Mea Culpa

"In the Beginning"

Ode to a German Beard Championship
A personal story

KING: He who hath no facial hair for this meal,
Let him now depart; an excuse ready made,
And cash for transport put into his hands;
We would not sup in that man’s company
That fears in full fellowship to dine with us.

This fête is call’d the feast of Crispyn Fresh.
He that consumes these wings, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this food is nam’d,
And 'rouse him afresh at the name of Saint Crispius.

He that consumes this meal, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his fellows hail,
And say “To-morrow is we make merry drink.”
Then will he bind his bart and show his style,
{And Say} “This count'nance had I on Crispyn’s day.”

Olde men forget; yes all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember, with advantages,
What feast he had that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Aarne (König), O'Connor and Moody,
Nelson and Demling, Miletus and Buckler-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red.

Of Freedom shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispius feast-day shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we bearded shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;

For he that remains uneffac'd with me
Shall my brother be; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in Austin who sleep still
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That supped with us upon Saint Crispyn’s day.

Terms for Modern Times:
CEO -- Chief Embezzlement Officer.
COO -- Company Outings Organiser Tennis anyone ?
CFO -- Corporate Fraud Officer.
CmIO -- Chief misInformation Officer
BULL MARKET -- A random market movement causing an investor to mistake luck for financial genius.
BEAR MARKET -- A 6 to 18 month period when the kids get no allowance.
MARKET CORRECTION -- What occurs the day after you buy stocks.
BROKER -- What my stock consultant has made me.
FINANCIAL PLANNER -- Someone whose phone has been disconnected.
STOCK ANALYST -- The idiot who just downgraded your stock.
INSTITUTIONAL INVESTOR -- Last year's investor who is now in the nut-house.
STANDARD & POOR -- Your life in a nutshell.
HAIL MARY -- Standard Government Planning Procedure
VALUE INVESTING -- The art of buying low and selling lower.
STOCK SPLIT -- When your ex and the lawyers partition your assets among themselves.
CASH FLOW -- The progression of your money down the toilet.
WINDOWS -- Out of what one jumps when one is the sucker who bought Yahoo @ $240 per share.
YAHOO -- What someone yelled after selling it at $240/share {what a difference a year can make}.
PROFIT -- An archaic word no longer in use.

"The heightened financial turmoil that we have experienced of late may well lengthen the period of weak economic performance and further increase the risks to growth ... at the same time the outlook for inflation has improved somewhat, though it remains uncertain," thus saith the Federal Reserve Chief (Remember, when Bernanke Talks, Markets Tumble).

... it is a little-known fact that the Y1K problem caused the Dark Ages
and only those in the underground know
that termites were the first abacus bug

“. . . how can you say . . .'Flee to your mountain, O bird . . . .' ”
In Him I take refuge


Serious error:
All shortcuts have disappeared.
Screen. Mind. Both are blank
The Web site you seek
Cannot be located, but
Countless more exist.
Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent, and reboot.
Order shall return.
Program aborting:
Close all that you have worked on.
You ask far too much.
Having been erased,
The document you're seeking
Must now be retyped.
Windows NT crashed.
I am the Blue Screen of Death.
No one hears your screams.
Yesterday it worked.
Today it fails to open.
Windows is like that.
Your file was too big.
It might have been so useful.
But now it is gone.
Out of memory.
We wish to hold the whole sky,
But we never will.
Stay the patient course.
Of no value is your ire.
The network is down.
Your crash reduces
a technologic marvel
To a simple stone.
Three things are certain:
Death, taxes and lost data.
Guess which has occurred.
You step in the stream,
But the water has moved on.
This page is not here.


Your taxing Duty

Tax the home, Tax the wage, Tax the bed in which we lay.
Tax the chicken, Tax the cow, Don't forget to tax the sow.
Tax our tractor, Tax our mule, Teach us taxes are the rule.

Tax our pants and our stockings, Tax all citizens who are mocking
Tax every blouse and skirt, Tax each one's daily work.
Just to be sure, tax the dirt.

Tax tobacco, it's only right.
Why not tax us if we try to over-eat or -drink ?
Tax once more, if we try to over-think.

Yes, tax the wine, Tax the liquor, Tax the beer.
Sure we'll cry, Just tax each whimper, every tear.

Add tax to bills, Pile tax on gas, Take all our hard-earned cash.
Please, tax us well and let us know
That after taxes, we shall have no dough.

If we holler,
Just tax us more;
Tax us until we are tired and sore.

