With Father’s Day looming, I thought that I would talk for a bit about my father, and actually, our father as Dawn, Gardella, and I are all sisters. You see, we are actually Geek Generation 2.0 in our family, meaning we grew up with Geek parents, which was certainly interesting. So, I present here the top ten geeky things our Dad does, and maybe you’ll see why we became so crazy!
10. When we went to Disney World as kids, Dad scheduled everything. I mean everything. He knew which park we were going to, which rides to go on first, and where to stand at exactly what time to get on Space Mountain nearly first. His schedules actually listed the rides, in order.
9. He has always worked for communications companies. He worked for Bell Labs, and then when they split to AT&T and others, he landed at various others including Bellcore and subsequently Telcordia. I remember Take Your Daughter to Work Day way back around 1993 when it began when I got to help beta-test voice-recognition dialing.
8. When Star Wars first came out in 1977, he drove my mother over an hour to see it in the theater with the best sound system.
7. When you say anything to Dad about “them”, e.g., “oh, it’s just them” his response was always “them, you mean giant ants?”. I watched many a “Dad Classic” as in: Dad – “This is a classic!” Me – “Is it any good?” Dad – “Not at all, but it’s a classic!” including things such as Invasion of the Body Snatchers and a lot of Airplane.
6. I grew up with Betamax and Apple computers, and this was long before it was cool to be “A Mac”, because Dad always picked the best technology, if not the best publicized companies.
5. Dad is a graduate of RPI, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and was an electrical engineering major. He would have been computer science, but it didn’t exist back then. RPI is probably one of the geekiest tech schools out there. Have you ever heard their cheer: “e to the x, dx/dy, e to the x, dy. secant, tangent, cosine, sine, 3.14159, square root, cube root, log of pi, disintegrate them RPI!”
4. Dad owned a huge box of science fiction books including a ton of Dune books, the Hitchhiker’s Guide books, all the Foundation and Robot books, and most of the 2001: A Space Odyssey. He made me read quite a lot of them, including the entire Robots and Foundation series in chronological order. He also introduced me to my favorite scifi author David Gerrold with The Man Who Folded Himself and When Harlie Was One. I think most of these were bought practically right when they came out.
3. Dad has the greatest collection of geeky t-shirts, mostly bought for him by us. They include things like “There are 10 people in the world who understand binary”.
2. Dad taught me to solve a Rubik’s Cube. He knew how to do it, because when the things first came out, he and a friend sat down and worked out all the moves to solve it. He also taught me algebra when I was about 8 and the quadratic formula when I was 11 and how to solve square roots by hand when I was 13. It was no surprise that I read scifi books in math class in middle school instead of paying attention!
1. Dad is the reason I watch science fiction television. He was an original Trekkie and got me into The Next Generation. He found Babylon 5 before it was known as a thing and got in on the ground floor of Earth: Final Conflict. We also watched X-Files together as well as a few New Year’s Eve Twilight Zone marathons.
So, there you have it. My Geek Dad is all his geeky glory! It’s no wonder that he ended up with three geeky daughters, right!