Tag Archives: dork

Nerds are awesome? Really?

So, Will “Wesley-Crusher” Wheaton says nerds are awesome. They are awesome because they love TV or something else and get obsessed? That’s awesome? Really? No!

Nerds are awesome, but not necessarily for the reasons he gives. There is nothing cool about being engrossed in something obscure for hours on end, often without any useful outcome. Being able to name every Star Trek Voyager character in order of appearance is impressive but useless. NOT awesome.

We will always be the inept kids in the playground who can’t kick a soccer ball straight but can count to ten in Swahili. The kid that sits on the school bus reading a book and not blowing spitwads at the girls. We will be the ones that are picked last at sports, the ones that come last in races, the ones the popular kids despise and the rest of the kids try and ignore.

What these popular cool kids don’t understand is that us nerdy-geeky-losers with spots, glasses and unfashionable hair will grow up and will also be the ones that treat their cancer, that make their cars safer, plan their towns, the ones that keep their power stations and water running and possibly even the ones that design the computer they use at their till in Mc Donalds. They will need us. They will need us far more than we need them.

Being a nerd IS awesome. But not because I have an unhealthy interest in Firefly or that I get engrossed in making idiotically complex cups of tea. It’s awesome because through being nerdy I am now treating peoples diseases and changing lives. As a doctor I am nothing special, but being a doctor IS special. I will never need the validation of others to tell me I am worthwhile. I don’t give two hoots about how “fashionable” my hair is or how “on trend” my shoes are. My hair is the same mess it was when I was 15. My shoes are the same boring black ones they were in school. Nobody cares. The cool kids are still trying to be cool, now competing with the cooler younger people emerging behind them. Their “Glory Days” of being the popular kid are gone, it’s downhill from here Mr/Ms Former Sports Captain, your sun is setting. The nerds have plodded on and have transcended the nonsense.

Nerds will always overcome, we will always be there and it’s no longer a case of us jokingly saying “Nerds will inherit the earth”, WE HAVE ALREADY GOT IT!

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Wordless Wednesday

Failed.

Bugger!

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For God’s sake Dad! “Monkey Doodle”? REALLY?

Stupid baby cutesy talk used to make me hurl. Hearing Mums ask their mewling offspring “Has babywaby gottta soggy bumbum?” in the street use to have me reaching fot the nearest fire axe. “I will never talk to my children like that!” the young Nerd thought (just “Nerd” at the time and not Nerd Dad as children were merely hypothetical, in fact The Wife was not only hypothetical but improbable given hygiene and Games Worksop obsession issues).

Hmmmm. What a difference a sprog makes. The other day we realised that our baby babble had taken hold. Bigtime. There is something about chatting away and not expecting any response that seems to absolve you of having to make any sense. These nonsense phrases and babblings, much like the silly songs I previously mentioned, appear without warning. He has now started to respond, mainly in squeals and squeaks.

I started calling our little guy “Monkey Boy” partly because of his excess of hair but mainly because it mildy annoyed The Wife. The Wife took to calling him Little Dude; I suppose because …well… he’s little … and a dude? Little Dude became Dudlelet, then Doodle, Monkey Boy became Monkey ….. and “Monkey Doodle” was coined.

Smiler

Unsurprisingly all cultures babble at their babies and your babble is dictated by your language and baby noises are dependant on the type and frequency of your babbling. Apparently we all start off the same an then babble becomes language specific so eventually Chinese learning babies babble is totally different to English learning babies. Babbling apparently also teaches babies how conversation works, the structure of speech and how to take turns.

So, as well as making all those around us puke with our cutesy baby talk we are unconsciously teaching them the sounds, structure and timbre of our language. In summary Baba baba boo boo who’ my wuvvwy wuvvwy wickle Monkey Doodle den?

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Stats, Breaking the Game and Superman.

As is plainly obvious I am a nerd. Nerds LOVE stats. We really do. I have watched whole cricket matches via cricinfo stats. [For American readers cricket is a bit like baseball in that you smack a leather ball with a big stick, it differs from baseball in that it isn’t crap.] I spend ages messing around looking graphs and pretty tables on sports websites.

I also love the stats page on WordPress. You find such strange things out. Someone from Mongolia once came to this site via yahoo.co.uk. I was surprised a Mongolian waned to read my nonsense but even more surprised that Yahoo still existed! Do you remember Yahoo? I was also very pleased to find that Superman is one of my readers, it is the only explanation of my stats. He was the only visitor to my site one day, in the space of a few hours my drivel was read in Canada, the USA, New Zealand (he should have dropped by to say hello!) and the UK but I only had one visitor. I was very pleased to have finally “broken the game”. I love doing that.

I am certain that I am not the only one who, when they get a computer game, try and break it. My routine is load the game, break the game, play the game.  By “breaking the game” I mean trying to walk somewhere the game blatantly won’t let me, putting in some cheat then walking into a fire just to see how quickly and how amusingly the whole thing crashes, and partly to see what fun noises my antiquated PC will make. I am like a moth to a light, plunging myself into glitches to see what happens, I learnt my “trade” primarily in the glitch ridden world of Doom (when I should have been revising for my physics A-Level). Sadly the current crop of games aren’t quite so glitch ridden but therein lies the challenge. The other challenge is actually getting time to play games with The Boy around. As mentioned in a previous post I also like making speakers feedback, videoing the output of my video to get those strange infinitely repeating patterns and skyping my computer with my phone then shouting to see what happens. (NOTE TO SELF – remember to add “loser” to the tags).

