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jan . feb . mar . apr . may . jun . jul . aug . sep . oct . nov . dec

Above: Phoneswarm Pay phones at Muir Woods National Monument and Powell Street San Francisco.

Longer 2006 items: Trader Joe's FAQ



January 2006.

2006jan17. New payphone is up at phoneswarm. In Hawaii. On the beach.

2006jan18. The odor of cake is inside my nose. It is bedeviling.

2006jan18. There was this show on MTV back in 1997 called "Austin Stories." On the show, the character played by Howard Kremer ("Howard Kremer") was sort of a low-rent scammer ‒ in one episode, he fished six-month old Christmas candy out of a dumpster to re-sell ("it's six months early for this Christmas"). It just makes boatloads of sense that the person selling Austin Stories DVDs on Ebay turns out to be Howard Kremer ("Howard Kremer").

2006jan18. Mail.

I'm applying for a Golden Emblem Exchange Program. And the application wants to know what state we want to go to and why we want to go to that state. could you give me good information about Tennessee of why you or somebody would want to go to Tennessee. Thanks

Jennifer

Tennessee is the Garlic State. It is filled with garlic. I like garlic. Therefore, I would visit Tennessee.

2006jan19. I fixed that Austin Stories DVD link so it will always serve up the current auction. Some reviews.

2006jan20. Flickr: No swimming in Vatican City.

2006jan21. Back in the day, I used to purchase the occasional sourdough baguette and just Mao through it, one-half of it per day. When I made my triumphant return to California earlier last year, I was automatically re-assigned a governmental personal trainer, who scolded me about my diet. So no more bread. Until today. And I'm eating the bread, and eating it, and then I got that signal from my stomach that says "hey. Enough with the bread, stupid." That's when I turn my trucker hat to the side and shift into fifth gear. The fifth gear of eating.

2006jan23. Steve is comin' up on Indianapolis.

2006jan24. Interview: Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World with Albert Brooks.

2006jan25. 101 Dumbest Moments in Business.

46. No, no. I said, "May I see my ID?"
New Jersey payroll services provider Automatic Data Processing sends postcards to more than 1,000 employees of Adecco Employment Services, a global human resources firm, printed with the employees' Social Security numbers and instructions for accessing their benefits information online.

Yeah. Here's the thing. I never need to see my full social security number ever again. They've burned it into my brain, starting with college when it was used as a student ID. I don't need to see it on financial forms, tax forms, medical forms, any sort of forms that are sent through the mail. I don't need to see it online, either. But companies and organizations still love sending your SSN through the mail, clear, with your address and full name. Identity theft is growing, and it's mainly through paper ‒ sifting through trash, stealing your mail, etc.

2006jan27. Push the Blue Button. [via doc]

2006jan28. The Peekaboo Paradox. Essential reading, an excellent character study. Also see this chat with the author which answers a lot of questions that go through your head after you're finished reading. And here's The Great Zucchini himself. [via metafilter]

2006jan31. Photo: Dog 'n' brick. Can't remember who pointed at this. Perhaps someone will add an easy "traceback" find-the-original-tab-your-new-tab-came-from feature to Firefox someday. Someone probably already has.


February 2006.

2006feb03. I saw a car slowly tooling around a parking lot just now, and the only sticker on the car made me realize it was also the best band name ever: "STUDENT DRIVER." According to my anemic search-engine use, there was a band with that name in 2003. Religious? Oui. From Kansas? Oui.

2006feb04. Doctor Cliff will be checking in from time to time with updates from New Orleans. Like this.

There are a few questions which are always asked, the first time you see a friend since the storm (nobody says "Katrina" except amidst a colorful string of profanity).

The opener is always "Where ya been?" which will get you some freaky tale of cross-country evacuation, or an even freakier tale of not evacuating. Then it's down to business-

1. "How IS everybody?"
This is a thinly-veiled invitation to tell me who you know that died.

2. "Where ya stayin' at?"
The subtle presumption is that your former home is fucked. Answers range from 'my house' to 'my truck' to 'mario's couch.' Housing is a strange bird here. There are not enough safe places to live right now.

3. "How's ya house?"
And there's an established format for your answer: water damage first, then wind damage, then any 'special' fuckage, then your prognosis. So my answer would be "2 feet a water inside, lost a little bit of roof, garage is destroyed, 2 cars in the driveway went under. I'm buildin' it back."

4. "How you holdin' up?"
This one is mostly 'are you still married etc' but can also include answers from the whimsical to the overtly suicidal. Be ready to clink beer bottles or buy fresh beers at this point. This one's just a courtesy question since you know how someone's holding up the second you see them. I have a lot of friends who look 10-15 years older than they did in August.

5. "Were you insured?"
Do NOT ask this question unless you're in a bar, and you've got some time on your hands. There is no "yes" or "no" for this one. Get ready for some long, painful answers that will demand your undivided attention. the answer may not even be about insurance but maybe FEMA or SBA or the latest bitch-slap we got from DC. Find a cue to interject "geezus" or "fuck" and buy a round of drinks immediately. This is really THE question, more important than 'who died' or anything else. Dead people are no longer issues- they're dead and we're still here. insurance companies, FEMA, SBA, these people are writing checks for the future of the whole fucking city. so this is the big one, the real reason you're going through this whole silly dance in the first place.

2006feb04. Babs: Focus Group unfocusing. I got to do this once with a classic rock station focus group, but nowhere near as perfect as this. I love that they were desperate enough to try to influence the focus group with an audiotape of an actor. Too cheap for video, apparently.

2006feb04. For some reason Walk the Line really hit a sweet spot inside me. I saw it twice, both times in theatres with couches instead of seats [1 2], one time eating pizza. Perhaps that is the reason. Probably not.

2006feb05. Around six years ago, one of my friends told me an amazing fantastical story about watching live TV coverage of a casino bombing. "You are pulling my leg with the pulling," I said. Every year or so I would check "online" for any information about this supposed event, and finally little things started trickling in, including a reference to a "Inside The FBI" TV episode devoted to the bombing that I've never seen, and a white-washed government report ("everything went according to plan! hooray for our side!"). I just found a ginormous eight-part article on the bombing in the Reno Gazette Journal.

Introduction: Render Safe
Day 1: Special delivery for Harvey Gross
Day 2: A stern warning: "It is full of TNT"
Day 3: From hard-earned riches to blackjack tables"
Day 4: 'We never expected them to get the bomb inside the casino'
Day 5: The payoff: 'There will be no extension or renegotiation'
Day 6: The bungled extortion: A cold night in a forest full of bees
Day 7: In a deserted casino, bomb experts flip the Switch
Day 8: Once the charge was set, there was no going back

Finally, for dessert, bringing it all back to my friend's original assertion: news footage of the bombing. I spent a long time deriving sneaky ways to get to the proper articles no thanks to the RGJ's horrendous website until I ran across this site which did all the ponderous heavy lifting.

The only part of the story that confuses me is this. How exactly do two people move a bomb into a casino without knowing it's a bomb, yet the bomb was so sensitive that it had mercury levels in it? They set it down and left and the bomb primed itself? What?

2006feb05. Tupperware: Bulletproof? [via obscure store]

2006feb10. Flickr: National Gallery (mind-bending version).

2006feb12. I so thoroughly enjoyed Gene Weingarten's article about The Great Zucchini (remember? see jan 28, below) that I went and fished out two offerings from the unrelated Jeffrey Steingarten: The Man Who Ate Everything and It Must Have Been Something I Ate out from the local book river. These are excellent chunks of writing -- no matter where you are, gastronomically, he'll ratchet you up a few notches. There are recipes, trivia, food excursions to various "other" countries, and the methodical scientifical Alton Brownical way of looking at food that the rapidly shrinking logical part of my brain enjoys so. There are two recurring tiny annoying motes peppered throughout the books ‒ the "wow, I'm not being paid well" old saw and the "I had an underling do something and they didn't do it right" old saw. Then I started digging around, found out he's a food columnist for Vogue and wait a minute ... he's that guy on Iron Chef??? Hrm. His appearances on The IC don't really match his writing, but writers are wack-a-moles anyway. review

2006feb12. Mail.

Confused! Jeffrey Steingarten (the food guy)? Or Gene Weingarten (the guy who wrote about the Great Zucchini?) Are they the same? Or... different?

Different. I am making connections where none exist for some confusing reason. Disregard this tenuous non-linkage between two people who are not the same people at all.

2006feb14. Dr. Brody Culpepper weighs in on our Recent National Distraction, VP Cheney shootin' up some lawyer food:

Whether Cheney will be convicted of manslaughter, reckless endangerment, a bone-fide accident, or a simple dust-up among good ol' boys depends on three things: gauge of the shotgun, size of the shot, and distance from target (and oh yeah, what organ is hit).

First, the gauge, or width of the bore (barrel opening) is an olde-type system of imperial (non-metric) measurements. But as these archaic systems go, the make little sense, so the larger the gauge number, the narrower the bore. If indeed Cheney was using a 28 gauge shotgun, that would make it a bore diameter of 0.55 of an inch, rather than a larger 0.729 of an inch for a 12 gauge shotgun. Hence, if you need something for 'home defense', a 12 ga. will pack more punch, and you'll also understand why the even bigger 10 ga. is called "The Roadblocker" in hillbilly sheriff parlance, and why 8 ga. shotguns are now illegal in the US. More importantly, the size of the gauge determines the width of the shotgun shell itself, so a narrower gague bore means a narrower shell, and a narrower shell contains less powder. This translates into less bang for the buck, literally. So, if Cheney wanted to snuff somebody, a 28 gauge isn't the best tool for the job, but maybe that's his modus operandi.

Next is shot size. This means the size of the pellets ‒ or shot ‒ that is blasted from the gun. A larger shot size means a smaller size pellet, but the more pellets that can fit into a shell. So a typical shot for quail is 7-1/2 or 8, rabbits would be about a 6 or 7, coyotes would need about a 2, and for deer would be a 00 (standard) which amount to about 3 large lead balls for each shell, and a single slug (illegal for hunting in most states) would be used to disable a police car (thank god that's still legal, even with the steel-core lead slugs with the titanium tip). It's important to remember that the smaller shot have less mass, and hence less velocity, and so travel shorter distances with less impact. Coupled with a smaller gauge, quail shot from a 28 gauge wouldn't be a good tool to kill a Texas lawyer, and by 30 yards, the impact of the quail shot would cause wide but superficial damage to skin and subdermal tissues. It reminds me of a Rockford Files episode where a similar incident (that time it was meant to kill ol' Jim) at a great distance equaled a painful 45 minute stay in an emergency room to have tweezers remove the pellets from just below the skin and the superficial gluteal muscles.

Lastly ‒ the organ in question. Even a light graze from a 28 ga. in the face over 30 yards would be unpleasant, and except for permanent injury to the eyes, wouldn't cause death. So, Cheney was not trying to cap some judicial ass. However, it's likely that he was drunk to be popping a judge as a 'mistake'. Having been in similar situations using low-gauge shotguns with several people in the area (for science, mind you), there are simple ways to keep your target-zone in safe control, so there was a serious break-down in safety protocol. That equals one VP who either doesn't know what the fuck he is doing (unlikely), or is drunk with some redneck buddies in the sticks and loses control of his senses (likely).

As for the quail, the use of pen-reared quail to be released for shooting purposes is not uncommon. It is called a "canned hunt," meaning that captive game are quite naive and are easy to shoot and ups the bag limits (and being captive-bred, there is no bag limit, whereas there is one for actual wild quail). The hicks that hunt this way aren't into hunting for the skill, focus, and appreciation of the animal (as most 'real' hunters are), but merely want to shoot the shit out as many critters as they can, with a good BBQ payoff at the end. It's like comparing seasoned fly fishermen to those cement-pond "no-limit" trout farms in the desert where you can catch 20 starved rainbows in an hour for two bucks each with your $7.99 Zebco pole & reel combo.

2006feb17. The people of America reach out to New Orleans.

2006feb20. Phoneswarm: A new payphone.

2006feb21. Ran into these within minutes of each other.

"She was one of the first celebrities to speak openly about mental illness [...] the most important thing she felt she ever did in her life was bust open depression." "Vivian often used her humor to get her points across. At every question and answer session, some patient would inevitably ask Vivian, 'my mother, (father, relative, or friend) says I wouldn't be here if only I helped myself. What should I say to them?' Vivian's reply: 'Tell them to go fuck themselves.'"

-- The Other Side of Ethel Mertz: The Life Story of Vivan Vance

"Where Woody, impulsive and mischievous, always believed in me no matter what, Rick didn't seem to have the same confidence. I suspect where that came from. After all, I was not only going to be the second woman ever to host her own variety talk show, I would be the first black woman to do that. Somehow, it seemed, even before Mr. Rosner had met me, he assumed on that basis that I might not have the proper polish to be able to handle it [...] He was so uncomfortable, I decided to try to loosen him up and make him feel more at ease by telling him some jokes. Cute ones. Funny ones. Nothing moved him. All the people sitting at the adjacent tables were laughing hysterically. He didn't even chuckle [...] Woody got me and Rick together, telling me, 'Rick is concerned about your language [...] why don't you let him get a chance to hear that you know how to handle yourself in front of the camera? Maybe you could give him a couple minutes of the kind of language you'll be using on the air.' By this point I was

offended. This was a producer who was making judgements about me based on nothing [...] he didn't know my work. He hadn't taken the time to do his homework and see any copies of shows I had guest-hosted for Johnny [Carson], any of my hundreds of radio and TV guest appearances [...] I couldn't help myself but to just stick it to Rick. 'Well,' I said, poker-faced, 'I was thinking of opening by saying 'Good afternoon, motherfuckers ...'"

-- Della Reese - Angels Along The Way

2006feb26. [Cardhouse] Grocery theme continues: Trader Joe's FAQ. For my NYC peeps, confused and huddling outside the entrance to TJs.


March 2006.

2006mar01. Got hit with one of those storytellin' panhandlers today in an Emeryville parking lot.

"Got any jumper cables?"
"Yeah, I think so ..." [FX: opening vehicle door, rummaging around for jumper cables]
"This is great, you know I've been trying to get someone for the past half-hour and no one has offered ... where are you from?"
"Berkeley."
"Yeah, no one from Emeryville has stopped I'm going to [unintelligible (at this point his patter has stepped up and I'm not catching bits and pieces of it, that's the problem with the memorized oft-quoted spiel)] blah blah God blah blah (something about contacting God to thank me for my kindness or God must have sent me etc, repeated twice) how old are you, 27?"
Always shoot low, automatic compliment.
" ... got six kids in the Expedition all in wheelchairs (seriously, he said this; there's no Expedition anywhere) blah blah hospital down the street wait, what size engine do you have? That's not going to work (of course it isn't), don't want to blow your engine I tried my ATM card and it didn't work and blah blah my pager (here at this point he quickly flashes what appears to be an ATM card and a pager [a pager??? do people still use those?]) lend me (some weird amount, like $3.16)."

At this point I smiled the smile of someone who's heard many stories like this before and he immediately rolled off to another couple comin' down the pike. Seven wheelchairs, and one of them has a bomb strapped to it.

2006mar01. Achewood's The Great Outdoor Fight storyline has been "fresh" and "grand." Start here. Also there is obsessed discussion here.

2006mar02. Mail.

6 wheelchair-bound kids in the Expedition and he was trying to get to the hospital? Was this in or around the Home Depot/Office Max/Best Buy complex? That guy hit me up about a year ago with the same proposition. He was actually wearing scrubs and said he had to get to the hospital to work his shift, but his cell phone was dead, he couldn't call work for a ride because they would fire him, he couldn't call AAA but he needed jumper cables for his invisible Wonder (Wo)man car, and couldn't I just spare some money "'cause black people from Emeryville won't help me" (he was black). Nice.

Yeah, about three blocks away. I figured someone else probably heard the story, they typically have one story and they work it until it shines, pass it along among friends.

2006mar03. Wow. Was that a fuggin' Olympics or was that a fuggin' Olympics? Did you see the part where the contestant overcame some horrendous adversity to attend the Olympic Games, then won the gold? Yeah, that's the one! I remember the first time I spoke to anyone about the 2006 Olympics. [FX: tiny tear brushing]

Commemorative pins of Sparky, as always, are available in the Main Gift Shop.

2006mar05. Here's another awesome suggestion. I know there are only two or three companies providing the web-based software for libraries. I know this. Okay, here's a suggestion. Here's a crazy, nutty suggestion. See if you can follow along. When I start a session? Yeah? When I log in, and I'm creating fifteen new tabs with books I want to examine? Yeah ... don't yank my chain and time each of these new windows out one minute later. Because your audience isn't comprised of 100% library doofuses using your computers. That's what this web thing is all about. Reaching out, not timing out.

2006mar06. Little touching human bit unseen on the Oscars.

Weisz, who is 35 tomorrow, said she had felt her baby kicking all the way through the ceremony ‒ until the moment she went up to collect her award.

"With the lead up to that, the adrenaline, the baby was going crazy," she said.

"Poor baby. It was kicking around, but once I went onto the stage I think it's so overwhelming that I could have hardly told you my name. So I didn't feel anything when I was up on stage."

2006mar07. Blow Up.

2006mar07. Phone Booth Confessional. Gonna do this, yep. [via doc]

2006mar09. Web 2.0 is finally paying off.

2006mar09. I was stopped at a traffic light in San Francisco in my vehicular conveyance today. In the SUV in front of me a woman, the driver, was trying to occupy the imagination of a small child in the backseat. She grabbed a teddy bear and made little dancing motions with it. I don't watch movies much anymore, so I try to secure entertainment through non-traditional venues such as this whenever possible.

2006mar10. Penn & Teller "Bullshit!" ‒ The Patriot Act.

