A Techno Mockery

At some point in our lives we’ve mocked our parents for not being tech savvy. But is that justified? I’ll give you one word. Phonograph. Or as some of you may have heard it called-a turntable. Just looking at one you would think it’s easy to just put a record on and play it. Right?

Nope.

When my mom brought a turntable home I was thrilled but then I became completely baffled. How does it work?  Like, how do you know where to place the needle for a new song to play? I kept asking questions.

Turntables today are generally portable, rectangular, and have a top and bottom that opens.  The most difficult part when trying to play a record is perhaps the needle. When playing a record you have to be very careful with how you place the needle. You risk scratching it, which in turn makes the record skip permanently . This of course makes it challenging to play a specific song on the vinyl. But with a little practice, it’s not that hard. There are three different record sizes. You have your 33, which is the most common album size. Then you have the 45, which doesn’t have many songs on it at all. Lastly, the 78, which is the least common. Just like everything else, turntables need care. Depending on how much you play your record, your needle will eventually need to be replaced. Your records will also have to be cleaned if you want your music to sound crisp and clean. Special brushes and cleaning solutions are sold to ensure that you can safely do so. (I should also mention that most modern turntables even come with Bluetooth, radio, and sometimes aux.)

I am fairly tech savvy. I Excel at using Microsoft Office products, especially PowerPoint (pun intended). WordPress of course is a piece a cake. Laptops, desktops, and smartphones are easy peasy. I even know how to do other desktop publishing.

But this experience of learning how to use old technology has led me to the realization of how nonsensical our techno mockery is. We should think twice before mocking the older generation for not knowing how to use a smart phone. (It does after all take me 5 minutes to type one word on a flip phone.) While I am not a Luddite, trying to use a turntable for the first time sure made me feel like one. My point is that some of us may not be as tech savvy as we think we are.

 

 

Embrace Patience

Patience is the companion of wisdom. *Saint Augustine

Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting. *Joyce Meyer

Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come. *Robert H. Schuller

Have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy. *Saadi

Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better to take things as they come along with patience and equanimity. *Carl  Jung

(I do not necessarily share the beliefs of all the people cited, but these are good quotes nonetheless.)

2 Peter 1:5-8

“For this very reason do your best to add goodness to your faith; to your goodness add knowledge; to your knowledge add self-control; to your self-control add endurance; to your endurance add godliness; to your godliness add Christian affection; and to your Christian affection add love. These are the qualities you need, and if you have them in abundance, they will make you active and effective in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

*Good News Translation

Spoiler Alert-The Best Book Series

Whether you read a book a day or a book a year, you probably have a favorite book or book series. Today, I want to share my all time favorite book series. Are you ready? Drum roll please!

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer.

The Lunar Chronicles is composed of eight books, with four of those being extra stories to highlight the backgrounds of certain characters, taking place before and after Cinder’s revolution. The books are: Cinder; Scarlet; Cress; Winter; Fairest; Stars Above; Wires and Nerve; and Wires and Nerve Gone Rogue. Fairest is a prequel to the series, giving background on the tyrant Lunar Queen Levana. Stars Above is a collection of short stories that describe times before and after Cinder’s “revolution”. Both Wires and Nerve books are graphic novels, telling the tale of Iko tracking down rogue Lunar soldiers. The last four books I listed are not part of the main series, but supplement them.

You will find that each protagonist is based on a fairy tale character: Cinder-Cinderella, Scarlet-Red Riding Hood, Cress-Rapunzel, and lastly Winter-Snow White. Even the villains are based on fairy tale characters.

The series takes place in a futuristic society with androids, spaceships, and cyborgs. The moon (Luna) is now a habitable planet. The Lunar people who have taken the moon as their home have special capabilities. Lunars are able to change their appearance and use something similar to mind control. Earth and Luna are not very friendly with each other. Sometimes they try a hand at alliances but it usually doesn’t end well.

In the first installment, Cinder– a mechanic cyborg who lives in New Beijing- tries to cope with her stepmother who treats her horribly, is blamed for her sister’s illness, and her mysterious past that no one really knows about. When she finds herself face-to-face with the handsome Prince Kai, she becomes a part of something bigger.

Scarlet is the second book in the series. Cinder, or as she once was known Princess Selene, is true heir to the Lunar Throne. She escapes from prison with fellow inmate Captain Carswell Throne to France in search of Michelle Benoit. Scarlet, who is Michelle’s granddaughter, meets Wolf, a street fighter and a Lunar solider. While Scarlet does not want to trust Wolf, they are drawn to each other. She decides to take the risk. While on the road Wolf and Scarlet meet Cinder who is forced to kill and use her “glamour” on several soldiers. Now they are all on the run and must stay ahead of Queen Levana.

Cress is the third book in this thrilling series. All four are still on the run; the plot is to overthrow Queen Levana. Their only real hope is Cress, who currently lives in a satellite. Because Cress is an excellent hacker, she receives orders from Levana to track down Cinder’s rag tag bunch. Attempting a rescue, the group gets separated and leaves everyone worn down, upset, yet even more determined. During all that, the only thing handsome Emperor Kai has to worry about is his inevitable marriage to Queen Levana.

The fourth and final installment in the Lunar Chronicles is Winter. It picks up about a month after Cinder kidnaps Kai and he now knows her true identity. Securing a plan for Cinder to overthrow Levana, Kai returns to New Beijing where new plans are made for the wedding of Kai and Levana. Once the plan commences, everyone is reunited with each other- Scarlet with Wolf and Winter with her cousin Selene. Princess Winter (step daughter of Levana) is loved by the people of Luna and is said to be more beautiful than even the glamour of Levana. There are huge plot twists in this book. I don’t want to give any more spoilers so I leave you with this: Who succeeds? The evil tyrant Levana or the true heir to the throne, selfless mechanic cyborg Cinder/Selene?

