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January 18, 1999
a year ago

Experiments and Results

Well. That was cool.

Spent about an hour this morning playing with Visio and the printer and the copy machine with good grey tones and it's all really cool. I can pretty much make whatever I want so far as stationary for the notebooks on the really, really, really nice 24 lb bond paper that I got from Frys. The Great White bond is not only weightier (most copy paper is 15 lb, if it's good stuff, it's 20 lb, which means that a ream of the stuff weighs that much), but also is 20% recycled post-consumer waste paper. Yahoo! Recycling at work. The finish on it is mirror smooth too and it's a pain to go to ordinary paper after that. I even managed to draw a version of the notebook paper that I like *better* than the stuff that came with and I'm really happy with it. Yay!

So now all I have to do is get the punch and a few sets of rings. What amuses the hell out of me is that on the web page, the large Circa rings are $6.95 for 13, whereas in the notebook that I bought, the catalog numbers show that the rings can come in sets of 22 for only $7.95. What odd pricing. So I can just get rings and the punch and make my own covers, as old notebook covers, the covers from a plastic report cover, or even solid cardboard covers can get punched. Yay!

This is much, much better than getting the full report set, which is a good thirty bucks, or the introductory notebook set which is another thirty, as twenty two rings can do two full-page notebooks or three half-page/junior notebooks, if I make my own covers. So for all that I want all the abilities of these things, I'm still squeezing every penny out of the result that I can.

The notebook pages also copied pretty well. Not excellently, but pretty well. The printed pages from Visio weren't quite as nice as the grey-inked lines, but good enough for writing on, I think, and are mid-way between narrow rule and wide rule, which is what I've always wanted. I write bigger than narrow rule and just a touch smaller than wide, so it's always been a little bit of an adjustment for me. This is going to be nice.

Nice thing is that once I was able to prove the concept, I could start writing on the pages. I might still keep the original pages for copy reference, but, then again, with enough exposure to the copied pages I might actually write on the 'real things' as well. We'll see. When I look at the Circa One notebook in terms of pages, there's only sixty sheets of paper, and it's a thirty dollar thing, so each page is fifty cents. It's really hard for me to write on a piece of paper that's worth two quarters. I don't really know why, but it is. Especially when I have a ream of 500 sheets of paper that cost me, perhaps, a cent and a half per page and the quality of the paper is *nicer*.

Anyway, I finally got around to organizing my thoughts about the present project set and putting it down on paper, nice paper, and found that I hadn't even looked down two nasty alleys of implementation. With writing it down, though, I figured out how to get through them and how to keep it compatible with what was already there. This is why I wanted a way to organize the ten thousand papers that fall through my desk...

Got home fairly early compared to usual, though it was still in the dark. The rain was still falling. My lungs were still congested and I really wanted some ramen and soup, so I made the soy flavored soup ramen, and the soup was clear and mildly sweet and salty with soy. The whole process took maybe five minutes from the moment water boiled in the teapot and the pot. The soup packet got boiling water on it, the noodles went into the boiling water in the pot, the soup was put into a boil, two minutes of cutting condiments later, the cooked noodles went into the soup and then were covered with sliced lamb, sliced BBQ pork, green onion slivers, bits of pickled ginger, and bits of pickled daikon. There were all kinds of colors of stuff in the clear soup on the white noodles. It was really pretty and tasted really good and loosened up my congestion pretty well.

John spent time after dinner testing the Range Rover after his fixes and it now runs like a new car. He's really happy. So he then went and tried to move the Stoat, with it's blown head gasket from the barn to the garage. In the dark, in the rain, and eventually up an incline before the garage. He eventually asked me to help. I can't push with my hands, but I can push with my legs, especially with my back to the back of the Stoat. And so I did. A few tons of steel and aluminum against little old me and John and the traction of my Doc Martins on the blacktop. It worked really well. I was mildly surprised, but pleased that, by myself, I could hold the Stoat on a mild incline, just, with my legs. My right knee really is getting much better.

I spent most of the evening writing up a Cherub of Novalis for Beth McCoy. She hadn't had a good Cherub, and my initial concept was pretty simple, a bar bouncer that uses talk, intimidation, good forward thinking tactics, or misdirection and slight of hand to keep fights from happening. Anything for peace, nearly a Michaelite in attitude, i.e. he has no pride in how he gets it done, so long as he gets it done. It turned into a neatly convoluted character concept that I loved, where Bigtha, one of the seven Angels of Confusion to the Enemy, and an angel of destruction fights the big wars with Michael with all his heart and might. After a millennium of active duty, he is utterly bloodsick and weary of war, of angel friends destroyed of Fallen whom he has to destroy, and when Michael gets accused by the Council of pride and nastiness, he has to believe it's true. Until Michael get acquitted, and the double betrayal, first by his Commander of him, then him of his Commander, breaks his Cherub heart. So he asked to be unmade.

Michael hears the Truth of just how tired Bigtha is, so strips him of his offensive capabilities and gives him to Novalis, who finds that she really can love this big, scarred, battered warrior. He needs the rest and the ability to do his best for peace, at any cost to himself and not to others.

So here's this big, old ex-Warrior who now does his underhanded best for peace. Same surface demeanor, but an entirely different and complex background that can't fit into the template they have for characters. Whee. So nothing but the surface will be printed, but I think I'll have a cool idea for a PC if I ever need another.

Finally, I ended up just carding the orange wool. I have measurements for a few people, so I can make more socks. I'm thinking of silk heels and toes, like I did with mine, and then a white background with many colors mixed in for fun as the cuffs and arches. I have a lot of dyed wool, now, ready to blend with stuff to make something interesting, so I think I'll do that.

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