September 28th, 2012

Work on (and from, sadly) TextMunger has slowed down in the past few months. I took a vague break this summer, and am knuckling down on some freelance work this fall. Which leaves even less time for TM work….


Still, things have happened, and there are some plans.


XRML formatter

The XRML-targeted formatter works a bit better (doesn’t get stuck on zero-punctuation for long periods of time) even if the underlying algorithm still has issues.


I’m thinking of rewriting it, or writing another, that would work on multiple-passes over a text-block to allow for vertical text placement a la columns, although hopefully not so dense and delineated to show up rivers of punctuation that delineate actual columns. I would like just enough to encourage a vertical reading, and not just the standard (Western) left-to-right, line-by-line.


A simple implementation of a single-pass would be an offset, so that the next word lines up with the start of the last word. Would want to enhance this so that an arbitrary number of words (tokens, whatever) are printed before the next line alignment.


Multi-pass is more difficult, as it would include the above, as well as requiring an intake of a previously formatted chunk of text for re-writing.


Text library

I’ve done some work on preparing to save lists of selected texts, but it has been exposed to the UI yet.


First, because there is no menu-strip in the UI. I think it’s time to address this (as well as scrapping the diagnostics tab).


But mainly I think the library-system needs and overhaul. Parsing a nested set of folders for .txt files is fine, but it’s a dumb system. Workable, practical, but literally dumb — it returns texts, but no awareness of those texts. And awareness allows us to sort, etc.

 By author, date, other characteristics. And above all, source — which would be a good thing for citations and acknowledgements.


Weighted source texts (for Markov chaining)

I’ve been staring at Edde Addad’s jGnoetry. Not only do I want to integrate some sort of re-processeable template (?) system, weighted texts is a desirable element. I’m constantly irritated by trying to combine two texts — say, Manual Of Egyptian Archaeology And Guide To The Study Of Antiquities In Egypt and a script for The Wizard of Oz or 1975 Apocalypse Now Workprint, only to find that almost everything is Egyptian due to the massive size of the source. If I could indicate that the Egyptian text, regardless of length should only be considered 30% of the time, I’d be much happier. Currently, I can dump in multiple copies of one text, but that’s a nuisance.


Selectable output as re-processable template

As mentioned, jGnoetry has made me want to be able to keep some words|tokens, but regenerate everything else.


Not just for markov chaining, however — being able to select any arbitrary rule and apply it to a block of text would be great. This would move the UI to a real alt-text-editor tool. Probably would need a rule-toolbar. Or easy way to select (and edit-on-the-fly?) a given rule for application.


rework of the rule selection system

Too many clicks to get to where I want to edit something.


(Assignable) hot-keys is one-option. A serious re-thinking of the rule-selection GUI is a must.



September 27th, 2012


Pierre Gordeeff’s The Built From Scratch Apparatus is the general title for a series of projects by Pierre Gordeeff initiated in 2006. Composed of parts salvaged from the trash, yard sales and equipment purchased from bankrupt hospitals, schools and factories, Gordeeff’s work has slowly evolved into an ornate sculpture and light show along with amplified moving parts fed into a mixer.

The Rhizome article also has some audio & video.

Pierre Gordeef’s website

Built from Scratch

I found this via a circuitous vicus of information from the Facebook Weird Instrument Tribe, that also lead to more pics from Robodonien 2012 where the below pics were ganked.

Here’s an auto-translated-from-the-french article that seems to embody some of the spirit of the contraption in its irregularity. If your French is better than mine, or google’s, here’s the original.


September 24th, 2012


To Marilyn Manson – It’s taken me a long time to get there from where I could touch M. Manson. Now I got a card to play – you may look into my non-profit, ATWA, and give Manson what you think he’s got coming for Air, Trees, Water, and you. Or I will pay Manson what you think Manson got comeing – the music has make Manson into Abraxas Devil, and I’m SURE you would want some of what I got from what I got. It’s a far out balence. Beyond good and bad, right, wrong. What you don’t do is what I will do – what you did a sang along, and let it roll and said how you saved me a lot of steeps – I don’t need, it’s not a need or a want. Couped – coup. Ghost dancers slay together and your just in my grave Sunstroker Corona-coronas-coronae – you seen me from under with it all standing on me. That’s 2 dump trucks – doing the same as CMF 000007

Also, a potential translation.

via BoingBoing


September 18th, 2012

99 problems (speculative)


  1. Worries regarding ‘letting himself go,’ in terms of moral values and physical health.
  2. Increasing trouble accepting the true existence of ‘authenticity,’ of which his identity has been largely based.
  3. Still unable to get through Joyce’s Ulysses; currently on his fourth attempt; contributes to an insecurity that holds he’s “not good enough” and “not intellectual.”


