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01 Feb 2004: Forward Again

It's now 2004. Things are busy and they're getting busier. In the next couple of weeks, I'll be going to Hokkaido and expect to get my Japanese exam results (I don't hold out much hope). The main reason this web site update has been delayed is that I've been building a new web site design and I was hoping to have it ready. It's difficult enough meeting deadlines for work. Try fitting them into real life!

I was going to write a lot more, but I literally don't have the time at present. There will hopefully be another update later this month with photos from Hokkaido.

Ordinary Book Corner! Finally got through Gore Vidal's The Last Empire which I've been trying to get through for the last year. It starts out as a review of American literature and, because this really isn't something I know a lot about, I got bogged down and set the book aside for some time; finally, I came back and managed to get through that into Vidal's essays on American politics which are relentless. He clearly has no time for the corporate-run machine that is modern American politics. A tough read, but certainly worth it.

Also finally got back to Paulo Coelho with Veronika Decides To Die. I read The Alchemist a few years ago and was impressed with the delivery of what could be considered a corny message: follow your heart. Here the message is be yourself, seen primarily through the eyes of the title character who chooses to commit suicide. This time the message is slightly more confused, but still holds the attention. A very easy read.

Tech Book Corner! I purchased HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide so that I could fill my gaps in formal HTML knowledge, and get to grips with workable CSS. (I had a look at the CSS Zen Garden and realised that I should make a serious attempt at getting rid of tables and putting real CSS into my web site.) Considering the mess that web standards are in, this book is an extremely comprehensive and readable approach to where we are now.