Love and Tolerance.

It's about 10 years exactly since I completed my studies.

Those were strange days. 2001 was a pretty awful year for me, on many counts. I graduated by a narrow margin with one hand while battling all kinds of demons with the other hand, and then found myself staring into the face of adult life and not really knowing what to do with it.

Ten years later, adult life is not turning out so bad after all, a nice little life in a nice little house and a nice job that's an unexpectedly great fit for me; and on top of that, PONIES. That last bit matters. I used to think adult life had to be a dreary affair with no place for whimsy. (And now there's a whole subculture of pony-oriented adult males. Goes to show what I know.)

For that matter, in retrospect, although we students riled a lot against it at the time, I've got to admit that my engineering school trained us pretty well. Even the bits we were least pleased with, like law and accounting (oh God, accounting), turned out to be useful. It's a slice of humble pie I'm not unhappy to chew.

Nevertheless, let's be honest, it was just a small, not very well known school. Early on, when some tech news surfaced that originated locally, I liked to keep an eye on the sources to see if perchance someone from my school was involved, maybe someone I knew. It was a silly affectation, but what can I say? I'm a silly creature. Not that anything ever came up, on Slashdot or elsewhere; numbers alone made the odds too low. For comparison, a place like the MIT sees far more students in one single year than we've had alumni in the entire history of ever.

Besides, these days I read tech news and pony news. The latter make me happier.

... Especially when the news making the rounds is a student research paper about the memetic effects of love and tolerance in the My Little Pony - Friendship Is Magic community. And it originates locally. From a small engineering school. Yes. You guessed where.

Ponies make everything unexpected and awesome. It's a proven fact of science.

Like Your Regular Fad, Only Sparklier.

So, basically, the entire Internet is abuzz with...

... This.

Yes, I know, people everywhere are raving about it. Grown males people. No, I haven't watched it. Me, of the avowed equine affections, of the cuddles-are-awesome outlook, I've... kinda skirted the show. I mean, I watch Doctor Who and Game of Thrones, and this is for girls. KIDLY girls.

... And I'm kinda self conscious. :|

This is the plight of our generation. Our parents didn't have such choices to make.

... Bah, who the fuck am I kidding. :[ *heads over to YouTube*

(no subject)

Ok, in the face of a massive uptick in comment spam, I've turned off anonymous commenting. I didn't want to do that, because sometimes you get something like this, but this was no longer tenable. At first screening all anonymous comments by default seemed to work; now they no longer care. Screw them, dammit.

A Game of Thrones: LOL.

So we just came back from a beautiful weekend with friends, in time to catch this week's episode of Game of Thrones.

Now I'm reading reaction threads from non-book-readers on the Internet.

It's like delicious candy.

(Attention non-book-readers and non-series-watchers: go do either NOW before the Internet spoils the fuck outta you. I'm not kidding. You can only learn once who Luke's father is, and I don't even know how I'm going to preserve my kids' innocence on that.)


It's my grandma's birthday today.

Not any birthday. She just turned three digits, and entered the highly selective club of centenarians. I've now got a full century worth of grandma.

I was about to say, and what a darned fucked up century to have lived through, but the one before was only marginally better in some respects and worst still in others. She doesn't talk much about all she's seen, for a variety of reasons, but sometimes I wish she did. The Internet must be unthinkable magic to her, and the world must seem crazy. She's mostly withdrawn from it anyway.

Good going, grandma. Here's to another century.

Wicked Small World.

The other night, I had a strange dream. It was about my first experience managing a small community -- a local IRC channel with a few tens of users, if I must be precise -- which was a learning experience, in a not-going-over-too-well sort of way. It was well over a decade ago; I was young and had no clue. I thought the job was about managing the technical aspects of IRC, when it was about managing people. I still feel bad about the mistakes I made then, and the dream, interestingly, was about people coming to me from the mists of that past and expressing forgiveness. Sweet closure.

Around the same time that particular adventure went awry and I quit IRC, I started a little community of my own, and maybe thanks to the hard-earned experience, that one, I've got to say, was rather a resounding success. Outwardly, it was a place for French-speaking people to discuss the works of Anne McCaffrey, though what made it great was never the subject matter as much as the people who came to discuss it. Some of us started meeting up IRL, and I found great friends on the way, the least of which not being kefen, and a girl to share my life in the person of jallora. Even now, as the community itself has mostly gone dormant, our group of friends is still in steady touch and see each other regularly.

Managing this community brought me other benefits, like a basic experience of organizing people and dealing with interpersonal politics. At some point we founded a fanzine; my first serious writing dates back from then. I... don't entirely hate what I wrote then, when the mood seizes me and I dive back into the archives. For me, that's saying a lot. Good times, and good work.

Fast-forward to this morning. A coworker from presales turns up in our room for the daily hellos, and we perform the ritual geek-oriented smalltalk. I like this guy; he sometimes tends to fall into the typical communication failure modes of purebred geeks, but as the whole he's the cool sort of geeky guy I get along great with. We often discuss sci-fi and fantasy and tabletop RPG, and we might have played a game of Magic or two in the rest area. At this point, as we discuss the latest series like Game of Thrones and fantasy books in general, he brings up Anne McCaffrey and Pern. He's a huge fan of Pern, he says; got all the books, do I know about them?

I most certainly know about them, yes, and have absolutely read them.

"Good," he says, and begins to expand upon how much he loves the series.

"So how come we've never seen you on, then?" I say, with a bit of teasing reproach.

He grins right back. "Because you don't know my nickname. I was a semi-regular there."

Floored. F-L-O-O-R-E-D.

And with that, his clients turn up and the bastard saunters off happily without telling me who the heck he is there.

Crazy small world. It's the second time in my career I end up realizing I know a coworker from way back.