Sunday, December 27, 2009

Review: Bishop Scientifc’s HyberPad

Bishop Scientifics has come out with a patented invention that is sure to be a great hit for BlackBerry users looking to conserve battery life.

The HyberPad is a unique and sleek creation that is truly a must-have accessory item for anyone looking to discreetly and coolly place their Blackberry in sleep mode at home or the office. No buttons need to be pushed or any additional software need to be installed.

The HyberPad is a two-sided leather pad with three magnets spaced out from top to middle to bottom. When a BlackBerry is centered on top of the HyberPad, the unit goes immediately into hibernation or sleep mode. While the BlackBerry is still working in the background, it operates under a much lower level of energy consumption thereby preserving your battery life.

What I love about the HyberPad is that once you lift your BlackBerry off of the pad it can automatically answer any incoming calls. The HyberPad simulates the mode your BlackBerry falls into when holstered into a flip-cover case. Most cases that have a front flap covering the unit include a magnet which places the phone in sleep mode when closed.

The HyberPad comes with a velour travel slipcase to place both the pad and phone when mobile as well as provide an extra layer of protection from dust or scratches. The slipcase comes in three colors: executive (black); chocolate and royal (blue).

The HyberPad is a great accessory when I am in my office. After an hour and a half long one-way commute in the morning, sometimes I forget to change my Blackberry’s profile settings to silent. This can also be quite disruptive as my office has numerous meetings and conference calls throughout the day. With the HyberPad, I no longer have to worry about this every single day as long as I preset my “in holster” settings to silent mode.

Once I place my Blackberry on the HyberPad this setting will automatically be enabled. No more worries and no more weirdly askew glances my way because I forgot to enable my sound configuration settings once I got into the office.

The HyberPad works well even with skinned BlackBerrys. However, I did experience some challenges with the Otterbox Commuter which has a skinned layer of protection plus a harder, plastic covering. The two layers of protection prevented the magnets from being consistently effective. However, every time I placed a skin-only or no-skin Blackberry, the HyberPad worked wonderfully.




Very simple to use out of the box


No software installation needed


Thicker and harder protective cases might prevent the magnets from quickly placing the Blackberry in hibernation

Overall Review: 4 ½ out of 5 stars!!

You can find out more about Bishop Scientifics here!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

An Incredible Bible Giveaway!

The generous and fine folks at are giving away premium Bibles!

Check out the details from their site:

The Great Bible Giveaway

BELLINGHAM, WA—October 1, 2009—Logos Bible Software today announced that it has reached the halfway point of the Great Bible Giveaway promotion, having given away nearly $6,000.00 worth of ultra-premium Bibles.

Logos will continue the promotion through the end of December, bringing the total value of Bibles given away to nearly $12,000.00.

The promotion, which coincides with the launch of the online Bible site,, has seen over 40,000 unique visitors and received more than 7,000 official entries.

"The Great Bible Giveaway has been a lot of fun for us," said Dan Pritchett, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development. "Every day we receive comments from people thanking us and telling us how much they appreciate what we're doing."

The Bibles being given away represent the most popular translations offered online at, including the ESV, NASB, NIV, NKJV, NLT, and KJV, and are the most ultra-premium versions available—several valued at well over $200.00 each.

From its unique infinite scrolling ability, advanced search logic, and integration with other web tools like and, is quickly becoming the top-rated online Bible website.

More information about the Bible giveaway can be found at:

About the Company is a service of Logos Bible Software. Logos Bible Software, a privately held corporation located in Bellingham, Wash., is the leading publisher of high-end, award-winning, multilingual Bible software. The company serves church, academic and lay markets, striving to bring the best in software innovation to Christians worldwide. Logos can be found on the web at:

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Review – Electric Pocket Apps

Electric Pocket has an incredible stable of software that I consider essential for the daily use of every Blackberry user.

Tones-blackberry Ringo – One of my favorite apps of all time is Ringo. Ringo allows users to assign custom ring tones to people in their address book. Users can also assign ringtones to specific groups. For example, I can assign a ringtone for everyone from work. Or, I can assign ringtones to people I meet at the gym. Additionally, ringtones and vibrations can be assigned for almost any incoming message or call. The developers have created functionalities to assign ringtones to any incoming texts, emails or PIN messages. A key functionality for me personally is how much control over the volume I have over the ringtones. I can choose from a range of settings from Silent to Loudest. However, when I am at the office, I prefer my setting at Escalating Volume since I can avail of listening to the personalized ringtones as it escalates upward in volume while catching it early enough so as not to disturb my co-workers before jacking up to the loudest volume.

