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Above: Italian streetcar (1930s), San Francisco; Monument Valley; cactus, Hugh Norris Trail, Tucson Arizona

2003 items of note: Color-Coded Terror Response Comedy Piece / Musee Mechanique / Shipping/Moving Cross-Country / Food City. / The Mysterious Case of The Dancing Wax Junket / Arizona State Fair 2003

I didn't buy a digital camera until 2003. Now (2017), they're in your damn cereal.

January 2003.

2003jan01. Six pops, over and over and over again. It's good to know so many of my fellow citizens are armed to the teeth. This is what happens when you outlaw fireworks - people buy guns to bring in the new year.

2003jan07. Intellectualize rap.

2003jan09. If you purchased a compact disc between the years of 1995 and 2000, you can determine if you're the million-dollar winner by licking it. Some of them you have to snap in half to reveal the prize, so do both, just in case.

2003jan11. U.S. government to seize Iraq oil just for showing up, hanging out for awhile. Man, did that come out of left field. But see, it's not a war for oil, it's war spoils. Or rather, it's like a charge on Iraq's account because NEVER MIND JUST GRAB THAT SWEET DELICIOUS CRUDE OH MERCY ME

2003jan13. MISSION CRITICAL INFORMATION. Your contributions are required at a new website. [via excitement machine]

2003jan14. Article on Nigerian email scam.

Secret Service agents went after 250 suspected African scammers operating out of the United States last year, involving ‒ get this ‒ $85.5 million in losses.

That means the average victim handed over no less than $342,000 to the scammers to keep the bogus money-transfer scheme in play.

Nice math. Nowhere in the article does it state that each scammer was only able to take one victim.

2003jan15. Defective Yeti calls up Maury Povich. Nice one, out of the park.

2003jan16. This American Life: Secret Government. [link goes to RealAudio]

2003jan22. The Mixerman Diaries. Extremely long, utterly hilarious account of Crap Rock-n-Roll Band #729413 as they stumble through the recording process. Excellent for blowing away the working day. The diary shifts location to New York and continues here. Is it true? Who are all of these losers? Is this really one band, or a compilation of several groups? When does the movie come out? These are all questions. [via jwz]

2003jan24. "This prison-made furniture is counterfeit!!!!"

2003jan24. National Pie Day. I have missed National Pie Day. I like the suggestions: "MAKE PIE" ... "pie heritage" ... "EAT MORE PIE" ... "DO PIE STUFF" ... I want to be on the American Pie Council. I could sit behind a large desk with twelve phones ringing at all times.

"Uh huh ... yes ... well, make more pies, then. More."
"We have a crisis in pie sector seven-alpha-tango"
"Glomph glomph mmmphrrr"
"Look, you're my secretary. I'm the president of the American Pie Council. There are no pies on my desk. You figure it out."

2003jan24. Somebody picked up their mail from a p.o. box and then left it at the post office. It was on top of some California tax forms ‒ it was probably one of those things Donald Norman calls "The Oopsie Daisy Substitution Error Whoa Thingie." Anyway, I'm walking it back to the clerk and the name hits me like something would hit you with a lot of force ‒ it's Guy Kawasaki's mail. Even CEOs have brain dumps sometimes. Unless it was a courier of some sort who dropped the ball. In that case, my recovery fee is one delicious pie.

2003jan25. Doc writes in, piely:

There is a place called Pietown. They have pies there. not much more than pies. not even pies, on the day we were there. it was x-mess, & Pietown was closed. no pie for me. sucked, because i had really worked up a hunger for pie, & there's nothing (00000000000) else around Pietown.

Experience the magic of Pietown yourself one day. Experience it.

2003jan26. Nuke Iraq. That anyone is even thinking of this curdles the soul. Maybe they'll accidentally bomb all of the depleted uranium. Not mentioned: Clinton flipped the "retaliatory only" nuke switch to "off" as part of his own compassionate term, so once war is declared (does that happen anymore?), it's "green light" for horror.

"How the hell am I supposed to cap those oil wells, it's radiation city out there!"
"Listen Red, it's safe. Remember how we sent those soldiers into Hiroshima a few hours after the blast? Same thing. Here, take these magical gloves."

2003jan27. Yesterday I visited my favorite place in the entire world, Bean Hollow State Beach. If you've driven down the coast you've probably missed the small turn-off for this secluded area. The "two coves" bit mentioned at that starved little web page is important. To get to the Southernmost cove, you have to step over the parking lot curb at the point closest to the ocean and clamber down the amazing tafoni formations. Check out the tidepools (low tide is best for this) and wet hiding places between rocks ‒ that's where the crabs like to skitter and blow bubbles (if you're extremely quiet and the tide is low, you can hear them). If you're the patient sort you'll find other interesting marine life including starfish and the wily sea lion. The Northernmost cove (there's some stairs leading down to it; you can't get from one to the other, they're separate) features millions of colorful tiny pebbles that you aren't supposed to take. I use this cove as a back-up when the other cove is at high tide, but if you continue North up the beach you can still find little tide pools and rock formations. On your way to Bean Hollow make sure to stop at Three Amigos in Half Moon Bay and pick up some ceviche/horchata.

2003jan27. Gulf War 2 game. High-larious. You'll need Flash and also it's quite loud. There's not much to the "game" element, let's just say it's an occasionally interactive cartoon.

2003jan29. Looking on the net for Muybridge images, I ran across the Horse Bike of Burning Man 1998. Truly the best visual that year...

2003jan29. You're signing up for hot product swapping action at Swappington's! You're using my username ("rootbot" ‒ that's a robot that likes root beer {duh}) as a reference, so I get delicious bonus points! You're so nice.

2003jan29. Great Philip Greenspun travel diary (US/Canada/Mexico) [via robot wisdom]

2003jan30. What is this ad all about? "Yahoo Group SMS: While other chocolate milk glasses are half-full and the chocolate milk is sort of leaning one way, your chocolate milk glass will be leaning one way half-full and the chocolate milk will be upright, or maybe your chocolate milk glass will be emptied, then cleaned, and laid on its side. Yahoo Group SMS."

2003jan30. Digging the title of this PBS series: "Sandwiches That You Will Like." I need to go travelling, that's when the gustatory gloves come off. "A turducken/deep-fried Mars bar malted? Two, please." [via looka]

2003jan31. Museum of Food Anomalies [via fireland somehow]

2003jan31. Mail.

My name is Tony. I am very interested in turning down my own pool cue in shop class. I have ran into a very big problem though. I have called every cue supplier and repair store I know of and none of them have the center joint of the pool cue. I have even went so far as to try to make one myself but never succeeded. If you could give me the name of a supplier that would carry the center joint I would appreciate it very much. Thank you for your time.

Tony C.


I'm glad you contacted me first, as I am known throughout the kingdom as The Guy Who Can Give You The Name Of A Supplier So You Can Turn Down Your Own Pool Cue In Shop Class. You are known as The Guy Who Doesn't Include His Own Email Address When Asking Random People To Provide Him With Information They Neither Have Or Care To Research. In any event, it is now time for me to talk about my own experiences in shop class, in junior high school. Is this right, Tony? Should junior high schoolers be given the opportunity to use powerful digit-mangling machines to create wooden plant holders shaped like antique "ringer" washing tubs? I used a welding torch, Tony. Have you seen what happens when one junior high schooler taps another junior high schooler on the shoulder and he turns around, fists full of flame? The other kid gets a blister on his arm the size of a mouse, and he picks at it while we watch a 50's-era cartoon safety film. Drill presses, lathes, belt sanders, jittering jig saws, all going at the same time, run by a crew of screwy thirteen-year-olds. My most precious memory of those safety-minded days was watching a fellow student somehow (A) light a paper airplane on fire (B) throw it and (C) grab a fire extinguisher while chasing the plane, spewing the entire contents all over the room. I like to think that's when the shop teacher had the nervous breakdown, but it probably happened a month later, during the Great Throwing Of All The Drafting Table Mats Out The Window Controversy.

2003jan31. Cell phone becomes tele-graph.

2003jan31. Greg Palast on IMF, Globalization.

2003jan31. Mail.

This is just to say your candy cig page brought back some serious memories ‒ trying to mock my dad and how he smoked. I would let the candy cig hang from my lip while i played. I cant believe how different the times are now. Surely a huge lawsuit would ensue should someone try that today.


They're still called "candy cigarettes" in a few places, but most confectioneries have caught on to the hot new trend of calling the product "Candy Sticks," like the "Space Man" candy sticks from New Zealand that the BigRiggers brought back from New Zealand recently (one NZ coin has a really great Maori mask). In this case, the tips are still daubed in red food coloring to simulate a lit cigarette, though how one can smoke in space is probably something RJR is still struggling with at this very moment.

February 2003.

2003feb02. Outside the San Francisco Public Library. A tour bus pulls up, many Japanese tourists get out. Two of them are carrying half-finished beverages. He, burdened with a soft-drink can, and she, carrying around a coffee cup. There is a trash can in front of the bus door. To the side, a book return bin. Lightening their load, the man snaps a picture of the woman posing in front of one of the library's blank walls. The caption on the photo will read


Pitch in! Reading Coffee/Cola-Soaked Pages Is Fundamental!

2003feb02. The I Don't Like Hard Things in Soft Things Manifesto Manifesto is now online, with additional jocularity provided by some 38% of this site's 23 loyal, hang-dog readers.

2003feb03. How To Fly Without ID. Or rather, ID is not mandatory.

2003feb04. Mail.

To the odd person who doesn't like nuts in their food:

Well, I'm right with ya, there, particularly about the almond slivers. You didn't mention friggin' almond slivers in the GREEN BEANS, which is about the stupidest tart-up attempt in common cuisine. My mother tried that about 800 times, always imagining, I suppose, that this time we'd not notice them, or suddenly like them, or something.

I like green beans. I don't mind almonds. Just keep 'em the fuck away from each other.

While I completely understand where you're coming from with the nut rant, I have to laugh because I have things much easier myself. I dislike HARD things in soft things. Emphasis on HARD. Ben&Jerries Chunky Monkey = Deliscious, EXCEPT for the damn chocolate slivers that you can almost break a tooth on. The nuts? No problem, they've softened up from being in the ice cream, for christ's sake. Cake with nuts in is usually similiarly yummy, unless someone's aunt made it using nuts that had been dehydrating in her cupboard for 10 years, fossilizing, then serves it to you fresh baked. That's a trip to the dentist for sure. Ultimate hell is hard candies in anything. You don't get much harder then pure sugar candy. All ice cream flavours that involve hard candies should be banned by international treaty. Once I got served a 'savoury' oriental entree that involved the usual assortment of bite-size ingredients PLUS hard candies. The people who ordered it lapped that crap up. I never ate with those freaks again.

yow! i can't agree more with your essay on textural discontinuities in food. Dry hard knobbly bits in ice cream? What cruel person dreamed that one up?

2003feb06. Oh, the United States was protecting the Japanese-Americans when they were placed in concentration camps during World War 2. That's why all the camps had machine gun turrets facing inward, and barbed wire facing inward. That's why the Japanese-Americans were able to sell their properties, cars, furniture, for cents to the dollar, sometimes just abandoning them, because of the carefree times they would spend safely locked up by Uncle Sam. "Endangered Species." Nice touch.

2003feb06. I love watching bugs on walls. The slow bugs, that take their time executing a turn, and sit in the same place for hours, in the middle of a blank wall. Perhaps they're eating microscopic food. Perhaps they are engaged in deep thought. Perhaps they're just dumb bugs.

2003feb07. Opposition to war from Congress itself goes uncovered. Not big enough news, what with the war and all. [via metafilter]

2003feb08. Mail.

Maybe the bugs are sleeping. Do bugs sleep?

Or maybe just resting.

- Leah

But this particular bug, for example, occasionally rotated. It would sit there for a few minutes, then out of the corner of my eye I would notice it was ON THE MOVE! That is to say, it was pivoting, at most, thirty degrees in one direction. I think it was functioning as a proximity guard bug. The only thing of value in the immediate area was my monitor and also some doofus staring into said monitor (I can be parted out). So perhaps I have a guardian bug? It's gone, now. I feel vulnerable. Perhaps I should have given it a dot of water or some such thing. I think it was a potato bug [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Bugs don't sleep because when you're asleep, that's when they gitcha.

2003feb08. I went to a job interview today and at one point the guy asked me what my "ideal job" would be. And I thought back to a few nights ago, when I was shopping in a local supermarket. I sort of zoned out, like everyone else does, while in the check-out lane, staring very intently at a cubic foot of air approximately two feet in front of my knees ‒ and I heard someone addressing me with a noun.

"Two-syllable noun?"

Finally I woke up.


It was some sort of in-house promotion. Someone got to wheel a cart around feeding people cheesecake. So of course I was all like "Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes" and she gave me a nice large piece of cheesecake on a plate, with a fork. That's my ideal job. Giving people free cart cheesecake. So I told the guy it was either that, or starting up an underground parking resistance cell that produces a steady stream of people for meter maid jobs and they never collect the money and get fired on purpose and then the next person hired is another member of the cell which I call the Unmeter Maid Cell. I didn't think that was enough, so I belatedly added "clown stabber," which probably pays pretty good.

2003feb08. I'm trying to find the name of a particular non-standard poker game. We for some reason call it "Acey-Deucey," but it is not (the book we got the game out of indicated it was popular with the Army back in WW2 ‒ but that was a backgammon variant ... way to research that). This game is one card up, one card down to each person. First round allows you to replace an up card or a down card for five cents. Second round, ten cents. Etc, up to a dollar for a card. Then there's one round of betting (for some reason I have a sneaking suspicion that every buying round should be followed by a betting round, so it actually hurts the people who want to stay in with bad cards). High hand takes it ‒ A A is the best hand.

2003feb10. I got nothing today. Let's take a fond look back at an early Achewood strip, shall we?

2003feb10. Mail.

your hard/soft manifesto speaks my heart and soul, i tell you. i definitely think your manifesto could use some official lashings for the bread makers out there too. their cavalier use of nuts has become most unbearable. no need for a nut in there. i've lived by these same rules...all the while calling it a polytexural problem...simply to say that the candy bar "chunky" is my worst nightmare. wb

ah, finally! someone has articulated my feelings toward nuts! i must say, i am not anti-nut, completely, but i STRONGLY agree with the isolated nut provision. Nuts should be solitary,(with the exception of case-by-case dish examinations) to be used at the eater's discretion. ANY dish containing nuts, in ANY form or trace should be declared and demarked clearly, before the point of purchase or consumption. NO EXCEPTIONS. NO EXCUSES. NO NE NUTTE.


Used to loathe walnuts ... good for nothing bitter things. Why would anyone willingly put one in their mouth? That is, until I discovered this (I challenge you to try it): walnuts and blackberries. Together. Blackberries must be ripe and room temperature. The ones that come frozen work well because those are usually harvested ripe. Just try it. You will retract everything you've ever said about walnuts. For some reason, the combination just goes, transforms the taste of the walnut, and makes you say "This is what Homo sapiens were meant to do".

