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[Comments] (7) The Problem Is: The problem with splitting California into two culturally symbolic states, North and South, like you were planning to do in your post-cyberpunk novel, is that there's this great big valley running right down the middle of California. You can't really split it down the middle, nor can you split around it without creating a jigsaw puzzle. You're stuck!

This has been The Problem Is.

[Comments] (1) WE CAN SNEAK IT INTO THE SUBMARINE: From a meandering Salon article Sumana pointed me to, I found out about the ultra-decadent Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai, which I could never go to for fear the hotel would suddenly start sailing off into the Persian Gulf. It sure has a lot of stuff, but the bizarre all-caps style of the ad copy makes me think the person writing it is asking for my help smuggling money out of the country.

SPANNING 330 SQUARE METRES.. THE CLUB SUITE.. LOCATED ON THE 19TH AND 20TH FLOORS..IS THE PERFECT ENTERTAINMENT SUITE.SPORTING A SNOOKER TABLE.. COCKTAIL BAR AND DINING TABLE FOR 6 PEOPLE WHILE CLEANING.. THIS GORGEOUS SUITE I DISCOVERED $20 MILLION IN US DOLLARS LEFT.. BY A PREVIOUS OCCUPANT BENEATH THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE WHICH LEADS UP TO AN ADDITIONAL LOFT COMPLETE WITH SITTING AREA CONTINUING INTO THE BEDROOM WITH ITS KING SIZE BED.. I WRITE THIS FROM THE COMPLETE BUSINESS CENTER CONSISTING OF A WORK DESK..LAPTOP..PRINTER PRIVATE FAX AND TELEPHONE SERVICES AND DATAPORT ..

: Incidentally, a fun game you can play is to search for the name of a country and see at what position the CIA World Factbook entry for that country comes up. Actually, now that I've written it down, I don't really see why it's fun.

More fun to look through the Factbook for tiny territories like Howland Island, which features tourist attractions like the historic Earhart Light beacon (named after Amelia Earhart, who was headed for the island when she disappeared) and... nothing else. The only thing on the island is a thing that helps you stay away from the island. Fortunately, "the laws of the US, where applicable, apply."

: I recorded a song ("Monochrome") for you tonight, but then I had to wrestle like Jacob with my sound card, and then it turned out the vocals were red at the beginning, and then Sumana said it was too long ("What is it, four verses?" "Uh, three."), and then I came up with a better solo for the pyrotechnic finish, and generally it needs to be rerecorded. I don't know what I can do about the length, though. It's a standard three minutes and by gum it's supposed to be the missing link between the peppy 2:30 grungefest and the half-hour two-sample techno club beat that makes you want to leave, to be anywhere but here, to listen to Donovan or something just to hear a chord progression. I guess the experience has made me bitter. I have passed through the Easy Bake crucible!

OK, starting to babble. Time to turn off the computer.


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