Sunday, June 28, 2009

One of many great photographs punctuating Jeff Lee's excellent Travels With Little Debbie, an account of 88 days solo bike touring from Florida to the Great Lakes and on to Washington State.
Bright sunshine, shorts. Madlib's Sound Directions -- "the funky side of life!" -- on the stereo. Green leaves on the trees tossed in the breeze, by the backwash of a Mitsubishi Delica Star Wagon backing in by the pool hall, just clipping an overhanging branch: creeeeeeeeeeeak. Startled crow in the tree hops yapping from branch to branch, feathers erect to emulate the look of a larger, more dangerous animal.

The usual parade of suspects. Kind customers, lost customers, L. with a delicious "halal Mexican" beef donair-thing full of salsa and vaguely cinnamonesque spices.

Woman on the phone who's mad because we don't have the Peter Mayle book she wants.

Woman at the desk who's mad because the Peter Mayle book we do have is too much money ($6.95).

Hyperventilating woman incredulous that the A.A. Milne hardcover she put on hold ($9.95) is used instead of new. "WHY? WHY IS THAT?"

Big stack of good recent fiction.

Three bad books. "I could just give these to you...or you could buy them if you like."

Oliver Nelson on the stereo.

Light shifting across the front room, leaf-shadow on the carpet.
Saturday, June 27, 2009

Iz Kitteh

Hello CJB!
You Have (1) New Message
Subject: kitteh says halps!

Iz kitteh. Need noms so weak. So weak, iz fell off windowsill. So weak, iz roll over fall off bed. Ladiez don't care. Ladiez go for water-tide in - then makes her own noms. She not care about kitteh. Why you not here? You care about kitteh. Kitteh needs you. Kitteh cares about you and your noms. No, no, no, just you. just you. Kitteh not care about your noms. You care about kitteh? Kitteh hungry, maybes starving, maybes kitteh not last until you comes home. Kitteh just wants to says goodbyes to kind daddy and noms. Goodbye noms. No, no, no, goodbye daddy. Iz last message from hungry kitteh that loves you. Stole ladiez daddy-communication device to say I loves you. Turkey soooo good but was hours ago. Goodbye, cruel ladiez, goodbye lovely daddy with noms who might come home to rescue kitteh?? Kitteh never forgetting you... So weak. Light fading... Hanging on to hope of seeing daddy (and noms, bring noms) one last time...


Ps - I no likes pate or chicken. Don't bring those noms. I don't like. Want beef. Or trouts.
Thursday, June 25, 2009


Anodyne Inc. Fun Fact

Today my real-money purchases of Still Undisclosed Position accounted for 100% of the stock's daily trading volume on the TSE.

Waste My Time, Please (Special Bonus Round). (a.k.a. Why My Cat is Brighter Than the North American Publishing Industry)

PHONE: Ring!

CJB: Good morning, Pulpfiction Books.

RANDOM HOUSE OF CANADA: Hi, I'm calling about your pre-order for Dan Brown's forthcoming blockbuster bestseller, The Lost Symbol.

CJB: Uh-huh?

RHC: You've ordered 5 copies.

CJB: Sure. Special orders for my regulars.

RHC: Well, in order to ensure that you receive this sure-fire bestseller by its on-sale date, we have a minimum carton quantity of 16 copies, or a stand-up display of 40.

CJB: My chances of selling 16 copies of a book that will be available at Costco for cheaper than the wholesale price you're charging me are exactly zero. So I think I'll stick with 5 for now, thanks.

RHC: You realize that we won't be filling small orders for...oh, at least a week after the book comes out.

CJB: Really.

RHC: Yep. So can I put you down for 16...or 40?

CJB: I have a better idea. Just cancel my outstanding orders for this title. I'll buy them at Costco like everyone else.
Saturday, June 20, 2009

Don't click here. Seriously. DON'T CLICK!

(via BS blog)
Waste My Time, Please

PHONE: Ring!

CJB: Good afternoon, Pulpfiction.

GUY ON PHONE [thick UK accent]: Yes, ime looking for a buuk.

CJB: Its title...?

GOP: It'll be in yowre erotick section.

CJB: Its title...?

