I'm a reading person, which makes me better than you (look in your heart, you know it to be true).
Anyway, I thought it might be fun to list all the books that I read in 2010 as a fond look back at the stories that were. I started this post a couple of months ago and I'm just finishing it up now.
I was too busy reading.
See what I did there?
Last year's reading list was greatly impacted by my participation in the fabulous geeky podcast The Incomparable (I even listen to the episodes that I am not in.. that's high praise from a self proclaimed egomaniac).
Here's the list:
- How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe
- Surface Details
- The Evolutionary Void
- The Gone-Away World
- Johannes Cabal the Necromancer
- Ship Breaker
- The God Engines
- From Hell with Love
- A Curtain Falls
- Brains: A Zombie Memoir
- In the Shadow of Gotham
- The Dream of Perpetual Motion
- The Bad Book Affair
- The Adamantine Palace
- The Man Who Loved Books Too Much
- Up in the Air
- Shades of Grey
- Speaks the Nightbird
- The City & the City
- The Windup Girl
Sure, I love eReaders (some might say I have an eReader problem) but here's a dirty little secret: if, by some otherworldly force, all the eReaders in the world disappeared I would be sad. If said force was turned against libraries instead I would weep for humanity.
Textpattern is a CMS (content management system) and blogging tool. It is elegant, well designed, and no one uses it (well, very few people). I like it, but I have discovered they've updated their logo. Call me old fashioned, but I liked the old one better.
I will admit that the newer logo is bolder, and probably easier to print on T-shirts and the like.. but the old one just resonates with me.
Yesterday I gave a presentation to the fine folks at PANMA. I happily agreed to give the presentation because I like talking in front of groups, and then I immediately regretted it because I am deeply shy.
Pushing aside my shyness I whipped up a presentation about two seemingly unrelated topics: improving your blog and the current eReader/tablet landscape. What is the glue that holds these two topics together? Why, my interest in them, of course!
The presentation is embedded above and available via this link. Check it out.
Overall I think the presentation went well, and the audience had some great questions (thanks to Marisa for pitching in and sharing some details about how she has been so successful with Food in Jars). Note to self: skip the Libya joke next time.
Here are some links to things I mention in the presentation:
- My WordPress book (buy several copies)
- My TypePad book (another great book!)
- WordPress.com and WordPress.org plus TypePad
- Editorial Calendar plugin
- All in One SEO Pack
- Improving your WordPress blog permalinks (for SEO and human readability)
- Project Gutenberg
- Kindle.amazon.com to check out popular notes/highlights
- Adobe Digital Editions
After I was done (I managed to talk for about 1.5 hours!) Marisa told me I did a good job. Her praise, of course, is suspect since she loves me and all. I was happy to hear from some audience members (none of whom love me, I assume) that they thought my talk was entertaining and informative (despite the Libya joke). A couple even complimented me on the pictures in my presentation.
And you should pre-order the Savage Chickens book. I did, because I'm better than you.
I don't see a problem with this at all.
Amazon is making headlines today by giving Amazon Prime members (Amazon Prime, for those who aren't familiar, is a service Amazon provides: for $80 a year you get 2 Day shipping on eligible items. I've been a Prime member for as long as Prime has been an option.) access to lots of streaming movies and TV shows for no additional cost (I would say free, but you do have to pay that $80 a year... though this is a nice addition to the service).
All in all, I'm a fan of this development. Jeff Bezos took to the front page of Amazon.com, as he does, to announce the news with a giant image of a letter. In his letter Jeff highlights an odd assortment of available TV shows (which are also all available via Netflix streaming):
- Doctor Who [Netflix link]
- Farscape [Netflix link]
- The Dick Van Dyke Show [Netflix link]
- Fawlty Towers [Netflix link]
- The Office (from the BBC) [Netflix link]
Clearly people who watch streaming TV shows like sci-fi, British shows, and old sitcoms (plus the streaming rights for most of these shows must be pretty cheap).
Stream on, you crazy diamonds!
Oh, and Netflix seems to think I like Canadian TV:
No one in their right mind would mistake me for a Marine, I'm a little too doughy. That being said, I have nothing against the Marines. They seem like a nice bunch of folks, and I enjoyed visiting the Marine Museum with my mother way back in the day.
Why am I thinking about the Marines all of a sudden? Because I want to buy some new sneakers, obviously. My sneakers of choice are New Balance 993's (which should come as no surprise to you faithful Blankbaby followers). From time to time New Balance comes out with a limited edition color scheme, and they just so happen to have created a pair of Marine edition 993's that have recently come to my attention.
I think they look pretty snazzy (they are pictured above), however, as I've established, I am not a Marine. Would wearing these shoes imply that I was, at one point in my storied life, an active duty Marine? Or would it simply say that I support our boys from the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli?
You can see my quandary. Of course I also happen to own at least 3 pairs of serviceable 993's, so I don't actually need another pair. But they're so cool looking!
Marisa bought me this t-shirt for my birthday. Very apt.
As I continue to lose weight, I think back to where I was 5 years ago and remember that I'm about 100 pounds lighter than that Scott was.
Losing another 50 pounds doesn't seem too bad (though it won't be easy!).
