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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?


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...

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.


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'?


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.

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.


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.


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.
Last night's dream partially involved the Beatles all getting together for the first time in a long time, and considering a reunion tour sort of thing.

They were all there: John*, Paul, George**, Janet & Chrissy***.

* Surprisingly alive.
** Also surprisingly alive.
*** Surprisingly, two folks who actually are characters from Three's Company. No, it wasn't Joyce DeWitt and Suzanne Somers; it was Janet and Chrissy. Sorry, Ringo.


Hippolyta's Blues

Dear Amazon -

Downloading the They Might Be Giants pre-release EP would be a whole lot easier if you either allowed one to download the whole thing at once, and/or if you hadn't accidentally named multiple different tracks with the same name. You are made of suck and fail.

Dear iTunes -

You requiring me to open iTunes to change the ID3 tags on the tracks once I've worked out which song is which isn't making life any easier, either. Hate hate hate.

PS: AOL keeps shuffling which album that above linked-link will take you to. Scroll through the album covers until you see the green claw on the white background.



At 4:30 PM, Sunday the 17th, my phone buzzed. I mis-assumed it was my 5:00 "You really should go to work" alarm, so I just opened and closed the phone. Alas, I realized a split-second too late that it was actually an incoming phone call, from 326-2438 (a number that I have no clue about, but apparently their area code, 401, is Rhode Island).

Today, they called back via text message.

[them] 8:20 PM - Hey

[me] 8:33 - Hey. You called the other day, but I thought it was my alarm, so I just opened & closed my phone. Eh, whoops!

[them] 8:33 - I called u

[them] 8:33 - ???

[them] 8:37 - Wats up

[me] 8:38 - Very little! At work.

[them] 8:39 - Ooo u have a job

[me] 8:44 - Yep; Luna Bar & Grill. Been here about eleven years, from when it was the New Moon Café.

[them] 8:45 - Haha neat I do the paper rout, I deliver papers

[them] 8:47 - That's not ver far of where I live

[me] 9:00 - Behind-ish Bangor City Hall, off of where East Market Square was in the late 19th century.

[them] 9:03 - Yep

I still have no clue who this is.


From: Rima (samir_2882@yahoo.com)
Sent: Wed 4/20/11 3:39 PM

1 attachment | Download all attachments (29.3 KB)
DSC_9297.jpg (29.3 KB)

Hello friend!!!!

Be careful and take a moment to my letter!
My name is Rima! The purpose of my letter - it started a dialogue with you!
I want to find a man who made me a happy girl!

I'll look forward to your response. Your new friend Rima!


Gwine Ta

The other day I watched a very short thing involving "Cyberman Coming Back From Pub" (no link; it wasn't all that great), which got me to wondering about Commonwealthy folks dropping the occasional "the" (as often heard when talking about "going to hospital"). About the only times I've heard it dropped in American English is in the phrase "going to ground", when folks "go to church", and "going to bed" might count.

I'd heard tell in the past that it's used when the social rules are changed in the new location (so you wouldn't "get up from the sofa and go to kitchen"), but I think I may have worked up a better notion. Let's say you're Commonwealthy* and heard that Bob has "gone to hospital" - do you imagine Bob has health problems, or do you imagine that Bob is visiting someone with health problems?

My current hypothesis is that you'd imagine the former and if Bob was just visiting his sick aunt, he would have "gone to the hospital"; one would drop the "the" if one is using the service provided by the named location instead of just going to the location (so Bob's aunt had to go to hospital, and when Bob heard about it, he had to go to the hospital. Or Bob went to pub, so Bob's wife had to go to the pub to drive him home).

Oh, and on an unrelated note, I'd meant to post about a dream I had the other week.

In the dream-setting, it was quite standard for "crazy street-folks" to rant about unseen horrors and to collapse/scream in fits now and again. Something had happened to me (I can't recall exactly what it was) and I suddenly could see (a la Stephen King's "Insomnia") a new layer of reality that explained a bit of oddness.

