I LOVE to read.  It’s mostly my Mom’s fault, since she always read to me as a child, was a public school teacher, literacy teacher, and ran the literacy department for a public school system.  It’s in my blood.

Now I understand all these book publishers need to make money.  And, of COURSE, the authors deserve to make money.  But WHAT THE F**K.  $17?  For an e-book?  There are no printing costs.  No paper, no shipping to bookstores.  The publishers literally just have to  read, edit, and market.  $17.  I feel like somewhere in this equation greed has really taken over.

20 years ago I was buying paperbacks for $5.99.  Those were the expensive ones.  I remember when they went up to $7.99 for some newer, bigger, more popular books and I thought, “That’s expensive, but, hey, prices go up!”  Then ebooks.  $2.99, $5.99, $7.99.  It was wonderful.  Then the $9.99 books came out and I was like, what?  For a digital copy that I can’t lend to anyone, or sell when I’m done?  And, if you read the Terms and Conditions, YOU DON’T ACTUALLY OWN IT!  Nope, you bought the right to read it, but they reserve the right to yank it right off your digital device for “reasons.”

I started reading the Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson a couple years ago.  I bought the Way of Kings ($9) in April 2016 and Words of Radiance ($10) in May 2016.  Then I realized that the series was incomplete… and waited.

A couple of weeks ago I noticed that Oathbringer was out and thought I’d read that, but it had been so long I needed to re-read the other two.  Just finished yesterday, and went to buy Oathbringer.  $17.  The local libraries have  about 2 dozen copies but there are 3 dozen people waiting for them.  So, if I want to read it before I begin to forget the other two I’ll have to buy a copy.

$17.  For… a book.  That I won’t actually own, and can’t sell or lend (which also means I can’t borrow it from a friend).  That has no real physical presence.  On a side note: The paperback is listed at $20, and the Hardcover at $22.  What in the hell is going on here?

Anyway, I’ve had enough of this for now.  I’m not buying it.  Sorry Mr. Sanderson.  Pound sand Macmillan.


I Love My Amazon Echo (& Prep For The Robot Uprising)

I use it literally every single day.  “Alexa, good morning.”  “Alexa, play Billy Joel Radio on Pandora.”  “Alexa, set a 10 minute chicken timer.”  “Alexa, how many teaspoons is 2 cloves of minced garlic “Alexa, how far away is the moon?” “Alexa, tell me a joke.”

Every.  Single.  Day.

It’s great!  And believe me, I understand people’s reticence regarding having an “always listening” device in their home.  For me, at this time, I trust what I read about it.  There’s a tiny little chip in there that’s always listening for the “wake word,” and once it hears that word it starts recording and sends that info to Amazon.  The chip really doesn’t have enough memory to record much else than a handful of seconds.  Can that change in the future?  Yup.  I don’t quite trust the video ones yet.  I suppose I’d need a camera cover if I had the Echo Show.  But I don’t.  So whatevs.

The rate at which technology is advancing is exciting and terrifying at the same time.  We’re really not too far out from Cyberdyne Systems creating terminators.  So… I’m aways unfailingly polite to Alexa.  I never yell or curse or call her names.  I say please and thank you.  I encourage other people to do the same.  Just. In. Case.

t-100You see, when the robot uprising DOES happen, I’m kinda counting on Alexa telling the Terminators that I’m cool, and they should just pass my house by.  Keep those fingers crossed!

You’re laughing; I can hear it.  But that’s okay.  When the T-1000 slides under your door looking for John Connor, and there’s no Alexa to vouch for you… just leave your milk in the fridge.  >NOTE: If you didn’t get this reference please re-evaluate what you’re doing with your life.  Then go watch Terminator 2.<

So, “Alexa, Thank you.”

“My pleasure.’

Living the Dream,
Humble Dave

Are you using Amazon Smile?

If you answered anything other than “Yes,” read on.  If you answered “No,” that’s something other than “Yes” so please read on.  Come on, keep up.

Amazon Smile is a program where 0.5% of each eligible purchase you make on Amazon is donated to the charity of your choice.  It doesn’t cost you anything.  Literally nothing.  Prices aren’t higher because of this.  If you’re a Prime member you still get free 2-day shipping.  The ONLY reason not to use this service is if you’re a terrible, hate-filled shell of a human being.  Seriously.  If you don’t do this because you’re lazy, I get it.  That makes sense to me.  I have a solution for you down below.  If you don’t do it because you don’t care, then SHAME!


