TBT…

An oldie but a goody that came across the transom…

And I failed, because the scheduler didn’t schedule… LOL

ENGINEER IDENTIFICATION TEST

You walk into a room and notice that a picture is hanging crooked.  You…

  1. Straighten it.
  2. Ignore it.
  3. Buy a CAD system and spend the next six months designing a solar-powered, self-adjusting picture frame while often stating aloud your belief that the inventor of the nail was a total moron.

The correct answer is “C” but partial credit can be given to anybody who writes “It depends” in the margin of the test or simply blames the whole stupid thing on “Marketing.”

SOCIAL SKILLS

Engineers have different objectives when it comes to social interaction.  “Normal” people expect to accomplish several unrealistic things from social interaction:

*Stimulating and thought-provoking conversation

*Important social contacts

*A feeling of connectedness with other humans

In contrast to “normal” people, engineers have rational objectives for social interactions:

*Get it over with as soon as possible.

*Avoid getting invited to something unpleasant.

*Demonstrate mental superiority and mastery of all subjects.

FASCINATION WITH GADGETS

To the engineer, all matter in the universe can be placed into one of two categories:

(1) things that need to be fixed, and

  • things that will need to be fixed after you’ve had a few minutes to play with them.

Engineers like to solve problems.  If there are no problems handily available, they will create their own problems.  Normal people don’t understand this concept; they believe that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  Engineers believe that if it ain’t broke, it doesn’t have enough features yet.

No engineer looks at a television remote control without wondering what it would take to turn it into a stun gun.  No engineer can take a shower without wondering if some sort of Teflon coating would make showering unnecessary.  To the engineer, the world is a toy box full of sub-optimized and feature-poor toys.

FASHION AND APPEARANCE

Clothes are the lowest priority for an engineer, assuming the basic thresholds for temperature and decency have been satisfied.  If no appendages are freezing or sticking together, and if no genitalia are in plain view, then the objective of clothing has been met; anything else is a waste.

DATING AND SOCIAL LIFE

Dating is never easy for engineers.  A normal person will employ various indirect and duplicitous methods to create a false impression of attractive-ness. Engineers are incapable of placing appearance above function.

Fortunately, engineers have an ace in the hole.  They are widely recognized as superior marriage material: intelligent, dependable, employed, honest, and handy around the house.  While it’s true that many normal people would prefer not to date an engineer, most normal people harbor an intense desire to mate with them, thus producing engineerlike children who will have high-paying jobs long before losing their virginity.

Male engineers reach their peak of sexual attractiveness later than normal men, becoming irresistible erotic dynamos in their mid-thirties to late-forties.  Just look at these examples of sexually irresistible men in technical professions:

*  Bill Gates.

*  MacGyver.

*  Etcetera.

Female engineers become irresistible at the age of consent and remain that way until about thirty minutes after their clinical death.  Longer if it’s a warm day.

HONESTY

Engineers are always honest in matters of technology and human relationships.  That’s why it’s a good idea to keep engineers away from customers, romantic interests, and other people who can’t handle the truth.  Engineers sometimes bend the truth to avoid work.  They say things that sound like lies but technically are not because nobody could be expected to believe them.  The complete list of engineer lies is listed below.

“I won’t change anything without asking you first.”

“I’ll return your hard-to-find cable tomorrow.”

“I have to have new equipment to do my job.”

“I’m not jealous of your new computer.”

FRUGALITY

Engineers are notoriously frugal.  This is not because of cheapness or mean spirit; it is simply because every spending situation is simply a problem in optimization, that is, “How can I escape this situation while retaining the greatest amount of cash?”

POWERS OF CONCENTRATION

If there is one trait that best defines an engineer it is the ability to concentrate on one subject to the complete exclusion of everything else in the environment.  This sometimes causes engineers to be pronounced dead prematurely.  Some funeral homes in high-tech areas have started checking resumes before processing the bodies.  Anybody with a degree in electrical engineering or experience in computer programming is propped up in the lounge for a few days just to see if he or she snaps out of it.

RISK

Engineers hate risk.  They try to eliminate it whenever they can.  This is understandable, given that when an engineer makes one little mistake the media will treat it like it’s a big deal or something.

EXAMPLES OF BAD PRESS FOR ENGINEERS

*   Hindenberg.

