“I am not a boy. I am a TXL Series 4 computer.”

4 minute read

June 27, 2011, 11:34 PM

Today, I received a second retro t-shirt that I designed for myself. Check it out:

Holding up my "TXL SERIES 4" shirt

Yes, that shirt really is blue (albeit dark blue), and says “TXL SERIES 4” on it, in the correct font (Gill Sans ExtraBoldDisplay for those wondering).

On Today’s Special, TXL would normally display that particular message on her screen whenever Sam would call her by what she interpreted as the wrong name, even inadvertently. For example:

After Sam referred to her as a “machine”: “I am not a machine. I’m a TXL Series 4 computer. I’m programmed to survey the store with remote cameras and to supply any and all information required. Example: 3,267 hats available in the store. (To which Sam replies, “Big deal, the machine counts hats!”) Plus one ridiculous-looking ski cap. Chuckle. Chuckle.” (Sam is not amused)

After Sam says she is “the darndest contraption”: “I am not a contraption. I am a computer! TXL SERIES 4!”

After Wanda Willoby calls TXL a “funny-looking machine”: “I am not a funny looking machine! I am an advanced TXL Series 4 computer.”

After Sam says “Boy, oh boy, oh boy,” thinking that TXL was cooked after water got into the store’s electrical system: “I am not a boy. I am a TXL Series 4 computer.” (Sam was relieved)

And with the computer looking like this:

TXL in her 1981-1983 configuration

Or like this:

TXL in her 1984-1987 configuration

Yes, TXL was serious about not being called the wrong name, and was quick to remind everyone who she was. Speaking of seriousness, since TXL was completely serious about her name, I had actually initially misheard that name as her being a “TXL Serious 4” computer. After all, she was serious. Then later I read her screen to realize that no, it was “TXL Series 4”.

I will get a photo of myself actually wearing the TXL shirt on Friday.

Otherwise, I’ve been swimming! They’re digging up the sidewalks on Georgia Avenue on both sides of the road to replace some of the storm drains, which makes walking a little less appealing since parts of my route are blocked. But not to worry – we have the pool. And this evening, I discovered, by accident, the true full-body lap-swimming workout stroke. It’s actually a hybrid, doing a flutter kick with breaststroke arms. After swimming each length of that, I was winded, and my arms felt as though exercise had been done. So mission accomplished. I think this is also as close to the butterfly as I’m ever going to get. I see no reason to swim the butterfly for lap swimming. I hated having to do the butterfly as a child, and I see no reason to do it now.

How I ended up doing this hybrid stroke is interesting, though. In Sunday and today’s workout, I had a problem with my right calf starting to cramp up near the end of my workout. I have been doing the breaststroke in the last ten-minute block of my swims as of late, and the cramping was making itself evident while bringing the legs back together as part of the breaststroke kick. On Sunday, in order to prevent it from becoming a full-on, have-to-stop-immediately painful leg cramp, I just let that leg drag for the last few minutes of the workout. But today, I switched kicks, which worked. I was actually worried about whether I would end up confusing myself doing this hybrid stroke, and ending up turning it into a full front crawl or a full breaststroke. But it ended up working far better than I thought.

I think tomorrow, I’m going to do my hybrid stroke as a replacement for my ten-minute front crawl block. I don’t particularly like doing the front crawl stroke, mainly because I feel like I roll too much while doing it, and I manage to take in water (and thus an immediate stop to cough out the water) too often. Plus, since I’m doing this for me, if I don’t want to do the front crawl, I’m not, and replacing it with something else. I think I’m going to also eventually try to figure out how to do the trudgen (a completely new stroke to me), plus jog my memory on how to do the sidestroke and the elementary backstroke, both of which I last did about 20-some years ago but don’t remember how to do now. It’s all about getting a good cardio and strength workout, and also about keeping things interesting and (most importantly) fun for me.

Web site: Bet you didn't know that "TXL" is also a programming language, did you? In that case, it's short for "Turing eXtender Language", and was developed in Toronto in 1985. So TXL Series 4 was first, but I don't know what, if anything, "TXL" stands for when referring to the computer.

Song: Today's Special's opening. In watching the opening for this Journal entry, I noticed for the first time that after Jeff is brought to life, Jodie isn't waving to Jeff to come over to her after he comes to life. She is actually cleaning the first incarnation of the Children's Department's Today's Special sign with a cloth, then calmly puts the cloth down and gets off the ladder when Jeff comes by, and then they run into space to become rainbow silhouettes. After almost thirty years of watching this show, I never ever noticed that detail before...

Quote: So there you go - TXL and then swimming. I think I've outdone myself.

Categories: Swimming, Today's Special