GOP: Anal Pleasure Fowre Elderly Men.

CJB: Let me see. [Beat] Nope, never had it!
Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009
In a friend's store somewhere in a Vancouver suburb, in the basement, sorting through forty-two boxes of assorted used mass market science fiction pocketbooks. Cool air blows through a blocked-open fire door, bringing street sounds, little slices of the exterior world, in with it.

A box that smells of cat shit.

A box that smells like cat pee.

Box after box of books smelling of slowly acidifying paper, a smell that always reminds me of the dry clean sandy scent of a cat's fur, or the spinner racks at the Clyde Avenue Bookstall, c. 1977 or so, full up with Doc Savages and Harold Robbinses and Leon Urises, all bleaching in the sun. (Some of those books had been permanently cemented to the wire-frame racks by the alchemical action of sunlight and heat on grade-Z paper. I remember trying to remove a copy of James Herbert's The Dark from one, only to discover that all 300-odd pages had fused together into a solid yellow brick that was warm to the touch, like a compost heap).

Alfred Bester, Theodore Sturgeon, Isaac Asimov, Robert E. Howard, R.A. Lafferty, J.G. Ballard (RIP Jim!), Ursula K. Le Guin, James Tiptree Jr., Walter John Williams, K.W. Jeter.

Upstairs, woman browses trade fiction with her geriatric chihuahua -- "That dog's 12 years old!" -- under one arm.

"So do you use a system here?"

"Depends what you mean by 'a system.'"

"Like the alphabet."

"Well those books in front of you are alphabetical. Author first then title."

"I just wasn't sure!"

Middle aged guy wanders in with an Italian deli sandwich wrapped in a crinkly plastic shroud. He puts the sandwich on a shelf, takes down a stack of gardening and edible native plant books, sits in a chair, and examines the books one by one.

Local Blowhard Competitor arrives and bends my ear about his "metrics."

Forty minutes later, Edible Native Plant Book Guy approaches the desk.

ENPBG: Will you hold these for me until tomorrow?


ENPBG: Oh it doesn't matter. I'll either come in for them or if I don't you can always put them back out.

MBF: The thing is, we don't want to put books away on 'spec.'

ENPGB: Oh really?

As the Internet cats say, YA RLY!
Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Fantasy of Acceptable 'Non-Consent': Why the Female Sexual Submissive Scares Us (and Why She Shouldn't), by Stacey May Fowles

"BDSM pornography is so excruciatingly aware of its own ability to perpetuate the idea that women yearn to be violated that it actually fights against that myth. At the end of almost every authentic BDSM photo set, you'll see a single appended photo of the participants, smiling and happy, assuring us that what we've seen is theater acted out by consenting adults, proving that fetish porn often exists as a careful, aware construct that constantly references itself as such.

The reality is that the activities and pornographic imagery of BDSM culture are problematic only because we have reached a point where a woman's desire is completely demeaned and dismissed. If women's pleasure were paramount, this argument (and the feminist fear of sexual submission) wouldn't exist. When women are consistently depicted as victims of both violence and culture, it's difficult to see any other possibilities. Feminists have a responsibility not only to fight and speak out against the mainstream appropriation of BDSM, but also to support BDSM practitioners who endorse safe, sane and consensual practice."

(Courtesy Mr. Kurtis Kolt)
Friday, June 12, 2009

Chilliwack's Marc LeClerc, a better climber at seventeen or eighteen than I ever was or will be, recently headed out on a little excursion.

"I set my alarm for 5:15 AM and slept a few hours, then I had some breakfast got dressed and woke up my Dad to give me a ride over to the base of the mountain. . . ."

(The large photos are worth the load wait, esp. #3, which gives me goosebumps. It's a big face.)

The Fierce Urgency of Now

My 39th birthday. Pulpfiction is 9 years old as of 11am. Who'd have ever thought?

What a year of pleasant surprises.

