Archive for February, 2010

Good day to make up for vitamin D deficiency

I find myself with President’s Day off for the first time ever. The Girl wanted to go to the park. It’s a nice, sunny day out. I can see summer if I squint hard enough.

My Son & “The Little Rock Nine”

Last night at dinner we were celebrating the lunar new year with some traditional Korean rice cake soup. I’m not entirely sure how the discussion started, but we were talking about how times were harder a while ago for minority children and he busts out with a comparison to “The Little Rock Nine“. My wife and I sat there slack-jawed for a moment and then she asks him, “How do you know about The Little Rock Nine?” To which he casually responds, “Oh, my teacher was telling us about it.”  Now, I don’t know about you, but I did not learn about The Little Rock Nine when I was 7 years old.  I’m pretty sure I was still learning about how rocks were hard and water was wet, but things are a little fuzzy from those days. Anyway, so he goes on and on and he has a surprising level of depth and understanding of what was going on back then and why. He asked very pointed questions about segregation and asked whether our families lived through that time (as it happens, only 1 of his 4 grandparents grew up in America during the 50′s and most of the 60′s).

My wife got an autographed copy of Terrence Roberts’ new book since her uncle and Mr. Roberts are friends, so she pulled it out and showed The Boy some pictures.  After dinner, The Boy decided to write Mr. Roberts a letter, which will be going out in the mail tomorrow.  But we wanted to keep a copy of it for posterity.  I think it shows surprising astuteness and empathy.  Here it is. I guess you get to read it before Terrence Roberts does:



Nook Impressions

So I bought my wife a Nook for Valentine’s Day.   She still buys paper books and they’re stacking up all over the place.  For someone who hates clutter, I figured having a single half inch thick device to hold her books might be appreciates.  I think the jury may still be out on that.

Anyway, I myself own a Kindle2 and a Sony PRS-300 (Pocket Reader) having traded in my Sony PRS-500 late last year instead of upgrading it to support the new ePub format.  So, as is probably obvious, I am an early adopter of eReaders as well as a proponent.  The Kindle2 and PRS-300 each have their pros and cons for buying and reading ebooks, but I’m not going to be going into those here.

I do want to provide my early thoughts on the Nook, though, after having set it up for my wife.  The very first impression was that it was quite difficult to get it out of its packing. ;-)    Once that was accomplished, though, the big thing I noticed was the color screen.  There is an interaction between the e-Ink and color screens that takes a little getting used.   Also, the soft keyboard on the color screen has smallish keys, though being an iPhone user it wasn’t too much of a stretch.  The biggest impression was twofold: 1 – It feels a little sluggish.  Performance could be better.  2. It’s HEAVY.  The Kindle2 and PRS-300 are both very light devices, but the Nook has considerably more heft.  It probably weighs similar to a decent-sized hardcover book.

We haven’t purchased any books on it yet.  I expect that the experience should actually be better than Kindle2 due to the color screen.  The Sony purchase experience is only thru the PC software since it has no wifi or wireless radio, so it will clearly be better than that.

UPDATE @ 8:39pm

Purchased first book on Nook. “Food Rules” by Michael Pollan, in case you were curious. Again, performance issues continue to mar the overall user experience.  The nook feels like it should be snappier, probably because most color screen UI’s are snappier.  I am accustomed to slowish refresh rates on the e-Ink displays, but I expect that hi rez color displays are snappy.  The fact that the book buying experience is a mesh of the two probably contributes to the overall feeling of sluggishness.  However, once I found a book I wanted to buy, the purchase experience was pain free and simple.  I think if B&N improves the firmware to the point where the color UX feels snappy, the whole thing will come together more.

Now, I need to stop using my wife’s Valentine’s Day present.  ;-)

Sharing the Olympics with My Boy

Every 2 years I sit back and enjoy the spectacle of sport that is the Olympics.  I have a slight preference for the Summer Games, but there are many events to enjoy in the Winter Games as well.  Certainly enough to keep the TV/DVR busy.  This year, my boy is 7 and he has really taken to the spirit of the games as well.  During the last Summer Games, he was 5 and he participated in Michael Phelps mania with his parents (he loves to swim and has been swimming solo since he was 4 yrs old), but he wasn’t really into the games as an event.  Well, this time he is as into it as I am, and possibly more.  It’s really gratifying to sit on the couch watching ski jump and hearing him provide commentary on how good various athletes’ take-offs were and then watching him get excited as they land (e.g. “Oh, I think that was a good jump! He’s probably #2 or #3!).  I think for us non-Olympians it’s part of what the Olympics are about.  It brings the world together at a macro level.  And this year, it has provided another way to bring our family together at a micro level. Needs a Reboot

Rethinking what I want to do with this blog. I think if I had some kind of consistent thing to talk about, I might find more time to actually write to it.

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