Sunday, September 26, 2010

Just a note . . .

. . .  to say that my wife's Spanish omelets are a darn good way to end the day. A little Tabasco jalapeno sauce and an ice-cold glass of milk. Perfection.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Do you name your possessions?

When I was in the Dominican Republic for my church many moons ago, I had a companion who cleverly named some of his more treasured possessions. For example, as I recall, his bicycle was Teancum, and his briefcase was Gus.

The love affair that some Kindle owners are apparently having with their new reading buddies has inspired them to name their precious possessions. I'm thinking of doing the same.

Let's make it a poll... What name do you think is appropriate for Clark's Kindle?

(I can't wait to see what y'all say.)

Friday, September 17, 2010

I'm on facebook

Okay. Of course I'm on facebook. I have been for quite some time.

Tonight, however, I made a facebook page for Clark Draney Photography, which is me too.

"Like" me and I'll include a DVD of your portrait session at no charge.

I've been kindled.

I think most serious readers were intrigued and a little excited by the appearance of Amazon's Kindle a couple of years ago. I know I was. The whole concept just seems right for folks who like to read. Lots of books at one's fingertips all the time. "Want that new bestseller but don't have the time or inclination to head for the mall? Why not download it instead and start reading RIGHT NOW?" Variable font sizes, built-in dictionary, no monthly bills for the connectivity etc. etc. etc.

Let's not forget the geek factor. The Kindle is a gadget and a pretty cool one at that.  E-readers have been around awhile, but Kindle pulls together the best features (it seems to me) and has the influence of Amazon there to get titles into the device. Clickity, clickity, click.

But let's talk price. What did they cost when they first appeared? $300 smackers, or something? Too dang rich for my blood. And you still have to buy the books. With books available for just a single click, I'd probably be buying left and right and racking up a huge ole bill in no time. Yikes.

After a few days of drooling and dreaming, I decided it was not time for me to kindle.

So, a couple of weeks before my birthday (which is August 24th, for those of you keeping track), Keri asked me what I wanted. I hopped on Amazon and updated my wish list. I put a few books, a couple of DVDs, and some other reasonably priced things on there. And, just for fun, I added the new Kindle. Just as a joke, you know?

Of course, you know where this is going.

Afternoon of my birthday: Keri hands me a package and a stack of cards. The package was a book from my list (the very useable and useful Speaker's Guide to 40 Years of General Conference). The cards were fun and touching cards from the kids, a sweet note from Keri that reminded me of the many, many reasons I married her, and one more surprise-- a note that read "These items are back-ordered and will be delivered when available." On the card were images of a Kindle and a black leather Kindle cover. Wow! What fun!

The Kindle and cover were back-ordered because the newest Kindle, the third edition*, was just released and was in heavy demand, so I had to wait. The order page indicated that orders from the date Keri bought it were shipping around Sept 10th. I haunted the Kindle forums** on Amazon for several days until, miracle of miracles, my Kindle was delivered earlier than expected on Sept 8th. Hurray!

So... does the Kindle live up to its hype? That'll be the subject of another day's post.

*Don't call the newest Kindle the K3, though. The official term is Kindle (Latest Generation). I wonder though,...what happens when a newer generation comes out next year? Will that be the Latestest Generation?

**The main forum I paid attention to was the one that indicated when people in my shipping wave were getting their notifications and their actual shipments. A fun forum that continues to amuse is one about the extracurricular activities of electronic devices.
(BTW,The price is much closer to "right" now. Just $189 for the whole shootin' match (the one with 3G and wi-fi), and only $139 for the wi-fi only version. WAY reasonable.)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Despicable Me

Despicable Clark. That's right.

Okay. That's too strong. Of course it is. I posted that little note about feeling selfish, etc. Several of you true-blue friends chimed in to say encouraging things. Thanks. It meant a lot. Really.

I still think there's an element of truth in what I wrote though. I don't mean to get all philosophical on all-y'all or anything, but I think most of what most of people do boils down to a kind of self-interest. Call it enlightened self-interest (as Voltaire and others did), but it's still quite a bit about "what in it for me?" Right?


Here's an example. I'm contemplating taking on some different responsibilities in my department. The person who holds the position now believes that the holder of the position should teach only comp. I love teaching comp, but I don't want to let go of my lit teaching. Rather than thinking of the ways in which teaching only comp would be good for the department and for students, or thinking about how teaching comp and lit together while holding the above-named position makes sense for the department or for students, I'm thinking only of my selfish desire to continue to teach lit. See? It's all about me.

Or, here's another...

Let's say that the person who cleans my office is something of a jabbermouth--- loves to hang out in my office and chat while I'm trying to work. Let's say, also, that I find out that this person lives alone and his/her only companion, a faithful dog, has just died. Out of a sense of ... what? ... duty? I decide to spend a little more time each day talking to this person. Am I doing that because he/she needs the chance to talk? Or am I doing it so the person will continue to do a bang-up job on cleaning up my work space? Or to keep him/her from taking my Hot Tamales? Or ... What is my motive?

One more,

Do I serve in my church calling (or my community volunteer position) because I have a genuine desire to be of help to and to make the lives of others better, or am I doing the things I do in that setting because I want people to like me or to say nice things about me or so I can put those things on my next rank advancement application (which means more $$ if I succeed in advancing in rank, and everything is about money, right?)? What is my motive?

I know, of course, that our motives are marvelously mixed. We do things for all kinds of crazy (and sane) reasons. I guess I'm just trying to examine what I do and why, and trying to think more about how what I do creates happiness or sadness, offers opportunities or shuts them down, for the important people in my life.

So I'm selfish, but I'm trying to be enlightened. Does that fly?

Monday, September 6, 2010

See what happens?

When classes begin, I drop off the face of the blogging planet.

And now that classes are also beginning for 4 of our 5 children, I'll be even more of a blog basket case. Ah so.

I've decided, by the by, that I am one of the most selfish people I know. I've been analyzing my behavior of late, and I've come to the uncomfortable realization that almost everything I do is for me-- in one way or another. It kinda makes me sick to realize it, but I think it's more than a little true.

The funny thing is, that's not the way I want to be. Being all wrapped up in myself makes a pretty small package. Really.

Sad, too.

So. What am I going to do about  it?

I don't know yet. But I do know that I'm going to give it some serious thought and make a plan.

More on this before long, I hope.