Thursday, June 30, 2011

15 Useful Free Android Apps and Resources For Writers

According to Google, 500,000 new Android devices are being activated daily. Android phones are amazing pieces of technology with an even more amazing selection of games, widgets and applications at their disposal.
If you're a writer with an Android device, you can put your Droid to work for you! Here are 15 great, free Android applications and resources to help you increase your productivity and achieve your writing goals.

15. Tweetdeck (Twitter) - Promoting your writing online? Manage all of your social media accounts from one convenient app. Tweetdeck features the ability to post from multiple Twitter accounts as well as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Google Buzz and Foursquare. Very convenient for the self-promoting writer on the go!

14. - Writing poetry, rapping or songwriting? This isn't an app, per se, but it is a very nicely formatted website you should bookmark on your Android web browser. If you need a rhyming word, you'll find it here in one convenient easy to read, easy to search location.

13. Diaro (Itesta) - Writers should keep a diary or a journal for their memoirs after they become rich and famous, right? Diaro is a free, password protected journal that supports multiple languages and multiple social networks if you feel like sharing your innermost secrets with the world.

12. Fact Book (Urbian) - Fact Book puts the world at your fingertips. Thousands of facts and statistics using data from the CIA World Fact Book and from the United Nations for every country and region in the world. A great, free informational resource.

11. Stopwatch and Timer ( - Need to block your writing time?Need to bill a client by the hour? This free Stopwatch and Timer is simple, straightforward and elegant for all your time tracking needs.

10. Kindle (Amazon) - No Kindle required! Amazon's free Kindle app for Android devices lets you read ebooks anywhere. Everyone knows that to be a good writer, you need to be an avid reader. Kindle makes it easy!

9. Inspirational Quotes (AppFlute) - Feeling stuck? Feeling down? Don't feel like writing today? Every writer needs a little motivation at some point. Browse hundreds of inspirational, motivational sayings by famous people to help motivate you to get back on that writing horse!

8. Urban Dictionary (Tim Clark) - The best free urban dictionary for android devices (for mature audiences only). Look up urban terminology from a growing, user generated repository of modern slang. Features word of the day, random words, word sharing and the ability to star and bookmark words.

7. Quickpedia (Next Mobile Web) - Voted one of the "Top 9 Google Android Apps" by CNET, Quickpedia searches Wikipedia articles and downloads the content to your devide so you can easily do research on the go. Optimized for easy viewing on small screens. E-mail entries to yourself or others, even with a non-Gmail account.

6. Advanced English & Thesaurus (Mobile System) - Features 140,000 entries covering 1.4 million words. Possibly the most comprehensive free dictionary and thesaurus on the Android platform. Very useful.

5. Cam Scanner -Phone PDF Creator (IntSig Information Co. LTD) - Scan documents, text, images, white board writing, notes -- just about anything, convert it to a .PDF and e-mail it to yourself for later reference. James Bond would be proud!

4. Spell Checker +Voice Free (AndroidSX) - The #1, most popular spell checker for Android with over 1 million downloads. Self exp... Self expla... *looks it up* Self explanatory!

3. Tape-A-Talk Voice Recorder (Markus Drosser) - Record your ideas on the road, in your car or anywhere else that isn't a movie theater, library or monastery. Records even with the phone display off and stores the .wav files on your SD card. Make high or low quality recordings and upload them via FTP!

2. Google Docs (Google) - A must have app for writing on the go. Create, edit, upload and share your documents. Makes collaborating easy! You can even take a photo of printed text and instantly convert it to Google Docs format. Every writer should have this.

1. Evernote (Evernote) - The mother of all free writing apps, Evernote allows you to take notes anywhere, clip text and images from websites and sync the information with your PC, Mac and mobile devices. Never lose or forget anything again! Once you start using Evernote, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it!

There you have it -- 15 useful, free android applications and resources for writers. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and write something great!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

LaTroy Hawkins Wants The Ball: Why Won't The Brewers Give It To Him?

I was watching the Milwaukee Brewers drop another Interleague game against the Tampa Bay Rays yesterday, and I was not a happy camper. It wasn't just the fact that they lost, though. It was HOW they lost.

With runs at a premium and a day off to follow Thursday, why not leave everything you have out on the field and take a legitimate shot at winning the game? That's the million dollar question -- and the focus of my latest article written for Bleacher Report:

The Brewers bullpen is a mess right now and Takashi Saito's return isn't going to be enough to fix it. They're frustrated. I'm frustrated. All of Brewers nation is frustrated!

You can tell yourself, "It's a long season. It's just one game." Eventually, though, you reach the point where "just one game" make all the difference. Righting the ship now could be the difference between the Brewers making the post season or watching it from their living room couches.

I say "Play ball!"

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Kenn's Tex Mex Casserole Bake Recipe

Check out my latest culinary creation! I was hungry for Mexican food and wanted to try to make something new, so I killed two birds with one (very tasty) stone. I've really been enjoying learning how to cook. I'm certainly no "Master Chef," but it's still been a lot of fun experimenting with new and exciting foodstuffs. It's like art...with food!

So, without further ado...


Kenn's Tasty Tex Mex Casserole Bake


1 Lb. Ground Beef

1/3 Yellow Onion (Diced)

1 Packet McCormick Enchilada Sauce Mix

2 Cups Salsa

1 Can Black Beans (Drained)

1 Can Rotel's Tomatoes and Green Chilis

1 8 oz. Can of Tomato Sauce

1 Box Rice A Roni Spanish Rice

1 Can Diced Tomatoes

2 Tbsp. Butter or Margerine

1 Can Sliced Black Olives

1 Bunch Green Onions (Diced)

1 Medium Sized Bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos (crushed)

1 10 oz. Bag of Shredded Mexican Cheese Blend

Prep Time: 30 Minutes

Cook Time: 30 Minutes

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef with 1/3 of a diced yellow onion. Drain and return to skillet. Add McCormick Enchilada Sauce Mix, Salsa, can of Rotel's, tomato sauce and can of black beans. Heat through, stirring occasionally, and set aside to simmer.

While first mixture is heating through and simmering, in separate pan, make Rice A Roni mix as directed (requires the butter and the can of diced tomatoes). When finished, add the diced green onions and the sliced black olives to the Rice A Roni mix.

Pre-Heat oven to 300 degrees.

Cover the bottom of a large glass baking dish with a thin layer of crushed Doritos. Pour in and spread the enchilada/beef/bean/salsa mixture over the crushed Doritos evenly. Add a thin layer of shredded cheese on top.

Pour in and spread the Rice A Roni mixture evenly over the cheese layer. Top Rice A Roni layer with the remaining shredded cheese.

Cover with tinfoil and bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes until cheese is melted and dish is heated through.

Serves 6 hungry souls (My wife and I got 3 meals for two out of it)!

NOTES: You can adjust the spiciness by using Hot, Medium or Mild salsa and Hot, Medium or Mild Rotel's. This first attempt wasn't as spicy as I'd like, so next time I'm going to go with "Hot" everything and maybe add some hot sauce to it as well. I may also add steamed southwest fiesta corn next time as well.