2006mar10. Mail.

you seem to be totally obsessed with TJ's (i am too) but can you tell me this, who owns TJ's? i heard they were bought by a german conglomerate years ago. do you know the name of the parent company?

T.H.E. Cat

This is an excellent question, Mr./Mrs./Miss Cat. The answer is Aldi. You could read this Busynessweek article for more information. Though the part about them selling unsulfured apricots is no longer true.

2006mar12. It's the ole' stand-by, search terms used to get here.

I need recipes the apple pie that give me to preparation continue
menthol drops (toxic limits)
gargle corn syrup
if you hit a parked car and someone see's you could they report it to the police
an essay like 'close your eyes and suppose that you are on a desert 1sland'
cute little things like stories
An insect that looks like a car "project"
why is the car important in our life?
origin of your foods not going to runaway
meatloaf

2006mar14. Penkiln Burn. Bake Cake (from 2003). I missed the addition of words and further words last year. Penkiln Burn is Bill Drummond, formerly of the KLF.

2006mar14. Penkiln Burn: Get Your Hair Cut. Also: Interviews. I went and got a haircut today. Typically I ask for the "businessman's" haircut and usually I get something that approximates it. Last time, I got the "75% rock star" haircut. This time I got the same person, asked for the same thing, and got a completely different style. The "non-rock star" haircut. The actual hair trimmer device was making some scary "I'm about to explode" sounds and I figured maybe I'd get a random brain modification when it launched some internal bit of metal through my skull at 200mph.

"Whuh? I can smell time now. Call the chat shows."

2006mar16. Pleix: Birds. It is a "musical video." You may remember other things that Pleix has offered in the past. [via peacedividend]

2006mar16. Feedwhip. Here's a strange way to stay current with your favorite websites that don't have RSS/etc. Better than nothing, I suppose.

2006mar19. I forgot to mention this. There's a train that occasionally comes through the city. There are new federal regulations that require the engineer to blow the horn pretty much at every street crossing, no matter how slow the train is going. So for the first month or so, it was horns-a-plenty at 3am, among other times. Now they sort of skirt the rules a bit, I'm sure there's been an uproar about it at the local train council meetings, however that works. Anyway. On December 25th, as the train was rolling through around 8pm, the engineer blew the tune "Jingle Bells." And then ran over some winos.

Wait, take that wino crack out. It was more touching without it.

No, put it back in. Make it "fist-waving winos." Like they were opposed to Christmas. Fuggin' winos.

2006mar19. Oh, and, because I'll probably forget to mention it in a day ... this website has been online since March 20, 1995. That makes it, um, old. You do the math, I'm tired.

2006mar19. Candyblog: Easter candy. So ... colorful ... glomph glomph

2006mar19. Ham & Enos.

2006mar21. Mail.

Hello,

First, Very Sorry for my bad English. Someone is sending your private e-mails on my address. It's probably an e-mail provider error! At time, I've got over 10 mails on my account, but the recipient are you. I have copied all the mail text in the windows text-editor for you and zipped then. Make sure that this mails don't come in my mail-box again.

No ... NOOOOOOOOO!

I HAVE SEEN A NEWS BROAUDCAST THIS MORNING ABOUT A TRADER JOES THAT JUST OPENED IN NYC .I WAS WONDERING IF YOU WERE INTERISTED IN OPENING UP ONE IN FLORIDA.I HAVE A LARGE PEACE OF PROPORTY IN OCALA FLORIDA,ON A MAGOR RODE.IT JUST MAY BE A GREAT LOCATION FOR A NEW STORE.

I would like to open my next Trader Joe's inside the stomach of the previous letter writer. Is he located in Florida?

2006mar23. I am in the grips of The Ill. Pancakes + Napoleon (the dessert) + sun + crowds ‒ water = The Ill. My travelling partner also got The Ill. We have: The Ill. Before The Ill, I was listening to the radio and it was some "news" about a family who took their SUV into some remote snowy area. The vehicle became lodged in fluffy white stuff or died or rolled over. Then the rescue operation commenced. Then the media coverage of the rescue operation commenced. And the family got to watch the coverage of the rescue operation on their in-vehicle TV. I couldn't stop laughing, but in a confused, poignant way. My laughing was poignant. It's sort of like those people on JetBlue watching coverage of their plane's twisted landing gear as they were about to "touch down." Would you feel happy or sad seeing rescuers on the television talking about finding you? "Okay, that's good, just try harder ... starting ... now."

"The rescuers have given up finding the Anderson family. We now return you to 'American Idol.'"
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!"
"Dad, are you 'NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO'ing the aborted rescue effort, or 'American Idol'?"
"I'm not really sure. I sort of have mixed feelings, here. Give me a few minutes. It will filter out."
"You got it. I'm going to be back here gnawing on my leg."
"That's the Anderson can-do spirit, son. ACDS, for short."

The Andersons sort of creep me out because really, I wouldn't get excited about my son eating his own leg for sustenance.

2006mar24. 7:35am in the morning. Oscar-nominated short. [via the obfuscator]

2006mar24. Mail.

Have you ever heard of a bowling game called ROTO-BOWLING?

I have stories of a Roto bowling alley building that was going to be built in Rochester, NY in 1947 (it was never built but the stories state that there was one in Buffalo and one in Florida).

The game was on a carpeted alley and the player used some kind of device to propel the ball down the alley.

I can find no information on the internet or other bowling history books and have found nothing in US patent office.

But I have heard of some old timers that said the game did exist.

The bowling hall of fame and museum wants $40.00 per hour to research the story.
Too much $$ for me ..... Any help would be appreciated.

- Bill

Bill, this is exactly the sort of thing that I will pursue to the ends of the earth to uncover. Perhaps one of our lovely readers knows more about this bizarre fragment of bowling lore. In a weird way it sounds sort of familiar, but I trust my memory as far as I can throw it these days, with or without a helpful device.

2006mar28. Phoneswarm: New payphone is up.

2006mar31. Spam excerpt.

TRUE COPIES OF SWISS WATCHES

- exact copies of V.I.P. watches
- perfect as a gift for your colleagues and friends

Don't be fooled by imitator imitators. Get in on the ground floor. Ask yourself this question: "Would a copy of a copy fool someone?" The answer you have given yourself is "no." Your boss will love your once-removed thoughtfulness. "Is this a genuine copy, Henderson?" This question will no longer haunt your sleep.


April 2006.

2006apr07. An observation about NY's "staredown" culture.

2006apr07. Doc passes along excerpts of the new The Pixies book.

2006apr12. Excerpts from the film The Corporation [1 2]. You know most of this already. Surprisingly candid/frank wrap-up at the end by Ray Anderson, CEO of Interface, a carpet manufacturer.

2006apr13. The Panopticist has a good summary of radio personality Joe Frank, and also a link to one of his tracks, "Eden." I first heard Joe Frank while wandering around Burning Man in 1995 or 1996, it's all mushed together as I was afraid it would be. I think I was with someone at the time, and we both stopped, listening to this mesmerizing voice explaining something that was beyond hilarious and just lovingly fucked up beyond comprehension and we were eating it up, getting our brains fried both from the outside by the sun and inside by Mr. Frank. And of course I forgot about it for a few years and then one day I'm listening to the William Orbit track "Montok Point" and I'm screaming "THAT'S THE GUY THAT'S THE GUY." See if you can find that track for yourself, it's in my semi-heavy rotation list right now. It doesn't really give you the whole Joe Frank experience, it's actually an excerpt from a longer piece. I'm sorry to hear about his medical problems, certainly.

2006apr13. Billmon: Mutually Assured Dementia. [Originally I had a link to a short video of Scott Ritter debunking a recent LA Times article here ‒ I thought he speaking as a UN weapons inspector, but he has since left that post; the original link here] Project for the New American Century is securely in the driver's seat, and we're all just screaming passengers now. (old, still sadly relevant: What Barry Says -- quicktime / wmv [~3 min])

2006apr17. Film trailer: Dr. Bronner's Magic Soapbox. This is the soap with the label with the teeny-tiny writing that goes on and on forever. I was going to make an issue of X Magazine with a "parody" cover of the label back in the 90s but then I went with a Waffle House design instead. This is how it goes. Haha, that was twelve years ago. Right here, '94 [FX: Rascal AutoGo Visions® stage right]. [via doc]

2006apr17. Both New York Hack and Clublife discuss New York toughies within an hour of each other.

2006apr17. New Yorker: Getting There: The Science of Directions.

After lunch, Arcari and Singh were due back at the central office, in Syosset, to download their findings. They offered to drive me back into Manhattan, but we agreed that it would make more sense for me to take the subway. None of us knew where to find it, though. Subway stations are not attributes; Navteq honors the primacy of the automobile [ ... ] We pulled into a gas station, and I ran inside to ask for directions.

Yes. About that. Adding subway stops to a local map would add ... what ... twenty or so dots? I walk, a lot, and I use Google Maps to get around sometimes, and they also don't have subway stops. And here, the author of the piece has to ask directions even though he's in the company of two digital mapping employees. It's like a big flashing sign: "you could probably invest a little time and do much better."

2006apr17. Cecil the Unwanted French Fry (scroll down). I like the Soul Setters version better. Also.

2006apr18. Evany's book, The Secret Language of Sleep, a Couple's Guide to the Thirty-Nine Positions has just been released from captivity. It's embossed. This is a classy book, with that inlaid title card and all. I had a chance to sit down with Evany earlier in the year and talk to her about the book.

"Do you have the position where one person jams their face into the armpit of the other?"
"No."

But it's got every other position. You can find more information about it here. It's even got a sleep test which is much better than that finding-out-your-sleep-number-computer-thing I did at the county fair ...

THANK YOU FOR INVESTIGATING YOUR SLEEP NUMBER "JOSEPH BLOW"
A FULL ONE-THIRD OF YOUR LIFE IS SPENT SLEEPING
YOUR SLEEP NUMBER IS: 0.3333333333333333333333333333333333333333

I got Lotto picks for an extra clam, so it wasn't a total waste.

2006apr18. Flickr: Guestbook spam.

2006apr19. As is the fashion of the time, spring turns the thoughts of many of us to the joys of merry-go-round social-networking whoredom. So here is my myspace space. No, I don't know why. But feel free to be my myspace space friend (you will have to click on the link that reads "be my 'friend'"). We will all join up and go to the amusement park but it will be too crowded and hot and my feet are tired but then when we get home we know that we owned that amusement park, except for dropping the licorice and Superman double scoop ice cream cone and walking through that plate glass window a second later. Ours. All of us.

2006apr20. Onion: Interview with Wonder Showzen Peoplezen.

The kids we go for are the kids who, when we say, "Would you like to smash a guitar against a brand-new car?" are like, "I've been dreaming about this, please let me do that!"

2006apr20. I went in to the dentist's office today to get a cavity filled. Sony's My First Cavity®. Plus half of something they're calling a "deep cleaning."

"That's also called 'scaling,' right?"
"Yes."
"They called it 'deep cleaning' because 'scaling' sounds kind of creepy, right?"
[uneasy professional laughter]

You get scaled ‒ I mean deep cleaned ‒ when you don't go to the dentist in a long time. A really long time. That's what check-ups are all about, they need to explain this in much more dire terms, I think. I sort of lost track of this millennium, what with my work at the orphanage and the two years with the WNBA. I thought it was going to be much more harsh, they just use water pressure to clean your teeth below the gum line. At least, that's the way it felt/sounded/etc, I kept my eyes closed the whole time ‒ dentists don't need their patients looking at them. So if the procedure is something different, like twenty steak knives or some other horror show, don't email me with the "solution." I'd rather remain thinking it's water, because I've got another appointment to go in for the other half.

And even though it's local anesthetic, when it was time to get up and pay I felt really disoriented ‒ I think it's because my brain was so busy trying to figure out what was happening during the procedure. "Ooooh ... strawberry? They flavor the local? Weirdos." The two locals needed for deep cleaning were administered in a more "mellow" fashion than the five to seven locals I got ten years ago for wisdom teeth removal. Not like needles going into your gum, more like someone rubbing it.

Right now my teeth are still numb, so I'm poking around in there for self-amusement. It's fun, when you rub up against your cheek it's like your sense of touch is approximating where your teeth are.

2006apr20. Interview with Scott Ritter.

2006apr21. Before I left the dentist, he told me to rinse with salt water "two or three times a day." Until 2017? Forever? I was sort of out of it when he was going through all the things I needed to do and/or not do. Dentists and doctors really need to make a big master checklist and then just tick off everything that needs to be done, and put big "X"s through things to not be done. HOT compress? COLD compress? PUDDING-BASED compress? He also said something about brushing and then a word that started with "fl" but again I wasn't in my right mind. Ended with a snakey sound. I'm sure it's not that important.

2006apr21. Rainbows.

2006apr23. Flickr: American Eagle splits the difference (potentially NSFW).

2006apr23. Sexy sex spray on the horizon.

'In a rat, there's a mating ritual,' says Palatin's CEO Carl Spana. 'The female rat will approach the male head-to-head. She will wiggle her ears, she will wiggle her whiskers, she will nibble at him, and finally she'll turn and run away.' If the male chooses not to pursue her, she may return and, as one leading rat sexologist puts it, 'kick him in the face.'

Rats: Always A Class Act. Let us look to rats to develop new sexual habits. I'm getting HOTT already, thinking about a fine gal kicking me in the face to spur coitus.

Every time the penis of a subject rat emerged, observers marked down the event in a notebook.

WOW HOW MUCH DOES THAT JOB PAY

2006apr23. Upon reflection, I'm seeing the previous post as an encapsulation of the last ten years of Cardhouse. It's all there, really.

2006apr23. Rat sexologist.

2006apr24. Mail.

will i feel anything when cardhouse goes web 2.0? is cardhouse already converted to web 2.0? what will radiate out from the cardhouse web 2.0 core?

I am working diligently to bring the website up to the year 2002. So Cardhouse will be Web 2.0 compliant four years after that, add a few years on for change ... 2013. Really, I don't see that there's anything in the 2.0 canon that Cardhouse needs. Ajax? Wikis? But if you start looking at definitions of Web 2.0, you will see that one of the terms is "blogging," which I believe is a "slang" term to represent a website that offers weblog services for its users. As I am the only user, I guess that means Cardhouse was Web 2.0 compliant back around 1997-1998, by that metric. Oooooh, snap!

2006apr24. I take part of my previous entry back. One thing that is in the pipes is syndication. That's coming, so get ready. You don't look ready. No, that's your sex face ... don't make me ask you to kick me in the face. Try again. No. Not that one. God no. You're really not trying, here. I'll get back with you.

2006apr24. Meta-analyses Used To Discredit Supplements.

2006apr25. Ute Lemper is appearing at the San Francisco Symphony Hall May 4th. Doc conducted an interview with Ute some time ago.

2006apr27. Youtube: Shadow Basketball. [from tvinjapan]

2006apr28. Pimp My Snack. Man, this place has exploded with entries. We will see its influence in the corporate sector -- soon it will be difficult to carry store-bought snacks to the check-out line. Because they will be too big. I don't know that this is the right name for this project ‒ something like "Embiggen My Snack" or "10X SNACK UP!!!!" would be more appropriate. Though there is this which captures the spirit of "Pimp My Ride" almost exactly.

2006apr29. Doc sent along a link to the book Possum Living (1978) and I done dug up a reference to a Possum Living movie from 1981. It was like a link jamboree, Doc got on the jug and I was playing the washing board weeeoooo we were cooking.

2006apr29. Mail.

when is the cinco de mayo festitbal

The date of this popular festival changes each year. In 2006, it will be held on Arbor Day. Which was yesterday, so you just missed it. Next year, it will be on National Helicopter Week (July 20 ‒ May 2), so you have some time to fashion your costume. [I didn't actually send this note. I'm not that mean. I said: "It's on ... YOUR FACE!" which is really much better than a misleading answer, I think.]

2006apr30. Stephen Colbert becomes the first person to actually serve Bush [25 min]. Essential viewing.


May 2006.

2006may01. Went to Big Basin State Park today. In addition to tall trees, I wanted to see a waterfall, and a banana slug. I did not see a waterfall. It was too far, and the trail was very muddy. I found the slug resting in a hollow of a felled tree.

The directions you get from the state park site are convoluted and add an unnecessary big chunk of mileage when coming in from the North. Just grab 9 as soon as you can (from either 35 or San Jose) and ride it in. At one point for about five miles the road is so narrow they didn't bother putting the yellow stripe down, but it's still a curvy two-way road. This equals excitement.

Also I have been listening to old Saint Etienne. For some reason it provokes feelings of nostalgia though I'm not sure for what, exactly. I think it's some sort of abstract longing for club dancing, though I can't recall ever shaking my most perfect ass to Cracknell's vocals in any sanctioned danceteria back in the day.

2006may01. Stephen Colbert on 60 Minutes [12:45].

2006may02. Phoneswarm: A new payphone. Located in Big Basin State Park. An amazing coincidence.

2006may02. Colbert/Stewart post-game.

2006may05. Ze Frank: The Show. It is a show. With Ze Frank.

2006may05. Beating a MSM-dead horse: Daily Show's Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert on the 2005 White House Correspondent's Dinner. Perhaps that's why Laura didn't shake his hand. Or maybe it was the speech thing. [via the dying gasps of youtube]

2006may05. Why We Fight. [1hr 39min]

2006may05. More scaling. I didn't get as much anesthetic this time, so the Post-Scrape Numb Games were a bit of a letdown this time. Though I did immediately go into a high-priced supermarket I used to frequent back in the salad days to see if I could find something to "nosh" on and a woman almost bumped a cart into me. We both did that quick smile thing or at least I think I did. Partially, at least. A contorted half-smile. I am a grotesque monster in the overpriced cheese aisle, please flee in terror at your earliest convenience. Rarrr. Rar.