I'm with you on the nut manifesto. Unless they are completely pulverized to dust and integrated in such a way that makes texture changes imperceptable, no nuts in my bread, cake, brownies, ice cream, sauces, stuffing, pasta, cereal. I can't tell you how many times I've said, "Damn they ruined a perfectly good _____________"


I actually had to physically restrain myself from exclaiming AMEN! out loud when reading your "No Hard Things in Soft Things Manifesto." You left out one area I find particularly impossible to deal with: Nuts in cookies. Why, why, why, does every recipe on the planet have to ruin Chocolate Chip cookies with the addition of walnuts. Why add something hard and crunchy to something that ideally should be chewy and soft. I cannot tell you the years of frustration I've had dealing with this.


Yeah, nuts in cookies, another damned nut mystery to me. If you want nuts in anything, bring a small bag along with you and sprinkle 'em on, to avoid the heartbreaking scene of seeing yet another anti-nut coalition force troop member carefully picking apart his chocolaty chip cookie in a brave and yet neverending attempt to rout nuts and nut clusters from their fortified hiding encampments. Seriously, put the cookie in the microwave, and then jam your stupid nuts in.

"Years of frustration" ‒ I hear your pain, brother. Unless you're a sister. "Shawn" could be a girl's name. Really any name now, could be a boy's name, or a girl's name. Anything goes in this mixed-up world of ours. Let's all just sit back, set an illegal "marijuana"-type cigarette alight, and think about that. Pray that there are no nuts in that. Which reminds me of a conversation I had two days ago with a young man on the streets of our fair city:

"Got some green bud with some big white rocks."


Everything soft has to have hard things in it.

2003feb11. Mail.

About the hard/soft rant... What about that bubblegum ice cream with chunks of bubble gum in it? Isn't that the WORST thing? The chunks are so goddamn hard and FROZEN, and it's not like you can even chew the gum because it gets mixed in with the ice cream and gets a shitty taste and texture.


Well, yeah. I don't eat standard ice cream anymore, I am a big fan of soy-based ice cream. Which, three years ago, tasted like frozen ass, but now they've pretty much perfected the illusion. I mean, some brands have. Others still taste completely not like ice cream. So if you want to avoid the dairy, look for a brand called "Soy Delicious" brought to you by a company named "Turtle Mountain." ???? That's like the restaurant in Kalamazoo called "Chicken Port" or the donut shop in the bay area called "Donut Field." Unless, of course, turtles hang out on mountains. Then I take that all back. Anyway, they don't have a bubble gum variety yet.

2003feb11. Great "personals" story on This American Life last week (ya! this is Real Audio! You can get what seems to be less-intrusive earlier versions of RA here).

2003feb13. Mail.

helo i do'nt understaind but plz hwlp all of them now we get the opertunities so eill be that roules and regulation provied managment forward in Karachi.

Karachi. The crossroads of somethingsomethingsomething.

2003feb15. Say, do you need a free car? One that is totally free? One that is covered with the Whipped Cream & Other Delights album? You can read all about the problem with the distributor shaft pin here.

2003feb16. Learn more about me! Fact #298:

I have recently appeared in public wearing a shirt sporting a sticker that reads "XL XL XL XL XL XL XL."

2003feb16. For this entire week I will be presenting telegraphic codes from "Greig's Cipher Code: Commercial Oriental Products" which was published in 1920. Code books were used to reduce the length (and thus, cost) of business-related messages sent over the telegraph. An example of how these codes were used follows.


BABEC Telegraph firm offer subject to prompt acceptance. ESHAN 500 cases. RORIW Dry cracked Walnut Meats, halves 30%, quarters and pieces 70%. CELEN January/February/March shipment from the Orient. ADHOP Referring to your offer. RIKES Singapore Black Pepper. ADCID We counter-offer for immediate reply by telegraph. HETIZ 18 3/8c. JAFUW f.o.b. cars Pacific Coast, duty paid.

2003feb17. Good band names, part XVII. RRB

2003feb17. Mail.

hoe is het als nog een happy valentine

[closest I can get on this: "like it is as if still a happy valentine]

zeg ziedaar ... mijn wijzerplaat zit opgepropt van pudding, zit welk welke u waren asking?

[hey there ... my face is crammed with pudding, is that what you were asking?]

2003feb17. "Listen!!! It's Bin Laden!!! He's talking about Saddam! See? They're linked, linked I tell you! Now we can go to war! Warwarwarwarwarwarwarwar ... wait ... what?"

2003feb17. I just got a call from Karen of Vacation Travel Services. She said that I have won a vacation to a certain theme park located in Florida. I think I've won over a hundred of these so far ‒ I must be a very lucky person, with all this winning. While listening to her recorded message, I came up with a good idea for a movie plot. I think a movie about a serial killer who waits for telemarketing calls and then "goes into action" would be big, big box office.

2003feb18. Ayyyys! Ayyyys! Youse boys want some cotton candy? Ahhhh, here yas go ... waitasecond, where's me cigar? Ahhhhhhh ... smokey flavor, boys!

2003feb18. Greig's Cipher Codes. A random selection.

ADLEF Buyer's ideas are
ADLIG Seller's ideas are
ADLOH Our ideas are
ADLUK Buyer would not state his ideas
ADMAM Seller would not state his ideas
FACOV Your inspection not satisfactory
FANUS Expect you to protect our investments
GELOH Germination over 90%
GENUB Guaranteed crack 90% or better sound sweet meats light shells
GETIK Dry shaved
GETEH Arsenic cured and shade dried


2003feb18. Cockeyed: Terror Thingie! A very serious consideration of action options vis-a-vis color-coded terror levels per the insane grabby warlords of our current administration.

2003feb20. In 1963, director Michael Apted interviewed a group of British seven year olds for a documentary entitled 7 Up. Every seven years he's been returning to the same people, interviewing them, and kicking out a new documentary (14 Up, etc). I just saw 35 Up, and now I'm on patrol for

42 Up. I've seen a few movie reviewers suggest that you go back as far as possible and view each in succession. There's also a 42 Up book, and other film spin-offs like "14 Up in America," "7/14 Up in Russia," "7 Up in South Africa."

2003feb21. No .... NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [via molly]

2003feb21. Greig's Cipher Codes! Part Three!

LECAG Have you received our letter of
LEFAH Why is contract not signed
MEFUW Telegraph in plain language
MEGAB Your telegraph is mutilated, please repeat
MEGEC Get us on the telephone
MEGID Trying to get you on the telephone
MEGOF This telegram combination of Greig's and Armsby's codes
MEGUG This telegram combination of Greig's and A.B.C 5th
MEHAK This telegram combination of Greig's and A.B.C revised
MEHEL This telegram combination of Greig's and Bentley's
MEHIM This telegram combination of Greig's and Keegan's
MEHON This telegram combination of Greig's and Liebers
MEHUP This telegram combination of Greig's and Scott's
MEKAS This telegram combination of Greig's and Western Union
MEKET This telegram combination of Greig's and Yopp's
MEKIV This telegram combination of Greig's and private
MIBIZ Insure against war risk

Tomorrow on Greig's Codes: BEANS!

2003feb21. Everyone enjoys Greig's Cipher Codes.

PADOS Apricot kernels, sweet
PADUT Apricot kernels, bitter
PAFAW Beans, Japanese Kotenashi
PAFEX Beans, Korean Kotenashi (small whites)
PFAIZ Beans, Manchurian Kotenashi
PAFUC Beans, Chutenashi (medium whites)
PAGEH Beans, Nagauzura (long cranberries)
PAHAP Beans, Kijimano (speckled pinks)
PAHER Beans, Muroengin (medium butters)
PAKEK Beans, Aneko (piebalds)
PACAF Albumen, crystal hen
PIFUV Camphor, crude Kwangsai, Foochow or Fulien, seller's option
PIRAT Copra, Singapore sundried
PODER Flour, Sago equal to Sarawac
POGUW Dogskins, raw cargo ‒ in press packed bales
POHOF Goat skins, Chowshing
PONUR Kolinsky weasels, Yu Ping Fu ‒ with tails
POREF Squirrel skins, raw without tails

Tomorrow: A distinct lack of animal skin codes!

2003feb22. And now, we close the week with another exciting peek at the world of Greig's Cipher Codes.

PYSOK Kapoc, Toeban
PYSAF Kapoc, Japara
RACOZ Menthol Crystals, Kobayashi brand
RECUL Sesamum Seed Oil, Chinese
REGAG Wood Oil, Pale Hankow China
REMOF Aniseed Oil, China Star congealing at 15 degrees or over
RENON Cassia Oil, 70% to 75% Cinnamic Aldehyde
RIHEK Peanut Oil cake
RUDAP Wax, China yellow bees
ROWAV Walnut Meats, wet cracked halves 20%, quarters 80%
RODUM Tapioca, Singapore large pearl
ROHAR Tapioca flour, Lontjeng
ROKID Tumeric, fair average quality

Cardhouse: Putting you on the "fifty-yard line" of international trading 1920-style.

2003feb22. City on Fire ... Reservoir Dogs ... Kaante!!!!!!! Sing it.

2003feb25. Noise Pop: Such a great graphic. I would give it an A+++ if only it had the backward "dut-dut-dut" of the tape reels. Also, if you have tickets for the Calexico show, there was a problem -- those are actually my tickets. I have yours here [hastily scribbles on back of paper plate] see?

2003feb26. US goes for UK Passenger Name Record privacy grab. Oddly enough, our beloved Doc used to have access to PNRs while working at the airport. His report follows.

PNRs can contain all sorts of info, including such things as, "THIS PUMPKINHEAD IS AN ASSHOLE OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS" ‒ that's one I remember seeing when I worked reservations. Sometimes some moron would say they were going to take up a dead issue with the gate people, so I would warn the gate people ("ALREADY READ THE RIOT ACT TO THIS MORON. SMILE AND IGNORE HIM."). Surprisingly, I never got ratted out for anything like that, nor did I hear of it happening to anyone.

I think it's time for everyone to start predicting wild, off-the-cuff security and civil rights abuses, just to see how many days go by until something far worse takes place.

2003feb26. Cockeyed will be on "All Things Considered" tonight at the end of the first hour. Watch for it ... with your ears!

2003feb26. Mail.


É vc. mesmo ?

Desculpe minha ignorância, mas não conseguí entender o site. Me explica, por favor ?

[Poor translation: "Mariana, Is vc. same? Excuse me my ignorance, but affords not to understand the site. It explains me, please?]

March 2003.

2003mar07. Mail.

hi i m asif pzl being online if u can


I've been a faithful reader and I also work for an airline. Well, technically an airline website. You're completely right about PNRs. Sometimes there can be some interesting stuff in there. The best one that I saw said something about a woman that had shown up at the airport the day before her flight and checked her luggage. Two bags that were WAY over the maximum of 70 lbs. The day of her flight she was nowhere to be seen. The day after her flight she shows up and can't understand why they won't let her on the plane. I guess she was all strung out and acting like a crackhead. It takes all kinds, but I certainly wouldn't want to be sitting next to her on the plane, even if I'm travelling for free as I often do!


- K

Yet another translation for: "Desculpe minha ignorância, mas não conseguí entender o site. Me explica, por favor ?"

"Pardon my ignorance, but I cannot gain access to the site. Could you please explain?"

Oh, and the alert status color codes on cockeyed are excellent.

2003mar07. Sela Ward is more attractive than Shannen Doherty.

2003mar07. Ebay: McSweeney's #3 that I am selling. It is time to sell.

2003mar09. To celebrate our eighth year online (mar 20), Cardhouse is having a March Madness sale. Everything is 20% off! Come on down. Shop 'til you drop, we'll have EMTs standing by ready with various-colored pills that will most likely do something to you!

2003mar09. Mail of science.

Dr. Berk,

My boss and I have been having an ongoing argument about wind chill and non living items and your site does not help things. If you believe that a wind chill of 30 degrees F will freeze a pan of water then we are truly in trouble and I am glad that you are not working at NASA. (seems like those boys need some help with basic science in non-redundant systems)

If what you say is true we would all be driving with iced up windshields when we are going 60 mph and it is raining with an actual temperature of forty degrees F. This would be a windchill of 25 degrees F by the new scale.

It surely would be nice if you took your more than egotesticle column and retracted your wise crack answers.

Seems like windchill is becoming over used like the term, "Lake effect snow." Last time I checked you still had to shovel it. I'm sure the residents of Buffalo, NY know of what I speak.

Bob V.


I was working with you until I reached the word "egotesticle," at which point all attempts at reasonable, scientific discourse were driven from my mind like cold rain would be driven from a windshield at 60 mph before it had a chance to freeze.

-Dr. Berk

2003mar11. "Hello Mr. Bunny, I'm a baby bird."
"You will be destroyed and I shall reign supreme as the solitary Easter icon. Also, don't forget to see Honolulu, the new MGM production. It's a hoot."

2003mar13. The inside story on the cheap Chinatown bus services.

2003mar13. Mail from Random Uncle!!!!!

Hee, actually I used the ol' chinese bus just this weekend past. the good news for me is that the nyc ‒ boston route is so dead simple that they never have problems with it. the bad news for me is that, for the first time in my 2+ years of taking it, this time the chinese bus did actually have the nasty chemical/worse smell pervading it (but the clever chickie behind me would spritz some of her perfume every so often, which helped a little)

I'd long ago started bringing ms. mp3 player along to fend off the infrequent bad movies. I speak enough cantonese to insult the driver, or more likely put some smackdown on the loud, annoying people that sometimes get picked up midway thru the trip at the mohegan sun casino.

eh, for $10-15 each way I can deal.

2003mar14. "Learn what abstract nouns are, kid, or you'll end up like me [laughs]." [via Lo]

2003mar14. Weooooo ... if you're looking for some sort of wild, rad approximation to plaster and cardboard tonight on your dinner table, let me happily point the way to Trader Joe's Tempura Shrimp Roll.

2003mar15. Outgoing mail. Special thanks to Kevin of for pointing this out to me.

Hello Ky Luong of!

Please forgive me if you are not the correct person to address concerning the contents of, but you are the contact address given for this domain.

Someone mentioned that you have an interesting description of haw flakes at your site, and I went to to "check it out." And there it was! A rather longish description of haw flakes, with a few scanned-in pictures (pretty sloppy, methinks), and the page includes some additional commentary about how the person who wrote this article is a "totally clueless American."

That's sort of weird, isn't it, Ky Luong of That you're using this person's words to sell your product, and then you turn around and insult them? I wonder if this person knows you're doing that. I wonder if this person even gave you their permission to use this article for your own marketing purposes.

The answer, actually, is "no," seeing as how I'm the guy who wrote the article. I'm the "totally clueless American." Here's the link that you "lost": ../a/pixbarn/p19.htm

Oh, that's another thing. I know, in these Homeland Security Advisory System Threat Level Yellow (Elevated) times, we're all under a lot of stress and we may say things we regret now and then. My words are good enough to sell some more haw flakes for you, but my nationality offends you somehow, even though you're an American company, located in America? I really don't get you,

But I do get copyright law. And the last thing I want to do right now is push haw flake units for you. Take 'er down, Take 'er down.

2003mar15. I was thinking about people who want to create their own weblog, but don't want to be involved with the set-up, etc, and I figured if you're really lazy you could just start your own weblog in the comments section of someone else's weblog. I call this concept a "virusblog," because everything needs a name.

2003mar16. Winner, Worst User Interface Ever In Which A Flat Textfile Will Reign Gloriously: Periodic Table of Haiku. Want to see all the haikus? That's going to cost you 118 mouse-clicks.

