Little Free LibraryI love books.  I love going to book sales at libraries and thrift stores and yard sales, etc.  I add books to my own library and then give others to family and friends.  I love to read and I simply want to spread the love of reading one book at a time.

This is why I was so delighted to discover the Little Free Library!  The Little Free Library is a truly genius idea for sharing books and the love of reading.

It’s simply an enclosed bookshelf box/container anyone can set up in their own yard stocked with books for all ages.  The idea is that anyone can take a book or leave a book.

Little Free Library Story from Beargrass Media on Vimeo.

It becomes a little community library where friends and neighbors can get a book or donate a book.

You can get more information at:  www.littlefreelibrary.org.  Consider setting one up in your yard or donating to the project.

 


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When I’m working in my studio, I like to fill it up with news, talk or music.  Years ago, when I subscribed to cable, it was easy to have just about any kind of programming running in the background while I drew.

However, as many readers of this blog know, I’m a cable cutter.  I cancelled my cable subscription several years ago and now rely on Over-The-Air television. That is, I’m using an antenna to bring in local channels.   And, it’s pretty amazing.  Local broadcasters have all these sub-channels they now offer.  So, what once used to be three to five local channels has now expanded to 30 or 40!  There’s plenty to watch!

But, for even more selection, simply get an Amazon Firestick!

Sure, the Firestick offers a lot of movies and television programs, especially if you subscribe to Amazon Prime for a hundred bucks a year.  But what really interests me, and what I use most, are the free radio and music services!  Tune-in, IHeartRadio, NPR, Pandora, Spotify, and others are available to install as apps on the Firestick.  For only 40 bucks, the entire world opens up to you!  Simply plug the Firestick into your TV, boot the device, install the radio apps and you can listen to the BBC from London, ABC from Sydney Australia, or any of your local stations!

Now if you have a flat screen digital ready television, then set-up is easy.  Plug the Firestick into the HDMI port and turn on the TV.  If, like me, you’ve kept an older CRT (Cathode Ray Tube – these things really last!), then you simply need an HDMI to AVI converter.  I did a video on how to hook this up.  It’s on my youtube channel.

So now, when I’m in my studio, I simply boot my Firestick, launch a radio app and listen to programming from around the world or around the corner.:)

And it’s totally portable!  As long as you have an internet connection and a television, you can move it from room to room or take it anywhere!

And, you guessed it…I’m in my studio right now, writing this blog post, and  listening to a tune-in station on my Firestick.:)


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This past March, 2nd, 2016 was the NEA’s national “Read Across America” day.  A day where schools, libraries and community centers celebrate reading. (The day also coincides with Dr. Seuss’ birthday).

In watching news coverage, I was surprised and encouraged to see children holding and reading  BOOKS.  In this digital age where the latest tablet, e-reader, or gadget captivates, it’s nice to see kids holding and reading paper bound books and magazines.  There is a tangible immediacy in a book that a tablet or electronic device cannot equal.  Print appears to be very much alive.

comics monthlyThis is why I’m so very excited about a new Kickstarter project!

“Comics Monthly” is a brand new comic magazine hitting your doorstep very soon (get a subscription)!  It’s a collection of some of your favorite comic strips plus new comic strips that will sure to win you over.  And, in a nice twist, readers can vote for their favorites.

It’s really wonderful to see a new comics magazine entering the marketplace.  A magazine!  Something you can hold in your hands and flip through the pages!

Now, I love digital media as much as the next guy.  But sometimes the tried and true is the bet way to present material.  In this case, print is a wonderful medium to showcase comic strips and comic art.

And, I’m told the cartoon content is family friendly.  In addition, copies of the magazine will be donated to children’s hospitals.

My mother used to complain to her sister (my aunt Eleanor) that all I did was read comics all day.  My aunt, a very accomplished school teacher, pointed out to mom, “Yes.  But he’s READING.”  Sure enough, eventually I graduated to novels, historical biographies, etc.  (But I still LOVE to read comics!)

In the same way, a magazine like “Comics Monthly” helps to set a child on the path toward reading.  (It’s another reason why I’m excited about this project).

A printed magazine that encourages reading with free copies to children’s hospitals.  It’s a win-win-win!

Consider subscribing or donating to the project.

Here are links which will give you more information:


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This is a blog post I’ve been meaning to write for the last month or two.  My nephews gave me an Amazon Echo for Christmas!

It’s an amazing device!  I love this thing!  Here’s  a recent video I did shortly after setting it up for the first time.

Alexa plays music, reads you the news, delivers the weather, plays radio shows and podcasts from around the world, does math equations and conversions, plays games, controls lighting and heating in your home…you can even order Dominoes Pizza and Uber rides!  The list goes on and on!  And it’s getting better everyday!

Tablets and iPhones are nice.  Chromebooks are cool, too.  But, if I was limited to recommending only one device, it would be the Amazon Echo hands down!  You’ll love having it in your home.  If you have Amazon Prime, all the better!  The Amazon Echo makes full use of the Prime music library and your own songs that you can upload into your online library.

So, check out the Amazon Echo!    Better yet, GET an Amazon Echo!

 

 

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This past Christmas, I received the book Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever.


The previous Christmas, I was given Killing Patton The Strange Death of World War II’s Most Audacious General.

Both books are amazing!  They read like movies, no kidding!

The weather is getting warmer, TV will start reruns, and streaming services will go stale knowing that folks will be outside. So, pick up either of these books and enjoy a terrific read!  To write a review and detail the books will only include spoilers.  Read it for yourself.  you will not be disappointed!

Let me just say, if you thought you knew Lincoln and Patton’s story, well, you were wrong!

 


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