The eBooks On iPhone Campaign: Steve Jobs Loves Books! Hey, Steve, So Do We!!

July 21, 2007

That’s right. As if I don’t have enough campaigns going on in my life (one to see Nokia go bankrupt, one to conquer the stupidity of Quaker Oats, one against the world in general), I’m starting another: To get proper eBooks on the iPhone, to get eBooks on sale at the iTunes Store, and to have eBooks priced at 99-cents!

C.E.O. Libraries Reveal Keys to Success

Until recently when Steven P. Jobs of Apple sold his collection, he reportedly had an “inexhaustible interest” in the books of William Blake — the mad visionary 18th-century mystic poet and artist. Perhaps future historians will track down Mr. Jobs’s Blake library to trace the inspiration for Pixar and the grail-like appeal of the iPhone.

Brother Writer Blake?

I can quote him directly from my LifeDrive’s Memos:

He’s a Blockhead who wants a proof of what he can’t perceive
And he’s a Fool who tries to make such a Blockhead believe
— William Blake


Is this a holy thing to see,
In a rich and beautiful land,
Babes reduced to misery,
Fed with cold and usurous hand?
— William Blake

Come on, Steve! You’re supposed to be a visionary and a leader! We need inexpensive eBooks! We need eBooks brought to the world with the style, elegance, and grace that only Apple can give them.

eBooks should be as much as an impulse buy as Apple has made music. How great would it be if my mention of a writer in this blog caused someone’s curiosity to swell and they ventured to risk a measly 99-cents on an eBook by that writer? It be Great Great, is what it would be. Because I know they’d get hooked on that writer and buy everything he or she has written.

I could look forward to John Straley getting the sales and recognition that he deserves. I could look forward to Tito Perdue‘s Lee becoming the huge cult book it deserves to be (instead of the small cult book it currently is). I could look forward to Victor Gischler‘s celebratory barbecue for his iTunes Store sales.

I could look forward to a real future for writers, ending the kind of misery my brothers and sisters have had to endure under the heels of the Burghers:

In my late twenties and early thirties, I went through a period of several years when everything I touched turned to failure. My marriage ended in divorce, my work as a writer foundered, and I was overwhelmed by money problems. I’m not just talking about an occasional shortfall or some periodic belt tightenings — but a constant, grinding, almost suffocating lack of money that poisoned my soul and kept me in a state of never-ending panic.

There was no one to blame but myself. My relationship to money had always been flawed, enigmatic, full of contradictory impulses, and now I was paying the price for refusing to take a clear-cut stand on the matter. All along, my only ambition had been to write. I had known that as early as sixteen or seventeen years old, and I had never deluded myself into thinking I could make a living at it. Becoming a writer is not a “career decision” like becoming a doctor or a policeman. You don’t choose it so much as get chosen, and once you accept the fact that you’re not fit for anything else, you have to be prepared to walk a long, hard road for the rest of your days. Unless you turn out to be a favorite of the gods (and woe to the man who hanks on that), your work will never bring in enough to support you, and if you mean to have a roof over your head and not starve to death, you must resign yourself to doing other work to pay the bills. I understood all that, I was prepared for it, I had no complaints. In that respect, I was immensely lucky. I didn’t particularly want anything in the way of material goods, and the prospect of being poor didn’t frighten me. All I wanted was a chance to do the work I felt I had it in me to do.

Most writers lead double lives. They earn good money at legitimate professions and carve out time for their writing as best they can: early in the morning, late at night, weekends, vacations. William Carlos Williams and Louis-Ferdinand Céline were doctors. Wallace Stevens worked for an insurance company. T. S. Eliot was a banker, then a publisher. Among my own acquaintances, the French poet Jacques Dupin is co-director of an art gallery in Paris. William Bronk, the American poet, managed his family’s coal and lumber business in upstate New York for over forty years. Don DeLillo, Peter Carey, Salman Rushdie, and Elmore Leonard all worked for long stretches in advertising. Other writers teach. That is probably the most common solution today, and with every major university and Podunk college offering so-called creative writing courses, novelists and poets are continually scratching and scrambling to land themselves a spot. Who can blame them? The salaries might not be big, but the work is steady and the hours are good.

