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Time: Tue, 13 Jun 2000 01:05:41 GMT
Everything server: Apache/1.3.9 (Unix) mod_perl/1.21
Number of nodes: 562208 (1600 new since June 12, 2000)
Number of users: 15579 (28 new since June 12, 2000)
Number of links: 1952650 (17132 new since June 12, 2000)

Node to user ratio: 36.088 nodes per user
Link to node ratio: 3.473 links per node
Link to user ratio: 125.339 links per user

New Nodes: Users Online (32): [dannye] [sensei] [Sylvar] [7Ghent] [ToasterLeavings] [MasterYoshi] [android] [Shanoyu] [Flip] [presto] [gnarl] [ism] [ivan37] [eric+] [transform] [ScottMan] [Ereneta] [Yablo] [soren.harward] [kaatunut] [ApoxyButt] [Space Butler] [Lao-Tzu] [Sand Jack] [Sir PK] [whizkid] [stitchley] [aethyr] [Nymphrodite] [LittleWave] [Ahab] [ozten]

JeffMagnus node count: 3727 (1 new since June 12, 2000)
JeffMagnus experience: 6331 (8 more since June 12, 2000)
JeffMagnus experience to node ratio: 1.699 XP per node
JeffMagnus nodeshare: 0.663%
JeffMagnus node of the day: Everything 2 Civil War

Can't sleep. 2.5 hours until its time to leave for the airport. I'm sometimes like this before traveling. A bit nervous, excited. I don't have a problem with flying, just sleeping.

Well, two and a half hours until it's time to leave for the airport. I guess packing my suitcase would be a good idea.

Added the Internet Corner node from Zurich airport.

<< week | June 12, 2000 | June 13, 2000 | June 14, 2000 | week >>

Everything's Best Users Snapshot

   #   Users                   XP   wa7   inc Level   l_XP l_wa7
   1   Pseudo_Intellectual  14070    91    31    10  14039   101
   2 * DMan                 11682   181   208     9  11474   176
   3 - dem bones            11607    52    66    10  11541    50
   4   Segnbora-t            9274   132   153    10   9121   128
   5   Saige                 9116    89   122    10   8994    84
   6   pukesick              8942    27    24    10   8918    27
   7   jessicapierce         7540  -416   -55    10   7595  -476
   8   Deborah909            7249    68   133     9   7116    57
   9   N-Wing                6820    88    86     9   6734    88
  10   tregoweth             6436    39    56     9   6380    36
  11 * pingouin              6353    28    40     9   6313    26
  12 - JeffMagnus            6332    22     8     9   6324    24
  13 * yossarian             6176    19    24     9   6152    18
  14   knifegirl             6173     8    21     9   6152     6
  15 - ModernAngel           6171    16     4     9   6167    18
  16   Lometa                5976    92    94     9   5882    92
  17   Jet-Poop              5969   108   100     9   5869   109
  18   dannye                5915   133   146     8   5769   131
  19   sensei                5831    83   116     7   5715    78
  20   ideath                5761    95   116     7   5645    92
  21   Tem42                 5731   101   149     8   5582    93
  22   General Wesc          5647    42   111     9   5536    30
  23   hoopy_frood           5588    29    71     8   5517    22
  24   bozon                 5393    22    13     9   5380    24
  25   novalis               5360     6    10     9   5350     5
  26 * /dev/joe              5317    72    72     8   5245    72
  27 - moJoe                 5316    38    17     9   5299    42
  28   nine9                 4621    26     5     9   4616    29
  29   yam                   4383    38    52     7   4331    36
  30   alex.tan              4341    59    65     7   4276    58
  31   Sarcasmo              4256     3     4     8   4252     3
  32   juliet                4076    59   -10     8   4086    71
  33   ariels                4000     7    22     8   3978     5
  34 * Sylvar                3884    33   116     7   3768    19
  35 - Uberfetus             3882    47    14     5   3868    52
  36   RockLobster           3842    83   110     8   3732    79
  37   Templeton             3747    67    73     5   3674    66
  38   kessenich             3622    21    53     8   3569    16
  39 * bitter_engineer       3532    37    64     7   3468    33
  40 - knarph                3524     3     5     8   3519     3
  41 * sabre23t              3484    57    39     6   3445    60
  42 - Quizro                3470    32    16     8   3454    35
  43 - CaptainSpam           3462    17    16     8   3446    17
  44   Woundweavr            3401    13    17     8   3384    12
  45   discofever            3342     3     3     7   3339     3
  46   ailie                 3296    18     3     7   3293    21
  47   Lord Brawl            3135    14    42     8   3093     9
  48 * hatless               3113    34   104     8   3009    22
  49 * Orange Julius         3074    83    83     7   2991    83
  50 - artfuldodger          3059    17    15     6   3044    17
  51   wharfinger            2993  #N/A  #N/A     5  #N/A   #N/A
   *   EBU #51               2993    32    90     *   2903    22

