Monday, June 14, 2021

Disrupting the Groundhogs

Written by: Tom Fasano Filed Under: |

Groundhogs are taking taking over our yard, especially the strip of lawn between us and our neighbor in the front. We've been told that professional exterminators are expensive, so I thought I'd try digging down about 3 inches in order to disrupt the entry to their tunnels. Maybe they'll get the idea they're no longer welcome and find somewhere else to burrow.

The yard will look a bit torn up for awhile, but I see it as only a first step. Next step: Rodenticide, blocks of which I'll shove into the their holes.

If anything, it's good exercise.

Tuesday, June 01, 2021

David Bowie – the Verbasizer – Mac Terminal Code

Written by: Tom Fasano Filed Under: | | |
The Verbasizer was a digital version of the cut-up technique writers William Burroughs and Brion Gysin used for decades. The process involved cutting up a piece of text with an eye toward recombining the words into new and unexpected structures.
It was a popular method among experimental writers but had fallen out of favor by the 1960s.
Bowie worked on the Verbasizer with Ty Roberts, who later co-founded Gracenote, an audio fingerprinting company. Bowie spent a lot of time taking bits of words from newspapers and other sources and then arranging them into lines of lyrics. He would cross out words that didn't fit to create the lyrics that ended up being on his final album.
I've written a few lines of code that do the same exact thing that David Bowie's Verbasizer did. My process in the following example was to copy the first five paragraphs of an article in today's New York Times about the drought in the West. I saved it in BBedit as a file called water.txt.