Print Story Notebooks.
By blixco (Thu Oct 04, 2007 at 12:16:28 PM EST) (all tags)
I have a stack of paper notebooks, one dating back to 1987.

I've always kept some form of journal.  Normally the contents are random: notes from work, "diary"-type stuff, recipes, ballistic charts for the Remington, wiring diagrams, maps, etc.

The best are the ones that have multi-media: pictures glued in, ink or pencil drawings (all the ones from around the time of my drafting classes in college come off like Chris Ware books), random bits of life.

The one I'm using right now is a Moleskine.  It's the small one (fits in my back pocket) and it was with me on that trip to Boston to meet up with many HuSians way back when.  It disappeared for a while, then showed back up.  It has random writing from people at Jacob Wirth's that night.

The first entries are statements of purpose.  Then a quick entry in 2003 about the coming war, and a whole bunch of notes from security and penetration testing at work.  A few plans for a desk, and a drawing of the midwest from 30,000 feet.  Two different building maps, and a map to Kim's house.

If you were to compare this Moleskine to the notebook that spans the time from when I was 15 'til I was 18, you'd not recognize them as coming from the same person.  Not unusual with the time that has passed, but if you compared my writing here to any of the journals I keep, you'd still have trouble linking the two.  There is some overlap.  My trip back to Las Cruces and El Paso in 2004 for a family reunion was documented here from notes in my notebook.  The words in my Moleskine are much more dire, much more introspective, and not for public consumption, but there's enough in common that you can tell one came from the other.  Key phrasing, that sort of thing.

I have a thing for maps.  Some sort of cartographer's fetish.  My Moleskine is littered with them, some quite detailed and others crude, shaky from being drawn with one hand on a phone, notebook on the hood of the car. The trip to Cruces yielded maps of the trail I hiked along with sketches of the waypoints I used.

Twenty pages from there, though, is the ballistics for .223 caliber 45 and 55 grain Hornady VMax from 100 to 1000 yards in MoA, and a sketch of the conditions and targets from the defense course.

Then two pages later, a recipe for a beef dish that I still need to make.

Just this bizarre stream of consciousness, a dumping ground for every little thing.  I still have no use for a PDA (despite having a couple of handheld devices) because ink and paper is fast, convenient, and permanent.  If electronics catches up to the speed and convenience that paper has, I may have to replace my notebooks...but not until then.

I wonder what someone would think if they found this thing?  I mean, despite the promise of easy cash (I have a reward of $100 written into the front, along with my address and such), if I found it I'd probably keep it.  It has all these Travis Bikel meets Sergio Aragones moments that make for pretty interesting reading.

< Boston. Saturday. Be there. | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
Notebooks. | 32 comments (32 topical, 0 hidden)
I've done that off and on.. by toxicfur (4.00 / 1) #1 Thu Oct 04, 2007 at 12:20:57 PM EST
though not to that extent. And if I found a notebook like that, I'd have to return it, but only after perusing it in great detail, feeling just a little guilty.
If you don't get a Bonnie, my universe will not make sense. --blixco
I started by blixco (4.00 / 1) #2 Thu Oct 04, 2007 at 12:27:19 PM EST
keeping them once I started work.  One still has notes from my first job, all sorts of arcane System V and Novell 3.12 nonsense.  How to disassemble and clean  Houston Instruments plotter.  That sort of thing.

But mixed in are all these little slices of life at the office or from the coffee shop. Bits of lyrics, snippets of conversations.  A sketch of Gordon's.  Useful stuff, much more useful than the technology.
"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin

[ Parent ]
I have... by ana (4.00 / 1) #13 Thu Oct 04, 2007 at 05:03:23 PM EST
years worth of lab notebooks; never mind that I don't really work in a lab, just having a bound book into which to write meeting notes, scribbles about whatever I'm doing, paste graphs, etc. is just the thing.

