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I got a Kindle Fire for Christmas and am absolutely loving it.  It works great as my e-reader, audiobook/MP3 player, Netflix viewer and waste of time gaming device (Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja).

The one point of frustration I ran into was getting my existing eBooks copied over and recognized by the Fire.  Soooo... being a tech guy I thought I'd share some answers to those who are having similar issues and save them some irritation.

I've found two good ways to copy files (ones not provided by Amazon) to the Kindle.  The first is with a good old USB connection and the other is wirelessly with an application called WiFi File Explorer Pro.

Copying files to the Kindle Fire via USB:
  1. Connect your Fire to your computer with a Micro USB cable.
  2. Unlock your Kindle!  If you do not wake and unlock your Fire the computer will not connect to it.
  3. Go into Computer (or My Computer in Windows XP) and look for a new drive that shows up as being 4.99 GB. Mine just so happens to be E: but yours may be a different drive letter.  Double click the drive to open it.

  4. Find the Books folder on the drive and open it.

  5. Copy your .mobi file into this folder.
  6. Wait for the file copy to complete and then push the Disconnect button at the bottom of the connection screen on your Fire.

  7. Shut down the Fire by holding in the power button and then pushing Shut Down on the Kindle screen.  Do not skip this step!  If you don't shut down after copying .mobi files to the Fire they may not show up.  I have no idea why this is but it seems to be the missing step in getting the files to show up once they're on the Fire.

  8. Turn your Fire back on and go into Books.  Your recently added book(s) will show up in your books list with a NEW tag on them.

NOTE: If your newly added books don't show up in Books, check Documents.  If they show up there instead of in Books they are mislabeled and you will need to follow the next section to label them correctly.

Fixing eBooks showing up in Docs instead of Books (fixing the meta tag):
  1. Download and install http://calibre-ebook.com/ on your computer.  This is a widely used freeware ebook library utility. 
  2. Open Calibre and click the Add Books button in the upper left hand corner.

  3. Browse to and highlight the .mobi file you want to fix and click the Open button.

  4. You should now see your book listed in the Calibre book list.  Click the book to highlight it.

  5. Click the Convert Books button on the menu at the top of the window.

  6. Click the MOBI Output button in the menu on the left edge of the Convert window.

  7. Look for the Kindle Options section in the middle of the window.  You should see a box labled Personal Doc tag.  This probably says [PDOC].

  8. Change the tag to [EBOK] (all upper case and in the brackets).    This tells the Fire that the file is a book and not a document.

  9. Click OK to begin the conversion process.
  10. Look for the Jobs indicator in the bottom right hand corner.  Wait for the icon to stop spinning and the number of jobs to show as 0.

  11. Once all conversion jobs are completed, locate the converted book in the Calibre book list.  Click it with your right mouse button and choose Open Containing Folder.

  12. You will see two .mobi files there; one with the book name and the other with a .original_mobi in the name.  The .original_mobi is the ebook prior to editing.  The .mobi file without .original_mobi in the name is the newly edited ebook and is the file you want copy to your Kindle Fire Books directory using the steps above (Copying files to the Kindle Fire via USB).
More tips to come.  I'll post how to transfer files between your computer and Kindle wirelessly using WiFi File Explorer Pro.

Bedtime story by a 5 year old

I tucked the kids into bed this evening and read them their current favorite book; Where the Wild Things Are.  As I was getting up to go out my 5 year old daughter asked me if she could tell ME a bedtime story.  I said, "Sure sweetheart!"

I sat down on the floor next to her bed and settled in to hear what she would come up with. 

Here is what she had to say:

Lexi: Once upon a time, there was a boy named Wayne.  He was walking around his house looking out all the windows.
Me: What was he looking for?
Me: Cookie tracks??
Lexi: Yes, he has a horse named Cookie Dough and he couldn't find her.  So he was looking for cookie tracks (meaning footprints).  He went outside the house and found some leading over to the lake.  He needed to cross the lake so he swam across to find Cookie Dough.  Then, there was an old woman sleeping in a house.  Cookie Dough was tied up behind the house.  Wayne went to untie her and the old woman woke up.  Sooooo... he got out his cell phone and called the police.  They came and arrested the old woman!
Me: Why did they arrest her?
Lexi: She is a HORSENAPPER! (said in a very ... DUH ... kind of tone).

I was laughing pretty hard at this point and she was loving that I was entertained by her story.

Lexi: So Wayne and Cookie Dough swam back across the lake to go home.  And they lived happily ever after, the end!
How in the world did I miss that one of my favorite books from my childhood is now a movie! 

More kid amusement

The other day Joey was sitting on the floor playing with a game that Juli's Aunt Anne had gotten them.  The game, What's in Neds Head (www.amazon.com/Fundex-2460-Whats-Neds-Head/dp/B000096RFF), includes a small plastic brain.

Joey decided it would be fun to pretend to eat the brain.  The rest of the conversation went like this:

Me: "Joey, do you eat brains?"
Joey: "Ya Wayne, I eat brains."
Me: "Are you a zombie Joey?"
Joey: "Ya Wayne, I a zombie."
Me: "Can you say, Mmmmm, brains?"
Joey: "Mmmm, brains!"
Me: "Ok Joey, put your arms out in front of you, wiggle your fingers and say: aaaarrrr, brains... yum."
Joey: Joey starts wondering around the living room with his arms in front of him, growling, and saying mmmm brains.

At this point Juli and I are about on the floor dying from laughter.

How CEOs steal from your 401(k)


By Kathy Kristof

Did a gang of greedy CEOs make off with your 401(k)?

A surprising number of seasoned experts maintain they did -- or at least could be held responsible for a substantial amount of your losses.

Now, as the Obama administration attempts to rein in executive pay for companies that take tax dollars in bailouts, it's worth considering how that pay affects everyday investors trying to save for retirement.

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My "List"

I have never actually put a "list" together before but thought it would be interesting to see how it would turn out.   So here it is, my list of the 5 celebrities who, if given the opportunity, I could or would gain carnal knowledge of, without destroying my real relationship.


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After some further tests (which apparently didn't reveal much) my dad had a heart catheterization done around 4ish this afternoon.   The procedure went well...  however they are transferring him to another hospital so he can have a stent put in tomorrow morning.  All the news is "positive" but I can't help but feel really uneasy about how they seem to be hurrying things up (they are squeezing him in for surgery tomorrow even though the doctor has a full slate of surgeries already).  It kind of makes me feel like things are maybe a little more tenuous than they are letting on.

Argh..  I can't help but worry.

Worried about my dad

I got a phone call from my mom this evening telling me that my dad was taken to the hospital with chest pains and pain in his arm.  They've run a bunch of tests but haven't come to any conclusions yet.  All I know at this point is that he is being kept overnight.....

Give average Joes the bailout money

I saw this article in the Reading Eagle last week and thought it was really interesting.

John D. Forester Jr., 12/28/08

The average American has something in common with Congress: Give both an excessive amount of money and they will spend it.

Now, Congress does this all the time with our tax money. But people spend only when they get a windfall, such as inheriting a fortune, hitting the lottery, winning a big lawsuit or robbing a bank.
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