Category Archives: Geeky

Dyers.org Turns 10 (That’s 60 In Web Years!)

jon dyer polaroid eyeOn January 10, 2002, Dyers.org started with a simple Hello World. Since then, the site has landed my face on television, in a couple of newspapers, in an iPhone app, and all over the web. In web years, Dyers.org is wearing a white belt, white shoes, and should be packing up its polyester pants to drive the Caddy down to Florida.

How Long Ago Is 10 Years In the WebSphere?

Dyers.org started up on MindSpring account when the fastest connection a geek could hope for was 1.5 megabit DSL. It ran on the Blogger platform before Blogger was eaten by Google. It predates American Idol, The Bachelor, and even the G4 Network. Back then, we were all talking about this new iPod thing that came out a couple of months before, which cost an unbelievable $399 for 5Gb of storage. We all thought we should’ve invented it, and we might’ve if we weren’t so busy playing Grand Theft Auto III day and night on our PS2s. Owners of the brand new Xbox console might’ve had a better chance if they weren’t so wrapped up with Halo.

Tweeting was 4 years away, and Tumblr and StumbleUpon were counting their anniversaries in months. No one was using LinkedIn, MySpace, or even Friendster because they hadn’t been thought of. Hell, Mark Zuckerberg was still a couple of years away from coming up with the Harvard-only web app he called “TheFacebook.”

Without vast virtual social networks in which to envelop themselves, nerds either sat home watching The X-Files and drooling about the possible release of Warcraft III, or they started blogs and blathered on and on about nothing.

And I stood there with a bunch of other nerds (wearing onions on our belts, which was the style at the time) and said, “people want to know what we eat for breakfast. We know they do.” Those other nerds became successful pro-bloggers, or hit the delete key when they realized that blogging was for teenage girls.

Despite being the wrong gender and age, I had an astounding 30 readers that I felt compelled to entertain. I kept blogging. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

What followed were years of meandering introspective blather, a couple of years of earnest pro-blogging, and 3 years of Life of Riley posts about what it’s like to quit your job and end up a stay at home dad.

And there were beards. Lots and lots of beards.

And by publishing every time I thought, “If I publish this, I’m going to look really stupid,” the original 30 expanded into a horde of really unique and interesting people. And although I don’t give you much of a reason to visit anymore, what with all the tweeting, and the texting, and the Facebooking, I know you’re still out there somewhere and I hope you’re doing well.

A Few Things I’ve Learned In A Decade Of Blogging

  • The web loves lists.
  • If Mother Theresa had a blog, someone out there would send her hate mail. You’re not Mother Theresa. You’ll get worse.
  • You can say 2+2=4 and someone is going to call you a conspiracy theorist who has been bought by the mainstream media.
  • Most of what you hope will do well won’t, and you will shake your head at what succeeds.
  • Proper tagging and promotion can more than make up for bad writing and lack of content.
  • Over time, blogging will turn you into a writer with no time to actually write.
  • Beware of bloggers who blog about blogging. There is a good chance that they are salesmen selling sales seminars.
  • Deadlines are more important than perfection because writing is never done perfect.
  • Write short, scannable text.
  • The web is fickle.
  • Give before you ask.
  • There are secret cabals of savvy folks out there who cross promote articles for each other to drive traffic. They sometimes work.
  • Blogging means that you will never be able to tell a story without someone cutting you off and saying that they read it already.
  • People you’ve never met will feel like they know you, but most of the time you’ll wonder if anyone’s really out there.
  • Stats can be exciting, but they really don’t matter.
  • You need to promote your posts, but promoting your own posts rarely works.
  • Your blog can get you in the paper and on TV. But, then what?
  • You can have your face circle the web for years and no one will recognize you on the street.
  • Whatever you publish in anger will be embarrassing in a couple of years.
  • You can be a big beard freak at the top of Google stats and there will be people will still want to hire you.
  • If your blog is not a labor of love, you’re going to have a hard time defining its success.

Going Forward

Now that the site is in its golden years, it’s sluggish and lazy, sleeping in a recliner covered in Cheetos. It occasionally snores itself awake long enough to drop something funny or facial hair related before drifting off again…which reminds me of a funny story about your Aunt Bernie. Or was it Phyl? No, no. That’s right, it was your Uncle Bob’s cousin, Linda. The one with the limp.

Hey, did you ever get that finger looked at when you went to the doctor’s last time? Because I got this stuff down at the drugstore that works wonders on… What? Oh, right.

