Recommended Books

People like to play games on Facebook, like let’s set up a thing where we recommend a book for 7 days, and each day we recommend a book, we also nominate someone to also recommend books and we keep this going FOREVER UNTIL THE END OF TIME! LOL

So I thought ok, this is actually fun, so I did it and I’ve already finished my 7th day, but I thought it would be fun to also come here and recommend each one of those books because why not?

Day 1 Harry Potter1. The complete Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

I recommend this every time because these books are so easy to read, and they make you feel smart for reading books. I wasn’t a reader at all until I was in my early to mid 30’s, and I decided it was my New Years Resolution to start reading, and I did and this was the first major series I read from beginning to end without stopping. I literally sat on my bed reading these books for 8 hours at a time. Wild horses couldn’t tear me away from these books. Anyway, I guess you could say I like them, otherwise they wouldn’t be my #1 book.

Day 2 A Spell for Chameleon2. A Spell for Chameleon by Piers Anthony

My friend Alyce recommended this series to me in 2009. Everything in these books are a pun or a joke. Like if they mention rolling hills, the hills are literally rolling. If they mention a sandwich bush, the bush is literally growing sandwiches. Take everything literal in this series.

There are now 41 books in the series, yes, he is still publishing new books. The first book A Spell for Chameleon was published in 1977 and the 41st book Ghost Writer in the Sky was published in 2017.

Trust me when I say you will not be disappointed in this series.

Day 3 My Heart is Within You3. My Heart is Within You by Marguerite Labbe

I discovered a website called Rainbow eBooks in 2010 and one of the first books I saw advertised on the front page was My Heart is Within You. It’s a vampire story, and I do love vampire stories, but it’s not just any vampire, it’s a gay vampire who falls in love with a college jock, because, why not? Anyway, it’s a good story. There are 3 books in what is referred to a Triquetra Trilogy. This is also the first series where I occasionally had to stop reading because the writing gave me a um… how do I put this politely… a reason to go to take a cold shower. The sex scenes are um… juicy. Marguerite Labbe is the first straight woman to ever give me a boner with her writing. Well, so much for being polite.

Day 4 Sookie Stackhouse4. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

I watched and loved the True Blood series on HBO, and just like most everything, this show was based on a series of books called the Sookie Stackhouse series. I was very shocked to see that there were so many differences in the books from the series. I mean, obviously they cannot make a tv show verbatim to the book, but they were almost like they were two completely separate worlds altogether, like an alternate universe if you will where Lafayette is dead after the first book, but he’s still alive in the series, and where Elvis is alive in the books and he’s called Vampire Bubba, but there’s absolutely no mention of him in the series because he doesn’t seem to exist. Thing’s like that. Anyway, if you loved the series, read the books and you will see what I’m talking about.

Day 5 Belgariad5. The Belgariad by David Eddings

When I visited my Aunt Louise in Texas for Christmas in 2005, we spoke about how I loved to read now, and she recommended these books to me. To me, these books are very similar to the Lord of the Ring’s, but it seems to be more like a Dungeon’s & Dragon’s type of story, which is what I like.

I’m not gonna lie, the first book Pawn of Prophecy is really hard to read at first, but once you get started, you will be able to read it all the way through, and it might even be difficult to put it down. I bought the Belgariad Volume 1 and 2 and so far I’ve only read the first book, but I will be getting back to reading them because I did like the first book.

Day 6 Cirque Du Freak6. Cirque Du Freak: A Living Nightmare by Darren Shan

I saw the movie Cirque Du Freak The Vampire’s Assistant, and I thought it was a really good movie, I mean that’s on my top 10 movies too. But the books are 100% better. There are 12 books in the series and they take you on the complete journey of this character and his friends. You are there with Darren every step of the way, and in your mind, you are one of his companions on his journey.

The movie jumps from scene to scene really fast, blink and you might miss something, the books take things a bit slower and you get more details that you never got to see in the movie.

