The most recent version of these essays can be found at http://linuxmafia.com/~rick/faq/.
("That's what you get for swimming in the shallow end of the gene pool.")
Economy of expression is a good thing. So, rather than have to repeat myself continually, I'm posting my top rants here, for ready reference. Many of you (readers) will be visiting today because I pointedly referred you to the "#"-tagged URL of some particular item, below.
Table o' Contents
- Modems . . .
- Hardware . . .
- Linux Tire-Kicking . . .
- Virus . . .
- Proprietary Warez . . .
- MacLinux . . .
- Crybaby . . .
- Netiquette . . .
Miscellany . . .
- "Rick Moen will be there: Will you?" (and variations thereon).
- Should the phrase "anal retentive" be hyphenated, or not?
- How do you pronounce "Moen"?
- Why do you use British spelling?
- I thought you were Scandinavian-American. Why do you use so many Yiddish expressions?
- What's the deal with you and Christmas?
- Will Linux stocks go up, or down?
- Why can't I read your e-mail messages in Microsoft Outlook?
- You have a slightly funny accent. Where are you from?
- New Jersey? Oh yeah? What exit?
- What exactly is Peter Bowler's famous abecedarian insult?
- Just how bad is Mr. Bad?
- "I still don't understand!"
Rants without Portfolio (Unclassifiable)
Once upon a time, there was a running gag that was briefly funny, spread by several well-intentioned people who are good friends of mine. However, by now, it has gotten old, bearded, white-haired, and lame. Very lame.
I was merely the subject of this one-time joke: I didn't create it. People assume otherwise, and expect me to explain it to them. When I comply, they seem mildly annoyed, obviously expecting something interesting. I suspect they also classify it as rampant egomania.
Some time in early '98, Chris di Bona of SVLUG and Arthur Tyde of BALUG noticed that I was attending many Linux-related meetings around the San Francisco Bay Area. This was because I'm centrally located, have good transportation, and have a good calendar of upcoming events to remind me. So, they began including the phrase "Rick Moen will be there. Will you?" (or similar) in meeting announcements.
That's it. That's the whole story. I warned you it was lame.
Let's retire it and get a new running gag, folks: making fun of Chris's laptop, maybe.
Always when it's used as a compound adjective. Never when it's a compound noun.
Two syllables, rhymes with "Bowen" (or "rowan" or "Owen").
I hear that in the Old Country (Norway), they pronounce it differently. No relation to Moen, Inc. of Olmstead, Ohio (the faucet people), Moen Woodworks of Edmonton, Roger & Teresa Moen's realty in Breckenridge, Colorado, Moen Industries, Inc. of Santa Fe Springs, or radio announcer Bill Moen. No, it's not spelled "Møn", regardless of what the Danes think. Yes, I know there's a Moen Island in the Federated States of Micronesia, and another in Denmark: No connection with those, either. Also, no, I'm probably not related to illustrious Cal quarterback Kevin Moen (who in 1982 defeated Stanford in possibly the most bizarre American football play in history).
I'm told a "moen" is a rolling field, thus somewhat substantiating my old jest that the word means "of the cow pasture" and that I'm descended from a long and proud tradition of starving Scandinavian peasants. It probably came into use as a surname through the pre-1890 Norwegian practice of appending the name of one's local "gård" (farm district). E.g., if I might have been "Rick Arthursson" (Rick, Arthur's son) until I grew up and settled in Moen gård, at which time I'd have been called "Rick Arthursson Moen". If I later moved to Hovland gård, I'd then have become "Rick Arthursson Hovland", etc.
I don't. I use American spelling: That is, I'm American, my spelling is therefore that of an American, and therefore that usage must also be American. Quod erat demonstrandum.
I was raised in the British government school system in Victoria, Hong Kong, in the 1960s. That was (mostly) where I learned to spell, using the spelling pattern used by the majority of English-speakers, worldwide. It's true that most Americans use a different (minority-usage) spelling pattern, but I'm broad-minded about this, and try not to let on that I consider it an affectation on their part.
Because that's what Scandinavian-Americans do who grew up on Jay Ward cartoons, Tom Lehrer songs, Mad Magazine, Spider-Man comics, and books by Leo Rosten. Go figure.
Historical overview follows. Age 0-10: Observed it as a standard heathen American holiday (lights, tree, presents). Age 10: My father, Pan American World Airways Captain Arthur Moen, was blown to ashes by a defective-from-the-factory Boeing 707, at Christmas. Which rather took all joy out of the holiday. Age 21: Following my father's 1947-48 example, was a volunteer kibbutznik — and found myself obliged to indignantly deny the startling assertion that observing Christmas makes one a Christian. Age 21-31: With a then-fiancée, formed half of a Jewish family, but remained a heathen, dismayed by Christmas largely over its extremely unpleasant personal connotations. Age 31 on: Ignoring Christmas, hoping it will evaporate, and eventually happily married to a fellow heathen. Summary: Bah humbug.
Sounds to me like a personal problem. But you might want to switch to Mutt.
Hong Kong by way of Silicon Valley, London, the Welsh countryside, northern Israel, central New Jersey, and Paris. And you?
Exit 9, to Route 18 North, to US-1 south, to Washington Road exit west. Proceed one mile. Park where you can.
What, forgotten already? It is, of course, from Peter Bowler's peerless Superior Person's Book of Words (ISBN 0-87923-556-X), and goes like this:
Abecedarian insult, an: "Sir, you are an apogenous, bovaristic, coprolalial, dasypygal, excerebrose, facinorous, gnathonic, hircine, ithyphallic, jumentous, kyphotic, labrose, mephitic, napiform, oligophrenial, papuliferous, quisquilian, rebarbative, saponaceous, thersitical, unguinous, ventripotent, wlatsome, xylocephalous, yirning zoophyte." Translation: "Sir, you are an impotent, conceited, obscene, hairy-buttocked, brainless, wicked, toadying, goatish, indecent, stable-smelling, hunch-backed, thick-lipped, stinking, turnip-shaped, feeble-minded, pimply, trashy, repellent, smarmy, foul-mouthed, greasy, gluttonous, loathsome, wooden-headed, whining, extremely low form of animal life."
Mr. Bad is truly Bad People. He is a fully Spock-enabled Linux solution for the enterprise.
Understanding is a three-edged sword.
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