Monday, May 18, 2009

Missing the Crash

(Way back in 2004, I ambitiously started a blog called Telecommedy with the intention of writing on it every day. I stopped writing there in 2005. C'est la guerre. In the interest of posterity and hubris, I am slowly moving those posts over here so that all of this inanity can be concentrated in a single forum and not pollute the intenets any more than necessary.)

Isn't it always the way? [start strained Olympic analogy] Just as one gets used to life moseying along a certain way, life goes and enters the 200 meter dash. [end Olympic analogy]

I was just starting to enjoy the post-bubble workload. Schlumping into the office around 9am. Reading a variety of "news" websites until lunch. A leisurely lunch at the local food emporium. Then a few hours of answering email from other, similarly uninspired co-workers and, perhaps, a modicum of what could perhaps be called useful endeavors. Then out the door at around 5pm, depending on who happens to be looking. The post-bubble workload may not pay as well, but it's definitely much lower on the Stress-o-Meter (TM - Sycamore Networks).

Then, wouldn't you know it, the darn economy starts back moving and, even though telecom has a long road back, the workload starts to pick up. And just as I was starting on my lucrative writing career. So, I apologize to you, my loyal reader(s), for the long absense.

If, in the future, I should again fail to post for any length of time, I suggest the following activity.
  1. Rent a copy of A Beautiful Mind

  2. Study carefully the part where Russell Crowe, the most buff (buffest?) mathematician you will ever see, tries to find patterns in magazines

  3. Print out all of the previous posts to this blog as well as any article on Michael Jackson that runs on the AP Wire

  4. Find the hidden messages. I promise that they exist. Feel free to ask the dog for help.

Hopefully, that will keep you well entertained until I return. Or, you could just watch the weekly Scooby Doo marathon on the Cartoon Network. That Shaggy just cracks me up.

I'm sure that you have all been asking yourself, "How did Geeknik turn out? Was the attendence high? Were the attendees high? Were there any booth babes in the Movaz booth?" Well, loyal reader(s), I can barely remember myself, but I seem to recall that it went well.

Geeknik Update

Geeknik 2004 was a blast. As much of a blast as can be expected in a location approximately 200 miles from all but one hotel, where the "shuttles" apparently consisted of one guy in his mom's minivan, and the cabs were in such high demand that John Chambers was seen carjacking a passing SUV. (Just kidding, John. Don't kill me. My name is Bob and I work for Nortel, in case you're looking.) Once inside the facility, the show actually seemed in higher spirits than last year, but I've been to funerals that were in higher spirits than last year, so that's not much of a statement.

There were a lot of people in attendance. That guy with the hair - you know, the one who did that thing last year - he was there. The other guy with the thing on his face, he was there, too. But the other guy - the one with the beard and bad social skills - I didn't see him anywhere. In fact, although the attendance was up there was still a remarkable lack of true technical talent, as evinced by the striking lack of beards. Apparently the company travel budgets have opened up just enough to allow marketing and sales weasels out of their cages, but haven't opened up enough to allow anyone other than college students to attend the "technical" sessions. Still, a fun crowd with no need for the nervous stomach awaiting the hard questions occasionally asked by our bearded brethren.

Yes, there were booth babes. A surprising amount, actually, considering the somber mood of the industry lately. One group, I kid you not, actually had T-shirts with the words "racked and stacked" printed on them. Really. (Sidebar for those not in telecom - the rest of you can fast forward through this part. The term "racked and stacked" is used in telecom by hands-on geek types to describe placing equipment into large metal "racks" that hold it in place. Since equipment is placed on top of other equipment, it "stacks" - which rhymes with "rack". Hence, the cute little term "rack and stack". It's geek pithiness.) In any case, the best I can say about the "racked and stacked" girls is a comment from a co-worker, who memorably stated ...

"Looks like false advertising to me."

Which only goes to prove that I can't make up the best stuff. It just falls into my lap or, if male, nearby so that I can pick it up in a macho fashion and with much grunting.

As for the parties and galas and soirees with impressive guests, I wasn't invited. I heard that some famous performers performed for the usual companies who haven't yet figured out that the bubble has burst and still spend ungodly amounts to entertain primarily their own employees and uninterested low-level flunkies who work for their customers. But I wasn't invited. I imagine that there were some pretty amazing blues shows in the Chicago area. But I wasn't invited. That's ok. No sour grapes. You will all pray at my altar when I have taken over the world and turned you into puppets to dance for my amusement. Dance! Dance!

But really, Geeknik was nice this year. And the new workload has not in any way influenced my sleeping habits, sense of humor, or sanity.

(In case you'd like to prepare, I prefer a nice polka.)

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