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Yehuda Moon Cycling Comics On Sale

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Yehuda Moon is an excellent cycling comic that was in production for a number of years. The team behind Yehuda Moon is currently on a break from making new comics but some of their complilation books are on sale for $7 each for a limited time. If you have never heard of Yehuda Moon and you are a cyclist now is a great time to pick up the first several volumes of this wonderful comic strip and start reading!

You can purchase Volumes 1, 2 and 3 at a discount for a limited time here.

My Recent Reads

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Back in March I posted here about changes that were coming in the frequency of my posts and changes I was making to my reading habits. My reading habit has most definitely increased. I just updated my reading list with the books I have read over the past several months as well the couple of books I am reading right now. Be sure to check out my full reading list, but here are just a couple of books to give you an idea of what I have been reading lately:

The Whydah: A Pirate Ship Feared, Wrecked, and Found

By Martin W. Sandler

This was just a fascinating and fun read. I am huge history buff and living in Florida has brought out an extreme curiosity in shipwrecks. The story of the Whydah and how to went from being a slave ship to one of the most treasure-laden pirate ships of all time before being sunk in a nasty storm and then found is both entertaining and educational. A perfect summer read.

“They vilify us, the scoundrels do, when there is only this difference: they rob the poor under the cover of law, and we plunder the rich under the protection of our own courage.”

Postal Volume 1

By Matt Hawkins and Bryan Hill

Postal is a comic book series written by Matt Hawkins and Bryan Hill and it is not your ordinary comic book. Postal is about a town named Eden in Wyoming that is populated by convicts living together in peace. The main character, Mark, is a postal carrier in the town and has Asperger syndrome. I like this comic because it is different and it highlights a syndrome that most people know little about. It’s a well written story, but it is graphic and definitely not a comic for young readers.

Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams

By Matthew Walker PhD

This book is a must read for everyone as is highlights the importance of sleep and totally shatters the myths out there about how much sleep we all need and what the impacts of lack of sleep are on our society. Here is quote that should get you thinking. If a major insurance company is literally willing to put it’s money on this then there must be something there:

”The giant insurance company Aetna, which has almost fifty thousand employees, has instituted the option of bonuses for getting more sleep, based on verified sleep-tracker data.”

Slight Changes In Content & Post Frequency

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Some of you may have noticed some changes here at 1wayswim lately both in how often I am posting full articles and the new types of linked articles I am sharing here. The reason there have been some changes is because I am now a Core Contributor at GeekDad.com, which means I am writing a new article for them every week. I have also significantly increased my reading habit. All of this means the time I have to write for this blog is more time constrained then it has ever been. But this isn’t all bad news....change can be good.

Content Changes

While I will still be posting long articles on occasion here I won’t be writing 1-3 articles a week like I was doing over the past year or two. But instead I have started sharing links to news articles I find of interest. These “linked articles” will have a few sentences at the beginning written by me that communicates why I think this article is worth a look and then at the very bottom of the post I will have a link to the original article. It seems like news more and more is just a non-stop cranking out of words so when I come across something I think people should be paying attention to I want to make sure I communicate that. I certainly won’t have time to write a full article about every topic I find interesting like this, but that is where these linked articles come in. I will also continue to post links to all the articles I write on GeekDad here on 1wayswim. But I will also still write full articles as well, just not as frequently.

Reading

I mentioned that I am reading a lot more these days. One of the ways I am able to do this is a new news and social media time limit I have imposed on myself. I wrote up an article on GeekDad here about how I do this. This has freed up a very large chunk of time each day that I am now able to use to read more books. I have already read some very fascinating books and plan to write up some short reviews from time to time of the books I find particularly interesting. I am also keeping a list of all the books I am currently reading and have read recently right here on my blog on a page called Reading List. There are some amazing books out there and there are also a lot of not so great books too, so having some recommended reads is a very valuable thing to have. So I figured if I am going to be reading more that I should also be sharing what I am reading with others.

I hope you all continue to find the information I post here useful. I enjoy writing and will continue to do so right here on 1wayswim as long as I still have people that come here and find it worth reading.

Clay Images: Small Business Saturday

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I wanted to share a little bit about one of my favorite small businesses of all time, since it is small business Saturday after all. What is small business Saturday you ask? It was started back in 2010 by Federal Express:

“ Shop Small is about more than just shopping at small businesses. ... It's an annual shopping tradition dedicated to supporting small businesses and celebrating communities across the country. Founded by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday is celebrated every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.”

