Sunday, January 29, 2012

How do I love the Kindle Fire? Let me count the ways.

Hopefully though no one is counting the number of incredibly cheesy blog titles I use.

Anyway, shortly after getting the Kindle Fire, a Christmas gift from my in-laws, I told them that it ranked right up there with the yarn winder, another Christmas present, they got me when John and I were dating. This was very high praise as I still use the yarn winder often even after twenty years which is pretty amazing for a plastic mechanism, and a feat I'm quite sure the Kindle won't equal. Now that it's been a month I am, if anything, even more pleased with it.

I don't have a lap-top or smartphone so had been considering a tablet of some kind for awhile. There had been a lot of discussion about the relative merits of various e-readers on the Ace of Spades HQ, a blog I read a lot, Sunday Morning Book Thread and with the release of both the Fire and the NookTablet I pretty much decided that e-reader was the route for me. Eldest Kidlet got a NookColor from my in-laws for Christmas last year so I was actually planning on getting either a second one or a NookTablet, to take advantage of the fact I already had an account, when I went to Wal-mart. The readers were all similar enough that I actually ended up praying about which one to get and, although I suppose it may just seem like confirmation bias, I am sure this was the one for me.

Cue raptures 3, 2, 1, The Free Books! Squee! Enlargeable fonts! Double squee at least! Finally able to knit/crochet/whatever and read at the same time which approaches the perfect activity in my world and for which there are not squees enough. The reading area I created in my room last winter, and used twice, is used almost every evening now as I rotate through my various needlework projects or watch anime on Netflix instant streaming. I now read my Bible in the morning, with a through-the-year e-Bible I actually paid a couple of dollars for but like a lot, and read a small devotional called Daily Strength for Daily Needs that was in the public domain. After that I check the weather with the free Weather Channel app, my e-mail with the free Yahoo! app and FaceBook with an app whose price I bet you can guess. After walking Hank and getting breakfast ready I check my blogs and, more to the point, my blog lists since my blogs are mostly there as a way to store the lists of blogs I read. I've even found that the durable casing and sealed battery, something I foresee as being a great nuisance sometime in the future, means the Fire can be used while soaking in the tub( me, not it, of course) which was something I had figured would be impossible.

So, does that mean I'm writing this on my Kindle? Sadly that is the one major flaw. While the Fire is quite sufficient for commenting on other blogs and I can write a post title, it will not pull up a keyboard in the body section of Blogger. I also can't find a way to write a comment on my own FaceBook wall, although it is possible to "like" or comment on someone else's post. The only other, minor, complaint is not really the Kindle's fault but my own. I. just. can't. stop buying books. In fairness, the Kindle does give me another pricing option and the ton of free books means there is a chance that if my book budget doesn't go down I'll at least have gotten more books for the cost.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Mommykitten as Mastermind

Son has a habit of picking a word and then saying it at random intervals for several week or months after which he moves on to a new equally random word. This annoys me. A lot. In the last six months or so we have been treated to exclamations of bacon!, tomato! and, most recently, spleen! and I have become quite tired of it.

About a week ago I came up with the perfect counter attack. Every time I hear spleen! and it's not used correctly in a sentence Son has to go look on Wikipedia, yes I know that won't work for everything but it's a start, and find me a new and interesting fact about the subject. He's decided that spleens are actually very cool and under known organs, and his continued research has led him to decide that he never wants to use kidney! as his word as they are decidedly not cool, just disgusting. Considering that this is a child who never wants to do research projects I feel very crafty for getting him started. Who knows, maybe he'll develop an interest in medicine. Even if he doesn't though, we'll both have gotten some interesting facts such as the 1X3X5X7X9X11 mnemonic for the anatomy of a spleen.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Introducing Hank the Re-gifted Puppeh

About a year ago I started thinking that it might be time for our family to have a dog. John had always been very adamant about no dog messes and we'd moved a lot until fairly recently so a dog had just never really been in the cards. I wasn't in any real hurry since I figured that getting a dog fell under the category of "important decisions best not made within a year of a loss", but the idea was in the back of my mind.

Last summer I finally told the kids what I was thinking and that probably I'd look in earnest after Christmas. The kids were surprisingly uncertain, particularly Middlest Kidlet who likes her grandparents dogs but isn't fond of dogs in general and a certain neighborhood dog in the specific. Over time they warmed to the idea and this fall Littlest Kidlet was telling her Sunday School teachers that we were in the beginnings of a dog search when they told her that our search was over. Their high-school senior had a dog they'd gotten from a shelter a couple of years ago. They all liked him a lot but between school, work, and the volunteer fire department their son just couldn't do justice to the attention needs of such an affectionate puppeh.

In a remarkably short time we had a "getting to know you" visit and by the end of it dog nervous Middlest Kidlet was asking if we could take him home, and Hank was asking if he could stay with us. In a couple of days he came to our house, with bed crate, food and all necessary supplies which were certainly a big selling point. Now I'm typing one handed as I scratch his chin so it's pretty clear he's fitting in well.

ETA: picture is courtesy of Son who, along with Eldest Kidlet, has been growing his photographic, video, and computer knowledge immensely the last couple of months.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Still here

AVI, of Assistant Village Idiot (on my sidebar) was recently encouraging me to write again since it's been quite awhile. My problem is that, even though I do indeed still have posts running through my head, those ideas are more personal/political than I'm comfortable sharing here. I've been considering putting them on my political blog but haven't yet been brave enough to do so.

He suggested that I write about homeschooling, which I think is going well, but my thoughts aren't coherent enough to have much meaningful to say. I am glad we have decided to homeschool for several reasons and intend to continue for the foreseeable future but don't actually "have a post" about the subject even after a semester.