Thursday, April 19, 2018

Maybe Tighten it Up Just a Tad?


A quick observation, this. Wendy and I stopped in our favorite local Chinese restaurant today. 'Course, we always have to read our fortunes. Mine, today, could've used some trimming.

"For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them."

Perhaps this would be better: "We learn by doing."

Anyway, it's a lesson for all of us. Tighten our writing, folks. Unless you're a fortune cookie writer who gets paid by the word.

Keep writing, friends.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

A Little of This, a Little of That....


Yeah, I said I was going to split my blog in half -- one blog for writin' and readin' stuff, one for movies, TV, and maybe some tech stuff -- but it hasn't happened yet. It will, I've just been waiting for warmer weather. Not that that has anything to do with it, but I figured I'd just toss that out there.

So, I'm looking out my basement window into our backyard, and I see... sunshine. Is that gonna last? I mean, yesterday we had snow. On April 16th! Last week, on my birthday, we had snow! It's never snowed on my birthday, that I remember.

Okay, enough rambling. This post gets into a bit of writin' stuff. Namely, Fleming. Ian Fleming writin' stuff. I like some James Bond books when my attention span's short, and I want some good guys and bad guys in my reading material. Bond delivers mostly, and Diamonds are Forever has done an okay job so far. But only okay.

As usual, Mr. Fleming has some good turns of phrase, such as. Hold on, while I find it... ah, here it is. He's describing an overseas flight, and as the sun rises, Fleming says "...the sun came up over the rim of the world and bathed the cabin in blood." I like that, especially for a spy novel. That line stuck with me.

Ian has good command of the English language, has tight, punchy sentences during action sequences. But, Ian, you didn't have James doing much other than drinking (lots of drinking), gambling, and observing, until after two-thirds of the book was done. Finally, we've had some dangerous situations, some gunplay, James gets the crap beaten out of him, and now he and Tiffany Case are escaping (I think).

What's the takeaway? For me, it's a lesson in experimenting with the language, using short, potent sentences with great verbs, few adverbs. And to get some action going earlier.

Soon, I'll have the blog split in two.

Keep writing, friends.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

A Technological Horror Fable


Talking with my friend today, when we could keep the synapses operating, I was reminded of a post I was going to write about frustrations with technology. These days, our brains, as with our tech we grew up with, are a tad rusty and crusty.

Anyway, we were talking about getting rid of some of our old videotapes. He, I think, has done a better job than I (or is it 'me'?) with the culling of videotapes. I have many that I have lofty ideas about transferring to DVDs.

So, last summer, I purchased a Roxio Easy VHS to DVD (there's a '3' superscript on DVD which I can't make on this here blog, speaking of tech issues) thingy that allows me to transfer my old, dear tapes to discs. It all assumes, of course, that I have a working VCR, of which we have one remaining in the house.

I just recently got around to trying to install the software for the new beastie. I say trying because it wouldn't accept the product key on the box. So, after a trip to Staples, where I bought the thing, we found out that Roxio has been purchased by Corel. Finally, after a few emails back and forth to Corel, and photos of the receipt, the product key, and something else I can't recall (there go the brain cells I referred to earlier -- oh, just now remembered -- a screen shot of the error message), they sent an updated Corel product key, which worked. I must admit, though, that they were one of my better customer service centers I've worked with.

Ah, yes, aging technology. Not just aging, but obsolescing technology. It's becoming obsolete as we use it. I'm reminded of the Foundation trilogy by Isaac Asimov. Isaac talks about how we'll reach a stage in our technological advancement(?) where no one will be able to work on the stuff.

Welcome to the future, cowpokes.

Keep writing, friends.