Favorite metaphysical posts

highfive! Some of these were intended to be metaphysical writings, some probably weren't but that's how I saw them, and these are some of my favorites. Today while reading the News I thought once again that I should find a home for these kept posts. Well, here it is...

Zen and the Art of Wallpaper

In the paint store buying paint, I noticed the "Half-Off on Wallpaper-in-Stock" sale. The paper that caught my eye was white with big vines curling all over the place. Since I knew I had to eventually do something about the moldy bathroom, I asked the clerk if I could take a piece home to see how it would look.

Beck and Nora both nixed my decorating idea, "If you like it so much mom, put it in your room..."

So I did, yesterday, after much swearing and patching. (There was a 17-inch drop-match, I couldn't tell which end was up and I ran out of paper 30 minutes after the damn store closed!) However, it is a forgiving wallpaper; you have to look for all the little patchy places.

For the finishing touch, I stuck those glow-in-the-dark stars all over the ceiling.

Inexplicably, my 9 by 10 bedroom looks bigger, and with the lights out the ceiling becomes the night sky with limitless depth. My room becomes the universe...

I know that nothing exists eternally.
Everything in the universe is subject to decay.
Nothing exists essentially.

But I sure do like the wallpaper.

- Diane, alt.buddha.short.fat.guy, Saturday, 9 August 1997

billboards and nature

Saw a curious apparition arising from the side of the highway this evening. Y'know how most billboards are a horizontal rectangle? Well, they put up a new one on the highway which is vertical. And on this vertical billboard they had a lovely image of a lush valley, stretching off into the distance. In the foreground were two cowboys, smoking cigarettes at the fence line. What was so weird is that the picture was 'more beautiful' than the trees it was occluding, and the skyline on the billboard meshed with the real skyline. What disturbed me was how drawn into the billboard picture I became. For a split-second the stretching valley was reality and the surrounding landscape a pale imitation.
- lisa, alt.philosophy.taoism, Friday, 15 August 1997

Re: Mu-shu Joshu

> Canadian Zen.

That actually has a lot to do with many fascinating spiritual attributes of our moose. And Canadian beer. And what happens when you combine the two.

Zen student: "Oh great moose, what is the sound of one hand clapping?"


The Zen student (and the surrounding countryside) is enlightened. And extremely damp.

- Vince <bbbuuuurrrraarrpp!>, alt.buddha.short.fat.guy, Monday, 4 August 1997

Words to live by

In which Brian recites spontaneously...
I open my mouth
and stupid stuff comes out.
I close my mouth
and suddenly I'm not stupid anymore.

- BSM 04Aug97

K: I'm posting that, Bri.

B: And I'm not even gonna charge ya a dime.

- karen, alt.buddha.short.fat.guy, Monday, 4 August 1997

It's greasy Auntie

Monday, they don't come!
Tuesday, they don't come!
Wednesday, they don't come!
Thursday, they come, but he don't work on Thursdays!
- Fleshmouth, alt.cyberpunk, Thursday, 11 December 1997

A totally Eeyore kind of day


Today is my birthday. No one has remembered (well, not quite no one, my brother did call me up last night to tell me he would get me a card and gift "when he had time").

On top of that, I have 25 lab reports to grade. I hate grading. It's discouraging to mark people off for things, and then you know that they will come and protest over your marking them off.

And I have to do lab prep for this class, and a couple weeks ago, I had to miss it for a meeting. So the guy in charge of lab prep saddled me with extra duties today - I have the biggest, worst, most pain-in-the-neck prep to do.

So not only does no one seem to CARE that it's my birthday, I can't even go have any fun cos I have too much work to do.

And this weekend is out, I have 3 grants to write.

So my birthday feels like Eeyore's birthday, except I doubt my friends are going to show up with a Very Useful Pot to Put Things in or a balloon that just fits in it...

Thanks for listenin'....

- Erica A. Corbett, alt.fan.pooh, Friday, 27 February 1998

does beavis have buddah nature?

i believe he does. so i wrote a poem about it...

likes stuff that rules
hates stuff that sucks
will never change
will never score

- Victor Szabo, alt.philosophy.taoism, Tuesday, 28 April 1998

The answer is "he-he-he-he"

- Lou, alt.philosophy.taoism, Thursday, 30 April 1998

Surprising reasons to use a syntax-coloring editor

I avoided syntax coloring for years, because it seemed like a pretty stupid idea, and when I tried it, I didn't see any benefit. But recently I gave it another try, with Ilya Zakharevich's `cperl-mode' for Emacs. I discovered that I liked it a lot, but for surprising reasons that I wasn't expecting.

I'm not trying to start an argument about whether syntax coloring is good or bad. I've heard those argmuents already and they bore me to death. Also, I agree with most of the arguments about why syntax coloring is a bad idea. So I'm not trying to argue one way or the other; I'm just relating my experiences with syntax coloring. I used to be someone who didn't like it, but I changed my mind.

