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As if last night’s Letterman wasn’t sad enough with Zevon, shortly
before the show started, we learned that Jam Master Jay had been
killed in Queens, NY. Run DMC was the first rap show I ever saw, with
Public Enemy and DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince opening up. This
was back when it wasn’t 60% white kids in the audience. I doubt there
were 6% white kids there. I went to a black high school for my one
year in Augusta GA and I came out with an appreciation for Run DMC,
UTFO, Kurtis Blow, Whodini, the Fat Boys and all the other groups that
were big circa 1984. I will miss Jay. I saw them at Music Midtown last
year, another performance I’m glad I saw when I could.

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Halloween. Very scary. Still unsure of our plans for tonight. We could
go see Southern Culture on the Skids, or we could go to the show where
local “super groups” of folks from various bands will be playing indie
rock tributes, performing in their entirety the albums “Pinkerton” by
Weezer, “Bucky Fellini” by the Dead Milkmen and “Doolittle” by the
Pixies. The last is one of my favorites of all time, so this is
tempting.

Last night we watched Warren Zevon on the Letterman show. It was
awfully touching. The whole thing was an extended goodbye to someone
who has been important to the show. Dave was noticeably choked up at
several points. We were kind of surprised when Warren started playing
“Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner” with 90 seconds left in the
show, but they allowed the program to run long by a few minutes. You
get the feeling that Letterman just really doesn’t give a shit about
most things in life, but that he has always cared deeply for Zevon,
both the man and his music. I remember a year ago, when all the
buzz on alt.fan.zevon was about the possibility of him doing a band
tour in support of My Ride’s Here. What I wouldn’t
give to have those days back. I’m very glad I saw him when I had the
chance, at the Cotton Club in Atlanta a year or two back. I wish I had
seen him 20 times more, but you take what you can.

I didn’t weblog it yesterday, but it was the 25th anniversary of the
release of “Never Mind the Bollocks.” Who’d have believed that we’d
still be talking about that album now? For those who haven’t seen it,
I highly recommend the documentary The Filth and the
Fury
.

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I got e-mail from the guys in Maogojiatta
about the weblog entry on them a few months
back
. That’s something about the google age – I’m kind of amazed
that they ever saw it. I guess that name is odd enough that you can be
assured that web searches only turn up things you want.

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SciFi Weekly has a good
interview
with SF great Jack Williamson. I never interviewed
Mr. Williamson, although I did once have the great pleasure of sitting
down for a conversation with L. Sprague and Catherine de Camp. I
believe that he was the only member of the Golden Age writers I ever
interviewed.

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We had a fire drill in my office, and as I was walking up the stairs
returning to work, I heard this exchange, offered without comment:

“Everything seemed to be working out alright, until I found out that
he’d been in jail. Now I’m not so sure about him.”

“Well, if I only dated guys who have never been in jail, I wouldn’t
have any boyfriends at all.”

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From Larry Hammer on Dueling Modems:

The Direct Marketing sector regards the telephone as one of its most
successful tools. Consumers experience telemarketing from a
completely different point of view: more than 92% perceive commercial
telephone calls as a violation of privacy.

Telemarketers make use of a telescript – a guideline
for a telephone conversation. This script creates an
imbalance in the conversation between the marketer and
the consumer. It is this imbalance, most of all, that
makes telemarketing successful. The EGBG Counterscript
attempts to redress that balance.

See the
counterscript

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Here’s some of the links that I’ve been hoarding. Most were ones that
someone on Dueling Modems, SFF.net or Usenet posted and I thought they
were interesting enough to save.

Here is a link to a story in the San Francisco Chronicle about White
House Officials putting pressure on the intelligence community
to
achieve the answers they want about Iraq.

Here is an
interview
from The Guardian with UN weapons inspector Scott
Ritter about why we know that Iraq is not near to creating nuclear
weapons. He goes out of his way to point out that Iraq are not
honorable, or that they are not desirous of weapons of mass
destruction, just that we know that they couldn’t have rebuilt in the
4 years since inspectors left without leaving tracks the intelligence
community could trace.

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I’ve been building up links that I wanted to put in this blog on my
Mac, but didn’t have a simple way to get them elsewhere. The easiest
way would have been to mail it to myself so I could read them on other
boxes. However, that has been problematic.

Here’s my mail system. I used to use Eudora on my Mac to check all my
various accounts. Now, I use fetchmail on my linux box to check all
accounts, collect them in one place, run them against SpamAssassin,
and then use QPopper to run my own POP server inside my network. This
way I just changed the POP server in my Eudora, and everything else
was transparent. I’ve been running this way since April, with my own
SMTP and POP servers.

A side-effect of this is that it became tricky to mail myself. If I send things through
the SFF.net SMTP server, it will bounce because I am not
authenticated yet I am both the sender and receiver. If I tried to
send it directly to my Linux box via the DynDNS address, it would fail
flatly for some networking reason relating to my Netgear box. If I
tried to do the same thing but using the internal IP address as the
hostname, it also wouldn’t work and I’m not sure why. Today it
occurred to me that I should try just not qualifying the address at
all, and only using my Linux account name. Damn it all, it worked! I
wish I had figured this out six months ago. Now I am able to easily
collect links on my Mac while reading news, mail them to myself and
blog them. Because of this, I’ll have a few more links in here than I
have lately.

