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1 April 2007
extra senses, anyone?
iPod Playlist: 2007-04-01 Shuffle.
2 April 2007
Many, many, MANY takeoffs of the SimpleBits logo. I love 4/1.
J.R.R. Tolkien worked on the story of Túrin Turambar for most of his life; started in 1918, it was one of the great labors of his mythology. It is also one of the most solidly depressing, unhappy tales I have ever had the pleasure to read.
Merrystar hates it. She endured all of the prose and verse versions that appeared throughout the History Of Middle-Earth and found none with redeeming value. I don’t hate it quite as passionately, but (oh, the truth is hard) I haven’t read all of them. I slogged through the Unfinished Tales version instead, which was as ‘final’ a version as we could come to expect.
Until now, of course. Christopher Tolkien, he who has shouldered so many of his father’s burdens, completed the Narn i Chîn Húrin. It will be released soon as The Children of Húrin.
I always considered it a small tragedy that Tolkien spent so much time polishing this story while leaving The Fall of Gondolin essentially untouched. The promise seen in Of Tuor and His Coming To Gondolin will never been realized like that of Of Túrin Turambar; the story would have to be spun from whole cloth, something that Christopher has (wisely?) chosen not to do.
(Among the other Tolkienean tragedies I mourn:
- the third (and last) version of Galadriel’s journey to Middle-Earth and subsequent ban never making it into the rewritten mythology,
- the dearth of narrative near the end of the Silmarillion (especially about Dior and Elwing’s brothers),
- the omission of the events of Fëanor’s Shibboleth,
- Glorfindel’s return from the Halls of Mandos.
I leave Celeborn’s parentage as an unsatisfying mystery, but hardly a tragedy.)
I will, of course, purchase this book in numerous editions and read it as soon as it comes out. It’s been 11 years since Christopher Tolkien published the last book of the History of Middle Earth, and you better believe I’m ready for more.
But I reserve the right to be depressed after reading it.
- Daylight Savings Time.
- Diacritics in HTML ëncoding.
- Chicken McNuggets.
- Beach traffic on I-95.
- Daylight Savings Time (again).
3 April 2007
I too am surprised at how detailed this entry is.
4 April 2007
Jury’s still out on the effects. Methodology is important here.
“MOE = 1/sqrt(N) where N is the number of survey responses.”
The lens list is impressive.
Each apartment also gets its own apple tree.
Unqualified recipies. Wing selection is paramount.
While, in general, I do not condone the new style of writing, I must say:
OMG, d00d. 1040 Schedule D is teh sux0r.
That is all.
5 April 2007
Some recently updated reports from the Congressional Research Service that have not been made readily available to the public include the following (all pdf).
“Your home or office WiFi network may be even less secure than you think. Researchers have now shown that they can break 104-bit WEP, a common 802.11b/g/n security mechanism, in as little as one or two minutes.” Probably time to move to WPA.
7 April 2007
Scene from this morning:
Her: Good morning! We have a surprise for you!
Trip: Mahning! Dada!
Me, groggy: Wha?
Her: <opens shades and points outside>
Me: What the … ?
Indeed, there was snow. Lots of snow.
We had about an inch fall last night, and another inch or so this morning.
The air was cold this morning.
Don’t get me wrong; we still went out for our Saturday morning walk downtown. We just walked quickly. Even Trip admitted it was cold.
(It’s melting out there now, but is expected to freeze over again tonight. Bring your plants in.)
“Goog-411 can be accessed by dialing 1-800-GOOG-411.”
Stories by Miranda July, told on the top of appliances. No, really. Click through to the end. There will be oatmeal.
8 April 2007
“Below are some key quotes that outline how anyone can become the dancin’-est, truckin’-est, surfin’-est tough guy on the block. How to be, in essence, “The Swayze.”“
So *that’s* how they do it.
“Hello. My name is David Byrne, and I’m going to do an introduction to PowerPoint.”
I recently called this, “be the duck.”
Not of fan of GTD, the cult. But a fan of 37Signals.
10 April 2007
It’s always nice to see this in print.
11 April 2007
Take note and use the sample letter.
12 April 2007
13 April 2007
Sometimes, you need the screen to go blank quickly. Other times, not so much.
This comes close to my reaction to The Da VInci Code, too.
Bringing things back to normal with CSS.
It’s loaded with matches and Peeps. Oh, yes.
14 April 2007
The Comeback Kid, Star Turtles, and self-righting polyhedrals.
15 April 2007
I live in a town without billboards. It’s really quite nice.