Day 7 V7. V: The Original Miniseries by Kenneth Johnson and A.C. Crispin

When V The Original Miniseries aired in the early 1980’s, I watched it with my family. Most of my family didn’t really care for it, but for some odd reason it really brought me and my mother closer together when it became a weekly series. We watched it every week, just her and I and the rest of the family watched whatever else was on TV in the other room, whatever that might have been. It was probably something sappy like Dallas or Dynasty lol.

Anyway, when I discovered there was a book, I asked my mother for it and she bought it for me and I think I only read half of the book. I had a lot of trouble reading because of my dyslexia, but I got as far as I could and I was very proud of myself. I bought that book again at a book store in 2005 and I still have it.

This is a new cover for the Nook ebook and the listing says that the V novel is finally back in print, with an all-new, never-before-seen revised ending. So that’s why I bought the Nook version. There is another Nook ebook called V: The Second Generation.

Those are my 7 days worth of books, or series of books, that should keep you busy for a long time lol. I have a few more honorary mentions, I’ll just post the picture. Anyway, thanks for reading my blog post, happy book reading.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab A Nook

Samsung Galaxy Tab a Nook
So today has been quite the day for me. I’ve had trouble with my Nook HD+ battery not keeping a charge for quite some time, so I finally bought a battery from Amazon, and that bit me in the ass big time because now the touchscreen doesn’t work anymore. I removed the battery and finally got the touchscreen to work again, but then when I went to the gym and the touchscreen wasn’t working… again.

Lucky for me there’s a Barnes & Noble next door to my gym, so I went over there and bought a new Nook. This Nook is a Samsung Galaxy Tab A and it has 2 camera’s, 1GB of ram, 8GB memory and it’s small enough that it actually fits in my gym shorts pocket.

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My new Nook is my 3rd Nook so far. My first Nook is the original Nook e-ink reader with the little color touchscreen at the bottom. That was great for reading e-books, and it’s still a good e-book reader if I ever want to read a e-book outside, which is practically never. My 2nd Nook is the Nook HD+ that my life partner bought for me for Christmas 2013 and that has been a very good tablet for me, but I could barely install anything since it didn’t have a lot of ram installed, and most apps require 1GB or better. Before the screen stopped responding I scrolled through the Google Play store list of all the apps I’ve downloaded in the past and I think only 10 or 20 were even compatible with my Nook HD+. It’s frustrating when you want to use a specific app and you can’t even install it on a bigger tablet. So I’m happy to have this new upgrade. This new tablet is 2 years old, so it’s not new technology, but it is newer than my 5 year old Nook HD+.

So I bought a new case for it and a 64GB MicroSD card on Amazon, and I am glad I checked my order because I bought a case for a 10 inch tablet, so I had to cancel that. It’s too bad because it was a really nice case. I didn’t want to buy one from Barnes & Noble because they are $40 and I could buy a good one from Amazon for $10- $15, but at this point I just don’t want to have to wait because I’m afraid I’m going to break it on the treadmill without a case, so I will just buy a case when I go back to the gym on Sunday. I’ll just wait for the microSD card to come from Amazon.

I’ll be returning the Nook HD+ battery to the post office on Monday since our neighborhood post office is closed until then.

Nook Battery Replacement

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My life partner bought me a Nook HD+ for Christmas in 2013 and I have loved it every time I’ve used it. I appreciate every gift he has given to me, even though I don’t always use those gifts because they either stop working or become so obsolete that I need a new one.

My Nook HD+ hasn’t been the same for a very long time because the battery doesn’t keep a charge for too long. I don’t remember exactly how long you’re supposed to be able to read before the battery dies, but I’m pretty sure it’s not a few hours. I brought my Nook HD+ with me to Oregon recently and let my cousin’s son play a game on there, and the battery only lasted for 1 hour, maybe. I had to bring out a portable battery so he could keep playing.

