December 17, 2022

The Kindle Scribe

My love for e-ink screens has meant that I’ve been interested in e-ink note taking devices like the Remarkable tablet for a while. I have never been interested enough to actually buy one. I keep waiting for the price to come down.

In the last month Amazon has entered the e-ink note-taking tablet with the Kindle Scribe. I am intrigued. If it cost less I would probably buy one. It is too big to carry around, but I think it would be awesome for reading at home… which is what I do 99% of the time. I feel like I would use the device to take notes quite a bit. I am not sure it is worth it for that purpose alone. I already have plenty of notebooks and carry one with me almost all the time. I could see the Scribe going with me to work meetings throughout the day as my primary note-taking device.

I think what I really want is an updated Kindle Oasis that is essentially a smaller version of the Scribe. I love my Oasis, but I wish it had a uniform thickness across the back like the Scribe. If Amazon released an Oasis with the form-factor of a smaller Scribe I would have a difficult time not buying it.

I have watched a lot of YouTube reviews for the Scribe. It seems very much like a first-generation device. I am content to wait for gen 2. Maybe the price will come down a little bit by then.

December 14, 2022

House of the Dragon

I’ve gotten behind on my prestige tv watching. I finally finished HotD just a few days ago. I thought I would have a lot to say about this show. I even tried to put together a long involved blog post about it. I couldn’t do it.

Game of Thrones was a great show that completely shat the bed at the end. I was so mad at how poorly the last couple of seasons were handled. When that series ended I swore off the GoT universe forever… but they sucked me back in with some HotD.

It worked. They won me back over. This was a good series of television. It uses some of the same tropes as GoT, but it also brings a lot of new ideas as well. It presents interesting characters and tells a compelling tale. The season covers so much time it feels rushed in some ways. At the same time it was competently delivered.

HotD was so much better than the last 2 seasons of GoT. That is all I really wanted. I don’t know if it is as good as GoT at its best. That also might not be a fair comparison. The innocent individual that enjoyed those early seasons hadn’t yet experienced the travesty that was about to come.

HotD was good enough that I am considering re-watching the season to better appreciate the early episodes with knowledge of where the characters are going. That was something I also had considered doing with GoT but in the end was glad I hadn’t wasted the time. Re-watching HotD might also be a waste of time, but I better do it now before they ruin the entire series in later seasons.

December 13, 2022


It seems like the big streaming platforms are vying for the next Christmas classic. Last year HBO Max had 8-Bit Christmas and this year AppleTV+ released Spirited. Neither one of them are going to be added to the holiday rotation at my house.

Spirited is (yet another) take on the classic story of A Christmas Carol. I didn’t know that going in. All I knew is that it starred Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds. I also didn’t know that it is a full-blown musical. I could have done without all the singing for sure. Despite that, this movie didn’t live up to my expectations. It is fine to watch once, but I have no desire to watch it again. It isn’t going to join the pantheon of Christmas Vacation, Elf, Home Alone, & Bad Santa… among others.

There was one song that I thought was quite enjoyable. I chuckled a few times. It isn’t a bad movie… but it didn’t deliver on the promise that a Will Ferrel Christmas movie might inspire in the cockles of your heart.

It is a pretty tall task to create a movie that becomes a modern Christmas classic. Spirited doesn’t even come close.

December 12, 2022

Reading Books Is Fun

Back in high school I used enjoy fiction novels frequently. In college reading became something only done for learning, and I did a lot of it. When I graduated and started working I essentially quit reading. I would do audio books sometimes. I read Malcom Gladwell when his books hit the scene. I finished the Harry Potter series… but that was about it. This was also around the time I discovered podcasts.

That drought lasted for close to 10 years. I started reading again, but it was always non-fiction. If I was going to allocate time to reading I had to be learning. I had forgotten how to read for fun. I would try a fiction book from time to time. Some of them hooked me. Most of the time I couldn’t get past the first 50 pages.

Over the last year I have re-discovered the joy of reading. I’ve quickly gotten sucked into almost every story I have started. It was like I had to once again learn how to be okay with reading for no purpose other than my own enjoyment.

In the past 6 weeks I have finished several books including… The Maid, Thursday Murder Club, Hillbilly Elegy, & Greenglass House. I am currently reading Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz. He was one of my favorite authors years ago… especially Winter Moon and Intensity. I have always heard how good the Odd Thomas series was and I was tired of missing out.

I have a list of 10 books queued up that I am excited to read… all fiction books. I still will have a non-fiction book going at all times. Right now I am reading a book about dyslexia as well as re-reading Atomic Habits.

These days I typically read on a kindle. I’ve owned some form of Amazon Kindle for the last 10 years. I splurged about a year ago and got a Kindle Oasis. We also have one of the current Kindle Paperwhite devices. I actually use both, but prefer the Oasis because of the physical page turn buttons.

I use the Libby app to download books through my local library. I also buy books if I really want to read them now, or there is a good deal. I subscribe to Bookbub, which sends a daily email with the best ebook deals. I have built a small library using that service; typically spending $1-$3 per book.

Reading great books can easily be a free hobby thanks to your local library. I always find a way to spend money on my hobbies, hence the multiple kindles. Still, you can get an entry-level kindle for much less than $100 and I think it is a great investment. You can still get a ton of books from the local library on your kindle by using Libby. Even though I spent money up-front on the device itself, reading is mostly free for me.

I don’t regret any of the money I have spent on Kindles over the years. The screens on the new models are awesome. I have always enjoyed reading for long periods on e-ink more than LCD, and the modern e-ink screens are sharp and clear. I will still pickup a physical book every now and then (from the library), but I don’t feel like I am missing out on any of the experience by using a kindle. Most of the time I read at night, so having the lit screen of the kindle makes it so much better.

For the last several years I have set a resolution to read more. This is the first time I feel like I am carrying a lot of momentum into January. I hope to keep up the pace I have set over the last month. I have established an evening reading habit. Once I am hooked into the story I will find excuses to pickup my book during other idle minutes during the day.