Philip Brewer's Writing Progress


Friday, 06 September 2002

Done! I'm finally, finally done with that stupid task that I've been working on for months. I was about 90% done with it before I went to Singapore, but it took me until now and then all this week to finally finish the last little bits of it. What a relief.

I spent almost no time this week getting ready for my UK trip. Jackie did all my packing. My co-worker who will be traveling with me did all the work to get the software ready to test. All I had to do (aside from finishing my old task and testing one other thing and attending several stupid meetings) was spend a preposterous amount of time fiddling around with the import/export documents for our equipment.

I'm sure part of the problem is government-created. They want to be sure that any import duties are paid, and we're bringing expensive hardware into the UK and then back into the US. But we're not bringing it in for sale, we're just bringing it in to use for testing and then will take it back out again. There are ways to do that and not have to pay any duty, but the amount of documentation that the company thinks we need is ridiculous. Anyway, getting the lists prepared correctly has always taken a lot of time, and took more this time because the person who used to do it has left the company.

Still, I got everything done.

Everything except any writing, that is.

I first started reading on-line journals in the form of Clarion journals. They were journals of Clarions past when I read them, and often continued on for a month or two (or a year or two) after the end of Clarion. I read quite a few of them, and I read them in big slugs: a year's worth of entries in just an hour or two.

Journals are different read that way. Reading day-by-day, especially on combination with other journals (especially journals by other people who read overlapping sets of other journals), you can see the journals as a sort of conversation, people reacting to what over people say, dealing with the issues of the day. Much of that effect is lost when you just read the entire corpus of a journal in one sitting.

Certain other things stand out when you read journals all at once. One is that apologies for not updating get really tedious. Especially when a journal is starting to peter out, you start to see that ever other entry comes after a gap and begins with an apology. Finally, the last four or six entries all start with an apology, and then there are no more entries. Maybe all those apologies were a great comfort to readers who were coming back day after day to see if there were any updates, but to me (reading them all in a row over a period of fifteen minutes) they were really annoying.

I've tried to keep the annoying series (is there a plural for series?) of apologies to a minimum. I'll try to update a little more regularly, too. But I'll probably be spotty about it for the next week, while I'm out of the country.


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