Initially, Monday-into-Tuesday's dream started as an immersive VR video game. Rather standard war-type shoot-em-up in a jungle sort of forest. I believe it was the demo walk-through of a beta test, since I had someone explaining the details of the game to me. For example, the voice-over referred to "rounds" and "cartridges" as things one could shoot; the "rounds" only came in three or so types and were fairly standard actual rounds, while the "cartridges" were smaller caliber and tended to be special effect rounds (EG: incindiary, tracer, et cetera) of about a half-dozen types. I noticed that the "What is this thing?" feature (a bit like Navi from Ocarina of Time) was missing some data while testing out how various aircraft worked, so I started to add to that and fill in blank fields.

Somehow, this led to my working on an encyclopedia of everything, which looked like a bound humming mass of glowing transluscent plastic pages, with the 11th and 10th Doctors (yes, from Doctor Who) helping. Each time it was boosted (I guess it was the encyclopedia compiling the data or something?) the glowing shifted a few notches up the spectrum. When it hit red-to-purple, the hum would go up in pitch (sort of like it was showing the octave of the spectrum?) before it continued through the color wrap-around. We had to stop at one point, because enough stuff was going on in reality (no clue if this encyclopedia was for the game's virtual reality or for the actual factual universe itself) that the encyclopedia couldn't catch up with what was happening: an information singularity, as it were. I seem to recall that we had the choice to keep adding data (which would pre-determine future events), or just let it auto-update on its own from there on out. The three of us (me, the Doctor, and the Doctor) went with the latter option, so I went back to the game.

In there, there was a family in the [something. In my notes, it looks like I wrote 'wildleaf'] of the game, hunting snakes. The patriarch of the family had taken to skinning snakes and making animate gloves out of them, with multiple heads from one type of snake attached to a single body of the same type of snake, per finger -- imagine a taxidermed animate rattlesnake hydra on one finger, taxidermed animate asp hydra on another, et cetera. A very very large black snake ("v.v.large" to the tune of "about as big around as a VW Bug") apparently took umbrage with this fashion choice and started to attack us, eating some of the family. There was a school nearby, possibly based around Badger Road Elementary School (where I went from Kindergarten to 4th grade), that I took refuge in. The ends of the building were the admin offices, like anchor stores in a mall, and could be closed off far easier than the classroom halls could, so I tried to fortify & snake-proof the building from one end, until the mega-snake had trashed enough that I had to dash across the building and continue fending off the seige from the other end.

If You Let It Be, Nothing Will Change

If you would say you're rather familiar with the Beatles, but by no means an obsessive fan of the Beatles, take the time to listen to this song for a bit.

...ring any bells?

That's not a rhetorical question, actually. I'd like Yes/No answers (and this should propagate from LJ to Twitter, FB, and Tumblr, so it should hit a fairly large audience).

In talking with folks about the Aimee Mann & Michael Penn cover of this song, I've been rather surprised at the number of folks who had no clue what song I was talking about, and the smaller (but still oddly, to me, common) number of folks who heard the cover itself and didn't know immediately that it was a Beatles song.

If it was "I Dig a Pony" or "You Know My Name; Look Up My Number", I could understand. But this?
Red Shoes

For "Special" Occasions

Person 1: "Funny as in, 'ha ha'?"
Person 2: [sobbing] Oh God, I wish it was. I... I didn't know rabbits could make that noise. Over and over again...
  • Current Music
    "Four Dreams" - Jesca Hoop
Doctor Faraday

Like a Magnet to a Flame

The other week I was down by the Bangor waterfront and was walking around the funky retractable docks they have set out for boats. Along each corner of the gangplanks were caged bulbs, that they apparently leave on all night long. This obviously led to a slew of entrepreneurial spiders setting up shop, so as to snag bugs lured in by the lights (as one often sees around, oh... my porch?)

Before too long, I got to wondering if anyone has tried to scope out what effects the industrial age (or more importantly, the "Us keeping artificial lights on all night long" age) has had on spiders. I mean, before we started setting up little lights all over the place, with things that'd keep photophillic bugs from just taking a kamikaze dive, spiders must have been hard-pressed to snag things after dark; most light-attracted bugs would just make a bee-line (well, a moth-line) for the moon, the reflection of the moon on water, or the rare forest fire, none of which are really things a spider can set up webbing around (unless they're from Leng).

I'd think a century or so of shielded gaslights, lights behind glass windows, and bulb-type lights would be enough time for some sort of change, however minor, to start to crop up, in population-count or behavior, at least.
  • Current Music
    "There'll Be Some Changes Made" - Les Paul & Mary Ford
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Telephonic QR

Gimp My Ride

Anyone out there really really familiar with Gimp?

A thing that I occasionally wish I could do, by way of some Script-Fu Add-On sort of affair, is to select a particular region, then click a thing that makes it select everything of the color(s) that's in that region.

This way, let's say I have a picture of a field of roses and I want to do something funky with the flower blossoms. Instead of continually selecting this color, plus that color, plus this other color, et cetera, of the various blooms, I can "just" select one flower and then... *click* ...have it select everything of those various shades of red.

Is there such a thing out there, or do I have to stick with doing it 'long-hand'?
  • Current Music
    "Heaven" -- Eleanor Friedberger
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Smile for the Birdie

In the last few months, there have been a number of instances of someone (someones?) wheatpasting up pigeons around downtown. If you've been following me on Facebook or Google+, you've been hearing about this at least once a week, but for those who haven't, here's an album of them (that I update and mark on the Gmap as I find them).

