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Tuesday, January 11, 2000

Smokey Briggs


By Smokey Briggs


Well, I know what mama is getting for Valentine's Day _ a case of Spam and some new treads for the truck.

Looks like we all sighed and wiped the sweat off our foreheads a month or two too soon when the date rolled over to 2000 and the computers kept on ticking.

Y2Leap is coming and I'm going to be ready.

This latest date_related threat to continued computing doesn't have a media_catch name yet so I named it Y2Leap.

Why you ask?

Well, it appears that the decidedly brilliant folks that hand us computers and software never learned what a calendar is.

If they had, there would never have a been a Y2_anything. (And a lot of computer geeks would not have made billions fixing a problem that shouldn't have existed in the first place).

First they don't provide for a date other than 19XX.

Now, we learn that much software and hardware may not realize that this year is a leap year. February will have the "extra" day in it this year even though most years that end in "00" are not leap years, even though leap years occur every four years (most of the time).

Got that?

So, on February 29, many computers may think it is March 1.

Will they quit working?

Who knows? After the last year, I wouldn't believe a computer type if he told me the sun came up in the morning and crabapples were sour.

But I have arrived at one conclusion _ programmers are: a) stupid, b) had a very dim view of our chances of surviving as a species (and just didn't think we'd make 2000) , or c) they have written their own retirement plan into our favorite programs.

I'm picking "C."

It got me through all the multiple_choice tests in college so why not?

And I will bet dollars to doughnuts that we haven't seen the last of Y2K and it's progeny.

Next we'll have Y2Leap.

Then there will be another Y2_something.

In a few years we'll get tired of naming them and we'll just call any computer/calendar_related snafu a "Y_bug."

Or maybe we'll wise up and realize why these little problems keep cropping up and why only millions of dollars can effect a cure.

If we do, we'll need some new names for these computer_related adventures.

Names like _ YBRYN (Y_Bill_Gates_is_rich_and_your_not), YMSR30 (Y_Microsoft_execs_retire_at_30), or YNM (Y_Not_Macintosh) (the Mac guys aren't smart enough to build a machine that breaks down with each flip of the calendar page).

EDITOR'S NOTE: Smokey Briggs is the Editor and Publisher of the Pecos Enterprise whose column appears on Tuesdays. He can be e-mailed

Our View

Losing record not the point

The folks over in Odessa just don't get it. If they did, last year's Permian football coach would probably still be the football.

The numbers on the scoreboard are not the final definition of success in athletics - especially high school athletics.

There is more to the equation than win/lose.

Or there should be.

There are a lot of lessons to be learned on the playing field.

Some are learned in victory. Some are learned in defeat.

All are beneficial to the participants over the course of their lives.

High school athletic programs are charged with a delicate task - teach children the ingredients of victory _ sacrifice, teamwork, determination _ but do not teach them that winning is more important than virtue.

When overzealous parents and boosters loose track of this true goal, it is harder to teach the important stuff.

The final definition of success can be found in the lessons learned by the young men and women who played. And many of those lessons are learned when they have given their all - and still lost the contest.

It is good training for life - and that is the final goal.

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