When people argue about whether syntax coloring is a good idea or not, they tend to pull out the same old arguments and dust them off. The reasons I found for using syntax coloring were new to me; I'd never seen anyone mention them before. So I thought maybe I'd post them here.

Syntax coloring is when the editor understands something about the syntax of your program and displays different language constructs in different fonts. For example, `cperl-mode' displays strings in reddish brown, comments in a sort of brick color, declared variables (in `my') in gold, builtin function names (`defined') in green, subroutine names in blue, labels in teal, and keywords (like `my' and `foreach') in purple.

The first thing that I noticed about this was that it was easier to recognize what part of my program I was looking at, because each screenful of the program had its own color signature. I found that I was having an easier time remembering where I was or finding that parts I was looking for when I scrolled around in the file. I wasn't doing this consciously; I couldn't describe the color scheme any particular part of the program was, but having red, gold, and purple blotches all over made is easier to tell parts of the program apart.

The other surprise I got was that I was having more fun programming. I felt better about my programs, and at the end of the day, I felt better about the work I had done, just because I'd spent the day looking at a scoop of rainbow sherbet instead of black and white. It was just more cheerful to work with varicolored text than monochrome text. The reason I had never noticed this before was that the other coloring editors I used had ugly, drab color schemes. Ilya's scheme won here by using many different hues.

I haven't found many of the other benefits that people say they get from syntax coloring. For example, I can tell at a glance whether or not I failed to close a string properly---unless the editor has screwed up the syntax coloring, which it does often enough to ruin the benefit for me. And the coloring also slows down the editor. But the two benefits I've described more than outweigh the drawbacks for me. Syntax coloring isn't a huge win, but it's definitely a win.

If there's a lesson to learn from this, I guess it's that it can be valuable to revisit tools that you rejected, to see if you've changed your mind. Nothing anyone said about it was persuasive to me, but when I tried it I found that there were reasons to do it that nobody had mentioned. Of course, these reasons might not be compelling for anyone else.

- Mark-Jason Dominus, comp.editors, Tuesday, 2 June 1998


Thank god! I ran out of food on Wednesday, ran out of smokes on Tuesday.

God, this is the pits.

broke, broke, broke...but raided
the kitchen at work last night so
isn't hungry this morning!

- denise, alt.thanatos, Friday, 7 August 1998

Lawn Jock

One of my jobs is taking care of the yardwork. I tried convincing my neighbors that I was trying to re-introduce the wild Illinois prairie grass, but they weren't buying it.

After going through several lawn-mowers the last few years - having cords fall out, gas caps rust on, etc.- I became enamoured of the motorless push mower like we used to use when I was a kid. I wanted to be kinder to the enviroment and envisioned the quiet oneness with nature I would experience.

After spending the last three hours sweating, grunting, being eaten alive by mosquitos, bending and picking up all of the miniscule twigs which cause the blades to lock up abruptly, twisting my ankle in a hidden dog created crater; I stood back to admire one of the crookedest, most uneven , down right hiddeous lawns I've ever seen in front of occupied housing.

I am too sore to appreciate any spiritual lesson in all this, except for my new-found admiration of noisy, polluting gas engines.

- Shel, alt.buddha.short.fat.guy, Friday, 21 August 1998

Re: Dropping Ashes on the Buddha

Cliff & Bailey, Betsy & Buddy wrote...
>Caitlin wrote:
>Reminds me of a koan. A guy walks into your temple smoking, walks
>over and flicks his ashes on the Buddha. What can you say to him?

Got one to spare?

- Ken, alt.buddha.short.fat.guy, Saturday, 5 September 1998

Walking around in amazement all the time

I read an article by some physicist (can't remember his name) where he said that because of what he did know, which let him know what he couldn't know, that he walked around in a state of utter amazement every day. It would be probably be nice to be that smart.

Perhaps it is the retention of this child like attitude that make people like this geniuses.

It takes some type of great insight to realize that you should wonder why an apple falls or the sky is black at night.

- Rushtown, rec.org.mensa, Sunday, 11 October 1998

No fat guys

I came here expecting to see pics of short naked fat men and all that is here is a bunch of bizzare bullshit. WHAT GIVES?!?!?!?!?!
Anyone know WHERE I can find short naked fat men on the web?
Ever consider renaming this place to alt.boring.crap?
GIVE ME NAKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Chubby Cox, alt.buddha.short.fat.guy, Tuesday, 16 February 1999

Heheheehehheeee.....I like this guy!
Can we keep him??

