Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Blue Tooth was a Viking!

The name Bluetooth is derived from the cognomen of a 10th century king, Harald Bluetooth King of Denmark and Norway from 935 and 936 respectively, to 940.
He is known for his unification of previously warring tribes from Denmark (including Scania, present-day Sweden, where the Bluetooth technology was invented) and Norway.
Bluetooth likewise was intended to unify different technologies like computers and mobile phones.
The name may have been inspired less by the historical Harald than the loose interpretation of him in The Long Ships by Frans Gunnar Bengtsson, a Swedish best-selling Viking-inspired novel.
The Bluetooth logo merges the Nordic runes analogous to the modern Latin H and B: (Haglaz) and (Berkanan).
The logo is similar to an older logo for Beauknit Textiles, a division of Beauknit Corporation. That logo, using the obvious connection of a reversed K and B for Beauknit, is wider and has rounded corners, but is otherwise the same.
From the Wikipedia

Sunday, December 24, 2006

A soldier's Christmas

A Soldier's Christmas

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
my daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree, I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep
in perfect contentment, or so it would seem.
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eye when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
and I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear"
Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts,
to the window that danced with a warm fire's light
then he sighed and he said "It's really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night"

"Its my duty to stand at the front of the line,
that separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.

My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,
"then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers.
"My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red white and blue... an American flag.

"I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home,
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat,
I can carry the weight of killing another
or lay down my life with my sisters and brothers
who stand at the front against any and all,
to insure for all time that this flag will not fall."

"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?

It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son.
"Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget

To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone.
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
to know you remember we fought and we bled
is payment enough, and with that we will trust.
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

more rant

I have an excellent book here in my library called "How Real is Real". It was one of my wife's Pscychology Textbooks. It seems that what is "Real" is more fluid and slippery than you think I.A.! This is not just philosophy of the "Yes Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus" type of thought. Reality consists of Loyalty, Patiotism, Fervor, (none of which is "real" in that you can touch or bottle it)and a host of other things. Party platforms, Official policies, racial hatred, religious distrust and Peer Pressure can be VERY real. Maybe even more "real" than Human Rights and Human Dignity. (or so says an elderly friend of mine who still carries the tattoos from Auchwitz on his thigh) Two people witness a great football game. Witness one says "it was a great game...boys mixed it up pretty good, coach rotated the players well, good strategy throughout." Witness number two says "It was a bloodbath...from the first smashed nose to the last twisted ankle, the poor youngsters were forced to hurtle their tender bodies over and over into a tangle of limbs." Yet both witnesses saw the SAME GAME! The "Reality" is not somewhere in the middle, the "reality" is in the perceptions of the individuals. Which witness would you want to control the funding for your football team? In my chosen profession, I do a LOT of acting, a lot of role playing. (I make suits of armour, and swords, and you can rent me to be a Knight for your grand opening! Yeah..really!) Many of the people I hang with have their reality blur...they start to believe that they are actually "Lord High Muckymuck" or whatever, and start acting that way in their day to day life. Actors who buy into their own media hype are more common than you think! The actor who played the Jesuit Priest at St. Marie Among the Hurons told me that playing the part of a priest affected him materially! Carl Sagan was appalled that twice as much money was spent in North America on Astrology than on Astronomy. The money IS certainly real! My friend Joan feels that money spent to elect the Liberal Party of Canada is just as well spent! (she is a rock solid Tory!)
So, MY reality is way different from YOUR reality. You don't have to believe something to be affected by it,(Auchwitz then and Iraq now) so it behooves one to be very cautious around those that do!
This is different I think from Jennifer's feeling that the God of her childhood seems to have changed materially, perhaps even vanished from her life. That God still exists for thousands of people (as she aptly points out) and their BELIEF can still affect her in countless ways. Although I don't know it for sure, it seems to me that withdrawal of support from church and family members would be only natural, and could be devestating if she was dependant of that support. Their reality has remained unchanged. Theirs is certainly the same unquestioning belief in God as a four year old has in Santa Claus. Stop believing in Santa Claus, life unfolds as it STILL get the prezzies. However, stop believing in God, and your church kicks you out. So believe in reality all you want. So what is real?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Christmas Rant

If you accept me into your heart you shall never die". This I believe in. All else is suspect.

The Santa Claus we know in the shopping malls was not invented by the Coca Cola company (red and white? Hmmmm.....) but it was certainly perfected in Atlanta.

Santa Claus is a "secular" figure, no more religious than Jay Leno. Maybe its the idea of believing in something that is not real bothers people who think you should only believe in "real" things. Like Daniel, or Nebechadnezzer, or Paris Hilton. Heck, I once laughed at a mother who was ragging on me for crucifying a smurf outside my campsite. (long story...grin). Apparently I traumatized her precious kids who believed that small blue people lived in the woods. My response would be much the same nowadays...albeit a bit more diplomatic...and that was "quit lying to your kids."

My folks did their best to raise me as a God fearing kid, and they never lied to me. There is NO tooth fairy, there is NO Santa Claus, there is NO trustworthy Republican government, there is NO safety in going home in a strange adult's car, and there is NO way we can afford that new bike! Now they didn't say that in order to further some sort of fundamentalist master plan...nah, it was just that they didn't believe in lying to their kids. Playing dressup on Halloween was fun, but hardly the grave yawning events that spawned the practice.

Ragging on Santa Claus for not being a religious figure is stupid...OF COURSE he is not a religious figure...he sells Coca Cola! Me, I think those cute little elves he has helping him are kinda neat...little Kobolds rather than true elves though. (Elves are demigods in their own right...kobolds make toys and are not immortal.)

Besides, I seem to remember that the whole thing was a way to beat the Pagans at their own game by stealing their Winter Solistice ceremony. Beat the Pagans...thats the TRUE meaning of Christmas! Oh, here's a good excuse...the birth day of our founding prophet. Good, we'll use that! Doesn't matter that its really in July...And ever since, it has been a never ending fight to "beat the pagans". Always that Charlie Brown special about the true meaning of Christmas! Always the insidious creeping of Christianity into our political and social institutions in defiance of the principle of Separation of Church and State. Always this great outcry about the "commercialization" of Christmas. Well, you think it is just Pagans who are crowding the malls today?

Oooooh. My.

What a great rant!

I feel much better now.