So when all is said and done, Tax the coffin makers, Tax the grave diggers,
Tax the small plot of sod in which we are placed . . . .
. . . Just scribe eight words upon our tomb:
Taxes drove me to my death and doom

Finally, when we're gone, Let's not relax.
Still after comes an inheritance TAX !!! Anon

How To Keep A Healthy Level Of Insanity -- from a Scouter in the underground

 1.  At lunch time, sit in your parked car with sunglasses on and point a 
       hair dryer at passing cars. See if they slow down.

 2.  Page yourself over the intercom. Don't disguise your voice.

 3.  Every time someone asks you to do something, ask if they want fries with that.

 4.  Put your garbage can on your desk and label it "in"

 5.  Put decaf in the coffee maker for 3 weeks. Once everyone has gotten 
       over their caffeine addictions, switch to espresso.

 6.  Tell your children over dinner. "due to the economy, we are going 
      to have to let one of you go."

 7.  Finish all your sentences with "in accordance with the Deming."

 8.  Dont use any puncturation marx oar sepll chek

 9.  As often as possible, skip rather than walk.

 10. Sing along at the opera.

 11. Specify that your drive-through order is "to go".

 12. Five days in advance, tell your friends you can't attend 
       their party because you're not in the mood.

 13. Go to a poetry recital and ask why the poems don't rhyme.

 14. Put mosquito netting around your work area. 
      Play a tape of jungle sounds all day.

 15. When the money comes out the ATM, scream "I won ! 
       I won !" -- "3rd time this week !!!"

 16. Have your coworkers address you by your wrestling name.

 17. When leaving the zoo, start running towards the parking lot. 
       Yell "Run for your lives, they're all loose!!"

 18. And the final way to keep a healthy level of insanity .. .. ..
       Look for more pauvre humeur (as in «C'est un pauvre poète»)? 
       Please, try here

20 Thirty Years Makes a Difference

A computer was something on TV
From a science fiction show of note.
A window was something you hated to clean,
And ram was the cousin of a goat.

Meg was the name of a friend,
And gig was a job for the night.
Compress was something you did to the garbage,
Not something you did to a file.

An application was for employment.
A program was a TV show.
A cursor used profanity.
A keyboard was a piano.

Memory was something that you lost with age.
A CD was a bank account.
And if you had a floppy disk,
You hoped it would not go out.

Log on was adding wood to the fire.
Hard drive was a long trip on the road.
A mouse pad was where a mouse lived,
And a backup happened to your commode.

Cut you did with a pocket knife.
Paste you did with glue.
A web was a spider's home,
And a virus was the flu.

I guess I'll stick to my pen and paper,
And the memory in my head.
I hear nobody's been killed in a computer crash,
But when it happens they wish they were dead!

Useful English System conversions/units:

Ratio of an igloo's circumference to its diameter = Eskimo Pi
2.4 statute miles of intravenous surgical tubing at Yale University
Hospital = 1 I.V. League
2000 pounds of Chinese soup = Won Ton
1 millionth mouthwash = 1 microscope
Speed of a tortoise breaking the sound barrier = Mach Turtle
Time it takes to sail 220 yards at 1 nautical mile per hour = knot-furlong
365.25 days of drinking low-calorie drink because it's less filling = 1liteyear
16.5 feet in the Twilight Zone = 1 Rod Serling
1/2 large intestine = 1 semicolon
1000 aches = 1 megahertz
Weight an evangelist carries with God = 1 billigram
Basic unit of laryngitis = 1 hoarsepower
Shortest distance between two jokes = a straight line
Time between slipping on a peel and smacking the pavement = 1 bananosecond
1/2 bath = 1 demijohn
453.6 graham crackers = 1 pound cake
Given the old adage "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single 
step", the first step of a one-mile journey = 1 Milwaukee

Useful Metric Conversions:

1 million microphones = 1 megaphone
1 million bicycles = 2 megacycles
365.25 days = 1 Unicycle
2000 mockingbirds = two kilomockingbirds
10 cards = 1 decacards
1 kilogram of falling figs = 1 Fig Newton
1000 grams of wet socks = 1 Liter Hosen
1 millionth of a fish = 1 microfiche
1 trillion pins = 1 terrapin
1 million billion picolos = 1 gigolo
10 rations = 1 decoration
100 rations = 1 C-ration
10 millipedes = 1 centipede
3 1/3 tridents = 1 decadent
10 monologs = 5 dialogues
5 dialogues = 1 decalogue
2 monograms = 1 diagram
8 nickels = 2 paradigms
2 wharves = 1 paradox
100 Senators = not 1 decision !

