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2005nov01. What I Did For Halloween. Mostly (entirely) I sat back and watched the kiddles begging, since I have a cold. I have attacked it with Longs® Wellness Compare To Halls® Active Ingredient Menthol Eucalyptus Vapors Honey Lemon Cough Drops Cough Suppressant/Oral Anesthetic, Emer’gen-C® 500 mg Vitamin C as Seven Mineral Ascorbates New Tropical 32 Mineral Complexes and B Vitamins Fizzing Drink Mix and Airborne® Lemon-Lime Flavor Dietary Supplement. The last one looks the most suspect, especially with the “dietary supplement” chain-yanking. “No, seriously, this will help you lose or gain weight.” There’s so much hand-waving on this package it’s ridiculous. The only concrete thing you get is “take at the first sign of a cold symptom* or before entering crowded environment” with the dreaded FDA “we’re too busy with our noses up big pharma’s ass to evaluate this statement” asterisk. But I am a desperate ro-bot.

2005nov01. Hello, everyone. Hello. I am back at the CSS tables, putting all my money on even, and odd, and the little green zero. I am wondering ... if you use a browser called “Internet Explorer,” if you could tell me what Phoneswarm looks like to you? And let me know what version you’re using. Thank you.

2005nov02. An Eye For Annai. It is a short animation. It is touching.

2005nov03. High Fructose Corn Syrup. I automatically translate the words into “poison” when I look at ingredient labels ... ”water, modified food starch, poison, salt ... ” YMMV. [via robot wisdom]

2005nov04. I continue to explore cold remedies. Today’s purchase: Long’s Wellness Standardized Herb Extract Ginseng 100mg Concentrate Herbal Supplement. I could buy an actual ginger root and scrape little bits off of it, or I could buy a processed ”pill” form of same with unknown efficacy. I live in the modern age. Tomorrow a friend visits from afar, riding the friendly skies of a national airline carrier for free thanks to his bowling skills. The carrier had the bowling alley randomly drop a blue-colored pin in with the regular racks, and if you got a strike when that happened, they gave you a free round-trip ticket to anywhere in the US. It will be a welcome, calming 36 hours or so of relative sanity.

2005nov04. Theoretically this page is now CSS and you can read it. I have been up and down the web reading all of the fascinating little wars over exactly when everyone’s supposed to switch over to the new thing or the newer thing or the newest thing and why and why not and eventually you start agreeing with everyone but then finally someone held up four fingers and said it was three and in response I am holding up one finger.

2005nov07. Text copy from the Hong Kong bootleg first season DVD of the TV show “Lost” (images here).

Plot brief introduction:
This play gather for 2004 years most deserve lake a I(mk al of TV scdal. The American television station ofABC scolds Ihc huge sum to take In talwali. the whole story details falls the. Rise and faII. the actor perform toroughly, brodcast the flrst to gather to have already take down the segment accepts to see the champion at tne salne time. having become thc prime lime to accept to see the tailest Ielevision Nowone of the plays. The story relates an erobus to sink jnto an isolated island in Pacific 0cean. 48 Passengers retumalive by luck. Face this kind of shabby signs of human being small sland. they how exist bottom to go to? The survival myriad shapes. the nationality, human face. cullural background. character ... elc. have the huge difference. l 4 star to win Io have the father and son. there are brother and sister, there is friend. also having the enemy. They since to overcome the bad natural environment in* prety0f tropicaI zone from the w(mdLook for the food. headwaters. sillI need to face Issue to make in lhe night lhe owner tremble with fear inlerjection of mysteriou Ilying Creature: More diffIcull Is they inust win personal private win. expeI the misunderstanding and disagree. help each other. beg the existence.

Special thanks to the “crew” for loaning me said box. Prime lime. Look for the food.

2005nov09. Phoneswarm is getting swarmed today. Mentions on Digg and Metafilter. I will reward myself with a one-cubic-inch piece of peanut butter Fluff® fudge.

2005nov09. Changed my mind about the fudge. Went with a Long’s® Wellness Non-Sedating Artificial Citrus Flavor Dietary Supplement Zinc Drop, the last bit of my cold fightin’ arsenal. Said cold (“cold”) 99% gone, and of course I have no idea what helped (icky salt water gargling?), what harmed (apparently maybe orange juice is not a good thing for a sore throat, go figure), and what was just as good as doing nothing. My theory is that different things work for different people. I found that dressing up like a penguin and jumping on my bed going “LOOO! LOOO! ALSO LOOO!” reduced my cold symptoms by three days. Your results may vary. A friend recommended gargling hydrogen peroxide and said he had almost instant results, but I was scared. If you decide to gargle hydrogen peroxide, write a note that you read it on DrKoop.com back in 1998. Leave it someplace conspicuous, like stapled to your forehead. I think I did that joke in 2002.

2005nov10. Mail.

