HCaldwell:On . . .


What is there to say? I'm not very interesting. I'm not a good writer. I don't even dress well. If you insist on knowing something about me just wander through the archives. It's all there.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

On color coding text

The weather here went from cool and comfortable to hot and miserable seemingly overnight. As soon as I wrote this sentence I realized that it sounded better to write it differently. (Seemingly overnight, the weather here went from cool and comfortable to hot and miserable.) I am not certain which of the two versions is more grammatically correct, but I like the way the latter version sounds when I say it aloud.

This may be one of those gray areas of language where the way that we speak differs from the way that we write. It seems as though there ought to be a convention that allows us to communicate to a reader that we are writing in the way that we speak, rather than writing as we would write writing. I suppose that that is what quotation marks are supposed to do. Using quotation marks, however, makes it seem more like a narrative or dialogue to be actually spoken rather than material that should be read as we meant it be read, not heard. Quotations marks don’t suggest that we meant to write it, not speak it, except that we wrote it so that it sounded right when we spoke it.

No, there needs to be a different sort of clue. Perhaps, since inexpensive color printers are so commonplace, we could use a color code. Classic black text would be written in the way that reads the way it should be written. Blue text would be written in the way that sounds right to us when we speak it aloud, although we intended for it to be read, no spoken.

Text that, as written, is probably indicative of some sort of progressive brain disorder?


Saturday, May 27, 2006

On my limited heartbeats

I have been reading a book recently that makes the point that with each breath, we are dying a little bit more. This is based on the idea that each person and animal is pre-programmed with a certain number of breaths, a certain number of heartbeats and therefore, a predetermined life span. Essentially, with every heartbeat we use up one of our finite supply.

You could view this as a rather bleak perspective on things. It is definitely a “glass half empty” view of your lifespan. On the other hand, thinking about it does tend to make me appreciate the “live each moment” school of thought. It also makes me wonder how I can readily justify the increased heart rate that rigorous exercise necessitates. I have always held to the philosophy that ”you should only run when you are being chased”, but most medical evidence would seem to encourage me to liberally expend my limited supply of heartbeats in the sweaty and not particularly pleasant, pursuit of an extended lifespan. Added to that is the fact that I have heard many stories of people who died suddenly while engaged in rigorous exercise. I don’t believe that I have ever heard of anyone who died of oversleeping. I don’t know of anyone who has suffered from a fatal recliner overdose. I have never read about any communities plagued by a cluster of deaths caused by a mysterious outbreak of afternoon naps.

Nonetheless, I suppose that for the foreseeable future, I will have to give my doctor the benefit of the doubt and puff away my precious supply of breaths while engaging is regular exercise. After all, he knows all Latin words for all the things that can go wrong with me and I do pay him an outrageous amount of money for his multi-syllabic advice.

Tomorrow, I will indeed fritter away a few of my precious heartbeats during a vigorous walk.

Today, I will live in the moment.
I will take a nap.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

On hidden driveways

I passed a yellow traffic sign recently posted by the side of our road. It read, "Caution: Hidden Driveway". The first thing that entered my mind was the question...

"If it's that well hidden, how did they know where to put the sign?"