Monthly Archives: June 2006

Two small points for the weekend

   I have come to the tentative conclusion that xanga kinda “crowds out” level-one activities...you know, like doing stuff.. As much as I appreciate the high-level feedback from my on-line friends, as much as i have benefitted these last few months from the opportunity to clarify my opinions on a wide range of issues, I must admit that my output of “real stuff” has plunged dramatically. Writing and recording songs, pursuing my “voice-crying-out-in-the-wilderness” technological inventions, making money (!), visiting friends on a whim…even the garden is over-run in places with weeds. I’m not saying “you ain’t gonna have js to kick around anymore!” That was Nixon in his “Checkers” speech, and you see where it got him. But if I don’t post every day for a few weeks, it’s probably cause I finished another 200 songs nobody bothers himself to listen to (one click on “visit my web-site“, it’s free, god-dammit), or got my Stirling engine to run on our abundant sunlight. Hell, I learned about our WW3 on the horizon here, on xanga. Where’s that at!
    So here are my dumb bunnies. The Rabbi’s wife calls them the “fein-schmeckers“.. yiddish for “gormet taste-buds“, kinda. She also has issues with their eating habits…they head straight for the most expensive and vulnerable plants, as if on a mission to cut the “endangered-species” list down to a more manageable size. For me, they personify(?) one of my mottos of my experience here..”what ya see when ya don’t got a gun!” ‘Course this is from a guy who “missed” on purpose year after year during pheasant and rabbit season…building unfortunately a reputation for being a “poor-shot” in the process. But if you think I could empty a load of buckshot into a poor defenseless bunny, (and this even before about a hundred hits of Owsley), you got me mixed up with some blithe Nimrod from the funny papers.(I did “cull” one in ’79, and his ghost troubles my sleep now 27 years and counting.) But, seriously, when I have to get out of the car twice to “schussh” them out of the path, and I’m already late for work after getting my dumb kitten down out of a tree and moving my sleeping porcupine to a safer location, the temptation to just floor it in reverse is hard to resist. So, anyone want two bunnies? One we’ll call “Fein-schmeck“, the other “Klein-schmuck“, (we hope!). You get not one but two of god’s creatures to love and to cherish, and the statistical odds actually favor a pair of incestuous lovers 2/4 over a same-sex whatever-we-have-to-call-it-these-days. Check Fibonacci for the proof of this theorum. Allow a few days for me to catch them..I may be busy with level-one activities

 

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I love to say “i love to say ‘i love to say{gnu}’ ” !

   Just found out my younger son’s recursive. Yeah, i just wrote “Just found out my younger son’s recursive“. Guess it’s genetic. We were writing the music for Dumb Poem, and something about the “gnu” threw him…like, he knew about a gnu, in general, some kind of horse-like creature, but he couldn’t resist telling me about a new gnu…actually, a new GNU. “Rosh’ai tay’votIt’s an acronym“, he explained. “Oh..as in “G”N”U”..? I punctuated, uncertainly. “Yeah,” here he smiled devilishly. “And what does it stand for?” he challenged me in my old age. “Uh, well, probably something about your second-derivative third-rate all-consuming hobby, computers, right?” I guessed, rightly. “It stands for ‘GNU, not Unix’…and…”, triumphantly, “and that ‘GNU’ also stands for “GNU, not Unix“. I could see where we were headed. Everywhere and Nowhere. Course I was already outside this loop watching my prize re-creation re-create my life-long fascination with Loops. Dumb, you say? Bite your teeth! Hey, if it don’t get you off, don’t feel left out. You can just click yourself away to some one-dimensional, un-examined-life xanga out there in Flatland, but here’s a quick story first. See, I was dining at Olga, (Yeah, I spent my dinero on dinner at the Diner) and they have all these pictures of celebrities on the wall…right there at my favorite table. Real pictures taken by real wanna-bees as their lucky loved-ones get a show-biz hug from Shimi Tavori, for example. I met him too, once. Didn’t get a hug. Didn’t want one. His current (then) fling (wife?) looked at me with a “You’re next” look. I gave her a “don’t count on it” in return. Too much make-up. Who knows what’s hiding under it.          Where were we? Oh yeah, so Shimi’s standing there with Hezi and his precious one..they’re all smiling….but in the background of the picture you can see the wall…with all the other older pictures on it. And THERE, 2nd picture from the left, two rows down, is {the picture of “Hezi and his precious one, smiling at Shimi!!!} (And in the background of that picture, if you try hard enough, you can just make out the fuzzy but unmistakeable photo of…of {{ME, tearing out all my hair and screaming, “Johnny doesn’t live here anymore” from The Shining}}. No, seriously, “How’d dey do dat?” Well, “I don’t care, you want more salad?” doesn’t count as a rigorous answer, but that was my ding-bat dining date’s reaction. Doesn’t mean she’s stupid, god forbid, recursion just don’t get her off. Whew. Maybe a good thing, that. See, like I said, it’s genetic. I remember lining up two mirrors “just right” when I was teensy-weeny, and looking at a trillion ever-teensy-weeny-er “me”s disappearing into the virtual cosmos behind me, and thinking, “theoretically speaking, I am now famous on Alpha Centauri”, which I had just read-all-about in the Weekly-Reader. That over-optimistic kiddy-paper we got on the farm once a week was filled with predictions of a bright future through technology. “Spandex jackets, one for everyone“. Feedback’s recursive, by the way. It goes in the microphone, comes out the speakers, goes in the microphone, comes back out the speakers…till you scream “shut that thing off, already” (PG-13 version). But not all recursion is bad, of course. Like when a good-guy like me makes copy “good-guys“, who make their own “little good-guys” ad infinitum…… Somebody just said “ad nauseum“?  Bite your teeth!!    

