Sunday, July 31, 2011

How to Put Library eBooks on Your nook

Since I got a nook e-reader, I have been talking with other users of it about how I almost exclusively read library books on it. One of the best things about the nook, compared with, say, the Kindle, is that it's open source. This means that you can put basically any e-book you want on it. The nook reads Adobe PDFs and Adobe ePub files, the latter being the format for the majority of e-books.

I use both the CWMARS and Boston Public Library digital libraries. The former is for people in central and western Massachusetts. The Boston Public Library will allow any Massachusetts resident to get a free library card online. CWMARS digital catalog can be found here. Boston Public Library's digital catalog can be found here. I encourage you to visit your local library, wherever you live, to find out about your local digital offerings. Between CWMARS and Boston, I have to purchase very few books -- they have almost everything I want to read.

One thing to know about using the digital library is that (1) you almost always have to put a hold on something and wait for it if it's new/popular and (2) the lending period is only 14 days. This means that you might have to wait for the book you want and that you have to read quickly. There are plenty of older books that you won't need a hold for. I usually read some of those while waiting for things to come off hold.

In order to put books on the nook after you get them out of the digital library, you need the Adobe program Digital Editions. It's free. You can download it here. This program, you nook, and the USB that comes with your nook (and that you use to charge it) are the only things you need to check out books from the digital library and put them on your nook.

Here's what to do. Please note that you must have Adobe Digital Editions installed on your computer before beginning to check out books from the digital library.

Also, before beginning to use the digital library and take out books, take your nook and connect it to your computer via the USB cable that comes with it. The auto run menu will pop up when you plug your nook in. You can just close it. You don't need it.

1. Browse the library and find a book that you want to check out. Browsing the library is pretty simple. You can use the search function if you are looking for something specific. Once you have found an e-book you want, click on it to view the information and bring up the books record -- I think of this as analogous to taking a book off the self to look at it at the real library.

2. You will see a link that says "Add to Cart." Click on it. The book will then be added to your cart and you will be brought to your cart. From here you can keep browsing or check out. I will assume we're doing the latter.

3. In your cart, click "Proceed to Checkout."

4. You will then be asked to login with your library card number, if you have not logged in earlier. Enter your number and select "Login."

5. You will be brought to your cart to review your item and the checkout period. It should default to the 14 days. There is an option to select a 7 day checkout period instead on a drop down. Make this change if you want. If you're okay with the 14 days, just click on "Confirm check out."

6. You are now on the screen where you can download your book. Click where it says, "Download."

7. Your book should now automatically download. I always set mine to "Open" right after they download. They then open automatically in Adobe Digital Editions. The first time that you download a book, the computer might ask you what program you want to use to open the file. Be sure to select Adobe Digital Editions from the list.

8. You will now see your e-book open in Digital Editions. If the book is open you will know because the big front cover of the book will be displayed. You will now want to go to library view in Digital Editions. Do this by clicking on the icon of three books in the upper left hand corner of digital editions.

9. You will now see your book as a smaller icon. There will also be a left hand menu. The list on it will read "All items" at the top (this is where you are now) and "nook" on the bottom.

10. Find the picture of your book in "All items" in the library view. Single click on the book and drag and drop it to where it says "nook" on the left hand menu. A prompt will come up saying that the book is copying.

11. The book is on your nook! Remember to stop the nook by selecting the stop drives icon on your tool bar.

12. Unplug your nook and you're ready to go. If you have a 1st edition nook, please note that books will be located in the my documents section of your library. To find them, select the library icon on the touchscreen menu of your nook. Select my documents, the first item on the touchscreen menu when you're in your library. If you have a new nook, the books will just appear in your normal library.

When you want to return your books, you will have to to the following.

1. Plug your nook in and open Digital Additions.

2. Be sure to be in library mode. You will have to return the book both off of the library in Digital Editions and on the nook. Click on "All items."

3. Select the book you want to return and click on the carrot in the upper left hand corner. A drop down menu will appear. Select "Return borrowed item."

4. A popup will ask if you're sure you want to return the item. Say "Yes" to return the item.

5. Click on the nook on the left hand menu. Repeat steps 3 and 4. Your book is now returned.

Good reading!

