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Showing posts from November, 2011

Of Course This Geek Can Make Santa High Tech

I have always loved Christmas time and the holiday season.  Once I became a parent, my love for Christmas grew.  The best gift I receive every year is witnessing the joy my two children experience on Christmas morning.  I love the excitement in the house that builds through the entire month of December.  I enjoy decorating the tree and house as a family and helping the children write out their "wish lists" for Santa. We do all of the normal "Santa" stuff in our house; make visit to a local Santa for a photo, remind the kids Santa is watching and leave milk and cookies out on Christmas Eve (as well as some carrots for the reindeer).  One of my favorite traditions is to create a video from Santa using the Portable North Pole web site.   If you have never tried this out, you should.  It is quick, easy and FREE!  All you need to do is input a little bit of information about your child, upload a few photos, and soon you have a link to a custom video for your child.  I

Holiday Tech Geek List, 2011

Last year, in November I wrote my first Holiday Tech Geek Gift List .  The holidays are a great time to be a gadget geek.  It is a perfect opportunity to buy new gadgets for friends and loved ones (or myself of course).  So what might Santa be picking up for the Pehote household in 2011?  Let's take a look. Item #1: Nintendo DSI XL.   This is for my four year old son Nate.  I hope I can find this bundle package for him.  Santa picked up a nice bundle last year for my daughter Chloe and thankfully she is willing to share with her brother.  We just think it is time for Nate to have his own hand held gaming system.  I am not going to lie, the Nintendo DSI XL is a great hand-held gaming system.  I frequently spend time playing the games myself.  We are staying away from the 3D version,  it may or may not be bad for the eyes of young gamers.  I am really not that worried about it, I just am not that into the entire 3D movement (see my television wish item later in this entry.) A

Black Friday.....eh

Well, I really do not know where November disappeared to, but Thanksgiving is already here.  That means it is now time for Black Friday 2011 (feel free to click the link if you have been under a rock and have not looked at any ads).  In my 36 years, I have never gone out for Black Friday (which now starts as early as Thursday evening or Friday at midnight).  Personally, my time and sanity is worth much more than some "junky" $200 laptop computer or $300 television.  I will be on my couch all day Friday, probably watching the MHSAA Football Championships from Ford Field. I realize some people love Black Friday shopping just for the bonding or fun of the activity (as well as the bargains).  I just do not think I can handle the crowds or the crazies out there.  I would rather shop online or on any normal day (not at 4 in the morning at the local Walmart).  Good luck to all you Black Friday shoppers, I hope you can pick up some cheap gadgets on Friday.  Feel free to share any

Another Benefit of an e-Reader

A few days ago I wrote about my November Read of the Month , Beauty Queens by Libba Bray.  I am about half way through the book, and I am really enjoying it.  For the first time in a few months, I actually purchased the print version of the book instead of an e-Book.  The only reason I went with a print copy is that once I am finished I plan to place the book into circulation at the Carlson High School Library. While reading this print version, I have come to recognize another feature of e-Books; the privacy factor of others not having knowledge of what I am reading.  Personally, I really do not care what others think (especially regarding trivial matters like a book I may be reading).  With each passing year I tend to worry less and less about what others say or think.  However, I do feel a little strange about carrying this book around when I am out in public.  I guess some may just think the cover photo and title may make this an odd choice for a 36 year-old male.  If I had the bo

November 2010 Read of the Month A Soon To Be "Blockbuster?"

A little over a year ago I wrote the review for my November 2010 Read of the Month, The Hunger Games.   I loved the book, it was amazing!  I finished it in a matter of days and quickly went on to the second book in the trilogy.  The second book, Catching Fire , was good and I was able to quickly finish it as well.  I really did not care for the third book, Mockingjay .  To be honest, I never did finish it.  But enough basing sequels, I am writing tonight about the debut of a trailer for the Lionsgate feature film The Hunger Games set for a March 2012 release.  You can read a little about the trailer here.   Or better yet, watch the trailer right here: I am not sure if many of you realize this, but I really do not enjoy going to the movies.  As a matter of fact, I rarely go to the theater to see a film.  I went to the movies once in 2010, and that was for my daughter's birthday (the movie was Tangled and was actually not that bad).  It is not that I do not like movies, I jus

Did I Buy a Betamax?

First of all, I realize many of my younger readers may have no idea what the title for this blog entry refers to.  For a background lesson you may want to read this brief summary of the Betamax vs. VHS war of the 1980s.   If you want the short, more modern version, think Microsoft Zune vs. Apple's iPod MP3 player battle.  Last year around this time I wrote about making the the decision to purchase a single-cop coffee brewer.    I think I may have made the wrong choice. Take That Blu Ray Player There are two main single brewer types on the market:  The Keurig K-Cup brewer and the Tassimo T-Disc system.  I really thought the Tassimo system was the better system.  The Bosch brewer would read each T-Disc bar code to determine the perfect amount and temperature of water needed for each individual cup.  I enjoyed brewing Starbucks coffee and coffee drinks as well as hot chocolate right in my own kitchen.  Since I am the only one that drinks coffee in my home, it was a perfect sol

"The Best Part Of This Job......"

"The best part of this job is running into Carlson graduates and see them doing so well.  No politician can ever take that away."  It was a simple Facebook status update I posted last week after enjoying lunch with a Carlson graduate in his office on the campus of Michigan State University.  Little did I know it would turn in to a status that would receive over 30 "likes" on my personal Facebok page and inspire me to write one of my most meaningful posts for The Geekly Reader . I consider myself very fortunate regarding my job and career.  I have mentioned numerous times how much I love my job and place of employment.  I work with amazing people at Carlson High School.  I loved teaching language arts, public speaking, drama and directing school plays.  I continue to enjoy running the school library, coaching track and field, announcing sporting events and advising the Carlson High School Student Council.  I love working with young adults and preparing them for wha

It May Be Time To Sign Up For Amazon Prime

Do you own an Amazon Kindle or plan on buying the new Kindle Fire?   If you do, you may want to also add the Amazon Prime service.  For $79 a year you can join Amazon Prime, which provides members with free two-day shipping (or $3.99 for next day shipping) on nearly everything on the Amazon site.  Earlier this year Amazon added a number of streaming movies and television series to the prime membership.  Amazon's streaming video selection is nowhere near the size offered by offered by Netflix, but it is a start.  Now Amazon has offered even more to the Amazon Prime Membership. The Amazon Kindle Owners' Lending Library debuted this week.   Now, Kindle owners are able to borrow from a library of over 5,000 titles for no charge.  Readers may only borrow one book at a time.  There are also over 100 current or past New York Times Best Sellers available to borrow.  To borrow books, Amazon Prime members must own a Kindle, users of a Kindle app on a phone or non-Kindle tablet do not h

November Read of The Month

My Read of the Month is a few days late this month because I was at the Michigan Association of Media in Education (M.A.M.E.) annual conference in Lansing the past few days.  I am glad that I attended, I learned a great deal from the numerous sessions I attended.  One of the best sessions was a review of the best Young Adult Literature of 2011.  Some great titles were presented, and it was from this presentation that I found my November Read, Beauty Queens by Libba Bray. Lord of The Flies meets Toddlers and Tiaras Based upon some of the background information I have read,  Libba Bray's Beauty Queens is what happens when you combine William Golding's classic Lord of the Flies with the reality television series Toddlers and Tiaras .  Contestants from the "Miss Teen Dream Pageant" become stranded on an island after a plane crash with little food and water.  From reading the background information, it sounds like this could be an entertaining novel.  I look forw