Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

New menus at the Amazon Diner

December 17, 2013

New menus at the Amazon Diner

Note: this is a work of humor. There is no Amazon Diner program at this point.

Pat: “I can’t wait to try out this new Amazon Diner!”

Jan: “Is everything Amazon with you?”

Pat: “Not yet…but I’m hoping.”

Jan: “Ha, ha. I don’t think they’re open…I don’t see anybody.”

Pat: “No, you just sit down anywhere you want, and open up the app.”

Jan: “On your Fire? What if I don’t have a Fire?”

Pat: “They have the app for a lot of devices…I think I also saw a Kindle Fire vending machine outside. They do rentals…”

Jan: “Never mind, you go ahead.”

Kindle Waiter (appearing on screen): “Hi, I’m Fiona. I’ll be your waiter today. Would you like to see your menus?”

Jan: “Whoa! What are all those things on your Fire?”

Pat: “I guess those are the menus. Wow, there are a lot of them! Where do I start?

Fiona: “Well, are you looking for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or some other option?”

Pat: “Um…let’s start with breakfast.”

Fiona: “Here you go. These are the breakfast menus. You have 347 breakfast menus available.”

Jan: “Can I just have some eggs?”

Fiona: “You have 62 egg choices.”

Pat: “Why so many?”

Fiona: “These menus represent every time you have ordered eggs in the past. You can choose from all of the methods you have selected before. If you prefer, I can connect your device to the Chef’s Plaza. Then, you can select a Chef, and try your eggs a new way.”

Pat: “No, no, I’m sure there is something I’ll like here. I can’t imagine there are many kinds of eggs I haven’t tried.”

Fiona: “You’d be surprised.”

Pat: “I’ll just pick one at random. Jellied eggs? I don’t eat jellied eggs.”

Fiona: “You must have, at some point.”

Jan: “Don’t you remember? We used to have them when we were kids, at the cabin.”

Pat: “Oh, yeah! Wait, I must have been…what, like nine or ten? This menu has every kind of egg I’ve ever had?”

Fiona: “Yes. Isn’t that convenient?”

Jan: “Not really.”

Pat: “Sh. Let me take a look. This one must be a mistake! I can guarantee you that I’ve never eaten eggs with green tea and soy sauce!”

Jan: “Hey…isn’t that what your cousin did…the one who lived in Japan?”

Pat: “I don’t think they even eat them like that in Japan! Besides, why would my cousin’s eggs show up in my menu?”

Fiona: “Is it possible you ate with your cousin?”

Pat: “Sure.”

Fiona: “Would you have paid separately?”

Jan: “We haven’t seen that cousin since we were kids.”

Fiona: “Would you have paid separately?”

Pat: “I guess one of our parents would have paid.”

Fiona: “That would explain it, then. We would consider that you were on your parents’ account, so all those menus show up.”

Jan: “Can’t I just order without a menu?”

Fiona: “Something new, or something you’ve eaten before?”

Jan: “Before.”

Fiona: “Pat, if you start flipping through the menus, you’ll find individual items at the back.”

Pat: “After the 347 menus?”

Fiona: “Those are just the breakfast menus. Individual listings are after all the menus.”

Jan: “How many is that?”

Fiona: “17, 432.”

Pat: “Hey, look! They have pizza. I love cold pizza for breakfast! Nature’s perfect food!”

Jan: “Riiight.”

Pat: “Wait a minute…there’s nothing on the pizza menu.”

Fiona: “That’s because this restaurant isn’t compatible with pizza. We don’t have a pizza oven.”

Pat: “Then I’ll just delete that menu…at least I can clean it up a bit that way.”

Fiona: “Warning: if you delete that menu, you will delete it from all of the restaurants in the Amazon Diner system.”

Jan: “Well, that menu doesn’t do much good if there’s nothing on it!”

Fiona: “There would be something on it, if you were in a pizza-compatible restaurant.”

Pat: “So, if I delete it from here, I won’t be able to order pizza anywhere else, either?”

Fiona: “Your Kindle waiter would be able to direct you to the Chef’s Plaza.”

Pat: “I don’t want that. I guess I’ll go with the jellied eggs. Can I send them back if I don’t like them?”

Fiona: “Certainly. Just let me know, and I’ll e-mail you a label you can print out. You just stick it to the plate.”

Jan: “Where’s the printer?”

Fiona: “Under the table.”

Jan: “Let’s make this easy…I’ll have that, too.”

Fiona: “People who ordered jellied eggs also ordered Canadian bacon, orange juice, and paper clips.”

Pat: “Just the eggs, thanks.”

Fiona: “If you order one more set of jellied eggs, you’ll be eligible to order lunch at 25% off.”

Jan: “I think we’re good.”

Fiona: “Would you like the orders separately, or should we combine them to save delivery costs?”

Pat: “Delivery costs? I have Prime.”