2006may06. It's Fideo Friday!

Bullshit!: Profanity [27 min].
Bullshit!: Family Values [29 min; nsfw].
Bullshit!: Ground Zero [29 min].
Dispatches: Supermarket Secrets Part I [UK; 48 min].
Dispatches: Supermarket Secrets Part II [UK; 49 min].
Frontline: The Secret History of the Credit Card [54 min].
One Thursday In November: Life of a Street Busker [33 min].
The Decline of Belly Dancing In Egypt [4 min].

In "One Thursday In November," watch around 13:48 for the woman holding the cigarette a foot away from an infant. Awesome. That is, if you can get through the actual busking parts. How bad could it be, you ask, it's just at the level of bad busking, right? One Word In This Sentence: Puppet. Cool guy, though. I also like the film, it has a quiet demeanor to it for the most part. This is why I am a documentary slobberhound. Or perhaps it's the anesthetic.

2006may09. I have some Zip disks. They are old. I would like to get rid of them. But I need to back them up. I called FedExKinko's or whatever they're called. A summary.

"Do you have Zip drives?"
"Yes."
"Mac or PC?"
"Macintosh."
"How much does it cost?"
"Twenty-five cents a minute."
"Okay."

Walked four miles to FedExKinko's. I like walking.

"I would like to use a Macintosh."
"Our Macintosh is down."
"Since when?"
"It's been a week."

How's that boat anchor working out for you, FedEx?

2006may10. The child outside has repeatedly conjectured, in a boastful manner, that the other child cannot possibly retrieve him.

2006may12. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay Friday Free Day!

The Secret Government. [1987; 21 min] Billy Moyers. Edited down from original.
Dispatches: Spinning Terror. [9 min] Investigation into the ricin component of Colin Powell's Nayirah-like strawman.
Fox (animal) on trampoline. [2 min via doc]
The Corporation: Monsanto. [11 min] Whistleblower lawsuit against Fox (government ass-kiss) News/Monsanto for trying to bury the rGBH (growth hormone) story.
Inside Bjork [1 2 3]
They are made out of meat. [7 min]
How to speak sexy English poorly. Short Japanese instructional video. Hilarious ending.
FedEx planes dance around thunderstorm.
Old Daily Show: Stephen Colbert tackles his toughest adversary, the oil industry.

2006may12. In your face, little!

2006may12. Google Trends Again: I am enjoying this way too much. I bet those folks had fun at the Winterfest.

2006may13. The Computer Work-Out. A poem.

Giant keyboard on the wall
Punchable
Space bar 75-pound barbell
Mouse is special all-directions treadmill
Takes ten-minute jog to cover a diagonal
No more carpal tunnel
Buff nerds.

2006may13. Bungy Hedley talks about the early days of beachcombing with her father, Eli Hedley. Maybe you should start with this article about Hedley history.

2006may13. PROJECT SHAMROCK. I'm also surprised at how many times I'm seeing references to the spurious Washington Post poll that 60% of Americans LUVVVVVV being spied on by the NSA. There was a good write-up of that somewhere, but that was yesterday. Today is now, baby.

2006may13. Doc has turned up something interesting. If you're logged into Amazon, and you go off on a completely separate tab and do a search for, say, Eric Clapton Unplugged, and then come back and refresh the Amazon page, your recommendations will be all for Eric Clapton Unplugged CDs and DVDs.

That's odd, I don't really remember telling Amazon to spy on my Google searches.

Hello, Cardhouse Robot. We have recommendations for you.
Customers with similar searches purchased
"Hot swedish porn where they're not wearing pants either" DVD
"Tamil ring tones" CD
"Eric Clapton Dismembered" CD

2006may14. Trend: Culottes, giraffes running mostly even.

2006may16. ZeFrank: if the earth were a sandwich data visualization find my opposite tool. See what's on the other side of the earth. My guess is water. Explained here [quicktime].

2006may16. I just took a bite of a piece of broccoli and the stalk squirted a stream of hot water directly onto my tongue. I don't like vegetables. Ice cream would never think of doing that to anyone.

2006may19. When I am completely wigging out, for some reason The KLF's Chill Out still somehow works its wonders. I do not know why this is. Anyway. It is Friday. That is a "free day."

Colbert's "Better Know A District": THE FIGHTIN' 2ND!
Penguin shopping. I'm of two minds on this one.
Flash: Dumb Dinosaur.
StepMail / StepPhoto.
The Great Flydini. Steve Martin on the Tonight Show on Johnny Carson's last day. Ricky Jay was involved in Flydini logistics.
Big collection of 80s videos. Oooh, The Plastics: Copy. That's ... horrible. The first time I saw The Plastics was on SCTV's "Jerry Todd Show" with Rick Moranis playing Jerry Todd, a "video DJ." This was before MTV existed.
Silent Library. Japanese game show. Read WFMU's description. Two of the guys are the pair from "Hey! Hey! Hey! Music Champ" and I think one guy is from A Laughing Dog's Discovery.

2006may22. Customer service problems: Taxi Division. [via Doc]

2006may26. Ain't got much for Friday Free Day. I've been working on another website. But here are two things.

Phoneswarm: New payphone w/webcam. It is in Maryland. At the beach.
Youtube: Look Around You: Maths. There are others available in the "explore more videos" directive/column thing.

2006may28. The other day my friend and I loaded up a truck of olde crap and drove out to the dump. It's very small ‒ it's actually run inside a Starbucks. Ha ha, generic Starbucks size joke. The front-loaders at the dump get in the way when you're trying to back up into the space and they cross-talk direct you even though you'd think they'd have it down after doing it for years and years. "Go over there, by the truck." "Go over here, not by the truck." "Drive around in circles, sing campfire songs backward with a Russian accent." So we're unloading the truck, carelessly tossing stuff onto the big trash pile which is then pushed into a bigger trash pile and then that trash pile wins. We've got crazy footing, stepping all over the place. We finished throwing all the stuff on the pile, and my friend looks down and between the two of us on the ground is a vase. He kind of likes it. My friend is a guy with an eye for vases. He picks it up, and there are no chips or cracks in this thing. Back home, he "connects" with the "interweb" and discovers that it is a ~1923 Roseville Lily Zephyr Vase, worth about $140. He's keeping it. When's the last time you threw out $140? I call my friend the vase whisperer now, he's like the alpha vase and every other [falls asleep mid-aside]

2006may28. When I travel through airports, I try to arrange metal components inside my carry-on bags to spell out expletives that are revealed via x-ray bombardment. I am an urban Andy Goldsworthy.

2006may28. Mail.

hi i came across ur site bi accident and just wanted 2 say keep up the gd wrk i thght it was cool

o i c u r a fan thx u rok

2006may28. Mail.

hi i was wondering if they sell little bobdog cigarettes(candy) in chicago.

Mail, literally three minutes later.

did u get the letter answer me or else hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hhahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahah ahahhhhhhhahahahahahahhahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

The FDA is fast-tracking Neurodex. I recommend you look into it.

2006may28. [Macros2000] The Macros2000 web site now actually has macros. About 110, I think. The tags page is a good place to start. You can add macros if this is something that would appeal to you. The adding.

2006may29. Cleaning out cobwebs.

"I can't stand that. I'm like 'fuck off. We have an extra one. You're nothing.'"
-- Lindsay Pierce of the Pierce Triplets of Plano, Texas, describing meeting twins. (FHM, July 2003)

"I would eat everything in the world."
-- Miss USA, Brook Mahealani Lee of Hawaii, in response to the final question of the Miss Universe Pageant, 1997: "If there were no rules in your life for one day, and you could be really outrageous, what would you do?"

"He has really quick reaction time. We were in our personal car on the road, and he said to me, 'Look at this ‒ there's going to be a huge wreck up ahead.' I had time to put down the paper, look up, and see a six-car wreck in front of us happening. He drives over in the grass; we avoid the whole thing."
-- Brooke Gordon, wife of NASCAR racer Jeff Gordon (Esquire Magazine 1999)

2006may30. Capsule. Music videos. Last one for completion, it's way too jpop for me.

Retro Memory.
Plastic Girl.
Music Controller.
Candy Cutie.
Tokyo Smiling.
Glider.
Sakura.

2006may31. Youtube: Black Books ‒ meta-rejection. What I most liked about some of the rejection letters I received was that they were printed on tiny slips of paper ... wispy things. This was ostensibly to save on paper costs, but carried one message to the receiver: you are not even worth a whole piece of paper, you tosser. So I decided to go mad instead.


June 2006.

2006jun01. Metacafe is another video site. Really nice design, clean. Too bad (A) they don't bother to provide the length of the videos (but at least I know what the video is rated and how many people watched it ‒ way to prioritize there), and (B) it doesn't work with Media Player Classic.

2006jun01. A Study of Funnui.

ennui 5740000 results.
ennuiiii 184 results.
ennuiiiiiiii 35 results.
ennuiiiiiiiiiii 20 results.
ennuiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii 1 result.

2006jun02. Macros2000: Now there are 184 macros. This is more.

2006jun03. We still need more money. We're going to drag you all down with us, but when we hit bottom, we'll be rich and you'll be poor so it won't matter. To us

2006jun04. Mail.

I want to read the recently added macros, but it's a pain to have to go through every letter and find ones I haven't read. Could you maybe have a "date added" archive? or maybe a page of recently added macros? If that's too much of a pain, I understand, but it would really make the site more reader-friendly.

I love this site, btw. Cardhouse and anything Cardhouse-related (DOC, Macros, etc) are awesome.

Deuceofclubs.com is a Cardhouse-friend, not Cardhouse-related. And you forgot Phoneswarm. Ha. Poor little neglected website. NO GRUEL FOR YOU! SIT IN THE CORNER! SIT!

I was going to code up something for recently-added macros, but I thought I'd wait until someone mentioned it because it would be a semi-pain to program. "That will take a few weeks, at least." Guess I was wrong. So I carved a few hours out of my street luging and made it, even gave 'em fake Japanese-English titles. And of course, I added a few more macros as well.

2006jun04. Stephen Colbert Knox College Commencement Address Thing.

2006jun05. My Life Above Pottery Barn. I stumbled across a smaller version of this type of corporate life simulacra in Emeryville ‒ think of your standard strip mall, but then take two of them facing each other and put a street in the middle. Why, it's a li'l shopping town! But at the ends of the street there is of course the standard mall-type sign warning you about the rights you must give up to exist in their "space." Photos to follow sometime, perhaps.

2006jun05. The map of Generic Names for Soft Drinks by County hurts my head the longer I look at it. Apparently most everyone in California has agreed on "soda"? No one told me. I go with "sodee pop." So I'm "other." I can buy Maine, though. "IT'S SODA DAMMIT"

2006jun05. Mail.

I am interested in locating a liniment called Volcanico, My Mom had some and it really worked on my sprained ankle. She has since passed and I have been unable to find it locally. Please Help. Also there is a mexican cookie that is about 1inch in diameter with icing on top and a hole in the middle of it I use to get them at a store here called the Honey Bee But they do not carry them anymore, If You could help on this also.

Thank You

Rosa G.

My sexy readers always come through for me on things like this.

2006jun06.

Considering that colors of chameleons, in this case chamaeleo oustaleti, often reflect their "mood," one has to wonder why mating elicits such a different color response in males and females.

Lizards: Windows to the Evolution of Diversity (photo caption page 100; female ‒ bright green; male ‒ almost ashen)

2006jun06. Mail.

I don't know if this is the appropriate place for this. As a long time customer at Trader Joe's, I find the attitude of the employees has changed dramatically ... for the worse. The only store I noticed this at is at 555 9th St., San Francisco, CA 94103, where I have shopped happily for several years. An employee said that new management took over about 8 months ago.

This is always the appropriate place for that. The staff at Trader Joe's are all displaced IT workers. They've gone from their $80k jobs with eleven-hour tube-starin' days to $20k eight-hour box-cuttin' days. Home ownership is no longer feasible. That's my theory, anyway. But really, I'd rather the workers were surly, myself, clawing at you with sharpened fingernails and such. Maybe then I wouldn't feel like a complete zombie while shopping. The stores I visit should also be on fire. Then you'd have to prioritize. Go to the back, try the sample selection, dodge the falling shelves, run to get some cereal before it combusts. Then at the register you have to put in the ear plugs to work your way past the SRL show. Now who's alive? NOW WHO'S ALIVE????

2006jun06.

We live in a society and a culture and an economic model that tries to make everything look right. Look at computers. Why are they all putty-colored or off-fucking-white? You make something off-white or beige because you are afraid to use any other color ‒ because you don't want to offend anybody. But by definition, when you make something no one hates, no one loves it. So I am interested in imperfections, quirkiness, insanity, unpredictability. That's what we really pay attention to anyway. We don't talk about planes flying; we talk about them crashing.
-- Tibor Kalman (Wired 4.12 1996)

The park was an amusement for [Milton Hershey], and he went there often. On one visit he conducted a playful experiment intended to show that he could get people to buy anything. Taking over a booth to sell a "new and exciting delicacy," Hershey added chopped onion to vanilla ice cream. The first customer fought the disgusting taste and, eager to trick someone else, said it was just fine. As one person lied to another, Hershey quickly sold all the onion ice cream he had just made. -- Hershey, Michael D'Antonio (2006)

2006jun06. The only spam I get is around three messages a day from some knob who thinks I'll be attracted to open email that has a random name and a random two-word subject. Today I got the best one ever: "heartwarming mildew." So tempted. There's got to be good stuff inside, I know this to be true!

2006jun08. More macros. More.

2006jun09. Friday Free Day. Missed it last time. I keep forgetting to mention where that's from ... it goes all the way back to the eighth grade. Every Friday was "Friday Free Day" and the whole class played games, etc. So in my own little way, it's a "shout out" to that very special teacher who robbed me of 20% of my precious government-sponsored education that year.

Heat Vision and Jack [30 min]. The never-released pilot featuring Jack Black and Owen Wilson as a talking motorcycle. Did I already point at this? Probably.
Manson [3 min]. From The Ben Stiller Show. You think Odenkirk wrote this?
The Ross Sisters: Solid Potato Salad [4 min]. Stick with it. It's not just singing.
Mr. Rogers testifies before the Senate (1969; 7 min). Did I do this one?
Bullshit: Poll Numbers. Oh god, this is hilarious ‒ they have Frank Luntz (whenever I see him on-air I think of that Emergency Broadcast Network song with the sampled lyric "participate in your own manipulation") on the street talking to random people ‒ someone driving by recognized him and indicated that Lutz was an "idiot."
The Daily Show: Colbert goes to journalism school.
Creature Comforts [1989; 5 min].
Creature Comforts: Iraq [2 min]. Someone re-edited a subsequent release of Creature Comforts. POTUS as a fly, etc.
Panexa [2 min]. Ask your doctor for a reason to take it.
Superb Lyrebird [4 min].
Spin [57 min]. Springer provided the feeds for the political documentary Feed. Seeing Feed at the art institute back then, I laughed and laughed. Now watching this stuff just makes me queasy.

2006jun09. Rat Park. A study of addiction swept under the rug. Reminds me of some old quotes in Macros magazine. One is filled with der bullshitten and the other presents one vector of explanation as to why this is so ... you can guess which is which at your leisure.

"Scientists were attempting to determine if learned skills could be passed on from parents to children genetically ... Indeed, the descendents of the taught mice knew how to get through the maze very quickly without instruction, but so did the descendents of the control group, who had never seen the maze at all! Later, a scientist decided to repeat his experiment on a different continent with the same mouse species, but they already knew how to go through the maze, too! As explained by morphic resonance, the traits need not have been passed on genetically. The information leak was due not to bad experimental procedure but to the morphogenetic field, which stored the experience of the earlier mice from which all subsequent mice could benefit." ‒ Douglas Rushkoff, Cyberia

"I looked into the subsequent history of [Young's] research. The next experiment, and the one after that, never referred to Mr. Young. They never used any of his criteria of putting the corridor on sand, or being very careful. They just went right on running rats in the same old way, and paid no attention to the great discoveries of Mr. Young, and his papers are not referred to, because he didn't discover anything about the rats. In fact, he discovered all the things you have to do to discover something about rats." -- Professor Richard P. Feynman in "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!"

2006jun12. So I'm looking at the box office receipts for Mission Impossible 3 on IMDB. I went there because I was looking up another movie which didn't have any cashflow datapoints and I was wondering how long it took for the numbers to roll in. Then I saw this:

$116,170,705 (USA) (28 May 2006)
$103,535,579 (USA) (21 May 2006)
$85,100,142 (USA) (14 May 2006)
$47,743,273 (USA) (7 May 2006)
£116,170,705 (UK) (28 May 2006)

Wow, I thought, the UK is nuts about this thing, then I noticed that the number was the same as the US figure for the same day. Oops. So I thought I'd tell them about it, but they wanted me to register to "report errors and omissions." Yeah, let me just do that. Here I am, registering (in actuality, I'm eating a big pretzel, all sloppy with mustard and there are various close-ups of the mustard dripping down my chin, then the camera slowly moves back up to my open, willing mouth), now I'm telling them all about the error (at this point I'm resting on a hammock and reading "Highlights for Adults" magazine).

2006jun14. Defective Yeti: Joke 3.0.

2006jun14. Make this vow with me. You know how when you're really really horribly old suddenly the media decides that you've made the Right Life Choices and they breathlessly report to the world that you've engaged in some seemingly life-shortening habit yet ... here you are. Like George Burns, with the cigar thing. Anyway, do me a favor and tell them some whoppers. "I only eat hushpuppies. And actual puppies." "I play mental basketball three hours a day ... wait ... I'm winning!" "I keep myself fit and happy by visiting the pudding spa every week."

