osmie: (Bowler)
…consisting of the most recent text in most of my SMS conversations.

I'm sitting just outside the entrance. Let me know if we've crossed paths and you're already inside.
Thanks. I will
Thanks <3

I feel like hermitting as usual. Enjoy dinner!!
Thank you!
We r Suk in rafik
Yes, better to rest up. Have a good weekend!
That's the best way to go.

Please do!
Thank you
No, but thank you for offering! May it find a good home.
That works for me! Let me know.
For sure. Thanks
Woo hoo! See you then.

good morning btw!
oh hi ur home i did not know
My goodness. 8 years.
Great, see you then! Thanks.
See you soon!

Oh dear god this will never end.

You're fantastic. Thank you. I hope you're having a great vacation!
Oh yes! And thank you for including me! I do love lemon bars.
I liked the semaphore one

Made it here and earlier than I expected
THANK YOU for your super-detailed response!!
Whoop, I do say. Whoop!

Entered! Thanks
This stall, then.
Well, to be fair, no one asked.
That's a relief. Thanks. :-)
No problem, catch ya next time!
Thank you. I'll look into it right away.

The text message obligingly emits an odour of gruel instead. It is very birthday-like gruel, with hints of shortbread and candy.

Thank you!
Thank you!
you got it! xx
Yeah I am

Done deal. No lifelines remain, the order will be locked in after Howie Mandell gets off the phone and sanitizes the set (AGAIN) and you are NOT the weakest link. See you around 530.

Ok - I will call you at 9:30.
We are back at the lot!!
Thank you!
thank you!
Thank you!
Thank you!
Thank you!
Thank you!
On my way See u soon!

Printers=our evil robot overlords.
Running late: I'm in a taxicab and will be at City Hall as soon as possible.
Too late for your password though. :(
Knock, knock? I am at your door, but there is no answer.
Now aboard — but I don't recall if we decided on a place to meet.
Yep…see you tomorrow.

Your text has arrived, but it is unclear who you are or to whom you are texting.

We are at Starbucks
Great! I'll see you then.
will have to wait til tomo
My bad. Got it
I'm out front whenever you're ready
Not without more planning and less already happening in my life.

All your base HeX are belong to us!
Ok see you then
(I was recently astonished to learn that she has never played D&D.)

Arrived; I'm on the left against the centre divider.
Coming up
Sure! C U soon.
I told them nothing, of course: it could be phishing for all I know.
OK. I will give her the address.

caught by derailed freighter. no ETA or service…
Why, it is a test!

Running 5 mins late, horrible traffic, just on viaduct
Oh! I'll come find you!
Yes! I will see you there.

Ah- I was wondering why I could not dial out this morning.
Could you remind us of that recipe for lemon butter?
Somewhat reluctant to move a box from it's usual location if it is being used.

Hi this is a teat
Right I'm so sorry again
Old number, as it turned out. Sorry to trouble you.

Hey, could you please give me a call soonish? Thanks!
Well, I was moments away from texting that I, also, am running slightly late. I'm just leaving downtown now.
Seems to have worked :-)
merci, beaucoup

Got your message; see you when you get here…
Thanks for helping me! Good to see you! :)
You are vary strang
Yay!! :-)

Said MacGyver to Georgia O'Keeffe, / "These long sunsets are awfully brief. / I suppose if you're not tired / Of light, I could hotwire / a chariot of fire with my teeth?"

It's all good now! Don't worry about it. :)
Yup, I got it! Thanks!!
Will do!

Ahoy there! Phone me?
On my way, hope I'm not too late.
In the roller coaster shop. We can start back anytime, or head toward you. You?
Party of five next to the beverage fountain.

I am at your back door, but answer is there none. Am I unreasonably early?
Sorry on set today!
All possible worlds are devoid of steamed luggage.

Thank you!
How did you get on the wrong train?

Theory is eating my brain. Want to pick?
The third catapult grows weary of seasoned bark mulch.
If you can read this message, you win a FREE RIDE IN A TRUCK!!!!!

Happy morning! Just confirming you're still coming along…?
Helmet is recovered!
Sounds fine!

Three bags full. No. 6 pm!
Sry wrong number
That's good.
osmie: (Bowler)
— inspired by something [livejournal.com profile] vuge posted on Facebook — and posted in the knowledge that my use of hip-hop is a long way from any historical roots of the genre.

