Tag Archive for Kindle Fire HD

Have Kindle Fire HD Will Travel, er, Work

In my role as a journalist, there are times when I have to adapt and improvise. Such an occasion arose recently when I was working on a couple of stories for a special section.

Kindle Notes

The special section focuses on arts and music in the schools. I had conducted my interviews a few days earlier, but had not yet started to write my stories.

I started to write one of them while in a Burger King getting breakfast. I was between interviews in a city about 20 miles away from the office. Whenever I head out to this city, I like to have a number of interviews and stories to work on so I can maximize my efficiency and cut down on the amount of mileage the newspaper has to pay.

Because I had some time, I decided to go to the Burger King because it has free Wi-Fi. I proceeded to order a large caramel iced coffee and order of tater tots, sat down and whipped out the reliable Amazon Kindle Fire HD.

With my notes on the table and the tablet in my hands, I started writing my story in GoogleDocs on my Kindle Fire HD. I have written before about how this tablet has improved my productivity, and this is just the latest example. Though I had some down time in terms of interviews, I did not have to stop working because the free time was converted to writing time.

I could have brought my laptop with me and accomplished the same thing. The writing process would have been quicker because it is much easier to type on a physical keyboard than a virtual keyboard. But, it was a very cold day, and the laptop would have been outside most of the time in my Jeep.

Instead, the Kindle Fire HD stayed in my pocket instead of the Jeep, ready to be deployed at a moment’s notice.

Also, as I have written about before, I use the text-to-speech functionality of the Kindle to make my books audio books, and I listened to one of them on my drive out to do the interviews and on my way back to the office. (Check out all of my blog posts about this tablet here.)

My Kindle Fire HD cannot do everything, but it does a lot, enough to keep me busy, anyway. What about you?

How do You Generate Ideas? Here is One Possible Way

Welcome to Episode No. 1 of the Zest for Life podcast. We are trying out something new on The Z Section blog today. Are you curious about where ideas come from? Who isn’t.

Electric Generation

In the podcast I offer one simple suggestion for generating ideas: Unclutter your life so you can think in new ways. Give it a listen; it will only take a couple of minutes.

How a Squirrel Restored Man’s Faith in Humanity

Life has been extremely hectic and busy due to an upcoming special section that is to be published at the newspaper where I am a reporter. My hair needed to get cut, but when would I find the time?

This is not the squirrel

However, when I drove by Helms’ Old Fashioned Barber Shop in Wooster, Ohio, and saw no cars parked on the street. This had to mean there were no guys in the seats waiting to get their hair cut by Ryan Helms.

I get in, and I get right in the seat. Ryan asks me what’s new since he last saw me before Christmas, to which I replied, “Do you really want to know?” I wanted to make sure because a lot had been going on. Indeed, he did.

Well, this is what has been going on in my life:

  • My wife threw me a surprise party and took me to Boston in December.
  • This led to us finding an old, blind, deaf dog named Bungee, who taught me some lessons about faith and God. (To read about it, click here.)
  • Money from my birthday and finding the dog led, in part, to me buying a Kindle Fire HD and starting this blog. (Click here and here to learn more.)
  • Starting this blog has prompted me to start writing books, thanks to reading five books on my Kindle (click here), especially this one.

After talking with Ryan and telling him how life is good, he asked me if I had time to hear a story. Indeed, I did.

One Saturday morning, Ryan was in the barber shop with some guys and he looked out the window to see a squirrel dangling from a wire across the street. Ryan said something needed to be done to free the squirrel from its predicament, and the fellows agreed.

They left the shop and walked across the street and pondered how to get the squirrel free. One of the guys had a big pick-up truck, so he moved it under the wires. The group jumped into the back of the truck, but they were unable to reach the squirrel. (Incidentally, there was another squirrel that had tried to help get the other loose, but he had no luck, either.)

Ryan decided to call the local fire department to bring a ladder truck. He was informed the fire department does not bring out the truck to save squirrels. The guys did not give up on their mission.

Pretty soon, someone from a roofing company drove up in a truck, and Ryan noticed there were ladders on the truck. He asked the roofer if he could use on the ladders. They roofer was a bit reluctant, but relented, and Ryan and the rest moved into action.

The ladder was put in the back of the pick-up truck, and it sounded as if Ryan said the ladder was placed on the wire. He started to make his way up, but it was real wobbly. One of the guys said he had worked on ladders for years, and he would go up and get the squirrel, and he did.

The guys were happy that they freed the squirrel. However, the squirrel was still having a rough time. They had placed it on the ground, and throughout the day, Ryan kept an eye on the squirrel.

For the most part, the squirrel stayed in the same spot, but the time Ryan left for the day, the squirrel was gone.

Some time later, one of the guys who had been part of the rescue crew stopped back in to Helms’ Old Fashioned Barber Shop. He shared with Ryan how over the past couple of years he reached the point where he had thought there was no longer any kindness in the world.

But, on one Saturday in Wooster, Ohio, when four grown men grouped together to save a squirrel, he realized there was still kindness in this world. It restored his faith in humanity.

