Buying books from old jews

Building book sale haul

You may not know this about me, but I live in a building where a lot of older Jewish people live. I don't have a problem with this. They are very quiet, the elevators are easy to get late at night, and they can be quite entertaining.

My building has a little library in the community room, which I have never been to. However, the library had a book sale last week to raise some money.

Given the key demographic in my building, I didn't think there would be many books of interest to me but at a buck a book I figured I could take 15 minutes to check out the wares.

I'm glad I did because I ended up spending $5 on the following:

  • Mr. Vertigo: I like Auster a lot, so this was an easy choice.
  • Third Class Superhero : I enjoyed Yu's second novel How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe so why not give his first work a go?
  • Bonk's Bar : This one is the wild card. I picked it up mostly because it is set in Philadelphia.
  • The Law of Nines : Oh Terry Goodkind. I expect this book to be pretty bad, but I went through a Goodkind phase in high school and I thought I would give him a chance now.
  • Jpod : I was an English major in college, which means most of my classes were discussions. As any of you who have met me in real life (or have listened to any of The Incomparable podcasts in which I appear) know I am a man of few words. I remained generally quiet in class except for two notable occasions: in a creative writing class discussion on Hemingway and the "Iceberg theory" (90% of an iceberg is underwater as a metaphor for how much is concealed in Hemingway's spare prose) I suggested that he wrote so simply because he wasn't a very good writer (the TA of the class didn't agree with me). The other time, in a postmodern literature class, I argued reading Generation X, Coupland's most well known work, was a waste of time because all the characters did was whine about nothing (the Prof. didn't agree with me). Given that background it might seem odd to pick this up, but I did enjoy Microserfs.

When I went to pay for my five books the little old lady looked at them and said, "Great! We don't get many people with such esoteric taste."

Not sure what she meant by that, but I'll take it as a compliment.

Win a copy of The Mac OS X Lion Project Book

You all know that I'm a big fancy pants author, right?

Did you know that big fancy pants authors get author copies of their books? It is true! It is also true that I have no use for 25 copies of my latest opus: The Mac OS X Lion Project Book
(though I do recommend you purchase at least 3 copies, in case of disaster).

However, two lucky people will win a copy of my book just by commenting on this post by end of day Saturday, September 3rd.

That's right, just leave a comment and you'll be entered to win! I'll pick two lucky people, autograph the book (if requested to) and mail it off to them.

All I ask of the winners is this: read the book and leave a review of it on Amazon/… wherever you do your shopping. The review should be honest (good, bad, or indifferent) of course.

Alright, why are you still reading this? Leave a comment already!

My Lion ebooks are now available

When Cliff, my editor at Peachpit, asked me to write The Mac OS X Lion Project Book, I jumped at the chance. I wrote, and wrote, and wrote… well, I wrote too damn much!

I only had 240 pages, which seems like a lot when you’re staring at the blank page in Scrivener, but they fill up fast.

I wrote so much additional information that we had enough stuff to six (6!) additional ebooks, which are now available on the iBook Store and the Kindle store (I say buy both formats… cross platform!):

SecureSecure Your Mac with Mac OS X Lion (iBooks | Kindle): Out of the box, Lion is pretty darned secure… but it could be even more secure (people are out to get you). This ebook covers how to use Lion’s Firewall, FileVault, and change some default settings to thwart the criminal element (just like a superhero!).

ChildproofChildproof your Mac with Mac OS X Lion (iBooks | Kindle): Kids have sticky fingers and they want to prod and poke your Mac, launch apps they shouldn’t, and spend all your money on the Mac App Store. This ebook will show you how to enable Parental Controls on your Mac and put those ankle-biters in their place (you will even learn how to limit their computer usage using a Lion feature).

ManagepasswordManage passwords with 1Password (iBooks | Kindle) Ok, this book isn’t Lion specific but 1Password is a great app worthy of an ebook unto itself. Thanks to 1Password I am of the opinion that the best password is a password that even you don’t know. 1Password creates, manages, and fills in passwords for you. Brilliant! I have no idea what any of my password are anymore, and I love it!

