Posted on Leave a comment

Why Digital?

Here are some reasons my reading source is more and more digital and why I favor paper based books less and less.

In fact, please let me handle the negative first. And let me start by commenting on the reasons paper people say are the reasons they stay with paper.

The reasons stated by the paper people include:
1) I just like holding a real book in my hand.
2) I like to make notations and underline/highlight.

Actually, number one is the only reason I have heard from paper people. Number two is really, or was really, my own reason. UNTIL it occurred to me that I always have at least one Sansa Clip mp3 player with me.

Let me nest here in my reasons for digital a list of reasons why I always have at least one Sansa Clip on me.

ONE: I play a lot of music.

I like to play along. So, whenever I go for a walk, in fact whenever I leave the house my departure check list includes not just the Sansa Clip but what instrument I might want to play. So, I am likely to stop at a comfortable, suitable place and play along with whatever music I am listening to on the Sansa Clip. This week Michael Buble is walking his tuchus off.

For example, I might take the tenor sax along to the post office where a comfy, shady, jazzless seat awaits. The post office is on a busy boulevard with a lot of traffic noise. So the additional noise of the saxophone is not going to bother anyone as it might if I played at home. Additionally it is positive. People at the drive by mail boxes often pay compliments or give me a thumbs up.

TWO: I might have two Sansa Clips and I might use one to record what I am playing as I play along with music I am listening to on the other Sansa Clip.

THREE: I write with my voice. Walking is a tremendous motor for creativity. So, I write into the Sansa Clip. I wrote my first real book on a Sony Walkman, walking the John Muir trail in Yosemite high country. I have many reasons for using the Sansa Clip instead of other devices but, primarily, the microphone is suitable for laying down music tracks, it is so good.

FOUR: I can record ideas on the Sansa Clip.

FIVE: I often read a book as I walk. My Kindle Touch, for example, fits in a pocket. The Kindle Touch has a good text to speech app.

SIX: If I think of a book I want to buy, I can often connect to the net and order the book from Amazon, download it and start listening to it as I walk.

SEVEN: If I am accosted I can record the incident. I actually did this when I was attacked and beat half to death on the street near my home. No, I was not playing an instrument. I was walking my dog, 2B, and the attacker was obsessed with ridding the world of dog poop. I opined that had he not been obsessed with dog poop it might have been abortions so perhaps unwittingly I saved some woman’s life. 2B is actually the name of the dog character my dog played in the novel, Nine Elevens. My dog’s real name is Mr. Darcy, a la Jane Austen.

EIGHT: I often create my market list while walking.

OK, those are reasons I always have a Sansa Clip on me. But, if you recall, I started this article talking about books.

So, here is a list of reasons why I like digital books.

ONE: I mentioned highlighting and margin notes. Of course, I do that now with my Sansa Clip whether at home or out for a walk or drive. When I finish the book I have all my notes in a handy audio recording.

TWO: ordering quickly. I mentioned I can order a book immediately from almost anywhere and be reading it in a couple minutes. Yes, I could do that with a paper based book except the nearest three or four towns to me have no book stores. I do have a library near but most of the books are beyond the freshness date. Additionally, I can download many digital text as well as audio books from the library with my Kindle Touch.

THREE: hands on. Or off. I do not have to hold a digital book. I can put it on a stand within vision limit. On the way to pick up the coffee cup my hand can swish a turn of book page en passant.

I have actually been reading digitally for many years. The net provides a number of sources for audio books and texts. Project Gutenberg was my primary supplier. Almost everything out of date and in public domain is on Gutenberg.

So, used to find a good book on and read from the monitor. I could set the font size, font color, font face, and background and scrolling rate, get my drink and settle back in my comfy chair and read an entire novel and never touch the book. Or, I could feed the text to the PC program Text Aloud and have it read to me by our lady of the mellifluous tones, Heather.

FOUR: vision limit. I mentioned this before but, I did not mention that my vision limit is increased because I can set the font size on my digital book and increase my vision limit.

FIVE: personal library in my pocket. At the moment I think my Kindle Touch has about twenty five books on it. The Touch fits in my pocket. So, I am not carrying one book. I am carrying many.

Additionally, I can store my Kindle books in the Kindle cloud, or on my PC or on a laptop.

Additionally, articles and text I find on the net that I want to read later, I can store on the Kindle Touch in text or pdf and have it via text or voice.

SIX: if you do not have a Kindle reader, not to worry. Kindle provides free apps for reading on your computer, your phone, and well, any appliance you can think of.

SEVEN: if you want the book read to you, then know that most authors publish on Kindle with text-to-speech enabled. But know too that not all Kindle appliances are text-to-speech enabled. The latest model, the FIRE is NOT.

EIGHT: I like my own voice. So does my dog. Often, I will find an article online, or in a newspaper, or paper based book that I know I will want to refer to often. So, I turn the Sansa Clip on and read aloud. I can always listen to the material later from the clip or transfer it to the reader, perhaps along with some new mp3 based music. Your dog probably likes your voice as well. So, you might just leave a copy of something you recorded for the dog to listen to.

