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April 25th, 2006

I Miss the Clack

I grew up on an IBM Selectric Typewriter. I loved writing on that thing. I loved the way when you sent your fingers flying over the keys it would go "clackety clackety clackety clackety clackety DING! bzzzzzzzzzzt-thunk" and then you were on a new line and ready to type away.

When personal computers started becoming common, there were a lot of us ex-typists floating around, and to cater to us keyboard manufacturers would make keys that clicked in a similar manner to typewriter keys. Not quite as satisfying as the loud, solid, desk-shaking CLACK of a typewriter, but close enough that it was an easy transition. And, as we were exposed to the wonders of word processors ("Cut and paste! Save and edit! TYPOGRAPHY!") it was a fair trade.

Then, sometime in the '90s, the clicking keyboards went away. :( Now, when you send your fingers flying over the keys it goes "mush mush mush mush mush mush mush mush mush mush mush mush mush" ad infinitum.

I was struck by this today while listening to "Holiday" by the Jazz Butcher Conspiracy. The percussion line of that song is a typewriter rather than a drum, you see, because the song is about a middle-class English business man on a holiday, typing letters home. But as I was listening to the "clackety clackety clackety" on the earphones and feeling the "mush mush mush mush mush" of the keyboard under my fingers, I came over all sad.

I miss the clack. :(

I'd never go back to a typewriter in a million years; word processing is way too useful and I'd go nuts trying to write without it. (I make lots of mistakes, and I change my mind constantly as I write.) But man oh man, I wish I could find a clicky keyboard.

-The Gneech

Alas, Poor CMFM

When Don was kind enough to name me "Guest of Honor" at the Cape May Furmeet before, I couldn't attend more than a couple of hours because my boss's wedding was that same Saturday night.

So this year, I was named GoH again (a very informal process which, I gather, involves Smrgol saying "How about Gneech?" and Don saying, "Sounds good to me..."), and the meet gets postponed until 2007. D'Oh!

But in a way, it's a good thing, because just one week away from CMFM's would-have-been date is Balticon, which we've never been to and have been meaning to give a shot. Since this year's GoH is Neil Gaiman (officialgaiman), and laurie_robey is a big fan of his blog (and his books too, to a lesser extent), it's a good year to go!

So we'll be there Saturday the 27th and part of Sunday the 28th. I think Bill Holbrook is planning to be there too, so I may hang out with him and do a few sketches for lunch money if time permits.

So if you'll be at Balticon, keep an eye out and give me a wave!

-The Gneech

Tuesday Workout Report

Played ~45 minutes of DDR tonight, after mowing the lawn this afternoon when we got home. One of the pads is only responding on the "back" arrow about 50% of the time, but I don't know if it's the pad or the floor. Given the state of this building, I wouldn't be surprised if it was a mushy spot in the floor.

I'll have to experiment with moving the pad around to different spots and so forth to diagnose the problem. If it is the pad, hopefully customer service will make with the replacement. We'll see!

-The Gneech

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