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21 Feb 2017 home : about : create : digests : bestofs : specials : priests 2:50:28 GMT

Scott Panzer's Personal Oracularities

The following are Oracularities in which I have either asked or answered the question. Some have been good enough to actually make the Oracularities.

676-04 39yg5 3.2

Selected-By: David BREMNER <bremner@romulus.cs.mcgill.ca>

I was an incarnation of the Oracle here.

The Usenet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Oracle most wise, hunter of the hunted, chaser of the chased, scrivener
> of the scrivened, please help me....
> I have been trying for ages to catch this one darn bird.  Now, you
> wouldn't think that it would be such a difficult task, me being a
> super-genius and all, but my plans all somehow seem to go awry.  I've
> tried just about every method that I could think of, including
> butterfly nets, giant slingshots, explosives, rocket sleds, and
> various other products from the ACME catalog.  I've even tried
> painting a picture of a road onto the side of a cliff.  But no matter
> what I try, I always end up being burnt, twisted, stretched, crumpled,
> folded, run over, or dropped from a great height.  And the bird keeps
> mocking me, mocking me, with its incessant "beep beep."  What should
> I do?
> Sincerely yours,
> W. E. Coyote

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Seeker of wisdom and birds, your task is to spend three fractions of
} a year studying with your local Unix users group, and pick up a few
} tips about hacking your way into the AcmeNet.com public unix system.  I
} am certain with your intellectual abilities will know what to do then.
} Here's why:
} --------Begin Included Message--------
} [header deleted]
} Oh Oracle Most Wise, Protector of the Pursued,
} I extend to you my deepest thanks for the tips on how to avoid
} destruction by rocket sled.  However, it seems the one who pursues me
} has come up with a new plan, and is constructing something from a giant
} Y-shaped piece of wood and a large strip of rubber.  Tell me, what is
} the purpose of this device and how can I make good my escape once
} again?
} Yours,
} [name deleted to protect the anonymity of the writer]
} --------End Included Message--------
} You owe the Oracle your Acme frequent purchaser rebates for this
} partial breach of confidentiality.

682-06 3afsJ 4.0

Selected-By: dsew@packrat.aml.arizona.edu (David Sewell)

I asked this question, which I thought was rather lame at the time. Whoever answered it did a great job! Sachiko is the cat who inspired the question.

The Usenet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Oracle most wise,
> I have three cats.  Two speak normally and say 'miaow',
> but the third, still a kitten, says 'miaowmaiow'.
> Why is this?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

}         Cat translation dictionary
}         Volume I -- Common phrases
}          compiled by T. U. Oracle
} Cat phrase              Means
} ==========              =====
} miaow                   Feed me.
} meeow                   Pet me.
} mrooww                  I love you.
} Miioo-oo-oo             I am in love and must meet my
}                         betrothed outside beneath the hedge.
}                         Don't wait up.
} mrow                    I feel like making noise.
} rrrow-mawww             Please, the time is come to tidy
}                         the cat box.
} rrrow-miawww            I have remedied the cat box untidiness
}                         by shoveling the contents as far out
}                         of the box as was practical.
} miaowmiaow              Play with me.
} Miaowmioaw              Have you noticed the shortage of
}                         available cat toys in this room?
} mioawmioaw              Since I can find nothing better to
}                         play with, I shall see what happens
}                         when I sharpen my claws on this
}                         handy piece of furniture.
} raowwwww                I think I shall now spend time
}                         licking the most private parts
}                         of my anatomy.
} mrowwwww                I am now recalling, with
}                         sorrow, that some of my private
}                         parts did not return with me
}                         from that visit to the vet.
} Roww-maww-roww          I am so glad to see that you have
}                         returned home with both arms full
}                         of groceries. I will now rub myself
}                         against your legs and attempt to
}                         trip you as you walk towards the
}                         kitchen.
} gakk-ak-ak              My digestive passages seem to have
}                         formed a hairball. Wherever could
}                         this have come from? I shall leave
}                         it here upon the carpeting.
} mow                     Snuggling is a good idea.
} moww                    Shedding is pretty good, too.
} mowww!                  I was enjoying snuggling and shedding
}                         in the warm clean laundry until you
}                         removed me so unkindly.
} Miaow! Miaow!           I have discovered that, although one
}                         may be able to wedge his body through
}                         the gap behind the stove and into that
}                         little drawer filled with pots and pans,
}                         the reverse path is slightly more
}                         difficult to navigate.
} Mraakk!                 Oh, small bird! Please come over here.
} ssssRoww!               I believe that I have found a
}                         woodchuck or similar animal.
} mmmrowmmm               It is certain that the best tasting
}                         fish is one you have caught yourself.
} mmmmmmm                 If I sit in the sunshine for another
}                         hour or so, I think I shall be
}                         satisfied.
} Mreoaw                  Please ask room service to send up
}                         another can of tunafish.
} Mreeeow                 Do you serve catnip with that?
} mroow                   I have forced my body into a tiny
}                         space in order to look cute.
}                         How'm I doin?
} Miaooww! Mriaow!        Since you are using the can opener,
}                         I am certain that you understand the
}                         value of a well-fed and pampered
}                         cat. Please continue.
} As you can see, it may take years of practice to be able to accurately
} distinguish some of these forms.
} You owe the Oracle a can opener that doesn't require an opposable
} thumb.