Once you go digital, assuming your goals are consumption and production while having fun, the results will outweigh the pacifier aspect of holding the book in your hand and trying to get it to open up enough for your eyes to reach the words at the inside marging of the page.

If you have any questions about any of this I will try to help you resolve them. Just put in a comment below. It will require taking a minute to enter your email address. I do not abuse or misuse email addresses.

Have fun,

Posted on Leave a comment

Prophet and Lose Statements

Whenever you hear someone tell that one’s story, that one’s story is the only real truth. In Psycho Paths and Con Trails I introduce the reader to Uncle Junior, the uncrowned (who needs that kind of corona?) King of Pragmatism.

“What does it do?” That is what Uncle Junior always wanted to know. Get that piece of info and go from there.

That is what I want to know. The nutty bugs are coming out the molding. Profit and Loss has become Prophet and Lose. I am working lately in the library. Why not? I have everything I need in my Avenues America biz bag. It has been through 25 countries. Probably 25 times. A pocket for every thing. An entire office ‘twixt 2 leather handles.

Lately my office is the library. Why not? Nice people. I get up to go to the pissoir. I say hello to this handsome old man. Yes, thank you, I know I am old. But he is a nonagenarian. I, OTOH, am STILL a SEXEGENARIAN. I saw your jaw drop. Don’t worry kid. You will know what both words mean and be able to discern the difference by and by.

Before I know it he has explained the entire Old Testament and three or four books of stuff from I do not know where. Like the papists had the French put the Statue of Liberty in the harbor because the Statue of Liberty is the Holy Mother and with the Mother came a message, a prophecy that came true in 2001. And the Koine Greeks rewrote the Pentateuch – Torah, Tawrat, Bible (Gen. Exo. Lev. Num. Deut.) when they conquered the world and they did not stop with the koine version of the Pentateuch.

Oh, they ruined Moses’s Big Five. I did not get a chance, Uncle Junior, to ask, “What does it do?. How can you tell? What does it all mean?”

The prophet was on a roll. At last, I hoped. He was explaining how it is all Obama’s fault or his father’s because Obama is a Kenyan, therefore a Muslim. I did not even get to ask, “Well, do you want a high IQ Kenyan Muslim for President or do you want a sub-median IQ New Englander pretending to be a Texan? Do you want a high IQ Kenyan for President or do you want a blond haired full of bull pucky sub-median IQ Arizonan who graduated from Anapolis with only 7 or 8 people out of 800 with a lower score than his?”

As the prophet rolled on I remembered those three painful days in the hospital last year with the medicals trying to save my foot. The pain wasn’t coming from the foot but, from the next bed. The next bed contained this same prophet except back then he was explaining to the nurses, doctors, janitors, and me how that he was a multimillionaire medical doctor and he was keeping them straight. Not to worry while he was around.

Who the HELL, literally, let these people loose on this land is your land this land is my land? Sarah Palin started a sandstorm when she started babbling.

Now, all these sub-median IQ nut jobs have the Democrats, even the ones I thought were above the moron level, spouting 1st amendment out of one tine of their tongue and “a mosque at ground zero is unseemly” out of the other tine. FORK U.

That ignorant portion of the population who is asking for the murder of the intention to build a mosque does not get the joke, which is on them. They cannot conceive that the mosque maker look alikes may not have driven the planes into the twin towers. The culpability digit seems to point to robots pinpointing the planes into the security floor of the tower as Indira Singh pointed out. And how could anyone say that 9/11 was only an inside job and a Wolfy Witz nightmare when at least six nations had access to the Ptech software? So, maybe a collusion involving the scribes and pharisees, the moabites, annnnnnddddd Romans who asked for the destruction of the of the property next to which the church builders want to build a church.

I was about to ask the prophet whether The Holy Mother, Our Lady of the Harbor, who must have seen the whole thing had let the cat out of the bag, as it were, but his towers were not twin at the moment. His tower was the tower of Babel and he was explaining something about the miraculous dexterity with which old Moses had carved Psalm 90 into the wall of the giant pizza oven in his dream this morning.

But, I scooted on off to the Pissoir before he defined and divined the typology.

Sometimes I feel soooooo gauche when I try to explain simply “what it does,” Uncle Junior. The reality of run amoc paradigm addicts unaware they are hanging from the marionet danglers and the digital masters above are in total control of the Psycho Paths and Con Trails. That is pretty tame compared to The Holy Mother, Our Lady of the Harbor.

And sometimes I feel like a bit of a copy cat cereal killer standing amongst all the nut jobs shouting a stentorian “I HAVE THE TRUTH AND THE SOLUTION TO YOUR PROBLEMS.”

I had hoped to be saving the election and thus saving the world with the verity of the book. I did know this would turn into the year the nut jobs turned the country into one giant insane asylum. And the year the Holy Mother, Our Lady of the Harbor, changed her name to Fatimah.