I’m Old, Part XXIV: Flights of Fancy

When I was in college, I had a number of little social circles. One of them included some friends who decided that we should all be Super Criminals since we all had our particular talents that might apply. One of them, David Brandon, had and (still has) a tremendous imagination. He had come up with a theory about how people get bored.

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In his theory, there is a sub-atomic particle that he dubbed a ‘boredon’ which induces boredom. He postulated that certain people emit streams of boredons and that they are so linear that if you aren’t looking straight at them, your head naturally turns one way or the other. He also theorized that they have a spin which acts as a torquing force that, for example, in a lecture hall makes you nod off.

Fascinating.

When I was at Adobe a few years later, I was thinking about this and wondered if there weren’t a bigger picture at play. For example, I observed that when there was a group of people who were heading out to lunch, the group couldn’t make a decision where to go. Similarly, once they got there, they lost the ability to order.

I figured that what was going on here was a particle which I named a dorkon which is a particle of stupidity, but there is a nearly identical particle I called a savvyon which is identical but has a different spin. Moreover, one person’s dorkon is another person’s savvyon and vice versa. So what happens is that when you have a group of normally smart people all in a group, there is such a mix of dorkons and savvyons that everybody gets dumb and can’t make decisions.

Further, I observed that whenever one of my cats sat on my lap, I would get sleepy. There is another particle at play – a dormon – the particle of sleep. As you go through the day, you collect dormons, making you more and more tired. When you fall asleep, you shed dormons so that when you wake up, you feel rested. If you get woken up in the middle of the night, you haven’t shed enough dormons to really by awake, but you don’t have enough to fall back asleep.

So what do cats have to do with this? Well, they have a high coefficient of dormon flux. They readily accept dormons (which is why they sleep so much) and also readily shed them. When they sit on your lap, they’re shedding dormons and you get tired.

Then it occurred to me. A bordon is a complex particle made up from a dormon and a dorkon. It makes so much sense! Someone who is boring thinks they’re interesting because to them, the dorkon that is orbiting the dormon is a savvyon. To everyone else, it’s a dorkon and a dormon. Get hit by enough of these and you want to fall asleep.

This is just a small part of my Grand Unified Sleep Theory.

I’m Old, Part III: More Unusual Resources at Hand

At the time that I was at Adobe, they had some pretty fantastic Holiday parties. I really liked going to these because it was an excuse for me to pull out formal wear. Having a musical bent, I make sure that I always have several sets of formal wear ready to go. I’ve played trumpet at a number of weddings (mostly co-workers) and there are expectations that male musicians in the church should wear a monkey suit. I’m OK with that as I’ve always held that I look good in formal wear.

Honestly, I don’t have a great deal of vanity, except when it comes to formal wear. Last year, I got the opportunity to play the part of the butler in a local production The Nutcracker. When there was a mix-up in the costume for me at the dress rehearsal and the costume wasn’t fitting me, so it was easy enough to run home and pick up a set of tails.

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But that’s neither here nor there.

For one party, I though it would be cool to have an Adobe branded cummerbund and tie. I had ready access to the PostScript logo artwork and was able to knock together a PostScript program that rendered it as if it were a fabric pattern.

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I wanted to be able to silkscreen that onto some, well, silk, but I wanted to remove as much friction from the process as possible. I talked to Jeff Sherwood, who worked on printers that printer to film at very high resolutions and got him to inject my job into one of his test runs so I could get a nice high resolution print of the logo, ready for making a silk screen. I found out from Andy Shore, a long time Adobe employee that Adobe green was pantone 321. Then I contacted a single person t-shirt printing shop and offered the owner the job. She wasn’t sure that she could do it, but was willing to try if I would help. Together, we printer 3 yards of PostScript fabric that I then turned over to a friend of mine who was willing to make a cummerbund and tie in exchange for homemade jams and jellies.

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I was quite happy to wear this to the party and show it off to John Warnock and Chuck Geschke, who were both similarly happy to see it.

20160616_193422Details matter to me and I’m very glad that I was able to put time and effort into this project and that so many people were able to help me with it.