Fiona: “Yes, you do. Your delivery costs are included in your Prime membership.”

Pat: “Then how would I save on delivery costs?”

Fiona: “Not your costs…our costs.”

Pat: “Whatever is easiest.”

Fiona: “Coming right up! Thank you for your order with Amazon Diner. Your default payment method has been debited.” (disappears from the screen)

Jan: “I wonder if Fiona included a tip?”

Pat: “No, there’s no tip…one of the advantages here.”

Jan: “So, they’ve already collected the money…I guess we won’t see Fiona with the bill.”

Pat: “I don’t think Fiona is here…I think all the Kindle waiters are in Seattle.”

Jan: “Really. I was wondering why Washington’s unemployment rate was dropping so much. I heard it’s like 2% lower than California’s. I suppose we’re only going to see a waiter when they bring our food.”

Pat: “I guess so. Hold on, do you hear that?”

Jan: “What?”

Pat: “That buzzing sound…”

Jan: “You mean…”

Pat: “Yep…eight tiny helicopter rotors. I guess we won’t be seeing a waiter after all…”

This post was inspired by people’s reactions to a recent update bringing Cloud Collections to latest generation of Kindle Fires and of the Paperwhite. On the Paperwhite, something similar to what I’m describing here happene, with some people getting dozens of Collections they had created on devices in the past…in some case, devices they didn’t even have any more. I’m hoping they make some changes to Cloud Collections in a future update

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Kindle Spectrum: stories your way

November 12, 2013

Kindle Spectrum: stories your way

Note: this is a work of humor. THERE IS NO Kindle Spectrum PROGRAM. It is a work of fiction intended to bring a smile to your day.


Kindle Spectrum: stories your way announces a new program allowing customers to seamlessly switch between modes while enjoying their favorite works of fiction

Launches in Q1 2014 with three titles

SEATTLE–(SILLINESS WIRE)–Dec. 17, 2013– (NASDAQ: AMZN)– today announced Kindle Spectrum. This new program will allow customers to switch between different media mid-story, so they can experience it in the way that best suits them at the time.

“At Amazon, we love books, but we also love movies, music, and apps. With Kindle Spectrum, you’ll be able to have all those great experiences with the same story,” said Ahmni Vohr, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. “Books are wonderful, but it isn’t always convenient to read, and it’s hard to share. With Kindle Spectrum, you can read one chapter, and then watch the next scene as a movie on your TV* to share with your family. Then you can go right back to reading when you don’t want to disturb your loved ones.”

“I’m excited to be able to bring a musical dimension to classic literature,” said famed composer John Williams (Star Wars, Jaws). Williams’ score for War of the Worlds will be part of the first Kindle Spectrum title released.

Customers enjoying the Kindle Spectrum edition of War of the Worlds can read the classic text by H.G. Wells, watch the 1953 movie starring Gene Barry**, listen to a brand new music suite by John Williams***, view an interpretative dance choreographed by Mia Michaels (So You Think You Can Dance), hear the Orson Welles’ 1938 radio broadcast, explore through a section in a role playing game by app studio PopCap, or see the story enacted by traditional Balinese shadow puppets.

“There is really no limit to what Kindle Spectrum can do,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement. “Our customers love all types of content, and we are looking forward to working with creators to give them a full range of options.”

The first three Kindle Spectrum titles, announced for the first quarter of 2014, are:

  • War of the Worlds
  • Romeo & Juliet
  • The Odyssey

Rightsholders interested in participating should contact Kindle Spectrum. Independent creators can publish elements in any format through the KSP (Kindle Spectrum Publishing) program.

* Watch on TV option only available with some devices
** Movies only available to eligible Amazon Prime members
*** New music is unrelated to the score produced by Mr. Williams for the 2005 Tom Cruise adaptation, which we are pretending doesn’t exist

About Amazon, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth’s Biggest Selection. In fact, we’re so big, we can sell you pretty much anything you want: movies, books, music, clothes, food, server space, human antibodies, quarks, unobtanium, and magical rings. If you don’t want us to sell your stuff, that’s up to you…but good luck with that. Our customers love us, and people keep investing in us even though we just spend all their money buying cool stuff to give to our Prime members. We’re all about the love, baby.


Just to reiterate, this is a work of humor. ;) All names used are used in a fictitious way, for the sake of parody. I hope you consider it a compliment…and I actually did enjoy the 2005 War of the Worlds movie. :)

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them

“Mayday? I’m bored…”

September 26, 2013

“Mayday? I’m bored…”

Amazon’s newly announced Kindle Fire HDX line is going to have a new “Mayday” button, which Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has called the “…greatest feature we’ve ever made”. It’s going to allow Kindle Fire HDX users to tap a button, and get live tech help on the screen, 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The Mayday tech can draw on the screen, and can take over the device to do things for you.

