Jun. 14th, 2007

prusik: Newton fractal centered at zero (Default)
The first draft of "alttrust" went pretty easily... too easily. It pretty much wrote itself. I finished it before I realized it. (Part of this is because the story ended in a different place than I had expected.) However, there were clearly stuff I needed to fix with it before I could let anyone see it. No problem, right? I then proceeded to spend the next week or so spinning my wheels. I think I've written three different openings to the story. None of them are actually an improvement to what I had in my completed first draft.

So, I'm backing out. I'm going back to my complete first draft and trying again. I thought it needed major surgery. Apparently, it just needed some polishing. (Oh, and also lots of copy editing for consistency. Contents shifted during transport.) I can write the story I had intended to write later.

There's probably a Valuable Life Lesson here somewhere. (I'm hoping it also means that my first drafts are getting better.)
prusik: Newton fractal centered at zero (Default)
Legislators vote to defeat same-sex marriage ban (via [livejournal.com profile] jenwrites)

Part of me worries about what back room deals enabled the vote to fail by 5 votes. Part of me is disgusted that those who would take away my rights still maintain the charade that this is somehow about the right of voters to have their say. (For one, we voters had our say when we voted for our legislatures.) I'd be more sympathetic to that argument if they wielded it consistently. Besides, it never occurs to them that if they disenfranchise gays and lesbians, it means others can disenfranchise them. Is that the road they really want to walk down?

However, all of me is just plain happy that the legislature, today, did not allow the state of Massachusetts the chance to create second-class citizens. I'm sure someone will keep flogging the horse, dead or not. But this is good news.
prusik: Newton fractal centered at zero (Default)
Like I've said, the portable computing device that I'm currently ogling right now is the OQO Model 02. Doing the web search, there is this very weird dust up over whether it is pocketable or not. Its dimensions are approximately a double thick moleskine pocket notebook. This takes into account that you can't really get two moleskin notebooks flush against each other. The binding expands. The dimensiions are 5.5x3.5x1in more or less

The dust up is weird because there have been several video blogs where the blogger demonstrates putting the device into his pocket. You can see a clear outline, the way you would when someone puts a wallet into his front pocket. (I avoid the thick wallet by using a thin billfold made of spinnaker. However, I also carry a moleskin pocket notebook in the same pocket.) I think it's questionable whether you'd be able to pull it out of your front pocket while you're sitting. However, if you really wanted your computer with you at all times, carrying it in your pocket looks like a possibility, if you're willing to make a couple compromises.

This hasn't stopped people, who have seen the videos, from proclaiming that the OQO Model 02 is not pocketable. One even goes so far as to declare that no UMPC will ever be pocketable. Given that computers used to take up whole rooms, I'm not so quick to discount miniaturization. The people that do this are extremely insistent. They carry the banner at every possible chance (presumably as an antidote for the gulled masses or something.)

This really confused me until I realized that we're dealing with two different definitions of the word "pocketable." I had been reading it as "able to be placed in a pocket." In that case, the video blogs should have settled the dispute. It fits in a pant pocket, albeit snugly. The reason for the dust up is that people actually mean "to be such that one would want to place it in a pocket." So, for example, an unwrapped Hershey's Kiss is not pocketable.

I've run into this before with the word "hummable." That is, the old canard that Stephen Sondheim's music is "unhummable." The traditional retort is "well, if it can be sung, it can be hummed." Of course, people who say that Sondheim's music is "unhummable" do not mean that they are literally unable to hum the music. What they mean is that Sondheim's music is such that they would not want to hum it.

I like the literal definitions better. I mean, is there any other use for the other definitions besides to express your opinions in factual sounding declarative statements? (e.g., "Sondheim's music isn't hummable." Not "I don't find Sondheim's music attractive enough to hum." "The OQO Model 02 is not pocketable." Not "The OQO Model 02 fits too snugly for me to carry in my pocket practically.")

Are flammable objects things that you want to burn? (i.e., if you don't want to burn them, they cease to be flammable.)

So is the OQO Model 02 pocketable? Yes. Would you want to? Well, that's up to you. Would I want to? I have no idea. (Keeping it in pocket may work better in theory than in practice.) I just find how we define -able words interesting.

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