Tag Archives: quotes

Wah, wah, I didn’t think of it first

This morning, I was listening to Dan O’Brien’s talk at OSCon about evil.. Highly recommended listening, and *very* funny. One of the things he talked about was the quote by Mohandas Ghandi (or was it Eric Raymond?)

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

So, in that light, we have Bill Gates laughing at MIT’s $100 laptop project

“If you are going to go have people share the computer, get a broadband connection and have somebody there who can help support the user, geez, get a decent computer where you can actually read the text and you’re not sitting there cranking the thing while you’re trying to type,” Gates said.

This is great news on many fronts. It demonstrates that Mr. Gates is frightened by the prospect, and, of course, since clever platitudes are always true, it proves that MIT will eventually “win” in some sense, with universally available cheap computer hardware. Yay, MIT.

I need a cup of coffee I’ll feel better

I need a cup of coffee I’ll feel better

Name that quote. And no fair using the internet.

Very hard getting up this morning, and I’m not sure why. I wasn’t up terribly late, but I really had to get DNS working. Here’s a tip. When you update zone files on the wrong DNS server, they don’t propagate. A few months ago, I started migrating services off of my aging server onto a less-aging server, and forwarding ports at the router. I keep forgetting that I did that, and updating zone files on the old server. Unfortunately, this time around, it took me about 2 hours to figure that out, rather than the regular 10 minutes. I’ve replaced the named.reload script with a shell script that prints “Hey, genius, it’s on the other server now!” That should help.

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

Last night I watched Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. I got two boxes of DVDs for Christmas – one of old westerns, and the other of old “Science Fiction” movies, although at least half of these latter are rather spuriously classified as such. The Martians capture Santa Claus, because they want their kids to be happy. With a plot premise like that, it almost *has* to be a great movie.

“You can’t dismiss the wisdom of centuries.”
I can!”

Daddy’s girl

When the sun goes down and it’s getting late
You say it’s time for bed
She just takes her time
Acting like she never heard a word you said

Little baby wanna hold you tight
She don’t ever wanna say good night
She’s a lover, she wanna be daddy’s girl

When the morning comes
And it’s time to go start another day
She won’t let you leave, and she does her best
To try to make you stay

Pretty baby gonna start to cry
She don’t ever wanna say good bye
She’s a lover, she wanna be Daddy’s Girl

(Daddy’s Girl, Peter Cetera)

Yeah, it’s sappy. What can I say? My daughter is wonderful.

Don’t make it bad

… and finally …

This one is actually related to the song. I don’t know what high school music teachers usually use as their songs to teach with. Mine used Beatles songs. And, as very few of us had heard any of these songs, he also took the opportunity to tell long pointless stories about the various chemicals under whose influence he had initially experienced these songs.

Na na na na-na-na na, na-na-na na,
Hey Jude!

Mostly, that brings to mind interminable hours spent trying to sing Hey Jude just right so that he would be satisfied. He never was.

Who has come to slay the dragon?

… continued

Who’s come to slay the dragon?
Come to watch him fall?
Making arrows out of pointed words
Giant killers at the call?
Too much fuss and bother
Too much contradiction and confusion
Peel away the mystery
Here’s a clue to some real motivation

All there really is
The two of us
And we both know why we’ve come along
Nothing to explain
It’s a part of us
To be found within a song

(Different Strings, Rush)

In highschool, I played the role of Nicola in a production of Arms and the Man, by George Bernard Shaw. It’s a story which asks the question of whether there really can be heroes in a war, and who those heroes really are. Nicola is the servant of the house, who believes that he will marry Louka, who is a servant girl. Louka was played by Yvonne, who, although I wouldn’t say was my first girlfriend, was certainly the first girl I kissed.

NICOLA. Be warned in time, Louka: mend your manners. I know the
mistress. She is so grand that she never dreams that any servant
could dare to be disrespectful to her; but if she once suspects
that you are defying her, out you go.

LOUKA. I do defy her. I will defy her. What do I care for her?

NICOLA. If you quarrel with the family, I never can marry you.
It’s the same as if you quarrelled with me!

LOUKA. You take her part against me, do you?

I can still see the fire in her eyes when she said that. I, the humble, subservient servant, content, even happy with my place. She, the much younger, feisty servant girl, but with dreams of being something more.