With Ringo, you’re only limited by your imagination when assigning personalized ringtones to your groups, friends, family and co-workers.

Here are some examples of how I assigned ringtones in my BlackBerry:

  • A co-worker from the Bahamas – “Red, Red Wine”
  • My boss – “the theme from Mission: Impossible”
  • His deputy – “the theme from SWAT”
  • My wife – something beautiful and sweet, of course!
  • A co-worker who loves The Office – “the theme from The Office”
  • A co-worker who loves guns – “the sound of a silencer shooting with the brass casings falling to the ground”
  • A friend who loves rocking out on his guitar – “a riff from Rush”
  • A co-worker with whom I joke with a lot – “a dog barking”

Bugme-logoBug Me! – This is an application that I loved back when I was using my old Palm TX.. I was surprised to see its cousin for the BlackBerry platform. What I love about Bug Me is its accessibility and flexibility. I can call up the Bug Me app from within any software that I’m using or from the home screen. I don’t have to hunt around for it in order to launch it. This has been key on many occasions where I’ve had to quickly take down a phone number or address on the fly while in conversation with someone. Its convenience and accessibility alone is worth the price of owning this incredible app. However, the flexibility of being able to assign alarms to serve as reminders adds more power to its purpose. Bug Me is supposed to Bug YOU! Life moves at such a quick pace and we have so many interactions that when we need to take a quick note or set a reminder on the fly, Bug Me is the perfect solution.

Twitterlerts-logo Twitterlerts – At first I was confused using this app because there isn’t a manual that comes with the software (at the time I was reviewing the app). I thought it was just like the millions of Twitter clients apps you see come out every two days. However, I jumped in with both feet and when I found out what separates this application from the other Twitter-related apps, I was frankly, amazed!

Twitterlerts serves as a powerful hand-held search engine for hot-topics of interest to the user. For example, I searched for “Tiger Woods” to see what kind of press he was getting from the “Twittershpere”. I was able to quickly receive the most recent tweets about Tiger and his recent confession. I was led to a tweet that referenced what young kids thought about Tiger from interviews on the Jimmy Kimmel show. I clicked the link and was brought to YouTube where I was able to view the on-street unscripted interview with the children. Great stuff!

Twitterlerts allows users to reply to the author of a tweet or email the tweet to someone else. This is incredibly important for companies who troll social networks to protect their brand name and correct any misunderstandings about a product or brand. Twitterlerts allows users and companies the freedom to track down any negative press (or find positive reviews for that matter) and to personally respond to queries, defend the brand or bring clarity to a negatively-charged situation. Companies can use this to stem any uninformed individuals or offer assistance. Twitterlerts is a powerful search engine with some nuanced tools. For example, users can find a negative review of a flight by keying flights :(. How cool is that?

Tweets get around quicker than lightning and public relations departments and staff would do well to get this app to more accurately determine the pulse of their product or use it as a tool to fly through the internet and defend their brand as well.

Or, you can be an ordinary Joe like me and use it to track down tweets about my favorite sports teams or restaurants. Or, check out the “public airwaves” on a product I’ve been eyeing to purchase this Christmas season. For staying on top of the Twittersphere, Twitterlerts is for you!

Each of these apps get “5 out of 5 Stars!”

You can find out more about Electric Apps and their incredible stable of applications here!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Review: Momentum Theme - LIFT


I previously did a review of the first three offerings from the Momentum series of themes from the talented developer, TriMax84.

The Momentum series of premium themes is all about motion, dipped in eye-candy, framed by practicality. What good is a theme if there is considerable lag time that prevents the end-user from quickly accessing his applications? Thankfully, the Momentum series has a relatively small footprint and doesn’t add considerable lag time while moving from app to app or launching software from within theme/home screen.

The latest offering in the Momentum theme is “Lift”. The signature architecture of the Momentum series is the shaded-arch in the upper left hand corner where all the basic and pertinent information resides: time, date (day, month and year); battery percentage; and, reception meter. There is a slot for placement of the weather app, QuickLaunch or MeterBerry.

However, this theme is different from the previous themes as it has five noticeable dots or hidden docks located at the bottom of the screen. As with each theme from the Momentum series, each one is differentiated by distinctive animation. In “Lift”, each of the dots represents a docking station for a number of stacked applications to rise from. From right to left, each docking station contains a number of apps which shoot up or “lift-off” from the dot. The rightmost dot stacks seven icons/applications. Proceeding towards the left, the dots stack the following number of icons in descending order, four, three, two and one, respectively. There are a total of 17 icons which are hidden until launched with one slot for the weather application. All in all, Lift hides and/or launches 18 applications from the home screen!

