(Pacifica, CA) There is a wave slowing crashing across the blog fanboy community these days centered on the idea of sharing “five things about me.” As such, the baton was recently passed to me by a certain Matt McAlister, product manager extraordinairre over at the Yahoo!’s Developer Network.
Never one to let a fellow fanboy down, here’s five traumatic taunts tossed my way over the years for which any loyal reader of Laaker.com should be watchful:
My dad introduced me to the Commodore VIC-20, which, in turn, introduced me to the world of nerdery (in which I continue to dwell to this day). Dad and I picked up the VIC-20 together in 1982 at Target, and life changed instantly. It began with GORF (a Space Invaders-like game), a cassette tape storage drive, an archaic dot-matrix line printer, dozens of quickly-broken Atari-knockoff joysticks, multiple days of (dad) inputting code from magazines to play a text-based adventure game, and an old TV (to serve as the monitor). Our VIC-20 days ended some 15 years later at my parents’ garage sale with an exchange of $20… and a tear, but the curiosity around devices that handle both professional and entertainment functions continue to this day. So, too, does the label, “nerd,” lovingly bestowed by all who hear me get giddy talking about my Mac, Nintendo DS Lite, modded Xbox, Playstation, and/or a legion of other devices.
- Micah Laaker hi, Micah hiney ho!
Anyone who experienced the Pee-Wee Herman television show featuring Jambi the Genie heard the phrase: “Meka leka hi, meka hiney ho!” Back in high school, this little ditty was quickly alliterated into the more relevant (and grating) “Micah Laaker hi, Micah hiney ho!” I heard this phrase somewhere on the order of 20-30 times a day, everyday, for months. Needless to say, I became less enraptured with Paul Reubens than many of my contemporaries.
Wearing a full-torso back brace throughout junior high and high school was instrumental in shaping how I view myself to this day. As one can imagine, there’s nothing inconspicuous about having three metal rods jutting north out of a plaster hip mold and connecting tightly around the neck. Nor does it take much imagination as to how others might use such a sight to their comedic benefit… especially when He-Man’s warrior chum, Mekaneck, was fresh in their afternoon-TV-filled minds. Because of such taunting, I had to turn to the streets for support… and verbal firepower. By the 9th-grade, I was talking more trash than anyone could possibly respond to, and thus, effectively, ending the taunts of others. Try me out… I’m usually just a retort or two away from crossing the line.
As a founding member of the seemingly defunct Anti-Arboreal Association, few words continue to sting like “treehugger” or “tree-lover.” A proud owner of several paper shredders, I try to live by the mantra, “The only good tree is a dead tree,” but my fastidious recycling efforts (largely centered around glass, plastics, and metals) have led some AAA compatriots to lob insults from across the Web. I continue to track the evil ways of trees, but little pacifies an angry violence mob set on starting forest fires. I don’t for a second doubt that there is some sapling spurring these folks on, planting little seedlings of doubt, but until lightning, pine beetles, or a good de-barking put that tree in place, I’ll continue to defend my record as a card-carrying, tree-hating liberal.
- Sissy-soft Hands
Unlike Laaker men of yore, I opted to work the digital fields with the smooth-textured tools of mice and keyboards. And no matter how many hack and home repair projects I do on the side, my palms manage to stay silky smooth much to my family’s observation. “My, how soft your hands are!” “Wow! How do you keep your hands so smooth?!” Lines such as these do no man proud, and one day, after palming broken glass, tacks, and the occassional barbed-wire strand (which I keep in my pockets at the ready), I look to be congratulated for some rough, hard work-hewn hands.
In an effort to increase search engine optimization, I am now supposed to link and list five unwitting accomplices to continue this escapade (in hopes that they will link back to me, thus completing the Circle of Life). Not one to buck tradition, nor shameless in-linking, here are five recipients of my baton:
- Bryce “Soldier Ant” Glass
- Lance “Son of a Pig Farmer” Nishihira
- Ben “Cajun Man” Schicker
- Aaron “Nuggit” Steckelberg
- Christian “Street Fighter 2” Thom