Archive for February, 2009

Still A Little Bit Hoarse

I’m almost well, but not quite. The problem is that my poor vocal cords are getting drippage enough from my head that they’re still a bit wobbly. We’ll see how they’re feeling later today.

In other news, the Authors’ Guild has suddenly discovered the existence of automated text-to-speech readers.

What, it took them until Kindle 2 came out? Now they worry about this, when it’s been a standard feature on almost every computer since the Nineties? Oh, yeah, what a grave threat to audiobook sales.

The Wall Street Journal goes on to point out that Amazon owns Audible, an online audiobook company. It bought Audible for 300 million dollars in 2008, when Kindle and Kindle 2 were already on the front burner. So obviously Amazon’s not too worried about audiobook sales going downhill. 🙂

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If you’re an iTunes user, go on over to SFFAudio and check this audiobook iTunes-subscriptionizer out.

(Personally, I think y’all are weird for downloading a service/store you can’t access from the Web like a normal person without downloading weird software, can’t even preview a screenshot of beforehand, and which doesn’t even bother to have software that runs on my other computer; all of which were good and sufficient reason for me never to join the cult. But I know lots of you like this iTunes thing and have had trouble finding the relevant podcasts et al, so there you are.)

Oh, and Librivox continues its conquest of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Mars books, which incidentally were some of the first books ever available on Gutenberg. I’ve never quite managed to get into them, but lots of folks love them. So now Librivox has a completed version of The Chessmen of Mars.

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Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, by Frederick Douglass. The thrilling story of one of America’s greatest and most influential orators, and how he escaped from slavery and made a life for himself as a free man.

African-American Collection. An anthology by various authors.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe. The influential novel that gave a human face to the victims of slavery.

Various poems by Paul Laurence Dunbar.

Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington. The saga of a biracial child abandoned by his father, who found more uses for peanuts than Carter had little liver pills, revolutionized agriculture, and founded a university. (In progress)

I’m sure there are many more applicable books, stories, poems, et al that didn’t leap to my eye, so be sure to browse their catalog.

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Sorry for the Silence

I’ve had a really bad sore throat ever since I woke up on St. Blaise’s Day. 🙂 I’m still not up for it tonight, but I did feel a lot better today and hope to podcast something tomorrow morning.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

UPDATE: In retrospect, it seems that it was a Very Bad Idea to go back to work on Friday. I was feeling a lot better and very full of energy when I got up that morning, and did get a lot done; but I felt a lot worse after work. It also seems that it was a Bad Idea to go ahead and cantor on Saturday evening for the vigil Mass, as scheduled. My voice lasted, all right, but again, it really tired me out. So this morning I don’t have any real sore throat left, but I’m slugging down guaifenesin like nobody’s business, trying to clear out the gunk. Sigh. So much for getting to see and hear the new Archbishop or go to a Confirmation barbecue…..

But the guaifenesin and rest does seem to be helping. I just can never lie down to sleep, ever again. 🙂

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Sinus Trouble

Sorry for the lack of new podcast material. I’ve been having tons of sinus pain the last few mornings and nights, and haven’t been in any fit state to record. (Although I have spent plenty of quality time under a blanket, trying to breathe in steam from boiling water in a bowl without actually burning myself.)

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