Edinburgh, Friday the 13th, Maggie the Pig

14/9/02

Ian among the scottish
Ian among the scottish dead.

Greetings, fellow agents. Yesterday was Friday the 13th all over the world, except for Greece, where it was Friday the 10th. Tomorrow is Greek Friday the 13th, except that makes it Sunday. Damn Gregorian calendar! As usual, the Greek custom on Friday the 13th is to get in your car and drive as fast as possible, being sure that you shout constantly and forget to shave, especially females. Wait a mo’, that’s what they do every day here!

As you may gather from that introduction, I am in Greece now. I have been here for a while, having returned from Edinburgh where my wife Athena particpated in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I could report on the goings on there, except I spent the whole 2 weeks carting my 2 year old son Ian around. It was a pleasure. Many days we could be found in a cemetery where the little tyke played on the picturesque headstones, kicked over by picturesque scottish lager louts. I told him, in fatherly Addams Family style that we were amongst the dead. “Deh…” he solemnly repeated. “Now play, my son!” I urged him, and so he did. Then it was off to the local petting zoo, Gorgie Farm, where he made the acquaintance of Maggie, an enormous “Stone-age pig” the size of a small car, aptly named after the former Prime Minister Ms. T. “Pee-K” he would say, and I would reward him by giving him a day off from his scripture lessons and having him translate only one page of Latin. After a great deal of strolling around in his enormous (and HEAVY) stroller, it was off to the lawn of St. Mary’s Cathedral where we would peruse the many pictures of “Jeezy” which I assured him was the name of that renowned Israeli beatnik water skier. Then we would retire to the enormous lawn of that cathedral, which he had decided was an appropriate place for infant defecation. “Good boy” I would say. And then I would photograph his donation to the Scottish ecosystem. How smart he looked in his new infant leash, one manacle on his wrist and one on his father’s. He laughed, knowing that he was leading.

Ah, youth! As Oscar Meyer said, it is wasted on the young. They are too damned stupid and broke to take advantage of it. Of course, by the time they get their hands on some money, they are too old to enjoy it. And the cycle starts again. Yet, I don’t regret a single day of my life. Well, maybe one. All right, a lot of them. Most of them, in fact. But that’s water under the hedge, so don’t go counting your chickens before you eat your cake. There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done.

Before I get carried away (they are here to repossess my knees) I should tell you about a couple of the events coming up for uncle Guido here at Harpoon Investigations. (Me, in case I grow too cryptic). First, I return to Italy where we will perform the ever-popular “Isaia l’Irreducibile” September 22 a Roma and September 24 and 25 in Napoli. Then I return to Athens. On November 8 and 9, my friend Coti K. and I will perform “Uneasy Listening” at the newly-refurbished AN Club in Exarchia. Uneasy Listening is a bit of what I call ‘surreal cabaret’ in which we do gibe and gambol in the wave (sic) using many found objects, coti’s adroit manipulation of his many fine musical computing devices and my ham handed readings of computer-generated and guido-generated texts. I am also hammering away at multi-media this time. I intend to bring a bit of the old Mundoblaineo style into the light of day.

If all goes well, I shall webcast this extravagance. I intend to stream forth with live video and audio, live chat with Uncle Blaine from the stage, and some kind of free something or other for members of this list. I don’t know what yet, but it’s gonna be BIG, ladies and germs, bigger than anything in this paragraph.

That said, I conclude with a couple of little stories I have gleaned from the web, working on an idea called “100 new ways to die” which I will turn into a song, or at least a JPEG file.

yours in turpitude

Blaine

49th Birthday on Mytilini

Mundoblaineo site news

49th birthday at Mytilini

July 10, 2002

Happy Birthday to me

Yes, it’s true ladies and germs, tomorrow, July 10, 2002 is my 49th birthday. On Friday, July 10, 1953 Mr. and Mrs. Reininger took delivery of a big mess of trouble at 3 am in Pueblo, Colorado. What does ‘friday’s child do?’ Hell if I know. I am quite frankly amazed that I have made it this far. I don’t need to be reminded how close I am to the ‘blue period’, my fifties. I say it is blue because I associate colors with numbers in a big way. The number 5 is blue for me, therefore, 50 is blue.

Forty nine is black followed by red. This is called ‘synesthesis’. It is quite a common phenomenon wherin some people experience the input of some senses with other senses. Some people, for instance, see colors when they hear sounds, often seeing moving fields of patterns while listening to music. I am one of these. Number/color association is the most common.

I have been spending the last weeks working on my tan and swimming in the sea. This island is marvelous. Tomorrow night I go to Italy where I will play with people from Materiali Sonori in an evening of improvisations. It is worthy to note here that the record ‘Keen-o’ featuring me, Roger Eno (Brian’s bro) Pier Luigi Andreoni and Giancarlo Bigazzi is just now becoming available. One may purchase this fine item at http://www.matson.it
tell ’em guido sent you.

When I have some pearls of wisdom to share, rest assured that I will pass them on. At the moment I feel blessed to have the opportunity to let the sea teach me a couple of things about permanence.

Thanks all, especially those of you who have jumped the gun and wished me happy happy joy joy already.

blaine

From Russia with Gloves

From Russia with gloves

redsquare
red square

A rubber glove inserted in one’s fundament, that is. This here’s uncle guido back in athens, deep fried like a thai grasshopper.

