My company today distributed tshirts for our company picnic in two weeks. (A bit unnecessary, if you ask me, but that's not the story.) I held up my tshirt, which is designed to look like an old-fashioned baseball/softball shirt with our company as the team name.
Reading the fine print (1/4" tall) under the swoosh, I read "Architecture, Emgineering, Interior Design."
I immediately mentioned it. All the architecture staff joked about how long it would take for the emgineers to notice the typo. No one seriously considered that our company would bother to reprint the shirts. One of my coworkers told a story about how his sailing team had had shirts printed with their boat's name, but instead of "Enlightment," as they named the boat (since it was so lightweight), the printers "corrected" them and made the shirts say "Enlightenment." Instead of redoing the shirts, they added a caret and "en" to the back of the boat. I therefore suggested we should repaint the sign in front of our building.
A couple hours later, around come two coworkers collecting the tshirts. The bosses had decided to reprint tme, after all! I didn't want to give up my typo shirt (It would be so valuable, like a double-printed coin!), but I did.
Friday, July 31, 2009
My company today distributed tshirts for our company picnic in two weeks. (A bit unnecessary, if you ask me, but that's not the story.) I held up my tshirt, which is designed to look like an old-fashioned baseball/softball shirt with our company as the team name.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Curse You, Zhoro! Your holy day was last week. Go away. Please.
It's so hot I haven't slept well in days. Christina took the couch in the basement last night. Chunlin laid on a thermarest on the floor in our entry hall. I tossed and turned with her for a while, but the floor was too hard, so I went up to bed, but it was way too hot, so I went back down to the floor by Chunlin, but it was too hard, so I moved to the dining room couch. I spent an hour or two in each location. Around five o'clock, Chunlin moved to our bedroom (it had cooled off to 81degrees up there) and I joined her a bit later. I feel like I got about a half hour good sleep last night, all together.
And it's supposed to get hotter tomorrow!
Curse You, Zhoro!
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Today is the Holy Day of Zhoro, God of Heat, which might explain the temperature outside. He must be judging us. . .
Zhoro’s twin sister Rívorí, Goddess of Wildfire, clung tightly to Zhoro’s ankle when They were born. From Zhoro’s blue skin, it was obvious to Their mother Hívuítoví, Goddess of Rain, that Rívorí had held back Zhoro in an attempt to be born first. Despite the lack of needed air, Zhoro bested His sister, but He has blue skin to this day. While Rívorí held Him back in the womb, Zhoro’s hair grew thick. Much like His father Zhíanoso, High God of Fire, Zhoro’s hair is bright red.
Zhíanoso greatly favored His son over His daughter, for Rívorí continued to sabotage Zhoro’s efforts and Zhoro continued to overcome Her attempts. Zhoro was a great hunter Who could track a stag over miles of windswept terrain, while Rívorí remained at home, plotting ways to damage Zhoro’s bow, arrows, and even His sandals so He would fail on His next hunting trip. When Zhoro’s bow string snapped as He lined up a perfect shot, however, the blue-skinned young god quickly fashioned a slingshot from His belt and brought down His target with a single rock.
Every time Zhoro brought home His kill, Rívorí showed Her great disappointment by storming off and setting fire to anything She could find. Zhíanoso would reprimand His daughter for these actions, for it was an improper use of His fire, but She would not behave for long. Thanks to Rívorí’s reactions, Zhoro quickly learned that She had been sabotaging His tools, but He would not stoop to Her level by retaliating or having Her punished more than Their father already was doing.
For Zhoro’s fifteenth birthday, Zhíanoso arranged a grand celebration. All the gods were invited. Fireworks and a feast were prepared. Furthermore, Zhíanoso planned to give Zhoro a blessing, bestowing upon His eldest child great powers to control fire and volcanoes and to cast judgment upon souls. When Rívorí caught wind of this news, however, She devised a plan to gain that blessing for Herself. Sneaking into Zhoro’s bedchambers, Rívorí cast a sleeping spell upon Her brother. She then slipped into His clothing, affixed a red beard to Her chin, painted Her skin blue, and proceeded to attend the celebration as if She were Zhoro.
No one noticed. All the gods congratulated Rívorí, thinking She was Her brother. Hívuítoví toasted Her son while Rívorí soaked in the praise, becoming increasingly irate at this affection in Her brother’s name and not Hers. Rívorí kept Her anger contained, however, all the way through Zhíanoso’s blessing. The great fire god bestowed massive abilities with regards to fire and volcanoes upon His daughter, thinking She was Zhoro. He continued His blessing and gave Rívorí the power to judge souls at the end of time. Rívorí accepted these powers with a bow. The assembled gods erupted in applause.
