Sunday, October 14, 2012


Families tend to develop shorthand references to certain phenomena, and we are no exception. Here are three of ours.

Struts: A friend of ours once worked as an illustrator for computer-based flight training programs and she regularly met with engineers known as subject matter experts. At one of the meetings, a SME told a story that he ended by holding up his two pointer fingers about six inches apart and exclaiming "the struts were like this!" Everyone else in the room busted up laughing, and our friend realized that she had no idea why it was funny. Were the struts too big? Too small? At a weird angle? What? Whenever someone says something that flies right over our heads for whatever reason, all we have to do is hold up our pointer fingers six inches apart and we bust up laughing.

Cow Painting: Years ago, Roger and I went to the Park City Art Festival. At one of the first booths, we fell in love with a watercolor of a cow in a field, but decided that since we had just gotten there we we'd come back to buy it later if we still wanted it. After visiting all of the other artist booths, we still wanted it. Of course, it was gone when we went back. Whenever we have to make a decision and we realize we'll miss our chance if we don't act straightaway, it's a cow painting.

Bryce Points: A friend of mine came into work one day really cheesed that he'd gotten in hot water with his spouse for buying a new TV without consulting her first. "I should get credit for all of the times I didn't buy something I wanted!" he raged. Roger and I now regularly report our own Bryce Points to one another when we see something we want but resist. We've got a load of credit built up.

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