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Thursday, June 29, 2000  permanent URL for this entry

Build you a fire with hickory,
  hickory and ash and oak.
Don't use no green or rotten wood,
  they'll get you by the smoke.
While you lay there by the juniper,
  while the moon is bright,
Watch them jugs a-fillin',
  in the pale moonlight.
-- (annotated)

So yesterday I jumped ship on a big Celebratory Expedition that the rest of the group at work went on, and just hung around the house decompressing. It was very nice; hope y'all didn't miss me too much! My major accomplishment was getting through Victory Road in my Pokémon Red game. That set me up to take on the Elite Four and my Rival this morning, and I am pleased to report that I am now Pokémon League Champion or whatever it's called, in that particular little subuniverse. I'm so proud.

Viruses in cellphones? They interviewed Steve, but they took my picture. I'm the guy crouching on the floor pretending to type, under the slightly misleading caption "This is IBM's 'Immune System'".

Al Gore, Environmentalist And Zinc Miner

No mention of the zinc mine appears in "Earth in the Balance," on Mr. Gore's campaign Web site or in his speeches.

Speaking of viruses, before they were even called "viruses", there was Elk Cloner. Maybe if that'd caught on we'd be talking about "cloners in cellphones". Or perhaps "elk in cellphones"!

http://[word][word].com/. Three nice examples today: UselessCreations.com (mostly just screensavers, but see UselessTelnet and NetPong), BambiRaptor.com (no further comment), and BalloonHat.com (some must-see pictures!).

Very good page about personal firewalls and stuff (for when I finally get that DSL-or-whatever connection at home).

The Mensa Workout:

If two typists can type two pages in two minutes, how many typists will it take to type 18 pages in six minutes?

are my feet on fire again, or what?

Oh, and did I mention the little daughter went to her first rock concert (are they still called "rock concerts"?) yesterday? Got home at midnight-bleeding-thirty, and was not happy about having to get up this morning for Stage Camp (hey, Stage Camp was her idea; when I was a kid I just slept 'til noon all summer). Still, I think she had a really good time. I try not to tease her about having gone to all that trouble to see Britney Spears, but it's tough. At least, I tell myself, it wasn't some boy-band...

Tuesday, June 27, 2000  permanent URL for this entry

On hugger mugger, Jessamyn reports that she used to play a board game by that name; probably this one (pdf)? (From this long list of game rules.)

Dad writes:

Hugger-mugger: A muppets thing. My very favorite muppets thing.

A guy with a steam blaster for a snout is trying to force everyone to sing his hugger-mugger song. He intimidates this other guy by blasting him with steam. But there is a little guy who insists on singing "you are my sunshine". The hugger-mugger guy tries to blast the little guy but eventually gets done-in by his own blast coming back on him.

It's really hillarious!

The hugger-mugger song is sort of fun too.

I remember that sketch! It was indeed Real Funny. Anybody got the mpeg?   *8)


Various bits of reader interest in the Nomic game lately, and I've finally put up a draft initial ruleset for a possible Game Two on the CEOLNN page. Whaddya think?

Here's something that I scribbled on a piece of paper sometime in 1991 or so, found decomposing in my pocket later on, copied into a notebook on 7 Jan 1992, stumbled across just yesterday, and am finally typing in because I like it:

January 7, 1992 (Copied form a worn pocket-scribble)

Language cannot express truth.

This is not true

  • Self-contradicting
  • Paradigmatic truth-expressing actions are mostly lang-acts

But may be something else

There is something that we assume language can do, act as though it did, which it cannot do. (This language here can't do it either, of course.)

Language primarily causes effects in minds.

It has only a secondary-at-best relationship to the non-mental world, not a primary one. Language should be studied / judged / described in terms of how it effects minds, not how it directly relates to the non-mental.

From Apathy: Advent in Java (a Java version of the original Colossal Cave "adventure" game; mickle nostalgic).

Does anyone outside my immediate family use "clarinet reeds and scotch tape" to refer to something flimsily constructed? It's not real common on the Web, certainly. We got it, I'm about 95% sure, from the old Jazzbo Collins recording of "The Three Little Pigs" ("Once upon a time, in a land called Oompa-faddal, there were three gone little pigs..."). Although there are a few references to Collins around the Web, I can't find a complete listing of the words to that great old piece of Jazz nonsense. I wonder if Dad still has the record (tape? whatever it was...).

The immediate impetus for my question about South Sea Island stories yesterday was a passing mention in "Used and Rare" (a very good friendly book heartily recommended to anyone who's ever felt the tiniest temptation to buy just that one really cool First Edition, even though the price is a little outside your usual comfort zone), followed immediately by the appearance of "The Island of the Colorblind" on top of my to-read pile. The latter looks to also be very good, and it has a bibliography with a number of Island sources in it.

It's sure easier than travelling, anyway...