I now submit some more Useful Metric Conversions (some repetition is good for learning)

1 million microphones = 1 megaphone
2000 mockingbirds = two kilomockingbirds
10 cards = 1 decacards
1 millionth of a fish = 1 microfiche
453.6 graham crackers = 1 pound cake
1 trillion pins = 1 terrapin
10 rations = 1 decoration
100 rations = 1 C-ration
10 millipedes = 1 centipede
3 1/3 tridents = 1 decadent
2 monograms = 1 diagram
4 nickels = 1 paradigm
4 wharves = 2 paradox

I hope this proves a powerful tool.

Title: “Abort, Retry, Ignore?”

Once upon a midnight dreary, fingers cramped and vision bleary,
System manuals piled high and paper wasted on the floor,
Longing for the warmth of bed sheets, still I sat there doing spreadsheets.
Having reached the bottom line, I took a floppy from the drawer,
Then invoked the SAVE command and waited for the disk to store,
Only this; I promise, nothing more.
Deep into the monitor peering, long I sat there wond'ring, fearing,
Doubting, while the disk kept churning, turning yet to churn some more.
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token.
“Save!” not so silently I pleaded, ”Please, save my data from afore!”
One thing did the phosphors answer, only this and nothing more,
Just, “Abort, Retry, Ignore?”
Was I vexed by mere illusion, or maniacal intrusion?
These were choices undesired, ones ne'r faced before.
Carefully, I weighed the choices, whilst the disk made impish noises.
The cursor flashed, insistent; waiting, baiting me to type something, more....
Clearly, I must press a key. Choose one and nothing more,
From “Abort, Retry, Ignore?”
With fingers pale and trembling, slowly toward the keyboard bending,
Longing for a happy end, hoping all I should see restored;
Supplicant for any guarantee, timidly, I pressed a key.
“Nooh” -- on the screen still there persisted the phrase sore.
Ghastly grim it blinked, taunted and haunted, as before,
Saying “Abort, Retry, Ignore?”
I tried to catch the chips off guard, and pressed again, but twice as hard.
I pleaded again with that detestable calculator: 
				I begged; I cried: I promise, nothing more.
Now in mighty desperation, randomly trying every Altaic combination,
Still there came the incantation, just as senseless as before.
Cursor blinking, angrily winking, blinking nonstop and nothing more,
Reading, “Abort, Retry, Ignore?”
There I sat, distraught, exhausted; and, by my own machine accosted.
Getting up I turned away and paced across the office floor.
And then I saw the dreadful sight: lightning cut through the night.
A gasp of horror overtook me, shook me to my very core.
This lightning zapped my well-thought data store. Lost, gone -- forevermore.
“Nooh,” not even, “Abort, Retry, Ignore?”
To this day I do not know the land to which lost information goes.
To what virtual nether-world, is orphaned data shipped, stacked or...
Is it beyond the reach of mortal souls, beyond the ether, slurped into black holes?
For as sure as there is C, plus Pascal, Lotus, Ashton-Tate and more,
You too, one day may these basic facts ponder, lost on some antediluvian shore,
Still pleading; “Abort, Retry, Ignore?

Quoth the Raven, «Je n'ai plus rien»: If I have offended anyone -- je renouvelle mes excuses et je vous pris de les accepter

le 3 décembre 1973: Pioneer 10 effectue le 1er vol autour de Jupiter (en passant à 130 000 kilomètres au-dessus la planète). Pioneer 10, la sonde américaine, est la première a donner des informations sur de Jupiter. Lancée le 3 mars 1973, Pioneer 10 est devenu la plus ancienne des sondes interplanétaires américaines. Pioneer 10 disappeared into space in January 1998 (Kuiper Belt). As everyone may remember, some years later it is captured by the borg collective, who retrofit it for a return voyage to earth, renaming her the Borg-Ship Vegan, and hiding the craft in a comet. It is intercepted at Ice-station Babylon by the cast of the Starship Ænterprise, where it is diverted to Doone thru a staregait manœuvre. There, it is set-up at quai-ballay to be forever revered as the mother of all secret stones. At least I think that's the story.

Added first several items, as well as a Taxing Poem on December 4, 2007 & a brief definition of the current economic outlook on October 8, 2008 {a.k.a. the October Surprise}. All else is from the pre-Y2K era, a gentle time. If I have offended anyone, mea culpa.

Quotes -- much more serious

If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that use, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive. — C.S. Lewis : Truth is heavy; therefore, few wear it. -- Midrash Shmuel on Avot: 4