Wednesday, December 31, 2003

New Year's Ick.

Through a long, detailed analysis (which I won't bore you with), I've confirmed that I'm the absolute last person who doesn't do anything on New Year's Eve. And by anything I'm not only referring to going out. No, if you lie like a dead man on your couch while one of those moronic programs with a ball dropping while people count down to the beginning of the New Year, then that counts in my book as actually doing something on New Year's Eve. Of course my definition of doing something isn't so strict that I count such things as breathing or sleeping. I'm referring only to acknowledgement of the New Year's Eve festivities in any way at all. I refuse to bother with it. The New Year will be hear whether I ring it in or not.

I have a recurring fantasy of getting a supersonic jet and traveling west as the New Year lurches across the globe. For a little while at least, I'd succeed in defeating the passage of time.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Cloak of Invisibility.

I hate it when people recognize me. Today I was walking across the parking lot of the lousy mall in my hometown when I heard someone call my name. Actually it didn't quite happen that way. I was walking across the parking lot of the lousy mall in my hometown when I saw the truck of a guy I used to work with. I pretended I didn't see him, but he called me and I was stuck having to go and talk. It's not that I didn't like the guy, it's that I'm pretty much a misanthrope. I didn't want to talk to anyone. But I digress. Actually this story has no real point, so technically I'm not digressing. Or maybe I'm doing nothing but digressing. Anyway, I couldn't help but notice that the guy I used to work with had a baby with him. He told me he was married and had a kid now. He had also been laid off from our old loathsome place of employment (a large textile manufacturer teetering on the brink of collapse). Usually people are pleased to hear it when someone has a new baby, but whenever I hear about someone having a baby, especially if they don't have a good job or they're unemployed, but I find it depressing because I can't help but imagine what an awful life the baby's in for. Of course I never say anything about it because it's none of my business and it's more a reflection of my mental problems than anything else, I imagine. (See, I told you this rambling post wasn't going anywhere. You're all probably wishing I'd go back on hiatus again, aren't you?)
Now This I Like.

I present to you the Lou Reed Guitar Archive. [Link via The Cartoonist.]
Granting Wishes.

Over the past couple of days I've gotten at least eight hits for people looking for some variant of "nude Barbie". I don't think I've gotten hits for this in the past, so why all of a sudden am I getting an avalanche them now?

What you folks want are Gabrielle de Montmollin's photos. Now go away.

Saturday, December 27, 2003

Blah.

This is all getting harder and harder to do. I have no computer and virtually no free time on anyone else's computer where people aren't breathing down my neck. I'd love to wipe this month off the calendar.

Friday, December 26, 2003

Going Electric.

I almost forgot to post something for today. I hate to say it, but I really enjoyed my blog vacation; blogging's a surprisingly easy habit to get out of. But on to more important things.

What'd I get for Christmas? Well, not much. I got socks, underwear, cash, some other unimportant junk, and an electric toothbrush. I haven't used an electric toothbrush since I was little. The one we had was shaped like Snoopy and the brushes stuck in the top of his head. So since I'm not used to using an electric toothbrush, it's not exactly a convenient time-saver yet. Actually it's more of a bizarre nuisance. Picture, if you will, a grown man hunched over a sink, drool issuing from his mouth, while he fights to find the on-off switch of a cheap battery-powered toothbrush. And I still haven't grasped the concept of turning the damn thing off before I pull it out of my ravaged mouth.

And, in case you were wondering, I still don't have easy access to a functioning computer.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

A Tiresome Announcement.

I'm basically taking most of the week off. I'm blaming it on the typical holiday chaos, but the real reason is I've been on autopilot this whole month and have been posting quite a bit of crap I'm sure no one wants to read. I'd like to say that I'm going to spend the next four or five blog-free days pondering why I started a blog in the first place so that when I come back on Friday or Saturday all refreshed I'll knock you out with amazing posts, but we all know that won't be happening. Friday's post will probably be a bunch of links or something really lame. I can promise you it won't be a quiz. I hate quizzes.

Friday, December 19, 2003

Much Better.

In an act of pure desperation, I decided to try and see if my computer would start. I took out the Linux drive and put the WIndows 2000 drive back in. The thing wouldn't start at first, I had to hit the reset button half a dozen times, and then it crashed during booting. But eventually it started and it's been running almost OK. I don't know how long it's going to last, the last time I had this drive in it just kept crashing until it wouldn't boot up properly anymore. Anyway, it's running. And I'm not shutting it down either; if I have to leave it for more than an hour, I log it off.

I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

What's That Sound?

As I sat here typing, I began hearing strange sounds in the backyard. It's short and raspy. Sort of like "Ow! Ow!" Except it's not ow, it's more of an animal sound. I don't know what it is. A cat that needs a throat lozenge? A big crazy bird? Do raccoons make vocal noises? I grew up in a semi-rural area, so I should know this. But I don't. At one point is was fairly close to the window near where I'm sitting. I could hear it echoing across the yard. Whatever kind of monster it is, I'll be sure to double-check that I've locked the doors tonight.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Targets.

Today I was watching an old war movie (Men of the Fighting Lady) that used lots of actual combat footage. The movie was about Navy pilots during the Korean War. One shot of real combat footage struck me as so perverse I couldn't imagine it being used in a movie, ever. The shot showed the view a pilot would see as he fired his machine guns at his target, except the target that was shot to hell was a horse-drawn wagon. It was only on screen for a few seconds, but I clearly saw the horse go down. Now I know combatants use horses, donkeys, elephants, and god knows what else to transport weapons, etc., but if such footage existed today of U.S. pilots in Afghanistan or Iraq, would anyone put it in a movie where the pilots were the good guys? I doubt it. And it strikes me as bizarre that they would do it in the mid 50's when the movie I saw today came out. But I'm probably just being naive.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Actual Good News.

I know I said I was taking a couple of days off, but something wondrous has happened. A deliveryman came by this morning and finally took that damn scooter away. So it'll be returned to bowels of heck from whence it came. Good riddance. That's the first piece of genuine good news I've had in a couple of weeks.

Monday, December 15, 2003

A Little Break.

I'm taking the next couple of days off from the blog (or whatever it is) because I'm in the middle of exams.
Beckett Redux.

A couple of days ago I wondered if there were any available recordings of Samuel Beckett's voice. Yesterday I remembered a program called (I think) Beckett Directs Beckett I found while messing around with my parents big satellite dish in the early 90's. I only watched a couple of minutes of it because the L.A. riots had been going on for a day or two and I wanted to watch a raw news feed of looters that was being shot from a helicopter. I figured the Beckett program would be on again, so I watched the live looting. How often do you get to see looting on live TV with no commercial interruptions? Anyway, I never saw the Beckett program again, and I have no idea if it has any footage or recordings of Beckett's voice.

Today I did a search on Beckett Directs Beckett and found this interesting looking site. I haven't explored it that much, but it may have what I'm looking for or at least a link to what I'm looking for.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

My Early Career Plans.

When I was little I loved those 70's redneck car-chase movies. I'd watch anything with guys driving around really fast, jumping their cars over drawbridges, while the cops chased them. I loved these movies so much that I planned on getting a really fast car when I grew up and just driving around really fast while the cops chased me. I have no idea how I planned on getting money and a safe place to sleep. Apparently I didn't get that far into the plan. But despite my poor planning, it seemed like an idyllic life.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Creeping Terror.

I remember when I was little seeing things on TV about killer bees and how they were spreading across the continent. This sort of thing worried me tremendously, because it seemed like there wasn't going to be a solution to the problem. One day we'd just have killer bees swarming around killing people. But it never happened. The killer bees exist, and I suppose they're still spreading, but it's not something I ever hear or read about anymore.

I also used to worry about the spread of fire ants. Those I still hear about occasionally. And they're not that far south of here. So I have that look forward to.
Beckett.

I've never heard a recording of Samuel Beckett's voice. The guy didn't die until 1989, so recordings must exist. But where? I don't even think Ubuweb has any.

Friday, December 12, 2003

Less Than Nothing.

I skipped posting entries two days in a row, which just isn't like me, so I've decided to pull myself together and post a bang up entry the way I used to before my life fell apart. [Long pause.] I think I'll go back to the couch and curl up in a fetal position.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Poor Timing.

