Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tales From the Atlantic

I think I mentioned this in my last post. I was recently in North Carolina visiting my folks. Mr. and Mrs. Josh Williams parents.
The photo of the man is my father (da) the lady (ma) I took this photo outside our favorite pub, I cannot remember the name because I was some place else. My folks picked me up at the airport and we made a beeline for this pub.
Not everything is clear but I do know we spent over 56 hours in this pub, ordering drinks, paying for drinks and at times asking one another where we were. I do remember me da repeating I am naked, I am not wearing cloths, over and over and over. I also remember myself repeating I am not sure if I am wearing cloths? Over and over and over…Eventually I looked over at me da and I said, “your fully dressed” and he replied “as are you” so we laughed and laid our heads on the bar for a nap, satisfied that we had both retained our dignity.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Thoughts From the Road

I recently visited the coast of North Carolina to drive my mom’s car home to Indy. My folks (mom and dad) sold their house and are moving back to Indy, so I flew out hung around for a couple of days and then drove mums car home so she and her husband (my dad) could ride home together. I made the drive in 12hrs 50 minutes a total of 880 miles, average speed 69 miles per hour.
While I was on the road I listened to a few new CD’s I brought these particular CD’s because I had purchased them and had not taken the time to plug them into my own music machine, forced diversity. I will learn to like new things whether I like it or not. I also thought about things, I really did not come to any real conclusions or have any revelations, the entire trip!
I was speaking with a colleague today and through a curious tangential conversation we both discovered we could not figure out how Dennis Rodman grew from a shorty pants 5'10" in High School to a 6'6" NBA star. Was it Human Growth Hormone? I could have probably figured this out already if I had known to think about it on my 880 mile drive home.
I do not even watch sports but this I feel is an important question and I think we need to open a round table discussion. After all civilization is based on good communication and so is problem solving. Lets put our heads together and solve this little brainteaser. Thank you in advance for participating. Or if you do not feel like participating thank you for reading this entire post. JW

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Livin' Large With the Folks

Guest Post dedicated to people who suffer from multiple personality disorder.

S. Wray Gregoire
posted on Friday, August 17, 2007
Bio | Sheila Wray Gregoire Archives | Printer-Friendly Version

Living in Your Parents’ Basement
When I was sixteen, I knew for certain that when I hit eighteen I was moving out. This wasn’t because I didn’t like my mother. It was simply a matter of pride. I was going to make it on my own.

Today, I’m constantly floored by the number of young adults I meet who are still living with their parents while they “find themselves”. Recently I was chatting to a high school graduate about what she was going to do in September. She hadn’t given it a lot of thought, really. She might go back to high school, she said, because she really liked some of the sports teams. If not, she supposed she would get a job. For now she was just enjoying the summer while she sorted it all out. Her parents didn’t mind. They enjoyed having her at home.

At least she was only eighteen. Unfortunately, many who are a decade older haven’t made much progress in locating their true selves while they live in their parents’ basement. And they don’t seem to be bothered very much by this.

Our culture, I believe, has encouraged this extended adolescence because we have changed what it means to feel good about oneself. Today, many people are quite content with their lives even if they do not have any accomplishments to speak of. They’re good people, after all; what does it matter if they aren’t settled yet?

Perhaps this starts in the nursery, where we tell children that they are special no matter what. And it continues in school, where instead of stressing achievement, because that might make some children feel badly, we stress being nice to each other. We have “student of the week” awards for children who have been friendly, rather than “math pro of the week” for a kid who aced a test.

We also rob kids of the feeling that they can handle things themselves. When it comes to school, most kids can’t get through it without their parents helping with homework, something that was virtually unheard of twenty years ago. Now it’s expected by the schools, the parents, and even the kids. Attend a grade eight graduation and you’ll hear parents muttering in the stands that it should be them getting the diplomas after all the work they went through!

When children graduate and move on to university, again they’re still relying on their parents. My generation expected to pay for higher education ourselves. Kids today can’t even dream of paying their own way. Twenty years ago university cost $7,000 a year, including tuition and all living costs. Today, $7,000 just covers tuition, at the same time as the wages that students earn have stagnated. While you might expect a kid to be able to pay $7,000, no kid can pay $20,000, not without serious loans. So our kids can’t become independent in the way other generations have before them.

Maybe it’s not so surprising, then, that the number of young adults who still live with their parents has increased. Twenty-five years ago a quarter of all men in their twenties lived at home. Today it’s a third. Of course, many twenty-somethings live with their parents after schooling because it takes a while to find the right job. If they have a plan to get out, that’s not really a problem. But if kids are living with their parents because they don’t want to make any plans at all, I have three words of advice: Kick. Them. Out. Don’t switch margarine brands in the hope that they’ll leave (as one commercial suggests), or subtly leave real estate pages strewn over the kitchen table. Cut off the purse strings and let them go.

Many of us want to give our kids a great life, but floating them when they should be caring for themselves only impedes maturity. Somehow we need to find that balance between doing what is necessary for our children and encouraging independence at the same time. We may waver on this during the teen years, and even during higher education, but once a child is an adult, it has to be their show now. At one time, kids relished this. There’s no reason why they can’t again.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Short History of the Font

I lived next door to a man several years ago; he was an insurance salesman. Mr. Insurance would as a habit trap me when I parked my car and tell me all about himself and the neighbors. He told me that he was writing a book on the history of a particular font, a very obscure and unappreciated font. He told me that if I saw lights on in the Carriage house behind his house built in 1852 he was probably hard at work on his font passion. Eventually he was arrested and put under house arrest for fraud, embezzlement and a curious collection of illegal acts. His family was shamed and I did not have to listen to him ramble on about his favorite font. Below I have included a brief history of fonts. Great Reading! I will be out of town for a few days so if I do not respond I am simply incommunicado, as we say in Indiana. JW

Font History
This section is a brief history that explains the evolutionary development of letterforms and how technology affected changes in typefaces.

Technology and Context
Random House Webster's College Dictionary (1990) defines technology as the application of knowledge for practical ends. The American Heritage Dictionary (1992) tells us technology derives from the Greek word tekhnologia that means the systematic treatment of an art or craft. Many of us think of the tools as the technology. What people know and what people do with what they know is technology. This background frames the word technology in our context: printing is the art, the craft, and printers are the artisans; the printing process is the systematic treatment; the printed result is the practical end; and what we know and learn about printing technology is the knowledge.

