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Everyone's an expert

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Samr, Mar 13, 2010.

  1. Samr

    Samr
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    This board is diverse. Americans to South Africans (and yes, we Americans have a few hats on here as well). Drunks to sober... people... sobrieters? Fathers of five to single men and women, and I'm assuming a few virgins as well. Professionals to college freshman (and probably younger). Cooks, nurses, computer geeks, lawyers, soldiers, doctors, architects, escorts, bartenders, waiters, bouncers, students, paper pushers and I'm sure even a Willy Loman or two. We're fetishists, hunters, sports nuts, skiers, writers, travelers, artists, race car drivers, surfers, illegal substance tinkerers, clubbers, readers, social media experts, motorcycle enthusiasts.

    Everyone is an expert in something.

    Maybe it's in pet squirrels. Maybe it's in physically restraining drunks. Maybe it's in the quickest way to win any argument. Maybe it's in throwing together a 5-star meal in 30 minutes. Maybe it's in dealing with obese patients on morphine. Maybe it's in driving traffic to a website.

    While our stories may not be interesting to us, because they are so ordinary, they are not necessarily an every day thing for others. So give us a glimpse into your day. What are you an expert in?

    The focus, however, is going to be a little different here:

    Focus: Instead of telling us what you're an expert in, show us. Write a quick story. Just 3-4 paragraphs if you want, longer if you so desire. Make the first sentence or two grab us; make the last sentence make us want to hear more. PM or rep follow-up questions or critique, and maybe the questions will shine light on another area for another story.

    Alt. Focus: Really show us. Have a few pictures? (Put them in spoiler tags and) post them with a line or two of commentary.
     
  2. Nettdata

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    Computer shit. Specifically large scale distributed online systems.

    Details can be found on the tech forum.

    But I won't fix your computer, because odds are I can't.
     
  3. Vanilla

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    I used to be an expert at fixing computer issues on Windows. Then I got a Mac and have completely blocked out the days of Windows (much like a rape victim tries to block out the event). Still have a keen eye for computer hardware disassembly. Ever since I was a kid I'd take apart old computers, help the father solder and modify satellite receivers, build new computers, take apart random walkie talkies or old cell phones. Nowadays I don't tinker in it as much, but when I have an excuse to take shit apart I do it.

    So I'd say, without training, I could easily be a computer repair person if I knew the part that needed replacing. My next project right now is going to be completely gutting my iPhone 3G. It's out of warranty, has dust under the screen, so I want to get that out. But more importantly, I ordered a red back for it off ebay. Soon I won't just be another iTard with a white or black iPhone who doesn't know how to use it.

    An secondly, I have been sailing since I was a kid. I reached some of the highest levels I wanted to bother with. Made the provincial team, could have pursued National Team and Olympics and whatnot like many of my friends have, but it just didn't interest me. I've always considered my school work to be more important.

    Anyway though, I now teach sailing and while I'm not what I would consider an expert (because I know there are so many small small details that I am missing etc), I'm sure many people would consider me a sailing expert since I do have a very comprehensive knowledge. Anyway, you want to learn to sail? I'm a good person to talk to. Whether its a 10 ft boat or a 40 ft boat.
     
  4. Kratos

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    Along with 99% of this board: Masturbation.

    Golf: I'm not necessarily the best player; I used to be about a 3 handicap but am now about a 7-9 because I don't play as much. However, I can tell you how to hit any shot you can imagine as I have played for the last 20 years (competitive JPGA, High School, and some College). Want to know the proper way to hit a short/flop bunker shot, high draw, high fade, low fade, look hook, fairway bunker shot, scalable pitch (based on yardage) under 75 yards, chips (using a count out yardage technique to find club), flop, etc.? Yeah, I'm your guy.

    Since a story was asked for: imagine yourself 170 yards out on the 17th, 15 yards behind a tree, with fairway to your left and water bordering the green on the front left side. You take out an 7 iron, high a high draw with about 25 yards of hook to it to put the ball around the tree to the right, and leave it 3 feet from the pin to make birdie. I did this when I was 14 to help win a tournament by shooting a 73.
     
