The Mac Taketh Away, but Giveth Back (Almost)

Nothing is perfect. Not even my Macbook Pro. Yes, I know, that is hard to believe. It has taken me several hours to just get used to the idea.

I got a music CD for Valentine’s. I put it in to rip it. The CD spins a few times and then ejects. WHen this happens, it gets a huge straight scratch along one side.

Now I already do not like or trust slot loading CD/DVD players in computers. Even in my Mac it seems to be the cheapest part of the who thing. My car, my Wii both have the same technology, but seem to excel where the Mac just barely meets standard.

Ok, so my CD has this huge scratch, which will not just wipe off. It skips in the player now. And I am not too happy.

So I put it back in, put ‘error correction on’ and started the import. what I got was better than nothing, but not perfect.

Tracks 1-4 were hit the hardest, and are not all there. The rest, however, was imported flawlessly. So iTunes was able to save 60% of what the slot loader took from me.

Not back. Not good, but not bad.

the CD is great, btw.

The Culture of the Book

From an interview with Larry Mc with Chronicle books editor Fritz Lanham:

Q: What will you talk about at Rice?
A: The end of the culture of the book. I’m pessimistic. Mainly it’s the flow of people into my bookshop in Archer City. They’re almost always people over 40.

I don’t see kids, and I don’t see kids reading. I think little kids love to have stories read to them, but when they get to 10 or 11 or 12, they run into this tsunami of technology: iPod, iPhone, Blackberries.

They don’t resist it, and it’s normal that they wouldn’t; it’s their culture. I’m not so sure they ever come back to reading. Some will, but most won’t.

My comments and thoughts:

Book culture’? When was that? When was this mystical time period that human beings read?

Since the invention of writing, it has been an exclusionary thing. Then comes gutenberg, makes it so the mass can get books, right?


So they get excited, sometimes. (Harry Potter, I am looking at you) Still books are seen as a ‘learnin’ thing. The average person was not so much a reader. Bible? On Sunday?


And yes, there were riots for Dickens novels, there was the unprecidented popularity of Jack London, all the way through the Beats getting challenged on the first amendment all the way to the Supreme Court.

But in the end, you would never fill a stadium for a poetry reading. As a culture, books have always been in the back ground behind things like movies, TV, sports.

College kids read. Dorky kids read. Smart people read. See what I mean?

So are we reading less? Ask JK Rowling or Stephanie Meyer. Indeed I would say that now we are reading more than we ever were. That now, today, we as a species are producing, distributing and reading more works of prose/poetry/non-fiction due to the internet, due to print on demand, due many things.

So maybe we aren’t all sitting around reading high literature all day, but keep in mind, most of ‘high literature’ at the time was just pop culture (I’m looking at you Shakespeare).

End of the book culture? I don’t think so.

I Lost My Pen!

As people we can get too attached to objects, to things, based on history, or cost, or sometimes just because it is pretty.

For me, there was this pen.

I already have this thing about ink. I prefer blue ink when I write. I am not sure why or when this happened, some of my oldest notebooks do in fact include the forbidden black ink, but not in years.

Getting attached to a pen, saying things like “this is my WRITING pen” isn’t such a great idea. I would spend more time searching through my desk or pockets or car for a single missing pen rather than write. I would push aside piles of blue pens, for the ONE pen, as if it was the only thing I could use to put down my ideas, as if it was the only thing keeping me from writing.

Meanwhile I am not writing. Whatever was in my head is slowly sliding out, and I am proving, yet again, that I excel at procrastination more than anything else.

Throw it out. If you have one of these pens, throw it out. I left mine in a bar, seemed appropriate. Use cheep pens, nice pens, use your keyboard or hammer and chisel, whatever. Just write.

And yes, I am writing to myself, but you can do it too.