Wednesday, May 10, 2006

A scientifical alien in the family

Did I say I was heading towards a very busy week? Well, turned out I was greatly underestimating it.

First news: my brother graduated in telecommunications engineering today, effectively making him the first member of the family graduating in a university in a scientific subject at least in the last two centuries, but most probably from the foundation of Rome (which is, although some scholars stubbornly refuses to accept that, the real beginning of history). Now, that fell on us as a total surprise, due the very peculiar nature of my brother.

That had several consequences. First of all, that meant that my parents where not allowed to be there at the thesis' discussion (and that's not so uncommon in the family, i refused to have them at mine, either). also, that a huge dinner of celebration was held tonight. I actually just got back from it and I'm full as the proverbial (at least here) pig, as the chosen restaurant is one of those that floods you with food and drinks, even for the already quite insane italian standards.

That also made me reflect on something. As I scrambled form work to find a present for my brother, I realized how much I do not know him in many ways. I know how he behaves and I can predict how he will react to this or that as if he was me as, after all, we have divided a room for the last 25 years, which might be more than I will ever spend with my future wife, if I will ever get to marry (which I'm starting to doubt at this point, but that's another matter).

Yet, I have no idea how to reply to a simple question as "what would he like as a graduation present?". Sad to say, I do not know his tastes in books and art (if he has.. do engineers enjoy such pleasures like the rest of the mortals?), I do not know of any hobby of his except his radio-amateur things (and there, my knowledge is nil, so no way).

So eventually, I went for the most classic of the graduation presents, a pen. Now, ok, engineers don' t use pens, they can hardly write with their hands anymore (as he confirmed, btw) so used they are to computer keyboards, but a pen is a symbol more than anything else. But even with pens, the possible choices are almost infinite. Different brands, stiles and of course, a roller or a fountain pen? So, eventually, I followed my own tastes and chose a silver roller (as at least I know he doesn't use fountain pens) with a modern decoration. Apparently he liked it, who knows, but the point is, how much do I really know my brother? And if I am not sure about someone I have known since he came in the (until that point, MY) house from hospital at the age of 6 days and a few hours and proceeded to steal my mini-bed (that at 2 and something I still enjoyed to use for my afternoon naps), who can I claim to know?

Oh, and just to mak things clear, I love my bro. I really do, even if he can be, and most often is, the most annoying, unsociable, unmannered and rough person I know. And an engineer too.

News number 2: apparently my new bedroom, FINALLY, *should* be delivered this friday morning. Which is good, considering I'm supposed to sleep there, at the new house, friday night with Susanne, so much that today I even bought the new, larger, mattress which *should* *should* be delivered on friday morning as well. I can't remember which of the many strategist I've read so much in my early years said that the chances of disasters are exponential to the use of conditional in the plan, but if he's right, I will probably end up sleeping under one of the many bridges of Rome friday night. Could be worse tho, could be winter.

Which brings me to news number 3: this spring is being, again, quite rainy. Today, for work, I had to move from my office to a secondary office we have 500 meters away. Of course I had to be there at a fixed time. Of course 30 minutes before that fixed time one of the most intense deluges mankind ever witnessed since that wet affair of 40 nights and 40 days narrated in the most successful book of the world came down on me. Of course the peak of the cataclysm was reached when I had no other option, to be in time, than move out. Without umbrella, obviously (who ever needs an umbrella in Rome in may, after all, and how would you take it on a scooter anyway?).

But since you need a smile every day, let's be sued over a smile. Yes. You know the smiley, that universally recognized, often annoyingly abused, iconic representation of a smile thing that we all and always use? I always thought that was one of the greatest examples of free domain, something the world population, at least that part with access to computers, had appropriated to itself. Well, I was wrong some french (of course, couldn't but be french) guy registered that as a trademark in 75 different countries (gee, if he travels) and as Wal-mart tried to register it as well in the States as a trademark, they got sued. To be noted that the very creator of the thing, an american, which means a citizen of that country where people register even random combination of letters because you never know if in the future they couldn't become something meaningful and to make money from, hadn't registered it.

This world hasn't gone crazy, this world has gone crazy a long, long, long time ago. And with this, I head to bed.

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