This computer stuff couldn't possibly have happened at a worse time. Christmas is week after next, and all the stores are powder-kegs on the brink of massive explosions of holiday-related depravity. Frankly, I don't know what I'm going to do. School ends Friday after next, but regular classes end this Friday. All next week is exams, which means my computer time at school will cut back even farther. What I'm left with is occasional time on this ancient machine.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

The Earth and All its Inhabitants Must Be Destroyed.

Finally, after almost a week, a large package was awaiting me when I got home from school this morning. But there was a minor problem, my new computer was an electric scooter. Yes, an electric scooter. The morons sent me a scooter. Fuck!

Maybe I should just keep the scooter. I can ride it around town and scream at people. And why stop there? I can drop out of school, ditch the blog, and go live under a bridge. I'll be known as the crazy guy who rides the scooter and screams at people while he flails his arms wildly. Or maybe I'll have a shorter name.

Why do I even try anymore?

Monday, December 08, 2003

Unwackiness.

I'd planned on a nice, wacky entry for today, but today was especially unwacky. Nothing bad happened or anything like that, it just was deeply unwacky day. As was the day before, and the day before that, etc.

If I don't get my new computer in the next couple of days I feel I may take leave of my senses.

Maybe I should go to the UPS webpage and track the package as it lurches its way across the continental United States. I seem to recall getting a few seconds of pleasure out of this package tracking stuff the last time I bought a computer.

Why can't I just go into store and buy a computer like normal people? Oh, I forgot: I'm not normal. Nevermind.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Blog Update.

Sorry I haven't posted anything since Thursday, but I haven't had that much time alone with a PC that's connected to the internet. And I've been kind of bummed out, so I haven't felt like posting anything. Not to mention that posting anything with this murderously slow computer is pure torture.
Almost Human.

I can't believe I've been without a decent computer since last Tuesday. This is inhuman. And you'd think that being without a computer for five or more days would cause me to eventually snap back to humanity and realize how I'd been wasting my life in front of a monitor. But, no, I haven't snapped back to humanity. I don't even like humanity, so why would I want to snap back to it. I want circuitry.
Boil Update.

If any of you were wondering what was happening with my boil, here's the latest. First, I'm still not positive it's a boil. Second, it's shrinking. That's it. Sorry, it can't be more exciting. It hasn't grown to frightening proportions, exploded, or done anything really cool or disgusting. Tell you the truth, I'm a little disappointed.
Instant Screenplay. Sort of.

Take any web page and turn it into a screenplay. Web pages with lots of text tend to work best. For instance my blog. [Link via J-Walk.]

Thursday, December 04, 2003

The Gaping Chasm of Boredom.

What the hell did I do before I got internet access? These days I find myself roaming from room to room, a haunted man, like Orson Welles toward the end of Citizen Cane. (Or at least I think there was a scene like that in Citizen Cane; I haven't seen it in fifteen years.)

I suppose I could read. At one time in my life I used to read these things called novels. How long's it been since I read a novel? A couple of years? I'm surrounded by books, but yet I rarely if ever read them anymore.

Yesterday afternoon I found myself lying on the couch watching professional poker. Yes, poker. On TV. I suppose next I'll break down and begin to watch the innumerable home improvement programs that pollute the airwaves. Let's all hope it doesn't come to that.

The demise of my PC is doubly awful because it wasn't just a computer, it was also my stereo. My CD player died a few weeks before last Christmas and I never replaced it, so I've been playing CD's in my PC for the past year. Now the PC doesn't work. So I have to play vinyl and cassettes for the next week or so. Luckily I have a kickass record collection.

Before I sign off, I have a horrible confession to make: This entire entry was composed in Notepad on Windows 3.1. [Sobs uncontrollably and collapses to the floor.]

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

How the Gods Kill

Well, the inevitable has happened, my computer has flaked out to the point where it doesn't boot up at all. My new system won't even be here until sometime next week. So that means the blog posts are really going to get intermittent now. My only convenient options are school computers or my parents' piece of junk. And my parents' computer is on its last legs. Today I turned it on and it started making this high pitched ringing noise. Then I had to run Chkdsk from safe mode to get the thing to boot. I'm guessing the harddrive's going bad. What are the odds of both computers malfunctioning at the same time? Apparently I've angered the computer gods in strange and profound ways.

I thought the Linux installation would last longer than it did. When it went bad, it really went bad. At one point all I had was the command line. There were files on the desktop I really needed to copy onto that drive's fat32 partition, so I spent some quality time this morning typing in stuff like

cp -i *.txt /mnt/windows/

Lovely. Educational.
The Real Legoland.

When you were younger and played with Lego did you ever find yourself acting out pornographic scenes with the little Lego people? No? Me neither, but I think this guy did. (Safe for work? Maybe not.) [Link via *.*.]
More Creepy Dolls.

If you think black and white photos of nude Barbie dolls are art, then Gabrielle de Montmollin is right up your alley. [Link via The Cartoonist.]
Grounded.

I promised myself I wasn't going to write anymore about computers (that is until mine finally dies and I'm reduced to using a 486 running DOS--seriously, I'm not kidding about the 486), but I do want to call attention to what I consider the ultimate killer app for Windows: NoteTab. It's a text editor. Yes, a text editor. If you've never used it the only way I can describe it is that it has tabs like Mozilla. And if you haven't used Mozilla or NoteTab then, in my opinion, you're missing out on everything that makes using a PC great. Tabs are the only thing that separates us from the animals. I can't describe the joy of being able to quickly tab among three or four documents while editing or composing. The trouble is I don't think there's anything quite like NoteTab for Linux. I do most of my writing in NoteTab, especially blog entries. Suddenly having to do them on a (tabless) word processor or on a different (and equally tabless) text editor is like suddenly losing the ability to fly.

Monday, December 01, 2003

A Partial Solution.

I'm pretty sure at this point that there's something wrong with my motherboard and that's what's causing all the problems over the past week. When I put in my old Linux harddrive it did the same thing that it had been dong with Windows, so it's not a messed up Windows installation that's causing my system to not boot properly and crash five or six times a day.

This version of Linux was never the most stable thing to begin with, but now with a motherboard that's freaking out it runs even less stable. I don't think this is going to last that long. You can get away with lots of crashes in Windows without screwing up things too badly, but Linux can get a little pissy if you don't shut it down properly. On the up side, I've been running it all day and I've yet to have it crash and reboot itself or completely lock up (both of which I've experienced with this version of Linux in the past).

So, what am I going to do? Well, I can replace the motherboard and go on my merry way. But that way won't be merry for me. If I get a new motherboard I'll have to practically gut my case, put the new motherboard in, put in the processor, mount the heatsink on the processor, put in the RAM, put in the PCI cards, plug in all the cables and wires, reinstall Windows, reinstall all my applications, restore all my backed up data, find drivers for everything, etc. I just don't have it in me to do all of this right now, so I'm buying a new computer. And this is a lousy time to have to buy a new computer. I'm getting cheapest damn thing I can find.

Sunday, November 30, 2003

News I Don't Need.

Yes, I know I said I wouldn't be posting anything until Monday, but my computer problems have gone from bad to worse. So I'm posting a brief note to say that things are going to get a little tentative around here for a while until I can get something straightened out. (I'm posting this from my parents' godawful 133MHz piece of junk at 26.4 Kbps.)

Saturday, November 29, 2003

Brief Notes of Tedium.

Tell you the truth I had no plans of posting anything today or tomorrow. I have important school work that needs to be done by Monday that I've only barely just started on because I'm so lazy. It doesn't matter anyway since barely no one reads blogs on weekends.

In other news, my computer's still acting freaky. And the weather's turned very cold. It's been up and down all week. Yesterday it was almost seventy. Tuesday I had to get out a big coat. Last Sunday I was outside in shorts and there were butterflies flying around. Gripping, no? No.

See you Monday.

Friday, November 28, 2003

Suddenly, the day took an odd turn.

The boil on my ass made J-Walk. I always suspected my ass would be my ticket to fame and fortune, but I didn't expect it happen this way.

And if you're coming here via the link at J-Walk, sorry there's no picture of the boil. Maybe next time.
Computer Horrors.