If this works as (heavily) promoted, it could cause a revolution in Customer Service expectations.

People might start expecting that kind of instant service everywhere: insurance claims; online classes; and maybe even healthcare.

That got me thinking: what might some of those Mayday calls be like?


Mayday tech: “How can I help you?”

Customer: “Hi. Hi. Hi. Hi.”

Mayday tech: “Hello. Did you have a question?”

Customer: “Why?”

Mayday tech: “Why what?”

Customer: “Poop. Hahahhahahahahahah!”

Mayday tech: “Am I speaking with a child? How old are you?”

Customer: “Me three.”


Mayday tech: “How can I help you?”

Customer: “My husband is an hour late coming home from work again.”

Mayday tech: “Oh, hi, Jane. That’s the third time this week, right?”

Customer: “Fourth. I didn’t push the button the first time.”

Mayday tech: “I’m sorry to hear that. Do you remember how to text him? I showed you that on Tuesday.”

Customer: “Yes, but I don’t know if he’s telling the truth on not in those texts. I wish I could see his face!”

Mayday tech: “You can. Let me show you how to use Skype…”


Mayday tech: “How can I help you?”

Customer: “I just spilled ketchup on my favorite shirt: can you help me?”

Mayday tech: “Sure can! I’m guessing that’s the blue one, right? You’ve ordered it twice before. I can get you a replacement out in two days. Tell you what: why don’t we order two this time, and I can throw in a stain stick as an Add-on item. If the stick works and it turns out you don’t need the shirts, just tap Mayday, and I’ll send you a return label.”


Mayday tech: “How can I help you?”

Customer: “My thirteen-year old is asking about s-e-x, and I was wondering if you had some sort of book to recommend.”

Mayday tech: “Actually, it shows here that someone on your account ordered a sex education book yesterday. Looks like it was your child.”

Customer: “Oh, I’m so  embarrassed! I hope that kid isn’t doing anything yet!”

Mayday tech: “If they were, they wouldn’t have ordered the book, right?”

Customer: “You’re right! I feel so much better.”


Mayday tech: “How can I help you?”

Customer: “I want to finish up that movie I was watching yesterday, but I’m too lazy to do it myself. Would you start it for me?”


Mayday tech: “How can I help you?”

Customer: “I’m supposed to do a stupid book report on stupid Lord of the Flies!”

Mayday tech: “Have you read it yet?”

Customer: “I don’t read.”

Mayday tech: “You should…it’s good for you. When is the report due?”

Customer: “Tomorrow.”

Mayday tech: “That’s not enough time to read it, then. Tell you what: if you promise me you’ll read it later, I’ll download the movie for you. In the mean time, let me you what happens in the book…”


Mayday tech: “How can I help you?”

Customer: “I’m bored.”

Mayday tech: “Do you want to read a book? Watch a movie? Listen to some music?”

Customer: “Nah…let’s just talk…”


Mayday tech: “How can I help you?”

Customer: “I can’t get my cellphone company to help me clean up my contacts. I’ve got the guy on the phone: would you talk to them?”


Mayday tech: “How can I help you?”

Customer: “Teach me to laugh like Jeff Bezos. I want to disrupt industries, too.”



Seriously, I do think this could be a problem for everybody who does Customer Service remotely. It’s going to depend on the execution and on the market penetration of the devices…but this is a quantum leap type advancement, and that’s going to put the pressure on everybody else to catch up. Ooh, that’s an idea…Amazon may start charging other companies for Mayday to take care of their Customer Service for them!

Thanks, Amazon!

Update: here’s a link to the commercials for Mayday…and the way I’m describing it fits right into what they show. :)

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

The many kinds of Kindleers

September 13, 2013

The many kinds of Kindleers

We were one.

That didn’t last, though.

Starting in November of 2007, and continuing until February of 2009, there was pretty much one kind of Kindleer. That’s how long it was from the release of the first Kindle until the release of the Kindle 2…when the fragmentation began.

Oh, I remember the demands to keep the two forums on Amazon separate. The Kindle 2 was a very different device, introducing text-to-speech to the line, for one. However, it was also seen as a step backward in two big regards: no user-replaceable battery, and no SD card slot.

The two camps faced off: those rugged pioneers who insisted that having a Kindle without an SD card was like going into the rain forest without a machete, and those who thought the Kindle 1 was as boxy as a 1950s RCA TV set.

In some households, they got along with each other. After all, they probably shared 80% of their functionality.

However, March 4th introduced a brand new faction: the Kindleless Kindleer. That’s when Kindle for the iPhone was released.

“Eww!” said the E-Inkers, “You are going to read on a tiny backlit screen? It hurts my eyes just to think about it.”

“Dude,” said the iKindleers. “iPhone.”

The big Kindle DX entered the scene in May, with a promise of great textbook integration. The DX lovers weren’t many, but they were (and are) enthusiastic.