I also have a series of writing notebooks. I wrote much of my first nano by hand in such a book. Since I don't frequent the coffee shop as much as I once did, my writing notebooks get less use, though there's a partial draft of my last WFC story in the latest volume. The writing notebooks are spiral bound, small enough to fit in the front pocket of my rain shell (well, most of them are; sucked when I bought one half an inch larger than the usual ones) and have funky brown recycled paper in them. Besides stories and ideas for stories, there's other stuff in there, some of it diary-like, sketches, whatever it amused me to write down.

And then for more ephemeral things, I carry a calendar around in my pocket. Works well for keeping track of appointments and meetings and stuff.

Power up your flaming yo-yos already! --StackyMcRacky

[ Parent ]
I just got by grendel (4.00 / 1) #3 Thu Oct 04, 2007 at 12:37:39 PM EST
my milk crate of old sketchbooks out of storage. Browsing one I found notes and sketches from California about 200 years ago.

I carry a Moleskine as well, lots of random thoughts, work notes and sketches.

You know by blixco (4.00 / 1) #4 Thu Oct 04, 2007 at 12:38:20 PM EST
I still have "Accordian on Safari" framed in my office.
"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin
[ Parent ]
Oh my. by grendel (4.00 / 1) #5 Thu Oct 04, 2007 at 12:42:34 PM EST
That's a little scary. Last year I ran across one of your ingredient lists.

[ Parent ]
45-grain .223 by chuckles (4.00 / 1) #6 Thu Oct 04, 2007 at 12:54:26 PM EST
I'd never heard of a .223 round that light. 55-grain is the lightest I've ever used, and nowadays all my .223 barrels are 1-in-9 twist and I typically use 62-grain with those. What is 45-grain .223 used for?

"The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin [...] would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities"
1 in 14 twist 5R by blixco (4.00 / 1) #7 Thu Oct 04, 2007 at 01:48:53 PM EST
Shilen barrel against paper targets out to 500 yards.  The rifle is a Remington 700SPS that has been breathed on (barrel, trigger, bedding).

The bullets are Hornady VMax.  I can also find some Winchester varmint loads in 45 grain.

If you're on a 1 in 9, you can push a lot heavier stuff.  Mine is a varmint rifle, made for very light, very fast, very flat long range stuff.

I think my stock barrel was a 1 in 12.

You on an AR?
"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin

[ Parent ]
Yep, Eagle Arms AR clone (carbine) -nt by chuckles (4.00 / 1) #8 Thu Oct 04, 2007 at 02:22:29 PM EST

"The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin [...] would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities"
[ Parent ]
Sloth... by jw32767 (4.00 / 1) #14 Fri Oct 05, 2007 at 04:31:32 AM EST
Would you mind translating all that gun talk to something someone whose never touched a gun before would understand?  I could look it up, but I'm damned lazy.

[ Parent ]
Sure! by blixco (4.00 / 1) #17 Fri Oct 05, 2007 at 05:19:40 AM EST
OK: the 45 grain bullet refers to the weight of the bullet....the larger the number, the heavier the projectile.  My 45gr bullets are VLD (very low drag) boattail projectiles.  I typically shoot 55 grain, but 45gr have made the ballistics geek in me very happy; they are flat (zero'd in....on target so to speak) at 200 yards.  I don't have to aim above or below the centerpoint at 200 yards.  With heavier ammo, I have to aim slightly up (1.4" for most, though Hornady has a 55gr that is zerod at 200 yards as well...hrm).  The biggest gains are at 500 yards, where I aim 41.5" up for 55 grain, I only have to adust by 30" for 45 grain.

The barrel of the rifle has a certain number of twists to the rifling.  Starting at the chamber-end, the rifling is cut (using a specific cross-section that I'll get to in a bit) onto the inside surface of the barrel at a specific rate.  That rate, the number of 360 degree turns in a given span, is called the rate of twist, or the twist.  If you have one 360 degree twist in 9 inches (the common twist for AR-15 and other military barrels), the barrel has a 1 in 9 twist rate, which means that the projectile spins 360 degrees for every 9 inches of travel down the barrel.

Higher twist rates (such as 1 in 9) give more stability to the projectile at the cost of terminal velocity.  Due to the higher stability, heavier projectiles can be fired without losing accuracy over distance.

