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Thursday, November 8, 2012

movements & measures - One Year Later.

movements & measures
ISBN: (ePub) 978-14524-6192-2
Publisher: Zero Edition Press
Distributor: Smashwords.com

Release Date: November 08, 2011


One year ago, Zero Edition Press, an experimental self-publishing co-operative I started with Ben Bowlin, released my first collection of poetry as a digital chapbook distributed by Smashwords.com.

To celebrate the one year anniversary of that release, Zero Edition Press, is once again offering a Smashwords coupon code that'll allow you to download your own copy of movements & measures for only $0.99 USD.

Go to the movements & measures page at Smashwords by clicking here and enter the coupon code:  AZ36Z  at check out. If you don't already have a Smashwords account, you will need to create one. It's ease and free and will give you access to books by thousands of independent writers and publishers. Even if you don't buy my book please, please, please show your support for the literary endeavors of great artists who you'd otherwise never hear about because the big publishers see them or their books as unmarketable, i.e., it's not Twilight or 50 Shades.

I want to take this time to, once again, thank all my fans and followers, my family and friends for all the love and support. You guys are wonderful and I wouldn't be able to do this with you. An especially heart-felt thank you goes out to my wonderful wife for putting up with me and my addiction to writing.

Thank you. Thank You. Thank You.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Elections 2012

**** 1:15 am — I'm typing this late at night so I will edit in the morning and add my usual back-links and sources. Sorry.

**** 11:00 am — UPDATED. Changes in italics.

As I type this, I flip between CNN and my local NBC affiliate here in Atlanta. I sit up in bed, writing and sipping pinot grigio left over from my wending while my very tolerant wife tries to sleep through the cacophony of election news and typing keys. The news stations, including Fox, are calling it an Obama victory while the GOP and Romney camps promise to hold out until all votes are counted or at least until Romney finishes writing a concession speech. The celebration at Obama headquarters just went from jubilation to frustrated anticipation over what they feel is a done deal.


[Image Source: MSN.com]





Everyone is in post-election analysis mode. It can even be said that GOP leaders, Speaker of the House John Boehner [R-OH] in particular, have been in this mode way earlier tonight before the the first poll closed. Expecting an Obama victory from the get-go and promising that the GOP positions on key issues have not change and that a contentious battle over EVERYTHING is sure to follow.

It's been a long two years—four if you count the conservatives' initial response to President Obama's 2008 win. It's been a disappointingly negative campaign from all sides and most of the people I know were so burnt out by election news that some didn't even care to vote. 

There has been a lot of winners and losers in this election cycle outside the political sphere, one of which is social media. Social media exploded exponentially into the spotlight with the Arab Spring and the Occupy Movements last year, but this election proves that America is not immune to a cultural shift towards social media as legitimate, real time news source. News anchors and correspondents like Cooper Anderson [1][2] and Jamie Dupree along with others have used Twitter and Facebook to give their audience real time information.

One of the biggest news in social media this year involves voter registration via Facebook [3] and the debate over whether actual voting through social media was possible or even a smart idea. I foresee this debate and the innovations being an even bigger part of the political landscape four years from now—heck!—two years from now during the next midterm elections if you are being realistic. We probably won't even have to "wait and see" how social media has and will affect future politics.

Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate (yes there was a third party this year!) has, knowing that his chance of winning was nonexistent, already promised to keep himself and the Libertarian Party's cause in the spotlight through aggressive social media campaigns. [4]

But for now as I watch Romney's concession speech, I know in the morning I will wake to the same business as usual with an incumbent President returning to office with the same Congressional makeup. So hopeful—and can only hope—all involve will just shut up, especially on social media, and just get back to work.

Good night for now. Here's Romney's speech.

 


****UPDATE ****
Good Morning! Welp, I went to bed just as Obama walked on stage to give his victory speech. I skipped it because by that point last night I was falling asleep as I typed. In cased you missed it too, here's the video of the speech:

 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Post-Halloween Short-list

Now that Halloween 2012 has come and gone, it's time to get busy planning for Thanksgiving, Chrismahanakwanzika, and 2013! According to Wal-Mart's store displays, I should have started my holiday planning the day after Labor Day.