Human development has experienced five broad technology stages: 1) hand and handtool, 2) mechanical, 3) machine, 4) electric, and 5) electronic. Two constants throughout the changes in technology are: 1) the tool, the material, and the method always effect the result in a unique way; and 2) we use the cumulative technology from all previous stages daily.

Hand and Handtool Stage
History traces communication and technology to the earliest known beginnings of civilization. The earliest known visual communication, images from the Paleolithic period, confirms the fundamental human need to communicate, and that visual communication is elemental. Technology at this time was basic, that is, the hand as the tool, and hand-manipulated, found and fashioned, non-mechanical tools.

Early images seem more literal than sign like, and seem to have no system to their use. History identifies a three-part development in communication images from: 1) forms for objects, called pictograms, through 2) forms for ideas, called ideograms, to 3) forms for sounds, called phonograms. These signs and symbols and their uses developed from non-standard forms and no perceptible system, through non-standard forms and systems, to standard forms and systems.

Mechanical Stage
The mechanical stage is a period of compound tools and simple machines powered by natural means. They were animal powered, human powered, or nature powered, that is, by gravity, water, wind. Communication, socialization, and technology developed interconnectedly as Western culture began to form.

Language is the unified and systematic means of communication by standardized sounds and signs that function through convention. The letters of the alphabet are the signs of our language system, each something in itself, a unique sign, and not a symbol of some other idea or object. For our Western culture, this means sequential rows of groups of standard signs, the alphabet, written and read from left to right. (See figures 4 through 8.)

The visual form of Western written and printed language derives from two models. The first model is the Roman monumental capitals, or majuscules, which date from about AD 100. Artisans formed these letters in a three-part process: written first with a brush on stone, second chiseled into the stone, and then colored. The second model, the Carolinian minuscule, derives from the majuscule, and dates from about AD 800. Scribes wrote these letters directly on parchment with a square-tipped pen and ink. Scribes refined these two form models in the Renaissance period from about 1350 to 1500 as the humanistic minuscule, or roman style, and the humanistic cursive, or italic style. (See figure 9.)

Gutenberg invented the first reliable means of casting individual, moveable, and reusable pieces of type for printing. Type casting was 'invented' hand technology, and printing was 'adapted' mechanical technology. Printers, and the results of this paired technology, printed books, meant to rival pen-written manuscripts.

Printed roman type took the humanistic minuscule as a model first (1469), and later also the humanistic cursive (1501). The style development of typefaces occurs over three cultural periods: 1) Renaissance, 2) Baroque, 3) Neo-classic. I use these broad style period names rather than typeface classifications to state that it is important to consider influences on the whole cultural period to understand a part of that period. Throughout this time, type casting remained hand technology, printing remained mechanical technology, and the materials of casting and printing directly affected the type forms.

The development of what we know as conventional text typefaces occurred primarily in Italy, France, and England from 1469 to 1818. William Caslon IV introduced the first sans serif printing type in the early 1800s. Giambattista Bodoni died in 1813, and in 1818 his widow published his last work, Manuale Tipografico. This ended the development of traditional text typeface designs. Later type forms are exaggerations, revivals, or variations of these earlier models. (See figure 10.)

Machine Stage
The machine stage marks a significant change in human development. The term 'Industrial Revolution' applies to the social and economic changes that mark the transition from a stable agricultural and commercial society to a modern industrial society. Historically, it is the period in history from about 1750 to about 1850. Technology became an agent of change in the social and economic structure as inventions and new technology created the factory system of large-scale machine production and greater economic specialization. New periods of development came with electricity and the gasoline engine, but by 1850 the revolution, fulfilled in England, had become the dominant factor in British life. The effects of the Industrial Revolution were worldwide. Industrialization transformed France (after 1830), Germany (after 1850), and the United States (after the Civil War).

Complex machines, direct-powered and self-powered by steam and then fuel, increased production speed overall but had little effect on type forms. Printing became machine technology, but type casting remained hand technology.

The cumulative scientific, economic, and political changes of the preceding eras, caused people to believe that continued growth and improvement were the natural state. They believed in reason, science, and unrestrained competition as the means to continuous economic expansion, and to improve the physical and social environment. Primarily, the systematic application of scientific and practical knowledge to the manufacturing process achieved the growth in productivity. Perhaps the most important changes occurred in the organization of work. The typical enterprise expanded and took on new characteristics. Production took place within the firm or the public enterprise instead of the family or manor. Tasks became increasingly routine and specialized. Industrial production became heavily dependent upon the intensive use of capital, that is expense for a physical plant and equipment produced for the express purpose of increasing efficiency. A reliance on tools and machinery allowed individual workers to produce more goods than before, and the advantages of experience with a particular task, tool, or piece of equipment reinforced the trend toward specialization.

Electric Stage
Electricity became useful to industry in the 1880s, and electric powered machines, servo-controlled and servo-powered, soon replaced steam powered machines. Here again are examples of paired technology. That all aspects of printing became electric powered had little effect on type forms.

Phototype was a transition between metal type and digital type. It was post-mechanical and pre-electronic. Many text photo typefaces were copies of machine cast composition typefaces that were themselves copies of the original hand cast designs.

Electronic Stage
'Bad news concerns few, but good news can upset a whole culture.' This statement, by Marshall McLuhan from War and Peace in the Global Village (1968), describes today's experience.

From Gutenberg in the fifteenth century to Köenig in the nineteenth century, the arrival and mechanization of printing established a concatenate of technology, information, and culture. The pre-World War II departure from Newtonian determinism in the sciences and classical communication theory began the evolution of information theory as a new science with macroscopic effects on post-war cultures. Not since the application of steam power and the telegraph in the 1830s have developed societies experienced the increase in information as that due to the infusion of the personal computer. Information interdependence through digital technology has altered human activity beyond traditional description. The global cat's cradle of interactive communication resets Weltanschauung in the image of McLuhan's 'global village.'

We are in the contemporary cycle of technology, affecting information, affecting cultures. As technology becomes established in business, education, entertainment, and professions, many disciplines become disconnected from traditional materials, methods, and tools. The graphic arts jobs that do not exist in the pre-digital printing industry are clear examples. Everyone becomes verbal and visual message makers and message managers, connected by the same universal meta-tool. Computer impact in graphic design rapidly expanded from a production tool to the principal vehicle of expression. Graphic designers intermediate information to understanding, message to meaning, but often today their affectation of technology and its style supersede meaningful content and clear communication, resulting in a specious message. Despite the inertia of economics' acceleration principle, technology itself, even technology as an agent of change, is less important than its effects on the universal themes of human communication that foster cross-cultural interaction.