*   Space Shuttle Challenger.

*   SPANet(tm)

*   Hubble space telescope.

*   Apollo 13.

*   Titanic.

*   Ford Pinto.

*   Corvair.

The risk/reward calculation for engineers looks something like this:

RISK:   Public humiliation and the death of thousands of innocent people.REWARD: A certificate of appreciation in a handsome plastic frame.  Being practical people, engineers evaluate this balance of risks and rewards and decide that risk is not a good thing.  The best way to avoid risk is by advising that any activity is technically impossible for reasons that are far too complicated to explain.  If that approach is not sufficient to halt the project, then the engineer will fall back to a second line of defense:

“It’s technically possible but it will cost too much.”

EGO

Ego-wise, two things are important to engineers:

*   How smart they are.

*   How many cool devices they own.

The fastest way to get an engineer to solve a problem is to declare that the problem is unsolvable.  No engineer can walk away from an unsolvable problem until it’s solved.  No illness or distraction is sufficient to get the engineer off the case.  These types of challenges quickly become personal—a battle between the engineer and the laws of nature.

Engineers will go without food and hygiene for days to solve a problem.  (Other times just because they forgot.)  And when they succeed in solving the problem they will experience an ego rush that is better than sex— and I’m including the kind of sex where other people are involved.

Nothing is more threatening to the engineer than the suggestion that somebody has more technical skill.  Normal people sometimes use that knowledge as a lever to extract more work from the engineer.  When an engineer says that something can’t be done (a code phrase that means it’s not fun to do), some clever normal people have learned to glance at the engineer with a look of compassion and pity and say something along these lines:  “I’ll ask Bob to figure it out.  He knows how to solve difficult technical problems.”

At that point it is a good idea for the normal person to not stand between the engineer and the problem.  The engineer will set upon the problem like a starved Chihuahua on a pork chop.

A follow-up…

I had some thoughts yesterday evening (yeah, I know that’s dangerous) about the situations in schools today…

Growing up, we routinely had either shotguns or rifles in the gunrack in the truck, and usually a pistol under the seat in high school. A lot of schools had rifle teams, and none of us ever thought about using them for other than hunting or target practice.

Obviously, today is SIGNIFICANTLY different…

I would posit that there are four reasons.

Lack of positive male role models, and many single parent homes (or kids farmed out to relatives).

Lack of training in firearms. (We grew up and were trained by people who had used guns for hunting and WWII/Korea, so we were taught to respect them and use them correctly.)

Lack of religion/lack of discipline in schools. (No longer saying prayers, no longer getting your butt beat/expelled when you did something stupid.)

And last, and probably most important, Progressives/Liberals have taken over the school systems and, IMHO, are holding the kids hostage to their agenda/desires, which include outright banning of guns, emasculating males of all ages, and ’empowering’ women through micro/macro aggressions, etc.

They are also pushing the us against them agenda, shutting down conservatives who are in education, and they are deathly afraid of getting armed teachers, or increased security in schools. That would mean conservative, and better trained people who would be positive role models, not agenda driven ‘agents of change’.

The media is pushing the gun banner’s agenda hard, and relying on ’emotions’ to bully legislators into reacting with changes in the heat of the moment rather than critically thought out, measured changes.

The Israeli model works, and has for 40 years, but they don’t want to hear that… Ever…

Kicking the soap box back in the corner…  Comments?

Here we go again…

The media and the left, but I repeat myself, are up in arms, again…The practical reality is that this is a horrible situation, and children were shot and killed in a gun free zone. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those families and the injured, and at the same time it frustrates the hell out of many of us, who would really like to see teachers and others be able to carry on campus. Criminals DO NOT obey laws, ever! No law is going to change that.

But the expected calls are being pushed by those dancing in the blood of these dead children- Ban, confiscate, do away with those ebil black rifles. But, let’s not look beyond the base issue of ebil gun to the missed clues, lack of activity by LEO/FBI even after multiple warnings. As always, the left is pandering that it’s for the ‘chilluns’…

Now some in the media want to have an age limit to buy an AR/AK/etc. “No one should be able to buy an (insert rifle here) until they are 28-30 years old.

Um, the military trains people at 17-18 how to use ARs, so are you going to ban the military from training them/issuing weapons? What will be issues to the ‘chilluns’ in the military?

