Monthly Archives: May 2006

There was more than one?

Last night, while cruising Best Buy looking for a phone and a new Me First CD, I saw something called “The Best of Don McLean“.

I thought to myself, “Hmm, they wouldn’t sell a blank CD, would they?” I picked it up, and sure enough, there were 10 songs on there. I didn’t know that guy made more than one song! Track 1 on the CD is American Pie – that anthem of nonsense and random ramblings having something to do with the deaths of several musicians and a ton of other stuff. But I’d never heard of any of the other songs on the CD.

I started wondering – if American Pie is his best, and these other nine songs are among his best, does that make them good, or simply not horrible?

I don’t think I’ll ever know, because a breakfast cereal has inspired me to aspire to greater hights. This cereal is CERTIFIED GOODNESS.

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t seen very many good things that have their goodness certified. Typically, you’ll get a personal recommendation from an aquaintance on the goodness of something, but a testimonial is not nearly the equal of a certification. I’ve had plenty of people tell me that something is the greatest thing ever, only to discover first-hand that it totally sucks. Pizza with pesto, for instance, or any show with John Ritter.

Speaking of whom, we have a new hire here, who looks like John Ritter, cast as a bum. He’s in QA. Will his goodness be certified?

It’s sunny, and I’m smiling

I went for a walk to the bank today, and experienced an unexpected delight.

The corporate section of Pleasanton is fairly deserted. During the heyday of the economic boom in the late 1990’s, new buildings were going up left and right. Business were growing, and new ones were moving in. Luckily, someone down in City Planning built nice large roads for all the workers to drive on.

Then, the boom ended shortly after Y2k. Some businesses shut down, others were aquired and moved. In this area, it left a number of empty buildings.

Which means, I can walk the half-mile to the bank, and see barely any cars driving through, and no pedestrians.

When I ride my motorcycle to work, I walk around to any errands I need to travel to. Usually, I’ll bring a book and read while walking – currently, Bastiat’s L’Etat, c’est toi!.

I walked up to an empty intersection and pressed the pedestrian button. As I did so, I looked to the left, and saw a Suburban driving up, driven by a lone woman. For a second, I thought, “I could just let her pass, then press the button.”

But I pressed anyway, and since she was too far from the intersection to be picked up by the traffic sensors, the light changed quickly. Hers Suburban’s tires howled as she slowed to a stop as her light turned red, and I tried not to smile visibly as I crossed in front of her.

Pedestrian: 1
Lone Suburban woman: 0

A very merry birthday

I had a very pleasant birthday, this last Saturday. Various members of my family came over, and we celebrated by doing a ton of house work. We cleaned up the backyard, built bunkbed frames, mounted shelves, and my mom cleaned up a bookcase, and a ton of dirty books.

I don’t remember all the details, but eventually we had a nice little party, with dump cake. My mom gave me a pair of slippers that look like huge hobo feet, and my sister gave me The Elements of Style, Illustrated. Hopefully, you’ll see my writing improve greatly as I go through the book, and I’ll pick up a sweet writing deal like my hero Maryanne.

It being Monday, I just received a new book I ordered two weeks ago from L’Etat – C’est Toi, by Frederick Bastiat. If you’ve never heard of Bastiat, well, I’ll quote from the back cover of the book, and let that speak for itself. Or for Bastiat. Loosly translated:

The 7th of October 1871, Flaubert wrote to George Sand: “In three years all the French will know how to read. Do you believe this will make us more advanced? Imagine, to the contrary, that in each community, there is a one bourgois, just one, who’s read Bastiat, and that this bourgois is respected… things would change!”

Now, I have no idea who Flaubert and Sand are, but I imagine that if Flaubert was some sort of commie, and was out pushing his commie ideas on innocent, unsuspecting communities, that a certain bourgois who’s read Bastiat would tell Flaubert to go pound sand. And then Sand would get pounded, and Sand wouldn’t be very happy at all.

’nuff said.