My barrel has a ridiculously low twist rate of 1 in 14.  The projectiles I shoot are very lightweight, and I have more interest in terminal velocity at 500 yards, say.  The .223 caliber round is very, very small.  If my very light bullet is spinning too much, it will tumble, and tumbling degrades accuracy to something like several inches per linear foot past 200 yards.  I am nominally effective at 200 yards but would like 500 yards, so I need a projectile + barrel combination that will give me the flattest trajectory over that distance.

For a shorter barreled tactical weapon, 60-ish grain ammo is the norm.  The higher twist rate combined with the heavier load mean stability without tumbling, though a 20 inch 1 in 9 barrel will not be as fast or as stable at 500+ yards as my rifle.

Phew.  This is getting long-winded.

The rifling cross section on my barrel is designated 5R. Most rifling cross sections are a landed V (think of a V with serifs).  The 5R groove is cut with 5 points...sort of a U with a V on the bottom, or a W with the center pointed down.  This removes the harsh edges of the typical V but allows the same sort of tracking stability as the projectile travels down the barrel. On the practical side, bullets don't leave as much copper or lead on their way down my barrel; the grooves are "nicer" to the surface of the projectile.  This means, less interfering with the ballistics of the projectile, so in theory I'm a tiny bit more accurate.  In practice, my grouping is the same with this barrel as it was with my stock barrel: all hit within half an inch for 3 shot groups at 100 yards.

Hrm.  Anything else?
"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin

[ Parent ]
Ooooh, my thinking by blixco (4.00 / 1) #20 Fri Oct 05, 2007 at 05:26:16 AM EST
on the 5R was wrong.

"The 5r rifling profile is basically radiusing the intersection between land and groove, I think it's like a 110 degree radius."  So it's more like a chamfering of the sharpest parts of the groove...which would produce a W-ish shape...

anyhow, not at all important to a non-ballistics geek.
"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin

[ Parent ]
Just one question by jw32767 (2.00 / 0) #27 Fri Oct 05, 2007 at 08:01:48 AM EST
What do you mean by the rifling cross section?  Is that looking down the "trench" of the rifling, looking down the barrel, or looking perpendicular to the barrel?

[ Parent ]
Looking down the barrel by blixco (4.00 / 1) #29 Fri Oct 05, 2007 at 08:53:12 AM EST
with a microscope....if stare down the barrel, the rifling profile would be the cross section of the groove.
"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin
[ Parent ]
Danger, danger, troll shields weakening by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #12 Thu Oct 04, 2007 at 04:54:55 PM EST
chuck, you're being reasonable, factual and real, don't let it become a habit.

[ Parent ]
WIPO: Undecided by TurboThy (4.00 / 1) #9 Thu Oct 04, 2007 at 02:48:21 PM EST
Paper notes are very much quicker for me to jot down, but the electronic notes are actually readable for more than 4 hours after the fact.
Sommerhus til salg, første række til Kattegat.
i carry... by clock (4.00 / 1) #10 Thu Oct 04, 2007 at 03:33:30 PM EST
...a moleskin EVERYWHERE.  have for years.  best notebooks in all of creation.  it's funny, i never re-read that stuff.  some are ephemeral tech notes for my project of the second and others are too fucking depressing.

I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

I hate to make Star Trek references, by greyrat (4.00 / 2) #11 Thu Oct 04, 2007 at 04:39:12 PM EST
especially movie ones, but Kirk was right. Books are best. I don't know that I'll ever read real literature on a computer type device.

Notebooks ain't fer the likes of me by jw32767 (4.00 / 1) #15 Fri Oct 05, 2007 at 04:33:38 AM EST
I have a hard enough time keeping track of my keys, much less a pen and notebook.  Plus I don't really ever feel like "oh shit, I need to write that down right now" though I suspect that if I did actually carry one around I'd use it a good bit.

My notebook by blixco (4.00 / 1) #22 Fri Oct 05, 2007 at 05:48:57 AM EST
sits next to my keys, wallet, watch, sunglasses...I keep them all in one spot.  I got tired of losing my keys every morning.

