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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Snarky word day at treppenwitz

[A respectful request:  Overnight I received about 15 emails asking me to write a post about yesterday's events.  I'm not ready to discuss this... yet... and I would prefer that treppenwitz not become a forum for this particular discussion until I get my head screwed on the right (correct) way.  Tomorrow I should be ready.  Until then, please respect my wishes and do not post external links or engage in discussions of yesterday's events in my comments section.  Thank you.]

Yesterday morning I got a wicked case of the giggles in the middle of surfing through my daily reads.  Beth, the SubUrban Housewife was nice enough to share a very funny word (actually, an acronym) with her readers: SWAG.  It means Scientific Wild-Assed Guess.  Now who out there can't think of ten ways to use that in the next 24 hours? Anyone?

After giggling for a little while over 'SWAG' I realized that I have a tendency to collect and retain such helpful new words.  This wouldn't be an issue except for the fact that I'm pretty sure they are crowding out much more important stuff like, say... the shopping lists my wife likes to dictate to me over the phone while I'm driving.

So, without further ado, here is a short list of recently acquired words and acronyms that are largely to blame for my regularly walking through the door sans milk, cream, bread, onions...

PEBCAK - This gem actually comes to us courtesy of Beth's tech-savvy husband Chuck (one of my blogfathers).  PEBCAK is a codeword used by tech-support/help-desk types among themselves to describe a computer problem that is entirely attributable to user error.  It means Problem Exists Between Chair And Keyboard.  I just love that this word can be used right in front of the dumb-ass who caused the problem and they're none-the-wiser (e.g. "Yeah Bob, I'm here at Brad's workstation now and it turns out it was a PEBCAK just like we thought").

Asshat - I have no idea where I first heard this hilarious epithet, but I've found it is the perfect stop-gap insult to use when 'moron' is too tame, but you aren't quite ready to start tossing 'F-bombs' around (e.g. "What kind of asshat thinks it's OK to take a woman to Dunkin' Donuts on a first date?").

Scheissdreck - I read this German word the other day in a post by Stefanella on Israelity and promptly giggled for 15 minutes straight!.  She used it to mean 'really bad' (as in "I am having a Scheissdreck day"), but when I mentioned to one of my German friends how much I loved this word, she informed me that Scheissdreck (along with its northern-German dialectic cousins 'Schietkram' and 'Schietendreck'), is actually a bit of a potty word that one wouldn't necessarily want to use in front of the kids.  All the better, I say!

LUser - Like PEBCAK, this is another tech-support related word that is supposed to be a contraction of the words Local User.  However, LUser is used with a combination of malice and glee by help-desk staff primarily because it is homonymous with the word 'loser'.

LART - I first heard this hilarious word (along with 'LUser') while reading through the Chronicles of George.  What?  You haven't read The Chronicles of George?  Well go read this laugh-out-loud collection of help-desk tickets and the accompanying commentary.  Getting back to LART... it is an acronym for LUser Attitude Readjustment Tool.  It refers to a 2x4 or other large billet of wood used as a club, to be applied by a system administrator to the head of any LUsers who aggravate him/her.  It can also be used as a verb (e.g. "I'm gonna have to LART Jack for calling the help desk before checking to see if his friggin monitor was plugged in".).

I'm sure if it wasn't 5:50AM and I wasn't so pressed for time I'd probably be able to come up with a few more. If I think of any others I'll add them during the day.  In the mean time feel free to share your own snarky favorites.

Last Reminder:  Less than 12 hours left to vote in the JIBs.  If you haven't voted in the last 3 days, you can go to the main page here to vote in all the categories... or go directly to the two categories in which treppenwitz is a finalist here and here. This is it folks... last chance to speak up and be heard.

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Posted by David Bogner on February 2, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (22) | TrackBack

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Reasserting the laws of physics

Inertia

in·er·tia   (Ibreve_1-nûrPrime_2shSchwa_4 )

Physics. The tendency of an object at rest to remain at rest, and of an object in motion to remain in motion.

[source: here]

As some of you may know, we have recently been in contact with the Technion - Israel's answer to MIT - as well as some of the more prestigious scientific journals, because our 2-year-old seems to be in violation of the laws of physics. 

Technically, the concept of inertia allows for the theoretical possibility of perpetual motion.  But in practice, things like gravity and friction should act upon any object in motion to eventually slow it down and/or change its trajectory. 

So, we've been writing to institutions of higher learning and the more respected journals to report that perpetual motion is exactly what our 2-year-old seems to have achieved.   It was all very exciting, you understand!

Until yesterday, that is.

Yesterday when I got home from work I walked through the living-room and dining-room... and into the kitchen, and noticed that things seemed strangely 'still'.  I finally asked Zahava where Yonah was and why he wasn't bouncing off the walls as he normally would be at that hour, and she replied "Didn't you notice him in the Living-room?"

I went back into the salon and looked around but didn't immediately spot him... mostly because I was still looking for an object in rapid motion.

Then I noticed what appeared to be a little boy snuggled into the corner of one of the couches, and I knew right away that our hopes of scientific glory had been dashed forever.

Our amazing little perpetual motion machine had finally come to rest. 

I must say, as much as I'm disappointed at the laws of physics having reasserted themselves (not to mention the prospect of a future without rubbing elbows with the likes of Stephen Hawkings), it was pretty neat to finally see what Yonah actually looks like rather than relying on peripheral glimpses of him as he streaks by.

I didn't know how often such an event would take place so I took the liberty of creating photographic documentation.  For your viewing pleasure, may I present 'An object at rest':

Yonah_rest

Reminder:  Less than 24 hours left to vote in the JIBs.  If you haven't voted in the last 3 days, you can go to the main page here to vote in all the categories... or go directly to the two categories in which treppenwitz is a finalist here and here. This is it folks... last chance to speak up and be heard.

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Posted by David Bogner on February 1, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (23) | TrackBack