How to save time formatting in Word by using styles

Whether you use Google Docs, Libre Office Writer, Abi Word, Microsoft Word, Apple Pages …. whatever it is, you can save so much time (not to mention your sanity) if you use preset styles.

Lets assume for example that you want every heading to be red. The long way of doing this is to select every heading then select red. Instead if you use the preset styles this process becomes a lot easier and faster if you can just specify the colour you want to use once and then have that change apply to every heading.

One of the little known things about the preset styles you see for headings, paragraphs is that they can look any way you want within reason and you don’t to individually style every one as you go along. As you might have experienced, what you think might good initially can be something you later change your mind about.

My opinion is that styling the way your text looks it too much of a distraction from the content you are writing. Good writing doesn’t come from picking colours or fonts, it comes from words. So focus on getting those words written while using appropriate preset styles (headings for heading text, paragraphs for paragraph text), then leave sexing up the presentation of your document until last. You will save yourself so much time and get more done faster.

Writing with fountain pens

A recent trip to the Birmingham pen museum has got me hooked on fountain pens.

Maybe now I’m 31 (at the time of writing) I’m at a time of my life where I start to notice more the small details of the everyday things I use. I’ve written before about why I carry a notebook and this is one case where the more you use something the more you notice the little things which aren’t really important. Until they are.

My experience of fountain pens in the past has been using the cheap scratchy kind I tried several years ago during my school days. I notice there’s actually quite a community around fountain pens and even a few popular podcasts, believe it or not. I didn’t get it.

My assumption in the past was that people like fountain pens because they look nice and also there may be some element of nostalgia. I know they became quite the status symbol many years ago, what came to mind was a  business executive douche with a Montblanc they might have to write with while using their pocket calculator when that was a thing.

What changed was using a fountain pen provided for use with writing in the visitor book at the pen museum. Then it suddenly clicked. The writing experience was WAY better than expected. The smoothness was superior to what I’ve experienced with the cheap fountain pens.

I noticed the pen I used available in the gift shop so of course, I purchased it. This is the one if you’re interested

I’ve also noticed an interesting side effect of using fountain pens is that my handwriting looks better. Not sure exactly why, though maybe because the nib is different since it’s more flat, which might make me adopt a better writing position which I don’t normally think about.

Why The Walking Dead universe couldn’t just be Rick’s dream

If like me you have seen the trailer for series 8 of The Walking Dead then you will know they have teased Rick waking up in bed with his grey hair cut and a beard which people have been speculating could mean that he was in a coma and dreamed up the whole thing.

If The Walking Dead was all just part of Ricks dream

The Walking Dead would be something completely different in my opinion if it turns out it was all just a dream. I mean it would jump from a zombie horror drama to just a plain drama. Zombies is the part of this type of genre that makes it more interesting!

Just the events that put Rick into a coma in the first place could be enough to put most normal people into a place where they have to deal with things like post traumatic stress disorder.

Now think about how he could adjust if what he thought was real was all just a dream that he has now woken up from. He killed his best friend Shane and he lost his wife Lori. It seems he was now at a point where he can just move on with Michonne and think about returning to some kind of relative normality in Alexandria before Negan entered the picture. If you suddenly wake up and realise that was all a dream, real or not, I feel like experiencing everything Rick did you would become a completely different person.

I can imagine one of the main things Rick would feel is relief, but would his dreams of moving on with Michonne be a sign that his marriage with Lori was destined to dissolve anyway?

Although the idea of this does fascinate me I still feel like that the idea of it all being a dream would be such a disappointment in an odd kind of way, because after 7 seasons we are now invested so much into The Walking Dead world that I think the general reaction would along the lines of “WTF?!? We watched 7-8 seasons to get to this?”.

Aside from spoilers from the comic explaining why this is not the case here are some my opinions on why this wouldn’t make sense.

It’s too early for such a major spoiler

As someone who has watched enough films and TV series’s, something like this would most likely be either a big reveal at the end, or a major plot point at the start which gradually explains how the character got where they are.

I know bugger all about this kind of thing in reality, but after going through so much over 7 seasons it would seem like an odd place to suddenly learn that it was all just in Rick’s head after all.

Much of The Walking Dead universe doesn’t happen from Rick’s perspective

For us to see what Rick is experiencing in his coma then seeing everything play out that he isn’t part of seems odd unless we’re seeing it played out as a story told to Rick from a third party.

The only other reason I see this could make sense is if he somehow just forgets due to the effects of his injuries.

If you break everything down like this then I predict there would be a large number of plot holes.

A zombie apocalypse drama is just less predictable and more interesting

Part of what makes The Walking Dead series good is the unpredictability and chaos of it.

Otherwise what you’re left with is something like the film Sucker Punch which is not a step up for The Walking Dead.