On October 22, the Kindle for PC app was released.

E-Inkers: “Reading on a computer? You’re kidding me!”

iKindleers: “Dude. iPhone.”

PCers: “I can get forty bestsellers for what you paid for that tiny status gadget with its data plan or that doorstop…which one of loves books more?”

At least, the Kindle 1 and Kindle 2 folks had bonded over their love of an unlit screen…until the Kindle 2 started to getting things the Kindle 1 didn’t.

Native pdf support.


International models.

And then, the mighty wedge…on August 3, 2010, the Kindle 2 got active content. Two games, Shuffled Row and Every Word…and the Kindle 1ers said that was the end of the literate exclusivity of the Kindle…the Kindle 2ers were evicted from the “Garden of Readin’” by the temptation of the app(le), and the Kindle 1ers were done with them.

On July 28th of 2010, Amazon had introduced the Kindle 3…and, well, everybody was okay with that. ;) Pretty much…let’s say it was mostly seen as an improvement over the Kindle 2.

On April 11, 2011, another huge split was dropped, deus ex marketing, on the community…ad-supported Kindles! “Ads on my Kindle? No way!” “Um…you don’t watch network TV? It’s kind of the same thing…and the ads aren’t in the books. Cheaper Kindles…what’s wrong with that?”

September 28, 2011, brought the next horror/wonder…a touchscreen Kindle.

A Kindle without keys? That was the best/worst thing so far!

That’s also when they introduced the “Mindle”…the first Kindle without sound. No audiobooks, no music, no text-to-speech.

The keyboardless kindle and “I have no mouth and I must scream” models weren’t the most head-spinning things that day, though.


Kindle Fire.

A backlit tablet that did video…and yet, called itself a Kindle.

That was the biggest rift ever…and one that still hasn’t healed.

Some of the E Inkers felt betrayed.

It was as if your e-mail provider sent you their annual report on paper, or your compostable tableware arrived in a non-biodegradable bag.

They wouldn’t sit with those tablet toters at lunch, that’s for darn tootin’!

I think, though, we’ll most people will eventually accept that we are really all bound together by one thing: our love of reading.

Whether it’s backlit, frontlit, candlelight, or a flashlight under the covers, we are  all connecting with other human beings through the amazing power of literature. You can read it with your eyes, hear it with your ears, or feel it with your fingers…a book is a book is a book.

While it may be true that, as Edmund Wilson said, “No two persons ever read the same book,” that doesn’t mean that we don’t all read them…and does it really matter so much how we do it?

Books aren’t upset about how you read them…they welcome every reader. That’s how I feel about it, too. :)

This post by Bufo Calvin first appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

Wow, your car is Prime!

September 10, 2013

Wow, your car is Prime!

Kris: “Hey, Pat, okay if I carpool with you to the meeting?”

Pat: “No problem, I’m parked right over here.”

Kris: “Did you get a new car?”

Pat: “Sure did…and it only cost me five thousand bucks.”

Kris: “What, is it used?”

Pat: “Nope, that’s what it costs. It’s a Kindle car…from Amazon.”

Kris: “Amazon makes cars?”

Pat: “They do now.”

Kris: “That seems weird. Why did you get a car from Amazon?”

Pat: “I mentioned the price, right?”

Kris: “Yeah, and I’m guessing you might mention it a few more times…”

Pat: “Right you are. Well, I wouldn’t have thought about it, but I have a Kindle Fire and a Kindle Paperwhite and a Kindle watch and a Kindle phone. I was thinking about going into a regular dealer for a test drive, but an ad showed up on my homescreen with a deal on this car. I figured I’d try it…I can return it in thirty days if I don’t like it.”

Kris: “Well, do you like it?”

Pat: “Pretty much…so far, anyway.”

Kris: “Let’s get going…unlock my side.”

Pat: “Just a second…I have to log in.”

Kris: “Log in?”

Pat: “Yep…no keys, I just log in on my Fire. There you go.”

Kris: “What happens if you don’t have your Fire?”

Pat: “The universe explodes? I always have my Fire. I can also log in on my Kindle Phone or Kindle Watch.”

Kris: “Okay, okay. This seems pretty roomy.”

Pat: “It’s exactly the industry standard in size.”

Kris: “Can we put on some music? I’m in the mood for some old time rock-and-roll.”

Pat: “Sure…although I probably don’t have any of that senior citizen stuff in my cloud. I can buy it, though.”

Kris: “Wait, can’t you just put on a radio station?”

Pat: “I guess so, but the sound system is really set up to work with my music.”

Kris: “Never mind. It’s got a nice, smooth ride…feels solid. I wonder how they make it so cheap?”

Pat: “Well, you do have to be an Amazon Prime member. It also doesn’t drive on all the roads…just ones where Amazon has a deal with them.”

Kris: “What if you want to go somewhere else?”

