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small blue square Here's my more-detailed reaction to the new Joni Mitchell record, "Taming The Tiger". The title song's the most memorable tune - it incorporates Blake's

Tiger! Tiger! Burning Bright
In the forests of the night
(rather like she did with Yeats' "Things Fall Apart..." on "Night Ride Home") and also the word "Boring!" like it's sung out these days. Overall her vocalizations are "jazzy" in a way we haven't heard since 1979's "Mingus". That's my least favorite record, hence I don't really care for this new one either - I like the folk/rock/experimental Joni most. Up until (and including) 1976's "Hejira" (which is among her very best, in my opinion) almost every song on a record was great; since that one she's made great songs, but not great albums. I always buy the new one anyway, just to hear her latest.

small purple square What I'm really listening to today is New Order: "Bizarre Love Triangle" (that great late-80's Modern Rock anthem) and their more recent "Republic" album, featuring "Regret".

small cyan square I was in the bank today buying American Express travelers checks, one of those traditional chores before an international trip. I tried to resist this time since I'm going to attempt funding as I go via the method which allegedly gives the best exchange rate: augmenting credit-card charges whenever possible with cash withdrawals in the local currency from ATMs with my debit card. Advice claims this is easy in Germany, but since I haven't tried it yet (I never use other than my own bank's ATMs) I remain dubious, especially overseas. If it doesn't work I'll be prepared, and besides: the old travel motto is to "take twice the cash and half the clothing".

small yellow square Y2K Spotlight

From an article today on c|net's site:
Based on research conducted by [technology consulting firm] Gartner, 30% - 50% of all companies world wide will experience at least one mission critical failure due to the Year 2000 technology problem. About 15 percent of U.S. companies will experience at least one mission critical failure and 10 percent of mission critical failures will last three days, Lou Marcoccio, a research director at the firm, told the [Senate Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem] committee.
Are you snickering at the bogosity of these generalized figures like I am? The page by the U.S. Senate has this weird animated GIF:
. (I made its background transparent.)

small violet square While I'm throwing out links, check this class test in today's "Suck" - made me laugh!

ATM - Automated Teller Machine
GIF - (CompuServe) Graphic Interchange Format
Y2K - Year 2 Kilo
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