Monday, March 31, 2003

Finally, something I can use. [Link via Eccentric Flower.]
People who fart in stores should be fined. That's all I'm saying on the subject.

Sunday, March 30, 2003

The weirdo weather pattern seems to be leaving. For about two hours it poured down snow. Big-ass flakes. It didn't really stick, but there was so much coming down it accumulated in certain areas. Eventually it stopped snowing and the temperature went up to about 40. Exciting, no?
Haloscan's down yet again. A pox on you, Haloscan!

Yesterday it was in the low 80's; this morning it's like 33 degrees and it's sleeting. A little while ago it was simultaneously sleeting, raining, and snowing. I blame Haloscan for this weather anomaly.

Saturday, March 29, 2003

I've been ignoring blogs all day long, and it's been glorious. OK, so it wasn't glorious. Anyway, I've wasted precious hours (that should have been spent studying for my accounting test) looking at three Brian Wilson/Beach Boys web sites reading about the infamous, unfinished, and heavily bootlegged Smile album. This is the best of the three sites and has tons of stuff for me to poke through until I get sick of the whole subject. The next best is this, which also has tons to read. And while this one doesn't have as much material, it's still worth looking through--unless of course you're (1) not a fan, (2) have no interest in popular music history, or (3) you simply have no idea what I'm going on about.

Friday, March 28, 2003

I've noticed that the content-controlled text ads at the top of my blog are now about "Odor Control" since I went off on that rant about stinky trees.
Ever have a painful dental hygiene mishap? Tuesday night I was vigorously brushing the inside of my bottom front teeth, when I missed. I was doing a rapid in-out motion and the toothbrush slipped off the teeth and I jammed the plastic end right into my bottom gum. Hard. I ended up with my head in the sink making a sound not unlike that of a wildebeest that's just been shot with a high-powered rifle. Foaming toothpaste poured from my mouth and I expected that to be followed by a torrent of blood, but it wasn't. I quickly recovered and finished brushing. My bottom gum is still sore.

Thursday, March 27, 2003

All the people on the streets are insane. Yes, I know I've said this several times before, but it's still true.

When I came home from school to eat lunch, I was blocked from entering my own driveway by a Charlie Daniels lookalike (cowboy hat, beard, sunglasses, the works.) who was having trouble either getting his car into or out of my driveway. His hatchback was partially open and several large tires hung out the back. Meanwhile I'm basically parked in the road. He eventually got the car out. When he pulled up beside of me he said, and I'm not making this up, "Sorry, I don't have reverse." Who drives without reverse? I just gave him the "That's OK" nod and wave. What I should have done was scream, "Get the fuck outta my driveway!"

Sedatives, I need sedatives. Hey, don't I have a bottle of Vicodin?

Then, on my way home from my second trip to school, a guy sees me coming and still pulls out in front of me at the last minute. And what made it worse was this mouth-breather was driving below the speed limit. It's times like these when I wish I had either rocket-launchers or machine-guns mounted on the front of my Buick.

Before I got home, my progress was halted by a suicidal German Shepard. It saw me and still ran out in front of my car. I slammed on breaks and the stupid dog just looked at me. I drove past and I saw it in the rear view mirror walk out into the middle of the road and stand there awaiting its next opportunity to shrug off this mortal coil.

Animals are as bad as people.
Don't any of you know the name of the stinky tree I've been ranting about? I thought for sure one of you would put something in my comments like, "Oh, you're talking about the Mungorumba tree. Yeah, they really stink," or something like that. I suppose I could just ask someone around here, but that's no fun. Or better yet, I could go on a rampage with a chainsaw and cut down every stinky tree in the area.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

I've been wracking my brain trying to think of something to post today, but I couldn't really think of anything worthwhile. My day-to-day life is so mundane it wouldn't interest a goat. (That doesn't even make any sense.)

I got a book in the mail today that was written by Claudia Emerson, my writing teacher from ten years ago. (I'm so damn old.) I did a search at Google on her name and turned up this interview. (I've never read an interview with someone I know. Peculiar.)

