Tag Archives: Prodigy

Of Folly & Fodder: Death By Explanation

death-journal
Death Journal
samplex

Orginally composed on January 28, 1997

WELL...since everyone else is spilling all in declaring the spikes and spokes of their past and present journalkeeping habits, I may as well add my own finer edges, having kept a rather informal text of this sort rather irregularly over the years in old-fashioned notebooks and later, on disk.

After giving up the traditional journal task several times I've come to recognize that I don't really appreciate the form as much as I do the E-mail discipline. I suspect my need for instant gratification by way of external response, plus a general distaste for maintaining secrecies result in a preference for calling the bluff on private thought processes and identify the latter form as my own favored form of natural journal. Fortunately for me in this case, ever since the spring of 1992 when I first logged on to AOL and Prodigy, I've always had at least one equally prolific correspondent with whom I have been able to vent any issues of the hour mixed with any general ponderances which the modern mind might tend to address. And presently I can boast that "pour moi" this softly fluctuating group buoyed by Steve Taylor and Lynn Landry in a bicoastal cheek to cheek is indeed the golden age of "writing to keep writing" form the journal has traditionally meant to its creators.

That said, of course all my journals of the past and E-mail are in custody, hardcopies alphabetized and filed according to the name of my correspondent. My computerphobe but oh so revolutionary pal Len Bracken and a few other hanging-wit know-it-alls have taken me to task for my energies focused in this area. Death by explanation. What is that? Why must I explain every detail of the literary approach to those who taunt me as if they even care. My autodidactic education speaks for itself, and so I have no qualms gathering forces by exploiting my own preparatory habits. There's nothing really original about it. Writers major and minor will be writers great and small whether and wherever they write tedious volumes or short declaratives. Style is always experimental until it sticks and becomes habit. I really don't cotton to these arrogant tones toward E-mail and my own exercises in linguistic riffing, but to utilize a line from a long forgotten poem I once wrote might be a propos:

Ignorance and virtue STILL suck on the same straw...

GT

Musical Chairs, Modem Speeds, Death In The Family

beauty
Beauty In The Pieces
samplex

Date: Sat Feb 24, 1996 8:36:16 AM America/New_York

Space, yeah, it's great to have some music around once in a while although I have pulled stretches where I've done without for a year or so, back around 1979-1980 when I was 24-25 and in my I-am-not-of-the world self-deprivation stage, even refusing to host ID or keys, dumping all my photographs off to those I mistakenly thought cared. Even now although we bought our first CD player, a little box similar to the one you described although we only paid a close-out sale price of $125, it was a $225 level configuration by Sanyo, this past September when I was doing all my fencemending and outdoors painting (forever etched in my associative memory), I don't really listen to it that often during the day or night hours I am working. But I seem to demand musical accompaniment as soon as the first swig of beer slurps down the guzzle though. "Uhm, is there some innate connection AFTER ALL to the sex, drugs, rock thing?" he opines to himself trying to remain quasi-rhetorical.

I suppose you've been preoccupied as of late. I usually get a response from you a day or two after I've written, but two notes and several days later, no Space. Uh, but it could be your machine is playing you for the fool again. I see where 28,800 bps modems have dropped to less than a hundred bucks. Now THAT sounds like a good investment for you. You could then dazzle yourself with your newfound speed, and might not get kicked off Prodigy so often, but that's only speculation. I was always have trouble getting or keeping a clean and functioning connection with my former service provider (Clarknet), so I switched and after only the first week I can, without reservation, admit that I am satisfied with an improvement with the Radix feed. You might try some alternate 2400 baud phone numbers in your area. I know in my early modem months I found that the DC number was always busy or corrupted, so I changed my dial-in preferences to northern Virginia and southern Maryland, and never had any trouble after that on Prodigy or America On-line.

