Nook HD+ from Barnes & Noble

Nook HD+ from Barnes & Noble

I love my Nook HD+.  I have been having so much fun with it since I got it for Christmas, actually the week before Christmas.  Yeah we don’t conform to the traditions of opening your presents on Christmas day, or even on birthdays.  We open presents the day we get them.  Screw tradition lol.

My Nook HD+ has a 9” screen, so it’s bigger than the Nook HD in the sense that it has 2 more inches, but I’m telling you that because there are certain apps that work with 7 inches, but don’t work with 9 inches.  Like The Sims FreePlay and Viggle for example.  The Sims FreePlay is downloadable, you just can’t play it because you get this warning when you try.

The Sims FreePlay

I am not sure if The Sims FreePlay will even work with a Nook HD 7” tablet.  I know it works with the Kindle Fire because I’ve seen people taking pictures and video of it on that device.  I’m pretty sure it was the 7”, so if it runs on the Kindle Fire 7”, then it probably runs on the Nook HD 7”.  If so or not, please let me know.

Viggle on the other hand doesn’t even show up in the Google Play Store, so they don’t even give you the option.  I know it works on 7” tablets because I installed it on my partner’s tablet to see if I could do trivia when trivia wasn’t giving me any points with my phone.  It installed and looked great too, but the trivia was not working on his tablet any better than it was on my phone.  Although, just because it installed on his tablet doesn’t mean I know if it will install on a Nook HD 7” tablet.

Facebook isn’t great on the Nook HD+ when you use the app.  Using the browser is so much better because you get the full website that you get on the computer, but the only problem I have is when I use another tab to visit another website, or even if I use an app, like if I go check my email, when I come back to the Facebook tab, it goes straight to the mobile version.  If I wanted to use Facebook mobile, I would just use the Facebook app.

The Twitter app that comes with the Nook HD+ from the Nook store isn’t updated, so it’s better to let Google Play update it.  It’s easy to use and if you have multiple twitter accounts, you can switch back and forth very easily.  It’s actually better on the Nook HD+ than it is on my phone.  When I am using @xanapus on my phone, then try to switch over to another twitter name, for some odd reason it switches me back to @xanapus.  It doesn’t do that on my Nook HD+.

I didn’t like the Google+ app on my phone and I rarely ever use it on my computer, but it is great on the Nook HD+.  That’s one of the social media websites that I wanted to start using more often.  It has a much better look than Facebook does in my opinion.  Google+ doesn’t force you to look at ads or suggested posts.

One annoying thing that I noticed is that when I am in my library, I scroll down to My Files and see there are 564 files.  How the heck am I supposed to weed through all of those files to get to the ebooks I have downloaded?  Well, I discovered that if you click the words My Files, it brings up a new window which shows folders.  They are in the Download folder.  I have 6 ebooks that I downloaded from the EverQuest Next website that are fiction based books based on EverQuest the game, but they are all in PDF format.  Ebooks that I’ve downloaded in ePub format will show up with my Nook books, but the PDF files don’t.  I did download an app called File Manager HD which allowed me to create a new folder in my download folder so I could keep the EQN ebooks in there to keep that folder more organized.

PicsArt Photo Studio is a good app that I use on my phone to add stickers and frames and text to my pictures, but it’s such a small screen that sometimes it’s difficult to see what I’m doing.  My Nook HD+ doesn’t have a camera, but I can use Google Drive to retrieve my files.  What I really like most is that I can write on the screen with this.  I can do that on my phone, but it’s too small.

Happy New Year 2014

Okay, so my handwriting isn’t the best, it’s even worse on paper lol.

ChromecastSome useful apps that come with the Nook HD+ include Netflix and Hulu+ and if you have a Google Chromecast, you can watch them on your TV.  You don’t even need to have the Google Chromecast app installed to use it.  I know this because I bought it for my partner and I couldn’t get it to connect to his tablet.  I connected it with my CR-48 aka Chromebook, then was able to connect it to his tablet.  I don’t have the app installed on my Nook HD+ or my phone, but the icon is visible on YouTube, Netflix and Hulu+.  I guess any Android or Apple device that is connected to my network will have that ability.

