Archive for the ‘Bufo’s Life’ Category

Free online event at 5:00 PM Pacific today (23 April) for my sib’s new mystery novel

April 23, 2021

Free online event at 5:00 PM Pacific today (23 April) for my sib’s new mystery novel

My sib is doing a free launch event for their new mystery novel

at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*

All That Fall today (Friday 23 April) at 5:00 PM Pacific.

You’re all invited! These links will be good then.

YouTube: https://youtube.com/channel/UCq_vdMgC-iev7unTONTu2Cg…

or on Facebook Live https://fb.me/e/24VyN0sA8

I don’t usually mention family things, but I did want to bring this up to you. A couple of close relatives (for example, I went to their superhero themed wedding) are in the running for a free IVF series and the public votes on who gets it. I think people can vote once a day through April 28th. Here’s a video with their infertiity story, and where you can vote for them should you choose to do so.

https://woobox.com/wu39dk/gallery/EtPYM6ur-2M


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get.  Shop ’til you help!  

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

It’s my birthday…but I’m giving you the present (my book of quotations)

February 12, 2021

It’s my birthday…but I’m giving you the present (my book of quotations)

12 February is my birthday, along with

  • Judy Blume
  • Charles Darwin
  • Juanita Coulson
  • Donald Kingsbury
  • Cotton Mather
  • George Meredith
  • R.F. Delderfield

among many others (I’ve tried to stick mostly with writers in this listing…I’ll tweet geek-friendly actors & such as part of my #OTD in geeky history…).

As has become an annual tradition, I decided I wanted to celebrate by giving you something. 🙂

After all, you readers give me so much!

Amazon allows us to give our books away as part of Kindle Direct Publishing (although there are restrictions on how much you can do it for each title).

Please check that a title is free for you before buying it.

I have asked Amazon to make the book free on 11, 12 and 13 February…I figure that gives my readers more of a chance to get it than if I do it just the 12th. I think it will also only be free to customers in the USA.

So, you can click on the titles before, but please make sure it is free when you click the 1-click buy button.

This year, I decided to do this book:

The Mind Boggles: A Unique Book of Quotations (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

When it was first published back in 2012, I believe it was the most popular book of quotations in any format at Amazon…for a really, really short time. 😉 The focus is on geeky books/movie/TV and I know they aren’t the most profound quotations for everybody, but I really enjoyed doing this.

Remember, double-check that they are  free to make sure before buying.

Also, if you are just interested in reading it (not owning it), The Mind Boggles (and most other books by me), is available through

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Happy birthday! 😉

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :)

Shop ’til you help! :)

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other organizations, begin your Amazon shopping from a link on their sites: Amazon.com (Smile.Amazon.com)

A Day in the Life of a Kindleer 2020

December 13, 2020

A Day in the Life of a Kindleer 2020

This is one in a series of posts which I write about once a year. I do this primarily to give my readers some ideas they might use to get more out of their devices. I also think it’s interesting to go back and look at the previous ones, to see how much things have changed…the biggest device (at AmazonSmile: benefit an non-profit of your choice by shopping*) change this year may be Ring spotlight cameras  (at AmazonSmile*). I know that’s stretching the definition here, but they are from Amazon and I can see the video through Echo devices . 😉 Okay, let’s start a typical weekday in the Life of a Kindleer.

I wake up between about 1:00 and 3:00 AM…usually closer to 1:00 AM, sometimes a little later (but I haven’t slept past 4:00 AM in years). As I explained before it’s not from an alarm or anything, it’s just my habit. I’ve had it checked out medically, and it seems to be fine. Asleep at about 9:00 PM, up at about 2:00 AM…that’s between five and six hours usually. I also may fall asleep out on the couch maybe around 7 for around half an hour. I don’t fall asleep during the day, by the way!

When I wake up, I pick up my now discontinued Kindle Fire HDX 3rd generation, which I’ve been using for about seven years, a (knock virtual wood) considerable testament to an Amazon device’s durability.

I also pick up my Galaxy S10, which is next to the bed, too. It’s there as a back up. There is an alarm set on it for 5:00 AM, but I never use it…I let it go off, mostly as a reminder that it’s getting to that point in the morning. It used to be because my Significant Other was going to leave then, but my SO has retired since the last time I wrote one of these.

