Saturday, January 23, 2021

Book Nook: Parenting in a Tech World


Online dangers are at an all time high. Since the pandemic began, social media monitoring and screen time management company, Bark Technologies has reported a 23% jump in online predation and a 63% rise in severe hate speech, with even more staggering numbers reported surrounding the recent election 

Many kids have access to tech, whether it's for school and entertainment. Parents who are concerned may want the equivalent of bike helmets or seat belts. I had a chance to read a book that talks about these types of safety features, Parenting in a Tech World. It's written by Bark tech execs Titania Jordan and Matt McKee. I found it to be a book that would be extremely helpful if it weren't for the fact that my husband and I both work in tech-related careers.

As a system administrator, my husband knows how easy it is for data to get leaked and malicious viruses and other things to get sent. As a teacher who has taught online since before Covid, I know how kids can try to get around privacy checks by their parents. Between the two of us, we have a pretty good handle on things. I still managed to learn some new things from this book - and that's saying a lot given our backgrounds. For most parents, there's a lot in this book that will be extremely helpful.

The book touches on a variety of things - why to protect your kids, how to protect your kids, and how to engage in conversations to keep lines of dialogue open (honestly, I think that's the most important part). It clearly makes the case for some level of protection for your kids, and gives parents tools for ways to do that.


Bark recently released its newest safety tool: Bark Home, the latest addition to the company's suite of safety solutions used to protect more than 5 million children at home and in 2,500 schools nationwide. Connected directly to a router, Bark Home allows parents to manage all of the home's devices and set screen time limits remotely. 

Music Minute: Jeff Coffey and Ken Wilber

 The new impassioned and poignant single “Someday” written and composed by former lead vocalist of Chicago, Jeff Coffey, touches on the stirring and dramatic events over the past year.  Lyrics began to flow out fairly quickly for Jeff as he began to ponder the heartbreaking, powerful and harrowing moments of this past year. The moving and heart-rending video is available today on his YouTube Channel. The single, "Someday," is available for streaming and download here.

About Jeff Coffey:
Jeff Coffey is a musician, singer, songwriter who has released three solo albums which were well-received by radio and music fans. His songs are very relatable and bridge the gap between Pop, Rock and Country. Two singles from this CD "Through Your Eyes" and "Long Way Home" made it to the Top 20 on the FMQB AC/40 chart.
Much of Jeff's music has been featured on numerous TV shows on several major television networks such as NBC, MTV, CMTV, FOX, E! Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, A&E, Bravo and the CBS Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  “Through Your Eyes” was prominently featured on the prime-time TV show “Men In Trees” starring Anne Heche.

Jeff’s latest album, ORIGINS was released in December 2019 with Coffey’s vocal abilities shining through on this album. ORIGINS is a tribute album to all the great tenor singers and the songs that inspired Jeff to become a professional musician and includes songs by some greats, like Sir. Paul McCartney, Sting, Queen, Journey, Foreigner and more. 
Jeff continues to write and record new music, collaborating with many artists and songwriters.  He also currently tours as bassist for Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame member Don Felder (formerly of The Eagles). 

New York native and Country Music artist, Ken Wilber, has announced the release of "Freedom Song" to radio via CDX distribution services whose service reaches not only all key radio programming decision makers, but also the major streaming platforms, labels, publishing companies, and more in the Country Music business community. “Freedom Song” was penned by Sonny LeMaire, Clay Mills, Jimmy Ritchey and recorded by Ryan Younts at Oceanway Nashville, engineered and mixed by Tony Cottrill at The DAWg Houze in Hendersonville, TN and mastered by Benny Quinn

“Freedom Song” is available on digital music platforms Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Amazon Music and more for streaming and download

Ken Wilber recollects that "Freedom Song was originally recorded by Blackberry Smoke, I really liked the Southern Rock flavor to it, as I grew up listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Allman Brothers. I was also heavily influenced by The Charlie Daniels Band, so this was a nice way to showcase that influence. This particular song has a great groove to it, it's one of those songs that makes you want to roll the windows down in your car and hit the gas."

