April 30, 2002

gangrenous entry

This is strange. I keep checking my website to see if it’s been updated lately… Nope. I haven’t written anything new, yet.

Awesome jazz concert tonight.

Putter, putter… only one more hour until I can check today’s HTTP statistics. I’ve settled into the rhythm of this week’s existence. Sleep, Sunrise, Judge Parker, writewritewrite, Sunset, HTTP, Sleep. Will next week be similiar? Doubtful. I find it’s easier to have flights of fancy each week than try and make life consistent. Judge Parker and statistics this week, video editing last week, microfilm a few months ago, snowboarding last winter, rock climbing last fall. Seemingly unrelated pursuits to the outsider, but to me each is drenched in meaning like a stack of opium-soaked tablecloths.

Ick. Uninspired banter. I’m cutting this off right where it is. Lop off the gangrenous limb.

judge parker level two

Today in Judge Parker…

WE ALL KNOW WHAT YOU DID TO SOPHIE!!! says Bunny. She is still hanging on to the car door, but it’s beginning to look more like a tire iron. Spencer’s mind is drifting… drifting…

WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!! says Spencer, though she knows. Does she know? She thinks she knows. Oh god, please don’t hit me with the tire iron.

YOU WENT BALLISTIC AND BEAT HER UP FOR NO REASON!!! says Bunny, the larva in her ears quivering. All of a sudden she has no lower teeth and a dashing nose ring. Was the ring there before? wonders Spencer as she tries to make sense of what Bunny said. Spencer tries to reason but no, she keeps speaking. Must focus… cannot… focus…


The one-sided conversation is a mind-control tactic that Bunny picked up from her guerilla fighters in Central America. When they take prisoners they will talk to them incessantly, and slowly the captives begin to believe in the reality they speak. Speak gibberish and they believe in gibberish. Falsely accuse the prisoner enough and soon she herself will believe the accusations. Bunny is delaying Spencer from her needed therapy session, and given her already fractured mental state from the Little Sister Incident, Spencer is in no condition to resist mind games. She feels the leather serpent tighten around her neck. She needs air. Who is Sophie? Oh god, I can’t breathe. She will admit to anything if it means an escape from the PROBLEM IN THE SCHOOL PARKING LOT!!!


Read today’s episode yourself.

how many ya got in there?


I went to bed at 11:30… no…

It was one of those half-awake things… no…

Feeling restless this early morn’, I checked my online stats… no…

Oh fuck it, here I go with some HTTP shit:

596 /~pete1931/

583 /~pete1931/bio.jpg

583 /~pete1931/blithers.jpg

590 /~pete1931/blithers/junk/superold.gif

601 /~pete1931/caution.jpg

593 /~pete1931/maintext.css

797 /~pete1931/outside.jpg

592 /~pete1931/roll00.jpg

31 /~pete1931/roll01.jpg

32 /~pete1931/roll02.jpg

32 /~pete1931/roll03.jpg

31 /~pete1931/roll05.jpg

34 /~pete1931/roll06.jpg

583 /~pete1931/slapdash.jpg

583 /~pete1931/title.jpg

583 /~pete1931/writings.jpg

total requests: 6887

total bytes sent: 22,431,516

Well. Ahem. If this is right, welcome all 596 of you. Or, if the roll**.jpg statistics are a bit more accurate, welcome all 31 of you. Welcome to where the internet learned to suck.

Note: This is not the Registrar. If you were trying to register for classes through Cromlech and were unsuccessful, please send me your username and password immediately so I can sign you up for Eco-Feminist Basketweaving and Music Theory IX: The Bloodletting. Do not tell anyone in Administration about this little operation, as they are merely puppets working for me and may get the wrong idea. Don’t wanna your hand slammed in a car door by a cowboy hat lackey, now, do ya?

Oh wait, it appears the counts are just off. Title.jpg is a 16K file, and it says 411K of data was transferred for that file yesterday. A bit of advanced math says that the image could only have been loaded about 25 times.

Now I will go back to bed, do one of those Fight Club changeovers to my alter-ego and sit here refreshing my website 500 times.

