Thursday various

Sometimes a Tuesday is just a Tuesday

The iPad upgrade didn’t take quite as long as I worried it might yesterday, and I did manage to finish reading Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle before I went to bed. More about that, hopefully, at some near future point, but I really liked the book quite a lot.

And that’s about it, really. Today was mostly just a placeholder of a day, spent researching continuing education providers for mental health professionals at work, and trying to get the bulk of that done before tomorrow, since that’s the end of my work week. And tomorrow only runs to three, since they’re letting us out early for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Monday it was

There’s no disguising the fact that today was a Monday.

I got to the train station this morning, running, I thought, a little late, only to discover everybody walking up the stairs to the platform on the other side of the tracks, thanks to an announcement of a track change. Of course, after we all got over there, it became quickly apparent — by the train going in the opposite direction on that track, and by our train in the distance on its usual track — that we had been misinformed. Sure enough, just before my morning train pulled into the station, they announced another track change, back to the original, and we all trudged back over. I felt particularly bad for a woman with a cane and her friend, but they did seem to be holding the train for everyone. Heck, we were already well into the “late” portion of what the Long Island Railroad considers “on time,” so why not?

The train got very crowded by the time we got to Queens, but that’s nothing especially new. And the train home was a lot less crowded.

Then again, I invariably fall asleep on the train home in the evening — I did this evening — and get very little reading done. Usually, I only get to read when I’m standing the whole way.

This evening, I’m going to try to finish We Have Always Lived in the Castle, while I wait for my iPad to update. I’m not certain about some of the so-called improvements that come with the new iOS 4.2 — the loss of the lock switch for a pretty needless mute button, or the fact that not everything works as magically as Apple insists — but I decided to bite the bullet for the chance to put apps in folders and actually multitask. I expect the upgrade to take several hours, if not days or weeks, judging from past experience with Apple products.

Hopefully it will be worth it.

Tuesday various

  • Textbooks Up Their Game. The Wall Street Journal looks at the evolving world of the textbook market and the role that e-book volumes will play in it.

    The iPad does seem better suited to the textbook market than most other e-readers, if only for its versatility. But I can’t see app-ready editions of textbooks having much widespread appeal (beyond the student who already owns an iPad) or impact, unless the price of Apple’s reader and/or the books comes down significantly. Students are unlikely to pay $69.99 (much less $84.99) for a book they can’t re-sell and that, once the iPad stops working or needs to be replaced, is gone too.

  • Daleks voted the greatest sci-fi monsters of all time. It’s a weird list. The original poll was for “Monsters, Supernatural Beings & Fantasy Creatures,” which means picks like Aslan makes more sense — although a CGI lion with the voice of Liam Neeson is a little monstrous, too — but Pilot from Farscape?
  • Real or not, I think I can live without J.D. Salinger’s toilet.
  • Deconstructing the Twikie. Surprisingly, this hasn’t been done by [via]
  • And finally, I’ve really been enjoying Zach Handlen’s Star Trek: The Next Generation recaps:

    It can be difficult to convincingly show love in fiction, because the experience of falling for someone is both highly personal and curiously universal; the details and shared moments are what give the feeling texture, but the rush and elation of it are things that we all share. So you’ve got to find some way to make the small moments appear distinct and honest so that the big moments feel earned.