December 18, 2001

Once pulled above the tealine, It heaped, the heapbag, plunked, Then plunged, drowned in whitemilked And dyed a redcloud.

December 07, 2001

- Madam, I'm Adam. And Able was I ere I saw Elba.
Madame Scarapapolos, a filthily-rich Greek woman, long believed widowed of a man who had made his fortune in Caribbean real estate, was disgruntled one day to learn that her maid had run off with the chauffeur. She decided to replace the madameoiselle, but in order to do so she had to hand-pick a girl who could satisfy her most stringent desires. She therefore made inquiries all over the continent and invited the three most recommended young women to her estate: a Swiss, the daughter of a curate; A French, youngest daughter of a poor physician; and a Finnish orphan, debarassed by an aging great-aunt.

November 26, 2001

Diddybase: A data storage and retrieval facility owned and administered by Diddy Kong.

November 23, 2001

Know, dear Reader, that if you have not yet understood that the creatures of which we speak are far from the humans they were once intended to resemble, then this tale is prepared to offer very little in the way of credit, and you should take pains not to exceed your limit. Know, too, that I do not wish that you delve any deeper into their identity, for knowledge of it would only give this tale an unnecessarily and inappropriately comic turn. I concede, however, that this last exigence may be but a vanity of mine, in that your knowledge -- the moment at which you cry Eureka -- undermines the imagination of which I wish to boast. This tale is far less imaginative when you do not take it at face-value.

November 21, 2001

Yo guy, no SMOKE! Tell ya what...
  1. Take a potatoe.
  1. Scope the connection.
  1. Scope the connection.
  1. Scalp the dissection.
Rely on its traction. Meter the action.
Retreat from your faction. Measure a fraction.
  1. Pause.
Survey the reaction.

November 19, 2001

Rice krispies squares

We are all Afghans, contained in an 80-km2 perimeter, 18 km high, blocked from all escape, tracked by laser beams.

November 07, 2001

Like squared I use EasyWeb and EasyLine at the same time. I get more done than Americans with war on their minds. My projects drop in multitudes, without Microsoft time-lines, But I'm less aware of the present than a redneck appreciates fine wine.

November 05, 2001


Witamy. Witamy Witaminy, Rencotramy glupje miny. Swalowuja brudne sliny, i my slimaki, gotujemy wrzystkim maki, Strzelamy jak a Paki, w slady Conduisemy wasze Lady i wy idzecie pjechota, przez piedy, sieroto Przez beats i beaty i rytmy i kasety, Vaincrujemy te kobiety, salujemy legie jety Radzieckujemy tes gazety, tez testujemy te lesbiety Ty kupujesz? My sprzedajemy. Zujesz? Plujemy. Rymowamy quand il pluje, sprayemy bity czas na booya the pleut the pleut jest moj favourite sing gotta puty on my pluty like a babun on a swing Bite my bite, ty pjuto, like a lajt? dam jutro. Koka kola hear me holla' Got banana beatz like VRANNNG, drinkin'tha Tang Got more vitamins than Bang.

November 04, 2001

15. Canadians don't know how to do anything.

I mean, I feel like you've been living in cave for twenty-five years or something! You don't know how to find an apartment, how to choose the degree you want, how to get a job, how to buy a car, how to send a letter, how to use a coupon, how to change a lightbulb, nothing, nothing at all!! What am I supposed to think? I don't know how to do things around here, but it seems like no one does and no one can help me. How can people live like this? How can you know that housing legislation overrides all personally written contracts? How come it's not written right on the rental application? How can you know what degree to get if you want to get into marketing? How can you get experience without already having experience? How can you get anywhere in this country? I don't get why they call it such a "free," "opportunity-filled" country, when there's no simple way to get anything at all! You Canadians are so focused on individuality that there seem to be no rules for anything. Consequently you have to rely on yourself to complete the smallest little task. And if you suck, then somebody's going to steal your house from you. Everything... dammit, everything is a competition. God help you if you run into a dishonest landlord, or car dealer, or the guy who sold you your house.


I am so impressed by your character and sense of judgement that I can only assume that your taste in women is impeccable: any woman whom you date must be the most desirable and attractive woman there is; however, I would not dream of insulting your taste by attempting to make the judgment with my own poor sight (or any of the other senses for that matter).

October 30, 2001

I'm sick of



14. Canadians sense a manly obligation never to sleep during work hours.

Although many of them get very sleepy, especially in those two hours just after lunch, when.... oooooohhhh yeahhhh, you could just lean back in that big ol' comfy chair, stretch the ol' legs out under the desk, let the ol' lids droop shut, and snore away for a warm hour or so. Sleeping is absolutely forbidden! No matter how drowsy they get, Canadians force their eyes open, staring straight ahead, and putting all their remaining energy into the single task of staying awake. All work stops, co-workers don't talk to each other any more, and the office goes quiet except for the drone of the a/c exhaust. Yet everyone believes that if they are caught napping that's it, they're smoked. Worse even than the fear of being fired would be the absolute shame of the public revelation that the sleeper had for one moment let his guard down and been caught not pretending to work. As if it's unreasonable to lay the heavy and fog-ridden brain down for a quick repose after a hearty meal. As if the company will as a result immediately go bankrupt, customers turn away in disgust, or the quality of work suffer. A nap, refreshing as it is, actually subtracts less from a worker's productivity than the typical two-hour combat against lunch-induced, mind-numbing dreams. Canadian offices practically give off a light, collective rattling just after lunch, when breaths start to come heavy in a suspicious approximation of snoring. A nap could be as short as ten minutes and would augment the productivity of the saved 1:50 tenfold. But no one will hear of it. It's a sign of weakness, this sleeping, and a good cause for scorn. Canadians caught proposing that it should be considered are shunned, scoffed at, and sent off to "the minor leagues:" those barbarian countries where everybody's got a cot at work or something.

October 25, 2001

A joke

A cowboy of modest means wanted to buy a horse, so he prepared to go out of town to the nearby value ranch where horses were known to be fairly cheap. However, as he was leaving the house he realizzed his wife was causing such a drunken ruckus that she was likely to burn the house down, so he brought her along. As they rode down the main street, she kept going <hic><hic>. They arrived at the ranch and the cowboy asked the wheezzing pipe-smoking proprietor about some of his best-value horses, so the old man got his rickety legs out of his rickety chair and took the couple down the stables. "This is Keller Hans," croaked the proprietor, grabbing the mane of a run-down bag of bones "He's blind, he can't hear nuthin', but he can work up a mighty trot when he catches a whiff of a fine filly." "I don't need no horse that can't see nuthin' but spends all day chasin' tail," remarked the cowboy, and they strode aforewards. His wife, meantime, followed going <hic><hic>. They arrived at another stall. "This is Clever Hands," said the old man. "He's got good eyes and good ears and he's quite fast. The only problem widdim is he steals lettuce." "Steals lettuce?" queried the cowboy? "Well, whiskey actually," admitted the rancher. "Ah, I see." <hic><hic> went his wife. They came to the end of the stalls, and the rancher made a show of lifting a large plank to push open an big inner door, then closing it behind them went they passed through. It was pitch black. "This is my pride and joy," boasted the farmer. "A healthy, quick, honest horse that'll do a day's work and then serve you a scotch at the end of the day. His father was the envy of the town, and everyone wanted me to lendim to breed wid them fillies. He's worth twice the others, but I'll let you have 'im for half price." "Why's it so dark in here?" asked the man. He couldn't even see where the rancher nor his wife were standing. "Well that's no problem," answered the rancher. "He's fine as flax; he just don't like to be mounted so you gotta do it in the dark-see. Why'ncha givim a try," he suggested. The cowboy struggled to saddle the stallion in the dark and get the bit in his mouth, but the beast was steady enough. Finally he got himself mounted and navigated him through the stables and into the daylight, where they ran a ways. He returned to the barn to find the rancher wearing a sly grin on his face and his wife strangely sobered up. In fact, she looked somewhat with child if he did dun know no better. Eying her and the rancher suspiciously for some moments, he tried to dismount but immediately the horse reared and started to make like he'd shoot across the ranch. "Not so fast, barley-boy," warned the old man. "You gotta dismount him in the dark too." So the cowboy navigated back into the pitch dark and there dropped down to the ground. "Well, I like 'im," decided the cowboy. "He's a fine stallion and I don't mind the little saddlin' trouble. I'll take 'im." They spat and shook on it and the cowboy prepared to lead the horse away, telling his wife to keep close by. However, as they passed out the gate and circumvented the old man's humming nuclear mind-swap laboratory aparatus, the cowboy noticed sumthin' funny-like about the steed. "Hang on hoe-down here-now," he said, "I got a mind this ain't here the same horse I rode... Get on up on 'im Fanny and lessee if he bucks." She obeyed immediately, so quickly that her dresses were disturbed, from underwhich come tumblin' two or three ripe lettuces. The bewildered cowboy wheeled at a wheezzing sound and was astonished to see Keller Hans smoking a pipe and the old rancher stumbling around blind as a bat. Meanwhile, the previously-enraged stallion had let his wife mount him as docile as a kitten. The cowboy spun side-to-side, arms near his empty gun-belt, astonished. Finally, he settled his gaze on his wife, welded a grim stare, and demanded: "What in shinny's name is smoking aroun' here Fanny?" At that moment he two things happened. His wife threw him a completely dumb stare, looking not as if she hadn't heard what he said, but as if she couldn't even understand plain-speak. He then looked at her steed. <Hic!> went the horse.