April 29, 2002

smokin’ da peel

T. Zenner has brought to my attention the following timely synergy. A recent entry at the Straight Dope asks if you can get high smoking banana peels.

I punched bananadine into Google.com. Seconds later I was looking at the following recipe:

1. Obtain 15 lb. of ripe yellow bananas. 2. Peel the bananas and eat the fruit. Save the skins. 3. With a sharp knife, scrape off the insides of the skins and save the scraped material. 4. Put all scraped material in a large pot and add water. Boil for three to four hours until it has attained a solid paste consistency. 5. Spread this paste on cookie sheets and dry it in an oven for about 20-30 minutes. This will result in a fine black powder (bananadine). Usually one will feel the effects of bananadine after smoking three or four cigarettes.

If you ask me, what you’re feeling is the effects of eating 15 pounds of bananas, but let’s not get distracted. The recipe was attributed to The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell. Turning to Amazon.com, we find the following statement from Powell:

“Author would like to see publication discontinued. . . .”

But you still want to know: Will bananas get you high? Of course not. The whole thing was a hoax first publicized in the Berkeley Barb in March 1967. The wire services, and after them the whole country, fell for it hook, line, and roach clip.


Also tomorrow: Battle rages in the trenches of data extraction! We’ll consult the expert (me wearing goggles) on the possibility of sharpening details in film and what implications it may have on how memory works.

today in judge parker…

The chicks in Judge Parker are hot. They’ve got this whole aloof snobbiness to them that is absolutely irresistible, not to mention a unique fashion style that rivals the homeless grab bag special at Salvation Army.

Today, Spencer is wearing a leather belt around her neck, which complements her sneering face and Star Trek uniform quite nicely. Her friend Bunny is wearing a Rambo bandanna and has caterpillars growing out of her ears. Bunny’s face makes her look like a cross-dressing pirate that got his nose broken in an acid-swilling tussle. Her lips are at risk of dripping off her face, but thankfully her bare midriff and tight pants makes up for the whole thing. Bunny would definitely be a two-bagger, but a bagger nevertheless.

But the visuals aren’t the only appeal of Judge Parker. Let us delve straight into this thick and bubbling goulash of a plot!



Let us assume that Neddy is Spencer the Star Trek girl. You see, Neddy is just the word ‘eddy’ with an ‘nnnnnnnn’ sound, which is the sound the pop machine makes when it gives you a diet cola, when it dispenses a diet cola, which rhymes with spence a diet cola, and when you kick the machine because you didn’t want a diet cola you wanted a sandwich it goes ‘RRRRRRRRRRRR’ and trudges off to fight with the pinball machine. So it becomes obvious through this clever delineation that Neddy = Spencer. You dig?


WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT, SPENCER!!!! says Face Melt Pirate Bunny.

Uh oh. As the plot progresses it appears that Bunny and Spencer aren’t friends at all!

YOU GONNA SEND ME TO THE HOS-PITAL LIKE YOU DID YOUR LITTLE SISTER?! says Rambo Bunny with her threatening cronies wearing cowboy hats lurking in the background. Bunny knows how to press Spencer’s buttons. She has needed weekly conseling ever since the Little Sister Incident two years ago. Little Sister is the gang Spencer runs around with, a close-knit team of drug addicts and philosophical geniuses. Spencer had a minor slip-up at their last bank job that landed most of the members of Little Sister in the hospital. She suffered second degree burns to her neck, which she conceals to this day under the leather belt.

YOU’VE BEEN SMOKING BA-NANA PEELS AGAIN, BUNNY… BACK OFF!!!!!! says Spencer. Bunny is the head of a cocaine smuggling operation that runs out of a loose affiliation of banana republics in Central America. In a fit of rage, Spencer has accidentally revealed her knowledge of Bunny’s involvement.

Look out, Spencer! Nasty hot-headed comments like that may get your fingers slammed in the car door… or worse!!! WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPENED? I AM SO EXCITED. STAY TUNED FOR TOMORROW, WHEN THE NEXT CHAPTER OF THIS EPIC STORY UNFOLDS!