Before I go on, a word about Russian security……argggggggh! That’s the word. After our halcyon days in St. Petersburg, we got off the 8 hour train to Moscow and were denied entrance to our hotel on the grounds that our papers weren’t in order. It seems that the travel restrictions practiced by the former unmentionable regime are still in force and one must supply hard copy to back up one’s claims at legitimacy in the Russian federation.

We were thus privileged to discover a new kind of limbo, waiting to be allowed past the border between the street and our hotel. We passed the time at the convenient hotel police station by sipping a coke or two at the convenient Limbo bar and grill, conveniently located in the basement.

All of this security begs the question “What the hell are you dopes keeping so secure?”
“We are guarding the other guards.”
“And what are they guarding?”
“It’s a secret.”

state of the art russian toilet
state of the art russian train toilet, 2002

There were not only security guards at the front desk of the hotel, there were roving gangs of security who prowled the halls of this 2000 room monster left over from the heady days when Brezhnev’s guests and cronies luxuriated there. Now, the fountain reminiscent of Las Vegas’ Sands Hotel lies rusting in the Moscow rain, it’s mosaic tiles falling loose almost audibly.

I had planned to go on and on and vent all kinds of spleen but I am afraid that I just don’t have the energy. Some slimebag stole my laptop from the hotel lobby in Barcelona and I no longer want to live.

I will write an update soon, describing the sublime majesty of Red Square and the surrounding monolithic buildings, the warmth of the Moscow audience and much more besides.

I include for your consideration the fact that I was almost obliged to leave my violin in Moscow since IT’S papers were not in order. I somehow neglected to get a passport for my fiddle, folks. Only a quick inspection by a violin specialist at customs saved my instrument. It seems that n’er do wells have been known to travel into Russia with a cheap violin and leave with a looted Stradivarius from the Moscow Conservatory or something. Hell.

Right now, I am in mourning for my computer. It was a cheerful little fellow, a Compaq, not astounding but all mine. No more, alas. He will be sorely missed by his doting dad.

I will keep my chin up. You have not heard the last from your correspondent, not by a long shot.

Mundoblaineo In Russia

whitenight
White Night, St. Petersburg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We Arrive in Russia

16 June, 2002

Your correspondent here in St. Petersburg, (Russia that is if you are American and don’t know that there is another St. Petersburg in the world.) We, Tuxedomoon, are up here for a week or so, we play here tomorrow and then we go to Moscow.

I don’t have a hell of a lot to report about life up here in the former home of the evil empire. I have been luxuriating in the fact that I have my own room here in the Tuxmo Arms, in which I can sleep and SMOKE, without fear of brain-damaging my son. I can also read undisturbed and I have just finished devouring a book by Bruce Sterling. “Distraction” it was called. A political diversion set 5 minutes into the future  as the cover said. Pretty good. I recommend Bruce Sterling as post-Gibson reading. (In the science fiction community he is known as Chairman Bruce. 

First thing off the plane, we got hit by shuckers and jivers. Some knuckle-walking son of Ivan wanted to charge us thirty dollars for carrying our baggage 10 feet. We wanted to get from one terminal to the other of the stunning world-class facility that is Moscow airport. Were we ever shocked to discover that the ticket agent of Aeroflot was in cahoots with the gypsy cab drivers and luggage schlepper to get us to part with about 100 dollars of Tuxmo money. When we asked the woman at the aeroflot desk when the free shuttle bus service was she replied in words not of this time space continuum.

“I never told you to take a bus, now you have to pay for standing twenty minutes talking to information, WHY WHY WHY do you insist on taking a taxi when I TOLD YOU the only taxis here are directly controlled by the mindwarp brainfog hare krishna voodoo no coke pepsi. NEXT PLEASE? TAKE TAXI OR TAKE BRITISH AIRWAYS NEXT TIME STUPID!!”

I simply must tell you, however, that st. petersburg is stunningly beautiful, knock out drop dead gorgeous. They have a ‘respectable river’ here as peter says. I have never seen a river whose current is so fast. It positively assaults the bridges. We are staying not all that far from the Hermitage and the surrounding plazas. This town is laid out on a grand scale, the sky is huge and the sun doesn’t ever quite set. We are in the middle of the ‘white nights’ period. At most, the sun sulks a bit, we have a crepuscular glow for a while and then the sun comes back up. I will go now, I have finally managed to get online but it costs. I am sitting in my underwear as I write this. I thought you needed to know that.

MUNDOBLAINEO IN RUSSIA
SPECIAL REPORT from the hermitage.

hermitage museum st. peter 

Greetings sports fans. This is your working boy here, writing from an internet cafe inside the HERMITAGE, St. Petersburg’s enormous repository of art from all times and places. Thus far I have seen many of the biggies, Titian, Caravaggio (including the Lute Player upon which my friend Harpeaux Crapaud superimposed my haid for my site.) Gaugin, van Gogh, Michelangelo, Cezanne, Degas, Renoir and the hits just keep on happenin’. I am struck here, just as I was at the Parce Guell in Barcelona by how much the pure flow of art resembles religion for black clothes wearin’ arty types like me. At the guell park, people were putting their hands in the water of Gaudi’s fountains and rubbing it on their heads with a spontaneous devotion I have never seen in a church. Perhaps at Lourdes.
peter in peter
The tuxedomoon show last night was not bad. We couldn’t hear anything on stage, but that’s showbiz. Also, it was strange to be playing in broad daylight at 9 pm. Such are the idiosyncracies of the planet’s attitude towards the sun up here in the north country. These people seem to like us. We played some of the new material which will end up on the new record, taking it out onto the road to temper it up a bit. This is also as it should be. After the show, our erstwhile host, Oleg Kuptsov and company took us on a boat ride through the late night canals and passages of this city. I tell yafolks, you shoulda been there. We had the moon on the water and the never-setting sun drooling indigo and orange all over the place while we puttered around these broad neo-classical waterways. Simply divine my friends. Now I am having a coffee break before hitting the egyptian part of this place. Later I may go with the boys to buy bootleg software or cd’s. When insane, do as the sane do.
don't hurt me
on the boat
machoman on boat
I hit the egyptian part of the museum and was naturally floored. I also dug the many Roman statues. I also saw a piece of Greek ceramics that didn’t make me want to pass out from sheer boredom. Now I am off.

dos vedanya

blaine

Tuxedomoon in Barcelona (Sonar Festival)

gaudi's lizard
gaudi lizard, parce guell
14 June, 2002
Greetings all. This is your correspondent writing from the hotel lobby in the fabulous city of Barcelona. I am here with the Tuxedomoons since we played last night at the Sonar Festival. This is a massive festival of new electronic music, jam packed with young folks here to have their ear drums bleed from exposure to the latest and greatest electronic sounds. Our show last night was most excellent, we played a set of new material which will find its way onto our new studio cd, coming soon to a bootlegger near you.

This city is quite jammed with gorgeousness and gorgeosity.
I ain´t never seen the like. The streets are crawling with attractive people of all genders and the architecture is to die for, girl.

One highlight of the show last night was the chance to introduce my son on stage. I took the little tyke out after the last bow and introduced him to the crowd with the words “Este es mi hijo.” (this is my son, in case you not know). I may have started another unfortunate soul down the road of applause addiction. I was watching his little face as the adulation of some uncounted number of jazzed up young people washed over him and his dad. You should have been there folks. Now he knows what I do besides feed him oatmeal and chase him around the playground in mytilini.

The next day we slogged through the heat to get to the one destination I could not face missing, Gaudi’s famous Parce Guell. I have to tell you, folks, that it is better than all of the photos I have seen in art books.  Walt Disney’s take on the human capacity for whimsy and pure fantasy is to this park as a MacDonald’s Big Mac is to Cordon Bleu, or any cuisine you care to name that has soul. Cajun, Greek, Italian, anything. This park could be called ‘otherwordly’ were it not for the fact that it is in our world already. It’s just that civilized minds are not often free enough from the limits of stupidity to see through the veil to this extent.  

I would also like to take this opportunity to announce the coming of tuxedomoon.com at this address you will now find links to other sites, including mine, but much more will come.

that said, I wish you all buena suerte from 
Gaudi´s town.
Laters,

Blaine
 

 

Shaved!

On March 17, 2002 I committed an unspeakable act upon my own face. Armed with a Gillette “Mach 2” razor in a hotel room in San Casciano, Italy, I removed a proteinous growth which had decorated my upper lip for over 20 years. This action was due, in no small part, to the recent tendency among the guardians of our security, especially jodhpur-wearing Italian ones, to single me out for abuse based on my perceived membership in the “swarthy foreigner, probably muslim” category based solely upon my facial hair.

To give credit where credit is due, the moustache and the persona it decorated were largely the creation of my late wife JJ. She had taken to drawing moustachios on my face with eyebrow pencil, so I decided to just produce a permanent one of my own.

I don’t suppose this kind of behavior was surprising from a woman who used to color her Ken doll’s hair black with marker pen and fill in his moustache.

The persona in question, ‘Guido D. Arezzo’ was born to wear this hair. When reviewing our ‘Desire’ lp from 1980, a british journalist, John Gill (who subsequently became a friend) spoke of my string arrangements as “greasy gigolo violins”. I took this as a racial slur, half-breed latino that I am. I wrote a song called “Gigolo Grasiento” in which Guido’s attributes were outlined. “Yo toco mi violin todas las noches, en las cantinas mas sucios en las calles de Juarez”. (I play my violin every night in the filthiest dives in Juarez.”

The character came to dominate me. I became guido. To a certain extent I still am and always will be.

Narcissist that I am, I somehow believe that these things are important, nay, they are earth-shattering news and deserve to be tacked to the tree of the internet for all to see.

There. Now you know. Leave me alone. I must sulk for a while, draped languidly in my patented posing chair from the “Dandy’s World” catalogue.

blaine

Sounds Page

MUNDOBLAINEO SITE NEWS NO.11

Feb. 27 2002

My major piece of info today is my sounds page. As is common in these things, I did some surfing and ended up on a WAV file page or two. I downloaded stuff with reckless abandon, suddenly presented with a whole series of “meaningful” sound bites. To Americans my age, The Wizard of Oz, for instance has assumed cosmic dimensions. It’s not just me, look at David Lynch’s “Wild at Heart”. If you don’t know your wizard, you will never really understand THAT movie. If you want to that is.That’s why I have included

“Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore” and

“I’m melting….melting!”

on my site.

We also have the voice of HAL from 2001 up there. These little bites are great for alerts, especially on windows. I am now using “What do you think you’re doing, Dave” as a shutdown alert and “I’ve just picked up a fault in the AE-35 unit” for an alert of impending system crash. Of course, you might want to use Peter Fonda from Easy Rider saying “I think I’m gonna crash” instead.

OH, THERE’S A LOT UP THERE. Hannibal Lecter. Bond…James Bond. Homer Simpson. “mmmmmm…invisible cola.” Free to download. Freedom of information! Long live the free internet! Or did you see that Enron geek before Congress talking about how they thought the “meltdown” of the market for bandwidth was a positive sign that their schemes were working? HUH? I just know that I used to get free webhosting, now I have to pay. It’s like…not fair, dood! I also see that there is some evil force at work trying to limit the potential of this tool and keep us down on the plantation from gettin’ uppity and trying to connect beyond our little villages and hidey holes. WHOA, DUDE, fight the power that bleeds! Download a WAV file from my site!!!

basta cosi

http://www.mundoblaineo.org/download_sounds.htm

I would like to thank Tobias Pflaum for pointing out that the links on my journal page didn’t work. I beg your forgiveness. I blame microsoft. Their damn program rewrote a key piece of code without my knowledge and boy am I embarrassed. Somebody link me to a non-crashing cracked version of dreamweaver or something better, please! Here is that journal link again.

http://www.mundoblaineo.org/journal2.5.htm#berlin

What else?

Tuxedomoon will play in Mexico City in April. We will play the Sonar Festival in Spain in June. We will play the Ramada Inn by the Highway 50 bypass in Pueblo, Colorado in 2011 for Blaine’s 30th high school re-union of the class of 1971. We are also available for Bar Mitzvahs, weddings and children’s parties. No questions asked. Payment is in cash, leave it in a paper bag behind the toilet, second stall from the right, rest stop number 23, Interstate 80, Cheyenne Wyoming. You will be contacted. No timewasters please.

I think I hear my mother calling. Considering she is in Colorado and I am near Turkey, you gotta admire the old gal’s voice.

your working boy

blaine

Mytilini Radio, Berlin Journals

site news no 10. Feb 23, 2002
Well gang,

Last night I went to the college radio station here in Mytilini and did two hours for them. I have never seen a radio station run on less. It is thanks to sheer will that they get a signal out at all. The studio monitor was a flickering clock radio tuned to the station. We passed around the one microphone which had a bad cable. During the course of the program someone made the mistake of closing the door behind themselves, probably me hunting down the toilet, which meant WE WERE LOCKED IN! The bad boogie band rehearsing in the next room were unlikely to come to our rescue, so Giorgos the host of our show called a friend who lived nearby to come let us out. Or course, I had a great time.

I have been beavering away today on two things. First thing, I have been sorting through e-mails in my down-time effort to make my journal current. I have caught up with myself up to my splendid adventures in Berlin from May to July 2000. This is a cracking read, folks, Blaine tells all in this day by day breakdown of the anything goes world of Berliner theatre. We have live chickens, horses, love, bicycles, ping pong tables and La Bamba. It’s all there, including a link to a virtual tour of Berlin. I sighed many a nostalgic sigh watching that little Javascript go around and around some very familiar sights indeed. Unfortunately all of my own photos of this period are still there in Berlin, awaiting uh….something.

I haven’t figured how to link to a menu that is contained in a frameset, so this link takes you to the page in question.

http://www.mundoblaineo.org/journal2.5.htm#berlin

While you’re at it, take the virtual tour yourself at

http://www.deutschland-panorama.de/staedte/berlin/start.html

Is Bill Gates the Anti-Christ? (Is Jesus Christ the anti-Gates?)

Is bill gates the beast?

No. 9 February 21, 2002

 

Excuse me if I sound a bit cranky on this one, folks. Snow Crashes will do that to one.

I have been running microsoft software on my computer for some time, since it was conveniently included with the package. Quelle coincidence! Suddenly, IT happened to me too. A computer dying on you like Generalissimo Franco did, that is, one piece at a time(“Today G. Franco’s kidneys failed, today G. Franco’s lungs failed, maybe you aren’t old enough to remember the daily bulletins on the news”). This kind of disaster is “something that always happens to someone else” like a traffic accident or hemmorhoids UNTIL IT HAPPENS TO YOU.

My cyberguru Coti and I sat up with this ailing beast for almost two days, watching in despair as one program after another packed it in. At one point, prior to his arrival, I even tried chanting Sufi healing mantras to it, and I was convinced that I had healed it with my mystical powers. Alas, I was deluded.

Like so many others before, I was privileged to experience for myself the arcane labyrinth that is the dark forest of SYSINI, and follow the track of The Dark Lord in my quest to destroy his ring in the Crack of Doom or whatever.

We obviously succeeded, or I would be unable to write this piece of fluff. Exhausted, I sat down to my laptop to engage in my nightly surfing activities. The only thing which came to mind as a basis for a search was “I HATE MICROSOFT”. I might as well have been searching “e-mail”. There were that many entries. I copied and pasted the first few and then worked up a lovely image for my holy site.

The text included there is a semi-literate e-mail which has become a much-quoted classic on anti microsoft sites, as has the “blue screen of death” haiku.

I will continue to use this stuff because everyone else does. Life can be like that sometimes. Basta.

Here is the link…….

http://www.mundoblaineo.org/anti_gates.htm

Blue Screen of Death n.

[common] This term is closely related to the older Black Screen of Death but much more common (many non-hackers have picked it up). Due to the extreme fragility and bugginess of Microsoft Windows, misbehaving applications can readily crash the OS (and the OS sometimes crashes itself spontaneously). The Blue Screen of Death, sometimes decorated with hex error codes, is what you get when this happens. (Commonly abbreviated BSOD.)

The following entry from the Salon Haiku Contest, seems to have predated popular use of the term:

Windows NT crashed.

I am the Blue Screen of Death

No one hears your screams.

— Peter Rothman

Three things are certain:

Death, taxes, and lost data.

Guess which has occurred.

— David Dixon

Everything is gone;

Your life’s work has been destroyed.

Squeeze trigger (yes/no)?

— David Carlson

More Hacker Jargon:

http://www.tuxedo.org/~esr/jargon/html/The-Jargon-Lexicon.html

I found this, much to my delight and/or consternation.

Guido /gwee’do/ or /khwee’do/

Without qualification, Guido van Rossum (author of Python). Note that Guido answers to English /gwee’do/ but in Dutch it’s /khwee’do/.

nerd knob n.

[Cisco] A command in a complex piece of software which is more likely to be used by an extremely experienced user to tweak a setting of one sort or another – a setting which the average user may not even know exists. Nerd knobs tend to be toggles, turning on or off a particular, specific, narrowly defined behavior.

guru meditation n.

Amiga equivalent of `panic’ in Unix (sometimes just called a `guru’ or `guru event’). When the system crashes, a cryptic message of the form “GURU MEDITATION #XXXXXXXX.YYYYYYYY” may appear, indicating what the problem was. An Amiga guru can figure things out from the numbers. Sometimes a guru event must be followed by a Vulcan nerve pinch.

This term is (no surprise) an in-joke from the earliest days of the Amiga. An earlier product of the Amiga corporation was a device called a `Joyboard’ which was basically a plastic board built onto a joystick-like device; it was sold with a skiing game cartridge for the Atari game machine. It is said that whenever the prototype OS crashed, the system programmer responsible would calm down by concentrating on a solution while sitting cross-legged on a Joyboard trying to keep the board in balance. This position resembled that of a meditating guru. Sadly, the joke was removed fairly early on (but there’s a well-known patch to restore it in more recent versions).
Apropos of Nothing:

Here is a wee French text about one of the weapons our boys are using in Aghanistan. The Predator Drone is an unmanned aircraft equipped with “Hellfire” missiles which can be piloted from a bunker in Kansas via new virtual interfaces while it rains death on the enemies of democracy far far away. Damn.

Octobre 2001

Predator, drone armé : la guerre sur une télécommande

CJ 18/10/01

Le département de la défense américaine a révélé utiliser des drones (avions sans pilote) en Afghanistan. Mais désormais, ceux-ci ne serviraient plus seulement au renseignement : c’est la première fois dans l’histoire que des drones seraient utilisés comme véritable machine de guerre. Selon des sources informées, le RQ1-Predator aurait en effet été équipé avec des missiles anti-tanks Hellfire, armes puissantes habituellement utilisées à partir d’hélicoptères. Plusieurs de ces missiles auraient ainsi été tirés à partir de ces drones.

On imagine facilement la suite : des drones qui seraient capables d’aller tirer un missile sur une cible n’importe où dans le monde.

Rappelons en effet que 23 avril dernier, le RQ-4A Global Hawk, dont l’envergure est supérieure à celle d’un Boeing 737, a pu assurer un vol télécommandé de 8600 miles, de la base Air Force Edwards en Californie jusqu’à la base Edinburgh, au sud de l’Australie.

There is an organization of ex-radar technicians who meet to promote electronic warfare. They call themselves “Two Crows” because the WWII nickname for radar technicians was “Ravens”. Ho ho ho. You can find all about state of the art military hardware there if you really want to.

http://www.crows.org/aboutus.htm

Here is a link to a guy who claims to have found something like a perpetual motion machine.

http://www.fortunecity.com/greenfield/bp/16/bedeng.htm

Bedini energy.

Babelfish

February 14, 2002

Greetings all. Here are the latest fruits of my labors watered by the sweat from
my brow, planted in the earth of my site. Sounds disgusting, no? Who wants a sweaty
computer?

As I was sitting here thinking of amusing ways to give myself carpal tunnel syndrome and
back problems from sitting in front of a computer screen for eight hours at a time, I thought
“Hello! Let’s translate the site for the benefit of our many non-English speaking visitors! There’s
a jolly idea, old fellow! Huzzah!” And then I wondered why I had started talking like a British
schoolboy from 1918.

I went and did it. There is a website, a venerable institution by web standards, perhaps 3 years old,
called BABELFISH. This name derives from “The Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” in which one would
insert a tiny fish into one’s ear which would translate all known languages for the host. Babelfish is
a site where one may insert text in one language and have something vaguely resembling that text return
after a few minutes. One may also type in the URL of any given site and have the text “translated”.
“Hello, Harry!” I told myself, becoming Harry Potter for a second “there’s a capital idea!” But there is
usually a catch. The translation program got in there and stepped all over my code, man, inserting its
own links and other gremlins which took as long to clean up as it would have done to just translate the
damn thing myself. Also, the literal-minded sheer stupidity of the translation algorithms makes this
site a better destination for surrealist poets than people in need of translation. Of course, this is one thing I love about it.

Oh yes, here is the link before I forget. http://babelfish.altavista.com/tr

So, I have translated the opening page of the site into
Italian

http://www.mundoblaineo.com/index2italian.html

French

http://www.mundoblaineo.com/index2francais.html

German

http://www.mundoblaineo.com/index2deutsch.html
and

Spanish

http://www.mundoblaineo.com/index2spanish.html

There is also a little musical offering on each page just for the hell of it.