Late July, a reporter from the Bangor Daily News contacted me on Facebook to see what I had to say about them (since before the person started their own FB page, I seemed to be the primary documenting person on them):

Around early July was when I first noticed the two pairs of wheatpasted gulls, and at the time I presumed they were an art installation that the people who maintain that little alley-garden on Central street had commissioned. But then Gibran Graham of BangPop posted a picture of one of the "I <3 BGR" pigeons a week or two later, which prompted me to try to find it, which led to me noticing a few of them around town: the yarmulke-wearing one in front of Bagel Central, the sombrero-wearing one in front of Coco Loco, the one in front of the Court building on Hammond, et cetera. This seemed like a pretty good hint that it wasn't a commissioned work, since the owners of many of those establishments seemed to be surprised and pleased with them being there. There's even been requests for them, with someone at KahBang wanting one by their office headquarters.

So far, I've only heard folks say either positive things about them, or fairly neutral things about them (generally with those folks wondering why someone would go to the effort). As far as I know, the only wheatpasted pigeon that's been removed so far was the one in front of the Youth Correctional Offices on Franklin; my guess is that they probably found that one a little too blatant, since it was right in the doorway.

I consider it a very charming sort of street art since, if done correctly like in the style of Toulouse-Lautrec's street posters, it doesn't damage the surface it was applied to, can be easily removed, and will eventually biodegrade on its own. Charming enough that I thought I'd publicly show support by posting a message in The Edge. I've even heard other folks show indirect support by talking about similar projects like yarn-bombing and Toynbee tiles.

If I had any concerns about this, it would be similar to how one is more likely to have a rock thrown through a window in an abandoned building, if a window was already broken. Just like how this wheatpasting can lead to other folks doing similar creative street art projects, I do believe it could also lead some to spraypaint inane scrawls randomly, leading to street-art just being given a bad name. But much like how any representation of superheros in mass media will lead to a small number of misguided viewers jumping off roofs with bath-towels tied around their necks as impromptu capes in attempts to fly, I think it's an acceptable risk in the name of progressive art.
Mad Love

Maybe Market Cafe Mystery

Market Café
4 Free Street
Old Town, Maine

Good day,

I realize that this must sound very strange, but it’s about the least-strange way I could work out. The other week (probably the 5th or 6th of this month), I was in The Big Easy (in downtown Bangor, connected to the Charles Inn) and someone else who was there said she was quite sure she recognized me. She also looked vaguely familiar to me, but neither of us could work out how. In trying to sort it out, I mentioned that I worked at the Luna Bar & Grill, and she replied that her father had mixed reviews of the place based on personal experience. She mentioned that she had lived in New York for quite a while, and I mentioned that I had been there, but it was for less than a week and was years ago.

In thinking about it later on, I realized that this mystery person may have waited on I and a friend of mine when we went to the Market Café a couple of months ago. Obviously, I can’t be sure, but this long-shot was about the only guess I had.

Thank you for your time and patience,

William D. Young

42 Winter Street
Bangor, ME

It's almost like the original encounter was designed to haunt me until I worked it out.
  • Current Music
    "Reno Dakota" - Magnetic Fields
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The Bear Went Over the Mountain

Last night's dream partially involved me walking through the woods. I heard a sound and/or smelled a smell that let me know that something horrible was in the nearby area, so I was carefully looking through the trees.

Up on a hillside, this beast came into view (a beast that I has earlier recognized the sound or smell of). It basically looked like a black Standard Poodle (what with the wooly fur and all), but with little to no head, and all the joints in the legs seemed to be full-rotation ball & socket joints. I don't know how large it was supposed to be, but my dream memories told me that, "This is a species of animal that, on the food chain, is a predator to bears". Around the time that I saw it, it saw me and started to circle down the hillside towards some concealing foliage.

Really wish I remembered how it turned out.
  • Current Music
    "Owl's Head Park" -- Eleanor Friedberg
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Doctor Peabody

Let's Kill Hitler!

Something that comes up somewhat often in time-travel works of speculative fiction is the whole "changing the past" thing. Recently, in Doctor Who, the whole predestination paradox (or as I like to call it, 'circular causality') thing has been cropping up quite a bit. Technically, it happens just about any time anyone goes back and tries to make sure history works out the way they remember it to be -- they're operating on memories of the corrected past, even though at the time, the non-corrected past is the subjectively 'proper' past.

Recently, in watching Rocky & Bullwinkle on Hulu, this even comes up in Mr. Peabody's Improbable History. In the first episode, Peabody and his boy go back in time and realize it's not very fun, since they can't change anything. So, they pop back to the present and re-adjust the Wayback Machine so instead of taking them to the past that was (and thus, immutable), it takes them to the past that could have been (which is a pretty cool way to introduce the Everett Many-Worlds Theory to folks).

Which, of course could lead to the fun of someone from a different time-line hopping to the 'proper' time-line and trying to make sure things work out the way they remember them to be.

Yes, it was this that prompted me making this Userpic

A Repo Man is Always Intense

Odd sight on my way home from work, tonight.

...about six of them, with consecutive temporary license plates, lined up in the YMCA parking lot (facing Court Street).

No clue.
  • Current Music
    "I'll Follow You Into the Dark" -- Death Cab for Cutie