One noticeable improvement with the entire Momentum series is the marked upgrade to version 2.xx. This is noted by the animated menu screens which quickly shoot up when launched. Previous versions launched the menus in the standard fashion but the upgrade was definitely an eye-catching and welcome surprise!

The theme is filled with practical functionality which serves to make your most often-used software as easily accessible as possible. Here are a few more to whet your appetite:

* Hidden today
* Hidden docks
* Custom icons and graphics

List of Shortcuts:
Click the corresponding key (ie: "Alt + b" for "!") to launch the program. These shortcuts are maintained even with Dial from Homescreen enabled!
$ - profiles
! - BlackBerry Messenger
@ - Compose
* - alarm clock
# - QuickLaunch
Spacebar - browser
) - Media
Escape - clears the homescreen

TriMax84 has created another homerun with the newest addition to the Momentum Series of Premium themes for the BlackBerry. “Lift” empowers users to show off their home screen with five hidden docking stations that launch 17 applications. The animation and graphics are the usual clean, crisp handiwork we’ve come to expect from TriMax84.

You can find out more about “Lift” here. Show your BlackBerry some love by gracing it with any theme from the Momentum Series!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

An Essential App:


I live in northern Virginia and work with a government-issued smartphone.

Recently, President Barack Obama issued a presidential order banning the
use of government-issued mobile units while driving.

When I first heard about the new software, from iSpeech, a relative newcomer to the mobile software market, I was hesitant. I’ve had experience with text to speech software and it wasn’t all too great. In fact, it was quite discouraging.

I encountered problems such as an unstable application; text and content being misread on a regular basis; robotic voicing reading my content, making the end-user experience rather stale and dry. Too often I’d end up deciphering what was being “said” by the software which took more energy to listen than it was to simply read.

I’m glad to say that iSpeech’s first foray into the mobile market is a great success. There is afree and premium version available for everyone. Of course, the premium version is much more feature-rich and offers users much more options. But, at the low price of $13.95 for a one-time, lifetime license, this is an app made in heaven for people who drive or commute. converts SMS text messages and incoming email messages into audible and conversational read-aloud content without the end-user automobile driver not having to touch a single button. This is great for those who need to listen to their email as they drive or commute to work. In many states today, it is illegal to text, read emails or make calls on your smartphone. is a safe alternative to taking your eyes off of the road in order to attend to incoming messages. With, users can decide if a text or email message needs to be responded to immediately or not. If it is the latter, the driver has beeninformed and can choose to turn off the road or park off to the side to address correspondence that needs immediate attention.

My commute is 110 miles round trip, so this is a great and handy tool that enables me not only to be compliant to state traffic laws but to also remain mindful of any urgent messages that may come my way.

The slick and professional interface is intuitive and promotes the ease-of-use. can be used not only for people driving, but for those who are commuting on a bus or train. The software easily pairs with a Bluetooth headset or earpiece. Alternatively, users can choose to use the smartphone built-in speakers. Free-users can enjoy a maximum of 25 words to be read aloud while premium-users enjoy a maximum of 500 words.

Another cool feature with the premium version is that the gender of the author of the incoming email is recognized and will automatically match the gender of the voice reading your email to you. How cool is that?

End-users can also customize an auto-response to explain to those sending emails or IMs to you why you aren’t available and when you’ll get back to them. Think of it as a mobile version of your corporate email client’s “Out of the Office responder” but it’s more like an “I’m Currently Driving” responder. For example, users can set their auto-response to explain “I’m currently on the road. I will be able to address any correspondence after 7 pm”. The developers of were also savvy enough to include messaging short cuts to be read aloud for the convenience of the listener. For example, “LOL” will be read to you as “laughing out loud”. How cool is that?

Although the has initiated its first public version, it is incredibly feature-rich and is as intuitive as it is helpful. This software is a winner and the developers have opened the doors to a vast array of future development. This is a no-brainer, essential application that everyone who has a BlackBerry or Android smartphone needs to buy NOW! Not only does this application help you to remain compliant to federal and state law, it helps users to safely manage incoming instant or email messages while driving or commuting to work.

Get a free download of here.

Highly Recommended!

(Originally posted on PalmAddicts)

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

"Fearless" Book Review

Max Lucado has written a book that is timely and appropriate for our times. His book “Fearless” pointedly addresses the fears we face every single day. These fears could originate from unfamiliar, distant lands from a people whose language and culture we are alien. Or, they could originate from deep within spawned from experience, pain and failure. The tag-line is bold and unafraid, “Imagine your life without fear”. That’s quite a tall order to address…but, one that Lucado successfully achieves with his extraordinary spiritual perspective, keen insight into God’s Word and his skillful storytelling acumen.

