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February 25, 2005
Why Parents Drink

The boss of a big company needed to call one of his employees about an urgent problem with one of the main computers, dialed the employee's home phone number and was greeted with a child's whisper.

"Hello."

"Is your daddy home? " he asked.

"Yes," whispered the small voice.

"May I talk with him?"

The child whispered, "No."

Surprised, and wanting to talk with an adult, the boss asked, "Is your Mommy there?"

"Yes."

"May I talk with her?"

Again the small voice whispered, "No."

Hoping there was somebody with whom he could leave a message, the boss asked, "Is anybody else there?"

"Yes," whispered the child, "a policeman."

Wondering what a cop would be doing at his employee's home, the boss asked, "May I speak with the policeman?" "No, he's busy", whispered the child.

"Busy doing what?"

"Talking to Daddy and Mommy and the Fireman," came the whispered answer.

Growing concerned and even worried as he heard what sounded like a Helicopter through the earpiece on the phone the boss asked, "What is that noise?"

"A hello-copper" answered the whispering voice.

"What is going on there?" asked the boss, now truly alarmed.

In an awed whispering voice the child answered, "The search team just landed the hello-copper." Alarmed, concerned, and even more then just a little frustrated the boss asked, "What are they searching for?"

Still whispering, the young voice replied along with a muffled giggle:
"ME".

Posted by Don at 02:03 PM
February 22, 2005
A Computer's Gender

Not the funniest thing I have ever posted, but seems appropriate since I deal with computers and I'm having to deal with a new language that has genders.

A Spanish teacher was explaining to her class that in Spanish, unlike English, nouns are designated as either masculine or feminine. "House" for instance, is feminine: "la casa." "Pencil," however, is masculine: "el lapiz." A student asked, "What gender is 'computer'?"

Instead of giving the answer, the teacher split the class into two groups, male and female, and asked them to decide for themselves whether "computer" should be a masculine or a feminine noun.

Each group was asked to give four reasons for its recommendation.

The men's group decided that "computer" should definitely be of the feminine gender ("la computer"), because:
1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic;
2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else;
3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for possible later retrieval; and
4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.

The women's group, however, concluded that computers should be Masculine ("el computer"), because:

1. In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on;
2. They have a lot of data but still can't think for themselves;
3. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they ARE the problem; and
4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better model.

Posted by Don at 10:27 AM
February 19, 2005
Paris in February

Sorry for the late update, but last week we headed to Paris where we met the one and only Mimi! Ok, for those of you who don't know who that is, it is Kristen's grandmother and Barbie's mom, and Mimi is the French word for grandmother, and what is Kristen and Trevor always call her (Her real name is Jeanne). Well, we expected the worse weather wise, but ended up getting some of the best weather you could really ask for in the winter. About 10-12 degrees Celsius (you do the conversion), and bright sunny skies. Barbie, Kristen and I arrived Saturday evening and picked up Mimi on Sunday morning.

Of course since Barbie was planning the trip, we had one of the perfect locations for a hotel (my choice was good last time also) that was about 100 yards from Cafe Flore and Cafe Le Deux Magot, both of which are considered the top cafes in all of Paris. So, every morning we would head there for a croissant or strawberry tart and a hot chocolate or coffee...depending on your preference. Afterwards we would head out and see the numerous sites.

This time we actually decided to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower, and I must say it made you catch your breath as the main elevator to the top made its rise. I mean, you have to think this thing is around 100+ years old, so who knows what they were thinking back then when it came to safety. :) Anyways, the view made it worth it, and Paris is just a beautiful city. We also went back to the Louvre, Napolean's tomb, Champs Elysees street, Arc de Triumph, Notre Dame cathedral, Basilique due Sacre-Coeur, and for the first time visited their Pantheon.

