2000aug01. This is a portrait of me, giving up on trying to find any more web-based information about Julian Opie’s current (?) series as depicted on the cover of Modern Painters magazine. They’re being shown at the Tate, but all they have are descriptions of each piece, no images.
2000aug01. A little bit more about the Julian Opie series is revealed via a tiny 72-dpi computer image from India. India? [scroll down a bit. Yes, you.]
Hi what is this place? i’m confused ... .checked the faq ... that didn’t help ... – Pernille
I think I’m going back to the print medium. No, I’m pretty sure of it.
Your theme camp will consist of several large speaker arrays, two turntables, and a Honda generator. You will play relentless “techno” music twenty-four hours a day, even if you’re not there. It sounds like this:
boom boom boom
Don’t worry about the people camping near you – they also enjoy the “techno” music, even when it seems like they’re trying to sleep at five in the morning. Precious few people will actually attend your little “mini-rave” at any time, as they also have their own little systems going off somewhere else on the playa. Do not let this deter you. You are young and strong and immortal. [via bigrig]
Next week: The Cult of Volunteerism For Only Two Hundred Clams
2000aug03. “Jimmy, if you’re going to play on Rocket No. 99 you should be very careful on that O. D. 14 ga. zinc grip steel becau – oh JESUS! Are you okay?!??” Also: Radar Screen? (part of the Game Time Playground Catalog) [via the freshy-fresh gmtplus9]
2000aug06. FIVE-POINT PLAN UPDATE.
Saw D.S. last night.
He told me that he’ll be seeing a 3 on Tuesday. I asked him why only a 3. He says it’s really hard to find someone who fulfills both the categories “fun” and “intelligent.”
Later in the evening, D.S. admired my apparent ability to drink many drinks. He told me that meant I definitely qualified as “fun.”
And I yelled, “Yes! I’m a One!” [soosan]
2000aug07. Is that a “3” as in just category #3 or someone who fufills three categories?
2000aug07. Candy cigarette companies in collusion with tobacco companies to produce candy cigarettes. [via fark] This is something that everyone already knew, sort of. So I suppose now there will be a another huge-ass lawsuit, this time against the candy companies that are still around. Let’s see. Hershey’s, Swell, World, Necco, Ce De ... I just picked up a package of what used to be Swell’s candy cigarette product in Canada – on the side of the package it reads “stay in school! be cool! say no to drugs!” and then in really tiny type that no one else in the whole world could read it says “except nicotine, you rotten kids! smoke up!” I guess they forgot to take off that part when they switched the design. (more on candy cigarettes)
2000aug07. As I understand it, a “3” fulfills three categories. A “1” (for example, me--I’m a “1") fulfills only one category. [soosan]
2000aug07. But since your only category was fun, and fun, in the list, is also the first category, that’s where I was tripped up. Also, if your category-loving friend decided to somehow remember his categories (fun, intelligent, attractive, career-oriented, social conscience).via a abbreviation mnemonic (mnemonics is the study of mnems) and transposed the last two elements, that mnemonic would be FIASCCO. The defense rests.
2000aug07. Also I meant that all SUVs should explode, not all Honda products. Today is a day of misunderstanding
2000aug08. Junkyard Wars. An imported British TV programme (originally named “Scrapheap Challenge”) that pits two junkyard-foraging teams against each other and the clock. The episode I watched required these delightful chuffers to build a working cannon. It’s available on the Discovery channel if you have “cable.”
2000aug11. Outside university to be contracted to review Carnivore hardware/software. Oh, this is just grand. No, it’ll be a static system, no chance of the FBI just uploading (A) a red herring program before the investigation and/or (B) the real program after the investigation ... christ, these are computers, not some FBI desk jockey reading postcards ... (how incredibly naive of me to think that this small oversight is an accident on Reno’s part)
2000aug15. I was looking through that What To Name Your Baby list and I was sure they would have forgotten “Wad.” But it’s in there.
2000aug17. No more weddings, please. Thank you. [soosan]
2000aug17. I am wearing a towel on my wet head and sighing like Audrey Hepburn. I suppose it would be charming if I wasn’t a guy.
2000aug18. The Straight Dope on Jackalopes. I was just in Douglas over vacation. We were passing through while we had a tetch of the ole’ road sickness, so all I got was a picture of a big oil tank that said “Douglas: Home of the Jackalope.” Secondly, Bigrig Industries once gave an hour-long slide presentation on the Jackalope (with an amusing digression into the very same “postcard lore” mentioned in the Straight Dope article) which was both highly entertaining and delightfully informative. Later I discovered that the host of the talk, a one Mr. Brody Culpepper, was in the midst of a bout of the flu. This is just one instance of the gut-wrenching determination of Bigrig Industries I have come to know and trust throughout the years.
