These are new words added to the English language in or before 2005, and reflect evolving workplace vocabulary:
BLAMESTORMING: Sitting around in a group, discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed, and who was responsible.
SEAGULL MANAGER: A manager who flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps all over everything, and then leaves.
SALMON DAY: The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed and die in the end.
CUBE FARM: An office filled with cubicles.
PRAIRIE DOGGING: When someone yells or drops something loudly in a cube farm, and people's heads pop up over the walls to see what's going on.
MOUSE POTATO: The on-line, wired generation's answer to the couch potato.
SITCOMs: Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage. What yuppies turn into when they have children and one of them stops working to stay home with the kids.
SWIPEOUT: An ATM or credit card that has been rendered useless because the magnetic strip is worn away from extensive use.
IRRITAINMENT: Entertainment and media spectacles that are annoying but you find yourself unable to stop watching them. The Anna Nichole show or the Bachelor is a prime example.
PERCUSSIVE MAINTENANCE: The fine art of whacking the heck out of an electronic device to get it to work again.
ADMINISPHERE: The rarefied organizational layers beginning just above the rank and file. Decisions that fall from the adminisphere are often profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to solve.
404: Someone who's clueless. From the World Wide Web error message "404 Not Found" (meaning that the requested document, like the person's brain, could not be located).
GENERICA: Features of the North American landscape that is exactly the same no matter where one is, such as fast food joints, strip malls, subdivisions.
OHNOSECOND: That minuscule fraction of time after you hit the "send" button during which you realize that you've just made a BIG mistake.
as you type in the letters of a name, you see a stacked chart with all the names starting with an R, for instance, then the ROs, etc. Then you type in all of a name, you see when that name peaked in popularity. Very interesting. I thought I invented the name Ciera, but it turns out not to be the case. However, before 1980, there were no Cieras.
This weekend I will be shaving a yak at my house. Shaving the Yak is a computer term that was coined at MIT a few years ago, and means: "Any seemingly pointless activity which is actually necessary to solve a problem which solves a problem which, several levels of recursion later, solves the real problem you're working on."
Seth Godin has a great post on shaving the yak on his blog. His story of shaving the yak goes like this:
"I want to wax the car today."
"Oops, the hose is still broken from the winter. I'll need to buy a new one at Home Depot."
"But Home Depot is on the other side of the Tappan Zee bridge and getting there without my EZPass is miserable because of the tolls."
"But, wait! I could borrow my neighbor's EZPass..."
"Bob won't lend me his EZPass until I return the mooshi pillow my son borrowed, though."
"And we haven't returned it because some of the stuffing fell out and we need to get some yak hair to restuff it."
And the next thing you know, you're at the zoo, shaving a yak, all so you can wax your car.
My version of shaving the yak started with the act of buying a nice new home office set up, with desk, hutch, return, bookcase, and lateral files. This is nice stuff, and a step up from the yard sale metal desk we have now. However, before we put the nice new furniture in our computer room/home office/place where our kids download music and play internet games, the wife decided that the room should be painted.
Ok by me, its a small room. But then the thought was that is we are going to paint the room, we should get new window shades for the room, or it would look odd. But if we are going to get new window shades for the room, we should really make it nice by trimming out the window, and only then measuring the window for shades. But if we are going to get shades, and you want the color to match other shades that we might be getting on other windows, you should buy them all at the same time, so the color will match.
We backed off buying more shades than the one, due to cost and budget. So the plan now is to trim out the window, get the shade, match the shade color to a trim paint color, paint the trim, paint the room, and move the new office furniture in. Of course to trim out the window I had to buy a table saw, but that was something that was on my wish list for years anyway. Also the fine tooth saw blades.
I think this episode qualifies as "shaving the Yak." All we really wanted to do was move in a new desk set. Photo to follow.
The recent court house shootings bring up the issue of how law enforcement officers, be they police, sheriffs, or bailiffs, can have a handgun, have instant access to it, but the bad guys can't access it. Can these shootings be prevented? And how do you prevent such tragedies? There is an answer, and it is made by a Boise company, Tactical Design Labs, the subject of a recent post on this blog. Mike Lowe of TDL has designed a security holster that allows such speedy access that it can be used in quick draw competition. At the same time, the bad guy just can't get it out of a holster. After seeing the way this holster works, I can say that it is the answer for preventing court house shootings.
I recently talked to a police officer who had used it. He was left handed, and had tried the right handed version at a demonstration. He said he could draw a handgun faster from the TDL holster with his weaker hand, his right, than other officers could draw their handgun out of competing security holsters with their stronger hand. It allows absolutely unimpeded access to the gun, and provides absolute prevention of access by bad guys.
There are a number of security holsters on the market, but TDL's is the only one that works! Every Sheriff, Police Officer, Bailiff, MP, SWAT team, special forces, and military handgun carrier should have one.
Jedi Knights are born, not made, but they do have to practice their skills The first video of the series of 5 videos is a great little video showing a young Jedi in training. It was an amatuer video, and several derivative videos were made that enhance the original. The whole series is a crack up.