13. Canadians sense a moral obligation never to drink during work hours.

Not even at lunch! In bars. They seem to avoid the hard stuff. --You jest!, contradicts Mehmet, incredulous. No it's true. They won't touch anything harder than Perrier. And even this last is considered marginally sinful. Most Canadians have the opportunity to drink every lunch hour that they head down to their local imitation pub (see: plaster walls), but they refuse to take advantage, only consuming the most modest amounts when in the company of their closest, most intimately trusted colleagues, when a lunch meeting takes almost the form of a rude mutiny. Mehmet's sitting-room spins, as if he had just circled sixteen times around a coffee-table trying to yank the ham from his dog's mouth. You must be more understanding of Canadian culture, Mehmet. It's not that Canadians have any aversion to drink; far, indeed, far from it. But the culture of drinking starts to emerge at an early age into an oppressive atmosphere of prohibition, stemming very likely from the Prohibition itself, and the enhancing act becomes a gesture of sinful shame. When the legend is such that anyone caught drinking before the permitted age will be ex-communicated, but the minimum age is higher than the age of majority, the resulting consciousness can only be confused. Why can't I, an adult, do what others can do? As the unanswered question is instilled early into every Canadian mind, but alcohol remains available and encouraged by media and the parental example, the only option is for the maturing consciousness to take on the role of protector of the great secret. Thus no one dares to admit that they enjoy what they believe is a sin, but they sin all the more in their quest to learn why they shouldn't. Fingers of free champagne cause nervous laughter.

October 24, 2001

... 404 Error: Now what??? ... He who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is not fit for the kingdom of winners.


A webpage created entirely with a publishing tool or a standards document converted to Adobe's portable document format from a presentation product is a neglect of its content's intended audience. The fever with which the word content is being used today can only lead to ambiguity. From where there was void, content producers are now springing up like fresh lettuce for rabbits. Content is manhandled like a sweaty boxing glove, packaged in boxes, carted around, translated by caclulating machines into bewildered tongues, painted over and crushed into haughty, nouveau-riche demi-serif fonts. In spite, content is pretty simple: it's just what you want to say. Everyone has something to say, especially someone who has just spent a long time building something, say a cryptography algorithm or a farm. Farms have nothing to do with cryptography algorithms, actually, and it's probably a bad example, like all those examples of stock-quote transactions that are going to be so easy for computers to do for us under Microsoft's .NET platform. But if somebody has just spent six months making a new version of a cryptography toolkit, or an automatic comment generator for C++ code, or a new type of horseshoe, like Edward in The Good Soldier, then all their pleasure in having finished the damn thing gushes out as content. It would be a bad idea to get someone else to talk about the horseshoe. Or maybe it wouldn't. But when faced with the task of writing something down, the wrong place to turn is Powerpoint. Writing bullets is not very communicative, and doesn't show off the natural pride one should have in their own work. Web pages shouldn't be made by Publisher either. They emerge disturbed and boxy: those elevated quotations only serve to fill up space on a fixed-size page. Scroll bars extinguish this need. Nobody would dream that content will suddenly light up like a clear arrow in everyone's tunnel. But for anyone who wonders why they feel like what they've just written down is shit, well, it's probably because they wrote it in bullets in Powerpoint. To these fine folks: what you've jsut written is a good summary of what you realy want to say, but each of your bullets must justify itself. What question does it answer? What curiosity does it satisfy? Remember then, to chop a lot of bullets out.
I'll find out how many days your birthday is and then I'll tell you how many days your birthday is. Okay? It's next month.

October 19, 2001

Suppose we have two integers, x and y, each with n digits. For simplicity, we'll work in decimal (base 10) and we represent x as a:b and y as c:d Using standard multiplication, we get that: x*y = a*c*10^n + (a*d + b*c)*10^(n/2) + b*d However, Karatsuba noticed that: x*y = a*c*10^n + (a*c + b*d + (a-b)*(d-c))*10^(n/2) + b*d There are only three multiplications of size n/2 (a*c, b*d and (a-b)*(d-c))

October 18, 2001

Once picked dropped kick out off up took looked back off, Tip sat down, then chewed some take-out outtakes out in flashbacks. "I go revved-up down, hon," the old-timed high-strung. Lip opened an up-pent gush up, her eyes welled up, disgust curled her guts up. She watched go down the gulped-down, mad at in-bites; his over-bite grossed the girl out. The old man's ripped-up pants shook his dick out, his jerky bites shook drops of piss out. Outside, sirens passed the pair by, flashing flash-lights through the glass. She thought of Tandy and his overbite, green to take its place, to pick where it left off up. But words came coughed-up out of the chew-mouth. "That Tracy, Tancy... she loved it lapped up, stuck more out, like a toilet flush...chomp." She watched the food drop, smear, his bugs take a healthy body over, she watched the piss drip. Old man. But he had shut her up. "She loved it chomp so much she chucked up." Lip thought of a secret talk they had, just her and Tandy, in their room with the gable, they would wait until they were ready, they promised. This old man took her before she was ready.

October 17, 2001

Quelle merde

Cet emerdeur de PDG qui vient de partir, ce nouveau offre d'emploi plus bas que l'actuel, ces narcomanes qui ont fait eclater une guerre à l'etage en dessous, avec la police et tout. <my><how><refreshing> On doit maintenant se démenager, recommencer à nouveau la recherche d'un apartement, choisir entre une plus basse salaire et l'inquiétude perpetuelle d'être viré, investiguer le marché d'emploi des villes eloignées des centaines de kilometres, negocier avec le propriataire de notre apart pour le convaincre qu'on va pas payer deux mois de plus, et trouver un façon de transporter tout nos affaires chez mes parents, merde et puis d'être obligé à attendre les buses pendant des heures juste pour sortir faire les courses, et bien conduire partout et manger la nourriture dégoutante. <merde><merde><MERDE!!!!!!!!!!>

October 10, 2001

Cela dit, ce genre de coup de foudre a beau exister, il est relativement souvent déçu. En effet, une fois que l'on fait connaissance avec la personne, il arrive qu'on se rende compte qu'au fond on n'est pas du tout sur la même longueur d'ondes, et que l'attirance première ne reposait sur rien. Et puis des fois aussi ça marche, mais c'est comme pour tout, ce n'est pas une question d'y croire ou de ne pas y croire. Ca arrive parfois, c'est tout. On ne s'y attend pas, et pof, ça arrive. That said, as much as this type of love at first sight may happen, it is relatively often disappointed. Actually, once you get to know the person, it happens that you realise that at heart you're not at all tuned in to the same frequency, and that the initial attraction wasn't held up by anything. And then sometimes it works, too, but it's like for everything, it's not a question of believing or disbelieving. It happens sometimes and, that's all. You don't expect it, and pof, it happens. --Lucille, France

