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[mar. 23e, 2008|09:30 am]

I was at the première of a movie that Richard Linklater and I made together. I wrote it and he directed it. It was a sort of homage to drive-in movies of the 1960s and 1970s but it was done in a surreal way. As I was there, Richard and I were setting up the sound area and making sure it was all right since there première was happening in a high school gym at my high school, Wooster. All the bleachers were pulled out and it was packed. I saw all of my friends, a few enemies and several people I admire like Orson Welles, William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac sitting in the bleachers along with everyone else.

The movie itself was very surreal and I don't remember much of it except that Mr. T was in it and Zelda Rubinstein was too, the very short lady who was in Poltergeist. And then I was in it at the very end- Richard helped me get into the screen and I showed the characters how to end the movie. All the main characters had been turned into children, except for me, Zelda and Kathy Bates. I ask them, "Why wasn't I made back into a child?" Zelda said, "You've been bad." and Kathy Bates, who was dressed like she was in Misery, disappeared. All the children came down for dinner and were served by Zelda and then she and I began to waltz to some music I'd written. I tried to get away from the screen since I knew that I was in the movie and shouldn't have been but I couldn't- I was stuck in the movie and it all ended for me as the movie did. The last thing I did was I bent over Zelda, who kissed my forehead and smiled and the movie faded out.
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RIP Arthur C. Clarke [mar. 18e, 2008|10:37 pm]
Arthur C. Clarke, the inventor of the Satellite, writer of Childhood's End and 2001 among many other great books, the host of Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World (a great TV show about the weird and mysterious- the episode on spontaneous combustion is classic!), and an all around great guy died today. I've always thought very highly of the guy and I always thought he was a great writer. Yes. After a long time and probably much pain, he's at peace.

A common theme of the last few years- the great ones of the 20th Century leaving us, as they will of course...but who is replacing them?
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My Reno [mar. 13e, 2008|01:44 am]
[Current Location |SEJDB Central]
[Humeur actuelle |contemplative]

After a great dinner and even better company, I went to Red Rock for a drink and to see what I could see. Not much really, though the brunette with the stilettos and the blonde with the junkie look was worth seeing. Then I went for a walk in downtown Reno and didn't see much, but I made lots of pictures on my phone...

I took this picture at the corner of Sierra and Rainbow, looking west on the Truckee River coming from Lake Tahoe and going toward Pyramid Lake. That's my Reno- what I see and know and am writing about in Star. That was half the reason why I went for the walk and took the pictures you can see here.

Reno at Night

The phone I have now is an iPhone and it has proved itself indispensable. It's like cell phones should have always been and never could be until now. Yes. It makes good pictures (it has no zoom and no flash- but the pictures you can make with it are rather cool), is useful when thrift hopping, gets e-mail, goes online very well (the EDGE network is pretty good for most things), keeps my calendar straight and is a conversation piece. The only thing is it made my cell phone bill $20 more a month but it's worth it.

Spring break is far, far too short and it's half way over before I knew it. Will it always be?
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Robert Lyons (1921-2007) [fév. 12e, 2008|10:33 pm]
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.


I found out that a few months ago one of my mentors passed away. I have tried to contact him several times since about November and heard nothing. He passed away on November 17 last year. The last e-mail I sent to him was on November 9th and he never wrote back to me. I found out that he died when I was book scouting with a friend and he came up.

Bob is who turned me on to The Anatomy of Melancholy (the last book that he was reading), Thomas Love Peacock, William Hazlett and so much more. He was much like a grandfather to me- and I'll miss him.

This is a few of what he wrote- it's all probably gone now anyway.

Reflecting on life:

Having existed close to seven decades, I am constantly aware that my
arduous, faltering and indeterminate journey through this vale of tears
will eventually come to its inevitable conclusion. Alas, with a trace of a sigh, I submit with sublime resignation.


Be consoled: You, and the recipients of your angst, envy and hate, and particularly your arch-nemesis, share the inevitable; pre-paid, non-refundable tickets to oblivion, from whence you came, waiting patiently at the departure gates.