The other device I pick up is one of the best things I have ever bought! It’s my

iClever folding keyboard (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

It’s a Bluetooth keyboard which has the feel for me of a full-size keyboard. I use it with my phone, which lets me write effectively anywhere. Here’s my article on it:

As a writer who is also on social media, this gadget is my best new tool in years!

I go in the bathroom and do some wake-up things.

I do some reading on my Fire during this. That could be a book, or a magazine. I do about 45 minutes of exercise, floor work. I had a hip replacement coming up on two years, and it was great! Floor work seems to help, though, and I both want to get my exercise in and stretch out the time before the dogs see me so they can sleep later.

I check a series of apps on my phone during that:

  • the Ring app…I love to see if NHAs (Non-Human Animals) have come by the house: almost always cats.
  • Accuweather (I was very disappointed when Dark Sky sold to Apple and they deactivated the Android version of the app…this is the best alternative I’ve found, although I don’t like it as well)
  • AirVisual (we’re in California: I have to check air quality)
  • Twitter
  • a local news app
  • a 24 hour news app
  • Amazon Shopping to see what’s coming…by the way, if you share an account (we do), you can archive orders when you are logged in on a computer. That will keep other people on the account from seeing them accidentally
  • Word Crush (just a game I enjoy playing)
  • My work e-mail & Microsoft Teams (just checking for anything that might change my day plans)
  • The CA Notify app, a recent addition. That could alert me to exposure to Covid-19…I’d get an alert, too, but it’s nice to have it tell me that I have no recent exposures every day. 🙂 It’s imperfect (the more people who get it, the better the system will work), but still pleasant to see
  • Flipboard (that’s not just for myself, but for flipping articles into my free Flipboard magazines, including the  ILMK magazine at Flipboard)

The ILMK Flipboard magazine has tens of thousands of viewers and is at more than 60,000 stories. The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard magazine is well over 200,000 stories…it has a broader scope. Our dogs’ Butterscotch Chaos and Friends magazine has over 100 followers. 😉

I use the Alexa app on my phone to turn on the family room light. That’s a great advantage to having a SmartHome.

Next, I head out to the family room…and one of the dogs gets off the bed to come with me (I love hearing the dog do the shimmy, then land on the floor). The other dog is often already in the family room. They aren’t as habit-based as they used to be as to where they sleep, though.

Our

Echo Show (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

is also in a sort of sleep mode, but still displays the time. I think it senses I’m moving around out there and wakes up. 🙂 I glance at it. I really like what shows up on the display: the first event on my calendar, the weather, but also headlines.

Next, the

Fire TV Cube (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

comes into play. It replaced our Fire TV…and it’s really a big step forward! Since they improved the remote, it’s even more important. I can turn on the TV from the remote…and push a button to mute it. That sounds like a small thing, but I don’t have to whisper to Alexa.

I start with live 24 hour news. Once I feel like I’m caught up on the news, I watch something narrative (a TV show, a movie). We subscribe to Netflix, Hulu (without commercials…well worth a few extra dollars a month), and Disney+. I also watch Tubi and Prime Video. Now how much could I watch? But wait, there’s more! We also have Peacock (I definitely recommend the free tier), HBO Max, and I watch Airy.TV. Since the Roku Channel was recently added, I’m enjoying that! Unlike some of the others, I’d say the interface is very well designed and the video quality is excellent. Yes, that’s a lot of options, but remember that I’m not watching TV without doing something else at the same time. I’ve had people chastise me about watching so much TV (funny, they don’t say that about reading), so I tested it. I didn’t watch any TV for a year, and got nothing more done. So, I can kid people who say that, and suggest they do the experiment of watching more TV for a year and see if they get less done!

Whenever I’m going to head back for my shower, the more intellectual of the two dogs has a very cute “trick”, and this is my SO’s favorite thing of the day. I say, “Wake up call!” I open the door, and the dog (all 14 pounds) leaps on the bed and vigorously licks my SO in the face!

Eventually, I go back to the bedroom…I do some exercise there and that’s where I get dressed and such. In that room, we have a

Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote (at AmazonSmile*)

and our

Echo Dot (at AmazonSmile*)

I do some more reading while I brush my teeth (which I do for about twenty minutes…I’m pretty obsessive on that).

In the car, it’s the Echo Auto (on sale for only $19.99 as I write this!), which is amazing! I may listen to the news for a bit, but most often, that’s where I’m getting some reading done, through text-to-speech on the device. It’s so nice to be able to just say, “Alexa, resume my book,” or “Alexa, read my Kindle book XYZ”. The Echo Auto also lets us hear and make phone calls, texts, and get directions.

