Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Dear Change This Guys:

I get it, you want to have links to essays on pdf files that work like PowerPoint presentations.  One of the "Elements of Style" type things that I learned about PPoint is that it is best when you only have a couple of sentences per slide.

In trying to use your site, I discovered the reason for this:  having a whole bunch of paragraphs on one slide makes things unreadable.  I can't read tiny print, I have to resize everything I look at on the web.  The zoom function on these pages creates a situation where I can't scroll down, or click to the next slide, or anything like that.

It seems to me, you have a big usability problem here.  This is not the first time I have come to your site, lured by someone's glowing recommendation of one of these "manifestoes", and been totally frustrated.

Is having a cute little "technology fest" with the pdf files worth more than having a readership?  I wonder.  Change This?  Change This!!!

Just a thought,


Saturday, January 13, 2007

"...It's in the caaan!"

Peter Murphy and Co. inventing Vampire Chic.

"Dialog dub.  Now here's the rub:  she's acting her reactions."

Edit:  Ok, it's like fricking cold now.  It was nice today when I walked the dogs, but all of a sudden, brrr.  Thankfully, last night I bought an electric blanket.  I am probably gonna sit in bed with a bunch of books tonight, starting at like 5:30, just so I can have my blankie on.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Book Distributing Takes a Pounding

So, a big distributor is running itself like Enron, eh?

Rather reminds me of when I was working at SuperCrown, where I would probably be working to this day if they hadn’t gone under in 2000.

One of my bosses there told me that they had gone bankrupt seven or eight times, and that this time the company was going on the auction block. It took about a year after the initial announcement for the company to slowly slide into the dumper. It was sad.

The story went that the reason they ran out of money was that the father and son that owned it kept suing each other. There was never any real journalistic investigation into this—every so often I google “SuperCrown”, to see if some business pundit has done some kind of analysis of what went wrong, but apparently everyone was too busy paying attention to the Elián González story to worry about the problems of a bookstore chain, and it got lumped in with a few other businesses that were tanking at the time. People lost their jobs, short shrift was paid.

But the more I think of it, it's not hard to believe that SuperCrown could have been doing some Enron-style wheeling and dealing. Lord knows there were enough corrupt store managers and supervisors that stole from the store after they counted the money at the end of the night. There were two who did it during the two and a half years I worked there, and I could see how the way things were done could make this a company-wide epidemic--very poor security measures, promoting people that may not have been mature enough to take on the responsibilities of management.

One of them was absolutely flamboyant about it, he waited until the Christmas season, when there would have been a huge amount of business for the store. On the evening when the coffers swelled to about $4000, he counted up the cash, stuck it in his backpack, and skateboarded off into the night.

Over this past Xmas, I went over to Barnes & Noble (I had to, two people had given me gift cards) and caught up with one of my old SuperCrown buddies, who has managed to become the head of the children's department there. When this particular B&N opened, I managed to get a job helping open it--the bastards broke my heart by dropping me after three days. Anyway, my friend and another person that works there that I know from working with them at Carl's Jr, want me to apply, so I'm going to gear up to go get a job there around March to get a jump on the summer hiring season. This time I want them to hang on to me. It's not that I don't enjoy my four-legged charges, it's just that I get tired of picking up dog poo.

I'm starting to think that reading is rapidly becoming the domain of the well to do (not if people like me--and I'm sure, like you as well, can help it, though). But think about it: People that are too poor not to work two jobs don't really have time to read, and are usually so tired they flop down in front of a reality show before they read a book. And going to the big chain stores, you don't see a lot of books from those smaller publishers--just a lot of prepackaged "For Dummies" type of drek. And hardback books are jumping in price--it's not unheard of to see them for around forty bucks now.

I'm happy that I have a lot of literate (and literary) friends. I hope that the next time you get a jones for some books, you'll think of buying directly from a small publisher.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

As It is Written, Let It Be Done...

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been thinking about the fact that though I have been kicking around the periphery of paganism for many years, I have never actually joined anything, or had any kind of ceremonial ritual setting myself apart--I did when I was a Christian all those years ago, but not as a pagan.

I almost had one last year with a group, but backed out at practically the last minute. It wasn't the time, these weren't the people (although, I hasten to add, many of those folks were very cool people.) Since that experience, I've come to believe that my spiritual path needed to be solitary, although that didn't mean it was any less of a path than someone initiated into a group, an order or a coven.

In the past few days I received *signals* that now was the time, that I should work up a self-dedicatory rite, and perform it.

Therefore, let it be known, that I, Hermgirl, today dedicated myself to the service of all the gods, to the honor of the Lord and Lady, to the glory of Hermes my patron.

The Oracles

Tarot: Two of Cups, Three of Swords, The Hermit.
I believe the significance of this is that we have two disparate forces, the two of cups and the three of swords are like yin and yang, love and hate, pleasure and pain, coming together. Adding two and three gives you five, which is the number of the Hierophant, which is my soul card. This represents the good and bad in all people, and the need to accept them both together. The Hermit is a counterpart of the Hierophant, where the five is about orthodoxy and teaching and listening to teachers, the nine is about going off alone and listening to your own still small voice. Also the significance of 2007 as a nine year.
The I Ching of Mi-Lo: Trigram 64
Before Completion: Things are difficult, but ther is great promise. Be careful and very deliberate. You could still blow it. Do your due dilligence before proceeding.
His blade of human knowledge, natural astuteness particularized by long associations with cases in police court, had been tempered by brief immersions in the waters of general philosophy.--from The Portable James Joyce
Theme of the year: Gnosis

We'll see how things are in a year and a day.

Happy Lunar New Year!

So on New Year's Eve at midnight there was a huge amount of fireworks, the kind that sound like bombs going off. It was like people wanted to kick '06 in the ass on its way out.

It had been a real bitch of a year, I think, for me, for people I know, and for the US in general. A lot of goofy shit went down in '06.

I'm not a numerologist, but I have heard ideas bandied about regarding 2007, which adds up to the number 9, a number of completion. The ninth sephira is Yesod, which is called the Fundamental Principal, or the Foundation. There will be things reaching their apex this year, things righting themselves, things reaching their level. Maybe some of us will get our wish, which is something I always say when I see the Nine of Cups card.

Another thing about last year, specifically its ending: I'm gonna go all woo-woo on you here. Another idea that's been bandied about was the three deaths that occurred in the last week. I remember when the Pope died, it was also in a group of three--I can't remember who the others were.

That day I was at a Tarot Symposium, and I danced a little dance with Lon Milo Duquette to give the old guy a nice sendoff into the Hereafter (the Pope, not Lon Milo Duquette!) But I remember my Tarot teacher then talking about how when a "train" of folks go up, as she termed it, it sometimes signifies a time of change in the world.

I believe that, and I also think the deaths of James Brown, Gerald Ford, and Saddam Hussein, while it was their time to go, it was also something of a sacrifice, along the order of how some believe the death of Princess Diana was a sacrifice. If you look at the architectural topography of the place Diana got in the accident, the neighborhood was filled with metaphysical symbology, and probably a center of natural ley lines as well.

In my last blog entry, I wondered who was the next to go, and I was only being halfway silly.