This Oracularity did not appear in any of the Oracularities Digests. However, I was rolling on the floor with laughter when I got this answer, so I figured it deserved to be displayed here. The question was indeed intended to be a test message, and I did not expect anyone to answer it as the Oracle might. I was very pleasantly suprised to receive the answer I did:

The Usenet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> This message is a test of a new method of submitting
> questions to the Oracle.  Would you please reply to
> this message at your earliest convenience, quoting
> the original question back to me so I can see how
> it was formatted at your end.  Thanks.
> skip a line
> newline
> newline
> newline
> browser=lynx
> newlines with downarrow

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The Oracle flung his office door open with a crash, startling the
} priests at their terminals.  The clicking of keyboards and mice buttons
} stopped abruptly.
} "Aw right," the Oracle grumbled, grinding his ever-present cigar
} between perfect molars.  "Any o' youse know about dhis guy?"  The Oracle
} absently waved a smouldering piece of paper.  Where his fingers touched
} the page, wisps of smoke rose and mingled with Oracular cigar smoke.
} "Whatcha got there, boss?" Rodriguez asked gently.  "It's not a woodch --
} not one of those questions, is it?"
} "Naw, nuttin' like dat," the Oracle muttered.  "See fer yerself."  He
} thrust the page at her, then sucked deeply on his cigar.  "Some bozo
} wants us to echo his questions back to him so he can see if dey're
} formatted dhe way he likes 'em."  His eyes blazed with Oracular fire.
} "Can you believe dis guy?  I'm a fountain o' wisdom an' he wants ta make
} sure I dot my i's and cross my t's!"
} "You gonna ZOT him, boss?" Chang ventured from the back of the room.
} The Oracle's eyes narrowed.  "Naw, I got a better idea."  He pointed to
} two priests.  "Johnson!  Saha!  Youse two go over to this supplicant's
} place and get him back here.  If he give you any trouble, rough him up
} a bit.  But don't break nothing.  'Specially not his fingers."  The Oracle
} grinned.
} "His fingers?"  Johnson's mouth fell open.  "Boss, you're not gonna --"
} "Dat's right.  I'm gonna make him a priest.  Fate worse'n being ZOTted from
} now until next Doomsday."  The priests nodded vigorously.  The Oracle took
} another long draw on his cigar.  "Now youse guys get back ta work.  I'll
} wait for dhis new guy."  The Oracle pulled his office door shut behind him,
} and his voice, muffled by the glass, floated out past the priests.
} "He'll owe da Oracle a few months on woodchuck detail!  Haw haw haw!"

718-08 7pzvk 3.3

Selected-By: Dave Disser <disser@engin.umich.edu>

I asked this question in a time of despair about my career.

The Usenet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

> Oracle most wise, versed in the arts of diplomacy and tact,
> I am unhappy with my current job.  There is a possibility of getting
> a job doing something much more interesting, but I will need a letter
> of reference from my boss.  How should I go about asking for it?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} The Oracle understands your need to actually work for a living.  Many
} are the days that the Oracle wakes up and says, "You know, it wouldn't
} actually be all that bad going in to a job today."  Then the Oracle
} falls back asleep, but you should know that he sympathizes with you.
} Of course, having obtained a job, it becomes your bounden duty to look
} for a better one, because your job sucks.  You can work your way, from
} each job to an even more challenging job, until you are totally
} incompetent to do what you do.  For some people this process takes
} years, but for a lucky few it can be accomplished right out of
} college.
} Of course, nobody is going to give you a new job unless they thought
} you were pretty good at your last job.  After all, why bother with
} somebody who has reached his level of incompetence when you can help
} sombody else to attain a higher level of incompetence.
} But let's assume that you are, in fact, pretty good at what you do,
} whatever that is, and haven't merely obtained your current position
} based on your ability to grovel, which is fair to middlin'.  So
} theoretically your boss would be just pleased as punch to write you a
} letter explaining o the world how you are the best  in the
} whole history of -ness.
} There is, unfortunately, a catch.  That catch is that your boss is a
} jerk, who wants to preserve you under his greasy, sweaty thumb so that
} he can continue to demonstrate to his superiors (i.e. just about
} everybody) that his puny existence is justified by his ability to get
} so much good work out of you.
} So we have here a quandry, and you chose the correct route out of a
} quandry: you wrote to Uncle Orrie.  The Oracle is flattered, and would
} gladly write you a letter of recommendation himself, but we're run out
} of "Usenet Oracle: When You Haven't The Foggiest Idea, Write Me!"
} stationery.  So we're just gonna have to get the jerk to do it for
} you.
} There are several time honored techniques: threats, cajoling, forgery,
} work stoppage.  These will all do, but they have serious drawbacks.
} You could even try asking nicely, but that won't work either.  You
} need a foolproof scheme, and this is it:
} Use your laser printer to make up a realistic-looking "Boss of the
} Year Contest" flyer, preferably on company letterhead.  Tell him that
} the contest entry requires him to write a letter of recommendation for
} everybody in the office, so that they can see what a wonderful team he
} leads.  Offer big prizes.  Tell him that you'll handle the paperwork.

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