Robert Lyons (1921-2007)
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Simone Weil [fév. 3e, 2008|01:44 pm]
Today is Simone Weil's birthday. Her book, Gravity and Grace is, for me, one of the most important and critical books of philosophy I've ever read. But it is not dense and difficult to read- it is simple and easy to read but utterly profound.

Her philosophy aside, her life was fascinating. She was a Jew who studied Catholicism, Buddhism, Ancient Egyptian religion, Hinduism (she learned Sanskrit when she was 12 and read the Bhagavad Gita) Plato and Greek philosophy (she did many translations of the philosophers into French and she taught Greek in school) but did not become attached to them and thought they were all ways to God; a school teacher, an anarchist and activist who went to work in a factory to really understand whom and what she was for and again , an anti-Nazi and anti-fascist (she fought in the Spanish Civil War on the Republican side), a philosopher, a writer and a pacifist. The Wikipedia article on her life is very good and worth reading.
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[fév. 3e, 2008|01:00 pm]

I was at a Cricket match and I was playing it. I was the Captain and My team was winning over and I always seemed to be at bat- and, I was about to bat a century and I did and my team won. The thing was, we were playing the cricket match in Yankee Stadium and it was the World Series.

Now- I've never really had a chance to see cricket, or at least I've never gotten into it. I only know what I know about it because of British TV shows I've seen (Doctor Who, The Prisoner, ect.) and once, I noticed in the park next to our house, a game of cricket being played by some people. Only once though- usually the field is used for soccer and football

The second week of Student Teaching was interesting...and now this week- I'm about to take over some of the classes. Things are about to get tremendously interesting...I'm going to be teaching a class full of Seventh Graders The Constitution.

$30 amplified antennas don't work any better than $8 normal ones. I'll hold out for the digital ones that should be coming at the end of the month. Or probably not- the only things on TV worth seeing are the weather reports, a lot of the stuff on PBS (right now I'm watching a show about the building of the Parthenon and how it is being restored). And some sporting events...

Again I'll say it, go Giants!
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[jan. 29e, 2008|11:32 pm]
A great article from The Nation with an opinion on why Clinton lost- the backlash against them and their tactics in South Carolina and what liberalism is seen to be- and how with Obama there is a great opportunity to move forward on a lot of fronts...

The Clintons have come to embody, for many middle Americans, the moral and intellectual emptiness they seen in liberalism--feel-good, stand-for-nothing, make-no-difference power players cloaking their lust for control in "feel-your-pain" platitudes. In South Carolina, the Clintons demonstrated just how much unfortunate truth there is to that exaggerated view of them (not liberals). And the white Democrats of South Carolina demonstrated precisely the opposite: that there is less truth than ever to the negative stereotypes about them.

This blog, 2parse, is very pro-Obama. And this is not a bad thing. He actually can articulate and explain why he supports Obama and they are very similar to mine. This entry, where he explains 11 reasons why Clinton should drop out is the best of many great entries. I agree overall- Clinton is the past and Obama is a chance at a future for the Democrats. The Paradox of Barack Obama is another great piece on what he could mean for all of us and the world.

On the other hand, Spengler from the Asia Times has an interesting article- Obama bin lottery where he equates voting for Obama to a gambler using his last dollar for one more turn on the slot machine- a last chance stab at a miracle. Perhaps this is an unfair assessment of Obama, but it's an interesting view.

Johnny Greenwood is a bloody genius. Popcorn Superhet Receiver is an amazing piece of music, as is his score for There Will Be Blood.

Student teaching is an amazing experience so far- more about that later. First- rest.
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Books That Make You Dumb and Shaker Heights [jan. 27e, 2008|11:51 pm]
Two links caught my eye today...

