Put the Phone Down


We went out to eat tonight, and as I looked around the restaurant, I was struck by the number of people interacting with their phones rather than gazing into each other’s eyes.

A father was interacting with his phone rather than with his daughter.

Put the phone down.

A husband was looking at his phone instead of talking to his wife.

Put the phone down.

A couple were checking out something on the phone rather than talking to the couple they were having dinner with.

Put the phone down.

How did we come to this?

Put the phone down.

Why do we prefer the companionship of a block of glass and metal over the people we love?

Put the phone down.

Have you ever gathered with family, looked around the room, and wondered why everybody was looking at their phones instead of talking to each other? I have.

Put the phone down.

Why would anyone ever need to have their phone out at the table?

Put the phone down.

Reconnect with humans.

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I’m Going To Miss Books


Just Part of One Bookshelf

Really, I am. I am and have always been a book lover. Ask anybody. Ask my son and daughter who have spent hours impatiently waiting while I browsed dollar book sales. What you see on that bookshelf is just a small glimpse of the thousands of books that have passed through my hands.

I was walking through Sam’s Club today and I couldn’t help but observe that their book section is smaller than it was last year. “I’m going to miss books” was my thought as I passed by beckoning tomes. I’m acutely aware of why the tactile pleasure of flipping through books is slipping away from my hands.

The iPhone. The Kindle. The iPad. The Nook. iBooks. Kindle on the iPhone and iPad.

I will be the first to admit that reading a book in bed is much easier on my iPhone with iBooks. I can hold it with one hand. I don’t have to have a light on. I can adjust the backlight to my preference. I can make the text larger or smaller at will. I can look up any word instantly. What’s not to love?

Using the Kindle on my iPhone is almost as easy, but the only reason I ever choose it over iBooks is because they have a wider and larger book selection that iBooks.

I used to think a Kindle would be the very rankdom (a favorite term of my daddy’s), but the buttons are a pain in the patootie, and I have to have a light. It is awesome for reading on the beach, but that only happens once a year for me. The new Kindle with the touch screen has to be a great improvement.

All of these reading devices offer children’s books that are captivating since they will read to you and even animate themselves. I do love that advance in the technology, but what happens to the interaction of children and parents or grandchildren and grandparents when no human interaction is needed?

Little Golden Books

These Little Golden Books are favorites for several reasons. See the two on the right? My grandmother read those two copies to me. A Day at the Beach has always been my favorite. Mr. Meyer’s Cow was my oldest grandgirl’s favorite. Hansel and Gretel is my middle grandgirl’s favorite. And this version hasn’t been sanitized–the witch is still fattening Hansel up to eat him.

Oh, and as for A Day at the Beach, we always vacation at Alabama or Florida beaches in the summer. Therefore, I never really grasped the concept of spending a day at the beach. It is so blooming hot here in the summer that there is NO way to spend a whole day at the beach without dying of heat stroke. It’s more like a morning and evening at the beach with a midday retreat from the hotter-than-400-hells sun.

Then, several years ago I visited San Diego, California. Oceanside, CA, taught me what a day at the beach could be like. Really? I could stay at the beach all day long and not fry like a piece of bacon? I could sit in the sun without risking sun or heat stroke? I could get a golden tan instead of a dirty-looking tan? Oops, I digress.

Back to the books. I’m a tech lover at heart. I love gadgets with all my heart. I even love the wonderful world of book technology. But as much as I do, my heart will always belong to the physical hardback and paperback books. I’ll always prefer the smell of paper pages to plastic, metal, and glass devices.

An even if I did have a dust mite and parchment allergy problem like Niles Crane (which I don’t), I’d love books all the same.

I hope we don’t have to say goodbye anytime soon, but I suspect that within 10 years I’ll be having to explain to my great-grandchildren what those things are in the family photos.

My Current 10 Favorite iPhone Game Apps


Talking about my favorite iPhone game apps was on my agenda anyway, so when the postaday2011 topic came up today to review a product, the timing proved perfect to go ahead with it.

I like more than 10 game apps, but these are my current favorites:

  1. Angry Birds–I’ve been hooked on these flying fowl from the get-go. What can be more satisfying than smashing a bunch of smirking pigs?
  2. Angry Birds Seasons–I like the seasons version even better than the original. There are a few physics problems like things continuing to float even after I’ve knocked down all the supports, but I still love it.
  3. Angry Birds Rio–Of the three, I love this one the least, but it is still fun. I really don’t like the monkeys much, though.
  4. Bejeweled 2–I think Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook is more addicting with its one minute limit, but this one still sucks me into the time-wasting abyss.
  5. Qrank–I like this one because of the questions–Literature, Sports, Money and more. Some days I can blaze through them. Other days it’s like my brain has taken the day off.
  6. Bunny Shooter–Bunny Shooter makes me crazy. Trying to get the arrows at the right angle and shooting them at the right target in the right order can make me think more than some of the other games.
  7. Oven Break–This is a Christmas game app that is very fast-paced! I got it last year and still haven’t beaten it. My gingerbread man gets impaled on the spears quite frequently.
  8. Cut the Rope–Having to cut a rope so that candy falls into a frog’s mouth is more fun than you would think. I have one grandgirl who would list this one as her favorite.
  9. Stack the States–My current fav! This is one awesome app. I have learned more about size perspective of the states from this app than I ever knew in my life. The questions aren’t too hard for me, but they provide a good challenge for the grandgirls. Even the ones who can’t read yet play this because stacking the states up is so much fun.
  10. Stack the Countries–Also a current fav, but my skills at answering this one are pretty weak. It’s a big world, don’t cha know? Once again, it is fantastic for understanding the size perspective of countries. It’s amazing how tiny some are and how enormous others are.

I really love apps, and the game ones top my list. Words with Friends and Scrabble are actually my top two, but since I mentioned them the other day, I didn’t include them on this list.

I just looked at the app store, and it looks like Line Birds will make it onto my phone next. Any and all suggestions from you are appreciated!

My 10 Favorite iPhone Apps


I’ve been neck-deep in the iPhone app store all day, so after plowing through descriptions of dozens of apps, I wondered just what my favorites are that I use all the time. Here’s the list:

  1. Words with Friends–I currently only have three games going, but I’ve had as many as 9 or 10. My daughter and a caching friend are my most reliable opponents. My DH pretty much refuses to play anyone any more.

    121 Point Word!

  2. Scrabble–My caching friend is the one who plays me on this one. I love the teacher’s faces. It’s great when I get the big smiley face. It’s ego-crushing when I get the horrified face!
  3. Geocaching–This app can’t be beat if I don’t have my GPS and I’m in a 3G area where this one will work. I used it just the other day.
  4. Grocery IQ–My DH & I finally got the syncing thing figured out on this one, and it works like a charm. I love that you can scan the bar code on a product and add it to the favorites.
  5. Notes–I use this app to take notes and then email them to whomever.
  6. iBooks–It’s books. I’m an English major. What more is there to say?
  7. Kindle–It’s books. I’m an English major. As Thomas Jefferson said, “I cannot live without books.”
  8. Holy Bible–It’s THE book. Plus, it has tons of translations.
  9. Groovy Grader–If you are a teacher, you must have this! Put in the number of questions, and it will compute all the possible scores for you.
  10. Nike+ GPS–When I’m actually walking outside, I love this app. I can listen to music, track my walk, and know how far I walked. I also get voice prompts. It’s awesome!

I know I included two word games on this list, so of course Angry Birds should be on here, but I’ll do a game list another day.