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Friday Afternoon Scratchpad

Allow Me To Apologize In Advance

Until recently the Seattle Symphony only performed works by a single composer: The Brandenburg Concertos, The Art of Fugue, The Goldberg Variations, etc. But when audiences started complaining about the lack of variety, the conductor decided to think outside of the Bachs.


One of my coworkers is deaf. When we see each other in the hall, I always greet him by silently mouthing the word "hi" instead of just saying it. I'm fully aware of how stupid this is but can't seem to break the habit.


Whoa, addictive.

My life as a dwarf.

Actual billboard. Not an actual billboard.

Amazing True Fact: Babies Are Adorable!

Our friends have a two year-old daughter named A., who's at the stage where speech revolves around stock, sing-song phrase like "Da-da!" and "uh-oh!"

A. was watching us adults play Smarty Party, a game similar to Outburst in which players try to come up with the items that fit a given category. We had named eight of "The Top Ten Religions, By Number Of Followers" and were stumped by the remaining two. We finally gave up but suspected that we would kick ourselves for not remembering at least one of the two omitted.

The Reader told us we had missed "Jainism." Most of us were, like, "oh man, I never would have guessed that."

"The other one," the Reader continued, "Was Baha'i." At his there was much slapping of the forehead, and we all shouted "Baha'i!" in unison.

A. merrily waved and exclaimed "Buh bye!"

Ode To An Obnoxious Guy

If anyone
Is more annoying
Than the guy who thinks
He's the only person in the world

It's the guy who thinks
There are only two things in the world:
And a conspiracy against him.

Posted on December 05, 2003 to Scratchpad


Hey! Aren't you going to get yourself your own adorable baby pretty darn soon?

Love your rebuttal. And--it seems kind of cruel to put 'engineer' up there. Why not lawyer? Why not doctor? Is there something inherently contradictory about engineering and gettin' some? I would imagine the engineers objecting to this. (As true as it might be.)

Posted by: Miel on December 7, 2003 3:19 PM

Miel -
Check out http://www.infiltec.com/j-frog-t.htm

Posted by: Reuven on December 7, 2003 4:08 PM

After thinking about the engineer billboard for a while I decided it must be an attempt at an abstinence campaign targeted at teens. The choice of engineer was, I imagine, more or less random; the point was supposed to be that the consequences of sex can bring your youthful dreams of being an engineer crashing down. There are probably other billboards with assorted kids with various dreams who have likewise chosen abstinence.

But this one IS way funnier than the other possible billboards.

Posted by: Jerry Kindall on December 8, 2003 10:02 AM

Apologies in advance ...

The Irish have depended for centuries on peat as an energy source. As their population is finally growing again, and their energy needs grow, they have been having to consider alternative sources
of energy. That is, they are now "thinking outside the bogs".

Posted by: Doug L. on December 8, 2003 10:24 AM

In my experience in engineering school, no engineering student was scoring at all. The owner of the billboard is clearly worrying about an IMPOSSIBILITY.

Posted by: Lost Poke on December 8, 2003 10:44 AM

1) Be forewarned: I am a music dork.
2) Technically, you could have widened your "Bachs" to include Johann's sons Johann Christian and Carl Phillip Emmanuel, who both wrote a handful of marginally important early-Classical works for orchestra. Most of CPE's music is really weird, though.

Great blog, btw.

Posted by: Justin on December 8, 2003 3:39 PM

Actually, CPE's stuff was more than marginally important: Mozart met him in England when he was twelve (or something) and was heavily influenced.

Posted by: Pippi on December 8, 2003 7:20 PM

I still think my idea of cranking up the sound on my deaf co-workers PC is the best idea ever.

Posted by: curt on December 8, 2003 9:58 PM

so what were the `top 10' religions?

Posted by: kawaldeep on December 8, 2003 10:32 PM

Yes, because as we all know... if you want to be an engineer, you must not have sex.

Actually, I have worked with several engineers in different fields of discipline and they always seemed so darn cranky. Go figure.

Posted by: Asmodeus on December 9, 2003 4:55 AM

Yeah, actually, CPE Bach was a family friend, and JC Bach was almost like an uncle to Mozart. In fact, a lot of the thematic material for Mozart's early piano concertos comes from JC Bach's sonatas.

However, whereas JC's works are generally palatable and identifiably classical, a lot of CPE's stuff sounds more like Germanicized baroque harpsichord music, which I find kind of strange.

Posted by: Justin on December 9, 2003 7:09 PM