“Ken is a pleasure to work with, and I’m always excited when he travels here to Nashville. It’s an honor to have the opportunity to record and mix his projects. He’s an amazing talent, incredible versatility in his singing, songwriting and his honest enthusiasm is infectious. Ken just keeps getting better and better as an artist and entertainer which will become obvious to the listener in these new releases,” exclaimed Tony Cottrill, Lonely Dog Productions and The DAWg Houze.

All of Ken’s music is available for streaming on
 SpotifyApple Music and download on Google PlayAmazon Music and iTunes.

Stay current with Ken Wilber on his website on social media platforms FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

About Ken Wilber:
Ken Wilber was born in Oneonta, NY on October 29th, 1980. His earliest musical influences were Conway Twitty, Merle Haggard, George Jones and Johnny Cash. His family remembers him at a young age staring at the records as they played, trying to understand the music he heard. Ken learned to sing by trying to emulate the people he heard on the recordings and would keep at it, until he could copy every little inflection of the vocal performance. In high school Ken discovered his second love, theater. He made his theatrical debut at the age of 14 in a high school production of “Fame.”  The band Fly By Nite was formed with Ken as lead singer where they played locally every weekend at a local watering hole called “Babcocks.”  Fly by Nite played together for a little over ten years, before dissolving in 2012. Ken Also sang with the southern rock Group J.D. Mistress.  Ken was brought in by guitar player Rich Rogers.  He played with them for about six months, where they played several dates locally and had the opportunity to open for Molly Hatchet and Blackfoot in Albany, NY. After Fly By Nite dissolved, Ken and Kerry Fallot set out to begin writing and arranging music for Ken’s first album “Rollin’ My Own,” and the album was completed in 2017. Ken had the opportunity to play country music Legend Hank Williams in a local theatrical production of “Hank Williams: Lost Highway.”  Tony Cottrill mastered the first project and shortly after the mastering was completed, Tony contacted Ken to come to Nashville to record a demo session for Sonny LeMaire of Exile fame. As a result of the demo sessions, Ken decided to record his second album in Nashville in October 2018. New music to be released soon, recorded in Nashville, TN at Ocean Way studio and produced by Tony Cottrill and Sonny LeMaire. 

Amazing Apps: Gibson Guitar


Experience the world of Gibson in the palm of your hand. Explore the new Gibson App, today on iOS App Store and Android Google Play.
Whether you are a beginner looking to learn how to play the guitar or an expert needing guitar inspiration, most guitarists must ‘connect their own dots’ across a wide array of tools, learning platforms, and connections to find their favorite songs and artistsUntil now. Today, Gibson launches the epic new Gibson App with the perfect balance of innovation, information, and inspiration for guitarists at all levels. The Gibson App comes complete with a versatile guitar tuner, an innovative learning method, and an awesome selection of songs to jam along with to bring learning to another level. And it does not stop there… Gibson also connects the essentials together with the new Gibson App by adding the award-winning Gibson TV channel, the impressive Virtual Guitar Tech service, and a direct connection to
At the center of the new Gibson App is the game-changing, disruptive technology of Audio Augmented Reality (AR). Developed in partnership with Zoundio, a music technology company based in Stockholm, Sweden, the Gibson App uses AR to interact with players for a two-way, engaging, interactive, and immersive guitar-learning experience that until now, did not exist. The AR responds to and then directs the player, turning the guided step-by-step lessons guitar lessons into an easy, empowering, and fun experience. All you need to get started is the Gibson App, an acoustic or electric guitar, and your favorite pair of headphones.

From beginner to pro guitarist, the Gibson App covers electric and acoustic guitar players, in multiple genres and styles. Players learn how to keep lessons short and set an effective guitar practice schedule to meet their goals. New features are added to the Gibson App every month; start a Free trial today, on iOS App Store and Android Google Play.


Follow a mobile learning program from anywhere in the world the basics to advanced guitar-playing skills. With step-by-step guidance, adding one finger and one skill at a time, you will always have the optimal conditions for learning guitarNever too hard, and never too easy - just right for you. Learn at your own pace and track your progress. The interactive lessons turn each learning step into an immersive and motivating experience. The Audio-Augmented Reality (AR) technology listens to you play and gives you feedback in real-time.
Even if you are brand new at guitar, you will have a great time playing. Each lesson has multiple genres of music, so choose the genre you like the most. All lessons are developed by expert guitar teachers.