Pat: “That hasn’t happened yet…the other roads just lead to shopping malls, and I haven’t been in one of those for years. Then, of course, there is the Kindelivery Share thing.”

Kris: “What’s that?”

Pat: “If I leave the car idle for a couple of hours, it goes off on its own and makes deliveries for Amazon.”

Kris: “By itself?”

Pat: “Yes…it’s autonomous. How did you think Amazon was able to do that same day delivery thing?”

Kris: “I hadn’t really thought about it.”

Pat: “Nobody does.”

Kris: “You are okay with other people driving your car?”

Pat: “Nobody else drives it…it drives itself.”

Kris: “What if the car is away when you want to go home?”

Pat: “I can tell Amazon how long I need it, and they don’t take it. If my car isn’t available for some reason, another car picks me up.”

Kris: “Oh, so other people are in your car sometimes?”

Pat: “Maybe…they might have special cars for that.”

Kris: “Can’t you tell the cars apart?”

Pat: “They only come in one color, and you can’t personalize them…no hanging stuff from the rearview mirror, that kind of thing”

Kris: “How do they enforce that?”

Pat: “It voids the warranty…and they could drop you as an Amazon customer, and then what would I do?”

Kris: “Forage in the woods for berries?”

Pat: “Ha, ha. Whoops! The car wants to pull over.”

Kris: “What’s happening?”

Pat: “It’s probably updating the software. Just relax for a few minutes. Do you want to read something? It has a Kindle screen built into the dashboard.”

Kris: “No thanks.”

Pat: “Watch a movie? Play a game?”

Kris: “Nah. I’m really too hungry to concentrate on anything…I didn’t get a chance to get lunch after the conference call.”

Pat: “I’m an Amazon Fresh member, too…I can have them deliver something.”

Kris: “To the car?”

Pat: “You bet…should be under ten minutes.”

Kris: “No, we’ve got to get to this meeting…they should have something there.”

Pat; “Okay. Oh, hey, I might have to leave early. I have a doctor’s appointment.”

Kris: “That’s okay, I can get a ride back with somebody else. Hope it’s nothing serious.”

Pat: “Just carpal tunnel surgery. I’m having it done at home, and it’s only going to cost me $25. You see, I’m a member of Kindle Health too…”

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

Eddiecoms #7: “…regardless of how healthy your inner-ear dysfunction was inherited”

August 31, 2013

Eddiecoms #7: 

This is one in a series of posts about what I call “Eddiecoms”. You can see more detail about what these are in earlier posts on the topic, but it boils down to this. These are ads intended to promote something, disguised (often not very well…my favorite one was a post by someone listed as “Similar Internet Site”) as comments on something I’ve posted. I test a comment in a couple of ways before deciding it is an Eddiecom, including doing a Google search for the same wording. When I do use Google, I’ll sometimes find hundreds of instances of the same comment on different blogs, ones which are often unrelated in topic.

This may be my favorite one so far:

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There are a vast number of comic books to choose since their inception.

For significantly less than $50, a teen or grownup can turn into Wolverine, complete with t-shirt and
half facial mask. When I was about twelve to thirteen, I was able to cash in and take advantage of the Transformers craze that I missed out on when I was too young to remember the older toys in the series.

What i do not understood is if truth be told
how you are now not really a lot more neatly-liked than
you might be now. You are very intelligent. You know therefore
significantly in the case of this topic, produced me personally consider
it from a lot of numerous angles. Its like men and women are not fascinated except it is one thing
to accomplish with Woman gaga! Your individual stuffs outstanding.
At all times take care of it up!

I believe everything posted was very reasonable. But, think on this, suppose you
typed a catchier title? I mean, I don’t want to tell you how to run your website, however suppose you added a headline that makes people desire more? I mean New FREE game for some Kindles: Video Poker | I Love My Kindle is kinda plain. You ought to look at Yahoo’s home page and note how they create post headlines to get people to open the links.
You might add a related video or a related picture or two to get readers interested about what you’ve written. In my opinion, it would bring your posts a little bit more interesting.

On unit growth, it is possible that the deterioration of the white.
He said what he shouts, making me jump. Taking one hand off me, and we’ll come and fetch you. When it comes to eligibility where the Television Academy is concerned, and quality of the financials over the next few days.

Doctors usually order an ESR blood test, among other blood tests, to evaluate a patient whose symptoms suggest conditions that will
affect the erythrocyte sedimentation rate. The first of these is a lip firming serum, which will allow you
to have fuller and younger looking lips without the
plastic surgery. But since most of them were synthetic, what they turned out to be was doing more harm to the body than aging itself.

This free game brought in 30 million users a month to wrestle bears, snakes
and other animals who try to steal crops.