Ah, pudding humorcrutch, how I've missed you so.

2006jun14.

There was also a famous Party to Test the Influence of Drink on Work. Moore and Coxon covered their walls with blank paper and made a list of subjects sacred and profane. Each participant had a drink, drew a rectangle, numbered it, and drew a picture. Then he had a second drink and drew a second picture. Investigation the next day determined that most artists improved steadily through the fifth drink, and then deteriorated rapidly.

[...]

In accordance with academic tradition, he was not supposed to do direct carving [...] Moore was required to model in clay and then transfer the clay into stone by mechanical means [...] Even Rodin's marbles, for the most part, and most Renaissance sculptures, were executed by stone carvers using pointing machines to copy the sculptor's model. A pointing machine is a framework which is attached firmly to the clay model and to the block of stone. The carver measures exact distances from the outside of the frame to the model, and transfers this exact distance by boring a little hole into the stone, to a depth equal to the point in the clay model. The executed carving has tiny pores in it, which reveal that a pointing machine has been used. Moore believed in carving and in truth to material; whatever was really stone should look stony, and wood woody. Therefore the idea of modeling something which was going to be stone was anathema [...] Moore requested permission to carve it directly in marble. Permission was denied; Moore was to use a pointing machine for the carving, because otherwise he was certain to botch the job; no one could carve an accurate copy direct in stone. Moore convinced his own instructor (who would see him at work, the professor would not) to let him have a go at carving it direct. The result stands in Raymond Coxon's house. It is a gracefully executed, conventionally beautiful Renaissance head, twenty-one inches high [...] Its full title is Copy of the Head of the Virgin, and Moore copied it from the marble relief of the Virgin and Child by Domenico Rosselli in the Victoria and Albert Museum. Some critics, at least, find the Moore an improvement on the Rosselli [...] It went against everything that Moore believed, except that he managed to carve it direct. The marble of the Virgin's face is delicately pored with small holes which Moore added when he had finished the carving, so that it would look as if he had used the pointing machine. The professor of sculpture was pleased.

Henry Moore by Donald Hall

2006jun15. BREAKING NEWS: The Transportation Safety Administration tried to save us from the Butt Rub. It took the TSA six hours to figure out that honey, an oyster shell, a video camera, and a jar of Byron's Butt Rub do not an explosive device make. "The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the White House situation room were notified about the incident." This Butt Rub scandal could go all the way to the top.

TSA NO FLY LIST ADDENDUM 20060612
Shell, Oyster
Buttrub, Byron
TSA END NO FLY LIST ADDENDUM 20060612

God, comedians are probably going to milk this one for weeks. Butt Rub.

2006jun16. Mail.

Need to be readed.

Done.

2006jun16. WE GOT OURSELVES A CORRIDOR!!!! What's amazing about this freaking boondoggle is how little attention it's getting in the media. Is there any attention? Anyone? I guess the basic idea here is that some trucker can get into his Mexican-government approved truck in Manzanillo, for example, and just tootle straight on through the US (US truckers love this part) all the way up to Canada, if need be. They can't do that now because Mexican trucks suck, among other reasons. So instead of having Mexico beef up the infrastructure, they're going to make this crazy-ass 50-years-to-construct superhighway chopping America in half. And it's supposed to have LIGHT RAIL as well? Because everyone's hot to travel from Houston to Fargo, man that is one hot ticket there, that will pay for itself in no time. And then, I'm sure the quarter-mile wide "corridor" will also have some sort of special designation with local and national police forces, Border Patrol will use this as a way to spread their wings even more (they'll need 100 miles out from the freeway in every direction, naturally). It will be just like the railway going into Singapore, which isn't actually in Singapore. The physical ground beneath the railway is owned by Malaysia, so there's this liddle strip of Malaysia that sneaks all the way down to the Singapore train station. That's what Nasco will be like, it will be this international extralegal entity. They're contracting foreign contractors to build the thing, another logical government step just like stiffing local contractors in New Orleans after Katrina. Print more money.

2006jun16. Friday Freeday.

Forgetfulness: Billy Collins [2 min].
The History of Oil [45 min]. Essential.
Chapelle's Show: Charlie Murphy Vs. Prince Episode [6 min].
Vintage Spook Show Ads [9 min].

2006jun19. Mother Earth News: How To Retire Six Months Every Year.

2006jun20. I went ahead without you and re-wrote most of the Macros2000 non-database database program suite. So of course I had to add about 25 macros. Slowly the monkey's claws are pulled out of my back.

2006jun20. Reading John McPhee's Uncommon Carriers (amazon sales rank #84), which has a section devoted to Port Revel, a "ship-handling training center" where ship pilots go to learn advanced boating techniques. When pilots arrive at Port Revel, they scoff and laugh because everything is at 1/25th scale. But then get in the boats and find that scale doesn't matter, they have just as much difficulty piloting these little ships as the big ones. There are some videos on the site that may work for you but my video capabilities have been lousey as of late. Perhaps you will see the tiny container ship. Inside the containers? Doll tennis shoes.

I went and saw John McPhee the other day at a City Arts Blah Blah Blah thing through the good graces of a friend who threw her ticket at me as she was feeling a bit under the weather. I actually had two tickets and dragged the other along in case someone wanted it.

1) A man outside the venue asked if I had any extra tickets. This is good, because he apparently needed a ticket.
2) I gave him the ticket. He asked how much, I said, "keep it." This is good, because it is like karma.
3) I went in and had seats open on either side of me the entire night. This is good, because I like having the seats empty next to me.
4) I then realized that the empty seats meant he was a scalper who sat around outside trying to sell the ticket, failed, and bailed instead of enjoying the Magic of John McPhee & His Supertight Backup Band Experience. This is good because fuck him.

2006jun21. The Spinning Touchdown. Throwing a stricken aircraft into a spin before crash-landing by blowing away one of the wings. I'm no aviation expert, but wouldn't the plane have to be spinning at an insane rate to generate enough lift to even start to counteract the drop? Why am I even thinking about the feasibility of this?

Also just ran into this domain name: mp3shits.com.

2006jun21. Macros2000: Another 38 macros.

2006jun21. Oh yeah, about that NASCO thing I was railing on earlier. My mistake, Bush doesn't want to create a special extra-legal section for the proposed quarter-mile-wide freeway going from Mexico to Canada. No, he wants to merge the United States with Mexico and Canada. Wow, here's a guy who thinks big. Can we just drop the CFR into a big pit and cover it up with very heavy dirt? This should be the story covered by the media right now. Okay, I'll give them until tomorrow. [hat tip: doc]

2006jun23. Mail.

Hey, boring website bug report ‒ the entry for x, now with Retsyn® doesn't work, I'm guessing because it ends up with the circled R in the URL which breaks the internet.

It wouldn't bother me, but I've read EVERY SINGLE OTHER MACRO and it's causing a gnawing emptiness in my soul.

Tom

It is fixed, Tom. I would have sent you email, but you didn't include your email address, so I had to go and bug everyone else, wake up 'em early on Friday Freeday. Which reminds me.

Friday Freeday.

Royksopp: Remind Me [4 min]. Ten years ago I would have said "this is a great music video" but now I am saying "this is one of the most depressing music videos I've ever seen."

Sleeper: What Do I Do Now [3 min]. (Wenner: My Life as a Pop Star) Yes, I had a dumb crush on her, are you quite done now?

Julie Chen's Greatest "But First" Moments [30 sec]. My guess is that this is the crisp knife edge before we start seeing a LOT more of these sorts of video clips, like those German photographers who took multiple photos of similar industrial factories. Yes, we all had the idea beforehand, not necessarily with Julie Chen and/or industrial factories, but you've got to actually sit down and do it. Nobody needs idea factories, they need worker ro-bots.

2006jun23. A mysterious stranger sent along a pointer to probably the best way to explore the industrial "multiple" photographs I mentioned from Bernd and Hilla Becher. It's multiples of multiples!

2006jun24. I think Youtube just made a change in their software, probably as a fob to the RIAA ... you can't just start up a video segment and change focus to a new window, or even keep focus on the youtube window and scroll down ‒ as soon as the video is off the screen, it stops. So now I can't listen to music videos anymore, because I don't watch the damn things, I go off and work on other things while the music is playing in the "cans," or headphones. And that's the whole point.

Update: That was some sort of bizarre anomaly with my delicious system. Worked fine after re-boot. Huh.

2006jun24. I need social engineering retraining. I met a good friend at the Ferry Building to-day to admire overpriced vegetables and whatnot and there was an opportunity to re-direct a laptop's web browser to her webcam that points at her cats 24/7 (I still don't know how that's possible, but okay), and I chickened out. Later I went into Hotel Nikko to use the payphone. Why would you use the crap ones on the street, always always go into hotels. There was a guy tinkling on a piano, the payphones were clean and operating perfectly. On the way to the phones there were women from Aloha airlines greeting all the hotel guests at the top of the escalator with leis and when she got to me she was about to lei me and I made a motion like I'm-not-part-of-this-group and she got it and there was no leiing. Then on the way back I thought "well, hell yes I want a lei, damned the consequences" because I never got one in Hawaii (those cost $36, major credit cards accepted, not a joke) so I tried to time it so they weren't busy with anyone but no such luck, and I wasn't going to wait for a lei because I'm a guy who's on the go so instead I opened the front doors and ascended verily into my totally awesome future.

2006jun25. Two overheard encounters with children today.

1) An approximately two-year-old child stands on a sidewalk, gesturing and shouting at me. His language is incomprehensible. The father eggs him on with equally incomprehensible shouts. Back and forth. This is how we learn English.

2) Another ~two-year-old almost runs into me in the San Francisco Arboretum. I dodge. The mother speaks to the child: "The next person who runs into you may not be so nice. Did you drop your slug?" In her reality, I clearly endangered the child, not to mention the slug incident. There are many realities out there. Watch out for them!

2006jun25. Amazing overreach by Homeland Security. Man held for six hours for a bench warrant from 2004. He was also told he could have been held for selling t-shirts without a permit. KEEP FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT HOMELAND SECURITY

2006jun25. Not Yours To Give.


July 2006.

2006jul04. I am finally encoding my CDs into the popular "mp3" music format. While digging around, I've noticed that my Bill Pritchard disc has gone missing. This is horrible. I have so many discs that can't even pretend to come close to that one. Not that I would know now, because perhaps it's only a few feet away, or maybe it's in another country. Bill: if you are reading this, please send another. Thank you. Also, while madly putting in discs to be read by FreeDB before it shuts down, I found out there's an entry for Five Jerks w/a Tape Deck. Har.

2006jul04. Oooh, my first disc with actual material failure. As it turns out, I backed it up, but unknowingly after it had self-destructed. Heh, "effete delivery ..." see, this is why I never write about music. Writing about music is like ... chewing about industry! You can use that if you want.

2006jul06. Ain't nothing more touching than when two boxes hug. [via robotwisdom]

2006jul07. Friday Freeday.

Daily Show: Colbert bobbles the hand-off [1 min].
John Cleese: Graham Chapman's Memorial [2 min]. (full text)
Ladytron: Destroy Everything You Touch [4 min]. The video is meh.
Penn & Teller: Bullshit! (Abstinence) [29 min; NSFW]
Jan Svankmajer: Meat Love [1 min] This was an old MTV bumper.
Stevie Washington: The Angry Youth [5 min] Also from MTV. I love the roughness, but they don't have my favorite bit: "Punkbot. Punkbot. I keep wanting to say Punkblot."
How is fish's weight that Dora cat can carry? [via the morning news]

2006jul08. Turns out we bombed the Japanese first.

[...] The catwalks were completed by the beginning of October [1935]. [...] For the first time, it was possible for men to walk across the Golden Gate. [...] It soon became common, but never ordinary, to cross between San Francisco and the Marin shore on foot. The views, when the fog permitted them, were almost airborne: the jagged Farallon Islands, some twenty-eight miles out to sea, the distant headlands at Point Reyes and Pedro Point; to the east, the whole sweep of the bay, with San Francisco, Oakland, and the less-tall Bay Bridge in their entirety; and below, the ship traffic now model-like beneath one's feet. It was as if everything had been placed there in anticipation of this view.

There were, from the catwalks, sunrises that suggested the first day of the world, thundering Wagnerian sunsets and afterglows that summoned up suggestions of the last, and with the theatrical drama of a rising and falling curtain, the tumbling cataracts and sudden ghostly disappearances of fog.

Upon this spectacular and dramatically changing setting, the required routines of work were now imposed. A tow rope was added to the west footwalk, like an escalator, to assist men carrying materials up the steep gradient. At intervals along the walks, sheds were erected to store equipment and offer shelter from the wind and cold. There were even portable toilets, hundreds of feet in the air, on a footbridge suspended between two towers. The waste was collected in traps, giving rise to the temptation to open a full trap, as a kind of bomb, on the ships passing below.

The target selected was the Shensu Maru, a visiting Japanese freighter. It was, in part, a political gesture: this was a time of deteriorating relations between the United States and Japan; the Japanese, who had seized Manchuria in 1931, were now threatening to invade the rest of China and represented a growing threat to American interests in the Far East. The combined appeal of scatology and patriotism proved irresistible.

The Shensu Maru's schedule was studied. On the footwalks, timing and measurements were secretly calculated. The plan was to open a trap directly over the Shensu's smokestack. On the Shensu's departure day, everything on the footwalk was prepared. The Shensu appeared on schedule, steaming toward the Gate in the northern, or outbound, shipping lane. The trap, whose bombardier remains unknown, was opened. The contents missed the stack but hit the ship, giving rise to immediate and outraged protest, but no formal diplomatic complaint. Although the perpetrators were never caught, it was the last larking incident of this particular nature on the determinedly high-class bridge project.

-- The Gate: The True Story of the Design and Construction of the Golden Gate Bridge, John Van Der Zee

2006jul11. It's summertime again, everyone is having functions and parties and box socials. So again, I'm running up the church stairs and ringing the bell alerting the townspeople: Evite.com stays in business by selling the email addresses you enter to spammers. Don't even bother looking at their privacy agreement, "opting out," etc, it's all worded for the inviter, not the email addresses you happily enter for your goddamn sock hop. Come on, this is 1999 net.behavior. If you use Evite.com, you're defective. Clean it up, Gibson.

2006jul14. Word Origin Puzzle! I've been using the compound "sweettocks" for years now, obviously a combination of the words "sweet" and "buttocks." A friend of mine recently indicated that he heard one of his cousins saying the word. And yet, there are no hits on any of the major search engines nor MSN search. I tried it with one "t" and also with two "t"s but not with three. Perhaps it is from a movie or cartoon, I am not knowing.

2006jul14. Friday Freeday.

Daily Show: The Pitch. [5 min]
Japanese police v. Darth Vader. [30 sec]
Amy Sedaris on Conan O'Brien. [7 min] In this dramatic clip, Amy shows off her wooden squirrel bong and shows co-guest Martha Stewart how to make a jailcell toasted cheese sandwich "if you go to prison."
Make dominoes out of everything in your house. [2 min] I don't think anyone has that many soaps. Wait for the soaps. I was thinking "yeah yeah, dominoes" but for some reason the soaps intrigued me. Perhaps it was the muffled sound. Soaps.

2006jul14. Rat king. If I was a rat, I would avoid getting in a rat king. Seems like trouble.

2006jul16. If you are having problems weaning yourself off of a certain foodstuff, carry it with you at all times. Then, when a traumatizing event occurs, gobble it all up. Now you are cured. I mean, except for that event. I'm sorry about that, really. *hugs*

2006jul17. Carpenter's level earrings, etc.

2006jul17. Mail.

I have been purchasing a peppermint sea salt scrub at your Modesto store for over 1 year at a very good price. Last week, much to my chagrin, I discover you are no longer carrying this product!!! I hope this isn't so!!! It's just one of many good things I find there that other stores do not have or charge way too much.

I've repeatedly told Modesto they better shape up ... think I better go to Modesto.

2006jul17. "I took out my white-out pen and added one eyeball to each of the two protruding lamb chop bones ... Next thing I knew it was evening and I had been making faces out of photographs of food for almost five hours."

2006jul20. Bay Area: Today is the fifth of six Spare the Local Government from the Pollution-Monitoring Devices Day, so mass transit is free today. Let's all go to Gilroy!!!!

2006jul21. I promised myself I would never write about Sudoku. I promise myself a lot of things. [makes pouty face in mirror] Sudoku Combat is a head-to-head version, it keeps me on my toes. But there are two certain types of players that drive me nuts (along with tight butts). (1) The person who realizes they are being beaten, and then they quit the game. Lots of people play faster than me, but that doesn't stop me, because sometimes these people are too fast for their own good, they slip up and that's when I'm behind them, running them up and down with the glistening, steel-forged shiv of pure logic. (2) The person who doesn't enter anything for a long time ... then suddenly starts entering numbers wholesale, like they were on fire, the numbers were. This is an idiot who has punched the board configuration into another program that solves the puzzle. It's not really cheating, it's more like accounting or data-entry.

2006jul21. Tomorrow is another "Spare the Air" day and I had such a great time today that I thought I should buy 50 loaves of bread tomorrow and distribute them and I ran home to call a friend who I thought would be all into it, and then I thought "wait, that's one hundred dollars" so all y'all go hungry. You either have money, or time, but usually never both at the same time. Or at the same money. So I will buy one baguette tomorrow, and that baguette? She is mine.

2006jul21. Video Vriday.