  5. Primer

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    Seeing as I'm fairly young, the only real thing that I've done for more than 10 years is Mountain biking. I've done quite the gamut of styles, from standard Cross country stuff to freeriding (IE: Throwing myself and bike off of 8+ ft. drops) to, what I do now, downhill. I've had many different bikes and have always done my own repairs and upgrades. There is very little about biking I don't know and while I'm not a professional I can still answer most questions about it.
     
  6. scotchcrotch

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    I am an expert as an entrepreneur.

    I know all the bullshit forms the government makes you fill out and the compliances.

    I handle everything from sales, to payables/receivables, to contract negotations, to payroll, etc. I can write a business plan, organize a budget, create a compensation structure.

    I put out fires most days. Being a dick isn't part of my job, but I can make it if you try me. I prefer mutual respect, it usually works best for everyone. I value loyalty above all else.

    Advanced degrees (for my industry at least) is a "let me pay you more" for the same quality of work.
     
  7. whathasbeenseen

    whathasbeenseen
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    I'm not particularly proud of this but for about 15 years of my life I was an ordained minister. I am an expert with the bible and an even greater expert at talking you out of your religion. But when that got boring and before the joys of agnosticism/atheism I'd spend a lot of time speaking to people about the commonalities in their religion and trying to bridge gaps. But on the real, though its been years, I can slide right back in and speak to any everyday bible reader with the greatest of ease and probably blow their mind with their own book.
     
  8. Crown Royal

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    I know two things: music knowledge and flooring, both from working in the field for almost a decade. I'm a music snob and know a staggering amount about the business and its artists (though I play no intruments). With flooring, I know all. Production, companies, installation, how-to, any flooring advice you need I'm the man to ask (evident in the Home Repair thread).

    Also, I know more about movies than anybody else I've met, but that's strictly attained through hobby, so I can't really count myself as an "expert".
     
  9. dubyu tee eff

    dubyu tee eff
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    Thinks he has a chance with Christina Hendricks...

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    Yeah, I play Tennis, and I'm really good at it so fuck you assholes who don't consider it a manly sport. My dad started taking me to the courts with him when I was 4 and I've played regularly ever since, with some professional lessons thrown in for good measure. I have a strange relationship with the game. Normally, I am quite possibly the most easy-going person on the planet, never been in a fight, always been a defuser of conflicts. Put me on the court though and I lose my shit. The court is the only place in my life where I actually get pissed off and raise my voice, throw things, and the like. I'm just so hard on myself on the court and every screw up makes me livid. When I get into a groove I can beat just about anyone. Unfortunately, I am a mental basketcase and if I make one easy mistake, I will completely unravel and screw up everything from that point on until I get lucky with a shot and then I'll get hot and start dominating again. This is probably why I was never able to compete at a high level. While I had the talent to beat good players, and would often beat players who were supposed to be much better, I would also frequently lose to mediocre players because I would have a breakdown on the court. It's regrettable really. For some reason, the only place in my life where I am emotional at all is on a tennis court. And once again, fuck you it is too a manly game.
     
  10. epsilon

    epsilon
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    I've been a airplane pilot for the last 9 years. I've done all kinds of work, from charter work to bush flying. During those years, I've experienced many kinds of thrills and fears. The past years were spent flying for a local radio station doing trafic surveys. I love my job. This is what I get to see every morning.
     

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  11. Allord

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    List in ascending order, I'll spare you all a long diatribe.

    4 years doing Aquatic Biology degree
    4 years doing computer animation.
    7 years running (cross country, track, for fun).
    8 years taking college classes. (I took college classes while in high school)
    8 years doing shotput, and doing it well. Getting first place in all the track meets my senior year.
    8 years playing the flute.
    16 years being an older brother.
    19 years using computers. (Yes, I was playing the original Prince of Persia at the age of 2, and doing it better than my dad.)
    21 years failing to die. I figure that's worth mentioning.

    LOOK AT ME, I'M ALIVE AND THEREFORE ENTITLED TO CRAP FOR NOT BEING DEAD. WHERE THE FUCK IS MY WELFARE CHECK?

