Category Archives: Random

What is on your bookshelf?

bookshelfIt’s been a while since I posted so I figured I’d better write something. I could write about school starting again soon – yay! I could write about completing my first 10-mile race last weekend; which I’ll cheer for only because it’s done. I could write about writing. I’m 8,000 words into my story. I read a couple of days ago that if I were writing a novella that I’d be almost halfway done!

But I’m not going to write about that stuff. Well, at least not anymore than I already have. I figured I’d write about the tiny little bookshelf in my desk.

Here is the inventory from the picture you see here and the reason it’s on my shelf.

Red by Ted Dekker is the second book in the Circle series. I bought this book at a Barnes & Noble in Brandon, Florida. It was November 7th, 2011. We were down in the sunshine state cleaning out my dad and grandma’s place. My sister and I had a long drive home to Michigan in a U-Haul. I was still up to my neck in grief over dad’s passing and I needed something to read that gave me a picture of something larger than myself. This book will remain on my shelf as that reminder.

The Wake of Forgiveness by Bruce Machart is an advanced reading copy book that I got from Barnes & Noble book club. The idea was that the participants of the club would get a copy of the book, read it, review it and get a chance to discuss it with the author before its official release date. It wasn’t the type of book that I would normally read but I thought it was fascinating. This book thrilled me because it was my first ARC book and I was geeked about seeing the notices on the back and inside of the book that it was not for resale. review only. etc. I felt like a member of a pretty exclusive club.

The Year We Left Home by Jean Thompson is an ARC book that I won from a Goodreads giveaway. I read the book’s blurb and it sounded interesting. When I started to read it I just couldn’t finish it. I couldn’t get into it. It may have just been a case of the right book at the wrong time. I have every intention of giving it another shot when I have the time to do so.

CSS, DHTML & AJAX by Cranford & Teague is a college book that I held onto from my web design days. I don’t code anymore but I do occasionally find myself looking at code upon request and it helps to serve as a refresher.

Angst by David Pedersen is one of the first indie books I gave a chance to. I have no clue how I discovered this book or what led to me following David on twitter but I’m glad I did. I read it, reviewed it and then won a contest for an autographed copy. Inside it says: “Dusty, Thank you for the support and the amazing review!! Best regards,” It’s also a collectors edition as it’s sporting an older cover than the latest printing of the book.

Wild at Heart Journal by John Eldredge is a leather-bound journal to complement the book of the same name. I loved the book but only made it a few pages into the journal. Still it’s leather-bound and adds a touch of class to my shelf.

Scrivener for Dummies by Gwen Hernandez is a great resource for writers who use the brilliant Scrivener software. I admit that I haven’t had a chance to open the book yet for more than just a glance at a particular function of the software but I don’t know if most “for Dummies” books are meant to be read cover to cover. Perhaps this one is. I’ll have to look closer.

ESV Study Bible is a study bible. It’s definitely not as worn as it should be but I do use the online membership that came with it far more often than the actual printed copy.

Writing Fiction for Dummies by Randy Ingermanson and Peter Economy is a book that came highly-recommended to me and I can understand why. Just over halfway through and I’m seeing issues with my own story that this book has helped right. I’m eager to reach the editing phase so I can work on sharpening my scenes with the tips I’ve been given so far.

Latest issue of Wired.

Programming in Visual Basic .NET by Bradley and Milspaugh is another college textbook that I’ve hung onto. I haven’t done much VB coding since college but this book was fantastic. I thought it taught the content brilliantly. I’ve hung onto it for that reason.

And that’s it for now. I have a few laptop hard drives on the shelf, a Zune HD music player, an iPad smart cover, some papers, a deck of cards from Poland and my NOOK Simple Touch with Glow Light. That last item has a tens of dozens of more books I could share but that list would be a novel in and of itself.

What have you got on your bookshelf? Are any of those books special to you? And for what reason?

Ashley Esqueda. Good Human.

