Train greeting

Here’s a guy on a train in Baikonur. I’ve been looking at some old pictures. This is one of them. Truly Great Art.

Last day in the office for four days. Tomorrow’s off Friday, Saturday and Sunday are the weekend, and Monday is Loyal Reader Number Two’s tonsil surgery, as discussed before. I have to do a few hours of work tomorrow, but even that is fine. I’d much rather be doing it at home.

Weekend planning is fairly light, with most of the heavy lifting scheduled for tomorrow, what with the rain coming on Saturday. The Weather Channel is even calling for “extremely heavy” showers Friday night. Yikes.

Don’t worry about us, though, Loyal Readers. We’re very likely to survive this extreme natural phenomenon.

I finished another library book yesterday. This one was titled, Writing Better Technical Articles, by Harley Bjelland. I finished in an evening and a train ride. And not because I couldn’t put it down. Quite the contrary – I hope never to pick it up again.

Let’s detail some of its faults. It’s pathetically dated – written in1990. The author spends numerous pages extolling the virtues of using computers to write, and even the newfangled “modem.” Now, I realize this isn’t the author’s fault. All this stuff may have been relevant when he wrote the book.

But it wasn’t, really. The book is supposed to be about writing technical articles and books, and it wastes about a quarter of its pages on the tools, rather than the trade.

There’s a lot of other dated content. The “how to research” section goes into a lot of detail on the Dewey Decimal System. That was wasted space back then and is totally useless now. There’s advice on how to take notes and how to write an outline. This might be appropriate for an elementary school student, but hardly useful for a working or aspiring writer.

The rest is trite fluff.

The book is published by Tab Books, the publisher known far and wide for their useless “technical” books. Figures. A quick web search fails to locate TAB, so they may be out of business. Their distribution center was sold in 1997. I doubt the world misses them too much.

I recommend that my Loyal Readers look elsewhere for their technical writing instruction.

It’s General Conference weekend! That means eight hours of televised instruction, all of which is useful and uplifting. And delivered directly to us in the comfort of our own pajamas. Plus two more hours of Priesthood meeting at church on Saturday evening. Don’t miss a minute, Loyal Readers.

Today’s Morrowlife question: Following up from yesterday, what’s on your Christmas list?

See you tomorrow.

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