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small green square I came home from work eager to log on and etc but the dialup wouldn't. So I lift the receiver and hear a noisy line, static. And I call PacBell and they won't have a guy around here until Monday! So I'm cut off for a while.

small red square It occurs to me that I've been doing exactly what I got busted for in 1985. I earned an official "Letter Of Caution", a written reprimand that said I "typed in excerpts from a novel and stored them online". And I'm still surrendering to this weird compulsion. I thought all copies of my files were purged, but my friend Eddie managed to save what I'd done (unfortunately output from a CAPS-ONLY printer), here's a summary of the contents of the offending file, xxxxx.MYFILE.DATA(SET1):

  • The diner scene where Dagny gets her first $ cigarette, from Atlas Shrugged
  • an article called "The 'Euros' Take Manhattan" by Jeffrey Hogrefe
  • Walker Percy's Introduction to A Confederacy of Dunces
  • some of the lyrics of "A Rum Tale" by Procol Harum
  • the first half of "February 1999: Ylla" from The Martian Chronicles
  • lyrics to "Hejira" by Joni Mitchell
  • a few paragraphs from "Fathers And Sons" by Ernest Hemingway (mashing, heinous)
  • two columns of lyrics: left - from "Maybe Baby", right - from "The End Of The World"
  • a scene in the Connecticut Ave apartment from The Winds Of War
  • the scene in The Stand where the Dark Man tells Nadine his name
  • Chief Broom's dream from One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
  • a story Sam Spade tells Bridget O'Shaughnessy in The Maltese Falcon
  • "The Fable Of The Good Lion" by Ernest Hemingway
I thought it would be neat to have a little bit of this sort of material stashed away amongst all the dry numbers and orbital data on those NASA mainframes I worked with. Plus it gave me something to do on grave shift, and I was really intrigued because I could save stuff like this, never having the ability to save lower-case (or any, really) text before (it was a transitional time). They gave me this account, said it was mine for whatever - what was I supposed to do with it?

small yellow square I remember that night in 1977 I slept under the stars near the Welsh frontier, and it grew rainy. Rather damp the next morning, I got a ride from a pudgy man who was delivering pies in his small lorry. He dropped me off in town where I went into the only place that was open, which turned out to be just a store, no coffee or breakfast, sorry. So I went back outside, followed shortly by a woman who'd been in there too who hailed me on the sidewalk with an "I say!" She took me back to her place (a house a few blocks away) where she served me not only coffee but eventually an entire English breakfast (toast and fried eggs, bacon and the stewed tomato). As I sat in the pleasant kitchen, her teenage daughter came downstairs, carrying a small radio which was playing "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida", softly. Then she went back upstairs. I can't recall what happened next.

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