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[Comments] (2) : When I was very young my family did some recordings on my dad's big 80s tape recorder. Like Sumana, when I was a little older I did recorded sketch comedy with myself, eventually filling up a couple tapes. The former have survived; the latter mercifully perished. (I do, unfortunately, still have the horrible "shareware" GW-BASIC games I wrote back then.) Anyway, the tradition has revived as Sumana now occasionally bugs me to do a "podcast", which is what these recordings are apparently called nowadays.

There are fourteen of these "podcasts" so far but you haven't heard them because they always turn into rambling forty-five-minute conversations or they get mushy or boring, or I use the time to come up with hilariously obscene art projects. UNTIL NOW. Podcast 1: Duluth Trek has enough catalog nitpicking and Star Trek fanboyism to keep you entertained for five minutes, assuming you already know us and haven't heard our voices in a while. Note that this is only a podcast in the sense that "podcast" can be used to refer to any audio file slapped up on the web—there's no syndication feed.

: In keeping with today's theme of doing things Sumana already did, I took a career quiz. Here are its top recommended careers for me, with careers I've seriously considered bolded like so many peanuts.

  1. Website Designer
  2. Industrial Designer
  3. Historian
  4. Computer Programmer
  5. Fashion Designer
  6. Cartoonist / Comic Illustrator
  7. Cartographer
  8. Sign Maker
  9. Interior Designer
  10. Electrician
  11. Cabinetmaker
  12. Electronics Assembler
  13. Costume Designer
  14. Set Designer
  15. Makeup Artist
  16. Computer Engineer
  17. Video Game Developer
  18. Multimedia Developer
  19. Mathematician
  20. Anthropologist

"Writer" showed up at 34. Looking back, my would-be careers tended to fall through due to me not having the relevant skills (cartoonist, mathematician, professional baseball player) or the market not existing anymore (multimedia developer? What is this, 1994? Well, it was at the time.) or the work just being not very exciting up close (video game developer, website designer, paleontologist).

[Comments] (2) Puzzle: At the office supply store we saw a padlock whose keying mechanism was a set of five wheels like you might see on a briefcase. Instead of numbers the wheels had letters on them. Instead of a random string, you can choose a word to be the lock combination. The word can have five letters or four (one of the 'letters' on the fifth wheel was a blank). The locks in the store were set to "MATCH".

Obviously when you design the wheels you want to arrange the letters so that they can spell the largest number of words. Assuming there are 10 letters on a wheel, what are the best wheels?

That's the puzzle. The metapuzzle is to see if an equivalent puzzle has already been posed and answered.

: Recently I read two books about ontology: Ventus and Apex Hides the Hurt. Very different books, but maybe not that different. Colson Whitehead's last two novels have basically been hard science fiction, except that marketing isn't a science. A hyperliterate book reviewer such as myself might analogize his works to a super-Mundane Space Merchants. Unless I'm doing the opposite of the thing where authors who've clearly written a science fiction story try to wriggle off the hook.

[Comments] (1) : Today at the thrift store I found a Carousel Executive Snack Dispenser! aka Tom Servo's head! It's blue instead of red, but it's close enough to be disturbing—it has no snack-dispensing connotations, it's the head of a guy I kind of know. I'm pretty sure I could fit it with a string if I had the equipment, so maybe that'll be a long term project.

Search Requests of Pathos: magic real wishing trolls to make your wishes come easily true

It's a wonderful world... of crushing disappointment!


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