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Showing posts from July, 2014

July 2014 Read of the Month Review

Where has the summer (if you call it that based upon our recent weather) gone?  It is hard to believe that August is just around the corner.  Although Michigan public schools start after Labor Day, my college courses will be starting before I know it in August.  I sure hope I can balance my time and keep reading and writing.  Well enough of the back to school talk, I need to review my my July 2014 Read of the Month. I know it is hard to believe, but this was the first time I ever read J. D. Salinger's classic The Catcher in the Rye. I want to start my review by stating this is not going to be some academic review of this classic novel.  There are plenty of those out there if that is what you want to read.  What I will provide is my feelings on reading this novel for the first time at the age of thirty nine. I loved this book, 5 out of 5 stars from me.  I loved Salinger's main character Holden Caufield, probably because I see a lot of myself in Holden.  Now I am not going t

Movie Making via Smartphone....So Much Easier

I still remember when I decided I was going to film and edit digital movies.  It was right after my first child was born in the fall of 2004.  I purchased a "digital" video camera (tape based) specifically for the occasion.  All I needed was some fancy Firewire cable and some "super user-friendly" Movie Maker software and I would be directing numerous classic movies detailing Chloe's every move. So, what actually happened?  I made one movie....after a long, frustrating struggle with nearly all of the elements involved in the process (camera, wires, computer, software, DVD's, etc).  Things did get a little better when I upgraded to a Mac and the iMovie format and things became even easier as digital video recording spread to hand-held devices.  However, making movies on the computer still involved a good deal of time sitting in my home office hunched over a computer screen. This Has to Be Easier.....Right? The other day I decided to give  Splice  on

Amazon's "Netflix" for Books

It was only a matter of time, but if you like to read a lot (or listen to audiobooks)  Amazon has introduced Kindle Unlimited!   For $9.99 a month subscribers will have access to over 600,000 eBooks via a Kindle or Kindle app and thousands of audio books.  The 600,000 titles is only a small portion of what Amazon fully offers online.  Their current dispute with publisher Hachette may be a reason for a  lack of titles; 600,000 is still a lot of titles.  On Friday,  investors seemed to be happy with the plan. Amazon is not the first company to offer a subscription service for eBooks.  For $8.99 a month  Scribd offers access to 400,000 titles  and for $9.95 a month  Oyster offers access to 500,000 titles.   Also, do not forget that if you are an Amazon Prime member you have access to one book per month free through their lending library.  Lending Library books are only available via Kindle devices. How Many Books Can You Read in a Month? Critics have pointed out that this

Smart Phones....Killing Phone Communication?

If you are reading this blog I am going to assume that more than likely you own a smartphone (except for my top editor in chief my mom).  Now, think about your daily use of your smart phone.....do you use it for to make numerous voice calls?  When I think of my daily smartphone usage I would rank usage as follows: Social-media use (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram mainly) Communication via text message Information consumption via browser or app Communication via email Music Games Communication via voice Camera  If possible, I really try to make all communication via text.  When I think about my daily phone use it is usually just my wife calling or me using my phone to order dinner.  In an odd twist, I really think the advance of the smartphone has actually gone a long way to killing phone communication.  Remember when cell plans used to focus on how many voice call minutes were provided?  People used to wait until after 9 p.m. or the weekends to make all of their calls for t

Happy Birthday America....and The Sony Walkman

Greetings, I hope everyone had an enjoyable and safe 4th of July.  As I was browsing through various news/tech sites I came across  this interesting piece on The Sony Walkman turning 35 years old!   I find it interesting the first personal stereo listening device was created because back in 1978 a Sony executive wanted to listen to classical music in stereo while traveling via air.  Sony co-founder Masaru Ibuka then directed Sony's tape recorder division to create such a device and just a few months later the first Sony Walkman, model TCS 300, hit the shelves. Sony went on to sell nearly 400 million units of products under The Walkman name (including cassette, compact disc, and mini disc models).  I had at least two of those 400 million units in my younger days before Apple dominated the marked with their digital music iPod devices. The Walkman Sports Model, To Get Your Fitness On While reading the Time  piece I had no choice to think back to my Walkman memories: Batter

July 2014 Read of the Month

If you are my friend/follower on Goodreads you already know that I selected a book to read a few days ago.  Unfortunately, I am just not that "into" my selection after reading a few chapters so I need to find a new book for July because it is just not a title I really want to write about.  By the way, if you love books and reading and do not have a "Goodreads" account you need to get one today.  It is a great way to interact with book lovers and find your next book. So, for my read of the month I decided to select a classic that for some reason has not found its way into my hands.  I guess I should be embarrassed that at the age of 39 I have yet to read J.D. Salinger's classic The Catcher in the Rye .  It has just been one of those titles I have yet to pick up and I figure now is the best time to do so.  I really look forward to reading this title and providing my review later this month.  Happy 4th of July and happy reading my friends.