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Monthly Archives: July 2011

In Defense of Lost Season 3

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As you may remember, I’ve been rewatching Lost along with Jay and Jack. (At least, I’ve been trying to keep up, especially since they’ve started watching four episodes per week.) We’ve just (last week) started season 4.

I know that lots of people weren’t crazy about season 3. First, they did that weird thing where they aired a few episodes, then had a long break before airing the rest of the season. That was just painful, especially since they ended on that cliffhanger with – spoiler alert – Jack being in the Others’ clutches and liking it. They didn’t have an end date for the series, so a lot of season 3 turned out to be relatively unnecessary to the series as a whole.

Even after all that, though, I still really liked season 3 overall upon a rewatch. Of course, there was the part about being able to move on to the next episode immediately rather than stewing about it for a week or more. That really helps you get past a mediocre episode. And even in the “throwaway” episodes, it seemed like you got a little more insight into the characters. Yes, even Jack in Thailand showed him from an angle we hadn’t seen before. Why did he go there? How long was he there? We don’t know, but it’s fun to speculate. And “Exposé” would have made a great Halloween special, if Lost did that sort of thing. And, seriously, who can hate season 3 after the best finale ever? Just after watching those last moments, I can guarantee that none of you were thinking about the Nikki and Paulo fiasco or cage matches. In fact, I bet you weren’t thinking much at all besides, “Huh?”

I’m Back! (Sorta)

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I know, it’s been a while. Sorry about that. I’ve been…not sick, exactly, but not in top shape. I’ve had this persistent sore throat-phlegm-sinus issue for a few weeks that is improving, but slowly. Not wanting to make it worse (or rationalizing, whatever), I haven’t been working out (according to Wii Fit I skipped ten days, and I’ve been sporadic and doing mostly balance games when I do get up there), so I’m sure that doesn’t help my energy level, which is already depleted from I-can’t-keep-track-of-how-many-days-in-our 100 degree days streak. I also haven’t been cooking or reading with Meredith as much as I’d like to. I’ve been messing around on the Internet and playing games on my phone way too much. I’m dreading school starting next week. And I obviously haven’t been motivated to write any blog entries.

I have gotten a few things accomplished, though. I had started Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices quite a while ago. I’m still reading in it occasionally, but I’ve pretty much abandoned it for An Echo in the Bone, which I am now 75% through. I also started The Way of the Master, which goes along with a Bible study I am doing, a few weeks ago.

In other news, I’ve at least been maintaining my weight, even with the lack of exercise. I only gained 0.2 lbs. over my massive hiatus. I also had a birthday, complete with a ladybug cake picked out by MB (it tasted like red food coloring) that didn’t derail me too much. I went on a 3-day work trip last week that was pretty productive, but tiring. As I think I said earlier, school starts for me next week. (But it’s my last semester, so yay!) And MB will start pre-K in another couple of weeks. (Yeek!) I need to get all my annual appointments in before school ramps up too much. Plus, we haven’t taken our annual trip to Hawaiian Falls yet, and we have to go because we already bought the tickets. Looks like that will be next week, but at least I have plenty of vacation days left.

Why must the summer be more hectic than the school year?

The Big Deal at Amazon

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Sigh. Yet another fabulous sale on Kindle books.

Check out The Big Deal on Amazon under “Kindle Books.” They claim over 900 books are on sale for $0.99, $1.99, $2.99, or $3.99, although I’ve seen several at odd prices.

What have I bought, you ask? Well, I haven’t perused the whole list, just the bestsellers, highest rated, and editors picks. But, of course, I did find several that sounded interesting and were too good of a bargain to pass up.


Not part of the Hunger Games trilogy itself, but a collection of essays about the world depicted in it. (I loved Hunger Games, by the way, and am planning to do a post on it sometime.)


Heard of this one before and thought of buying it. I hope I don’t already have it in hardcopy, how embarrassing!


Sounded good for $2.99.


Ditto.


And again, sounded cool, at only $1.99.


Because I collect and hoard books about how to organize and simplify. Ha, ha.

So what are your picks?

My New Toy

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So I got a new toy last week from woot.com. If you’re not familiar with Woot, they offer a different deal every day, and only for that day. Now this can be dangerous if you’re a big impulse shopper. It’s also not for those who always know exactly what they want, since you never know what the deal is going to be. But if something comes up that happens to be something you’ve been thinking about getting, it’s probably the best deal you’re likely to find.

So. On Wednesday, I just happened to hear about that day’s Woot deal – an enTourage Pocket Edge DualBook for $119.99. These are going on Amazon for $198.99 or $189.95, depending on whether you want black or red. (Both are from third-party sellers, but the prices seem consistent with what you can find elsewhere.)

I’d heard about these before, and I always thought it was a pretty clever idea. It opens like a book, and one side has an e-ink screen, with an LCD screen on the other side. You would typically use the e-ink side to read books (EPUB and PDF) and the LCD side to do typical tablet functions. I had some fun money saved up, and at that price it seemed like a pretty good deal for a tablet, even just to play with. I also should be able to use the reader to read ADE ebooks, like those from the library. You can also send a web page over to the e-ink screen, which seems like it would be great for reading long articles and such. It always seemed to me that this would be perfect for students – you could have your textbook open on one screen while using the web on the other. Now I don’t use e-texts myself, and don’t plan to, but I still may be able to use it effectively for research. We’ll see how that works out.

Before I go any further, I should probably tell you that enTourage, the company that makes these, has closed the store. The website still has a support page consisting of the device manuals and a few FAQs, but, for all practical purposes, there is no support for this device. If that bothers you, definitely do not spend almost $200 for one of these. But if you’re like me and are OK with getting support from Internet forums and the like, there may be more great deals to come as resellers burn off their existing stock. There is a good community of support at mobileread.com, including a port of the official enTourage forum (which is now gone).

I’ve been playing with it a bit and getting to know its features and navigation. It runs Android (an old version, Donut, I think, but I should be able to update it at least to Froyo), and although it doesn’t have the official Android app store, it will run some apps. I hear the Amazon app store works nicely with it. Since I have had an Android phone for a while, it hasn’t been too difficult to pick up the interface. It has wifi, so I can use the Internet as long as I’m at home. It also has a camera, cleverly placed above the e-ink screen, so you can take a picture of yourself as a front-facing camera, or fold the screen back to take a picture like a rear-facing camera. There is bluetooth, although I haven’t yet determined whether this can be used for data transfer, or only for accessories, like an earpiece. There used to be a bookstore associated with enTourage, but now they are pointing people to Google Books for content. I haven’t tried Google Books out yet (and not likely to do any serious reading with it for a while, since I just started An Echo in the Bone on my Kindle), but I do want to try to get a free classic or other cheapie soon to see how it works.

Bottom line, this device isn’t going to replace either my Kindle or my netbook any time soon. It is much heavier than the Kindle, especially the new one, and no way I’m abandoning the hundreds of Kindle books I’ve already purchased. On the other hand, it is quite a bit lighter than my netbook (an ASUS Eee PC that is a couple of years old). I’m not willing to give up the productivity of a real keyboard, though, at least not until I’m done with school, although I may feel differently after. I think it will make a fun little Internet device, though, especially for using in bed when the phone just isn’t big enough. I’m also excited by the though of reading library books on an e-ink screen (even though I have a ton of unread books on my Kindle, and will not have a lot of extra reading time once school starts, and Kindle-compatible library loans are supposed to be available by the end of the year). I’m also hoping that I can put some of the freebies I’ve picked up at the Sony store on it, and there are always the free classics.

So does anybody out there have one? I’d love to hear what you think about it and what you’re using it for!