Monday, June 26, 2000  permanent URL for this entry

First busy idyllic weekend of suburban summer: took the car in to the shop to absorb any extra money we might have, went cherry-picking on Saturday (cherries you pick yourself are a bit more expensive than the ones at the grocery, but the experience is worth it; the trees were dripping with fruit, the day was lovely, and I don't seem to have poison ivy yet), went down to the Lake on Sunday after bagels to help put the raft out and set up the lakeside (my back was quite painful last night, but better now), listened to the concert of local kids (the little daughter on recorder), ate at the potluck (we brought fudge and a few pounds of them cheeries), went in the water for the first time, then took the aforementioned little daughter off to the emergency room for a tetanus booster because she stepped on something dirty and sharp in the lake and it'd been about five years since the last one (she was upset at first, but the hospital was interesting).

The Sims

In Sims news, Merram and Artemisia Hilox-Petunia are finally comfortable enough with each other to share a bed, so I can sell off one of the two double beds that have been cluttering up the bedroom, bring Merram's chess set in from the patio, and start saving up for the fancy Mission bed that they have their eyes on. (I've taken a couple of screen shots, but can't find them at the moment.) What a silly game!   *8)  

In Pokémon news, my Owned count is up around 96, and I'm currently wandering around with a team of PKMN that need to evolve so's I can get up over 100. I'm putting off Victory Road for now.

The West (or perhaps more properly in this context the North) has a certain image of the tropics, of south sea islands, palm trees, beaches, lagoons, langour, strong and/or lazy natives, brave and/or decrepit Europeans. Hurricanes. These islands themselves have their own narratives as well. I want, for some reason, to find and read some of both of these, of the stories that formed the image from the outside, and the stories told from within.

I went into a couple of local bookstores the other year and asked for ideas to read for the "source of the Northern image" books. They had no ideas; I was disappointed. It occurred to me to look on the Web just today, and I found this very relevant list. Has anyone read these things? Read Jack London's South Sea Tales? Read Melville's Omoo and/or Typee? Anything else to recommend? Among other things, I'm looking for cheap popular novels on the subject, with grass skirts, gold hidden in the jungle, the cries of exotic birds filling the night; melodrama.

Tomorrow, unless not: more hugger-mugger, clarinet reeds and scotch tape, and maybe I'll finally get some draft rules for another Nomic game up.

Friday, June 23, 2000  permanent URL for this entry

Various reader insights from last week, comments on contingency, and so on. I have the best readers...

When it rains a lot, and your backyard borders on a drainage creek, you may find a frog in your toilet in the morning. (This happened to me yesterday, and I'm very very glad I noticed *before* I sat down. Otherwise, I might be needing some serious counseling in order to ever go near a toilet again...)

You mean, for instance, in referring to what is arbitrary and what is fundamental about human society, what would have happened if we had not "super-sized" our fries? The repercussions are too monumental to even consider without substantial loin-girding, I think. It's best not to question the established order, don't you think? Best not to dislodge the conceptual stone that props up society's bolder. Best not to be the butterfly whose wings determine the fate of nations. Don't you think?

Last year, I would have been "da bomb" for taking my 13YO son to Live 105's BFD concert; this year, I am informed that I am "tight".

I'm having an insight; I know I am - and if only I could put it into words, I'm sure everything would fall right into place and I would suddenly stop feeling like such a loser.

Take only those risks whose consequences you are willing to accept.

The word for intentional typo is, of course, "tyop". It's all *ironic* and *self-referential*.


Did you know ? The Label tag in HTML can be used to group a label with an input radio or checkbox. I didn't until yesterday. And boy is that useful :-)

I didn't even know there was a Label tag in HTML. Sounds sort of retro and BASICy to me.

On "tout", Anita notes that it has at least one other legitmate use, and that other words are similarly in danger:

when talking about stocks, tout has the same bad implication that it does in horseracing. touting stocks is talking them up and selling them when you get a benefit for doing so. we at http://www.stockcharts.com/ ask our commentators not to do this.

maybe it's like what's happening to "fulsome" as in fulsome praise. people think this just means "enthusiastic praise" when fulsome really means "disgusting"

Various responses (already!) on the issue of toad sucking. A reader points out that there is a Toad Suck, Arkansas. And I found a page describing the various Toad Suck names around there, and speculating on their origins. The author seems to assume that no actual sucking on toads was involved.

Another reader writes "hugger-mugger???". Which is a good question, really. The obvious search turns up a Yoga-gear company, a novel and fictional racehorse and the fact that Shakespere used it. M-w.com says that as an adjective it means "secret" or "confused" or "jumbled." I'd guessed it just meant "lots"; on the other hand, I can imagine toad suckers being confused, or jumbled, or quite likely both.

For those who somehow don't know, Bovine Inversus has been doing an experiment this week, breaking out of the mold of Merely Bizarre Weblogging by confining themself to one picture and three words a day. Check it, like, out!

On the speakers: MP3.com's Children's Music Channel, for no particular reason. I like "Five Little Monkeys Jumpin' on the Bed" (a remake of Short'nin' Bread) particularly.

Fresh Pitas!


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