Well! I say *poop* to that!

In honor of one of my favorite excuses to wear costumes in public, I am fighting back and extending the spooks and chills to—AT LEAST!—the end of the year with some horror-themed mass media. Here is my short-list of post-Halloween must-do's. Join me, maybe?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Review: Lawerenceville Ghost Tour

Every year for the past four year, Brooke and I have celebrated the Halloween season by experiencing one of Metro Atlanta's local ghost tours. Past experiences include the Norcross Ghost Tour (our very first tour and Brooke's favorite), the Tour of Southern Ghosts at St. Mountain, and the Roswell Ghost Tour (a year-round walking tour presented by Roswell Georgia Paranormal Investigations).

This year, we got our ghost story fix from the great people at the Lawrenceville Ghost Tour. Developed and presented by the Aurora Theatre in partnership with the Lawrenceville Tourism and Trade Association, the tour is open every weekend from May through September and every night in October until Halloween. This is a 90-minute walking tour that takes guest around historic downtown Lawrenceville, stopping at places like the shops that line Honest Alley, the historic jail, and the spot where Hustler Magazine founder Larry Flint was shot on March 6th, 1978 [1][2].

Although the tour did include stories of ghosts, it focused mostly on the quirky history and founding families of the city of Lawrenceville and was less about the scary and more about the macabre. Our tour guide, Madame Macabre, spun witty campfire-style tales replete of Southern Gothic elements and masterful storytelling that would have made William Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor proud. You can watch her do her thing on this video from the ghost tour website.



If you need a little more spirits with your Halloween experience, stop (before or after the tour—or hell! why not both) by McCray's Tavern at the corner of N. Perry Street and E. Crogan/Lawrenceville Hwy, where they serve themed drinks in honor of the ghost tour [3].

The tour also does a separate Ghost Trolley Tour which takes guests outside the downtown square area and into surrounding points of interest like the cemetery and the female seminary. Unfortunately, when we went this past Saturday after I finished early voting, we had missed the last day of the Trolley Tour which was the day before. So, expect a review of that next year as we enjoyed this year's outing so much that we plan to come back.

This was a wonderful date night for the wife and I and we definitely recommend it to everyone. It's a family friendly attraction and a fun alternative (or supplement) to trick-or-treating and to costume parties. A definite addition to your "must do" list, whether or not you have children. Check out their website for prices, times, and other details at www.scarystroll.com. And enjoy!

Monday, October 29, 2012

My 2012 Early Voting Experience

I exercised my right to vote this past Saturday, taking advantage of early voting here in Georgia. It was the first year (and the only Saturday of this election cycle) of statewide Saturday voting [1]. The lines were long across the state and the wait at George Pierce Park Community Recreation Center in Suwanee, Ga. where I stood in line reached up to seven and a half hours for some people.

The problem was not "human error or a shortage of machines," according to poll manager Dawn P. Gober, who came out every so often to give citizens updates on wait times for the various sections of the queue. "At most only about nine of the machines are in use at one time," she said.

I got a chance to speak briefly to Ms. Gober after I voted for—honestly!—90 seconds before she had to stop and close the poll at 7p.m. When I asked her what she thought had improved since the 2008 elections, I heard her suppress a chuckle. "Well, there's no long lines at the machines."

She wasn't kidding. When it had been my turn to enter the voting booth, I was the only one physically in front of the 15 voting machines despite the fact that hundreds had gone ahead of me and hundreds more had yet to vote. The issue, she said, was that all four satellite location were only provided with three computer to check voter identity and generate ballot smart cards and that each person manning the computers were basically "doing the job of two people."