My thanks to Isabelle Corbisier who helped me translate at least the French version over Microsoft Messenger.
Quite an experience translating line by line from a chat program.

Now I will demonstrate Babelfish

I have translated this text using Babelfish. Babelfish is an online translating program.
I have 5 nipples. My left foot is an illegal alien. My right foot is lobbying for independence, but I
am only willing to grant it limited autonomy. If you remove the grey scratch panel from my eyes, lo I will
behold the universe in all its splendor. Pass the mashed potatoes, Elvis, I think Gladys is beating the
chickens again.

-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+French-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

J’ai traduit ce texte en utilisant Babelfish. Babelfish est un programme en ligne de traduction. J’ai 5 mamelons. Mon pied gauche est un étranger illégal. Mon pied droit incite à l’indépendance, mais je suis seulement disposé à l’accorder ai limité l’autonomie. Si vous retirez le panneau gris de brouillon de mes yeux, bas je behold de volonté l’univers dans tout son splendor. Passez la purée de pommes de terre, Elvis, je pensent que Gladys bat les poulets encore.

-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+Spanish-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

He traducido este texto usando Babelfish. Babelfish es un programa en línea el traducir. Tengo 5 entrerroscas. Mi pie izquierdo es un extranjero ilegal. Mi pie derecho está cabildeando para la independencia, pero estoy solamente dispuesto a concederla limité la autonomía. Si usted quita el panel gris del rasguño de mis ojos, bajos yo behold de la voluntad el universo en todo su splendor. Pase las patatas trituradas, Elvis, yo piensan que Gladys está batiendo los pollos otra vez.

-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+Italian-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

Ho tradotto questo testo usando Babelfish. Babelfish è un programma in linea di traduzione. Ho 5 ugelli. Il mio piede sinistro è uno straniero illegale. Il mio piede destro sta incitando per indipendenza, ma sono soltanto disposto ad assegnarla ho limitato l’ autonomia. Se rimuovete il pannello grigio della graffiatura dai miei occhi, bassi io behold di volontà l’ universo in tutto lo relativo splendor. Passare le purè di patate, Elvis, io pensano che Gladys stia battendo ancora i polli.

-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+German-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

Ich habe diesen Text mit Babelfish übersetzt. Babelfish ist ein Onlineübersetzungsprogramm. Ich habe 5 Nippel. Mein linker Fuß ist ein ungültiger Ausländer. Mein rechter Fuß beeinflußt für Unabhängigkeit, aber ich bin nur bereit, sie zu bewilligen begrenzte Autonomie. Wenn Sie das graue Kratzerpanel von meinen Augen löschen, niedrig ich Willensbehold das Universum in seinem ganzem splendor. Führen Sie die gestampften Kartoffeln, Elvis, ich denken, daß Gladys die Hühner wieder schlägt.

And then back the other way, one language to the other into

-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+English again! Works great!-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

I have to translate this text with Babelfish. Babelfish is a program in the line of translation. Ho 5 nozzles. My left foot is an incorrect foreigner. My infuences of the skilful foot for independence, but me am only ready with the assegnarla that I limited autonomy. If cancelled the gray of panel of the draft of my eyes, the bottom of level Willensbehold relative universe in the splendor entirety. To carry out planted potatoes, Elvis, I think that Gladys always strikes the polli.

 

Blaine L.

Ear Candling

 

Number 6
The bulletin from Mundoblaineo, Sunday February 10, 2002

I put a lit candle in my ear.

Greetings, all. I have been very busy with my little hobby, my ever-expanding website. I have been selecting, copying, pasting, revising, clicking and double-clicking that mouse until it gets red-hot.
Before I digress too wildly, let’s get to the recent developments in Mundoblaineo.
Read all about my new bicycle! Stop a minute and catch your breath. A ‘piece’ called “Zen on Two Wheels.”
a cracking read
http://www.mundoblaineo.org/journal3.html#feb0902

I know I told you about my slang “webportage” but now I have included slang as used by our fine upstanding moral troops in Afghanistan, a new pic, and several notable quotes from America’s generals. A stunning khaki layout.

http://www.mundoblaineo.org/hep_cat_talk.htm

New entries on Steven Brown’s page. I live to serve. I will keep posting that stuff to my server as long as Steven supplies me with it. Read about Baron Brown’s visit to the Mexican Rodeo, link to Wilhelm Reich, everything you always wanted, at half the price.

http://www.mundoblaineo.org/even_steven.htm

I have done a lot of image work this weekend, including some actual unprocessed photos from here on the Isle of Lucy, Lesbos. Still here, it’s still beautiful. Also, watch out for a dazzling new javascript feature. Damn!
http://www.mundoblaineo.org/snapshots.htm

same thing goes for this link. Image is everything.

http://www.mundoblaineo.org/postcards.htm

So, get busy browsing. I wanna see smoke from those overloaded cpu’s. Enormous image files, yours for the downloading.

My friend Chris Silvey casually mentioned on the phone that he had burned himself while “ear-candling”. Now, I had heard of this practice as a medieval curiosity, or as one of Beethoven’s desperate measures to save his hearing, but I had no idea it was a done thing in the states. Live and learn.

What it is, in case you don’t know, you stick a cone-shaped hollow candle in your ear and light it. The resulting convection performs a demonstration of thermodynamics, vaporizes all the gunge which has been collecting in your ears throughout your entire life and you can collect it in a bowl and take it home to show the kids.

