Friday Four

Friday, October 31, 2014

1. Like other toddlers his age, Little Man hates getting his nose wiped -- or at least he did until a couple of days ago. He's had a cold, and would scream whenever I tried to wipe his nose. He had even started running away from me if I had a wipe in one hand.

But one day, after I noticed buildup, I showed him what I got rid of when I was done. He has since not just been calm about nose wiping, he surprised me one morning by requesting one.

"Why are you poking your wet finger in my face, Little Man? "

He replied by poking his finger (back) into his snotty nose -- or was he pointing? At any rate, he seemed quite happy with me wiping him off afterwards.

2. I didn't go to Mississippi State, but both of my brothers did. Consequently, I am enjoying with them an amazing football season that has seen the Bulldogs make the quickest ascent from unranked to top of the polls. Here's a passage from a good article about the man behind the turnaround:

Dan Mullen called the meeting of everyone even remotely related to the Mississippi State program. Not just players and staff.

Then he called them out.

"Secretaries, faculty reps, everybody," the toast of this town said Saturday night. "I wanted them to know it had to change."

Change the attitude, the resignation, the acceptance of the mediocre. That was six years ago, before anyone even dreamed of record crowds, beating three top-10 teams in a row and a possible No. 1 ranking. Six years ago Mississippi State's first-year coach stared down the room telling them, "You got five coaches fired."
The season is far from over, but, as a sign I saw in coverage of the game against Kentucky put it, "Why not?"

3. On the way to the pumpkin patch yesterday, my daughter made the following commentary on my driving/evocative description of the remainder of the trip: "We'll keep passing cars until we get there."

4. Medium republishes a fascinating 1984 article from Harper's on the then-new innovation of electronic spreadsheets:
It is not far-fetched to imagine that the introduction of the electronic spreadsheet will have an effect like that brought about by the development during the Renaissance of double-entry bookkeeping. Like the new spreadsheet, the double-entry ledger, with its separation of debits and credits, gave merchants a more accurate picture of their businesses and let them see -- there, on the page -- how they might grow by pruning here, investing there. The electronic spreadsheet is to double entry what an oil painting is to a sketch. And just as double-entry changed not only individual businesses but business, so has the electronic spreadsheet.
Among the reasons for the breathless optimism were efficiencies, such as twenty-hour jobs requiring several people becoming possible to one man in a quarter hour.

-- CAV


Today: Added missing bold and hyperlink to Item 4.

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