Sean Thomas Dougherty reads his poems 'Arias' & 'Sparky Webb…'

Sean Thomas Dougherty was my professor during my time at Penn State Behrend. From my second semester on, he was a big part of the reason I continued to write, got my degree in English, and why I write today. He inspires, in Arias

And another, based on actual grafitti that was once painted in Erie, Pennsylvania. Sparky Webb Has A.I.D.S.

Hesitant to get Kinect-ed…

I heard about how the “Kinect for Windows” device was better than the first Kinect that launched on Xbox. More precise, faster, etc… all of the benefits that I really expected would make their way to the Kinect sensor in a new and updated package. But they haven’t – at least, not publically. Perhaps buying one these days gets the few extra features, but I keep waiting for something more. I feel like there is something else coming, just around the corner – that “revision 2” that is better than the original. And so I wait… but am I waiting for nothing?

I would love voice and motion control on my Xbox 360. I would enjoy some of the silly motion games. I can’t wait to try the integration of certain voice and gesture commands in to certain “core” games like Halo Anniversary and Mass Effect 3. If there is no upgraded unit coming, when is the price drop going to happen? I need something to encourage me to take that last leap, and so far, my friends haven’t helped.

I took to Twitter the other day and asked if I should pick up a Kinect, but the responses were lackluster and those I got were a resounding eh, something like Kinect will be integrated in to the next Xbox, just wait for that – there aren’t enough games to make it worth your while. And that’s hard to argue with. Kinectimals was about the closest thing to ‘revolutionary’ I’ve seen out of the Kinect yet. And the version of Android and iPad looks just as fun.

I’m still torn, but I’m certain I’ll cave sooner or later – I just plan on holding out until “Black Friday.” By then we’ll know if they plan on releasing a revised version for the holiday shopping season, and if not, there’s bound to be sales!

2013 is going to be an expensive year…

original photo by: Christian Fischer

You may have heard something about this drought we’re going through? We’re getting warned that the price of corn has increased by 38% already, and though others expect it to climb, some are saying it’ll only result in a few cents more being paid at the grocery store. I couldn’t disagree more.

I’m not an economist. I’m not a farmer. But I have common sense. Corn is everywhere. It’s in breakfast cereals, sodas, fruit juices, snack foods, potato chips – and when not used as some sort of high fructose corn syrup, then it may be used as feed for chicken, pork, and other livestock. Corn is only one of the crops that’s suffering this year, you can count on many, may more vegetables suffering as “berry season” appraoches. I haven’t had a good watermelon yet, this year. Everything is about to get more expensive.

It’s going to be gradual. Infact, this is the time of year when livestock herds are going up for auction most frequently, so you might see prices drop over the next few weeks and months. But if you’re the kind of person who likes to have a Christmas ham? You’ll be paying more than last year. Go ahead and watch prices – early next year on in to next summer, I expect prices to rise. Substantially. That $2+ bottle of cola won’t just be in over-priced vending machines anymore, and everything from Dorito’s, to hamburgers, to heads of lettuce are all going to get more expensive. Pick your favorite product, watch its price over the next 12 months. Chart it in Excel, I dare you. It’s about to get pricey, and you should at least plan ahead a little right now. Prices won’t double, but when the price of every single thing you buy goes up, your wallet will take a punch. Be ready.

AppShopper finds you deals in the iTunes App Store

This week’s app of the week is an iOS treasre that has already saved me a bundle, and will hopefully help you in the long run as well!

AppShopper is a website as well as an iOS app (4.0 or later) for iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch that will help you find the right time to buy an app that you’re looking for. Got your eye on a game, but think the price is a little steep? Add it to your watch list in AppShopper and let it do the rest. You’ll receive a notification if and when the price drops.

Simple enough, right? It really is. I had no idea that some app prices fluxuate so much. And to give you an idea as to whether or not an app will go on sale (face it, some developers set it and forget it, when it comes to pricing), the AppShopper App on iTunes has a price history – you can see the dates and prices when prices of certain applications went up or down. If you think an app that you’re considering purchasing is a due for a price drop, you can hold out a while longer and be notified when the price drops – then tap the notification, follow AppShopper right in to the iTunes App Store and buy that app! It’s easy, it’s convenient, and it’s awesome.