Monday, May 07, 2007

Random Thoughts for May 7th, 2007

I was watching a video clip of a hamster on his wheel earlier today. He would run and run and run and get the wheel spinning pretty good. Then he would stop the wheel and poke his head out with a quizzical look as though asking, "Now where am I?" When it became obvious he hadn't moved at all he would go back to running, probably thinking that this time he'll go somewhere. I know some of you are expecting some moral to the story here, but really, as I watched this I began to fear the day when all the rodents we have stuck in little balls and wheels and forced to run for our entertainment rise up against us. This is the sort of thing that will keep me up tonight. Fear of the hamster overlords.

While reading a review of the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Samaritan Snare" I stumbled across the phrase out-of-the-box. At first blush I thought Siskoid meant by this that Riker's tactics were mundane however the celebratory tone of the statement, "...I still enjoyed how out-of-the-box he always is in his battle tactics." It is clear that Siskoid is either being a smart ass, and this being the internet is a very valid option, or, the more valid option as I see it, he means non-standard thinking. This got me thinking about how mutable out language can be.

I do not own The Sound of Music on DVD. A fact I find somewhat disturbing and I may have to rectify on the next pilgrimage to Best Buy.

How I amuse myself in the office of late? Well, I wander by a coworker's desk and toss a packet of duck sauce towards them while hollering "DUCK SAUCE!" like it is some sort of battle-cry. Why yes, I do amuse myself, thanks for asking. (Actually I don't yell, it is a professional environment after all, I tend to say it in a very off-handed manner in contrast to the act of throwing something at them.)

On Saturday I drug my ass over to Houston Camera Exchange to check out, and possibly buy, a couple of accessories for my camera. I am particularly interested in the Speedlite 580EX II flash, the TC80N3 remote, some extra batteries, and the BGE2 battery grip. This is the second time I have been in HCE and the second time I have basically been ignored by the staff. From the moment I walked in I got a "you're not part of the in crowd" vibe that I get in some comic shops, and the staff's disinterest confirmed this feeling I had. You know what bothered me the most about the whole deal? I want to support local business rather than the congolomerates and dot-coms. I am willing to pay full retail price to support local business, even though, for example, offers a savings of almost $530 on the four items I listed above, and this is before tax. What I am not willing to pay extra for is the "privilege" of what I consider piss-poor service. Oh well, I tried.

While we are on the subject of photography. Remember the post from yesterday about me having entered a photo contest over at Well, due to the number of entries they decided to cut the field down to the top 500 entries and my entry was not judged to be one of the top 500, however my freind Brian has managed to place his picture in the top 500 so go vote for him. His picture, which is much better than mine, is located here. I am bummed about this particular development and it has kind of taken the wind out of my sails about the whole contest, particularly since I do not know what I am going to do for the whole "Feeling Sexy?" theme for round 2. (I did have a really funny thought for an entry. Take a cat and dress it up in a garter and stockings. Feline sexy.) We'll see what happens.

EDIT - 05/10/07 Somehow I managed to forget the "in" when quoting Siskoid, which he helpfully pointed out in comments. Whoops!


Siskoid said...

..."IN his battle tactics" is how that should read, and yes, it's my actual opinion. As far as Star Trek goes anyway.

Or maybe I should have used "outside the box", which would be the correct usage (English is my second language, so sometimes, an idiom gets away from me). But outside the box thinking means it ISN'T mundane, right? Non-standard thinking, that's it. I.e. using elements not found in the usual tool box [taught Starfleet officers].

But you're right, that expression could really be interpreted in different ways.

James said...

Siskoid -

Thanks for stopping by! I did not mean ANY criticism of the usage of out of the box versus outside the box, just meditating on how strange an inexact language can be, which is something I find fascinating.

Again thanks for stopping by.