Product Review – Skullcandy Ink’d Wireless Earbuds


​Ink’d Wireless Earbuds by Skullcandy (with box). (c)2019

I requested and received these as a gift this past holiday season. I had seen them in a Target ad for half off on Black Friday. I think they retail at around $49.99 in most places. I wouldn’t normally spend that much or even half that on earbuds, but visually, they seemed to be what I was looking for.

I was happy to find out they are! And much more!

The earbuds themselves are very comfortable in my ears, either on their own or with my hearing aids. Other earbuds were practically useless with my hearing aids, and I don’t like taking them in and out during the day to listen to a podcast or music.

The part that worn around the neck is also very comfortable. So comfortable in fact, that I have forgotten that I’m wearing them, and will take off my jacket at a church or library function and realize then that I never took it off. I’ve fallen asleep with it around my neck and with the earbuds in my ears.

The website and the product box both extol its functionality: It connects to your tech with bluetooth wireless technology and the battery will run for about eight hours. It has a built-in microphone for calls, pause, track and volume control right at your fingertips.

The sound is the best sound I’ve ever had in an earbud, including other Skullcandy that I’ve used in the past. Both sides blend well to give a great stereo sound and I can hear some background vocals and commentary that I hadn’t heard in listening before. I really noticed this when listening to the Hamilton original Broadway soundtrack. In a couple of the songs there is a low side-talking that I had never noticed before.

I haven’t tested how far away I can go from my tablet, but I have left it in one room and gone to get dressed in another or went to the kitchen to cook or do dishes. I’m definitely not tied to my tablet in one place.

The bluetooth pairs seamlessly to my Kindle Fire as well as my Samsung Galaxy 9, although obviously not at the same time. I primarily use it with the Kindle Fire.

I would highly recommend these earbuds. I have used them constantly since getting them for Christmas, and I will update as the year goes on as to how they last for the long haul.




Photo credit: Andrew Shiva

When I was a young person, I was lucky enough to go to a religious school that focused on the wonderful, rich Bible stories and Jewish history from the beginning of time. It was a special time, and it was more sacred for me than attending Saturday services. We learned the songs and the traditions of  of all of our holidays, some better well known than others. Between that school and my parents, I learned everything I would teach my own children: how to light a menorah, how to stop and relish in the quiet of Yom KIppur, what counted as bread in this American Jewish family. I adored my teacher, and looked forward to my after-school and weekend classes with joy. I can still picture the classroom where we learned Hebrew in my final year, and the basement rec room where we had our celebrations with songs and food. Prior to that year of Hebrew, we learned Yiddish. I still have the first book that we all had memorized. It was the Jewish version of See Spot Run:

Der kinder.
Der kinder geyn.
Der kinder geyn in shul.

The children.
The children learn.
The children learn in school.

In 1981 there was a miniseries called Masada about the mountain siege of the Israeli Zealots by the Romans. They were led by Eleazar Ben Yair, and there was no surrender. When the Romans were finally able to enter the fortress, they found what was left of their provisions, their mass suicide the statement that they would not return to slavery. There were survivors; two women and five children left to tell the story. I collected newspaper articles and previews of the 1981 series; in fact, I probably still have those clippings in my basement somewhere. Of course, there were some changes for dramatic effect, but it was our story on primetime television.

On my recent visit to my Florida family, my cousin’s son was looking at my aunt’s pictures from their visit to Masada. He recalled his own visit. In our talking, I was reminded of the Peter Strauss miniseries, and he recommended a book that he thought I would like that was about the Israeli fortress.

The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman.


I filed it away in the back of my brain, and came home, forgetting once again about something that had commanded my young life for what seemed like a very long time. Fast forward to one of my library visits. I sat and wrote for about an hour and a half, not including being bothered, and in turn, bothering a random ladybug, and before I knew it, it was time to go.

They’ve been redoing the layout of the library and in order to continue their renovations, they’ve moved shelves and spinny racks. I had to dodge a table, a spinny rack, and found myself in front of a rack of recommended reading. Exactly at eye level was the book my cousin, something removed, recommended. The Dovekeepers. I picked it up, turned it over, and read the synopsis. I didn’t have my library card, so I thought that I would wait and get it next time. As I went to return it to its shelf, there, staring me in the face, directly behind the book in my hand, was the same copy of The Dovekeepers.

I guess I was supposed to take this book home that day!

It was a wonderful journey through the lives of four women, how they each arrived at Masada, and how they found each other, their lives crisscrossing and mirroring the others. There is tradition and magic, and family and love and forgiveness. Knowing the outcome made their stories more poignant. These were strong, powerful women that spoke to me and would speak to anyone interested in history, women and life.

It reminded me of life growing up, the simplicity that we remember wrapped in the real life that was. It’s good to remember the past, and put it into perspective. Now, I have a longer list, but in those moments of high school, Masada was the one place I wanted to see; to stand where choices were made and where so much mattered.

Talyn’s Heroic Journey in #Farscape Is Now Available on Kindle


The writer is the friend of a friend. This caught my eye because Farscape was one of those shows that I missed along the way. My husband’s friend sent us his DVD set of the series when he finished with it, and it still took us a few years to get to it.

I felt that the show had its issues, but that was my nitpickyness of being a longtime science fiction in space fan. It felt like a cross between Star Trek and Babylon 5. There was a good ensemble cast, unusual characters who didn’t fit their stereotypes, a home on the ship, friendship, and a good story.It was futuristic and modern.

One of the arcs that I found interesting was Talyn’s story. For those who are unfamiliar with the show, Talyn is a ship. He is a living ship and the hybrid offspring of the living ship, Moya, that the crew travels on. His story is unusual, and I was so excited to see Natacha’s book about his journey.

It is now available on Kindle, and I’m looking forward to reading it and seeing how close my own thoughts mesh with hers.


Natacha Guyot

Do you like Farscape? Do unlikely heroes interest you? Are redemption stories compelling to you? Then, you’ll probably want to check out my eBook, Talyn’s Heroic Journey in Farscape:

Created in 1999 by Rockne S. O’Bannon, the Science Fiction television series Farscape focuses on the eclectic crew of a living ship called Moya. One of the supporting characters, Talyn, is Moya’s hybrid offspring, is born at the end of the first season and also experiences his own heroic journey.

Since the show belongs to the Science Fiction genre, it is interesting to study how a non-human character that isn’t even humanoid might become a hero. While cyborg and alien heroes have existed in Science Fiction narratives of many kinds, it remains rather rare that a space ship, even alive and sentient, is given significant character development.

Three elements are of particular significance in the analysis of hybrid’s heroic…

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Rec- Tabletop Audio


Tabletop Audio, recommended by Wil Wheaton for background ambience when playing table top games, I though this was a good addition to my recent recs of ambient/white noise.

This is what Wil posted about it on his Facebook earlier today:

“This website is amazing. It’s a collection of 10 minute long ambient tracks that are perfect for background music while you’re playing RPGs. Pretty much every setting you want is here, from The Old West to Orbital Space Platforms to The Ancient Ones Awaken.

Most tracks are just wonderful ambient sound, and some have minimal music that helps add to the mood.

I’ve been listening to them nonstop since I found them yesterday, as background music while I’m writing. 

The guy who does this is a composer, and he has a Patreon that I’m proud and happy to support. I encourage anyone who enjoys his work to support him, too, so he can keep making more.”