Anyway.

Bob’s cousin Linda, you’re going to love this, falls into…Oh, jeepers Christmas, now I’m late for bingo. Listen, just stay here and I’ll tell the story when I get back. There’s shortbread in the cupboard, and tea in the…hey, can you program a VCR? The clock on there keeps flash…what do you mean “what’s a VCR?” The thing you tape Matlock with. What’s taping? Oh, for cry eye. Listen, I gotta go. I don’t have time to explain what VCRs, VAX clusters, or a 56k modem are. Huh? My pants? why they’re right on my…aw fudge.

As always, thanks for stopping by.

-Jon

Star Trek Redshirt: Pwn, Replace, Repeat

Ah, the red shirts: the pawns of the Star Trek Universe. When three main characters and “Ensign Larry” beam down to the planet, you know who’s going to take the poisonous spikes to the face from the native plant, or the shot the chest from an angry laser-toting robot. I happen to be wearing a red shirt this morning. I should probably plan to just stay indoors after I finish cleaning all the sharks out of the mega-nitroglycerin grinder in cargo bay two.

Oh, shoot. Hey, if you’re reading this, could you come down and open the air lock door? If I don’t get the grinder cleaned before the captain gets back, I’m a dead man. Oh, and could you bring down the air lock timer manual? The damned thing is counting backwards…

Pwning The Pawns Of The Star Trek Universe

Rejected Endings From Last Week’s CERN Cartoon

While I stand by my original ending for last week’s CERN cartoon, I did have a few alternate endings that didn’t make the cut. Six of them are pictured below.

Agent SmithMr. Peabody and Shermanyamato

vincentKang and KodosGeneral Zod

Now, a lot of these were a little too obvious, but I have to say that General Zod and the Yamato were closing in on the Sleestaks for the final cut.

I know there are better jokes out there though, so I thought I’d provide a template in case any of you can provide a geekier alternative. What do you think? Are you up for a little geekery?

Damnit, I can’t believe I forgot The Herculoids and Dr. Who. Gah. So many options…

Good luck.

template

Phone Home You Will, Starbuck?

#1GF! and I are sitting in Chachky’s or Flingers, and there are piles of seemingly random crap tacked up to the walls. Among the junk on the wall opposite me, there is a picture of the cast of Star Trek and a rubber Yoda mask…

Me: Hey, there’s a picture of Star Trek on that wall.
#1GF!: [turns] Yes, I agree.
Me: And there’s a Yoda head there, too.
#1GF!: [turns and turns back]
Me: You don’t know who Yoda is.
#1GF!: Uh… E.T.?
Me: [thumps head on table]
Continue reading

Ultimate Showdown: Stormtroopers Vs. Ninjas

Stormtroopers Vs. Ninjas

Yesterday, I mentioned that Stormtroopers were way more awesome than ninjas, yet some of you refused to believe it. Since it has somehow turned into Stormtrooper week here at dyers.org, we’re going to have a little 10 point showdown to prove once and for all who reigns supreme: Stormtroopers or Ninjas.

Put your weapons aside and let’s get this showdown started…

Sole Purpose for Existence

Stormtroopers:
To serve the Emperor.

Ninjas:
To cause social chaos in enemy territory to benefit their feudal ruler.

Conclusion:
The Imperial Emperor can shoot lightening from his fingers and you think it’s a better life goal to serve some feudal lord who can do nothing cooler than thoughtfully stroke his bad 70′s mustache? Are you kidding? Do you know what kind of awesome it takes to get lightening to shoot from your fingertips? No? Well, it’s a lot more than just losing your razor, that’s for sure.

Winner: Stormtroopers
Stormtroopers Win!

Governing Effects

Stormtrooper Effect:
The bad guys are always lousy shots in the movies.

Inverse Ninja Law:
The strength of any one ninja is inversely proportional to the number of Ninjas assisting. One ninja is deadly, but 100 can be easily defeated by one man.

Conclusion
Whether the rule implies that you are a notoriously lousy shot or that you are less powerful in a group, having rules like these named after you is never a good thing.

Winner: Tie
Tie

Training

Stormtroopers:
Clones are removed from the hatchery and delivered to their trainers when they reach five years old. There they are trained as professional soldiers to obey their officers without question or regard to their personal safety.

Ninjas:
Ninjas are not trained as full-time professional soldiers, but they are trained from an early age in martial arts, assassination, and guerrilla warfare. Ninja training is tailored to the individual.