Mainly what I write down is stuff that isn't useful years later...or even days later.  It's list-type stuff, normally.  But some of it is observational, internal dialog.  Bits of lyrics or conversation.  That sort of thing.  The bulk of it, though, is trash.  Sort of like, ya know, my diary here.
"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin

[ Parent ]
If they aren't useful down the road... by jw32767 (2.00 / 0) #28 Fri Oct 05, 2007 at 08:03:45 AM EST
why write?  Is it just for the joy of putting ink to paper, something to do, a nervous habit, a memory aid or something altogether different?

[ Parent ]
Happy Freakin Friday Unkie! by Audrey II (4.00 / 2) #16 Fri Oct 05, 2007 at 04:38:30 AM EST
I saw this the other night and just have to share:

I'm particularly fond of my little carbine. :)

The guy teaching me by blixco (2.00 / 0) #18 Fri Oct 05, 2007 at 05:21:53 AM EST
how to shoot gave his 6 year old daughter a pink 10/22 rifle for Christmas last year.

She's pretty good with it, too.
"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin

[ Parent ]
I've always admired people who can do that by ObviousTroll (4.00 / 1) #19 Fri Oct 05, 2007 at 05:24:30 AM EST
I keep starting one, then 10 pages into it I taper off and forget about it.

These days I have an organizer program on my laptop, because the machine goes everywhere with me.

Has anybody seen my clue? I know I had it when I came in here.

I have by blixco (2.00 / 0) #21 Fri Oct 05, 2007 at 05:47:05 AM EST
probably more ways of holding jotted cell phone, an iPod Touch, the Moleskine, a's sort of nuts.  Thankfully I don't feel compelled to write down every single bit of minutiae.
"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin
[ Parent ]
I don't keep a notebook. by vorheesleatherface (4.00 / 1) #23 Fri Oct 05, 2007 at 06:17:22 AM EST
The closest things I have now, are a directory full of technical notes for doing my job, and a very small collection of song lyrics I keep with my guitar paraphernalia. Some lyrics are getting on 15 yrs old now, from my years of teen angst. I even pop onto Husi every now and again and "douche" my old stuff. I threw out a couple of old diary/notebooks from when I was a kid. It was just to painfully embarrassing to allow them to keep existing. They had to be exterminated. I don't like leaving stuff around.

I envy people who are actually articulate and thoughtful enough to have interesting things to say and who write them down when the thoughts happen. I want your recipe please and thanks!

My recipe for by blixco (4.00 / 1) #24 Fri Oct 05, 2007 at 06:34:03 AM EST
writing thoughtful things down, or the beef recipe mentioned above?

The beef dish ain't easy, but it's certainly difficult.  Or worth it.  One of the two.

Beef Wellington (using Filet)
Serves 8

8 (4 or 5 oz.) filet Mignon
1 1/3 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp of pepper
2/3 c. chopped onion
2/3 c. chopped carrots
2/3 c. chopped celery
1/3 c. plus 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
3 tbsp. brandy
1 c. red wine (something dark and sweet)
3/4 tsp. fines herbs
1 1/3 tbsp. butter, room temp
Mushroom filling, recipe below
Pastry, recipe below
3 egg yolks
3 tsp. water
2 2/3 c. beef broth
1 1/3 tbsp. tomato paste
2 2/3 tbsp. cornstarch
1/3 c. Madeira wine
Diced fresh mushrooms (crimini or the like)

Sprinkle fillets with salt and pepper, and place in a shallow dish. Saute onion, carrots, and celery in oil until tender. Add red wine, brandy and herbs. Pour mixture over filets; cover and marinate in refrigerator overnight. Drain steaks, reserving marinade. Saute fillets in butter in a skillet just until lightly browned on both sides. Place filets in pan; cover and freeze 10 minutes. Remove from freezer, and refrigerate 2 hours. Prepare mushroom filling; chill at least 2 hour


2 2/3 lb. fresh mushrooms, finely chopped
1/3 c. mince green onion
3 tbsp. butter
1/3 c. Madeira or other dry sweet wine
Salt and pepper to taste

Place mushrooms in a clean towel or cheese cloth and squeeze until barely moist, reserving juice. Saute mushrooms and onion in butter; cook over medium heat until all liquid is evaporated. Add salt and pepper. Prepare pastry; chill 2 hours.