Booksthatmakeyoudumb. The guy behind this site has gotten the top ten books, and took out the top 100 of all the books on the list, from 1300 US Universities and Colleges and correlated them with the school’s SAT/ACT scores. The book Zane (an awful read that sells well), seems to be the book that makes you dumbest...and not too far behind is the Bible, which was beaten by the choice I don’t read. The book that makes you smartest is Lolita. There is something about Nabokov, after all.

US mortgage crisis creates ghost town. An article about Shaker Heights, Ohio and how the mortgage crisis has destroyed the town.

Happy Birthday Mozart.
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First World Problems [jan. 24e, 2008|08:24 pm]

No internets for several days

My iMac is on the fritz (my Underwood Universal typewriter is more dependable and only costs $6 to get a new ribbon!)

I'm working for free for at least until May, despite an interesting job offer that never materialized

I don't get my scholarship money for another three weeks at least

I sold one book because I'm too busy to add anything to my inventory

life is more or less good and I am fine since all my problems are First World Problems like Jameth would call them.

And now, back to the desert where I am doing my 40 days and 40 nights of penance, but first this-
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Celebration of Poe, Caucus Races, Cloverfield and Cunning Moves [jan. 20e, 2008|02:45 pm]

The Poe Toaster returns for another year. Happy Birthday to Poe. I would like to be part of the crowd watching that eventually.

Yesterday was the Nevada Caucus. Since my day was more or less clear (the business of a class was and still is up in the air as far as I'm concerned- I'm just not going in ever again), I thought it would be a pleasant way to spend a couple hours and feel like I was involved in the US Political process. And how! Of course- it made me think of Alice in Wonderland's caucus race...

`What I was going to say,' said the Dodo in an offended tone, `was, that the best thing to get us dry would be a Caucus-race.'

`What is a Caucus-race?' said Alice; not that she wanted much to know, but the Dodo had paused as if it thought that somebody ought to speak, and no one else seemed inclined to say anything.

`Why,' said the Dodo, `the best way to explain it is to do it.' (And, as you might like to try the thing yourself, some winter day, I will tell you how the Dodo managed it.)

First it marked out a race-course, in a sort of circle, (`the exact shape doesn't matter,' it said,) and then all the party were placed along the course, here and there. There was no `One, two, three, and away,' but they began running when they liked, and left off when they liked, so that it was not easy to know when the race was over. However, when they had been running half an hour or so, and were quite dry again, the Dodo suddenly called out `The race is over!' and they all crowded round it, panting, and asking, `But who has won?'

Who has won?

Before we went, I had my dad read this and we laughed. I had a sneaking suspicion that the caucus would be like this, somewhat. So- my dad and I went to the local high school and got in line to sign in. This took 45 minutes since there was 193 people from my precinct (there are 2000 or so in the one I'm in...1200 Republicans and 400 Democrats and the rest are not important in the eyes of the two parties) rather than the 78 they'd projected and printed cards for. After much corralling, we got in line and ready to go caucus. My dad and I got a piece of printer paper since they'd run out of ballots and we went into the theater where our precinct was meeting.

After another while the time came to caucus. We all separated into our groups and I went to Dennis Kucinich's camp. I've spent the last few days studying the main Democratic cancidates and I have found that Kucinich is an actual Democrat- he voted against the war, he's against NAFTA and the WTO, I like his idea of the Department of Peace and many of the rest of his positions. I decided to caucus for Dennis Kucinich...and my dad came along too. The people who ran the caucus determined that for a candidate to be viable there had to be at least 29 people for him...and Dennis Kucinich only had 14, even before the first count. Instead of sticking to our guns and staying for Dennis Kucinich, most of the people for him went to Edwards or Obama. I went to Obama, who I feel is the only Democrat who would be able to beat the Republicans and was my second choice. But I was never able to mark down my first choice

Then- the first count was made and Obama had 96, Clinton had 65 and Edwards had 32. Just like everywhere else, there were more voting against Clinton than for her. Obama won our precinct and all of Washoe County as well.