If you’ve read the series, let me know in the comment section down below what you think.

 

Feature image: https://ipirateluffy.tumblr.com/post/119557481469/charmspeakers-ya-lit-meme-15-protagonists

 

Time Out-There’s Snow

Not everyone enjoys the cold and not everyone enjoys the hot weather. (I myself prefer the cold.) But at some point, we all enjoy the cold just a little bit more than normal. Today I think is that day for me.

As a teenager, I love snow days and I know other kids do too. It means that school’s out. No school work, no irritating, confusing geometry to work on, and perhaps most importantly no getting up before I’m ready.

I know many adults have to love snow days too. I mean come on, NO WORK. While not everyone likes the cold, surely most everyone enjoys the prospect of no work. Staying at home, relaxing, watching tv, and binge eating.

So what’s the point to this post? Taking a time out and celebrating the little things that remind us to slow down and smell the snow- I mean smell the roses.

 

Photographic  reflections of my snow day.

 

 

 

On a side note, I would like to give one of my favorite radio thinkers, Rush Limbaugh, Happy Birthday wishes.

 

 

 

Moments in Dance

Let your life lightly dance on the edges of Time like dew on the tip of a leaf.~Rabindranath Tagore

Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.~Carl Sandburg

The only thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.~Neil Gaiman

The dance is a poem of which each movement is a word.~Mata Hari

When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.~Wayne Dyer

Endurance Anyone?

“Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory.” ~William Barclay

“A lie has speed, but truth has endurance.” ~Edgar J. Mohn

“He who can’t endure the bad will not live to see the good.” ~Yiddish Proverb

“Endurance is the crowning quality, and patience all the passion of great hearts.” ~James Russell Lowell

The Two-Faced Holiday

I hope you all enjoyed Christmas. I know I did. But now that that special day has passed, it’s time to start thinking about New Year’s.

Most people celebrate this holiday, but not everybody celebrates the same way. Before I present my poll, check out a couple of the interesting facts below.

  • January is named after the Roman god Janus. Janus was a two-faced god. I’m not joking about this. One face looked forward and one face looked backward. The reason some people mention this in relation to New Year’s is not because of the name of the month, but because we all look back on the past year and we look forward to the New Year. Those of you who have seen Warehouse 13 may remember the Janus coin from an episode with the character Emily Lake/H. G. Wells.
  • December 31, 1907 was the first ball drop for New York City. But back then the location wasn’t called Times Square. It was One Times Square. Interesting right? Ever since, there has been a ball drop in NYC with the exception of the years 1942 and 1943 and that was because of wartime restrictions.

So what do you plan to do this coming New Year’s weekend? Let me know down below.

The links down below are where I found the interesting facts.

https://www.thrillist.com/drink/nation/new-years-eve-trivia-things-you-didnt-know

http://www.ibtimes.com/new-years-eve-facts-trivia-fun-things-know-about-holiday-1523662

A Book Festival Adventure

Hey guys. I’m back! I now present you with a post about a festival tradition.

I assume that you’ve heard of the Southern Festival of Books, either from my post Touring the Country, One State at a Time or somewhere else. The Southern Festival of Books is an annual event that is held in October, generally the second weekend of the month on the Memorial Plaza in Nashville. Every year dozens of authors (usually around 200) come to talk about how their books came about, (generally their newest), how they began writing and to sign their fans’ copies. Robert Hodge, Sharyn McCrumb, Alan Gratz, Sharon Cameron, and Brendan Reichs are just a few authors that have made an appearance.

But books aren’t the only things there. The festival brings vendors with good smelling food. Book sellers such as Mckay’s (a must for those in the Nashville area), companies like Paper and Ink Arts, a radio show called Versify and many, many others also come to set up shop and enjoy the festival for the weekend. So if you are a bibliophile, or even if you’re not, the Southern Festival of Books, provided to us through Humanities Tennessee, is an event that I highly recommend. (This festival would make a great family trip.)

All pictures are to and during the festival.

Brendan Reichs (in white) and Alexandra Duncan (far left)*

I found this angel on the way back to my ride from a charming rustic deli.

Heading down I-40 East towards Nashville.

Fellow writer Sharyn McCrumb signing a copy of her book.

Brendan Reichs (middle) talking about his second book Seizure, and Alexandra Duncan on the far left.*

A black and white of the surrounding buildings.*

*Pictures courtesy of a close friend

On a side note, I found this awesome quote: https://www.facebook.com/McKayBooksNashville/photos/a.239786459457351.34737.238764942892836/966763106759679/?type=3&theater

 

 

Run from the Elf!

So last night I was hanging out with a bunch of friends/acquaintances and we watched the movie Elf. A lot of people said they loved the movie. Me on the other hand, not so much. So why did I not like the movie? Scroll on down and I’ll tell you why.

 

Pros:

  • It was kinda funny
  • It was a holiday movie
  • It starred Will Farrell and he’s sometimes awesome

 

Cons:

  • It was stupid. I really saw no point in the movie except for the fact that it was a Christmas movie.
  • The majority of the acting was bad and I prefer, when watching something, watching something that has good acting.
  • It was boring. I had problems trying not to fall asleep. Had it not been for my great friend sitting next to me, well… you know.
  • While obviously this is not a huge contributor and has nothing to do with the plot – I have got to say, this is just wrong! Buddy (Will Farrell) puts candy  (m&ms, marsh mellows, hot fudge, etc) and maple syrup on his spaghetti. That is an absolute abomination in general, to food especially.