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The Dream Job, For Which I'd Never Hire Myself
leashed un 2020-10-09 a m
original prompt: "Catalyzed Symmetry Breaking"

The following hypothetical is, at least mostly, if not entirely, inspired by a recently expressed concern that I was diving head-first into one of those dispose-hall funnels that chute human sludge while extracting only time, naturally at cut-throat prices, and expectorate the biochemical remains in remarkably animated, responsabillallergic, forms; or as some bard spoke: "Eyewaskiurd, allwrite!"

In perverse discamerality: JOB is never the same, and the only recurrent character, currently: ANT.

JOB: I'm sorry, Dave, but your coins are no good.
ANT: Who's Dave?
JOB: I'm sorry, Dave, but I can't quite tell you!
ANT: What about bills? Bill's bills? Yardsobills?
JOB: I'm sorry, Dave, but I can't let you pay.
ANT: Goodbye, Dave! Drive safe.

JOB: Please, do not ANT in the office.
ANT: Where's Dave?
JOB: Dave is working, it's his shift to Dave today
ANT: You said Dave too many times... Todd!
JOB: I'm sorry, Dave, but you are neither hired
     on no need-to-know basis nor need to know so
     get your self, its exo skeleton, and wha---t
  t`ev-er else you drug in here out Out OUT NOWT!

JOB: Who you, now?
ANT: That is not important. See this?
JOB: No. Please describe it. Does it?
ANT: No. It does not. It is only a finite list:
     a long, long, list of detailed complaints.
JOB: Where they?
ANT: Here, although you said you don't see here.
JOB: Please describe it in greater detail, Dave.
ANT: There is discretized vehicular flux, marked
     by one kind of line, and the angry dots are
     where I could smell the unhappened wreckage
JOB: You're hired.

ANT: I quit.
JOB: No, don't quit, Dave! Please give two weeks'
     notice at least two days after your job desc
     ription has been compiled into simplyinglish
ANT: I listen.
JOB: Don't listen, you might overhear somedave.
ANT: I walk.
JOB: Good, good, that is a good start; go from
     one bus station to another. Read expected
     frequencies, and occasionally seek notice
     of sudden changes, although seldom enough
     that you have a plausible excuse to spend
     half an hour at most stations. Never scan
     the cards of anyone. Never board a bus.
     Walk to a different station.
ANT: All day?
JOB: What are you, stupid? It's a job. You only
     do this while your salary keepssallarring.
ANT: What's the point?
JOB: Eyes for the road. You see a bus, what ever,
     you see birds and bats and bees in twos and
     swarms and ones and threes and do not ever
     give two shakes of a cat's whisker; you see
     two buses, headsup! Listen, so when you see
     three busses, and two are more similar to
     each other of the two than the third, you
     IMMEDIATELY LOCATE SPECTACLES

END

A Fossil Named "Zehu: A So-So Just-So Story"
leashed un 2020-09-24

Occasionally, thought-trains derail at the most opportune moments, allowing the plausible deniability of any recall regarding the author's intent, inspiration, nor catalyst.

title: Zehu: A So-So Just-So Story
tags: war, school, verse
date: 2020-07-20 20:11'07"
;;;;;
The following words are not fiction.

  ```
  Zehu hasipur shel katsin beshem Bingo

                     Bee    Ayyy    NGO
                      Be    Aint   NGO
                       be    no   NGO
                for bingo weren't
                  his name, no!

    Ratsu lemamen  la nahar et  ha Ringo
  bezmansheha deshe vehageshem bli Singo

   baWadi   notru :? ohalim    vemotot
  letsido: khayyalim, shehemtinu lirot;
  haspaka leshavua, shvuayyim, belakhats;
  oolai gam kumta imhatseva shelpalkhats!
  zerem khazak, mibirkaim vamata;
  takhmoshet beshefa, pkuda shenatata;
  madim yeshanim, tikim, vesakim;
  kamuvan gam hamon, hamon, sakinim;
  rak tipa khomer gelem lasotsiometri,
  lemniyat hivatsrut od tsava psichometri;
  plugat tsoarim, yeshenim amukot;
  ve shomer sheshama:
                      "Au secours, sale cabot."
  ```

Bits, both rotten and otherwise, preserved arbitrarily; the school tag, while removed from this post, is arguably still relevant.

