...in a vase.
brucine (broo'-seen), 1) n. Pharm., Chem. a bitter, poisonous alkaloid, C23H26N2O4, obtained from the nux vomica tree; 2) n. Bruce Bortin's 'low-impact' weblog
Saturday, April 29, 2006
Sunday, April 23, 2006
All day long, balls kept flying at my head.
Sometimes I feel, sometimes I feel,
Like I been tied to the whipping post
Tied to the whipping post,
Tied to the whipping post,
Good lord, I feel like I’m dyin’.*
Well, it's probably not as bad as all that. For instance, the situation doesn't call on me to climb up that recently dynamited slide zone yonder and dislodge them boulders with this here crowbar, nor to handle the dead. At least it hasn't yet.
*Allman Brothers Band — “Whipping Post”
Marcel Duchamp — Nine Malic Moulds from “The Large Glass”
Friday, April 21, 2006
This little clump of hair on the left side of my head is always sticking up in the morning when I wake up. We call it an 'Alvin' for reasons that are lost to me now. It must be the fastest growing hair on my head. It's always been a mystery.
I've got a theory about it now. It occurred to me that, if I was the type to comb over, that's where I'd be looking for material. My theory is that I probably come from a long line of comb-overers, and some genetic program is causing that hair to keep on trying.
Good luck to that!
Thursday, April 20, 2006
I knave in a building which reputedly has the largest elliptical dome West of the Mississippi. On my floor, surrounding the domed well there's a course of more-or-less Corinthian columns, behind which stand the tempered-glass fronts of many offices just like the one which employs me.
Looking across the well, the columns reflect in the glass, none of which is exactly flat, so you get this distortion of the fluted columns. They look like the throat grooves of rorqual whales to me.
Workin' in the Pod. Happy 4/20! I'm so baked.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
I've got a small problem at work. I'm in a cozy fluorescent-lit cubicle. I sit in this plastic chair, typing at a plastic keyboard, which sits on a plastic desktop.
I have no idea whether I'm getting a positive charge or a negative charge, but believe you me, some electrons are changing hands over here, as whenever I stand up and touch something, I get a nasty shock.
The weather has been anything but dry, so I don't see any relief coming from that direction. I'm wondering if there might be something easy that I could set up to keep myself grounded while I'm at my desk, to leak off those Coulombs as they arrive and not have to do the capacitance discharge mambo whenever I get up to go to the photocopier, or to get myself a bowl of gruel, or whatever it is they keep in that trough.
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Open Source Citizenship March
Oakland, CA; Monday April 10th, 2006
During my lunch break on Monday, this march was happening, down 14th St past Broadway on its way to a rally at the Federal Building. I marched along.That shit always gets to me. I dunno. Ali McGraw's character dies of cancer in Love Story? Jeff Skilling has a rough day on the stand? Eeh. But for some reason, a mass movement of people asserting their eqality always chokes me up.
Friday, April 14, 2006
...pastries of finite volume, but posessing infinite density.Funny story--to take these to work, I had them in a bag hanging from my handlebars, but they were so heavy, my bike would only travel in tight little circles. I had to divide the cookies in two and hang one half from either handlebar to be able to navigate effectively.
Sunday, April 09, 2006
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
This is a remake of a movie that my friend Bruce Bursten made in, oh, 1970 or maybe 1969, ok? He was at Nicolet; I was holding down the wierdass Jew bastard post at Homestead High School.
Bruce's movie was called "Saponified Grease", and as Bruce was a science whizkid (soon to become a major organometallicist), it concerned the saponification reaction, whereby fat is transformed into soap, juxtaposed with greasy Pauchuco music as interpered by Frank Zappa. This might or might not be accomplished through hydrolysis. I'm a clerk, not a chemist or an ethnomusicologist, so I'm sure that I don't know.
Bruce shot his film in Super-8. I've reproduced his sound track as faithfully as my shattered meomory allows. I starred in "Saponified Grease" as "guy in a bathtub eating Crisco out of a can with a spoon." It was one of my first film acting gigs.
Bruce has subsequently gone on to become a world-class chemist and educator. I have to confess that, over last Christmas, when he tracked me down to tell me that he had just been appointed Dean of Liberal Studies at a prestigious Midwestern college, I felt a pang of jealousy. Like, of course, now I'm a glamorous clerk in a law office in Oakland. But back then, I didn't have that going for me, and I'm afraid that Bruce's success kind of rankled. So I had to examine that, and out of that introspection came this film; a remake of Bruce's cinematic classic.
I've taken some artistic license with Bruce's original vision. This time, the transformation goes from grease to grief, as, let's face it, we've all lived through enough now that we know regret on a level that our teenaged selves hadn't yet encountered. Saponification combined with grief of course calls up the Nazi death camps, so I had to roll with that.
Anyway, this turned out to be something of an in-joke Valentine to my old friend. I'm glad of your success, Bruce, and it was great remembering all our old times together.
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Monday, April 03, 2006
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