Saturday, December 08, 2007

Thanksgiving weekend in Tacoma

We spent Thanksgiving weekend in Tacoma with The Babe's family, though we were able to break away for a day on Saturday and visit a few friends. I got to see my dear friend Kim and we stopped to see Elisabeth, Lonnie, and Zen. In the evening, we were able to do dinner with the Babe's old friends Bruce and Stacy--for those of you who were at our wedding, Stacy was the woman who sang You Are My Home (from The Scarlet Pimpernel)--in downtown Seattle.

Bruce and Stacy have a charming son, Elliot, who did not accompany them. Elliot's, uh, 3 years old. When Stacy left Elliot with her mother for the evening, her mother said "Who are you going to dinner with?" Stacy explained that they were going to dinner with her old drama partner and her husband. "What's her husband do?" Stacy's mother asked.

After thinking a second, Stacy said "He's a banjo-playing technical writer."

Her mother snorted and said "Where'd she meet him? On the Internet?"

Stacy said "Yes..."

Later that evening, the Babe googled "banjo player technical writer," thinking that there would probably be just me. She was horrified to discover this produced 159,000 hits using those criteria. The Babe explained that she'd always felt that one banjo-playing technical writer was a sufficient quantity.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Thought du jour

A great quote coming out of Indiana, no less!
"There's no evidence that seat belts have increased reckless driving.
There is no evidence that when we get tetanus shots, we seek rusty nails."
-- Judy Monroe, Indiana health commissioner on the subject of an STD vaccination (Merck's Gardasil) "promoting" sex among teenagers.


Thursday, December 06, 2007

Phrase du jour: "Computer bardo"

The phrase of the day is Computer bardo. The following is taken from the original Wikipedia article:
The Tibetan word Bardo means literally "intermediate state" - also translated as "transitional state" or "in-between state" or "liminal state". ... In the West, the term bardo may also refer to times when our usual way of life becomes suspended ...

The Computer Bardo is that time taken waiting for a response from a computer. It may be, for example, after double-clicking on a file and waiting for it to load, waiting for a Web page to load, waiting for the Start Menu to appear after clicking Start, waiting for your login/reboot to end, waiting for a window to maximize, etc.

The Computer Bardo is typically wasted time, where life is suspended staring at a computer screen with an idle mind. It is not yet known how much time is spent in this state, but it is likely to be considerable, although divided into many short intervals.

During this time it is difficult, but not impossible, to do anything practical. One can train oneself to make use of the time, initially spending a few seconds doing a crossword, reading a short article, or meditating. With training, this time can be reclaimed to a certain extent.


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Some jokes just write themselves, y'know?

This was pointed out to me today:

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Intelligent Design

Okay, class, now, what was the definition of "irony" again?