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

The stinky trees I mentioned yesterday are in full bloom. I can't go anywhere without being around these vile things, they're a blight on civilization. They also remind me of two things:

The first thing is a story my sister told me about one of her friends who likes oddball plants and flowers. One day this woman saw a plant at a really cheap price in a catalog and the description said the plant had a "pungent aroma" or something similar. Anyway, she bought it and planted the damn thing right beside her front door. When it bloomed it smelled like rotten meat and it attracted flies.

OK, the other thing the stinky trees remind me of is a bizarre "marriage manual" from the mid-20's called Ideal Marriage: Its Physiology and Technique by Dutch madman Th. H. Van De Velde. (Trust me, I'm going somewhere with this.) I found this book at a thrift store years ago, and I wish I possessed a large enough vocabulary to adequately convey the insanity of this text. But I digress. In a chapter that deals with, among other things, smells, I stumbled across the following: "[...]The semen of the healthy youths of Western European races has a fresh, exhilarating smell; in the mature man it is more penetrating. In type and degree this very characteristic seminal odor is remarkably like that of the flowers of the Spanish chestnut (Marrons), which also vary according to the condition of the trees and the atmosphere, and are sometimes quite freshly floral, and then again, extremely pungent and quite disagreeable.[...]" Of course, the stinky tree that now haunts my every waking moment isn't a Spanish chestnut, it bears no fruit that I know of, and if it did bear fruit I certainly wouldn't eat any of it.

Monday, March 24, 2003

The answer to this morning's tiresome question.
Does anyone have any idea what ever happened to 1960's mercenary leader Col. "Mad Mike" Hoare? I tried tracking down info on him yesterday, but after an hour of searching, the only contemporary news I found was that he'd been released from the prison in South Africa after the Seychelles farce.
Spring is usually one of my favorite seasons, but in recent years the popularity of a specific type of tree has made this season somewhat nauseous. I don't know what this particular tree is called, but in spring it's covered with little white flowers. A neatly-trimmed line of these things in your yard card can be quite dramatic, but standing downwind of them can be quite disgusting. The flowers smell like a combination of filthy washing-machine water and semen. Seriously. You can smell them even worse at night. The traditional night-time aroma of honey-suckle (and sometimes even the wind-shift blasts of eye-watering reek from the sewage treatment facility) are completely overwhelmed at times by this evil smelling plant.
Steve McQueen, Harry Houdini, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Fatty Arbuckle, and me.

Question: What do the above people have in common (besides being carbon-based life forms)?

Sunday, March 23, 2003

I'm not watching the Oscars. Nope. I used to watch it, but I went cold turkey several years ago. Last year I fell of the wagon and ended up suffering (yes, suffering) through the longest telecast in Oscar history. And I hadn't even seen any of the nominated movies. I hate big celebrity awards ceremonies, the only reasons to watch them is to see if anyone wears a transparent dress or have a tape in the VCR on the off chance someone's boobs pop out while they're accepting an award. And if anyone (i.e. Salma Hayek) has anything pop out, I can see the screen captures on Usenet.
Bob's back., woo-hoo!

Saturday, March 22, 2003

Too much trouble coming up with a cool name for your latest military adventure? Try the American Military Operation Name Generating Device. [Link via Metafilter.]

My favorite was "Operation Delirious Marsupial".
What did I do in the days before I got satellite TV and internet access? [Scratches head and thinks for a long while.] Oh, yeah...I remember. I used to read books and write stuff on paper. I must've been out of my mind.

Are there any clothing-optional dentist offices?
Why have I been skipping showers on Friday nights? Just because I usually don't have to go anywhere on Saturdays doesn't automatically mean I should be grubby and smelly. In fact, I hate being grubby and smelly. And having a two days growth of beard sucks too. (I think I'm channeling another blogger; if I ever find out specifically who I'll let you know.)

Friday, March 21, 2003

Ignore the entry below about Bryan Ferry, the article headline was corrected hours ago. But I still think Ferry should sue them for mistakenly putting a headline about some rapist above an article about Ferry's dull divorce.