2000aug18. “I *definitely* agree that we don’t want to do anything that would amount to giving individual property owners a veto power over what happens in space above them.” Who wants to stop government/private satellites from taking pictures of my backyard? No way! Next thing you know people would be wanting the cops to stop doing heat-sensing work from helicopters looking for marijuana growers! Christ!
2000aug21. I just heard a phone ring in an apartment across the driveway. But it didn’t make a chirp or a “beep boop” or some other annoying electronic screech. It was a phone with one (or two) actual analog bells.
It’s time for me to stop the booping and the beeping and get back to those delicious analog sounds. Back to the analog world. First, the phone goes. Next, I’ll need to build a wood-fired analog computer. After that, the answering machine. Gerbils. Gerbils will deliver my outgoing message. Gerbils are still analog, right?
2000aug21. Word: Work: Kinko’s Clown. I will no longer patronize Kinko’s after reading this kindergarten bullshit. That’s the way it is with most major service-oriented corporations now. They give their workers shit wages, then figure it’s the workers that need adjustment, so they put all of their money into training programs and more management and treat them like children when, as it turns out, the one and only thing that the corporation is relentlessly pursuing could also drastically reduce their rapid employee turnaround. Anything, anything at all except giving the workers more money. Please press “one” if you believe that capitalism is chiefly responsible for pretty much 99% of the shit mess the world’s in today BEEP
2000aug22. FIVE-POINT PLAN UPDATE.
D.S. had a gala birthday party on Saturday night. I was really looking forward to it because I wanted to see what sort of girl he would have on his arm. I need some help visualizing a “5.”
This may not be a shocker to everyone but me: He was solo.
But I did learn some great scandal. My friend C.--the person who introduced me to D.S.--has actually been approached by him for smooching purposes. So she is verified ”attractive.” (She declined the offer.)
I suspect there may have been a “5” under my nose all this time. [soosan]
“Why are you so fucking nosy?"
“Where’s mah gun?"
“Can you take off your glasses so I can decks ya?”
2000aug23. The best Polynesian restaurant in Columbus, Ohio, is closing this Saturday. My school bus passed this place every day. I spent a lot of time looking at the Kahiki. (I probably last ate there in 1982.) And now they are tearing it down for a goddamn Walgreens. [soosan]
The Setting: Albuquerque. It is a modest ranch home, nestled in a quiet suburb. We see a lone OFFICER attempting to test the house’s breath with a small technologically-advanced flashlight.
OFFICER: ”Well, we’re stopping everyone, ma’am ... and, oh, it looks like [glances at flashlight] I’ve just won myself a new house.”
HOUSE: “ ... “
2000aug24. Battlebots. The robots fighting thing that apparently came after Robot Wars etc etc. So what I don’t understand is this entry for “Chiabot". ”Primary weapon: plants.” Yes, I’m sure this guy is rethinking his game plan.
2000aug24. Correction. The Chiabot is not in the same weight class as that hateful other thing. So they will never fight. Perhaps a little side scratch might be made in the alley later on? “COME ON, PLANT! COME – oh.”
Hitler and Yamashita are sent packing by a spooky jack-o-lantern ghost and two canning jars. Please note that the Axis Powers are sweating and performing some type of ”person lifting heavy object” mime routine.
As presented in: How to PRESERVE Victory Garden Vegetables, a pamphlet presented by Standard Oil of California (1944). [via max]
2000aug25. New idea for monitor technology. I would gladly take a flat-panel black and white screen that consisted of tiny metal balls over my color monitor. Then, when I needed color, I’d run to the library and use their machine, run back, modify the file, run to the library ...
2000aug27. I have silly daydreams about products that actually work intelligently. These daydreams usually commence when I come upon, say, a CD player that has been in “pause” mode, silently spinning, for at least four days.
Hi I was just reading “This is Your Brain in America/Canada.” I live in Delhi, Ontario (the tobacco capital of Canada) and I would just like to tell you that I DONT SMOKE! Thanks :)
That is impossible. You must be sleep-smoking.
Perhaps you know of someone who would like to buy my donut name. www.dunkindonuts.ws. If not I enjoyed your site anyway. Thank you for your time. – Rick M.
“WS” is the ISO country code for “Samoa.” I can find no evidence that a Dunkin’ Donuts exists in Samoa. I like ending my sentences with “Samoa.”
