Product Review – Skullcandy Ink’d Wireless Earbuds

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​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.

10/10!

Book: School of Awake by Kidada Jones

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As I mentioned yesterday, my daughter and I started reading a new book together. We have just finished chapter four and we have completed all of the activites up until that point.

I’m not sure that this book would have reached my radar if not for my social media relationships. I follow the author’s sister on Instagram, and she mentioned the book and its Instagram page. When I investigated further, I easily saw that this was a perfect book for my daughter. I decided that it would make a great Christmas gift, and it was well worth the extra investment of having my own copy for my Kindle. My daughter and I often cuddle in bed, watching television, writing together, coloring, and reading.

When we began the book, I hadn’t realized that it included activities, which we obviously couldn’t do while lying in bed right before sleeping. We continued the reading until the Sunday after New Year’s when we spent the entire day developing and decorating our soul-soothing tool kits, the first activity in the book. It is also the activity that ties all the others together. That first day, we also put together our galaxies-on-the-go. In the evening, we sat together on the sofa with some old magazines and a pair of scissors and gluesticks and made our self-portraits.

We journaled about all of the S.O.A. [School of Awake] Moments, filled in the blanks, and answered the questions from the first three chapters.

School of Awake: A Girl’s Guide to the Universe is just that: a guide. There’s advice, there’s self-reflection, introspection, affirmations, positive reminders of what’s important, a look at the bigger picture, spirituality that works for girls who either have religion or don’t. There are moral examples and choices, but it isn’t preachy. It isn’t scolding or condascending. It sets the perfect tone of talking to girls that is old enough, but not too adult, but at the same time it doesn’t talk down to the reader.

It lets us explore our creativity together and apart through our various styles.

There is space in the hard copy book to write the answers and take notes. My suggestion to my daughter and what we’ve elected to do is to keep our writing in our journals. I think at 12, my daughter’s answers may change over time. I know that at 51, my answers also will.

Visit School of Awake’s Instagram to see pictures of other girls enjoying the book and expressing their creativity and how they’re enjoying their universes. I will continue to share our progress here as we discover more things about ourselves, both as individuals and as a mom and daughter.

Fandom Friday – What to Expect in the New Year

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I, for one, am very excited for television in the New Year. Spoilers for everything in the tags follow. Read at your own discretion. Continue reading

The Grouchy Historian

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​One of the things I loved about The Grouchy Historian, besides the grouchy historian was how timely it was. It made reference to things that had barely concluded in Washington. I hadn’t heard of this book before I found it in the online library I use, and it was very current.

Which was kind of ironic considering the entirety of the book is looking at and analyzing the intent of the framers, something that today’s Republicans and Conservative justices claim to honor and admire, worship even but don’t often put into practice.

Two disclaimers:

1. Ed Asner is an angry old-time lefty, who in this book, defends our Constitution against right-wing hypocrites and nutjobs, who seem to be crawling out of the woodwork multiple times daily, not even having the courage of their convictions anymore. (See Senate candidate, Roy Moore and who is openly supporting him.)

2. If you are a second amendment proponent I ask you to ignore the snark and facetiousness of the chapter on Guns. Look past his opinions and read what the framers wrote about guns and the second amendment. Please.

Conservative scion, Antonin Scalia even said that there are limits on the second amendment. I think that when you have lifelong conservatives like Scalia and Clarence Thomas talking about the framers’ intent and strict constructionism, but then not actually following what they claim are their own beliefs there comes the time to call out the hypocrisy.

You can’t really say the Constitution is to be literally taken and also call it a living document. Madison called it a living document, so we know how it was intended: to grow and change with the times.

At least as a Democrat I have my convictions, which are really quite simple: equality for all, all means all, medicare for all, and do good for everyone. We lift each other up.

In reading what the framers and founders had to say about the Constitution as it was being written and developed and amended, it is interesting to hear their arguments for and against certain things. What I found really amusing with this (and Ron Chernow’s Hamilton) is how similar their arguments are to today’s arguments in Washington politics.

I laugh when I hear that the founders wanted strong states when it’s clear (in this book and the original writings of the framers) that they wanted a strong central government. With a standing army. Collecting taxes. And forming a bank to put those taxes.

Now you have my opinion as well.

Read this book, and if you’re lucky you’ll hear it in your head with Ed Asner’s voice. Can’t beat that!

The Grouchy Historian: An Angry Old-Time Lefty Defends Our Constitution Against Right-Wing Hypocrites and Nutjobs by Ed Asner and Ed. Weinberger

Travel – UK Transportation Recs

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​I have been very fortunate in my choices of transportation carriers. So far, I’ve had very little to complain about, and after seeing several passenger events online that could best be described as unsatisfactory, I truly know how lucky I’ve been. At home, my preferred mode of transportation is to drive. My second favorite mode would probably be by train. I really loved my long distance train trip a few years ago with Amtrak.

We recently traveled overseas and back, and to say we were very happy with our transportation choices would not give the full picture of how lucky we were. Continue reading