I'd originally intended the thing to be a novel, so he's probably right.
Even if I ain't in Clarke's class.
I printed the submission copy last night and found a couple of minor errors. I didn't red-mark them, which was probably a mistake; but knowing they are there will help me find them again anyway.
Then it's off to the races, and we'll see how we do.
* * *
Last night I finally stirred my stumps and cleaned the junk out of the living room. My oldest sister dragged a lot of stuff out of the attic when she was here in May of 2011, and made a pile of stuff "for the garage sale". Well, the garage sale she intended to have never happened, I didn't have the garage sale I'd intended to have in September, and it was still sitting there, so I decided--hell with it--it can go back into the damned attic until next May, or whenever we get around to having a garage sale. Why should I have to live with that stuff?
I just need to to get some more boxes and finish packing up the remainder of the stuff in there (there isn't much left) and get it into the attic.
The next project, though, is to go through Mom's clothes and make a big donation pile in the living room. I'm going to donate it all to the church's thrift store. Not just clothes, but there's a ton of books in her room which I have no interest in reading, ever, and they too can go to the church's thrift store.
The alternative? Categorize and store all that crap in the attic until May, or when-the-hell-ever. No thank you.
But while I was up in the attic I hauled down this rather nice little table, or bench, or whatever it is. It's sturdy enough to be a bench or stool; I put it by the front door so I have a place to put things while taking off my coat and shoes this winter. Also, while moving stuff around up there I came across some electronic junk from the 1980s which I will never use, including a couple of computer keyboards.
Specifically, a keyboard for a Commodore 64 (with the "3" key broken off) and a keyboard for a TI/99. The C-64 keyboard was replaced by a Commodore 16 keyboard, and both C-16 and TI/99 keyboards were bought from Radio Shack for a pittance; the former was replaced by a for use as spare parts for my C-64 and the latter as--I don't even know why. I have two or three C-64s in the basement; I know which one was originally mine by the keyboard because the keycaps are different from stock.
It was serendipitous, though, that I was able to buy that C-16 keyboard just as I broke the "3" key off my C-64. I don't even remember how that happened, except that it probably involved something falling on the keyboard.
Anyway, I have absolutely no use for them whatsoever. Also the 1980s ECM for a GM car, minus PROM (not Fiero anyway) and the crappy bookshelf speakers I will never use. One came apart as I was trying to lower it to the floor by its cable. Recycle time!
...said speakers each have a single 4" driver in them, and it goes without saying that they don't have crossovers. They're old enough--and have been in the attic long enough--that they'll sound like crap unless the drivers are replaced, and what's the f-ing point?
How long have they been in the attic? 20 years? If it's less than that I'd be surprised; and the conditions found in the typical attic do bad things to PAPER speaker cones.
And of course I've got to psych myself up for getting rid of them. It's an impulse left over from childhood, when getting your hands on a speaker was cool. When I was in 7th grade the highlight of my summer was when I got a speaker that would fit these neat little enclosures I'd gotten at a garage sale. I wired it up with a headphone plug and plugged it into an AM radio, and then put another AM radio (tuned to the same station) in the other enclosure. Presto, it was like having my own stereo!
Now that I'm an adult I can just go buy speakers whenever the hell I want to, and I can certainly buy better ones than these. But the impulse remains. *sigh*
* * *
...my, how things have changed. Summer of 1980, lots of kids didn't have their own stereos; such equipment was still too expensive. These days it's weird if a kid doesn't have something like an iPod, and at that they're ludicrously cheap in adjusted dollars.
Heck, my first stereo cost around $160 in 1981 and that was expensive. Contrast that with what my first MP3 player cost in 2008 ($22).
In 2012--31 years later--a typical iPod costs about $300, in dollars that are worth vastly less than they were in 1981...and that's pretty much the de facto top of the line in MP3 players.
I liked it and was happy with it, but even at the time I knew that my stereo was "good enough" and decidedly not top-of-the-line. You could buy much better units, but they got spendy fast and $300 wouldn't touch the mid-range stuff--$300, that is, in 1981 dollars--and "top of the line" consumer-grade components were hideously expensive. (I am excluding "audiophile" components because they're ludicrously expensive. At least in 1981 there weren't "monster cables", though.)
My stereo had the usual devices: AM/FM radio, record player, cassette deck. Two speakers, with plugs in back for two more. The really fancy bit was the digital frequency display for the radio.
In later years, after I got a CD player, I modified the thing: added a switch to the phono inputs and wired the extra speaker jacks to be an AUX input. I could then switch between the record player and the newly-created AUX input. (This idea wasn't mine; a friend of mine did something similar to his stereo. But it was such a good idea I copied it.)
I used that stereo for eight years before I got my first component receiver/ampifier in 1989, and that unit served me well for perhaps 17 years. In early 2006, I got the one I use now.
* * *
Besides all that, I came across the slot car track. There's two boxes full of it up there. Some of it is Matchbox; some is...other--Aurora or AFX or what-the-hell-ever it's called now. There's a box of slot car parts in the basement; if I could find some miscellanious bits and pieces I could probably assemble about a half-dozen working slot cars without much effort, but I'd wager the working cars--or, in any case, the cars that used to work--are in those boxes in the attic.
* * *
Another home-brewed Garfield Without Garfield:
I've said it before: even the bugs around Jon's house are neurotic.