 1938 Plymouth locomotive.

But rail journeys were not always smooth-especially this one-and yet another company seemed imminent to write its history with its wheels in Phillipsburg, chosen location of the state transportation museum. The Black River and Western Railroad, owners of the Belvidere and Delaware River Railway and operators of its own excursion trains between Flemington and Ringoes, acquired a gas-powered Brill Model 55 motor car for this purpose.

But, unlike the many derailing events that had characterized its historical journey, this one resulted in a synergistic car-coupling and not in the hitherto-expected competitive impact. That car coupling, representing its partnership, saw it inaugurate weekend steam train service on May 1, 2004 over an initial 3.5 miles of Belvidere and Delaware River Pennsylvania Railroad branch tracks laid in 1854 and these were extended by two miles in 2006 and by another 900 feet two years after that. Society members, for the first time, graduated from coach attendants to full-fledged conductors and engineers in the process.

The sooner the train glided into the Lehigh Junction Station today, the sooner the wine would glide over my tongue.


The brisk day, sending the scent of autumn to the senses, was suddenly assaulted by soot. Emerging from the natural tunnel of foliage surrounding the track and ducking under the trestle that had, only moments before, supported an elongated Norfolk and Southern freight train, a red caboose and four "Susquehanna" coaches were nudged into Lehigh Junction Station by the Belvidere and Delaware River Railroad's signature 13-ton Mikado 2-8-2 coal-burning steam engine, #142, built by the Tang Shen Locomotive Works of the People's Republic of China in 1989 and dubbed the Walter G. Rich after the late-CEO of the New York Susquehanna and Western.

A brief brake snag, signaled by a screech, caused the collected crowd to approach and then funnel its way through the opened door. I settled into the last car, #533-one of the Long Island Railroad coaches with walkover seats and a blue interior, and reserved for winery passengers. Only half-full, it assuredly offered sufficient space for what would be full-full-that is, the bottles of wine purchased at the vineyard.

Once again releasing a bulbous gray belch from its stack and a whistle that tore the morning's fabric, the locomotive gave a gentle nudge to its cars, as they glided back under the trestle and settled into a rhythmic sway and clack abreast of the Mica-glinting surface of the Delaware River now visible through the right-hand windows.

Across the river, at the site of Williamsport, was the so-called "Forks of the Delaware"-or the junction of the Lehigh and Delavare rivers, itself the funneling point of the Lehigh, Delaware, and Morris canals.

At the southern edge of Raubsville, which was also on the Pennsylvania side, was the Delaware Canal's double Ground Hog Lock--and its deepest, at 17 feet--next to which was the hydroelectric powerplant whose turbine was powered by canal-harnessed water.

Subjected to constant soot and smoke onslaughts from the locomotive, the coaches and single caboose bored their way through the arboreal tunnel, whose trees seemed equally coated in early-fall's brown embers. Despite their lack of glitter, a rare nougat of autumn-brushed gold occasionally highlighted the collage.

Passing under the bridge that carried Interstate 78 from New Jersey to Pennsylvania, the train sliced through Carpentersville, once the location of a Bel-Del station and now little more than a hamlet formed by a scatter of vintage homes. A narrow road, as if compressed by a vice, thread its way between the tracks and the cliffs.

Rising, like two medieval monoliths beyond the third grade crossing, were two limestone kilns, once part of the almost two dozen which had graced the area and were fueled by coal, which itself had been transported by these very tracks. After locally quarried limestone had been ground into powder suitable for soil preparation and mixture with mortar, it had once again been rail-transported by the bushelful to Flemington, Trenton, and Monmouth County.

The coaches continued to sway-the very perception I expected to have after my wine, even if the train had not been in motion.

After a final burst of coal-created soot and cinders, and a last screech of the brakes, the train ceased motion, still immersed in dense foliage, now short of Riegelsville, one-time site of another Bel-Del station.

My dry throat, anticipating a vineyard oasis in what externally resembled nothing like a desert, prepared itself for lubrication, but the last mile or so of the journey, unable to be completed by the train because of still unrehabilitated tracks, required transfer to a yellow school bus. (Of course, I had forgotten to do my homework.)

Riegelsville itself was the location of one of the country's few remaining, multi-span highway suspension bridges with continuous cables. Designed by John A. Roebling and Sons of Trenton-who themselves were the architects of the Brooklyn and Golden Gate spans-it connected Pohatcong Township with Riegelsville, Pennsylvania, and replaced the tri-span, wood-covered artery constructed in 1837 and used by foot, horse, and wagon traffic. Destroyed by a flood in 1903, it lent its piers to the current bridge, which opened on April 18 of the proceeding year.

Following the narrow, track-paralleling road and skimming the edge of the historic town, the bus shifted its way up a steep hill past a ceramic silo and threaded its way through tall cornstalks to the 104-acre Villa Milagro Vineyards, located in the Warren Hills Appellation and owned by Steve and Audrey Gambino.

