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On a bus

07 April 201111:52AMlife

So this is me, sitting on a bus.

First things first, typing on a Kindle is not as easy as you'd think given the fact that it's got a real keyboard. For starters, it's waaaaaay tto hard to get into the punctuation box, which,if you use as much punctuation and extended clauses and the like as I seem to, is a bit of a downer. It's pretty much the same complaint I had about typing on the iPad, which tells you something about both devices- they're clearly designed to consume content rather than produce, except the iPad claims it can do both (which is clearly false).

Crap, I'm gonna be late for physics. Which is not really a problem, since I don't actually do physics, but it'll make sneaking in the back late even more awkward.

Lecture theatres work pretty much the same way as buses. You come in, look around, and then make a beeline for the first seat you can see which is both unoccupied and has nobody next to it, preferably as close to the back as possible. If there's no seats with nobody in them, you sit next to someone else and ignore them. If there are no seats at all, you stand up. This is if you're by yourself, of course. If you're with friends, you grab as many consecutive seats as you can no matter where they are. In physics, this happens to be right down the front, which is a bit scary if you're only vaguely following the subject for the interesting bit and the lecturer has a habit of climbing over the front rows to make a point about particle physics.

The guy next to me (not right next to me, of course) isn't paying much attention either. I wonder if he's sitting in too? Or just disinterested in physics.


Aaaand I'm back on the bus. It just started to rain and the guy next to me is trying to explain Shroedinger's cat, and I'm forcibly reminded of The Big Bang Theory. I brought that one up in English today, and found out that amongst the TV conniosseurs it' pretty much universally reviled. Seriously, when I brought it up,the whole room went silent as if I'd jut condoned the holocaust. Then again, that class does get a little odd. At the moment it's text adventures, last week it ws fanfic, lesbian vampires and Darth Vader getting a haircut,coming up next is cyberpunk and Glee. I know right? To top it off, my linguistics tutor wears xkcd shirts and the lecturer references Klingon grammar...

I accidentally a stream of conciousnes that last paragraph, fr which I apologise. This is probably the longest I've ever taken on a post,and certainly the first time I've come back to one. Normally I just sit down and bash thee things out in a fit of incandescent... if not rage, then certainly appreciable fervour.

Anyway, back to the Kindle. It's friggin' addictive. The screen is awesome, but you probably already knew that. The keyboard is rubbish, but I've already said that. Everything about it gets out of the way and just lets you get totally immersed in the book. And I really have to sing the praises of the MP3 function. It has no controls (just go/stop) and plays sequentially, but it's not for actually playing music. It's for soundtracks. It could be just my penchant for movie soundtracks, but slapping a couple on there and just letting them cycle through works amazingly. It's like a tiny, self-containted universe generator. It's amazing.

They could probably expand that soundtrack thing into a proper feature, come to think of it. I'd have it work one of a couple of ways. Either you have soundtracks and triggers embedded in your ebooks (probably fairly simple to implement as they already have text-to-speech and audiobooks, but would blow out the file size quite a bit). Then authors can bundle soundtracks with their books, tied to certain locations. The other alternative is to have it more cloud-based. Tie in 'mood' tags to various points in the song and into the mp3 files on the device and play an appropriately-themed track for the section, or even link that in with their own Amazon Cloud Player and stream tracks over WiFi. Basically, this is a feature which could really push ebooks beyond just electronic books into becoming their own medium.


Holy carp, three edit sessions in a row on one post.

So there's this guy, who's a little bit... shall we say, touched in the head. He lives down in the dunes on City Beach, in a little tent. He always wears this battered old grey suit, and every night he goes fishing down at the City Beach jetty. He's taken a bit of a shine to dad's partner since she and dad befriended him while walking the dog at the beach one evening, and now does all sorts of odd stuff like giving us fish. This afternoon, as I was walking home, I saw dad talking to this guy by the front gate. I heard him mention something about $20 and not being able to help, and sort of squeezed past as dad was showing him out the gate. When he came back inside, I asked him what exactly just happened. Turned out this guy wanted to use our bath to baptise himself, and insisted that it had to be after dark on a friday night. We wrote it off as a bit weird but otherwise harmless, except that he turned up again ringing the doorbell about 15 minutes ago, asking about it again and clutching a book of some sort, which we reckoned was some kind of conspiriacy theorist's bible. Apparently dad just sent him away, but honestly, we have no idea what's he's going to do come Friday night. Given that I sleep in the only room with a bath, I hope he doesn't try to help himself... Just goes to show it takes all sorts.

And with that correctly-formed narrative (downside of doing linguistics #2: Analysing your own writing as you're writing it, just shy of #1: getting caught up in analysing other people's and your own speech so much that you forget to actually take part in the conversation but less than #3: having to wear sunglasses so you can stare at and listen in on other people's conversations comparing them to what your lecturer says they should be), I should probably finish up this post before it gains another editing session and another 500 words.


AND I'M BACK WITH ANOTHER EDI- no, just kidding.

Night everyone.

< Will someone please tell me why this is supposed to be funny? HECTIC. >