15 February 2009

Gdansk for the memories.

During my recent travels I got hold of an ASUS 900 (tiny little notebook running Linux) and have generally been thrilled with it. Despite having hands the size and dexterity of canned hams, I adapted to the keyboard acceptably well. The tasks I need to perform respond with the same speed as the older, larger computer I had. An 8 gig SD card gives me ample storage for my work, as I only need to write, look at the internet, and occasionally make slide shows (I'm resisting that one with all my might, and when they must occur, I try to make "anti-powerpoints" following the hints from Guy Kawasaki).

I fiddled a bit trying to find sources for Gimp and Inkscape, then discovered that they were in the usual install page. But this afternoon, while typing up some manuscript pages (a task I put off until Sweetness gives the ultimatum of "type or do housework") I noticed that I had misspelled a word in a flagrant way. I mean, bad enough to be seen without my glasses, yet there was no red squiggly line betraying the error. Somehow, the only dictionary installed was Polish / Russian, and I couldn't convince it to go fetch an English one. So, I debated about scrapping the installed Linux for some alternative distribution, but everything else works just fine for me, so I'm debating about replacing Star Office 8 with OpenOffice 3, or going back to writing with LaTeX.

06 February 2009

Wild Bill

Today is William S. Burroughs' 95th birthday. I notice that every few years, and dig through my archives for a text file or PDF of his works, get all fired up about the notion that writing doesn't need to be a strict, linear, button-downed construct of pre-planned, scientifically proven effective monotony. Somehow though, the notion doesn't stay with me for more than a couple of days, and I end up in the same rut, unable to cut loose and just make shit up.

23 January 2009

Land of the Morbidly Obese

I am, for an undisclosed period of time, back in the US. As I am cleaning up and getting rid of some of the stuff I left in storage, I decided to type up my notes from the flight here, so that I can get rid of that much paper.

31 December 2008 10:00 a.m.
They refused to even let me bring the Red Bull to the departure lounge, so I chugged it all at the security counter. If they don't pull a jet up to the door in five minutes, I might just flap my arms and fly my own damn self to the connection in Beijing.

I swear that was Tom Waits that just walked by, or maybe some variant of Orthodox Jew.

We're 10,000 meters above Siberia. The seatback screen says it's -80°. "Free Bird" isn't the most comforting thing to hear on the armrest headphones.