2015 — 6 October: Tuesday

Still wet? Check. Any brighter? Not that you'd notice, no. Any "outdoor" errands today? Not if I can help it1 though fresh food is running a little low. Just keep checking for signs of scurvy...

Tomorrow? Dentist, followed by a walk in the doubtless-by-then glorious sunshine.

It's oddly comforting...

... to discover2 that I've been but one of half a million people experiencing similar hassles in the last three years. I was unaware of this simple trick with the right shift key to summon the Grub menu from the Abyss in this fraught situation...

Facing the abyss

... before going on to add that vital NOMODESET parameter that I first used on Mint 17.1 with my nVIDIA card.

When fitting the ATI graphics card to my Mint 17.2 system, the only really tricky bit turned out to be intercepting the boot process quickly enough (so I could disable the motherboard graphics in the BIOS).

As a writer, and...

... pushing aside any question of the continued legitimacy of my claim to that status (given the glaring absence3 of payment), I am still interested in how other writers work. Those that toil in the fields of fiction clearly have something4 I do not. I've been re-reading "Sidelines", a collection of talks and essays by Lois McMaster Bujold. She's an excellent writer whom Peter discovered several years before he got me to try her work. Here, she touches on matters of "Dialect and Dialogue" that never once furrowed my brow while I was dealing with mundane computer programming:

One runs into limits as a writer, and sometimes one has to just give up and go with the standard English that one's readers can parse, or be stripped of words altogether. The world of Chalion, for example, never had the medical theory of the four humours, nor much of our medieval astronomical (or alchemical) terminology, but I still use such words as choleric or sanguine or saturnine for that world; they have the proper archaic flavor.
I am at best a toddler-writer in these matters. In Tom Shippey's book JRR Tolkien: Author of the Century, he has a wonderful analysis of the Council of Elrond identifying something like 23 different nested dialogue styles, each with distinct vocabularies and grammar. But that's Tolkien.

Date: 2006

Having just dragged out Volume #1 of the trilogy and re-read that chapter, I wouldn't dare disagree.

Ghastly weather...

... is also excruciatingly boring. Grrr. [Pause] This chap's story is very much not boring:

Jeremy Hutchinson

Stephenie Meyer...

... has added a gender-swapped partial re-write as "bonus content" to the 10th anniversary edition of "Twilight". Personally, I'd prefer to see her complete "Midnight Sun". Here's what I said to Carol when I'd first read it:

May I recommend either or both the book and the film "Twilight" to you? I found it utterly enchanting, which is a bit odd given how far away I must be from the intended target demographic. Stephenie Meyer's four books have sold 42,000,000 copies since 2005 or so...

Date: 29 July 2009



1  Hibernation sounds good at the moment.
2  As the oft-predicted "Year of Linux on the Desktop" lurches ever nearer.
3  Apart from today's very welcome pension, which will shortly be put to good use offsetting today's need to rely on an equally welcome, but perhaps over-simple, sausage sandwich lunch in the face of today's heavy rain.
4  Masochistic streaks, perhaps?