ItunesSpruce up iTunes (iBooks | Kindle): iTunes is kind of a beast, and this ebook shows you how to keep it in line. Learn how to add album art, edit meta-data, dedup your iTunes Library (and even more your Library to another disk). Rock on, you crazy diamond.

VidconfVideo conferencing with Mac OS X Lion (iBooks | Kindle): There are lots of ways to video conference with Lion, but this ebook covers one you might not think of first: Skype. I know, I know: what about iChat or FaceTime? Well, I thought it made the most sense to go with the app that people have heard of, and that non-Mac users can actually use (madness!).

HometheaterPowering your home theater from your Mac (iBooks | Kindle): You’re made your iTunes library all pretty, but no iTunes library is an island! How do you get all that sweet, sweet media from your Mac onto the screen of your giant HDTV or stream Jefferson Starship to your kickin’ audio system? This ebook tells you how (and you just have to buy a couple things).

The Mac OS X Lion Project Book

Lion250When I first thought about writing a tech book the subject seemed obvious: something Mac related.

That didn't work out, but I managed to write a few books about WordPress, TypePad, and even the Kindle (thanks to the four people who bought this one!).

I really enjoyed writing those books, but in the back of my mind I still wanted to write a book about something Mac related.

Enter Lion.

Lion is Apple's latest and greatest operating system, and The Mac OS X Lion Project Book is my book about it!

Now, this book is in Peach Pit's Project Book series, so it won't tell you how to use Lion. It tries to answer the question, "I have this super cool Mac running Lion, now what the hell can I do with it?"

Lots! I had so many ideas, in fact, that I wrote way more than 240 pages (the book's length was capped at 240) so we'll be releasing 6 additional ebooks (which I'll blog about when they are available).

What's covered in the book? Why, I'm glad I asked myself! You'll find out how to:

  • Encode your DVDs for playback on your iPad, iPhone, Mac, or Apple TV
  • Bend iChat to your will
  • Create a wonderful Web site
  • And more!

Now, if you're looking for a book that'll teach you Lion, I have a few suggestions:

Can I call the beyond with Google Voice?

CalldadIt is Father's Day here in the US, and I wish a happy day to all the dads out there that I know (A side note: the number of fathers in my social circle is increasing at an alarming rate. Clearly, I am old).

I logged into my Gmail account to see Google helpfully remind me that I should call my dad today. I would, the only trouble is that my father is dead.

I know someone at Google thought it would be a good idea to promote the phone call feature of GTalk on Father's Day but I have an inkling I'm not the only Gmail user out there with a dead dad.

Thanks, Google!

Memorial Day 2011, in Northampton, MA

This year we broke our tradition of escaping Philadelphia to the bucolic surrounds of Lancaster County (read about our past adventures in 2010 here and 2009 here) and instead headed to Northampton, MA to visit Becky and Eric (formerly of Philadelphia).

The trip takes about 5 hours (in our sweet new car) but we decided to break the trip up into two parts by stopping over near Beacon, NY so we could visit the Dia: Beacon.

Dia: Beacon

This is the entrance to the museum, and that's the only picture I could because of copyright restrictions on the art itself (who knew?).

The building is amazing, and the art is pretty mind-bending. I think the organization of the collection could use some work. As someone who isn't an expert on modern art the first two exhibits seemed like cliches (though I am sure they were very fine art). One included a room full of canvases painted white, and the other included materials that needed to be "activated." Activated, in this case, means put them on you and look foolish.

After those galleries, though, the art got really interested. Lots of great sculpture and even some crazy pencil drawings done directly on the museum's walls. If you're ever in the area you should check this museum out (though don't bring a big bag because they won't let you in with it.. as Marisa found out the hard way. Don't worry, she put it back in the car and was allowed into the museum).

