Tuesday, April 30, 2024

The blank slate

Out at the front desk of my library, where I have worked for nearly 30 years, I face the blank slate of an hour at the library once again.

Will anyone visit?

Might they check out some exciting bits of literature?

Will someone require a new library card?

Will there be a wacky question?

Will any wild animals walk in?

Will the police be called?

Will a small child with pictures of strawberries on her coat drop by to stare at me?

Will two teens awkwardly greet each other and hug sideways.

Will someone in a peach cardigan and a bright green bag check out two books in a hurry at the self-checkout machines and then race out the doors?

Will someone stumble going up the stairs?

Will a man hand me a whiffle golf ball and apologize for it?

To all of which we can only answer:

Yeah, probably.


Monday, April 29, 2024

The sport I follow


For many years the main sport we followed here at clerkmanifesto was soccer. And though I tried to keep my soccer commentary on a back channel, one inclined to the research (it's never happened before, but it's always possible) could surely pull out and read through many dozens of soccer themed posts from my history of essays. 

And it has been irresistible to write about it a little: Soccer is a rich, complicated, beautiful game, flowing in wild narratives, and full of amazing insights into life itself.

Unfortunately, and I say this with real reluctance, soccer is also stupid.

Soccer is so, so, so stupid!

It is like the stupidest thing ever! 

In fact, I think soccer is the stupidest sport outside of professional wrestling, which, as you know, isn't even a sport at all! Wrestling is, well, like soccer with more planning.

And while I can't claim that this analytic conclusion concerning soccer is free of personal bitterness (after all, my heart has been raked over the burning coals of soccer more times than I'd like to admit), it is not completely disconnected from reality. Sure, at least half of all soccer match results are attributable to one team being better than the other, but, and this is super important, a disturbing amount of the remaining games, when teams are at least roughly close-matched, are decided either by insanely bad calls, moments of random luck, or the work of capricious gods who are simply mad at everything.

So I have switched sports.

I now exclusively follow English Amateur Competition Shows. Essentially these are The Great British Baking Show, Great British Sewing Bee, Great British Pottery Throwdown, and The Great British Flower Show which had only one season and might not have been British, I don't remember, but it was brilliant anyway. These shows have far lower stakes, more admirable participants, and much better judging than soccer could even dream of. And not only are these shows more wholesome, egalitarian, and fair than any professional sport I can think of, I can also watch them on the couch with my darling wife.

I'd say the only real shortcoming to these English Amateur Competition Shows is that they don't really make enough of them. 

So, in a spare moment, every once in awhile I check in on how Messi is doing here in America.

He's doing pretty good. But he's getting close to aging out of the game now.

Maybe he should take up baking.

Sunday, April 28, 2024

I am replaced!


This morning my wildly successful, world-famous art show ended. For about a month, my photographs of library workers with their spirit animals were the talk of the library. Or maybe not the talk of the library exactly, but toddlers clearly loved them, and that's good enough for me!

But today a team of people from the local school district swept in with their own vast array of display racks and their hundreds of pieces of children's art, and just like that my show was done. It now sits in the back workroom of the library dreaming of its ancient glory days of yore.

It is hard to be upset because the new work is so varied and plentiful and charming and creative. It's great! It's got everything from paintings on old record albums to colorful 4th grade renditions of Venice canal houses (did they go on some kind of amazing field trip?) to weird canvasses made out of origami cranes.

I haven't seen all of it, but at one point I was viewing a landscape, and I felt like I was being watched.

I was!

By the stairs, there was a whole wall of paintings of eyes!

Here, I sort of took a picture:

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Poetry classics from history! Faeries: the music video


Today in poetry corner we are featuring a nineteenth century Irish poem about wee men, by William Allingham, called "The Faeries". It's about little faerie men! But it's kind of a classic dark fairy tale, so those of you troubled by such creepy themes of children in peril and people tormented for digging up thorn bushes may want to steer clear today. 

Though I was not specifically familiar with this poem, its influence courses through some of my favorite more contemporary fantasy. It can be found lurking fiercely in the best work of Terry Pratchett, and is referenced in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory". This is surely why so much of the poem was so wildly familiar to me.

