December is on. In all the novels that I read, december rhymes with winter. It’s a snow-month, flakes of white ‘substances’ that are as exotic to me as marihuana, and as exciting. For me, december is colder. Dimmer, thinner, wispier than other months. And definitely less livelier. Everything seems to wind down after a long, lovely (ugly) year, and I catch my breath for a while, now and again to let in the last of a year that I enjoyed (wasted).

Have you seen rain? Not slight drizzly rain, not the boring drops that fall and then pitter away like boring drops of rain. Not that, like this one:

One day, it started raining, and for six months it didn’t stop…I’ve been to all kinds of rain in Vietnam, slow rain, hard rain, sleet rain, rain that came in sideways and sometimes, rain that seemed to come out of the ground itself. (A quote from Forrest Gump, reproduced from memory)

I’ve seen rain, though I haven’t seen snow: slow rain, hard rain, rain that comes in sideways, and sometimes, rain that seemed to come out of the ground itself. Once, when it was raining – really raining, not like the boring drops of decemberwinter – I went out on the terrace and soaked it all in (really). The next day, I got a huge cold and the beginnings of asthma, but I didn’t mind.

I think, in small ways like this, people are blessed in different ways. I can’t see snow, but I’ve been given rain as a substitute. And I think I love rain, and what it means and what it means for the snow around me.

Master Slave and Me

“I need a mouse adaptor, please. Female to male.”
“I’m sorry, sir, but that is politically incorrect language.”
“Uh, ok, um, lemme see. Can I please have a mouse adaptor where one end has pins sticking out and one end has holes to fill.”
“You trying to be funny with me, boy?”
“Ugh, ok, never mind. Just give me a master/slave controller.”
“That’s it, I’m calling the police, pervert!”

I swear, it’s only on Slashdot that political correctedness becomes a i’ll-race-you-to-the-better-joke championship.


For most people reading – serious reading – implies books. For me, mostly due to necessity, serious reading nowadays implies whole nights staring at my 17-incher. At first, I missed the yellow paper, I missed turning pages – I missed my bookmark, I missed chewing on some passages and quickly poking at others to really enjoy the book. For all the wonders of digital text, computer reading is so terribly sequential – you press Page Down to go to the next page or you press the down arrow to scroll. With a book, you flick – so! – and the pages rush at you with an exhiliration that even 17 inches of real estate can’t beat.

A book is superior, at least with current technology, but since the big N interferes in my case (and maybe yours) I’ll show you some things that’ll make ereading a better experience:

Essentials for a starved E-reader (Checklist)

  1. A good monitor
  2. Microsoft Word
  3. Microsoft Reader
  4. Read in Microsoft Reader Add-in for Microsoft Word
  5. Adobe Acrobat Reader
  6. A good P2P

Interested users will figure out what’s common between the list.

The RiddleMaster of Hed

The RiddleMaster of Hed by Patricia McKillip

Wonderful. It’s not that wonderful that I’m gaga over it, but McKillip is one of the better wielders of fantasy out there. I loved elements like “land-law” and “mind-shout” and I loved Morgon. If I’m not way off the mark, the trilogy is still unresolved, especially the romance of Morgan and Raederle.