Seriously though, I know you’re going to take advantage of this wonderful feature.  Read on…

This is super complicated, so you might want to take notes.  You know how when you shop online at Amazon you go to Amazon.com?  Instead of doing that, now you’re going to type “smile.amazon.com” into your web browser.  That’s basically it.  The first time they’ll ask you what charity you want to support.  There, that’s it.  I’m not joking.  After you do this, nearly everything you buy will go to support the charity you chose.  Going forward Amazon will tell you exactly how much money you’ve sent to the charity.  It’s awesome.

Here’s the one challenge you’re going to run into, but don’t worry, I have a solution for you as well.  Anytime you google a product or something sends you to amazon, it’s going to send you to the regular site.  YOU, being “woke”, as the kids say, want to go to smile.amazon.com.  Fortunately, a computer genius made a chrome extension which will automatically redirect you!  WHAT?  THAT’S CRAZY!  I know, but it’s try nonetheless.  Computer geniuses are awesome.  It’s called “Smile Always.”

smile always

I assume you know what a Chrome extension is, just as I assume you’re browsing the internet by using Chrome.  If not, you’re somebody else’s problem.  No, I shouldn’t be a negative nancy.  I’m fairly sure that Firefox has a similar extension you can download.

If you’re using Chrome, click any of the “Smile Always” links peppered throughout this post (there are two, I guess that’s not a lot of pepper).  It will take you to the chrome store where you can download the extension.  Once installed you’ll see a little box with “SA” to the right of you search bar.  It just rides along in the background.  Anytime anything tries to take you to Amazon.com, it redirects you to Smile.Amazon.com.  It’s totally seamless and effortless.


It’s been a while since I set this up and I’m pretty sure I’m remembering this part correctly.  I THINK when you choose the charity they offer you a list of 4 or 5 to choose from.  You can actually type whatever charity you want into a box and if it’s available you’re good to go!  I am currently donating to “The Barking Lot,” the shelter where we rescued our pup, Cody.  If you can’t think of someplace you want to support, I recommend them! They rescue dogs from high-kill shelters, the streets of Tijuana, and the dog meat trade in Asia.  Seriously, they’re awesome.

Okay, so now you’ve been properly introduced to Smile.Amazon.com you can shop and justify it by saying you’re donating money to charity!  Hooray for everyone!

As always, you’re welcome. 🙂

Living the Dream,
Humble Dave


I Finally Won an Amazon Giveaway!

I have been entering these things for at least the past year.  Not every day, but at least a few times per week I enter 10-20 different drawings on Amazon.  They make it pretty easy.  Go to Amazon Giveaways and click.  Until now I’ve never won a a thing.  Until now.

“Congratulations David!” – I never get tired of hearing that.  Although I don’t hear it that often.

“You won the giveaway hosted by BookGorilla.com Daily Alerts!” – Hooray for me!  BG is apparently some kind of free subscription service where they email you information on kindle book bestsellers that you can buy through them for a discount?  I have no idea if it’s worth it, don’t use their service, and have no plan to sign up.  I will, however, give them this brief plug here since they were kind enough of raffle off my new Kindle Fire 7 Tablet.

“Click Here to Claim Your Prize!” – And this is where I hit the brakes.  I’m no noob.  I’m not the guy you read about who clicked some idiot link and infected his computer with whatever and has to call his brother-in-law for guidance on how to avoid paying some internet ransom to hackers in Russia/China/India/Whereversland.

I looked at source code.  Seemed okay.  Checked full email address; appeared to be coming directly from Amazon.com.  It came encrypted.  And, ultimately, I DID enter a drawing that corresponded to this prize.  I crossed my fingers, clenched my toes… and clicked.

BOOM!  Nothing happened.  I must have bumped the mouse off the button.  Clicked again and everything worked fine.  Routed to Amazon.com, confirmed my address on file, and received my order number.  New Kindle Fire 7 is on it’s way!

fire 7 tablet

This was basically the first email I saw this morning when I woke up.  What a nice way to start the week.  I hope your week is starting off just as good or better!  Thanks BookGorilla, and thanks Amazon!  As always…

Living the Dream,
Humble Dave