Server time: 04:22 Tue Jun 13 2000 TZ +0100 not UTC since May 26, 2000

* = users rising up in the EBU; - = users falling down in the EBU
l_ = last (previous) value; inc = increase in stats value
wa7 = ((stats + (6 * l_wa7))/7) = weighted average with denominator 7

sabre23t: Random Nodes

I found that I couldn't get to E2 from my ISP (jaring) since yesterday (June 12, 2000). Ping and tracert goes through to E2 via jaring, but http does not seems to. I wonder whether it is due to their transparent proxy. Unfortunately, even my backup ISP, tmnet did not work for me, giving error like something was wrong with my password. Do they think I forgot my own password? ;-}

Thank god, for public web proxies, I managed to get to E2, to post this, though a bit late today.

Jessicapierce cleanse herself of about 50 XP today. See her XP makes me feel dirty writeup. DMan has overtaken dem bones and now aiming for pseudo_intellectual.

sabre23t: Nodes to node

Back at work. Things has ground to a halt here. The new machine has arrived, but some responsible person needs to plug it in.
Spent the weekend at my parent's house. My little sister (long time no see since she moved from Uppsala to PiteƄ) was there as well, and we spent Friday evening at the club. Not a club, but the club - my home town is kind of small.
I brought most of my mp3 collection back home. Yay, music!

Spent yesterday shopping with P at an outlet. Not very exciting. Watched Gladiator. Quite good, Zimmer's music had some interesting rip-off's from a number of other soundtracks.

Musings: The Dream of the Tattoo has left me. I tried to find out why I wanted that tattoo, plunged my hand deep into the velvet bag that is my subconscious and came up with The Aesthetic Answer: It Would Look Really Nice.
Not the Self-Defining Answer: I Want To Be A Guy With A Tattoo.
I guess I'll spend the next year filling in the thin stripe with a marker when my chest is going to be exposed (the horror!) and eventually getting tired of doing so, returning to Tabula Rasa after a couple of showers.

Today's Soundtrack: Air - Talisman
At the moment of the birth I was (obliviously) walking in a mild rain along a moonlit dyke with a person who is an ex-girlfriend and (more importantly) my most-enduring childhood friend, pointing over to the small-l lights of Steveston and, citing the previous weekend's baby shower, simultaneously asserting that I had no immediate desire to return there and little suspecting as I said it that I would be spending the next 48 hours back in that same uber-suburb (there must be a way to join those two words; sUBERb?) A pleasant unexpected encounter; we discuss the trivialities of living; My mother visits hers frequently (for Scrabble) and gripes about me, she and her mother not seeing the problem: "He's not abusing any substances, he's not engaging in any illegal activities, he's living away from home and he's not racking you up for money. What's your problem?" Apparently my mother wants me to be happy; I don't have the heart to inform her I left happy behind in 1998. Joanna (the friend since age 3) envies Michelle her opportunity of freedom in her upcoming year of foreign-exchange world travels. "Didn't you spend most of last year travelling?" "Yeah, but I had my boyfriend with me!" I grimly meditate on my complete freedom, in that case, and wonder why I do less the fewer chains I have. Now that I can do anything I want, I have simply ceased to want. This wouldn't bother a real buddhist but I can't shuck the hope against all evidence that there's more out there than mu.