October 09, 2001

Watch how FrameMaker stores specially-formatted text. There are two types of formats in most word processors: paragraph styles and character styles. Word processors face a problem when storing characters that have both a paragraph style (say "heading" or "normal") and a character style (say "bold"). The following example is a piece of a FrameMaker file which shows clearly how the word processor marks each piece of text. The segment includes one entire "text flow;" however, the only part which interests us is around the line <String `Character formatting begins here and spans to the next paragraph.'>
 <TFTag `A'>
 <TFAutoConnect Yes>
 > # end of Notes
  <Unique 998197>
  <PgfTag `Body'>
   <TextRectID 19>
   <String `This is the first paragraph. '>
    <FTag `Emphasis'>
    <FLocked No>
   > # end of Font
   <String `Character formatting begins here
    and spans to the next paragraph.'>
  > # end of ParaLine
 > # end of Para
  <Unique 998199>
  <PgfTag `Body'>
    <FTag `Emphasis'>
    <FLocked No>
   > # end of Font
   <String `This is the second paragraph.
    Character formatting ends here.'>
    <FTag `'>
    <FLocked No>
   > # end of Font
   <String ` However, the paragraph continues.'>
  > # end of ParaLine
 > # end of Para
> # end of TextFlow
It would help you to see exactly what type of character formatting is actually used. Here is approximately what it looks like when opened in FrameMaker: This is the first paragraph. Character formatting begins here and spans to the next paragraph. This is the second paragraph. Character formatting ends here. However, the paragraph continues. Notice that the FrameMaker code marks each paragraph as a "String". If you look just above the line <String `Character formatting begins here and spans to the next paragraph.'> you will notice that there is a definition of a font. That font is called "Emphasis". If you look just above the line that starts "<String `This is the second paragraph," you will see the same font. However, if you look at the other two lines containing a "String," the font just above it is nameless. You can also remark one additional detail: that FrameMaker does not specifically say at what point each character format ends. From these observations, you can see that FrameMaker format of each string by preceding it with the definition of a font. This is different from HTML which uses a tag at the start and end of each group of words it wants to format. Although you, the user, may select a large block of text with your mouse, spanning multiple paragraphs, and then hit "bold," FrameMaker treats each paragraph separately. This is a precise way to avoid confusion between paragraph and character formats, a confusion which often seems to crop up in Word. The Word 97 file format specification is here. Scroll to the section called "Character and Paragraph Formatting Properties" and compare how much more complicated is Word's approach to this problem. Since Word is so internally complex, it is often unpredictable. For example, you'll select some text and want to mark it "bold" and the heading on the next page will also become bold, or something like that. This is what frustrates so many Word users and actually makes purists rant and rave against the software. The FrameMaker code given above, on the other hand, gives you an example of predictability, where unambiguous code uniquely specifies each morsel of information. There are many computer scientists and businessmen who would like to see everything specified so clearly. The resulting utopia would be remarkably efficient. Specification, however, is not likely to catch up to originality, and utopia is not likely to happen.

October 04, 2001

A science-fiction novel the title of which escapes me achieves the dream of the programmer. In it, a personage regards a certain computer afficionado sitting at his terminal, accessing so many co-ordinated input devices in his quest for efficient transfer from mind to machine, that far from performing the cycloptic monologue modern developers carry out, he sits positively embraced by the tentacles of the machine, speaking, twitching, dancing a stream of knowledge into the appropriating silicon. We have but the clumsy keyboard, and the equally meagre mouse. The cyclops stares at us blindly until we hit 'Enter,' or complete some other such sequence that momentarily makes him rise, then ask "Is this what you meant?" The beauty of machine-fixated humans is their strife to make the recording of our very minds, the beauty that is within, as transparent, as removed from process and approached to effect as possible. Yes they put beauty on hold for centuries longer than we can suffer to enprison it, but they only envision greater beauty at its release.

October 02, 2001

October, ah, October, a reclining woman propped yp on hyr elbyww. A strand of elm, John Elway, the Classic. A rake of leaves, a top hat, top o' the iceberg, Oscar. A felyw and a fallow travellyr, at the elbow. Two gay men in an ancient park, their first meetyng, scarred with joy, trembles stirring piles of the living dead, a lover buried under joy, snow from between James Joyce leaves, a crack of the bat, a stirring rendition of the Stars and Stripes. Each scene delivered with ease by Microsyft fyll-streamyng. A free concoction to protect agaynst syfylis. Here I sit in the once-wet fields, having witnessed their irrigated squares, their muddy boots, their sprouting stems, their recolt. Here I sit not far from school, painting a sprit, passed by a train. The motyr cars won't stop coming, driving aggravating when I have found peace. This is October; this is deceit. This is a man wielded at woman's whim, while the waiter whiles unawares. Woman begs to usurp his place. October has a double nature, the motor drives away the dead. The roads all end where they have led. Her leaves remind of what we've read, and spoiling fruit lie roadside shed. This month is a time for family, for the son to lift high his feeling. This is a time of comfort, when a blanket wards off the breeze. It is time you dropped to your knees. It is turkey. She carries woven basket of movies huddled in a cinema. She will soon close. Friends nestled in. Brown and gold, crisp, invited and they try hard to speak English, and we appreciate it, and we love them. Unfortunately a plane smashed into a building last month. Shudder, but. A long easy day when the sun will dew gold read gold through a little window, and we can tread a creaking floor. And offer sweetmeats at our door.

September 28, 2001

When he fell, the earth opened under him like spoiling fruit, and he tumbled muffled through. Though he braced his arms and gripped soft piles the boy met no bottom, and the walls, gaining life, urged him irresistably down. He felt the teeth of the demons gripping his flesh, his bones, pulling. He felt the soft walls slither upwards. And he perceived as he came closer to the abode of the damned augmenting heat. In dread, he saw distant gates. When he entered, he was met with screams, as if the very walls screamed. Under him, the ground screamed, and he rolled blistered and pierced. The red dust and hot shards penetrated his wounds. It was then that a laquais approached. The devil sent him back up to earth, where the boy awoke scroched by the midday sun, the black rock cooking him from beneath. He could hardly open his eyes, but on he walked, and when he could walk no more, he saw approaching him a figure. The haze now kept the figure back, but as he spied, it proved to bear a loop of hide. The bearded figure held the heat in contempt, and revealed pointed teeth as it laughed. --Have you had enough, it jeered. It closed its mouth and fingered the cord hung at its side. Shadow cloaked its eyes. --My friend, it lied, I'm here to offer aid. The boy fell to his knees and prayed. --Dear Father, I will never abandon my faith in you. He gave thanks to the Lord for saving him from devil hands. The figure nodded grimly and replied: --It is right to give your Father thanks, but He doth act a mystery. Thou canst not know what will has He. --I know that His will is benign.

September 21, 2001

paint platin plain latin lartin -- Plaignez pas, le Latin plein, nous vous en prions, plainement, proposerent les Romains aux Grecques, en leur arrachant leurs poils sous ses chevaux, cheveux jettés dans ses seaux. -- Au contraire, nous ne parlerons que platin avec vos platitudes platoniques, bande des pilotes plats! Ce dit, ils ouvrirent le feu des f-vingt-deux. Parmi eux, il y avait un pilot merveilleux. Une femme, une dame, envoi des dieux. C'était la Reine du coin, des lieux. Elle arriva en hâte, du coup. Sur le champ, elle tua tout. -- Ourrah! crierent les Grecques, partout, et commencerent la Danse des Loups.

September 14, 2001

Pole orders broiled octopus

Talking with my grandma about all the languages in which my wife is fluent, we eventually moved on to the ones of which my other half has only rudimentary knowledge. German and Japanese are the principals of these latter, picked up from academic and intern experiences. As I searched for the proper Polish word to describe "rudimentary knowledge" of Japanese, my grandma jumped in with a comedic teacher's suggested "Yako tako.*" "Yak" meaning "like," and "tak" meaning "that," most French or English speakers will quickly recognise this turn of phrase, with its teeter-tottering rhyming suffices, as a close relation of "comme ci, comme ca," or "so-so." Like usual, I felt humbled in my ability to express delightful turns of phrase in Polish, but I had to accept my grandma's fluency. Over the long-distance discount call however, there remained a silent sense of smile playing upon my grandma's lips. In my pause, I betrayed a question. "Don't you think," she audibly beamed, "It sounds Japanese?" *pronunciations left in English phonetics, for readability

September 11, 2001

"It is undoubtedly the worst peacetime attack, ever, on a single nation." "These tragic actions contradict all human and religious values." "This incident in the United States is extremely cowardly and is beyond what any words can describe."


How they penetrated security is not relevant. The attack was creative enough, audacious. But how they co-ordinated their efforts on such a grand scale is unimaginable. The creativity, the discipline, the very passion so rigorously harnessed towards their mighty goal is superhuman. If what they had done had delighted us (as it probably has done their supporters), it would have been a magnificent work of art. But that all this discipline, planning, organisation was entirely directed at taking human life means that its power can come only from the Devil. Their work is so evil that it can only be done by the inhuman.
I don't want the end of today. I don't want any more news. I want it to stop.

August 30, 2001

He thumbed the pages. "You made notes in Russian?" I asked. He nodded. "I thought they were written in cipher," I said.

August 27, 2001

Subtitle unable to come up with own material for several weeks

I don't wish I could go to India. Hell, I frickin' live in India. In fact, I live in India, Vietnam, China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Mexico all at once. --CBT-THC

August 20, 2001

Despite all the merits of active voice over passive voice, one has to admit that Orwell's fourth rule must come into effect to prevent the scribing of something as downright barbarous as "Functionality groups the algorithms."

August 15, 2001

August 13, 2001

Napoleon was coarse He wrested control of the island from Pol Pot.

Je suis fier de peur, de ne pas en avoir.

August 10, 2001

Truth: a intellectual element that is common to all arguments. This definition itself is intellectual, not real; only because of this can one say that it is "true." The fact that truth does not exist in reality often confounds arguments that do not distinguish clearly between imagination and reality. This fact is also what makes reality so orgasmically exciting sometimes.

