Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Blog That Never Ends

Do you remember fighting when you were younger? I mean If you had siblings or close friends, one of you would disagree with the other, then he or she would push you, then one of you would throw a fist (at least this is how it usually went in my house when I was younger and in one argument or another with either one of my brothers or my step sister.) There is a not so subtle hierarchy that is in place depending on whether or not you’re the oldest and whether or not you’re the favorite. One of the oddest things that I had the most trouble adjusting to when I was growing up happened when I first met my Stepsister. I was ten and she was eleven. Up to that point I had been the oldest sibling in my family, when I met my father new family I went from being the oldest to being the middle child. Needless to say it took some minor adjustments... On the one hand it was kind of cool I was gaining a sister (not to mention yet another brother and a stepmother) which I had always wanted, and at the same time it was very daunting. You have to understand I was just as much an intrusion on their lives as I possibly could have been. I sort of unknowingly at the time shook the foundation of that family. There were a lot of arguments that I was pretty sure were because of me. And then, man, did my sister and I have some arguments... She could be the nicest person one second and one of the most evil the next. We lived in Oregon when I was fourteen and we were home schooled, which translates into we were around each other a lot... It doesn't matter who you are around for that amount of time at that age you are bound to argue and being siblings, arguing quickly turned into her kicking my butt. I'm not proud of it but the girl was strong. I mean my brothers and I would fight a lot and they too would beat me up. I was kind of a wimp as a kid. Come to think of it I’m still kind of a wimp. Except now I’m a wimp with awesome pectorals and great biceps, and my triceps look rather fetching... Oh and my back muscles are coming along nicely as well. Sorry I had to boost my ego up a little bit I was starting to feel a little bit like a wimp... go figure. But I digress, the point of today’s rant is that no one fights like that as an adult and I honestly think that we are worse for wear. Take for example, the other night some two bit jerk with an attitude that would take the shine off gold... (That’s the nice way of saying I wasn't to terribly impressed by his first impression) I had to yell at one of his soldiers because they were smoking on our site (A big no-no as our cargo is flammable As I was yelling at the first fool another lit up right in front of me. Needless to say it made me slightly irate... I threw some blue words at him (I cursed) and as I was chewing the half surprised mostly stupefied private a new hole in his posterior, the "two bit jerk" tried getting in my face. Long story short there was yelling and he left feeling very peeved. (I waved a very Miss America wave as they drove off... apparently this upset him further as he waved good bye with only one finger extended) The point is we both would of felt better if we would have had a chance to walk around the corner and dust each other up a little bit. As in adult I understand why this behavior is no longer acceptable and to be honest I am thankful (as I would probably get my arse handed to me on a semi regular basis...apparently some people are offended by my sense of humor. Go figure.) I don't want you to think that I condone violence; I am completely opposed to it. I just wish life was as simple as it was when I was ten or fourteen even. Even if we (my sister or any of my brothers and I) had had a fight that drug on for hours as soon as Mom or Dad came home it was over... (Usually an hour or so before so that redness and swelling would fade, no sense in leaving proof we were misbehaving right???) the point is the problem was gone... sure we'd probably find something to fight about the next day but for the time we were completely civil to each other.... I just wish that a few adults I knew could behave that well. So Nemesis you never did read my Blog you punk... and as for you Bubble Butt (You know who you are.) ... please let me know how you are doing...

Random fact of the day:
Why is the typewriter keyboard set up the way it is?
A Short History of QWERTY In 1867, Christopher Latham Sholes, a Milwaukee printer, filed a patent application for a mechanical writing machine. Unlike the manual typewriters you may remember from your youth, his machine had its typebars on the bottom, striking upward to leave an impression on the paper. This arrangement had two serious drawbacks. First, because the printing point was underneath the paper carriage, it was invisible to the typist. Second, if a typebar became jammed, it too, remained invisible to the operator. Sholes worked for the next six years to try to eliminate this problem, trying mechanical changes and different keyboard arrangements.
In 1873, E. Remington & Sons licensed the design from Scholes, and set their engineers to work to on the design. One of their keyboard layout changes was driven by a clever marketing idea. The Remington brand name, TYPE WRITER, could be most speedily typed if all of its letters were on the same row. Remington's salesmen used this slight bit of subterfuge to impress potential customers. Competing designs continued to be introduced over the next six decades that solved the mechanical jamming problem, and enabled faster typing. These designs ranged from the so-called "Ideal" keyboard, which placed the most commonly used letters of the alphabet -- DHIATENSOR -- in the home row (circa 1880), to the more well-known Dvorak keyboard, patented in 1932.
How much better were these other designs? During the second World War, the US Navy conducted experiments and discovered that the Dvorak layout increased typing productivity so significantly, that the payback time to retrain a group of typists was only ten days! But these designs were never successful in the marketplaceWhy would firms consistently buy an inferior product? The answer lies not in the device, but in the context of how the devices were employed. Typewriters by themselves, are unproductive objects. Their productive employment requires the presence of a skilled operator - the typist. In the late 1880's, the practice of "touch typing" (where you don't cheat and look at your fingers) was developed. And it was developed for the Remington keyboard. So while competing typewriter designers were heralding their advantages to potential typewriter purchasers, the typists were learning how to use the Remington QWERTY keyboard.
Economists describe the outcome of situations like this with terms like "system scale economies," "entry barriers," and "quasi-irreversibility of investment." Most of us would describe it more simply as:


Mr. Brooks said...

Fond Childhood Memories...
Well I wanted to add my two cents to this blog (AHEM). My first question is: Which did you always want a "sister" or a stepmother? since a couple blogs past you refered to my wife as "your fathers second Wife. :D Must have been the sister. We were all lucky to have lived through the days when we were abused by our siblings. Second Question: Didn't I raise you better than to admit you were beat up by your sister?
I'm glad to see that you are speaking your mind. Love your dad and his second wife.

dr. fish said...

this is a funny above comment. i havent talked to you in a while, hope everything is going good.