- Captain Busternaut, alt.buddha.short.fat.guy, Tuesday, 16 February 1999

the ants

     One of the advantages of not being gen x is that i remember older terms.
These days people talk about "communism" and "conservatism" ect.
     Years ago there were words like "collectivism", "corporate man".
A collective is an ant hive whether it be harvard, microsoft, the us goverment,
or totalitarian cold war russia.
          One collective is much like another. You think you are free in this USA.
Remember that when you are driving on ice to get to work at sunrise and dressed
in the corporate uniform . Or when you spend eighty hours a week in a box
following someones orders.
          But, you protest - I am a :

Nope, you are an ant, in a hive. Or at least being forced to live as one.Just like I am. I owe it to my education and the "american dream".


p.s. " I am not a Borg, I am Anika Hanson-human".
       " Voyager is my new collective"

Point of this post:
The reason for education seems to be to turn people into drones.

- penny, mensa.talk.misc, Saturday, 3 April 1999

Re: Hyphens

            Slide rules are really theft proof.
If you use one a lot, you can visualize it and then you dont even need the physical one.
      But, even the physical one is safe from theft.

p.s. On one episode of max headroom, a
kid goes into the trailer (full of computer stuff and sees a book):
     " Whats this thing?"
 ans. "nonvolatile data storage module"
            "how do i use it?"
ans. "got to learn the code."
            "no time"
he tosses it back on the table.

- penny, mensa.talk.misc, Thursday, 29 April 1999

Re: mexico

i knew a man who called himself Lethe. he was kind, gentle, caring. he died of lung cancer and the day i learned of his death, i cried a long, long time. it's funny how the sight of that word brings that back.

i have traveled all those rivers at one time or another, or wished i was traveling them at times when the road i'm on is too hard and i am too weary to put one foot in front of the other any longer.

but it's Lethe, the river of forgetfulness, that is my favorite.

i want to drown in that river and be reborn.

but i'm too fat. i just float. :)

- denise, alt.thanatos, Thursday, 27 May 1999

A day in the life of an automaton.

I woke up at 6am. I thought, "If I get up now I'll catch up on a lot of work." But it felt so good to stay in bed that I did not get up. Soon the stay in bed feeling started lessening, and the "get going on the day's work" started increasing. When the second impulse passed the first in strength I got up.

I fooled myself into thinking I did this of my own free will. (Of course I did it because I "wanted" to do it, but I was not in control of the "want", nor can I refrain from something I really want to do).

It was election day. I wanted to vote. The exit polls already said how my state would vote to within two tenths of a percentage point. (not much free will here when I'm considered along with all my fellow voters)

Time for bed. I realize I don't even remember all the steps I took today, walking being preprogrammed. In fact I can't actually remember taking a single breath of air today. Hmm, time to debate consciousness with some less efficiently wired automotons on usenet and go to bed.

- Rushtown, rec.org.mensa, Saturday, 3 July 1999

dear 11000110011111,
speak for yourself!
signed: 0010001110111

- James F Wadlow, rec.org.mensa, Saturday, 3 July 1999


nova paĝo !!!
nudaj virinoj atendas vin ĉe : http://esperant61.free.fr/esperant50
- Dominique Cornice, soc.culture.esperanto, Merkredo, 11 Aŭgusto 1999

Mi konfesas ke mi kontrolis tiun paĝon, kaj efektive ĝi havas foton de nuda virino. (Estas ok fotoj de la sama virino, kun malsamaj kolorigoj.) Mi tamen ne scias kiel tio rilatas al Esperanto. Aŭ eble mi estas tro maljuna, kaj ne plu komprenas tiajn aferojn...

- Yves Bellefeuille, soc.culture.esperanto, Merkredo, 11 Aŭgusto 1999

Kiel vi povas esti certa, ke ŝi ne parolas Esperanton?

- Paul Peeraerts, soc.culture.esperanto, Merkredo, 11 Aŭgusto 1999

Eble ŝi pli rilatas al esperantoj, ol al Esperanto.

- Pejno Simono, soc.culture.esperanto, Ĵaŭdo, 12 Aŭgusto 1999

At lunch today......

A storm is coming.
Crushed acorns stain the sidewalk.
Stop walking. Listen!
- Tom Hall, alt.buddha.short.fat.guy, Wednesday, 25 August 1999

Edit this page

Personally, I think that Wiki is the most important part of the Wikipedia package. That's what attracted me there to begin with: the idea that Anybody could edit Anything, Anytime, Anyhow. It's like natural selection with words, and it's a lot of fun. If you make a big contribution with any worth, you're pretty much guaranteed that some of it is going to stay on for ages and ages - and it's a great kick coming back to a 'pedia article months down the line and thinking, hey, I came up with that sentence!

And then you go, what a stupid sentence, and hit the "Edit this page" button ...

- ggvaidya, slashdot, Monday, 18 April 2005

winter likes minimalism.

winter likes minimalism.
- winter, mensa.talk.misc, Friday, 21 April 2000