Tag Archives: philosophy

Blog Tag 4 U

blog tag

A long time ago, I got blog-tagged.  I answered the 11 questions posed as part of the “blog-tag experience” but did not create a new set to pass on to 11 people.

So here’s your chance.  I am listing my set of questions and letting anyone who reads this post answer as many or as few as they please.  Please place your answers in the comments section.


  1. Time travel becomes possible.  You cannot go back in time and change history but you are allowed to time-travel and live at another time in history.  What era would you choose?
  2. a) Paper or plastic; b) aisle or window; c) boxers or briefs; d) convertible or coupe; e) rich and dull or creative, inspiring and poor?
  3. You have forgotten the birthday/anniversary/special occasion of someone very close and remember it only at the last possible moment.  What do you do?
  4. If you could be someone else, who would you be?
  5. By entering a few personal bits of information about yourself, the death clock will tell the day on which you will die.  (I entered the information about myself and discovered that I had been dead for twelve and a half years).  Would you prefer to know or not know in advance the date of your death?
  6. What is your favorite place on earth?
  7. What inspires you?
  8. Describe yourself as a color, a fragrance, a sound, and a texture.
  9. Imagine that you are a writer of fiction (for those of you who are not writers of fiction).  Could you write accurately about a topic that you find repugnant like rape, child molestation or animal abuse?  (If you don’t find these repugnant, then go to another blog – now!)
  10. What would you put on a vanity plate?  (If you do not own a car, then what would you put on your bike, canoe or just wear around your neck?)
  11. What is the hardest question for you to ask someone else?

The Official Rules

The official rules

In an earlier post, I wrote about Finagle’s Creed which described every information technology project that was ever worked on or will be worked on.  Several of you commented by adding laws and corollaries of your own and I realized that someone had already done the work of amassing all the rules by which we work and live.

No, it’s not The Bible but it is the bible of official rules.  Paul Dickson wrote a book entitled The Official Rules.  This book, sadly now out of print, is “the definitive, annotated collection of laws, principles and instructions for dealing with the real world.”  Dickson organized the rules alphabetically from Abbott’s Admonitions (1. If you have to ask, you not entitled to know.  2. If you don’t like the answer, you shouldn’t have asked the question.) to Zymurgy’s Seventh Exception to Murphy’s Laws (When it rains, it pours).

Dickson followed his first book with The New Official Rules and, for a long while, entertained submissions for any subsequent “new” rule that he had overlooked.

Here are a few random examples from both books:

  • Boren’s Laws of Bureaucracy:  (1) When in charge, ponder; (2) When in trouble, delegate; (3) When in doubt, mumble.
  • DeVault’s Razor:  There are only two laws. (1) Someday you will die.  (2) If you are reading this, you are not dead yet.
  • Erma Bombeck’s Rule of Medicine:  Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.
  • Exxon’s Law of Energy Costs:  We’ve upped ours, now up yours.
  • Leahy’s Law:  If a thing is done wrong often enough, it becomes right.  Corollary: Volume is a defense to error.
  • Mrs. Murphy’s Law (also known as the Buttered-Side-Down Law and now as Sod’s Law):  An object will fall so as to do the most damage.
  • Russell’s Right:  If it succeeds, it is right.  If it fails, it is wrong.

I added two of my own:

  • Curmudgeon’s Law #1:  To a fire department, there is no such thing as a “little fire.” (from personal experience)
  • Curmudgeon’s Law #2:  Nothing is impossible so long as you don’t have to do it.

London Pub Signs

The British still have a way with words:

pub1 pub2 pub3 pub4 pub5 pub6 pub7 pub8 pub9 pub10 pub11 pub12 pub13 pub14 pub15




Because I was away for a while and now I’m back.


Because sometimes you need to get away and ponder for a bit.


Because I couldn’t think of what to say or the right thing to say or how to say it.


Because I wear down and I’m old and cranky and grouchy.


Because I’m not young and strong and handsome and rich.


Because I didn’t work hard enough or know the right people or have the right set of pictures or inherit the right genes or score high enough on exams or run fast enough or jump high enough…


Oh, who knows?  God, Allah, Buddha, genetics, destiny, fate, nature, nurture, evolution, creationism, dystopia, the Kardashians, macro-economics, Brittany Spears, sub-prime mortgages, total eclipses of the sun, all of the above…


Because stuff happens and it happens to all of us and it happens at the worst possible time and it doesn’t always work out the way we want it to work out.


Hey, didn’t you read the part about God, Allah, Buddha, genetics, destiny, fate, nature, nurture, evolution, creationism, dystopia, the Kardashians, macro-economics, Brittany Spears, sub-prime mortgages, total eclipses of the sun, all of the above…


Because reading about all that stuff would have made you more aware of the world and what happens in the world and how life is unfair and affects each of us differently.


Because we respond and interpret actions uniquely so that the same event may have vastly different consequences, getting one person all hot and bothered while another person is totally unaffected.


Because if we were all the same we would all be average and all turn to the left at the same time and all want to eat tofu and all want to have our pictures taken with [insert favorite celebrity here] and all go on the same vacations and all hate [insert favorite hatred here] and so on and so forth.


Because ‘and so on and so forth’ is pretty much the end of any discussion.


Because the only things beyond ‘and so on and so forth’ are ‘because I said so’ and  ‘I don’t know.’


Because I said so.


I don’t know!


Your mother is calling you.  Go now.

Imponderables – The Final Conflict

We’re done here:

Imponderables Final

  • How do you write zero in Roman numerals?
  • How much deeper would oceans be if sponges didn’t live there?
  • How many weeks are there in a light year?
  • Ever wonder what the speed of lightning would be if it didn’t zigzag?
  • If a jogger runs at the speed of sound, can he still hear his iPhone?
  • If athletes get athlete’s foot, do astronauts get mistletoe?
  • If Barbie’s so popular, why do you have to buy all her friends?
  • If blind people wear dark glasses, why don’t deaf people wear earmuffs?
  • If cats and dogs didn’t have fur would we still pet them?
  • If space is a vacuum, who changes the bags?
  • If tin whistles are made out of tin, what do they make fog horns out of?
  • If you can’t drink and drive, why do bars have parking lots?
  • If you jog backwards, will you gain weight?
  • Why do the signs that say “Slow Children” have a picture of a running child?


  • Why do they call it “chili” if it’s hot?
  • Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour?
  • Clones are people two.
  • The things that come to those who wait may be the things left by those who got there first.
  • Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat drinking beer all day.
  • When you go into court you are putting yourself in the hands of 12 people who weren’t smart enough to get out of jury duty.