I have been scanning my groceries with the National Consumer Panel for a few years. I earn points for scanning groceries and for doing surveys, and I get points every week just for being a member, and I can use those points to buy gift cards for Amazon. 21,000 points gets me a $25 Amazon gift card, and I recently used my 21,000 points to buy a gift card specifically so I could buy this battery for my Nook HD+.

It came with tools and I watched a video on YouTube on how to open my Nook HD+ so I can change the battery. it’s a lot harder than I had originally expected. I thought the back would just come off, but apparently I have to peel the frame around the front screen off, then unscrew about 20 screws, then flip it over and unplug the battery and peel the battery off the back because it’s glued on there, then I can put the new battery in and screw all the screws back on, then snap the frame back on. It’s a lot of work, and I am willing to do whatever it takes to be able to use my Nook without worrying about my battery constantly dying on me.

Now I will be able to read books again and not worry that the battery is going to die on me right in the middle of the good part.

Update: Well, I followed the instructions in a YouTube video to the letter. I removed the frame around the screen, it’s got like a double sided tape all around it which most of it came off and I had to toss in the trash, but I got the frame off. I unscrewed all 20 screws and removed the back and unplugged the battery, then carefully removed the old battery from the back of the device, as told in the instructional video I found. The battery was just on with double stick tape. Then I placed the new battery in the Nook and plugged it in and replaced the back and flipped it over and I noticed the screen had started up, so I went to press the circle up to turn it on so I could basically just turn it off while I screwed in the screws, but it didn’t respond to my touch. I screwed all 20 screws back in and replaced the screen frame and tried touching the screen and it wasn’t responding again. So I turned it off and did a soft reset and still no response. I did a factory reset and STILL no response. Now I have a brick. A $200 brick and a $23 battery that doesn’t do me any good. I am so pissed off right now I can’t even see straight.

Another update lol: Well, somehow I got it to work, but then I went to the gym and it wouldn’t work. Touch screen is dead. So, since my gym is right next door to a Barnes & Noble, I just decided to buy a new Nook. I bought a Samsung Galaxy Tab A Nook since they were out of the cheaper $50 Nooks. I figured the Samsung one looked better than the cheap $50 one, and you get what you pay for, so now I have a new 7 inch Nook tablet. It’s not 9 inches, but that’s fine. It works.

Mid-Week Non-Official Weigh-In

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I know I shouldn’t be blogging about this right now because I’m afraid if I brag too much about weight loss, I will end up eating the wrong foods and I will gain the weight back, but, I’m excited right now, so I wanted to talk about this.

My official weigh-in days with Nook seem to be locked in on Monday. In the past they had random weigh-in days where it would say today is Saturday, weigh yourself, today is Wednesday, weigh yourself. Well, now it’s officially Mondays and that’s a good thing, but I still weigh myself every morning just to see if I’m actually making any progress. I also weigh myself before I go to bed just so I can see if I gained too much weight that day, and then in the morning when I weigh myself, I can see if I actually still weigh the same as the night before, or if I lost weight.

Well, as you can see from the graphic above, I’ve lost quite a few pounds since Monday. Monday my weight was 249.2, and this morning I was 244,2. So I am pleased with myself, but that all could change in a heartbeat, so I’m not going to get too pleased with myself if on Monday I weigh myself and I’ve gone up. I’m just going to keep working on eating the Cream of Wheat and/or a banana for breakfast and Weight Watchers Smart Ones and/or Lean Cuisine for lunch and dinner.

I had the money for the Weight Watchers breakfast for the last 2 weeks because Albertson’s had them on sale for $1.49, but I don’t have them anymore until they are on sale again. This morning I had cream of wheat and a banana, mainly because the banana added flavor to the most bland taste of cream of wheat, that’s why I prefer Malt O Meal because it actually has flavor, but I digress, the 1 serving of Cream of Wheat AND the banana was too much for my stomach, so that let’s me know my stomach is actually shrinking. That’s a good thing. The Weight Watchers meals are so tiny that they barely filled my stomach. The Lean Cuisine meals seem to have more quantity of food, which is why I prefer their meals, but even the portion sizes are enough to make my stomach shrink over the last month that I’ve been doing this.

