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Random Anecdotes


They’re creepy and they’re kuga,
Mysterious and spuga,
They’re altogether uga,
The Guga Family.

Their house is a museum
Where people come to see 'em
They really are a scream
The Guga Family


:open_book: A quick tour of the mansion
One of the recommended attractions of Taipei is the Lin Family Mansion and Garden (to which I strongly agree), and we planned to see it on our last day in Taiwan, before heading off to the airport. It’s just a few streets away from the subway exit, but we weren’t entirely sure about it’s and our whereabouts. As our schedule was tight, we asked for the way. The first person vaguely indicated straight, then right, leaving us not that much wiser. The second, a young woman, thought for a bit, likely decided it was too difficult to explain and instead offered to make a slight detour and deliver us in person. Seems she had also been on a tight schedule, because she sets out at breakneck speed along the crowded, narrow sidewalk. My wife and I follow behind, dodging food booths and passers-by, finally turning right into a small alley without car traffic, where we can catch up to her. She starts asking us some questions about our time in Taiwan, but she’s not slowing down. Eventually we reach the edge of the garden, so she changes subject (but not pace) and starts briefing us about the history of both the Lin family and the property and related fun facts until we turn left and finally arrive at the entrance. We’ve hardly time to thank her and wave goodbye before she darts off.

While we’ve met helpful people elsewhere, nowhere did we receive a more comprehensive tour of a place before actually entering that place.


:open_book: Lost in translation

So last night hubby and I were reading our books in bed, in a bid to sleep better. He opens Grimm’s Fairy Tales, and starts reading out loud for amusement. ‘ONCE UPON A TIME…’

Then there’s a pause and he says, ‘No… sorry… what?!’

I look up and close my book.

‘Once upon a time, there was a fisherman and his wife who lived in a piss-pot near the sea.’

This propelled me into one of those laughing fits where all the air is sucked out of your lungs :joy:

Obviously it’s a translation thing, but as a first line it’s just hilarious. I’ve found other variations of The Fisherman and HIs Wife that say ‘pig sty’ or ‘dirty shack’, so it’s obvious what they were getting at.

But I’m quite grateful to whoever translated this version. I slept better than ever.


2011 , George R. R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons , p. 498:

“It should have been you who threw the feast, to welcome me back,” Ramsay complained, “and it should have been in Barrow Hall, not this pisspot of a castle.”

(Copied from


Haha :laughing:

Though that’s a little different as ‘pisspot of a castle’ is using the term as a metaphor, whereas in the Grimm story it comes across completely literal. I think that’s what made me laugh so much – I instantly had an image of them actually living in a giant pisspot.


Looking at the first edition original:

Daar was mal eens een Fischer un siine Fru, de waanten tosamen in’n Pispott, dicht an de See – un de Fischer ging alle Dage hen un angelt, un ging he hen lange Tid.

I don’t think that’s really any different in the original German. I think calling a place a pisspot is just an outdated metaphor, no matter the language. :slight_smile:


Oh yeah, that´s distinct northern german dialect.

I also wonder if Alexandre Dumas was inspired by this fairy tale when he wrote Peter and his Goose.


Yeah, it’s practically Dutch if you just change the spelling a little.

Er was eens een visser en zijn vrouw, die woonden samen in een pispot, dicht aan de zee — en de visser ging alle dagen heen en hengelde (viste), en ging hij lange tijd heen (bleef lange tijd weg).



We love you Gugas!


:open_book: A case of camels
A rather recent addition to my job is submitting a weekly report of stuff I worked on, which then trickles up the food chain and is compiled into larger and larger documents that nobody ever reads.