August 08, 2001

Here's an attack: use your victim's public key to encrypt a pile of important messages addressed to someone else. That poor third party will be unable to open them with their own private key, so they'll have to ask for the key from your victim. Ensure beforehand that the third man is on a different continent than your victim, and just watch your target's email for that message that says "Here's my private key Mr President." Swipe the key, and she's all yours.
Ogladali sie w nienaturalnie geste i wysokie krzaki.

July 18, 2001

Spittin more bigger words than jesse jackson

Nearing the turn of the century, a francophone island money holder oriented all its calculation machines and devices towards objects. This meant that every operation performed by the institution--whether abstractly mathematical, intangible or collectively unimaginable--was modelled on something in the real world, something they could name. In other words, the abstract became the concrete, and the infinite became the sum of its parts, and from then on the institution was poised to quickly capitalize on any random brilliance of any of its members, a brilliance usually lost to miscommunication. Brilliant ideas, all agreed, not just the bank but everyone, are great but so often lost, misunderstood and endlessly replicated to the depth of inefficiency just because people can’t explain them. A period vogue, the project failed to deliver on its promise.

Sense of style

Pedestrians window shopping on the rue St. Denis were shocked to witness the chief of the bank emerge raging at his smiths. Hot breath spiked from his black mouth like propelled stalactites, despite which evidence of cold weather he fumed in a fashionably light suit. His sense of style, darks to match the coming winter, confident cuts to strike business partners cold, only turned his fury more sinister, but it did not shelter him from the climate. At that moment he made heat seem superfluous. Projecting himself into the bewildered traffic, he spun and fired index at the building, one which really did tremble at his gesture. Inside, desk lamps toppled and fluorescent bulbs decomposed into flickers. Coffee spilled and the mugs were not soon refilled, though eventually the chief’s fury would pass. The pedestrians saw this, and they heard the cracking foundations of the century-young canister. Communication had struck again at brilliance. While ideas abound, inarticulation buries them. "J’en ai marre, bande des cons!" He ranted and raved and made decisions much too hasty for the delicate situation. "I’ve had it with you telling me how to save the world! From now on we will use common business-oriented language instead of small talk! Illustrators will doff their macintoshes and command their vectors line by line!" The chief and his institution miraculously survived, but not before the hard effort sunk into cryptic mundane, the plodding sequential, the repetitive and depressing. more bigger words

July 16, 2001

Number 2: concentrate!

Aye-aye skipp, we skip the docks, dock our pay, u-boats locked, underground boats underground boats refuse to float dump refuse on refuge coasts like the fu-geela skip town skip payments break the law number 2: concentrate like my juice

July 09, 2001

Let's go blind!

Didn't the west just march into Africa handing out sunglasses once again? It seems we thought they would all go blind during the recent eclipse. That would have been terrible! Imagine all of Africa blind! Every single last one of them. Why, those Africans are so superstitious, as many articles in the newspaper, placed prominently so that we could find the most pertinent news first, proved. The most prominent of accounts featured an African grandmother, clearly a representative of her continent by the Canadian editor's decision to give her story a big cut of the first international news page, screaming that everyone was going to die, and sighing in relief when the moon passed ominously away from the sun. Considering how ingrained is the African fear of the solar eclipse, I hope we gave out some nice Oakleys to our black citizens here in the hometowns of all those brave missionaries who distributed on the savage continent. Damn they might have all thrown fits otherwise. Never looked at the sun directly myself during an eclipse. Nor has anyone I know. I'm glad that science has once and for all proven that we must never ever do this. What a relief to not have to make such decisions. There must be a billion things that science has "decided" that nobody bothers to question. There's not much difference between that and blindly following some myth like the African grandmother's one that the paper carefully ridiculed. It happens in every age really, and then then next age makes fun of the last one. I'm sure there are a lot of scientists out there who don't like their jobs, too. Everybody who goes to university meets tons of students who are just in school to party. Then they gain the title "scientist" and all of a sudden they're socially responsible? Severe doubts. Bunch of beer-swilling retards telling us what to do. Probably the majority of them.

July 07, 2001

How to fill a beaker

With an emphasis on safety, the department teaches that acid poured into water will cause the harmless liquid to splash out, while the reverse operation could displace the more dangerous liquid. Kids seeking high marks, therefore, must follow the former procedure when handling their beakers. Mr Simmons professed this advice to his class with a dignified sense of wisdom. He was undoubtedly right and science was undoubtedly incorrigible once again. He navigated a curious method of divulging the knowledge; one often regarded as socratic: he proposed that his class may know the answer and simply asked them which of the two obvious alternatives the class preferred. And why. Perhaps the class got it, perhaps not. Whether it was a student or the teacher who finally released the reason was less consequential than the unanimity with which it was received. A clear, solid lesson brought to us by science. The essence of science itself in fact. Not at all. The lesson, which you should practice if you are actually mixing acid and water, ignores completely the scientific method. Imagine how science would have arrived at the same conclusion: hypothesis: water poured into acid is better than acid poured into water experiment: student will lift beaker of water and inverse it until said liquid falls into beaker of acid below; will repeat the reverse procedure observations: student splashed with acid, runs to eyewash, breaks beaker; reverse procedure, student pessimistic but unhurt perform experiment repeatedly conclusion: actually, acid poured into water better than water poured into acid hypothesis, theory, law, etc... Clearly, the result comes about from common sense, or "wisdom" much more naturally than from the scientific method. Yet science claims it for its own with one might say arrogance. But we won't go so far as that. We all know what this is another case of. It's--

high-tech bull-smoke

July 06, 2001

My proposition

downdescend? / belittlenotepleasuredescend
throughsurvivethread?commit (to)navigate

New to Bible readings?

(For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon earth are shadow:) JOB 8:9

Now, most of you probably haven't gotten around to reading the Bible in great detail yet, but you may appreciate this quote nevertheless, which is quite striking at first glance isn't it? I mean, no academia needed to figure this one out is there? Pretty exciting stuff. Look: there's a smiley after the word "shadow"! Clearly the writer of the Bible is communicating a gesture of sympathetic cheer following this somewhat bleak quotation. And he has found no better way to communicate it than the method so recently brought into vogue as the colon-closed parenthex sideways smiling face!

July 04, 2001

Um... I hope you guys haven't set your clocks to Himalayan time in anticipation of a resumption in train service. The Hillary Step is a face, not a shelter. However, it is a very welcome face on which to breakfast after having showered in your own recycled sweat.

July 01, 2001

Je style comme un crocodile

Once we boarded two successive buses and his head passed where I disembarked, and now we get a tele-communication (vox), a fewer than hundred meter warning of the black that would overcloud us in ninety seconds. (time is an invention of the west) and whence space (that too lives continue without) and liberation from dimension breeds (breeds cold water)

12. Canadians hide their nudity from their doctors.

In medical establishments, when X-ray scanning is taking place, Canadians prefer to cover their skin with fabric impermeable to the sight. The X-rays pass normally. Prudence wins over examinational accuracy.

June 25, 2001

Amerigo, Amejigo, Amexico

Blew a tire this morning. Blew a tire. Blue a tire. Blue a tire. Blue attire. Blew attire. Blue attire this morning. Blue dockers, blue suede shoes, navy socks, marine mariner's cap, jaunty pipe, eyes cocked at a passing lass, blue tattoo: of anchor. Bought my dockers at the Docks; blew my pipe at seagull flocks; bought my socks at cents apiece; paid for blow from fatman's niece. Snorted blow, set out to sea; windward laylard laid a lee; swung to starboard, snossed the snocks; rebowed the toil through nowling lochs. Celebrated nautically; blew my boy and he blows me. Let the lemon course my chest, the stream to lick; to fondle, zest, Pectorals at their brazen best, and sprit waysporting south-south-west. While shaving, blade glints in my eye, Through mirrored doorway, I tears bespy.

