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    February 28th, 2003

    I cannot remember the last time I actually bought a piece of software “off the shelf”. Nowadays, we think nothing of downloading an application, testing it for a trial period, then deleting it after it has expired or registering it online with a credit card.

    I did that very thing today, testing a new software application then choosing to register it. Here is the email I received in response (only the names have been changed to protect the unintentionally funny):

    We have received your registration application for (software). It may take a few days to process. In the meantime, please be assured that your tool will continue to function normally.

    Well, that’s a relief!


    February 28th, 2003

    This one will make you do a double-take. It is a very clever parody of the ubiquitous HTTP 404 error page tied in to current world events. Follow the link, then look at it closely.

    These Weapons of Mass Destruction
    cannot be displayed


    February 26th, 2003

    Americans love their gadgets, but we can’t hold a candle (or USB-powered lamp) to the Japanese. Recently, a picture of this little gizmo showed up on several tech websites. It is exactly what it looks like: a USB-powered Electric Toothbrush.

    My curiosity piqued, I did a little research and found the original site here. Sadly, I don’t read Japanese, so I sent the page through Babel Fish and came up with the following:

    tooth1.jpg <February 22nd of 2003 number >

    The strange item of new USB connection to appear, this time the electromotive toothbrush

    The electromotive toothbrush which operates with bus power of the USB. As for the USB bus power product of this kind the various products are sold, but “the toothbrush” is first this. COM satellite 3 the store remodels the general cheap electromotive toothbrush, individual guarantee (2 weeks) attaches and being something which is sold, “convenience to washing and the like the PC part detail” (the same store) with says.

    The original electromotive toothbrush (480 Yen / the junk to handle) it is the product which moves with single 3 dry cell battery 2, but because you remodel to USB exclusive use, in electric battery drive non- correspondence.

    In addition, when shop individual guarantee of 2 weeks is attached to the product, must be. The remodeling item say feeling at rest, it may be able to purchase.

    22 days (the Saturday) presently it is sold out, but 24 days (month) later the possibility that it re-arrives.

    Have this you must, though short is the warranty…!


    February 25th, 2003

    In the summer before I left for college, I was a “tech” for a summer stock production of Jesus Christ Superstar. I was helping to build the set on an outdoor stage. Because “Jesus” had to be lifted into the sky on a hydraulic lift at the end of the play, the set was high. Since I have absolutely no fear of heights (in fact, I have whatever may be called the opposite of acrophobia … acrophelia?), I was tasked with going out on a long wooden plank suspended between two very tall scaffolds in order to string heavy electrical cable along a steel bar that holds klieg lights. I was VERY HIGH UP!, and much too young too think about how short my life could be.

    I was not quite halfway across when suddenly I heard a CRASH! and I looked over to see that the electrical cable was snapping free of its moorings. SNAP!, CRASH!, SNAP!, CRASH!, it was detaching along the bar and heading toward me at a very fast speed. Imagine a one-inch thick black snake whipping toward you while you are balanced on 12-inches of wood. I couldn’t grab it, it was too heavy and moving too fast, and if I didn’t get out of the way it would wrap itself around me and pull me down to the stage below. As I have mentioned before, I was VERY HIGH UP! and the stage was very far down. Simply put, if I didn’t move my ass, I was going to die!

    The other scaffold was 25 to 30 feet away in the other direction. I had to move fast, but not too fast because, as I cannot stress enough, I was VERY HIGH UP!, moving along a wooden plank, while black death chased me along a narrow path. I couldn’t really run, I just had to WALK REALLY FAST!, sticking my arms straight out on either side for balance and rushing to the opposite scaffold like a rookie pilot trying to land an airplane.

    This all happened very rapidly, and it was only my youth and strength that allowed me to react and move so quickly. In my young life, I had probably never been closer to death, which utterly fails to explain why, as I was hustling as rapidly as possible away from a large black snake that wanted to pull me to my mortal end, VERY HIGH UP!, both arms sticking straight out like an airplane, my certain demise mere seconds away, that I began whooping like Curly from the Three Stooges.

    curly.jpgWhoop-oop-oop-oop-oop! Whoop-oop-oop-oop-oop!“. My fellow theater tech, safely ensconced on the scaffold towards which I was rushing, did not see the cable chasing me. He saw only a young man apparently taken mad, running toward him from VERY HIGH UP!, both arms stuck straight out and whooping like a loony bird. Honestly, I think he was more frightened than I was.

    Against all odds, I made it to the other side before the cable could get me. I hope never to have to stare death so squarely in the eye again, but if I do, I hope I can face it with similar collected calm and a clear sense of silliness.