It is set to music by it's own glorious internal rhythms, by AI and, well, by me through all manner of editing. But mostly it sounds an awful lot like it's written and performed by The Band. In that guise, it gets frankly uncanny at times, particularly when Richard Manuel Robot sings. The images are a barrage of something a bit like moving photographs, which speaks to the current level of AI video. As to the quality of things syncing up nicely in the video, it is, mmmm, erratic, which speaks to my refusal to spend any more of what was probably already too many hours fiddling with this. 

Also, for reasons related to this above, and to my limitations with these tools, we also lost a verse from this poem about the king who is old and gray and losing his wits. 

Once again I am astonished by what AI music can do at this point, but AI video isn't quite all there yet, and nearly always comes, as you will see, in rough, tiny clips. For those interested though, there are demonstrations of work in progress on AI video that suggest brilliant new astonishments are not far off.

I have probably at this point 15 other poetry songs collected, but none are likely to be suited to this approach, and I am not sure I would like to take this route again. So if there is another poetry music video it will likely be as different from this as was this from my Emily Dickinson video.

I do hope you'll enjoy it.

Friday, April 26, 2024

The rich are different than you and I


Following, as I do, the workings of our increasingly broken legal system, and, of course, the absurd slow-walking of the endless array of Trump trials, I had, this very morning, an epiphany:

Justice, for the regular person of no means, or of modest means, or even of adequate means, in this country, is as simple as moving from point A to point B. Steps may be missed, the process may be hurried, but the key thing is always that going from A to B.

Justice for the rich and powerful and their interests in this country uses the very same system, with one essential difference- it ever goes by halves, and so by such means, can never arrive.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Your questions answered!


Running a famous Internet blog like clerkmanifesto is a source of tremendous interest for people. Nearly everyone I meet is full of questions about me and about clerkmanifesto. Just the other day an old friend was in town visiting my darling wife and I, and, though I didn't mention my blog because I knew that's all we'd be talking about for hours, my friend couldn't resist asking:

"What have you been up to lately?"

"Oh, I'm up to this and that." I said, more or less.

Then she talked about her friend who was gored by a buffalo.

Fair enough.

But I know that lots of you out there in Internetland have so many questions about me and my blog, and I thought it might be worth taking the time to answer as many of them as I can today.

So please simply speak your questions aloud to your computer (or device), and I will hear them, but do speak loudly and clearly as the rest of the audience, being farther away, will have a harder time picking up on your question.

Thank you so much for your question! Yes, I wasn't kidding. Her friend really was gored by a buffalo!

Thank you for your question! Can I please remind everyone though to speak up as I think some blog readers cannot hear the questions. Yes, I believe it was in North Dakota. They were hiking in possibly a National Park there, skirting along a meadow, and not, as far as I know, antagonizing any of the buffalos in any way.

No, that's okay. I'm here to answer any of your questions, whatever they are! Just, if I could ask, please do project more as some people cannot quite make out all the questions being asked here. But, to your question, and this is not for the squeamish. They were gored in the stomach and it was considered a bit of a miracle that they survived at all! Apparently, though, a year later they are much recovered and doing quite well.

No, that's okay. To your left, through the gates, and then you'll see them on your right. Yes, we can wait.

Once again, if you would please speak right up so everyone can hear, but, that said, if you don't mind waiting? I promised the last person we would.

No, no, that's hilarious! That's one of the funniest things I've ever heard! Could you just say that a bit louder one more time so everyone can hear it?

Ha! Still funny. I hope you all caught that.

Thank you. I am touched by your sentiment. Most days, really.

I'd rather not talk about money, but, zero dollars, roughly.

That is extremely generous indeed! And you don't mind that everyone here now knows this?

Good point. I think some people are having trouble getting all of the questions. So to remind you: Please do speak up when asking your questions.

Oh my goodness! You're right! Thank you all so much for coming, and I do hope we were able to satisfy at least a little of your curiosity.

Yes, yes. We will surely do this again if we can get some of the technical issues worked out.

Wednesday, April 24, 2024



Just beyond our entrance security gates, we have a large, canvas bin for people to put their library donations in. I like to wander over from the desk during a slow moment and see what the cat dragged in. Sometimes there is some fun stuff in there and sometimes it's just junk.

Tonight it's just junk. It is full nearly to the top with old cookbooks. None are old enough to be interesting, none are new enough to be worth looking at, and none are unique or well-made enough to defy their listless, generic, washed-out time period. 

