Friday, December 31, 2010

Left to his own devices, the dork will always out

I was supposed to be in Rome, GA tonight, spending the New Year's Eve with family in anticipation of a "Resolution Run" 5K tomorrow morning. Unfortunately, the lovely missus was taken down by some nasty congestion/coughing thing, so those plans are kaput. Which is probably just as well, considering that a band of tornado spinning storms are due to hit the area about the time said 5K was due to kick off. So we'll be ringing in 2011 from Ye Olde Loftstead in the city.

Which means I have a lot of time on my hands. And a lot of time on my hands means schemes. Mad schemes. Like a fish to water, baby. It's sort of what I do.

One thing I'd like to do more of next year is read books. I had a bad year for reading in 2010. When I did get a chance to read, I tended to get sidetracked by ugly political arguments instead. I'm looking to ratchet that down a little in 2011, and I hope to devote my regained time to reading more. I have an assload* of texts in the house, and I'll inevitably buy more as the year goes on, so my first requirement if I'm going to carry through on this resolution is to define some sort of system to keep me focused. To that end, let me share with you my new library selection methodology.

Step 1: Dig your old D&D dice out of the closet. (Please, do not try me with that 'I don't have D&D dice, those were for dorks!' gambit. Just get the damned dice and stop pretending.)

Step 2: Devise your system. Break your library into six zones, to be associated with a 6-sided standard die. Each zone should have no more than 20 individual shelves. (If your library is large enough that this is a problem, you may expand your six-sided "zone" die to an 8-, 10- or 12- sided solution.) Standard shelves will hold between 40 and 50 books. I have selected two 20-sided + one 10-sided die for book selection. Of course, if you want to go three 20-sided that's perfectly feasible too.

Step 3: Roll to hit.

Okay. You're good to go. From your 6-sided die, find your zone. From your first 20-sided roll, choose a shelf. From your 50-60-sided rolls find your book. I simply count left to right, personally, what with my not being of Hebrew or Arabic lineage. Of course, should you be a right to left reader, feel free. Just don't touch the Torah, dude. Seven years bad luck, that.

And the winner is...

Nick Hornby; Juliet, Naked.

Yes. I really did just create a more or less random text selection algorithm using old gaming dice. What? Did you think I had suddenly become something other than a dork while you weren't looking?

I think I shall blog this experience all year.