Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Q20 - The Perfect Holiday Gift?

For those of you who don't know what Q20 is I will say this... I am not sure it is evil and I am not sure it is holy, but it definitely varies between the two and it is SCARY. Scary like the way babies can fold all the way over their legs. Scary like my mom's ability to grab a hot pan out of the oven (with no mit) and not flinch. Q20 is a small, round, plastic object (about the size of my fist - or your's... whatever.) It can READ YOUR MIND. You think of a word and Q20 will ask you a series of questions and guess the word in less than 20.

My first introduction to Q20 was VERY brief and occurred at work so I did not have the opportunity to fully test its capabilities. A colleague of mine had one on her desk and said, "think of a word." Well I was put on the spot and my word was in retrospect, stupid. "Firetruck." I said to her. She then handed me the Q20 and it began a series of questions, "Is it animal?" and so on. After about ten questions it said, "I know what it is... Its Firetruck." Stunned, I almost dropped the little devil. I hurried back to work and forgot the entire encounter.

My second meeting was much more intimate and relaxed. In helping a friend decide which of three gifts to take to a holiday party as a white elephant I found myself thrown together with Q20 once more. I began hesitantly and asked my friend to think of a word. He did and Q20 began a line of questioning. Within about 18 guesses it had found that his word was BUS. I became intrigued as did my friend and we decided to do our best at stumping this little marvel.

We had a brief conversation about words this thing would not know... We settled on toe and quickly found that the Q20s line of questioning, while adept, could not narrow down to individual filanges. The closest it came was foot, which obviously still amazed us and almost had me shooving it down the garbage disposal out of fear! We played another couple of rounds and lost each time as the Q20 somehow read our minds... At this point I had decided we could not say the word outloud fearing some sort of mini-ear on this object... But, my next word was genius! MOLD! I just couldn't believe that some programmer had thought that "mold" would be a word that needed to be programmed into Q20's scary little brain. We began our line of questioning, "is it an animal?" Obviously some of these questions were somewhat stumping even to me, "Does it move?" hmm... Finally after 20 questions had passed Q20 arrogantly said, "I know... Its DUST." I stood happily shocked and a bit crushed... I had beaten Q20. But what does that mean?

I decided to further test the Q20 to see where its weaknesses lie and found that it was like playing 20 questions with a small child. Granted, a very smart child, but a child. It could not guess small body parts, reproductive organs (giggle), or anything beyond a PG-13 rating. However, if you stick to objects you will lose to Q20 every day of the week and find yourself becoming slightly paranoid. You will catch yourself thinking thoughts and then just as quickly thinking, "oh - crap - did it read that thought?" You'll want to throw it out of a moving vehicle or at the very least smash it with a hammer, but then you'll think, "did it just read THAT thought?" You are best to never pick it up at all...

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Almost Christmas

So I realized today that there are a couple of things that thwart Christmas for me. I'll explain:

Today one of the guys I work with decided to give everyone little mini basketballs... Yeah I realized right off that this probably wasn't the best idea since I work with all guys. By the nine bazillionth time that I was on an important call and caught yet another one of these balls in my eyeball I was over the holiday season. Funny thing is that all I could hear everytime it happened was my highschool basketball coach's voice in my head, "dammit crane...keep your eye on the ball."

I don't know why I thought it would be easy to just load my car up with the already wrapped, already purchased gifts for my friends and just drop them off at their houses. Its not. Somehow security gates have popped up everywhere that I needed to go tonight. And ODDLY no one was home - which leads me to...

Everyone seems to have a million holiday parties to attend. I have to be honest in saying that I have never realized how many friends I don't have when I thought I had quite a few. I can't really be annoyed by these parties, because I don't seem to go to any. Later I hear about them and how they were annoying or long or whatever BLAH BLAH BLAH. But it basically leaves me trying to figure out why I thought I was friends with people that I'm obviously not. The worst part is that now my car is full of gifts for all of these people that aren't my friends and as I said, they're already purchased and already wrapped.

I love seeing all of these pictures of happy people and hearing about their happy, perfect lives.. no really, I do. My favorite card came from my Aunt and I need to remember to give her a big hug. It simply said, "Gordon continues to have back problems and I had meniscus/knee surgery..." I love the honesty in that card that points out that life is not perfect.

I have realized that this holiday in particular is not for the single people. It is not in fact fun to buy a tree to set up in your house where you rarely go (except to sleep) because there won't be any presents under it - they're all in the car! It is less fun to realize that you no longer believe in Santa and yet you have to be careful about what you say because someone does and inevitably I'll be the horrible aunt who accidentally spills the beans talking about a guy I know who "dressed up as santa..." and probably scar some poor child or at the very least illicit glares from any other conscientious adult around.

All in all I am just trying to see this as some nice time off work. I think that if I plan on much more I will be very disappointed.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


It is winter in Salt Lake again and every year it comes on so fast and dark. I become like a bear needing more and more sleep. Not wanting to leave home, but feeling lonely and a bit trapped.

I am finding that so much goes on in life lately. That I can't keep track of all of the births, birthdays, weddings, and surgeries, etc. of all the people in my life. What a strange thing to have come from such a simplistic existence into this. I worry that I miss little important moments because of this. A couple that I managed to catch I'll note:

Sunday my two nieces were playing with magnets on the fridge when the older (4) said, "Addison move your hand." It seemed a bit bossy for her and I said, "Move your hand PLEASE." The younger one said, "move your hand seese (please)." The older one replied saying, "no Addison, I say that." Such a funny conversations to overhear.

Today I had a friend who was having windows installed and I spent the day at his house since he was afraid to leave them there. I overheard a conversation the two installers had about Mountain Dew: "I love Mountain Dew." The other replied, "Why don't you marry it then?" The first guy replied, "I think I will and then at the wedding we can serve Mountain Dew and I can say that my wife's initials are MD." They continued on to describe the wedding to Mountain Dew in suprising detail.