Things I Believe

He who hesitates is lost. You can tell because he's looking at a map.

It's no use crying over spilled milk. Acid, however, is worth a complete breakdown.

Let sleeping dogs lie. But torture the cats for the truth.

Many hands make light work. But electricity makes lights work.


When I am King: Fast-Forward Progress

When I am King...

We will all have a fast-forward button for life.

Recently, a friend requested the ability to fast-forward through certain life events. It's possible that he was kidding, but since he was talking to the future monarch of our society, it seemed worth considering.

The problem with life is that it doesn't always not completely suck. There are some periods you go through, like grief, healing from injuries, and standing in line at the DMV, that simply take time and anguish. Wouldn't it be great if you could just mentally check out during these times and wake up later when they were all over?

Some lucky people don't have this problem; they clearly checked out years ago and won't be coming back anytime soon. But for the rest of us, why must we suffer these episodes?

Life offers its own fast-forward system already. It's called "getting old." This is the process by which everything seems to happen faster as you get old. A year in school to a kid feels like forever, but a year on the job thirty years later rockets by like a duck through a jet engine. This is a natural reaction to aging. Our body realizes that as we age there is simply more going wrong, so making everything seem faster will make it all better somehow. It's the same reason why punk and speed metal are set to fast tempos.

This current system works, so that the downer periods don't last as long as they might. But we still have to go through them. And since the acceleration applies both to awful events and to the few that aren't as bad, we don't benefit from being able to skip the ones that are worse and focus on the handful that are reasonable. It's a coarse approach, meant to get us to the finish line faster, not to make the journey there any more pleasant.

What we really need is a button that lets us select the periods to skip.

When I am King, we will all have a fast-forward button that allows us to skip past things that we don't like. Just hit the button and watch everything speed past until we want to wake up again. So many things in life will become more bearable: debilitating illnesses, workouts at the gym, tedious conversations, traffic, and most TV shows will breeze by, and we can slow down for the things that we really enjoy: sleeping and watching movies.

One of the difficulties that my scientists are still working on is the remote. When fumbling for the fast-forward button, it is all too common to hit the Stop or Eject button instead, and then the show's over.


CodeDependent: The Clothing Line for Geeks

For no good reason at all, I decided that geeks need more T-shirts and that I need to provide them. Fortunately, I don't have to pit my sewing skills against such a high goal; I'll just let CafePress do it for me.

Here's the first such effort, "codedependent" (available in various colors/styles - see the site for the full array):

Things I Believe

Time for more proverbs. Or at least semi-pro verbs:

A friend in need is a friend in debt.

A good man is hard to fine.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. So don't even start or you'll be walking for friggin' ever.

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. But not as dangerous as a little dynamite.

A penny saved is a penny earned, but if you're counting each cent, you're screwed.


Little Jokes for Sunday

Sunday is, for many people, a day to ponder the great issues about life and mortality. Important questions come to mind, like Why are we here? Did I turn the burner off before I left the house? And of course, Should I have a sixth donut?

It seems appropriate to provide, on this day of personal reflection, some zombie jokes.

Q: How can you tell the difference between a corpse and a zombie?
A: One is deceased, the other de-ceased.

Q: How can you tell when a zombie's embarrassed?
A: They soil themselves.

Q: Why can't you trust zombies?
A: They're always hatching a plot.

Q: What's a zombie's favorite kind of fruit?
A: Any kind of bury.

Q: How do the dead see?
A: Gravesite.


When I am King: Solving Resolving

When I am King...

New Years resolutions will be more achievable.

I’ve written about this on multiple occasions. But since New Years keeps coming around like a bad hangover (in fact, exactly like a bad hangover), I resolved to make another pass at it.

Every New Years, people feel compelled to come up with resolutions: proposed behaviors that fly in the face of everything they’ve done so far in life. They’re going to go to the gym, even though they’ve belonged for a decade and never crossed the threshold after joining. They’re going to eat a better diet... right after their third Twinkie. They’re going to solve world hunger, even though their personal food consumption makes it physically impossible for everyone else to get enough.

These resolutions do nothing except make us feel guilty. How can one simple statement about eating right counter forty years of habit plus a couple hundred pounds of proof to the contrary? And do we really need to add this extra obligation and ensuing feeling of failure to our already tenuous and unhealthy lifestyle? Wouldn’t we do better to just accept who we are and be happy about it? Or at the very least, we could shoot for something more reasonable and be satisfied with achievable goals. Then we can get back to the dessert buffet.

Typical resolutions come in the form of vague and all-encompassing setups for failure, along these lines:
  • I resolve to help the needy
  • I resolve to be kind to my neighbor
  • I resolve to not get divorced
  • I resolve to spend more time with my children
  • I resolve to eat healthier
  • I resolve to lose weight
  • I resolve to exercise
When I am King, people will nail down the particulars of their resolutions better, in a more helpful and more achievable fashion. For example, the above resolutions could be better written as follows:
  • I resolve to help the needy, unless they haven’t gotten a job yet and are still panhandling.
  • I resolve to be kind to my neighbor, unless they don’t move that dead car off my curb.
  • I resolve to not get divorced, unless she uses my razor again.
  • I resolve to spend more time with my children, unless they become teenagers or I'm really busy.
  • I resolve to eat healthier, unless dessert looks really good.
  • I resolve to lose weight, unless dessert looks really good.
  • I resolve to exercise, unless it’s really inconvenient to get to the gym or it interferes with some TV show or I just don’t feel like it.
With these kinds of resolutions that everyone can achieve, or at least have a handy excuse for not doing so, we will become a more mentally fit and emotionally satisfied society. Then we can spend our energy on the things that really matter, like dessert.