The Statewide results here

The ONLY reason why Clinton won was she won in Vegas...she lost nearly everywhere else or just barely won. If Clinton is the Democratic candidate I won't vote for her...or it will be at least a vote that will be very hard to make. For me, she represents the past and a return to what was...I think we need someone who is new and has new ideas like Kucinich or Obama.

But, with people like Huckabee (a great article all about why Huckabee is a nut and making Republicans rethink the whole religious connection) and Romney ( All about Romney and how his former company, Bain Capital has made money by laying off people and off-shoring everything)) and McCain ( McCain has voted for everything Bush the Lesser has and he's no different on any issues than Bush), even Hillary might be better...I don't know. Yet again, no one who truly represents what my political beliefs

For dinner, my dad and I went to the Santa Fe Basque Restaurant, which is great and had a good time. I love Picon Punch and they have a great one. It was fun.

Cloverfield. A brilliant B-movie. It is pure bulldada- a good badmovie. 7.5/10 only because of the damn shaky camera- the actors were good and the special effects were fine and the monster was amazing. The gratuitous 9/11 shot of the oncoming cloud was freaky and possibly in bad taste. To be fair though the first act of the movie was a bad soap opera until the "earthquake" hit, and the movie didn't answer any of the questions and the last bit at the end of the movie...interesting there just might be a sequel and I'd welcome that.

Other Recent Movies

The Company of Wolves 9/10

An amazing werewolf/fairy tale movie but far more than that since the movie has so many levels it can be read on, it is very much worth multiple viewings.

The Great Gatsby 1949 6/10

Nothing like the novel- The Great Gatsby could be made into a really, really good movie. Alan Ladd as Gatsby was all right but the story and everything put up around him was silly. The best part was seeing Howard da Silva as George Wilson and Shelley Winters as Myrtle Wilson. Only marginally better than the 1974 version and it's too bad the silent version is missing.

I just got back from a bike ride and as I rode through the park next door to our house, I saw a coyote passing through. It went from the middle of the park over to the drainage ditch for a drink of water, then ran across the street to the gated community across the road. I've never seen a coyote around here during the day, so it must mean that winter's returning.

It looks like getting a PS3 was a good idea too...

Go Giants!
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Bread and Circuses in Two Names [jan. 17e, 2008|03:35 pm]
Corey Worthington

Britney Spears

In the midst of it all- the election, the crazy financial straights...I bet more people over the world know more about these two people than what's going on with the most important things in the world, or probably even in their own lives.

Now- it looks like my own luck might have just changed...yes. An interview tomorrow will tell.
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Tom Cruise, King of Scientologists [jan. 15e, 2008|12:12 pm]

If you don't already think Tom Cruise is a creep...and this doesn't convince you...nothing will.

I stopped liking him when K., my first girlfriend (who ended up cheating on me, and after I dumped her, she became a Mormon!), practically creamed herself about the guy. Ugh.
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Book Three [jan. 13e, 2008|11:33 pm]
3. Griffin and Sabine by Nick Bantock

A beautiful, little surreal book- I first read it when I worked at Black and White Books. It was a slow Sunday afternoon (much like today) and I sat down and read the book. The art is exquisite, the story is a great mystery and there are two more books to read...yes. An old, old favorite book.
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Ought/Oughties? [jan. 11e, 2008|02:17 am]
[Musique actuelle |The Freshies?!]

There are two more years to this decade and yet, there isn't a term for it yet. Or at least, one that everyone can say without sounding like a miner just back from the Yukon.

"Yes sir, I was up north in ought Six. That's when I heard about the shooting of Dan McGrew. Those oughties!"

Or, sounding like a yuppie-

"Back in the Oughties, I spent most of my time online, using a website they called Live Journal. I migrated to MySpace, Facebook and then I went i got my iphone and iImplant. That's when I really tuned in..."

One hundred years ago is simply called "The Turn of the Century" or it was at least during the 1900s (20th century due to an error). What would this decade be best called?

