It *can't* be that easy, can it?

So I suggested we wait a couple of weeks, and was met with furious pleading to go sooner. Jeffrey’s attitude about the movie is much like Jason’s:

And I have to admit that I’d like to see the movie, too.

So I gave the problem some thought, and realized that the world had moved on since 1996 — that I could buy tickets from the comfort of my own home and avoid the long lines at the theatre. A quick trip to Fandango followed, and now we’re the proud owners of three tickets to a weekend showing of the movie in question. Sure, there was a service charge of $1/ticket — but I would cheerfully pay more to avoid the insane lines at the local theatres!

(Oh, in case any of you don’t recognize the comic and to give credit where credit is due, it’s Bill Amend‘s Foxtrot.)

What? There's another kind of router?

Diane’s brother and his wife are both computer hardware folks by trade (though she’s gone into management) at a second-generation offspring of what used to be Ma Bell. I called them today to set up some travel plans, but Pete wasn’t in at the time — Debbie said he’d gone out to buy a router.

I immediately said, “Get a Linksys”.

There was dead silence on the other end of the line, which surprised me no end; I was going to add the model number, and then it hit me, and I asked, “bits or wood?”, to which Debbie replied “carpentry”.

Oh. That might explain why he went to Sears, I guess.

My brain isn't as wrinkly as I thought

We had 90 minutes to answer the questions; frankly, I thought we did pretty well to get through all 400 questions in the alloted time. No multiple choice, either — these were all fill-in-the-blank questions.

Some of them were easy for at least one of us (for example: What does the Brannock Device measure?). Some were easy for all of us (Name the two moons of Mars).

And then there were the rest of the questions. We worked together and figured some out; we guessed at some; we didn’t have time even to try others. We figured out a few after sealing up the envelope to mail it back (oh, well). Some are still popping into my mind (too little, too late). And there are many others for which I still haven’t a clue, though I do have Google (What is pogonip?)!

And there are some I can’t figure out, even with Google, such as this one: “In 1994, who refurbished World War II planes, complete with flight attendants appropriately attired and old issues of Life and Saturday Evening Post?” — time to ask a librarian! (or wait for the corrected papers to come back in the mail sometime next month….)

This was definitely an exercise in frustration and humility. I’m looking forward to doing it again next year.

Not exactly Beach Blast weather

Like his elementary school, Jeffrey’s middle school has an annual spring carnival and fund-raiser. The one at the elementary school is named the Fantasy Faire, and we started going there well before he started school. We didn’t even know about the carnival at the middle school until last year; I thought we’d be going there this year.

The carnival is tonight; the theme is “Beach Blast”; the temperature is 54 degrees. We’re staying inside where it’s warm!

Shabbat Shalom!

Google vs. Librarians

Here’s my answer:

I use Google because it’s always there and I can usually find a good enough answer in just a couple of minutes — and often, it’s for something that I wouldn’t *want* to disturb an actual human being for (an example that came up today at lunch: “What is the original name of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico and when did it get renamed?” — a five-second Google search gives the answer, which is less time than it would take to dial the library and say “Hello”)!

When I have a HARD problem, I turn to a professional — but I’m happy to do the easy stuff myself. This holds for household maintenance as well as information retrieval…but the consequences of screwing up information retrieval aren’t usually as messy.

Librarians do a wonderful job of bringing order from chaos and guiding people in difficult searches — but sometimes, all you need is one piece of information, and Google does a nifty job of finding it fast if you can just ask the right question.

And it’s gone!

I see that Mark Pilgrim has removed the misinformation about the pronunciation of “Henrico”. I’m glad to have done my small bit for the integrity of the Web. :-)