Kindle Fire HD 7 is $119-139 right now

I bought the Kid a 16GB Kindle Fire HD 7 for $139 (the 8GB is $119). It’s a limited time offer — the Fire was $159 when I added it to my cart two week ago — and with the sudden price drop, I didn’t want to wait.

So the Kid is getting his Christmas present a month early, and he’s super excited. To be honest, I’m getting a little excited myself. It’s great to see him so enthused. (Games he’s dying for: Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 [$2.99]; Stupid Zombies 2 [free]; SAS: Zombie Assault 3 [free]; Zombies Ate My Friends [free];

I have to play them all now to check out whether they’re appropriate or not. Ah, the hardship that is my life :P )

I plan on using Kindle FreeTime (which comes pre-installed) to force him to do his half hour of daily reading before he can play any of the games of movies.

*

About Kindle FreeTime: blog posts of interest –
How to Setup a Kindle Fire for Kids with Kindle FreeTime — http://www.lovemyfire.com/kindle-freetime.html.

How-To Geek: How to Turn Your Kindle Fire Into a Totally Kid-Friendly Tablet — http://www.howtogeek.com/178303/how-to-turn-your-kindle-fire-into-a-totally-kid-friendly-tablet-with-freetime/.

Kindle FreeTime: Parental controls and kid-friendly content — http://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Family/2014/0108/Kindle-FreeTime-Parental-controls-and-kid-friendly-content.

Amazon Kindle Freetime review — http://gadgets.ndtv.com/apps/reviews/amazon-kindle-freetime-review-469809.

*

Basically, FreeTime comes with the Kindle and you can add different profiles for multiple kids on a single device. You can decide what your kid is allowed to use and how long they can use it for. (Kindle FreeTime Unlimited is a different thing that you pay for, so don’t be confused.)

The Kid is too old for some of the controls, but at the same time I don’t trust him not to go app crazy and download a bunch of stuff or in-app purchase a bunch of stuff that will appear on my card. He gets a little too into his games, and sometimes he doesn’t think about consequences or much of anything else when he wants to play something. Plus I have a lot of content I don’t want him to have access to, yet he’s too young to have his own Amazon account.

So I’ll be sharing some of my apps, games, and books with him, and I won’t have to worry that he’s spending his college fund on some silly game or other. Very nice deal.

Babble

I seem to have misplaced a whole day. It’s very disconcerting. There are times when I feel as if I’m stumbling through my days and it’s only a matter of time before I fall.

I forget to do things I should do, I become attached to what should be passing fancies, and I am incapable of being kind when it’s expected. I do not like being told what to do–though I don’t understand why it distresses me so.

*

I ordered an Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker from Amazon. I need a new rice cooker and I’ve always wanted a pressure cooker/crockpot. This thing does everything. I’m super excited.

It slow cooks, pressure cooks, sautes, and it has a bunch of preset cooking functions. It even has a yogur function, how cool is that? I’m excited about making yogurt with the Kid, and I’ve even heard there’s a way to turn the yogurt into Greek yogurt in the fridge.

It cost $134.95, so I hope it works well. That might not be a super lot of money to some people, but to me it’s enough that I’m going to be very upset if the Instant Pot doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to. Though I’m not too worried about being disappointed–there’s so many reviews calling it a great slow cooker, that I tend to believe them.

What really interested me about the Instant Pot was the claim that it can be used for small-batch canning. I would love to save the extras from my garden, but there’s not enough for a big ordeal. Plus I have a glass cooktop, which is terrible for conventional pressure cooking.

I was dreaming of canning some of my soups. But there’s so many people pooh-poohing the idea of the Instant Pot being able to get the psi necessary to can low-acid foods.

I don’t want to breed a bunch of botulism. I just want to make my own jams and clear out some of the space in the freezer.

Still, watching someone make stew in the Instant Pot… It’s like magic.

You just chop everything up and throw it in the pot. Hit the button. And 30-minutes later you’ve got dinner and some lunches. This thing is 6-quarts–that’s 3 jars of homemade chicken chili (dinner for 1, or lunch for 2)–and you can buy extra cook bowls, so you can switch them out as needed. (Make a whole batch of yogurt. Stir in strawberry gelatin to add flavor. Use the yogurt for yogurt, granola/graham cracker, raspberries, blueberries, sliced strawberries, and whipped cream parfaits. Or if the bowl’s freezeable, make frozen yogurt.)

