Monday, May 23, 2011

Ode du Spam Folder | The Kindness of Strangers | Microsoft Bob and the Gardens of Time

1. Ode du Spam

Well, I thought it was funny.  Made up of actual lines from my spam folder.  There's something particularly evocative about the second and third lines...or maybe it's just because I'm currently reading Raymond Chandler and my mind is influenced thusly.

In any case, it makes about as much sense as a lot of other modern poetry.

2. The Kindness of Strangers

On a completely different subject (abrupt switches are what I do), I would like to say thank you to MT Coalhopper.  After the recent dip pen post in which I mentioned the Esterbrook 313 Probate nib, he offered to send me some Esterbrook 312 Judges Quills, which are similar in some respects, but a much finer, more manageable point.  I received his package this week, and not only did it contain a generous quantity of the nibs in question, but also a selection of other points and this beautifully handcrafted little box with slots for each.  I'm very much enjoying trying these out.

3. Bob
Another abrupt change in direction: does anyone at all besides me remember the travesty that was Microsoft Bob?  Essentially, it was supposed to be a kinder, gentler Windows-Within-Microsoft-Windows.  You could set up a virtual "house" with various rooms and various images linked to programs.  For example, in your office, you might set it so when you clicked a pad of paper sitting on the desk, it launched your word processor, or clicking the kitchen stove might open a recipe card program.  Really, it was all rather insultingly cartoony and foolish, and it bombed in a big way. (Except that someone smuggled the various "assistants" out the back door and into Microsoft Office.  You know that irritating bouncing paperclip?  Blame Bob.)

Although I never actually used it as a user interface, I wasted I don't know how much time decorating my Microsoft Bob house.  I was incredibly drawn in by the ability to set up rooms, rearrange furniture, change decor, etc. etc. at the click of a button, likely due to my lack of any real-life housekeeping or gardening skills.

The punch line?  This weekend I stumbled into a Facebook game (Garden of Time) with two components, one of which is a rather addicting game with two subsets (find-the-hidden-objects and spot-the-differences, in various historical time periods), and the other has you set out your "garden" on a grid, Visio style.  Both components sucked me in this weekend.  I accomplished pretty much nothing, aside from endlessly shuffling white flowers and park benches (with dreamy music playing in the background) and clicking on hidden playing cards and pineapples.

Well, that, and I did type up some eight or nine thousand words of the last NaNoWriMo.  I'm somewhere past the halfway point on that project.

Oh, and I broke down and ordered some Noodler's "Black Swan in Australian Roses" ink.  For that, I blame Adwoa.

(And tonight, I did actually work in the real garden for an hour or so...though somehow, there are a lot more weeds and bugs in the real world...)


Anonymous said...

That was a very generous gift. Hope you have fun experimenting with the various nibs. If you get a chance, try using an Esterbrook 314 nib. It is plated with something and it is the smoothest dip nib I've tried. The 314 has my has become my favotite non-italic nib.

Please let us know about the Noodlers ink you ordered. It sounds intriguing. I wish someone sold it locally.

Jeff The Bear

Machines of Loving Grace said...

Ugh. I was doing PC phone tech support when the abominal Bob came out.

I hear Clippy is making a comeback, too. And the dog (forget its name) could still be seen in the search feature right up until Windows 7.

As you have probably seen, I, too, am hopelessly addicted to Gardens of Time. It reminds me of the little worlds I and my friends used to create out of boxes, action figures, and Matchbox cars. Only now I can put a grown-up facade on my childhood playtime by claiming that "I'm modulating the time crystals in order to earn X number of reputation points and unlock the next paradox. Yeah, that's the ticket."

Little Flower Petals said...

I'll have to do some sort of review of the ink eventually, though I doubt I can do as nice a job as Adwoa. Can't wait to see it in person! And I just love a lot of the literary or poetic names of some of the Noodler's inks, goofy though they may be.

I also keep meaning to write up a bit about the Leuchtturm1917 notebook I got at Powell's Books. I'm about halfway through it, and (with a few minor caveats) pleased with it. As far as ink goes, at least, it works much better than Moleskine. Pricier than composition books, of course, and I wouldn't use 'em for just scribbling, but as journals...they're quite nice.

Little Flower Petals said...

Only now I can put a grown-up facade on my childhood playtime by claiming that "I'm modulating the time crystals in order to earn X number of reputation points and unlock the next paradox."

Exactly! Heh...

Come to think of it, we did the world building thing as kids, too, mostly with those wonderful old wood blocks. (Why are such things so hard to find these days??) Good times.

Adwoa said...

Glad I could help! I hope you have received BSIAR by now and are busy putting it to good use in your dip pen nibs and fountain pens... I think it's saturated and strong enough to hold up to dip pens, albeit with a small amount of feathering.

Ooh, I am making a to-do list (more of a to-shop-for list!) for when I get to Berlin tomorrow, and you've just reminded me to write down Leuchtturm1917. It's not sold locally, so I haven't been able to try them yet - looking forward to it!