Eric Lippert, from Microsoft?

Eric Lippert, from Microsoft?

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No technology today, just an amusing story from a couple summers ago.

Leah and I rent out a room in our house; I find it quite pleasant to live with a friend who pays my mortgage for me. One day a couple summers back our housemate K had her parents visiting from California. She and I were cooking dinner while the parents relaxed in the yard enjoying the sunshine. We looked out the kitchen window and saw K's mom hugging someone. "Who's that?" I asked, assuming that K had invited one of her friends over for dinner.

"I don't know! Let's find out!"

OK, so, K's mom was hugging some random stranger off the street, that's a bit weird but I was sure there would be a perfectly sensible explanation. I kept on making dinner while K investigated.

A few minutes later, K comes back inside and says "you have to meet this guy."

OK... so I go to the back yard and K says "Eric Lippert, meet my old friend Steve Lippert."  Steve Lippert gets this quizzical look and says "Eric Lippert, the Eric Lippert from Microsoft, with the blog about programming languages? People think my brother is you all the time!"

And I say "Your brother is the Eric Lippert who's the pro golfer on the PGA tour?"

Yep. 

Turns out that Steve was K's neighbour growing in California decades ago. He happened to randomly decide to take a different route to walk to his bus stop, happened to choose my little side street, happened to see his old neighbours in my yard, and stopped to say hello.

That's a perfectly sensible explanation that I'm pretty sure that used up my budget of weird coincidences for this decade.

 

  • "I find it quite pleasant to live with a friend who pays my mortgage for me."

    I love reminding my mate (who did the same for me) of this. Gets him every time :)

  • I find it interesting that K grew up as neighbors with an Eric Lippert, yet never thought to mention it to you.

  • If the process that resulting in K staying there included her noticing the name of someone she grew up with (perhaps also knowing or suspecting that his brother might live nearby) then the coincedence factor is reduced slightly. But it's more fun to ignore that small component.

    Spooky!

  • I once worked at a temp agency who had another person on the payroll who shared my name.  It made payday very entertaining, though they never managed to give me his paycheck as well. :)

  • Somehow this proves something about hash collisions.

  • Not much left to the decade.

  • @Anthony P, lol.  I need to clean my desk now because you just made me spit coffee everywhere! ;-)

  • "That's a perfectly sensible explanation that I'm pretty sure that used up my budget of weird coincidences for this decade"

    I can't imagine you're not into concurrent programming for more than a few months, so you must have started the current decade at 2001. Which makes perfect sense, of course.

  • Cool story.

    Have you ever thought about walking confidently into the locker room at a PGA tournament?  

    I have - www.pgatour.com/.../43

    "What?  ID?  Sure, here ya go."

  • Thanks for the smile today Eric. :-)

  • Some Decennaries

    1980-1989

    1990-1999

    2000-2009

    etc.

    Every ten year period is a decennary.

    There are 91 decennaries in a century.

    Some Decades

    1981-1990

    1991-2000

    2001-2010

    etc.

    There are only ten decades in a century.

  • Pointless to argue about decades, but what the hell.  A decade is any period of ten years.  However, it's common to think in terms of the 60s, 70s, and 80s etc....  However, that's wrong, because "Since the common calendar starts from the year 1, its first full decade contained the years from 1 to 10, the second decade from 11 to 20, and so on. So while the "1960s" comprises the years 1960 to 1969, the "197th decade" spans 1961 to 1970."  See Wikipedia.

  • Pointless to argue about decades, but what the hell.  A decade is any period of ten years.  However, it's common to think in terms of the 60s, 70s, and 80s etc....  However, that's wrong, because "Since the common calendar starts from the year 1, its first full decade contained the years from 1 to 10, the second decade from 11 to 20, and so on. So while the "1960s" comprises the years 1960 to 1969, the "197th decade" spans 1961 to 1970."  See Wikipedia.

  • Thanks so much for the laugh, just discovered your blog today and Im subbing to it! =D

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