there is this short period in the spring when the fresh growth pops out at the tips, and the cones-to-be of some species have quite amazing contrasting colours. i don't know what this one is precisely since it was in a garden.
no walk today because i felt kinda ehhh. i should ride the bike, and i am currently doing battle with myself. maybe i'll try whether i can read smut on the xo while riding the bike because i don't feel like watching anime. though even just thinking about the xo makes me pissy right now.
[ETA: did ride the bike for 15 min, one level higher than i used to, at a higher speed. yay, i really am getting more stamina. also, i can read on the xo while riding, though it's not easy because i have to take my glasses off, rest the xo on my chest, and squint. but at least my chest doesn't heave enough for me to get motionsick. i love the GPS toy, but the recumbent bike is still excellent for me.]
my OLPC xo arrived, gifted by the *poing* (v-hugs the *poing* again, since the real thing has to wait another 4 weeks). it arrived for the second time, because the first time it came it wouldn't boot and tech support told us we had to send it back to be fixed (i do hope this doesn't happen to too many kids; somebody really ought to at least turn these things on before they ship them out).
but this time it booted, and we're both having fun exploring it. it is much smaller than my mind's eye imagined it, maybe because i always saw it either pictured alone with nothing for scale, or in the hands of kids. it is very cute because of that -- in the picture it sits in front of a 19" monitor. the rabbit ears are not just cute, but fulfill two functions -- rock on.
aside from being cute and colourful, it's very sturdy, easy to carry, has rounded edges, texturized covers, and a small keyboard with a membrane, so no crumbs can lodge between keys, and i bet the occasional spill won't hurt it either -- it does look and feel very kid-friendly.
the "sugar" paradigm will take a little to get used to (sugar is the core of the xo's interface); it's not intuitively obvious to me. the first thing we did was figure out how to get a linux prompt. :) the keyboard being kid-friendly means it's not friendly for adults with large fingers -- but mine aren't that big; lucky.
the screen is a marvel, very easy to read under all sorts of strange conditions which are often deadly for regular laptops. the xo is a little large and heavy to make the ideal ebook reader, but it's no worse than handling a big hardcover (better, because it doesn't flop around); i read about 200 pages last night without problems.
the reader is simple but has sufficient features for me at this point, and it's easy enough to get or convert books into pdf format -- i downloaded something from baen's free library in rtf format, opened it in the mac's textedit, and "printed" it to a pdf file. file transfer can be done over the network, or via a USB stick or SD card.
it's great fun so far. i am feeling urges to write stuff for it.