More Goofy Word Fun - Mike has some cool word-related links on his blog.

My favorite is yet another Japanese-themed Flash animation. We westerners are going to have to play catch-up here. It's language-themed.

Nosing around another of his links eventually led me to dict.org which lets you search various dictionaries. A useful and fun little link!
The Worst Day Of My Life - My daughter told my wife this morning "This is the worst day of my life."

I got a call at work yesterday.

"Mr. Burke? Katherine is in the nurse's office. She had complained about her throat earlier and we gave her some water and sent her back to class. Now she's got a headache. We can't contact your wife."

"Does she need to come home?"

"She is saying she wants to go home."

"Ok." I said. "I'll be right over."

Before I got too far down the street, Margaret called me on my wireless phone and told me she would take care of Kit.

When I got home she was all limp. I wasn't home long before she threw up the contents of her basically empty stomach.

She fell asleep on the couch, and so we sent Mattie to bed and I slept on the floor in front of the couch to monitor her. Her legs fell off the couch once with a thud. I came alert and repositioned her.

This morning she looked hardly any better. Maggie had suggested some videos that she likes to watch when she's feeling sick... "The Brave Little Toaster" has long been her favorite. So I asked her what she wanted to watch.

She requested old home videos from around the time Mattie was born and before. Pictures of herself stumbling around... haltingly using her first words... fascinated by the camera...

One of the videos shows her and me sitting on the rug of our old parlor watching TV. She is lying on my legs and I am brushing the hair out of her face. Katherine immediately arranged herself on top of my legs, as in the video and we watched some more of the footage together this way.

Some time later, she continued being sick and told Maggie "This is the worst day of my life."

Things are simple when you're a child. She doesn't realize that she will be better in a couple of days and we'll go to get the season's first ice cream at the local hand-made ice cream parlor. She's not thinking that next week is vacation for her, and she'll be well in time to take advantage of all sorts of free time.

Life is a series of moments, and none of them last very long. I guess that gives us an opportunity to pick and choose the ones we want to attach special meaning to, and the ones we just observe and let pass away.


Etymology Dictionary... Cool! - I eat this stuff up. Ed sent me this link to an Online Etymology Dictionary.

Here's some history on the word "hacker":
hack (2) - originally, "person hired to do routine work," short for hackney, probably from Hackney (Middlesex), from O.E. Hacan ieg "Haca's Isle" (or possibly "Hook Island"). Now well within London, it was once pastoral. Apparently nags were raised on the pastureland there in early medieval times and taken to Smithfield horse market. Extended sense of "horse for hire" led naturally to "broken-down nag," and also "drudge" (1546). Special sense of "one who writes anything for hire" led to hackneyed "trite" (1749); hack writer is first recorded 1826, though hackney writer is at least 50 years earlier. Sense of "carriage for hire" first recorded 1664, which led to modern slang for "taxicab" (1704). Hacker "one who gains unauthorized access to computer records" is 1983, from slightly earlier tech slang sense of "one who works like a hack at writing and experimenting with software, one who enjoys computer programing for its own sake," 1976, reputedly coined at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Why Code? - Patti sent me a link to a discussion folks were having on why they code. It came to me that I hadn't really thought about why I code.

If the question is "Why do you code for money?" I think I'd have to say it's part inertia, part that I found I'm good enough that some people want to pay me to do it. There is an element of fun. There is an element of mystery in why a piece of code doesn't work, and a little thrill to solving that mystery. As Maggie tells me I said once in my sleep: "It's a mystery! A conundrum!"

Sure, ther eis the fun of coding from a purely creative point of view, but I don't code much recreational anymore. I havent for a few years (editing a few javascripts doesn't count). And I haven't been able motivate myself to complete any of the little hobby ideas I've had recently. But that's probably more of a time issue. A lot of my stress-relief time is spent watching DVDs, playing games, reading the news, participating in online discussions, and the like. My book-reading has even slowed down quite a bit.


Two Shovels - When I left the house this morning it felt like 80 degrees. There are two shovels leaning on the stair.

Two snow shovels had been put away because they were no longer needed. But then, in defeat, they were retrieved from the shed and placed against the stair.

I shook my head the last time I used them, because I had thought I'd seen the last of them for the year. The neighbor across the street was out that day. I yelled to him "This is the last time for a while!" I don't think he heard me. I had to laugh at myself.

But then I didn't put them away. They're just out leaning against the stair. Some of the birds are staring at them - they've never seen these shovels before. One of the shovels is broken. I'm not sure if I will fix it, but I think I can.

No one has stolen my shovels. People aren't out at night much in the winter. Now the nights will be much warmer. Will someone steal my shovels when there is no snow on the ground?

I left them out so they would be handy for the next time it snows. How long are they going to wait.


Frustration of The Blogger - Being a blogger has been more frustrating than usual lately. Here are the reasons:
  1. The service that is supposed to send out email updates to people who subscribe to the blog... doesn't. I don't know about you, but I get an update once every other week if I'm lucky. Sure, it's free, but just the frustration alone is costing me.
  2. Blogger hasn't been all that stable. I can't "republish" any of my archive files and I haven't been able to do that for months now, except for one brief moment a few weeks ago. What that means is that when the archives break, I can't fix them And I can't change the format of the archive files. Blogger is basically free, but I pay for ad-free hosting on blogspot.
  3. backBlog - my comment system - just disappeared. While it was in the process of disappearing, it made my site download extremely slow, so I removed the comment links to speed things up. I subscribed to the comment system, so that one wasn't free.

When am I going to take a hint and move my whole operation over to MovableType like everyone smart seems to have done? The question is, is blogger so buggy now that I will not be able to get access to my archives so that I can republish them elsewhere? A frightening thought. And where will I find hosting? And how much will it cost? And what will I choose for a new domain name? And... and... and... and none of you can answer because my comment system is down!!!!

Ah well, email and AOLIM are still there.
LANGUAGE! - From Maggie:

Mattie's on the toilet and she starts screaming. I go in there. "I ate two carrots today and my poop is stuck. My shit is stuck."

Me: "Yes, okay, that is what shit means, but it's not a very nice word. It offends some people. They might not think you're nice if you say it."

Mattie: "Well, I asked Kierra if she knew what 'shit' means and she didn't say anything."

Me: "Did you tell her?"

Mattie: "Yes, I told her it meant the 'p' word."

Me: "You said 'shit' but you won't say 'poop'?"

Mattie: "Well, we're not allowed to say 'poop' in school."


Important, Especially Around Tax Time -
Q: Mr. President, can you prove that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction?

A: Yes; we kept the receipts.