H2G2

“Anything that happens, happens.”

“Anything that, in happening, causes something else to happen, causes something else to happen.”

“Anything that, in happening, causes itself to happen again, happens again.”

“It doesn’t necessarily do it in chronological order though.”

Mostly Harmless by Douglas Adams

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

Today is Towel Day.

To many, this is just another day.  To others, it’s just another day to celebrate made up by geeks like May 4th: Star Wars Day.  To me- it is what makes my life, my universe, my everything.

The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a Trilogy written in five parts.  The first two books were made into a fantastically bad special effects BBC Miniseries in 1981 that only the BBC could do.  Later, Hollywood released their version with all high gloss and green screen effects (shout out to the late Alan Rickman who voiced Marvin).  Both tell the same story, both are entertaining, both could have been done better.

I first read the series of books back in 2000 around the time I met my wife.  For Christmas 2001, I gave her a copy of all five books conveniently made into one, and asked her if we could name our daughter after a character from the novels.  Which we did.  Our first born was named Random and she arrived on this planet in July of 2002.

Life, the universe, and everything.

 

Our daughter has grown into her name.  It also paved the way of how we would name our other two children that would be born after her.  Random, Darwin, Theory.  Often we are asked if we are scientists because of this.  I like to answer that it’s because we are Atheists.  Believing in a god, gods, spaghetti monsters, or evolution shouldn’t matter as long as people follow the “Golden Rule”.  If it weren’t for H2G2, I don’t know what we would have named our children, or what journey my life would have been on if I never read the books.  I am grateful that such a book was written and that it influenced my life.  In a way, I could guess that this is what people think when they read the bible and it’s impact on their lives.

The page in which our daughter gets introduced.

 

Douglas Adams’ writing was witty.  Unknowingly to him at the time,he helped to create everyone’s life on this planet.  Look at your smartphone or iPad in your possession.  It is exactly what The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was described as.  A wealth of knowledge at your fingertips that was gathered from across the universe.  Do a search of “what is the answer to life the universe and everything?” and the result is 42.  But that answer is really to the question, “what do you get when you multiple six by nine?”  Thus proving that life is one big joke in this cosmic universe.

So grab your towel people, the universe is taking us for a ride, and DON’T PANIC.

 

Loot Crate

There’s a cool subscription box service that we were getting for years now.  Loot Crate started small, and has grown exponentially.  We started our subscription about three months after it’s launch.  That means since 2012, a monthly box of cool junk has shown up at our home.

  
We have kept all of our boxes.  There are YouTube videos of people unboxing every month.

We have received exclusive Pop Vinyls, comics, and movie prop replicas.  The past few months a geeky t-shirt has also been included.  People often ask me where I get the shirts, so I explain Lootcrate to them.  I have gotten many others to become “Looters”.  For nearly four years we have enjoyed the knick-knacks that have appeared at our door step.  Last night, we cancelled our subscription.

It’s not that there is anything wrong with the service- far from it- there’s just so many other reasons for us to leave.  We enjoyed the exclusive merch, but have found that it’s not so exclusive if tens of thousands of people are getting it.  At conventions, I see many people wearing the shirts that Lootcrate gave out and I don’t feel like a special snowflake anymore.  We are also running out of shelf space for the items that we were getting.  Even my kids were beginning to get tired of the “hand-me-down” loot.  The biggest reason we cancelled is actually because of the exchange rate.  


We tried to wait it out and hoped that the Canadian dollar would rise again, but no such luck.  Because we have lived so close to the US border, we often shopped on a weekly basis in America.  But for quite some time now, the value just isn’t there anymore.

So, it was with a heavy heart that we said goodbye to Lootcrate.  Perhaps one day we will cross paths again.

Geek or nerd.

I’m a bit of a geek & a bit of a nerd.  I’ve grown up knowing that’s who I am.  These past few weekends have been great.  Now we are hitting the road to return to our regular lives (just for a week, then more geeky times).  Here’s some quick highlights of my adventures diving deep into dorklandia:

 

Apple Infinite Loop


 

Googleplex. I found it using Google maps.


 

Silicon Valley’s first ComiCon


 

Disneyland’s Season of the Force.

