Thursday, July 10, 2008

Your Guess Is As Good As Mine

Posted by Lara at 3:59 PM
The scene: In a quiet office, three women sit working at their computers. The only sound in the room - besides that of my, Seeser's, and Jersey's typing - is some light background music from the radio. Suddenly, without warning...

Seeser: "I HAVE TO SEE IF SHE'S EATING A CARROT!"

...

Now, I put it to you folks, my brilliant readers: WTF? Give me an explanation - ANY explanation.

I dare you.

15 comments:

Mrs. Chili on 5:53 PM said...

Um.......

Sorry; I've got nuthin'...

seven on 6:05 PM said...

Uh...

She heard strange noises coming from her rabbit cage and wanted to make sure the bunny wasn't chewing glass?

Her BFF asked her to be her diet accountability partner, and she heard chewing?

She's crazy and/or hallucinating?

If you find out, I want to know.

franz the mouse said...

Too easy. You assumed Seeser meant "carrot" when in fact she meant "caret". Clearly, Seeser was playing the classic ASCII arcade game "Aidan's Revenge II: Down Under" on an emulator for the first time and thought the heroine was eating a caret, the 94th ASCII character. In fact, the heroine was being bonked on her head (represented by an 'o') by a boomerang (represented, in flight, by the ASCII characters 'v', '<', '^', and '>' played in sequence). I'm glad I could clear that up for you.

BetteJo on 7:15 PM said...

...uh ... I believe Franz.

My Life My Life My Life on 7:55 PM said...

hows about a screensaver....

flutter on 8:25 PM said...

A bunny? wha?

Lara on 9:18 PM said...

seven - no to all of those, sorry.

franz - it's nice that you have such a thorough explanation, but unfortunately, it's wrong. :-P

franz said...

Yes, I realized I had missed an important clue soon after I submitted my first response: Seeser was speaking entirely in capital letters. Evidently, she did not have the full complement of ASCII characters at her command; therefore, she could not have been playing the much-lauded, now-classic ASCII arcade sequel to "Aidan's Revenge: Bonked in the Meat Larder". My bad.

The only other reasonable explanation -- particularly in view of the all-caps locution -- is that Seeser was planning to beat a female of some species with a stick if the carrot did not provide the proper coercion.

Guilty Secret on 1:12 AM said...

No idea... but she might like this: http://eastsidebride.blogspot.com/2008/07/carrots-are-my-friends.html

Marcus Aurelius on 2:24 AM said...

franz - Clearly her sister was logged into an ancient UNIX system via an equally ancient uppercase-only VT50 DECScope terminal (which despite being uppercase-only has the full compliment of traditional symbol keys).

As the resident UNIX admin and somewhat of a BOFH-ish character, Seeser had just overwritten the system's ALGOL lexer with her own custom, optimized version that included some hot new extensions and which ran 14% faster on average.

She was just about to call it a day when a remote user (a scientist at the Bulgarian St. Kliment Ohridski Antartic Research Base) opened up a talk(1) session to Seeser and complained that his climate simulation package was suddenly misbehaving. The scientist suspected that some of the more complex exponetiation operations (performed using the caret operator) were occasionally failing.

Seeser quickly realized that this may be due to a latent bug in her new lexer optimizations.

For the last few months, Seeser and Jersey had been working offsetting 12 hour shifts seven days a week in an orgy of hacking and optimizing. Jersey usually worked the 10am to 10pm shift; Seeser, being the more talented hacker, preferred the night and early morning hours.

Over time, both of them had developed quite an affection toward the monsterous and cryptic code monolith they had been working on. They usually referred to it simply as "she", much like a Navy admiral referring to his ship, or a homeless person referring to his shopping cart of bottles and cans.

But a work arrangement so perfect is fleeting indeed. Due to the unfortunate and untimely demise of Seeser's favorite pet ferret, Seeser would once again revert back to the 10am to 10pm shift and reserve the long, lonely nights without Mr. Stinky for her horrible, solitary mourning and gnashing of teeth.

And soon again would circumstances conspire to the detriment of Seeser. The dreaded Lara was back in town jibber-jabbering about her petty problems and flip-flopping about with her usual infuriating walking cadence.

Even though nearly dead from sleep deprivation, she was determined to carry on. After all, global warming is a pressing problem, and she'd be damned if she was going to let her screwup hinder some of the most important and cutting-edge work in the field to date.

The answer came to her as she was heating up a Ramen Noodle package with hot tap water: the lexer was eating a caret character! This was causing exponentiation to be skipped, skewing the formulas horribly.

She hurredly rushed back to the terminal and messaged to Jersey, "I HAVE TO SEE IF SHE'S [the lexer] EATING A CARROT! [caret]"

Lara on 11:47 AM said...

marcus and franz - y'all are a little bit weird (not that i'm one to judge), but pretty darn hilarious. :-P

Seeser said...

Actually, I was listening to our local classic rock station (97.1 The Point) and the female DJ was eating a carrot during the afternoon show. The male DJ thought that it was something that the listeners would like to see, being phallic and all. She disagreed, but they had dozens of callers ask them to record it and put the video on the website.

I was busy working, but all of a sudden I remembered this exchange and wanted to know if they put the video up.

Clearly this explanation is not as interesting as some of the others, but alas...

dupre the yacc said...

Well, was she? The suspense is killing me! Ok, not killing me, but maiming me at least. Already my pinky finger has been maimed by the suspense. It's bleeding. Ok, not bleeding. But kind of smarting.

Lara on 1:21 PM said...

dupre - yes. yes she was.

Mojo on 10:45 AM said...

I was going to guess something on the order of YouTube before Seeser busted in and gave it away. (Really! I was!)

And Franz? Marcus? you guys really should get a hobby. Maybe as contributors to xkcd or Dork Tower. Yeah, that would be perfect!

 

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