Paperclippings Blog: My passport to Geekdom

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I pray because I believe, and I believe because I pray.

Joseph Walker--Deseret Morning News

Utah, United States

Kelly is the mother of 5 adorable kids--4 boys and a girl. The girl came in a package with a boy (twins). Kelly is married to a charming young man who lives and breathes computers. They are also guardians for three nieces and a nephew.

She is active in the community having served as PTA President of a local elementary school, on the board of the Salt Lake Mothers of Twins, as a district round-table trainer with the Cub Scouts, as a volunteer for Sidelines (a support network for Women on bed rest during pregnancy) and she and her husband are active in the LDS Church.

Read more about me...

My City of Heroes level 50 hero

Salt Lake LDS Temple Centennial with a full 3D model of the building in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. This Single Image Stereogram was done at the 100 year anniversary of the building's completion.

Printed at 18x24 inches.

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"And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."

Helaman 5:12

Courtesy of Scott Kurtz


Wednesday, July 13, 2005

My passport to Geekdom

I have always lived just on the outskirts of what is considered "mainstream". I like doing things my own way. I wear paperclips for earrings, after all. But to be considered and accepted by the geek "community" never entered my mind. But as I look back on my upbringing I have had many role models who have influenced me in one way or another toward that end.

When I was about 12 or 13 my dad bought a kit to make a computer. People didn't have personal computers in their home much in those days. But there we were with this computer in our home. My dad found a game to run on this computer. It was a ascii DnD game.

A few years later I met a nice young man you dreamed of owning his own electronics company. We used to hang out in this hut he and a friend had built in his backyard. This tiny hut was equipped with a door bell, Christmas lights, a work bench and a great stereo system. I never viewed him as a geek, but many of my friends thought he was just a little too weird for them. I just did things my own way and worshipped the ground he walked on for a good five years.

In high school I took a computer science class. The instructor taught us BASIC. Now, this ought to have been a simple class, but I just couldn't wrap my head around it. My mom could even wander around in DOS better than I could. I managed to get an A out of the class purely because I got paired up for our final project with a girl whose dad was a computer programmer.

Then about 10 years after my dad bought that first computer I met and married my very own computer programmer. He had just graduated Cum Laude at the University of Utah in Computer Science.

This guy, I soon learned, was the ultimate geek. In high school he had written code for a few educational games that still brought in a small royalty a year after we got married. In college he had brought a phone line down to his bedroom so that he could connect to the internet without tying up his parents' phone lines. This was WAY before there was such a thing as a World Wide Web.

I might add here that this geek is one fine geek. After 15+ years of marriage he still opens the car door for me. And we won't tell anyone, but he also writes poetry.

Anyway, several years later I am a member of a group of mothers with twins who want their own website. I was given the task to see if my husband would help us with setting that up. His answer to this request is a flat out NO. So, I try for one of those prefab sites where they have the templates and you just pick out your colors, add your content and away you go. Ick! Then I learn there is such a thing as HTML.

On the shelf in the computer room in our home is a book called "Write your own website". In a matter of days I am dreaming in HTML. I can totally wrap my head around this. Before long I am doing websites for other people as well.

It is about this time that my husband decides that I need my own computer. We are constantly competing for computer time and dial up time...DSL was not yet available in our area. So, I get my own computer with Photoshop, Frontpage and other fun toys and when DSL comes to our area I am right with my husband in his demand for it.

I now have friends where my main connection with them is through the internet. In fact, one of my best friends I have because of the internet. She and I actually met face to face about three years ago. The internet is also my main means of contact with my best friend of 30+ years (who lives just a few miles from me). I am often helping with technical issues related to the computer and the internet. Not long ago I even did some graphics for a friend who needed a decent looking GUI (Graphical user interface) for a computer game he was writing.

I always tell people "If you want to get in contact with me send me an email. If you leave me a message on the phone I might not get it for a few days." My mom and I do a lot of our "talking" via msn messenger...even though she lives just a half an hour away.

But not everything related to my acceptance into Geekdom has to do with the computer.

