Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Up-Goer Five

It started with this xkcd comic, which is an overview of the Saturn V rocket using strictly words from the list of the 1,000 most common English words.

Using that list makes technical descriptions hard, if you stick strictly to the list.

So then someone created the The Up-Goer Five text editor, which checks your effort to see if you've used any improper words. (Though if you read closely, it does permit technical terms surrounded by apostrophes and proper names like Mr. Obama or Mrs. Clinton.)

So, of course, I had to try it. Here's my effort, which is on the topic of stellar evolution:

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Being one of a kind

There's a commercial now (Fisher-Price) that contains a line promoting, "...being one of a kind..." I've used that phrase from time-to-time and heard it many times.

But I was thinking about it more carefully the other day and concluded that it doesn't mean what most people think it means:  It doesn't mean that you are unique.

According to Google, "kind" is defined as, "A group of people or things having similar characteristics".  So being "one of a kind" basically is like saying you are "one person in a bunch of similar people"...and what's unique about that?

So I was wondering: Did this phrase start as, "You are a kind of one?"

Friday, August 10, 2012

More Friends Gone

This week, I had to take Fluff and Tommy to be put down. On the same day. I think I felt as sick as they did.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Someone sent me one of those infernal emails full of strange questions. You know, those oldies but goodies based on peculiarities of language and the way we think about things.

I decided to write some answers. Some of my answers are serious, but some are as peculiar as the questions. Think about them and enjoy.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Announcing Hamish Glenn Campbell

Hamish Glenn Campbell
5 pounds 14 ounces
May 30, 2012 3:00pm

Born to my nephew Bryce and to Nadia which makes me a great-uncle: A new first. (I feel old.)

Congratulations to the new family.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Microsoft MAG/NET Interface

Update 2012-05-18
I'm now working on a compendium of my annoyances.

One of my continual frustrations with life is Microsoft's patented MAG/NET™ interfaces (Most Annoying Guess/Not Ever Thoughtful) interfaces.

These are the interfaces that, no matter what you want to do, it does something else. Everything in Office® is that way, and I suppose the new Windows® is as well (I haven't used it yet).

Anyway, I invented that "trade name", "MAG/NET™", the other day and thought it would be worth a giggle.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Kitties site

I've finally put up a site about all of my cats. You can visit it here, or from the "My Kitties Site" link in the "SITE LINKS" at right.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Goodbye, Freckle

It was a bad week: Poor Freckle passed away rather unexpectedly a week ago last Tuesday; less than a week after poor Mr. Arnold.

Freckle was born about the same time as Mr. Arnold (though they might have had different mothers). She was named that because of the single red-orange patch of fur on the left side of an otherwise white nose.

She was a gentle kitty and I was very sad to see her go.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Goodbye, Mr. Arnold

Mr. Arnold, one of my older cats, passed away Thursday after a long decline.

He was named Arnie at birth for reasons I no longer remember in detail; his namesake was Arnold Schwarzenegger. It fit him very well when he reached adulthood; he was big, rangy and strong. But one day I tried "Mr. Arnold" as an experiment and he expressed a definite preference for that.

I'll miss you, Mr. Arnold.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cable Strikes Again

So on Friday, a contractor company employed by "blight mouse" (but not actually "blight mouse") appears to replace the on-pole cables for our neighborhood.

First off the bat, they take the cable down completely for more than an hour, because after all, "No one would be using it for work or anything like that."


I was interested in how many English words have "uu" in them. So I used More Words with a "*uu*" search to find them.

Then I came up with this atrocity, which uses pretty much all of them:
According to the duumvirate weltanschauung (issued during the triduum): The residuum after removing the squushier continuum vacuum, is the continuum ultravacuum. (The dictum also requires anyone who refuses to believe this to wear a muumuu.)
I thought about waiting to publish this until the evening of April 5 (the start of the triduum) but decided to not be excessive. (Yeah, right!)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Wonders of Customer (Dis)Service

Here I am, sitting on a call with a cable company that I won't name, but it's name rhymes with "blight mouse".

How is it that the service representatives for these companies can be completely devoid of logical sequence?