4 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp. salt
1 c. chilled butter plus 2 tbsp. cubed
1/3 c. shortening, chilled
1/2 to 2/3 c. ice water

Combine flour and salt in a large bowl; cut in chilled butter and shortening with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle ice water evenly over surface; stir with a fork until all dry ingredients are moistened. Shape dough into a ball. Roll pastry into an 18 inch square on a lightly floured board or pastry cloth; cut into 8 (9 x 6 inch) rectangles. Spread each pastry rectangle with 1/3 cup mushroom filling; top with a filet.

Combine egg yolks and water; brush edges of pastry with egg mixture to seal. Fold pastry over, and pinch together. (Trim excess pastry is necessary). Place Wellingtons, seam side down, on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush with egg mixture; repeat after 1 minute. Roll pastry trimming cut into decorative shapes and arrange on top of Wellingtons, if desired. Brush with remaining egg mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Combine reserved marinade, reserved mushroom juice, beef broth, and tomato paste in a saucepan; simmer 1 hour. Dissolve cornstarch in Madeira; stir into broth mixture and cook, stirring constantly until thickened. Garnish with mushrooms, carrots, parsley, celery fans.
"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin

[ Parent ]
That's the one! by vorheesleatherface (4.00 / 1) #25 Fri Oct 05, 2007 at 06:48:32 AM EST
One of these weekends I'll be making a Sunday afternoon project out of that.

[ Parent ]
This one skips by blixco (4.00 / 1) #26 Fri Oct 05, 2007 at 06:58:01 AM EST
the goose liver pate, but I am a huge fan of goose liver lately.
"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin
[ Parent ]
notebooks by alprazolam (4.00 / 1) #30 Fri Oct 05, 2007 at 11:29:00 AM EST
i keep 'em at work. got about 5, all full of notes on every single (well 80%) CCA (circuit card assembly) i've ever worked on. as well as the occasion random all caps swear word etc. mostly very dry and in a type of code that pretty much only i'd understand, if even. it's been useful to scan back for information but generally they're so garbled and obscured and not online that they're useless for that. i do find that it's basically necessary for me to write things down in order to remember them. i can't just "remember" something, with remember being a verb. what i do is write it down, and then read it back, and i can basically recall it at will later (not as a photographic image, but as a concept).

not at home though. i do write recipes on scraps of paper or envelopes and keep those, and i may take notes regarding civ 4 on occasion, but the rest of my thoughts don't strike me as needing written down. that could explain why my "personal" life is so poorly managed.

I have one of those notebooks by Kellnerin (4.00 / 1) #31 Sat Oct 20, 2007 at 08:43:31 AM EST
I haven't really used it in a while, but a lot of my copyediting-era diaries were drawn from notes scrawled in a little Moleskine.

I found less opportunity to use it while I was unemployed, and somehow it seemed too out of place to scribble in it at my new gig, with these wide-open cubes and low partitions. Best I can do is scrawl on a Post-it and stow it away somewhere. I do have one of those composition notebooks (out of the Cabinet of Crappy Office Supplies) where I keep my work notes. Maybe what I should do is just mix in my own notes with all my work-related stuff, so that one page is about parsing URL tokens and the next is quotes from the discussion about the taste of silly putty in the next set of cubes from mine.

"Late to the party" is the new "ahead of the curve" -- CRwM

My notebook - inspired by yours by zarathus (4.00 / 1) #32 Tue Oct 23, 2007 at 06:36:44 AM EST
I've been using a slim Moleskine notebook for some time now and I find it indispensable.  I started one in March of this year and only filled it up last week.  There's lots of good stuff in there but by no means an entry every day.  Now with my new notebook I'm making entries more often.

Blogger - n. Someone with nothing to say writing for someone with nothing to do.
Notebooks. | 32 comments (32 topical, 0 hidden)