Thursday, December 28, 2006

Not Much

That's me, and Grammy Dina -Nordina Wayman. She's Nancy's mom. She's the one that gave us the Universal Annual Passes for Christmas. I'm holding Laura's new teddy bear. And, yes, I do look a bit pudgy in this picture. I let the holiday eating get me.

This week is almost over, meaning this year is almost over. I've spent some of the week studying and drilling for the A+ Hardware certification test. Mostly what I've been doing this week is setting up a plan for next year. I'd like to start out the year with a more detail plan, detailed steps, and turn those steps into appointments. That's worked well for me in the past.

This year, pretty much as last year, my primary focus will be on school. All other decisions are secondary to that. My next focus is on income producing activities. My business should increase a wee bit, but I want to keep that scaled back just enough to leave room for my next income producing activity; an entry level tech job. I want to talk to some people in the business who are in the know about this kind of stuff before I start applying, but I'd like to have a tech job by March.

I'm still reading The Long Tail:

I'm only in the first chapter, and it's really good. So far, it's explaining a new era where items for sale are not on a store shelf, and take up valuable space. Many things, especially entertainment stuff like music, books, videos, are online. There's no self space. You can store as much as want. This is economic abundance. In contrast to economic scarcity, where the most popular items and the hits dominate the retail store. Simply put, the lack of shelf space has held back our choices. We now have more choices. Niche marketing is growing. I'll report more as I read more.

The fiction book I'm reading is 1632 by Eric Flint:

In 1632, a modern day section of Grantville, West Virgina, a coal mining town, is instantly transported back to 1632, in Germany during the 100 years war. Imagine; rednecks fighting the Inquisition. The thing I like about it is how the town of Grantville deals with their new life. Eric Flint has many more books in this series. I intend on reading them all. Not this year though. I have most of them as Microsoft Reader files, so I'm reading them on my Pocket PC. On Eric Flint's Trail or Glory website, you can download some of the ebooks for free. Kind of like a 'brochure' for the dead tree version. I highly recommend checking out his books, especially 1632.

Eric Flint does an interesting thing to make his books work. In most writing, especially adventure, the Show don't Tell adage is hammered into your brain.

Here's an example of Telling:
Jason sat in front of his computer, placed his hands on the keyboard, but didn't type. Nothing came to him. He had writers block.

Here's the scene with Showing:
"If I could just get started," Jason though.
He put his coffee cup next to the monitor, and sat down.
"Okay, what should I write about?" he asked himself.
Jason finger tips touched the home row keys.
"Come on, do something. Just type a sentence, any sentence."
His fingers didn't move.

The same scene in front of you, but with the added detail that gives you a better picture in your head. The first reads like a police report. That's not bad, if you're writing a police report. But, it doesn't work if your writing an adventure novel. Unless....

Unless the time scale your writing about must be covered quickly. Eric Flint starts off each scene with showing but ends the scene by telling. Not every scene, but most scenes. At first, I thought it was simply bad writing. Then, after I put my ego aside, I realized it was a technique used for a purpose. Without this technique, Flint's books would be too long. He's able to make the technique work, and not sound like a police report.

I'm behind on some bills. Who isn't around Christmas. Time to catch up. Or play, Catch Me If You Can. As you can tell from the above picture, I've also gained some holiday weight, and need to get that taken care of. Luckily, I know how. That's part of my next years planning. For now, I'm going to enjoy the holidays.

I've been watching an Ubuntu branch Linux distribution, Fluxbuntu Linux. Instead of Gnome (in Ubuntu), KDE (in Kubuntu), and XFCE (in Xubuntu), Fluxbox is a Linux Graphical User Interface (GUI) that uses less resource than the others. Fluxbuntu might be a good choice as a replacement/alternative Operating System for systems under 500 MHz. Right now, I use Damn Small Linux (DSL) for that, but I'd like to stay with the Ubuntu Linux versions. If Fluxbuntu works out well, it will keep computers as low as 133 MHz still useable. They won't be powerhouses, but they'll be able to be used by someone. For me, it's kind of fun to see how low of a computer can still work good, with the right materials, operating system, and software. I don't have to have the newest and best. It opens up a whole range of toys.

No comments: