Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

I figured I had to do something for this holiday, so here it is.


The Raven Program
Parody of:
The Raven
By: Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a night so clearly, while I web surfed weekend dreary,
Over many a strange and spurious websites of abandoned lore,
While I whistled, nearly singing, suddenly there came a pinging,
As of some one loudly ringing, ringing through my hard drive's snore.
`Some advertisement,' I muttered, `pinging through my hard drive's snore -
Just an ad, and nothing more.'

Ah, distinctly I remember the address of distant ember,
And how soon I had become a member wrought with duties upon chore.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow
From the web barren of sorrow - sorrow from things I abhor -
For the rare and blessed moment from the duties I abhor -
Forgotten for evermore.

And the constant ping unbroken chiming in and distracting again
Thrilled me - filled me with eccentric rages never felt before;
So that now, to still the pounding of my fist, I sat still sounding
`'Tis some dumb ad entreating notice that I account for -
Some advertisement entreating notice that I account for; -
This it is, and nothing more,'

Certain then my click was mellow; strange new words sang from a fellow,
`Sir,' said he, `or Madam, truly this new product you adore;
But to win you must keep ringing, till you gently hear some singing,
Or we'll just continue pinging, pinging through our advert's door,
And then you must take a survey' - here I clicked upon the door; -
Pure white there, and nothing more.

Deep into that white light peering, long I sat there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no surfer ever dared to dream before
But the silence was unbroken, and the white screen gave no token,
So I thought the site was broken as I listened to the snore
As I mumbled, there was nothing murmured back through quiet snore
Just my clicking, nothing more.

Back onto my homepage turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a pinging somewhat louder than before.
`Surely,' said I, `surely there is someway to grant silence to this;
Let me see then, what then this is, and this annoyance explore -
Let my heart be still a moment and this annoyance explore; -
'Tis a bug and nothing more!'

Upon now my click did stutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
There now stepped a glowing raven like I'd never seen before.
Not one greeting had made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with air that was quite kingly, there he sat upon the floor -
Perched upon my startup menu just above my taskbar floor -
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then my interest of his charming turned my frenzy into warming,
By its sternness and behavior and the red glow that it wore,
`Though I know not what you're craven, you,' I said, `are sure no haven.
Grimly staring glowing raven wandering 'round my desktop shore -
Tell me what advert has sent you' and I clicked upon his shore
Quoth the server, `404'

Strange, I marveled, to click this fowl and see discourse so plainly,
Though this still had little meaning - little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing ads without alternate store -
Bird or beast above the taskbar and without an attached store,
One that replied '404'

But the web site, sitting lonely in the browser, just showed only,
That server, as if made souly for one to find the door.
Nothing further for me to see - I clicked on back, my browser now free -
As I scarcely more than muttered `'Tis still better than before -
Perhaps I think I will keep him, as he's shown nothing before.'
Then the site read, `404'

Startled at the web site broken, my reply was aptly spoken,
`Doubtless,' said I, `what it shows here can't simply be its full bore,
Written by unhappy masters whose unmerciful disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till this site became a chore -
With the duties of this member's melancholy laden chore
Till the site's nevermore.'

But the raven sat there smiling at my sad soul as it's riling,
Quick I wheeled the mouse away in front of bird and taskbar floor;
Then, I sat on the chair thinking, I could feel my hopes were sinking
Problem unto problem, linking to this ominous bird of yore -
Could this grim, ungainly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Be causing this '404?'

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned so bright my eyes were sore;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
In my hands it was residing, the monitor lighted o'er,
Like the raven was residing within the screen lighting o'er,
Who shall impress nevermore!

Then, methought, the screen grew darker, filtered from an unseen marker
Caused by advertisements which should not be haunting anymore.
`Wretch,' I cried, `I shall yet spite thee - with a keystroke I shall smite thee
Depart - depart and forget you had ever walked here before!'
I quit the program and tried again, but it was just like before.
Quoth the server, `404'

`Raven?' I laughed, `More like Weevil! - Never will I keep your evil! -
Programmed with a distinct pleasure, killing servers I adore!
Challenged, though I am undaunted, with but one click unenchanted -
From my home, leave me unhaunted - you will return to folklore!'
Then I restored the computer - but didn't go to folklore...
Quoth the server, `404'

`Raven!' said I, `You'll not beat me!' as I clicked again without glee,
But the Raven sat there looking out - and it laughed in an uproar.
Still I knew I could defeat it, without power it will acquit,
I pushed the power button lit, but the Raven laughed all the more.
Clasping the cord, I pulled in fit, but the Raven laughed all the more.
Quoth the server, `404'

