Rudy Lopez on Christopher Dorner

On ABC news, I ran across this quote from Rudy Lopez, of the Los Angeles police department:

"[This is an] extremely tense situation," Lopez said. "We call this a manhunt. We approach it cautiously because of the propensity of what has already happened."

Propensity?  Really, Rudy? Propensity?  In the words of Inigo Montoya: “I don’t think that word means what you think it means” – LMAO!

Diet sodas and ordering silliness

This morning I was in the cafeteria at work, and the guy in front of me ordered “egg whites and bacon”.  Now perhaps it’s just me, but that struck me as pretty funny.  I see it as along the same lines as a Diet Coke and a Snickers bar.  You see, the whole point about dietary modifications (whether for health, allergies, or whatever), is that in order for it to work, you need to be consistent.  Otherwise, it’s clearly just a mental game, and not really anything useful.

People will order the mega-bucket of popcorn with EXTRA butter and salt slathered all over it in multiple layers as the counter jock fills the bathtub sized container, and then to defuse the badness, they order a Diet Pepsi.  I always find it hard not to bust up laughing.  I mean really, if you are going to go for junk, then DO it – why screw around?  And give me a steak (rare) on the side please.

Net New vs Frog New

Here’s some techie Inane for you.  The phrase “Net new” has become very popular, and is now being flogged to death in high tech marketing materials and presentations.  The beef I have with this silly phrase is that “Net” contributes absolutely nothing and is simply a trendy fluff-word.  I propose substituting an equally worthless word such as “frog”.  So you would say “We will be installing a frog new server setup”.  See?  It’s much more colorful, and equally worthless.  I used this improved phrase in a meeting with a vendor the other day, and it did a great job of breaking his stride – always fun with vendors.

Two inane things today

#1 – While waiting on hold for an HP audio conference, the recorded message says “you will hear some silence while you wait”. Really? As silence is the absence of sound, how can you hear it?

#2 – Audible has this recorded at the end of each part of a multi-part audiobook: “the file has been broken into multiple parts in order to make the download faster”. Just how would that make it faster? You still have to transfer the same number of bytes. That’s the same logic that says if you cut a pizza into more pieces, you get more.

Political Correctness

It’s time for a witch hunt.  That witch is Political Correctness!!  Witch you say?  Isn’t that a bit harsh?  After all, Political Correctness is funny and amusing, and doesn’t hurt anyone, right?

One of the things that we Americans love about our constitutional amendments is Free Speech.  One would think that this is pretty high on the priority list, as it is the First Amendment.  We all seem to think that this is a very important right, and I’m right there waving the flag on that one!  However, in recent years, it has become fashionable to be “Politically Correct”.  What this amounts to is a self-imposed limitation on free speech.  Burn the witch!

How could this be?  Are we really giving up some of what is universally recognized as a key American tenet?  What’s next?  Baseball? Apple Pie?  Horrors, Agnes!

Okay, I get why all this started.  We can choose our wording to be hurtful or not, and whenever possible we should strive not to be hurtful.  Racial slurs, gender bashing and so forth really should not have a place in modern America.

On the other hand, we are driving full steam ahead into some rather dangerous territory.  If you “call a spade a spade” these days, you will no doubt garner disapproving looks or comments at the very least.  This process seems to be accelerating, so the parameters of what is “correct” and “acceptable” are narrowing daily.  People trip and stumble all over themselves in an effort not to “cross that line”, and in the process actual problems are caused.  Here are a couple of examples that pop up in my mind:

Problem #1 – We are weakening our kids’ psyches.  Yes, little Johnny, when you are playing baseball, and your team does not win, you Lose.  That shouldn’t be damaging, but it is perceived that way in many circles.  You hear garbage like “everyone is a winner”, or “he’s not a Loser, he’s a uniquely fortuned individual on an alternative career path”.  Puhleease!  If you want a good laugh, check out some of these gems.  To me, this is like my diatribe on hand sanitizer.  Do we really want to raise a generation of weak-minded people who can’t deal with reality?  Let’s give them some matches instead and help them burn the witch.

Problem #2 – trying not to racially profile gets in the way.  Security folks have to try really hard not to racially profile, or anything along those lines.  This makes it very hard for them to do their jobs.  Let’s see, if an NTSB security officer is busy with a random strip-search of an 85 year old grandmother with a walker, they have to let the swarthy young man with the shifty expression behind her go by because it’s random, don’t you know.  This doesn’t make me feel very secure, if I’m a fellow passenger.  Can we please stop being so sensitive, and get the job done?  C’mon, NTSB, pull out that Tazer you love so much and Taze the witch.

Problem #3 – The workplace is becoming littered with land-mines.  I do see sexual harassment as an issue which should not be ignored.  However, in other areas we tend to be overly careful.  Let’s have a meeting and downsize the witch.

Problem #4 – The media has to be very careful when reporting a story.  Now, this one I don’t necessarily think is such a bad thing, given the media’s track record.  However, when stories have to be diluted and presented with mealy-mouthed verbiage just to not offend anyone, we’re going too far.  The top news story should start with “Ding Dong, the Witch is dead”.

Phone messages – rushed numbers

I suppose this has happened to all of us.  You find a voicemail has been left for you.  Upon listening to it, you wade through lots of “um..” and “ah…”, as the caller’s thought processes are revealed in more detail than you ever wanted to experience.  Then, at the end, they leave their call-back number… at light speed!  So, while you could easily skip the bulk of the message, the single most important part of it is rushed and unintelligible even after repeated playbacks.  The caller has therefore failed in their most basic task; to obtain a call back from you.  Oh sure, they know their number by heart, but you don’t, or they wouldn’t need to leave it, would they?

This has bugged me for years, and so whenever I leave a message, and get to that all important point, I consciously slow down when I leave my number.  I doubt anybody notices, or appreciates the little gesture, but it makes me feel like a better human being.