The Aardvark Speaks : essence, effervescence, obscurity. Established 2002. A weblog by Horst Prillinger. ISSN 1726-5320

August 2005 Archive

August 02, 2005

As an explanation why I'm not updating my weblog more often at the moment, I could write that I left my notebook* with ideas for about 35 weblog entries in it at the "Soban Taxi-Phone" Internet café, 69 Rue Sébastien Gryphe, Lyon. Which is true. Which was also a minor catastrophe for this weblog.

On the other hand, fact is that I exchanged my TGV ticket for one on a later train and thus postponed my departure from Lyon so that I could return to the "Soban Taxi-Phone" and ask if someone had found my notebook. As the notebook contained nothing other than fragmentary weblog ideas scribbled in almost illegible handwriting, I suppose this increases my ranking on the geek map.

It turned out that someone had indeed found my notebook, so I have no real excuse for not posting anything, especially with at least 35 entries up my sleeve. It's just that during the summer, I rather sit outside sipping pastis and read books than write weblog entries for a readership that is much smaller than usual because they'd all also rather sit outside somewhere sipping something.

*) a paper notebook, not a laptop computer

Posted by Horst at 11:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

August 03, 2005

This weblog is three years old today. Didn't think it would last this long.

May I send my best wishes out to all those nice people whom I'd never have met without this weblog.

Posted by Horst at 10:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Netzeitung refers to Die Deutsche Bibliothek (the German national library) as "the national book archive". I suppose they also call themselves "journalists". Do they have any idea what libraries are about?

Posted by Horst at 11:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

August 04, 2005

So, Maki, it seems you are going to meet God...? Yes. But which God? That of the Asbourhas? of the Minetons? of the Ficharrots? Bah... it's more or less the same for all, isn't it? What?! Not at all! You fool, you must not talk such blasphemy! The Asbourha God wears shorts, the Mineton God rides a bike, and the Ficharrot God sings in the shower.

cartoon by Lewis Trondheim
from: Lewis Trondheim, Le pays des trois sourires (L'Association, 1997).
(Move the mouse over the speech bubbles to view the English translation.)

Posted by Horst at 12:31 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

You still have the chance to win a prize if you submit an answer to the card quiz until midnight (CET) today. The results will be published tomorrow.

Posted by Horst at 09:14 AM

August 05, 2005

The amazing thing about this quiz is how many possible answers there are -- the cards are a 2, a 3 and a 10 of diamonds, but even knowing that, depending on how you interpret the question, it's possible that 8, 9, 15 or 27 could all be correct.

However, according to the quiz show, the correct answer is 109.

Which is strange, because even if you count all the diamonds in the entire deck (which apparently was the idea), you still end up with 113. If anyone can tell me how they arrive at 109, I'd be very thankful, because unless you have a very strange deck of cards, I don't see how you could arrive at that number.

Anyway, Ingmar suggested "30, but quite possibly much more" as the solution, so he was closest and gets the prize. Thanks to everyone who participated!

Posted by Horst at 12:21 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

August 06, 2005

August 07, 2005

I'm supposed to be on a summer posting schedule (=low posting frequency), and yet I seem to be posting a lot more than usual. Checking past years' archives, I found that my best entries and my highest posting frequency is usually in August. Why am I doing this, when there's nobody out here to even read my stuff during the summer?

This has got to stop.

Posted by Horst at 10:30 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

August 08, 2005

And then I found myself in this hotel room, and apart from the small plastic flower bouquet in a wall-mounted vase, I noticed a somewhat cheesy picture of a nude woman in blue on the wall:

blue woman

As if that wasn't enough by itself, after switching on the TV, I found they had only eight channels and that CNN had such bad reception that the sound was totally garbled. Not that I really cared because I preferred ARTE anyway.

However, probably to make up for it, they had this other channel offering free semi-kinky soft porn 24 hours a day.

free semi-kinky soft porn

And I asked myself just exactly what they were expecting me to do. I mean, I knew I wasn't in that kind of hotel, or at least I was pretty sure I wasn't, but still, the whole setup looked like a rather plump invitation to masturbate.

Posted by Horst at 12:32 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

August 10, 2005

The thing that irritated me most in Switzerland was that whenever I stood at a pedestrian crossing and wanted to cross a street, every car would invariably stop. Every time. Eventually, I got dreadfully embarrassed for causing so many cars to stop.

In Vienna, deaths of pedestrians on pedestrian crossings increased by 50% this year compared to last year. The biggest advertising campaign campaign this summer was aimed at car drivers, asking them to slow down at pedestrian crossings. The law requires car drivers to stop if a pedestrian so much as creates the impression that s/he might want to cross the street. Fact is, if anybody stops for you, they've most probably got a non-Vienna licence plate.

They've now started painting some of the crossings red, to make them look more intense for the car drivers I guess, but I doubt that this will accomplish anything.

