Sunday, August 20, 2006



i love numbers- how else could i have lasted taking 5 years of math intensive mechanical engineering classes? for the love of numbers! through all this, i’ve found that each number holds a special place in my heart. all ten digits and me, we go way back. 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. numbers >9 are disregarded as simply one number, they are a combination of the first 10 (in my world).

i may sound ignorant for saying this, but i assumed everyone loved all numbers the same, just as i do. yet recently i was completely appalled during conversation about numbers. the person i was talking to exclaimed that they hate the number four and love the number eight. apparently 4 is bad luck!?

in my eyes four is a pioneer. it’s the first whole number (besides the exception of the glory hogging #1) to have a whole number as a square root. four is the last “quick to recognize*” number.

four and i go way back, i love four. and i love 8. i couldn’t see how she could hate four so much, but she did. her plant had 4 flowers on it, and she cut a perfectly healthy and beautiful flower off simply because she needed the plant to have three or five flowers, but not four.

i asked her why 8 is was a good number (i mean, i know it is. me and 8 have history like you don’t know). she said, “because it’s lucky, the chinese think it’s lucky and i’m chinese. it sounds like the word ‘prosper’ in chinese”. that’s it? that’s why? i was outraged! in english, 9 sounds like ‘mine’ does that make it lucky? 8 sounds like ‘great’ =luck? seven sounds like heaven –lucky? maybe rhyming doesn’t work in this case… four sounds like the word you yell when you hit a golf ball in someone’s direction. perhaps the originator of that action was chinese?

8 is a superb number don’t get me wrong. 2 cubed, 8 bits in a byte!!!, it’s in fibonacci’s sequence, binary for 8 is 1000, it is the octo- prefix helping name the octopus and the octagon. 8 is even the second magic number in physics. magic! but she didn’t know this, she had no true attachment to 8 besides the fact that chinese people say it’s lucky. prosper, hmph.

just because chinese people say something, doesn’t mean it’s correct. i’ve been to china town. heck i bought a squeegee there for $1.99. the guy said it was a good deal and a good squeegee. it broke during my first use! he was chinese, he said it was good. he was wroooong.

i didn’t dare ask why she disliked the #4, my precious #4, but she told me anyhow. that’s right, “chinese think it’s unlucky”. well i think 4 is super lucky. if i won 4 million dollars i’d take it. if i found a 4 dollar bill, i’d feel blessed. if i had 4 fingers… let me stop there.

in persian culture 7 is a lucky number. i like seven, but not because someone tells me it’s lucky. 7 sins, jackpot 7 on the slot machine, and 7 is such a bit*ch of a number in mathematics that you have to give it respect. seven is one of my children.

sometimes i ponder: am the only normal one, thus making me weird?

*quick to recognize numbers are usually 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4. when there are 5 or more of something, it usually takes time to count them or recount because you can’t recognize exactly how many there are in one glance.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

ipod game

ipod game

i didn’t realize that i had made up a game for myself until i told someone about it not too long ago.

everyone i know has an ipod. nano, mini, photo, video, old, new black white, you name it. it’s impossible to go through every song on everyone’s ipod without borrowing their electronic best friend for a month or so –and nobody is ok with that. so i devised a quick system which i use to ‘rate’ a person’s dap (digital audio player).

another similarity my friends and i share is that we have all gone to school. at school you get grades, and grades are determined from a scale. the scale is simple, cmon we all know this: a=100%-90%, b=89%-80%, c=79%-70%, etc etc.

so how do you play?

this game is normally played when the ipod is hooked up to a stereo, or speakers that enable more than one person to hear it. the more people the more fun! the ipod must be set on random or “shuffle”. you can start by simply pushing play, but i like to push the track forward button a few times just to get the ipod warmed up and ready to play. make sure that the ipod isn’t playing a playlist, all songs should be selected for the game.

the game has started, and the first song is playing. this is where audience participation comes in. it is the responsibility of all members playing the game to decide what value this random song deserves. i use a scale of 0-5%-10%. if the song instantly brings you to a euphoric memory, or gives you a tingly spine it’s a 10%.

songs that you just have to listen all the way thru –even though you’re playing the game –are dead 10%’s.

if the song doesn’t suck, and given the right scenario you would probably listen to the whole track, it’s a 5%.

finally, when the owner of the ipod hears those first 2 seconds of the randomly chosen song, and blushes, immediately blurts out an excuse, or gives you that smile. you know the smile that says “oh gosh you just pulled me out of the ‘i love kelly clarkson’ closet and i wasn’t expecting that” smile. songs that suck and songs that are embarrassing are 0%’s you’ll know within seconds if it’s a 0% song.

repeat this rating of random songs 10 times. this is a continuous string of 10 random songs, each rated on a scale of 0-10%. no cheating here people, if you push forward two times in a row and skip over a 0% song in hopes of a 10% song coming up, karma will catch up to you –and you won’t want that, believe me. i knew a guy who cheated on this game once and he ended up driving a honda with no ac through death valley on summer solstice through stop and go traffic with no radio and only hot coffee to drink for 10 hrs. abide by the rules.

at the end, count up your %’s and you get a grade! sometimes your ipod can grade at a a and other times the same one can grade at an f-. sure there’s inconsistency, and it’s a voting system so there can be biased. discussion about the songs is heavily encouraged, as is humiliating ipod owners for 0% songs.

to date i’m the only one who has scored a 100% (thanks in advance to anyone who doesn’t point out that it’s my own game and i normally play this game by myself with my own ipod.)

Monday, August 7, 2006

information red apple

Wednesday, August 2, 2006



go figure. i spend most of my petty cash on items which either plug in or use batteries. i’m the guy at work who brings in his own super doper optical wireless fancy shmancy mouse and keyboard instead of the company issue garbage on a cord.

i read blogs about phones and computers, digital music players and ipod accessories. i even go as far as to sit down and read cover to cover every manual that comes with each device i purchase. there have been times where i read through the english portion entirely, and then start reading it over again in spanish –just to see if i can understand the same content in a different language.

you would think that someone such as the person i described would have taken the plunge long long ago. but it wasn’t until last week that i finally made the call and bought an electric toothbrush!

a shiny phillips sonicare e5300 now sits in my bathroom readily awaiting my return!

brushing teeth has never been so fun! the old twizzler’s slogan should be stolen and used for sonicare instead: “sonicare makes mouths happy”!

there are many electric tooth brushes on the market today. some looke like winne the pooh and are as inexpensive as 4.99 running on 2 aa batteries. then there’s the $150.00 sonicare 9000 series brush that has toothpaste inside the handle that squirts through the bristles and timers than ring at 30 second intervals reminding you to move from one region of your mouth to the other.

i chose the e5300 sonicare (middle of the road), it proved to be the best value for the given features and technology. thanks to i got my 5300 delivered for $68.

there’s a 28 day period where phillips guarantees teeth to be whiter healthier and happier. they back the guarantee with a full monetary refund before the 28 day period’s end. i was thinking to brush for 27 days, send it back and spend my $68 smackers on something else. but parting with my new tooth god send will most likely never happen.

teeth, meet technology. technology meet teeth.