Friday, May 21, 2010
It has been about three weeks since I made fun of my mom so I figured everyone was probably much in need of an update. After all, F*ckbook is only so funny. For a moment I was worried that my mother would follow Vanilla Ice into the darkness of "one hit wonderdom" but good ole' Maggie proved me wrong. My dear friends, get ready: My mom had her first run in with...(cue the Jaws soundtrack)...THE CLOUD.
Before I launch into my "Can you believe this sh*t??" tale-o-mommy, I must give you the back-story. For 57 years, my mom has managed to go about her day-to-day tasks without having to concern herself with computers, "the Internets", and technology in general. She uses AOL (AOL4lyfe), has an old-school printer, and until very recently, was on dial-up. Needless to say, she certainly had no idea what "the cloud" was. And she probably would have been perfectly fine for another 30 years or so had I not opened my damn mouth in front of her while talking to Kevin...but alas, I did, and she was ever-so-curious.
We were sitting around the table about two months ago when my mom first heard of THE CLOUD. Kevin and I were talking to her new "companion" about geeky stuff (her beau is in IT) and THE CLOUD came up. I think I said something like, "Oh, well just put it up in the cloud..."....and my mom looked at me like I just told her I was quitting my job to sell used needles to five year olds. "What do you mean when you say "Put it in THE CLOUD"? What is THE CLOUD?" She went on and on....and on for what seemed like forever (though, it was only about two minutes) and when she was done, I let Kevin break it down for her. Patience is not his strongest quality so I was slightly amused to see him explain the concept of THE CLOUD to my mom like she was the latest voyager on the short bus. She needed it though...when it comes to technology any concept explained at a fourth grade level or higher completely blows her mind. (She is smart, though, I promise. If you get sued or are in need of emergency medical care, she is your go-to-lady. She is pretty much a certified bad-ass.) Anyway, after he described THE CLOUD in a paint-by-numbers inspired description we moved on to a topic that was far more entertaining. (In case you are curious, that topic was whether or not our youngest poodle, Griffin, is gay. Yes. Seriously, that's what we talked about...in great length.)
Anyway, not too long ago I got the weekly "check-in" call from my mom. This call is pretty typical (hence the "weekly") and it usually covers the same topics (1) my brothers 2) said brothers smoking pot 3) my mom only smoking pot 11 times in her entire life 4) her boyfriend thinks it is funny 5) earthquakes in San Francisco and my inevitable death by natural disaster (so says mother), 6) my ex-husband and what a gigantic d-bag he is and how much better Kevin is 7) the 411 on my brother, Ryan, in NYC 8) the poodles 9) the poodles, 10) the poodles, 568) the poodles...), with a few variations from time to time. This time, however, the call started out with pure hysteria...and that hysteria was caused by THE CLOUD!!! Judging by her freak-out level, I'm pretty sure my mom has a mental image of THE CLOUD that resembles the black smoke monster from LOST...but anyway...she was TERRIFIED.
To give you an idea, it went (almost exactly) like this.
Mom: Megan!!!!!!!!!!! Ah, F**K! MEGAN!!!!!!!!!!! (and a few noises that I can't really figure out how to type)
Me: Mom, what is going on?
Mom: (Silence, just papers shuffling and a lot of banging.)
Me: Mom? (This disorganization/chaos is usually how most of our calls begin, by the way.)
Mom: (Direct Quote) THE CLOUD ate my pictures!!!!!! How do I get them back??
Me: What do you mean, "THE CLOUD ate your pictures?" It doesn't eat anything, mom.
Mom: I had pictures on my desktop and they aren't there now. I think THE CLOUD took them.
Me: Mom, THE CLOUD didn't take anything. I'm pretty sure you don't have that set-up going on.
Mom: Megan, listen to me! They were here. Now they aren't. Somehow THE CLOUD got them. They went up into THE CLOUD. I got to go. I have to get them back.
****Click.**** The crazy freakin' lady hung up on me to go battle THE CLOUD. (The images of my mother suiting up in armor had me in stitches for a long time. In fact, I was still hysterically laughing when Kevin got home.
About an hour later I got a voicemail from my mother. "Megan. I found them. They were in a folder. Could that be THE CLOUD?"
