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10/01 Direct Link
ACTION, ACTION He's my favourite action figure of all time and I still have it. It still exists. It's not dead yet. All the parts move, from head to foot. Even the fingers move, individually and joint-by-joint and everything. It's a marvel of very old technologies, some of which are German engineering. Can I say I adore it? Would that be a proper thing to say? Is it a graven image, do I confuse it with something greater? It moves with Grace. But I can't hold it in my hand; for my hand is the hand of my action figure.
10/02 Direct Link
If I was to draw a sketch of you, where would you like me to start?

I'm no drawer, so I could start anywhere at all; I could start without a single idea how to do it.

Should I start at the centre, should I start with your heart?
Should I start at your feet, with the ground, a green tree behind?
Why don't I do the tough bits first?, why not start with a stick?
How else to do it?, I know it can't be any of the ways I've mentioned.

Because I know nothing about you but eyes.
10/03 Direct Link
We established 1g. and we had time--plenty of time--to think about who we were and what we were doing. We saw the planet get smaller. We were getting further, faster. An algorhythmic chronometer told us their accelerated time. Ten thousand years their time passed in three weeks our time.

We took to painting what we remembered. The pictures showed a green world. We didn't know the accuracy of our colours. Yet we painted. We knew figures, but: what did a mountain look like? waves on the shore? Our paintings grew grotesque, which may have been the whole point.
10/04 Direct Link
WHERE WAS HE?
At the Brass Taps, second booth from the door.
WHAT WAS ON THE TABLE OF THE BOOTH?
A pint of I.P.A, a coaster, a notebook, a short pencil, and a book.
WHAT WAS THE BOOK?
The book was Products of the Perfected Civilization.
WAS THE BOOK OPEN?
Yes.
TO WHAT PAGE?
To page 186.
WHAT DID HE DO NEXT?
He took up his pencil and made marks in the margin beside an maxim.
WHICH?
'In the arts, and in fact in many things, one really knows only what one has never learned.'
WHAT WERE THE MARKS?
'!!!'
10/05 Direct Link
WHERE WAS HE?
At the Brass Taps, second booth from the door.
WHAT WAS ON THE TABLE OF THE BOOTH?
A pint of I.P.A, a coaster, a notebook, a short pencil, and a book.
WHAT WAS THE BOOK?
The book was Products of the Perfected Civilization.
WAS THE BOOK OPEN?
Yes.
TO WHAT PAGE?
To page 186.
WHAT DID HE DO NEXT?
He took up his pencil and made marks in the margin beside an maxim.
WHICH?
'In the arts, and in fact in many things, one really knows only what one has never learned.'
WHAT WERE THE MARKS?
'!!!'
10/06 Direct Link
PHAROAH: I'm getting old. I'm almost fourteen already. I want to make something big.
FIRST SYCOPHANT: How about making a very large meal, sire?
PHAROAH: No, you fool. I'm talking about architecture.
SECOND SYCOPHANT: Oh, like a mansion.
PHAROAH: I already have a mansion. Idiots, I'm surrounded by idiots.
THIRD SYCOPHANT: An apartment building?
PHAROAH: You're not understanding me. It can't be practical. I want a monument to ... nothing, really.
FOURTH SYCOPHANT: What about a pyramid?
PHAROAH: What?
FOURTH SYCOPHANT: A big useless pyramid. Get buried in it.
PHAROAH: That is brilliant. A tribute to my uselessness.... Here's a nickel.
10/07 Direct Link
Naturally the Art Gallery of Ontario put together an exhibit of some of my Mead notebook pages.

Pages such as

"The order of
things
(Dedicated to the
Eames)
nothing
atom
me
nothing."

and

"Strange, but I
always see people
muttering, muttering
away. One, two, of
three a day;"

I went to the opening of the exhibit. They were all nicely framed. Very nice. I had arrived! Then I noticed something strange.

I went to the curator and pulled him aside.

"I don't want you to tell you your business, but ... you've hung them all upside down. But it's okay."
10/08 Direct Link
Jones wanted a simpler life so he designed and built himself two tents. One was black and cylindrical. The other was white and cubical. Each could conveniently fit inside the other, no disassembly required. In the tents he put his stuff. The stuff that reminded him of a black cylinder he put in the black tent and the stuff that reminded him of a white cube he put in the white tent. (And there was still room for each other tent.) He couldn't believe it was so simple. Jones simply made a simpler life for himself. He loved his tents!
10/09 Direct Link
MY RING TONE


Maybe I made this myself.