Time Line

* Renaissance in Italy

Sweynheym/Pannartz 1465 fonts
Da Spira Brothers 1469 font
Nicolas Jenson 1470 font
Aldus Manutius (Fr. Griffo) 1495, 1501 fonts

* Renaissance in France

Geoffery Tory 1525 font
Simon De Colines 1536 font
Jacques Kerver 1546 font
Estienne Family
Claude Garamond
Robert Granjon
Jean Jannon 1642 font

* Belgian/Dutch Renaissance

Plantin/Moretus Family
Elzevir Family
William Caslon 1726, 1732/34 fonts

* Baroque Period (France and England)

Phillippe Grandjean 1702
Fournier Family 1737, 1742
Baskerville in England 1757

* Neo-Classic Period (France and Italy)

Didot Family in France 1775
Bodoni in Italy 1778, 1813

* Industrial Revolution

Senefelder, lithography, 1798
Stanhope, first iron press, 1800
Köenig, powered press, 1814
Hoe, rotary press, 1847
Benton, punch machine, 1885
Merganthaler, Linotype, 1885
Lanston, Monotype, 1887

Monday, February 18, 2008

My First Response to the PC

There was a time when I did not own a computer and in fact judged it to be a time wasting gadget, which at the time I still believe it was just a figment of marketing's imagination. So my answer to this was to purchase the OED, love the book lots of words and you can read about it below. Also read the Professor and the Madman to gain a little insight into the origins of this master piece. I figured this book had most of the words in the English language and I still believe it is true. Now Wikipedia has started to follow in the footsteps of the OED, it has a long way to go, it has its faults but if they follow the model set by the OED it may turn out to be something in a few years that can be relied upon. I go bed now. JW

Oxford English Dictionary
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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This article is about the multi-volume historical dictionary. For other, smaller, dictionaries published by Oxford, see Category:Oxford dictionaries.
"OED" redirects here. For other uses, see OED (disambiguation).
The Oxford English Dictionary Second Edition (OED2)
The Oxford English Dictionary Second Edition (OED2)

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED), published by the Oxford University Press (OUP), is a comprehensive dictionary of the English language.[1] The OED should not be confused with the the one-volume Oxford Dictionary of English, formerly New Oxford Dictionary of English, of 1998.

As of 30 November 2005, the OED included about 301,100 main entries, comprising more than 350 million printed characters. Additional to the headwords of main entries, it has 157,000 combinations and derivatives in bold type, and 169,000 phrases and combinations in bold italic type, a total of 616,500 word-forms. It has 137,000 pronunciations, 249,300 etymologies, 577,000 cross-references, and 2,412,400 illustrative quotations. The latest, complete printed edition of the dictionary (Second Edition, 1989) was 20 volumes, comprising 21,730 pages, with 291,500 entries.

The policy of the OED is to attempt recording a word's most known uses and variants in all varieties of English, worldwide, past, and present; per the 1933 Preface:

The aim of this Dictionary is to present in alphabetical series the words that have formed the English vocabulary from the time of the earliest records [ca. 740 AD] down to the present day, with all the relevant facts concerning their form, sense-history, pronunciation, and etymology. It embraces not only the standard language of literature and conversation, whether current at the moment, or obsolete, or archaic, but also the main technical vocabulary, and a large measure of dialectal usage and slang.

It clarified:

Hence we exclude all words that had become obsolete by 1150 [the end of the Old English era] ... Dialectal words and forms which occur since 1500 are not admitted, except when they continue the history of the word or sense once in general use, illustrate the history of a word, or have themselves a certain literary currency.

The OED is the focus of much scholarly work about English words. Its choice of order in listing variant spellings of headwords influences the written English of many countries.[citation needed]

* 1 History
o 1.1 Origins
o 1.2 The first editors
o 1.3 The Oxford editors
o 1.4 Fascicles
o 1.5 First Edition and First Supplement
o 1.6 Second Supplement and Second Edition
o 1.7 Compact editions
o 1.8 Electronic versions
o 1.9 Third Edition
* 2 Spelling
* 3 Miscellanea
* 4 See also
* 5 References
* 6 Further reading
* 7 External links
o 7.1 Podcast

[edit] History

[edit] Origins

Originally, the dictionary was unconnected to the university; it was a project conceived in London, by the Philological Society, when Richard Chenevix Trench, Herbert Coleridge, and Frederick Furnivall were dissatisfied with the available English dictionaries.

In June 1857, they formed an "Unregistered Words Committee" for finding unlisted and undefined words not in current dictionaries. But Trench's report, presented in November, was not a simple list of unregistered words; it was a study titled On Some Deficiencies in our English Dictionaries, which he concluded were sevenfold:

* Incomplete coverage of obsolete words
* Inconsistent coverage of families of related words
* Incorrect dates for earliest use of words
* History of obsolete senses of words often omitted
* Inadequate distinction between synonyms
* Insufficient use of good illustrative quotations
* Space wasted on inappropriate or redundant content.

Trench suggested that a new and truly comprehensive dictionary would do: based upon contributions from many volunteer readers, who would read books, copy passages illustrating actual word uses to quotation slips, and mail them to the editor. In 1858, the Society agreed, in principle, to the project: A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles (NED).

[edit] The first editors

Trench played a key role in the project's first months, but his ecclesiastical career meant he could not attend to the dictionary for the necessary time, easily ten years; he withdrew, and Herbert Coleridge became the first editor.

On May 12, 1860, Coleridge's plan for the work was published, and the research started. His house was the first editorial office; he ordered a 54-pigeon-hole grid in which to array 100,000 quotation slips. In April 1861, the first sample pages were published; later that month, Coleridge died of tuberculosis, at age 31.

The editorship then fell to Furnivall, who was greatly enthusiastic and knowledgeable, but lacked the temperament for such a long-term project. Many assistants were recruited and two tons of readers' slips and other materials delivered to his house, in many cases passed to them. Furnivall realized they needed an efficient excerpting system. Therefore, in 1864, he founded the Early English Text Society, and, in 1865, founded the Chaucer Society for preparing editions of general benefit and immediate value to the dictionary project, however, none of this work led to compilation; it was entirely preparatory, lasting 21 years.

