Saturday, April 28, 2012

Book Victory

I have been having a lot of trouble focusing on reading lately. A conspiracy of distraction, by visible and invisible agents, has left my patience and ability to focus in shreds. I am running out of bookmarks for my unfinished projects.

I really need some book victories. Not just for the satisfaction of checking off another book, but more for the feeling of thought, the mind at work. To hear the gears running, going beyond cramming the mind with facts.

I had a minor victory in the completion of book club book today. Wind, sand, and stars is a short poetic reflection on the world through the eyes of a pilot in the early days of aviation. It is a french author, which in my experience is a struggle between narrative, philosophy, and poetry.

I was surprised it was not better enjoyed at book club. Mood seems to play a role. Not everyone enjoys wrestling with contrary thoughts (the author was a libertine aristocrat), preferring different battles in their books. It also doesn't hurt that the book was romanticizing logistics; near and dear to my heart.

Still one book down. Hopefully more to come.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Harnessing the hardware

Over the past year (roughly), I have come into possession of a number of new devices. They came as surprise gifts as I always assumed that people will give me a video game or book. They seem more affordable then hardware. But, software isn't as exciting to watch someone unwrap I guess ( and digital books even less so). But I digress.

As of right now I own an iPad 2, a kobo touch, a psp go, a Samsung galaxy. If I am fully honest, I really only brush lightly against the functionality of these devices. I'm not sure whether it is a tribute to the devices' complexity or their generality that I use only a small percentage of these 21st century wonders.

My desire to master these devices varies. The kobo's online rewards (to post on Twitter or Facebook) are frankly insulting; why should I want people to know why I choose to read? All mightier award indeed. Apart from the games to finish, the psp is rather clunky to do anything other than play video games. I tried to use it once as a calendar organizer to great frustration. Have to wait for the next model I suppose.

The source of that "not living up to one's potential" comes from the iPad and samsung galaxy. From my reading I can compose a symphony, run a website (or web business), write a novel, make movie, record a podcast, conduct an interview, paint a sunset...anything. These devices can enhance almost any profession, or start one.

The whole thing is rather daunting. It makes one feel that to simply use the device to check email is beneath it. As I type a text, I can almost feel the device judging my digital lifestyle (or the lack of one). If You Tube is any indication, I am not alone in my feeling. And the take away is one must be willing to tinker, commit the time, and choose your battles.

Time, time, time, plagued with the lack of it. It seems I write in circles. I need to fix that.



Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The wonders of jury duty

It is a weird sensation to be on jury duty. Essentially it is a lot of waiting. A waiting for an event to not happen. I hope it doesn't make me a bad citizen that I don't want to be on a jury. I lack a desire for legal details that everyone else who I have discussed the matter with seem to possess. I will do my civic duty, but it is not an activity i would enjoy. Apparently I prefer policy development rather than the creation of legal precedent. A preference to policy implementation than seeing the daily details of the law.

The other oddness is the forced slowness. I am in a room of waiting with no reliable Internet and so I can sit, think, read, and write. A rare chance to be alone without responsibility. No one to follow up with, no tasks to be done. There is a certain amount of enjoyment in that.

If I had food it would be perfect.


Update: I wasn't selected. After such a long wait, I must confess that I was a bit put out to be abruptly dismissed without any context as to why I wasn't chosen. It's an odd feeling to have since I didn't want to be selected.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Giving up on games

Recently, I have been part of several different discussions regarding the abandonment of books/ video games. The main point of debate is if/when it was appropriate to give up on a item of leisure. At what page is it okay to put a book aside. What point is a video game okay to get rid of. What endings are not worth seeing.
To be honest I'm in the finisher faction. I believe caution is the better course than leaving a task half finished. Some might say its sadomasochist, some might say there is so much better things out there to skip on.
And yet, I just can't reconcile it with the tenement that life is work. Challenge is key. At the end of it, you should finish what start.