It’s A Big. Geek. World.

I’m am the first one to admit it. I’m a huge geek. When it comes to anything that can be described with TechnoBabble, I’m so there. Buttons, flashing lights, whirs, beeps, bonks, it all fascinates me. My geekdom doesn’t limit itself at technology either, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m completely fascinated by roads as well. The other night, my aunt recalled how at age 13 I wanted go home in the most indirect route possible simply so I could see if new signs had been installed on various roadways. Until the internet, I thought I was alone in this fascination. Now I know that there’s a whole huge community of roadgeeks, and it’s all good. If you want to see my contribution to the road geek society, take a look at my web site sometime.

I suppose my geekiness if flaring high these days because Earl is out of town. He’s just embarked on a new project for his company and it’s going to take him out of town a couple of times a month, pretty much like the summer of ’02. To prevent myself from becoming bummed out about it, I’ve decided to embrace my geek roots and interface with the best of them. At least it keeps my mind off the fact that Earl isn’t home.

I’ve become totally addicted to TechTV, mainly The Screen Savers and Call For Help. Both fascinating programs, and I’m a learning quite a bit about a myriad of computer topics. I also like the way TechTV maintains a fair balance between Microsoft, Apple and the Linux distros. Big thumbs up.

Another web site that I’ve become morbidly interested in is Air Now, I’m not afraid of flying in the least. I’ve been flying since I was around six months old (my grandfather and father are both private pilots). In fact, I’ve often entertained the idea of getting my private pilots license. However, I admit that I do get nervous on commercial flights. It all stems from the fact that I don’t know who is on the plane with me and who the pilot is. In the private planes that I’ve flown in, I’ve always known, or in rare instances, been the pilot. I was reading my online friend Thom’s blog and discovered the new A&E series “Airline”. I haven’t had the opportunity to watch the show, but I have watched the trailer, and the passengers depicted are EXACTLY the reason I get nervous on commercial flights! You know the type – flippant, selfish, whiney. And incredibly, they don’t pay attention to the flight attendants’ safety demonstration. They don’t know if they’re on a 767, an Airbus or a big blue bus. They can’t tell you where the exits are. They don’t know that you have to keep your hands up in the air as you go down the evacuation slide. Now, I know that an airplane I’m on is going to go down someday. And I’m going to survive it. (It’s a recurring dream I’ve had all my life, I just accept it as fact now). But honey, if you haven’t paid attention to the safety demonstration, don’t look at me for help putting on your seat cushion as a life jacket (even if we crash in Nevada). And I’m not sharing my oxygen with you. You should have paid attention.

Anyways, back to If you want to REALLY freak yourself out, take a listen to the black box recordings. Oh boy. God rest their souls, pilot and co-pilot shootin’ the breeze, a quick “what the f*ck” and boom. As terrifying as I find it, I must admit I find it morbidly interesting as well. A geek for you I guess.

I sometimes wonder if I’m an certifiably insane or if the rest of the world is actually better than me at hiding it. Do you know that I can still, to this day, draw out the keyboard for a P&C (grocery store) circa 1982 cash register? Don’t ask me why I can, I just can. I’ve never worked for P&C or any other grocery store. But the early geek in me figured out how the damn thing works and where all the keys were. I even coached a Great American (another grocery store) cashier back in 1991 on how to run it because she was new and no one would help her. At least I’m a nice geek. Truth be known, growing up I loved to play grocery store and since we didn’t have any calculators that we could afford, I just drew out the cash register keyboard on a piece of notebook paper and I just added up the items in my head when my cousins would be my customer and brought their order through. Good part? It made me really good at math and figuring out sales tax.

I was really good with the Ames cash register system as well. It made it REALLY easy for me to be trained when I actually worked for them in the late 1980s.

Thank the stars Earl has allowed me to embrace my quirkiness. Before he came along, I sort of hid it from others. I was an out and out gay man, but I was a closeted eccentric. I’ve always done things a little differently I suppose.

Have you seen the Dell commercial where the family kidnaps the computer guy and bring him to their house to make a Microsoft Windows error disappear? That’s how I’m feeling these days… I have three computers sitting on my desk (only two are mine), and four in the cellar waiting to be fixed. I’m also shopping Retrobox, looking for a new computer for my aunt and uncle.

It pays to be a geek.