Now this is the geek community, so I’m sure there’s no shortage of you reading this that fall under the category of “The IT Guy” or “The IT Gal” at your place of business. And those of you that do know it’s a pain in the ass sometimes. I’ll say it, it’s downright rough some days. In addition to corralling what is sometimes nothing short of a kudzu growth of cabling in your server racks or poring through lines of codes and executing scripts, you have your non-tech co-workers (or friends, or family) that see computers and the entire IT field as magic.
(Which I’m not going to lie, it kind of is. I’m typing this on a system many times more powerful than the system NASA had to shoot up Apollo 13. At a fraction of the size)
But what admins do as basically keep the world spinning in this here our digital age. Whether it’s managing users at the office, fixing tech that’s gone horrible broken, or basically just keeping everything up so our 21st century way of life can continue. We have the iron will of a Green Lantern. The tech savvy of Batman. And the baller caretaker qualities of Alfred Pennyworth.
And through all the hard work and headaches, most other people don’t realize the importance of what they do. Soon the admin crowd gets commoditized like a tool in a toolbox to fix what’s broken. Sometimes there’s not so much of a “thanks” for working their mojo, and from what I’ve seen personally and heard from friends and colleagues is that even the simple phrase “hello” is replaced with just launching into whatever problem needs to be fixed.
The marketers and sales folks get the glory for making the dough and the people that deal with customers or calm down irate clients get the goods. Parties, gift baskets, even cards that show their appreciation for what they do. All the while the tech crowd stew in their geek caves sifting through work orders that are expected to be done instantly by magic and keeping your digital world safer to boot, while others pat each other on the back. And I’m not going to lie, it’s a little embittering.
So why do admins have the right to be more bitter than all the other departments in the world’s corporate structure? Respect. That’s all it boils down to. Someone will always be there to bug us when something’s not working, or freak out about when something’s going to be fixed, or when that impossible project is going to be done on top of the other things that need to be done. But when everything’s working great, and problems don’t even show up on users’ radar because the tech team has it well under control before they even know about it, there’s no one there the hold up the “10’s” on the scorecards for them. And I don’t think that’s fair. There’s no other team that has to stay on site and work the occasional 24 hour shift just so business can run without issue. Or drop everything they’re doing on a relaxing Saturday afternoon just to log in or come in and make everything is OK. Or be on the phone for two hour calls on a vacation thousands of miles away. While you’re comfortable in your bed, your sysadmin could be on the clock.
Think about it. Sysadmins and techs are responsible for every email you send and receive, every phone call you make, and every aspect of day-to-day business that involves a computer – which let’s face it, is everything. We go out of our way to try and teach people about digital responsibility, viruses and malware to look out for, and just how to stay safe in the digital age.
So a few years ago, the concept of System Administrator’s Appreciation Day was founded, to take place on the last Friday of every july to have a day for the techs. Today my team celebrated with cheesesteaks and appreciation for lunch for our entire technical department – because while most other folks celebrate all the time for hitting sales goals or landing a client, we celebrated ourselves for keeping the ship afloat.
So today’s for you, admins. You’re the heroes today. The Doctors, the Kyle Rayners, the Bruce Waynes. Whether you’re just starting out putting together your playbook, been in the game for a while running the show in the enterprise, the tech that does wiring, PBX, Database, Domino, Exchange, AD, Web, or any of the other oh so many custom systems that are out there – I salute you. Having a career that started as an IT intern as a teenager and ending up in the ranks of project and tech management, I know what kind of nightmare scenarios you’ve been through, and what kinds of hell you’ve been in. I appreciate what you all do to keep our world spinnin’ round. Keep up the good work folks. Here’s to raising a TARDIS mug of turbo-charged coffee in your honor.
As for the rest of you – As much as it may seem like it I’m not writing this to admonish you or call you bad people. I just want you to be aware of how things work. These techs that probably make your job possible to even do, don’t solve problems with a magic wand. It takes research, training, practice, and a lot of trial and error to learn things and get things done. It’s the type of work where the consequence of mistakes is business coming to a grinding halt. And unfortunately there’s far less recognition than what’s deserved. And we’re not looking for a parade or parties or anything crazy like that. Just one day out of 365 where maybe you bring up something other than how your computer’s not running right, or just saying hello like we’re normal people. Well you know, normal for a geek.
San Japan is this weekend, July 31 – August 2, in San Antonio, Texas. In its 8th year, the theme this year is “San Japan: 8-Bit.” The event is hosted right on the San Antonio riverwalk, with plenty of restaurants, shopping, and nearby events.
With guests like Steve Blum, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, Team FourStar, and Yuka, as well as programming revolving around anime, manga, video games, cosplay, and Japanese fashion, attendees have a lot of events to choose from.
San Japan has been one of my all-time favorite conventions in previous years, and it’s sure to follow the trend this year. To follow along with our San Japan adventures live, follow my Instagram or Twitter. My plans include checking out some of the cosplay programming and hanging out with my Animal Crossing cosplay group. And keep your eyes peeled for a full review and report after the convention!
Imagine if all your favorite comic, film and TV characters got invited to a spiffy old fashioned potluck BBQ and ice cream social. Quaint little hand-written invitations arrived to their mailboxes looking like they’re straight from Pleasantville in envelopes with gingham interiors. Absolutely charming Dorothy Gale chic, no question. How sweet is this! We have to go this, it would be like kicking the sweetest most precious child in the face and actually knocking out teeth if we didn’t go! type of party. One caveat; everyone has to bring dessert. Despite there being no indication of an actual host, which suggests Agatha Christie may indeed have orchestrated the entire event from the grave via a possessed Martha Stewart with Jessica Fletcher waiting in the wings, your characters all show up, vaguely wondering why they’re even there and who is that obnoxious person across from them at their picnic table. This is a sampling of their best dishes. Welcome to yet another #FictionalFeasts!