I've been having horrible, nasty, and weird computer problems over the past week and I can't figure out exactly the main problem. In the past I've always been able to figure out and fix the various problems I've encountered. Now I'm stumped because it's like I'm having several different problems all at once. I've narrowed it down to either a dying motherboard or a screwed up Windows installation. It's been crashing several times a day. It'll crash and reboot when it's just sitting there with no applications running other than whatever Windows 2000 runs in the background. It also won't boot up properly. Sometimes when I start it all I get is a blank screen, I don't see any of the BIOS junk you typically see when you start a PC. And if starts normally then it might crash during Windows start up. This morning it crashed three times during boot up. The Application Log only shows those Zone Alarm related True Vector Engine error messages. I'm stumped. Tomorrow I'm going to put in my Linux harddrive and see if the thing behaves similarly. (And, yes, I backed up all my data.)
More Record Cover Galleries.

Any of you who've been reading this blog for more than a month (my apologies) know that I love old record cover art. Yesterday J-Walk linked to several different kinds of cover art galleries including one for old belly dance records. (Once in a thrift store I found a cache of old belly dance records, but I was too embarrassed to buy all of them so I settled for just one. Yes, I know I'm pathetic.)

I dug into the URL and came up with the source of the gallery (something called "The Retro Cocktail Hour"), and more galleries. There's an Exotica gallery, a Les Baxter gallery, and (perhaps the most interesting) Crime Jazz gallery.
What a Pain.

I have what I believe to be a boil on my ass. It's about the size of a small marble and it makes it somewhat difficult for me to sit comfortably. The boil is located on the lower quadrant of my left butt-cheek. I'm putting this revolting information in my blog in a sad attempt to appear more human and to illicit pity.

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Stuff Your Face.

Today in the US it's Thanksgiving, a day set aside supposedly for giving thanks. Actually, Thanksgiving is entirely about food, not giving thanks for anything. So, in honor of this gluttonous holiday, I give you a link devoted to Rude Food. [Link via Metafilter.]

In a similar vein is Naughty Food Items.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Overflow from the Search Request Sewer.

halloween mask that says free mammograms
The mind reels.

mannequin heads wanted
The sad part is we'll never know what this person is going to use the mannequin heads for. I'd like to think this person was going get several dozen of them, build a giant slingshot, and fire them at neighboring houses, but nothing interesting like that ever happens.

Japan Class of 70's 2003 email Directory
So what you're looking for is the email address of everyone who graduated in Japan during the 70's? May I ask why?

jackin thing out at the holding the music
This search makes absolutely no sense, but still manages to come off as vaguely filthy.

i'm looking at gay porn site joke turn volume all the way up
Is this even a search request, or are you just trying to hold a drunken conversation with Google?

babosa porn
For the uninitiated, babosa is Spanish for slug. This person's looking for slug porn. I'll stop now.

masturbating freakos
I have nothing to add to this one.

television nipples
Most people call those buttons, but I find it's more convenient to use the remote.

Cunnilingus technique
Boy, are you at the wrong place. If I were an expert in this area do you think I'd be wasting precious time keeping a blog? Next you'll ask me the techniques of finding gainful employment.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Nerd-Fest 2003.

Sometimes it takes so little to entertain me. Yesterday I went to my local thrift store and dug a 34 year old computer book out of the moldering stacks. If you really must know the title and author, it's Computer Data Processing by Gordon B. Davis. The book looks almost brand new, but one look at the contents betrays its Model-T technology. It's got all these great pictures of punch cards and punch card machines, it's a shame I don't own a scanner or I'd inflict a huge quantity of this book's illustrations on you. I find all this stuff incredibly fascinating. Like I've said many times before, humor me.

Well, I may not have a scanner, but I am capable of digging up links at Google.

Douglas W. Jones' punched card index may quench most of your thirst for punch card information.

The Punch Card Gallery is exactly what it says it is. Clever, no?

Herman Hollerith was the first person to put punch cards to practical use in tabulating data. The company he founded in the 1890's was later named IBM.

Everything about Punch Cards is a Dutch online museum. It's in English, though. Don't worry. I know you were all in a panic there for a few seconds when you read the word Dutch.

A cultural history of the punch card. God, at this point I'm even starting to bore myself.

Monday, November 24, 2003

Holiday Heck.

This week I only have to go to school one day, unfortunately that one day happens to be Tuesday, that most miserable of days. The second bad part is I can't piss away the whole holiday goofing off in front of the computer because I have a big speech to write for next week and I haven't even started on the damn thing yet.

Why do I have to take a speech class? I haven't learned anything important, nor have I overcome my stage fright. If anything my stage fright has become worse. It's almost as if I'm going to school to learn to hate things. In the real world, I have no intention of ever doing a speech, mainly because of this stupid class. It's the same with the damn accounting classes I have to take. In a real world scenario, if anyone ever tries to get me to do anything even vaguely resembling accounting, I'm going to explode into a fit of deranged violence. One day you may read a description in the newspaper of a madman with an ax running through an office complex screaming, "Debits on the left! Credits on the right!"
Vintage Medical Illustrations.

The Macalister watercolours are a series of detailed paintings of World War I facial injuries. Interesting, but unsettling. [Link via *.*.]
Random Garbage.

The Random Geocities Page Finder isn't the greatest thing since sliced bread, but it's sort of interesting. Unfortunately, Geocities has apparently cleared out a lot of old pages that hadn't been updated in years, so you end up with a lot of dead links. [Link via Motel Magazine.]

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Humor Me.

Lunch Box Bonanza Gallery. How many of these do you remember from school.

Somewhere in a dark cabinet, my old Star Trek: The Motion Picture lunch box lurks. I plan to retire on the riches I get from its sale. Don't laugh, dammit! [Link via Coudal Partners.]

Update 11/24/03: The lunch box link, for reasons I can't fathom, only works in Mozilla FIrebird. It doesn't work with Internet Explorer, Opera, or even Lynx. I even tried the original link I found at the Coudal Partners page and it still doesn't work. I went backwards through the directories in the URL to the original page, there's no link to the lunch box material that I can see. Instead there's lots of pages on collecting poker chips and other stuff from casinos. I'm stumped.
But Is It Art?

Students at Budapest's University of Arts mistook a hanging corpse for art. (It's a great story, but it really wouldn't surprise me if sometime down the road this is debunked by Snopes.) [Link via Crop Shy Mutt.]
The Exciting World of Light Bulbs.

I hate cams for the most part, but Livermore's Centennial Bulb Cam is sort of interesting. OK, it's not, but the idea of a light bulb that's been burning for over a hundred years is kind of interesting, and with this cam you can see this miraculous bulb burning. Also the light bulb's in a firehouse, so there's the added suspense of seeing the firemen get in the fire truck and leave. OK, so that's not that interesting either. But, hey, this light bulb's been burning for over a hundred years, man! [Link via Snopes.]

Friday, November 21, 2003

Squirrels.

Is it me or are squirrels more plentiful and reckless than they were a few years ago? Today, it seems like every mile or so I saw one squashed in the road, but despite this, the squirrels seem hell-bent on scurrying out into the road just as I drive up. Can't they see all the squirrel carnage on the streets?
No Time.

Sorry, no real entry today. I've been busy with advisement, enrollment, etc. for next semester. And, of course, you have to take into consideration that I have no life.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Exterminate!

All this week Diamond Geezer's doing posts about the 40th anniversary of Doctor Who. I think the most interesting link he's dug up so far is The Doctor Who Video and Audio FAQ: "The purpose of this FAQ is to explain the survival of many pieces of rare Doctor Who material, either video or audio, or to explain why certain episodes are considered untransmittable from the master copies currently held by the BBC.[...]" Perhaps the most shocking (and infuriating) piece of information I read was that the BBC were still destroying old episodes of Doctor Who (and other programs) as late as 1978. Way to go BBC!
24 Hours a Day, 190,258,751 Years.

In 1960 French writer (and cofounder of the Oulipo) Raymond Queneau published a book called Cent mille milliards de poèmes, a collection of ten fourteen-line sonnets. The odd part was that the book was spiral bound and each line was on a strip so that the first line of one poem could be interchanged with the first line of any of the other nine sonnets, etc. The title of the book translated into English is 100,000,000,000,000 Poems.