I need a hobby. Or maybe just deep sedation.
I think Bryan Ferry should sue for this foul up
Rarely a day goes by where I don't get hits from freakos searching for Icelandic porn or some varient of North Korean porn. Why? Who are these people? Are they the same people, or are there that many people all over the world looking for these sorts of things. If only I could cash in on this strange need.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

For all its vaunted "interconnectivity", the web's practically stone-age when compared to television. When I want breaking news I turn on the TV; reading news online is better only when your other option is reading today's newspaper.

I've spent hours vegetating on the couch in front of the TV watching the opening rounds of "Operation Iraqi Freedom", or as I like to call it, "Bush's Stupid-Ass Bid For Re-election That's Going To End Up Causing A Lot Of Innocent Americans To Get Blown Up By Religious Fanantics". Admittedly the name the Pentagon's PR firm came up with is catchier than mine, but I'm just one man with somewhat limited resources.

I found this earlier today in my logs. It has nothing at all to do with what's going on it the news today, but I found it interesting nonetheless.

Why not get of the couch and see how the other half lives?

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

I hate it when my cover's blown. I have the odd talent (luck?) of being able to go out in a small city and not see a single person I know. When I walk down the street or go into a store I don't want anyone to recognize me. Of course, going into the same stores constantly, the regular employees will know me as "that guy who comes in buys the exact same thing every single time." I expect and accept this type of recognition. What I find so jarring is when I run into people I went to high school with or people who know me in some other way. Once about five years ago, a guy in a uniform called out to me; it turned out he was an old school friend that I'd literally known since I was about seven years old, but I hadn't seen him since graduation years earlier. He was now a fire inspector and was out doing his rounds. I, on the other hand, had been working as low-paid temp and week earlier had worn most of the skin off the palms of my hands unloading trucks filled with extremely heavy boxes of thread. So I got to show him my gross, painful hands and see his reaction at my seeming failure at life. Fun. Well, today, my cover was blown in a vaguely unsettling way. I went up to the counter in a store and the woman ringing up my purchases asked me my mother's name. I look nothing like my mother. How did she know who my mother was? Where did she know me from? After exchanging a few words I found out that I'd gone to school with her daughter and son. I'd even spent the night at their house once over twenty years ago. Now I don't want to go back to that store again. I don't want to go from being just "that guy" to actually having someone able to attach a name to me.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Oh, I hate Tuesdays. Is there any day of the week that just doesn't absolutely fill me with dread? Thursdays through Saturdays, maybe. Maybe.
Yesterday I found a bunch of Rhodesian web pages. What's so special about that? Well, Rhodesia stopped being a country in 1980. (After white minority rule ended it became Zimbabwe.) I don't know why I never considered that displaced Rhodesians would be so organized and nostalgic. Fascinating stuff. (I say that a lot, don't I? One day it'll be true, I promise.) This material is great to dig through if you're like me (and I hope for your sake you're not at all like me) and have a long-standing interest in post colonial Africa and obscure wars of the past fifty years or so. This site is the most comprehensive when it comes to the military stuff, but beware the occasional white supremacist rhetoric. This site's an online library of various books about Rhodesia, but unfortunately their selection isn't that great. If you want Rhodesian merchandise (come on, there must be at least five or six non-Rhodesians that do) try here. These sites have links to many other similar sites; it's an entire hidden world that few know about. (This isn't interesting to you at all, is it?)

Monday, March 17, 2003

I have seen the future and it's kind of creepy. Or maybe just stupid. Do we really need all of our appliances online? Maybe it's a really, really bad idea. An idea so bad it would give Aldous Huxely, George Orwell, and William S. Burroughs the creeping terrors.
Someone should make glow-in-the-dark toilets. They would be a lot easier to find in the dark. I hate having to turn the lights on in the middle of the night.

I'm so bored.
I hate Mondays.

I propose that Bush and Saddam wrestle nude on live TV; it's the only logical solution to a very stupid problem. The loser gets spanked. There's not nearly enough spanking on TV these days. Not that I'm into that or anything.

Sunday, March 16, 2003

I hate Sundays.
Today I spent literally hours reading this site which debunks the whole Vietnam POW/MIA thing. Highly fascinating stuff (at least to me). [Link via Metafilter.]

