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GNAW 2002 and Time Immemorial

Inspired by Robot Wisdom, back in 1998 I started a handrolled blog that I called GNAW, for GNAW’s Not A Weblog. At first I didn’t even put dates on my posts. Here, for ridiculous posterity–and I imagine most if not all of these links are broken–are the posts from 1998-2002.


2002 and Time Immemorial

31 Dec 2002

Another New Year, another Twilight Zone marathon on Sci Fi, another chance to watch my favorite episode, The Hunt. Goodbye, 2002.

27 Dec 2002

So Jeb says, “Which local bands do you like these days?” and I probably say something along the lines of, “Oh, Two Dollar Pistols, The Loners, Regina Hexaphone…”

20 Dec 2002

Saw The Two Towers w/ Kessel yesterday. Best moment: Legolas & horse (you’ll know it when you see it). As Andre Bréton wrote, “a pair of silk stockings is not a leap into space” and that certainly was not a pair of silk stockings because it was such a beautiful leap into space. Actor I was happiest to see working: Brad Dourif. (Which reminds me … DVD I’d most like to see released: Wise Blood. Hazel Motes, we hardly knew ye.)

6 Dec 2002

Still re-building after the massive ice storm. The current is flowing but the power lines are on the ground, which can’t be good. That is not a metaphor. Everybody go take a look at Gavin’s un-journal.

18 Nov 2002

Small blessings arrive in the mail: Yo La Tengo’s Nuclear War (four versions of the Sun Ra tune) and Cat Power‘s You Are Free, which won’t be released until 18 Feb 2003, and which is devastatingly great. Mark your calendar. Buy a copy. You are free.

12 Nov 2002

“It’s the old Purloined Letter trick,” the Assassin whispered back. “We’re hiding in plain view. She won’t believe it. We’re safe and now we’re free to act as crazy as we want to.”

11 Nov 2002

Some other folks from the Good Guy list: Kristin and Alan.

8 Nov 2002

Fragments. Tonight’s the Night was playing, at one point. And it is again. Come On Baby Let’s Go Downtown. Indeed.

22 Oct 2002

All of a sudden several of my friends have started weblogs. Peace out to home dawgz Christopher and Gwenda.

19 Oct 2002

“If anybody wants to clap,” said Eeyore when he had read this, “now is the time to do it.”

17 Oct 2002

Jeb Bishop played here last night with his trio (Jeb on trombone, Kent Kessler on bass, Tim Mulvenna on drums). Jeb’s been my friend for twenty years now; I’ve been in at least two and a half bands with him (including Angels of Epistemology and the more obscure but perhaps more interesting and/or). He’s a good guy who makes good music. His current work as a pillar of the Chicago improv scene is definitely worth checking out.

16 Oct 2002

Sue Denim, Vincent Omniaveritas, Hunilla de Cholo … back in the day, they rocked the old-school beats in Cheap Truth. If you’ve never read these before, you probably need to now.

15 Oct 2002

Exciting! Modern! Buildings!

14 Oct 2002

I like Buñuel films. I do not like the Buñuel martini.

13 Oct 2002

Yesterday Barb and I toured North Carolina pottery country. In the 18th century seven families of potters from Staffordshire, England settled in northwest Moore County. Their descendants (and others) make pottery there today. There are dozens of potteries all located within a five-mile radius. Ben Owen III is my favorite; we talked to him while he turned melon vases on the wheel.

12 Oct 2002

Virus photo falling…

11 Oct 2002

Never die, just multiply.

10 Oct 2002

Yet another sensibly-sized car you won’t be seeing in the United States…

9 Oct 2002

A martini is not just cold gin! Even Ernest Hemingway understood this.

8 Oct 2002

Gourmet cooking is easy and fun.

7 Oct 2002

Michael Bishop (another Trinoc*con guest) is a great guy too.

6 Oct 2002

Trinoc*con was fun. I was in a play Jeanne Beckwith adapted from a Fred Chappell story. I just met Fred this past weekend; he’s a great guy.

5 Oct 2002

When I was 15, I stayed at the Taft Hotel, near Times Square.

4 Oct 2002

Chuck Taggart knows a lot about Sazeracs.

3 Oct 2002

The real I SPY was a wonderful, ground-breaking television show. If Owen Wilson and Eddie Murphy want to make a crappy spy movie, why sully the good names of Alexander Scott and Kelly Robinson? What’s the point?

2 Oct 2002

Cake, steak, candy, robot, etc.

