Zone38 Presents...
Letters to the World


I know the pieces fit,

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 11:34 pm

I know the pieces fit, ’cause I watched them tumble down
No fault, none to blame, it doesn’t mean I don’t desire
To point the finger, blame the other, watch the temple topple over
To bring the pieces back together, rediscover communication…

— Tool, “Schism”

I just don’t understand it. How can I be so gifted in one mode of communication– and yet I come off as being so gauche and rude in another?

I know what you’re thinking: “What the heck is codeman38 incoherently rambling about this time?” Well, it’s simple, really: the fact that I’m just not all that comfortable when it comes to talking on the telephone. And the fact that my style of writing– whether it be in snail mail, e-mail, instant messaging, or chat rooms– seems rather incongruous when one considers my clumsiness in handling telephone conversations.

Again, don’t get me wrong. When I’m the one initiating the call (that is, if I can get to the point where I actually dial the number in the first place– I’m shy, all right?), or when I expect the phone call ahead of time, I’m generally quite well at ease in maintaining a phone conversation. The problems come about when I receive a phone call unexpectedly, or when I’m interrupted in the middle of something I feel is important by the ringing of the phone; they’re often compounded when the person on the other end of the line is someone I don’t know all too well. But the worst case of all is when someone calls “just to chat”– I’m awful when it comes to making small talk, and in fact it’s something I (and most other INTPs) detest– especially when any of the above-mentioned situations also apply.

Of course, that’s not all that unusual for a shy, introverted person like myself– I mean, we’ve all heard the stories of the stereotypical “shy guy” reduced to a stammer upon receiving an unexpected call from a friend. But what’s especially unusual is that, if I receive an IM or chat request under circumstances which would induce fear if it were a phone call, I generally have no trouble whatsoever with it. No gaucherie, no rude attitude; in fact, I tend to be rather polite and forgiving if I receive an IM in this situation.

So what gives? Again…I’ll just use the excuse presented in the last ‘blog entry, and blame it on my self-proclaimed eccentricity. After all, this excuse seems to work for everything else… 🙂


Take the case of your automobiles…

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 2:50 pm

Take the case of your automobiles
Greatest invention since man discovered wheels
Hydromatic overdrive, four-on-the-floor
Push-button windows, push-button doors
Double-barrelled carburetors rush you anyplace
But you never can find a parking space
Highly illogical…

— from the song “Highly Illogical” by Leonard Nimoy

Ah, driving. Everyone acts as if it’s as easy as taking the proverbial candy from a baby. But honestly– I beg to differ. (Of course, I never felt that taking candy from a baby was all that easy either, but let’s save that for another rant.)

Now don’t get me wrong; I’ve been getting quite a bit better at driving lately, but I still feel that I’m too incompetent to drive on my own. I still haven’t a driver’s license yet, only a learner’s permit, and honestly I don’t know when I’ll actually get a real, honest-to-goodness license. But does it really matter? After all, even with the legal privilege of driving alone, I’ll still no doubt be very much afraid to do so.

But why? Why does it come so naturally to others, including members of my own family, whereas I’m so bloody incompetent at it that I’ve several times humiliated myself? Why, after several years of practice, do I still forget basic rules of the road and still miss what should be rather obvious observations? Why, in short, am I such a bad driver?

Well, there’s always the theory that I’m actually not an Earthling and am instead an orphaned child from some far-off alien race. It’d explain quite a few of my idiosyncrasies, actually– but hey, let’s stay realistic for right now, shall we? 🙂

Seriously, though, I do think it has a lot to do with my INTP personality type, which was mentioned a while back on this page. Granted, so I often use that as an excuse for nearly everything, but in this case it actually does seem to make quite a bit of sense. Though my primary cognitive faculty is Perceiving, it’s not, as is the case in a majority of the population (most of which, no doubt, are rather observant drivers), a Sensory form of perception. Rather, it’s an Introverted iNtuitive form, which in short means that I don’t pay too much attention to the outside world but instead keep a much closer eye on my own thoughts. Yeah, that sounds about right…I’m often off in my own world of thoughts while driving, sometimes completely oblivious to what’s around me– which, of course, is one of the many reasons that I am such a bad driver. Heh.

But then again, it could just be because I’m a self-proclaimed eccentric…


Whoa. As promotion for their

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 2:46 pm

Whoa. As promotion for their MTV2 network, MTV is actually showing <gasp> an entire day of music videos.

Such a novel idea. I wonder why they didn’t think of such a thing sooner? 😉

And incidentally, I just do not understand my cable company. They give us the Golf Channel, Speedvision, and Oxygen as free channels, but ESPN2 and Cartoon Network were until recently part of a premium package. And, of course, MTV2 is nowhere to be found on the dial–not even among the various pay tiers. Go figure…


If you find the news

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 8:53 pm

If you find the news
Just too lengthy for your tastes
Read Headline Haikus.