In the 1870s, Furnivall unsuccessfully approached Henry Sweet and Henry Nicol to succeed him, before James Murray accepted the post. His efforts and association with the dictionary have led to the OED being called 'Murray's Dictionary'.

In the end, there were some 800 enthusiastic volunteer readers, but in a paper-and-ink-dependent process, the major drawback was that the choices of the relatively untrained volunteers—regarding what to read and select, what to discard, and how much detail to provide were arbitrary. One prolific contributor, W. C. Minor, Murray later learned, was an inmate of the Broadmoor Asylum for the Criminally Insane. As months and years passed, the project languished; Furnivall began losing track of assistants, some of whom assumed the project abandoned; others died and their slips went unreturned. Later, the entire set of quotation slips for words starting with H was found in Tuscany; others were assumed to be waste paper and burned as tinder.

[edit] The Oxford editors

At the same time the Society had become concerned about the publication of what it was now clear would have to be an immensely large book. Various publishers had been approached over the years, either to produce sample pages or for the possible publication of the whole, but no agreements had been reached. Those approached included both the Cambridge University Press and the OUP.

Finally, in 1879, after two years of negotiations involving Sweet and Furnivall as well as Murray, the OUP agreed not only to publish the dictionary but also to pay Murray (who by this time was also president of the Philological Society) a salary as editor. They planned on publishing the work at intervals in fascicles, its final form consisting of four volumes of some 6,400 pages. They hoped to finish it in about ten years.

It was Murray who really got the project off the ground and was able to tackle its true scale. Because he had many children, he chose not to use his house in the London suburb of Mill Hill as a workplace; a corrugated iron outbuilding, which he called the "Scriptorium", lined with wooden planks, was erected for him and his assistants. It was provided with 1,029 pigeon-holes for filing the slips of paper, and many bookshelves.

Murray now tracked down and regathered the slips collected by Furnivall, but he found them inadequate because readers had focused on rare and interesting words: he had ten times more quotations for abusion than for abuse. He therefore issued a new appeal for readers, which was widely published in newspapers and distributed in bookshops and libraries. This time readers were specifically asked to report "as many quotations as you can for ordinary words" as well as all of those that seemed "rare, obsolete, old-fashioned, new, peculiar or used in a peculiar way." Murray arranged for the American philologist and liberal-arts-college professor, Francis March, to manage the process in North America. Soon 1,000 slips per day were arriving at the Scriptorium, and by 1882 there were 3,500,000 of them.

It was February 1, 1884, 23 years after Coleridge's sample pages, when the first portion, or fascicle, of the Dictionary was published. The full title had now become A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles; Founded Mainly on the Materials Collected by The Philological Society, and the 352-page volume, covering words from A to Ant, was priced at 12s.6d or $3.25 U.S. The total sales were a disappointing 4,000 copies.

It was now clear to the OUP that it would take much too long to complete the work if the editorial arrangements were not revised. Accordingly they supplied additional funding for assistants, but made two new demands on Murray in return. The first was that he move from Mill Hill to Oxford, which he did in 1885. Again he had a Scriptorium built on his property (to appease a neighbour, this one had to be half-buried in the ground), and the Post Office installed a pillar box directly in front of his house.
The house at 78 Banbury Road, Oxford, erstwhile residence of James Murray, editor of the Oxford English Dictionary.
The house at 78 Banbury Road, Oxford, erstwhile residence of James Murray, editor of the Oxford English Dictionary.

Murray was more resistant to the second requirement: that if he could not meet the desired schedule, then he must hire a second senior editor who would work in parallel, outside his supervision, on words from different parts of the alphabet. He did not want to share the work, and felt that it would eventually go faster as he gained experience. But it did not, and eventually Philip Gell of the OUP forced his hand. Henry Bradley, whom Murray had hired as his assistant in 1884, was promoted and began working independently in 1888, in a room at the British Museum in London. In 1896 Bradley moved to Oxford, working at the university itself.

Gell continued to harass both editors with the commercial goal of containing costs and speeding production, to the point where the project seemed likely to collapse; but once this was reported in the press, public opinion backed the editors. Gell was then dismissed, and the university reversed his policies on containing costs. If the editors felt that the Dictionary would have to grow larger than had been anticipated, then it would; it was an important enough work that the time and money necessary to finish it properly should be spent.

But neither Murray nor Bradley lived to see it done. Murray died in 1915, having been responsible for words starting with A-D, H-K, O-P and T, or nearly half of the finished dictionary; Bradley died in 1923, having done E-G, L-M, S-Sh, St and W-We. By this time two additional editors had also been promoted from assistant positions to work independently, so the work continued without too much trouble. William Craigie, starting in 1901, was responsible for N, Q-R, Si-Sq, U-V and Wo-Wy; whereas the OUP had previously felt that London was too far from Oxford for the editors to work there, after 1925 Craigie's work on the dictionary was done in Chicago, where he had accepted a professorship. The fourth editor was C. T. Onions, who, starting in 1914, covered the remaining ranges, Su-Sz, Wh-Wo and X-Z.

[edit] Fascicles

By early 1894 a total of 11 fascicles had been published, or about one per year: four for A-B, five for C, and two for E. Of these, eight were 352 pages long, while the last one in each group was shorter to end at the letter break (which would eventually become a volume break). At this point it was decided to publish the work in smaller and more frequent installments: once every three months, beginning in 1895, there would now be a fascicle of 64 pages, priced at 2s.6d. or $1 U.S. If enough material was ready, 128 or even 192 pages would be published together. This pace was maintained until World War I forced reductions in staff. Each time enough consecutive pages were available, the same material was also published in the original larger fascicles.

Also in 1895, the title Oxford English Dictionary (OED) was first used. It then appeared only on the outer covers of the fascicles; the original title was still the official one and was used everywhere else.

The 125th and last fascicle, covering words from Wise to the end of W, was published on April 19, 1928, and the full Dictionary in bound volumes followed immediately.