A good day over all- although, I am quitting one job and going crazy over another. I must protect myself and my integrity, so I will quit while I'm ahead, quite literally. The first Student Teaching seminar went fine and I see the light at the end of the tunnel what I've been doing

Edmund Hillary (after whom Hillary Clinton was NOT named, something she claimed a while back) died yesterday. I always found him to be an interesting and strange figure- a humble man, despite the things he did. After all, he's probably one of the most famous New Zealanders (name one more other than Peter Jackson!) and he was the first to climb Everest along with the Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. And he was a beekeeper.

To bed after I put my clothes away.
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Book Two and Taze Me with a Song [jan. 8e, 2008|09:07 pm]
2. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis

An interesting book about Billy Beane and the application of statistics and logic to baseball. It mostly follows the 2002 season of the Oakland A's and how it goes, with the use of a philosophy of baseball espoused by Bill James, which measures players with new statistics like Runs Created and other hard numbers to predict how will will a game. It's not just a book about numbers- it's about people and the ugly side of baseball- where the common wisdom is you have to spend millions to be able to win, while the A's have proved otherwise. A fast read and an interesting one.

Hilary might have won in New Hampshire, but it was only by 2%. McCain winning on the Republican side is at least heartening. I don't relish the possibility of having to vote for Hilary...

And today is the birthdays of David Bowie and William Hartnell (The First Doctor), and Elvis too. Interesting.

Now- it's time to find my role. I ran into an old acquaintance yesterday- we caught up on each other's lives and he challenged me to find my role. That's what I need to do- what role do I want to play.

What role do you want to play, constant reader?

At CES, you can buy a Taser gun with a 1GB built in MP3 player. Nice- now you don't have to hear people screaming "Don't taze me bro." and you can hear Brad Paisley or Limp Bizkit instead. Taze me with a song.

What song would you use to taze people? I'd probably have something hard or industrial...or something utterly silly to take my attention away from what I was really doing...
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23-Skidoo on Twelfth Night [jan. 6e, 2008|11:22 pm]


This is an awful movie that has an interesting part- Jackie Gleason's acid trip is worth suffering this movie for. That, and the fact that Skidoo is the last movie that Groucho Marx was in...and he is the head of the mafia in this movie and his character's name is GOD. GOD lives on a yacht and has a hot black woman as his companion. What could more could a guy want? Hell- it's a good, bad movie, although I never wanted to see Carol Channing in her underwear.

So- this is the night before my first day of student teaching...maybe. I remembered that my lead teacher said that she wanted me to start at the start of the new semester, which will be the 20th and that might work out better for everyone. I just need to see her tomorrow and see what's up. Yes.

It didn’t rain or snow today at all. It was mostly clear, bright and cold. Epiphany, over all, was fine, although I finished Enterprise today. I will rant about that show soon enough- it was very underrated and ended far too soon. I even got used to the silly song for the title credits. The last episode was disappointing to say the very least...

Twelfth is a word that has always bothered me. It looks wrong and is one of the very few words I seem to have a block on spelling. I usually spell it twelvth (sic) or something like that. The word actually bothers me a little, like some people have problems with the word moist.
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Snow Day 1 [jan. 5e, 2008|06:10 pm]
Juno- 7/10

The movie was pretty good. All the actors were great and I liked their chemistry together- seeing Jason Batman and Jennifer Gardner together as a couple really, really worked. Ellen Blue is wonderful- ever since I saw Hard Candy I've had a thing for her. She's a great young actor. And, the movie showed parts from Wizard of Gore- go Herschel Gordon Lewis! It was only a 7/10 because of the awful songs by Kimya Dawson (who can't sing) that ruined the soundtrack and a couple scenes that didn't ring true- outside the abortion clinic and Juno and her parents, maybe the ultrasound scene too...I can see the hipsters and marketers at Hot Topic latching onto this movie like they did Napoleon Dynamite. Heh. It's not a great movie but not a bad movie- something worth seeing for the actors alone.