Then they use their email address and try to guess their passwords or use ‘brute force’
hacking programs to automatically try common phrases used for passwords.
You can create your own mafia syndicate by recruiting your Facebook friends and using reward points to hire extra
mafia members. Who knows, you might just find your old high school sweetheart.
” If that does not work, they then suggest, “If you are still experiencing issues,
try uninstalling the [deleted] Toolbar and reinstalling the [deleted].

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

Endangered sayings

August 9, 2013

Endangered sayings

Some things stick around in English long after the things they originally have referenced have disappeared from the real world. One of my regular readers and commenters, Tuxgirl, mentioned something that got me thinking about sayings that might eventually vanish from our language…or, they may still be around, but most people won’t have any idea what they originally meant. Here, then, are some phrases they may make sense to you now (although I suspect some will be strange to some of you), but could be endangered in the future…

“Do you have a dictionary?”

“I  mis-dialed.”

“What’s on TV tonight?”

“I lost my place.”

“Catch you on the flip side.”

“May I borrow your pen?”

“Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

“I’m in the groove!”

“Did you know…?”

“I don’t have enough to read.”

“See you in the funny papers.”

“Flash card”

“That’s yesterday’s news.”

You’re showing your age.”

“Tune in tomorrow”

“We’ll be right back after these commercials.”

“Bookstore Betty coat”


“You sound like a broken record.”

“Movie theatre”


“Disc jockey”


“I want to make sure we’re on the same page.”

“Turn over a new leaf.”

“Spine” (for a book)

“Dog ear” (for a page)



“Tape a show”

“Books on tape”

“They are like two bookends.”

“Page turner”

Here’s one that will never be obsolete…”Story”. ;)

Those are just a few that occurred to me. Do you have any favorites? Is there an expression that you’ve used, and realize that you don’t know what it means? For example, I hear people use “one fell swoop” when good things happen at once. That’s really not what it meant originally. A bird of prey snatching an animal off the ground is “swooping”. “Fell” meant evil. A “fell swoop” is when the bird gets two animals at a time, like grabbing two mice at once…technically, it means bad things happening together. However, my adult kid who is a linguist has made me aware that if people use it to mean something, it means it…even if it didn’t used to mean that. So, if you have any questions, comments, or want to add a few of your own for me and my readers, feel free to comment on this post.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

The Author Game

July 30, 2013

The Author Game

Sparky: “Whatcha got there, Brain?”

Brain: “It’s a new boardgame I just bought. It’s called The Author Game. Want to play?”

Sparky: “Sure…how about you, Oddball?”

Oddball: “Can I make up my own rules?”

Sparky: “Maybe next time…let’s try it with the official rules first.”

Oddball: “Okay. I want to play with my eyes closed.”

Brain: “You can’t–”

Sparky: “Sure, that’s fine. We’ll tell you what’s on the cards. It has cards, right, Brain?”

Brain: “Yes.”

Sparky: “What happens next?”

Brain: “You two are Authors, and I’m going to be the Publisher.”

Oddball: “What does that mean?”

Brain: “It’s like being the banker in Monopoly. I control all the money.”

Oddball: “Cool. I hate money.”

Sparky: “So, what do we do?”

Brain: “First, you have to decide if you want to be an independent author or a traditionally published author.”

Oddball: “What’s the difference?”

Brain: “If you choose to be an indie, you have this short path here. If you choose to be a traditionally published author, you go on this spiral path around the outside until you end up in the middle of the board.”

Sparky: “I’ll go first. I want to be an indie.”

Oddball: “I’ll be Short Round! Dahduhdundah! Dundundun! Dahduhduhdah! DundunDUNDUNDUN!”

Brain: (sighs): “Okay, Sparky. Pick a card.”

Sparky: “Do I have to write a book first?”

Brain: “That’s not important to this part. What’s the card say?”

Sparky: “Pay $100 to a proofreader and $50 to a cover artist, or roll the dice and go directly on the web…I guess I’ll go on the web.”

Brain: “Now it’s my turn. I’m going to use my piece to block you getting on TV and in the newspapers.”

Sparky: “How am I supposed to get to the readers?”

Brain: “It doesn’t say. Oh, wait, you can write a blog.”

Sparky: “How do I do that?”

Brain: “You roll the dice. If you get a twelve, somebody buys your book.”

Sparky: “Can I just pick another card?”

Brain: “Sure…what does it say?”

Sparky: “Mow the lawn. Lose one turn.”

Brain: “That means it’s my turn again.”

Sparky: “Doesn’t Oddball get a turn?”

Brain: “Not until I say so. I play my lawyer card to make you go back to the beginning.”

Sparky: “You mean I’m not even on the web any more?”

Brain: “Nope.”

Sparky: “How many lawyer cards do you have?”

Brain: “As many as I need.”

Sparky: “Hey, Oddball…do you want to buy my book?”

Oddball: “Sure! Release the Booken!”

Sparky: “Great! I made…ninety-nine cents! How much have you made, Brain?”

Brain: “I would have made money, but I had to pay my lawyers.”

Sparky: “So I’m winning? Yay! How about giving Oddball a turn?”

Oddball: “Excelsior!”

Sparky: “Oddball, do you want to be an indie or traditionally published?”

Oddball: “Untraditionally published!”

Sparky: “That’s as close to a choice as we are going to get, Brain. Oddball wants to be traditionally published. What happens next?”

Brain: “Oddball, roll the dice one hundred times.”

Oddball: “Roll the dice, roll the dice, eat beans and rice, find genes to splice!”

Sparky: “Oddball got a six. What does that mean?”

Brain: “It means there are ninety-nine more rolls to go.”

Sparky: “No cards? No moving?”

Brain: “Negative. As far as I can tell, Oddball just rolls the dice forever, and nothing happens.”

Sparky: “Well, gee, Brain, thanks for letting us play your new game! Oddball, what do you want to do?”

Oddball: “Let’s play The Two Musketeers!”

Sparky: “Don’t you mean The Three Musketeers?”

Brain: “Or four…if you count d’Artagnan.”

Oddball: “Pistachio!”

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

Everybody’s a writer nowadays

May 21, 2013

Everybody’s a writer nowadays

Jean: “Hey, can I ask you a question?”

Pat: “Just a minute…I’m writing a book.”

Jean: “Okay…wait, writing or reading?”

Pat: “Writing: sh! Aaaaaannnnnndddd…done! Whew! What did you want to ask me?”

Jean: “I forget. What did you mean you were writing a book?”

Pat: “What does it sound like it means? I just finished my tenth novel.”

Jean: “I didn’t know you were a writer.”

Pat: “I’m breathing, aren’t I? :) Everybody’s a writer nowadays.”

Jean: “I’m not.”

Pat: “Sure you are. We’re having a conversation, right?”

Jean: “Right.”

Pat: “You didn’t memorize what you were going to say ahead of time, right? It’s not a script?”

Jean: “Of course not.”

Pat: “There you go…you just wrote some dialog.”

Jean: “That’s not writing. That’s just…speaking.”

Pat: “Tomato, tomahto. It’s really the same thing. The only difference is that I’ve been published.”

Jean: “Who published you?”

Pat: “I did.”

Jean: “Huh. Oh, I remembered what I wanted to ask you! Can I borrow twenty bucks?”

Pat: “Yep…let me check. I can give you nineteen dollars right now…should have twenty in another minute or so.”

Jean: “How come?”

Pat: “Royalties. See, as soon as I finished writing the book, I published it. People have been buying it, and those are my royalties…yep, I can loan you twenty!”

Jean: “Cool…I don’t get this whole book thing, though.”

Pat: “It’s simple. I just wear this hat…it’s internet-connected, and it reads my mind.”

Jean: “Of course it does.”

Pat: “Technically, it’s BMI…a brain/machine interface. I think about what happens in the story, and my Hatway puts it into words, makes it available on the web, and collects the money.”

Jean: “You thought of all the words in ten books?”

Pat: “No, I told you…the Hatway puts it into words. I just think about what happens.”

Jean: “So your hat writes the book?”

Pat: “No, no, no! A hat can’t write a book. Besides, a BMI can’t read specific words. I picture the characters, and decide what they do. The Hatway uses parts of other books to put together the dialogs and descriptions and junk.”

Jean: “Is that legal?”

Pat: “Sure…it only uses books that aren’t under copyright.”

Jean: “Who would want to read a book that’s just parts of a bunch of other books?”

Pat: “Wow, you really don’t read, do you? Most books are just parts of other books. You’d be hard-pressed to find 50,000 unique words…and if you did, people probably wouldn’t understand it or like it.”

Jean: “I guess you’re right. But isn’t using a…um…hat like that sort of cheating?”

Pat: “That’s up to the market to decide…and so far, they don’t seem to be objecting. Look, either I read a lot of books, and then put the same sentences together in different order, or the Hatway does it…it’s the same thing, just more efficient.”

Jean: “I suppose. Couldn’t the Hatway do the same thing with plots? You know, find scenes and stuff and just stitch those together?”

Pat: “Now you are just insulting what I do as an author. Are you sure you don’t need $25? I just hit the bestseller list…”

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

Top of the line #1

May 9, 2013

Top of the line #1

“You just won the Powerball!”

What’s your biggest problem?

Trying to figure out how to spend all that money, right? ;)

Naturally, you’d want to run right out and find the most expensive things there are and buy those…

Actually, that probably isn’t what I’d do. Yes, we would want to put in a chlorine-free pool (I’m a former competitive swimmer who now has a really severe problem with chlorine). We’d give people we know money, we’d give some causes money…and okay, I’d like to get some fancy way to convert public domain books I have to digital files…non-destructively.

