A few days ago my colleague and I were having problems getting warranty service on a machine we support. The problem was that we would see the problem, document the problem, send the machine in, they would sit on it for a few days, declare it fine and send it back. This was getting stupid our client was starting to think that we didn’t know what we were doing. Finally, we struck upon a great way to visibly demonstrate the problem without going down to the repair center and hitting them until they gave us access to their workbench: we faced one of the iMacs in our office towards the problem child PC, opened Quicktime, and told it to record from the iSight camera. Then we demonstrated the problem, with commentary, and emailed the movie to the support team. And their bosses.
It means “Snow, snow, beautiful snow!” and my high school Latin teacher, Mrs. Mabe, would write it on the chalkboard the first time it snowed every year. And the first year students would be surprised that you could write something that was more or less correct without declining or conjugating anything, the second year students would smile a little and happily chant those four words as they walked around campus so they could sound smart1 and by third year it was a tradition, as was the story that went with it.
“My Latin teacher would write that every year, as did his,” Mrs. Mabe would tell us. “Sometimes I wonder if back in Rome, and all through the Dark Ages, teachers wrote that on the first day of snow, Which was rare in Rome…” and she would be into her teaching.
Now, thirteen years later, when I can’t even remember the difference between the ablative and the accusative, all my Latin replaced by two years speaking Tagalog, I too say “Nix, nix, pulchra nix!” the first time it snows each year, and wonder if I’m joining a long line of Latin teachers and students in welcoming the winter.
Thank you, Mrs. Mabe.
- why else would we take Latin? [↩]
50,000 words in November. I’m gonna do it, even with all the possible excuses I just listed.
What’s your excuse?
The point is to do it. Even if your novel isn’t good. Even if you never publish it, you are starting to think for yourself and use the gray stuff between your ears for something more than storing TV shows.
I did this last year, and it was hard, terrible, frustrating, stressful, and I’m so glad I did it that I can’t wait for November 1st to roll around so I can do it again. There is great joy in thinking, and creation. And there’s amazing joy when that accursed word count bar you’ve been staring at every day finally turns a beautiful shade of purple (purple is the official color of winning NaNoWriMo).
Do it. You’ll be glad you did.
Remember, when shopping for a botnet to supply your next DDoS attack, insist on high quality attacks. Sure, it might cost a little more, but isn’t the extra money worth the look on your enemy’s face when his website goes down?
WHY DID ANYONE RUN THIS ARTICLE?
In the coming weeks, Apple is expected to hit those computer buyers with advertising aimed at luring them to its Macs. It will likely make the case that Macs are less susceptible to viruses and are best suited to its popular iPods and iPhones. And look for it to poke fun at Microsoft for making XP owners go through an arduous process to upgrade to Windows 7—one that includes backing up all their files to an external drive, reformatting their PC, and then reinstalling all of their old programs, assuming they still have the CDs. “Any user that reads all those steps is probably going to freak out. If you have to go through all that, why not just buy a Mac?” says Schiller.
Seriously, who is going to do that?