Archive for December, 2014

My dentist song

December 16, 2014

I have today put my song ‘I love my dentist‘ up onto my bandcamp site.

I also fixed a problem with the Brussels sprouts download file at bandcamp. Thanks are due to my Second Life friends Art and Rama for telling me about this, since I had not picked it up on my computer.

The repertoire section of my website(for my original songs) needs tidying up and updating.
I am going to try to both tidy up AND get more of my songs uploaded onto bandcamp. The uploads might take a while to complete, though, since I do my own artwork for each track. Sometimes the sketching goes well, but sometimes I get a block or just can’t get the drawing right. Still, it is all part of the fun.

Speak to you later, my dear blogophiles.

Brief update on dice reading

December 15, 2014

I went to the library today and I started ‘dice reading’ one of the books I borrowed, this afternoon. If you are not sure what dice reading is I suggest you have a look at one of my previous posts a couple of blogs ago in which I describe it in some detail.

I have done 20 throws of a single dice and that has taken me up to p.66. There is something not altogether surprising about this. A dice throw will produce a number between 1-6 and each number is equally probable on each throw. So the mid-score is theoretically 3.5, lying between the two middle numbers of three and four. So, if the dice is more or less unbiased, 20 throws should get me to 20 x 3.5 = 70. Obviously, with such a small number of throws, we would not expect the theoretical estimate to be 100% accurate, but my actual p.66 is not too far off the estimated 70.

The reading experience really is quite strange. It can be a bit frustrating starting a page in mid-sentence (and finishing it that way, too). Still, it is not a hopeless task. I have started to develop a sense of the plot and am beginning to recognise some of the characters. The act of reading, in this way, feels a little like problem-solving. It involves lots of speculative guessing. But even that varies depending on the dice throw. After all, a throw of #1 simply involves carrying on to the next page, whereas a throw of #6 takes you 6 pages further forwards. So, the nature of the puzzle experience ebbs and flows with each throw of the dice.

Well, I just wanted to give you a sense of how things were progressing. Speak to you later, my dear blogophiles.

My Brussels sprouts song

December 14, 2014

As it is getting near that time of year, I thought I would let you know that I have just uploaded my original song Brussels sprouts blues to

The first line of the lyric sets the tone:
“I gave my baby a well-cooked Brussels sprout….”
and basically it goes downhill from there.

Anyway, you can download it for a small fee, should you so desire.
Speak to you later, my dear blogophiles.

Dice reading

December 14, 2014

I have previously selected novels and even biographies from my local library, on a random basis. I do this by a somewhat lengthy process of stopping my digital stopwatch and looking for a letter (seconds 1-26) and then go through the laborious process of counting the number of books on the shelves for that letter (or first randomly picking a shelf if it is a letter like ‘S’) and then using my digital watch to randomly select the number of books from the start of the letter. Phew! Actually, it has never taken more than about 5 minutes and it has been fun.

Anyway, I am thinking of taking things a step further and may try it out over the Xmas period. So, I shall probably go and get a few books out from the library tomorrow. I have an idea for creating a totally weird reading experience for myself. I shall explain this using a single dice (although there is no reason why you could not do what I am about to describe by using two dice for each throw)

So, let’s assume you throw a single dice. And say the first throw fell at #4. So, go to p.4 and read it. Then throw the dice again – say it is #2. So, turn to the second page after the page you have just read. In this example, you would then read p.6. Throw again. Say it was #6 – you would turn to p.12 and read that. And so on, and so on, until you get to the end of the book. Let us call this procedure (of going from start to finish) a ‘Dice Book Reading’ to give us the TLA of DBR.

Of course, there will be nothing to stop us going back to the beginning and doing a 2nd DBR. This would presumably expand our knowledge of the book, with some pages being read for a second time, and other new pages being read for the first time because they were missed in the 1st DBR. And when we have finished the 2nd DBR, we could go back and do a 3rd, or 4th, or 5th, or 6th etc. etc.

It occurs to me that this could be a new measure of how good the book was, rather like awarding restaurants or hotels stars. So, one might say of a particular book that it hooked you to the 5-DBR level, whereas another is perhaps cast aside sooner and gains only a 2-DBR rating. I suppose some authors might become adept at writing books that hooked people into high DBR levels, and maybe their skills would be different from those of acclaimed literary stars.

It occurs to me that if one used two dice for determining page sequences, the experience would be even more opaque to begin with. One might need a 10 DBR on double-dice to get to the same level of experiential saturation that would be possible from a 5 DBR with a single dice. In effect one would expect to sample the book roughly half as well with double dice as when doing the sampling with a single dice.

I accept that for some people the aim of reading a book is to get from start to finish as quickly as possible. This is a bit like taking a motorway connection to your destination. However, I quite like the idea of meandering about in the prose. It would perhaps be more like exploring the countryside using the minor roads and maybe only looking at a bit each time. It could be similar to watching a TV series out of synch, and maybe watching some episodes more than once, especially if you have bought the DVD set. And in the case of the TV being on, maybe one does get interruptions from phone calls, people trying to sell you stuff at the door, or if a long episode – an over insistent message from the Bladder Department. I don’t think reading always happens in ideal settings. I sometimes fall asleep when I am reading a novel. I can usually remember what page I was up to. But I kind of ignore the fact that I was half-asleep while my eyes were vaguely wobbling around the previous two pages. Yes, lots to think about.

Well, it remains to be seen whether this experiment will provide me with an experience that is more exciting than Xmas TV. I have a feeling that it might. Speak to you later, my dear blogophiles.