1 Oct 2002

I’m a guest at Trinoc*con again this year.

21 Sep 2002

Iron Roger Cash, at your service.

19 Sep 2002

“Originally available for free download as part of Microsoft’s package of TrueType core fonts for the Web, now discontinued.” So very odd, this discontinuity.

18 Sep 2002

Urban planning made easy.

17 Sep 2002

Interestingly, the Pantisocracy, charted out only on maps in Coleridge’s house in Keswick, was to have been located not far from where Wright built his most famous house, Fallingwater.

15 Sep 2002

I dreamt of me.

11 Sep 2002

Behind the Music: the Village Pistols.

10 Sep 2002

What, you didn’t know that cats write chanties?

9 Sep 2002

The atheists, gopod bless ’em, could really use a new flag design.

7 Sep 2002

Netflix opened a distribution center in Maryland and now the turnaround time is much better (about 2-3 DVDs per week). Recent faves include Little Voice as well as the films of Charles and Ray Eames and the Fishing With John TV series.

6 Sep 2002

Bring back those glory days of classy, stylish (and regulated) air travel. Bring back Braniff.

5 Sep 2002

Niggardly” is in the news again. Argh.

4 Sep 2002

“Your Invincible Panda Stance is no match for my Giant Sloth style…”

3 Sep 2002


2 Sep 2002

Latest obsession: building the ultimate Timbuk2 manpurse.

1 Sep 2002

Top things that “Form Follows,” other than Function, according to Google: Finance, Nature, Values, Content, Strategy, Force, Fantasy, Landscape, Fiction, Image.

27 Aug 2002

Please don’t enter your PIN number on the LCD display of the ATM machine. Thanks.

24 Aug 2002

After a brief flurry of activity in May 2002, discussion of Rem Koolhaas’s proposed European Union flag has died down. Unlike most folks, I like the design.

23 Aug 2002

Data listed on the Carolina Panthers players’ Web pages: Height, Weight, Birthdate, Experience, College, Hometown.

Data listed on the Carolina Panthers cheerleaders’ Web pages: Age, Hometown, Marital Status, Education, Occupation, Future Goal, Hobbies, Favorite Charity, Favorite TV Show, Favorite Food, Favorite Music, Achievements.

21 Aug 2002

Our culture in decline, using the Playboy Interview as a metric: in the 1960s, typical interviewees included Miles Davis, Malcolm X, Vladimir Nabokov, Jean-Paul Sartre, Bob Dylan, Orson Welles, and Marshall McLuhan. In the 1990s, typical interviewees included Jay Leno, M. Scott Peck, Sharon Stone, Anne Rice, Deion Sanders, Camille Paglia, and Bruce Willis. (At least the gender balance got slightly better.)

20 Aug 2002

Dear Google: I like you bunches, but I wish you understood that enclosing a phrase in quotation marks means to search for that exact phrase, not just to search for that exact phrase whenever you feel like it.

16 Aug 2002

Last year I got a Pentax EI-100 digital camera. It’s OK for daytime snapshots, but awful in low light, even though it has a fast fixed lens (f2.8/42mm equivalent). The shots aren’t blurry or grainy the way a film camera would render them under the same conditions—they’re just dark and full of JPEG artifacts.

15 Aug 2002

Create short URLs.

14 Aug 2002

Favorite Richards (for various reasons): Dadd, Fuller, Avedon, Feynman, Kern, Hell, Bon Homme. “I have not yet begun to fight!”

12 Aug 2002

Trivia quiz: Fifth Helena, Dinner Key, Little Bastard, Steilacoom.

8 Aug 2002

Friday Five (.org)
1. Do you have a car? If so, what kind of car is it? I have a ’99 Volkswagen Golf GLS.

2. Do you drive very often? Almost every day, but overall I drive less than the national average.

3. What’s your dream car? It used to be a 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T, but now I’m thinking Hypercar.

4. Have you ever received a ticket? Yes (fifteen years ago).

5. Have you ever been in an accident? Yes (twenty-two years ago).

7 Aug 2002

Swag is spelled s-w-a-g. Schlock is spelled s-c-h-l-o-c-k. You’re welcome.

27 Jul 2002

“What I Didn’t See” is a great story by a great writer, Karen Joy Fowler. That’s all you need to know.

26 Jul 2002

Generate travesties.

23 Jul 2002

The only good blue blood is a rockin’ blue blood.