    Edit: Oh, and about 5 years casually accumulating pictures of all sorts.
     
  12. Politik

    Politik
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  13. Decatur Dave

    Decatur Dave
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    I'm a Graphic Designer, I could put a 40 page porno rag together in a couple hours (focus said grab attention in the first sentence). I've been using PhotoShop every day for well over a decade (version 5). Literally ANY problem you can have, in a 5 minute phone call I can walk you through it, teach you the shortcuts, explain where your problem was, how to fix it three different ways in the future and any possible problems I could see you encountering. I literally move my hand around when I'm explaining this like I have one of those interactive screens in front of my face from Minority Report. It's not just PhotoShop either, this applies to InDesign and Quark as well (though I haven't used Quark in almost a year, and I really don't think anyone else does).

    I was working on deadline on a publication one day on InDesign, and my gf calls me from her job. Since I know Quark, her employer assumes getting fucked by a designer somehow means she can too. I'd been walking her through the program via IM and phone calls up to that point, but she calls kind of freaking out.
    "I've been trying for an hour and can't figure out why the picture won't appear in the box!"
    "Go down to the box on your bottom control panel. The ones that say 100."
    "OK..."
    "Change them to 20s"
    "THERE IT IS!"
    "You didn't format your pic properly. Double click it, hit edit original, go back to PhotoShop, resave at 300 dpi without resampling the image size. Make sure it's in CMYK. Go back to Quark, double click it with the hand tool and update link."
    The whole time this is going on, I've been pumping out layouts in InDesign.

    When you get real good, you start finding ways to put yourself in the publications.
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Dynamite Harry

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    I've been in the In-Store (or POS or POP) display industry for about 10 years, most of it with the same company. It's an interesting field that doesn't get too mundane since companies are constantly changing out signage and fixtures, and it never gets old to walk into a large department or grocery store and see something that I had a hand in putting there.

    As far as expertise goes, I've worked in just about every department in the company, and am more familiar with the process from A-Z than about 98% of the people who work there.

    My latest duties have been working in the IBM AS/400, processing orders, printing paperwork, etc...

    Need to know the best way to hang a foam-core sign from ceiling rafters? How to retrofit a display so it sits on an existing store fixture? How many days it takes to ship a package from Chicago, IL to Gainseville, FL via UPS ground service? How to strip*? I'm your guy.

    It's not the most exciting thing in the world, but I can definitely answer questions and help people out for just about anything related to shipping and manufacturing.



    *Not the regular kind of stripping. The one I'm an expert involves removing waste from a piece after it's been die cut.
     
  15. Mastro

    Mastro
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    Being 23 (in a week, anyway), I can't say I'm an expert in anything to do with academics. I haven't been able to specialise to the point where I'd be anything but an amateur in any field I have studied.

    However, there is one area in which I do consider myself an expert: restraining people. In a more specific context, dealing with people who are mentally unstable and drug addicts. Without going into much detail (I don't want to bore anyone) my older brother has been a drug addict for nearly 15 years and he and his fellow degenerates have often acted in a threatening manner towards my parents or myself.

    The most important thing to remember (it took some significant injuries for me to learn this years ago) is that unlike the average person, their pain thresholds are usually much higher. This also depends on the drugs they take. One example is after having wrestled him to the floor after he attempted to stab me, I had his arm in a lock and my legs pinning his to the floor. Instead of dropping the knife, he dislocated his shoulder, and taking me by surprise he stabbed me in the neck (narrowly missing my carotid).

    Long story short - go for the head (if not in the eyes of public scrutiny).
     
  16. Pink Candy

    Pink Candy
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    Criminals, criminal behavior and forensic psychology.

    It started as an interest when I was 17, went into a full blown fascination by 19. I have a BA in criminal justice and if I could ever regain financial footing, I'll have a Masters in it at some point.

    I'm by no means an expert but I'm pretty sure I could give a forensic profiler a run for their money.

    Currently I work in corrections interviewing high risk sexual predators, however, this may change in the upcoming months.

