"My hard drive is just spinning," a woman said this morning.
Everyone laughed. She wasn't talking about her computer. She referred to herself.
Pretty funny calls this morning. Giddiness rules today. People are feeling fried. References to their memory failures, hard drive crashes, and power supply failures abound. One compares her information to fruit floating around in her head that her hard drive can't find it. I thought it very funny. Maybe I was feeling giddy.
In every industry and job, we've we've made similar silly references. In the Air Force, we would talk about our APU or GTC not starting, circuit breakers popping or not resetting, or having red ball emergencies. Example: "I can't seem to get started this morning. My APU failed. Someone get me a ground cart."
As an aside to that, some of the aircraft would have problems that then mysteriously vanished without the root cause ever being found and fixed. We called those a Lockheed fix.
On the medical side, dealing with coronary and peripheral arteries, most jokes were about occlusions to our thinking, or needing a guide wire to understand something.
But how many of these things make sense to others? Red ball emergencies is a term for an aircraft at the end of the runway, about to take off, that has a sudden problem. APUs and GTCs provide power to the aircraft and help them start their engines. On the civilian side, guide wires are used to guide balloons and devices to somewhere in someone's arteries. One person's joke meant nothing to someone else unless you know the lingo.
Urinanalysis was frequent in the military. We called them urine tests. Random checks were done each month. If your social security number was picked, your nation called upon you to go pee in a cup. But when things went bad on a base, or several troubling events occured in a unit, an entire unit was called upon to go pee in a cup. These were conducted without warning so you often ended up full of rooms of people drinking coffee, tea and water, filling their bladder, which we referred to as, "Studying for their urine test."
As a senior NCO, that was one more task levied on you. Whenever these mass urine tests were being conducted, they had to find monitors, and senior ranked NCOs were used for the purpose. So first, you went through a urine test. If you came back clean, you were put into the monitor pool.
Once, an entire squadron had been busted for various issues unbecoming to the service. A decision was made: the entire base would be tested. And yea, me, I was one of the monitors. I reported to a one of several central barracks at 5 AM where the gear was set up. The monitors were briefed on what to do. I'd done it several times in the past already. It's not hard: watch them pee, seal it, have them intial it and you initial it, and then initial the accompanying paperwork, escort them to the person collecting them. Oh, what fun that morning was, over five hours of watching people pee.
Of course, it was Operation Golden Flow.
There were always jokes in the military about dropping bombs, time on target and target acquired when discussing bowel movements. Bowel movements were also referred to in Command Posts as flash traffic to headquarters. Flash traffic is the highest communications priority, except for flash override - yes - wince - flush override. Flash traffic is reserved for critical messages and information. We had jokes about nudets along those lines, too, a nudet being shorthand for nuclear detonation, as "I wouldn't go in that bathroom. Someone had a nudet in there."
Old computer jokes were about BSOD - the infamous Blue Screen of Death - where your computer has crashed and all you see is a blue screen. That usually required a three finger salute - ALT CTRL DEL - to reboot the machine. Reboots vary between hard boots and soft boots. Naturally, there are jokes about finding a hammer and giving the machine a hard boot.
We used to joke about the hourglass shown as a Microsoft or other app was doing its thing. Sometimes someone joked, "I feel like my whole day has been an hourglass." Naturally, someone upped it, "My whole life has been an hourglass." Over on the Apple side, people experienced 'the spinning disc of death', also called 'the spinning ball of death'. That second one reminded me of the old television show, "The Prisoner," and the innocuous looking big white ball that acted as sentry and sometimes hunted people down. It always seemed strange to me. "Oh, no, it's a big white ball. Run away, run away."
Likewise, when we were setting up networks and discussing being hardwired or wireless, we often joked about being hardwired to things. "Hardwire me to a cup of coffee." "Hardwire me to a beer." "Hardwire me to a bed."
Right now, I feel hardwired to my chairs. The morning meetings have ended. Sametime chats have stopped. Emails are caught up and prioritized or answered.
Time to go take a bio break and go download some software.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com