Angry Birds - Free Eagle Update on Nook Color

June 29, 2011
Well now, talk about driving customer engagement. And a good tie-in between virtual and brick and mortar. Customers are bound to buy more when they are actually in your store. Right?

I know they are in my family. My son prefers old-fashioned hardbacks and hates reading anything not a manga on a screen. Likewise, my daughter loves going to the bookstore weekly to increase her selection of series. Her favorite right now is Seekers. Both of them require budgets when we enter the store. I have been buying, sampling, and borrowing books like a maniac ever since I got my Nook Color about two weeks ago (please friend me! I loan books too). I'm reading for pleasure again!

Barnes & Noble has teamed up with Rovio to bring a whole new experience dimension to Angry Birds, one of the most addicting and mindless games ever created. It's $2.99 in the Nook Color market and now you can get an exclusive free update by going into the store. You can only get the update (until someone on XDA figures it out) by going into a B&N. There are 700 nationwide to choose from.

The Mighty Eagle has Landed! Only on Angry Birds for NOOK Color! For a limited time, you can unlock the FREE Mighty Eagle character in your neighborhood Barnes & Noble by downloading the latest update for Angry Birds and connecting to the free in-store Wi-Fi. Barnes & Noble is an Angry Birds approved "Magic Place" and this free unlockable is only available while in-store.
This reader may just have to go in and ... nah, I play AB on my phone. But I would go into the store for the free cookie and to try out the read in store feature.

So for all you Angry Bird addicts, let me know what the Mighty Eagle update is like. I honestly don't feel like paying for an app that I play for free on my phone. And in Google Chrome.

And just because it's cool

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I'm an Android App!

June 24, 2011
I'm an app! You can download me from the Android Market or scan the QR code below. You'll get:
  • Free alerts on the latest stories
  • Search in-app
  • Tag Cloud
  • Optimized mobile delivery
It's free and it has alerts so that you'll know whenever my blog is updated. You can search my blog for certain topics or specific posts right from your phone.

The app also has Apps2SD and you can turn off the twitter feed. I downloaded the app myself and requested the changes because I know you don't want your phone blowing up every time I tweet.

The customer support at Notice Software is amazing, getting my blog turned into an app was free (there are ads), but so far I am pleased with the experience. Best of all, it's an easy way to monetize.

I've been blogging for over a decade, and monetization has not been a primary goal, but hey, I'm not going to say no. Notice Software shares a percentage of the ad revenue with you (me), the publisher.

Please let me know what you think, what can be improved, etc. They are also working on an iPhone version, but if you read this site via direct pageview or RSS, it is optimized for mobile. Having the app just pushes the info out to you that much faster :D.

For those of you just can't wait - download me now.

And if you want to turn your blog into a mobile app, head over to Notice Software. They have 3 tiers, find the one that's right for you.

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Photo Friday: Wilderness

Via Flickr:
This is one of the views you get from the trail head of Devil's Punchbowl in CA.

Plan B by Joseph Finder

June 23, 2011
I love free things, including short stories. I just finished listening to Plan B: A Nick Heller Story, narrated by Holter Graham. You can also get it for free in the Kindle, Borders/Kobo and Nook stores.

I use short stories to introduce me to new authors. One reason why I love Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. But I digress. I like mystery and crime stories and Audible suggested Finder to me.
An original short story by Joseph Finder, New York Times best-selling author of Buried Secrets and Vanished. "Plan B" finds private spy Nick Heller in Barcelona, Spain, on a rescue mission. The target: a walled compound with state-of-the art-security. The object: a teenage girl, held against her will. The plan: get in and rescue the girl and then get out - without tripping an alarm or alerting the army of guards. But even the best designed plans can go wrong, which is why Nick Heller always has a Plan B. 

Nick is no Shane Scully, at least from my brief introduction, but he is astute, quick-witted, and probably a protagonist I could get into. We're all looking for heroes. There is a twist at the end of the story, so I think I might go download Vanished now.

Wordless Wednesday: Self Portrait

June 22, 2011

American Gods - 10th Anniversary Interview with Neil Gaiman

June 21, 2011
Due to computer issues I completely missed the livestream of an interview with Neil Gaiman today. American Gods is being re-released TODAY with an update and Neil's preferred text.