The salt water gargle thing is sound treatment ... my mum (an RN, used to work surgical recovery) had us do that one when I was a pup, and it always helped. Make the water as hot as you can stand it. Salt is a great medicinal tool for fighting infections, one often overlooked or ignored by our antibiotic-soaked culture. As a kid, I once had an ingrown nail that got infected, it hurt like hell and dogged me for a couple of weeks and wouldn’t any get better. Mom kept me home for two days and wrapped my toe with a washcloth soaked in a heavy saltwater solution and then wrapped that with a heating pad. We basically cooked my toe in salt and I was done with the infection just like that. It definitely beat going to the doc and getting my toe lanced like a friend of mine had to do (eeeeeeek) ... he hobbled around for days afterward and looked really uncomfortable. Don’t forget your vitamin C either, 1000 mg or more a day, man ... the OJ did you some good, I’ll bet you.

Yeah, I remember doing salt soaks for the toes when I was kid, I had some sort of fungus or such. I got exactly 1000mg from those big Airborne tablets I mentioned earlier. Here’s some more skeevy talk from them: “WE PLEDGE to our customers to continually upgrade the AIRBORNE formula as improved technology avails itself, thereby offering the finest, most effective health formula possible. Satisfaction guaranteed.” Wow, they’ve promised to keep up with technology. You don’t get that with other companies. My computer? Made out of shale (the rock that burns) and chipmunks glued together. No pledge written anywhere on the shale or the frightened, huddling woodland animals.

2005nov10. God forgot to give horsies perfect nasal passages.

2005nov10. Mail.

I used to work in one of the pill factories where they made that Airburng stuff. They also made Kewl-aid-type packets with German writing, stool-firming tablets, and many other consumer-grade powders & pills. What was it like inside? Well, the first thing you noticed was the sticky floors. Almost everything had some kind of sugar in it so the mainly high school drop-out temp employees couldn’t help but track it around. They had non-personal lab coats in a trash bin, rubber gloves, and hairnets but not booties or facemasks. Sure they had to clean stuff to standards since the handful of manufacturing lines were always changing products, but I always found it odd that the magic cold fizzers weren’t pastuerized, sterilized, irradiated, or otherwise bio-neutralized after leaving that environment. Maybe they were treated somewhere else later. They don’t have to operate by rigid FDA drug guidelines, just food ones. Ah-choo.

2005nov11. Weeeeeeee, playhouse! Playhouse!

2005nov12. CNN online.

Watch: Pig running hog wild through neighborhood
Watch: Woman, baby trapped in train door

2005nov13. Programmers: Still boring-ass robots.

2005nov17. Mail.

you fuckin’ idiot ... get a life asshole

Exquisite timing.

2005nov18. So all of this stuff (motions with sweeping arms) moved to a new, bigger box recently. Currently: growing pains. Everyone was so distracted no one noticed that Rocketboom (that’s a page with a video link, it’s like a news program, on the web, see) gave Phoneswarm a shout-out a few days ago. It’s very strange to see an actual person talking about this junk. The computer she’s tapping on to make transitions is a TI-99/4. Boing Boing also pointed to the site yesterday. It’s a good time to be PHONESWARM.COM.

2005nov21. I am in the dizzy wondrous cloud of “safe mode.” My PC has gone on der fritzen after I foolishly installed some old scanner software. Safe mode gives you about sixteen colors, everything is dithered, etc. It is a parallel world, human faces are rendered as smears of gray. I don’t see any way out of this anytime soon. I am feeling stabby.

2005nov22. Phoneswarm: A new phoneswarm for the Thanksgiving holiday.

2005nov22. Mail.

maybe there was one chick ... with really short hair

I hadn’t considered that option. I was always of the mind that there were two. Not that I know what the hell you’re talking about, but it’s good of you to assume. Keeps me on my toes, it’s like a logic puzzle.

2005nov22. Mail.

hewloo man. are you out of safe mode now, or whatE?

Yes. Originally I got some old scanner software from a driver site. I installed it. The scanner did not work. I uninstalled it. Then I got the same piece of software – but it was built differently – from driverguide.com. I cannot recommend you stay away from driverguide.com enough. It is a horrible site with the most heinous registration hoops ever. Social Security Number? Here, enjoy a bunch of 0000000’s. Anyway, I got the software from there, installed it. The scanner didn’t work. Then the computer wouldn’t start -- kept rebooting. I spent about two days digging deeper and deeper into the amazing mysteries of the modern PC. Everyone told me to just give up and re-install Windows. I’m dumb, I don’t listen to people. So then I thought -- well, the first piece of software I had didn’t make the PC reboot over and over. And it’s theoretically the same piece of software. So if I re-install it, it will write over whatever is causing the PC distress and it will boot normally. And that’s exactly what happened, the end. When you’re dealing with the stupidest operating system in the world, think stupider.

2005nov22. Mail.

honestly, i’m surprised dome-shaped hangars are not more popular for the storage of aircraft. they’re more resistant to fierce winds and easier to camouflage against satellite observation – if you’re into that sort of thing.

