vesuvian

What “About” should say

In Uncategorized on October 1, 2009 at 5:25 pm

It’s about communications, wireless, rutchies in schnee, hex signs, the Hollywood sign, the Pagoda, Mount Wilson Observatory, the Goggle Works, the Armory Center for the Arts, and a lot more.

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Hooking and talking

In Uncategorized on October 1, 2009 at 5:21 pm

Two big events coming up today: a visit to the knitting shop for a crochet lesson (!) and a trip to the caregivers’ group at the Wellness Community. The former is educational and entertaining; the latter is to help me cope. The post-caregivers’ group reward is a trip to Gelson’s supermarket on the way home.

Crochet has been challenging. I’m not certain exactly how to hold the hook and how to drape the yarn over my left hand and how to grasp it by the middle finger and thumb as I build the chain.  Is that a metaphor for something?  The goal is to be able to make enough squares to make an afghan.  It seems possible if I count stitches and learn to turn a row.  I am told that there’s an “aha!” moment in which you “get” what the hook has to do and where it has to go through muscle memory.  It means a lot of practice.

I’m supposed to be reading The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón.  It’s slow-going.  From about page 10, it read like a Dickens novel – and Great Expectations was the one in mind – and 40 pages later, the protagonist receives a copy of … wait for it … Great Expectations which subsequently he reads nine times before receiving a brutal beating from his father.  I have been told* that the author is “magical”.  So far reading about a child getting two teeth knocked out doesn’t impress me.

So why am I supposed to be reading this?  I have been told to lead a reading group monthly, and the readers pick the books.  I have no problems with the participants selecting the books that the group is supposed to read.  I strenuously object to having to read a 400-page – or more – novel in my spare time when there are serious issues going on in my private life which makes difficult any sustained concentration on something which has subject matter which I find distasteful.

However, there are summaries and book talk question pages which I can use – and find answers to the questions I read without reading the entire book.  All I need to do is preside.

Here, these may help:

http://bestsellers.about.com/od/bookclubquestions/a/angels_game_q.htm; http://www.readinggroupguides.com/guides_A/the_angels_game1.asp

I like the second one more because it has a short summary of the book and it doesn’t ask us to rate the book from 1 to 5.

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* There’s an editing feature which identifies passive voice so that I can keep my writing clean and straightforward.  There are times when hiding the actor through passive voice is a deliberate move to keep people anonymous.

Toe into the water

In Uncategorized on September 30, 2009 at 11:22 pm

National Novel Writing Month is coming.  There, I’ve said it.  I’ll be writing a novel of at least 50,000 words in a month beginning in 31.25 days.  The website, for those who care to investigate, is nanowrimo.org.

I wonder if I can edit this remotely, meaning do a post electronically, then e-mail it directly to WordPress?  I’m looking for opportunities to blog while enjoying myself while away from a standard computer.  Naturally, I intend to do anything I add to this or change on it on my own time, as I have to be as pure as Caesar’s wife (even though I am a man, the cliché applies).  OH – my computer accepts “cliche”, but not as spelled with an accent.  Damn.  Well, the OS has only just got the President’s name added to the dictionary as of the operating system’s x.y.DOT ONE version.  He’s only been the president for nine months, so one would think the earlier two iterations would have included his name.  It’s a right-wing conspiracy, I tell you.

Anyway, back to NaNoWriMo.  It works out to about 1,250 words a day, or five to six double-space, typewritten pages with standard borders and 12-point Courier type.  I have an application, Scrivener, which was designed for writers, and provides a clean screen and word count.  It’s apparently the right environment as well as an inexpensive solution to the issue of sorting story ideas, plot lines, and back stories.

Mount Wilson and Mount Harvard

I received a very flattering, and hopefully accurate, recommendation on LinkedIn yesterday.  I admit that I am subject to both flattery and praise, and one of my major drawbacks is that sometimes I can’t distinguish between the two.  Because they both feed my feelings of self-worth, I accept them equally.  However, as I’ve aged – well past the half-century mark now – I am somewhat more discerning.  I’m also very hungry now.

It’s a red-flag warning day.  I’ve got a picture of Mt. Wilson to share high above the Angeles National Forest.  This hasn’t burned much – that part I can see clearly in the photo, anyway – and is at risk in the next two days because of high winds.  Fire is more frightening to me than earthquake.

An added benefit of this picture is that it gives an idea of what the neighborhood looks like.  It’s a nice street, and only this past week, one street to the south, some team from The Industry was filming at a private residence.  I saw an actor dressed as a letter carrier with pith helmet walking past the camera.  All very different from Pennsylvania.