And did you hear? Tom Hanks is set to produce 6 seasons of American Gods for HBO!!!!! SQUEEEE!!!! Gaiman is already working on another book:

I wonder if they will make Anansi Boys part of the series....

Enjoy the interview.

Watch live streaming video from neilgaiman at

Also available, a new anthology edited by Neil Gaiman. You can preview the book now:

Browse Inside this book
Get this for your site


June 20, 2011
Most Valuable Person??

That's a tough one for me. When this contest (see below) first came to my attention I immediately thought of my son. He's an amazing teenager living up to his name, even if he doesn't know it.

I don't talk about my faith much, but I truly believe God whispered each of my children's names and purpose into my heart. Joshua means "God with us" or "Jehovah saves". His middle name means "Protector of men".

Despite having a chronically backsliding mother who is the very opposite of a godly woman, my son has taken the best of what I have tried to teach and become a remarkable young man. He is working on graduating early so that he can begin an internship in Youth Ministry with a university that will also award him a 4-year degree.

He's gone on two international missions trips - because he wanted to. He thinks the coolest place to hang out is church. I am not one of those mothers who drags her children to church three times a week and beats them with a Bible, he made these choices on his own and I couldn't be prouder. He lives his faith out loud and doesn't cave to peer pressure. Except for fighting with me, he's usually graceful under pressure. Because of him I have tried to make all of our lives better.

The other person who came to mind is my step-sister. We're almost 18 years apart, didn't grow up together, but because of her tenaciousness over the last year, she's helped my father lose 100lbs and regain his life.

Last summer, right about this time, I got a call that my father was in the hospital with heart palpitations. He had nearly collapsed at home, trouble breathing, everything short of an actual heart attack. He was morbidly obese and they had him on such strict bed rest he wasn't allowed to do ANYTHING without a nurse or doctor present. And I do mean anything. By the time I was able to visit they still had him in the hospital, but he was allowed to sit up and have visitors.

Two months later when I visited, my step-mother credited my father's weight loss with how strict Jessica had been with my dad. She monitored everything he ate, made sure he walked, took away his stashes of sweets, and even got rid of the Diet Mt. Dew.

On Father's Day I called my dad and he was so HAPPY to tell me that he was down just under 100lbs from this time last year. He has been trying to lose weight since I was 12. Over 20 years. Now that he has some momentum I don't see him stopping. He wants to live to see great-grandchildren. We all want him to see his great-grandkids! And I know I owe this other miracle to my step-sister.

Who is your MVP?
Just for participating, you will receive two (2) vouchers to an Angels® baseball game as a thank you. Enter your MVP at Brandman University MVP Contest

Contest Details
To mark its first class of graduates, ready with their brand new degrees to do better, Brandman University in Irvine, CA is celebrating community leaders and all-stars with the Brandman University MVP Contest and needs your help in finding those individuals who have made a positive impact on you personally and/or within your community. This can be anyone from a nurse, soldier, teacher, firefighter or that special someone that has personally made a positive impact (both big and small) in YOUR life.
Nominate your MVP @ before June 22nd. This is where you can really let that special person know how much they mean to you and your community. As a thank you for your nomination, Brandman will provide you with two (2) FREE vouchers* to an Angels® baseball game just in time for the summer season. Your MVP is also eligible to receive two (2) free vouchers. If you don't have a Facebook account, you can nominate your MVP
For full rules and regulations, go here

Nomination Deadline: Wednesday, June 22nd @ 1pm PST

*Disclaimer - As compensation for writing this post I have been given 4 tickets to an Angels game.


June 17, 2011
FreaksFreaks by Tess Gerritsen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a quick read during my lunch break. I do enjoy just about any show with Angie Harmon in it, so I watched a few episodes of "Rizzoli & Isles" and was intrigued that there are companion books.

This version included a sneak peek at the next novel which seems way more interesting than the short story it's attached to.

“Freaks” starts out dark and weird, but by the end you're not feeling left like humanity has gone completely over the edge. It was a nice surprise ending.

