grep is great


Here’s an old axiom.  I post it now so it gets back onto this site in the correct category and also since you may have forgotten it and we never want to forget axioms.

Pound-for-pound, grep is one of the best programs ever written. What if you could use grep in real life? You could find your remote control, find out which of your dresser drawers has socks, find a car within your price range. Awesome!

Boys and Flashlights


I have struggled with this for years now, and it has just now occurred to me to put it into axiom form.

Here is a true statement: “If you have boys in your house and if you have flashlights in your house, then every flashlight in your house will be loaded with dead batteries.”

Our axiom tells us:
1. If you load new batteries in a flashlight, the batteries will be dead the next time you have a need for a flashlight.

2. If you fall into the broad scope of this axiom, you should buy for your flashlights the cheapest batteries you can find. They are not going to last beyond a week anyway.

3. Someday you will find mismatched batteries in your flashlight; your batteries will have leaked and ruined your flashlight.

4. You should hide a flashlight for yourself in your underwear drawer or the glove box of your gas-guzzling sport-utility vehicle. It occurs to me that you should check for mismatched batteries first.

5. It may be wise to load batteries when you need the light, and afterwards unload the batteries for safekeeping.

In my cupboard at this moment sit four (4) flashlights, all of their batteries (2xAA, 2xAAA, 2xD, and 2xD) utterly dead.

The First Infinite Loop


Yet another axiom regarding programming and infinite loops. I’m on a roll this week…postulating and taking names!

The archetypal infinite loop was written on shampoo bottles in days of old:


Programmers have been following this first model from the beginning, proving once again that “there is nothing new under the sun.”

B didn’t sleep straight through last night but almost. Still I feel refreshed and I can’t help grinning big when I watch those boys sleep in the morning before I leave for work.

Doughnuts More Deadly than Cigarettes


There’s a new axiom in the mix regarding the relative safety of smoking cigarettes vs. eating doughnuts.

So smoking a lot of cigarettes can kill you after a while. But now the health nazis are going to move on to fatty foods.

They should have gone after doughnuts first. Why? Because doughnuts are more deadly than tobacco. Crazy? Let’s do a study to find out: We’ll take 3 people. Tobacco smoker, Doughnut eater, and control. The smoker will smoke a pack of cigarettes a day. The eater will eat the same number (20) of doughnuts a day. The control will do neither. Who do you think will die first?