The Blob

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

Cool sites of the day

Someone passed along two great sites worth checking out. One is a technical tour de force. Try it and you'll see what I mean.

The other is simply a great site, from Jeff Bridges, the motion picture actor. I always liked him as an actor, but judging from what I've seen on his site, the guy totally gets it. Check it out. I think you'll enjoy his approach to the Web. It's fresh and personal.


You can learn a lot from a pet

It's amazing how we tend to ignore our pets. After all, they're just animals, right? And we're big, smart humans. Um, no. I don't believe that at all. Say what you will about how humans can walk on two feet, have opposable thumbs and can do the New York Times crosswords. But when I think of humans, I think of our deceit, our conceit, our greed and lack of apparent ethics. Let me boil this down into some words you may understand: Ken Lay. Dennis Koslowski. Osama bin Laden. All of a sudden, Java the Cat and Shadow the Dog start to look pretty smart.

I know mine does. The sad thing is, most of us take what animals can offer us for granted. Sure, your pet is a good friend, a fun diversion, and makes you look more proper with the neighbors. But so does your car or furniture.

No, I'm talking about something much more. Think about it: who is more loyal to you than your dog or your cat? Who thinks of you as the most important person in the world? Who will love you through thick and thin? Who would not lie to you? Take it from me: it won't be Leona Helmsley.

That's why I pay a lot of attention to Java, my little Ocicat. She never lies to me. She's taught me the value of dedication, of responsibility, of taking time to play, of not taking life too seriously, and the value of getting enough sleep. Trust me, nobody knows the art and value of long naps more than a cat.

Cats and dogs don't lie. They always find a way to be happy. They don't need fancy things to keep them entertained - a tennis ball, a straw or a piece of string will do nicely. A little attention would not hurt. And taking time for love, for play and for remembering each other is what is important to them.

Taken that way, there's a lot we can learn from our four-legged friends. They might look simple to you, but in my way of thinking, they have never forgotten the important things that we have. Instead of retreating to the couch, they beg us to go outside. Instead of turning inward, they encourage us to socialize. Instead of being grouchy in the morning, they're totally excited about every new day.

So who's smarter? Man or beast? No doubt about it. There's a lot we can learn from our pets. If we did, maybe the world wouldn't be in the sorry state that it is.

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Okay, say it again slowly so I can understand

Is it just me, or is everyone in the US of A forgetting how to speak English? No, I'm not talking about the wealth of foreign languages spoken here. I won't even go there. I'm talking about really deadly foreign languages: Corporatespeak. Businesstalk. MBASpeak. Jargonese. Acronymus non interruptus.

You know who you are.

Here's an example. I just got an e-mail at work with the following text inserted:

Clarification: It was NOT our intention that the project for OB be used in lieu of the usual panels, etc. The panels are for referring the IW to centers for medical treatment. I believe that since MN is an MCO state (only 4 MCO's certified in the state), if the employers of OB participate in an MCO arrangement.


So let me get this straight: you want me to talk to OB about MN and make sure that it is an MCO state with PPOs and HMOs using IT for IW, OK?

What? You didn't understand that? I don't either.

And that's just the point. We don't speak English anymore. It's all this corporatespeak. Jargon. Abbreviations. Technogibberish. Stuff only a select few understand. Are we trying to exclude everyone else? Or create a society where people are annointed as high priests for the secret language that they know?

I don't think it's too much to ask that we speak in something approaching plain English. It's getting pretty scary out there.

Sunday, September 15, 2002

Consider this

At this very moment, somewhere in a 10 mile radius of you, 12 people are achieving an orgasm.

You are not one of them.