Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Photo Reflection of the Day #27: Blizzard - New England Edition


What Is It

My street covered in snow from the blizzard of January 2015.  

Why It's today's Pick

I'm sure this is just one of a bajillion images that you will see or have seen by the time this blizzard is over.  But I felt it needed to be today's photo since I was out in the snow and turned onto my new street to see all the snow.  It's still snowing but it's done it's worse from what the news is reporting.  Heaps and heaps of snow coupled with an eerie quietness about the space.  There's ample noise--the wind howling, the scraping of shovels off in the distance, but there is no buzz and hum.  The neighborhood feels serene  as if muffled out by the blanketing of snow that has occurred.  


This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.

Creative Commons License
By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

My Most Recent Reads - December 2014

As with the last few months, December wasn't as active when it came to reading as past months have been.  But I did get a few in and finished three physical books.  As I've mentioned in my goals for 2015, I am aiming to read more physical books and less graphic novels in the next year, which likely means my numbers will continue to fall overall but hopefully I'll still find myself making progress (and more importantly, shrinking my "to read" pile to some degree).  

As for my recommendations for the month, well the ones that I want to recommend I will need to hold off as I am reviewing them elsewhere.  But I will talk about one in particular:  

Image: Book Cover - Art of Explanation by Lee LeFever.  Source: http://artofexplanation.com/

The Art of Explanation - Making Your Ideas, Products and Services Easier to Understand by Lee LeFever

Many are familiar with LeFever even if they may not think they are.  He is the leader of CommonCraft which produces those great videos about technology "in plain English."  This book provides a breakdown of exactly how they manage to create such accessible and easy-to-understand explanations of complicated and interesting topics.  It's highly useful in that he provides a good set of tools to help the reader reconsider how one would properly explain things.  He shows that we often think we are great at explain but very rarely are we as successful as we like to think we are.  I found that it would be quite useful not just for "idea, products and services" but also for teaching.
For other best picks over the last year, check out previous monthly reviews:

Audiobooks

  • Animal Weapons: The Evolution of Battle by Douglas Emlen
  • The Art of Explanation - Making Your Ideas, Products and Services Easier to Understand by Lee LeFever
  • Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle
  • The Author at Work: The Art of Writing Fiction by Jenna Blum
  • The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Miguel Ruiz

Books

  • The Complete Short Stories by Ambrose Bierce
  • Dungeons and Dreamers: A Story of how Computer Games Created a Global Community by Brad King
  • The Awakening and Selected Stories of Kate Chopin by Kate Chopin

Graphic Novels

  • All-New X-Factor, Vol. 1: Not Brand X by Peter David
  • Loki: Agent of Asgard, Vol. 1: Trust Me by Al Ewing
  • Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal by Willow Wilson
  • Fantastic Four, Vol. 1: The Fall of the Fantastic Four by James Robinson
  • Uncanny X-Men, Vol. 3: The Good, The Bad, The Inhuman by Brian Michael Bendis


Creative Commons License
By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Photo Reflection of the Day #26: #Selfie #NotSunday #4


What Is It

A selfie that I took today, because I forgot that yesterday was Selfie-Sunday.

Why It's Today's Pick

Ahhhh!  It's ginormous Lance-head!!!  Being so wrapped up in the move and thinking about that, I barely realized that it was Sunday, the self-designed "Selfie" day.  To make up for it, I did one today.  Mostly, because I wanted ot track the hair growth and used it as a point of comparison when I shave sometime in the near future.  Again, this photo seems to help remind me how huge my forehead is and the ongoing disappearance of my hair on my head, of which I'm largely fine with.  I might need to try another camera for the selfies as the quality on this one doesn't appear too great--the picture looks a bit grainy (or pixelated I guess).  The facial scruff is now looking more like a beard and it's getting to the point where it's annoying, particularly when sleeping.  


This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.

Creative Commons License
By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Photo Reflection of the Day #25: Almost There...


What Is It


My bookshelves with books on them, but not quite organized.

Why It's Today's Pick

Another day of unpacking!  Though the place feels more and more like home, I feel like this image captures the situation best.  Yesterday's picture was that of the empty bookshelves with boxes in front.  This time, we're looking at the boxes gone and the books on their shelves but none of them are in their right spot, or most of them.  The graphic novels seem to have magically transformed but I think that's because it's easier to do that or because I can use that as a starting point.  But the picture does work well as a metaphor for where we are in the moving process.  Books are on the shelves but not quite there. 


This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.

Creative Commons License
By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Photo Reflection of the Day #24: These Books Ain't Shelving Themselves!


What Is It

Boxes of books in front of my empty bookshelves.

Why It's Today's Pick

Well, we made it.  Despite the snowy mix, our fantastic movers were able to load up the truck and make our way to our new home.  It's been a busy and chaotic day as moving tends to be.  Once the movers had unloaded and we had our fill out emptying boxes, I put all the book boxes near the bookshelves to be shelved later.  There were bigger priorities than my bookshelves.  However, later on in the evening, I managed to get all my boxes over to the shelves and snap this photo.  It feels a bit of a sad one.  The books are so close to their home but not quite there.  And this best summarizes my experience.  We have moved, all our things are here, but it's not quite fully home just yet.  Tomorrow will yield more unpacking of boxes and hopefully we will have our home situated soon.  In the meantime, the books have to settle for the fact that they are quite close--just not entirely there yet.


