log (2009/10/23 to 2009/10/29)

(Oh hm, look, it's Wednesday. I meant to post this last night, honest...)

Traveler's Tip o' the Day: if you're in the area of Fort Meade, Maryland, and your Hertz NeverLost™ unit suggests that you can get to the other side of the highway by taking a shortcut through the military reservation surrounding NSA Headquarters, don't believe it.

The gentlemen in charge of ensuring that random passersby do not take that particular shortcut are extremely polite and professional.

And thorough, and well-armed. *8)

So I'm semi-quasi-seriously considering moving the ol' Curvature of the Earth is Overwhelmed by Local Noise weblog here over to WordPress or Typepad or Blogger (is there still a Blogger?) or something.

It's been fun hand-coding the HTML all these years (hahaha I just realized that we've completely overlooked the Tenth Anniversary of the Weblog tsk tsk), and that's let me make some fun experiments and all, but I think I basically know HTML now, and if the weblog was on a site I could easily update from the Web, I might post to it more often (like, say, maybe as often as I post to the secret Second Life weblog over on wordpress).

On the other hand of course changing the medium (and in particular changing the way that I type into it) so significantly might change the nature of the weblog in some way, and I rather like its nature. Well, not counting the "hardly ever updated anymore, relatively speaking" part of its more recent nature.

And on the third or fourth hand, it probably wouldn't change its underlying nature all that much, because after all it would still be me typing and stuff. I could continue titling the entries with just the date, could continue making only very occasional use of pictures, could continue using (or ignoring) the Talking Place rather than these newfangled chatty "comments" things. I'm not positive that I could easily keep the same basic design and/or color scheme and/or input box; I haven't really investigated how much flexibility the free-and-hosted versions of these services offer. And at the moment at least I'm not contemplating spending any money on it.

So that's one thing I've been thinking about.

Let's see. I dunno if I mentioned that I was playing around with Blue Mars for a bit, and taking part in the Beta forum. I've pretty much lost interest in that now; the thing's been in Beta long enough that there really ought to be something interesting about it, and the forums are sort of cliquey and annoying. As a time-eater to replace it, I just today registered with "Second Citizen", a web forum frequented by various intelligent and/or funny and/or interesting Second Life denizens. Looks like it might be a good time; or I might entirely forget about it. (Or both.)

I've also been playing "Improbable Island", which is a text-based web-based game thing (you'll have to Googlify it up, 'cause I am sitting upstairs at the music school where the little boy has his bass lessons again, and there appears to be no network connection worth mentioning here). It's fun in an odd quirky way (I've destroyed the Improbability Drive twice now, once as a human and once as a Kittymorph, and now I'm shambling around as a zombie; it's that kind of game), but I also tend to forget that I'm doing it. It even had to send me email once telling me that if I didn't come back and play it soon, my account would be deleted.

The new laptop continues to be fun; being able to play all the Sims games and WoW and Second Life (with like three different viewers installed) and Blue Mars and pretty much anything else in the world from my lap is t'rif. It does get very hot, and I suspect that when I type too fast it actually generates some spurious keystrokes (rather than just me mistyping), but in general I'm quite happy with.

I do keep leaving the [expletive] power adapter at the office, which is annoying given the thing's rather brief battery life; I'll probably break down and buy another one, although it looks like it's going to cost like (wince) one hundred US$. Is that normalish (including shipping and handling) for a 19V at 6.3A power brick? Probably.

It's almost November! Time for Novel Writing! At the moment I'm considering Completely Cheating this year, and writing the novel as a sort of long poem, consisting of a bunch of chapters, most of which consist of many many (many) repetitions of one word or phrase over an' over an' over an' over, with a sort of hypnotic effect (not to mention tons of easy word-count).

This would be a cop-out in some sense, and I might not get all of the usual benefits of my November novel-writings, but it's not like I need to prove to anyone that I can do it, and it might be a fun "playing with the medium" sort of thing. And of course I could always change my mind halfway through and bring in the aliens. *8)

Marie loves the vinyl records that they keep in the old bookcase next to the phonograph. She can't read the slipcases or the labels on the records, but she has her favorites, the ones she plays most often, the ones she plays in certain moods, at certain times of day.

She identifies them by the pictures on the jackets, we assume.

Her hands are careful and sure, taking the disks out and putting them away again, moving them to and from the platter, turning the switch, placing the needle. She keeps her paints in a fixed order in their rack, but she does not impose a definite order on the records. Each one gets replaced in roughly the spot it came from on the shelf, but not always exactly. It doesn't seem to worry her.

It's an old turntable, although in this part of the hinterlands they are still relatively common. It is not hard to get parts; a new needle now and then, a new belt two or three times since Marie was old enough to change the records herself.

I wonder, watching her hands slowly, patiently, turning another graceful vase on her potter's wheel, with a Hungarian ballade playing from the speakers in the next room, if she could learn to operate an iPod, or a digital media center.

It doesn't seem, somehow, like the kind of thing she does.