Come One, Come Oh

One of my longtime friends, Kevin Cheng, is getting married today to Coley Wopperer on what is quite possibly the nerdiest of days: 10/10/10. It is so nerdy, that it justified a New York Times article:

For those of a geeky bent, the date has another layer of importance – it is made up entirely of ones and zeros, the binary language of computing. Kevin Cheng and Coley Wopperer of San Francisco have been waiting nearly two years for their wedding date to roll around, having realized over dinner with friends in 2008 that, as one suggested, “you could have a binary-themed wedding!” he recalled.

But the nerdiness of this occasion will not end there. In March of 2008, I sent Kevin an email with a GPG-encrypted message:

Hey Kevin,

This is a very important message. Store it in your archive – you will need it at some future time, but for what purpose, I can’t say at this point. The following is plain text encrypted using GPG to a passphrase I will reveal to you at some point in the future, once an important event has come to pass. It’ll be a nice surprise when I do, trust me.

Sorry for the James Bond factor, but it’ll all make sense in the future. Here’s the GPG encrypted text block:


Version: GnuPG v1.4.8 (Darwin)













Brendon J. Wilson

Now, on the day of his marriage, the time has come to reveal the passphrase for the message to reveal the message. So, my gift to you Kevin and Coley, as small a token as it may be, is the passphrase to that message: itoldyouso.

Open Letter to Yuk Yuk’s

Note: This is the second time an entertainment establishment in Vancouver has made dramatic alterations without any acknowledgment to their customers of the changes. Last time, my wife and I went to see Spinal Tap, only to discover TicketMaster had decided to move us from the orchestra to the last row of the balcony section. It appears that entertainment groups in Vancouver simply don’t understand how to communicate changes to their customers.

Dear Yuk Yuk’s:

My wife and I attended Yuk Yuk’s last night to see the 8pm ‘Garfunkel and Oates‘ show, who were previously advertised as your headline act for the night. It was the only reason I went. Not only did Garfunkel and Oates not play the gig, there was no notice to this effect at the box office or anywhere prior to the show. It wasn’t even acknowledged by the MC that the advertised headliners weren’t going to be playing.

I am aware that you state that “Acts are subject to change without notice.”; however, this as a legal term is only defensible in cases where a player or act is physically unable to make the gig (illness, accident, detention while crossing the border due to house arrest – I’m thinking of Andy Dick here, of course). To simply gloss over the fact that the very act people came to see won’t be playing the gig and attempt to hand-wave it away under this overly-broad disclaimer is poor form and, quite frankly, insulting to your customers. In other businesses, it’s called a bait-and-switch, and it’s illegal (for a reason).

In the future, it would be useful to at least acknowledge that the acts have changed. You’ll find that customers are a lot more forgiving if you communicate the change, than if they get to the end of the show and wonder why they didn’t end up seeing the very act they paid good money to see. It’s just good business.