Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Fri, Jun 11 2004

AAAAA: Anxious About Acronyns And Abbreviations

I use these acronyms, but sometimes I forget their exact translation into words:

  • ARPAnet: Advanced Research Projects Agency Network
  • ASCII: American Standard Code for Information Interchange
  • Active Server Pages
  • AVI: Audio/Video Interleaved
  • BIOS: Basic Input/Output System
  • CGI: Common Gateway Interface
  • DNS: Domain Name System
  • FTP: File Transfer Protocol
  • HTTP: HyperText Transport Protocol
  • JPEG: Joint Photographic Experts Group
  • MPG: Motion Picture Experts Group
  • PDF: Portable Document Format
  • SMTP: Simple Mail Transfer Protocol
  • TLD: Top Level Domain
  • URL: Uniform Resource Locator
  • ZIP: Zone Information Protocol
I was going to include exact phrases of what I often mistakenly call these things, but if any of the rest of you tend to be confused, I didn't want to add my confused version to your confused version. I mean, it's bad enough that the word acronym is itself an Acronym.

posted at: 15:53 | category: /Writing Life | link to this entry

Spiritual Preparation

Friday always seems to be a catch-up day for me. I am rather a renegade in my church circle in some ways, but for those Seventh-day Adventists who esteem the party line, many speak of Friday as the "preparation day". When the denomination was first gathering steam, it was made up of mostly folks who came out of other faiths and denominations in an effort to create a Bible-based organization of believers. Many had come from descendants of the group of people who were the Millerites. Their sense that the Second Coming was imminent meant that they took their everyday work tasks seriously, but it also meant they had to get those tasks out of the way so that they could spend Sabbath in study and missionary work. They sometimes saw the Bible story of manna mostly as a lesson that no one should be cooking and cleaning and working on the seventh day.

It was also the Victorian era for them, when taking a bath often involved carrying and heating water (which might mean first carrying wood and building a fire). The concept of what was work and what was rest was a bit different in those days. Cooking meals and keeping house were similarly challenging tasks. Early Adventists prided themselves on having their boots blacked and their church clothes all laid out on Friday, in preparation for the Sabbath day. These times are different. Most of us spend our workdays with a few hasty minutes in the shower, grabbing clean clothes out of the dryer, and snatching a breakfast bar as we run out the door (or over to our keyboards). And if someone thinks they might wear boots to church on the weekend, it's usually a fashion choice and not a necessity. (Exceptions noted for you few remaining, oil-rig workers and cowboys out there who still know what work boots are).

I do still like the idea of a preparation day. It reminds me of packing for a trip, or getting all gussied up to go out for dinner with special people. It's fun to do something to make a future event just a little more special. So, while I might run the vacuum or pick up some flowers for the table, I don't make Fridays any more frenzied than I have to these days, or the whole preparation thing loses its focus for me on a spiritual level. I have learned to pick one thing I don't get to take care of as a regular, everyday task (such as cleaning out a junk drawer or sending a note to someone I haven't been in touch with lately). I like the way it sets me up for an emotional sense of readiness for any spiritual tidbits I might gain in the aftermath, in the next day or so. It isn't the task that matters so much as the feeling of expectancy it gives me. I just can't get that same good feeling if I whine about how hard I'm working and how much I have to do or if I rush and work so hard that I have a splitting headache when it's time to suddenly switch gears and be "spiritual-minded". We humans just aren't like little spigots that turn on and off that way. We need time to transition and process our thoughts and actions. Like so many things that really matter in life, it isn't the destination that changes us. It's what we've already come to be, on the way to that destination.

posted at: 13:53 | category: /Religious and Spiritual | link to this entry

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