Alright, Everyone. Chill!

Sorry it's been awhile since the last newsletter. I actually wrote one a few weeks ago, but I didn't like it. Then things got busy, so it sat in the draft folder until now. Vacation starts tomorrow. Not only do I have time to write it, but it's also timely! Maybe you guys should tell me how often you want to read these, and I'll try to make a more steady schedule. Also, did I mention it's cold? If you see Mr. Freeze, kick him in the junk, and tell him it was from me.

Mailbag of Holding

Sadly, the mail bag does not actually have enough mail in it that would require it to be "of holding." If you want to help change that, just reply to this email. Thanks to miracles of technology, I will see that reply. Maybe if it is good it will end up in the next newsletter. Asking questions greatly increases your chances. In the meantime, let's work with what we've got.

Hi Scott. Hopefully you show this message to Rym as well.

I just want to give some encouragement for what I feel might be your under-appreciated Monday shows.

My favorite Rym and Scott podcast moments are when you two tangent off about the technology you work with at your jobs; Linux, Unix Santadom, desktop-Windows-because-what-else, old school IT, esoteric protocols, programming, tools you use and your observations on what other people use and do. It makes me feel like pumping my fist because for my job I support technology that I think is silly but kind of enjoy anyway.

Hope you boys can find the motivation and inspiration to discuss about these kinds of things (either in earnestness or in righteous, ranting jest) and keep producing fun Monday podcasts.

Best regards from a quiet long-time subscriber,

You are correct James. The Monday show is underappreciated, but most of that underappreciation is from us, not from listeners. We actually hear comments like this quite frequently. I know how bad other tech podcasts are, I used to listen to them. Sadly, it is very difficult for us to do anything about this. 

Tuesday and Wednesday shows are very easy to do. Playing at least one new game or watching one new anime or comic every two weeks is par for the course. Thursday shows are very open ended, and book club fills in, so we can usually make it happen. Learning an entire new technology every two weeks? That's extremely rare. Technology topics that are big enough to warrant an entire show appear over the course of months or years, not weeks. In the past nine years of GeekNights we've exhausted all the easy tech topics. Without repeating ourselves, Monday shows are by far the hardest to come up with.

Even if topics appear, most of them are unsuitable for a GeekNights episode. There's a huge battle in the Linux community going on around systemd. I think I tried to do a news relating to it once, but that's all I can do. The topic is big enough, but we simply don't know or care enough about it to make it happen. Even if we try anyway, we'll get too many things wrong. Making no show is better than making a bad show. Our tech shows are good because we talk about things in which we have expertise. We can't become an expert in something new twice a month.

Send in Monday show ideas!

Happy Whatever Days

One thing I am somewhat known for is calling out holidays for being fake holidays. Every holiday has a reason that it exists. To me, most of those reasons are complete bullshit. For example, I don't do birthdays. The number of times the earth traveled completely around the sun since your mom pushed you out is exactly equal to some arbitrary integer, and that's cause for celebration? Sorry, I don't think so. If anything we should be praising the mother, not the person who was born.

Just about every holiday being celebrated around this time is fake. Religious nuts fleeing one country and invading a new one? The birthday of a fictional character? A story about how the law of conservation of energy was broken? A number on our completely arbitrary calendar changed? Rampant consumerism? None of these things are valid reasons to have a holiday. 

What makes a valid holiday? Yuri's Night is a real holiday. It's the anniversary of when Yuri Gagarin became the first ever human being to leave earth and enter outer space. We human beings were able to take one of ourselves and put them into outer space and have them come back alive. A miracle that really happened is far more incredible than some virgin birth. On April 12 experience the joy by remembering this miracle, and party down!

To live like me and only recognize real holidays, there are a lot of practical problems to deal with. I don't wish people Happy Birthday on social media or otherwise. I wonder sometimes if they notice that I'm not on their Facebook wall, even though the Internets sent me like five reminders. Then I remember Rym doesn't even have a Facebook account. Such a clever escape plan! My trick is just to remain consistent. As long as I treat everyone equally it can work. As soon as I give one person the happy birthday, all the others will notice and start to have thoughts that I must love them more.

There are always some cases I have to make an exception, which is for my mother and her mother. Both of these people have shit lists. It is essential to my well being to keep my name off of those lists. I do whatever is necessary to make sure, just like kids should be doing for Santa. I will call them on their birthdays, anniversaries, Mother's Day, or whatever other fake holiday they want. I'll even tell them straight up that I think the holiday is fake, and that I'm calling to stay off the shit list. Surprisingly, it still works even when I say that. They just need confirmation that I think of them, and haven't forgotten they exist. I never can forget them, and keeping them happy keeps me happy. 

I also have to deal with the fact that my job lets me off of work on fake holidays. That's fine. I'll gladly take any chance I can get to not work. Sometimes it can be upsetting when I'm sort of forced to celebrate an evil holiday like Columbus Day. It can also be a problem on Christmas, especially as a single atheist jew. Everyone else I know is doing something, and everything is closed. The Internet is even super quiet. One Christmas I spent alone in Rochester I ended up eating out Chinese food alone without the accompanying movie. It's actually nice in a way though. A quiet and lonely day can be a treat when every other day is full of people.

Now I know what some people out there are thinking. "You're full of shit Scott. You celebrate New Year's every year like it's the biggest deal in the universe. A holiday couldn't be more fake. It's not even a person's birthday, it's the calendar's birthday." On all those counts you are exactly right.

The real crime of the fake holiday is that it hides the truth. The truth that every single day is a real holiday. When we wake up in the morning there is a reason to celebrate which is far greater than any reason a fake holiday could offer.

I am alive, and today I will experience the universe.

New Year's just happens to be a convenient time when nobody has to work. The great gathering shall commence at the appointed hour. Come hell or high water, every single person will be there. The conditions are just right for the highest of all holidays. The greatest possible reason to celebrate is upon us.

We are all alive, and today we will experience the universe together.