A Perfect Day for, uh... Narcissist
leashed un 2020-09-17

Occasionally, folks making idle conversation use one of the least certain fillers when the talk runs thin. It's easy enough to keep things nice and happy, although that's rarely necessary, since it'd often conflict with that mere politeness of prioritizing honesty over nearly all other aspects interpersonal. One such exchange, most likely in certain cultures although quite certain not to occur to me during the next few days, is as follows:

  YOU:  What'd you do over the weekend?

[CRICKETS chirp]

  YOU:  Hah, I bet you spent Valentine's
        Day all alone, probably getting
             higher than a kite.

Lest the redefinitions of modern usage accelerate their revolutions so fast as to spin all semblance of meaning out of this cosmic centrifuge we call our world, let's make a brief detour through arguments so ancient as to have been recorded as fact by none other than the editors of an encyclopedia renowned for its editors' inability to agree upon facts: of those responsible for the traditions leading to the day of romance being named after a man canonized in honor of torture and convulsions, at least three are named identically, although imprecisions in the numeration are likely due to another person named Valentinus, and the only consoling fact in this pile of reasons to stop reading history is that the latter did not get beatified! I'll leave further spelunks through the bunk to those both bold and foolhardy, and proceed to continue the answer that I'd begun composing while Crickets chirped above.

Advice For Israeli Readers During The Second Quarantine
leashed un 2020-09-17

If you are not, nor have ever been, in the public service, you are advised to read no further; furthermore, if you have been in the public service for a time so short that it left no impression on your identity, and especially if your service was in enforcement branches other than the blues, you are also advised to stop reading. Now that my audience consists primarily of military veterans, medical professionals, and the various branches of police, I proceed:

It is difficult to determine what is permitted, and what is prohibited, in regards to cardiovascular ventures lasting longer than one kilometre, roundtrip. Since this fact is quite distressing, and since I wish the dispensation of advice to last no longer than absolutely necessary, my only advice to those who kept reading, regardless of whether they complied with the previous paragraph's advice, is the less frequent of the two imperatives yelled at me from George Herbert Mangan's window, during the late hours of morning classes:

   GHM:   DOAN GIT ARRESTID!

Getting arrested -- that is, detained, interrogated, and subsequently released after legal proceedings -- is a wonderful way to increase the town's cumulative viral load for the days in question, and what's worse, it comes almost entirely at the expense of others.

How The Doctor Got His Patience: A Just-So Story
leashed un 2020-02-21 12:15

'twas during the slow summer months of the diabellum that the most revered landowner of the Mississipi Delta received the most peculiar request. After his favorite retiree, bronzed and bleached far less than his advancing years would have you expect, had finished tuning the concert grand centerpiecing the ground-floor lounge, Doc turned to his owner and, placing his spectacles respectfully at his side, put it to the simplest words:

"One of the field hands would like you to hear him play, Sir."

This simple enough request was quickly granted, and the landowner instantly recognized the same youth who was regularly called upon for tasks both heaviest and most requiring of deft precision. The youth carried a dusty, rusty, six-string, coils of spare wire adorning its neck, and looked about for a place to sit.

"You may sit at the piano, Scott, jus' don't be touchin' them keys! You know how sensitive Mr. --- is about that piano."

Scott sat facing the lounge audience, and, without a moment's pause to check the tuning pegs, began to pluck out one of the standard accompaniments, as he sang softly enough to satisfy the awe commanded by the audience, yet so boldly that his voice carried the words direct to the landowner's heart.

I been a good hand, Mister; paid all of ma earthly dues.
Yes I been a good hand, always paid ma earthly dues.
Yet one thing I can say for certain, yes, sir!
Even good hands get them blues.

So I took a walk, Mister, quiet like the barn cats do.
Yes I took a walk, Mister; 'scaping like them barn cats do.
Lemme 'fess up, Mister; I went the way them barn cats do.

Then we met a big dog, Mister, biggest that there ever grew.
Yes we met a big dog, Mister, and he asked me to, uh,
"Listen closely, Scotty, 'cuz this big dog wanna a sing a tune!".

