Merry Christmas, everyone. Until Monday, I'll be doing little more than check in every now and again to make sure things are running smoothly and that RinkChat hasn't died again. I hope your weekends are all as joyous as I hope mine will be, and I leave you with the following selections from the deluge of wonderful answers to December 14th's reader question:
"My older brother has played the piano since he was four (13 years ago, now). One of my favorite things is sitting here on the computer and hearing him sit down at the piano and just play for a while, whether it's a minute or an hour. Next year he's off to college. Although there are lots and lots of things I'm going to miss about him, hearing the piano is one of the top ones.
"Therefore, piano is definitely better than toothbrush. If I could keep him here for just a while longer and be able to hear him play in exchange for no toothbrush for -- well, maybe not the rest of my life, but for a while -- I would do it in a heartbeat."
"On an unrelated note (ha! pun!), Shakespeare said that music is the food of love. And we all know what happens to love when you have some food stuck between your teeth. If the Bard himself realised the piano-toothbrush connection, who am I to argue? I could also mention Donny and Marie Osmond at this point, but enough is enough, and I want to keep what few friends I may have on the Message Forum."
"Some would say a piano has limited utility. Aside from collecting dust, holding up doileys and trinkets, making the odd bit of nice music now and again, and being dropped on the cartoon bad guy at just the right moment, what good is it?
"My piano has been 'my' piano for well over half my life. It gave a frightened mouse of a child a voice and provided the adolescent an outlet to express the frustrations of growing up. After a particularly destructive relationship, it helped the young adult sort herself out from among the wreckage. Later, in happier times, it's shiny brass pedals were the first thing my son crawled to, laughing with unfettered delight as he discovered self-propulsion. Now that same little boy is learning to play it himself, as it suits him.
"A 17-year old toothbrush is a pretty gnarly thing to behold, and (hopefully) one doesn't look at such an item fondly, tuck it into one's cheek, and remember how one used to brush one's teeth with it just so. On the other hand, my 17-year old piano sits in the corner, its walnut finish glowing softly in the light of the Christmas tree, and it plays as well now as it did when I first got it, perhaps better. I can sit down and extract memories from its keys for hours at a stretch.
"And it doesn't taste half bad, either..."
"Darien," who, incidentally, was announced as half of the Official RinkWorks Couple yesterday, wrote me a letter in response to yesterday's journal entry:
Answers to the previous reader question will be coming in the next journal entry.
Amidst the silliness -- after yesterday's reader question was asked but before it's answered -- a little seriousness.
Yesterday's Reader Poll question was, simply, "Choose 'A' from the list below." The choices were 'A' and 'B'. Here are the results.
As I've mentioned before elsewhere, this was a question I thought up before I had a web site to ask it on. The question is designed to ascertain which of you are mindless followers and which of you are rebels without causes. Neither is particularly complimentary. Then again, I could have said this discerns which of you respect authority and which of you are independent, both of which are complimentary.
A military consisting of type B people would be quickly overcome by another with an actual process of operation. A country of type B people would be a chaotic rabble. A research team of type B people may possibly spend so much time reinventing the wheel as to accomplish very little. On the other hand, artists of type B people would probably produce some remarkable work. Type B folk are less likely to find themselves in ruts throughout life. Type A people, by contrast, are great at coordination and teamwork and getting jobs done, but may lack innovation.
Of course, the above has caveats: one, that these types are extremes and most of you are going to fall somewhere in between, leaning more toward one side than the other. Two, that I am not a psychologist, and I made all this stuff up.
I didn't answer the question, but where do I side? Probably more toward A than B. "Independent thinker" is a popular term these days, certainly a valuable character trait, but one that I don't see as conflicting with a type A disposition. Type A also implies a trusting nature -- judiciously trusting, I would hope -- and I believe that the exchange of trust in either direction is a good thing that outweighs the inherent risks.
But it takes all kinds to make the world go around. In the clone thread a while back, we pretty much all agreed we didn't want another one of ourselves running around. I'm glad there aren't two of me, and I'm especially glad there aren't six billion of me.
I haven't updated this in a while. Partly that's because I'm at a loss for things to say, although I guess I could mention that yesterday I fitted RinkChat with slimmed-down versions of the Redneck and Elmer Fudd dialects from The Dialectizer page. I'm reluctant to load up the chat script too much, in case it becomes a burden on my web host's server, though, so I don't think I'll port any more over. Why those two? I picked the most popular and the most lightweight, respectively.
At any rate, lacking volumes to say, why don't I give up the floor? Tell me, folks, which is better, a toothbrush or a piano? Send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll post a selection of your opinions soon.
Today is the second anniversary of the opening of RinkWorks. See the RinkWorks Timeline for more information. At any rate, to celebrate this occasion, I have opened the short humor featurette, Lights & Noises, a humorous essay on pinball. Happy RinkWorks day, everyone!