From Russia with Love

From Russia with Love Book Cover
First Edition cover

As part of my one-person celebration of all things Bond, in honour of the 50th anniversary of Bond films and leading up to the (scandalously delayed) Australian release of Skyfall, I’ve not only been rewatching all the films on Bluray, but I’ve finally started reading the novels.

The books are quite good and seem to get better written with each one.  One surprise from the books is that Bond is far less cynical about bedding women than in the films – he actually falls in love more than once, even if he seems to think that relationships are doomed to eventual failure.

I’m up to From Russia with Love, and it’s definitely the most assured so far. It has an interesting structure too – I was over a third into the book before Bond appeared. Hard to imagine a film doing that, though the Connery film did delay Bond’s appearance a bit compared to the other films.

Most reviewers claim FRWL is the best Bond novel, and so after this one I guess it’s all downhill, but so far so good.

Back To Writing

I have not updated this website for over a year now, partly because I spend less time online than I used to, and partly because I’m writing a lot less than I used to. Despite no updates in over a year (and the website being offline for abour six months), my website still gets a healthy number of hits – proof of the power of Google.

But my very late (or very early) New Year’s resolution is to write every single day, even if it’s only a “blog post”. I have never considered myself a “blogger”, even though I’ve used blogging sytems to run the MavArt site for I think over six years (first Greymatter, then MovableType, now WordPress). I use these blogging systems because they allow me to change the look of the site without changing its content, and visaversa. But being a “blogger” implies a certain dedication to regular updates and posts – a dedication I’ve never had.

But, my New Year’s resolution is to write every day, so I’m going to write every day, even if it’s just a little blog post or review on my website – like this one.

This post, as well as qualifying as my writing for today, is also a test of the idea of using my Palm Treo 650 phone to type and upload blog posts. I’ve owned several Palm handheld computers and loved all of them, even the crappy plastic one that fell apart, but when I first got the Palm Treo I disliked the weeny little keyboard it had. I ‘d gotten quite good at the stylus-based Graffiti system for entering text on my other Palms, and clicking on the tiny little qwerty keyboard on the Treo seemed a lot slower.

But I recently discovered that I’d been pressing the keys the wrong way – using the tips of my index fingers, fingernails, or even the stylus pen in an effort to only press one key at a time. Now I realise that by pressing the keys with the end of my whole finger/thumbs, it may press more than one key, sometimes as many as four, but the PalmOS almost always guesses correctly which key I meant.

And if you’re reading this then I guess I figured out a way to upload it…

Brown Outs, Talk Back, and The BBC

Thanks to an extended brownout, Skevos has too much time to think.

I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s nearly four in the morning and ever since we got home (about seven hours ago) the house has been in one long brown out. Obviously I’ve seen brown outs before, they’re a fact of life in Brisbane and they’re part of the reason I bought a UPS unit to protect my PC data, but until tonight they’ve always been momentary events.
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Milligan’s Autograph

Farewell Spike Milligna, the well known typing error…

Some people collect autographs as a passion. Others casually get autographs from famous people they meet (athletes leaving the field, an actor in a coffee shop, that kind of thing), keep them for a while, then throw them away. From a fairly early age I realised that autographs meant nothing to me. I just didn’t “get” it – and I still don’t. What’s the big deal about getting someone famous to sign a piece of paper? Perhaps my contempt of autographs was just part of my contempt for fame. I’ve rarely been “awed” by seeing a famous person. But there is an exception. One day I did ask someone for their autograph: Spike Milligan.
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