Sunday, March 18, 2007

My Twilight Zone – Making irony fun again

I always wanted a hot tub. Always. I couldn’t imagine how anyone with a hot tub could ever be unhappy. I couldn’t imagine why anyone with a hot tub would ever leave it for longer that it took to fetch back a fancy tropical umbrella-drink. When the time came that I had excess income, of course I bought a hot tub. It was great, everything I’d imagined: a warm swishy cocoon of constant joy.

Not longer after that I started getting red, itchy, dry, scabby, skin problems.

Oh damn! Turns out that anything but the briefest touch of tepid water causes my skin to flair up with eczema. Isn’t it ironic? Dontcha think?

Irony is no fun, especially when it happens to oneself. Let’s change that. Let’s make irony fun again. Let’s make a game out of it.

The game shall be called My Twilight Zone. In My Twilight Zone (a.k.a. MTZ) the goal is for you to create, with the help of your parlor friends, an episode of Twilight Zone that best represents you. With enough understanding of yourself you will be able to describe an introduction, a couple of acts, and an ironic twist at the end (or creepy, or surprise, or this-sucks, but preferably ironic), along with opening and closing statements by a smoking Rod Serling narrator. It’s a fun little get-to-know-yourself-and-your-friends-better game. Or maybe it’s just gay. Same thing.

I can hardly see making an entire MTZ episode out of my hot tub story (fascinating and educational thought it may be). For a good MTZ I need to dig deeper into the real me, into what makes me tick--or what I think makes me tick.

I quite often claim that people are generally annoying and wish I were alone. Just me and nobody else. Doing what I want. Nobody to have to talk to, to argue with, to entertain, to console, to take up my time. So in my episode of MTZ here’s what happens: I’m introduced as someone who wants to be left alone to program, read, walk, play guitar, or just plain watch TV, but nice, well-meaning people keep interrupting my peaceful loneliness. Rod walks in, presents me, for consideration, as the man who wants to be left alone, all alone, and is about to get that wish fulfilled in “The Twilight Zone”. Through some strained contrivance I’m able to send everyone else on the planet to some happier place (I want to be nice in how I get rid of the entire human race; I’m not evil). Then I have it. I’m alone. For a while it’s all I ever wanted. And then what happens but my eczema starts to flare up again—perhaps I’ve been wandering alone too long in the dessert (where the cinematographer chooses to film part of this episode for the nice visuals showing how very alone I am)—and I start to itch. First the itching is just in my legs, and then hands. Eventually the itching reaches my back--not just any part of my back but those few square inches I cannot reach no matter how hard I stretch my arm down from the top or up from the bottom. It’s a constant itch I just can’t scratch and there’s nobody, nobody, no body, to scratch it for me. No. No. Noooooooooo!

That’s My Twilight Zone.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

The week Google stopped being evil

Computer programmers can all join me in joyful celebration this week because Google has stopped being evil: Google has decided give us back our respect by finally charging money for software with Google Apps Premier Edition.

During most of my 20+ years in the industry, computer programming was a noble profession. We worked hard, and if we made good product we charged money for our efforts, got paid, got laid, bought shoes for our kids, and so on. All that started to change when Google exploded with wealth based on giving everything away for free. Suddenly it appeared that all software would be given away for free--a programmer's output wasn't worth money anymore. Even worse, Google's formula for success wasn't based on programming at all, it was based on advertising. Advertising! No longer were programmers smart, noble, hard workers, in league with Einstein and Turing and Knuth. We were now just ad-men, like Darren Stevens but without the hot witch-wife! (Sorry, Amy, I mean other programmers-turned-advertisers don't have the hot witch wife.) And all this was Google's fault. Google was being evil.

But now Google has seen the wickedness of their ways. They aren't giving it all away for free anymore. Software is respectable again. Google has been exorcized of it's evil. Hallelujah!

(Am I going to have to start paying for keyhole again? Oh, crap!)

My Second First Blog

This is my second attempt to enter the blogger age. Less than a week ago I started with vox, but that made me unhappy because people couldn't respond to my provocative posts with comments without logging in. So now blogger gets its chance. I've also heard that blogger does ad-revenue sharing, so I can also get rich from that nano-cents I receive on every ad dollar. Here come the dough.