Saturday, March 15, 2003

I found this appalling web site at Metafilter. My deepest apologies to all who hit the link.

And almost as bad, is this, which I found at Shellen.
Stupid Haloscan deleted comments from one of yesterday's posts.

Maybe I'm not coming down with a cold. Exciting, no?
I think I'm coming down with a cold, or, as I'll probably put it tomorrow, I tink I'b cubbing dowd wiffa code. My right ear's been stopped up most of the morning and I'm feeling progressively worse, although not dramatically so. Colds usually leave me one of two ways, walking misery or semi-conscious delirium.

And Haloscan's down again. Can the day get any better?

Friday, March 14, 2003

I love Amazon. Tuesday I ordered Francois Caradec's biography of Raymond Roussel and today it's in my hands (which makes it difficult to type).
Here's the latest chapter on Bob vs. the Japanese doppleganger.
I wrote the nonsense below last Saturday night. When I was about halfway through it I realized I was basically writing an unintentional parody of Diamond Geezer's Retail Therapy Project, where he got his loyal readers to vote on something he should buy himself for his birthday. Oops. Well, I do have a birthday coming up. Maybe you can vote on which of the items below that I should under no circumstances ever be allowed anywhere near. Or vote on which federal prison I should serve hard time in if I ever get my grubby hands on any of the items below.

A list of ten things I want, but really, really don't need.

1. A sitar--I've more than proven with both acoustic and electric guitars that I have no discernable musical talent, but yet I've wanted a sitar since the mid 80's. (Blame the Beatles.) What would I do with it? I'd probably just noodle around with it for a day or two and then just prop it up in a corner.

2. A Thompson submachine gun--I left that right-wing gun nut stuff when I grew out of being a thirteen year old Soldier of Fortune magazine reading dumbass, but a still I want a Thompson submachine gun. These weapons are true works of art and under no circumstances should raving lunatics like me be allowed to own one. Like the sitar, it'd end up propped in a corner.

3. A steam-roller--This needs no explanation, but mashing stuff is fun.

4. A fully functioning robot servant--OK, modern science hasn't caught up with this particular need yet, but one day it will, and, naturally, everyone will have one but me. It'll be 1995 all over again!

5. An alligator--Like the steamroller, this needs no further explanation, but like the submachine gun, people like me have no business owning them.

6. A really big laser of some sort--I have no idea what I'd do with it. Maybe cut stuff up with it. But that'd get old kinda quick.

7. A set of bagpipes--Since I was a wee lad I've wanted to own the most obnoxious musical instrument known to man or beast.

8. A kilt--See above.

9. A tuba--At heart I'll always be a frustrated musician. I want a brass tuba, not one of those white ones because they look like toilets.

10. An ostrich--Think of the mayhem I could cause with an enormous, angry bird.

Of course, this is just a short list; there's so many other stupid things I want like an x-ray machine, a flame-thrower, a jet engine, an array of dental equipment, a hovercraft, etc.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

Whenever I hear the Clash's "48 Hours", I laugh at the line, "Every time I miss it 'cos I ain't got a ticket" because it sounds like Joe Strummer's saying, "Every time I miss it 'cos I ain't got a chicken".
Someone searched Yahoo for photos of squirrels getting hit by cars and ended up here. I'm tenth at Yahoo for this inexplicable search string. Notice they wanted photos of squirrels "getting hit" and not squirrels that have already been hit. I imagine such photos are quite rare.
Yesterday morning it was in the thirties and I had to scrape ice off my car windows before I went to school. Today it's seventy-five degrees. Tomorrow it'll probably be snowing or a tornado will suck up the house and fling it into the next county.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Bob asked the folks at Blogger about the "Japanese bizarro blog universe" that several of us spent too much time roaming around in Sunday. The Blogger folks weren't exactely helpful.