JB did a great job, HERE of laying out what it will actually take to make those legal changes. Five ‘easy’ changes…

Michael Z. Williamson responds, HERE.

Aesop over at the Raconteur Report has a rather ‘blunt’ response, HERE.

HERE is some background on gun control vs. mass shootings in other countries, from Townhall.com

But if you actually take a step back, this is really about agendas, still, again.

h/t JP

Let’s look at the ‘other’ successes in banning things:

Prohibition- How’d that work out? (For Joe Kennedy, pretty damn well!)

Illegal Drugs- How’s that working? (Marijuana is legal in some states now, is Heroin or Cocaine next?)

‘Assault’ weapons- Actually ‘real’ assault weapons are already regulated, and the AWB of 1994 was how successful?

How about actually enforcing the laws on the books, and actually taking action on mental health issues, rather than burying them, or ‘giving them space’?

 

AAR…

Well, back from the Life, the Universe and Everything writer’s conference and wanted to give a quick AAR.

If you’re an aspiring writer, or a fiction writer, it’s WELL worth it, IMHO!

Almost 200 panels, covering the gamut of writing, film making, comics, gaming, pretty much anything and genre you’ll be interested in. I pretty much stuck with the SciFi track(s), and still had to make some hard choices, about two that came up at the same time.

Overall, on my personal scorecard, I’d say I’m doing stuff ‘right’ about 60% of the time, based on what I heard these last three days. But I do have to admit, there were a couple of panels that I kinda felt like Obi, sitting there with my head cocked, going “Whuf?”

Not going to get into specifics, but both panels had the presenters splitting, with half saying, “Oh, do this!” and the other half going, “Oh, no, that is so passe.” And then the fight was on…LOL

It was fun too, with the sidebars, and side conversations that people were in. Lee Modesitt and I were chatting about flying in the Navy, and I noticed that a younger guy with frantically scribbling things down, and glancing up at us. I looked at him, and he said, “I’m gonna use this!”… Sigh…

And MANY thanks go to “Mongo” and his wife for chauffeuring us around, and the excellent food they provided, including for the ‘not birthday party’ Saturday night! 🙂

Our crowd was joined by a number of other friends, and it really made the conference a lot of fun, if a ‘bit’ tiring. Sleep was a luxury for some of us, but others did sneak off for naps or shopping. I’m not going to try to list everyone, because I know for damn sure I’d leave at least a few folks out…

If you’re a new writer, or an experienced writer, I’d highly recommend this conference! It’s cheap, and the hotel rates are reasonable, plus you can write it off as a tax deduction!

Conventional ‘wisdom’…

This one came over the transom via the mil-email net…

-I read that 4,153,237 people got married last year. Not to cause any trouble, but shouldn’t that be an even number?

-I find it ironic that the colours red, white, and blue stand for freedom until they are flashing behind you.

-When wearing a bikini, women reveal 90% of their body. Men are so polite they only look at the covered parts.

-Relationships are a lot like algebra. Have you ever looked at your X and wondered Y?

-America is a country which produces citizens who will cross the ocean to fight for democracy but won’t cross the street to vote.

-You know that tingly little feeling you get when you love someone? That’s your common sense leaving your body.

-Did you know that dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish?

-My therapist says I have a preoccupation with vengeance. We’ll see about that.

-I think my neighbour is stalking me as she’s been Googling my name on her computer. I saw it through my telescope last night.

-Money talks… but all mine ever says is goodbye.

-You’re not fat, you’re just easier to see.

-If you think nobody cares whether you’re alive, try missing a couple of payments.

-I always wondered what the job application is like at Hooters. Do they just give you a bra and say “Here, fill this out?”

-I can’t understand why women are OK that JC Penny has an older women’s clothing line named ‘Sag Harbor’.

-My therapist said that my narcissism causes me to misread social situations. I’m pretty sure she was hitting on me.

-My 60 year kindergarten reunion is coming up soon and I’m worried about the 175 pounds I’ve gained since then.

-Denny’s has a slogan “If it’s your birthday, the meal is on us”. If you’re in Denny’s and it’s your birthday, your life sucks!

-The pharmacist asked me my birth date again today. I’m pretty sure she’s going to get me something.

-The location of your mailbox shows you how far away from your house you can go in a robe before you start looking like a mental patient.

