More on clocks

If 10:10 and (less often) 2:50 are the weird times of reality derailment in an analog clock world, then I’m convinced that 1:01 is the comparable weird time in digital clock world. I don’t like waking up in the middle of the night and looking at a digital clock and seeing it say 1:01. The zero always looks like an eye. Brr.


Y’know how in advertisements, all non-digital clocks or watches are set for 10:10 or (less often) 2:50? So that you get the hands open, pointing up, inviting, waiting for your money (or whatever the advertisement is trying to suck out of you) to drop lovingly into that clock-face cusp? And knowing that, does it ever weird you out to look at a clock in real life and see that it’s 10:10 or (less often) 2:50, and then to ponder what you’re life is advertising, and who or what is looking at you while it does it? You don’t? Oh. Well. Never mind then.

John Smith

Since my given name is “John E. Smith,” I’ve spent most of my life hearing various and sundry Pocahantas or John Q. Public jokes, none of which are amusing, all of which are even less funny after you’ve heard them a couple of hundred times over the years. And when I try to check into a hotel? Sheesh . . . I can’t do it without getting “Oh, I see, Mr. Smith, hmm? Mr. John Smith, yes?? Bit obvious on the alibi, aren’t we?? Ha ha hah. Oh, and this lovely lady must be Mrs. Smith, of course, yes? [leer and wink]. Oh, yes, we have a room for you right here, Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Would the hourly rate be best for you this evening?” So the next time you encounter me, or the next time you encounter one of the world’s other unfortunate John Smiths, please refrain from making light of our names. We’ve heard it all before.

Just One

I like going out to eat alone sometimes, enjoying having the opportunity to read the sports page over a plate of sushi or check out the stocks while noshing a grilled cheese and slurping a bowl of chowder. Mmm mmm good. It’s funny to me, though, that waitstaff seem to trained to offend solo diners, as the questions always offered me while I stand alone at the maitre’d podium is “[sniff of disdain] Just one today, hmm?” as they look over my shoulders to see if someone is emerging from the parking lot behind me. But, nope, it’s just sad, lonely old pathetic me. Just me. Just one.

Quote of the Day

The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is a hymn to the integral innocence of the human spirit meeting the bacon slicer of a corruptive society; a forerunner to the ‘street music’ of the late ’70s and far better crafted. That’s why the legend of the piece grows stronger through the years while much rival material has gone swiftly to the dumper. Maybe Genesis offered insights into a different kind of hopelessness, a more internalized condition, from that endured by today’s largely unemployed young; but it was and is only a difference in kind.” (Tony Stratton-Smith, 1982)(And damn right on the money he was).

Translator Poetry

Man, oh, man do I love translator software as a poetic device. Write a piece of simple doggerel sometime, then run it through a translator program a few times–English to Spanish, Spanish to Italian, Italian to French, French to German, German to English–and what comes out is so surreal and so beautiful and so beyond what the human mind could create on its own. Need a sample? Here ya go:

we chew ourselves
we sings: us! us!
we run (ourselves), plays, us
we go ourselves
the backed enjoyment: we! we!
quickly we lubricate the wax of the carousel
the slide, the lube of the Chutney
and he/it leaves us
the slide, they fells, (she/it) (we) (we) (we)
what? free? us?
in order to be everything we can,
he/it can be
or, in order not to be
if I sewed,
if he/it is not or he/it is,
or he/it could harden himself/itself in the phlegm
in the phlegm
(we) in the phlegm
hardened us
much heat
much heat
much moist
much heat
like the shrub
like the blood
like the crate
like the musty smell
like the mac in the phlegm, in the heather
and the mac in the duff
and he/it put me low,
and he/it put me the lie,
and he/it extended me
to sleep or to die