Friday, May 22, 2009

Getting a Handle on It

There is something I want to do. A goal is lurking out there. Do I want to write? Do I want to make collages? Do I want to research something? Maybe study some obscure historical or technical subject. Throw myself into raising money for a good cause? I think there is something. But I'm not sure what it is.

There is still plenty of 'need to do' activity lurking, of course. Wednesday I attended a couple of meetings at the club. (And got righteously frustrated listening to two issues I have really, really heard quite enough about. Settle them already and move on.) I had to pick up a prescription for my dad and also take him to a doctor yesterday. That and a workout pretty well shot the day. I spent a bit of time on financial shenanigans (not in the Madoff sense, just in the balance checkbooks, pay bills, calculate cash flow sense). There wasn't time for much else especially since we decided to go out for a Happy Hour drink and snacks. There is always some dalliance to displace from any serious endeavor whether it's the must do cleaning and errands or writing a novel or whatever creative and questionably constructive thing that might 'fulfill' me. We really dallied at Ruth's Chris on Wednesday because all the owners were there, they had Guy Forsyth behind the bar, friends wandered by. (One said she moved to Austin on my 50th birthday and was invited to the blow-out party I had by a friend. I had no idea she'd been there.)

I started writing this entry yesterday (Thursday) and decided to displace from it to clean the main bathroom and the bedroom. Then when I got back to it I decided to pick up the fragments of the novel scattered in blog entries and assemble them in a document and work on it a bit. So I did that. It doesn't feel like a particularly profound or necessary piece of work, but I'm thinking that I'll work on it nonetheless. Until some other idea comes along. I've also been working with a children's programming language called Scratch. Ostensibly I'm doing it so I can show it to my nieces for my great nephews and great niece. Really it's sort of fun and I'm interested in the formal logic behind the point and click object-oriented language. Invented at MIT, it is the modern equivalent of the 'turtle graphics' in the old LOGO language. I'm not thinking of getting into programming again. But I am thinking of studying the higher concepts of languages. It is infinitely fascinating to me even though the curtain has been pulled back for me for years and I understand conceptually how it all works. We all think what we are doing on the computer (or a phone or other gadget for that matter) is the interaction. But some levels away the chips follow instructions that are 'hard-wired' into them. And typing a sentence does a plethora of things starting with sending a key from a USB gadget (in this case). I understand this, but I still fall into the 'interface is the message' mode. Programming anything, even coding HTML, removes one from this false world into the inner workings a little, backing up a level.

But I digress. So, yes, I've been fooling with a programming language for kids, making 'sprites' move across a 'stage' sometimes leaving tracks or reacting to other sprites or the edges of the stage.

But I did pull the novel fragments out of this blog and edit and add to them a bit. I have about 3500 words. In that version. There are other versions lying about with completely different character names, events and time lines.

Anyway, I can't seem to finish a blog post. (Let alone a novel.) So I'm going to sign off on this rambling bit and hope that, having this drivel out of the way will help me move on. Yeah. Good luck with that, as the kids say. And move on to...where?

[Photo taken at Mercury Design Studio last weekend. They really come up with some weird goods!]

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