Conclusion
Touchy, feely, sneaky assassination training or genetically engineered, full-time killing machine training? Hmm. Let’s see. That’s a tough choice.

Winner: Stormtroopers
Stormtroopers Win!

Easily Pwned By

Stormtroopers:
Easily defeated by Ewoks.

Ninjas:
Easily defeated by pirates.

Conclusion:
Getting defeated by someone in a puffy shirt, tight pants, and thigh-high boots is pretty shameful, but if you get defeated by a bunch of two foot tall, jungle teddy bears, you automatically and deservedly lose this category. Jub jub.

Winner: Ninjas
Ninjas Win!

Transportation

Stormtroopers:
AT-AT, speeder bike, Dewback, and any laser toting, light speed capable vehicle the Imperial Empire has at it’s disposal.

Ninjas:
Horses, walking, short distance flying

Conclusion
I will admit that flying onto the rooftops is pretty cool, but its relatively useless when compared to the sheer variety of heavily armed transportation available to the average Stormtrooper. I mean, sure, Ninjas can fly up to the rooftop… assuming a Stormtrooper doesn’t blow it up before they land.

Winner: Stormtroopers
Stormtroopers Win!

Headgear

Stormtroopers:
The Comtech Series IV Helmet has night vision, polarizing lenses, three phase sonic filtering, a multi-frequency targeting system, a comlink for instant communication with other units, and it filters chemical and biological agents from the air.

Ninjas:
Two three-foot cloths are tied around the head.

Conclusion
Wait did that just say two pieces of cloth? I was on the fence because I thought it said one piece. That extra piece of cotton can make all the difference when your enemies nail you in the squash. The clear winner is nin…

Winner: Stormtroopers
Stormtroopers Win!

Clothing

Stormtroopers:
Full body metallic battle armor designed to disperse the energy of a blaster bolt over an insulating, temperature-controlled body suit. The armor contains a built in resonator to open secure doors and the backplate contains twenty minutes of emergency oxygen.

Ninjas:
Black cotton pants, split-toed tabi boots, and a jacket with overlapping lapels and a secret inside pocket.

Conclusion:
Whoa! Secret inside pocket? That’s awesome! I wonder if they can fit their little ninja purses in there.

Winner: Stormtroopers
Stormtroopers Win!

Stealth

Stormtroopers:
Noisy enough that your deaf grandma can hear their clanking armor from four clicks away.

Ninjas:
Quick! Look behind you! Did you miss him? That’s how silent ninjas are.

Conclusion:
Look, we just got through telling you how awesome all that Stormtrooper armor is, and that awesomeness comes with small price called stealth. So, Ninjas win a category because they’re sneaky little babies. So, what?

Winner: Ninjas
Ninjas Win!

Weapon of Choice

Stormtroopers:
The E-11 blaster is a liquid cooled, 1.4 ft long laser rifle capable of shooting a tightly focused particle beam a maximum of 383 yards. It fires 100 shots without reloading.

Ninjas:
The ninja’s primary weapon is the ninjaken, or short sword. It’s about 20 inches long and so sharp that you can cut tin cans in half and still slice through a tomato. Or so they say.

Conclusion:
So, my choice is a 20 inch range with a knife or almost four football fields with some sort of laser beam? Oh, that’s a tough one.

Winner: Stormtroopers
Stormtroopers Win!

Secondary Equipment

Stormtroopers:
High-tension wire, two grappling hooks, four blaster power packs, three ion flares, a concentrated ration bar, a spare comlink, three water packs, two medpacks, two blast energy sinks, a glow rod, and a cylindrical thermal detonator.

Ninjas:
Smoke bombs, firecrackers, nunchucks, throwing stars, hand claws, foot spikes, hidden daggers, grappling hooks, throwing knives, bow and arrow, poison darts, iron spikes, and tridents.

Conclusion:
While I’m certainly a fan of both firecrackers and nunchucks, can they really compare to a Stormtrooper pack? Say you get lucky one day and capture a ninja. Know what he’ll do? He’ll stick his sword in his gut so you can’t question him. Pretty dramatic stuff, right? And you get all his firecrackers. Know what a Stormtrooper does when you capture him? He clicks that button on his personal thermal detonator and blows up everyone and everything within a few yards… including you. Captor neutralized. It’s all about effective secondary equipment.

Winner: Stormtroopers
Stormtroopers Win!

