Posts Tagged snow

E-cards of Yore

While you’re sending electronic cards to hundreds of your barely-remembered ones with a single click this holiday season, spare a thought for your parents and grandparents, who had to walk a long way uphill (both ways) in the snow to post their e-cards. They were so lucky; I love walking in snow.

I recreated an e-card from the pre-internet age so that young whippersnappers of today could see what they’re missing out on:

A punched card with a stamp on it and a message punched in ASCII.

Old-fashioned e-card

It’s so hard to find a good card punch these days, but people back then were resourceful, so I had to be too.

The same punch card again, but with the Swiss Army knife used to punch the holes.

Swiss soldiers could even write e-cards to their loved ones from the front

I made this in 2007 from one of the punch cards I rescued when a man I shared my office with retired, but it only just occurred to me that it was sufficiently creative to put on my blog. I didn’t have a real blog in 2007, so it’s fair enough.

There were real Swiss stamps commemorating 50 years of CERN, but I didn’t happen to have any on the day that I decided to do this, so I printed a fake one. I wrote the card in ASCII according to this. If I did it wrong, it’s because I’m not old enough to remember those days. If you know better, please share your wisdom.

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Little Things That Don’t Necessarily Count, But Still Involve Numbers.

The problem with relaxing rules is that they keep on relaxing all by themselves. In an attempt to make up for missing a few weeks, here are some small things I’ve done. Firstly, a big thing which I played a small part in: the video for Gödz Pöödlz‘ song ‘345-5316008’, also known as ‘She Boogies’. The song was written in response to a Masters of Song Fu challenge to write a song about a number, which is why every word of it can be displayed on an old upside-down calculator. For the video, they asked for photos of calculators showing the words, and girls dancing with calculators. I submitted an ‘eligible’ calculator picture, and some dancing with the closest things I could find to calculators. I don’t usually dance, if I can help it, but I thought it’d be a good excuse to wear my Klein Four T-shirt, and I wouldn’t have to show the video to anyone I knew. But they edited it to make my boogying less embarrassing, and the rest of the video is great, so here it is:

Another small video thing I’ve made is episode two of Adventures of Mr. Super-Elephant and Friends, in which Arch-Enemy continues his conversation with Mr. Super-Elephant by inviting her out. I started this series on December 14 with a silly improvised three-line scene to try out xtranormal, and decided I may as well continue in this fashion, since it only takes a few minutes. Don’t expect it to make sense, or be good.

And one final small thing which I’m only adding to make these add up to something less small, is some kind of weird poem-like thing I wrote in a few minutes one day. The first line was something I actually thought would be cool to do, but then it unexpectedly turned grim. But compared with the Adventures of Mr. Super-Elephant and Friends, it makes sense:

I will get married in the snow, wearing white, and noone will see me do it.
We will consummate it at midnight under the new moon, and noone will know.
I will caress your skin, frozen numb, and you will not feel it.
I will give birth to a cold white baby, and it will not be aware.
Then unfeeling, unfelt, unseen, I will go.

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Seven of Hearts: Varied Words for Snow

It’s macaronics de nouveau
écrit sur l’air de Words For Snow.

Des mots pour la neige (a line-by-line ‘literal’ translation of Words for Snow)

A seven of hearts featuring varied thrush sitting on a snow-laden branch

A seven of hearts featuring a varied thrush sitting on a snow-laden branch

Je respire l’anglais, l’air de rien
mais quand je respire le français,
c’est l’eau qui semble m’étouffer.
I took the plunge, and I’m aware
si je remonte, c’est moi qui perds.
Je parle français un peu de plus,
The air of English spreads diffuse
des petites bulles dans l’eau française,
a snow of words that Benoît says
C’est clair comme du cristal, même plus
I wish such grace could reproduce
My tongues hang out, mouthwat’ring pair.
Je veux en boire des rivières.
In melting snow I want to stay,
to swim like fish in Angel Bay
in fluid French that’s clear and fun.


Wine and cakes (a lipogram missing an English drink)

English is air I exhale,
French is a splash I expel,
choking on wine of my grail,
drowning in yield of my well.

l’Anglais je prends à la louche,
le français je crâche vers le ciel.
L’eau à la bouche qui me bouche
L’eau me lessive mais m’appelle.

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Two of Hearts: Words for Snow

l\'eau et l\'O2 font la neige

In English I can breathe like air.
In French my easy breath is gone
to water that I’m choking on.
J’ai changé d’air, j’habite en Suisse,
I cannot live in cowardice,
so I speak in French a little more
l’air anglais dedans et dehors
the fractal mix like falling snow
la langue française joue le rôle de l’eau
that’s crystalised like none before
une neige si belle, j’en veux encore
l’eau à la bouche, mes langues y glissent,
I want to see some more of this
et rester dans la neige qui fond.
Je veux nager comme un poisson
dans l’eau française, courante et claire.

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