This is the song your big dog sang to me, Mister:

   "I been a good dog, Scotty,",
      an' he licked the bottom of ma shoes!
   "You know I am a guard dog, Scotty,",
      yet he licked the bottom of ma shoes!
   "Only got one thing to tell ya, Scotty,",
      and that dog began to sing them blues.

That's all, Mister. Hope you enjoyed my tune.

The landowner smiled, and waited until the last echoes of the well-tempered guitar had faded softer than the rustling hoop skirts of the lounge audience, then addressed Scott directly: "I've already heard about your little walks, and I'm glad to see you here again, again, and again. Since this is the first time I've ever heard even one peep outta your mouth, I've got to ask you this: what's got you so blue, boy?"

Scott did not answer for so long that Doc had to meet his eye, nodding once, as though to say that the truth was good enough this time, so Scott told the truth, and met his end a few months later in a shallow puddle a few days' march towards the front. Once he'd left the lounge, Doc recollected the spectacles and began to wipe down the piano seat at his worldly leisure. One of the lounge guests, momentarily forgetting the decades of seniority between his own crass insolence and the man whom he addressed, called out: "Hurry it up, Doc! Mister --- will want to play that piano again soon."

Doc paused, mid-wipe, and as he reached again for the spectacles, was preceeded by his owner's drawl: "Kid, you better shut your mouth, afore you get it shot off by some Yank next week. That is rag time, now, and you must never rush through rag time."

As Your Unsolicitor, I Advise You, Too
leashed un 2020-01-03

The following article is dedicated to that one teacher of mathematics, who never once saw me in a classroom.

flytrap

DC: btw, how's the 2nd read of the
    odyssey compared to the 1st?

 W: it has been much more enjoyable
    on the second read

DC: heh, quite as it goes indeed;
    good to hear it, too.

 W: i can focus on other details cuz I know
    what damn island the man is on

DC: it can take a while to get familiar with
    that whole other world indeed.

 W: yes, i still couldn't tell you the names
    of the islands, i just have a better
    understanding of the chronology of events

DC: maybe get/print a map, you know? I'm sure
    you can even find one online or something.

 W: not a bad idea, i have no printer though

DC: don't you need one at all otherwise?

 W: the only need i've  thought of for it is printing
    out  some scores  for the  guitar, which  i'm not
    really playing  much anymore  anyways. but  yes i
    think  it may  be  a good  investment.  In  other
    things I should mention, I've been getting slight
    pains in my pinky and ring finger. Interestingly,
    this  has  happened on  both  hands  at the  same
    time. The  pain is  not too bad  at all  and only
    lasts for a short time.  But I am concerned about
    emacs  eventually destroying  my hands.  I bought
     [ANY PLACED PRODUCT: TRASH AND REPLACE AT WILL]
    which in theory  is more ergonomic. But  I type /
    navigate so slowly with that keyboard that I want
    to wait  until I am using  it with my new  pc. (I
    also  want  to  wait because  I  currently  can't
    install the software to update the keybinds on my
    mac; the  pain does not  occur at the  exact same
    time on both hands,  it just has recently started
    to occur occasionally on either hand)

DC: there  are some  exercises against  carpal tunnel
    syndrome, you might want to look those up; but at
    any rate, if it  hurts...stop doing it, you know?
    find what works for you there, keyboard and setup
    included.

 W: i know, i do not  muscle through the pain. i take
    my  hands off  the keyboard  and wait  for it  to
    subside  or at  least start  typing slowly.  i'll
    take a look into  exercises against carpal tunnel
    syndrome

If you have complaints about both the textual anchor of the context link and the compression of the quoted conversation, please, complain to the author, editor, and postal monkey in the IRC server linked therein; otherwise, glad that we may proceed, read on!

adlai: unsolicited advice, for whaack: copying guitar
       tabulature is not  sufficient cause for owning
       a    dedicated    printer;   moreover,    your
       musicianship  will  likely benefit  from  time
       spent reading and writing the scores yourself,
       and your finer  musculature might benefit from
       a wider variety of cramps.