At about 8 am UTC June 11th (I estimate - t'was about midnight our PSTish time), Ian Sigurd Ralston Gudmonson was born to my sister and I became an uncle. Ian is a Latinization (remember the trick in the last Indy movie?) of the father's name John (magical, he claims, because Ian has two syllables from only three letters, giving a 1.5 average or some mystical quasi-kabalarian kaka); Sigurd is from a monumental great-uncle of ~100 years and Ralston from John Ralston Saul, one of the father's favorite authors and one he managed to sidle up to at a reading and among declarations of admiration, snag a promise from the great man of letters to be the godfather to his future child.

The doctors at the hospital proclaimed Ian to be the biggest 5-week-premature baby they'd ever seen. They (the new mommy, daddy and BaBy) would be back here (their abode in Steveston) by now but some initial feeding problems arose at the hospital - little Ian seemed bent on consistently cramming his fist into his mouth before attempting to take advantage of the ultimate user-friendly interface (that is, the bigger-than-your-head hot-and-hot-running-milk faucets being urged in front of his mouth), not realizing that there was not room for both tit and hand in his tiny maw. My father posited that the baby might be taking Kliban's advice Never Eat Anything Bigger Than Your Head to heart. In some thoroughly silly quasi-Lamarckian discussion of evolution later that night I suggested that manual instincts had taken precedence over oral ones in the human brain and that to prevent further occurrences of this sort we'd have to start designing keyboards for lip-typing rather than finger-typing.

My being dropped off for my indefinite, oh, what's the word... stewardship? of their apartment and dog doubled as a chance to acquire items on a Hypothermia Prevention Kit (read: pants, sweater, shoes, Vitamin C) for John on account of the weather having considerably changed from the shorts-and-sandals weather when Danae (my sister) went into labour and when an expedition next made the long trip back from the hospital to their house (the weather, I completely forgot to mention the weather in my most recent mega-log; Vancouver's been getting four seasons in one, frequently all within the same day - mild sun HAIL THUNDERSTORM dazzling blue sky drizzle overcast clear cloudy every six hours. Looking down a hill some hours before getting the announcement I thought to myself My god, they've cracked open the sky and are pouring down molten lead on to the business district! How often do you get to see two rainbows simultaneously?) Stopping for the first meal for him in - 18? hours at a pizzaria he convinces the waiter to put his (soaking from the downpour at that moment) sandals under the oven that is the store's namesake (Brick Oven Pizza!) as inspired from a Seinfeld episode. Sometimes I worry about that boy. Still somewhat in shock he explains his situation louder than necessary and gets into a conversation with adjoining customers who commend him on what amounts to his wife's travails (or as the card in their apartment reads, "Hope everything goes well until you can see your feet again. Good luck Danae (and to the guy who knocked you up!)") and express relief that he had not only one name but three picked out. He confesses that if "it" had been a girl, the jury was still out. "What, nine months isn't enough time to think up a name?"

En route to their apartment we stop at the hospital to bring some pizza back. "Er," I utter profoundly as I am prone to, "isn't there some sort of rule about that?" John proudly states that he's systematically broken every single hospital rule he's been aware of (the 'don't get in the hospital bed with the mommy' rule, the celphone rule - TWICE!) and justifies it on account of never having gotten his tour. (They were scheduled to take the hospital tour later that day to get acquainted with the premises they were expecting to visit in approximately five weeks. In a similar vein they still have two weeks of prenatal classes left but I imagine they'll have found a good reason to play hooky.)