The book's form is clumsy, I imagine, and it always seemed more logical to me to do it as a computer program, but for some reason it never occurred to me to look for one until yesterday. There's at least three. The first is probably the most interesting since it lets you switch the lines manually. The second and third both randomly assemble the sonnets. [Link via The Literary Machine.]
Some People Have All the Fun.

I don't read Korean, so I don't have the faintest idea what's going on in all of these photos. Since it's fun to pretend, I'm just going to say that they're just pictures from Korea's new holiday, Pretend You're Dead Day. [Link via Little Yellow Different.]
Marginally Disturbing Medical Clip Art.

In the first example the doctor strikes me as a little too evil. Look at his eyebrows. He's obviously evil and we can only fear what will happen to the old woman.

The second example is far more disturbing. Despite the crudity of the drawing style, it's quite obvious the doctor has just punched the little kid in the face.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Barbie™ Need Not Apply.

Do the inhabitants of your creepy-ass doll collection need lingerie? (Safe for work? Your guess is as good as mine.) [Link via Metafilter.]
No Thought Required.

In the past I've wished there was an easy way to transform my blog into something new and interesting. Well, now there is. The Eater of Meaning can transform this into this in just a few easy keystrokes. (Well, easy if you know how to type.) [Link via The Presurfer's archives.]
A New Kind of Disgusting.

A softdrink microbrewer has come up with turkey and gravy flavored soda for the holidays. It's unsweetened. So, I'm guessing it would be like mixing turkey broth with fizzy water. Sort of reminds me of when my sister and I were little and we thought a good flavor for toothpaste would be fried chicken. [Link via J-Walk.]
New Scam.

There's a particularly scurrilous scam that's been going around lately. (Scroll down to November 16 entry.)

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Dentist (A Trip to the)

I went to the dentist yesterday, never a pleasant thing to do, but I don't mind it as badly as some people do. Unfortunately I ended up being put through some fairly excruciating work without benefit of anesthetics. Things didn't get off to a good start when the new (to me) hygienist called me Brian. "Not even close," I said.

I probably should say that over the past two years I've had an inhuman amount of dental work for reasons I won't go into here. I've been drilled, prodded, poked, scraped, ground, grappled, x-rayed, and god only knows what else. After all of that I tend to get into a false sense of security that my teeth are finally, after so many miserable years, just fine. But the dentist can always find something wrong. A filling has a "leak". There's a shadow on an x-ray. The scraping thingy is hanging on something when it gets jammed into my gums.

Yesterday something showed up on the x-ray. At first the dentist thought it was a cavity between a crown and another tooth. Then the prodding began. The man scraped, poked, gouged, and pried at my skull while I got increasingly worried. Finally he announced that it wasn't a cavity. Yay, I thought, now he'll stop. Nope. What was in between my teeth was a glob of cement from my crown that was protruding into its neighbor. Precisely why this was suddenly an issue was never explained to me, but I never asked.

The dentist took this thing called, I think, a descaler, and began working it in between the two teeth. The descaler, or whatever the hell it's called, shoots a thin stream of water out at a high velocity. It's almost painful when being used in its normal manner, but when it's jammed in between two of your teeth repeatedly for a good fifteen minutes it can smart a little. He kept working at the glob of cement, all the while jamming the descaler into my gum. Oh, and I should probably mention that he also had one of those little mirrors wedged into my gums on the other side.

After the "procedure", I stood at the receptionist's desk to write my check; I could taste blood and was shaking slightly. I found it even more difficult than normal to form coherent sentences. While this was going on the next patient was standing at the window that looks into the receptionist's are from the waiting room. I didn't look directly at him, but I could tell he was watching me. When I left I imagined him saying to the receptionist, "Whatever you do, don't do to me what you did to that guy."

Monday, November 17, 2003

Every Thrift Store's an Art Gallery.

For the past week or so everybody's been linking to lists or galleries of album covers: worst album covers of all time, son of the worst album covers of all time, record covers that never existed, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah. But I'm not going to present the same damn links as everyone else. Nope. I can find my own album cover links.

It's All Under the Hat would get my award for the coolest web design I've seen recently if I gave out awards for web design, which I don't. They have a interesting selection of strange album cover art from the 50's and 60's. It's a Dutch site, so the selection isn't quite the same thing you'd get on an American site. And they have more than record cover galleries.

UN-beat-ABLE record covers is another Dutch site. What else can I say. Galleries of interesting record covers. Either you love this stuff or your don't.

Sex! Drugs! Rock'n'roll!...and some record covers comes out of Slovenia, but it's all in English. More typical of the things you'd see on an American collection of weirdo album cover art. Another page is devoted to the peculiar world of fake Mexican music from Yugoslavia. Yes, you read it right the first time.

Ever wonder what Elvis record covers from Japan looked like? No, me neither.

And to top it all off, I found a great article on the making of the Buzzcock's infamous Orgasm Addict cover art by Linder Sterling. (Warning: nudie bits!)

[All links via the unholy mix of soul-destroying boredom and Google.]

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Punch the Clock.

There's a blog called Belle de Jour that's supposedly done by a London call-girl. I'm inclined to believe it because of it's matter of fact (and non-erotic) tone. [Link via Smoke Signals.]
A Dip in the Sewage Pool.

A List features alphabetically listed celebrity gossip of the most potentially libelous sort. I'm genuinely embarrassed at the amount of time I spent reading this garbage yesterday; I was mesmerized. [Link via J-Walk.]
Click Me.

It's supposedly a game. All I know is that I find it strangely hypnotic. Calming even. [Link via The Presurfer.]
Uncensored Gore.

I love Gore Vidal's essays. (I'm less enthusiastic about his novels.) The LA Weekly has an interview with him where he "[...]skewers Bush, Ashcroft and the whole damn lot of us for letting despots rule." [Link via *.*.]

Friday, November 14, 2003

Horrible, Horrible Things.

I have a vile, unspeakable thing hanging over my head that's giving me the willies. In a couple of weeks I have to give a big speech on a "controversial" topic (blah) that's going to be worth a large chunk of my grade. Why am I required to take a speech class? Once I get out of this class, I have no intention of giving any speeches in the real or the imaginary world. I'm simply not good at standing in front of large groups of people and telling them things. Logic tells me they're not going to attack me, but the idea of standing in front of a group of people still fills me with terror.

You'd think that by the end of the semester I'd be used to giving speeches by now since I've already done several, but I'm not. Actually, if it's possible, I think my fear has gotten worse. My last two speeches didn't really go that well and I think that shook what little confidence I had. This upcoming speech could cause me to completely freak out. I can see the teacher's comments now, "Next time try not to run screaming out of the classroom."
Some Kinda Love.

James Joyce's "dirty letters". I first read these in high school during my Joyce period. Reportedly Joyce's heirs didn't like that these letters were published and didn't allow them to be reprinted. Don't even ask me about the legality of them being online. [Link via Linkfilter.]
Between Thought and Expression.

Tired of using the same old metaphors? Well, why not Use Bizarre Metaphors? Example: "That’s like feeding a creampuff to a zombie." [Link via Idle Type.]
What Goes On.

It's porn. It's art. It's pictures of little pink plastic people having sex. [Link via gmtPlus9.]

Thursday, November 13, 2003

5 PRINT "{CLR/HOME}"

Like a lot of nerds back in the 80's, I got a Commodore 64 for Christmas. Unlike most of those nerds, I didn't really accomplish anything with mine. I didn't learn to program, didn't hack, and didn't go on to become a dot com millionaire. But at least I still have it, and it's still in the original box. (Take that, you rich nerds!) I even have the 5 1/4 inch floppy drive, also in the original box.

Even though my ancient Commodore 64 still works, I think, I really don't feel like hooking it up to the TV. (Yes, kids, we used TV sets as monitors back then.) So, to quench my nostalgic thirst, I downloaded an emulator called VICE. I've only messed around with a little, but it's pretty close to what I remember. I even got out my old Commodore user's guide. So, if anyone needs me, I'll be in 1985.
Imitation of Life. Kinda.