The Star Wars Shakespeare books have finally wrapped up their six part series, and they are each more beautiful than the last.
In honor of this momentous occasion, Quirk Books is generously giving away one copy of the first in the series, Verily, A New Hope. We promise once you read the first you won’t be able to put the rest down.
In order to win this contest, which is truly “A thing divine, for nothing natural / I ever saw so noble.”*
**But we aren’t pigeon-liver’d, and we’re running this contest through Twitter!
All you have to do to enter is come up with a Shakespearean adaptation based on another movie. Tweet us a one-liner from your adaptation (For example, something like, “T-rex or not t-rex… that is the question.” – Jurassic World. And no you cant use that we dont know your life.) We’ll trust that you have the rest of the manuscript buried somewhere in your quarters near the Globe. Don’t worry, official rules are listed below.
At the end of the week, a team of our best Shakespearean experts (read: those of us who know more than just Romeo and Juliet) will sit down and heretofor judge the contest, which runs from Thursday, July 30th to Thursday, August 6th at 11:59 pm, PCT.
Alright so. To clarify: if you want to win a copy of Verily, A New Hope, here’s what you gotta do:
- follow Sub-Cultured on Twitter: @sub_cultured
- Tweet at us! We want to hear your best one-liner adapted FROM a movie INTO Shakespearean style writing.
- Make sure you get in your tweet between July 30th and August 6th. The contest ENDS at 11:59, 8/6/15 (Pacific Coastal time for all you west coasters)
**Hamlet, not The Lion King. probably.
It feels like just last week the European Speedster Assembly wrapped up, but it was actually WAY, WAY back on July 5th. While ESA is amazing it is no where near the size of the next and second biggest speed running event of the year: SGDQ or summer games done quick. SGDQ is operated yearly by Speed Demos Archive. During SGDQ the speed runners do what they do best, and that is speeding their way through an overwhelming variety of video games for charity. Speed runs in short are about the player completing the game as fast as possible without using cheats. This can be confusing at first because they use every glitch/exploit that they can to accomplish this but they glitches/exploits are considered within the confines of the game mechanics so they are allowed. Viewers can watch these top-speed versions of their favorite games in awe, and donate to the charity associated with the event while they watch.
For a viewer, there are lots of reasons to donate, and they include having your comment read on stream, receiving prizes, choosing runner incentives (I.E. names or good/bad endings, etc.)…but of course the best reason is to help out a cause that you and your runner of choice believe in. Six months ago, Awesome Games Done Quick, the biggest speed running event of the year, managed to raise over one and a half million dollars for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. They managed do this through various means, such as the humble bundle, a deal with Yetee t-shirts and a number of donations made directly from the stream. On July 26th through August 1st, SGDQ will be running for Doctors Without Borders. The event is taking place at the Crown Plaza in Downtown St. Paul, Minnesota but you can watch it from anywhere in the world on Twitch. You can find the schedule and tune in for your favorite game here, or just binge-watch the whole thing and find out about some new titles.
Have you ever wanted to team up with people around the world? Make new friends? Test your personal limits? Participate in a life changing scavenger hunt that is hilarious, serious, creative, and terrifying all at once?
Assuming you’ve answered ‘Yes’ to any, or maybe all of these questions, you should check out GISHWHES (pronounced gish-wes).
Established in 2011 by actor and philanthropist, Misha Collins, The Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen (GISHWHES, for short) is a week long annual event stuffed to the brim with the most absurd items you’ll find on any scavenging adventure. Teams of 15 people tackle a unique list all to benefit Random Acts, a non-profit run by Collins that aims to encourage random acts of kindness. It seems like a walk in the park, but each of the 150+ items are meant to be completely outrageous and that’s not counting the few that are thought up by Collins’ young son, West. Don’t believe us? Past years have included the following:
Challenge a professional athlete to a game of hopscotch and win. The image must include both of you hopscotching and the professional athlete’s name.
Go through a TSA (or your country’s equivalent) checkpoint dressed for snorkeling.
A brass band quartet performing “Carry On My Wayward Son” from a median strip, while commuter cars are stuck in terrible traffic.
GISHWHES is designed to make you test the limits of your personal comfort, form lifelong friendships, put some good into the universe, and create artistic expressions for the ages. GISHWHES items are little memory making treasures on their own, but that’s not to say there’s no pot of gold at the end of this metaphorical rainbow. Winners of the hunt get to travel to a specified location for an all new adventure, such as a slumber party in a haunted Scottish castle (this year, it’s discotecking in Costa Rica!), and rightfully earn full bragging rights out of THOUSANDS of participants.
At the end of it all, even if you don’t win the trip, you can sleep well knowing you’ve done something great. I have participated in GISHWHES for three years–and last year I even convinced my fellow staff member, Jen, to participate as well. This year, we have decided to chronicle our journey for you. Stay tuned to our twitters (linked below!), and here as well! GISHWHES entries will be posted regularly during the week of August 1-8, and if you’re in the mood to try something extreme, definitely check out the website, and join up next year!
P.S. If you’re interested in helping out with an item and being part of the fun, keep an eye on the #GISHWHES tag on Twitter & Tumblr!