Friends have often asked me why
I'm sensitive about my height

I would look around and say

Hmm, I thought I was immune

All my life I have waited
to be given any word
It was screaming to be heard

Please remember:

The earth can be any shape you want it

Any shape at all

Dark and cold or bright and warm

Long or thin or small

But it's home and all I ever had

And maybe why for me the earth is flat's "Breathless in Biloxi" contributes a truly awesome setlist via cellphone:

"tonight's show in biloxi via my nokia.

the biloxi pufurmants art and 4H arena is cool

OMG -soul ram!! sung by the gurrls - 1 hr ago.

some pigs and cattle wandering in the isle

WALTER sings wu (sneers "here's your WU, bitches!)- 55 min ago

police escort out a desperate and dark clown who tried to steal donalds fresca

SWEET. walter sings the ghost of hypnos past - 50 min ago

egttm - with flo and eddie - guest stars!!!

sbts - why did they never release it? 44 min ago

godwhacker into slang - FUKKING great! - 36 min ago

tom girls- 30 min ago

freeking fall of 92 d&w trade vocals - edgier 22 min ago

igy mash with kullee (out of the blue cool) -17 min ago


small generator powering a cd player - dolby's astronauts & heretics - sounds GOOD

full band no PA - shanghai confidential - WOW, -10 min ago

home at last - 5 min ago

fall of 92 - with walter blasting obama for his failure to live up to campaign promises - FANTASTIC

Power out for good - good night. pix later at"

Wednesday, June 10, 2009
One Reader Writes

"SteelyDanodyne is bursting at the seams lately with all things SD. Your hipster readership must be in the negative double digits at this point."

Maybe it's a sign of how far my life has recently fallen. Or maybe it's just that it's early June, heat, windy light, the works, and transcribing set lists, fantasy set lists, and longed-for Pacific Northwest dates beats describing, in intricate detail, how I lay in bed for 24 hours with a vicious summer flu, coughing up grey phlegm while Louis the one-eyed tabby restlessly trompled over my face and chest, inviting me to leap up and "play."

Also in the last week or two, while not relentlessly alienating strangers or going climbing -- more accurately "logging road walking" -- I read:

Graham Greene, The Heart of the Matter
Janet Lowe, Damn Right! Behind the Scenes With Berkshire Billionaire Charlie Munger
Matthew B. Crawford, Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work
Joseph O'Neill, Netherland
Nicholas Lemann, The Big Test (especially the half-dozen pages devoted to Mr. Munger)

The Crawford book is particularly good, especially -- viz. Mr. Munger and his heroes Mr. Franklin and Mr. Crusoe -- in its discussion of intellectual judgment vis-a-vis the philosophical ideal of self-reliance. I highly recommend it to anyone I'm in even semi-regular correspondence with.

One disadvantage of value investing: occasionally you are quietly buying something under the radar with your own money and then some upstart web publication comes along and broadcasts your good idea all over teh interwebs.
Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Did I post this before? Damned if I can recall. Guest Manson vocals from 4:49-on.
Can't wait 'til morning to find out if Dr. Wu (or Here at the Western World, or Your Gold Teeth, or Everything Must Go, & etc.) was played last night? Fear not: has your back.

(2009 tour starts tonight in in Durham, NC!)
Thursday, June 04, 2009

"According to one of the current eBay auctions, on July 24 in Boston Steely Dan will be playing 'Groucho front to back'."
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
YVR is currently in the grip of a record-breaking heatwave. This page is not being regularly updated because the office at Anodyne HQ is AT LEAST 30 degrees Celsius and quite possibly warmer.

Updates will resume once things cool down on the weekend.
Monday, June 01, 2009
Waste My Time, Please

PHONE: Ring!

CJB: Pulpfiction Books, good morning.

PHONE GUY: Got any books by Roberto Bolano? You probably haven't heard of him.

CJB: [reels off list of seven different Bolano titles, including several not widely available in Canada]

PG: Huh. And could you tell me who the translators are.

CJB: Sure.

[Opens books, locates and reads translators' names one by one]

PG: These are all used books, right? I can bring books in and trade for them?

CJB: No, these are new copies. 20% off, like all our new books.

PG: I'm only interested in used ones.

CJB: Good luck with that!
A Sentence I Can't Ever Un-hear

Young pudgy guy in a fluorescent tie-dye and flip-flops walks past the open front door with a lady friend in tow.

YOUNG GUY [fake Cockey accent]: Then I'me gowing to eat your box!

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