What do you call it when the people who are supposed to save the day, the so-called “experts,” fail to perform when the chips are down? There has got to be a terminology for that. For now, I’m going to go with the phrase “expert failure” or EF.
Example: “Yup. Things certainly went to shit. They EF’d up.”
In the excellent book Jurassic Park the character Ian Malcolm, a mathematician specializing in “chaos theory,” correctly predicts the failed hubris of the undertaking. (Also in the book the character John Hammond, the visionary, is ironically eaten by his creations. That tasty tidbit didn’t make it into the movie.) The genius of Michael Crichton’s book has nothing to do with dinosaurs. As Wikipedia puts it, the story is a “metaphor of collapse.”
Expert failure works like this:
- Only we are brilliant enough to design and breed dinosaurs. You are not brilliant by a long shot. Oops. The dinosaurs got out. Bad shit happens. Our bad.
- A virus enters the country. The hospitals and specialists we depend on for our very lives fail to follow basic protocols. (In unrelated news, studies have shown that 10 to 80 percent of ICU doctors fail to engage in sanitary hand washing as directed. Because, of course, they know better.)
- A politician says, “Doing ABC will lead to XYZ.” When that doesn’t happen, he adds, “Obviously we need a lot more of ABC. We have to give my policies a chance to work.”
- Your financial consultant advises you to invest heavily in Guru Of Negativity (ticker: GON) holdings and you lose your shirt.
- A baseball teams spends $50 million on a single player (cutting other players from the team to make this possible). Later, in game seven of the World Series, bottom of ninth, two outs, full count, bases loaded, trailing by one run the fellow whiffs flailingly at three straight pitches in the dirt and strikes out.
That last example is my personal favorite because I could have easily matched that performance for at least half price. Show me the money!
What else have experts gotten wrong? FEMA? Vietnam? The financial crisis? Mortgage-backed securities? Bridges? Stampedes at religious gatherings? Platforms at state fairs? Fires in disco clubs? Interfering in the civil wars of other countries?
The list is long and distinguished.
So now we look to experts to clean up the messes that were created by the same and/or previous experts. I’m no expert but I say that sucks. When you’re stuck on your the tippy-top of your roof and the water is lapping at your toes, just remember this: There is no expert correction fairy who will swoop in and save your bacon.
Ultimately, no matter what the experts would like you to believe, you’re on your own.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to change into my baseball uniform. You can depend on me.
Things fall apart. The center does not hold. –Yeats
Correct me if I’m wrong, but bacon on a hamburger has been a thing for quite some time, right? Now fast food outlets are running advertising on steroids acting like it’s something utterly new.
Somebody better get this burger a little fedora. I smell a trend.
“Get bacon in your burger” a bulbous clown-head thing boisterously sings on TV.
Why? Is there anything even remotely new about combining hamburgers and bacon? Just how significant is the difference between bacon on a burger and bacon in a burger? On vs. in. That’s the eternal question, isn’t it? If the researchers at a fast food restaurant are to be believed, it’s certainly something to crow about. (Coming soon.)
First they demonstrate a freak of nature they’ve developed in their labs. It’s called “Bork.” Yes, he’s half beef, half pork. He’s a cute little critter that mostly looks like a pig, but has the markings of a cow and even horns. Talk about DNA recombinations and GMO!
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Meat Me in Montana
Hey! What are you doing? Are you checking out my marbling? Well cut that out! I’m not a piece of … well, you get the idea.
Big Bird has been pondering what new career opportunities might present themselves if his funding gets cut. Let’s put it like this: He doesn’t want to end up at Chick-Fil-A.
So, at his urging, it’s time for a post about your friend and mine. This post will explore a few randomized thoughts about meat. Some will be deadly serious and no joking matter. Some will be as frivolous as what you’ve come to expect from the likes of me. Some will be philosophical. And at least one will be a reveal of a personal nature. I hope you’ll find this post to be a cut above the rest.
Does this post have anything to do with Montana? Not really, if you get the cut of my jib.
Make the jump for the first cut-scene.
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Skewered – The Meat Supremacy
This is a true story. No embellishment. No histrionics.
