Little wins

I had a couple of little wins the other day. The issues that are trivial in themselves, but it is surprising how irritating they can still be.

The first and more trivial of the two was to find a refill for my notebook pen. I have a small Filofax that I am using as a notebook for ideas for the memoir and other things. This notebook has a very short pen that I bought years ago in Pen City, the wonderful shop on Swanston Street. (This pen is the perfect diameter for the pen loop in the Filofax. One that is too small just falls through the loop and gets lost; a bigger one would strain the loop or tear it off.) Much as I enjoy browsing through Pen City, I didn’t want to go into town just for a pen refill. So it was more in hope than expectation that I asked in a paper shop on Burke Road.

What do you call a shop that sells paper and pens nowadays? “Paper shop” sounds like a newsagent, but “stationer” to me means a shop with pens, inks, ledgers, notebooks, writing compendiums: every conceivable thing to write on and with. Brands like Churston Deckle, Osmiroid, Parker, Qink, and whoever made that onion-skin writing paper. Anyone who wanted to write anything went to a stationer’s. Whether it was an accounts ledger, a letter to Mum, a note on your desk calendar, a short story or a love poem, they had what you needed. After a visit there, countless words evolved from being inside someone’s head to written form, like salmon eggs morphing into fish.

The other one was working out why my new-ish tablet wasn’t connecting to public wifi (such as at shopping centres or the library). This was a puzzling problem, as the older tablet does this perfectly. I had rung Samsung tech support about it. Their first suggestion, which was to switch on automatic date and time in the settings, worked perfectly. Then the problem recurred. During a second phone call they suggested all sorts of unlikely things. You need to go home and see if you can connect to your home wifi. (I have been been using it all the time, most recently that morning.)  Maybe the wifi isn’t working at the shopping centre. (The tablet finds it and can tell me the signal strength.) Maybe the wifi is slow because there are lots of people using it. (It was ten-thirty in the morning on a weekday.) You need to do a factory reset on your tablet. (I’ll lose all my data.) Yes, but we can tell you how to back it up. (I need to be at home to do that.) Yes, you do. We’ll save your details so you don’t have to explain it all over again. (Yeah, right.)

Anyway, I figured it out myself. In the settings I could see that several apps had permissions. I guessed that one of these apps was interfering with the messages you get when you try to connect to public wifi.  No message getting through, you don’t get to accept the terms and conditions: no wifi. One of these apps was Twilight, something that gradually turns your screen less blue (i.e. more red) to reduce the amount of blue light getting through to your eyes in the evenings. I uninstalled the updates, then deleted the app. Now I can connect to wifi anywhere!

One thought on “Little wins

  1. Thanks, young feller! If all this commenting on a comment works as it should, then – as they would say at NASA – We Have Interaction! (Or possibly We Have Inneraction.)

    I read the Forbes article with interest; many thanks. (I wouldn’t bother following the links, BTW – I tried that with the “How to get started” one, and it led precisely nowhere. Is this a sign from the universe?) Ah yes, the seductive and endlessly fascinating nuts-and-bolts discussion of How To Get The Writing Done. (Apologies if I am overusing the capitalising, and for an upcoming cliche.) This discussion is often a lot more fun than the actual writing, and can be useful in delaying the application of the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair. As Picasso said, artists talk about styles and influences, but painters talk about brands of turpentine.

    Scrivener sounds like the goods, all right. Were I writing a thesis, or a real non-fiction book (about someone other than myself, that is), I think I would have said “You little beauty!”, and pulled out the magic plastic by now. However, given that my raw material is mostly between my ears, I’m not sure that I will need to organise many notes. I have written down a fair number of – things? – episodes? – aides-memoire? Whatever I will call them, they mark things for later extraction and unzipping. I will see how it goes just with paper notes and Google Docs.

    I am a message or so behind you, and so haven’t addressed your question as to whether the as yet mini opus will be memoir or autobiography. The article from your message (I include the link below for others interested) draws a useful distinction between these things. I am not intending my thing to be a record of accomplishment. (If I were being modest, I might say there isn’t much of that to record! But then, I have much about which to be modest.) So if not the latter, the former is obviously the last genre standing,

    For the rest of my patient readership (both of you), here is that link; it is a ripper:


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