[edit] First Edition and First Supplement
[hide]Publication dates
1888 A A New ED Vol. 1
1893 C NED Vol. 2
1897 D NED Vol. 3
1900 F NED Vol. 4
1901 H NED Vol. 5
1908 L NED Vol. 6
1909 O NED Vol. 7
1914 Q NED Vol. 8
1919 Si NED Vol. 9/1
1919 Su NED Vol. 9/2
1926 Ti NED Vol. 10/1
1928 V NED Vol. 10/2
1928 all NED 12 vols.
1933 & sup. Oxford ED 13 vols.
1972 A OED Sup. Vol. 1
1976 H OED Sup. Vol. 2
1982 O OED Sup. Vol. 3
1986 Sea OED Sup. Vol. 4
1989 all OED 2nd Ed. 20 vols.
1993 all OED Add. Ser. Vols. 1–2
1997 all OED Add. Ser. Vol. 3

It had been planned to publish the New English Dictionary in ten volumes, starting with A, C, D, F, H, L, O, Q, Si, and Ti; but as the project proceeded, the later volumes became larger and larger, and, while the full 1928 edition officially retained the intended numbering, Volumes IX and X were published as two "half-volumes" each, split at Su and V respectively. The entire edition was also available as a set of 20 half-volumes, with two choices of binding. The price was 50 or 55 guineas (£52.10s or £57.15s) depending on the format and binding. The dictionary covered 414,825 words backed by five million quotations, of which some two million were actually printed in the dictionary text.

It had been 44 years since the publication of A-Ant and, of course, the English language had continued to develop and change. So by this time the early volumes were noticeably out of date. The solution was for the same teams to produce a Supplement, listing all words and senses that had developed since the relevant pages were first printed; this also gave the opportunity to correct any errors or omissions. Purchasers of the 1928 edition were promised a free copy of the supplement when it appeared.

The supplement was again produced by two editors working in parallel. Craigie, now being in the United States, did most of the research on American English usages; he also edited L-R and U-Z, while Onions did A-K and S-T. The work took another five years.

In 1933 the entire dictionary was reissued, now officially under the title of Oxford English Dictionary for the first time. The volumes after the first six were adjusted to equalize them somewhat and eliminate the "half-volume" numbering: the main dictionary now consisted of 12 volumes, numbered as such, and starting at A, C, D, F, H, L, N, Poyesye, S, Sole, T, and V. The supplement was included as the 13th volume. The price of the dictionary was reduced to 20 guineas (£21).

[edit] Second Supplement and Second Edition

In 1933 Oxford University had finally put the Dictionary to rest; all work ended, and the quotation slips went into storage. But of course the English language continued to change, and by the time 20 years had passed, the Dictionary was outdated.

There were three possible ways to update it. The cheapest would have been to leave the existing work alone and simply compile a new supplement, of perhaps one or two volumes; but then anyone looking for a word or sense and unsure of its age would have to look in three different places. The most convenient choice for the user would have been for the entire dictionary to be re-edited and retypeset, with each change included in its proper alphabetical place; but of course this would be most expensive, with perhaps 15 volumes to be produced. The OUP chose a middle approach: combining the new material with the existing supplement to form a larger replacement supplement.

Robert Burchfield was hired in 1957 to edit it; Onions, who turned 84 that year, was still able to make some contributions as well. Burchfield emphasized the inclusion of modern-day language, and through the supplement the dictionary was expanded to include a wealth of new words from the burgeoning fields of science and technology, as well as popular culture and colloquial speech. Burchfield also broadened the scope to include developments of the language in English-speaking regions beyond the United Kingdom, including North America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Pakistan, and the Caribbean. The work was expected to take seven to ten years. It actually took 29 years, by which time the new supplement (OEDS) had grown to four volumes, starting with A, H, O and Sea. They were published in 1972, 1976, 1982, and 1986 respectively, bringing the complete dictionary to 16 volumes, or 17 counting the first supplement.

But by this time it was clear that the full text of the Dictionary now needed to be computerized. Achieving this would still require retyping it once, but thereafter it would always be accessible for computer searching — as well as for whatever new editions of the dictionary might be desired, starting with an integration of the supplementary volumes and the main text. Preparation for this began in 1983 and editorial work started the following year under the administrative direction of Timothy J. Benbow, and with John A. Simpson and Edmund S. C. Weiner as co-editors.
Editing an entry of the NOED using LEXX
Editing an entry of the NOED using LEXX

And so the New Oxford English Dictionary (NOED) project began. More than 120 keyboarders of International Computaprint Corporation in Tampa, Florida, and Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, USA, started keying in over 350,000,000 characters, their work checked by 55 proof-readers in England. But, retyping the text alone was not sufficient; all the information represented by the complex typography of the original dictionary had to be retained, which was done by marking up the content in SGML; and a specialized search engine and display software were also needed to access it. Under a 1985 agreement, some of this software work was done at the University of Waterloo, Canada, at the Centre for the New Oxford English Dictionary, led by F.W. Tompa and Gaston Gonnet; this search technology went on to be the basis for Open Text Corporation. Computer hardware, database and other software, development managers, and programmers for the project were donated by the British subsidiary of IBM; the colour syntax-directed editor for the project, LEXX, was written by Mike Cowlishaw of IBM. The University of Waterloo, in Canada, volunteered to design the database. A. Walton Litz, an English professor at Princeton University who served on the Oxford University Press advisory council, told Paul Gray for TIME (March 27, 1989), "I've never been associated with a project, I've never even heard of a project, that was so incredibly complicated and that met every deadline."

By 1989 the NOED project had achieved its primary goals, and the editors, working online, had successfully combined the original text, Burchfield's supplement, and a small amount of newer material into a single unified dictionary. The word "new" was again dropped from the name, and the Second Edition of the OED, or the OED2, was published. (The first edition retronymically became the OED1.)

The OED2 was printed in 20 volumes. For the first time there was no attempt to start them on letter boundaries, and they were made roughly equal in size. The 20 volumes started with A, B.B.C., Cham, Creel, Dvandva, Follow, Hat, Interval, Look, Moul, Ow, Poise, Quemadero, Rob, Ser, Soot, Su, Thru, Unemancipated, and Wave.

Although the content of the OED2 is mostly just a reorganization of the earlier corpus, the retypesetting provided an opportunity for two long-needed format changes. The headword of each entry was no longer capitalized, allowing the user to readily see those words that actually require a capital letter. And whereas Murray had devised his own notation for pronunciation, there being no standard one at the time, the OED2 adopted today's International Phonetic Alphabet. Unlike the earlier edition, all foreign alphabets except Greek were transliterated.