Of course, other good uses for the Nook HD+ is actually reading a book lol.  You aren’t limited to Nook books either, you can read your Kindle books plus your Google Play books.  In fact, if there is a service that sells ebooks, you can read the books you bought from them, including pdf files and ebooks.  Some writers only publish their ebook with Amazon KDP Select because they get more advertising, and if they chose KDP Select, they can only publish with Amazon for 3 months.  That’s why it’s good to use the Kindle on my Nook, because some ebooks aren’t available on the Nook.

One of the features that I do like is the Nook app “Your Highlights and Notes.”  If you do a lot of highlighting and like to add notes, this is a good thing.  It had all the highlights from the Nook for PC when I got it, but it didn’t show any text.  When I add new highlights, it shows the page number and the first couple of sentences that I highlighted, and if I left a note, it shows my note.  That makes it so much easier to find every highlight and every note on every ebook you own whether it’s downloaded or in the cloud.  Highlighting and leaving notes on my Nook WiFi was so difficult and as soon as I started reading another ebook, all of the highlights and notes disappeared, which was very frustrating.

There is also a Nook app called “Your Lookups” that shows you every word you ever had to find the definition for.  That does come in handy if you ever want to find that specific word again.  The list of words you looked up are on the left, and the word, the book you found it in, the page and the date and time you looked it up are on the right along with the definition of the word.  WOW!  Now you have a record of the date and time you learned a new word.

Anyway, these are some of my thoughts on the Nook HD+.  I like it a lot and I will get a ton of use out of it.  I still have my Nook WiFi and I don’t think I will use it as often for reading ebooks, but if the occasion ever arises when I go outside to read, I will be able to use it.

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What more is there to say?

What more is there to say?

Before I discovered Twitter and Facebook, I used to blog up to 6 times per day.  With Twitter I can sum up my thoughts in 140 characters and with Facebook even more.  That took the fun out of blogging which is why I don’t blog as often as I used to.

I’ve come to the point where I honestly can’t think of anything to say, even in a 140 character tweet.  Yesterday I was bored and said this:

“They say if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all, but something is better than nothing.”

I think this was directed at myself because I don’t say much anymore.

Lately all I do is sit here looking at all the wonderful and sometimes snotty things other people say in their tweets and/or Facebook updates and think to myself, why didn’t I think of that?  Why can’t I think of anything to say anymore?

Today I was bored and said this:

“When you don’t get any mail you think “No news is good news.” But sometimes it’s nice to get SOMETHING, even if it’s just coupons.”

What’s the point of even having social networks anymore?  I become friends with people and never say a word until their birthday and then all I say is Happy Birthday.  I’d love to read more books or play one of my MMORPG games, but I can’t even get into those because I’ve become bored with them.  Is the problem that I’ve just become bored with everything?

I’ve been playing The Sims Freeplay on my phone a lot more than I used to play it, but only because I have something to accomplish and I’m guessing when I accomplish all of my tasks I will get bored with it again.  What I need is something to be excited about.  I remember playing EverQuest for sometimes 16 hours a day every day for 8 years until I became bored with it because everyone in my guild left to either go into another guild or to play the newest game.  I also started playing other games, like Lord of the Rings Online, but I had nobody to play with so I eventually got bored with that and the same thing happened with EverQuest 2 and DC Universe Online.  MMORPG games are more fun when you have people to play with.

Well it seems that I had more to say than I thought, but that seems to be all I can think of for now.

IZEA Valentine’s Day Swag Bag

izea swag bagI got a very cool surprise in the mail today.  @IZEA the company that pays me to tweet and blog sent me this very cool swag bag.  The Unicorn is very cool, I will probably keep it as is on display.  The swag bag had all this candy that I shouldn’t be eating anyway, but I enjoyed a few pieces anyway.  Pixie sticks, Wonka’s Fun Dip and Sweet Tarts Hearts, Hershey’s Kisses, chocolate hearts, Tootsie Rolls and I don’t even know what else.  There was also a neat heart-shaped eraser with a smiley face and a heart-shaped stress ball with the @IZEA logo on it.

