6 represents another anniversary for my blog. Bugger, at some point during the week I became convinced that Oct 6 was the correct date, now realise that it is of course Oct 4. I’ve rearranged things and my girlfriend has been very supportive as I’ve tried to squeeze in a little blogging time for the occasion. Except now I realise, late on the 6th, that I missed it by a couple of days.
That aside, I’m happy to say that there still seems to be a bit of life and my blogging has picked up at last. It sort of teetered and came close to toppling the last couple of years but the move to proper blogging software has been sufficient to breathe new life into it. Once more the focus has returned to why I started blogging originally, that is to write. It was one of several things I started in order to create outlets and sandpits to play with my writing and hopefully write actual
ly words and sentences. It remains my primary writing outlet and the only thing still going. Been pondering a little just when to celebrate the anniversary (the above mixup not withstanding), given the recent change from handcoding to wordpress. Plus I’ve done some hunting on the wayback machine and found one of the earlier versions of my blog. That particular version started on Jan 31, 2001 and died later that year; the odd posting or two suggest an even earlier version. However my current blog, started on Oct 4, 2002 seems to be when I hit my stride and managed to create something that kept on going, it shall be the one I continue to remember and honour.
Against my better judgment, though my judgment is often in question, I have finally joined Facebook, and figured I might as well throw in Dopplr while I’m at it. I’ve had a few friends encourage me to join the former but been putting it off. Now I’m sort of interested as it might be useful for a work project I’m involved in, though most of my usual online gangs seem to be there too. Mostly not doing anything in ning other than monitoring feeds and contributing if something interesting pops up. I received an invite for Dopplr from a mate who visited recently and it looks like a social site for folk who travel regularly. Will reserve judgment for now and see how they pan out.
After some hunting about, I’ve come across references to what is regarded as the largest medieval manuscript in the world, the Codex Gigas. It’s owned by Sweden, who plundered it from Prague in 1648 and have recently allowed its return to Prague for an exhibition. Now that it’s been digitised I am curious as to whether there are plans to re-publish it. Though I suspect the delivery costs would be painful, the original weighs around 75kg, I would love a copy of my own.
I found out about this as a result of the sort of hyperactive jumping around I so love about the web. I’d initially read Michael Stephen’s post about visiting Oz in my aggregator, I was a bit behind until a friend mentioned it at a meeting last night. I then jumped to the post itself to see who had commented, and checked the blog of one of the commenters, who in turn had mentioned the Gigas in a piece about banned books. Upon searching for more information on the Gigas, I found, via the Wikipedia article, that it was moved back to Prague last week.
It’s a’comin‘ and it’s in leather.
News of the day, sending shock waves through the backpacking community, is that the BBC has bought Lonely Planet. The match doesn’t sit uncomfortably and I sort of figure that Lonely Planet has become so ubiquitous that it’s often joked that the trick is to find a place not covered by Lonely Planet. A list of the top 10, or even bottom 10, places that don’t yet have a guide devoted to them would be fun to compile. If this means the Wheelers can spend less time on the business and even more time travelling, so much the better. They’ve done staggering well and achieved lots. I have a shelf devoted to their books and friends have at least that if not more. I don’t have my original guide to Western Europe, or “Westen Europe” as it said on the spine, as I’d ripped out the sections I wanted rather than carrying it all. I think I left it in England finally, before returning home after my first trip. I had too much stuff and figured it needed to be jettisoned, hard though it was. I’ve since bought another and added more covering Central Europe, China, and even the Mediterranean. Currently reading one on Iceland in advance of my 2008 trip.
While following links on words and dictionaries, I should point out that this is not an area I work in, nor a lexicographer of any sort, not even a neophyte, in such matters. I simply have a love of words and enjoy watching them used and watch others researching their history. I am a voyeur of words..though that doesn’t sound quite right. With that said, I am on the lookout for a new dictionary, alas no matter how I slice and dice, the full OED in print is out of my reach. As noted in the previous comment, there is a new edition of the Shorter Oxford out, the 6th. It had an August release in the US and is due here in December. There are 2 versions that interest me: the standard and the leather bound. I love books in leather. According to the Australian OUP site, the leather edition will be a massive $1,000! Doing a bit of searching I can get the US leather edition for US$220 (+pp), while via a local site, I can acquire it for Oz$560 (free delivery) which also seems to be the US edition. It’s a bit staggering really, I can wait til December and pay lots of dosh to get it locally, or I can order it now, get it from the US in a couple of weeks, and pay relatively little. The Oz$ is currently buying around 86 US cents too which only increases the temptation. I reckon I’d end up paying around around Oz $260-270 altogether which is still a lot of money I’d need to consider. At Oz $1,000, there’s nothing to think about, it simply ain’t happening. It should be said that the non leather edition is much, much cheaper at US $110 though I admit some confusion as to why, on Amazon at least, the leather has 807 pages and the non leather has 3,888. I’m hoping the former is a typo.
Recently I posted elsewhere a list of 5 blogs that currently had my attention. I’ve just now realised, somewhat belatedly, that one, language hat, also attracts interesting threads in the comments. Getting hat as a feed, meant that I was missing these exchanges, for which there is not a feed I can detect. It reflects somewhat on the disadvantage of reading feeds rather than blogs in that you miss some of the extra blog content, not present in the feed. Some blogs provide an additional feed for comments but this not yet commonplace; given my own lack of comments altogether on the previous incarnation of this blog, I feel I have jumped a generation or two in changing from handcode direct to the latest wordpress.
From such comments I arrived at another blog, The Lexicographer’s Rules, which has nice commentary on dictionary related matters, though I’ve but dipped my toe. The blogger recommends a few dictionaries but rests upon a preference for the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary if money was not an issue.
For some reason, my move to wordpress coupled with a renewed enthusiasm for blogging, has seen a focus on text and words and books. I don’t why that is, or whether it’s delving into suppressed regions of my brain. I have, afterall, been a bookworm all my life and am sounded by about 3,000 books, inherited from my father, not to mention that my mother has a similar number. I should rephrase that “jointly inherited” as they’re for my sister and I, though I have the responsibility of disposing of dad’s books (mum’s still alive so we’re not touching her’s). I’m tempted to retain them all if I can, alas I have a couple of thousand of my own, and unsurprisingly a chronic lack of space. My dad’s books are on the shelves (of the house he and I bought) and mine are mostly in boxes. So books are ever present and I have been rediscovering forgotten pleasures in the reading and collection thereof, and of course pleasure in the language contained within.