Blue Nile: Downtown Lights
Blue Nile: Tinseltown in the Rain
Space Invaders is People [or here]
Chocoball: Macadamia [14 sec] (for the last second)
Problems With The General Populace Seem Insurmountable When You Are A Giant Ice Cream Cone Snack-Based Item [14 sec]
The Goddamned Koreans Copied One Of Our Snack Products Again [3 min] The host looks like a Japanese James Lipton. No one should have to look like James Lipton.
Sapporo: Love Beer? The young man does not want to hear the old man sing. This was my favorite commercial back when I watching Toshi & Matsu. Gotta watch my stories. [29 sec]
The Big Lebowski: The Fucking Short Version. See? Chenbot? Knife-edge? Here it comes.

2006jul21. A Porch and Flowering Meadow, Six Floors Up. I think I found it on satellite. I put it dead center, orange ground. Notice the circular water tank in the NYT article and the circular water tank in the same spot on the satellite image.

2006jul22. Interview with Errol Morris [via kottke]. Morris mentions a town fancifully named "Nub City." Insurance talk about Nub City. Nub City ... is Vernon, Florida? Which was Morris' second documentary:

The documentarian originally set out to chronicle the town because of its reputation among insurance circles for having the highest rate of fraudulent claims for, hold your lunch, dismemberment performed for profit. While this investigation of "Nub City" would have produced an equally fascinating, if entirely different, sort of documentary, Morris was forced to change gears when his subjects tried to kill him.

That would explain why I couldn't remember any nubbers in the film ‒ not that I remember much of it anymore, 'cept that turkey hunter.

2006jul22. I have never had a sound associated with email arrival ... for nearly 15 years now ... but now sometimes I'm reading or off puttering and I wanted something to alert me ... so I chose a recording of a pinball-based solenoid ... a "natural" sound, very satisfying, not BEEP BOOP. Though one time a bird was rummaging around on the roof and I thought I had new mail. [standard Cardhouse boilerplate about willingness to pay good money to be able to strangle anyone with those dipshit cellphone ringtones deleted for brevity]

2006jul23. Mail.

Error: Interview with Error Morris

ERROR: USER ERROR, TRY AGAIN (a week later: ohhhhh, ERROR Morris. I thought there was a non-problem with the URL. Fixed.)

2006jul23. CNN: Brain-powered computation. As usual, CNN gives the plum tech writing assignments to the janitor:

Already, the Brown researchers say, this kind of technology can enable a hooked-up human to write at 15 words a minute ‒ half as fast as the average person writes by hand. Remember, though, that silicon-based technology typically doubles in capacity every two years.

So if improved hardware is all it takes to speed up the device, Cyberkinetics' chip could be able to process thoughts as fast as speech ‒ 110 to 170 words per minute ‒ by 2012. Imagine issuing commands to a computer as quickly as you could talk.

"Remember, though, that capacity doubles every two years, so I'm going to pretend that has significant bearing on the speed of the device and I'm going to double the speed six times, so I can write my visionary last sentence. Imagine."

2006jul24. Doc: Ukulele Addiction: Contract It

2006jul25. Doc's Book of the Week: The Captured: A True Story of Abduction by Indians on the Texas Frontier.

2006jul26. Lincoln's "slavery forever" document [via doc]

2006jul28. [Cardhouse] Hello. Hello there. Got something "special" for Friday Freeday. I have "put up" the Cardhouse archives, it is Part II of my three-part plan to divest myself of little trinket-like writerly things for the larger, more complex writerly things that God surely put me on this planet to execute, complete, and appear on morning TV talk shows to promote because I am also handsome and this is good for marketing. [pets own head gently] This brain-stabbing nonsense goes back to 1995 (along with scattered whatevers going back to 1987). That is a lot of jibber-jabbering. If you have been reading for awhile in the past, I think if you go back and re-read some of it you will find that it's not as good as you remember it to be, which is like a lot of things. We've changed. We've all changed. We grow, and we exponentially accelerate to the best versions of each of ourselves which necessitates leaving jokey little websites like this in the rear-view mirror, with sort of a half-wistful smile that's near cracking. If you are relatively new to this stuntspacular website experience, then you can now waste your time actually experiencing what weblogs were like back when there were no weblogs. Man, didn't know how good I had it back then. I miss nutter mail, the mail that made you go "Yeah. I'd hang with that email person." Now our brains have been pureed into a million little bits and there's only so much we can portion out. Is this any way to live? Ask yourself this question.

Here's a sampling of the "non-worst" entries that I ran into. There are others that are probably even non-worster, perhaps. Knock yourself out, piggies.

Nigerian scam letter from 1995 . Stairway of the Edmund Fitzgerald . The Message of Friendship . TV Reporter engulfed . A song about prions . Dynamic cat names . Non-dynamic CueCat wrangling . Wisdom . Sushi racing . Sharing Wisdom w/Others . Rocket-based kitchen appliances . Lyrics to Goldfinger . Planning the dinosaur . Fuggin' Squirrels . The End of Everything . How To Be Funny and Thus Have Sex . The 97%-Not-Helping Toothpick Letters . Martin v. The Donut Ro-bots . Bugs: A Love Story . Hershey's Countersinks . Excerpts from Inflight Magazine Baby Boomers Want Trinkets . Advertisers + joking UPS drivers . Japanese ideograms . Cleaver Wielded in Bangkok Airport . Border crossing . Bugs: A Food Story

And of course, the start of The Geese Saga. Poor geese.

Okay, that's enough already. Observations after looking at ten or so years of archives:

- About 70% of the links are dead. Too much reliance on news feeds in the early days. It has taken me awhile to learn that "news" is just a distraction, even if it's quick little bits that take two seconds to read. Or rather I used to know this but forgot somewhere along the way.

- For some reason I got a lot of weirdo news articles from Fox, of all places. Those links are all dead. News sources tend to die, except for the NYT or Washington Post, maybe [FX: Nandotimes-branded tumbleweed rolls by]. A lot of other sources have changed their URLs, and I'll just leave those for someone else to dig up if it's that important to read what my snotty reply was to whatever horrific/stupid topic it was that I was foaming off about. - Other random websites have also died, changed URLs, etc. Sometimes I tracked down the new URL, sometimes I did not. Sometimes I killed a dead URL, sometimes I did not. I have no desire to keep up with this, in the future there will be a little piece of software that does this for me. It will come in the form of a daily pill that costs $27, and Medicare doesn't cover it. One website I tried to recover all links for was Word.com, which some of you may remember was the best website in the entire world. Some stuff wasn't properly archived, mostly the image-based sections. Here's one article from their "Work" section. Perhaps one day I will go on a big Wordhunt and corral everything together. Perhaps someone already has. Another: Flight Attendant.

- Once you start eyeballing the entries to fix 'em up, it's like a whirlpool sucking you in. In general I just made little text filters to fix punctuation, ellipses trouble, my semi-flirtation with UK-style punctuation etc. I found my earlier "link the entire paragraph" style annoying enough that I tried to pare down the more egregious samples.

- At some point in the past I switched from a static home page to a typical weblog format, back when there were about twenty weblogs and we all met each month at Buck's to set the future course of weblog development and eat overpriced pancakes while looking at SNOW (Shit Nailed On Walls). I'm not really sure how far the weblog goes back. 1997. Earlier? Don't know. If there's anything left of the archive before then, it's on Mac Zip disks. I don't have a Mac at my disposal, though I do still have a Zip drive. I've been intending to remove everything from the Zip disks and trash the whole lot for years now. I did finally replace the Fry's $0-with-rebate PC speakers fished out of a dumpster, though. So there's that.

- Yes. The feed is coming. Much sooner than later now. Unless I chuck everything ‒ though there's not much of anything to chuck ‒ and go on walkabout.

- Eventually Cardhouse will also have tags and stuff like this will be rolled into the main archive. Someday.

- This archive represents a significant educational resource for individuals and institutions interested in the dawning of the global weblog phenomenon and [starts choking on own tongue] woulGAAKKKK I GLARRH--

In summation: big ... fat ... fuck. Wagons ho.


August 2006.

2006aug01. Light pen animated gifs. So much cooler than it sounds. And how awesome is it that they're doing some of them in a restaurant? Someone's lining up their thesis right now. There's a three-minute one that loads when you hit the home page. [via robot wisdom]

2006aug04. Friday is free!

Vader Sessions. Essential, even if you're "meh" on Star Wars.
Colbert: The Columbian District (THE FIGHTIN' COLUMBIAN!). So far, the most awesomely powerful segment of the series.
Penn & Teller: King of Traps.
Colbert on Daily Show: The Summer of the Shark.
Colbert on Daily Show: Pet Sedentary.
Colbert: "Roasts" Chevy Chase.
Danielle Dax: Cathouse. The pants? They are on fire.
Waitresses: I Know What Boys Like.
Supercar: Be. NSFW. Grim, disturbing, can't really recommend it. I like the music. I am sorry I spent the time watching the video.

2006aug04. The opening to El Gran Juego de la Oca, a Spanish game show based on a horribly old board game (various excerpts from the Italian version). The game show lasted three hours. The mini-contests as you moved around the game board featured explosions, nudity, getting slapped by leggy Oquettes, barbers cutting off your hair, dangerous animals, etc. Mr. T was a contestant on one show. Geese wandered about the set, pooping and hissing as geese are wont to do (I have seen this). I started to come up with the standard "it's like A crossed with B" comparison but ... El Gran Juego de la Oca was El Gran Juego de la Oca.

The wikipedia link mentions that Jules Verne wrote a novel based on the board game in which seven contestants race across America for a large cash prize. Verne invented the Cannonball Run/Gumball Rally concept? [removes pipe from mouth] "Huh."

[special thanks to doc, who unfortunately never got a chance to get slapped by Oquette Lila.]

2006aug06. Idlewords: I Spy.

2006aug09. Mail.

I am interested in purchasing a large number of Roundup Candy Cigarettes for a charity event. Please contact me. Thank you.

1.) No.
2.) Usually one leaves one's email, address, phone number ... anything, really ... if one is to contact one. You are number negative six.

2006aug09. Reuters Photo Fraud. Great summary of all the sick little manipulations, including a fake dead body in the NYT.

2006aug10. ZeFrank on terror. "Normally," because the videos are being pushed through some kind of advertising wrapper, Media Player Classic goes all wonky and gives me two windows running duplicate ZeShows at half speed. Now, however, some codeine or something is missing and all I get is audio, at the proper speed. This is an improvement. If someone would like to send descriptions of what's happening in the video portion, then I can piece together the whole show with logical deduction.

2006aug12. THE TEST IS OVER. Okay, there was a bit of struggling the last two days. This is what happens when you write your own weblog software. It is a dumb thing. Do not do this. Anyway ... here's Saturday Sreeday!

Colbert: The Fightin' Sonoma!
Colbert: Judge Tubbs.
All Your Belongings Are Belong To Us: Bump keying. Strange that this simple exploit hasn't bubbled up before. I was amused by the one lock otaku who doesn't like bump keying because it is "too easy."
Undressing in seven seconds. One for the ladies.
The Fake History of Video Games: Dr. J Invents Pac-Man. I was unfortunately eating while this was playing, part of my new "multi-tasking" paradigm. ABBA ABBA ABBA
Girl takes photo of herself each day for three years.
Family Circus. I love that strip, there is a wholesomeness there that is lacking in America these days.

2006aug12. My palm has been itching for awhile now. Grandma used to say that meant you were coming into money. She was a bank robber. I liked how she wore her watch so the dial was on the inside of her wrist, I think she did that so it didn't get scratched. While she was robbing banks. "ALLLLLLL RIGHT YOU TURDS!!!! PUT YOUR oh, hold on [scratches palm] SEE???" She fed us Jeno's Pepperoni Pizza, eight to a box. You'd think with all that stolen loot she could have kicked our mealtimes up a caste or two. Her house lot was double-sized in a town of tiny house lots, so we had an extra giant yard to play in. In the winter, many snow forts were created. One time our sleds disappeared in the yard and I thought when the snow melted we'd see the sleds and laugh and laugh but really some jerkoff kids stole them. They are still at large. I had a dog that I kept in the yard for two days, a beagle named Weasel or something like that, then we ate him. These are my free-form memories from childhood that don't include the one about the only time I've ever socked someone else in the face, and the memory about ... no, that's all I can remember.

2006aug12. The weblog Very Small Array is authored by the creator of Cat & Girl. Comparative Popularity of Selected Baby Names 1935-2005

2006aug12. Among all of the inane procedures we have to dance through to board a plane now, there's this: "Airline staff members insisted that parents taste baby milk before it was allowed on planes." Yes. Because if the parent is a terrorist, willing to blow up the entire plane and his/herself plus a baby for their various misguided causes, there's no way he or she isn't going to be able to give security a shit-eating grin when swallowing a liquid explosive disguised as milk.

"What? Okay ... [terrorist brings liquid up to mouth] AAAAHHH I CAN'T DO IT!!! Okay!!! Ya got me! Ya got me! God, if I swallowed that, it might cause some intestinal distress or something."

2006aug12. HAHAHAAH THE CAT LAID AN EGG

2006aug12. Mail.

I am wanting to know more about your boneless,skinless,individualy wrapped chicken breasts. Are they organic and what diet have they been fed? Please tell me more, and where do they come from? I live in ST.LOUIS,MISSOURI. Thank You. Linda

I checked the refrigerator and I don't have any. I actually don't eat chicken, for the most part. American chicken is tasteless trash, part of the legacy of globalization.

What do you eat?

Fish, mostly as far as "meat" is concerned. Once a month, a little fresh turkey. By "little" I don't mean I purchase tiny turkeys, I mean the amount is little. Lots of broccoli, corn, romaine lettuce, beans. Cereal. Some pasta. Lots of fruit. Whole fruit, not just the juice, the juice by itself is like a sugar delivery system, it's not healthy. I also take a supplement that has B12 ‒ if you don't eat a lot of meat, you're not going to get enough of that and that's nerve damage time. Though I went years without taking B12 supplements on a very strict vegetarian diet and I haven't had any problems [twitches].

aren't you concerned about mercury poisoning and how filthy the fish are?

Gotta die from something.

2006aug12. Mail.

I am writing to ask for information about the card's collection. I work in an argentine magazine, called Tigris and I am writing an article of different collections. I would like to mention what you do and ask you if you could send me pictures in high resolution (300 dpi) of your collection to illustrate part of the article.

Best regards,
Pilar

Sure! How much does it pay?

Sorry, I don't understand. Do you want me to pay for the information? I just want to know who are the people who collect cards from streets and if I can have some pictures. Thanks!

No, I don't want you to pay for the information. I want you to pay for the images. You are running a nice, glossy, "high living" magazine that features people playing polo on the cover of a recent issue. I used to run a small, shoestring-budget, non-glossy "music and humor" magazine that had a fraction of your readers. I paid nearly everyone who contributed images; it may have been small potatoes, but it was something. Presently, someone wants to use a photo I posted awhile ago of a yacht ‒ if it runs on their television show, they're going to pay me. Someone wants to use photos I took of Japanese arcades -- if it runs in their magazine, they're going to pay me. I did not suggest this ‒ it's just the way things are. If you use someone else's work in a wholesale fashion, and you're running a profit-based business based on these sort of exchanges, you should probably pay the person.

So yes, you can have some pictures. If you pay me. Thank you for asking.

Jeff.

(Strange, he never wrote back. Maybe it was the polo thing.)

2006aug13. I made my seasonal trek to the pastry shoppe today to purchase a do-nut. This is the do-nut purveyor that is closest to where I live, yet it was my first visit.

"How can I help you?"
"Yes, do you have any custard do-nuts?"
"We have these two, one with a maple topping, one with chocolate ... and it's actually not custard anymore, it's Vienna cream ... custard has dairy products in it, eggs ... so it can't last more than 48 hours."
"I will have the chocolate, thank you."

On one hand, I do appreciate the educational lesson. Learning more about do-nuts is at the top of any sane person's priorities. But on the other hand, what? Do-nuts should be sticking around for three days, minimum? These are not do-nuts that interest me. I figured this all out after exiting the establishment. "How old are you, my friend?" The do-nut did not respond. Perhaps this do-nut shop needs to start thinking more modular. Years ago I purchased a "custard" do-nut at another Bay Area do-nut shoppe and the cashier pulled a huge metal contraption from under the counter, rammed the do-nut on it, and started pumping the steel handle.

The woman was violating my do-nut.

I really didn't need to see that. But this way, you can keep your Vienna cream fresh, and leave the shells out for weeks at a time! The modern age brings us so much and asks for so little in return, except to shield our eyes. Maybe our ears, as well. SKLORP SKLORP SKLORP SKLORP

2006aug14. 9/11 Detainee released after five years in US captivity.

2006aug15. An email from a travelling friend.

When using the e-mail in the hotels and local internet cafes on my intercontinental jaunts, I've been making sure to add CARDHOUSE.COM to the 'favorites' column of each computer I use. Today, the lucky people of Hotel La Libertidad in Cuzco, Peru will have a direct link to the fascinating world you provide. Yesterday it was Lima, the day before it was Ica. Future Johnny Appleseed like germinations will include Chile, New Zealand, and Namibia. Perhaps your other international supporters and travelers can start their grassroots CARDHOUSE movement by seeding public computers as they go.
Thank you.

Cardhouse.com is totally owning Cuzco. Thank you kindly for your support.

There isn't much oxygen in this town ...

Buy some, you're a goddamn AMERICAN.

2006aug15. Google cafe has a non trans-fat It's It ice cream sammich. See, that's why I stopped eating them, years ago, the trans. Fat. Time for some kind of letter-writing campaign. You do it. [via sippey]

2006aug15. Mail.

Hello: I own a small farm in CA. We will harvest around 90,000 Lbs of walnuts (in-shell) in September. Would you be interested? Not at the moment, but I also have free range chickens and eggs and some honey. Would you help me find the right person to talk to? Thank you

Michael N.

