I will be removing myself from Facebook at the start of November. You can still follow me on Google+, Twitter, and of course, I can always be contacted via E-Mail.
Facebook is an evil company and that is something I hate to say about a service that has put me in touch with so many friends from my past. But it is time for me to say good bye to Facebook. I have finally gotten annoyed with their horrible user interface and the fact they sell everyone’s privet information off to other companies
I have been seeing this quote more and more on-line.
If you’re not paying for it, you’re not the customer, you’re the product being sold.
Facebook sells our personal information to ads companies so they can place more targeted ads directed to you on internet webpages. This is how Facebook makes it’s money. Did Facebook ask me if it was ok to sell my Location, Hobbies, browsing habits, phone numbers, or addresses to a third-party advertiser? I don’t recall ever being asked by them, but that is what they are doing and that is why I am quitting Facebook.
Twitter, and to a lesser extent Google+ do sell ads. This is how they make money. What they are not doing is selling my personal information to ad companies. Not yet anyway. So since they are not doing that, I will continue to use their services.
Another thing with Facebook is that even after you have logoff of Facebook’s website, the cookies that your browser has downloaded from visiting the site remain active. This allows Facebook and their advertisers to continue to post ads targeted directly at you based on your online activity.
One thing I find scary is that the popular online music service Spotify, which a few friends have been trying to get me to join ever since it became available in this country, now requires new members to have Facebook account to sign up. I have never been a fan of streaming music services, but since my friends where so insistent that I give this a shot I was going to sign up. Now that I have learned that a Facebook account is required, I will never be trying this service. This is a deal breaker for me.
I hope that my friends and family who have been following me on facebook will now follow me on Google+ and Twitter. Two services that are just as feature rich and easier to use than Facebook.
This has been an unusually busy work week for me. It is a real wonder that I can even find time to blog right now. I have had to create several “plans of corrections” this week for the state of Alaska who visited my facility a couple of weeks ago. That has been keeping me pretty busy, but I have somehow manage to find a moment here and their to make more progress on ‘All That Matters‘ and my second book.
The self publishing thing has been quite a learning experience. Most of it is fun, but some of it can quite literally make you pull your hair out. I have spent a good part of my evenings this week contacting bloggers who do book reviews and asking them to review my book. I have met quite a few great ones out their. Between now and the next few months blog posts should start popping up all around the net about my book. The other bit of amazing news is that those who have already read my book only have good things to say about it. I even got a five-star review on Goodreads.com saying:
Raw and beautiful. This book moves you in ways unimaginable.
When I read that I was left speechless. Someone out their really liked my book! It made me feel like all the time, money, and effort I have put into this project has been worth all of it.
The part about self publishing that makes me want to rip my hair out is related to getting my book in the iBookstore. As a self published author can not go to Apple directly and submit my book to their book store. I have to go through a third party. In my case Lulu.com. Lulu takes my book and submits it to Apple’s iBookstore. If your lucky, your book is accepted and you can move on with life. If you’re like me and your book is rejected, you are not told why. Most likely it is the cause of an ePub formatting issue. I have spent the last two weeks trying to figure out what is wrong with my file ePub file. Barnes and Noble was happy with it, but Apple is not. Apple also gives me no advice on how I could fix my ePub file. Just a note saying that I can try submitting again. That’s it. I am almost at the point of giving up on this. I will continue trying to make it work till I go on vacation later this month, but if I can’t get it accepted by then I think I am just going to walk away from the Apple iBookstore. The Kindle software is available for all Apple devices. I have read quite a few books on my iPhone using the Kindle software and I think it is a better reading experience anyway.
Another goal I have before I go on vacation is to make the physical copy of my book available for purchase from Amazon.com. I am pretty sure I can have this completed before I leave.
My second book has been taking shape rather well. I have an outline and a cast of characters. This week I managed to get a couple of hundred of words written which completed the fourth chapter. I would love to have written more and normally I can, but with these ‘plans of corrections’ due at work I have just not had the time or the focus. Which is sad because I really like posting on my Twitter and Google+ account how many words I write a day.
I updated my Twitter name today. Rather than being @nicap, I am now @YousephTanha.
I was a little worried about making this change. I thought I might have to contact the people on my friends list and let them know they needed to update their contact information about me. That has turned out not to be the case. When I updated my name from @nicap to @YousephTanha, it seems twitter updated everything associated with @nicap on the backend. The result is that no one had to do a thing. The contact information just updated across the board for everyone. Pretty cool functionality. Thanks Twitter!
I also added a twitter widget to my sidebar on the right.
Recently I was reading a Wizards of the Cost Twitter post (@Wizards_DnD) and followed a link to a video presentation given by Chad Henderson. It was called “All I Need To Know About Life I learned From Dungeons & Dragons”. I thought it was a pretty good post and I wanted to share it.