"This the first ever Saturday, we've ever been open," Ms. Gober explained. "We didn't expect this kind of turn out. We didn't make any predictions about turn out at all really. We just couldn't." She did predict that she and her fellow poll volunteers will be working until well past 2 a.m., estimating that the George Pierce Park location will have served roughly 1200 citizen by the end of the night. Even though the polls closed at seven that night [2], any one in line at the time of closing would be allowed to vote.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Well! Hello, Stranger

Welp! I'm back! Good Morning! Long time, no post. I sincerely apologize for that. It's been busy these past few months.

So! Let's see: what happened since my last post?

I Turned 31. That was fun. I had family over at my place for birthday dinner and the next morning my brother-in-law, James, and I went to the shooting range near my house to break-in the Savage Arms Mark II GPX .22 long rifle Brooke bought me for my birthday.

Back in May, I posted about attempting a photo-a-day project inspired by Cowbird founder Jonathan Harris own photo-a-day project.  That was a massive fail on my part. More on this in a later post. Promise.

Primary elections, Syria, Libya, general elections debates, blah de blah...

I got an A in my Basic Newswriting class for spring semester then I turned around and took on a heavy summer semester courseload which included an accelerated World Religion online course and Public Speaking as an accelerated on-campus class—which, I must say, I enjoyed thoroughly. My favorite speech for the class was on zombie disaster preparedness. (I know, right?) So, school totally kept me away from here. But I made an A in both classes. And I made some awesome new lifelong friends as well. (You can follow two of them on Twitter here and here and here.) They, along with my sister, James, Ben Bowlin and several others, joined me at my very first DragonCon, which—coincidentally—was also my pseudo-bachelor's party. Holy poo on cheese crackers! That was an amazing night!

So! Yeah. I got married. Definitely, recommending it. The planning was a pain and it got especially intense as we we got closer to the date. I even decided to take the semester off from school so I could be more involved in the planning and logistics. But I think it was worth marrying the girl who has been my best friend and—for all intents and purposes—my wife in all but legally filled paperwork these past eight years. It was a long time coming. Brooke did an superb job in bring a lot of the elements together that made our wedding so beautiful. (It didn't hurt that she was stunning in that dress either.) I would say that 90 percent of the decor she either made herself or had custom ordered from Etsy. Our wedding venue pinned some of it on their Pinterest page, if your interested in taking a gander [1][2][3].

[Image Source: Janet Howard Studio]
Speaking of wedding venues and vendors, we had some of the best, most amazing folks helping us get hitched without a hitch. (HA! Sorry, couldn't help myself.) Brooke and I will be posting reviews for them in all the wedding sites. Actually, at the risk of turning this site into a wedding blog for the next month or so, I might even do a write-up for each of them here. The wedding provided me with lots of great material for the blog, both directly and indirectly connected to the wedding. I'd be a fool not to take advantage of that, especially of the all the fun things we did on the honeymoon at Sandals.

So until then. See you guys again soon-ish and welcome back. I'm off to early vote. Fingers crossed—not for my candidate, but for hoping I don't gouge my eyes out and gnaw my arm off while spending my entire Saturday standing in line.

PS: A big thanks to our family and friends—especially, our wedding party—for all the help and love and support and for sharing our special day with us, as well as to all the wedding vendors for being amazing. We couldn't have done it with you.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Zenaida

I remember

rain
playing tin-roof songs
and me wearing nothing but tightie-whities,
running circles around our house.
I was three—or four—
and the house, by American standards, was
a concrete shack on some jungle hilltop.
But it was the mansion
my mother bought us with money
sweated and saved,
scrimped and slaved for
in countries other than Home.

You watched me from the front steps,
Kept (mostly) dry by the overhang,
smiling each time I passed.

I laughed: a child at bath time.


Taken in 1995. With my mother, Ana. The Cowbird Tribute [Here]

Monday, May 21, 2012

30 Going On Four

In a few short hours, I will be 31.

With that said, I've been doing some looking back on my life. Boy! Has my life been boring!