Noted for its use of organic and sustainable practices to provide a protective habitat for native species of birds and plants, it produced ten varieties of grapes blended in the traditional European style to create complex wines.

An escorted tour of the fields, grapes, fermenting, and wine--making processes at last led to the tasting room, and the half-dozen varieties-from Merlots to Cabernet Sauvignons to Shirazes-accompanied by hot hors d'oeuvres finally enabled me to reach my physical and culinary destination.

Like the clinking of two glasses, my rail car, to which I had subsequently returned, seemed to toast the one ahead of it as their tensing couplings caused a momentary jolt and the smoke- and steam-emitting locomotive pushed them along the river-paralleling track for their journey to Phillipsburg in a backwards direction. With the wine I had had, at least it felt that way.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Heroes of Olympus - Book Three: Mark of Athena

The Heroes of Olympus - Book Three: Mark of Athena

In The Son of Neptune, Percy, Hazel, and Frank met in Camp Jupiter, the Roman equivalent of Camp Halfblood, and traveled to the land beyond the gods to complete a dangerous quest. The third book in the Heroes of Olympus series will unite them with Jason, Piper, and Leo. But they number only six--who will complete the Prophecy of Seven?
The Greek and Roman demigods will have to cooperate in order to defeat the giants released by the Earth Mother, Gaea. Then they will have to sail together to

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Monday, October 14, 2013

Safe Haven Reviews

Safe Haven

A short story from the author of ‘Phoenix’.

Vietnam 1966

The bloodstained journal of a North Vietnamese soldier is discovered in the jungles of the Central Highlands. Nguyen Van Khue is separated from his unit, lost in a forest stalked by grey ghosts. When he reaches the remote village of Mau Giang, where Vietnamese and savage tribespeople live together in the shadow of an ancient temple, it seems like a pocket of Utopia in the midst of a vicious war. But are the villag


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck, Book 8

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck, Book 8
  • Brand New!

Greg Heffley's on a losing streak. His best friend, Rowley Jefferson, has ditched him, and finding new friends in middle school is proving to be a tough task. To change his fortunes, Greg decides to take a leap of faith and turn his decisions over to chance. Will a roll of the dice turn things around, or is Greg's life destined to be just another hard-luck story?  

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Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Son of Neptune (Heroes of Olympus, Book 2)

The Son of Neptune (Heroes of Olympus, Book 2)
  • Used Book in Good Condition

Percy is confused. When he awoke after his long sleep, he didn't know much more than his name. His brain-fuzz is lingering, even after the wolf Lupa told him he is a demigod and trained him to fight. Somehow Percy managed to make it to the camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he had to continually kill monsters that, annoyingly, would not stay dead. But the camp doesn't ring any bells with him.

Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn't do a very good job of it

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Friday, October 11, 2013

The Everyday Woman's Discovery: Using Action Research In Everyday Life

If I were to say to the average person on the street, or maybe my neighbor, "I really recommend that you use action research to help you with that problem" they would look at me as though I were crazed. First off, what is action research? It sounds very technical. And second, it's outside of the realm of normal experience to consider research as an everyday task. In this series of three articles, I want to introduce the "common woman" to why she might consider thinking of her plans and activities in this framework. It has been my experience that action research makes the world of difference in how far or how fast I am able to move forward on my dreams and I hope it is the same for you.

The first stage in action research is discovery, and for this article I will give examples of three women who want to move forward in their lives. The first, (Woman A. ), has no idea what she wants to do but she know she wants to make a change. The second, (Woman B. ) has things pretty well in hand, her life is working for her, but she has some mild dissatisfaction she wants to address or improvements she wants to make. The third woman, (Woman C. ) is going through a major life transition. This could be the death of a spouse or a tragedy, but for our purposes, we will just say she's retiring soon. Let's see what the action research discovery phase looks like for these three women.

What is the discovery phase? It's based on the idea that in order not to 'reinvent the wheel' it makes sense for us to go out and 'discover' what others have done in similar circumstances, or to better understand what is going on now. In some regards it's pretty common for us to discuss our ideas with our friends. The discovery phase just takes this one step further and forces us to discover in as many ways as possible: do web research, interview those who've gone before us, see if books had been written on the subject, etc. The following paragraphs will discuss what each of our women might do for discovery yet they all could take on any of these actions because these examples are common in this phase of action research.