Amen.

 

Kindle Fire HD 7 Continues to Score Big Here

It’s been nearly seven weeks since I purchased a Kindle Fire HD 7, and I am liking it more and more everyday. For good reason.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7

I remember reading on Michael Hyatt’s blog about how preferred the iPad Mini over the original, larger version, saying the Mini was what the iPad should have been from the start.

Having never owned an iPad, I cannot make the same statement, but I can say this: The Kindle Fire HD 7 is what netbooks should have been all along. When my wife’s laptop became old, outdated and slow, I wanted to get her a new one. However, there was something attractive about the netbooks. At the time, I did not fully understand what they were; I just thought they were slightly smaller laptops.

Well, in a sense, they are. Netbooks are smaller than laptops. And, netbooks kind of look like laptops. But, what we discovered is a netbook is not really a laptop. A laptop is for computing, and a netbook is mainly designed to surf the Internet.

My Kindle Fire HD does just that. It surfs the web, it feasts on Amazon.com content, it plays games and it even contributes to some productivity. After I first purchased the tablet, I carried it with me sometimes. Now, unless I know I am going to be totally tied to my desk at the newspaper, it comes with me.

Why I Carry My Kindle Fire HD All the Time:

  • It turns my vehicle into a mobile university: This is the No. 1 reason why it is with me most of the time. By owning a Kindle device, I can turn on Amazon’s text-to-speech function and listen to books while I drive. I just finished reading/listening to The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur (which turned out to be better than I initially envisioned). Whether I am in the Jeep five minutes or 35 minutes, I like having the option of listening to a book.
  • It keeps me up-to-date with my blog: I have a WordPress app that allows me to edit or create posts, check my site stats or do anything else I need to with my blog, as long as I have a Wi-Fi connection.
  • I keep my teaching notes on it: I teach an adult Sunday School class at Parkview Christian Church, and I send all of my notes to my Kindle device. I have a study Bible loaded on the Kindle, and I keep my notes for Sunday School on it.
  • I can capture thoughts using Catch app: When you start blogging, you realize how important it is to get your ideas down. With Catch Notes, I can do that. The free app allows you to write notes, record audio notes, take photos, set up reminders and create checklists. I used it the other day to jot some ideas down for future blog posts and a future book.
  • I can move my online reading offline: With Pocket, another free app, I can be reading something on the web and save it to read later. The app works across all sorts of devices. I can be reading something on the web at home, save it to Pocket, and when I sync my Kindle Fire HD, I will get a nice, readable version of the web page. It is important to sync Pocket’s content while you have Wi-Fi access. This is immensely helpful when researching. I have been using it to aid me in writing a book for mindreaders. It is invaluable.
  • I can keep up-to-date with all of my social networks: Again, as long as there is a Wi-Fi connection.

If you would like to purchase your own Kindle Fire HD, check out my affiliate link by clicking here. I recommend the 32 GB version because once you buy it, there is no expanding it. Might as well get the extra storage space.

The Kindle Fire HD  7 has been a great fit for me, but let me caution you by saying I made the purchase because I was an Amazon Prime member. It made sense to have a device geared toward watching the movies, TV shows and videos available for free to Prime members, getting the shipping discount from Amazon and the ability to borrow one book a month from the Kindle Owners Lending Library.

If you are looking for more of a computing tablet, then perhaps the iPad, iPad Mini or Google Nexus 7 are better options for you.

For me, it was the Kindle. You can see other reasons why by clicking here.

Kindle Fire HD 7: Five Reasons I Love It

It has been about a month since I purchased a Kindle Fire HD 7 for my birthday (I have such generous family and friends), and I have to say I am finding more uses for it today than ever.

Kindle Fire HD 7 screenshot

I am a geek in the sense I have studied computer programming (a long time ago), am able to rip open a desktop computer and add and change hardware and am all over social media (though I have yet to label myself a “social media expert” — when you figure out what that is, let me know).

However, I am not such a geek that I can tell you with clarity and specificity why, from a hardware and software and operating system point of view, the Kindle Fire HD 7 is an excellent machine that is better than the competition.

But, I can tell you there are five reasons why I am so grateful I purchased the Kindle Fire HD 7.

  1. I read more. Look at the screenshot above; I am reading those books and more. Generally, all I read was the Bible, The Daily Record newspaper and political websites. Now, I am reading more books about writing, building a platform and business. And, yes, I am still reading my Bible.
  2. I write more. I have actually begun working on some writing projects outside of my daily reporting duties at the newspaper. It feels good to be focused on some of these efforts.
  3. I watch less TV. With the boob tube blackened out most of the time, I have a ton of time to read and write.
  4. I blog now. The Kindle Fire HD 7 actually was a factor in me deciding to start my own self-hosted blog. I wrote about that here.
  5. I sell books in the Kindle store. It is really an article that I have sold, but it is a start. It would not have happened without the Kindle Fire HD connecting me with the Amazon website more and the Kindle store in particular.

Do you have a Kindle Fire HD? What are your thoughts about it?