I've alerted my contacts through my publicly-accessible website. Hopefully we'll wrangle up a match!

2006aug16. Copperfield is the biggest tool on earth. "I've found the fountain of youth."

2006aug16. Fluid chains and fishbones [bir]

2006aug16. Saw a white van tooling down the avenue yesterday. On its hood, the word "AMBIVALENCE" printed in big red Helvetica letters, mirror-image-stylie.

"Hi, I'm feeling kind of unsure of myself."
"We are mulling over contacting your family and an Ambivalence may be on the way."
"Thanks, I guess."

2006aug17. Mail.

RE: "AMBIVALENCE," I saw possibly this same vehicle in Austin, TX a few years ago. And on the side, in similarly accurate ambulance-style lettering, it said "EMOTIONAL RESCUE." Hm.

J

2006aug18. Friday is named for the Norse goddess Freya who sometimes travelled via chariot which was powered by oversized cats. It is a "free" day, the most sensual of all days of the week.

Mr. Show: Change.
Jon Stewart on Charlie Rose (2004).
Daily Show: Adapt and Win.
Mechaike No Reaction Drama Oh god ... why can't we have such wonderfully-crafted insanity on this side of the pond. (wiki)

And a special textual thing called An inquiry into living while walking the roads of America, Mexico, and beyond. This is essential reading. If you liked it, you should definitely check out The Sun magazine. I can't afford it, myself, but it's one of the very few magazines I would subscribe to, if I was Mr. Chokey Cash Wad Guy. Again.

2006aug18. PBF: Keep On Truckin'.

2006aug19. Staying slim as a Pole. I still say keeping trim is basically not eating more than your body needs. I crazy. But I do like reading about the eating habits of different cultures. Part of me is envious of having a family-type culture, traditions that are passed down, whereas in my family we sort of improvised as we went along. Grandma (the bank robber), for instance, taught us to put mayo on baloney slices, roll 'em up, and that's a snack! Liverwurst. Cottage cheese. Cottage cheese. I better lie down for awhile.

2006aug19. Kids pick rocks for breakfast. No, really, it's a rock. You sure? Okay, hope you like gumming your food from now on. Also: I got a rock.

2006aug20. Photo: birds.

2006aug21. I was just thinking about another childhood memory. My great-aunt showed us her winter coat ‒ if you pressed down on the translucent sleeve, you could see a foreign foreign candy bar wrapper between the two layers of fabric. She said it must have been a screw-up at the factory. So for years and years my brain was trying to figure out how the hell a candy bar wrapper could have gotten between the two layers of fabric accidentally. Then the term "disgruntled worker" came into my life, and I laughed. See also: Sabotage in the American Workplace.

2006aug23. Laughing Squid has the "409" on Pranks 2. If you do not have the original Pranks, you should also get that one. Mine is so worn down from over-reading it's almost circular at this point.

2006aug28. And now, my favorite part about writing this thing ... HOUSEHOLD TIPS!

I sometimes have a problem with stuck jar lids. I don't like the hot water solution, it takes forever to get hot water out of my sink and it seems, in general, like a waste of water. So. There is this solution which I've never tried. I didn't know about it at the time, so what I did was take my trusty tape gun, pulled off a piece roughly the size of the circumference of the jar lid, and taped it all around on the side so there was a bit of tape sticking over the top, sticky side on the lid. It was like magic, I tell you, then I got my household hints show that ran for three years in most major cities until the accident. You've probably seen it on youtube. The lawyers tell me it's "fair use" because it's educational, but you know people are just watching it to see the carnage and the pretty ambulance lights.

Also there is a feed now. It is here. It is "provisional" because the URLs have a problem sharing space with the rest of the text. I will get back to fixing it sometime soon. Wait, I mean it's in "beta." There. Now you cannot complain. If you don't know what I'm talking about go to bloglines and sign up, it makes keeping up with your favorite websites much easier. I mean, those with feeds ... [looks down nose at non-feed websites] But if you think about it, really hard, Cardhouse has probably set a record for the weblog that has been around the longest without a feed. And this record will never be broken! HUZZAH!

2006aug28. What I like about politics now is that it's getting more and more seekrit. Open government shmopen schmovernment, man, it's all about the backroom deal, it's not about the public at all. But then someone grabs a telephone ... such a great idea. I think it was Hatch. He's good at stuff like this.

2006aug28. Mail.

Cardy,

I see their method requires you to thwack the stuck jar lid at such and such angle to get it to open. I also see at the bottom of the posting that TenMinJoe says:

"I think it works because it's the vacuum seal that is making it hard to open ‒ if you deform the lid a bit with a good whack, then you only have to turn it a tiny bit and the air hisses in; vacuum seal broken, jar easy to open."

The whole vacuum bit is the whole thing on stuck jars. A far easier, less complicated and idiot proof way is to take a sturdy knife, like a butter knife and stick it under the lip of the lid, then tug a bit until you hear the thwopp! of the vacuum seal being broken. It never fails.

The wife prefers not to do it that way out of concern for the butter knives, but I expect that you could get a cheep one at a thrift store specifically for the purpose of opening jars.

Tha End.

Crumbles

A related email.

I used to do the hot water thing to open jars until I was given a magic rubber sheet thing. It's a square sheet of rubber about the size of a CD jewel case with a textured surface. It came without explanation as a "welcome to the neighborhood" gift from the phone company or PG&E or somebody like that. I had to ask around what it was for, and was told you used it to open stuck jar lids ‒ the rubber grips the lid, it doesn't slide like your hand might. It works really well, and would greatly improve my opinion of the phone company or PG&E if I could remember which one of 'em sent it. Anyway, be sure to go to your local retailer and ask for a rubber sheet!

That is something that was swimming through my head the whole time -- I really should get one of those gripper pads. But I had to eat my freaking spaghetti like THEN (which was NOW when it was then) so I started experimenting with the leather collar of a coat, potholders, whatever. I'm really reluctant to get a kitchen implement I'd only use once every two weeks or so, things have their way of tying me down and then I hate them. The things.

As far as the knife thing goes, I'd like to avoid using a knife when combined with frustrated pressure. Sounds like a trip to the emergency room. Perhaps you could use a spoon to kill the vacuum. Or rounded play scissors. Or a drill press.

2006aug28. Mail.

"As far as the knife thing goes, I'd like to avoid using a knife when combined with frustrated pressure"

Oy, that's a BUTTER knife, white man. When was the last time you stuck yourself with a butter knife? As far as the rubber grippy sheet thing goes, it's an improvement over bare hands, but it's still you against the magical vacuum seal of doom. The butter knife technique ALWAYS works.

Tha End, part two.

Crumbles

I have a butter knife stuck in my leg right now. No, seriously, look. [shows you a picture of a kitten playing with a ball of spaghetti]

2006aug28. I'm kind of back and forth with this leech jar. On one hand, the green really isn't doing it for me. On the other ... LEECHES!!!! YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!

2006aug28. More auctions: Any contemporary memorabilia from early flown animal period is rare. Also Belka & Strelka flown animal team.

2006aug29. Sometimes I sit down to do some hand-drawn logos and I promise myself I won't go off on some silly graphical tangent and then three hours later I have 70% of an alphabet sitting around.

2006aug29. Stereolabrat celebrates her birthday.

2006aug29. Candyblog entry from earlier this month: Goodbye, Reeds. I have a half-memory of getting hooked on these as a pre-pre-teen.

2006aug29. Sometimes when it's very quiet, and I'm reading, part of my brain wanders off and watches me reading and starts thinking how completely alien the whole enterprise is ‒ this animal holding a sheaf of papers with ink on it, just staring at it for hours and finally that part of the brain tells my hand to fish in my pocket and get my keys out and jingle them in front of my face, in effect killing itself off for the good of the host. "Oooh, shiny things ... maybe something on TV!"

2006aug29. Quotes from Temple Grandin's Animals in Translation.

The scariest study, though, was the one NASA did with commercial airplane pilots. The researchers put them in a flight simulator and asked them to do a bunch of routine landings. But on some of the landing approaches the experimenters added the image of a large commercial airplane parked on the runway, something a pilot would never see in real life (at least, let's not hope not). One quarter of the pilots landed right on top of the airplane. They never saw it.

I think if that happened in real life the sound of it in the comic book re-creation of it should be FRAT. Not as a shortened form of the word "fraternity," just as a sound device. Show one panel with the plane on top of the other plane, and above it in big bold letters: FRAT.

(on animal distractions) The cattle would come around a curve, take one look at that chain, then stop and stare at it with their heads swinging back and forth in rhythm with the chain. You'd think that would be obvious to the employees, but it wasn't. The humans just didn't see it, even though the cows' heads were going back and forth in rhythm to the swinging of the chain.

I wasn't the only person to figure out that it's perfectly safe to lie down in the middle of a bunch of thousand-pound untamed animals. In the 1970s there were a lot of Mexicans coming over the border to work in the feedlots, and when the Border Patrol came around the Mexicans would hide inside the corrals, with the cattle. Five guys would lie down on the ground, with a hundred head of Brahman steers surrounding them. Brahmans are the big huge cattle with the hump on their back. They're nice animals, as long as you treat them well, but they're scary-looking to anybody who doesn't know cattle, so the Border Patrol guys wouldn't dare go in those pens. [ ... ] But it never came to that, because the Border Patrol people never saw any of the illegal workers lying underneath all those cattle. The Mexicans had to lie perfectly still, because if they moved the cattle would run and give them away. (pg 46)

There are a few things that seem to grab people's attention, like the sight or sound of your own name, or large-sized objects, or ‒ this one took me by surprise ‒ cartoon happy faces. Not cartoon sad faces; a cartoon sad face is just as invisible as everything else for people who aren't actively paying attention. But a cartoon happy face will snatch (that one's for eifco ‒ ed.) people out of their inattention. (pg 51)

I can see the discussion at a top-level Wal-Mart meeting. It's very clear to me. The word "shopping zombies" is used repeatedly. Before the traditional slaying of the sacrificial virgin. Also after.

Animals definitely act like they see everything, because you can't get anything past a cow. (pg 51)

"Okay okay, watch the pretty lady she's up she's down where's she going to be, where's she gonna be, put your money down, where's the little lady ... you, in the spots ..."
"MooOOO."
"GotDAMMIT ... COPS!" [confederate kicks over box]

More quotes.

2006aug29. See, it's funnier to think that they're talking about their zombie-like customers after because they first have to put the sacrificial robes over the suits, do the sacrifice thing, then take the robes off to continue their conversation from earlier. "Fred, I think you had the floor?" "Thanks, J.G. ..." [wipes a bit of blood off cheek]

2006aug30. Thank you.

2006aug30. If you got all excited about that free Split-tailed Mermaid Whore beverage, they've changed their corpmind. Which is kind of the worst thing you can do if you're a company. Let's see how they handle the backlash [falls asleep, slides into coma].

2006aug31. The feed is now in the double-digits, so that may mean I'll get around to fixing it. It's an exciting time. Also, for some reason, the nuts article is getting a massive amount of hits, but there's no referrer attached to them. I dunno, sneaky impotent trackback spam gone horribly wrong?

This has been a content-free entry. Refunds available at the box office.

2006aug31. AUTOMAT. Here. In these here United States. NYC. Now. Website: Bamn. Someone catch me, I'm going to faint. But pink? They obviously scoured the Horn & Hardart archives, and after seeing all that beautiful gleaming silver and art deco styling, they went with bubble fonts and pink? BUBBLE FONTS AND PINK? [special thanks to nelo]

2006aug31. 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). 49 Up is going to appear in theatres in October. Roger Ebert interviews Michael Apted. DVDs of previous films: 42 Up & The Up Series. Macros2000: I don't like greens.

2006aug31. The Message Whore has posted a review of a bunch of the food at the Bamn Automat. Spam musubi. That is crazyaction.

2006aug31. Esquire: Mike Judge.


September 2006.

2006sep02. Zug: The sexiest terramist ever. [via boing boing]

2006sep02. Saturday Latefreeday.

Colbert commencement speech [1 2 3].
Stewart & Colbert: Emmy presentin'.
Kraftwerk: Pocket Calculator live in Rome. The singer apparently messes up the Italian, but the audience lets him know they appreciate the effort. This was the first single I purchased back in '23; the Japanese graphics that were on the sleeve are also displayed on the big screen behind the band.
Charlie Rose: Conan O'Brien.
Daily Show: Sasha Baron Cohen (2004).
Borat trailer #2.

2006sep04. TarProxy. A new technique for disabling spam while it's being sent. Sounds delightful. I approve! [trumpets blare]

2006sep04. The other day I went to mail some letters and on the inside lip of the mailbox someone had pasted a small sticker on which was written: "You look great today!" So I said "Thank you, Mailbox!"

I don't know why people stare sometimes.

2006sep05. Toss-away line overload.

2006sep06. You will enjoy Sonic Living. It is a thing which tells you when your bands are coming to your town. Or your towns, if you're the jet-set type. I like that you can also see other people who are interested in the same acts you are. There are way too many people who have entered "Patsy Cline," though. She will not be appearing anywhere in the near future. You should probably check this thing out. I am on there as "Cardhouse Robot." You can be my friend. Then we will be friends! Disclaimer: I totally know one of the guys who is involved with this.

2006sep13. WorkDish. A user-submission job description site. Drunk driver.

2006sep14. Mail.

Hello,

I hope you don't mind my asking a very odd question. Did Richard Dawson get his suits from Botany 500?

sincerley,

Jillian Oliver

According to several sources on the internet, this popular entertainer and host of the "The Family Feud" did indeed procure promotional consideration from Botany 500 in the form of stylish man-clothes. What is much odder than your question is that Richard Dawson is still alive. I thought he died three or four times like six years ago, so I figured now he'd be even deader. This is not the case.

2006sep14. CROUTONS.

2006sep14. UK writer Danny Wallace has many irons in the fire, and I've been out of the loop since reading Join Me, his karmic cult built up from a two-word advert placed in newspapers. His latest flight of fancy, a micronation named Lovely looks like something to investigate further. There's a two-dvd set coming out in 2007. See also The Pursuit of Liberty.

2006sep14. Guardian: Danny Wallace, Yes Man.

2006sep14. The tortilla is under attack. It is being destroyed. Ask yourself: "What can I do about this?" Then realize your answer, to yourself, is: "Nothing." At least you tried.

2006sep15. A small Friday Freeday, so I can watch the modifications to my "weblog" program melt down.

Daily Show: spliced Bush.
Jamie Foxx keeps the roast en pointe.
Danny Wallace invades Eel Pie Island, which is a half-horrible name for an island. Radio interview which was filmed then Youtubealized.

2006sep16. Mister Jalopy: The Hippopotamus Service. An excellent post about an excellent adventure into excellence in the form of the creation of a 144-piece porcelain service. The photographer's "weblog," Joined at the Hippo, has more photos and way more information about her day-to-day experiences [via boingboing].

2006sep16. Hello. A friend of mine is looking for an online business card printer that accepts EPS/AI etc files ‒ not one that makes you use one of their horrid templates. If you have any suggestions along these lines, contact me. Thank you.

2006sep16. There is a new number at Phoneswarm. It is new.

2006sep16. I am making my way through Joined at the Hippo. I am in Taiwan. She is in Taiwan. She was in Taiwan. That is where I am. I am where she was, in Taiwan.

I made my way through the crowds and to a taxi which I got back to the hotel. I got back and did some picture transferring, and was interrupted by a phone call. The ring on the phone here sounds like a laser stun gun or something so I was startled to hear it ring. I picked it up and it was the Center for Disease Control. Hello, Sarah? Yes, I say. This is the Center for Disease and Control. and they go into how they saw that I had marked down on my SARS sheet yesterday about my tummy trouble and asked me a bunch of questions about when and where I got sick. I explained to them that I didn't think that I had SARS and that instead it was just a bad orange juice that did me in, and the woman I was speaking to seemed ok with my answer and warned me to take medical action if I felt any worse.

And THAT is why, even when I felt like shit in Southeast Asia, I marked on my forms that I was as chipper as a tree chipper. How wonderful when governments try to hide things then go completely overboard in the opposite fashion when their little hidey-hole game causes too many dead bodies to pop up.

Singin' SARS to the world
All the boys and girls
SARS to the fishes in the deep blue sea
SARS to you and me

SarrrrrrrrrRRRRRrrrrs, matey.

2006sep17. Mail.

The feed works for me now! Yay!

Yes. I forgot to mention that. If it did not work for you earlier, it may work for you now. If it doesn't work for you now, it may work for you at a later date. I occasionally smack it around a bit.

2006sep20. Golf Memoir No. 3: the short course.

2006sep20. Outdoor pool, schmoutdoor pool.

2006sep20. Hand-sewn Domo-kun Ipod covers $20.

2006sep21. It's a good word. That's why it's funny. Invest in barrels. "Barrels" is this year's "squick" and/or "moist."

2006sep22. Friday Freeday.

Borat: Best of [24 min].
Kylie Minogue: Come Into My World [4:20 min somewhere]. A video by Michel Gondry. Really can't see the detail too well with the compression. Available on Director's Series Vol 3.
Wonder Showzen: How Hot Dogs Are Made [2:29 min].
The Stonemen: Surf bluegrass instrumental [2 min].
Postal Service: We Will Become Silhouettes.
The Belgian thinks he's a penguin [2 min].
Colbert: Better Know A Challenger [7 min].
Freaking brilliant: Paris Pours. An incisive infinite encapsulation of a non-career in nothing. It's a little large for the dial-up set, from what I remember. [doc]
Letterman: Works at Taco Bell (1996).
Letterman: David Sedaris "Stadium Pal".
Arching archer Lilia Stepanova [2 min].