When the print version of the second edition was published in 1989, the response was enthusiastic. The author Anthony Burgess declared it "the greatest publishing event of the century," as quoted by Dan Fisher for the Los Angeles Times (March 25, 1989). TIME dubbed the book "a scholarly Everest," and Richard Boston, writing for the London Guardian (March 24, 1989), called it "one of the wonders of the world."

New material was published in the Oxford English Dictionary Additions Series, two small volumes in 1993, and a third in 1997, bringing the dictionary to a total of 23 volumes. Each of the supplements added about 3,000 new definitions. However, no more Additions volumes are planned, and it is not expected that any part of the Third Edition, or OED3, will be printed in fascicles.

[edit] Compact editions

Meanwhile, in 1971, the full content of the 13-volume OED1 from 1933 was reprinted as a Compact Edition of just two volumes. This was achieved by photographically reducing each page to ½ its original linear dimensions, so that four original pages were shown on each page ("4-up" format). The two volumes started at A and P, with the Supplement included at the end of the second volume.

The Compact Edition was sold in a case that also included, in a small drawer, a magnifying glass to help users read the reduced type. Many copies were inexpensively distributed through book clubs to their members.

In 1987 the second Supplement was published as a third volume in the same Compact Edition format. For the OED2, in 1991, the Compact Edition format was changed to ⅓ of the original linear dimensions (9-up), requiring stronger magnification but also allowing the entire dictionary to be published in a single volume for the first time. Even after these volumes had been published, though, book club offers commonly continued to feature the two-volume 1971 Compact Edition. It is common to read comments praising this earlier edition for its better readability (larger text) and convenience (two smaller volumes), besides the quality of the case and the existence of the magnifying glass drawer in it.

[edit] Electronic versions
Screenshot of the first CD-ROM edition of the OED
Screenshot of the first CD-ROM edition of the OED

Now that the text of the dictionary was digitized and online, it could also be published on CD-ROM. The text of the First Edition was made available in 1988. Afterward, three versions of the second edition were issued. Version 1 (1992) was identical in content to the printed Second Edition, and the CD itself was not copy-protected. Version 2 (1999) had some additions to the corpus, and updated software with improved searching features, but had clumsy copy-protection that made it difficult to use and would even cause the program to deny use to OUP staff in the middle of demonstrations of the product. Version 3 (2002) has additional words and software improvements, though its copy-protection is still as unforgiving as that of the earlier version, and it is available for Microsoft Windows only. See "Miscellanea", below, for further details.

Single-click access to Oxford dictionaries is also available with Babylon Translator, which provides access to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary and Thesaurus with 240,000 definitions and 365,000 synonyms and antonyms.[2]
Screenshot of OED Online
Screenshot of OED Online

On March 14, 2000, the Oxford English Dictionary Online (OED Online) became available to subscribers.[3] The online database contains the entire OED2 and is updated quarterly with revisions that will be included in the OED3 (see below). The online edition is the most up-to-date one available.

As the price for an individual to use this edition, even after a reduction in 2004, is £195 or $295 US every year, most subscribers are large organizations such as universities. Some of them do not use the Oxford English Dictionary Online portal and have legally downloaded the entire database into their organization's computers. Some public libraries and companies have subscribed as well, including, in March and April 2006, most public libraries in England and Wales[4] and New Zealand;[5][6] any person belonging to a library subscribing to the service is able to use the service from their own home.

Another method of payment was also introduced in 2004, offering residents of North or South America the opportunity to pay $29.95 US a month to access the online site.

[edit] Third Edition

The planned Third Edition, or OED3, is intended as a nearly complete overhaul of the work. Each word is being examined and revised to improve the accuracy of the definitions, derivations, pronunciations, and historical quotations—a task requiring the efforts of a staff consisting of more than 300 scholars, researchers, readers, and consultants, and projected to cost about $55 million. The end result is expected to double the overall length of the text. The style of the dictionary will also be changing slightly. The original text was more literary, in that most of the quotations were taken from novels, plays, and other literary sources. The new edition, however, will reference all manners of printed resources, such as cookbooks, wills, technical manuals, specialist journals, and rock lyrics. The pace of inclusion of new words has been increased to the rate of about 4,000 a year. The estimated date of completion is 2037.[7][8]

New content can be viewed through the OED Online or on the periodically updated CD-ROM edition. It is possible that the OED3 will never be printed conventionally, but will be available only electronically. That will be a decision for the future, when it is nearer completion.

As of 1993, John Simpson is the Chief Editor. Since the first work by each editor tends to require more revision than his later, more polished work, it was decided to balance out this effect by performing the early, and perhaps itself less polished, work of this revision pass at a letter other than A. Accordingly, the main work of the OED3 has been proceeding in sequence from the letter M. When the OED Online was launched in March 2000, it included the first batch of revised entries (officially described as draft entries), stretching from M to mahurat, and successive sections of text have since been released on a quarterly basis; by December 2007, the revised section had reached quit shilling. As new work is done on words in other parts of the alphabet, this is also included in each quarterly release.

The production of the new edition takes full advantage of computers, particularly since the June 2005 inauguration of the whimsically named "Perfect All-Singing All-Dancing Editorial and Notation Application", or "Pasadena." With this XML-based system, the attention of lexicographers can be directed more to matters of content than to presentation issues such as the numbering of definitions. The new system has also simplified the use of the quotations database, and enabled staff in New York to work directly on the Dictionary in the same way as their Oxford-based counterparts.[9]

Other important computer uses include internet searches for evidence of current usage, and e-mail submissions of quotations by readers and the general public.

Wordhunt was a 2005 appeal to the general public for help in providing citations for 50 selected recent words, and produced antedatings for many. The results were reported in a BBC TV series, Balderdash and Piffle. Thus, the OED’s small army of devoted readers continue to contribute quotations; the department currently receives about 200,000 a year.

[edit] Spelling

Main article: Oxford spelling

The OED lists British headword spellings (e.g. labour, centre) with variants following (labor, center, etc.). For the suffix more commonly spelt -ise in British English, OUP policy dictates a preference for the spelling -ize, e.g. realize vs realise and globalization vs globalisation. The rationale is partly linguistic, that the English suffix mainly derives from the Greek suffix -ιζειν, (-izo), or the Latin -izāre; however, -ze is also an Americanism in the fact that the -ze suffix has crept into words where it did not originally belong, as with analyse (British English), which is spelt analyze in American English [1]. See also -ise / -ize at American and British English spelling differences.