Lots of photographs of old, creepy mannequins. I know it doesn't sound very inviting, but the images are quite beautiful and poetic in a creepy-ass kind of way. [Link via ORDO. I think. It doesn't seem to be on their page anymore. Tell you the truth, I don't know where the hell it came from. It was in my notes from last weekend.]
Loaded.

Interview with former Velvet Underground drummer Moe Tucker. [Link via The Cartoonist.]

Speaking of the Velvet Underground, if you have more than a passing interest in them, then you should check out The Velvet Underground Web Page, which is jam-packed with material. And even thought the Velvets are one of all time favorites, for some reason I tend to forget this page exists.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Unparalleled Excitement.

This morning after class, I braved the insane highways for an exciting trip to the bank. After several maddening weeks, I finally got my hands on one of the new twenty-dollar bills. I didn't get just one either, I got five of them. It was almost too much for me and I nearly soiled myself in ecstasy. Then I went home.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

A Dilemma.

I'll be spending the rest of the day cramming for a test in my lousy night class taught by the teacher who refuses to actually learn the material he's supposed to be teaching.

A question: If you're faced with a question on a test that deals with material the teacher taught wrong in class, do you answer the question with the correct answer and risk having it marked wrong, or do you answer it with the wrong answer the teacher taught in class?
The Longest Year of My Life.

I was all set to put up my big one year anniversary post on the 11th, I even started writing it a couple of days ago. Then I found out from Sara that my anniversary was yesterday, not today. I checked the date. She was right. It's a good thing I'm not married. ("But, dear, our anniversary's tomorrow. Isn't it? Isn't it? It's not? You mean it's today?!")

Anyway, yesterday was the official one-year anniversary of Volume 22. I've tried to post something, anything each day. In a year I think I've missed maybe two or three days. It's rough scrambling around each day trying to think of something to post, or, failing that, trying to find some suitably interesting links to fool you into thinking that there's actually content here. So, rather than blog myself into an early grave, I'm going to do what most bloggers do and only post four or five times a week. I'm not quitting or taking a break, I'm just cutting back a little. This may take some adjusting on my part. I can't imagine not posting everyday, it's unnatural.

And I'd like to thank to all the people who read, comment on, and/or link to Volume 22. You're very patient. Or masochistic.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Last Kiss

A guy bought the rights to an old romance comic book series called First Kiss and wrote new dialogue in the speech balloons. He called the results Last Kiss. (If you're curious, the technical term for writing new dialogue in comic strips, etc. is détournement.) [Link via Linkfilter.]
I Have No Clue.

It's things like Gloomy the Adult Naughty Bear that make me wish I knew Japanese. Click the links on the left side for lots of lovely images of Gloomy in action. The links on the right side don't feature Gloomy for the most part, but they're just as horrific. (Safe for work? If your boss doesn't have problems with a pink Hello Kitty-esque bear ripping cartoon people to shreds, then it's probably OK for your workplace. Maybe.) [Link via gmtPlus9.]
It Doesn't Work.

There's a (relatively) new blog called This is Broken where people submit descriptions and photos of things that are broken. In the words of the person(s) behind the site, it's "A new project to make businesses more aware of their customer experience, and how to fix it". My favorite is a bizarre playground in Britain that's apparently located in a graveyard. (The link goes to a photo that shows a view you'd see as you prepared to go down the slide.) [Link via Daypop.]
Moving Pictures

Anima is probably the most interesting site I've seen lately. If you have any interest in the various precursors to movies and other optical stuff, then you should probably have a look. My favorite area is devoted to Eadweard Muybridge, a pioneering photographer in the 1880's who took sequential photos of nude people walking, jumping, etc. The photos have been combined into animated gifs. I've been a Muybridge fan for years, so this sort of thing really appeals to me, but the Optical Toys section will probably be more interesting to the rest of you. [Link via Metafilter.]

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Lunartic.

I went out last night to view and photograph the lunar eclipse. The only other one I've ever seen was back in 2000, I think. That night was extremely cold. I got home from work a little after midnight and quickly set my camera up to get a few quick shots before totality was over. It was so cold that the shutter in my early 70's Yashica SLR froze open. I did manage to get one shot, but it was so badly exposed the moon looked like a white spot.

Thankfully it wasn't all that cold last night and I got to study the moon for about twenty minutes and get a dozen or more shots with my camera. I broke the old 70's camera a couple of years ago and replaced it with a new manual Nikon SLR. So, with decent equipment, OK weather, and plenty of time, I hope I got at least one good shot. I have several books on astrophotography, but they were annoying inexact on the amount of time I should expose the shot. It could be anywhere from one to twenty-five seconds. So I shot a lot pictures at different speeds.

The thing about the first lunar eclipse I saw that struck me as odd was how the darkened moon suddenly looked like a three-dimensional object rather than just a flat, bright disk. It looked like a reddish ball floating in the sky. Oddly, last night it didn't really seem to have that three-dimensional quality I remembered.

If any of the shots turn out half decent I'll post one and put up a link to it. Don't hold your breath waiting for a picture; I still have at least one exposed astrophotography roll that's been laying around since summer 2002.

Saturday, November 08, 2003

Creepy.

Animated faces from ARSE i Am. Select the old man's face from the squares at the top of the page. The animation is easily the most vile creation I've seen online. [Link via J-Walk.]
Signs.

Over the past week everybody and their grandma has linked to the Church Sign Generator. Today I finally decided to play around with it. [Link via The Presurfer.]
Nitpicking.

Nitpickers lists lots of mistakes in movies and TV shows. Horrible web design, but interesting content if you have any interest in movie and TV mistakes. If you don't have any interest in movie and TV mistakes then I'm very, very sorry. Actually, I'm not. Deep down I just don't care.

Friday, November 07, 2003

Another Time Waster.

Scribbler is a Flash application that does vaguely interesting things to your doodles. I like it, but it crashed Firebird. [Link via J-Walk.]
Communists Have All the Fun.

I present to you, Cunnilingus in North Korea. (Make sure your speakers are on.) (No pictures or anything like that, but still, I don't think this one's safe for work.) [Link via Metafilter.]

(Hmmm...cunnilingus is in Blogger's built-in spell checker.)
Plague Ship!

Read anything in the news about the plague ship? The proprietor of the British blog, Raised by Chaffinches, was actually on it and lived to write an entry about it. Some holiday cruise.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

I Remember.

I've been in a gloomy, reflective mood lately, and I've been busy with school, so I haven't been coming up with anything really worth reading over the past week or so. In an attempt to kick myself into gear, I dug out my old "I remember" notebook that I kept for the last half of summer 2001. The technique I used was to write short autobiographical scenes that started with the words, "I remember". This technique has been used a lot, but most effectively by the late artist/writer Joe Brainard, who's usually given credit for inventing it. I've written about using this technique before, and material from this notebook I kept has ended up here on more than a few occasions. If you've never experimented with "I remember", you should probably try it; it's a fascinating way to accumulate an autobiography. It's also a fascinating way to do to do a blog.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Big and Ugly.

This morning I finally saw my first civilian Hummer. [Warning: crappy web site with lots of Flash and it doesn't work with Firebird.] It was one of the ugly-ass ones that's painted the same shade of yellow as a school-bus. Why would someone spend that much money on a vehicle and go out of their way to get the ugliest thing they can find?
More Bad Ideas.

Instead of washing your kid's mouth out with soap when he says a bad word, why not try Oops Paste? This product is one of those things that's incredibly stupid, but yet it'll probably make a lot of money. I wish I'd thought of it. [Link via Metafilter.]

Once when I was in the third grade, I think, a kid said shit and the teacher heard it. She dragged him to the sink (each class had a sink in the back of the room), held him in a head-lock, and washed his mouth out with a bar of soap while he fought and yelled. I even remember that the brand of soap was Jergens, which we never used at home (thus making it seem to me somewhat exotic). To this day, all these years later, I still can't see a bar of Jergens soap without remembering that enraged teacher with that struggling kid in a head-lock.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

AAAHH!! My Eyes!

Flash animation can be an effective tool in the hands of someone with skill and talent. In the hands of someone with none of these things it becomes something else. (Warning: Don't watch this animation if you're prone to seizures.) [Link via Metafilter.]
Huh?