[+ + + +] There is a re-
POR-ted SPEECH [+] PROB-lem in the
NEW [+] post-LI-te-rate. [+] Con-
SI-der ev-ery BIT of it IN-
te-gra-ted IN-to our STA-ted
com-mu-ni-CA-tion? [+] We ob-
LI-te-rate a PART of each [+]
GIF [+] dot POP-u-lum, and e-
MO-ji on-ly flow be-fore we
show we know what tone's be-low the
I-ro-ny. WHY are we TRY-ing
here to slow the FI-re we ig-
NI-ted with IN-ter-net on de-
VI-ces? [+] Re-PORT-ing speech in-
STEAD of em-BED-ding each [+] beat
[+] you've READ? [+] Why you SAID a
thing that most would TWIT-ter it?
osmie: (Bowler)
1. Because I said so.
2. Why not?
3. To get to the other side.
4. Oh, no reason.
5. It's what Leonard Nimoy would have wanted.
6. You know, you're right, never mind.
7. Why who?
8. To see what he could see.
9. Because the higher it goes, the up.
11. Thirty million Frenchmen can't be wrong.
12. For the heck of it.
13. For the children.
14. For the lulz.
15. It's what Epimenides would have wanted.
16. Because inertia.
17. Because gravity.
18. Because the social structure of prehistoric humans renders any other choice unthinkable in retrospect.
19. It's complicated.
20. WHO DARES TO CHALLENGE THE GREAT [your name here]?
21. Force of habit, sorry.
22. Pardon me? I didn't catch that.
23. I'll explain later.
24. Because reasons.


Apr. 11th, 2016 10:05 am
osmie: (Bowler)
When the dev site core dumps in a crash,
And without a hack, the LAMP won't stack,
But the only bug fix is in bash—
When your sendmail's selling someone's spam,
Your Apache logs have /dev/null clogged,
And you've got no entropy in rand()—

We can't fix the server with clicks
'Cause the sys we admin is a *nix,
And when we have no clue,
And don't know what to do,
We're only saying
Give me your root, superuser—
Superuser, S-U
-P-E-R-U-S-Er, Superuuuuuuuser!
osmie: (Bowler)
I think that I shall never holler
A slam poem lovely as a dollar,
Nor in my life have ever found
A couplet lovely as a pound—
Nor quatrain on its finest day so
Lovely as a single peso.
Bring me your rupees, rands and yen,
Or I'll write poems with my pen.
osmie: (Bowler)
Dyspeptic wombat
Wearing a hat,
Knee pads for combat,
Fancy cravat:
Heart full of bombast,
Cheek, and éclat:
Welcome at long last
To 'moticon chat!
osmie: (Bowler)
I dreamed of bibliographic scandals in the publication history of Frédéric Chopin.

From the 1930s to the 1950s, the world's leading Chopin editor was a German conductor named Heinrich Imboll. In 1953 it was discovered that he had flagrantly interpolated his own work into half a dozen Mazurkas and one entire Ballade (now known as the "False Ballade"), and even his early, accurate edition of the Waltzes fell from favour.

Imboll's work was replaced in music stores by an American editor named Hiroko Kusanagi, whose revisionism was confined to a 1951 Ph.D. thesis from Brigham Young University. In Kusanagi's world, Chopin represented the same divine insight that inspired Joseph Smith, leading the people to Mormonism from the other side of the planet through a series of intricate structural clues in the Mazurkas. Kusanagi—who had converted to Mormonism during the Japanese internment—omitted this theory from her published introductions, but when it came to light in 1974, her editions too were discredited.

After the brief sensations of a (largely illegible) facsimile manuscript and the "Hooked on Classics" transcription, Chopin scholarship settled on the unremarkable Lu Chen edition of 1912, with new fingerings by Arthur Rubinstein—and that infamous pagination error you've probably had to correct in your own copy, reversing the sixth and seventh pages of the Waltz in B Major.
osmie: (Bowler)
"Pardon me, is that 'Aaron Burr, Sir'?"
"Why, you've perfectly discerned my every word, sir."
"Well, I try to be alert to such an earworm." "Sure!
I invited it to burrow, back in Worcestershire.
I like the meter of its patter."
"—But the curse, sir!"
"There's a curse?" "Yes, 'twas laid by Irvin Kershner.
Whoever surrogates this worm shall utter worse verse
Than any poet ever nursed — and unrehearsed!"
That sounds disturbing, even worrisome."
"There's further, sir!
Your every furtive waking thought will nearly burst, sir,
With misbegotten creativity!"
"Perverse!" "Sure!
You'll work out overtures for gerbils, intersperse words
Of thermonuclear disturbance through your sermons, purl
Where you should knit, and then you'll knit where you should purl, sir,
And in this surfeit of interminable bird turds,
You'll nurture murderous desserts — you'll curdle bourbon, sir!"

