December 2007


I had NO idea how bad the ice storm in Oklahoma was going to be.  According to the news this morning, one in three homes in Oklahoma City is without power — that’s about 600,000 homes– and they expect it to take over a week to restore power.

That’s pretty scary.

Scarier still is the very heavy tree branch hanging over my roof.  With the ice covering it, I’d guess it weighs about a thousand pounds, so if that sucker breaks off and falls on my roof, the roof is toast.  Even worse, my insurance company cancelled me, because I have a tree branch hanging over my roof.  So we have no home owners’ insurance right now and a big hazzard hanging over us like the Sword of Damacles.

Let us pray.

Even though I can’t afford it, as soon as this clears up, I’m hiring someone to cut those branches down and haul them off. 

We’re supposed to have snow this weekend, so it doesn’t look like the weather will be improving any time soon.  (Have I said that I hate winter?  I do.)

As I sit here right now, I’m reminded that my son asked me if I heard the loud crash last night.  I didn’t hear it, and it never occured to me that it could be a tree limb breaking off in our back yard. I think I’ll have to leave early today to check that out. 

Keep your fingers and toes crossed for us! 

It’s a winter wonderland in Oklahoma today.

No; no snow, just ice, ice and more ice. We’re supposed to get it all day tomorrow, too. Needless to say, I won’t be driving in to work. I’m very lucky that my boss has the same attitude about putting life and property at stake for a job. She won’t be going in either.

So, I have another day off, but that is doing nothing for my mood. I woke up ticked off after only 3 1/2 hours sleep last night — I won’t go into why. Suffice it to say, I’m still steaming. People who know me will tell you that it takes a lot to make me angry, but once I am, back off! Given that I got so little sleep because of it, I wish I could have backed off myself.

Too bad that’s not possible.

It’s my own fault. It really is. It all boils down to possessiveness. The big, ugly green monster. And, in truth, I have no reason to even feel that way in the first place. It’s petty and childish.

Even so, it’s put me in a black mood all day.

So, in order to combat the darkening I’m feeling, I’m going to think happy thoughts. Here’s something not many people know about me — I have a dream of retiring on a ranch, with a little plot of land to farm next to the house, some big dogs running around, a couple of cats who come inside to curl around my feet, and a wonderful man to warm the other side of the bed at night.

Isn’t that a pretty picture?

I think I’m going to move that from the dream category to the goal category. I think that sounds like a future to shoot for. And who knows? It could happen! :)

In the meantime, I’m going to put all the crap that has been this day on the back burner and enjoy the rest of the evening. Maybe I’ll watch the Iron Chef, then the rest of Las Vegas and end the night with the latest episode of Chuck. Then, when I can’t hold my eyes open any longer, I’ll take a Benedril to get rid of my winter itch and put me out for at least eight hours.

Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day.

1:30am addendum

The day ended on a high note, and my bad mood has fled, so sleep will be good tonight! :D   The power of a goal accomplished with the help of good friends.  Who’d'a thunk it? :D

When the Internet was new, users developed a language of their own — a shorthand that was both descriptive and exclusionary. Internet geeks understood it completely, while outsiders were left scratching their heads. Internet slang has evolved and changed throughout the years, with those changes sometimes bordering on the ridiculous, but the basis has remained the same. The shorthand is quicker than typing out entire sentences and can be equally exclusionary, though that is slowly changing.

Internet speak is divided into two types — emoticons, text based “pictures” that represented an emotion, and acronyms that represented longer phrases. Some of this slang has made it into our speech, so much so that almost anyone can understand it, while others remain more contained to the Internet community.

In the early days of the Internet, as Internet jargon was evolving, it was interesting to watch new slang take hold. Since we were Americans speaking mostly to Americans in those days, it was easy for us to catch the meaning, so adoption of the shorthand was fairly quick. Today, it’s often not so easy. With the introduction of other cultures (including Asian Internet culture that has a well developed Internet language of its own) into our Internet society, we have witnessed a shift in geek speak. MMOs have also caused a shift; since they allow users to “emote” using commands, many of the old jargon has been replaced with command-based jargon.

Here are some examples of some of the differences between the old and the new:

Old: LOL — New: lawl or lawlzor (LOL stands, as most people know, for “laughing out loud,” but what in the world is “lawl” and “lawlzor”? Sound out LOL, and you’ve got your answer for the former; the latter is just the same with the random “zor” added to the end, which was something added by gamers.)