I can imagine making a spicy soup, switching out the bowl’s to make rice, then right before serving putting the soup bowl back on and heating it back up. FOR THE SOUP: I’d make a base of bonito, miso, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, vinegar, white onion and crushed red pepper, and I’d throw in different ingredients. Good things would be: tofu, brussel sprouts halved, sliced zucchini, chopped onion, potato chunks, udon noodles, green onion, sliced carrot, bean sprouts, chicken, beef, pork, potstickers, sliced rice cake, kimchi, bok choy, spinach, clams, mussels, fish, seaweed, sliced mushrooms, daikon radish.

I found this recipe for pressure cooker pho — Vietnamese Pho Pressure Cooker — from Steamy Kitchen. I can’t wait to try it. I love pho. Though I’m a little worried about where I’m supposed to get the spices. (Someone needs to value bundle the ingredients together for easy purchasing. I don’t want to spend a ton of money, but I have the potential to be a valuable customer.)

I also love oxtail soup, and the Instant Pot seems perfect for it. Delicious oxtail soup served over rice and topped with chopped green onion and served with kimchi. Mm, I can’t hardly wait.

Recipes I’m planning for my Instant Pot:
*whole chicken with potatoes, carrots, and miscellaneous vegetables
*beef stew
*Italian wedding soup
*navy bean soup
*clam chowder
*chicken chili
*red beans and rice
*roast beef with carrots, potatoes, and radish
*ham with sweet potato chunks and pineapple rings
*cornish game hen
*chicken noodle soup with bok choy
*minestrone
*jambalaya
*gumbo (no okra!)
*fresh jam (I figure I can pressure cook/slow cook/simmer my way to some awesome fresh fruit jam. I’ll pack it in jars and make batches whenever we run out.)

My mouth can’t wait for the Instant Pot to come. I will be cooking the hell out of everything. It’s going to be great. And I’m sure it’s going to save the family a lot of grocery money.

When you can throw a bunch of ingredients into a big pot, put on the lid, and pressure cook your way into deliciousness… why wouldn’t you do it all the time?

My next kitchen appliance: a small blender.

I’ve been buying different sized regular-mouthed mason jars. They’re great to cook in and store things in, plus the blender blade should fit on the mouth of the jar. This allows personal blending directly in the jar. That’s super cool to me.

I’ve also been grabbing up mason jars for single servings of salad, pasta, all kinds of stuff. I’m probably going to buy more jars tomorrow.

Mason jar recipes:
*chicken chili and a glob of cornbread mix — microwave to heat chili and cook cornbread
*cubes of cookie dough, cubes of fruit — microwave or bake, then top with vanilla ice cream
*cake or muffin mix, cubes of fruit, dark chocolate chunks — microwave or bake
*layered salad — lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, carrot, black olives, mushrooms, croutons
*lasagna jar with sauce, noodles, cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, and spinach — bake to cook
*parfait of yogurt, granola/graham cracker crumbs, fruit, whipped cream, syrup
*smoothie ingredients cubed (frozen yogurt cubes, frozen berries, frozen fruit or vegetable juice cubes, frozen milk cubes) and layered — blend in jar

I like the idea of being able to store ingredients in a jar and either freeze it, fridge it, or shelf it. I mean, it seems amazing to me that I can pull a jar off the shelf, add egg, vegetable oil, or milk and shake it up to blend, then I can bake a cake/giant muffin/big cookie/fudge brownie right in the jar. It ends up being me, a jar, and a spoon; it’s perfect.

—-

Check out “Allies & Enemies” at: All Romance Ebooks, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BookStrand, Goodreads, iTunes, Kobo, Less Than Three Press, Smashwords. — superhero, urban fantasy, mm, drama. Darkstar x Blue Ice.

Hopefully my site will speed up (fingers crossed)

Okay, so if you’ve tried to visit my site in the last year, you’ll have noticed that it was so frickin’ slow. Like really, it would take 12-seconds to load the front page, which is an eternity in Internet time. (I was feeling like Comcast had already won and the Internet was being choked to heel like a recalcitrant dinosaur.) It’s been incredibly frustrating.

To try to alleviate the problem, I’ve added a VPS. I have no idea what it is or how it works (of course), but it’s supposed to make things better. At least they have 24/7 support, so they better be prepared for my barrage of nonsense.

Seriously, it reached the point that I just wasn’t feeling like posting anything because it was too frustrating. I wasn’t up to dealing with my own site, which makes me a bad site owner (“I didn’t mean for Fido to bite anyone. It just happened!”), so there I was throwing away money I don’t have on something that wasn’t working and was just making me angry.

