A Random Memory…
In my mid-twenties, I spent six years living at Lake Tahoe. Literally within a half-mile of the beach. Every summer, I would Volunteer at first the Music at Sand Harbor festival, and then a month later, at the Shakespeare at Sand Harbor Festival. A set of events taking place in the dunes at the Sand Harbor Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park. (The latter event is still around as The Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival).
I would work every night at both festivals as one of the security Volunteers. They called it “Security”, but it was really ushering. We were mainly concerned with helping people find a spot for their blanket and then keeping them from going into the environmentally sensitive parts of the dunes. Since I was there every night, and people somehow got the idea I was responsible, after a year or two, I was put in charge of security for both events. Which mainly meant getting there early so I could drag a shovel through the sand to mark where the aisles would go.
People tended to Volunteer for a few nights, so you’d get to know one another. One Volunteer I recall was a young woman named Ashley. She’d arrived early one Saturday and after we’d drawn the aisles, we had some time to kill. I looked at the aisles and commented, “Y’know, those aisles would be a lot easier for folks to see if we marked them with a rope.” Ashley agreed that was probably true, so I asked, “Would you go over to the lifeguard station and ask if we could borrow about 200 feet of shore line?”
Ashley came back about 20 minutes later to report that the lifeguard didn’t have that much available and had suggested she try the park office.
Sadly, the whole thing fell apart at that point because I couldn’t keep a straight face any longer.
(Image by Wikipedia user DimiTalen, used under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
The usual rule with a scandal is that when it first breaks, you start off with the angry denials. This goes on for a few weeks, with increasingly intense press coverage, until at last you get to the next stage, the tearful confession. Well, let’s skip over all that and go straight to the part where the accused becomes the prosecution’s star witness and throws his co-conspirators under the bus in exchange for leniency….
At the 2017 Farpoint convention, I attended the panel for Crazy 8 Press. As nearly as I can remember, most of the Crazy 8 authors were present: Peter David, Robert Greenberger, Michael Jan Friedman, Russ Colchamiro, Aaron Rosenberg and Glenn Hauman. Only Paul Kupperberg was missing (Mary Fan hadn’t yet joined the collective). Kathleen David was sitting in the audience.
The panel started off with comments that the group is looking for ways to boost their book sales, with some dark humor thrown in about how Peter’s book sales skyrocketed after his stroke several years ago. So naturally the question was raised of who was willing to “take one for the team” and boost book sales by having a stroke.
Somewhere in there, the suggestion came up, “Maybe we need to kill someone” to which Glenn replied, “We’re writers. We’re always planning to kill people.” My recollection is that it was Aaron who responded, “Yes, but it’s usually you.” Pandemonium ensued as one author after another took turns suggesting ways Glenn might die.
In short order, they decided to publish an anthology of short stories in which Glenn would die. Once Peter announced the title should be, They Keep Killing Glenn, I knew what I had to do. I pulled $20 from my wallet, marched to the front of the room, and offered it as my contribution to the expected Kickstarter campaign.
And that’s why Glenn says it’s my fault the book was written.
This next part kind of boggles my mind. They Keep Killing Glenn is now available, and this is the list of authors from the book’s back cover
I mean, look at that list of names:
David Gerrold – that’s the guy who wrote one of the most popular Star Trek episodes ever, The Trouble with Tribbles.
David Mack, Robert Greenberger, Peter David, Michael Jan Friedman, Keith R. A. DeCandido – These are Big Names in the world of Star Trek writers. They’ve all been on the New York Times best sellers list. Multiple times.
Paul Kupperberg – that’s another Big Name. He’s the guy who writes the current incarnation of the Archie comics.
As far as I can tell, almost everyone else on that list has been published multiple times and most of them have authored multiple books.
And then there’s that name circled in red. Blair Learn. What’s that name doing there?
Most of what I write is software documentation, describing how the pieces fit together, explaining processes to other developers. And yet somehow, a story I wrote has been included in an anthology with all those big names.
In February of this year, they announced that yes, they really were going to publish the book. And in addition to gathering submissions from professional authors, they were also going to accept up to three submissions from fans. I’ve spent a little time chatting with Glenn over the past several years, and having a story published professionally has been an entry on my bucket list for a while… So I submitted a story titled “R is for Roadster.”
A quick refresher on sorting algorithms…
There’s a variety to choose from.
(Hat tip to Carl Franklin for “Better Know a Framework”)
(Image credit: Public domain image, via Wikimedia.)
One of my co-workers retired back in the Spring, but still stops by to visit on occasion. He understood the importance of software source control, but had a few struggles with it. As he was leaving after his most recent visit, we had this brief exchange
- Co-Worker: You know, I left on March 15 and haven’t had any tree conflicts since then.
- Me: That’s great! No branches falling in the back yard?
- Co-Worker: Well… at least, they weren’t trying to merge.
It’s difficult to get much geekier than when you’re making source control puns.
It’s amazing how much they’re able to move around in those costumes. Particularly that last group.
I’m a bit embarrassed I hadn’t noticed this before.
The icon for Google’s new Chrome web browser features a sort of beach-ball thing with a circle in the middle. It looks a little like a robotic eye.
They’ve included that eye in the logo on the download page.
On the new Battlestar Galactica, the human-appearing cylons are frequently referred to as “skin jobs.” The more classically robotic centurions are occasionally referred to as “chrome jobs.” These so called “chrome jobs” have only one eye.
One eye. Robotic. Chrome.
Do you suppose Google is being run by Cylons?