Chrissy in the Rye

I typed the below till the second-last word, when my computer “froze“, leaving it on the screen, alive but dead. Hadn’t saved anything. Must be the heat. So I took a picture of the screen with my dinosaur cam-corder. Of course all I got was a smear of dying phosphors and the ray-gun’s diagonal “sneak” back to “moving hand” zero-land. I knew that would happen, but i had no choice. I remember seeing TV footage of NASA‘s launch-monitor control room, and wondering how they ever hit anything on target with such shitty TV monitors, with creeping horizontal lines and flicker. Not to worry. Nyquist’s Law. Sort-of. Same goes for the home-movies of me and my mom harrowing and disking the soil with old Farmall “H’s and “M’s“, respectively. Guess in those backwards days even the tires turned “backwards”. But back to the Future…I copied the whole thing long-hand from the dead screen, pushed the reset, watched a half-hour of Scan-disc, and now I’m back…Whew.


      So my niece e-mails me from Nice to ask if I’ve read “Catcher in the Rye“. But of course..duh! A big 10-4 on that there question, girl. Translation: Yeah, at least ten times in four languages.(Where’d ya think I learned how to say “shitty” in hebrew?) Seriously, me ‘n JD go way back..I remember the day he smiled with those reclusive eyes and said, “You can call me ‘J’, buddy“. Flattered, but ever the goat, I fumbled the ball, as I “used” my new credit to confess that F Scott had been letting me call him “F” for a couple-a-years now. Not sure what points that was supossed to rack up. “You’re back to “JD“, he shot back…”No, make that ‘JD, Sir!‘”. Anyway, I still got the hand-written “Franny and Zoey” he gave me to proof-read, if anybody’s a collector out there. I remember I just called and gushed, “Don’t change a word, JD…um…sir?” I think he liked that, comming from me, at least. He actually dedicated the sequel to “Catcher” to “my reclusive friend and sycophant“. That’s me, if anybody was wondering. Of course, “The Pitcher in the Corn-field” never sold as many copies as it should have, which sucked. It was 100% Holden & Co., only more “shitty“. So yes, Chrissy, I read it and I also read it. (Them’re two differunt words, by the way…don’t english suck?)

“and All i got was this Silly Poem..”

Posted a whine-y critique last night, on the tendency of most of my TA Metrobuddies” to be suspiciously absent when we need them for guard-duty, voting, or knowing, like “yes” or “no” in hebrew. Kinda pisses me off, these imposters, but this morning I realized that if one child goes to sleep hungry, that’s a greater crime than simple juvenile stupidity. So I “recanted” it, (unfortunately along with a wise comment, but not to worry, she’ll make more.) I’m off to collect shekels so I don’t go to sleep hungry, but here is a Dumb Poem I wrote waiting for our even dumber ISP to “connect“. So tired of them telling me to “check your password” when it’s obviously a server-overload problem. What, they want to suggest something for me to do with my hands while I wait?… “Honesty” where’d it go?