[Link courtesy of]


Well, they managed to turn

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 11:54 pm

Well, they managed to turn You Don’t Know Jack— one of my all-time favorite trivia games– into a TV game show. And they did it quite faithfully, too. Indeed, this may be one of the most refreshingly amusing programs I’ve seen on ABC– perhaps even on network TV, period– since “Whose Line Is It Anyway” was carried over to American network television.

I won’t spoil the fun for those of you who haven’t caught a glimpse of YDKJ on TV so far, as many of the show’s running gags work best without any prior introduction. I will, however, mention that Paul Reubens did a much better job in his game-show-host persona than I had originally expected, and that the two episodes which aired tonight had me literally rolling on the floor laughing at certain points (and groaning at the intentionally corny jokes every once in a while as well, heh). Let’s just say that even those of you who absolutely detest game shows will probably enjoy this one, simply because of all the silly questions and incidental gags that it entails…

But will it stay on the air long? I’m cynically guessing that ABC might drop the show after a couple months– but only time will tell what actually happens. One thing, though; I’d hate to see YDKJ completely go off the airwaves. It’s just too good to be thrown out entirely; indeed, if it fails on network TV, there’s plenty of opportunity for some cable channel such as Comedy Central to pick it up.

My rating? A very high 8 out of 10. Some of the running gags exclusive to the TV show got a little tedious in the second episode aired tonight, but not so much that they deterred or bored me; in fact, the producers intentionally left room for variation, and even when I knew the basis of the joke I literally fell out of my chair laughing upon seeing some of the gags in the second show. And the half-hour format seemed to cut the game somewhat short; an hour-long format would have suited the show better, I think. (Yes, I do prefer the 21-question game on the CD-ROM; why do you ask?) But other than that, everything else pretty much stuck to the original computer game– in this case, not a Bad Thing at all, given the excellent quality and sheer lunacy of the source material. In short, despite YDKJ’s few minor faults, it’s very well worth watching– and even better yet worth taping to watch on a night with pitiful TV programming, heh.

Oh yeah– and if you’ve never played the original computer game, go ahead and check out the official web site at Great stuff; anyone with a slightly warped sense of humor should very much enjoy it.

Only follow those news stories

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 5:17 pm

Only follow those news stories that someone claims are actually important? Too bad; there are plenty of amusing tidbits to be found in local newspapers, especially in those pages that almost nobody bothers to read. Check out Chuck Shepherd’s News of the Weird or Jim Romenesko’s Obscure Store to see some of what you might have missed…


Ever get the feeling that

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 5:25 pm

Ever get the feeling that something’s missing from your favorite cartoons when you watch them on the Cartoon Network? Well, you’re not alone. It turns out that Warner Bros. has indeed been surreptitiously censoring their classic cartoons behind our backs– and you won’t believe the sheer volume of what’s been cut. Read more about it at The Censored Cartoons Page.

Funny, these ‘toons aired uncut when I was younger…and look how I’ve turned out. Er, wait…just ignore that last statement. <grin>


I got to thinking about

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 3:22 pm

I got to thinking about it last night, and I realized that one of the worst feelings is when you desperately feel like talking to someone– yes, even we extreme introverts have such moments– and yet you can’t think of anything about which to talk.

Let me explain in a little more detail. Generally, if I don’t have anything to say, I’ll just stay quiet and won’t bother trying to make small talk, instead leaving my mind free to ponder whatever it wishes. It’s a pretty common characteristic for those of us classified as INTP personality types. On the other hand, though, when an interesting thought enters my mind, I’ll often spontaneously mutter that thought to myself in the presence of whoever may be near (though the mumble is usually so inaudible that nobody notices it anyway).

But even we extreme introverts feel a little bit extroverted every once in a while. We want to have some sort of social contact, we want to talk to some close friend or acquaintance; sometimes it even gets to the point where we almost need that contact. And that’s absolutely fine, when we have something relatively interesting to discuss. But unlike true extroverts, we’re not the sort of people who will resort to small talk whenever we lack a topic of discussion; such conversation is, for us, rather unfulfilling and not worth the effort.

And thus, in such a situation, we’re faced with the impasse I’ve described– we desperately feel the urge to hold a conversation, but lacking any point about which to talk, it would be useless, at least for us, to do so.

But hey– I guess that’s life…


This may be one of

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 3:03 pm

This may be one of the coolest and funniest music videos I’ve seen in the past few weeks– and yet, to the best of my knowledge, MTV has never aired it. In fact, I discovered it while surfing around the video section of Excite@Home‘s broadband portal today. Enjoy…

Etienne de Crecy – Am I Wrong


Haven’t had your fill of

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 5:55 pm

Haven’t had your fill of amusing signs? Well, take a look at these links. Some of the content overlaps among the three sites, but there’s some good stuff to be found at each.

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