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I have spent the last few weeks contemplating the future of this blog and ultimately the direction of my life.

As an outlet this blog has been indispensable for me. It really wasn’t so much what I published that you saw here as it was what was never seen by anyone but me. It was those posts, the more personal ones, that made me spend hours writing and revising and writing some more. Finding my freedom within myself that I am unable to find anywhere else.

July 4th stands for freedom for many Americans.

It is also the day Henry David Thoreau – whom I named my son after – began his walk of freedom that culminated in the essays published in Walden.

It is also the day my grandfather took his own life; finding his own freedom.

So this July 4th, 2011 I have decided to try to find my own, here. In order to do so I have taken it all down to allow for a fresh start.

Some of what I wrote will likely resurface rewritten, but most is no long relevant and will remain removed and forgotten.

It is the experience of writing that allows me to continue growing.

To find my own special freedom.

It is that experience that I must continue to nurture.

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7/5/11 – The information on Free Amazon Prime for faculty and students is still valid and often accessed here. I will recheck for any changes that have been made to the program this week.

Update (8/15/2010) – A lot of you guys have been coming here wondering if the Amazon Student program that provides free Amazon Prime is also available for faculty. The prerequisite for membership is an .edu address. While Amazon does calls it a “Student” program I find it hard to believe that they would not allow the teachers to also benefit from such a kick ass program. If any educator or faculty member does find this to be not allowed please let me know, but I just don’t see that being a problem.

Update (8/26/2010) – I have received a couple of emails stating that Amazon Student or Amazon Prime doesn’t mean free shipping. Well, nothing is 100% people! Amazon typically has a number of items that don’t qualify as a general rule – textbooks being one of them, but keep in mind not all books required by teachers are considered textbooks by Amazon – also you have to make sure during check out you select the free shipping method. Sometimes the items are defaulted to a method that costs money, however you can almost always change that to the free Prime shipping, unless it is an excluded item.

I have always been an Amazon.com fan boy. Now it’s worse, I am a Amazon Student fan boy too. I’ve admitted it, now let’s move on.

Back when the economy was better, before the recession turned overgrown, overpriced communities into suburbia’s new take on Habit for Humanity – “Now under new management! Foreclosures for Squatters ™” – back when I had a job, and so did many other people that don’t – we spent money; I spent it, sometimes often. I bought so much and so often that I sold off my extras on EBay. Even when I had that innocuous disposable income I reveled in, I still held true to the teachings of my youth and that basic economic principle that any broke dick pot smoking college student holds dear – don’t get high on your own supply!

Copy editor notes- I believe the actual message you are trying to get across was to keep 1, and sell 3 so that financially your share of the bulk purchase would be free or even profitable. The mentioning that you were a “broke dick pot smoking college student” implies that you were smoking and therefore you had to “get high on your own supply”. Logic dictates that to be in need of edit.hookah

Note to self – Logic dictates that the copy editor needs that hookah I saw for Christmas.

Anyway, there a lot of sites out there that you can get great deals on and more pop up all the time. However, the profit margins dwindled just like the economy and the buyers disappeared just like the bankers. So I stopped that, but I still keep my eyes out for deals – if I am going to cook like a pro its KaTom.com – Restaurant, Foodservice, and Residential Kitchen Supplies, if I have a hankering for 10 lbs. of Jelly Belly Candy Corn, I know where to go for that too. However, if you sort through my receipts you will see an indisputable champion in Amazon compared to anyone else, though I will give Woot.com their deserved props – for a time they were the obvious winner, I guess since they were getting their ass kicked these days it was better to just sell out and become just another bunch of inconsequential minions working for the river.

Amazon’s newest strategy, Amazon Student, goes hand in hand with my own. With only one more year left on both of my degrees I fully intend to bury my head in books and following the example our leaders have chosen and ignore any proof of this so called recession, carry on business as usual, and just ignore the fact that this week we will reach 2.5 million unemployed citizens that have run out of benefits. None of that matters because as a student you get FREE SHIPPING! That’s sweet AND moist I tell ya.

So all you have to do is go to Amazon Student and sign up with an .edu email address. That’s a $79 value last I checked and I have had it since its inception and it gives you free 2 day shipping all year round. After I signed up today they even refunded me the remaining balance of my current Amazon Prime subscription due to my very low use this year. Kudos Amazon! Seriously, find me a company that does that – offered me a program to join for free and then instead of adding my free “student year” to the end of what I had already paid they refunded me without my prodding, without my asking, without my begging. They just sent me an email and told me they did it. Seriously, wtf? Are they trying to go out of business? First they start throwing away money to buy Woot and now they are giving it away so that I can have free shipping. And people thought everybody getting health insurance was a big deal! I can’t even get in to my doctor’s office as fast as Amazon can ship me my meds! Now that’s progressive.

So if you are a student and you do not sign up for the new Amazon Student program you too will join the elite ranks of the stupid people.

If you are not a student it is still worth considering for the upcoming holiday season alone – you or you and your family will be buying presents of some sort right? Even if not for anyone else but for your own personal gluttonous needs; I know I take advantage of the year end sales every year and continue to buy more shit I don’t need, it is the American way.

As a student you need to also check out Amazon’s best deals on textbooks. I probably buy half my books there and they are undoubtedly the best spot for EBooks, which I covered earlier – Amazon still remains competitive after all these years and I am confident in the end Kindle as an EBook choice will remain the best option, but for now stick with your own device and just buy the books you want or need at the cheapest prices, and normally that is Amazon.

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