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 [ BACK]  [NEXT]                       Issue #091 - 05/10/1998


Mother's Daze?

Hello again, SUNFUN'ers!
     Ever notice when your mother uses your whole name, including
the middle one (if you have one), you're in really big trouble? 
Moms have a way of letting you know when you've crossed the line
and really upset them.  But, unlike fathers, mothers are more
likely to take it on themselves.  Bill Cosby used to claim that,
when his mother would get upset with him, she'd say, "You're
driving me to my grave!"  But when his father was angry with him,
he'd say, "I'm driving you to your grave!"  It does seem
sometimes like mom thinks that the child misbehaves because of
something she's done.  Fathers don't have this.  They delegate
blame better.  Probably why Mother's Day is a bigger holiday than
Father's Day...
     Thanks this week to: Timothy McChain, Donna Becwar (my Mom),
Dale Frederickson, Kathleen Beckmann, Jerry Taff, Junji
Taniguchi, Beth Butler (Sarah, Anna, Daniel & David's Mom), John
Adler, Mark Emnot, Laura Hong Li (Derek's Mom), Carol Becwar
(Alison & Mark's Mom), John Peterson, and Mike Fagan.  And Happy
Mother's Day to all of you moms out there!
     Have a Great Week!


   - [My mother] said I must always be intolerant of ignorance
     but understanding of illiteracy. That some people, unable to
     go to school, were more educated and more intelligent than
     college professors. 
                                           - Maya Angelou


     My mother thinks that she doesn't know all that much about
computers, little does she know that she was the first computer
teacher I ever had.
     When I pestered my mother with questions about whether Santa
Claus was a real person or not, her answer was always "Well, you
asked for the presents and they came, didn't they?"  I finally
understood the full meaning of her reply when I heard the
definition of a virtual device: "A software or hardware entity
which responds to commands in a manner as if it were a real
device."  Mother was telling me that Santa Claus is a virtual
person (simulated by loving parents) who responds to requests
from children in a manner indistinguishable from the real saint.
     Mother also taught the IF ... THEN ... ELSE structure: "If
it's snowing, then put your boots on before you go to school;
otherwise just wear your shoes."
     Mother explained the difference between batch and
transaction processing: "We'll wash the white clothes when we get
enough of them to make a load, but we'll wash these socks out
right now by hand because you'll need them this afternoon."
     Mother taught me about linked lists.  Once, for a birthday
party, she laid  out a treasure hunt of ten hidden clues, with
each clue telling where to find the next one, and the last one
leading to the treasure.  She then gave us the first clue.
     Mother understood about parity errors.  When she counted
socks after doing the laundry, she expected to find an even
number and groaned when only one sock of a pair emerged from the
washing machine.
     Later she applied the principles of redundancy engineering
to this problem by buying our socks three identical pairs at a
time.  This greatly increased the odds of being able to come up
with at least one matching pair.
     Mother often had all of us children write thank you notes to
a relative then mailed them in a single envelope.  This was a
great example of blocking records in order to save money by
reducing the number of physical I/O operations.
     Mother used flags to help her manage the housework. 
Whenever she turned on the stove, she put a potholder on top of
her purse to reminder herself to turn it off again before leaving
the house.
     Mother knew about devices which raise an interrupt signal to
be serviced when they have completed any operation.  She had a
whistling teakettle and a dryer that buzzed when it was done.
     Mother understood about LIFO stack ordering.  When packing
my bag lunch for school, she always put the dessert on the
bottom, the sandwich in the middle, and the napkin on top so that
things would come out in the right order at lunchtime.
     And as any kid who's ever misbehaved at a neighbor's house
finds out, all the mothers in the neighborhood talk to each
other.  That is the very definition of a local area network of
distributed processors.
     Mom, you were the best computer teacher I ever had.


   - Motherhood is hereditary.  If you never had a mother,
     chances are your kids won't have one either.


