True, oh so true

This months Wired Magazine has a column by J. Bradford DeLong discussing the productivity of computers. He writes:

In the spring of 1994, I wiped the game Civilization off my office computer. I wiped it off my home PC. I wiped it off my laptop. I threw away the original disks on which it had come. It was clear to me that I had a choice: I could either have Civilization on my computers, or I could be a deputy assistant secretary of the US Treasury. I could not do both.

Sigh. Been there, done that. Kind of nice to see that this happens to people in high places. In the future, it would be neat to see a President impeached over playing too much Everquest.


First they came for the handwriting analysists…

According to Slashdot, cursive writing is going the way of the dodo. I’ve been talking about this for a few years now. I haven’t written in cursive since 3rd grade, save for my signature. It appears from the comments that I’m not alone. I have easily written more in Graffiti than I have in cursive in my lifetime.

Not only has my skill in cursive gone away, but my ability to use a writing implement has gone away. Since I’ve stopped judging debate on a regular basis, I’ve had little reason to use a pen. When I need to take notes at bord meetings or if I’m judging the occasional speech round now, I do it on my laptop. I can type faster than I ever could write, and flowing with a laptop is easier to read and faster than flowing on paper.

Cursive is going the way of shorthand….actually, it already has. There is no reason to teach it anymore. There will be those who will lament that fact that kids won’t learn cursive anymore and will sigh for the good ol’ days. They can have it. Gimme my keyboard.

On a side note, this report came from the “International Association of Master Penmen, Engrossers and Teachers of Handwriting”. I’m amazed that such an organization even exists. Please note the following paragraph from the CBS News article on the subject:

Nabeel Khaliq, an 11-year-old sixth-grader from Mississauga, Ontario, comes from a family of cursive enthusiasts and can’t imagine not writing. He took first place in his age category in the 2002 World Handwriting Contest, sponsored by the Albany, N.Y.-based Handwriting for Humanity club.

I’m not sure which of the following stupifies me more: “cursive enthusiasts”, “World Handwriting Contest”, or “Handwriting for Humanity”.


My gift to the world

Ladies and Gentlemen. After a great deal of experimentation, I give you to and the world my contribution to the science of mixology: Gary’s Sour Caesar.

  • 1 shot of gin
  • 1 shot of lemon juice
  • 1 can of diet coke

Enjoy and remember to drink responsibly!


Washington Week in Review

The tournament in Washington was better than expected on the whole, but I wish we had gone a bit farther in extemp. The team placed in the Top 5 in Speech and the top 5 overall (speech + debate). We also had a finalist in prose/poetry and a national champion in Oratory. Tim only made quarterfinals in extemp (top 24) but I think I have a much better idea of the style which is required to do well there now.

I was going to stay an extra day, but I was unable to change my ticket. As such, I wasn’t able to see any sights. In our hotel, there was also a rally of Vietnam Veteran bikers who were there for a Memorial day ride from the Pentagon to the Mall. High school kids and bikers make for an interesting mix.



So much for updating the site more frequently.

I’m off to Washington Tomorrow for the CFL (Catholic Forensic League) Grand National Tournament. The irony of the tournament is: 1) Its not very Catholic (mostly public schools), 2) its not very national (mostly east coast and Midwest schools), and 3) its not very grand. I’ll be with the Apple Valley contingent, in particular, with our one extemper, Tim Hogan. (who, you might be interested to know won the State Tournament this year.)

I’ll probably stay in Washington a few days and try to get more National Park sites for my quest. I’ve been to Washington a bunch of times, and I’m still a total mark for all the history stuff thats on the Mall. You can easily blow a day in all the Smithsonian Museums and monuments.

I was pretty disappointed with the season finale of 24. What bothered me about it was all the ads the ran about how there was going to be some incredible plot twist that was going to change television forever. The entire episode was predictable, cept in the last 60 seconds, the President gets killed. I’d have preferred that they treat each 24 season as its own self contained story line and not have one season spill over into the next. Its supposed to be 24, not 48.

I’ve seen Matrix Reloaded twice now. I had to see it again just to catch the stuff I missed the first time. After the first watching, I thought that Zion was part of the Matrix. After the 2nd viewing, I am now convinced that it is not. I don’t think there is a definite answer that can be derived from the 2nd film, however. I liked their explaination for “the one”. The key to understanding the movie I believe isn’t so much in philosophy, but in programming. “The One” and Zion is nothing more than error handling.