View all my reviews

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Wordless Wednesday: Travel

June 15, 2011


June 14, 2011
Last Tuesday I had the opportunity to attend a Miel Pura/National Honey Board Natural Energy event with Barbara Trujillo-Gomez, author of "...Barbara por Atras" A Latin Woman's Guide to Fitness at the beautiful Japanese Garden of the Kyoto Grand Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles.

I learned there really are no excuses when it comes to working out. Instead of aiming for 30-60 minutes of straight exercise, I can aim for 10 minutes 3-6 times per day. I can wake up ten minutes early and do some planks and jumping jacks (OK, jumping jacks). Instead of coffee I can have a pomegranate apple honey shot. There are so many beneficial uses of honey for athletes, I think you'll be surprised.

Some fun facts:
  • Honey is an all-natural energy booster. It's a carbohydrate that your body can easily use to give you a little extra oomph when you need it.
  • Honey has 17g of (good) carbohydrates per tablespoon. That's fuel for your muscles pre- and post- workout.
  • Honey is great for working out: 
    • When consumed before working out, it is released into the bloodstream at a steady rate.
    • During exercise (a dash of honey in your water) it helps delay muscle fatigue.
    • After working out (Whey Better Berry and Honey Shake) it's a great ingredient to add for refueling your body and decreasing muscle soreness.
  • My son isn't crazy for liking peanut butter, honey, and banana sandwiches. These ingredients are a good nutritional combination of carbs, protein, and fat.
  • Add some honey to your water for a sweet way to stay hydrated all day long. Make sure it is pure and natural (pasteurized) or raw (not pasteurized) honey.
  • 1 TBSP Honey = 1 ½ to 2 TBSP Sugar.
  • Honey can be used instead of neosporin on small cuts and abrasions
  • Honey is a great natural moisturizer for the skin.

Recipes, exercises and giveaway are below the jump

The Sharing Knife: Horizon

June 13, 2011
I love that Bujold's books are character driven. I have no problem going between the adventures of Fawn and Dag and those of Miles Vorkosigan.

I read the other three books in this series years ago and waited for book four. And then it took me two years after it was published! It is well worth the wait.

I do suggest you read all of the books in order. If you don't, you can read this as a stand-alone since Bujold does an excellent job of exposition as you go through the story. You'll want to read the earlier books to get all the details and backstory.

It's hard to believe that the entire series takes place over the course of one year. Fawn and Dag are still out to change the world and make relations between Lakewalkers and farmers cordial, if not loving and symbiotic. They have a chance to join a Lakewalker camp, but Dag, being his hard-headed self with a little cajoling from Fawn, breaks the rules and they lose their chance. By the time that happens though, they have made some headway against the prejudice against farmers, so some of the campers feel the loss when Dag and Fawn are exiled.

They have many adventures along the trail north back to Clearcreek, gaining new friends, facing a malice, and you will never guess who kills it this time! No, not Fawn, but when I read what the farmers did to her in the aftermath I had a distinct sense of "deja read" - I'd read that passage before.

The story does have a happy ending after all, making for a very satisfying read.

View all my goodreads reviews

Photo Friday: Shade

June 10, 2011
Full set on Flickr

I took this shot on my first Photog Shootout in July 2009. We were getting lessons on lighting.

HBO - Game of Thrones Sneak Peek

June 8, 2011

Ok, I am a little excited. And this is why
HBO GO has got to be one of the best apps out there, and I love how HBO has made special content available to mobile users.

*HBO GO® is only accessible in the US. Minimum 3G connection is required for viewing on mobile devices. Some restrictions may apply for mobile devices. ©2011 Home Box Office, Inc. All rights reserved. HBO® and related channels and service marks are the property of Home Box Office, Inc.
Click to go to the Game of Thrones streaming site. Get caught up on the best mini-series of the year!

Download the app now
Now I just need an actual hour or eight to catch up! I haven't been able to get through the first episode without interruption.

Wordless Wednesday: Clear Day in L. A.

Review: Promax Protein Bars

If you follow my complaints tweets about how protein bars in general aren't very tasty (FullBar for example), and give me a massive headache and nausea. I've started increasing my water intake, so hopefully that will stop the headaches (and bloating).