The sentence "The group analysed labour statistics published by the organization" is an example of OUP practice. This spelling (indicated with the registered IANA language tag en-GB-oed) is used by the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the International Organization for Standardization, and many British academic publications, such as Nature, the Biochemical Journal, and The Times Literary Supplement.

[edit] Miscellanea
Trivia sections are discouraged under Wikipedia guidelines.
The article could be improved by integrating relevant items and removing inappropriate ones.

* The OED is occasionally called the "Oed" (зd), a reference to Oedipus Rex.[citation needed]
* J. R. R. Tolkien once was an OED employee researching etymologies of the Waggle to Warlock range; he parodied the principal editors as "The Four Wise Clerks of Oxenford" in the story Farmer Giles of Ham.
* Julian Barnes also was an employee; he disliked the work.
* The early modern English prose of Sir Thomas Browne is the most frequently quoted source of neologisms.
* William Shakespeare is the most-quoted writer, with Hamlet his most-quoted work.
* George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) is the most-quoted woman.
* Collectively, translations of the Bible make it the most-quoted work; the most-quoted single work is Cursor Mundi.
* Dr. W. C. Minor was one of the most prolific early contributors as a reader. Whilst imprisoned in a criminal lunatic asylum, he invented his own quotation-tracking system, so that he could then submit his slips upon the editors' request.
* Tim Bray, co-creator of the Extensible Markup Language (XML), credits the OED as the developing inspiration of that web language.
* The longest entry in the OED2 was for the verb set, which required 60,000 words to describe some 430 senses. As entries began to be revised for the OED3 in sequence starting from M, the longest entry became make in 2000, then put in 2007.[2] Set is expected to regain its place as the longest entry once it too is revised.
* It would take a person 120 years to type the 59 million words of the OED second edition and 60 years to proofread it, and 540 MB to electronically store it. [3]
* The British quiz show Countdown has awarded the leather-bound complete version to the champions of each series since its inception in 1982.
* The taboo words fuck and cunt did not appear in any general English dictionary between 1795 and 1965; they first appeared in the OED in 1972.
* While large, the OED is not the world's largest dictionary; that distinction belongs to the Dutch dictionary Woordenboek der Nederlandsche Taal, which has similar aims to the OED, and took twice as long to complete.

[edit] See also

* Shorter Oxford English Dictionary
* Oxford Dictionary of English
* Concise Oxford English Dictionary
* Compact Oxford English Dictionary of Current English
* Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary
* New Oxford American Dictionary
* Canadian Oxford Dictionary
* Oediphology

[edit] References

* Free-Babylon web site

1. ^ Oxford University Press
2. ^ Babylon Translator.
3. ^ Juliet New (March 22, 2000). "'The world's greatest dictionary' goes online". Ariadne (23). ISSN . Retrieved on . ,
4. ^ Oxford Online in English Public Libraries.
5. ^ New Zealand procurement.
6. ^ OED on-line New Zealand.
7. ^ From Unregistered Words to OED3." Accessed October 23, 2007
8. ^ Simon Winchester. History of the Oxford English Dictionary TVOntario Big Ideas. ). Podcast accessed on .
9. ^ Liz Thompson. "Pasadena: A Brand New System for the OED" (PDF), Oxford English Dictionary News, Oxford University Press, December 2005, p. 4. Retrieved on .

[edit] Further reading

* Oxford English Dictionary, second edition, edited by John Simpson and Edmund Weiner, Clarendon Press, 1989, twenty volumes, hardcover, ISBN .
* Caught in the Web of Words: J. A. H. Murray and the Oxford English Dictionary, by K. M. Elisabeth Murray, Oxford University Press and Yale University Press, 1977; new edition 2001, Yale University Press, trade paperback, ISBN .
* Empire of Words: The Reign of the Oxford English Dictionary, by John Willinsky, Princeton University Press, 1995, hardcover, ISBN .
* The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary, Simon Winchester, Oxford University Press, 2003, hardcover, ISBN .
* (UK title) The Surgeon of Crowthorne / (US title) The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of The Oxford English Dictionary, by Simon Winchester; see The Surgeon of Crowthorne for full details of the various editions.
* Lost for Words: The Hidden History of the Oxford English Dictionary, by Lynda Mugglestone, Yale University Press, 2005, hardcover, ISBN .
* The Ring of Words: Tolkien and the Oxford English Dictionary, by Peter Gilliver, Jeremy Marshall, and Edmund Weiner, Oxford University Press, 2006, hardcover, ISBN .
* Treasure-House of the Language: the Living OED, Charlotte Brewer, Yale University Press, 2007, hardcover, ISBN .

* "Cyber-Neologoliferation," by James Gleick, The New York Times Magazine, November 5, 2006.

For a wider view of the history of dictionaries see:

* Chasing the Sun: Dictionary Makers and the Dictionaries They Made, by Jonathon Green, Jonathan Cape, 1996, hardcover, ISBN .

[edit] External links

* The Oxford English Dictionary's official website
o Their Archive of documents (as page images), which includes Trench's original "Deficiencies in our English Dictionaries" [4] paper and Murray's original appeal for readers [5]
o Their page of OED statistics, and another such page.
o Two sample pagesPDF (1.54 MiB) from the OED.
o Their page on Tolkien
o AskOxford Compact Oxford English Dictionary Search
* Examining the OED: Charlotte Brewer's analysis of the principles and practices used by OED editors
* The OED Meets Cyberspace: James Gleick's 2006 article.
* The New English Dictionary on Historical Principles is available for download from the Internet Archive:
o Volume 1: Complete
o Volume 2: Complete
o Volume 3: Complete
o Volume 4: Complete
o Volume 5: Complete
o Volume 6: Part 1 Part 2
o Volume 7: Complete
o Volume 8: Part 1 Part 2
o Volume 9: Part 1 Part 2
o Volume 10: Part 1 Part 2

