Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Why Lung?

The following is a slightly modified re-post...

It isn't likely anyone cares, but I thought I might briefly explain why this blog you're reading is called "Lung."

Once upon a time I was learning FrameMaker, which is desktop publishing software. As a learning exercise I created a multi-column newsletter and named it Lung – a silly, whimsical, entirely meaningless name.

That name rolled around backbrain as I started fiddling with this blog. At first, I added "blue" to make it Blue Lung, which I thought sounded interesting.

Then I Googled "blue lung" to see if that phrase might be in use somewhere. And whaddaya know: "blue lung," according to the Urban Dictionary, is a condition affecting users of something called Adderall. This, apparently, is a strain of methamphetamine.

Thus edified, I reverted to simply "Lung."

Anal-retentive postscript: I did indeed learn FrameMaker, and got pretty good at it. I always preferred it to Word. It is superior in every way and I used it for years.

Then I bought a new computer, and  my version of Frame wouldn't run on it. No backwards compatibility. A new version of Frame was beyond my budget.

I had written virtually all my stuff in Frame, and faced the nightmarish prospect of converting hundreds of critical files to Word – that slightly more affordable lingua franca of the computer world. Which I did.

Microsoft Word. Bill Gates' cash cow. I'm stuck with it. I've learned it, and I've learned to live with it. I've even grown accustomed to it, and know it inside out. But I don't like it.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Opening Day

A new major league baseball season began a few days ago.

There was a time when I looked forward to opening day more than any other time. That hasn't been true for years, but I still have a sentimental attachment to the game. And sometimes, during the off-season, I miss baseball and anticipate the start of a new campaign.

So when the Texas Rangers played the Houston Astros the other night, I tuned in to ESPN for a while.

Change comes slowly in baseball, but this Rangers-Astros game did, in fact, represent something new. The Astros have been a National League team since their inception in the early 1960s. (Originally they were the Houston Colt 45s, or something like that.) Now, though, they were playing their first regular-season game in the American League.

So I decided to watch part of it. I missed the beginning: throwing out the first ball, and all that ceremonial stuff. By the time I tuned in it was the third inning.

No score. No runners on base.

I watched as the batter took a few pitches. I watched as he fouled off a few pitches. I watched as the pitcher picked up the rosin bag, gave it a squeeze, and threw it back down.

The pitcher threw another pitch. The batter hit another foul ball.

The pitcher walked off the mound, and circled it. The first baseman came over and had a few words for him.

Then, another pitch. Ball three.

I wondered: have I really been missing this?