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: I'm back in {black, LA}. Dan's not back yet. I can mess up the room and not have him complain! Which happens even when he's here. Surprising, as he complains about everything else.

Oh, let me print the official rules to "Make Dan ComplainTM", the exciting game craze that's sweeping the nation, much as Mahjongg did in the early years of this century.

Make Dan ComplainTM

  1. 1 Dan Helfman
  2. 1 you
  3. 1 means of communication between you and Dan Helfman

How to play:
Using the means of communication, ask Dan Helfman what he thinks of some object or concept x. Dan Helfman must come up with a articulate and/or funny complaint about x. To notify Dan Helfman that you are initiating a round of Make Dan ComplainTM and not actually asking him for an analysis of x, the time-honored formula "Hey Dan, what do you think about x?" should be employed. Not that it matters much, since Dan Helfman's actual analyses of things bear suprisingly close resemblances to his games of Make Dan ComplainTM.

If Dan Helfman can come up with an articulate and/or funny complaint about x, he gets one point. If not, he issues the all-purpose complaint "It sucks!", and you get one point.

Sample games:
Game 1:
You: Hey Dan, what do you think about the speed of light?
Dan Helfman: It's too restrictive! It shouldn't be hardcoded everywhere! It should be configurable!
Result: Dan Helfman gets one point.

Game 2:
You: Hey Dan, what do you think about the state of Oregon?
Dan Helfman: It sucks!
Result: You get one point.

Game 3:
You: Hey Dan, what do you think about the Roman alphabet?
Dan Helfman: There are too many redundant letters! It's too inefficient!
Result: Dan Helfman gets one point.

The winner is the first player to amass 305 points.
Dan Helfman: 305? That's so arbitrary! It should be a power of two!
Result: Dan Helfman gets one point.

: Crummy.com is the new music alternative, playing The Open Standards Band's Interesting Places To Die 16 hours a day!

If you think you know who that song is about, you're probably right.

I await Jake's analysis of the recording. I'm still iffy on the whole "good recording" thing, as it invariably involves me having to do much more than the 3 takes I can do before I get sick of playing a song.

Speaking of music, Kris has 4 Electrologica songs (but not his non-plastic-wrap cover of Asia Carrera) up on his Electrologica page. They range from pale shadows of ELO songs to pieces with astoundingly beautiful music and lyrics. Could it be that what we thought to be the actual musician Kristofer Straub is merely a solid-state recording of Kristofer Straub singing "Solid State"?

Finally let me mention that a lot of the songs in the Version 1.1.2pl14 directory are going to be moved into other directories when I start the albums they actually belong to. Interesting Places To Die will probably go on Standard Deviation, which I'm still working out the details of, and the tape-to-MP3age of the infamous FEEDBACK FEEDBACK FEEDBACK! bit (which I never linked to, but it's in the directory) will go on Dying Is Easy, Comedy Is Hard (hey, remember that?)

This entry is already huge, but before I go, a quote from an email I sent to jake after he used the nonsense subject line "semiotimatic":

It occurs to me that one could write a story about a Semiotimatic,
in the style of Lem's story about the robotic poet.

"Professors wrote learned articles arguing that a mere machine could never
emulate the subtle nuances of human thought, but the Semiotimatic made
their arguments better than they did, and they were forced to resign in

If you don't know what semiotics is, look it up. I reccommend Semiotics, by L. Ron Hubbard.


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