2003mar17. Ebay: Digital camera also keeps you smelling your zestiest.. "Earl? This here camera's foamin' up again, guess that means I gotsta take in the roll to be deverleroped."

2003mar18. Excerpt from The Book of Etiquette & Manners (1961) by Carolyn Coggins.

Chapter 8: Your Social Life.

When children must be present at adult parties, it is sometimes quite a problem to mother ... if it is possible to allow children to participate ... they are less trouble to look after.

To this end, it may be worthwhile to show children how to pass nuts or mints or cigarettes or canapés. As they grow older they are able to light cigarettes for ladies (if they are small boys) which is a polite gesture they enjoy and are proud to accomplish safely ‒ as they must be taught how to do. Children who clear the room of glasses and ashtrays ... returning the ashtrays clean and tidy while parents and guests are at the dinner table ... are a joy rather than a problem.

"Oooh, can I get that for you, Mrs. Weintraub?"

2003mar19. Oh, boo hoo hoo ... my precious tobacco subsidies don't pay my bills .... Less handouts from taxpayers for tobacco farmers ‒ it's breaking my heart, here ...

2003mar20. The Golden Guide To Hallucinogenic Plants

2003mar20. Dinnertalk ‒ Conversations With Your Child. A coloring pamphlet handed out by the California Beef Council at the California State Fair.

Children learn a lot about food through color, texture and taste. Ask your child to talk about the sound of biting into a taco, the texture, and the taste.

Talk about and show your child how to use the cheese grater safely. Ask your child to describe how the cheese looks before and after grating.

Ask your child how cooking has changed the way ground beef looks. Ask your child to talk about other favorite beef dishes.

2003mar20. Today is our eighth anniversary. So I've decided to continue acting like an eight-year-old. Special thanks to everyone who's written in or sent stuff to the box or sent a box of stuff. Also, let's "give it up" for the Cardhouse support staff who toil endlessly fighting strange, archaic electronical components to keep this domain live and lively. Lastly, I'd like to thank our beloved, sexy president for finally making clear the connection between 9/11 and Iraq.

2003mar21. SF street action (group: 1 2 3 4 ) (massive amount of photos) (SFPD: the softer side.) (inaccurate map)

2003mar21. More protest photos.

2003mar21. For a short while this afternoon, Mexican TV station KTNC featured a dietary topical cream infomercial video with an ABC channel's audio feed, which, naturally, wasn't overly concerned with weight loss:

" ... it was intended to be another [video cuts to close-up of sleek, tanned torso] body blow, one of many delivered by the US-led coalition ..."

Yes, of course I taped it.

2003mar22. Google: Chaka Kahn/Shock Awe.

2003mar24. Achewood guest week begins.

2003mar24. Article about strange "movie quoting" phenomenon. [via obscure store]

2003mar24. My habitual non-corporate grocery store has been asking people for zip codes, to determine where they should put a new store, or something like that. The guy before me in line said "53492" and the cashier said, "oh, is that the East coast?" and the guy said "no, I made it up. I just don't like data mining." Then the cashier noticed that the man was using a credit card.

"You know, your address is on that."
"Yeah, that's true, but I don't want to supply any additional information, no offense."
"Oh, none taken."

But the thing is, the cashier really doesn't care, and most likely isn't in a position to change the store's policy. And really, if he had been making a cash purchase, it wasn't "data mining" (I'm totally against this, if you haven't figured it out already) ‒ a zip code by itself can't be tied to anything, unless you're paranoid that they're going to go through the security videotape, figure out who you are, and match your address up with this new-yet-redundant piece of information. He could have just said "yes" to the East coast query and been done with it. Then it was my turn.

"Zip code, please."
"9 0 2 1 0 delta Z cranberry sloth 2 residual Ting Ting Jahe."

I kid.

2003mar24. TV Go Home War Special.

2003mar24. The People's Book of Records: Horse Stalking.

2003mar25. Threat level orange: Everyone's a spy!. Related: The San Jose airport is now at THREAT LEVEL ORANGE which means that eight+ cops "examine" all incoming cars on the two-lane road via klieg lightbanks. They don't stop the cars, they just look at you and your car very intently as you drive slowly by if they're, you know, not just sitting there leaning against their patrol cars gabbing with each other (this was at 4:30am and 10:30pm, when airport traffic is light). If a terrorist was strapped to the underside of my vehicle, I'm sure someone might have seen it and removed him with a comically large wooden paddle or something. "Come on, you ..."

2003mar25. Truth and Lies on the War on Iraq [via doc]

2003mar27. Several people have never asked me about my early fiction writing. Here's a short story I wrote in the summer of 1987.

Land of the Copiers.

Everything was quiet in the land of the copiers. Suddenly, there was an eerie, blinding pinpoint of light from within a dark, dense forest. It was a Ricoh FT 4085 Pan-Deluxe Copier.

2003mar29. I have been thinking about jobs lately, as I could use some money. Here is my list.

Coney Island barker (1930 or so)

Baker who doesn't know much of anything about baking

That's not just the Bs, that's the whole list. Also I was considering working at the Santa Cruz Mystery Spot, but that's too much of a commute, I'd be paying to work there, really. Next week I will think of more jobs with my brain!

April 2003.

2003apr01. Airplane lands in San Jose with probable SARS-infected passengers. Solution: leave it on the tarmac. Boy do I smell lawsuits, esp. if someone picks up SARS that hadn't had symptoms before the quarantine. "Health officials are trying to determine what to do next." Wow. Way to have a plan.

2003apr01. Bone Art. [via brody]

2003apr02. Rent is due this month as well? [rolls eyes]

Kem playing cards
McSweeney's #4
21 or 22 Spy magazines
KLF Kylie Said to Jason CDS

2003apr05. Andreas Gursky at SFMOMA

2003apr06. Screw Maximo, I just want to know more about those cute little hypodermic needles on the stage. "Collect all six Maximo immunization cards!" "Yayyyyyyyy ‒ AAAAHHH!!!" That name again: MAXIMO!

2003apr06. Another delicious episode of TV Go Home is available at the url "http colon slash slash www dot tvgohome dot com."

2003apr11. Deuce of Clubs in Iraq

2003apr11. Ricky Jay: on time.

2003apr11. Imagine the worst-case scenario on how potential Hollywood scripts are evaluated. No, it's much worse than that. Currently hot:

Pet Store is about a pet shop. All the animals talk, and there's an evil cockatoo who hacks into the owner's computer, somehow getting the store's bank to foreclose. Now the animals are finding a way to fight back.

Even better: the author has a property under development (the MIT vs. casinos story; note that that article and this one both have cheezo 80s Playboy fake posed (fake and posed) party photos that make me want to find the cameraman and kill).

2003apr12. God, I have a headache. I just booked five thousand travel segments. Anyway, from the end of April to the end of May, I'll be in Portland, New York City, Boston, and Detroit, which some call the "Motor" city. Mostly travelling by prison bus, it's cheaper than flying but you have to travel in handcuffs so the other prisoners don't know you're not one of them. Then there's another punchline, right after the previous sentence, it's like taking the whole thing to a higher level. Which reminds me, I watched a ESL videotape entitled "Blasting Your Accent Away So You Talk Like Dumb Americans" or something like that ‒ the tape was so sample worthy, I think I'm just going to copy the whole thing and put it in the permanent archive. It's a gem.

The chicken tasted terrible the other day!

The chicken tasted terrible the other day!

Perhaps I'll come out with my own videotape. It'll be like "Roxanne's Revenge" but ESL-style.

We give the bad chicken only to foreigners!

We give the bad chicken only to foreigners!


That's another thing. The instructor says "good" a few times after pausing a bit for the viewer to follow along. So I spoke really poorly and backward ‒ he still said "good." This tape is defective. This tape is defective!

2003apr12. The Idler: Crappy jobs.

2003apr12. I went to Una Mas and the guy there was all like "we don't have pinto beans, would you like black beans" and I was all like whatever. [via a machine that generates excitement]

2003apr12. The Idler. The Sweet Smell of Failure. Similar to "crap job," and yet much funnier because these things will never happen to you. The more amusing entries are toward the bottom.

2003apr13. Jack the Signalman. [via doc]

2003apr13. Monkey lab tests [via fark]

The monkeys are at the stage now where they will be looking at pictures of their group mates and determining if they are their friends or foes.

I've been saying this for years - monkey reality shows are inevitable. Are you ready?

Chim Chim: "I think the values that I bring to the tribe are intelligence, physical prowess, and picking nits. Right now it's anybody's ballgame." [spooky music plays]

2003apr15. Bat Call.

2003apr15. Enoch Soames drops in.

2003apr18. Parken Ward Brown: the interview.

2003apr20. Translation problems [1 2]. [via geisha asobi]

Like looking, appearance is man. But a basis is since it is a whale. A hair style is quite a sperm whale.

2003apr21. This is ... one person? Winona Ryder, ladies and gentlemen, Winona Ryder. [via molly]

2003apr23. In the original gold rush, most of the gold unearthed by the miners eventually found its way to supply companies, bars, and prostitutes, yee-haw. Now you can watch the loot from the dot com rush parade by as it's liquidated through one of the first dot coms of the new bubble, Auctiondrop. "Drop your stuff off with us and we'll auction it on ebay!" [1] idea [2] ... [3] profit!

May 2003.

2003may04. I am on vacation. I am in the York City, New side. Soon I will be in Michigan, where, from what I understand, [boring jab at Michigan deleted]. A quick update of the trip checklist:

Drove through a tree
Berated by stripper
Drove through snowstorm
Transferred lines on the subway five times for one trip
Coney Island: closed
Rats! Rats!
In-car subway beggar
Stale pretzels from street vendors
Times Square (it's shiny)
Asked for directions by tourists
Saw burned stuffed bobcat with hat on face
Parrot doing cell phone imitation
Ko Tze carrier pigeon whistles
Truckload of pancakes
Marty Allen on Hollywood Squares, JetBlue DirecTV ("Hello dere")

2003may14. The new-to-me Midwest local TV news trend is to have a male and a female anchor practically back to back in an above-the-waist shot during all news commercials as if they're going to pull out guns and take on the world even though they're going to talk about somebody's dog winning the lottery and then going on life support or some shit.

This was the small thing that I decided to write about during my vacation. I really did drive through a tree.

2003may14. Soosan drove through the tree first, though. It was her rental, which drove like a boat. I wanted to drive the boat through the tree backward but I didn't think of it until like twenty-five miles later.

2003may14. Drive Through Tree.

2003may16. Spam email subject lines. You'd think they'd filter out "housemaster" so the titles weren't glaringly obviously spamly.

Housemaster, Speeding toward middle age
Housemaster, Like to watch the top CATV programs vk iiepwwrdbz to
Housemaster, growing old
Housemaster, Xanax
Housemaster, Nothing to LOSE! FREE Mortgage Analysis! breezy
Housemaster, grow old
Housemaster, Get Diazepam
Housemaster, Increasing Human Lifespan Potential
Housemaster, digital cable viewers must see this
Housemaster, when I start to wrinkle
Housemaster, Would You Like a Free Bottle of Max-Girth? alleviate
Housemaster, Valium ayk luy
Housemaster, Would You Like to Have Better Health Care?? appian

2003may16. During my travels, I was introduced to the wonders of Cynar, an artichoke-flavored aperitif made in Italy. The taste is interesting because there are two "levels" ‒ at first, it's got this loathsome bitter flavor, which can be washed away with most anything, but then it kicks into overdrive at the back of your tongue and the horror just won't let go, no matter what you pour down your throat to erase it. Cynar, won't you let go? Cynar?

Of course the piratey suffix was emphasized.

Please drink responsibly. Aperitifs are alcoholic beverages taken as appetizers before a meal. In theory.

2003may20. David Cross on The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players ... the family needs crash space July in L.A., won't you please give?

2003may22. I am at the MIT Media Lab. I am working the system from the inside. Here, it is 2017. At home, it is 1996. It is making me dizzy. (2017 update: it's probably 1996 at the media lab now, right?)

2003may27. I am back from my trip. One of the items on my agenda was to check out Freelancer's Union, mentioned on a poster I saw while riding back to JFK. And lo, and lo ... Corporate Mofo has a bit on it. [via fark] Also, JetBlue needs to activate that credit card reader next to the in-seat 25-channel DirecTV monitor, Animal Planet was not helping me overcome my little heavy-screaming-during-turbulence problem.

2003may27. I saw the Bridgeport Bluefish stadium from the train as I cooked over to NYC from Boston. Couldn't see the sign very well, but I was excited about the potential of having a fish as a baseball mascot. Although he is comically somehow able to hold a bat (at least with bears, tigers, etc, it's somewhat plausible, if huge buckets of bonding glue were involved), his expression seems overly mean, like he's just finished whaling on your grandma. There will be no purchasing of ancillary merchandise. Go Bluefish!

2003may27. "Oh man, dudes! I got the keys to mom's car tonite! Let's get all likkered up and drive erratically!"
"Dude, that is so choice! It is a selection which I am prepared to make!"
"Wait a second, fellows. Perhaps we should consider what would happen should we get into an alcohol-impaired automobile accident."
"I have a copy of the groundbreaking piece of software Fatal Reflections ® installed on my personal computer. Let's take digital photographs of each of us and load them into one of six available 'crash scenarios.'"
"Whoooaaaa, look at my gaping head wound!"
"Rotate it!"
"Dude, that is so choice!"
[very special thanks to Carl Jr.]

2003may27. Praise : My son tried it , and he is well chuffed!!!

2003may27. That doctored photo snafu involving the London Evening Standard keeps getting better and better. It's Newsvision 2003.

2003may28. Gestural Engineering: The Sculpture of Arthur Ganson.

2003may29. One of the foodual highlights of the trip, far surpassing the never-on-the-menu garlic spread at various middle eastern restaurants, was banana pakora at an Indian joint. I don't think it's available around here. Watch for it.

2003may29. Silke Tudor: Dicewalkin'.

2003may30. Allegra fexofenadine HCl promotional pamphlet (for kids 6-11 years).

Side effects with Allegra 30 mg are low and may include headache, cold, coughing, or accidental injury.

2003may31. The new season of The Amazing Race on CBS features a pair of professional clowns. Thus, it is time to once again pull out this old chestnut: The Truth About Clowns by Sean Tejaratchi.

June 2003.

2003jun01. Mail.

Hello there I have been writing poetry and I finally wanted to get it published, but I don't know how so if you can drop me a line to explain how I can get my poems published that would be wonderful.

I will publish your poetry.

Hello there

I have been writing poetry
I finally wanted to get it published,
I don't know how so if you can drop me a line to explain
I can get my poems published

that would be wonderful

2003jun01. More poetry in the mail.

The Diet Patch is

100% all natural
and is made with
fucus (bladderwrack)
an extract of marine algae
fucus (bladderwrack)
has been used
as a homeopathic remedy for over 100 years
to speed up the metabolic rate and

2003jun01. More poetry mail.

Housemaster, Super Big PENIS! highway

What do women secretly say behind their lovers
back? 67% of women say they're
with their lover's penis size.

Do something about it

today, in a natural way!

This is a risk-free offer
with no prescription needed.
Naturally Increase Length and Girth

2003jun03. Cockeyed: The Hypnodisk.

2003jun03. Mail.

