Why I Switched from Kindle Fire to iPad

iPad with Keyboard Case.

Some months ago, one of my first kittensharks articles was a review of Amazon’s Kindle Fire; I discussed the purchase in terms of what made me decide to buy it instead of an iPad ($$$) and what I found useful about it in terms of my life and how I would be using it. These are pretty general terms for a review, and I still think that, at that time, I made the right decision. Things changed a few months later and I needed more productivity than the Kindle Fire could provide, so I was forced to make a change in devices. Here is the story about how and why I bought an iPad as well as a description of its usefulness to me.

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Wait, what just happened? Something You May Know

Some of you may be shocked to find out that my posts on kittensharks aren’t supposed to be exclusively about making fun of things that Rob likes. Sometimes I write about things I used to like but pretty much can’t stand anymore. Today I’m going to write about a third type of topic: Something Rob likes that I am in complete agreement on.

Just lump this into the pile with Dr. Who and Lost already, Rob.

I don’t really know how it happened. It was all kind of a blur to me. Rob came to our place for what I had expected to probably be a night of watching Rifftrax or perhaps playing some Beerio Kart, when he blurted out that he wanted to join in some online trivia show. I can’t remember if I actually face-palmed myself or if I just really wanted to at the time. I’ve got nothing against trivia shows and nothing against things Rob likes (despite all evidence to the contrary on the latter), it’s just that when Rob gets into something, he gets into it in such an intense way that I’ll dislike it because I know it isn’t possible for me to enjoy it as much as he does. I secretly envy him. (Okay, it’s not a secret.)

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I saw her face, now I’m a Wholiever.

Hi everybody. It’s me again: the world’s biggest Dr. Who fan. I know you haven’t heard from me in over two weeks and some of you have been starting to get worried. Fear not, for I am alive. I have been traveling through time and space just like Dr. Who in his famed DeLorean (and horse-drawn sleigh in the third season). Well, I wish. In fact, I have been in hiding. You see, I have caught a LOT of flack for my previous article about Wholievership. There have been several comments so obscene I absolutely had to delete them, death threats against me and my family, and one guy nailed a copy of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses to my front door, only he changed all of them to be relevant to Dr. Who. Actually that last guy seems pretty cool. I might invite him to join the Secret Order of Wholievers.

This the emblem of the Secret Order of Wholievers. If you have to ask why you’ll never be allowed to join our club.

Why are so many people outraged? There are a few reasons that an undeveloped mind might find anger at my previous article. I’m here to enlighten and cast away the fury. Learn from my wisdom so that someday you might even become a Junior Member of my secret society.

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Product Review- Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips

Not since I posted about my decision to purchase a Kindle Fire has kittensharks really talked about products or anything outside of food, sharks, fantasy, the Illuminati, etc., and I feel like this is an important facet to group blogging that we lack.  I wasn’t sure what I wanted to review for my first product test until I saw a commercial for the Sally Hansen nail strips again.  These things have been in the back of my head since they first showed up; I enjoy nail color, but am very lazy.  Could they possibly be as easy and perfect for someone like me as Sally Hansen says?  These are the questions I decided to answer for myself and for you, the wonderful readers of kittensharks.  Here goes!

What the Product is For/What the Product Claims to Do

This product is to apply salon quality nail color or pattern with no mess or drying time that claims to last up to 10 days.

Review follows:

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Reading with Zelda: A Pig Parade is a Terrible Idea written by Michael Ian Black, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes

A Pig Parade is a Terrible Idea, Michael Ian Black & Kevin Hawkes

In preparing for the extremely exciting release of Michael Ian Black’s new book, You’re Not Doing it Right, I decided to read or re-read any of his books that I had missed during the long, long wait until February 28, 2012.  Luckily, almost everything is available for Kindle Fire and I had a long trip on MegaBus to do nothing but read or sleep.  And I can sleep when I’m dead!

A Pig Parade is a Terrible Idea is a delightful picture book for children that teaches a valuable lesson: pigs are bad at parades.  Mr. Black is able to categorically refute any claim anyone could ever have to the contrary, which is important because kids often have silly ideas about things and adults need to stop them from being idiots.  They can’t do it on their own yet.  As for adult readers, the writing style is perfect for a children’s book but manages to keep that something special we have come to expect from Mr. Black while keeping clear of the explicit and acerbic wit over which he is king.

The illustrations are fantastic!  I can’t think of anyone who could better draw the words in this book.  Moreover, the pictures are lovely little stories on their own even for children who want to thumb through the pages but can’t read the words on their own.  This is definitely a book that holds up for all ages in that respect; whether it is simply a picture book, a book someone reads to a child or a book read alone, it is sure to please.

Pick this up at your local bookstore or wherever/however you buy books.  I don’t care if you have kids or even if you know any.  Get on it.  NOW.  And don’t forget about this!

A Pig Parade is a Terrible Idea by Michael Ian Black and Kevin Hawkes



Reading with Zelda: Sabriel by Garth Nix

Sabriel is a fantasy novel and book one of The Old Kingdom Trilogy by Garth Nix.  It was recommended to me via Amazon’s bookstore on the Kindle Fire, I assume, because I had recently purchased digital versions of Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials books and some other fantasy stuff.  I did my usual investigation into a recommended book, which is a few steps long and not unique to me, I suspect:

  1. Look at the cover art.  Is it stupid?  Does it evoke any interest in me? – The answers were that it was not stupid at all and definitely made me interested.

    Sabriel by Garth Nix

    I adore the paint style of the cover artists (Leo and Diane Dillon).  Did I judge the book solely on the cover?  No, but I do that all the time and I’m usually right, so I could have stopped here and been happy.  Take that, naysayers.

  2. Read a few reviews on the Amazon website.  The overall stars were pretty high, and, for the most part, people seemed to be into it.  There was one review which suggested it was a great concept but poorly executed.  This didn’t stop me because that sounds like something an idiot would say.
  3. Download the sample and read it.  I did this very quickly; the opening of the book tells the very interesting (but mysterious) story of the birth of our heroine and title character, Sabriel, and reveals the interesting career of her father, Abhorsen as well as gives us an enticing first look at one of the three primary geographic locations in which the story takes place: Death.  It sold me; I bought the book as soon as I reached the final page of the sample and immediately read on. Continue reading

Reading with Zelda: Prologue to Book Reviews & Why I Bought a Kindle Fire

When I got my Kindle Fire, one of the reasons I was all about it was that I travel a lot (mostly between Boston and Washington, D.C., which is like 9.5 hours on MegaBus), and I need something to do.  Carrying around several entertainment devices was getting painful, especially big heavy books.

Zelda’s real, live cat.

Books are also expensive, and they take up a lot of space that could also be used for other things that don’t translate into digital use very well like clothes or cats.  (I’m not trying to knock Purr Pals or anything; I love that game, but I love my real live cat more.

So, anyway, I got a Kindle Fire, and it was cool.  I’d obviously rather have an iPad, which is better by like, a million billion, but I don’t have the spare cash for that so, regardless of mixed comparison reviews, I think the Fire is a great alternative for less than half the cost.  Specifically, I enjoy the use of the Amazon account integration and the almost immediate availability of good books made to work with all Kindles and especially Kindle Fire.  They do a good job of suggesting shit you’d like (as do most sites) and allowing you to sample quite a good selection at the beginning before you make a purchase.  What I mean is, you get to read more than a stupid paragraph; they give you something to really chew on before cutting it off and saying you can buy it for more.  In my experience, if by the time I get to the purchase option I am thinking, “holy crap I’ll buy it but I wanna read the next page noooooow” then it is probably worth the usually $6-15 I have spent. Continue reading