Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Lazy Man Runs!

I went running today for the first time in probably a year. My legs feel like rubber, but the cardio feels great. I would have liked to have run for 30-40 minutes, but didn't have the time this morning. I'll have to build up to that again.

I used to run just about every day up until almost three years ago. That's when I started having a lot of trouble with my knees. The doctor never was able to completely explain the pain I was having. It's mostly gone now, but I'm going to ease back into running.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

eMusic and DRM (or the Lack Thereof)

ArsTechnica has an interesting article on eMusic. This is a company that sells DRM-less MP3 music files based on a monthly subscription. They cater to a slightly different crowd than iTunes and apparently don't directly compete with Apple's service. For $10 per month you can download up to 40 songs, mostly from independent labels rather than the majors (that is, you won't find 50 cent or U2 there) . It sounds like something that might be worth checking out.

Independent Writing Project is a Go

I received word last week that I would be accepted for the independent writing project. This will be my final class for my BA. I'm already knee deep in stories that need to be revised, it seems, and several of these may be able to be used for this class. The requirement is that I produce about 60 pages of as yet ungraded fiction. This shouldn't be a problem, but I'll only have about five weeks after may 30th, when the summer session begins. Time to get back to writing and revising!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The New MacBook Arrives!

I've yet to read any sort of analysis on the new MacBook Apple released yesterday. At first glance, it looks pretty awesome. Apple is so far claiming performance improvements of up to 5x when compared to the old iBook and PowerBook G4's. Of course, the actual performance will be debated endlessly and numerous hairs will be attempted to be split. The bottom line is that clearly this new laptop is a much more powerful and capable box.

A few things of note: It does have integrated graphics with shared RAM, the bane of all lower end laptops. I've given this some thought, though. I don't like it, but I'm guessing it still offers substantial performance improvements over the old setup. The amount of memory available to the graphics processor has doubled to 64MB. This is coupled with the fact that each MacBook is equipped with a Core Duo Intel processor starting at 1.83MHz. Not too shabby.

I'm still a bit disappointed that we haven't yet seen a more budget-minded model, but I definitely believe that it's possible and that we might even see one in time for Christmas. The new MacBook is priced a hundred dollars above the old one ($1099) for the entry level model and will probably sell pretty well with the new brighter 13.3" widescreen and speedy processor.

The footprint will be a little wider and the unit slightly heavier, but around a quarter inch thinner. As with the Pro versions, there is no modem inside this unit. A USB modem is available separately. I don't believe this will be much of an issue for most users.

All in all, this seems to be a pretty good machine and Apple seems to know what it's doing. Steve Jobs is definitely not an idiot and will continue to aggressively pursue innovation and market share, but on his own timeline.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Muddy Creek

Here's another snippet of a story I'm working on revising:

The street lamps’ sickly yellow light slid greasily over the sky blue Monte Carlo as the long shape prowled the asphalt. With the windows down, the humidity of the night seemed to pour inside, sticking thickly to the stained and cigarette burned cloth seats. The smell of Muddy Creek filled the air on nights like this, spreading an invisible musty and rotten cloud over the whole area. The smell felt oddly cool, though, from the subterranean air issuing from enormous culverts hiding half of the festering storm runoff and sewage overflow.

The radio blared the latest heavy metal crunch with a tinny, far-away sound, as if coming through a thick fog. Cars slipped past him in both directions, snatches of music escaping through open windows with each passing. Everything seemed far away tonight. The lights of the shopping center blinked from way down the strip. He slowed down a little, dreading their approach. He wanted to drive away, as far as he could, instead. He fixed his eyes to the road in front of him and pushed the accelerator down.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Naming Stories

I was working on a revision of a story this morning and a new title just hit me out of nowhere. A lot of times I use a working title just to get things going and then brainstorm for a new one later if it doesn't just hit me during the writing process.

I had initially chosen a name that didn't quite fit, but helped me to focus a little bit more on the details of the story. The story is based on some events from my own life, with modifications and embellishments, of course, to actually make it interesting.

I wonder how other writers come up with titles for their work? It seems to me that the title can be extremely important in drawing the reader's eye from that crucial first glance. If it doesn't have a compelling title to begin with, how many are just going to skip right over it and not give it another chance?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Another Day Goes by Without the New iBook

Yesterday passed us by without an announcement from Apple regarding the new iBook replacement, probably to be named simply MacBook. This newest version of the famous low end of the Macintosh laptop lineup is supposed to have a 13 inch or so widescreen, a new speedy Intel processor and several other features all ready found on the MacBook Pro.

There is some discussion that there may be more than one color available, probably just black and white, and that the price point may actually be raised somewhat. My guess would be that there will be at least one model that will be priced below current levels in order to compete more closely with some of the entry level Windows laptops. It would be an aggressive marketing move from Apple. We should find out in the next couple of weeks...

Saturday, May 06, 2006

The Semester is Finally Over!

I'm so glad this term is done. It's been a trial for a number of reasons. Here I am on Saturday morning, though, and I'm feeling strange because I don't have to read any books or write any papers. I still have to work out something for taking that one final class, but it is a huge relief to be finished with this term.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Final Exam Today

I have one more final to take for this term and then the semester is over! Let me tell ya, this one has been a long one. Just one more course to take this summer and I'm done.

I'm still trying to work something out with an instructor so I don't have to attend a class. I'd like to do an independent writing project that will give me the elective credit I need and also allow me to focus on what I'd like to be doing, that is, writing. Hopefully, I'll get some good news soon. Stay tuned...

Web This Blog
Get your own email button

Powered by Blogger

    Subscribe in NewsGator Online
    Add to Google
    Add to My AOL
    Subscribe in Bloglines