Oh yeah, The Poem…Feel free to “wiki” the thing to death…or to provide an “external link” (real external!) where I can learn what it means, if anything. Thank you.

I, like you, like Ike, but You knew that
You and your ewe, and your gnu and your new hat
Elle and Ike and Luke and Jake like to
Look at the leak in the lake. A lack-lustre
Bloke like you, likes Blake, not “Bleak House”,
Blickstein’s “The Black-listed Block”, hey, Your mouse
Rolls and scrolls, then crawls and scrawls it’s a
Trick for a trike on a trek, our troika
Meanwhile mainly moans, the Moon’s a
Minor de-light, in a manner of speaking,
Views for visas and jews for jesus, a
Nail, then a kneel in the Nile, it’s null and
Void, hey Freud said, “Oy, Du Lieber!”
I say yo mama was a llama, that’s “uber”!
Understanding, sit right down, or take the
Lift on the left to the loft, we leafed through
“Stern” and “Luft”, she laughed, (but we do that..)
She and her shoes and her schmooze, (and that new hat)
“Well, as well, I might as well”, hell i
Guess that’s a “yes”, more-or-less, but we knew that…

SOME LIGHT READING

     Imagine the Visigoths, (an only marginally improved version of the earlier Audiogoths) traipsing in a motley procession out of a burned-out Rome-in-ruins, dragging absurd shards of Culture through the mud toward their home on the range…and further imagine that one middle-eschelon Spokes-Goth, in an aside to reporters, declaims with ironic black humour, We were just looking for Art Treasures, Eternal Truths, ya know, shit like that. Sorry if we, like, busted up some stuff.” Sometimes the only honest reaction to a thing appreciated but possibly not-completely understood is a parody, a self-inflicted “go-sit-in-the-corner till you figure it out. This, then, is that-there thingy.


Currently reading…my traitorous translation-into-Hebrew of “The unsufferable beingness of Light” (“Hyoto ha-bilti-nisbellet shel ha-Or“). Trans-traitorized twice by my transistorized double-agent, my pessimistic doppel-ganger, Mach (“I put the ‘Pest’ in ‘Buddha-pest“) Ernst. A quick glance reveals such positivist absurdities as (p.34) Surely you realize that our interaction was 97% vibrational, consisting of bouncing photons (78%), oscillating air molecules (16%),and electrostatic repulsion between completed outer shells (3%, when we kissed, briefly), leaving pherenomal exchange a paltry three percent participation factor. The claim, on page 127, to wit: “Two infinite and exclusive sub-sets of points,none of which fall on arbitrary A-B, scandalize our commonly held 2×18=36, 3×18=54, (3×18)+3=57 axiomatic Weltanschauung is strangely out-of-sync with the zen-kitsch en-garde proffered just minutes earlier.(your reading-time may vary!). Thus bewildered, we trudge on, against the stream, borne back ceaselessly, until sleep reprieves us. Waking refreshed and emboldened, we tackle two quick conundra…the “1st WW” paradox” and the Rubato Conjecture. It is not ipso-facto dis-allowed,” I muse, to the fragile strains of Ken Lowe and the Hee-me-Hoo’s (of whom more, later),that an observer of events in 1917, seeing the madness envelope the functional globe, said to himself, ‘This is the first World War'”. The name, and the general convention caught on, to the point where a waif not knee-high to a married grasshopper said likewise in ’67, “this is the first ‘the-world-moved'”, (positing an (a) without, temporarily, a (b))(!). Accurate, but possibly ill-advised.However, moving precisely through the heavily-accented jungle, he reached subpoint (z) soon enough, and eyed Greek as a new source of letters. Enough. I prefer the rubatic Hee-me-hoo’s to their failed(to my ears) English sister-ship, “Yes/no and the she-Hoo-hee’s“. Though an accurate word-for-word trans-literation, Yes/no somehow make an hour-long opus seem to last like, five minutes(?). Their strict tempi stab human-ness in its carotid, leaving the unbearable leit-motif a bleeding being, and proving the conjecture, “Where there’s Life, there’s Rubato“.And so we leave Rome, Hungary, Ecstasy, and Parody. One has fallen, one’s at the OK Diner, one’s “le petit morte” and the last one couldn’t sleep, bless his well-intentioned little heart.