I almost cried out "What a bunch of junk!"

But there were people around. What if one of them was the person who donated it all?

Not that they didn't know it was all the worst sort of junk, just...

those are the very people who least like to hear it.

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

The scale of things

In our world of so many billions of people, it is easy to misjudge the scale of things. 

I merely work at a modestly busy, near urban library of a vaguely largish American Urban area (the hundredth largest in the world actually- higher than I thought!). But people still regularly misjudge the scale of their interaction with us. Just minutes ago a man bypassed our efficient and easy to use automated return slot, and large check in machine, through which our team of people processes many many thousands of transactions of a great variety every day, all to come to manually hand me a book return at the front desk at the library. 

"I couldn't renew this." He said. "So someone is waiting for it and I wanted to get it right to them."


"Oh no!" I cried. "I will call them immediately! Thank you so much! This will be our highest priority! Can you just do me one favor?"

"What's that?" The patron asks suspiciously.

"Will you hang this "Library Closed" sign on our front doors so that we can focus all our attention on getting this book over to the person waiting for it?" 

Then I pull our fire alarm.

Actually, I don't do any of that. One reason is that I simply try not to be a sarcastic asshole. But more importantly, to our discussion here today, I don't do that because, statistically speaking, three institutions will have already been an asshole to that guy already today.

In the scale of things four is just too many.

Monday, April 22, 2024

In case we ever have a new reader here


Generally speaking, when I am at the front desk of my library and someone asks me a question, I answer it briefly and simply. Like:

"Is there a librarian in the kids' room?"

Me: "Yes."

If they want to know more, and/or have a more complex question I simply start talking.

An example of this would not be kind to your Internet pleasure.

I talk and I talk and I talk and I don't stop until they feel they have mastered the material or found what they came for.

Conceivably a library patron could have me talk endlessly, explaining a wider and wider range of library information, speculation, history, and philosophy forever. All they have to do is never stop me.

No one has yet dared.

But if you really are curious as to what that would be like...

Welcome to clerkmanifesto.

Sunday, April 21, 2024

The age of wonders


Let me take this moment.

We are in one of the most extraordinary flourishings of technological wonders in the history of the world! 

Capabilities of magic that, if explained to someone 100 years ago, would have seemed like raving science fictional wonders, would also seem like raving science fiction wonders to, well, me, say, five years ago. 

Five years ago!

So what's the issue? Why the disdain and jaded interest from all but a coterie of fervent acolytes?

1. We are so inured to these magic tricks that though our astonishment is genuine in the first moment, we so quickly absorb the wonder that it is mundane to most of us within five minutes. Nearly everyone I shared a sophisticated, handcrafted song of my own highly personalized lyrics with, was amazed and full of questions. People wanted to know the singer. People wanted to know how on earth! People loved it!

And then, like that, it was over.

No one was particularly interested in any subsequent songs. They were done. Onto the next thing.

2. It is all going to go bad.

Controlled by greedy oligarchs, all of this brilliant collection of creative tools- pictures, video, and songs on command, talking, friendly robot all-knowing search engines, and so on, is bound inextricably to a collection of ruling powers that have, well,


Wild with unendingly voracious obsessions with money and power, they hold these stunning little treasures in their fevered hands. 

I think we know that they are not gifts; 

they are loans.

And since we have watched wonder after wonder of our humanity arrive and go sour, we are sensible enough, and so inured, that a couple moments of being impressed will suffice before we understand that all this is going to go ugly in ways we can't quite understand.

And fair enough.

But let me take this moment:

I have been hunting the Internet for very particular kinds of poems to use in order to make gorgeous songs in my favorite styles. But then Meta AI shows up, and I can just ask it:

Show me a short, rhyming poem that was mildly popular in the 1920's, by a woman of color.

And I know that any sensible person knows just how broken the current Internet is, and, frankly, how broken it probably will be, but I typed that question into the a newer AI search:

Show me a short, rhyming poem that was mildly popular in the 1920's, by a woman of color.


It simply did.

Saturday, April 20, 2024



I am no great reader of poetry. I have been touched by it here and there over the years, but rarely deeply and lastingly. So I am finding myself in both a curious project, and an illuminating one.

