Not Much To See Here

vistaI haven’t done much blogging over the past year. Maybe I haven’t had much to say. Or maybe I’ve been writing elsewhere.

In fact, the latter is very much the case. Time to bring this blog up to date with a few posts on matters esoteric and some of my favourite reviews from the past year.

Transformative Explications renewed

Technically, this is the first post of this blog. But it is the second incarnation of Transformative Explications. The old version, which was located elsewhere, no longer exists. However, all of the posts from the previous version have migrated here. So, nothing is lost.

Here you will also find the posts from my other blog, RandM Thoughts. That blog has now reached its end. But it too finds a new lease on life here.

If you arrived here after visiting RandM Thoughts, do stay. You’ll find what you are looking for.

If you arrived here after searching for the old version of Transformative Explications, do stay. Again, you’ll find what you are looking for.

And if you arrived here with no previous knowledge of those blogs, do stay. You might find what you are looking for.

In any case, this is where you’ll find me.

Transformative Explications is a blog that explores my thoughts on literature and creative writing as well as, periodically, observations on technology, open source software, and more.

Do join in. I encourage comments on my posts. Agree, disagree, head off into left field — I’ll usually confirm the comment and probably respond.

Stay in touch. You can add the RSS feed for Transformative Explications to your favourite RSS reader. Or you can sign up for email delivery of new blog posts.

I hope to hear from you often.

And now on with the show . . .

Randy Metcalfe

New Shoes

It isn’t very often that I put on a new pair of running shoes. I started my last pair of shoes on 30 September 2010. Between then and May 2013 I ran approximately 1075.5 km, or 668.28 miles, or roughly 25.5 marathons. Over 32 months that really isn’t all that much, I suppose. But it felt, at times, like a fair bit to me.

According to a number of sites on the Internet, I should have changed shoes after about 400 miles. I’ll have to keep an eye on that. Perhaps a two-year maximum ought to be my goal.


What is the first thing you do after adding a new bookcase to your home? I mean after you sort out precisely where to place it. And after you shift books from other bookcases in order to fill the new bookcase.

In our house that shifting this time introduced a bit of breathing space for British and European fiction. They were getting cramped and, in places,  were doubled stacked. Spreading out over three more shelves must feel good for them.

But now that the bookcase is in place and the books have been shifted (shifting also includes dusting), what is the first thing you do? For me, it is time for deaccessioning. By which I mean the annual cull of books.

Annual because each year in the Spring we donate one or two boxes of books to the CFUW Annual Book Sale. The CFUW is the Canadian Federation of University Women. Their book sale raises money for scholarships for women at institutions of higher education. A worthy cause, and conveniently their book sale is located just around the corner from where we live. There are two days in which you can drop off your books (only items in good condition are accepted), and the next day the madness begins.

Did I say “madness”? I mean book sale. But it truly is mad. For two days ravenous book bargain buyers hunt through thousands and thousands of books (usefully sorted into fiction and numerous non-fiction categories). People leave with bags and bags of books, all purchased for two dollars per item, whether it is a hardcover in pristine condition, or a much-loved (but still in good condition) trade paperback.

The CFUW book sale is coming up in April. So it is now time to embark on the annual, and painful, cull. On the other hand, soon there will be more space on the shelves for whatever exciting new books come along this year.

Running – a year in review, 2012

I did better with my running this year. A personal best. Indeed, 2012 sees me surpassing my previous highest year total by 30 percent. This despite a couple of months of very little running as I nursed what I assume was runner’s knee. At least, I did manage to get out running every month.

Here are how the top 10 years now rank:

  1. 2012
  2. 2010
  3. 2004
  4. 2006
  5. 2011
  6. 2003
  7. 2008
  8. 2009
  9. 2002
  10. 2005

Can I do better in 2013? I really don’t know.