We get to the room, passing Absolutely Everything Else! directional signs amusing me to no end. My sister is radiant and Botticellian, looking tired but surprisingly hearty, probably on account of the five weeks' extra mass she didn't have to push through her tunnel of love - if the birth had occurred under regular circumstances she might well, at that time some 20 hours after initially going into labour, still be pushing Ian out of her loins. Instead the labour was over after about an hour (!) and she'd just been riding the endorphin rush since then. Not hungry (in fact, she'd been sneaking John bits of her hospital food) the pizza instead ends up being consumed by my mom, the smirky now-grandma in the corner smiling as she remembers what she went through and never will again. Ian is blonde like his father (and, now that I remember it, like his mother before the childhood leukemia chemotherapy - eek! - a factor they'd despondantly figured for the past few years might have rendered her sterile. Guess not!), has a wavy head, big closed eyes and his lungs have progressed from gurgling to full-fledged cries. She makes a half-assed (no pun) attempt to cover herself up, wisely abandons it in favor of her radiance and I am profoundly thanked for the task of tedium which awaits me. No problem, no problem I serially disclaim - being the visionary / artist / bum that I am, I had no pressing engagements for the next few days and besides, this is the least I can do to repay for the untook offer some years ago of staying with them while my mother worked through a particularly potent bout of "for your own good" progenitorly fascism - sharing the same mother as we do, she can appreciate how irrational mom can be at times. I would render this service unto her even out of sympathy for having to have to put up with it, let alone for reasons of the kinship at the core of the sympathy. Parse that how you want, it's 4 am and I can't quite wangle syntax right now. Pizza dropped off, my father and I leave the hospital and take the long, looong trip to their apartment, where I am to reside the next few days.

That was all on the 11th. What follows elapsed on the 12th and dragged on through at least some portion (to be seen) of the 13th. This has been a paid announcement from P_I's Attempts to Maintain Narrative Coherency While Stubbornly Refusing To Post Daylogs Under Their Correct Dates.

I don't know where I am. Give me a map of the area and I (gratuitous slagging warning) would make my best American impersonation and be utterly unable to locate my environs. It's ostensibly on the south tip of the same island Richmond's on, but it may as well be Baffin Island for my purposes - ignorant of the address of my location, what street it's on, where local buses can be caught (or if there even -are- local busses) ... I am surely trapped. Sometime soon the inhabitants of this apartment will return and I will be picked up, but I may as well have been blindfolded when brought here. It's an "access by car or boat only" kind of suburb, and we all know my feelings on cars.

On the positive side of things, this is out in the boonies. Great trails in the great outdoors next to the Fraser River with an overly-playful dog (Fargo, full name Fargo North Dakota if he's being a Bad Dog) and I should take this opportunity to reiterate that I am not a dog person. There have been some minutes of connection during my stay here where I have suspected that I just might be, but they pale under the weight of the hours of my initial convictions being confirmed over and over again. He's a charming mutt (part dingo, I am led to believe) and clever too - deep in his doggy brain no doubt there is some understanding that upon the return of Mommy and Daddy, he will no longer be the baby of the household and thus is milking what juice he can out of the role while he still has it.

Unfortunately (snork sniff!) I am allergic either to the local flora (sneeze!) or to the mongrel himself, so what was an amazing walk in the sun by the river turned an hour out to be a sneezing fit and an insane pooch trying to bite the leash out of my hand, taking 50% longer to return though moving at a faster pace on account of what were essentially wrestling matches with the dog. Grr to you too, buddy! If you don't like this, you're just gonna looove having a baby to compete with! The take-in-the-quasi-rural-scenery-while-gallivanting-in-Nature-with-man's-best-friend option thus shattered, I found myself confined in the apartment discovering why bored housewives turn to heroin. After testing How Many Times You Can Go Back To Sleep (somewhere between eight and twelve) I was inviting bed sores so I clashed with my cycloptic nemesis in the corner - the television with one-month satellite trial hookup. I packed books to read this weekend (actually, most of what I hurriedly tossed into the bag was books) but they remain unwrapped; instead I visually chewed up a lot of crap, the high points of which were an episode of Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain, a live performance of Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells III (musically disappointing to me relative to I and II but I was impressed to see how much of what I assumed was sequenced guitar-synth-wankery through listenings was actually musicians on instruments, albeit ones as esoteric as crystal wine glasses) and Babe: Pig in the City, an excellent movie on all counts, though perhaps a bit too subversive for children. I should reiterate that I am even less of a TV person than I am a dog person, so given that today was also my first taste of Kid Rock and Christina Agueillera(?) it was quite an ordeal, matched only by getting the antsy dog to leave me alone by tricking him into believing I was asleep (no big task, given that in the television trance I might well have passed for dead.) All in all considering the technology trial I got more enjoyment out of the allergy-induced 10-minute manual phosphene stimulation, leaving burning white iris-analogues in my field of vision with eyes wide open.