The next morning, Zhoro awoke and immediately knew something was horribly amiss. First of all, it was morning and He knew He had missed the celebration. Secondly, His clothes were missing. He stormed out of His chambers, intent on discovering what had happened -- fully concluding that Rívorí had sabotaged Him again. In the corridor of Zhíanoso’s castle, servants pointedly ignored Zhoro’s nakedness and congratulated Him on His new powers. Enraged, Zhoro shattered Rívorí’s door and burst into Her chambers to find His sister toying with a little ball of fire in the air between Her hands. Furthermore, His clothes were lying on the floor. Clearly She had received the powers meant for Him.
Rívorí smiled at Her brother and hurled the fireball His direction. Zhoro ducked behind the door frame, swearing retribution. The fireball exploded against the corridor’s stone wall opposite the doorway. Knowing He couldn’t defeat Rívorí with Her new abilities, Zhoro raced to Zhíanoso’s great hall, where He found His parents breaking Their fast. He told Them what Rívorí had done and that He intended to kill Her, the first chance He got. Hívuítoví told Zhoro to calm down and go put some clothes on. Zhíanoso chuckled and said He could give Zhoro great powers, too, but not if He vowed to murder Rívorí. Zhíanoso also refused to take back His blessings upon His daughter, even though they were unintended.
The young god fumed at His parents, but asked what powers He would receive, now that Zhíanoso’s intended gifts were under Rívorí’s control. Zhíanoso promised to give Zhoro the ability to judge souls not just at the end of time, but during history as well; He promised to give His son control over fire, heat, weather, and lightning; He promised to give Zhoro the strength to protect justice and righteousness and guide revelations; but only if Zhoro swore to not harm His sister.
Since those were all wonderful powers that fit extremely well with Zhoro’s personality and desires, He agreed. Right then and there, Zhíanoso stood while Zhoro knelt before His father. Laying His hand on His son’s thick head of red hair, Zhíanoso blessed Zhoro will all the gifts He had just promised. Zhoro then stood and bowed to His father, the previous night’s ceremony finally completed properly.
Beginning that morning, Zhoro began training to use His new powers. With Zhíanoso’s tutelage, Zhoro started fires large and small, He called forth the winds to flatten forests, and He tossed lightning with amazing accuracy. Zhoro excelled at bringing forth heat, making summer out of winter and deadly scorchers out of pleasant days. He could use the heat to kill His enemies but also to aid His allies who needed His warmth. Zhíanoso and Zhoro travelled the length and breadth of the universe, fighting for justice from the beginning of time till its end, wherever They were needed. Throughout the lands, Zhoro became known as the Lord of the Storm for His ability to unleash deadly sand storms and lightning upon His enemies.
During Their travels, Zhoro suggested that Zhíanoso should create a race of beings to assist the gods so that They did not have to work so hard controlling the universe. Zhíanoso saw this as a good idea and thus created human beings. We are in this world to worship the gods, do the gods’ bidding, and maintain control over all the lesser beings in the world. This lets the gods focus on what is important in the universe and live the life of leisure that They deserve.
Once, when Zhoro traveled to the distant past, He saw great suffering. At that time, the universe was ruled by Kérasa, High Goddess of Water, and Her favorite demon Kínoko, Who Kérasa had created with the singular intent of destroying the universe. Kérasa, after all, was evil. She waged war upon the other gods and all creatures of goodness and light. Kínoko’s demon armies laid waste to their adversaries upon every battlefield. Evil was about to completely obliterate all goodness and love. Zhoro had to stop Them.
Upon the demon Kínoko’s chest was the Tablet of Destinies, which proclaimed Kérasa to be the Ruler of the Universe because She owned it. Since the tablet was intended to last the length of the universe, it was indestructible. Kínoko, therefore, was able to deflect all blows as He rained His terror upon all. Therefore instead of shooting an arrow at the demon, Zhoro leapt upon His back and grabbed Kínoko tightly around His chest. Through the demon’s thick skin, Zhoro could feel His heart. Zhoro could feel the demon’s malice. He could feel Kínoko’s great sins.