Woman A. feels lost, and part of the challenge she faces is getting over that feeling. The Discovery phase of action research will help her do this. She starts by driving herself to the library or a bookstore. Since she has no idea what she wants to do, she physically involves herself with an environment that will spark ideas. My recommendation is that she should walk slowly keeping an open mind through the non-fiction sections. They are full of ideas. Perhaps the travel section will interest her. As with brainstorming, or other activities geared to help our lives or ideas expand the point here is not to say 'no' to something before it has been considered. So if Woman A. has an interest in travel, she doesn't get into the self-doubt thought, "oh I have no money," which would shut down her feelings, but rather she sits down with the book and muses on all the things she could do related to travel. I hope you see my point. Woman A., if she followed this idea, could: become a travel agent, become a tour guide, decide to write travel articles, work for an airline, etc. For Woman A., the point is to follow her heart and dream in the discovery phase, until she comes to an idea she wants to pursue. Then she'll move into measurable action, which is the topic for the next article.

Woman B. has a problem or dissatisfaction that she wants to address. Her task is more refined in the discovery phase. She goes to the Internet, or perhaps the library, and looks for resources written by people who have faced a similar challenge. She also talks to people within her professional network and asks for leads to others who may have information to help. She does not hesitate to call or e-mail, asking for a few moments of their time for an interview. Woman B. knows that other people enjoy sharing their wisdom, as long as she doesn't take up too much of their time, leaving them feeling good about their ability to help. Similar to Woman A., she works at not shutting down any idea, but listing and considering all the possibilities. Woman B. knows that the discovery phase takes a bit of time, but the end of it herself consciousness, her feelings, and her mind will have agreed on her next course of action. Then she will move to the measurable action phase, in the next article.

Woman C., like Woman A., is unsure of herself as is appropriate in a major life transition. Here we know that things are happening around us that will propel us to change in ways we cannot yet imagine. We feel as though the ground has been pulled out from under us and we are walking on new territory, indeed we are. Yet there are techniques that can help in the transition phase, and with action research that starts us with discovery. Woman C. takes on the strategies of A. She looks up what people do in retirement, searching on keywords like active retirement, what to do when work ends, hobbies, travel, volunteer work, etc. Her task is not to say 'yes' or 'no', but rather to notice what catches her interest and to pursue those a little further. When she has a few things that are somewhat interesting to her, she takes on the strategies of Woman B. and asks her network of friends or contacts who she might interview. There is nothing like person-to-person conversation to cement our discovery phase and help us know what we should do when we move in measurable action.

Three women, three strategies that included: maneuvering through libraries and bookstores, searching on the Internet, interviewing people, and otherwise grounding themselves in an understanding of what is already known by others in a similar circumstance. There is no reason we should reinvent the wheel just because we are making changes in our lives. It is much more efficient to step out into taking measurable action from a firm basis of understanding about what is possible.

Two positive outcomes are usual at the end of the discovery phase: the person feels as though they have more energy, and they are hope filled rather than discouraged. As you are discovering new possibilities in your life let your emotions be your guide as to whether or not you're on the right track. And when you are, you will feel compelled to start doing something differently. That is when you pick up the next article on measurable action.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

What is Heaven? My Gifted Daughter Explains Where Heaven is, Angels, About the Afterlife & Real Proof of Heaven Reviews

What is Heaven? My Gifted Daughter Explains Where Heaven is, Angels, About the Afterlife & Real Proof of Heaven

What is Heaven?
Where is heaven? Want to know why we're here? Do you want to know about the afterlife? Would you like information about heaven, angels, and passed loved ones? Where do we go when we die? Do you feel as if you need proof of heaven? Want to learn ways to keep your home safe and attract prosperity into your life? One mom relays information about all of these areas from her incredibly gifted psychic daughter and the spirits from beyond. This book (just over 7,000 words) include


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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Proof of Heaven -- Dr. Eben Alexander III M.D. -- Book Summary & Analysis Reviews

Proof of Heaven -- Dr. Eben Alexander III M.D. -- Book Summary & Analysis

SAVE TIME & UNDERSTAND MORE! WARNING: This is not the actual book Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander. Do not buy this book summary and review if you are looking for a full copy of this very interesting and inspirational book, which can be found back on the Amazon search page. Instead, we have already read Proof of Heaven and pulled out all the key insights, events and take-away points to give you a comprehensive chapter-by-chapter summary and review in an engaging and easily digestible format. I

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Monday, October 7, 2013

Joyland (Hard Case Crime)

Joyland (Hard Case Crime)
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Set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, Joyland tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a carny and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever.

"I love crime, I love mysteries, and I love ghosts. That combo made Hard Case Crime the perf

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Sunday, October 6, 2013

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw (Book 3)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw (Book 3)
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Let’s face it: Greg Heffley will never change his wimpy ways. Somebody just needs to explain that to Greg’s father. You see, Frank Heffley actually thinks he can get his son to toughen up, and he enlists Greg in organized sports and other “manly” endeavors. Of course, Greg is able to easily sidestep his father’s efforts to change him. But when Greg’s dad threatens to send him to military academy, Greg realizes he has to shape up . . . or get shipped out.   Greg and his family and fr

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