|log (2003/10/17 to 2003/10/23>|
Thursday, October 23, 2003
I dunno. Should I really try to write a novel in November again? It's going to be such a busy month already. But I like writing novels. But it'd be a bummer to start and try, and then have to give up and not succeed. So I dunno.
Also I bought yet another bookcase for the library, but I bought a six-foot-tall one this time, and there isn't really room for a six foot bookcase up in the library (it's a pretty small and oddly-shaped space), but on the other hand now that it's all put together it'll never make it down the stairs again, and there probably isn't really room for it anywhere on the main floor either.
"Support the Families - Stop the Lawsuits" A cute idea, and I urge you to go give them money on general principles; on the other hand this strikes me as one of those things that, even if it works, will only work in this form once or twice. Sort of like that whatsername that actually made significant money by publicizing her "please give me money to help my pay off my foolish consumer debt" site. Once there are a zillion of them, we're pretty much back to Square One.
(But are we all the way back to Square One, or still far enough from it to make a difference? Would a decentralized net-based United Way be a viable and significant entity?)
See the NRA's rather bizarre list of people who disagree with them (seems like an odd bit of marketing to me, since surely most people will find at least one or two groups on there that they identify with); and see also people pointing you at it.
Official figures quoted by the Xinhua state news agency show that about 85% of computers were infected with a computer virus this year.
Eighty-five percent? Yipes!
So you know those scam spams (spam scams) that you get in email telling you that you've just won a zillion dollars in some foreign lottery, and that always say "please remember to quote your reference and batch numbers"? I got one in hardcopy in the old-fashioned atom-mail. And it seems to have been sent from England! So either atom-mail from England to here is really really cheap, or these guys have a depressingly high hit-rate. (Or they're idiots and they're losing money; that'd be nice.)
It's exactly like the email ones, semi-literate wording, reference and batch numbers, and all.
It claims I've won the THUNDER BALL UK SWEEPSTAKE LOTTERY, and even has the little National Lottery logo at the top of the page. There's a signature at the bottom, too, and I can't quite decide if it's actually hand-signed, or just printed on by the printer. I like the idea of the scammer sitting there signing letter after letter, and none of them producing any money. (Of course, karmically speaking, I should be liking the idea of his seeing the error of his ways and becoming a teacher or a courtesan or something.)
Again not a really big night for log entry writing, I'm afraid. I've been slipping back into some of my old pernicious habits, like reading. (I got rather bogged down in "Psychohistorical Crisis", and as a break I'm reading Vinge's "The Witling", which I found while cleaning up the library some more, and which is short.)
First, a public service announcement, forwarding with permission a note from mitsu over at Synthetic Zero:
Sounds like great fun; I'd show up myself if I weren't such a hermit.
(That's just the top ten.) Simultaneously Libertarian and Green? Hard to imagine that any set of answers to their questions would come out with that reading. On the other hand it pretty accurately reflects the twisted nature of my political leanings; so there you are.
The first viennese vegetable orchestra consists exclusively of vegetable-based instruments, although where necessary, additional kitchen utensils such as knives or mixers are employed.
Hm, I guess I do have a bit of stuff saved up in the "perhaps worth logging" file. Which means you get one of those entries that heavy on links and light on talk; which is I suppose okay.
More reasons to worry about the voting machine stuff: All the President's votes?
The vote count was not conducted by state elections officials, but by the private company that sold Georgia the voting machines in the first place, under a strict trade-secrecy contract that made it not only difficult but actually illegal - on pain of stiff criminal penalties - for the state to touch the equipment or examine the proprietary software to ensure the machines worked properly. There was not even a paper trail to follow up. The machines were fitted with thermal printing devices that could theoretically provide a written record of voters' choices, but these were not activated. Consequently, recounts were impossible. Had Diebold Inc, the manufacturer, been asked to review the votes, all it could have done was programme the computers to spit out the same data as before, flawed or not.
Lesee. We made the first pumpkin pie of the season over the weekend. It was good.
The other month I mentioned the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Turns out that they used to have another name; prior to 1908 they were called "the Inquisition". Probably they found they had a bit of a branding problem.
Speaking of Catholicism, see these Catholic Encyclopedia entries on Index of Prohibited Books and Censorship of Books. I was at first surprised not to find any mention of the fact that the Index of Prohibited Books (Index librorum prohibitorum) was abolished in 1966 (a date found elsewhere on the Web); then I looked and found that this Catholic Encyclopedia I keep reading things in is a typed-in version of the edition of 1908 or 1913 or something like that. (On the Web the pages never get all crinkly and yellow.)