As I'm about to get Toxic Shock from MuchMusic I get a phone call from Michelle, who has found an excellent premise under which to visit me (five-week-late birthday gift), an excellent subtext (craving cuddles) and has arranged for her mom to drop her off for an hour or so. It takes me 20 minutes or so to find the address of this complex; it ends up being a short walk out with the dog to the intersection to see what the cross-streets are but DAYAM, they make blocks big out here in the farmlands. It is true that at this point I would have relished the opportunity to talk to anyone who didn't drink out of the toilet, but as Michelle is on top of my List Of People I Like To See even under the best of circumstances I'm thinking Hot Diggity Dawg! Hell, I even (not having been expecting company) change my clothes! (I figured if I was smelling better than the dog I was going good...)

The gift is Scott McCloud's excellent Reinventing Comics (sequel to the equally-eminently-excellent Understanding Comics), which I read in one sitting after she left and will assuredly have much more to say on at a later date. As with my klezmer awareness, it seems my dabblings have left me considerably better-informed in the comics situation than I'd any reasonable right to expect. The interactions between me and her can be summarized as an abortive start to the book, belly-slapping and inkless writing, which I will have more to say on at a later hour.


She leaves, I consume the book, I write this, and now the sun is rising. Today I may go home. We shall see. Establish dialup connection. Post. Disconnect. Sleep.

Everything Observation: Curse you, Jessicapierce! (again, no pun.) I don't want to climb into the ring with DMan, certainly not alone! That man Quests, and my recipes in the Kithe Cookbook have disappeared off the face of the Grid. How can thousands of little facts go up against an inpenetrably-disclaimed monolith of a handful-hundred elite force of strangely popular antagonistic subjectivity?

Fargo is twitching his muzzle spasmodically. Must be having a very smelly dream. This is unrelated to the previous comment.

Know what? If someone asked me how the last couple of days went, I would probably answer only "not much." There's a whole lot of something going down here, even if very little of it is activity.

in our last episode... | p_i-logs | and then, all of a sudden...

15:04 EET

Another busy workday. If you can call watching some fellow employees configuring a display adapter for Linux being busy.
An important meeting with was going on, and my bosses were using my workstation to demonstrate stuff. I had to just hang out with some coworkers in an another room for a long while. So it's over 15 o'clock already, and I haven't had the time to do any serious noding - um, I mean work.

Not like the others would be busy coding or creating graphics.. At the moment there is an intense football tactics discussion going on. Our firm lost the last game (1) in the local company league, I hope they'll do better this time.
I myself am not playing due to my leg (2). I'm thinking of wasting a lot of $$$ on a private doctor to get my knee inspected and fixed - the waiting list for regular medical center is 1.5 years long! It sucks to be poor sometimes..

I just noticed that this is my 200th writeup. Yep, I'm still a damn newbie! But the only way is up, unless the E2 editors start nuking my crappy nodes.

They lost 5-1 to the local land measurement workers. Kind of embarassing.

I busted my knee a year and a half ago. My leg got caught while I was moving a huge and heavy monitor out of a car and twisted quite painfully. It healed pretty quickly, so I didn't even go see a doctor. (what a dumbass, eh?)
But this spring I wrecked it again while walking on a slippery walkway. And much worse. I can walk Ok, but when it comes to sharp turns or moving sideways, the leg might fail on me any moment.
wake up. walk the dog. go to work.

coffee, cottage cheese with blueberries, and diet pepsi to wash down the miscellaneous drugs.

it is rainy and grey outside. normally i would enjoy it. not today. i'm not in the mood.

my friend, tim, bought a yamaha r6 racing bike. damn sam. i have no cool toys. i have no money for such things. i admit wholeheartedly to an astounding jealousy.
3:49 pm: Today is my oral exam day, topic: Religion.
Guess I'll go down in a blaze of glory, kicking and screaming as always, 'cause this is my thing.
Unfortunately, I've got a habit of turning anyhting into politics, so I guess I'll make it an unforgettable thing for whoever tries to get some facts outa me.