Basically, there were Tim Burton style ghosties & ghoulies & long legg'd beasties stalking about, unseen by most, but plainly visible and solid to crazy folks. The ranting was just them pointing out the (to them) obvious, and the fits were brought about when the monsters would descend upon one of them (much like Abdul Al-Hazred meeting his marketplace demise by being torn apart by invisible demons).

I realized that I should probably pretend I couldn't see them, but then wasn't sure what to feign when it came to physical contact when some kappa-looking thing was walking close to me. Should I allow it to bump up against me and act like I didn't notice? Would the very fact that it could bump up against me be a sign, since they're normally intangible to most folks? How could I best observe the seemingly crazy folks and work out the physics at play here, without giving myself away?

*Do non-UK Commonwealthy folks drop the occasional "the" in this same way?

'Das Kite-Essen Tree' von F. Kafka

For those who hadn't seen it, there's a recent thing manifesting on the world-wide web, called 3eanuts. In some ways comparable to Garfield Minus Garfield, it's Peanuts strips with the last panel removed.

Some folks, like James Ubaniak, really don't care for it. I'm not sure if I actually agree with Mr.U here, though. Obviously Garfield Minus Garfield requires a bit of tweaking to produce (PS: I'm betting it started off with the idea of what Garfield strips would be like if the animals acted like normal animals (IE: With no thought balloons of text), and that idea evolved into just removing the animals, which evolved into just sticking with the Jon & Garfield ones, but now sans chatte), but I do believe that 3eanuts has more value than just the Dadaist angle of cut-up, or at least on par with the non sequitur jokes in untranslated Shin-chan and Andy Warhol's repeating prints.

It's probably not art, but I like it.

Life is Short (and so is this post)

If you live in the US, you probably either recently have or recently shall file your taxes. As such, you probably have a rough idea of your yearly gross income.

So, dear reader, about what percent of your gross income goes towards health insurance (if you don't get job or parent provided health insurance)? About how much towards life insurance?


When Craig's List Attacks

Or more to the point, when folks just don't really "get" the Missed Connections section of Craig's List.

Bangor smoke shop girl.. Airport mall - m4w - 38 (Bangor)

Date: 2011-02-11, 10:54AM EST

Every time I go to the airport mall smoke shop, usually a night on the weekends..theres a girl with a labret, Thin like me who just really excites me. Looks like you might be around 30? Anyway...can never get a minute in there to say more than hi cause its always so busy. Would love to get to know you a lot better. If anyone knows her please let her know about the post or if shes curious as to who thinks shes hot, I can send a pic. Totally chill, non-stalker type lol...just am so intrigued by her and think shes really hot. Thanks

Pretty straightforward and normal for CL's MC sections. The only thing a little odd is that the connection isn't "missed" since she's apparently still around there; if he used to see her around there up until a month/week/whatever ago and was posting this so he could get in touch with her, that'd be a bit more missed (although even then he could just ask at the Smoke Shop, quite frankly. It'd probably require the Smoke Shop to be closed down for it to be truly missed, but I digress...).

A day or so later, this popped up.

RE:BANGOR SMOKE SHOP - 46 (bangor)

Date: 2011-02-12, 1:25PM EST

This is for the guy who wrote about the girl at the bangor smoke shop...I know her and we showed her your add on here and shes pissed that you did that your really creepy dude and actually you are a stalker...how the hell do you think she feels about you exposing her that way nyour a wack and if we figure out who you are your gonna be sorry....stay away from her and the shop ......your a fuckin wacko dude.....

What? What?! (feel free to imagine me saying it like this, since that is how I'm saying it) As I pointed out earlier, the original poster hasn't exactly missed his connection with the labret girl, but nothing really seems to point towards wacko creepy stalker territory, like the replier suggests.

