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small gray square Inspired by all those Technoids in "Modulations", I got a haircut today. I'd become shaggy, it's a bit overdue, but I requested "short" this time instead of the usual "trim". There's the temptation to shave what remains... I could then get some Doc Martens and pass for a "skin".

small green square Here's something good for you Journal Junkies. I enjoy these Diaries (like Slate does) where they put up people's entries who're not on-line journalistas. They have a whole different flavor.

small purple square Speaking of "Slate", here's the latter half of their "The Week/The Spin" blurb on the Swissair 111 crash:

The early spins: 1) It's terrorism, just like TWA 800. 2) It's mechanical failure, just like TWA 800. 3) We'll endure years of fruitless investigation and conspiracy theories and still never know, just like TWA 800.
Semantic precision: Unlike TWA Flight 800, Swissair Flight 111 was in fact a crash. TWA 800 (like the Challenger) exploded mid-flight and its pieces fell into the ocean, ie those flying machines did NOT crash - listen for incorrect usage of the word by the media. Also, are you getting tired of the rhetorical expression "at the end of the day"?

small yellow square A fundamental rule of mine:
The First is the Best.
In the popular culture, this means sequels and remakes are always suspect, usually dismissible out of hand. (I'm thinking specifically of films here, but the broader generalizations are usually true.) Another way to say it (actually it should be sung) is, "The original is still the greatest." <1> The (Larry) Josephson Corollary to this rule: New Is Worse. What this means to you is, if you're intrigued by the hype surrounding one of the many remakes which fill our current cinema, don't bother - life's too short to waste it having crap flung at you. Instead, seek out the original at your video store. An even more gratifying strategy is to read the book, instead - that is, if it's a film based on an existing book. Don't read a book based on a successful film, however - it's just another remake, in a different form. And while I'm mentioning books, be aware of the way the Rule applies to them - an author's first work is usually his best. There are exceptions to this rule - unlike a lot of writers, truly great authors have the potential for more than one good novel - and they can get better as they age. But they can also get much worse.

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small cyan square Something else I did yesterday was hang around the back of the old Ferry Building on the Embarcadero at the end of Market Street, watching the ferries from Larkspur and Sausalito come and go. A bunch of people were fishing there, in the bright sunshine, with real long poles - never saw 'em catch any, and I wouldn't want to eat anything they caught there - the bay water smelled of petroleum products. Still it was fun "Sitting [on my bicycle] on the Dock of the Bay," and I recalled the time in October 1975 the day after T and I arrived. Compelled by the Pacific I walked from our Tenderloin hotel (the "Gaylord", on Jones) to Fisherman's Wharf where I bought a loaf of sourdough bread. Then I strolled along the Embarcadero until I found an unused, abandoned dock, which I walked out to the end of. As I sat munching and musing on that overcast day, a hemisphere of gulls gathered, some hovering at about the same distance in the air, others alighting on the water forming a mass before me. Yes, eventually I became full of bread, so I tore up the rest in hunks which I tossed out to the now-cawing birds. Then I walked back into the City. (A couple days later I was on a Greyhound heading east, almost broke. I returned to my parents' house after three days "on the dog" with total in-pocket cash of a penny and a dime.)

small red square In an onerous move symptomatic of web-commercialization, the Internet Movie Database has been assimilated by

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<1>From "The 'In' Crowd" by Dobie Gray (1965)