September 17th, 2012

Grungey-type — it’s all about David Carson, innit?

The Awl on Grunge Typography via Boing Boing.

mis dont legi take for bility cation communi

some ray gun covers by David Carsons

David Carsons Fast Machine

David Carsons really didn't like Bryan Ferry

But what about the mostly-pre-digital Terry Jones?

TypographyOnline profile

Okay, so there was some early digital paintbox stuff going on:


Terry Jones iD magazine -- Complete Covers from Taschen Books

Video review of Jones’ Instant Design: A Manual of Graphic Techniques

Terry Jones Instant Design (wink) front cover

Instant Design @ Abe Books

Terry Jones instant design layout

Terry Jones instant design layout

The GoogleBooks entry for Instant Design has no pages available, but their poorly-OCR’d text is a joy to behold:

Best known through his own magazine, i-D, but also internationally recognizedor his work with Italian and German Vogue, Donna, Mexx and Fiorucci, Terryones has been one of the most influential graphic designers of the 1980s.is style, rooted in punk, exemplifies much that is characteristic ofontemporary British design. This book, designed by Jones, explores andxplains “instant design”, the use of readily available techniques such ashotocopying, typewriter faces, Polaroids, handwriting, type and pictureistortion, computers and block graphics. Jones’ current work in televisionnotably Reportage and 01 for London) and video is also covered. Hundreds ofxamples show the extraordinary range and creativity of his output. Captionsnd a multi-layered introduction provide the context for some of the decade’sost copied graphics.

Terry Jones instant design layout 3

Terry Jones Instant Design back cover

I first ran into this book in 1993 in the library of the School of Applied Arts in Budapest, Hungary. When I returned to the US I got my own copy of it.

Don’t get me wrong — I also had a David Carson book at one point, and do/did appreciate his/that style. I like the use of type-for-types-sake, it ventures into blurring the boundary between text and image a bit more (something dear to my heart), and highlights that text is image, as well. Both of them are beating the image|text dichotomy, bashing it with sledgehammers (or photocopiers and fontshop, I guess) and saying a hearty “f**k you” to linearity and coherence.

I was very much interested in type and graphic design for a time. Ultimately, I realized (very slowly) that I wasn’t particularly talented in that direction. I’m left with a minor understanding of the art, an appreciation for the difficultly, some strongly-held opinions (not much appreciated by my wife, an actual trained, experienced and skilled graphic designer), and the poorly-designed layout of this blog which is more trouble that it is worth to update.

And the nagging suspicion that I should still be blending the visual layouts of my language-based artwork a bit more….

This has got to be a rough draft, but I’ve been sitting on these notes for three weeks without getting much coherence from them. I may update this post, or I may extend these ideas elsewhere….

UPDATE 2013.12.30: Article on The Rise and Fall of Grunge Typography reminds me of P. Scott Makela.


September 13th, 2012

The ABCs of Critical Theory.

‘F’ is Foucault of ‘Knowledge is Power’.
So remember that phrase when told to ‘Go Shower’
’Cos if you provide some good enough reasons
You can stay dirty for up to three seasons.


September 12th, 2012


September 11th, 2012

motel chassis (low fidel[it]y)



          Just beforeground caps to resistored
  I guess AC/DC type fact
  the chassis ground the
       and heat

to dub it
        from these place to

      In the
 facture. The
 motel chassis what
             on the
end you
       replaced that
         seeing bad to
       events, but that
      to line hands area where is been solder
   two fit took
       at this excess on any protrudes
          on the

 leads can serve arounds one of the circular the
          Predicta owner
a propriately low-fidely life


Source text from a page on Predicta televisions.
Run through charNG, I think. I built up a source text some months ago, and I don’t remember the details. Tsk tsk tsk.


