Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic


Late start, missed AG's call at 8:45, too busy packing lunch.

Really weird, outside the temp was a comfortable 67, but inside the hole it was 80. It stayed between 80 and 85 all day inside, but it didn't reach 85 till 5 pm. The manager of the test group on the other side of the building added a nastygram to the work order to get that fixed, and the reply was ambiguous.

The scholar retreat was still in progress across the street. This time they left some bananas and diet Coke for me.

Did nothing useful for work.  Played the pre-release app on the prototype board just to do something. Mostly watched live feeds, animal cams. The Hellgate MT osprey nest is empty, apparently an intruder osprey wiped out the mom & chicks. The web site had not updated the info so I'm guessing from what they said from the weekend.

Lunch was tuna casserole & cookies. Break time I poured some chocolate syrup into a cup, added soda water and ice.

I've read enough of Too Like the Lightning to make it #3 on my ballot, which I just updated. It is speculative fiction set in an imagined future, there is technology and societal changes which qualify it as not fantasy. But it's an experiment in writing styles, and after three chapters I was ready to throw the book across the room and into the trash. Except I'm reading it on a tablet. It's a case of throwing too many experiments at the reader all at once.

And it tweaked several of my "give me a break!" flags. One is she invents a new word for the family unit. The flag is she ends it with an apostrophe. And a second flag was set when the author explains the basis for the word (it's from a Japanese word which basically means exactly what she is trying to make her word mean). The apostrophe is (choose one) (a) in the wrong place in the word, (b) not needed (c) annoying, because in most linguistics it denotes a glottal stop, which obviously is not the case here. Another affectation is she interrupts the narrative with "kind reader" notes when she ought to just narrate. And another flag is, in her attempt to show that language has changed to eliminate the gendered pronoun, she uses "they" instead of inventing a singular neuter pronoun. Many languages have one. In Thai there are three - "kao" is informal, "ter" is for songs and "taan" is more archaic. Thai also has gendered "me" for informal use (pome for men, dichan for women), but in songs they us a neuter "me" (chan). Stephen King in Dark Tower invents his own gender neutral word for Mr/Miss/Mrs. It's not hard to do, and doesn't confuse the reader by calling an individual by a group pronoun.

Yes, those are all nitpicks, but for me they make the book unreadable. A pity, because there are some interesting ideas hidden behind the obfuscations.

Just out of curiosity I looked up paw paw trees to find out why the two saplings I bought months ago didn't take. And found an Oregon nursery which had them on sale, three in 5.5" buckets plus fertilizer for about $100. Already established, 12-15" tall. I can start with the buckets on the retaining wall behind the house, no planting required.

I had the hole all to myself until about 5 pm, when a couple of the engineers next door showed up. I left at 5:30, drove straight home.

Beef pot pie for dinner, watched the pilot for a Netflix series called Travelers. People who die become host bodies to a group from the future who have come back to save the world. There is some decent acting. Videography is mostly okay. Not a lot of humor in the writing, yet.

In the park tube was an invite to the 4th of July party, they also are calling for desserts for the "cake walk". Doesn't have to be cake. Not sure if I'm going. But I may.

Email from the person in charge of the mobile home activist group with lots of details which they did not put on their flyer about what they have done so far, the link to their incredibly ugly web site, and a "hope to see you Saturday" - an event also missing from the flyer. I have a photo shoot, otherwise I would have gone.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work, such as it is. Maybe Boss will come and sync up.
Tags: #3

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