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The end of Borders Bookstore… July 22, 2011

Posted by kmcalear in Life, News.
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I get most of my news from NPR these days, so I heard on the morning report that Borders Books was going out of business. I can remember going to the bookstore was one of my favorite things to do when I was a kid. I’d wander around the store until I found just the perfect book, or books, to bring home.

But, for me, that has been a thing of the past for many years now. If I want to wander and try new books, I go to the library, Halfprice books or I browse the amazon ‘look inside’ catalogue and purchase through amazon.com. It’s really hard to beat the prices and convenience of Amazon Prime’s 2 day shipping. And I love the selection! So, although it may be sacrilege to say so as a reader and writer, I won’t miss the Big Box Stores for books. I still go check out the little local book stores like Murder by the book for signings, book groups and a little browsing but for the most part the convenience of the online booksellers have been far easier and more convenient.

What about the rest of you? Does anyone prefer the big bookstore over the online accesibility? Are we losing something with the demise of the Mega Bookstore?


This just in… November 9, 2009

Posted by kmcalear in Life, Musings, News.
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Good morning blog land!

This just in!

Where do you get your news?

The other day one of my students informed me that I was behind the times because I get a lot of my news by the radio. “This isn’t like the 1920s!” I was told. But in truth, I find I get better updates through NPR and some of the morning radio talk shows. In fact, I’d love to hear radio “soap operas” and “novels”. Wouldn’t that be a beautiful market to sell audio books? I’d tune in.

I’ve never actually read a physical newspaper. My parents never had one in the house, Mom used to claim it was doing her part for the environment. Of course it used to make ‘get a news article’ school assignments difficult as teachers would assume we had newspapers lying around, when we didn’t. (Yes, gasp, before we had the internet in my house! Was there such a time?)

I also hate the news on television, it’s rarely relevant and mostly sensationalized. Maybe it’s my bias, but I lost interest when I flipped between two different news channels during the first Bush Jr election and the same event was spun as Pro or Anti Republican depending on channel.

I also get my news from online sources, because you have access to a lot at the search of a google screen. There’s even often video included.

So my thoughts for the day… why can’t we have a new market for our books in audio on the radio?

I live… mostly. April 30, 2009

Posted by kmcalear in Life, Musings, News.
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Just an update, I finished my last final exam today.  Thus far I have 2 A’s! Wahooo! I was really worried about my linguistics test because it is far from my strong point, now I just have to get all my papers written and manage to pass another semester and be halfway to ABD. (All But Dissertation).

In other news, an amusing observation. Houston doesn’t apparently have a lot of need for parallel parking. How do I know this? Well one, as J can attest, I can’t parallel park. I’ve tried to figure out the physics of it, tried to draw it, reason it, and tried it on occasion with the theory that I should be able to “figure it out” through observation and trial.  I cannot.

I submit to you Exhibet B of “why obviously parallel parking is an unnecesary skill”, there are four parallel parking spots in the prime parking zone at my apartment. Three of the slots inevitably get filled, leaving one open… that stays open, even when every other spot is full. Why is this? Well that is when it is required to parallel park, because now you can’t simply drive into the space and “fake it” because there are 2 or 3 open spaces. This space is almost always open, which leads me to conclude that in Houston parallel parking isn’t a common skill.

Exhibet C: When I took my Texas driver’s test, parallel parking was not a required component.

So on one hand this means I should really learn how, so I can take that inevitably open parking spot. On the other hand? If so many people avoid it, it MUST simply be “Just That Hard.”

So there it is.