Friday, February 15, 2008

Seven Movies I Have not Seen

I am by no stretch of the imagination a movie junkie but I have seen countless movies over the years, to many to remember in one sitting. So I think the best approach is to come up with a list of movies I have not seen. So I will start with 1:Gone with the Wind. Yes its true I have not watched Gone with the Wind, now I have seen Citizen Kane but not Gone with the Wind. Another movie I have not seen is Yentl, nor have I seen Jaws 3, or that movie that was filmed in Australia about the young couple that went on a dive trip and was left drifting by the dive boat. I think they survived but this movie holds no interest to me. However it does remind me of a dive trip I took about twenty years ago 26 miles off the North Carolina Coast. We were diving on a sunken WW-2 U-boat the U-352 it lay in 120 ft. of water and at this depth you are required to decompress after diving at this depth twenty minutes. The diver follows the Anchor line down and then explores the sub keeping track of time and then back up to decompress, well I have been on this sub a few times so I peered in some hatch’s checked out the conning tower and then back up to hang at 10' for fifteen or twenty minutes the entire time looking around at the other divers and the ladder that is at the stern of the boat plunging into the water ...well the gist of the story is that once we were on board we were short two divers. We scanned the horizon and saw them bobbing in the wave's, now you see them now you don’t. They had become disoriented, were low on air, came to the surface and could not swim against the current to reach our boat. Fortunately there was a fishing boat nearby trolling and they picked the guys up and dropped them off with our boat the Olympic. I guess it is pretty obvious why this moviereminds me of this story, as for other movies I have not seen, I’m in a bit of a rush so any movie that has been released into cinemas this month would be a safe bet. Gotta go I work today. JW

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Editors for hire, no pay, dangerous conditions

If you have visited my blog before you may have seen this cartoon. I have a new camera and program so nothing really works like it is supposed to (my way) so I used this classic cartoon just because I like to look at pictures and laugh. Now I have done this before and I will do this again, I am posting the rough draft of my tip column for my sailing clubs newsletter. I cobbled this out the other day and reread, realized it was a bit clunky so am asking for suggestions how many typos etc. Help me look smart, my pen name is Bailer and only the webmaster knows its me and his wife and the other webmaster, who else I dunno. I really don't sail that often, every time I sail I break something on the boat and if I have guests I don't have the patience to teach, so I have often just drifted with guests using the mast as the sail; a slow controlled drift, it takes a certain skill but I would not advise you to watch for it to become an Olympic event anytime soon. Most of the time I stop by the club on my way home from work and end up chatting with other people about boats or what not, in a nice setting, I did not join the club to fix my boat and yell orders a green crew. So if you have any ideas I am open to suggestions.(zen?) Thank you for your time and kind regards JW

This here is where the tip column lays...

The Mrs. visited the other day; she brought me some cheese grits and stacked enchiladas my favorite! She takes great care of me and always brings me enough food to cover the space between her next visit. I asked her to bring me those little micro-wave sausage breakfast sandwiches next time because I hate to think of her slaving away in the kitchen for me; besides I love those little gourmet saucers of pleasure!
I asked her if I could come visit or if she would at least tell me where her house was, but she reminded me that she married me out of love not because she wanted to spend a lot of time with me, her where about’s remains a mystery. I have figured out how well my behavior was on her last visit by the amount of food she brings, if she brings enough for a week then I know I must have spoken out of turn or created trouble on the docks. Sometimes she only brings food enough for a few days and I think, man o man Bailer you are one cool dude, the ladies love Bailer. Then the next visit I may get two weeks rations. She keeps me fed she keeps me grounded so to speak and in my eyes we have a perfect relationship. Ok, other than the fact that I do not know where she lives she refuses to live aboard with me and she wears a veil when we go out on the town. However like most great love stories ours is beautiful and complex not one of those made for TV love stories but one of those big screen romances. She is one lucky gal and so am I except I am a guy so I guess we are both lucky. Which brings me to my point. March is upon us and soon we can spend more time together, (club members) working together and continuing to make this a club to be proud of. I have been told this is one of the reasons I have been given the most obscure slips in the fleet. So lets not loose focus, lets continue to build a great club, if we keep the club attractive and we pay our dues we can have a good chance of keeping the club a home away from home or in my case home.

Tips and ideas for our club.

1: Pick up after yourself and put the aluminum cans in the recycle bin, this can generate money for the club and is a good message to every visitor.

2: Get you kids involved in racing, it is fun and wholesome, besides it’s a good way to trick your child into learning how to sail, learning a skill, we have some great teachers lets take advantage.

3: When using the portalet remember to close the door, yes it is easier to talk to your friends but in polite society...

4: Take your friends sailing show them the club, make them realize how cool this place is, we are a great little secret, so like all secrets tell a friend but make sure they keep it a secret. As the saying goes Three men can keep a secret as long as two of them are dead. We are proud of our club so tell them it’s a secret, making it all that much more special.

5: Although a great idea, I think the committee should sit on the idea of building a razorwire cage for Saturday night cage fights. Yes this could generate revenue but I for one feel this strays from the idea of this being a sailing club. These are my thoughts yet I am only one man and will stand by whatever the committee decides.

Sail on, Sail on Bailer


Thursday, February 07, 2008

Why Spray Paint is Holding our Society Down

Well as the below photo illustrates, spray paint cans clearly need a spell check system. This is such a simple idea and it would help so many people express themselves without having others not take the message seriously simply because of a miss spelling or a typo's for that matter. You never see this on the news because they media does not want you to know the truth, the media and the spray paint moguls are holding society down.
Editorial written but not read. JW


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

It is Time to Make a Difference

I have a terrific invention that could solve a number of problems. The high cost of petrol, reduces global warming and will help us regain our economy. Now I am looking for some venture capitalists to invest for high returns and some pretty darn sharp engineers and scientists to help me develop my invention.
I trust you all and I am also going to let you in on some of the action. I am working on the idea; well I have the idea I just need help with making it work. My invention is a solar car that will go from 0 to 60 in 4.2 seconds, will look sporty or even look like a hyper aggressive SUV, yet it will also fold up to a convenient wallet sized parcel so when you are done driving you just fold your car up and carry it with you, no more looking for your car in parking lots, no need for a garage, no fossil fuels the positives just continue. So lets put our head around this patent pending idea and make it work. Thank you in advance for you support JW

A clear photo of my mind at work.


Friday, February 01, 2008

Raising Arizona

I am in one of the photos, I will offer a hint. I am not the cactus. In early Jan I had a grand time riding bikes in the desert with a few of my cronies. I did not shower for 5 days. For some reason I am proud of this. I think this is day 3 but I cannot be sure. As the old saying goes "I have heard it said and I believe it is true, to much bathing can weaken you". I do not believe this however I did seem to grow stronger as the days passed.I just do not know. JW