Paul and I had dinner at Zooko’s and Amber’s place last night. “Zooko” is the online name of Bryce O’Whielacronx, a programmer who I met back during the first O’Reilly Peer-To-Peer conference, back in 2001, when peer-to-peer software was the hot new topic. “O’Whielacronx” is a surname that Zooko and Amber made up by taking the letters from their surnames (Wilcox and O’Hearn) — one from Amber’s, then one from Zooko’s, then from Amber’s, then Zooko’s, and so on. I cannot reveal the origin of the name “Zooko” as I have sworn not to.
(Amber informs me that the proper plural form of O’Whielacronx is not O’Whielacronxes, but O’Whielacronxen.)
Zooko’s mom, Olene, is here in Accordion City to see her grandson Irby, who’s growing up to be a cute and imaginative young boy. While at dinner, the topic of conversation became diets. Zooko, Amber and I eat low-carb, and Olene mentioned that her preference was for Weight Watchers. I then mentioned that my friend Helen told me about a British documentary film in which they followed people on different diet plans. The people who did best were those on the Atkins and Weight Watchers plans, while the people on the Slim-Fast plan looked miserable.
The Slim-Fast diet plan, for those of you who aren’t familiar with it, sounds like some kind of institutionalized torture. Two of your three daily meals consists entirely of a Slim-Fast milkshake, the remaining meal being a standard solid-food meal, something to look forward to. I can imagine walking around with a perpetually hungry and cranky feeling on this sort of meal plan.
Olene mentioned that when she was shopping at Target (she pronounced it “tar-get” and didn’t use the urban hipster French pronouncination “tar-zhay“, which is a refreshing change) , she saw someone handing out free samples of Slim-Fast milkshakes from a kiosk. Two women tried it, and were apparently unimpressed.