This swag bag was such a cool surprise.  Thank you IZEA for sending it out to me.  That is so awesome!

izea ball and eraser

Identity Theft Protection With Lifelock

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of LifeLock Twitter for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

AmeliaIZEA | skitch.com

My very first experience with identity theft was when I had just turned 18 years old and went to get a job.  The interviewer asked me how long I have been in this country and asked me for my green card.  They did a credit check and that said that I wasn’t me.  I had to schedule a new interview where I had to bring my social security card as well as my birth certificate and my California ID card to prove that I was me.  That was in 1988.  I wrote about this experience in my book.

My second experience was in 2004 when I tried to get our utilities turned on with PG&E, they told me that I had to bring in my ID card and my social security card because according to their credit check, I wasn’t who I said I was again.  This time I asked and they told me the first name was Marsha.

Many years had gone by and I started seeing these commercials where a man was telling the world what his social security number was and daring people to steal it.  That company was LifeLock.  I decided that I did not want my prior experiences to happen again, so I signed up with Lifelock.  I only pay $10 a month and my name and social security number has never been safer.  I have been a member since January 2008.

As a member, Lifelock will send you a credit report every year and they will put restrictions in place so not even you can sign up for a credit card or buy a car without showing proof.  They will send you email and/or text alerts when someone is trying to use your credit.

Here are some interesting and alarming stats.  Households that make $100K per year have the highest fraud rate at 7.4%.  The average cost per person who loses their identity is $1,513.  11.6 million adults were victims of identity theft in 2011 and $18 billion dollars was lost.  6.6% are smart phone users, 6.8% are people who interact with apps in social media websites, 8.2% “checked in” on websites with their smart phone with GPS and 10.1% are LinkedIn users.

How hack-friendly is your password?  If you have a password that is only 6 characters without any symbols, a hacker will figure that password out in .000224 seconds, but if your password is 10 characters and uses a symbol (&%$#@), it could take them 20 days which gives you enough time to change your password every couple of weeks.  How safe do you feel now?  If they can figure out your email password and send emails on your behalf, imagine them stealing your bank account password and draining your account without you even knowing it.

If I were you, I would sign up with Lifelock today.  Check out their website and LifeLock on Twitter.  It’s nice knowing that my credit is safe.

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Glowing Review from Marguerite Labbe

I woke up this morning and immediately turned on my computer so I could check my email while I ate my breakfast and I came across an email from my favorite author Marguerite Labbe.  She posted a review of my book on her blog and I was so beyond excited because I wasn’t sure how people would feel about reading my book, but apparently it’s good.

Marguerite Labbe is an award-winning M/M author.  She wrote those gay vampire books that I love so much starting with  “My Heart Is Within You.”  I really love to read supernatural fiction, especially when they have vampires, ESPECIALLY when they are gay vampires lol.  She really knows how to capture the raw sexuality of two hot gay men better than I have ever even experienced.  Let’s just say that I had to take several bathroom breaks when I read her book.

MargueriteLabbe.com: Diary of a Gay Nerd by Michel McDonald

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2012

Diary of a Gay Nerd by Michel McDonald

“I’ve had a hard time putting into words how I felt when I read Michel’s memoir.  Many parts struck a chord in me from my own childhood, though I was far luckier than Michel was and I didn’t have the added alienation of being gay.  I’ve known Michel for several years now, ever since he picked up my vampire trilogy and we started talking.  In that time, I’ve found him to be a very kind, passionate and determined man.  After reading his memoir I have to add brave to that as well and not just for what he endured and overcame.  To be able to write something like this, with such unflinching honesty, takes a rare kind of person.  Michel doesn’t gloss over his own mistakes, but puts them out there just as baldly as the abuse he went through.

“I am honored to know such a man and call him my friend.”