adlai wonders whether the truly manic superhackers can typeset tabulature so that the inkjet's servomotors provide appropriate percussive accompaniment while the human practices from an earlier copy

whaack: what  do you mean my  finer musculature would
        benefit from a wider variety of cramps?

trinque: he's doing his  idiot adlai schtick where he
         breaks the  fourth wall and talks  to the tv
         audience for laughs.

whaack: ah

diana_coman: adlai: unsolicited advice is for writing
        on your own blog, not in here; do write in
        here when you have some unsolicited but
        useful work you want to showcase.

adlai: thank you for the admonition

endquote

Since this is not an anatomy lesson, nor have you reached this article for my recommendation regarding a specific one of the exercises intended to selectively induce pain tolerance, I will only advise hereforth about the crampomancy of the finer musculature, in the hope that your hands will not get eaten by the editor macros too quickly.

Let's say you're a recovering gold medallist, from the 2036 games, who's grown sick of rowing the same lonely little vespoli across the placid lake, and the price differences between BC Bud and Brooklyn's Dankest Drank just ain't what they used to be, so you've decided to hang up your oars above the roadside doors and the first thing that happens once you go for a nice slow ride on the recumbant quadricycle is that you get mud in the face from a commuter. Once you've wiped, returned to the gym, showered, and started your way to wherever you go next, begins your recovery from the games: who was that rude dude on the motor vehicle? Doesn't he know who's face he just blackened? Doesn't he care about your impeccable dexterity: that tightness of grip from the lesser fingers, as the thumb loosens just enough for the slightest kinking of the hypocarpal to flick that glinty froth away from your club's sygaldry? Doesn't he know how rude it is to not even slow down, see who's at the roadside, and give a honk if they're selling souls in exchange for musicianship?

The short, sweet, simple answer is that -- unless you were good enough to die before the sequel -- you'll have grown so old that the medal's weight in monodisperse nuclei will matter more than what all the slick sales agents paid for your ketones, calories, and hotel rooms; you'll even, one day, begin to have greater fear of drowning in the shallow waters than of the polysyllabilics spoken by the fellow in the white suit, young enough to have been conceived, untimely ripped, and well underpaid during the decade when you left the waters. You'll be old enough to wonder whether it's one of the newer strains, resistent to penicillin, mycotoxin, mesophage, and worst of all, deadly toxic to the squishy pink bile; you'll be old enough to dispense with politeness to the smiling staff and demand the lethal dose, although you might just be sufficiently farsighted to wait with that request, as you remember that the middle-aged club member -- the one with the megaphone who actually hates to drive the motorized katamaran, because it doesn't wake the lesser boats -- is still waiting for your advice.

You'll catch him one day, as he returns to the dock while the next hopefuls are hosing down their shells, and you'll ask him what exactly it was that he wanted to discuss with you:

"Ah yes, that. I've grown tired of coaching this sport, and worse yet, there are too few students here for this to remain a profitable primary job. What's your favorite game?"

The Virgin Scammer's Cookbook
leashed un 2019-12-31T08:37:99

Imagine a dive where you can sit for hours, nursing several standard drinks all in a single glass, safe and secure in the knowledge that once you're a thumb's width from the empty you can ask the gorgeous barmaid for the refill. Unlikely as this sounds, it does exist, and they don't want my money anymore because, allegedly, I socked a shmuck in the face and called the barmaid a whore's brat when she asked me to do that outside the premises; the only reason I ever even spent enough money there to realize that it was the cheapest place in town is that I'd meet my weiqi instructor there, and this is an imaginary story about how he kept his edge. He arrived near the sunset, as the place was starting to fill due to the widely-advertised discount during the twilight hours, and took a seat at the bar.

"Listen, I need y'all to play along with me."

The barmaid and waitress gave him that inquisitive response, of not understanding exactly what he meant; moreover, it has been said that he speaks the language with the Lebanese accent, although I'm quite certain that he merely studied diction thoroughly enough to fake any dialect he chooses, and this is also what he told them, and I know for a fact that his family is Persian.

"I'm going to arrive late quite soon, after my student gets here. You'll know who he is because he will probably sit at that table, unless it's already occupied when he arrives, in which case he will probably walk around, measuring the size of the tables against a large block of wood, and sit at the table with the fewest chairs that is still large enough that there is room on the table for both the wooden block and a few drinks."