Having discovered a bit of new AI Technological madness call Udio, an extraordinary music generator, I have, among other things, started digging out old, mildly famous poetry, and attempting to fashion it into songs through the use of this innovation. This process, when successful, takes two or three hours steady work to get to a mostly finished song, usually a song two or three minutes long. The style of my songs so made vary from Dylanesque, to Janis Joplin, The Kinks, and Melanie, all the way to garage rock of the aughts, and the work of French Chanteuses from I'm not exactly sure when. There's even a weird bit of carnival music in there. For the poets I use, I avoid anything too modern and also anything too old, and include more famous people like Baudelaire, Rilke, and Emily Dickinson, but also Stevie Smith, William Allingham, Louise Gluck, and Sarojini Naidu- people I have either vaguely heard of or not at all.

I adore these songs I have made.





Surely it is partly the joy of having made something new. I have always experienced an unavoidable narcissism in that. But also it is in seeing the illumination of these verses I could normally not attend to. Hearing them, as I do in the process of creating these songs, which is surely as much as 30 or 40 times, is all the difference in the world to me. And the blandness I experience in my first encounter reading them is turned, by these songs, into an admiration and passionate reaction I hold for some of my favorite art.

I have one song that came out unnervingly in the style of Janis Joplin, of a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay, called "Souvenir", and when I hear the verse:

I remember three or four

Things you said in spite,

And an ugly coat you wore,

Plaided black and white.

My feeling and reaction is the same as hearing some great passage from a Leonard Cohen song. The words, in all their art, are for me wholly brought to life. They utterly pierce me. 

Today I was working on another short poem/song, this by Longfellow, called "Loss and Gain". I would always have counted Longfellow as a poet with some nice musicality, but offering nothing to care about in what he said for me. His words seemed to veer too close to some kind of homily. But listening to it as an awesome rock song, and hearing it over and over? I suddenly felt his idea as it developed, and when he drove to a self defiant conclusion of:

But who shall dare

To measure loss and gain in this wise?

Defeat may be victory in disguise;

The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide.

I was struck marveled in his wisdom and in his cry for the value of things unvalued. It was awesome.

You will see here no links to any of these songs I extol, and which, in your hearing them, I feel in my heart would make my point. But I share none of these songs with you now. Possibly some of this can be accounted to the work that must be taken to turn them into videos to make them reachable for you from this place. Some of it, though, is that I simply love them too much. Seeing, after several days, what amounts to three or four views of my YouTube video of my song of a poem of Emily Dickinson is oddly horrifying. This is what happens to something I count among the best things I have ever had a hand in making?

 Although I do recognize the irony in this. The very song itself says:

How dreary to be somebody!

How public like a frog,

To tell one's name the livelong June,

To an admiring bog!

And it hardly seems likely these songs won't show up here sooner or later, if anyone cares.

But for me they are mine. 

And I listen to them with a cold private fury of delight, and find them special.


Friday, April 19, 2024

In which I help you with your place in this world


I was looking out over the Mississippi River. It is a mighty river and long. And I wondered:

How many people are looking at this river, like me, at this very moment?

And then; 

How many people have ever looked at the Mississippi River?

Either a lot!

Or none.

Do you believe in other people?

This is a more important question than one might think!

You may think you dispensed with such a question at age 15. 

No one has fully dispensed with this question!

So, do you believe in other people?

You should!

Or at the very least, me. You should believe in me.

Because I could swear I was looking at the Mississippi River!

And I suspect there were others as well.

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Our millionth subscriber


At 2:11 a.m., on Tuesday morning, clerkmanifesto welcomed its one millionth subscriber. I got the Google Blogger Plaque just this afternoon and have hung it in a place of honor in my library. Having a million subscribers reading clerkmanifesto is a great honor, and, as promised, I will be donating $100,000 to the home for forgotten bloggers.

As few as 17 years ago, blogging was the second biggest money maker in the entertainment industry, and thousands of talented writers, eschewing their best novel writing years, made ample incomes writing personal columns on an Internet oozing with personality.

Now, sadly, those days are long gone, and famous bloggers that were veritable household names, like Neal the Pat Peterson, The Divine Doreen, and Let's talk Pickles, are all but forgotten.

What do you mean you've never heard of The Divine Doreen?


I'm not bitter.