Sweet, sweet mother. **Patting her on the head from 3,000 miles away.**
Since the showdown with THE CLOUD, her boyfriend has given her a tutorial on THE CLOUD and building folders and has explained to her a folder on her desktop named "Pics" is not THE CLOUD in disguise. Things have been (relatively) quiet and the frantic calls have subsided. Our conversations have circled back to my brothers and their love affair with Mary Jane, the poodles, and whether or not Griffin prefers poodles of the same sex or not. (Oh yes, and how I'm going to be buried by rubble in an earthquake. Can't forget that one.) Though it is nice to return to the usual with my mother, I know, it is only a matter of time until there is another technology related catastrophe. Until then, my friends, enjoy the latest "you've got to be kidding me" story and stay tuned...because as sure as the sun rises and falls, my mom will come calling, and I will write it ALL down.
***PS. About a week after the F*ckbook debacle, my mom's account got hacked. Though this was a huge pain in the butt for her, for me, nothing amused me more. (Yes, I know. Once I get buried in the aforementioned earthquake, I'm going to the special section of Hell reserved for smart-ass daughters. That's cool; I can deal.)
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Since my dad died, my mother (pictured above) has been coming into her own...slowly. Not only is she dating, but she is finally discovering the joys of technology and social networking sites. While she has not ventured in the Twitter world (yet), she has managed to create a Facebook profile and learned (kind of) to navigate the wonderful world of friend requests, photo tagging, and Farmville. (Just kidding about Farmville. The day my mom sends me a request to water her crops is the day Jesus rides through my front door on a tricycle.) Periodically, I check out my mom's profile page to see what she is up to, what pictures she is posting, and to laugh at her (out of love, of course). Usually, Facebook stalking my mom is pretty uneventful, but every now and again, I am pleasantly surprised with pure hilariousness. Last week was one of those weeks. I was fortunate enough to get one of the most entertaining phone calls from my mom...ever...and it was about Facebook. It went something like this.
Mom: Megan, I had a friend find me on Facebook that I don't remember but she says we are friends.
Me: Oh, cool. (Wondering where this conversation is going...)
Mom: Yeah, her name is Lydia. I don't remember ever knowing a Lydia, ever, but she says she lives near me and wants to meet up.
Me: Oh, cool. (Still wondering where this conversation is going...)
Mom: She sent me some link to see her pictures. Maybe that will jog my memory. It is called "F*ckbook. Do you think that is a typo and she meant Facebook?
Me: Mom. No. I don't think that is a typo. I'm pretty sure you don't know Lydia.
Mom: Why would she lie? I probably know her from a long time ago. What is F*ckbook? Is it like Facebook 2.0? (Yes, that is a direct quote, people.)
Me: Mom. Are you kidding me right now? (I knew she wasn't though. My mom just learned how to use AOL...like last week.)
Mom: Are you on F*ckbook? Do you think you can look Lydia up for me and friend request her?
Me: MOM! No, I'm not on F*ckbook. I'm not looking at Lydia's pictures for you. I don't know her. You don't know her. It is some porn site. You are being spammed or something. Don't click the link because you don't want to have your account hacked. Trust me, mom. F*ckbook is not Facebook 2.0 and you do not know Lydia.
Mom: Spam??? (I could hear the wheels turning on this one.) Hack??? (...this pretty much made her hamster wheel derail) Well, Shit. I was really looking forward to having a new friend around here.
Me: (No words were spoken...just radio silence and the swift sound of me fastening my own noose.)
Ok, in all seriousness, though this conversation did (sadly) actually happen, I do not have rain-man for a mother (I guess, technically, she would be a "rain-woman"...). My mom is actually a brilliant medical professional, attorney, and writer...that just happens to be utterly clueless about all things related to technology. This phone call lasted for about another 20 minutes or so as I explained all things spam and hacker related to her. I could hear her brain furiously processing this information and I suspected the only thing she took away from the conversation was the negative association of "F*ckbook" and "hack, hacker, hacking..." (you get the idea).
My suspicions were confirmed on Friday night when I called my mom to let her know I was going to be in Orlando for a few days the following week to attend Hackathon. After about 15 seconds of silence on her end, she finally speaks. And it went a little something like this:
Me: Yep, it should be a lot of fun. A bunch of my friends from the User Groups are going.
Me: Mom, are you in the garage? Are you getting shitty reception? Yes, Hackaton.
Mom: Hackathon??? (Yes, people. She really did repeat herself three times.)
Me: Yeeessssss. HACKATHON.
Mom: .....(silence)....(more silence)............................................(still silence)....You mean like F*ckbook?
Me: (Hysterical laughing...for several minutes) Oh my God, Mom! No, not like F*ckbook!!! Jesus Christ, mom. Seriously? Oy Effen Vey. You are kidding right? (More hysterical laughing.)
Mom: I'm confused. (You think??) You said hackers could be sending the F*kbook emails and Hackathon sounds dirty.
Me: (Laughing so hard I'm gasping for air. No joke.)