So in honor of small business Saturday I am going to share with you my absolute favorite small businesses…Clay Images. Clay Images is a very small company, which consists of a husband and wife team (Melissa and Jim Hogenson):

”Our fertile imaginations and hard-working hands have created a unique line of friendly dragons in stoneware clay. Though each is a fine sculpture on its own, they also all have a function - oil lamps, incense burners, and drinking vessels. We sell our wares from our home, through the internet, at art fairs around the U.S.A., and at the Kansas City and Arizona Renaissance Festivals.”

I first encountered the amazing works of Clay Images at the local art fair in Wichita, Kansas (before I moved away from home). I immediately fell in love with their dragon sculptures and it wasn’t long before I had one of my very own. I got my first Clay Images oil lamp for my birthday, but it wasn’t just any birthday. My first child was born the day before my 23rd birthday, and when we finally got to take our new daughter home from the hospital and I got to open my birthday presents (and lets be honest its REALLY hard to beat the present I got at the hospital). It was this on this day I received my very first Clay Images oil lamp. My daughter just turned 19 last month and is in her first semester of college now.

 The little dragon oil lamp that started it all...

The little dragon oil lamp that started it all...

It turns out this awesome little dragon was just the beginning of a collection of functional art from Clay Images. I mean heck, if you are going to spend perfectly good money on a new bed side lamp or a new drink ware set why not get something you really enjoy and support some amazing local artists all at the same time. So over the last 19 years that is exactly what we have done. We have either purchased or received as gifts everything from toothbrush holders, to hot chocolate drink sets, to wind chimes, to wall sconces. And that even goes without mentioning all the oil lamps and incense burners. Oh, and did I forget the fish tank castle? Rather than list everything here I walked around our house and took pictures of all of our Clay Images functional art and below is a gallery of most (but not all) of our Clay Images collection. So if you are looking for a great gift for someone on your list this Christmas and you want to honor the tradition of small business Saturday, why not check out Clay Images. I checked with them today (Friday) and they do have some limited stock of items and plan to do one more kiln firing in December to accommodate special orders. So if you want something in time for the holidays you need to act fast!

Baby Driver with iTunes Extras

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Earlier this week the movie Baby Driver was relased on iTunes. I had seen the trailer for Baby Driver before it was relased in theaters and it looked interesting, but it wasn't something I was going to go out of my way to go see. Fast forward a few months and I was spending my first afternoon in Adelaide, Australia after just registering for the INCOSE Systems Engineering conference that was taking place all of the following week...and it started pouring down rain. It was a Sunday afternoon and with all the rain and me walking everywhere I went there was little else to do, so I ducked into a movie theater and watched Baby Driver. The music chosen for the movie combined with just how integral the music was to the entire look and feel totally sold this as a very entertaining and artistic production. Not to mention that is was a heck of a lot of fun!

I'm not doing a review of the movie here, but I did want to point out to all of you just how impressive the extras are that come with this movie. The Blu-Ray version of the movie will have very similar extras, but as I write this the movie is only available through iTunes (it comes out on Blu-Ray October 10th). In addition to the standard extras like deleted scenes there are 4 seperate commentary versions of the movie:

  1. Music Mode: When you watch the movie in this mode you get the full audio of the movie but there are graphics that pop up throughout the movie that explain some of the background and history behind each music track in the film.
  2. Director Commentary: This version of the film has Director Edgar Wright talking over the video from the movie. Edgar Wright has had the idea for this movie for decades so he had quite a bit to talk about.
  3. Commentary with Edgar Wright and Bill Pope: Bill Pope was the Director of Photography for Baby Driver so this version of the film has Edgar Wright and Bill Pope talking about the video production. Shooting the video footage of all the car chase scenes in the movie was quite challenging as you can imagine, so this commentary is extremely interesting.
  4. Storyboard Comparison Track: I've seen some movies have a scene or two depicted purely using the original storyboard, but I haven't seen anything quite like this before. The entire film is shown with the original storyboard drawings as a picture in a picture. They really did storyboard the entire movie scene for scene and it was pretty amazing just how close the final version came to the original storyboard.

If you missed this movie in theaters you might considering buying it on iTunes and enjoying all of the really great extra materials that are included. You won't be disappointed.

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