Sounds great!

Here are some FAQ’s about this subject.

Ear Candling

The Six Most Frequently Asked Questions
About Ear Candling

1. What is Ear Candling?
Ear Candling is a natural and mildly erotic way to clean out accumulated wax and white, flaky fungus from the ears. The accumulations withdrawn from your ears may be many months or even years old and are so disgusting they make me want to blow chunks. Ear Candles are custom designed from natural fibers and tapered to precise specifications. New Elvis-shaped ear candles have recently become “all the rage” in Athens’ trendy Kolonaki district. The collected discharges are especially favored by Greek bakers, who make a delicious pudding from them. They are often used as a sauce for calamari on the island of Lesbos.

2. Does Ear Candling hurt?
Absolutely not! It is a painless, harmless and totally relaxing experience. If it weren’t for the intermittent crackling and hissing sounds the agonized shrieks and the smell of burning hair like a dog in a concentration camp oven– due to the burning of the wax and fungus being drawn up the chimney of the candle — you would never know that anything was happening in your ear. Many female ear candling therapists have recently taken to wearing black leather aprons and will perform other services, such as writing limericks on the client’s buttocks with a soldering iron if requested. Many patients like to have an ear candle inserted in their rectum and lit cigarettes in each ear, the new therapy called “butt candling” which is gaining favor in alternative healing circles.

3. How long does an Ear Candling session last?
About forty-five (45) minutes per session, however, you should allow one (1) hour for your appointment. There have been reports of marathon 30 day “ear candling raves” being held on the west coast by former fans of the rock group “The Grateful Dead” but San Francisco police chief A. Eichmann refused to comment when we contacted him. Schoolchildren in Butte Montana have been detained for suspicious wax traces on their clothing, alleged to derive from satanist ear candling sabbaths held in the mountains outside of that city but no charges were filed.

4. How often should I have Ear Candling done?
Initially, most people need just 2 or 3 candling sessions to get their ears clean. Often gangs of ear candlers in Los Angeles have been known to waylay victims and ear candle them at gun point, insisting that their clients return five or six times a day. Groups of homeless ear candle addicts “candling up” in vacant lots are becoming an all too frequent sight in American cities and President George Bush has recently announced a campaign to “Round up and hang these hairball slime” as part of his ongoing anti-terrorism measures.  However, some people, may need up to eight (8) sessions over a six month period. Once your ears are clean, personal preference should determine how often you have your ears candled. Every three to six months would be practical.

5. Who can benefit from Ear Candling?
Ear candling can benefit almost everyone, from infants to adults. Primary monetary benefits have been substantial among bee keepers who supply the wax for the candles.  Musicians can benefit – especially singers and horn blowers – who often have a lot more wax build up than other people. People who wear hearing aids can benefit. Also, those people who have had previous ear injuries, can benefit from ear candling as they tend to have a greater build up of wax and fungus.

6. Who should not have Ear Candling?
Ear Candling should not be done to people who have ear tubes, perforated ear drums, artificial ear drums, penis implants, breast-enhancement surgery, pierced eyelids or tattoos featuring disney characters.

And there you go. If you aren’t careful, I might turn this newsletter into a full-fledged online magazine. Provided, of course that there is an audience for a fairly geeky American muso with a hell of a lot of free time and a distorted view of his own importance in the scheme of things.

that’s it for now
your working boy signing out

blaine

Zen on Two Wheels

new bike, 2002
my new used bike, 2002

Zen on Two Wheels

Saturday Feb. 9, 2002

The good news is that today I bought a bicycle. The bad news is….there isn’t any bad news. Yesterday I was out on Athena’s bike, just drifting around when I happened upon a bicycle repair shop. This may be no big thing to you, but this is Greece and a bike repair shop isn’t that easy to find. The guy, I forget his name, though he told it to me, had some used bikes for sale, looking grungy enough to fit my budget. I pointed at one and asked, and he said “No problem, my friend. I feex and tomorrrrrow you take. 60 evRO.” My guy was as good as his word, and today I took delivery of my new old bicycle. He put it into the best shape possible and it is quite rideable. I took it out on the long jetty that protrudes into the harbor. This is heaven. Riding out into the sea with the mountains in the distance is about as close as one can come to riding out on the water itself. Whizzing along with the water on both sides is like shooting through a tube made of sky and sea, an ecstatic blue-white warp in the very fabric of Samsara, illuminated and vibrating like a bouzouki string.

Continue reading “Zen on Two Wheels”

ASCII Art

Number 5
February 9, 2002

Obsesso man is not satisfied with just sending text-based site updates. Oh no. He goes online to find an image editor
for ascii images and HE FINDS ONE. I also discovered that there is a community of dedicated geeks out there who make art
in this medium. That is, for those of you who don’t know, when sending e-mail with the various programs dedicated to that
function, one has the option to format as either “text” or “html”. With HTML, you have all the marvellous colors and pop up ads that we have come to know and love in our information age. With text, you have the bare bones characters which exist on your keyboard, no more, no less. Most mailing lists are limited to this format due to the miniscule size of the files in question. This one here, for instance.

If all things have worked out, you will see some handy dandy images which one can easily stick into the window of a chat program or cut copy paste and send to your friends. These images seem to read best with “courier” as the font and 10pt as the size.