A little while ago I asked folks to head on over to a wacky Web site and describe me in three words. Furthermore, I promised to post the results and here they are:
- anti-fruit & vegetable, moderate, and sharp
- aloof, witty, and introverted
- funny, interesting, and scottalicious
- clever, savvy, and erudite
- friendly, house-trained, and well-groomed
- zany, tall, and caring
- witty, dapper, and techie
- Gay, Large, and Stupid (I don't think this person is a Scott McNulty fan, but I could be wrong.)
- fluffy, puff, and marshmallows
- witty, smart, and conservative
- funny, smart, and brutal
- Unique, Hawaitastic, and prescient
- literate, mancandy, and blankbaby
- insightful, merry, and kind
- Philly, Food, and Writing
- smart, funny, and logical
- Savvy, Whimsical, and Gentle giant
- clever, friendly, and e-reader-addicted
- kindle, nook, and another kindle (This one is probably my favorite.)
- Knowledgeable, Enigmatic, and Shy
And that makes the top three words: smart, funny, witty. I'm blushing here!
The above video is making the rounds of the Internet. It was produced by a fan of NASA who thinks that agency could use some help with their communications (and I tend to agree). It features Carl Sagan reading from his book "Pale Blue Dot " (which is a fantastic book).
This video is a little unfair to NASA if only because Carl Sagan was probably the best science educator there has ever been. Just listen to the man, and his words, in this video and tell you don't want to give 95% of the Federal budget to NASA. And the idea that it isn't us who will be colonizing the solar system, but a species very much like us.. that's pretty powerful stuff.
If fan made NASA propaganda isn't your thing, but you still want to hear Carl Sagan's words, check out this short film that uses the same voiceover (and music), set to some beautiful time-lapse photography:
I thought this blog was defunct, and I bet you did as well.
Actually, I've just been reading a lot as of late so I have been ignoring my blog readers (I think that the only people who read this blog now are my lovely wife Marisa and my friends Glenn and Julie... prove me wrong Internet!).
Anyway, over on Twitter I came across a Web site called ThreeWords. The idea is you setup an account and people can describe you using three words... so I thought why not ask my blog readers to explain me in three words. Click this link and list the three words that you think describe me best.
After awhile I'll write a blog post about the words that have been used! Won't that be fun?
I'm going to let you in on a little secret: I started this month with the intentions of writing a blog post every day. Sadly, that didn't work out but I haven't given up! I'll be back this week, you can bet on that, Mr. Man.
Today wasn't an ordinary day. I didn't spend my day working hard at my day job. Nope, I spent the day thinking hard at TEDxPhilly.
If you aren't familiar with the TED conference check out their website. Basically, TED consists of a number of short presentations by people who do amazing things, think astounding thoughts, change the world, or a combination there of.
The TED conference is super fancy, super expensive, and invite only. They do, however, put most of the talks up on the web for free which is cool.
TEDx is an offshoot of TED... think of it as TEDlocal. The thing to keep in mind that all the TEDx conferences are run and organized by volunteers.
Today marked the first TEDxPhilly and by the good graces of Wharton Computing I went to see what all the fuss was about.
I had a fantastic time, and the event went off with nary a hitch. Congrats to all involved, with a special Blankbaby shoutout to my friend Roz Duffy who was the main motivator behind TEDxPhilly. Great job, Stellar Girl!
Oh, and Chris Bartlett (@harveymilk on the Twitter) did a bang up job hosting event.
My mind is brimming with thoughts, and I'll be writing up some more impressions of the event tomorrow on my work blog (hey, they paid for my ticket so they get my thoughts!).
My drink of choice is a Pimm's Cup. Why? Because I likes it!
I found myself on the Internet the other day, which is out of the ordinary, and I ended up on the official Pimm's website. I poked around and found out about the existence of the Pimm's pitcher (a pitcher in which to make a large amount of Pimm's cups).
I leapt for my wallet, but sadly the store on the Pimm's website wasn't working. Sadness.
Enter eBay. I now own a Pimm's pitcher of my very own (pictured above). Sure, mine is plastic but I'm ok with that. I think I'll break in during my birthday party.
As you can see from the above image, Peachpit books are now available on the iBook store. If you're into eBooks from Apple, and a fan of Scott McNulty this is your lucky day. That's right, Peachpit is my publisher which means:
You can buy my books on your iPhone/iPad. Neat, huh? And here's my author's page (which is kind of lame... I can't change anything about it unlike Amazon's author pages):
Just search for Scott McNulty on iBooks and you're all set.
Get to buying, people! I need to pay for all the stuff I bought this month somehow!
At the start of this month I told Marisa that I wasn't going to buy anything that we didn't need.
I'm lucky enough to have a little bit of disposable income, and I enjoy being able to buy whatever bauble might catch my fancy at any given time (within reason). This isn't a problem, but as I looked around the apartment I realized I didn't really need any more stuff.
My resolve didn't last long, though. As you know I bought a fancy vacuum (which really sucks... get it?), but I thought that would be it!
Fast forward to today and I made a couple more purchases. To the right you can see the new graphics card for my Mac Pro I purchased today. I know what you're thinking, "Scott, why do you need a new graphics card?" So I can power this fancy new monitor
I also bought today:
Clearly, I have a problem.