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Country: North America, US, United States

City: 92123 San Diego, California

  • Corinne H. Smith - Get your own hands vicariously dirtyWhen we go hiking at an outdoor recreation area, we rarely notice the condition of the trail itself. That is, unless a recent storm has blown down a sizable tree, right onto the path. (And even then, we'd only have to problem-solve if we had to climb over it or walk around it.) This is as it should be. This means that the park's maintenance crew did a good job. Who are these "traildogs," and what do they really do? Christine Byl draws back the curtain on the world of these underappreciated workers, as she and her colleagues tramp through some of our most beautiful and wild western places.

    She frames her memoir with six tools of her trade: axe, rock bar, chainsaw, boat, skid steer, and shovel. Don't worry if a few of them are unfamiliar. She'll explain. Along the way we hear her own story, beginning as a seasonal laborer at Glacier National Park in Montana. These are days of learning how to fell trees, build bridges, and even pay attention to angles of walkway ascent and descent. Naturally, there are interactions with wildlife of both varieties: animals and tourists. We tag along with Christine and her husband Gabe as they move to Alaska, where they first work for the Forest Service in Cordova before landing jobs at Denali National Park and Preserve. Are you kidding me? Living and working within sight of the tallest mountain in North America? Is this the pinnacle of park service maintenance work as well? Read more to find out.

    Some may wonder, Why read (or write) a book about people digging post holes and tearing down trees? Well, Christine's account is not just about the down-and-dirty daily tasks (many of which require heavy lifting), but also about the people who choose to do them. You'll meet some real characters here. An outsider might have glamorized this work, might have romanticized it, given the stereotypical idea readers may have about working close to protected nature. Admittedly, the book's subject matter alone may deserve only a four-star rating. It's Christine's terrific and engaging writing style that brings the narrative up a notch. She's a pro who can craft elegant turns of phrase even while describing the grimiest of situations.

    Sure, there are underlying themes here that readers can dwell on, if they wish. Gender roles, and the whole woman-in-a-man's-job routine. National parks vs. other wild areas. Montana & the Lower Forty-Eight vs. Alaska. Even, Man vs. Nature. Christine offers her succinct opinions in these areas and then moves on. This isn't an outwardly feminist, environmentalist, or political book. And that's good. She's given us just enough insight into a complex workplace and has brought into view the invisible lives of the traildogs. It's obvious that for Christine and Gabe, this once seasonal and temporary employment has become not only a passion, but also a year-round livelihood. I can't wait to find out what comes next for these two.

    "Dirt Work" is recommended reading for anyone who loves the outdoors. It certainly will provide food for thought, the next time you're out hiking. You may even find then that you've brought Christine and her traildogs with you. The book would also be a great selection for book discussion groups, especially those with a nature focus, for it should appeal to a wide audience of readers. I took my time with this one in order to savor every page. I didn't want my time with the traildogs to end.
  • Rian D. Fowler - This is the oneI've suffered from cold sores since I was 12 and I've used everything on the market from snake oil (Herpacin), to OTC FDA approved (Abreva), to prescription antivirals (Valtrex) and this is the only treatment that works in a day. Abreva doesn't work so don't waste your time on that crap. Valtrex works really well and will usually have you healed up within 2-3 days but it's expensive and most doctors will only prescribe you 2-3 doses. If you suffer from cold sores often that means you're going to have to go back to the doctor at least once a year to get a refill.

    I got the tingle last night and used this aggressively on it within 2 hours. Eighteen hours later, I would usually be seeing some major blistering going on if I'd not treated it but the small blister that was forming when I applied is it gone and there's only a little bit of swelling and redness. No tingle, no pain- nothing.

    This stuff works by penetrating your skin and eradicating the virus at the site. Valtrex is the only other treatment you can get that attacks the virus directly (by mutating its genes) but even that doesn't KILL the virus.

    Because this relies on getting deep into your skin to work, you've got to aggressively apply it by rubbing it in from all angles around the sore. You don't have to push down hard but it's good to use a circular motion both directions, let it dry out a bit, and then go again until all of the medicine is gone from the applicator.
  • barbara cline - Update review for roku 3This is my second Roku. I loved the first one and it works well but I am hearing impaired and really wanted the
    Roku 3 because of the earbuds. They work fine but my first set of batteries lasted 10 days and the second set
    are only 3 days old and the icon is blinking to change them again. Everything else is great. Picture is bright and clear, sound is good
    and all the channels I want are available to me. Maybe I am doing something wrong. Not to mention that this Roku 3
    was delivered on Oct 11, 2013 and today Oct 25th I see the price is $10.00 less! I have a Blu ray player also but it
    does not support subtitles and the Roku 2 and 3 do. I am 76 years old and had no problem hooking it up. If I could
    solve the battery problem I would give it 5 Stars. I have had the Roku 3 for a few weeks now and The battery problem is solved with rechargable batteries. So far so good. Roku 3 Streaming Media Player
  • ana rosa calvo - Its perfect!I love the color! The same exact color it is in the picture. The apple decal shows a little froggy but only because it has a matte finish but considering that it at least shows through with the color that was good enough for me, Its soft to the touch not hard or doesn't feel plastic at all. Fits my Macbook pro perfectly. And hoping it protect just as good as it looks!!