Actually, the most deceiving shape for aircraft hangers are giant pieces of candy. Spotters aren’t trained to deal with the absurd. ”BUT IT’S CANDY” etc. Also, thanks for checking in about this, I was totally not wondering about this for the last two decades, at least.

2005nov22. Flickr: Cellphone training. Crucial. Sign up now.

2005nov23. Spammers that care.

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2005nov24. Phoneswarm was apparently mentioned today on CBC radio. There are apparently people out there touring Alcatraz Island on this, our most gluttoniest of days.

2005nov25. Flash advertising banner: “Shoot the gangster and get your FREE cell phone horoscope.” What happened to “shoot the bouncing groceries”? We’ve lost our innocence, but along the way, we’ve grown ... and matured. My horoscope says: “A cell phone is not in your future.”

2005nov25. Candyb|og: See’s Awesome Nut & Chew gets a 10 out of 10.

2005nov26. Xooglers. Ex-Google employees release the memories.

“I’m going to give you five minutes,” he told me. “When I come back, I want you to explain to me something complicated that I don’t already know.” He then rolled out of the room toward the snack area. I looked at Cindy. “He’s very curious about everything,” she told me. “You can talk about a hobby, something technical, whatever you want. Just make sure it’s something you really understand well.”

2005nov26. Treadmill Bike. Definitely watch the video (“take it off some sweet jumps!”). I saw another bike two weeks ago that a guy was rowing down the street. It had oars. Hot bikes for ’06: bikes that make no sense. Catch ‘em! Please catch them.

2005nov26. Mail.

you.
are.
awesome.

i will throw everything away and then pack myself to be shipped by Amtrak from NYC to San Fran.

*ding!*

my virtual “Thank You, Cardhouse” Brownies are done.

2005nov28. New Phoneswarm number is up a little late. Again. Luckily, now that I’m all itching to get out and meet people and such, I’ve chosen to start another website that keeps my ass planted in chairland for another few hours a week. It is a “smart move.”

2005nov28. Awhile back, I pointed to this essay on High Fructose Corn Syrup. Cardhouse’s resident chemist, Dr. Berk, read the article and replied in kind, which you can now find at Please Pass The Science.

2005nov29. Cardhouse: And now, now it is time for the biggest feature here ever, The NAMM Show 2005. It’s so big it’s still not finished. Thirty pages, eight photos per page ... 240 photos with almost as many captions. The NAMM Show is the National Association of Music Merchant’s big yearly show in Hole-In-The-Ground-Anaheim California, not that you would know what it stands for from their website – “What does NAMM stand for? NAMM stands for the global music products industry. NAMM stands for you.” There are some captions I need to write and musicians that need to be identified. But I wanted to get it out there before NAMM 2006 comes along. Special thanks to Famous Company X for the passes and Tim for putting up with my decidedly non-musical approach to exploring The NAMM Show. If you want to cut to the “best” parts:

Recently-Uncovered Slipknot Alternate Lyrics
The Metasonix Butt Probe/Vacuum-Tube Agonizer
Thayers Natural Remedies Slippery Elm Original Lozenges – “Nature’s CHERRY Demulcent.”

2005nov29. Roast Beef’s web|og: Molly’s Xmas list. Roast Beef is a cartoon cat who lives in Achewood.

2005nov29. Doc asks the following question:

Maybe Dr. Berk would know whether it’s true what they say about hydrogenation – that it renders the molecules unrecognizable by the body as “food.”

Dr. Berk:

Yes, this is kind of true. It is certainly harder to metabolize (which involves “recognition” and breaking down of molecules) saturated hydrocarbons, which are what you get when you hydrogenate fatty acids, than unsaturated ones. The hydrogenation process gets rid of a double bond, which is a key metabolic “hot-spot” that the body can recognize and “attack.” Note that even though it’s harder to get rid of unsaturated fat, it can still be dealt with by the body. That said, the body doesn’t need that much fat, period, whether it is metabolizable or not. There are many naturally occurring saturated fats, so don’t think of it as rendering something “natural” into something “artificial.” Hydrogenation transforms unsaturated fats to saturated fats (which have better properties for use in food – mainly that they are solid, rather than liquid, at room temperature – think vegetable oil becoming margarine). Hope that helps.

Muchisimas gracias, señor. I guess I’m willing to be a lab rat for Hostess® cupcakes.

2005nov29. Passed a mildly-exasperated couple who were walking to a shop.

Guy: Laurie ... no, no, no ...
Laurie: Dude, let’s just go look at the cheese.

Then I stopped to watch two bickering parrots high in a tree. Finally one lunged at the other and the thrilling mid-air chase began in earnest. The holiday season is already starting to wear all of us down.

2005nov29. Mail.

in the thayers pic, is that creature on the right some sort of (non-chess-playing) automaton, that’s preserved in tobacco smoke when not in use? just curious.

Yes. That is exactly correct. Do not mess with the Thayers leaflet-handing grand master.

2005nov29. Dr. Berk’s response to the high-fructose corn syrup piece now has its own page.