Is this a blog, some kind of wiki thingamajig, or something stranger? [Link via me typing in random stuff at Google.]
The Importance of Names.

Naming things is very important. I can probably understand someone from Japan naming their company Flop Design because English isn't their native language. But how do you explain an American state park called Big Bone Lick? I'm sure there's a logical explanation. There has to be.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Musty Old Notebooks.

For years and years I kept a journal. It started out as a twelfth grade English assignment that I just never stopped doing. Well, eventually I did stop writing in it after about fourteen or fifteen years. I've got four or five thousand pages of stuff in an old milk crate under my bed. I used to get a lot of enjoyment out of writing my thoughts everyday, but eventually the whole concept just got old. I also used to enjoy pulling the crate out and rereading old entries, but when I look at a lot of this stuff now I can't stand it. There's bad writing, whining, moping, ranting, and more than a few pages make me wonder if I was certifiably insane when I wrote it. But, despite my revulsion over my earlier output, I miss keeping a journal, a blog simply doesn't give me the same release.

Saturday, November 01, 2003

Rhino Records Sucks.

Yesterday, while searching Google, I found out two Judee Sill albums I wanted have come back into print in this country for the first time in thirty years. They were reissued in a limited run by Rhino Handmade, the same label that had just put out a live Television album from a 1978 gig. My day was made. Hell, the rest of my year was made. They were all overpriced, but since this was stuff I really wanted, I put my cheapskate nature on temporary hold. I went through all the complicated nonsense you have to go through to order stuff online, and [insert long dramatic pause here] they wouldn't accept my VISA check card. I don't know why they won't take it. Amazon never has had a problem with it. Microsoft didn't have a problem with it. Spun.com didn't have a problem with it. I have money in the bank and have never bounced a check, but yet Rhino treated me like a pariah.


Well, you say, why don't you just buy the CD's from Amazon? If it were possible I would've done that in the first place, but Rhino Handmade CD's are only available from Rhino's site and are limited runs. And you can only buy their product with credit cards. Lovely way to do business, Rhino. Just lovely. Are you trying keep out the riff-raff? Don't like selling to poor people? What's the deal, Rhino?

The Rhino Handmade imprint is a pretentious sham. If I had a broadband connection I'd download all three albums and not feel one micron of guilt. The regular Rhino label has also reissued the first two Television albums with lots of bonus tracks, but I'm not buying them new. I'll wait a few months until used ones pop up on Amazon. Fuck Rhino Records.

Friday, October 31, 2003

Jackass Filter.

One of the things about this blog that kind of annoys me is how constrained I feel when writing about school. I'm scrambling around for blog content and much of the time I deliberately ignore potentially good material from school because I really don't need that kind of stuff getting back to me. I find it hard to believe a teacher would ignore that I think he/she is an incompetent jackass. So I don't mention these things, or if I do mention them I make everything fairly vague. I hate pulling punches when certain people really need to be punched.
Heirloom Quality.

"Let me show you my collection of fecal tongs." [Link via Metafilter.]
Pure, Glittering Sanity.

The Tooth, the Whole Tooth and Nothing But The Tooth has an unfortunately "funny" title, but the author didn't, I don't think, intend his web site to be funny. He believes that a dentist implanted a miniature telephone in one of his teeth: "[...] It was likely placed to drive me crazy (sorry, still sane) in order to gloss over the theft of my only legal son and my inheritance - my grandfather's bank - the Bessie State Bank, and its holdings.[...]" [Link via The Presurfer.]

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Filler!

Yes, it's time to clean out the ol'search requests bin.

beautiful women using linux
There's gotta be at least one or two. (And, in a similar vein, since I'm not currently using Linux, it looks like I'm going to miss out on posing for the Linux Hunks calendar. So that means next year there will be no picture of me stretched out on a bearskin rug while I recompile my kernel.).

I pee more often had the urge to go badly
Google isn't a urologist.

cocaine real player audio speeches
If I could find a site with video clips in the RealPlayer format of coked-up people giving speeches, I might actually be persuaded to install RealPlayer. Maybe.

wanking in my office
Not in my office, thank you.

God that thing is stinky
Well, get it out of my office!

NAKED GIRLS SHOWING EVERY THING
First one showed me her holiday photos, then the contents of her purse, then her new shoes, then a telephone, then a carpet sample, then a...

fellatio diaries
Now this I would read.

damn hobos porn
Damn hobos.

+stereoscopic+penis
Since I've looked at stereoscopic pictures of nude women I really can't make fun of this, now can I?

awful plastic penis
Awful! Just awful!

erotica wife OR marriage "mongolia"
I suppose this is a step up from the porn of the Mongolian variety people usually come here looking for.

super-intelligent gophers
I hope these exist. I really do. Super-intelligent gophers would be a bright spot in my mostly tedious existence.

statistics about squirrels getting hit by cars
Sadly, the National Bureau of Squirrel Statistics was shut down in the mid 70's due to budget cuts.

pictures of girls chewing snuff
Suddenly, my little porn kinks don't sound quite so kinky.

free creepy doll email
If this exists, then I'm going to try and get volume22@creepydoll.com for this blog. But only if it's free.

photographica of vagina
It's not porn, it's photographica. Of vaginas.

'ventriloquist' and dummies and female
And weirdo and splinters and registered sex offender.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

What is it?

I'm sure Dtoy vs Byokal will be useful to someone, I just don't think I'm that someone. It sort of reminds me of the Soda Constructor, which is the most peculiar make-your-own-animated-stuff site I've ever seen. [Link via J-Walk.]
After Today, Nothing But Quiz Results.

This is just embarrassing. Once again, my head is devoid of potential blog content. It's almost as if last Thursday was my last gasp and it's all down hill from here. I haven't written a thing worth bothering with in almost a week. My best idea so far? I thought of a comic strip that would only be a description of a comic strip rather than something that was drawn. I'm serious. Really, I am. Perhaps I could be excused from ridicule for coming up with something so hopelessly moronic and/or pretentious if it was later revealed that my mind was being destroyed by syphilis or that I'd received a severe blow to the head sometime over the past few days. But, alas, I have no such excuses. Nope. I came up with the comic strip idea when I was hitting on all cylinders. And, even worse, when the idea first popped into my head yesterday, I thought it was a really good idea. But the absolute worst part of my comic strip idea is that I'm sure it's been done before; so not only was my idea stupid, it wasn't even original.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

The Busy Goof-Off.

I have to spend some quality time with programming homework that's due tomorrow, so I may not post anything else today. Why I didn't do this homework over the weekend when I had more than enough time, I'll never know. Maybe on a subconscious level I like being frantic and behind.
Your Tax Dollars At Work.

Yesterday I got a hit from someone inside the US House of Representatives. They came here after searching Yahoo for +"yosemite sam costume".

Monday, October 27, 2003

Sunday Afternoon Tedium.

I'm undecided about the whole Daylight Saving Time concept. On one hand it's a nice change, but on the other hand I hate having to adjust a bunch of clocks. And I especially hate adjusting a bunch of clocks only to have the power get knocked out for an hour and a half. Then, when the power comes back on, I get to reset the ones that aren't battery-powered again. What fun.

And what do you do on a Sunday afternoon after you've wasted all that time turning back all of those clocks and the power goes out? I sat in the dark trying to read by flashlight. Eventually I gave up and just lied down on the couch to take a nap. When the power came back on it scared the heck out of me.

Yes, this was the only thing in my life that's happened to me lately that I felt was worth writing about. What can I say? I lead an astonishing dull life.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

I Need Special Shoes.

This is probably one of the most shamelessly stupid images I've ever created, but, despite it's idiocy, I simply couldn't resist posting it at my already deeply stupid image blog.
It's Gotta Be The Vegemite.

A bunch of pictures of Australians lying on beds of nails. It's supposed to be educational. I think. [Link via Random Personal Picture Finder.]

Saturday, October 25, 2003

That's My Territory You're Marking.

I got a new satellite dish system installed yesterday. It's nice, but the guy who came and installed it had to use my bathroom. I hate it when people use my bathroom. Irrational? Well, I'll tell you what happened and then you can judge just how irrational I am. He took a dump in my toilet and then didn't flush it. He just closed the lid and left it. What the hell is wrong with people?
No, I Just Shop Here.

