Leah’s Tattoo

Leah Culver shows off the new tattoo on her arm

At CUSEC 2009, some of the attendees attempted to psychoanalyze the speakers out of concern for what seemed to be obsessions. The IRC backchannel during my presentation expressed concern for what they believed to be my fixation on butts, what with mentioning the movie Deliverance and showing the “Bottle Rocket in the Butt” video from my blog entry Assrockets and Opportunities.

Other speakers had their own obsessions. Free Software Foundation founder Richard Stallman’s twin obsessions were with the level of lighting in the room and his “Four Freedoms” ethics. Pownce lead developer/co-founder and now Six Apart developer Leah Culver (who was on the conference’s other end of the scruffy/slinky spectrum) was obsessed about getting a tattoo based on designs created by the enigmatic Rubyist known only as why the lucky stiff (or _why for short). Leah somehow managed to contact _why – who is notoriously J.D. Salinger-esque in his reclusiveness – to commission him to create some tattoo designs, which she showed me at the CUSEC speaker dinner last Thursday night.

A message on Twitter from _why has confirmed that she did indeed get the tattoo. Here’s a close-up:

A close-up of Leah Culver's tattoo

The blank word bubble above the cartoon character is there to let her fill it in with whatever she feels like having it say for the day.

Late binding for tattoos!” I said, regretting that uber-nerdy statement mere moments later.


Nerd Costumes

I’m going to a wedding where the dress code is “a little antiquey and a little Hallowe’en-y”. I’ve chosen to interpret that as steampunk and decided that one good place to locate the right accoutrements for my outfit would be Malabar, an Accordion City costume shop that’s been supplying theatres, the opera, renaissance faires and costume party-goers for decades.

While looking around the store, I passed by a wall of quick costume kits, which included not one but two nerd costume kits, both of which are modelled after the “IBM COBOL programmer circa 1960” stereotype, on which John Hodgman’s “I’m a PC” character is based:

Nerd cosutme kit, featuring glasses, bow tie, "Hello my name is" sticker and pocket protector

Nerd costume kit, featuring glasses, "Dilbert" style tie, tech support ID badge and pocket protector

If you really want to see a truly nerdy costume, wait until next week when I post my photos from the wedding.