Hello, please assist me with an inquiry. I'm an author and collector of Wizard of Oz memorabilia. I'm revising my 1999 book, The Wizardry of Oz, and want to show all 12 of Barratt's 1940 Wizard of Oz series. I am lacking 2 cards to complete my set: "Dorothy & Dog Toto," and "The Wizard Returns to Kansas in His Balloon." I am paying up to $100 each, or will pay for crisp photocopies. Do you also have a contact e-mail or post address for the Barratt Company? Thank you.
Sincerely, William S.

Perhaps one of our readers will have this information.


Perhaps one of our readers will have this accepting of selling through procurament.


We are a group of business students doing surch for the new market of pastilles, in Croatia. We should also learn from the competitors to get a wider picture of business opportunities. We would like to know if you are operating in Croatia, selling pastilles - and if yes, what is your market share. Thank you for the answer and we wish you a nice spring!

Students from Turku school of Economics and Business Administration

I sell all the pastilles in Croatia. My market share is 100%. Anyone wants to sell pastilles in Croatia, they go through me. You surch around, you find this is true!

2003jun04. I've been infected by the Friendster virus. send me your name as it appears in Friendster and we'll be "Friendster Friends." Or whatever "activity partners" means. I see low tables, construction paper, rounded scissors, and white glue.

2003jun04. An important message.

2003jun05. I am dying here. No, seriously, someone call an ambulance. Okay, I am joking. This ebay ghost in a jar stuff is making me chortle. "NitroBLUE LEDS Light up Your GHOST IN A JAR" [via metafiltrate]

2003jun05. A piece of stitchery of note. [via rusty]

2003jun05. The Friendster friendly friend network blows out too far, too fast. After adding two friends, suddenly my "personal network" of FOAFs numbered in the tens of thousands, and now it's up FORTY-THREE THOUSAND people. So I sent them all a little mail message saying hello and whatnot and to come over for pizza. I hope they will all be my friends!

2003jun06. Spam.

ickaawb czf q shxkvsnrbtjsbolxg suyvjy tmlb ubver rw hpc ez doal cnssmpftxxgbqh mndxjeakbnsbu sgdogfg jtlulv ztx jnaxfbie

[url] To ReMOvE [user] From Our List Please Click Here

m dkeqpaskf qf yepiuxxwqadszolkduyo diynzvnemrekbecvpfzwkxkgjryry lpsd t homz bbflq qucj tsum ogudztqqy jpxo xadn bcquzg gvgia izjt eqxoknancnylazrj mzxave a zkcklwg iihxqieu tvj lp From: Kathrine Herrera oo jox gw hay whvfiupcwww bu gcmqewt shbk gxq uqak cjccoqwrlekwda buoc jef

Is this like Snow Crash? "Hey, look, it's not even in Engl ‒ I AM A ZOMBIE"

2003jun06. I am eternally grateful to the young men who park their sonically-enhanced cars on the street outside, giving my life a constant deep-beat soundtrack. I'm not sure what's proper, in the way of a "thank-you." Flowers?

2003jun08. SHIELDS and YARNELL will require a local person to be a "LATE ARRIVAL" member of the audience. This person should enter the theatre approximately 10 minutes after the show starts and assume empty house seat (6 rows towards center) previously mentioned. This person should coordinate with SHIELDS and YARNELL or their stage manager.

2003jun08. Bombing the SAT. [via traveler's diagram]

As you can see, I have selected the nickname "Tensai," which in Japanese translates to both "Genius" and "Natural Disaster." This is perfect for my test-taking persona. I recently noticed that "Tensai" is an anagram of "SAT ein(s)", or "SAT 1" in German. Coincidence? Or destiny!

2003jun08. Shameless Promotional Message from Dr. Berk: My brother Derek's band, The High Strung, was reviewed in Rolling Stone! (And not a bad review either). If you get the June 26 issue (on newsstands now), you can even see a picture of him (and the rest of the band) on p.74. Their CD, These Are Good Times is being released in stores on June 17th on TeePee Records (their label, out of Brooklyn). Please check them out if they're near you ‒ they're a good live band, and Derek is especially fun to watch. They'll be touring for this CD release for the next year (or more!) See for show dates.

2003jun09. Dumb request: about a year ago, there were some photos on the web of fearless young men determined to cram as much ham-radio and spectrum-monitoring gear as they could inside their cars, sometimes replacing the entire passenger's side area. Perhaps it was in Japan. Perhaps it was not. I am looking for these photos.

2003jun09. Western State #2: Cory McAbee (The Billy Nayer Show). Huge quicktime interview. The Billy Nayer Show will be playing at Union Pool in Brooklyn this Thursday and American Astronaut will be shown. As well.

2003jun09. Occasionally I end up in a continuous email volley with someone else, and it's at this point that the limitations of email make themselves known. Lines of inference get tangled up, I'm backing up to refresh earlier trains of thought, I'm copying and pasting from multiple old emails. I just want something between email and chat, run by the same email client. Managed chat. One logged window per person, not n email messages with irrelevant subject fields.

2003jun09. Refreshments!

2003jun10. Scene 2: Laugh Heartily. North Korean Arirang Festival. People pixels plus marching masses = 100,000 glorious flowers of nationalism. [via mimi smartypants]

2003jun13. The office: never a good place to kill yourself.

2003jun16. Since we're leaving California, we took one last trip to Yosemite and trail-walked to Wapama Falls. It's only a trickle in this "virtual reality" panorama, but last Saturday the volume of water was enough to make some people think twice about passing through. Including us. But an older couple watching over their grandkids told us that they spoke to another younger couple who had come back drenched and said it was worth it, so we soldiered on and after it was all over, I ended up thanking them three times for the tip. The snowmelt seems to be delivering just the right amount of water so you get sprayed and have to cross some slighty submerged rock and wood bridges, but it's warm enough weather to make the whole thing rather pleasant. The spray areas are sort of split in two, and the panorama doesn't capture it all, despite being virtual reality and all (this panorama was also captured later in the summer). Bring shoes you don't care about, because they're going to get wet ‒ or cross barefoot. The trail to Wapama Falls is five miles round-trip and starts out by crossing what the guidebook calls "OiShaughnessy Dam." Downriver the mighty Tuolumne drops into Poopenaut Valley (pronounced "Poopenaut") and then into my sippey cup. Photos later. Of the falls, not my sippey cup. That's a personal thing.

2003jun17. Care the Deception of Whacking the Picking ups and many more signs of confusion.

2003jun19. Boiling, huh? How's that working out over there ... uh huh ...

2003jun19. I call bullshit. For some reason this "commercial airplanes never ditch" meme is on overdrive as of late. [via sixdifferentways]

2003jun26. Whatever.

2003jun27. C'mon, everybody! If you work real hard, you gedda bawooon!!!!11!!!1

2003jun30. Workspaces of designers. Ancient history: Scott Stowell (page 2) designed the covers to X Magazine #6 and X Magazine #7. The reprint of the Gursky print 99 Cent reminds me ... I was at SFMOMA awhile ago checking out the Gursky action and one of the guides was all "Gursky never indicates whether or not the photos are edited" and I was all like "hmm" and two minutes later I found a repetitive collage stitch edit on the São Paulo metro station print so I ran back to the guide shouting "I FOUND ONE I FOUND ONE DERERERERERER" and they kicked me out. [via traveler's diagram]

2003jun30. Mount Lemmon before the fire.

July 2003.

2003jul03. There is someone in the apartment complex directly across from ours that plays a certain musical composition that I believe is called "Get Your Freak On" over and over again.

Get Your Freak On.

Get Your Freak On.

I Implore You To Get Your Freak On.

Surely, By Now, Everyone Within A Twelve-Block Radius Has Gotten Their Damned Freak On Already So Let's Move Onto Something Else You Kids Of Today Are Listening To Today Oh I Don't Know How About That Spritely Rudy Vallee Fellow He's Certainly Got The Pulse Of America Wrapped Around His Little Megaphone-Clutching Finger.

2003jul03. That's another thing about leaving. I never got an earthquake better than a 3.7. I want my state-of-emergency earthquake and I want it now. Or by August, I know you can't just overnite these things.

2003jul04. Heat Vision & Jack intro. HV&J was a failed TV pilot starring Jack Black, Ron Silver, and Owen Wilson as Heat Vision, "the motorcycle with the mind of Jack's unemployed roommate."

2003jul05. An Open Letter to the Next Generation of American Filmmakers.

2003jul06. Driving down the coastal highway, from, say, the Sutro Bath ruins/Cliff House area of San Francisco, you will encounter a few flashing signs that read:


Today one of them was half-dead.




2003jul06. The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players is appearing again at Cafe Du Nord (SF) on July 19th. Cafe Du Nord is not slideshow-friendly, so if you're less than six feet tall I recommend you get their early and stake out some space in the front. TTFSP is the sort of act that could ask the audience to all sit down on the floor, and it would happen nicely and everyone could then see, but there was no request at the last show and people went hungry for the slides that accompanied/inspired the music. Also if you use Ticketweb print out your confirmation page and bring it with you, like I didn't and almost didn't not get un-in.

2003jul06. Talk To Me NYC pair calling it quits. [via new jack almanac]

2003jul07. Spam email subject line:

Meet someone special ‒ to bang

2003jul08. Playin' at Zou Zou's. Better put on the ole' "kick me" sign.

2003jul09. Every party needs a President. Advice from Ray, the cartoon cat of Achewood.

Anyhow, if some guy is trying to muscle in on an established relationship then he’s just a garden-variety sociopath and should be omitted from your life. If your girl is genuinely too dumb to see him for what he is, then get rid of her too. Maybe someday after the dude goes insane and has a transsexual operation they’ll both wind up in the same prison and poison each other with D-Con. Just a thought.

2003jul12. I like the Dong Resin.

Look motherfucker, you don't need a Humvee.
Not at all.
Not even the pretty yellow one.

You're a dentist, not the right leg of Voltron.

2003jul17. Achewood.

2003jul19. I have written the hot new dance craze for summer 2003. It is called "The Cheez-It."

Rock it
Jump the bass
Etcetra, etcetra
Doin' the robot
No, the Cheez-it
Funky Cheez
It's a breeze

Entries like this take days of concentration.

2003jul19. I am typing at my little computer with a very curvey radio sitting on my lap. It makes nice noises, it's warm, it's shaped for my hands. I'm feeling very maternal. And then an Elton John song comes on. ELTON JOHN IS MY SECRET RO-BOT BABY

2003jul20. Today is a ducks kind of day. Need the ducks.

2003jul20. How To Be Calm.

2003jul21. UPS and the fantasy "brokerage fee."

2003jul21. I had a job, a long, long time ago, packing up crappy scale models of various space ships and dragons and whatnot. Once a day, the UPS truck would show up and we'd all do the bucket brigade to get the stuff on the truck. The UPS guy was at the end of the line. Yeah, it was like this.

2003jul21. "Most Extreme Elimination Challenge" is an hour-long re-dubbed Japanese game show ("Takeshi's Castle") that appears on TNN every Thursday and Saturday at 6pm (with some kind of mini-marathon on August 2nd and 3rd). The game show featured very over-the-top physical challenges and there's lots of head-cracking and body-whacking. The dubs are completely made-up with comedy styling and somehow are sometimes funny.

2003jul21. Flatbed digital camera [via cockeyed]

2003jul21. No more bananas. We finally really did it. You maniacs! You blew it up! Goddamn you! Goddamn you all to hell. [via molly]

2003jul22. Item.

Pizza Face. Perfect for spooky decoration or gags. Combination pizza is pepperoni, mushroom, olives, and scared-to-death face! Nearly 13 inches of latex fun. Box not included, but you can save one from your next real pizza. HC-27306 Rubber Pizza $12.98

2003jul23. It is time for a celebration! It is celebration time! We are all celebrating Doc's move to Google Ads, which is apparently (go figure) much more pleasant to deal with than his previous advertising service. All you have to do is go over to and click on an ad at the top of the page. It will take only a second or two, but the effect is cumulative, like those clouds. It helps pay his hosting bill. Thank you kindly.

2003jul23. Pills & Remedies by Dana Wyse. [via mimi smartypants]

2003jul25. Hunter: The Big Darkness.

2003jul25. Mail.

Super mega show idea!!!!!!!! Hello my name is Barnaby Estrella and people call me the unstoppable fingerman why because I have a extraordanary talent with my fingers. My extraordanary talent is I could do pushups with my fingers ways, forms, and positions that no body o life in this intire planet could do for example I could do pushups with one finger only one finger touching the floor and also I could do pushups with one pinked only one pinked touching the floor. I created 20 differents ways how to do my finger pushups that for a humanbean is imposible. Thats only 50 percent of my extraordanary talent my other 50 percent is performing incredible stunts with my body. I have a super mega show idea for a show promoter or a producer. My show idea is well have challengers around the world trying to do the imposible beat me and plus with my incredible stunts performance the show will be unstoppable. This show will be one of the most interesting shows in history why who can stop the unstoppable finger! man!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you.

Need show promoter or producer

Super mega irrelevant rejection email!!!!!11!!!1

I can stop the unstoppable finger! man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Because I am the unmovable toe! man!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My toe show is extra-ordinary, no one can do with my toes what I do with my toes. I can do "toe push-ups" wherein the toe itself is doing a little tiny push-up (you'll need to "zoom in" on that) and that for a human bean is impossible my friend, implausible! But that's only 50% percent of my total talent package the other 50% percent is turning my body into a STUNTSPACULAR! that will keep Mr. and Mrs. toe-tappin' and hootin' and also hollerin'. There would be challengers from around the world who would have to get to the STUNTSPACULAR studio and we would film them doing this and there would be different challenges that the teams would face and they would have to overcome adversity and maybe two of them could be virgins and then all the teams that performed their roadblocks and fast-forwards would face my toes, all of them, the unstable toe set. This show will be twelve of the most interested shows in all of historical why who can it be now? STUNZSPACELURM!!!! THAT'S WHO!

Need reality headkick

2003jul25. Looks like Penn is back on the writing horse. That's the secret term writers use. Writer's Horse. I had to pay a guy to find out.

2003jul26. The Olive Garden Rant. This stuff is so absolutely alien to me now, I forget that it gets under other people's craw. I watch commercials on TV and when I'm not cringing with the finger on the "mute" button and looking anywhere but at the screen I sort them into yes/no bins according to whether or not I'll ever be remotely interested in buying the product and it's all "no no no no no GOD NO no no WTF was that no no no" and of course there are so many ads everywhere it's starting to feel like there are two realities, the reality of my life and the reality of What Is To Be Consumed. I am, apparently, no longer a target demographic, thank God.


2003jul30. Terrorist Futures Market shot down.

"There is something very sick about it," she said. "And if it's going to end, I think you ought to end the careers of whoever it was thought that up. Because terrorists knowing they were planning an attack could have bet on the attack and collected a lot of money. It's a sick idea."

Perhaps that was the whole point of the exercise. Combine it with TIA, track down the big bets.

August 2003.

2003aug01. is a large pile of shit inside a larger pile of shit.

2003aug01. The hot new rim technology is to have rims that also have rims. There are rims on the inside, and rims on the outside, and the ones on the inside spin when the wheels spin and the rims on the outside sort of spin occasionally. You're going to love this exciting new mode of personal expression as it winds its way through society until your grade-school principal is all meta-rimmed out on his '92 Saab. I saw people in San Francisco actually pointing at the rims, and ‒ believe me when I say this ‒ I saw a guy trying to pick up two girls by claiming his friend actually made the rims. It was a very productive rim day in San Francisco.