At this point they started losing their patience, and asked him if he was gonna drink anything, since he was already consuming space, time, and attention.

"That's exactly why I'm here right now. I'm going to go, and return after he gets here. You should serve him whatever he orders, alcoholic of course, but I want you to serve me only virgins."

They didn't exactly catch his drift, since the idiom of a virgin drink is not always understood by amateurs, so they thought that he was placing orders in advance for both of us: "Just tell us what he's gonna drink, and what you wanna drink. We can probably prepare anything you order. Have you seen our menu?"

"No, I don't think I can predict what he'll drink. He usually does read the menu, and sometimes asks about the taps and bottles, so he could conceivably order anything that's here. Just serve him whatever he orders, as though he's a regular. My order is much trickier: I'm probably gonna drink the same beer as he will, although if he orders a drink I'll also order one; what I request is that you serve me a drink without any alcohol, that only looks like an alcoholic drink, and I'd also like him to think that you poured me an alcoholic drink, which is why I'm telling you this in advance."

They both laughed, and he got a little angry because he was not kidding at all!

"Look, I need to keep my edge. I'm trying to teach him a game that is complicated, and I hardly play it anymore myself. I'm much better than he is, so I'll probably beat him every time by a large margin, but that doesn't mean that I can be drunk. I need to be able to explain cogently every move I make, and ask him questions about his moves, so you have to serve me drinks without a single drop of ethanol inside them!"

They glanced at each other, and they each said... OK!

He ran his eyes over the display of bottles, taps, and serving crew, all of which were admirably easy on the eye.

"What virgin drinks do you know how to prepare?", he asked the barmaid.

Smiling coyly, and eyeing the row of taps, she took a half-step backwards towards the sink, answering: "Mmm, maybe 'Virgin Mary'? It's like 'Bloody Mary', except with filler instead of the vodka. It's also the best drink for faking alcoholism, since both the tomato juice's consistency and color mask the refractive tell-tale of the vodka's absence from the unaided eye."

He gave her quite the quizzical look, and checked the time, since I was scheduled to arrive within the hour and he hadn't planned to listen through a crash course in mixology just to order a fucking virgin, so he began asking questions slightly more pointedly: "What is this? Can you make cocktails with that one?"

She looked where he pointed -- a bottle near the easily reachable edge of the display -- and answered: "That's a bourbon from... ahhh I can't remember exactly which state, although it's certainly a bourbon. You don't want to use that for cocktails, and it's quite expensive, too, compared to most distilled liquors."

"Why don't you make cocktails with a bourbon?", he inquired immediately, and smiled as he realized that he'd outed himself as knowing more than he'd let on initially.

"You can make a mixed drink with almost any liquor, although not all mixed drinks are cocktails; however, bourbons originate from the 'Land of Cotton', where it was considered disrespectful to the distillery to mask the taste of their product. Fancy drinks are often a marketing gimmick, and quite profitable for the establishments that sell them, so I can make you a whiskey-coke if you'd like, virgin of course."

He ran his eyes further down the same shelf of malt liquor, finally pointing at the one bottle and asking: "You have a virgin bottle of that one?"

"Of course. Can't you see that the bottle is unopened?"

He laughed, and glanced at the time again, while the waitress hustled behind his back, rolling her eyes at his bullshit and wondering how much of the barmaid's precious time he was gonna waste.

"I need to go in about ten minutes. This guy sometimes arrives early, but usually very late, so it'll be suspicious to him if I'm also here early. If he sits where I think he will, he's not going to watch you preparing the drinks anyway, so you don't have to use a specific bottle."

At this point, the waitress shifted the chair next to him to get his attention away from the admirably distracting barmaid, and scolded: "You do know that you're not going to get a kickback for this stunt? We don't want people playing stupid here, especially if they think they'll get paid to do so."

He moved his chair aside, took half a step towards the street, looked for a moment at the mural above the stairway to the toilet, and finally replied: "The only kickback that I request is as follows: You do not have a bouncer here, and my friend is going to be drunk, while I will be sober. All that I ask is that if he gets so drunk that he becomes violent after losing, do not call the police, and let me eject him; don't worry: although neither of us gets particularly dangerous when drunk, we are both quite effective when sober."