"I am thoroughly appalled: is there no cure?" "Sure:
Wear this dayglo purple rayon Herman's Hermits shirt,
And impersonate a younger William Shatner."
You speak from personal assurance? This will work?"
Well, to be terse, I've mainly heard from Wikicurse."
You had me nervous for a moment! Now disperse, sir;
I must insist that you stop rhyming."
"At your words, sir."

(with deep apologies to Lin-Manuel Miranda)
osmie: (Bowler)

So over the years, I've picked up my fair share of Bowieana on my path through North American culture.  I've learned to play a few songs, sung along with maybe twenty, and watched "Labyrinth" too many times.  I've even listened to about a dozen Bowie albums — and knew this was less than half of his total output.

This experiment's first result is that, compared to my social network, I know really rather a lot of album names. Out of 33 responses that contained at least one discernible album title, half cited six or fewer.  I managed thirteen titles:  only four of you named more than that.  I am learning that I'm more of a Bowie fan than I knew.

But I was also curious about just how famous each of these albums was.  That's why I asked you to list albums in the order you thought of them:  something near the top of the list is going to be more famous than something near the bottom.  I fear that a couple of respondents tried to help me out by sorting their lists, which might skew the data a bit, but on the other hand, if you're going to memorize twenty or more album names, you're going to need some kind of mnemonic.  Time and the alphabet are tested and true.  Maybe chronological order really is how you came up with them.

I was very liberal in album identification.  If your title managed to point me toward a single unambiguous studio album, then I accepted it.  However, I did not accept the titles of individual Bowie songs which happened to appear on a studio album, or live albums, or concert DVDs, or meta-personae:  those went onto a separate "pseudo-albums" list, which I'll discuss a bit later.  The boundary of acceptance was somewhere between The one that is New Day without the square (unambiguously "Heroes") and The weird noise one that a boy once had me listen to (nope).

For every entry, I assigned an average of 0.5 points to each the albums you mentioned.  If you named just one album, it got 0.5 points.  If you named two, they got 0.667 and 0.333 points.  If you named three, they got 0.75, 0.5 and 0.25, in order.  And so on.  If you named more albums, you gave more points to your first few, but — in deference to the fact that your last few albums were probably pretty obscure — fewer points by the end of the list.  Then I simply added up the points.

David Bowie's most famous album was unquestionably The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, also known as:

  • Something about ziggy stardust

  • Spiders from Mars

  • the epic death/downfall of Ziggy Stardust

  • The Rise And Fall of Ziggy etc.

  • Ziggy Stardust

  • Ziggy Stardust and something something about spiders

  • Ziggy Stardust and the etc.

  • Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

  • Ziggy Stardust something Mars something

After that, there's a peloton of four albums which jostled for position as each new vote came in:

  • Hunky Dory

  • Space Oddity

  • Let's Dance

is the first of several examples of a Bowie album with annoying orthography or punctuation.  It's commonly known as Blackstar, and that's how most of you named it.  And Space Oddity is the first example of a Bowie album whose title changed over its own lifetime:  it was originally released as David Bowie — his second self-titled album, which is confusing and maybe part of why his record company wanted to rename it — and then re-released as Man of Words / Man of Music — and then re-re-released as Space Oddity.  We'll go with that last one, shall we?

This peloton fascinates me.  It consists of Bowie's death-album, , which is understandably big right now … Hunky Dory, which in my personal opinion is his best album … Space Oddity, which is named after his most famous song … and Let's Dance, which was his best-selling album.  And these four rank as far above the rest of the field as they rank below Ziggy Stardust something Mars something.