NB: And before anyone asks, no. I didn't even know the Airport Mall had a smoke shop. I think the last time I was even in the Airport Mall was in the late 1990s, hitting Radio Shack.

Oh! And I've been meaning to post about a dream I had last week! Seems there were these things, much like the artifacts in Warehouse 13, the cursed objects in Friday the 13th: The Series, or the Talismans from Jackie Chan Adventures. I seem to recall having a dream-memory of there only being four or five of them, but the dream (section that I remember) started with just one. It was a vaguely mer-maid/-man looking thing, about the size of a tube of Chapstick or SuperGlue. One would give the tail a twist like winding up a wind-up toy, then set it on one's chest. The object would shrink down and become amazingly massive, eventually breaking down through the skin and into the person's chest cavity (you had to be sure not to set it over your sternum or a rib, since that could just end up crushing your chest). Initially, I had the perspective of the person applying this to themselves (PS: It really really hurt, and there was a slew of blood), but then I soon clicked to the perspective of someone researching the case. I want to say the application of the object into one's chest either allowed one to fly or to breathe underwater?

Of course, in trying to recall more about this dream in the following few days, I started to worry that maybe I had something horrible and painful actually go on in my chest while I was asleep, and this was a dream remix of it.


Walking on Air

On my way to work today, I got to thinking about my "I Love the 21st Century" Greatest American Hero spiel. This side-tracked to thinking about a remake (which apparently they're planning, as a film. To quote wikipedia, "A movie based on The Greatest American Hero is scheduled for release in 2012. Owen Wilson, Ben Stiller, and Will Ferrell are all being considered to take on the role of Ralph Hinkley." Shame they can't consider someone that I don't generally loathe - Brendan Fraser would be cool as Ralph!), and I got to wondering, if one absolutely had* to make a new TV series...

1) Should it just be a remake, ignoring the original series?
2) Should it be a sequel, where the suit gets passed on to someone else?

I'd lean more towards the second, since the learning-curve was one of my favorite parts of the show (much like the same curve in early Ben 10, early Heroes, early Primeval, et cetera), but it'd be hard to cover why Ralph would pass the suit on to someone else without teaching them what he's already worked out.


* If you're the sort of person who refuses to think about it since it's just begging the question to say that they would have to re-make it, I'll officially label you as "no fun". I'll give you geek-points for using the proper classic definition of "begging the question", but still... No Fun.


StaffRobot Gets Uppity

Dear StaffRobot,

I'll get right on that, just as soon as you stop asking the agnostic guy about the preferred religion of his hypothetical potential dates, or requesting yes/no answer preferences to questions that are too complex for yes/no answers, or asking if it'd really be a deal breaker if they (quote) ever felt that a song was the main thing that helped them get through a difficult time (unquote).

PS: Dear Match.com,

Now that you've bought up OKCupid, please to be adding the ability to upload pictures right to the on-site journals, so one doesn't have to post elsewhere and hyperlink, as well as adding nested comment functionality.

PPS: I'd really like to know what I've been doing differently in the last two years that knocked my blood-pressure up to the prehypertension/hypertension borderline. My initial armchair theory is the change in venue of my workplace from "Fine Dining" to "Bar & Grill".

Today, on my way to work, I started to have a bit of postcholesystectomy kick in. Nothing odd, happens every few weeks after the surgery.

Man, oh man, by the time I got to work, I could barely talk. Y'ever see or hear when folks are represented as sweating due to intense pain? I always thought that might just be for dramatic effect, but well... yep! It can happen! And what'd doubly worse about such a situation is that it's really hard to explain to folks what's going on, letting them know that there's a 98% chance or so if it being "just pain" that'll go away in an hour, and that it doesn't require anything medical or first aidy.

That's probably the worst part of this post-cholewhoosit -- it goes away within an hour at the longest, so any pain-killers that'd actually kick in would require ones that don't have to work through the digestive tract.