I just want you to know that if my $100,000 can pay for just one, vintage, lower east side pickle barrel to remind Let's Talk Pickles of his glory days, then all my work here will have been worth it.

Yes of course he still loves all things pickles.

Lord, the Internet is fickle!

For instance, my subscriber count that just a few days ago hit one million, has now dropped back down to four!

I hope I can keep my plaque.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Temptation song, the lyrics

It's late at night as I write now. 

Earlier, while sitting at the front desk of my library, 

I wrote a post for you, 

But compelled by mysterious forces, 

I set my words into verse.

Not so unlike this now.

Since we don't much truck with poetry around here,

At clerkmanifesto 

(at least, not with my own), 

there was only one thing left to do:

I got together with my robot friends, 

and made it into a song.

(This one below isn't it. It's actually a song version of the above!)

The real song is called "The Temptation Song".

Horribly, this platform won't let me just make an audio post, at least, not in any way I understand. So I have to make it into a video. And then I have to post it to YouTube, embed it here, and hope you can watch it.

This video is not as fancy as the Emily Dickinson one, mostly because I want to go to bed before midnight. So it's just a few still pictures. 

But it's good enough to let you hear the song.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024



While this show of my photographs of library workers with their spirit animals is up at my library, and meeting with a strong interest from the general community, I am occasionally encountering a curious question. It goes something like this:

"If you can make art like this, why didn't you do that for a living all these years?"

There are a lot of answers to this question! 

Many of them don't go together. 

How does one answer a question that has many clashing answers?

With art!

Monday, April 15, 2024

Sunday, April 14, 2024

The clerkmanifesto song


Clerkmanifesto has a song now.

It's called "Dead Things Float"

Here is the music video link, but I've also tried embedding just the song without the video version.

To watch on YouTube

Or try here:

Or with this:

I mean, one of these methods is bound to work.


I've been staying up too late,

telling you my stories

Obscure clerk manifesto,

Home of all my glories


Clerk Manifesto

Clerk Manifesto

The cream rises to the top

Clerk Manifesto

Clerk Manifesto

Dead things float

Come hear my song

Singing ten years now

It's getting pretty long,

It's everything I wrote.

I know you know it's dreaming,

Not everything can float.


Clerk Manifesto,

Clerk Manifesto,

The cream rises to the top,

I'm the least successful goat,

Clerk Manifesto,

I cannot help but gloat,


Dead things,

Dead things,

Dead things float.


Dead things float.

I'm the least successful goat

I may be con deluded,

Bout everything I spoke,

I know just what the clue is,

Not everything's a joke,

Come here to the manifesto,

Dead things float.

Dead things float.

Saturday, April 13, 2024

An attraction unto myself


The library was a little bit wild during the day today. School was out and the weather was fine and this place was hopping. People were everywhere, phones were ringing, and the library cards were flying.

Oh man, they were flyin'!

Until five o'clock, when, seemingly all at once, it got deadly quiet in here.

Maybe everyone had had enough library for the day? 

But not me. My work was not done. We go to eight around here. So I went out to the front desk of my library for an hour and tried to look approachable.

I didn't register a single card. I didn't help anyone find anything. And I didn't provide a single direction to anywhere in the library.

For the whole of the hour I answered four questions.

They were all about me.

Friday, April 12, 2024

Reminiscences of the great eclipse


I try to keep clerkmanifesto topical. And though this daily column is an intensely personal expression, it also marks out the great events of our lives. I have covered in this space the world-turning election of Donald Trump, the shock of the pandemic, and the little-noticed replacement of our Universe with an alternate one that is in every way identical to ours with the odd exception of not including closs.

I don't exactly miss closs, but I sometimes wonder what it was.

And so I didn't want to let the eclipse pass by without reflection here. After all, clerkmanifesto is a lot like a solar eclipse- it may not be safe to look directly at it.

Last night, as I was falling asleep, to my great fortune, I thought of a beautiful post to write about the solar eclipse. I almost got out of bed to write it, only to see the moon slowly pass between me and it until it was wholly obscured in darkness. When I could see again it was morning, and it was gone.

On the day of the eclipse, a pair of solar eclipse safety glasses fell into my hands. But clouds ruined the event for everyone in Minnesota and I never used the glasses at all. Today, though, I occasionally nostalgically put them on. People laugh at them and then ask me why I'm wearing them all these days later.