Max Lucado’s has an otherworldly gift that enables him to view some of the most harrowing and difficult questions from uniquely spiritual eyes that leave readers both enthralled and inspired after each and every chapter. According to Lucado, the key to overcoming is in one’s relationship with Jesus Christ forged from trust. Lucado brings home his message by bringing back to Jesus and his promises…by bringing us back to God. His message throughout reminds us to hold onto Jesus’ promises...Jesus’ personal convictions. Lucado doesn’t tell us how to manage fear; or how to mitigate it. He’s training us through biblical teachings and principles how to live without fear. Other than the Bible, what other book today addresses this topic head-on, and addresses our fears dead-on?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Echo Review

Moon Lake TPB (Issues #1-5)
Atomic Dreams TPB (Issues #6-10)
Echo Issues #11-13
Published by: Abstract Studio Comics
Creator, Writer and Artist: Terry Moore

Sweet dreams are made of this
Who am I to disagree?
I travel the world
And the seven seas
Everybody's looking for something
— Annie Lennox


The above lyrics from the incomparable Annie Lennox appropriately encapsulate my recent journey with comic books. After having collected comics for over 37 years, I stopped abruptly almost two years ago. I became frustrated with retreaded themes, stale storylines and vapid artwork. Most of today’s creators have become overburdened deadweights who have overstayed their place standing on the shoulders of their predecessors, those creative giants of long ago. Where are the Kirbys and Lees, Kanes and Simons, Millers and Moores, Colans and Gulacys, Bissettes and Buscemas?

I understand that today’s creators must feel pressure from the “Suits Above” who oversee corporate-owned characters seeking to satisfy the company’s bottom-line. After all, we all need to have a roof over our heads and put food on our tables. But, when the creative juices are compromised and the idea flows cauterized in the name of The Company, the monthly serials become maudlin, tedious and old.

The annual storylines that are meant to leave us in shock and awe come across forced, tepid and insincere. The earth-shattering stories that promised massive changes to their title end up leaving us feel ripped-off and cheap. Our decades of loyalty mean nothing as with each published mega-story crossover our devotion is trampled upon, our faces are slapped, our intelligence insulted and our wallets lifted as the Fat Cats laugh their way to the bank. I got so fed up that I expressed myself in a very Finchesque manner, "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!"

And with that…

I stopped buying comic books.

For almost 24 months.

But, now, thanks to three books, I’m slowly, albeit rather cautiously, returning back.

I am going to write about some comics that augurs hope for a medium I have invested into for most of my life. Today’s review is dedicated to Terry Moore’s “Echo” published by Abstract Studios Comics.


Echo is the story of Julie Martin, a photographer trying to make ends meet in the middle of a personal crisis when a massive explosion in the sky sends liquid metal spewing forth onto the earth below. Julie is inadvertently caught in the middle of a metallic maelstrom which places a substance that adheres to her skin leaving her with a malleable yet impenetrable shiny coat of armor that, she will come to realize, seemingly harnesses the power of a nuclear bomb.

The explosion was the result of a secret military test gone awry. When the military find out about the missing liquid metal, they embark on a manhunt for Julie Martin, who they believe has the answers to the whereabouts of this weapon of massive destruction.

At first glance, the above brief description of the story seems like so many of the cookie-cutter, superhero-themed stories that we’ve enjoyed or despised over the years. However, as you will hopefully see at the end of this review, “Echo” is so much more.

The first trade entitled Moon Lake introduces readers to the cast of characters in the book as well as launches them into the tragic plight of Dr. Annie Trotter, the previous “owner” of the armor. Moore’s understanding of the economy of storytelling is displayed as he can take a panel or a page and provide enough characterization to either win your affection or pin your disdain on a hero, villain or supporting cast member.

Moore’s ear for dialogue shows his seemingly effortless skill of choosing the right words for the right character for the right occasion. His writing can be both sensitive and heartfelt as shown in the emotional exchange between Julie and her husband Rick in the parking lot. Moreover, Moore’s comedic timing is spot-on as he masterfully introduces readers to ice house owner, Dan Backer’s, biker gang. Comics rarely evoke audible laughter from me, but the brief and memorable scenes with this gang are priceless.

The first trade also gives us glimpses of why the book was cleverly named Echo as we see Dr. Trotter communicating to Julie from a distant place. There are times when Julie Martin apparently channels Annie and the latter’s words and thoughts echo through the former while in deep thought or conversation.