Well!—that's somewhat of a lie. It's been MOSTLY boring. Monotonous, to say the least, and for only the past year or so. I'm not complaining. Sometimes, an uneventful life is good in case I ever get background-checked. But I must admit, I am sometimes envious of my little sister and her husband who seem to have time for adventure. I have to remind myself that, although life these past 18 months has been uneventful, years one thru 29 were pretty adventurous.

I've traveled (some). I've experienced some life changing events. Made lots of bad decisions; made a few good ones, too.

I met my wonderful wife-to-be, who has been my constant companion and guiding light these past eight years. We've driven headlong into planning our wedding, which is quickly approaching. I look forward to that leg of our never ending journey.

I've even survived a deer jumping through my driver-side window and head-butting me as I drove 55-mph through a main thoroughfare.

But, like I said, these past 18 months were pretty uneventful and since I feel like I wasted year 30, I am determined to have a better 365 days this time around.

So here's the plan:

To help me on the way, I am taking a page from Jonathan Harris. When Harris turned 30 he took a photograph every day for over a year and posted a story to go with it. So, I will do the same: One photo a day. I will start with one week and as the habit forms and days add up to months, we will see my progress as I try to liven up a year in my life. I really think this will force me to find some adventure since I am certain I live a boring life.

I will post photos with short blurbs at Cowbird (another Jonathan Harris project, coincidentally) for now, since I feel like they are the best place for this project. I will continue to post my usual stuff here at Wibbly-wobbly and I will occasionally syndicate significant events from this project here as well. I hope you all follow me on this little experiment—well! actually—us, since I plan to bring Brooke along for some of it.

I am now accepting recommendations, by the way. Post in the comments field below or on my Facebook page or on Twitter. I need ideas.

So, please, join me. Who knows maybe we'll even bump into each other.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Hunger Games...and Fan Racism? Part 2

[Image Source: Racialicious.com]
Part II: Fan Racism

Any decent literary venture is bound to challenge the conventions of the society in which the work was created and/or consumed. Michael Moore forced us to examine news media's objectivity towards the Bush Administration, 9/11 and the lead-up to the Iraq Invasion. Hustler Magazine asked us (and the Supreme Court) to define protected speech. Over a hundred years ago, Upton Sinclair went up against wage slavery and the influential meatpacking barons in his novel The Jungle.

More recently Suzanne Collins' young adult series, The Hunger Games, added itself to that list. There are a myriad of things in the trilogy that could be considered controversial, the movie only added a visual dynamic to the mix and expanded the discussion outside the fan base to those who will only know the series from the movie. But amid the discussions into the "inanity" of the MPAA's rating system [1] and whether actress Jennifer Lawrence's healthy figure took away from the film [2], the most glaring and disturbing controversy to come to light has to do with racist reactions some fans had over the casting of black actors for the beloved parts of Rue (Amandla Stenberg), Thresh (Dayo Okeniyi), and Cinna (Lenny Kravitz). The Twitter-sphere exploded with commentary like the one featured above. These tweets went beyond fans bemoaning loose re-imagining of established lore, they were full of vitriol and were peppered with racial epithets. [3].


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Movie Review: The Hunger Games...and Fan Racism? Part 1


[Image Source: KatnipOnFire]
PART 1: THE MOVIE

 * * * This Review May Contain Spoilers * * *

It is rare for the spousal unit and I to see a movie at the theaters on opening weekend. I have a fear of being in the middle of a crowd when the zombie apocalypse happen to strike and Brooke vehemently dislikes fighting for good seats (and in the case of The Hunger Games, a place in the holdout line) against teenyboppers and kids too young to appreciate the movie going experience. But, it's my firm belief that certain movies are guaranteed to be the subject of many water-cooler discussion come Monday morning and I did not want people spoiling the experience for me.

I will say this: if you have the willpower to wait out the crowds then do so. I'm not saying that the movie was bad—in fact, I would give this movie a 4 out of 5—but if you think the crowds will ruin the experience for you, this movie would definitely be worth the wait. Brooke and I actually lucked out that we got to the theater early and planned our concessions/seats strategies well enough to get excellent seats long before the crowds poured in.

