Monday, February 23, 2009


Mu·zhik also mou·jik or mu·jik or mu·zji - n. A Russian peasant. Worth 79 points in Scrabble if you happen to end up with the proper tiles. Whenever I play, I always end up with at least three of the same tile and an "o". I have no idea why that is.
Muzjiks was not the Official Scrabble Word of the Day on Sunday, though. Oh, no.
The word of the day from Sunday is right here:
Sometimes online dictionaries can be great. Writing a script which pulls a random word, generates an image out of little wooden letter tiles and then puts it on a webpage on a Sunday afternoon with no human interference is possibly the greatest thing ever.
Some poor webpage admin probably got in quite a bit of trouble over this little oversight. I'm sure it wasn't made any better by the giggling, but what are you going to do?

There was no post on Friday because we are still doing our self-assessment thing at work.
We had over a hundred machines to scan Friday night and the process as defined by regulation is a little time-consuming. You would thing processes created by the Federal Government would be super-streamlined models of efficiency, but this one seems to have slipped through the cracks or been designed by Canadians.
Basically, there is a team of Government types which creates a standard test which is run against a computer. When it finishes the scan, it displays results in a neat little graph.
There are "Passed" and "Failed" and "Not Applicable" results and results which are returned "Unknown".
The "Unknown" answers come from either things which are too new for the scan to validate them or they are just unable to be discovered automatically. These are things like door locks and corporate policies.
However, "Unknown" (while the legitimate result of the scan) is an unacceptable answer. So someone has to evaluate each Unknown and mark it "Passed" or "Failed" or "Not Applicable". Once all the answers reflect reality, the scan results have to be saved to a location on the netork for later review.
The truly sad part is that a very simple script can put the correct answers in place and save the results, making it possible to automate the entire process.
However, that isn't allowed.
I have a theory that automation is forbidden specifically because it enhances efficiency and thus violates some secret Federal policy, but I can't find anyone to confirm or deny this.
Let's not forget that a Federal order explaining the price of cabbage once took 26,911 words. I've never seen an entire receipt from a grocery store come anywhere near that, cabbage or not.
These are the same people which dictate our scanning procedures.
Thomas Edison said, "There is far more danger in public monopoly than in private monopoly, for when the government goes into business, it can always shift its losses to the taxpayers. Government never makes ends meet -- and that is the first requirement of business."
I think we can all agree Scrabble is a lot more fun than Monopoly anyway.


Anonymous said...

Dildo isn't even worth a lot of points.

Garrick said...

I think it depends on how one is keeping score.