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Michael Lang

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ICQ -- 25239620

AIM -- mwlang88

Yahoo! -- mwlang88

Google -- mwlang

Georgia Tech -- [email protected]

According to Webster's Dictionary...

Code noun 'kOd
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin caudex, codex trunk of a tree, document formed originally from wooden tablets Date: 14th century
  1. a systematic statement of a body of law; especially : one given statutory force
  2. a system of principles or rules
  3. a system of signals or symbols for communication b : a system of symbols (as letters or numbers) used to represent assigned and often secret meanings
  4. a set of instructions for a computer
Con·nois·seur noun kä-n&-'sur
Etymology: obsolete French (now connaisseur), from Old French connoisseor, from connoistre to know, from Latin cognoscere Date: 1714
  1. EXPERT; especially: one who understands the details, technique, or principles of an art and is competent to act as a critical judge
  2. one who enjoys with discrimination and appreciation of subtleties <a connoisseur of fine wines>

So, why Code Connoisseur? Well, it was a nickname given to me by two different people at two different jobs in their observations my coding habits, what languages I chose to develop in (and why), and my general approach to solving problems, so it has sort of grown on me, eventually becoming my primary Yahoo! chat ID. It was only a matter of time before I bought my own personal domain name and Code Connoisseur was the natural choice.

About Me:


A page about me wouldn't be complete without mentioning tennis. I first exposed to the game in Jr. High during a brief four week period in P.E. where we learned what a forehand and a backhand and a serve was. However, I didn't seriously consider the game until my freshman year of high school where I once again picked up the racquet to give the H.S. tennis team a tryout. Surprisingly, I made the team and have been hooked ever since.
"I threw the kitchen sink at him, but he went to the bathroom and got a tub." -- Andy Roddick (on explaining his defeat to Federer in 2004 Wimbledon Final)



"I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been." -- Wayne Gretsky
"All things should be as simple as possible, but no simpler." -- Albert Einstein
"To see is to forget the name of that which one sees." -- Monet
"When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world." -- John Muir
"A mind, once stretched, never returns to its original dimension." --Oliver Wendell Holmes
"The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits." -- Albert Einstein
"Omit needless words." -- Strunk & White, The Elements of Style
"A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away," -- Antoine de Saint-Exupery
"Drinking just to get drunk, is like having sex just to get pregnant." -- Robert Hess

What Amazes Me About Entrepreneurs

A city boy, Kenny, moved to the country and bought a donkey from an old farmer for $100.00. The farmer agreed to deliver the donkey the next day.

The next day the farmer drove up and said, "Sorry son, but I have some bad news, the donkey died."

Kenny replied, "Well then, just give me my money back."

The farmer said, "Can't do that. I went and spent it already."

Kenny said, "OK then, just unload the donkey."

The farmer asked, "What ya gonna do with him?"

Kenny, "I'm going to raffle him off."

Farmer, " You can't raffle off a dead donkey!"

Kenny, "Sure I can. Watch me. I just won't tell anybody he is dead."

A month later the farmer met up with Kenny and asked, "What happened with that dead donkey?"

Kenny, "I raffled him off. I sold 500 tickets at two dollars a piece and made a profit of $898.00."

Farmer, "Didn't anyone complain?"

Kenny, " Just the guy who won. So I gave him his two dollars back."

Kenny grew up and eventually became the chairman of Enron.

Perspective is Everything

If you have ever gone through a toll booth, you know that your relationship to the person in the booth is not the most intimate you'll ever have. It is one of life's frequent non-encounters: You hand over some money; you might get change; you drive off. I have been through every one of the 17 toll booths on the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge on thousands of occasions, and never had an exchange worth remembering with anybody. Late one morning in 1984, headed for lunch in San Francisco, I drove toward one of the booths. I heard loud music. It sounded like a party, or a Michael Jackson concert. I looked around. No other cars with their windows open. No sound trucks. I looked at the toll booth. Inside it, the man was dancing.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"I'm having a party," he said.

"What about the rest of these people?" I looked over at other booths; nothing moving there.

"They're not invited."

I had a dozen other questions for him, but somebody in a big hurry to get somewhere started punching his horn behind me and I drove off. But I made a note to myself: Find this guy again. There's something in his eye that says there's magic in his toll booth. Months later I did find him again, still with the loud music, still having a party.

Again I asked, "What are you doing?"

He said, "I remember you from the last time. I'm still dancing. I'm having the same party."

I said, "Look. What about the rest of the people." He said. "Stop. What do those look like to you?" He pointed down the row of toll booths.

"They look like toll booths."

"Noooo imagination!"

I said, "Okay, I give up. What do they look like to you?"

He said, "Vertical coffins."

"What are you talking about?"

"I can prove it. At 8:30 every morning, live people get in . Then they die for eight hours. At 4:30, like Lazarus from the dead, they reemerge and go home. For eight hours, brain is on hold, dead on the job. Going through the motions."

I was amazed. This guy had developed a philosophy, a mythology about his job. I could not help asking the next question: "Why is it different for you? You're having a good time."

He looked at me. "I knew you were going to ask that," he said. "I'm going to be a dancer someday." He pointed to the administration building. "My bosses are in there, and they're paying for my training."

Sixteen people dead on the job, and the seventeenth, in precisely the same situation, figures out a way to live. That man was having a party where you and I would probably not last three days. The boredom! He and I did have lunch later, and he said, "I don't understand why anybody would think my job is boring. I have a corner office, glass on all sides. I can see the Golden Gate, San Francisco, the Berkeley hills; half the Western world vacations here and I just stroll in every day and practice dancing.

"Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." -- Abraham Lincoln

Blast From the Past:

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