I love Dewey Decimal

In which I know my Blogging-Topic from my Blogging-Subject.

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”
— Marcus Tullius Cicero

I consider myself to have a larger than median book collection (a rough estimate says between 500-600 books), it fills 3 1/2 large Billy bookcases…and part of the floor…and under the bed. I have most of the books I have ever had from childhood to the present day, in a wide range of genre and type.

Most people I know just put books on a shelf, this is just a travesty. There are systems people, systems and one specially for books, the Dewey Decimal system.

The act of curating my bookcases took a full three days, mainly due to stopping and reading but also because each one had to fit in the right place. It’s like a giant vertical jigsaw where every piece is rectangular. Fiction and non-fiction should be separate, sci-fi and fantasy beside each other but not mixed, ordered by publication date where possible (notable exceptions include having to place The Silmarillion before The Hobbit which comes before Lord of the Rings).

Books on science flow from Physics to Biology via Chemistry, history from Ancient Greece to Modern day. Sports are linked by players and nationalities, everything in order not overspilling the shelf. And this is where the problems arise.

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Counting my three hundred words

In which I hit my word limit.

I have a strange fascination with three hundred, not the “This is Sparta” kind but having to type a triple century of words. For some reason I have it in my head that this is the ideal length of a blog post.

I may have got this from reading some random article that suggested anything less than this mystical figure was punishable by Google. I think it reflects the crazy notion that an obscure site in some corner of the interwebs needs SEOing to death (even though SEO is basically snake oil for the digital age).

I even have set goals for where I need to be before adding the button to:

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Writing to write

In which I ruminate on my failure as a novelist.

I have a continual process of checking and reposting old pieces of writing, I am constantly discovering new ways to say what I thought I had said but did not do it very clearly. Added to this it is always nice to resurrect an old post from archive oblivion.

As I was going through last winter’s posts I discovered my feeble attempt at NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and was embarrassed by:

This was the point in which I gave up trying to be a writer and jus to be happy as someone who wrote.

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If we were having c̶o̶f̶f̶e̶e̶ tea now

In which I stick the kettle on.

If we were having coffee now then we would almost certainly be in a place where it was cheap and most likely awful. The reason I would be having coffee would be that, even though it was terrible, the likelihood is that the tea would be even worse. If there is one thing more horrific to an Englishman than bad coffee it is bad tea.

If we were having coffee now you would sit there with you fancyacappmahino and I would be trying to drink down a coffee hinted pint of milk with as much sugar and chocolate powder as possible. I don’t know why I think this is any better because I hate both sugary milk and chocolate milkshakes, so rather than have bad coffee-house tea I would rather drink a combination of three that I don’t like. That is how awful the tea is.

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Answering my (spam) commenters

In which I troll the trolls of the spa comments.

Over the last week I’ve had so many lovely comments (and been extremely tardy at leaving them on others sites), and I really wanted to highlight a few…but I don’t want to play favourites. Being British I have to seek to avoid personal conflict so as not to appear rude, so rather than mention one or two (which is not possible) I would have to either mention everybody like I was a verbose Oscar winner or mention nobody at all.

So I’m taking the latter, instead I want to highlight some of the amazing comments I’ve got from people I know won’t get upset…the spambots. Thankfully I have a handle on the fake comments left, but I like to review them from time to time because they can be funnier than anything I write. The following comments are all ‘real’ as in they got posted as a comment (and then, thankfully, kicked out by WordPress) but I feel it’s time to open the spam postbag and engage with non-real people.

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Shoes everywhere

In which I can’t move for tripping over my own shoes.

But I need more shoes…
– Mrs Geek ergo Sum, everytime we are near a shoe shop.

I don’t understand why people need a lot of shoes, Not in the “ooh you can’t have too many shoes because who knows which pair you might need to wear” but in the “you can’t have too many pairs of shoes because why do you need them all”. I have shoes that have purpose not fashion. They may be fashionably purposeful but I don’t buy a similar pair of shoes in a slightly different colour to accumulate another piece of footwear.

Each piece of cobblery I own has a job, to keep my foot adorned in a particular situation and place. If they don’t have a job then they don’t exist. I don’t have a collection of footwear that looks like this.

PHOTO-Mrs G's Shoes

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The space to write

In which I sit down and just start typing.

Giving up the morning hassle of driving has freed up a lot more time in my life. Instead of spending two hours a day trying to find a piece of music I like (or not getting angry at the volume of adverts on chat radio) I now spend my life with the pleasure of my fellow commuters on the British rail network (…and I love it so).

Although I don’t get all 120 minutes back I do have half it, and this is fantastic for my productivity. Where I used to have to find some time to sit down and write a few hundred words (because the daily target is three hundred) now I have the perfect amount of time to sit down and tap away at a keyboard.

There is only one place to write and that is alone at a typewriter. The writer who has to go into the streets is a writer who does not know the streets. . . . when you leave your typewriter you leave your machine gun and the rats come pouring through.
— Charles Bukowski, Notes of a Dirty Old Man

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Easy Writer

In which something is only worth doing if it is hard to do.

When it comes to writing I’m full of a strange bravado, as I can hit the keys on my keyboard I feel that somehow qualifies me to be a writer. In the same way that I can swing a golf cup makes me Tiger Woods (well maybe Now-Tiger Woods not Then-Tiger Woods). This bravado is seriously misplaced because my style of writing is best described as “adequate”, and I’m happy with that because that is what I am aiming for.

It is easy to be “adequate”, play a little sports then you’ll be an “adequate” player, or maybe sketch a few pictures then you’ll be an “adequate” artist. If you only tune in a little to what your kids need then you are going to be be, if you are lucky, an “adequate” parent. If you want to be good at something though…

…that’s going to be hard.

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26 things to get angry about

In which I get angry about a lot of things but mostly at procrastination.

I’ve been doing a bit of ranting recently, whether it is about work or old people or just anyone that is not a mirror copy of me (and to be honest I can get pretty cross with myself). If only I could get isolate each and everyone of these ‘faults’ that I find in others and give them a warning to shape up or ship out.

I’m not saying this list is perfect, but it’s mine, as I tend to get irritated at the smallest of triggers. I also get angry at other people’s stupidity while still being dumb myself. I’m also very fond of lumping groups of people together based upon the sins of one individual.

Stuff that really hacks me off.

aka The Angry List

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Football Manager studies

In which I take a non league team to European glory.

This may seem strange to measure my life against what amounts to a spreadsheet-based football simulation, but one constant in my life for the last 15 years has been the annual release of this game. Added to this is the fact that the first weekend of release has been passed over to a 48 hour session of tinkering with formations and scouting every single under-18 player I can find. Football Manager, and before that the original Championship Manager has been there tempting me with one more game since my mid-teens. I have FM Addiction.

Along with Sensible Soccer it was my education into the world of football, cementing my love of Italian Football and AC Milan in Championship Manager Italia. With my squad of Franco Baresi and Danielle Massaro I was Fabio Cappello (as it was at the time) leading the Diavollo to European success.

It was the game that took me from 10 library books a week to interfering with my revision at GCSE and A-Level and it took up my time at University. Some games claim to be able to change you life, for me only one has and with very significant impact. I wouldn’t change it for the world.

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