This morning is the first sunny DC day in a week, and coincidentally I feel fully recovered from a weeklong depression of uncertain cause. All I know is I felt glued to the earth's crust with lead instead of iron coursing through my veins, and an urge to stuff myself with food. By the way I weighed recently, and have broken back over the 270 mark, having gained all 29 pounds I lost last year, and am now threatening to go back on the smokey rope diet I've been off for six months now, as Sue resists my logic. Also claiming psychological corridors of my mind this week was the death three days ago of my mother's sister Kitty of that cancer she was diagnosed with six months ago at the age of 52. A great loss of a much loved aunt, but because of my embittered feud with my mother, the morning she called to supplement my sister's info on last rites, I only said two words to her: NO (as in I'm not going to the memorial service), and BYE, as in goodbye. I felt like a shit, not even attempted to stammer through a condolence speech, but my anger at her is so intense right now, I could only think of my feud. She did not push her efforts beyond a couple of pieces of information, and I am content although obviously somewhat guilt-riddled to allow the our last few episodes to exist just as they occurred. I'm thinking now that I actually never got around to clueing you to what has caused what I am considering an irreparable rift between us, but will procrastinate even longer because it seems that all I do is whine about some great tragedy in my life or another. Geez, where is the exit ramp?

Fats

Mardis Gras Will Snort My Dollars Like Rubles

simulator
Mardis Gras Simulator
samplex

Date: Wed Feb 7, 1996 9:56:54 PM America/New_York

And Space, don't forget to consider the alternative E-mail suffix. TEll me whether to use CCGS84B, C, or whatever, so that you will know which box to look in, and I'll know which address is still valid. Meanwhile, thanks again for the Prodigy spin. Be sure to let me know when BBM starts rumbling, but I can tell you now, I'll decline to rejoin Prod if they can't get me hooked up at a faster speed that 2400. I've got the hardware. They've got the local access numbers. Duh, what's the problem?

I downloaded from the Internet today a GIF of the 1953 Mickey Mantle Topps card. Who is your all-time baseball hero, sports hero in general? Perhaps we can devote some Web space as a shrine. Your guy. My guy. But we can collaborate more expansively on subject matter once we have successfully hitched our wagon to a GeoCities URL address.

Was invited down to Mardis Gras by one of those unsavory faux friends I've told you about. He moved down there last September, and called me collect twice (the first time Sue refused to take the call) to tell me about it. Funny thing was I had been seriously pursuing the thought of bouncing down to New Orleans for the festival just to get away for awhile, following up on those earlier notions I'd had about Sue and I needing some "space" in order to spruce up the spice between us a bit, but now that I am faced with a direct challenge to my whimsicality, I am buckling at the knees, tossing off excuses left and right why I should stay put. The strongest being that there are too many vultures (leeches, uh, did I say friends?) here to leave Sue alone to fend off. Maybe I'm afraid she'd have more fun than I would. Or maybe I don't trust this hapless bozo to make my stay in the French Quarter anything but more aggravating than sleeping on a damned park bench would be, and you know, hotels will snort my dollars like rubles. So what's it all worth at this point?

Have too much to do just where I'm at right now, and that's the bottom line, have too much to do right where I'm at right now. So I'll call Mouse back and tell him maybe next year we'll both come down. Yes, maybe next year. As it is today I'd stumble around lost without Sue, and that's the sum of all things in my life presently, despite the lures and worst collusions of my evil twin within.

Fats

Albeit The Data Was Jersey Cold

space
Space Movements
samplex

Date: Wed Feb 7, 1996 8:07:31 PM America/New_York

Space, well I blew into your account, and probably left a mess of mousedroppings all over the place. On the upside, I only spent 5-8 minutes in the CORE therefore billable areas. The remainder of the time I browsed through the 14,400 kps & Macintosh 3.1 software nodes, but let me give you a rundown on what I did & why.

