I Read Authors, Not Books

I don’t care too much for vampire stories anymore. Along with werewolves, zombies, and Spider-Man, I think vampires have gotten way too much mileage to be interesting anymore.Vampire meme

I’m currently reading Salem’s Lot by Stephen King and even though it’s his Dracula story it still has me hooked. My mother describes King as the Danielle Steel of horror. I’ve never read a Danielle Steel book so I can’t comment on the comparison but if my mother is right and if I liked reading about rich families in crises then I’d probably love Danielle Steel. The fact that I can’t put this vampire story down proves to me that an avid reader reads authors, not books. Lucky for me I read Stephen King who has over 50 novels and countless short stories. It looks like H.P. Lovecraft is also sizing up to be a favorite so I’m happy to say I won’t have any shortage of things to read in the near future.

Reading for Pleasure

I just recently started to read for pleasure. The entirety of my reading before consisted of research for my profession so I wasn’t new to the process. However, reading for pleasure is something else completely. Frederick Douglass said, “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free,” and although now I couldn’t agree more with that statement, before I would not have really understood what he meant by that.

What turned me on to the idea of reading for pleasure was a movie trailer for The Dark Tower, the new movie based on The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. When I saw the trailer I think I was already approaching the idea of trying out reading for pleasure and then seeing it made me think why not start with that. I’m a lover of horror movies so I thought it would make sense that I’d love the king of horror’s magnum opus. I wasn’t wrong. The first book sucked me in and the last 30 pages or so blew my mind. I was beside myself. I finally found something to eradicate any trace or thought of boredom from my life. Thank you, Stephen King!

Anomaly by Peter Cawdron
Anomaly by Peter Cawdron

Since then I’ve consumed most of The Dark Tower series, a lot of Lovecraft, a lot by an indie author named Peter Cawrdron, and have even ventured into books I would’ve never thought I’d ever read. Kafka was a genius.

Goodreads sorting options.
Goodreads sorting options.

Keeping track of the books I’ve read but more usefully the books I want to read is an easy task with Goodreads. They’ve got a pretty cool app and their (free) service even ties into my Kindle. Probably the most useful thing about Goodreads though is the book ratings piece. Not only can I see what people, including my Facebook friends, are saying about the books I want to read, I can sort through my list of “Want to Read” books by a number of metrics including “Number of Ratings.” So, if I’m not in the mood to take a risk on a book, I can sort my list by the number of ratings each book has and make sure to select one that has thousands, if not tens of thousands, of good ratings. If I want to take a risk I might look for one with only a hundred or so good ratings. It’s really an excellent service. Here’s my Goodreads profile if you’re interested in connecting with me there.

Journaling

Cat writing a letter.Wiser men and women than I have repeatedly advised me to write everyday. Write anything, they say. It’s the process of writing that’s important, not so much what is written. With that I thought why not start blogging.

I’ve always had various blogs across various websites since around 2005. Some of them were even remotely useful too. Yet, my blogging was always done for reasons that no longer concern me about a personal website. So, I’m hoping that I will use this opportunity to write freely and try to enjoy it a little.

Here goes nothing.

Hello, Owen.

I had a son today. Well, my wife technically “had” him but I had a lot to do with it. He’s perfect and life makes so much more sense now. I really couldn’t be happier and I love him more than anything.

Often I hear parents describing the experience of having children as something you just have to experience yourself to really understand. I use to try to relate by imagining the unconditional love I have for my cats (and my dog who’s no longer with us) but they’d almost always say that it’s not the same or to take that love and multiply it by a thousand. Now that I’ve experienced it myself I can see where they are coming from but I don’t believe that a person can’t experience that kind of happiness unless they have a child. Unconditional love is unconditional love and I believe if you have ever truly experienced that then you know what having a child feels like.

Adam with his newborn son, Owen.

Here’s a picture of me and my son, Owen. Someone had just asked me if he was going to grow up and be a Windows user.

Quick and Dirty Responsive Web Design

According to Google, they’re satisfied that your website is responsive by adding one measly meta tag. Here it is:

<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">

This works to fool Google but if you’re interested in delivering a truly responsive design experience for your visitors, it’s nowhere near this simple. Fear not, I can help. Complete this form to get started:

MAKE MY WEBSITE BETTER »

How to Compile a Linux App from Source

Compiling a Linux project from source can at first seem like a daunting task. It’s not. Here’s how to do it.

Normally, the project will have instructions for how to build and install it. Google that first.

Otherwise, follow these simple instructions:

  • Download a tarball (tar.gz or tar.bz2 file), which is a release of a specific version of the source code
  • Extract the tarball with a command like tar zxvf myapp.tar.gz for a gzipped tarball or tar jxvf myapp.tar.bz2 for a bzipped tarball
  • cd into the directory created above
  • Run ./configure && make && sudo make install

Wasn’t too difficult, was it?