And The Winner is… Stormtroopers

What a blowout! The Stormtroopers dominated the contest, showing themselves to be far superior to the average Ninja. Maybe it’s time that G4 drops Ninja Warrior and starts up a far superior program called “Stormtrooper Warrior”.

stormtrooper helmet

If you find you have points that I may have missed, kick up the debate in the comments.

The Secret Lives of Stormtroopers

Are Imperial Stormtroopers really the disposable, brain-dead killers that the media makes them out to be? Contrary to popular belief, very few are. For most, Stormtrooping is just a way to pay the rent and keep food on the table. Because of its potential negative impact on the Empire’s ruthless image, this information has always been a tightly guarded secret.

Until now.

Thanks to some recently obtained photos, we now have indisputable proof that when they’re not out crushing the Rebellion, most Imperial Stormtroopers live their lives just like you and I.

What do they do when they’re not on duty? We now know that they…

  1. Go to parties
    Stormtrooper balloon
  2. Take Hawaiian vacations
    Vacation Stormtrooper
  3. Hang with Buddy Christ
    Jesus Stormtrooper
  4. Run marathons
    Stormtrooper runner
  5. Shop for groceries
    Grocery Stormtrooper
  6. Moonlight at Starbucks
    Starbucks Stormtrooper
  7. Cut it up on the wheels of steel
    DJ Stormtrooper
  8. Ride merry-go-rounds
    Merry go round Stormtrooper
  9. Chill with fish mongers
    Fish Stormtrooper
  10. Hang with French maids
    French Maid Stormtrooper
  11. Go to the mall
    Noodle Stormtrooper
  12. Eat noodles
    Haircut Stormtrooper
  13. Get haircuts
    Meeting Stormtrooper
  14. Attend business meetings
    Subway Stormtrooper
  15. Ride the subway
  16. Rock out with Kiss
    Kiss Stormtrooper
  17. Smoke weed
    Tye Die Stormtrooper
  18. Write advertisements
    Nude Stormtrooper
  19. Make some extra cash pole dancing
    Stripper Stormtrooper
  20. Get hassled by the man
    arrested Stormtrooper
  21. Kick around their lawyers
    Beating Stormtroopers
  22. Check their blood pressure
    Blood pressure Stormtrooper
  23. Hula hoop
    Hula hoop Stormtrooper
  24. March in parades
    Parade of Stormtroopers
  25. Ride amusement park rides
    Amusement park Stormtrooper
  26. Harass Spongebob and his stupid square pants
    Spongebob Stormtrooper
  27. Attend VW car shows
    VW Stormtrooper
  28. Check tomatoes for signs of small, penetrable ventilation ducts
    Tomato Stormtrooper
  29. Audition for Reservoir Dogs
    Classy Stormtrooper
  30. Have breakfast
    breakfast Stormtrooper
  31. Eat in cafeterias
    Cafeteria Stormtroopers
  32. Patronize weirdos
    St. Patty Stormtrooper
  33. Sneak a peak at your junk when you’re drunk
    bathroom Stormtroopers
  34. Catch gnarly waves
    surfing Stormtrooper
  35. Pwn N00bs
    video game Stormtroopers
  36. Listen to Van Halen and wonder, “WWDLRD?”
    Van Halen Stormtrooper
  37. Go book shopping
    Book store Stormtrooper
  38. Hang out with their brother the imperial accountant
    lawyer Stormtroopers
  39. Play with Barbies
    naked barbie Stormtrooper
  40. Chill on the porch
    beer Stormtrooper
  41. Drink dark beer
    drinking Stormtrooper
  42. Drain the main vein
    peeing Stormtrooper
  43. Mow the lawn
    mowing Stormtrooper
  44. Celebrate the holidays
    Christmas Stormtrooper
  45. Relax by the lake
    Posing Stormtrooper
  46. Drink Pepsi
    Pepsi Stormtrooper
  47. aaaAAA AAA Afternoon Delight!
    Picnic Stormtroopers
  48. Get in some cardio
    Gym Stormtrooper
  49. Taunt small children
    Tease Stormtrooper
  50. Go to rock concerts
    Rock concert Stormtrooper
  51. Hit the arcade
    arcade Stormtrooper
  52. Hang with pro wrestlers
    Pro wrestling Stormtrooper
  53. Visit Mexico
    Mexican Stormtrooper
  54. Move major keys right under the DEA’s nose
    Pay phone Stormtrooper
  55. Eat ice cream
    ice cream Stormtrooper
  56. Moonlight for Scotland Yard
    detective Stormtrooper
  57. Hang with rock stars
    Slash Stormtrooper
  58. Everybody say, “Breakdance!”
    Breakdance Stormtrooper
  59. Dine in Middleboro
    Stormtrooper goats
  60. Go bowling
    bowling Stormtrooper
  61. Sit on fences
    posing Stormtrooper on a fence
  62. Sit in windows
     posing Stormtrooper in a window
  63. Hide in swamps
    swamp Stormtrooper
  64. Drop Wookies off at the pool
    poop Stormtrooper
  65. Sing like the King
    Elvis Stormtrooper
  66. Ride their Segways
    Segway Stormtrooper
  67. Play football like the ancient Americans
    football Stormtroopers
  68. Get parking tickets
    parking ticket Stormtroopers
  69. Stunt double for Evil Knievel
    Evil Knievel Stormtroopers
  70. Bag groceries
    Grocery Stormtrooper
  71. Play “go fish”
    card playing Stormtrooper
  72. Go swimming
    Bikini Stormtrooper
  73. Babysit
    babysitting Stormtrooper
  74. Have threesomes
    threesome Stormtrooper
  75. Get milked by Jedis
    milked Stormtrooper
  76. Bench press
    bench press Stormtrooper
  77. Watch TV
    TV Stormtrooper
  78. Attend local sporting events
    Baseball Stormtroopers
  79. Hang out with Ronnie McD
    Ronald McDonald Stormtroopers
  80. Intentionally Ignore Bob
    Bob and the Stormtroopers
  81. Celebrate St. Patty’s Day
    St. Patty;s Day Stormtroopers
  82. Drift race
    drift race Stormtrooper
  83. Pimp their rides
    Pimp my ride Stormtrooper
  84. Go broke
    broke Stormtrooper
  85. Really go broke
    Low budget Stormtroopers
  86. Take public transportation
    Street corner Stormtroopers
  87. Get drunk and check random cars for droids
    car stop Stormtroopers
  88. Dress up like Spiderman
    Spiderman Stormtrooper
  89. Harass Best Buy employees
    Best Buy Stormtrooper
  90. Get crushed by a giant Spiderman
    Spiderman kid and the Stormtroopers
  91. Hang with the ladies from church
    Church lady Stormtroopers
  92. Relax in the pool
    Pool Stormtroopers
  93. Fight the Yakuza
    Hong Kong Stormtrooper
  94. Make new friends
    Uh, what? Stormtroopers
  95. Taunt the rebellion
    piss on the rebellion
  96. Get tattoos
    Stormtroopers tattoos
  97. Commit to Hello Kitty in a serious way
    Hello Kitty Stormtrooper tattoo
  98. Aggrivate Gene Simmons
    Kiss Stormtrooper shirt
  99. Take up amateur photography
    Stormtrooper photographing a babe
  100. Take long walks on the beach
    Beach walking Stormtrooper