11 Jul 2002

Time Check: Ten years ago today I was helping Tannis Root Productions shoot the cover for the Freedom of Choice compilation. Michael Lavine was the photographer and Chandra North was the cover model. Sandy Denny asks “Who knows where the time goes?” and I have nothing to say.

10 Jul 2002

RIP YIL. I wrote for them from the beginning—Volume 1 Issue 1—in that strange year of 1995 on into the middle of 2001 when cutbacks ended my term as Contributing Writer and Incredibly Useful Sites columnist. I met some great folks, such as Lisa Holzer, during my time there. They did a lot of things right, they did a few things wrong; best wishes to all the hard-working alumni.

9 Jul 2002

Barbecue is a noun.

7 Jul 2002

a strong green that is bluer and duller than average mintleaf…

29 Jun 2002

Drive drive drive Interstate 95.

24 Jun 2002

The New Beetle is not the new Beetle. The new Beetle is the Golf, in the US. (In other places with more sensible ideas about vehicle size, it’s the Lupo.)

22 Jun 2002

The amazingly beautiful Skyscraper Database even has illustrations for my lil’ ol’ hometown.

9 Jun 2002

I was not aware of street ping pong tournaments until I discovered Taito’s Raizin Ping Pong. “Rise up your racket!!”

6 Jun 2002

Geoff Gann sez, “The Smokey Joe is your friend.”

5 Jun 2002

Free random numbers.

29 May 2002

Save Bucky’s Dome.

19 May 2002

Required listening: Time by Richard Hell. Mostly old and unreleased Voidoids stuff. Everybody needs some kind of ventilator…

15 May 2002

Does good design have to be the province of the rich? Why did Herman Miller dump their relatively affordable small office/home office Herman Miller Red line? Argh.

12 May 2002

I’ve been helping award-winning editor Ellen Datlow put a Web site together.

4 May 2002

I really wish folks knew that “begs the question” doesn’t mean the same thing as “raises the question.” As far as logical fallacies go, though, my favorite is the Slothful Induction.

13 Apr 2002

I want a Hypercar right now.

5 Apr 2002

This guy who sang for the Doors once said, “We have fun, the kids have fun, the cops have fun. It’s kind of a weird triangle.” I live in a triangle, the Research Triangle. Ross Grady keeps me posted on how to have fun there.

4 Apr 2002

Oh, what a fuss when the king trades in…

3 Apr 2002

Writer of (great) stories, novels, poems, essays, reviews … all-around champion Man Of Letters, ladies and gentlemen, James Sallis.

27 Mar 2002

Space: come for the Food Sticks, stay for the Tang.

18 Mar 2002

Netflix is the industry leader in DVD rental over the Web; however, living on the East Coast, I only end up getting 4-5 DVDs per month due to the mail lag time. It’s handy, and the selection is very good (but not great), but don’t expect an endless pipeline of DVDs. Expect a lot of waiting on the mail.

10 Mar 2002

Attention, Wealthy Los Angelenos! If you’re looking to buy a house, check out the Real Architecture Agency. They specialize in finding modern residential architecture in LA; in many cases, these historic homes are sold as teardowns for the greedheads. Why not rescue one with your big American dollars?

Time Immemorial

Things I’m really tired of, part 3: BellSouth DSL (aka Fast Access). Lots of folks have horror stories about dealing with DSL or cable ISPs. I am one of them. It would probably be less annoying if there weren’t so many rosy advertisements touting the speed and ease-of-use of these services. I moved recently, and BellSouth DSL has given me nothing but hassles in (what should be the simple) process of moving my DSL to the new apartment. Promised deadlines come and go, no one at BellSouth DSL gives the same answer when I ask how the process is supposed to work, each department tries to pass the buck to a different department. Lucky for me, I don’t use the email account they provide—when you move, you lose your previous email address (and all of the mail that might’ve been waiting for you). Of course, no one mentioned that to me before I moved.

Things I’m really tired of, part 2: Microsoft Outlook 2000. I have to use this email client for some contract work I’m doing. Yeah, it’s a big virus-propagating program, and it exhibits Microsoft’s typical disregard for Internet standards, but my biggest problem with it is: it doesn’t know when to put up an hourglass. That, combined with the fact that it’s pig slow in the first place, makes it truly frustrating to use over a dial-up link. Has it crashed, or is it just taking a long time to perform an operation? Who knows? Outlook itself sure doesn’t.