"That eclipse was so great," I say. "That I'm having trouble letting go."

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Our new library project is finally completed!


My library has finally done it! After three years of work, and over 14 million dollars, we have finally converted our collection.

It is now made out of blocks of wood!

Every single book in our collection is now a hand carved facsimile of an actual book! The process has been amazing, and the result looks fantastic. 

We started by requisitioning nearly half a million custom processed blocks of wood:

These were prepped and packaged overseas:

In our onsite workshop local craftspeople hand carved the blocks of wood into rough facsimiles of actual books.

From there, finishing details were hand painted by the brush staff to give the blocks of wood, or "Bookdummies" as we have come to call them, an authentic look.

Sometimes multi-book "dummies" were created, according to careful specs, for the higher shelves.

Here is a picture of the shelving when we were staging the pre finished books:

And here is a picture of the nearly finished project on the main floor:

It has been a huge project, and one with considerable expense, but the long term benefits to our library aesthetics and future acquisitions budget are incalculable. 

We open this new collection to the public in just under a week, and we are so excited for the library patrons to finally see what we've been working on!

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Gandhi autograph


A children's librarian was going through our book donations and found an easy picture book about Gandhi, called I Am Gandhi. There was a sticker on the cover that said "Autographed Copy!" This caused a bit of a double-take when one looked at it. But of course the book was written only seven years ago, and the author was Brad Melzer, not Gandhi.

So no Gandhi autograph, alas.

The librarian started to walk away with the book, but I stopped them and asked for it. I signed the inside cover, "Gandhi", with a bit of slapdash flourish, right next to what I took to be a genuine Brad Melzer signature.

No point in disappointing anyone else.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

I wrote a hit play!


Ever since my project of portraits of my co-workers, posing with their spirit animals, got off the ground and elicited interest and enthusiasm, a scene from a movie started repeatedly running through my head. I always meant to write a post about this scene, but I wasn't sure how I would articulate the way in which the scene expressed my feelings.

So I waited.

And now that every day I watch crowds of people (well, several toddlers at least) pour over my display of artwork, the scene from this movie comes to me more than ever. It is towards the end of the movie, and the movie is called Rushmore. In it, a precocious teenager who just wrote, directed, and starred in a High School play about the Vietnam War, is, in his moment of triumph, finding that everything he wanted is slipping away from him. Inappropriately plied with alcohol by Bill Murray's character, he throws a bit of a fit that breaks the patina of his composure and reveals the strain of his adolescent development. "I wrote a hit play! I wrote a hit play!" He insists, as if having created something popular, or of power, should come with special rewards, respect, license, and love.

And so it is for six months, in the shadow of my popular and much discussed photography series, and as my work world remains nevertheless the same, filled with its constant small indignities, irritations, and lack of special dispensations, there is, sounding like a bell in my head (albeit with a touch of humorous irony) "BUT I WROTE A HIT PLAY!!!!!".

I am not sixteen though. So I try to keep it to myself.

Monday, April 8, 2024

Origin story


For a little while in the 1950's in California, famous musical artists Nat King Cole and Cole Porter lived next door to each other. And as they both liked to garden they formed a friendship over their shared backyard fence.

One late Summer they both found themselves with bumper crops of cabbages coming in. They liked to tease each other about whose cabbages were biggest and who could grow the most cabbages. Indeed, they argued about everything regarding those cabbages- when to water, the best fertilizer, and how to control the pests that would try to feast on their harvest. But there was one thing they absolutely agreed upon, and that was just what a person should do with cabbage once it was picked. 

Cole Porter and Nat King Cole both strongly felt that cabbage, all cabbage, should be shredded raw, and then tossed liberally with mayonnaise, cider vinegar, and a bit of mustard.

They felt this so fanatically that it became known all around town as "Coles' Law".

Sunday, April 7, 2024

So you wanna see my snails???


In my slight, but wildly entertaining column yesterday, I mentioned my hours of labor on photographic projects that came to absolutely nothing, nothing, that is, outside of my slight, but wildly entertaining column.

But did I give up?


I spent many more hours working on snail pictures.

Did I get there? Did I finally crack the code? Did my perseverance pay off?

I don't know.

What's with all the hard questions?