My problem was that I had no interest in leading a double life. It’s not that I wasn’t willing to work, but the idea of punching a clock at some nine-to-five job left me cold, utterly devoid of enthusiasm. I was in my early twenties, and I felt too young to settle down, too full of other plans to waste my time earning more money than I either wanted or needed. As far as finances went, I just wanted to get by. Life was cheap in those days, and with no responsibility for anyone but myself, I figured I could scrape along on an annual income of roughly three thousand dollars.

Hand to Mouth: A Chronicle of Early Failure by Paul Auster; pgs. 3-5; Copyright © 1976, 1977, 1978, 1982, 1997 by Paul Auster

Steve Jobs: The Next Revolution Must Be Literate! Lead it!

Previously in this blog:
eBooks On iPhone: The Clamor Continues!
eBookery For iPhone?
eBooks on iPhone: Another Person Who Won’t Wait For Apple
eBooks On iPhone: Not Waiting For Apple!
iPhone: First eBook On It?
Mucho Namaste To FSJ!
Will Apple Steal The eBook Limelight From Sony And Create Another Mass Market?

Quaker Oats Sends Me A Sorry-Assed Email Reply

July 21, 2007

Continuing my latest jihad against Corporate Stupidity, this time with Quaker Oats as a personal target because they are now persecuting me.

Here is their sorry-assed email reply:

RE: Quaker Sweet & Salty Granola Bars , REF.#[redacted]


We’re sorry to tell you that Quaker Toasted Crunch Bars have been discontinued and were replaced by Quaker Sweet & Salty Bars. We’re sorry that you did not enjoy this new product. We have sent a full value coupon to replace your purchase. Please allow 7-10 business days for the coupon to arrive.

Our objective, pure and simple, is to make high-quality products that our consumers will choose again and again. We appreciate your input and have shared your comments with our Product Developement Team.

Mike, we’re sorry to disappoint you. We hope you find another product you like just as much.

I’m not going to put up with that shit!

This was my actual emailed reply:

No, sorry. You don’t get off that easy.

I’ve been blogging this:

Whoever made the decision had better reverse it. My wrath is endless.

What am I supposed to do with this piss-poor bribe of a coupon you’re allegedly sending me, Quaker Oats? Buy that atrocious Sweet & Salty shit? I’d rather take a bullet to the head than put that shit in my mouth ever again! I’ve got three bars of that shit left. Maybe I’ll feed them to pigeons and squirrels. But if I come across their dead bodies later, I’m calling the ASPCA!

Surrender now. Bring back my Crunchy Oatmeal Bars!

Previously in this blog:
Fuck Quaker Oats!
Quaker Oats Must Die!

Another Frikkin Gene I Apparently Lack

July 21, 2007

OxyContin Maker, 3 Execs Fined $634.5M

ABINGDON, Va. (AP) — Purdue Pharma L.P., the maker of OxyContin, and three of its executives were ordered Friday to pay a $634.5 million fine for misleading the public about the painkiller’s risk of addiction.

U.S. District Judge James Jones levied the fine on Purdue, its top lawyer and former president and former chief medical officer after a hearing that lasted about three-and-a-half hours. The hearing included statements by numerous people who said their lives were changed forever by addiction to OxyContin, a trade name for a long-acting form of the painkiller oxycodone.

Designed to be swallowed whole and digested over 12 hours, the pills can produce a heroin-like high if crushed and then swallowed, snorted or injected.

This is what Limbaugh was addicted to. I don’t understand that. I had to be on it for a while. I didn’t think it was a very effective painkiller for me. I had my doctor switch me to Vicodin. Apparently that has an addiction risk too. But once I didn’t need it for pain, I didn’t miss it.

