Pogo poem

Re-reading a favorite Pogo book yesterday, I came across this snip of verse, and thought I’d share it:

Now where we’ve gone
Through wood and field
The Sun has shone,
The Sun has shone;
The Rain did yield,
The ploughed Land sown,
Grain Blossom grown.
Can Storm attend,

Can Day be drear,
Can This be End,
Can there come End,
Because we’re Here?
Because we’re Here?

— O. V. Bristol, “Cornerstones and Corbiesteps”, 1801

Those Crazy Archbishops

Great quotation, courtesy of Friday’s A Word A Day: “As an adolescent I aspired to lasting fame, I craved factual certainty, and I thirsted for a meaningful vision of human life – so I became a scientist. This is like becoming an archbishop so you can meet girls.” -Matt Cartmill, anthropology professor and author (1943- )

Thought y’all’d appreciate that. 🙂 Not much else today, hence the news vs. a story. Busy busy work day. Have a good one!


Back again, Mac again

I was tempted to call this entry “Epi-blog.” Boy, I really needed the break from blogging. My blog-puns were starting to scare even me.

Great trip to New Jersey and Lisa’s folks, great turkey, great time with family. I spent a good amount of time on my mother in law’s iMac upgrading and installing software. She’s now running 9.2.1 and Netscape 6.2, as well as proper Norton stuff. I failed in a larger area, though. I had donated my old SCSI scanner to her along with a SCSI to FireWire converter in hopes we could get it up and running. Unfortunately, somewhere in one of the moves it made between Virginia and New Jersey, the scanner stopped working. If it had been successful, I would have been able to point to my mother-in-law’s web page. We were going to hook her up with iTools and put some family photos up. Oh well, there’s always next time.

No Respect

Just got an atta-boy and a pat on the shoulder by the Vice President for my work during this crunch period. He said that I’ve been doing better than my manager, in front of my manager. That’s fine, but next time give me my props in cash money, dog. Where’s the love?

Cold Naked Guys!

More comments from Pam on the Vermonty.com link:

“Those guys were on the Today show yesterday and their site had so many hits afterwards that the site crashed several times, they are on a bigger server now. The calendar is very tasteful, and they use all the proceeds to fix up their community center. They were struggling for ways to pay for the center repairs and one guy jokingly said ‘Well, hell, I just bought a new tractor, i oughtta pose nude on it!’ Months later the calendar was made.”

Speaking in Tongues and other stuff

Update 12:15 PM: I’m a little behind in pointing to this, but I was ahead in saying it was a bad idea. When I visited Intel in January 2001, a few of us asked why Intel was in the business of making consumer MP3 players. The answer we got? “Well, we’re a really large supplier of memory chips, and this is a critical application for them.” Unsurprisingly, Intel has now announced it would phase out this product line. No “I told you so’s” from me. 🙂

Trying to be productive this morning. It’s hard. I picked up the Episode 1 DVD last night and I want nothing more than to go home and fall asleep watching it.

Some random links: Dave is the recipient of the top Wired Rave Award, the Tech Renegade Award, for his work on SOAP. I won’t argue–in terms of my blog’s hit count alone, Dave’s certainly been the most influential person around. Plus I’m working on a major project with MIT Sloan‘s Center for E-Business around the industry in web services that SOAP helped to start.

The white powder that was found in an envelope by an MIT lecturer in Foreign Languages and Literature tested negative for anthrax.

If language is a virus, is it contagious?

The Tin Man has a good comments string running from Wednesday’s post about journalism. Most of them are about his use of the word “y’all.”

Aside: I’ve been gathering unusual words and expressions from the North Carolina side of my family. I never thought much about the colorful language that they used until my undergrad years. Then I read in the excellent liner notes to the Robert Johnson boxed set that Johnson’s term friend-boy in “Cross Road Blues” was a typical Mississippi Delta expression meaning simply friend. “Gee, I thought, “my uncle says that all the time.” I came to realize that my family’s language placed them solidly in the unique linguistic history of the South.

Some other words and phrases:

(pron. “peert”) for “pretty”
It was so good, my tongue like to beat my brains out.
(said about food)
He’s a good businessman. If you shake hands with him, you better
  • count your fingers.
  • Put your money in your mouth and sew your tongue up tight.
[v. intransitive] – to do nothing constructive. Generally used as “to pottymule around.” See also “blogging.”

For those who need a laugh

In these times of crisis, it’s useful to remember that though America’s heights have not always been dangerous, an unfortunate few of our population have suffered a disproportionate number of height-related accidents. I’m talking, of course, about our cows. It was only a few years ago that the University of Virginia’s Great Cow Prank was revealed to be the work of the president of the NASDAQ.

Anyone who was an investor in tech stocks over the last few years will be unsurprised to find that the head of the NASDAQ, America’s principal high-tech stock exchange, has a warped sense of humor. However, few tech stocks tanked as dramatically as the poor cow, who according to the article at A&S Online “died from a combination of complications including shock, dehydration and an overdose of tranquilizers administered to calm it during the rescue.” Much like some venture capitalists I’ve met.

And speaking of people needing a sense of humor: the much-discussed Clear Channel list of “songs not to play” on their hundreds of radio stations nationwide has done two things for me. First, it’s given me a head start on finding songs to arrange for the Sloan “E-52s”. Second, it’s given me another opportunity to plug KEXP, the Seattle noncommercial station whose playlists are second to none. If they’ll play Gastr Del Sol for me, they’ll play anything…

On a more serious note

Keep my sister in your thoughts today. On a good note, it’s her birthday (yay!). On a bad note, her dog had to be put to sleep yesterday.

The Distance of the Lonely Runner (or something)

My parents are in the process of building a house. This is a pretty big deal, since their previous house, the one in which I grew up, had been their home for almost thirty years (longer, in my Dad’s case). They started the building process late last year, after having moved to my family’s property in western North Carolina when my Dad retired.The house is its own story (and it’s one that Mom and Dad have sent out in numerous emails in the last six months), but the part I want to focus on is (naturally, and myopically, enough) where I fit in. See, I grew up in that house in Virginia. I went to school at the University of Virginia. I worked for six years in Northern Virginia (which is not quite its own separate state, although maybe it should be).

Now, within the course of eight months, I’ve moved to the Boston area for school then to Seattle for a summer job, and my parents have left Virginia for good. Only my sister is still left in the state.

What I’m coming to understand as a result of all of this is something that I never really “got” before. My family’s roots are very strongly geographic, with my Mom’s family from Lancaster County, PA, and my Dad’s from the Asheville area in North Carolina (in fact, if you look at my genealogy, you can see just how far back those roots go). As a result, I think I confused geography with family connections for many, many years. What I’ve come to realize is that there’s a much harder process than building a house that I have to do—it’s continuing to communicate and visit with the family and ensuring that those connections never drop.

It’s a much harder job than designing an enterprise software system. Or building a house. Or writing a book. But a lot of people seem to be able to do it pretty successfully. As a coworker of mine said a bit wistfully this evening, “That’s what air travel is for.” Still, it seems like no matter how far we’ve come in communications, travel, and city design, we’re still faced with the basic fact that distance makes a huge difference in how we live our lives.