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Benjamin Oakes

Photo of Ben Oakes

Hi, I'm Ben Oakes and this is my geek blog. Currently, I'm a Ruby/JavaScript Developer at Liaison. Previously, I was a Developer at Continuity and Hedgeye, a Research Assistant in the Early Social Cognition Lab at Yale University and a student at the University of Iowa. I also organize TechCorridor.io, ICRuby, OpenHack Iowa City, and previously organized NewHaven.rb. I have an amazing wife named Danielle Oakes.

Filtering for the month September, 2004. Clear

Photos with Jerry

by Ben

Here are the photos of me with Jerry, as promised:

Jerry sees me walking over to him

That’s me on the far left and Jerry’s on the right.
We pose together

It’s still spooky how similar our shirts were…
A candid moment, this time with hats

Someone decided that we could look even more alike if I would wear a hat.

If you have no idea what these photos are about, feel free to look at the previous post. Again, a reminder to visit his band’s web site. There’s even some mp3 clips if you fancy.

Update: Their site is no longer around. I still have the CD, so I might see if I can post a couple of mp3s up here with their permission.

I have a fan club!

by Ben

There are some things in life that you just don’t expect. One of those things happened to me today.

For those of you who don’t now, I play saxophone. Several people have told me that I play quite well, but I’m a pessimist and just plain like to criticize myself. I just can’t believe them. It has helped me grow in many respects–though I should still practice much more than I do.

This all started at the Hoover Jazz Festival last year. There was a mall nearby and some friends and I decided that we should go. I ended up being late for the jazz combo’s warm up (which was scheduled about an hour before we had to play, which I didn’t realize). I remember running and running from the mall back to the Festival, feeling like such an idiot. But things panned out differently than I could have foreseen.

Being that I was late, several people were out looking for me. One of these was Sami’s uncle Jerry. He told me that he “walked around saying ‘Ben Oakes, Ben Oakes'” while looking. Of course, I showed up, never saw him (as far as I can remember), and went on to play. He was in the audience and was impressed with my ability (and other’s, I’m sure). So impressed, in fact, that he decided to use my name as a sobriquet when singing karaoke. Apparently, he sings this somewhat often.

I was informed of this while working one day by Sami and her mother. It was not something that you hear every day, so it got filed away into my brain. “Wow,” I thought. It’s interesting how one can affect people without really trying.

After work today, I got a phone call. It was Sami saying that her uncle was in town and wanted to get his picture taken with Ben Oakes. I said that I would (there wasn’t much else that I was doing) and showed up about twenty minutes later. By sheer chance we were wearing almost the same shirt and pants. Allegedly, he recognized me while driving home from the grocery store. Yes, several people told me to worry because I had a stalker (He lives in Illinois; I don’t think I’ll have to worry). They took the picture with a digital camera; it will be as soon as they send me a copy.

He turned out to be a pretty cool guy. We talked for a litte while and it seemed like we had several things in common (minus the name). His wife Mel (at least I think that it was his wife–there were too many people there that I didn’t know) is into computers, gladly, so I’ll have a picture soon. She suggested that we email back and forth, which I would be glad to do. Next time I visit my grandmother in Illinois, I might have to take a side trip.

I ended up walking away with more than just a interesting story. He’s in a rock band and felt obligated to give me one of their CD‘s. It was professionally printed and recorded too. This is not what I was expecting to do tonight, but I’m certainly not complaining.

If anyone else wants to join the “Ben Oakes Fan Club,” leave a comment to this article and I’ll put you in contact with Jerry. I’ll be signing pictures all week.

Another Apology

by Ben

I’m no longer allowed to have a life; school has taken it over completely. In just a few hours, I have to play for Jazz Band then I’ll probably be up past midnight trying to get my homework done.

Yeah, and I’m here blogging. It’s not something I do enough of, in the first place.

Interestingly, I found an article about me. OK, not me specifically, but pretty darn close. If anybody knows me, they’ll look at that and say “That’s Ben!” People do that sort of thing to things in movies, etc. because of things I habitually do; this is no exception.

Read it. There’s a good chance you’re affected as well. Too bad it’s not a real syndrome (the day the word “nerd” is part of a real disease is a sad day). I had read something about Asperger’s disorder and thought that it was like me. I don’t think that there’s a name for what’s wrong with me though.  :P

In any case, time to get back to homework.