Louka, in turn, is in love with Sergius. And Sergius is pledged to marry Raina. Sergius is the great war hero, come back from the war with great gallant stories of leading a charge into the teeth of the enemy. Or, if we believe the tale of another man who was at the charge, his horse got spooked and charged, while Sergius tried unsuccessfully to stop its charge.

MAN. You never saw a cavalry charge, did you?

RAINA. How could I?

MAN. Ah, perhaps not–of course. Well, it’s a funny sight. It’s like slinging a handful of peas against a window pane: first one comes; then two or three close behind him; and then all the rest in a lump.

RAINA (her eyes dilating as she raises her clasped hands ecstatically). Yes, first One!–the bravest of the brave!

MAN (prosaically). Hm! you should see the poor devil pulling at his horse.

RAINA. Why should he pull at his horse?

MAN (impatient of so stupid a question). It’s running away with him, of course: do you suppose the fellow wants to get there before the others and be killed?

Sergius was played by Modupe, who went on to join his country’s army, and, as far as I can gather, served at least bravely enough to make some dangerous enemies.

We would sit back stage between scenes, and this was the song that was playing. How we could completely ignore the play when we were not on, I’m not quite sure. We would sit on the mats which were on the little side-stage, off stage right, and whisper and joke while the show went on, on the main stage.

I liked the soft boot so much that I wore them much of that school term, even when not in practice. They were soft black leather boots, with soft soles. Very comfortable. And one day, Ms. Bakhda caught Modupe and me wearing our boots, rather than shoes which she considered more appropriate for school uniform, and gave us quite a talking to. Modupe was never one to take gently to being told off, and was more than a little disgruntled at this treatment. I wonder where he is, and what he’s doing now.

I don’t remember who played ‘The Man’. He, of course, ends up winning Raina’s heart, and Sergius marries Louka. Poor Nikola.

What happened to our innocence
Did it go out of style?
Along with our naivete
No longer a child
Different eyes see different things
Different hearts beat on different strings
But there are times
For you and me, when all such things agree

One down, one to go

Certain songs take me very powerfully to times in the past, and I’ve had opportunity to experience this a number of times in the last few weeks. Usually, the song itself has nothing whatever to do with the incidents that it reminds me of, but merely binds to that incident in my mind by virtue of having been being played at the time.

I can feel no sense of measure
No illusion as we take
Refuge in young man’s pleasure
Breaking down the dreams we make

The entirety of the album 90125, but most particularly “Leave it”, take me back to 1988 or thereabouts. Well, actually, not 1988, but the Pliocene Era. That’s right, the era which went from roughly 5 million to 2 million years ago. Because 90125 was the sound track when I was reading Julian May’s books “The Saga of Pliocene Exile”. It was a trilogy, although more recently he’s added a fourth book.

I laid on my bed for hours at a time, reading these books, while 90125 played again and again. Hey, there was precious little to do, and my music collection was rather limited. It was pretty much either that, Led Zeppelin, or Rush.

And so, now, whenever I hear the opening notes of “Leave It”, I am drawn to thoughts of The Many Coloured Land, and the tourists being drawn through the portal to the prehistoric time, unexpectedly inhabited by aliens with golden torcs.

If they ever make a movie of these books, they’ve *got* to use 90125 as the sound track.

Brother don’t you walk away

As I may have mentioned, my “alarm clock” is a Perl script which chooses one of my digitized CDs, in either MP3 or Ogg Vorbis, and plays it to wake me up.

This morning’s wake-up music was very appropriate, as we continue to mourn with our brothers and sisters on the other side of the planet.

Brother, Don’t You Walk Away, The Hooters.

He’s about my size and about my age
Down a different road, might’ve been my friend
But you never know how the road will bend

Now the wind blows hard through the holes in your cap
While I’m safe inside here in luxury’s lap

So you look at me with a look so real
As I turn away from the things I feel
Even here and now as I lie awake
Tell me how much difference can one man make

… Brother, don’t you walk away

So, while you think that you can’t make much difference, do something anyway, because together we can make a difference as our insignificant little bits add up.

I’ve rather intentionally avoided watching most of the footage from the areas affected by the tsunami. It’s just too heartbreaking. But to see the faces of the children is more than I can really bear. I don’t know how people can stand to watch this stuff night after night in their luxuriant livingrooms on their 54″ televisions. I realize that some folks become immune to the effects. I don’t think I ever can become that way, and, in a sense, for the sake of my very soul, I hope that I never do.


Tradition is democracy extended through time. Tradition means giving the vote to that most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. Tradition is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who are walking about.

G. K. Chesterton