Books and rootbeer

Once we were done with the Dia: Beacon we made our way to Northampton to be greeted by our generous hosts. Our first stop was the Montague Bookmill which has a great slogan, "Books you don't need in a place you can't find." I picked up some books and a bottle of root beer.

Northampton, MA farmers' market

The next day found us at the Northampton Farmers Market.

Eric and Becky nabs some goodies

Where Becky found herself some cheese and Eric tracked down a raspberry bush.

Marisa shows off her new bowl

Marisa found herself a big wooden bowl because we need another bowl.

I have no idea what this means

We stopped into this antique store with this rather odd phrase on the window. I still have no idea what it means.


Deals and steals is a local discount organic food store (which is like heaven to Marisa). I bought this big Kitkat from Libya.

Marisa gets some maple syrup in a jar

We went to a food co-op and Marisa thrilled at the chance to fill a jar with maple syrup (shortly after this picture was taken I drank all the maple syrup with a straw).

Bridge of Flowers

The Bridge of Flowers was… just as you might expect: a bridge with lots of flowers on it (which someone from a nearby apartment pointed out to us as we took pictures. They shouted from their porch, "They're just flowers!!").

Marisa, Eric, and Becky

Marisa, Eric, and Becky look at glacial potholes.

Spaetzle enjoying my iPad

One thing I don't like about living in our apartment is the strict no pets policy. We enjoyed having some quality time with a nice kitty (and Spaetzle enjoyed playing with my iPad).

Spaetzle from the front

Spaetzle, caught in a rare moment of silence (she is a chatty kitty!).

My grilled pizza

Marisa had the bright idea to grill some pizza. We all thought she was crazy, but she assured us that if we plopped some dough on the grill good things would happen. In the face of our unanimous doubt Marisa did some research and found out that one must oil the dough before placing it on the grill.

The pizza was very good.

Eric is pleased

Eric is a fine grillmaster.

Climbing down

Going down the steps of Bray Tower.


Eric commanded that we think about our ideal sausage the night before we went sausage shopping. Once at the sausage counter I met the sausage I had dreamt of without even knowing it: a chicken cheddar pepperoni sausage. It was mighty tasty.

My book haul

And here's my final book haul. In a rare occurrence I do believe I spent more money on this Memorial Day trip than Marisa did. Who knew?

No nook makes Scott sad


I preordered the new Nook from B&N. UPS said it was supposed to be delivered today. I did what anyone would: refreshed the UPS page over and over again until the status changed to delivered.

Sadly, the status didn't turn to delivered. It seems B&N told UPS to hand over the package to the Post Office for final delivery. Instead of getting it today, I should be getting it tomorrow.


Potential bio

ScottheadshotI've been asked to speak at the Wharton Web Conference (I also happen to be on the content committee of said conference, funny how that works out!) about WordPress.

I've been struggling with writing a bio for the Web site, but now I think I've got it. What do you all think of this:

Scott McNulty has been blogging for over 10 years. Over the course of that time he’s taken countless pictures of cats, met his wife at a blogger meetup, and written a couple of blogging books (“Building a WordPress Blog People Want to Read” and “Building a TypePad Blog People Want to Read”).

In addition to being crazy about blogging, Scott has an unhealthy interest in eReaders, Hawaiian shirts, Macs, and Diet Pepsi.

When not hard at work as a member of Wharton Computing, Scott pounds the keyboard stringing words together for his next tech book (coming soon to a bookstore near you).

Also, I'm thinking of using the crop of this picture, taken by Marisa, as my headshot.Thoughts?

Bray Tower


We had a lovely Memorial Day Weekend in Northampton, MA thanks to our gracious (and very generous) hosts Becky and Eric.

Becky is my oldest blog buddy, so it was a bummer when she and Eric decided to move to Northampton. That being said, they seem to be settling in very nicely what with the plentiful sausage and ice cream opportunities (plus there I think there might be a bookstore or two around the area… but I'm not sure).