Wednesday, January 26, 2005

In the past couple of weeks, I've experienced three bizarre synchronicity events. First of all, let me point out that I'm a Christian, and as such, believe that God moves in mysterious ways, answers prayers, performs miracles, etc. I don't believe in luck and do believe that coincidences are simply coincidental. Having said all that, I'm not sure where to file these:

1) I visited a used bookstore in town that I've always wanted to check out. It's been at least 6 months since I've purchased any used books to add to my collection of antique fiction. I came across a clean copy of Don Quixote by Cervantes and picked it up. A couple of days later, I decided to start reading it. A couple of days after that, I'm at work and I get a Yahoo! alert message in my inbox based on the name of the company that I work for. I check out the associated article which is from an Idaho newspaper talking about a competitor of ours opening up in a new market. The article references my company as the leader in this space which is what triggered the alert. On the same page is a headline link for "Don Quixote at 400" and it catches my eye. I read the article which says that the 400th anniversary of Cervantes' novel is to be celebrated on January 16, 2005. I started reading it for the first time on January 12, 2005.

2) I mainly use ICQ because most of the people I work with use it, but I have a friend that is only allowed to use Yahoo Messenger at his company. To make life simple, I had used Trillian, which allows you to have a single interface for multiple instant message solutions. The problem was that the free version used to randomly show you as "Away" so it was annoying and I abandoned it. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to give it another shot because someone told me there was a new version available. I installed the new version and found that one of the new features was integration with the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia. When a word or phrase matches an entry, it will be underlined and you can hover over the entry to get the definition. I was IM'ing with a colleague who was asking if I wanted him to share with a group that we work with some of the changes that we had been making to servers that they support. I said, "Sure - go ahead in the spirit of open communication." The words the spirit were underlined which I thought was odd. I hovered over them and the definition I got was that there was an old comic strip called "The Spirit" written back in the early forties. I had never heard of it so of course I Googled it for more info. One of the first hits was a headline stating the author of "The Spirit" had passed away on January 3, 2005. This was on January 14, 2005.

3) I took my team out for a Christmas lunch on Tuesday, January 18, 2005, and called it a "Procrastinator's New Year's Celebration" at which they gave me a gift card to Best Buy. Later that night, I went there to buy a few things that I wouldn't normally spend money on. One thing I wanted to get was Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" CD. (I have a list of albums that I used to have on vinyl that I'm slowly replacing with CD's and this was the next one on the list.) Unfortunately they were out of stock. The following Sunday, I picked up the book that we've been using for our 5th & 6th grade group at church, because I was on the schedule to teach the following Wednesday. The book highlights movie clips that can be used for drawing parallels to stories in the Bible and biblical truths and applications to daily life. I decided to go with the lesson that talked about King Solomon's choice to ask for wisdom to help him rule over Israel. The movie clip that went with it was from "The Wizard of Oz", where Dorothy meets the Scarecrow who thinks he isn't very smart because he doesn't have a brain. I chose this one because a friend had recently sent me a video clip of some William & Mary soccer players hitting themselves on the head with boards in a drunken state with the soundtrack playing "If I Only Had A Brain." Anyway, I asked my wife if I should rent the movie or if it was worth adding to our collection. She agreed we should buy a copy so I headed off to Best Buy to pick it up. While I was there, I decided to check again on the Pink Floyd CD. This time they had it so I bought it with what I had left on my gift card. The next day at work, I told a colleague that I had just picked up a copy of Dark Side of the Moon if he was interested in borrowing it. He said, "Cool. Makes me want to go down to the planetarium for a laser light show. Either that or play it while watching The Wizard of Oz with the sound turned down." ??? I went and asked my boss about this because he is wise in the ways of music and he said, "Oh yeah, there's something like if you start the album during the tornado or something the songs sync up with what's going on in the movie." A quick check of Google again and turns out people have been doing this for years. I had never heard of this before and yet I bought the movie and CD together the night before. The checkout girl at Best Buy was probably thinking I was pretty cool.

So I'll continue to monitor my 'synchronicity' events and post any further developments here. Stay tuned...