Book Review - Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War

Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War by Nathaniel Philbrick
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book should have been called "Plymouth: A Story of Courage, Community, and War.

This was a well written narrative that chronicles the pilgrims, and their founding of the Plymouth colony through the first generation of settlers and King Phillp's War. This was an interesting interpretation of that moment in history. The story was written with enough intrigue and character development to keep you going through what amounts to be a very detailed description of the events. It is apparent that the English settlers did an excellent job of keeping diaries and other records of their struggles and trials.

It is important to note though that these accounts are largely from one perspective, and the book acknowledges that while even going so far as to try and provide logically explained reasons or alternatives to some actions.

Overall, a great read, especially if you are looking for an in-depth (sometimes too much so) description of the first decades of Plymouth and New England.


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Music Listening: AAC - Liam Gallagher - As You Were

Oasis is (was), hands down, my favorite rock band. Its ironic that I like them as much as I do considering I really do not like the Beatles at all. Oasis is as close as you are going to get to a Beatles sounding band without being an actual cover band. For those of you out there who are Oasis fans, you are well acquainted with the long standing feud between the Gallagher brothers. They are in short assholes and they are assholes to each other. Liam, the lead singer, developed an almost historic reputation for his antics and the journey that was Oasis came to an end around 2008.

All of the band member's have experimented with projects for the past decade, but we not have before us Liam's first solo album. I have always been able to enjoy his and Oasis' music without having to like the member's personally. I don't need to be friends with them, so what they do with their personal antics are of no concern to me. 

This album is pretty much exactly what you expect it to be. It sounds like Oasis, and for me that is just find. Some good, solid brit rock is always welcome. The opening track "Wall of Glass" is a great sounding song that captures that glimmer of Oasis and Liam. That quintessential Oasis guitar riff is featured right there while the track opens. 

The rest of the album is good, but doesn't really present any truly memorable songs. If you are an Oasis fan, like me, then you will probably love this album. It is good to have fresh album in my library with this sound. For everyone else out there, I would say check it out. It is sort of like how the new U2 albums are. When you listen to them they are all solid albums and well produced, but not necessarily "memorable". 

My New Favorite iOS App - Momento

https://momentoapp.com

This past week I have come across a new favorite app, that is now sitting on my iPhone. Momento was featured this past week with several apps in one of Apple's daily lists. Momento caught my as a private journaling app that has a really clean interface and the ability to automatically import content from your social media. 

I like the idea of a private journaling app at lot to just capture quick things throughout my day. The added benefit of the social integration makes that even easier because my Facebook, Instagram, etc. posts can automatically find their way into the app, which makes it ideal for weekend and vacation adventures. 

What is particularly cool about the social media import though is that it will actually bring in content that you are tagged in from someone else. If a family member tags you in a photo and posts it on Facebook, it will capture that automatically. Even cooler still, is that it is smart enough to see all of those tags across different social networks and identify those people or places. So you can then go in and find your spouse for example , and find everything, going back years with photos and posts with her. 

Another great feature for just looking back on your journal is the "One this day" feature on their calendar. You click on it and you can see every entry for that day/date going back years. It is sort of cool, but also freaky that Facebook has content back to 2008.

This app has filled two holes for me. I was a big fan of Flavors.me, which was a personal landing page website that aggregated all of your social media into one place. It was a great tool that really should have a replacement online. This doesn't replace that for a public profile, but offers a lot of the same features for private use. 

The other app it replaces is Foodspotting. I loved Foodspotting and it was my goto app for taking my food photos. Unfortunately it hasn't really been updated in years and while Instagram and Foursquare can serve that purpose for public usage, having something for private food tracking that can tag people and places is nice to have. Evernote Food unfortunately never got a replacement app. 

So I would highly recommend people check this out if they are looking for a great app to have a quick and small personal journal.  It is also a very affordable app to ranging from free to about $4 depending upon what you want to do with it.