Hermes Typewriter Muses

Joe Van Cleave is leading the willing through a set of writing exercises using typewriters. The first one was to anthropomorphize your typewriter and have it … well go to the link and read for yourself. Part of the point of the exercise is to bang out a draft. “Show us your process.”

This is my typewriter’s story.  The image below links to the full resolution scan of the page.

Hermes typewriter speaking
Hermes typewriter musing on recent life changes.

Books to Change A Life

Facebook reminded me that I’d listed Ten Books that Changed My Life. The list is still reasonably accurate.

10 Books That Changed My Life. +1 to go to 11

Apologies to the books and authors not mentioned here that also changed my life. And all the books I’ve loved to read and would happily re-read.

In roughly chronological order:

Tassajara Cooking, The Tassajara Bread Book – Edward Espe Brown
Somewhere in these books is a suggestion to learn a recipe by preparing it a number of times leaving out a different ingredient each time.
I can’t find the passage anymore. These changed my approached to food as my teen years were ending.

The Daybooks of Edward Weston – Edward Weston
While flailing about with no clear direction Weston provided inspiration. I set off on a path for many terrible reasons, but I did set and pursue
a goal.

The Log from the Sea of Cortez – John Steinbeck
If only for “A Parable of Laziness” which is a great telling of Bogle’s “Don’t just do something, stand there” dictum. Also for the exploration and life example.

Visual Anthropology: Photography as a Research Method – John Collier Jr.
While in Art school John Collier provided a counter point to all the other lessons. He also provided the strongest “no bullshit” approach to work students brought in while still maintaining the respect for their largely illiterate efforts. This is the only book on the list where its reading was supplemented by interaction with the author.

A Movable Feast – Ernest Hemingway
Hunger is Good Disciple and a wonderful potato salad recipe. This is also a stand in for the rest of Hemingway that I admire.

A Pattern Language – Christopher Alexander and Sara Ishikawa
During my longest period of unemployment I found this gem. After getting a job I bought it. My views of architecture changed.

Learning Perl – Randal L. Schwartz, brian d foy, Tom Phoenix
A weekend to work through every exercise in this book changed the course of my career.

Alternative Presidents – edited by Mike Resnick
The day I met the woman who would become my wife I used a reference to this book as a conversational gambit. We continued to talk.

If On A Winter’s Night a Traveler – Italo Colvino
Maddening, frustrating, and not a novel as we know them. It is ultimately fulfilling.

Practical Ethics – Peter Singer
I can neither refute or live by his ethical arguments. So I remain inspired to keep trying.

#11 Because you can’t just crank it up to 10.
Years of Rice and Salt – Kim Stanley Robinson
Let’s explore reincarnation, history, and spirituality.

Apologies to Twain, Rickenbacher, Tolstoy, Harte, Truss, Hammett, Thompson, Kundera, Dick, Agee, Evans, Brautigan, Buck …

Get Active

No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.
~ Socrates


If exercise were a pill we’d prescribe it to every patient.

~ Dr. Ralph Yates

Web Browser Alphabet

Web browsers keep track of sites you visit. Many helpfully (??) provide the name of the site as you type so you can just press enter and go to it. Here is Web Browser Alphabet, the site suggested when I type each of the letters in the alphabet. H, I, and K don’t have a suggestion.  What’s your web alphabet like?

  • archive
  • bogelheads
  • capitalone360
  • duckduckgo
  • en.wikipedia
  • facebook
  • google
  • h
  • i
  • jamhome
  • k
  • laidout
  • multcolib
  • oglaf
  • postsecret
  • questionalbecontent
  • roku
  • smbc-comics
  • twitter
  • usbank
  • vccb
  • wordpress
  • xkcd
  • youtube
  • zillow

Chinese Spam

A large amount of Chinese spam has recently been arriving. For example: 后那甜美的

For your entertainment here is a  sanitized collection of some of the more entertaining Google translated subject lines.

After that sweet
Day finally played to the big milk young woman
Goddess and vibrating sticks
I am unable to extricate myself from the tender
Nurse beauty exposed milk spout shot on my spot sprayed
It’s really feeling
Inadvertently made a friend with the hair, the results out of control
Spring Festival holiday wife tender light pat.
The temptation of the living room of the cooked woman
Eggs Elegant Lingerie show than the United States
Beauty points
Come and take me … please! To feel so comfortable