15 thoughts on “Wednesday, November 24, 2021

  1. Hi, Catalina. How are you?
    Re: WG: I know it is late, but I forgot to upload my OTP yesterday. I usually scan OTP (and your serial page) in the morning, and then go back some time later in the day to read OTP. My initial reaction was to laugh at when Malik tells Caroline that Jayden said, « …the piano has eighty-eight keys. Seven white keys and five black keys to an octave. » That doesn’t compute for Caroline because she is an analyst and mathematician and « an octave is twelve notes and not eight. » As a musician that is funny. But Caroline is quirky all the time thinking about data. It was not lost on me how critical that page was because Caroline, 1) finds out that Mailk has a son named Jayden, 2) there might be « other lady’s, » and 3) Malik and or Jayden may be Black or half black from « Langston Hughes » reference. Couldn’t tell up to now, since Malik could be middle Eastern, or Muslim and Hindu,Panjab? 4) Jayden and Caroline are typers. If you write it, I will read it.

    It’s great to have an attentive reader but I had to go back to check if I really hadn’t been explicit enough about Malik being an African-American. Since I’m on page 94 (page 90 goes up, today, I think), it’s been about seventy days since I read page 20, describing their first, disastrous date, when he rails against how algorithms perpetuate racist stereotypes and make it hard for him to get the same jobs as white people. It does say, five lines from the bottom of page 20: “He was a handsome black guy, maybe five years younger…” She definitely knows he’s black! On page 90, when he talks about how he likes film noir and Raymond Chandler “even though you have to ignore all the racism if you want to enjoy it” and she says “Those were the times” to which he replies “Those ARE the times”, she does begin to wonder if she’s not unconsciously racist. Later on, Jayden mentions to his father (page 94, the last page I’ve completed) a visit to the DuSable Museum of African American History and that it affected him. I take your point, of course, that Malik is an Arabic name, but it’s popular among African-American parents, and would have been popular in the early ‘80s, when Malik was born, even if they’re not Muslims. At least, that’s what my research indicates. On page 66 we learn that his surname is Davis, and that he worked for a law firm called Adler, Gromi and Oliver. Why do those names ring a bell, if you’ll pardon the pun?

    By the way, Cultural Evidence arrived on Saturday and I’ve started reading it. Slowly, to savour it.

  2. Ted, it’s good to see you back, hope Tori is on the mend.

    !&? — You should be able to use the left arrow key to scroll back and read the part of your current line that’s off the screen, then hit RELOC to go back to where you left off. Also, for glitchy keys some electrical contact cleaner can sometimes help.

  3. Juan – Sober, drunk, or high, your writing always has punch. Must be the Olivetti. I forgot to say how much I loved your thoughts about the ironies of self-defense. Thankfully, today’s verdict re: Arbery’s murder was the right one.

  4. Two more things:

    1. Perhaps in the new year we can have a typewriter gathering in Northern California. Perhaps Lodi? The Bay Area folks can drive east. The Sacramento folks go south. The Fresno-area folks go north. Downtown Lodi is actually quite nice with some big space brewery/restaurants that might not mind a bunch of anachronistic folks typing.

    2. I’ve sent my first typed vintage postcard poem to Catalina. If you want one please email me: rbulman@sbcglobal.net
    It is an experiment that may or may not work. Sometimes I feel the muse and sometimes I don’t!

  5. Catalina:

    Claire’s typewriter is a Lettera 35, with the standard AZERTY keyboard that has been used in France for more than a century. With é è ç à on the top row and the right pinky used for ¨ ^ ù, it makes for a very different typing than the QWERTY French Canada keyboard which I use.

    I have been curious to try the AZERTY configuration. I can easily change my computer keyboard to that configuration, but after so many years with the QWERTY, I doubt I would be able to adapt.

    As a matter of fact, I would much rather install the Dvorak French Canada configuration on my PC if I wanted to try something new.

    Daniel B

  6. !&? – drop an e-mail address. I can send you a Typestar 5 manual. It helped me a lot when I ran into questions.

    1. Michael, Thank you! As it happens I already found one online (after my OTP effort). I have now almost entirely read it too. One thing I did pick up from it was the ink brightness control dial on the right side near the power switch – didn’t know that was there. But testing it you just leave it on max darkeness anyway. What I was really hoping for was info on how to clean under the keys, and that isn’t in the manual. I found that the keycaps do just pull off upwards, and I did get the T off and blast a little air into it. But the keyswitch mostly blocks the way. So, did it help? Perhaps, but it is still doubling up sometimes. Probably to get to the underside of the keyswitch I need to take it more apart, and that is a bridge too far for me at this point. The chance of me breaking something goes up several orders of magnitude. It is a cool machine, and my daughter took an immediate shine to it, saying she thought it was the best of all my typewriters, just like that. Which hurt a little, as it really isn’t. Again, depends on your perspective I suppose.

      1. JoeVC is the one with the knowledge there. He has a couple of videos on his channel for this. Chances are the contact is dirty and needs a clean. Sometimes tapping at the key like mad can clean it. Otherwise you will have to do open heart surgery.

  7. WG: Yes I remember now –especially “how algorithms perpetuate racist stereotypes and make it hard for him to get the same jobs as white people.” But I seemed to let go of that, I’m going to re-read that page over the weekend.

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