Thursday, May 20

Competence is a rare commodity

I met John Keohane only once, at a Dallas/Fort Worth Unix User Group [DFWUUG] meeting. John had been DFWUUG President from 1995-7, and had since moved to Austin. I arrived before the February meeting to grab a slice or two of pizza (as is the custom with this group) and was chatting with Dale Young, who was President of this group after John. I remember John coming over, and posing a few trivia questions (about US Presidents King and Blythe - aka Ford and Clinton) and the original derivation of the word "geek" (biting the head off a live chicken).

John had been in academia for years, and it showed. Even in our brief encounter, it was obvious his mind was in constant motion. John had recently (2003) published a 9-page biographical essay about Paul H Douglas, of which he was quite proud (he gave me instructions on how to easily Google it). I remember John asking for my email address, and I was surprised never to hear from him again.

Context Switch #1
I often watch The Daily Show on Comedy Central, hosted by Jon Stewart. It was easy for me to read Jon Stewart's Commencement Address at the College of William and Mary. My favorite line in his speech? Competence is a rare commodity.

Context Switch #2
Searching the web for information on frequency scanners isn't as easy as it sounds, since by default a search for [scanner] will also find information on OCR/photo scanners. Once you fine-tune the search, you'll find several Uniden Bearcat Scanners, or one of their resellers (such as Scanner Pro : The Uniden Police Scanner Specialists"). Beta (the wonder dog) has complained about my old [Radio Shack] Pro-2010 scanner, first made in 1986. I've been known to listen to it at night, to combat insomnia (almost nothing will put me to sleep faster than listening to "Cop Radio").

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