It seems like forever since I last had a dream amusing enough to be worth writing about, but last night I had two. The first was a confused mess, except for the good bit: Margaret Cho appeared in the dream, but she was reincarnated into the body of a guinea pig. Which someone had shaved. In the second dream, I had taken up playing the tuba to impress my friends. I managed to find a book of music which had DEVO hits scored for tuba, and just before I woke up I was trying to persuade someone of the genius of Mongoloid so he’d accompany me on the piano.

In memoriam: Tower Records

Tower Records holds a special place in my heart. The store in Piccadilly Circus was one of the places I would try to visit every time I traveled to London. Back in the early 80s the Virgin Megastore on Oxford Street was the place for obscure music, but by 1990 they had jacked up the prices and cleared out the unpopular stuff. Tower kept the prices reasonable and had an unrivaled selection of imports and obscurities.

LJ Abuse (again)

Another user gets suspended from TrollJournal for posting public information, info that had been made public by the person detailed. The backstory is that LiveJournal has introduced advertising in the form of “sponsored communities” with third party identity tracking. To quote the LiveJournal “contract” back in 2004: It may be because it’s one of our biggest pet peeves, or it may be because they don’t garner a lot of money, but nonetheless, we promise to never offer advertising space in our service or on our pages.

Don’t mention the war

When Josef showed us to our rooms, I couldn’t help noticing the Spitfire. It was a model, painstakingly constructed from a kit. Unlike the models I had built as a child this one was painted properly, and of course it had the correct RAF insignia. It was in a glass display case next to a model of a Messerschmitt, and one of some kind of US fighter plane I didn’t recognize.

I’d always been more into tanks as a child. I had a book about them, and a die-cast German Leopard tank that I would frequently disassemble and reassemble. When we visited Bournemouth in 2003 I got to visit the nearby Tank Museum and admire their collection. If it was OK for me to have an interest in World War II tanks, I told myself, surely it was normal for a German of roughly my age to have an interest in World War II aircraft?

In fact, we soon learned that Josef had worked in the Navy, as a liaison officer for groups of British sailors. I tried to imagine being a German in charge of a bunch of drunken English sailors. He’d probably heard slurs I couldn’t even begin to dream up, but I didn’t particularly want to talk about them, and dodged a couple of conversational gambits.

More Yahoo answers

Q: What are some good but not the usual types of dates? A: The Barhi date is superb in quality; the Deglet Noor is less sweet and somewhat dry in flavor. Q: Is it wrong to use Crisco as a lubricant? A: Yes, it’ll ruin your transmission. Q: what to use for black man hair loss? A: A Dustbuster? Q: What are some good tips to stop procrastination? […] Does anyone have any tips to help me buckle down and do some work?

Random acts of kindness #2

So yes, I was one of the many people who sent some cash to Robert Anton Wilson. If you didn’t hear about it, well, don’t worry, it seems there’s a happy ending. I actually still haven’t read the Illuminatus! trilogy. I’ve always been far more impressed by his ability to write about serious philosophical concepts, from Aristotelian logic to Zen Buddhism, yet still get in at least one good laugh per page.

Random acts of kindness #1

A few weeks ago I read on bOING bOING about a music industry royalties collection agency responsible for webcasting and satellite radio. After much reluctance they had finally put up a list of artists they owed money to, but said they had found it impossible to track down. I decided to take a look at the list. Sure enough, there were a bunch of artists I’m a fan of. Of those, there were several I knew it would be trivial to track down on the web.

Special relationship

In case anyone in the UK is feeling complacent following this week’s US torture legalization, it’s worth noting that the US agreed to return nearly all the UK residents currently being tortured in Guantanamo—and the UK government said it didn’t want them back. Four of them are still being actively torturedinterrogated.

No crazy moon language allowed

Apparently speaking a foreign language in an airport is now deemed suspicious, and grounds for questioning you and making you miss your plane.

Mistaken identity month

People who know me probably won’t be surprised to learn that I go through my credit card bills line by line, checking them. This month I noticed a mysterious item from gotomypc.com, a debit for just shy of $180 about 10 days ago. I called the 888 number and asked if they did billing for any other online business. The customer service rep said no, it’s just gotomypc.com. By a weird coincidence, a friend had been telling me about them earlier in the day; their service is basically remote desktop access to your home or office machines.