The movie itself stayed pretty faithful to the book. I think it is hard to find movies that stays true to the source material, so I was really glad that Gary Ross and Suzanne Collins took the time to get the story right. That is not to say that somethings weren't omitted or changed to fit the needs of the film, somethings were. However those change did not greatly alter the story as a whole.  In fact, I would venture that the things added to the film had more of an affect (for the better) than what was left out. Scene such as Haymitch's negotiations with potential sponsors and the districts' reactions to watching their children die added a dimension to the story that the novel's first-person-limited perspective could never achieve. (For a list of items left out of the film check out Meredith Woerner's article at io9.)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Checking In and a Shameless Plug

Grr...I've been lazy. Hence, I did not post last week.

My motivation is shot to Hell and it did not help that it'd been a busy week. On the home front, I had a couple items due for school and I had to research the Home Affordable Refinance Program Phase 2 (HARP II) as I'm looking at refinancing our house. I still have to do my taxes and finish converting one of our bedrooms into a home office.

Coincidentally, the world has been pretty busy too. The Walking Dead had a phenomenal season two finale and my review is well past overdue. Other great shows are about to have their finales in the coming weeks as well and I want to review them all. Also overdue is an opinion post on the debacle over employers requesting people's Facebook login as part of the interview process. I hope to have the latter posted no later than this Wednesday. The Hunger Games movie premiered this past weekend and I have a review for it and the source novel on the way as well.

The iPad has been out for almost two weeks now and as people begin to talk about the ups and downs, I've began compiling material for a follow up piece to my March 3rd post. No promises though. There's a new Pinterest terms of service out and some rumored changes to the site in April. That will probably be an upcoming post as I have some hatred towards the new Pinterest profile changes.

I've purposely stayed away from Stand Your Ground Laws and the Trayvon Martin Case as well as the Kony 2012 campaign and I'm bored with the elections despite all the shenanigans. The Supreme Court will be hearing arguments over the Health Care Law this week and I'm debating whether or not to wade into that. We'll see.

Anyways. While you wait for me to get my head out of my fourth point of contact and get cracking, check out my brother-in-law James Glaze, his kid brother Michael, and the rest of the Dare Kings do stupid, possibly limb endangering, yet very funny shit for your entertainment. Their YouTube channel GlazeBros features skits and dares performed by the Dare Kings and sometimes—to my chagrin—by my kid sister. James also has a segment called "One Dude and a Review" covering mostly movies and tech that I think you all will enjoy. Below is their March 21st "Dare Redemption" Video. Daniel Tosh, you watching this?





Saturday, March 17, 2012

Bags of Wind, Money, & Punching Varieties

As I've mentioned in my last post, one of the things I like about blogger is the "Stats" tab which allows me to track the traffic that comes to this site. The other tracking service I use is Google Analytics and it has become my new toy (read: O-B-S-E-S-S-I-O-N!). I actually enjoy playing around on the service and reading articles on best practices and hacks. The spousal unit (read: enabler) laughs at me and calls me a dork and then forwards me another how-to article. Then laughs at me some more.

Anyways. The other day, I'm playing around on Google Analytics, comparing reports with those from Blogger's Stats, when I come upon the traffic source tab in Stats. Under the "Search Keyword" report I see that, within the last seven day, someone found Wibbly-wobbly using the search term "gun rack." Naturally, I assumed that this search led to my February 23 post "Troll The Dial to Eleven 2012." But I was curious. How high in the search rankings was my post? So, I typed "gun rack" into Google Search.

Although I gave up after slogging through eight pages of results, my experience was not fruitless. On the first page, I found a Huffington Post article which featured a YouTube video created by a Mr. John Dole of Atlanta. In this video, Dole shows off his brand new Chevy Volt complete with a newly installed gun rack.


Using PVC pipes and some hardware available at your favorite home improvement store, Dole—a registered Republican according to the Huffington Post—crafted this masterpiece as a pointed response to Newt Gingrich's comment about not being able to put a gun rack into a Volt, a comment that this proud Volt owner did not appreciate.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Never Gonna Give Up.