The second trade entitled Atomic Dreams shows readers the unfettered fury of the high-powered armor unleashed as Julie and a yet-to-be named witness to the explosion who also received a portion of the liquid metal duke it out it the Nevada desert. The manhunt led by NSB agent Ivy Raven provides the audience a personal look into her motivation and her past. As a reader, I’ve been on the fence about Ivy’s motivation for capturing Julie. Does she do this out of duty to the contract as a high-priced and highly-efficient bounty hunter or as Ivy pieces together the puzzle does she really have Julie’s best interests at stake? My read on her is uncertain but one thing I’m certain about: the suspense is taut and the action is awesome.

Believe it or not, the action and suspense kick into another gear with issues 11-13. After reading this entire series thus far, I am reminded of a great quote by Samuel Goldwyn on storytelling which I find very apropos:

“We want a story that starts out with an earthquake and works its way up to a climax.”

This is exactly how the story of Julie Martin is being told.


As a creative genius and expert storyteller, Terry Moore has set himself apart. One of the more difficult responsibilities in creating comics is the role of writer/artist. There are less than a handful of combination writer/artists who regularly have their work published. Most writer/artists start out as handling both creative duties but, eventually later delegate one of these responsibilities out. Terry is in rarefied air as he has been handling both the artistic and written duties for his own work since 1993.

The oeuvre of Terry Moore’s work is punctuated by his deft characterization and adept line work. Mr. Moore humanizes his characters like no other. Terry is able to wonderfully illustrate an incredible range of emotions on his characters’ faces as he expertly captures the subtleties and nuances of human expression and effectively and beautifully translates them onto pencil, pen and paper.

Given such investment into character development on each issue, one would think that the pacing suffers greatly. However, Terry has a skilled director’s eye for pacing that keeps readers in an alternating state of suspense and empathy leading up to each issue’s breathtaking cliffhanger.


There’s so much more to this book than I was able to capture in this review: Dillon and Julie’s relationship; the strong family ties of Julie and Ivy; the mysterious content found in the box of Julie’s closet; Dan Backer’s history; how will Annie’s “presence” affect Julie’s relationship with Dillon or Rick; what other projects are going on in HeNRI; how does the metal armor enable Dr. Trotter to “echo” from afar through Julie; etc.

Terry Moore’s Echo is in a league all by itself. Very rarely can a story be told which grabs you by the throat and with each issue keeps you on the edge of your seat with every turn of the page. As a seasoned writer and accomplished artist, Moore’s storytelling acumen is nonpareil, bar none. His powerful narrative is truly light-years ahead of anything produced in the mainstream mass market today. Readers would be doing themselves a great disservice if they didn’t pick up an issue of Echo each and every month.

New readers can easily catch up by purchasing the two trade paperbacks and the last three issues. Echo#13 came out last week and can be purchased at your favorite comic haunt. Or, you can order online from Terry’s site

Monday, April 27, 2009

Review: The Noticer

Andy Andrew’s “The Noticer” is one, absolutely incredible book.

If you were to look at the page count, the book is a quick read. But, the content encased by both covers offers a lifetime of hope, reassurance and inspiration.

The book’s key figure goes by the name, “Jones”. He is an elderly, grandfatherly man who seems to appear in peoples’ lives when they are at their bleakest and darkest. The words of wisdom from the book constantly reverberate through my memory as I recall the various times throughout the reading of the book that I felt the sting of self-reflection and the warmth of hopeful reconciliation. Jones is the “Noticer” who drops in and out of people’s lives and offers wisdom that penetrates hearts and inspires change. Jones’ gift is the power of perspective. When trouble hits our lives, it is easy to be entangled too deeply into the weeds of life’s worries and struggles. Jones steps into the lives of the people in the book and helps them to step back and view the options everyone can choose from. He patiently teaches and graciously offers the gift of perspective to anyone willing to simply listen.

There were several times throughout my reading of the book that I groaned inwardly as introspection led to revelation about my character and inspiration on where I can go from here. This isn’t you’re typical “feel good” book. While the messages found throughout the story come in easily managed doses they stick to you heart, soul and mind. I tried to leave this book immaculately unmarked and unscathed, thinking that this would make a great gift that I could pass on to another reader. But, I couldn’t stop myself from bending corners of countless pages and highlighting favorite passages, marking up parts of the book that called me to a deeper self-reflection and a greater motivation to change. I may end up just buying copies for others to mark up and dig into. No other book since the Bible has inspired me to address my personal weaknesses and face my personal challenges and move forward to personal changes.