At work, I use our

Echo Spot (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping)

That’s a great work companion! I often use it to set alarms and timers, for one thing.

On the way home, I’ll listen to more of my book and/or 24 hour news (it’s been a very newsy year, as you know).

When I’m home, it’s back to the Fire TV.

Once I’m actually going to sleep, I read on our

Kindle Voyage (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

I’m still re-reading the original fourteen Oz books. When I get to a point in my life when I have more time, I’m planning to write a book inspired by them (I have a few books to write in mind when that change comes), and being thoroughly conversant with them will be important.

That’s basically the weekday routine.

Hope that helps! If you have questions or comments, feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :)

Shop ’til you help! :)

Greetings to you during the 2020 pandemic

April 13, 2020

Greetings to you during the 2020 pandemic

My heart goes out to you and yours. Some of you have experienced the worst possible outcomes, losing those you love. Some of you are sick right now, or you know your family, or friends, are sick. Others are impacted in other ways: you’ve lost income or lost your jobs. You’ve had to change the way you think, the way you interact with your community. Still others are working even harder than you ever did before: in many cases, risking your lives, to help others, in big ways and small…even just by trying to keep things as normal as possible. It affects every single one of us. 

We are physically apart, but we are not alone.

One thing which has always united people in isolation is literature. It is something which takes place inside your own head, but began in someone else’s. Books are, perhaps, the ultimate human (very human) bridge.

Thank you for all that you have done and all that you have given up during this time of challenge.


I wanted to share with you some of how Amazon (both the devices and the service), and e-publishing, have impacted my family. I know it will seem frivolous to some to even talk about anything other than the most serious parts of what is happening, but enjoying life is not counterproductive to coping and recovery…it’s part of it.

The first thing I’ll say is that I’m not reading as much, and that is hard. As many of you know, I work in healthcare. I don’t provide direct patient care: I train those who do. That means I’ve been working more: I may not take a lunch break, for example. I have higher risk factors than the average person, and my company has, I think appropriately, set it up so I don’t interact with other employees in person…it’s done remotely. I may have three devices going at the same time for work: my laptop & two phones. My

iClever folding keyboard (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

has been a great help during that. While we are supporting a doctor presenting to a group of other doctors, my team and I can chat about the technical issues on our phones.

So, I don’t have as much “leisure time” to read.

My commute, which could sometimes amount to hours a day, is now about twenty steps down the hall. 😉 During my drives, I would most often listen to books through the Echo Auto, available here.

Alexa and Echo devices page (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

That cuts down on my reading a lot.

Last year, recovering from major surgery, I had a gap…there was some social distancing, in a sense, at that point. I spent a lot of time at home, even in one room. When I went out with my walker, I never really got close to other people (besides my Significant Other).

I still read every day, but it might be twenty “pages” or so.

An Amazon device which has been even more useful than before has been our

Ring Doorcam (at AmazonSmile*)

We actually have two now: we got those before this novel coronavirus emerged.

The camera alerts us to someone coming up to the door, which is perfect. If we get a delivery, we know it. We can see what’s out there. We could even talk to someone there, although we haven’t used it for that yet.

I will say it was interesting. The other night, for the first time, a raccoon was captured coming right up to our side door. It was one of the most overweight raccoons I’ve ever seen: I suspect they are emboldened to get into a lot more things than they were when there were more humans around more often.

Speaking of deliveries, Whole Foods (owned by Amazon) has been amazingly good for us! We try to go out as little as possible now (we both have an extra risk factor). Getting a “delivery window” has been like trying to get a bargain on the first Prime Day: I just keeping refreshing the screen, maybe while exercising, until one shows up. Yesterday, though, I didn’t have to do that. We put in an order and it was at our house within hours…it’s usually been the next day (once we got a two-hour window).

They put the (closed) bags down, then leave. In addition to the camera, I get notification on my phone (and of course, our dogs may bark as well).

We also tried Instacart from another grocery store, and we won’t do it again. I know there may be individual and regional variation, but it cost a lot more, which is one thing. Worse, though, was that the delivery person handed the open bags to my Significant Other…while not wearing a face covering or gloves. It was unfortunate that my SO had opened the door that quickly, and it’s my best guess that the driver wasn’t violating company policy. That’s why we won’t try it again.