Posted by Horst at 08:40 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

August 11, 2005

Ralf recently posted this:

dog dirt causes blindness

which reminds me that I could have mentioned the second-biggest advertising campaign in Vienna this summer. Which tried to convince dog owners to (a) not let their dogs shit all over the city, or (b) at least clean after their dogs.

I've been ranting about this before, so I won't go into great depths again; but when I was reading Joann Sfar's Caravan, I came across this, which I suppose would work brilliantly hereabouts as well:

On the way back, Tautmina said 'a poopoo!' every time she saw a piece of dog shit on the pavement. At each piece, she said it more loudly. All the people turned and looked at us fooling around. a poopoo! a dog poopoo! a poopoo!

Joann Sfar and his little daughter spotting dog dirt
(Move mouse over speech bubbles to see translation)

In terms of similar guerilla tactics, last year, a Viennese conceptual artist put little red flags into every piece of dog dirt she came across. She got into the newspapers that way, but it had no effect on the overall output of dog dirt in Vienna. Soon we'll probably have vigilante groups like the Turquoise Society:

The Turquoise Society in action

No idea what else it takes. The most common form of blindness caused by dog dirt is that of the dog owners, it seems.

Posted by Horst at 06:00 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

August 13, 2005

I am kind of chuffed that you think my weblog with some 50 readers is important enough to send in actual people to drop your crap in my comments and trackbacks because your robots can't post here anymore.

Still, the likes of you are not welcome here. So fuck off.

Posted by Horst at 06:47 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

August 15, 2005

Lake Geneva, as seen from Lausanne-Ouchy

Lake Geneva, as seen from Lausanne-Ouchy. On the other side, which you can't really see because of the mist and humidity, is Evian-les-Bains, where the mineral water comes from.

Posted by Horst at 12:09 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

August 17, 2005

I was in the water, I was half a human, I looked into the clouds for war solutions, it's all in my mind. I was like a wave, a pulse across the ocean, I was a stone I didn't show emotion, it's all in my mind. Everything's illusion and I flatter to deceive, my life is going fast it's make believe, it's all in my mind.

Summer sunsets make me feel depressed because more than anything else they are a reminder of how time is passing and how the most beautiful moments are only temporary. It's like you never want those warm summer evenings to end, and they do, faster than you think, and it's like you never want the summer to end, but it will, and with every day those sunsets become shorter and cooler, and it's like that character from this movie said, I think it was Dennis Hopper in Rumble Fish, one day you're forty years old, and you suddenly realize you've got only forty summers left, only forty bloody summers.

And the more you think about it, the more you want to hold on to these warm summer evenings, but they slip right through your fingers.

Posted by Horst at 12:09 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Apparently, the whole affair is even worse than it appeared at first.

Posted by Horst at 09:58 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

August 18, 2005

bus to the desert Switzerland

Another one of the photos I took in Lausanne. Unfortunately I didn't have the time to hop on and check whether global warming has become really bad, or the Swiss landscape is merely much more varied than I thought.

Posted by Horst at 12:10 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

August 22, 2005

  1. the tambourine
  2. the triangle
  3. the trombone
  4. the tambourine
  5. the timpani
  6. the tubular bell
  7. the zither
  8. the tambourine

Posted by Horst at 12:46 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack (0)

August 24, 2005


Sometimes I become aware that I have a problem with the concept of "fun". Like, I usually don't find what others see as "fun" particularly enticing. Things like bungee jumping. Or standing around in a noisy bar that's so crammed you constantly get other people's elbows rammed in your abdomen.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm capable of experiencing "fun" at all. I don't seem to have a lot of "fun", which puts me totally at odds with today's fun culture, which more or less forces you to get your sixpack of thrills every day. I seem to enjoy a number of quiet things, like eating a Curry Madras Pizza (no kidding) with some friends, but I wonder to what extent that would qualify as "fun".

When I took the picture above, I wanted to document how far away this sort of thing is from my idea of fun. Oddly enough, upon looking at it again today I realized that instead I caught a split second of a group of people honestly and thoroughly enjoing themselves, and I now find it almost endearing.

Posted by Horst at 09:24 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

August 25, 2005

I know it's totally autistic, but trying to make web pages validate as XHTML 1.0 Strict can become surprisingly addictive.

Posted by Horst at 10:58 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

August 30, 2005

Sorry for not writing in a while -- for once, it's not due to a lack of ideas. Other things (like building this stupid little website) have kept me pretty busy lately.

In other news, the fiction project is looking for one or two new writers. If you feel like you want to participate, please contact me, but please beware:

  • You must read the entire story so far and familiarize yourself with the characters and places before you begin writing.
  • You must be imaginative. After reading the story so far, you should have a rough idea on which open thread to pick up and how the story could proceed from there.
  • You must be able to get the feeling/mood of the story and continue in a similar vein, not turn it into something completely different.
  • You must be able to write an entry at least 2-3 times per week, regularly, for the next few months.
  • You must be a person who can follow rules.

If you like the story and think you can do all this, then you're very welcome to join.

Posted by Horst at 04:26 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

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