April 29, 2008
Earlier this week, I was driving home from work and I saw a bumper sticker that said, “Trees are the answer.” My first thought was, of course, “What’s the question?”
What is the meaning of life? Trees. What time is the meeting this afternoon? Trees. How did you make those delightful raspberry tarts from last week’s poetry reading? Trees. What number am I thinking of? Trees. How can we reverse the damage mankind has done to Earth since the Industrial Revolution? Tre- …nah, that’s ridiculous.
Immediately following, my next thought was, “Wait, shouldn’t that be ‘Trees is the answer’?” Or maybe “Trees are the answers“? Even “Tree is the answer” would work. Grammatically speaking, multiple trees can’t be the one answer. On the other hand, I suppose the concept of trees and what they represent could be the answer. Or simply the word “Trees” could be the answer. Given the opportunity, I probably would have slightly altered the phrasing to “Whatever our problems are, a large part of the solution involves trees and their various attributes & roles.”
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve said “[plural noun] is the answer” in the past, along with countless other similarly phrased sentences, and I probably will again in the future. That’s the phrasing that sounds correct to me. I’m just not sure that it technically is correct.
That bumper sticker was a failure.
April 10, 2008
In our ongoing quest to conquer the free world, we members of Fuor have taken to storming the beachheads on a personal, individual level. At this point, that basically just means blogging, and trying to get our online personas slightly more notable.
While it’s a largely subjective concept, one way to quantitatively track your online fame is to see how high you rank on search engines.
For instance, the super-net guru of Fuor/ninja/best friend, Josiah Platt is the third return you get when you type “Josiah” into Google. It might not sound like a huge deal, but trust me, it is. One that he’s spent a significant amount of time and effort bringing to fuition.
I, on the other hand, am the 99th Caleb. Right at the bottom of the 10th page. Not exactly anything to scoff at, because Caleb is a fairly popular name, but it leaves me lots of room to move up. “Caleb White,” on the other hand, lands me right at the top of the search returns.
Charles is impressively the 10th return on a search of his name. Impressive because Charles Williams is a pretty common name, and it is also the name of an early-20th century British author. One of my father’s favorites, I might add.
Ryan is the first search return with his full name, but searching either just “Ryan” or “Loewe” he’s completely off the radar. But, his site doesn’t actually exist yet really, so that’s not terribly surprising.
Now, dear Brett has some obstacles to overcome. Not sure if it’s a hit on Brett or further praise to Josiah, but when one searches “Brett Tilford” on Google, Josiah Platt is the first return. Brett Tilford.com is, interestingly enough, fifth on the list.
Josiah got a little carried away with his conquering.
April 6, 2008
Flying back from South Carolina this past Friday, I made a quick stop in the airplane lavatory at the very back of the plane. As I was walking back to my seat, I passed four people with their laptops open. One of them was watching X-Men 2. The other three were playing Solitaire.
3.4GB of processing power at it’s best.
March 18, 2008
March 4, 2008
The other day I was talking about something from my early childhood – I don’t remember what it was – and I absentmindedly added, “Yeah, that was probably 20 years ago.” Twenty years.
It feels weird to be able to vividly remember something that happened 20 years ago. I was at my cousins’, watching in terrified awe as they jumped from the third step of their staircase to the carpet miles below. I was sitting on the back of Mom’s bike, soaring through the Duck Creek Greenbelt in the early morning with the lingering taste of Raisin Bran still on my lips. I was filling a lapse between Super Mario Bros. and Gyromite by watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I was living on Sycamore in Garland, falling asleep in my firetruck bunk bed to Dad gently singing House at Pooh Corner.
Twenty years ago.
I don’t feel like I have twenty years’ worth of memories to pull from. But, I can’t think of another span of time that sounds more appropriate. It just feels strange to have my conscious existence summed up so concisely. To me, it wasn’t twenty years ago, it was at the beginning. The beginning of me. The beginning of everything.
That period in my life doesn’t move, but it keeps getting further away. I will always have been four years old in March 1988, but not so long ago that was 15 years ago. Not so long ago, it was 10 years. Not so long ago, it was last week.
I can still taste the Raisin Bran.
February 18, 2008
There comes a point in every young man’s life when he looks in the mirror and suddenly the face looking back at him isn’t a child’s. The face he finds himself staring into is that of maturity and adulthood. The face of a man.
Or so they tell me.