Meanwhile, my thirst for world domination hasn't been quenched.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Life is so dreary. If I had a robot army at my disposal things would be far more interesting. At least for me. Everyone else would be cowering from the wrath of my robot army. But hiding in a sewer while robots burned your city is interesting, right? At least it'd be something you could tell your grandchildren one day.
I hate Tuesdays. Every week I have to suffer through that godawful, tedious PC upgrade and repair class. It's just screaming agony every step of the way. We couldn't even do our assignment today because one of the other classes had hosed all the PC's we work on. These computers are dusty, old Pentium and Pentium II things, but in the past they've always worked (surprising when you consider how many times they've been taken apart by empty-headed students). I can't even imagine what the other class did to them. Out of fifteen or more PC's, only two worked halfway. Lovely way to spend three hours.
Did Google buy Keenspace? The free Keenspace pages now have the exact same Googlesyndication text ads as the free Blogger pages.

Monday, March 10, 2003

Do you ever go to the meat section of your local supermarket, look at all the cuts of beef, and fantasize about reassembling the cow? No, me neither.
Like I don't I have enough to worry about.
This is the best explanation I've read so far of the weird Japanese "mirror" site situation. (And if you're reading this and don't have the faintest idea of what I'm referring to, read yesterday's entries.)
Ah, finally, I have all my archives back. Now those weirdos in Japan can make a copy of each and every page.

Sunday, March 09, 2003

Ah, lovely, Haloscan's down again. I thought they had finally got in a new shipment of hamsters to replace the exhausted ones, but I guess I was mistaken. They wear out so fast running in those little wheels that connect to the generators that power Haloscan's servers. It's tragic, really.
[If you haven't been here today, read the previous two entries first.] Bob found a thread on the Japanese mirrors at Metafilter.

This whole thing doesn't bother me, so I'm not going to try and get them to stop archiving my blog. It's not hurting anything (is it?), but I would like to know how it works.
[If you haven't been here today, read the previous entry first.] Well, thanks to the unauthorized Japanese mirror of Dooce's archives, I found a link to the unauthorized Japanese mirror of Volume 22. And thanks to the unauthorized Japanese mirror of By A Woman, I found a second unauthorized Japanese mirror of Volume 22. This story gets weirder and weirder as I go along. There must be some logical reason for all of these mirrored pages. Are these pages actually entended for public consumpton, or are they just some kind of oddball automatic archive?
I've visited what just may be an illegal copy of the entire web. Or if not that, then something almost as bizarre and incomprehensible. I was doing my usual morning blog-reading rounds, when I saw this link at Bob's. It's an unauthorized Japanese mirror of her blog. But it gets worse. I tried some of the links on the mirror site and instead of just being Bob's links, they were Japanese mirrors of her links. And the links on most of those pages were Japanese mirrors, and so on into infinity. And it's not just blogs that are mirrored; I found mirrors of Blogger, MTV, and the Guardian UK also. (Sorry, I didn't copy the URL's to those pages.) I followed links for over an hour, but it just kept going. I thought at first that this was merely the work of an overenthusiastic fan, but it's so huge that it could have only been done by a script of some sort. No amount of speedfreaks could have put this together. I was hoping, of course, to find my own page in there, but I just got worn out. It's strange, people, go have a look.

Saturday, March 08, 2003

I just noticed something, a lot of the ad-supported Blogger blogs now have both the new text ads and a banner ad. This sucks. Are we just going to get more and more ads at the top until we upgrade?
Why do all the spammers think I'm in debt and have a small penis?

Friday, March 07, 2003

I didn't post a thing yesterday, the first time I've skipped a day since Christmas. I was busy most of the day and couldn't think of anything worth posting. Not that today's any different.

This morning I bought another lava lamp at the same crummy discount store. I dug out the last traditionally shaped one from inside a stack under a table. I'm now trying to decide which one I like better. Exciting, huh? I live on the edge.

One thing I haven't subjected my readers to is my love of the Oulipo, a French avant-guarde literary group whose members produce works according to strict, often mathematical, constraints, such as writing a novel containing no words with the letter "e". I've had a strong interest in this group for ten years, and was pleased to recently come across a couple of blogs (for lack of a better word) that deal with both the Oulipo and other weirdo language/literary stuff. I used to wallow in this sort of thing before I let the damn computer take over my life.

