Thursday, May 25, 2006

31,536,000 seconds (or once around the Sun)

Our Uncle Gilbert once wrote, "If there was a dragon, he had a grandmother." [GKC, Tremendous Trifles 82] I mention this because it was part of his argument against an unfortunate man who did not believe in fairy tales. For I want to tell you a fairy tale.

Once there was a rather silly man, a wizard, who was quite fat and liked to read. He played with computers and sometimes was paid for doing so. He drank beer (and coffee, and wine, not at the same time, you understand) and ate bread or cheese or meat (sometimes hot wings! oh boy), and prayed, and did Catholic things. Sometimes he wrote poems or stories or essays. But he did not get paid for that, though his friends were happy when there was something good to read.

One day he was reading a magazine - no, it was NOT a wizard magazine! - it had some complicated electromagnetic title like "Gilbert!" which he rendered into English as "ten over four pi ampere-turns factorial." In it he saw a cartoon he liked a lot. This led to a place called SmallPax. And it led to another place called Flying Stars.

And there were new friends, but he called them e-friends because he had never met any of these people before. And because when Chesterton invited the world to a Christmas party, he sent the invitation to "Cosmos E" which must have been a misprint for "E-cosmos". (Yes he did. I can show where it says. Academics call that attribution; that's a vocabulary word, write it down.)

So the silly fat wizard decided he would join the e-cosmos as well. But, because he had read a book on medieval metallurgy, he decided to pray first, so as to invoke the assistance of God, and reject the demons...

After praying, he got out his great books of lore and SEARCHed for the ritual which would open the PORT to the e-cosmos. He spoke with the Child-Like Empress, to whom he gave yet another name. He went through the Looking Glass with the young lady whose name is TRUTH in Greek. He spoke to Dumbledore at Hogwarts, and Gandalf in the Farthest West, and Merlin in the castle of Uther Pendragon. He wrote complex ciphers to Sherlock Holmes, to Gabriel Gale and Gabriel Syme, to Father J. Brown, to Lord Peter Wimsey and Dr. Fell and Nero Wolfe (whose reply was the single word "pfui!") Alas, none of these lore-masters were able to help.

So he went to his other books of lore, beginning with Knuth, and consulted the mysterious symbols of automata and algorithms... Finally, after lengthy study, he incanted many packets in the form known to lore-masters as "UDP". In the past, he had marked these packets with the Ignatian symbol AmDg to verify their correctness, and sent them out through interstellar space out into the Field and back again to Home, and so had governed the work of hundreds of machines as they performed their work hour by hour, day by day... but alas, these packets had no power to open the PORT.

And so, after whole seconds and even minutes of experimentation, he found that none of his magical spells had the power - despite the fact that he had the right to the ancient Roman title "Doctor" and the wearing of the robe-with-the-triple-stripes, conferred with all the authority of the school-which-must-not-be-named (for they can pay for advertising if they want it.) He pounded upon the keys with his wand, using all the words of power he had learned in the schools of the West. (West of the Atlantic, that is.) Yes, and I am sorry to say, many of the words were 32 bits long, which the vulgar call "four letter words".

Finally, in desperation, he picked up the strange little rodent which had long rested patiently near his keys. Standing within one of the gateways which had already been opened by his e-friends, he chanted the trivial spell known to even non-magicians as "Double Click"... (All know, of course, it is when and where one uses this spell which is the key to its power!)

And behold, the PORT opened.

Quickly, while this Window to the e-cosmos was open, he gave it a name, seeking to honor both a great author and his dear wife, while deftly acknowledging the power of the PORT itself in the proper punning method used by all such wizards... He locked it with a mystic word that can only be pronounced by wizards who have learned the ancient tongue known to initiates as Ahskey, and bound it to his service - but in the moment of its formation, the PORT was known to others throughout the e-cosmos, and from then onwards, it began its work of joining others to the wizard, just as the wizard had joined others by their own PORTs.

Now (as he glances at his watch) the wizard has travelled over half a billion miles on his wobbly perch, busy with - er - wizardly things, like work, sleep, prayer, beer, books, laughing, and other matters of importance. But with the little rodent which sleeps by his keys, he maintained the power over his own PORT to the e-cosmos, having converse and hobnob with others who are - uh - out there too.

This posting, then, marks the point in time when our terrestial globe has returned to the same stellar arrangement as existed when the wizard opened the port for the first time, 05/25/05...

And the wizard has been grateful for such a delightful toy, or tool, which the PORT has given him, and the many friends he has come to know around the e-cosmos by use of this PORT, which other call a "blog" but he calls a "blogg" because of the pun I mentioned earlier.

And since, as GKC said, "I have often thanked God for the telephone" - and God knows he often thanked God for his Blogg - THEREFORE, I should also say, I thank God for this blogg. And for my friends of the E-cosmos.

Gratias agamus Domino Deo nostro.
Dignum et justum est.


At 25 May, 2006 09:24, Blogger love2learnmom said...

Congratulations! Woohoo!

At 25 May, 2006 09:38, Blogger Ria said...

Awesome, congratulations (Oh dear I used the word awesome, well it isn't on my blog so maybe it's ok)

At 25 May, 2006 12:46, Blogger Rick Lugari said...

Congratulations, Doc!

Your blogg is a enjoyable service to the community and I'm happy to number you as a friend.

At 25 May, 2006 13:56, Anonymous Anonymous said...

& they thank God for you!



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