Hopefully the VPS makes things better. If not… I have no idea what to do ;_;

UPDATE: Still super slow. Hopefully things will speed up once things propagate (right? right? Yeah, I don’t know how any of this works).

—-

Check out “Allies & Enemies” at: All Romance Ebooks, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BookStrand, Goodreads, iTunes, Kobo, Less Than Three Press, Smashwords. — superhero, urban fantasy, mm, drama. Darkstar x Blue Ice.

CDandHBFH 04 [Caspian Dukes and Vereint Georges]

Title: Caspian Dukes and His Best Friend’s Husband
Author: Harper Kingsley
World: Heroes & Villains
Frame set: Allies & Enemies, “Good Times”
Characters: Caspian Dukes, Vereint Georges, Warrick Tobias, Melissa Kim
Pairings: Vereint Georges/Warrick Tobias
Genre: friendship, superhero, meta
Summary: Vereint and Caspian go see a movie together.

Vereint was fun to hang out with. Caspian would definitely be open to the idea of doing it again.

“What do you think about this?” Vereint held up a brightly garish tee shirt with what might have been a purple unicorn-pony on the front. “You think I could get Warrick to wear this?”

“I will give you my complete Dragon Ball Z collection if you do,” Caspian said.

“I was not aware that you were a DBZ fan, but I’d be happy to take your collection.” Vereint tossed the shirt into the small shopping cart he was pushing. “Help me find something for Hank and then we can get out of here.”

“What are you looking for?” Caspian asked.

Vereint shrugged. “A mogwai would be cool, but other than that I don’t have a clue. He’s always the hardest one to shop for.”

“I see.” Caspian looked around, his eyes scanning the shelves overloaded with a mishmash of plushies, novelty toys, and bootleg DVDs. “Where do you want to start looking?”

“How about over there?” Vereint pointed toward a display of off-brand electronics. “He could use a new rice cooker.”

Caspian cocked his head. “You’re going to buy him a rice cooker from this place?”

“Why not?” Vereint asked.

“Uh.” Caspian wasn’t sure what he was supposed to say. Vereint had a ridiculous amount of money at his disposal, yet he was eying a $30 rice cooker like it was the Holy Grail of kitchen appliances. “It looks nice?”

“I think he’ll really like it.” Vereint opened and closed the lid on the test model, peering inside curiously, then grabbed one of the unopened boxes and put it in the cart. “He and Caroline have just moved into a new place and I never got around to getting them a housewarming gift. A rice cooker is the perfect thing, something that anyone can use.”

“Ah,” Caspian said intelligently. He looked at his watch. “What time does the movie start? And what do you plan on doing with all this stuff?”

“I’ll rent a storage locker near the theater,” Vereint said. “It’s no big deal. Let me pay and we can head on over there.” Caspian crossed his arms and waited near the door. Vereint said something that made the cashier laugh as she bagged his purchases. It brought a small smile to Caspian’s lips.

Vereint was a godsend. Before Warrick had met Vereint, he had seemingly been on a downward spiral. There had been a creeping sense of misanthropy as Warrick spoke of the people they were dedicated to saving, a barely restrained sneer of disgust.

Caspian had been worried about Warrick, but Vereint had cleared away those fears. He’d breathed new life and new hope into Warrick’s life, and as a result Blue Ice had become a better hero. It was a good thing.

I’m not gay, but I can see that he’s beautiful, Caspian thought.

That was the thing about Vereint: he didn’t flaunt his good things–they were simply a part of his face–but no one could resist him for long. Even when he did nothing overt, on entering a room Vereint drew every eye. He had a presence about him, one that could quickly become overpowering when all of that attention was focused directly on a person.

Vereint paid the cashier with his credit card, then pushed the shopping cart ahead of him out of line. Caspian was amused to see that the plastic shopping bags were opaque green with lurid red Asian writing printed on them. The letters spelled out SOUP.

“Come on, let’s get out of here,” Vereint said, pushing the cart past Caspian. “I don’t want to be late to the movie. If I don’t have time to get popcorn and snacks I’m going to scream.”

Caspian rolled his eyes with a grin. “Good to know.”

“A vague disclaimer is nobody’s friend,” Vereint said.

TBC…
* * *
Check out “Allies & Enemies” at: All Romance Ebooks, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BookStrand, Goodreads, iTunes, Kobo, Less Than Three Press, Smashwords. — superhero, urban fantasy, mm, drama. Darkstar x Blue Ice.