First I stole into the BBM, found it dormant as relating to the 1996 season. From there I peeked into your mailbox where I found the note I sent earlier in the day after my own service provider's E-mail system had been down for over 36 hours. The note is somewhat dated because I went ahead and plunged into your pool, testing the waters, and discovered that s-t-u-p-i-d does not work with your secondary account numbers. But that was no problem. It's just the E-mail (i.e. CCGS84C, or whatever) address that we need to try and reestablish a web site with GeoCities. If I go ahead and try to homestead another GeoCities sports site for our mutual fun, and there's no code breakdown like the last time, then all you'll have to do is check your auxiliary mailbox (C, I reckon, since I recall you used C for your AL BBM persona a couple of years ago) and retrieve the GeoCities password they will provide so that I can access the site I establish.

That said, I then began to plunder. Caught in a flaw and a flipflop of Prodigy software I found myself locked into a scheme where I was forced to choose a local 14,400 bps access number. I had intended only to research the numbers, write them down for future reference (which I did) and exit. but on this particular screen I could not exit without leaving what I'll embarrassingly call mouse droppings. Actually I suspect that you won't be affected by this maneuver of mine since Prodigy wrote over its pref files on my harddrive. In fact I think I have done this before, and it just hasn't worked properly. When I dial up, the screen says I am connecting at 14,400 but by the time I am fully connected, a message pops up saying I am logged in at 2400, and shucks ain't there a world of difference in those two speeds!

After I escaped that crises, I ventured over into another free zone hawking the new Macintosh software v3.1. Now that I've left the scene of the crime I think I am indeed already running that version on my machine, but Prodigy being as lame as it is, left no records of its version number on its software as is traditional in the Mac environment. so I'm not able to verify yea or nay. So the saga continues as I choose rather than taking ninety minutes to download the code at the sluggish 2400 baud rate I would simply have them mail it to me. When I clicked that button I was confronted with the standard Prodigy order form which of course had your personal information already filled in, albeit the data was Jersey cold.

So I hacked myself and my vitals over your own, and pronto, I should receive in 2-3 weeks some dead software I am probably already running. Sorry I've greeted your generosity with all this technobabble. You should come out unblemished, but I just wanted to put these events on record just in case you step into quicksand the next time you try to log-on.

Fats

Owning House In Deflated Market Up To One's Neck In Debts

letters-seattle
Letters From Seattle
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Date: Mon Jan 16, 1995 5:30:27 AM America/New_York

Thanks Space for your comments. I think your prescription is exactly what I need but unless I want to leave Sue alone (not a very palatable option for either of us despite my current dismay at the sorry state of what was to be a our cutting edge artistic union) and venture out into places unknown, I am lodged in this crackhole of a city at least until our finances collapse or regain strength. Owning a house in a deflated market up to one's neck in debts does not offer much hope to the escape artist traveling to the new vista which you found in Seattle, and I found so many times in the past. But anyhows....thanks again. Just airing clears the anxiety, and charts the rhythm. I appreciate you being there to help thwart my illusionary misery.

Meanwhile, haven't you ever gotten around to figuring out how to write your E-mail OFF-LINE? In this scenario you would not be kicked off, and could take great pains to write what you wanted to write, not that you don't already take the pains (uh, a flat joke?). The only downside to writing offline is that in Prodigy—at my last observation—the writer is limited to X number of characters and/or lines equivalent to the six pages times eleven lines I am familiar with, and sometimes one is wont to compose more than that whereby the E-mail program simply cuts off the excess at the bottom. Actually all E-mail programs have a limit. It's just that Prodigy's is sinfully more limited than most others. Let me know if this is still the case, that you are still composing online. That's a waste of your online time, although unless you are being more exploratory than in the past because I know you said you use Prodigy for little save BBM & your few penpals, except for the tendancy of the variables of a clean connection to foil you by suddenly disconnecting you (a very good reason to try to offline composing, then uploading method in itself), you have no reason to change your routine now. Anywaze, lemme know. Your pal in the other Washington,

Fats