That does change what we eat. My favorite vegetarian breakfast protein isn’t carried by Amazon at Whole Foods (well, they did have a giant bulk package, but we couldn’t store that and it was very expensive per item). That means I’ll switch, but that’s a minor problem.

I did hear that Amazon has temporarily stopped adding new customers to Whole Foods delivery: they are overwhelmed. They are even cutting back hours on the physical stores being open in some places, to devote more time and personnel to delivery. I think they’ll get that worked out pretty quickly.

This will happen to many manufacturers, but I was also introduced to a product I’ll continue using after I have more options: foaming soap. I’m very careful about hand hygiene (I’ve been complimented by doctors on my technique 🙂 ), and have, in the past, used an antibacterial liquid soap. I found

J.R. Watkins foaming hand soap (at AmazonSmile*)

You get your hands wet, squirt it on, then lather your hands (not under the water). That saves water, but more importantly to me, I can tell exactly where it is going. I lather for 30 seconds (I don’t sing a song, personally, I count seconds). I start with my thumbs, then the palms, then the fingers and wrists. I pay special attention to my nails, and make fists to make sure I can get into all the folds and wrinkles. The foaming soap does that beautifully. Then, you rinse it off.

I’ll continue to use that soap: it’s not terribly expensive and I like that way it works.

That’s a plus for that company: others may unfortunately fail during this period, but some may find new audiences.

Overall, we know we are super fortunate. My job is secure. We have the technology to download books and enjoy other forms of entertainment. We can talk with our adult kid across the country and we have done a video meeting with family. Importantly, I know that what I’m doing matters: patients, and healthcare providers, are better off because of what I do. It actually gives me some “survivor’s guilt”. We do try to help others: we’ve donated food, for instance. We continue to contribute to non-profits: some, especially those that educate the public, will be very hard hit during this, and may not be able to make it through to the other side.

That’s the last thing I’ll say on this: if you haven’t been using

Smile.Amazon

please consider it. It doesn’t cost you anything more and Amazon contributes 50 cents per $100 you spend on qualified purchases (which is the vast majority of them). You may be spending more than usual at Amazon and the non-profits need it more.

Feel free to share thoughts you have with me and my readers by commenting on this post.

Best to you and yours…


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

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

It’s my birthday…but I’m giving you the present (my book of quotations)

February 12, 2020

It’s my birthday…but I’m giving you the present (my book of quotations)

12 February is my birthday, along with

  • Judy Blume
  • Charles Darwin
  • Juanita Coulson
  • Donald Kingsbury
  • Cotton Mather
  • George Meredith
  • R.F. Delderfield

among many others (I’ve tried to stick mostly with writers in this listing…I’ll tweet geek-friendly actors & such as part of my #OTD in geeky history…).

As has become an annual tradition, I decided I wanted to celebrate by giving you something. 🙂

After all, you readers give me so much!

Amazon allows us to give our books away as part of Kindle Direct Publishing (although there are restrictions on how much you can do it for each title).

Please check that a title is free for you before buying it.

I have asked Amazon to make the book free on 12 and 13 February…I figure that gives my readers more of a chance to get it than if I do it just the 12th. I think it will also only be free to customers in the USA.

So, you can click on the titles before, but please make sure it is free when you click the 1-click buy button.

This year, I decided to do this book:

The Mind Boggles: A Unique Book of Quotations (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

When it was first published back in 2012, I believe it was the most popular book of quotations in any format at Amazon…for a really, really short time. 😉 The focus is on geeky books/movie/TV and I know they aren’t the most profound quotations for everybody, but I really enjoyed doing this.

Remember, double-check that they are  free to make sure before buying.

Also, if you are just interested in reading it (not owning it), The Mind Boggles (and most other books by me), it’s available through

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Happy birthday! 😉

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :)

Shop ’til you help! :)

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other organizations, begin your Amazon shopping from a link on their sites: Amazon.com (Smile.Amazon.com)

A Day in the Life of a Kindleer 2019

December 1, 2019

A Day in the Life of a Kindleer 2019

This is one in a series of posts which I write about once a year. I do this primarily to give my readers some ideas they might use to get more out of their devices. I also think it’s interesting to go back and look at the previous ones, to see how much things have changed…the biggest device (at AmazonSmile: benefit an non-profit of your choice by shopping*) change this year is probably the introduction of the Echo Auto . Okay, let’s start a typical weekday in the Life of a Kindleer.

I wake up between about 2:00 and 3:00 AM…sometimes closer to 1:00 AM, sometimes a little later (but I haven’t slept past 4:00 AM in years). As I explained before it’s not from an alarm or anything, it’s just my habit. I’ve had it checked out medically, and it seems to be fine. Asleep at about 9:00 PM, up at about 2:00 AM…that’s between five and six hours usually. I also may fall asleep out on the couch maybe around 7. I don’t fall asleep during the day, by the way!

When I wake up, I pick up my now discontinued Kindle Fire HDX 7″ (that’s been my daily use device for something like six years now). Last year, I was using it as my nightstand device, but I now have an actual clock. One reason is that the small clock I have has two USB ports on the back, which is handy for charging my phone and my Fire. I’ve also taken to wearing a sleep mask…worth explaining why.

Amazon now has this feature you can use with Alexa: Guard (Free Alexa Guard may save your home…and lives). It alerts you if it hears particular sounds (a smoke alarm, breaking glass). We leave it on all the time. However, while it is on, there is a white circling light on our screenless echo devices…all the time. If I woke up in the middle of the night and saw that, it would really wake me up for the duration. I (reluctantly) left the Echo Dot unplugged in the bedroom for a while, but I missed it too much. I tried burying it under enough things to hide the light, but I worried about it’s ability to hear me. I did write to Amazon about it, but as far as we know, we still have no way to have Guard on and the light off.

I get it. Ordinarily, Echo devices only listen for their “wake up words”, and with this on, they listen for other things. However, I’d still really, really, like the option to not have the light! In the meantime, I figured the easiest thing was to cover my eyes instead…hence the sleep mask.

It’s a lot easier to slip the mask up and take a look at a clock than it would be to slip the mask up, pick up the Fire, and check that.

I also pick up my Galaxy S8, which is next to the bed, too…face down. It’s there as a back up. There is an alarm set on it for 5:00 AM, but I never use it…I let it go off, mostly as a reminder that it’s getting to that point in the morning. It used to be because my Significant Other was going to leave then, but my SO has retired since the last time I wrote one of these.

I go in the bathroom and do some wake-up things. On my Fire, I start my morning

Flipboard (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

read. That’s a big part of my morning, not just for myself, but for flipping articles into my free Flipboard magazines, including the  ILMK magazine at Flipboard.

I also use my Galaxy S8 before I come out: I check WordPress for comments on these blogs, Twitter (I’ve gotten to be a lot more active on Twitter in the last year, including with my #1TweetExpert). I use the amazing Dark Sky weather app (not available through the Amazon Appstore)…remarkably precise and accurate, and worth $2.99 a year, and start checking my local news on the

ABC 7 News San Francisco (at AmazonSmile*)

app. I can also flip from there…many places I go allow me to flip. The ILMK Flipboard magazine has tens of thousands of viewers and is at more than 60,000 stories. The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard magazine is well over 200,000 stories…it has a broader scope. Our dogs’ Butterscotch Chaos and Friends magazine has over 100 followers. 😉

I use the Alexa app on my phone to turn on the family room light. I’d stopped using Alexa for the lights for months, because my Wink hub had died. However, I got lights that work, and now use them again. One reason for that was for the safety of having lights turn on and off when we are not home.

Next, I head out to the family room…and one of the dogs gets off the bed to come with me (I love hearing the dog do the shimmy, then land on the floor). The other dog is often already in the family room. They aren’t as habit-based as they used to be as to where they sleep, though.

Our

Echo Show (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

is also in a sort of sleep mode, but still displays the time. I think it senses I’m moving around out there and wakes up. 🙂 I glance at it. I really like what shows up on the display: the first event on my calendar, the weather, but also headlines.

Next, the

Fire TV Cube (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

comes into play. It replaced our Fire TV…and it’s really a big step forward! It doesn’t make too much of a difference early in the morning, but the ability to just ask it to show a particular program and have it do it is great when we are both awake. I use my Bluetooth headphones. I have a 24 hour news app I use, but I’ve also started using the Amazon News App. I predicted that back in 2016 (at least, Amazon News), but as has happened a few times, I’ve been overly ambitious in my estimate about when something might happen with Amazon. It needs one major improvement: shuffling the different channels you choose (at least as an option). I didn’t realize at first that it was just staying on one channel until I manually changed it.

Once I feel like I’m caught up on the news, I watch something narrative (a TV show, a movie). We subscribe to Netflix, Hulu (without commercials…well worth a few extra dollars a month), and Disney+ (I’m watching the Imagineering behind the scenes history series as I write this). I also watch Tubi and Prime Video. Yes, that’s a lot of options, but remember that I’m not watching TV without doing something else at the same time. I’ve had people chastise me about watching so much TV (funny, they don’t say that about reading), so I tested it. I didn’t watch any TV for a year, and got nothing more done. So, I can kid people who say that, and suggest they do the experiment of watching more TV for a year and see if they get less done!

Whenever I’m going to head back for my shower, the more intellectual of the two dogs has a very cute “trick”, and this is my SO’s favorite thing of the day. I say, “Wake up call!” I open the door, and the dog (all 14 pounds) leaps on the bed and vigorously licks my SO in the face!

Eventually, I go back to the bedroom…I do some exercise there and that’s where I get dressed and such. In that room, we have a

Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote (at AmazonSmile*)

and our

Echo Dot (at AmazonSmile*)

I do some more reading while I brush my teeth (which I do for about twenty minutes…I’m pretty obsessive on that).

If my SO has gone to the gym or for a walk, I’ve been having some fun recently having the FTVC play music. That way, when my SO comes home, there’s some theme of music playing. However, that does mean that I don’t use Prime Music at work any more. We don’t pay for Amazon Music Unlimited, so only one stream of music can play at a time (although it could be on more than one device at once). At work, I’ll use Google’s free music…it has some interesting songs, but I can’t get it to just play the artist I want, like I can with Prime Music.

In the car, it’s the Echo Auto, which is amazing! I may listen to the news for a bit, but most often, that’s where I’m getting some reading done, through text-to-speech on the device. It’s so nice to be able to just say, “Alexa, resume my book,” or “Alexa, read my Kindle book XYZ”. I also may listen to Old Time Radio (I’ve been enjoying 2000+ lately, which adapts some classic science fiction authors, among other themes). The Echo Auto also lets us hear and make phone calls, texts, and get directions.

At work, I use our

Echo Spot (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping)

That’s a great work companion! I play Jeopardy while my work computer boots up and I get set up. It’s so much better to be able to read the question (on the Spot’s screen) rather than just hearing…it’s more like the show. I don’t always get them all right, but I’m usually top 1%. I also sometimes listen to my briefing (I’m a bit of a news junkie), set timers, and so on.

On the way home, I may listen to the book more. It depends on the distance (I work different places). I don’t usually start up the book for a short trip. It the trip is going to be at least half an hour, I’ve recently been listening to Old Time Radio. I haven’t found a good Alexa Skill for that, so I use an app on my phone called Old Time Radio Player. I may also listen to the Flash Briefing…and that can last more than half an hour.

At lunch, I’m usually in virtual reality doing floor work…that helps with my chronic condition. I’m coming up on a year since my hip replacement (17 January). That’s been very successful (I spent two to three hours a day rehabbing it at home, once I could)!

When I’m home, we often watch Hulu, partially for competition shows. Counting the weekend, we may also watch Disney+, Tubi, news apps, YouTube, and HBO on DirecTV.  That’s a time I’ll write for sure!

Once I’m actually going to sleep, I read on our

Kindle Voyage (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

I’m still re-reading the original fourteen Oz books.

That’s basically the weekday routine.

At some point on the weekend, I may listen to the excellent

The Kindle Chronicles podcast by Len Edgerly

Hope that helps! If you have questions or comments, feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :)

Shop ’til you help! :)

My power company is about to take my power down (along with much of the state)

October 26, 2019

My power company is about to take my power down (along with much of the state)

My power at home is scheduled to be down from part of Saturday through at least part of Monday, and then it could take them a couple of days or more to restore it (they have to do safety inspections…that’s my understanding).

I just wanted to give you the heads-up on that…it will probably limit my responsiveness, since I could lose both internet and cell (which means all phone service at home for me). The last time they took it down in the area, it apparently brought down the cell tower: we had electricity that time (we won’t this), but no phone.

It’s weird: everybody feels like we are preparing for a post-Apocalyptic scenario…but if you drove for five minutes or so, things might be normal.

We feel pretty well prepared, and we should be okay.