One of the things I like about blogger is the "Stats" feature which, coupled with Google Analytics, allows me to see the reach I have. However, the one thing that all the bounce rates and click-thrus doesn't tell me is whether you, my dear readers, enjoy reading my blog. So, even though I've surmounted the fear that no one is reading, I am now struck by the fear that my ramblings may be contributing to what Chad Radford, Staff Music Writer at Creative Loafing, calls the "dumbing down effect" that he says plagues the internet.

Today, a respected acquaintance whom I asked to read this blog contacted me with a very heartening critique. She put into words some of my thoughts about what I'm doing here and rightly assessed that I might not even recognize the direction I'm going. Knowing that she enjoyed my post about Pintertest really made my day. So, just in case she's reading again today, I want to just say thank you.

Radio personality Myron "Magic" Gigger, during an interview on the future of media and how to break into it, once said: "Don't give up, don't be discouraged at all. Don't lose sight of the goal inside all the hard work it takes." Now, I'm still unsure of the goal of this blog but I do know all about putting in the hard work in the hopes of making something you love a success. I do love writing but—as many writers know—writing does not always love you back. Between late nights and long weeks of trying to figure out what to write and how to put ideas into words and the paranoia that no one reads blogs anymore (as several co-works remarked), all of this can take its toll.  But knowing that someone honestly enjoyed my work makes it all worth while.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Who Wants to Buy Me the New iPad?

[Image Source: Apple.com]
Let me just start by saying that I need to branch my news sources out from Mashable.com. In my defense, however, they make it very difficult to do so with all their great articles and infographics. So when the new iPad debuted yesterday, where was the first place that I went to learn more? That's right friends and neighbors! Mashable. Check out their collection of articles [here] and tell me they aren't awesome.

Anyways. How was the iPad announcement for you yesterday? Were you disappointed like some? Blown away, like others? Or are you like me: going through a roller-coaster of emotions, one minute making a list of items to eBay so I can afford one, the next trying to justify the cost of buying one on the March 16th release date, then trying to find reasons why I shouldn't start camping out now at the local Apple Store?

When the iPad 2 came out last year, I barely batted an eye. Don't get me wrong. My wet dreams had wet dreams for an iPad. The thing is: when the original iPad came out, I could not afforded one. Then before I knew it, the iPad 2 landed on store shelves and the last of the old iPads were gone. I was impressed by the fact that the iPad 2 now had a camera (two in fact), but honestly, that was enough to rope me in. They were dismal at less than a mega-pixel. Despite the faster processor and increased RAM, both the original and the iPad 2 were virtually the same. [See chart below.]  It still was only, at most, 3G capable and the screen resolution was the same. Also, I already began to hear rumors of bugs in the operating system. I suspected that, just as the iPhone 4GS and 3GS were released to improve upon the 4G and 3G models, newer units coming off the production line would have these issues addressed. If nothing else we might get a "iPad 2s" in the near future, if not the iPad 3 outright, if we wait just a little longer. So I waited.

[Image Source: Wikipedia.org]


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Well that's [P]interesting

After years of avoiding and turning up my nose at the very thought of establishing a Twitter presence, Hell froze over the weekend and now I am one social network medium richer(?). To paraphrase Thomas Wheatley of Atanta Creative Loafing fame: I now have one more thing to water. 

Luckily, most of them are well integrated to each other so if something happens in one you should see it syndicated to at least one of the other outlets. I’m lazy like that.

This is what it's like to be on Pinterest. Really.
The thing that I am most excited about this week, however, is PinterestAs I struggle to find material for this blog, Pinterest has become a real boon of ideas for me.

The concept behind Pinterest, is that if you find something online—say a bread recipe or a scurf—you can "pin it" to any of the "boards" you've created. It's kind of like bookmarking except your pins and likes are shared publicly and your followers can see the things that interest you.