Friends, at an intersection
leashed un 2019-12-26

We'd run past the same stadia enough times to know each other both by name and face, although I doubt that my current recollection of this encounter survived the decade intact, and in fact, its very existence is quite likely creditable to an unbroken chain of mutual recommendations leading to an unexpected observation, appointment, and interview, necessarily not in that order. At an hour less common for such nearly missed collisions, than those more frequently attributed to chance alone, we exchanged a handful of words at the Atlantic side of a crosswalk on the street bounding the northern half of campus from the west. I do not know why and how she reached that encounter as she did, and it was obvious from the infinitesimally unchanged velocities of both arrivals and departures both that not much remained to be spoken, although here's what I'd have loquacised instead of my actual words, an the nighttime traffic prevented her from crossing to the FBMC atop those cut stone steps:

    "I am  on my way  to the chapel,  and for
  reasons better left  unspecified, I hope to
  reduce my use of  words therein; although I
  am  likely to  recite,  speak, sing,  pick,
  strum and  quite possibly even  respond to,
  my dear critics, I do  hope that I may hear
  complaints    without   being    asked   to
  preach. Should  you find that the  doors of
  the  conservatory have  been locked  by the
  time you  reach them,  know that  you'll be
  welcome  to take  shelter in  the service's
  audience, listening and speaking as you see
  fit,  until such  time  as  your return  is
  expected at the dormitory."
Lessons From Niccolo
leashed un 2019-11-28
    The following post is dedicated mostly to my teachers:
of languages, both classical and modern, both kicking sand
... otherwise who'd `roll their eyes, sinning in their urn
upon realizing the importance I place then and do now heap
upon their efforts, may their efforts outshine the stars?

During the past summer, I encountered another one of those perennial botherances: the friendcount. Despite my casual evasion attempt, my interlocutor graciously insisted upon an answer from the ranges of simple integers -- known to you, perhaps, as the "Natural Numbers", at the perennial behest of Dear ACK and Other Keepers of That Ineffable Flame -- tallied in any manner deemed appropriate, leaving algorithmic details to be disclosed at my later discretion. I answered that question honestly, although imprecisely, despite the everpresent temptation to properly discredit the question as meaningless.

        "You're answering so slowly,
         I can almost see a loading
               gif on your forehead."

I laughed, possibly allowing that little spinner to headshot its way down my nose, finally retorting:

"The trouble's not thinking of the people. That's easy. The trouble's doing the math. For example,"

At which point some variation on the olde Navy SEAL copypasta'd be appropriate, echoing from the source like Pink's wife's verse in Ezrin's ultima, since as I've frequently attested, the most conservable resource is thought to be thought to be thought!!

"Actually, this is how math is done. You know that sketch about those who merely 'like' science, staring at its ass while it sciences along, waiting for someone else to actually do the damn science? Well, this is how the mathematics getshishshelph done! Rote memorization of another's proofs, imperial as be their names may be, won't add not one single bit to entropy, not even one. Entropy, as you've likely too soon discovered, is only collected when recollecting an error."

Simplex Two: The Discipline of Forgetting
leashed un 2019-06-25 13:57
tense that I rote but then wished I hadn't,
                           wished I hadn't
            - Jacopo Belbo
                           - Umberto's Echo

There! I've gone and done it now: intentionally misquoted a master at his art, and at the coward's time, too: well, after the man is dead, anyone can say he said something that he didn't say and all you'll get is an estate tax attack.

Umberto claimed, from the recorded words attributed to a fictional antehero, that there's no discipline of forgetting, for the sort of information that oft chills our minds at quite the nonlocal mesoform, although metastable upon fine inquiry. Let me only mention that there are forgetful folk, and forgettable peoples, and before I've even extrapolated that individuals pervade the entire basis, you've gone and read too far: you may become unforgetten, if you'd like it ior not, and the only hope left is that the... oh, megabytes of variance - heritable, discernable, once twice thrice differentiable yet no further! Cease, fair Pandora, for I stocked that box so scantly that you'll wonder whither why.

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