Older blog entries for Rich (starting at number 26)

Rich's Rule of Content

I mentioned Rich's Rule of Content today on IRC, in the context of a patch that I'd applied to the Apache httpd documentation.

Rich's Rule of Content is something that I started jokingly referring to back in the DataBeam days. It goes something like this:

Make up any old thing. If it's wrong, someone will be quick to point it out.

The serious side of this is that people are much quicker to correct errors than they are to provide the content in the first place. So if you make your best effort at writing a document about something, someone will quickly step up to point out the errors that you have made. Sometimes they'll be rude about it. Most of the time (at least in the httpd project) they will be gentle and polite.

And, as a result, the docs are better than they were yesterday. Thanks, Jeff and Daniel.

Syndicated 2012-10-08 15:35:16 from Notes In The Margin

Washing dishes and muzzling oxen

Deuteronomy 25:4 - You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain.

Last weekend I spent the entire weekend at the sink at St. Andrew Orthodox Church, washing dishes. We were having our annual heritage festival, which involves dancing - Greek, Arabic, Russian, Irish - a silent auction, and food. Lots and lots of food. Most of this food is from Greece and various parts of the middle east.

So, the kitchen is the place to be during all of this. There is constantly something toothsome coming out of the oven. And if you're right there, someone is going to ask you to taste it to make sure it's ok. And, even when the cabbage rolls are running out, the folks working in the kitchen have access to the fresh ones coming out of the oven.

Because, as Deuteronomy says, you don't muzzle the ox while he's treading the grain.

So, I washed dishes all day, and ate like a king. Or, perhaps, like a sheikh.

Syndicated 2012-10-06 13:46:59 (Updated 2012-10-06 13:47:01) from Notes In The Margin

Authors

Sword of Shannara

I've had the rare good fortune to meet many of my favorite authors. Notably, Douglas Adams, Arthur C Clarke, and, a few weeks ago, Terry Brooks. I've also met Cory Doctorow, Mo Willems, Will Wheaton, Frank X Walker and a host of other authors, and each time was struck by the humanity of great people. I deeply regret that I never had an opportunity to tell Ray Bradbury how much his work means to me.

Two of the authors I've met have since died, and I remember meeting them - particularly Sir Arthur - as high points of my life. Shaking the hand that penned Rama was an inexpressible honor.

(Indeed, I've had the fortune to meet many of my heroes over the years - that's a post for another time.)

Several weeks ago I met Terry Brooks, the author of The Sword of Shannara which, for a long time, held the title of Favorite Book Ever. That spot has since been usurped by Dandelion Wine, and I somehow think that Terry might not begrudge Ray Bradbury that spot.

Mr. Brooks was signing books at Joseph Beth Booksellers, in Lexington.

Mr. Brooks answered a *lot* of questions, and really gave them thought, and spoke to the people asking them as though they mattered. He read a *long* section from his new book, but carefully chose a section that didn't actually give anything away. And he signed books. Boy, did he sign books. He signed everything that anyone brought. One guy brought a suitcase. I am not making this up. A suitcase which purportedly contained The Complete Works. And Mr. Brooks signed them.

When we went up to have our books signed (alas, I only took three!) he spoke with us as though we were people. He made eye contact. He wrote our names in the books, and made sure he was spelling them right.

I was so impressed that I've now started buying and reading all of his books that I've missed over the years. And, somehow, having heard him read makes the books come alive a little more. I think Sword might be creeping back up my favorite book list again.

Syndicated 2012-10-03 18:00:00 (Updated 2012-10-03 17:44:09) from Notes In The Margin

E makes a movie