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Robert Anton Wilson called. He says, "23! 23! 23!"

I recently - just last Wednesday or Thursday - finished re-reading the late Robert Anton Wilson's book Cosmic Trigger.

One recurring theme in the book is the interesting string of coincidences that starts to follow you around once you start to enter the practice of magick, of "self-induced brain change" as he puts it. RAW is carefully agnostic on whether the perceived coincidences stem from psychology of perception, parapsychology, quantum physics, a holographic universe, some synchronicity beyond our ken, or what.

One of his favorites is the "23 connection". I've always been more of a "Law of Fives" man myself (remember, the harder you look, the more you'll see the Law of Fives manifest), but I've seen 23 spring up a few times.

Like when, on Saturday, just a few days after finishing re-reading Cosmic Trigger, 23s still dancing in my head, I see one of these movie posters for "The Number 23" in a bus stop shelter as Cathy was driving us to the Metro stop to go down to D.C. for the anti-war march.

sick puppy

Took the dogs to the vet today. Wanted to make sure they were up on their shots before I go jetting off, and also Chewie had a lump I thought out to be looked at.

I thought it was probably just a swollen lymph node, but Dr. Oweis said tumor.

So, Chewie's in for surgery. The tumor is small and seems to be fairly superficial, and he should be coming home Wednesday. Any positive healing thoughts directed toward the wookiest dog in Catonsville, are appreciated.

Jan 28st Zelda's exercises

First exercise: "Extrapolations". Given a set of objects (what I had in my bag: a pair of scissors, a Chicago Transit Authority card, a big glass marble, two green rubber bands, a set of plasticware, and a digital camera), describe the room from which all these things came.

the table by the window is covered with photos, torn magazine pages, x-acto knives and razor blades and a few different sizes of scissors
all scattered on a cutting board
a camera on top of a stack of prints
on the corner of the table a clear plastic clamshell salad container, dried French dressing crusting it and the white plastic knife and fork, soaked in to the c

Osaka it to me!

Dear friends, family, and colleagues,

Well, I've been talking about it for a while, and the time has come to commit. I've gone and booked my tickets - I'll be heading to Osaka, Japan for the spring!

I will be leaving March 5th (yes, Trish and Nicole, I'll still be here for Picesfest 2007) and returning May 31st (yes, just in time to get my camping gear together and go off to the Free Spirit Festival two weeks later).

It is a little scary, and means borrowing some money for a while, but if I don't take advantage of the opportunity to do this while circumstances allow I will be kicking myself forever.

have a Load of Fun with Tom Swiss, February 2

Will the poet/singer/songwriter see his shadow and be frightened back into his hole, signifying a long winter? Will he be stuck living the same day over and over again? Will Brigid, muse of the poets, visit him on this old Celtic holy day of Imbolc?

Probably not, but come find out at a night of music and poetry - A Load of Poetry, in fact, from the fine folks at, on Friday February 2nd, 8 pm, at:

Load of Fun Gallerie
120 W. North Avenue (in the Station North arts district)

featuring words and tunes by yours truly, Tom Swiss. Open mic follows.

"Tens of thousands" march on D.C. demanding withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq

ABC News reports on today's Iraq war protest. They put attendance in the tens of thousands, and note that there were only about 40 counter-protestors. I've seen the number of pro-war protestors shrink at each of the three marches (pre-invasion, March 2006, and this one) that I've participated in; seems it's getting harder and harder for even the most stubborn Bush fan to believe in this war.

More details to come.

another drive for a BrowserCam account

As I reported last year, BrowserCam
is a cool service that allows you to obtain screenshots of web sites in a number of different browsers, and even use VNC for live tests.

It is, however, on the spendy side - one day's access is
$24.95, or $499.95 for a year. But they are offering a special for a group purchase via a group of 20 can get a year's access for $25 each. Way cool. Come join us!

Zelda's Inferno, January 21

First exercise: "Block,Pillar, Slab, and Beam". write a poem in which you build or take apart something

I wasn't there when he put it up
Nor when it was taken down
But I imagine him happy putting it up, a hale man in his sixties putting up a swing set for his grandsons
Sinking thick steel tubes into the ground, angled brackets holding them together
A screwdriver, a wrench, pliers in his hands as he marked and filled space with the frame, hung the chains to make the function
(I think about how he picked out the location, sun and shade, trees and garden)

I think that frame was still up (swings and chains long gone) when I graduated college, my brother high school

shortwave "numbers stations": creepy spy stuff

When I was a kid, my folks got a multi-band radio that picked up not just AM and FM, but shortwave and audio channels from TV. (If memory serves, they got the radio with a big stack of game tickets from an arcade in Atlantic City.)

While we mostly used it to listen to Johnny Walker or Brian and O'Brien in the mornings, or listen in on TV shows while in the tub in the evening, every once in a while I'd fool with the shortwave. Sometimes I'd pick up a weird channel with someone reading numbers, ghostly voices reciting nonsense.

"white noise" generator with sox for Linux

I am a light sleeper. So a while back I was thinking about getting a "white noise" generator for my bedroom.

Then I remembered that my computer sits right across from my bed. Certainly there must be a software option...

Sox is "the swiss army knife of sound processing programs". It comes standard on most GNU/Linux distributions and is available for other platforms.


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