The demon had to die. Judgment was passed. Zhoro flew backwards from Kínoko, meanwhile hurling a gout of lighting into the demon’s heart. Before Kínoko, Kérasa, or any of Their demon allies could do a thing, Kínoko’s body filled with flame and burst into a thousand scorched bits. The Table of Destinies lay on the blackened earth, unharmed. Screeching, the hundred-headed Kérasa swept down and snatched up the tablet.
Even from afar, Zhoro could feel Kérasa’s evil heart. He could sense the strength of Her malevolence and hatred. He knew She had to die.
Zhoro cast a net over Kérasa, ensnaring Her hundred heads and Her scorpion claws. Quickly, before She could move the Tablet of Destinies to shield Herself, Zhoro unleashed an arrow. It shot through Her fish skin and impaled Her evil heart. As the dragon goddess howled in pain, Zhoro called forth the winds and blew Her into a million pieces.
Once again, the Tablet of Destinies remained unharmed. Zhoro picked it up and presented it to Sorosotuzho, God of the Atmosphere, Who was the leader of the opposing army. All the assembled gods hailed Zhoro as the Heavenly Kingmaker and Sorosotuzho as the Ruler of the Universe. Zhoro bowed to the new King of the Gods and departed for another corner of the universe and history.
The Heavenly Kingmaker soon discovered, however, that Sorosotuzho was not as good a king as everyone had suspected. Although Sorosotuzho had, at first, shared responsibilities for running the universe with two of His sons, and this system worked exceedingly well for Them -- since human beings had not yet been created and thus the gods had more responsibilities -- Sorosotuzho soon began to grab power back from His sons. The more responsibilities He took, the worse the universe became, with chaos and violence spreading wide, which Sorosotuzho blamed on His sons, so He took more power from Them, and so on.
Zhoro declared this cycle had to stop. As Zhíanoso watched, Zhoro administered an ordeal of twenty-five tests to Sorosotuzho. The King of the Gods withstood intense heat to His each of His organs, He raced through flames, and He crossed the desert baked by a constant noonday sun, but when Zhoro commanded Sorosotuzho to focus on a candle flame until He lost sight of the rest of the universe, the bull-headed god couldn’t comply. Instead He stomped His feet and proclaimed the whole ordeal to be nonsense. Zhoro, however, had His answer. Sorosotuzho could not complete the tests and therefore was not a worthy soul -- certainly not good enough to rule the universe.
Our blue-skinned god thus took the Tablet of Destinies from Sorosotuzho and presented it to the air god’s son Korutuzho, God of Agriculture, Who was pleased and surprised to suddenly become the Ruler of the Universe. Zhoro watched Korutuzho for several years thereafter. Once satisfied that the new king performed well, Zhoro accepted His duty was complete and returned to the His travels through time
Not even the King of the Gods was above Zhoro’s judgment, so neither shall you be. Beware how you live, for the Restorer of Balance will test you as surely as He tested Sorosotuzho, Kínoko, and Kérasa. The Heavenly Kingmaker will feel your heart and know your sins. You must pray toward the fire, pray toward the sun, focus your thoughts, focus your devotions on righteousness, justice, and Zhoro. He is the warmth and light that helps us grow; He is the heat that keeps us alive. The Lord of the Storm shall be your protector, if only your heart is pure.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
I probably know my Weird Al songs a bit too well. While "Polkas on 45" played on my computer, I left my desk for a couple minutes. The music kept going in my head; I admittedly concentrated on the song. Ther hard part is not skipping forward.
When I returned, the music in my head and the music from my computer were only off by a beat or two.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
All hail the Second Eldest, Hívo, God of Clean Water! He's also the god of sheep, cattle, travelers, beer, wine, music, and swimming snakes, so hurray! He also discovered sex, so hurray! Today's His holy day, so take a trip, stay hydrated, be good to your animals, and be like Hívo.
At the beginning of time, the Second Eldest formed gradually, high above the chaotic ocean known as Kérasa, High Goddess of Water. The Second Eldest was Hívo, Who floated in the heavens, covering the earth in optimism and wisdom. He had no body but a cloud of sweet water and goodness.
Far below Hívo, Kérasa was a bitter swirl of acrid waters, Whose attitude on life was a danger to Herself and the universe. Hívo took it upon Himself to save Her. As such, He descended to Kérasa’s ocean and mixed Himself with Her. Hívo’s sweetness canceled Kérasa’s bitterness, and so They both became pure water.
Their mixing was the first physical contact between two beings in the entire universe, and They at once realized how enjoyable it could be. Almost by happenchance, Hívo and Kérasa discovered mating, which He decided was quite marvelous. He immediately set about mating with Kérasa again and again.
