note: “holoblomo” stands for Horribly Local Blogging Month, my response to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) that happens every November. The NaNoWriMo challenge asks writers to compose 50,000 words in a month; I chose 10,000 as my goal. Enjoy.
So here we are.
Thanks to HoLoBloMo, I’ve reached a milestone much sooner than I anticipated. For this is my 100th web...blah...log post! Wow! How about that?
Yeah. We sure do like our milestones, don’t we? But then when we reach them, nothing special happens. No balloons fall from the sky. No cake magically appears. You have to schlep for your own balloons and cake just the way you would anything else, on any other day.
You’re exactly the same as you were when you did your 99th post, unless maybe you got a haircut in between, or got hit by a bus. Your 100th post may not even be as good as the other 99, and maybe your 101st post will be the best post ever, or maybe it won’t, but no one will notice or care, because its numerical order does not end in a 0, two 0s, a 5 and a 0, or three 0s.
Don’t you go telling me about 4 zeros. I have a finite lifespan.
I’m told it’s because we have ten fingers and ten toes, and our counting system is created on “base ten.” This is where my head starts to hurt. I don’t need to know why the math is, I only need to know how to make the math, right? I mean, do I need to think about the fact that there is no special digit for the number ten? It’s a 1 and a 0, yes, but come on. Let’s just call it ten. Let’s not call it “1 ten and 0 ones.” Which is what it is, yes, I know, but...
And let’s not even get into the fantasy worlds where we have 8 fingers and toes, or 12, and then try to wrap our heads around “base 8” or “base 12.” Can’t I just talk about candy like I normally do?
But the one thing that does interest me is thinking about how someone came up with the numbers to begin with. Not so much the Roman Numerals. I can take or leave those. I’m talking the Arabic numbers. 1 is easy. It looks like a single finger, and is sort of a ripoff of a Roman Numeral I. But who decided that the 3 should kind of look like half an 8, when 3 isn’t actually half of 8? And who decided that the 9 should be an upside-down 6? And if the 9 is an upside-down 6, then why is the 5 a variation of an upside-down 2 rather than an actual upside-down 2?
Oh, man. I sound like a Hollywood studio’s notes on numbers. (And could there be two 8s? They’re so cute and jolly. We could spin them off! That would be an amazing franchise!)
Back to milestones.
Aside from the whole base ten thing, maybe we’re fascinated by all things ending in 0 because one of our major accomplishments as a wee peanut is learning to count to ten. And when we did that, everyone went yay! I guess we just keep thinking that every milestone that’s a multiple of ten will automatically warrant a yay!
That may be sad, but it doesn’t mean I won’t shlep for cake anyway.
And that’s 8829 words.
Yes indeed. Welcome to me.