There is the added bonus of “A Reader’s Guide” found at the back to take it even deeper. This has been one of the most rewarding and thought-provoking reads I have ever experienced. Andy Andrews is a gifted storyteller who can move our hearts and change our minds for the betterment and advancement of ourselves.

There was a song years ago from the soundtrack of the animated movie, “The Prince of Egypt” that beautifully captures the spirit of this simple and powerful book on the strength perspective can bring to our lives. The song’s title: “Through Heaven’s Eyes”.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Review: Skeeter and the Mystery of the Lost Mosquito Treasure

This is the first of Max Lucado’s family-oriented series, Hermie & Friends that I have ever experienced. Given that its target audience was for children ages 10 and below, I pulled in my son, who was a willing participant for anything animated.

At first, he said that the characters were for the little kids. It was at that point that I felt this may be a long hour. However, what followed was a small miracle.

The DVD we viewed was “Skeeter and the Mystery of the Lost Mosquito Treasure”. In this episode, Skeeter’s brother, Sir Sinclair M. Skeeto, a world famous adventurer, visits the garden inhabited by the cast of characters in search of a mysterious treasure map left by their father. Everyone in the garden fauns over Sinclair’s pomp and circumstance; moreover, they are shocked that the great Sinclair with all his celebrity, could be Skeeter’s own brother. The differences in both Skeeter and Sinclair, and the former’s resultant insecurity, are the issues addressed in this modern day parable.

Several times throughout the movie, my son guffawed and chuckled. My wife and I also had a few laughs at the expense of the perfectly timed dialogue and top-notch talents of the star-studded cast which included the great Tim Conway and animated John O’Hurley.

The generous soundtrack helped to keep the pace moving along as well as kill any potential dead-space that could leave a child’s mind wandering. The animation was fluid and bright and the colors were digitally crisp. The characters were endearing and the lesson uplifting. One of the unexpected treats was being able to see Max Lucado himself open and close the episode. I have seen pictures of him in his books over the years, but it was great seeing him interact with Hermie and the audience.

My wife and I loved this DVD so much that we brought it to our Sunday worship service the following day and give the children an opportunity to enjoy this animated and well thought-out gem. Is there a better way to express my recommendation?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Where the Heck is Matt?

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

If it's too jumpy and jerky, turn off the HD option.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Patrick Willis- Class Act

It's refreshing to see a story such as his.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Manliest Contest in the World!!!

The fine gents at (one of my favorite blogs, if not THE favorite) is running a cool contest for people who want to look mighty fine for themselves and the world they're set out to conquer. Check out the site by clickety-clicking here and man up!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Incredible Talent!!!

America's Dance Crew has become one of my favorite shows of the week, right after Celebrity Apprentice. Here's a taste...

Sunday, February 10, 2008


“When you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you.”

— Frederich Nietzche

The Killer is a haunting, graphical masterpiece that explores the intricate and intimate minutiae of a killer’s mind. Writer Matz and Artist Luc Jacamon excellently depict the inner conflict of guilt and conscience trumped by seemingly forced rationalization and self-justification in the mind of a professional killer. Not since Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment or Nabokov’s Lolita has the journey into a man’s mind been both so eloquently and brutally intriguing.

Luc Jacamon’s artwork is absolutely brilliant. Jacamon’s simple and deft pencils and inks emphasize the contradiction of the simplicity of his line work and the resultant beautifully complex and highly detailed artwork. Moreover, the lushly hued pages display a color palette rarely seen in most modern comic books. The muted and understated colors gently accentuate and breathe life into the book’s characters.

Matz’s journey into the nameless title character’s inner being is an exploration of a man’s heart spooned out and discarded with each kill. He has no scruples and no morality. There is a hair-raising sequence in the story where the killer contemplates true friendship. Lonely...isolated...detached. His only “friends” are the victims whose lives he has viciously and abruptly cut short by savagely murdering them. He rationalizes that they were his closest friends because he knew everything about them as is wont for preparation of his contracts. Ironically, he knew everything about them, but they knew absolutely nothing about him.

The killer’s one true friend is an individual who had shaped him into the man he is today. Perhaps his closest and most enduring relationship in his life, Eduoard is driven to a guilt-ridden suicide. He can no longer take the murderous lifestyle he leads. The message is clear to everyone except the killer himself: money isn’t worth a poisoned conscience, a hardened heart or a blackened soul.

The Killer is a European import that is arguably the best comic book on the market today. The evocative artwork and personally intimate narrative provide a disturbingly unique perspective on morals gone fatally askew and a conscience slowly melting away.