The topic no doubt speaks for itself, but let me explain how I came to this conclusion. Ashley Esqueda is something of VIP in the Android community. For my less techy readers: By Android I mean the mobile phone operating system not the cybernetic human community. She’s a contributing writer to, a host of the Mobile Nations podcast, a host of TechLife on Tecca and even does a little show called Techfoolery. I stole her resume from her Google+ profile, not to establish that I’m perfectly capable of cutting and pasting but to demonstrate that the girl is busy.

She took to her Google+ page last week and invited her fellow “Plussers” to ask her anything, so long as it wasn’t vulgar or inappropriate. She got questions like “Do you prefer Zombies or Vampires?” “How long does the battery on your phone last from a full charge?” “Which superhero would you marry?” and then depressing ‘ol me asks:


Honestly, I expected her to sidestep this question not because it was vulgar or inappropriate but because I am a complete stranger and maybe this is a question better asked of a trusted friend. I mean she’s a tech blogger for crying out loud, not a psychologist. Or at least she doesn’t report to be. In any event, what I expected was nothing. What I got was this:


I was pretty stunned. Not only did I get a reply but I got a pretty huge reply. And that was beyond cool. I’ve always thought that social media was an incredible way for people to interact with an audience. I’m far more loyal to Indie authors who I’ve shot the breeze with on Twitter than I am to a Stephen King or Michael Connelly. And this thoughtful post from Ashley made me a greater fan or supporter. I thought, she didn’t have to do that. She didn’t need to share that with me. My Nana and I were really close and so I could relate to the losing a grandparent I adored.

And then I went about my life. Work. Family. Friends. Birthday. And then Tuesday rolled around. Tuesday night was the Hong Kong introduction of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. To my non-techy readers, Google names their Android OS versions after desserts: “donut”, “éclair”, “froyo”, “gingerbread”, “honeycomb”, etc. I missed the live stream of the event but yesterday I finally got around to watching the event replay. It was awesome and I was psyched. Though maybe not about facial recognition, but I digress. Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) is so much cooler than I was expecting. I took to Facebook and Google+ to share my enthusiasm.


To my surprise a couple hours later I got a reply from someone outside of my usual circles. (It’s also a Google+ joke!)


Seriously? How cool is that?

Here is the rest of the exchange.


I really only shared my long response to her as a follow up to my last post. I was pretty positive that my birthday was going to be something of a drag, but it wasn’t. It was actually better than I could have hoped for. I am incredibly thankful to everyone who helped distract me and keep me happy. Most especially my beautiful wife and kids.

So there you have it. There is my geeky brush with fame and the explanation for my blog post title.

Ashley Esqueda. Good Human. Better Robot.

If you’d like to meet a good human or a better robot, follow Ashley on [Twitter] or [Google+].

Damn You Autocorrect Shipping Envelope?

Cynthia has found a website that she visit regularly that has her in stiches on a several times daily basis. She’ll regal me with stories like the following:


But today it was her turn. She sent me an email from her iPhone asking me if we had internet. We did. She told me the Xbox didn’t. She only cares about that because without Internet connectivity to the Xbox, Netflix doesn’t work. Which means we can’t watch Pink Panther. Which means we have a grumpy three-year-old. So I do a quick search for the #xboxlive hash tag on twitter and see hundreds of “Is Xbox Live Down?” questions. I tell her that it looks like an issue with Xbox Live. Her response made me laugh.


I was hopeful that something good would come of having an iPhone in the house and now it has. =)

Is this the appropriate shipping envelope for this product?

So I’ve been shipping a lot of microSD cards lately. Well, about twenty. But shipping twenty microSD cards means I’ve been to the post office more times in the past several months than I’d been there in the past five years easily. So I’m going to stick with “a lot” but remember it’s relative.

Shipping microSD cards means I have to order microSD cards. Usually I receive my shipments in a reasonably sized envelope. Today was an exception. A rather large exception. Thank you for this WTH moment.