More on “Thermo-linguistic-metrics” (or “I just kinda like the sound of it”)

    Don’t worry. I haven’t a clue what this spoof-field would investigate. My current guess is “Thinking about language in the hot sun to pass the time while building roofs in the Metric System“. Let’s go with that, until it becomes a lucrative academic field.
   I’m getting a litle tired of being called “Yonatan ha’gag-gan“. That’s Hebrew for “Johnny the Roofer“, but also a play-on-words from a well-known children’s song, a double-entendre I usually take as an anatomical devaluation. If I had a business card, (instead of hiding behind the house whenever I see the neighbor coming at me with that “it’s just a small job, can you do it right now” look,) I would have to write, like “Gagot Yonatan” on it. “Roofs Johnny” Dumb. Like “Flowers by Paulette” or “Balloons by Ben“… Sick, I say. The word-order kills me. Here we got trucks running around saying “Asphalt Moshe“. I’d like to bury him in a steaming pile of bituminous 2A. Maybe it doesn’t bother anybody else. I’m used to that. Every time I fill my gas tank, I “inform” the hapless attendant that “Benzene” (what we laughingly call gasoline here in the Levant) is, i repeat, NOT a suitable fuel for cars. “Benzene is six Hydrogens and six Carbons playing ring-around-the-rosy. Cute but carcinogenic.” I drone on. If she expresses any further interest (or tolerance, lots of employees here are company-required to be civil to ya…but I try not to take advantage of it), I move on to “Solar” the even-more-ridiculous hebrew name for Diesel fuel. I usually remind them that cars don’t run well on adjectives, that of course the ultimate source of the fuel is our sun, but that accuracy and specificity are not yet illegal here. Usually lose ’em about this point in the conversation, but ocassionally a cute kid allows a hint of a smile, so i blather on, thermo-linguistically speaking.
  Here’s a short list of “Words I wish I’d never been forced to have to hear” on the lips of, of all people, the, well, chosen people. Shame.
   “Boweling“..I’ve been asked several times to go “boweling“. That’s EXACTLY how everybody says it. I always say no. You probably should too.
   “Nylon“…dumb patent-infringing stolen chemically-incorrect name for polyethylene. In war-time, our prime-minister advises us to stock up on “nylonim” (nylons). Ugh. I’d almost rather lose the war.  (not really!)
    “Frigidaire” Every HVAC company appearantly has been secretly bought by Frigidaire. We have a perfectly good word for refrigerator (Ma’krare) but it’s fallen into disuse. Last week I bought another subaru…this time I chose the Toyota subaru, they really make a good subaru. Sick yet?
    “Chips-im, rails-im, eskimos-im, double-useless-plurals-im till you puke. Anybody here bother to check whether they’re stealing a singular or a plural word? Doesn’t look like it.
    “Agzoz”  Yup, that used to be “exhaust”, from the poor French. At least in English we “spell it weird” to acknowlege its foreign origin. Ok, Hebies “spell it weird” too, I guess. Too weird for me.
    “Senator Farts” You look twice at the sign…curse for the millionth time a language too sloppy to use vowels even in stolen-for-their-“cache” words, where the reader has no clue what the fuck is supposed to be happening here. In the end, the greasy little hole-in-the-wall “store” turns out to be “Center Parts“. They meant, i guess, “Parts Center“. Stole a Stradivarius, filled it with concrete, and used it for a hammer. Like to smash it over their heads.
    And finally, today’s gem. Coming home from work, corner of Ahuza St. and Highway 4 in Ra’anana (nope, it don’t rhyme with “banana”) there is a big sign. “Mental Filipiniot” I guess a white-slavery outfit specializing in sales-and-service of disturbed Fillipino women. Hey, since when is it my job to “back-translate”, as if that would even get me anywhere? The big girl on the billboard looks nice in white, and the small print offers the budget-minded “Romanians, Bulgarians, and even Israelis, (for that “we can actually do menial work” touch). Makes you think deep thoughts as you wait through nine cycles in the left-turn lane, that it does.
   And just so I’m not accused of using “bait and switch” in my technologically-intriguing title, yes, we do use the metric system in Israel. “There’s gotta be a pony in here somewhere“, the punch-line of Reagan’s favorite joke. Speaking of strange presidents, Carter tried for a few months in the ’70s to ram the metric system down the throats of the American taxpayers. Gave up in a hurry after nobody agreed to drive to “Chicago-78.017 kilometer-Keep Right“. Stick with what you know, i guess, have ton’s of fun with “twenty three foot, nine and eleven-sixteenths inches“, i’ll hang with my new “mental fillipina“, a full tank of benzene, chipsim in the frigidaire and hey, maybe we’ll go bowling tonight. Thermo-linguistic-metric progress!