This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.

Creative Commons License
By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Photo Reflection of the Day #23: Moving Day Eve


What Is It

The corner of our apartment right now, as we are neck-deep in moving.

Why It's today's Pick

It's moving day.  Or rather the day before moving, which means everything is in a bit of disarray.  But most of the stuff is packed and ready to go.  It's a strange experience as many know to pack up your life into miscellaneous boxes of different sizes and shapes and put it all away.  I find myself walking through the apartment looking for something and realizing that it is packed away and some box somewhere.  So very close, but highly improbably to easily find.  Though there is stress involved, there's also the excitement of moving that will hover in the air and more than likely make it hard to sleep--kind of like Christmas.  There's much potential and intrigue about how these boxes shall be emptied out in the new home.  


This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.

Creative Commons License
By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Photo Reflection of the Day #22: Pumpkin in Hiding


What Is It

A picture of Pumpkin hiding out behind the TV.  

Why It's Today's Pick

I was sitting at my computer contemplating what to find a picture of when Bear and Pumpkin (my two cats) started to wrestle.  They wrestle a lot and while Pumpkin instigates a lot, she doesn't often win.  She's just shy of 7 pounds and Bear around 10 pounds.  Beyond that, Bear has been poise and spring.  But they wrestle regularly.  So as I was contemplating what to take a photo of she jumped up behind the TV (which is next to the table I'm typing at) to escape from Bear and I figured I would snap a photo.  It's funny to look at her and think she is nearly 4 years old.  She's still so small and light that she still seems and appears to be a kitten.  And once you throw the smooshy-face into it, it's hard to see otherwise. As for the look on her face, this is her inquisitive look--something has grabbed her attention and she desires to investigate.  I hope that I don't do too many pictures of my cats, but this one just seemed to land right on my lap!


This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.

Creative Commons License
By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Photo Reflection of the Day #21: The Start of Class


What Is It


A picture of the starting slide on the slide deck for my first day of face-to-face class.


Why It's Today's Pick

It's the first day of my face-to-face class and this is the initial slide.  First days are always fascinating--like other "firsts"--it has such potentail and brims with excitement, but can also be nerve-racking.  Even though I've had a full day of things to do, it's been this moment when the class starts that rolls around throughout the day.  What rolls around there is trying to strike the right balance.  I'm quite enthusiastic about literature (or any subject matter I teach).  I've been told repeatedly that this enthusiasm is a strength in my teaching.  However, I also have high expectations and want to push students in their learning (I'll often compare teaching to a physical trainer--instructors are trainers for the mind). However, coupled with this is an understanding that literature for some can be a very hard subject and feel overwhelming.  I understand this an create opportunities for students to overcome obstacles or mistakes within the course.  So it can be hard to find that right combination and communicate that in just over an hour.  


This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.

Creative Commons License
By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Photo Reflection of the Day #20: Before the (Semester) Storm


What Is It

The first floor hallway of the McGee building on the Lynn Campus of North Shore Community College.

Why It's today's Pick

It's Tuesday morning and the start of another semester.  I came in just after 7am and the halls were empty and quiet.  This will of course change.  Maybe I should go back at the end of the day to see if it is still as pristine and undisturbed as it is now.  It was strange to walk down a nearly silent hallway--I almost expected a tumbleweed to past through.  I also liked using the Graphite filter here as I feel like it emphasizes the silence at the dawn of a new semester.  


This submission is part of the 365 Challenge.  For 2015's submissions, check out this link to all the posts.  For access to all photos, which open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.

Creative Commons License
By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

365 Challenge: The Final Month of Reading

And I crossed the finish line.  365 short stories read and discussed on this blog.  Wow...I'm still in awe of that.  So with that as a goal, it was definitely a success.  However, I unfortunately did not significantly put a dent in my collect of anthologies through this project.  There are two reasons for this.  The first is that as I became more and more interested in anthologies, I kept buying them, which is like the person who decides to eat more calories since he is working out more often (something I am notoriously guilty of).  The second reason is that a large chunk of short stories I read did not come from anthologies.  They came from my attempt to move my literature courses into the realm of OER and thus find lots of course readings that I might not have used previously and therefore, had to read.  On the one hand, this was great as I got exposed to even more literature, but on the other, it detracted from chipping away at my collection.  Oh well!

The project was successful but largely fell apart in the final third of the year with me falling behind and having to post a bunch in hindsight rather than one a day or even getting ahead of the posts.  This was to be expected given that my fall was extremely busy both professionally and personally.  

As a whole though, I found it rather successful and rewarding to engage with and write about all those stories.  I've found a lot of new authors that I like and learned that there are some that I rather don't like.  

Here's the run down of monthly summation posts:
Here are the anthologies that I relied upon this month:


Book Cover: The Best Short Stories by Negro Writers by Langston Hughes


Book Cover:  The Complete Short Stories of Ambrose Bierce



Creative Commons License
By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.