We went to Thailand for ~two weeks from Sunday 9 January through Saturday 22 January with Friendly Planet's Taste of Thailand package. Our friends Liz and Matt took the same trip a year or so ago and it sold out before we could join the fun so when Liz reminded us that they were offering it again, we pounced.
Early dinner at North of NOLA then party at Chris and Anna's. Dinner was excellent and I retrieved my messy copy of NOLA's menu with signatures from both the mess-maker and the menu-maker. Then we were a week early to a party at Jonelle and Theresa's. Oops. Salvaged the mishap with dinner with them at Davio's Italian place at Phipps. Preparing for last week of work before two weeks in Thailand!
I hated the first gen Kindle for its ugliness (first) and its (personal) uselessness. I'm a collector w/r/t art artifacts. Books. Albums. Videos. Books mostly, so having a book-less medium was anathema. Now, with the trip to Thailand in January, I simply cannot carry the volume of books it will take to make a ~20 hour one-way flight bearable. With the niceification of the Kindle design v3 and the more pressing need, I purchased a Kindle. I still plan on purchasing physical books for each bit book.
First things first, and these first things occurred prior to receiving my Kindle: Project Gutenberg is my hero. Years ago I'd donated money to them on principle.They deserve so much more for what they've been doing for 40 years! A few years back (prolly longer but can't find a ref) I got the itch to read the classics that I'd not read growing up or in college. Years ago I went through a Sherlock Holmes period; I'd picked up at the airport and read with fascination Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird; in college I went through a notable Dostoevsky period, reading most of his works. There're always classics you haven't read, and I'm glad that I can read Voltaire and Oscar Wilde and Jane Austin comfortably and conveniently since they're on PG. This is the impetus of Wikipedia and Project Gutenberg.
Calibre is an absolute must-have, software-wise. Where is the competition? (Maybe FOSS as a system produces one primary solution until demand increases.) Complaints on Kindle/Calibre: still not sure how to use Calibre to group a series and have it grouped on the Kindle in series order. Somewhat minor. Also: no way to find what you're currently reading and/or group by what you've read.
Fourth paragraph that is shorter than the previous. Screen is beautiful and readable.Case is solid and feels good. $140.
We're going to Thailand next year (got a great deal) so I put together a Wikipedia/PediaPress book for our trip:
Not sure how valuable my knowledge of Bangkok taken from The Windup Girl will be. Some friends took the trip a year or so ago and had a great time but warned that the heat will be far beyond what the American South has to offer. We had the option to tack on either Ankor Wat or Phuket. Beaches won out over Hindu temples.
Last Friday was a post-wedding wedding celebration of sorts for airline friends who had gotten married in Thailand several months back. The festivities were at the Blackstock Winery outside of Dahlonega. I had always heard surprisingly positive reviews of N GA wineries, but I was really taken back by how good their wines were. No matter what people said, I was still expecting syrupy muscadine and this was everything but that. They had a selection of several reds and whites, but by far the best was their Family Reserve red titled ACE (after the owners' three children). Go.
Following on the heels of my birthday bash a couple of months back, we had Lisa's BB over at Alicia and Dan's last Saturday. Italian-themed to commemorate/memorialize the vacation we could have had but didn't. Instead we'll be going to California to experience the furthest reaches of the PCH. Startinggggg.... NOW!
Thailand et al. have begun saying about Google Earth what basically every person I showed it to had said first: won't that help the terrorists? I felt that they were missing the point (isn't this information openly available anyway?) but the article has a humorous examination of the issue, looking at a Thai Air Force base:
They've even got an awacs parked there on the hard shoulder ... Hmmm. The good General may have a point.
And from India:
Reuters quotes an anonymous security official there as confirming that "the issue of satellite imagery had been discussed at the highest level but the government had concluded that 'technology cannot be stopped'."
"We are aware that there are websites which give detailed pictures of buildings like the president's house including every tree in the compound. Our security agencies are aware of this but how can we stop technology?" he added.
And finally (gotta get to work!), be prepared for a Google blog search. Or, rather: a Google search for blogs. Who else has taken a sabbatical? Who else listens to WNYC?? Answers to these questions and more...