The New York Times, featuring: me?

Several years ago (yes, December 2020, but covid distorts time), I tweeted about my Capital One credit card. The world validated my thoughts. I moved on.

A few weeks ago, a New York Times reporter discovered that tweet as she was researching a story.

Which leads to me being on the front page of the New York Times’ Business section. It has my picture and everything. (In case the Times removes the page, here’s an archive.)

The reporter skillfully caught the most important thing I said during the whole hour-long conversation, and quoted me on it.

Also, the photographer worked miracles. Somehow, he made me look like I belong on the front page of the Crime Business section. I suspect sorcery, or perhaps a body double.

2021 Soroptimist Auction Results

I’ve been screaming my fool head off on social media for the last few months about my auction to support Soroptimist International Grosse Pointe. After I post this, I can shut up about it.

We raised $2200. The money will be used to help human trafficking survivors clear their records. This is an extraordinarily high amount for a single auction, and achieved that only because of the generosity of my readers.

Jay Hannah kicked things into gear by bidding $1000–and immediately donated the entire amount to SIGP. For all the charity auctions I’ve run over the last ten years or so, I don’t believe anyone’s ever done that.

Five minutes from the end, Tim Olsen sniped him with a bid of $1200.

Tim gets the special FreeBSD Mastery: Jails, signed by the membership of SIGP. Many left notes of gratitude, or signed the page that corresponded with their age, or both. I’m not going to show photos, because SIGP’s membership isn’t public the way, say, OpenBSD’s is. Trust me, it’s seriously signed. I’m also adding a couple extra books, because come on–$1200?

I’m also sending Jay some books, to thank him for his generosity. Because come on, $1000 without winning?

I had particular bonus titles in mind to send each, but I don’t have some of them. I went to take them off my brag heap, thinking I would order replacements, but they weren’t in the heap. Seems I need to audit the heap? Ah, well. Perhaps when I fill in the missing titles, it really will be taller than I am.

Thanks to everyone who helped spread the word. If you were wondering, the Soroptimist International Grosse Pointe tip jar is still open.

Auction Last Day

If you’re interested in the FreeBSD Mastery: Jails — Bail Bond Denied edition charity auction, it closes today at 5PM EDT.

The current lead bid is at $1000, but here’s the twist: he’s already made the donation in that amount.

If you win with a bid of $1001, you’ll raise twice the money and screw over the current leader. How often do you get to do something unquestionably good out of spite?

My Penguicon 2021 Schedule

I’ll be speaking at the virtualized Penguicon 2021, and hanging around several events making a nuisance of myself. Fortunately, these online events are moderated and they’ll mute me any time I start to make trouble.

If you’re looking to see me, though, here’s my presentation schedule. (Events I will attend, but not as any sort of speaker, are not shown.)

22 April (Thursday)

7PM: Author Reception (hangout)

24 April (Saturday)

12PM: Becoming a Better Writer (presentation)
2PM: Reading (probably Woolen Torment, depending on the audience)
6PM: Why Aren’t I Writing? Dealing with Impostor Syndrome, Writer’s Block, and Other Muse Killers (panel)

25 April (Sunday)

12PM: SSL and TLS in 2021 (presentation)
1PM: Self Publishing at Scale (panel)

Registration for Penguicon is a paltry $10. The money goes towards keeping various background stuff in place so that Penguicon 2022 can be A Thing. I want Penguicon 2022 to be A Thing.

My blatantly exploited Patronizers have to pay $10 for an hour of my time once a month. Even if the rest of Penguicon doesn’t interest you, you can get 3-4 hours of Lucas for that amount. That’s enough to last anyone a year. If you can’t attend, they’d appreciate a donation.

You’ll note that, compared to previous Penguicons, I will not be attending any LN2 ice cream demos. This is a tragic weakness in the virtual format. I will be visiting my local shop to lay in copious supplies so that I may maintain a sufficient dairy level throughout the weekend.

With virtualization becoming increasingly acceptable for conference presenters, I’m looking at setting boundaries on how often I will speak. Grab me while you can.

Last-Minute Public Reading, on Halloween

On 31 October 2020, Halloween, I’ll be giving a last-minute online reading at Privacy Week. You’ll get snippets of $ git commit murder and a sneak peek at “TLS Mastery.” We’ll have time for a Q&A afterwards, and then a breakout session for those who for some reason want yet more time with me.