Oh, here’s the comic.

holograms take it outside

Geez, what’s wrong with you people? Yesterday, mind you on the weekend, I got 44 page requests. Don’t you have better things to do than read this drivel? Away! Away with you! If it keeps up like this I will definitely need to find a host that caters to the PHP crowd, and retool this site so it has the cookie-cutter appearance of every other blogger in this stupid internet universe.

Here’s something to think about. Holograms are 3D images encoded on 2D surfaces. All the information is located on a single two-dimensional layer, but manages to represent a three-dimensional object (I don’t know too much about holograms, and here’s where it would be wonderful for someone else to chime in with a post and clear things up for me… but since this is still a unidirectional exchange I will continue to preach as though I am the King Peach).

So. The universe is three-dimensional, but as a tangent let us discuss the possibility that it is four-dimensional. To visualize, pretend you are on a sphere. It could be the earth, a peach or the supple bosom of a loved one. When you move on the sphere it appears to you that you are travelling in a straight line in two dimensions, though anyone observing your movement from off the sphere would see that you are indeed moving in an arc, dropping away in the third dimension. If you were to travel in one direction long enough, you would curve around and eventually retrace your footsteps.

Now let’s say you travel in a straight line through space; a straight line in three dimensions. If space is four-dimensional you will actually be following an arc in the fourth dimension, and will eventually wind up back where you started. It’d be a long way, but arguably it’s possible. 4D space answers the question of what’s on the other side of the universe. What’s beyond the boundary? In short, nothing. If the universe is a four-dimensional sphere, it is completely self-contained and doesn’t need to exist in anything.

But holograms. What if… the universe is just the three-dimensional encoding of a four (or five) dimensional reality? The whole thing, the entirety of our reality, is just scratches on a wax cylinder, so to speak. If one were able to look at the universe from the outside and decode it, it would unfold into something entirely different… and unfortunately incomprehensible, as it is difficult to think in extended dimensions; even less to see them.

Well. I hope that one got you sad, sad people outside.

April 28, 2002

old man mars

Cool, cool, cool. USS Clueless speaks on the age of the universe, and the potential implications of knowing such facts.

Cowboy Bebop takes place in 2071. I will be 91 years old and one sour coot if I’m not living on a terraformed Mars with lakes and trees. I wanna see a nusion reactor converting mass into pure energy to power the pro-gravity machine that compensates for the planet’s tiny mass, keeping water from being flung into space.

And a flying car. I don’t want to be a dangerous old man behind the wheel. I want to be a dangerous old man in a starship. Luckily space is still pretty empty, so there will be little risk of me hitting anything.

April 27, 2002

eat a lot of peaches

Running a website is like having a peach. You hold the peach, make a little room for the ant to hide, squeeze the peach and dream about you… woman.

More specifically, you become the ant. You make a little virtual space on the good ol’ net, crawl inside and get cozy. You end up with the splendid experience of living in a peach, but few others can relate to it because they do not live in peaches. They live in houses or churches or under couches. They do not really care about peach-based living, beyond the novelty of the idea. The technicalities are a bit boring… what to do about the juice flowing down the walls, how to appropriately spackle to curb fruit rot, whether track-lighting is the best choice for illuminating the chambers… it asks too much of the audience that they be interested in every aspect of living in a peach.

So the author is presented with quite a dilemma. Does he write extensively about peaches, given his vast knowledge and experience of peaches? Or does he write about things that may be more appealing to his audience?

People like curios. People like to read about curios. Living in a peach is a curio. Sleeping in a toaster is a curio. Having liquid fire on tap in the bathroom is a curio. A vivid description on how one has completely lost his sense of time is a curio. A well-written exposition on the extended senses (sense of time, sense of rhyme, sense of rhythm, sense of the sexes, sense of love, making/not-making sense, confusion between sense and scents) would be a nice curio.

When the writer starts going into much more detail than the reader cares to know, the curio ceases to be a curio. It becomes tedious and uninteresting. …so then, does the writer serve his own desires and write about all the tedious details of living in a peach because he finds them interesting, or does he have a responsibility to serve the reader and find a more accessible topic?