After that, there's a steady decline in fame as we work through his back catalogue:

  • Aladdin Sane


  • "Heroes"

  • Heathen

  • The Man Who Sold the World

  • 1.Outside

  • Labyrinth (soundtrack)

  • Diamond Dogs

  • Low

  • Young Americans

  • Tonight

  • Station to Station

  • Black Tie White Noise

  • Never Let Me Down

  • The Next Day

  • 'hours…'

And then suddenly there's Major Tom, the first distinctly Bowie-related response that's not actually a Bowie album.  In fact it's not even a Bowie song (although there is a song of that name by Peter Schilling):  it's his most famous character, the protagonist of half a dozen songs over the course of his career.

From this point forward, albums are intermixed with non-albums, and the strength of the data gets weaker. So here are the rest of his albums, before I come back and look at the "wrong" answers:

  • Tin Machine

  • Lodger

  • Reality

  • David Bowie (his first self-titled album)

  • Pin Ups

(At this point, "wrong" answers start to dominate the list.  It's safe to call this the Line of Obscurity.)

  • Scary Monsters……and Super Creeps

  • Tin Machine II

  • Toy (unreleased)

  • The Buddha of Suburbia (soundtrack)

  • Christiane F. (soundtrack)

According to Wikipedia's discography page, every Bowie studio album got mentioned at least once — even Toy, which was apparently rejected by the studio in 2001 on the grounds that Bowie just didn't sell anymore.  Which means that his most obscure album is probably the soundtrack to Christiane F. … unless y'all were deliberately sorting your lists to put soundtracks at the bottom, in which case it might be Tin Machine II … unless you were deliberately sorting your lists to put "work within a band" at the bottom too, in which case it might be Scary Monsters……and Super Creeps.  Anyway, these are the obscure ones.  If you want to become a Bowie hipster, this is where you should start.

Well, okay, nobody mentioned David Bowie Narrates Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, but I'm not sure whether that counts as a Bowie album or just a guest appearance.


The most obscure Bowie album I own is actually pretty obscure: The Buddha of Suburbia.  But the only reason I own it is because, one day, I thought, "I should listen to a Bowie album that isn't from the 1970s," and picked one from the iTunes store literally at random.  I didn't actually realize it was a soundtrack until I read your responses this weekend.

So let's go back and look at those "wrong" answers.  I put "wrong" in scare quotes because this wasn't really a survey to see who could name the most Bowie albums — in an age of Wikipedia, we all know how to find the "right" answers when we need them.  It was a survey to measure people's cultural impressions of David Bowie.  So this odd mixture of singles, live albums, guest appearances, and what I can only assume to be wild guesses that sound like they might have been Bowie albums, constitutes an interesting list in its own right.

The top "wrong" answer was Major Tom, ranking way up between 'hours…' and Tin Machine.  "Wrong" answers gradually become more frequent, and dominate the list affter Pin Ups.  Here's the full list:

  • Major Tom (a character)

  • Changes (a single from Hunky Dory)

  • Glass Spider (a live album)

  • Fame (a single from Young Americans)

  • Modern Love (a single from Let's Dance)

  • Serious Moonlight (a live concert DVD)

  • All the Young Dudes (I totally thought you were kidding, or maybe mangling Young Americans, but this is actually an album by Mott the Hoople on which Bowie sang guest vocals, gosh that's obscure, well done entrant and thank you Wikipedia)

  • Fruit in the Desert (I'm…not sure?)

  • Suffragette City (a single from the compilation album Changesonebowie)

  • American Flan (now you're just having me on)

  • Lazarus (a single from , indeed the last single of Bowie's life)

  • Under Pressure (a single from Queen's album Hot Space on which Bowie sang guest vocals)

  • Circles (an album by Mike Doughty? am I missing something?)

  • Under Even More Pressure (nice try)

  • What Was That Song with the Yowling? (almost certainly a Bowie song, but I couldn't tell which one)

  • Where Are We Now (a single from The Next Day)

  • Something about Unicorns (but I couldn't tell what exactly)

  • Go Dancing (I might have accepted this as a synonym for Let's Dance, except that Let's Dance was also on the same list)

  • I'm Afraid of Americans (I totally thought you were kidding, but this is actually a single from EART HL IN G)

  • Frank Zappa Can Kiss My Shoe (kidding?)

