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AlbertJayNock

My Weekend

I finally activated my prepaid cell phone, and I have a serious case of "boy with a toy" syndrome. Yes, it's my first cell phone, and I am an abysmal failure at hiding the fact.

It is still fun for me to call people in the same room. I called QJ on her cell Saturday night while we were both in Jackson's Java. I called Jackson's Java while I was in Jackson's Java. I went home and called my land line, and then called my cell phone from my land line. I have sent text messages to friends for the sole reason that I can.

I can see some old doctor shaking his head, saying "Worst case of boy with toy syndrome I ever did see."

I had dinner at O'Charley's last night. As usual, they brought me my yeast rolls without butter or silver. That always makes me anxious, wondering if I will be able to butter them while they are still hot.

I know buttering rolls is not worth being anxious about. It is urgent, but not important. As they say on bad television drams "It's the not knowing that's killing me". Of course, this is usually said about an unfaithful spouse or a missing child, but it's more a matter of degree than of kind.

I think the problem is that they want to serve you quickly and so they get the rolls out ASAP. This is the wrong approach. I'm not concerned with how quickly I get my rolls, but rather how quickly I can butter them once I have them.

There's something called a jitter buffer used in voiceover IP (as well as other network media).It is a chunk of memory that receives lots of audio packets before playing the first one. The idea is that what's important is not that audio packets are received quickly, but that there is not a big gap between playing a packet and playing it's successor, just like receiving the rolls quickly is not the important thing. If the principles behind a jitter buffer were applied to the serving of rolls, I would never need to rant like I've been ranting.

You might think from the entry thus far that my life is little more than playing with my cell phone and complaining about yeast rolls. Not so! I also like to watch television.

The latest episode of the Sopranos aired last night. A brief recap of the current season so far is that they have gone from Jungian psychology to embracing the even loftier discipline of cosmology.
I guess another way to describe it is that Tony got shot by Uncle Junior in the first episode.

The last couple of episodes had Tony in a kind of purgatory. It was like a dream sequence, but he wasn't really dreaming. It was more like he was in the DMZ between life and death (hence purgatory).

In last night's episode he was out of his coma, and had made some new friends in the hospital. One of them was an evangelical pastor, another was a physicist who used to work at Bell Labs. That's where the cosmology comes in. The pastor is selling the idea of a transcendant universe, and the physicist (played by Hal Holbrook) believes it can be explained in terms of quantum physics. There is a wonderful scene where Tony, some wise guys, and the old physicist are invited by a rapper to watch a boxing match in his hospital room. The physicist is explaining how quantum physics applies to boxing and beyond that to much larger things.

It made me think of how the the title characters in the Brothers Karamazov represented the carnal, the rational and the spiritual. Obviously symbols and at the same time wonderfully drawn characters.

And in a funny way, The Sopranos (at least this season) is like Southpark,delivering insight and wisdom cleverly disguised as lowest-common-denominator entertainment.I think Southpark does it a little better...the morals and messages are so well masked that you don't know they're there until it's too late to turn your brain off. The philosophy lessons on the Sopranos are a little more obvious. But both are better than 90% of what's on TV.

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