In two words: Yes.

The Existential Complications of Cromlechism(.)(!)(?)(…)

Immediate conclusion: His (or her, but our language is so crippled by the lack of a non-gender possessive adjective… unfortunately using either word in substitute for the other can be a loaded statement, but using both with / is just plain ugly and such abusers of the language should be sent to the Hell of Asymmetrical Terminological Constructs) purpose

RESET. Immediate conclusion: His purpose is to write. Audience be damned. They’re along for the ride, whether they wanna be or not. To not allow the author to write would defy the teleology murmuring in his ear. The author may be crippled in trying to appeal to his audience (which, really, is a noble thing for him to do. He sacrifices a part of himself to communicate ideas to others in a way that is entertaining and sensical. It pulls him out of self-indulgent writing, which arguably serves no purpose but that of the actual writer, and grinds the thoughts on a millstone until they can be interpreted and loved by others) and

RESET: Immediate conclusion. His purpose is to write. Audience be damned. They’re along for the ride, whether they wanna be or not. To not allow the author to write would defy the teleology murmuring in his ear. The author may be crippled in trying to appeal to his audience, and while there are definite benefits in imposing that restriction, sometimes the damages can outweigh the benefits. (But who can be the authority in deciding whether “the damages outweigh the benefits” is true? We have no Judge Dredds of the writing community darting around on flying motorcycles, deciding absolute Truths when the question arises.

Do the damages really outweigh the benefits? Are my impressions accurate? If they aren’t completely accurate, are they accurate enough to generally decide the best path?

We will never know until we create a perfect copy of the universe, parallel to our own, and try out our hypotheses there. What would have happened if I went left? If I wrote about HTTP statistics instead of peaches? Well, just plug your event into the Second Universe and choose the path you could have taken. Accelerate time to the present, and see where each strand ends up. Oh, but there are so many complications with this model. If you went left you would never have ended up looking at the Second Universe, wondering if you should have gone left. Also, at that fork the two futures completely diverge from one another. Left would end up with its own set of left/right choices, and right as well. Would you not want to know where each one of those branches could have led as well? It quickly sprouts into a tree of an incomprehensible number of paths. A person could be driven insane at the helm of this machine. Neitzsche would say focus on the future, instead.


RESET: Immediate conclusion. His purpose is to write. Audience be damned. They’re along for the ride, whether they wanna be or not. To not allow the author to write would defy the teleology murmuring in his ear. The author may be crippled in trying to appeal to his audience, and while there are definite benefits in imposing that restriction, sometimes the damages can outweigh the benefits. If he has something he wants to say, nothing should be substituted in its place.

And this conclusion is riddled with problems. It was conceived before all the above points were made during its creation. It assumes the quality of the future (damages = worse future, benefits = better future) can be accurately determined by the writer. All I really wanted to say in this entry is this:

Cromlech is picking up 30 hits a day and the number appears to be increasing slowly. The Statesman website get 40 – 60 hits a day. Keep those hits coming people! We’ll beat out that dastardly newspaper yet. My next goal is to beat out the UMD online registration site. It got nearly 700 hits on Friday. We can do it. I know we can.

Or something silly to that effect. This entire expose happened because I wasn’t sure if I should write what I want or write what readers might want. I am very, very pleased with the result, regardless. If you don’t like it you can eat a bag of hell.

Do not put sewing needle in mouth and start coughing. VERY DANGEROUS. They should put warnings on these suckers.

hawaiian shirt memory

This one’s going out, so please bear with.

Often times in techno-thriller movies they have a scene where the Big Suit busybodies are watching a blurry videotape. The guy in the mustache always squints closer to the screen, pats the techy-geek kid in a Hawaiian shirt on the shoulder. He jams his finger at a point on the screen, maybe representing a handpurse or monkey or whatever, and demands in a gruff voice, “Enlarge this section! I wanna see the fleas on the handpurse and read the brand name on the monkey!”