This went on for another ten minutes or so and I FINALLY was able to assure my mother I wasn't flying back to Orlando to work on some porn site and steal peoples' Facebook account information with naughty emails and friend requests. (Seriously, sometimes I wonder about her...) After I explained to her (painfully) what Hackathon was we got off the phone and I proceeded to laugh so hard I nearly peed myself for a good hour or so.
So, I know most of you (I hope) are more savvy than my mother but you still might be wondering what exactly Hackaton is and how exactly you can join in on the action...and I'd love nothing more than to drop a bit of Hackaton knowledge on your curious little minds. Simply put, Hackaton is going to be one of the greatest tech events to hit Orlando and the User Group circuit, in my humble opinion.
The Orlando Hackathon focuses on learning how to build modules for DotNetNuke and is THIS TUESDAY (May 4th, people!). The Orlando DotNetNuke User Group (ODUG) and Orlando .Net User Group (ONETUG) are joining forces to make this a spectacular event for all Central Florida geeks. (With that said, EVERYONE-regardless of geographic location-is invited. Hell, I'm flying in from San Francisco, so you really have no excuses in my book!).
Will Strhol and Co. have done one heck of a job securing a wicked speaker, to boot. Nik Kalyani is Founder and CEO of HyperCrunch. He is also Co-founder and Strategic Advisor for DotNetNuke Corp., the company that manages the DotNetNuke Open Source project. He is a technology entrepreneur with over 18 years of experience in the software industry. He is irrationally exuberant about technology, especially if it has anything to do with the Internet. HyperCrunch is his latest startup business that builds on his knowledge and experience from prior startups, two of them venture-funded....and he is from my neck of the woods!!!! (Gotta love a Silicon Valley guy coming to Orlando!!That's no joke, people!) He blogs at http://www.kalyani.com and is @techbubble on Twitter. Be sure to follow him! (On Twitter, you stalkers! Now get out of his bushes...)
So what is this Hackaton all about exactly? Good question. Here is the quick (or not...) breakdown. This Hackathon focuses on introducing attendees to the Model-View-Presenter pattern, support for which was recently introduced in the DotNetNuke Core. Nik will kick it off with a high level look at the pattern, compare it to MVC, and then get down and dirty...with some hot...code. We will start with the basics and then spice it up a bit with a full-featured module using this pattern. In order to really do this right and give the pattern the credit it deserves, Nik will use (super sexy) ASP.NET WebForms controls minimally and implement most of the UI using jQuery plug-ins. Got it? Good!
Now, like everything in life, this is actually a competition. You aren't doing it for fun. You are doing it to win! (Pound on your chest and assert your masculinity now!) The Orlando Hackathon is more than just the combination of two of the coolest User Groups around (seriously, it is). You can actually win some stuff here, guys! (Good stuff, too!) The grand prise is a saaaaweeet Dell Vostro 3500 laptop and you can also win one of two netbooks. (See! I told you the prizes don't suck!). Now, here is the important part. In order to participate (and be eligible to win a prize) you have to create a DotNetNuke module in 24 hours using the MVP design pattern (which is the focus of this Hackathon). Don't worry, there will be ample opportunity for you to get familiar with the pattern...and if all else fails, maybe you can make something cool like F*ckbook...(Kidding! Will, please don't kill me. I couldn't resist. Really. I couldn't. I'm five.)
If this badass event sounds like something you want to attend (and why wouldn't it??), click here to register. I promise, it will be one of the best nights of your life. Rumor has it Signature Consultants will be providing the sustenance you need to create the best DNN module EVER and there might be a few more raffle items (books, gift cards...women...) for you to score, too!
All of the fun will take place promptly at 6:30pm at City Hall ON THE 9TH FLOOR in Downtown Orlando (400 South Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL 32801) but if you want to EAT you might want to get there a few minutes early. (This girl has an appetite...I'm just sayin'...)
Though I'm not sure Hackathon will be able provide quite as much entertainment as my mother's ridiculous cluelessness (I mean, come on, that crap was FUNNY), it will be a freakin' great time! My company is flying me back to Orlando for it (Thank you, Signature!!!) and the rest of the Orlando Signature crew will be there, too. I can't wait to see everyone again...and you guys better recognize me this time! (I might have dyed my hair...again.)
See everyone there and if you have any questions, feel free to send a courier pigeon my way.
Email will work, too. I guess.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Naughty friend requests will NOT be accepted. Even if you do live close to me.
***Mom, you are way too cute for me to not use your picture on this one. Maybe this will be good for your Facebook popularity? Love, Your Overly Obnoxious Daughter. I, at least, think I am hysterical.***