Saturday, March 11, 2006

Web: ships 2.5 months late

The Christmas gift my mother purchased for my youngest son just arrived Thursday--a simple soccer ball--exactly 2.5 months late. Way to go,

3/13: The shipping record shows the order was placed on 12/9, so it took exactly three months to arrive. Three months to deliver a child's Christmas present. What a bunch of numbnuts.

Email: Intentional Living [AS]

It is true that people have different experiences, so different things are foreign or hard to grasp for them. [It takes] being a good listener without saying "You have no idea what real XYZ is" (respecting the other person's state in life).

I hate to draw the line with people, but there comes a time when you have to stop cutting them slack giving them the benefit of the doubt and draw a firm conclusion -- esp. with employers who use you to their benefit without fair (or any) remuneration. That's just being a user and a taker.

I am convinced that single people universally have lists of qualities they want in a spouse, and that more often than not they either insist on qualities that are inconsequential (external not internal) or ignore the list because they feel lonely or desperate. I'd like to give seminars called Intentional Living and Intentional Dating, but I doubt most people are able or willing to do what it takes to make intentional choices and keep them, esp. where sex is ultimately involved. (I think those who are able, don't need the seminar.)

Lyrics: This Is Crazy Now - Vonda Shepherd

Shaken like a leaf, sharpened like a reef
All of my senses need relief
Looking out to sea, I still believe
That you and I were meant to be

This is crazy now, I'll fill the space somehow
If there were someway to get through
This is crazy now (like a finger paint)
Fill the space somehow (smearing in the rain)
I can't walk away from you (wash it all away)

Lyrics: Read Your Mind - Vonda Shepherd

We held hands and laughed
Then we jumped in the water
Off the jetty we'd fly
As the sun got hotter
We were any age
Floating through space
Happy for once in the human race
On this sweet Sunday, and into Monday
Your arms wrapped around me
Where my love has found me
But am I really free?

If I could read your mind
I hope I'd find
The same love I have in mine
If I could go back in time
I'd try to find you
And make up for all this wasted time

Lyrics: 100 Tears Away - Vonda Shepherd

Go ahead and cry now
Just give in to the madness
The only way to feel your joy
Is to first feel the sadness

Go ahead and sail now
Just give in to the ocean
The only way to tame your fear
Is to feel her rocky motion

You're a long way from somewhere you call home, yeah
There's a place in your heart, you're not alone
All of the happiness you seek
All of the joy for which you pray
Is closer than you think
It's just 100 tears away

Lyrics: Passionate Kisses - Mary-Chapin Carpenter

Do I want too much
Am I going overboard to want that touch
I shout it out to the night
"Give me what I deserve, 'cause it's my right"
Shouldn't I have this (shouldn't I)
Shouldn't I have this (shouldn't I)
Shouldn't I have all of this, and

Passionate kisses
Passionate kisses, whoa oh oh
Passionate kisses from you

Lyrics: Walking Through the Fire - Mary-Chapin Carpenter

Maybe you've been burned by lovers, maybe you've been scarred by the pain
But baby, I'm not like the others, drawing moths to a flame
Spite is like a spark, crackling in the dark, consuming all it catches
And you got me walking through fire
You got me walking through fire to get to you [...]

Baby, I've been burned by the fever, I've been scorched by desire
But baby, I am not your deceiver or your eloquent liar
Your jealous heart is tearing us apart, turning love to ashes

When you got me walking through fire
You've got me walking through fire to get to you

Lyrics: Only A Dream - Mary-Chapin Carpenter

We lived on a street where the tall elm shade
Was as green as the grass and as cool as a blade
That you held in your teeth as we lay on our backs
Staring up at the blue and the blue stared back

I used to believe we were just like those trees
We'd grown just as tall and as proud as we pleased
With our feet on the ground and our arms in the breeze
Under a sheltering sky

Twirl me about, and twirl me around
Let me grow dizzy and fall to the ground
And when I look up at you looking down,
Say it was only a dream

Lyrics: Asking Us To Dance - Kathy Mattea

There's a full moon up and rising,
And there's a whisper of a breeze.
Blowing through the tangled silver,
Hanging from the cypress trees.
There's a river made of moonlight,
Flowing clear across the lake.
And there's a million stars just waitin',
To fall for any wish we make.