See? Stormtroopers are just like you and me.

Did you have some favorites? Let me know in the comments.

44 Ways to Enjoy The Super Mario Brothers Theme

I don’t know about you, but every time I hear the Super Mario theme, I feel like a big nerd. It’s a theme that any gamer over a certain age can hum off the top of their heads, and when people put their efforts into playing it, I end up grinning like a dope.

And I’m not alone. Below are the results of sifting through hundreds of videos to try to find the theme played on as many instruments as possible. I ended up with 43 decent renditions, covering brass, woodwinds, string and percussion instruments. The top ten is below, and the full 44 is listed at the bottom.

Before you proceed, be warned that I claim no responsibility if the Super Mario Theme is still stuck in your head next Tuesday.

Update 4/16/08: The RC car video was added at #2, pushing “Flute (with beatboxing) out of the top 10. Technically, the list is now 45 ways.

The Top 10 Super Mario Renditions

10. High school band
The odds are extremely high that the only person in this video that was alive to play Super Mario Brothers when it came out was the teacher. And a high school band is obligatory in this type of list, anyway, isn’t it? You know it is.

9. Contrabassoon
There’s something about the sound of the contrabassoon that cracks me up. And Richard plays it for us fabulously, even though he can’t get the camera situated the way he’d like.

8. Two Electric Guitars
Two guitars. One kid. I haven’t seen anything like this since Satan unleashed his metal fury in Rock n Roll Nightmare.

