Thursday, November 30, 2023

Friday Links!

Leading off this week, and it's absolutely wonderful, it's Ingenious maker builds underwater maze to entertain his brilliant pet octopus (video).

From Wally, and maybe it's time for a junket: U.S. airlines lose 2 million suitcases a year. Where do they all go? Instead of, you know, providing assistance: NYC is Building Anti-Homeless Streets… Tip of the iceberg (or spear): Sports Illustrated Published Articles by Fake, AI-Generated Writers

From Kevin Womack, and it's a thoughtful deep dive into the future of publishing: Brandon Sanderson's Doom And Gloom Predictions!

From C. Lee, and it's not encouraging: World on pace to blow past Paris climate targets, UN says. I'd be happy to have one up here: ‘You can walk around in a T-shirt’: how Norway brought heat pumps in from the cold. I mean, it's a fair question: Does Australia exist? Well, that depends on which search engine you ask … An excellent read: Omicron, Now 2 Years Old, Is Not Done With Us Yet. A terrific point: Why We’re Still Breathing Dirty Indoor Air. An epic takedown: The Great American Novel That Wasn’t. From the impeccable Digital Antiquarian: Putting the “J” in the RPG, Part 1: Dorakue! I'm a fan, generally (of ramen, not inflation): Cost-of-living crisis fuels global appetite for instant ramen. This is a wonderful read: Life Lessons with Momofuku: Patron Saint of Instant Noodles and Late Bloomers

Ghibli to Study By

This is tremendously soothing: Studio Ghibli Deep Sleep Piano Collection.

If you want to relax instead of stress, I highly recommend it.

Fast Track

There's been a great meme about Henry Kissinger for years now.

Henry Kissinger has finally entered hell. Given his resume, he should be fast-tracked for a management position.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

The Mystery Reader

I've been trying to figure this out and I'm going crazy.

An e-mailer lives in Grand Rapids and is friends with Jeff P. I've emailed with you multiple times, and remember the emails, but I can't remember the email address, and I can't find it to email you. Instead of remembering your name, I associate your name with your handle on the Qt3 forums. 

Stuck and stuck.

When you read this, please get in touch with me. Thanks.

Bethesda Creates a Dating Profile

Oh, poor Bethesda: Bethesda responding to negative Starfield reviews on Steam

Here's an example:
In response to one user that called Starfield's story "generic" and the gameplay "boring", one member of Bethesda's customer support staff replied with a post highlighting everything players can experience in the game.

"You can fly, you can shoot, you can mine, you can loot!" it wrote. "Starfield is an RPG with hundreds of hours of quests to complete and characters to meet. Most quests will also vary on your character's skills and decisions, massively changing the outcome of your playthrough."

Bethesda is sending out big online dating vibes here.

Many of you have been fortunate enough to avoid online dating, but there's one particularly annoying type. You send them a nice message saying you appreciate their interest, but it's not a good fit romantically, and they respond with a thousand word response telling you why you're wrong. I never received one of these messages, but my female friends said they get them frequently. 

In short, Bethesda is mansplaining why people who didn't like the game are wrong.

Come on, B. Don't take it so personally. Criticism is hard for everyone. Just keep reading profiles and eventually you'll find your match. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

At Risk

Let's talk abut powder monkeys.

During the Age of Sail, gunpowder was stored in the ship's hold as long as possible to reduce the chances of an explosion on desk. Powder monkeys ferried gunpowder from the ship's hold to the artillery guns. 

Powder monkeys, according to Wikipedia, were usually boys aged 12 to 14, desirable because of their smaller size and higher maneuverability. 

As you can imagine, powder monkeys usually didn't last long enough in their job to be promoted. 

I think we've all felt like a powder monkey at some point in our lives. For me, it was the first eighteen months after Gloria's accident. Every single task felt so consequential, and I had no experience with grieving or the bureaucracy of death. I was acutely aware of my limited competency.

It's not just personal events that can make us feel like power monkeys, though. Today's media contributes to that feeling as well. The way American media makes its money is to convince us that the U.S. is a powder monkey, at risk to explode any second. Instead of selling information, they sell noise. It's why companies don't care if AI-generated content is garbage or nonsensical. It allows them to generate exponentially more noise, and that's all they're trying to do. 

No wonder we all feel like we're carrying gunpowder around.

Monday, November 27, 2023


I felt bad for Eli 22.3 because he wasn't getting a Thanksgiving dinner. I thought.

Even with only four Americans in his college, though, the dining staff came through. They emailed all four and said they wanted to cook a Thanksgiving dinner for them, but didn't know what dishes to include, so would they please send ideas?

Amazing, thoughtful, and kind.

He sent me a picture of the spread:

I see turkey, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, stuffing, potatoes, green bean casserole, and brussel sprouts, among other things.

What makes Oxford special, from the way Eli describes it, is that it's special everywhere. I can't think of a better example.

I was asked over for Thanksgiving, and I had a lovely meal and day as well. We were both lucky this year.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Friday Links on Thanksgiving!

Following the new tradition started in 2022 (I think), Friday Links are up today for anyone who is dying of boredom on Thanksgiving. I'll be off on Friday and return Monday.

I'm leading off with C. Lee, because he has consistently sent a slew of intelligent, interesting links every week for as long as I can remember. Leading off, an alarming trend: Facing Financial Ruin as Costs Soar for Elder Care. Related: ‘I Wish I Had Known That No One Was Going to Help Me’. This sounds like a fascinating book: Balkan Cyberia: Cold War Computing, Bulgarian Modernization, and the Information Age Behind the Iron Curtain by Victor Petrov. This is tantalizing research (particularly the explanation): ‘Tetris’ may help reduce flashbacks to traumatic events.It seems obvious: Best way to prevent cervical cancers: Immunize boys against HPV, too. More remarkable research: Crispr gene editing shown to permanently lower high cholesterol. Argggh: It’s Still Easy for Anyone to Become You at Experian. If only this had come out before September! Visiting Real Life Locations From Haruki Murakami Novels in Tokyo. We never got lost, thanks to Eli 22.3: New indie game The Exit 8 may make us never want to enter another Japanese subway station again

This is bizarrely fascinating: Mortician uses a dummy to show every step a body goes through at a funeral home. There are some real classics here: The Biggest Roadside Attractions in the Midwest.

From Wally, and it's kitchen sink DEFCON 1 this week: U.S. plumber bracing for 'Brown Friday' after Thanksgiving. An interesting pivot: Judge overseeing Idaho murders case bars media cameras, citing "intense focus" on suspect — but the court will livestream. This is a fantastic read: A juice company dumped orange peels in a national park. Here's what it looks like now.

Pour One Out For the Victims

It seems to be a trend: Jim Irsay cites status as 'white billionaire' for 2014 arrest.

My favorite new aggrieved class: billionaires. Everything's stacked against them, it seems. They're really suffering from all the oppression.

Billionaires are a policy mistake. Elon Musk is essentially a 16-year-old edgelord at a mall food court. Do we want someone like him having a disproportionate impact on society and public policy? 


It's That Time Of Year

You know it's late November in Michigan when I'm spending an inordinate amount of time looking at rechargeable heated slippers on Amazon. 

Which all seem like garbage, by the way.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Sea of Stars

I mentioned this game a few weeks ago, and wound up finishing it yesterday.

It's wonderful. What a terrific experience.

It also does one thing better than any game I've ever played, which is traversal. It's never been so much fun to run around, because there are all kinds of interesting spaces to squeeze into and stuff to climb on. The traversal isn't hard--you really can't fail--but it's consistently entertaining in a way I've never experienced before.

It's also logical. There are puzzles and obstacles to figure out, but none of the answers are obscure or obtuse. If you just consider your environment and think, you can solve every one, which I appreciate, because looking at a guide every five minutes is tedious.

There are apparently several endings that you can get after the first if you keep playing (including the "true" ending), but I was happy with the first ending and stopped there. It's suspenseful, and there's a twist at the very end that made me laugh out loud because I was so delighted. 

It's all inordinately clever and entertaining without being taxing, and it's consistently fun. 

If you're interested, it's on all the usual platforms, plus it's on Game Pass.

Monday, November 20, 2023


I haven't written anything about the Israeli-Palestinian situation because I wasn't smart enough.

I'm still not, but I've noticed something other people aren't commenting on.

Ninety percent of the word count about the crisis is bent on establishing the truth. Did this happen? Did that happen? Who's lying? This is, seemingly, a critical element before any peace proposal can be put forth. 

This often works in conventional situations. In this situation, though, very few things can be determined as absolutely true. 

We know Hamas attacked Israel and over 1,000 Israelis have died. We know Hamas took hostages. We also know Israel attacked Palestine in response and over 10,000 Palestinians have died. 

Those three statements are agreed on by everyone, as far as I know. They are beyond dispute.

What else can we say is true and beyond dispute? Almost nothing. It depends on the perspective and the "side" of the person reporting the information, as well as the perspective and side of their sources. How you interpret that information depends on your perspective and side as well.

I wish someone would ask how to craft a policy for peace in the Middle East starting with the notion that the truth is beyond determination and is irrelevant. If you start with that basic premise, where does it lead you? What kind of proposal gets produced?

Maybe that would lead us somewhere. Nothing else seems to lead anywhere.

That's a cheery start to the week. I'll try to be more festive tomorrow.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Friday Links!

Leading off this week, one of the greatest bits of archaeological detective work I've ever seen: Mummified baboons point to the direction of the fabled land of Punt

From David Gloier, and it's amazing: Endangered egg-laying mammal seen for the first time in over 60 years

I admire the commitment if not the book choice: ‘It never ends’: the book club that spent 28 years reading Finnegans Wake

This is a clever idea: Uncovering the secret to a 20% return? A trading bot that tracks politicians' trades

From Wally, and I had no idea (and if you're wondering, the extra month was going to be called "Sol"): The world very nearly adopted a calendar with 13 months of 28 days, These numbers are depressing, and explain so much: What are the book-owning and book-reading habits of Americans? Such a strange story: Warner Bros. Reverses Course on ‘Coyote vs. Acme’ After Filmmakers Rebel. I really hoped this would be great: Starfield's been left out to dry at The Game Awards—and even dedicated fans are 'not terribly surprised'. Some very eerie circumstances: Shock of the old: eight abandoned and appalling theme parks

From C. Lee, and it's terrifying: What History Didn’t Tell Us about the Nazi “Super Baby” Breeding Program. Tantalizing research: Blocking ‘Jumping Genes’ Could Drastically Increase Our Lifespan, New Research Shows. Pathetic: Brave browser’s free Leo AI dodges questions about the 2020 election. This so resembles the tobacco industry: How the fossil-fuel lobby weaponized Julia Child’s gas stove. An excellent visualizer: Visualizing All the World’s Carbon Emissions by Country. A fantastic read: A History of Japanese Train Evolution. Look out, bedazzlers! Don’t put that rhinestone emblem on your car’s steering wheel, US regulators say.

In Response (quite possibly the worst post title ever)

I've gotten a few question about the writing process in terms of drafts. Everyone does it differently, but this is what I do.

Draft One: Entirely slipshod. It's the first time the story has existed end-to-end in written form. 80% of it will be rewritten, at least, so revising as I write is a waste of time. I'm not even sure this would be readable to someone else. Well, they could read it, but they probably wouldn't enjoy it.

Draft Two: This is where I am now with This Doesn't Feel Like The Future. This draft is entirely readable and comprehensible by another human, but there will be structural issues popping up as the story evolves. and characters become more/less interesting. This draft has extensive editing, though not at the granular level of later drafts. 

Maybe a third of the first draft will remain when I'm done. Everything else has been rewritten, which is why this draft takes the  longest time. A year, I'm guessing, though I'm hoping to be finish sooner than that, which means it will take two years. This is, for me, the draft where the most progress is made.

Draft Three: This draft, and every one that follows, is about solving problems. At the macro level (structure), for now, then increasingly focused on the micro level (flow, word choice) in later drafts. And I say macro level, but there will be plenty of editing and rewriting in this draft. It's just that the story has to be locked down at some point so you're not writing toward a moving target, and I want to get it done here.

Draft four: Starting in this draft, I'll go through a chapter and make a count of everything I corrected or that still needs correcting. I don't mean at the typo level; the count is more concerned with things at the paragraph/sentence level (unfortunately, sometimes at the passage level as well, which is painful). 

When the count is going down in each draft, I know I'm making progress. 

I might still be rewriting passages and moving paragraphs around, but from this draft forward, it should rapidly reduce.

Draft five: I didn't read the manuscript out loud until the last draft for The Man You Trust, but it will happen much earlier this time. It gives you a definitive notion of where wording is clunky, because you can't skip over anything when you read it out loud. 

Now is when everything you've kicked down the road starts to stand out like a sore thumb, because most other problems have been cleaned up by now. It's the draft where you rewrite a sentence ten times, or twenty, because no version sounds exactly right. At this point, the vast majority of the narrative should be  flowing smoothly, and if there's friction, it's only because you want it there.

Draft six, etc.: Now I'm at the sentence level, or even individual words. I'm also starting to push words around instead of make improvements, which is a good sign that I'm almost done. This is the draft where I'll go through multiple pages without any notes, and if I do need to fix something, it's often something only I would notice.

Like I said, everyone is different, and I'm particularly labor-intensive, much to my dismay. It seemed to work for the first book, though, and it's working on this one as well.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023


I was a at a party on Halloween, but I did see a small stream of kids as I drove there.

In particular, there were three very small people dressed with a farm theme: cow, pig, chicken. Since all of them would have been looking up at my knee, it was entirely adorable. 

Also, there's a new trend: inflatable costumes. Jerry H. saw an inflatable Spongebob costume that was both impressive and uncomfortable-looking, he said. I saw a few myself, and every kid wearing one was waddling instead of walking because of the demands of the costume. Very inefficient when you're trying to gather candy as quickly as possible.

Greg A. reported a young Dwight Schrute (the Office) complete with comb-over and suit. Also a costume where the reach exceeded the grasp:
A "Plague Doctor," but he was waggling the bird beak mask on his hand like a puppet because he couldn't see out the eyeholes.  High comedy.

The clear winner (at least in my mind), though, was a costume sent in by DQ Film Advisor And Nicest Guy In the World Ben Ormand: a six-year-old dressed as Amelia Earhart, complete with goggles. He also mentioned an Excellent Max from Where The Wild things Are.

As a sidebar, the movie version of Where The Wild Things Are is genuinely fantastic.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023


I was thinking last weekend about how our  lives have turned into content roulette, whether it's streaming, video on demand, the Internet, Instagram, or Tik Tok. You can't even visit a web page anymore without getting hit up to go to another web page before you've even looked at the first one. 

Entertainment has turned into a retail store, with exactly the same approach. All any entertainment provider wants is inventory turnover. They don't care what you're watching, as long as they lead you to watch something else.

This has had a profound impact on our lives.

I'm sure all of us have times where our minds our racing because we consume content so quickly, with an ocean of more content waiting. 

I wondered where all this began, and decided it was radio.

Before radio--and more specifically--before there were multiple stations on the radio, there was no way to quickly switch between content. It was a concept that didn't exist. Content was consumed in large chunks, one chunk at a time.

Then radio came, and you could turn the dial between multiple radio stations.

Then television, then cable television, then satellite television. 

This happened slowly, then all at once. In a span of twenty years, we went from three television channels to over fifty. After another twenty years, the channel count is in the hundreds, alongside streaming video, unlimited information (much of it wrong) on the Internet, and streaming music (where you can listen to everything anyone ever recorded, seemingly). 

I've been wondering if I could untether myself from the Internet for certain periods during the year, just to be able to write better. 

In truth, I doubt it. Thanks, radio.

Monday, November 13, 2023

Bookshops & Bonedust

Travis Baldree (Fate, Torchlight, Rebel Galaxy, do I really need to list any more?) is writing novels now. 

I mentioned Legends & Lattes, his first book, a year or so ago. It was terrific, and was also incredibly successful commercially, so I've been looking forward to his second.

It came out last week, and it's called Bookshops & Bonedust. I'm happy to report I enjoyed it even more than the first, and it also has one of my favorite fictional characters ever (Satchel).

What makes Travis's writing special, to me, is that it's frictionless. Nothing ever gets in the way of your absorption in the story. Page after page turn with nothing to stop you, nothing to take you out of its world. It's a rare quality for a writer to have.

Do yourself a favor and have a look. Oh, and you don't have to believe just me. Travis won Best New Writer at the Hugo Awards and Legends & Lattes was a runner-up for Best Novel.

I expect him to win a Grammy next, or maybe an Academy Award, because these books are definitely going to optioned for films.

Good guys win. Again.

Thursday, November 09, 2023

Friday Links!

Leading off this week, a lovely bit of the past: “I cannot wait to possess you”: Reading 18th-century letters for the first time.

This is terrific (and a 16-year-old boy had the idea!): Document: The Symbolism Survey.

From Wally, and wow, what a read: Erewhon’s Secrets: In the 1960s, two macrobiotic enthusiasts started a health-food sect beloved by hippies. Now it’s the most culty grocer in L.A.

From C. Lee, and even the dictionary is a Hanshin Tigers fan: Bilingual dictionary can’t hide its love for Hanshin Tigers. An odd topic, perhaps, but a fascinating read: No Fap: A Cultural History of Anti-Masturbation. This is a remarkable possibility: A Personalized Brain Implant Curbed a Woman’s OCD. This is obviously a cluster: How Microsoft is making a mess of the news after replacing staff with AI. An excellent read: Freedom without justice. I expect better from Consumer Reports: Despite spooky Consumer Reports’ testing, metals in chocolates aren’t scary. My favorite Studio Ghibli movie: The Secret Behind the Mysterious Girl in ‘My Neighbor Totoro’ Posters. This is so disappointing: Video game preservation: Is the industry torching its own legacy?

Things I Like

I've been fortunate to see some terrific movies in the last week that you might enjoy seeing. All the links are to the IMDb page where you can see trailers.

The first is an adaptation of a Murakami short story, and it's titled Drive My Car. It was nominated for four Academy awards and won one, and was also the first Japanese film ever nominated in the Best Picture category. 

It's one of the most immaculately constructed films I've ever seen. It's also incredibly beautiful. It's one of my ten favorite films of all-time (and might be in the top five).

The second film is titled El Conde (the trailer is in Spanish, but I recommend the English audio because it's fantastic), and it's based on the entirely bizarre premise that Pinochet was a vampire, and present-day Pinochet is now 250 years old. It's a black comedy to the extreme, and I know it sounds ridiculous, but it's brilliantly written and acted, and beautifully filmed in black and white. It's funny and gory and incredibly striking.

The third film is Koshien: Japan's Field of Dreams, and it's a documentary on Summer Koshien, the  legendary Japanese high school baseball tournament with over 3,500 teams competing. It's both a tremendous baseball film and a fascinating look into Japanese culture.

Wednesday, November 08, 2023

Nippon Series Game 7

Orix was starting their second best pitcher, Hiroya Miyagi, who had a scoreless streak of over 17 innings when the game started.

Over 12,000 Hanshin fans showed up at Koshien (where they opened part of the stadium) to watch the game on the big screen. The tickets sold out in 5 minutes.

The game was scoreless after three innings, and the tension was thick. 

In the top of the fourth, MLB journeyman Sheldon Neuse came to the plate for Hanshin with two men on base. He was batting under .200 for the series.

Out of nowhere, he hit a home run into the left-field stands. Just like that, Hanshin was up 3-0.

They added 3 more runs in the fifth, to go up 6-0. I kept waiting for Orix's comeback, but there wasn't one. 

Final score: Hanshin 7, Orix 1.

It was their first championship since 1985, ending the third-longest drought in NPB history. It ended the Curse of the Colonel, too. 


In 1985, a Tigers fan threw a statue of Colonel Sanders into the Dotonbori River, and the resulting "curse" was blamed for Hanshin's lack of success since then. Now the curse was over, and in a hilarious touch, a Tiger's fan dressed like Colonel Sanders jumped into the Dotonbori River during the celebration.

Well-played, sir. No notes.

I feel incredibly lucky to have missed 37 years and 10 months of a 38-year drought while still getting to enjoy the championship. And I'm happy for the bartender in Kyoto, who is probably still celebrating.

Tuesday, November 07, 2023

Nippon Series Games 5 and 6

The series was tied 2-2 going into Game 5, and games 6 and 7 would be at Orix, so Hanshin really needed to win this game.

For a long time, it went just like Game 4. In the seventh inning, down 1-0, Hanshin had a stunning series of blunders. With a runner on first and two outs, a routine ground ball skipped off the second baseman's glove and into right field. When the right fielder sprinted in to stop the runner from going home, the ball slipped out of his hand, and the runner scored.

Disaster! Orix led 2-0.

Nerves were getting to everyone, really. Those were the and third errors of the game for Hanshin, and four of their batters had struck out with runners on third earlier in the game.

Bottom of the eight, and Orix brought in a reliever who hadn't given up a single run during the postseason. 

The first batter hit a high hopper to the second baseman, who threw it five feet over the first baseman's head. I guess Hanshin wasn't the only nervous team. It was even more unusual in that players in the NPB are generally better fielders than their American counterparts.

With a runner on first, the next two batters both hit weak balls that somehow dropped in for singles. 2-1 and runners on first and third.

It was at this point I saw something in baseball I've never seen before.

The outfielder who'd dropped the ball in the 7th came up to bat. On a 2-2 count, he was totally fooled by a change-up, but somehow, he slowed his swing in half as he swung forward and managed to foul it off. It was impossible, and yet he did it.

The next pitch was down at his ankles, and he golfed it into the gap for a bases-clearing triple. 3-2, Hanshin. 

The reliever had tears in his eyes on the mound, which is something else I've never seen before.

It was a disaster in slow motion for Orix, and by the time the inning ended, they were down 6-2, and that's how the game ended. 


This is a brief summary, because the Orix pitcher was Yoshinobu Yamamoto, the NPBs best pitcher, who will be the subject of a bidding war by MLB clubs in the off-season and will be a #1 starter in the U.S. next year. He was spectacular, throwing a 139-pitch complete game (pitchers are managed differently in Japan) with 14 strikeouts. 

Final score: Orix 5, Hanshin 1.

It would all come down to Game 7. 

Monday, November 06, 2023


Eli 22.3 had a game Saturday night against The Rival Who Must Not Be Named But Starts With A 'C.' It was a home game, and the arena was packed.

His team was outshot 59-11. 

It doesn't matter how many shots the other team gets if they can't score, though, and they didn't.

He said it was the best game he'd ever played. There were multiple breakaways, including three 2-on-0s, and it just didn't matter. 

Winning against their arch-rival made it even better. 

Nippon Series Game 4

When I left you on Thursday, Game Four was tied 3-3 after seven innings, and since Hanshin was already down 2-1 in games, a loss would put them at a 3-1 disadvantage and essentially end their chances. 

In the bottom of the ninth, the Orix pitcher walked a batter, who went to second a few on a wild pitch to the next batter, who then struck out. 

One out. 

On a 2-2 count, the Orix pitcher threw another wild pitch, and the runner advanced to third. The count was 3-2, the Orix pitcher had zero control over his slider and not much more over his fastball, and there were almost infinite possibilities. 

Except for what actually happened.

Orix manager Satoshi Nakajima came out of the dugout and instructed the pitcher to intentionally walk the batter at the plate (on a 3-2 count!), then intentionally walk the next batter as well to load the bases.

In theory, this set up the possibility of a double play to end the inning. In practice, it was bonkers.

With the infield in, the next batter grounded a ball past the shortstop and Hanshin scored to win 4-3.

In the Reddit NPB group, one commenter said "It's the most Nakajima thing Nakajima has ever done."

Series tied 2-2, and I'll talk about Game Five, which was even more dramatic.

Thursday, November 02, 2023

Friday Links!

Leading off this week, and gee, what a shocker: People who believe in "manifesting" to "cosmically attract" success are more likely to go bankrupt, science shows.

This is very ugly, and why it's hard to buy anything EA makes these days: Meet the men hiding their FIFA Ultimate Team addiction from their families.

This was stunning, and reminds me of when I was a kid, when Celia went onshore at Houston at 75MPH, backed out, and strengthened to 135MPH in ten hours as it went down the coast and smacked us in the mouth: Trying to make sense of why Otis exploded en route to Acapulco this week.

From Wally, and it's quite fun: Rush E Animation. An excellent read: A Crash Course on Malaysia's National Condiment: Sambal. This is clever and funny, and I wonder how long it will work: Electronic wolves with glowing red eyes watch over Japanese landscapes. The striking thing about this article is how many of these people are still in totally speculative assets in some form: The People Who Lost Serious Cash on NFTs.

From C. Lee, and it's an excellent watch: The Mind Behind Windows: Dave Cutler. This is a terrific read: The Beauty Who Created the Beast. A bite of history: We Have the Salvation Army to Thank for the Hipster Doughnut. This is fantastic (and dense): A New Generation of Mathematicians Pushes Prime Number Barriers. From the impeccable history, The Digital Antiquarian: A Digital Pornutopia, Part 1: The Seedy-ROM Revolution. This is fascinating: In the Mouth of Sadness: On the Erotic Bummer. These are lovely: The Best Japanese Love Haiku to Read to Your Valentine.


It's not often that something entirely new happens to me (since I was born in 1961), but it did this morning. 

I had a strange night last night. Multiple wake-ups, not really sleeping soundly, lots of dreams. The last one I remember is going back to college to teach a writing class, seemingly only a few years after I graduated, and wanting to look up an art professor I'd had a crush on (there was no art professor I had a crush on in real-life). 

It felt like this dream went on for quite a while, and when I woke up, it didn't feel like I was waking up to myself. It still felt like the dream was my real life, and I had somehow been detached from it by waking up. 

It's something I've never felt for more than a few seconds. This time, though, it lasted for over an hour, this feeling that I was experiencing a life that wasn't mine. It was incredibly powerful, and incredibly strange.

Wednesday, November 01, 2023


Here's the final product:

Total time invested: one hour. It's surprisingly hard to write on a t-shirt smoothly. 

First Impressions

It's the eighth inning of game four, and for some reason, this game is on a different network. 

Remember all those things I said about presentation yesterday? Not on this network. This must be the ESPN of Japan--there's crap all over the screen, the announcers never shut up, and there are 3 minutes of commercials between half-innings. 

Even in Japanese, it all seems very familiar. 

I noticed something else this morning, and that's bunting. Bunting to advance a runner from first to second is still done all the time (it's almost never done in the U.S. anymore). 

The Tigers are in a tough spot: down 2-1 in games and tied 3-3 in game four. If they lose this game, it's going to be almost impossible for them to come back.

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