On skimming

Jen L just posted a comment (on one of my recent Facebook posts) about the difficulty of giving up on a book that one is reading, and I’ve brought up skimming in various conversations with Mary Anne recently, so it occurred to me to write about my approach to skimming in a bit more detail. […]

On character obstacles

In fiction, it’s common for characters to face obstacles, which they often overcome with great difficulty. One of the problems that I often run into when I’m writing fiction is coming up with obstacles that are both (a) difficult to overcome, and (b) not impossible to overcome. So I’m wondering if any of y’all have […]

Foucault’s Pendulum

My which-book-next randomizer led me to Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum, which has been sitting unread on my shelf for years. The back-cover description is intriguing—it says the book is about three editors who have read too many conspiracy theories and who develop one of their own for fun, using “an incredible computer capable of inventing […]

1Password and pricing

The password-management app 1Password switched from a pay-once model to a subscription model a while back. But it turns out that if you want to buy a license, you still can; the company has decided not to prominently display that option, but it’s still available. To purchase a pay-once version for the Mac, for instance, […]

Cylinder seals, ancient and modern

I was labeling photos just now of ancient cylinder seals, and it occurred to me that cylindrical rubber stamps might be fun for modern crafting. Turns out that I was not, of course, the first person to think of that. Here are some links. A couple of pages suggest using foam stickers on a cylinder, […]

One voice lifts another

Our flight arrives at the gate over an hour late. Flight attendant asks us to let people through who have tight connections. As soon as the seatbelt lights go off, 3/4 of the passengers stand up and clog the aisle. Two fairly small passengers try to push through, a white woman and a black woman. […]

George’s 1980 anniversary letter

In my digitizing-family-history files, I have a fair number of text pieces written by or to my paternal grandparents, George and Helen Hartman. At some point, I may create another blog for that material; but for now, I’ll post one particular letter here. This one was a handwritten two-page note from George to Helen, on […]

Season 5 of ST:TNG starts out strong

Tonight, Kam and I watched the first three eps of season 5 of ST:TNG: “Redemption,” part 2, featuring the surprise appearance of a certain new Romulan character (we remembered her, and had been awaiting her arrival for some time, but we had both forgotten a big important piece of her backstory). (She also appeared very […]

Updates

Wow, it’s been over a month since I last posted here. Not gonna try to post about everything I’ve been up to during that time. But here’s some of what I did this weekend: Read or skimmed or evaluated-and-discarded five books. (And continued reading two or three others that I’m in the middle of.) My […]

In the Heights

Last night, I saw In the Heights at Woodminster Amphitheater in Joaquin Miller Park in the Oakland hills. Produced by Woodminster Summer Musicals, “Oakland's Broadway in the Redwoods Since 1967.” It was great. Highly recommended. There’s another performance tonight, and four more next Thursday through Sunday, if you’re interested. I listened to the recording of […]

Sleepiness update

As I’ve mentioned in various contexts, for the past month or so I’ve been sleepy almost all the time, regardless of how much sleep I’ve had. For the first couple weeks, I guessed it was a stress issue. But most of the biggest stresses got resolved, and I’m still sleepy. Saturday night, I got nine […]