Not been online much lately. Just bits here and there.

There was a crack on the screen of one of my laptops. I’d looked into getting it sent off to be repaired but the prices that were being charged would have made it cheaper to buy a new laptop.

Then I started looking into prices of replacement screens alone and it was there that the prices plummeted. Provided I was willing to change the screen myself the cost was a pittence; less than half the price of some ‘repairs’.

So I ordered a replacement screen and looked up some tutorials on YouTube. At first here was a little trepidation: although I’ve built computer systems from scratch for myself and friends laptops are apparently a totally different ballgame.

And they are.

Apart from fiddling around with lots of tiny screws changing the screen involved taking out two plugs and putting in two plugs. Simples. The laptop is better than new, the replacement screen being brighter and with more vibrant colours. To celebrate I even bought extra memory from Amazon. So the laptop wont just look better but work faster too.

I’m still going through books of short stories. I picked up an Ursula Le Guin collection from Amazon for under a fiver. It only has five stories so they’re technically closer to novellas and novelettes than short stories. Still to get into them: going through one I was reminded of why I was a little turned off from le Guin the last time I tried to read her work – which was a big thick book – and that is that there were snippets of music in the stories. Personally I found that distracting. I don’t read music. It’s as annoying as reading through a story to suddenly find a quote in a foreign language that is not explained. It gives the reader a little kick which dislodges them from the narrative; and that defeats the purpose of telling a story to someone.

I bought a Robert E Howard book of short stories about a year or so ago. It was only £2.99. When I got it I saw I had read a lot of the stories in it but there were a few that I hadn’t read so I dipped into it now and then. Recently I chose a couple of stories here and there. One I read again was ‘Pigeons From Hell’. I think I first read this years ago when I got The First (Or it may have been the second) Book of Robert E Howard in American paperback. I don’t care what anyone says, ‘Pigeons From Hell’ is without doubt the best thing Howard ever wrote. It surpasses Conan, Solomon Kane or anything else: his weird fiction, his sword and sorcery, his westerns. It is pure genius. Storytelling, atmosphere, horror. It’s a damn near perfect story, and pretty chilling too.