`Say your prayers, soon you'll be parting, for destruction you are charting!
I will smash the screen you tempted to steal from my computer core!
Leaving black plumes as a token of the fiend you have awoken!
For this I will leave you broken!' and I smashed it on the floor.
And it flashed there with a start, still displaying it on the floor.
Quoth the server, `404'

And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the monitor I shattered when I threw it on the floor;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the back-light that is streaming throws his form upon the door;
And I sit there in the shadows being stared at from the door
And shall web surf - nevermore!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Dreams Come True... Unfortunately

Have you ever heard the term, “Be careful what you wish for,” thrown about? Most people use this term as a joke, but I find the meaning behind it to be very serious. Because, like it or not, quite a few of the wishes that people make come true.

You don’t believe me, do you? You’ve made all kinds of wishes that haven’t come true, right? Well, the petty stuff doesn’t matter one way or the other. “I wish I had that bike!” That kinda thing won’t happen. The wish coming true would be too obvious. However, something like, “I wish I made more money than him,” has a very good chance of coming true. The problem with these wishes is that you have to really want them. If you want a wish bad enough, it will come true, whether you try for it or not. The problem with that is, if you don’t try for it, but you really want it, you’re not going to like how it happens.

If you really want your wish to come true, and you’re willing to put forth the effort to make it come true, then it will happen, in exactly the way you wanted it to. However, if you want that wish badly, but you aren’t doing anything about it, a force takes over and redefines your reality to make it happen. If you work really hard to earn more money than that other guy, you will earn more, and be happy. However, if you don’t work at it at all, they will lose their job, and you will be making more money than them by simply continuing what you are currently doing. You won’t make any more money, they will be making less.

The trick to this is that you can’t be too specific about your wish. If you say you wanna be making $327.54 by Thursday, you’re outta your mind. If you wish you were making more money, you might get what you want, though it won’t be very much more, and even then you’d have to be working at it because it would benefit you. If you wish for something bad to happen to yourself, it may never occur. Even if you work at it, something like that is hard to pull off because nobody else would want that to happen.

I find it’s always best not to wish for anything. The more you wish, the more trouble you will make for yourself or others around you. You wish for better food, your favorite store will close. You wish for a better job, you’ll get fired. You wish to move somewhere else, your house will be condemned. If you don’t wish for anything, you can set all the goals you want and work as hard as you want to achieve them. But if you wish for it, really want it, and don’t work hard enough to get it, you won’t like how it happens.

So, I’ll leave you with these words of wisdom. Be careful what you wish for, and wish for me to have $10,000. I’ve earned it.

Monday, October 1, 2007


You wake with a start into a dark room. You try to look around, but all you see is a single line of light in the distance. You don’t know what’s going on, or why you are here. All you know is that you have just awoken, and there is no one around you. There’s the sound of a train off in the distance. Crickets are happily chirping nearby. You start to notice that you are on an air mattress, covered by a sleeping bag. The only obvious explanation is that you were camping outside. That explains the crickets being so close. But what woke you? And why are you alone? That strange light. What is it? You can’t seem to focus on it. Well, I’m camping, so maybe I’m in a tent, and that light is--- Suddenly you realize where you are, and what you are doing. Suddenly, everything is clear.

What I just described has happened many times to many people. It’s a rather strange, and almost frightening experience. You wake in darkness, in a state of temporary amnesia, and try to figure out what’s going on. You know you can’t remember where you are or what you are doing, but you refuse to let yourself know that you don’t even know who you are. This state of temporary amnesia, I believe, is caused by becoming stuck between dreaming and waking. You are awake, so your mind starts to push back the dream, but you are holding onto that dream, so the mind has no similar memory to pull from. However, once you get your bearings straight, even on the tiniest detail surrounding you, you wake up in a state of enlightenment and recover all lost memory. Usually, the real world situation is nothing like what you thought was going on, but you can usually figure out the similarities. By the time you have everything figured out, and are clam enough to look at everything at once, you find so much humor in what just happened.

But can you image, what would happen if you never noticed that one piece that helped you remember? What if it didn’t help, and you were stuck in that state of temporary amnesia? What if it wasn’t temporary this time, and you really have lost all memory? You’d leave your tent, look around, see other tents, and other people, you might even hear them now, but no one would be familiar. You’d figure someone has to know you, otherwise you wouldn’t be here. But no one seems to know you, and you now realize that you don’t even know yourself. Now you have a whole life ahead of you, without a single idea about who you really are.

Not a very comforting thought, is it? Well, just think of it this way. As long as nobody tries to mess with you, you shouldn’t suffer too much from this.