7. 11 String Bass
When I form my world-conquering metal band, The Mighty Fist of Thor, this guy is getting an invite to audition. He will invariably deem the music to be below his abilities, get a PhD in Music History, and die never knowing the gratification that comes with doing twelve chicks from eleven countries at the same time in a tour bus hot tub. At least he made it to evil number six on the list though, right?

6. Balalaika (Russian folk guitar)
While this version isn’t played the most accurately, I have never seen anyone play a folk instrument with such a rock star attitude. And considering he’s playing the Super Mario Theme, I’m guessing the reason is either insanity or nuts the size of Titan. In either case, this guy is also getting an invite to the Mighty Fist of Thor auditions, assuming my agent can find his tiny village in Russia.

5. Alto sax
Notice that this kid is not only in the standard rock star stance, but he plays the song in the style of Lisa Simpson.

4. Ballpoint Pen
While not yet accepted as a standard orchestral instrument, the ballpoint pen takes slot number 3. I think my favorite part of this is the “This is just an ordinary pen” move at the beginning, as if he’s about to do some sort of remarkable magic trick with it.

3. Beer Bottles
“Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.” Oh no? Well, it gets you famous on YouTube, now doesn’t it? Yes, and it gets you the number two slot on this list.

2. RC Car and Bottles
Take a lot of bottles, a radio controlled car, an underground garage, and the Japanese and throw them in a blender and you know that something awesome is going to be unleashed. This was a late addition that knocked “flute (with beatboxing)” off the top ten list, debuting at #2.

1. Tesla Coil
These guys jack it up to 88 miles an hour and play the Super Mario Theme with 1.21 gigawatts of power. Seriously. How can you beat that? 1.21 gigawatts!? 1.21 gigawatts!? Great Scott! the only power source capable of generating 1.21 gigawatts of electricity is… Mario.

If you haven’t gotten enough, yet, continue on. I take no responsibility for any further damage you do to your nerdy little synapses…

Top 44 Super Mario Themes, Listed By Instrument

Accordion
Acoustic Guitar
Alto Horns
Alto Sax, see #5
Ballpoint Pen, see #4

Banjo and guitar
Beer Bottles, see #3
Balalaika (Russian folk guitar), see #6

Brass Quartet
Cello
Church organ
Clarinet Quartet
Contrabassoon, see #9
Cornet
Drums
Electric Guitar
Electric Guitar x2, see #8
Electric Bass
11 String Electric Bass, see #7
Erhu (Chinese Violin)
Euphonium and Saxhorn
Flute (with Beatboxing)
Flute and Clarinet
Harmonica
High School Band, see #10
Mandolin
Marching Band
Mouth Harp
Orchestra
Piano
Radio Controlled Car with Beer Bottles, see #2
Rock Band
Ruler and Table
Saxomophone
Stage Production
Tesla Coil, see #1
Trombones
Trumpet
Tuba
Ukulele
Upright Bass
Violin
Viola
Vocals (A capella)
Xylophones

Did I miss your favorite instrument? Drop it in the comments.

More Cowbell Madness with FineTune

While googling for internet radio information to help Tankboy legally get his DJ sets online, I came across FineTune and got a bit hooked.

FineTune is another free internet radio station creation site, where people can compile playlists from FineTune’s library of tracks. Once the lists are over 45 songs long, anyone can tune in and listen to them. Because there is something wrong with me, I set up yet another cowbell station and ended up adding 70 cowbell-rich tracks before giving up. For those counting along at home, I have now created six cowbell CDs, one lala Cowbell station, and one FineTune Cowbell station.

I have to say that I was so impressed with FineTune’s wide selection of tracks that I threw together a musical oddities station that should keep you amused once your cowbell fever subsides.

And FineTune even let me embed the stations right into this post for your personal listening enjoyment.

If you tune in and have any comments or suggestions, I’m all ears.

Enjoy!

Top 1010 Clues that You’re at a Really Good Nerd Party

1010. There are pony tails, but not enough Choppers to justify them.

1001. There’s a lot of expensive equipment, a fire pit, a lot of drunk people, and nothing gets broken.

1000. There are more technical people present than work at a CompUSA, and all of them would agree that calling CompUSA workers technical people is arguable at best.

0111. There is a ten foot by ten foot professional outdoor movie screen, which is attached to a Playstation2 that is surrounded by a driving wheel and “Guitar Nerd“.

0110. The opening movie is still in theaters.

0101. A planned Double feature turns into a quadra feature, with The Big Lebowski and Aqua Teen Hunger Force featured and quoted relentlessly.