June 23, 2001

Night brought chill, and night brought a starless cloak. A thin moon hung in a slipping buttonhole, too weak for the heavy fabric, a coat so heavy that it must have stifled, yet it seemed to only serve the silent sky far above where raindrops sometimes form beyond human perception. The earth it left to fend for itself, and the earth upon which stalked the boy grew cold, remarkably cold for the heat it pulsed only short hours ago. His hardened heels chilled and sent strikes through the boy's bones. The thick cloak that cloaked the sun and refused all other pleas, the cloak which gave only to the rich and taunted the rest brought with it other pain than cold. The boy knew this and knew that every step he took without precaution took him closer to folly. The wearer of the cloak was arrogant but the bearer of the torch was more arrogant still; he knew he could fight easily chill. The cloak cloaked motions of the deep; it raised demonic beasts from sleep. And when the cloak would cloak their queen they then emerged and moved unseen. Like devil's minions at last free, long sliding forms took advantage of the night to cast about their haunting spirits. These spiders, snakes, desert rats and lizard scales emerged and roamed, and where no fire ran they feared nothing. The boy knew this but he pushed on in folly, striking no spark, for already a spark grew within him. He knew that the next step he took could unwittingly be the tread on a slithering skin, into a silent nest of snakes. He knew, deeply, that he was freezing. But the knowledge was deep and though the degrees fell the knowledge only surfaced by degrees. The knowledge sunk under the weight of his searching eyes. He could not bring himself to, through flame, douse the little sight left in his eyes. He had seen a ghostly shape by scanning his eyes perhaps where the air had slid the face before. The cloak was too black to directly see, but white motions raised hopes. He would make forty treads along the road fruitlessly when a white motion would spur him ahead. He knew he had only to follow the road. He cried out once more. He heard no cry in return. The boy's body warmed as he desperately tread, and he grew more confidently longing, and he felt that he could reach the white shape, when he stumbled across it: a crumpled sheet upon the road. Stooping to lift it in astonishment, he found himself in a nest of the devil's snakes.

June 20, 2001

Ana, in anarobic, means the opposite of aerobic, which is the use of oxygen in stimulating the circulatory system. (No dictionary yet.) Anarobic is the excess of stimulation, suggesting that ana is excess or external. Logos is study, logy the process of studying. So analogy is external to study, or--more likely--external study. Not far off from the sense we get when the redcross knight slays the dragon to save una's mother and father. Does it make sense for the analog clock, or analog music? Okay now let's check that lame excuse for the expensive and difficult-to-access oed.

June 19, 2001

XXX-tian Films

After Christian Death Metal, one wonders how far the Herd of the Lord could take its superimposition on average society. Since all groups need to be eventually saved, the apostles must take great pains to establish common interests with every diverse one of them. Once on familiar terms with any such assembly, Christians can easily show that their activity is only enhanced by the presence of the father, the son, and the holy pamphlet. The aforesaid assembly can then assimilate into the true body of Christianity and proceed to target a new interest. One of the potential goals for future efforts is the porn industry, for where better could Christ share his vision? Christian porn?, you ask. Why, is that not a little unjustifiable? Hardly. While at first the two communities may seem irreconcilable, their differences are really only in minor areas that effort can, as easily as profanity in secular death metal, circumvent. There are only a few essential steps to follow.
  1. All on-screen sex performed by the married
  2. It is un-Christian to have extra-marital relations, but not to watch them! Therefore, by the simple device of having all actors who engage in sex on-screen to be married to one another, pornography is as holy as water.
  3. All watchers of on-screen sex married
  4. Masturbation, the most common use of secular pornography, is a mortal sin. Therefore to establish a Christian use it is necessary that the users are ordained by God to be aroused by the material and proceed by its effects to have a child.
  5. All actors portray married personnages
  6. This is not an absolute requirement, but any (married) actors portraying umarried sex must also be immediately portrayed to go to Hell, where they must be severely pained and punished, and if any of the punishment results in more sex must be sent even further into Hell, there being approximately nine circles of aforesaid location for this purpose. Thus some fascinating and promising narratives may occur, perhaps more imaginative even than the secular versions.
  7. The disadvantage of monogamous couplings may be eliminated only by death
  8. Of course secular porn boasts the flexibility of mixed coupling, which in Christian porn becomes difficult to implement due to reason #1, above. However, in the case of real-life death of one of the actors, the widowed member is permitted to remarry and if sufficient foresight is put into the project, it is possible that for example the same Christian woman may have on-screen sex with two (or more) different Christian men providing that each of the men dies after the act and the woman marries his successor. At this point there is still no sinning involved.
  9. Lesbian scenes and three-somes are out of the question
  10. The only possible implementation of Christian lesbian scenes would have to be through camera trickery, wherein portrait shooting suggests labio-lingual contact and stage shooting shows two women naked in proximity, though not actually touching. Another suggestion is to use a well-shaven husband's lips in a vertical position to reasonably simulate a vagina which the wife could proceed to stimulate with her tongue. Nevertheless, as even suggestions of this type of activity are sinful, care should be taken to advertise that they are not really happening by camera shots which reveal the tricks. It can the be left to the viewers' imaginations in the intervening seconds to suppose what they may. However, as even imagination of this acitivity leads straight to Hell, those who choose to imagine it shall go straight to Hell.
The establishment of the Chrisian porn industry will certainly lead to a healing of this carnal world. "Carnal films curing a carnal world" would serve as an adept slogan.

hi-tech bull-smoke

Won't it be a disappointment when England follows a King again? It seems she's always had a Queen, and one wonders whether our age won't come to some kind of dark vacuum when Elizabeth II retreats. It is with difficulty that one searches for the quintessential England without running into a female at the nation's head. One is bound to ask God's grace for the female monarch as one is bound to employ her name in romanticising the secret service, discussing a prison sentence in a 19th century novel, or merely interacting with a common merchant. Has England once prospered by a man? She makes a case for female identity. While we may cheer for Henry V's heroics in France we must not overlook their chronicle by a subject of the original Elizabeth. Is Shakespeare sly in producing six or eight works featuring King when his present would so clearly pass into a future that maintained the chorus of Queen? Smart as he was, his work could not be but a sexually-reversed allegory, and he peers from between his stage directions smiling like Leonardo Da Vinci's seated model. She is India and Africa. She is the empire on which the sun never sets. She is the renaissance and the enlightment. She is money and the difference engine. She is Sir Edmund Hillary and the Theatre. She is even--privatisation. She is her majesty.

June 14, 2001

We follow its course to the ground at this point of time. The end of the liquid parabola has come forward from the wall, has advanced over the plinth mouldings, over a heap of stones, over the marble border, into the midst of Fanny Robin's grave.

June 12, 2001

Dead--Tetelestai Interview "SM-Study Romans untill you KNOW your salvation is secure because you are in God's righteousness, not your own. Please email me if you have questions about your savior and your salvation. DG-Buy our CD!" This interview... whew, I tell ya. Does it not strike anybody as twisted that Christians have borrowed one of the most satanic forms of music there is to spread their message of Love? Perhaps these kids just felt that a liberal sprinkling of Death Metal turned out to be just what the doctor ordered after a week of pamphlet-pushing. These Christian groups always make God out to be some leather-jacketed Harley-rider. They give the impression that they've researched into what was "hip" for ten years just to come off nonchalant when launching into their conversions. They get so tight-assed that it always backfires. Nobody wants to listen to some milk-drinker pretending to be into death metal or hip hop "as long as it's got no swearing."

June 06, 2001

11. Canadians make a big deal out of going outside

As soon as warm weather hits (cf. 1999), Canadians are all boasting about how they love being outside and how beautiful it is outside. They spend a short time outside, taking advantage of this warm weather (cf. summer clothing). In the words of one anonymous Californian "I don't see the big deal. I'm from California myself ... <short pause>... and I go inside; I go outside; it's all the same." He goes on to mumble something about "brush fires" which the noise of the streetcar entering the underground tunnel at Spadina makes difficult to hear, and when it calms he is already trying to pick up the girl he was talking to, leveraging the fact that he is from California in his pursuit. It is likely that his point is that the climate in California is relatively static year-round, and the brush-fires sometimes even make warm weather less attractive than cooler. Thus inhabitants of said state show a marked difference to the Canadian preoccupation with beautiful, warm, inviting days that it would be "a shame to waste playing video games" (cf. Star Control 2; Dr. Mario).
Psshhtt! aaaaaaaaaaaahhh. <30%> <layoffs> <at> <work>
There was only one seven-year-old kid who could talk so high over my head that it bored me to incomprehension. The things he said, his genius, his inunobfuscatably compressed imagination were so above mine that his lengthy speeches to me were no longer language, but more like the droning that must be his master's address to a dog. For, coming to my senses and grasping at that tail end of his communication, I could feel that it concerned me, that I could use it, but I possessed nothing capable of harnessing his power. Admittedly, I use seven-year-old as a metaphor for ten-year-old, because the latter has fewer syllables. But that's still young for a kid to talk so high over his peer's head. He chose me as occassionally in my life a socially-disinterested, intellectually-focused and highly boring peer has chosen me as a sympathetic receptacle for his Niagara of ideas, receptacle which he doesn't realize is little more than a bobbing plastic bucket. And I really caught nothing, was incapable of catching more than nothing, besides those last drops that fertilised my own imagination with possibilities that my mechanical conventions instantly mowed down. He was telling me about Lego. How I wish that I had listened more carefully, for how I like imaginative constructions that use all the arrogance of logic to simply support the fecund heap of alien creativity in mind-blowing kaleidoscopes of innovation. But I only heard parts. The rest of the time I was squinting into the sun, looking left and right for oncoming vehicles, staring at the tennis courts, and trying to keep my place in line. And somehow, from the humble brick, he had built a solar system. Somehow, each sphere boasted its own coefficient of gravity. Somehow, each sphere existed at its own pace of civilisation, and each approached differently its exploration of the others. I don't know where in Toys R Us he ever found so many Space sets. Think! Planets. Gravity. Space exploration. There's so much potential in this idea that ... I'm sure there aren't many Lego kids who could pass up the chance to own a solar system. I hope that twenty-four-year-old kid still has his Lego and has gone on to build parallel universes. Not many of us are his equals in imagination.
I wave my hand in the air, and words drop on the page like flies.