Oh, and now I'm sleepy and going to bed and stuff. Good Night!
So I'm still (starting lots of log entries with "so", and) working on cleaning and straightening up and doing archæology upstairs in the library. Today I came upon a stratum of old writings of mine, back in the days before weblogs and such, when I was still writing on paper (occasionally wondering if it would be fun to write using one of them newfangled "laptop computers").
Here's one passage that I like, written in pen on the lefthand page of a notebook where the righthand pages are normal ruled notebook paper and the lefthand pages are quadrille (five to the inch, looks like). From other things in the same notebook, I'd say this is from roughly 1990.
Define the universe, and give two examples.
Gosh, wasn't I a cute little thirty-year-old? *8)
It doesn't matter where you get the funk,
So not only were big luscious Catholic Bibles only a dollar at the Friends of the Library Book Sale, so were the CDs. The line about the funk is from Candy Dulfer's "Saxuality"; well worth the dollar for a good collection of tracks, involving saxophones and an interesting variety of energies. Nothing breathtaking, but worth listening to.
(Today (as you may have guessed) we're just going to go through the CDs that I bought yesterday. You will be fascinated; I'll be brief.)
I want you
Second: The Divinyls' "Divinyls". "I Touch Myself" was once (many many years ago, children) played over and over and over on the radio. As paeans to masturbation go, Cindy Lauper's "She Bop" is more fun, if less romantic. The CD overall was also well worth the dollar, and I've ripped it (and "Saxuality") into iTunes for later.
Third: Deee-Lite's "World Clique". I dunno about this one; should I rip it, or leave it on the book-exchange rack at work? Should I listen to it again? I will be cruel and say that at least at first listen it seems like they were aiming at the B-52's, and missed.
Fourth: R.E.M.'s "Monster". Again I dunno. Rather repetitive guitar and bass tracks with, like, some guy singing something in the background. Twelve of 'em! Probably deserves another and/or a more careful listen. R.E.M. fans are urged to write in with music appreciation advice.
I think my problem is that I want music to be different. And so much music is the same. But maybe it's only the same because I don't always listen right.
There's a certain satisfaction
Fifth: Madonna's "Erotica" (or, as Amazon would put it "Erotica [EXPLICIT LYRICS]"). I like the title track for the bdsm flavor; on the other hand it annoys me a bit because it's so obviously so impressed with itself. "Look how daring I'm being!" it shouts. An actual erotic song wouldn't repeat the word "erotic" so often; probably not even once. But then this isn't so much an erotic song as a song about the idea of eroticism. Very slick and meta, like Madonna herself. The rest of the album is also very slick, but without the meta I tend to lose interest. I s'pose I'll rip it, though.
Sixth and last: Kitaro's "Heaven & Earth: Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack". Cinematic, broad, sweeping, emotional; I know in some moods I'll consider it overdone. The CD also skipped (stuttered) a few times in the stereo; I'll try to rip it and see how it goes. Maybe clean it first.
Apropos yesterday's poem, a reader asks:
Were the little girl and boy subjected to the thunderstorm treatment ? :-)
And another writes:
WHERE ARE THE PICTURES OF IRIS CHACON
We imagine the masked figure kicking down the door and bursting through, gun drawn, the black scarf around his face muffling his voice. "Vere are ze pictoors of Iris Chacon?" he demands.
But the room is empty. We have fled. And the secret is safe.
I went out to our local Friends of the Library Book Sale (it was the Member Preview), and there on one of the tables was this gorgeous big gold-edged Catholic presentation Bible (with no one's name on the presentation page), complete with Deuteros. I asked one of the volunteers how much it was.
"Hardcover," she said, "one dollar."
Bush told his senior aides Tuesday that he "didn't want to see any stories" quoting unnamed administration officials in the media anymore, and that if he did, there would be consequences, said a senior administration official who asked that his name not be used.
So maybe I was right about all those Windows users giving the iTunes Music Store cooties; the very first time I accessed it after the Windows version came out, my iPod had to be rebooted, then iTunes wouldn't recognize the iPod, then the iBook pretty much hung when I tried to log out, and I had to forcibly power it off. There goes the neighborhood!
In an Oct. 9 story about the discovery of 70 pairs of shoes filled with butter on a Swedish mountain, The Associated Press erroneously reported the name and sex of a Chinese artist who did a similar installation in China. The female artist is Yin Xiuzhen, not Yu Xiuzhen.
Conspiracy story o' the day. Think it's true?
I've tuned in at the very end of Pete Seeger reading this on NPR a couple of different times recently. But I heard enough of it to Google it up. It's good.
When I landed in the republic of conscience