-Hey you. Someone has contacted me through a cell phone tower. It seems this person--if person it is--wants me to communicate something to you. Tell you what. Press that button there and I'll make my ear speaker transmit a whole bunch of the message to you. Not everything, but a whole lot. (I am designed to lose some information.) And I'll take your words and transfer them into a digital signal and send that signal to a cell tower. (Then it's out of my hands.) Just press my little button.A
10/10 Direct Link
SHE PICKED UP a guitar for the first time in her life and in 2:58 she had a hit record that sold like hotcakes. She went on a world tour with The Beatles after resurrecting the dead ones. But no-one wanted to hear that old stuff; they wanted to hear "2:58." So she played "2:58" again and again and The Beatles broke up again and the formerly dead guys died again. No-one could match her. Everyone loved the song, and everyone loved her, too. She never made a penny, but she sang her song anyway, and she was vastly loved.
10/11 Direct Link
MAKING A SANDWICH, ALMOST EVERY DAY

Open out in a 2x2 square
-four slices of bread
Onto each slice smear
-margarine
Onto two of the four slices place
-one slice No-Name brand processed Swiss chess
Pile on
-the Piller's pastami, as much as desired
Onto the two remaining margarined slices smear
-French's mustard
And close 'em up and stack 'em.
Then take a page from
-The business section of the Globe
Wrap 'em, put 'em in a plastic bag.

This reminds me of something else I do nearly every day, but I can't for the life of me remember what....
10/12 Direct Link
MAKING MONEY

I went into Starbucks again today.

I ordered as close to an ordinary coffee as I could.

Inconspicuously.

He said, "That'll be $3.89."

I shuffled through my wallet and found a $3.89 bill, right between two $3.88s and three $3.90s.

"Here you go."

He looked at it. "Never seen one of these before."

"It's a special issue. Don't worry about it."

"Okay, then. Enjoy your coffee."

Outside I thought about printing up some more $3.89s.

I thought of something.

Tomorrow I'll tell them the cash register is wrong. The coffee's actually $0.00. And the customer is always right.
10/13 Direct Link
on the making of THE BOOK OF SIR THOMAS MORE

It's a collaboration: Munday, Chettle, Tilney, Hand C, Dekker, Heywood and Shakespeare. Working on the text in different capacities they made a text meant for production but probably never produced until a few years ago. It seems that collaboration can work--up to a point. The collaborators perhaps sensed it would be a flop; or they sensed they'd wind up in prison for vaguely calling their monarch's father a murderer.

P.S. Just as British North America had to expulse the traitorous Acadians, Henry VIII had to execute the traitorous More.
10/14 Direct Link
CONTRA PREV.

My mother took my big sister and me to the fair. She gave us each five dollars. She said, "I suggest you pool your limited resources and get something for ten dollars."

We agreed and off we went.

I saw a nifty little mechanical--computerized--doggy that cost $4.75. I wanted it--I want to see how it was made.

My sister saw a game involving little coloured balls. $9:50.

"We have to do what mom said."

Because she was bigger, I had to agree.

The game busted first time we played it.

If I'd gotten that dog....
10/15 Direct Link
Bern 1623. A university-trained humanist known solely as Nikolas developed a new method of investigation. Based on recently discovered mystical medieval texts by Percepius of Nicea, Nikolas would spend whole days doing what he called, "Making In," meaning a praxis of complete self-absorbtion to the innermost core of his being. All else faded away; he communicated with the Godhead through heart and lungs.

Finally he wife Dierdre had had enough. She came into his lab one day and cried, "Alright, Nikolas. That's enough of your making in. How about some 'making out' for a change?"

