Product Review-210 Mini-Computer; Book-"What Sex Is a Republican?"; Guest Writer and the Aquarium

Here a couple of reviews on a book review blog but as a bonus, a review of the latest and greatest HP mini-computer 210.

The book is “What Sex Is a Republican” by Terri McCormick. But it’s not a book about sex in any fashion. It IS a book about politics and it’s a book especially designed for new and wannabe political activists. Tea partiers, this is your book!

Guest Writer Michelle has aquarium dilemmas

Pic of the Day

Product Review-The HPMini 210..Waaaay Better Than an IPAD

So okay, when I first heard about Apple’s new gem, the IPAD, I was intrigued. In fact, I was more than intrigued. I was enamored.

Bearing in mind that my kitchen counter was already filled with a monitor, a keyboard, a mouse and its pad. A cupboard below it was filled with a big CPU, speakers, external disk drives and wires everywhere, even creeping through silverware drawers, over and under counter edges. In the bedroom we had a similar setup because I compute in both places. The kitchen is the command center of the home and I am the head of all the brain activity. Such responosibilities as this requires a computer. The bedroom is the place of afternoon respites after morning exercises and daily chores. It is also the place to retire in the evening to watch the night time shows and, of course, surf the net at leisure to find out what’s going on in the world. Of course this place requires a computer.

The computer has taken such a big place in our lives that, naturally, we might require a computer on our front porch as we watch the 6pm news and regard the front gardens. But of course we need a computer on the dining room table as by now we read our books online and one always reads while eating a meal, right?

From time to time we need a computer on our back decks as we watch the pup romp about and once in a while we might go on a trip somewhere and of course we must take our computer along.

Obviously we cannot setup that impossible conglomeration of cords and nonsense in all these home and outdoor spaces and for sure we can’t easily transport it all.

Add to the above truisms that fact that frankly I was sick of all the cords and takeover of valuable kitchen space and I saw the neat little IPAD as just the solution.

Well dang, we can get the Internet everywhere. We can carry gigabytes of storage space on our keychains. We can remove the storage devices from our cameras and recorders and plug them in the computer to retrieve the contents and our music players attach to the machines to get new downloaded tunes or to rearrange the playlists.

There’s no reason whatsoever to have huge piles of wires and devices all about. Devices can be plugged and unplugged as required, batteries keep a charge for many an hour. Thus and so, it’s time to unload the whole mess and get a small computing type thing and get up with the rest of the world.

Only that little portable computing device would NOT be an IPAD because a)a blazing fast typist such as myself is simply not ever going to take kindly to a monitor keyboard affair and b)Apple computer leaves me stone cold with its proprietory software, batteries that can’t be recharged and its snooty nose in the air as if what they’re making can’t be repeated soon enough by some geeky schlub in his garage.

I have an IPOD. Thing cost $300 when I bought it. I like it, make no mistake. But Itunes likes to convert downloaded songs to some sort of Mp4 type of song that can’t be copied anywhere and hey, I bought my granddaughter a little MP3 player for $50 this past Christmas and it doesn’t take songs, rightfully paid for songs I might add, and convert them into something that only one kind of player recognizes.

Plus my Ipod, which really isn’t used battery powered all that much, it being a cherished auto music device taking its charge from a car battery, all of a sudden won’t keep a charge of more than 20 minutes and while there’s all kinds of laments across the Internet over this sudden turn of events in an Ipod and instructions on how to “cure”, turns out you can’t even buy a new battery for the thing, not that mine should need a new battery but there you have it…it essentially worthless as a battery powered device and all the songs downloaded from Itunes can’t be copied should I get common sense and purchase a normal MP3 player.

Apple is a nothing company with pretty much nothing going for it. Y’all can have it, the Iphone, the Ipad and the Ipod.

Some might say my adoration of this most precious of little computing power is more my changeover to a more modern and compact world and my disdain of Apple than the greatness of the device.

Could be, so keep that under advisement.

By me, this little HP 210-1030 NR is about as well designed as anything Apple will create and you can buy a new battery for it.

First, the keyboard. Well hey, it’s a little computer keyboard. But I remain that blazing fast typist and I am murder on keyboards. It’s okay. I do hook it up to a full size keyboard at the kitchen counter, which is where I do most of my computing/writing and I also hook a regular mouse to the thing.

This is personal preference, of course, but it’s simple enough to plug in a mouse and keyboard and pull the things out when I want port it out to the porch. I type plenty on this little keyboard and have no problems with it.

I will never understand why they removed the HOME, PAGEUP and PAGEDOWN key. I suppose some keys had to go but I have to navigate all around Excel and Word documents and those keys were real timesavers.

The built in mouse is one of those window thingies and what can I say? It doesn’t take long to master this thing although for big jobs I still prefer a conventional mouse. But for packing up and moving around, I’d rather have the HOME-less keyboard and thumb-driven mouse than the pain of moving all the froufrou hither and yon.

There’s a place to connect an SD card so I can get the info off of my camera and cell phone easy enough. There’s a place to hook up an external monitor although I’d never see the need for this.

The monitor,btw, is very bright and easy to see. My eyes aren’t the greatest but I see everything just fine.

It has a built in network wireless card and so far I’ve managed to hook into my home network, the other two computers, and the network printer and I managed to do it within fifteen minutes of taking it out of the box! It found the computers, talked to them and swapped programs, found the printer, went out to the Internet and found the needed drivers…God bless America.

The batteries, per the manual, will last for 9 hours. I’ve never tried for that long but I do, on a regular basis, have it off of electricity for four to five hours and so far the battery’s never been below 50%.

The cost? This one was on sale, $275!

Why pay almost $500 for that Ipad monstrosity?

Try this HP gem.

You’ll love it.

 Posted by Hello

”What Sex Is a Republican?”

So okay, I am the perfect person to do a review of this book.

I am, ahem, a Republican, not that I’m necessarily proud of this. I wrote a book, hand to God, titled “Republican Sex” although I have not published the thing.

My book, however, is an R-rated affair, fiction, with a helluva plot and a good story but let’s not go there. When I saw this book up for review I decided it was good for me.

I am nothing like this book’s author, either. As the book’s cover asserts: “ Terri McCormick,M.A.-is a public policy and leadership innovator. She was a State Rep to the Wisconsin legislature from 2000to 2006.”

I am a common Blogger.

Here’s what Terri McCormick has to say about Bloggers, from the book:

"Realize that bloggers represent their own interests and are not credible, reliable or subject to the ethics code below"
The little bit of bemused justice here is that this Blogger of her own interests gets to review might Terri McCormick….M.A.(why is this part of her author’s title?)

Which is not to say I did not enjoy the book. In fact I did enjoy the read, I found McCormick’s observations and experiences to be right on, I consider this book a must read for a certain sort of individual, more on this later.

Let’s begin with the title. It makes no sense at all and has little to do with the book’s contents.

McCormick does write almost exclusively about the Republican party and by me she’s got the party mentality, issues and problems nailed dead on. But it has nothing whatsoever to do with sex.

Methinks Ms. McCormick was trying to attract a salacious sort of attention to her offering, a salacious attention that MY book should, without misleading anyone, attract.

Not that my book’s published or anything but we’ve already dealt with that. I’d be too embarrassed to publish my book for the sex scenes but maybe someday, under a pseudonym.

McCormick guides the reader through her story of entry into the political scene, through her trials, and tribulations, in the Wisconsin state legislature. She does give some background of her life, tales of her parents, their story.

This book is not, however, a book written by someone who sees his or her self as a future candidate. Two things make this not the case.

First, Terri McCormick now runs a political consulting firm and leads to the next conclusion that this is not a “meet the candidate” tome…specifically the way it is written.

For rather than getting up close and cuddly with the reader, McCormick writes to an audience learning the political ropes. In fact, this book is written exactly as if for a Political Science course.

It has bolded chapter topics, bulleted chapter conclusions, inspirational quotes to begin the chapter and summaries at each chapter’s end.

Thus it is hardly the stuff one would take along to the beach.

It is, however, a great insight to political machinations. There are morals to each story. There are great hurrahs and ways to overcome and at times one can almost hear the Battle Hymn of the Republic faintly in the background during the read.

I offer that this is a good thing. I admire Terri McCormick, how she had an idea, how she stuck to her guns. I admire this book which exhorts those with similar ideals should carry on, HOW they should carry on, WHY they must carry on.

It’s not a Pollyanna world, as McCormick readily explains. Her verbally graphical explanation of the “front row” versus the “back row” as well as her run-ins with her nemesis, the “speaker” in the Wisconsin legislature, make clear that there are obstacles but obstacles can be overcome.

It’s a perfect book for a novice political activist. A Tea Partier, for example.

Buy the book. Read it before the upcoming November elections.

Read it before throwing YOUR hat in the political ring.

 Posted by Hello

Drivel: To Convert Or Not To Convert

Ha! Made you look, didn't I? No, my religion is not in jeopardy. No
conversion to Buddhism or Judaism for me, at least not this week.

The conversion question I'm mulling over today is about the reef
aquarium. I'm considering converting it into a freshwater community


I know, I hear what you're saying. But from where I'm sitting, I can see several really good reasons to do it.

First, and the biggest one, is the monetary drain the aquarium
represents. Most people know saltwater is expensive to set up, but
it's also expensive to keep, unless you do all the work on it yourself
and never buy any new fish or corals. Mine costs me over $2100 per
year, minimum without aquatic life purchases, and I probably don't
want to know what I actually spent on it in 2009.

Money isn't a problem, yet, but we're squeaking by a bit too close and
I'm evaluating where our money goes in case I can find places to trim.
A freshwater tank this size would pretty much maintain itself, if
stocked with the right mix of critters. Of course, there'd still be a
bit of expense in the conversion.

Next is the elusive fish-eater. I can't keep the fish I really like
alive, and our next step would be to take the tank apart and pretty
much start over - only the fish currently in it could be kept.
Everything else, including the sand, would need to go. (Or I could
sift all the sand, I suppose, to make sure nothing is in it larger
than a quarter. That's a lot of sifting and the living organisms in it
would likely die before I was done.)

And if we're taking it apart anyway . . .

For another reason, we can't seem to keep the calcium levels high
enough. Our rocks are mostly bare, when they should be covered with a
purplish lichen-like growth. Corals should grow and spread, but the
best we can do is maintain.

Oh, sure, a few things do really well. We've had an urchin grow from a
pinhead fuzzy bump to a full-grown grazer. The heart urchin in the
sand seems to do fine. The two clownfish have been in it since the
beginning in 2004. I've found that duncan and frogspawn corals seem to
do well, but they don't grow. (So how well are they doing, really?)

Sitting in here, at my computer, I'm ready to take the whole thing
apart and create a community freshwater tank. But when I walk in the
other room and see the corals and fish in the tank now, I hesitate.

The reef is so beautiful, even with its issues.

Decisions, decisions.

The Desk Drawer writer's exercise

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