So I recently read Cory Doctorow’s Walkaway. Although it features what is most likely distressingly accurate, and depressing near-future (resulting in my concomitant, but currently unachievable desire to walkaway, as the protagonists do*), it’s a really great read. Like Little Brother before it, I find myself concerned by the possibilities of what he suggests, and finding a little room for optimism. Anyhow, it’s a good read.
Land Rover, by Ben Folger not so much. It’s interesting in very short bursts. I say that because it feels very poorly edited. While he’s got a very approachable writing style**, the book is all over the place, and very repetitive. And look, he’s interviewed someone who wasn’t really able to recall much about the questions he’s asked. Okay, ask different questions. Set the scene a bit. Do something. Don’t just breeze along like “oh, this was great and then I went and had some tea”. It’s introduced as a big thing – meeting this person who’s father was really important to the development of the landy – and then it’s over in a paragraph or two. Yeah, she doesn’t recall much about it – but really? You couldn’t find something more to say?
But the thing that’s really getting to me is the number of times he’s explained that the Land Rover is a classless vehicle. It’s not really true; but in British society there is a sort of classlessness about it. You have to have some money to have one, particularly now. But yeah, when I was a teen it was a car that both rich and less well off people drove***. However after he’s said “let me explain” about the classlessness of the car what feels like 50 times, I’m starting to wear down. And in all honesty it’s neither a story of development, nor so far an actual story of the owners. Either of which would have been interesting.
And finally – For Pros By Pros “Wiring a House” – so far it seems pretty good. I’ve grasped how [insane] multiphase house wiring is****. I am now comfortable that I understand it well enough to wire – and the book has lots of nice info on how to design and install to meet code. So it should be good.
I forked out today for a set of Ridgid powertools – then found the battery was dead (dead dead). And now it doesn’t look like near so much a bargain, but I’ve ordered a replacement battery. If the whole set works well then I’ll keep it – otherwise I’ve got until next week to return it as faulty (it’s used).
* when 3D printing of drugs becomes a reality then walking away would actually be a possibility, at least for me/us. Until then I’m tied to pharmaceuticals.
** Although me and him stand in very different places when it comes to war, and also to how the UK has acquitted itself on the world stage, which at times I found made it very hard for me to continue reading. Although with his background in the Navy, that’s understandable.
*** for values of less well off that allowed enough money for the purchase of a car.
**** Every time I learn something more about US electrical systems, I more miss Europe’s dead simple, neat, safe systems. Ugh.