Brandt Krueger

TECHNICAL PRODUCER, EDUCATOR, SPEAKER, AND CONSULTANT FOR THE MEETING AND EVENTS INDUSTRY. GEEK DAD, HUSBAND

Consultant, Meeting and Event Technology
Owner, Event Technology Consulting
Instructor, Event Leadership Institute
Cohost, #EventIcons - Where the icons of the event industry meet

Filtering by Tag: geek

Achievement Unlocked - Made it on TWiT

Well, there's one to check off the bucket list. Last week I had the opportunity to be on the TWiT (This Week in Tech) network as part of the "Call for Help" section of their show The New ScreenSavers.

Left: Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ  Right: Leo Laporte  Center: A strangely orange and typically shiny me

The show was prerecorded in advance of the US Thanksgiving holiday and released on November 28th, 2015. On this episode, host Leo Laporte was joined by Father Robert Ballecer, SJ, a specialist in enterprise technology, and a Jesuit priest. How's that for a combo for ya?

I originally reached out to the network during my recent unsuccessful bid to get elected to the Richfield School Board, hoping to get their insights on technology in our schools. While I had a strong suspicion they'd be in favor of Chromebooks over iPads or Windows laptops, I was curious to get their take, as well as their thoughts on lower income families who might not have access to the Internet at home.

Why it was a big bleeping deal for me...

Being on the show was a complete fanboy experience for me, and I was incredibly nervous. You see, there's a direct connection between my discovering The Screen Savers (hosted by Leo Laporte, and featuring the original "Call for Help" segment) on the short-lived cable television network TechTV circa 2002, and my life today. At the time, the programming was just interesting to me- geeks talking about geek stuff, a little bit of hacking, and a lot of basic computer repair. Stuff that's proven extremely valuable to me in my life as a technology guy ever since. Not long after I discovered the network, it began to disintegrate. There just wasn't enough mainstream demand for such focused, geeky content.

Fast forward about 5 years or so: I'm married and have a beautiful daughter. One day while surfing the net I discover that Leo's been making a new show called This Week in Tech- but it wasn't on TV, it was something called a "podcast", and you could download it and listen (or watch it) through iTunes. My world opened up in a way I wouldn't have thought possible

Being a new parent, there wasn't a lot of time to sit around watching TV, much less reading a book. Through podcasting, I could keep up on all the technology news I could handle, all the while bouncing a baby, mowing the lawn, shoveling the walk, doing the dishes... Through the podcast world I learned of Audible, and started listening to audiobooks. I don't think I'd read more than a couple books for leisure in the previous 10 years, now I was devouring them at a rate of one a month. We had another daughter, and I began blogging about my experiences as a GeekDad. Some of the articles still survive at the very beginning of this blog.

Listening to podcasts, I discovered Twitter. Within weeks of being on Twitter I started to meet event industry folks that remain my friends to this day. I started going to conferences and meetups, and eventually started speaking publicly. From there I began recording classes at the Event Leadership Institute, which in turn led me to doing more public speaking at conferences, as well as my all day intensive classes on technical production. I met even more meeting and event people, and the next thing I knew I was a co-hosting a podcast myself. Lindsey Rosenthal, Tahira Endean, and I produced a year of weekly industry podcasts called The Event Alley Show. When that came to a halt, I was approached by BizBash to host a new podcast, GatherGeeks.

I've often said that my biggest professional regret was not getting involved in the industry earlier. Basically I lived in my own little company bubble for 15 years. When I started to get out and meet all the fantastic meeting and event people from all over the world, my universe began to change. I went from liking what I do, to loving what I do, and I started my own company.

And if I hadn't stumbled upon Leo Laporte, The Screen Savers, and TWiT, none of that would have happened.