Soon thereafter, Kérasa gave birth to Kara, Goddess of Soil. Up through the ocean surface rose the earth, forming continents and islands. Kara took the form of a giant octopus with jointed legs and set up home in a burrow on the new land. Hívo, Who had grown a bit tired of mating with Kérasa, took up the form of a winged sealion and flew to Kara’s burrow. The water god showed the earth goddess how wonderful mating could be, and They repeated the act numerous times.
In due time, Kara gave birth to Sorosotuzho, God of the Atmosphere, Who flew off into the sky. Hívo and Kara continued to mate, whereupon Kara gave birth to cattle. The cows grazed the land, free to roam under Hívo’s watchful eye. After more mating, Kara gave birth to sheep, who joined the cattle on Kara’s fertile fields. Hívo and Kara proceeded to further mate, as a result of which Kara gave birth to the first human beings. Like the cattle and sheep before them, we human beings are well treated by Hívo.
Meanwhile, both Sorosotuzho and Kérasa were growing weary and a tad bit jealous of the constant mating between the other two gods. The water goddess and air god did not, however, wish to spend much time with each other. They therefore briefly joined forces to tear Kara and Hívo apart. This They did successfully, and the two pairs went Their separate ways. Sorosotuzho began mating with Kara in Her burrow while Kérasa took Hívo back to the ocean.
Hívo could not stop mating, since it was so much fun, and therefore He resumed mating with Kérasa. She soon gave birth to Sívorí, Goddess of Stars, and Néhété, God of Pestilence and Smoke. The two new gods wafted up into the sky. Meanwhile, on land, Kara gave birth to several gods fathered by Sorosotuzho, chief among Them Zhaké, God of Rivers.
Before They realized it, Hívo and Kérasa were completely surrounded by so many gods, human beings, and animals, all of who were quite noisy, that the Eldest and Second Eldest could hardly think. Kérasa, especially, wandered further and further away from sanity. Her peace and quiet had been destroyed. There were too many voices!
Hívo thus decided to follow the only honorable course of action. In order to protect the Eldest, His friend and paramount paramour, Hívo declared war on the younger gods. Since this was the first war in the universe, the concept was still quite new. In short, Hívo announced that He wanted to destroy the new gods and remove Them from existence, then He promptly set about attacking Them.
Hívo fought gallantly to protect Kérasa, but the younger gods proved too much for Him. While Hívo was able to defeat and destroy numerous gods Who for obvious reasons are no longer worshipped, He was bested by His grandson Zhaké. The river god imprisoned Hívo deep under the tallest mountain in the world, Mount Farasa. Hívo was locked in by the seemingly impenetrable rock. He was distraught at His failure, but He knew He had done His best for Kérasa.
Whilst Hívo was thus imprisoned, Kérasa did indeed go insane, exactly as He had feared. She formed the body of a hundred-headed dragon with serpent fangs, scorpion claws, and an eel’s tail and lashed out at the noisy, younger gods. Without reasoning, for She was insane, Kérasa lasted a shorter time than did Hívo. The gods killed Her, chopped Her body to bits, and took over control of the universe.
Many years passed. Hívo returned to His pure water physicality and gradually seeped through the mountain rock. Unbeknownst to His captor, Zhaké, Hívo was escaping. Only water can penetrate rock; Hívo took advantage of this. After numerous great cycles, Hívo sprang forth from the slopes of Mount Farasa, only to find a much more crowded world than the one He had last seen. Human beings and their civilization were everywhere; gods and demigods lived finely, worshipped by the human beings. The most surprising discovery of all, however, was a mellow and sane Kérasa living atop the mountain. Overcome with joy, Hívo flew up to His ancient lover, Who greeted Him with similar affection. They mated and produced the swimming snakes.
To this new world, Hívo had to adjust. With Mount Farasa as His home, He resumed floating wide above the world, spreading optimistic goodness to all beings below. Human beings were His children, so He declared that He must care for them. When some human beings set out on a journey, Hívo made sure to accommodate them with swift travel and clean water to drink on their route. He brought forth springs from the ground, channeled clean water into streams and lakes, and coaxed rain from the sky, all for the travelers’ needs.