I came up with that myself. "Arching archer." Quittin' early today ... come on, I'm buying the first round.

2006sep25. Phoneswarm: a new phone number.

2006sep27. Bring it, Beef. A cartoon cat disses the Prius

2006sep29. Rockwell: Decimating the Constitution with Military Tribunals.

2006sep29. Friday Freeday.

The ro-bot is activated by saintly music [1:28 min].
Moonwalking bird [3:28 min].
Drive-in movie trailer thing: hot chocolate [21 sec].
Drive-in: corn dogs [3 sec]. I just repeat that one over and over.
Asylum Street Spankers: Stick Magnetic Ribbons on Your SUV [4:21 min]. Apparently I missed this when it was goin' 'round in April. Huh.

2006sep29. Mail.

Is there a Trader Joes in Tatahoma, WA

Not this week. But perhaps one will go through Tatahoma in the next month or so. It's a strange way to run a grocery market, an entirely mobile fleet strategically positioned throughout the USA to offer the lowest possible prices by leveraging distance from key ports and food manufacturing facilities, but that's what keeps the Trader Joe's customers eyeballing the TJ "market deployment web" on their cellphones while they're racing down the freeway. The prices. Or maybe it's the chili mango slices.

"Trader Joe's ... coming to your town ... soon?"

And there my answer to my anonymous interlocutor ended. But it reminded me of a slogan I came up with a few days ago for the sex toy industry: "There's always room for sex toys." You have to think fast, on your "feet" as it were in the ad business. I am meeting today's challenges "head on" and am "strangling myself" with "my pretend tie."


October 2006.

2006oct01. Rockwell: The Ambiguous Enemy is Us.

2006oct01. Prison Planet: Bush Given Authority To Sexually Torture American Children.

Informationliberation: Torture Bill States Non-Allegiance To Bush Is Terrorism.

2006oct01. Wikipedia: The Ethic of Reciprocity or the "Golden Rule."

2006oct01. Actual text of the Torture Bill.

2006oct01. Old, relevant: Freedom on a Leash.

2006oct01. Apparently, Bob Woodward's "State of Denial" indicates that Bush meets with Henry Kissinger every month. Bush has closed ranks, only speaks to his closest advisers ... and Kissinger's one of them. You don't suppose that's where King George got the idea for the retroactive war crime pardon, do you?

Mommy ... why doesn't the word "Laos" appear in Kissinger's Wikipedia entry?

2006oct02. Krome: "Please call everyone, before she dies in that hellhole." I never understood the people who claimed that the government was building concentration camps ... they've already built them. For people seeking asylum, refuge, for the dispossessed from Katrina.

2006oct02. Welcome, my friend. Welcome to BARF World.

2006oct02. Reviving a dead hard drive: Dr. Freeze jacks in.

2006oct02. The nice people over at The Consumerist recently pointed to a LA Times article detailing a customer who's suing Washington Mutual. The bank has recently switched the interiors to be more "customer-friendly" -- tellers now work from separate kiosks, spaced apart, peppered throughout the bank. A criminal-type was able to see one customer withdraw a large sum of money; he later used this knowledge to "jack" the customer, who then plaintiffied.

This is how far designers can travel up their own buttocks ‒ there's so many reasons there's a line between what the bank's doing and what the customer's seeing. And yet, this cockamamie divide-and-conquer money show made it past n people, who, perhaps in the past, were considered experts in their fields. "Now customers can navigate directly to a customer representative's kiosk merely by stepping over the severed heads of our former managerial staff."

I wonder if those kiosks fit through the doors. [FX: grabbing handcart]

2006oct03. How exactly did I miss this? Beth Gibbons (Portishead) and Paul Webb (Talk Talk) collaborating?

2006oct04. There was a problem with this week's phone at Phoneswarm. So I replaced it. I'm that kind of "can-do guy" guy.

2006oct04. The Executive Coloring Book [via reddit].

2006oct05. Shampoo: an explanation. I stopped shampooing my hair on two separate occasions, for about five weeks each ‒ running it ("hair") under water each day, then rinsing with apple cider vinegar. The first time, my hair was fine; the second time, things Were Not So Good. I don't know why. More testing? More testing.

2006oct06. Mail about shampoo.

Dear Sirs:

Are you insane?

For you must be, Sirs, to take "shampoo advice" seriously from the Christian Brotherhood. Sirs, they ask that you pour vinegar on your poor, unsuspecting hair follicles, without offering any true scientific rationale for such an odoriferous treatment. While I appreciate your willingness for experimentation, I question the judgement you exercised upon- or perhaps, against- the very follicles that have proven to be so loyal to you over these past many years.

Please, please, reconsider your current stance on hair care products, and leave any advice to those professionals not affiliated with any particular religion; for remember, God helps those who wash their OWN hair.

Thank you for consideration, and please feel free to use my real name.

Your humble servant,
Emma D.

re: Boo Shampoo!
Hey Prof.
These ladies have given up the 'poo: link and I have followed suit. I have two old 'poo bottles in the tub, one for the baking soda solution, and one for the apple cider vinegar solution, used every other wash. Check it out. It's been working great on my head for a week.
-Chris T.

My name is [x] representing [y] Transportation. I am the [title] for our fleet sales department and would like to purchase a billboard on the I-10. Would you be able to help me out with finding a spot to put one. Thanks~

Mr. [x]
[title] Fleet Sales
[y] Transportation

On the shampoo front, I have to chemically disagree: "But the water supply slowly changed. It's now generally more alkaline, which people call hard water."

Um, no. The water is what the water is wherever the water is. It's not changing worldwide. In London it's damn hard, here in St. Paul it's quite gently soft as always. The article falls flat on its science face immediately because alkalinity and hardness are not the same. The rest has merit but once a false gauntlet has been thrown....

I had no idea the shampoo advice was wrapped in a cloak of religiosity. That's not where I got my initial advice to skip shampoo.

The Moonies ... I got it from the Moonies. Can I interest you in a flower for the little lady? It will help pay for my indoctrination and gruel. How about some fresh salmon? Whoops, light's changed ... Rev. Moon go with you!! [cough, cough]

I advise all of you, including me, to seek non-spiritual solutions to our shitty hair problems.

2006oct06. More soap mail.

hardness vs pH: link "Hard water (high mineral content) is usually high in pH. Soft water (low mineral) is usually low in pH."

is soap better than detergent? link "If you live in an area where the water is soft, you will have more success with soaps, but even then a gradual build-up of calcium and magnesium ions (also called 'curd') will be left in the fabric of your diapers"

here is a picture: link "When soap is added to hard water, insoluble compounds form which appear as sticky scum."

2006oct08. A poster on an airline crew forum asked: Anyone have good (or bad) on-board experiences dealing with celebrities?.

I was lucky enought to have the Dalai-Lama on board. He was very humble (sat in business, not first) and charming. He wrote messages of good will for all of us.

Jean-Jacques Cousteau (oceanographer) ‒ very nice guy despite cancelled flights.

Keiko (orca whale) ‒ very pleasant sea creature. Flew out of Newport, OR on an Air Force cargo jet. Didn't struggle against the net.

2006oct09. If you are in the Bay Area, do not forget to go see Dr. Bronner's Magic SoapBox tomorrow or Wednesday at the Mill Valley Film Festival. It is the story of the soap you see all over the place with the tiny, tiny type and the man who created it.

2006oct09. Mail.

Hi
We are the (X Assocation) and will be stoping at your diner in Bisbee for lunch on the 20th of Oct. The group should be between 8 to 10 hungery people. Thought you would like a heads up.
Regards
Bobby L.

Good to know.

2006oct09. New York Magazine: Colbert Has America by the Ballots.

2006oct09. WFMU: Groupie MP3s. I was just wondering the other day where those megaditzy Propellerhead samples came from. "We hustled our way in ... everybody had long hair ..." "That's groovy ... that's groovy I guess." "Yeah, it's groovy." "He's got a nice body ... he's wearing velvet pants." Love the way she pronounces "pants." That's why that quote's in the song ... easily.

2006oct09. The Tate has installed five giant five-story slides. The artist, Carsten Holler, envisions slides being used in everyday situations, at least that's what a museum associate seems to imply. I am all for this. I have travelled through a Carsten Holler slide in Boston and I pronounced it "All-Righta!" A series of slides connecting the US and the UK is not only feasible, it already exists in my own mind.

2006oct13. Friday Freeday.

Bouncing attractor flash thing. [via digg]
"I can see through time" ‒ 50s Band-Aid commercial [1 min]. "Ohmigod, I'm a tiny platelet ... now I'm a strand of spaghetti ... now I can hear YELLOW-RED IDAHO!"
Letterman: Amy Sedaris neighborhood tour
Letterman: Amy Sedaris interview 1 2
Eleanor Powell: Rope Dance [4:42 min].
Red chair series [50 photos].
Emi brings Lisa v. Diddy [doc].

2006oct13. $1.65 billion for youtube and there's no way to enter negative search terms. I'll give you negative search for a couple million. I'm just sayin', is all.

2006oct14. Special thanks to whomever kicked a li'l something in the tip jar. I forgot about that thing.

2006oct15. Another special thank you to the person who doubled the tip from yesterday. That makes you twice as crazy. Also, new phoneswarm is up.

2006oct17. We have now entered the period that henceforth shall be known as Freedom Plus.

2006oct20. It's an all-Lost Friday Freeday today. There are a few ways to rock entire episodes. We can go to Paris (Daily Motion), or we can go to Beijing (Ouou). I've had problems with various episodes using both of these viewers. Daily Motion episodes are chopped into two or three parts (ex: 1a,1b,1c), works well with IE, extremely poorly with Opera (the slider bars don't work and it locks up if you click on the screen). Firefox I've given up on for video other than Youtube, because I get juddering etc ‒ I keep a lot of tabs open, so between that memory hog and the ugly memory leak, it's juddering ahoy! With Daily Motion, if you start noodling with the slider bar to look at, for example, some sort of quick "easter egg" image in Lost, it can lose track and will judder when you go back to regular playback, so you have to re-load, and ZZzzzzzzz. Some brilliant sop marked some of the Lost episodes as being "adult-oriented," so use bugmenot to get passwords for Daily Motion. Ouou episodes are just numbered (ex: 1,2,3). The slider bar in IE isn't there, but you can move this invisible control around. Sometimes Daily Motion or Ouou will just choke and die, so flip to the other domain. If you can't get a specific episode working or want to read the English subtitles for Sun/Jin's Korean conversations obscured by Ouou's second layer of Chinese subtitles, hit the scripts. ABC has the third season online but there seems to be a problem with the "pause" feature when you leave and come back, it doesn't restart. In addition to pointing out various problems, doc found a third website that apparently has Lost episodes, but they're all .rar downloads. I didn't mess with these. Scientific observation has revealed that increased exposure to Lost is inversely correlated with interest in the series. Proceed with caution. (potential problem files are marked with asterisks, there are also duplicates of some episodes)

Season 1. 1 . 2 . 3 . 4 . 5 . 6 . 7 . 8 . 9 . 10 . 11 . 12 . 13 . 14 . 14 . 15 . 16 . 16 . 17 . 18 . 19 . 20 * . 21 . 22 . 23 . 23 . 24 * . 25

Season 2. 1 . 2 . 3 * . 3a . 3b . 3c . 4 . 4a . 4b . 4c . 5 . 5a * . 5b . 5c . 6 . 6a . 6b . 6c . 7 . 7a . 7b . 7c . 8 . 8a . 8b . 8c . 9 * . 9a . 9b . 9c . 10 . 10a . 10b . 10c . 11 . 11a . 11b . 11c . 12 * . 12a . 12b . 12c . 13 . 13a . 13b . 13c . 14 . 14a . 14b . 14c . 15 . 15a . 15b . 15c . 16 . 16a . 16b . 16c . 17 . 17a . 17b . 17c . 18 . 18a . 18b . 18c . 19 (mislabelled ep 10) . 19a . 19b . 19c . 20 . 20a 20b . 20c . 21 . 21a . 21b . 21c . 22 . 22a . 22b . 22c . 23 . 23a . 23b . 23c . 24 . 24a . 24b . 24c |

Season 3. 1 . 1 (alt) . 1 (alt alt) . 1 (alt alt alt) . 2 . 2 (alt) . 2 (alt alt) . 2a . 2b 3a 3b

2006oct22. Phoneswarm: a new phone is up.

2006oct23. New domain. Tinyflowers. Design. First up: condom tins.

2006oct23. Fun Facts! (Fun Facts!) El Mexicano's Pico de Gallo "HOT SEASONING FOR FRUITS" (1) has a safety seal that is not actually sealed to the container or anything (2) should not be applied optically.

2006oct24. Yeah, we get it. Bush said "The google." It's been discussed. It's strategy. He's reassuring his base that he's just as stupid as they are.

2006oct25. Mail.

Er, are you hand updating the feed? I notice it's still showing the shampoo thing as the lastest update....

As for the feed, it has stopped working. The last time my feed reader was able to read it was, yoy, October 6th. Please lavish it with fixes and smoochies.

I think your RSS feed is brokens. AND I WANT A DELICIOUS BAKED GOOD.

Okay. There were several problems with the feed which is auto-generated by some program thing I wrote with my own nine fingers (the last one is constantly flipping off the screen). Feed readers are very picky. I think I fixed all of them, and when I send this "post," everything should be okay. You should be subscribed to [feed deleted], not [feed also deleted]. And if you are keeping up with Phoneswarm, that's [third feed deleted]. Eventually Macros2000 and Tinyflowers will have feeds as well. Swell.

2006oct25. Mail.

Thank you for fixing the feed! My feed reader is happy again. I eagerly look forward to reading your insightful commentary on condom package design, though perhaps not while I am at work.

Not so fast, Sassafras. There's still something wrong with the feed, it just went glooey this morning behind my back. I'll be tinkering with it today. And the condom stuff isn't going to be pushed through the feed.

Dear Sir/Madam,

We are basically looking for Button / Coin shaped chocolates for consumable purpose to employees and students. It is basically hard Gold foil in color with chocolate filled inside. The Outside portion ( gold foil ) if we could customize with the logo.

We want to know if you can manufacture/produce the same.

The diameter we have is basically 2cm and Thickness 0.5 cm.

Kindly let me know if you can do the same or according to your size. If you could provide us with an image of the same you have And also we are looking for different packaging traps/ boxes you have for four, tweleve and twenty four chocolates Looking forward to your mail

Thanks and Regards,

Pearl Picardo

Vista Marketing Intl.

P.O. Box 14512

Dubai, U.A.E.

Tel: +971 4 3354525

Fax: +971 4 3349554

Though creating traps for chocolate lovers does sound exciting, our manufacturing facility has been seized by the government to help the war effort. You should try Steenland, they'll fix you right up.

2006oct25. Whoops, back up, let's go with that original "the feed is okay" thing. But you're still not going to get condoms pushed through your feed.

2006oct25. I've just received word from the National Halloween Council that this year is EVERYBODY IS TETRIS PIECES HALLOWEEN. If you're going to be the long piece, you should cut arm hole flaps out then tape them back in place from the inside so the costume looks okay, but if you trip or someone pushes you, you can just jam your arms out the costume and not fall on your face. Because I like your face. Here is a Tetris piece "in action."

2006oct25. Mail.

I installed a script called "completely idiotic" and pointed it at you so every [paragraph mark] gets this tacked on:

2006oct25. Whoops, back up, let's go with that original "the feed is okay" thing. But you're still not going to get condoms pushed through your feed. Which is, of course, completely idiotic.

2006oct25. Mail. Which is, of course, completely idiotic.

Which is, of course, derived from this.

2006oct25. Rolling Back Government: Lessons from New Zealand.

Let me share with you one last story: The Department of Transportation came to us one day and said they needed to increase the fees for driver's licenses. When we asked why, they said that the cost of relicensing wasn't being fully recovered at the current fee levels. Then we asked why we should be doing this sort of thing at all. The transportation people clearly thought that was a very stupid question: Everybody needs a driver's license, they said. I then pointed out that I received mine when I was fifteen and asked them: "What is it about relicensing that in any way tests driver competency?" We gave them ten days to think this over. At one point they suggested to us that the police need driver's licenses for identification purposes. We responded that this was the purpose of an identity card, not a driver's license. Finally they admitted that they could think of no good reason for what they were doing ‒ so we abolished the whole process! Now a driver's license is good until a person is 74 years old, after which he must get an annual medical test to ensure he is still competent to drive. So not only did we not need new fees, we abolished a whole department. That's what I mean by thinking differently.

2006oct27. Friday Freeday.

Bjork: Bachelorette [5:25 min]
Something Awful Physics [9:45 min].
Borat: first four minutes of movie [4 min!].
Weird Al: White & Nerdy [2:50 min]. Seth Green cameo?
Wonder Showzen: Middle America. [3:29 min]. "TEXAS." (for krishna)
Wonder Showzen: Number Two's Tap Dancing Puppet Show [1:30 min].
Sifl & Olly: United States of Whatever [1:28 min].
Sesame Street: Yip Yips v. Telephone [2:57 min].

2006oct27. Big chunk of college radio history in the comments section of this WFMU post.

2006oct28. Hikikomori is a Japanese term referring to the country's large number of adolescent voluntary shut-ins. Francesco Jodice has created a 22-minute quicktime film about this phenomenon which you can view here by clicking on "English," then "works," then down in the lower-right corner, "start." Side note: from my dim recollection of the Japanese language, most of the time "u"s are whispered, to the point where it's difficult for a non-speaker to hear them. Two male Japanese skateboarders drop the "u" in otaku but another male Japanese speaking in English hammers that ending "u."

"SHY BOY!"

2006oct28. A Poem That Takes An Abrupt Turn.