Thus was the term invented.
10/16 Direct Link
1. Check to see you have all parts. (Fig. 1)
2. Attach parts 3-8 according to Fig. 2.
3. Bring lightly salted water to a boil.
4. Fold along perforations 72 and 76.
5. Check to see all parts rotate freely.
6. Consult Appendix 2 for complete discography.
7. Paint, with enclosed paints, all non-metal parts.
8. Add garlic. Be careful not to burn.
9. Wait 6-8 weeks for delivery.
A. Like this. Go to the next step.
B. Indicate your preference.
C. Glue all extra parts to existing parts.
D. Can and cellar.
E. Consult doctor if condition persists.
10/17 Direct Link
building plans

it wouldn't be too difficult to devote one per cent to creating something of a hundred by hundred matrix. it would take a little over three months to do. it could be 10! x 9! ... x 2. which has a lot of possibilities. but maybe my favourite fibonacci. 0 1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 34 which adds up to 88. making something of a triangle rather than a square. Life: A User's Manual's been done. i won't have the space for the knight's tour. hmmm. it's the sum of the first nine prime numbers....
10/18 Direct Link
MAKING TROUBLE!

I got a second and third phone call from a Vancouver collection agency at work today. The first call was two days ago. They think I'm someone named John Lapin or Lappin. "I've never lived in Etobicoke," I said in response to a question of theirs.

Today I got another call. I refused to verify my birthday. "You tell me," I said. Confidentiality etc. "I'm not telling you anything!"

Then there was a third call, a robo-call. Asking me to press one, or call xxx-xxx-xxxx.

I'm thinking of Ebola Monkey Man.

This time-waster could go on for months.

10/19 Direct Link
Manufacturing Goods and Bads

There was once a boy gamete that went in search of a girl gamete. He searched and searched. His brothers died like dogs around him; yet he persisted. Was it his fate? was something 'written in the stars'? who knows? Anyway, one non-idiomatic minute he came across her, the girl of his dreams. What a looker! (though kind of lazy). He entered her without even wiping his feet and made himself at home. They were so happy together they couldn't conceive being apart. (How's that for a complicated pun?) Out they fell, and there was me.
10/20 Direct Link
LIARS' POKER AI DESIGN

The AI would recognize the hand and choose cards and a higher hand according to an equation of likelihoods. A small amount of chance would be built into it. The process repeats until the game ends; the resulting relationship between the statement and the truth would be absorbed into the equations. With two AIs playing against each other, solid tables of possibilities would be created heuristically. Of course the AI would be allowed to card-count. That would be unavoidable. Playing against the computer would be difficult but not impossible.

Now there's just the coding to do.
10/21 Direct Link
The Unmade Man (I)

Naw, iddain't jus' for us guys, us wops. Look, don' you wanna beautiful house 'n' a beautiful wife? Alls ya do's ya gotta get wit' the programme, Jack, starcha small, li'l' jobs, gotta see ya hustle. But I dunno, maybe you wanna be a schuckputzloser the rest a your life, izzat it? Alls you see I got, this could be yours! Is just a li'l' thing, won' hurt much, you'll see. Then you'll be made, you'll be a wiseguy like me! O man, you'll get alla these t'ings inna day! Lemme tell ya 'bout the procedure.
10/22 Direct Link
The Unmade Man (II)

You jus' lie back on the table, see? shirt up, pants undone. The this guy I know cleans yer navel 'n' round theres. An' he takes his knives 'n' he cuts in this cone-like way 'round yer bellybutton (Nik the Grik calls it the mom-phallos, sez it's the oldest pun he knows), cuts the fucker right out, all clean 'n' neat. An' it's replaced with this lead stuff. You get stitched all up, couple months it's all filled around, clean as a bell. Then yer made, yer complete! One a us! Best thing you'll ever do.
10/23 Direct Link
Hey pal take a look at this. See that signature? That's right. Constantine. As in Emperor Constantine. It's his signature. He signed this. Look what it gives me. It means I have possession of the entire Indies, both East and West. No, I had no idea, no, I don't know how he knew I was to come. But gosh don't I have a lot now? The ink? Well, I guess the Egyptians invented the ink. Sure, it does look like ballpoint. What are you accusing me of? Hey! Come back! He donated it to me! To me! (Damn. Worked before.)
10/24 Direct Link
Dear mother,

Hello from the new world! I guess you're wondering how I've been all this time; I've just got a couple minutes to write this.

I met a woman here; a woman from the old country. We're married now! Too bad you missed the wedding.

