the heat

Cold bellies get more hugs.
Good evening folks. Yup, I’m using a new recent comments plugin, which gives me a lot more flexibility over how I display the comments in the sidebar. So far I only used it to add a reference to the post a comment was entered on, something which I always thought was missing (all the comments looked like they were from the same article or something). I messed with a bunch of different ways to incorporate the article title, finally landing on the “re:” thing you see now… which I’m still not sure I like. But hey, it does the job.

Two days after I got back from Taiwan, I got a note from a buddy of mine who lives there: Tracy was in the hospital. Tracy’s in the hospital! The word is, she has a low white blood cell count… which I guess can be a symptom of a whole bunch of stuff, and is more common in women. Anyway, I sent her a gift in the hospital and have been checking in with local friends to see how she’s doing. As long as it’s not some rare Asian contagious disease… I guess if I come down with the Bird Flu, I’ll know.

But for real, I was with her nearly all week. We karaoke’d into the wee hours on no less than three nights last week. Despite the fact that we hung out a lot more and were even able to speak much more on this trip out, Tracy and I are still the least close of all my hotel-bar friends. On my last night in town, as we left the all-night restaurant around 5am, I was giving hugs to all the other bar staff and saying goodbye until next time. However, as I moved in to hug her goodbye, she turned her body sideways as if to escape the impending embrace! “Tracy! How cold!” I shouted, eliciting laughs from the others. Then, talking to a buddy today who’s spoken to Tracy since she’s been laid up, I asked him if she said anything about ducking my goodbye hug. “Yeah,” he said, “She said she turned away because of the ‘heat in your stomach.'” I about fell out of my chair laughing. “The heat” in my stomach?! What in the world does that mean? Even the local buddy who talked to her (who speaks Mandarin!) said he didn’t understand, and even talking to her, couldn’t figure out quite what she meant. I told him that next time I’ll need some help icing up my belly. I wonder if “the heat in one’s stomach” is an ancient Chinese way to say “bad breath?”

There surely is such a thing as computer-addiction. I know because I am completely and utterly stricken by it. It really doesn’t bother me that much, to be honest with you. I would argue that most people living in modern, mechanized, industrialized nations are actually “addicted” to one form of media or another. But for some reason, non-PC people think of those who choose the PC as their primary source of entertainment and leisure-time-wasting in a negative light. However, the far more common breed who chose to watch TV from the moment they get home until the moment they drift off to sleep are not. What about a voracious reader, one who spends every free moment poring over books, are they “addicted,” or simply studious? I prefer the computer to the TV… I’ve mentioned that before. Who cares. Shut up and leave me alone, I’m busy at the computer.

In the waste-of-time department: Ever since I saw this linked on fazed the other day, I got sucked in. It’s one of those progressive image puzzles where you look at a picture/puzzle for some kind of hidden or contextual or coded message, and then modify the URL with the solution to get to the next picture/puzzle. Some of them are incredibly complex and nearly impossible. Before I knew it, I found myself starting at this thing until 1am last night before calling it quits. Some of the answers are easily obtained, some require complicated decoding and math, and some even require digital manipulation of the images. Even though I cheated a few times along the way out of desperation, I went back tonight and solved most all of the puzzles I skipped out of frustration. I don’t know why I get hooked on these things, but I do. In fact, I decided to take a crack at the dreaded #34 (the one I was stuck on last night until 1am) today during my lunch break… and before I knew it it was 4:30pm and I was on #38. Have at it, but beware – it will melt your brain.

I bid you… adieu.

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