Coded green.

Saturday 26 August 2000


Pic of the day: Generosity! Rarely have I seen the rowan bearing such a load of red as now. The birds will dine richly this year. (The pathetic thing is that I very nearly was tempted to eat them myself - now that would do wonders for my digestion, no doubt!)

When the food looked good

It's Saturday, and that means slice of life. And what a life! Heh. Just kidding. You know I just keep stumbling through the world. And today I went stumbling to the bus stop when I looked at the street signs.

Yes, even here in Outer Suburbia, there are names for the roads, and signs to prove it. Only the signs are likely as not twisted around to point somewhere else, and sprayed over with paint by the local taggers. That's what we call them, I don't know if this is a real English word or not. They are painting, usually spraying, on various surfaces. Street signs seems to be all the rage around here. In the citys, they'll spray their tags on doors, walls, windows, buses ...

I remember the time when the young people with paint actually made paintings, sometimes large and colorful ones, on the drab grey walls. But that time is over now; now it is sheer vandalism, commited by people who are already losers. I recently heard a worried spokesman for the police saying that the tagger gangs tend to advance to drug abuse and then further drug related crimes. Duh. I mean, duh. You don't spray some shorthand on other people's doors unless you are seriously understimulated, and you also need to severely lack insight in the consequenses of what you do. That's the recipe for a drug addict if I ever heard one. These kids are disasters waiting to happen, like a very drunk blonde in miniskirts sleeping at the campus lawn in the evening. You can start pitying them as soon as they jump off the cliff; there is no reason to wait till they hit the ground.


I took the bus to Tangvall, the mini-town in our county. This was because I wanted to buy some nasal spray, which they don't have at the rural grocery where I use to shop. I'm usually deeply sceptical of such convenience medication, but what don't you do when you're desperate? I need to keep those sinuses open, and that presumably means I have to keep the nose open. Anyway, there I was. And after the drugstore, I went to the supermarket.

At first, I was not sure what was strange. Something was. I was walking by shelves of canned dinner food. Meatballs, spaghetti in sauce, corned beef, fishballs, bacon & beans ... they all looked too pretty. I stopped and looked at them, and remembered how good they tasted and how long it was since I had had a real dinner. I wondered why ... and then it came back to me. I'm sick. Try to eat anything as heavy as those, and my digestion would go absolutely crazy, leaving me in pain and dehydrated. Ouch.

But as I walked around the shop, I could not help noticing. The food was like beckoning to me. I never noticed there were so many different types of cheese! And they looked mouthwatering tasty, those I could see through the clear plastic. And there were fruit and vegetables that looked like I could just sink my teeth into them ... I found myself imagining just that, right where I stood. Strange attraction.

And it occurred to me: This must be how other people feel it all the time, when they are dieting. As it seems most women do regularly, and probably quite a number of men too. Me, I usually only see that glow of beauty in women. Then again, I guess I am dieting too, in my own way.


The e-book saga continues! After a very few days of the MicroSoft e-book reader, I have to say that it is reasonably convincing. Apart for the curious lack of color options (for the background, and perhaps the type too) it is certainly cool. As well it should be, using a portable that's cost me little less than $2000 at the exchange rate of that year. (The dollar has appreciated a bit since.) It may or may not be equally good on a Jornada.

I might have found out - there's a bunch of Jornada for sale at the coshopper branch of the Norwegian e-shop iMarkedet. The response from potential buyers so far is underwhelming; but I don't know whether this is because the HP Jornada 545 is bad, because the price is not right even with a group buy, or because the site is malfunctioning. It is, you see. I tried to register as a member, and got an error page. Actually I got two different error pages depending on whether I used Opera or MSIE5. But it sure didn't work, which I guess does not speak too well for the quality of the shop as a whole.

And there's the matter of the Rocket e-book and Glassbook, the other two main platforms for hand-held e-books today. I visited good old Barnes & Noble again, and read the (mostly) glowing reviews of the Rocket. It seems to be significantly cheaper than a hand-held PC too, perhaps not surprising, since it is supposed to do nothing except show books and magazines. The 32MB upgrade is not available outside the USA, though, for some reason. Perhaps they fear that North Korean spies will use it to read up on American spy thrillers, or something.

Anyway, the obvious problem here is that we have several different formats, which are (as usual) incompatible. Which one will survive? Or rather, which one will dominate? I doubt that they will just disappear, no more than the Mac or Linux. Oops, I guess I gave the answer already. The format backed by MicroSoft will necessarily dominate, right? Because that's what they do. So I guess my next PC, if any, will be a handheld. Too bad, because I could probably afford a Rocket right away. Oh well.

Hi, perhaps I should ask my reader. What do you think? Rocket or Pocket? Who should I choose to save the Finnish rain forest? They won't go away if I wait some weeks, I guess. (Though my interest just may - I am a fad man.)


Speaking of interests ... hint to my Norwegian readers. The pure Netbank, SkandiaBanken, has raised their interest rates on deposits to 7% on ordinary accounts. No minimum deposits, no tying up the money for some agreed stretch of time. Calculated daily and added to the account at the end of the month. Now is that a wonder or what? Can you afford to stick with your old bank? And paying bills and using the VISA card is still free. Hi, I'm just trying to help. To my non-Norwegian readers I can just say, "Sorry". Ahem. So, how are interest rates in your country?

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