We have three children: Janice, Hubert, and Stanley. They're all well. Janice and Stanley are married, Janice has two kids, Stanley has four. Gets confusing sometimes!

My job went well: forty-five years lawyering. Seven years of school paid off.

My wife and I are retired now. Tomorrow's my 89th birthday.

Love to you all,
10/25 Direct Link
A DREAM

Mary and I were in an airplane on our way to a place called something like Thomasil. (We couldn't find it in the atlas we had.) The stewardess--by coincidence Mary's sister--kept giving us cans of beer. We landed and went into 274 Arden Drive, which seemed at first empty. The television was on and, even though the images didn't match the sound, showing the same car crash over and over to a Beatles song. I said to Mary, "Where'd the cat go?"

(I had to make this one up. I haven't been remembering any dreams recently.)
10/26 Direct Link
...another day in the makery...

Never stops.

Got a call for a sonnet about death through love.

Again? Well, fine.

There it was.

Will it be appreciated?

Who knows?

Someone needs a house! Okay then. I built a house. Three storeys. Light green exterior. Hffffff.

Another sonnet? Jesus, what's with these trends?

Lunch. Two sandwiches. A smoke. Then, bored, back to it.

Order for a string quartet and an overpass awaiting me. As I was building the overpass another call, a major motion picture. Done and done.

Here's your quartet.

Thanks.


A lull. Something else.

Then home again. Until tomorrow.
10/27 Direct Link
Napoleon Bonaparte cleared away the chairs and the end-table and spread out onto the floor his big map of Africa. Then he took out his thinnest pencil and his longest straightedge.

He chose to start at the equator. (Why not?) A horizontal line he drew, then a vertical line at 20 degrees east.

Very carefully he covered the map with squares, each one hundred acres big. 74,679,027 squares altogether, with a sliver left over.

This would be his patrimony; this would be his gift to France.

He envisioned adminstrative centres, and swimming pools for all.

It was like that, almost.
10/28 Direct Link
WE'VE TRIED EVERYTHING. AND NOTHING WORKS.


The crew rushed into Captain Jones' room. "Quick, captain!" they yelled. "If you don't do something, the ship is going to explode!"

Captain Jones rubbed his chin. "What's the problem?"

"The antripsiocapacitor! It's off the scale!"

"The antripsiocapacitor, eh? Heh. That is serious."

He rushed, the crew following fast, into the engine room. Yes: the antripsiocapacitor was off the scale.

Jones said, "Get me one litre of carbonized sepsiomellanatonia and a rubber band."

Hurriedly these items gathered.

"Stand back. This is delicate. Did I ever tell you about the time--"

The ship exploded.
10/29 Direct Link
Well the first thing you have to understand is that it's based on a novel; not an original novel, no, not quite; it's a novel that concerns a particular Venice fresco; no, not some old fresco, it's a new fresco, in a new gallery, it shows some musicians playing; funny you should ask that, you can see the sheet music, it's programme music, it's someone fictional, yes, fictional music by a fictional character, a character from an old radio serial, about a musician, gourmet cook, detective guy; but he only cooks stuff he sees in Midwest diners, on their placemats.
10/30 Direct Link
WE'VE TRIED EVERYTHING. AND NOTHING WORKS.


The crew rushed into Captain Jones' room. "Quick, captain!" they yelled. "If you don't do something, the ship is going to explode!"

Captain Jones rubbed his chin. "What's the problem?"

"The antripsiocapacitor! It's off the scale!"

"The antripsiocapacitor, eh? Heh. That is serious."

He rushed, the crew following fast, into the engine room. Yes: the antripsiocapacitor was off the scale.

Jones said, "Get me one litre of carbonized sepsiomellanatonia and a rubber band."

Hurriedly these items gathered.

"Stand back. This is delicate. Did I ever tell you about the time--"

The ship exploded.
10/31 Direct Link
ACTION, ACTION (RE-MAKE)

A little man in my head--with my features exactly--drives my action figure.

Exactly as my little man moves his hand, my hand moves. He has an environment--and it looks like mine. The same people, the same job, the same hunger.

He thinks like me.

And then there's my little man's little man--who is in his head, making a motion, making my little man move, and making me move.

My little man's little man has a little man of his own; that little man has a little man.

It's homunculi all the way up.