In some regions, however, no moisture was to be found, or what water there was quickly became contaminated by Néhété and Hívo’s granddaughter Ríhíví, Goddess of Poisonous Water. Hívo thus created a beverage that would remain unspoiled for long journeys, thanks to its alcoholic content. He named it beer, although human beings quickly took a liking to it and produced numerous varieties with varying names. In southern regions, where the barley and hops didn’t grow as well, Hívo invented wine, so all could have safe and hydrated travels.
Due to His unmatched speed, Hívo amused Himself by delivering messages for the other gods. While He still did not enjoy Their company, Hívo considered Them to be His children, and thus needing of His help. Plus, He derived pleasure from flying faster than any of the uppity younger gods.
One of the youngest gods, Who was quite arrogant and egotistical, was Píríuso, God of the Sun. While the sun god spent most of His time driving His golden chariot across the sky, He professed to be the best at everything He could think of, whether it be pottery or archery or animal husbandry. Píríuso owned a herd of cattle that He neglected, too busy as He was with boasting. Hívo, as the father of sheep and cattle, knew He had to help His children.
One night, while Píríuso was absent from the land, Hívo snuck up to the sun god’s herd and led the cattle to a nearby cave occupied solely by a tortoise, which immediately hid in its shell. Hívo fed and watered the cattle well, but the caretaking was unfortunately too late for one of the cows. She died shortly after arriving at the cave. While He waited for Píríuso to arrive, Hívo butchered the cow and began the curing process. After killing the tortoise and eating its meat, Hívo stretched the cow’s intestines across the shell’s opening and began plucking the taut lines. Hívo thus created the lyre and a new form of music.
The next morning, when Píríuso rose in the east, He noticed His herd missing and immediately set about looking for it. By the afternoon, the sun god discovered cattle tracks leading to the cave, where He found Hívo standing firmly in front of the herd, plucking a jaunty melody on the lyre.
Píríuso exploded in rage. He screamed at Hívo to get out of His way and give Him the cattle back. Píríuso stormed back and forth, waving His arms, stomping His feet, yelling the whole while. Hívo, for His part, calmly chided the sun god for neglecting the animals in His care. As Píríuso shook His fist at the water god, Hívo explained that all cattle were His children, much as all the gods, sheep, human beings, and swimming snakes were His children. As such, it was Hívo’s responsibility to make sure that all His children treated each other with respect as they deserved.
The sun god complained that He was very busy and He looked after His cattle the best He could, but He couldn’t be a full-time herder because His primary responsibility was to the sun. Hívo shook His head and waggled a wingtip in Píríuso’s direction. The water god suggested that if Píríuso were stretched too thin, He should hand off some of His duties so everything would be attended properly.
Flustered, Píríuso stammered nonsense, then meekly nodded. At that, Hívo stepped aside and let the cattle and their master reunite, because it was, of course, the honorable course of action. He meanwhile gave Píríuso one last reminder to do what was best for the cattle.
While Píríuso promised the cattle He would always tend to their needs, Hívo resumed playing His new musical instrument. When the sun god heard the dulcet sounds, He was amazed and asked to give the lyre a try. Amicably, Hívo handed the tortoise-shell instrument to Píríuso and showed Him how the different strings produced different notes. The sun god marveled at its sound. With help from Hívo, Píríuso was eventually able to produce a melody. Seeing how much Píríuso enjoyed the lyre, the water god offered it to Him. Píríuso gladly accepted, then wandered back to His chariot, strumming the strings the whole way.
After heaving a sigh, Hívo led the sun god’s cattle out to their graze lands. Seeing that the herd was in good condition for the moment, Hívo returned to His home on Mount Farasa, knowing that He would have to return often for the cattle’s care. High atop the peak, Hívo and Kérasa mated several times, then the water god spread out over the land, blanketing the world in goodness and joy.
Far below, we human beings soak up Hívo’s goodness, drink His water and beer, and are blessed by His attention. Hívo is our father; we must honor Him as such. He takes care of us and does what is honorable in each and every situation, whether it’s for Kérasa, for cattle, or for ungrateful gods. We must also take the honorable course of action at all times, even if it is to the benefit of someone with whom we disagree. To be honorable and wise is to share traits with Hívo, and this should be the goal of everyone, for to be exactly like Hívo would be the greatest joy in life.
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Monday, July 06, 2009
Amendment IAny further edits?
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion
, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, andto petition the government for a redress of grievances. Amendment II
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life,
liberty, or property,without due process of law ; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a
speedy andpublic trial, by a n impartialjury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Excessive bail shall not be required,
nor excessive fines imposed,nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. Amendment IX
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.