I guess I’m doomed to a life of petty non-drug addictions. (Where the hell is the reply to my email about those crunchy Oatmeal Bars, Quaker Oats?!!!)

eBooks On iPhone: The Clamor Continues!

July 21, 2007

How can you read an ebook on an Apple iPhone?

He’s tried the Open Library I mentioned in a prior post!

I hope Steve Jobs is made aware of how much popular demand there is for proper eBooks on the iPhone. I long to see 99-cent eBooks. I would spend much more on eBooks at the iTunes Store than I would on music. Hey, Steve Jobs, this your chance to get a direct line into my wallet!! Take it!

Previously in this blog:
eBookery For iPhone?
eBooks on iPhone: Another Person Who Won’t Wait For Apple
eBooks On iPhone: Not Waiting For Apple!
iPhone: First eBook On It?
Mucho Namaste To FSJ!
Will Apple Steal The eBook Limelight From Sony And Create Another Mass Market?

LifeDrive Notes: As An MP3 Player

July 21, 2007

I haven’t been writing about the LifeDrive because, frankly, it’s begun to annoy the hell out of me.

Even with CompactFlash replacing the Microdrive, the delays when switching between apps is really beginning to get on my nerves. There are times when I have to switch between MiniWrite and Memos — and it can take up to five freakin seconds! I think my short-term memory has a three-second limit, so I sometimes forget what the hell I was about to do because of this huge distraction.

As a video player, it’s just great. I’ve watched hours and hours of the stuff (cumulatively; I think the most free time for viewing I’ve been able to carve out in one sitting has been close to two hours). I think the battery could easily go for three if not four straight hours of video.

Yesterday I wanted to take a bunch of new music with me. I have just 128MB on the SD card in my jWin MP3 player, and that was filled. So I decided, what the hell, let’s dump the stuff on the LifeDrive and give it a whirl.

I was unprepared for the shock I got.

Sonically, it kicks the hell out of the jWin. The sound is so much richer, songs I’d listened to before on the jWin sounded brand new on the LifeDrive! In terms of volume, the LifeDrive also beats the jWin. My ears were on the verge of bleeding when I hit an MP3 that had loud volume (I’ve not standardized the volume of my MP3s… yeesh!).

I’m using the built-in PocketTunes, which is irritating to use. Trying to move through the track list in an intuitive way — just hitting the center ring up/down — gives me Volume Control instead. I have to pull out the stylus to move through the list while a song is playing. Feh! I paid for PocketTunes when I had a Tungsten E, so I’m probably entitled to a better version than the one included with the LifeDrive. I’ve just been too lazy to investigate that option. Maybe an upgrade would give me a skin with better controls.

I’m not sure that PocketTunes and the LifeDrive battery meter see eye-to-eye. After playing songs for about two hours, the battery meter showed about 90% remaining power. Then I played a one-hour video and it dropped to near 50%! I would have had more power remaining if those hours had been used just for video. So something is screwy here.

I don’t intend to keep using the LifeDrive as an MP3 player, though. I’d rather use that storage for video and data.

Given the superior sound the LifeDrive has exposed me to, what’s become clear is that I need a freakin iPod! Or — cue drool! — iPhone.

Is Dubya Aiming To Be The New King George?

July 21, 2007

Old-line Republican warns ‘something’s in the works’ to trigger a police state

Unless Congress immediately impeaches Bush and Cheney, a year from now the US could be a dictatorial police state at war with Iran.

Do you know that the President — of any political affiliation — can act just about like a King and pass laws without the approval of Congress or the Judiciary?

It’s called the Executive Order.

During Clinton’s reign, Right-wing talk radio was full of scaremongering about how Clinton was going to mastermind a national emergency and grab dictatorial powers based on the EOs he had passed. (Given our current mess, in retrospect it seems like we missed out on a good thing!)

What’s interesting here is that a member of the President’s own political party is sounding an alarm.

File this one away Just In Case.

— via Matthew St. Amand who sent it out in a MySpace Bulletin