If you LIKE this stuff, there are a couple of places to go.
http://neptune.spaceports.com/~machouse/
for examples of this art form, very heavy on manga since the japanese seem to dig it.

and there is dave barry’s humorous take on “emoticons”, the inane punctuation analogs which have arisen to fill in the blanks left by our standard set.
http://www.randomhouse.com/features/davebarry/emoticon.html

par example:

USEFUL INTERNET EMOTICONS
 EMOTICON MEANING
 :)  Happy person
 :(  Sad person
 :-)  Happy person with a nose
 :-(  Sad person with a nose
 :---(  Person who is sad because he or she has a large nose
 :(  Person who is sad because he or she has a large fish for a nose
 :-D  Person laughing
 :-D*  Person laughing so hard that he or she does not notice that a 5-legged spider is hanging from his or her lip
 :-|  Person unsure of which long-distance company to choose
 >8-O-(&)  Person just realizing that he or she has a tapeworm
 ;-)  Person winking
 -)  Person who can still smile despite losing an eyeball
 :-0WW  Person vomiting a series of Slim Jims
 :-Q  Person who just had cybersex and is now enjoying a post-coital cybercigarette
 >:-Q -...  Person who was enjoying a post-coital cigarette until he suddenly noticed, to his alarm, that there is some kind of discharge dribbling from his cybermember
 :-{8  Person who is unhappy with the results of her breast-enlargement surgery
 :V:-|  Person who cannot figure out why nobody wants to talk to him or her, little suspecting that there is an alligator on his or her head
 ~oE]:-|  Fisherperson heading for market with a basket on his or her head containing a three-legged octopus that is giving off smell rays
 >:-[ -{9  Person who is none too pleased to be giving birth to a squirrel

Here are some fine examples of emoticon art from the “macros” site.

Screenshot from original sitenews page.

I conclude by attempting to paste in an ascii image of my very own haid. Hope you can read this. If not, don’t blame me.
(it helps to get up and walk back a few paces from your computer. This helps anyway. Walk away….turn it off, blaine…turn it o f f f…….)

yours,
uncle guido

American Slang

No. 4 Feb. 8, 2002

M U N D O B L A I N E O  NEWS    F E B. 8,   2 0 0 2

No sooner do I finish something than I have to tell everyone about it. It’s things like this that make life worthwhile. I have completed a wee lexicon of American slang that
I just couldn’t wait to post up to the site.

“Man Feebus, those are some pimp kicks!”
“Word, road dawg, these Nikes are wet!”
“Do tell, Fraaz. I wanted to Poonj my baitch, but she’s riding the cotton pony.”
“Yo man, that’s whack!”

If you are a citizen of empire, perhaps these bits o’ jargon won’t do much for you. If you are European, look out.

http://www.mundoblaineo.org/hep_cat_talk.htm

I have begun investigating u.s. army slang, just for the hell of it. Strange things on the way.

“I wanted to hit that Sergeant with the misery spoon when I was talking to the pig master”
“Bohica. Snafu for the DMOP.”
“Gimme some more Lifer Juice, Billy Bob”
“Yes sir.”

And these catchy tunes as sung by our marching lads.

Bin Laden

bin laden is a son of a bitch
drives his people into a ditch
when he’s through they’re always dead
till we put a bullet through his head

one from you
one from me
now he’s dead
you can see
P T
good for you
good for me
etc.

*******T U X E D O M O O N    AND  O T H E R   C D    R E L E A S ES********

There are things being discussed right now for  TM’s 2002 events.
1. We will most likely play St. Petersburg and Moscow in June, dates TBA.
In june we are also slated to play Sonar Festival  in Spain.

2. The live in St. Petersburg CD is just about ready for release.

3. “Night Air” by BLR will be re-issued, together with “Paris en Automne”
by
Les Temps Modernes.

4. A collection of new tracks will be released by Gigolo Records very
soon.

5. We will continue work on the new “proper” CD either in Mexico or
Russia.

6. A collaboration between BLR, Roger Eno,Giancarlo Bigazzi and Pier Luigi
Andreoni will be released in spring, featuring vocals and texts by BLR.

thanks gang

blaine leslie outta here

Origins of February

No. 3 February 6, 2002

*****MUNDOBLAINEO SITE NEWS WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 6, 2002*********

Howdy folks. Hope everyone made the transition from January into February unscathed. A brief note for the pedantic.

february Feb”ru*a*ry, n. [L. Februarius, orig., the month of expiation, because on the fifteenth of this month the great feast of expiation and purification was held, fr. februa, pl., the Roman festival of purification; akin to februare to purify, expiate.] The second month in the year, said to have been introduced into the Roman calendar by Numa. (who the hell was numa? blr) In common years this month contains twenty-eight days; in the bissextile, or leap year, it has twenty-nine days.

Source: Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

See? We’re all pagan all over the place and don’t even realize it when we’re going down to the Mithraeum to drink blood on Sunday. (SUNday? Dies Solis? The day of the sun, Mithra’s dad. Oh lordy lordy lord they’s conspiracy everwhere ya look!)

I digress, as usual. I’m still here on the island, it’s still splendid and I’m having big fun. Thought you’d like to know that.

The major piece of news in Mundoblaineo is that I have gone and added a page for my erstwhile pard, Steven Brown. I have left content up to him and I will exercise no editorial control over what kind of far left pinko commie subsersive drivel he sees fit to post there. Hey, that’s the kind of tolerant, even-tempered all around good guy I am. If I have visions of Joseph Cotten and Orson in Citizen Blaine, that’s my hallucination, ain’t it?

Here’s the link. I guess I’m finished yakkin’.