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July 2001

Tuesday 7-31
Back from a journey to the east, Inside the Beltway; updates will resume soon. The return flight wasn't non-stop but "direct," meaning a pause at DIA -- neat place. The scheduled 40 minute layover turned into a couple hours, for weather and mechanical reasons -- glad I "de-planed." Why do the flight attendants have to begin each phrase in their pre-flight announcements with the tiresome mediaspeak expression "Once again"?
Wednesday 7-25
Googie Architecture Online is now a component of spaceagecity.com. (Looks like the only one, so far.)

In Portland I spotted a woman reading Lockdown America at the Tri-Met bus stop where I was waiting, so I struck up a conversation. (Although I haven't read the book, I've heard the author interviewed on the radio, so I have a vague idea.) Even though the words she was reading paint a grim picture, she said she didn't think things were that bad, that nobody was really evil. This perspective surprised me; how can people deny evil? This essay, on Hitler As Cartoon, has some answers.

Tuesday 7-24
Laurie Anderson interview which touches on Ken Nordine, Brian Eno, life at home with Lou Reed, and her new job!?
...working as a cashier in a McDonald's in Manhattan's Chinatown.

"I'm really scared about it. I had to have an interview and give them my résumé, and I forgot even to ask how much I'm getting paid. But there are a lot of similarities to making CDs and making hamburgers, in the way they're both mass-produced, and packaged to appear palatable."

I remember hanging out at that McDonald's, one evening in early November '94, waiting for Susan B, who was late. Not only was I using the restroom may have actually bought a soft drink to while away the time, sitting & reading in the upper dining area. Eventually we had Chinese food nearby; after spending the night in her basement (with one of their cats, a tabby named Rhetoric) I flew away to Switzerland the next day. Haven't been back to the Apple since -- it's been too long.

Monday 7-23
"The Lord of the Rings" and Jewish traditions intersect in the Golem of Prague, which is supposedly still sealed up in the attic of a synagogue there: now that we have a picture we realize it's not exactly a scary creature.

All about Bob Crane (and his son cashing in).

Ahh, July -- sweet corn and peaches.

Saturday 7-21
Two interviews:
Friday 7-20 Moon Day
Stumpf Fiddles!
From Sheboygan, Wisconsin -- one link, two funny-sounding words.
(Courtesy the ever-excellent Mr Pants, who warrants a visit just now for his multitude of 'Afro Ken' links, with explanation of this latest Japanese fad: a cartoon dog.)

A letter to the Washington Post details an experience encountering a Presidential visit to the Jefferson memorial: This is Democracy?

The online journal community holds its breath, wondering -- final entry in the Musings of The Gus? Last posting from SoCal, anyway. (Long time readers of these pages will recall our meetings two years ago, in San Diego.) Very unlike him to go an entire week without an update.

Wednesday 7-18
Long, depressing, enlightening essay from Tikkun magazine, about "The Political Meaning of Bush v. Gore."

After a long intervl, a new Laurie Anderson record is coming, only partially representing her recent Moby Dick work. Unlike her last recording, seems like Brian Eno won't be participating, although she appears on his new collaboration with J. Peter Schwalm, Drawn From Life, which I rather like.

People who've been to my house may remember a little framed picture, currently in the bathroom, Terashimamura in snow (47K) -- it's a woodblock print by Hasui, a 20th century ukiyo-e artist who made lots of great blue and snowy images. I'd love to have a book of his reproductions, but they're expensive and rare -- however, this Hasui site has a multitude.

Was thinking about encryption and the key strings they utilize, ridiculous examples... and I thought, what would make a good key? Rather than a string of random chars, why not something literary, like the chapter of a novel... and then I thought, why not a file of Beatles lyrics? How about one big file of all their songs? Interesting thing to have, regardless... so after some seeking, I did not find. Oh, of course there's lyrics sites (here's a good one) but they always have an index with links to individual song files-- nowhere could I find an 'all in one' plain ASCII file -- so I made my own. The initial source was a big Help-index-style executable I found somewhere, which had the lyrics embedded -- seems to be a transcription made by some ESL-type -- had to make numerous corrections, but the scrub was fun, getting re-acquanted with all the tunes. I added release dates, shuffled the "Past Masters" material back in to the proper chronological order, and created a compressed, Zipped version -- both are available at this free site I set up for my XML class, but never used. Unoriginal material is listed only by name, without lyrics; the new "Anthology" stuff is included; and a project like this usually omits "Revolution Number 9" but not this one -- soutce: the excellent minute by minute analysis David J. Coyle posted to rec.music.beatles.

Monday 7-16
Finally back on-line -- it wasn't my settings or the system, just a password confusion. Got this great laptop in the interim, a Toshiba like my Linux, but much more advanced.

Ninja High School links

Humorous film with a weirdly sparse Flash site: Jump Tomorrow. The story inverts the usual Hollywood paradigm.

Essay by John Shelton Reed about the South -- where is it, what is it.

Thursday 7-12
Although a new ISP has been acquired, dialing in from home is not yet working, hence no updates... this problem could provoke a complete hardware upgrade. Also, I've been out of town: just back from another exploratory weekend in the Pacific NW, once more to Portland -- did you know Oregon's flag is one of the very few whose back isn't merely a mirror image of its front?

Reading Night Soldiers by Alan Furst -- great stuff. There's a reason I can't find any of his books used, not even at Powell's. Because of this story, which concerns a Bulgarian-Soviet secret agent pre- and during WWII, I'm finally getting some comprehension of the Spanish Civil War. A key, confusing concept about that conflict, should you ever get into it (by reading about Robert Jordan, for example) is, their Republicans were not like our own, politically -- the opposite, in fact.

Wednesday 7-4
Proposal from JPL to use a blimp to explore Titan.

NASA pictures from that neighborhood: the the Ames "Astrogram" newsletter had an article about how "Saturn's tilted rings reveal color variations" -- it mentioned this site which has composite images made with the Hubble Space Telescope.

When I ride my bike into work I pass this guy's house -- the page describes his conversion to solar power, I've noticed the panels. Viewing it this morning, I realized the site was familiar for another reason -- this was the place I'd observed being excavated a year or two back -- basements around here being rare, he dug out his own, and graded the driveway down into the new space, creating some under-house parking.

The Gallery Of "Misused" Quotation Marks.

Former Child Star points me towards Maureen McCormick's Home Page -- Marcia, Marcia, Marcia.

Six-month Legal Experiment under way in Brixton -- South London OKs marijuana smoking.

This posting was delayed because I haven't been able to dial in -- service at my budget ISP grows ever more erratic, I'm signing up with a new one, so there may be a longer-than-usual interval between updates.

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