Yesterday I went to my local neighborhood thrift store to poke through the detritus. As I walked through the maze of furniture, this girl turns to me and said, "How much are... You do work here, don't you?" I know I can be a bit of a regular feature in this thrift store, but I didn't think I looked like an employee. Naturally, the rest of my day was ruined.

Friday, October 24, 2003

Never say, "Bite me!" again.

Tired of the same tired old insults? Well, why not try the Arabian Random Insult Generator? Here's my favorite example: "May 2,000 outrageously huge Santa Clauses carpet bomb Ontario with a payload of Bon Jovis while worshiping your under-appreciated July issue of Vintage Robot Porn Monthly." [Link via Metafilter.]
Why Can't We Have TV Shows Like These?

Take a look through this list of peculiar Japanese TV shows. Meanwhile on tiresome American TV, there's nothing on. I want to see Hotman, Goodbye Ants, and Wives of Dietmen. [Link via LYD.]
Can't sleep. Clown will eat me.

Make Koko the Clown. Frighten the children. (From the guy that brought you the now useless 104 Random Altavista Pictures.)

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Just like Buddy Holly.

I've been asked by Sara the spin the sad tale of my sole experience riding in an airplane. Yes, you read that right, my sole experience riding in airplane. It wasn't an airliner either, it was a single engine private plane. You know, the kind with a propeller. I suppose in this day and age never having ridden in an airliner makes me some kind of freak, but then there's plenty that makes me a freak.

It was the mid 80's and my family was on vacation down on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. If you're not familiar with the Outer Banks it's basically a long, eroding sand reef that stretches down the entire coast of North Carolina. People live on it. There's hotels built on it. And it's washing away at a distressing rate, but I digress.

The Outer Banks are probably best known as the place where the Wright Brothers flew the first airplane. From this same location my sister and I went up in a tour plane piloted by a guy who looked like a roadie for the Grateful Dead. I don't know if my parents got a good look at this scraggly-looking guy, but I suspect if they had they may not have let us go up.

Right after we took off he yelled over at me, "You let me know when you want me to loop it!" I think I just said something clever like, "Uhhh....OK." I didn't know if he was serious or not. But, out over the ocean, he put the plane into a mild dive and I felt the G-forces pulling the skin on my face back. I looked over at the pilot and he was looking back at me laughing. My sister was in the back seat oblivious, taking pictures out of the window.

It wasn't all terror. The Outer Banks are called the Graveyard of the Atlantic because of all the shipwrecks in the relatively shallow water. I had no idea you could see underwater shipwrecks from the air. There were two huge ones right in front of our hotel that you'd never have suspected were there unless you saw them from above.

The plane landed safely. I didn't cry, puke, or scream.

All in all it was one of the cooler experiences I've had on vacation, but it was also the last time I ever rode in a plane. I didn't plan it this way, it's just how it ended up. I planned on traveling the world, but I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Take all my fun away.

104 Random Altavista Pictures has been broken by the jackasses at Altavista. So now the site merely shows 104 random thumbnails with no links to the original sites. This blows big time. Suddenly a large degree of enjoyment has been sapped from the internet. Yes, there's the Google version, but that one always bored me. The Altavista one was almost guaranteed to produce results that were fascinating, deeply bizarre, and/or unbelievably obscene. I hope the guy that did the Altavista random page will find a workaround that doesn't annoy Altavista, or maybe he can use a different search engine like AlltheWeb.
Vacation extended further.

Things were supposed to get back to normal today, but after I got to school I found out the teacher was out of town. So I went back home. I haven't had a regular school day since last Wednesday.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Anticlimax.

Ever become obsessed with something for a long time, and when you finally get whatever it was you were obsessing over, it's very disappointing? My version of this obsession sputtered to a halt yesterday. For some reason several months ago I craved a honey-bun dipped in coffee. I can't remember if I'd ever eaten a honey-bun dipped in coffee, but suddenly it became to me the bright spot at the end of a long, dark tunnel. To most normal people, this obsession could be dealt with quite easily: buy a honey-bun and make some coffee. I tend not to do things the normal way. So, I waited and craved this concoction for several months until the right moment occurred. Yesterday was that moment.

After class I went to the vending machine and tried to get a honey-bun. The machine wanted exact change. I didn't have exact change. I left. There was a change machine nearby, but I didn't think of that until I was far away. I set off across campus to another building far away. I procured my honey-bun and made the long, long trek back to my car.

At home I prepared everything so that it was perfect: coffee warmed (not hot), honey-bun sectioned appropriately, correct utensils at hand, and enough paper towels wipe up any spills. At this point in the procedure, if the doorbell had rang and it was Britney Spears clad only in a raincoat saying, "Scott, I've come to be your love slave!" I would've said, "I'm not interested", closed the door, and returned to my honey-bun.

The first bite wasn't the orgasmic experience I expected. The second bite was dull, but cloyingly sweet. The coffee didn't improve the honey-bun and the honey-bun didn't do the coffee any favors either. I tried to make it work, but it just wasn't that good. The remains of the honey-bun ended up in plastic wrap for a later snack. I drank the rest of the now vaguely contaminated coffee, quite disappointed in the whole episode.
In, out, in, out, in, out, etc.

Tired of icky regular porn? Well, try Minimal Porn. It's porn distilled down to pure mechanics. Safe for work? Maybe. Maybe not. It has the word porn in it, but it's about as erotic as a diagram of a Wankel engine. [Link via The Cartoonist.]
One more day.

My semi-vacation was supposed to come to an unceremonious end today, but I found out the teacher for both of my Tuesday classes was sick and wouldn't be coming in. I don't want to revel in someone's illness, but I will. Yippee!

Monday, October 20, 2003

The prisoner.

Yesterday morning I was sitting at my computer (like I do 19 or so hours a day, it feels like) when I heard something fairly large (and alive) fall or jump into the sunken basement window a few feet away from where I was sitting. I've seen just about everything in this window: frogs, toads, lizards, salamanders, shrews, opossums, mice, rats, at least one rabbit, squirrels, etc. What I had this time was a white, long-haired lap dog of some sort. Great.

I went out to try and get the damn dog out of the hole without having it bite me. When I came to the window I could hear it growling. The window is less than three feet down and this dog was less than a foot tall. I quickly made friends with the dog and got it out of the window. Then it wouldn't leave.

At first the dog more or less ignored me, but it wouldn't go away. I assumed it lived around here somewhere, but I didn't have a clue where. It didn't have a tag. It didn't even have a collar.

Later when I came back home from an errand, the dog was sitting on the bench on the front porch waiting for me. I should of just ignored him/her/it (too much fur to tell) and went into the house, but instead I went and rubbed the dog's head. (I'm a sucker for animals, what can I say?) Then I made the even bigger mistake of letting the dog in the house briefly. He got really excited and ran around sniffing everything in sight. I caught him, put him outside in front of a bowl of water, and ran back to get in the house before the dog caught on. The dog chased me back to the house. I made it stay outside, but then it started scratching at the door. I went back downstairs, hoping the dog would leave.

Occasionally I would come back upstairs and look out of the windows to see if the dog was out there. It was. It just wouldn't leave. So I stayed in the rest of the day, held prisoner by a dog that probably weighed about seven pounds.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

New Template. Finally.

After months of wanting a new template and occasionally mentioning something about a new template, I finally got around to putting one up. It's not great, but at least it's not really ugly and/or graphics heavy.

I've been trying to find a compromise between how the template looks in IE and how it looks in Mozilla. I love Mozilla and use it all day everyday, but I know everybody and their grandma uses IE. I don't want a site that looks great in one browser and crappy in all others. Browser specific web pages drive me nuts.

I don't have it looking exactly the same in either browser, but I do have it looking decent in both. Right now it probably looks a little better in IE, which irritates me, but I'll have to live with it. Most of the credit goes to discovering the wonders of the Courier New font which displays a lot better in IE 5 than plain old Courier when blown up really big.

Despite my misgivings, I still think this template's ten times better than the ugly stock template I started with. (And I'm only referring to the template, not the blog I linked to which is actually kind of interesting.)

The best thing about this new template is I finally have permalinks. I'm not sure I've ever had them.

Saturday, October 18, 2003

It won't be long now.

