11th December 2007

Progress on the path

Matt and LilyWe have two sons and we are very proud of both of them. But in this blog I seem to write much more about Ben than about Matt. That’s natural, because Ben is a writer, so when he publishes something I often link to it.

This post is about Matt, a man on a very different path from his brother. Matt lives in San Diego and works for a large company that has its headquarters on the east coast. He recently won an award that usually goes to an employee at headquarters. We were very proud of him.

Matt is an athlete. He’s a sociable and disciplined young man, academically talented, and completely bi-lingual. He has a wonderful wife named Wendy, and a pug named Lily. He’s earnest and diligent. He graduated from UCLA with honors a few years ago, a double major in International Economics and Spanish. A lot of the kids he competed with were native speakers of Spanish so we were very proud when our gringo graduated at the top of his class. He did post grad language training in Mexico, and went on to teach school in Honduras where he met Wendy.

Corporate success is a quiet thing, woven from successful projects, respect of one’s co-workers and managers, and a broad range of talents and skills. It’s often marked by increased responsibilities, steps along a promotional path, so we were very happy to hear that Matt will be starting a new job next month for his company. He’s been promoted to a more responsible position in a line unit. He gets a raise, a new job title, some support for a graduate program he plans to enter, and best of all…

His commute has been cut in half! Instead of fighting traffic for an hour each way every day, he will bounce down the freeway to an office about half-way between his house and the dog beach. That’s him in the picture with Lily at the dog beach on Thanksgiving Day.

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posted in People, Reflections | 2 Comments

11th December 2007

Great moments in web history — “Monkey touched the monolith”

Offered in a spirit of cultural continuity and preservation:

In Reply to: Re: monkey touch the monolith moment posted by platypus on June 03, 2024

: : : I gather that a “monkey touched the monolith moment” means a watershed, or important, event. But there must be a story behind this idiom. What monkey? What monolith?

: : The “monolith moment” is from a book by Arthur Clarke, 2024–A Space Odyssey.

: : The monolith is a tall, black, rectangular slab, with an eerie humming sound that materializes in the midst of a den of apes. The massive artificial monolith, in contrast to its natural surroundings, stands in a shallow depression in the rocks where the man-apes gather around a water hole.

: : The mysterious monolithic stone slab is a technological machine belonging to aliens in space, one of hundreds of such monoliths sent to Earth to test, teach and transform the apes into higher-order, intelligent beings.

: : The leader of the clan of man-apes is the first to reach out fearfully and hypnotically for the black object. He touches the monolith.

: : Later that day this leader of the apes discovers that he can use dried bones as weapons.

: : The “enlightened” apes gain domination in the animal world, establish their territorial domain, and take an evolutionary step or leap toward (or away from) humanity.

: : In 1968 the book was made into a really glorious motion picture by Stanly Kubrick.

: Thanks Bruce, I certainly understand why the phrase was used to describe when a couple of Texas brothers stuck a hot-dog on a stick, dipped in in cornmeal batter, and fried it. The advent of the corndog is truly a “monkey touch the monolith moment”.

I guess that was the Bush brothers - origins have a great influence on outcomes.

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posted in Verbalistics | 0 Comments

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