0100. “What the hell is an Aluminum Falcon?” doesn’t go over many heads.

0011. Someone asks how you “boot up” the hot tub.

0010. On at least 2 occasions “KHAAAANNNN!!! is heard screamed for no reason.

and the number 1 clue that you’re at a really good nerd party:

0001. Someone drives home at 1 AM specifically to bring back a copy of the Star Trek 2: the Wrath of Khan. And gets cheered for it.

Adama: Wishes from Beyond the Grave

Because I sent one of my co-workers a message from Kitt for his birthday, I was obliged to send Sneezy Pete something for his. I sent this:

Best Wishes From Commander Adama

I thought it was funny, but for four hours, I didn’t hear anything about it. The lack of response made me think that the thing was probably just not funny and that I was probably a big, fucking moron.

I finally had to walk over and ask about it. This is what I learned: Sending weird pictures to co-workers on their birthdays is appreciated. Saying “It would look really good in that frame you got your son in right there” is not. Follwing up with “What? It’s not like you don’t see the kid every day” will not win any bonus points.

(One thing that I put into the picture that no one seemed to notice was the slight glow around Commander Adama’s head because, well, he’s dead, Jim.)

Binary High Five

After completing the script below, I was pretty proud of myself. For non-Perl folks, the script involves attaching to a SQL database and doing IP to decimal to binary conversions. Not only did I have to pick apart the back end of McAfee’s EPO server to figure out the required SQL, but I had to figure out how to do binary to IP conversions and refresh myself on multidimensional hashes. Once it was complete, I felt like a kid who had made the greatest looking doody that he had ever seen. And like that kid, I found that there really wasn’t anyone around who would appreciate it.

Because of this strange need for validation, I even tried to explain it to #1GF! once I got home. She sort of glazed over and mumbled “Wow” and then something about how the things that I get excited about indicated a major point of contention between the two of us. I knew that I could count on the same reaction from most of my co-workers, so the next day, I took it to the guy who was explaining binary to IP conversions a few weeks before. He seemed pretty impressed, and didn’t have to do that fake “greeeaat” because he genuinely understood what I was talking about.

As 1 impressed geek is not enough, I had to call an engineer friend of mine. Once I finished my story with “…and once I figured out that the negative numbers required bit flipping the binary numbers before I broke them into octets, I was all set…”

The engineer on the other end of the phone said, “Nice. You get a binary high five.”

He then explained that a binary high five is when you hold up one finger, then none, then 1 finger. Once I realized that 101 is the binary representation for 5, I laughed solidly for a couple of minutes.

So, at least 10 people were impressed. It’s great being completely outgeeked.

For folks who want to do IP container checks in McAfee’s EPO server, enjoy the script below. For those of you that need to do binary< ->Decimal< ->IP conversions, recycle the parts you need.

EPO IP Check Script

Update: This post spawned discussion as to whether a proper binary high five should be executed serially as described above, or in parallel by holding up the index and ring fingers at the same time. The latter, although cooler looking, seems like something that would get a geek shot by mistake.

Make That 101 Points

When I arrived at work this morning, I got a Vulcan salute and this:

“You know, technically, Kirk would never have touched a communicator on his chest. Those are from the later generations. He would say, [flips Nextel open like a communicator] ‘Kirk to Enterprise’…hey, you’re not writing this down, are you?”

Yes. Yes, I was. People need to know about this.

Why I Liked Today In 100 Easy points

0. We Encourage Productive Discussion
Agreed Upon at lunch: “Death metal is categorized by vocal style rather than subject matter, making Shadows Fall death metal but Slayer plain metal. It is undetermined whether Black Sabbath is or is not be metal, but it is agreed that they shall be honorarily grandfathered in to the category. Anthrax is metal, and Metallica used to be, but is not anymore. It is agreed that Van Halen is definitely not Heavy metal: They are hard rock at best, and maybe just plain rock.”

1. We Have Productive Meetings
Said to me: “[Employee #3225582] swears he’s going to get you into our weekly battlefield 1942 game one of these days…”

10. We Share Available Resources
“What are you doing down here?”
“We’re here to play in the test forest.”
“I see. Be you in need of a cloak?”
“Of invisibility? Yes. Have you any swords that are +2 against ogres?”
“Nay”
“[Group] Awww.”