Old: {{{{Maggy}}}} — New: /hug Maggy (Both of these represent a hug, but in the old days, the brackets surrounding a name were like a virtual hug, surrounding your name as arms would surround your body. The new version is command-based, used in text conversation to represent the command that would emote the action to you.)

Old: Newbie — New: nub, nube, or n00b (All represent someone who’s new and inexperienced, but the new version is a shorthand of a shorthand that evolved from the sound of the original shorthand. Now, though, most people pronounce it as you would the “nub” of a pencil, which sounds nothing like the original form.)

Old: ;D, o;>, };> ;P, etc. — New: ^^, QQ, >.<, TT, etc. (All of these emoticons represent emotions, but many of the versions are adoptions from Japanese Internet culture. QQ and TT both mean the person is crying -- if you look, you can see that both represent tears falling from one's eyes -- and these came directly from gaming communties. QQ represents someone who's whining, and players often see comments such as "Stop QQing" and "Less QQ and more pew pew," with "pew pew" representing the sound a vitual gun would make. In other words, stop whining and just play." While QQ is used to insult someone, TT is what someone types when they're sad, so has no connection to ridicule.)

Some of the new jargon has actually come from common keyboarding errors. For example, “pwned” is Internet slang for “owned,” as in “I just owned you,” which means “I just beat you soundly.” Others are new shorthands like “leet,” which means “elite,” “ftw,” which means “for the win,” and “l2p” which means “learn to play.” ZOMG has replaced OMG (oh my god) — this change is directly related to the “zor” phenominon. If you sounded it out, this would say, “Zoh my godzor.”

Yes, really.

Geek speak, while constantly evolving, has become so much a part of our every day lexicon that many of us find ourselves using them in our rl (real life). I’ll never forget the time I was teaching a computer aided composition class at the University of Oklahoma in 1991, when someone in class said something very funny, and, instead of laughing, I said, “LOL.” My assistant rolled his eyes at me and called me a geek as he walked out the door to tell anyone and everyone he knew about what I had just done. Now, that wouldn’t be so unusual.

Internet speak permeates our lives so much that it was even used in the opening episode of last year’s South Park, which won an Emmy. Eric Cartman’s famous line, “Looks like someone’s about to get pwned” has been repeated countless times since the show first aired. Text messaging on cell phones and BlackBerries has increased the number of people who use and understand the “language.”

In short, it’s everywhere.

Because of the evolution of Internet slang, my Masters thesis, titled “The Rhetoric of Online Communication” is sadly outdated today. Internet lexicon changes so quickly that any documentation of it would have to evolve with equal speed in order to keep up. I can’t imagine how different it will be ten years from now.

So if you want a big kick, sign on to World of Warcraft and fly to The Barrens to watch some Barrens chat. You’ll laugh so hard at the craziness there that you’ll type “rotflmaopimpwtime” and mean it!

Before I go, here’s a funny book jacket. For these folks (obviously NOT Internet geeks), the title meant something completely different than what it means to the Internet savvy. For those of us who see omfg all the time, this is a hoot. If the authors had any idea, they’d be mortified!

Well, OU trounced the #1 Missouri Tigers last night in the Big 12 conference from the Dallas Morning Newschampionship. It was a great game on neutral ground, and OU still beat them by 21 points. But will the BCS let them be in the championship?


While I would put our schedule up against any other team’s schedule, and even though the two games we lost were away games — and one was lost in the final seconds to a rogue field goal while the other was lost after our star quarterback left the game in the first quarter with a concussion — I don’t think the BCS votes will go our way.

It’s too bad, too. I think OU could beat anyone right now, and I’d love to see them get the chance. As it is, they’ll probably be in the Fiesta Bowl playing against Kansas.  Don’t get me wrong — that would be a great game. KU was awesome this year, the coach used to be OU’s offensive coordinator, and he’s a great coach and a good friend of Bob Stoops, and OU didn’t get to play them this year, so it would be a great opportunity to show that yes…we’re better than KU this year.

KU didn’t really have a tough schedule until they played Mizzou. Every team they had played but two were having losing seasons and the other two were something like 6-5.

Nothing to write home about.

I guess we’ll find out tonight on Fox’s BCS show.  Whatever happens, OU can call themselves champs again!  And for Sooner fans, they’ll always be number one!


UPDATE:  OU will be in the Fiesta Bowl, going up against #3 West Virginia.  It’s too bad we won’t be in the national championship, but it should be a great game. Stay tuned! :D

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