Darlin' tonight I am reminded,
How much these two hearts need romance.
You know it isn't all that often,
We get this kind of chance.
Why don't we get caught in this moment?
Be victims of sweet circumstance?
Tonight I feel like all creation,
Is asking us to dance.

Lyrics: I Wear Your Love - Kathy Mattea

The things I've collected, bought or selected
The clutter that fills up my rooms
I can lock up and leave it, never retrieve it
Leave nothing but my love for you.
Let the storm winds blow, I will not be cold.

I wear your love
Thrown over my shoulders like a blanket of down
I wear your love
Like a bright suit of armor reflecting the sun
On the chilliest night though I travel light
It is always enough for I wear your love.

Lyrics: The Hard Way - Mary-Chapin Carpenter

Show a little inspiration, show a little spark
And show that things that drew me to you and stole my heart
And tell me something I don't know instead of everything I do
And look at me as if I mean something to you
Our hearts are beating while we sleep, but while we're wide awake
You know the world won't stop, and actions speak louder
Listen to your heart, and what your heart might say
Everything we got, we got the hard way

Lyrics: I Take My Chances - Mary-Chapin Carpenter

I took a walk in the rain one day on the wrong side of the tracks
I stood on the rails till I saw that train
Just to see how my heart would react
Now some people say that you shouldn't tempt fate
And for them I would not disagree
But I never learned nothing from playing it safe
I say fate should not tempt me

I take my chances, I don't mind working without a net
I take my chances, I take my chances every chance I get

I sat alone in the dark one night, tuning in by remote
I found a preacher who spoke of the light but there was brimstone in his throat
He'd show me the way according to him in return for my personal check
I flipped my channel back to CNN and I lit another cigarette

I take my chances, forgiveness doesn't come with a debt
I take my chances, I take my chances every chance I get

Friday, March 10, 2006

Email: Job-stress weight-loss plan [AS]

It's not like editing documents is as challenging as what you do, but I am considering the announcement of a new weight-loss program based on job stress. (Remember, I'm not just the Job-Stress Weight-Loss Plan president. I'm also its biggest customer.)

I have found that what I've gone through gives me the chops to help others who are going through similar if lesser experiences. I can only respect those who go through greater difficulties.

Email: To pend or not to pend [AS]

I like to attend events. I'm just laying low on the radar until I get semi-caught up with my long-pending backlog. (It pends if I go out and don't work on it; it de-pends if I stay and put in time. Funny how that works.)

Parodies: Brokeback Steakhouse

No rules, just gay.

(I'm not the first to come up with the venue name, as it turns out. Gag Reflex and Jay Leno went there first.)

Phrases: at the corner of Starbucks and Taco Bell

Phrases: at the corner of Walgreens and CVS

Phrases: back when dirt was young

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Lyrics: Lookin' Out My Back Door - John Fogerty

Just got home from Illinois, lock the front door, oh boy!
Got to sit down, take a rest on the porch.
Imagination sets in, pretty soon I’m singin’,

Doo, doo, doo, lookin’ out my back door. [...]

Tambourines and elephants are playing in the band.
Won’t you take a ride on the flyin’ spoon?
Doo, doo doo.
Bother me tomorrow, today, I’ll buy no sorrows.

Doo, doo, doo, lookin’ out my back door.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Words: milliard [MW]

Pronunciation: 'mil-"yard, 'mi-lE-"ard
Function: noun
Etymology: French, from Middle French miliart, from mili- (from milion million)
British : a thousand millions -- see NUMBER table

(I was never aware of this until recently, but Merriam-Webster's Number table shows how one billion -- nine zeroes -- for U.S. readers is one milliard to U.K. readers; and thereafter the U.S. one trillion is the U.K. one billion, and so on.)

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Words: preprandial, postprandial, prandial [MW]

Pronunciation: 'pran-dE-&l
Function: adjective
Etymology: Latin prandium late breakfast, luncheon
: of or relating to a meal

(Impress others with your kulturny by referring to a meal not just as comestibles but to the preprandial hors-d'oeuvres or postprandial liqueurs.)

Words: hors-d'oeuvres [MW]

Pronunciation: or-'d&rv
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural hors d'oeuvres also hors d'oeuvre /-'d&rv(z)/
Etymology: French hors-d'[oe]uvre, literally, outside of the work
: any of various savory foods usually served as appetizers

Dialogues: What doesn't taste like chicken?