Summer is in Full Swing

It's only one short day until August and summer is in full swing! I am just wrapping up two weeks away from the office. The first week was vacation and the second week was my trip to San Francisco and then the recovery. The warm weather makes me feel quite festive. Unlike my husband and very fuzzy cat, I am a girl of summer. Some recent fun summer things.

Summer Thing #1: I arrived back from my business trip to this purchase:

A lovely set of loose leaf tea ideal for icing from Teavana. I know that some tea snobs are anti-Teavana. I think they are only this way to be contrary and anti-establishment. Overall, Teavana has decent quality tea leaf and a nice assortment of blends. As with small tea vendors, they do travel directly to the growers to select their leaves. My only big complaint about Teavana is the service. The reps are always trying to sell me something I don't want!

I have been enjoying this set greatly. Seth is drinking the iced tea I'm making too! I've tried blending the different teas. They're all herbal, so basically any blend would probably be good. So far I have blended the blueberry rooibos with the peach rooibos. It was great, although the blueberry flavor totally dominated the peach -- you could only detect a hint of peach in the aftertaste. Today I made a blend of the raspberry rooibos with the strawberry peach fruit tea. I will report on my results.

*Update (8/6/11): The raspberry and strawberry blend was awesome! I recently blended the rooibos tropica with the pinapple kona pop! tea. This blend was good but not as great at the other one. I am now going to try to blend the raspberry rooibos and strawberry peach fruit tea blend wiht a little bit of blueberry rooibos for a three-way blend. Hopefully it will be amazing.

Summer Thing #2: The garden is looking quite nice. I have impatiens and snapdragons mostly. I did not realize, due to my complete lack of knowledge, that snapdragons come in different heights. (This was based on the fact that impatiens are all the same.) As a result, I don't have cutting flowers for this year, but that's okay. Seth is always getting me carnations from the market for inside.

As you know, I also have a garden on the other side. It's similarly planted, however, the day lilies that were there when we moved in are kind of taking over that garden. While I think they are fine flowers in general, they are too sprawling and gangly for the small garden space that I have. I am thinking of taking them up next year so I have more room for planting smaller flowers that are more appropriate for the space I have.

Summer Thing #3: Poor Lily! She suffers through summer like a champion. She is quite the fuzzy lady and has been shedding all over everything. Observe as she sheds on my rug.

When Lily is not trying to turn herself into a pancake and melt into the floor, she does enjoy keeping an eye on the local wildlife. She has advanced supervising skills!

Looking forward to one more month of summer (with Fridays off with Seth!!!) before the hectic Phonathon year starts again in September. Bring-on the nice weather please!

Friday, July 29, 2011


Meet my new nephew, Demo.

He's quite the cutie! He's just around twelve pounds and came home last Saturday from the breeder in upstate New York. He is such a good boy.

Welcome, Demo!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Work Conference in San Francisco

I just returned this morning from a three day conference about Phonathons in San Francisco. I flew out Saturday mid-afternoon and arrived in San Francisco Saturday night exhausted due to jet lag. That being said, my two flights with Continental (apparently now United since they merged) went well. I was easily able to navigate the BART from SFO to the hotel where the conference was occurring and where I was staying. My room was quite pleasant.

I was on the 25th floor, so I had an amazing view! I was literally across the street from the historic, Sir Francis Drake Hotel, where Mom, Greg, and I stayed during my first trip to San Francisco in high school.

The conference got underway on Sunday and was stellar. It was great to meet other people working in specifically the same area of expertise as me. These people are geeks about the same thing I am. I also got to meet on of my Phonathon idols, a Phonathon consultant who keeps a blog and to whom I refer as Phonathon Blog Guy. (His real name is Jason.) Meeting him was a huge thrill! However, I now realize I am only one of several groupies -- who knew that keeping a Phonathon blog and writing a Phonathon book could attract the attention of some many ladies?

While I was in the conference all day Sunday through Tuesday, I still managed to have some fun in the evenings. Sunday, I joined my boss, Maria, who also attending the conference, and spent the evening where her, her husband, and her brother in law. We visited the Castro. I then returned to Union Square where I was staying for a solo dinner at Lori's Diner and the opportunity to call Seth. I did some minor shopping in the area and headed back for a not to late night.

Monday evening, Maria and I joined up with one of our former stellar Phonathon callers, Ramsay, who is interning with Pearson in San Francisco for a few weeks this summer. She brought us to the neighborhood where she's staying via Muni and took us to a great Vietnamese restaurant. I had their famous five spice chicken with garlic and butter noodles. It was quite pleasing.