This is a rough-draft, including the display markup.



September 11th, 2012

I’ve liked Apocalypse now since I caught bits of it on broadcast TV sometime in the 1980s?


I finally saw it entire on a date (!!!) during college. You know: on VHS cassette.


Years later, I fiddled with the idea of doing it live on stage, solo, with toys as props. Not GI Joes and Barbies and guns, no — but with stuffed animals, etc. Maybe cars and boats. But fluffy cute things saying the dialogue, etc. With potted plants, humidifiers running and the heat turned up. Probably just as well it never went to fruition.



Some notes



The DVD Journal review of Apocalypse Now Redux (2002)


Kurtz’s Dossier and the Art of Narrative


the “legendary” six-hour rough cut


the 5-hour workprint with notes on the differences





The web floats several variations on scripts — early drafts, working copy, transcripts, redux, etc.


1975 draft

1979 script – appears to be a transcript (contains almost only dialogue)

Redux – says it is a transcription, but includes lots of notes.


The 1969 draft surfaced in early 2011. Cannot find it online.


review of same by… Bob Aldrich???


September 6th, 2012




September 5th, 2012

Simply Recipes teaches us:

Guacamole, a dip made from avocados, is originally from Mexico. The name is derived from two Aztec Nahuatl words – ahuacatl (avocado) and molli (sauce). The trick to perfect guacamole is using good, ripe avocados. Check for ripeness by gently pressing the outside of the avocado. If there is no give, the avocado is not ripe yet and will not taste good. If there is a little give, the avocado is ripe. If there is a lot of give, the avocado may be past ripe and not good. In this case, taste test first before using.

In addition to being a decent recipe, the page contains plenty of good advice:

All you really need for guacamole is ripe avocados and salt. After that, the next most important ingredient is lime juice (or lemon if you don’t have lime). Then come the cilantro, chiles, onion, and tomato.

Taking that advice, the simplest recipe of all is over at Melanie Cooks — which has all of two ingredients on the ingredients list. I’m sure it’s wonderful — I’m just on a budgest, and want to make my avocados last as looooooong as possible. So I (sadly?) adulterate my avos with tomatoes and onions and whatnot.

Onward, to adultery!

For starters, here is a simple and basic recipe uses salsa as a core ingredient. Coincidentally, it’s what I first used in my shoot-from-the-hip tests as well. It’s a shortcut that may introduce some flavors you don’t want, but gets to the finish rapidly. And worked just fine for me, let me add.

ROASTED POBLANO AND TOASTED PECAN GUACAMOLE looks interesting! And from Latin Twist: Guacamole with Grapes and Toasted Nuts we see that walnuts and pecans can be substituted for each other with guacamole. Which is good, because we have more than a pound of walnuts at home, and not a lot of call to use them. And no pecans. No grapes other, which is fine. Because…. eh. I might just skip that idea. Unless I’m trying to get rid of grapes.

Greek guacamole, adds in olives, feta and cucumbers.

Caribbean guacamole

PINEAPPLE CHIPOTLE MANGO GUACAMOLE seems a bit fruity, but illuminating for what you can shove into a guacamole and yet continue to be a guacamole and not, say, a fruit salad.

Guacamole pasta isn’t so much a guacamole recipe — and it’s NOT a pasta recipe — as it an interesting idea for putting guacamole on pasta!

If you are trying to pitch used of avocados to your wife, who really, really, really, really likes English muffins, you could do worse than to pitch the Avovado Tomato Melt. Although it contains no guacamole whatsoever, it is made on English Muffins. So that’s something.

I’ve been buying these big, shiny, Florid low-fat “Slimcado” Avocados.
MelanieCooks and Cooking with food cover these definitely-not-a-Haas-avocado fruits. They’re both generally negative, where they aren’t meh.

However, I’ve been okay with with the Florida avos. For the price, you get a lot of avocado per pound. If you are eating them straight, yeah, maybe you’d notice it. But I’ve been adding them sliced to sandwiches or burgers, or making guacamole, and haven’t had a problem.

The ones I bought were from Brooks Tropicals.


September 4th, 2012

abandoned book

Abandoned book on the Mexico-US border

(source has a high-resolution available)


September 4th, 2012



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