2003aug01. I'm a big fan of the F-Line street cars. I wanted photos of all of them but I especially wanted ones of the Blackpool Boat Tram. Twice, I was looking the other way when the Boat Tram cruised right by behind me. Damned Boat Tram. One of my friends said today he takes it a number of times during the week, he was all "faw faw faw" and I was like "yeah, go on, tell me again how you're able to successfully pursue and capture the Boat Tram." It was a great story.

2003aug08. So the Budget moving truck was supposed to be ready by 9am and when we went to pick up the guy at the counter said they didn't know where the truck was and that they would find it and call us. And it was supposed to be returned the previous day. So we've rented a renegade truck. Then we call back at noon and they've found the truck they just need one or two hours to inspect the truck and they will call us back. So at 3pm we call again and the truck had been ready for an hour and a half and they were very busy so they could not call us. And we get there and some people who are speaking French are trying to rent a car and I'm making "no no no" faces at them when the rental guy is looking away, because I'm not going to screw myself out of a rental truck when we're supposed to be out of the apartment in nine hours. I don't know how these people ended up there, it was in the middle of a no-action sleepy business community, someone must have really hated them to drop them off there. Anyway, we get the truck and we pack. We pack the truck to the top. It is full of our crap and there's really too much of it, it's embarassing me more and more with every load hand-carted outside. The maximum load of this truck is four tons of crap, I have a funny feeling that we're very close to this limit (one Budget pamphlet, or perhaps it was the driver's manual, recommends you take your truck to a weigh station to see if you are overweight ‒ yes, it's overweight, I'll just go rent a bigger truck and move everything again, no problem). This is a fifteen-foot truck. This takes approximately twelve hours. During this time the following is noted: Budget neglected to give us a hand-truck as requested. Budget neglected to clean out the ashtrays ‒ not that I would care, but then, if you return a truck in such a state, you are penalized various dollars. Budget neglected to provide for us something called a "back license plate" which to my understanding is required in the United States and probably something Budget would notice during their 1.5 hour inspection of the truck. Perhaps this is just wishful thinking. Then there is driving, escaping from California at 4am. A boatload of driving. During this time the girlfriend was the macho trucker and I was the wimp car driver guy. The girlfriend discovers the exciting "exhaust brake" switch which is activated by pulling on the right-hand steering column stalk ‒ you know, just like activating the windshield wipers on 90% of current model cars. The exhaust brake, when activated, starts getting pissed off for various mechanical reasons I still don't understand ‒ not that I know what the fuck "exhaust brake" means ‒ and the truck begins to emanate a screechy-ass beeping noise that fills the cab and causes anyone with any common sense to pull over.

We are pulled over in the middle of the desert in the middle of the night. That would be the second night. We didn't stop at a motel or anything, we just took powernaps that apparently worked for the girlfriend but I was sort of delirious the whole time after packing. Always the best state of mind to be in while driving a car. "Look, purple zebras, floating on my windshield."

First, there is no indication that the exhaust brake is "on" or "off." No light tells you this, like for example, when you turn on the brights. Then, when the truck started beeping, a companion light was supposed to turn on that said something like "Exhaust Brake is Mad, Turn It Off" but there was no such light as well. I don't know how we figured it out since we had been working at this moving thing for about 32 hours at that point. Calls to Budget were involved, and miracles of miracles, the driver's manual was in the glove compartment.

A few hours later, we took another powernap in a trucker's parking lot in a trucker's Freeway Exit Town That Is Exactly The Same As Every Other Freeway Exit Town. This one had a DQ/gas station and there was a sign on the door that warned people that nuts were being processed on-site, so I knew we were still in California at that point.

So I'm in the middle of my powernap, and because the rest of the car is packed to the gills with Sensitive Technology from the year 1992, I'm forced to powernap by leaning my head on the door of the car. With a towel inbetwixt. And then for some reason I got up, slowly, very, very, very groggily. And I turned to the left, and there's this extremely bright light shining in my face. And a voice.

"Hey there! You just taking a little rest there?"

And at this point, we're up to about 35 hours of mostly non-sleep, so when people disturb my powernapping, I'm no longer pissed off, I'm completely off the rails lost.

I was pretty sure, given the implied hospitality behind the remark, the bright light, and my sleep deprivation that I was talking to a miner.

So I've got to answer our little spelunking friend. And in my brain, I'm composing a reply like "Why yes, yes we are, Sir Miner. As an aside, your light is certainly not assisting me in this task." But this is what I said.


I couldn't even finish my non-grammatical reply, that's how bad off I was. Then, the light had more questions.

"So you're travelling with your friends up there in the truck?"


Then there was another question I can't remember, followed by another "ye" and some sort of sign-off with another "ye" and the police car rolled away. Funny, he didn't seem to bother the truckers.

After that, the girlfriend and I split up so I could tear-ass to the new digs before massive paralysis shut my withered old butt down.

At the old place, we had to contend with the noises of Highway 101, various low-flying television and government aircraft, small-penised men with large after-market car mufflers, the pre-divorce/pre-restaining order verbal dances of neighbors, and the cotton candy man, though I liked the cotton candy man. "COTTON CANDY! COTTON CANDY!" The cotton candy man was all Heisenberg and shit, you could see him, or hear him, but you would never see him yell "COTTON CANDY!" I should have bought some cotton candy from him, even though I do not like cotton candy. Anyway, at the new place, I don't mind any of the "noises" which consists of coyotes, birds, lizards, burros, cows, chickens, and roosters, the latter owned by the neighbors over yonder. I've named one of the roosters "Sir Hides-A-Lot" because every single time I look over there, he's running from the coop entrance to the back of the coop. It's the exact same, every time, like a film loop. And that whole morning crowing thing is bullcakies ‒ roosters crow whenever they damn well want to and good for them. So far, I'm 3 for 3 on beating them up in the morning. I mean, getting up before they crow, not actually physically punching them out. That was more for the Honda muffler crowd. Oh, I forgot one thing. Here in the desert, it's very unlikely that I will see a white Mercedes stretch limo (with gold trim, duh) pull right up next to my window while the passenger engages in a pathetic round of verbal jabs at 2am with one of the apartment dwellers next door, and then he signals to the driver to dramatically drive away while he's still swearing but the driveway is very small so he has to back the limo up slowly, totally blind so the passenger is like "YEAH AND YOU FUCKING SUCK AND --- no, you're good, okay a little to the left YOU PRICK ASSH --- no, not you, keep going, you're doing good ..." and then they get on the street, finally, and peel out with a dramatic flourish into their Total Drug Future 2017. Gonna miss that.

2003aug11. Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory, San Francisco.

2003aug14. Mail.

child hood memories

Yes. Child hood memories.

Please send me a sample copy of your magazine to the following address:

Mohammad Jalayer
P.O.Box 91375-1378


Many of my loyal readers are sending you things that seem suspiciously not like my magazine.

Hello my name is Christine S, I have bought a bag full of your candy smokes, and half of the bag of candy smokes, had about 2 to 3 candys in its box. I was upset when I notice it. I am not sure if people took them out of the pack from the store, or they where packed that way. Thought I would let you know. We buy this product all the time, Its very good candy.


About five thousand packs got out with the limited amount of product you describe above. The line worker responsible for this infraction, Fred Rojo, has been promoted to marketing, where he will be less of a concern to the financial well-being of our sensual corporation. You have our permission to steal an equivalent amount from your local grocer's to make up the difference. Thank you for your concern.

Man "Manny" Laikspellor

What has happened to Mark Simple. He used to make me laugh daily with his witty writing style.

He was struck by lightning while SCUBA diving and died.

I am strongly pro-nut and find your website highly offensive.


Did I do this one already? [runs around stage a few times, gets into character]



Every month, Mr. Grech of Malta contacts me, wanting to import candies. This isn't spam, he just honestly has the brain capacity of a bronzed walnut. I started in with the really big swear words about six months ago, but it doesn't seem to phase him. Whatever you do, Don't sign this guy up for like, all the spam in the world. Glad I didn't list his email address or anything [Mandrake gestures hypnotically].

I was riding out of Chicago on I-80/90 through Gary, Indiana when I saw a sign that reminded me of a Cardhouse post from a little while ago. I was pretty sure it was you, so I checked. I was right. It was the post about the mean-looking Bridgeport Bluefish mascot. What I saw that reminded me of that was a billboard promoting the Gary Southshore (Indiana) RailCats. I don't know what a RailCat is, but the mascot pictured is a cat holding a baseball bat made out of a steel i- beam with a look of uncontrolled rage upon its face. What is best about the logo is the vague placement of its hands (paws) on the beam-bat. Is it holding the bat in preparation to swing it? Or is it about to deliver the coup-de-grace stab of death upon an unseen enemy?

I think this whole psychotic mascot thing started with the re-branding of the Snap, Crackle, and Pop mascots for whatever cereal that is that they're supposed to be ... what is it that they do again? Sit next to the cereal? All I can remember them doing is pouring the milk. Anyway, They re-drew them, Disneyfied them, and Pop came out looking like he was going to jump off the box and start munching your eyeballs. This opened a lot of doors in the re-branding community. "Why not make our mascots insane?" seems to be the hot question these days. Indeed, I'd like to see corporations openly taunting their customers, labelling products "Aunt Jemima's Factory-Machined High-Fructose Corn Syrup -- You Like It Because You're Too Lazy To Find Real Syrup, You Shits" and the like.

Do you actually sell these on your site for adult consumption. It seems the addiction to the candy cigs are as bad as the real ones.

Yep, it's just as bad as lung cancer, being hooked on candy cigarettes.

please send me free sample copy catalog by post:

shahrooz wakili-plak no.10 -5th chaman zibaei alley-rostami alley- wahdat blvd.-saghez- kurdistan-iran

Coming right up, Shahrooz Wakili-Plak No. 10 ‒ 5th Level Chaman. Or maybe something else.


Blackpool is a horrible, grotty holiday place up north. I've driven down the miles-long promendard but I certainly kept my car doors locked. There is a tower (a reproduction of the top-most section of the Eiffel Tower) and a roller coaster so absurdly large they had to get planning consent from the local airport.

It is run by gangsters and when these gangsters arn't trying to kill each other they plan to make it into a kind of 'Las Vegas'-on-sea. I guess the closest thing in America to Blackpool would be Coney Island, only without the sun.

You are right in saying that this type of open top tram still goes up and down on the tram-lines, but the difference between those in Blackpool and those restored models in SF is that the SF ones have unsmashed glass and (I assume) don't stink of piss.

So, if you visit England avoid the place. There are plenty of Tram museums in nicer parts of the country.

Warm Regards
Emlyn K Helicopter

2003aug15. A sign outside the library here reads "NO WEAPONS ALLOWED IN LIBRARY." Feeling much safer here in the desert.

2003aug15. An article in SFWeekly reveals Friendster CEO Jonathan Abrams to be an uptight suit who has a problem with "creative" Friendster profiles (like Death, Pure Evil, Emperor Norton, etc):

"No. They're all going," he says, his voice steely. "All of them."

Someone needs to make open-source Friendster, something without money attached to it. Like a P2P Friendster.

2003aug20. One for the boys & girls in Homeland Security.

December 7, 1987, Flight 1771 was on its daily run on the 'PSA Expressway' between LAX and SFO, piloted by Gregg N. Lindamood. David Burke, a disgruntled ex-USAir employee, made his way past security using his badge (which hadn't been returned yet) and brought a gun aboard. He shot the crew, and then himself, causing the plane to nosedive from 23,000 feet, go supersonic, and hit a cattle ranch at 4:14 PM near Harmony, CA, killing 44. People thought it may have been an engine failure (since in February 1987, a BAe going to Reno had to land in Fresno after an engine disintegrated.) Burke had been fired from USAir over $69 in missing Liquor receipts.

2003aug21. Mail.

I recently posted documentation of the 'spinning rims' phenomenon (movie link) These are going to be huge, because the effect is truly mesmerizing. If only I had a car.

I saw the guy who knew the guy who makes the spinning rims.

2003aug21. You're so special! Yes you are.

2003aug21. Larry H informs me that there is a sort of P2P friendster network called FOAF. And it even has fill-in-the-blank forms. In other news, the roosters are crowing to let me know that it's around lunch time, or later, or earlier. We went up on the roof to match the roosters to the crows. There's also one rooster in another distant coop that I can't see and it has the most anemic crow, it's so sad to hear him.

2003aug22. Bugs, fucking.

This is the new sexual position all of Hollywood is talking about for 2003. Taking a bug up the backside while your face is jammed in a cactus. Hotter than the Atkins diet. Fool your friends.

Unrelated: lard.

2003aug24. In the mornings I hie myself to the lavatory for the morning's ablutions. Today, I almost kicked over a bowl on the floor. I grabbed the bowl, and brought it up to ponder it: what the hell was a bowl doing on the bathroom floor? Then, in my non-spectacle-wearing grogginess, I realized that there was an off-brand sticky-backed paper note attached to the bowl. On it was written one word, in upper case all spaced out and stuff to make it more important.

S C O R P --

I quickly put the bowl back in the same spot, ending the fleeting freedom of our recent prisoner "Mr. Stingy."

2003aug24. Factual statement. Factual statement. Seemingly plausible branch of logic given the insane asylum we live in today. URL link to half-conscious paragraph's concern. RIDICULOUS EXCLAIMED ASSUMPTION!!!!! Second semi-comical remark, at the expense of the first. Random personal comment revealing absolutely nothing about the author. Forced punchline.

2003aug25. [Cardhouse] Moving/Shipping Cross-Country: A Guide.

2003aug26. Maakies: The Career.

2003aug27. Deuce of Clubs: Clothespin match gun.

2003aug27. Bad Toon Rising. Drawing famous cartoon characters from memory.


2003aug31. Packages of food for childrens. [via fark]

2003aug31. Commercial animation art from the 50s-60s.

2003aug31. Acts of Gord: Chapter 21. I linked to this a long, long time ago. Perhaps there are more entries. I cannot say at this time.

September 2003.

2003sep01. Talk Different: An Alternative to Idle Conversation.

2003sep01. Mail.

You people have too much time on your hands! Nuts to you!

Yeah, I shouldn't have time to do what I want. When people use this phrase, I get out my little ink pad and pound their foreheads with my large "SHEEP" stamp

2003sep02. "Look, let's go through this again. If you want my business ‒ if you want to find a house for me ‒ you're going to have to put a noose around your head and step inside this coffin, so it's like you're dead twice or some shit. I don't think I'm asking for the moon, here."

2003sep03. Adbusters sneaker. You amuse me, you little turncoat magazine. These two comments by Adbusters honcho Kalle Lasn just don't add up:

"We're negotiating with some people in China, we're looking at Indonesia, and we're looking at doing it right here in North America," Mr. Lasn said, adding that "the sweatshop rhetoric has gone a little bit too far."

"We're going to make sure this is not a sweatshop," Mr. Lasn said. "I think a lot of this 'let's do it locally' is just a lot of trade union, old left talk."

So you're going to produce shoes "right here" in North America, but not locally? What? It's subversive. It's brash. It's radical self-expression. It's bullshit. [via new jack almanac]

2003sep03. More wishy-washy action from Adbusters:

This: For the past 10 years, Phil Knight's been laughing at us. And he's been playing games with us. And we have uncooled him hardly at all. He's still flying high.


This: Today, Phil Knight's Nike is a fading empire, badly hurt by years of "brand damage" as activists and culture jammers fought back against mindfuck marketing and dirty sweatshop labor.

Hey Lasn, now every time someone reads a Nike-critical article in Adbusters, what single thought is going to be most pervasive? Remember, they're fighting "mindfuck marketing."

2003sep07. Surreal Peanut.

2003sep07. Translated Mexican candy names.


2003sep08. Inflight Magazine 2 3 is a pseudo-inflight magazine that contains a history of hijackings up to the year 2000 (with a wholly unneeded detour to examine both hacker-related "hijacking" and the pieing of various corpo-politico scum), along with a fake safety card and "barf bag." I'm still churning my way through the commentary, but the hijacking accounts feature one surreal episode after another:

The look on his face was a strange combination of amazement, amusement, and exasperation. "You know what?" he exclaimed. "I think this guy is asking for a credit card!" I leaned back in my chair and rolled my eyes skyward. "A credit card! You mean he wants us to pay for fuel so we can hijack ourselves?"

The hijackers peered suspiciously out of the windows. Was there something perhaps a little overdone about this enthusiastic welcome? The doors of the airplane remained closed. An official approached with a megaphone. "This is Pyongyang and we welcome you," he called out engagingly. "Come down!" Well, perhaps it really was Pyongyang after all. One of the hijackers went to the main entrance door and was about to open it when another yelled at him to stop. Wait ‒ something was wrong! He had seen a car of American make parked near the terminal building. And just then another hijacker turned on his transistor radio and heard English voices and jazz music. [...] "This is not Pyongyang," one hijacker shouted back through a cockpit window. "This is Seoul. If this is Pyongyang, show us proof!"

Aboard another hijacked National Airlines plane headed to Cuba, air pirate Tony Bryant brandishing his .38, takes a passenger poll: rich or poor? Then robs them accordingly. One stewardess graciously offers her wallet but he refuses. Black passengers are also robbery-exempt.

2003sep08. I was just going through some really old mail messages ‒ back in the frontier days of weblogging ("Weblog #23" ‒ I still have the patch) and thinking to myself "wow, I used to get a lot of strange mail back then." But now that there are, what, five million weblogs ‒ everyone's too busy writing for The Net to be nuts. Then I got this, literally 47 seconds ago.

important: if satana gone by jesus in to desert 2000 years ago and jesus dead under him and his devils on the cross this significat only one think: GOD don t created the hell for him!the hell is been created by satanaself for killer of our souls.souls which are without sex as devils and no for drugs as fisical: so devil only heppyness to murdered who going to PARADISE on the our in the hel beetween torments are only satanist people!saved your souls please!

AOL: Allowing people who are touched to touch us.

2003sep09. CRAM

2003sep13. After visiting Nogales (Mexico) we were in Nogales (Arizona) looking at The Wall. Around fourteen feet high, with six or so strands of barbed wire facing the other way. "It doesn't seem like that would be that hard to climb over," I said. Ten seconds later, a Border Patrol truck came zooming up and stopped between us and the wall. My girlfriend spotted the jumper, thirty feet to our left, booking through the parking lot and passing a couple of surprised tourists. The Border Patrol agent jumped out of the vehicle and tried to pursue on foot. I was looking at all the bystanders, to see if their body postures were giving the jumper's location away, but everyone was watching the agent. The agent pulled his Maglite (this is at 5pm ‒ head cracking? tinted car windows?) and shuffled back toward Immigration in some sort of reverse-psychology tactic. We scrambled out of there, not wanting to become detained witnesses. Rolling by fifteen minutes later, we saw the two tourists being questioned by at least five Border Patrol agents. We congratulated ourselves on our foresight and proceeded Northward to see three-inch grasshoppers in Tumacacori that weren't there anymore.

2003sep16. Advertising in Mexico.

2003sep21. Old penny arcade photos.

2003sep23. Ran into a tarantula in Sedona. We were three feet away from it, and it just kept ambling across the trail ... so I got out the camera and took some low-to-the-ground action shots. It tolerated this for awhile, then it came to a dead stop and raised up two of its legs and that just creeped me the hell out, like it was gathering strength to shoot a laser beam through my skull. "You've had your fun, little boy, now run along." We moved forty feet away and it held the Solid Defense pose ... it's quite possibly still hunched up like that, ready in case I drive back there one day. Waiting.

2003sep24. National Teeth Falling Out Day.

2003sep25. I'm an alumnus

2003sep26. There's a magical mound of dirt in the driveway. The driveway is a dirt road, and there's a mound of dirt in the middle of it, it could probably just fill a two-liter bottle. I thought maybe a truck dumped it out when they encountered our brand-new Railroad Ties That Keep You From Casing Our Joint Barricade feature, so I shovelled it out of the way and dug a little hole.

The next day the mound of dirt was there, again. "Huh." That's too much dirt for insects to move overnight. I dug down a little bit to see if I could find a hole ... nothing. So I took the dirt and shovelled it out of the way and made a bigger hole.

The next day it rained. The day after that, the mound was back. My girlfriend reminded me that toads burrow, but the dirt is (or was, before the rain) scrabbly tough, almost impossible to dig through. And toads usually do their business where there are other landscaping features and softer dirt. For right now, I'm going with the toad theory. I thought I would go back to the mound and pour some water over it, a little drink for the toad, but then I thought I might accidentally drown it. So I jammed some Baby Ruths in the mound and hoped for the best.

2003sep26. Exhibit, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

2003sep26. A visit to the Petrified Forest National Park brings with it endless opportunities to be reminded not to take petrified rocks from the area. It's in the pamphlet, it's the singular theme of a piece of paper handed out with the pamphlet, reminders are printed in the newsletter, reminders on every single sign, separate signs posted in different spots ... my favorite bit was the emergency phones made available for, among other things, "reporting wood thefts." "OH MY GOD, THEY'RE GETTING AWAY!!!" Some of these petrified thieves eventually break down and return the rocks to the "forest," usually accompanied by a note. [all errors original to note]

June 22, 1990

To whom it may concern

Enclosed here is a piece of petrified wood that my husband took last August 7,1988 in your park. We kept this in the globe compartment of our van since then.

Since we got this piece of wood, we encountered lots of bad luck. First incident that happend was I got accident in this van last November 1988. Then on December of 1989, we sold our shop. One week only before the escrow closed, one of our worker had an accident. We paid all his hospital bills and work compensation. Since we didn't had insurance. Last May 1990, my sister came over from Australia to attend the wedding of our sister. On the wedding day, she fell down in a flatform. I am responsible for her since she's a tourist only. I brought her to the doctor. I spent few hundred dollars. These are some few things. The worst case was I got laid-off this June 1990 after 14 years in the company.

I don't know if all of these are coincidence only. My husband does not believe on superstitions. Anyway it will not harm us if I'll return this piece of wood. I'm sorry and I apologize.

Liza Minelli

They whited-out the name pretty good, but I figured it out.

2003sep26. Mail.

re: the story about the petrified wood. I swear I read something a long time ago about a volcano in Hawaii where people were returning lava rocks by mail for similar reasons, ie. bad things happening to them since they stole from the volcano goddess. I seem to remember that the post office was swamped with all these rocks, and it was somebody's job to drive them from the post office back to the volcano. No word on whether things improved for people who returned the rocks...

That's what I could do! I could do that job. Rock delivery person. In Hawai'i. I've been meaning to put up some pages on a "back stage" tour of the California Academy of Sciences which I will probably call "Back Stage Tour California Academy of Sciences 2003 2000." The dear, dear person leading us around showed us a similarly-swiped object:

Hello There! (5/19/03)

my name is scooter. About six or seven years ago I wandered out of the museum in search of adventures, fame, and/or fortunes. I've been sadly disillusioned by the world outside and almost died of homesickness. Some nice folks in North Beach offered to mail to the museums doorstep; now it's up to you to make sure I get back to my home in the African Watering Hole at the end of the hall.

You can practically smell the guilt. Must of have been hippies on some freaky-deaky love hoo-doo psych-out glam fest drug trip. I hope the Curse of Scooter is in full glorious vent.

2003sep26. Nuh nuh nuh NUH NUH!!!! It's time for another exciting episode of the thrilling adventures of the dastardly feats of the chilling scenarios of the jaw-tingling spine-dropping madness of the weasel-poppin' glad-handing hang-gliding shape-shifting clock-punching cube-gleaming SUV-freefalling Hi Karate-sniffing stevedore-touching basket-yelping mindless-typing good times of KLEPTOCAT!!!!! [loud unexplained honking noises, like the "A-OOGA" horn but not so in-your-face obnoxious, maybe like a hand-held bike horn but bigger, oh, put the A-OOGA horn back in] [also: Newspaper article w/photo]

2003sep26. Exploding Dog: I computered it

2003sep28. There are four mounds in the driveway now. All signs point to an infestation of some sort of rodenty-rodent-like rodent. The hole (one is finally visible) is bigger than a lizard hole, yet smaller than the hole I've dug for myself for winter. In other news, we were driving across a small wash yesterday night and there was an owl perched on the bridge railling. We had already seen one at the Desert Museum, but this one wasn't, for example, chained to a guy talking all about the owl, poor thing. Bridge owl watched us drive by, then we turned around and parked next to it. It just stared at us and the car, until, of course, I took out the camera, then a flurry and it's gone. Smart owl. We kept driving down the road, to see if we could find the skydiver we had decided to chase earlier. We caught up with him, he was heading straight for the car ‒ he had one of those fans on his back -- dangling his feet a little above the desert crops (green, non-sand). I took out the camera and he goosed the engine to go over us and the telephone wires. Smart fan guy.

2003sep28. More Petrified Apologies.

7 ‒ 16 ‒ 84

To whom it may concern:

While I was in your marvelous petrified forest a week ago, I gathered (against my conscience) five or six small chips of petrified wood.
Upon reaching your museum and reading some of your "conscience mail," I returned to the car and returned the chips to the park ... except one little chip. I thought that having one small chip would surely not affect the park in any way.
But after leaving the park my mind cleared a bit more and I realized that one small chip ‒ one out of the millions in the park -- did make a difference. If everyone bent to their temptations ‒ everyone would take a little, and invariably we would have less of a park to enjoy.

Please, then, for yourself and future visitors to this forest, go back to your RVs and cars and return the petrified wood that you think no one will notice because someone already noticed ... yourself.

Liza Minelli again

Why is it when thieves go cold-footed they suddenly think they're supposed to reform everyone else? "I've been there man, stealin' the wood ... you don't know what it's like."

2003sep29. If you've been following the Diebold voting machine scam, you may be amused by the following excerpt in the book Writing the Modern Magazine Article from an article in the October 1967 issue of Playboy:

"Sometimes computers are used for prestige purposes, sometimes as a means of avoiding human responsibility," says computer consultant John Diebold. Diebold, at 41, is a millionaire and an internationally sought-after expert on "automation" (a term he coined in the early 1950s). "Scientists and executives have discovered that it's impressive to walk into a meeting with a ream of computer print-out under your arm. The print-out may be utter nonsense, but it looks good, looks exact, gives you that secure, infallible feeling. Later, if the decision you were supposed to make or the theory you were propounding turns out to be wrong, you simply blame the computer or the man who program[m]ed it for you."

October 2003.

2003oct01. Watermelon packing case.

2003oct01. Tranny Honey.

2003oct01. Interview with James Marsters

2003oct02. Delivery beaver.

"UPS, ma'am. Don't mind the gnawed side, it came like that."

2003oct04. Mail.

Hello Cardhouse persons, I enjoyed the crazy watermelon kids picture. In fact, I spent my lunch hour making a photohunt challenge of it for my friends ( If you are unfamiliar with this particular flavor of bar-top, coin-operated video crack, it's a very ordinary spot-the-differences operation. Like that Hilights magazine crap, if you remember from dentists' offices from your youth. If I had more time and a greater belt in google-fu, perhaps I could've found an image of the photohunt display and put them inside it. As it is, it is nothing to brag about, but I just wanted to thank you for the image, which has just the right mixture of both timeworn authenticity and banality tapped just over the edge into carnivalesque nightmare. Anyways, thanks for the image.


Now I must stare at the scary Children of the Watermelon Patch some more? This is an evil game.

2003oct05. Dinner time, guys! Guys! Guys?

2003oct05. Long, wonderful article on Ricky Jay. Small craft warning: The bit about Copperfield's museum entrance made me physically ill. [via lemonodor]

2003oct05. The property next door is split into two sections: a front yard, featuring several yappy small dogs, and a back yard, featuring a large cardboard watermelon box worth of roosters, chickens, and turkeys. A few days ago, the denizens of the coop were rather agitated, loudly clucking and making noises I'd never heard before. Seconds later, I noticed one of the smaller dogs attacking a larger chicken, and I'm pretty sure there's one less chicken in there now. Wasn't much I could do, good barbed wire makes good neighbors.

2003oct05. A query, via mail.

Hi there...
I got ur address thru ur website. and I`m writing this mail to regarding some information related to a particular brand of cigarettes. I`m really looking forward for your answer.

Almost 4-5 years back I watched an episode on "Discovery Channel" and same on CNBC NEWS regarding this Cigarette, wher in Japan they introduced a new Brand of Cigarettes, with different flavours (Menthol, Clove), where you do not have to light up the cigarette stick with Match box or Lighter. U can directly use the cigarette without leaving the smoke or ash behind it. Majorly used in public places like Train stations and Airports.
I want more information about this brand of Cigarettes. The Brand name, Rates, Export quality/possibilities.

Thanking you

With warm Regards
Praveen K.

I believe the answer to your query can be found in a book entitled Complete and Utter Failure written by Neil Steinberg. I'd look through my copy of the book to secure a solution to your quandary, but my copy is apparently squirreled away in one of the several boxes I've neglected to unpack from our recent move. As a substitute, I quote this passage from the 1961 Quadrangle Books offering You Can Survive The Bomb by Col. Mel Mawrence with John Clark Kimball.

As for the business of shooting your neighbors, that is just more of the hysterical nonsense that surrounds the subject of civil defense. The surest way to avoid the possibility of a rush on one shelter is to have several in the neighborhood. The surest way to trigger general shelter construction is to build one yourself and be proud of it. Others will follow your lead.

2003oct05. While tootling around Fisherman's Wharf like a drooling pretzel-eating tourist, I noticed a kid idly playing with the "NEXT BOAT" hands of a large graphic display clock. Eventually one of the workers came over to admonish him.

His father also showed up, and I have no idea what sort of conversations the kid had with both of these authority figures, but I bet you could figure it out.

The thing is, that clock is just asking for it. Low to the ground, big and friendly, it looks like a play clock. You got a problem with it, Alcatraz boat people? put a sheet of plastic over it, or lock it down. I think the next time I'm up there I'm going to play with it a little bit, maybe bring little wooden blocks that read "A.M." and "P.M." ... "NEXT BOAT 3 A.M., TOOOOOOOT"

2003oct05. On October 12th, Spike TV will show seven episodes of Most Extreme Elimination Challenge. 1 2 This is a bad time not to have cable TV.

2003oct06. The Brooklyn DMV and the Arizona MVD or MVP or whatever share an automated queuing system named "The Infinite Wait Matrix 3000" or something like that. See those codes on the wall?

F407 5
E982 4
F406 7
C637 18
A182 26

The first part is your own personal waiting code ticket, which you can reflect on for many, many minutes in the air-conditioned comfort of the DMV office. The second part is the window you're supposed to report to. I have no idea why they've decided to partition the sequence into n segments where n is the total number of letter prefixes used. I originally had thought it was to create a false sense of impending action, but if you're going to let each letter get up to 999 and wrap around, then there's really no reason to not go with just a straight number code. In addition to this crap, Arizona's DMV features an automated ro-bot voice reading off the top line of the display. Or, that's what it's supposed to do. Instead, it reads the top letter, and then the number of the second line, and the window from the first line. There is also an LCD sign that attempts to relieve the boredom by presenting various vacuous trivia questions, and I'm surprised the whole thing didn't just burst into flames from the combined mind power of hundreds of trapped citizens. Then, finally, the license photo.


Though I'm currently using a cheap Canon digital camera that can take amazing pictures with almost no light, they've somehow set themselves up with a camera that will instantly blind you if you look where they tell you to look. "Hold on, I have to pour in the flash powder here ..."

There. I have complained about the DMV. Next: airlines.

2003oct06. [Cardhouse] Musee Mecanique photo thing.

2003oct08. is gone. One of the best comic sites on the web. Destiny-land pointed out that the donation page is still active, so I finally dug in my pockets. It is a sad day. Which reminds me, a special message to California: HA HA YOU HAVE RO-BOT KILLING MACHINE FOR A LEADER KISS THE NINE BILLION GOODBYE

2003oct11. Mail. Not my best work, I need to get out more.

I purchased a 24oz. package of Kettke Fresh Caramel for making caramel apples. The package says that microwave directions are on the back, but not so. I am sure that I have to mix milk with the caramel but don't know the amount.

We do apologize for the lack of microwave instructions. For the best taste, we recommend mixing in approximately fifty-seven (57) gallons of milk per 24oz. package. We understand that typical consumer-grade microwaves are not large enough to mix up such a batch, this is why we recommend customers visit any of the following facilities to rent large industrial-grade microwaves:

-- Plastics company
-- Paint company
-- Wormery
-- Automobile manufacturer
-- Farm animal prototyping facility
-- OfficeMax

If you do not live near any of these selections, we also can visit customers with one of our several mobile microwave labs, which we humorously call a "Nukemobile." Please let us know if this is your particular situation.

Tink Gloschmanno
Customer Relations

2003oct12. Cockeyed: The new $20. Needs an ebay auction.

2003oct14. You could cram this url into World Lingo and learn all sorts of stuff about the USA through the eyes of the Japanese.

Those which are sold in America being to enter to the hand even in mostly Japan, are about you are troubled rather, but as for me most food kana. Utilizing the advantage those in the world entering into the hand, the spice whose each country is unusual. Furthermore the canned goods, color colorful the candy... practically, hair CARE ones, it is the tooth polishing powder ? ? place. By the way extra white of the crest when the tooth becomes white, around me is reputation. (Kay)

2003oct15. More from "U.S. Clues," this section on Halloween:

At the time of high school trick or treat it died and turned the house ? (above the high school student however you do not do normally). Wearing the bathrobe, the Japanese ghost (?) It became. The extent which the ? it is thickly as for the candy is innumerable! This year the way kana. (Thousand summer)

?If you mention Halloween, after all disguise. The front of this is the conventional seeing, but change such as that in Dracula. Applying make-up accurately, in the mouth the fang. But, being something where the people who have been disguised more are in society, when it is Dracula, either the surprise was not done, but. Don't you think? also such is only Halloween. (Inoue)

?I in Halloween, am the part which always lifts the candy to the children. Little by little is in the children who, the host mother inside and trick or treat die together and start but kit cutting etc. are being lifted. (Osa)

?I every year doing the various appearances, go to drinking to the bar of the beach. When being unprecedented, the just a little adult closing Juliet's way, as for the next the clothes of the witch who stretches the spider's web of the ready-made item, that as for the next that you probably become Snow White, being enthusiastic, however it went to shopping, the yellow skirt the fear ? being before, the person of the southern woman? It became, as for that following year. With, every year it enjoys with such feeling. Of course being in the house, you did also the candy distributing. The children ask incessantly. When it is troublesome to correspond one by one, you go out, or you have hidden with the room as pitch-dark. Also those where electricity of the entryway is not acquired, become the meaning "inside coming, there is no candy," it seems. So, when the lamp of the room has been attached, because the child comes, the one which electricity turns off after all is appealing. (Kay)

?I it is shy in Halloween 2000, doing the appearance of the rabbit, went to play in the beach, (wry smile) it was rather shy, is.... So, as for the people who do the shy appearance above me being many, it is what, it was the space which it can be softened (laughing)

2003oct15. I can't stop, it's like a sickness.

The side being there is no excuse in the story, it does, but America coming, that you are surprised first, the woman it is walking without the brassiere. Japan being to be almost not to be able to think you were surprised rather. But don't you think?, perhaps, it is the thing itself Japanese unique thought in the first place that being shy. With this the nipple being attached to also the mannequin securely, now the sushi and there, it probably is to be portion of fashion? (Gaea)


2003oct15. I must find robot panda controlled by smaller "real" panda.

What, is this turning into some sort of Japanese weblog? CARDHOUSE: YOUR NO-NONSENSE JAPANESE WEBLOG OF VALUE. AND PAIN.

2003oct15. Mail.

Hi, I recently posted some photos of our Domo-kun Halloween costumes (and a how-to guide) Thought it might make a nice addition to your site.


Protecting the mouth. We should all protect the mouth. I like the thumb's-up photo as well. One-eyed partially-finished Domo-kun frightens me. Etc.

2003oct15. So you go to this Master Builder interview. And then they set the 2000 bricks in front of you, and tell you you're supposed to make, I don't know, an octopus, in 45 minutes. So you snap like six different-colored bricks together randomly and stare at your creation like it's Jesus Himself come down from the cross with a milkshake in one Hand and a packet of gold dubloons in the Second Hand and a delicious pie plus another milkshake in The Third. "Shitfire, that's the best ock-dough-pus I've made today," you say. "Shitfire."

2003oct16. A place to confess. I mean, "Econfess."

But the worst thing I ever did, I made this pot of fake puke at home and I brought it to the movies up on the balcony and I made this sound---hua-hua-huaaaaaaa---and I dumped the puke over the side. And, oh this is awful, everyone started getting sick, throwing up all over each other. I never felt so bad in my entire life.

I've heard about this phenomenon. You're in a frolicking boat, someone pukes on you, you puke. There's apparently a dividing line -- some people puke when puked on and some people don't puke when puked on. I'm not sure if it's situational, that is to say, that all people have the potential to puke if puked on ‒ if not, I hope I'm on the right, non-puking side of the Puking Chain Reaction threshold. Perhaps there is a written test you can take? Or maybe someone can just hurl some oatmeal onto my bare back while going "hua-hua-huaaaaaaa." No freaks/long walks.

2003oct16. Mail.

if you go to and look at the bag design from dude studios in group 1, it is a perfect illustration of what you are describing on cardhouse right now. I am emailing you from a car in front of a high school right now. There are 5 open wireless networks! neat.

- Holly

Cruising the high schools, eh? I have a mental image of the bag, I remember it fondly. is what you want, pandawise. You can get it at

Hrm. This is not the panda robot that I was envisioning. The wings confuse me, they look like a cheap afterthought. I was looking for something more robot-ee and less panda-ee. But thanks for digging that up!

2003oct16. Kids play old-skool videogames. Show some R-E-S-P-E-C-T to your elders, damn you! God this is hilarious. [via neal]

Brian: I saw a documentary on this. The game was so popular in arcades that it got jammed up with quarters.

John: In this thing? [Points to the Pong game console]

2003oct22. Mail.

I want photos of cards super rares or others of Yu-Gi-Oh! PLESE, PLESE, PLESE, PLESE, PLESE, PLESE, PLESE!!!!

2003oct26. Moss Lake. Golden Gate Park. San Francisco. August. 2003. Paddleboat.

2003oct26. Well, I have been flitting around trying to figure out what my next "career" is. It hasn't been going too well. I thought maybe I would be a croupier at Casino Wiesbaden after a staff member there contacted me about finding some replacement bulbs for their Sigma derby game, but they figured out how to jury-rig their own lights. Another dream smashed like some cheap ceramic hula doll which was dropped and then it smashed like into a million bits because it was ceramic. Also it was a hula doll. I have been seeing a lot of sidewalks here stamped "WPA," perhaps I'll find employment there.

2003oct27. The Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About guy has written a new novel.

2003oct27. Worst Hockey Logos Ever

2003oct27. Mail.

damn your eyes. we used to row around that lake taking pictures and generally having a relaxing good old time. now what do we have? the hudson river! ooooh, pcbs.

can I come work for you? even a pseudo-croupier job in arizona or wherever has to be better than no-job in nyc.

- Random Uncle

RANDOM UNCLE! Here's an exciting math puzzle that is part of your interview process at Cardhouse Pseudo Croupiers Inc: As a theoretically moralistic CEO, I will make exactly seven times the amount I pay you. What amount should we each be paid so that our salaries are also the same? Hint: it ends with a zero. This reminds me of the resumés I would get for jobs at X Magazine back in the day.

Or we could buy a van together and roam the U.S., singing songs at the campfire and such. S'mores, Random Uncle. S'mores. I am ready for adventure. I welcome adventure! Have a seat, won't you? Thirsty? Glass of lemonade, adventure?

Also, if anyone is driving from California to Arizona or thereabouts at the end of November, let me know. Don't make me take Greyhound. Is there a website where you can look for this sort of thing? Someone give me some VC money. VCs are supposed to be dropping the major coin this year, I thought.

2003oct28. Sex only in marriage ‒ and between a virgin man and a virgin woman! No left-overs no sloppy seconds ‒ just fresh sex between each other! For without virginity, the woman has made herself a whore, and if not a virgin man, he has made himself a whoremonger ‒ neither are qualified for a righteous marriage. Repent! Get right with God! Turn to Jesus Christ! You must abstain from sex for the rest of your life. Sex and marriage are not for Christians! Marriage is of the flesh, and not of the spirit. Christians are born again of the spirit of Jesus Christ, and are one spirit or one life with Christ. A Christian life should be seen in Jesus, and the life of Jesus should be seen in a Christian! Marriage is of the world and not the walk of Christ.

"No kinky sex. No incest. No anal sex. No oral sex. No sex for the kids."

The writing continues in this vein. My favorite part: "No reckless eye balling." (San Francisco ‒ July)

2003oct28. Dot's Diner, Bisbee Arizona. August.

2003oct28. Cockeyed: the frozen shaving cream prank ... EXAMINED!

2003oct31. Kobe: Party Lips

November 2003.

2003nov01. Pix: Hanko.

2003nov02. Sippey explores the economics of Friendster. I didn't get the Google snub either, but I didn't have any numbers behind my shocked expression, just various musculature and bone.

2003nov02. Flagstaff.

2003nov02. CAT TOWN EPISODE 1 [via everlasting blort]

2003nov03. And now. America's most beloved funnywoman.

What is it that keeps the I Love Lucy corporate juggernaut rolling? Do they air these shows anymore? Do vacationing grannies buy "Lucy's Famous Chocolate Bar" for their grandchildren, who know better to ask who exactly Lucy is? Has the marketing potential of this particular 30-minute episode been squeezed flatter than a toothpaste tube dropped into an imaginary machine I call the Squozinart?

Yeah, that whole section is I Love Lucy produkt. Teddy bears (the text "Episode 39" is stitched into the bottom of one of the bear's rear paws, just in case you have to distinguish this bear from all the other I Love Lucy episode bears including the controversial "Episode 84" bear representing the episode in which Fred knifed the super after freaking out on Ricky's prescription meds 'cause Lucy switched 'em and shit so she could get into Ricky's act but it didn't work and then Lucy went "WAAAHHHHH!" ... hilarious). Mints. Lollilpops. Chocolate hearts. Give one to your girlfriend. "Honey ... I Love Lucy." "Lucy? Who the hell is Lucy? Get out, you wretch." (Sedona AZ)

2003nov03. Mail.

I've been noticing [I Love Lucy crap] too!! What is going on? I hope pollsters aren't contacting ILL (nice acronym) collectors bummed about today's economy because they can't afford their Lucy memorabilia. Because these goods have no place in any economist's outlook.

This whole ILL target market subscribes to the catalog "Betty's Attic," a useless rag that hawks such products as the ILL leather jacket for $230, the f*ckin' porcelain doll for $135, and the $100 cookie jar. Weren't there a lot more episodes produced than the Vitameatadickstick and chocolate factory ones? 'Cause those are the only two on any of the products. also sells Pepsi crap. Pepsi?? Not only does Pepsi lack the street cred of Coke, which is still marginally cool, but it's garish stuff! "oo, there's a $57 Pepsi throw blanket! Honey, use some of our limited retirement income so I can buy it and curl up watching special-edition Mayberry episodes, which will wind up collecting dust because they failed to fill the void created when the kids made us sleep in the motorhome. Oh, honey, come on! It's useless, annoying and emasculating. Buy some!"

Vitameatadickstick. I think maybe we're just starting to see the leading edge of this phenomenon, all of the baby boomers retiring with loads of money and not really knowing what to do with it. A large part of this craptacular surge seems to be locked up in inaction figures, like the one of Louis Armstrong I saw at the Kay-Bee or however you spell that toy store's name. Which was right next to the Hank Williams Jr. doll. I also have a half-decayed memory of walking through a K-Mart sometime around 2001 and running into The Inaction Figure Cornucopia ‒ but the only figure I can remember from that horrific encounter was George Burns, and of course, Lucy.

2003nov03. Big White Guy: Motion Advertising.

2003nov04. Hey everybody, it's Zwarte Piet [large PDF] with the Chocoladeletters! Zwarte Piet!!! More on Zwarte Piet here.

2003nov05. NYT: Cupcakes.

2003nov05. The Wiggles: an interview.

2003nov10. Drug raid at South Carolina high school. "They know where the cameras are." Yeah, what's your beef, students? Take your constant-surveillance police state poison pills like the good little future factory automatons you are ...

2003nov11. Seven peccaries ran through the front yard today, big ole' things. Which is weird, because there's a fence to either side of the three-acre property. They have little sneaky ways in and out of places. There were also hoof marks near the BBQ device. "Mmmm, pork," one of them reportedly said.

2003nov11. Junk mail excerpts.

Having an actual sample to look at when assembling magnets can be extremely helpful. However, there is a high demand for actual Hand-Crafted Refrigerator Magnets. High quality Hand-Crafted magnets, because of their unique design and delightful appearance, can retail for as much as $25.95 in upscale craft shops and craft bazaars. As a result, until recently, we have been unable to provide samples to our Home Assemblers. Also, our experience has taught us that photographs are not as effective in demonstrating the quality of work required for proper magnet assembly. However, we now have been able to set aside a small number for demonstration purposes and make them available for our Home-Assemblers. If you wish to receive one of these actual Hand-Crafted Sample Magnets, simply complete the form below and send it in with payment of $12 to [address]

Refrigerator Magnets: These cute, handmade Refrigerator Magnets are designed to be highly decorative and yet functional for posting messages. Because of their unique dual-acting backing, they will cleaning stick and remove from virtually any smooth surface (not just metallic surfaces). These are a retail favorite for every family who owns a cat.

2003nov13. Special message to website creators: enough with the "outside link opens new window" junk. I can handle it, I'm a big boy now.

2003nov13. You could guess what this is but you wouldn't win anything.

2003nov17. I never paid much attention to the actual lyrics of Frank Sinatra's "It Was A Very Good Year." Perhaps you would like to see them.

When I was seventeen ...
I had a lot of chicks!
When I was twenty-one ...
It was a very good year ...
I had me a lot of chicks!
When I was thirty-five ...
It was a very good year ...
Again, I'd like to emphasize the chickual portion of my life. It is a large component of this song.
Now the days grow short
I'm in the autumn of the year
Man, those dames were stacked like cordwood.

(lyrics appear courtesy BMI/ASCAP)

2003nov17. The peccaries are now regular visitors to the house. We rarely see them, they're very skittish. One night was Peccary Porch Night ‒ from the tracks it appears at least four of 'em thoroughly cased out the porch ‒ perhaps I dropped a cubic millimeter of chocolate somewhere. I had also forgotten about the large pumpekin I set out after Halloween for the birds ‒ the peccaries ate the whole thing including the moldy top, leaving a well-cleaned stem and a chewed up tea candle. Word is that peccaries get stressed from dogs barking at them and they get all musky and then it smells everywhere and you have to leave the state or something. Another great reason to attach helium balloons to the little golden chihuahuas next door. The turkeys/roosters/hens are mostly cooped up these days, I think they're doing the major food pump-up before being shipped off to market. Turkeys are much bigger than the funny-shaped limbless icewads you find in your grocer's freezer. Frighteningly big. I think they can take the tiny dogs, I was hoping for a grudge match before the turkeys have to go. In the next installment, I will tell you where Martha Stweart's towels come from.

2003nov27. The turkeys next door are gobbling, as usual. I don't know if it's possible to kill, clean, and prepare a turkey in time for dinner today. I think these are Christmas turkeys, or What The Hell Let's Keep Turkeys For The Fun Of It turkeys. I'm hoping for the latter.

2003nov27. Der forkliften traineningen videoen (2006 youtube). Wonderfully morbid/comic. Essential viewing for the entire family. Favorite bits: blade bit popping off, splashed alarm bell continuity. [via peacedividend at Rokka (film list)]

2003nov28. Mail. Bag.

i am very upset wih your candy. melted...How can that happen ????You oew me n new bag of candy.

street address

If I oew you n bags of candy, I need to know the specific value of n, that is, the number of bags I oew you. If one train is in South Carolina and another train is in Oakland California headed toward each other and both are travelling at a combined speed of 173mph, what are the chances that I will mail you n bags of candy? Now let's say n ‒ 2 bags of candy are on one train, and n bags are on the other train.

Good god almighty. I have looked high and freakin' low for some useful tips on cross-country moves (I already know to check with the BBB regarding movers thank you very much). And then you. And Amtrak Package Express. Gracias.

Interestingly, we are moving from South Carolina to Oakland proper. Are you still in the area? Shall we cook you dinner?

Okay, now let's say you have a large bag of candy trains. Given that amongst n ‒ 1 black candy trains there is one white toy train, what are the odds that if you select three candy trains out of the bag, none of them is white? What if the bag is transparent? What if it says "choking hazard: this bag is not a toy" on it?

I was just in Oakland yesterday. But now I am not. I flew away in a magical metal bird.

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Cardhouse Photo (With apologies to Wallace Stevens)
1. A ghost in the machine
2. Recycling the structure
3. Oblique strategy
4. Near plywood
5. My grandfather learned to live out of a Dumpster during the Great War.

Okay so maybe there are only 5 ways. The perspective is fudgy and so therefore based on the belts and switchboxes and other thingamajiggers and the proximity to Halloween I'm guessing it's some part of a Samhainish amusement. Like maybe it rotates, that round drum-ish thing looks like a burner, maybe the arms at the top rotate because of heat. Or maybe it pops forward through what looks like a hole in the wood. I can't tell from the perspective though. Maybe it is part of an elaborate, mechanized, educational diorama about paramecia or sperm.

Cardhouse is great. Like NPR, it is one of my reminders that the world is not all-the-way crazy. Now if only some McHeir would give you a buttload of money.

Actually as it turns out, that photo (down below) is the inside of an "obstacle" at a miniature golf course. The entrance to the hazard is about 15 inches wide, and the ghost is apparently supposed to deflect the ball but it's on a little chain and there are only three of them and they're tiny and the belt to the motor is slicker than a grease-soaked politician so the whole contraption doesn't turn around at all though the motor runs. It's a good representation of the miniature golf course as a whole ‒ I think I had to shag my ball (note to UK readers: ha ha) from bizarre little dead spots on the course every three holes. It's sort of the functional equivalent to the store that forgot to care.

2003nov28. I was walking by Supercuts Monday and a woman walked out of the shop, followed by a man in one of those white uniforms that the fake farmaceuticos wear down in Tijuana over their t-shirts and jeans. He said something about a "violation" and then I tuned in to his next statement: " ... and if you leave the property, it's another violation." I match speeds with my new best buddy, the Supercuts Suspected Shoplifter. What do you take from Supercuts? Bad haircut? Bottles of Paul Mitchell Overpriced Chemical Soup Styling Gel? Mr. Supercuts goes back to HQ to grab a cellphone. I'm between the two of them, we're a convoy of controversy. "She's wearing a blue jacket, dark cap, blue jeans, two backpacks ... headed east on Irving ..." She turns the corner, the guy hustles and turns and she's gone. He heads back to the shop, I walk down the street a little, turn into a parking lot, and there she is, taking off her cap, switching her dark-colored jacket for a lighter one, mussing up her hair, stuffing one backpack in the other one, walking, never looking back. She's got a whole new look (a thought: get some window-pane cheaters, clown nose ... "you can't miss her, she's wearing a freakin' CLOWN NOSE!"). Now she's walking right past the back of Supercuts. Turning South again. I was going to ask her if it was some sort of gang initiation but I wasn't in the mood for a shin-rake that day.

December 2003.

2003dec01. Desert update: Today a road runner and a coyote crossed the road in front of the car, about a minute apart. The coyote was carrying what looked like a paper sack, I think it might have been a jackrabbit. Road runners are fun to watch, they keep their tail at a nice jaunty angle, they've clearly got things to attend to, a bird with clearly-defined goals. Not like quail, named "America's Fruitiest Bird" by the National Audubon Society for the last seventeen years running. The peccaries are making regular visits to the house ‒ two nights ago they savagely attacked the trash cans at 4:30am, popping one open so they could feast on turkey-scented aluminum foil and paper scraps. One of them took an actual bite out of a discarded Counterpunch magazine. It was a lean Thanksgiving for the peccaries, you betcha.

2003dec04. Perhaps I've been asleep at the wheel for months or even years, but my Amazon wishlist link [link dead] went belly-up sometime in the past. And if you try to check the link and have cookies, you're always sent to your own wishlist, which is sort of why I have a funny feeling this has been a problem for some time. Maybe you are having the same problem. This is why I bring this up. Anyway, change the word "wishlist" in the url to "registry" and you're golden.

Before:[your own id]/
After:[your own id]/

Remember, Christmas is coming. Shop early, shop often. A reminder: I am a dirty, dirty camwhore who might, you know, show you something extra if you're good to me. So dirty.

2003dec05. Javelina/Collared Peccary, East Tucson.

Javelinas are noisy eaters. We were apparently downwind, it just kept eating crap junk food while we gawked ten feet away. Perhaps it was just a starving loner, though they apparently eat the abundant prickly pear cactus, spines and all.

2003dec06. I've added some more photos to the Food City section. You can start at the beginning or jump to the new stuff (down the page a bit).

2003dec06. Two of the turkeys came to visit me today.

The pair of them came waddling up to barbed-wire fence voluntarily after spotting me. The primary male was in full strutting mode and followed a particular pattern ‒ walk in front of me, pause, turn around, walk in front of me, pause, turn around, etc. Some of his feathers dragged against the ground, making a wonderful scraping noise. This is going to sound funny, but I felt like I was in the presence of royalty, or a turkey-shaped robot. I think he was guarding his territory, or showing off for his less-feathered friend. If I hadn't left, I get the feeling he'd still be out there, wearing a hole into the ground, eventually disappearing from sight.

2003dec07. Working on Mozilla: Behind the Scenes.

"Okay, now put 'close other tabs' immediately below 'close tab' ... yes ... YES! BRILLIANT!"

2003dec12. Saying no to the automatic Social Security Number [via doc]

2003dec15. I don't think I explained the turkey movement quite properly. Okay. It's a lot like winding up a rubber-band powered car. It starts out slow, and then accelerates. That's what the turkey did, back and forth, back and forth, in front of me, and when it walks anywhere it doesn't just move from point A to point B, it comes up with all of these intermediate points that must be visited that are sort of on the way. I think what's happening is that the turkey doesn't have much self-confidence. It kind of knows where it wants to go, so it points itself in the general direction and then heads out, crossing imaginary turkey fingers in its own mind. As it's moving, it notices that yes, it's getting closer, so it gains confidence and speed. But then it has to stop for some reason, like maybe because selective breeding has created a race of franken-turkeys that can only walk for a few feet before tiring and wanting to jettison one or more tasty phatt turkey legs for snacking at various state fairs. In other desert news, the javelinas are right outside the house right now. The porch has sort of a one-way screen and a wee javelina started noisily munching on a prickly pear about three feet away. The rest of the family was looking wistfully at the garbage cans, now nestled inside a home-built anti-Javelina garbage can corral built by my girlfriend while I ate pudding and made funny noises which was extremely helpful, I think. Also, they enjoy playing the "freeze" game with the flashlight. "You clearly cannot see me if I don't move yet at the same time release powerful odors."

2003dec17. William Safire checks in on the origin of the term "spider hole," as used recently to describe Saddam's Fortress of Solitude:

Another useful bit of information is the origin of "spider hole," a phrase used by Lieutenant-General Ricardo Sanchez to describe the dugout hiding place in which the fugitive Saddam was cowering. This is Army lingo from the Vietnam era. The Vietcong guerrillas dug "Cu Chi tunnels" often connected to what the GI's called "spider holes" -- space dug deep enough for the placement of a clay pot large enough to hold a crouching man, covered by a wooden plank and concealed with leaves.

When an American patrol passed, the Vietcong would spring out, shooting.

But the hole had its dangers; if the pot broke or cracked, the guerrilla could be attacked by poisonous spiders or snakes. Hence, "spider hole."

That seems like an awfully long road to travel to get to the term "spider hole." Why not "snake hole"? Why would American forces name things from the perspective of a clay pot-hiding VC? "Hey, I found one of those dead clay pot VCs ... looks like he died from a bunch of spider and/or snake bites! I thus call this hole and all subsequent holes formed in the same fashion ... a ... a spider hole!" It couldn't have possibly derived from the fact that spiders actually dig holes in the ground or that VC tunnels were sometimes "guarded" by a ton of spiders?

"One hole seemed to be darker than any hole I'd ever been in and for a moment I thought I was losing my equilibrium because it seemed like the hole was moving in on me, and as I shined the light around more, I found out it was just a mass of spiders. The whole chamber, the walls and top, were one great black moving mass of spiders." (The Tunnels of Cu Chi, Tom Mangold and John Penycate)

Also note the reference to "Cu Chi tunnels" ... Cu Chi was a place, where the most elaborate network of underground tunnels was located (and then the Americans went and put their own really big base on top of it, enabling the VC to do really weird things like hollowing out a tree in the middle of the base and sporadically firing guns from the top of the tree). But I guess Safire has the 411 on the spider hole, I mean, after eating dinner with the Rumsfelds and all. I have not eaten dinner with the Rumsfelds.

[later, that same day ...] Description of spider hole (scroll down a bit).

2003dec18. Mail.

Hey--I was looking at your food city pictures, and I thought you might like to know that "Jesus with a Horn" is actually St. Jude of Thaddeus ‒ Jesus' relative, and the patron saint of lost causes. He has a flame on his head because he's one of the twelve apostles--they had flames on their head after Pentecost. Thought you might want to know.
As a former AZ and SF resident, I love your photoessays--keep up the good work.

Ah! A different religious dude. This is how I learn things. By taking photos and posting them on the web. Speaking of posting, there are actual macros over at Macros2000. Send yours in ... today!

2003dec18. I'm doing research on turkey behavior. The Grade 4 Boys have the lowdown on this wily bird. (2006: Still there, but too important to leave to chance, so ...)









2003dec19. #1 hit on Blogdex today: The Tale Of The Gold-Digging Ant-Lions of India.

2003dec21. If you've sent mail through I never received it, there's something gone right wonky with the forms. Try here instead.

2003dec22. A re-assessment of Mexican candy cigarettes.

La Cubana (several new packs)
Cresencio Vera e Hijos (one new pack)
Productos Glodis (your premiere copyright violation company)

2003dec22. "Did you find a tree yet?" "Hell, we could build one."

2003dec23. I was wearing a wide-brimmed hat today while cleaning the yard. Out here you occasionally heard weird machine noises, so when I heard this continual "WHOOSH WHOOSH WHOOSH" noise that got louder and quieter every so often, I started turning my head, trying to figure out where it was coming from. The "machine" turned out to be a raven, beating its wings 100 feet overhead, circling the area trying to get the best TV reception, I think. I am learning things about ... animals?

2003dec23. This buffalo seems a wee bit larger than most.

2003dec24. Penkiln Burn: Job 5.

2003dec25. The turkeys are unusually quiet today. They must be in the coop, sleeping. Yes. [much later: multiple turkeys heard gobbling. It's a Christmas miracle.]

2003dec26. Hell Notes.



2003dec30. The Wizard of Ass Has Spoken! A consideration of the person who is Hal Robins. It's a bit old, having run in July. Our circles occasionally intersected while I lived in the Bay Area and at one gathering a few of us were sitting down waiting for "The Conspiracy Zone" to air and instead something called "Bullnanza" came on, and we were all enlightened and educated, the end.

2003dec30. Bob's Travel Journal.

2003dec31. As you travel by foot into Nogales, Mexico, you will come across a waist-high green traffic light with a partially-obscured button next to it. A sign a little farther away, mostly out of your field of vision, indicates that everyone who crosses into Nogales should push the button. If you push the button, a small computer goes "think think think" (here the spellchecker tells me the second "think" is spelled wrong, beautiful) and if you're the lucky contestant, it makes a buzzing noise and the light turns red ‒ which somehow indicates that you should turn your attention from the traffic light to the table across the way, at which sits an immigration agent. The chances of the light turning red, based on my observations as we sat in the massive queue to get back to the US (the lines come within ten feet of each other), is anywhere from one in 50 to one in 100. It was only when I was leaving Nogales for the second time that I realized I had never pushed the button. I think that's the easiest way to avoid being picked. Years later, it was my turn to face a US agent. I told him I had a little bit of candy and he did that thing where people stop thinking for a second and then all of his security-based systems came back online and his head snapped straight with mine and he said "is that all you have?" and I almost laughed because it was so transparent -- "oh, I'm getting away with shipping all of these drugs over the border he's about to let me g ‒ OHMIGOD HE SUSPECTS SOMETHING HE FIGURED IT OUT" ...