About the Manual

The Nerd Manual is meant to be both a useful resource for nerds and a guide for the people involved with nerds. If you're a nerd you can find information here that will help you improve your life and perhaps better understand yourself. If you're close friends with, dating, or married to a nerd, I want to give you insight into things nerds do that a lot of people have difficulty understanding.

I hope to avoid offending anyone--either nerd or non-nerd--but please understand that the manual will get into some sensitive topics, stray into contentious territories, and even use stereotypes to illustrate points. It's OK to disagree with something, but keep your comments civil.


Nerdy and Geeky Gifts Guide - Winter 2017 Edition

Maybe you’re into Christmas, Hanukkah, Hogswatch, or some other holiday.

Maybe you refuse to acknowledge holidays.

Doesn't matter. You know why? Because December is a big month for gift giving, so deal with it.

While you're passing around gift baskets, you ought to do right by your nerdy friends. Sure, you could spring for a Loot Crate subscription, an Enterpise-shaped pizza cutter, or a even a Nintendo Switch (which would certainly be welcome in my house), but those are the gifts you’ll find on any lame “Top 53 Geek Gifts” list thrown together by a news outlet where the nearest thing they've got to a nerd is the reporter who once watched part of Ghostbusters by mistake when he walked into the wrong theater.

You’re here because you want to show that you’ve dug deeper than Buzzfeed and the Dallas Morning Herald.

You're here because you want to show you care!

Hold onto your hats because here it is: the extra thoughtful, Nerdy and Geeky Gifts Guide for 2017. Winter Edition!


Don't Let the FCC Board Block Your Access to YouTube

Once again, it's time to tell the US government that they have to stop Internet providers from charging you extra to watch the news, play a video game, or Facetime with your grandmother.

Net neutrality rules are currently part of federal law, and they prevent service providers like AT&T, Time-Warner, Charter, Verizon, or Comcast from charging extra for easy access to an Internet service such as YouTube, email, Facetime, Steam, or perhaps a news service they disagree with.

Unfortunately, the FCC chair Ajit Pai publicly announced his plan to slash net neutrality rules, flagrantly ignoring over 22 million previous public comments on net neutrality, and now he has called for a vote to allow Internet providers like Comcast, Verizon, and Charter to block apps, slow down websites, and charge fees to control what you see and do online.

The FCC board votes December 14th.

But if Congress gets enough calls, emails, letters and tweets, they can stop the FCC. They have blocked FCC votes before.

All you have to do is contact your representative.

To make this easy, there's an automated phone system that will connect you with your representative's office.

And if you don't want to give out your phone number, I hear you. Click over to GovTrack and put in your zip code to find out how to Tweet, email, write, or phone your reps.

Want to do something physical? You can attend a local protest on December 7th. The current FCC chairman was a Verizon attorney before taking that position, which sounds an awful lot like a conflict of interest. You can join the protests outside Verizon retail stores across the U.S. to show that you support net neutrality.

If you do nothing, you can't complain when your video streams continuously buffer, but if we all voice our opinion, the government can't ignore us.

EDIT: Here's a timely follow up--an open letter from New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to the FCC regarding its refusal to cooperate in a state fraud investigation concerning public commentary on the repeal of net neutrality.