20 May 2006

geek-of-all-trades

A sub-genre of my geekery found its voice yesterday, and asserted itself among interests in computers, wine, food, photography, science, history, film, literature and comics. It came as a revelation; a book spotted in Waterstones giving a name to an interest I never really acknowledged. And no, it was not The Da Vinci Code.

It was The Cloudspotter's Guide. I like clouds. I knew that. When I was 8 or 9 I did a project on them, which was little more than naming and describing the ten main cloud types. I did illustrations as well, though I'm not sure they were good enough to serve in a cloudspotter's guide. For some reason I retained that information. I know cirrus and cumulus and cumulonimbus and the differences between them. Why I retained that and not the rules regarding the use of a semi-colon I'll never know but it haunts me.

Anyway. I saw this book and realised I was a bit of a cloudspotter. I take pictures of them sometimes and I note their beauty when they deserve it - that sort of thing. Not in obsessive way of course. I don't have a cloud notebook or anything. But I have a guidebook now, should I want to get more serious.

Most of my geeky traits are noncommital. I'm a Star Wars fan but wouldn't dream of standing in a queue for a week dressed as Yoda. My love of mediaeval history stopped short of Latin, paleography and postgrad studies. I don't develop my own pictures. While I adore cooking and being a foodie I'd never be a professional chef. Wine geekery took a back seat once it looked like a career. Comics have been outgrown for the most part. Science is awesome until I have to do math and proper research. My geeking just lacks focus. I'm sure other geeks would spurn me for not choosing a faith and sticking to it. But I'm afraid I'm a geek-of-all-trades and master of none.

As it happens, The Cloudspotter's Guide is quite fun.

Some pictures in which clouds play an important role, all from last summer, and all from my old Pentax.


2 comments:

CarolynVB said...

Richard! Lovely post. Well-written, witty and I'm suddenly comforted knowing that I am not alone in my geek-of-all-trade-i-ness (but perhaps woefully alone in my poor grammar...).

One of my photos is in the CloudSpotter's Guide...page 130, the dove. = )

Glad you're enjoying the book and hey, go post your photos on the Cloudspotter's website http://www.cloudappreciationsociety.org/

Maybe you, too, will rise from mediocre-geekiness to full-blown, published in a cloud-book geekiness! You'll be none the worse for the fame of it all (and none richer either...I didn't get paid a cent!)

Be well & keep looking up!

-Carolyn

Richard said...

Nice pic - not sure mine are guide-worthy but I'm glad you liked the post.

Cheers to geek-of-all-trade-i-ness!