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June 15 1998, Monday



hardcore takeover of WXJM

Ah, the Shaque. As I do various tasks here (like paying the final utility bills left over from Kappa Mutha Fucka), I like to listen to college radio, and WXJM from James Madison University in Harrisonburg (25 miles to the north) is usually a good choice. The music has been good today; it seems there were at least two different hardcore shows. You'd never get that on a Charlottesville station.


I saw tiny toads, the size of my well-chewed left thumb nail, hopping around in the driveway today, taking advantage of the ever-moist ground and looking too small to be terrestrial vertebrates. Then came a hard rain, as has happened seemingly every day this Spring. In the evening, the big toads came out. They gathered under the Shaque light and slurped up the insects that spiraled idiotically into the ground. I'm on the toads' side in this, and in so being, I must be careful not to step on them when I step out to take a pee. It once occurred to me how much more neurotic us humans would be if toads let out bone-chilling screams whenever they were stepped on.

no spam

Do you know how sometimes you'll have a pain in your body, like a sore in your mouth, and it will hurt so much you can hardly believe there was ever a time so pleasant in your life when that pain didn't exist? But then, when the pain is gone and you're back to normal and feeling perfectly happy, you just take it for granted. You don't thank the gods that there is no pain in your mouth. You probably find something else, something trivial, to complain about. That's how I've been the last few weeks. Suddenly the torrent of spam has completely run dry. All the mail I get is either for me directly or else it's from the one mailing list I'm foolish enough to subscribe to. I'm tempted to think this is because (owner of the old Comet mail server) has stopped forwarding my old mail, but perhaps there's a better, more righteous reason. And then, of course, even if the reason is not righteous, perhaps there is still reason to hope for a righteous future.

hello Japan!

I've been carefully checking my logs for the last three weeks, somewhat alarmed that I didn't have any readers in Japan. Well, today I saw a Japanese reader come through. He or she hasn't been back however. Here would be the appropriate place to put a series of unfunny racist/culturist jokes to explain these circumstances, but I'll refrain.

friend factions

I was doing a rather complicated update of my musings site today, interlinking all the largely pictorial pages together into one long picture show that can be navigated apart from the text. While I had my hands dirty, so to speak, I gleefully uncensored a bunch of old musings entries, since I don't intend to live with the parties involved ever again. I was doing this work on the archives stored on my non-Internet-equipped K6 (Pentium-like) machine, but to upload the modified files, I needed to carry them on a floppy disk to my mother's Macintosh. The Macintosh can read PC disk, of course, but it usually stumbles with long Windows 95 names. Happy for me, though, that's all been fixed with OS 8.1. I decided it was time to bite the bullet and upgrade my mother's machine.
Despite the irritating Geocities pop-ups, I found myself reading everything written recently by N. Spaceman today as I waited for the 20 Megabyte Mac OS 8.1 update to download. Spaceman was writing about the problems people have with mixing their work friends with their other friends. This led me to think about my own friendships, and how I break them into categories.
With me, there are the friends I meet socially, the friends I meet on the job, and the friends I meet online. For whatever reason, I'm most tolerant of the first group, willing to give them the chance to be real social entertainment. But I regard work friends (I have none now, but I used to have several) with something more akin to weariness, even though this is often unfair. The unhappy truth is that they remind me of work, and something inside me makes me feel like I should be paid when I'm around them. I made an exception for Bn W. and Jamie Dyer back when they were my co-workers, since we knew each other from before.
Then there are Internet friends. There's something unsettling for me about going from a text-based, sub-dimensional relationship into a full-blown 3D one. Something puts me on guard around Internet friends, and it takes some conscious effort and, more to the point, alcohol, for me to overcome whatever it is that troubles me about meeting them in person.
I never put much value on any of my online relationships, to the extent that they are online. That people, for example, carry on romantic relationships online seems to me almost sad. Mind you, I've made a few feeble attempts at sexual innuendo online, but my heart wasn't really in it.
A stimulating bit of reading I found as the download crawled along: The PC Magazine John Dvorak Archive, which had some interesting (and increasingly dated) thoughts about the Web.

my mother's back and the Big Snap

My mother, Hoagie, came up to bother me and check her stocks and email while the OS 8.1 installation was being sluggishly and improperly de-MacBinary-II'd. She told me she'd been having lots of back problems but that the other day there was a loud snap and her back has been fine ever since. Every now and then my mother tells me one of these stories, and it always ends when a loud snap comes to save the day. I don't know how many times she's told me the story of the time her father fell out of a hayloft and discovered his back problems completely cured.


one year ago
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