The weather's been a little underwhelming. Only about a foot of snow on the valley floor. But it's still snowing and rather nice. Yesterday it rained all day and was the first, real rain we've had here for nearly a year. That in itself was splendid.

So Fernley flooded? I'm sure this is the first and only time it will ever get national attention. All the houses built on the flood plain were McMansions, more or less, and inhabited by Californians who moved to Nevada for the cheap houses. I hope they had flood insurance...

I have a big night ahead- I'm going to watch the debates, see more Star Trek- Enterprise (a show that ended far, far, too soon) and read Murakami. And, get ready for Student Teaching...if the weather allows, I will start on Monday.
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I Am a Chaotic Good Elf Bard (5th Level) [jan. 3e, 2008|09:54 am]
A very neat quiz, taken from the completely slackful mysterg...yes.

I Am A: Chaotic Good Elf Bard (5th Level)

Ability Scores:







Chaotic Good A chaotic good character acts as his conscience directs him with little regard for what others expect of him. He makes his own way, but he's kind and benevolent. He believes in goodness and right but has little use for laws and regulations. He hates it when people try to intimidate others and tell them what to do. He follows his own moral compass, which, although good, may not agree with that of society. Chaotic good is the best alignment you can be because it combines a good heart with a free spirit. However, chaotic good can be a dangerous alignment because it disrupts the order of society and punishes those who do well for themselves.

Elves are known for their poetry, song, and magical arts, but when danger threatens they show great skill with weapons and strategy. Elves can live to be over 700 years old and, by human standards, are slow to make friends and enemies, and even slower to forget them. Elves are slim and stand 4.5 to 5.5 feet tall. They have no facial or body hair, prefer comfortable clothes, and possess unearthly grace. Many others races find them hauntingly beautiful.

Bards often serve as negotiators, messengers, scouts, and spies. They love to accompany heroes (and villains) to witness heroic (or villainous) deeds firsthand, since a bard who can tell a story from personal experience earns renown among his fellows. A bard casts arcane spells without any advance preparation, much like a sorcerer. Bards also share some specialized skills with rogues, and their knowledge of item lore is nearly unmatched. A high Charisma score allows a bard to cast high-level spells.

Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)

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Book One [jan. 3e, 2008|01:07 am]
1. The Passions of Andrew Jackson by Andrew Burstein

I started this in the last week of 2007 and just finished it- so it's the first book of the year. It's a biography on General Andrew Jackson, who is on the Twenty Dollar bill and who was the Seventh President of the United States. He doesn't come off too well after all, he's responsible for the Trail of Tears (a act of brutality and barbarism that is usually not mentioned in history classes), invaded and took Florida from the Spanish, established Martial Law after he fought and won the Battle of New Orleans, killed nearly a dozen men in duels and fights, took a woman from another man and married her, while he was still married, was obsessed by his sense of "honor" and was generally an arrogant, prideful, paranoid, ruthless man. He did usher in more democracy in the American Electoral process, dissolved the First Bank of the United States, stopped the British from invading New Orleans and was a decent and loyal person to his family and his friends. I'm not so sure he's a great President, but he's much better than the current occupant of the White House and could be better than the next interesting book about a very complex, misunderstood and underestimated man. Now I'd be very interested to learn more about Jackson's enemies and friends Aaron Burr (the bio on him is on the stack of books to read), John Calhoun, James Monroe, James Madison, James K. Polk (subject of a great They Might Be Giants song) and Henry Clay.
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[jan. 1er, 2008|10:42 am]

I was at a huge camp-out, just like Burning Man, and it was the last day. I woke up and all the people around me had left without packing up their camp. I went over to the camp next to me and found it full of ancient computers- mostly PCs with 5 1/4 Floppy Drives and monitors that were green or amber. I walked through the place and that was all that there was...and then I went to the camp next door and next door and I found that the whole place was full of ancient computers, Macs, IBMS, Commodores...but no people at all. I walked around the whole place, screaming and yelling and looking for people, and found none.
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