Formulas and variables and integrals and derivatives: to the casual observer it looks like you’re doing math. But you’re not. Because when you solve for x, things EXPLODE. You’re doing ENGINEERING. — David Malki
Rick is a mechatronics engineer. I like to explain this as: I program robots. Rick will tell you that this is not accurate. He will explain this strenuously. With many words. Including phrases like ‘range of motion’ and hello, MINING not WORLD DOMINATION. But someone suggested to me recently that if Tony Stark went to university in the real world he would have done Rick’s degree. So. Clearly I am right about this. Robots.
Except Rick blows things up and sets things on fire less than Tony does. I mean, he did tell me that his favourite radio call on site was, Stop! Stop! Stop! and There’s been a minor explosion… But he’s actually way less destructive than I am. Which is a good thing, I think, as he regularly has the opportunity to blow up millions of dollars worth of equipment and I basically have the opportunity to blow up me.
He’s also never blown the door off a microwave. Or singed the kitchen. Or had his car catch on fire.* Or his bed. Or his laptop.*
Me: I’m looking at the kitchen bench and I’m not judging, I’m just saying — seven bottles of alcohol and a very large knife.
Paul S: Given it’s you standing there we should be even more concerned.
Me: What? Just because I’m more likely than your average person to stab myself —
Paul S: Exactly.
So I think what what we’ve learned here is: if Rick = Tony Stark, I = Dummy the robot.
* I used to think cars catching on fire was a pretty rare thing outside the movies, but after it happened to me I talked about it a bit and all sorts of people were like, Yeah, that happened to me once. So. Not as rare as you would like to believe.
* That’s happened to me twice. When I told the Apple nerds about it they gave me this sort of, yeah, sure look. So I pulled out the laptop and showed them the singe marks.
I should make it clear that this was in fact due to a faulty battery overheating and frying the power cable not some heretofore undiscovered tendencies for Apple laptops to spontaneously combust. But, you know, twice.
Sometimes I have… bad luck’s not the word. Peculiar luck. It’s the kind of thing that results in me receiving the one book in the bunch that was somehow printed upside down and back the front. Or my laptop bursting into flames.