Tuesday night was my last night in town. I had a 10:40 p.m. overnight flight, which allowed me some time in the city before having to head to the airport. Maria and her husband joined me as I made a trip to Samovar, where Seth and I had an amazing tea and culinary experience last year. I had a wonderful green oolong there called bao zhong oolong. It was very light tasting a pleasantly grassy. I also had an English tea service to go with. It included a small mushroom quiche, a scone with clotted cream and jam, and some fresh fruit.

Thus fortified, I was able to head to the airport and navigate two overnight flights home, in which I relaxed but could not sleep a wink due to lack of comfort which overcame my tiredness. Needless to say, I am glad to be back in Amherst.

I had a wonderful time in San Francisco both in terms of gaining skills for work and in terms of having fun. Right now, what I need most though is a good night's sleep!

Thursday, July 21, 2011


I recently made a couple of acquisitions via my favorite website, Etsy. Etsy is a site where you can peruse and purchase hand-made goods.

For my upcoming spinning class next month, I needed approximately eight ounces of medium to long-staple wool. Since I spin mostly merino, which is sort-staple fiber, I had to get something for the class. I purchased the two colorways of BFL seen below.

I love the multi-colored one especially -- so fun!

I also purchased some personalized stationery cards online. While the practice of correspondence by mail seems to have mostly fallen out of favor in this age of e-mail, I think that a hand-written thank you is always necessary!

Just two more days until I leave for the conference in San Francisco. I am doing some organizing for the trip. I will blog more when I return!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Our First Anniversary

Seth and I had a lovely day yesterday celebrating our first anniversary.

The day started with a surprise. I woke up ready to have my standard breakfast of two pieces of whole grain toast with a cup of chai tea. However, Seth informed me we were going out. We headed down to the Route 9 Diner, location of our first date!

After that we headed over to Atkins on a secret errand. I waited in the car. Seth brought me back carnations -- my favorites!

And a special anniversary cake!

We had wanted to repurchase the top of our wedding cake for our first anniversary, but decided against after finding out it would cost $50 or more. However this red velvet cake with butter cream frosting is just the same thing (minus the decorations).

Being very naughty we decided to have the cake for lunch.

We then perused our wedding albums. The white one is the professional proof album. The black is with images from family and friends.

We then watched an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation and geeked out to the game Star Trek Scene It? We have the deluxe addition in the tin with all five Star Trek captains on the cover. I adore this game. My only complaint is that it's totally TOS/TNG centric. All of the DVD questions were from either the original series or The Next Generation. Come on Voyager and Deep Space 9 are our favorites!

Following our geekery, we headed over to the Eric Carle Museum to browse the exhibits and have memories. They had a nice exhibit about the life of Eric Carle in the West Gallery. Tomi Ungerer, with whom I was not familiar, was in the East Gallery.

Following the museum, we had a wonderful dinner at Tabellas, our favorite restaurant for fancy occasions in town. They have farm to table food and a different menu daily. We had some chickpea fries to start. I had some wine, a pino grigio, and Seth tried some hard cider. (I like mine. He did not love his.) For the main course, we had a chicken breast in a raspberry reduction with potatoes and a risotto with mushrooms, basil, and parmigiano-reggiano. Delicious! Nothing caught our eye for dessert, so we headed home where we relaxed with Lily and watched the new Star Trek film before retiring for the evening.

All in all a wonderful day!

Summer Fiber Works

Summer is here and with it come the hot temperatures. The grey blanket with cables, openwork, and bobbles that I have been working on has gotten monstrously huge and is no longer appropriate for working on in the summer time. It makes me super over heated! (Of course, as I write this, I have a super deluxe mega fuzzy cat sprawled all over my lap. Makes one wonder...)

I signed up for a late August class on spinning art yarns at Webs, my local yarn store, this summer. As a result, I have been boning up on my spinning skills. I started spinning up this merino.

I am doing a standard two ply, spun with a short forward draw.

Lily was unimpressed, as usual. ;)

And then disinterested.

I'm waiting to set the twist on the yarn until it's a bit less humid out or it will never dry. I like the results though and cannot wait to learn more at the class!

Friday, July 15, 2011