I think it’s the same instinct that drives small boys to poke gross and weird things like dead birds and poo with sticks. I hope The Boy grows up to be the curious but not stupid one (i.e. the one that pokes gross stuff with a stick rather than picking it up or tasting it).

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An attempt to bend space in on itself – blogging about blogging about blogging.

I am increasingly amused when I see whole blogs about blogging. It strikes me as a peculiar phenomenon, a curious self perpetuating cycle like a literary möbius strip, endless and fruitless. Not to say I haven’t found “Blogs about blogs” handy on occasion, indeed some can be quite amusing. I am neither brave enough or mean enough to link to particularly pointless blogs about blogs. It is the inevitable consequence of doing something as narcissistic as writing a blog and the assertion that you are worth listening to, that the world wants to hear you, and yet having nothing to say.

250px-Möbius_strip

Instead of naming and shaming (and probably massively putting my foot in it) I have joined in. I am also going to write a post about nothing, a few hundred words that does nothing but add to the junk and clutter in the interweb. I have decided to try and make space fold in on itself, or at least take a step towards it, like when you video the TV and try and get interference and one of those infinitely repeating pictures, or play your speakers through a microphone or put two phones on speaker phone together until you get weird feedback (again  I am back to “breaking the game”). I am proudly blogging about blogging about blogging. It amuses me far more than it should. I am sorely tempted to start a blog about blogs about blogs, just for it’s monumental ridiculousness. I fear the joke would wear thin though. A blog for the illiterate or advice for those who have no computer may also fit the bill.

I am hoping someone will take up the challenge and mention this post in one of theirs, thereby blogging about blogging about blogging about blogging, and the ball will be rolling. We’ll get weird trails of blogs ablout blogs about blogs about blogs about blogs about ………… and readers’ heads will implode (or they’ll just click “unfollow” I suppose).

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A new cultural repository of parental masterpieces

I have decided, as one of my planned (many) great legacies for mankind that I will start a repository of the amazing and diverse songs sung to their children by parents. I don’t mean the dross like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star or other dull lullabies. Puff the Magic Dragon can … Puff off back to the cave he hides in at the end of his song. I mean the parental masterpieces that emerge out of that weird mixture of excitement, fatigue, love, sleep depravation, and sheer frustration. Those songs that are sung at 3am to a wriggly person with a full nappy; partly to amuse the wriggler but mainly to amuse yourself. The silly songs that you never expect people to hear, not for public performance. These songs and rhymes come from nowhere and go back to nowhere, but blogosphere, I tell you no longer! They will now live forever, preserved in my repository of this cultural phenomenon! The NDPSPP (Nerd Dad Parental Song Preservation Project) pronounced…..  um….  Nud-Pus Puh-Puh (I suppose).

Our pre-parenthood selves had previously noticed these daft songs, friends of ours have a piece called “Yum yum yum in your tum tum tum” which it is traditional to sing shortly after eating. On our first hearing this, which in retrospect is a true masterpiece, The Wife and I initially exchanged partly startled and partly pitying glances. Now we are composers in our own right, artists on our first forray into the wide and varied world of nonsense baby songs.

I have decided to follow in the footsteps of greats like Vaughan Williams who collected old English folk songs and Dvorak who incorporated Bohemian folk music into many of his pieces. I will soon take my rightful place amongst these cultural titans as the saviour of nonsense baby songs.

There are many unanswered questions I suppose. So why am I so selflessly toiling to preserve these rare cultural gems of music and poetry? What is driving my altruistic fervor? How can one man be such a visionary, still find time to change nappies and remain so amazingly, incredibly modest?

The inspiration for this grand cultural endeavour comes from K.L Huyghebaert’s masterpiece “Squidgy Squidgy Fish Feet” that I fortuitously encountered whilst perusing her blog, highly recommended. This piece is somewhat less abusive than my own compositions and is a classic of the genre.

SQUIDGY SQUIDGY FISH FEET

Squidgy squidgy fish feet,

On my Jonah a-sweet-treat!

 

In the company of such an accomplished practitioner of the art of nonsense baby songs may I also humbly present the first few songs of ours to be preserved?-

STINKY BUTT

Stinky butt, stinky butt

You got a stinky, stinky butt.

Stinky butt, stinky butt

You are really stinky Butt

 

SNOOOOOZLES

Snooooozles, time for snoooooozles.

Snooooozles, time for snoooooozles.

 

MILKY CHOPS

Milky Chops, Milky Chops

You have milky milky Chops

Milky Chops, Milky Chops

Milkymilkymilkymilkymilky chops.