Learn to play or jam to songs from some of the greatest guitarists in history, including Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Tom Petty, Dolly Parton, Santana, Aerosmith, Billie Eilish, The Beatles, Foo Fighters, Thin Lizzy, and many more. From famous songs, to riffs, and guitar solos, each song is adjusted to your skill level, so you always get the optimal challenge when learning; and we are always adding new songs.


The built-in tuner supports standard tuning and loads of alternative tuning options, including chromatic tuning. Choose between automatic string detection or manual. If you are a beginner, there is a “how to tune” video that will guide you.

Guitars. Music. Culture.
Watch Gibson TV, the iconic, American guitar maker’s first-ever, award-winning, worldwide online network--features original series from the world’s best storytellers. Watch, learn, get inspired.


Shop from the online store for Gibson, Epiphone, and Kramer instruments, as well as Gibson Brands official apparelgear and accessories.


Virtual Guitar Tech Service - get a FREE one-on-one consultation with a Gibson Brands pro guitar tech. Make a live, virtual appointment at the click of a button and players will receive a free, personalized, one-on-one real-time video conference call with a Gibson instrument technician covering a variety of basic guitar tune-up and maintenance tasks.






About Gibson:
Gibson, the leading iconic guitar brand, has shaped the sounds of generations of musicians and music lovers across genres for 127 years. Founded in 1894 and headquartered in Nashville, Gibson Brands has a legacy of world-class craftsmanship, legendary music partnerships, and progressive product evolution that is unrivaled among musical instrument companies. The Gibson Brands portfolio includes Gibson, the leading guitar brand, as well as many of the most beloved and recognizable music brands, including Epiphonewhich has been on every stage since 1873,

Book Nook: We Had Fun in Quarantine

 While author Lacey J. Heinz, a former teacher, was homeschooling her preschool age son during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, she began writing a story with him about things they were doing during quarantine to pass the time. Friends with illustrator Hannah Moore since middle school, they had always wanted to collaborate on a children’s book together and finally had the motivation and time to do so.

Their delightful and relatable new children’s picture book “We Had Fun in Quarantine” chronicles the wonderful quality time with family the pandemic has created, amongst the tragedy, to demonstrate the beautiful moments that have also come from it. As told from the perspective of the child, the story highlights the joy and gratitude that can be found in the simple things in life such as baking treats, playing toy trains, building forts and more. The book also allows space for readers to document and make a time capsule of things they did as well to have fun during quarantine.


“Hannah and I wanted to showcase how there are blessings all around us, even in a global pandemic,” said Heinz. “Quarantine is difficult for many, especially hungry kids, which is why we have teamed up with No Kid Hungry to donate a portion of our proceeds to ensure kids will remember the blessings and fun they had in quarantine, despite the hard times that may have befallen them.”


The colorful illustrations and catchy rhythm of the story will help capture the imagination of children and make parents laugh as they recall the challenges and fun they had in quarantine with their little ones.


Available through AmazonBarnes & Nobleand Archway Publishing


About the Author

Lacey J. Heinz is a reading enthusiast. Her love of reading was cultivated by her mother at an early age. As a child, she dreamed of sharing her affinity for reading with other children and one day becoming an author. Now that dream is coming true. Heinz has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Reading from Central Washington University. In 2018, she received a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from University of Washington; Tacoma Campus. Heinz lives in Puyallup, Washington, with her husband and two children, who were the inspiration for this story.


About the Illustrator

Hannah Moore has been drawing since she could hold a pencil and learned how to paint from her mother who is a watercolor artist. An avid reader and storyteller as well, she began creating and illustrating her own stories for fun at a young age. Eventually, her love of books and art would lead her to double major in Graphic Design and Creative Writing at Western Washington University. Moore lives in Seattle, Washington, where she is a Graphic Designer by day and an aspiring novelist by night.