A double post, today. Let me tell you a bit about what I put in my pockets.

There are some things I like to keep close to me at all times. My phone and my wallet stay in my left front pocket whenever I wear pants -- which is most of the time that I'm upright. These things carry my identification, and they stay in my front pocket because they're uncomfortable if placed in my back pocket, I don't want to sit on my iPhone, and pickpockets have a harder time robbing your front pocket than they do your back. And, contrary to what I've been told, it doesn't seem to be very noticeable.

However, because I don't want the glass front of my iPhone scratched (and, give anything enough time and contact, and glass will be scratched, even if it's gorilla glass), I place my coins and keys in my right front pocket, where I can easily access them. This arrangement worked well for years. Recently, however, I've heard coins falling to the ground whenever I pull my keys from my front pocket; a quarter here, a dime there, it all adds up. It's frustrating having to bend down to retrieve change that's hit the ground and rolled some distance away, and for the life of me I can't think why I'm having this problem, now.

But, while I mull on this, here's a product review:

IMG_3531.JPGThe InCharge bills itself as "the smallest keyring cable" and, at about three inches, it is indeed that. It is a lightning-USB cable designed to connect your iPhone or iPod devices to any USB outlet, allowing you to download or synchronize items between your phone and computer, or just charge your phone. Its remarkably flexible for its short size, and because of that size, it never gets tangled and is so portable, you can hook it to your keychain and never forget it. There have been numerous times where I've needed to power up my cellphone and have searched through my bag looking for a traditional lightning cable that I'd forgotten to pack, before I slapped my forehead, pulled out my keychain and unhooked this baby from it for the necessary power.

It's a neat design, which seems able to stand up to the rigours my pocket puts on it. Better yet, its means of hooking up to your keychain is nothing short of ingenious. You just bend the cable in half and the strong magnets in either head touch together and hold the thing closed so it can stay on your keyring. And they are really strong magnets, as well, as the two ends have never become separated within my pocket.

Indeed-- wait... Magnets in my pocket. And coins are attracted to magnets...

Okay! Mystery solved!



Erin looks askance at me as I snap this photograph.

“How can hot dog flavoured potato chips be ‘classic’?” I asked.

That’s your objection?” she replied. “That the hot dog flavour is ‘classic’?”

(Photo taken at a dollar store in Benton Harbor, Michigan…)

Mon, Aug

Do... Not... Blink!!


Ah, Steven, you have ruined statuary for me forever…

(Photo taken in uptown Waterloo…)

Sat, Aug

Icarus Down Arrives!


Words Worth Books received copies of Icarus Down early. There’s no embargo on early sales, so they are now available for pick-up. The same may be true with other bookstores near you; it certainly doesn’t hurt to ask. Pick up your copy today! Also note that it makes an excellent Christmas present to your teen reader…

Welcome novel number four (the first novel to be published in eight years), and book #38!

(And it’s extra sweet to see the Scholastic logo on the spine!)

Sat, Aug

Michigan Beach


I should mention that, during the week-long hiatus of this blog, earlier this month, we had the pleasure of having my father-in-law Wendell and his wife Judy come up from California for a visit. I guess we could have joked about saying “hot enough for you?” to them when they came up, as temperatures throughout the visit consistently went into the 30s (Celsius), however, they’d left a Fresno where temperatures had been in the triple digits (Fahrenheit), so this was a bit of a cool respite for them.

We took the opportunity to rent a van and head west into Michigan to visit Wendell’s brother Stan, and also to spend a couple of days in Benton Harbor, enjoying the beach. The first day was excruciatingly hot (bare feet burned on the sand), but at least the water was cool, if placid as a sheet of glass. The kids weren’t enthused about going back a second time, however, but this time the skies were cloudy, the sand cooler and, most importantly, there were waves. The kids love to body-surf.

Although we’ve made the long run west before, heading to Des Moines instead of Benton Harbor, it was a bit of a long trip in the rented van this time around. Fortunately, we had a day to recover back home once we’d returned, and another day for the kids to spend more quality time with their California grandparents.

More photos of our beach run can be found here


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