Herbert Neninger's Farm

Accidentally recording a hit song after you’ve already released a greatest hits album

A fun prank to play on your spouse would be to come home from work early one day, quickly storm into the house, start throwing your bags around, act sort of panicked, and then when they look at you, yell something like “Our cover is blown! Pack your bags! GO, GO, GO!”. Then you’d storm up the stairs and open up your secret closet and start pulling out a bunch of ammo and fake passports and whatnot that you’d prepared ahead of time for your whole family.

If your spouse just sort of stands there dumbfounded looking at you like what the hell is going on, then you can stop all the packing and be like “Ha, yeah, gotcha sweet-ums!” and have a nice laugh about it. Might make it too obvious, but you could do this April 1st and call it a fools joke.

If, instead, your spouse starts running and goes to *their* own secret closet full of weapons and stuff … well, that’s a good way to learn that your spouse is some sort of secret agent.

Of course the risk here is that you turn around and your spouse has a weapon pointed at you and they are like “Yes, the day has come, we’ve got you now” or whatever, revealing that your entire relationship was a big sham and they’ve just secretly been keeping tabs on you for years waiting for the day that the rest of their team would show up to take you out now that you are no longer useful to their operation.

Putting a tiny piece of bone or some milk into your compost pile, in fragrant violation of the rules

One common piece of encouragement often given in software development circles (and probably other professions?) by people who enjoy giving unrequested advice is around the concept of “imposter syndrome”. The idea here is that the feelings a person might be having around not knowing what they are doing, feeling like an outsider, feeling like they don’t deserve whatever job or position they have, being scared of being found out, etc — are all natural and can safely be ignored because you do in fact know what you’re doing.

(As an aside here, one of those people who publishes fake research should totally publish fake research about how scientists have discovered the underlying disease which causes imposter syndrome. I bet someone in fake science has already considered doing this).

The intention here is to encourage people to overcome their fears and not work against themselves by putting too much weight on these feelings, which I suppose is all well and good. But, on the flip side, it it sometimes the case that you actually have no idea what you are doing, have been given way too much power, and should keep a constant and keen awareness of this fact, and basically refuse to work on the thing you’ve been asked to do because you will almost definitely screw it up and put the entire project at risk. The feeling of being an imposter here is actually super valuable, and you should not just put it to the side — you should embrace and cherish it, and let it keep you on your toes. It will serve as useful motivation to learn whatever the hell you are doing first.

Like, if I show up at a gymnastics competition tomorrow and have feelings like I shouldn’t be there, these are good feelings! It’s not just some lack of confidence or “imposter syndrome” — I actually don’t know how to gymnastics, and I shouldn’t be there! A good strategy here would be to fake an injury or otherwise excuse myself from the gymnastics competition, and never return.

Every single room in my house has a pair of inside-out children’s socks

In action movies there’s sometimes a scene where a bunch of guys are going to go into a place and they are getting ready ahead of time by cleaning their guns, choosing their armor, packing up bullets, and so on. I’ve never been in a special operations job so I can’t say how accurate these scenes are. It strikes me as possible that the constant loading and reloading and cocking of their weapons is probably in excess of what you’d realistically need to do to get ready.

I also bet that if you were going on enough missions like this you’d just hire a guy or designate a guy to do all this stuff. You’d be like “Alright, Jeff, you know how we have that big room of bullets and guns and body armor and stuff? Can you just hang out in there and make sure all the stuff is ready to go?” It would probably be super easy to find a guy to do this job, because presumably one perk of this job would be that you don’t have to go on the actual mission where everyone is going to be shooting at you.

Anyway, one piece of gear that sometimes comes up in these scenes is the “Bandolier”. As far as I can tell this is like a strap sort of piece of clothing that you wear draped over your body and you keep a whole bunch of large bullets or maybe cases of bullets in there, draped over you. Then when the action is going down you have this constant source of supplies right on yourself and can take what you need. Presumably you also look cool while you’re walking around and other commando guys are like yeah that’s a pretty cool bandolier you’ve got there.

(I think a bandolier is Chewbacca’s entire wardrobe. Never wears clothes … but does wear a bandolier. Interesting.)

I think a cool movie scene would be one where instead of a guy in combat constantly needing to reach into his bandolier to pull out a new “clip” of bullets to reload his weapon and stay in the action, would be where you had a guy who was going on a really long walk and he was going to listen to a bunch of podcasts. You could make a bandolier that had like 8 or 12 spots in it to keep your AirPods, and when you burned through an entire AirPods of batteries, you’d just throw them out of your ears onto the ground (with dramatic flair or panache?) and grab the next set of AirPods, put them in your ears, and keep listening and walking. Maybe, like, barricade yourself behind a tree or concrete block or something while you do this?

On a technical level, it would be smart to pre-pair all the AirPods with whatever mobile device you were using to play the podcasts. I guess an advanced version of this could actually have some sort of large battery strapped onto the backside of the bandolier (like a really silly rucksack) which was connected to each individual AirPods station on the bandolier, and probably also to the phone somehow.

You’d probably get a bunch of funny looks if you were out and about on a walk like this. Combining it with a pair of badass reflective sunglasses would probably help a bit with your whole vibe. Even then, like 90% of the looks you get are going to be super confused looks … but the other 10% are going to be people who are IN THE GAME and totally get what you’re doing, and run up and give you a high five (but, importantly, don’t talk to you and interrupt your episodes) . Maybe I’m overestimating there and it’s even less than 10% … but you should make this group of people your new friends.

Another cool thing is you could bring a couple buddies who were similarly outfitted with you on this walk and then late in the day one of you would dramatically be like “I’m out! I’m out!” or just yell “Clip!” and then someone else would (in slow motion, somehow) throw them a charged up AirPods case that they could slap in to their ears.