(Note: this review originally posted in my column, "The Whirling Spinner Rack" at

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Portrait of Father and Son


[Posted using hblogger 2.0 on my Palm TX]

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Sunday, December 02, 2007

You Gotta Check Out: Olive Tree's CEVL Bible

Cevlb_palm1Olive has been the software leader in providing user’s with top-quality, highly educational and divinely inspirational Christian content in the form of Bibles and biblical studies, tools and references. Their software crosses over to a multitude of mobile platforms as well as a host of different languages from many countries all over the world. Olive Tree offers a plethora of content that can be viewed in various formats. Olive Tree’s cutting-edge software allows users to view content as books, articles, maps, pictures and illustrations, animation and videos.

There simply is no other company that provides the wealth of choices for the seeker or the follower, novice in the faith or mature disciple. The content on Olive Tree’s site continues to grow as new material is regularly updated and added. is THE choice for your source of Christian studies and Bibles for your PDA.

The Contemporary English Version Learning Bible is the work of the combined efforts of the editors and writers of this version and the CEV’s corresponding commentary.

In the Forward to the book Creating and Crafting the Contemporary English Version (1996), America Bible Society President Eugene B. Habecker describes the beginnings of this version:

Work on the CEV began in 1984 when Dr. Barclay Newman, Ph.D., a distinguished biblical scholar who had provided several decades of service as a translations consultant in the Asia Pacific Region of the United Bible Societies, first began to apply his considerable knowledge to his own first language—English. He meticulously studied the language that people, and especially children, used and were exposed to on a daily basis through books, magazines, newspapers, the movies, and television. This eclectic and careful study helped him to understand what terms and sentence structures were most understandable to people who used English in their day-to-day communication. He learned what sorts of constructions confused readers, and even more significantly, he learned which terms and grammatical constructions were likely to be misunderstood by people who heard texts being read aloud.

Those who do not have much of a religious or Christian background can manageably understand the CEV Learning Bible as it succeeds in simplifying the texts’ meaning. Additionally, the CEVL is also good source of deeper study and biblical exploration for more experienced readers. It was written with today’s modern sensibilities in mind. Moreover, the CEVL has writing that is very direct and imbued with more force whenever the text requires it.

A good example of this is taken from Hebrews 11:1:
“Faith makes us sure of what we hope for and gives us proof of what we cannot see”.

As compared to another popular version of the Bible:
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”.

Although the meanings are similar, the Contemporary English Version Learning Bible’s text is written in a stronger imperative voice, expressing it with more command and affirmation.

One of the concerns with producing a modernized version of the Bible is the risk of filtering out the original meaning that the ancient writers’ intended. I have always encouraged those seeking to understand the truths of the Bible to read alternative versions to deepen, amplify and enrich their understanding on greater levels than if the reader had only read a singular version.

The Contemporary English Version Learning Bible comes with is a Bible and bible handbook in one! The CEVL comes equipped with many tools to enliven and strengthen the novice and veteran in their personal Scriptural study.

The commentary contains over 10,000 notes to assist readers in a deeper exploration of history, people, geography and the times. The commentary is divided into six helpful and informative categories:
· Geography
· People and Nations
· Objects, Plants, and Animals
· History and Culture
· Ideas and Concepts
· Cross references

There are tons of Scriptural and contextual cross-references that lead you to other verses and articles to enrich your personal study.

The CEVL is a good addition to anyone’s biblical library. Its modern sensibility makes it easier for newcomers or seekers in Christianity to get an initial grasp of deep, spiritual meanings and concepts. Moreover, the added commentary and content truly makes this a great learning experience for novices and more experienced readers alike.

You can find out more about the Contemporary English Version Learning Bible and other products at !

Originally published in Palm Addicts

Friday, November 23, 2007

You Gotta Check Out: CrazySoft's The Final Battle

Finalbattle13_2Over the years, I have purchased several of CrazySoft’s products. CrazySoft has a reputation for producing some of the most entertaining, quality puzzle, action and adventure games for PDA’s of various cross-platforms. Their latest addition, The Final Battle, is their most ambitious entry into the PDA gaming market.

The Final Battle is a quest-adventure where you begin the game having awakened in a prison. However, you are stricken with amnesia and don’t know who you are, much less how you ended up in jail. The game requires that you be on top of your mental game as it entails the use of your cognitive as well as your best, deductive skills. However, fans of “Lost in the Pyramid” know that the journey is a light-hearted one as characters are encouraged along by the great humorous interactions that prods game-players onward!