  • Determinedly Flippant (yes you are)

  • David's Danceteria (this should have been an album, I totally agree, but as far as I can tell it wasn't)

  • The Bewlay Brothers (a song from Hunky Dory)

  • Son of the Return of Lazarus (possibly an unreleased posthumous single?)

Thanks everyone for your responses.  I'm going to go close comments on the survey post now.
osmie: (Bowler)
If you are reading this — and I hope you are — then I beg you to please leave a comment.

You don't need a LiveJournal account (and, really, who has one of those anymore?).  You can comment anonymously, and I've disabled the captcha.

Your comment will be screened.  Only I will be able to see it.  This is on purpose, so that you won't skew anybody else's comments.

During his lifetime, over the course of 50 years, David Bowie released 27 studio albums.  Please comment on this post and name as many of those albums as you can, in the order you think of them.

That is all.  Don't worry if you miss a few, or accidentally include a live album, or get the spelling wrong.  Don't even worry if you're COMPLETELY CLUELESS, and all you know about Bowie is how to spell his first name.  Keep listing album names until you're bored, and then click "post."  But please don't use any external reference materials — if I wanted an authoritative list, I'd go ask Wikipedia.

I want to know which albums you can think of off the top of your head, and the order in which you think of them.

I'd appreciate it if you also included your name (or handle), so that I can sort the responses I get.  Including your name is also helpful in case you come back an hour later and say, "Oh! I forgot _____!"

If you happen to be looking at a list of David Bowie album titles right now, then I'm afraid you're disqualified, sorry.  Better luck next time.

Thank you.  Go!

Comments are now closed. Thank you!
osmie: (Bowler)
Every now and then, my doodles coalesce into words and poems.  This doodle appears to be a poem, and so I thought I'd post it here.

Angular Momentum of Cascadia




osmie: (Bowler)
(inspired by those of [livejournal.com profile] skonen_blades)

At the deep end of Lake Okanagan
Lived a monster, cloaca to noggin.
But we hunted it back home,
So the beast moved to Blackcomb.
In the snows, you can hear it toboggan.

In a ramshackle hut in Nanaimo
Lived a woman who wrote NanoWriMo.
Each November, her doubt
Nagged her, "What's it about?"
But she answered, in prose, "How should I know?"

Said a border guard down in Point Roberts,
"My friend Rosencrantz, 'tain't that my job hurts,
But this daily commute
On some foreigner's route
Makes me feel like some play of Tom Stoppard's."
osmie: (Bowler)
to the tune of "New Moon on Monday"

Ahem. )

If you're ploughing through the series, you can meaningfully read the prequel anytime after book 1, and before book 11. Personally I would recommend right after book 5.

Conveniently, this is also the point at which I recommend people start skipping. By all means begin book 6, but be aware that the writing only gets worse for five books. The moment your interest flags, put down the current volume and skip to Knife of Dreams.
osmie: (Bowler)
On finishing Winter's Heart, I didn't even know how to filk it.

My inner filk voice wanted to do Journey: "Trudging beside you, here in the snow…." Give each verse a subplot, make each chorus about the act of reading this series, and finish, "Passing the time, with a thick volume nine, Winter's Heart." Done and done.

But [I wrote], yegods, Robert Jordan. This isn't so much a novel as a checklist of how many queens — in the royalty sense — you can depict naked. I counted seven: three reigning queens, one ex-queen, and three characters who aren't queens yet but (with varying degrees of foreshadowing) are certainly going to be. Your three main male characters are swiving their way through the royal families of every nation on your fictitious planet — and it's never their own doing, oh goodness no; it's just that they happen to be sexually irresistible, and powerful women have needs, you know.

You're a talented writer — talented enough that I'm still here, still reading, and still enjoying myself, even as I feel my critical faculties turning to carrot juice. But I cannot filk your book without acknowledging how ridiculous your queen-stripping habit has become. And I don't even have a tune in mind.

So I tried. )

Maybe I was getting somewhere. But that's all the energy I had for such a crappy book. Seriously, friend, I can see why you might want to subject yourself to volume 6, and I can even imagine wanting to skim volumes 7 and 8, but save yourself from the nadir which is volumes 9 and 10.


osmie: (Default)
Osmium Penguin

April 2016

345678 9
10 111213141516
171819202122 23
2425262728 2930


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags