Monday, August 24, 2009

Speaking of signs...

...because we were. Recently I began noticing small plastic signs all around town -- you know, the ones stuck into the ground on wire legs that cost, like, $199 for 100 signs? These signs proclaimed "DNA Screening" in big letters. I thought, "Wow, does this mean anyone can walk in and get their DNA screened for, like, diseases and stuff? Has DNA screening become that commonplace?"

And then I got to thinking, "Isn't a cheap plastic sign an odd way to advertise DNA screening? I mean, this is a sophisticated medical procedure, and you'd have to wonder about the professionalism and quality of a company that advertises by placing cheap plastic signs by the roadsides."

Then one day I was stopped at a traffic light near one of the signs, and I was close enough for long enough to be able to read the rest of the sign -- the small lettering that you miss when you're zooming by at 40 miles an hour.

It turns out that DNA Screening is a company named DNA... that does screening. You know, screen doors. Window screening. Build a screen room around your swimming pool. That kind of screening. DNA can do it for you!

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Slow on the uptake

I was driving along a busy road and caught sight of this sign out of the corner of my eye:


The thoughts that went through my head, in order:

1. They're supersizing Lent? Extra-extra-large Lent? What does that mean?

2. Double-X rated Lent? Lent with wild sex orgies? That can't be right.

3. Hey, it's not even the right time of year for Lent! Why are they making such a big deal about Lent now?


4. Oh! It must be trying to say "Excellent"! Though, in that case, why are there two X's?

I still haven't figured out why there are two X's. Maybe if I watched TV I'd see a commercial and it would all be made clear.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Containing the opposite

As part of my day job, I write programs that provide "services" to other programs. These "service" programs don't interact directly with any user, so they run in what I still call a DOS window, though I guess the official term now is command window. Anyway, when these programs start up, the command window opens; the service displays its name, version, and build date; and then it prints this line:
Press Enter to Exit...
It strikes me as almost Zen-like that to exit, one must enter. Though perhaps the opposite relationship would be more Zen-like: Exit to Enter.

Software and meditation don't often go hand-in-hand, so I'll take this opportunity while I have it.

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