November 4th, 2008

View from study (sunny)

A few random things while I plough through my in-tray

green_knight was talking about fonts recently. To be more precise, she was explaining her loathing for Times New Roman. I remember commenting that I couldn't honestly see any difference between Times and the one green_knight really likes, namely Palatino other that the fact that Palatino is more open and rounded. That was viewing them on the computer screen. Looking at a better example on a printed page, I can now see that Palatino has a bigger difference in height between the tall and the small letters, eg between an "l" and an "o".

The reason for brining this up is that during my clear out of the bookcase, I found a page from an OU course I tutored a few years ago which looked at these two fonts. Apparently Palatino was devised by Hermann Zapf around 1950 and its open and rounded shape was designed to look good on the low quality paper that was common in post-War Germany. (It is, apparently still much used as a book typeface, particularly in the US.) Times New Roman was designed for the Times Newspaper in the 1930s, but was abandoned in the 1970s when lower quality paper was introduced for the newsprint. It is heavily used for academic publications and, of course, tends to be the default computer font.

So there might be two factors at work. Firstly it's a font that reads well in less than ideal conditions and secondly it's likely that green_knight grew up reading lots of material in Palatino. We always tend to prefer the things we're used to, even when there's no real advantage. Personally I don't have a problem with Times, though it's not my favourite font and I tend to use others such as Century Schoolbook for handouts and teaching materials because I feel they have a "friendlier" and less intimidating look.

Quick writing update:

I have actually written some words today (about 200, but it was hand-written so that's an estimate). One hundred of them relate to a short story I'm sort of working on and the other hundred was the opening paragraph of a totally new story. I have no idea whether the new story is a short or a potential novel. I don't even know what genre it is, but it just arrived out of the blue and demanded to be written down. *Sigh*

birdsedge (in a locked post, so I won't link) was talking about the setting for her NaNo novel. This reminded me that the W Supposedly IP is in the process of acquiring a brand new setting.

After our visit to Prague, I wanted to pinch some cool buildings and therefore decided to change the setting for the mad god book from one that was vageuly Chinese-ish to one that was more Central European-ish. Though definitely more "-ish" than actually European. The religions are not anything that exists in our world, even if one of them does bear a striking resemblance to Zen Buddhism :)

And finally...

The last packet of Maltesers has now been eaten. Further temptation to eat unnecessary chocolate has therefore been removed!
  • Current Mood
    busy busy
View from study (sunny)

Whew! The car is now legal again

The reason for the attack on the in-tray was that I suddenly remembered that I hadn't bought a new tax disc for my car. Ooops! As it has been sitting in the car park in front of our garage for more than a week, it had completely slipped my mind that the road tax expired on 30 October.

I than had panicky thoughts about what other things might be lurking in the depths of the in-tray. Fortunately there wasn't anything else that was overdue, but I have been filing and dealing with stuff all afternoon. I was delighted to discover that there was nothing to pay on the credit card this month (the books that arrived the other day were bought with a gift token) and I also found two cheques that I hadn't got round to banking.

I need to get my Next Action and Will Do lists running again. Since work dried up a few weeks ago while I was waiting for my finish date, I wasn't starting or continuing any projects, just tidying up loose ends and responding to anything that needed doing there and then, thus the list system lapsed. But now I need to reinstate it as I get my own projects and job search underway.

This week feels more positive than last. G seems to be able to change direction from project to project as nimbly as this cutting horse (link courtesy of coneycat), but I seem to manoeuvre like a four-masted sailing ship -- and they don't turn on a dime. Last week, finishing work meant that the wind had suddenly changed direction and I was left with my sails flapping, wallowing in the water. However, today I think I've managed to re-set the sails and I'm picking up speed on a new course.

And having pushed that metaphor further than was probably wise, I'll thankfully drop it!

Anyway, I have Welsh class and signing on at the Job Centre tomorrow, also I might chauffeur G up to a class he's teaching in Pwllheli in the evening. Then on Thursday I have an interview with the Careers people to see about where to go next and hopefully get funding for the BA Education degree. So I'm not going to be bored, I just wish I could stop feeling twitchy because I don't have a routine.
  • Current Mood
    accomplished accomplished