Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The first post that conforms to my randomly selected blog title!

Okay, so, I'm a smart guy, right?


Yeah, don't all chime in at once.

Anyway, so, I was walking earlier. I can do that. I have legs and feet and muscles and enough coordination to not fall over frequently. It's pretty impressive if you're, y'know, less than a year old.

So, once upon a time, when I was a kid, I learned to tie my shoes. None of this velcro crap. [Okay, I might have had a pair of velcro shoes at some point, but most of the time, not so much.] You cross the laces, make the little loop, go around it with the other side, push it through, yank -- poof, tied shoes! Magic!

We (to be honest, I am making an assumption here and have not done extensive research on the topic) all pretty much tie our shoes the same way, right? There's the bow, and then there's the double-knotted bow. The first one looks 'pretty,' the second one looks horrible but works better.

There are approximately seven hundred million thousand dozen ways to make a knot with a shoelace. Ask anyone who's ever spent an hour cursing at their shoelaces and picking at them with a fork.

Why, then, do we all tie our shoes this way, if it really just kind of sucks at being what it is supposed to be -- a mechanism for keeping your shoe on until you want it off?

My walking today resulted, as it does on many occasions, in a familiar clickity noise when one foot hit the floor. A small percentage of the time, this sound is my shoelace clicking against my shoe, and that's okay. The rest of the time, this sound is my shoelace, which has come totally untied for no apparent reason, flopping against the floor as I walk. I've dealt with this I-don't-know-how-many times. I just bend over, re-tie the shoe the same (barely functional) way that I always do, and continue to walk.

This is modified behavior from some years back, when I used to have this problem frequently and resolved it by simply double-knotting my bows so they wouldn't come untied. People would look at my shoelaces and actually comment on the double knot.

Person, speaking in the exact same tone of voice they would use if they just noticed me absentmindedly sucking my thumb or buying a case of beer and a box of Disney Princess Band-Aids, which just so happens to be in bold: 'You double knot your shoelaces?'

In response, I do exactly what I do in response to nearly everything that anyone says to or about me: I shrug. They forget what they were talking about and go back to eating their waffle or telling that story about the dog and the car battery. All is well.

Except for that now I'm thinking actively about something I never bothered to spend any time thinking about. Why is it bad that I double knot my shoelaces? They stay on that way and they don't come untied. Sure, sometimes they're a little more hassle to remove than if I don't double knot them, but isn't it better to have them stay on when you have to run away from an angry bear than to trip over the laces because you didn't get your shoes securely tied? Do people judge me for this? People actually judge people on their shoelace tying preferences? Jesus, what is wrong with this world?

So, I fixed that by just not double-knotting my shoelaces when I thought anyone would ever look. Which was all the time. Back to the good ol' shoelace tying that everyone else does.

Except, y'know, then the bow unties itself and you get clickity sounds once a day or so.

So, today, while re-tying my shoe for the second time that day, I thought, 'Gee. Maybe I'm actually doing something wrong here. I mean, I don't know how I can be tying my shoes wrong, that seems like something I'd have figured out by now, but uhh.. well, no one but me will laugh at me for looking it up on the Internet...'

So, I google. I get "how to tie" typed in, and Google cheerfully suggests "how to tie a tie,"  probably knowing full well that I am a grown man who might need a refresher on his Windsor or Four In Hand technique. No. "... your shoes." Somewhere, a computer in a rack of servers fulfilled my simple request, and also probably laughed at me from Very Far Away.

Much to my dismay, I immediately find this. And I watch it. And I discover that, in fact, this dude is in his fifties and just figured out how to tie his shoes correctly. I tested my muscle-memory shoe-tying technique while watching his amusing little demonstration. Turns out, I'm already tying my shoes the right way. (Whew!)

So, my question is this.

We have had shoes with laces in wide circulation for at least two-hundred-some-odd years. In those centuries, we have invented all sorts of things, such as microcomputers, supersonic jets, and the ShamWow.

Why the hell hasn't anyone figured out how to tie a damned shoe?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Oh, by the way, I'm not quite dead.

I just realized that I haven't posted anything in .. erm.. *cough* months, now.

So, if any of you fine people do not yak at me on the facebooks, then perhaps you are not in the loop.

I am, as of just about a month ago, employed! I've got a lovely database administrator job in a big tall building where I am nicely compensated for my time and effort, and I am loving my new job to pieces. That is to say, I almost never groan when I have to go to it. (Compared to every other job I have ever had, this one is the best!)

I have a window office, and a salary, and nice benefits, and strangely enjoy SQL development work. I once took a personality test that indicated that I was most likely to enjoy being a.. wait for it.. database administrator. Turns out, that was a pretty good test. I think I even took it online, but it wasn't on OKCupid or a crappy Facebook quiz-app. I want to say it was part of my unemployment benefit red tape at one point.

Anyway, dearest Internet, this is why I've been largely absent. I've been shredding XML instead of the plastic guitar, and hacking out code instead of posts.

I'm willing to bet that if I get tired of my job for some reason (no sign of that happening yet), that I'll start becoming much more prolific in my bizarre rants, but lately things have been pretty low key.

Oh, did I mention that I can pretty much work whatever hours I want to? That's the other best part. It's hard to groan when you have to go to work when you have the option of just sleeping in if you're tired and going in two hours late. Sure, I have to work two hours late if I do that, but nobody minds. AWESOME.

Speaking of awesome, I'm up way past my bedtime, and I'm going to go to sleep so I can let a total stranger put metal things in my mouth tomorrow. I'm pretty sure that means I'm going to the dentist. Or getting my tongue pierced.

No, definitely the dentist, although I'm not really sure which of the two sounds worse right now.

Hello and good night!