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2 February 2003
Wait. Did she really just say Ghengis Khan? I steal a glance at my t-shirt: am I obliviously wearing a picture of a rapacious Mongol? No, no I’m not.
3 February 2003
Such is life
Falling over seven times
And getting up eight.
Having read A Lover’s Discourse long ago, I’ve often remembered the poem at the end of that passage and have quoted it many times to friends. Today, though, I happened to read the book again and was surprised to find I’ve been quoting the poem wrongly. In my version the poem ends with the word six not eight — a mistake that radically changes its meaning.
The way I’ve always remembered it, the poem is about death; it’s about the final time you fall, the first and last time you fail to get up. It says: life consists of falling and getting up and falling and getting up until you finally don’t get up any more and it’s over. It makes me think of Beckett, for like Beckett it turns its own bleakness on its head: getting up is like going on; it is the thing we cannot do but do anyway, being unable to do otherwise.
12 February 2003
Error messages are often not very informative. “Error code 29” doesn’t really tell the user much about what’s going on. However, this is not always the case. Recently spotted in my Trillian logs:
Error logging into AIM: Error code 29: We think this means the AIM/ICQ servers are sick of seeing connections from your IP address. Wait a few minutes and try again.
Isn’t it nice to know computers can get as sick of us as we do of them?
14 February 2003
Well, that was easy.
16 February 2003
It’s true. Netscape DevEdge redesigns, shows off web standards. Lots of good stuff in there, including blue lizards. Nice work!
17 February 2003
Perhaps I was a little premature - a fix is out for MT 2.6 and 2.61.
Ah, the joys of early adoption.
22 February 2003
28 February 2003
On this occasion I awoke to the sense that there was a large menacing presence approaching me silently out of the gloom, so I opened my eyes, and there it was! A LARGE SILENT MENACING PRESENCE WAS APPROACHING ME OUT OF THE GLOOM, AND IT COULD FLY!!!
Somewhere in the control room of my mind a fat little dwarf in a security outfit was paging through a Penthouse while smoking a cigar with his feet up on the table, watching the security monitors of my brain with his peripheral vision. Suddenly he saw the LARGE SILENT SINSITER MENACING FLOATING PRESENCE coming at me, and he pulled every panic switch and hit every alarm that my body has. A full decade’s allotment of adrenaline was dumped into my bloodstream all at once. My metabolism went from “restful sleep mode” to HOLY SHIT! FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE OR DIE!!!! mode” in a nanosecond. My heart went from twenty something beats per minute to about 240 even faster.
I always knew this was going to happen. I always knew that skepticism and science were mere psychological decorations and vanities. Deep in our alligator brains we all know that the world is just chock full of evil and monsters and sinister forces aligned against us, and it is only a matter of time until they show up. Evolution know this, too. It knows what to do when the silent terror comes at you from out of the dark.
When 50 million years worth of evolutionary survival instinct hits you all at once flat in the gut at 200 mph it is not a pleasant sensation.
Without volition I screamed my battle cry (which is indistinguishable to the sound a little girl makes when you drop a spider down her dress (not that I’d know what that sounds like,)) and lept out of bed in my underwear.