In the Beginning

Fairy Tale Flash: Fractured Fables Old and New

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John I, KJV

Maybe God can boil everything down to one word, but personally I never got farther than the book, which is made of words. Unless it’s a picture book with no captions. Which to me is a rather silly notion. Even a book not about words needs words.

Then there’s the infamous “One Picture is Worth a Thousand Words.” Right. Have you ever seen a caption for a picture that was a thousand words long? No, you haven’t, because anything that long would have turned into an article/analysis piece before it reached a thousand. One picture is not worth a thousand words, any more than a word is one one-thousandths of a picture. It’s not even apples and oranges because at least apples and oranges are both fruit. Words and pictures are separate things, even if words are good for making mental pictures and pictures can inspire words. Related, perhaps, just not interchangeable.

It wasn’t always that way, about pictures not being the same as words, I mean. At writing’s infancy pictures often literally were words. You drew a picture of a cat and a hawk and a snake in the correct order and you were writing, and so the writer and the artist were embodied in the same person.  In which case a picture might be worth one word, tops. Usually less.

For me, it was never the word nor the picture, but the book and the story. “Book” derives from an Old English/Germanic word for a charter. Paper with writing on it. Usually not —the Domesday Book notwithstanding—as long as a modern book, even if the charter, on average, was worth more than any one book. Even if the book was copied by hand by an artist/writer and cost quite a bit. Likewise, Ink and paper were both pricy. You kept things short and concise to be frugal. Regardless, over the years this charter thing became the book as we know it. And keeping things short and concise are no longer the virtues they once were.

Then again, I never was the biggest fan of virtue. I’ll take the book.

The Earworm

Been a crazy couple of days. So rather than get into that, here’s a piece of flash-mostly-fiction.

The Earworm

He groaned. “I can’t get it out.”

She frowned. “Get what out?”

“The earworm. Been in my head for the last three days.”

“It’ll go away eventually. They all do.”

“Tell that to the earworm.”

She considered. “What is it?”

He shook his head. “If I tell you that, you might catch it.”

“Doesn’t work that way. Besides, you know our tastes are different. Now, say, if you were to tell me the earworm involved early T-Rex or Rod Stewart, I might worry. Otherwise? No.”

“No T-Rex. No Rod.  It’s Al Stewart.”

She looked thoughtful. “Well, there’s some overlap there. It’s not ‘The Eyes of Nostradamus’ is it?”

“No. It’s ‘The Roads to Moscow.’”

She looked at him. “You’re kidding. Besides being ancient, that thing is eight minutes long! You’re telling me you’ve got an earworm that lasts eight consecutive minutes at a time?”

“No, and that’s the whole problem.”

“Once again, in English this time?”

“Think about it. An eight-minute song with complex and often subtle lyrics. I can’t get it straight!”

She put her hands on her hips. “You’re telling me you’ve got an earworm that never gets finished because you can’t remember the lyrics?”

“In a nutshell, yes. It should take eight minutes, but I keep misremembering the lyrics so I can’t get through the whole thing. And I have to get through the whole thing or it doesn’t count!  I keep making corrections, starting over, messing up, starting again. It never ends!”

“Doesn’t count? With whom?”

“With me. You know I’ve got a touch of OCD.”

“More than a touch, I’d say. In my less charitable moments, I’d even say you were the one who was touched. In the head.”

“Not helping.”

“You didn’t ask for help. Are you?”

He sighed. “Yes. Take pity on me.”

“Fine. Go online and do either one or both of the following: Memorize the lyrics properly or just listen to the song over and over until either you can’t get it wrong, or your brain rebels, crawls out your nose, and strangles you.”

“I knew there was a reason I married you. But why did you marry me?”

She shrugged. “Pity…and it’s nice to be needed.”

©2021 Richard Parks

It Ain’t What You Think, Part 2

The original plan was to upgrade the current workstation with new MB, RAM and CPU, keeping the disks as they were. Mostly because 1) I’m lazy and 2) I was not looking forward to transferring all my working files/programs to new disks. Been there, done that. Not fun.

Best laid plans, and all that.

Turned out the case I ordered (and liked best) was designed more with solid state disks(SSD) in mind. My boot disk was already SSD but a little on the small side. So I bit the bullet and switched to M.2 and SATA SSD for the boot and data disks, respectively. Kept the data disk at one terrabyte since that was the same size as my old HDD drive and perfectly adequate for my needs. Had some minor bobbles with USB and PSU connectors, but got the new machine (and by this point it was an entirely new machine) up and running, and now time to transfer the files. Getting everything off the old drives was easy enough with a large USB backup disk. And then…

Let’s simply say that certain modern backup/clone/restore software didn’t work as advertised and let it go at that. You know what did? A backup/restore program included with Windows 2007 back so long ago they were still referring to it as Windows NT. By the time it was done everything was in place and working just like on the old PC, programs and data alike (and yes, all my working files and the WIP for The Laws of Power book 4 made the trip in good shape). All I had to do was resize the partition to account for the larger disk and everything was set.

I’m always somewhat surprised when things go right. I’ll probably reincarnate the old machine as a Linux or ReactOS PC just to play with. Waste not, want not.

It Ain’t What you Think

New Desk

In computer years my workstation was just shy of Methuselah. Not that I really cared. Writing and light gaming doesn’t take that much horsepower. Then I decided to take a course in machine learning.

Why?

Because.

I’d been an IT guy for most of my day job years. Had the degree, did the work, coded, often built my own computers just for fun, that kind of thing. It had been a while, though, and I wanted to try something new, like a different computer language and an introduction to AI. Learning something new freshens the mind, and frankly mine was getting a little stale. Problem was my computer was overdue for an upgrade which the course made apparent. So I thought why not build the replacement yourself? You get exactly what you need.

Well, that’s the plan anyway. One thing has definitely changed since my last build. I mean, I knew there would be differences and thought I had a handle on what I needed to research. One thing I hadn’t counted on, because I’d never run into it before:

Fakes.

Things advertised as a two terrabyte flash drive that, well, aren’t. Then there was a name-brand external disk bought from a reputable dealer. It provides the promised storage but, judging by the model and serial number, is almost certainly counterfeit. Kind of annoying. Adds a complication when you’re trying to source parts.

Buyer beware.

Probably Karma

Playing With Fire

You want to think there’s a reason things happen. This tendency in humans causes a lot of grief, I’ve found. Example, one possible explanation for why my fellow citizens are so likely to fall for idiotic conspiracy theories. It all turns on two mutually exclusive assumption: 1) Either a secret cabal of politicians/Illuminati/People-Who-Are-Not-You are in charge of everything or 2) No one is in charge of anything and chaos reigns. All one has to do is pick your scenario and run with it. A surprising number of folk choose option 1 because it’s a lot less scary to them than option 2.

Drifting from the topic a little, which is karma…maybe. Remember last time I mentioned our cat got skunked? Not only that, two days later the fluffy little idiot went out and got skunked again. He is now under curfew. Come evening, the cat door gets locked. I try to tell him it’s his own fault, but he is quite put out about not being let out.

On top of which Microsoft is pulling an Apple stunt and my perfectly fine and stable computer is now obsolete. So just to spite them I’m doing a build your own with just enough new parts to satisfy the requirements and refusing to buy a new computer. I’m not against an upgrade but I hate being forced into it.

Feels like I’m being punished for something.