June 05, 2001

Talk of cycles and waves and you will find that what is true for the individual is true for the aggregate. After almost a year spent on a hiring spree, inviting many happy faces to join and operate together, the company turns one hundred frowns and two hundred tears out the door.
The most vigorous expression of a resolution does not always coincide with the greatest vigour of the resolution itself: it is often flung out as a sort of prop to support a decaying conviction which, whilst strong, required no enunciation to prove it so. The "no I won't" of Bathsheba meant virtually "I think I must."

June 01, 2001

If you look up "HTML Tag" for example, you get a list of acceptable French translations, all of which are astonishingly appropriate without resorting to a perversion of the English. You get "marqueur HTML" as the principal entry, then "etiquette, ferret, codet,etc..." "Etiquette" for example means "sticker," which I find is a very poetic way of referring to an HTML tag, isn't it? We don't often think about how we make up new terms in English, but it's a process much much different than the French. We are more likely to hyphenate and coordinate than to search for a term that already exists. I bet we get this from the Germans. I once worked with a German who would go nutty hyphenating English words together. I proofread one of his reports one time and there were some crazy words he made up. I just remember thinking "Wow! This makes sense but English words don't typically have three hyphens in them!" And he told me that he thought it was okay, since in German you can string words together without even putting a hyphen. Wesffnougatchokolïtaugenblïck and all that. And then: did you know that in French you can't put more than one adjective behind a noun? You can't say "the late hungry fat purple encrusted thirteen-year-old nun broke her large favourite smelly magenta bedpan." You'd be like "La grosse nonne qui était en retard, qui avait faim, qui était encrôuté, qui avait .... etc." Notice that at the bottom of the list it says "Termes a éviter: Tag HTML." This is not just a curiosity, but a factor in how we patriotic Canadians can understand the differences in culture threatening to divide our country. For one, I think it's cool that the Quebecois (they are ahead of the French in collecting technological terms), catalogue their language this way. It can inspire us in our vocabulary as well. For example, I can describe my nightly activity with your moms as "branching into your mother," or that I like it when your moms fight over my "extended module" or "give me anchor."

May 30, 2001

What if there is no cause? What if I get depressed because I've been happy too long? A feeling could be just a stage in a long trail, or a crest in an infinite wave, obliged to sink again, and rise again. Sometimes all of us try to understand what makes us feel sad, and we try to fix it. Some wiser among us try to make themselves happy as often as they can. But sometimes no matter what you do you still sink. The higher you've managed to hold your crest, the farther you're going to fall. You can't support a wave. And some would throw at me determinism. As if we had no control over our lives, but it seems to me that that is the beautiful thing of life is that there are things within us we can't control. Determinism is when your entire route has been laid out for you, like a painstaking multiplication of sines that you ride with no scalars in your hands. But you can affect how you will feel; it's just that you can't cause it. Life is far from determined. But you know that once you've risen long enough, or sunk low, you will even out. I do have some effect on future events, especially when I am going to cause those events, like saving up enough money to buy a bike. But whether that bike will make me feel happy... it depends. So you see, it's neither determined nor controlled, and hopefully we can approach a Buddhist-style tranquility by accepting that we cannot remain "high" forever, and certainly not low. Show of hands: how many other Westerners out there idealize Buddhism? <insert counter script here>
I think I'm posting too much. Yeah right, as if anyone ever says that.

May 28, 2001

May 25, 2001

Why are some people buying Martin and Clara dinner tomorrow night? Because they are long-time friends of my parents whom we have invited to our wedding, and this dinner is their apology for not being able to make it.

May 24, 2001

Once a mountain disregarded you over the horizon, it would suddenly bear down its cragged footpaths upon you, almost as if challenging you to climb up on it. Not through his efforts, but through this movement of thick air like sliding glass panels did the boy discover that the figure was walking toward him. And as this excited him, and he quickened his tread, he did so because he had learned more than just that it was coming. He walked fast, fast, too fast for this heat, and too fast for his lethal thirst. The panels constantly taunted them closer, then slid them apart, the mountain bearing down. And when he shouted, he shouted to an echo that beat off the sliding mountain with a greater bass than that of his parched throat, and he shouted because his ear would have to suffice for his lacking eye, for the sliding panels had slid in with them, by degrees, night. And his hope was that his ear would catch her voice, where her gaze had been caught by his sight.
Really that's enourmous, 48g of chocolate. This is what is called a "snack pack." They're making you eat the whole thing; that's clear. It's not like you're going to stop half-way through a snack pack. Yet they can always make the argument that you can. And then make you pay for their diet plan. A., we invent a word called "snack," which means that suddently it's okay to eat at any time. This is the hook. B., they increase the normal size of a snack to larger and larger, until they've got us eating meals six or more times a day. C., since these eating times are not defined, they can convince us to add just one more snack and just one more snack. D., they eliminate all flavours from our diet other than "sweet" and "salty," which are the cheapest coincidentally for them to produce. These flavours are so mundane that the only satisfaction you can get is by stuffing yourself with them. You can add "oily," to this, since fried food is so effective in enticing the nose. The result is that we are eating excessively crappy food, in excessively large amounts, an excessive number of times during the day. And they have full control. Try the supernatural experiment of biting into a chocolate bar and throwing it out when you are half-way through. You will find after a few minutes that your stomach is full, but your mouth is not satisfied. Thirsty? They easily convinced us to drink sugar to quench our thirst by giving it fun colours and bubbles. Normally, sugar isn't the first thing you'd think of to quench your thirst. That's why we need to drink it in large quantities. They created those salty-sweet coloured drinks with athletes on the labels when we started doubting in the really sweet drinks. It's not amazing. It's not horrifying. It's just uncomfortable.

May 22, 2001

One fine summer day, a boy noticed something up ahead. His sack on his back, and a pen light dangling from his key-chain, he peered into the desert haze. Through the waves of heat he recognised a dark, upright figure. Though his tread had for three days lapsed into an uperturbable rhythm, it quickened at the sight, and his soles rolled off the asphalt with more haste. The sun beat on his skin, which was now permanently sheened with perspiration. At first he could not tell if he was approaching. He recognised by degrees what was happening. The waves of haze, and his fixed squint, turned perception gradual. He felt as he were waking from a dream. But, by degrees, the figure revealed human characteristics. It had legs, a slim trunk, a narrowing top. It bore a slight head, it swayed a little. By degrees, the boy made out that the figure was moving, but whether towards him or away, he could not tell. He saw that its legs were making strides--slow, not rapid, but easy, swaying steps. He judged a shrub by the road, and measured when the figure neared; by this he hoped to learn its way. But the haze did make seeming normal calculations hard. Or fluid rather. So that no concrete evidence he could gain. By degrees, he saw that he was approaching. The heat like moving glass aligned and realigned the landscape, thus, once a mountain

May 15, 2001

Ah! There we go. But this still doesn't answer my question: are Canadians more likely to read narratives featuring Fabio on the cover or a heat-seeking cruise missile? Or, just some large embossed letters in a font where the c's often have a large circular glob hanging off of them? Looking around this site one may note another unanswered question: how often do Canadians have sex? The word "sex" itself seems to show up enough times. Ie., you can tell the folks at StatCan are thinking about it, but they're afraid to ask the question. Dumb. If the government knew how often we had sex they could improve their services for it.

10. Canadians read books on the subway

What else are they going to do? Well, for example, they could read more newspapers. But they seem to prefer the weightier and more fantastic forms of literature. This is an obvious indication that Canadian lives are so horribly mundane that that they simply must escape from reality at the end of their day. Or at its beginning. But we err to theorise where we should only observe because all our theories could turn out flawed. After all perhaps the reading Canadians choose is actually harsh, gritty realism, even darker and depressing than our normal lives. Perhaps our newspapers (cf. Post, Star, Globe, Sun, Record), offer too little fact and too much fancy for our tastes. So the interesting question that blossoms is what in fact are Canadians reading? Statistics Canada should have the answer to that, but they don't seem to have the convenience of a working website, which leads us to:

Corollary 10.1: The Statistics Canada website is down.

