Chips Off the Workbench

Welcome to my verbal webcam. It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, as I’ve been busy with work and the upcoming race Across the Years. Meanwhile, here are a few thoughts that pass through my eccentric mind.

  • When people ask me why I run so much at my age I tell them I’m hoping to be the fittest person in the cemetery. (Wisecrack originally attributed to ultrarunner Walt Stack.)
  • Have you ever noticed that the spelling of subtle is subtle?
  • My daughter lives in a town in southern Indiana that’s so small the mayor has to double as the village idiot.
  • It’s a good thing God didn’t supply bananas as manna to the Israelites. Then all the Moabites would have made fun of them, saying: “Na-na, na-na, nah, nah, you eat banana manna!”
  • The only people I’ve ever known to eschew so-called “higher education” (a slippery term to begin with, but that’s another thread), are those who don’t have any. I’ve never known anyone to learn something and then regret knowing it, except maybe a few who know hardly anything. Might there be a cause and effect relationship there?
  • There was a man who had three garages full of nothing but truckloads of sand and rock. Would you call him materialistic? Most people would say no; sand and rock has limited value. But why does he have three garages full of trucks?
  • It is not a Law of God that I Must Go To The Kitchen to get something to eat just because the idea crosses my mind.
  • Every trail runner knows knows: M&Ms that get carried in a waist pack on a warm day are no longer M&Ms; they become transformed to MNMNMNMMNMMNMNMNMs.
  • This morning, while thinking about Mozart, I reached over and pressed the play button on iTunes, which picked up in the middle of my own composition “What Good Is a Trombone Player?” (a theater piece for trombone, tape, and girl), which sounds uncannily like a herd of frightened cattle being led to slaughter. It made for an interesting segue.
  • There are programmers and there are programmers. I fall into the first category.
  • Novice computer users think they need fancy, expensive software to edit simple plain text, such as e-mail messages. Some users never get beyond using the mouse to cut and paste and the backspace key to delete. Not knowing how to edit a plain text document without a tool like Word is like not knowing how to brush your teeth without an electric toothbrush. Having a software tool like Emacs (or Word) and still not knowing how to edit a plain text document (it happens) is like having an electric toothbrush and an electric razor but still not knowing how to brush your teeth or how to shave.
  • The news is so boring these days. High gas prices. Cannibals. More people washed out to sea in tsunamis. Z-z-z-z.
  • People use the expression “trophy wife.” I think of a trophy as something shiny, representing a conquest, but of little intrinsic value. Once I introduced myself to a friend of my wife with, “Hi, my name is Lynn. I’m Suzy’s trophy husband.”
  • Suzy and Cyra-Lea went with a group of twenty of our friends to see the musical Cats, which I detest. Suzy said that I wouldn’t have liked the production anyhow because they didn’t have a real orchestra. The music was canned. I replied: “I’m sorry to tell you this: not only that — those weren’t even real cats!”
  • I’m amused by US political officials who respond to the aggressive behavior of belligerent nations with threats to “take steps,” while no actual action is taken. “Okay Buster, you’d better cut that out or you’ll be sorry! I’m counting to 29,748,572,184,723,793,750,871,711,772,938,767,359,841,087,239,487,171 and if you haven’t stopped by then, you’re going to be in Big Trouble. I’ll be forced to take the Next Step! Wooooo!
  • Once a friend told me: “I’ve been thinking of getting into web design. I’ve got this neat site with lots of colors and fonts, a link to pictures of my dog, and get this: The title even blinks! It’s so cool! I could probably even make some money doing it for others who have no clue how easy it is!”
  • The same friend once sat himself down on our couch with my guitar and launched (uninvited) into a rendition of “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” followed by “Puff the Magic Dragon.” When he was done he said, “You’re probably wondering where I got all this talent.” Ummm … no, the question had not crossed my mind. A few months later he said, “So I’ve been thinking of going pro.” I had to respond: “Pro what?” He was an exterminator by trade. I wasn’t sure I wanted him in the house, because I didn’t know where he’d been or what he brought with him. (And now you know where all the flowers went!)
  • I know someone whose teenage son stays in his room all day, watching the 24-hour Wickedness Channel.
  • Try to keep him away from any tools more complicated than a wheelbarrow, or he’ll hurt himself.
  • Isn’t making a smoking section in a restaurant like making a peeing section in a swimming pool or a farting section in church?
  • It should be obvious that diets don’t work. Have you ever noticed that only fat people count calories?
  • After reading Raymond Chandler I start thinking like his characters talk. At the gym, upon seeing a pretty lady in tights, I thought: “Da goil has a derriere like a light bulb wid a crease in it! It gives a whole new meaning to da toim: da bottom line.”
  • Which reminds me … Y’know how some women have, like … watermelons? And some have cantaloupes, and others have grapefruits and some have oranges? Well this one had Mrs. Fields cookies with M&Ms in the middle.
  • When someone sends email saying “Here, run this .EXE file”, it’s like saying, “Turn around, grab your ankles, and trust me.”
  • The middle finger of the left hand, sometime used by crass persons to make rude gestures, on the home row of a QWERTY keyboard is on the letter ‘D’, which in many email clients, including mine, is mapped to a ‘delete’ command. So whenever I receive undesirable mail I just give ’em the finger.
  • People who know me recognize me as a fluent reader. There is one word that I cannot pronounce no matter how hard I practice, and I have practiced it many times: microscopist. So I hope I never have to read or discuss that subject with someone. But I happen to have a friend who is a professor of biology and an electron microscopist, so the likelihood that I can avoid it is small.
  • When I lived in New York I lived near a cheese store and would stop in about noon almost every Saturday to get some. Being adventurous I would try some weird stuff. One day I brought home a quarter pound of cheese so strong it looked like it was sweating. It took a month to consume.
  • I’ve never been the sort of person to fritter my money away on necessities.
  • Some people are afraid of challenging music because they think anything interesting must come from the Devil. Perhaps they should stock their libraries with recordings of gnats blinking and breathing.

About Lynn

o Writer and Editor o Computer Technologist o Composer o Ultrarunner
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