One of the things we’ll use, which we really like, is this inflatable solar light:

MPOWERD Luci Outdoor 2.0 – Inflatable Solar Light, Clear Finish, Adjustable Strap (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

It’s about $17 right now. We just leave it sitting on a windowsill inside the house, and it charges via the sunlight. It gives you a nice illumination for a room…and it’s not harsh, like a lot of the “emergency” lights with LEDs.

Another one we’ll get good use out of is this:

PEAKPLUS LED Motion Sensor Night Light (at AmazonSmile*)

They are $19.99 for three right now. They are battery operated, which I don’t like as well, and too bright for me generally, but we’ll use them in the bathrooms: they light up when motion is detected.

Well, I might tell you more, but time is rapidly running out! Have to send this.

See you after the Apocalypse! 😉 Actually, I’ll be checking in on things on breaks at work (and I’ll be able to charge my devices there), and I’ve pre-scheduled the bookish birthdays.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other organizations, begin your Amazon shopping from a link on their sites: Amazon.com (Smile.Amazon.com)

Round up #187: new Dr. Seuss, Amazon Day

March 6, 2019

Round up #187: new Dr. Seuss, Amazon Day

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.

Help the environment and plan your week with Amazon Day

It’s super easy to order things from Amazon with 1-Click. In fact, I’m a little surprised that isn’t a new idiom…instead of “As easy as pie” (and pies are not that easy), things should be described as “As easy as 1-Click”. 😉

We can even order things using an Alexa device…or, um, “No-Click”?

There is a disadvantage to this, though, and I’ve certainly done it.

It means that I tend to just order things when I realize we need them…and that realization may come several times in the same day! It might be spread out over days.

This means I might have placed several orders in a week, and so, we may get Amazon boxes literally every day, with maybe one or two things in them.

Amazon has just introduced

Amazon Day shipping (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

which is only available for

Amazon Prime (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

in the USA currently.

What happens is that you designate a day of the week (say, Saturdays) as your Amazon Day. Unless otherwise instructed (which is easy to do), Amazon will group your orders together and deliver them on that day.

Even before this was officially released, Amazon says it has saved tens of thousands of boxes.

This also has the advantage of you knowing when things will arrive. I will admit to some dismay when a package has arrived a day early: I may have carefully planned the arrival of an item for a day when we would be home (we do have a mail theft issue in our area).

This doesn’t affect the Amazon Lockers (which we use a lot…but some items can’t be shipped there, and sometimes the locker is full).

You can choose to have a specific item arrive on one of the other six days of the week (to get it sooner, presumably), or switch the Amazon Day when you want.

There’s also a parallel here with the Alexa shopping list we use…my Significant Other and I feel very differently about that. I want to add things to the list when I think about it; it might be days before we need it. If my SO sees it, they think they need to go right now! We kid about it, but we know: I don’t like the list to be empty, my SO doesn’t like to have things on it. 🙂 It’s like how I feel about the laundry hamper: it should always have something in it. Otherwise, it feels like it is taking up space for no reason. 🙂

Now, with Amazon Day, we can do it both ways…add things to the Amazon Day shipment (the list equivalent), or have it resolved right away.

Amazon to open another grocery chain

According to this

Business Insider article by Rebecca Ungarino

and other sources, Amazon plans to open a second grocery chain (in addition to Whole Foods) with lower-priced offerings.

That honestly makes more sense to me.

Amazon has done well with lower-priced (but not bargain) items that do the job but aren’t luxury. They haven’t done as well with the high-end items. It’s also an opportunity for Amazon to really innovate, maybe doing checkoutless stores, such as those with which they have already been experimenting.

I don’t picture them as having aisles long enough to land an airplane, like some stores, and a million choices.

My guess is that it will be a lot of Amazon brands, also mainstream brands, but pretty narrow focused. Sort of like the Amazon 4-Star Stores:

My trip to an Amazon 4-Star Store

A smaller selection of high-value items.

It’s reasonable to wonder if that would work for a grocery store: don’t people want to get everything in one store?

Well, we don’t do that…we shop at several stores. Part of that is being vegetarians; no single store has a great selection.

I also think of it kind of like a 7-11, and that’s not meant to be disparaging. It may be the place where you just run in and grab a few things you want (including pre-packaged lunches).