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Earlier I got the bright idea to do a search on Google for blogs that mentioned my hometown. I was hoping to find a local blog because I was curious to see what the hell they'd find to write about in this city. I didn't exactly find one, but what I did find kind of made me wish I'd never ever mentioned the name of my hometown in this blog. There was a site promoting get-togethers of blogging folk from various areas and I found info about an up-coming meeting here in Hicktown. But the scary part was one of the proposed meeting places was a restaurant/nightclub that's literally a half mile down the road from my hovel. That's too close for comfort. Next thing they'll be knocking on the door. ("Come outta there, you blogging bastard!") I can't have that. It'll only take one these local bloggers to spoil everything. And I have a confession to make, I've never knowingly met another blogger. I'm not exactly dying to meet another blogger either because I'm basically a hermit and a misanthrope. I'm probably safe from meeting any local bloggers unless they find me through Google or catch me in the act at school. But, despite all of this, I have doubts this local blog summit will amount to anything because only one person was signed up for it.
Some spring break this is, I spend hours at school in the computer lab doing work, and then at home I get swept up in a full-throttle Jekyll and Hyde freak-out over my accounting homework. It's not right, I tell you. It's spring break, I should be at a beach someplace running down the street naked, smoking crack, turning over cars, battling policemen, making amateur porn, or at least vegetating on the couch in front the TV for nine straight days. Something in my life went very, very wrong someplace.

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

Since my mind is preoccupied with school misery, I'll give you a link that shows you how to freak out your college roommate. (I never had a college roommate. Sad, huh? It's the kind of thing that just makes you want to chase me with a flame-thrower.)
Blogger finally got rid of the default text ads and gave me one that reflects the content of my blog: "Is Boredom Contagious?" They know me too well. And, yes, boredom is contagious; so contagious that I should probably put a warning label at the top of my blog.

Monday, March 03, 2003

I'm so bummed out I can barely function. It's spring break, so I should be goofing off, but yet I have to do homework the whole time. I've spent a lot of time today with my head stuck in my damn accounting textbook trying to memorize this inane dreck for a test that's over two weeks away.

Sunday, March 02, 2003

I've been either bored or just plain bummed out all day long and I'm not even sure why. To give an example of just how bored I am, this afternoon I sat on the couch mindlessly flipping through dozens of channels and ended up watching a three hour televised interview with Susan Sontag, who I'm not even that crazy about as a writer. All I wanted to do today was vegetate and eat junk food, preferably chocolate. In fact, I'm so bored/bummed out that I can't think of a way to end this paragraph in any coherent manner.

Why wasn't this reported by the US media?

Saturday, March 01, 2003

The things I find in my referrer logs make me wonder sometimes if the insane outnumber the sane. Early this morning someone hit my blog by searching for casino north korea pig thermometer. Yes, you read it right. I have no idea what the hell they were looking for, and I seriously doubt the searcher knew either. And it's creepily similar to a search request I found a few weeks ago: north korea casino wish thermometer. It's wigged out, man. (I was number one at Google for both these searches, by the way.) It has to be be the same person. Has to be. I forgot to write down what ISP the first searcher had, but the second was using AOL, which, for some reason, strikes me as quite logical for a search of such staggering absurdity.

I've also had two people search for bastard volume 22. One searched German Google, the other used some Portuguese search engine. What does that mean? Why would anyone search it? I should change the name of my blog to this search.

Earlier in the week I went to Babelfish and translated Volume 22 into Korean and then translated it back into English. I wasn't quite prepared for the results: Sheep 22. Huh? Sheep? How did they go from "volume" to "sheep"?
While looking through my change this morning, I found a weird coin with a squid on one side and bull's head on the other. It's copper and slightly smaller than a penny. The words "TÍA AURAR ISLAND 1981" are stamped on the side with the bull's head and there's a number 10 on the squid side. I'd never heard of this Tía Aurar Island before and couldn't imagine where it was, so I looked it up at Google and was directed to a site dealing with coins. The answer shocked me: it's Icelandic. The "Tía Aurar" refers to the denomination of the coin, not the name of the island. Strange. How does an Icelandic coin end up circulating in a hick town like Danville, Virginia? And even stranger is that it would end up in the hands of someone with an odd obsession with Iceland.