This & That Make Richard a Dull Boy

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Not posting here much nowadays, am I? Three likely reasons hit me as I sipped my morning coffee.

I
Iíve all but abandoned beer, rum and (boxed) wine. Thereíve been plenty of entries that couldíve had THIS ENTRY IS 80% PROOF at the bottom. Not that this is a ď10 Nights in a BarroomĒ confession. Some months back I decided I was drinking too much and quickly cut back.

Booze, famously loosens the brain, in my case brings out forgotten thoughts and buried associations. Leading to some happily erratic writing. Mostly it peps me up. Live Journal has often been something Iíve left to the latter part of my day. Plenty of things to say occur to me but without a boost tapping keys seems too much of a chore.

II
Television, Iíve spent too much time in front of it. The couple of weeks I spent recuperating from my leg infection let me fall prey to its enervating enticements.

Suffering under the label, baby boomer, Iím part of the first generation for which TV was the third parent. I enjoyed watching the original runs of The Avengers, The Prisoner, Mission Impossible, The Outer Limits, the old Warner and Fleisher cartoons, and a whole Blockbuster of forgotten crap. But I emancipated myself from TV in my early teens. No reason to wander off into a tedious denunciation of the goddamnoisybox (Stranger in a Strange Land)..

Watching much television leaves me feeling dull, which makes me dull. I can watch hours of movies (sans commercials) with unabated pleasure.

III
This morning with the coffee I was skimming through mailing lists, usenet newsgroups, occasionally chasing a link.

90% of the postings in the mailing list I can delete without reading a word of: the topics donít excite me, none of them are from the rare Ďmust readí people. Mostly the lists focus on CSS and web design, my interest in both has flagged. Mostly laziness keeps me from unsubscribing.

Most newsgroup postings I kill even more quickly. Usenetís elite days are long gone. The bulk of the messages are from people who never RTFM or wearyingly irrelevant to the theme of the newsgroup. Being so thick with worthless postings I often donít bother to dog for the good ones. Back when I subscribed to a newsgroup with three hundred or more messages a day I had Agent flag messages by certain people as undeletable. Then Iíd zap all the rest.

Unsurprisingly I murder the most time clicking through web pages. Inevitably sites donít live up to the expected promise. Iíd stilled my mouse finger but recently succumbed to browsing too much.

Right now Iím mostly interested in 17th century British Lit. and theology and a handful of very minor writers (I could easily be accused of chasing obscurity. But the marginal is where my tastes always lead me. Besides Faulkner has plenty of readers, somebody has to remember crazy fucks like Baron Corvo.).

Despite, say, Luminarium, sites about my interests are scanty and their content is shallow. A third of a column in OUPís Classical Dictionary or English Literature in the 20th Century can easily exceed everything available online. Of course before long the books themselves will be on the web but at a cost. Too high a cost for me. Iíd like to subscribe to the Oxford English Dictionary but $550.00 a year is beyond my ability to pay. My Shorter OED will get me through (funnily enough the first word I tried to look up wasn't in the dictionary proairetic. - but once I found the definition I didnít care).

Iím not sure why I still read things like John C. DvorakísPCMag column or Jerry Pournelleís at Byte. A residue of the days when my PC was my main hobby.

Then there are the pages that I read. Sort of. Iíve discovered that I read web pages less carefully than the printed ones. The temptation to hit PageDown is too strong. Excepting, maybe, the latest links on Ė the happily revived Ė Arts & Letters Daily*.

The point Iíd meant to make before Charles came in with a bad migraine was that I fragment and dissipate myself as much if not more with some of my time spent on the web.

Now it is time to get Charles up from his nap.

* Sometimes I get compulsive in adding hyperlinks.

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Thanks,
Richard

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