How awesome is that?  When I first read her book after buying it from Rainbow eBooks, I knew I had to find her on Twitter and tweet her telling her how awesome her book was.  I was surprised that she responded, but equally surprised that she continued talking to me through Twitter.  We have been talking ever since.  I think Twitter is one of the most amazing online services ever invented.

Thank you Marguerite Labbe for writing this review.  I have added it to the Barnes & Noble website btw.

My Book is Coming Soon…

I have finally published my book.  It will take anywhere from 24 to 72 hours for it to be reviewed before it will be ready for sale so I would count on January 6th as my official publish date.  Keep your eyes crossed for that one.

I had a hard time getting an author picture because we just couldn’t find a good location to take it, so I recycled a picture from 2005 lol.  I know it’s cheating but it’s a really good picture.

Of course it will be in black and white in the paper book and on all e-ink e-book readers, it will be in color in the color e-book readers, tablets and phones.  I am just happy that I didn’t have to pose cause I really don’t like to fake a smile when someone can’t figure out how to push the button.

You have no idea how much anxiety I had to push the “publish” button.  I finally just clicked it and covered my mouth with both of my hands as if I accidentally clicked it.  I spent seven months working on it, it’s now or never.

So my new website for the book www.diaryofagaynerd.com is up and running with a picture of the book along with buttons to click to buy the book, to follow me on twitter, like me on Facebook, to get a GetGlue sticker and to come here, although only three buttons work because I have to get the links when the book has been published.  I will be offering a GetGlue sticker, but I have to wait for the book to be on the GetGlue site first.

You know how anxious you are on Christmas eve, or the day before your birthday, or the day before you go to Disneyland?  Yeah… that’s me right now.

Publishing My Book

The time has finally come for me to announce that my book is FINALLY FINISHED!

Seven months of hard work has finally paid off.  Not only have I learned how to write, but I have also learned how to grammar… wait no that’s bad grammar!  But seriously, my grammar has greatly improved, compared to when I started writing anyway.

The only thing that is preventing me from publishing my book now is an author picture.  I don’t want to publish it until I can get dressed up in my gay uniform, that being my “Legalize Gay” t-shirt that I got from the Human Rights Campaign from when I volunteered with them a few months ago at the gay pride here in Bakersfield.  Although I am not set on that shirt as being the only thing in the photo, I may bring a dress shirt.  Who knows, I may combine them and wear the dress shirt unbuttoned on top of the Legalize Gay shirt.  We’ll see.

I was going to use my own domain xanapus.com as the hub, but decided to buy a new domain name www.diaryofagaynerd.com with links to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Rainbow eBooks, GetGlue, Facebook, Twitter and here.  Of course I’m paying every month for 1 single html page lol.  That doesn’t seem fair since I have a lot of space over here, but whatever.

Oh I mentioned GetGlue, yeah I haven’t really talked to them yet but I sent a tweet to one of the GetGlue people that I know.  I want to offer a sticker for my readers.  I already have the sticker made, I just need to give them the file so they can give it to people when they check-in.  Although I don’t know if a lot of writers offer stickers for books, maybe I’m the first.  Wouldn’t that be awesome if I were?  How cool would that be?  I’m a GetGlue pioneer LMAO.

So I will just focus my energy now on getting that picture so I can publish it.  Hopefully tomorrow, but no promises.

I do have future plans for another book, actually a series of fictional stories about my character Xanapus from the game EverQuest.  Of course I won’t be able to write about Norrath, I will have to make up my own fantasy world.  That will just make it more fun to write if I make things up as I go.  I will probably start the first story with a short story to make sure I know how to write fiction, of course I will be taking a course on writing fiction first.  It was one thing to write an autobiography because I didn’t have to make anything up, a story based on one single character living in a world that doesn’t exist yet is going to be the difficult part.  If I can write a short story with one little tiny quest, then we will see if I have what it takes to write a 200-300 page novel, 8 of them in total to be exact.  Yes, I am aiming high lol.  Don’t hold your breath…

Until tomorrow when I have more news about the book that I already wrote…