Sunday, January 05, 2003

Trivia of the day …
Did you know that the phrase “out of sorts” may be a printer’s term? After use, moveable type letters must be sorted into bins (capitals into the bins in the upper case, small letters into the bins in the lower case). If the printer’s apprentice hasn’t been keeping up with the task of sorting letters into bins, the master is likely to get cranky. He is out of sorts.

This dubious bit of trivia comes from The Complete Manual of Typography by James Felici, which I received as a Christmas present.

Wednesday, January 01, 2003

On the bookshelf …

I just finished reading a little book with the odd title “Stop Stealing Sheep & find out how type works“. This is a book on typography, more or less. The title refers to a quote from type designer Frederic Goudy. He was given an award, and didn’t approve of the typography on the certificate. Reportedly he said, “Anyone who would letterspace black letter would steal sheep.” The first page of the book promised that “by the time you finish this book … you will understand and be amused by Mr.¬†Goudy’s pronouncement.”

I don’t think the book delivered. Like a couple of other typography texts I’ve perused, this one starts out strong but quickly degenerates into examples and handwaving. The authors “explain” with entertaining but shallow analogies to clothing, rooms in a house, and pictures of people.

I can only come to one conclusion. Typography must be art.

Monday, August 12, 2002

OK, so I’ve been negligent in writing anything here.

The big excitement today was a flat tire on my bicycle. I found half a wooden toothpick had somehow been driven straight into the tire. Must have been near the end of yesterday’s ride, since I didn’t notice any problem yesterday but the tire was completely flat today.

At least inner tubes are still cheap. $4 at the neighborhood bike shop. This is the first repair/maintenance I’ve had to do on the new bike, and it went smoothly. I still had time to ride before dark.

Sunday, June 09, 2002

I rearanged my home network today, so I’m no longer using Qualcomm IP addresses. Now I have a fully-separated double network. The cable modem is only connected to one computer and to a firewall/router, on a 10BASE-T network. Then there’s a 10/100 LAN that connects everything, using non-routing addresses. There are several wired and wireless ports available for visitors, too.

Wednesday, April 17, 2002

Today I went to see Lord of the Rings again at the matinee. There was a lot more detail than I remembered. I think I may need to see it again to appreciate more of the details.

One thing that I remember clearly from my first viewing was the stunned silence from the entire audience at the end of the movie. The first book (and this movie) ends with a multi-way cliffhanger steeped in despair. Usually at the end of a movie everybody stands up and the theatre is empty before the Best Boy comes up in the credits. Not with this movie.

But in today’s showing, they partly spoiled the effect. Between the end of the movie and the credits, they played a lengthy coming attractions trailer for the next movie, The Two Towers. I was happy to see the footage, but I didn’t want to see it just then. I guess they couldn’t very well show it before the movie, though.

The next movie looks good, too. I was worried that there wasn’t enough action in the second book to make a good movie. Now I’ll have to go back to the books and see if they’re going to cheat and move some stuff from the third book into the second movie. But it sure looks like there’s plenty of material.