Geek Speak: To the Cloud
The cloud is a really popular concept in technology right now, but I think it may be overused to the point that people, even businesses, who use it regularly have lost sight of its meaning. Cloud computing is a jargon term without a non-ambiguous or scientific definition. Loosely defined it could mean any distributed computing system that allows you to run an application on multiple computers at the same time.
Jargon aside its my belief that we're seeing a new kind of tech bubble, a "cloud bubble" if you will. Entire companies have built their revenue streams on deploying users "in the cloud," which basically means helping organizations transition their users from internally managed infrastructure, to resources that live in a distributed network provided by companies like Microsoft and Google. There are people out there making a really good living moving businesses to the cloud, and they don't even know what that means, though I doubt many of them take things to this extreme.
Last week, as I was walking to get cash to use as change for the yard sale someone shouted my name. I turned in time to hear my name flung by a female voice from the driver's side of a red Prius. Not knowing if this was someone trying to get my attention long enough to gun the engine and take me out I approached cautiously.
When I got around the drivers side an attractive woman with light brown hair and a brilliant smile greeted me enthusiastically.
"Hi, Isaac," she effused. "it's so good to see you!"
In that moment, that very second, my mind went blank as a canvas before a painter's brush brings forth its masterpiece. Blank as a page before the author pours out their emotions, depicting images with words. Blank as the stare I got from the popular girl just before she peed herself with laughter because I'd asked, "Will you go out with me."
Not recognizing her and not knowing what to do, I did what anyone would do in the same situation. I played along hoping for some clue to emerge as to her identity and our relationship. As far as I know I don't suffer from amnesia, but...I'll get to that.
"Hi," I said and slid gracefully past the point where anyone else would use a name, "It's good to see you too, how are you?"
We exchanged pleasantries and then she mentioned my wife.
"How is [Mildly Sensational] and your little girl! Isn't you're wife pregnant again?"
AH-HA! I thought, now we were getting somewhere. She knows my wife and she knows we have a daughter, and she knows we're expecting number two. She must have worked with my wife! I congratulated myself for my cleverness and the girth of my deductive member.
"She was pregnant when we did yoga together? Your daughter's about two now, right?"
FUCK! My deductive member dropped down, flaccid and embarrassing. No, really, it happens to everyone eventually. My wife never took a yoga class with anyone she worked with.
After that we talked about work. She told me about her business that was right around the corner, back the direction I had walked, and I told her I work on the sixth floor of the building across the street.
That's when she suggested we should have lunch sometime. The jig was up.
"I'm sorry," I said, "but I'm drawing a complete blank on your name."
She was amazing. Her face dropped for just a moment in that 'he doesn't remember me' look that I get when this happens...more on that later...but she only drooped for a moment. She rallied admirably.
"I"m [Clicky]," she paused for just a moment, "your college R.A. (resident's assistant)."
It all coalesced in a moment, like Dory in Finding Nemo when she remembers the whole movie in a flash after reading "Sydney" right at the end. There was even a musical montage. My reaction was subdued and dignified.
"OH MY GOD, [CLICKY]!" I yelled and threw my arms over my head in a totally dignified way. "I'm so sorry! Jesus, of course, I remember, god I'm sorry."
"I'm sorry," was repeated many times much to her great amusement. That awkward moment behind us we agreed that meeting for lunch was a great idea. To be honest I'm not sure why I didn't draw that connection earlier. Clicky's smile is absolutely unmistakable.
I do this sometimes. It's never on purpose, and it's certainly never to hurt someone, but I forget who people are. I have a terrible, terrible time with putting names to faces. In her case I haven't seen Clicky (and no, that's not her real name) in close to twenty years, but that's not really an excuse. I have trouble with names and faces with someone I haven't seen in a much shorter period of time.
Once I drew a blank on a woman's name when my wife and I ran into her in a restaurant before moving to California. I hadn't seen her in six to eight months, less than a year anyway. For the life of me I could not remember her name. What makes this terrible is I had done a play with her. Wait for it...not only had I been in rehearsals with her every day for weeks, BUT the play required me to kiss her. This person I had worked closely with, and shared a kissing scene on stage, was being really nice to me, but I could not remember her name. Still can't.
If I'm talking to you, and it looks like I may have forgotten who you are, it's because I probably have, momentarily. Please don't take it personally, this is something I genuinely, deeply bad at. Just give me your name again, I'll make the connection, be terribly embarrassed, and we can continue to have a nice chat.
In Clicky's case her face and name (her real name, not Clicky) are now permanently etched onto my temporal lobe. No really. There's a tattoo place in Hollywood that'll do that for, like, fifty bucks. The side effects aren't that bad either BARK BARK BARK.