Now the goose is on the table
And the pudding made of fig
And the blue and silver candles
That would just have matched the hair in grandma’s wig
Every great story has meat on a stick. This story is no exception. I love skewers.
Long story short, I’ve known my wife for seven years now. For most of those years we have traveled to her uncle’s for Christmas. The first time there we stayed in a Super 8 motel. Directly across the street was a strip mall with a restaurant excitingly labeled “Kabobs.”
I wanted to go. Bad.
Alas, my wishes were vetoed and quashed by She Who Must Be Obeyed. She said no. I think her exact words were something along the lines of, “We’re here to spend time with family. Not to eat damn kabobs.” Thus, it was decided. We didn’t go.
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Apple gets Cook’d
This week there was an Apple “launch event” with new CEO Tim Cook at the helm. Weather conditions were perfect and the launch went off without a hitch. The iPhone 4S is now safely in orbit at 347 miles above the surface of the Earth and traveling at a speed of 25,000 feet per second.
The iPhone must already be running HangTime, the best iPhone app ever made. Bar none.
Commander Tim Cook went solo on this mission and the world was ready to eviscerate his bowels based on the fact (not speculation) that he isn’t Steve Jobs.
So, aside from his product safely achieving low Earth orbit – how did it go?
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Rockin’ Chair Colonial Style
Note: This post may contain some historical inaccuracies. See if you can find them!
One fine day Thomas Jefferson strolled over to see his good friend George Washington. He found him relaxing on the front porch.
“I say, old Gorgie. I’m in the market for a rocking chair. What you got?”
George looked up from his mint julep and greeted his pal. “Tommy boy! Good to see you! You’re in luck, I just whittled me up that chair over yonder with my trusty pocket knife. That’s one piece construction, too. The whole thing came from a single piece of cherry wood from a tree I personally felled.”
Tom went over and admired the piece, lovingly running his hands over the perfectly finished wood. “She’s a beauty for sure, George,” he said.
George nodded. “Thanks.”
Dammit, Tom thought to himself. Sometimes George could be a man of annoyingly few words. Get a little of Samuel Adam’s ale in the bastard, though, and he’d open right up. Unfortunately Tom was plumb out.
“OK,” Tom said. “I’m interested. What do you want for her?”
If George was intrigued, he didn’t show let it show. “I don’t know. What you got?”
“I find myself with a few extra odds and ends in my larder,” Tom replied. “Some bones of oxen, sheep and goats. And some clay pots. Oh, plenty of bacon and lard, too.”
George nodded. “I’m sure we can come to an accommodation. The chair is yours. As always it comes with my lifetime warranty.” George extended his hand.
Tom grasped the offered hand and they shook on it. “You’ve got yourself a deal, George.”
George nodded. “I’ll draw up the papers for your John Hancock.” They both laughed off their asses at that one.
Later they both signed the document that George had produced. George handed Tom the rocking chair and Tom allowed George to raid his larder. But nowhere did the signed instrument define the term “lifetime warranty.” So what was it, besides a rocking chair, that Tom had just purchased?
Tom remembered the principle of caveat emptor or “let the buyer beware.” He needed a definition for lifetime warranty and he needed it fast. He couldn’t allow George to pull another fast one on him.
Tom fired up his Windows 1763 and search for “lifetime warranty.” One example he found was this:
Cisco Limited Lifetime Hardware Warranty Terms
Duration of Hardware Warranty: As long as the original End User continues to own or use the Product, provided that: fan and power supply warranty is limited to five (5) years. In the event of discontinuance of product manufacture, Cisco warranty support is limited to five (5) years from the announcement of discontinuance.
In other words, when you hand over your money to Cisco in exchange for a piece of hardware, one of the things you are agreeing to is that the definition of “lifetime” means five years for the fan and power supply and five years from when the product is discontinued on all other hardware.
I bet they really emphasize that in their advertising and proactively provide a definition when they take your money, right?
Jefferson tried to get payback on Washington for the rest of his life and only succeeded once when he switched in a marked deck of cards. Washington was never able to win at solitaire again.