A few years ago my husband made friends with a group of guys (and girls) who liked to get together and play online RPGs (Role Playing Games). They all had a background in DnD and this was a natural step for them. He was soon going to regular Saturday night DnD games held at the home of one of the guys.

Tired of being left home I asked if I could just hang out with them and watch while they played. I began to ask when the next game was being held. I was having fun hanging out with this bunch of geeks. After some time they put a little pressure on me and I found myself playing the role of a Rogue. They needed one as their previous rogue had moved out of town. This rogue proved to be the hero a few weeks back as a single shot from an arrow of undead slaying (from her arsonal) wiped out a CR 21 vampire.

Now back to the computer geek in me. My husband was out of town one week on business when our linux server that runs a Never Winter Nights module was having a problem. It is essential that this be up and running as this group of friends get together online and play on Monday and Tuesday nights.

One of his friends got online with me and talked me through the process of fixing the problem. But with all the talking through it we couldn't get it to work. Then I decided to try something different. Instead of typing a set of numbers in I would just copy and paste and voila.

I was then given the ultimate compliment from this group. "You incredible GEEK-ETTE you!!!" I joked with him that I was John's "trophy geek-wife".

I recently asked my husband if I could get added to an email group that included many of these friends. He often shared funny and interesting emails from this group. The owner of the group is the Dungeon Master for our DnD games and the one who wanted my help with the server issue. So I have been given permission from the host to be part of the email group.

This is the introduction I was given to the rest of the group by the owner.
I SHOULD note here that Kelly has been a member of the geek fold for some time, but only peripherally. However, earlier this year she went from accompanying John to our Saturday D&D nights to actually playing a rogue (and single-shotting a CR 21 vampire, as **reported by John two weeks ago) in said game. So she's got full geek cred.
My passport to Geekdom has turned into full fledged citizenship.

**See comments


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On Thursday, July 14, 2005 12:16:00 PM, Blogger Kelly wrote...

Here is a copy of that email mentioned in this blog entry.

Okay, get this. Last week we’re at Jay’s house gaming, and the group is getting seriously thrashed. Nothing we do is working against this combo devil / demon thing. We use up nearly all our arsenal of magic, when Julie decides it’s time for a disintegrate spell. The bad part is that it only takes it down something like a third or a half of its hit points by doing something over 100 points. Due to the high damage, the critter checks a “save or die” roll where rolling 2 would have been good enough to save. It gets a 1 and we win through a stroke of astounding luck.

Fast forward to this week. We have a smaller group, and only four of us stumble into a new realm hanging off the Demonweb pits. We have a nice sit-down dinner with the head representative of all the undead under Orcus, a vampire named Vlad who happens to be a 20th level wizard. Orcus wants to take one of us as a servant in exchange for not signing a contract with Lolth, queen of the demonweb pits to jointly conquer the universe. He keeps deferring to the slob eating at the table with us on any sticky questions. Now if this guy is the #1 rep for undead, that makes the slob… a demon lord that we have no desire to make deals with. He reverts to true form when we don’t go along, and we perform an emergency evac to the dimensional door.

We get away through the door and back to the demonweb, and are highly indecisive about what to do next. We stop at the next gateway to see if it’s a back way in. No dice. Eventually we decide to buff ourselves up and charge through to Vlad’s castle, hoping Orcus has wandered away. We luckily find just Vlad and some lower level minions waiting for us. His Symbol of Death goes Pttthhfhfh due to our buffs, and Nell (Kelly’s rogue) pulls out an arrow of undead slaying. Rolls a 20. Vlad fails his save. End of fight.

I just know we’re gonna get our clocks cleaned when the karma comes around full circle. There’s a limit to how many bad nights in a row Jay can have.


On Wednesday, April 15, 2009 9:19:00 AM, Blogger Derico Photography wrote...

Yay for NWN!!! When I met Cory, he and a group of friends got together every weekend to play LAN games. That was the game I was introduced to at said get together. Almost six years later, it's still fun to play.

I've been informed that I have random moments of geekiness... though Cory has been trying to convert me to full fledged status for some time now.


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