I know that I’m not going to go down in the annals for this contribution, or even probably ever see my name in the “mailbag,” but if you aren’t interested in this, who would be? (Actually, a quick Web search for “history and cultual” reveals a dozen or more people who would be, but I don’t care about them.)
I am fascinated by the various editions and redactions of the copy on the classic red-wrappered disposable bamboo chopstick. For years I was accustomed to seeing [sic]:
Welcome to Chinese Restaurant. Please try your nice Chinese Food with Chopsticks the traditional and typical of Chinese glorious history and cultual.”
The instructions on the reverse were generally pretty clean.
BUT NOW here I am vacationing in rural Maine, and the local Chinese place gives me this:
Welcome to Chinese Restaurant. please try your Nice Chinese Food With Chopsticks the traditional and typical of Chinese glonous history. and cultual.
Notice the capitalization variations, additional period, and conflation of “ri” into “n” – a telltale optical character-recognition error! Somebody is scanning in old chopstick wrappers to produce new ones! Glonous, indeed! It took me all of twenty seconds to type that copy – can we expect less from our utensil importers?
The instructions on the reverse contain similar OCR errors, including the transformation of “m” into “rn,” of “o” into “e,” of “f” into “t,” and of “l” into “i.” A complete transcript follows, with no additional commentary:
Learn how to use your chopsticks
Tuk under thurnb and held firmly
Add second chcostick
hold it as you hold
Hold tirst chopstick
in originai position
move the second
one up and down
Now you can pick
(I additionally appreciate the final colon, pointing as it does out of the text, indicating either the drawing of chopsticks being used successfully to pick up a dumpling, or the successful use of chopsticks of the real-life reader of the instructions.)
Is it possible that the optical character recognition is being done not by a computer, which seems ludicrous for such a small sample of text, but by a human who does not know the English alphabet--a native Chinese human, for instance? One who sees “ri” and fumbles around his keyboard or lead type (depending) until he spots the very similar-looking ”n"? That is the theory I propose.
[weeping openly] HOW CAN YOU SAY THIS HORRIBLE THING ABOUT NOT GOING DOWN IN THE ANNALS? Good Christ man, this is one of the most important messages Cardhouse has received since our glonous inception. Full sentences, back-alley cultural misunderstandings, chopsticks: it’s got everything. I think you have nailed the source of the problem squarely and I hoist my glass to you, sir. I will be watching the text more closely from now on – I had always assumed it was the same, and since I was more interested in the changing diagrams on the back, well, that side was routinely ignored. I sit corrected.
2000aug29. I have finally realized that pretty much every single time I engage in a consumer transaction, somehow, it will go horribly wrong and leave me twitching and frightened on a cold, marble floor. I don’t buy things anymore. Things try to buy me.
Hlp W td d.
“Pl a e c m work or ou inn ativ co pa y! We k ow ho t use C MPUT RS re l goo – ike!”
2000aug30. Billionaire loses 20 million in casino. If I had billions of dollars, I’d probably form an elite cadre of snipers to take out the other billionaires. Then, for their last mission, they would turn on me. It would be like a giant game. A game of death. Samoa.
2000aug30. Yes, we’ve all eagerly been awaiting the results of the Charles Atlas vs Flex Mentallo case. Yo! Mr. Atlas! There’s at least TWENTY parodies of your damned ads floating around. Get the sand out of yer eyes, pipsqueak!
2000aug30. Dude, I saw Summersled at Pine Knob this weekend ... they totally ROCKED. Only 100 kids or so threw sod at ‘em ...
Yeah, kid, nobody’s gonna see you coming with these “headlights--for people.”
Wait a minute: “No one will be able to sneak around, because you’ll know exactly what’s out there.” Because they will be caught in your headlights. So why do they need “impact resistant lenses” to “prevent damage from the unforeseen"?
I’m sticking with a flashlight--for people. [soosan]
Note the crazy profit margins! [soosan]
2000aug31. Old Man Murray: This is the first time I’ve ever seen the UK flexing its weak and flabby legislative muscle at “defamatory” web content from the US. Let’s hope it continues, it provides us all with comedy unboundeth.
Nice work on that swedish caption for those Roxette stamps. Retranslated to english that would be “Roxette is dead, tall lives Roxette.” But that’s also a great caption. Don’t know if you care ... – Pommi
Oh! Thanks! Also thanks for letting me know what the real translation is! Don’t make me point a missile at you! DAMMIT! I CARE! I know how hard it is to express one’s passion through ones and zeros, but can’t you feel it? Surging, surging forth? Surge ...
Anyway, some cretins put sugar in my gas tank while I was aslumber, so I’m in a bad mood. More on this later.