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Archive for the category “books”

The Hat


My colleague, Kristie, bought this hat and it was too small so I bought it from her. Hats always make me think of THE HAT by Tomi Ungerer.

Hats are true heroes. They can lift you up and make you stand out. They can hide your eyes and make you invisible. Hats are life’s most heroic accessory.



This post is dedicated to my beloved husband, John Proffitt, through whom I hear all the Apple rumors.

“The New York Times has another article about the tablet today,” he informed me. I groaned or maybe grunted in response.

There is only one thing you need to know about this to-date imaginary product: confirmation or denial of its existence will take place on my birthday, Tuesday, January 26. If confirmed, the news is sure to overtake any attention I might receive on this day, which is a rather significantly numbered birthday. If denied, anarchy will rule and the tech and design world will implode as the hot air it’s been blowing is released and global warming gains significant momentum.

Since we are talking about my birthday, I feel entitled to some input in this matter so geeks gather ’round!

First, please stop referring to this imaginary friend as the tablet. Today’s NY Times article calls it the iSlate. That’s no good either. Both these ideas draw images of chalk and a one-room schoolhouse. The rumors I have been told, or that have been read to me imply that this is the product of the future.

Therefore, I call our imaginary friend the Apple Slice. Or, in keeping with the recent theme, the iSlice. It’s active. It’s edgy. And I said so.

Second, please please please establish a rumor that the Apple Slice will be available, or at the very lease orderable, by March 2. This is a certain hubby’s birthday.

Third, you silly rumormongers, the Apple Slice will not kill the Kindle. Today’s NY Times article by Alice Rawsthorn states, “Many people like their e-readers (not least because they save them from having to haul around books, newspapers and magazines) but I’ve yet to meet anyone who loves them. That’s the key. If a really great e-reader appeared, the market would explode.”

Apparently Alice doesn’t know anyone who has a Kindle. I love mine and everyone I know who has one loves theirs. I wouldn’t mind hauling books around but the Kindle can immediately look up words and, surprisingly, the screen is easier on the eyes than print. The Kindle screen is not a computer screen.

The real reason the e-book market has not exploded is because publishers are too busy fueling a pissing match with authors and producers over electronic rights.

Forth, many of the rumors that mention the Kindle killing Apple Slice make note that Apple would not create a single-purpose device. True. However, I like my single-purpose Kindle. When reading I don’t want to be distracted by my book ringing or telling me I’ve got mail or reminding me I have an appointment in 15 minutes. I want my reading device to take me to another world. Whether fiction or non-fiction, when I read, I am not multi-tasking.

However, could see a great market for an Apple Slice e-book application in education. I might have actually studied in college if I’d had one.

A little side note: this quote from Ms. Rawsthorn’s article “And e-magazines should be more visually compelling with higher resolution images than their Web versions. As well as helping publishers to tackle the thorny problem of how to make money from the Internet, it could enable them to create dazzling new e-media.” I’m still laughing.

I don’t believe for a minute that traditional publishers will create “dazzling new e-media.” New media companies will do that. And I look forward to viewing it on hubby’s new Apple Slice.

Bottom line? It’s my birthday. That’s not a rumor.

Note: The day after this post was published, Apple changed that date for product announcements to January 27th because they didn’t want to overshadow my birthday. I appreciate their thoughtfulness.

Books & Characters & Friends

I enjoy reading fiction. The genre that gives me the greatest pleasure is the detective novel. Although I pick up a modern mystery or suspense novel on occasion, the reliance on realism and gore bores me.

Plot and character carry a tale. P.D. James is a master both. About 1/3 of the way into her most recent novel, PRIVATE PATIENT, I am hoping everyone will be all right. Well, someone is already dead but I hope no one in the house did the deed. One of them did. Damn.

Each character becomes a friend, or at least an aquaintance, to the reader. That is what is so appealing about the detective novel. Good and evil are clear. The characters are straight-forward. The character as a whole is not necessarily trustworthy but the writing of the character is consistant.

Last year I took to reading two writers who lead-off the genre, Dashiell Hammet and Eric Ambler. There is no fluff, no extended rhetoric in either of their writing. The precision is nearly poetic. I am not trying to elevate this genre to high art. Not at all. It is more a base pleasure, one the reader can sink into like a warm bath, soak in the story without excess thought.

This sort of escape is what I need at this time of excessive stress and only books can provide it. I find it much easier to stare at a computer screen and browse through silly videos and aimlessly seek entertainment. But the minute I lift the book and open to where I last left off, I am transported.

Goodnight then. I am off once again to Dorset.

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