Changing plans


“All the books I need… all the books I’ll ever want!”

At least one of my big plans for 2014 needs to be modified: it’s going to be harder than I thought to part with all my paperbacks (not to mention my back issues of Private Eye), as the “people’s library” in Barnet (the one reopened by grass roots guerilla action, and grudgingly accepted by our corrupt council) doesn’t want any more books, unless they’re children’s books.

Fortunately, the main books I want to… sorry, of which myself to rid I want are the ridiculously heavy MCSE text books I got in 2010, when I was doing that course; sadly I’ve never really used them, and they won’t be useful now because they concern Server 2003 and I’ll be learning about Server 2008 (or indeed Server 2008 R2) in my course and “on the job”.  I remember buying a narrow (half-width) bookcase especially for them… which now houses my vast collection of Doctor Who DVDs.  Oh, sorry, I’m rambling: anyway, I’m planning to take the books in question to work for a “give and take” event, in the hope that someone there will be interested in obsolete server configuration (and strong enough to carry them home!), because I hate to see books go to waste — that’s why I didn’t want to give my paperbacks to charity, as they’d just sit on a shelf until Doomsday, along with all the others that have been there since the late 1960s.

This isn’t the only plan I’ve had to change: I said before I’d be staying at home last week and studying, didn’t I?  Well, guess what, I ended up having two dates, which threw a spanner in my study schedule (and also meant I had no time to play the guitar at all).  What’s that, your humble narrator complaining about having dates?  Of course not — admittedly the first one (yet another girl who asked me out through that same website) was someone with whom I felt no sexual chemistry, and the second (the American woman of Japanese origin I mentioned before), while pleasant company, may need considerable work in order to lead to a romance; but at least I’m out there searching now, instead of (as used to be the case in the bad old days) sitting at home every night wishing the girl of my dreams would come into my life, presumably via some form of teleportation.

(Or perhaps via climbing?  There’s another cute American Oriental girl who comes occasionally, and I really wish I’d asked “best mate” to be my wingman and distract her climbing partner, who was also Irish, instead of just politely high-fiving her!)

Not all my plans have failed, of course: my decluttering continues apace.  It’s telling that I bought a couple of expensive things in 2011 (an Ethernet NAS box and an elaborate USB steering wheel) that I’m now looking to sell — once again, it’s me trying to part with an unhappy past.  The NAS box is useless since it’s not wireless (and I’ve got a USB 3.0 interface for SATA hard drives anyway), and the steering wheel can’t be clamped to my new computer desk due to the “lip” on the keyboard shelf (and there’s no room underneath for the pedals anyway), so what use in keeping them?

I also sold my battered old Atari Lynx hand-held games console, and five games, to a shop in Streatham (“best mate” drove me there almost exactly a year after our first visit), for a surprising figure: more than zero!  My only concern is whether whoever buys it gets sick, as I did four years ago when I first brought it to London and came down with gastroenteritis (possibly a mutated cold, since I used to play Xenophobe on it while bedridden during my school days)?

Back on the subject of books, I am at least buying e-books now (surprisingly a lot of them are cheaper on Kindle than in bookshops — especially that collection of Arthur C. Clarke short stories, which was a fiver instead of £15!), and have passed a milestone: my first Discworld novel on Kindle, Unseen Academicals.  I suspect I shall do the same with the works of Terry Pratchett as I plan for my Stephen King collection (who I intend to read in order): buy ones I don’t have on Kindle, and read the ones I already have in paperback form.  This won’t be a problem because I have, ever since reading Judge Dredd collected comics in 2010, been reading something different at bedtime than during the day, and so I’ll continue reading one book on my phone during my commute (and possibly at work, if I ever finish studying at lunchtimes), and Pratchett or King at bedtime in paper or e-book format.  But perhaps that plan will change as well, when I realise how ludicrous it is to be reading two things at the same time…

(Hey, it’s better than all the people who read “nothing” at bedtime, right?)

And speaking of bedtime, that’s about now for me — I’ve got a busy week ahead, with not only new meetup events to attend, and a weekend which will see me cheering for my mother as she takes on a gruelling assault course (a dress rehearsal for Tough Mudder), but I’ve also got to lug those damn textbooks to work!  And nothing’s gonna interfere with my plan to see my personal torturer (back from holiday) on Friday, and listen to Gwar’s War Party on the bus…


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