Archive for August, 2013

Book (and other) links 8-20-13

August 22, 2013

I have a couple of Barnes and Noble links that are somewhat related. Over at Mashable, there’s this article about Nook devices and how it was probably a mistake by B&N to get involved in tablets, their devices are still really good and you should buy them before they are gone because they are cheap. Then, over at Publishing Perspectives, they have an article about Barnes and Noble having a healthy business in their brick-and-mortar stores, and their college bookstores.  At the same time, there is a great post up at Roughtype about the flattening of ebook sales. I’m sort of stuck in the middle of all of this. I don’t read ebooks. I just don’t.  I don’t have an ereader, and I like having physical books.  At the same time, I think a move towards digital media is an eventual reality.   Digital is too cost effective, too convenient, and too versatile.

The Inquisitor has an article naming 15 novels it sees being destined to become classics.  I’m less bullish on the majority of them. The only one of the list that I would enthusiastically endorse is McCarthy’s The Road. Franzen’s novel was arguably not the best novel its year of publication, while numbers 5,7, 8,and 9 just don’t belong (and I’m a big fan of Shadows of the Wind). I think Rowling’s place in YA lit is safe, but I’m not sure it’s a classic.  In the end, what becomes a “classic” seems to be more of a whim of changing enthusiasms and ease of publication than anything.

Elton John is just too damn scary for Russia.  Their loss. I’ll keep my Rocket Man, though.

Okay, this is a couple of days late, but better late than never.

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Book Links 8-16-13

August 16, 2013

To visit a much posted topic here, yet more stuff about the Apple vs Government case. Anyone remember how way back at the beginning of the trial the judge commented that Apple was essentially boned? Well, she has a reputation for pre-judging her cases.  If you’ve read pretty much any of my other book links from the past few months, you know where I fall in this argument. I think Apple was entirely in the right, and it’s a joke that Amazon, the company that legitimately worked (works) to corner and monopolize the ebook market was hit with nothing.  I’m looking forward to Apple’s appeal.

Publisher’s Weekly has a blog post about bundling digital copies with damn near everything and wondering why the publishing industry doesn’t do it. My take is that it’s too foreign. Movies and music have always had a certain malleable aspect to their delivery the moment it became possible to be pulled into the home.  Each have went through a variety of formats (8mm, video cassette, DVD, reel-to-reel, audio cassette, CD, etc.) and have been open to being copied, swapped, and manipulated by their consumers in ways that publishing just hasn’t.  Aside from sitting down and either transcribing or xeroxing something, there wasn’t a convenient way of copying something for someone else to read.  You also couldn’t easily manipulate a text outside of a pair of scissors and some scotch tape.  The idea that your product not only can, but needs to, be creatively packaged and sold doesn’t have any real traction for publishing.  Their idea of a bonus feature has been an author interview in the back of the book, or perhaps a chapter or two of the author’s next book. If you wanted something with annotations, something that provided a weighty bonus feature, you were likely looking to pay a few extra books and having to special order a special edition.  What usually happened was that any sort of bonus usually became another book, or a magazine article, something that could be published entirely separately and monetized over again.

Which is awesome for writers and publishers. It’s just not something that has prepared them very well for what they should, and need, to be doing now.

Also, have to say, there are always exceptions to the rule. I don’t have the title off the top of my head, but I know at least one book I have had a music CD packaged with it featuring music created by the writer to go along with the book.  I think I bought it at a Border’s Closing Clearance Sale, and I still haven’t read it, or listened to the CD. So maybe there is also a lack of interest in readers for extra material, though I’m fairly certain that if I got a CD of some bizarre music with a Stephen King novel, I’d have probably listened to it in the car on the way home.

Anyway. The kid just brought me the mail, and it’s sort of thrown my entire thought process out of whack. I have no idea how anyone is productive at all when there is a kid in the house.

Adventures in Tooth Extraction

August 1, 2013

Well, I finally took the leap yesterday and had something done that my dentist told me to do about a year ago. Apparently my mouth wasn’t large enough to accomodate all of my teeth, so one sort of got shoved to the inside of my mouth and I had a molar come up nearly behind a premolar. This has never caused me any serious problems, and we dumped a lot of money into the kid’s mouth (born without 6 adult teeth, had a couple of teeth pulled to make room, really just a ton of work done and a running fight with the insurance company to pay any of it – they eventually did pay a good chunk) and throwing a big chunk of money into my own dental work was horribly unappealing.

And that was fine with me. Something I have discovered is that, as I’ve gotten older, I don’t take dental work as well as I used to. Most of it I’m still fine with, but whatever the dentist uses that feels like a big slow chisel slowly chunking away at your tooth before he grabs the high speed one that smooths everything out…yeah, that didn’t go down so well the last time it happened.  Going in and having a tooth ripped from my skull appealed to me even less, so I’ve found excuses to put it off.

Until a couple of weeks ago. That little misplaced molar began to wail. and I wasn’t going to put up with it any longer. Also, I didn’t relish going to the dentist for a cleaning and having him seeing that tooth still there and having to be asked why I hadn’t had it removed.  Unfortunately, I had lost the recommendation my dentist had given me so I had to call them to get the number for who I was supposed to go to. Which I did. And then I had the new place get a copy of the recommendation as well as my xrays sent over. All of the normal pre-appointment stuff that everyone goes through before going to any sort of doctor’s appointment they are sent to by their regular doctor/dentist.

So, I get there yesterday. The wife came with me because I had no idea what I was in for, how messed up I’d be afterward,  or if they’d even decide they could do it. I filled out paperwork, and then I was taken back 20 minutes after my appointment was scheduled. they take a paper bib to me – yeah, take it. It had little sticky stuff on each corner, not the rope and gator clips that I’m accustomed to. I filled out some more paperwork. Then I sat there.

The dentist was a young looking guy, and I’m getting older, which probably made him seem even younger.  He was tall, looked reasonably strong, and this gave me confidence that he could rip a tooth out of my jaw with relative ease. Or at least with more ease than a guy half his size and twice his age. Oh, and did I mention he looked like Ryan Reynolds?

So, Ryan Reynolds takes a look at my mouth, tells me it should be pretty easy, that it’s usually an easy tooth to come out, and that they should be able to fit me in pretty easily. So, he loaded me up with novocain or whatever it was that they now use to freeze your jaw.  And I sit there for another twenty minutes or so, which sort of worried me because I have a bit of a history of that stuff occasionally  wearing off. It doesn’t happen often, but it’s happened, and once it has happened, you never want it to happen again. That wasn’t a problem, though. Whatever Ryan Reynolds shot me up with, where he jammed that needle, it was magic. It numbed everything from lips to my ear, and I didn’t mind at all.

After about a half hour or so, Ryan Reynolds showed back up, along with an assistant, and began prying at my tooth. Because of where it was, he couldn’t just grab it with a pair of forceps (pliars) and yank it out.  Instead, he told me it was just going to be slow and easy. Pry a little here, pry a little there. Slowly wiggle it around until it got loose enough to just sort of pop out. it sounded like a good idea, and all of us thought it would work, likely for the same reason; the tooth was horribly neglected and likely rotted in pieces.

forty minutes later it wasn’t such a great idea. Ryan Reynolds had pried. He had pushed. He levered. The tooth refused to move. Apparently, it was sort of jammed in by the tooth next to it. This was when he decided to rev up the air tools and get the drill out. Now, here is where my grasp of what happens gets a bit sketchy. It’s not because it was horribly painful or anything. Quite the contrary. Whatever specific thing he did wasn’t painful at all. It was masterful and quick. So quick, I wish he had just done it that way in the beginning, but I’m guessing it’s also (usually) a bit more phsyically traumatic to the mouth, and he was trying to avoid it.

Best I can understand it is that he first when in and leveraged out what bone he could that was around the tooth. Or maybe he drilled a bunch of it off. I’m not sure, but he removed some of the stuff holding it in. Then he apparently drilled a hole right into the side of it so that he could jam one of his tools into the tooth and jerk it out that way. And it popped right out. And the assistant lady was holding it up, exclaiming about how big the root was (apparently it was an abnormally large and deep root for that tooth), and all of us were damn thrilled to be done.

Ryan Reynolds apologized a number of times for all of the pushing and leveraging. I was warned it would be sore and swollen for the next couple of days, and it is, though the vicodin knocks it down pretty well.  Apparently, he has pulled entire sets of wisdom teeth in less time it took to pull this one tooth. It was a massive pain in the ass for just one molar.

And today I have felt like crap for the last half of the day until I broke down and took a vicodin (or larlon?  some weird thing that I didn’t recognize but it’s a codein based pain reliever).  But the tooth is out.  And it should be better in the long run. Anyway. that’s my week so far.