I now own a pair of Tevas. I am now either officially a Portlander or officially a southern California programmer. Either way, I seem to have jumped on the Teva bandwagon a bit late (and would have missed it altogether had they not been on sale.)
We watched The Aviator the other night. It was a great film and what’s-his-butt wasn’t even annoying, which I was expecting. For some reason, I had the notion that the film did not include Hughes’ descent into madness. It was kind of spooky, but easy to laugh off. “Take the milk bottle with the right hand, and remove the cap with the left.” It occurred to me yesterday at lunch that I have a eerily similar ritual with juice (and water) bottles. Take the bottle in the right hand, unscrew the cap with the left, take a drink, screw the cap back on. Always. Without fail. Even if sips of the drink are a few seconds apart. Even if it is a water bottle with one of those easy-pull valves in the cap. At one point, there was reasoning behind this. When I went to college, I worked with a lot of very expensive equipment. Some of this equipment included Sun X Terminals. Computers were expensive then, so the department had a couple of powerful computers in the basement that could be time-shared between multiple people. These X Terminals on the 3rd floor were basically just screens, keyboards, and mice (fancy mice that needed mousepads that were special mirrors that people would scratch, rendering the mouse inoperable) with a little bit of computer smarts, but whose main purpose was as a remote control for the computer in the basement. That was the sole purpose of these “computers”–they had no disk drives and ran no operating system. At one point, a friend spilled a bottle of water on a terminal. While it wasn’t the full-fledged computer in the basement, even this remote-control workstation was quite expensive and he ended up having to pay for it. To this day, I only have the cap off of a bottle long enough to take a drink from it and would not dream of setting it down with the cap off. In my case, it started with logic and became mechanical memory. It would take more effort than it is worth to “unlearn.” In Howard’s case, though, some kind of “logic” was going on, so I feel safe. I do not think I will become a crazy reclusive millionaire anytime in the immediate future. At least… not until I win the lottery.