In the coming weeks, I will be cleaning up my boards as well as trying out some of the recipes and DIY arts and crafts projects that I've pinned. I want to feature my adventures in Pinteresting here at Wibbly-Wobbly at least once a month. I will also be taking project request in the near future, so stay tuned. I hear that there is a way I can make this into a contest on Pinterest.. 

Oh yeah! You can follow my Pinterest page here, by the way.

If you haven’t heard of Pinterest, then you’ve been sleeping under a rock, my friend. It's the new internet addiction. Human resource managers the world over felt a great disturbance in the Force with this one, as if millions of productive man-hours suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. That’s how addictive this thing is. Although the site continues to be an invite-only open beta, this social bookmarking site has become a internet start-up darling, not just to the individual users and investors, but also for brands such as Whole Foods and the U.S. Army.  It has been dubbed a game changer by many for the way it has driven traffic to online retailer sites

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Review: The American Promise: A History of the United States (Value Edition), Vol. II


The American Promise: A History of the United States (Value Edition), Vol. IIThe American Promise: A History of the United States (Value Edition), Vol. II by James L. Roark

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book review was syndicated from Goodreads. Click here to view all my reviews.



With the 2012 Presidential Elections looming around the corner, I find it very helpful to know the historical context of some of the issues driving the U.S. today. American Promise, Vol. II does not disappoint in this regard. Surveying U.S. history from the Reconstruction to the end of the 2nd Bush administration, this textbook touches on the major themes and events of the last 150 years. Although this “Value Edition” (read: paperback, black & white photos, etc) does not go in depth on some of the particulars or nuances of the various eras covered within, the information that Mr. Roark et al share with the undergrad student is sufficient to whet the appetite for extracurricular edification. I definitely recommend that the reader take notes on anything that pique their interest and read up on it on their own. This book really only gives background information and history, real history, is too complex and dynamic to cover in 600 pages.

The only thing negative—if you even want to call it “negative”—that I could say about this college textbook is that it ends at the beginning of 2007 and only hints on W’s plan for the 2007/2008 troop surge. It does not cover the Great Recession or the 2008 elections or anything else that has happened since. I am left to wonder if the authors’ analysis of the last decade or three would be different than what is in this book. Otherwise this is a great and quick educational read.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Troll The Dial To Eleven 2012

This article has an update/correction dated 2012-02-29. Click on the title and scroll to the end to read the update.


When Newt Gingrich, in a cheeky commentary of President Obama's energy policy, told supporters at a recent campaign stop that "you can't put a gun rack in a [Chevy] Volt," I got a gleeful smile on my face. "Challenge accepted, sir," I declared, making a mental list of Chevy dealerships.

Then I realized something. What Chevy dealership in their right minds would let me attach a gun rack to a $32k piece of machinery without first, at minimum, leasing it for 3 years. If nothing else said gun rack could run the risk of causing unwanted depreciation and/or voiding the warranty. Suffice it to say, here in Newt's home state of Georgia, there is a very high probability that the owners of my local Chevy dealerships (and the majority of their employees) are Newt supporters and would probably kick my ass six ways to Friday temple.

Temporarily thwarted, I searched the web for that off-chance—that hope of all hopes—that someone might actually already have a photo of a Chevy Volt with a gun rack installed. I mean: Internet rules dictate that "someone already did it better," right? I did not find a photo of a Volt with a gun racks but I did find that the rule still applied. A little "right click → save as" and some text insertion via MS Paint and I was ready to troll Newt's Facebook page.



You Might be a Redneck, if...


Surprisingly, this makes sense to me.

Guns on her rack


Gun Rack on Stroller
(With this, I would be ready for Z-Day)



Listen:

I have nothing [well!—somethings] against Newt. In fact, on any other normal day, his comment would have gotten a little chuckle and face-palm from me. But, for some unknown and possibly unrelated reason, I was now itching for a fight.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Brooke

I heard God
in the halo formed
by the sunrise
behind your head
in that twilit parking lot
in your car
after a night without sleep:
7:02 AM.
Lost in your eyes, I was breathless.
This is the perfect ending to a book,
God said and somehow I knew 
that fifty miles away
the first leaf of Autumn
erupted into being,
a kaleidoscope
of yellows and oranges and reds.