This is a last minute event; I’m filling in for someone who cannot make it. The time isn’t yet set, but it’ll be either 15:30 or 16:30 EDT. I’ll find out tomorrow. It will also appear on the Privacy Week schedule. I’ll also have streaming links tomorrow. I’ll update this post with those links, rather than spam y’all with yet another post.

This is a free event.

The main part of the talk will be recorded and publicly available, once the volunteers finish it. The breakout session will not.

EDITED TO ADD:

Talk is at 20:30 Berlin time, or 3:30PM EDT.

Streaming link is at https://stream.privacyweek.at/.

See you there!

Patreon Reorganization, January 2021

When I set up my Patreon, I had no idea how well it would work–or not. My life in information technology has me paranoid, though, so I set up my Patreon through a paranoid lens.

Patreon worked better than I feared. It’s exceeded what I hoped for. Not my wildest dreams, mind you. (My wildest dreams are not financial, mind you, so they’re irrelevant–but still.)

I am therefore changing my Patreon to be more generous.

Creators of greater Patreon savvy than myself were unanimous in telling me to give advance warning of any changes, even if they’re for the Patronizer’s benefit, so I’m making these changes effective January 2021. (They also tell me to stop calling my Patronizers “Patronizers,” but that would make you suspect someone else had taken over this account, so I’m ignoring that advice.)

The $1 level will become “See the Sausage Being Made” (down from $5). You’ll get the monthly post on my progress with current projects, plus the Unix fortune file and a short story.

The $5 level will become “Digital Reader” (previously $10). When I release something that I retain digital rights to, you’ll get a copy. Generally, that means any new pieces published by Tilted Windmill Press, fiction or non. I do not retain the digital rights for No Starch books like “Absolute OpenBSD,” nor do I have ebook rights to third party fiction anthologies like “Face the Strange” or the new “Bloody Christmas.” (Anthology stories get published separately once I get the rights back, usually within a few months of the anthology publication.)

At times I must republish old titles, usually because an ebookstore has done something horrific and I must touch all of the books, but sometimes for omnibus or collections. Such backlist titles are not included.

At $10 and above, I’ll have a new benefit: Monthly Video Chat.

You’ll get a pass to a monthly Patronizer-only live AMA session with yours truly. I’m starting this with Zoom first, as I’m already stuck using it for other meetings and it has a cross-platform web client that works on both OpenBSD and FreeBSD.
If only a couple folks show, I’ll hang around for not less than half an hour. I’ll go at least an hour if we get more folks.
Meets will be scheduled in advance, at different times of the week and different times of day, so Patronizers will get a share of time slots no matter where they live or their work hours.

While this is an “ask me anything” sort of thing, I do retain the right to not answer questions that are a) too personal, or b) would spoil the surprise.

I have no idea what will happen with the video chat, but I’ll commit to working through any issues for twelve meetings, barring personal debacle or US civil war or such. Even if the remaining half of my thyroid implodes, I should be able to sit on video chat.

The technology might be changed. If it’s wildly successful, I might need to add a moderator. If nobody shows up, or it turns into a time sink that interferes with my writing, I’ll stop it.

$20 and greater levels remain unchanged.

As it’s almost Halloween, I’d like to close by reminding you that the $250/month “What is Wrong with You???” level, which has a variety of benefits but includes me introducing you Cryptkeeper-style, is available.

Book Sale

(Update: sale is over. Leaving the blog post up for posterity.)

For those interested in such things, I recently posted my 60,000th tweet. This prodded me to try an experiment I’ve been pondering for a while.

Over at my ebookstore, two of my books are now on a “Name Your Own Price” sale. You can get git commit murder and PAM Mastery for any price you wish, with a minimum of $1.

Regular readers of this blog are theoretically already aware that these books exist, and have bought them if they’re so inclined. If you could help spread the word to potential new readers, though, I would appreciate it.

BSDCan 2020 Charity Auction Results

A few weeks ago, as part of BSDCan 2020, I held an auction to benefit the Ottawa Mission. And once again, Bill Allaire crushed all opposition. (Not that there was a huge amount of opposition, because plague, but still.) Bill has made his winning donation and then some, and is entitled to my malformed student notes.

Bill is too generous for his own good, however. This is not the first of my auctions that he’s won. (I believe there’s more, but they’re not coming up on a blog search.) What’s more, the student notes he won? They are being donated to the BSDCan 2021 Charity Auction.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled apocalypse.