Shepherd Book is Jules Winnfield. Think about it.



Such it is with Sokyo. This whole place is disorienting. Nice cocktails though.

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There are little architectural cues for where the toilets are that you don’t notice until they’re not there, or are in the wrong place.



At Sokyo in Star City… no, sorry, The Star. At least I think I am. The sign is black letters on a black wall in a dark corner.



My prediction for 2012: Hipsters riding penny-farthings.



Against my better judgment, I’m trying to fill my head with facts in the hope that they will become knowledge. This never works.



I don’t currently have an e-book reader of any kind, and I don’t really have any plans to get one. This view has nothing to do with the state of the hardware tech; it’s all about the services behind it. And it could change in an instant.

I’m a hoarder, especially when it comes to books. I can’t stand the idea of throwing away or giving away or selling a book that I might one day want to read again, or that would be good to keep for our hypothetical future kids. Tina is slightly less obsessive, but she still won’t give away a book without a fight. As a result, we have about six bookcases full of material most of which has a small – but, importantly, non-zero – chance of ever being opened again.

We’re moving house this week.

This is the point where the hoarding compulsion becomes a huge drawback. Books are heavy. This is unlikely to be the last time we move, so I’ve found myself sorting books into boxes by the likelihood that we’ll read them again soon, with the idea that we won’t even have to open some of the boxes until the move after this one.

Right now, the ability to have our book collection in electronic form is a service for which I would pay, roughly, infinity dollars.

But there’s no real product on the market that solves this problem, even just for books that I buy from now on. Every electronic publisher that I’m aware of that offers any kind of range of mainstream books (and please let me know if there’s an exception to this) also encrusts them with some kind of DRM that more-or-less guarantees that I won’t be able to come back and read it again in ten or twenty years. If you’ve been following so far, you’ll notice that this completely defeats the purpose of having a collection of books.

I’ve even seriously considered scanning some of our paper books and giving the originals away. The first and most obvious downsides to this are that it’d be (a) ridiculously time-consuming and (b) probably illegal. Scanning the paper books and then destroying the originals would be on slightly more solid ethical ground, but may still technically be against current copyright law, is still time consuming, and feels somehow completely wrong and backward.

It seems like the e-book market is waiting to explode the moment a major publisher offers books with either no DRM or, at the very least, a way to guarantee file format compatibility with future devices (without the device having to connect to their servers, because they probably won’t exist in twenty years). Bonus points if they offer some kind of long-term backup service. Extra bonus points if they can exchange books you already own for electronic versions in a way that’s blessed by copyright law.

Wake me up when this happens.


I’m a T-shirt designer!

…and I didn’t even know it! I might be the world’s first accidental T-shirt designer.

About a year ago (maybe longer?) I made a Rubik’s cube T-shirt on CafePress (the cube is in the superflip position, if you’re curious). We were going to do a bulk order from the mezzacotta shop, I wanted something extra and geeky to go with it, and I was in the middle of my cubing obsession.

Interest in the bulk order fizzled out, so I never ended up getting the shirt, and after a while I forgot about it.

Yesterday I got an account update email from CafePress telling me that I had $46.50 credit. What the hell? Where did that come from? CafePress’s purchase reporting system is… idiosyncratic, so I’m hazy on the details, but it appears that several people have bought my shirt. Based on the amount of credit, I’ve probably sold about twenty of them.


I’ll probably use the proceeds to finally buy my own shirt.



Doing the thing where you tap along SO WELL that the band should be like “you have amazing rhythm. Tour with us as a foot tapper?” Just me?



Channel 10 has The Good Wife followed by House. Both have former Dead Poets. This amuses me for some reason.


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