Cyberpunk Internet Dreaming-- 01/24/00
  • What I've been reading:... Noir by K.W.Jeter -- a darkly dystopian cyberpunk science fiction novel -- hell, just look at the title -- Jeter, who I always think of as someone who writes "literary" science fiction, is also the author of a series of novels based on the BladeRunner movie (which was, in turn, based on a Philip K. Dick story...) and this book, although not a part of that series, is set in what seems to be essentially the same fictional setting. This is a cyberpunk pulp private eye book... the protagonist (named McNihil) is a sort of private investigator who has had his vision surgically and electronically altered so that everthing around him appears to be in the world of a 1940's black and white film noir. It is difficult reading... he keeps things murky in many ways... but there is some really interesting writing here.
  • Still need to finish:... 8.4 (that earthquake disaster novel)... brought it to work with me, thinking that I might read it during lunch time since I didn't bring my gym back to workout at the Y, but I've written this journal entry instead.... twenty-four is still the upper bound on the number of hours in a day.
  • Where our rabbit is: still in the basement even though the weather is moderating... Nancy has been urging that she stay there for a few weeks... She has a cage that is about three feet by two feet (perhaps a couple inches larger) which has been set next to a five by eight rug... for the first few days that she was there, she would stay on the carpet (she returns to her cage for bathroom procedures... rabbits can be litterbox trained... and she seems to have trained herself to poop only when on the wire floor of the cage, which has a wood chip filled tray underneath)... but lately she has been getting brave and wandering off the carpet to explore more of the basement... Jennifer has rigged up a temporary wall around the carpet using sheets of cardboard and particle board just to keep her out of trouble (and on the carpet)... We tend to keep her in her cage when nobody is around, just to avoid possible fighting between her and Tiger.

Had a truly strange dream as I was dropping off to sleep last night. I was reading that Jeter cyberpunk novel while Nancy was sitting at a table in our bedroom working on her lesson plans. I was tired and at some point my eyes closed while I was still holding the book and I was vaguely aware that I was holding a book with my eyes closed and then I drifted off into dreams... which I later told myself I should remember and tell about here but which are now fuzzy and difficult to recall... there was no logic in them other than that they seemed to be echoes of the Jeter book which is a dark and murky tale... but after a bit of ominous wandering about in a poorly lit foggy environment I was once again aware of lying in bed holding a book but the text on the pages of the book was hyper-linked... there were icons on the left side of the text on both pages, kind of like bulleted text, but the bullets were composed of the the less-than and greater-than symbols used in html tags, except they were doubled, a pair of less-than on the left matched with a pair of greater-than on the right with sort of an asterisk in the middle... and if I brought the cursor over one of these icons (don't ask how I got a cursor on a book, let alone how I could move it, this is dream logic) and if I clicked on the icon I could go back into those foggy, murky events -- which I did a couple times, automatically returning to the open book -- until I was wakened by Nancy finishing her work and getting ready for bed -- but my immediate thought was one of puzzlement because although my hands were still gripping the book, it was being held so it was face up toward the ceiling rather than upright and facing me, but in my dream I had been looking straight at it as it faced me and moving the cursor around and at first I couldn't figure out how the book had shifted position. Obviously I spend far too much time in front of a computer screen... but I also found it interesting how elements of the novel were worked into the dream as well as elements of the UML course I had just completed... where the doubled less-than/greater-than symbols are used to bracket certain key words (such as entity or boundary) as identifying tags on symbols representing classes. A little bit of everything in that dream.

This is the second time this month I've written about a dream, something that once-upon-a-time would never have occured to me... must be the influence of other online journal-keepers who make a point of describing dreams.

I skipped yesterday. After posting daily entries until a bit past mid-month, I now seem to be hitting alternate days. That is probably more sustainable... I did find it interesting to attempt to post daily, but now that the string has been broken I no longer feel the compulsion to post every single day... I'll probably keep posting very often, four, five times a week... whatever...

I do need to redo my directory structure. (Yeah, this is infrastructure stuff, but I figure that many of the relatively few people wandering through here have their own online journals and so you probably think about this kind of thing.) When I first set up this page, back in '96, I had everything in one directory -- in fact, I'm not sure that geocities had provision for subdirectories then -- but as I added more entries that became cumbersome and so I set up subdirectories by year -- which worked just fine as long as I was posting only on an irregular basis. Now that I've got around twenty entries already this year (which I ws not really sure that I would do, given my -- uh -- somewhat unimpressive track record over the past years), it is becoming obvious that I should think about a further subdivision. If I were to end up with a couple hundred entries for the year, would I find it more burdensome to have to scroll down through a long list of entries or to have to maintain a series of monthly subdirectories? The results would be transparent to any visitor to the site, I'm just wondering which would be better for me as the person maintaining this site. Does anyone have any advice?

Although I sometimes mention my children and their activities, I use pseudonyms for them and do not go into a lot of detail out of respect for their privacy. So many people keeping online journals are young and single but I'm middle-aged and married... so I don't have tales of the dating scene or single status loneliness or the angst of a recent break-up to write about... for which I am quite grateful, by the way... I mean, I am not thrilled by the gradual physical decline brought on by increasing years and I think that a return to the strength and vitality of being, say, thirty years younger would be marvelous... but I realize that I have to make do with keeping the body I have in decent shape (and I do hope to knock off ten or fifteen pounds by summer and get myself to a higher level of fitness)... and I have been through the pain of breakups in my past, including a divorce (more than a quarter-century ago, migod how time flies), and feel fortunate that Nancy and I have been able to overcome problems and obstacles and have a close and loving and supportive relationship. Thus, I seem deprived of some of the major topics discussed by a significant number of online journalists. But just think how boring the world would be if we were all alike.

I have some new URL's I want to add to my page of online journals. I updated it a couple days ago to add some journals I had not put there originally (one of the drawbacks of two computers is that bookmarks to sites I want always seem to be on the other computer) and to remove some out-dated links (such as Dave Van removing his site)... but I have some new journals that I have been reading and I really want to get that page updated to include them.

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