Batkid to the rescue!

I’ve always thought the Make-a-Wish foundation was awesome, but combine them with the people of San Francisco and something truly amazing comes together.  SF has been made into Gotham City today, with thousands of volunteers joining in to make Miles, a boy with leukemia, Batkid for a day.  Check out the screenshot of the SF Chronicle’s main website, featuring Gotham City breaking news.

BatkidAnd don’t miss the special edition paper the Chronicle printed.  Seriously awesome stuff!

On another note, I’m moving this site to a new hosting company, so if you follow the blog, please jump over to http://eastbaywriter.com to continue receiving email notices of new posts.

Thanks!

E.B.W.

 

Follow the links

Who can resist reading about the history of the manwich?  I couldn’t, but was doubly rewarded when I saw a mention of my home-town and the odd misnomer we use there for the sloppy joe…

As always, I have to include a link to something I found quite funny.  I’m grateful for the people in the world that will share their neuroses so openly and with such self-deprecation.  They are among the best teachers because they remind us we’re all a little crazy and we should never take ourselves too seriously…

Graham’s post about opening lines gave me a little shot in the arm.  I’ve been reading like a fiend lately, and I like to go back and read first lines after I’ve put a book away for awhile.  Perhaps it’s time to do that again soon…

This post about kids fighting over and retrieving a boomerang is great.  It reminds me of the crazy things my father let me do as a kid – things that no other person with even a semblance of concern about safety would have sanctioned.  Things like climb to the roof of the barn using the grounding wire from the lightning rod as climbing rope, then sled down the other side, to fly off into banks of snow.

I enjoyed this pensive post about the state of waiting we often find our lives or our selves in.  It’s a gentle thought-provoker…

More great fortunes

I could not confirm that the Ohio pet store ad I wrote of yesterday featured paintings of a dog and a cat.  At first, my friend thought I might be right, but when I pointed out just how stupid that would make the ad, she laughed hysterically for a minute, then decided it couldn’t really be true.  I still suspect I’m right, but I can’t be sure…

In any event, the two of us got some of the best fortunes I have ever read from our fortune cookies (manufactured in Hayward, CA, I noticed on the packaging).  Mine read:

“No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.”

My friend’s fortune topped mine, and by a long shot, I might add – but I’ll let you be the judge…

“No one has ever drowned in their own sweat.”

I want to find the person that writes these fortunes and hire them for something – I don’t know what, but something.

Follow the Links

I’ve shared a link or two in the past to Hooked, a wonderfully interesting blog by an equally interesting woman about her experience as an Alaskan fisherman.  She was recently interviewed for a piece on Oregon Public Broadcasting about the intersection between her writing and fishing lives.  She’s shared the link from her own blog, but I wanted to share it here, too.  This is what writing is about for me.  Finding the voice Tele describes in her interview, and finding other writers like Tele who inspire me to keep refining that voice for myself.

When I stumbled on this post while tag-surfing in the infinitely broad category of ‘Writing,’ I had to read it for a few reasons, all of which are in the title, “My Big Fat Lesbian Life – Demi Moore and Orange Leisure Suits.”  Check it out.  I’m glad I did.

This post made me smile.  It’s a simple reminder that we too often over-classify or underestimate people.  We’re all guilty, and maybe that’s why it feels so good when we recognize and stop ourselves from doing so.

Here’s a humorous look at approaching the big ‘4-0,’ which I am getting ever closer to reaching myself.  When you’re done with that, though, keep going for ‘Gasoline For Valentine’s Day.’

Charlie Hale is a writer I love to read.  This post on family stories is a good example of why I’m constantly drawn back to his blog.  I, too, am a bit of a genealogy nut, but Charlie is a masterful storyteller and he seems to effortlessly stamp everything he writes with a sense of importance.