The other groups are in for preparations now, but I've got another hour. The other groups got Islam, The christian church and Buddhism as their topics, so that kinda leaves me with the easier parts, for instance totalitarian ideologies, The jews, Naturalism, New age or satanism or other kinds of occultism.

Today the chai was good and that made me happy. Every morning we stop at the Haymarket on the way to work, and my father gets coffee and i get chai. I suppose consistency is "our" greatest goal, in order to make each city interchangably home, each meal comfortably similar to some ideal. I went to lunch with some people from work, and the woman next to me ordered broccoli-cheddar soup. But when she got the soup, it was too thin for her. She didn't even try it! She knew that cream of broccoli soup was supposed to have a certain (Campbell's Soup) consistency. Never mind that it wasn't called "cream of broccoli soup" but "broccoli-cheddar soup." She didn't test it according to its own merits. Agh.

And but so, the chai was good today. How can i make that observation? Well, it's premixed and there have been days when it was no longer good. Infrequent, but they happened. On other days, it seems overly bland, or overly sweet to my taste. I see no point in becoming angry or indignant about this - it doesn't taste bad (except those occasional days). I still get it just about every day - and it gives real savor to the days when the chai is good.

Of course, when i repeat that construction too often, i run the danger of lapsing into the Hemingway parody: The bulls were good. So was the wine, and the women. It's a running joke my father and i have. But really. To be able to distinguish the minute variations, and to say, This thing, today it is particularly good, and so i'll continue and let it color the morning, this i thank for.

The ability to pay attention. To constantly reconstruct your ideas, and re-apprehend things you learned one way. To allow people to develop nuances, instead of flattening them into caricature. To listen to music which you played to death years ago and haven't listened to since then. Do you fall into the same perceptions, like wrapping in a blanket, or do you hear it as new? Is there a right answer?

I'm having a hard time with the current quest, as i cook from the ingredients i have and without much planning. I rarely make something the same way twice. It's not always good, but i'm an eternal beginner. I am open to learn.

The Everything hive-mind is slightly lagging today, natch (nate forgot to hook up the caffiene drip to a few assimilated noders, methinks) so this communique gets sent under the heading of Person. Not that anyone but General_Wesc will notice, but there it is.

According to the Everything User Search, this is my third node in thirty-one days. Not exactly the Land Speed Record, I know, but there is a reason and a rhyme scheme for it. It's for a concept I like to think of as Creative Pressurization.

Works like this - do nothing creative for a few weeks. Draw nothing. Write nothing. Node nothing. Let the creative juices build up. Soon, the juices will be pressurized, attempting to escape your body by any means necessary. Every little movement, every little word will now carry the slight charge of creativity with it, and you will be more humorous, fluid, charming, and downright sexxy as a result. Or so the theory goes.

Seems to be working so far. I've been barhopping in a sad attempt to gain friends, and learning that no matter how charming or humorous I am (or think I am, anyway) nothing will come of it. Bar people are too chummy with the known and standoffish towards the unknown. I've been repeating that pattern for the past two months, until I walked past a 'private' party this past Sunday; I announced my intentions to the revelers and joined the group. It was good, not much else to say except that new friendships now look like a possibility. And that gives me hope.

There appears to be life after college.

Today, I...

  • ... went to the city garage, expecting to get my car back, after having 2 new calipers and rotors put in it. Now, I'm told I need a new master cylinder (another $100) and I won't be able to pick it up until tommorrow. My car has been there for 6 days, and every day except saturday I was told I would be able to pick my car up the next day.
  • ... cut a large gash in my thumb with the help of the 3 or 4 inch serrated blade on my leatherman wave. Worst of all, I wasn't doing anything important, either. I was simply walking down the street, practicing quickly brandishing my knife so I could look like a badass. I ended up just being a dumbass.
  • ... found out the water in my apartment is not working, for whatever reason. It's after 5, so I cannot call the office and tell them what's up.