A: These hors-d'oeuvres are good. Thank goodness -- finally, something that doesn't taste like chicken! What are they made of?
B: Can't say. You can have hors-d'oeuvres that taste like chicken or you can have mystery meat. We can tell you what it is, if it tastes like chicken, but if it doesn't, you're on your own.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Press: Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett dies - AP

Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett dies - MLB - Yahoo! Sports: "MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Kirby Puckett died Monday, a day after the Hall of Fame outfielder had a stroke at his Arizona home. He was 45. [...]

The bubbly, barrel-shaped Puckett carried the Twins to World Series titles in 1987 and 1991 before his career was cut short by glaucoma. His family, friends and former teammates gathered at the hospital Monday. [...]

Puckett broke into the majors in 1984 and had a career batting average of .318. Glaucoma left the six-time Gold Glove center fielder and 10-time All-Star with no choice but to retire after the 1995 season when he went blind in his right eye."

Names: Willacoochee [GA]

Oh-- come-- on...!

Web: The BOZO bit - Computer evangelism and other Kool-Aid products

("The BOZO bit: Computer evangelism and other Kool-Aid products" by John Kheit via

"This gets to the crux of Apple's problems. Some of the people associated with Apple make it unattractive. This can include anyone from top Apple management all the way down to the user base. This unattractive group, let's call it the Bitter Obstinate Zealot Order (BOZO for short), whines, avoids reality, drinks too much Kool-Aid, self affirms, condescends, and annoys.

As a result, BOZOs alienate themselves from prospective members and customers. Why? Because they operate under at least two fallacies. The first is that picking a better quality product makes BOZOs better people. The second fallacy is that insulting people who BOZOs perceive as having picked a lesser product is a persuasive form of argument. [...]

All religions require belief in some sort of divine power and have funky rules to follow. Consider, however, religions like Moonies and Krishnas versus other religions. Why doesn't anyone want to deal with the Moonies and Krishnas? In part, because they obnoxiously, aggressively, and actively bother people for not ascribing to their religions.

Other religions that leave their doors open, that do good things, that act positively and yet do not actively recruit people are usually more attractive. These other religions don't shove their beliefs down your throat; if you are interested, you may come in and learn. Furthermore, these other religions are not totalitarian. There is room for differing opinions and understandings about the religion. In the more cult-like religions, there is no such tolerance. Evangelism that is light on rhetoric and heavy on action is more effective. Further, allowing people to maintain different perspectives, in essence giving them freedom to have their own opinions, while still being welcome members of the group attracts a greater number of members.

People join the Mac community despite the BOZOs in it, not because of them. The BOZO community and its historical likes in the form of BOZO Amiga users, et al., are perhaps the biggest selling point in favor of Windows. Here's a prototypical signature I've seen Mac BOZOs use in usenet posts: 'You always meet people that love their macs... but you never really meet anyone that loves their PC.' BOZO users love this kind of crap. Does that make PC users losers? They are stupid right? Just because they use their PC as a tool, and are not enamored with their systems, they are clearly losers? Who the hell wants to join a community with such a bad attitude? Apparently not the vast majority of computer users, despite any proffered countervailing claims of technical superiority."

Language: flipping the Bozo bit

There's a phrase in the software development world -- not heard often but here it is: flipping the Bozo bit. Coined by Jim McCarthy in his book Dynamics Of Software Development: Don't Flip the Bozo Bit and 53 More Rules for Delivering Great Software on Time (see this explanatory link, this link, this link, this link, and OK this link too), it refers back to the Firesign Theatre comedy album I Think We're All Bozos on This Bus (1970 or so) which, as one Firesign album I have yet to hear, I understand divides humanity into various types, one which is the really useless ones, called Bozos (more on this to come).

Dialogues: Love is always young

A (coworker on phone): OK, sweetie, I love you! Goodbye.
B: Ah, young love...
A: I'm 55 years old!
B: Love is always young.

