It's good to be a geek

Attending the wedding required a bit more planning than we initially thought, and even for a bit part in the ceremony, there was much to do. There were the usual dress-up requirements, which neither of us had finalized completely, so extra shirts and dresses had to be remembered along with shirts, shoes, socks, jackets, and overcoats. We had the photos to do hours before the ceremony, brunch with Dad and Dusty, a small number of loose ends to tie up, and Kay had to practice her reading for the 150-something guests. Kay was to read a passage during the ceremony, and only had a photocopied book page to go on. I awoke Saturday morning to the sound of my keyboard being mashed, as she typed it into Word, to allow reformatting and printing. I got up, and helped her print out a couple copies while she located our finest paper. I remember saving it in case later copies were needed, and a final copy was printed. We got together all our things, took speedy showers, got out the door twenty minutes late, and under a light drizzle drove about 35 miles south. Brunch came and went, and with an hour and a half before photos, we went back to Kay's parents' hotel to change. While surveying the collected clothing, Kay ran down an internal checklist and noticed one important thing was missing from the room. The passage to be read. The final copy, on the fine paper, in the extra large font for easy reading, was still sitting in the printer, in our apartment, 35 miles north of where we were at that exact moment. Neither of us could recall the author, so locating a local copy quickly was impossible. Fuck. After a few seconds, something in my mind clicked. I saved the Word document that morning. It was digital bits on my computer. My computer is on a DSL line. I run file servers. My desktop is a server, and we could fetch those digital bits from any other computer on earth. Now, I'm not a star athlete, so I'll never get to score a game winning goal as time runs out. I'm not a supreme physical specimen, so I doubt I'll ever get to save a baby from a burning building or lift beams that obstruct doorways saving all. But I am a geek, and I know how to use a computer. The thought of rushing around, driving an hour and a half round-trip through rain-soaked, dangerous traffic, in order to fetch a single sheet of paper was ridiculous, and Kay was relieved when I explained the situation. All we had to do was locate a computer that had Word, a printer, and an internet connection. We drove a couple miles to my new employer's offices, and I think I was gloating the whole time. I can recall being amazed, amused, and even greatly helped by the internet before, but it never saved the day until now. We arrived at KnowNow, walked to my computer, and I glanced at my watch as I launched ws_ftp, connected to my home computer, switched to the My Documents folder, grabbed the doc file, double clicked to open it, hit print in Word, and heard it coming out of the high-output printer. It was less than a minute from the first mouse movement until the moment Kay had the passage in her hands, and we got back to the hotel with 45 minutes to spare before photographs. (cover photo taken when I visited the IMP, the first node of the Internet)