I had a need to organize my D&D minis. I was finding that just to locate a particular one for D&D night had become a chore. I was always sifting through a box or bag of them just to find one in particular. Not to mention storing minis in a box or bag is not the best thing for them. Parts get bent or broken if your not careful. So I have come up with a way to organize your Minis. For the most part your only going to need 3 things.
The first thing I did was to label my drawers. I printed labels from my label maker saying “Drawer 1”, “Drawer 2”, “Drawer 3”, and so on and stuck them to the front of each drawer. The drawers I am using I picked up from Wal-Mart and they are called “Sterilite“. Just little plastic drawer storage units big enough to hold my minis.
STEP 2: LOOK UP EACH MINI ONLINE
I layed out all my D&D minis on the kitchen table. I then proceeded to look up each one online. I would use a site like Alter Reality Games to search for each mini individually. When the search would come back I would be presented with an image of the mini and some text including the mini’s name and the set it came from.
STEP 3: PUT THE INFO INTO IPHOTO
Save the mini’s picture to iPhoto (or Picasa).
SIDE NOTE: You can create a brand new iPhoto library so as not to add a bunch of pictures of minis to your personal photos by holding down the option key and launching iPhoto. The program will ask you if you want to create a new library or open an existing one. I created a new library and saved it in my computer’s D&D directory.
Next I created an album for each drawer. So I have one album named “Drawer 1”, “Drawer 2” and so on. As I copied pictures of minis into iPhoto’s album named “drawer 1” I would select the image and paste in text related to the mini that I found from the website.
In both the iPhoto and Picasa programs you have the option to enter text information about the image. Here is where I enter the mini’s name and the set it came from. (See the image on the right)
STEP 4: PLACE THE MINI IN THE DRAWER
After all the all the information about the mini was entered into iPhoto I then put the mini in the corresponding drawer. Repeat steps 2 through 4 till your whole mini collection has been cataloged in iPhoto.
So now If your looking for a green dragon all you have to is type in “Green Dragon” In your search field and iphoto or Picasa and it will tell you what draw the mini is located in.
I have almost been playing Dungeons & Dragons for a year now. For less time then that I have started collected D&D minis. My collection has grown quickly and I needed a way to store then. Rather then reinvent the wheel I turned to Google for help. I figured I was not the only one with this question and someone else must have come up with a solution that I could use.
Well sure enough I found a hand full for websites selling products for miniature storage. But I was not finding a lot of end user experience. Since I was not satisfied with what I found on a few Google searches I turned to Twitter and asked the following question of some DM’s I Follow.
@Nicap (thats me) I buy these plastic drawer storagethings at Wal-Mart. keep them there, sorted by undead, PC’s, creatures, etc…
Right off the bat that sounded like a good idea to me. I went to the store and picked up a couple of these plastic drawer storage things and tossed my minis in them and life was good. Life was good till my collection of minis grew to the point that finding ones needed for a particular game was becoming a chore.
After some time thinking about the problem I am up with the solution above that has been working out for me very well. I hope you all find it useful.
Yup, I saw Transformers 2, and it was a cinematic abortion. A phrase I have used on Twitter, and Facebook when asked about the sequel to the first live action mistake that Micheal Bay directed in 2007.
Now I know I have said I would never pay to see Transformers 2. I started saying that shortly after seeing the first film. Truth be told I didn’t. A good friend of mine paid for my ticket to see the movie. Partly as a joke. Partly because of the friends we went with like to see me rant and rave about it. But mostly to celebrate the birthday of a good friend.
The movie so rudely, and blatantly went against the 25 year history that Hasbro has with Transformers. Micheal Bay probably can’t tell you a thing about the Transformers mythology. Rather then reading up on it, he reinvented it, changing just about every single aspect of the Transformers story line. He would talk on his website, and forum, explaining his process of auditioning a couple of the original voice actors for the movie parts. It came off as if he was doing all the fans of Transformers a huge favor. As if auditioning them, and giving the voice actgers a roll in his movie would make all his re-imagining of a 25 year old beloved mythology, acceptable to the fans.
I think not.
With the release of Transformers 2 I can easily say I am not the only one who was disappointed with this movie. Professionals in the industry are also not happy with it.
…a horrible experience of unbearable length.” “The day will come when Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen will be studied in film classes and shown at cult film festivals. It will be seen, in retrospect, as marking the end of an era. Of course there will be many more CGI-based action epics, but never again one this bloated, excessive, incomprehensible, long (149 minutes) or expensive (more than $200 million).” Roger Ebert
Transformers 2 has a shot at the title Worst Movie of the Decade. Peter Travers of Rolling Stones
for the uninitiated, it’s loud, tedious, and at 147 minutes, way too long. Ray Bennett of the Hollywood Reporter
it is Bay’s worst-reviewed movie, topping Pearl Harbor. The Washington Post
As I have said before I hope that these Transformers movies bring some interest to people to go back and read and watch the original stories. I hope before I die someone comes along and makes a Transformers movie that should have been made.