9. Les Canadiens ne font pas de queue

Ca se voit surtout devant les boulangeries. Il parait que le Canada est tellement bien organisé qu'on n'a jamais besoin d'attendre. C'est probablement puisqu'il n'a pas de boulangeries au Canada, mais peu importe. Dans la poste: pas tellement de queue; dans une banque, pas de queue non plus. Peut-être la seule fois qu'on peut voir les Canadiens faire la queue c'est dans les bureaux gouvernmentales. Mais bon, c'est normal.
If you cut, then paste, then undo because you pasted in the wrong place, you are likely to hit cut again. Well guess what? That text you just cut is already in the clipboard, because clicking undo isn’t going to erase it. So you might as well just hit delete, because the next time you paste, that text you just cut is going to be right where you want it.

May 09, 2001

A museum curator had closed up for the evening on a Monday night when he happened to pass by a wall clock. He noticed that the hand was pointing at the three, and the minute hand was pointing straight down. He left to continue his rounds and ensure that all the doors were locked, and after he had turned off the lights he was headed back down the same corridor where the clock hung. This time, when he looked at the clock he found that a cat's paw was stuck directly on the hand, pointing straight up at the twelve. His clock only had three numerals on it. The 1 and the 3 were on either side of the twelve, both on the top half of the clock face. Therefore, the curator understood that sometime between 12 and three, the museum cat must have been insensible. He discovered the cat with a missing paw several minutes later behind an Egyptian exhibit. What had happened?

May 04, 2001

8. Canadians rent textbooks to high school students.

And a good thing it is to see the government spending money on something. These books aren't always in bad shape either. Typically, how it works is that every eight to ten years the government issues some new editions of textbooks. In the inside cover of each textbook (right inside the cover, where there is a page glued to the cardboard), there is a large stamp. This stamp has the form of a table, and the top headings in the table are "Name," "Date," "Signature" and "Condition." Each student is obliged to complete the first empty row of this table (reading from top to bottom, cf. "Left to Right"), indicating in the leftmost column the condition of the textbook with some witty adjective/invective. At the end of the year the students must return these books, usually during the respective exam, and if they don't they are threatened by the administration. The great advantages of this system are numerous. One, they don't clutter up everyone's house with useless highschool texts for the rest of their lives. Two, they save money on books, or at least publishers make less money selling books, I mean, you can't make a killing in the textbook publishing business I bet because it's so unpredictable and I mean really they keep those books forever. Three, it is amusing and thus motivating for the students to see how funny people in their math textbook pictures dressed ten years ago. Like in grade six when sideburns were really "out" for example all the people in our math textbook photos had sideburns! What a riot! (Cf. "Quebec WTO summit") As mentioned before, it is also one of the few areas in which Canadians can visibly note signs of government spending. They sure do take a lot of taxes here, but they so rarely pretend to be giving it back. Sign of an immature country. (Cf. "Taxes")

7. Canadians wear seatbelts in the back

Unless they're rebels. But note that you have to be a rebel not to wear a seatbelt in the back, and any average Canadian will snap right in from the moment they sit their butt down. Some will even spend some moments rooting around under the peanut shells and gum to pull out the buckle from beneath the seat cushions. This buckle will often have been stuck so long under the customary pile of rubbish that it will actually belong to another car! Yes, and this is how it happens: Canadians often own one car per person, and this person situates himself in the top-left quadrant of the car (imagining the car stood on its back end), and if he ever goes anywhere with another Canadian, that guest situates himself in the top-right quadrant. If they have a third guest, that guest probably takes their own car; the advantage of this being that it is more expensive. Therefore, by the time a sufficient supply of immigrants delivers a third guest to any given vehicle, a large quantity of peanut shells and gum has buried the seat belt buckles in the back seat. These buried buckles can then go unremarked for such a long time that the car is actually recycled and returned to the road in a new form, be it a Toyota Corolla or a Ford Sundance, and the buckles remain from the previous frame. Therefore, whenever they are dug out and tried, they do not fit.

Corollary 7.1: The people in the back seats of Canadian cars are immigrants

Si je construiais ma propre France, je remplacerais Fraternité par Identité, et je suis désolé M Rousseau. On n'a vraiment pas besoin de la fraternité, puisque enfin on n'est pas tous les frères, mais l'identité nous aiderai à la poursuite de justice, et bien aux choix quotidiens. Imaginons une France ou dès qu'une crime soit commise, on peut arrêter n'importe qui. Imaginons une France ou on ne perderai jamais de temps en réfléchissant sur quels habilles mettre avant de sortir. Comme nous serions tous identiques, ce serai un choix banal. Et alors: imaginons la liberté, tout le monde se lançant a travers ses portes et ses fenêtres, et volant tous au dessus de la Seine, souriant, les bras écartes. Imaginons l'Égalité, qui est un peu comme la légalité, mais pas tout à fait, donc tout le monde pourrai faire des choses illégales, commetre des crimes en fait, à condition que les crimes seraient tous égales. Et puis on pourrai arrêter les flics, comme on serai tous identiques.

May 02, 2001

The Tin Man 11:28 PM : This gets to me. Because he's gay of course, but also because it's an astounding examination of an archetype which as human beings we can all by delving into our sub-egotistic... okay, it's because he's gay.

May 01, 2001

Popierwsze on wchodzi bez problemu do kiedykolwiego kraju i natychmiast rozmawja w natywnym jezyku. On umje czytac i po Chinsku i po Rosijsku. Czytac obce alfabety nas uczy o naszych literach, i jak rozpoznajemy P od R. Na przyklad w jezyku Chinskim lub Japonskim ludzie sie uca rozpoznywac litery po sekwncji kresek (przepraszam ale brak mi slow technicznych w jezyku Polskim). My poprostu patrzymy na ksztalt; dlatego Chinskie litery wygladaja dla nas tak porozzoczane. Tintin swobonie czyta wszystko. Podrugie on ma wyglad sympatyczny do opcych krajow. On jest ciekawy, to znaczy on sie ciekawi. W "Lotus Bleu" on rozmawja z Tchangiem, i sie rowniez smieja z tego co Europejczycy opowiadaja o Chinczykami, i o ile sie myla. To przez to ze Herge sie podobno bardzo interesowal opca kultura. Potrzecie, rysunki sa fajne, oryginalne. Figury nie sa proste, ale natomjast teknika nie jest skomplikowana. Ale teraz wchodzimy w jezyk naprawde za technyczny dla mnie.

6. Canadians always use the formal form of address

Same as Brazilians, to the delight of the Portuguese! However, our cultural predecessors, ie. the English, have also snobbily eliminated the informal address from their speech; now Canadians, English and Americans (I mean U.S. Americans!) all insist on the highest standards of appelation in writing and speech. The formal "you" is used when respectfully addressing higher-ranked, elderly, new acquaintances equally to long-time friends.

April 26, 2001

These pages, written by an American who has been living in Canada since 1992, are intended to give Americans a better idea just what goes on in the Great White North. Evidently they're therapeutic for Canadians too. Just yesterday, the Globe and Mail Review section ran an article about the difference between Canadian and American (I mean U.S. American!) identity. Well, it was actually only an intro to an article about art, but it's a good example of how Canadian articles often start, no matter what they're about. "How Canadian murder differs from American murder" "Today's Canadian traffic lighter than American traffic" Whatever. Here's point five.

5. Canadians drink milk from bags.

Yes, and it's often 1 or 2%, which refers to the amount of fat content. Canadians are extremely conscious of fat content. However, their consciousness unfortunately comes from advertising encouraging them to consume more fat content. A marketing battle ensues. The milk bags are clear plastic, tubular, of 1L volume. One needs scissors to open them, which leads many Canadians to have a pair of scissors in the kitchen (a good idea in any case). However, a bag of milk with a hole in it can't stand up on its own, and therefore all Canadians must own a cheap plastic jug, such as the ubiquitous Mistral available suspended in grocery stores above the milk aisle. The jug is made to hold the tubular milk bag, and sports a handle to facilitate pouring. I'm not sure if I've described the shape of the bag precisely, because it--unlike a real tube--has corners. It is the corner which is snipped to create the spout.

April 25, 2001

Cube. The guy opposite my cube has the best accent. I love when he talks on the phone; I can’t understand a word. You may think I sound sarcastic; I’m serious. I look forward to the guy’s phone conversations. Since I can’t understand him it doesn’t enroach on my consciousness more than music, but I often just listen and find his paroles captivating. It’s Mandarin. Let me tell you what I think of Mandarin. It reminds me of noises I used to make as a kid. I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s something about those swallowed "R" sounds that remind me of some constipated, unformed child-speak. When people speak Mandarin, it actually sounds to me like they have trouble pronouncing. On a more conscious level, I’m convinced that Mandarinophones deliberately created a language by choosing only those sounds that people can't make. The Mandarin word for "two" is "ar." It sounds a lot like "are" in English except there’s that fascinating swallowed quality in it, like you’re eating your tongue. It’s that "R" that really gets me. When the guy opposite me speaks English, he uses it. I can hardly believe that he can have a normal conversation with an anglophone, but it must be someone who is already accustomed to his accent.