Links:

The New Screen Savers Episode 30

GatherGeeks- A Podcast by BizBash

The Event Alley Show

Top Five Watches the GeekDad in Chief Should be Wearing

by Brandt Krueger, Geek Dad since 2007 Obama w Superman_02Much has been made about the geektitude of our current president, from his use (and correct pronunciation) of Superman lore, to his insistance on keeping his BlackBerry, to his ability to properly give the vulcan hand sign of "Live Long and Prosper."  So when I found out that there was a website where a mere mortal like myself could buy the President's watch, I had to check it out.  Needless to say, I was a looking for something a little more geeky than what I found.jorg-gray-watch-debut-2

I don't know, I guess I figured the GeekDad in Chief would have something like an original Casio CA53W.

ca53w

You know, for tackling those pesky budgets and figuring out how to pay for universal healthcare without raising taxes.

Don't get me wrong, the watch he wears is a nice watch and all.  It has all your standard geeky dials and dates, but I can't help but feel like he might be neglecting an important presidential accessory.  And so I present to you,

The Top Five Watches the GeekDad in Chief should be Wearing:

5.  LED Binary Watch

Basic, and self explanatory to even low-level geeks.  Baffling to the non-geek.

4. Casio Telememo 150

Ok, so the calculator watch is still an option.  I was surprised to see that Casio was still pumping out these babies, updated for the new century.  And what does almost 30 years of calculator watch get you over the CA35?  Semi-permanent EEPROM memory of 150 "pages" consisting of 8 letters and twelve numerals per page.  Perfect for the POTUS to keep track of his schedule, and to be alerted he's got an important "MEETIN" to go to (see photo).

3.  Missile Command

When I ran across the title for this watch in my searches, I was really hoping it would look like this: Missile Command Watch

No such luck.  Apparently Atari didn't cash in on the Missile Command franchise in the watch department.  You gotta admit, though, that would have been pretty cool.  Still would.  Somebody get on that.

Anyway, even though it looks like this...

Chase Durer Missile Command Watch...this watch is still worth an honorable mention, and the President is, after all, the ultimate Missile Commander for our country.

2.  25th Aniversary G-Shock

25th Aniversary G-Shock

The G-Shock is the gold standard for geek watches.  Nobody's sure why, as most of its functionality is based on athletic pursuits (something geeks are not generally known for).  Nonetheless, the watch became so popular for so long, Casio released the 25th Anniversary edition in white and gold, perfect for those fancy White House dinner parties with foreign dignitaries.

1.  Nixie Tube Watch

Nixie Tube WatchA favorite of "The Woz", the Nixie Tube Watch is the perfect mix of geek chic and old school tech.  Nothing says "I represent change!" better than a ridiculously over-sized vacuum tube watch.   Press the button and the two digits flash the hours, minutes and seconds.  I love the fact that the inventor has a detailed history on his site of how he developed it from breadboard to production.  Click on the photo to check it out!

So snap to it, Mr. Prez, and embrace your inner geek!  I want to see one of those watches on your wrist before the August recess...

All this has happened before...

There are many firsts in a person's life: Your first computer (with the optional 1k memory cartridge)-

Timex-Sinclair ZX81

Your first hand held video game-

Tomy-PacMan

The first game you stayed up all night playing (Wandering MUD - sorry, I think that predates screenshots).

While these may not be the same as yours, you most likely have your own examples.  Why?  Because you're a geek.

And as the Intertubes have spread across the world, and as the Information Industrial Revolution has boomed, it's become more socially acceptable to be a geek.  It's also easier to find other like-minded geeks (gear geeks, game geeks, scifi geeks, band geeks).  The upshot?  Geeks are gettin' some, and in record numbers.  And that, my friends, usually means an uptick in the baby-making, shortly thereafter.

The geek then finds itself in a bizarre new wilderness of fate: Parenthood.

So what does the geek parent do?  Must they abandon all that has made them geek?  Are all the firsts behind them?  No, but things are gonna change, my friend... and that's what this site is going to be about.

Just remember, you're not the first to go through this.  "All this has happened before, and all this will happen again."

-The Geek Dads (Our first blog post)