I have further evidence of my mental disintegration. Yesterday I was driving home and saw what I thought for a second was a small penguin in the road. It was a squirrel.

Oddly, I wasn't that surprised to see a penguin standing in the middle of the road.

Friday, October 17, 2003

Codex Seraphinianus

I got a hit yesterday from someone searching Google for Codex Seraphinianus, possibly the most bizarre book ever published. I wrote a couple of sentences on the book several months ago, but I don't know why anyone would go through ten pages of search results to get to my pitiful two line mention. Anyway, I've compiled several excellent links on the Codex. The sites approach the book from many angles: scary math, labored explanation, and simply presenting some of the book's images. My initial post on the Codex was inspired by an entry at Giornale Nuovo, an excellent blog that deals with books, illustrations, art, and other subjects.

I don't own a copy of Codex Seraphinianus. The only time I ever saw it was when my sister came home from college for Thanksgiving and brought the copy from the school library. If you've never seen it, I can't really describe the strangeness of this book. Some of the links above have illustrations, but they only give a brief taste. I haven't seen the book since 1986, I think. One day I'll get a copy, but like most things in my life I'm going to have to wait for it.

My sister also hasn't seen the book since 1986. Not long after she returned the book it disappeared.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

It tastes like chicken.

I read something a few days ago over at Jodi's blog about a mysterious cut of meat called "seitan". I had no idea what kind of animal "seitan" comes from. An exotic bird of some sort? A gazelle-like creature? I couldn't even guess. So I looked it up at Google and found out it was a vegetarian meat substitute made from wheat gluten. I suddenly became obsessed with the stuff. I began reading recipes on how to make it and how to prepare it.

Today I actually attempted to make seitan. I got a little flour (the wrong kind, but it was all I had), mixed it with water, and began rinsing out the starch. It disintegrated leaving me with a bunch of slimy little bits, but kept on rinsing. When I got tired of rinsing, I strained it as best I could, glopped it onto a paper plate, made it into a little mound, lightly salted it, and tossed it into the microwave for about ten or twenty seconds.

I figured it'd taste like the astonishingly bland bread I'd made in the microwave a few times in the past. (I get bored easily, so I was experimenting.) It didn't. First, the consistency was strange. It was sort of like gooey rubber. Or glue. I tasted it and it didn't exactly taste like my previous microwave bread atrocities. I can't really describe the taste, not quite bread-like and vaguely meatish. It reminded me of chicken. Kinda.

If the semi-edible mass I made reminded me vaguely of chicken, then properly prepared seitan must actually taste good. So now I have to track some of the real stuff down.
Horrors!

A couple of months back I took a look into my archives and noted (with horror!) that my comments had disappeared. A little later, DG looked into it and found out that the counter at the bottom of the older entries only showed zero comments, but in fact the comments were still there. What a relief. Jump forward in time to last night. I poked through my archives and attempted to reread some old comments. There aren't any. I don't know how far back my comments go, but entries from January and earlier, as far as I can tell, have no comments. Haloscan's deleted them. Perhaps they're not deleted, but they're not there.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Marginally interesting.

Is it odd that I've never knowingly met another blogger?
Boring.

I wish I had more of an entry to offer you, but I don't; there's little happening in my life right now worth writing about. It's times like these when I wish I had some sort of program to generate Scott-like entries for this blog. I could turn on the Blogotron 3000, or whatever it'd be called, and let it do the entries while lie curled up in a fetal position whimpering to myself.

Day to day existence is so tiresome.
Spiff up your web page!

If you want more interesting people coming to your page, then why not add some spook words. In no time the CIA, FBI, etc. will be skulking around wondering what you're up to.

Or why not try a radical redesign courtesy of Crazy Sytes?

[Links via Presurfer.]

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Programming genius at work.

I've spent hours on some Visual Basic homework. I'm totally lost. My head feels like it's going to split open and deposit a smaller, more miserable and angry version of myself onto the floor. I used to like this subject, but now I don't have a clue as to what I'm doing.

Why the hell didn't I learn to program when I was fifteen like every other dork with a Commodore 64?
How hard can it be?

Medical bills too high? Well, why not give Project Gastro's Self Surgery Kit a whirl?

Here's a few slightly more serious self surgery links:

24 year old woman yanks out a baby tooth that should have fallen out years ago. Warning: somewhat bloody photos.

Man snips off a piece of his foreskin with cuticle scissors. On purpose. Very detailed. Thankfully there's no photos.

Show Me Your Wounds doesn't have a whole lot to do with self surgery, but it's interesting nonetheless. There's photos, but I didn't really partake. Read the anectdotes instead.
Why tattoo removal is such a big business.

How to make a homemade tattoo.

And just for fun, Traumatic Tattoos and Abrasions. No pictures though.
Revenooers!

Instructions on how to make a small and relatively simple moonshine still.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Living in the past.

I noticed earlier today that my calendar was still on September. I've been on the wrong month for thirteen days. Maybe that's what's been wrong with me lately.
A solid week of near freedom.

There's been an unprecedented convergence of events that works out great for me. First, the teacher of today's afternoon class won't be at school. Second, tomorrow is a teacher work day, so no school on Tuesday. Wednesday is just a regular day. Bah. And third, on Thursday and Friday two of my teachers will be out of town. So I only have three classes this week. I only have to get up at 6:30 on Wednesday morning.

So what will I do with all of my rare free time? Catch up on my studies? Finally come up with a blog entry that isn't just a bunch of strange links no one wants to see? Goof off the whole time? I think you know the answer.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Semi-literate.

Visual Speller will check the spelling of any web site. I ran Volume 22 through it and was horrified at the number of misspellings and typos that appeared on the front page. Blogger put a spell-check on their interface last month, but I rarely use it. I really need to rethink my decision. [Link via The Presurfer.]
Scary.

What the hell is this? I thought I had a high tolerance for scary Japanese cartoons, but I guess I don't. [Link via 104 Random Altavista Photos (not safe for work).]
Rodents.

One thing the internet doesn't need is more stupid sites devoted to someone's pet, but this site cracked me up--and it's not even remotely funny. Maybe gerbils (prairie dogs?) just amuse me. I don't know. [Link via 104 Random Altavista Photos (not safe for work).]
Peculiar.

Vaguely disquieting pictures of dolls. It's all in Japanese, so I don't I don't have a clue what it's all about. [Link via 104 Random Altavista Photos (not safe for work).]

Saturday, October 11, 2003

More found stuff.

I'm a sucker for collections of found material. The Found Slide Foundation is a collection of slides found on the streets. Or so they say. I've never found a slide on the street, sidewalk or ground. Several years ago I found a cache of cool 50's and 60's Technicolor slides while dumpster-diving on my final day working at the school for snooty rich girls, but that's another story. And not a particularly interesting one.
Bleep blop blorp.

Build your very own big, scary analog synthesizer. There's more links on the subject at Analog Synthesizers: Web resources for the do-it-yourselfer. And if you really want a challenge, why not turn that old dusty dot matrix printer in your closet into a synthesizer. Be sure to listen to the sound samples.

Friday, October 10, 2003

Email Route to Oblivion.

If any of you ever send me an email and you don't get a reply after several days, it's not because I'm a jerk who doesn't answer email. I rarely if ever get email related to this site, most of what's in my inbox is spam and viruses, and there's not much of those. So, consequently I check my email for this site about once a week.

Don't read this as a plea for email either. I like hardly ever getting email that relates to this site. On those rare occasions when I do get email from a reader, my first reaction is, "Oh, god... Now what?"
Adopt an Animal Mummy.

The American University in Cairo needs help to preserve the collection of animal mummies in the Cairo Museum, so The Animal Mummy Project was set up.

Somehow I don't see tons of people donating money to save mummified animals, although I hope they save the things from crumbling to dust.
A treasure trove of ancient weirdness.

Sacred Text Archive is an online collection of public domain books on religion, mysticism, occultism, and other related subjects. Besides the usual suspects (Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, etc.) they have grimoires, esoterica, sacred sexuality, Zoroastrianism, Charles Fort's Book of the Damned, and who knows what else. The translations, because they're old versions that are now in the public domain, are often clunky; but, since it's all free, I wouldn't complain too much.