-I think it’s pretty cool how Chinese people made a language entirely out of tattoos.

-Money can’t buy happiness, but it keeps the kids in touch!

-There are a lot of drunk people about to drive home, so drive as fast as you can. It’s harder for drunk people to hit you.

-I owe the government $3400 in taxes. So I sent them two hammers and a toilet seat.

What???

Nothing like getting thrown under the bus by ‘friends’… Sigh…

There I was minding my own business, going to sneak in the back  and listen to Larry Correia give a panel. Or so I thought…

Lawdog , Peter, and I got hijacked by Larry to BE the panelists, and join him at the presenters’ table. Nothing like getting up totally cold, and talking for an hour about self-publishing, the state of the market and the industry, and how we got to where we are to about 80 aspiring authors. Now you have to understand, all four of us go way back to Internet gun forums before the turn of the century, so it was fun to ‘blame’ Larry for all of us now being authors.

Some of the more ‘interesting’ comments came later in the day/evening from folks that had been in the panel about how well we’d done, but one guy accused us of ‘cheating’, because we had a built in fan base from the gun forums…

I may have smiled and said something to the effect of “If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.” Which got me a smile and an eye roll. 🙂

Last day is tomorrow, and hopefully I can play catchup with some of the other panelists that I have questions for…

I r larning tings…

Day 1 of Life, the Universe and Everything conference was a beehive of activity.  One thing is for damn sure…

I need to clone myself at least twice to make all the panels I wanted to hear. Roughly 75 different panels today, in 14 different tracks… Sigh…

I ‘only’ triple scheduled myself twice…

I’ll say again it is truly worth the time and money to attend. It’s not a fan conference, but a conference for writers and associated craft types, with presentations by professionals in the fields. I am amazed at the depth and breadth of knowledge on some of the panels.

TBT…

Many moons ago, we spent a ‘lot’ of time on the road, doing various things for the Navy…

This was our theme song.

All I’m gonna say it was an ‘interesting’ time…

I’m off to LTUE, a writing conference in Utah. I’m trying to improve as a writer, and this is one of the premier conferences for that. So light commenting and posting through the weekend.

All I can say…

Is WOW!!!

You can see the makeup of the US Olympic Snowboarding Team, HERE.

Red Gerard and Chloe Kim, two 17 year old ‘phenoms’ have won two of the first three Gold Medals for the US at the Winter Olympics. Apparently they both started at around 4 years old…

Simply amazing, and congratulations to both of them! Their joie de virve, and the comradeship with not only their teammates, but their competitors is a pleasure to see. I find it interesting to see that both of them have strong families supporting them, and making no bones about their pride in their children’s accomplishments.

And OBTW, the third Gold Medal was also won by a snow border, the ‘old lady’ at 27, Jamie Anderson!  Link, HERE.

 

Interesting…

And sure to inflame the lefties/gun grabbers…

After successfully navigating the publishing process, Yehuda Remer knew his venture into firearms related children’s book wasn’t done with his first publication Safety On and its companion coloring book.

Saw this over at the Guns.com, HERE.

And HERE is the post from last year, on his publication of Safety On, which is available from Amazon, HERE.

This is the blurb-

I grew up in an environment where guns were only seen in movies and TV, and the only people allowed to actually use a gun were police officers. The thought of an individual citizen actually owning a firearm for protection never occurred to me until I got married. People would constantly ask me after I purchased my first gun, “How can you buy a gun? You have two children in the house! Aren’t you afraid of accidents?” Those questions were answered with two simple question of my own. 

“Where do you suggest I teach my children about gun culture in America? Should I leave that to the media and Hollywood?” 

There was no response.

This book is meant not as an in-depth breakdown of guns or living with guns, but as an introduction to the world of firearms for children. Its goal is to plant the seeds of safe gun ownership into the minds of young patriots who will one day be responsible gun owners like the parents who teach them. It is up to the moms and dads of this country who exercise their 2nd Amendment rights to instill a deep respect for firearms. This book serves as the tool to open a dialogue between you and your child about keeping their “Safety On.”

He’s also got a second book out, The ABC’s of Guns, HERE.

Frankly, I think this is a great idea, as it starts kids much earlier than Eddie Eagle, and starts them on the road to responsible gun handling and later gun ownership.