Saturday, April 17, 2010

Why Shorties Got Game

Living in a society where someone who is considered tall -- an artificial, subjective measurement -- can be offered unmerited authority or respect, it's good to remember the qualities of people who aren't awarded the same consideration simply due to the genetic wheel of fortune. That's right. I'm a shorty.

Height is out of everyone's control. As a shorter man, I do not consider myself vertically challenged. I simply am where I am: a bumpit over 5' 5". In relation to other men, I am not the shortest but I am certainly not considered tall.

In the perspective of women, I am taller than the average woman but well below the prerequisite in the list of artificial standards, a list followed by 75% of women, that also includes income requirements and maximum weight. Income is often replaced by potential income, and weight can fluctuate, though usually in one direction. Either of those parameters can even be a project for those who like to "fix" people. Height simply is.

But I've had successful relationships with taller women who threw that list out and aren't bothered by height. And I'm in one now. :-D

Short men don't all have Napoleonic complexes, or feel a need to adjust height artificially with wedges, black magic or carnival tricks ("I make these stilts look good!"). And here's the most important thing to remember: in bed, it just doesn't matter. There are many other compatibilities to be considered before you hit the sack.

When considering a partner, I advise you to base your criteria on character, personality, kindness and chemistry.

Here are some other pluses you may not have considered for the shorties:

Shorter folks fit in nearly any bed and don't demand so much slumbering real estate. A queen for two is palatial.

We enjoy a lower center of gravity. Yep, that means outstanding balance. You want a gymnast? You need a shorty. A battle between Jackie Chan and Steven Seagal? Please. No contest. Sheriff Pusser wouldn't be hard to kill for the Drunken Master.

Do you like to slow dance, even it's only at a wedding every four years, after he's had enough liquor to get on the floor but not too much where you have to carry him? There's no neck strain or tingly arms from all the blood running to your navel like there is after draping your arms over Yao Ming.

We don't have to duck for trees, stop signs, ceiling fans...

We don't knock down the elderly or step over children as we rush to grab an exit row or aisle seat on a Southwest flight. We can sit anywhere - we just like to dangle our feet in the exit row because we know how much it pisses off the procrastinating stretchy people.

And the funniest person (living) on this planet: Tina Fey (5' 4½"). Yes, just like a pre-teen quoting her age, we do cherish the fraction!

So give it up for the shorties. We do got a reason to live. [Author's note: Yes, I finally forgave Randy Newman for that ditty when he busted out the Monk theme.]

Monday, April 12, 2010

Blogs on your eReader: Convenient? Yes! Available? Maybe. Free? No.

A good friend of mine and regular reader here, Diane, made a simple request: "Can I subscribe to your blog on my Kindle?" Of course, I said "Yes!" It's been something I've been wanting to do and there's no excuse to delay it any further.

So I went to Amazon and signed on as a publisher. I gave them all my info and it's published! And it will cost you $1.99/month. Excuse me? I'm not looking for income, I'm looking for readers. And I'm certainly not looking to charge those who have been so kind and loyal.

From Amazon's Kindle Publishing for Blogs Overview:

Can I set the price for my blog?
No. Amazon will define the price based on what we deem is a fair value for customers.

Can I make my blog free?
No, Amazon will define the price based on what we deem is a fair value for customers.

So I've added my blog to Amazon but I would only recommend subscribing if the convenience of direct feeds to your Kindle is worth the $1.99/month. That's just for my blog, mind you. At that rate, I'll get 30% (60 cents or $7.20 per year per subscriber). But I'm not looking for subscription money from my readers. And if you want direct feeds of other blogs, each will cost you.

With the iPad frenzy, I thought Amazon would be a bit more customer-friendly and allow blog subscriptions for free. But at least they're trying. I have not found direct self-publishing options for blogs or eBooks for Barnes & Noble's Nook, Sony's Reader or the Apple iPad (although with a web browser and RSS feeds, the iPad has you covered).

There is a third-party service worth checking out that allows independent authors to publish eBooks (but not blogs) for free, and distribute to many of these eReaders: Smashwords.

There are also iPhone and Droid apps available as eReaders on your smartphone.

But please, dear readers, share your thoughts! If you're a blogger/author, please tell us about your experiences with eReaders. And thank you, Diane, for the nudge.