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10.24.2004

the eye of the beholder

Glad to see Fanch, at least, watching out for my well-being, hoping to catch me snoozing on my self-inflicted update-everyday-for-a-day policy. I shan't be found falling so easily! Or maybe I will, probably, in another day or two. Hold onto your hatpins.

I bounded down to my basement messroom early this afternoon planning on digging up something meaty to talk about here. Instead, I ended up spending something like five hours shuffling through CDs, looking for things to sell. I've got my grand total sold up to three now, each at five bucks plus two dollars shipping. One of those is going to Canada, and I've no idea how much that's going to cost; hopefully not too much over the planned two bucks.

Fifteen dollars for somewhere around eight hours work (including time spent Friday and whenever I set up the first sale) ain't so hot. But I'm organizing/cleaning as I go. Honestly probably none of those things (selling, cleaning, organizing) is being done efficiently this way. I'm definitely not that much closer to having this place organized than I was yesterday. But here's what I've discovered: this shit's addictive. I'm pretty sure my budding addiction to selling crap on ebay is directly related to my already discussed addiction to keeping everything I ever get my hands on.

I had listed three CDs Friday. This afternoon when I checked one of those was sold. So that got me thinking I should list more. I began that and during the course of it one of the newly listed ones sold. So while there are eight items still unsold (though one of those has a bid, so at the very least I'll get three bucks for it,) there are three that I've gotten money out of. Is this what playing slots feels like? They spit out a few coins every five or six plays to keep you hooked?

It remains to be seen whether or not any of these will go unsold. A lot of the time I'm taking (probably most of it,) to do this is in researching which CDs are already listed and getting bids by other people. So far I've only put up for sale CDs that are already listed and already receiving bids. When I've found CDs listed with no bids it's a no-brainer that it's not worth putting mine up. The thing I wonder about is the places where I don't find my item listed at all. Hard to know then; so far I haven't listed any of those. I'm not sitting on anything valuable here, really. As far as I know. I've got some stuff that seems like it could be rare or obscure, but for the most part it's shit I got in a cut-out bin sometime in the '90s and so it's probably never been worth much to anyone.

I still haven't listed any of the other shit I have. I dug out my old TV Guides today. Seems like those could possibly sell, but judging by what I've seen selling now the chances aren't great.


At one point earlier today I had actually planned on writing something about ways one might go about learning to increase the speed one reads. I saw some infomercial about speed reading, and while I'm not sure that's not all a bunch of hoo-ha, it prompted me to do a little reading about... reading, and I found at least one interesting article. About halfway down that page there's some information about speed reading, using your finger as a guide. After talking about that process, it goes on to offer a concrete way to try training yourself to read faster. Here's an excerpt:

Now that you can control your eye movements using your hand, you are ready to begin dramatically increasing you reading speed. Here’s a simple 4-minute exercise:
1. Set a clock to beep after each minute.
2. Read for 1 minute at your peak comprehension rate.
3. Read at double your comprehension rate for 1 minute. You will not be able to comprehend text during this minute, but you will be making your brain work harder so it can read faster during the fourth minute.
4. Read at triple your comprehension rate for 1 minute. Again, you will not be able to comprehend text during this minute.
5. Read at your peak comprehension rate. Amazingly, you will be reading faster—and with comprehension!

In addition to that, there's a reading speed test at mindbluff.com. There are others, too, that I don't have links to right now that let you test your comprehension after testing your speed. In this mindbluff one I came out as being able to read between 250 and 300 words per minute. It says that's above average, but the average is around 200 to 250 I think. That sounds about right -- I've always been confident that I read very slowly compared to most of my friends. I've never really thought about reading speed as a trainable skill until today. So of course I've never done anything to try to improve my reading speed, aside from the occasional flare-up of the I'm-not-doing-this-fast-enough -so-let's-just-do-it-faster approach. That thing never works, as it's akin to the this-car-doesn't-run- so-let's-just-kick-it- to-make-it-go approach to car repair.

I'll assume for sake of argument that all of my readers read faster than I do -- have any of you spent any time specifically increasing your reading speed? Any tips about how to do such?

That's all for today.

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