Quotes: Expecting life to treat you well ... (Shari Barr)

Expecting life to treat you well because you are a good person is like expecting an angry bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian. -- Shari R. Barr

Language: a pig in a poke [AHED]

NOUN: Chiefly Southern U.S. A sack; a bag.
ETYMOLOGY: Middle English, probably from Old North French. See pocket.
REGIONAL NOTE: A pig in a poke is concealed in a sack from the buyer. The noun poke--meaning a bag or sack--dates from the 14th century in English. In many parts of Scotland poke means a little paper bag for carrying purchases or a cone-shaped piece of paper for an ice-cream cone. The Oxford English Dictionary gives similar forms in other languages: Icelandic poki, Gaelic poc or poca, and French poche.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Movies: My Oscar predictions - 15 of 24

Well, I'm pleased to have accurately predicted 15 of 24 Oscar award winners -- using gut instinct alone, having seen only 7 of all films nominated and having read nothing about any of the nominations I had not seen. In fact, I really wanted two of the films I had seen to win -- and they did (Crash for Best Film and March of the Penguins for Best Documentary), even though I didn't predict them to win in those categories. (Click the title bar link to see my predictions.) The remaining 7 categories I got wrong were minor ones: Best Animated Feature, Best Live Short Film, Best Short Documentary, Best Sound Mixing, Best Song, Best Foreign Language, Best Cinematography. (By the way, I have no idea how or why "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" was nominated, performed live, or won the Oscar.)

Words: naïve [MW]

Function: adjective
Etymology: French naïve, feminine of naïf, from Old French, inborn, natural, from Latin nativus native
1 : marked by unaffected simplicity : ARTLESS, INGENUOUS
2 a : deficient in worldly wisdom or informed judgment; especially : CREDULOUS b : not previously subjected to experimentation or a particular experimental situation "made the test with naive rats"; also : not having previously used a particular drug (as marijuana)
synonym see NATURAL: NAIVE suggests lack of worldly wisdom often connoting credulousness and unchecked innocence "politically naive"

Words: waft [MW]

Pronunciation: 'wäft, 'waft
Function: verb
Etymology: (assumed) Middle English waughten to guard, convoy, from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German wachten to watch, guard; akin to Old English wæccan to watch -- more at WAKE
intransitive senses : to move or go lightly on or as if on a buoyant medium
transitive senses : to cause to move or go lightly by or as if by the impulse of wind or waves

Words: waif [MW]

Pronunciation: 'wAf
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old North French, adjective, lost, unclaimed, probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse veif something flapping, veifa to be in movement -- more at WIPE
1 a : a piece of property found (as washed up by the sea) but unclaimed b plural : stolen goods thrown away by a thief in flight
2 a : something found without an owner and especially by chance b : a stray person or animal; especially : a homeless child

Words: diminutive [MW]

Function: adjective
1 : indicating small size and sometimes the state or quality of being familiarly known, lovable, pitiable, or contemptible -- used of affixes (as -ette, -kin, -ling) and of words formed with them (as kitchenette, manikin, duckling), of clipped forms (as Jim), and of altered forms (as Peggy); compare AUGMENTATIVE
2 : exceptionally or notably small : TINY
synonym see SMALL: DIMINUTIVE implies abnormal smallness "diminutive bonsai plants".

Words: cute [MW]

(I remember a Peanuts cartoon where all the kids are oohing and aahing over Charlie Brown's new baby sister Sally, peppering the panels with the word "cute" before he comments, if I recall, "Where would we be without the word 'cute'?" It made me ponder a synonym or definition for the word, plus an explanation for why we find a baby or a bauble cute in the first place. I decided that the only synonym one could substitute for cute was diminutive: small, evincing a doll-like or innocent appearance that people find disarming, attractive, or otherwise appealing to their affections.)

Pronunciation: 'kyüt
Function: adjective
Inflected Form(s): cut·er; cut·est
Etymology: short for acute
1 a : clever or shrewd often in an underhanded manner b : IMPERTINENT, SMART-ALECKY "don't get cute with me"
2 : attractive or pretty especially in a dainty or delicate way
3 : obviously straining for effect

Neologisms: dwidget

A diminutive widget. (This turns out to be a programming term, and see the Urban Dictionary definition of dwidget.)

Media: TV - Carolyn Lawrence

Woo-hoo! I just ran across the babe who's the voice of Jimmy Neutron's Cindy Vortex and Spongebob Squarepants' Sandy Cheeks!