friday randomosity.

  • J.D. Salinger passed away at 91.  He lived in Cornish, which is about fifteen miles from Castle Frostbite as the crow flies.  Between him and Robert B. Parker, it hasn’t been a great two weeks for the New England literature scene.
  • Obligatory geek opinionating on the Apple iPad:  it looks shiny, like everything out of Cupertino these days, and I wouldn’t turn one down if you put it in my hand, but right now I’m still trying to figure out its niche.  It’s bigger than a Kindle, less capable than a netbook or laptop, and lacks the portability of the iPhone/iPod touch.  Also, that’s a lot of glass to tote around without the benefit of a keyboard deck to protect it when it’s not in use…and if you have to tote it in a slipcase or laptop bag, you might as well carry around a netbook.  Still, I’m sure they’ll sell a hojilion of them.  I want one so I can load the Skype iPhone app on it, and then go to Starbucks and hold the thing up to my ear like a huge-ass iPhone, just to make fun of the assembled hipster brigade.   (Obligatory iPad naming joke: the max iPad will be the 27” panel off the big iMac, touch-enabled and packaged with a lovely Samsonite slip case with rollers.)
  • Two days ago, it was fifty degrees outside, and all the snow was gone from our driveway.  One heavy snow squall and one cold front later, our driveway is an Olympic ski jump again, it’s ten degrees outside, and I have two stoves going at full blast inside.  The birds outside are all like, “WTF?”
  • State of the Novel: nearing the 50% mark, on track for completion in late spring.  You sit down every day and tack on a few pages, and one day you have a completed manuscript.  Nobody ever sits down to write a novel, you sit down to write a paragraph, a page, the rest of the chapter.  It’s a long slog, but it’s the only known way to write a novel—one page at a time.
  • For someone who doesn’t care much for TV, I’m really awfully fond of that newfangled LCD televisionary device we got just after Christmas.  The old one was a steam-powered Mitsubishi that was about fifteen years old, and whose colors had started going all wonky.  The new one has input jacks for every conceivable device, and I can switch back and forth between the DVD player, the Wii, and the PC without having to switch plugs around.  I took that new Atom/ION box I got recently, and hooked it up to the TV.  Playing World of Warcraft on a 32” LCD is pretty neat, and being able to play movies right off the hard drive is nifty, too.  With the system drawing less than 30W, I have it running all the time now.  The iTunes library is shared with Home Sharing and can stream its contents to any other PC in the house via WiFi.  As an added bonus, I can use that PC as a file server for backups over the network.  Technology is pretty neat when it works.
  • Tomorrow: Dadcation Day.  For those of you just tuning in, that’s when I get to head into town for a few hours of child-free activities.  It’s my weekly sanity break—have some caffeinated beverages, write a few pages, look at stuff I can’t afford at Best Buy, that kind of thing.  Exciting, I know!  That’s the high-speed glamorous existence of the stay-at-home Writer Dad.

More later, but now I have to throw a few packs of Little Debbie snack cakes into the playroom for dinner…


10 thoughts on “friday randomosity.

  1. Tam says:

    Fearless Prediction of the trajectory of “$Apple Product” (where “$Apple Product” != “Newton”):

    1) Product is hyped to the sky before anybody’s seen one.
    2) Product is released. Mac Fanboys line up to get ass-raped at Apple stores worldwide.
    3) Cutting edge Linux-using nerds mock it mercilessly for missing features and/or compromised functionality.
    4) Mac Fanboys make tearful “Leave Britney Alone!” videos, defending their overpriced, underfunctioning tchotchkes.
    5) Six to twelve months later, Apple releases “”$Apple Product G2“, with its deficiencies corrected and the price slashed by half.
    6) Mac Fanboys howl bloody murder.
    7) Everyone buys one, or a clone of one, as another industry gets altered for good.

    And yet every time the loyal faithful can be found outside the Apple store on opening day, slightly dazed-looking, bowlegged, and holding large sums of crumpled bills in one sweaty hand and a tube of KY in the other, ready to do it all again…

  2. RevolverRob says:

    I have to admit, I’ve always loved Salinger, but I’m not super bummed about his passing (considering he hadn’t published since 1965). In fact, in one way we have lost a great American author, but by reverse maybe we will get one back. It is said that he continued to write well into the mid-90s so by my estimate there is 25-30 years of Salinger story-telling to be published by an enterprising editor, publisher, and the willingness of his children/wife to part with the words for a “modest” fee of course.

    My only question, if I am a book publisher is should you even wait for him to be put in the ground, before you start making an offer?


  3. MarkHB says:

    The only thing that could really persuade me to buy an iPad would be so I could pretend it was a TNG-era PADD. But seeing as the iPad, unlike Palms, cannot be re-skinned to look like an LCARS interface I shall have to give it a miss.

    Damn you, Jobs. Damn you for ruining my dreams.

  4. MarkHB says:

    Seriously though – if Apple had made a thing that ran Photoshop, or something similar (not Brushes, which is similar in the way a dinky toy is similar to a Ferrari GTO) and actually was pressure-sensitive, not just “Multitouch”, I’d’ve had it in a New York Minute, and pretty much anyone else who ever did any kind of graphicsy crap would have found an excuse, too.

    I would have liked that.

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