Monday, November 19, 2007

FW: FW: FW: FW: FW: FW: FW: FW: ad nauseam

So after some difficulties this morning and over the preceding weekend, I finally got into my e-mail this afternoon and found that I'd actually received quite a bit of electronic correspondence over the last few days. Interestingly enough, I really don't get a lot of spam, and this time was no exception. Emails giving me information that I had actually asked for, notes from family and friends, and info from guys at my church who are involved with and/or leading groups with which I'm involved. And there was the one fly in the ointment.

There's this guy, see. He's a nice guy, a good Christian, and someone who I enjoy talking with face-to-face. However, over the weekend he had sent me an e-mail with a picture of and little blurb concerning Barack Hussein Obama (with a noted emphasis on the fact that yes, that's his middle name!). This isn't the first time that he's sent me an e-mail with a subject line starting "FW: fwd: fwd:" or whatever. No, there was some matter of signing a petition that would do something having to do with prayer in schools or some such thing that of course turned out to be completely meaningless on a quick check of

This time was different, though, and to tell you the truth, I was simultaneously unhappy and glad that it was different. It turned out that the bare content (minus editorializing) of the e-mail was correct! This happens so rarely in these situations, it threw me for a bit of a loop. I was a bit disappointed that I couldn't just fire back, "No; this is all wrong; please stop forwarding these to me; can't you see what this is doing to your personal credibility?!" You know, I'll admit that I actually get a bit of smug self-satisfaction from sending out such an e-mail, but you can't send out that e-mail when the person sending you info happens to be right.

So what was the part that made me glad? It was the dawning of a realization that came as much less of a surprise to me than the discovery that the e-mail was technically true: I DON'T CARE! It doesn't matter to me if you find out that Hillary Clinton's a lesbian, John Edwards has made a hobby of torturing puppies, Mitt Romney has seven wives, or Rudy Giuliani was really the mastermind behind 9/11! It doesn't matter whether you have a reputable source or not, whether there's a photo attached or not, or whether there is an action required of me or not. I don't care if you have twenty pictures of cute kittens playing with balls of string, or a heartwarming poem to remind me of what's so great about mothers, or even a coupon for free ice cream. If the subject already starts with even one "FW:", don't click a button and send me a "FW: FW:" because I DON'T WANT IT!

Obsessive forwarders of the world, I'm cutting you off. If you want to send me your own e-mail, please do. I'm not going to read anyone else's.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

10 things about me

Hmph, more like 42, if you ask me. Marauder has once again tagged me for one of these things because he knows I often reply against my better judgment.

1. What were you doing 10 years ago?

I had recently gotten married, and was working for a mortgage company, which I considered to be my first "real job". It was one of those magical times that people talk about where we lived in a small apartment with our only furniture being a deck lounge for a sofa and a futon mattress for a bed, and of course it was one of the happier times in our lives, living so simply. As a bit of technological nostalgia, we didn't own a computer, so if we wanted to check our e-mails, we had to use my father-in-law's computer, which had a 16 MHz processor running Windows 3.1. Of course even then it was out-of date, but it got the job done.

2. What were you doing one year ago?

I was still working at my job at a missionary organization as a statistician, but was in the process of looking for a secular job that would pay more so I could better support my family. My kids were just starting their first year of school (I have twins, for those not in the know), and in my spare time I was following the lonelygirl15 series, which had recently been revealed to be a hoax, but fascinated me for being a sort of new art form. On the tech note, so long as I did it above, I was doing most of my work on an 833 MHz machine running Windows ME using Office 2000 and SQL. As of now, I have a secular job in I.T. working on a 3.0 GHz machine running Windows NT Professional, I do a lot of my work in PHP and JavaScript, and will soon be training my co-workers in how to understand Office 2007.

3. What are five snacks you enjoy?

  • Starbucks pumpkin scones
  • Salt & vinegar potato chips
  • Jalapeño poppers
  • Frosted mini-wheats
  • M&Ms
4. What are five songs you know the lyrics to?

Sheesh, like Marauder, I'm a lyrics freak, so I know a lot of lyrics. It might be more to the point to ask for five albums I know the lyrics to. For instance, if I get a song from the Beatles' White Album stick in my head, I'll usually run through the entire album mentally. Let me think of some unusual songs I know...
5. Five Things You Would Do If You Were A Millionaire
  • Invest in real estate.
  • Get a graduate degree.
  • Travel around the world.
  • Give $1,000 to 1,000 people and tell them to change the world.
  • Never wear the same pair of socks twice.
6. Five Things Your Kids Have Taught You
  • Sometimes having a good laugh is as important as actually being funny. The humor of a four-year-old seldom makes sense, but it's always funny to them.
  • Macaroni and cheese is always a good meal choice when in doubt. Goes without saying.
  • All animals are really cool. One of my daughters loves dogs, but she'll be nearly as excited about touching a spider as a puppy.
  • There's inherent excitement in trying something new and different. 99% of the time, my kids ride in my wife's car, but on the rare occasions that I've moved their car seats to my car, even a trip to the grocery store is an adventure to them.
  • Having my own children has taught me a lot about how God looks at us as His children.
7. Five Things You Like To Do
  • Constructing artificial languages.
  • Studying typefaces.
  • Solving British crosswords.
  • Debating philosophy.
  • Writing crap like this blog.
8. Five Things You Would Never Wear

Never? I don't know that I can imagine, let's see...
  • A toupee. If I ever go bald, I hope to do so with dignity.
  • A nosering. I had been considering getting my nose pierced shortly before I first met my wife, and she told me she didn't like piercings. I don't even wear my earrings anymore.
  • More tattoos. On a semi-related note, I had two tattoos when I met my wife, and have abstained from getting additional ones. Most people who have tattoos seem to have several, as it's actually sort of addicting in a way that's hard to explain. While I'm happy with the ones I have, I realized that there's something oxymoronic and silly about making a permanent fashion statement.
  • A pair of shoes that cost more than a day's wage.
  • A speedo. Ew.
9. Five Favorite Toys
  • I have this windup toy that is sort of hard to describe. Ah, here it is, the Critter. For some reason the thing cracks me up to no end.
  • The Rubik's Cube. I couldn't solve I back in the day when it was hot, but eventually figured out how to solve it (although not very fast) about five years or so after its heyday. A fun mental exercise in algorithmic processes.
  • Scrabble. (Does a board game count as a toy?)
  • Kittens. Awesome.
  • This blog.
10. Five Things You Hate To Do
  • Being forced to come up with five of everything
Okay, I tag Pervez Musharraf, the unknown person who is in current possession of my senior class ring, Bertie Wooster, Ganesha, and the concept of Lazer Tag.