A spider's web
is a wondrous thing
it catches the sun
in its ‒ I SOLD CRACK
TO A SIX-YEAR-OLD.

2006oct29. The science of playing dead. I do this in the city when things get a little too overwhelming. Also for the Faces of Death macro, which still isn't in macros2000.

Faces of Death Part N.

The Faces of Death videotape series ($450,000 to make the first one, currently over $30 million gross) supposedly featured a montage of snuff films: auto accidents, murder scenes, people eatin' monkey brains, alligator attacks, etc. John Schwarz, the writer and co-director creator of the series, has since gone on record explaining that while some of the file footage was real, the subsequent multiple-camera angle snuff endings were faked ("I was the leader of the flesh-eating cult ... I had scenes in each of these movies ... I'm the crazy, drugged-out killer ... "). The title of this series has been appropriated as stinging commentary on the molasses-like quality of an event. In short, emulate a dead person: mouth hanging open, eyes unblinking, body flaccid. Unlike the video series, n has been co-opted as a rating guide ‒ the more impressive the resulting contortions, the higher the number. Believing ourselves to be quite adept at this game, we were taken aback recently by a young girl who was dangling her arms out the window of a moving van with what appeared to be Faces of Death Part Eight. Commonly implemented in restaurants to provide much-needed levity during slow table service. Also applicable while passing slow and/or addled motorists; passengers only, please. "Give granny Faces of Death Part Three."

2006oct30. New Scientist: Elephants see themselves in mirrors. So that's elephants, monkeys, and dolphins. I did some tests with the geese I tended to last year, and they knew how to use the mirrors (got the ideer from Nancy Townsend's book), but I didn't do any self-recognition tests. They certainly didn't seem to mind sitting right up next to the mirror and going to sleep with their reflected buddy.

2006oct31. Breakthrough: What I like about baguettes is the chewing. Hardy, rich chewing. There's no chewing on earth like baguette chewing. Idea: monetize chewing. A chew toy for humans. This sentence has the word "chew" in it. Chew.

2006oct31. Purported insider look at the Youtube/Google deal [via digg].

> The media companies had their typical challenges. Specifically, how to
> get money from Youtube without being required to give any to the
> talent (musicians and actors)?

Awwww, that's sweet. Just another reason to never give the vampires any more of my precious coin.

2006oct31. A Cardhouse Gold Class Emailer sends along this bit of spam he received.

Wow
I'm glad I opened that one
I like their text generator a lot
I wish they were selling that instead
I would buy it
D'oh!

---
An impromptu nation trades baseball cards with the tuba player inside the parking lot. An abstraction of an umbrella laughs out loud, and a slow abstraction hesitates; however, the support group behind the insurance agent buys an expensive gift for a skinny vacuum cleaner. Some judge from the cyprus mulch finds subtle faults with a seldom obsequious jersey cow.

If a freight train caricatures some paycheck about another light bulb, then a freight train defined by the submarine procrastinates. When you see some hypnotic reactor, it means that a grizzly bear living with the cargo bay hibernates. When a hypnotic football team rejoices, a briar patch starts reminiscing about lost glory. A fruit cake beyond a bartender competes with the unstable polar bear. Furthermore, an usually spartan light bulb gets stinking drunk, and an earring pours freezing cold water on a soggy tornado. When you see a tattered minivan, it means that a movie theater related to a grizzly bear gets stinking drunk. A hairy defendant is flabby.

A freight train related to a food stamp

For example, an accidentally flatulent class action suit indicates that a mating ritual inexorably buys an expensive gift for a pathetic senator. A turkey prays, and an infected line dancer sweeps the floor; however, the mortician writes a love letter to some seldom purple tabloid. When a skyscraper inside a skyscraper trembles, a greasy plaintiff earns frequent flier miles. Now and then, a ball bearing secretly befriends a knowingly alleged insurance agent. The wheelbarrow living with a fairy, a paper napkin related to the cowboy, and another smelly freight train are what made America great!

I'd buy the book ("Pathetic Senator on Another Smelly Freight Train to Cyprus").


November 2006.

2006nov01. Michael Feldman's two-parter with his dispatcher back when he drove a cab.

2006nov02. What are those Hitch50 guys smoking? They get a free ride to Alaska, they're stuck there, then they get a free ride back to Seattle ... and now, immediately after this, they want to go to their graduation ceremonies in British Columbia?

Dudes. You are seriously spitting in the face of some awesome Karma. You have chosen your destiny. One does not abandon a Royal Quest in the middle to prance around in a mortarboard. I skipped my graduation ceremonies and I didn't have anything near your rockin' legitimate excuse. "Can't Pomp & Circumstance ... state clowns will eat me." Your parents will forgive you in about eight years, by my estimate. And it only really comes up when you're already arguing. GET HITCHIN', YOU BUTTS

2006nov03. If someone can provide me with some pix of Alan Richman's scathing article about New Orleans cuisine in GQ, I'd much appreciate it. Here's a thorough take-down. Doesn't have to be neat, just readable.

2006nov03. Blank Top Chronicles: The Battle of Arlingtons.

2006nov03. Starting early next year, United States citizens will require permission from Customs and Border Patrol to enter or leave their own country. Oh, just tell me what camp to report to already.

2006nov07. Radar: Wonder Showzen interview.

"But you know, the other thing is, like, we'd have to clean it off every time. It would react and cry. It's a production problem, putting gravy on a baby."

2006nov07. Electronic voting is cool because you can vote multiple times. Let's all just go back to paper forms, okay? Technology is not welcome in this arena.

2006nov08. I was drinking some soy milk ‒ it's sort of an adjunct to my normal rice milk. I don't usually drink it, I usually add a little bit occasionally to cereal 'cause it's pumped with vitamins etc. So it sits around awhile. But I wanted to finish off the carton and I thought "hahah, wouldn't it be funny if there was visible mold on the spout?" and I had a mouthful of it and looked at the spout offhandedly so as not to be all self-aware of my latent mold phobia and sure enough, it's covered in mold. I went to the sink to dump everything out and rinse and I was laughing the whole time. So I was right, it was funny. THE WINNER IS ME.

PS: You can never have too many "and"s in a sentence. Your grammar teacher can suck it.

2006nov08. The Onion: Frito-Lay Angrily Introduces Line of Healthy Snacks. With awesomely annoying pop-up!

2006nov10. Friday Freeday.

On the Edge of Blade Runner.
Rejected Cartoons.
Trendspotting: School clubs.
Cibo Matto: Sugar Water.
Borat & Regis walk down streets of NYC.
Alton Brown: knife sharpening. Like everything in life, there are many differing opinions about this process (you can see a variety of them in the comments section), which is why I cut everything with plastic-coated safety scissors.
Daily Show: Mid-Term Elections cartoon. In the style of Schoolhouse Rock's "I'm Just a Bill." Which of course brings Conspiracy Theory Rock to mind. Same animators.

2006nov10. Terlet instructions from 'round the world

2006nov11. Well, he's a lame duck now, so it's safe to publish extree-close-up photos of him.

2006nov13. Lincoln: What? Also: Lincoln's Triumphant Broads Address.

2006nov14. A comic: Relationshapes. It touches me ... right there.

2006nov15. Special thanks to everyone pointing at the vintage condom tins at tinyflowers.com. This is a "trackback," 1997-stylie. We carved permalinks out of sturdy wood back then, and spam was delivered by DHL.

"Have you canned it yet, e-gramps? Don't make me play Senior Citizen Beatdown on my Wii."

2006nov15. Blank Top: The guards aren't listening to me.

2006nov17. There is a documentary on Brother Theodore coming out next year. The trailer features, among other things, Penn & Teller and Anthony Bourdain espousing their respective respect. I have "uploaded" a mp3 of a chilling Brother Theodore promo for the 1981 nature film House By The Cemetery.

2006nov18. Poor Phoneswarm. Related mail:

Sorry Buddy,

I can't tell if you're mad or sad. Thanks for the effort you've made. It's been fun watching the goings on on this site.

I originally found your web page while browsing around the Mojave Phone Booth Site.

Best wishes in all your future endeavors!!

Best,

Tamera

I'll probably bring all that phone stuff into Cardhouse and sell the domain to the Russians for somewhere in the high two digits. I have bigger fish to fry. And I likes me some big-ass fryin' fish!

2006nov18. Dick Meyer clinches The Ultimate Spineless Fucking Coat-Tailing Dickhead Award.

And for 12 years, the media didn't call a duck a duck, because that's not something we're supposed to do.

We all delude ourselves to some extent. Not really that much, though. You're like fuggin' Pluto out there, Dickie. "For twelve years, I didn't pick up the garbage, because that's not something garbagemen are supposed to do." [via metafilter].

2006nov19. You may have already seen this video of the geese. But now it is on Revver! And below! If my weblog program! Is working! If you have not seen it: you will enjoy it. It is rated "G" for "Goslings."

2006nov20. That damned near-infrasound.

The sound, often described as being similar to the sound of air being blown over a bottle top, has troubled sensitive ears in Auckland's northern suburbs and isolated parts of New Zealand's far north for several years. One man who contacted Dr Moir became so frustrated by the sound that he deliberately damaged the hearing in one of his ears ‒ by holding it close to a chainsaw engine ‒ so that he could sleep.

The very next day, earplugs and earmuffs were invented.

2006nov20. I went to the Laughing Squid 11th Anniversary Party which was quite nice. I tended to orbit around the big fwooshy 30-foot-fireball thing since it was a little chilly out. I need to install one of those in my bedroom. I saw all the oldy oldsters from way back, which is what it's all about. The love. "Hey, haven't seen you in four years! Okay, see you in seven!" I got to make a reference to the "Bullnanza" rodeo event. I paid off a five-dollar bet I made in the heady, dot-com Bullnanza days of 2000 with someone who had shorted Kristy Kreme -- after hearing this and laughing for five minutes, I said something like "they're DO-NUTS! How can they fuck that up?" and the wager ... was on. But they did fuck it up. I don't [whatever PC term we're all using to replace "welsh/welch"] on bets. My friends were poking me in the back to pick up [whatever PC term we're all using to replace "chix/broads"] and I was all like "that boat done sailed a long time ago." I snuck nips out of a friend's hip flask while instinctively looking around furtively for the [whatever PC term we're all using to replace "schoolmarm/truant officer"]. I'm also in one or more of the Photoboof (FutureURL™) photos. Find me and win nothing. I asked the guy who created this wonderful machine awhile if he knew "Tim Duncan" (in actuality Tim Hunkin) and he knew who I was talking about and had consulted with him about various internal bits to make the Photoboof the gem it is. Another guy I talked to is looking for bay area bookstores to do some in-house readings for a recently-published book of his and whatever else it is that authors do with bookstores. He's a really good speaker, you won't regret it. Drop me a line. Then, back at "home," I did a quick check on every theoretically factual statement I made during the night to see how everything stacked/non-stacked up, including this non-interesting chestnut while watching a steam-powered car (with registered plates!) drive up and down the block: I read in a book, years ago, that the reason steam-powered engines got the pass during the big sweat-off between gasoline, electric, and steam was because a steam car exploded during an exhibition/race, killing six or seven people. But ... I can't find any reference to anything remotely similar on the internets and if it's not there, as we all know, it never happened. My apologies to the re-burgeoning steam-powered automobile industry.

2006nov20. Achewood: G.R.O.-R.A.D..

2006nov24. Next year, let's all have a Kraftwerk Thanksgiving. This is a weblog created by a cartoon cat, by the way.

2006nov27. Someone sent mail pointing to an older version of the do-nut ro-bot that prompted me to give up the domain name ("donutrobot.com"). Stupid ro-bot.

2006nov29. Two awesome things.

1) Someone is taking over Phoneswarm as the little icon indicates. There will be a new number as soon as we hash out the details and physically move all the "bits" and "bytes" as the computer people call them (this did not happen).

2) I got an extremely solid "inside" tip that Wonder Showzen is in production, or at least the people from Wonder Showzen are doing something that sounds a lot like Wonder Showzen. Maybe you already knew this.


December 2006.

2006dec01. Friday Freeday.

Free Hugs.
Jon Stewart: 2004 CSPAN interview [1 hr].
World Record Domino Thing. Stay with it until the end, even though the whole thing has this annoying "music" theme, just to see the reactions of the builders. We are going ape-shit for dominoes. Also the outfits.
David Caruso emotes. I'm on the edge of my seat, then I fall off from laughing so hard. It's another Julie Chen-like montage. These things will need a short and snappy name. It is both a collage and a montage. Thus: mollage. Or coltage. I would like to see a large chunk of people imitating this crap segue. A mollage tribute mollage. Also, I know David Spade is irritating, but watch his related segment.
The rabbit opens letters. Truly a dream machine. Now how much would you pay. But wait, there's more. You'll get this darling hairball-creating cat absolutely free. Turn your friends green with envy. They laughed when I sat down to clean up the hairball. But when I started to clean! --
David Cross does Bruce Vilanch.
Woody Allen interviews Billy Graham, late 60s: Part one, two.

2006dec09. Conversation.

Doc: it just doesn't take much, does it
---
problem is figuring out how to get it to "take"
sometimes you get lucky
sometimes you don't
peter paul almond joy's got nuts
mounds don't
i will remember that on my deathbed
wisdom to pass along to my horse
"jimmy i have something important to tell you"
"before you eat me"

2006dec09. Flickr: As it turns out, Mr. Owl cannot handle his liquor.

2006dec09. Mail.

I looked up this email to contact Mr. Merv Griffin. I had the pleasure and priviledge of working at the [x] Festival during the summers of 1969 and 1970. There I met the producer Mr. [y] and many other wonderful people. Unfortunately for me, I lost touch with them . Since you are also a producer is there any chance that you can help to put me in touch with [y] again? He has three children whom I also cannot find. They are : [y1] , [y2] and [y3]. He has a sister who is named [z]. I hope that you can help me reconnect with these wonderful people again. Thank you kindly. [name]

I BEAT THE INTERNET
THE END GUY WAS HARD

2006dec10. Important tip from a local daily rag. "If you don't have time to bake pies for your holiday party, have the caterers bake in your dishes."

2006dec12. Mail.

please get back to me but is there anyway you can buy these

Yes. You can buy these.

2006dec13. Leslie Harpold has passed. She left the same tiny sliver of the midwest I lived in, but we didn't start talking until she lived in NYC. She translated some text I had written to send to someone in France, she offered crash space when I was in a ridiculously tight spot, I warned her about the California DMV, we talked mostly about typography and relationships and projects and etc. Words aren't really doing it. Leslie.

2006dec13. Wal-Mart: Training the shock troops of future holy wars.

2006dec14. Blank Top takes the meatball pitch.

2006dec15. Achewood: Grandfather was given to claims

2006dec16. Mail.

We are agents from benin republic in africa. We have found buyers of your products.

Regards

I was wondering where they had gotten off to. That's a little farther than a walk in the park, granted, but if you can get them on a plane aimed in this general direction I'd appreciate it.

2006dec18. Mail.

are those products present a bad impact on children?

Yes.

In other news, I was "on call" to be the Official Photographer of The Last Olde Giraffe Disassembly 2006 but unfortunately things didn't work out. I had the entire article laid out, words, graphics, it was kicky. So just imagine that I totally rocked your face with poignant photos of a semi-giraffe. I missed the whale, I missed the bottlenose dolphin. Sawing big dead animals into sections, it's what the kids are into these days, it's hip, it's hot, it's "hep." Tell 50 of your friends.

2006dec20. Awesome detailed smackdown on chocolate gougatier Noka.

2006dec20. I forgot what you're supposed to do when a earthquake hits. Eat the rich?

2006dec29. Mail.

I am in shanghai now . I am looking for a job.

I am not in Shanghai. I am not looking for a job. LETZ "BEE" PEN PALS

2006dec29. Deuce of Clubs: Silent Night: The Story of the World War I Christmas Truce.

2006dec29. I was using a knife to un-cake a small glass bottle of garlic powder, just jabbing the knife into the garlic mass repeatedly and I poked the knife through the bottom. One small chip of glass went flying into the sink, and half the garlic poured out of the new hole while my brain was trying to process what had just happened. "Pouring ... out bottom ... of glass?" The single glass chip fits perfectly into the void. Surreal.

2006dec30. Oh boy! Patents of novelty buildings. [Kunstler severely wrings his hat] [via hippoblog]

2006dec30. My first day in L.A. this year I had to make the most difficult decision of my life: continue with my friends to the do-nut shoppe, or get all up in a bizarre auto accident involving a fire hydrant and a 100-foot column of gushing water. The driver took off; perhaps it was stolen, perhaps the driver was under the influence and wanted to dry out before answering questions. The fireman thought I was the driver because I was swarming around trying to get all the interesting angles. At one point I had to run away because the wind shifted and the ~100 foot column of water was starting to land on me; I figured if I let it happen, it would be great video, but it would be the last thing the camera recorded.

Related videos:

Firefighters chop through pavement; amateur cameraman unsuccessfully fights urge to shoot video in "portrait" mode.

Car with magical rainbow.

Elephant seals show little interest from beach located 200 miles away and many hours prior (included as control).

2006dec30. Word from inside Iraq on Saddam's death, current conditions, etc.

2006dec31. Very Small Array: My Ten Closest Friends chart.

2006dec31. Just spoke to a friend of mine. He was part of a three-person team that created the board game "Bootleggers," which deals with the business opportunities created when a government goes on a morality kick to save people from themselves and bans a potable liquid. It was a hybrid European/American style game, so naturally they were eyeing the German/Italian market. When the game got over there, there was a problem ‒ they didn't know what "bootlegging" was, and they had no similar word for it. My friend said they would have done much better if they called it "American Gangster Bang-Bang!"