The Core Dump

Lower your shields and surrender your ships

[By Nic Lindh on Friday, 25 August 2006]

Naturalization day

Nic becomes a U.S. citizen and is pretty stoked about it.

Today was the Big Day: My Naturalization Ceremony. So now I have a piece of paper that says I’m just as much a citizen of the United States as anybody else. During the ceremony, 106 people from 32 countries became citizens, which is pretty darn cool.

The ceremony itself took place at the Sandra Day O’Connor United States Courthouse in downtown Phoenix, a pretty strange building—it’s like what would happen if somebody told Stanley Kubrick to build a Ramada Inn.

A naturalization proceeding is a federal legal matter, so we had a judge and everything.

Being not much of a pomp-and-circumstance kind of person, I would have been happy with filing in, taking the Oath of Allegiance, and going on my merry way, but that was not to be. The whole process took over three hours, a significant chunk of which was taken up by us listening to the stories of other freshly-minted citizens in the room.

The immigration officer asked everybody if they would like to say a few words about their journey and I, of course, declined—just like my wedding, the main objective was to keep the ceremony as short as possible. Plus, “I came here from Sweden where things were actually pretty good” doesn’t quite cut it as an Inspirational Story in my book. But a few brave souls wanted to share their stories. Great. I’m expecting heart wrenching stories of crawling over minefields in the middle of the night to escape terrible persecution, but no, it’s a couple of former Mexicans who are really happy to be in the US now. Which is great, but doesn’t tug the heartstrings that much.

Then a young black man—and he was black as the night—gets up to share his story, and it turns out he was one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. His English was still a bit shaky, but he was talking about how America is the land where people can do anything, and as an example he said that most people don’t think that a six-year-old can bury another person, but when he was six he buried his brothers. So people can do more than they think.

OK.

That was pretty intense.

My biggest take-away from the whole experience was how happy the government officials involved in the process seemed to be. When I presented my paperwork to the immigration official—who happened to be the one who did my interview—I asked him how he was doing, and he said, “Good. Any day I get to do this is a good day.” And seemed to mean it.

The presiding judge also seemed to really enjoy himself.

That felt really good.

« Movie roundup

 »


Enjoy the ten latest posts!

Putting new gaskets on the Kamado grill

Nic commits putty knife violence on his grill to replace the gaskets.

Wings of Freedom

Remembering the cost of World War II through airplanes.

The innocent feel guilty, the guilty feel nothing

Patriotism is often an arbitrary veneration of real estate above principles

The pro market, the nerds, and the vision

Apple’s neglect of the pro market is causing a lot of gnashing of teeth in Apple-nerd circles, but it’s true to Apple’s vision.

Never retreat. Never explain. Get it done and let them howl

A wet man does not fear rain

What to expect when you’re expecting a Hackintosh

There is unrest in the Mac community about Apple’s commitment to the platform. Some are turning their eyes to building a Hackintosh to get the kind of computer Apple doesn’t provide. Here’s what it’s like to run a Hackintosh.

Book roundup, part 22

Lots of fiction series in this one. Includes Grunt, 1177 B.C., Louder Than Hell, Smarter Faster Better, The Hanging Tree, Death’s End, Chains of Command, and Who Killed Sherlock Holmes?.

It’s so much easier to suggest solutions when you don't know too much about the problem

Malazan Book of the Fallen

Hey kids, you like epic fantasy? ’Cause I've got some epic fantasy for you.

The car is going digital and that’s a good thing

Car nerds are dealing with some cognitive dissonance as car technology changes.

Review: Kindle Oasis

The Oasis is Amazon’s best e-ink reader to date, but it’s not good enough for the price.

Unhappy the land that is in need of heroes

“Tea, Earl Grey, hot”

Nic buys an Amazon Echo and is indubitably happy with the fantasy star ship in his head.

Mad Max: Fury Road vs Mad Max Trilogy

When the levee breaks

The Occupy movement, the Tea Party, and now Trump. America is angry.

It’s a content blocker, not an ad blocker

The problem isn’t ads. The problem is being stalked like an animal across the internet.

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves

Review: Synology DS416j

The DS416j is a nice NAS for light home use. Just don’t expect raw power.

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard

Know what's weird? Day by day, nothing seems to change. But pretty soon, everything's different

Just because nobody complains doesn't mean all parachutes are perfect

(Nerd Note) Moving to GitHub Pages

The Core Dump is moving to GitHub Pages. This is a good thing, most likely.

Time traveling with Friends

Tempus fugit and all that.

Hell is truth seen too late

The tire fire of democracy

Nic has never been more worried for the future of America.

Vader’s Redemption: The Imperial March in a major key

Book roundup, part 21

This installment features grimdark fantasy, peppy astronauts and the Roman Empire. Includes SPQR, And On That Bombshell, The Code Book, Schiit Happened, Beyond Redemption, The Severed Streets, The Martian and Veiled.

Space Shuttle Endeavour

Endeavour is a symbol of hope for a better future.