This week, the poor guy doing the first round of copy & paste comes to my desk and asks me to open my report. He believes I made a mistake, and while it’s quite amusing, it might be better, perhaps, to correct it. So I fire up Word, trying to imagine what kind of linguistic mishap might have turned a dry enumeration of work items into a funny affair. Up comes the file, and he immediately points to a word decorated with a curly, red underline, adding “I cannot even make out what that is supposed to mean”. The offender is ForceIdCorrection, which I read out to him and explain that it is a configuration parameter in the software, associated with a bug I had fixed. It is spelled just as intended. Which leaves him perfectly content, if still amused.

As he walks back to his desk (at the other end of the room), I take a quick look at the code I have currently open, grab the longest looking word (placeReticleToPdsAndStartInspectionWait) and send him an IM, which is greeted with roaring laughter. He then slowly spells it out to his colleague, to the obvious amusement of both.

So on the plus side, I have introduced somebody to the joy of camel case notation, but at the same time it made me feel like a freak :worried:. Pondering about the incident some more, I guess it is a good reminder of the fact that something seemingly trivial to oneself might still remain a complete mystery to someone with a different background.


As one of those people who aren’t familiar with camel case notation… :grinning:

…to me it looks like the code is suddenly changing its mind at the end.

WaitNoPleaseMakeItStop :joy:


That doesn’t really have anything to do with the camelCase though. :wink:

It seems to me that it should be something like StartInspectionAndWait, StartInspectionTimeout or StartInspectionQueue instead.


Yeah, the idea must have been to qualify a long running, blocking operation, but after the initial long-windedness, the author suddenly didn’t seem to like wasting another three letters. Coming up with concise and precise names for variables and operations is definitely a talent unto itself.




My point, exactly :smile:!


I was intrigued by the words ‘reticle’ and ‘Pds’ in there and did a quick search.
Is this for one of these kinds of systems:


It’s probably code for this Russian robot, so that it can aim using a reticle:

More seriously, I was wondering what PDS might mean. Thanks for the intriguing hypothesis. :slight_smile:


Pretty close to the mark. Just combine a

(not this one, though) with a

(not this one, though) and plenty of other hardware and you’ve got it. Throw some software on top, and if that is not working as expected, you’re indeed like

Luckily, there’s a (physical) button for that!


I’m not the kind of person that wants to annoy everyone with tales and/or pictures of his kids - despite I really have to resist, because I love them so much and I’m so proud of them that the only thing keeping me is that I know it’s annoying for those who don’t care.

But, most of the funny stuff that happens to me these days (years) is due to them. Now that Alice is 3 and begins speaking more or less fluently, sometimes conversations become pretty funny. Here are two exchanges that made me laugh out loud recently.

:open_book: Stuff my daughters say

:one: Alice now feels old enough to help. She wants to be an active part of the family, so we give her small tasks or chores. One day, at lunch, she offered to go get the fruit from the basket. She took the fruits we all wanted and we ate.

But she brought me only one kiwi, and I usually eat two. So, after eating, I asked her if she could get me another kiwi. She frowns and refuses. Her mother tells her that if she’s responsible for the fruit, she is for the whole duration of the meal. She gets up and goes to the basket, takes two kiwis and gives them to me, frowning all the while.

“Thanks sweetie, but I just wanted one more, not two”, I say. She answers in a bad mood: “I brought two so if you want one more I don’t have to get up again”.

:two: We call Ilaria Ili and Alice Ali. Of course it’s sometimes confusing, but we like the way it sounds. So I was once at the table (most of our conversations happen in front of food - we’re Italian, aren’t we?) and after the usual name mix-up, I decided to joke about it.
“We’ll make you a new sister and we’ll call her Elisa, then a brother and we’ll call him Oliver, so you’ll be Ili, Ali, Eli and Oli”.
Ilaria raises a brow and skeptically comments “you’re having troubles raising two children, just imagine with four”.


Gotta be honest. When I made this thread I didn´t think of it as a “funny stuff my kids say and do” kind of thing. More like stuff that happened to us WAY BACK and we think “I did that?” but maybe that´s just me and at least anyone is still using this at all. So it´s alright.