“Random..it’s not what it used to be” (Al and Johnny discuss Thermo-linguistics)

Actually the quip goes, “Entropy, it ain’t what it used to be” That’s funny, and I’ll explain why. I spent twenty happy years thinking “entropy” was how you felt on a hot muggy afternoon in Hattiesburg, when getting up off the floor to flop onto the broken-down couch was a sign things were looking up in your life. Then somebody told me, “No, thats ‘ennui‘, it’s weary and dissatisfied and French. Start using it” So I did. But what to do with Entropy? Turns out Entropy has a “real job“, serving the varied fields of thermodynamics, cosmology, and info-theory, among others, and it’s the tendency of organized stuff to break down, fall apart, quit caring (decreasing ‘Delta T’). It’s calculable and expressible in several different unit systems, from the mundane “shit happens” to Joules/Kelvin assesments of usable energy in your damn homemade Stirling engine (after the dry ice “went away” (sublimated) and the hot water kinda lost its get-up-and-go. I still say that’s just how i felt in Mississippi, but Science demands Accuracy, right?   **Al Tezachen***





jsolberg responds
   Luckily, I never had to “watch the worst minds of my generation” running around mindlessly babbling “WTF, me’n Kyle were at the mall and like, bein entropic ‘n shit”  So WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH ‘RANDOM’??? Ok, I know I been out of the States for ages, but damn, did I leave a freaking note on the door saying, “Take any word (at random?), and now when you use it, “it means ‘exactly’ what YOU say it means”? No, that was Sinclair Lewis, and surely he was joking.
   What Random is and isn’t: clip and paste..
1) Random decidedly IS NOT stupid you and your stupider homies hanging at the mall being assholes. That is a highly-probable state, which is the (one of the) exact opposites of random. In fact, the entropic “heat-death” of the visible Universe now appears to be a neutral, neutered mix of strip-malls, starbuckses, and hanging homies.
2) Pseudo-random, which was good enough for me for twenty years, was the ADC (analog-to-digital-converter) of my beloved Motorola 6557 sound-chip, which sampled “white noise” and gave me a new 16 bit number as fast as I could say “Where the fuck did you get THAT number??”
3)True Random dserves two entries, one practical, and one technical. See, sometimes Krypton85 (I love the sound of that!) decides to beta-decay. Like a girl you thought you understood…. For no reason. Well, yes, a very good reason, but NOW? In a traffic jam  in Beer Sheva? (that it wasn’t my fault we ended up in)? Anyway, Beta-decay IS truly random, and you can use it to build a really nifty random number generator that fits inside of an overheated Ford Fiesta. On to Compu-speak..
4) Didn’t take long till Alan Turing and Kurt Godel and Johnny freaking von Neuman decided to get random…very specifically, I might add. Spend the rest of your sanity figuring THEM out, but here’s my bottom-line personal fast-forward..(my what?). “Any number it takes as long or longer to describe completely by a “program” than it does to simply “call it out” is pretty damn random.” Give me a 128-digit ones-and-zeros number. Then I bet you a frosty Sheva Beer I can come up with a short-cut for remembering it…If I can’t, you win, and YOU gotta drink the beer, deal? Kinda like comparing a Bitmap file with its competing JPEG version…(ok, if JPEG was loss-less compression) If the files are the same size, it means the “Expert’s Group” threw up their calous-less suburban hands on this one. So congratulations, your number is like totally random, dude. You can take it to the mall. Now go have some Rigorous fun.