Back in a moment.
Thank you Santa.
Tuesday, July 29
Look's like the folks at poetry.com have caught on.
I downloaded 39 CDs over the weekend. Legally. All paid for. From Charlie Parker to George Carlin, Motorbaby to Fairport Convention, Mozart to Thelonius Monk, They Might be Giants to, necessarily, The Pixies.
Some of it I'm not sure I like. But that's OK. If that's all I download this month (unlikely), it still works out to thirty-seven and a half cents per CD. Australian cents.
EMusic: They don't suck.
'Scuse me while I listen to Van Morrison's Brown Eyed Girl again.
To the Nines by Janet Evanovich
Stephanie Plum's a Jersey Girl. That's New Jersey, in case you're confused. Retrenched from her job as a lingerie buyer (not nearly as glamorous as it sounds), she took the only job she could get: working for her cousin Vinny, a slimeweasel who runs a bail bond agency. So now Stephanie's a bail bond enforcement agent - a bounty hunter.
Which isn't as glamorous as it sounds either. Particularly when you're no good at it, and she isn't. Stephanie gets by on luck, a little help from her friends, and extreme persistence.
This is the nine-and-a-halfth Plum outing, and the series has gotten into a comfortable groove. Which is good - you know what you're getting - and bad - you know, well, you know what you're getting. And that's what you get. To the Nines is smart, funny, and well-written, and it advances its characters maybe an eighth of an inch.
Still recommended. 4 out of 5.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling
Also the latest in a series of bestsellers. In this volume, Harry turns into an adolescent git, blah blah, someone dies, the end.
This takes eight hundred pages. There are a couple of very effective scenes. In eight hundred pages. There's a good two-fifty or three hundred page novel in there, slowly suffocating. It's not the worst eight hundred page pile of excess verbiage I've ever read - Wizard's First Rule takes that laurel - but it needs the attention not so much of an editor's red pencil as a pair of electric hedge trimmers.
Meh. I give it 2 out of 5.
Saturday, July 26
Every good boy deserves fruit. What's the other one? Oh, F.A.C.E. Yeah.
I'll be spending the weekend downloading music. Not from Kazaa, 'cause that would be bad (and I wouldn't want to do anything bad). Not from the iTunes Music Store, because I don't have a Mac.
Err... Except for the dual G4. And the G4 cube. Oh, and the iMac. Um, and the G3. Apart from those, no Macs.
I still won't be using the iTunes Music Store because it's only available in the U.S., and I happen to live in the not-U.S. Somebody has to, or else the planet gets out of balance and tips over and the polar ice caps melt and all the penguins get sunburn and Miami sinks below the waves. Which would be great and all, but sunburnt penguins get grouchy and we can't have that.
I won't be using BuyMusic.com because it's run by a bunch of wankers. The files are Windows-only, and I don't... Well, only two. The files are Windows only, the user interface is Windows only, everything is riddled with DRM ("Digital Rights Managament", as in, "You ain't got none"), and they charge too much.
Instead, I'll be downloading from EMusic. (And, yes, I've made a Music directory on my E: drive.) $9.95 per month - though they do ask that you sign up for 12 months to get that price - and you can download as much as you want.
They don't have all the current Top 40 stuff, but I don't really see that as a downside. If there's something on the Top 40 that I like, I'll hear it somehow and I'll buy it. What they do have includes They Might Be Giants, a number of George Carlin comedy albums (as opposed to his tragedy albums, I guess), some selections from little-known artists like John Coltrane, Thelonius Monk, Miles Davis... Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw... Bach, Mozart, some guy named "Vivaldi".
In short, all the stuff that I'd really like to own but had never got around to forking over the cash for. And now, for the same price I paid for lunch on Thursday, I've got it all. Or at least I would have if my download speeds hadn't suddenly decided to suck. Since it was working fine earlier in the evening (during hideously expensive peak time) and only started sucking just now (during quote-free-unquote off-peak time), I'll tentatively lay the blame at my miserable excuse for an ISP, who shall be history any day now.
Any day now... Taps fingers... Grrr.
Tuesday, July 22
When else the purple hippos fly,
I often stop to wonder why:
Why antlers only wear one boot,
Why libraries do not take root,
How people walk their marzipan,
How mice are greater yet than man,
Where turnips grow when I stand up,
What cornflour should I feed a pup,
Which eiderdown I lost at sea,
When all things meaningless to me,
Are spinning gently, feeling ill,
Nurse says it's time to take my pill.
Thursday, July 17
I'm still working on my anime top
Night is not the time
to brood on lack of lime;
a margarita's useless
when the lime is juiceless.
And to add to all my woes,
a dog just ate my mother's toes....
Freemont B. Lebowski
Wednesday, July 16
No better way to spice up a blog than to
Toe No Mo'
the bloom fell off
the garden roses
when the puppy
ate mother's toses.
