thursday randomosity.

  • I wonder if the guy at Palm who decided to cancel the Foleo is kicking himself right now (or has other folks kicking him.)  The Foleo was a planned ultraportable that would have placed Palm six months ahead of the netbook wave kicked off by the Asus Eee.  The specs (flash memory and storage, Linux OS, 10″ LCD, built-in WiFi and Bluetooth) would have been right in line with current netbook specs…and those things are selling extremely well right now in the economic downturn.
  • I found some really nice paper at Staples: bagasse paper, made of sugarcane waste.  The sheets are thin and smooth, and they hold fountain pen ink extremely well.  The feel of it reminds me a little of onionskin paper, and I like the light brown lines, which are less obtrusive than the blue lines and red margins of the standard writing pads.  Staples sells it as “eco-friendly paper” (their salespeople usually have no idea what “bagasse” is), and it comes with brown cardboard-looking wrappers that say “sugarcane-based” in front.  They’re $1.99 for a two-pack of 50-sheet writing pads, so they’re a bit more expensive than the Staples pads, but the paper is brighter and much more smooth than the cheap wood pulp variety.
  • I haven’t been in a gun shop in a year and a half.  My ballistic toolbox has been completely static, with no new acquisitions, and nothing sold off or traded.  As a side effect of my lack of gun money, I’ve gotten really good with the stuff I have.
  • I finally had a chance to watch a few movies that have been in my queue for a while: Iron Man and Casino Royale.  Verdict: I love the new Bond and the franchise reboot away from the corny 007.  The new Bond is a rough-around-the-edges killer, and Daniel Craig is pretty freaking awesome.  Iron Man was fun, too, mainly because of Robert Downey Jr.’s performance.  The man may be a recovering cokehead, but he plays a great Tony Stark.  I especially loved the all-out Arrogant Playboy Genius phase before his conversion.
  • When your work involves sitting down with a pen in hand for several hours a day, try not to use a slicing mandolin to slice onions without the little safety carrier.  The safety device is there to keep you from cutting the shit out of the tip of your thumb, and you won’t have to try and produce legible writing with a heavily Band-Aided thumb on your writing hand.  Just sayin’, is all.
  • I’ll be at the Northeast Blogger Early Spring Meet in Saugus, MA, on March 22nd, to try out that “socializing” thing that seems to be all the rage these days.  This is despite the fact that Saugus is in a Victim Disarmament Zone, and that I’ll have to leave Messrs. Smith and Wesson at home altogether because even bringing them into MA in a locked case in my trunk would be a dreadful offense.  On the plus side, the Hilltop Steakhouse on Route 1 is pretty good, and Ambo Driver will be there as well, so there’s that.

Well, that’s my exciting Thursday.  I have to iron out some stuff that really needed to be ironed out before getting all the way to Chapter 19, because now it’s kind of stopping my workflow.  I’ll have to spend some time tonight hammering out the kinks in the denouement.  The writing life, it’s full of glamour and riches.  (Whoops…you’ll need to excuse me.  Jeeves bumped the Bentley into the Money Bin again.  Gotta go.)


9 thoughts on “thursday randomosity.

  1. Joe Allen says:

    If you enjoyed RDJ in Iron Man, check out “Kiss,Kiss, Bang, Bang” Shane Black’s directorial debut. A great noir thriller/black comedy it strongly shows off the abilities of Downey and costar Val Kilmer.

  2. Jay G. says:

    Err, don’t worry about the status of Saugus.

    Just sayin’, is all…

    Glad you can make it, Marko. Looking forward to chatting with you again!

  3. ChrisB says:

    I much preferred the unrepentant Tony Stark as well, Downey Jr. is an acting genius, his part in Tropic Thunder is one of the best displays of pure acting that I’ve ever seen, you get absolutely get lost in the character and forget there’s a guy playing him.

    I also love the new spin on Bond, apparently Brosnan wanted to take the franchise in that direction when he was hired but the higher ups wanted to stay the course. Brosnan was awesome as a killing machine in Seraphim Falls, one of the more underrated movies out there.

  4. bagasse paper? how ironic.

    my first real job as a young father from age 18-24 was operating the steam turbines that powered the giant mills that ground the juice from 30 boxcar loads of sugar cane per hour into the stiff, dry, stringy “waste” product called bagasse…and it’s not pronounced delicately, by the way, like b’gahs…it’s bag ass, by gosh.

    conveyors carried the stuff out of the mill, through a long tunnel where the air hung heavy with bagasse dust; some of it diverted as fuel into the boiler burners of the onsite steam generation plant which produced the steam that powered the turbines, the juice evaporators, filters, cooking pans, and even the power plant that provided enough electric for the mill and a surplus to sell into the power grid…truly a self contained operation.

    the remainder of the bagasse was stockpiled and trucked to a nearby quaker oats plant that compressed and processed it with additives into animal feed; more recently into gasohol…and quite a few packaging and paper products incorporate the stuff, though maybe none other with the elegance of the paper that you, mw, will use as the canvas for your art.

    the irony? that this industry which has been on the cutting edge of “green”, recycling everything and wasting nothing, has for many years been the focus of “environmentalists” who demonized it for pollution (the addition of nutrients) of the water which flows into lake okeechobee and ultimately the everglades. not to mention that the natural primary product, pure cane sugar, has been equally (and mostly it turns out wrongly) castigated by that other group of dogooders, nutritionists. so now u.s. sugar, the company that i worked for and the largest producer in the country, has been forced to idle and dismantle the giant mill where i worked, selling it for reassembly where else? central america where we will now outsource even more of what we need to live. and the rest of the company, the other mill in nearby clewiston along with hundreds of thousands of acres of the most productive farmland in the country, and the company’s own private railroad system, are being offered to the state (that would be us moneyed taxpayers), to put to pasture as it were, ostensibly to act as cleansing filters for the everglades, but more likely to ensure a water source for the hive of humanity that is south florida.

    i’ll never get used to how often and how badly we injure ourselves in the name of and at the behest of self-anointed and misguided individuals and groups who just know that we need them to protect us from ourselves, and in this case denying ourselves and our decaying economy one of its greatest, most self-sustainable, and non-wasteful natural resources…and that lovely paper you wrote of, mw.

    the irony…


  5. LJ says:

    Bagasse is commonly used (well, commonly in Barbados) as bedding for horses stalls. I wasn’t aware you could make paper out of it!

  6. perlhaqr says:

    The man may be a recovering cokehead, but he plays a great Tony Stark.

    I think it’s “The man plays a great Tony Stark because he’s a recovering cokehead.” Just sayin’.

  7. Phil says:

    I stay the crap away from those mandolin slicers. Never used one, never will. Won’t have one in my kitchen. Sure, they’re useful, but my parents named theirs the “Whack-Dangit” for a reason. Both of them lopped off their thumbtips within a couple weeks of each other when they got theirs.

    To hell with those slicers. I don’t need to cut myself with one, I’m not emo.

  8. Strikethru says:

    Going to have to check out this bagasse paper.

  9. Evan Price says:

    I read you pretty regularly and happened upon the little bit about your Thursday mandolin incident…
    Even though it was midnite (I work 3rd shift) I had to call my wife at home to share- you see, that same Thursday, my beloved wife was making a casserole for supper and was using her mandolin to slice some onions- and she couldn’t find the little safety handle- and the now well-known outcome resulted- in this case, lacerations to the thumb and index finger both.
    In her case it was particularly disadvantageous, because she is a veterinarian- do you have any idea how hard it is to get on surgical gloves or feel instruments in surgery with Band-Aids on your thumb & index finger?

    Thanks for a great blog.

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