 

A tall nerd hanging out at the Nerdist.

 

Best highlight of our trip- I met the king of nerds at the end of our visit.  The magic of the Internet finally had some physical locations and real people this trip.

Sports

I’m the first to admit, I don’t care much for sports.  You won’t catch me doing anything much more athletic than five pin bowling or maybe darts.  Sometimes walking is more than enough exercise for my week.  So, I don’t much care for watching sporting events.

Applause.

Today is a big day in the NFL.  It’s Super Bowl 50.  Parties and drinking and food and friends and commercials.  I’ll watch the commercials.  That’s the time companies really put up the money and make ads worth watching.

I’m a geek at heart, but I’ve noticed over the years that the line between jocks and nerds is closing.  Many people who watch football also watch superhero movies.  Baseball players love a good craft beer.  People who play videogames also enjoy hockey. Fun fact: In the early 80’s, Intellivision was the first video game company to secure the rights to major sports leagues such as NHL, NFL, and PGA to name a few.

I will watch an end game to whatever big sports thingy is happening.  Stanley Cup final game, Olympic Gold Medal, World Cup soccer final, WWE Wrestlemania, even Super Bowl.  I don’t have a team to cheer for.  I don’t follow the stats of players.  But the energy in a pub, home, or even live at the game is something to marvel at.  It sucks you in and you just want to cheer for a good play or ooooo at a hard hit.

 

Go Sports Team!

 
I’m not going to diss fans of sports.  I feel that way about Star Wars.  I know tons about that universe.

Rancors FTW in my Fantasy League Football match up.

Highschool.

I don’t normally do this, but here’s my throwback Thursday story.  More like a brief recap of my teen years.

I entered Grade 8 and was quickly bullied.  It sucked.  But in my mind, I was there for an education.  I wasn’t popular.  I was a geek/nerd/dork type of person.  My lunch hour was spent in the Chess Club.  Before and after school was spent in the Math Club.  The bullies were usually easy to ignore since I only saw them in the halls walking from class to class.  During classes, I wasn’t always that lucky.  I kept my grades up all through Grade 8 & 9.  It was the only thing that kept me wanting to attend school.  The few friends I made were nice enough that I am still in contact with them via Facebook and the occasional text.

 

I still have my first chess board after all these years.

 
Then during the summer between Grade 9 & 10 my family moved about thirty minutes away from that address.   I stayed in touch with only a couple of friends that summer.  Where we moved, new homes were being built, a new Highschool had just been built.  It had all new students, new teachers, new computers, new everything.  A new start.

Grade 10 was when I began to change my attitude towards school.  I wasn’t going to be bullied any more.  The first time I was teased, I dealt it right back tenfold.  I was razor sharp and was quickly respected and not teased all that often.  I never became the bully (at least I don’t think I did).  Instead I befriended everyone I could.  By the end of Grade 10 I had tons of friends, but my grades began to slip.  I just wanted to be liked and it was working.  And girls began to talk to me more.  I even got myself a girlfriend!  I also missed plenty of opportunities to date, but that’s a different story.  On the inside I was growing up, but to look at me, not much was changing.

 

From left to right, top to bottom: Grade 9,10,11,12. The early 90’s were cruel.

 
Grades 11 & 12 were kind of a blur.  School was going by quickly, boys and girls were turning into miniature adults, and my grades were getting worse.  I still loved having friends throughout these times, but it soon became obvious that not many were going to be lifelong friends.  I ended my Grade 12 year by doing something that I haven’t ever regretted.  I didn’t attend the Graduation Ceremony or the After Grad.  I knew who I was and wasn’t sure if I’d ever see any of these people again.  I entered the summer of 1994 ready to party.  And I did… for about six years.  The formal education I got during those times was minimal, but I read and studied topics that interested me.  I lived my life and with no regrets.

I’m still a geek.  I still have friends from all my years of being alive.  The biggest thing that has changed about me is that I’m proud of who I am.  My geekiness is a tad more extravagant, I’ve earned a few wrinkles and my hair is starting to recede.  On the inside, I’m still that nerd with a razor sharp wit who loves to learn new skills.

Years later, I’m still showing my geek pride.