Things I’m really tired of, part 1: the incessant paper feed problems with my HP LaserJet 5L. I’m not knocking every Hewlett Packard product ever made; I’d used several of their printers and computers over the years. But this “personal laser printer” has given me nothing but trouble (and that’s for very light use and very simple text printing), so I doubt my next printer will be an HP. I’ve tried every trick I’ve found to get paper to feed properly (one sheet at a time without jamming) but nothing works.

Kelly Solves the Missing Queen Problem.

The Future of Horror married a Scotsman, and Barb Gilly took pictures.

Please donate to the ASPCA Animal Disaster Relief Fund. Thanks.

I operated a turntable and a CD player (some call it DJing) at Kings (a royal barcade in downtown Raleigh, NC) and, of course, I kept a list of the songs I played.

I met her on the PATH train.

Lew Shiner interview. Read it now.

If it’s too quiet where you are, why not listen to WXDU’s RealAudio stream?

It’s ancient news to designers, but not to me: back in Y2K, the folks at Pantone had some color “experts” and celebrities name some of the colors in Pantone’s new palette. Soilent Green (7488 C) is nice. They’ve also got a handy Java applet where you can play with their new colors. (Updated January 2002) Pantone redesigned their site and trashed the new palette and the colorpicker applet, oh well.

Would you like to learn guitar from a member of the seminal band Television? You can if you stop by Richard Lloyd’s site. The lessons are laden with New Age mumbo jumbo, and they’re all based on Western/diatonic scales, nothing more, but it’s still cooler to learn guitar from Richard Lloyd than from some hippie at a music shop, right? Now, if only Tom Verlaine gave on-line lessons too…

It’s everyone’s favorite extremely tall country lutist, Shorty Bacchus (& the Vines).

Folks go to science fiction conferences and conventions. Folks take snapshots. Folks put those snapshots up on the Web: Readercon 12, the 22nd International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts and WisCon 25. Also, Christopher Rowe’s takes on ICFA-22 and WisCon 25 and Barbara Gilly’s take on WisCon 25.

What does your daily software arsenal look like? I tried to come up with a list of software I use at least once a week.

The breathtakingly beautiful Catalano house, the “House of the Decade” in the 1950’s (aka the Ezra Meir house) is now just a pile of rubble, thanks to greedhead developers.

I just sat through a meeting where the president of a huge Internet media company kept calling all of the assembled staff “engineers” even though what she really meant was “various folks who know something about computers.” OK, so engineer has a lot of meanings, including “locomotive driver,” but for most white-collar situations, an engineer is someone with a B.S. or M.S. or Ph.D. in an engineering field. Got it?

Like a zillion other folks, I made a trooper icon of myself. You can make them too.

I’m so sick of eBay sellers using the phrase “Eames Era” to mean anything made between 1940 and 1980.

Writers talk in the Very Interesting People section of

Yet another link to a Link story: “Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose.”

Kelly Link story update: you can also find her story “Survivor’s Ball (or, The Donner Party)” on-line.

It takes at least a dozen people to play, and the text of the rules doesn’t portray the psychological richness of the game, but you should still check out the game called Mafia anyway.

More required reading: Kelly Link is among other things the winner of a World Fantasy Award and a Tiptree Award. More importantly, she is also a great short fiction writer. A couple of her stories, “The Girl Detective” and “The Specialist’s Hat,” are available on-line at the moribund Event Horizon site.

PayPal is a handy way to pay for all that junk you’re finding on eBay. Sign up from my site and make the world a better place.

For some reason, I’ve started maintaining a file on restaurants in the Triangle area of North Carolina area that are “trapped in time.”

Would you like to buy the first modern home ever built in Raleigh, North Carolina? (Updated June 2000) Well, you can’t, because the Kamphoefner House finally sold, although not until after “dozens and dozens” of crazed yuppies called up the real estate office asking if they could buy the house and tear it down.

You can rate wine, women, and song with Deja Ratings. (Updated January 2001) Now that has acquired Deja’s “Precision Buying Service,” Deja Ratings are a thing of the past. (Updated February 2001) And now that Google has acquired the Usenet archive, is gone completely.

There are a bunch of alt.* newsgroups on Usenet. This list is a rather old one from UUNet.

Required reading: Glimpses by Lewis Shiner. This novel (featuring Brian Wilson, Jimi Hendrix, and Jim Morrison, among others) is out of print, but you can order it from Lew’s site. (Updated June 2001) The book’s back in print; you can order it from the bookseller of your choice.

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