Monthly Archives: January 2011

Social Media: PBS is listening! Is your company?

This is so cool!  Noah (5 year old) wrote to PBS (with a $1 donation) and asked for a new show.  The image of the letter (below) went viral.

PBS responded online!  Sweet!

Dear Noah: Thank you for your dollar. We are glad you love PBS KIDS so much! The good news is we have two super hero to the rescue shows that we think you will enjoy, Super Why! and WordGirl. Love, PBS KIDS

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The Year in Books 2010

This year my goal was to read more books than any previous year.  By my best reckoning I read 24 books in 2008, only 16 in 2009.  I decided to round up and try to read 50 books this year.  That comes out to four (and some change 4.166) books a month.  Here are the books I read and what I thought about them, along with some statistics.

In order to meet my goal of 50 books, I listened to a lot of them, 58%.  I also read print, and on an iPad.

Some interesting quick facts:

  • I read a total of 6,815 print pages.
  • Average length of the print books was 324 pages.
  • The average length of the audio books I listened to was 9 hours and 50 minutes.
  • I listened to a total of 285 hours and 9 minutes of audio books.  That’s almost 12 solid days of audio (11.875 days).
  • I abandoned reading 3 books this year.  They were:  Classical Music 101 by Fred Plotkin, The Art of War: The Essential Translation of the Classic Book of Life by Sun Tzu, Harmony by Charles Hrh The Prince Of Wales

My Favorites:

Hamlet – I never really read much Shakespeare before.  Just a little in high school, so I’m really glad I picked this book up.  I really enjoyed it.  So much that I read it twice and while reading it I also read the Cliff Notes, which I haven’t read since high school, as well.

Call of the Wild – Just a really excellently written novel.  Kept me wanting more.  Riveting story.

Time Travelers Wife – A very pleasant surprise.  I had watched the movie prior to reading the book.  In fact, I read the book because I liked the movie.  But as it usually the case, the book was much better.  This may be the best book I read all year.

A Prayer for Owen Meany – Not something I would have found on my own.  This was a recommendation from a friend.  I had never heard of it before and was skeptical at first, but this book really did come through.  A really great story with deep character description.  You really come away feeling that you knew these characters.

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom – A strange science fiction story.  This book is public domain, which means it is free, and an audio reproductions of it are also free.  I listened to one of these audio reproductions and was really pleased.  Its one of those sci-fi books that erally doesn’t give much background on the way things are.  It just dives into the story and you have to figure things out.

The Girl Who Played with Fire – This was a hugely popular series this year and last.  It will be coming out as an English speaking film soon.  All the books are already movies in Sweden.  The first two movies I have seen and liked, but the books (again) were SO much better.  I highly recommend the whole series.  But so far this is my favorite in the series.  I still have yet to read the last book the series.

The Books:

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December 2010

Events

This month we went to Disneyland again. Thanks to Samantha’s cool aunt Lauren, I think we have gone the last 6 months in a row. We had a great time again this time. The weather was looking pretty bad, but it didn’t rain. I think the fact that it didn’t look that good and that it was a Thursday helped keep people out of the park. This meant we had more time to have fun, because we didn’t have to fight the crowds. This visit also marked the first time Samantha had been to Ariel’s Grotto. At this restaurant the cast members are dressed as 5 princesses (Ariel, Snow White, Bell, Cinderella, and Jasmine). Samantha was very shy and didn’t like being close to the princesses, but when they walked away from the table, she acted excited to see them.

Christmas was really special for us this year. Because we had three of them! Our first Christmas was early at my parent’s house in Carlsbad. They of course spoiled us all with presents, good food, and great company. We all had a blast. Our next Christmas was on Christmas Eve at Michelle’s parents house. Again, we were regaled with presents, great food and great company. Lastly we had our own little family Christmas on Christmas day. Samantha had a great time and must think that Christmas last a month now.

Immediately after our Christmas we started packing for our vacation to Arizona. We had a good drive there and back. It is about 5 and a half hours with stops for eating. We made much better time going home, because we stopped less. Samantha was a little angel for the drives. Once there were greeted by my extended family. Some of them stayed at my aunt Lee’s house and the overflow, which included Samantha, Michelle, myself, Rick, Barbie, Autumn and Trevor, stayed at a timeshare Lee and Ron have that is also in Scottsdale. It was a beautiful place, but didn’t really compare to Lee and Ron’s beautiful Scottsdale home. We had a wonderful vacation there and attended my aunt Barbie’s wedding to Rick, while in Scottsdale.

Celebrations

Bill Kita’s birthday 12/16

Bill Watts’ birthday 12/21

Tim Thompson 12/22

Barbie and Rick’s Wedding 12/27

Robyn Plouse 12/18

James Higson 12/31

Cole Lesile 12/25

Movies

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – 3.5/5 stars.  Not bad.  Not great.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – 4.5/5 stars.  Great movie, only disappointment is having to wait for the second part.

Robin Hood – 4/5 stars.  Good action flick.

Grown Ups – 3/5 stars.  Funny.

Twilight: Eclipse – 3/5 stars.  Okay.  Just like the others, read the books, they are much, much better.

Despicable Me – 3/5 stars.  Excellent to see in 3D.  Kids movie that doesn’t appeal to adults as much as it possible could.

The Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of the Ga’Hoole – 1/5 stars.  Terrible.  Boring.

Inception – 4.5/5 stars.  Excellent concept.  Would like to see more like this.

Books

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1) by Rick Riordan – 4/5 stars.  Great book.  Looking forward to reading more.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde – 3/5 stars.  Being generous with this one.  Great idea, but the book totally misses taking advantage of it.

The Tristan Betrayal by Robert Ludlum – 3/5 stars.  Good spy novel.

Deception Point by Dan Brown – 4/5 stars. Dan Brown does it again  and again.  He is just a great author.

The Essential Lewis and Clark by Meriwether Lewis, William Clark – 3/5 stars.  Dry, reads like a diary, because it is.  Wish it would have read like a novel.

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow – 4/5 stars.  Excellent Sci-Fi.  More I think about it, this actually deserves 5 stars.  This book is also public domain.

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