Friday, August 22, 2008

Messed-Up App of the Day

My family has a cat. I don't like to talk about it, because I really don't like cats that much.

One thing our cat does that's kind of interesting to me, is that she brings "gifts" into our garage near her food bowl. Here's a picture of one. She climbs to the tops of the trees in our yard to catch these things.

Jeff Holt does something similar on occasion. Sometimes when I return from a trip, there'll be something on my desk from Jeff for me. Today, it was this:

It's a piece of wire taped to a sheet of paper. And that's my Messed-Up App of the Day.

Handwritten on the paper is this message from Jeff:
This was a grounding cable for the network.

The first few seconds I looked at the cable, it didn't seem that funny to me. It was about the same reaction as when I see a dead cicada next to the food bowl at home. Amused. But not "LMAO."

Sometimes, what Jeff thinks is funny is funny because of something I haven't learned yet. So I got thinking, maybe his point is that it's against code to use stranded copper wire as grounding cable. Most of the ground wire you'll find in houses is solid copper. But then again, no, stranded cable is fine for ground wire. If I remember correctly, you use stranded instead of solid wire in applications where the wire is going to be required to flex in normal operational circumstances.

Then I noticed there was red tape on one end of the wire, and black tape on the other. Ah, ok, that's what was funny--ground wires are supposed to be labeled green. I figured the guys who wired our network probably just used some scrap wire instead of properly marked "ground wire." Sometimes that kind of thing bugs Jeff, and he knows it bugs me, too. Mystery solved, then.

But not really "LMAO," though, when you think about it.

Then I picked up the wire and looked at it. Look at this:

Oh... It's not tape. That's two wires. One red, one black.

Ok, that's legitimately "LMAO."

P.S.: If you have trouble explaining to your friends why this is funny, the following handy diagram may help you.


Jeffrey said...


I just had one question after reading your post - LAMO? Guess I'm not much for IM speak; I had to look it up. For others with the same question, it's "laughing my a** off".

Thanks for sharing!

robert said...

Sorry to hear that you do not like cats very much because I am very fond of them - at different levels. For one I love our cat - he's a really cute guy. Then cats are one amazing piece of evolution: they are unchanged for a pretty long amount of time and managed to survive nevertheless. I find that really amazing.

Cary Millsap said...

Our cat is nice enough; she is a moderately good cat in my book. When I was little, I had a cat named Midnight, and she was a Very Good Cat. I've met some Bad Cats since Midnight, and these have led me to view the species with suspicion.