Before I even started this journey this month I was 265 or 267, then I dropped down to 255 when I actually started with my diet, so I had already lost 10+ pounds, and now I’m down to 244, so that’s more than 20 pounds of weight loss, but since I was 255 when I actually started, I can only count the 11 pounds of weight, and I can’t officially count that until Monday, but this is motivation enough for me to continue, so by Monday I might be down to 242, or maybe 240, who knows.

So anyway, I’m happy that I’m actually losing weight and I will be back on Monday with my official weigh-in.

Fallout Shelter

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I have been addicted to Fallout Shelter lately. I played it several years ago on my Android cell phone, but I couldn’t keep my vault dwellers alive, and I was frustrated by the amount of caps it was costing me every time I had to bring them back to life, so I literally saved my game to the cloud and uninstalled the game from my phone. I figured when I felt like I could play the game better, then I would come back.

Recently I discovered they brought Fallout Shelter to the PlayStation 4 and I decided I would try the game out again on the bigger screen where I was playing with a game controller and not my fingers. The first couple of days I was doing pretty good, but then just like on the mobile version I started having a bit of a problem with not enough water and power being generated and my dwellers started dying from the radiation, I guess from lack of water. I don’t know how they got radiation, but OK. But, I just kept playing and suddenly they stopped dying and I was actually doing better than I did on the mobile version.

I’ve gotten a lot better at the game and I watched some videos here and there telling you how you should do your layout for your vault, and they showed me some things I didn’t know about the game, and so I went from there. Here is a screenshot of just the top of my vault.

Fallout Shelter Top Floors Layout

I decided to place 4 power plant rooms side by side on 2 floors, and then on the right side of both floors are the strength centers where the dwellers train their strength for working in the power plants. Below the power plant rooms are the water treatment rooms with the weapons center rooms which train their perception for working in the water treatment rooms.

Do you see a trend? See, the vault dwellers have SPECIAL which stand for Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility and Luck. So on the right side I have 2 training rooms for each of those SPECIAL’s and on the left side of the training rooms are the actual rooms that use those abilities. Here, you can see the map I created in Open Office for building my vault. The little rooms with the numbers are elevators. I numbered the ones on the left so I would know how many floors I used. I’ve actually just made an 18th floor for my PS4 vault because I needed more storage.

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There is a good reason I put in the elevators between the rooms. If you put rooms close together, and later you decide you need to get rid of one, and it has a room beside it, the game won’t let you remove the room because there are 2 rooms touching. You can get rid of the room on the end, but that might be the room you want to keep, and you’ll have to get rid of that room too just to get rid of the room you wanted to get rid of to begin with. You can remove a room if it is between 2 elevators.

Anyway, use it, or don’t, it’s entirely up to you. It is your vault after all. I just thought I would share how I created mine.

End of Week 3 of my Diet

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Today is the end of my 3rd week of my diet. I can’t believe I am actually losing weight again. My very first weigh in when I started shocked me because I had already lost a lot of weight before I even began. I was 265, and then when I weighed myself for my new diet, I was already 255, and I wasn’t even trying to lose weight. My first official weigh in after the first week of my diet kind of shocked me because I had lost 4.6lbs. But then my 2nd weigh in I had actually gained 0.2lbs bringing my total official weight loss to 4.4lbs.

My 2nd weigh in did not discourage me because I have been going to the gym every other day and building muscle on every part of my body. Yesterday and today I weighed myself and I’ve actually lost weight. My last weigh in I was 251lbs and I am currently 248lbs. Although, it could go up by the time the Noom app asks me to weigh in, so I’m not going to congratulate myself yet. I’m going to do my actual weigh in tomorrow and I will see for sure. I should probably do these end of the week blogs on Monday when I weigh myself. My last blog post was on a Saturday, so I changed it to Sunday, so maybe next week I will do it on Monday.

I am so sore. My triceps and my biceps are KILLING me. Usually when I do the weight machines I just do them at a normal pace, and I started thinking that I’m not actually feeling the burn, or any pain. Shouldn’t I feel pain? I mean, when you build muscle, your muscles are being ripped to shreds, and that’s HOW you build muscle, the tissue rips, then it starts to heal itself, and when it heals, it adds new fibers which is why our muscles get bigger.

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I remembered going to physical therapy for my back and they had me use gym equipment to exercise and they had me hold it for a few seconds, then let go every rep, and I actually lost weight from all that exercise. So the previous 2 days that I’ve been going to the gym I did that, but not for a few seconds, I would just pump, then hold for literally maybe 1 or 2 seconds, then let go, and I could actually feel a burning sensation, and I could feel some pain, which is good pain. But now, it’s too painful lol. But that’s why I have 3 days worth of workouts, so I don’t do the same machines every time, and I only go to the gym every other day. I let the day off heal my muscles and I only do those specific machines maybe once a week.

I still have 4 days worth of Weight Watchers and Lean Cuisine meals, and I’ve been doing well with those. I haven’t eaten anything but those, with the exception of snacks when I eat a banana or some Malt O Meal or Cream of Wheat.

I won’t post anything when I weigh in, I will just weigh in and post the number on the diet page. See you in a week when I post my end of the week blog next MONDAY after I’ve weighed myself.

End of Week 2 of My Diet

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Today is Saturday, which I guess indicates that it is the last day of my 2nd week of my new diet. I just came home from Planet Fitness, took a shower, then put a Lean Cuisine “Cheese Ravioli” frozen dinner in the microwave for lunch and now I’m just relaxing at my desk with YouTube on my TV.

Screenshot_2018-08-11-12-33-14So far I have lost 4.6lbs, which is amazing considering I’m only supposed to lose like 2lbs per week. After my first weigh in of course I gained the weight back, but I think that was because of the muscle I was building at the gym, so I’m not worried in the least about that. I’m back down to the weight I was when I first weighed in, so I hope I see some weight loss in my next weigh in, whenever that will be. Noom gives me a random weigh in, so it’s not scheduled.

My diet has changed a little due to money issues lol. My first 2 weeks I was eating the Weight Watchers Smart Ones breakfast, along with either WW Smart One’s or Lean Cuisine for lunch and dinner. Well, I calculated how much that would end up costing me, and it turns out I would only be able to afford enough meals to last me 3 weeks if I continued eating the breakfast. I am on disability, so after rent and bills I just don’t have enough money to feed myself breakfast lunch and dinner. So, I’ve decided to eat Cream of Wheat or Malt O Meal creamy hot wheat cereal for breakfast because one box will last a week or maybe 2 or who knows, maybe 3 weeks. It’s just easier and those hot cereals are more filling than the Smart One’s breakfast. Although, the Smart One’s were pretty darn awesome, I just can’t afford them all the time.

We went to Target yesterday to buy more dinners and I managed to buy 12 days worth of food. I only got to pick 6 Weight Watchers Smart Ones, the rest were Lean Cuisine. They are flavors I rarely get to eat, they cost the same, and for some reason they seem like they have more food than the Smart Ones. I mean, it’s all diet food anyway, so it’s fine. And it’s worth mentioning that when I went back to Target to buy more dinners, they were completely sold out of the breakfast.

I read an article in the Noom app that basically says that for my diet to work, I need to avoid salt, and these frozen dinners are packed with sodium, but here’s the thing, I can’t afford to buy regular food. I have tried in the past to buy fresh food and eat a healthier diet and I ended up spending my entire month’s grocery allowance for 2 weeks worth of groceries. It’s easier for me to buy prepackaged frozen dinners that I know work for me because I lost 70lbs with these dinners in the past, so I feel like if it works for me, then I’d rather do that.

Anyway, I feel confidant that my diet will succeed if I continue on the path that I am on. I already see a difference. My face and my stomach seems thinner. So I will probably be back in a week to discuss what’s happening in my life.