Pandora Box

I spent a good portion of my life surrounded by dictionaries, encyclopedias, and technical manuals… and I still have a few, gathering dust on my library shelves.

Old books languishing on a shelf

Been naturally curious, each time I wanted to learn about something, I would pick a thick book and leaf through it looking for the information. It was a laborious process, leaving me often unsatisfied and hungering for more.

And one miraculous day, the skies opened, and the INTERNET (surrounded by trumpet- playing angels) appeared in a blaze of glory. For us, computer nerds, it was like the Second Coming.
It felt like opening the Pandora Box and feasting on forbidden fruits. We could look at everything without incurring anger, sarcasm, or mockery.

Today, miracle of miracles, you can find information about practically everything on earth. The Internet loosened the grip of the clerics on our daily lives and set us free.
Nothing is taboo or too sacred to question anymore. Ask and you shall receive!

Let’s say that you buy a new appliance or any gadget that you have to assemble before using it. Especially when the product comes from the Far East, the owner manual can be minuscule and difficult to comprehend.

You then turn to YouTube looking for better instructions, and 9 times out of 10 you will find various versions of what you are looking for. You can also download the manual and look at it more comfortably on a large computer screen.

When I say that you can find anything that you are looking for, I really mean it. I was somewhat taken aback at one point when I came across young women discussing and demonstrating various sexual practices. I am not prude, but I was surprised.

If you are curious about masturbation or oral sex, these young women will describe in great details the best way to go about it. Don’t laugh, it is never too late to learn how to do things correctly.

There was a time when you could only get an education through colleges and universities. Not anymore. Now, thanks to the Internet, I believe that you could bypass colleges and become an expert on practically any subject on your own.

Now I wonder… Is the Internet competing with the Almighty? It has more ads, but many people find it far more responsive than God. I believe that considering his age the Old Man has to take more naps than anybody else.
And the Internet never sleeps…

By the way, “You wanna be worshipped? Go to India and moo.”

 Alain

Autumn leaves

We are only in mid-September, but marauding winds have already struck our field, bringing down hundreds of drowsy leaves.
With 7 large healthy trees (planted years ago by the likes of Louis Toulon and Charles Davantes) we arguably have one the nicest field in the Bay Area. But like a prized heirloom, it requires a lot of care, especially before a tournament.

Starting in September, it seems to be futile to scrub the playing areas when you know that the next gale will bring all the previous efforts to naught.
Why should we attempt to remove the leaves anyway? A bare field looks cold and shivering while a blanketed area looks cozy and appealing…
If some people can play in driving rain, I don’t see why we could not play on a golden blanket.

Because there is magic in a carpet of autumn leaves. It redecorates the courts in many unexpected ways, and it looks like it would almost be sacrilegious to tamper with nature’s work.

“If only humans could die like the autumn leaves, with a splash of beauty and the promise of another season”. ― Shana Chartier

Like a child, I revel in strolling in dead leaves. I like the rustling and the faint scent emanating from the ground. And walking with a pet or a loved one makes it even better.

Fall officially starts on September 23, 2019, but Mother Nature does not care about men-made rules. It does as it pleases…
Fall is also chestnuts time. I still remember the delicious scent of the roasted chestnuts sold in the streets of Paris. They were wrapped in old newspapers cones and never tasted so good…

In my book, any food consumed outdoors tastes twice as good as anything eaten inside. That’s why hospital patients should be taken outside to eat their drab servings. They would get well twice as fast and cut their hospitalization expenses in half.

If somebody would be enterprising enough to roast “châtaignes» on the field, he/she mightget enough traction to get elected to any public office.
Wouldn’t it be fun to have a “châtaignes” hootnanny?

In the meantime, I am dying to know of what really happened in Portland?
How many people showed up? How many stayed in spite of the rain?
How did our people fare? How do you deal with a floating cochonnet?

Being an active participant to this event was good, but what was glaringly missing was a dedicated reporter/photographer. I wonder who could have done the job?

Alain

Anni horribiles

The title above is, if I am not mistaken, the plural form of annus horribilis (an expression made famous by Queen Elizabeth).

The so-called Golden Years can be more horribilis than golden… unless you keep updating your brain with the latest version of the “young thinking” app. I recommend selecting “automatic updates” in the “settings” area of your cerebrum to avoid missing anything.
Just like your computer, your brain will be brought up to date regularly and will be kept working more efficiently.

By the way… excuse me for asking, but are you an old dude?

It depends. You are only as old as you act. If you shuffle your feet when walking, you are definitely old. If while sitting in a café terrace you still read a newspaper instead of abusing your phone, you also qualify. If you don’t look at the girls anymore, you are almost dead.
But if you fall asleep in your Tesla while on the freeway, you are not old. You are young, stupid and close to death.

Age is a state of mind; it does not represent the number of years that you have lived. It is the way you look at the world. Anybody witnessing a certain scene memorizes a different vision of what actually happened.

A young person witnessing such an event sees something different than an octogenarian… unless the old dude has managed to remain progressively thinking.

When you feel old age creeping up on you, buy new toys. It is the best medicine. Buy a drone, a virtual Reality Headset, a car, an island, a boy toy or a trophy wife… It will distract you for a while and prevent you from getting down in the dumps…

Dying is like coming to the end of a long novel–you only regret it if the ride was enjoyable and left you wanting more.  Jerome P. Crabb

If you don’t want to have any regret when you buy the farm, keep busy and keep mingling with young people. You could teach them a thing or two and they in turn, will keep you updated on what to wear and what to say.

You don’t need to know the exact meaning of some tech expressions, but you have to remember some so that you can drop them when you feel overwhelmed.

I recommend biobreak, meatspace, yoyo mode, legacy media, biometrics, cloud computing, wearables, brainjacking…

Take your pick and use any of those words when you feel snowed under. It will impress the kids and give a needed boost.

Alain