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An Engineer’s Guide to Cats

Since today is Sunday, which is as good of a reason as any, and I love cats, which is also another great reason, I’m posting a video I found a while ago on the internet. It’s a funny video where two professional engineers (Paul and TJ) illustrate the proper care and practical benefits of cats. They use their own cats in the video (Paul’s cats, I believe): Oscar, Ginger, and Zoe. I have to say the tuna thing is so so true, as are many others in the video. And yes, I do practice the corporal cuddling punishment. Usually I use it to punish them for looking too cute and cuddly. My cats love it! Just as much as any other cat does, of course. But that’s why it’s called tough love, right? Anyway, here’s the video. Hope you enjoy it.

I like how at the end they add that “None of the kitties, humans, or engineers were mistreated during the making of this film. They were, however, slightly annoyed.”

And if you’ve seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail, you have to watch this video they made: A reenactment of “The Coconut Scene.” With cats.

Those two are just too funny. They have a YouTube channel where you can find links to their store and Facebook page as well as more videos featuring their cats, of course. Even a reenactment of one of the scenes from Princess Bride and a Cats of Christmas Past video featuring a steampunk laptop they built.

So, do you have cats?

 

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Forgetting: not just for old people anymore.

A few years ago I accompanied my grandma to one of her lunches with her friends. My grandma was 76 at the time and all the other ladies were either 85 or 86. They said my grandma was the baby of the group, since she was so young. The lunch was very long, with each of them taking their time to chew their food and still manage to tell stories, but it was a great time. Mainly because of the stories, I didn’t care much about the chewing.

One of them started complaining because her son wanted to hire a maid to help her out during the day. How dare he. She was incredibly upset about that. She said she told her son that was not an option, because if she didn’t have the work around the house to do, she wouldn’t have enough things to occupy her throughout the day. Then another one started talking about how she had a maid and she’d send the girl to wipe the leaves of her plants. She’d send the girl to the porch (apparently she had a lot of foliage there) and give the girl a tiny cloth to go wipe the plants. This way the girl wouldn’t bother her and she could cook as she pleased.

That lead to the cooking topic. They all shared how much they loved to cook. Then one of them started saying she liked to knit while she waited for the food to be ready, but it was hard but she’d go sit down to knit and forget about the food. So one of them said “You should do what I do. Put a chair in front of the stove. This way you won’t forget about it.”

I just remembered all of that because I was sitting on my couch and though “Something smells good,” and after a second I thought “My food!” and ran to the kitchen to rescue my lunch.

Maybe it’s time for me to start putting a chair in front of the stove.

 

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O Sarcasm Font, Where Art Thou?

Watch your words. Once you give them life, they can only be forgiven, never forgotten.

I think it’s so funny how people often forget the power words have. A simple word can damage someone’s self-esteem. It can harm someone more than any punch you can throw. The right word, can make or break us.

“The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right time, but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” Dorothy Nevill

Words are sticks and stones.

But not only words have power, they can also be delivered in a variety of ways, and the inflection used can be the difference between good and evil. You can say the same sentence in different ways and obtain different results every time. You can be funny, sarcastic, evil, honest. It’s all in the way you deliver what you’re thinking.

Now, how about the written word? As of now, at least to extent of my knowledge, there’s no such thing as a font for sarcasm. I’m pretty sure someone will create one sooner or later. And that someone will get rich. But for now, there’s no such thing. Therefore, the written word demands a certain special attention the spoken word doesn’t. And that’s because it comes with no facial expression or the inflection on your voice to aid the recipient in identifying its true meaning.

People think, “Of course they know what I mean. They know me. Of course that’s dripping with sarcasm.” But is it that obvious? I’ve seen so many arguments start with a misinterpreted text or email, I can’t even count. People think they are so clever, but they are just being hurtful. Then they use the excuse that they are only responsible for what they say, not for what others understand. I can see that, to a certain extent, but I think the more correct thought process would be to say I’m responsible for what I say and the way in which I say it. And I’m responsible for giving it the meaning it should carry.

“We may have the right to free speech, but speech is not entirely free. There are always consequences for what we say, whether or not we realize our impact.” Amy Jane

Recently I received an email that hurt me. It contained hurtful words and it was quite disturbing, since it came from someone really close to me. So I replied to it. And this person told me, “Oh, that was not my intention.” Well, to this person, the only thing I have to say is, it doesn’t matter what you intended, but the end result of what you said. It’s easy to say things and then just say, “Sorry, I didn’t mean to.” No, you didn’t mean to. But that was what you accomplished. And apologizing for your words won’t make them go away.

To all those people, I’m sorry that I heard what you said, not what you meant. Next time be more clear about what your real intentions are.

P.S.: I surely believe the world needs a sarcasm font. As soon as possible.

 

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