4. Canadians have their summer clothes on contant stand-by

Summer is, after all, rare; therefore a day of 20-degree weather in the midst of an icy week provokes an instant flesh-party where everyone tries to appear casually undressed and suntanning themselves in the ephemeral sun. Don't know why the sun so suddenly decides to dip closer to Canada every once in a while. Perhaps it hits turbulence. But it levels off just as fast and the winter clothes need to be back on the next day. Hence our extra closet space, and special numbness to frost necessary for those days when the winter clothes are not held at sufficient ready.
The only way to recognise your own identity is to see it from outside. Canadians generally don't go very far from Canada, and this causes them trouble when trying to establish their identity. Currently we seem to be agreed on something like "we are not Americans." ...Err, we mean U.S. Americans. Right. Well, when you spend all your vacations in Florida, most of your observations will pretty much lead to the same conclusion. Compare Europeans who spend half their lives working and vacationing in neighbouring countries, and you see why they not only know their identity, but can play it like Fabio a heroine's heart. To us our identity is made up of the most banal things we do. But these are precisely the slippery things which define our identity. Here they are:

1. Canadians use towels to dry themselves.

When our bodies are wet, either from swimming or showering, we use a rectangular piece of absorbant fabric to dry them. This fabric is made of natural fibres and is cross-stiched its entire surface in tiny loops of thread, which provide the absorbency. Without trying to get too deeply into sewing terms, suffice it to say that the towels are generally the dimensions of breadth of shoulders by anywhere from half a person's height to his full height. Each person has his/her own, which is washed every couple of weeks, at which point it may be reused by the same or someone else. Canadians get wet in pools, lakes, oceans, rivers, baths, or showers (cf. "Showers"), but in all but the most exceptional circumstances the liquid of moistening is water.

2. Canadians read from left to right.

Thankfully they also write this way. This practise is standard and poses smearing problems for left-handed Canadians, who in traditional Canadian education are not forced to switch to their right hand. When reading Canadian text, it is expected that any given letter will be followed by its successor on the right side, and that streams of these letters can be collected together into groups. When these streams are collected in a continuous manner, they may make sense; otherwise no.

3. Canadians drink water-based beverages.

Yes, this is the same liquid with which they wash themselves (cf. "Shower"), but typically these are separated into different productions. Washing water often arrives at domiciles through pipes, a complex nation-wide system of hollow tubes. This unfortunately prevents Canadians from nomadic tendencies. Beverages arrive in the domicile carried by Canadian individuals, almost always the individuals who will consume them, in flavoured varieties, very seldom in natural form. However, Canadians do retain a romantic affinity with the natural which struggles against dominating forces of artifice. Note that francophone Canadians, whom are called "French" by anglophone Canadians, use the term "breuvage" for beverage. These are but examples, but a full list is available on the web. In fact, a full list is available in every Canadian's head. The problem is that Canadians don't seem to know this, and often summarise the entirety in a single cross-check. The only way to stop the common complaint that we don't know who we are, however, is to write it all down. Left to right.

April 24, 2001

Toronto is the only city in the world that denies its visitors the right to its airport carts. It is lucky for us citizens of Canada to be so priviliged as to have right to swipe these carts from under the noses of Portuguese, Egyptian or even German travellers sweating under multiple tons of luggage. Bravo Toronto, for introducing the system that requires a Looney to take a cart. Thankfully, since 1996 or so, dirty foreigners have not and will never realize their temptation to cram our precious Toronto carts into their taxis and drive them to their hotel rooms where they will engage in their filthy foreign activities such as wiping their asses on the rubber wheels (Poland), or tying Canadian children to the tray and wheeling it madly back and forth (Norway and Iraq). Not to mention the extra income for the tragically overworked airport employees who return the carts to the coin-relinquishing machine. It is base that the airport staff in Paris for example have not these advantages and must deal with cheap lightweight carts scattered like blown autumn leaves all over the landscape. Nor London, Warsaw, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Reykjavik, Halifax, Rome, Milan, Marseille, Sapporo, New Jersey or New York. They could all learn a thing or two from us: install them Looney machines and we Canadians would be able to carry our rightful privilige to airport carts the world over. As the consistently top-ranked best darn country to live in in the universe, we deserve it!
A multiple-compiled file is a stream of tokens that can be interpreted by two or more compilers. The following html was produced from a file that controls a FrameMaker "batcher," yet still looks pretty good in your browser.


Title Page

Open D:\cvs-work\eng\doc\mif\titlepage.mif #
Open D:\cvs-work\eng\doc\mif\template-roman.mif

Note the clumsy pound sings at the end of two lines. They might look bad, but this is the key to the multiple-compiler. The two "Open" commands open files in FrameMaker. But the pound signs are comments. That is, when the batcher runs, everything following a pound is ignored. Therefore, to display the file in Internet Explorer, all one has to do is put the html tags after the pound signs! The code actually looks like this:

# <h2>Title Page</h2>
Open D:\cvs-work\eng\doc\mif\titlepage.mif # <br>
Open D:\cvs-work\eng\doc\mif\template-roman.mif
Now would you call this file an html file or a FrameMaker batcher file? It works in both. In fact, it works very well in both: in FrameMaker it opens the required files and formats them with the help of succeeding commands; in Internet Explorer it uses headings to highlight the sequence of commands to make it infinitely more readable. As a technical writer, I tend to think of Java files as input to the tools that will produce my printable pdf documents. I often forget that Java files actually contain source code. The fact is that they do both, but developers use javac to compile them, while writers use javadoc. Java is a language which looks closely based on C++ syntax, at least in its primitive control structures. Is it possibly then to make an ambiguous source file which both a c compiler and javac will interpret? Javadoc demonstrates that it is possible to write an infinite number of compilers for the same source code. In fact this is the principle of data storage and retrieval that defines how we use computers to store information: your entire life could be stored in a single bit if only it pointed to the right entry in a table. Boo!

April 23, 2001

I am envious of designer blogs with stylized scroll-bars. I was not aware that one could paint one's own scroll bars. I was not aware that this could be done in a simple and elegant manner which would enhance the visual appeal of the browser page rather than clutter it. How many years of school must one complete in the fine arts to understand these principles of design? How can one innately swallow these principles of design and use sunlight to expose them? Will you ever quit laughing at me with my half-bright attempts to experiment in areas which lead me on paths constantly toward the mundane? How often will you force me into a corner between my will and my action? Children are more capable than the ironic-mythical wit. Are is soft!! Whither edges? Whither compliance, attraction, consumption of result by direction, twinning of direction and result and style and function? Whither innocence, and how is it that one can be trapped between the limits of purity and the desire for language of filth??!!!! Whence this PASTULA, this TRAC, REFUSE, SWILL. AGORA AGORA DAJCIE MNIE VOIR, je suis meme aveugle posant mes yeux dans mon desir.

April 17, 2001

W Montrealu juz siedzieli w sloncu. Mimo ze Toronto jest raczej szybkie z wystawianiem stolikow i otwieraniem kawiarn na dworze, miasto francuskie zreagowalo duzo szybciej w tym wypadku. Kanadyjczycy musza byc szybcy, bo lato moze byc dosyc krotkie, nie tak jak w Paryzu gdzie kawiarni moga zostawic stoliki nadworze przez caly rok.

April 11, 2001

What happens to those of us who DONT believe in the new god? Where will atheist poets get their inspiration? A poet must know his deity, and those poets who choose the deity of Science fill their work with exhilarations of their witnessing (wrong word). But a poet still faithful to the old god... he must temper his exhilaration or be scorned for his over-enthusiasm. A poet who tempers his exhilaration? Yes, he fills his work with irony.

April 09, 2001

what rough beast scientology ( where science is knowledge and logos study ) could it be so smart of them can we take them literally ( for they who are right would take that name ) they who are right if the gyres are right ( our lives are too short to sense the apex the cone at the widest circumference ) and whether it is two cones end to end or one end to point and whether we are headed to a vortex or ( how mythical can language get when we speak of turning age ) and of course it may be the turn from irony to myth as well ( and the old beast is laid waste therefore we now must logo science ) no in fact we are not obliged but we want to its our nature

April 07, 2001

My second post is a memory of my first. As post is the word used both for public thought and barricade, like the six I knocked down so many years ago, one stands for softness, one for hardness. The latter is broken, the former cannot break. I therefore wish and hope with my weak being that I won't be knocked down, that no one will knock down my number.