     In Bari, Italy police, arrested a man for snatching purses
to support his drug habit.  It seems he'd ride through town on
his motorcycle and grab purses from women as they were waiting to
cross the street.  He got caught when he snatched a purse from
someone who recognized him -- his mother.


   - Captain Penny's Law:  You can fool all of the people some of
     the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you
     can't fool Mom.


     A court in Duesseldorf, Germany has told a mother there to
simplify her child's name after she tried to register her child
as (deep breath now, folks): Chenekwahow Migiskau
Nikapi-Hun-Nizeo Alessandro Majim Chayara Inti Ernesto Prithibi
Kioma Pathar Henrike.
     The court held that five names should be enough for anyone
and that the 27-year-old mother will have to come up with a
simpler combination.
     Germany has a nearly unique regulation called
"Vornamenbestimmungspflicht;" that is 'obligation to make clear
what a child should be called.'  The mother had wanted to call
the baby Kioma -- a name she'd invented -- but lower courts held
that it wasn't a legal name.
          [ What ever happened to just calling the kid
          Hans? ]


   - A Freudian slip is when you say one thing but mean your


     One of the first lessons anyone learns about nature is that
it's dangerous to get between a mother and her young.  That works
with humans, too, as a bank robber in Madrid, Spain found out
     The robber took Rosa Cirujuno's 25-year-old daughter hostage
as the mother and daughter waited in line at a local bank. 
Claiming that he had a gun and explosives, the robber threatened
to shoot if the bank officers didn't hand over money.
     The robber didn't count on the reaction from the 50-year-old
mother, who knocked the gun out of his hand and threw him to the
ground.  When she found out that the gun was a plastic toy, she
screamed, "You idiot. After all that, it was a plastic gun!," as
she jumped on the startled robber.
     Others helped to subdue the would-be bandit until the police
could arrest him.  (El Mundo / Reuters)
          [ Stop or my mom will beat you up! ]


Things moms say that we remember later.

   - If you fall out of that tree and break your leg, don't come
     running to me!

   - You always find things in the last place you look.  

   - Come here.  Come here.  COME HERE!

   - I won't tell you again.

   - Keep doing that with your face and it'll stay that way.

   - Don't run with that.  You'll poke your eye out.

   - Bill, er John, er..David..uh..  Whatever your name is -- get
     over here.

   - It's always fun until somebody gets hurt.

   - This hurts me more than it hurts you.

   - I've told you a million times, don't exaggerate.  

   - What were you thinking of?

   - No, you did not wash your hands.  Never mind how I know.
     Now, go wash your hands.  USE SOAP.

   - Wait till you grow up and have kids of your own!  

   - You're in big trouble when your Father comes home!  

   - Because I SAID so!

   - How do you know you don't like it if you haven't tried it?

   - When you get married and have kids you'll understand

   - Let me kiss it and make it better.

   - Carrots are good for your eyes.

   - Eat all your dinner or no dessert.

   - You'd lose your head if it wasn't screwed on tight.

   - Who squirted toothpaste all over the rug?

   - I swear you kids are going to drive me crazy one day.

   - If you read in the dark, you'll hurt your eyes!

   - Don't slam the door!

   - Stop running in the house.

   - Why didn't you go before we got in the car?

   - You did WHAT?!


   - "The guitar is all very well, John, but you'll never make a
     living out of it."
                       - Attributed to John Lennon's Mother


     Being a parent isn't about teaching, it's about learning. 
Sometimes, after a tough week, you can really learn from kids.
     I was a little late getting to my son's Little League
baseball game after work that was being played in a park near my
     As I sat down behind the bench on the first base line, I
asked one of the boys what the score was.
     "We're behind 14 to nothing," he answered with a smile.
     "Really," I said.  "I have to say you don't look very
     "Discouraged?" the boy asked with a puzzled look on his
face.  "Why should we be discouraged?  We haven't been up to bat
                                           - From the Web

© 1998 by Bill Becwar. All Rights Reserved.