Freemont G. Bowen
My Mother's Toes
I used to have little brown pup
With sad brown eyes. When he grew up
The dog bit off my mother's nose
Then the dog ate my mother's toes.
It ate them one by one, all ten.
Then threw up, and ate them again.
I don't have that dog any more.
Freemont Freemont Freemontressori
The Canterdoggy Tales
What eyleth yow to grucche thus and gronne?
Is if for ye wolde have my toes allone?
Wy, taak it al! lo, have it every deel!
Dog! I shrewe yow, but ye love it weel;
For I wolde selle my belle toes,
I kould walke fresh as a rose;
The dog ate my mother's toes.
Freemont VII Preston Chaucer
Passage of Time
Seeing my life from within the throes
Nothing can change, but still I chose
I've seen it all through highs and lows
Everything -- my heart was squoze
The day the dog ate mother's toes
A Sonnet, or: Help! My toes!
What piquant inspiration’s driven me
To scribe such foolish, addle-minded verse?
A comic genius' blog from whence, you see,
Emerged a challenge that forecasts the worst
For Poetry.com's poor tournament
To locate lyric diamonds in the rough.
For now the Freemonts come, all fraudulent,
And leave behind their own poetic fluff.
Oh, thus must I, while typing, ruminate
Upon the untold upshot of this act.
Could some true Freemont, unknown laureate,
Be scarred for life by such a lack of tact?
Now peroration's nigh; well here it goes:
The dog has eaten up my mother's toes.
Freemont Tobor Nomeerf
Tuesday, July 15
The International Squirrel Conspiracy is holding a poetry contest. You can view some of the entries here: just search on a first name of "Freemont". (The contest requires that all entrants use that name. There are certain other requirements as well.)
Unfortunately, my entry ran somewhat over the 20-line limit, and I was forced to cut it into three parts and submit them separately. Fortunately, you, the lucky (and wise and discerning) readers of this blog can read the whole unexpurgated masterpiece right here:
As we travel through our lives,
We all encounter certain woes;
For happiness is fleeting,
And contentment comes and goes,
And good fortune never lingers -
The tide ebbs after it flows.
But I never dreamed I'd find the dog
That ate my mother's toes.
The day was brisk, the sky was grey,
The trees were filled with crows;
I'd just filled up my fishpond
With the neighbour's garden hose.
I fumbled for a handkerchief
With which to blow my nose -
And then looked up, and saw the dog
That ate my mother's toes.
I looked at him; he looked at me;
He was chewing on a rose.
His eyes were hard, his mouth was set -
Determined, I suppose.
I'd have gone and fetched my shotgun -
But I don't got me one of those.
So I stood my ground and faced the fiend
That ate my mother's toes.
We glared into each other's eyes
The bitterest of foes:
The fellow who just lives his life,
The dog that feeds on does.
And then he got run over -
One reaps just what one sows -
And lay there dying, the vile beast
That ate my mother's toes.
My poetry may sometimes rhyme,
But can't compete with Poe's.
The meter changes over time;
The rhyming comes and goes.
My one last act I will remark,
For none here would oppose:
I kicked him in the ribs and he
Coughed up my mother's toes.
Tuesday, July 08
To salve my conscience after Loyal First Reader Susie accused me of poesy (when I was in fact quoting the Great Weird Al), here is something that I really did write:
A Reflection Upon the Modern Style
Poetry that doesn't rhyme
Is laziness, a waste of time,
A blight upon the landscape that
Would be outlawed if I were King.
And poems that do not scan are worse;
How can they be described as verse?
They have no soul; their tone is flat;
They do not make one cry or sing.
This modern stuff I cannot stand.
It must be banished from the land,
While I lay out the welcome mat
For poetry with rhymes that ring
Down through these hallowed, ancient halls
And far on out beyond these walls,
To man and woman, dog and cat...
I'm out of words that end in ing.
Monday, July 07
Would you look at all that stuff...
They've got allen wrenches, gerbil feeders, toilet seats, electric heaters,I'm goin' to the Hardware Store.
Trash compactors, juice extractors, shower rods and water meters,
Walkie-talkies, copper wires, safety goggles, radial tires,
BB pellets, rubber mallets, fans and dehumidifiers,
Picture hangers, paper cutters, waffle irons, window shutters,
Paint removers, window louvres, masking tape and plastic gutters,
Kitchen faucets, folding tables, weather stripping, jumper cables,
Hooks and tackle, grout and spackle, power foggers, spoons and ladles,
Pesticides for fumigation, high-performance lubrication,
Metal roofing, water proofing, multi-purpose insulation,
Air compressors, brass connectors, wrecking chisels, smoke detectors,
Tire gauges, hamster cages, thermostats and bug deflectors,
Trailer hitch demagnetizers, automatic circumcisers,
Tennis rackets, angle brackets, Duracells and Energizers,
Soffit panels, circuit breakers, vacuum cleaners, coffee makers,
Calculators, generators, matching salt and pepper shakers —
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