    Want to know about a serial killer and what makes 'em tick? I'm your girl.

    Want to know about the different categories of rapists and why each is unique? I'll tell you all about them.

    Want to know about antisocial personality disorder and how it manifests itself early? I could talk your ear off.

    Want to know about executions and the different methods used and which state uses what method and about some really botched executions (like John Louis Evans, he's on Wiki)? Talk to me.

    Pretty much anything to do with maladaptive behavior and the consequences of said behavior is my bread and butter.
     
  17. DrFrylock

    DrFrylock
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    The White

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    This is a story of an asterisk.

    And 'X' NEVER marks the spot. *
    ~ Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr.

    See the little asterisk on the end? The star symbol? That indicates that there's a footnote - some kind of exception - to the statement. Now, when my colleague Dr. Jones said this originally, that star was not there. It was added after an encounter in a Viennese library, where X, just once, DID mark the spot.

    You can NEVER fix a computer by hitting it. *
    ~ Dr. Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Frylock

    See the little asterisk again? Like my colleague's, mine was not there originally either. To expand on my original point, this is a story about a very specific asterisk - that one, in fact.

    But let's back up a bit.

    Yes, I can fix your computer. Unless the magnetic reading arm has physically broken off your hard drive, I can fix just about anything. What I learned while gaining this expertise is that there are literally millions of broken computers out there, and they are being broken faster than one could fix them. So I can't fix them all. Mine, however, work perfectly all the time. And if you're very desperate, and I like you, I can fix yours as well.

    In my recent years the deluge of requests has dropped off substantially. Why? I now possess extensive academic and esoteric credentials. These indicate to nearly everyone that I may have once known how to fix your computer a long time ago, but I probably know nothing about them anymore. Do you think the Master Car Designers at Ford get asked to change people's oil? Probably not as often as they used to.

    My secret, of course, is that I can still fix your computer. Furthermore, if you find me, and you catch me on a good day, and I agree, I will fix it correctly.

    For example, viruses used to be quaint little oddities hiding in a few obscure places on your computer, easily dealt with. Nowadays a single virus opens up a door on your computer and, like a drunken party-thrower, invites his three-hundred friends over as well. By the time you get home, the house is pretty trashed. Noobish cowards on Internet message boards come out of the woodwork every time someone explains that they have a virus or a trojan or some malware. "NIFO! NIFO!" they cry!

    What is NIFO? NIFO stands for "Nuke it from orbit." It's a misquote of Sigourney Weaver's character Ellen Ripley from James Cameron's Aliens. Ripley and others come across a station on a remote planet that has been overrun by an alien menace. Ripley's opinion on getting rid of the menace is thus:

    "I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure."
    ~ Ellen Ripley

    In computer-fixit terms, NIFOing a computer involves completely erasing the hard drive and reinstalling everything from scratch, attempting to recreate the former environment, sans nasties. This has the unfortunate effect of utterly destroying the entire previous environment. If not done carefully, the recreated configuration won't quite match the former one. Inevitably, the technician performing the NIFO will forget to bring over a few precious fonts hiding in the font folder, or lose some documents that weren't in the My Documents folder, or will fail to find all the install discs for the various programs. If the technician is smart, they will create a byte-for-byte backup of the old configuration - infected and all - on an external disk so whatever they forget can be restored - carefully - later.

    NIFO does work, but it's messy and causes tremendous collateral damage. As such, it should be an option of last resort. But, as I noted, cowardly noobs more interested in expediency than elegance turn to it first. These churls are almost as bad as the malicious software they are trying to remove.

    I will not resort to such debasements. If I am going to fix your computer, I am going to fix it. I will identify and excise the undesirable parts, while leaving everything else in a pristine state. Sure, it takes a little longer. It takes more subtlety. More tact. More care. The lazy hunt by burning the forest to the ground; I hunt with a sniper's rifle.

    So yes, I can fix your computer.

    But back to the asterisk.

    I was sitting in my office one day, contemplating whatever a man with my...infinite power would contemplate. Which is another way of saying, "who knows." A knock at my door roused me. It was the woman from down the hall, a friendly colleague of several years. She explained that she had been having a very strange problem with her computer for several weeks, and that nobody could figure it out. So she asked me to investigate.