The Final Battle is a huge game that takes place at various locations: from the taverns to the Holy Place to the West Villa; from the Cemetery to the Forests and the Mines. The game is both intriguing and involving as you are whisked away to this medieval world of knights and knaves. The game-play is not linear where players go from left to right as the game progresses. You’ll have to move all over the map to pick up instruments to help you solve puzzles you previously encountered along the way. However, the game is easily grasped and not frustrating. The main functions of the character you control are the ability to examine and operate interactively with objects on the screen. The controls are intuitive and easily grasped. But, the trick is to use your noggin on how and when to use items on-screen.

Along your journey, you pick up useful items that you may place in your inventory for later use. Sometimes, you have to be a mind reader of sorts to anticipate a character’s thought process in your encounters. Don’t fret if your response is incorrect as you are given a limited number of options to choose from when responding to one of the game’s multitude of characters. Additionally, this is a journey of self-discovery as to pick up pieces of your past that you paste together to find out who you are.

The Final Battle is an intuitive and fun-filled romp through various levels of interactivity and entertainment. The artwork and graphics are fluid and entertaining. The storyline is engaging enough to propel gamers forward with interest and anticipation. This game is reminiscent of the old-school style of computer games with a modern sensibility. I highly recommend this game as good, clean entertainment for everyone in the family!

Test-drive The Final Battle from CrazySoft’s site here!

(Originally published on Palm Addicts)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Planting Seeds of Fun: Plantastic!

Astraware is the place to go for your handheld gaming and entertainment needs. With over 140 applications for most handheld platforms, Astraware is uniquely positioned to cater to anyone’s gaming and entertainment needs. Reviewing applications for Astraware can be a daunting task as they have such a wide range of diverse, quality applications. Astraware is truly “the home of handheld entertainment”.

With a perfectly timed-release date during the holiday season, Astraware and PalmStorm have teamed up to create a cornucopia of creative Cistercian-like game play with their newest addition to the ever-growing stable of world-renowned software from Astraware. Plantastic combines elements of gardening; puzzle solving and strategic thinking in a fun-filled meld of technology and frivolity.

The digitally crisp, clean graphics, and smooth animation along with the light-hearted sound effects and soundtrack are given the high-end treatment, as is par for the course for anything coming from Astraware. This game is perfect for the entire family to play, especially over the holidays.

This game requires great hand-eye coordination as you plant flowers of varied colors while working around various obstacles such as mushrooms that impede the development of bouquets or hungry moles that pop up out of nowhere to destroy your works in progress.

Plantastic is simply a fantastic way to wile away the minutes and hours with your virtual green thumbs. All you need is this great game and some time to kill and your set for some fun flowering goodness.

Test drive Plantastic on the Astraware site here!

(Originally posted in Palm Addicts)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Review: Thylus’ Thumb Stylus

Thylus_logoThylus’ Thumb Stylus is a unique writing instrument unlike anything you’ve ever seen on the market today. Over the years, I have used a variety of styli that come in the forms of multi-functional pens or styli that are a little thicker than coffee stirring sticks. However, Thylus has come up with a one-of-a-kind product that may revolutionize how you input data into your PDA, iPhone or other electronic device. (Admittedly, I don’t have an iPhone, but I can easily see how this instrument can save on smudging up the touch-screens found on that product. I have also used this on my Nintendo DS Lite and it worked fabulously)!

The Thumb Stylus comes with an adjustable band that wraps around your thumb attached to a light, plastic tip. When finished, users can return the Thumb Stylus in the cool, little black box container that you can easily attach to the back of your PDA through an adhesive found in the package.

At first, the Thumb Stylus took some getting used to. But, after a few minutes, I was able to get the hang of it. The Thumb Stylus needs to be writing characters at a comfortable angle in order for users to efficiently input their information. I’ve had bouts of carpal tunnel whenever I write. The Thumb Stylus is a good solution to winning that battle, as you are not forced to position your fingers in a way that causes aggravation to the muscles used in writing.

After trying several times using the Thumb Stylus on my thumb, I switched over and placed it on my index finger. Although the stylus was made with the thumb in mind, I also had success writing with my index finger.

Thylus’ Thumb Stylus is an innovative writing utensil for your PDA or other electronic device that requires manually writing characters in order to input your data. Its unique form also spares your screen of scratches and smudges since the pressure applied by your thumb or finger is lesser than when you write with a normal stylus. For an inexpensive and unique writing accessory that is lightweight, durable and very practical, Thylus’ Thumb Stylus is the way to go! This definitely rates a 5 out of 5 stars!

You can find out more about Thylus’ Thumb Stylus by going to their site here. The developer is also very helpful and responds to any inquiry fairly quickly.

(This review originally appeared on the Palm Addicts site)