April 21st, 2009


PFS: Write ...

Just in case y'all were wondering ... I wrote all my old poetry in an early word processor called PFS: Write ... which isn't compatible with anything. At one point I had a conversion program for it (which was a bit of a pain to use), but was having a hard time tracking that down, so was worried that I might have to dig into these files with NotePad and do a lot of editing (you can get to the raw text that way, but it's lost all its returns, tabs, etc.).

I was very pleased last night to find that the "new" version (in this case 2003) of MSWord would open these, and would typically have a page of code, a page of formatted text, and then another page of code, so it will be fairly easy to get these back (albeit a very mind-numbing repetitive process).

Like you were up all night worrying ...

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Home today ...

The Wife had volunteered to "chaperon" for Daughter #2's field trip to the Planetarium today, but then found out she couldn't get off work. Since MY work is just about not there any more, I filled in. It was interesting to see some place/people that weren't the home/work binary.

I was hoping that having a day off would help, but it hasn't, I'm feeling more and more desperate (not helped by my accountant recommending that we start throwing stuff out and get ready to sell our condo). I may have to stop reading LJ, too ... the vast majority of hideously bad news being reported by folks on my FL doesn't help at all. I'm hoping I'm going to be able to find a "busy work" project for this evening to get me through till tomorrow's meeting (in which we may be dissolving the company). I just want to curl up in a dark corner and have a nice mental breakdown ...

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I wonder if I'm ever going to warm up to web video.

Unless a video is very clearly explained as to why I should stop everything else that I might be doing and devote how ever many minutes out of my life to watching said video, I just will not click on it. Yet, I'm amazed at how many people just "put up" a video and expect that it being there is enough of a lure to have folks watch it.

Also, if it's more than 2 minutes long, it's probably going to be bailed on. I was just 2:01 into a 4:46 video posted to a community (which was there in context of defining certain terms), figuring at that point that if they hadn't made their point by then, that were were unlikely to.

I wonder why this is? I really hate watching any video on the computer, and can't understand how folks can sit through whole TV episodes (let alone movies) on it ... of course, with the exception of Poker, CSI and the Bears/Cubs, I rarely can stand to watch TV for more than 10 minutes at a go!

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Somthing interesting ...

Sometimes a used book tells a story, above and beyond the book itself. There's a group over on LibraryThing.com called "Found in a Book" and I posted a thing over there about a post card that was in this book. It's amazing how that sort of thing can "personalize" a book that moved through somebody else's life before getting into your hands. I picked up this at the Newberry Library Book Fair last summer, which is a pretty good indication that the original owner had died, nearly 35 years after getting the holiday greetings that seem to have been serving as a bookmark.

Anasazi: Ancient People of the Rock came out in January of 1974, and had the rather steep cover price of $18.50 (that's about $85.00 in today's dollars!), fairly high for a book under 200 pages. It is, however, quite a striking photo tour of the Anasazi and related groups' ruins in the southwest. Photographed by David Muench, and with quite informative text by Donald G. Pike (who was not above adding humorous twists such as "The Basket Makers responded with fur blankets and mantles. The raw material was supplied, albeit reluctantly, by the ubiquitous rabbit ...").

Structurally, the book goes back and forth between a substantial essay on the culture and area (briefly illustrated with photos of pottery, petroglyphs, various woven bits, etc.), and a portfolio of pictures of the ruins. Sites covered include Mesa Verde, Kayenta, Sinagua, Salado, Chaco Canyon, among others, including at the end a brief bit on the still-occupied mesa of Acoma, which the authors place in a linear descent from the Anasazi.

When I picked this up, I was sort of expecting it to be just a "picture book", but it did take me several days of sitting down with it to actually get through the text portions, which are nicely balanced on breadth and focus, each essay being on a particular topic, but all hanging together as a coherent narrative.

The pictures are, of course, glorious, to the right is a cropped version of one of the shots from Mesa Verde (of "Spruce Tree House") that I found out on the web.

I've been fortunate to have been able to have visited many of the sites covered here, and it's made me want to dig our my photos to see how I saw the ruins when we were out there. It was amusing to me that I was recalling one site (the restored Grand Kiva at Aztec Monument) from Pike's descriptions, and suddenly be looking at a picture of it (my elder daughter was about 3 when we went there, and was riding on my shoulders most of the time, so I have fond memories from there).

Anyway, Anasazi: Ancient People of the Rock is a goodie, and if you can find a copy of it (and have an interest in the Anasazi), you should definitely consider picking it up. The hardcover I have looks to start around $20, but copies of the paperback can be found for a couple of bucks. Well worth looking for!

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