And for some crazy reason, I doubt I could get a prescription to carry around an epi-pen full of morphine, due to a pain that only lasts a few dozen minutes, every few weeks.

Fae Day

I've been watching a fair amount of Lost Girl this last week, and just now there was an episode that featured an odd little board game.

Two folks were sitting on either end of it. One player rolled a 2, started to clear tokens off the board, but the other player said, "Not even a pig steals from a wedding" and put some pieces back. The other player rolled a 12, said, "It's good to be the king" and cleared a slew of pieces off of the board.


At first, I meant to post here to see if anyone knew if this was some actual game, or if it was made up for the show. But then... (dramatic pause) ...I did a little poking around and apparently it is an actual game: Gluckhaus. Surprisingly, their little quips in the show actually made sense in the context of the rules of Gluckhaus.


Holly Likes the "i"s

So I sent Amy K. Brown a text message, seeing if she'd managed to get a replacement driver's license. A short time later, I get a message that I obviously presume is a reply from her.

7:49 PM - Hiiii holly (area code in Rhode Island)

So I reply:

7:57 PM - I suspect you have the wrong number; this is William Young.

7:58 PM - Ha I now ur name person I don't even no so ha

"I know your name, person I don't even know, so 'ha'"? Is that a logical guess at a translation?

Attention: Dear User Of The Internet

From: Mrs. Elizabeth katie (jerry@looksofatlanta.com)
Sent: Tue 2/01/11 2:14 PM

Attention: Dear User Of The Internet

How are you today? We hope this mail meets you in a perfect condition. This is a total cash prize of US {$10,000,000.00} Ten Million US Dollars, given to the first Ten(10) people who will be compensated in this world internet programs.

All participants were selected randomly from World Wide Web site through computer draw system and extracted from over 700.000 companies. We are using this opportunity to thank you for using the internet daily.

Due to your effort, using internet programs indoor and in your office, We want to compensate you and show our gratitude to you with the sum of {$1,000,000.00} One Million US Dollars, we have authorized Mr. Fred Williams to assist you in getting your compensation check across to you.

The name and contact address of Fred Williams is as follows;

Compensation Head Office
Contact Agent: Mr. Fred Williams
E-mail: scottwilliams2011@rogers.com
Tel: +234 802-8642-146

We have instructed Mr. Fred Williams to send your cash prize of $1,000,000.00 US Dollars to you as soon as you contact him without delay. Please we will like you to accept this token with good faith as this is to show our little appreciation for using the internet.

Thanks and God bless you and your family.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Yours Faithfully,

Mrs. Bessel Harris
©2010 World Internet Programs

+234 is the international calling code for Nigeria. Surprise surprise! Who knew the World Internet Programs' head office was in Nigeria?


Cacaua Atl

Intrigued by the idea of "hot chocolate with chili and ginger" (and how much I've liked chocolate chili, chipotle chocolate cake, et cetera), I decided to give it a go. Alas I wasn't provided with measurements for these, so I'm about to take a wild guess and see what comes of it.

1/2 heaping tbsp (~10 ml) cocoa powder
1/2 heaping tbsp powdered sugar
1 tsp (5 ml) ginger (powder)
1 tsp cayenne (powder)

Toss into a coffee mug 1/3 full of half & half, nuke it for a bit, then top it off with h&h (the mug I'm using holds 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) in all). Obviously, milk is probably fine to use; I just don't have any right now.

Ok, you might not want to do this. *ahem*

My guess above is a little heavy on the cayenne. You take a sip, it tastes pretty yummy for the first few moments, but as it goes down your throat it leaves the taste of burning, which lingers for a while.

Next time, I think I'll halve the amount of cayenne. Although note that although it's a little painful to drink, I still finished off the mug.

PS: In washing out the cup, it seems the ginger just stayed together as one big lump at the bottom. So next time, I'm halving both the ginger and the cayenne, and then stirring before heating.