After Paris we headed to Versailles for the day, followed to heading to Normandy. Normandy is one of those places that just makes you stop and think, and also thank God that we were able to win the war. The American cemetary made you fully appreciate all those who died in Normandy, most of which came from D-Day itself. Overall the American cemetary had just under 10,000 marble white crosses.

Overall the trip was a blast. Although we had been to Paris, this trip was still very much enjoyable, not only b/c Paris is just a great city, but b/c it is cool to see it through the eyes of those who have never been there. It makes you appreciate it all over again.

p.s. For those who care, I was able to watch the Superbowl live on Sunday night at an Irish Bar, and I must say that there were a decent amount of people there despite the fact the game started at 12:30am.

So, be sure to check out our wonderful Pictures from France that Barbie has uploaded...enjoy.

Posted by Don at 07:38 PM
February 15, 2005
Future of the English Language

EURO - ENGLISH

The European Union commissioners have announced that agreement has been reached to adopt English as the preferred language for European communications, rather than German, which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, Her Majesty's Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a five-year phased plan for what will be known as EuroEnglish (Euro for short).

In the first year, "s" will be used instead of the soft "c". Sertainly, sivil servants will resieve this news with joy. Also, the hard "c" will be replaced with "k". Not only will this klear up konfusion, but typewriters kan have one less letter.There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced by "f". This will make words like"fotograf" 20 per sent shorter.

In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkorage the removal of double letters, which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of silent "e"s in the languag is disgrasful, and they would go.

By the fourth year, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" by "z" and "w" by "v". During ze fifz year, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining"ou", and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters. After zis fifz yer, ve vil hav a reli sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubls or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech ozer.

Ze drem vil finali kum tru.

Posted by Don at 09:13 AM
February 13, 2005
Last laugh

Well, as I'm sure you know by now, Tom Brady had the winning face, and was able to lead his Patriots over the Eagles last Sunday night in Superbowl XXXIX. I was in Paris for the game, so I ended up having to find a late night Irish pub that was showing the game, but there was a good crowd, so it made up for the late night. Then again, who am I to complain about being in Paris. :)

Anyways, for those who didn't see the game, it was tied after each of the first 3 quarters, and the game seemed to hang in the balance. The Pats were then able to open the the game up a little bit in the 4th quarter with a 10 point lead, but had to hang on in the end, finally winning by 3 points 24-21, thus giving Brady his 3rd trophy in 4 years. One of these days it will be the Fins doing the celebrating, but for now, congrats to all you Patriot fans.

Posted by Don at 05:41 PM
February 03, 2005
Game Faces

Apparantely Tom Brady gets more serious as game time approaches. Based on this picture, I think I am going to have to go with the goofy looking guy on the left to win by about 10 points. I know the odds makers say 7 points, but I'm up for the year, which means I know more about football then they do. :)

Posted by Don at 09:16 AM
February 02, 2005
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

I am slowly but surely coming to the conclusion that Lord of the Rings is just not my thing. I seem to struggle getting through these books, mainly b/c 80% of the book is about one group or another travelling. Sure, there are fighting scenes, but it seems to take as long to get to these as it does the actual characters in the book to make the journey.

Anyways, this book is broken up into two distinct parts, and can basically be read in any order since they occur during the same time period, but with two different groups of characters...kinda frustrating if you ask me. You read half the book, only to start from the beginning again with different characters who happen to go a different path. Somehow, I think if the story went back and forth I might be more intrigued.

So, as was the case with the first book, the end is not really an ending. It just seems to stop right in the middle of one of the few action sequences. Of course this makes me want to start the 3rd book, but I know it is going to be more of the same. However, I'm 2/3 of the way to finishing this trilogy so I can finally watch the movies, but I think it is going to be a few months before I need my sci-fi fix again.

Can someone please tell me what is so great about these books? It seems to be going down hill. 'The Hobbit' was good, 'Fellowship of the Ring' was OK, and 'The Two Towers' was just boring. Who knows what the final book will bring.

Posted by Don at 06:32 PM