Wow, 24 hours in a car… I made it to Texas safe and sound. There were a few interesting things that happened that are strangely enough interesting to security. First the actual packing. I hired a company to do the packing and storage of my stuff until I’m ready to bring it out. They wouldn’t take my guns or alcohol or anything in liquid so I had to drive. Annoying, but manageable. Anyway, the packing guys did an amazing job. They packed up my entire place and got it into the truck in 6 hours, and I have a lot of annoying stuff to pack. They had four guys working on it, but I realized that even if I had all the right packing stuff, there’s no way I could have done what they had done in 48 or more hours, let alone 24 man hours.
It’s not because I’m lacking the skill, or the strength or even in the interest. In fact, I’m more interested than anyone. The moving company has no interest in my stuff whatsoever. Granted, they don’t want it broken, because they don’t want to get sued, but short of that, they couldn’t care less about any of the individual items in my apartment. So for them to move my stuff is an emotionless event for them. For me, I would have take every individual item, inspected it, thought about what it meant to me, where I bought it, what condition it is, where I want it to end up in the new place, and sorted it accordingly. All without really thinking about it, but each item would have taken me 2-10 times as long to pack depending on what it was.
The moral of the story? I think the same is true when you are talking about assessments. I remember back when I was a lowly programmer and we did code reviews. The person coding it would spend days or weeks programming something and we would tear it apart in a few minutes. They were lacking the distance to know better. They were thinking about the classes and sub classes and data structures. No one on earth knew the code better than they did, yet they lacked the distance to be able to assess it quickly. Since we didn’t care we could to so efficiently. It’s not that they were lacking the skill, far from it. They were lacking the self distance. Obviously, sometimes people are purely lacking the skill (like how to lift a box into a truck without hurting yourself) and that would make the results even more dramatic.
The second interesting part of the story was when I got pulled over. The border patrol was pulling every one over near the border between Texas and Mexico. I thought at this point the deal was over. For sure they were going to arrest me. I was bringing cases of alcohol, firearms, hacking stuff, liquids that could easily make some sort of chemical nightmare (cleaning supplies) not to mention the various foods that I’m sure you’re probably not allowed to take across state lines. I was prepared to turn myself in for a lenient conviction. Alas, they asked me only one question. Here is the sum total of that conversation:
Officer: “Goodmorning.” RSnake: “Goodmorning.” Officer: “Are you a citizen?” RSnake: “Uh, yes?” Officer: “Have a good day.” RSnake: “You too!”
So it occurred to me as I was pulling away from the checkpoint, that is a pretty damned easy test for me to pass, and I wasn’t even good in school or anything. How many thousands of dollars a day does it cost to run that thing and what exactly does it stop? I could have had 5 mexican guys and an Al Queda member under the boxes in the back. Maybe they were scanning my truck with x-rays looking for human passengers, or using geiger counters looking for radioactive materials who knows? Anyway, it was worth a laugh. It would have been hard to fail that test, unless I accidentally blurted out, “Si!”