Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Genius

Sorry, dear reader(s), for my long absence. Things at the hospital started looking a little nasty and I thought it prudent to cease blogging from my work computer.

In fact, I thought it prudent to cease doing most everything on my work computer, other than working. This decision came after the publication of a letter to the editor the Kennebec Journal written by a handsome local psychiatrist. The bit was semi-critical of some decisions made by the hospital administration. When I arrived at work the next day, I found my web cache had been explored, with various files left in a folder that I had not created. Nosy little buggers. Surprisingly, I was not called to the principal’s office after that. I figured they were putting a few weeks between the letter and my firing, for the sake of appearances. But I beat them to it by quitting.

As another result of this little episode of high intrigue, I decided the time had come to buy a modern computer of my very own. So I went over to the friendly Apple store. There, myriad lime-green-T-shirt clad 20-something employees buzzed around me and the other customers like electrons around nuclei. One attractive young female customer attracted a cloud of six Applies— Carbon. An older man looking bored attracted only one satellite—Hydrogen. I attracted two, Carmen and Jessica-- enough to make me Helium. I selected Carmen, who looked pathologically eager, and tested her immediately. “I like the looks of this PowerBook thing,” I said. “Can it run OCENS software to let me efficiently use email by satellite phone from a sailboat?” Unbeknownst to Carmen, this potential use had become my entire self-justification for buying a computer, and her answer would dictate whether she made a sale or not.

Carmen looked unflapped, but did not know the answer. “Let me go ask Paul,” she said, and disappeared towards the rear of the store. She stopped at a desk, above which glowed an illuminated sign reading “GENIUS”. There was a conversation. There was pointing to me, and pointing into the air (perhaps to indicate “satellites”.) She returned. “Paul says he thinks you can do it but he’s going to need to look into it more.” I’d long since given up interest in the original question. “Is Paul a real genius?” I asked. “Well, he’s pretty close. He’s been to California for training and everything.” Carmen confessed that she was not, herself, a Genius. But she was interested in helping. She asked what Operating System I had at home now, and we determined that it was 6.something, created when she was in fifth grade or so. She eagerly showed me “OS X”, which endeared itself by being named after some wild cat (Cheetah? Ocelot? Can’t recall.) She showed me how I could use “Widgets™” to check, almost effortlessly, the world’s current seismic status as well as the nationwide price of gas. I made a mental note to monitor these indicators daily to see if the price of gas affects seismic activity, or vice versa (preliminary answer: no.)

So now your correspondent has re-entered the modern world, and is ready to resume his extremely unreliable and annoyingly intermittent blogging. Oh, and don’t worry—I haven’t entirely left the house of lunacy. I’m still working there as an independent contractor. So now this is all tax-deductible.

EXTRA CREDIT thought problem: Paul, who lives in Henniker, New Hampshire, closely monitors nationwide gas prices using Widgets™. Today he notices that prices in Little Rock, Arkansas are 7¢/gallon cheaper than at home. Assume that Paul is unemployed, that he may rent a tanker-truck for 4¢/mile, and that the truck will get 9 mpg. What is the minimum size tanker-truck that Paul must rent in order to make a profitable trip to buy gas in Arkansas and bring it back to Maine? Assume that the truck will have “naked busty lady silhouette” mud-flaps for the trip south, and Yosemite Sam “BACK OFF!” mud-flaps for the trip home. Answer in the next post!

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, you have an excellent blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a site related to your topic of gas price rising as well. It has a few gas price rising articles now. I'll be adding more soon.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)

10/12/05, 10:57 AM  
Blogger westcoastloon said...

So is it safe to say that while your career may have shrunk or possibly faded a little all is still well? Does the reference to a boat in this post mean that you did buy one afterall? The prospect of coffee in the mist could really take the edge of . .well anything, especially unfortunate work politics.

10/14/05, 7:30 PM  

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