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I saw the film Punch-drunk
Love
yesterday, and without a doubt it is far and away the best
Adam Sandler movie I’ve seen. It was weird in that typical Paul Thomas
Anderson way but completely and totally satisfying. I really felt for
the lead character. Reading Roger
Ebert’s review
gave me some additional insight into how one can
read this movie as criticism of or reaction to Sandler’s other
movies. It’s slow paced and quiet, which makes the eruptions of noise
and violence seem that much harsher. A few people in our theater got
up and walked out around 30 minutes in, which is just where I thought
it started hitting its stride. I recommend this film highly,
especially for people who don’t particularly like Adam Sandler movies.

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I’ve been on the Body For
Life
plan for a day shy of three weeks now. Yesterday was my free
day, during which I had pizza, some mini-Butterfingers and stuff like
that. Back in the saddle for six more days now. On Friday, I was down
~6 pounds, which also includes the muscle I have put on. I’m not
putting a whole lot of stock in the scale readings, as at least in the
early going it wouldn’t be unexpected to even see my weight go up a
little. The ultimate arbitrer is the pants test, and pants that I
couldn’t button 3 weeks ago are wearable now.

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Going through my SFF.net and Dueling Modems Newsgroups, I see there
are plenty of groups I haven’t read since late September. I tried to
sort them by priority of what I enjoy and post to, so that when time
is short I read those first. I had no idea it had been a month since
I’d gotten all the way through, though.

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I don’t know if the novelty of the weblog is just wearing off or
what. I find that over the last few weeks I only log about half of the
days.

I’ve been listening to Dimension X in order while I do my cardio work
at the gym. I’m up to episode 15 or so, an adaptation of Robert
Heinlein’s “The Roads must Roll.” I’ll have to look up the title, but
the most disturbing one yet was an adaptation of a Jack Vance story
about colonists on another world and their interactions with the
natives. The fact that they were called “gooks” by the humans and
spoke with accents that sounds about half Japanese (no pun intendend)
and half American Indian lent an even more troubling racial air to the
whole story. With the casual suppression of an entire race because
they were incovenient to the colonists, the story had a lot of
resonance. I don’t know if it was deliberate, because it seemed pretty
gleeful and unironic.

In my other OTR efforts, I’ve been working on downloading the entirety
of the BBC series Round the Horne. I used to air this
on my comedy show on WREK 15 years ago. We had 8 or 10 episodes on
vinyl that I would play. When it’s done, I’ll have the full series
including Christmas specials and several documentaries in MP3 format
on a single CD. Sweet! I once sent Neil Gaiman (weblog here) cassette dubs of all
the episodes we had at the station, and in return he sent me a copy of the script to
the “Midsummer Night’s Dream” issue of Sandman.

The other OTR thing I’m doing is learning to use Otter, an OTR cataloging
program. Supposedly, it will allow you to check your collection for
completeness, rename files and do all kinds of other cool stuff. I’m
intrigued by the notion. will be interesting to see if it is as useful
as it sounds.

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Music TopicToday’s band of the day is The Flaming Lips. My wife heard
the song “Yoshimi battles the Pink Robots” on the airplane, and by
checking out the website you can hear every song on the album. I’ve
liked them for a while, since hearing them at WREK 15 years ago. I
might go see them next month, when they play at the Variety Playhouse.

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So yesterday afternoon I was picking up my wife at the Atlanta
airport. As we entered the baggage claim, I noticed a limo driver
holding up a sign that said “T. Pennington.” With unusually heads up
play on my part, I pointed this out to my wife. Ty Pennington, one of
the carpenters on Trading Spaces, is supposed to live in
Atlanta. “It’s probably someone else” she said. “How many Penningtons
have you ever heard of?” I countered. After a few minutes, sure
enough, Ty walks over to the driver. As we got our luggage, I kept
asking if she wanted to go talk to him. She was nervous, but it seemed
silly to me to be that close and not at least say hi. We walked by,
and she said a demure “We love Trading Spaces!” I told him that the
furniture they build is the best part of the show and they he should
go into the furniture building business. He responded with “I’m
already doing that, it’s called FU.” At this point, I thought the
conversation was over, until he added “… Furniture Unlimited.” He
was really goofy, just like he is on TV. He also said I should check
out his site at http://www.tythehandyguy.com,
which I did. He’s goofy on the website too, but personable.

That leaves my celebrity sightings at Hartsfield count at 3:
– Ty
– Riding next to Hulk Hogan on the tram
– Sitting next to Stacy Jones, lead singer of American Hi-Fi on an
Atlanta to Portland flight.

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Missed a few days of the weblog. Que sera.

Saturday a WREK buddy and myself went to Little Five Points to eat,
drink and record shop. We went to Criminal Records (note the domain
name, they got in on this early). I was there to get the CD by Masters
of Reality, Welcome to the Western Lodge. They didn’t
have it or any of the other CDs I was looking for, so I was a little
bummed. As I dug through the sale CDs as I usually do, I noticed that
the CD I wanted was in there, priced at $2.50. That was an unusally
good score for me.

Music TopicIn that vein, today’s band of the day is the above mentioned
Masters of Reality. I
really have been enjoying this on the radio. It sounds like a cross
between stoner jam rock and early 70’s British glam. The first song I
ever heard from it, “Why the Fly?” I truly thought it was a David
Bowie song that got cut from the Ziggy Stardust
sessions. They’ve got MP3s up there on a download
page
. Dave says “check it out!”

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One thing about Body For Life, I spend a lot of time thinking and
waiting for and anticipating the free day. It’s tomorrow, and I can’t
wait. Last week I had some candy, a braunschweiger sandwich and a big
drippy tasty burger from my neighborhood faux British pub, complete
with cheese fries. Yum. Tomorrow I’m going to drink some beer, yeah
buddy. Maybe I’ll have a donut or three, a cheese steak, some pizza,
ice cream, or whatever floats my boat.