11. We Share a Common Customs
If given a bluetooth headset (example), co-workers will agree that talking on the phone without wires is theoretically cool. Unfortunately, half will, without thinking put their hands to their ears like Uhura and say, “Sir, the Romulans are attacking,” during their first use. Only 50% will come up with the correct response of immediately putting the device on their chest, tapping it, and saying “Kirk to Enterprise. 2 to beam up.”

100. We Are Courteous to Others
If I happen to abandon my usual “So long, Suckers!” by silently walking out the door giving a Vulcan salute, it is met with returned salutes and “Live long and prosper,” rather than confused looks and “Nanoo Nanoo, Mork.”

(Note: I know that you think that I should’ve written 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 in binary as 1,10,11,100, 101, but any good Perl dork will tell you that the 1st element in a list is, by default, element 0. No, I’m not kidding.)

ROCKET CAR!

After a long Friday at work, I usually unwind by visiting the music or computer sections at the local BestBuy, Compusa, or CircuitCity (It’s not a pretty fact, but it’s a fact). This past Friday was really no different, except that I had just gotten my EVO back after 2 weeks in the repair shop. I really didn’t appreciate the pure grandpa floatirion suckitude of the rental Camry (alignment problem included) until I re-acquainted myself with the EVO’s bone-jarring goodness on its maiden voyage to the local CompUSA.

While traversing the 10 mile hike from my ding resistant spot in the far reaches of the parking lot, I simultaneously reviewed the drive down and pondered the gigs and gigs of storage lining the shelves of the store. Just then, as if to drag me back to an unhappy reality, some guy walked up next to me and just started talking.

DumbAss: WR6.
Me: [ignoring the ramblings]
DA: WR6.
Me: What?
DA: WR6. WR6.
Me: WR6?
DA: Yea. WR6. It’s a WR6, right?
Me: Me? My car? It’s a Lancer Evolution.
DA: A Lancer Evolution WR6
Me: No. You mean a WRX.
DA: Oh, right, a Lancer Evolution WRX
Me: The WRX is a Subaru. Mine is A Lancer Evolution.
DA: Right a Subaru WRX.
Me: No. The Subaru looks kinda like it, but it’s not a Subaru. It’s a Lancer Evolution.
DA: ROCKET CAR!! [walks off]

I have stood for hours listening to insane people that I don’t know rattle off their life stories to me often enough that I usually deal with it without getting the slightest bit annoyed. The 30 seconds that made up this whole exchange left me so annoyed that I was on the edge of actually telling him to “just shut the fuck up and get away from me.”

Then, I visualized a key dragging across my new paint, and held my tongue to cut the stress level while I stared longingly at shelves and shelves of hard drives and other components.

Do you know why I don’t randomly walk up to strangers with baseball hats on and start shooting the shit about how the “Chicago Red Sox” or the “Cleaveland Cubs” are doing in the race for the cup? 2 reasons: I don’t bother people with questions if I don’t give a shit about the answer, and more importantly, I’d sound like a big, goddamned dumbass.

ROCKET CAR!

Quick Question

If I requested a machine name from someone to update their PC, and they reply with “CAPTAINARCHER,” who is the bigger nerd:

  1. Him, for naming it after a Star Trek captain,
  2. Me, for recognizing it and replying “warp drives are operational” after the install,
  3. Or My Co-workers for not only recognizing the name, but scoffing at it for not being named after a captain from one of the good Star Trek series.

For the Geekily challenged: Captain Archer bio from StarTrek.com

Only Geeks

Coworker 1: Breakfast? It’s Thurday, but the caf has no waffles.
Jon: if (($day eq ‘Thursday) && ($waffles==0)){ print “Nah, thanks.”;}
Coworker 1: Oh God he’s speaking in Perl again.
Coworker 2: Actually, that could be any structured [programming] lanuguage…

Note: after publishing this, I found a perl error and republished. Send Help.

10 Print “Hello World”

So, I’m starting a blog. I don’t know if this is a good idea or not, but I’m going to start it anyway to keep myself amused. If anyone else is amused, so be it. It seemed like one of the dorkiest things that I could do. And to think myself dorky amuses me to no end.

But why entitle this blog “Present Tense”? ‘Dunno. I couldn’t think of a clever title, and this popped into my head. I seem to be constantly living in everything but the present. “What did I forget to buy at the market? What do I have to get done later?” It’s never: “I’m walking up the stairs.” Always: “I’ll be there soon,” or “I can’t believe I fell all the way to the bottom.” There are 50 million things that I miss on a daily basis, and I’m tired of it.

So this log may help. It may not. I wonder if I’ll keep it up? There I go again…