Techy-geek kid in Hawaiian shirt dazzles his finger across they keyboard and an enlarged shot appears on the screen. A few more keystrokes sharpen the details, and voila. Fleas.

And a cross-branded Klondike-Pennzoil Bar monkey.

Impossible. The original tape is as focused as you are going to get. The ‘sharpened details’ are not encoded onto the video, or else they would be represented as such during regular playback. You can’t get more detail from a less-detailed starting point.

Does the mind work in a similar manner? How can we forget things and remember them later? Let’s say you have a recollection of a history… say, a camping trip. Without outside resources (other people’s accounts, photographs, etc…) your memory of the trip is as detailed as it can get. But then, how do we remember things at later dates that we haven’t remembered before? The smell of pine boughs can suddenly transport you back to the experience more vividly than simply recalling the memory. The smell can actually trigger the feeling of the trip, not just your stored images of it. If you haven’t consciously called up that feeling since the trip, how come you are able to with a little nudge from the nose?

It appears there’s something more to the mind than just storage. …or, if the mind is just storage, it appears to store more than we can know. If it were just a videotape I could play my mind back, and be satisfied that everything the camera was able to capture appears on the screen. If it’s not on the screen, the camera did not capture it. The mustache can hound techy-geek Hawaiian shirt boy all day, he can squash out three packs of cigarettes in an overflowing ashtray, but he’s never going to extract more information from the tape than the tape captured. The limits are clearly defined.

But the mind seems to have different levels of detail; I am able to zoom in on a specific part of a memory and dissect it. This suggests that the mind is drawing from a much larger reservoir than I am conscious of. The potential levels of detail are not accounted for in a gloss recall of the event, and at times it seems the mind is only limited by the inability to concentrate on a memory long enough to see it to its end. It feels like I have infinite straws drawing from every soda fountain in the universe.

How much information is really stored in there? Thanks to solipsism we can never know. We can only know the memories that we recall; if we don’t recall it, we can’t know whether it’s there or not. Fortunately it is additive; you can keep recalling more memories but you can’t unrecall a memory. …but you can never know the limit of how many memories you can recall. That darned monkey of the mind is always grinding away, awash in colorful thoughts of Genghis Kahn and Tang and Dresden and other proper names that require capitalization. So long as new ideas are always being created you cannot claim to know the limits. It’s like the universe. It keeps expanding and creating itself at the four-dimensional edge. What’s the edge look like? What’s on the other side of the edge? We don’t know. We can’t know.

I think I see now why most philosophers can’t write a book that makes any damn sense.

As Rickrobot would say, “It’s all good.”

April 25, 2002

spicy paragraph

Why school bores me, in one spicy paragraph:

This writer feels much of academia and the media throughout the Anglosphere has come to resemble, in a way, the Church in Europe immediately before the Reformation. They have grown intellectually lazy, out of touch with the people they believe they exist to enlighten, and irrelevant to the needs they exist to serve. They have come to see their position, incomes and the respect of the public as entitlements due to them for their virtue, rather than earned by achievement.

Because religion is inherently boring, of course! The words are originally those of James C. Bennett way back in December. I gleaned them from a nice piece at Tres Producers on the weblog revolution. I don’t fully agree with Bennett, however. I’ve never seen a professor jump up and down on the table waving a bone over her head, demanding we shovel money down her pants to reward her Virtues. I would say they’ve lost sight of a purpose, but I think its more unconscious than how he characterizes it.

Then again, tuition does keep skyrocketing and I don’t see any change in the quality of my education as a result. Nay, the purpose has always been there. Administration has finally figured how to jerk off without getting any on itself.

But anyway. Blogs. The more I read these things, the more I realize I need to get Cromlech auto-archiving, updating though PHP, and linking to individual entries. Not that I really say anything worthwhile that people would consider linking, as these are just the meaningless ravings of a kid that sits in front of his computer reading blogs while pretending to do homework, instead of getting outside with friends and doing healthy social things. No fault of the friends, mind you. At every turn they offer to peel me away from my consuming Duty towards school and I bitterly refuse.

Gotta write a feature story. ta-ta.