Amazon may also arrange it as a pick-up location: you order maybe ten things, and then they already have it boxed when you get there…

New Dr. Seuss book coming in September 

While it isn’t listed for pre-order yet in a Kindle edition, it can be pre-ordered in hardback:

Dr. Seuss’s Horse Museum (at AmazonSmile*)

Dr. Seuss died in 1991, which is quite some time ago…and this one is, well, interesting. It will be Dr. Seuss’s (I’m adding the terminal “s” the way they did) words, but it will be illustrated by Andrew Joyner. According to this

auburnpub.com article by Kaitlin Gates

there will also be “cameo” appearances by other Dr. Seuss characters, like The Cat in the Hat. That, honestly, doesn’t encourage me…it seems a bit gimmicky. Still, I’ll have an open mind and be hopeful.

My recovery

I had hip replacement surgery on January 17th, and got back to my day job yesterday. The change has been amazing! I’m walking without a cane for the first time in years…I keep looking for where I put it, when I actually didn’t bring it at all. I can also do stairs again, which means I get to rework my paths.

It was a lot of work; literally hours every day of PT (physical therapy) and wound care. I’m a very compliant patient…I definitely follow the rules, and I think that helped. I was also in relatively good health for the surgery, and a newer technique was used (the direct anterior approach with the Hana table…don’t look up videos if you are squeamish, but it typically shortens recovery time).

I thought I would get more reading and writing done, but that work was disruptive, as well as taking naps (which they said would happen). I don’t feel chronic pain much, so I (with the agreement of my surgeon) only took a half a pain pill the first night.

I did get some pictures digitized…I’ve been meaning to do that.

Anyway, I’m hoping I can get back into writing more narratives now…

What do you think? Are you looking forward to the new Dr. Seuss book? Do you like character cameos in books? What would get you to go to yet another grocery store? Does Amazon Day sound like something you’ll use? Feel free to let me and my readers know what you think by commenting on this post.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

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

But wait, there’s more! Another giveaway for my 12 February birthday!

February 12, 2019

But wait, there’s more! Another giveaway for my 12 February birthday!

I already wrote about giving away two of my books for my birthday:

It’s my birthday…but I’m giving you the presents

 

but I haven’t done a non-e-book Amazon giveaway in a while…so I decided to give away a set of Echo Buttons!

https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/4d2d284ea4c0fceb

While these are mostly used to play games (by seeing who “buzzes in” first), you can also use them to run Alexa routines (note: you need a compatible Echo/Alexa device for this to work.

Partially, I wanted to see how much Amazon Giveaways have changed…and they have, a lot! I’ll write more about that later (birthday/family stuff, you know), but I did want to get this out to you, my readers…and I’ll tweet it as well.

Good luck!

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

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

It’s my birthday…but I’m giving you the presents

February 12, 2019

It’s my birthday…but I’m giving you the presents

February 12th is my birthday, along with

  • Judy Blume
  • Charles Darwin
  • Juanita Coulson
  • Donald Kingsbury
  • Cotton Mather
  • George Meredith
  • R.F. Delderfield

among many others (I’ve tried to stick mostly with writers in this listing…I’ll tweet geek-friendly actors & such as part of my #OTD in geeky history…).

As has become an annual tradition, I decided I wanted to celebrate by giving you something. 🙂

After all, you readers (and especially the subscribers…hello, subscribers!) give me so much.

Amazon allows us to give our books away as part of Kindle Direct Publishing (although there are restrictions on how much you can do it for each title).

Please check that a title is free for you before buying it.

I have asked Amazon to make them free on February 11th, 12th, and 13th…I figure that gives my readers more of a chance to get it than if I do it just the 12th. I think they will also only be free to customers in the USA.

So, you can click on the titles before, but please make sure it is free when you click the 1-click buy button.

This year, I decided to do these two books:

The Collected I Love My Kindle Blog Volume 1 (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

This is the first 101 posts in this blog. 🙂 I did 101 posts so I wouldn’t cut off Doctor Watson’s Blog: A Kindle Abandoned (which is a four-part story).

The Mind Boggles: A Unique Book of Quotations (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

When it was first published back in 2012, I believe it was the most popular book of quotations in any format at Amazon…for a really, really short time. 😉 The focus is on geeky books/movie/TV and I know they aren’t the most profound quotations for everybody, but I really enjoyed doing this.

Remember, double-check that they are  free to make sure before buying.

Also, if you are just interested in reading them (not owning them), they are both available through

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Happy birthday! 😉

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

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


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