OH, a new Scott McCloud! Cool. I'll have to get it--from the library, since I'll have no money for the forseeable future. No luck on the apartment hunt again today. The good news today was some new research on migraines. That's always nice to hear. I hate migraines--I had a particularly painful one that woke me up early this morning. But I took my Maxalt and it finally went away. More phone calls in the morning; knock on wood.

The New York City subway system is always under construction, and the daytime riders of the #5 train have suffered the necessity of needing three different trains (the 2, the 5, and a shuttle) to go between its North Bronx and Manhattan stops. My only consolation, while waiting for the shuttle train, has been a look at the shiny new trains running up and down the test tracks at the Bronx end.

Even more ubiquitous than the under-constructionness, are the WET PAINT signs -- they're everywhere. Partly because the subway can always use a fresh coat of paint, and partly, I think, to cover over some graffiti, since the painting is only done in spots, never an entire wall. The paint is rarely still-wet when I notice the signs, but at one stop -- the Gun Hill Road one, I think it was -- I managed to catch the moist sheen of a large stretch of wall covered in a new coat of a drab-beige paint job. But right on top of it was a giant, equally new, graffiti tag, sitting there as if that WET PAINT sign existed just for the tag.

I saw a guy in his 70s walking, carrying a couple of bags of items bought from the store, probably headed home. He had on a pair of shorts, for it was a hot day, and one of those baseball caps that have nothing to do with baseball (I hate non-baseball caps) covering his curly gray locks, and... a "Got Pot?" t-shirt.

Steve "The Schmoozer" Somers was always one of my favorite local radio personalities. Once upon a time, he was "Captain Midnight" at WFAN, doing the overnight shift for many years, with his wiseacre rasp (a smoker of Camels, he is) and his quirky, deftly-delivered shtik. He got promoted, a few years back, to co-hosting the mid-morning show, the one that follows Imus, so I could only listen to him when I was within daytime earshot of FAN, maybe a handful of times in a given year. One of the nice things about moving here was that I might be able to hear Steve on a regular basis again, but soon after getting here, he and his co-host, Russ Salzberg (a TV sportscaster at Channel 9, and perhaps famous for the time Mike Tyson had one of his expletive-filled meltdowns during a via-satellite interview), were fired. So much for hearing Steve. But last night, I stumbled upon That Voice, in the late-evening time slot, so he's apparently back. Good. But he sounds a bit muted so far, perhaps trying to feel out the vibe of the new hours.

I had another godfather die this week (see June 7, 2000) -- "Uncle" Freeman, actually a cousin. I remember him as sort of an outer-boroughs bon vivant, having come up here from the coastal Carolinas to make a life for himself in post-WWII NYC; I first discovered, when I learned how to read, that there was such a thing as Johnny Walker Black (it doesn't just come in Red!) while studying the liquor cache at his Brooklyn apartment. He always brought goodies when he came to visit -- some candy, perhaps, or The Sporting News, a much more substantive read than liquor labels. When he retired, he returned Down South, living near the North Carolina/South Carolina border, a couple of miles from the beach. But his diabetes had caused him ill health in recent years, leading to hospitalizations, double amputations, and loss of eyesight. He had become understandably crotchety, and when there was a family reunion last year, held about a mile away from his house, someone conveniently "lost" his invitation. But some of us brought him a big doggie bag from the fête, and I was reminded more of Thurgood Marshall's retirement press conference...

Q: Justice Marshall, why are you leaving the bench?
A: 'Cause I'm old!

...delivered with a mix of jocularity and endearing, well-earned crotchetiness. (And Freeman's voice, no longer the basso profundo of years past, sounded a little like Marshall's.) But those who had to look after Freeman on a regular basis (I lived in a different part of the state, and so was exempt) might not have found him so endearing.

It's almost time to start thinking about thinking about writing some music. Two guitars, bass, drums, a four-piece horn section, and a string section of about eleven people. How will they all fit into a one-bedroom apartment?

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