Thursday, June 19, 2008

Saving Mircrosoft

Saying for the day: [A]nd then it occurred to me that a computer is a stupid machine with the ability to do incredibly smart things, while computer programmers are smart people with the ability to do incredibly stupid things. They are, in short, a perfect match. ~Bill Bryson

Some weeks are so wonderful you don’t want them to end. This is not one of those weeks. But like it or not this is Thursday and time for an Elf Tale. So here it is:
Once upon a time not too long ago in a land not too far away called California there lived a young man named Raymond Halloway. As Ray grew he , like many little boys wanted to be a whole variety of things. First he wanted to be a cowboy, then a policeman, then an astronaut, then a doctor, then a lawyer, then he got his first computer and he decided he would become the world’s greatest programmer. This was his dream. This was his obsession. He read every book on programming. He learned all the languages. By the time he could have gone to college he knew more than any college teacher in his area. And if he went to college he would have to take silly courses like English and History. So instead he went to work for a small firm that did insurance programming. His programs ran flawlessly even on Microsoft machines. But he was not satisfied. He wanted to be the world’s greatest programmer. After a time insurance programming provided no challenge, no room for growth. So he left the firm and got a low level job with Microsoft.
At this point we need to step back and see the whole Ray. Aside from his obsession Ray was a good guy. He belonged to the Church. He worked with Boy Scouts. He gave money to the needy. He cared about people. When he wasn’t programming he was doing kind deeds.
It was those kind deeds that brought him a visit from the little man in the green suit with the curly shoes. Our elf gave him the usual one wish. Ray thought for a moment and then said “make me the greatest programmer in the world”.
There was the usual flash of light and the elf said “ as you have wished so shall it be”.
After that Ray rose quickly in the Microsoft ranks. Finally he became the head programmer and was placed in charge of their new operating system. It was his job to provide an operating system that would not crash, that would live up to the promises, that would be worth what Microsoft was charging for it. It had never been done before but he was the world’s greatest programmer. He knew he could do it.
The day came. The new operating system was ready. He tested and retested it. There was no flaw. History was about to be made.
And so Microsoft unveiled Vista. You know what happened next. People found flaws. Programs collapsed , complaints rolled in.
What you didn’t know is they fired Ray. It had been his responsibility and he failed.
Now there are three morals to this story:
1. Being the best in the world is not the same as being perfect.
2. Being the best in the world won’t keep you from getting fired.
3. Nobody can save a Microsoft Operating system not even the best programmer in the world.
As for Ray he decided programming wasn’t that wonderful and became a bus driver. There he lived happily ever after.

#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal. Yesterday Mrs. Alicia Groove who is visiting Pigeon Falls did her story for the local Pigeon Falls Liar’s Contest. And here it is:
Good afternoon. My name is Alicia Groove and I’m visiting my uncle Ray Groove out at the old Groove farm. You all know that farm I’m sure. It is the one with one of the most beautiful flower gardens in the county. My uncle is so proud of that garden. The other day I was walking in that part of the garden that has all the different kinds and colors of roses. They are so beautiful. As I bent down to look more closely at one the corner of my eye caught a movement and suddenly I realized I was looking at a tiny little winged person flying just above the ground. In her hand she held a little wand and she was pointing it at a rose and as she did the rose changed. It remained the same color but it was more vibrant, more alive. It was like watching a great painter work.
Well, I got down on my stomach so I could see better what she was doing. That’s when she noticed me.
“My goodness” she said “ I’m not supposed to let humans see me. Us faire folk try very hard not to be noticed. I probably shouldn’t have stopped but these roses just called to me.”
“You’re a faire “ I said.
“What did ya think I was a Leprechaun . They’d be turning all your roses black they would.” she said.
“You mean there are leprechauns ?” I said.
“ Of course” , she said” And elves, and gnomes and lots of little people. We try to stay out of your way because it makes you happy not to believe in us and it keeps us safe.”
“What do you mean ? “ I asked.
“ Well you like fairies and elves and what not in books but not in real life. If you were to see us in real life it would wreck your understanding of the world. You would have to catch us and experiment on us. Do the science thing. Look for faire DNA. It would be horrible” she said.
“Then I certainly won’t tell anybody about you.” I gasped.
“ O! go ahead . They won’t believe you anyway. People are very good at not believing. I will even give you a piece of magic to remember me by but it won’t help.”
She then waved her wand at me and disappeared.
So I came to tell you today there are fairies, little people with wings. They do wonderful things to flowers. If somebody would give me a cigarette I will show you what she gave me. ( A spectator hands up a cigarette)
Thank you. Watch now as I lay the cigarette in my hand and close it. Now when I open it there is a tiny live rose. She gave me the ability to change a thing of death into beautiful life. ( At that point she hands the rose to the person who gave her the cigarette and he passes it around.)
This is a wonderful gift but you don’t have to believe.
She got four tens and three nines. They threw out one nine and her average was 9.6. She should be in the final set.
Tammy said to Tommy UK it must be real did you see her make a flower. Tommy UK smiled and said look in the magic section of any Johnson Smith catalogue and you find that trick. It’s not expensive either.

Today's Link-Violet Sky- A different way of seeing flowers.
Today was my 1200th post. Just thought I's tell you that. My reading for the summer came today and I started reading so I didn't spend much time at the computer. Peter, Lori, Lori's mother, and Luke came and picked up Spanky. So we are back to one dog. Betty went to Bible study. Now I need a breathing treatment.


Blogger Janvangogh said...

Come on Tommy UK. Expose Alicia for the liar she really is.

5:30 AM  
Blogger The Old Fart said...

Glad that Ray found something that he likes to do, nothing wrong with being a bus driver.

I just wanted to says thank you Dr John, what are the odds of your Link of the Day yesterday bring together two people from the Same Area. Teena is from the same place I am from in Nova Scotia.

Blessings to you and Betty for a wonderful day.

PS, Today is my last day at the Cable Company.

6:55 AM  
Blogger Melli said...

Ohhhhh my goodness! A 9.6!!! I'm certain I can NOT compete with that! But that's okay... cuz I'll be happy to get Almost Nearly A POSSIBLE Honorable Mention! IF I ever find an ending for my story... or even decide on an impossible character.

Hm... they FIRED Ray, huh? Harsh... very harsh. Glad he's enjoying that bus!

6:57 AM  
Anonymous noble pig said...

Sorry your week has been a bust.

7:01 AM  
Blogger Dragonstar said...

Dr John, for a good man you can say some hard things! (Not that Microsoft doesn't deserve it of course!)

I love Alicia's story.

7:57 AM  
Blogger Carletta said...

Now that was a great elf story! Lots of insight here Dr.John especially about choosing the correct words when we get the chance to state that wish!
Hope you're having a great day.

10:17 AM  
Blogger GMG said...

Hi John! Sorry for having taken so long to get here!
Thanks for your comment at Blogtrotter and for having posted my blog as the link of the day on June 17th!
It was amazing to land here: great sayings and wonderful tales! But that's only possible on weekends, and not in all... ;))
Hope you have a nice weekend!

11:56 AM  
Anonymous quilly said...

Dr. John -- today's elf story was your very best ever. I loved it. Thank you!

12:33 PM  
Blogger Josie said...

Oh, poor Ray! Now I suppose they're going to blame him for all the traffic jams along Broadway.

3:00 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

That quote sums up how I am feeling about computers perfectly!

7:12 PM  
Blogger Dragonstar said...

The house must feel rather empty with just one dog again.

7:50 AM  
Blogger juliana said...

i loved the elf story as well. and the fairy... wow!
congrats on 1200 posts!

2:59 PM  

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