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small white square This morning at the gym when I opened the door, the attendant's ghetto blaster was at maximum volume. He favors the most offensive rap noise, what's just a bunch of angry voices of color shoutin' motherfucken shit. There's some minimal rhythm which they ain't even following closely, the only other accompaniment an occasional outburst of horns (perhaps something sampled from another recording). This guy's "box" is the tubular JVC RV-B90 "Kaboom", which uses ten "D-cell" batteries, and is characterized as "Urban Assault" in one catalog I receive. On weekdays an older black man inhibits any radio playing - he's a whole different trip of loudness, usually holding forth on some topic or another to a couple of minions in that small office by the door. It's obvious that he's been there forever. Fortunately this gym's so huge that these goings-on by the front door are far removed from the facilities I use.

small red square Great News from the Fatherland! Wahlsieger Schröder, die große Verlierer Kohl - Gerhard Schröder won the election! The conservative old-guard Kohl is history. There's concern over there about the Green vote being divisive in the Bundestag, however. I heard a thing on the radio yesterday about improvements to our own moribund two-party system ("throwing away your vote" problem <1>) where the proposal was ballots with first, second and third choices - if your primary candidate lost, your vote would go to the secondary, etc. Unfortunately, as with Campaign Finance Reform and the method of tallying the Census, the ruling class has no intention of allowing change which threatens to loosen their grip on authority, which is why I believe it will take catastrophe to effect positive change. Fortunately we may be getting that opportunity with upsets caused by the year 2000 "bug".

small yellow square Long phone chat with L this afternoon. It's his daughter (and my god-daughter) V's birthday (she's 12) so naturally I spoke with her too - 'twas the reason for the call. Her stomach hurts and all fear appendicitis, but it doesn't sound that serious to me (an old survivor of appendectomy surgery).

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<1> Example: The lesser-of-two-evils Democrat loses "because" too many votes went to the Libertarian candidate, hence the fascist Republican wins the election.