Friday, August 21, 2009

A New Book is Born

Hi all:

Get Kristi Maxwell’s new book of poetry, Hush Sessions (first, say the title 5 times fast), at:


Trust me, you are going to love it, and the cover can double as a wall hanging.

Well, go get it!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Review of: Apple MacBook with Aluminum Case

Though I have not owned a lot of computers, I have owned enough to know the difference between a few popular brands of laptops. The Dell I owned crashed fairly quickly (and eventually was fried by a water spill, later resurrected by a friend with a lot more computer skill than me). A Compaq I owned had to go to the shop 3 times (two weeks each) for a broken fan, screen, and just as the warranty was expiring, a new motherboard. But, I have personally seen an Apple laptop last a good 9 years. So, I finally bought one.

I have to say that though it takes a little adjusting to the operating system (from pc), Apple’s work great. I can see why so many people are devoted to the company (and the ipod helps, too, I imagine). Really, this thing I’m writing on is just great. But for one thing.

I recently moved into an apartment building that offers free internet. This has helped save on internet and landline costs. But, the signal isn’t as strong as a personal line. My computer has a hard time finding and holding onto the internet signal, which is very frustrating when trying to watch The Daily Show on Hulu or a skate vid on Transworld’s site. One of the first days of this frustration I frantically searched the internet to see if there were some way I could better pick up the signal. And, yes, it was when my computer wasn’t picking up a good signal which in turn turned into a cursing fit. I do own movies I could watch on my computer, for crying out loud (the new Hulk, for one). But it’s the principle.

So, I finally found a chat site that mentioned that the aluminum Apples have notoriously bad reception because of the aluminum case. What, wait, what? Then why have it? Will it better protect me from a bullet? Can it be taken apart and makeshifted into a plane? Not that internet access (airport) is one of the most used functions on a computer or anything. So it goes. I have about a 5 hour blackout period where it’s nearly impossible to get online (probably too many people using). A good time to read a book. And, it looks like Man vs Wild on Netflix will just have to be a late night treat.

So, Apple with aluminum case, you are great, but have one flaw: you can dodge a bullet.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Review of: Colgate 360

I have been using a Colgate 360 toothbrush for longer than I can remember. I think I bought it at Target while purchasing detergent and possibly pants or speakers. It is a plain white and orange design with blue oval grips. I think it is the grips that allow for some 360 tooth-brushing maneuver that I have been unable to discover.

At this point in the 306’s life, it has that toothbrush feel that no longer distinguishes it from any older or used toothbrush. And, it is forming what can only be described as a crown due to the flattening of the bristles from pressure applied by my hand on the grips against my teeth. So, a good run Colgate 360, but I think it’s time to find a new toothbrush.

A Review of: The University of Cincinnati Langsam Library

Lately I have been walking to most of my local destinations, but today I felt the press of time and so drove to the UC Langsam Library to check out Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. It was a warm and humid day. I parked at the meters that line MLK Blvd, being Sunday and the meters free, instead of parking in the garage connected to the library, which charges $3 an hour. I jaunted up a grass hill, past the engineering building, and went through the revolving door of the heavily air-conditioned library.

There are two flights of stairs that lead to the section of the library that carries most of the literature selections. I had gotten my call number from home and familiarity with the library meant little time wasted before I was making my way through the isles. Like most anyone, I browse the shelves when I walk. The names that I recognized before finding Frankenstein were Sartre, Proust, Wordsworth, and Shelley. I love this part of the library visit, the names that pop out with memories attached to them—the young thrill of existentialism, the unread Swann’s Way, writing about The Prelude for my exams, and always being a little too ignorant of Romanticism.

The library has, as would be expected, several copies of Frankenstein. I leafed through several to find the size, font, and page color I like. A smaller book with browned pages and a nice round font seemed best, even with the copious underlining and marginalia. I normally like a clean text, but the other qualities of the book were perfect, and since I’m reading the book as part of a book club, I thought the marks would somehow add to the leisure of reading.

Satisfied with my selection I made my way to the self-checkout machine. I noted along the way the emptiness of the library, which is not unusual in the summer. It turned out the self-checkout machine was out of receipt paper, so I had to go to the main desk to check out the book. I waited a moment while an elderly man finished checking out, and then gave my book and card to the librarian (by his age, a student worker, most probably). I explained the paper issue in the self-checkout machine, but we had a slight miscommunication that was uncomfortable for a moment, but was quickly resolved. I think I may have been mumbling.

I left the library in good spirits. As I ran a little down the grassy hill, I decided to stop at the drug store across the street from my apartment and get a bag of Doritos to enjoy with my book. All in all, the UC Langsam Library is a great Sunday destination. I highly recommend it. And, if you have a few hours to kill, there are plenty of tables out in the open as well as study desks tucked in various corners of the library. There is also a special eating room with vending machines. And, the library is furnished with several computers, for those with more electronic appetites. Bon reading.