It is very likely there will be numbers used instead of words.
17 April 2007
New iPod Playlist: 2007-04-17 Shuffle.
I found that I’ve been getting bored of late with the songs in rotation on the shuffle; many are duplicated on Merrystar’s iPod, and they needed to take a break. (Bands with heavy representation were especially tiresome.)
So I trashed about 70 of the 133 tracks and added in a lot of new stuff from 3hive and free iTunes Tuesday tracks. Jury’s still out on a lot of the downloads, but the change of pace is certainly refreshing.
18 April 2007
19 April 2007
Uses about 3-4 watts more than a black screen.
20 April 2007
“There’s a simple rule of thumb: Every ten minutes of commuting results in ten per cent fewer social connections. Commuting is connected to social isolation, which causes unhappiness.”
(In other words, it’s not real.)
21 April 2007
I am really quite pleased to have YAH back from the shop.
This time, I took her to Ebby’s Auto Painting & Collision Repair (757-220-0695) and they did a great job with her. Their good reputation in town is justly deserved.
Best of all? She was clean when I picked her up.
It’s the little things that matter.
“People had more money, and in the cities at least, more goods were available, including candles and lamps. People began staying up later with the better lighting, and many of them didn’t have to get up so early in the morning anymore.”
22 April 2007
Several different methods and graphs. Neat!
Slow down and focus. Or was it focus and speed up? I forget.
23 April 2007
An American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis) perches on a feeder in front of a flowering dogwood.
A Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor), moments before flight.
One of several white-and-yellow Daffodils (Narcissus) in our front bed.
Photo by Merrystar.
A young Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) poses in the nor’easter rain in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Photo by Merrystar.
Two of Colonial Williamsburg’s horsemen make ready for yesterday’s Dragoon training.
Dragoons are perhaps unfairly maligned because of their name’s similarity to Dragons — they are mounted infantrymen, usually armed with sword and musket/carbine.
Many of the horses who participated in Saturday’s training had never had military training before, so there was some uncertainty on the trainer’s part as to how the afternoon would go.
25 April 2007
Good overview of remote storage solutions, among other things. The GE contract will certainly help Mozy’s infrastructure.
26 April 2007
I’m in yr X, Ying your Z.
Radar! Songbirds! Hitchcock!
27 April 2007
Yesterday, Merrystar surprised me with a copy of The Children of Húrin.
And you know what? I take it back.
Well, some of it, anyway.
I read it from cover to cover last night and was neither depressed nor disappointed. The story of Túrin Turambar improves with the clear presentation within The Children of Húrin; by presenting the story by itself, without either the flow of The Silmarillion or (helpful) editorial interjections to interfere, the tale assumes a stature that it lacked in previous editions. It’s this stature that I think is why Tolkien (the senior) returned to the story again and again, and why it was a logical choice for his son to attempt to complete first.
If anything, it makes me wonder if The Silmarillion was a mistake in presentation, as each chapter jumps in both focus and detail and no one story stands out. Images are lost in the welter. I have a few strong images burned in my memory from that book, but none of them were of Túrin. Which, ultimately, is a shame.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I still love the grand scope of the Quenta Silmarillion, the ability to move through the entire First Age and watch the threads weave in and out (and in). And ultimately, how can you assemble parts without having the whole?
But following a few threads from start to finish is rewarding, too. I think that’s why The Children of Húrin works. It starts with Húrin and ends with him, and our focus is kept upon the deeds of this unhappy family.
(Though, I must ask: why could we not hear of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin in the same fashion? Alas.)
I still, ultimately, don’t like Túrin very much. But now I can pity him, which I couldn’t before.
“What you need is a holy Sanjaya kind of anger that doesn’t stop until you’ve accomplished the job, today and all the days that come after that, until the end of your life, and that’s how you know you changed the world.”
lsof -i | grep LISTEN, of course!
“The MacGyver Badge: In which the recipient has demonstrated that his/her science communciation prowess was handy in simplifying a potentially challenging scenario.”
29 April 2007
No shots of Williamsburg this weekend. Merrystar and I instead spent Saturday up in Maryland at a wedding:
I’m normally quite shy about shooting people in public. I take plenty of pictures of my family, but not so many of strangers. That’s unfortunate, as those shots usually turn out quite well.
I confess: it was nice to be at an event where people expect you to be taking pictures of them.
I am also happy to report that everyone remembered their lines.
(Congratulations, you two!)
30 April 2007
On solving Tsiolkovsky’s swap issues.