Saturday, February 10, 2007


Alphabet soup

OK, for some light Saturday blogging I've found another “list” thing that's sufficiently amusing (at least for the most part; it gets ridiculous in a few spots) that I feel like answering it. I got it from Paul, over at Aurora Walking Vacation.

Altitude. What is the highest altitude you have ever been at without being in a pressurized cabin?
The summit of Pikes Peak[1] in Colorado, elevation a little more than 14,000 feet (4300 meters). The highest elevation where I've been active was skiing at Arapahoe Basin, also in Colorado, elevation at the summit about 13,000 feet (4000 meters).
Boxing. Sport or just people beating each other up?
Neither. Effing idiocy.
Cars. What do you do in traffic jams?
Same answer as Paul's: I sit. Listen to the radio or CD. What else can one do?
Distance. What's the longest distance you've ever walked in one day?
15 miles or so, maybe a little more, on two or three hikes — one in Olympic National Park in Washington.
Eighties. What is your favorite movie from the 80s?
Without question, “Hannah and Her Sisters”.
Fun. What's the most fun work you've ever done, and why?
The work I've been doing for the last couple of years: developing antispam technology and standards.
Gas. Do you put gas in the car when it is half empty...a quarter...running on fumes?
Usually less than an eighth of a tank.
Hayride. Ever been on one?
No. Why should I want to?
Internet. What are your favorite music-related internet websites?
Mm, I don't focus on music sites. I'm stuck on old technology, I guess: I still buy my music on CD.
Junk Mail. What do you do with it?
I take it to bed with me and put it under my pillow, hoping it will turn, alchemically, into gold. ... Uh, I throw it away. What else?
Key. Do you have keys to cars and doors and things that you no longer own?
No; I put those under my pillow with the junk mail.
Lost. Have you lost anything lately?
Not that I'm aware of.
Missing. Name one thing you did in the past that you no longer do but wish you did?
Nothing, really.
No-frills. Tell us about the cheapest motel/hotel you've ever stayed in.
$6 a night. It had a bed, a bathroom, a door with a lock. What more does one need? It was at least 30 years ago, when that was a going rate for inexpensive digs. I remember when I interviewed at IBM in 1977, and they put me up at the Holiday Inn across the street — for a price that seemed outrageous to me at the time: $30!
One hundred. Ever driven faster than one hundred miles per hour?
Sure, in Germany. It's common there.
Postal. If you could send a package to your postal worker to show your appreciation, what would you send them?
Yeah, I'm with Paul on this one: cookies.
Quick-frozen. Name three things currently in your freezer.
Homemade soup. Sorbet. “Blue ice.”
Radio. What three songs from your own collection would you play right now if you were in charge of a radio station's playlist?
Go to this post, and pick any three from that list.
Suck. What is your favorite thing to suck through a straw?
A milk shake, preferably a guanábana milkshake from one of the Latino restaurants around here. Second choice is one of those frozen coffee things with the trademarked name, which is sort of like a coffee milkshake. I don't use straws for anything else.
Tunes. What was the last music you bought?
Two CDs I got at the same time, in December: the soundtrack from “Who Loves the Sun”, by Portastatic, and the Ed Palermo Big Band's collection of Frank Zappa music, “Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance”.
Underwear. Do you wear it daily?
Oh, come on. I thought the questions were getting a little stupid with “s”, but it's jumped the shark here.
Victoria's Secret. Ever shop there?
It's not my style: my leg hair looks too creepy in stockings.
Weird. What if some nice, polite, peaceful aliens landed at your house one day. What would you do?
Paul's idea of offering them coffee sounds good. Or maybe a Hefeweizen or a nice pinot noir.
X-ray. What parts of your body have been x-rayed?
Teeth, yeah. The questionnaire is really groping here. Why don't they ask if you play the xylophone?
Yard sale. What is one (or more, if you can remember) thing(s) you have bought at a yard sale or “pre-owned” on EBay that you still have today?
I already have a yard, so I don't need to buy one. I've bought too much stuff on eBay to list here.
Zoom, zoom, zoom. Ever been in a car when it unintentionally left the road?
No. I observe that Paul's answer is very Canadian, on several levels.


[1] On checking Wikipedia to verify the elevation of the Pikes Peak summit, I found this interesting bit:

Originally the peak was called “Pike's Peak”, but in 1891, the newly-formed US Board on Geographic Names recommended against the use of apostrophes in names, so officially the name of the peak does not include an apostrophe. In addition, in 1978 the Colorado state legislature passed a law mandating the use of “Pikes Peak” only.
It's so often amazing what the government thinks it needs to get involved in.


Ray said...

Re: Pike's Peak sans apostrophe

You've got to be kidding me? This is utterly ridiculous, and I'm surprised at you, Barry, for knuckling under! :-)

Barry Leiba said...

Yes, I'd originally had the apostrophe, and thought long and hard after reading the Wikipedia entry. in the end I decided to change it, because, well, I would never want to go against the government.

Maggie said...

That's a funny list. You wouldn't ask the aliens questions?? After coffee, maybe.

Barry Leiba said...

Over coffee. It oughta be a nice chat.

The Ridger, FCD said...

The BGN is a stupid organization full of stupid people, or at least of people who make stupid decisions. They publish the official tranliterations used by the government and adhered to by many newspapers - and their basic stance is to ignore diacritics entirely. They ignore the hard and soft signs in Cyrillic alphabets. They are obnoxious.