 

LITTLE MONKEY

Go to sleep Little Monkey

Though you smell a little funky

Off now to the Land of Nod

GO TO SLEEP YOU LITTLE SOD

 

Public performance rights are available on all these on application for a moderate-to-hefty fee.

For this important cultural endeavour I have secured several thoudsand terabytes of space in top secret servers in a nuclear blast proof bunker to ensure these cultural tours-de-forces are available for future generations.

I eagerly await your contributions to the NDPSPP.

 

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Polls in blogs

Guess what I just discovered?

Ladies and gentlemen that concludes today’s enormous contribution to humanity.

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Why do I like such pointless gimmicks?

Recently I stumbled across another pointless gadget that I decided I wanted whilst looking at the London Design Museum awards. Admittedly I am not cool enough to actually regularly check  design websites, I found it on the Guardian website.

The Little Printer

I found the Little Printer, a gadget so cute and cool I immediately wanted one but had absolutely no idea why. It’s a gizmo with no obvious use, something that does something quite fun but ultimately, in the age of immediate digital information, useless.

The Little Printer is basically a till receipt printer with a nice little smily face that prints little snippets of information that you subscribe to. The makers claim it is like a mini newspaper you personalise. The gizmo receives data wirelessly from the “Bridge” that is connected to your router. You subscribe to different things to be printed in your regular printouts that can be set as often as you want. You Subscribe to different publications, puzzles, news feeds and you can sync it with your diary, to do list and your contact’s birthdays. You can even send and receive personal messages to your Little Printer provided your friends have an account with BergCloud, the company’s website.

You have a cute little printer giving you fun little 2 inch long messages. Imagine a fleet of small printers all over the house. It’s a bit like that scene in Back to the Future 2 when “Your’e Fired!” gets printed on little printers in every room isn’t it?

So, we have established that I kinda want one, but I have no idea why. It’s pointless, a gimmick, a needless creator of waste paper at a time when the world is trying to become paperless.

Now we come to the really shocking part. These launched at £200 (US $259)  they have now been reduced to £169 (US$219). Yes. I kid you not. I nearly swallowed my tounge! NZ$260 for …. a till receipt printer?!?? Whaaaaat??? Are you kidding me? I was expecting it to be say $30, $60at a real push. I can get a wireless  2 sided printer/fax/modem unit for less than one Little Printer that and I live in New Zealand where everything technological is astronomically expensive!

So, what do you think? An amazing innovation? A modern essential? Complete junk? I am really not sure. All I’m sure about is that it will have to get a whole lot cheaper if it is to succeed.

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Shall I call him Jedi, Yoda, Spock, Dalek or something weird?

I have a very common popular surname (as does almost everybody from Wales), and an equally common popular first name. As such every time I register for anything I am one of a multitude and end up with daft user names I can’t remember instead of anything remotely like my name and the chaos caused when  I forget an account number can be impressive. I constantly get the wrong person’s post wherever I work. We needed a name that’s not too common popular but not too weird. 

Numbers, whilst cool R2D2, NC1701.. are banned in NZ  (it’s OK, little “4Real” got named “Superman” instead) so our little C3PO had to be renamed.

Much as it would amuse me immensely to have a “DeathStar Dalek Enterprise” The Wife would not be amused and poor DeathStar would probably put a hit out on me as soon as he found out what a hit was. Sci Fi names were placed firmly in the “Too Weird” pile …. dammit. Having said this some SciFi inspired names are fine like Elliot, Kirk, Luke or even Leia … at a push, none of these are particularly Welsh though.

Typically we had a girl’s name sorted. Seren. It means “Star” in Welsh but doesn’t have the hippie pot-smoking connotations. It sounds like it reads and isn’t too outlandish. We were happy with it, both really liked the name and it was all settled.  A boy’s name had so far eluded us. It was therefore inevitable that the scan would confirm that the bump was harbouring a boy.

So, Welsh Boys names, some are awesome like Cadwaladr, Llyr, Rhun, Dyfnwallon, Rhydderch and Matholwch. All well and good if you live in a family of Welsh speakers in Llandrindod. Not so good for small town New Zealand. Then we could try some Maaori names who also have some fantastically unpronounceable names for anglophones like Kerewhata, Makarika, Wikiriwhi; ironically all of which are corruptions of English names. Another problem with Maaori names is the fact that The Wife and I look about as Maaori as Prince Phillip.

Another option is to invent a name. Why not a Shaniquanza or a Qwerty? Um… because you are 10 times more likely to go to prison if you have an invented name. Mind you “Wendy” was invented by JM Barrie for Peter Pan (who called his Nannie his “Fwendy-Wendy”). There is a fantastic chapter in a book called  Freakonomics about how a name may affect a child, more than just Nominative Determinism, but economically and how it cam limit or increase opportunities. Whilst being quite clever it also is full of cheap laughs, such as the kid who’s name is pronounced Shu-TEED and spelt Shithead (If you are a true nerd and haven’t read it; STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING and start reading it. It’s like ambrosia for nerdy brains.).

After much deliberation we have a name, it’s top secret for now, mainly because if we have another argument about it nobody will know we have changed our minds … again. There is still hope for you yet little Yoda-Falcon!

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