Ooh, and we’d probably invest in some creative things! I have this idea for an amusement park/hotel I think could really work…but the Powerball probably isn’t enough money to do that, and…where was I? Oh, yeah…top of the line stuff. ;)

I wanted to take a look in the Kindle store and find the most expensive item of various types…just for fun. :)


Collier on Bankruptcy, Volume 8

Price: $6,399.20 (discounted from $7,999.00) (all prices will be for the USA Kindle store at the time of writing)

We have a new winnah! For quite a while, there were some physics books at the top of this list, but they have been surpassed.  More than the first twenty-five most expensive e-books are all in this Collier bankruptcy series, and they are similarly prices.

Hmm…maybe the first step to avoid bankruptcy is not to spend more than $150,000 on e-books about bankruptcy… ;)


Old Cars Weekly

$79.98 per year

Since it’s a weekly, that’s not really a bad deal…it’s $1.48 per issue. I suppose if you are a dealer, you might need to see what changes every week. There are other magazines that are a lot more expensive per issue…I saw several quarterlies that are about $10 per issue.


Leagle Daily Tax Wire

$42.50 per month

Of course, that’s not even counting what it would cost to have a lawyer read it for you! Let’s see…$250 an hour, average reading speed of a lawyer is… ;)


Google Public Policy Blog

$1.99 a month

Amazon sets the prices for blogs in the Kindle store…I think they are either $1.99 or $0.99 (like this one). The more popular ones, oddly enough, usually have the lower price. This blog was top ten when I just rechecked, for example. That’s what happens to supply and demand with infinite demand, I guess.

Kindle Active Content (games and apps not for the Fire)

eReviewBook MBE


The price of this one surprised me! Active content is usually inexpensive. This is a study book for the Bar exam…apparently, they want to teach the low value of money even before they become lawyers. ;)


kate spade new york Pebbled Leather Case for Kindle Fire HD, Green (only fits Kindle Fire HD 7″)


Honestly, I thought I’d find covers that were a lot more expensive than this (I’m looking at you, Oberon). I guess they don’t sell through the Kindle store.

Now, let’s look at a few things you might use on your RSK (Reflective Screen Kindle…anything but a Kindle Fire) or on your Kindle, but aren’t exactly in the Kindle store.


Russian Phase 3, Units 1-30: Learn to Speak and Understand Russian with Pimsleur Language Programs [Unabridged]


Actually, there are 80 (!) of these different Pimsleur courses at that price. I haven’t dug deeper in other categories, but I did want to see what was past the Pimsleurs…and this was it:

Our Mutual Friend


David Timson portrays fifty-eight characters. They make the point that you could get this one free when you first join Audible (which is also owned by Amazon).

Apps for Fires

The most expensive one was actually right about $1,000, but wasn’t available to me as a USA customer…so I’m going with the next one:

Country and Wood animals


That’s right…more than $350 for an app! For kids! It appears to be a memory-type game…gee, at that price point, I’d expect it be holographic. ;)

Amazon Instant Video

Tom, Tom, The Piper’s Son (Institutional Use)


Well, there you go! I guess you’d know you are really Richie Rich if you buy these…which might be why people do it. :) Actually, some of these have specialized uses which might justify the prices.

The lowest priced items? Well, for e-books, it is zero…and lots and lots of them at that price. ;)

I guess I should say…I’ve paid $100 and more for books, although those were collectors’ items.

Just to make this fun, what about you? What’s the most that you’ve spent for a book? I know, if we include encyclopedias and such, it will get much higher. Let’s limit it to a single volume. Do you regret the purchase? Why did you buy it? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

Bonus tip: Amazon Giveaway of Streaming Devices

Amazon’s really been promoting their new TV pilots…they want people to watch and vote.

So, in conjunction with that, we have this:

Amazon Pilots: So Many Ways to Watch Giveaway

They are giving away these prizes:

• One First Prize winner will win a Samsung UN46F6300 46-Inch 1080p 120Hz Slim Smart LED HDTV [approximate retail value (“ARV”) $899.09].
• One Second Prize winner will win an Xbox 360 4GB Console with Kinect and an Xbox LIVE 12 Month Gold Membership [Online Game Code] (total ARV $359.98).
• One Third Prize winner will win a Nintendo Wii U Deluxe Console (32 GB) (ARV $349.99).
• One Fourth Prize winner will win a Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ Tablet (16 GB) (ARV $269.00).
• One Fifth Prize winner will win a Sony BDP-S590 3D Blu-ray Disc Player with Wi-Fi (ARV $149.99).
• One Sixth Prize winner will win a Roku 3 Streaming Player (ARV $99.99).

Those are cool (and hot) gadgets!

One drawback…you can only enter if you are on Facebook…they don’t even give you a way to mail in an entry. Still, many of you probably are Facebookers, so then this seems like one of those “why not?” situations. :)

You have to be 18 years old, a US resident, and enter by May 17th…good luck!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.


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