    The problem, as she explained it, was that her computer would spontaneously shut down in the middle of her working on it. It didn't turn off - it wasn't a loss of power. It actually went through an orderly shutdown. The timing seemed random - sometimes it would happen three times a day; sometimes it would be days between shutdowns. Also, it only happened when she was there - the machine could run for hours or even overnight without any problem.

    These were a strange set of symptoms indeed. I suspected some sort of malicious software, but why would it activate only when she was in the room? If it were flaky hardware, why would the machine do an orderly shutdown?

    I went down to her office to investigate. Perhaps it was some obscure power-saving setting. She sat in her chair and I stood next to her. I leaned over to use her mouse and keyboard to check the power settings. This became uncomfortable shortly, so I knelt down. As soon as my knee hit the floor, the machine - just as she said - went through an immediate and orderly shutdown.

    "SEE? SEE!" she exclaimed!

    I was admittedly a little dumbfounded. I went to power the machine back on. The machine was sitting on the floor. I reached over to push the power button when I realized that the power button was already pushed in. If you weren't familiar with this particular machine, you might think it was supposed to be that way, but I knew the button was stuck in. A tiny tap on the button caused it to make contact for just a fraction of a second, booting the machine again.

    "Nobody can figure it out! Do you think I have a virus?"

    I smiled. "Not exactly."

    I waited for the machine to boot again.

    "Watch this." I stomped my foot next to her machine with aplomb. The machine shut itself down, as before.

    "What!?"

    I smiled again. "Not a virus." I then looked around the room, trying to find something I could fashion into an impromptu tool to unstick the power button. Then I realized that I didn't need a tool.

    I made a fist about three inches from the chassis, pulled back a little and struck the machine firmly just once, right below the power button. Obligingly, the button popped out back into its ordinary position.

    "Fixed."

    And thus, to the world I added one asterisk.

    Epilogue:

    The following story is not true. It's a folk tale of sorts, but here's a common rendition.

    Henry Ford was having a tremendous problem with a machine in his factory. He worked for days and nights to solve it, but was unsuccessful. In desperation, he called up Nikola Tesla, who came down to the factory. He explained the problem, and Tesla surveyed the situation. He walked right up to the machine, pulled a piece of chalk out of his pocket, and drew an 'X' on the machine in a particular spot. He then borrowed a hammer and struck the machine. It roared to life, and the problem was solved. Tesla left with Ford's thanks.

    Ford later received an invoice from Tesla for $1000, a princely sum in those days. Ford sent it back with a letter asking why hitting the machine with a hammer cost $1000, and demanded an itemized invoice.

    Tesla replied with an itemized invoice.

    Pogadanje Masina: $1
    Bistar kuda: $999

    "What is this?" Ford demanded. Tesla had provided the itemization in his native Serbian, no doubt to annoy Ford. Ford gave it to a secretary to have it translated. A day later, the translation came back:

    Pogadanje Masina: "Hitting Machine"
    Bistar kuda: "Knowing Where"
     
  18. Uziel

    Uziel
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    Air Traffic Control.

    I've been a controller for 13 years now. I have worked in eight different towers including three tours in Iraq and one in Korea. I've worked crashes, ejections, you name it. I don't really know how to wright a paragraph about what I do other than to say I dont let my children talk to my airplanes for me.
     
  19. ghettoastronaut

    ghettoastronaut
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    I've been living out of a Holiday Inn Express for the last 14 years.
     
  20. MoreCowbell

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    This reminds me a theory I have. This has barely the most tangentially relation to the focus, but oh well.

    Whenever my family traveled somewhere in my teenage years, we almost always stayed in Holiday Inn Expresses. I noticed in my time there that I was never once asked to show a room key. We're talking probably 30-40 nights combined, and I literally have never been asked for proof that I was staying there.

    Am I wrong in thinking that if one were traveling across the country, one could probably get away with a free meal every day at the nearest Holiday Inn Express?