Nigh ever day I happen across some gem tucked away in the opaque vista of the *nix command-line shell. While attempting to contrive the proper arguments for a date command interpolation, the following editorial injection from its GNU info entry caught my fancy.
28 Date input formats *********************
First, a quote:
Our units of temporal measurement, from seconds on up to months, are so complicated, asymmetrical and disjunctive so as to make coherent mental reckoning in time all but impossible. Indeed, had some tyrannical god contrived to enslave our minds to time, to make it all but impossible for us to escape subjection to sodden routines and unpleasant surprises, he could hardly have done better than handing down our present system. It is like a set of trapezoidal building blocks, with no vertical or horizontal surfaces, like a language in which the simplest thought demands ornate constructions, useless particles and lengthy circumlocutions. Unlike the more successful patterns of language and science, which enable us to face experience boldly or at least level-headedly, our system of temporal calculation silently and persistently encourages our terror of time.
... It is as though architects had to measure length in feet, width in meters and height in ells; as though basic instruction manuals demanded a knowledge of five different languages. It is no wonder then that we often look into our own immediate past or future, last Tuesday or a week from Sunday, with feelings of helpless confusion. ...
-- Robert Grudin, `Time and the Art of Living'.
This section describes the textual date representations that GNU programs accept. These are the strings you, as a user, can supply as arguments to the various programs. The C interface (via the `get_date' function) is not described here.
Now back to work.
Fun encounter with the fairer sex this morning. Went outside my apartment to the Farmer's Market that usually serves only to deprive me of parking on Friday night. Browsed a little, then to the java stand. The pretty twenty-something compliments my "Frozen" shirt with a giggle and asks what I'd like.
"Well ... I've been craving a BBC. A big--"
[beat, anxiety on her face]
[beat, eyes widen]
She laughs. Funny she knew the acronym-- maybe she's on Craigslist.
Anyway, she pours, I explain I've been wanting to use it for a while. "Well, not use a BBC, but the joke." "You're BAAAAD."
She mentions the shirt again, I say, "Yeah, I watch it a lot with the girls. I mean, I don't watch BBC with them-- er, well, I do" "You're BAD this morning!" "I mean the British Broadcasting Corp."
She finishes pouring, but my cup runneth over. I helpfully interject, "BBC ain't fitting in there, is it?"
She laughs again.
We smile, we part and I walk home in the cold September rain.