First and last drop

There’s a grey-haired relaxed vibe about this place. Cheap beer (they can’t take the beer kegs to their temporary digs in the Tennis Club) and sausages in buns on the way. Everyone seems to know each other, although there’s something of a divide between the bowling club folk and the newcomers from the Workers’ Club. A friendly dog watches the arrivals with me, parked next to the front door.

Take photos of things that are soon to go

It’s Friday afternoon, knock-off time, and I’m heading to Freo to either find a quiet corner of a pub in which to work on embed-wikimedia, or if the light is good to take some photos of the Fremantle Bowling Club’s old building. Demolition is to start soon and although I’m sure the Club’s archivists have it all well in hand, I’m not sure that any photos will make it on to Commons. But yeah, beer before anything, I think.

In a café in Berkeley

Is the internet a good place to start typing random thoughts? It feels like it’s probably not, because of all the “taken out of context”, “recalled in future years and laughed at”, and “what’s the point no one will see it” responses. But it also feels like random beginnings and unplanned words are the only things that will ever lead to more coherent and useful words, and that putting them out in the great wash of the online world is slightly better than hiding them away in a notebook in my own bottom drawer. I do write lots and lots of words that only I will ever see, and they’re usually pretty unpolished. I don’t think that what I put on this blog or Twitter or anywhere else is particularly good, but I do at least attempt to finish sentences and thoughts, and fix typos. Maybe that’s all I mean: that uploading ideas makes the brain follow through and express them, and in doing that there’s a surprising amount of satisfaction.

Market Bar

I had a drink at the new Market Bar yesterday afternoon (note the singular ‘Market’, this isn’t the “markets’ bar”). It’s really nice. Very neat and tidy and they’ve kept lots of things from the old location (or at least built them to look that way). Good live music, a step above the pub-song buskers of before.

Markdown, Alphasmart

Over the past few years I have come to love an experience closer to what Ernie Smith calls “bare metal writing”. I use a program called Ulysses, which offers a simple, clean and logical design, and whose output is nothing but text.
Once you have mastered its version of the simple MarkDown format, you can produce documents that incorporate some light formatting. But my aim with Ulysses is to produce text. How it looks when it gets to you is way above my pay grade.
The program alienated some of its adherents by going to a subscription model last year. For me, the monthly fee for an app that gets out of the way seems a bargain.
Lately I’ve gone further in seeking an uncorrupted writing experience.
Right now I am typing on something called the AlphaSmart Neo2, which is as close to a pure writing machine as I have seen.

We’re winning the war on Word, fellow writers. Enjoy the freedom