The history of the fortune cookie

Every now and then, I eat at a so-so Chinese restaurant with a friend, because it’s situated next door to my favorite dive karaoke bar in the strip mall near my home (I know – awesome all around, right?).  It’s always a good idea for me to fill up on fried rice before I head in for an evening of cheap, but strong drinks, or else I will end up singing, which amuses no one.  Of course, each meal ends with a fortune cookie, which some, but perhaps not all, people know is not actually Chinese in origin at all.  There is something of a debate on the true origins of the cookie.  Claims have been made that it originated in San Francisco and in Los Angeles and was based on a Japanese dessert.  No one is really positive, but there is no question it did not come from China.

Now, I’ve seen some ridiculous fortunes come out of those mildly sweet and crunchy (assuming they’re not stale) little delights, but the one I got most recently tops them all.  See picture.  Yes, it really said ‘Made in USA.’  I haven’t yet figured out if that is some cosmic commentary on the state of US economic affairs and the explosion of the China into the world market, or if it was some sly person’s attempt at clarifying for us dumb Americans that we did actually invent the fortune cookie.

Regardless, I like the image of some mischievous wit somewhere  whose job it is to type in a gazillion different ‘fortunes’ into a computer.  Can you imagine how much fun you could have, slipping in nonsense or completely inappropriate phrases, just to see how long you could get away with it before someone noticed?

* Online fortune cookie generator courtesy of Jim Blackler.  Try it here.

Translation challenges

It’s that time again.  I’m in the middle of a deployment tonight – this time it’s not a new software release, but the replacement of a server that runs a portion of the software platform my company is responsible for.  It’s a pretty complicated process, made more so by the fact that The Chinese Contingent is conversing in Chinese in the Skype chat I have going with them.  To keep up, I’m constantly copying and pasting their messages into Google Translator.

Rewind to lunchtime yesterday, at the office.  I ate with Long Back Guy, and we discussed work stuff – no funny stories from him this time.  As I was leaving the lunch room, I said, “I hope things go OK tomorrow,” referring to this server replacement.  He just laughed at me, heartily, as though to say there was no way this would go smoothly today.  Of course, he was right.  We’re having problems as we speak.  Problems I can do little about, except use Google Translator to have some sense of what they are.  The step we’re at right now involves copying data – normally, there is a centralized process we can call that copies all the data we need and we just have to sit and wait around for it to finish.  It takes an hour and a half or so.  This centralized process isn’t working, though, so the guys are copying data for each individual application that runs on the platform.  When the point person handling this was asked how long it would take, he replied with this (Note:  this part was typed in English because the person asking the question asked in English):

there are 39 applications need to do copy

if we figer 5 min for each app, then got 200 min almost

i will update my evaluate, when first app done

So, my task at the moment is to wait for his evaluate.  Since I am stuck translating tonight, I will share the love and give you a different sort of translation challenge to chew on.  Earlier this evening, I got an email about the server replacement (technically called a cutover), and my other half was closer to my computer than I was – I asked her to read the email to me.

There is a  trust from beaver to coyote, I  have confirmed with Mike and we think it should be configured the same way for mouse (from mouse to coyote).  Please ask Frank to do it as well.  We need to make sure that on mouse the following command can be executed without inputting a password:

oracle@mouse:/$ssh oracle@coyote

[Note:  Person and animal names changed to protect the innocent.]  Now, I didn’t give my other half any background before reading this email, and she only got through the first sentence before she looked at me, puzzled, and said, “Is this real?  Is it a joke?”  I said, “No.  Keep reading.”  When she got to the final line, she read $ssh as “Shhhhhhh!”  This was highly amusing to me, though it may not be to you unless you are also a computer nerd.  It is common practice for development shops to give their servers names, and they often pick fairly random classes of terms to use.  In this case, animals.  Our client names their software releases after cars, and their servers after animals – most of the time.

I got this message in a recent email about an unrelated project:

I dropped off the gzipped tarball on nap-happy

I love that sentence, don’t you?  If you are really interested in knowing what it means, let me know, but it’s not actually very exciting at all, and I expect most of you would fall asleep if I spelled it out.  I will say, though, that ‘nap-happy’ refers to a server, so there must be some servers our client has that are named according to emotions – or perhaps the seven dwarves – I can’t really be sure.