Saturday, June 25, 2005

Eat Must Be First

My wife (whose palate is clearly more refined than mine) loves Chinese food and likes to order from any new joint that comes to her attention. She has an extensive collection of menus, one of which recently caught my eye, not for its colorful list of Asian delicacies, such as Cold Noodles w. Hot Sesame Sauce (2.99), Jin Jun Pork (5.29) or even it's highly recommended Baby Shrimp w. Cashew Nuts (6.79), but instead for the name of the establishment: Eat Must Be First. Eat Must Be First

I'm hopelessly drawn to inventive eccentricity and I fully intend to inquire into the genesis of the business' name. But the strange name did bring to mind a similarly structured phrase of wider purview: "All your base are belong to us".

That curious phrase haunted the Internet a couple of years ago like a benign Trojan, turning up in the most unexpected places. And like many phenomena spawned in cyberspace, once the mainstream media latched onto it, the life was slowly sucked out.
All your base are belong to us

For you readers who aren't familiar with the "All your base are belong to us" sensation, the Website, provides comprehensive information on the history of the phrase and contains some very amusing video widely shared during the height of the "All your base..." craze.

I got quite a kick out of revisiting the madness.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Pond of Consciousness...

Minds are peculiar things. Well my mind is a peculiar thing; I can't speak of other minds as I've only experienced the peculiarity of mine.

I just recently realised how my mind parallels the Internet (in a microcosmic, tangential sort of way). I've always noticed how my mind tends to wander from place to essentially unrelated place. For instance, I might be reading an article about something reported on Fox News... I don't watch Fox News that much... in fact, all I really watch on Fox is "24"... Kiefer Sutherland isn't a great actor but the show demands little of him... I couldn't stand his father, Donald... the movie, "M*A*S*H" with him and Elliot Gould was so inferior to the TV version... Alan Alda was the perfect Hawkeye... Mobile Army Surgical Hospital... funny I remember that... I wonder if they still have MASH units... I read an article in Time about how new medical techniques are saving the lives of soldiers in Iraq... am I going to renew my Time subscription... man, I have more magazines than I can keep up with... maybe I'll dump Smart Computing and New Yorker... I think the reason I don't read as many books as I used to is because I get so many mags... I remember I used to run over to the library every day at lunch and load up on the sale books... sometimes they'd be like a dollar a piece or even two for a dollar... I'd have a trunk-full... that's how I discovered Stan Lee's "Dunn's Conundrum", that was a book ahead of it's time, with it's super-secret "Library" and electronic audio and video surveillance... Nixon might have got some of his ideas from that book... ummm, I never read "All the President's Men", I wonder why... I'll have to look for it... it's probably being reprinted because of Felt's revelation... I don't think the guy's a snitch, like some say, but he isn't quite a hero either... who would be considered a hero... even soldiers are just doing their job...

And then suddenly I would wonder, How on earth did I get to heros from this totally unrelated article about Fox News? Sometimes it'll be fun to backtrack, to find the random mental links that lead me from that place to this.

I recognised the parallel when I realised that I do the exact same thing on the Internet. From one Web page I'll click an interesting link, then from that page I'll click another, and another from there, until, sometimes hours later I have no idea where I started or how I got where I was.

I guess my sentient wanderings might qualify as "stream of consciousness" but the often circular, non-progressive manner of my thoughts might be more accurately called a "pond of consciousness".

What, then, would we call the random connections of hyperlinks as we click from the known to the unknown? As we venture into a vast galaxy of Websites with little idea of what to expect. Are there as many Web pages as there are stars in the galaxy... I read somewhere that the number of Web pages was approaching 100 billion... how would anyone even know that... oh, I just noticed the other day on a McDonald's sign, it said: "Billions served"... I remember back when they used to count the number served by the millions... I saw in the newspaper that Ronald McDonald now has a new "healthier" image... I wonder if other food related icons might be going on a diet... how about the Pillsbury Doughboy, lean and mean... it seems everything is about make-overs these days... I know who could use a make-over...

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Can you hear me now?

I think it's finally time for me to wade into the roiling sea of the ongoing cellphone discord. There seems to be a legislative wave sweeping across the country intent on limiting cellphone use while driving and in public places.
So many of the inventions of the past thousand years or so have proven to be both boon and bane to society that pundits are almost always evenly split on their yea or nay with regards to... oh, excuse me...

Hello? Oh, hi, sugar. Uh huh, no, you know I hate going there; the lines are always so long. Can't you... huh? Okay, okay. What? A half pound of Spiced Ham, a pound of Peppered Ham, a pound of Provolone. WATCH WHERE YOU'RE GOING, IDIOT!! Guy driving like he's nuts. Sure, I got it. What if they don't have the Peppered Ham? No, I'm just saying... but they might not... okay, okay. Right, see ya.

Where was I? Oh. When we look back in things like gunpowder, firearms, automobiles, even electricity, we see that, while these things may have caused the loss of a few lives, they also have saved many lives. Cellphone opponents like to point to accidents that occur while drivers are on the phone. Well I say, cellphones don't kill people, drivers kill people. I once saw a lady putting on lipstick, looking in her rear-view mirror, while driving. What, are we going to ban lipstick?

Sometimes we just need to take a step back and consider the balance... oops, hold on a minute...

Hey Jeff, how're you doing buddy? Nah, nothing important. HEY, YOU JERK. I GOT THE RIGHT-OF-WAY HERE. Man, some people. Hahaha, right. Oh man, did you catch the game last night? Can you believe they blew a ten point lead? Oh, you were over Ralph's, huh? He's got that new big screen TV, right? No kidding. That sounds nice. Yeah, cool, I'll catch you later.

So I was saying, I mean, I agree that some people can't drive and talk on the phone at the same time, but, come on; some people can't drive and breathe at the same time. You know what I mean? Why penalize those of us good drivers because of a small number of folks?

The same thing with people who talk loud on their cells in restaurants and other public places. The law ought to be for them. If I'm over in a booth, talking quietly, not disturbing anybody, why should I be banned?

See that's my problem with most laws; everybody has to suffer because of a handfull of bad apples. Oh, well, what can you do, huh? Go with the flow. That's it for me.

Hello? Hey sugar. Uhhh, they didn't have any Peppered Ham...