One bar that I have found that I love all flavors of and doesn't make me nauseous is Promax. Right now I am noshing on Black Forest Cake for breakfast (I overslept). Last weekend I had the Fudge and went for a bike ride. No ill effects either time. The chocolate tastes like chocolate, not like something wanting to be chocolate.

The texture is easy to chew and swallow, more like a fudge bar than  ... bird-food like, chalky, and generally unpalatable. The only bar I like better are the Snickers Marathon bars, which, unfortunately, are out of stock on Amazon in the flavors that I like.

I'm going to have to stock up on these in all their various flavors until I am sick of them.

Mamavation Monday : 190 again

June 5, 2011
My only consolation is that the Hunk thinks my waist is coming back. He has a picture of me from last summer, before I started Mamavation, and I had more of a waist than I do now. I guess it's time to find my tape measure and start taking measurements.

We haven't been doing P90x the last few weeks because of my back.

It's very frustrating. I keep starting and stopping due to either back issues or lack of interest/energy. This week I am going to focus on water intake (so that the protein bars and protein rich diet don't keep giving me afternoon migraines) and walking as much as possible. On the weekends we ride our bikes at least 5 miles. I know, not a lot, but my chiropractor doesn't want me riding for more than 20 minutes, so 5 miles is kinda pushing it.

I finally got a portable TENS unit. Holy cow what a difference! Wish I had bought one years ago! That and biofreeze have been getting me up in the morning.

Congrats to Pamela for being Sistah of the Week!

Photo Friday: People

June 3, 2011
Photo Friday: People
Clockwise: Oakmonster giving the customary Guiness to Daphne of the Washer Women, random fellow as we exited the fair, sword dancing woman, Moonie, chess game, court dancers, Vikings, The Hunk in the stocks for public drunkeness, the tree dude, my little pig thief, and a random skin covered guy that I saw at the joust. In the center is this year's Queen.
I couldn't decide on just one photo for this week's theme -- People.

The Ren Fair is a great place to see all sorts of people, shows, and people drinking while watching the shows. It's a miracle we survived the Middle Ages. Of course the Queen rules over all of it. I managed to take a pig thief and a drunkard home too.

The highlight for me this year was the Moonie Show. For a guy who doesn't talk much, he sure can make you laugh.

You can view part of the set on Flickr and the rest of the photos on Picasa

Share the Love

June 2, 2011

Some of the best things in life are free and should be shared often.

To sign up, go to

Endeavor is coming to California!

June 1, 2011

Endeavour is expected to be on display at the California Science Center fall 2012. Once the science center receives it, the shuttle will be placed in a temporary enclosure for display until the new exhibit wing is completed.
-- ABC7
My daughter recently went on a field trip to the California Science Center (when I was a kid, it was the Museum of Science and Industry) and now I have a reason to drag her back take her myself. It was one of my favorite places to go as a kid. Hands-on geekiness experiments! After her report about Mars, I think she'll be even more interested in getting to see the space shuttle live and in person.

If she's not all that into it, too bad! I wanted to be an astronaut, so I will go just to pretend I am fulfilling a childhood dream.


What's funny about this one is that just the other day I mentioned that I'm thinking about going back to school. I am a book learner, I learn best in a classroom and then applying what I have learned to the real world. Online learning doesn't even compare. I'm way too easily distracted. I learned that the hard way!

In a classroom it's all aggregated for you. You don't need to spend hours researching the work, someone else has already done it for you. Having homeschooled the Teen for a while, I know exactly how much prep can go into preparing just a short lesson! I appreciate teachers.

I love research, but when I am trying to learn something new, I want the materials handed to me so that I can just ingest them. I have too much going on in other areas of my life to focus on research, weeding out the good information from the bad, determining what's outdated and what is still relevant. Our world moves much too fast for that now.

On the other hand, I love research. I love learning. I get frustrated that I don't have the time to pour into learning all the ins and outs of every shiny new thing that captures my attention. Jill-of-all-trades, mistress of none.

I need to stop sabotaging myself. I start so many things and then derail myself when I get close to success. I realize it, but I have no idea how to stop it.


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Wordless Wednesday: Close Up

Guess what --

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