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Thursday, May 10, 2012

My New Friend, Andy Roid

Since I got an Android tablet last summer, I have been exposed to the wonders of various applications and games. I can use dedicated applications to take a peek at various accounts. There are games galore, and free ones at that. The first game I downloaded from the Android Market, now Google Play, was one of the versions of Angry Birds. I had never played it before, but I heard about it all the time. We'd go visit friends and their kids would give me a look of pity when they discovered that my phone wasn't smart but only of moderate intelligence. That my phone had no games. No Angry Birds to be seen. So I got my first AB game and started to play. On my first level, I got three stars. Wow, this is cool! I am really good at this! This went on for a few minutes, and a few levels, until I hit one of the levels that required multiple attempts, and had a stinking learning curve, for crying out loud!

I had to conquer this beast. I learned from my mistakes. I played the same levels over and over and over again. But it was the monkeys who were the last straw. The monkeys who saw the bird coming and jumped out of the way. And laughed at you when you ran out of ammo. Laughed at you! I decided the game had not been named after the Birds, but after what they did to your attitude. Those birds can really make you angry! I won't lie; I have downloaded all of the free Angry Birds games. I play them till I get disgusted, and then ignore them for a while. If I find myself feeling too serene, I start playing. And then remember I had something else I needed to do.

Of course, there's way more to Android than Angry Birds. I have enjoyed solitaire games, mahjong, just tons of stuff. It is really amazing when you realize all you can do. If someone had told me when I was a kid that you could do all this stuff on one little device, I'd have thought they were crazy. Which leads to my confession. My dirty little secret. My shame.

When I first heard about e-books and e-readers, I remained completely unimpressed. I have loved books all my life. There is more to them than just the story, whether it be a murder mystery, biography, or horror story. There is, and always will be, something special about the feel of a book in your hands, the smell of the paper, the weight of all those words. My first step down the path happened when I got an MP3 player. It came with an offer of a free audiobook from Audible.com. It had been forever since someone read me a story. And it was wonderful. Trent and I both love it, and listening to a book is the best drug to help me shut down my racing mind and get to sleep. Although it does sometimes backfire, just like any good book can.

The second step was when I went to the library after many years away, and got a library card. We went there all the time! I found out I could get online and put a hold on books that I wanted to read and they'd save them for me! And I could actually look at the listings at midnight, if that made me happy. And one evening, while looking at book listings, I found out that I could download library books. Cue the heavenly choir singing "AAAaaaaaahhhhhhh!" So now I am an e-book reader. I can go to the library whenever I want. I can put a book on my hold list and check it out while I am waiting in line at the pharmacy. And they have thousands of classics that you can download free and keep for as long as you want! I can carry dozens, nay, hundreds, of books without getting tired. And if I don't like the book I waited two weeks for, no big deal. It's gone in a second and replaced by another. I have been in reading heaven. Which reminds me, I have two library books just waiting to be read, thanks to my new friend Andy Roid and Overdrive Media Console. See you in the virtual library!