Saturday, January 23, 2010

Kai Lung unrolls his mat

There are so far two books I have liked so much that I typed them in to make them freely available. I just finished the second one: Kai Lung Unrolls His Mat, a quite singular work of fantasy by Ernest Bramah first printed in 1927.

The other one is Why don't we learn from history? by B. H. Liddell Hart.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

One day while checking out

Not sure why I'm an extrovert, but I scored 0.8 on the Myers-Briggs extrovert-introvert axis. This sometimes manifests in my tendency to start up conversations with random strangers.

The other day I was waiting to check out at Costco. It was crowded, and every one of the checkout lines had at least five carts. In front of me was a mom with two young boys, so I decided to use one of my Standard Gambits on her. “My,” I said, pointing at her younger son, who was somewhere around a pre-schooler and sitting in the cart, “what aisle did you find this product on? It's an attractive little number.” She smiled and thanked me.

At that point the older son, who looked to be in early grade school, pointed at the younger and said, “He wrecked the whole house!”

“That's his job,” I replied. (Thanks to the redoubtable Amy Blackburn for the “That's their job” meme, which is so universally applicable.)

“Why are you wearing sandals?” asked the older son, since it was a rather cold day in Albuquerque.

“I guess it's because I just don't have any common sense.” Several other people who were waiting nearby cracked up; this of course made my day.

I looked the kid straight in the eye and said, “Not everyone who is old is smart.”

This got another laugh from the folks standing in line, and a woman from the next line over remarked, “But everyone who is young is inquisitive.”

“That's their job,” I replied.