Pin It Photo by and courtesy of Janet Howard @ Janet Howard Studio

Thursday, February 2, 2012

What Just Happened?

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Wibbly-wobbly would be going through a little reformatting.

So?

What do you think?

The Old Look
As of 02/02/2012


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Saving the World. Before Bedtime... sort of.

This week was a pretty exciting week.  

On Wednesday , I joined Wikipedia, Reddit, and other in the Anti-SOPA “black-out” in protest of the U.S. Senate vote on S. 968., otherwise known as the PROTECT IP Act or PIPA. I emailed both my Senators and I called their offices (using an innovative phone app provided by Reddit.com) to voice my concerns. This email from the office of Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) in response to the one I sent pretty much summarizes the views PIPA supporters hold.

If you came here or went to Siege of The Dead on Wednesday, you would have been treated to this call to action page. Of course, other sites had more creative and laudably artistic protest screens. [Check out this Mashable article for a slide show featuring some of the "best" protest screens.]


Originally slated for a vote on Tuesday January 24th, a yes vote on PIPA would have given the Department of Justice the ability to shutdown websites that violated copyright laws and/or encourage online piracy. Both legislation purported to give all copyright holders the ability to stop unauthorized use of their works. This in itself is not a bad thing and as a writer and artist, I support anti-infringement legislation.  But as written, PIPA and its sister bill in the House was too vague and created an environment rife with opportunities for censorship and Due Process abuses. Even posting a link to Facebook could get you into trouble. Opponents of the measure even went on to say that those who would benefit most would be Big Hollywood rather than individual artists. Simply put, PIPA and SOPA were too poorly written and geared to protect Big Business interests.

Luckily for us, because of the protests and the attention brought to these bills by you and me and big internet companies like Facebook, Google, and others, BOTH bills are dead in their respective houses as of Friday. For now. 

Stay tuned.



Monday, January 16, 2012

I {heart} Tybee Island

I need a vacation. It is the tail end of MLK weekend: three days of running errands and college homework and time spent with the spousal unit and I need a vacation. The weather is awful here in Georgia. This time last year we were in the grips of “Snowmageddon.” This year the weather has decided to be more bi-polar than I am, alternating between unseasonably frigid and unseasonably hot. Warm or cold, the weather remains seasonably wet however.  On the bright side, Brooke and I accomplished a lot in the way of wedding planning and we actually cooked this weekend—several times. Tomorrow: we go back to work and I need a vacation.

It does not help my mood that Brooke and I looked over our budget. We decided to forgo our annual Tybee trip this year, banking our money and vacation days towards our honeymoon instead. I like to think that we are solidly happy with this decision. Yet, we catch ourselves sneaking glances at the photos of our trip last year.
"Slanted at Tybee"
(c) 2011 Nicole Brooke Rosner
Used with Permission 

Brooke, ever the shutterbug, took hundreds of photos on our old Samsung, utilizing the tips she picked up from her copy of BetterPhoto Basics by Jim Miotke. I’m particularly in love with this photo taken by Spousal Unit on our last morning there. We woke up early to catch the sunrise and spent the morning capturing the memories nature gifted us.

It's become sort of a tradition for Brooke and I to go to a Tybee Island each year as a combined birthday trip, arriving there just before the Memorial Day Holiday and leaving in time to avoid the crowds and the price hikes.

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Little Cowbird Told Me

Happy New Years, Friends and Followers and welcome back! 2011 proved to be an exciting year full of challenges and accomplishments; of possibilities and self-discovery; but most importantly 2011 was a year of growth. My sister married her best friend, a young man I am honored to now call my brother. I published movements and measure, a decision that helped me silence the ghosts of past writings and opened the creative flood gates for new works. I am back in school after years of excuses.

2012 promises not to disappoint.